Pork Potstickers are a fun finger food for younger eaters--and delicious for the whole family. Photo by Leigh Ann Chatagnier.

Tackle toddler-friendly cuisine with Leigh Ann Chatagnier’s new cookbook

With a young and active son, Leigh Ann Chatagnier knows the travails of trying to cook for a little one. How do you ensure that they’re getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy and grow strong while still pleasing their usually picky palates?

Leigh Ann Chatagnier. Photo courtesy My Diary of Us.

For Chatagnier, a former Baton Rougean and the culinary mastermind behind the foodie-fabulous blog My Diary of Us, the secret lies in finding balance between what appeals to the eye and what’s nourishing for the body. “Instilling healthy eating habits from an early age has always been a top priority to me,” Chatagnier wrote in the introduction to her cookbook First Bites. “I have always had so much fun creating flavor combinations with foods that I know are good for [my son’s] rapidly growing body and that he loves also–his little mmms are music to my ears!”

This week, Chatagnier’s latest culinary project, the second edition of First Bites, was released with a brand-new name: Natural Baby and Toddler Treats. The new title emphasizes the fact that the book goes beyond baby food all the way up to family meals and lunchbox goodies. An all-new chapter in this edition features recipes for lunchbox meals and snacks. “This whole journey is about evolving and changing, so why shouldn’t my cookbook do the same?” wrote Chatagnier in an Instagram announcement of the new book.

To celebrate the launch of Natural Baby and Toddler Treats, Chatagnier shared one of the new recipes from the book exclusively with inRegister readers:

Pork Potstickers

Pork potstickers are such a fun lunch addition, but are really great for the whole family! My recipe is easy and perfect for meal prepping at the beginning of the week. Make these pork potstickers in advance and have them to eat on all week long for easy lunches and dinners!

[caption id="attachment_63983" align="alignright" width="400"] Photo by Leigh Ann Chatagnier[/caption]

1 lb. ground pork
2 finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup finely chopped purple cabbage
1 Tbsp. grated ginger
1 finely minced garlic clove
1/2 tsp. corn starch
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos
24 wonton wrappers
2 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. avocado oil
1/4 to 1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
1 tsp. coconut sugar
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1 finely sliced green onion
1 tsp. sesame seeds
For Potstickers, combine pork, green onions, cabbage, ginger, garlic, corn starch, sesame oil and soy sauce in a large bowl, and mix well with hands until combined. Take 1 wonton wrapper at a time, leaving unused wrappers under a lightly damp kitchen towel, and place 1 tsp. of pork mixture in the center. Dip your finger in water and then press along edges of wonton wrapper. Press 2 corners of wrapper together, making a triangle, and then press all edges together, gently crimping to create a potsticker look. Place each on a baking sheet under a damp kitchen towel while you assemble the rest. Continue until all pot stickers have been made. If freezing any, place into an airtight container and freeze in this state before cooking.
Heat avocado oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and place dumplings about 1 inch apart in pan. Cook on each side for about 30 seconds until each side has browned. (You will probably need to do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd your pan.) Once all sides have browned, pour in a little chicken stock and cover with a lid. Reduce heat and let simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and repeat with rest of potstickers, adding a bit more chicken stock as needed.
While Potstickers are cooking, combine all Sauce ingredients in a small bowl, and whisk to combine.
Serve Potstickers immediately, over rice or on their own, and dip in Sauce.

Find more of Leigh Ann Chatagnier’s recipes in this article and this article from the inRegister archives.