For the past year and a half I've been at home with our son, mostly just making sure that he stays alive. Before we were even pregnant, I knew I wanted to be at home with him if it was even remotely possible. My mom was home, running a day care when we were growing up and my husbands mom was a stay at home mom. Neither of us had the experience of a working mom, so naturally we leaned that way. I have found the time to be incredibly challenging and also an experience I am incredibly grateful for. There are days when I feel like I'm just on repeat trying to keep him from swallowing literally everything and it's all I can do to console him with each toddler disappointment ("why did you give me exactly what I asked for?! WHAAAAAH!"). Most days though, I'm amazed by every single thing he does. How is it possible that just a little over a year ago, all he could do was eat, poop and sleep? Now he goes to the fridge and asks for cheese and then takes me by the hand to our room where he asks for the guitar from under the bed so he can dance while I play the only four chords I know that go together. It's all so surreal.
It feels like we have walked through a thousand transitions in the last year. Many were rough and some I dreaded. When Oliver was still on a bottle, it was so easy to just pop some pre-made formula in our bag and head out the door. He had a meal (a no-brainer meal) at any given moment. I was so used to the convenience. At a year, when we were moving to a completely solid food diet, I had a lot of anxiety of how it would all work. What do I feed him? How do I know he is getting what he needs? What if he hates everything? I just couldn't anticipate enough about the situation to feel confident in the next phase. Each day was a little easier and I was able to be more creative as we went along. Now, if I can stay on top of things, we have a great range of food we all like. One of the great things about making most of his food is that I can make things I like too. That way when we're out, we both have a quick, healthful snack.
Each week, I try to make a high protein, vegetable packed and portable snack. Some weeks it's mini muffins or quinoa patties and others it's some variation of a mini frittata. Usually, I peek in the fridge and take inventory of the vegetables I haven't used and those become the foundation for whatever snack I'm going to make. He's not really into anything green yet, so this is a good way to get some greens into his cute little body. The recipe below is for my absolute favorite frittata combo. It would be perfect as a regular sized frittata too, served to friends on a Saturday with crusty, buttered bread and a strong cup of coffee.
sweet potato, kale + gruyere mini frittatas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups kale, chopped small
- 1 clove garlic, minced or grated with a microplane
- pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 small sweet potato, diced small (about 1 cup)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
- 6 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 cup grated gruyere (on the mid sized holes of a box grater), about 3 oz, divided
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 and oil a 24 cup, or two 12 cup mini muffin tins and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the kale and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook until just starting to wilt, about two minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and set aside.
- Add the sweet potato, oregano and cumin to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. If you need to, add another drizzle of oil to coat the sweet potato. Cook until just softening and starting to brown, about 5-6 minutes.
- Add the eggs, milk and half of the cheese to the bowl with the kale. Stir to combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among the 24 cups, using about a tablespoon of mixture for each. Sprinkle the sweet potato over the top of each, pressing it down to submerge it. Top each cup with a sprinkle of cheese and salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack for about 5 minutes and then remove the frittatas from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack. These can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to one month.