Sweet Potato, Kidney Bean & Roasted Pepper Patties

As usual, thanks to my lovely friend Deepa at GirlBoyFoodBaby. Her baby led weaning recipes are always so inspiring and easy and use the best ingredients. I love being able to collaborate and join forces with other gentle-parenting and health-focused mummas to make the best food for our babies. Luckily for Deepa her little one (only 10 days younger than Brax), actually eats well, whereas I make all these things for Brax and he just looks at them then throws them on the floor.

I’m trying not to get stressed about his lack of interest in food as I know that it can happen to babies from 12 months. Babies who loved food before then often go off food and it can last for a while. This happened with us, pretty much around 11/12 months and although it’s getting a little better, he’s still not a great eater. It’s not that he’s fussy with flavours, he just isn’t interested in food. Apart from bananas – loves bananas!

Anyway, regardless of the fact that Braxton didn’t eat these, hopefully your babies will. And if they don’t, do what I did and eat them yourself!

They are so nutritious and full of perfect ingredients for babies.

Ingredients

2 peppers (I used red and yellow), very finely chopped
About 4 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
2 tin / carton organic kidney beans
1 cup tomatoes, blended
Juice of half a lime
Handful coriander, chopped
Handful parsley, chopped
Pinch of ground black pepper
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of Himalayan salt (omit for young babies or if you don’t want any salt in there)
Tbsp ground cumin
Tsp turmeric
Tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 cup cornmeal

Method

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

Roast the peppers on a baking tray.

Cook and mash the potatoes then add them to a bowl with the kidney beans and mash, leaving some small lumps.

In a small separate bowl, combine the tomatoes with all the spices and nutritional yeast. Mixing the spices in the tomatoes helps liquid spread them evenly in the burger mix.

Add the tomato mixture to the potato mixture then add in the roasted peppers and mix well until everything is combined well and the batter is thick, sticky paste (a good couple of minutes or so). It will seem a bit moist, but thats fine. Add the cornmeal and mix into the batter until well mixed.

Put the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes then shape into patties on a lined baking tray using a spoon and press down and bake for 25 minutes. Then flip them. They’ll still be a bit tender at this point, so flip gently, but will firm up much more by the end. After flipping, cook them 10 more minutes on the other side. Let cool 10 minutes before eating, as they will firm up even more. They should be crispy on outside and slightly moist and chewy on inside.

These freeze really well. Just par bake for 25 minutes then freeze. Then cook for 20 minutes once out of the freezer.

Thanks to Deepa for this one!

Love & health,
Lauren

Broad Bean, Sweet Potato & Cumin Plus Baby Led Weaning vs Blended

Broad bean, sweet pot, onion, cumin

How great are these Nuk by Annabel Karmel food cube trays? Perfect for batch cooking for your little ones.

So, let’s talk baby led weaning (BLW). I had intentions of doing only baby led with Braxton but when the time came (when he was 6 months), he wasn’t very good at picking food up and he started getting very frustrated. So I decided that ‘baby led’, for me anyway, means being led by your own baby. Why should I let him get frustrated just because I’d decided I wanted to do something a certain way? He was trying to communicate with me that it wasn’t working for him, and he needed some more time, but was certainly ready to eat the food, so I decided to do a mixture of blended foods and BLW.

He’s now nearly 9 months so feeds himself a lot, and he’s got so good at it! He’s even perfected his pincer grip and understands how to take a bite and keep the rest in his hand while he chews, then finish what’s in his hand when he’s ready, so I give him a lot of food that he can feed himself with, but I still spoon feed him some things as I want to make sure he gets heaps of nutrients so I’ll make a blend of veg like this one, and it’s too hard for him to feed himself with a spoon.

What I’m saying is that we do a mixture of the two. At the beginning I’d mainly feed him myself but always give him something he could hold himself with each meal; some avocado, a piece of cucumber, a piece of broccoli, some roast chicken cut in strips.

This has all worked really well for us and he most definitely has still developed when it comes to his fine motor skills and hand-mouth coordination, despite what the militant baby led weaners told me about doing a mixture!

When it comes down to it, you have to read your own baby, as they are all so different, and do what works best for YOUR baby and YOUR family. This has worked brilliantly for us and I love that we can be flexible.

I hadn’t planned to make this, but I was sent broad beans in my Abel & Cole box this week, so I decided to make this mixture and it worked really well.

Ingredients 

1 bag of broad beans (they should come in their pods, then you must take them out of the pods)
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 tsp cumin
1 cube of homemade bone broth / veg stock or a low salt Kallo stock cube

Method

Shell your broad beans then put them, along with the other veg, into the steamer (this helps the veg retain more nutrients than boiling them).

If your stock cube is homemade and frozen, melt it in a saucepan over a low heat. If you are using a store-bought stock cube, mix it in a quarter cup boiling water.

When the veg are soft, put them in the blender with the stock and cumin and blend until smooth or leave lumps if you prefer.

I hope your baby likes this as much as mine did!

Love,
Lauren & Braxton

Cauliflower, Sweet Potato & Turmeric

Cauliflower, sweet pot, potato, stock, turmeric

Are you wondering why I picture all my baby food recipes in plastic bowls? I’m a mum! I don’t have time to style them in nice china dishes then spoon them all back into the plastic bowls that are safe for him to eat from! This category is all about being real; real mums in real kitchens with only 24 hours in one day, and most real mums I know feed their babies from plastic bowls!

