Monday, January 17, 2011

Spinach, leek, and jicama quinoa porridge

Healthy eating habits are something you can instill in your child from an early age. As parents, we have the ability to shape our child's palate. We have the power to help them make good eating choices by offering healthy and flavorful food from an early age. We try to keep the sweet and salty items to a minimum in our house anyways, but it is especially good to go easy on them when you have an impressionable little one around (side note, not all sodium is created equal).

Have I told you all the story of Papa (grandpa) giving Dalia Lays potato chips at a mere 12 months? It didn't go over well (for me, not her, she obviously liked the chip she was able to swallow before I freaked), but I had to give a little laugh thinking about how "crazy" I must have seemed. Even so, I don't regret seeming like a crazy mommy because I think all of this food stuff is a pretty serious deal. Eventually she will probably have a lot of sweet/salty things, just not yet. And to this date, she hasn't had any meat, either.

Anyhoo-This is a video of Dalia eating a delicious, off the cuff meal created by yours truly: spinach, leek, and jicama quinoa porridge. (Check out her sweet spoon skills!)

Quinoa is a super, protein-packed grain with a nutty flavor--delicious hot or cold! You can mix anything with quinoa for a delicious side dish or entrée. Try cooking it in low sodium vegetable broth and then add some diced dried apricots, cilantro, and a yummy orange vinaigrette.

I didn't use a recipe, but I can give you a general idea of how to make this.

1. cut leeks, place leeks in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes to remove debris, remove and set aside
2. peel jicama, dice, and set aside
3. saute leeks, jicama, and spinach in some garlic-infused olive oil (fats help with baby's brain development, which is why pedis never say go easy easy on fats early on)
4. let cool and puree, set aside

Helpful Tip: We fill ice cube trays with "green veggie cubes", freeze them, and add them to everything we make. We always have some form of these on hand. For more info, Ruth Yaron's "Super Food" is a fabulous book. I blogged about it here.

5. cook quinoa in low sodium vegetable stock, fluff, and transfer to serving dish
6. mix in your puree (you can do a lighter puree if you want more texture), add as much of the green mixture as you like. Less=drier texture/More=more porridgey texture
7. add whatever salt/pepper you desire!

And it is clearly good. You saw how Dalia ate it up!