Archive for October, 2007

market-inspired meals: zucchini & red peppers

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

tricolore pilaf

This week’s market bag: ground beef, boneless pork shoulder, gouda, zucchini, red peppers, staymen & jonagold apples, romaine lettuce mix.

On the menu: tricolore beef & rice pilaf, roast pork, apple pie, grilled gouda & apple sandwiches.

Recipe: Tricolore Beef & Rice Pilaf


confessions of an aspiring health nut

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

csa bagemptying the CSA bag, originally uploaded by dcaCRL.

I talk a good game about healthy eating, but I have to confess that despite my best efforts, there are still nights we just order pizza, or times I can’t help but head for the nearest McDonald’s drive-thru. (Not for the boy, but sometimes a cheeseburger is the easiest way I can think of to get some protein, fast. I have given up the fry addiction, at least.) When I decided to focus on healthier eating, I set three goals:

  • Eat more vegetables
  • Eat more protein
  • Eat more whole grains/fiber

Joining a CSA (community-supported agriculture) farm this year was a key step towards meeting the first goal. Having a steady supply of fresh veggies on hand is enormously helpful, so when we do resort to fast food, we can still add fresh veggies on the side. And for back-up, I always keep a few bags of frozen, organic veggies in the freezer. The boy will always eat succotash, peas & carrots, or edamame. (But not green beans. Yet.)

As for protein and whole grains, I’m trying to look for quick meals that will reduce our dependence on pasta (I’m Italian, it’s always the fall-back option!). I’ve been having a lot of fun with the fabulous selection of grains at Trader Joe’s, many of which will be featured here. And while we only eat meat a couple times a week, I started the boy off on tofu early in hopes of incorporating more non-meat proteins in our diet. So those are the three items I’ll be focusing on here. I’m always looking for new ideas, so please feel free to comment and share.

And if you want to know what the FoodieTot family is really eating every night, check out our Twitter updates.

market-inspired meals: pasta, tomatoes, squash & quince

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

sweet potato ravioli

This week in the market bag: butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pears (Asian, bosc & Bartlett), broccoli, heirloom tomatoes, quince, eggs, sweet potato ravioli, pumpkin butter, mozzarella and seven-cheese macaroni. (That’s right, seven!) We were busy pumpkin picking and farm visiting this weekend, so the prepared pastas came in handy.

Saturday supper: sweet potato ravioli with mascarpone pumpkin sauce*, heirloom tomato, mozzarella & arugula salad. This is not exactly a health-conscious main dish, but we compensate by eating a big helping of salad.

Sunday supper: seven-cheese macaroni with tomato & broccoli salad.

*Recipe: Sweet Potato Ravioli with Mascarpone Pumpkin Sauce

This is a really quick and simple no-cook sauce. While the ravioli boils, stir together 2 T mascarpone and 2 T pumpkin butter in a serving bowl. Scoop the ravioli out and straight into the bowl and toss gently to coat. (Add pepper & fresh parsley to taste.) If you don’t have pumpkin butter on hand, you could also quickly brown 1-2 T butter, and stir in 2 T pumpkin puree, a pinch of brown sugar and cinnamon, and 2 T mascarpone.

(Makes 2.5 servings – double these quantities for larger batch of ravioli.)

Toddler Verdict: Unfortunately the boy was battling a stomach bug and didn’t have much appetite this weekend, but he’s never turned down ravioli otherwise. And he did enjoy the macaroni.

On the menu this week: I’ve never used a fresh quince before, but am thinking of making this quince & cranberry sauce to serve on pork chops. The butternut will go in soup with something pear-related on the side.

friday finds: kids’ napkins

Friday, October 19th, 2007

We’ve all seen the many stylish (lead-free) lunch boxes and totes out there, now two California moms have created cloth napkins for kids, Fabkins. They come in sets of 5 (one for each school day) with adorable themes including “beach bound,” “fruit salad,” and African safari” on solid, gingham or stripes. Sure, you have to do a little more laundry, but perhaps having their own cute napkins will encourage kids not to wipe their hands on their clothes.

weeknight meal: squash gratin

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

squash gratin

I created this recipe earlier this summer with our CSA veggies, but squash and swiss chard are still in season at our local markets. I roasted the veggies the night before to make this quicker to prepare the night of.

  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 yellow squash
  • 1 eggplant
  • several swiss chard stems (optional – I had cooked the leaves separately and thought I’d throw the stems in here.)
  • 1/2 c half & half
  • 1 c shredded mozzarella & parmesan cheeses
  • chopped fresh oregano

Slice zucchini, squash and eggplant thinly length-wise. Chop chard stems into 2″ long pieces. Toss all with olive oil and spread on a baking sheet. Roast at 400* for 20 minutes, until soft and lightly browned.

Arrange sliced veggies and chard pieces in single layer in a small casserole dish. Sprinkle with oregano and cheeses, add another layer of veggies, oregano, cheese. Pour half & half over and top with additional cheese if desired. Bake at 350* for 35 minutes.

Serve as a main dish with green salad and bread, or as a side dish with grilled fish.

Toddler verdict: Gobbled it up, swiss chard and all!