Zucchini Bread Baby Food Recipe

Homemade Organic Zucchini Bread Baby Food Puree Recipe | via The Crispy Mama

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission for items purchased through my blog, at no cost to you. All items advertised are items that I actually use and all opinions are 100% my own!

Over the past week, I’ve been trying to find fun new ways to introduce some of the vegetables into Liam’s baby food that he had already tried, but didn’t particularly care for. One of those vegetables was zucchini. The first time he had it, he made a sour face the whole time he was eating (but he kept eating it, little trooper… ha!). To be honest, I feel him. Plain zucchini, steamed with absolutely no seasoning? Blah. Don’t get me wrong, I love some good stir fried, crispy baked, or “zoodleized” zucchini, but soggy plain stuff, pureed into oblivion? No thanks. Since bananas are one of his favorite foods of all time (again, I feel him), I mixed some in with his zucchini, and threw in a little bit of baby oatmeal for good measure and good naps. I added a pinch of cinnamon to keep things interesting, tasted it, and I swear I had a slice of homemade Zucchini Bread in my mouth.

I stripped Liam down (ain’t nobody got time for laundry), strapped him up in his highchair, and we gave it a try. He tore it up. That hungry little guy ate about a half a cup of the stuff, which is easily three times as much as he normally eats. He also took a three hour nap afterwards (shout out, oatmeal!). You can read how to make your own baby oatmeal in this post.

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp baby oatmeal
  • 3 tsp water
  • pinch cinnamon

Method

Cut ends off zucchini and steam or boil until soft. Cut banana into chunks and add to blender. Add cooked zucchini and a little bit of water (or cooking water). Add a small pinch of cinnamon (less is more!) and blend until smooth. In a microwave safe container, stir together baby oatmeal and water. Microwave about 30 seconds. Combine with as much zucchini-banana-cinnamon puree as desired. Stir well. Test temperature on your wrist or lip before serving.

Does your baby say yay or nay to zucchini? What about Zucchini Bread Baby Food? Share in the comments.

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama


Carrot Cake Oatmeal Baby Food Recipe

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Homemade Organic Carrot Cake Oatmeal Baby Food Puree Recipe | via The Crispy Mama

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission for items purchased through my blog, at no cost to you. All items advertised are items that I actually use and all opinions are 100% my own!

Confession. I am one of those weird people who really doesn’t like cake at all. At weddings, I’m more interested in the buffet than the cake table.I usually have a “birthday pie” instead of a standard birthday cake because I feel that strongly about it. To me, cake is just way too sweet and doesn’t have any real flavor other than pure white sugar. One of the few exceptions to my anti-cake rule is Carrot Cake. It’s delicious, with spicy flavors and just a hint of sweetness. It usually has cream cheese icing, which is far superior to that nasty bright colored stuff that just tastes like sugar and chemicals. If I must subject myself to having a birthday cake, Carrot Cake is usually the winner.

When I make Liam’s baby food, it’s really important to me that it tastes good (and I mean actually good, not just “ehh it’s better than that nasty stuff in the jars” good). We tried carrots on their own and he wasn’t much of a fan. I feel you, buddy. Plain steamed carrots with nothing on them are decidedly not the bomb. I don’t plan to introduce added salt or sugar to him until his first birthday when he can have some (Carrot, obviously) cake. Since he adores bananas, I decided to mix the carrot puree that I had already made with some banana mash and see if he liked that more. It was a hit. Apparently, my kid is going to live on “fill in the blank” mixed with bananas for the rest of his life. I guess there could be worse things. 

Last week, we gave him his first oatmeal. I had mentioned before that we were holding off on grains until he had tried a variety of fruits and vegetables. With bananas, apples, carrots, zucchini, green beans, blueberries, spinach, and kale under our belt, I decided that it would be okay to introduce some oatmeal mixed in with these things. Long story short, he took the longest nap of his life after that meal. #foodcoma. So I tried to come up with some other ways to make oatmeal that would be both good and good for him. I looked at my freezer baby food inventory and came across the bananas and carrots that I had mentioned earlier. I decided to defrost one of those, mix it in with his oatmeal and a a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. I tried it and it was so good I wanted to make a bowl for myself. It seriously tastes just like carrot cake without icing (which is how all cake should be served because in my humble opinion, icing is gross). I plopped his little butt down in his highchair and gave him some and it was the biggest hit since applesauce (which was the biggest hit since Titanic). He ate most of the bowl that I made, which is about twice as much as he normally eats. We’ll definitely be putting this one into the rotation. You can read how to make the carrot-banana puree (along with several other Stage 1 purees) here. You can find out how to make your own Baby Oatmeal here, along with another oatmeal recipe for baby, and a smoothie recipe for mom here.

