Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Stuffed Tomato – Healthy Baby Recipes

So, it was Saturday night and I was making homemade burgers for a satisfying night in.. I had beef mince, cheese, tomatoes etc, so I came up with this recipe for the little one. Just a quick note, it takes ages to cool down, so watch out for the heat when you serve it!!

Stuffed Tomato

1 Large Tomato
2 Tbsp Beef Mince
1 Tbsp Breadcrumbs
1 Shallot
¼ Tsp Cumin Seeds
Thumb sized piece of Cheddar (cubed)
Small bunch of Parsley
Few leaves of Rosemary  
Black Pepper
Rapeseed Oil

Get the oven on to 220 degree’s

Firstly using a sharp knife cut the top of the Tomato, try to cut at an angle (into the Tomato) and keep the lid or top part of the tomato whole. Using a teaspoon, gently scoop out the middle of the Tomato leaving enough walls in the Tomato to remain whole, but taking out enough of the tomato that you can get plenty of filling in (reserve the Tomato that you have scooped out). Brush the inside of the Tomato with Rapeseed Oil then season with Black Pepper and also add some chopped Rosemary.  Place on an oiled tray and bake for 10 minutes.

Whilst the Tomato is cooking, fry off the Beef Mince in a little Rapeseed Oil. When the mince has a little colour on it place it in a bowl and reserve. Next fry the shallot gently until it becomes translucent and sweet then add the breadcrumbs and cumin seeds and gently fry along with reserved (and chopped) centres of the Tomato.

Add all of the cooked ingredients along with chopped Parsley to a bowl and allow cooling until the Tomato is cooked. When it is add the cubed cheese to the mix and season with a little more Black Pepper (taste). Using a teaspoon fill the Tomato to the top compressing the filling in (gently try not to tear the now softer Tomato). Fill to the top and then place the lid back on the Tomato and bake for a further 5 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to cool (this could take a while).

To serve chop into manageable portions and let then at it.. Little bit of fuss, but a really tasty dinner for the little one! (Remember it takes ages to cool down!)

Friday, 10 August 2012

Baby Ratatouille – Healthy Baby Recipes

Ratatouille is a convenient baby dinner! If you have loads of fresh vegetables in the fridge this is a winner as you can use whatever you have at hand. Ratatouille is simply a vegetable stew as healthy baby recipes contain no salt the trick is to make sure that you colour the vegetables to deliver big flavour!

Baby Ratatouille

2 stems of Broccoli
1 Carrot
2 Small New potatoes
2 Spring Onions
1/3 Red Pepper
Tbsp of Canned Tomatoes
Fresh Chives
Rapeseed Oil
Black Pepper

Firstly, don’t peel anything, wash it well and leave the skins on. Most of the great vitamins and minerals (as well as flavour) are held in the skin. Slice your Potatoes and Carrot to a thickness of 2mm and then begin frying in Rapeseed Oil. When the start to colour add your Spring Onions (which should be in baby hand sized sections). Add the Red Pepper (again in hand sized portions) and fry until the vegetables take on that flavoursome browning and begin to crisp. 

When the vegetables are nicely browned, season with Black Pepper and stir in the Tomatoes (add enough Tomatoes to make a nice sauce). Cook the vegetables in the Tomatoes (add a little water if it begins to dry out) until they are soft enough to eat – not mushy). 

Turn off the heat add your chopped Chives and allow to sit in the pan until cool enough for baby to eat. This sitting (convenient if you are getting baby ready to eat) really allows the flavours to merge a little further.

Super healthy a great way for baby to eat lots of exciting colours and shapes of vegetables too. 

Monday, 6 August 2012

Aubergine, Tomato and Mozzarella stack - Healthy Baby Recipes

Summer delivers so many great ingredients to cook with! For our family holiday we visited Southern Italy, it was there that I discovered my baby loved Aubergine.. I mean loves it! She cannot get enough.

