Thursday, 30 April 2015

RECIPE - #InstaWeanTeam Mexican Challenge

Mmmm, Mexican food! I was pretty spoiled for choice this week because I love this kind of grub. Old El Pasa fajitas tend to make an appearance in our house when I'm having a lazy chef moment but still fancy something tasty with plenty of veggies. Although I was tempted to make a baby-friendly version of this old fave it's something I've done before so I chose to mix it up with a new dish - pulled pork burritos. 

I roasted the pulled pork at the weekend so kept some aside knowing I had burritos on the menu later in the week. This is a great one for using up whatever leftovers you have; chicken, beef or pork would work just as well. Same deal for the veg, you can't really go wrong once it's wrapped in a tortilla. Go nuts!

Leftover Pulled Pork
1 Red Pepper 
1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
1 Tin Kidney Beans
1/2 Tsp Oregano
1/2 Tsp Cumin (x 2)
1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1/8 Tsp Low Salt Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Wild & Basmati Rice
Handful Grated Cheddar Cheese
4 Kos Lettuce Leaves
3 Tortilla Wraps
Chilli Flakes (optional)

1. Put the rice in a pan, cover with boiled water, add the 1/2 tsp of cumin and simmer until cooked (mine took 25 mins), then drain and set aside.
2. Empty the tomatoes, rinsed kidney beans, spices (including the other 1/2 tsp cumin), soy and oregano into a pan.
3. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 10 minutes until the mixture has reduced slightly. 
4. Take off the heat, mash slightly with a fork and leave to cool
5. Slice the pepper into thin 'sticks' and set aside
6. Warm the tortilla wraps in the microwave for 30 seconds (it helps them bend)
7. Take a deep breath - you are ready to roll your burritos! :)
8. Lay out a sheet of foil, slap a tortilla on top, then a lettuce leaf.
9. Add a couple of spoonfuls of rice, bean mixture, some pork, and 4-5 peppers
10. Sprinkle a little cheese and some chilli flakes on top then carefully wrap the whole burrito into a sausage shape using the foil the seal it together at both ends.
11. If the filling has cooled too much, pop the burritos in the oven for 5 mins to warm through.
12. Serve (roll the foil down as you eat to stop it falling apart).If you have extra filling, just stick it on the plate as well.

Note - young children will need the foil removing for them. I served Little Dude a de-constructed version of the burrito with all the separate parts laid out on his tray for him to explore but it coulsd just as easily be cut into slices for a baby or toddler. The photo on the right shows the version for myself and Mr BLWMamaUK. It looks a bit like an explosion in a burrito factory but boy, was it good!

Don't forget to check out what the rest of the #InstaWeanTeam made for Mexico Week by visiting our Facebook Page.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

RECIPE - #InstaWeanTeam Avocado Challenge!

This week's #InstaWeanTeam Challenge was inspired by a recent episode of Masterchef. One of the contestants made an avocado chocolate pudding that was slated because it tasted like avocado however, it looked DELICIOUS!

I didn't get it. Avocado. Chocolate. What's not to like? 

I decided the only way to know for sure was to make something similar myself. I trawled the Internet and found loads of different recipes with some weird and wonderful ingredients - coconut oil, raw cacao, agave. In the end, I mashed a few together and made a version using whatever I already had in the cupboard. 

The results? Mixed. L liked it and looked adorable with yummy avocado-choccy-goodness all round his chops. However, I found it quite difficult to reconcile the creamy chocolate hit with a distinct aftertaste of avocado. It looked like a rich chocolate ganache and my brain couldn't quite process the fact that it wasn't. I'll definitely try it again and perhaps tweak the ingredients a bit - a less ripe avocado would make a big difference as it wouldn't taste quite so strongly. Perhaps the addition of a little naughty melted chocolate too...? Anyway, he's my base recipe for you to play around with as you see fit.

