Soba Noodles with Veggies and Teriyaki Sauce

Soba Noodles with Veggies and Teriyaki Sauce

The Cub is a huge fan of noodles. Most nights when we ask her what she wants to eat, she replies, “Noodles.” She can’t get enough. She prefers an asian sauce on her noodles so we decided to try to make our own version of teriyaki.

Noodles7

With most recipes, we let the cub measure out the ingredients. We talk about the amounts we are putting in the pot. We hope with consistency, she will eventually learn measurements. The cub helped us add water, corn starch, soy sauce and rice vinegar to a pot.

Noodles2

Cultivating curiosity in a child is immeasurable.  Introduce new foods and let them play with new tools and food.  The cub is fixated on the appearance of the honey and loved that it smelled so sweet.

Noodles3

We used a tool that the cub has never seen before – the garlic press. Pure joy beamed from her face when she saw the garlic squeeze out the little holes. It’s the simple things in life.

Noodles9

Another fun tool is the potato masher. The cub helped us crush the pineapple chunks and tried a piece just to make sure it was sweet enough.

Noodles8

Finger licking good!

Noodles1

Can you say “Noodles”? Using a whisk, the cub helped us stir all the ingredients together before we put it on the stove to cook down.

While the teriyaki sauce cooked, we boiled the soba noodles. We also chopped up some broccoli and carrots and steamed them. Combine the noodles, veggies and sauce and you have a delicious meal!

Noodles4

Isn’t she pretty eating her soba noodles with teriyaki? This dish is well-balanced and reduces the amount of sugar seen in most teriyaki sauces.

noodles5

Slurp, slurp, yummy noodles! Our noodle bowl is adapted from The Adventure Bite’s teriyaki sauce recipe.

 

Soba Noodles with Veggies and Teriyaki Sauce

 

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup soy sauce (I like reduced sodium)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4-5 tablespoons honey (to taste)
  • 2-4 tablespoons rice vinegar (to taste)
  • 4 tablespoons crushed pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

Directions

  1. In a small pot whisk soy sauce, water, and cornstarch together until smooth. Add any of the optional additional ingredients you are using (vinegar, garlic, ginger, etc) .
  2. Heat over medium-high heat until warm and then whisk in honey until dissolved.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and whisk constantly until desired thickness is reached. Do not leave unattended; it thickens quickly once it gets boiling and will rapidly burn.
  4. Taste and adjust as desired. If too thick, thin with additional water to desired consistency.
  5. Steam vegetables until tender.
  6. Boil noodles per package directions.
  7. In a bowl, add noodles, steamed vegetables and top with teriyaki sauce. Serve and enjoy.

Sweet Potato Flatbread

Sweet Potato Flatbread

The Kitchen Cub is not a huge fan of potatoes, unless it’s a french fry, so when we came across this recipe from Feasting on Fruit, we were eager to see if she would like it.  Sweet Potatoes are high in Vitamin A and C. They also fill up a growing toddler, something we try to stay on top of to avoid meltdowns. 😉

cub11

The cub started by helping Grandma DiDi peel and chop the sweet potatoes. She then added them to the pot with a little water so Grandma DiDi could but on the stove to boil. While the potatoes cooked, we started on the dough.

cub13

The cub added tapioca flour, quinoa flour (recipe calls for gluten free flour which we will try next time), salt and baking soda(cinnamon and sugar if you’re doing the sweet version) to a bowl. Measuring and pouring ingredients in a bowl are a fan favorite for the cub.   cub9

We added the cooked sweet potatoes after they pureed in the blender. Take turns stirring the mixture and watch as it starts to look like dough.

cub14

The cub wanted to feel the texture and help mix it into dough.  We talked about the consistency and how bread is made from dough.

cub8

Grandma DiDi helped form it into a perfect dough ball and the cub patted it for a finishing touch. We took a knife and cut it into 6 equal pieces.

cub7

We laid down parchment paper and lots of flour and started to roll out each piece. Using a rolling pin was extra fun for the cub.  We also tried just patting them out in-between our palms like you’d make a tortilla. Both methods worked.

Cub4

Heat a nonstick skillet pan and cook the flatbreads for approximately two minutes.   Transfer to a bowl and cover with a dampened towel to keep warm.

Cub3

Or you can dig in right away like the cub!

cub2

We thought the flatbreads would be more fun cut into shapes.  We grabbed a couple cookie cutters and got creative!

Bread1

It was The Kitchen Cubs’ consensus that the shapes tasted the best, especially if you dipped them in pure maple syrup.  The heart shaped peanut butter and banana sandwich was a big hit and didn’t need to be “dipped” at all!

