Top 100 Meals in Minutes: All New Quick and Easy Meals for Babies and Toddlers

Fast fish

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING, UNCOOKED BUT COATED

MAKES 8 PORTIONS

Homemade fish sticks

You can halve the quantities to make four portions.

11/4 cups fresh bread crumbs (made from 3 slices whole-grain bread, crusts removed)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1/3 cup all-purpose flour for dusting

1 egg

1 tablespoon cold water

Pinch of salt

2 large flounder fillets, skin removed, cut into 8 small pieces

2 tablespoons canola oil for frying

 Put the bread crumbs, cheese, and chives in a food processor and whiz to combine. Spread the bread crumb mixture on one plate and the flour on a second plate. Beat the egg with the water and salt in a shallow dish.

 Dust the fish fillets with the flour, then dip in egg, and coat in bread crumbs. Lay the fillets on a cutting board or baking sheet.

 Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Fry the fillets for 2 minutes, each side, until golden and cooked through. You will probably need to do this in two to three batches. Blot with paper towels before serving.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

Shrimp laksa

The coconut milk makes this a smooth-tasting curry that will go down a treat.

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons korma curry paste, or 1 tablespoon curry powder

1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk

1 cup chicken, fish, or vegetable broth

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 teaspoon honey

1 large carrot, julienned

8 ounces raw shrimp, heads and shells removed

1 cup frozen peas

4 ounces dry rice vermicelli, prepared following the package directions

Optional garnishes

Scallions, thinly sliced

Cilantro leaves

Chopped chiles

Lime wedges

 Sauté the onion in the oil for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the ginger and curry paste and cook for 1 minute. Then add the coconut milk, broth, soy sauce, fish sauce, and honey.

 Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, add the carrot and simmer for 5 minutes.

 Add the shrimp and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the shrimp turns pink. Then add the peas and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the peas have warmed through. Stir in the rice vermicelli and ladle into bowls. If you wish, garnish with one of the suggested options.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

Tagliatelle with tomato and tuna

I’ve put olives as optional here as they can be an acquired taste, but I’ve found many young children really like olives.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/3 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup peeled and grated apple

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 teaspoon sugar

3/4 cup vegetable broth

7 ounces tagliatelle

Salt and pepper

1 (12-ounce) can tuna in water, drained

3/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Black olives (optional)

 Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan and sauté the onion for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add the bell pepper and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the apple, tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and broth and bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, until thickened.

 Blend the sauce until smooth, then return to the pan.

 Meanwhile, cook the pasta following the package directions, drain, and toss with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

 Flake the tuna and fold into the pasta.

 Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle with the cheese. Grill until the cheese has melted and is bubbling.

 Add a handful of black olives to the tomato sauce, if you like.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

Little fish pies with peas

These little fish pies are a great warming dish, and very nutritious.

14 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 tablespoons butter

2 shallots, finely diced

11/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

11/2 cups milk

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper

4 ounces salmon fillet, skin removed, cubed

4 ounces cod fillet, skin removed, cubed

1/3 cup cooked peas

Paprika

 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

 For the mashed potatoes, put the potatoes into cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until tender. Drain well, then mash.

 Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the shallots and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, until soft. Add the vinegar and sauté until most of the vinegar has evaporated. Add the flour and mix to form a roux. Blend in 11/4cups of the milk. Stir over gentle heat until thickened.

 Remove from the heat and stir in 5 tablespoons of the Parmesan and the lemon juice. Season and add the fish. Stir in the peas, then spoon into the bases of four (4-inch) diameter ramekins.

 Put the pan of mashed potatoes back onto the heat. Add the remaining 1/4 cup milk and season to taste. Stir until hot, then spoon on top of the fish mixture and use the tines of a fork to make a pattern on the surface.

 Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and a little paprika. Place on a baking sheet.

 Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned on top and bubbling at the edges.

Fusilli with salmon and shrimp Images

A simple, light fish dish.

NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

8 ounces fusilli pasta

7 tablespoons fish broth

1 cup crème fraîche or heavy cream

Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill plus extra for garnish

6 ounces cooked shrimp

6 ounces cooked salmon

1 to 2 tomatoes, peeled and diced (optional)

Salt and pepper

 Cook the pasta following the package directions. Reserve one cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and set aside.

 Put the broth in a saucepan and boil until reduced by half. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the crème fraîche, lemon juice, and dill. Add the shrimp and salmon and warm through, then add the pasta and carefully toss together, adding a splash of the reserved pasta water if the sauce gets too thick.

 Stir in the tomatoes, if using. Season with a little salt and pepper and serve immediately, sprinkle with extra dill.

Salmon with Parmesan crust and tomato salsa Images

The salsa adds a nice juiciness to this recipe.

NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

1 cup fresh white bread crumbs

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 pound middle-cut salmon, skin removed

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoon olive oil

For the salsa

3 large tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Pinch of sugar (optional)

 Mix the bread crumbs, cheese, and chives. Spread on a plate. Put the flour on another plate.

