Something easy but fun to make with the children, madoul dates are really easy to mould so you play around with the ingredients and add some favourite nut butter, seeds or grated vegetables. Nuts and seeds are full of goodness for children so it’s great to get these into their diet where possible. Dried fruit is high in natural sugars so it’s best to limit these…especially for young teeth.
I love this stew and I always make it if I have a large amount of people over for dinner as you can just double the ingredient quantities. It’s especially good around Christmas time, when you may have a few more for dinner than usual!
5 chestnut mushrooms or 10–15 small button mushrooms, halved
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon butter or olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
400g tin of coconut milk
1 heaped tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (don’t be tempted to add more – it’s hot!)
500g stewing beef, diced
Put the onion, mushrooms and carrots in a food processor and blitz for a few seconds until finely chopped (or chop them with a knife very finely). Place at the bottom of the slow cooker.
In a small saucepan or frying pan, heat the butter or olive oil gently and lightly fry the garlic for 1–2 minutes (keep the heat low and don’t let it brown).
Add the garlic and the rest of the ingredients (apart from the meat) to the slow cooker and stir well.
Lastly add the meat and let it sink into the sauce, place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 8–9 hours or on HIGH for 5–6 hours, until the meat is tender and the sweet potato is falling apart.
For a less creamy dish, omit the tinned coconut and replace with an extra tin of chopped tomatoes.
* Keeps for up to 4 days in the fridge
* Freezable for up to 4 months
This is a sweet sauce and goes well with chicken and duck. It’s a good starting point for fussy eaters. Add some chopped chilli for older children and adults. Don’t forget to remove the seeds and wash your hands before rubbing your eyes!
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and add the crushed garlic, sizzle for about a minute then stir in the spinach and cook for another minute.
Next add the mixture to a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and blitz until smooth.
Served with tomatoes and carrot and turmeric bread
This pesto is best left to sit for a while so that the flavours settle; use the baby leaf spinach as its less bitter than the more mature leaf. For best results make it the day before you need it.
Keeps for- up to 1 week in the fridge
*Freezable for up to 6 months