Sweet Potato Flatbread

 

Ingredients

  • Potato Puree
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 1/2 cup water

Dough

  • 1 cup of the sweet potato puree above
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Sweet version: 2 tbsps of coconut sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Savory version: 1 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Potato puree: Peel and roughly chop the sweet potato.
  2. Transfer to a medium saucepan, add the water, and boil till tender. Do not drain.
  3. Puree the potato and cooking water in a blender till smooth. Transfer to another bowl (or back into the pot) and wash your blender immediately.
  4. Dough: Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  5. Add 1 cup of potato puree.
  6. Mix/knead to form a slightly stick dough. If it is too sticky, add 1/4 cup more gluten free flour.
  7. Divide into 5 – 6 balls.
  8. Roll out each ball between two piece of wax paper to about 1 cm thickness.
  9. Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high heat.
  10. Place a flatbread in the pan and cook for 1 to 1.5 minutes or until bubbles start to show. Flip, then cook for another 1 to 1.5 minutes on the second side. There should be some brown spots on each side.
  11. Remove from heat and place in a bowl under a damp towel to keep them soft while you cook the others.
  12. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat as mentioned above.
RECIPE NOTES
For a gum free version, either use a gum-free GF blend like the King Arther Gluten Free Flour Blend or use 1 cup of brown rice flour instead of the GF all purpose. I still prefer the texture with the GF blend, but the brown rice flour version is still fairly soft and pliable.

Nut Butter Date Bites

Nut Butter Date Bites

I recently took a trip to visit my family in Northern California. On that trip I was able to catch up with all my cousins who also have little ones of their own! As we sat at the park while our kiddos played, one of my cousins, Lea, who also happens to be a registered dietician, was feeding her one-year-old these date bites. I tried one and loved it, and knew The Kitchen Cub would, too.

You can read more about the amazing work my cousin does for the Bariatric community here.

Bite3

After the dates soaked for an hour, we started by having the cub help us take the pits out of the dates and chop them up. This is something she loves to do!

Bite2

She’s extra careful and working on watching her fingers while she chops.

Bite4

The cub helped us add all the chopped dates to the food processor. Next, in goes the oats.

Bite5

Then the chia seeds.

Bite6

And lastly, the nut butter. We used Trader Joe’s Mixed Nut Butter, which is a mixture of different nut butters. You can use peanut butter, almond butter or any nut butter you fancy.

Bite7

Put the top of the food processor on and pulse the mixture until it forms a ball of dough and all the ingredients look blended.

Bite8

Transfer to a bowl and start scooping.

Bite9

Grandma DiDi shows the cub how to roll them into balls between her palms. The cub is fascinated by this process!

bite10

“Now I try”, says the cub! She was so proud of her work. After you have rolled all the dough into balls, store them in the refrigerator.

bite11

But don’t forget the best part – eat one!

bite1

As you can see these are SIMPLE and easy to make. They are full of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, iron and calcium! They are easy to pack up for a snack and taste delicious!

 

Nut Butter Date Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 2 tbs nut butter (Can be mixed, peanut, almond, cashew or any nut butter you like)

Directions

  1. Soak the dates in water for an hour.
  2. Remove pits and chop dates.
  3. Add dates, chia seeds, oats and nut butter to the food processor.
  4. Pulse the mixture until it forms a dough and all ingredients are mixed together.
  5. Transfer the dough to a bowl and start rolling the mixture into small bite-sized balls.
  6. Once you’ve rolled all of the dough into bite-sized balls, eat one, then store the rest in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

Veggie Roll Up

Veggie Roll Up

Pinwheels, roll ups, whatever you want to call them, they are a great go-to lunch or snack option. You can pretty much throw any vegetable in them and protein for a well balanced meal. In this post, we give you a few ideas on what to add to your roll up and how to get your little one to help make it, too!

Our cub prefers asparagus, carrots and cucumber. We also tested out Trader Joe’s whole wheat lavash flatbread. It didn’t disappoint!

Veggiewrap1

We started by cooking one serving of quinoa. While it cooks and cools, cut the lavash in quarters.

The cub spread a room temp cream cheese mixture on a piece of the lavash. Grandma DiDi added green onion and parsley to our cream cheese mixture, but you can leave it out or use a different kind of spread. More options below.

Veggiewrap2

After the quinoa has cooled, have your cub scoop one heaping tablespoon of quinoa over the cream cheese. Take a fork to spread it out and press into the spread leaving approximately one inch just cream cheese.

Veggiewrap3

We julienned carrots, cucumbers and one whole slender asparagus spear and had the cub lay them over the quinoa. She is so engaged and makes sure they are just right on the lavash.

Veggiewrap4

Now it’s time to roll! The cub assists Grandma DiDi in rolling up the lavash.

Veggiewrap6

Now it’s time to eat! But first, baby gets to try!

veggiewrap7

Voilã! Here is our version of a veggie roll up! Below are some ideas for you to create your own Veggie Roll Up.

