Baby Food Mania

Now that my vegan son is 7 months old I’m making a lot of homemade baby food. It’s healthy and full of nutrients unlike the store bought stuff sold out there. I feed my son REEL food. In my opinion the store bought jarred stuff isn’t quality food. If its able to sit on a shelf in a store for extended periods of time then its pumped with unpronounceable things I will not let my son ingest.

It’s incredibly easy to make homemade baby food. I just use what I have on hand and make sure I’m offering him a variety of yummy options. I usually bake his veggies like squash and boil or steam things like green beans. Steaming is better than boiling them in order to preserve more nutrients but  when I’m in  a rush I’ll boil them because its faster. I reserve some of the cooking water in case I need it when I’m blending it all up. When serving my baby his goodies I add some of his milk to his puree because he likes the added creaminess it provides.

So far my little man has tried peas, green beans, pumpkin, acorn squash, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, avocado, beets, mango, cherries, carrots, sweet potato, apples and bananas. I’m sure I missed some but you get the picture. He has eaten quite a variety of fruits and veggies along with his brown rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, hemp hearts, chia seeds and coconut yogurt.

His favouite foods are pumpkin and sweet potato. I swear I can feed him pumpkin everyday and he would happily eat it up! I’ll post some of his favourite dishes below which are super easy to make. Even if your busy running around you can still manage to throw these together. Trust me! I have 5 kids and I can do it. The best part is once you make puree the veggies and fruit you can freeze the mixture in ice cube trays and store them in freezer bags for future use with only a few exceptions like avocado. Eat that right away! I love this idea because when I’m on the go I’ll pop a few cubes of different purees into travel containers and they defrost while I’m out doing errands. That way my vegan baby can eat healthy on the go. I just take them out 1st thing in the morning that way they have plenty of time to defrost. I also bring hemp hearts in a container with me to add to his food for extra nutrition and he loves the added taste from them.

What are some of your babies favourite foods? Let me know if you have a special way of preparing it below in the comment section. 🙂

 

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Banana & Avocado puree

Ingredients & Tools

  1. 1 Banana
  2. 1 Avocado
  3. Blender/Food Processer

How simple can this get right? It’s the simple things they will eat up though every time!

Method

  • Just peel a banana and scoop out the flesh of an avocado and toss them into your blender or food presser.
  • Transfer to a bowl and add breast milk or formula to the mixture for added creaminess if desired.
  • Feed this mixture to your little one right away as the avocado in it will start to go brown.

*Note*

Top the mixture with Hemp Hearts if desired.

 

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Baked Acorn Squash Puree

Ingredients & Tools

  1. 1 Acorn Squash
  2. 1 Baking dish
  3. Blender/Food Presser
  4. Optional: Cinnamon or Pumpkin Spice

 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 F
  • Prepare a baking dish with about an inch of water in it. Add more later if needed during the baking process
  • Cut you acorn squash in half
  • Sprinkle with a touch of Pumpkin Spice or Pure Cinnamon if desired
  • Place flesh side down into the baking dish
  • Bake for 35 – 45 minutes depending on the size of your squash
  • Allow to cool and then scoop out the squash flesh into the blender or food processer
  • Transfer mixture to an air tight container. I like placing it into glass containers or mason jars.

* Note*

I also like adding hemp hearts to the squash mixture when serving it to my son. He loves the added flavour and texture it adds to his meal. You can also add dash of breast milk or formula to it in order to make it a little creamier.

 

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Chia Pineapple, Mango, Beet & Banana Puree

Ingredients

  1. 2 Bananas
  2. 1/3 Cup Pineapple
  3. 1 small to medium sized cooked Beet
  4. 1/3 cup Mango
  5. 1 tbsp. Chia Seeds

Method

  • Add fruit and the beet to the blender and puree
  • Place in an air tight container or mason jar and add the chia seeds. Combine well.
  • Store in the fridge for up to 5 days

*Note*

My son loves to eat this mixture with a spoonful of unsweetened coconut yogurt with this mixture. Give it a try if your baby enjoys yogurt too.

 

Hope your baby enjoys this healthy grub! Even my 12 year old will ask me if he`s done with his food. She’s the clean up crew who wants to eat up all his yummy leftovers! Ha Ha!