Note: I took Liam’s shirt off before giving him his first oatmeal. This meant less clean up for me, and that I could keep a close eye out for a possible reaction. For some people, hives show up first on the torso area, so it’s a good idea to look out for that.

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama


Multi-Tasking Meal: Banana Cinnamon Baby Oatmeal and Bananas Foster Mom Smoothie

Muti-Tasking Meal Banana Bread Baby Oatmeal & Bananas Foster Smoothie Recipe | via The Crispy Mama

Mornings with a little one are nothing short of hectic…ever. Wake up, eat, get dressed, get baby dressed, get barfed on, get dressed again, put baby’s shoes on, put baby’s shoes on again, and again, ohmygosh keep your damn shoes on, it’s been four hours, everyone is hungry again, baby is crying, you’re crying, someone help. Any way to streamline my morning routine is always very welcome. One simple way to do that is to whip up Mama and baby’s breakfast at the same time.

Smoothies make a great Mama breakfast. They’re quick to make, can be nutritious with the right ingredients, and are easy to take with you on the go. One of my all time favorite breakfast foods are Banana Nut Muffins. They are by far the king of the Muffin World. While those bad boys are delicious, they aren’t usually the most nutritious thing on the menu, especially the incredible ones at Starbucks or in the grocery store bakery. This smoothie recipe is almost as good as a muffin, with no added sugar, butter, or whatever else they put in those muffins to make them taste so damn good.

Note that these recipes contain bananas and oats, which some people may have a bad reaction to. If your little one hasn’t had bananas or oats yet, you’ll want to introduce them separately before trying them together. I always take Liam’s clothes off and leave him in just his diaper when trying new foods. Less clean up for me, and I can keep a close eye out for any reaction (ex. hives) that he may have to the food.

To make my own Baby Oatmeal, I get organic rolled oats, throw them in the blender, and pulse until it turns to a fine powder. Done. Piece of cake and cheaper than the pre-made stuff. Bananas are one of Liam’s favorites and he’ll eat pretty much anything mixed with them (seriously, he would probably eat Sweaty Gym Sock Banana Mash, no questions asked). He tends to have some tummy issues, so I worried that oats may be irritating, but they actually helped to get things moving through his digestive system. Anything that keeps his digestive system moving and doesn’t get spit back at me when I try to feed it to him is a hit in our book, and this recipe fits that bill.

Banana Cinnamon Baby Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 banana
  • pinch cinnamon (less is more for sensitive little taste buds!)
  • 1 tbsp baby oatmeal (see above to make this yourself)
  • 2-3 tbsp water

Method

Add baby oatmeal powder to water and stir well. Pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to thicken. Add to blender with banana and cinnamon and pulse until smooth. Check temperature on your wrist or lip before giving to baby.

Bananas Foster Smoothie

Ingredients

  • any leftover baby food
  • remaining 1/2 of banana
  • 1 cup soy, coconut, or almond milk
  • 3-4 pitted dates
  • 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Method

Blend it up, pour it in a cup, and try to chug it before your kid starts crying.

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission for items purchased through my blog, at no cost to you. All items advertised are items that I actually use and all opinions are 100% my own!


Muti-Tasking Meal Banana Bread Baby Oatmeal & Bananas Foster Smoothie Recipe | via The Crispy Mama

How do you streamline your morning routine? Do you have a go-to on the go breakfast? Share in the comments!

