Veggie Quinoa Sushi

Veggie Quinoa Sushi

We are big fans of lazycatkitchen.com and her plant-based recipes! Grandma DiDi made these a while back for a baby shower and they were a hit. Light, delicious and healthy. So when trying to think of a healthy lunch option for the cub, these popped up! The cub is a big fan of sushi and we always like introducing new ideas to her.

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To truly make sticky quinoa for the sushi, we dissolved miso in water to add to the quinoa while it cooked. The cub helps stir it up and watches it dissolve.

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Next up, its time to julienne some vegetables. New word for the cub and she is happy to help cut the pickled carrots, because…

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She ate them all! She loves anything pickled. Remember the pickled veggies we made a few weeks ago. Obsessed! I’m not upset about it as it is great for her overall gut health and making them ourselves cuts down on the salt!

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Back to work! Cutting more veggies. Almost ready to make the sushi.

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Grandma DiDi took the quinoa off the stove so it can cool before it goes on the nori. If we add it too soon, it would ruin the nori. While we wait, the cub helps get the rolling station set up. Such a great helper.

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Quinoa is all cool. Grandma DiDi spreads it in an even layer on the nori while the cub eats more carrots.

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Add whatever combination of veggies you would like. We did raw beets and cucumber with pickled carrots and some avocado. We also tried another one that included raw beet kraut.

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The cub is very interested in the rolling. “Grandma, you’re doing it”, yells the cub.

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“SUSHI”!!! Grandma DiDi shows the cub how to cut it into bite-sized rolls. Almost time to eat!

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So simple, yet so wholesome and delicious. Pair with your favorite dipping sauce and you have an excellent lunch.

 

Veggie Quinoa Sushi

Ingredients

  • 6 nori sheets
  • 1½ cup quinoa (we used a mix of red and white.  Black is great if you can find it)
  • 3 tbsp white miso paste*
  • 1 small avocado, peeled & sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled & julienned
  • 1 beetroot, peeled & julienned
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled & julienned
  • tamari (for GF version) or soy sauce

Directions (modified from lazycatkitchen.com)

  1. Rinse your quinoa. Dissolve miso paste in ½ cup of water. Place rinsed quinoa in a pot with a see-through lid. Add dissolved miso paste and an extra 1 and ¾ cup of water to the pot. Put the lid on and bring quinoa to the boil. Once it starts boiling, turn the heat right down to simmer. Simmer (with a lid on) until all of the water has been absorbed. Once quinoa absorbs all the water (tilt the pot slightly to check if there is any water left in it), turn the heat off and leave the pot (DO NOT LIFT THE LID) on a hot hob for about 5-10 mins so that quinoa finishes cooking in its own steam. Make sure you cool it down completely before making sushi rolls or else nori sheets will become soggy.
  2. Time to roll your sushi – Wrap your sushi mat (bamboo mat or folded kitchen towel) in a large piece of saran wrap. Put the mat down, put a nori sheet on top of the mat, shiny side down. Grab some quinoa with a spoon and spread it evenly on the nori sheet leaving a 1 cm margin at the very top, for sealing. As well as spreading the quinoa evenly, keep on pressing it into the mat with the back of a spoon.
  3. Place avocado slices, a few pieces of beet, carrot and cucumber all along the sheet(veggies of your choice)
  4.  Using the mat, slowly start rolling the nori, squeezing it tightly with both hands as you roll. Go back every now and then to make sure everything is tightly bonded.
  5. Once you get to the end, dip your finger in water and brush the water on the margin to seal the roll. Finish rolling and set the roll aside.
  6. Cut them into 1 cm slices with a sharp knife. Serve with a side of tamari (or soy sauce) and wasabi if desired.

Pickled Veggies

Pickled Veggies

If there is one thing that can satisfy the cub, it’s pickles! She loves sour foods like lemons, limes and capers. As with anything, making it at home lets you control how much salt and sugar is added to the recipe. I prefer these over store-bought any day!

Parents, they are also the perfect addition to a cheese board at your next holiday gathering!

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Not all mornings start with a smile. It took a little time to warm up to cooking on this particular morning. The cub started by helping us chop up the veggies using her Little Chef knife.

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In goes the Apple Cider Vinegar. Did you know that Apple Cider Vinegar can help acid reflux, lower blood pressure, improve diabetes and support weight loss. The benefits of apple cider vinegar come from its powerful healing compounds, which include acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes. We’ll take it!

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While measuring out ingredients, the cub discovered her measuring tool made music. She made lots of music.

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After all the ingredients went in for the base, the cub got a good sniff. She approved.

