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

Speedy veggies

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Garlic pita breadsticks Images

Crudités served with delicious homemade breadsticks make wonderful finger food.

SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 20 STICKS

4 large pita breads

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 small garlic clove, crushed

2 tablespoons pesto

1/4 heaping cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

 Preheat the broiler to high. Arrange the pitas on a baking sheet. Mix the butter, garlic, and pesto. Spread on one side of the pitas.

 Sprinkle with the cheese. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.

 Let cool, then slice into sticks.

Sun-dried tomato sticks Images

NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 20 STICKS

4 large pita breads

1/4 heaping cup sun-dried tomato paste, or 4 sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil), finely chopped

1/4 heaping cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

 Preheat the broiler to its highest setting. Arrange the pitas on a baking sheet.

 Spread the tomato paste on one side. Sprinkle with the cheese and broil for 4 to 5 minutes, until golden and crisp.

 Let cool, then slice into sticks.

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Dips

Serve with cucumber, carrot, bell pepper sticks, pita bread, and cherry tomatoes; or try some more unusual vegetables, such as sugar snap peas, for dipping.

Sweet chili and cream cheese

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7 tablespoons light cream cheese (Neufchâtel)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce

 Mix the cream cheese and chives and put in a ramekin. Spoon on the chili sauce, or mix together if you prefer.

Thousand island

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2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons ketchup

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 to 2 drops Worcestershire sauce

Ranch

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3 tablespoons sour cream

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lime juice (optional)

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives

Mango and cream cheese

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1/4 cup light cream cheese (Neufchâtel)

3 tablespoons plain yogurt

11/2 tablespoons mango chutney

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Pinch of curry powder

 Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

 Season to taste and serve with breadsticks.

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Tomato and cheese quesadilla Images

A few drops of Tabasco add a bit of kick to these quesadillas, but they are still very mild.

NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 2 PORTIONS

1 teaspoon canola oil

2 scallions, thinly sliced

8 to 10 cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped

3 to 4 drops Tabasco

Salt and pepper

2 flour tortillas

1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

 Heat the oil in a saucepan or small frying pan. Add the scallions and tomatoes and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft.

 Remove from the heat and stir in the Tabasco. Season to taste. Heat a large grill pan or nonstick frying pan.

 Spread the tomato mixture on one of the tortillas and sprinkle with the cheese.

 Cover with the second tortilla and cook in the hot pan for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until the cheese has melted. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 12 wedges.

Caramelized onion quesadilla Images

Sweet caramelized onions make a delicious filling for quesadillas.

NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 2 PORTIONS

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large red onion, or 2 small, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (optional)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

Salt and pepper

2 flour tortillas

1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese

 Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Add the onion and thyme, if using, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the onion is soft.

 Increase the heat to high and add the vinegar and sugar. Cook, stirring until the vinegar has evaporated. Remove from the heat and season to taste. Let cool slightly.

 Heat a large nonstick frying pan or grill pan. Spread the onions on one of the tortillas and sprinkle with the cheese.

 Cover with the second tortilla, then grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until the cheese has melted, or cook in the frying pan. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 12 wedges.

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NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 1–2 PORTIONS

Tasty veggie burrito

This makes the most delicious meal and it’s easy to double the quantity. Simply make two separate omelets and just cook double the amount of filling.

1 flour tortilla (about 8-inch diameter)

1 egg

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon butter

1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped

1/4 red bell pepper, diced

1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed

Pinch of paprika

1 tomato, seeded and diced

2 to 3 drops Tabasco (optional)

1/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese

1 tablespoon sour cream (optional)

 Put the tortilla on a large plate. Beat the egg with 1 teaspoon of water and a little salt and pepper.

 Heat half the butter in a nonstick frying pan. Add the egg and tip the pan to spread out and make a thin omelet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the omelet has set, then slide it onto the tortilla.

 Heat the remaining butter in the frying pan and, when foaming, add the onion, bell pepper, thyme, and paprika and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion and pepper are soft. Add the tomato and cook for another 2 minutes, until the tomato is soft.

 Add the Tabasco, if using, and season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for a moment.

 Heat the tortilla and omelet for 10 to 20 seconds in a microwave, spoon the onion mixture over the center, sprinkle with the cheese, and roll up. Serve immediately with a spoonful of sour cream, if you like.

 If you prefer, you can cut the omelet into little strips and mix in with the onion mixture.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

Tomato soup

This is a tasty, simple-to-prepare soup.

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large celery stalk, thinly sliced

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, grated (about 3/4 cup)

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes

11/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 large ripe tomatoes, quartered

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)

 Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the celery, onion, carrot, and garlic and fry for 5 minutes.

 Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, covered, until all the vegetables are soft.

 Blend with a hand blender until smooth.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

Lentil and vegetable soup

Lentils are a good source of protein and iron. A good way to get children to enjoy eating them is to whiz them up with sautéed vegetables to make a delicious soup.

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, grated (about 3/4 cup)

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

1/3 cup red lentils

1 cup canned diced tomatoes

21/2 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)

 Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, garlic, and celery and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

 Add the lentils and coat in the vegetable mixture. Then add the remaining ingredients.

 Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 20 to 25 minutes, until the vegetables and lentils are soft.

 Whiz until smooth with a hand blender.

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SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 4 PORTIONS

Sweet potato and butternut squash soup with cheesy croutons

This flavorsome soup is enough on its own, but served with cheesy croutons is a real treat.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

11/3 cups peeled and diced butternut squash

1 cup peeled and diced sweet potatoes

13/4 cups chicken broth

For the croutons

2 slices white bread

Olive oil

2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

 Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and fry for 3 minutes. Add the squash and potatoes.

 Fry for 2 minutes, then add the broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Whiz with a hand blender until smooth.

 To make the croutons, stamp four stars out of the bread using a star cutter. Lightly brush with oil and sprinkle with the cheese.

 Put the croutons onto a baking sheet. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly golden. Serve on top of the soup.

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NOT SUITABLE FOR FREEZING

MAKES 2 PORTIONS

Rainbow ribbon noodles

It’s fun eating these with child-friendly chopsticks that are joined at the top.

For the omelet

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon water

For the noodles

1 small garlic clove, crushed

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 small carrot, julienned

1/4 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienned

1/2 small zucchini, julienned

3 ounces rice sticks (pad Thai noodles) prepared following the package directions

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce

1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

 Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a wok. Beat the egg, soy sauce, and water and add to the wok.

 Cook the omelet until just set and brown underneath. Break or chop into pieces and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.

 Heat the remaining oil in the wok and add the garlic and ginger. Sauté for 30 seconds, then add the carrot, bell pepper, and zucchini and stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

 Add the noodles and scallions and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until the noodles have heated through. Stir in the soy sauce, chili sauce, and sesame oil, followed by the omelet pieces, then remove from the heat and transfer to bowls.

 Garnish with the cilantro, if you like.