I just realized as I was about to hit publish on this post that I am posting an avocado dish the day AFTER cinco de mayo. Talk about a day late and a dollar short. Anyway… this pasta salad is something I discovered recently when I was trying to come up with a healthy “sauce” that I could send with Lucas to daycare that could be enjoyed while cold. This sauce is very toddler friendly, and healthy! I’ve added beans for protein, corn for sweetness, and tomatoes for tanginess. The avocado sauce provides a nice smooth flavor.
Oh how I love mac and cheese. It’s so creamy. I can talk myself into it being healthy (especially if I use whole wheat pasta!). But with the addition of spinach, I really do believe its a healthier version of a comfort food.
The best part about this mac and cheese though is that I don’t start with a roux. Generally, the recipes that I see for mac and cheese require you to mix flour and butter together first to create a roux. I find that this is difficult to do when there is a toddler standing at your feet trying to eat, because any distractions mean that the roux gets lumpy, and then it’s hard to get the mixture to incorporate into your sauce.
I really love quinoa, and would love to serve quinoa to Lucas, but unfortunately Lucas started getting frustrated with any food that he couldn’t eat by himself. And quinoa is one of the hardest foods for a toddler to eat alone. So I’ve been practicing with ways to bake quinoa into bites.
These quinoa bites are a vehicle for both quinoa and veggies. I’ve tried this recipe with a variety of veggies (onions, peppers, broccoli, zucchini, tomatoes). And it turns out well no matter what you sub in.
It’s so easy to make turkey meatballs. We generally make this as a whole family dinner, and then I pack leftovers for Lucas to take to school.
I would say this recipe takes about 20 minutes to prep, and then another 10 minutes to bake. The hardest part is sautéing the onion. And, while it’s optional, I recommend keeping this step in so that the meatballs have a richer flavor. The parsley, on the other hand, is even more optional. I think it adds a little something, but I’ve excluded it as many times as I’ve included.