What we’ve been eating in April, with toddler menus

May 1, 2016 at 9:22 pm (Menus, unrated)

I have had no time to blog lately, so I thought I’d do one big post about what we’ve been eating lately. Luckily Derek asked me to keep notes on our menus, as a way of making menu planning easier. It’s easier to just repeat old menus than try to figure out new menus from scratch.  My notes aren’t complete though, as some days I forgot to write down what we ate.

We’ve been making lots of old standbys, but have tried a few new recipes. I’m posting our menus below, with some brief notes on the new recipes. I’m also including a separate entry for what Alma ate for dinner, since my German friends with toddlers often ask me what we feed her. They just can’t imagine what she eats. A vegetarian toddler who rarely gets bread or pasta (and who doesn’t like potatoes, at least when I cook them)? What in the world does she eat every day? Hopefully this post will answer that question!


Apr 30:
  • Breakfast: meusli with rolled oats, minced apple, banan, raisins, yogurt and cow’s milk
  • Lunch: hummus with raw carrots, endive, radishes, kohlrabi, cucumber  + clementines (Alma had a few bites of hummus, 1 quinoa spinach croquette, some black beans, parmesan cheese, and a clementine)
  • Dinner: frozen pizza with mushrooms and lots of fresh garlic (that we added). Broccoli.
  • Alma dinner: tofu and mushrooms from hot and sour soup; peanut sauce made from peanut butter and hot and sour soup broth; two bites of Chinese-braised turnips; some of Derek’s smoked river trout; mango (from frozen) for dessert
Apr 29:
  • Breakfast: leftover chana masala with brown rice (Alma ate breakfast at daycare—scrambled eggs and toast and fruit I think).
  • Lunch: ??
  • Dinner:  ??
  • Alma dinner: green beans with sauteed onions, garlic, kalamata olives, tomatoes and sauce, feta cheese, and giant white beans (leftover from a few night’s ago); one beet; one whole orange for dessert
Apr 28:
  • Breakfast: quinoa spinach croquettes (from freezer); grapefruit. Alma ate 1.5 croquettes and a whole grapefruit. She was not interested in drinking the leftover grapefruit juice, however.
  • Lunch: leftover hot and sour soup with tofu and mushrooms
  • Dinner: leftover brown rice, roasted red bell peppers, roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips, and jerusalem artichokes; Chana masala from serious eats.
  • Alma dinner: plain chickpeas seasoned with garam masala and nutritional yeast, roasted bell peppers, roasted sweet potatoes and parsnips, and one kiwi and a little yogurt for dessert.

Notes: I didn’t like the chana masala recipe that much. I think it had too much lemon juice. Somehow it masked all the salt and flavors for me. We doubled the recipe, and it just fit in a 4-quart pot. I cooked the chickpeas in my pressure cooker. I soaked them then cooked them on high for 13 minutes + natural release, and they were a tad overdone I thought.

Apr 27:
  • Breakfast: sauteed asparagus with parmesan and scrambled eggs.  Instead of peeling the stems I slice them into very thin rounds, which we call the “asparagus babies.” Alma ate lots of eggs and wouldn’t touch the asparagus spears, but ate quite a few of the “babies.”
  • Lunch: leftover spinach matzoh lasagna
  • Dinner: hot and sour soup with tofu and mushrooms, brown rice, sweet turnips braised in soy sauce (Madhur Jaffrey).
  • Alma dinner: black beans and French carrot dill soup.

Notes: Derek loved the turnips. I thought they were okay, but not great. I preferred the other Madhur Jaffrey turnip recipe we tried, where the turnips are soaked in yogurt and then cooked in an Indian tomato yogurt sauce. This one was much easier though. The only problem was that we left the turnips a tad too long, and they ended up a touch burnt in spots.

