For anyone that follows me on Instagram and Snapchat, you will have seen that this weekend I embarked on what I deemed #BabyMealPrepMarathon.
I made it my mission to make 100 meals this weekend for Alessia, to have in the freezer for both lunches and dinners. I managed to make 72, meh! Close enough 😝
Alessia is now 8 months old and while most of the time we let her ‘eat what we eat’, we do live a different lifestyle to most in that Adam works afternoons/Evenings and therefore our family meal time is lunch, not dinner. As such, we have our main meal together at lunch and dinner time is generally me eating a bowl of something leftover out of the fridge or the occasional cup of tea and slice of toast when I’m either not prepared or not that hungry.
I am a very fussy eater and most of the time will refuse to try new things, Adam is the opposite and will try/eat anything and everything! I want Alessia to have Adam’s mentality towards trying new food and felt that by pre preparing her meals I could include much more variety into her diet and hopefully develop her palette in turn.
I had quite a few requests for recipes over the last few days so decided to share them with you all and hopefully have some sent my way in return.
Friday was grocery shopping day. We visited the butcher and green grocer to stock up on fresh ingredients as well as Coles for some staple items.
I chose the weekend that Alessia’s front tooth decided to cut through which wasn’t ideal as I was extremely tired but this made me even more proud of my culinary achievements. It’s amazing how far we can push our bodies on so little sleep.
I made 6 different types of foods that Alessia can consume over the coming months. I plan on adding to this with supply as 6 meals certainly isn’t enough variety, but I feel it’s a good start.
• “One Pot Chicken”
• Baby Bolognese
• Chicken Mushroom Pasta
• Baby Beef Casserole with Rice
• Mashed Mixed Vegetables
1x Tbs Olive Oil, 1 x Onion, 1 x small tin of diced Italian tomatoes (I just use the Coles brand) , 1 x 375g pack of McKenzies whole green lentils, 1 x punnet of Continental Parsley, 3 X Carrots, 750ml-1L of Salt Reduced Chicken Stock (I used Coles Brand, can use homemade also), 1 x pack of Coles Brand Dry Chicken Noodle Soup Mix.
You’ll need a heavy based stainless steel pot for this one, on a medium sized burner.
To prepare, wash and dry parsley, peel carrots.
*I used my Breville Food Processor to chop my vegetables this weekend as CBF chopping everything up by hand.*
Put onion in processor and blitz until finely chopped.
Heat pot and add oil, cook onion until clear, then add whole can of diced tomatoes and stir, cooking off on a medium heat for approximately 5 mins.
Blitz parsley and add to pot and stir, then blitz carrot until finely chopped and add to pot.
Add in the entire bag (375g) of whole green lentils, add chicken stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir often until reduced and lentils are soft (approx 45-60mins).
You can add more stock/water to the mix if you feel it is too dry through the cooking process.
Once cooked, add chicken noodle soup mix and stir well. Allow to cook for a further 5 mins then remove from heat and allow to cool.
Portion into Zip lock bags or small containers to freezer. This quantity makes approximately 20 Portions (1/3-1/2Cup)
ONE POT CHICKEN:
20g butter,1 x Leek, 1/2 large sweet potato, 3 x carrots, 1 x medium/large chicken breast(cubes), 750ml salt reduced chicken stock (again I used the Coles brand carton for this one).
For this one you will need a heavy based deep frying pan with a lid.
I again blitzed my vegetables in my food processor, separating the Leek.
On a medium burner on a medium heat, melt butter in pan and add Leek, cooking until soft. Add cubed chicken and cook until coloured slightly, add sweet potato & carrot and stir.
Cover with chicken stock and bring to slight boil, add lid to cover and reduce to a simmer for approximately 25/30 mins whilst stirring often.
Once chicken is cooked through and liquid reduced, turn off heat and remove chicken.
Add chicken to clean & dry food processor and blitz every so slightly to shred the chicken.
Stir the chicken back into the pan and allow to cool before portioning into containers or zip locks.
*I like to label all of my zip lock bags with the contents and date*
This recipe gave me 12 x Portions however you may get more/less depending on portion size.
