What’s for dinner? Ugh. Because preparing food that the whole family happily will gobble up is a very tricky task, we hit up our mates at Nourishing Bubs for tips! They’re pros at making food that’s simple, delicious and packed with (stealthily hidden) healthy veg. We asked Olivia Bates, paediatric dietitian and founder of Nourishing Bubs, to give us a couple of easy, go-to dinner recipes that you can enjoy! And your kids can enjoy! And the high chair, and the floor, and your shirt, probably.
Veggie Loaded Meatballs & Pasta
- 200g dry pasta shapes
- Grated cheese, to serve
For the meatballs...
- 250g beef mince
- 45g rice flour or homemade bread crumbs
- 100g Nourishing Bubs carrot puree, defrosted
- 50g raw zucchini, finely grated (optional)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
For the tomato sauce...
- 400g Passata (no salt or sugar added)
- ½ onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 4 x 25g Nourishing Bubs carrot puree blocks
- 4 x 25g Nourishing Bubs beetroot blocks
- 4 x 25g Nourishing Bubs zucchini blocks
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1. To make tomato sauce: heat a deep-edged saucepan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until brown and softened. Add garlic, cook for another minute.
2. Add passata, frozen Nourishing Bubs vegetable cubes and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened and reduced. Season as necessary.
3. To make meatballs: combine beef mince, rice flour, Nourishing Bubs carrot puree, grated zucchini and salt in a bowl and mix to combine. Roll heaped teaspoons of mince mixture into balls.
4. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Place meatballs spaced out in the saucepan. Cook for approximately 6 minutes in saucepan, turning occasionally so all sides are browned and cooked to your liking.
5. While meatballs are cooking, cook pasta according to packet instructions.
6. Serve pasta with meatballs and topped with tomato sauce. For toddlers you might like to separate the pasta, sauce and meatballs. Serve with a sprinkle of grated cheese, if desired.
Handy hint! Cooked meatballs can be frozen and stored for up to three months. Excess tomato sauce can also be frozen. Try freezing in single portions for nights when you are short on time.
Family Taco Night
- 500g lean beef mince
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 8 x 25g Nourishing Bubs Vegetable Puree Cubes (we used 2 x beetroot, 2 x carrot, 2 x zucchini, 2 x cauliflower)
- 400g tin diced tomatoes
- 1 packet mild Mexican spice mix*
- ½ tin kidney beans (these can be pureed so little ones don’t pick them out)
- Soft tortillas or hard taco shells
- Salt, to taste
For the toppings...
- 1-2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 small cos lettuce, shredded
- 1 avocado
- 1 lime
1. Heat a large deep frypan over medium high heat and add olive oil. Add onion, stirring occasionally until soft. Add mince to the pan, breaking apart and stirring so it browns all over.
2. Once mince is browned add tinned tomatoes, frozen Nourishing Bubs puree cubes, spice mix and kidney bean puree. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer for ten minutes while you prep the other additions. Stir occasionally.
3. To make guacamole: mash avocado with juice of lime. Season to taste.
4. Place toppings into individual bowls and present buffet-style for a fun family meal.
5. Heat soft tortillas and/or hard taco shells according to packet instructions.
* Or make your own! Combine 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp onion powder and 1 tsp mild paprika.