Back in the days of introducing our girls to solid foods, our adventure was limitless. Every day a series of fresh fruits and vegetables would be lovingly steamed, pureed and offered for them to try (as well as, let’s be totally honest here, some pretty exciting pre-made pouches of baby food).
I found the pouches of baby food particularly useful when introducing meat into their diet, as I was a little scared about the ability to reheat previously cooked and cooled meals whilst out and about, and felt they were a safer option, as well as being easy peasy, pretty delicious and wolfed down by the girls too.
I don’t really know what happened, but somewhere between steaming apple and now, we got a little lost. Particularly in the years of mid week mayhem, fussy diets and vegetarianism, the window of quick, convenient, and healthy foods narrowed. If only there were a squeezy pouch you could feed a six year old between school and swimming lessons – life would be so much easier!
But of course we try, we try our hardest to find the balance between speed, nutritious and just getting something inside them. The slow cooker is basically our best friend all winter long, but it does feel like the meals served up get a little samey samey.
For the record, we are also not against the odd twelve minute at 180ºC meal – we are realists, and everything in moderation is my mantra.
But what I’m really lacking these days is inspiration. Inspiration that I was brimming with when introducing the girls to mango, lentils, cauliflower cheese and fish pie. So I’m going back to the drawing board for some dinner time ideas.
For Aisha is a baby food brand which offers exciting, exotic prepared meals for babies and toddlers at Stage 2 (7+ months) and Stage 3 (10+ months). Their recipes are packed with nutritious ingredients, delicately balanced herbs and spices, and british meat. They are all prepared using halal certified meats, and with the purest of ingredients – with up to twenty individual components in each meal. And, as a chosen supplier for Great Ormond Street Hospital, if it’s good enough for them, that speaks for itself.
What really strikes me about the For Aisha range, is the exciting flavours and tantalising meals that frankly my hubby and I would be over the moon to tuck in to for our tea. We love a curry, and thankfully, our girls have inherited our love for a mid week flavoursome dinner too. That said, we have gotten a little bored of the same repetitive coconut version I make, week in week out.
Perhaps the place we needed to look for meal inspiration is back where we started, down the aisles of the baby food section. Although we are past the blending and mushing, the let them feed themselves and make a huge mess, stage, we can take something from the baby food days.
And so, with For Aisha’s meals like Mild Curried Chicken Dhal, Moroccan Chicken Tagine, Chicken Quinoa and Vegetable stew on offer, I’m going to take these recipes and turn them into a meal for the entire family.
It’s worth noting, that one of our children is a vegetarian by choice. She is five, and about nine months in to her campaign to save all the animals. As such, we have respected her decision and serve her nutritious meat free meals, but as yet we haven’t set up strict no contact guidelines. She therefore eats the veg and pulses out of a meat curry or stew, and this is something we will think about changing as she gets older and wants to take things a step further.
So today, we are trying out a For Aisha inspired recipe; Chicken and sweet potato curry, using For Aisha’s recipe but adapting it for my own bigger kids and an all the family recipe.
Authentic Indian Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry – For Aisha’s baby food version
Sweet potatoes are a perfect and healthy addition to curries; your child will definitely enjoy their natural sweetness.
Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 30 min
Makes 5 baby portions
- 150 gr onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic puree
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
- 50 gr chopped chicken breast
- 200 gr canned lentils
- 100 gr squash, peeled, chopped in 5 cm (2 inch) pieces and boiled
- 300 gr sweet potatoes, peeled, chopped in ; pieces and boiled
In a non-stick large casserole, place all the ingredients together over medium heat, except the cooked sweet potatoes and squash. Pour 100 ml water over the ingredients. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer gently for 30 min, until the chicken and the lentils are fully cooked.
Stir occasionally to make sure the ingredients don’t stick to the pan. You may need to add extra water towards the end of the cooking time, to prevent the curry from becoming too dry.
Once cooked, transfer the preparation along with the cooked sweet potatoes and squash in a food processor and process until you get the right consistency, add water if necessary.
Authentic Indian Chicken & Sweet Potato Curry – The whole family filler MMT version
Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 5-7 hours in a slow cooker
Feeds a family of four (with leftovers)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic (fresh, lazy, puree…whatever you have)
- 1 teaspoon ginger (I used lazy ginger but whatever you got mama!)
- 1 teaspoon dried coriander (same again)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 500 gr (ish) chopped chicken breast
- 100 gr dried red lentils
- 1/2 a small butternut squash, peeled, chopped into large chunks24
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled, chopped into large chunks
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 500ml water
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- Put all ingredients in a slow cooker. High for first 4 hours then low until serving.
- Get on with your day.
See, how easy was that! The thing I love about a slow cooker curry is that you really don’t need any exact science – it’s all quantities to taste and to your families preference. I added a tin of tomatoes to give another flavour and dimension to the sauce. Our kids love a curry so they are all good with a bit of spice, but go easy at first if needs be.
We love to serve our midweek curry with rice, flat breads (whatever we have in the cupboard) and a bit of mint raita (Natural yogurt + mint sauce). The Raita is the Mouses favourite and she will eat anything dipped in that! I love mine with a good dollop of lime pickle to crank up the heat, and the hubs is a mango chutney kind of guy. However we have it, we ALL love a good old curry in our house!
There’s nothing better than a healthy, easy peasy mid week dinner that gets scoffed down by the whole family…so I’ll be on the lookout for more mealtime inspiration on the covers of those squeezy pouches that we thought were long behind us.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post