Cheesy Courgette Pizza (V)
This has to be one of my favourite recipes ever! Prep your pizza base in just 15 minutes with only two ingredients –no kneading and no need to let the dough rise. Simple! This is the ultimate tasty finger food from 6 months, and can even be popped into packed lunches.
Serves 2 x 18cm (7in) pizzas (1 adult and 2 littles)
Takes 15 minutes
- 8 heaped tbsp self-raising (self-rising) flour, plus extra if needed
- 4 heaped tbsp plain full-fat Greek-style yogurt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1?2 courgette (zucchini)
- 70g (21/2oz) Cheddar, grated
- 2 heaped tbsp full-fat cream cheese
Preheat the oven to 220°C fan (240°C/475°F/Gas 9).Coarsely grate the courgette using a box grater, then squeeze the strands in your hands over the sink to release the juices. Add the pulp to a bowl along with the grated cheese, then separate the courgette using your fingers, mixing it well with the cheese. Set aside while you make the dough.You can get your little ones involved with making the dough.
It’s a great messy and sensory play idea that will also help avoid fussy eating with those little veg-dodgers. Add the flour to a large bowl along with the yogurt and baking powder. Stir with the spoon until it starts to come together, then tip the entire contents onto a clean work surface, scraping out any yogurt left in the bowl. Gently bring the dough together; add an extra sprinkling of flour if the dough feels too sticky. Within a minute or so, the dough should form into a ball. Cut in half to make two pizzas.
Take one ball of dough and dust with a little extra flour. Then, using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circular shape around 1cm (1/2in) thick, moving and rotating as you go so it doesn’t stick to the surface.
Lightly dust a non-stick baking traywith flour. Transfer the pizza base to the baking tray and spoon over 1 tbsp of the cream cheese, using the back of the spoon to spread the cheese evenly over the base. Sprinkle over half the courgette and cheese mixture.
Repeat with the other ball of dough and the remaining toppings. Pop both pizzas into the preheated oven and cook for about 10–15 minutes until the base has puffed up and the cheese is golden and crispy
Hulk Mac ‘N’ Cheese (EF, V, VG*, DF*)
Pimp up your macaroni cheese with nutritious spinach –a great way to get extra veggies into your fussy eater. This can be whipped up in under 10 minutes –a speedy lunch or dinner any time. It’s my Nina’s favourite!
NB -Whenever you see a * next to the letters in the symbols, this indicates that recipes can be adapted to suit this dietary requirement. Please take care and look for the substitutions listed in the ingredients. This is especially important for parents looking to introduce cow’s milk and other milk products like oat or soya (soy) milk.
Serves 2 adults and 2 littles
Takes 10 minutes
- 250g (9oz) dried macaroni (or any pasta shape will work)
- 140g (5oz) frozen chopped spinach (about 7 blocks)
- 500ml (16fl oz) milk of your choice*
- 100g (31/2oz) grated Cheddar or 2 tbsp nutritional yeast*
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter or dairy free spread or coconut oil*
- 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook DF* according to the packet instructions.
To a microwaveable jug, add the frozen spinach and milk. Cook for 3 minutes until the spinach is nearly defrosted and the milk slightly warmed.
In a hot frying pan, melt the butter then add cornflour. Stir and cook for a minute, then add the spinach milk gradually, whisking continuously. Stir until the sauce is thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and add a good grinding of black pepper and the grated cheese. Stir to melt the cheese into the sauce then set aside until the pasta is cooked.
Add the drained, cooked pasta to the sauce, stir and serve with an extra grating of cheese on top, if you like.
Any leftovers will keep for a couple of days. Spoon them into an ovenproof dish, top with more cheese and bake for 15–20 minutes for a delicious pasta bake. Alternatively, if you’re thinking ahead, make extra sauce and reserve some of it before mixing with the pasta.
Freeze in portions for up to 3 months for a quick pasta sauce on days when you’re feeling rushed. Defrost in the microwave with an extra splash of milk until piping hot, before stirring through freshly cooked pasta.
One-Pan Lemon Salmon with Courgette and Potato Wedges (GF, EF, DF*)
So easy to whip together, this one-pan meal has dinner on the table in 30 minutes!
