Berlin Bites: Lentil Pasta

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Now I don’t normally plug specific brands, but I’m so in love with this pasta that I had to share this delicious Tolerant pasta with you. I happen to come upon it while shopping at our local co-op and thought the idea was interesting (pasta made with legumes), but was unsure of how it would taste. I sprung for a box and served it up to Berlin and she devoured (I mean devoured) it! I have never seen her eat so much pasta in one sitting, and the brilliant part about it; she was getting a full serving of protein without any added ingredients. She was happy and I was happy. :)

I have prepared the pasta in a few different ways; sometimes only sauteing in butter or olive oil, but usually adding a few greens to the mix to serve up a fully balanced meal. Either way, it tastes good no matter how I’ve prepared it, and she has yet to get tired of it {and she eats it a few times a week}.

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Lentil Pasta

1/2 cup Tolerant Lentil Rotini

1/2 cup of canned chopped tomatoes (I use Pomi)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove of garlic

1/4 small onion chopped

1 small carrot julienned

1/4 cup organic spinach finely chopped

Cook pasta according to directions, I find that it takes a bit longer to cook through than it says on the package-however I do like it extra soft since I’m serving it to a toddler.

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan. Saute onion, garlic and carrots for approx 5 minutes, Add tomatoes and tomato paste, simmer on low for another 5 minutes.

Once pasta is done cooking place chopped spinach on the bottom of strainer and pour pasta over spinach (to steam spinach).

Place pasta, sauce and spinach in a serving bowl and enjoy.

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Tolerant also makes a black bean pasta and provides Fettuccine, Penne and Rotini shape in both the lentil and black bean pastas. I have yet to try the black bean version, but when I do I was thinking I would serve it up as a Macaroni and Cheese. I mean how brilliant is this?? Your picky toddler will never know the difference, and you can feel good about serving them pasta every day if you like!

BTW-I am not getting paid in any way for this post, but I sure should be!



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Berlin Bites: Banana Oat Bars

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Most mornings I enjoy the homemade oat bars at our local coffee shop, which are mainly healthy, however they do have a generous amount of brown rice syrup, making them a bit sugary.   And since Berlin only wants to eat what I’m eating as of late, these are not the healthiest option for her.  So rather than fending off her insistent pleading I resolved by making her own sugar-free oat treat.

These bars can be modified to anyone’s liking by adding various kinds of dried fruit, nuts and even applesauce.  I chose to increase the fiber by adding plums and ground flax to the recipe due to Berlin’s constant battle with constipation.OatBar103OatBar104

Banana Oat Bars

3 large, ripe bananas

2 cups Gluten-Free Oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

1 tablespoon ground flax

3 large pitted dates (softened in water for 10 minutes)

1/4 cup chopped plums

Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease baking dish

Mash bananas well in mixing bowl.  Add oats, then flax and mix well.  Add the remainder of the ingredients and then spread evenly in baking dish.  I made my bars quite thin so it only took approx 25 minutes to cook, if you choose to make the bars thicker it will take up to 30 minutes.

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This recipe takes no time and is a healthy snack option for all children.  In my opinion they are far tastier than any store bought energy bar.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

 




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Berlin Bites: Almond Butter Mini Muffins

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Berlin is just about 11 months now and her appetite has suddenly gone mad!  It seems she is hungry all the time and as of recent has been throwing baby tantrums when I don’t share my food.  She has quite the personality lately if you haven’t already figured out…

Its a bit difficult to cart around prepared meals for her all the time and since I’m trying to avoid introducing her to gluten, dairy, or processed foods (yet anyhow) I’ve been struggling with what snacks to feed her.

These mini muffins are a great gluten and dairy free alternative and offer lots of nutritional value through the chia flour and almond butter.  As mentioned in previous posts, chia is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and soluble fiber.  While almond butter contains a high level of protein.

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Almond Butter Mini Muffins

2 cups chia flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup organic almond butter

1 cup pumpkin puree

3 drops of Stevia

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix all ingredients together, stir well getting out all the lumps

Spray mini muffin pan with olive oil spray and pour mix into muffin cups

Bake for about 25 minutes

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These are perfect finger foods for older babies and can be stored in the freezer to keep their freshness.  They are also great served with jam for toddlers (or yourself).

As a side note, I would test a dollop of almond butter on your baby’s skin prior to preparing this recipe.  Simply place a small amount of almond butter on the back of the baby’s leg (or somewhere they can’t rub it off easily) and wait an hour.  Check for rashes or skin discolorations, if there are none then its most likely your baby doesn’t have an intolerance to almonds.  I would suggest you wait until your baby is at least 10 months of age and check with your pediatrician to get the green light.

 

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Mama Meals: Quinoa Lasagna

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Quinoa Lasagna

2 cups cooked quinoa

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 minced garlic clove

2 boxes Pomi tomato sauce (or sauce of choice)

1 package of firm tofu drained

1/4 cup fresh parsley

2 minced garlic cloves

1 tablespoon lemon juice

pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 cups spinach with stems removed

1 cup Daiya cheese (or cheese of choice)

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When cooking with any tomato product I suggest only using boxed or glass bottle options.  The resin lining of tin cans contains BPA (which has been linked to reproductive issues and heart disease) and the acidity from the tomatoes leaches the BPA directly into the tomatos-not good!

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First preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Then blend tofu, parsley, lemon juice salt and red pepper flakes in a food processor.

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Heat olive oil in medium skillet and saute onions and garlic for 5 minutes, add mushrooms and saute another 3 minutes.  Add sauce and heat until warm.QuinoaLasagnaHowTo Add all of the quinoa to the bottom of a baking dish, add a layer of the sauce mixture, then layer all of the zucchini, add all the tofu mixture, another layer of sauce, spinach, the remainder of the sauce, and lastly add cheese.  Bake for about 40 minutes or bubbly on top.

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This is a great alternative to the traditional lasagna, its vegan and gluten free, and the best part is you won’t feel like a slug after eating it- like I usually do after a big pasta dish.

P.S.  it really tastes better than it appears, it looks a bit sloppy due to its lack of structure but its super tasty!

Recipe adapted from here.

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