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

 

Express chicken and poultry

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Quick sauces for chicken

Serve these sauces with grilled or panfried chicken.

Grilled chicken

NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 2 PORTIONS

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, peeled

Salt and pepper

 Cover the chicken breast fillets with plastic wrap and pound with a mallet to flatten them.

 Brush the fillets with oil and then run a cut garlic clove over them. Season with a little salt and pepper.

 Brush a grill pan with oil and when it is very hot cook the chicken on one side for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and cook for another 3 minutes. Turn the chicken over and repeat.

 Cut the chicken into strips and serve with the tasty dipping sauces.

SAUCES

Mild curry

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

11/2 teaspoons mild korma curry paste

1 teaspoon honey

2 to 3 drops lemon juice

Easy barbecue

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons water

Spicy tomato

3 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce

1 tablespoon water

1/4 teaspoon soy sauce

 Mix the ingredients for your dip of choice and serve with the cooked chicken or with vegetable sticks.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4–6 PORTIONS

Chicken Bolognese

If your child is a fussy eater and picks out the vegetables, cook them until they are soft, add the tomatoes, and blend until smooth. Brown the chicken in a separate frying pan and add the remaining ingredients before simmering as per the recipe.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/4 red bell pepper, diced

1 medium carrot, diced

1/2 small celery stalk, diced (optional)

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

8 ounces ground chicken

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

2/3 cup chicken broth

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon ketchup

11/2 teaspoons sugar

Salt and pepper

 Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the vegetables for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute.

 Add the chicken and turn up the heat slightly, then cook for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring and breaking up the chicken with a wooden spoon, until the chicken has browned slightly.

 Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

Little chicken and leek pies

Little ones will love to have mini portions in individual ramekin dishes. You can also prepare several at a time and freeze extra portions for days when you don’t have time to cook.

12/3 cups peeled and diced potatoes

12/3 cups diced carrots

1 tablespoon butter

2 small leeks, coarsely chopped

8 ounces chicken tenders, cut into 3/4 inch-cubes

3 mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons corn kernels

Salt and pepper

 Preheat the broiler.

 Put the potatoes and carrots into a saucepan. Bring to a boil and keep it there for 10 to 12 minutes, until soft. Drain, then mash until smooth.

 Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the leeks and sauté for 5 minutes, until just soft. Add the chicken and fry for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle with the all-purpose flour. Blend in the milk and bring to a boil.

 Simmer for 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked. Add three quarters of the cheese, the corn, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon into four ramekins (about 6 ounces). Spoon the mashed vegetables on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

 Broil for 4 to 5 minutes, until lightly golden on top and bubbling around the edges.

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NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

Chicken with ham and cheese

This recipe is a delicious way to stuff chicken breasts.

4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each)

3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese

4 small slices ham, finely chopped

4 tablespoons chopped chives

1 egg, beaten

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

Paprika

2 tablespoons oil

 Preheat the oven to 400°F.

 Put the chicken breasts on a cutting board. Cover with plastic wrap and, using a mallet, lightly pound the thicker part of the breast so that it is coarsely the same thickness.

 Carefully slice each breast three quarters of the way through the middle, still keeping one side attached. Mix the cheese, ham, and chives.

 Open one breast and put a quarter of the cheese mixture into the middle. Season and fold over the top. Push down so that it looks like a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining breasts.

 Brush each breast with egg wash. Carefully coat in bread crumbs. Sprinkle with paprika.

 Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Brown the chicken for 3 minutes on both sides, then place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

 Roast in the oven for 15 minutes until golden and cooked through. Leave for 3 minutes, then slice each breast into 3 to 4 slices to serve.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 3 PORTIONS

Chicken and gravy casserole

You could pound the chicken to flatten it and then marinate it in olive oil, garlic, and lemon (see here for instructions on grilling).

2 teaspoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 ounces chicken tenders

2 small onions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

Pinch of brown sugar

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

11/4 cups beef broth

1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons cornstarch

 Heat the oil in a deep frying pan. Season the chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides until lightly golden, then set aside on a plate.

 Add the onions to the pan. Sprinkle with the thyme. Cover and cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes, until very soft. Remove the lid, add the sugar and vinegar and fry until lightly golden.

 Add the broth, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil. Mix the cornstarch with a little cold water and add to the gravy. Stir until thickened.

 Return the chicken to the pan. Cover and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, until cooked through. Serve with mashed potatoes.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 6 PORTIONS

Chicken meatballs in barbecue sauce

This is one of my children’s favorite recipes. It’s a good idea to make extra and put some child-size portions into the freezer so that they’re there whenever you need them.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

7 tablespoons ketchup

12/3 cups water

11/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the meatballs

1 slice white bread

2 skinless chicken breasts (about 8 ounces)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

1 egg yolk

1 apple, peeled and grated

 Heat the oil in a saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently for 5 minutes, until soft.

 Divide the mixture in two and transfer half to a mixing bowl. Add the ketchup, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar to the saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes.

 Add the lemon juice. Mix the cornstarch with a little cold water and add to the sauce, then stir until thickened.

To make the meatballs

 Whiz the slice of bread in a food processor to make bread crumbs. Transfer to the bowl with the cooked onion. Pulse the chicken in the food processor until it is finely chopped and add it to the onions and bread crumbs.

 Add the thyme, egg yolk, and apple to the bowl and gently mix. Shape into twenty-four balls.

 Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Fry the balls until lightly golden. Add to the sauce and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until cooked through.

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NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

Toasted chicken tortilla

It’s a nice idea to cook filled tortillas on a grill to make them crispy. They make great finger food.