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

Three Baby Food Recipes Featuring Apples

This week Liam ate his first apple sauce and to say he loved it would be an understatement. He ate and ate and ate until I wouldn’t give him any more (and he was pretty grumpy about getting cut off). Since he struggles with some tummy troubles, I thought that the fiber in apples would be great for him and since he liked them so much, this would be a chance to give some other flavors a try too. I checked out the refrigerator inventory and came up with these combinations. I tried each of them and I would willingly eat all of them (I won’t give him anything that I wouldn’t want to eat). I try to introduce Liam to a really wide variety of flavors while he’s still young in hopes that he won’t be a picky eater (I’ll get back to you on if it works or not, fingers crossed though!).

Apple Ginger Cinnamon Nutmeg- 2 peeled apples (I used one Granny Smith and one Fuji), 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, pinch cinnamon, pinch nutmeg. Throw it all in the blender and add a little water if it’s too thick. This one tastes like apple pie. The ginger is good for little tummies.

Apple Banana Cinnamon Rosemary- 1 apple, 1/2 banana, pinch cinnamon, pinch fresh rosemary leaves. I blend the bananas first, then add apples, cinnamon, rosemary leaves, and a little water if it’s too thick and blend again.  Bananas are another one of his favorites. I hated rosemary as a kid but I love it now, so I’m hoping he’ll like it. We have fresh rosemary in our garden so I cook with it a lot.

Apple Blueberry Spinach Kale- 1 apple, 1/2 cup blueberries, 3 cups spinach and baby kale. I steamed the blueberries and greens together in the microwave (just throw it all in a bowl with a splash of water and microwave for about 2 minutes) to make them a little tastier and a little easier on the tummy. This is basically a baby green smoothie. Apples and blueberries are both such strong flavors, I’m pretty confident that he won’t even be able to taste the greens. Mom-Win.

TIP: I steamed all of the peeled apples together (2 Granny Smith and 2 Fuji) and blended them into apple sauce first.

So far he has tried the Apple Ginger Cinnamon Nutmeg and he looooved it! We’ll update after he has tried the rest of them! Do you have another way that you like to prepare apples for your baby? Share in the comments!

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission for items purchased through my blog, at no cost to you. All items advertised are items that I actually use and all opinions are 100% my own!


You May Also Like One Month Of Stage 1 Baby Food (In 20 Minutes, For $10!)

Mom Hack: The Leftover Baby Food Smoothie

Us Mamas pretty much live on a diet of cold coffee and our kid’s leftovers. Incredibly appetizing, right? When I make Liam’s baby food, I always taste it first. Today, as I was whipping up his Avocado-Banana-Cinnamon mash, I took a bite and thought, “Damn, this stuff is pretty good.” As usual, he ate about 1/3 of it before he was over it and ready to get out of his chair and go play. Since avocados and bananas don’t keep particularly well (especially organic bananas, I swear they turn brown in 15 seconds), I either had to eat the leftovers or throw them away. I decided to throw the leftover mash, the remaining half of the avocado, what was left of the banana, some ice cubes, chia seeds, soy milk and some more cinnamon into the blender and this super fresh tasting Mom Hack Smoothie was born. You get a dose or healthy fats from avocado to help keep you full, protein and antioxidants from chia seeds, calcium from soy milk, and potassium from bananas. Plus its way easier to drink a smoothie one handed while holding a baby than it is to eat something. If soy isn’t your thing, you could easily sub almond or coconut milk (I think coconut would be amazing in this). You could also add some greens like spinach or kale for an extra serving of veggies.


Ingredients:

  • Leftover Avocado-Banana-Cinnamon baby food (yum)
  • Remaining half of avocado
  • Remaining half of banana
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Throw it all in the blender and call it lunch.

Do you have any other creative ways to use your kid’s leftovers? Share in the comments!

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission for items purchased through my blog, at no cost to you. All items advertised are items that I actually use and all opinions are 100% my own!

 

One Month Of Stage 1 Baby Food (In 20 Minutes For $10)!

