Are you looking for a funny and useful mom blog?

Good, you came to the right place!Hi, my name is Chantal Sarkisian and I am a new mom who had a sweet baby boy named Victor in Feb 2013. Join me on this blog to follow my new mommy journey while I am on my maternity leave. I'll ramble quickly about all the random thoughts that go through my head when I am feeding in the middle of the night, or trying to put my son to sleep. I'll also blog about my favourite things, give you helpful tools, and explore activities to do (mostly in the Ottawa region) with kids and maybe some product reviews too! Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Off Road Cooking: Cooking for Baby 101

Ok, so I have been posting lots of meal ideas that I have made for little man, but didn't realize that I might have to back it up a bit. Read about my first ever "Off Road Cooking" post here!

I dedicate this post to explaining how I go about preparing meals. I have it down to a very simple process that literally takes minutes :)

Note that I make fresh food every 4 days or so. I don't freeze food because I do not have a microwave at home. Now you are wondering why I am a crazy person who doesn't own one... Well, I get enough wave exposure at work when I heat up my leftovers and I have a small kitchen. Plus, we don't use it much anyway. I am not a huge fan of what it makes the food taste like either.

Ok, let's get started!

You will need:
- small saucepan with lid
- baby bullet, food processor, blender or hand blender (or elbow grease and a potato masher! haha)
- small containers to store food (like Baby Cubes)
- sharp knife and cutting board

Meat- chicken breast, leg or thigh, turkey, pork tenderloin, beef sirloin, salmon fillet, egg (I use the entire thing, although some say not to give the whites before 1yr)
I usually buy what is on sale, because this is the most expensive part of groceries. I like to use lean meat because it cooks nicely and boils well. You usually have no ligaments or stringy fatty tissue that would be difficult to blend.
I always use a tendoriser when I boil meat, not MSG!! I'm talking garlic, onion, leeks, chives.
I also use flavours, consisting of fresh herbs (basil, parsley, sage, thyme, oregano, cilantro)

Fats- olive oil, cheese or butter
If something is too lean, you can always ad some flavour with butter or cheese. It also helps to smoothen the texture if you find it dry.

Vegetables- ALL
Fruits- ALL
Fresh produce is NOT expensive! I hate it when I hear people saying this. If you stick with what is in season, go to markets or farms directly, and if you buy what is on sale or featured, you will be just fine. Make sure you get a variety all the time and try to buy something new that you never used before or often (ex: okra, eggplant, artichoke, gourds). For these specialty items, perhaps wait until they go on sale :)
I also recommend having basic items stocked in the fridge like potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic, lettuce/spinach/kale, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, lemon, broccoli/cauliflower (always have enough to make a salad). For fruits I always need banana, apple/pear and maybe grapes. If I am out of these, I definitely need groceries!

Grains- brown rice, quinoa, lentils, barley, buckwheat, beans, cracked wheat (bulgur)
Always have these grains in your pantry. They are handy if you don't have meat or protein at home. They also provide  nice way to thicken any dish.

Flavour- fresh herbs for savoury dishes, cinnamon and nutmeg for fruit compotes and garlic, onion, leeks, chives, mushrooms for umami!

Cooking meat:
Take your saucepan and roughly chop about 1 cup of meat. Add about half a cup of water, a quarter cup of onions (or other suggestion above), a tiny bit of salt and pepper and maybe some fresh herbs if you have any. Cover and let it boil at a medium heat until meat is soft and cooked all the way through.

Blend with your tool of choice. Add water or milk if needed. You may also add butter or cheese to thicken and smoothen.

Fill your containers and let cool before placing in the fridge/freezer.

Cooking fruits or vegetables:
Roughly chop any combination of vegetables or fruit, about 2 cups worth. Add about 1/2 cup of water and let boil at a medium heat. Don't over boil the vegetables/fruit, it's almost steaming them to ensure that you don't lose all the nutrients, but they are soft enough to blend.
You can add a tiny bit of salt and pepper, herbs or anything above that adds flavour (like onions, leeks…) to your vegetables and cinnamon/nutmeg to your fruits.

Blend with your tool of choice. Add more water or milk if needed. You may also add butter or cheese to thicken and smoothen.

Fill your containers and let cool before placing in the fridge/freezer.


The philosophy behind "Off Road Cooking" is getting used to being creative with what is in the fridge. We don't always have time to do groceries, but you should have enough basics in the fridge to make a healthy meal, even if it is a simple one. My "Off Road Cooking" posts are generally not planned but something I whipped up that day. Sometimes I get inspired by traditional dishes and I make them baby friendly (Thanksgiving meal or the Baby Borscht).

I hope I can encourage you to be more creative in the kitchen, not just for your baby but for you too!

Please share your comments below, I would love some feedback on my "Off Road Cooking" lifestyle :)

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