We have prepared some tasty recipes for you to try out with your children and family, and hope you enjoy making them too!

Soups, Purees & Casseroles

Lentil and Vegetable Soup
1 leek, white part only, chopped
1 small head of cauliflower
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled and chopped
50g split red lentils
1 pint of vegetable stock

Gently fry the leek in a saucepan with some olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock, lentils and carrots. Cover and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes.
Add rest of ingredients and cook for a further 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Butternut Squash and Apple
500g butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and chopped.
2 dessert apples, peeled, cored and chopped.

Put the butternut squash in a steamer and cook for about 8 minutes.
Add the apples to the steamer and cook for another 10 minutes.
Blend to a smooth puree.

Sweet Potato, Carrot and Broccoli.
300g sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
125g broccoli, florets

Put the sweet potatoes and carrots in a steamer and cook for 12 minutes.
Add the broccoli and continue to cook until vegetables are tender.
Blend to a puree.

Leek and Potato Soup
2 leeks, white part only, chopped
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 pint of vegetable stock

Gently fry the leek and garlic in a saucepan with some olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock and potatoes.
Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft, adding more stock if necessary.
Puree and add a tbsp. of crème fraiche if desired.

Chicken and Peach Casserole
2 chicken fillets, cubed
1 small onion
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 tomato, skinned and chopped
½ pt. chicken stock
1 tin of peaches

Gently fry the onion in a saucepan with some olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
Add the Chicken Fillets and stock and gently simmer for 10 minutes.
Add carrots and continue to cook for 20 minutes.
Add pepper, tomato and peaches (with juice) and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes.
If cooking for a young child use potato masher to soften food.
Serve with rice.

First Chicken Casserole
1 tsp. vegetable oil
100g carrots, chopped
60g leeks, white part only
75g chicken breasts, cut into chunks
250g potatoes, chopped
75g parsnips

Warm the oil in a casserole pot. Add the carrots and leeks and sauté until softened for about 8 minutes.
Add the chicken, turning occasionally. Add the potatoes and parsnip and cover with boiling water. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes.
Blend to a puree or leave mashed for older babies.

Pea Hummus
200g cooked peas
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)
Squeeze of lemon
1 tbsp. cooked cannellini beans, from a can
2 tbsp. olive oil
To Serve
Strips of pitta bread
Raw vegetable sticks

Blitz all the ingredients together using a hand blender or food processor. Add 1-2 tbsp. water, then blitz again. Transfer a portion to a pot and add to a lunchbox with pitta bread strips and veg sticks. Keep the rest chilled for up to 3 days.


Fish Dishes

Prawn & mango salad
½ avocado, peeled and cut into cubes,
Squeeze of lemon juice
50g small cooked prawns
1 mango cheek, peeled and cut into cubes
4 cherry tomatoes, halved
Finger-sized piece cucumber, chopped
Handful baby spinach leaves
Couple of mint leaves, very finely shredded
1-2 tsp sweet chili sauce

Mix the avocado with the lemon juice, then toss with the prawns, mango, tomatoes, cucumber, spinach and mint. Pack into a lunchbox and drizzle over the sweet chilli sauce, then chill until ready to eat.

Courgettes, Tomatoes and Cod Fillet.
150g cod fillet, skinned
30g butter, unsalted
1 shallot, chopped
100g courgettes, chopped
370g tomatoes, skinned, de seeded, chopped
60g grated cheddar cheese

Steam cod for about 6 minutes.
Melt the butter in a pan; add the courgettes and sauté for 8 minutes.
Add tomatoes and sauté for a further 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese until melted.
Check for and remove any bones from the fish then stir it into the tomato and courgette sauce.
Blend the mixture.

Salmon/Sole Fillets with Vegetables in Mushroom and Cheese Sauce

6oz of salmon/sole Fillet
½ cup of peas
2 cooked potatoes, chopped
10 mushrooms, washed and chopped
20g/ ¾ oz. butter
2 tbsp. plain flour
175ml/6 FL oz. milk
2 ½ oz. grated cheddar cheese.

Melt butter and cook mushrooms for 5 minutes.
Stir in flour to make a roux.
Gradually whisk in milk, cooking over a gentle heat until you have a smooth mushroom sauce.
Add cheese and stir gently until melted.
Add peas and potato and simmer over a very gentle heat.
Place fish in microwavable dish with 2 tablespoons of milk and small knob of butter.
Cover and cook on high in microwave for approx. 4 minutes.
Flake fish and take care to remove all bones.
Add fish to sauce and serve.

