Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dinner Date!

To keep us motivated to create healthy and creative meals for our girls we set up a weekly dinner date! This week it was my turn to cook and I came up with a (loosely) Middle Eastern menu. I came up with a rating system. Its pretty simple. In fact, I'm not even going to insult your intelligence by explaining.

The dinner date started with an hour of play (naturally) while I prepped dinner. Abby and Neko tried out some dragon feet!

Then it was time for dinner! On the menu we had:

Abby, BaaBaa and the 40 Lentils
(4 servings)
Rating: 1 Toddler Smile

1 cup Lentils, cooked (You can buy pre-cooked lentils in a can from most grocery stores. I cooked up some dry lentils which adds about an hour to the total cooking time of the dish.)
1/4 cup Tomatoes, small diced (I used cherry tomatoes)
1/2 Avocado, small diced2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Olive Oil`
1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
2. Serve.

I got this recipe (which I simply renamed but did not otherwise alter) from Weelicious one of the few existing websites dedicated to healthy, homemade baby and toddler food. It’s a cute site with a decent handful of recipes.

Neko dug right in and told us all that she, in fact, liked it! (Woohoo! A healthy dinner that only takes 10 minutes to fix and she likes it!) Abby on the other hand (who, ironically, the dish was named after for the occasion) was literally gagging at the sight. I can't say that I blame her too much since in a way it does kind of look like...well...puke.) I think Neko gobbled without complaint because there is nothing she likes more than beans and lentils are right up her alley.

Pita Pinwheels
(2 Servings)
Rating: 2 Toddler Smiles!

1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Pita (or any whole wheat pita)
½ cup hummus (homemade or store bought—I used Cedar’s Garden Vegetable Hummus because that’s what we had in the fridge)
1 cup white eggplant, roasted (I decided to throw this in because we were given a couple eggplants from someone’s garden and I thought this was the perfect place to slip them in. You could also use roasted red pepper, zucchini or any other vegetable that roasts to a soft consistency)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Wash, peel and cut eggplant into 1” chunks. In a small bowl toss eggplant in olive oil. Put in an oven safe pan (or foil) and bake until pieces are soft (mine took 45 minutes). Remove from oven. Allow eggplant to cool.

2. In a food processor puree the hummus and eggplant until smooth. Refrigerate mixture until ready to use.

3. Spread enough hummus mixture on pita to cover one side. Roll the pita up and slice into pinwheels. Serve.

If I had this one to do over again I would have used something with more color in the hummus. Red peppers would have been good...or something green maybe. The "pinwheel" effect was kind of lost with all the tan on tan going on. The good news is that both girls ate them right up with nary a complaint!

Mocklava” Sundaes

(Serves 2)
Rating: 1 Toddler Smile (but...)

1 Whole wheat pita
1c Vanilla Frozen Yogurt (cinnamon or honey flavors would also be delicious!)
2 tsp Honey
1 Tbsp chopped nuts (I used a combination of pistachios and walnuts)
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Brush both sides of pita with canola oil and sprinkle both sides with cinnamon and sugar. Cut pita into 4 triangles. Bake in preheated oven until crispy. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
3. Scoop ½ cup of yogurt into 2 separate bowls. Put half of the nuts on each sundae and lightly drizzle with honey.
4. Top each sundae with 2 cinnamon sugar pita chips. Serve.

So I got impatient while the pita was crisping in the oven and decided to throw them in the broiler. Welllll, then I got a little too chatty and ended up with this:

Whoops! I decided in the moment to scrap the pita (which incidentally I tried the non-burnt sides of and were delicious). I'm sure they would have been great and I will try it again someday. Pita chip or no pita chip this was a delicious sundae! I know because I snuck bites of Neko's. She, of course, devoured it because its ice cream. Sadly for Abby we Moms gotta stick together and this little dinner date club is following a "no dessert for little girls who don't at least try their dinners". It was painful not to give it but we remained strong. (Mean Mommies!!) Someday I WILL remake this sundae for Abby. :o)

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