As mentioned before I make all of Liam’s baby food. It’s less expensive, I know exactly what is going in it (no weird preservatives or artificial colors), I know exactly when it was made (no icky mold filled food pouches here!), and most importantly, it’s so quick and easy. I can get a whole month’s worth of food made during one nap time and still have time left over to have a very large cup of coffee while I browse Pinterest (did I say that? I meant do dishes and laundry…)! When you should start your baby on solids or purees is really up for debate these days. Some pediatricians say 4 months, some say 6, some parents insist that Baby Led Weaning is the way to go. For me, BLW wasn’t an option for us. The choking hazard is too much of a risk for me and I would be a nervous wreck the whole time. You should absolutely do your own research and consult your own pediatrician before starting your baby on food, but there are a few signs that you can look out for to determine if your little one might be ready to start trying some food.

  1. Is your baby at least 4 months old? Before 4 months, their little digestive systems just aren’t ready to handle anything other than breastmilk or formula.
  2. Can your baby hold their head up well? For obvious  reasons, you won’t want your kiddo’s head flopping over while they have a spoon in their mouth.
  3. Can your baby sit up well, with or without some support? If not, they’re not ready yet.
  4. Does your baby show interest in food? When eating in front of your baby, do they reach for your food or open their mouth? These are good signs.
  5. Does your baby seem less satisfied with their normal amount of formula or breastmilk?
  6. Does your baby immediately spit out food that is put in their mouth?  If so, they may not be quite ready yet. This is a reflex that will go away with time.

If you answered yes to all or most of these, it might be time to give some simple purees a try! In the beginning you should introduce your babe to one food at a time, leaving about 3-5 days in between new foods. This way, if your babe does end up being allergic or sensitive to something, you can pinpoint exactly what it is. You should keep a close eye on your little one for about an hour after trying a new food to make sure they aren’t showing any signs of a bad reaction. Signs to look out for include hives, difficulty breathing, extreme fussiness, or blood in stools. Once you have introduced two foods and your kiddo shows no signs of a bad reaction, you can try combining these foods. For example, we gave Liam carrots first, then bananas, then carrots and bananas together. Before one year of age, most of your babe’s nutrition should still be coming from breastmilk or formula, so try to keep food fun and stress free. For now, all you’re really doing is getting babe used to new flavors and textures. If a spoon is intimidating to your kiddo, you can try letting them eat with their hands (warning, this WILL be messy) or putting some food on your finger and letting them lick it off.

I’m lucky that my favorite grocery store right down the road from us has a great selection of organic and local produce for much better prices than Whole Foods (more like Whole Paycheck, right?!). I try to buy organic as often as possible, but if the store happens to be out of organic bananas this week, I buy the regular ones and I don’t lose sleep over it. I use these little containers for freezer storage and label the lids with some tape so I don’t have to worry about pulling one out and wondering “WTF is this?” I highly suggest introducing vegetables first, then fruits, then grains. The idea is that if they are given something super sweet (like fruit) or super “carby” (like rice cereal) first, they won’t like the more bitter flavor of vegetables. Grains can also lead to constipation in infants, which is no fun for anyone. Some doctors have differing opinions on when allergy prone foods should be introduced. Our’s suggested waiting until one year, so that’s our plan.  These foods include raw strawberries, citrus, peanut butter, shellfish, and eggs. Other foods that should be avoided before one year include honey, animal milk, and any fish high in mercury.

What You’ll Need: 

    • Blender (I have this one and it’s amazing)
    • Baby food containers 
    • 3 medium/large pots (you can use just one, it will just take longer)
    • Cutting board and knife
    • Vegetable peeler
    • Masking tape/labels
    • Pen or marker

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission for items purchased through my blog, at no cost to you. All items advertised are items that I actually use and all opinions are 100% my own!

 

Get Started:

Put three pots of water on to boil. Wash and dry all produce.  Peel carrots and cut into about 3 inch pieces and add to one pot. Cut ends off zucchini and cut into about 3 inch pieces and add to another pot. I bought already trimmed green beans, but if you did not, trim them now and add to the last pot. Boil all three pots for about 10 minutes until vegetables are very soft. Save the cooking water. In the meantime, peel two bananas and add to blender with a couple tablespoons of water or breastmilk. Blend until very smooth. Fill containers with banana puree, label, and set aside. If you only have one blender container, clean it out now. Add carrots with a few tablespoons of cooking water or breastmilk and blend until very smooth. Fill containers with carrot puree, label, and set aside. Fill blender half way with more carrots, cooking water or breastmilk, and one peeled banana. Blend until very smooth. Fill containers, label, and set aside. Wash out blender again. Add zucchini, some cooking water or breastmilk, and blend until very smooth. Fill containers, label, and set aside. Fill blender half way with more zucchini, add carrots, cooking water or breastmilk, and blend until very smooth. Fill containers, label, and set aside. Wash out blender and fill half way with zucchini and cooking water or breastmilk, and add one peeled banana and blend until very smooth. Fill containers, label, set aside. Wash out blender one last time (almost done!) and add green beans and some cooking water. Blend until very smooth, fill containers, label, set aside. Place all labeled containers in the freezer, wash that damn blender one last time, and you’re done!

