Butternut squash, chicken, and mango puree

Butternut squash, chicken, and mango puree | Me & The Moose. This puree is full of fruit, veggies, and protein and will satisfy babies and toddlers alike. #meandthemoose #babypuree #toddlerpuree #puree #homemadebabyfood #healthykids #pureerecipes #babyfood #babyfoodrecipes #meatpureerecipes

I have to tell you something insane: My kid can eat half of a slice of pizza. I'll say that one more time for emphasis: M can eat half of a slice of pizza. We went to a birthday party last week and he had some fruit and a half of a slice of pizza and said "all done." How are kids so good at listening to themselves and stopping when they're full, no matter how delicious something is????? (Then he dove face-first into a cupcake, so he doesn't have that much self-control.)

It's been a long time since I posted a baby puree, so here's a good one! In my quest for balance in all of our diets, I love having a few purees on hand to tip the nutrition scales when lunch is pizza or a bagel. Max still gobbles up veggies and protein in puree form that he might otherwise not eat with such gusto.

Butternut squash, chicken, and mango puree | Me & The Moose. This puree is full of fruit, veggies, and protein and will satisfy babies and toddlers alike. #meandthemoose #babypuree #toddlerpuree #puree #homemadebabyfood #healthykids #pureerecipes #babyfood #babyfoodrecipes #meatpureerecipes

This puree is delicious and full of good stuff. I read a great post about mango on Baby Foode and it's pretty much a super food. Add in the protein from the chicken breasts and the fiber, vitamin A, potassium, and magnesium from the squash and this is almost a complete meal. I wouldn't recommend using chicken thighs in this puree because it has a delicate flavor that might be overwhelmed by a stronger meat, but white fish would be a good substitution.

Butternut squash, chicken, and mango puree | Me & The Moose. This puree is full of fruit, veggies, and protein and will satisfy babies and toddlers alike. #meandthemoose #babypuree #toddlerpuree #puree #homemadebabyfood #healthykids #pureerecipes #babyfood #babyfoodrecipes #meatpureerecipes

Chicken, butternut squash, and mango puree

8-10 oz chicken breast (6-8 oz cooked)
½ medium butternut squash, roasted
2 cups frozen or fresh mango
Glug of olive oil or coconut oil
¼ cup water, if necessary

Preheat the oven to 400. Butterfly your chicken if using a large piece. Halve the butternut squash with your sharpest knife and, using a spoon, scoop out the stringy flesh and seeds from the center. Place a piece of parchment or foil on a rimmed baking sheet. Place the chicken and the butternut squash (cut side down) on the baking sheet and cook for 14-16 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the chicken. When it reaches 165, remove the chicken and cover it with tin foil. Continue cooking the butternut squash until the skin is fork tender, about 15-20 minutes longer. When cool enough to handle, remove the squash skin.

Combine the chicken, squash, and mango in a blender with a glug of olive or coconut oil. Blend on highest speed for a few minutes. Scrape the sides and continue blending. Add water in 1 Tbsp increments until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

Yield: 30 oz or 3 cups

Chicken liver and berry puree (and a Whole 30 update)

Chicken liver and berry puree | Me & The Moose. Chicken liver, blueberries, blackberries, and apples are a fabulous combination for babies and toddlers (and adults). #meandthemoose #puree #chickenliver #iron #protein #berries

Yup, that's right. Chicken liver for babies. I was hesitant at first too, but we gave some to M when he was around 1 and he LOVED it. Who knew? Turns out, some people actually advocate chicken liver as a first food. Live and learn, I guess. M likes it plain, but combining it with berries and turning it a lovely purple color definitely makes it more appetizing.

M's passion for chicken liver was helpful during Whole 30, as it's an easy, savory, protein- and iron-rich dip for veggies or a topping for chicken, fish, and other meats with some balsamic onions. Speaking of Whole 30, I have a little update: When I last posted, I was pretty down about the process. After some time and perspective, I feel a lot better and have forgotten the painful parts. Kind of like childbirth.

So I decided to do a Whole 25 before we left for a friend's wedding in August (I procrastinated!). Historically, an event like a wedding would have made me totally body-crazy. I would have awakened every morning intending to eat nothing but steamed veggies and chicken and run 5 miles, only to crash and burn by 3 pm and hate myself by bedtime. Instead, I tried to focus on feeling good rather than on being either unrealistically ambitious (eat nothing, run lots) or completely rigid (my first Whole 30), and it really worked. I definitely "cheated" a few times, but I only ate things that felt really worth it, (Roberta's pizza= WORTH IT) and I felt pretty happy with myself when we got all fancied up for the festivities.

I haven't been Whole 30-ing since then, but I do feel like the experience has changed the way I look at food and eating and wellness and myself. I'm guessing we'll do another one in the new year, so stay tuned.

Chicken liver pate | Me & The Moose. Chicken liver, baguette, and a variety of red and purple fruits are one of my favorite party snacks or appetizers. #meandthemoose #puree #chickenliver #iron #protein #berries #chickenliverpate

Back to the puree! This guy is delicious. Trust me. Actually, don't trust me: Make it for yourself and see.

If you've made chicken liver before, skip these next few pictures. If you're a liver novice, here's what mine looks like at various stages of cooking:

Stage 1: Put some olive oil in a hot pan and add the livers, making sure that each one has some space in the pan. Cook in batches if you have to.

Stage 2: Ready to flip. Once you see brown creeping up the sides, flip those puppies over and continue to cook.

Stage 2! Chicken liver and berry puree | Me & The Moose.

Stage 3: Add the onions. Once you have an even browning on both sides, add the chopped onions. It's okay if there are some pinkish areas remaining because cooking isn't over yet.

Stage 3! Chicken liver and berry puree | Me & The Moose

Stage 4: Cover. Once the onions are translucent and the livers are mostly browned (it's okay of there are some slightly pink nooks, but you should see any "raw" patches), cover and cook over a low flame for about 10 more minutes. 

Stage 4! Chicken liver and berry puree | Me & The Moose.

Chopped chicken liver

.75 lb chicken livers
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Heat olive oil over a medium flame. Add chicken livers and brown on both sides. Once livers are browned, add the chopped onions. (It’s okay if there are small bits of pink still showing on the livers in the nooks and crannies- see photos.) Cook on medium heat until onions are opaque, about 5-8 minutes. Cover and turn heat to low. Let simmer for another 10-12 minutes or until livers are cooked through.

Immediately add cooked livers and onions and all liquid to a food processor or blender with hard-boiled eggs and balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste, but I’m usually very generous with the salt at this phase. Pulse the food processor until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Taste again for seasoning.

Yield: about 2 cups

Chicken liver and berry puree | Me & The Moose. Chicken liver, blueberries, blackberries, and apples are a fabulous combination for babies and toddlers (and adults). #meandthemoose #puree #chickenliver #iron #protein #berries

Berry compote

1 pint blueberries
1 pint blackberries
2 Tbsp water

Combine berries and water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the berries are cooked down, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly. Puree. If your little is opposed to seeds (like mine), pass through a mesh strainer. 

Chicken liver and berry puree | Me & The Moose. Chicken liver, blueberries, blackberries, and apples are a fabulous combination for babies and toddlers (and adults). #meandthemoose #puree #chickenliver #iron #protein #berries

Combo

2 Tbsp Chopped chicken liver
2 Tbsp Berry compote
1 Tbsp Applesauce