Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Easy, Healthy, Delicious Chili

Chili is such a great meal because it can usually be made quick, healthy, be eaten by the entire family, and covers all the food groups, which saves from needing to make multiple side dishes.  I also love Chili because everyone has their own special recipe that they love and they will compare notes with me! 

Before I found this recipe, I had my own that I could make in 10 minutes, but I have been converted.  This one takes a teeny bit longer, but its still very easy to make, and extremely healthy.  I started giving this to Little Frances at 10 months, mixed in with one part Chili, 3 parts carrot puree.  Now that she is a bit older, and has more teeth and is more open to seasonings, I give it to her as is.  I can also attest that this purees really well for younger babies or babies with fewer teeth.

I found this recipe in Deceptively Delicious with a few tiny alterations. 


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey or beef
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 (15 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (26 oz) carton reduced fat, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 finely chopped red pepper puree
  • 1/2 cup carrot puree or finely chopped carrot if you don’t have any puree on hand
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal (You cannot find regular degerminated ground corn meal in Russia like you can in the states, so I substituted it for a very coarsely ground corn meal that I found.  It was a happy accident because it turned out even more delicious and is probably a little bit healthier since it is pure corn without additives!  I encourage you to look for something similar in your local grocery.)
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 2 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed


  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with cooking spray and set it over medium heat.
  2. When the pot is hot, add the oil.
  3. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 2 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, sprinkle the meat with the garlic, chili powder, salt, paprika, and pepper. (This is the only time I actually seasoned the meat before putting it in the pot as it seems like an unnecessary step and dirties an extra bowl.  Usually I just throw them on top of the meat afterwards and it turns out just fine.)002
  5. Add the meat to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink, 5 - 6 minutes.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes.
  7. Add the broth, red pepper, carrot, cornmeal, and flaxseed meal, and stir well.
  8. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered 15 - 20 minutes, or until the flavors have blended.
  9. Stir in the beans and cook a little longer, just to heat them through.


Yield: It all depends on how much you eat, for a regular adult, 8 servings, but for me only about 6… I love this recipe so much that I usually eat until I am totally stuffed!

Storage: I plan to store this in the refrigerator for 1 week and frozen for up to 2 months.  This is not scientific.

Difficulty: 2 out of 5. This is a really, easy quick recipe to make, and it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients, which I love.

Epicutie Rating: Somewhat Yummy--See right side of page for descriptions  Even though this is big hit with mommy, Little Frances doesn’t seem to love it quite as much.  Although she doesn’t giggle when she eats it and squeal for more, she will still eat quite a bit of it and doesn’t seem to hate it.

Miscellaneous: When I told the hubs and my MIL and that I wanted to give this to Little Frances, they both looked at me like I was crazy!  Apparently they had seem Mr. Mom one too many times.  I am happy to report that this Little Frances has tried this many times without any unwelcome side effects!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Easy Peasy Baked Cod That is Always Eaten

I did not eat much seafood growing up, so this genre of recipe rarely comes to mind. However, knowing the goodness of fish, I am making a concerted effort to offer fish and other seafood to Little Joy.

There is a bit of back and forth on the timing to introduce fish to our little ones. The latest research says you can start as early as 6-7 months, but for the sake of the safety of our readers---I recommend a year.

This recipe came from with some minor alterations to some of the proportions.

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground dried thyme (I only had dried leaves and it worked fine)
  • 1/8 teaspoon basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoons garlic powder
  • Dash of ground oregano
  • 3 tilipia or cod fillets - medium to small sized, washed and cleaned of course (I used individually frozen tilipia fillets, worked well...follow package instructions for thawing and cleaning if needed)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (or less, just use what you think)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the milk and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and all herbs/spices.
  4. Dip the fillets in the milk then coat the cod with the Bread Crumb mix.
  5. Place fillets in a glass baking dish, and drizzle with melted butter.
  6. Bake on the top rack of the preheated oven until the fish flakes easily, about 15-25 minutes. Keep a good watch and remove from oven once you see the fish flaky.
  7. Serve warm
Yield: 3 fillets; Little Joy ate 1/2-3/4 a fillet per meal.

Timing: 1 year. This food is super soft so it should be easy for your little one to chew/mash.

Storage: Fridge for 2-3 days depending on the freshness of your fish.

Difficulty: 2 out of 5; easy and fast!!

