Showing posts with label Great Finger Foods. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Great Finger Foods. Show all posts

Friday, 20 June 2014

Banana and Honey Ice Lollies

I've never bought an ice lolly for my son which has led to full on, lying back, kicking, screaming because he wanted more.  Apart from my son's behaviour (and not wanting to reward it), it's not going to make you feel too bad giving him two.

It's also a great way to use up and store bananas which are past their best as you do want them slightly over-ripe.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Quesadillas for the Whole Family

Quesadillas was something I used to make for my son when he was very little.  This is a slightly updated version with plenty of sneaky hidden vegetables!

Friday, 2 May 2014

Gluten Free Pancakes

Chickpea pancakes might sound like an odd proposition for breakfast but bear with me.  Chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour or 'Besan' has a distinctive, savoury taste but there is something delicious about that served with syrup, just like that salty sweet combo of bacon and syrup is something fantastic, so was this.

The amazing thing about chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour is it has over double the amount of protein compared with wheat flour which makes them amazingly filling so a great start for the day, and, handily for coeliacs (or people choosing to avoid gluten), it's naturally gluten and wheat free.

The verdict was "nice but not quite as good as the normal ones" from the household, I disagreed.  I really liked them and I felt seriously full until lunch.

Gluten free pancakes

Friday, 25 April 2014

Baked Onion Rings

Onion rings, love them but don't love the oiliness.  I'm not some health freak but I can feel my arteries hardening as I eat!  These are cunningly baked so much less fatty!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Weetabix Cake

Weetabix cake?  Am I serious?  Well I'd been trying different ways of using cereals quite a bit recently what with rice krispies with mackerel but I'd never found a way of using them in cakes like I had with bran loaf.  Shreddies seemed promising but were a bit of a failure when I gave them a go.  Who knew Weetabix would work?

This tastes similar to my bran loaf, loads of fibre, sweet whilst being low in added sugar, dairy free fat free and lovely with a pot of tea!

Weetabix cake

Friday, 4 April 2014

7 a Day Challenge; Day 3 - Vegetable Pakoras

7 fruits and vegetables a day is a bit harder than I thought.

A few days ago, I set myself a challenge to eat 7 fruits and vegetables minimum in 7 days to see how it affected me, my wellbeing and how hard or easy it might be.

I'm on day 3 now and I need to find ways to liven things up!


I was at work early today so took breakfast of rice crispies and a banana.  This is actually far more than I'd normally eat for breakfast so I ended up saving the banana for mid morning.  I will definitely be stretching myself more from a culinary point of view at the weekend when I have more time!


Lunch was Gazpacho again (2 portions of vegetables) due to making a double batch yesterday with watermelon and a satsuma afterwards.  I was up to 5 of my 7 after lunch but felt the need to 'retox' with some chocolate cake.  A girl needs something unvirtuous!


Ok... this week has been harder (even by day 3) than I expected.  I needed fried.  So wrong.  I know, I had chocolate there was even some sugar on the rice crispies.

But the problem is I'm just so full!  Maybe I don't eat big portions but 7 lots of vegetables, in the portion sizes recommended really limits what else you can eat.

So I needed fried.  I needed something which felt wrong even if it was full of vegetables.  Pakora it is!

Vegetable Pakoras - Makes enough for two

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Spicy Chicken Goujons

After making my crunchy mackerel strips, it occurred to me the same treatment might work pretty well with chicken and, lo and behold, it does!  The sweet chilli sauce lends flavour and a lovely sticky base for the coating.

I've suggested serving with some gingery noodles but this would be just as much at home with salad or as a beer time snack.

I've not tried my son with this yet but I think he'll be a fan.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Healthy Fish and Chips for the Whole Family

Healthy fish and chips.  The mark of a good recipe is when you make it twice before posting it!

We should all eat more omega 3.  One of the best sources of it is oily fish but that can be a tough sell to adults let alone kids.  Mackerel can be fantastic and delicious, especially grilled on a barbecue but can be strong tasting and a lot of people aren't all that keen on the bones.

I introduced a way of cooking mackerel recently for reluctant adults, now I thought I'd look at kids.  Mackerel is such a well flavoured fish, it can stand up to some really strong flavours and it goes fantastically well with mustard.

