This is an awesome blog with excellent recipes and ideas and some gorgeous food photos too.
Without further ado: my post:)
THE HERB GARDEN
I have a core list of recipes that are sure fire winners in my house. There's one adult and two (relatively palate-adventureous) children, and I endeavour to get something green into them every day. My maxim is: prepare and present in 30 minutes or less, aim for 5+ a day (veges/fruit), no leftovers on the plate
On the particular busy nights, - scouts, dancing, playdates - I often have soup, made with a pumpkin and what ever other veges come to hand. Pureed smooth with my stick mixer - seriously the best gadget in the house - I can usually get the kids to eat at least a couple of mugfuls, soaked up with some home made bread.
But when pumpkins (and time) are not so plentiful, I tend to fall back on my micro-garden. My entire vegetable garden is only about 4 square foot, but along with a number of fruit trees, it keeps us in the fresh '5+ a day' way for most of the year. The easier and faster to grow the better, and so I have given over around half of the garden space to herbs. Parsley, mint, basil-mint, chives, dill, rocket, thyme and shallot. These all grow with hardly any effort and care and easily transform something bland into something grand with minimum effort.
Whilst I can see the benefits of adding vege purees to food to top up on vitamins, I have been reluctant to do that too much, as I really want the children to get a taste for individual flavours, and also to appreciate the texture and colour that the 'whole' variety offers.
Here's two of my kid's favourites:
Surprise pie. This is absolutely a cheaters recipe but the children (and me...) love it.
Make up enough instant mash for however many you are serving. I use milk to make it, and then add a slosh of olive oil:
Heat the milk, then quickly beat in the flakes. When it's at a smoothand stiff consistency, add:
one grated carrot
a few florets of broccoli finely sliced.
2 - 3 tablespoons of finely chopped herbs (i use parsley and chives most)
half a cup or so of grated cheese.
mix that all through with a spoon.
Put it into a greased pie dish and then stick in the microwave for 3 or 4 minutes - this will reheat the potato, melt the cheese and par-cook the carrot and broccoli.
When it's piping hot, sprinkle with some more cheese and a bit of olive oil and flash under the grill til the top is browned.
It will firm up and easily then be scooped out. Sometimes for variety I put shredded deli ham on the top and grill that too.
My kids like it with gravy and a piece of bread to mop up the edges.
The kids will devour a whole plate of this- it's quick, easy and contains 3 veges. good for all!
PASTA in SAUCE
in a frying pan, cook one finely chopped onion in a little olive oil. Add a chopped clove of garlic or 1/2 tsp of garlic powder.
Add two tins of chopped tomatoes.
Add at least three tablespoons of chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, chives)
I also add some chopped olives as my kids love them.
Grate in a carrot.
Thicken with tomato paste.
cover and Leave to simmer about 10 minutes whilst you cook short pasta.