Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Vegetable Bread Roll

The minute hubby appreciates my dish, I start flying high. I cruise through the seventh heaven till my feet touches ground and i topple over any of my completely imperfect tasteless dishes. Some days I can easily scare hubby away from the dinner table by stirring up the most unseasoned dish and win the 'Ultimate bad chef' award.
I haven't stopped appreciating myself for my Subway sandwich recreation though... happens every time .. Sigh). The simple recipe with very less spice, no masala and ample use of diiferent kinds of vegetables produces the best natural flavor! Isn't that the perfect way to feed kids vegetables. All the earthly natural goodness glued together.. ready to burst flavor crackers in the mouth....

This one was bookmarked long time back, but was still so fresh in my memory. You might want to peek at Satya's price winning recipe. 
She has the perfect pictorial presentation.

All vegetables - cauliflower, peas, carrots, spinach, broccoli all finely chopped and boiled.
Mozzerella Cheese  1 cup
Soy sauce - 1 tbsp  
Saute onions and vegge's together. Add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder , soy sauce and salt according to taste and mix it up till everything gets blackened and soft and left with no moisture.
Now, cut off the dark sides of bread and try to join one by one on the ends. You can brush the sides with egg whites or just water, trust me it will not fall apart. After you gently press the sides and make sure its one big flat loaf altogether, spread the filling on the bread. Spread it 1-2 inches away from the sides. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Now roll them gently.

With a real sharp and smooth knife, cut them into rounds and toast them in the horizontal bread toaster or lightly fry them with very little oil on the stove top.

 This time it was tough to bring him near the bread as he was enjoying the spring along with the sand!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Carrot Lemon ginger Honey juice!

The most loveable vegetable to me are carrots! I love its color, texture, shape and most importantly - the taste. Be it raw or cooked, and the satisfaction of enjoying Vitamin A like this.. hmmm sweet!  The only salad bowl I can finish is the one with lots of carrots! :D and as long as they amplify our eye sight and keeps us away from nasty glasses, I can live on a carrot diet.

Omy loves carrots too.. He loves it baked though.. but no complaints.. he loves to dip them in ranch and snacks on it. I was on the look out for something to replace his  big cup water intake between every other meal bite. He would fill up his mini tummy with water and toss the bowl indicating that he is done with the food! So, some days  back Smitha's spicy flavor carrot juice caught my eye.. I loved the idea of adding ginger, honey and lemon to the juice.... Aaah couldn't resist the idea and made it the same day. But poor juice took its own lousy time to get into my blog. Now, even if he pumps up his tank with juice and saves some rice, I am relaxed! Because, I know his mini well is filled with bountiful vitamins along with the meal. 

10 Grated Baby carrots.. (washed and peeled)
1 inch piece of ginger washed and cut
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp lemon juice

Grind all the ingredients together with some water and strain. Add sugar if you need it.
It taste heavenly if served chilled.

Check out my long nails and the t-shirt soaked in sambhar.... I just had lunch and I am loving this juice!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Masala Idli

Let me be honest girls, I had neither been posting anything new nor checking out fellow blog sites for new updates! You know I was just being me.. lazying around doing nothing! So, now that the sun himself has come out of hibernation and the Black & white nature has started to spray in some greens, I thought its time for me to rise again.

The  idlis I make never come out perfect. Blame it on the batter. I had been experimenting for so long to grind to achieve the right consistency. Its either the water or the urad dal or cooked rice or the rice itself....who knows what I mess up. It's a miracle if I get it right. As long as the batter is cooked just right, the rough-edged-flat-white-rounds are well accepted by the king of the house. Well, for the prince of the house...queen orders the shut up and eat rule. :P

I must thank all those who posted the wonderful masala idli recipe.  I din't follow any one  in particular. But did grab the technique from all. I had been reading about this, so just made it out of curiosity. Thank you all masala idli makers!

For the masala,
 Splutter mustard, green chillies, 1-2 whole red chilly, curry leaves.
 Add ginger and saute very well. Saute onions and bell peppers till translucent, add some water, salt and cook the potatoes.
 Once potatoes are nice and soft mix well and cool it.