Aubergine, Tomato and Mozzarella stack

2 Rounds of Aubergine (about 1.5 cm thick)
1 thick slice of a big Tomato
2 slices of Mozzarella
Few leaves of Basil
Dried Oregano
Black Pepper
Olive Oil

Heat up some Olive Oil in a frying pan. On your chopping board, season your Aubergine and Tomato slices with Black Pepper and Dried Oregano, firstly fry off the Aubergine (the Tomato takes much less time). Fry the Aubergine quite hard as you want it to colour. As the Aubergine fries push the centre into the pan, as it starts to cook through (and colour nicely) add the Tomato to the pan and cook through on both sides (again try to get a little colour).

Now cooked start by laying a slice of Aubergine on the plate, followed by a Basil Leaf. Then a slice of Mozzarella and a Basil leaf. The Tomato another Basil leaf, another slice of Mozzarella, a Basil leaf and then the final slice of Aubergine.

This dish is packed with Vitamins and Calcium as well as the health benefits of Aubergine (helps control fats in the blood).  

Friday, 3 August 2012

Pork meatballs with Spaghetti - Healthy Baby Recipes

This plate of food is the funniest to watch baby eat. I love watching her eat Spaghetti as much as she loves eating it. That messy slurp that leaves Tomato sauce everywhere makes me crack up. The meatballs went down a storm too, if you were struggling to get veggies into your baby you can hide a lot of vegetables (if grated) into a meatball without them noticing!).

Pork meatballs and Spaghetti

The Pork Meatballs..
2 Tbsps Pork Mince
1 Tbsp Breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
Black Pepper

Simply mix all of the ingredients together and in clean hands press (about a ½ tsp of the mix) into the palm of your hand and roll (between both of your hands) to form small meatballs. Continue to roll out the meatballs until there is no mix left, store in the fridge until ready (this allows them to firm up a little too). Quick tip, keep your hands moist with tap water to prevent the meatballs sticking to your hands and make rolling easy.

Spaghetti (Small handful)
1 Large Tomato (chopped)
1 Shallot (finely chopped)
Few leaves of herbs (I used Basil, finely chopped)

Get a small pan on to cook the Spaghetti in and also a frying pan with some Rapeseed Oil nicely hot.

Firstly cook the Meatballs. Fry them in oil gently until they start to take a little colour, gently move then in the pan until they are nicely coloured all over (4 or 5 minutes). Place on a plate and prepare to make your quick Tomato sauce. Gently fry your onions for a couple of minutes (of course using the same oil that the meatballs fried in), then add your Tomato, cook for a further few minutes – season with Black Pepper and add the chopped Basil.

Meanwhile cook your pasta, I like to break Spaghetti into 3 equal lengths whilst cooking, this makes it the perfect size for baby they come to pick it up. Cook the pasta as per packet instructions.
To serve simply drain the pasta and add it to the Tomato sauce along with the Pork meatballs, stir al together and then serve with a little Parmesan.

Good wholesome cooking and really lovely, baby will love it! 

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Whiting and Jersey Royals - Healthy Baby Recipes

I often wonder why so many people seem to dislike fish. Is it because they weren't introduced to it as a child or is it that fish can so easily be overcooked? Personally I love it, my father was a fisherman and I fish still, there is nothing like the freshness and taste of something that you have caught yourself. This is my baby fish and chips, the healthy version of course. I use a little fish called a Whiting, its a member of the cod family, a tasty and underused fish. The perfect thing about is that it fillets well and each little fillet is perfect baby sized food.

2 Whiting filleted (4 fillets)
1 Large Jersey Royal
Black Pepper
Rapeseed Oil
Small handful of Parsley

You'll need just a frying pan. Slice your Jersey Royal into just under 1cm slices. Put some hot water from the kettle into your frying pan and add the Jersey Royals (just enough water to cover them. Cook for 5 minutes.

Drain the Jersey Royals and put in a bowl, season with Black Pepper add some Rapeseed Oil and a little chopped Parsley. Stir and then return to your fish. 

Season the fish again with a little Black Pepper on both sides and add a little Rapeseed oil to the frying pan, get it hot, then place the fillets into the oil skin side down. Cook for a minute or two (when colour is achieved and the skin is crispy). Then turn off the heat and turn the fish over onto its uncooked side allowing it to rest in the pan and cook through.

That's it, I plated the Whiting up and then cut in half again, some of the bigger potatoes I also cut in half making the whole portion baby hand sized.

