The dreaded cough is back. I could have actually (and may have) cried when I heard it coming back on little Billy this week. His eyes were red, his nose was dripping, he was sneezing and coughing every five minutes and he was bloody miserable. How could my little sweetheart be sick AGAIN? Our little bear has had two courses of antibiotics (three if you include the ones he had when he was three DAYS old via an IV drip in The Coombe) in his short little life. That’s a lot for seven month old.
So when I saw those symptoms creeping back up again this week I prayed and prayed that it was viral (and not bacterial as the others had ended up) and vowed to do everything I could to help fight this feckin’ cold away. Aside from the cuddles, warm clothes and extra breastfeeds I gave him Calpol/Neurophen, snuffle babe on his feet and chest/back, nasal spray and olbas oil burning in a candle burner and on a muslin cloth near his cot.
To add to this, my mam had told me that garlic is really good for helping the body fight a cold. So I began thinking about what I could cook for Billy to help nourish him in the best way possible, and include plenty of garlic too. I ended up making a Minestrone of sorts. It had all the elements of a Minestrone – the veg, the tomato “soup”, the pasta. What resulted was an absolutely delicious batch of healthy wholesome goodness. Packed with vegetables, no salt or crap, can be eaten chunky or blitzed, and perfect for freezing in little containers for future use. Billy loved it and had it for dinner last night and lunch today. Fingers crossed it helps him in some way. I feel so much better knowing he has filled up on so many vegetables. It can only help!
So here is the recipe, give it a go! I could have eaten this myself. The premise is the exact same for an adult pasta dish. Just omit the children’s pasta, don’t blitz anything, and add some salt/pepper to taste if you wish. It works really well with meatballs.
You Will Need
– Vegetables. I’d be lying if I said it was any particular type. I used what we had in the fridge. It’s a great dish to use up odds an ends though. The end of a punnet of mushrooms, a bit of a pepper, half an onion, those types of things. One minute they look sad in the fridge, the next they are rocking your world via your taste buds. I used (in order of appearance below) a few mushrooms, two pieces of Asparagus, an onion, half an Aubergine, half a red pepper, a few “trees” of Broccoli and four cloves of garlic.
– A tin of chopped tomatoes. Any type. Mine were 49c in Supervalue.
– Pasta. If making it for a baby you can buy the cutest little packets of baby pasta in Boots and the likes. It’s tiny and perfect for little mouths. I got these (pictured below) in Supervalue. Little Disney pasta shapes. Really cute and only €2 for the pack. I used about a third of the packet in this recipe.
– Herbs. If you want to. Billy is a fan of strong flavours so I used some of this Garlic Italian season mix. Just a sprinkle.
– A dash of olive oil or coconut oil to cook with.
And Here Is How You Make It
1. Chop up all the veg in to small pieces. The smaller the better. This means they cook quicker, and if you are serving it un-blitzed and chunky, it will have a nicer consistency if everything is roughly the same size.
2. In a saucepan fry all of the veg. Stir constantly so it doesn’t stick to the pan. I used a bit of coconut oil to moisten the saucepan first. When the veg is cooked through, add a tin of chopped tomatoes and stir through.
3. Bring the mixture to the boil and add about half a pint of boiling water. Continue to stir and simmer for 5 minutes on a medium heat. It should look a bit like this.
4. Now it’s time to add your pasta. First make sure that there is enough water to actually cook the pasta. If the sauce mixture has became very thick, simply add some more boiling water. This is the pasta I used. I used about one third of the packet.
5. Allow the pasta to cook as per cooking directions. This particular type took 7-9 minutes. I stirred the pan every 3-4 minutes.
6. Once the pasta has cooked, Bobs your uncle. ‘Tis ready to serve. If you are serving it as it is I recommend allowing it to cool a bit first and adding a bit of grated cheese to each bowl.
I decided to blitz mine for Billy. He loves chunky textured food but I figured that if I liquidized it then each portion would be more jam packed with vegetables and more dense than if I served it chunky. It looked like this. Still a nice thick consistency.
I ended up with six portions. I kept one for that night’s dinner (first bowl on the left, yellow. You might notice I sprinkled a bit of grated cheese on top) The others were all ready for freezing for future use. How handy! Three dinners and two lunches.
Aren’t these little Tomy containers adorable? I bought them in Smyths. So handy and they take up no space in the freezer. I love them.
As you can see, it was a hit with Billy. And his clothes, high-chair and toes.
And again the next day for lunch. This is the “before” photo. The after photo was every bit as glorious as the one above. Think food in his eyebrows.
I’m aiming to make one batch-cook recipe for Billy each week. Something that is “one pot” and can be frozen for future use. Healthy, wholesome and delicious food suitable for babies, toddlers and children. I’ll be posting the recipes, and hopefully they might give some of you an idea or two.
And if nothing else, it’ll be a regular photo of a baby covered from head to toe in food, and who doesn’t want to see that?
Until next time!