In the last few months that Daisy has been consuming “real people food” I have found so much joy in cooking for her. Watching her bounce up and down in her high chair with delight after she’s tasted the first bite of my latest meal is thrilling for me.
While I’d like to say that I feed her exactly what Nick and I are eating for dinner every night, that isn’t always the case. Lately we are trying to eat really healthy (we sort of missed the “summer bodies” window altogether but are trying to shed a few before fall) so our dinners are often big salads that are too hard for Daisy to eat. With Daisy’s meals, I try to incorporate at least one superfood vegetable or fruit, one lean protein and one carbohydrate. Pasta is easy for her to eat and easy for me to prepare. I buy whole wheat, black bean or lentil-based pasta whenever possible.
Here are some recent favorites…
Campanelle with Garlic Sauteed Kale, Ground Turkey & Feta Cheese
I try to get Daisy to consume kale whenever possible but it isn’t always easy. I’ve found the best way to get greens into her system is to chop them very small and sautee them in coconut oil with garlic and/or shallots until they are wilted. I put these aside and brown ground turkey meat in the same saucepan while I cook campanelle or some similar small pasta noodle. Toss everything together with some crumbled low fat feta cheese, sprinkle with salt and pepper and you’re good to go. What I like about ground turkey is that it is so easy to cook, it’s affordable ($3.99 for a package at Trader Joes!) and it’s a lean, healthy alternative to ground beef or pork.
Rotelle with Garlic Scape Butter
I’ve read a lot about helping children develop sophisticated eating habits and one of the things I’ve learned is that the sooner you introduce elevated flavors, the sooner they will come to expect and appreciate complex tastes. Garlic scape butter is sharp and onion-y without being over the top. I make a whole bunch and keep it in the fridge then use it on everything – it’s a delicious spread on toast with burrata or fresh tomatoes, BLT’s, mixed in with salad dressing and served atop fish. This is a great recipe for garlic scape butter. I stir a heaping spoonful of this into a bowl of hot rotelle and sprinkle with parmesan, salt and pepper and Daisy loves every bite!
Ditalini with Ground Beef and Goat Cheese
This is like a sophisticated Mac’N’Cheese meets what I imagine Hamburger Helper to be? Recently I was scrambling to throw together a little meal for Daisy and had hamburger meat leftover from a cookout so I thought I’d throw it in with some pasta and whatever cheese was on hand and most likely to melt. Turns out, goat cheese makes a delightfully creamy mac’n’cheese and Daisy absolutely loved it. I crumbled the already-grilled hamburger meat into the hot pasta and sprinkled with salt and pepper. She devoured the whole thing in minutes.