Epituite Rating: Yummy in the Tummy--see right side of page for descriptions
At first Little Joy was not sure what to do with the odd new texture of fish, but after moving it around in her mouth for a while she discovered it was yummy!! She said "mmmm" after every bit and even signed for more!


Step 3: Mix together bread crumbs, cheese and herbs/spices.

Step 4: My dipping and coating set up

Step 5: Pre-baking, with butter drizzled on. Looks like more butter than it really seemed to roll off the fish when I poured it on.

The final product.

I served it with squash (will post about that later).

The first bite...check out that face!

Second bite...the face is improving.

This was after saying "mmmmm".

After my epicutie attacked it!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fast Family Frittata

I love eggs served up anyway and Little Joy so far has too, so when I saw a recipe for a Frittata in my Parent's magazine, I knew we had to try it!

You need an oven proof pan (I used a cast iron skillet) for this recipe.

ALLERGEN WARNING: This recipe has eggs and salsa in it. Eggs are a known allergen and most doctors recommend waiting until 1 year. Salsa can be spicy but it was not spicy at all in my opinion, so I was not worried about it bothering Little Joy. Just use your discretion; perhaps try it yourself first then decide (I do that A LOT).

  • 1 Tbls olive oil
  • 1/2 of a 20 oz package (or 2.5 cups) of frozen or refrigerated hash brown potatoes (check the nutrition facts to make sure there is little sodium added, also I used more than the recipe called for since my oven proof skillet is rather larger)
  • Salt and pepper (optional)
  • 4 oz smoked turkey sausage (or any pre-cooked meat of your choice really)
  • 1 carton (15 oz) Egg Beaters Southwestern Flavor (if you cannot find this, use regular Egg Beaters and add 1/2 cup salsa to it; OR use real eggs--I just wanted to try something different)
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese finely shredded (eye ball it)

  1. Heat oil on medium in a large oven proof non stick skillet (I only had cast iron so it stuck a little but not too bad).
  2. Add potatoes and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper (optional).
  3. Cook for 5-10 minutes (depends on if your potatoes where still frozen) or until the potatoes are lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  4. Press potatoes into uniform layer (this is when I realized I needed more potatoes to fit my large pan--they did not nearly cover the bottom of the pan so I just added more!)
  5. Top potatoes evenly with turkey sausage/other cooked meat.
  6. Cook uncovered, for 5 minutes, occasionally tilting skillet and lifting the frittata around the edges with a spatula to allow uncooked mixture to flow underneath.
  7. Turn on broiler.
  8. Broil 4-5 inches from the heat for 4-6 minutes or until the top is set.
  9. Sprinkle with cheese.
  10. Allow to stand 5 minutes before cutting (it should continue to cook while it cools).
Yield: 4-5 adult servings.

Serve: Serve warm and chopped coarsely or diced in sized appropriate for your baby's age/chewing abilities.

Timing: 12 months due to eggs. Ensure your baby can chew fairly well due to the meat in the dish; I might even recommend waiting until your little one has some molars at least part way in.

Storage: Refrigerator for several days. Do not recommend freezing.

Difficulty: 3 out of 5; I say this because it does require your full attention throughout the cooking process. It is easy and quick, but does require you to be very attentive.

Epicutie Rating: Yummy in the Tummy--see right side of page for descriptions
Little Joy could not fill herself up with this enough!!!! She said "MMMM" after most every bite! We will be making this again!!

I forgot to take photos of this frittata :( Be looking for another frittata posting soon too!

I am a warrior!

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About the Authors

This blog was started by two Babywise pen pals to document our adventures in high chair manners, making our own baby food and doing our bests to raise happy, healthy, thriving little ones!

Epicutie #1

Epicutie #1

Little Joy at 2 years, Sept 2012

Epicutie #2

Epicutie #2
Little Frances

Epicutie #3

Epicutie #3
Little Asher at 11 months, Sept 2012

Epicutie #4

Epicutie #4
Little Elizabeth, July 2013
  • Yummy in the Tummy: Epicutie thoroughly enjoyed each bite
  • Somewhat yummy: Epicutie seemed to somewhat enjoy the food at first, but seemed to like it less with subsequent bites
  • Not so sure I like it...yet: Epicutie somewhat rejected the first bites, but seemed intrigued. The next exposure may be better!
  • Confused: Epicutie rejected the first bites, perhaps due to texture or strong flavor.
  • Sour Puss: Epicutie gave a sour face indicating she did not like the food. However--if at first you do not succeed, try, try again!

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