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Author Archives: fingerfoodie

Chicken Burgers With a Kick

Wow! It’s been a long time since my last post! Sorry everybody! Well, I promise that these burgers were worth the wait. They were SO easy! Okay on with the recipe.

Ingredients:
Trader Joe’s Roasted Chicken Patties (they’re pre-cooked, and I found them in the refrigerated meat section)
Sliced crimini mushrooms
Guacamole
Trader Joe’s sliced pepper jack (I’ve tried others and I’ve found that Trader Joe’s has the least spicy pepper jack)
Lettuce
Trader Joe’s Michette rolls
Mayo

On the side:
Trader Joe’s frozen “Bean so Green”

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Method:

(I forgot to take pictures while I was cooking so bear with me.)

First, you might want to use a cast iron grill skillet to make things easier. If you don’t have one I’m sure any pan will do, but this is what I used:

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Okay, after you pick your pan grill the mushrooms on medium heat until they’re soft. I cooked mine for about 3-5 minutes on each side. Put them on a plate or something and cook the burgers. I did about 5 minutes on each side. Turn the heat down a little and put a slice of cheese on each pattie. Cook until the cheese melts.
While the cheese is melting, toast the buns a little (if you want) and also throw the mushrooms back in the pan to warm them back up.

Assemble your burgers the way you like them! I did a light layer of mayo, burger with cheese, mushrooms, guacamole, lettuce.

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To make this edible for your finger foodie just cut it up into small pieces. I don’t think it’s too spicy for them (I’be seen babies eat some pretty spicy stuff!) but if you’re worried about the spice you can substitute avocado for the guacamole, and regular jack for the pepper jack.

To add some veggies on the side, I just warmed up some Trader Joe’s frozen “Bean so Green” in the microwave. It doesn’t get much easier than that! I probably spent a total of ten minutes making dinner tonight, and it was delicious!

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Vegetable Lasagna

This is my favorite thing to make! It’s easy, delicious, and lasts for a few days! Perfect. Okay, so as with all of my recipes you can use whatever vegetables you want, and if you really want to you could probably add any kind of meat. If you do add meat, just cook it up first, then add the veggies, then add the sauce. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you keep the two most important things: no boil noodles (this way you can layer the noodles really easily without dealing with slimy noodles, and you don’t have to waste time boiling noodles) and trader joes tomato basil marinara. I have tried many different pasta sauces and this one is by far the best! My husband always notices if I haven’t used it, it’s that good.
Okay on with the recipe!

Ingredients:

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1 jar Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Marinara
1/2 package no boil noodles (I buy the Trader Joe’s brand, but you can find them at other stores too)
2 zucchinis
1 yellow squash
1/2 head of cauliflower
5-6 brown crimini mushrooms
1/2 can Trader Joe’s artichoke hearts (get the ones in water not oil. I didn’t use them this time because a certain somebody doesn’t like them and I already used cauliflower which that same somebody also does not like, but they are a nice addition.)
Garlic
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Step 1:
Cut up all of your veggies into bite sized pieces.

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Step 2:
Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add about 2 garlic cloves (or more if you want!)

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Step 3:
Add all of the veggies and heat them until they are tender. I like to cover the pan to speed things up, that way it should only take about 10 minutes.

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Step 4:
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the sauce and turn off the heat.
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Time to layer your lasagna! Use whatever size baking dish you need/want, it doesn’t really matter. I use a 9×12 inch baking dish, but sometimes I split it into smaller dishes for funzies. 🙂 whatever size you use, the layers go like this:

Lasagna noodles,
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Then ricotta cheese,
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Then sauce,
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Then mozzarella cheese,

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Repeat until you run out of sauce, and make sure your last layer is a bunch of mozzarella cheese!

Step 5:
Now you get to decide if you want to cook it right away, or refrigerate it and cook it the next day. You choose! Whenever you do bake it, set the oven to 375 degrees (or whatever the directions on the lasagna noodles say to do) and cook it (covered) for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes uncover it and put it back in for another 5 minutes, just to brown the cheese on top. Let it cool, and serve!
To serve this to your little finger foodie just make sure it’s cool enough to touch and you’ve cut it into small bite sized pieces. The sauce will make it a little messy, but that’s okay! 🙂

Veggie “Orzo”tto

I found this recipe on the back of the box of vegetable broth I bought from Whole Foods. It looked really good, easy, and it’s a pretty good idea for a finger food! The orzo is nice and small to pick up, and so are all the veggies. I of course made lots of changes to the original recipe, because you can pretty much use any vegetable you want or have lying around the house, including frozen veggies! How easy is that?!
Okay here’s the recipe according to the box:

Ingredients:
4Tbsp. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (oops! I used salted! Oh well, it tasted great so I guess you can use either!)
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups orzo pasta
1 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup frozen peas
32 oz. vegetable broth
1 cup grated Parmesan (okay I forgot to buy this so I used mozzarella and it was really good!)
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley (this is just to sprinkle on top, and I always find this unnecessary. Use it if you want, but I left it out!)

