If you are thinking about homemade food for your baby, then decide between these two recipes which both are loaded with necessary nutrients to feed a healthy and happy baby.
Pasta with spinach & ricotta
It’s a dish full of protein and calcium from fresh ricotta cheese and lots of vitamins and minerals from the sautéed spinach. If you like, stir in ⅓ cup marinara sauce, pour the mixture into a small, greased baking dish, top with a little grated cheese, and bake at 375°F (190°C) until bubbly. This pasta dish can be your baby’s first baked pasta! It’s ideal for babies from 10 to 12 months.
½ cup small-shaped whole-wheat pasta,
such as mini shells or macaroni
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup baby spinach
⅓ cup whole-milk ricotta
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water.
Meanwhile, in a small frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach and cook until wilted and tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and chop very finely.
Transfer the spinach to a bowl and stir in the ricotta and lemon zest. Add the pasta and stir to combine. If the mixture is too thick, thin it with a little warm cooking water.
Refrigerate the pasta in an airtight container for up to three days.
Makes about 1½ cups.
Baby shepherd’s pie
The shepherd’s pie exists as the baby version as well. This basic stew recipe makes enough braised beef or lamb to feed 4 to 6, so you can scoop out one serving for your baby and still feed the rest of the family. You can make the stew in advance and store it for up to two days in the refrigerator or three months in the freezer. If you already have leftover stew, a dollop of mash on top turns it into a cute and comforting casserole.
For the braised meat:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 lbs (1 kg) beef or lamb stew meat
¼ cup (1½ oz/45 g) all-purpose flour
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3½ cups (28 fl oz/875 ml) beef or chicken broth
For the shepherd’s pie:
2 tablespoons frozen petite peas, warmed
¼ cup (2 oz/60 g) mashed potatoes, warmed
For the braised meat, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). In a Dutch oven or wide, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Season the stew meat with a little salt and dust with the flour, shaking off the excess. Add to the pan and sear, turning once or twice, until browned, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Return the pan to the stove and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and softened, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute, then add the broth. Scrape the bottom of the pan to dislodge any browned bits. Return the stew meat to the pan, along with any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Cover and place in the oven. Cook until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours. Skim any fat off the top of the braising liquid with a large metal spoon and discard.
For the baby shepherd’s pie, remove ⅓ cup (3 fl oz/80 ml) of the stew and transfer it to a bowl. Shred the meat, then chop it finely. Stir in the peas. Transfer to a ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) ramekin, then top with the warm mashed potatoes. Let cool and serve. Refrigerate leftover stew and mashed potatoes in separate airtight containers for up to three days, or freeze for up to three months.
Makes 1 baby shepherd’s pie; 4 to 6 servings braised meat
These two recipes are intended for babies 10 months and up.
Recipe source: www.babycentre.co.uk