Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Ideas for lunches for Kiran

With a vegetarian toddler starting day care soon, I worry about packing healthy lunches for him! So I am going to list as many lunch ideas as I can so I don't worry so much:

1. Tofu fried rice
2. Egg fried rice.
3. Goop rollups on corn tortillas with salsa/yogurt dipping sauce and avocado
4. hummus, pita, and (steamed?) carrot sticks.
5. Bean, cheese, and red pepper quesadillas with salsa/yogurt dipping sauce and avocado
6. Mac and cheese with peas and tofu (or without)
7. Pasta with red sauce and edamame on the side (or mixed in)
8. Egg salad sandwich
9. Tofu salad sandwich
10. peanut butter and jam/banana/fruit sandwich
11. Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich
12. Bean burgers!

 okay that's all I got.

Some things to try making:

I will add others here as I find them!!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Super Simple Bean Burgers

Another lunchtime special around our house these days. These burgers can be on the table in roughly 15 minutes if you are fast at preparation, which I am!! From this link.

Super Simple Bean Burgers

-- Makes 6 thin burgers (serves 3 adults)

  • 1 can (15.5 ounces each) black, white, or pinto beans or black-eyed peas
  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • hamburger buns or bread for the buns



    1. Drain beans very well, reserving the liquid, and mash the beans in a medium bowl. 
    2. Add the breadcrumbs, eggs, pepper, and garlic powder. 
    3. If necessary, add a little of the bean liquid until the mixture holds together but is not wet. 
    4. Divide into 6 equal portions and shape into 4-inch patties.
    5. Heat a generous amount of olive or canola oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat.
    6. Add the patties and cook, turning only once, until a crisp brown crust forms on both sides, about 6 minutes total.
    7. While the burgers are cooking, toast the buns or bread and top to your liking. (I am partial to the classic ketchup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, and maybe a little onion)
    8. If you want cheese on your burger, add it on your burger just before it is finished cooking. Cover the skillet, turn the heat to low, and let the burgers continue to cook until the cheese melts.
    9. Finish putting together your burger and enjoy!

    This is a tasty and easy meal that Kiran quite liked!! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Easy tofu fried rice

Here is the recipe I use for tofu fried rice for Kiran (I double it if I am eating too). All measures approx.

-- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
-- 1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
-- 1/2 cup chopped other vegetable (brocolli, zucchinni, etc)
-- optional -- 1/4 cup tomatoes
-- 1 cup rice, already cooked
-- 1/4 cup tofu, cubed
-- soy sauce
-- olive oil
-- sesame oil

1. In a frying pan over medium heat, fry up the tofu until brownish on the outside. Remove from pan.
2. In the same pan, fry up the vegetables in a little olive oil until soft.
3. Add in the rice and tofu and a little soy sauce and a few drops of sesame oil for flavor. Mix and taste for seasonings. Not too salty for baby please!

I also use basically this same recipe for simple egg fried rice, only I fry the vegetables first, add the egg with the rice and it makes everything stick together as it cooks. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

New category: Toddler food -- First recipe: Tofu Egg Salad

Our beautiful boy Kiran is 11 months old already, and he is eating up a storm! He is eating mostly "people food" and not purees at this point. He can chew pretty well with his gums and 8 teeth, but since he doesn't have molars yet he can't grind difficult things like raw vegetables.

I try to cook as much of his food as possible, which was causing a problem because I was cooking Kiran a meal, then feeding him, then cooking myself a meal, then eating. The whole thing would take like 2 hours! So I decided to try and come up with some meals that both of us can eat at the same time! But there are many constraints, especially at lunchtime when time is short.

I have been looking for/creating meals that:

1. Use mostly foods I tend to have on hand
2. Include a protein source (varied throughout the day), vegetable and/or fruit, carb, and fats.
3. Are vegetarian (baby is vegetarian for now)
4. Are quick to prepare (for lunch this means under 20 minutes for sure, usually under 10)
5. Are yummy for baby and parents!
6. Bonus points go for foods he can pick up and eat himself (i.e. not purees)

I am lucky Kiran is a pretty adventurous eater, if he was picky things would be so much more difficult.

The other night I had some leftover tofu in the fridge so I put together a fast tofu egg salad for us to eat. It was good and I would like to share the recipe.

Tofu Egg Salad

modified from this link
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained (I used medium firm and it was fine)
  • 1/2 cup cooked soft vegetables (I used frozen spinach, cooked and chopped finely, but you could use cooked peas, cooked diced carrots, cooked brocolli chopped finely, or whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sweet relish (or chop up some sweet pickles very finely, like I did)
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. celery powder (or 1/2 stalk celery, very finely minced)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (or 1/2 small onion, very finely minced)
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • dash paprika for garnish (optional)


In a medium-sized bowl, mash the tofu with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and stir together until well combined. Sprinkle with paprika for garnish, if desired. Serve on bread for an "egg" salad sandwich.