Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

Posts Tagged ‘lunch’

Spanish Omelette (with peas, because everything Babybear eats Must Contain Peas)

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

The thing I hate about making A Proper Spanish Omelette is getting the damned potatoes fried without burning the onions. Yes, you should do it separately but honestly, who has the time?

So I stick the potato in the microwave and bake it. Heresy, obviously. (Should I expect the Spanish Omelette Inquisition?)

Meanwhile, cut your onion into attractive segments and fry it gently in olive oil or, as Moomin would say, 'the grease of your choice'. Mix up a couple of eggs. Chop up your cooked potato (who can be bothered peeling it, by the way? Not I.) Throw it in with the onions and fry for a while until the potatoes take on a bit of colour. Shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

Pour over your egg and staunchly resist the temptation to faff around with it. You might have wanted to add a bit more before putting the egg in, by the way. Drop some frozen peas onto the uncooked egg, as popping something green into the recipe will make you feel like A Better Parent. Cook for a few minutes and then flip it or if you are too much of a coward you could finish it under the grill.

This makes enough for Babybear and myself for lunch, she loves it and it's pretty healthy all told, so long as you aren't avoiding eggs for allergy-style reasons.

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Fiona's Fillable Finger Food Patties

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Always nice to hear from someone who appreciates our efforts (although by the sounds of things it's really Moomin's efforts). Even nicer when she pays it forward with another recipe. Thanks Fiona.

“Since I've had so many great ideas from your blog
(I'm about to try the chickpea burgers) I thought I'd share one back.  This has
been our favourite 'staple' finger food for going out and about and can be
varied in lots of ways.
Fiona's Finger Food Patties

3 tablespoons plain flour
3 tablespoons milk
1 egg
a little butter for frying
the filling of your choice
  • crack the egg into the four and mix well
  • add milk a little at a time to form smooth
  • add some filling – I've used: mashed banana and
    cinammon, green beans and cheese, peas, sweetcorn, leftover sweet potato – you
    get the idea
  • heat a frying pan with butter then when it is
    smoking slightly pour in fritter sized circles of batter (about a dssp each I
    reckon).  Cook over medium heat and when wee bubbles of air appear at the top,
    flip over and cook another couple of mins.
My baby loves these – they can be taken out and
about easily…are nice on their own or spread with soft cheese or whatever else
you fancy.”

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Courgette Fritters

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

See, Moomin makes a good point here… are we intent on full vegetable transparency or will we succumb to the Jamie Oliver-patented method of hiding bits of greenery where'er we can? It's hard to say at the moment, while we have babies who are by and large obedient.

I'd say that as a point of principle we should try to encourage children to appreciate veggies for what they are, but what harm can there possibly be in frittering a courgette? Especially if courgettes would otherwise be off the menu…

Grate 350g of courgette and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
Add a
grated onion, 60g of gram flour, 1/4tsp of baking powder and 1 tsp of coriander.

(You might think all my recipes involve gram flour. You'd be wrong. I use
rice flour as well.)

Fry a good dollop for 2-3 mins each side.

Now, I
don't know whether this is allowed in the world of BLW, but Minky doesn't really
eat courgettes. She prefers to dump them over the side of the highchair without
a backwards glance. However, she ate three of these for tea. Are we allowed to
hide vegetables from them?

I wasn't particularly keen on these myself.
Perhaps a liberal coasting of salt is required? Wait a sec…yes, salt

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Sandwich Fillings

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

As you may recall Babybear has enjoyed tuna mayonnaise sandwiches in the past, the only downside of which was that she honked rather badly of fish until it came to bath time.

She also likes hummous sandwiches, cheese sandwiches and controversially, hummous and cheese sandwiches. I'd also highly recommend mixing grated carrot with hummous as it holds together nicely. If I'm making these for myself I'd drop some sultanas into it but I haven't done that for Babybear yet as I'm wondering if disguising secret choking hazards in hummous is the way to go. It will probably be fine, really, as Babybear has yet to eat a sandwich without fully dismantling it first, smushing the filling into her face and then addressing the slices of bread. Ham is a trickier option, given her technique as it has a tendency to stick to the bread.

She also enjoys avocado but it's not convenient to take out with us as it goes brown which I personally find aesthetically unappealing. Philadelphia is good, but a little boring I think.

So…anyone else? There must be loads that I'm just not thinking of.

