Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Kitchen Series- First foods, super roast vegetables and salads two days| three

Today is part three of the series on Baby first foods and sibling meals. As Tully grows it's getting easier and easier to slip more into toddler based meals and less of the stewed food options which is great. In saying this I still stew apples weekly and always have steamed vegetables like pumpkin, cauliflower, and carrots on the ready to add to heavy meals to help my little man eat them. I haven't thought about doing baby led weaning because frankly, the mess added to the already small dining space just isn't an option when thinking of my sanity. So for my little fox at ten months of age I'm doing soft and semi steamed finger foods and mushies or chopped meals for him and bigger versions of these meals with side salads for Miss Three. 
We harvested kilos and kilos of tri-coloured carrots, greens and beetroot this week {and got Miss Three to practise scrubbing them clean of dirt for a couple of hours} so today focuses on how to use these ingredients a number of ways. Not everyone can grow their own veggies l get this, it doesn't make me better than anyone {it's a lot of work and you have to love to garden to pull it off} but l admit it's deeply satisfying to step out my front door {literally} and be in my veggie garden.
Before l share some of the recipes I do want to say something. I blog The Kitchen Series not because I'm some expert or amazing housewife|mother. I do it because l love to cook, garden, l like to know what my kids are eating, l made and l hope that it might help someone else gain some ideas as well. In saying that I often cook in my PJ's in the mornings, l've only had my thermomix since May, it was on my wish list for years, I still buy takeaway occasionally, I buy Rafferty's garden when on special for outings for Little fox and eat more sugar than I care to admit. But we can all aspire to be health freaks don't we. I want this blog to tell an honest story of my growing tribe attempting to live a simple life, and this includes The Kitchen Series. So today I'm sharing some kid friendly recipes of warm and cold salad ideas.

Carrot and beetroot salad | recipe one 

I finely chopped this for Tully to have but ours was a little chunkier and with big chucks of feta mixed through out. This recipe is from the Everyday Thermomix Cookbook with some additions.

A piece of danish feta {in house it is a big slice}
400g raw beetroot, quartered
200g carrot, roughly chopped
1/2 red onion
1 green apple, quartered and cored
2-3 sprigs fresh coriander leaves only
2 tbsp olive oil
20g freshly squeezed lemon juice
sea salt, to taste
You can also add shredded kale or 
spinach leaves to the mix for add texture

How to make in thermie |
Place all ingredients into mixing bowl and chop 2-3 sec/speed 5
Scrape down sides of the bowl and repeat 2-3 sec/speed 5 or until chopped to your liking.
Serve on it's own or add cubed danish feta and stir throughout {we love it like this} 

How to make in normal |
With a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots and beetroot {you may want to use gloves for this unless purple is your colour}. 
With a grater, grate the carrots and beetroot into a bowl.
Add cubes of feta, lemon juice and mix through. You could add diced cucumber to this salad mix too and it's great on salad greens and then with a egg over the top for a lunch treat. 

Roast Veg and super grain stew | recipe two

couple of tbsp olive oil
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
5 carrots {orange or purple} diced
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets or small pieces
2-3 Beetroots, {optional} peeled or you can leave the skin on {roast these separately or the colour will bleed into the other veggies}
1/2 a pumpkin with a nutty flesh {or use what you have}
1 sweet potato large or 2 small ones, diced
1 cup of sugar grain mix {red,white, black quinoa and amaranth}

How to make
Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan forced. Chop all the veggies in bite size chunks and place in a roasting tray.
Sprinkle with oil and roast in an oven on 180 degrees until cooked through. This is usually 40 mins in my Mielle oven.
Make Supergrain mix per packet instructions {use 2 cups of water for every cup and cook | simmer for about 15 mins over medium heat}. I usually rinse under cold water till water runs clear and use a stock cube in the water when boiling the grains for added flavour. 
Drain grains and place in a bowl, add roasted veggies and mix. I like to use a wooden spoon and make sure l squish the garlic and some of the pumpkin to make a bit of a paste to add texture to the dish. I often sprinkle with some seeds to make it more interesting for the kids. For Ads and I would serve this with a side green salad of beetroot, spinach and Cos leaves with Olive oil and balsamic dressing for added zing. 

