Baby Led Weaning cookbook – Moroccan ‘chicken’

We’re only flying through the cookbook.  Okay, so we’ve done about 5 recipes now.  I’ve decided to give the poultry section a go, using Quorn Chicken Style Pieces.  I’ve been eating these for years – probably about 13 year now i think of it (eek!).  Until quite recently they were just ‘Quorn Pieces’, until they realised they could market them as a low fat diety alternative to chicken.  I don’t tend towards fake meat – I like vegetarian sausages that are sausage shaped but full of veggie flavours rather than fake sausage meat.  I hate pretend deli-meat slices.  In my annual trip to Burger King (generally in an airport) I like to get a Veggie Whopper.  They’re my very occasional vice.  But after an earlier experiment with Quorn Beef Style Pieces, they’ve been ditched too.  The Chicken Style ones:  yummers.

Moroccan 'chicken'

So the key thing so far, apart from the labour intensive Shepherd’s Pie, is that all the recipes have been pretty simple.  I had everything in the cupboard/fridge that I needed for this except coriander.  I’ve bought so many fresh coriander plants that I’ve not managed to keep alive past 2 days that I’ve given in and bought a tube of fresh chopped coriander to keep in the fridge.  Okay, there’s some additives in there, but its Australian, they’re fierce healthy right?

I'll see you later

This is definitely a repeat make.  Dom seems to like gnawing on courgettes, and his little pincer grip was tested with rolling chickpeas.  We didn’t get to evaluate its success fully – he threw up the whole thing about an hour later.  It wasn’t my cooking, honest!  (I was sick earlier that day, so we were sharing a delightful stomach bug  It knocked him for six for 24 hours and he did some hardcore napping for the next few days while he recovered.)

Still, I can tell you leftover Moroccan ‘chicken’ makes a lovely lunch!

– Jill

Baby Led Weaning cookbook – Beef Goulash

Uh oh spaghetti oh.  This post has nothing to do with spaghetti.  It has to do with my messing up the dinner.  Once more the baby-daddy was making a meaty feast.  (He’s cooked more meat in the last 3 months than he has in the last 7 years as far as I can work out).

So all was going well for the Goulash. It was a great recipe for us, as the beef was the only ingredient we didn’t have in the cupboard.  I chopped the veg & laid out everything else for Mark to start the cooking.  Well, sure we didn’t have paprika.  We’d 2 types of chili powder and cayenne pepper.  I put the cayenne out on the counter…

Another simple dish to prepare – the shepherds pie was by far the most time consuming dish so far – 15 mins on the pan, followed by 90 mins in the oven.  Mark knew the cayenne would be hotter and put in just a half teaspoon.  Still no good.  He said it was really tasty, but it was  quite lip tingling.  He added extra natural yogurt and creme fraiche to cool down the boy’s portion. Dom tried it, and after 2 tries was rubbing his mouth with his arm.  So it’s left overs for Marks lunch tomorrow so!  But he says he’ll definitely make it again – it was quick and very tasty, just with some paprika next time.

– jill

cooking on the hoof

this bit is all going on the floor

You’d think we’d were there aprons on, cookbook propped up day in day out.  Well, okay, maybe not.  Most of the time, its sigh, open the fridge and pull random vegetables out.  One thing I’ve really come to love making is stir fries.  For ages I would just cover the veg in soy & sweet chilli sauces, until I realised how easy it is to make nice quick sauces.  One particular favourite is from a vegetarian blog I love  – Adventures in Veg.  She puts me to shame with my 15 years ‘experience’!   I never thought I liked nut butter til I tried this sauce – now we have cashew, peanut & almond nut butters in the cupboard.    (All make a great protein rich snack on rice cakes or toast for jnr.).


Stir fries can also be changed up with different carby accompaniments.  Basmati or brown rice, or one of a million types of noodles. I keep a good stock of noodles – you can get really cheap packets in Asian shops – when I’m nearby I like either the one at the worst Luas stop in Dublin, aka Jervis, or at one on Drury St.  I’ve can’t find the brand online, so here’s a crappy photo of the ones we particularly like.  They come in loads of varieties – I love the buckwheat ones, but we’ve none at the moment.  Above you can see how the son & heir (to a multibillion euro debt) utterly rejected his noodles.  They all went to the floor, untasted.  I can’t really object when he’s eating broccoli with such gusto. Another day my son, another day.

