Fussy little eaters: Slow Cooked Sweet Soy Pork

I cooked this recently and gave a dear friend some to try. It is a dish that I grew up with, though we would have it with sausages and intestines instead 😉 Mr E would never eat that so I used pork shoulder instead. My friend liked it so much that she asked for the recipe. Since I had to write it down for her, I thought I’d post it as well, in case you would like to try it out too 🙂 My little one liked this dish as the meat is very tender.

Slow cooked Sweet Soy Pork

Ingredients:

  • 4 stalks of shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 6cm piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 600g pork shoulder, trim most fat
  • 4tbs kecap manis (Indo sweet soy sauce, you can get this at any supermarket now)
  • 2tbs soy sauce
  • 200ml boiling water
  • 1 long green chilli, chopped (optional)
  • Any vegetables you like, I added about 4 potatoes (halved)

Method:

  1. Pan fry garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add shallots and chilli until tender.
  2. Quickly brown the pork then add all the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Once all of the sauces are combined, put everything into a slow cooker for 6-8 hours.
  4. Serve with rice, stir fried vegies and a dollop of sambal (Indo chilli paste)

You can use chicken or even tofu for this dish. When I’m feeling ultra extravagant, I also add in peeled boiled eggs into the slow cooker. The eggs will end up soaking the juices, making them sweet and spicy and eggy. It is definitely one of my comfort food dishes, I normally make this when only food can make me happy 😉

Happy cooking (and eating)!

Ps. Let me know if you would like me to post the recipe on my Indo chilli paste. That one is definitely not child friendly! 🙂

Fussy little eaters: Cauliflower Fritters

A dear friend gave us some cauliflower for Easter, along with a copy of a cauliflower fritters recipe. I finally gave it a try tonight and had great success with the boys. I adapted the recipe to our own palate and what we have in the pantry 🙂

Cauliflower Fritters

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Ingredients:
450g cauliflower, chopped into little bits (see note)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup of SR flour
1 cup of shredded cheese
2 cloves of garlic, chopping
1tsp curry powder/paprika
Pepper
Oil to shallow fry

Method:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl
Spoon some mix into heated oil
Cook over low/medium heat until golden
Serve with yogurt/fruit chutney/chilli jam

Note:
I mixed some cooked pumpkin in my mix to make up the 450g because I have some in the fridge that needed to be eaten. So I reckon you can do it too with any vegies you have on hand. Just make sure that they’re cut uniformly so they cook evenly.

Mr E loved it so much that he had seconds, and told me that he’d have it again and again lol I probably should have served them with a side of salad to make it a “full and proper” meal but I was tired and to be honest, couldn’t really be bothered.

Next time, I will either add some mince or tuna in the mix because it seems that I am the only mother in the world who has to hide meat. Little E doesn’t seem to like them, at least not my meat dishes. He eats all his lunch without fail at daycare, including the meat. But at home? He’s pretty picky! What’s the dealio, Romeo?!

Anyway, please do try this recipe, it’s a great hidden vegies recipe!

Itadakimasu

To give my mum inlaw a break from cooking, us “kids” (the 5 of us) took over the kitchen last night. And took over, we did! I reckon there weren’t any utensils, pots, pans, and every inch of the bench unused. As we’re all great lovers of Japan, we chose to do a Japanese food cook-off 🙂

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It was so much fun! Even though it was supposed to be judged and have a winner at the end, we helped each other and had a blast!

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For entrée, we had pork gyoza, cold soba, chicken karaage and tamagoyaki. For mains, we had Hayashi rice and Tonkatsu 🙂

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Mr E also brought his sake set from our last trip there in 2011. So we did a little sake testing for dessert to go with my slightly squished dango 😛

We started cooking at around 4pm and our dinner didn’t finish until past after 10pm! The kitchen was definitely where the heart of this house last night 🙂 Next time, we’re going to add in a secret ingredient to make it even more fun! 😉

Fussy Little Eaters: Pumpkin Fruit Cake

My little one today with a girly hat stolen from one of his friends

My little one today with a girly hat stolen from one of his friends

A friend recently came over with her little one (Hi, Tam!) bringing Pumpkin Fruit Cupcakes for morning tea, and they were really nice! Little E absolutely loved it that I can’t not make him more. We had a picnic with the mums, dads and bubs from my Mothers Group today, so it was a good enough reason for me to recreate. My friend did give me a copy of the recipe that she used, but she didn’t tell me how much flour, and it was just as easy to look it up than bother her, so here’s my take on the recipe (based on two different ones).

Pumpkin Fruit Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of mashed cooked pumpkin (I boiled mine)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of caster sugar (I used closer to 1/4 cup)
  • 100g glazed cherries, halved (If I was to make this just for Little E, I probably won’t add this in)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of wholemeal flour
  • 125g butter
  • 1 tbs of mixed spice (I didn’t add this today, but I will next time)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C (Fan-Forced)
  2. Cream butter and sugar with a handmixer
  3. Add pumpkin, eggs and flour
  4. Stir through cherries
  5. Pour into a cake tin (I used a loaf tin today) and bake for 45 minutes

Mr E doesn’t really like pumpkin, but he likes this recipe. It could have a lot to do with the glazed cherries (he loves them!), but most importantly, my little man likes it. I gave him a slice with a small pat of butter for afternoon tea today.