Fish and Chips healthy baby style!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Red Pepper and Tomato Pasta - Healthy Baby Recipes

I try to eat vegetarian once or twice a week, the thought of vegetarian puts a few people off, I guess that English meat and two veg necessity is hard to shake. When I want to eat vegetarian I look to Italy for inspiration. I love Italy and Italians love their vegetables.. One of my favourite dishes to cook is a Red Pepper and Tomato linguine. So simple, so fresh you'll love it. Well here's babies version, I made it at the same time as making our grown up version, I simply had a small frying pan and baby sized saucepan cooking next to my own.

Red Pepper and Tomato Linguine

Half a Red Pepper
Half  Red Onion
3 Tbsps Chopped Tomatoes
Olive oil
Black Pepper
Dried Oregano
Small handful of Linguine

Get your pasta cooking.

Finely chop your onions and gently fry them for a couple of minutes with a nice glug of Olive Oil. Chop your Peppers in to 2cm x 1 cms strips (helps baby to pick them up) and add to the pan along with the Oregano and a grinding of Black Pepper. Once they have fried for a minute add the chopped Tomatoes and cook for another minute.

When your pasta is cooked, drain, allow to steam for a minute and then stir into the sauce. Grate some Parmesan over the top (Parmesan adds extra Umami, rich in Calcium and... Well just tastes good!).

I like to cut a cross in the top of the pasta, in turn quartering the pasta. This makes the pasta convenient lengths for baby to pick up.

Lovely, just try to leave some for baby! ;-)

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Spelt Pancakes with Strawberry and Raspberry - Healthy Baby Recipes

During the weekend you just have a little more time to well, take your time. I like nothing more than to take my time to cook and eat. That means starting the day with something delicious. When Strawberries and Raspberries are at their best in early summer this is a great dish to do.This recipe is the for 3, 2 adults and one baby.

Pancakes with Strawberries and Raspberries

85g White Spelt flour
85g Wholemeal Spelt flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking powder
Pinch of Sea Salt (Maldon Sea Salt is the best)
1 Tbsp Vanilla Sugar (or normal sugar)
200ml Semi-skimmed Milk
Tsp Rapeseed Oil
2 Large Egg whites

Place your flours and baking powder in one bowl. Next add your milk and oil to the mix and stir thoroughly (I used a whisk).

In a separate bowl place your egg whites, whisk up to a stiff peak.

To make babies portion I took 2 Tbsp of the flour mix and placed them in a separate bowl, next take two spoons of the egg whites and gently fold in.

For the adults version (once babies has been made and set aside) simply add a good pinch (a punch) of salt and stir in. Repeat as you did the babies, gently folding in the egg whites to the flour mix. Pancake batter made!

To cook take a good non-stick frying pan and heat up a little Rapeseed Oil. Take Tbsp's of the mix and fry on a medium high heat- leave a little room on the pan, I cooked 4 at a time but do as many as your comfortable with. When brown on the first side, flip (use a pallet knife or something similar).

When cooked, place on a tray and keep warm in the oven, repeat until all of the batter has been turned into pancakes (make sure that you keep babies separate).

For the filling and yoghurt

Large bowl of Strawberries
Punnet of Raspberries
Tbsp Vanilla Sugar

Tub of Yoghurt
Tbsp Vanilla Sugar
Cap of Vanilla Extract

Slice your Strawberries and Raspberries and place in a bowl, add the Vanilla sugar and stir. The sugar will help the fruits release their juice. To make the yoghurt simply stir all of the ingredients together and refrigerate until ready.

My thoughts on sugar - Sugar is widely perceived to be the enemy. Personally I think that in cases like this (reducing the sourness of yoghurt or as an ingredient in the pancakes or fruit) it's OK. Its not something you wold feed to baby everyday but OK every now and then.

Once your pancakes are all cooked and your Strawberry and Raspberry fruits ready its time to plate up. I stacked babies pancakes like in the image, pancake, then a little yoghurt, then fruit, then repeat. I then cut them into quarters and let her tuck in. For adults you can simply place them in the centre of the table and dig in!

