These lovely meals will get kids licking their plates clean
Wed 18 Apr 2018 06.00 BSTLast modified on Tue 9 Jul 2019 09.29 BST
Coconut fish fingers with fresh mango chutney (pictured above)
Prep 15 min
Cook 10 min
Serves 4 (2 adults, 2 children)
50g desiccated coconut
50g dry breadcrumbs
500g white fish fillets (cod, coley or pollock work well), skinned, boned and cut into bite-size strips
1 egg, lightly beatenwith 1 tbsp water
50g plain flour
Cucumber, halved, seeded and cut into half moons, optionalS
For the chutney
200g ripe mango,peeled and diced
1 tsp sugar
Salt and black pepper
1 pinch allspice (optional)
To make the chutney, in a blender put the mango, sugar, water, seasoning, the juice of ½ the lime and the allspice, if using, and blitz smooth. Set aside.
Line two baking trays with parchment. Toss the coconut and breadcrumbs together, season to taste and put in a wide bowl. Put the egg and flour in separate wide bowls.
Dust the fish lightly in the flour, dip in the egg, dredge through the breadcrumb-coconut mixture to coat both sides, then lay the fish on the tray.
Heat 2cm of the oil in a large frying pan until shimmering, then fry the coated fish (you may need to do this in batches) for about two minutes on each side, until golden brown and cooked through. Drain on kitchen paper.
Serve the cooked fish with the rest of the lime cut into wedges and the chutney on the side. Cucumber is also nice here to swoop through the sauce.
Recipe by Claire Thomson, 5oclockapron.com
Cheesy tomato toast
Prep 10 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 2 adults or 4 children
1 garlic clove,peeled
2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
250ml tomato passata,or tinned chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 fist-sized ball mozzarella (or any other good melting cheese), about 150g
A few basil leaves
Good crusty bread; toasted is best,to serve
In a wide pan, heat the whole clove of garlic in the olive oil to a gentle sizzle. Watch that it doesn’t burn: you simply want to infuse the oil with the garlic for a minute or two.
Pour in the tomato, season, then simmer rapidly over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until thickened and reduced slightly. Taste for seasoning.
Cut the mozzarella into thick slices and lay in the sauce in a single layer. Continue simmering for a further five minutes, or until the cheese is melted (if you find the sauce is reducing more than you like but the cheese is not yet melted, take the pan off the heat and let it sit, covered, for about five minutes). Give the cheese one quick stir to distribute it evenly through the sauce.
Serve with basil over the top and either pour over toasted bread or serve in a shallow bowl or plate with bread to dip into the sauce. More ground pepper and an extra drizzle of olive oil are optional but much loved in our family.
Recipe by Emiko Davies, emikodavies.com
Baked polenta with taleggio
Prep 10 min
Set 2 hr
Cook 20 min
375g packet instant polenta,cooked and left to set as described below
300g taleggio dolce
60g coarse breadcrumbs
40g salted butter,cut into small pieces
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
Make the polenta according to the packet instructions, pour it into a dish in a layer 4–5cm thick and leave it to cool and set. You could do this a couple of days ahead and keep it in the fridge, but I rarely manage to leave it alone for that long.
Cut the polenta into 6–8cm discs. I usually use a cookie cutter to do this, though the exact size and shape don’t really matter. Arrange a layer of polenta pieces in an ovenproof dish.
Cut the taleggio into small pieces and dot half of it here and there on top of the polenta. Arrange a second layer of polenta over it and top with the remaining taleggio.
Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and the parmesan, then dab the butter here and there over the top. Season with black pepper and bake for 15–20 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown and melted.
Recipe adapted from a Table in Venice by Skye McAlpine (Bloomsbury)
Egg-fried noodles with broccoli and runner beans
Prep 10 min
Cook 15 min
200g dry rice vermicelli,cooked a minute less than the packet instructions
A splash of vegetable oil
1 small round shallot, peeled and sliced
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves,peeled and sliced
100g tenderstem broccoli,cut into 1cm lengths on the diagonal
100g runner beans,cut into 1cm lengths on the diagonal
For the sauce
3 tsp honey
4 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of ½ a lime
Cook the noodles in boiling water until soft but not cooked through. Drain and set aside in a colander.
Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, gently fry the shallot until golden, then pour in the beaten eggs to make a soft omelette. Set aside.
Using the same pan, heat one tablespoon of the butter on medium heat, add half the garlic and cook gently until browned. Add the cooked noodles, stir-fry with half the sauce for about three minutes until the noodles are soft, then stir in the eggs. Set aside on warm plates.
In the same pan, melt the remaining butter, cook the remaining garlic for half a minute then add the broccoli and runner beans. Stir-fry for about three minutes.
Add the rest of the sauce, fry for a further two minutes, then add a splash of water to steam the vegetables for another two minutes.
Put the veg on top of the noodles and serve at once.
Recipe by Uyen Luu, uyenluu.com
Beef stew with dumplings
Prep 15 min
Cook 3 hr
Serves 2 adults or 4-6 children
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 carrots,peeled and roughly chopped
1 leek, washed, trimmed and sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
750g stewing beef, chopped
30g plain flour
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 litre low-salt beef or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 pinch black pepper
or a few sprigs of thyme
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp English mustard
For the dumplings
40g mature cheddar, grated (optional)
125g unsalted butter, cubed
240g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp dried mixed herbs
Heat the oven to 160C/325F/gas 3. Put a large saucepan on a medium-low heat, add the olive oil and veg, saute for 10 minutes, then add the beef.
Turn up the heat, brown for three to five minutes, stir in 30g of the flour and the tomato puree, and fry for two minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves and pepper, bring to a boil, then cover and pop in the oven for two and a half hours, until the beef is tender. Add boiling water as needed, so it doesn’t dry out(as the dumplings will absorb some of the liquid later on).
When the stew is almost ready, make the dumplings. Put the cheddar, if using, in a processor with the butter, flour and dried herbs and blitz to fine crumbs (you can do this by hand with your fingertips). Add just enough cold water to bring the mix together.
Take the stew out of the oven, separating the children’s portion into an ovenproof dish. Stir the Worcestershire sauce and mustard into the adult portion. Roll the dumpling mix into balls and divide among the dishes the stews. Put back in the oven, turn up the heat to 180C/350F/gas 4, and bake for around 25 minutes, until the dumplings are golden and puffed up.
For a baby, remove the dumplings from the top of the stew and leave to one side to cool. Blitz the stew with a stick blender or liquidiser, adding a splash of water if needed.
Recipe by Georgina Hayden, georginahayden.com
Halloumi veggie burgers
Prep 5 min
Cook 10 min
For the burgers
1 small courgette
1 large carrot
5 sprigs mint, leaves picked and chopped
For the tahini dressing
120ml plain yoghurt
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp maple syrup or clear honey
1 pinch sea salt
To serve (optional)
Buns or cabbage leaves
Grate the courgette, carrot and halloumi on the coarsest side of a box grater. Put in a bowl, add the mint and toss to combine. Form into six patties with your hands.
Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Heat a dry, nonstick frying pan and fry the patties on each side until golden and soft.
Serve in your vehicle of choice (a classic bun, a large cabbage leaf …) with a dollop of dressing, some avocado slices, a lettuce leaf.
The patties and the dressing can be stored in the fridge for three to five days.
Recipe from Green Kitchen Travels by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant)
• Food styling: Ellie Mulligan. Prop styling: Anna Wilkins. Bowl (baked polenta): Hannah Bould