TIPS: 

  • A bullet style blender really comes in handy here. They usually include more than one cup which eliminates some of the blender washing.
  • Cut pieces of tape or labels ahead of time. I just labeled mine with letters since the containers are so small (C for carrots, CB for carrots and bananas, you get it.)
  • Blend until super super smooth for the first month or two since baby isn’t used to chunky textures yet.
  • You can choose what order to introduce these foods in, but we did carrots first, then bananas, then carrots and bananas, then zucchini, zucchini and bananas, zucchini and carrots, then green beans. We also introduced a little bit of cinnamon this month and added it to the bananas and the bananas and carrots.
  • Remove one container of food from the freezer the night before and put it in the refrigerator to thaw. Use it within two days of thawing. Food that has not been frozen should be kept in the refrigerator and should be used within four days.
  • Take a few spoonfuls of food from thawed containers and put into a smaller microwave safe bowl. (You don’t want to serve directly out of the storage container unless baby will be eating all of it. This is just to prevent excessive bacteria growth in the food). Microwave for about 30 seconds and stir really really well. Test the temperature on your bottom lip or the inside of your wrist before serving.
  • Keep spoonfuls really small. Babes can’t handle too much in their mouths yet and are likely to spit most of it back out anyways.
  • Consider just undressing baby for feeding. They WILL get food everywhere. Less laundry for you!
  • If baby seems frustrated, aggravated, or upset while eating, stop and try again tomorrow. You want eating to be fun, not stressful. You don’t want baby to create a negative association with food.
  • Give baby a bottle or breastfeed FIRST! Like I mentioned before, most of your baby’s nutrition will still be coming from breastmilk or formula until one year. Give baby about half as much formula or breastmilk as they usually take before offering food. After food, if baby is acting like they are still hungry, offer another half of a bottle or the breast again.
  • If baby doesn’t seem to like a certain food, try it once or twice and then move on. You can introduce this food again later either alone, or combined with another food that they do like.
  • Not wild about these first food options? These are some other great first foods for baby:

Check back next month for another round of baby food recipes! Has your little one started solids? What was their favorite food so far? Share in the comments!

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

You May Also Like: Three Baby Food Recipes Featuring Apples


Bacon-Wrapped Boudin-Stuffed Dates with Sriracha

Yet another one of those “I have these three things in my pantry and refrigerator… What on Earth can I do with them?” recipe. The prep for this this comes together in about 5 minutes (seriously) and then you jut pop it in the oven and in approximately no time flat, you have an impressive looking and tasting appetizer. For those not from the south, boudin is rice and meat and goodness and love all wrapped up in a casing like sausage. This was such a hit that even my super picky friend who pretty much lives off of hot dogs and had no idea what a date even was went back for more. It combines smoky, sweet, and spicy in the absolutely best way.

Ingredients:

  • 4 strips lower sodium bacon
  • 8 dates
  • about 1/4 lb boudin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • Sriracha sauce

Method:

Preheat oven to 400. Cut bacon strips in half. Slice dates almost all the way through and place one at the end of each piece of bacon. Microwave boudin until steaming hot (about 2 minutes) and remove from casing. Stuff each date with about 1 Tbsp of boudin and roll up in bacon. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and cook at 400 for approximately 30 minutes (checking often, these little things can burn quickly). Remove from oven and place on a paper towel to drain grease. Once drained, place on a serving dish and drizzle with Sriracha sauce.

Did you try this recipe? What did you think? Share in the comments.

