Friday, September 23, 2011

Turkey Meatball Stroganoff

As some of you may have noticed, my favorite cook book for the kids is by far Start Fresh by Tyler Florence (and you can get it in The Pantry!)  It is full of kid-friendly recipes that are healthy and above all, flavorful.  You won't find any bland baby food in this book.

It is my supreme belief that we have to teach our children to eat, just like we teach them to put themselves to sleep, walk, talk and read.  And teaching requires effort.  By making an effort to introduce as many foods and flavors as possible, as early as possible, we are giving our children the building blocks for making good nutrition choices for the rest of their lives.

If you and your baby are just starting out on the journey into solid foods Start Fresh has a ton of recipes for purees.  Flavor combos like spinach and banana, parsnip fig and pear, or carrot and mango.  Tyler also teaches parents how to get the most flavor from foods.  You won't have much need of a steamer basket using this book.

If your baby is a bit older, like mine are, you'll be sure to find recipes the whole family will love.  I think the biggest, and only, real downside to this book is the lack of recipes that target finger feeders.  I don't know about everyone else but my little guys weren't ready to wield a fork and spoon by the time they were interested in self-feeding. We are going to start working on that soon but for now finger foods rule in my house.  Though Tyler doesn't dedicate a section to that "art" of eating, some of his recipes can be eaten with fingers and we've yet to come across one the babies didn't like.  I like that this is a book that took us from baby to toddler and on with interesting recipes to keep us trying new things and new flavors.  A great buy if you are in the market.

A few weeks ago we tried yet another recipe from this book.   The kids enjoyed it, and had mushrooms for the first time!  (They loved them.)  This is a great meal for the whole family.  The turkey meatballs are moist and easy for babies without molars to enjoy and it incorporates every kids' favorite food, pasta.  I hope you enjoy it.

Turkey Meatloaf Stroganoff, adapted from Tyler Florence- found in Start Fresh
1 slice multigrain bread
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
6 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
1 sprig thyme
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
8 oz cooked egg noodles
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Tear up the bread and put it in a large mixing bowl with the turkey, milk, caraway seeds, onion and a bit of salt.  Mix all of it together with your hands to combine.  Shape the mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs.  This makes about 18.  (plenty of leftovers for the kids to eat the next day!)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  When the oil begins to shimmer add the meatballs and brown them.  Remove them to a baking tray and finish cooking them in the oven, 20 minutes at 350 F.

While the meatballs cook, cook the pasta and begin the sauce.  For the sauce add the garlic to the skillet you cooked the meatballs in.  Cook the garlic for about a minute and then add the mushrooms and the thyme.  Cook them 2-3 minutes or until golden and then sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and stir them around to coat.  Add the chicken stock and cook until the stock has thickened, about 10-12 minutes.

Once it the sauce is thick, whisk in the sour cream and the mustard.  Keep on warm until the meatballs are done. Once they are put them into the sauce and turn to coat.  Serve the meatballs and sauce over the pasta and top with the parsley.
Aaron concentrating on eating
And feeding Claire too, of course

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