Pour one laddle of batter, then add a tablespoon of potato masala.. then cover it up with batter and cook like normal idlis.

Again being honest, i did add a lot of green chillies.. making the masala extremely hot and spicy. Omy had a tough time eating it.. so he actually dint enjoy it much :(
but am sure with less chillies, kids will love the surprise masala in the idli.

He left his plate and ran to continue where he left off..

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pizza Medley

Pizza is the supreme comfort food for kids!

It's the 'no regret' food for me. I don't think its too cheesy for kids or adults. Pizza base to me is a platform where i can fill anything under the sky that I want my baby to eat.. cover it up with cheese and bake to perfection. It can never go wrong.

Pizza base (Pillsbusy pizza dough)
Vegetables ( Onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, chicken(cooked),broccoli, spinach, black olives)
Pizza sauce or Marinara pasta sauce
Shred up heaping pile of Mozzarella cheese

Spread the dough with a thin crust, spread the sauce and fill in all the vegetables.
Complete it by layering the cheese on top.
Preheat the oven to 400F and bake till the crust browns.

He doesn't look happy in the pic, but trust me he loved it :D

Monday, March 14, 2011

Subway sandwich Re-Created

   How about a Homemade subway sandwich today?
   Veg patty
   On Toasted Wheat Flat bread
   With American  cheese
   Lettuce, tomatoes, olives, jalapenos, onions,
   bell peppers, pickles and capers
   Blue cheese dressing
   and little light Mayo

I love to feed Omy the dishes which he can gobble in a bite.. the debris-free food, you know what I mean? Something which doesn't collapse in the first bite. ..which reaches his stomach in one go. A small swallowable pouch filled with all nutrients and vitamins. Something which disappears as soon as your teeth touches it and leaves no aftershocks! Yeah like those mini bite size amuse-bouche...What a dream! If only Omy agreed with my thoughts.

I can't complain much about his eating habits.. He is very much interested to try new tastes and loves all cuisines. His love towards sandwiches started when he realized how effortless it was to disorganize and disperse the fillings ..  He was fascinated with the beauty of those single bite size lettuce pieces falling down, the dressing oozing out from each sides, the molten cheese on the bread and everything falling apart and ending up on the lap. After all this, he finished his patty and bread, concluding that he loved the taste too.

I vote for Subway over the normal deli sandwiches. Its healthy, fresh, fewer calories and not to forget the '$5 foot long' deal. (Meatball being my fav. Gotta re-create that very soon).
Whatever be the reason, we enjoy the flavor contrasts bite after bite. . it fills our tummy and also  let us hear our own satisfied burp.  

For the veggie patty

    All vegetables - cauliflower, peas, carrots, spinach, brocolli all finely chopped and boiled.
Saute onions and vegge's together. Add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt according to taste and mix it up till everything gets blackened and soft and left with no mositure.
Add some wheat flour or whole purpose flour and shape them as patties.
Pop them in toaster and toast for 2 minutes. The patty will be formed in no time...or in the oven till the wheat is cooked...mostly 10-15 minutes in 400F.

Now layer it up and order as per your choice of veggies. For Omy, I added lettuce, patty , olives, cheese, and mayo.. he loved it to bits.

Daddy couldn't resist either :P

Sending this to Champa's and Srivalli's event  Kid's Delight - Restaurant Recreation

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bowtie pasta with Mozarella

The best lessons learned in life are learned the hard way right?  At least by now I know how to pile on healthy vegetables or basically how to tweak them into my kid's favorite snack. Bury them, camouflage them, disguise them. Vegetable spoofing these days, to an extend is just a facile effort.

Omy loves chicken legs.. So, I grate some carrots on it. 
He is a CAR-holic! Cut the veggies and shape them as a car :D
He loves juice, I blend some broccoli along with orange...
Trust me, I have even added grated cauliflowers in his choco chip cookies.
I am not a bad mom, I did rather be called a concerned mom :D
This doesn't happen everyday... Occasionally when I feel he hasn't had the required nutritional quota for a week.. just to make up a little bit for the loss.

Pasta, is the one of the convinient dishes which accomodates most veggies, fuse with them in a harmonious way and visually forms the eminently pleasing meal.

