lunchtime

Crock Pot Garden Fresh Tomato Spinach Soup

This recipe is not really toddler approved, it only gets 1 out of four toddler thumbs up, and no puppy paws up.

It is, however, Momma approved.  It is that perfect little something extra to go with the endless cycle of grilled cheese sandwiches we seem to be going through and, as an added bonus, a good way to use up the last of last years tomato harvest that is in our deep freezer.

The ingredients are:
6 cups of tomatoes, you can use canned diced in juice, do not drain them… I prefer fresh (or in this case, frozen fresh)
3 cups of chicken broth
1 package of fresh baby spinach
1 large onion sliced
1/2 tsp of cloves
1/2 tsp of adobo
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour

Throw everything into a 5 quart crock pot except the butter and flour. Cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours. I have let this go on low for up to ten hours before without a problem. Allow soup to cool. While soup is cooking melt the butter in a small sauce pan on the stove. Add the flour, one tbsp at a time, whisking until smooth and thick. Add the butter mixture to the soup and then using an immersion blender purée the soup leaving some small chunks if you prefer.
This is the perfect soup for dipping a grilled cheese sandwich into… a sort of tomato florentine purée.  Occasionally Liam like it when I dip one of his grilled cheese strips into my soup too, so he can try it, but he does not like it by the spoonful yet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lentils and Turkey

Today I got up, we had our usual oatmeal breakfast (Liam and I are stuck in a rut with breakfasts) and I stared discontentedly at the remaining leftovers from the birthday bash this last weekend. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat or serve another sandwich. So we got creative today at lunch and this is what the result was.

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A Lentil and (deli) Turkey sautee

The ingredients are:
1/2 cup of sorted and rinsed lentils
1 1/4 cups of low salt chicken broth
3 slices of deli turkey, shredded or cut up really small
1/2 cup of diced carrots (we use baby carrots leftover from the veggie platter)
1/4 cup of diced tomatoes (we used cherry tomatoes leftover from the veggie platter)
1/4 tsp of black pepper
1/2 tsp of garlic powder

Put all ingredients in a large pan with a lid, bring to a boil, cover and then simmer for 30-40 minutes until all liquid is reduced.
Drizzle a small amount of balsamic based salad dressing on top when done.

The result was delicious. Both Liam and I enjoyed it… Though I was far less messy with my eating 😉
This made approximately two mom sized servings and two toddler sized servings.

This meal received 3 of 4 toddler thumbs up (leftovers did not go over well, but they liked it when it was fresh), 2 of 4 parent thumbs up (the hubs refused to try it), and 12 of 12 puppy paws up.

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Thankfully the doggie cleanup crew was on duty.

Grilled Ham, Spinach, and Cheese

After yesterday’s big event we have a ton or leftovers that need to be consumed; mostly deli meats and cheeses. So today I went back to an old staple for lunch, grilled ham, spinach, and cheese with a deconstructed salad (every meal sounds fancy if you put the word deconstructed in).

I use organic white bread and actually slice the slice half width wise so instead of it being 1 cm thick he has thin bread to munch on. I find this makes it easier for him to chew and since we only make a half a grilled cheese for him it leaves me one half a slice of bread to screw up cutting before I get it right 🙂

He gets one piece of cheese split in half, today it was cheddar (his favorite). We layer on two baby spinach leaves without the stems, and 1/4 of a slice of deli ham (it’s a high salt meat so he doesn’t get much). We do not butter the bread but do apply a one second squirt of aerosolized olive oil or vegetable oil to the pan. Fats are important for brain development but I prefer these types of fats for my little guy, and it makes the sandwich less greasy and easier for him to handle. We layer the sandwich like this: bread, 1/2 slice of cheese, spinach, ham, 1/2 slice of cheese and then grill away.

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Today’s deconstructed salad is cherry tomatoes, cucumber, celery, and carrots.

Liam never fails to eat the sandwich while somehow managing to slide the spinach out and discard it… Someday I will convince him he likes spinach. At least he enjoys the cut up raw veggies 🙂

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I suppose tomorrow is where we will have to start really getting creative with the leftovers. Tonight is a Daddy feeding night because Momma has to work.