Tuna Melt Pizza Baguettes
2 part-baked baguettes
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
198g can sweetcorn, drained
225g jar tuna
100g cheddar, grated
1 tbsp. tomato purée

Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Halve the 2 part-baked baguettes lengthways and cook directly on the oven shelf for 8 minutes. Meanwhile mix the diced peppers, sweetcorn, tuna, and 75g of the grated cheddar.
Transfer the baguettes to a baking tray, spread each with 1 tbsp. tomato purée, divide the tuna mix over, and then sprinkle with the remaining grated cheddar. Bake for 12 minutes.

Pasta Dishes

Spaghetti & Meatballs with Hidden Veg Sauce
For the meatballs
300g good quality pork sausages (about 4 large or 8 chipolatas )
500g lean beef mince
1 small onion, coarsely grated
1 carrot, finely grated
1 tbsp. dried oregano
50g Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve
1 medium egg
1 tbsp. olive oil
For the tomato sauce
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 courgette, coarsely grated
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 tbsp. tomato purée
pinch caster sugar
splash red wine vinegar
2x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
To serve
cooked spaghetti

Squeeze all the sausage meat out of the sausage skins into a large bowl and add the mince. Tip all the rest of the meatball ingredients, except the olive oil, into the bowl and season with black pepper then squish everything together through your hands until completely mixed. Keep an eye on younger children to make sure they don’t taste any of the raw mix.
Roll the meatball mix into walnut-sized balls and place them on a plate – this is a job which children as young as 2 years old can help with and a great job to help teach older children basic division.
While the children are rolling the meatballs make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the courgette and garlic and cook for 5 minutes until soft and mushy. Stir in the tomato puree, sugar and vinegar leave for 1 min then tip in the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. If your children like courgettes then you can leave the sauce chunky. However, if they dislike courgettes then blitz the sauce with a hand blender; either way continue to simmer sauce gently while you cook the meatballs. If your child is confident with heat (from 7 years +) they can cook the sauce with supervision.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and, working in batches, brown the meatballs on all sides then pop them into the sauce. Continue to simmer the sauce for 15 minutes, stirring very gently until the meatballs are cooked through. Serve with cooked spaghetti, extra grated Parmesan and a few torn basil leaves your child has picked and torn.

Pasta Bake
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
400g can cherry or chopped tomatoes
Pinch sugar
Few dashes Worcestershire sauce
100g rigatoni or other tube-shaped pasta
50g Gruyère or cheddar, grated
Hunk of baguette or sliced bread, coarsely grated
2 frankfurters, sliced

Heat the oil in a medium pan and fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened and lightly golden. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further min. Mix in the tomatoes and sugar, bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce and season to taste. This basic sauce can now be chilled or frozen.   Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to pack instructions. Heat the grill to high. Mix together the cheese and breadcrumbs.
Drain the pasta and stir into the sauce. Tip in the frankfurters and spoon into a heatproof dish. Scatter over the cheesy crumbs and grill for 3-5 minutes or until bubbling hot and golden. Serve with a simple salad.

Chicken Dishes

Chicken & Chorizo Jambalaya
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 chicken breasts, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
75g chorizo, sliced
1 tbsp. cajun seasoning
250g long grain rice
400g can plum tomatoes
350ml chicken stock

Heat the oil in a large frying pan with a lid and brown the chicken for 5-8 minutes until golden. Remove and set aside. Tip in the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Then add the pepper, garlic, chorizo and Cajun seasoning, and cook for 5 minutes more.
Stir the chicken back in with the rice, add the tomatoes and stock. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is tender

Cajun chicken & pineapple burger
4 chicken breasts
2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
drizzle of olive oil
4 pineapple rings, from a can
50g cheddar, grated
2 tbsp. soured cream
4 burger buns, split and toasted
a few lettuce leaves
1 red onion, thinly sliced

Heat the grill too medium-high and line a baking tray with foil. Place the chicken between 2 sheets of cling film and bash to an even thickness using a rolling pin. Rub the Cajun spice mix, the oil and some seasoning all over the chicken, and then put them on the baking tray. Grill for 10 minutes, turning halfway through. Top each chicken breast with a pineapple ring and some grated cheese, then return to the grill and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbling, and the chicken is cooked through.
Spread a little soured cream over the base of each bun, then add lettuce, a chicken breast, sliced red onion, and pop the top on.

