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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    A Look Back.



Foodie Baby: One Year.

For the previous posts in this series, check out:

Now that Cullen is one, we are starting to wean and he is getting the bulk of his nutrition from food.  When he first started eating solids, I found it really overwhelming and confusing.  But with a little research and experimentation, meal times have become a lot of fun. 

Sometimes a little too much fun…

Now that Cullen is eating three meals a day, plus snacks – I thought I’d give an update on how things look at the one year mark.  Here’s how a typical day of eating, drinking, and nursing looks right now…

Breakfast

Cullen wakes up around 7am most mornings (this is a very new development).  After he wakes up, I change his diaper and nurse him in his room, and then we head downstairs for breakfast.

I try to give him a good variety of food, and not give him the same thing too many days in a row.  I always make sure to get him a balance of fruit, carbs, and fats for breakfast.  Here are some typical foods I choose from each morning:

  • whole banana or pear, sliced into discs or wedges
  • scrambled egg
  • piece of toast with almond butter or sunbutter (cut into strips)
  • several baby banana pancakes
  • sippy cup of fruit and veggie smoothie
  • Coconut milk yogurt (I get the plain, Greek variety)
  • homemade applesauce or diced kiwi

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Obviously he doesn’t get all of this every day.  I usually give him three things.  Here are some sample combos:

  • scrambled egg, toast with nutbutter, applesauce
  • coconut milk yogurt, banana pancakes, whole pear

When Casey packs up and gets ready for the day, he makes a full blender of smoothie for all of us to share.  He takes a bottle to work, and leaves the rest for me and Cullen in the fridge.  They are usually a blend of frozen berries, bananas, carrots, spinach, flax oil, and almond milk.  If Cullen is having smoothie, we leave out things like protein powder and stevia that we typically add to our “adult” smoothies. 

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He generally eats a BIG breakfast.  If he still seems hungry, I will keep feeding him.   He’s going into his busiest, more energetic time of the day, so I know he needs lots of fuel. 

Milk

Ahhhh the milk question.  So many of you have asked what we ended up deciding on this!  After much research and talking to our pediatrician, Casey and I decided we felt confident that we could meet Cullen’s nutritional needs without cow’s milk.

We are paying careful attention to the amount of fat he’s getting each day (as fat is the primary nutritional concern at this age).  We’re opting to give him unsweetened hemp milk as an alternative. 

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I usually offer a sippy cup of hemp milk several times a day – usually with meals or snacks.  On average, he probably has anywhere from 5-12 ounces a day, depending on his appetite.  I don’t want to overly rely on milk, so I try to get a good amount of fat into his diet in other ways.  He is also still breastfeeding twice a day (as of this week!).

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The only drawback to the hemp milk so far?  It’s expensive!  It comes in the unrefrigerated boxes, so I’ve been stocking up whenever there is a sale.  One thing is for sure – Cullen is definitely making his presence known in the grocery budget!

Edited to add:  Thanks to all of your comments and questions!  I KNEW there was more I wanted to say on this, so I’m popping back to answer a few questions about the milk.  We chose hemp milk because it is the most nutritionally complete, and similar to cow’s milk, of the non-dairy milks.  Yes, it totally makes us sound like hippies.  We’re okay with it. 

We aren’t making our own because the boxed milk is fortified with things like Vitamin D, calcium, and B12 – all things Cullen needs, particularly as a vegetarian.  Can’t have too much of that good stuff!  Ultimately, we hope to get most of his nutrition met through food, so we don’t have to rely heavily on any type of milk.   

Lunch

Lunch is usually the smallest meal of the day (for both of us!).  Due to his nap schedule, the middle of the day is generally when we’re out and about.  Whether it’s a playdate, mom’s group, or the one day a week Cullen plays at a friend’s house, I usually pack lunch on the go. 

Lunch is often a half an avocado, along with something like roasted sweet potatoes or Field Roast veggie dog.  Or sometimes I will make a sunbutter & jelly sandwich and cut it into cubes.  He is often too busy playing to eat much for lunch!  I have a few different sippy cups and packable plates that I take everywhere.  (I’ll write a separate post about feeding/eating supplies soon!)

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Snack

Cullen is not a big snacker.  I know there are babies that snack all day long, but he seems to like more formal meals.  We don’t usually do a morning snack unless we are at home (which is rare), so snacks are typically saved for the afternoon, after the nap and before dinner. 

Here are some of Cullen’s favorite snacks:

  • grapes (sliced in half)
  • roasted carrot sticks with hummus
  • clementines
  • more fruit/veggie smoothie
  • apple or pear slices
  • sharing a whole apple with mom

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Dinner

Dinner is another big meal –for all of us!  I usually survey the fridge and pantry around 5pm and start to think about what I’m going to feed Cullen that night.  Most nights, we don’t do a family dinner and all eat at the same time, simply because Casey gets home during Cullen’s dinner time, and I can’t get our meal prepped and cooked while I’m home alone.

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When I cook dinner for me and Casey, I usually cook in massive quantities.  I always set a few portions aside for Cullen to have the next day, so I already have something cooked and ready to go.  I also make a few big batches of things during the week – quinoa, lentils, applesauce, roasted veggies – so they are on hand for lunches and dinners. 

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Here are a few of Cullen’s favorite dinner combinations:

  • Roasted squash, green peas, and avocado cubes
  • Quinoa and lentils, roasted sweet potatoes, and cheesy kale
  • Whole roasted carrots, mixed frozen vegetables, and black beans
  • Tortilla with hummus, edamame, and veggie burger bites
  • Penne pasta, miso sauce, butter beans, and kiwi

Those are just a few samples.  I usually plan his meals based on what he ate during other meals that day.  If he had an avocado at lunch, I’ll find another good fat source for dinner.  Or if he had toast for breakfast, I won’t give him a sandwich for lunch.  I strive for balance, but I also try not to over-think it. 