You can add pasta or rice to the dish if you like and this can be added directly into the pan provided there is sufficient liquid.
Tbsp Olive Oil, 500g Lean Beef Mince, 1/2 Sweet Potato, 1 x Leek, 1/2 bunch continental parsley, 1 x Medium Zucchini, 250g fresh mushrooms, 250ML Salt Reduced Chicken Stock, 1 x bottle of Passata (could be replaced by 2 x small tins of crushed/diced tomatoes).
I used the same heavy based deep frying pan that I used for the one pot chicken for this one.
Again, blitzing all vegetables and parsley before starting.
On a high heat, add oil to pan and fry beef mince until cooked.
This one is pretty simple in that you then add all remaining ingredients and stir!
I add parsley, Zucchini, carrot, Leek and sweet potato all together at this point and stir, then mix in the chicken stock, stir, then stir through the bottle of passata.
Bring to a light boil, then reduce and simmer until thickened.
I would say around the 50/60 min mark for this one. Stirring often, lid off.
Allow to cool and then portion.
CHICKEN MUSHROOM PASTA:
Tbsp Olive Oil, 1 x Large Chicken Breast (Diced), 250g Mushroom, 1/2 Sweet Potato, Leek, 750ml Salt Reduced Chicken Stock, 1/2C Soup/Alphabet Pasta (I prefer the Aldi one as it doesn’t go soggy)
Same deep heavy based pan with lid for this one.
Blitz mushrooms, sweet potato and Leek separately and set aside.
On medium burner, medium heat – add oil and Leek and cook until soft, add chicken and cook until slightly coloured.
Add finely chopped/blitzed mushroom and sweet potato and stir, add chicken stock and simmer until veg is soft and chicken is completely cooked.
You’ll find that this one has quite a bit of liquid, perfectly normal!
Remove the cooked chicken and either chop/shred or process and leave out for the moment.
Add the dry pasta to the still simmering veg and stock mix. Stir often.
Remove from heat once the pasta is cooked and return the chicken and stir through.
Allow the mix to cool slightly then portion.
I got 10 x Portions from this one. It’s a delicious recipe and one that I would definitely like to make for Adam and I one night.
BABY BEEF CASSEROLE WITH RICE:
Tbsp Olive Oil, 300g Lean Chuck Steak/Stewing/Gravy Beef, 1 x Zucchini, 1/2 Bunch of Parsley, 1 x Large Sweet Potato, 1Cup Salt reduced Beef Stock, 1 x small can of Diced Tomatoes.
Deep Heavy Based Frying Pan with lid used again.
Blitz the parsley, Zucchini, sweet potato in preparation.
High Heat, Medium Burner – heat the pan and cook diced beef until slightly coloured/sealed.
Combine the beef stock and canned tomatoes in a measuring jug.
Reduce the beef to a medium/simmering heat and add all vegetables and parsley. Then stir in the stock/tomatoes mix.
Cover with lid and stir often.
Once beef is soft (approx 60 mins), remove the beef, allow to cool slightly then shred. (Again, I gave it a quick blitz in the food processor)
Add 1/2C raw Basmati Rice and continue to stir. Cook until the rice is cooked.
Return the shredded beef to the mix and stir well.
Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly then portion.
I got 20 x 1/4C Portions from this recipe.
Don’t think I really need to explain this one do I? 😂
I simply steamed Zucchini, Carrot,Cauliflower, Broccoli & Pumpkin.
I then allowed them to cool and mashed them slightly with a potato masher in a big ass bowl, adding a small amount of salt and portioning up into zip locks.
I find it’s handy to have mashed veg in the freezer as it can be added to whatever we are having to add volume to a dish or even to simply stir through pasta for an easy meal for Alessia on those busy days.
I hope you all enjoy these recipes!
All are my own except the One Pot Chicken which was shared by a friend. It’s definitely a winner and she makes it with soup/alphabet pasta which is a delicious combo.
All recipes can be altered to include preferred vegetables and even herbs.
They all freeze well and can be doubled or halved easily.
Please let me know if this is something you would like me to continue to share…
Now back to my Cup of Tea, Happy Sunday Folks!