Taste not waste: Strawberry and panettone crumb pudding

A quick and simple concoction invented around elderly things in my fridge and a bag of leftover Christmas panettone that I’d blitzed into crumbs and frozen. A bit like bread pudding with a fun souffle rise to it: you could use any berries of course, and substitute panettone crumbs for normal breadcrumbs plus a tablespoon…

Squash, spinach, mushroom and goat’s cheese rotolo

A rotolo is kind of like a sideways lasagne or cannelloni – it looks impressive, but although like a lasagne there are a few components to it, it’s not difficult to make. It’s also not that heavy on pasta, so it’s lighter than lasagne and packed with vegetables. Serves 4 Ingredients 3 sheets of fresh…

Tips for making week-night cooking easy, interesting and less wasteful

How to make cooking every night of the week as stress-free and enjoyable as possible. Plan what you’re going to cook next week. This means you can make/marinade/prep ahead to make it easier on the night and more interesting meals possible, and also avoids that last minute panic at 6pm when you don’t have anything in…

Chicken and chorizo meatballs with spiced tomato sauce

Serves 3 as a main / 8 starter Ingredients Meatballs 100g chorizo 1 teaspoon paprika 1.5 tablespoons ricotta 300g chicken thigh fillets ½ 25g pack of basil Sauce 2 shallots, sliced 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 red chilli, sliced (and deseeded, optional) ½ pack of basil, stalks and leaves separated, stalks chopped 1 teaspoon sweet smoked…

Low sugar rhubarb and coconut crumble squares

A lovely way to use up the seasonal rhubarb glut, and one that tastes like a treat while actually being pretty healthy. Makes 20 squares Ingredients 450g rhubarb, chopped into 2cm pieces 30g caster sugar 30g soft brown sugar 100g dates 200g butter 100g desiccated coconut 200g plain flour 2 teaspoons ground ginger 30g oats 1 egg yolk…

Walnut pesto

A quick, healthy, cheaper spin on the usual basil & pine nuts version – this makes an ideal week-night dinner, and spare pesto will keep well in the freezer. This is a useful way to get healthy nuts into babies and young children, but don’t serve it to babies under six months of age. Makes…

Quinoa and celeriac fritters (better than they sound)

Surprisingly delicious for a recipe that sounds off-puttingly healthy, these are great hot and fresh, and work really well for baby-led weaning. They freeze well: make up a batch, then open-freeze the ones you don’t eat before popping them into a freezer bag. The fritters defrost quickly, then crisp back up in a dry frying pan….

Glossary

This post will be updated on-the-hoof as I find myself using terminology in recipes that could do with an explanation. Open Freezing The best way to freeze individual items, allowing you to grab one at a time without having to defrost the whole lot because they’ve stuck together. Useful for fritters, chocolates, slices of cake, sweet or…

Weaning

The NHS weaning page is an excellent introduction to weaning essentials, and Nikki Duffy’s River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook includes a thorough and thoroughly useful chapter on weaning, nutrition, different approaches and the benefits of doing-it-yourself rather than relying on shop-bought. I also highly recommend First Bite: How We Learn to Eat by Bee Wilson, a…

Easy cheesy pasta

An incredibly quick version of macaroni cheese that owes something to the Greek dip tzatziki. It might seem a bit odd to have warm cucumber, but it works somehow. For babies this can be spoon-fed or just plopped onto the highchair tray for grabbing. Freezer friendly Ingredients 3 tablespoons full fat creme fraiche Leaves from…

Why bother cooking?

  “Food preferences are learnt behaviour. Frequent, positive exposure to healthy food and consistently eating less sugar changes our sense of sweetness. Ditto salt.” Bee Wilson, First Bite: How We Learn to Eat, 2015 Eighty per cent of processed food has sugar added to it, including some surprising offenders: one of the high-street chain Eat’s soups, for…