Next, the base went on the stove to cook for 3 -5 mins just until salt and sugar dissolved

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While the base heated, we added our cut raw veggies to the jars. You can add them in any order you would like.

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Grandma DiDi helps finish off the jars. Aren’t they pretty.

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In goes the base. Make sure it covers the vegetables. Take the lid and screw it on really tights. Pop them in the fridge and let them sit for 24 hours before enjoying.

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The most delicious addition to any sandwich, burger, charcuterie board, or just set out as an appetizer. Just in time for all your fall gatherings.  Oh, and the cub loves them!

Refrigerated Pickled Veggies

Ingredients

  • Vegetables of choice, chopped to bite size pieces (carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, green beans, etc.)
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp (or less) sugar
  • 1  Tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 clove garlic (per jar)
  • dill sprigs for each jar
  • Optional – jalepeno slices

Directions
Makes 2 pint jars

  1. Prepare jars by washing thoroughly. Although, it is not required to sterilize jars it is highly recommended. Put clean jars and lids into large pan of water and bring to boil. Boil for 3 – 5 minutes and keep at simmer until ready to fill.
  2. Put vinegar, water, salt and sugar in saucepan and bring to boil and simmer until sugar dissolved. About 5 minutes.
  3. Have all vegetables washed, scrubbed and prepped. Cut vegetables into the size and shape you prefer.  Place peeled garlic clove into each jar and sprig of dill.  Divide mustard seeds into each jar.  
  4. Compress vegetables tightly into each jar.  They will shrink in size while pickling.
  5. Poor hot liquid into each jar and seal with lids. Allow to cool on counter.  Then refrigerate. Allow 24 hours before eating.
  6. Pickles will last about 2 weeks in refrigerator

Emoji Ice Cubes

Emoji Ice Cubes

Who doesn’t love an Emoji?! And better yet, when they are used to add wholesome ingredients to your little one’s diet.  The cub loves juice (preferably the extra sugary kind), so we thought it would be fun to make juice ice cubes that she could add to her water that didn’t have all the added preservatives and sugar!

Engaging a child’s senses is the key to discovery. Drawing a child’s attention to the five senses and discussing them increases their understanding of, and communication about, the world around them. These ice cubes engage four of the five senses. They smell like fresh fruit, they look fun with funny faces and turn her clear water different colors, they feel cold (brrr!), and taste delicious.

We made two kinds of ice cubes. Apple cucumber and beet strawberry.

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The cub started by washing the apple and the beet.

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Next up, we started chopping and prepping all the ingredients for the blender. She soon discovered how fun an apple corer can be and pushed extra hard to finish the job.

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Surprise! Look what’s left!

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With her Curious Chef (kid safe) knife, the cub cut up the cucumber. We’ve been practicing and it shows! She’s really getting the hang of it.

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We added the cucumber and the apple to the blender to mix. Puree until smooth.

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We decided to fill half the Koji Cool Moji ice cube mold with the cucumber and apple mixture and the other half with the beet and strawberry mixture.

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The cub couldn’t wait to drink the leftover cucumber apple puree. She left Grandma DiDi to cut the strawberries.

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Back to work! After gulping down her juice, the cub is ready to do her part by cutting the strawberries. Grandma DiDi peeled and chopped the beet and added it to the blender. Emery added the strawberries and they were ready to mix.

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Into the ice cube mold it goes!

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Leftover beet and strawberry mixture didn’t stand a chance with this girl! Gulp, gulp, gone! We popped the ice cube mold into the freezer and let them set for 2 hours.

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Once frozen, the cub picked her favorite faces to add to her water. Healthy and fun water – it’s a win/win!

 

Emoji Ice Cubes

 

Ingredients

  • Apple
  • Cucumber
  • Beet
  • Strawberry
  • Water

Directions

  1. Wash all fruit and vegetables well
  2. Apple and cucumber blend:
    1. Cube equal portions of apple and cucumber and place into the blender
    2. Puree until smooth and pour into ice cube trays
    3. Add water, if necessary
    4. Note: Cute ice cube shapes and designs will enhance the taste!
  3. Strawberry and beet blend:
    1. Peel and chop beet and add to blender
    2. Slice the strawberries into quarters and add to the blender
    3. Puree until smooth and pour into ice cube trays
    4. Add water, if necessary
  4. Freeze for two hours and enjoy!

NOTES:

Use the proportion of each fruit or vegetable that you feel will entice your child to consume it. For example, we used about 1/3 of the medium-sized beet (raw) with about 1 1/2 cups of strawberries. Beet is a strong flavor and we wanted the strawberry taste to be up front. Possibilities are endless when thinking up new combinations.

Other optional additions: Honey, agave, spices or herbs of your choice

 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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!