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Butternut Squash

INFANT: Butternut Squash Puree

TODDLER/CHILD/ADULT: Butternut Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Puree

1 large butternut squash (will use half)

Place squash in microwave and heat for 3-4 minutes to make squash easier to handle. Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut off the stem and bottom end. Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. Slice squash in half and scrape out seeds. Set aside half the squash for the Butternut Mac and Cheese recipe. Chop squash into 1” pieces, and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Add 1 Tablespoon water and microwave for 6-8 minutes, or until fork tender. Place cooked squash in a food processor and process until smooth. Remove infant’s portion, and allow to cool before serving. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in ice cube trays until frozen solid. Package in freezer-safe containers or plastic bags, and label.

Butternut Mac and Cheese

About 2 cups butternut squash puree

2-4 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

2-4 Tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth

2 cups cooked elbow macaroni noodles

Using the other half of butternut squash, chop squash into 1” pieces, and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Add 1 Tablespoon water and microwave for 6-8 minutes, or until fork tender. Place cooked squash in a food processor and process until smooth. Add cheese and enough broth to make a sauce. Process until smooth. Pour over cooked noodles.

Yield: 4 servings, ½ cup each

Broccoli

INFANT: Broccoli Puree

TODDLER/CHILD/ADULT: Broccoli Tots

Broccoli Puree

2 bunches broccoli (1.75 lb. each)

With a knife, cut broccoli head from stalks, and cut head into small florets; cut broccoli stalks into 1-inch pieces. Place stalks and florets in a microwave-safe bowl, add 1 Tablespoon water, and microwave 3-4 minutes, or until fork tender. Place half the cooked broccoli in the food processor, with all of the cooking liquid. Process until smooth, adding water if needed. Remove infant’s portion, and allow to cool before serving. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers in ice cube trays until frozen solid. Package in freezer-safe containers or plastic bags, and label.

Broccoli Tots

1 bunch steamed broccoli, chopped

1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 eggs

¼ cup cornmeal

½ cup panko crumbs

Preheat oven to 350ᵒF. Using the leftover cooked broccoli pieces, drain any remaining liquid and squeeze broccoli with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible. Place broccoli in a food processor and pulse into tiny pieces. Scrape broccoli into a bowl; add the remaining ingredients except panko crumbs; mix well. Form mixture into golf ball-sized balls and roll in panko crumbs. Place on a sprayed cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes; turn tots over and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.

Yield: 4 servings, about 3 tots each

Chicken

INFANT: Chicken Apple Puree

TODDLER/CHILD/ADULT: Hula Hoop Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Chicken Apple Puree

2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast

2-3 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce

Fill a large saucepan with two-thirds water and bring to boil. Add chicken breast and boil for 10-15 minutes or until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165ᵒF. Shred chicken with a fork or electric mixer. Set aside 4 cups shredded chicken for Hula Hoop Chicken Salad Sandwiches. Place the rest of the shredded chicken in a food processor. Add applesauce and process until smooth. (Add 1 Tablespoon or more of water if needed to reach desired consistency.) Remove infant’s portion, and allow to cool before serving. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays until frozen solid. Package in freezer-safe containers or plastic bags, and label.

Hula-Hoop Chicken Salad

About 4 cups chicken breast, cooked, shredded

½ cup low fat mayonnaise

¾ cup light sour cream or non-fat plain yogurt

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained

2 stalks celery, diced

¼ cup walnuts, chopped

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt, and brown sugar in a large serving bowl. Add pineapple, celery, cooked and shredded chicken, and walnuts. Stir to coat. Refrigerate and serve on top a whole grain roll or lettuce leaf.

Yield: 10 servings

Beans

INFANT: Bean Puree

TODDLER/CHILD/ADULT: Beans and Rice

Bean Puree

1 lb. dried beans (pinto, black, or kidney)

8 cups water

Sort beans discarding any shriveled. Rinse the beans and cover them with fresh water. Boil the beans (rapid boil) for at least ten minutes to remove phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), a natural toxin found in dried beans (heating in slow cooker won’t destroy the toxin). Drain beans and place in slow cooker. Add water. Cover and cook on low for about 6-8 hours until beans soften. Drain any excess liquid, saving some for puree. Set aside 2 cups of cooked beans for Beans and Rice. Process remaining beans with 1-2 Tablespoons of saved liquid, if needed, to desired consistency. Remove infant’s portion, and allow to cool before serving. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays until frozen solid. Package in freezer-safe containers or plastic bags, and label.

Beans and Rice

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves or ½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups cooked beans

1 (14.5 oz.) can stewed tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 ½ cups cooked brown rice

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes. Add cooked beans, tomatoes, and oregano and simmer 5 minutes. Serve over rice. (Variation: Instead of rice, serve in warm tortillas topped with shredded cheese and sour cream.)

Yield: 8 servings

Sweet Potato

INFANT: Sweet Potato Puree

TODDLER/CHILD/ADULT: Chicken and Sweet Potato Foil Packet

Sweet Potato Puree

1 large sweet potato

Using a fork, poke holes in potato and place on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave for 5-8 minutes, or until fork tender. Cut potato in half and scoop out flesh with a spoon into a bowl. Mash with the back of a fork. Remove infant’s portion, and allow to cool before serving. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers in ice cube trays until frozen solid. Package in freezer-safe containers or plastic bags, and label.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Foil Packet

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary

Black pepper to taste

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup sweet barbecue sauce

4 slices uncooked bacon

Preheat grill to medium heat. Lay out 4 squares of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place one-fourth of the sweet potatoes on each square. Sprinkle potatoes with rosemary and black pepper. Lay down a chicken breast on each potato packet. Brush each chicken with ¼ cup barbecue sauce; then top with one slice of bacon. Fold each side of foil in. Place on grate and grill 30-40 minutes or until chicken reaches 165ᵒF and potatoes are tender.

Yield: 4 servings

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