Eggplant Parmesan

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Tonight’s recipe from Raddish Kids culminated in a very special event – a dinner date with Daddy!

But first, Travis and I needed to cook. “Is this our next Raddish?” he asks excitedly now when I invite him to join me in the kitchen. This particular Eggplant Parmesan was the vegan replacement to the kit’s Chicken Parmesan. I briefly considered using a chicken filet such as Gardein, but decided we’d stay true to Raddish’s dietary modifications, since they so considerately include one for every recipe.

First, I sliced a 1-pound eggplant into 1/2-inch thick slices. Travis was in charge of placing these on a paper towel, quite proud to do so.

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We salted both sides of the eggplant using a scant 2 teaspoons salt (Note: This meant we later omitted the salt when it would have been added to the chicken). Let stand for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, we prepped three bowls. Into the first went 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

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We made three flax eggs in the second bowl. Travis loved whisking! The final bowl received 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs and 2/3 cup vegan Parmesan sprinkles. Travis mixed the ingredients together, pretending they were potions or medicines.

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He loved the 3-step breading technique that followed. The eggplant first went into the flour mixture, then in the flax eggs, and finally in the breaded topping.

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We arranged these slices on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil and coated in cooking spray.

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Top each eggplant slice with 2 tablespoons marinara sauce. We had previously whipped up a quick homemade batch, using Raddish’s recipe:

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 minced garlic cloves (Travis got to use his garlic rocker!). Cook for 1 minute.

Add 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, 4 minced basil leaves,  and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer for 15 minutes.

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After adding the marinara, we sprinkled each eggplant slice with about 2 tablespoons shredded Daiya mozzarella. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.

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Now for the special date! Travis and I used the provided Set the Table guide to make his dinner table extra special.

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What a neat trick it included for remembering where things go: bread on the lower case b side and drinks on the lower case d side, formed by your fingers.

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A few final touches and it was time to invite Daddy over to eat!

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Mirror Magic

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At four months old, Veronika is much more aware of the face in the mirror than she was when we began mirror games, so she and I had some fun with our reflections today. Mirrors seem magical to babies; they still don’t quite understand that they are seeing their own reflection, and yet are starting to notice that the mirror image moves when they do. So play up that magic!

Make sure that you play with a mirror that is nonbreakable for babies this young. I set one up in front of Veronika during tummy time, and got down right next to her.

First, I simply made a neutral face and let her notice us both, but from there I moved on to emotions. As you make each expression, name the emotion. “Happy face!” I cooed to her.

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You can move on to sad faces or silly faces; the latter got a giggle!

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Now mommy’s surprised!

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Add other conversation pointers as you play. “This is your mouth,” I pointed out to her, or “Look at mommy’s mouth.”

Mirror Magic (2)Then it was time to use the mirror for some real magic: making Veronika disappear and reappear. I placed a scarf over the mirror…

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…then peek-a-boo!

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What other mirror games do you play with baby? Please share in the comments!