Give your baby their very own turkey dinner any time of year with this delicious homemade baby food recipe. Your baby will love the rich, comfort-food flavors (mine does!) of creamy mashed potatoes, green beans and roasted turkey. Even though it tastes yummy, you won’t find anything but healthy ingredients in this turkey dinner. Full of fresh green beans, potatoes, lean turkey and creamy yogurt, it tastes just as good as an adult version without the added salt and fats. It freezes well too, so you can make a big batch to freeze for later.
This recipe is appropriate for babies 7 months old and up, who are eating yogurt. Make it a smooth puree for youngsters and chunkier for bigger babies. Either way, this is sure to be a big hit!
In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the green beans, potato, turkey, broth and herbs. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Allow to cool.
To puree, add the cooled mixture and yogurt to a food processor and blend until smooth, adding more broth if necessary. Puree until you reach the desired consistency.
This was one of those dishes thrown together for dinner one night. I’ve made the meatballs several times before and wanted to cook up all of the organic veggies I had in my fridge. It was so good (and healthy too), I had to share! This recipe for turkey meatballs, tagliatelle pasta, sun dried tomatoes and roasted vegetables can be made in a number of ways, just substitute your favorite roasted veggies and pasta. The beauty of this dish is that most of the components are cooked separately, and then combined at the end. What this does is keep the flavors from mixing, so every ingredient practically sings with flavor.
Yes, they sing. Trust me on this one.
Let’s talk pasta for a minute. I’m bordering on being called a “pasta collector”. On any given week, you’ll find a new bag or box in my pantry of some obscure Italian pasta in every shape you could imagine. I search out and find artisanal pasta made the old fashioned way, with bronze dies instead of a high-volume Teflon machine. The bronze dies create a rough surface on the pasta that the sauce will cling to.
It’s okay if you use the generic grocery store brand or something like Mueller’s or Barilla, but if you want really great food, look a little harder. It won’t cost much more and your taste buds will thank you. You can find great pasta at low prices in some surprising places.
These are my favorites:
Now onto the recipe:
You can roast the vegetables and meatballs at the same time or prepare one the day ahead.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl (doing it with your clean hands works best). When everything is just mixed, roll the meatballs approximately golf ball sized and arrange them in one layer on a sheet pan.
Cook in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked in the center. Keep warm.
Toss the vegetables in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
In a large skillet, cook the onion in olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, pepper flakes and stir. Add the chicken broth, white wine and sun dried tomatoes. Cook and reduce over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half.
While the sauce is reducing, cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to the directions or until the pasta is just al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water for the sauce.
Taste and season the reduced liquid generously with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Add the pasta, tomatoes, vegetables and basil to the pan and stir. If you need more liquid, add some of the pasta water to the sauce. Serve topped with meatballs and grated Parmesan cheese.
I’ve found the key to getting my little one to eat is flavor, flavor, flavor — and a lot of variety. I taste all of his food before it goes into his mouth and have found that if I don’t like it, he won’t like it. It could be the taste or it could be the texture, so if he doesn’t like a food the first time, I’ll give it to him prepared a different way. For instance, he doesn’t like to eat fresh peaches, but if I bake them, he loves them. If I give him sliced banana on his tray, he just smears them around, but if I let him gum off a bite from a whole banana (while I eat it too), he begs for more. Keep mixing it up to keep their interest because babies love to explore new things. The baby food available at the supermarket has vastly improved, but nothing compares to the taste of fresh, homemade meal. This turkey, carrot and potato baby food recipe is easy to make and will help develop good eating habits — eating what you make, not store-bought prepared meals.
Because my little guy IS such an adventurous eater, I don’t give him the same foods for days on end. I make mini batches of baby food in a small saucepan a few times a week from what I have available. I leave everything to simmer to tenderness, adding bits along the way. This one is always a hit with my little guy. It has the delicious, homemade flavor of your favorite stew, and is healthy for your little one. You can puree this, or leave it chunky if your baby is eating finger foods. Just make sure you cut everything into small enough pieces.
Try to find organic vegetables and meat if possible, especially when it comes to potatoes, celery and apples. These made the “Dirty Dozen List” for fruits and vegetables containing the most pesticides for 2013. Others include cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches, spinach, strawberries and sweet bell peppers. I also make my own chicken stock from the leftover bones from roasting a chicken. Homemade chicken stock is rich in calcium, magnesium and other minerals, plus gelatin, which aids the body in producing cartilage. In addition to the health benefits, the taste is delicious.
In a saucepan, brown the turkey in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the herbs, garlic and stir for just a minute. Add the carrots, potato, sweet potato and chicken stock. Lower heat and cook covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The stock should reduce down about half.
For younger babies, mash or puree this mixture in a food processor until smooth, adding the pan juices until you reach the desired consistency. For older babies who are capable of feeding themselves, you can serve as-is.