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Some days he is hungry and easy going, and eats anything I put in front of him.  Others, he waves his hands all over the high chair and tosses all his food onto the ground.  But judging by his massive belly, I’m not too worried about him starving just yet.

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Throughout the course of the day, he eats a LOT of food.  I’m always amazed at how much he can pack into such a tiny body.  But now that we’re down to only two nursing sessions each day, I try to offer as much as it seems he wants.  If he’s not hungry, he won’t eat, so I don’t really worry about offering too much at this point.

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It’s funny to think back now about when Cullen could only grasp food in his fist, and he’d struggle to open his hand wide enough to get anything in to his mouth.  Most of his first foods were fruits, and meal times were much more about experimentation and new flavors than they were about nutrition or fuel. 

These days, he can walk around the room while eating a whole apple (skinned).  He shows distinct preferences to tastes and textures, and claps wildly when he wants more.  For each meal, I sit on a stool across from him and either eat my own meal or just talk to him and help with his spoon.  Meals are some of my favorite parts of our day.

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I feel like there is a lot more on this topic that I wanted to say, but I don’t want to get too long winded.  I’m planning to do a few more posts soon on meal prep, supplies, and bulk cooking for the week.  I’d love to hear and tips or favorite foods from other parent in the comments too!

And finally, Cullen showing off his new favorite snack – stealing an apple from mom!



Vegan Cranberry Crumble Bars.

When I was growing up, we had a tradition in my family that on your birthday, my mom would make your favorite meal.  For years and years, my meal of choice was flank steak, green beans, and baked potatoes.  Simple, but exactly what I wanted.  As I got older, I pushed the limits of this generous birthday offer.  I believe the final time we got our birthday dinner of choice was the year I announced that I wanted Thanksgiving.  And God love her, my mom totally did it.  Mashed potatoes, stuffing, veggies, turkey breast, and a big bowl of cranberry sauce. 

So this is my really long-winded way of telling you that I absolutely LOVE Thanksgiving.  Like can’t get enough, and there can never be too many leftovers.  I know some people tire of it after a few days, but I think I could eat it year round. 

In a perfect world, I would have posted this last Friday.  A what to do with leftover cranberry sauce after Thanksgiving type of recipe.  Although let’s be honest.  Is there ever leftover cranberry sauce?  We celebrated our holiday in Connecticut, so there are no leftovers at our house.  But there are, however, leftover fresh cranberries.  From sauces and recipes that were not made before we departed.

The cranberries stared at me for a few days before I thought of a good way to use them…

Vegan Cranberry Crumble Bars by Daily Garnish

I remade cranberry sauce, just like the sauce we made on Thanksgiving, and turned it into a delicious dessert.  Tart cranberry filling, sugary crumbly topping.  Vegan and even gluten-free (just use GF oats!).  These are a great treat to help kick off the holiday season!

Vegan Cranberry Crumble Bars

by Emily Malone

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (9 squares)

    For the Cranberry Sauce Filling
    • 1 12oz bag fresh cranberries (about 2 cups)
    • 1 cup orange juice
    • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
    For the Crumble
    • 1.5 cups rolled oats
    • 1.5 cups almond meal
    • 1/2 cup coconut oil
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

    Instructions

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, combine cranberries, orange juice, and maple syrup. Heat over medium-low heat, until sauce is bubbling and berries are bursting. Allow sauce to simmer for about ten minutes while it thickens. If you like your cranberry sauce on the sweeter side, add more maple syrup if needed. The crust and topping are pretty sweet, so I like the filling to be a bit more tart.

    Transfer to a small dish to cool (or if you are lazy like me, just put the whole sauce pan in the refrigerator. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.

    While the filling is cooling, make your crust and topping. Add all crumble ingredients to a food processor and pulse until it is all combined, and the oats are relatively ground.

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    Spread half the crumble mixture into the bottom of a greased baking pan (I used an 8×8 square). Press down with a spoon or spatula so that crust is packed down well.

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    Next spoon the cranberry sauce mixture over the crust, spreading evenly across the pan.

    Vegan Cranberry Crumble Bars by Daily Garnish

    Take the second half of the crumble mixture, and sprinkle evenly over the cranberries. Try to cover as much of the top as you can.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. The top should be golden brown, and the sauce should be bubbling! Allow the bars to cool completely before slicing. You have been warned. If you cut into it before it cools, the filling will still be runny, and the bars won’t hold together.

    Vegan Cranberry Crumble Bars by Daily Garnish

    You can cool on the counter, or even in the fridge. One it is cooled and set, slice into bars or squares. Enjoy!

    Vegan Cranberry Crumble Bars by Daily Garnish

    Casey and I have been devouring these at an alarming rate.  And as I type this, I am eyeing the pan across the room, doing my best to hold out for an after dinner dessert.  Although I know I will never make it that long.

    Vegan Cranberry Crumble Bars by Daily Garnish

    The oats and fruit make this feel healthy, even though it’s definitely still dessert.  Although I could see serving these on Christmas morning too – a sweet treat to enjoy for breakfast by the tree. 

    Vegan Cranberry Crumble Bars by Daily Garnish

    Our local grocery stores our overrun with extra Thanksgiving supplies, and cranberries are on super sale.  I’m going to grab a few bags and toss them in the freezer, so I can quickly throw this together next time I host mom’s group or have friends over.

    Vegan Cranberry Crumble Bars by Daily Garnish

    As always, enjoy!

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