Toddler Dinner Special: Mac ‘n’ Soup

Trilok loves pasta, I think I may have mentioned that a number of times before. He also loves mac ‘n’ cheese like most of us :). So to put a spin on mac ‘n’ cheese I concocted a mac ‘n’ soup dinner tonight. It was a thick, smooth, flavoursome, basil, carrot and red pepper soup doused in cream with a helping of mini macaroni in it.

It looked just as gorgeous as it tasted. A content toddler at the dinner table is a content mum for the night! <3

mac&soup

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup macaroni or pasta of your choice
  • 1 Small carrot, chopped
  • 1/4 Red pepper, chopped
  • 1 Clove of garlic, grated
  • A couple of leaves of fresh basil
  • Olive oil or ghee (my preference)
  • A tablespoon or two of fresh cream (for the end)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Cook the pasta and set aside
  • In a pan add ghee/olive oil and sauté the garlic
  • Add in the carrots and cook until a little soft
  • Then add in the red pepper
  • Add the basil and the salt and pepper

I usually let it the red pepper char a little bit for a smoky flavour

  • Keep sprinkling water to soften the veggies
  • Once cooked enough, remove from fire and set aside to cool
  • Once cooled, puree the lot in a blender. Make sure its super smooth in texture
  • Transfer the puree back into the pan and give it one quick boil adding in water to achieve the desired consistency
  • Add in the cream right at the end so that it doesn’t split

Serve:

  • Pour out into a toddler serving bowl
  • Add the desired amount of macaroni to the soup and serve warm

I particularly love this because it’s just so healthy and filling and you can make the soup out of any available veggies at hand. It’s a welcome break from the regular dinner routine!

A Veggies Only Dinner Special

My boy has been showing active interest at nomming on my bowl of warm stir-fried veggies. He seems to like the texture of the seasoned par cooked veggies against the bite of the crisp little croutons. So I decided it was time for him to eat his own share of a veggies only dinner.

I seldom do a veggies only meal for him since typical Indian meals consist of curried vegetables eaten with a chapati/roti and finished off with some dal (lentil) rice. It’ll be stir-fry veggies or warm salads with soups on days we don’t want to go traditional. So naturally, I was pretty happy when he took well to his meal without creating a fuss.

On the menu:

  • Bottle gourd & red pumpkin soup with celery garnish
  • Stir-fried veggies topped with a sweet mustard dressing and croutons

dinner

Bottle gourd and Pumpkin soup

Ingredients:

  • One part bottle gourd, skin removed and chopped
  • One part red pumpkin, chopped (note: The quantity of ingredients I take depends on the quantum of soup I want to make)
  • 1 Teaspoon ghee
  • Pinch of garam masala (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Chopped celery leaves for garnish

Method:

  • In a sauce pan sauté the bottle gourd and pumpkin
  • Add in the condiments
  • Splash in a little water to cook the veggies
  • Add in a cup of water and bring to a quick boil
  • Take it off the gas and once cool, blend to a smooth consistency
  • Pour back into a container and add water until you’ve reached the desired consistency
  • Bring to a boil and adjust the salt level according to preference
  • Garnish with celery
  • Serve warm

————————————————————————————————————-

Stir-fried veggies:

Ingredients:

Select the veggies of your choice and chop to the desired size. I chose the following:

  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Red pepper
  • Yellow pepper
  • Spinach
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

Method:

  • In a pan sauté the garlic in olive oil until soft
  • Add in the veggies in the order of their cooking time (slowest to the fastest)
  • Fry until fully soft or par-cooked, however your toddler prefers it. Also, I sautéed the mushrooms and wilted the spinach separately and then added them to the rest of the mix. 
  • Season as per taste
  • Turn off the gas
  • Splash in the desired amount of dressing of your choice
  • Top off with cheese and mini croutons
  • Serve warm

————————————————————————————————————-

Sweet mustard dressing

Ingredients:

  • Yoghurt, whisked and thinned to desired consistency. Thick for dips and sandwich fillers, thin for salads, stir-fries etc.
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped garlic chives or garlic finely chopped
  • Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
  • A small quantity of mustard paste

Method:

  • Combine all ingredients until you have a smooth dressing like consistency

Use as:

  • Salad dressing
  • Wraps dressing
  • Sandwich filler dressing
  • Dip