Chicken kebabs with jewelled cous cous

This is a version of a recipe I cut out of a magazine years ago, and I can’t remember what the magazine was so can’t credit it (am very honest about where my recipes come from – I always credit the source and link to original recipe – unless have devised it myself).

bedjewelled cous cous

I’ve made this meal a couple of times in the last few weeks and it goes down really well. For my youngest daughter I take the chicken off the kebab as, even if I cut off the pointy end of the skewer, accidents are still likely to happen.

In the last week my 7 year old has decided she’d prefer plain cous cous.  It’s easy enough to put some to one side when you’re making it to keep it plain.

This cous cous salad is great for bbq’s, picnics, goes well with home made burgers or you could add cubes of feta cheese and serve with corn on the cob for a vegetarian option. 

To make chicken kebabs you will need…

400g organic free range chicken breasts cut into cubes*
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 skewers soaked in water for 10 minutes or so

How to…

Cut the chicken breasts into cubes about 2cm cubed and put in a bowl
Mix together the olive oil and lemon juice.
Add the marinade to the bowl and stir the chicken so it’s all covered.
Cover and put in the fridge for at least half an hour to 2 hours (but don’t worry if you don’t have time!)
Take out of the fridge and put on skewers.
Grill on a medium to hot heat for about 10 minutes, turning so that the chicken is cooked through.
If it’s cooked on the outside and still pink in the middle turn down the heat a little and continue to cook for a few minutes until ready.

To make the cous cous you will need…

200g cous cous (wholegrain is best)
300ml water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 sun dried tomatoes in olive oil
6 organic dried apricots**
50g pinenuts
40 raisins or sultanas (I use raisins as they’re high in iron)
handful (about 15g) of mint chopped
2-3 spring onions sliced

How to…

Put the cous cous in a bowl.
Mix the olive oil and lemon juice together and stir through the cous cous along with the water.
Leave to stand for 15 minutes.
Toast the pine nuts either in a grill or in the bottom of a saucepan – keep an eye on them as they start to brown very quickly.
As soon as they’ve toasted put them in a bowl as otherwise they’ll continue to cook in the pan/baking try.
Chop the sun dried tomatoes and dried apricots and add to the pine nuts along with the sultanas/raisins.
Add the mint and onions.
Now with a fork fluff up the cous cous then add all the ingredients and mix well.

Serve with a green salad (don’t dress the salad keep the dressing in a bowl so people can have it they want to). For this salad I just did a simple olive oil balsamic vinegar one (3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to about 2 tablespoons of balsamic mixed with a fork).

We had courgettes and courgette flowers shallow fried in olive oil with a squeeze of lemon judge along with steamed green beans (all from the garden) along with a rocket, tomato and avocado salad.

Chicken kebabs and cous cous

 

*400g is about enough for a child between 1-4 years, another between 5-11 years and two adults (with a little left over). This is based on portion size guidance from First Steps Nutrition which is based on guideline recommended intakes of protein.

So before you cook the chicken (as this results in weight/water loss) weigh what you need based on:

65g uncooked chicken for children aged between 1-4 years
75g uncooked chicken for children aged between 5-11 years
About 120g chicken for adults

**Organic apricots do not have sulphur added (which some children can have an adverse reaction to) which is why they are brown rather than orange.

 

 

 

 

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Weaning recipes #1: accidental Morroccan lamb and cous cous

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We’ve just had just a busy Saturday morning, in and out of the house getting ready for Ringwood Carnival, my eldest’s 7th birthday, a 40th birthday party in London, drama class, and of course baby stuff which is never ending and keeps you busy without you ever actually achieving very much.

I had sausages for my husband and daughter for a quick lunch before going out to the carnival. But nothing for my now nearly 9 month old. The sausages were organic. but as they are high in salt, aren’t a suitable food for babies.*

I do usually try and do the same meal for the whole family but with so much going on it wasn’t possible and I had to rustle something up quickly out of what I had in the fridge. If I had had a chance to buy the ingredients the Morroccan lamb would have  included with some chickpeas – to make the meat go further and  some more vegetables as well as some dried apricots or sultanas.

The dish was not a great success at Saturday lunchtime. Either because my daughter is teething, or the excitement in the house, not much was eaten. I tried again for tea, and she ate most of it happily.

The evidence suggests that you have to get babies/children to try foods about 15 times before they will accept it. Though I do think that if a child has a definite dislike of a food or flavour and they are good at trying new foods and like most, then its probably best not to push it. But of course it’s hard when you’ve spent time and energy making something only for it to be rejected.

New foods

Up until around 18 months babies are open to trying new foods. Research shows that giving a new food once in the first year can double a baby’s intake of that food when a parent offers it again at mealtime.**

When toddlers start to walk and become more mobile, some develop neophobia (a fear of new foods). Academics think that young children have evolved in this way to prevent them from eating toxic or poisonous substances that they might come across in their immediate environment. So any food that they do not recognise as ‘normal’ is seen as a potential danger and is a means to protect them from being poisoned. It tends to peak at between 2 and 6 years old but older children can be neophobic , particularly if parents/carers limit the variety of foods they eat.***

So 1 have about a year to introduce as many different foods as possible. And as much as possible I buy in season produce so that means, like my eldest this baby will learn which foods are in season.

To make about 5 portions you will need ****…

1 tablespoon olive oil

200g Organic lamb mince (I made lamb meatballs with the rest of the lamb mince)

1 celery stick

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 small onion

half a green pepper (or any other pepper)

100g mushrooms

300g tinned tomatoes

100g cous cous

How to…

Dice all the vegetables into small enough pieces for a 9 month old baby to manage. This meal is suitable for babies from 7 months. You can thin it for younger babies with your baby’s usual milk (breast or formula milk) and puree.

Put the cous cous in a bowl and add 150ml boiling water, stir and leave for 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan, add the onion and fry until translucent. Add the spices and stir then add the lamb mince, and cook til brown. Then add the rest of the vegetables for a few minutes, until softened. Then add the tinned tomatoes. stir and simmer for 10 minutes, and thin a little water or baby’s usual milk, then serve with about 40g cous cous.

I served this meal with some cooked carrots and green beans.

My eldest happily ate it the next day too.

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Storage

Cool rapidly and refrigerate in an airtight container. Will keep in the fridge for a couple of days or frozen for 2 months.