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Monday Meals: Lime & Cilantro Quinoa Salad

Summer hasn’t really started here in Portland but that hasn’t stopped me from preparing summery dishes (even if it is a little cold for them – I can’t believe how long the cold has hung on here this year!).  This is one of my favorite recipes every summer because the flavors meld so well and it’s perfect served cold.  Quinoa is a superfood, full of 8 amino acids, gluten free and full of protein so it’s also perfect for the littles!

Lime, Cilantro & Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients: Yields 8 servings

  • 2 cups vegetable broth (chicken works great as well)
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed in cold water
  • 2T olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2T freshly squeezed lime juice (I often do more because I like the zestyness but you can always add at the end to your own personal taste)
  • 1tsp lime zest
  • 1/2 cup of black beans(can is okay just rinse them)
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced or halved
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions: In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, stevia and salt & pepper. Put aside. In a large pot, add quinoa to boiling vegetable broth, stir, turn heat down to low, cover and let quinoa cook for about 20min. Once cooked, fluff quino with a fork and place in a medium size bowl.

Add lime dressing, black beans, cilantro and tomatoes. Mix. I like this cold, but you can also serve warm.

Also, pair it with plain yogurt – so yummy and the flavors really compliment each other!  I hope this recipe helps contribute to some fabulous summer Bar-b-ques!

meg

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Monday Meals: Iron & Your Wee One

So in lieu of an actual meal, I decided to do some research on foods that are good sources of iron.  However, you should note that if your baby is still breastfeeding, breastfeeding is a really good source of iron.

Jax just had his one year check up and was a little low in iron (just barely – .1% lower than “normal).  We are starting to phase out breastfeeding, so I’m not sure if that is the cause.  Typically people think iron comes mainly from meat, which is what my pediatrician suggested I add more of to his diet.  Meat is also a great source of protein, which is doubly important for your babies developing mind and body.

Jax isn’t really into meat (we try to include a meat option at every meal, but getting him to eat it is another issue altogether).  Yes, I’ve got a somewhat vegetarian child.  I wonder if this has to do with my mostly vegetarian diet when I was pregnant?  Well here are some websites with lists of high iron foods and explanations of the benefits of iron:

http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/Iron.htm  (also has a list of how much iron your child should be getting and at what age – I love these types of list.  They aren’t always easy to find.)

http://kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron/)

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/dietary-sources-of-iron-for-vegetarians.html

http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm

I didn’t want to copy and paste a huge long list, sorry . . . it just seemed redundant.  The important thing to note is there are two types of iron – heme (protein/meat foods) and non-heme (plant foods).  Adding foods with Vitamin C into the meal with iron rich foods will aid the absorbtion of iron, especially with non-heme (plant) foods.  Non- heme foods are where we get most of our iron, but it doesn’t absorb as easily as  heme foods do.  Here are some sources of Vitamin C rich foods:

  • Citrus
  • Berries
  • Green Veggies (broccoli & cabbage)
  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Tomatoes

The non-heme foods that I’ve been trying to incorporate into his diet are:

  • Spinach- freshly steamed and added to a smoothie that has a berry or peaches (Vitamin C rich food), we usually have a smoothie at snack time or as part of one of his meals
  • Beans- he likes black and pinto especially.
  • Oatmeal – about every other day for breakfast
  • Quinoa

I normally include a heme type food, but like I said, he usually won’t eat those.  I include it so that at least he tries it, since they are good sources of iron that aren’t as hard to absorb as non-heme.

Take a look at the list provided in the links.  For me,  I was able to realize, yeah I am providing lots of foods with iron, but here are some other ones that are higher in iron that I could include more often so that I can increase his iron.

Just wanted to share this with you if your little one has the same issue!  Or keep doing what your doing if they don’t!

Hope you had a great Monday!

Ash

Monday Meals: Harvest Veggie & Quinoa Patty Salad

I don’t know if I could ever top Diana’s Lifesave Smoothies Meg posted last week!  Soooo good, but here’s a little something, something I’ve been into lately . . .

Serves 4-6 people:

Quinoa Patty & Roasted Harvest Veggie Salads

I like making the patties this way cause you incorporate a little egg and some cheese for a pretty wholesome, full of protein main course.  I use herbs to give them extra flavor because I typically go completely without extra salt and pepper.  I’ve found that Jax loves the Quinoa this way.  I do the three parts: prepping the salad, the veggies, and the Quinoa all in tandem.    I typically buy most of my stuff at Trader Joe’s.  They have really good prices for organic produce, especially the sweet potatoes and baby tomatoes.

Start by prepping the veggies:

Preheat oven to 350.

Dice 2-3 sweet potatoes, toss them in a little olive oil, and add about 1/2 a tsp of cinamon.  Then toss them on a pan and roast them in the oven for about 15-30 mins till tender.

Dice zucchini, tomatoes, and carrots and toss them with olive oil.  Then toss on a pan and roast for about 15 mins till tender.

Once those are cooked and tender, pull out and set aside.

To make the Quinoa (yields about 10 medium sized patties):

Follow the directions on your bag of quinoa.  Typically it’s a ration of 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups of water, simmered for 12-20 minutes.  However, I add about 1/2 a cup extra of water, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Once the quinoa is cooked, let it cool then place it in a bowl (or if it’s cooled completely and the pan is not hot use that), and add the following:

  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1/2 a cup of shredded cheddar cheese (I usually use the Mexican style shredded cheese that comes in the bag already shredded)
  • 3 tablespoons of parsley
  • dash of salt, dash of pepper (I go really light on these cause of Jax and I’m definitely the healthier – especially with the salt)
  • 1tsp of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder

Mix it all together.  Meanwhile, add about a tablespoon of butter to hot skillet.  Grab a handful of the Quinoa mix and make a patty (this is kind of awkward.  I try to mold it in my hand a little, but then shape it in the pan immediately after I drop it in).  Cook each side ’til golden brown on medium-low heat.

Dice when slightly cooled.

Rinse and lightly chop some spinach – about 4-6 cups.

To Plate:

Put the spinach in a bowl, throw some of the Quinoa and roasted veggies on top, and serve with balsamic vinegar (I also like using Apple Cider vinegar) and olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste if you’d like, since it’s very lightly seasoned for Jax!

FOR YOUR WEE ONE: dice the Quinoa, and plate some of the sweet potato and veggies (such as the zucchini).  Good for 9 months and up (from my experience).

Hope you like it!  Feel free to make substitutions as needed.  These were just my solutions.  If you have any feedback or good suggestions feel free to leave us a comment!

ENJOY! ash

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