Thursday, 27 June 2013

Food Friday (2)

So I am on a roll with this whole cooking-for-my-baby lark. Now I’ve started doing it I’m actually really enjoying it and it is so much easier than I imagined. Last night for example we had roast lamb, new potatoes and mixed veg. At the end I pureed up everything that was left and hey presto – Doof’s lunch today was ready!

This week we experimented with more main courses and finger foods.

Finger foods:

Grated cheese – Doof didn’t really “get” this. He poked the pile a bit and then lost interest and sat there with his mouth wide open waiting for the magic spoon to appear and feed him!

Peanut butter rice cakes – I needed to think of ways to expose Doof to peanuts (this is NOT what the NHS recommends but see here for the reason why we are doing this so early). Previously I have mixed it with his baby rice but he doesn’t eat that anymore and I think it would make his breakfast cereal taste pretty gros! So I spread a bit on a rice cake (which he normally loves) and handed it to him… Anyway it is safe to say (as if there could be any doubt!) he is definitely my son. Unfortunately I have now ruined rice cakes for him :( Peanut butter is not a hit. But I need to find a way to get it into him so might think of some puddings I can add it into.

Hummus – you know the photos you see of food smeared all over a child’s face/hands/upper body/highchair/floor? Well Doof never seems to get “involved” enough in food to do that. I gave him a plate of hummus (didn’t dare put in on rice cakes after the failure above) and waited for him to get stuck in, put his fingers in it, put them in his mouth etc. So he looked at it, tried to lift the plate up, banged it on the highchair tray a few times, tried to throw it over the side, looked at me, looked at the pile of hummus, tried to lift the plate up, banged it on the highchair tray a few times, tried to throw it over the side, looked at me, looked at the pile of hummus… think this would have repeatedly indefinitely if I hadn’t then stuck my finger in the hummus. He just looked at me with a “you must be crazy, why would you do that?!” expression and carried on trying to bang the plate around. Anyway when he eventually ate the hummus he liked it (put some on a spoon and spoonfed him!) but think I need to encourage him to get his hands dirty…

Main courses:

I’ve eaten both these recipes this week – definitely way nicer than any food I usually cook for myself. Bonus if Doof doesn’t finish his meal now is I can enjoy eating the leftovers – never really fancied the cold purees from the pouches before!

Cheesy tomato cod

2 cod fillets (skinless & boneless)
½ can of tinned chopped tomatoes
100g (or generous handful) mild cheddar
2 heaped tablespoons flour (theoretically should be plain flour but we only had self-raising in the cupboard and the recipe tasted ok!)
30g unsalted butter
200ml milk
Extra milk (for poaching)
1 sweet potato

Put the cod fillets in a saucepan and pour over enough milk to just cover them. Then heat until milk simmering. Poach in the milk for about 10 minutes (until fish flakes easily).
Meanwhile mix the butter and flour together over gentle heat. Then gradually add the milk while stirring continually. It will then become a thickish white paste. Once it looks like this, take it off the heat and stir in the cheese until it is all melted into the sauce.
Flake the fish (don’t forget to check for bones too) and mix into the sauce once cool.
I then pureed it slightly – didn’t need much though as Doof is eating mashed food and this recipe was all pretty soft anyway.

I then split the mixture into 2:
- one half I froze like that and plan to combine with some pasta when Doof is going to eat it
- the other half I combined with sweet potato (see last week's recipe) and froze like that to make an instant meal in the future

 This recipe made 5 x 150ml portions and Doof absolutely loved it. He usually eats around 75ml per meal – when I gave him this he ate nearly 150!!

Beef stew (this was so super easy to make as you just put everything together in a pan and leave it to cook - minimum effort needed!)

450g beef (I bought already-cut-into-cubes beef because I am a bit lazy!)
½ can of tinned chopped tomatoes
3 large carrots
2 courgettes
2 leeks
1 red onion
500ml vegetable stock (I used the same Heinz stock range as last week)
2 jacket potatoes

Place the beef, vegetable stock and tomatoes in a large saucepan.
Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat until liquid is simmering.
Peel and chop the carrots and add to the saucepan, along with chopped leeks, courgettes and onion.
Cook for 1.5 hours.
Put jacket potatoes on a skewer (helps the inside cook to nice fluffy consistency) and cook at 180 degrees for approximately 1.5 hours (depending on size).
Once cool, puree to desired consistency (or not if you are sneaking out an adult portion!).
Scoop out the potato from the jackets and mix with the puree.

 This recipe made A LOT – 6 x 150ml portions and 2 adult-sized portions. Luckily Doof agreed with us how nice it was as otherwise he might have not appreciated how much is still in the freezer to be eaten…!

Here is the top drawer of my freezer at the moment (excuse the milk mountain) – just having a proud-of-myself moment as never thought I would be able to cook such healthy, nutritious and tasty meals :)

Next week we’re going to make some more breakfast finger foods and experiment with lentils and couscous. If you have any other ideas or suggestions I'd love to hear them.


  1. ok, it's not even 7am but you've made me hungry for dinner! May have to try some of these ideas. One of my favourites is the lamb and apricot tagine from the sainsbury's website.

    1. Oh that sounds delicious - was going to do another lamb recipe next week so might have to look that one up - thanks!