Prepare yourself these are addictive!! This recipe has the potential to become a Sunday morning ritual!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Pitta Pizza - Healthy Baby Recipes

Friday night in my house is pizza night.. I love pizza, I love the fact that there are endless toppings and well... Its so down right tasty!! Check out my Epic Pizza recipe for grown ups. Well if we were going to enjoy it why can't my little one too so here's a no salt, quick to make version so that baby can enjoy pizza too!

Pitta Pizza with Red Peppers, Mozzarella and Basil

1 Heaped Tbsp Plain Flour
1 Heaped Tbsp Wholemeal flour
2 Tbsp Yogurt
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
A little flour to help roll it out (I used Rye flour for extra flavour, but you can use any)

Ever wondered how to make pitta breads, its this easy. Get your flours, baking powder and yogurt into bowl and stir.. You have just made Pitta bread! The mix of ingredients is quite a loose mix, so you have to have plenty of flour on the top to prevent it from sticking when you roll it out. Get some flour onto a clean worktop, then put your Pitta Pizza dough on top, then dust with flour again and roll out into a little pizza base and place on a lightly oiled non stick pan (about the size of your hand, 2 or 3mm thick). Get the grill on high.

Grill the Pitta Bread for 3 or 4 minutes (keep checking, don't burn it), you want it nearly cooked on that side (starting to nicely brown), then turn. Nearly cook the second side too (again 3 or 4 minutes). Take out of the oven and then your ready to add your pizza toppings. The pitta bread will puff up a little and become light because of the baking powder (don't toast it and over cook it as it will get to tough to eat). Here's how to make a silly quick set of toppings that baby will love

2 Tbsp Chopped Tomatoes
Basil leaves
1/2 Red Pepper (small)
1/2 ball of Mozzarella
Grating of Parmesan Cheese
Black Pepper

Spoon the Chopped Tomatoes onto the nearly cooked base and season with Black Pepper. Chop your Red Peppers and add them to the pizza. Add some Basil leaves and pieces of the torn up Mozzarella. Finish with a little Parmesan cheese and then place under the grill to cook until the cheese's are bubbling and the Pitta Bread browned and crispy.

Finish with a few more Basil leaves (allow to cool) and cut into hand sized grabbable strips. Friday night classic for baby too!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Coley with Spring Vegetables - Healthy Baby Recipes

When you get fresh fish you want to eat it quick. Coley is one of those fishes. It has to be eaten as soon as you get it or the flavour quickly becomes poor. I stumbled upon some of this very underused fish and had to buy it, if I was going to eat it so was the baby!!

Coley with Spring Vegetables

Two ends of a Coley fillet (when your cooking it for yourself its easy just to chop a little bit extra off for baby!!)
1 New Potato
2 pods of Broad Beans
4 or 5 pods of Peas
Few leaves of Mint
Little squeeze of Lemon Juice
Rapeseed Oil
Black Pepper

Put some hot water from the kettle into a frying pan and, slice your potato and get that cooking. The potato should take 5 minutes or so. Shell your broad beans and peas and with 2 minutes to go (when the potatoes are cooked) add the broad beans, with 1 minute to go add the peas. Once cooked, drain and add some Black Pepper, Lemon juice, a little Rapeseed Oil and some chopped Mint.

Quick note - I took the pic before she started eating it, however she did struggle with the Broad Beans, to get over this problem simply shell the Broad Beans again, she loved them then!

Check the fish over for bones (sometimes the end of fillet can have a few stray bones in). Season the fish fillet with Black Pepper and fry skin side down in a little Rapeseed Oil. I fried the fish quite hard for 3 or 4 minutes (skin side down), then turned off the heat (then turned thr fish to flesh side down) and allowed the fish to cook through with just the heat of the pan. Make sure the fish is cooked though, it should be white and flaky, no pinkness.

Chop the fish up into baby hand sized pieces and make sure that any big pieces of potato are cut up to.

Bursting with vitamins this is a great and healthy baby recipe!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Pork, Marjoram and Vegetable Sausages - Healthy Baby Recipes

Protein is a little tricky to get into my little one, especially chicken and pork meat. She's just not sure about them yet. One thing I know that she does like is vegetables, especially green vegetables. So, I came up with this little recipe. Of course sausages are processed meats, so you need to make sure that you buy the best, of course organic but also really high levels of meat content (feed processed meats to baby rarely). The sausage I used was a 95% meat and wasn't to heavy on the seasoning (the veggies in sausage reduce the seasoning in the overall finished dish).

