Tuesday, March 27, 2012

You will eat avocado! You will!

Pin It We decided to start V. with homemade fruits and veggies, not the "traditional" baby rices or oatmeals.  (We wanted to start her out with healthy habits.)  Those came later, always paired with another food, and we used brown rice, multi-grain, or oats.  Regardless of how you start feeding your baby, all moms have dreams of having a baby with a mature, discerning, diverse palate.  Some day you will sit down with your child and eat delicious sushi!  Spicy Mexican!  Crunchy chocolate-dipped grasshoppers!

Lolly, anyone?

V.'s first food was a North Carolina peach, eaten on the porch, overlooking the beach at Nags Head.  She was just 4 months old and although we hadn't planned on starting food that very weekend, she snatched it from my hand and had it in her mouth before I could react.  I can't blame her.  From then on in, whenever she saw me eating a peach she would shake with anticipation.  So I shared.

It tastes so good when it hits your lips!
Her second food, and her favorite for a long time, was avocado.  This was no easy decision.  We weighed options, read books, and tried to find what was best for our baby.  (I over thought so much.  But that is what you do postpartum.  Now I can shake my head and laugh at myself!)  We would split a whole avocado just sitting on the back porch, using the "bite for me, bite for you" method.  (This is likely why she thinks anything I'm eating is infinitely better than what she has, regardless of it being from the same pot.)

Then she decided she wasn't going to eat avocados.  The Super Nanny in me said "Oh no you didn't!"

After a while (re: If Mom is just going to keep putting this on my plate, I might as well.) she would eat it if I gave it to her before any other food, mixed into tacos, or if I was standing at the counter cutting it up.

Then I got sneaky, and found this recipe.  Avocado sauce!  Perfect.

Using that idea, I made this:  
This is Day 2, served cold.

Chicken and Broccoli over Pasta with Avocado Pesto
This makes enough for 4 hungry people (it is filling) with a small portion for left-overs.

the meat from 2 medium, ripe avocados
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
2 heaping tsp or 2 cloves of minced garlic (I used the pre-minced roasted garlic in olive oil)
juice from 1/2 a lime
2 TBS toasted pine nuts (optional)
a generous pinch of onion powder (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a food processor.  Process ingredients until smooth.  If you cut the avocado first, whir it with the lime juice to keep it from browning.  

Chicken and Broccoli over Pasta:
This is a GREAT base.  My mother-in-law makes it with a peanut sauce (I think it is from Silver Palate Gourmet), and I've used various dressings or leftover sauces for a quick, healthy dinner.

2-3 chicken breasts
3 crowns (or one frozen box) of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 lb pasta (can be spaghetti, rotini, wheels... I used whole wheat rotini)

Dice and season (with salt and pepper) chicken breasts and saute in a pan with a little olive oil.  If you are using a small pan, do in small batches, so that the chicken browns, not steams.  

While the chicken cooks, start a pot of salted water boiling for your pasta and broccoli.  You can steam the broccoli, but I'm all about cutting down on dishes and time, and only two of my burners are working.  

Toss your broccoli in the water either before the pasta (and spoon out before the pasta goes in) or 5 minutes after the pasta, so that they are done at the same time.  

Once the pasta and broccoli are cooked, drain and toss with chicken and sauce. 

This makes a great cold salad, but I'd recommend not using whole wheat pasta, because it takes on an odd texture and aftertaste cold.
This was supposed to be a great picture of my deli sandwich
and pasta salad but I ate half the pasta on the way to the table.

V. gobbled this up, as did my husband.  Win.

I used to keep a blog of recipes.  For baby food recipes or if you don't know what you are going to eat for dinner, head on over to karlacancook.blogspot.com.

I have something on my face?

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