Food & Drink

Someone's in the Kitchen with Debbie

Meal Ideas from "Parents Need to Eat Too"

tangy mini meatloaf!

When baby was born, you swore you’d start cooking dinner again in a few weeks. One year later, you’ve still got the Indian joint downstairs on speed dial.

Local food blogger and cooking instructor Debbie Koenig has your number. Her new book, Parents Need to Eat Too (based on her blog), compiles more than 150 recipes designed to meet the challenges moms and dads face in feeding their babies — and themselves.

Thoughtful sections include recipes that can be completed piecemeal during naps, dishes made in big batches and frozen, foods to support breastfeeding, and quickie dinners to satisfy the whole family.

All recipes have been tested by a panel of new parents and were created with an eye toward nutritious eating.

In case you also swore you’d get your body back.

Tangy Mini Meatloaves
Serves six

½ oz. dried mushrooms (like porcini)
1 sm. onion, peeled and quartered
1½ lbs. extra-lean ground beef
1 egg
¾ c. dry breadcrumbs
¼ c. plus 2 tbsp. barbecue sauce, divided
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. In a small bowl, cover dried mushrooms with a cup of boiling water. Grease or line a baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside for at least 15 minutes. (Note: You can add boiling water to the mushrooms at any point during the day, even before you leave for work in the morning. No need to wait until dinnertime’s looming.)

3. Pluck mushrooms from the bowl and transfer to a food processor (don’t include their soaking water, as it may contain gritty sediment). Add onion and process until a slightly chunky paste forms (you’ll have to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice).

4. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and add ground beef, egg, breadcrumbs, ¼ cup barbecue sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.

5. Gently mix ingredients with clean hands until combined. Don’t be obsessive about it or the final result will be unpleasantly dense.

6. Divide mixture into six roughly equal portions, each about the size of a softball. Arrange on a prepared baking sheet and use your hands to shape each ball into a loaf, 3-4 inches long and 1-2 inches high.

7. Combine mustard and remaining barbecue sauce in a small bowl. Spread a generous teaspoon of this mixture on each meatloaf.

8. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of a loaf reads 160°, 20-22 minutes.

Parents Need to Eat Too is available online at amazon.com, $11.

Photo: Lisa Hubbard / Getty Images

this week in new york!

Rated P for Parenthood
What: Your life, the musical comedy. This off-Broadway production chronicles the trials and tribulations of raising kids, with a healthy helping of humor and irreverence.
Why: It’s a whole song and dance.
When: Opens Wed.
Where: The Westside Theatre, 407 W. 43rd St., at 9th Ave. (212-315-2244). Tickets (from $90) online at telecharge.com.

Paper Hat Crafts
What: The just-opened UES Anthropologie store hosts a hat-making workshop with Yestadt Millinery for kids ages 6 and up.
Why: They craft, you shop.
When: Sat., 11 a.m.-noon.
Where: 1230 3rd Ave., b/t 71st & 72nd Sts. (212-288-1940). R.S.V.P. (required) to anthroevents@anthropologie.com.

When Blue Met Egg
What: A sweet story of mistaken identity takes Blue the bird on a roundabout tour of NYC.
Why: Kids love Lindsay Ward’s illustrations of their hometown.
When: Bedtime, nap time, anytime.
Where: Online at amazon.com ($11).

The Westside Theatre
407 W 43rd St
@ 9th Ave
New York, NY 10036
1230 3rd Ave
bt 71st & 72nd Sts
New York, NY 10021