Apr 26:
  • Breakfast: oatmeal from rolled oats with blueberries and flax seed. I tried to up the protein content of my oatmeal a bit by mixing in a little hemp protein powder. It tasted good, but didn’t add much protein at all. Maybe one extra gram. Alma ate a ton of oatmeal. Her first bowl was with blueberries (from frozen) but her second and third bowls were without berries.
  • Lunch: leftover farro bean stew served with store-bought pesto and parmesan
  • Dinner: Green beans with sauteed onions, garlic, kalamata olives, tomatoes and sauce, feta cheese, and giant white beans.
  • Alma dinner: Same as us! I actually finished our dinner early enough that Alma could eat it as well. She liked it a lot. She happily ate up a big bowl of it, and didn’t leave one bite of anything behind.
Apr 25:
  • Breakfast: leftover spinach matzoh lasagna. Alma had 3 tomatoes (from a jar) and two bites of the lasagna. She did not like it at all.
  • Dinner: leftover matzoh ball soup and leftover farro bean stew (defrosted from the freezer) with storebought pesto and parmesan; matzoh sandwiches with charoset and maror.
  • Alma dinner: mushroom potato leek celery root puree with tons of green peas in it, a few bites of giant white beans, tasted the parsnip and carrots from the matzoh ball soup, but wouldn’t eat them.
Apr 24:
  • Breakfast: banana with peanut butter; yogurt.
  • Lunch: leftover mushroom potato leek celery root soup with leftover cauliflower and cooked tomatoes (from a jar). Alma tried to refuse everything, but after I insisted (several times) that that’s all there was for lunch, she eventually gave in and ate everything.
  • Dinner: Passover seder. Matzoh sandwiches with charoset and homemade beet horseradish; matzoh ball soup with carrots, parsnips, turnips, and parsley; spinach matzoh lasagne with dill; matzoh toffikomen for dessert.
  • Alma dinner: chana dal with yogurt, 1 small beet, and a few bites of charoset. I tried giving her carrots and parsnips from the matzoh ball soup, but she wouldn’t eat them.
April 23:
  • Breakfast: banana egg buckwheat pancakes
  • Lunch: leftover lentil chard soup. I tried giving Alma the leftover lentil soup with chard, but she took one look and wouldn’t touch it. I think the brown color and stringy greens scared her away. She did eat out all the carrots and bits of tomatoes though. I also gave her tofu, brown rice, and broccoli, which I was making for our dinner. She liked the tofu and brown rice, but wasn’t so into the broccoli.
  • Dinner: scrambled tofu, brown rice and sauteed broccoli.
  • Alma dinner: roasted cauliflower, black beans, mushroom potato leek celery root puree, and for dessert a clementine and quince pear banana sauce.
Apr 22:
  • Breakfast: Alma had leftover noodles, beets, and a little bit of spinach quinoa croquette.
  • Dinner: ??
  • Alma dinner: brown rice, sweet potatoes, roasted red bell peppers, a few bites of edamame, and for dessert 1 whole banana with yogurt.
Apr 21:
  • Breakfast: scrambled eggs, cherry tomatoes, grapefruit
  • Dinner: ??
  • Alma dinner:  black beans and sweet potatoes mixed with peanut butter and cinnamon, plus green peas.
Apr 20:
  • Breakfast: Alma had a few bites of the lentil soup with chard, black beans with feta, sweet potatoes, and quince pear banana sauce (storebought).
  • Dinner: ??
  • Alma dinner: broccoli, quinoa amaranth spinach croquettes, and raspberries and yogurt for dessert.
Apr 19:
  • Breakfast: Sweet potatoes and black beans. Alma barely touched the black beans though.
  • Dinner: Lentil soup with chard from Martha Rose Shulman on NYT.  Dandelion and chard stems with mushrooms in a sour cream tomato sauce.
  • Alma dinner: chickpeas, beets, and spinach zucchini soup with a little leftover brown rice.

Notes: The lentil soup recipe was from Martha Rose Shulman on NYT. Derek liked it a lot. I was not so excited. The dandelion and chard stem dish was improved in an attempt to use up things in the fridge. It was good!

Apr 18:
  • Breakfast: Porridge from quinoa, amaranth and millet with blackberries (from frozen) and yogurt.
  • Dinner: Brown rice, tofu, broccoli.
  • Alma dinner: the broccoli with leftover pasta spirals, cottage cheese, and cherry tomatoes, and a few bites of kiwi for dessert.
Apr 17:
  • Breakfast: I’m not sure what we had, but Alma had chickpeas, leftover cauliflower with peanut sauce, one mushroom gnocchi, and one cherry tomato.
  • Lunch: I’m not sure what we had, but Alma had a quinoa spinach croquette, and a few bites of grated apple mixed with cottage cheese and mixed nut butter
  • Dinner: ??
  • Alma dinner: sweet potato and black bean puree (actually more mashed than pureed), leftover spinach zucchini soup with yogurt, and one whole grapefruit for dessert.
Apr 16:
  • Breakfast: sweet potatoes and sauteed mushrooms in a tomato sour cream sauce.
  • Lunch: I’m not sure what we had but Alma had chickpeas, green beans and asparagus, avocado, and an orange
  • Dinner: gemelli pasta with dandelion leaves, turnip greens and parmesan.
  • Alma dinner: leftover carrot, tomato, and red bell pepper soup, frozen corn, goat camembert, baked tofu, and blueberry applesauce for dessert.