* Note this includes honey which needs to be substituted with something else for children under 1 *

1 Ripe Avocado
3 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder (I used Green & Blacks Organic)
2 Tablespoons Runny Honey
1 Teaspoon Almond Butter
1/2 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
4 Tablespoons Whole Milk

1. Throw everything in a food processor. Blend.
2. Spoon into a dish and refrigerate

As ever, let me know if you make this and check out the InstaWeanTeam Facebook page for the recipes from the rest of the gang :)

Thursday, 9 April 2015

RECIPE: The #InstaWeanTeam Courgette Challenge

One of the things I love about being part of the #InstaWeanTeam Challenge is that it encourages me to get out of my cooking rut and experiment with something new. Courgette (or zucchini to our American friends) is something I already use a lot but I didn't want to re-post one of my old recipes so when I spotted some forgotten filo pastry nestling in the depths of my freezer, the deal was done. Mama is making samosas!

Don't forget to look at the InstaWeanTeam Facebook page to see the courgette recipes from the rest of the gang!

2 Sheets Filo Pastry
1 Medium Courgette
1 Medium Carrot
1/2 Medium Onion
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tsp Ground Coriander
1/2 Tsp Turmeric
1/2 Tsp Coriander Leaf
Unsalted Butter (melted)

1. Chop the veg into small cubes/chunks. 
2. Add to a pan with a knob of butter, a splash of water and the spices. Put a lid on the pan and sweat the veg for 10 minutes until tender. Keep an eye on it and add more water if it gets too dry (you don't want the veg to brown)
3. Lay out one sheet of filo, use a sharp knife to divide it into 3 strips lengthwise
4. Cut each strip in half so you have 6 strips of pastry
5. Brush each strip with a little melted butter
6. Spoon a little veg mixture at the end of your first pastry strip (careful not to put too much down otherwise it won't fold up). 
7. Fold the bottom left corner of the pastry over the veg mixture and so it lines up with the opposite edge and forms a triangle (I wish I'd taken photos of this!).
8. Repeat this fold in the opposite direction. Keep going until you reach the end of the pastry strip. Tuck the end underneath the samosa and lay it on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper.
9. Repeat until you've run out of mixture (I made 12 samosas)
10. Brush the tops with a little melted butter then bake for approx. 20 mins at Gas 6 until golden


Thursday, 2 April 2015

RECIPE: The #InstaWeanTeam Cauliflower Challenge!

Cauliflower isn't the most glamorous of veggies - it doesn't look too nice or smell particularly great. In fact, the poor old cauli is pretty underrated. However, cauliflower is a great source of vitamins C and K (amongst others), easy to get hold of in the shops, and extremely versatile. All in all, definitely a vegetable worth introducing your baby to.

Personally, I have some very fond memories of a cheesy cauliflower bake that I used to eat at Secondary School. Using this as my inspiration, I created a baby friendly version that works as a tasty lunch or a yummy side dish - try it with roasted chicken or pork and apple sausages.

3 Large White Potatoes
1 Cup Cauliflower
1 Cup Broccoli
150g Grated Cheddar Cheese
30g Plain Flour
30g Unsalted Butter
300ml Whole Milk

1. Peel, chop and boil the potatoes for 20 minutes until cooked
2. Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into small florets and boil for approx. 5 minutes until tender
3. While the veg is cooking, heat the butter and flour in a pan, stirring all the time to mix them together (and stop it burning!)
4. When combined, add the milk a little at a time, stirring well. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. 
5. Once the sauce has thickened, turn the heat off and add half of the grated cheese.
6. Mash the potato and spread into the bottom of an oven proof dish
7. Drain the broccoli and cauliflower and lay on top of the potato
8. Pour the cheese sauce mixture on top of the veg
9. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top
10. Bake at Gas 5 for 20-25 minutes until the cheese on top is golden.

Be sure to tag me on Facebook or Instagram if you make this yourself :)'t forget to check out what the rest of the  #InstaWeanTeam ladies have cooked up for their cauliflower challenges this week...