All the plastic I use for Braxton is BPA free and this is very important. BPA is the resin in some plastics used to package food or drinks and it can seep into food, causing us to ingest these chemicals. In the long-term this can cause behaviour problems, brain development issues and can even feed through to unborn babies if the mother has too much exposure. Look for BPA free products where you can with bowls, plates, cutlery, bottles and cups for your bubbas.

Moving on to the food… Braxton LOVED this one! It’s so creamy that it almost tastes cheesy (and I don’t give him dairy so this is a bonus!) and it’s really filling, and super easy to make. The turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory (great for eczema) and this is a great way to get these sorts of spices into your babies from early on. Firstly so they get used to the taste and accept it, but also to add the nutrients from so early on.

Ingredients (makes 1 batch of about 10 small meals)

1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 normal potato, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 cube homemade bone broth or vegetable stock or a Kallo low salt veg stock cube

Method

Steam all the vegetables together in a steamer (this retains more of the nutrients than boiling the veg) until soft.

If your stock cube is homemade and frozen, melt it in a saucepan over a low heat. If you are using a store-bought stock cube, mix it in a quarter cup boiling water.

Put the steamed food in the blender or food processor and add the turmeric and stock and blend until smooth or leave some lumps if you like, then spoon into individual containers or ice cube trays – I like the Nuk ones by Annabel Karmel

I hope your baby loves it as much as mine does!

Love,
Lauren & Braxton

 

Favourite Summer Salad

Sweet pot salad 1

This is my ultimate go-to summer salad. It’s so easy and quick to make and works so well as a yummy, filling, nutritious meal to eat out in the garden on a warm evening. You can omit the halloumi if you are vegan, and you don’t have to stick to this recipe, you can add any vegetables you like.

Ingredients

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped in bite sizes
1 block of organic High Weald halloumi, sliced
About 6 romaine lettuce leaves, chopped
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in 4
1 red pepper, chopped
2 mini cucumbers, chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
Handful of olives of your choice
Small tin of artichoke hearts
Extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan or Oryx desert salt

Sweet pot salad 2

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees while you peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Put them on a baking tray covering with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Mix them around the tray until they are all covered in the oil then place in the oven for around 30 minutes.

Prepare the rest of your veg and add to a bowl then drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper (you can add lemon here if you like it) and mix well.

Place the halloumi under the grill or on the BBQ (we love it on the BBQ) and grill until nicely charred.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and place on top of the salad, then remove the halloumi from the grill or BBQ and place on top. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Roasted Lemon, Sweet Potato & Corn Salad

Roasted Lemon, Sweet Potato & Corn Salald

I recently posted my recipe for Roasted Lemon Ice Cream. The roasted lemons also work beautifully in savoury dishes, especially when combined with Mediterranean or Middle Eastern flavours. This salad is filling enough to have as a meal on its own, or it makes a great side for a family braai (South African BBQ) or picnic.

Ingredients

2 lemons, quartered lengthways
475g sweet potato, sliced into 2cm rounds
2 tsp chilli flakes
extra virgin olive oil
3 cobs of corn
250g mini rosa tomatoes
200g black olives
a big handful of fresh coriander
5 spring onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp organic maple syrup
Salt and black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C.
Place the lemons in an ovenproof dish and roast until soft and slightly caramelised, about 45 minutes to an hour.
Toss the sweet potatoes and chilli flakes together, along with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt. Roast until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

Boil the corn in a pot of water until done, about 20 minutes. Cut the kernels off the cob.

Whisk together the 2 tbsp olive oil, vinegar and maple syrup.

In a large salad bowl combine the sweet potatoes, corn, tomatoes, olives, spring onion and coriander. Remove the pips from the lemons and then scrape the soft, juicy flesh into the salad, discarding the skins. Add the dressing, and salt and pepper to taste, and toss everything together.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Deliciously Ella’s Sweet Potato Brownies

Sweet Potato Brownies

I love Deliciously Ella’s recipes and always meant to get round to making these so here they are! Funny, you’d think, using sweet potato as the main ingredient but it really works! I have a dinner party tomorrow night where I’ve been asked to make gluten, dairy and sugar free desserts so this is going to be one of them.

For the recipe and more amazing healthy recipes go to http://www.deliciouslyella.com

Love,
Lauren

Vegan Dinner Plate

Veggie Plate

Just look how yummy life can be as a vegan! I’m not going to write a long post here, it doesn’t need it! Just going to get straight on to the recipes…

For the sweet potato mash:
Peel a sweet potato and boil. Once ready, mash it in a bowl with some almond milk, salt, pepper and sprinkle with paprika

For the brown rice:
Add half a cup of brown rice to boiling water. Once it starts bubbling, turn down the heat to low, give it a stir, and put the lid on. It will take a good half an hour to cook properly. You can also add a tsp of Bouillon or other organic vegetable stock for taste.

For the salad:
Drain and rinse a tin of chickpeas and add to a bowl.
Cut up a red onion, some cucumber and some dill and add to the bowl.
Drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil, Himalayan salt and pepper.

For the sauteed mushrooms:
Chop a box of mushrooms, one onion and one clove of garlic.
Add the onion to a non-stick frying pan with some coconut oil. After a minute add the garlic, then after another minute add the mushrooms. Sautee for around 7 minutes until you can smell they are ready – you’ll know what I mean! Add some salt and pepper and you can add paprika or other spices if you like.

Add all to a plate and enjoy!

Love,
Lauren