Other ideas for this dish- Using the roasted vegetables I've added them to a leafy green salad. Add some tamari and small shell or alphabet pasta for a tasty warm dish. I like it on toasted sourdough with feta. Or add broad beans, peas and corn. You could also add the roast vegetables to a wrap with shredded chicken and avocado. Add it to hard or soft taco shells with lettuce, chopped tomatoes and tasty cheese with sour cream on top. You could also have this in a wrap with falafel and sprouts for something crunchy and herbie for the kids with lots of tzatziki dip {I'll share that recipe for you at the end ok}. 

Cauliflower and pearl barley salad | recipe three

The first time l had a pearl barley salad my beautiful friend Laura made it with a side of chicken for a play date. It was such a surprise that l have since used pearl barley a lot. I've eaten it in soups, on it's own with roasted pumpkin an d corn, mixed with basmati and wild rice to go with a curry and last week made this for a dinner | play date with friends. It's easy and you can use it with just about anything. We had ours with ribs which was oh so good but l think with fish, chicken or even marinated tempeh it would be a ripper of a dish. 

1/2 head of cauliflower
2 garlic cloves
1 cup of pearl barley
vegetable stock cube
1/2 litre of water
400g of cannelloni beans drained {optional}
lemon juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
2 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper

How to make thermie + oven|
Chop dill and parsley 3 seconds/speed 5 and then set aside. {if you don't have a thermie just chop with a knife finely}
Cut florets of cauliflower and place in a ovenproof dish, drizzle with olive oil and place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees. 
Roast for 30-49mins till it is slightly brown and roasted. Set aside, add the garlic clove to a dish and with the back of a spoon mush into a paste, salt and pepper, add lemon juice, olive oil and a dash of red wine vinegar. Set aside.
Add 600ml of hot water and a veg stock cube to thermie bowl. Cook pearl barley in TM bowl or basket for 18-20 minutes till tender {if cooking in pot follow the instructions on back of back}.
Set pearl barley aside to cool.
In a bowl add all ingredients and mix through and serve while still warm. 
Other ideas for this dish- you could add thinkly sliced fennel, cumin seeds to the mix and toasted sliver almonds. You can add check peas or lentils to change it up a bit. 

Tzatziki dip {from the Everyday cookbook} | recipe four

2 Lebanese cucumbers unpeeled, sliced lengthwise, seeds removed.
1 tsp of sea salt
1 garlic clove
3-5 springs of fresh dill or mint, leaves only, to taste
350g greek-style style yoghurt
20g freshly squeezed lemon juice
30g of extra virgin olive oil
pinch of black pepper to taste and a sprinkle of herb salt {optional}

How to make thermie |
Place cucumber and alt into mixing bowl and chop for 3 seconds/speed 5.
Transfer into Tm basket and drain for approx. 10 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid out of cucumber. Set aside. clean and dry the mixing bowl.
Place garlic and dill| mint into mixing bowl and chop 3 sec/speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add all remaining ingredients, including reserved cucumber and mix for 15 sec/reverse/speed 3. Transfer into a bowl to serve or refrigerate until required.

I like to make a beetroot version-
Just add 1/2 raw beetroot or 1 small one to the thermie mixing bowl. Mix 10-15 sec/speed 5. Place in a bowl and set aside. Add it to the final stages of the above recipes to blend in the last step. It's one of Miss three's favourite things to add to rice crackers, vegetable sticks and to eat with roast meats {it's really yum}

How to make normal |
In a blender add cucumber and blitz for a few seconds. Squeeze excess liquid out of the cucumber and set aside.
Place garlic, dill and mint into the blender and chop for 5 seconds on chop and scrape down sides of the bowl. Add all remaining ingredients including the cucumber and mix for 5-10 seconds on stir/blend until required consistency is achieved. Transfer to bowl and serve or refrigerate until required.

Now for the Kitchen Series Link Up |

All you need to do is link up your blog post and share your recipes and we will be on our way. Thanks everyone for your recent link ups I've made some of them and they have been amazing. Think about becoming a member of the blog or shoot me an email at and over on Instagram @thepoppyfox linking up using hashtag #pfthekitchenseries for all your foodie inspiration. Have a great week everybody. 
x Mummafox

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