Along with my usual Pasta sauce, I mix in vegetables.. mostly carrots and peas.
  • grated carrots, Peas, grated cauliflower, boiled and grated eggs, broccoli finely chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup Mozarella cheese
In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the pasta and drain.
Melt butter, blend in flour, keep whisking and make sure there are no lumps.
Slowly whisk in milk, stirring constantly till the sauce turns thick and bubbly
Add cheese and stir until they melt.

Mix in pasta, veggies, sauce and combine well. 

Luckily this time, the bow tie shape kept him interestingly occupied during the meal and so it was a less strenuous effort !

Sending this to Treat to the eyes event hosted by Rumana Rawat

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Strawberry Oats muffin

Omy has somehow managed to surprise me everyday with his choice of food, littered...shaby .. sloppy way of eating it and the swift strokes of indicating he is done with the mess. It is always important for babies to have the freedom to control what they are eating. But, aren't we amazed how much chaos a tiny human can create with a lilliputian bowl of food? 
He was in love with oats for sometime, Evening snacks were replaced with oats for 2 weeks. And then we were back to square one.  My carpet has carved his new girlfriend's name on his chest along with the previous rainbow colored ones. Omy hates oats to the core now!

Recently my blogger friends had been having a roll with oats.. oats dosa, oats upma, oats shake.. My keyboard keys specially 'Y' 'U' and 'M' have asked me to grand them leave. Research says that those were the most used keys which happened by typing 'YUMMY' on all the oats recipes. :D

I had this unused Quaker flavor variety packs lying around. I must say, if not for the sugar content, it tastes really awesome. So, last weekend I turned on my oven and got all ready to be baked!
Best part - its already flavored and it has real fruit bits in it.

OATS (I used the strawberry flavor)  1.5 cups
all purpose flour      1 cup
milk                     1 cup
butter                   1/4 cup
baking powder    2 tsp
baking soda        1/2 tsp
cinnamon            1/2 tsp
sugar                   1 TBSP

Preheat oven to 400F
Keep ready the muffin or cake bake tray
coat the holes with butter or oil
add oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, milk, butter, cinnamon.... mix it well.
Pour them into the tray and bake them for around 20 minutes.

You cannot screw this even if you want to.

My little Messy during lunch at 11th month.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Macaroni Fry

So, as usual busy body was engaged in 'Mission Attack' and flying around. Shortly after achieving today's greatest critical and commercial success, that is after tearing away some bathroom tissues, he spotted the next enemy in line. He parked his flight on the dishwasher door and insanely started  attacking and destroying the enemy's weapon stockpiles(yeah, my dishes). Within no time the weapons were abolished. Considering the possibility of weapons being repaired again by the enemy, without mercy on the fallen parts, the attacker closed the door, locked it and turned on the 'Heat' mode' option! My mood was heating up along with the dishes but I tried to cool down before it overwhelmed my body! Until today, my 4 non stick serving spoons and 3 measuring cups sadly waved me a burnt goodbye!

The mac and cheese, I served him as snack after school was already cold and half dead on the table after attack. And the war almost lasted 2 hours. It was dinner time already!

If you google for a Mac and cheese recipe, you will see the O's in the gOOgle mount up. This common habitual dish has visited every household that the recipes are very less different from one another. I have done enough by jazzing it up and sneaking in veggies.
Omy's mac and cheese was ready to hit the trash. I had some breadcrumbs from previous days cutlets too ready to to buried. Coincidentally both of them found a spot near to each other and then bang! A bulb lit on top of my head! Since the mac was already cheesy and sticky I bathed them in breadcrumbs and fried them.  Munchy crunchy macaroni.

  • 1 cup elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cheese (cheddar)
In a large pot of salted boiling water cook the pasta and drain.
Melt butter, blend in flour, keep whisking and make sure there are no lumps.
Slowly whisk in milk, stirring constantly till the sauce turns thick and bubbly
Add cheese and stir until they melt.
Toss in the cooked elbow macaroni, blend everything well.

I make the sauce really thick so that it doesn't look watery and full of gravy.
The cheese kind of gets cold and sticks to the pasta if it stays for a while which makes it easier to fry.
I had it sitting there for almost 3 hours.
So just take one by one and bath them in breadcrumbs and fry!