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission for items purchased through my blog, at no cost to you. All items advertised are items that I actually use and all opinions are 100% my own!

Rustic Potato Soup with Crispy Pancetta, Caramelized Onions, and Rosemary


Most inventions comes from needing something that doesn’t exist. This recipe is actually the opposite. Do you ever look in your fridge and have a bunch of odds and ends that are about to go bad but you don’t know what to do with them? Yeah… Me too… Like always. Most of these ingredients are leftovers from last week’s HelloFresh box (they send you more than you need of some ingredients). So, the need to use up these ingredients, paired with my love of spoon foods, is where this soup came from. The best part is, it comes together in about 15 minutes. Perfect for while the kiddo is napping.

Ingredients

  • 2 small russet potatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (I used 2%)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 pancetta, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt/pepper

Method

Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Cut onion in half. Dice one half and thinly slice other half. Add diced onion to olive oil and sauté until slightly browned. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Dice potatoes and add to pot. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and cover. Add more olive oil to a small skillet and heat over medium heat. Add sliced onions and brown sugar. Sauté until slightly browned. Add diced pancetta and cook over medium heat until pancetta is crispy and onions are caramelized. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use a masher or the end of a wooden spoon to slightly mash potatoes. Remove from heat and add milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine. Portion into bowls and top with caramelized onions and pancetta and chopped rosemary.

HelloFresh: The Good, The Bad, And The Umami

This week, we got our first HelloFresh box. These food boxes seem to be a big trend lately, and because going to the grocery store with an infant is a very large pain in my ass, we decided to give it a try. I found a Groupon to get my first box for $30, plus I had a $10 off Groupon code, so I ended up getting my first box for $20. The box includes 3 meals per week, for 2 people (they also offer a family option with enough for four people, and a vegetarian option). That works out to only about $3.33 per person, per meal. That is such a good deal considering that I rarely, if ever, get out of the grocery store without spending $50 (sometimes just for one meal). I downloaded the app, chose our meals, and excitedly waited for delivery. After making and eating all of the meals from our first box, I’ve found that the whole system has some pros and cons. Trying to decide if HelloFresh is right for you? This should help.
Pro: The Meals Were DELICIOUS

Our box included Penne with a Kick in Pancetta-Tomato Arrabbiata Sauce, Lean Mean Chicken and Greens with Rosemary Potatoes and Gremolata, and Meatloaf Balsamico with Mashed Sweet Potato and Green Beans. Each meal was actually really good, and according to MyFitnessPal, fairly healthy. The produce was super fresh and the meat was high quality. They also send more than you need of some of the ingredients, which is nice. I used this week’s leftovers for this quick and easy soup recipe.

Lean Mean Chicken and Greens with Rosemary Potatoes and Gremolata. This was my favorite meal, but required the most prep. Shout out to Baby Daddy for photo cred this week. I was so excited to eat the meals, I forgot to take pictures first!

Con: Prep… So Much Prep

I have never done so much chopping in all of my life. If you aren’t handy with a knife, beware. You’ll need to brush up on your chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing skills. Even as someone who cooks often and is fairly skilled with a knife, I was over it. Be sure to check the prep required for each recipe before choosing what to put in your box.

Pro: No “I Don’t Know, Whatever You Want.”

The most spoken, most hated phrase, among married and long term relationship couples. Seriously, I would rather be punched in the forehead than hear this. The box cut down the options to a manageable three things to choose from.

Con: Picky Eaters Beware

Meatloaf Balsamico with Mashed Sweet Potato and Green Beans turned into Meatloaf Balsamico with (slightly burnt, bummer) Sweet Potato Fries and Green Beans (apparently mashed sweet potatoes are a “no” in our house). This was probably the most “picky eater friendly” of all of the meals. It was also my least favorite.

We are pretty adventurous eaters in our house, so HelloFresh really helped us mix up our weekly meals, without us having to worry about not liking what we got. The meals aren’t exactly your standard meat-and-potatoes type food, so if you have kids that freak out if their food has “thingies” in it, or if the word “Gremolata” freaks you out, this probably isn’t for you.

Pro: I Didn’t Have To Leave My House

Seriously, huge huge pro, here. This pro pretty much trumped all of the cons for us.

