recipes

Recipe: Cheesy Quinoa Bites with Tomato & Spinach

Quinoa is a great food for wee ones – the grain is very versatile and can be added to many recipes, it has a lovely new texture for babies to explore, and it’s one of the few (only?) vegetarian sources of complete protein. We most often use in a pilaf-like stuffing for tomatoes/avocados, or in these cheesy quinoa bites which are easy to handle and make great freezer fodder for quick lunches.

cheese-quinoa-bites

Recipe: Cheesy Quinoa Bites with Tomato & Spinach

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup spinach, cooked and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup tomato, finely diced
  • 1 cup cheese, grated (check the salt content before going nuts with the cheese though!)
  • Pinch black pepper

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Using a teaspoon, fill a mini muffin tin (silicone muffin tins work a treat with this!). Pack the quinoa down well with the spoon, so that it forms a solid cake when cooked.
  3. Bake at 190c/170c fan/gas mark 5 for about 16-18 minutes, or until the bites are cooked through and a bit golden on top.
  4. Cool & serve, or freeze individually to fill up a freezer bag.

Variations:

You can mix anything in there, really – broccoli, cauliflower, fresh herbs, sweet potato, etc. Just keep the quantities roughly the same.

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Recipe: Savoury lentil "cupcakes" with butternut squash

These lentil cakes have served us well since wee man was 6 months and completely toothless. Golden and crispy outside, they are mushy enough within for little babies to gum the goodness out. They are based on the lentil & cheese wedges recipe from Gil Rapley’s Baby Led Weaning Cookbook (which is a great resource if you’re starting BLW).

savoury-lentil-cakes

These little cakes are a great way to add some pureed veg on top, for those babies who refuse a spoon (or those parents who refuse to spoon). We used roasted butternut squash here, but you could load them up with mashed sweet potato, cooked chopped spinach, or anything smeary enough to stay on top, really. Since I freeze a big batch of these and defrost them one by one, I grab whatever puree I have frozen at the time.

Recipe: Savoury Lentil “Cupcakes” with Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

  • 225g red lentils, rinsed in cold water
  • 450ml water
  • 100g cheese, grated
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • Pepper
  • Butternut squash, roasted and mashed or pureed

Method:

  1. Cover the lentils with water in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and let simmer 10-15 minutes or until they are tender and the water has been absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, fry up the onion and garlic in the olive oil, until softened.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked lentils, cheese, egg, garlic and onions. Season to your baby’s taste with pepper. Add breadcrumbs until the consistency reaches a thickness that loosely binds together the mixture so that it’s sticky and a bit doughy – I use about 1/3 cup.
  4. Load up a greased mini muffin tin (silicone muffin tins work really well) and press the mixture firmly into the tins with the back of a teaspoon. Each tin should be full.
  5. Bake at 190c/170c fan/gas mark 5 for 12-15 minutes, or until the egg is cooked through and the cakes have formed solidly.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack. Once cooled and ready to serve, heap roasted butternut squash on top, like frosting a cupcake.

Variations:

If your baby likes spice, add a tiny amount of dried chilli flakes or curry powder to the onions and garlic while frying.

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