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Posts tagged ‘family’

Rainbow Protein Udon Noodle Stir-fry (Chicken or Tofu)

FAMILY MEAL RECIPE SUITABLE FOR KIDS FROM 2-3 YEARS PLUS

I got home from work yesterday at 5.45pm and thought “crap! I haven’t prepared any dinner for tonight!”

To give you a bit of background I like to cook up a couple of big family meals on a Sunday and keep them in the fridge (or freezer). Then each evening I simply heat up (or thaw and heat up) a meal and serve it to the family. At least this way I know we are always eating home-cooked food even though I am at work four days a week.

Anyway I ransacked my fridge, cupboard and freezer and these are the ingredients I found.

ingredients

I took a long hard look at the ingredients staring back at me and thought “okay, the ingredients have spoken… tonight is going to be stir-fry night.”

The longest part of this stir-fry is the chopping to be honest. Cooking it is very quick, only takes about 15 minutes.

The benefits:

SuperFoods included – olive oil, garlic, ginger, red/ yellow bell peppers, carrots, broccoli, lime
SuperSpices included – coriander

This family meal is loaded with vitamin C (from the broccoli and bell peppers), vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene (carrots), protein (chicken or tofu for substitute). Garlic is also anti-viral, helping to keep colds and flu away which might be useful for the forthcoming change in weather.

rainbow udon noodle

Total preparation time: 15mins
Total cooking time: 15mins

Serves a family of 4

Drizzle of olive oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. minced ginger
Handful of fresh coriander – washed and torn with hands
2 x chicken breast fillets – fresh (or frozen like mine) – thawed in microwave, washed, sliced
1 x red bell pepper – washed, deseeded, finely sliced
1 x yellow bell pepper – washed, deseeded, finely sliced
2 x medium carrots – peeled, washed, finely sliced into strips
400g (14oz.) frozen broccoli florets –  washed, chopped
2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
Squeeze of half lime – ensuring no seeds fall in
1 tbsp. cornflour
3 x 150g (5oz.) packs of udon thick noodles – straight to wok

Heat the oil in a wok on medium-high heat and add the garlic, ginger and fresh coriander. Stir-fry for 1-1 ½mins then add the chicken or tofu. Stir-fry until chicken is sealed (approx. 7-8mins).

Add all the vegetables to the wok along with the soy sauce, lime juice and stir-fry continuously for 5mins.

Mix the cornflour in a cup with 3 tbsps of water and add to the stir-fry to thicken the sauce.

Add the udon noodles and stir-fry for a further 2mins.

Serve to kids warm and for those who enjoy a little heat, garnish with chilli flakes.

Note: Substitute the chicken for 300g (11oz.) packet of firm tofu for a vegetarian meal.

Tip: Always keep cornflour in the cupboard. If you are ever cooking anything and think “wow this is tasty”, but oh “no, it’s too watery”, whack in a bit of cornflour mixture and suddenly your watery meal turns into a lush tasty sauce.

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Tilda Kids Range Review

When I was approached by Tilda to review their brand new range of Tilda Kids rice and veggies pouches, my initial thoughts were no thanks, I prefer to make my own rice hence my post on how to make ‘perfect basmati rice for kids’.

But then I thought there are probably a lot of working mums with very little time to spare that would be interested in this range, and would be keen to know more about it (plus I was intrigued) so I gave it a go…

There are four different varieties available:

tilda kids 4

  • Cheese and Tomato Rice
  • Mild and Sweet Curry Rice
  • Sunshine Vegetable Rice
  • Sweet Vegetable and Wholegrain Rice

I decided to give the Sunshine Vegetable Rice pouch a go simply because it sounded yummy! It includes steamed basmati rice with butternut squash, sweetcorn and carrots.

tilda kids_sunshine veg

The pouches are very simply to cook. Simply place upright in the microwave (after making a little cut at the top of the pouch) and cook on high for 40 seconds.

Mind your fingers when removing it from the microwave as the pouch was fairly hot.

Open the pouch, pour the contents into a bowl and fluff with a fork. That’s it! It’s done in about a minute from beginning to end.

Tilda kids bowl

Now I personally have an issue with nuking rice in a microwave. I just don’t think it steams as well as it does in a pot. There’s also something less authentic about cooking basmati rice in the microwave. So needless to say I was a little sceptical and was expecting the rice to be dry. But after having a sneaky taste I was very pleasantly surprised! The rice was soft and tasty.

