Friday, 11 April 2014

Toddler's Hidden Veggie Pasta - soy free


In an ideal world all toddlers would eat vegetables without fuss - but the reality is that at some point many of them go through a fussy stage no matter how often healthy foods are offered. Luckily my daughter is coming to the end of this now, but during the couple of months that she refused to eat anything that looked like fruit or vegetables (she in fact still ate loads of both!) I became pretty inventive with disguising it. I still offered her plenty of recognisable stuff to encourage her, but it was good to know if she refused it she'd still be eating healthy foods.
The sauce is pretty easy to make and this recipe will make more than you need for one portion so it can be frozen once cooled. In fact I use the biggest size portion pots we still have lying around from weaning and they work great.

Ingredients

30g pasta shapes (you might need more or less depending how much your child eats)
20g red lentils
20g quinoa
1 TBSP olive oil
1 tin of chopped tomatoes with basil & herbs
1 Tsp oregano 
1 vegetable stock cube suitable for kids (low or no salt)
1 TBSP tomato purée
1/2 chopped white onion
1 large carrot peeled and chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 courgette chopped
Handful of spinach leaves
1/4 cup kale
1/2 cup chopped lightly steamed sweet potato
1/2 cup boiling water
Sprinkle of soya free vegan cheese (I use Redwood's)


How small you chop the vegetables depends on your child's chewing ability and how much you are trying to hide them. I usually chop them pretty fine in a food processor, but you could roughly chop them and blend the whole sauce smooth after cooking with an immersion blender. 
Add the oil, onion, carrot, pepper, courgette and sweet potato to a pan and fry until brown. Add the tomatoes, water, stock cube, purée, kale and oregano. Add the lentils and quinoa. Stir well and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the spinach a few minutes before it's ready.
About 10 minutes before the sauce is ready cook the pasta. Once it's all ready - drain, combine and sprinkle the 'cheese' on top. 



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