When you are a mom on the move and your child is too, you need meals that are fast, easy to prepare and that appeal to everyone in the family. These five recipes from The Ultimate New Mom’s Cookbook are sure to make your life a little easier and tastier too.
Banana Zucchini Bread
MAKES 1 LOAF
This is a toddler favorite with the bonus of added vegetables and oats. Perfect for fast breakfasts, homemade snacks and meals on the move
- 6 tbsp (85 g) butter
- ½ cup (100 g) brown sugar, packed
- 1 egg
- 1½ cups (345 g) mashed bananas (3 ripe bananas)
- 1 cup (175 g) grated zucchini (about 1 small zucchini)
- 1¼ cups (156 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (45 g) oats
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease a 5 × 9-inch (12.7 × 23-cm) loaf pan.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric beater. Next, add the egg and mix well. Mix in the banana and zucchini.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, oats, baking soda and salt to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, stirring until just mixed.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake in the center of the oven for about 60 minutes. Test with a wooden toothpick or skewer; once it comes out clean your bread is ready. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan to finish cooling on a wire rack.
Note: This bread lasts about two days out on the counter under plastic wrap or in a sealed plastic container and up to a week refrigerated. Be sure to cool completely before storing. In hot weather, watch it more diligently and keep in a cool, dry place.
Cloudy Day Meatballs
MAKES ABOUT 32 MEATBALLS
These are so ridiculously moist and tasty. They’re great for serving to a baby who is on to finger foods and so adaptable for a family that doesn’t like leftovers because the variations once cooked are endless.
- 1 (1.3-lb [590-g]) package ground turkey meat
- 1 egg
- ½ cup (54 g) dry bread crumbs
- ½ tsp freshly cracked pepper
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup (15 g) finely chopped fresh parsley
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, for frying
- 3 cups (709 ml) tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp (23 g) grated Parmesan cheese
- 4 oz (56 g) fresh mozzarella cheese
- French bread, optional for dipping
- Potato buns, for meatball sliders
- Submarine sandwich roll, for meatball sub sandwiches
- Spaghetti, cooked according to package instructions, for spaghetti and meatballs
In a large bowl, mix the turkey, egg, bread crumbs, pepper, salt, parsley and garlic powder. Stir well until all the ingredients have mixed, then form into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball. Place the balls on a plate to the side.
Add olive oil to coat the bottom of a large frying pan. Warm the oil on medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then add your meatballs. (If your pan is small, work in batches to avoid overcrowding.) Cook the meatballs for about 2 minutes on the first side. I like to take the pan handle and shift it back and forth to roll the meatballs to cook other sides, but I still use a wooden spatula to turn any wayward meatballs to the undercooked sides. Do not despair when your meatballs are no longer perfectly round—they will still taste delicious! Your total cook time will be around 5 to 6 minutes per batch. Cook until the meatballs have two sides that are golden brown and are mostly browned on the edges. Remove to a clean plate when done with the first batch and repeat as needed.
Once all balls are cooked, return all the meatballs to the frying pan and cover with tomato sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, then cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.
TO MAKE SKILLET MEATBALLS WITH FRENCH BREAD:
Top with Parmesan and mozzarella, and cover with a lid until the cheese melts. Alternately, if you don’t have a lid, cover with a baking sheet to trap the steam. Serve family style with fresh French bread for dipping.
TO MAKE MEATBALL SLIDERS:
Serve meatballs on warmed potato buns. Cheese is optional but certainly welcome.
TO MAKE A MEATBALL SUB:
Warm a sliced sub roll topped with slices of mozzarella cheese in the oven until the cheese melts, then top with meatballs and serve with extra warmed tomato sauce for dipping.
TO MAKE SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS:
Boil your favorite noodles according to package instructions. (Spaghetti is one option but for little ones ditalini is nice because you don’t have to chop it.) I often cook the pasta an extra 2 minutes for my little one because he likes softer noodles. Dress your noodles with sauce, then cover with meatballs and a little Parmesan cheese or freshly grated mozzarella.