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French Toast/Eggy Bread

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Right, so at nearly eleven months we have finally dived in on the egg eventually (partly in an effort to 'bind' my poor daughter's poo back to some sort of solidity, I admit). We are big fans of French toast in this household, but only, and I mean only, made with Scottish Plain bread. If you think you've tasted white bread before, think again, for they don't some any whiter than a plain loaf, in all its doughy, burnt-crusted gorgeousness. Stupid foofy cotton wool bread tastes weird with egg, I think, so try to get the doughiest loaf you can.
Obviously you know how to make it, just crack a couple of eggs into a dish large enough for your bread, fling in the slices and then prick with a fork so that it better absorbs the egg. Once you are satisfied that the bread is suitably eggy, drop it into some warmed olice oil in a frying pan and fry it until golden-ish. Some people eat this with sugar but they are mostly American. I'm strictly savoury myself.

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Rowan's 10-minute pizza recipe

Tuesday, November 7th, 2006

Appearently this really does take 10 minutes… which makes it rather a handy little recipe to have at our disposal. I bet it would be good cold as well.

This is a really quick pizza, takes literally 10 minutes from entering the kitchen
to putting in oven.

Make dough by mixing 4 parts self raising flour with
1 part butter and rubbing until you get breadcrumb type mixture. (it's faster if
you grate the butter straight from the fridge) –  4oz flour to 1 oz butter makes 3
small pizzas.

Slowly add about 50 ml milk a splash at a time and stirring
with a spoon each time until you get a dough. You might not need it

Knead with hands in bowl (or get handy toddler to help…) and split into
pieces depending on how many pizzas you want.  Or leave it as one massive one,

Put dough on oiled baking tray and smoosh with fingers until it is
the right size, it doesn't have to be even.

Spread on some red pesto sauce
straight from the jar.

Add veg of choice (the Munch likes thin strips of
courgette (use a potato peeler) or carrot, peas, beans, bits of
broccoli, that sort of thing…)

Daintily dump some grated cheddar cheese on top.

Put in oven,
Gas Mark 6, for about 10 minutes for hand sized, longer for bigger.

Cut into pieces
and eat yours while waiting for the rest to cool.

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Moomin's Onion Bhaji recipe

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

Once again, Moomin's struggle to keep her daughter allergy-free bears fruit for all babykind in the form of these easy and delicious bhajis. And parentkind too, by the sound of things.

Grate one medium potato and half an onion.
Add 75g gram flour and a splash
of water.
Add spices of your choice – I used a bit of cumin and
Drop one tablespoon into hot oil and fry for 4 mins each
This mix made six bhajis, but I don't imagine we'll be freezing that
many as Minky, Mr Moomin and I are polishing them all off!

These were a
big hit and will work as another picnic lunch. Hooray!

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Blackened peppers with cream cheese

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

Babybear really likes these and they are easy to make so I'm happy to oblige.

You can grill the peppers or oven-bake them but I find the easiest thing to do is stick a fork into the bit where the stem is and then lay it onto the gas ring… I mean, I'm not actually recommending that you do that as it's probably some sort of hellish fire risk so I couldn't possibly… but it's certainly what I do. Turn the pepper round when it starts to soften and bubbles of brown/black start appearing. Should smell LOVELY, by the way.

When it's done all over, stick it in a plastic bag and let the skins steam for a while. I tend to wash/rub off the burned bits under a cold running tap which has the advantage of cooling the peppers down. There was some publicity a while back about burned things having a carcinogenic effect so I am always pretty careful to scrape off any bits that are left.

Don't get me wrong, these aren't completely soft peppers, they still have a bit of bounce to them, but the gas ring thing takes about 5 minutes and really takes the edge off the raw taste which I myself amn't that fond of.

Then, you know, slice the three cheeks of the pepper and then you'll probably be left with one longer thinner bit. Oh god, you know how to cut up a pepper. I think I normally cut the bumcheeks in half (ouch!) so I end off with a good few long pieces.

Anyway, spread some Philly or cream cheese on the slices and there you have it. Babybear likes them and you can leave the pepper pieces in the fridge for a couple of days. God knows I've probably totally over-explained this 'recipe' but the point is that at least it's not more bread and cheese…it's peppers and cheese.

