7m +, Breakfast, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lunchbox Idea, Nut Free, Savory, Snack, Vegetarian

Baked Beans

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  • 7m +
  • Egg Free
  • Nut Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Diary Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Can be frozen

 

Beans, beans they’re good for your heart, beans, beans they make you….I’ll leave it there. The Monster is a massive fan of baked beans at the moment, which is great, I mean, they’re cheap, have lots of health benefits, are good sauce of protein, etc. Expect the delicious tinned ones you find in the supermarket are often high in salt and sugar for children. The good news is that that are actually super easy to make from scratch! And they freeze well too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of Cannellini Beans (or bean of your choice)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried sage
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (it really is needed to balance the acidity of the tomatoes)

Method

In a blender place the tomatoes, sage, sugar and Worcestershire sauce and blitz until smooth. Pour into a small sauce pan.

Drain the cannellini beans and add to the pan with the tomato sauce. Simmer on a low heat for 30-45 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the beans are tender.

That’s it, homemade healthy baked beans!

They will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days or you can divide into portions and freeze.

Reheat in a saucepan for a 5 minutes.

 

Enjoy

Em xx

7m +, Breakfast, Gluten Free, hidden veg, Lunchbox Idea, Nut Free, Savory, Snack, Vegetarian

Spanish Omelette

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  • 7m +
  • Nut free
  • Gluten Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Lunch Box Idea

The Monster is currently not a fan of sandwiches (this could all change in a matter of hours, toddlers are fickle.) This means I have to come up with alternatives when it comes to his lunchbox for playschool. A firm favourite (for now) is Spanish Omelette. Filling, super easy to make and I can pop veggies in it too, whats not to like.

This doesn’t freeze to well unfortunately, however it does last in the fridge for about 4 days and is so good the whole family will be at it anyway so it won’t last long! It is great hot or cold.

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 1 small potato (boiled and sliced)
  • 1/4 cup grated mature cheddar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped veggies (I used onion, mushrooms, peppers, tomato)

 

Method:

Brush a small frying pan with olive oil. Place on a low/medium heat. In a bowl whisk the eggs and cheddar together, set aside. Put the finely chopped veggies in the pan and gently cook until softened. Pour over half the egg mix. Lay the potatoes into the egg. Pour over the remaining egg mix and continue to cook until the bottom of the omelette is set. remove from the hob and place under a grill to cook the top of the omelette until set (about 3 mins).

Turn out onto a plate. can be served hot or cold.

 

Enjoy

Em xx

7m +, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Savory, Uncategorized

Sheppards Pie with Sneaky Veg

  • 7M +
  • Egg Free
  • Gluten Free
  • Nut Free

We had a few cloudy days in Dubai this week and grey skies always make me want warming comfort food. One of my favorites is Sheppard’s Pie. Since weaning The Monster I have discovered that he loves it too. With juicy minced lamb and creamy mash,  I have adapted my old recipe to incorporate extra veggies and a rich gravy made without my old glass of red wine.

I make them in individual pie dishes but you can make one large one as well. If you want to batch cook them for the freezer make single kiddie portions in a silicone muffin tray,  once cooled, freeze and then remover from the tray and pop in a freezer bag for up-to 3 months.

I finely dice my veggies but if you have a very fussy little one,  cook the sauce separately from the meat and blend it prior to adding the lamb so all the veg is hidden.  You don’t have to use the same veggies that I have listed, I often chuck in whatever I have in my fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 250g minced lamb
  • 2 very large potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons no sugar tomato puree
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 large carrot diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach
  • 1 small head of broccoli finely chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 150ml beef or lamb stock
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Dash of worschestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of grated cheddar

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. 

Peel and chop the potatoes and boiled in a lidded pan until soft. While they are cooking heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Fry the onions and carrots until tender but not brown. Add the mince, garlic, and rosemary, stir until cooked. Pour in the stock, Worcestershire sauce and add the flour to thicken. Stir in the spinach, mushrooms and broccoli and allow to simmer while you prep your mash. Once the potatoes are cooked through drain, add the butter and mash until creamy and smooth (I actually push mine through a sieve rather than using a traditional masher, they come out so good. I stole this trick from an old chef friend, it makes the best mash ever).

Divide the lamb mix into your chosen cooking dishes and top with the mash potato. Sprinkle with cheese and place in the oven for about 30 minutes until golden and crunchy on top. 

Enjoy

Em xx

7m +, Egg Free, Lunchbox Idea, Nut Free, Savory, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Cheese and Rosemary Crackers

  • 7m +
  • Egg free
  • Nut free
  • Lunchbox idea

I have yet to meet a kiddie that doesn’t like crackers, even the fussiest of eaters seem unable to resist the crunchy,  cheesy delights. Unfortunately many of the shop brought ones have high levels of salt, and various other unpleasant ingredients. 

With The Monster  being crackers about crackers I decided I needed a super simple,  delicious and healthy recipe for making them at home.  After a few test recipes, this insanely easy recipe was created. When  tested on The Monster, his playmates and their mama’s there wasn’t one left,  always a good sign!

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 3/4 cup mature cheddar (grated) 
  • 1 /4 cup Parmesan (grated) 
  • 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Method

Re-heat the oven to be 180 degrees. Place the flour, rosemary and cheeses into a food processor and give it a quick blitz to combine the ingredients. Mix the water and olive oil and slowly pour into the flour, and cheese mix while the processor is on a low setting. Once the dough comes together, tip it onto a floured surface. Roll until thin (about 2.5mm) use cookie cutters to cut the dough into any shapes you choose. Line a baking sheet with grease proof paper and lay the crackers on the paper. Bake for about 12 mins or until golden brown and crisp at the edges. Allow to cool before eating. 
Enjoy

Em xx

7m +, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Puree, Savory, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Secret healthy Dip-Dip Sauce

  • 7m+
  • Nut Free
  • Egg Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Vegetarian 
  • Can Be frozen

Like most small humans,  The Monster loves sauce,  any sauce,  ketchup,  mayo,  sweet chilli, if he can dip stuff in it he is happy.  He actually says dip-dip as he dips,  super cute… But anyway, most of the time even the fussiest of eaters like ketchup (even if they claim to hate tomatoes.) So I set myself a mission to create a healthy version with some hidden veg to share with you guys.

I used veg I had in the house that needed using up, so feel free to substitute the veggies as you need to. Pumpkin, carrot or sweetpotato in there would also test great. 

Because it’s homemade and doesn’t contain sugar this will only keep in the fridge for about 5 days.  I however I freeze it in an ice cube tray,  this way,  if The Monster is going to want sauce with his meal that day I can just pop one cube out and it defrosts in about a  minutes, just give it a stir. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoon’s of pure tomato puree
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 handful of broccoli 
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Method

Roughly chop your veggies.  Place a saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onion in a little oil,  until soft but not brown. Add the tinned tomatoes and the roughly chopped veg and simmer for about  5 minutes.  Stir in the balsamic and the tomatoes puree and then leave to cool.  Once cool,  pop the sauce into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. 

It’s as simple as that.  Place a small jar of it in the fridge and the remaining into an ice cube tray. 
Enjoy

Em xx