apple cheeks-approved recipes

orzo, spinach, butternut squash, and herbs

orzo (1 package)
butternut squash (for this recipe, i used a package of frozen, organic butternut squash that was already cubed)
handful of fresh spinach, stems removed (you could also use fresh kale)
fresh rosemary
fresh thyme
fresh basil
olive oil
kosher salt
ground pepper
fresh lemon juice

bring water to a boil for the orzo. i add salt to the pasta water and not the dish directly, so it's not too sodium-laden for emma. plus, it's just good cooking practice when preparing any pasta to salt the water. add the frozen butternut squash to the boiling water, cook a few minutes, and once soft, scoop out of pasta water and set aside. then, add orzo and cook, following directions on box. once complete, toss a chopped handful of basil, thyme, rosemary, the chopped spinach (it will wilt sufficiently with the heat of the cooked orzo), the butternut squash, and the orzo in a bowl. add about a half cup of the pasta water (don't drain the orzo without setting aside some of the water) and some olive oil. mix. squeeze the juice of one lemon into the pasta and toss. once cooled sufficiently for toddler, feed!  it's tasty enough to eat with adults, too. if you do, i'd suggest adding some grated parmigiano reggiano or pecorino cheese on top for added depth of flavor. i didn't for emma because she has a dairy protein intolerance.

roasted gazpacho (adapted from a Bon Apetit recipe)

roast four pounds roma tomatoes in olive oil.sea salt.pepper in 450 degree oven.
roast four large red onions (same as above)
roast five red peppers (same as above)
once roasted (about 1 hour) peel off tomato skins and charred red pepper skins and discard. poor pan juices and roasted veggies in blender. blend all. add about 2 cups of cold water to mix. add a few splashes of hot pepper sauce (or not).  add three or four tablespoons of sherry wine vinegar. chill overnight.

veggie medley with herbs

some fingerling potatoes
some carrots
some cherry tomatoes
some yellow heirloom tomatoes
frozen peas, thawed
some fresh parsely, basil, and rosemary
some olive oil
a splash of sherry wine vinegar
fresh ground pepper

steam veggies together in the BEABA. then pulse steamed veggies until consistency appropriate for baby (pureed/semi-pureed/other) add peas, some fresh tomato, herbs, olive oil, vinegar and pepper. 

orzo with herbs

orzo (1 package)
diced english hothouse cucumber
diced roma tomatoes
diced red onion (small amount)
chopped green onion (green stalks and bulbs)
diced kalamata olives
diced fresh feta cheese
cup chopped italian parsley
cup chopped fresh dill
sea salt (tiny pinch- want to keep this low sodium for the little apple cheeks)
olive oil
fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste
prepare orzo, mix ingredients together. If, like for our apple cheeks, dairy is a no go, don't add the feta. if onions too much to digest, don't add