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!