River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook
About Me: This book takes the sting out of teaching children to savour good food that's wholesome as well as delicious. It demands time and energy to cook individual meals for every member of the family, so Nikki Duffy offers the easy alternative of making tasty food that will appeal to young and old alike.
A lot of children love pesto – partly, I suspect, because bought versions are often rather salty. This recipe contains only the salt that’s present in the cheese and is therefore considerably lower in salt than many commercial varieties. It’s fragrant, tasty and very, very versatile. Pine nuts are traditional, but you can use any nuts as long as you grind them finely. You can even use ground almonds, which work really well. Alternatively, you can leave out the nuts altogether and make the pesto with lightly toasted breadcrumbs instead – in which case, it might need a little more oil. You can vary the herbs as well – parsley is particularly good. Apart from being a delicious sauce for pasta, a dollop of pesto is lovely stirred into soup, in sandwiches, as an addition to salads, and alongside plain-cooked fish. For babies: Make sure you process the nuts really finely, or try the ground almond option.
More elegantly known as French toast, this makes a filling breakfast. Serve it plain, or with a dusting of cinnamon, some fruit and perhaps a sprinkling of sugar. Taken from Nikki Duffy's Baby and Toddler cookbook, available here:http://astore.amazon.co.uk/rivecott-21/detail/1408807564
This is lovely on its own as a light meal, but it’s also good alongside pulses, such as simply cooked red lentils or even baked beans. The spinach and onion mix can also be used as a base for baked eggs, or in frittatas or quiches, or in Helen’s egg parcels. For babies: Try offering pieces of this as finger food. For grown-ups and older children: The spinach mix is a lovely topping for bruschetta. Toast slices of sourdough, rub with garlic and trickle with olive oil, then pile the spinach mix on top and finish with crumbled goat’s cheese or shavings of Parmesan.
This is a soft, soothing little dish of cooked lentils, perked up with peppery watercress and sweetened with fried onions. It’s easy-to-eat comfort food, but also very nutritious – packed with protein and a good source of iron, vitamin C and antioxidants. Serve with rice to create a vegetarian meal with complete protein. It’s also a nice accompaniment to chicken or baked fish or any kind of curry.
This crumble topping uses oats and fine oatmeal, so it’s wheat-free. You can use it on top of other fruits – try peeled, cored and sliced apple, tossed with sugar, sultanas and cinnamon (or blackberries, see page 26), or stoned and quartered plums, trickled with a little maple syrup.
You can customise this recipe to your hearts content. Almost any cooked vegetable can go in, from spring broccoli through summer peas, beans and courgettes to winter roots, and it can be enhanced with chopped herbs” says Nikki Duffy author of the River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook, available at rivercottage.net For babies: Wedges or chunks of frittata are good finger food For grown-ups and older children: This is ideal picnic or lunchbox fare.