Grab-and-Go Green Pasta Salad
SERVES 8 TO 10
This pasta salad tastes just as good hot or cold. Its versatility makes it an ideal grab-and-go option and its softened and flavorful components are perfect for tots experimenting with finger foods.
- 4 cups (284 g) frozen broccoli florets
- 6 oz (170 g) green beans, stems removed and sliced in half
- 1 cup (145 g) frozen sweet peas
- 1 lb (454 g) rotini pasta, cooked according to package instructions
- 1 cup (252 g) store-bought pesto
In a large pot, bring 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water to a boil (you don’t want the water to reach above the bottom of your steamer basket).
Add your broccoli and steam, covered in the basket, for about 2 minutes until tender. Remove to a colander and shock with cold water if you want to preserve the color. Add the green beans to the steamer basket and cook for about 2 minutes until tender but still crunchy. Remove to the colander and shock with cold water.
Steam the peas until they’re no longer frozen, about 2 minutes. Remove to the colander and shock with cold water.
Mix the pasta and pesto, then add the steamed vegetables. Stir to combine. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for later.
Mommy and Me Green Smoothies
MAKES 5 CUPS (1 L)
Everyone needs a good recipe for a green drink. My goal was to find one that my husband and son would enjoy as much as I do. This is our morning “go” juice.
- 2 cups (60 g) spinach, washed thoroughly
- ½ cup (52 g) roughly chopped English or Persian cucumber
- 1 cup (60 g) parsley
- 1 cup (165 g) diced yellow mango (1 yellow mango)
- 2 frozen bananas
- 2 cups (473 ml) almond milk, unsweetened
- 2 tbsp (23 g) peanut butter
- In a strong blender, blend the spinach, cucumber, parsley, mango, bananas, almond milk and peanut butter together.
Note: Make 3 portions of the spinach, cucumber, parsley, mango, banana and peanut butter and freeze in 3 (1-gallon [4-L]) plastic resealable bags. This way you save yourself time in the morning. All you have to do is remove a bag from the freezer and blend it with almond milk. The frozen ingredients make a thicker smoothie, which travels well, especially in the hotter months. You also can thin the smoothie by adding extra almond milk until you reach your desired thickness.
Small Bites Mini Quiche
These mini quiches are wonderful because they are so easy to pop in your mouth as you run around trying to get out the door in the morning. If you have a toddler around, mini quiches are also great meals for them and a genius way to get them to eat vegetables.
- Cooking spray
- 6 eggs
- ¾ cup (178 ml) half-and-half
- Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ cup (25 g) thinly sliced scallions (2 scallions)
- ¼ cup (37 g) finely diced red pepper
- ¼ cup (16 g) finely chopped cooked bacon (2 slices)
- ¾ cup (91 g) grated cheddar cheese
- 2 tbsp (23 g) grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
Spray two nonstick mini muffin tins with a heavy coating of cooking spray. In a medium bowl (it helps if you use one with a spout), whisk the eggs and half-and-half, and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Divide your scallions, red pepper, bacon and cheddar evenly among your muffin tins. Pour your eggs on top of the filling, dividing the egg mixture evenly.
Bake for 10 minutes then top with the Parmesan and spray lightly with cooking spray once more. Broil on high for 2 to 4 minutes, checking every minute to prevent burning, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the tops are golden and bubbly. These quiches will puff up like a soufflé and then deflate, but that is OK. They will taste good regardless of their height.
Allow to cool for 3 minutes, then remove with a spatula or fork, drawing it around the edges and popping out the quiches. It is OK if some egg mixture sticks to the tins; it doesn’t have to be perfect. If you are freezing them, pop the quiches in a resealable plastic bag once cool, and place them in the freezer. To reheat, set your oven to 350°F (190°C) and bake until warm through, about 10 minutes.
Written by Aurora Satler for Working Mother and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.