The best ideas come to me at 5:30am when I'm lying in bed wondering why I'm not still asleep!  One morning, I had a bit of a brainwave; why not use mayonnaise as a way to adhere a coating?  If I used mackerel I could also mix in some mustard... and so an idea was born!

As I was starting to prepare this I had a sudden thought, why not make this a healthy fish, chips and peas dish?  Why not indeed!

Baked fish goujons

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Best Pancake recipes

Pancakes; I'm a bit of a fan; in fact, one of my very early recipes was for a sugar free American style pancake recipe so I thought, with Shrove Tuesday (aka Pancake Day or Mardi Gras) looming on 4th March this year, I'd tell you about my favourites!

Stack of pancakes

The point of Shrove Tuesday was to use up all of the rich ingredients in the house like eggs and sugar before the traditional period of fasting and reflection of Lent.  Pancakes though are a fantastic way to make food quickly and easily and make a meal out of eggs (mostly, see below!)  Eggs are a great way to include vitamin D into your diet which is often lacking in our bodies at this time of year (as I look outside to the frosty ground and sun shining weakly on my garden!)

All of my recipes are made without added sugar or are low in sugar unless you add some with the topping with syrups or icing sugar which makes them great even for babies.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Sugar Free Apple Scones

I'm sorry, these must be the ugliest scones ever made but they do taste nice.

My son used to have this huge thing about dried apple, then, overnight, with a huge bag left in the cupboard, he decided he didn't like it anymore.

So I tried these for size and I think they're lovely (if extremely ugly!)

Friday, 21 February 2014

Dairy Free Bran Loaf - great for the whole family

People who have been here from the start might recognise this recipe.   Well I've reviewed it, changed it slightly and photographed it.  It is a great one though, loads of fibre from the cereal and dried fruit and very low in sugar so I felt like it needed more prominence!

Bran loaf

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Egg Free Pancakes - great for all ages

It never occurred to me that you could make American style pancakes without eggs and you wouldn't be able to notice the difference.  The only way I knew was, one time when making my normal sugar free pancake recipe, I made it as normal then got confused thinking I had more eggs in the fridge than I thought.  I was convinced for years I'd miscounted, but, this morning I gave it a go again and I was right, you don't need the egg!

Pancakes with syrup

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with eggs at all and they're a great source of vitamin D but they are also a common food allergy and, if you don't have eggs in, you can still have delicious pancakes!  Result!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

No added sugar banana French toast; great for babies, toddlers and adults

This one had been in the ideas bank for a while.  French toast without the sugar, but with added fruit.  It just seemed right and so great as an idea for babies or toddlers on finger foods.  The only reason I added the icing sugar on the photo was to make it look pretty.  I know, I failed.  Without bacon and syrup, French toast photography is surprisingly hard!  Especially in artificial light at 6:45am!

This is surprisingly sweet reward for my early cooking antics though.  I was expecting to serve it with drizzled honey but none was needed.

Texturally this was pretty similar to American style pancakes so a little more floppy than regular french toast but without having to open a pack of flour.  If you keep bread in the freezer; a few slices defrost easily within 15-20 minutes at room temperature meaning this is a great way to avoid waste too.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Goats cheese frittata, great for kids

My son eats pretty well, I know what you're thinking, "My kid won't eat goats' cheese and they're certainly not fans of broccoli!".  They can and they might just surprise you.  My 3 year old is a bit of a cheese fan (as am I) and I do love quiches.  The thing is, calorie wise and salt wise the pastry adds loads and, although I'm a fan of crisp, buttery pastry, the filling is where it's at with a quiche anyway and you know what?  I can be bothered to make a quiche about once in a blue moon.  By making it as a frittata, it's mega quick, easy and tasty and the result looks like you've spent ages over something dead simple.  I'd happily serve this to adults and it would make a pretty nice starter with a spinach salad dressed with walnuts and vinaigrette.  Also, cunningly, by excluding the crust, this recipe is now also wheat free as well as being vegetarian.

As a result of this love of the frittata's taste, ease and convenience you might notice I've been messing around with frittatas made like crustless quiches (i.e. in the oven) a lot recently.  I've always been a fan of goats cheese quiches so tried making a frittata along similar lines. It was meant to be beautifully arranged circles of a small goats cheese log, but that didn't turn up on my food order (the perils of ordering food online) so the presentation isn't quite as pretty as I hoped it would be but it was really tasty.  I mean REALLY tasty.  I'm definitely making this again!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Roasted roots

You may have seen a slightly unusual accompaniment to my smoked mackerel fish cakes the other day.  Yes, they were roasted carrots and radishes!  Two things we don't often roast but I'd given my son boiled carrots earlier in the day and we were a little low on vegetables so didn't just want to give him the same.  I'd seen roasted radishes in gastropub type menus and thought "why not?"

