Argentine Empanadas

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These savory empanadas were the bonus recipe from Travis’s Comida Argentina┬áRaddish Kids; truth be told, it was mostly a mom endeavor, but my little sous-chef loved helping with the filling once I’d made the dough!

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 2 and 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 3 tablespoons + 1/4 cup cold water, divided

For the filling:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 8 ounces Lightlife ground beef
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  1. To prepare the dough, combine the flour, salt, and butter in a bowl. Cut with a pastry blender until the mixture is crumbly (or alternatively, use a food processor and pulse until crumbly).
  2. Whisk the flax into 3 tablespoons water to make 1 flax egg. Add to the bowl along with the remaining 1/4 cup water and stir to form a dough.
  3. Divide the dough in two. Working with one portion at a time, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll until 1/8-inch thick. Cut with a 3-inch cookie cutter to make circles.Empanada (1)
  4. Stack the circles of dough between pieces of parchment paper in the fridge until ready to serve.
  5. To prepare the filling, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, paprika, oregano, and raisins; cook for 1 minute.Empanada (2)
  6. Crumble the beef into the pan and add the water and salt. Cook for 5 minutes.Empanada (3)
  7. Set 8 dough circles on a baking sheet. Top each with 2 tablespoons filling.Empanada (4)
  8. Moisten your finger with water and run around the edge of each dough circle, then fold the dough over the filling. Press the edges with a fork to seal.Empanada (5)
  9. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Travis loved these, and especially that they could be eaten on the go, a little snack wrapped up in its own edible wrapper.

Empanada alt

 

Patagonian Potato Salad

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Having become an expert now on the Patagonia region and the hemispheres, it was time for Travis to put his culinary skills to the test in a classic Patagonian recipe.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and help your child carefully add 1 (24-ounce) bag baby red potatoes and 1 tablespoon salt. Boil for 20 minutes, until tender.

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Drain the potatoes, then transfer to a bowl filled with ice. Travis loved watching the potatoes get this ice bath!

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Cut the potatoes into quarters and place in a large bowl. Thinly slice 4 green onions and add to the bowl, along with 2 tablespoons minced parsley.

To prepare the vinaigrette, whisk together 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/3 cup olive oil.

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Drizzle over the potato mixture and toss to coat.

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A victorious chef!

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Travis enjoyed reading a few final facts about Aregntina on the recipe card, including the ritual of drinking mate tea and the afternoon siesta. I even let him try a sip of mate, a hit!

Yerba Mate

 

Wheat Germ Breakfast

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This little breakfast is easy to whip up, and packed with nutrition for growing babies and toddlers.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons mashed ripe banana
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  1. Stir all ingredients together and serve.

Note: If you baby doesn’t like banana, use apple puree instead.

Banana Bread

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This nut-free banana bread is sweetened with agave and applesauce and has no added oil. Perfect for babies and toddlers, in other words, but big kids love it, too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup melted Earth Balance butter
  • 2 tablespoons thawed apple juice concentrate
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ripe bananas
  1. In a bowl, combine the flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Pour the applesauce into a large bowl and stir in the remaining baking powder. Whisk in the butter, apple juice, agave, and vanilla.
  3. Mash the bananas in a bowl and add to the applesauce mixture.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour; a wooden pick inserted in the center should come out clean.

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Snack Animals

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Independence is so crucial to kindergartners, and I have loved watching Travis’s confidence grow since school began only a month ago. Now, he wants to do all the little steps himself each day, from buttoning shirts to buckling his backpack. Being able to serve themselves drinks and snacks is also key for kids’ independence at this age, so we created this adorable snack animal to keep easy snacks at hand!

To start, remove the lid from an empty oatmeal canister, and trace twice on cardboard. Note: I found an old cereal box easier than stiffer cardboard packaging for tracing and cutting out. That said, it means your final animal won’t be quite as sturdy and might sit on your counter instead of standing!

Draw legs below each circle and cut out; these will be the front and back of your animal.

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Travis decided we should turn ours into a cow, but really any animal will work! Highlights magazine also suggested a pig or a deer.

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For the cow, we painted the legs white with black spots.

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I cut an additional shape to be the cow’s head, which we glued to one of the circles.

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Don’t forget to paint the canister, too, which received its own coat of white paint and black dots.

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Once the paint dries, glue the head piece to the lid of the canister. Glue the back legs to the back of the canister.

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Let the glue dry, then stuff with treats! You can also add yarn for a tail, depending which animal you choose. Pink would have been cute on the pig version!

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As noted, our cow kneels down a bit, but Travis loves that he can help himself to an afternoon treat.

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Carob Yogurt

Carob Yogurt

It’s too early for babies to have chocolate before one year old, because of the caffeine. Try carob powder instead, for a sweet treat!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (5-ounce) carton plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon carob powder
  1. Sprinkle the carob over the yogurt and stir to combine.

 

Hummus for Babies

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This mild hummus is just right for toddlers and babies. Because you can control the amount of salt, it’s preferable to store-bought hummus.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce) drained and rinsed can garbanzo beans
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.

Black Bean & Carrot Mash

Black Bean & Carrot

This mash of beans and carrot puree will thicken as it cools. Once thickened, it’s perfect to pick up by the handful for little ones who are baby led weaning!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (15-ounce) drained and rinsed can black beans
  • 4 ounces carrot puree
  1. Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, until warm.
  2. Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.

Yogurt Ice

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These easy “popsicles” will be fun for your baby to eat in the high chair, or perhaps just amusing to play with! You can puree any fresh fruit to equal 1/2 cup for the recipe; in a pinch, use a fruit pouch from the baby food aisle. Veronika’s favorite is a peach/apricot blend.

Since I didn’t want Veronika to hurt herself on long popsicle sticks, I found a great alternative; milkshake-sized straws cut to about the length of her fist. Just supervise closely at feeding time and remove the sticks if they come free from the yogurt.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (5-ounce) plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fruit puree
  1. Stir together the ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Divide evenly among the compartments of an ice cube tray, and insert the straw “sticks”. Freeze until solid.

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Build-Ahead Breakfast

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Mornings are crazy enough without having to worry about making a hearty breakfast and packing a bagged lunch. Take one piece out of the equation with this fantastic wrap you can put together the night before. Bonus points: Kids will love helping, and can alter the ingredients until they find their favorite combo.

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We like these with the California burger from Amy’s Kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small flour tortillas
  • 1 veggie burger patty, cooked and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/2 cup shredded Daiya cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  1. Place the tortillas on a flat work surface. Arrange the ingredients in rows working from left to right, dividing evenly among the two tortillas.
  2. Fold up the bottom of the tortilla over the toppings, then begin rolling from the left and roll up tightly.
  3. Wrap in parchment paper and refrigerate overnight. To serve, microwave for 30 seconds.

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