Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Getting those veggies in

I was thinking the other day just how much my 9 month old daughter enjoys those squeezy packet meals by a well known maker. To give you a clue, it's a girls name and the place you cook ;-)

Anyway, at around £1.39 per packet, it can add up to an expensive set of meals over a month! Yes, we do feed her other stuff but she really does like this particular brand, plus they are great when we are out and about geocaching too.

I had a look at what made them up and decided to cook something up myself based around the ingredients they contain. I thought I'd share the receipe with you as you can blend it all up for little ones or just mash for when they can have slightly lumpier food.

Vegetable & Pasta Pot

8 x carrots
3 x parsnips (small)
2 x tomato tin/packet (400g)
1 x cup pasta stars (age 7+ months)
1.5 pint beef stock (low salt)
Pinch mixed herbs
Pinch salt and pepper

  1. Chop all vegetables up and place in large saucepan with stock, herbs and seasoning. Cook until all vegetables are soft.
  2. Cook pasta until soft, strain and leave.
  3. Remove vegetable pot from heat and strain off half of the liquid but keep separately.
  4. Blend or mash vegetables up as required, adding additional liquid that you have set aside to get the consistency you want.
  5. Add pasta in and mix together.
  6. Spoon into 8 x 160ml pots for freezing.
I shop at Sainsburys and worked out this entire meal has cost me less than £2.50 to produce. That means getting 8 pots out of it gives me each meal for my little one at around 30p. Of course, your little one may not eat such a big pot and that makes it even cheaper per meal. Now, surely that's worth a bit of kitchen time! :)

Chicken & Vegetable Pot

1 x chicken breast, roasted
8 x carrots
1 x broccoli (whole stem)
1/2 an onion
12 x apricots (soft, dried and pitted)
2 x sweet potatoes
2 pints vegetable stock (low salt)
Pinch mixed herbs
Pinch salt and pepper
  1. Chop all vegetables up and place in large saucepan with stock, herbs and seasoning. Cook until all vegetables are soft.
  2. Roast chicken until cooked but make sure it does not dry out (I wrap in foil).
  3. Remove vegetable pot from heat and strain off half of the liquid but keep separately.
  4. Chop and add chicken to the pot.
  5. Blend or mash, adding additional liquid that you have set aside as required.
  6. Spoon into 8 x 160ml pots for freezing.
Again, using Sainsburys, I have worked out this entire meal has cost me less than £4 to produce. That means getting 8 pots out of it gives me each meal for my little one at around 50p. Still well worth the effort.

As an aside, blended up they both taste lovely so I think they may be on our menu for soup this winter ;-)

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