Category Archives: Food

Homemade Basil Chicken Pasta

I said I would do this, so here it is.  Even though it’s been probably about 2 months, better late than never!

I have two children allergic to peanuts, and other nuts, and so I have been very hesitant to give them traditional pesto with its pine nuts.  I’ve tried to find out if they are in the same family as the other nuts, but haven’t been able to figure it out.  (If you know anything about, let me know please!)  Since I’m not willing to risk it, and I love pesto, I thought I’d make my own version.

I start with a can of great northern beans. Yup, you read that right.  That’s my base.  Pour it into the food processor. Then I cut up some fresh basil from my outdoor pot (it’s one of the two things I can grow and not kill).  And for a little extra sneaky fun, I add baby spinach.  I use equal amounts of these two. The spinach flavor is so mild that I feel like I can get away with it.  Adjust for your own liking.  Probably about 1 cup each. Then blend away.

I store it in 1/2 cup portions in ziplock baggies in the freezer.  As I am cooking the chicken on the stove top (along with some fresh garlic, salt and pepper) I just add a portion and let it melt into the mix.  Once the pasta is cooked (we like the “butterfly” pasta, otherwise known as farfalle) I add it to the pan and let the basil sauce mix in well.

Wa la! Quick, easy, and healthy.  And to top it off, my Joy girl will eat it with a little coercion, so it pretty much pleases everyone. 🙂

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Mac and Cheese…

Well, I didn’t ever figure I would post about food.  I enjoy cooking most of the time.  But most often, it’s a quick throw it together with out much planning. 

We’ll be finishing school or playing outside and, almost daily, I say – OH! What should I fix for dinner?!

I’ve some friends who do the weekly meal planning, shop accordingly and it works for them.  I can’t imagine that would ever work for me.  I think I’ve got too much of my mom in me for that to work!  🙂

All that said, I have been doing some reading on some healthier ways to cook and feed my family.  We have a number of food allergies, which hasn’t been too challenging, but always something I am considering when thinking of meals.  How do I need to alter this, what will be my substitute?  My main issues are peanuts (really, I just avoid all nuts) and dairy.

So, to get to the mac and cheese.  I’ve read a number of recipes using purees added to the pot, and apparently it goes off without a hitch.  One book I’ve looked at is Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.  (Yes, that’s Jerry’s wife. I didn’t even know he was married, let alone has three kids!)   Here’s the link, although, I haven’t actually looked at it yet… http://www.doitdelicious.com/

I never really follow recipes.  I take their ideas and then add a little this or that, leave something out, since I didn’t plan ahead and am missing an ingredient.  See how I roll?  I don’t really measure things either.  So, although some of you have asked me for the recipe, I’ll give it my best shot, and then  you can check Jessica’s and see how it matches up!  Oh yeah, I love those blogs that show you all the beautiful pictures of the ingredients nicely chopped and bubbling in the pan…you won’t get that here, sorry.

First, I pureed a butternut squash.  Baking it and processing it took a long time.  But you could do this one day, then freeze it (which I did with the remainder in 1/2 cup increments) and it would be much quicker to make.

I cooked the pasta. 

In a separate pot, I poured some olive oil (enough to coat the bottom) and about a tablespoon or two of flour.  Heated that through.

Then I added about 1/2 cup of squash puree.

Next, I dumped the pasta in and stirred it up.

I then grated some cheddar cheese.  I would guess it was close to 2 cups worth.  Added that into the pot, stirred it up and then a little milk because it was looking a bit thick.

Stirred it all up.  Added some salt and pepper.  Then some more salt.

It was yummy.

Andrew devoured it.  Annalisa winked at me and told me it was good. (She knew what I was up to.)  And lil Miss Joy, well, she even ate half a bowl and told me it was good.  I do think she will eat more next time.  Anything that looks slightly different is reason for alarm in her book.  I should’ve used the same little noodles like Kraft does. 

All in all I think it was a hit!

I’d love to know what you think about it….

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Filed under Food, Little Ones, Mothering

healthy eating

I am trying.

It’s rather difficult with a couple of picky eaters…or even just one.  Oh, yes, that would by little Joy girl.  Some days I feel like she doesn’t eat anything!

I hear a lot of “I don’t like that!”  Even if she’s eaten it 43 times before…and liked it!  Then when she finally tastes it, she smirks at me as she turns her face away.  Little stinker!

I am trying to incorporate more healthy foods, snacks.  Most of our meals are “healthy”.  Made from “scratch”…don’t get me wrong, I’m not crazy about it, but I don’t prepare too many pre-packaged meals.  So, the one for me that I’m focusing on is snack time.  I’m trying to get away from cookies and sugar snacks.

I am looking for some ideas for healthy snacks…or tips for dealing with your picky eater(s).   Please tell.  Thanks.

oh yeah – I’ve already tried the “sit on them and force it down their throat” technique…it didn’t go over so well 🙂    (just kidding, well sort of…)

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Filed under Food, Little Ones, Mothering