More on Mothers Group, if there’s any new mums out there, who are thinking of joining one, you really should! It is amazing how much support you need from the other mothers who are going through the exact same thing at around the same time. I know it is a matter of luck, since I have heard many mums not liking their group members, but you have nothing to lose. I am lucky in that regard, as we all really get along quite well 🙂

Fussy Little Eaters: Banana Pancakes (no eggs) Recipe

I made banana pancakes (with no eggs) for breakfast this morning, ones that Little E could eat as well. I wanted to add more fruit in his diet and we have an over-abundance of ripe bananas. I cut it up into sticks and my Mr I-Don’t-Like-Bananas loved it! I served it with chunks of papaya, which he had fun eating as they were quite slippery (read: messy) 🙂

Baby Friendly Banana Pancakes

A Baby-Friendly Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups self raising flour (I forgot I had wholemeal, so I will use that instead next time)
  • 1 tbs of Gentle Fibre (I wouldn’t add this if I use wholemeal flour)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbs raw sugar
  • 45 grams melted butter
  • 2 ripe bananas

Method:

Mash the bananas with a fork in a mixing bowl, then mix through flour, fibre, sugar, baking powder and butter (reserve about 2 tbs for cooking).  Continue mashing until smooth, then add the milk. Stir until batter is nice and smooth.

Heat up a pan and coat with a little bit of butter, then pour in batter 1 cup at a time. Cook on medium heat.

I like this recipe because you don’t need a whole lot of utensils to clean up afterwards. Mr E and I are naughty when it comes to over-indulgence and sweets, so we also added some chocolate while cooking the batter. This would have been good with ice cream as well 🙂 And some Butterscotch sauce, if you have any. Oh, and maybe some slivered almonds just to top it all off! 😛

There will be no OOTD today, as we’re having a lazy Saturday in, the kind where we stay in our jammies alllllllll day 🙂 Have a good one, friends!

Fussy Little Eaters: “Baked” Beans Recipe

I regard myself as a foodie. I love food.

I told my mother this as she continued to pester me about being “fat”. I can’t help but like anything to do with food, even the cleaning up after a cooking frenzy. So the thought of starting the little man on solid is exciting but also nerve-wrecking. Especially when he had a lot of gagging reflex in the beginning! There is also the expectations of giving him healthy food, with no added salt or sugar or preservatives or whatever else that’s bad for babies.

Being time poor as well, I am constantly on wits end trying to find new things to give him that is fast, that he can feed himself with and still healthy. So that’s a fast healthy food that won’t choke a baby, that he actually likes and would eat. Unfortunately for me, Little E hates bananas and yogurt. He also showed a slight allergic reaction to avocado. That’s the three easiest food you can give to a baby crossed off my list! 😦

I know that I am not the only one having this confusion so here’s a short list of food I have had success with. Hopefully it can give you some ideas for your little one 🙂

  • Steamed broccoli and cauliflower florets, carrot sticks, green beans and pumpkin sticks
  • Boiled Sweet Corn on Cob
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Fritatta soldiers
  • Corn fritters
  • Quiche without the pastry
  • Cheese bits
  • Roast chicken – thigh
  • Chewed up bits of steak or any red meat
  • Cheerios or Weetbix pre-soaked in milk
  • Toast soldiers with PB or Vegemite
  • Pastabake bits
  • Watermelon, Rockmelon and Apple sticks
  • Mini meatballs in Bolognese Sauce
  • Tinned fish (rinsed out of the springwater) or freshly cooked
  • Egg yolk
  • Arrowroot biscuits (on occasions)
  • Homemade bread slices with butter (including sourdough!)
  • Ravioli
  • Coconut sago (this is dessert, so have only given it to him twice)
  • Sticky Rice
  • Chinese BBQ pork buns (I try to give him least amount of the sauce inside as possible, as it is normally pretty salty)
  • Vegetarian savoury muffins
  • Dahl with rice
  • Sweet muffins (with half sugar that most recipe calls for)
  • Piklets/Pancakes (also with less sugar)

Another food that we found out Little E likes is Baked Beans. However, I didn’t really want to give him the tinned ones as they have added salt and preservatives. So tonight, I made some myself for dinner. I used this recipe as inspiration, but I used what I have in the pantry and added more vegies.

"Baked" Beans

A baby-friendly “Baked” Beans Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/8 cup of shredded ham
  • 1/4 cup of diced capsicum
  • 1/4 cup of diced carrots
  • 2 big tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 2 tsp Hot English mustard
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1.5 tbs Maple Syrup
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 440g can of Butter Beans, drained and rinsed

 Method:

  1. Sautée onion, garlic, ham, capsicum, and carrots until the onion is soft.
  2. Add tomatoes,mustard, sauce and syrup, let simmer with lid on for 30 minutes. At this point, if you don’t want chunky sauce, you can blend everything together before adding in the beans.
  3. Throw in the beans and cook for further 10 minutes.

I didn’t add salt or pepper as the original recipe, and I used an extra half a tablespoon of maple syrup as the tomatoes I used were a little tart.  Next time, I will add a grated zucchini to include another serve of vegies and use mixed beans instead 🙂 The dish was supposed to be a side dish for us and the majority was for Little E to have for the next couple of meals. (Un)fortunately we liked it so much, we had seconds and only have small amount left for Little E! What’s even more awesome, this is also a cheap budget recipe that you can cook in a big batch and freeze for later use! Yay! 🙂

I hope this is useful for some of you, please do comment below if you have any suggestions on what other things we can give Little E 🙂 We have some papaya to give him in the morning, as I think he needs to eat more fruit.