 

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Black Bean Lettuce Wraps

I tend to eat lettuce wraps a lot! Why??? They are so easy to throw together super fast and most importantly they are incredibly healthy! See fast food CAN be healthy!!! I like to use black beans because they are my favourite bean but you can use what ever bean you prefer. The picture below is of a super plain wrap because that bean mixture was made for my 9-year-old who wanted just beans & hemp hearts. I like to add bell peppers, shredded carrot and sprouts if I have them on hand to my wraps. The beauty of these wraps is that you can pretty much use any veggie you have on hand or that needs to be used asap in them. Another bonus of lettuce wraps is that they are kinder to your waistline compared to wolfing down a bunch of tortilla wraps. Go ahead and wolf these down though because they are delicious and healthy … no guilt required! 🙂

 

Simple Black Bean Lettuce Wraps

Simple Black Bean Lettuce Wraps

 

 

Black Bean Lettuce wraps

You will need:

  • 1 can of black beans
  • garlic
  • apple cider vinegar
  • hemp hearts
  • salt & pepper , I use Himalayan pink salt
  • parsley
  • lettuce of your choice, *Boston/butterhead lettuce is a great choice because it holds the bean mixture well. I’m inserting a picture I found of Boston Lettuce in case your not familiar with this type of lettuce.*
Boston Lettuce

Boston Lettuce

 

 

Bean mixture:

  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed really well
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 2 TBSP hemp hearts
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh torn up parsley
  • 2-3 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar
  • Veggie/veggies of choice, I usually cut up 1 large bell pepper and grate 1/3 cup carrot

Add all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. The longer you let these ingredients sit the better your bean mixture will taste! I sometimes make it the night before and keep it in the fridge.

 

Method:

  1. Pre wash & dry your lettuce leaves. Make sure they are nice and dry!
  2. Add your bean mixture to the lettuce. If you’re using the Boston lettuce it acts like a cup so it’s really easy to fill up.
  3. Top with more hemp hearts
  4. Eat them all up!!! Without any guilt I might add! 🙂

 

NOTE: I also sometimes add some brown rice or quinoa to my wraps which makes them a little more filling when I’m enjoying them for dinner. Give it a try! You will love this addition!

 

Enjoy!

Garlicky Mushroom Phyllo Triangles!

 Ok these are seriously delicious!!! Mushrooms and garlic go together insanely well as we all know so I thought they would be great for this recipe. I’ve wanted to try working with phyllo for a long time but was too intimidated to. I finally tried yesterday for the 1st time and it actually went pretty darn well! I’ll be making these very often now! I’m also going to try cutting down on the amount of butter used next time I make them. Although I didn’t use an excessive amount of butter in my recipe I think I could probably cut it down even further without jeopardizing the taste.

I bet these would be great with other filling options as well. I plan on creating some other options soon. My youngest daughter is super picky with her veggies but does enjoy broccoli. I will be making a broccoli filling along with this wonderful mushroom mixture next time. There are so many possibilities and I plan on creating many different options!

This recipe would be fantastic served as an appetizer during this holiday season for those of you who are entertaining your friends & family. This will definitely be on our Christmas menu at our house. 🙂

 

 

Garlicky Mushroom Triangles

 

Garlicky Mushroom Phyllo Triangles

 

You will need:

  • 1 package of phyllo dough
  • About 2 tbsp’s. melted vegan butter
  • large sharp knife
  • parchment paper
  • 1 baking pan/cookie sheet
  • 1 package of mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Himalayan pink salt and black pepper, to taste
  • small frying pan
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • small plate
  • Small pastry brush

 

Method:

  1. Add the 1 tbsp. of olive oil to your pan and toss in the minced garlic into it. Sauté it for a minute on a medium/low heat setting.
  2. Next add in your mushrooms and salt and pepper. Sauté them for about 5 minutes until softened at a medium heat. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F and line the cookie/baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  4. Unroll your phyllo dough and using a sharp knife cut 2, approximately 10cm strips. Then you are going to cut each strip in half.
  5. On the small plate your going to add 3-4 pieces of your phyllo squares and lightly brush a little bit of vegan butter on top. You only need a tiny bit of butter! Don’t over do it!
  6. With a spoon scoop a bit of your mushroom mixture onto your phyllo piece. Then shape it into a triangle and seal it shut.
  7. Transfer to your cookie sheet/baking pan. Continue to make more triangles using your phyllo and mushroom mixture.
  8. Once your baking pan is full then lightly brush a tiny bit of the butter on top of each one.
  9. Bake for approximately 18 minutes. Keep an eye on them as ovens vary in temperature.

