Strawberries — succulent and sweet — are one of baby Ren’s favorite. Adorned with only less than 8 front baby teeth, he has enjoyed strawberries since he turned 8 months old. We introduced a little piece of his finger size, then two little pieces, then a strawberry, which is cut into little pieces, few days later 2 strawberries and he always wants more! Since strawberries are an excellent choice for getting vitamin C, flavonoids, folate and fibers, we are happy that he appreciates strawberries.
I love preparing baby tomatoes, also known as cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, as one of our salad ingredients. They come handy for little fingers, who love practicing pincer movements in a path of becoming future prolific guitarists or mechanics or surgeons. We also love salad as a warm meal, all rich colors, tastes and textures mixed in a bowl or a plate.
Coriander, also known as cilantro, Chinese Parsley, contains antioxidants and anti-bacterial chemicals. Coriander is stronger than parsley in fragrance, and I love it with Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore. This meal will be the first one in which I introduced coriander to baby Ren. It is funny to see a finely-chopped coriander piece on his cheek, while he points indicating he wants more of his meal.
For #AtoZChallenge on 2014 April 22 Tue, I lovingly present a recipe of strawberry macaroni pasta salad by ServicefromHeart. This recipe is inspired by a strawberry aficionado-in-making, baby Ren!
Servings: 2 (2 adults + 1 toddler)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5-8 minutes
♥ 175 g dried macaroni pasta
♥ 1/2 tsp salt
♥ 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
♥ 1 water apple
♥ 1 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
♥ 1 tbsp sesame oil
♥ 1 tbsp olive oil
♥ 1 tbsp sesame seed
♥ 1/4 tsp pepper
♥ 1 clove garlic, minced
♥ 1 lettuce
1. Gently whisk dressing of garlic, pepper, oil, coriander, sesame seed. Stir until smooth.
2. Cook macaroni pasta in boiling salted water according to package instructions*.
3. Meanwhile, wash thoroughly lettuce, strawberries, tomatoes, water apple. Cut them into bite chunks (toddler-size).
4. When macaroni pasta is ready, drain and immediately combine with dressing.
* It takes 5 minutes to reach al dente, but I cooked longer so the macaroni would be softer for toddlers.
♥ For better fragrance, lightly toast sesame seeds over medium heat. For toddler recipe, I skip this stem to minimize too much heat in the meal.
♥ Since this recipe is intended for a toddler, the taste is mild. If you want stronger taste, you can use higher quantity for dressing ingredients.
♥ Some people may be allergic to strawberries, check with doctors if white-fruited strawberry cultivars (without Fra a1 allergen) are okay for them.
Other recipes that I love:
♥ Bridget’s sweet strawberry pasta (Bake at 350)
♥ Kevin Lynch’s strawberry and avocado spinach salad in raspberry balsamic vinaigrette at Closet Cooking
♥ Ali Ebright’s avocado strawberry spinach salad with poppy seed dressing at Gimme Some Oven
For faster-to-ready meals, see also our other #5minutemeal recipes.