Things my kids ate happily this month 10

Only two things this month. G Major cracked her head open at nursery one week and we were in and out of hospital getting stitches, so comfort food featured high on the menu. We’re also renovating, and it’s like living in a quarry. Big G’s parents have taken pity on us most weekends and rescued us from the dust, so I’ve not had to cook for the kids as much.

But these two ideas tick the usual boxes: simple to make, bonus veg and protein and kid-friendly.

Baked chicken, pea and butternut squash risotto 

Less soothing than making a risotto on the stove top but much more compatible with child wrangling – throw it in and forget about it for a few hours.

In a large casserole dish, fry a diced onion off, then add a cup of arborio rice. Pour in a litre of chicken stock and add diced chicken breast and diced butternut squash.

Cover and put in a moderate over for about an hour and a half. 15 minutes before you serve, throw in some frozen peas. It’s all done when the stock has evaporated and the rice is tender.

Grate over some Parmesan to serve.


Bonus veg turkey nuggets 

Nuggets are gross. But kids love them and the minced meat makes it easy to hide things. 

Blend or purée together half a small tin  sweet corn, a handful of mushrooms and half a small tin of butter beans with an egg. Add this to about 250g turkey mince
and some finely grated courgette.

Mix it altogether and chill for half an hour. Form into nuggets, then roll in a beaten egg and then breadcrumbs.

I fried these lightly before baking, but you could skip that step. Lay out on a greased baking tray and cook for 20-25 mins at 180.

I served these with frozen peas, baked beans and these great butternut squash crinkle cut chips Tesco now sell. And tomato sauce, of course!

Things my kids happily ate this (last) month 9

Two days late this month. We’ve been in Mallorca on holiday, where the kids happily ate all kinds of things, including those Spanish classics, spaghetti bolognese, icecream and chips. Le sigh. G Minor did show a preference for prawns, at least.

Sneaky green veg pesto 

Tastes like jarred pesto but is full of extra veg. 

Microwave a stack of green veg till soft – I used broccoli, spinach, courgette and frozen peas.

Add slug of olive oil, some grated Parmesan and a blob of commercial pesto, then blitz with a stick blender.

Serve over pasta; add cooked chicken or ham as well if you’d like.

Cheesy pea and broccoli croquettes 

These are easy for little fingers to manage. The cheese and potato make a handy cover for the green veg. They make a great lunch on their own or a side with chicken, lamb chops or sausages. 

Boil and mash two small potatoes. I used a potato ricer – normally I think the ricer is a mess and a pain but it does make better potatoes for these croquettes.

Meanwhile, cook a handful of frozen peas and smush them up a bit. Cook just the fluffy tips of the broccoli and finely chop.

Mix the peas and broccoli into the mash with some butter and grated cheese and leave to cool.

Roll the mix into fat little sausages, dip in beaten egg and breadcrumbs and fry until golden brown.

Mild mustard chicken

This has a lovely  mild flavour and is deliciously creamy. Serve with steamed veg on the side, and rice if you’d like.

Dice a chicken breast and brown off. Add some finely sliced onions to the pan and cook
until soft and translucent. Add some sliced mushrooms and cook gently.

Pour over some cream of chicken soup, a splash of chicken stock, a splash of cream and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Simmer for five minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.

Orange mash

Pretty much what it says on the tin. Serve alongside anything you like for a triple whammy of carotene.165769770

Peel, chop and boil or roast carrots, butternut squash and sweet potato. Mash with plenty of butter and a sprinkle of sweet paprika.