The rice pouches can be used as a quick accompaniment to curry’s and stews, but are tasty enough to serve on their own too. With ‘hidden’ vegetables in the rice, Tilda claim that one pouch will equate to ‘1 of your little ones 5 a day’ which is great news for us busy working mums.

When I served the rice up to my little one, the response I received was ‘nummy’ (my daughter’s equivalent to ‘yummy’) followed by munch munch munch. That’s all I needed to hear, the seal of approval had been given.

So my overall view… a great idea. The pouches are super quick, tasty and nutritious. I personally will continue to cook my own basmati rice as it is very easy to add fresh vegetables and natural colourings to rice to make it tasty and appealing,. But if I have to stay late at work to hit a deadline and I still want to ensure my child is eating well, these pouches are great to keep in the cupboard and can be whipped out ready to serve within seconds.

The new Tilda Kids range is available in Tesco stores and most Morrisons, Waitrose and Asda stores and on Ocado, with an RRP of £1.15 for a 125g pack.

Cauliflower and Green Pea Curry (V)

INDIAN FAMILY MEAL RECIPE – SUITABLE FOR 1-3 YEAR OLDS

cauliflower pea curry 2

Peas, peas peas! My daughter loves peas!  She will happily sit at the dinner table and do one of two things….

  1. either eat one pea at a time (painfully slowly!)
  2. or shovel a load into her mouth to the point where she has peas popping out of the front

If I’m completely honest, I don’t mind which way she eats them… as long as she eats them.

Peas are not the most glamourous of vegetables and are almost neglected because of it… but they shouldn’t be! Peas are fabulously rich in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties which help protect us against infections, allergies, asthma and much more. So like I said, I don’t mind how my little one eats peas, as long as she eats them!

Recently, one of her favorite meals is a meal we all enjoy together as a family… my yummy Cauliflower and Green Pea Curry. Curried vegetables, rather than plain boiled or steamed vegetables are a tasty way to get some veggies in those little bellies!

 

SuperFoods included – olive oil, cauliflower, peas, tomato, garlic

SuperSpices included – cumin seeds, turmeric

 

Total cooking and preparation time: 25mins

Serves a family of 3-4

 

75ml (3fl oz/ ¼ cup) olive oil

2 tsp cumin seeds – whole

2 tsp minced garlic

200g (7oz/¾ cup) chopped tomato – tinned

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 whole cauliflower – broken into florets, washed

125ml (4½ fl oz/ ½ cup) of water

1 tbsp desiccated coconut

225g (8oz/ 1 cup) frozen peas – washed

Salt to taste (optional)

1-2 fresh green chillies to taste (optional) – washed, finely chopped

Heat the oil in a pot and add the cumin and garlic. When they begin to pop add the tomatoes, turmeric and simmer on medium-low heat for 2-3mins.

Add the cauliflower and gently stir to coat the florets in the sauce. Pour in the water, add the desiccated coconut and stir, then simmer (covered) on low heat until the cauliflower is cooked. Keep an eye on the cauliflower because it can take anywhere between 10-20 mins to cook until tender. Also, if at any point the curry looks a little dry, add some extra water.

Whilst the cauliflower is cooking, place the peas in a microwavable dish, add 1-2 tablespoons of water and cover (leaving a small vent). Cook on high in the microwave for 1 1/2 – 2 mins. Or alternatively steam them if you have a steamer. Once cooked, add them to the curry at the end.

Remove a serving for your little one, set aside.

Then add add salt and green chillies to taste to the main pot (if you wish) and stir. Cook for a further minute then garnish yours (and your little one’s serving) with a sprinkle of desiccated coconut. Serve with roti (chapatti).

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“Why don’t you chuck the peas in with the cauliflower?” I hear you ask. Well you can if you like but the reason I don’t is because I am a massive fan of steaming vegetables. Steaming vegetables is the most effective way of retaining valuable nutrients which the whole family can benefit from.

 

 

Top 5 Spices to Combat Teething Pains – Part 1

baby

Being a mother I totally understand how difficult it is when your little one starts teething. It can be very distressing to see your little one in so much pain! I remember feeling completely helpless and wished that I could take the pain away, not to mention the sleepless nights that follow… (I was on autopilot for the next year!)

So the very next day I went on a BIG TEETHING SHOPPING SPREE!

  • Teething toys
  • Teething gels
  • Teething granules
  • Children’s medicines

You name it, I tried it… anything to provide some sort of comfort or pain relief for my little one.

Although I used all of these methods (not all at the same time!) usually a combination of them i.e. teething toy and teething gel, I still wanted to do more. So I turned my attention to spices.