Omy on the dishwasher door!

To an extent I enjoy and smile on the success of my little enemy! But, the calm smile can turn into a fierce snicker within seconds. Anyways, before I could raise my voice Omy finished his fried macaroni dinner and just fell asleep.
So, end of the day, I win the war. Calm and peace again!

Nite nite!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Weaning off.. A success story

My toddler tot has bit each of my nerve with love and hyperactivity. He started off by teaching me chapters of motherhood..patience, love, passion, creating routines, nourishing meals and so much more. He made it hard to skip even a single chapter later on. Recently he touched the topics- anger and rage. Well, motherhood is a state of self realization.. how loving you can be, how bitchy you can get and how the silent love can transform into some sort of intense destructive gigantic wave of emotion at times. Anyways, the first impossible chapter seemed to be weaning Omy off breast milk.

Weaning wasn't easy, but it was definitely easier than I expected.
I am talking about a baby who was addicted to the taste of breast milk.  A baby who survived and gained a few pounds above average with only breast milk till 8th month.
After introducing solid food at 9th month, no matter how full his little tummy was, he would go crazy head over toes for not getting his share after every meal.That was his only source of pacification. He was in possession of the source. He could barge in any time, open the tap and fill up ounces of needed fuel. The source was engaged almost every other hour.I had been talking about weaning off Omy since he turned 1 but I couldn’t convince myself as the fear of leaving him hungry haunted me and I couldn't see him crying. And who wouldn't fall for his extremely charming way of asking and irresistible smile. Trust me, It took me months to let him keep crying for hours...the toughest and heart breaking decision ever.
Its not a one day process, It took me 2 months. May be I was lucky. I always appreciate hearing from those who have gone before me and here are some

Basic wean off techniques:

1.  Pump Breast milk to bottle or use formula to replace breast feeding sessions.
      Din't work. To this day, Omy has not sipped a drop of formula! He hates formula.

2.  Since babies know the taste of breast milk, gradually add 1 tbsp formula or vitamin D milk to it and increase the number of tbsp in the coming days. There by completely replacing breast milk.
     Din't work. He found out my trick.

3. Introduce sippy cups for change.
      Din't work. He drank water with it though.

4. Let them drink water with bottles or sippy cups after meals.
      Din't work. water is water.. and milk is milk.

5. Try even with small cups, different techniques might interest them.
      Din't work. Whatever the technique, breast milk wins.

6. Introducing solids.
      Din't work. Omy ate proper rice and veggies starting 9th month, but he wanted breast milk as desert.

My condition was appalling, as i used to spoon feed him vitamin D milk.. hardly 5 oz 2 times a day. The breast milk taste was so registered that he declined every other liquid. Luckily solid food was well accepted but again with his heavenly tasting desert of course.

While there are cases when the baby decides one day that enough is enough, most babies certainly won't mind a slow process. Mine was a slow process.
So, by 15 months, I reduced the feeding sessions by half. One in the afternoon and one at night, and that was it! I am no doctor, no expert, but a girl who surpassed these steps to wean her baby off. This might help you.

1. Gather all the patience in this world.

2. Be Ready
Be ready to unwrap the unstoppable crying, ruthless trauma and indomitable drama. Let daddy also be aware of the consequences. If you have parents or others to help, gird up your loins to conclude with a happy ending.I mean, be ready to see your baby go wild and cry out to his wits end.

3. Choose the right time.

I was breastfed until I was around 2 yrs. Mommy, you are great. I am no where near you. Here I am after 1.6 yrs.. exhausted and ready to stop. I have enjoyed that special bonding moments..every oz of it. But, it was time for him to enter a world of adventure and indulge in solid food alone.
I chose December as it was winter time..I could cover up in a sweater whole day and cover up myself blocking any on sight visibility of the source. Hubby was also a bit free of work due to holidays. Time is not right when baby is sick or when you are traveling.. It will only stress you out and when you are stressed out, the baby will be stressed too.
Sometimes the baby would just loose interest and stop. You might want to consider yourself the luckiest in the lot then.