Notes: The pasta with dandelion inspired by this recipe, except I didn’t have any pine nuts and didn’t follow any of the measurements — just eyeballed everything.

Apr 15:
  • Breakfast: leftover asian-marinated baked tofu + baked sweet potatoes. Almond hazelnut poppyseed butter as a “dipping” sauce. Alma tried to just eat the nut butter, but I told her she shouldn’t eat it plain, but should dip her tofu and sweet potatoes in it. She obeyed, but only because she had a hard time picking up the nut butter on its own I think.
  • Dinner: Indian take-out chana masala with rice and cauliflower appetizer.
  • Alma dinner:  leftover scrambled eggs from yesterday’s breakfast, and a few bites of leftover cauliflower and asparagus and green beans.
Apr 14:
  • Breakfast: scrambled eggs, cauliflower with peanut sauce, grapefruit.
  • Dinner: leftover farro kidney bean stew.
    Alma dinner: We offered Alma the leftover stew but she only took a few bites. So she ended up eating chana dal, a few bites of the leftover Indian-style turnips in a yogurt-tomato sauce, a few bites of asparagus and green beans.
Apr 13:
  • Breakfast: quinoa/amaranth porridge with cottage cheese, raspberries, and yogurt (Derek had plain oatmeal with milk.)
  • Dinner: asian-marinated baked tofu + pureed carrot, tomato, red pepper soup + sauteed asparagus and green beans with parmesan cheese.
  • Alma dinner: the carrot, tomato, red pepper soup and the asian baked tofu and lots of parmesan cheese (but she wouldn’t eat the asparagus or green beans), and blueberry applesauce (storebought) mixed with almond milk chia pudding for dessert.
Apr 12:
  • Breakfast: oatmeal + fried eggs
  • Dinner: farro red bean vegetable stew (with cabbage, kale, celery, and tomatoes) from 101 cookbooks with parmesan and homemade bärlauch pesto.
  • Alma dinner: more French spinach zucchini soup, chana dal, roasted red bell peppers, camembert, and for dessert half a clementine and chia pudding made using my mom’s recipe (with almond milk and a touch of date syrup).

Notes on Alma’s dinner: I started her off with a tiny bowl of pureed spinach/zucchini soup. She saw it and immediately threw a fit, I’m not sure why. Maybe she thought that was all that I was offering for dinner? So then I brought out the rest of the dinner — chana dal (my mom’s recipe), turnips cooked in an Indian tomato/yogurt sauce, and roasted red bell peppers. She happily ate the chana dal and roasted red bell peppers, completely refused the turnips but ate some of the tomatoes out of the sauce, and ultimately ate the spinach soup as well. (I put the end of the dal and bell peppers in the bowl with the spinach soup because she was having trouble spooning them off her plate. She didn’t seem to mind it once when it was mixed with the other items.) Then for dessert I gave her camembert and chia/almond milk pudding (unsweetened), both of which she seemed to find acceptable. So all-in-all it felt like a successful dinner, even though it didn’t start off so well.

