Toddler Food – Cheesy Yam ‘n Squash Pasta

Yam’s and squash. Two vegetables that were a thorn in my side growing up. Endless gagging sessions at the dinner table trying to appease my parents. They didn’t go by the “just try it” method – more like the “you’re going to finish your plate” method. Oh well! I like them now!

I suppose it was the texture that really got to me. One was stringy and one was pasty. Regardless, I will try to get my little one to eat it without her knowing with this new pasta dish… Oh and this is NOT a dish I would serve to adults… if you get my drift?

Ingredients:

1 half of a large yellow squash (a butternut squash would work as well)
1 medium yam peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 onion diced
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 half jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
salt n’ pepper
olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice your squash into long 1 inch pieces. With a small paring knife scrape out all of the hairy insides. Cut these pieces in half and place on a baking sheet. Brush olive oil on all sides and season with salt and pepper (you could also toss them in a bowl with the oli). Pop the pan into the oven and bake for around 45 minutes or until soft and a little golden brown.

Peel the yam and cut it up into even pieces, around 1 inch big. Boil in salted water till your fork slides into a piece smoothly. You’ve cooked it too long if the piece falls apart when you slide the fork in. Drain and set aside when done. (You could also roast the yam, just follow the same steps for the squash)

Place a large pot of salted water on to boil. Add your choice of pasta (around 500 grams or a box) and cook till soft enough for your child. Remove, rinse with cold water and toss with olive oil till ready to use later.

Drag out you food processor and insert the blade for pureeing food. Remove squash from the oven and let it cool for a bit. When you can handle touching it, remove the skins with a knife and place in processor. Add cooked yams and pulse till chunky.

Add cottage cheese and pulse until smooth, around 30 seconds.

In a large pan heat up a tablespoon of olive oil and throw in your diced onions. Saute over medium heat till onions are soft (you can do this while pulsing the other veg).

Add the squash and yam mixture to the pan and then add half of the jar of sauce. Simmer for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and add the grated cheese.

Add around 3/4 of the mixture to your pasta. You will have some left over sauce, just freeze it for later. Get out your snack baggies and fill them up, seal them and place in the freezer for later use.

Test kitchen baby photo coming soon… just waiting for her to wake up from her nap! *dalyn

Here they are… she had TWO servings!

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