Last week, Ada had her 9 month pediatrician appointment (a couple weeks early). Ada’s well into solid foods now, and since we are a vegetarian family, our pediatrician wants Ada to start supplementing iron, as well as Vitamins D and B12. I supplement all those (and many others) for myself, however at 6 months, babies’ iron stores begin to diminish and they don’t get enough iron from breastmilk.
I made an appointment with our naturopath, knowing she’d have the scoop on the safest way to supplement babies. We did start supplementing Ada, but we are also making an effort to incorporate iron into her diet as its the easiest way for her body to absorb important nutrients.
Apparently, blackstrap molasses is a great source of iron. Problem is, it’s a bit tricky to figure out how to bring it in to our everyday foods (smoothies and ginger molasses cookies aside). We had some sitting around from gingerbread cookies I made a couple of Christmases ago. Our naturopath told me about Cajun Skillet Beans from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home and I decided to make it for my “new-to-me” recipe of the week. Turns out…it’s delicious!
Because I’m like that, I got all of my ingredients ready beforehand. Donning my onion goggles, I got those suckers chopped. I love green bell peppers in winter time; there’s something so crisp about them.
The ingredients are fairly simple, and most I had lying around: Onion, garlic, celery, green bell pepper, fresh or dried basil, thyme, oregano, blackstrap molasses, dijon mustard, cayenne, black eyed peas, and tomatoes. I love that the recipe uses cayenne, which is so important as a warm-me-up since it’s 0 degrees (yes, you read that correctly) here in Minneapolis. Bonus, I just learned that basil is a source of Omega-3′s. Once I had all of my ingredients prepped, I got to some simmering. Too bad I don’t have a iron skillet that’s big enough (which lends even more iron to your dish). At first, adding the blackstrap molasses felt and smelled weird, but the smell died down and it added deep sweetness.
Then, we were ready to eat! I had some cilantro in the fridge for another recipe this week, so I decided to add that to the dish. I love cilantro in the winter as it reminds me of summertime guacamole (stuff I could eat by the bucketful). After Ada went to bed, Tom and I enjoyed ours with some red wine and the newest episode of “This Old House” (how nerdy am I?! Okay, we also watched “Parks & Rec” and “The Office”).
But the real question is…how did Miss Ada like it? She totally dug it! She was able to get a lot up herself using her kick-butt pincer grasp. There wasn’t a lot of cayenne in it, so it really wasn’t spicy.
This recipe is definitely a keeper, and I can’t wait to make it with bell peppers, tomatoes, and basil from our CSA box this summer. I think I might get the Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home book since this was yummy and easy (and all their recipes are vegetarian).