 

Veggie Roll Up

Ingredients

  • Whole Wheat Lavash, tortilla or sandwich bread rolled thin with a rolling pin
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • Spread: Cream cheese (we added green onion and parsley), or any other spreadable cheese. (other options: tradional hummus, white bean hummus, etc., or yogurt chive spread from Trader Joes)
  • Veggies: Carrots, cucumber, zucchini, asparagus, green beans, jicama, celery, sprouts, mache preferred or any tender greens.   We gently roast or blanche asparagus and green beans if we use them, although, they are delicious raw.

Directions

  1. Cook one cup of quinoa mix per package instructions.
  2. Mix green onion, parsley and cream cheese together.
  3. Spread room temperature cream cheese on lavash until it covers the whole piece.
  4. Press 1 tbsp of quinoa into the cream cheese; leaving one inch of cream cheese uncovered.
  5. Lay your vegetables down evenly over the quinoa; leaving one inch of cream cheese uncovered.
  6. Roll the lavash starting from the opposite end as the one inch of uncovered cream cheese.  Once you roll it all the way, the cream cheese will act as a glue to hold the roll together.
  7. Cut the roll into rounds; perfect for small toddler hands.
  8. Share some with your baby, then eat the rest!

 

 

 

Berry Veggie Popsicle

Berry Veggie Popsicle

Did I mention we eat a lot of popsicles? We’re definitely on a popsicle kick with this heat! The cub helped Grandma DiDi create the perfect berry (with greens) popsicle. As always, no added sugar!

Popsicle2

Four whole ingredients, that’s it! Strawberries, blueberries, kale and broccoli.

popsicle4

First, we had the cub help us tear the kale off the stem. Drop the kale leaves in a bowl of cold water and clean the leaves thoroughly. Wash strawberries, blueberries and broccoli.

popsicle5

Have your cub add all the ingredients into your blender (or Vitamix in our case).  Add water or juice if you want it to be sweeter and blend.

popsicle6

The cub watches as Grandma DiDi pours the mixture into the Koji Popsicle Mold.

popsicle7

Have your cub help place the holders in each mold making sure that just a tiny bit squishes out the sides. Pop in the freezer for two hours and enjoy!

popsicle17

They are fruity and delicious and the perfect treat for a hot summer day. There is no easier way to get your little one to eat their veggies. Our cub has been eating these from day one and has no idea popsicles don’t usually include vegetables . Hoping to keep it this way for as long as possible!

 

Berry Veggie Popsicles

(Makes approximately 8 Koji popsicles)

Ingredients

1 cup strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup raw broccoli
1/2 cup lightly packed raw kale
3/4 cup water (or juice of choice)

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or Vitamix.
  2. Blend and add more liquid if necessary.
  3. Pour mixture into popsicle mold.
  4. Drop popsicle handle in and make sure you can see through mixture lightly squish out the sides of the handle.
  5. Place in the freezer for two hours and enjoy!

*If you have extra mixture left over, serve it as a smoothie!

Piña Colada Popsicles (virgin, of course!)

Piña Colada Popsicles (virgin, of course!)

Summer is here and that means lots of popsicles in our home! We’ve been making our own popsicles since our little cub was teething. It’s a great way to sneak in some greens and of course, skip the sugar!

Grandma DiDi dreamed up these piña colada popsicles in a yoga class a few months back. She truly never stops thinking about food. 😉 We are thankful she had that moment in yoga because these are delicious! Not to mention they only take 10 minutes to make.

popsicle8

Seven ingredients, that’s it. Almonds, dates, pineapple, banana, coconut, yogurt and lime. Easy peasy!

popsicle9

We started with the cub cutting the dates in half and taking the pits out. Every little chef needs the right tools and we think Curious Chef makes great kitchen accessories for toddlers. They are not paying me to say that – I truly like them!

Back to the recipe – Pulse the almonds and dates until they are blended into a fine crumble.

popsicle10

We found the perfect popsicle mold at Target and they are just the right size for the cub. If you are in the market, they are called Koji Ring popsicle mold. You can also use an ice cube tray with popsicle sticks or your own favorite popsicle mold.

Grandma DiDi shows the cub how to scoop the almond and date mixture into the Koji Ring popsicle mold. The cub is excited to show Grandma DiDi which hole is next. After all the molds have a teaspoon of almond mixture, use the back of a spoon and press the crumble tightly into the form. Set aside the rest of the almond and date mixture as you will need it later.

popsicle12

Using your food processor again, have your cub help add the rest of the ingredients. Squeezing the lime juice was a fun and a new experience for the cub. Blend together until all ingredients are well-mixed. The pineapple can be in small chunks.

popsicle14

The cub scoops a teaspoon size dollop of the yogurt mixture into the mold. Repeat a layer of the almond and date mixture and then another layer of yogurt mixture.

popsicle13

Stop and taste your creation!

