You may have noticed it’s been a while since I last blogged. Well that’s because I’ve been on HOLIDAY!! After The Baby Show, we finally found the time to have a family holiday abroad and had an absolutely amazing time – swimming, sun-bathing, shopping and visiting water parks. I have serious holiday blues!
Not only was it Aaliyah’s first holiday abroad, it was also her first time on a plane. Which meant it was the first time I needed to consider what food I was going to take on the plane for all of us. With budget airlines now charging for EVERYTHING – check-in luggage, booking seats, extra leg room and horrible processed plane food (soon we’ll be paying to visit the on-board toilets!), there was no way I was going to pay for a meal which I knew would be vile!
I remember in my younger days, (the days when plane food was included with the price of a ticket), the smell of plane food used to make me feel a little ill and I was deeply underwhelmed when I took my first bite. Being a Muslim and only eating halal meat, our only option on the plane was the vegetarian meal and for some unknown reason the airplane food caterers always thought it was a great idea to add parmesan cheese (the smelliest cheese in the world) to every pasta meal. The whole airplane would smell for at least two hours after the meals had been served.
Having had particularly bad experiences with plane food, I started looking into healthy, tasty food and snacks I could take with me on the plane. A few ideas are below:
A slightly different post from me today… a round up of the weekend’s Baby Show at the NEC in Birmingham (15th – 17th May). It was a hectic three days – the stand was super busy – thankfully my family was nice enough to help out! I was live speaking on the Made for Mums stage on Friday and Saturday, met some fantastic people and had some really great positive feedback from parents looking to wean their babies with yummy aromatic flavours and spices.
Cooking basmati rice sounds like a fairly simple task; it only has three ingredients after all – rice, water and oil. With just three ingredients how can cooking rice go wrong? Well… it can actually go VERY wrong!
I remember when I first started cooking rice I would either flood the rice with too much water which meant soggy, overcooked rice. Or wouldn’t add enough and half of the rice would be stuck to the bottom of the pan! But this rice was NOT going to get the better of me! So I persevered until I got the perfect balance of rice, water and oil to create beautifully white, soft, fluffy basmati rice. Little did I know the squishy, overcooked rice I was unintentionally cooking all those years ago, would actually be great for weaning!
This recipe went down a treat with everyone and fit in rather nicely with my vegetarian evenings. A delicious meat-free chilli con carne with a little beanie twist. I substituted the kidney beans for butter beans. There wasn’t any particular science behind the substitution. It was partly because the hubby isn’t too keen on kidney beans, and the other part – I didn’t have any kidney beans in my food cupboard!
I have to say the butter beans were a great call! They worked really well in this chilli. Butter beans themselves are rich and creamy and add a lovely taste – a taste different to kidney beans. Whilst I love a conventional chilli con carne, I would definitely recommend cooking this version as an alternative.
Only taking around 30 minutes to prepare, I decided to cook this family meal up early afternoon and serve it to my little one as an after school snack. Both after school snack and family meal cooked in one go! Aaliyah loved it so much she had no issues eating some more for dinner.
With Spring well and truly on it’s way, it’s time to start dusting off your barbecues and get these drumsticks on them! This is a perfect recipe for spring. The tasty marinade works particularly well for the whole family. It’s light and beautifully green so it really reminds me of everything to do with spring – lawn growing, fresh flowers and green leaves. Serve with a side salad for a light, healthy meal or chips if you want slightly heavier.
This recipe suits everyone from a toddler (1 year and up) through to parents. It’s tasty, quick and saves you the hassle of cooking separate meals so everyone can enjoy the same meal. With the Easter holidays still underway this is a fab holiday recipe.
So how many of you are using baby-led weaning for your little one’s weaning journey? Thinking about it, I don’t know know many mums who haven’t used baby-led weaning at some point during their weaning journey with baby. Whether they incorporated baby-led weaning into a daily routine with the traditional purees (spoon-feeding), or solely used the baby-led weaning technique – it’s a great way to get babies interested in their food.
I chose to to use both methods – traditional purees and finger foods for my little one’s daily weaning routine; it worked really well for us. The spoon-feeding was great as I had peace of mind that Aaliyah was eating her meals. The finger foods were great for experimentation – practising her pincer grip and trying different textures.
I did however notice baby-led weaning recipes didn’t leave much room for taste! Bland, steamed vegetables were great for playing around with, but not so great in the taste department. So to add some much-needed flavour to those poor, bland little cubes of veg, I’ve got a fab no-chilli chutney recipe for you to try.