4. Try to reduce feeding sessions first..within over a period of a few days to a week. Try to distract him with other food or activities like new toys, new games. Omy's interest in music and dance was increasing that time. I used to play songs and dance with him. If he clearly wanted to be nursed, despite all the dancing, I made sure he understood the level of difficulty and allowed him for may be a very little time which later turned out to be a big NO and related continuous crying.

5. This might continue for some time… a week to months. The plot might worsen at night. Let baby sleep with daddy, let daddy sing for him a lullaby or sleep with baby in the other room. Grandma says babies are good sniffers. If they know mommy is near, there is no way they will get back to sleep.

6. If the plot stays same and pungent, use the trump card
'Chenninayakam' (Aloe vera powder). The secret weapon I got from India last year. It works. The black magic paste was my life saver. It has a rocky consistency. Keep it out for 3-4 hours, once it breathes in air, it melts. Gently apply a lilt on the nipple. You have to taste it to feel the intensity of sourness and apply accordingly. My wonder kid was smart enough to wipe it off and suck as if nothing happened. The more he rubbed, the more thicker I applied. He started to slowly stay aloof from the source and within a wink, the desert was replaced with occasional chocolates. The cloud-to-ground thunderstorms were over and serenity regained.

Other alternatives:
   Apply a paste of something your baby dislikes or
   a) Chyavanaprash
   b) Raw Bitter guard paste

I continued wearing sweaters and made the source very less appealing. Just to be safe and to sign off the mission.. but the sourness of the aloe vera powder still stays in his tongue!

Sanskrit : Kumirirasasambhava, Sahisira
Assamese : Musabhar, Machambar
Bengali : Ghritakalmi
English : Indian Aloe
Gujrati : Eliyo, Eariyo
Hindi : Musabhar, Elva
Kannada : Karibola, Lolesara satva, Lovalsara, Lolesara
Kashmiri : Musabbar, Siber
Malayalam : Chenninayakam
Marathi : Korphad
Oriya : Musabara
Punjabi : Kalasohaga, Mussabar, Alua
Tamil : Kattazhi, Satthukkathazhai
Telugu : Musambaram
Urdu : Musabbar, Ailiva, Siber


Now, after the weaning we got to take care ourselves.
Time will eventually help in drying up your milk supply, but there are things you can do to speed up the process and keep you comfortable.
If your breasts become over gorged, express some milk.
But do not empty your breast since that might trick your brain and trigger in producing even more milk.
In my case, it took 3-4 days to completely dry off.
Another solution to reduce supply is the frozen cabbage leaf trick. It even gives relief from cracked and sore nipples. Pop them in the freezer and place them around your swollen breasts.. may be keep it firm inside the bra. Replace them when they start to wilt.

Finally i have it all to myself!! :D I have had a wonderful chance to incredibly bond with my baby that will last me a lifetime. As I had shared my thoughts earlier about breastfeeding- its a divine expression of motherhood, an art of being a woman. Enjoy it and be a proud mother.

Omy at 6th month (anna prachanam)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Carrot Idli

Finding that magic stuff your baby loves! Isn't that a 'Mission Extreme'?  2 years back getting up from my bed was the biggest mission, and now its much arduous than rocket science. 
But, I started to win my own accolades, one by one I discovered and my cap is full of feathers now!
Some of the pacifying magic items are Cars, idli's, chicken nuggets....irrespective of time and hunger, the one I can offer and he interestingly accepts with an 'Ok whatever' attitude! What if they never existed? Life might have become a bit hellish...

Seems like Omy has been training himself to becoming adept at spotting repetition. But, my son, I fooled the world much before you were born. 
So here I am with one of them, the carrot idli.

Idli batter
1 medium size Carrot
Sugar  - 1 Tbsp

Cut the carrots into small peices and grind them to a smooth paste. 
Mix in the batter and sugar along with the carrots and give a short pulse.
So, that makes everything well mixed up and a beautiful orange color.

Now, make idli's with it like you do with normal batter.
I popped them into the microwave and 'baang', in a minute i have sweet carrot idlis.
I even mixed a mini pinch of turmeric and made a batch of yellow idlis.
Play with the taste ,color and veggies.

Bingo!!!! Baby fooled and a job well done.