Con: The App Is Not The Most User Friendly

This may be a bug with only my phone, or I might be doing something wrong (I tend to be a little technology illiterate). I found several times that I would make a change on the app, then log into my account on the computer to find that the change hadn’t been saved. Ugh. At least I caught it before the box was shipped. I also found that some of the things on the app were hard to locate. Again, could be me. I miss flip phones.

Pro: Less Food Waste

Penne with a Kick in Pancetta-Tomato Arrabbiata Sauce. This was incredibly light and delicious. It also made just the perfect amount for the two of us.

For anyone who doesn’t like to eat leftovers, HelloFresh is a great option because they send enough to make two servings without much (or any) leftovers. I know we always say we are going to eat leftovers and I end up throwing the moldy remains away a week or so later. In general, cooking for only two people is hard, and HelloFresh makes it a lot easier.

Con: Lots Of Kitchen Equipment Needed

Do you own a zester? Several large, medium, and small bowls? How about a strainer? Large pan, medium pan, baking sheet, large pot, medium pot, cutting board, chef’s knife, paring knife, and grater? These are all things that I needed to make my first week of meals. If you don’t have a well stocked kitchen, you’ll either need to purchase these things, or HelloFresh isn’t for you. You can look at the prep for the recipes that you have chosen before your box arrives to ensure that you have all of the tools that you need.

Pro: You Can Try It For $20

You can use my code ASHLWILS4 to get $40 off your first box, so you can give it a try and see if you like it without spending the usual $60. You are free to cancel your subscription after the first box if it’s not for you, or if the usual $60 is a little more than you’d like to spend. Personally, $60 is less than I would usually spend on groceries anyway, so it ends up being a pretty good deal.

BONUS!

I’ll be sending out three FREE boxes! To enter for a chance to receive your first box completely free, comment on this post and subscribe to the email list! For an extra entry, you can share the post on Facebook or Pinterest (please include your social media name in the comment if you choose to share the post). Note: receiving the free box automatically enrolls you in a weekly subscription, so remember to cancel if you don’t want to continue your subscription!

Overall, we enjoyed our first box and plan to continue our subscription, at least for a while. The food is good, even if the prep sucks. Having it delivered to my door makes my week so much easier, and since it’s only 3 meals, we are still free to go out to eat or make something else we feel like having a couple times every week. It makes work nights a breeze, and all but eliminates the dreaded “I-Don’t-Know-Whatever-You-Want”. I recommend at least giving it a try. Canceling your subscription is easy and you can even keep your subscription but “skip” weeks if you are going to be out of town, have guests, don’t have the money, or just don’t feel like getting one. Don’t forget to use my code to get your first box for $20! Do you use HelloFresh and love it? Hate it? Do you use a different “food box”? Share in the comments!

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

 

Three Bean Chipotle Sweet Potato Chili

I have a borderline obsession with “spoon foods.” Soups, stews, chilis; if you eat it with a spoon, you can bet I want some. Since having Liam, not only am I trying to lose a few extra pounds, but funds have been a bit tighter than usual. The easiest way to remedy both of those problems is to cut down on meat. This chili comes out so thick and hearty, you really won’t miss the meat, and you get all of the lean protein that you need from the beans. The prep is so easy. I make it in the crockpot, but it can also be made on the stovetop just as easily. I like to make a big batch so I have enough to bring to work all week or to use the leftovers to make a whole new meal. Be warned, it comes out pretty spicy. You can cut down some of the spice measurements if throat burn isn’t your thing. A couple secret ingredients add that element of “Hmm, what is that?”

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 green bell pepper
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and green chilis (medium)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp (or just a dash) cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

Peel the sweet potato and cut it in half. Place half of sweet potato in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 15 minutes until soft. While potato is boiling, cut the other half of the sweet potato into 1/2-1 inch cubes. Chop onion and red bell pepper. Add to crock pot and turn to high. Drain beans and add. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Once sweet potato is done boiling and soft, puree in food processor or blender and add to crock pot. Stir again to combine and cook on high for 4 hours, or preferably low for 6 hours.

Xoxo,

The Crispy Mama

 

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