I changed all of the veggies! Instead I used zucchini, red bell pepper, broccoli, and cauliflower. Use whatever to want! Just try to think about the length of time needed for each veggie to cook. Frozen veggies need less time, and harder uncooked veggies like broccoli need more time.

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Method:

Melt the butter in a large heavy saucepan. Sauté onions and “mushrooms” until tender but not browned. I threw in the broccoli and cauliflower in this step so they could have more time to cook.

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And orzo and stir to coat.

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Add “carrots,” “peas” and broth. This is where I added my zucchini and bell pepper.

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Bring to a boil and cook until orzo is tender. This pretty much meant that it needs to be cooked until all or most of the liquid is absorbed.

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Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese (or if you’re like me, mozzarella.) Sprinkle with parsley if you chose to do that, and season with salt and pepper.

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Possible Allergens

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Before I post my next recipe or shopping adventure I wanted to take a minute to address some possible allergens that should be avoided until a certain age. I found this really great list of each food of concern and at what age to introduce it. You’ll have to scroll down a bit before you get to it, but it’s worth it. It basically talk about when it is okay to introduce stuff like eggs, strawberries, peanuts, etc. They also talk about avoiding salt and sugar. I would say, make whatever decision is best for you and your family. You know the health concerns of your own family, and what you should avoid for both you and your child. Just be sure to read ingredients, and don’t be afraid to change recipes to fit your needs! I hope this helps make things a little less overwhelming when feeding your little finger foodie! 🙂
Here’s that link again:
http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/forbiddenbabyfood.htm

Lazy day= pizza!

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So I definitely caught a cold from the kids, and you all know what that means… no energy for cooking! So my husband and I ordered a pizza. Totally unhealthy and exactly what I needed! Okay, maybe not what I needed but definitely what I wanted! A girl can only tolerate so much soup! Anyway, I’m sure I’m not the only one who has moments of weakness like this so I thought I would share my ideas on how to embrace it and still have options for your little finger foodie. First, let them eat pizza! Its not the healthiest meal in the world, but it’s a part of your life and there’s nothing in it that they can’t have (unless they have an allergy you are aware of, ie. wheat, dairy, etc.) Just cut it up into small pieces, and maybe cut the hard part off of the bottom. Voila! Instant finger food!
Okay now for a little balance….
It’s probably a good idea to include some veggies. In this department I am a big fan of frozen veggies (which I’m planning on doing a more in-depth post on later.) For now, the peas and carrots medley are usually a safe choice. The easiest and fastest way to cook them is to throw them in a microwave safe dish, cover them with water, and microwave them for about 2 minutes. To cool them down quickly just rinse them with cold water until they’re cool enough to touch, and you’re done! Easy peasy lazy meal!

Rainy Day Corn Cowder

Tonight I decided to make this corn chowder I found on the two peas & their pod blog. It was perfect for a rainy evening. Warm, filling, easy, healthy, and delicious! Best of all, all the veggies are cut in perfect finger food sized pieces!

To share this meal with your beginning finger foodie, just drain out the liquid and scoop the chunks onto their plate/ high chair tray. Voilà! 😉

Here’s the recipe with some adaptations in parentheses. If you want, you can use the original recipe from two peas & their pod. It’s practically the same. 🙂

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter (I think I’ll use 1 tablespoon next time. I didn’t think all that butter was necessary)
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped (I don’t really like carrots, so I used zucchini instead. You could probably use both if you want!)
1 red pepper, seeds removed and diced
3 tablespoons minced poblano pepper
2 Yukon gold potatoes, washed and diced (I love potatoes, so I used like 6 of them! Plus they were on the small side)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 bag frozen sweet corn
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3.5 cups skim milk
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (gross. I left this out.)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. In a large soup pot, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cook for about 2-3 minutes.

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2. Add the celery, carrot (zucchini,) red pepper, poblano pepper, potatoes, vegetable broth. Cook until the veggies are tender, about 10 minutes. Be sure to cover it and let it simmer, or it will take way liner than 10 minutes.

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3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and milk. (Don’t let this sit or it will separate and get weird.) Pour mixture into the soup pot and stir. Add in the corn, thyme, salt, and pepper. (I waited until the soup was almost done to add the salt. This way you don’t have to use as much because less gets cooked off.) Let the soup simmer for about 20-30 minutes.

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4. Serve immediately! Don’t forget to pick out the chunks for your little one, and eat it with them!

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