Avocado Mike Shake

Avocado Mike Shake

I seriously can’t think of anyone who doesn’t like milk shake! My little picky eater hasn’t been a fan of avocado since he turns one.  He used to eat one a day as a meal!  He lost some weight lately due to teething and recovering from a common cold.  To get him some fatty stuff, I thought of milk shake and avocado!  This recipe is inspired by avocado milk shake that are commonly serve at Vietnamese restaurants.  My version is toddler-friendly because it has no sugar.

Half of an avocado
6 oz of whole milk (can use more or less for the preferred consistency)
1 teaspoon maple syrup

Blend avocado in a blender or food processor until mushy. Add milk and maple syrup and blend until incorporated.  You can put it back to the fridge for a little bit to chill.  Serve it in a transparent cup for a fun effect. My little picky eater can immediately tell it is something different and is anxious to try.



Steamed Pork and Tofu Meatloaf

Steamed Pork and Tofu Meatloaf

Tofu is my little picky eater’s favorite lately. To get him eat some red meat with the texture he likes, I used this “Chinese yok ban” (steamed meatloaf) method.  “Yok ban” literally means meat cake in Chinese.  It’s always steamed with meat and other ingredients such as mushroom or preserved vegetables.  It’s always soft and tasty that makes you keep wanting more with rice.  When the dish is being steamed, the meat juice keeps everything moist, flavors the entire dish, and preserves all the nutrient.  The same idea applies here when combining ground pork and tofu.

half pound ground pork
1 pack of tofu (you can use firm or soft depends on the texture you prefer. Firm tofu often has more iron)
1 egg
1 teaspoon oil
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon corn starch
a little bit of ground white pepper (optional)

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Break the tofu and mix well. I find it easier to use my hand. Transfer the mixture to a heat-proofed dish. I use a pie dish by Pyrex.  Steam in boiling water for 30-40 minutes. Check doneness by scoop out the center and check if the meat is all cooked through. If you have a thicker dish, it often takes longer. You can also tell by the liquid it produces. The liquid is often bubbling.  You can serve it with rice. Be careful as  it can be really hot in the center.



Colorful Fried Rice

Colorful Fried Rice

We often think of fried rice greasy and unhealthy. But this fried rice is packed with meat and fresh vegetables. It is a one-bowl meal that has it all. When making this at home, you can control the amount of oil and what kind of vegetables or meat that go in. The possibilities are endless!

1 teaspoon oil
a little bit of soy sauce or salt to taste
1 egg – beaten with or without a little bit of salt and oil then cooked lightly on a frying pan.
1/3 cup of cooked meat (I used Chinese honey BBQ pork, but you can use whatever you have on hand)
1/4 cup of cooked broccoli
1/4 cup of finely chopped cooked carrot
3 cups of cooked rice

Alternative ingredients – zucchini, green peas, corn, spinach, celery, bok choy, asparagus

Cook all the ingredients. Vegetables can be steamed or boiled.   Put ingredients except rice into food processor or blender and get to the size your little one prefer.  If easier, you can also chop by hand, but it can be time consuming. In a non-stick pan, heat oil and add each ingredients in this order – meat, vegetables, rice, and egg.  Keep stir to make sure everything is cooked through, heated up, and mixed. Add soy sauce or salt to taste.

This is a nutritious recipe but can be time consuming if you don’t use a food processor or a blender.  Have fun with experimenting different combinations!


Peanut Butter and Banana Bites

Peanut Butter and Banana Bites

This recipe is also from the Baby and Toddler Cookbook (see previous post). Ingredients include whole wheat bread, peanut butter, banana, and honey. The original recipe calls for almond butter, but you can try other spread such as peanut butter, cashew butter, cream cheese, etc. I like to use peanut butter because of its calcium and protein. Toast the bread, trim off the edges. Spread peanut butter and top with banana slices and drizzle with honey. Caleb LOVES these little bites. I serve them in the morning with apple sauce to make it into a balance meal.

Salmon and Butternut Squash

Salmon and Butternut Squash

The cookbook (see previous post) mentions to serve at least one portion of meat (best dark meat) once a day.  The words “at least” hit me.  Honestly, I usually don’t give Caleb more than one portion meat a day. He has one egg for one meal and some kind of meat for another meal.  I consider egg as “meat”. He has meat more than once a day sometimes when we go out and he nipples on our food.  Anyways, I was hoping to achieve two meals with meat a day.  Ideally, I want one meal with fish and another meal with pork, beef, or chicken.  Besides the salmon cakes (see previous post), I need to explore more ways to make fish. I just thought Caleb likes butternut squash because of its sweetness. Why not mix them together with some shredded salmon? 

1-1/2 cup soup stock (see post on Chinese Style Soft Cooked Rice)
1/4 cup butternut squash
1/8 cup cooked salmon (I steam it, then de-bone and shred the cooked fish by hand)

Cook butternut squash with soup stock until tender and mash with a wooden spoon. Cook until thicken. Add salmon and stir. Add butter and stir.

Egg and Asparagus Omelet

Egg and Asparagus Omelet

This recipe is also from the Baby and Toddler Cookbook (see previous post).  Ingredients include egg, asparagus, grated Parmesan cheese and butter.  The original recipe calls for only the egg yoke for babies 9-10 months old.  Because Caleb is older and have been enjoying whole egg omelets, I use the entire egg. I also use cheddar instead of Parmesan cheese. Asparagus needs to be steam cooked and finely chopped before putting it into the egg mixture.  After making this dish, I realized why I think of putting other veggies in? You and try cooked zucchini, spinach, cooked carrot, cooked broccoli… the possibility is endless!

Mini Salmon Cakes

Mini Salmon Cakes

This recipe comes from the Baby and Toddler Cookbook (see previous post). Ingredients includes whole wheat bread, salmon, green onion, egg, lemon juice and canola oil.  First turn the whole wheat bread into crumbs by putting it into the food processor. Then mix everything together and divided into 8 pieces. After refrigerate them for 10 minutes, fry them in pan with a little bit of canola oil.  I was looking for ways to cook salmon for Caleb besides the soft cooked rice. This is a good way to cook fish and pack more ingredients together. And they make a great finger food for toddlers and grown-ups too.  They smell so good while I was making them.  Caleb had 2 pieces and I put the leftover pieces into the food processor.  I use the leftover in omelets.