Lunch / Supper

Sticky Chicken

If you’re looking for a quick and healthy dish that the family will love, then this recipe is one worth trying.

A dish that you will find in most Jewish households on a Friday night is Sticky Chicken and it’s no wonder that it is a family favourite – its delicious, sticky and super sweet. The problem is that it is loaded with sugar and all the additives found in most ready-made sauces (probably one of the biggest reasons that it is loved so much!).

Looking at some sticky chicken recipes and all the unhealthy ingredients that go into making it, I decided to make my own healthy version the dish.

This really is a super easy recipe and can be served up as a healthy meal for the entire family. Portions can also be frozen and defrosted in the fridge ahead of serving it up.

If you would prefer to use chicken on the bone instead of breasts, increase your oven baking time by 20 minutes and brown the pieces in a pan with a little olive oil before baking them. Use this marinade for easy chicken kebabs or even for red meat, fish and tofu too (adjusting your cooking time as needed)!

What you’ll need:

  • 6-8 free-range chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Passata sauce
  • 1 Tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tin peaches in fruit juice (no sugar added)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbs vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 a large lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp Herbamare or celery salt
  • 4-5 cracks black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

To serve:

  • 2 Tbs finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 Tbs sesame seeds

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C
  • Bring all the sauce ingredients to the boil in a medium sauce pan.
  • Allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about half and is sticky in consistency.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and remove the bay leaves.
  • Purée the mixture using a hand blender (the sauce can be slightly lumpy, no need to be totally smooth).
  • Place the chicken into a casserole dish and pour over the sauce.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Slice the chicken breast into pieces and toss together with the sauce. Sprinkle over the spring onion and sesame seeds (if your little one doesn’t mind them!) and serve over rice, veggies, whole-wheat noodles or baked potato. Enjoy!

*The above recipe will need to be adapted should your child have an allergy to any of the ingredients mentioned.
*Never leave your child unsupervised when eating.
Lunch / Supper, Recipes

Herb & Parmesan Crusted Salmon

It’s no secret that omega fatty acids are one of the most important sources of fuel for growing little people. DHA and EPA are the most optimal sources of omegas (needed for brain development, emotional development and concentration), and are abundant in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna. Although plant-based oils, which are high in omega 6 – including avocado, flaxseed, soy and canola oil – offer a number of health benefits and are converted to DHA and EPA by the body, it remains far more beneficial to consume fatty fish sources when it comes to brain development.

So, exactly how much of this fatty acid should children be consuming?

Experts recommend at least two servings of fish per week, where fatty fish is preferable. If you plan on giving your child more than two servings a week, then it is best to avoid high mercury options (high levels of mercury can be toxic to the body when consumed in high quantities).

In an attempt to get my son to eat more salmon, and the omega 3’s that come along with it, I wanted to make a delicious salmon dish that would get him excited at the prospect of eating fish. The parmesan creates a subtle saltiness in this dish and the crumbled feta adds some creamy texture. Although I opted for almond flour because it adds a delicious flavour to the herb crust (amongst an added kick of omega 6), wholewheat flour could totally work in this recipe too.

What I really love about this recipe is that it is a healthy and flavour-packed dinner option that the entire family could enjoy. If your child is lactose intolerant or has a dairy allergy, then look out for lactose-free or dairy-free alternatives (a fantastic one is Nutritional Yeast Flakes that can be found in most health stores, and can replace the parmesan in this recipe).

What you’ll need:

  • 4 small-medium fillets fresh salmon
  • 1 handful fresh mint
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • 3 heaped Tbs parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 heaped Tbs almond flour
  • 2-3 cracks black pepper
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs water
  • 1/4 cup feta, drained, crumbled

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Place the salmon fillets on a greased baking tray.
  • Combine the rest of the ingredients, apart from the feta, in a food processor and process until semi-smooth.
  • Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto each salmon fillet and spread to coat the surface (you will need roughly a heaped tablespoon per fillet).
  • Sprinkle over the crumbled feta.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Serve with wholewheat pasta, brown rice, sweet potato fries or vegetables of your choice.

*The above will need to be adapted should your child have an allergy to any of the ingredients mentioned.

*Always double-check fish for bones before feeding it to your child.

*Never leave your child unsupervised while eating.

Recipes

Pumpkin & Lentil Cakes

Pumpkin fritters is a dish that fills my childhood memories. I can vividly recall my mother deep-frying the delicious batter as we waited patiently to smother our helping in some cinnamon and sugar. Delicious, no doubt! Yet not entirely healthy…

When so many kiddies’ finger foods seem to be deep-fried, laden with trans-fats and cholesterol (just take a look at the kiddies section of most menus), it is my mission to find nutritious alternatives that are just as much fun to eat. To replace oily fritters that don’t offer your little person the best nutritional value for their growing needs, try this nutritious take on a home comfort.

Lentils are a fantastic source of protein but they can be a little bland (try spooning these ‘straight up’ into your little one’s mouth and you’ll see what I mean). You need to find exactly the right ingredients that will bring out the nutty flavour and experimenting with spice combinations is a fantastic way to do just that. This recipe incorporates a number of different spices and the roasted pumpkin adds a natural sweetness that is just delicious.

What’s more, little people will absolutely love holding these protein-packed delights in their tiny hands! (the only thing is that the tumeric can stain clothes so rather not have your little monkey in his or her Sunday best.) 

I used tinned lentils in this recipe for convenience but remember to rinse them under a tap to get rid of the added salt. I used whole-wheat flour but almond or chickpea flour would work fantastically too.

What you’ll need:

  • 500g pumpkin, peeled, diced
  • 1 onion, cut into four
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tin lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 Tbs milk (whole milk is preferable)
  • Handful coriander, chopped
  • 1/2 cup self raising whole-wheat flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180°
  • Place pumpkin and onion slices on an oven tray and mix in the spices (excluding the coriander) and the olive oil.
  • Roast for 30-35 minutes, until soft. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  • Place the pumpkin, onion and spice mixture into a mixing bowl and combine with the lentils, coriander and the milk.
  • Using a handblender, pulse until combined into a mushy mixture (you want a mixture that still has some texture).
  •  Stir in the beaten eggs, the flour and baking powder (making sure you combine them evenly).
  • Grease a muffin tin and divide the mixture into each portion (making sure you only fill each one three quarters of the way to allow for the mixture to rise).
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted  (all ovens are different, so you’ll need to check on your recipe during baking).
  • Allow to cool before serving.
  • Serve plain, with a spread of cream cheese or with some homemade guacamole.
  • Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container and use within 2-3 days (these are delicious served cold too!)

*The above recipe will need to be adapted should your child have an allergy to any of the ingredients mentioned.

*Never leave your child unsupervised when eating.