RSS Feed

Tag Archives: nutmeg

Ricotta and spinach pasta sauce

I love a quick pasta sauce for Nicholas. If I have ricotta in the fridge, I’ll add a tablespoon or two to cooked pasta and mix it together with a sprinkling of nutmeg; it’s a meal ready in a few minutes.

My favourite addition to this basic ricotta pasta sauce is spinach. Spinach is packed with almost every vitamin and nutrient we need, so it’s the perfect vegetable to add to our munchkins’ meals.

I wilt the spinach by pouring over boiling water (see my Super Easy and Fast Creamy Spinach Pasta Sauce for some photos of the process), but you can wilt it quickly in a frying pan if you prefer.

RICOTTA AND SPINACH PASTA SAUCE

Prep time: 5-10 mins (depending on how long it takes for your kettle to boil!)
Cook time: 0 mins 🙂
Makes 1 toddler serving

1 large handful of fresh spinach
1 tbsp ricotta
A pinch of nutmeg
A pinch of salt and pepper (optional)

Fill your kettle with water and turn it on. Put the spinach in a colander.

Holding the colander over the sink, pour over half the boiling water. Use a wooden spoon to push down the spinach to drain it. Pour over the rest of the boiling water and again drain the spinach as much as you can.

Chop the spinach and put it in a small bowl. Add the ricotta and nutmeg (and salt and pepper, if using) and mix.

Stir through cooked pasta.

Variations:

  • If you have more time, put the cooked pasta and sauce into an ovenproof bowl, sprinkle with parmesan and bake at 180C for approximately 10 mins until golden brown

Other uses:

  • serve over rice
  • use as a crepe filling
Advertisements

French toast soldiers (sugar-free)

Breakfast. I’m never that creative with my own so I guess it’s logical that I struggle to be creative with Nicholas’. Mashed banana and yogurt has been our staple since his early days of weaning. He still eats it about three times a week, it never fails (he starts chanting ‘nana!, nana!’ as soon as I pick up a banana), and I can prepare it while still half asleep. But regardless of whether or not he gets bored of it, I get bored preparing it and also feel guilty that I should be giving him more of a variety of food to start the day.

In the early months of weaning I did grated apple, grated pear, grated apple and pear (!), and baby porridge. I don’t know why I never thought of French toast then. Slightly crispy on the outside, and lovely and soft inside, it’s certainly something a baby can tackle with their super strong gums, and a great baby-led weaning food. It’s also a nice way to introduce baby to other flavours like cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.

Thanks to Once a Month Mom, I discovered you can freeze French toast after you make it (saves you throwing away the unused egg mixture), make it into kabobs, and, more surprisingly, you can hide vegetables in it (she adds butternut squash puree!). I haven’t tried adding vegetables, but I have tried adding some mashed banana and also applesauce to the mixture before dunking the bread and these additions both work well.

You can dunk your soldiers in applesauce or a warm berry compote, drizzle with golden syrup or maple syrup, or serve them with fruit on the side (raw or stewed). Nicholas seems to like them as I do – plain with a drizzle of honey.

FRENCH TOAST SOLDIERS (SUGAR-FREE)

Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Makes 1 toddler serving
Freezable

1 slice of bread, cut into 4 or 5 ‘soldiers’
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg
1 tsp honey (optional)
a couple of drops of vanilla essence (optional)
1 tsp butter

In a bowl large enough for your ‘soldiers’ to lie down in, lightly beat the egg, milk, and cinnamon or nutmeg (and honey and vanilla, if using).

Lay your ‘soldiers’ in the eggy mixture and let them soak on both sides while you heat the butter in a small frying pan over a med-low heat.

Fry the bread for a couple of minutes on each side until golden brown.

Variations:

  • add mashed banana or applesauce (or even pureed butternut squash or sweet potato!) to the mixture before dunking
  • use cute cookie cutters to make different shapes of ‘soldiers’ to surprise your little one