The moment I saw the recipe for BBQ Cheddar Chickpea Burgers on How Sweet It Is I knew I had to make them.
I'm not sure why - the only veggie burgers I've eaten have come from a box with the name Boca or Morningstar on it. I'll blame the combination of barbecue and cheddar, which are two things that never fail me. And Jessica's recipes. Her Cookie Dough Dip changed my life (and my ass).
I scheduled the burgers into my menu as quickly as I could, offering Mark a beef alternative. I was glad I did, too - I loved the burgers. Well, burger. I could only eat one and so I froze the rest for a future dinner or crumbled up and tossed in a wrap with broccoli slaw for lunch.
Just one problem: I forgot about them. I never crumbled them up for lunch and Mark hasn't had a meaty burger since. They might have been relegated to the depths of the deep freeze had I not made pizza for dinner on Tuesday.
"What the hell does pizza have to do with burgers?" you ask. Nothing, really, except pizza is hard for babies to eat. Veggie burgers ... not so difficult.
I thawed out the burger - which was made with chickpeas, broccoli and cheese - warmed it up in a skillet and crumbled it for Miles, who ate it like a boss. Like a BOSS. With the addition of some cut up fresh mozzarella that I saved from the pizza, it was like he had his own little Happy Meal. Without the fries - and preservatives.
Now that Miles is eating 90 percent of what we do at a meal (and tries to eat the other 10 percent), I am really beginning to think more and more about what we, as a family, put in our bodies. I've always tried to provide a healthful, balanced meal but I'll admit that we ate (portioned) frozen french fries and processed light bread. I bought sauces that were on sale but don't always have the greatest ingredient list, and my "diet" foods are full of artificial chemicals.
You don't see those things on the menu chart from the doctor. And, to be honest, the chart is a very commercial guideline (featuring overly processed baby foods, including jarred meats - ick!) that offers little to no advice on what to feed your baby if you are doing baby led weaning, choosing a vegetarian lifestyle or are just finding a way to eat with two hands (only one of those we're doing). I've asked our doctor about what to feed him but the gist of the conversation was "common sense" and "you're doing a good job." There was no ideal menu or choice.
Of course, in my ideal world, Mark and I would introduce Miles to meals made with "whole" foods that are labeled organic and purchased at the fancy schmancy Fresh Market in town. While I'm dreaming, I'd also like it if we made more money, had no student debt and won the lottery.
I guess I'll have to settle on on making sure we always have a lean meat, colorful vegetable and healthy carb. I can also make more of my own food, such as breads, sauces and snacks, so that I know exactly what I'm giving him. And us.
What are your tips for bringing up baby healthy?