Lastly, place the mold handles on the top and make sure just a small amount of mixture squeezes out of the sides. Pop them in the freezer for two hours and then enjoy!

popsicle15

They are as delicious as they look. Hurry, go make some – your cubs will love them!

popsicle16

This cub sure does! Do you have a favorite popsicle recipe? We want to hear about them.

Piña Colada Popsicles

(Makes approximately 8 Koji popsicles)

Ingredients

1/2 cup nonfat greek yogurt
1 small banana
1/4 cup pineapple
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/8 cup sweetened coconut
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 dates

Directions

  1. In a food processor combine dates and almonds. Process until mix is a fine crumble and set aside.
  2. Fill base of the popsicle mold with thin layer of almond/date mixture. With the back of a spoon, press the mixture down packing it tight.
  3. In the same mixer, blend yogurt, banana, pineapple, lime juice and coconut. Pineapple can be in small chunks.
  4. Layer with a scoop of yogurt mixture. Repeat the layers one more time.
  5. Drop popsicle handle in and make sure you can see the yogurt mixture lightly squish out the sides of the handle.
  6. Place in the freezer for two hours and enjoy!

 

Simply Granola (Crunchies)

Simply Granola (Crunchies)

Granola, also known as crunchies in our household, is a cub favorite. We top it on yogurt (plain Greek), a smoothie bowl, fruit or as cereal with milk.

We feel like granola has a bad rap. Many granolas in the grocery store are full of fat and calories because they are loaded with sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Making your own gives you the control to remove all the added sugar and stick to the good stuff – protein and fiber.

Grandma DiDi has been making her own granola for ages, oftentimes gifting it to friends and family. This recipe is not only great for kids, it’s also great for parents, and even better packed in a jar and given to a friend.

Granola 1

We started by having Emery help measure out the dry ingredients and pouring them onto a baking sheet. This was extra exciting because we usually pour ingredients into a bowl. While she did that, we mixed together the oil, honey and vanilla and placed on the stove over low heat.

Granola 2

After we poured the oats, seeds, nuts, wheat germ and dry milk on the backing sheet, we had to pause for a “Hooray” on our Learning Tower. This tower has completely changed the way we interact with the cub in the kitchen. It allows her to feel involved and in return, she’s grown confidence and a palate in our kitchen. We HIGHLY recommend you get one!

Granola 3

Back to cooking… hand your little cub a spoon and have them gently stir the ingredients. While they are stirring, gather the spices to add to the mix. The Kitchen Cub takes this step very seriously.

Granola 4Children learn about the world through their senses, so don’t forget to stop and smell the spices.

Granola 5After all the dry ingredients are stirred together, stir the wet ingredients from the stove over the dry ingredients. Talk your cub through this step and remind them that what’s on the stove is hot and shouldn’t be touched. They can watch, but can’t touch. Ouch, HOT! Grandma DiDi mixes it all together and pops it in the oven to toast! Yum!

Granola 7

Golden and delicious. After it has cooked for 3 mins, remove, stir and re-spread. repeat this step 3 times. It should cook approximately 10 minutes in total.

Granola 10It’s still hot, but Grandma DiDi added the dried fruit and mixed it together. Remember to tell your cub they can’t touch. They will burn their paws on the baking sheet!

Granola 11We poured it over some plain Greek yogurt and added blueberries. Bon Appetite! Speaking of Bon Appetit, this recipe was adapted from their granola recipe.

 

Simply Granola (Crunchies)

Ingredients

¼  cup canola oil/or coconut oil
¼  cup maple syrup(pure)*
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats(not instant)
1/3  cup Pepitas*
1/3  cup  walnuts chopped*
½ cup raw almonds* – sliced or slivered
¼ cup wheat germ/or flax meal
¼  cup nonfat dry milk
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cardamom
Pinch of cloves
1 cup dried fruit *

Optional add ins: sweetened or unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, hemp seeds, etc.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 325 F.  
  2. In a small saucepan combine oil, syrup, honey and vanilla.  Stir over low heat until combined, about 1 – 2 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Combine oats, seeds, nuts, wheat germ, dry milk, and spices directly on a large baking sheet.  Pour the wet mixture over the dry mix and mix until uniform.   Spread evenly in pan.
  4. Bake for 3 mins, remove, stir and re-spread. Repeat this step 3 times. It should cook approximately 10 minutes in total. WATCH it closely, it can burn easily.
  5. Remove from oven and mix in fruit and any of the other optional ingredients you’d like to add. Let cool.

*Nuts – substitute any you like  

*Fruit – I prefer orange flavored cranberries but anything works

* Sweetening agents can be changed or eliminated – experiment what works for you.   Original recipe had both honey and maple.