Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Introduction: Cooking with a Newborn

Hello everyone!

I began my cooking blog, Dude, Cook! in 2009 mainly to show single guys n' gals how to cook awesome meals in a tiny kitchen. As time went on and my circumstances changed, it involved into "30something guy in a long-term relationship blogs about all sorts of aspects of food". Well, as is wont to happen when in a state of long-term coupledom, babies doth ensue, as you can see:

In case you were wondering, yeah, she's worth it. 

So, I figured I'd start a "spinoff" blog on the challenges and thrills of making tasty food with and for a little person. Now, since there isn't going to be much to talk about when it comes to feeding the baby other than breast milk or formula for the next few months, I thought I'd start with a post or two on feeding the other two family members. We're lucky enough to have managed a home birth, so I was able to feed Kari whatever she wanted while at home when she was pregnant and in labour. Once our little Olivia was born, however, cooking epic meals was the first activity to fall by the wayside. We've been living off of dinners brought by friends and leftovers from visits with our parents, with the occasional bout of take-out.

But after 3 weeks, we started to get our collective groove back and have since gotten our timing between feedings and meals a little better. Now, if you're as fortunate as I am in your role as significant other to a new mama, you've been able to finagle a few weeks off work to help out. One of the most important roles I have is making sure the "human milk bar" stays fed herself, and well-fed at that.

So when she's had a terribly stressful day dealing with her boobs and a fussy baby and clamors for veggies and freshness for dinner, you don't screw around, you make an epic salad.

With that in mind, I put together what I call the "Frazzed Mama Salad", a very dense and plentiful salad with edamame, chorizo, avocado and a bunch of other filling and nutritious elements, essentially throwing in all four food groups in one bowl.

Sophisticated recipe writing is what I'm all about!

So here is the recipe in proper amounts and with directions:

Frazzed Mama Salad

Serves 2-4 (depends on whether or not a frazzed mama is actually eating it)

All kinds of fresh goodness... and an empty formula bottle... 


- 2 tbsp blood orange infused olive oil (use regular olive oil if you don't have the fancy stuff, mixed with the juice of an eighth of an orange)
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- juice and zest of 1/4 orange
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- pinch dried basil
- pinch smoked paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- hot sauce to taste

- Whisk all ingredients together.

Happy dressing!



- 1/4 cup dry cured chorizo, cubed
- 1/4 cup small bocconcini balls, drained
- 1 cup homemade croutons (see below)
- 1/2 cup grape (or cherry) tomatoes, quartered
- 1 cup frozen edamame
- 2 large carrots, peeled and shredded
- 1 avocado, pit removed and diced
- 1 cup strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

- Fill a small saucepan about an inch deep, set to boil and steam edamame for a minute and drain. Run under cold water until cooled.
- To make croutons, set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cube enough bread for 1 cup. Toss bread in olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread over baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 15-20 minutes until golden and crunchy.
- Put all ingredients except croutons in a large bowl, stir in dressing and toss until all ingredients are well coated with dressing.
- Serve salad in bowl with croutons on the side to top as desired.

Coming together

This was one of those "of course it'll be good" salads, mainly because, well, look at the ingredient list! That is some tasty sh**! With all this goodness, nourishing and rich flavours mixed with the sunny, bright dressing, this is the kind of meal that will make any frazzed mama, daddy, grandpappy or Uncle Edwin feel a whole lot better about life.

Ready to eat!

So, that's the first of many posts on food for mommy, daddy and baby. More to come in the future!

Have a great day and feed your mamas well!