Chicken stir-fry
4 skinless boneless chicken breast fillets
1 egg white
1 tbsp. corn flour, plus 1 tsp extra
350g fragrant Thai rice
Thumb sized knob of root ginger
1 red pepper
1 shallot
1 garlic clove
1 red chili (optional)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. fish sauce
Juice 1 lime
Handful basil leaves

Slice the chicken into bite-size pieces. Beat together the egg white and 1 tbsp. corn flour in a bowl. Tip in the chicken and coat with the mix. Marinate for 15-30 minutes (don’t place in the fridge or the mix will harden). Now rinse the rice in a sieve under the cold tap until the water runs clear.
Making perfect rice: Drain the rice, tip into a pan with a lid and pour over 600ml water and a pinch of salt. Bring the water to the boil, and then cook the rice uncovered for 10 minutes or so until the water has almost boiled away. Cover with a lid, turn the heat down as low as it will go and cook for 10 minutes more.
Next, get the ingredients ready; Strip the ginger skin with a teaspoon and finely chop until you have 1 tbsp.  Halve the pepper and trim off the stalk, inner pith and seeds. Cut into bite-size pieces. Peel the shallot and garlic clove, then thinly slice. Trim the ends off the chili, if using, removing the seeds if you like it milder, and cut into thin slices. Remove the chicken from the egg marinade and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Foolproof stir-frying: Heat a wok and pour in 1 tbsp. oil. Cook the chicken for 7-10 minutes, tossing until just cooked. Set aside. Pour in some more oil if you need to. Add the pepper and cook for 1 min, then cook the ginger, shallot and garlic for 1-2 minutes more. Combine the fish sauce, lime juice, 50ml water and 1 tsp corn flour. Tip into the wok, then add the chicken. Cook for 1 min, stir through the basil, and then serve with the rice.


Roll Ups and Pizza

Cheese roll-ups
200g self-rising flour, plus extra for dusting
50g butter, softened
1 tsp paprika
100-125ml/3½-4fl oz. milk
50g ready-grated mature cheddar

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Put the flour and butter in a bowl and rub them together with your fingers. Rubbing in mixture with cold butter is hard and tiring on young fingers, so use slightly softened butter – but not so soft that it is oily. Now stir in the paprika and mix again.
Add 100ml milk and mix with a fork until you get a soft dough. Add a splash more milk if the dough is dry. This process will teach you how to feel the dough and decide if it needs more liquid. You can always add more milk if required.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough like pastry to about 0.5cm thick. Try to keep a rectangular shape. Only roll in one direction, and roll and turn, roll and turn – by keeping the dough moving, you avoid finding it stuck at the end.
Sprinkle the grated cheese on top, then roll up like a sausage along the long side. Cut into 12 thick rings using a table knife. Get an adult to show you how to hold the dough with one hand and cut straight through with the other.
Line the baking tray with baking parchment. Place the roll-ups on the parchment, cut-side down, almost touching each other, making sure that you can see the spiral. Get an adult to put them in the oven for you and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and melted. Ask an adult to remove them from the oven, then leave to cool. The cheese roll-ups will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container.

Pizza Margherita
For the dough:
350g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
25g polenta or coarse semolina, plus 1 tsp
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
1 tbsp. olive oil
About 275ml/10fl oz. hand-hot water
For the topping:
400g can plum tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp. tomato purée
2 handfuls basil leaves
50g mozzarella
200g ricotta
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
25g rocket
2 tbsp. grated Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)

Combine the flour, 25g polenta or semolina, 1 tsp salt and the yeast in a large mixing bowl. Pour in 2 tsp of the oil and nearly all the water. Mix together with your hands, adding as much of the rest of the water as needed, to pick up any dry bits in the bottom of the bowl. The dough should feel very sticky. Once it is mixed, cover and leave for 15 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a very lightly floured surface and knead just 12 times. Shape into a ball, return to the bowl, cover and leave for 10 minutes. Repeat the kneading, leave for 10 minutes more, then knead one more time and leave for 15 minutes.
While the dough rests, prepare the topping. Drain the can of tomatoes into a sieve set over a bowl (you can save the juice for another recipe, if you like). Put the tomatoes in another bowl and snip them into small pieces using scissors. Stir in the garlic and tomato purée with some pepper and a pinch of salt. Set aside. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment and sprinkle with 1⁄2 tsp of polenta or semolina. Heat oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9.
Divide the dough in half. Keep one half in the bowl and knead the other just a few times on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to a 26-28cm circle, pulling it into shape as well as rolling if that is easier. If the dough sticks to the surface, rub just a little oil on the work surface to help it grip. Lift onto the baking sheet, draped over a rolling pin if that helps, and re-shape if necessary.
Spread half the tomato sauce over the dough, almost to the edge. Scatter over 1 handful of basil, torn into pieces. Tear and scatter over half the mozzarella, then dot over half the ricotta in small spoonful’s. Scatter over half the cherry tomatoes and season with pepper. Repeat with the second piece of dough and the remaining toppings.
Bake the pizzas for 15 minutes until the dough is golden and crisp, and the topping is bubbling. Serve each pizza scattered with half the rocket and Parmesan, with a drizzle of the remaining oil over each.