– jill

Baby Led Weaning Cookbook – Tomato Chicken

This was such a simple dish.  I’m not sure I’m going to convince Mark to blog about food ala My Daddy Cooks so I don’t know how useful me blogging about meaty dishes will be.

This was a particularly simple dish.  We were pretty confident serving it up as we know Dominic loves tomato, and he’s fairly into his chicken too.  He’s coming round to red meat too though, according to the creche.  In fact, his minder asked me in a half worried tone the other day if I’d noticed his appetite increase.  He used to eat about half the amount of the other baby’s portions, and about an hour after them, til one day he started to screech when he saw the little girl there being fed.  He gets dinner at lunchtime then we generally try and give him a blw type dinner in the evening too if its not a grab-n-nuke soup from the freezer evening.  Two Dinners Dominic we’re calling him, a nickname passed down from father to son after the infamous time Mark ate both offerings at a wedding in a particularly nice foodie hotel.

There’s a clear reason for the new found savagery – forward motion.  He’s flying around the place now.  He even has a new foodie interest which I’m really not pleased about – the cats’ food bowls.  Argh!  This morning alone I took him away from their bowl 3 times in under 2 minutes.  My heart is broke, but it’s amazing to see how quickly he went from 0-60, and how quickly it affected his food intake.  We currently reducing bottle sizes too during the day, he’s just not as interested.

So anyway, the tomatoey chicken…  It’s a good one for putting together when you get in after work because it doesn’t need much monitoring, and goes well with rice.  I’d say you could mash up a bit of spud into the sauce too, for pre-loaded spoons.

Not the best review in the world. But what can I say, I didn’t make it or eat it!


Baby Led Weaning Cookbook – Shepherd’s Pie

I reckon a good ongoing project for the blog is to catalogue our cooking experiments from the brand new hot off the presses Baby Led Weaning Cookbook.

We started off with Shepherd’s Pie

Now, I’m a divil for ingredient replacement.  And naturally, I wasn’t going to be using lamb, so I used half Linda McCartney Mince & half kidney beans.  So I thought I better stick to the rest of the recipe faithfully.  Husband was dispatched to buy our first ever swede.    The recipe was simple enough to follow but I will say I was was watching the mounting washing-up with a resigned eye.  I never have the 4 rings going at once on the hob!

What kind of shepherd would put his lambs in a pie anyway?

In an unprecedented act of organised ma-ness, I made twice the amount of filling, and froze half.  Also, I wouldn’t recommend tackling this when you come in from work – like I said it’s not hard, but it takes a while, including a half hour in the oven at the end.  And I can’t promise I won’t skip swede for more carrot next time.  Actually in terms of ingredient replacement, the BLW cookbook encourages such flexibility and often offers variants and optional ingredients.  Suits me so!

I also decided this was a good time to intro the fork into Dom’s cutlery arsenal.  Lots of good stabby food in the pie.  Turns out fistfuls is still the way to go for now though.


fork thing weird, take it back.


no excuses for no ideas now


Look what arrived! I haven’t really had a good look yet but one of the things i’ve spotted is that the recipes serve “2 adults and 1 baby” I’m kinda tickled pink about this little aspect. It just seems right.

we are champion

Well young Dominic is flying.  He’s settling in in creche, he’s about to crawl forward any second now, and, he’s eating so well!  The girls in creche seem concerned sometimes that he only eats a bit of his dinner – like 3 or 4 spoons, but to be honest, I don’t care and it’s taken me a while to get to that point.  But he’s eating really well at home at the moment, and seems generally quite pleased with his little self.  His nose is running like a tap, and he’s a bit constipated, but we can overcome these things.  I don’t think there’s any demand for a poo related post on here.  (But i’ve lots to say on the matter if anyone’s interested!)

So yeah, in his spoon-fed life, he seems to reject beefy things & lap up veg stew & chicken stews.  Last weekend, Mark made another Annabel Karmel recipe – chicken & apple balls.

having an examination

The menfolk were very pleased with them, me not so much.  I think I had toast for my dinner in a bit of a sulk.

In a non-gross note (related to earlier reference to bunged up bum), he’s started eating pears like they’re going out of fashion. Someone told me apple puree isn’t great for such things and to try pears instead.  He likes to eat them from the skinny top bit down rather than round the fat bit. Weirdo.

this is pear i will eat now NOM

The big bite out of the side was me ‘starting it off’.