9.09.2012

ethan's weekly eats

I skipped last week's Ethan's Weekly Eats because we all had colds last week, meaning lunches solely consisted of soup, toast and jam, more soup and some more soup. That's also the reason that Monday is missing from this post -- not because Ethan was still sick, as he was feeling much better. Just because I was feeling lazy, trying to navigate my way through motherhood with throbbing sinus pressure and a nose like a faucet. We went for toast and jam and soup on Monday, too.

I also put a tab on top of my blog to link back to all of my Ethan's Weekly Eats posts in case you need easy access to some healthy, fun toddler meals.

TUESDAY:

I was really excited about this Very Cheesy Caprese Sandwich and all in all it was a success, though there are some changes I'd make for the next time. (Also, my husband proudly took to Google to assure me that "Caprese" does not rhyme with "Cheesy" but it sounds way more fun that way, so there!) For this sandwich, I threw an organic roma tomato, a clove of garlic and some fresh basil leaves in a food processor to make a sauce-paste. I brushed that onto a half of a sandwich round and topped it with some pieces of fresh mozarella cheese. I threw the sandwich into the toaster until the bread was toasted and the mozarella was gooey and melted. I served this alongside some watermelon and blueberries, the latter of which Ethan can no longer eat for a couple of weeks as we're undergoing more elimination-allergy experiments. (This will be a rough couple of weeks. He LOVES blueberries.)

Anyway, if I had to do it again -- which I would, because this was otherwise a big hit with both my husband and Ethan -- I wouldn't food process the tomatoes and basil. I'd stick to thinly sliced pieces of roma tomato paired with the food processed basil leaves and garlic. Ethan loves tomatoes and I think he'd prefer the pieces of tomato to the paste.

WEDNESDAY:

Though not for much longer, Wednesdays are still our busy day. We are on the go like mad on Wednesdays so it's all about functionality and not so much presentation as far as lunch goes. Wednesday's lunch was an Avocado & Cheese Quesadilla on a corn tortilla. I simply scooped out an avocado and mashed it up with a fork until smooth. I spread avocado on top of two small corn tortillas. I sprinkled some organic cheddar cheese over the avocado on one of the tortillas and then pressed both together. I cooked the quesadilla in a small pan on the stove until the cheese was melted and then sliced up with a pizza cutter. I served this with some watermelon and a plum.

THURSDAY:

On Thursday morning we were asked to a splash park with some friends and gladly accepted. I got up early on Thursday morning to make Ethan's lunch as planned, a little worried about how well it'd stand up alongside being packed up and traveled with. Luckily, these little Eggplant Pizzas traveled great! These were probably the biggest hit of the week -- Ethan couldn't eat them fast enough. These were easy, fun and a definite repeat!

To make these, I sliced up an eggplant into some thin slices. I baked them at 250 degrees for 5 minutes per side to soften them. Once finished, I spread some sauce on top of the slices and added some organic mozzarella cheese. I'm sure you could also add a variety of other toppings to these little pizzas, too, if you wanted to get creative! I baked them at 250 degrees for 10 minutes and served them with some grapes and blueberries.

FRIDAY:

Friday Ethan had leftover Lemon Chicken Milanese & Arugula Salad, which was dinner the night before. I served the 1/2 chicken cutlet atop chopped organic arugula leaves. I served this with a plum and a piece of celery filled with hummus.

SATURDAY:

Saturday afternoon, we were all out at the mall enjoying some family time. Ethan had some falafel at Maoz Vegeterian Cafe. I figured I might as well still document his lunch despite the fact I didn't make it, though it did inspire me to figure out an easy make-at-home falafel recipe, preferably baked. You'll be seeing this one pop up next week, I'm hoping.

SUNDAY:

Today's lunch was not attractive in the least, but it was delicious and Ethan loved it. These Vegetarian Zucchini Boats were actually vegan today as I made them with vegan cheese (again with the whole elimination-allergy experimentation, kill me now!). Instead of using ground meats like with most of the zucchini boat recipes I found, I made these with organic black beans. They're super easy, super quick to prepare and super tasty, too. (My husband happily finished Ethan's leftovers in two bites!)

To make these, you pop a zucchini in the microwave or the oven until it's softened (3-ish minutes). In the mean time, throw in about half a can of black beans, a handful of shredded cheese (I used vegan cheddar-style cheese), some minced garlic, onion powder, chili pepper and black pepper into a small bowl and combine. Once the zucchini is softened, slice it length-wise and scoop out (I used a tablespoon measuring spoon) the insides of the zucchini, tossing them into the mixing bowl. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and fill the zucchini shells with the black bean and zucchini mixture. Bake for 15-20 minutes and there you have it! I paired these zucchini boats with some grapes, which is all Ethan gave me time to prepare because he was starving. And sleepy.

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