(NB -Whenever you see a * next to the letters in the symbols, this indicates that recipes can be adapted to suit this dietary requirement. Please take care and look for the substitutions listed in the ingredients. This is especially important for parents looking to introduce cow’s milk and other milk products like oat or soya (soy) milk.)
Feeds 2 adults and 2 littles
Takes 30 minutes
- 3 salmon fillets, about 120g (4oz) each
- 450g (1lb) Maris Piper potatoes
- 1 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
- 2 small courgettes (zucchini)
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 1 lemon
- 30g (1oz) unsalted butter or dairy free spread*
- freshly ground black pepper
- large baking tray, lined with non-stick baking paper
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan (220°C/425°F/Gas 7) and take the fish out of the fridge to come up to room temperature.
Peel the potatoes, cut in half lengthways, then cut into 1.5cm (1/2in) wide wedges. Place onto the lined baking tray, ensuring they are evenly spaced, drizzle theoil over the wedges and place in the top of the oven.
While the potatoes cook, cut the courgettes in half, then each half into quarters lengthways. After 5 minutes of the potatoes cooking, remove the tray and use a spatula to flip the spuds.Add the courgette slices and the garlic cloves (still with their skin on) and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the lemon in half, then cut three nice thin slices from the edge of each half. Squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon into a microwavable bowl, then add the butter and a good grinding of black pepper, and microwave on high for 40 seconds to melt the butter.
Once the courgettes have had 5 minutes and the potatoes 10 minutes, take the tray out of the oven, flip everything and evenly spread out again. Allow a space in the centre of the tray for the salmon, and place the fillets skin-side down onto the tray. Pour the lemon butter over the fish, and place the lemon slices over the salmon.
Put the tray back in the oven for 15 minutes until the fish has cooked fully all the way through. To check this, the salmon should have turned a light pink, easily separate with gentle pressure and when you flake the largest section it should be the same light pink all the way through.
Nutrition notes: Salmon is packed full of essential omega-3 fatty acids and is a fantastic source of protein. A great fish to serve to baby as it flakes away really easily and is super soft, making it much easy for baby to give it a go.
My First Curry (GF, EG, DF)
Mild coconut, pea and chicken curry. Ready in just 15 minutes, this flavourful meal is a great way to introduce Indian flavours to baby.
Serves 2 adults and 2 littles
- 1 mug of basmati rice
- 1 tbsp coconut or sunflower oil
- 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, or 3 large chicken breasts, cut into 2cm (3/4in) wide strips
- 1 ½ tbsp tomato pure?e (paste)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp mild curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 1?2tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp paprika1 tsp mango powder (optional)
- 400ml can coconut milk
- 2 big handfuls of frozen peas
- freshly ground black pepper
Pour the mug of rice into a saucepan. Fill the same mug up twice with boiling water from the kettle and add to the rice. Place the saucepan over a high heat and bring it to the boil, then put the lid on, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes. Don’t take the lid off until the time is up.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, melt the coconut oil over a medium heat, add the chicken strips and cook for 4 minutes, stirring every so often.
Add the tomato pure?e, garlic, all of the spices and a good grinding of black pepper, and cook for 30–60 seconds, stirring constantly so they don’t burn.
Add the coconut milk and frozen peas. Half-fill the empty coconut can with cold water, swilling the liquid around to gather as much of the coconut milk into the water as possible, then add this to the curry. Stir and let it all bubble away for around 8 minutes until the rice is done. Add more water if you feel the sauce is becoming too thick.
Once the rice timer is up, turn off the heat and remove the lid. Use a fork to move one section of rice away gently so you can see the bottom of the pan. If you see no water at the base of the pan and the rice looks fluffy, it’s done. Place the lid back on the rice and let it rest for 2 minutes or until you’re ready to serve.
Fluff the rice up with a fork and serve alongside the curry.
This curry is great to serve baby as a finger food. Or you can blitz up a small amount along with some rice and serve as a pure?e for baby, or chop the chicken and mix through the rice for a more textured meal. Another tip is to mix a little rice with some of the curry sauce and roll into a ball. This helps baby pick up the rice and eat it independently.
Add some spice
Don’t shy away from introducing spice to baby from the age of 6 months. Getting your little one used to a variety of flavours is important for raising a confident eater. If you like stronger heat, add a scattering of fresh chilli or dried chilli flakes to adult plates.
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