6 ounces chicken tenders

1 teaspoon honey

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh basil

3 tablespoons corn kernels

1/4 cup light mayonnaise

4 flour tortillas

 Put the chicken into a bowl. Drizzle with the honey and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small frying pan and fry the chicken for 4 to 6 minutes until cooked, then set aside.

 Put the scallions, cheese, basil, corn, mayonnaise, and seasoning into a small bowl. Slice the chicken into small cubes, then add to the mixture and combine.

 Heat a grill pan until hot. Put the tortillas in the pan and gently warm through so that they are easier to roll. Place one on a work surface. Put a quarter of the mixture on one side of the tortilla, roll up, making sure that the end is underneath. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

 Brush both sides with a little oil, then fry on both sides until char-grilled and the filling is warm and the cheese is starting to melt.

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NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 2 PORTIONS

Marinated grilled chicken

Cut the marinated, grilled chicken into strips and serve with a selection of vegetables, depending on what your child likes.

For the marinade

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

1 teaspoon soy sauce

For the chicken

1/4 small zucchini cut into 6 slices

1/4 red bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise

1/4 yellow bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise

1 large chicken breast

 Whisk the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Cut the chicken in half crosswise. Put the two slices on a cutting board, cover with plastic wrap and pound until about a 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to a bowl. Put the vegetables in a separate bowl.

 Divide the marinade between the chicken and vegetables. Toss so that the chicken and vegetables are coated. Cover and marinate for 30 minutes (up to 1 hour).

 Heat a grill pan, brush with a little oil, and cook the zucchini for 1 to 11/2 minutes on each side. Cook the bell peppers for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, and the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until the vegetables are soft and the chicken is cooked through.

 Transfer the marinade from the bowls to a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds, then spoon over the chicken and vegetables.

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TIP

Do not serve the marinade without boiling first.

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NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 2–4 PORTIONS

Tasty baked chicken

You can also make this recipe using chicken drumsticks, just remove some of the skin and trim away any excess fat. I have given the ingredients for two different glazes. Each glaze is enough for four chicken thighs.

For the mango chutney glaze

1/4 cup mango chutney

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar or lemon juice

1 tablespoon ketchup

Pinch of salt

For the sticky soy and ginger glaze

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon canola oil

4 skinless, bone-in chicken thighs

 Preheat the oven to 400°F.

 Whisk the glaze ingredients together. Put the chicken in an ovenproof baking dish or pan and score the flesh of each thigh two times.

 Season with pepper, then spoon on your chosen glaze. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.

 Uncover, baste with the pan juices, and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more (if possible, baste again after 10 minutes), until the chicken is cooked through and the pan juices are sticky.

 Transfer the chicken to a plate and spoon the pan juices on top. Cool slightly before serving with rice, or baked potatoes, and green salad.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

Fruity chicken korma

This is a delicious, mild, fruity curry.

11/2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1 small to medium apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced

2 skinless chicken breasts, diced

11/2 tablespoons korma curry paste

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 cup low-fat coconut milk

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 to 11/2 tablespoons mango chutney

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/3 cup frozen corn kernels

1/2 cup frozen peas

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons cold water

 Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok.

 Add the onion and bell pepper and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the apple and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the chicken and stir-fry until browned. Add the curry paste and garam masala, then the coconut milk, broth, mango chutney, and soy sauce.

 Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the corn, peas, and lime juice and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Mix the cornstarch with the water. Add to the curry and stir until slightly thickened. Serve with rice.

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NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 2 PORTIONS

Tasty chicken and rice

This is great for lunch boxes or a light meal; the honey–soy sauce dressing is delicious. For speed you can buy parboiled rice that is ready in ten minutes.

2/3 cup long-grain rice

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

6 scallions, thinly sliced

3 ounces cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/4 cup drained canned corn

1 cooked chicken breast, diced

Salt and pepper

Dressing

1 teaspoon honey

11/2 tablespoons soy sauce

11/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

11/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

 Cook the rice in boiling water following the package directions, drain, and let cool.

 Add the carrot, scallions, tomatoes, corn, and chicken and season with salt and pepper.

 Mix the honey, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and olive oil. Pour over the rice and serve.

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NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 SMALL DRUMSTICKS

Honey and soy-glazed drumsticks

You can marinate the chicken overnight if you have the time.

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon olive oil

4 small chicken drumsticks

Salt and pepper

 Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the ginger, soy sauce, honey, and oil into a bowl. Mix well. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

 It is important to score the drumsticks before you marinate them so that they cook all the way through. Put the drumsticks into the marinade. Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Pour onto the baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove from the baking sheet, wrap the ends in foil, and serve.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

Jambalaya

The beauty of this dish is that you can substitute or add any ingredients you wish, so it’s a great way of using up leftovers. If you like spicy food sauté 1/2 cup diced chorizo with the vegetables and remove the paprika.

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, diced

1/4 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 celery stalk, diced

1 garlic clove, crushed

1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1 cup basmati or long-grain rice

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 cup chicken broth

4 to 6 drops Tabasco, or to taste

1 cooked chicken breast (about 4 ounces)

4 ounces cooked shrimp

2/3 cup frozen peas

1 cup drained canned corn

Salt and pepper

 Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok with a lid.

 Sauté the onion, carrot, bell pepper, and celery for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft.

 Add the garlic, thyme, and paprika and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice, tomatoes, broth, and Tabasco and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the rice is just tender.

 Uncover and add the chicken, shrimp, peas, and corn. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more, until everything is hot. Season with salt and pepper and stir with a fork. Serve with extra Tabasco, if you wish.