Tag Archives: finger food

Beef Casserole and Dumplings: for baby to adult

16 May

This is the second instalment of  how to make every bite count , in which I review a few recipes for The Main Meal, and of course, attempt to get Hannah to eat meat, and teach Daniel to like, well, everything. As I said in the last post, Hannah pretty much eats like I ate when I was little, and that pretty much drives me nuts. Sigh. At least I eat better now. Apart from the red meat. I still don’t like that. Ick. Except kangaroo. Yeah, I don’t mind a bit of the Aussie icon. All of my fellow Americans are probably cringing at that about now.  All the Aussies are probably muttering something like “good on ya mate.”

This week, I cooked Beef casserole and Dumplings. And by cooked, I mean cut up some stuff and threw it in the slow cooker. How I love the slower cooker. Especially since I have kids. I like that I can throw some stuff in there in the morning when the kids are fresh and will entertain themselves, instead of trying to cook something at 6pm when they are tired and whingey and trying to hang off my legs and poke out each other’s eyes.

As you can see, I opted to go with the ‘to cook in a slow cooker’ method. I was going to use sweet potatoes instead of potatoes since neither of my kids like potatoes, but Coles was out of them.  At 2pm on a Sunday. Random. So I stuck with the recipe and got normal white potatoes.

I wouldn’t say that the prep time is actually 15 minutes. Maybe I’m just a slow chopper, but by the time you add up all the meat and veg chopping and peeling,  plus the zucchini grating and squeezing (which, mind you, is a very messy job) and dumpling making, it was more like 30 minutes of prep time. Luckily it was in the morning, and the kids were cooperative.

Last week, Daniel was in the lumpy/mushy category. Oh wait, I did the last recipe review the week before last. Then we were at Tresillian and I didn’t get one out that week. Sigh. Anyway, last time he was lumpy/mushy. Now, he’s all into the finger foods. I took him and Hannah to the shopping centre the other day at dinner time and bought Hannah a McNugget happy meal (yeah, she’ll sometimes eat chicken if it’s in the form of a nugget. Just like her mommy…). Daniel ate half of her nuggets! He loved them. Just FYI, I don’t always feed my children greasy food. For lunch that day, he had mild green chicken curry with a side of peas, corn and carrots. So there.

This recipe suggests putting the finger food portion into a nice little ramekin/bowl.

HA! Maybe all children aren’t as wild as mine, but if I did that, the ramekin would end up broken on the floor, and the food would be either a) all over me, b) all over Daniel, c) all over the floor with the dish, d) all over the walls, or e) all of the above. No dishes are ever used with my cheeky little monkey, so I just plopped it all on his high chair tray for him to finger.

This is how he eats his food….

He grabbed a carrot and clumsily put it in his mouth. And then spit it straight back out. Sigh. I put a little piece of beef on a spoon and gave that to him. And that went straight back out too. He started making annoyed noises and vigorously rubbing his hands back and forth on his tray, flinging food off it as he did. Daniel didn’t like it. At all. Sigh.

For toddlers, the recipe suggests the little bowl again.

Hannah is fine with little bowls, but prefers one of those melamine plates with the different sections. Since they had steamed vegetables at lunch, I gave them a side of kiwi instead. And cheese. I know Hannah likes cheese. At least there was something on her plate that I knew she would eat.

She took one look at that plate and declared she didn’t want it. She wouldn’t even sit down. She came over and stole the cheese but refused to try anything else for 10 minutes. I finally got her to try a tiny bit of carrot in exchange for giving her something else to eat if she didn’t like it. After all, I just wanted her to try it! She put it in her mouth. And then spit it out onto the floor. Sigh.

When Aaron got home from work, I dished him up a big bowl of the casserole. He likes beef. He was thrilled to be having beef again. I never make him beef. Except for the last time I reviewed one of these recipes. He took a bite.

“Um…I think I want something else for dinner.” he told me. Sigh.

“What’s wrong with it?” I asked.

“It has no flavour.”

This one was a complete miss. Sigh.

If you do want to make it (maybe add a bit of something for flavour…), here are the instructions to make it into smooth puree, and lumpy/mushy:

You can find all of the Make Every Bite Count baby to adult recipes in the e-brochure here.

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Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

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