Pork, Marjoram and Vegetable Sausages

1 really high quality Sausage (Organic, lightly seasoned if at all)
1 Tbsp fresh peas
Small Handful of Fresh Marjoram (use any herb if you haven't got Marjoram)
Few leaves of Spinach
Black Pepper
Rapeseed Oil
Slice of Stale bread (fresh is fine too)

Take your sausage and split the skin, put it into a small bowl and using a fork break it up a little. Chop some Spinach and Marjoram and add to the sausage. Next add your peas, a little grind of Black Pepper and stir until completely mixed.

Take your bread, stale is better because it makes the finished sausage crispier. And chop into bread crumbs, place on a plate.

The sausage and vegetable mixture makes up three sausages, simply divide into three and roll in your hands into a small baby hand sized sausage. Roll in the bread crumbs and that's it. If you can make these ahead because a little time in the fridge will help the sausage to hold together better when you are cooking it.

To cook, use a little Rapeseed Oil (I love to fry in Rapeseed Oil, its burn point is much higher than Olive Oil and it contains bundles of Omega 3 and 6) and cook until brown on all sides.

Lovely way of using sausage (and reducing the seasoning by adding to them). Bread crumbing is a great way to introduce new foods too, they love it!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Peas, Asparagus and Mint Tagliatelle - Healthy Baby Recipes

The glorious vegetables of spring!! I love spring and all of its tastes, the garden is overflowing with fresh Mint, sweet Peas are bountiful and Asparagus is here. My baby loves Asparagus, simply steamed maybe a little Olive Oil and Lemon Juice.. Great baby led weaning food because if its perfect shape. This little dish is just a mix of all of those lovely things. I had a little fresh pasta left over from a meal that I had cooked the previous day, however feel free to use dried, sometimes its just more convenient!

Pea, Asparagus and Mint Tagliatelle

Handful of Peas in their pods
Half a white onion
2 spears of Asparagus
Small handful of fresh Mint
Black Pepper
Handful of fresh pasta
Olive Oil

In a small frying pan place a little Olive Oil, finely chop your onion and then begin to fry. Get a little saucepan with some water in boiling. Chop your Asparagus into 3cm lengths and shell your peas. 

If you are cooking fresh pasta it can take as little as two minutes to cook, if using dried, account for this earlier on and get it on before you start cooking. When the pasta has a minute to go add the peas and Asparagus to the boiling water.

Chop your Mint.

When the pasta and vegetables are cooked, drain and allow to steam for 1 minute. Add the pasta and vegetables to the onions, add your chopped mint and a little drizzle of Olive Oil and a grind of Black Pepper. Toss together and serve with a little more chopped mint on the top.

Cut a cross in the pasta to make perfect lengths for baby to hold.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Mash with Thyme - Healthy Baby Recipes

This is my little girls absolute favourite dinner! It's gloriously messy for them to eat, but an absolute winner every time. Again its a one pot wonder, so very little washing up and you can make in under 10 minutes. Winner! I also add a very delicate amount of Chilli flakes just to give it a little poke, along with the Red Peppers this super charges the dish with Vitamin C.

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Mash with Thyme

2 Small Sweet Potatoes
Half a Red Pepper
Half an Onion
Some Fresh Thyme 
Rapeseed Oil
Black Pepper
Chilli flakes

Finely chop the onion and place in a small saucepan with a little glug of Rapeseed Oil. Gently fry for a minute or so then chop your Red Peppers into 1cm cubes and add these along with the picked Fresh Thyme leaves and a little pinch of the Chilli flakes. Get the kettle on. When the ingredients have fried for a minute or so put them onto a plate and fill up the saucepan with enough water to cover the Sweet Potatoes, add the boiled water and boil the Potatoes for 4 minutes until cooked but not mush (test with a fork).

When the Sweet Potatoes are cooked, drain and allow to steam for a minute or so (this removes some of the water and intensifies the flavours) then crush gently (not to a pulp) with the back of a fork. Then stir in your Red Peppers and Onion mix and season with Black Pepper.

