February 3, 2019

Insanely Easy Meals For Toddlers (And Busy Mums)

These little meals below are soooo ridiculously easy. I used to be a fairly efficient and practical cook before being a Mum, but my ability to make meals that are tasty, healthy AND easy to clean up afterwards has increased significantly over the past 2 years!

Most of these recipes use frozen vegetables – you can of course always use fresh but for the purpose of making these recipes as easy and quick as possible, I’ve included frozen vegetables in the ingredient list.

Brown Lentil Salad

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Tin of brown lentils, drained
  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Chopped parsley
  • Salt + pepper

ADDITIONAL FUN

  • Add chopped cherry tomatoes, any other chopped herbs (mint, basil, dill, chives), feta or nutritional yeast.

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix everything together in a bowl!

NOTES: Eat straight away or store in a container in the fridge for a couple of days. This is a great one for lunches –  high in protein and fibre to keep little bellies full. My little lady loves the punchy vinegar hit from the apple cider vinegar.

Chickpea Salad

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Tin of chickpeas, drained
  • Lemon juice
  • Sultanas
  • Olive oil
  • Salt + pepper

ADDITIONAL FUN

  • Add mint and /or feta.

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix everything together in a bowl.

NOTES: Again a great source of protein and fibre. Chickpeas have such a bland / neutral flavour so you can use this as a base and then play around with different flavours.

Easiest Curry In The World

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Frozen vegetables – whatever you feel like; peas, broccoli, cauliflower, broad beans, mushrooms, kale…
  • Some boiling water
  • Tin of coconut cream
  • Generous amounts of powdered spices: turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger, onion powder, garlic powder + a much smaller amount of chilli powder.
  • Tin of chickpeas drained
  • Chicken stock – I use Massel stock cubes
  • Ghee, or coconut oil or butter
  • Salt and pepper if needed

Brown rice or cauliflower rice to serve

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix the spices and stock cube in about a tablespoon or two of boiling water to dissolve.
  • Add the frozen vegetables to a large skillet or non-stick pan, making sure to add the bigger pieces first (the ones that will take longer to thaw and heat up). Use a little bit of water here to help the veggies steam. You can also defrost and partially cook the frozen veggies in the microwave.
  • Add the tin of coconut cream, spice mix and chickpeas. Season with salt and pepper, cook for another few minutes until everything is combined.
  • Add a dollop of ghee at the end, or coconut oil or butter if you don’t have ghee. Serve with brown rice or cauliflower rice.

Feta Peas

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Cooked peas
  • Ghee
  • Lemon juice
  • Feta
  • Salt + pepper

ADDITIONAL FUN

  • Replace ghee with olive oil or butter if you prefer, add linseeds or sesame seeds as topping

WHAT TO DO

  • As soon as the peas as cooked, and still warm, combine everything together.

Green Smoothie

WHAT YOU NEED

  • Handful of spinach
  • 1/2 – 1 C of Almond milk
  • Banana
  • 1/4 avocado
  • Tablespoon of chia seeds

ADDITIONAL FUN

  • Add coconut milk or cream if you want a creamier taste, add some cucumber for additional greens, switch chia seeds for LSA or walnuts.

WHAT TO DO

  • Mix everything in a high speed blender. In summer, I use frozen spinach and / or banana and give it to my little one a “green ice-cream” for breaky. In the cooler months she just drinks it out of a cup or sippy cup.

Eggy Slices

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 4 eggs, mixed together
  • Any green vegetables; grated zucchini, peas, frozen spinach or kale, small pieces of broccoli…
  • Coconut oil, salt and pepper
  • Toppings: Feta and hemp seeds

ADDITIONAL FUN

  • Add nutritional yeast, parmesan cheese or cooked chicken, sprinkle with linseeds, chia seeds or LSA.

NOTES: You’ll need a frypan with a lid for this one, or use a second frypan to cover the pan if you don’t have one

WHAT TO DO

  • Pre-steam the veggies in the microwave to defrost and partially cook them. Add the oil + salt and pepper to the frypan and then the eggs. Cook at medium – high heat for a minute and then add your toppings. Turn the temperature down, cover with the lid and leave to set. Once cooked, transfer to a plate and cut into slices.

NOTES: this one is so easy and once you get the idea of it you can start to play around with various flavours and ingredients. I mostly use frozen vegetables because it saves on the clean up time. It’s a great one for lunch boxes, or for a breakfast – I sometimes make this the night before and have it cold for breakfast the next day (or give it 20 seconds in the microwave to get rid of the ‘fridge cold’). I also like that it’s an easy way to get a few greens into my little lady – she loves egg so I can get away with getting quite a few veggies in there 😉

Microwave Brown Rice

Now, I used to be a bit of a microwave snob until I became a Mum;-)…now I use that thing whenever and however I need!

WHAT YOU NEED

  • 1 cup of brown rice
  • 2.5-3 cups (or a little bit less) of cold water
  • Stock cube – any flavour you like, I use Massel
  • Some frozen vegetables – peas, kale, broad-beans…
  • Olive oil / butter or ghee
  • Salt and pepper

A microwave proof container with a lid.

ADDITIONAL FUN

  • Add shredded chicken, smoked fish, seeds or nuts.

WHAT TO DO

  • Add 1 cup of brown rice, plus 2.5- 3 cups of water to your microwave proof container and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Remove from the microwave and add the stock cube and frozen veggies – stir well to dissolve the stock. Place it back in the microwave for another 20 minutes on medium. Once its ready add some healthy fats olive oil, butter or ghee – plus salt and pepper to taste.

NOTES: You might need to adjust the amount of water or cooking time depending on your microwave, the type of brown rice you use or your microwave container – I’ve found that sometimes I need to microwave on medium for about 22 minutes (instead of 20) and sometimes I’ve needed a bit less water than 2.5-3 cups of water.

I love having this one in the fridge to add to my salads and meals. I started cooking it for my little one because she loves rice, but then I realised how handy it was to always have some complex carbs in the fridge ready to go. For example: add a spoonful to scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, add some rice to a lunchtime salad, have a small bowl as a mid afternoon snack – top with cottage cheese and seeds, or have some for breakfast with some steamed vegetables and poached egg.

ADDITIONAL FUN

  • Add some protein (shredded cooked chicken / flaked smoked fish / slices of leftover lamb or beef / lentils / cooked tofu) to make it a complete meal.

Right, there you have it – some insanely simple meals and snacks for little ones. For me it’s all about keeping things really simple, healthy and introducing her to new flavours when I can. And of course finding some favourite recipes that don’t require too much cleaning up! In general, focus on combining vegetables, protein, good fats and some carbohydrates in a way that is tasty and ideally fun. 🙂

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