Apr 11:
  • Breakfast: banana egg buckwheat pancakes
  • Dinner: chana dal + Indian-style turnips in a yogurt-tomato sauce (blog!).
  • Alma dinner: curried cauliflowers and peas, and sheep yogurt for dessert.
Apr 10:
  • Breakfast: smoothie with acai, banana, yogurt, hemp protein, cashew butter, spinach + defrosted sweet potato egg muffins
  • Lunch: I’m not sure what we had but Alma had a few bites of white beans, one bite each of braised fennel and carrots, and blackberries (from frozen)
  • Dinner: chana dal + French spinach zucchini soup.
  • Alma dinner: the French spinach zucchini soup, baked tofu, and about half a small apple for dessert.
Apr 9:
  • Breakfast: banana egg buckwheat pancakes (made with 4 bananas and 8 eggs?)
  • Lunch: I’m not sure what we had but Alma had corn, avocado with lemon, soybeans with nutritional yeast, and half of a small orange
  • Dinner: braised fennel, Italian style white beans from Union Square (blog!);
  • Alma dinner: more cauliflower and peas, French carrot dill soup, quinoa and amaranth, and sheep yogurt for dessert. I tried giving her some plain white beans (before using them for the recipe) but she wouldn’t eat them.
Aug 8:
  • Breakfast: black beans and avocado with roasted red bell peppers
  • Dinner: ??
  • Alma dinner: cauliflower and peas, pureed carrot, red bell pepper, tomato soup (with a little peanut butter mixed in for variety) and grapefruit for dessert.
Apr 7:
  • Breakfast: quinoa and amaranth porridge with milk; cooked apples
  • Dinner: ??
  • Alma dinner:  French carrot dill soup, roasted romanesco, green beans (from frozen), and a few wild garlic mini gnocchi.
Apr 6:
  • Breakfast: sweet potatoes and soybeans (cooked from dried); banana and peanut butter. (Alma wouldn’t touch the sweet potatoes)
  • Dinner: ??
  • Alma dinner:  a bit of sweet potatoes and a few bites each of tofu, roasted red bell peppers, baby corn, French carrot dill soup, and cooked apples for dessert.
Apr 5:
  • Breakfast: oatmeal with sour cherries (from frozen)
  • Dinner: ??
  • Alma dinner:  the rest of the chana dal, the rest of the indian-spiced cauliflower, roasted red bell peppers, corn (from frozen), lots of aged cheddar cheese; several bites of leftover French carrot onion dill soup, and one kiwi for dessert.
Apr 4:
  • Breakfast: chana dal; kiwi
  • Dinner: leftover baked tofu with the yogurt dipping sauce, steamed brussels sprouts, steamed buns stuffed with bok choy and mushrooms.
  • Alma dinner: leftover carrot tomato red bell pepper soup, the leftover tofu and yogurt dipping sauce, and leftover cooked apples for desert.

Notes: I had some tofu that I had already marinated and baked, but needed something to go with it for dinner. I looked in the fridge for a vegetable and found brussels sprouts. Normally I saute/pan-fry brussels sprouts, because I don’t like how they taste boiled, and when I roast them they always come out too dry. But pan-frying them isn’t super fast because you have to get them all in a single layer in the skillet. So last night I just steamed them. They were done in under 5 minutes! And they tasted good, not surfurous-y like when they are boiled. And I made a whole meal out of it by throwing some frozen steamed buns (filled with bok choy and mushrooms) on top of the brussels sprouts and steaming them all together. They’re probably not the best choice in the world, but they weren’t super unhealthy and they were satisfying and easy. Derek really liked the dinner too.

Apr 3:
  • Breakfast: scrambled eggs, yellow-indian beans from Rancho Gordo (thanks mom!), and cooked apples.
  • Lunch: Not sure what we had but Alma had white beans, whole wheat penne, tomatoes (from a jar), parmesan cheese, and a few bites of spinach and kalamata olives
  • Dinner: We had leftover warm red cabbage salad, basmati rice, and my mom’s baked tofu with a yogurt, mustard, garlic, lemon dipping sauce.
  • Alma dinner: more Indian-spiced cauliflower, mushrooms, and the baked tofu with the dipping sauce. Alma wouldn’t touch the cabbage.
Apr 2:
  • Breakfast: oatmeal with blueberries and milk
  • Lunch: Not sure what we had but Alma had lentil de puy and mushrooms
  • Dinner: French carrot soup with dill, warm red cabbage salad served on a bed of mache and grated carrots, with leftover basmati rice.
  • Alma dinner: Indian-spiced cauliflower, blue cheese, pecorino, the French carrot soup with dill and yogurt, and applesauce (storebought) for dessert.

    Notes: I’m trying to get more “purple” in, and wanted to use red cabbage, but never know what to do with it. I tried this 101cookbooks warm red cabbage recipe tonight and enjoyed it, as did Derek. I served it on top of mache (green!), grated carrots (orange!) and leftover basmati rice (made with saffron, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon).  It doesn’t have much protein. I should probably have made a lentil soup or dal or something to go with it.

Apr 1:
  • Breakfast: chana dal with yogurt. I also cut up a pear, but it wasn’t the best pear and Alma wouldn’t eat it.
  • Dinner: We went out to our local sushi joint. I had edamame, delicious grilled lotus root, grilled royal trumpet mushrooms, and grilled green asparagus, as well as some veggie rolls with avocado, spinach, pickled burdock (yum!), and radish.
  • Alma dinner:  lentils de puy, roasted red bell pepper, yellow cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, mushrooms, eggplant, and sheep’s milk yogurt for dessert.

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