Colorful Fusilli With Squash & Beans

Pasta is our go-to because our little guy loves it all the time. At 15 months, I think he prefers things he can grab with his little hands, and the fun shapes (remember how you used to love wagon wheels?) and colors don’t hurt either.

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Mini Shepherd’s Pies With Sweet Potato

What: Cute, single-serve versions of Shepherd’s Pie to delight your little Baa Baa Black Sheep fan

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When: Whenever you’ve got about 20 minutes (assuming you have a microwave handy for quickly cooking the Sweet Potatoes)to spare to create a filling and balanced meal for your kids

Why: We use Sweet Potatoes or Yams, actually, we aren’t sure which, because the sweet flavor is familiar to toddlers and Sweet Potatoes pack more fiber as well as vitamins A and C as compared to their colorless counterpart, the traditional White Potato. They look awfully striking too. For more amazing facts about the nutritional powerhouse that is the Sweet Potato, definitely head right over to PositiveHealthWellness.com!

How: Using a frozen Pea and Carrot Blend and combining it with pre-cooked Ground Meat (I like to brown a big batch to last me a few days) alongside quickly microwaved Sweet Potatoes that are hand mashed, allows us to churn out several make-ahead servings in no time flat. You could be done in as little as 20 minutes.

Mini Shepherd’s Pies With Sweet Potato

3 to 4 6-Ounce Servings

Ingredients:

1 Large or 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes, scrubbed, pierced all over with a sharp knife

1/2 Tablespoon Salted Butter

1/4 Cup minced Yellow Onion, such as Spanish or Vidalia

1 Cup Organic Frozen Peas and Carrots Blend, we prefer Cascadian Farm

1 Cup  Pre-Cooked and drained Ground Meat of your choice (we use Organic, Grass-fed Beef, but Lamb would be great too)

Method: 

Wrap the pierced Sweet Potato in a wet paper towel and microwave on high for 6-7 minutes. Meanwhile….

Heat Butter in a medium sized skillet over medium-low heat and add the minced Onions. Allow to saute about three minutes, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown slightly.

Add the frozen Peas and Carrots blend and stir together until thawed slightly tender (but not mushy), another two minutes or so.

Stir in the cooked Ground Meat (or sub-in canned Beans for a vegetarian option). Allow to cook together another two to three minutes until warm throughout.

Slice open the Sweet Potato and carefully scoop out the skin and place the flesh into a shallow bowl. Mash with a spoon or fork until very smooth.

To serve, layer the Meat and Vegetable Mixture about 3/4 inch deep into an 8-ounce single-serving glass dish (or small ceramic bowl). Next, spoon some of the mashed Sweet Potato on top and spread carefully about a 1/2 inch thick using a spoon or even your clean fingers.

Serve right away or store up to two days in the fridge! Serve warm.

Guppy’s Easy Baked Fish Bites

What: Your kid’s frozen fish sticks without all the crap.

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When: Whenever you’ve got about 25 minutes to create an almost effortless fish dinner, without the heavy oils and frying. These fish “bites” can also be frozen up to three months. Freeze in layers on wax or parchment paper to prevent sticking.

Why: Who doesn’t love an excuse to crack a bag of potato chips? This incredibly easy recipe is adapted from a dinner recipe my husband and I absolutely love, so it’s actually perfect for the whole family – but when we’re making it for babies we don’t use cod. There are lower mercury options that are much more cost effective.

How: Follow the simple toddler adaptation below and watch as your guppy gobbles up their yummy fish bites.


This recipe yields 2 hearty toddler dinners (cut recipe in half for 1 serving)

Guppy’s Easy Baked Fish Bites 

Ingredients:

2 – 6 Ounce pieces Pollock, Haddock, or other firm fleshed white fish with low mercury (review the list HERE)
Salt & Pepper

2 Cups of Salt and Vinegar Flavored Kettle Chips (choose brands with the shortest ingredient list like these)

A few small pinches Paprika
2 heaping teaspoons Light or Fat Free Mayonnaise (we like Spectrum organic brand)
Parchment Paper

Method: 
Preheat oven to 400.
Crush potato chips into fine crumbs by placing them in a plastic bag and smacking them with a blunt object. Sprinkle paprika into the potato chip crumbs and combine.

Check fillets for bones and remove if necessary. (in the adult version with cod, most bones will be down to middle/spine)

Place fish fillets on a piece of parchment in a baking dish.

Season fish fillets lightly with a pinch of salt and some pepper. Evenly spread 1 teaspoon or so of mayonnaise evenly over each fillet.

Gently press Potato Chip Crumbs all over each fillet, covering the top of them completely.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until somewhat firm and opaque.

Turn on Broiler and finish the Fish for 1.5 minutes under the Broiler to brown the crust. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Fish is done when it is easily flaked off with a fork.

Allow to cool, and slice each fillet into bitesized portions.