Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Leftover Baby Food: Chicken Cashew

We are participants of the WIC program, which provides free supplemental foods to low-income families, and as a result, we have a large surplus of baby food purees.  My kids really only eat the mushy stuff until they have teeth, and then they're graduated up to finger foods.  So what do you do with all that perfectly good fruit and vegetable matter lying around?  You sneak it in.

It's great in spaghetti sauces, risotto, and soups, most obviously, but you can also put it in any thing you're blending, like cake mix or stuffing.  Today I thought I'd stir it in a simple chicken recipe to see how it would do.

This is a Rachael Ray recipe from her 365 No Repeats cookbook.  She calls it Park City Cashew Chicken.  Season a pound of chopped chicken with grill seasoning and saute in vegetable oil until lightly browned.  Remove and set aside.  Add a chopped onion and a chopped red bell pepper to the same pan.  I actually like them julienned for this recipe; it's easier to do than a fine chop and I like the size a little bit better.  Cook them until they're slightly softer and translucent, then add two chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.  You can find these in the ethnic foods aisle in a can.  If you like it a little spicier, you can add a teaspoon of the sauce as well.  If you can't find them at all, chipotle-flavored Tabasco works really well.  Stir the chicken back into the veggies and add honey and real maple syrup.  I do about two turns of the pan for each.  Then take it off the heat and stir in one cup of raw cashews.  Today I used salt and pepper flavored cashews, but if yours are not seasoned, you may want to add some salt and pepper.  Finally, add one or two containers of pureed baby food.  Today I added carrots.  You can't taste them at all and I figure it's at least half an adult serving of veggies.  Win win win!!  I usually serve this over rice but today I forgot, so we ate it as is and it was delicioso, as my two-year-old would say.

Last weekend we went to the kids' Trunk-or-Treating carnival and it was such a good time!  The kids have so much fun and they are really, ridiculously cute in their little costumes.  These are my girls in their princess outfits:

Ayla was not a fan of her "tiara."  But they look cute!  My trunk wasn't as cute this year as it was last year but here it is:

My favorite trunk was done up like Lucy's Psychiatric Help booth, from Peanuts.  The little boy went as Charlie Brown.  Too Cute!!! 

It was a potluck event so I brought crack-ups, which are a dessert recipe I obtained from a bachelor friend of mine (so you know it's gotta be easy.)  They are a HUGE hit, and super yummy to have sitting around in your freezer for THOSE kind of days.

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
12 oz chocolate chips
saltine crackers

Preheat the oven to 450.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.  Arrange the saltine crackers in one layer in the bottom of the sheet.  Melt the butter in a sauce pan on the stove and dissolve the sugar into it.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Pour the mixture over the crackers, spread evenly, and bake for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and pour the chocolate chips on the top.  Give it a sec to melt, then spread it evenly and put it the freezer.  When it's solid, remove the foil and "crack it up" into bite-sized pieces.  Yummy is an understatement.

In other news, I finished my scrapbooking calendar pages and got them all ready to go into the calendars.  So I go online to purchase the calendars, and.....THEY'VE BEEN DISCONTINUED.  S#!T.  I am still exploring other options.  I may have to have them bound and draw the calendar grids myself.  I'm not a happy camper.  But it will be okay.....I hope.

I'm not kidding when I say you can't taste the baby food.  Give it a try if you've got some you don't know what to do with.  I haven't tried it with any fruit yet, but I bet you could mix that into yogurt and give it to your older kids!!



  1. I bet you could use the fruit ones in the place of oil for those boxed cake or brownie mixes. Or stir it into oatmeal for something healthier. I bet you could also make some sort of "healthified" (yes, I make up words) carrot cake oatmeal using pureed carrots. Let me know if you try any of that!!

  2. I have stirred it into cake mixes, and yesterday I added peaches to the Mango Salsa that goes with the Coconut Chicken! It works really well in a lot of things :) I want to try adding it to plain yogurt for their snacks. I also forgot to mention lasagna; you can add several jars to one lasagna. I think Thanksgiving might give me a chance to get rid of all of it!!!!