 Slice the salmon into eight pieces. Toss each piece in the flour, then the egg, and coat in the bread crumbs. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the salmon for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until golden, crispy, and cooked through.

To make the salsa

Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and toss together. Serve with the salmon.

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NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 2 PORTIONS

Sweet chili salmon and simple stir-fry noodles

Children may prefer to have the salmon broken into large flakes or cut into cubes and tossed with the noodles.

For the noodles

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 garlic clove, crushed

11/4 cups bean sprouts, or 4 ounces of your favorite stir-fry vegetable mixture

4 ounces dry Chinese (chow mein) noodles, prepared following the package directions

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

For the salmon

2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 (4-ounce) salmon fillets

 Heat the oil in a wok and stir-fry the onion for 4 to 5 minutes, until soft and slightly browned. Add the ginger and garlic and fry for 1 minute, then add the bean sprouts or stir-fry vegetables and cook for 2 minutes, until the vegetables start to soften.

 Add the noodles and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to reheat, then stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil and set aside.

 Preheat the broiler to high and line the broiler pan with foil. Mix the sweet chili sauce, vinegar, honey, soy sauce, and ginger.

 Broil the skin side of the salmon for 2 minutes, then turn over and spoon 1 teaspoon of the sweet chili glaze on top of each piece of salmon, spreading it out and down the sides slightly.

 Broil for 2 minutes, spread another teaspoon of glaze on each salmon and broil for 3 to 6 minutes more, until the salmon is cooked through and the top is glazed and slightly caramelized at the edges.

 Add the leftover glaze to the noodles and stir-fry over high heat for about 2 minutes until piping hot. Serve with the salmon.

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NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 2 PORTIONS

Bag-baked trout with ginger soy

Trout is an oily fish, so it’s a good source of omega-3. It has a milder flavor than salmon, so it’s a good fish to try, as children may find salmon a little overpowering. Baking fish in foil or parchment paper seals in all the nutrients and flavor.

Canola oil for greasing

1 small rainbow trout, filleted and bones removed

6 thin slices fresh ginger

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon water

For the dressing

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 scallions, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon honey

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PIN BONES

Filleted trout will often have pin bones that must be removed for children. This is very easy to do. Run your finger down the flesh side of the fillet; you will feel the pin bones. You can easily pluck them out using a pair of tweezers.

 Preheat the oven to 400°F, with a baking sheet in the oven.

 Cut two large pieces of foil or parchment paper and grease with canola oil. Lay the fish fillets on the foil or parchment paper and place 3 slices of ginger on each one.

 Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, and water and spoon over the fish. Wrap the foil or parchment paper to form a parcel, scrunching the foil or using metal paper clips to help secure the parchment paper. Put on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.

 Meanwhile, heat the canola oil in a small frying pan. Add the scallions and ginger and when they start to sizzle, take the frying pan off the heat and set aside.

 Unwrap the fish and remove the ginger. Transfer the fish to plates, using a spatula and sliding it between the fish and the skin to remove the skin from the cooked fish.

 Pour any juices left in the foil or parchment paper into the frying pan, then add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and honey. Stir together, then spoon over the fish, and serve immediately.

Asian rice salad with shrimp Images

NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 3 PORTIONS

1/2 cup Thai jasmine rice

1/4 red bell pepper, diced

3 tablespoons drained canned corn

2 scallions, thinly sliced

4 ounces small cooked shrimp

Cilantro leaves for garnish

For the dressing

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon mirin

1 teaspoon canola oil

 Cook the rice following the package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and leave to drain in a colander for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a bowl.

 Stir in the bell pepper, corn, scallions, and shrimp.

 Whisk the dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad and stir to combine.

 Cover and chill. Serve decorated with cilantro leaves.

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Asian cod balls with plum dipping sauce Images

SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES ABOUT 20 BALLS

8 ounces cod fillet, skin removed

1 bunch scallions, finely chopped

11/2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons canola oil

For the sauce

3 tablespoons plum sauce

2 tablespoons water

2 teaspoons soy sauce

 Whiz the cod in a food processor until coarsely chopped, then transfer to a bowl.

 Add the scallions, chili sauce, cheese, soy sauce, egg yolk, and bread crumbs and mix together. Shape into 20 balls.

 Heat the oil in a frying pan. Fry the balls for 8 to 10 minutes, until lightly golden and cooked through.

To make the sauce

 Put all the ingredients into a small saucepan. Gently warm through and serve with the balls.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 3 PORTIONS

Mild korma curry with shrimp

Curry is one of my children’s favorite meals, and this is a mild and fruity version. Serve with papadums and rice.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon korma or mild curry paste

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

1 cup coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 to 1 teaspoon mango chutney

Salt and pepper

8 ounces shell-off raw jumbo shrimp

 Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the ginger, curry paste, and garam masala and fry for 2 minutes.

 Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, lemon juice, and mango chutney. Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring until it has reduced and is an orange-red color.

 Season and add the shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes, until they have turned pink and are cooked through.