Summer vegetable roll-ups
2 aubergines, preferably long and thin ones
3 courgettes, ideally about the same length as the aubergines
6 tbsp. olive oil
3 red peppers
100g ricotta
2 tsp pesto
50g pine nuts
Basil leaves, to serve

Cut each aubergine and courgette into 6 slices lengthways. Line a grill pan with foil and arrange the aubergine and courgette slices over it. Brush them liberally with oil, then season. Grill until lightly browned, then turn over and repeat. Remove and leave to cool, keeping the 2 vegetables separate.
Quarter the peppers and remove the seeds. Place on the grill, skin-side up, and grill until the skins are blackened. Transfer to a bowl and cover with foil. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins.
Mix the ricotta and pesto with a little seasoning. Put an aubergine slice on your work surface and spread with a little ricotta mix. Cover with a courgette slice and spread with a little more ricotta mix. Top with a pepper slice, then roll up from one end and secure with a cocktail stick if necessary. Place on a platter and repeat with the remaining vegetables and ricotta mix to make 12 roll-ups.
Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until golden. Drizzle a little oil over the roll-ups, then scatter with pine nuts and basil leaves. Serve at room temperature.

Meat Dishes

Shepherd’s Twist Pie
For the Filling
250g lean beef mince
50g peas
5-10 mushrooms halved (depending on how much you like them!!!)
250ml of water
2 tbsp. of gravy granules
1 tbsp Lea’n’Perrins ©Worcestershire Sauce
For the Mash
250g baking potatoes
250g butternut squash
100ml skimmed milk
30g strong cheddar ( I use Colliers)
15g unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Pre-Heat the oven to 190C / fan 170C / gas mark 5. Boil the potatoes and squash together until beginning to go soft. Meanwhile fry off the mince, when the mince is thoroughly cooked add the peas, mushrooms, and water and gravy granules. When they’ve simmered together for about 2 minutes add the Lea’n’Perrins.
Once the mince is ready, mash together the squash and potatoes (only if they are soft enough though!) with the butter, milk and 20g of the cheese. You may like the mash a little lumpy but if not push through a sieve.
Place the mince in a heatproof dish and then spoon a layer of the potato over. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese to finish. Cook for 25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling gently.

Baked Dippy Eggs
1 large slice of ham
8 small spinach leaves
8 cherry tomatoes
4 eggs
1 matchbox-size piece of cheese
4 slices of bread, toasted, buttered and cut into dippers to eat with them

Switch the oven on to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put 4 ramekins in front of you. Cut the ham and spinach into strips with your scissors. Put some in each ramekin.
Squash the cherry tomatoes into a bowl using your fingers. Spoon 2 tomatoes and some juices into each ramekin.
Break an egg into a bowl. Scoop out any pieces of shell with a spoon, and then tip the egg carefully into the ramekin. Do the same with the other 3 eggs.
Grate the cheese and sprinkle some on top of each egg. Ask a grown-up helper to put them in the oven on an oven tray for 15-18 minutes or until the egg white has set.

Fruit & Desserts

Super Berry Smoothie
450g bag frozen berries
450g pot fat-free strawberry yogurt
100ml milk
25g porridge oats
2 tsp honey (optional)

Whizz the berries, yogurt and milk together with a stick blender until smooth. Stir through the porridge oats, then pour into 4 glasses and serve with a drizzle of honey, if you like.

Apple, Kiwi and Pear Puree
2 dessert apples peeled, cored and chopped
3 tsp pure apple juice
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and chopped
1 ripe kiwi, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp. baby rice

Put the apple in a pan with the apple juice, cover and simmer gently for about 8 minutes.
Add the pear and kiwi and simmer for another 4 – 5 minutes.
Blend the fruit to a puree and sieve to get rid of the kiwis’ black seeds.
Stir in the baby rice, while the puree is warm.

Mango and Banana
Puree or mash the flesh of a small mango with half of a small banana.

Plum or Apricot and Pear
Peel and stone a ripe apricot or plum. Slice the fruit and puree or mash the flesh. Add a soft, chopped, ripe pear.

Frozen Fruit Sticks with Passion Fruit & Lime Drizzle
100g strawberries, hulled and halved
8 seedless grapes
100g/4oz mango chunks
100g/4oz melon chunks
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into chunks
100g/4oz pineapple chunks
For the drizzle
juice 2 limes
4 passion fruits, halved and seeds scraped out
1 tsp icing sugar

Mix the drizzle ingredients in a small bowl, stirring until the icing sugar has dissolved. If you want the sauce to be smooth, pass it through a sieve to remove the seeds, or leave them in if you prefer.
Skewer the fruits onto wooden skewers and drizzle the sauce on top, reserving a little for dipping. Pop the skewers in the freezer for 45 minutes, until just starting to freeze. Serve with the leftover drizzle.

© Nanny Options

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