8m +, Lunchbox Idea, Nut Free, Savory

Beef and Secret Veg Mini Pies

PSX_20170904_215433I am a massive fan of pie, it’s one of my favorite meals and it seems that The Monster has inherited the same taste, because these always disappear quickly. I’m lucky that (at the moment) he is great for eating vegetables but it never hurts to add a few extras in where possible. The gravy in these pies contains blended veggies but no-one would ever know, even my veg-phobic husband hasn’t realised! In the recipe I used carrots, spinach and tomato puree in my sauce but you can use whatever veg you have in the house, there’s no rules on this one.

I make these in a mini cupcake tray as they are the perfect size for The Monster, for bigger kids use a regular cupcake tray and why not make some regular sized ones for the adults in the family too.

These are delicious hot or cold, so they also work well in lunchboxes, making a nice change from sandwiches. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months. If you have any left over filling you can use it for shepherds pie or pop it in the freezer for next time.

Ingredients:

For the Pastry

  • 50g wholemeal flour
  • 75g plain flour
  • 55g cold butter cut into cubes
  • 2-3 tbsp of cold water

For the Filling

  • 400g minced beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 5-6 mushrooms, diced
  • 1 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs
  • 1 cup beef stock (low sodium)
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 blocks of frozen spinach
  • 1 sachet of tomato puree

 

Method

First off you need to make your pastry. I use a food processor these days but it’s easy enough my hand as well. Rub the flour and butter together to form a breadcrumb like texture, slowly add the water and bring together to form a dough. Form into a ball, wrap in cling film and place into the fridge.

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.

Heat a sauce pan over a medium heat, add a very small drizzle of oil, the onion, mushrooms and garlic and fry until softened. Add the mince and cook until no longer pink. In a blender blitz the carrots, spinach, tomato puree and beef stock until smooth, pour over the mince and heat for 5 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll your pastry, cut and mold to the cupcake tin (I use a silicon mold which doesn’t require oiling but if using metal just rub with a little butter to prevent sticking). Fill with the mince mixture and add a pastry lid.

Brush the tops with your choice or egg or milk and back for approximately 25 minutes or until golden and crisp.

 

Enjoy

Em xx

 

7m +, Egg Free, Nut Free, Savory, Vegetarian

Cheese and Tomato Risotto

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

Risotto is the one of the first non-pureed foods that My Monster had and it’s been a firm favorite ever since. I always make a batch as it freezes really well. I have to admit that now he is preferring to eat with his hands it can be pretty messy, thank goodness for the dog!

Ingredients:

  • 150g Risotto rice
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 500ml vegetable stock (if not homemade use low sodium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup mature grated cheddar
  • 1 pinch of Parmesan cheese

Method:

In a large pan melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the risotto rice, garlic and oregano and stir cook for 2 minutes. Pour in a small amount of stock and continue to stir until it is absorbed. Continue to add small amounts of stock and stirring until all stock is soaked up. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and the cheeses, again stir until absorbed and creamy.

 

Enjoy

Em xx

 

8m +, Breakfast, Lunchbox Idea, Nut Free, Savory, Veggie

Chickpea Patties

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  • 8m +
  • Nut Free
  • Can be frozen
  • Vegetarian
  • Lunchbox Idea

These Chickpea Patties rock! They’re great for lunches, fab for breakfast topped with an egg, or served in a bap as a burger for dinner. Little hands can easily eat these themselves and bigger hands enjoy then just as much. They freeze really well and keep in the fridge for 3 days. I cook them in coconut oil as both The Monster and I enjoy the flavour but feel free to use which ever oil you prefer.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can chickpeas drained
    1 small sweet potato grated
    1/2 medium onion
    1/4 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    1 teaspoon dried parsley
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    3 tablespoons wholemeal flour (for coating)

Method:

Pop everything except the flour in to a food processor (if you don’t have one a mixing bowl and a hand blender also do the job). Blitz until you have a coarse paste. put the flour into a shallow dish. Form the chickpea mix in to patties, whatever size you like. Coat in flour and shallow fry for 4 minutes on each side until golden brown.

If freezing wrap individually in baking parchment before hand to prevent them sticking together.

 

Enjoy

Em xx

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

Egg Muffins

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  • 7m +
  • Can be Frozen
  • Veggie (if you choose)
  • Gluten Free
  • Lunchbox Idea

I always keep a bag of these in the freezer (this recipe makes 12), they defrost quickly and make a super easy meal anytime of the day. The ingredients can be changed depending on what your little one likes and whats in the house at the time. I pop all sorts in mine.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 small potato peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of grated mature cheddar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes

Method:

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Take a muffin tin and grease the holes with butter or your chosen oil. As equally as possible divide the vegetables between the holes. In a jug whisk the eggs to combine the whites and yolks and add a little black pepper. Pour the eggs over the veggies and sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top. Place in the oven and bake for 10 mins.

If freezing allow to cool completely first and wrap in baking parchment to prevent the from sticking together.

Enjoy

Em x

7m +, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Savory

Chicken and Veg Curry

PSX_20170402_210726

  • 7m +
  • Can be frozen
  • Gluten Free
  • Nut free

Don’t be afraid of giving strong flavours to babies and children, you’ll often be surprised by what they’ll like. This curry is super simple to make and can be vegetarian simply by omitting the chicken. There is no chili, so no heat but there is a ton of flavour from all the spices used. I use minced chicken in this curry, it’s easier to chew when teeth are still lacking. My little monster is good with chunky food now so I leave it unmashed but for early weaners you can simply mash or blend to the texture you’d like. You can use any veg you want so the ones listed below are just to give you an idea. I often change it up depending on what is available in my fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 250g Minced chicken
  • 2 cups of chopped pumpkin and sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 cup zucinni
  • 1 cup aubergine
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon Gram Marsala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

 

Method:

Chop all your veg in the chunks about 1cm sq. Steam the pumpkin and sweet potato for 5 minutes to soften. In a large pan or a wok heat 1 tablespoon of oil, I use coconut oil but the chose is yours. Cook the minced chicken and remove from the pan. Add another spoon of oil to the pan and fry the onions and garlic until soft but not browned. Add all the spices, stir and cook for 2 minutes add a couple of spoons of the tinned tomatoes and mix to create a paste. Add the all veggies to the pan including the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Once cooked stir in the chicken and finally the yogurt.

This curry is fab on it’s own, but for older children with bigger appetites you may want to serve it with brown rice, or Indian style breads.

 

Enjoy

Em x