We had this this for supper a few nights ago. The photo above is of the leftovers we had for lunch the next day. I didn’t have time to chop the stew up into smaller pieces for my baby (this stew works best with chunky vegetables) – I am always in a last minute rush when I make meals – so I gave her chickpeas and haricot beans and some veg to eat with her fingers along with the stew which had been briefly whizzed.
Now that she’s 9 months old she’s really honed her pincer grasp and sits absorbed at the dinner table picking up small pieces of food. Some of those pieces of food she casually drops on the floor but most do end up being eaten.
Peppers and courgettes are only just in season in the UK but not for long. I buy organic (as much as possible), local when I can, and definitely British. Buying by season does make it harder in those Winter months when you’re missing out on salads and summer fruits and it does make you really appreciate produce when it comes into season again.
For the stew
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 red onions cut into wedges
Red and yellow pepper cut into 1 cm wedges
2 courgettes cut into batons
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
Half a tin of 400g haricot beans (optional)*
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons tomato purée
Handful of fresh basil chopped
zest from one lemon
200ml very low salt stock (not for babies) or water (for babies)
For the cous cous
200g whole grain (if you can find it) cous cous
300 ml water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
In a pan on a medium heat cook the onion, courgette, peppers and garlic for about 5 minutes, until softened.
Add the smoked paprika and tomato purée stir and cook for a few minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and stock or water and cook for 20 minutes.
Zest the lemon and put to one side.
To make the cous cous, mix together 2 tablespoons of lemon juice with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, stir into the cous cous, then add and mix in the 300ml of water.
Leave to stand for 15 minutes.
Then fluff up with a fork.
Now add the beans and chickpeas, lemon and basil to the stew and and cook for 10 more minutes then serve.
Make sure you allow it to cool enough. For babies, either chop into smaller pieces or whizz a few times with the blender. For younger babies (+6 months) thin with a little of baby’s usual milk to consistency required.
The recommended portion sizes (from Caroline Walker Trust):
Babies from 7-9 months: 80g of stew / 50g of couscous with 20g vegetable finger food
Babies 10-12 months: 90g of stew /60g couscous with 30g vegetable finger food
1-4 year olds : 115g stew / 80g couscous with 40g vegetable finger food
5-11 year olds: 140g stew / 120g couscous with 80g vegetable finger food
*I didn’t want to add the whole tin as thought would be too much – but might be fine – I used the rest in a beef stew a couple of days later.