BLW Recipes

Truth be told, you don't really need recipes specific to baby led weaning because your baby simply joins and eats the family meal.  You can quite simply modify your favourite recipes to make them suitable for the smallest people at your dining table by cutting out salt.  It is also recommended to avoid honey before the age of one year because of the risk of infant botulism.  I also prefer to avoid refined ingredients (especially sugar) where possible.  If you are stuck for ideas, here is some inspiration from our dining table.

Hummus
This easy spread is a favourite of BabyB-B's.  She loves it spread on cruskits, dipped on to cucumber, on sandwiches with tuna and even just by itself.
400g tin of chickpeas
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp tahini
2-3 tbsp olive oil
pinch of cumin
pinch of paprika
Rinse and  drain chickpeas.  Blend with garlic, lemon, juice, tahini, oil and cumin into a texture you are happy with.  Transfer in to a serving dish (or any old container) and sprinkle with paprika.  Eat immediately or chill before serving if preferred.  Keeps for a few days covered in the refrigerator.
Hummus and tuna sandwich with a side of zucchini

Chicken with Paprika
This is an easy chicken meal for the family.  You can use breast fillet for the adults and tenderloins for the children.  I don't really have measurements because I just made this up as I went along.
chicken (2 breasts -1 for each adult - and tenderloins for baby)
paprika
garlic (crushed)
lemon juice
dash of olive oil
Preheat oven to 160C. Combine chicken, paprika to taste, clove of crushed garlic, juice of half a lemon and olive oil (I do this in a freezer bag).  Place marinated chicken on to baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.  I serve this with roasted sweet potato sprinkled with cumin, roasted zucchini and steamed beans.  
Fish Green Curry
Green curry fit for a princess
This one was a bit of a cheat because I didn't make my own curry paste.  I used one off the shelf basing my decision on one that had the lowest sodium content and no seafood content (for our own cultural reasons).
1tbsp green curry paste
1 cup coconut cream
3 fillets firm white fish (I used dory, cut in to fingers so BabyB-B could manage)
green beans
zucchini fingers
pumpkin fingers
Heat pan and cook curry paste for a couple of minutes until fragrant.  Add coconut cream, fish fillets and vegetables.  Bring to the boil, then simmer over low heat until cooked (about 20-30 mins).  I served this to BabyB-B without rice as she can't manage it just yet.  DaddyB-B and I had boiled brown rice.
Deciding where to start with her curry


Bolognese
Spaghetti bolognese is my all time favourite food.  I could eat it every day.  As long as I make it myself.  Yes, I do rate my bolognese.  Again, this is one of those things that I cook by taste (and mood).  I have no real idea about the quantities I use.  I do know that I usually buy 500g of mince.
500g of premium beef mince
1 tin of tomatoes
one brown onion finely diced
finely grated carrot
finely chopped celery stick
garlic (probably 2 cloves)
3-4 cloves
2 bay leaves
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
chili to taste
Sweat off garlic and onions, add mince and brown, add remaining ingredients and bring to boil.  Lower to simmer until rich in taste and sauce has thickened.  
Large spirals trap some of the bolognese sauce and are easy for little hands to grip
 I have found that large spirals were easy for BabyB-B to grab hold of.  Once she has her pincer grip down pat I will probably switch back to my old faithful spaghetti!

Spiced roast pumpkin "pillows"
Monster ravioli (before cooking)
Having a baby who is intolerant to cow milk protein means I have to get a little creative sometimes.  I have really wanted to see how BabyB-B would go with ravioli or agnolotti or some other sort of stuffed pasta.  All of the store bought ones I could find contained dairy so were off limits.  My kitchen is too small to make my own pasta from scratch, so I got creative.  I've called them pillows because I forgot that pasta expands and what I had intended to be large ravioli type filled pasta shapes came out rather larger than I expected!
1 packet fresh lasagne sheets
1/2 butternut pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cumin
pinch nutmeg
olive oil spray
water
Inspecting the finished product
Continuing the inspection
Cut pumpkin in to large pieces, place on lined baking tray and roast until cooked.  I roasted it at 150C for about 1.5 hours (so that BabyB-B and I could have a nap together while it cooked - multitasking, mummy style!).  Remove pumpkin from oven and mash together with spices (the quantities above are estimates.  It is best to go with less and add to your and your baby's taste) in a bowl. Mash pumpkin and spices with a fork until smooth.  Spread out lasagne sheets and place teaspoon sized heaps of the pumpkin paste evenly along pasta sheets leaving a boarder  around each heap.  Brush around each heap with water and place second pasta sheet on top.  Press pasta sheets together to make pillows.  Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut individual pillows.  Press together the edges of each pillow.  Repeat until you run out of filling or run out of pasta.  Once you have made your pillows cook in batches in unsalted rapidly boiling water until cooked (the pillows floating is a good indication, or 3 - 4 minutes).  Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate to allow to cool.
I served the pillows with a small amount of my homemade napoletana s
Tasting time
auce.  You could easily not use any sauce, or use whatever sauce you prefer.  I had a bit of left over spiced pumpkin paste so I added some to the sauce to beef it up a bit.  Any left over pumpkin paste will be going on cruskits or used as a dip with some cucumber tomorrow.  Because the pillows were so large it was easier for BabyB-B to manage them once I cut them lengthways in half.  The recipe made about 20 large pillows.  This was enough for dinner for the three of us with a few left over to freeze for a rainy (or lazy) day.
It passed the test

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