 

These went very fast in my house! Next time I will be doubling the recipe! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. 🙂

* These made approximately 15 triangles*

~Debbie~

 

Garlicky Mushroom Phyllo Triangles

 

Baked Mushroom Triangles

Baked Mushroom Triangles

 

My baked Garlicky Mushroom Phyllo Triangles!

My baked Garlicky Mushroom Phyllo Triangles!

 

Dinner Rush Tacos!

One of my gotta get dinner on the table fast meals is vegan/vegetarian tacos. They are always a hit with my kids! I love how you can use whatever veggies you have on hand and create a super fast meal. I cook up the veggie “meat” and always add black beans to it because it’s my kids favourite bean. As far as toppings go I use whatever I have in the fridge. I’ve made it using just the “meat” & beans along with chopped bell peppers, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes like pictured below. Other times I add in spinach or other mixed greens, corn and sliced avocado. Top it with a little hot sauce or taco sauce to give it a kick if you like and your cheese of choice. I don’t always top my tacos with “cheese” but if I do then I use a bit of daiya cheese. My kids eat their tacos vegetarian style and use regular cheese because they are not fans of faux cheese at all. As far as the veggie meat goes I try not using it very often because soy is one of the biggest foods genetically modified. When I do buy it I try to get organic when possible for a little piece of mind.

 

Dinner Rush Tacos!

You will need:

  • 1 package of tortilla wraps (I use the small size)
  • 1 package of veggie ground round/veggie “meat”
  • Spices and herbs of choice. I use paprika, oregano, chili powder, Himalayan pink salt and black pepper.
  • Veggies of choice, bell peppers, greens, tomato, etc.
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • A couple tbsp.’s of olive oil
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed very well.
  • 1 large frying pan

 

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil in frying pan and add in garlic and sauté it for a minute on medium heat.
  2. Add your veggie “meat” into the pan and crumble it up.
  3. Next toss in your spices & herbs of choice as well as the black beans.
  4.  Give it a good mix and sauté for about 5 minutes on a medium heat.
  5. Add 1 cup of water and combine well. Cook for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and your beans are softened.

 

* You can either add in veggies such as bell peppers & mushrooms to your meat & bean mixture and slightly cook them up or serve them raw in your taco*

 

To assemble:

  1. Grab a tortilla wrap and add some of the meat & bean mixture to it and add your veggies of choice.
  2. Top with cheese and taco or hot sauce if desired.
  3. DONE!!! Dinner is served! 🙂

 

Yep it’s pretty much the easiest meal to whip together which is perfect for rushed dinner times!

Enjoy! 🙂

 

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Simple Bean & Herb Salad

Simple & Easy Bean And Herb Salad!

Simple & Easy Bean And Herb Salad!

 

 

I’ve had many people ask me for this specific bean salad recipe so I thought I’d just post it here for everyone. I make many different types of bean salads but this is one of my favourite ones. It’s always a hit with family and friends! I use chickpeas and black beans in this salad but the bean possibilities are endless so use whatever you have on hand. I love how you can use whatever staple ingredients you have at home and create a lovely protein packed salad super fast!  I like adding chopped bell peppers into it because it adds a pop of colour to the salad and adds another element of great taste as well. For me fresh parsley is a must for bean salad so I add in a lot of it! I like to top my salad with healthy hemp hearts to finish it off.

 

 

Simple Bean & Herb Salad

 

You will need:

  • 2  – 19 oz  can of black beans
  • 1 – 28 oz large can of chickpeas
  • 3 – 4 large cloves of garlic
  • 3 – 4 tbsp. hemp hearts
  • 3 Tbsp.’s Apple Cider Vinegar, adjust to desired taste
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil, adjust according to desired taste
  • Salt & black pepper
  • handful of parsley, I use two handfuls 🙂
  • large bowl or large container

 

Method:

  1. Mince the garlic
  2. Open up the cans of beans and rinse, rinse, rinse them very well!!!
  3. Add beans to your bowl or sealable container and toss in the garlic
  4. Drizzle with a 3 tbsp.’s of extra virgin olive oil and 3 tbsp.’s of apple cider vinegar. Adjust to desired taste. Add more olive oil or ACV if you need depending on how strong you want the flavors to be.
  5. Season with Himalayan salt and black pepper and add the parsley.
  6. Mix well and top with 3 – 4 tbsp. of hemp hearts on top.

 

* I keep my bean & herb salad in the fridge to let the flavors marry for a while before serving. The longer it sits the better it will taste!!!*

 

Enjoy!