I often say to parents who have children who are fussy; "try cutting or cooking things differently".  For example, when my son was a baby he went off halved grapes.  I tried slicing them one day and he liked them again!  He went off broccoli for a while so I tried it in my monster mash and he loved it again.  Get the idea?  So although my son loves carrots, I thought I'd try and mix it up a bit.  If your child is less keen on carrots, they might go for this and the radishes lose all of their 'heat' on roasting meaning they end up just tasting of lovely roastiness.  Is that a word?  Probably not.

Roasted radishes

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Smoked Mackerel Fish Cakes

I may worry (probably unduly) about my child's nutrition but it can be difficult to encourage kids to eat oily fish. Oily fish is an excellent source of Omega 3 oils.  Omega 3 are a group of oils which, although the jury is out on the specific health effects; it's generally believed they're pretty good things to have in your diet.  Sources include things like salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel, fresh tuna, pollock (at lower levels) etc.  There are other sources but oily fish is the most concentrated.  This might not look like a lot of mackerel in the recipe but there's about five times more omega 3 in mackerel than there is in cod.

So how to get this goodie into your child's diet?  A challenge and I've linked some other oily fish recipes at the end if you'd like some more ideas!

Smoked mackerel fish cakes

Monday, 16 December 2013

Vegetable fritters - great for babies and toddlers on finger foods

After making my sweetcorn fritter recipe; I was determined there must be a good vegetable fritter recipe in me.  Look, I know courgettes (zucchini) aren't terribly seasonal at this time of year but they are still available in the shops and I'm sure you could substitute for another ingredient if you prefer.

This made a lovely, soft, pancake like texture which would be great for babies first finger foods, either alongside traditional weaning or as part of baby led weaning.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Turkey Sliders for all ages

A slider, so I'm told is a small burger.  I've mixed these up by making them with turkey (seasonal) but also sneaking in some hidden vegetables (why not) and a bit of spice!  These are super easy and healthy because they're made with white meat and baked not fried.

I do have a bit of love for sweet chilli sauce.  Although when my son was under 1 I diligently avoided giving him sugar as much as possible, I eased up as he got older.  Sweet chilli as an ingredient is a great way to introduce some gentle spicing in a way that is more predictable than using a small amount of chilli.


He tried some of my sliders with sweet chilli sauce but on balance preferred his served with ketchup.  Had I got any in the house, I would have served these with baked sweet potato wedges but I didn't so I served with cooked carrot sticks instead.  Might seem a bit strange but he loved it!

Friday, 29 November 2013

Mushroom and Bacon Frittata

I started off making frittatas just for me and my son but it's a sign of a recipe which is a pretty good one when I start making it for myself when he's already in bed!

Another frittata recipe.  Yes, I know, but they are good value, delicious, great warm or cold and a fantastic way to include both eggs and vegetables in your diet.  For some reason my body was craving eggs and mushrooms today and I went with it.  I didn't twig until I'd finished my meal how I'd chosen two foods high in dietary vitamin D.  What could I be craving?  Sunshine of course.  Now the nights are drawing in, our bodies aren't seeing the light so much so what could be better?

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Chicken Tray Bake, a thrifty meal for the family

A whole chicken is a great thing.  It can provide multiple meals like chicken pasta bake, orzotto, soup, pie, even more pie etc, etc.

But that said, not everyone wants or needs a whole chicken.  Sometimes it's a bit daunting as well for some people to get to grips with a roast (even if it's one of the easiest things to cook in my opinion).  So this is a roast for extreme novices and also handy for people on limited budgets.

Any vegetables which roast well would work here.  Just make sure you cut them to a suitable size so they cook in the time.  The longer a vegetable takes to cook, the smaller you cut it.  If you cut it too small, it might collapse a bit (like my butternut squash did here) but it's still tasty.

Don't add any oil to the vegetables, there is some fat which cooks out of the chicken which makes them taste yummy.

Chicken Tray Bake