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Franny's Home-made Baked Beans

Monday, October 9th, 2006

We gave Babybear some Heinz baked beans tonight with cheese and toast (what's not to like, you'd think)  but actually she wasn't that fussed for them. I must say it did occur to me as I was eating mine that they did taste very salty.
So I haven't actually made these before but I've had the recipe for ages. What was holding me up, you ask? Why, the molasses… I've searched high and low, from health food shop to supermarket for it to no avail. However, some Christian soul has finally put me out of my misery and told me that treacle (which I have in the damned cupboard) is the same thing. Durrrr.
Anyway, Franny's recipe and her comments are below. Apparently they are very tasty. I'm not 100% sure about the bean soaking bit as I am rarely that organised so I reserve the right to used tinned haricots.

8 oz haricot beans

1 lb toms, skinned and deseeded (I used tinned and it is ok if maybe a little runny)

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp molasses

2 tsp mustard powder

3/4 pint hot stock (that's three quarters, not 3 or 4 )

beans overnight in large bowl covered with cold water. Drain well, put
in sauce pan and cover with cold water by at least 2 ins. Bring to
boil, skim surface, cover pan and cook at rolling boil for 30 mins.
Drain well. Preheat oven to GM 2. Put beans in large casserole and stir
in all remaining ingredients. Mix well. Cover casserole and cook for
2.5 hours. Stir gently and cook for another 35 mins or until tender and
sauce thickened. (normally takes up to 4 hours to get really tender and
not too runny IME).

Freezes well and is popular with dads as well as
children. I normally cook at least double and freeze lots. It has been
pointed out to me that with having to cook them for so long, and with
baked beans being so cheap, that it is probably cheaper to buy them,
but I would far rather have this sort with no salt and no artificial
sweeteners. I think baked beans are a truly healthy food but the tinned
sort normally have a lot of rubbish added. These are easy to make and also
make the house smell lovely.

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Mushroom Risotto

Tuesday, September 12th, 2006

It's hard to refine my mushroom risotto recipe for publication, really, as I have made it so often over the years that I just tend to fling in whatever I have in the house. Including frozen peas, which I appreciate would technically make it a pea risotto but let's not be picky.

For the three of us, but with plenty for second helpings and a bit left over for the next day to spread hot onto buttered french bread (o-ho yes…)

One medium onion

A couple of cloves of garlic

Butter and olive oil

Half a pack of Arborio or Carnaroli risotto rice, probably about 225g or so.

Home-made chicken stock, if you've got it. Roughly a litre to a litre and a half. If not, some Marigold reduced salt stuff or half of one of those no-salt Kallo cubes which I personally think taste disgusting. Or if you've got the heel of a piece of Parmesan floating around the fridge you can use that as a stock, that's what I often do, to be honest.

A good slug of white wine or Madeira (optional)

One tbsp porcini mushrooms soaked in warm water (also optional)

As many mushrooms as you can get your mitts on. I usually use at least one supermarket pack (if I haven't bought them elsewhere)  so that's probably about 250g but often I'm using up scabby old ones so loads more go in. Roughly chop into halves or quarters, so they are easier for the babies to pick up.

A good two tbsp of chopped up Parmesan cheese

Gently fry the chopped onion and garlic in a puddle of olive oil and butter. The butter is for flavour, if you leave it out you will notice I reckon. When the onion is clear, throw in the rice and keep it moving around the pan for a few minutes so it can soak up some oil. I use a wide-based pan for risotto. Put in the mushrooms, and fry them. If you think you need more oil or butter, chuck it in. If you have porcini, rinse them, drain them, shop them and fling them in as well at this stage.

Then spoon in some warmed-up chicken stock bit by bit, until it is all absorbed and the rice is sticky-slidy and cooked through and looks like little white pebbles. Well, that's what recipe books tell you to do. I tend to fling in about three-quarters of the stock or some water and a heel of cheese, along with the Parmesan, cook it for a while until the baby's portion is done. Can't really be doing with all the bit by bit business.

Then I take Babybear's out and whack up the heat, adding the rest of the liquid with the dissolved stock cube, wine, Madeira until it disappears. If this whole thing takes much longer than 20 minutes you are in trouble, as risotto should really be fast food, not taking much longer than the onions and rice to cook.

I put so much Parmesan into the rice that I don't need any more on top, just a grind or two of pepper finishes this off for me. We serve it with salad, or just by itself if we are feeling lazy. Babybear's, having cooled down, can be eaten from a spoon if I can be arsed loading it up, but I generally just give it to her on her tray and she grabs it with her hands, chewing the mushrooms for a while before spitting most of them out. (Honestly, though, try the bread thing the next day. Truly, Babybear thinks this is the best bit.)

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