Veggie Alphabet Noodle Soup

Veggie Alphabet Noodle Soup

Anyone else on an endless cycle of colds with their little ones this season? The cub has had her fair share of sickness. A balanced, healthy diet can help boost your immune system, so we are doing all we can to help the cub during this season.

For centuries soup has been regarded as a cold fighting food. To back up this theory, we dive into the nutritional benefits of each ingredient.

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The cub learns about thyme and how to strip it. Grandma DiDi models and the cub follows along.

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The cub always smell new ingredients she uses. It activates more than one sense in the cub helping her to fully understand it.

Thyme: The flowers, leaves, and oil of thyme have been used to treat bedwetting, diarrhea, stomach ache, arthritis, colic, sore throat, cough, including whooping-cough, bronchitis, flatulence, and as a diuretic, to increase urination.

Thyme to eat up!

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Next up, the cub chops the zucchini. If you have been following along, you will notice the cub has improved on her knife skills. We’re so proud!

Zucchini: Already being an outstanding source of manganese and vitamin C, zucchini is also contains vitamin A, magnesium, folate, potassium, copper, and phosphorus.

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The cub moves onto chopping the bell peppers. Check out those knife skills!

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Along with smelling our ingredients, we eat them, too, to make sure they are delicious.

Bell peppers: are rich in many vitamins and antioxidants, especially vitamin C and various carotenoids.

Eat up, Cub!

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Grandma DiDi helped chop the rest of ingredients with a quick kiss to show love and appreciation for one another.

Onion: An onion contains fiber and folic acid, and B vitamin that helps the body make healthy new cells.

Carrots: Most of the benefits of carrots can be attributed to their beta-carotene and fiber content. These root vegetables are also a good source of antioxidants, vitamin A, C, K, and B8, as well as pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.

Potato: Potatoes offer the body fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C and iron, and are an excellent source of potassium.

Celery: The benefits of celery begin with it being an excellent source of antioxidants and beneficial enzymes, in addition to vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin B6.

Tomatoes: Are a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Niacin, Calcium, Magnesium and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Iron, Potassium and Copper.

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Once again, the cub tests out how celery leaves taste. Eat your antioxidants, little one!

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We added all the yummy ingredients to a pot to cook. Can you smell the aroma? Delicious!

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Grandma DiDi made her own vegetable broth and added it to the soup. You can also use store-bought. The cub watches with curiosity.

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Time to add our noodles. We decided to use Eden Organic Pasta Vegetable Noodles for our soup. Bonus points for adding a learning component to the soup!

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In they go from the loving arms of Grandma DiDi.

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The final product that’s filled with so much goodness. Add fresh lemon for added Vitamin C – a proven way to help boost your immune system and a brightened flavor in whatever you’re eating!

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She’s so proud of her dish. Extra credit: Happiness is also known to lead to better health! 😁

 

Veggie Alphabet Noodle Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • I cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • I cup bell peppers – whatever color you want, diced
  • 3 – 4 small yukon gold or red skinned potatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • approximately 4 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken if you wish) *see note
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cups alphabet noodles *see note
  • Salt and pepper to taste (note that canned tomatoes have a lot of salt)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Add whatever veggies you want, spinach, Swiss chard, turnips, parsnips, etc.

Directions:

  1. Put oil in large dutch oven pot or pan.
  2. Add onion, celery,  and carrots and saute until softened (about 5 – 10 min) over medium heat.
  3. Add peppers, zucchini and potatoes with thyme and cook another 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in tomatoes and broth and let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add noodles and cook about 10 minutes (or per package direction of noodles).
  6. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Note: I have found that packaged vegetable broths taste terrible. So as I cook I throw all leftover trimmings of veggies I have (carrot ends, stems of parsley, and other herbs, etc) into a plastic bag and put them in the freezer. I add to them and then put them in a pot with water and some fresh garlic, onion, peppercorns, bay leaves etc)  and simmer for a while then strain.  Freeze and use when needed.

Also noodles in broth will continue to soak up the water/broth until there is no more liquid. It’s best to eat soup with pasta first couple days.   You can freeze, but the noodles don’t always hold up well structurally, although they still taste wonderful.

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Finger licking good!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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!

 

 

 

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!

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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!