~ Squash & Bell Pepper Soup ~

I grow butternut squash in my vegetable garden every year. They are very easy to grow and I love eating healthy squash in a variety of ways. One of my favourite ways to enjoy it is roasted and then I puree it into a lovely soup. Often I like adding bell peppers to my soup for added nutrition as well as for another dimension of flavor. This soup doesn’t require many ingredients and a lot of time to make. The only time-consuming part is the time that it is roasting in the oven. Find other things to do during that time and the time will pass very quickly. I like popping my squash into the oven in the morning. It cooks for an hour while I get ready in the morning and get my kids ready and off to school. That way once dinner comes all you have to do is puree it and heat it in a pot! So easy! It always seems that the simplest recipes are the best ones! Here is my recipe based on 2 large serving sizes. Double it if you like and eat it more than once this week! 🙂

 

 

Squash!

Squash!

 

 

Healthy Squash & Bell Pepper Soup!!!

Healthy Squash & Bell Pepper Soup!!!

Squash & Bell Pepper Soup!

 

What you will need:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • salt, black pepper & paprika, to taste
  • 2 large red, yellow or orange bell peppers
  • Chopped onion, I use less than half of an onion
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • extra virgin olive oil

 

Squash & Bell Pepper Soup!

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Cut your squash in half and remove the seeds.
  3. Place into a baking dish and drizzle a little olive oil on it and season with a little salt and pepper.
  4. Cut up your bell peppers in chunks and the onion then place them into the baking dish as well. Keep the onion chunks rather large.
  5. Add your peeled and whole garlic cloves to the baking dish.
  6. Roast for 1 hour. I give the bell peppers a mix at the half way point.
  7. After removing your squash and peppers from the oven let them cool off in the dish.
  8. Once your ready to puree your veggies then add them to your blender. Also add 3/4 cup water to the blender too.
  9. Once blended thoroughly transfer to a medium-sized pot and heat at a low-med heat. Add 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk to the soup.
  10. 10. Season with Himalayan salt, black pepper and a little paprika and give it a good mix.
  11. Transfer to soup bowls and enjoy immediately while it’s hot!

 

squash soup

That’s it! So simple right? Enjoy!!!  🙂

Enjoying My Soup Outdoors! :)

Enjoying My Soup Outdoors! 🙂

Collard Wraps

Collard Wraps

 

I grew up eating collards and every year I grow them in my vegetable garden. They are incredibly healthy and I use them a lot in my soups. I also really enjoy using them to make healthy wraps instead of using a tortilla. Our waist lines will thank us for these small healthy conscious choices that we make!!! You can eat the collards raw if your using small leaves. Mine were large and a bit tough so I popped mine into boiling salted water for just a few seconds just to soften them slightly. Once I remove them from the water I pat them dry with paper towel or a clean tea towel. You can eat them wrapped up with veggies and add optional sautĂ©ed tofu strips if desired. I like to add homemade garlic Dijon dressing to them sometimes just to give them some extra flavor. 🙂

 

Garden Fresh Collards

Garden Fresh Collards

 

What you will need:

  • Washed Collard leaves, as many as you need. Small leaves can be used for one wrap. The larger leaves can be cut in half and you can make two wraps with them.
  • Chopped/Julienne veggies of choice. I like adding carrot, cucumber, sprouts and bell peppers to mine.
  • small bowl
  • Serving dish or plate
  • 1 tsp. natural garlic Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 tbsp. olive oil
  • black pepper, to taste
  • pot with water and  a dash of Himalayan salt to it

 

Collards

 

Method:

  1. Place pot of water on to boil with the salt.
  2. Make the dressing by adding the garlic Dijon mustard to a small bowl, then whisk in the apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Add desired amount of pepper and give it another mix.
  3. Chop/Julienne your veggies of choice.
  4. Add the collard leaves to the pot of boiling water for just a few seconds to soften slightly.
  5. Remove the collard leaves and pat dry with paper towel or a clean tea towel. Allow them to cool before assembling your wraps.
  6. Once cooled add the collard leaves on a time to a plate or cutting board so you can start filling your wraps. Add a little of each vegetable of choice. If your going to be eating these wraps right away then you can add a drizzle of the dressing in the wrap before you close it up. If you’re not eating them right away then I suggest you just place the dressing on the side. You can add the dressing to them later or else you will have soggy wraps!
  7. Transfer each wrap to a serving dish or plate.

 

That’s it! So easy and fast to make and collards provide you will incredible health benefits!

Enjoy! 😀

 

Collard Wraps