Where we’re at. Superfoods and Bambi.

Did you think I’d forgotten about you?  I hadn’t at all, but it’s fierce hard mammying two young fellas, working full time outside the home and writing for deadly new Irish parenting website parent.ie (See my cute tree over there on the left)  I’m very proud of it, and my association with it, but with all that going on I’ve been neglecting my own little space over here.

My boys are flying. Doing too well almost, if we stay in the house for the day the endless requests for snacks just grinds me down.  These snacks can be bananas and mandarins now, it’s not necessarily rubbish though “noooo, something from the red box” is the most common refrain. Obviously this old biscuit tin is where   I kept my biccies and chocolate undisturbed by small sticky hands til they wised up to me.  For years I got away with having the balance of power food wise in the house.  Now the eldest is very forthright about what he does and doesn’t want, and true to the nature of second siblings, his younger brother is showing single mindedness in every regard at a younger age.  We have a rule with the elder, you can’t say you don’t like it if you don’t try it, inspired by these crazy Yo Gabba Gabba guys (it’s on Netflix, Season 1 Ep 1 – Eat!)

And though I don’t always get my way, we’ve hit a happy medium.  Tonight we were having some ‘smashed’ roast potatoes (broken slightly with a potato masher half way through cooking), roast veggies and then some quorn fillets (fillets of what! The name weirds me out a bit, but if I’m going to eat fake meat I can deal with it I guess).

I stuffed the ‘fillets’ in the manner you would with a chicken breast, so you can do the same with that if you like.

Supercharged cream cheese & pesto stuffed quorn fillets with panko breadcrumb coating

panko-quorn-collage

4 quorn fillets

2 tablespoons fresh pesto

2  tablespoons cream cheese

1 tablespoon flaxseed.  

Mix these 3 up in a bowl.  I used Linwoods Milled Flaxseed Almonds Brazil Nuts Walnuts & Co-Enzyme Q10.  That’s quite a mouthful eh?  I love the crunch of the nuts through the flaxseed. 

Defrost your quorn fillets either in the fridge overnight, or with a little water in a bowl in the microwave for a few minutes – low wattage, 5 minutes.

Cut the fillets in half and spoon the filling in, close the fillet again.

For the coating:

50g of panko breadcrumbs

1 tablespoon flaxseed

Mix these 2 together.  I get the panko breadcrumbs in Tesco, €1 for 150g.

 Brush the stuffed fillets with olive oil, and coat in the crumb mixture.

Bake at 200c for 25 minutes.

Now, here’s the rub.  I had a willing audience for these in the form of the 22 month old and 4 year old.  But dear reader, my veggie ways hold no sway with my husband when he decides he is going all roar, caveman and eating meat. He decided nothing would do him but to cook bloody venison steak on the griddle pan.  Both little beggars pushed their plates towards his and pleaded in their unique ways for a share.  They ate their flax-laced veggie dish, and they ate some medium venison steak.  “Eat Bambi” I hissed resentfully at the toddler, “go on”.  And he did, and then he pushed his plate to me and said “more!”, indicating seconds were required of the first course.  Truly a mix of both their parents, and happy healthy eaters to boot.  I know I can’t complain.

It’s a most wonderful time of the year…

…when your kids eat up pink fillet of beef on Christmas Eve-Eve and you don’t know whether to cheer or shed a tear.

The veggies were ignored save for a potato gratin. Can an almost 18 month old get gout?

20131223-233120.jpg
For balance, Teddy also seemed very enamoured by the chestnut-nut roast I was having yesterday. (Made by my mother in law, and made so well that I never even attempt to make one myself because hers is so damn good)

Barbecue, baby style

Now, if you’re looking for saussies you’ve come to the wrong place.  Though I can assure you the 2-44 year olds (except me) had plenty of traditional Irish barbecue (lots of meat and clouds) the babies were another story.   I sat Theo on my knee while I ate my delicious halloumi & courgette skewers, grilled asparagus, & beetroot salad  – seriously, how do any of you people need meat when things like that are available? I fully expected to hand him sticks of various things and to watch him chuck them to the ground.  He’s a shouty distracible baby so with his brother and 6 cousins around I figured he wouldn’t go for much.

The best little eater I know
The best little eater I know

But soon he was transfixed.  We all were truth be told.  Theo’s little cousin Tessa (8.5 months) was quietly and determinedly working her way through several pieces of courgette, her little fist firmly wrapped about it.  Then she chomped down on some delicious asparagus.  But that wasn’t enough, so next with the aid of her dad to steady the load, she munched her way around a large ear of corn.   The thing that struck me most of all…the neatness!  See that blue plate?  It’s not even glued or suckered to the table, she just didn’t bother with The Swiping or The Throwing so beloved of my sons.  *sigh* Jealous!  Tessa is the third of three children, and the first one of them to do baby led weaning.  She could not be a better ad for it!

Theo, wide eyed and inspired tried everything he saw over the next day.  We’re gonna have to hang out with Tessa a bit more!

(Thai) curry in a hurry

I love a good curry, and although I do most cooking from scratch I usually rely on shop bought pastes to start off a curry.  Another thing I’m pretty fond of is Thai food, but it’s very hard to be sure it’s vegetarian, due to the prolific usage of Nam Pla (fish sauce).  Most Thai curry pastes I’ve picked up in the supermarket have it – green curry seems to be the least likely to contain it from my unscientific survey.  Until now – there’s a brand called Thai Gold which surprisingly and delightfully is based in my home town of Wexford.

I’ve used their massamam, green & red curry pastes, all of which are clearly marked Gluten Free & Vegetarian.  The pastes themselves are the basic set up for your curry – they’re not swimming in oil, and require you to add the sugar/oyster sauce/fish sauce yourself in the cooking process. So they’re easily adaptable.  It may not be totally authentic, but I just substitute the oyster sauce & nam pla with some soy sauce and bobs your uncle.

I make them with tofu and veggies (spuds for the massamam) and some brown rice.  They’re a great dinner to make a big batch of for 2 days – the flavour seems to develop even more overnight.  And best of all – Dominic has declared them ‘is deliciousss mammy’.

Jill

I was not bribed in any way to write this post.  No-one ever sends me anything frankly.

Le sigh. Sometimes I wonder why I bother.

My daddy makes me the best dinners.  He got me from the creche last night when mamma was still in work and we went home and played for a while we did trains and jumping.  Then he went to the kitchen to make dinner and one Handy Manny later it was ready.  We had sausages and then  out of the white beeping  box we had potatoes, carrots & broccoli.  I nommed it up.  Sausages are new to me, mamma won’t eat them with me and dadda but sometimes she has special ones from the brrrfreezer and dadda and me eat them too.

Today my mammy chopped up 2 big oberjeans and put them in the dangeroushotoven. Mostly I like to see what she’s doing but it was taking her ages today and I didn’t bother. There were tomatoes and pasta too and cheese on top and it took so much time that I had a bath and everything.  Then we all had dinner together. Doma had dinner and dadda had dinner and mamma had dinner but only mamma loved dinner.  I don’t think dadda likes oberjeans very much and I said my tooth hurt and it was better when I had milk then my other tooth hurt and I drank more milk and it was better so I stopped eating dinner and had a yogurt and mamma said she thought i mean my tung hurt and she shouldn’t have put chilli in the dinner.

Dom