Loads of Vitamin C from the Peppers and Chilli, Omega 3 and 6 from the Rapeseed Oil, complex carbs, bursting with flavour... No wonder she loves it!

Remember mash holds the heat so make sure its cool enough for baby to put her hands into before serving (little tip, I serve it on a cold plate to bring the temperature of the mash down quickly).

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Tuna, Spinach and Sweetcorn Pasta

I like the food I prepare for my little girl to be hassle free. This means quick to make, a version of what I am having and very little extra washing up. A lot of what I cook can be cooked in one pan, a little saucepan is perfect. After all the portion sizes are only small anyway, why use a big pan?

Tuna, Spinach and Sweetcorn Pasta 

This is a really simple and healthier baby version of tuna pasta. You'll need:

Small handful of Pasta (I used Fusilli)
Tbsp Sweetcorn
1/2 White Onion
Small handful Spinach
Tbsp Tuna
Black Pepper
Tbsp Half fat Creme Fraiche
Squeeze of Lemon Juice

In your pan place a little glug a Olive Oil, enough to fry the onions in. Finely chop your onion and gently fry in the oil. I love to use Onions to add a little sweet savoury flavour to anything I cook for her. When the onions are translucent and sweet spoon them onto a plate. In the same pan pour some hot water from the kettle and start to cook your pasta.

When your pasta is cooked, drain and mix in the Spinach. Whilst the pasta steams and lets go of any excess water it will gently cook the Spinach maximising the flavour and reducing vitamin loss. A couple of minutes later add the onions and sweetcorn to the pasta and season with Black Pepper. Next stir in your Creme Fraiche and a season with the Lemon Juice.

Allow to cool and serve, really easy, nutritious and delicious.

... She loved it!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Welcome to Healthy Baby Recipes

Healthy Baby Recipes is about the food I cook for my baby girl. Most of all in life I want my baby to have a healthy diet and appreciation for food. I believe that this can be achieved by exposure to as many types of food as she can fit in her mouth from an early age. I make sure that all of those foods are as tasty and nutritious as possible in the hope that good eating will become common sense. I have set myself a serious challenge and I plan to battle the biggest advertisers and Americanised habitual eating habits that plague our children in this new century.

My plan is to feed her the best and try and build up a portfolio of tastes and textures that she loves really early om. My partner and I chose 'Baby led weaning', the technique is great and a must for all parents who want their babies to eat well. This means no puree's, no hassle, whole foods, its a hell of a lot of fun too as you should see her little face when she tucks into a plate of food.. I love it! 

As a parent I am highly motivated by doing the best I can for my baby. This means that every mouthful has to be as nutritious and healthy as it can. I buy my vegetables locally and in season so that the minimal degradation in nutritional value has occurred - vegetables that travel miles and miles or are picked early to survive long journeys do not have the same nutritional value as something picked locally at the height of ripeness. Buying in season means tastier, healthier, oh... And cheaper food!! I grow a few items in my back garden too, occasionally you'll see me use them, especially fresh herbs!

I cook and eat seasonally, organic when I can. Most of the food I feed my little girl is Organic (her formula always is!). Whatever you think about Organic food my principle is this, if you were able to prevent unnecessary chemicals being put in your baby would you?? If the answer is yes, then follow this blog as I try and teach my beautiful little girl about food from the earliest stages of babyhood, in fact all the way through her childhood.

One 'no no' in baby food is Salt. Its simply no good for babies or small children. The reason is simple, salt is quite hard to process and babies little kidneys are unable to deal with it. My problem is this, I love Salt! Salt is flavour, so my mission is to pack flavour into her food without using Salt or anything that may harm her growing body.

At the time of starting this blog my little girl is nearly 8 months and we have been giving her whole foods (in accordance with Baby led Weaning' since she was 6 months. In the last month and half she has taken off and loves her food (you really have to try baby led weaning it so works!!).

So, if you love feeding your baby with fantastic and nutritious food and you want to make every meal time an experience and fun, take up baby led weaning and cook a few of these recipes. Every recipe is baby tested!

.... Oh and one final note, although most of the pics of the food are displayed whole, I will make sure that food such as mashes are cool enough for baby to eat and larger items are the size that will fit in her hand.