BRAT Diet for Babies

The stomach bug cast a plague on our house Tuesday night. It was the first time I had to watch my toddler battle through it, while we huddled together in a bath tub quarantine. As his appetite returned, I found ways to modify my own BRAT menu for his palate.

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Here are some of the things that worked well for breakfast, lunch and dinner:

The good news is he recovered quickly, and knock on wood, mom and dad didn’t get it!

Egg Meatball Breakfast Bake

Somehow I hit the jackpot this morning by successfully experimenting with eggs and meatballs in a muffin pan. They were David and Emmett approved, to the point that the latter cleaned the scraps off my plate by the eager fistful.


I’ve tried similar recipes from Pinterest before, like this partially successful bread loaf bake, and had mixed results. Today I did a quick search and didn’t find any examples of using meatballs or scaling it back to such a basic and speedy combination. 

With a roll of the dice, it was literally as simple as dropping one meatball and cracking one egg in each of the muffin cups, then baking at 400 degrees until the whites were solid. 


I sprinkled salt and pepper at the end, but ideally you’d do this before baking. (When you’re rushing to clean raw egg off your hands while your toddler is fussing from the other room, you choose your battles.)

The best part is that a full belly led to nap time so I could write this post!

Thyme-Saving Turkey Meatballs

With a limited window of time to make dinner and workout, I whipped together this super quick meal: oven-roasted squash and zucchini paired with homemade turkey meatballs.

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Preheat oven to about 400 degrees and then prep the veggies:

Toss two sliced summer squash and two zucchini with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme in an oven-safe casserole dish.

Next, prep the meatballs:

Mix 1 lb ground turkey with a generous scoop of almond meal, a scoop of unsweetened and shredded coconut, 1 egg, salt, pepper, olive oil and thyme. Scoop 1/4-cup or smaller spoonfuls into a buttered casserole dish.

Bake both dishes for about 30 minutes, or until veggies are tender and meatballs are cooked through.

More thyme for you!

Almond Flour Waffles

In my quest to eat less processed or refined foods, and more nutrient-rich foods in their original forms (or close to it), I’ve stumbled my way through some baking disasters. Fortunately, this morning I made my first successful batch of almond flour waffles.

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Thanks to The Daily Dietribe for testing out the right ratios of flour to starch – a key make-or-break factor in baking with nut flours and root starches. I found that adding one egg was necessary to keep the waffles from splitting in half when opening the waffle iron.

Almond Flour Waffles (Adapted from The Daily Dietribe)

1 – 1/4 cups almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp coconut palm sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup almond milk

1 egg

Mix dry ingredients separately from wet ingredients. Combine and whisk in egg. Make sure your waffle iron is greased. You may need to play around with settings and open the iron slowly to make sure waffle is thoroughly cooked.

Broth-Braised Crock Pot Pork and Noodles

New year, new kitchen quandaries! Rather than freezing four separate containers of homemade crab stock, I used it to make a healthy Ramen/Pho-like pulled pork and soba noodles dish. We even had leftover pulled pork at the end of it.

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Pulled Pork: place all ingredients in a crock pot on low for 6 hours.

3 cups broth or stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sake
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pork tenderloin

Noodles: once pork is ready, cook noodles of choice separately in their own pot using additional broth. Add kale or other greens once noodles are near al dente.

Serve pork on top of noodles and add condiments of choice. David had his with a little Sriracha sauce.

Short Ribs that Forgive

Forgot to pull out the crock pot? Even without a grill, these ribs won’t rub you the wrong way. In fact, the rub is what makes these speedy, BBQ-like short ribs meat-and-potatoes-guy approved.

The technique and an expanded ingredient list comes from Better Homes & Gardens, but I took many shortcuts for the sake of getting dinner ready in less than two hours, which is the minimum for most short rib recipes. Who has time for wood chips? Here’s my Cliff Notes version:

In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon ground pepper and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Place short ribs (optional but recommended: trim fat first) in a casserole dish and rub with the mixture.

Bake covered in foil at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, then brown on both sides on a grill pan before serving.

Final Fling: End of Summer Bites

There’s still time to enjoy the best of summer, without resorting to “it’s complicated.” With flavors at their peak, keeping things simple is the best way to go.

For starters, heirloom tomatoes are worth every penny. So splurge one last time! Simply season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Or slice and serve with fresh avocado (a winter crop in summer’s clothing) or goat milk yogurt and basil.

Peaches are best undressed. While I love a good cobbler or pie, the best way to enjoy them for dessert on warm summer nights is au naturel.

For a refreshing hors d’oeuvre that takes no time, slice a cucumber and top with smoked salmon. Party bonus: The colors will pop on a buffet table.

Mixed company? The options above will make it easy for all dietary persuasions to partake!

Put an Egg On It: Quinoa & Avocado

Ever have one of those mornings where protein is the only thing that will satisfy your hunger? Here’s a healthy way to tame the beast:

Warm a thin layer of pre-cooked (cold leftovers works great) quinoa with a bit of melted butter in a skillet (cast iron will prevent burning). Crack eggs over the top, season with salt, cover and reduce heat to low.

Once they’re close to set, remove from heat to finish cooking through, and serve immediately with avocado.

Put an Egg on It: Pulled Pork Hash

Inspired by Pinterest browsing and brunch menus, I decided to try making an egg, pulled pork and veggie hash for dinner. The result was a satisfying and protein-packed meal that would be suitable for any time of day.

First prepare a batch of pulled pork. If you want to keep it super simple, just simmer a pork tenderloin in broth or water for a couple of hours on low, until desired tenderness.

Then, sauté shredded pork with olive oil, garlic, frozen peas and spinach. Crack some eggs over the top; cover and cook on low until set.

For extra omegas, serve with fresh avocado.

Put an Egg on It: Barley Noticed

My obsession with sunny side up eggs on just about anything shows no sign of stopping. This time around, I conquered otherwise-tough barley and runny-just-right eggs. Redemption is sweet!

The trick is to cook the barley in advance, and keep the temperature very low as the eggs cook on top of the barley (covered) until desired doneness.