The Best Roasted Chicken, Thomas Keller Style

RaisingFayeRoastedChickenFinished

A heavenly roasted chicken that requires almost no work. 

Oh boy, oh boy. Are you in for a real treat with Thomas Keller’s Roasted Chicken recipe. Not only is the chicken moist, tender, and the skin ridiculously flavorful and crispy, but it takes barely any work to come together. That’s right, barely any work. There is absolutely not one iota of basting. Once it goes into the oven, you forget about it until the timer dings.

Simple Prep + Stunning Results = Recipe Staple. I literally roast two chickens every 10 days using this method.

What I love even more about this recipe is that for 15 minutes of prep work I get a roasted chicken for dinner, two carcasses and some meat for a stunning chicken soup (from which I make chicken soup ice cubes to use in Quick & Healthy Toddler food recipes), and additional cooked chicken that I use for toddler snacks and as the main protein for one or two quick to prep meals later in the week (I highly recommend Kimchi Fried Rice).

Honestly, even in 90+ degree weather, it is worth turning your oven on for these babies.

Continue reading

Quick & Healthy Toddler Meals #2: Salted Edamame with Cheese and Fruit

Salted Edamame with Cheese and Berries

Nothing in the fridge? Head to your freezer for this quick toddler meal.

This is one of my favorite quick toddler meals to throw together when I am in dire need of a trip to the food store, as I tend to always keep a bag or two of edamame in the freezer.

While I’m not a giant fan of giving soy to toddlers, edamame is such a nutritional powerhouse for a “I have nothing to feed you” kind of day, that I reserve it for those desperate times. A great balance of protein and carbs, it is also high in folate, choline, vitamin K, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and manganese. Edamame also provides each of the essential amino acids, meaning it is a complete protein food.

Another bonus: Faye loves squishing the beans out of their pods. If you have a toddler who isn’t a fan of sitting at the table, this “activity” might help to settle them down. Continue reading

Quick & Healthy Toddler Meals: #1 Pan Seared Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Green Beans

Beef Tenderloin with Garlic Green Beans

A healthy toddler meal in under 15 minutes

Multiple times a week I am faced with trying to create a healthy meal for Faye in less than 15 minutes. Sadly, I’ve been hesitant to share because the limited time I have before a meltdown (from hunger, exhaustion, or a combo of both) occurs doesn’t allow for me to set up for a nice photo shoot.

After coming to my senses, I decided that a non-ideal photo was a ridiculous reason to not share these ideas and recipes with other time-crunched caregivers.

Last night’s dinner is a pretty good example of what Faye gets when I am cramped for time: a well seasoned protein and a flavorful vegetable. (I limit non-nutritious carb heavy foods like pasta and rice, and sugar in every form except whole fruit is never offered.) She sits right up against the table in a Stokke Tripp Trapp highchair, a dishtowel secured around her neck with one of these clips, and serves herself from main dishes.

This is the first recipe in the series, but I’ll try my best to load it up as often as possible. Please let me know if you find recipes like these to be helpful!

Continue reading

Hearty Ham Hock and White Navy Bean Soup via the Crockpot

RaisingFayeHamHockWhiteNavyBeanSoup

Lovely comfort food on a cold winter’s day

Originally, I grabbed a bag of small white navy beans to make a beautiful sausage and white bean dish, but when the norovirus took our entire family out of commission last weekend that dish (and anything but minimal effort to cook this week) went out the window.

Have no fear, this quick to prep dish is superb. It’s flavors are complex, the soup is extremely filling, and at around $3 a portion for all organic ingredients, the price tag can’t be beat.  

In a way, I’m kind of glad we were ridiculously ill. I got to eat ice pops, watch tv, and rediscover my crockpot.  

Continue reading

Fried Eggs with Spanish Chorizo and Potatoes

RaisingFayeFriedEggsChorizoPotatoA

It tastes 1000x better than it looks – and it looks pretty delicious.

I absolutely adore José Andrés’ original recipe for Huevos Fritos con Chorizo y Patatas and thought in celebration of the day of love, I would make a less spicy version for Faye so that she too, could bask in the glory of its tastiness. (The original dish doesn’t use black beans and calls for regular white potatoes.) Using sweet potatoes in place of the white potatoes definitely cuts the spiciness of the chorizo enough so Faye will eagerly scarf down her portion.

As the original and this adaptation may be the best brunch dishes that I’ve ever eaten, I highly recommend that next weekend you grab yourself some friends, some eggs and chorizo, and enjoy one of the best breakfasts in the world. You are very welcome. Continue reading

Indian Jamaican Stew (baby-friendly!)

RaisingFayeIndianJamaicanStewA

Warning: Your house will smell incredible when making this dish.

I came across this recipe years ago when I was searching for vegan meals that didn’t suck, and even though we now eat meat it’s been a fall and winter staple ever since. Although it takes about 45 minutes to cook, the prep time is short–especially if you buy the butternut squash peeled and cubed–and clean up is quick. Leftovers taste even better as the flavors have time to meld. It’s definitely a winner in my book. It also happens to be vegan and gluten-free, so is a fabulous dish to put together for mixed diner company.  

To make future Tracy’s life easier, I like to fill up two or three small bell jars with the stew and freeze them. That way, Faye has a healthy meal when I don’t have any time or groceries in the house. Continue reading

Healthy Baby: Raspberry Protein and Probiotic Smoothie (with Dairy-Free version)

RaspberryProbioticSmoothie.jpg

Nutritionally dense, fabulous tasting, quick to make, and travels well. What more do you need?

We try to head out to a park or playground to burn some energy and get some fresh air twice a day: once after breakfast and once after afternoon nap. Faye is famished after running around for an hour or two, and tends to chow down on a ton of snacks on our walk back to the house.

Faye is a phenomenal eater, but I’ve been feeling more and more like she’s been filling up on these after-play snacks rather than her main meals, making it all the more important that the snacks I do provide are healthy and nutritionally dense (which is easier said than done – especially when they need to travel well). Hence, this smoothie.  Continue reading