Salad A La “Un-boring”

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Salads don’t have to be boring!  Try thinking outside the box and take a look in your fridge for leftovers that you can throw together to create an amazing salad bowl full of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats just like this one.  Foods like whole grain pasta, quinoa and roasted veggies can also be made ahead of time to help you pull something together fast.

If you make some pasta ahead of time like I did, just make sure to coat it in a bit of olive oil  and mix it up before putting it in the fridge so it doesn’t stick together.  I used leftover pasta, quinoa and roasted butternut squash I had in the fridge for my kids along with avocado, goat cheese, sunflower seeds and greens.

Top it with a homemade dressing and VOILA!  Amazing  🙂

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Roasted Red Pepper & Goat Cheese Puree

I don’t know about you, but lately when it comes to my almost one year old I am often finding myself staring blankly into the fridge wondering what to feed him.  He’s in that awkward stage where he still prefers some food pureed but will also try some of the food that we make for ourselves.  So I’ve found lately that he seems to be getting odds and ends and I don’t really feel like he’s getting enough variety in his diet.  I often fall back on the things I know he likes just because I know he will eat them.  But that means he’s missing out on other foods (and nutrients).

So I decided that for the next couple of days I will be in full on cooking mode!  I am loading up the freezer with healthy purees, stews and cooked veggies to have on hand for him.  It makes life so much easier…..it’s just finding the time to do it.  It’s worth it.  Take one or two days to get it all done and be stress-free about meals (most of them anyway) for the next little while.

This roasted red pepper and goat cheese puree is the first one I whipped up.  It can be used as a pasta sauce, dip or spread.  High in Vitamin A and C with some Folic Acid, Potassium and Niacin the peppers are a great nutrient boost combined with protein rich goat cheese.

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Ingredients: (This makes about 1 cup you can store in the fridge for a few days.  However if you’re stocking up your freezer you will want to multiply the ingredients according to how much you want)  I used 8 peppers!

1 Large Red Pepper

2 Tbsp. Goat Cheese

Lay your Pepper (s) on a foil lined baking sheet and broil for about 15 minutes, rotating them every few minutes to make sure all sides get roasted.  You want your peppers to become black and charred on the outside, so don’t worry about burning them.  This makes the skin come off very easy.  Once done, set your pepper(s) in a bowl and cover for a few minutes to allow the steam to also help remove the skin easier.  Once they are cool enough to handle peel of the skin (you can use a knife to get it started), pull out the stem (it should come off very easily), slice the pepper down the middle, flatten it out and scrape out the seeds.

Roughly chop into pieces your food processor can handle.  Add the pepper(s) to your food processor along with goat cheese and process until smooth.

Store in a container in the fridge for up to a few days or freeze in baby-friendly containers in the freezer.

Chipotle Butternut Squash & Black Bean Wraps

This is another very versatile recipe.  It works for the whole family, and with some slight adjustments it’s perfect for kids and even as a great finger food for babies just starting out!

I will start with the general recipe, and down below I will give you some tips for changing it up for the little ones.

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Ingredients:

3 cups Small cubed butternut squash

1/3 Tsp Chipotle Seasoning

1 Tbsp Avocado oil (or other high heat oil)

1/2 cup Chopped Red Onion

1/2 cup Black Beans

Juice from 1/2 lime

1 Tsp honey

Whole Grain Wraps

Goat Cheese

To Make:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl to combine.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the mixture out evenly.  Roast for 30 minutes. (Ovens may vary so cook until soft when poked with a fork).

Remove from oven and add the mixture back to the same bowl and mix in the black beans, lime juice and honey.  Scoop out desired amount onto 1/3 of your whole grain wrap, sprinkle with goat cheese, fold the ends in and roll it up!  Cut in half and enjoy!

For the little ones…..

I like to make a simple batch for my little ones with only the squash and black beans.  When you’re making this recipe, chop up an extra batch of the squash, drizzle with oil and roast at the same time on a separate baking sheet.

Mix the squash with some of the leftover beans from the can and make a wrap for your toddler or child in the same way (as you can see from the picture my toddler enjoys these!)

Or use the plain squash and bean combo for a finger food for your baby.

*Tip – make a large batch of this and store it in the fridge for a few days.  It’s perfect for a quick lunch for Mama!  Pull it out, throw some on a wrap and done! 

Mama like.