Super Green Veggie Patties

What: Easy do-it-yourself veggie patties modeled after a popular grocery brand.

When: When you’re looking for a  fun and clever way to get nutrition into your toddler and you’ve got about 40 minutes to spare (with very little active time). It’s also never too early to get them used to all things green.

Why: Kids just love handheld food, and if it comes in fun shapes, all the better. With today’s recipe, you’ll get more for your money and use leftover greens wisely. And don’t be afraid to try out new flavor combos using this method – my son enjoyed these both with Yams and White Potatoes. Also take the opportunity spice these up according to your little one’s preferences.

How: If you have a microwave for defrosting the spinach and baking the yam, the prep for these Patties will be super-fast. Just have your food processor ready to go to blend the baked yam and greens together. I like to make large batches Veggie Patties and freeze them. Use cookie cutters to turn these tasty green nibbles into fun, kid -friendly shapes.

Super Green Veggie Patties 

Yield: Fills about 1 8×8 square baking pan – cut into the shapes and sizes you wish

Ingredients:

10 Ounces Frozen Organic Spinach, defrosted and squeezed as dry as possible using a colander or dish towel

1 Large Yam, pierced all over and microwaved in a wet paper towel for 7 minutes until flesh is very soft.

Garlic Granules or other spices (Cinnamon is good too) as desired

1 Egg

1/8 teaspoon Salt

4 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour

Parchment Paper

8 inch square baking pan or pyrex glass dish

Method: 

Preheat oven to 375.

Prepare Yam as above in the microwave. Scoop the flesh into a food processor. Add the defrosted Spinach and blend until smooth.

Add Egg, Salt and Spices. Blend for another 10 seconds.

Remove blended mixture to bowl and stir in the Flour as gradually as possible.

Line your baking pan with Parchment so that there is some overhang on all sides. Press Parchment into the corners of the pan.

Spread the mixture evenly into the pan – it will be about an inch thick.

Cook for 20 minutes until firm but not dry and toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool a bit and cut into shapes using cookie cutters. Freeze or serve warm or room temperature!

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Shortcut Lentil Stew 1-2-3!

What: A quickie version of Lentil Stew using cooked, BPA-free canned lentils

When: Whenever you have pre-cooked grains or leftover pasta, and you can spare 10 minutes to brown the ground meat of your choice. *Note: if you choose rice as your grain, it’s a good idea to know were it is sourced from and review the latest information on arsenic. Overall, I try to limit my child’s rice intake as well as my own.

Why: Lentils – an ancient legume popular in many cultures and on several continents- are a childhood staple for good reason. Packed with B vitamins, along with lots of dietary fiber and protein, they are great fuel for people big and small. We add pre-cooked quinoa, also a nutritional powerhouse, to this stick-to-your-ribs meal. Shortcut Lentil Stew keeps well in the fridge or freezer too.

How: I’m going to let you in on one of my favorite hacks when cooking for kids – use your child’s favorite baby food to create an instant “sauce” to tie together your dish. This technique makes our lentil stew even quicker and adds additional nutrients to an already power-packed meal. And just in time for the chilly weather.


Shortcut Lentil Stew

Yields 6 to 8 – 4 Ounce Servings

Ingredients:

1/2 Lb Organic Ground Beef

Tablespoon Olive Oil

1/2 Can Organic Lentils (15 Ounce Can)

1 Cup Cooked Quinoa or other leftover grain (Barley or Farro would be great choices)

Pinch of Organic Garlic Granules or Minced Garlic (optional)

4 Ounce Pouch Broccoli & Carrot Baby Food Blend (or similar, to your child’s liking) – we use Earth’s Best

1 Cup Baby Spinach Leaves, minced

Method:

Brown the Ground Meat in Olive Oil until fully cooked. Drain on a plate with paper towels. Wipe out the skillet.

Return meat to the skillet and add the Lentils and Fresh Minced Spinach, optional minced Garlic or Garlic Granules.Turn heat to medium low and allow to warm, stirring occasionally for two minutes.

Now add Baby Food Pouch and about 3 Tablespoons of Water – or more if you’d like a wetter consistency.

Heat another minute or two and stir in Quinoa or other grain. Taste for seasoning and add a *tiny* sprinkle of Salt if you like.

Allow to cool a bit and serve warm!