Being from Indian origin meant that I already cooked with spices, but spices can be used for more than adding flavour to meals, they have also been used for their medicinal properties for generations, and many of them have been proven to contain natural analgesic properties to help combat pain.

After a period of months researching aromatic spices and their natural health benefits, I began to understand which spices would be of most benefit to my little one, and began including various combinations within my little one’s meals in the hope that they would provide an extra little boost of pain relief (in addition to the traditional methods I had spent a fortune on). Every little helps right?!

So here are my TOP 5 SPICES TO COMBAT TEETHING PAINS:

Cloves

1. Cloves – dried flower buds of a tropical tree. They contain the compound ‘eugenol’, a powerful oil widely used within dentistry for natural oral pain relief. It is also used to add flavour to sweet and savoury cuisines worldwide.

Nutmeg
2. Nutmeg – another spice which contains the oil eugenol. It offers a warm and spicy taste to meals and  compliments both sweet and savoury dishes.

Cardamom pods
3. Cardamom – a flavourful spice commonly used within Indian cookery. Its analgesic properties can help to reduce pain in teeth and gums. It is also believed to cleanse the mouth for good oral hygiene.

Cinnamon

4. Cinnamon– A warm, fragrant spice with a hint of sweetness. Great for cooking with, baking with or sprinkling onto fruit – apples and bananas. Contains a natural analgesic property to soothe pains.

Black Peppercorns
5. Black Pepper
– a common seasoning found in virtually every household. It too contains analgesic properties to help relieve pain in teeth and gums, and is believed to promote strong teeth.

01_ipad_hi res

A comprehensive list of resources, references and links to support the above statements can be found within Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook.
Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook is available to buy now for your smartphone, tablet or desktop from Amazon.co.ukAutharium.com, iTunes/ iBooks, Waterstones.com, WHSmith.co.uk and other online retailers. Prices vary.

Also available to buy from Amazon.com.

 

Important: None of the above spices should be applied directly to soft oral tissue; they should all be used within cooking. Spices are suitable for babies from 7 months onwards.

References

Ahmed, ZJ. 2012. Indian SuperMeals: Baby & Toddler Cookbook. London: Autharium

Baby Photo Credit: Mommy Page

Baked Gulab Jamun in Honey Saffron Syrup (V)

FINGER FOOD RECIPE – SUITABLE FOR 1-3 YEAR OLDS

Perfect for parents intending to treat their little one’s for forthcoming Eid and Diwali Celebrations!

Gulab Jamun, a popular extremely moreish Indian dessert loved by all who have had the pleasure of devouring it. Deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup, these delights are definitely not child-friendly.

So I continued with my mission to make traditional Indian food suitable for toddlers and young children by baking rather than frying, and drenching them in a naturally sweet honey saffron syrup. Yummy!

Please be aware, honey is still high in natural sugars so this really should be treated as a ‘special occasion’ indulgence for kids.

– SuperFoods included: honey

– SuperSpices included: cardamom, saffron, cinnamon

Used for centuries for its medicinal properties, honey, nature’s sweetener is antioxidant, helping to protect the body from free radical cell damage. Free radicals are unstable, highly reactive molecules causing serious diseases such as heart disease, cancer, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease and arthritis later in life. Honey is too anti-bacterial, anti-fungal – great for nappy rash protection and along with cardamom and cinnamon, is great for boosting immunity against cold and flu viruses.

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Chicken (on the bone) Jalfrezi | National Curry Week Special

INDIAN FAMILY MEAL RECIPE – SUITABLE FOR 1-3 YEAR OLDS 

Chicken Jalfrezi, a flavoursome, spicy curry commonly found on the menu of virtually every Indian restaurant in the UK. So it is fitting that I decided to make this curry as our family meal tonight to celebrate National Curry Week, so even the little one’s can enjoy a good curry!

– SuperFoods included: olive oil, onion, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, green bell peppers

– SuperSpices included: cardamom, cloves, mustard seeds, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, black pepper

Abundant in health promoting ingredients, this curry contains the protein goodness of chicken, necessary for healthy growth and development; tomatoes, rich in antioxidant lycopene; and green bell peppers.

Green bell peppers are bursting with antioxidant vitamin C, necessary for a healthy immune system; they are a source of folate, required for the production of red blood cells, and are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, helping to keep eyes healthy. Just be sure not to overcook the bell peppers to ensure these health benefits remain.

Also, feel free to give your little one a drum stick (leg) or thigh piece, as dark meat is richer in iron content.

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