When our children were very young and we worried their legs might turn into rickety breadsticks and their blood into hummus due to all the, ahem, 'mezze' style teas we'd given them, we'd make this. The trick is to always have a bag of frozen veg in the freezer.
Frozen butternut squash is a winner, as is a winter vegetable mix, available from most supermarkets (just pick out some of the onion or leek if there's too much). It might not sound very exciting, but add cream cheese, or some other dairy product and you get a delicious cheesy, creamy mush that kids love.
Prep time: 2 1/2 minutes
Cook time: 2 1/2 minutes
Serves: One child
150g (5 oz) frozen vegetables
Enough water or stock/bouillon to cover
A generous dollop of cream cheese/creme fraiche/Greek yogurt - whatever you have in the fridge
Chives or flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
1. Put the vegetables in a pan and cover with boiling water or stock/bouillon and cook for 4-5 minutes.
2. Once cooked, strain the vegetables, keeping a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Add as much cheese/yogurt as you think your child wants, and puree with a blender.
3. Serve with a swirl of cream cheese/creme fraiche/yogurt and garnish with the herbs. Hey presto! A meal for your child, which isn't hummus and breadsticks.
Frozen vegetablesUntil we had kids, infrequent visits to the frozen food aisle in a supermarket left us with the impression it was full of lurid desserts and elaborate ice cream. But more recent scourings - looking for things to make life a little easier on the food front - have shown us that the frozen aisle is chock-full of vegetables. Vegetables which have been picked in season and frozen within hours of being harvested, so maintaining a high vitamin content at the same time as being quite cheap.
Obviously peas are there, but we're guessing you've found the peas. However, there are lots more. We've mentioned a winter vegetable mix, full of carrots, swedes/rutabaga, chopped onions and leeks.
But frozen peppers, green beans, whole or sliced, baby carrots, broccoli florets and broad/fava beans are all available. Which means no washing or chopping required - just pop into a pan of boiling water and simmer.
The Crumbs Family Cookbook by Claire and Lucy McDonald, published by CICO BOOKS is out now (£16.99).
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