Our 5 Favourite Winter Warmers
One of my favourite bits about November is the warming winter dinners, like soups and stews, that start to appear on our weekly menu plan. You can bring out the slow-cooker (if you have one), or allow something delicious to simmer gently in the oven or on your stove for a few hours - your house will smell irresistible when you get in from work or school, or the dreaded swimming lessons! If you're clever, and pop in as many veggies and proteins as you can, then you and your Clean Little Tummies will get all the nourishment you need simply from one big bowlful.
Soups and stews also invite you to chop your meats and vegetables to the sizes that suits your family: Big chunks of potato, squash and meats are great for little fingers in the baby-led weaning phase, while fussy toddlers call for smaller pieces they can hardly notice as you spoon them into their mouths! Or, if you're making a soup, blitz those veggies in a beautiful creamy smooth soup and no one will even know they're there. Sneaky, I know!
This time of year sees different vegetables appearing on the market stall and in the supermarkets. Right now, it's all about the root vegetables - potatoes, carrots, sweet potato, beets, parsnips. It's a nice change from summer vegetables, and they all lend themselves perfectly to slow cooking. See what your local market has on offer.
The Clean Little Tummies have lots of favourite stews and soups, but, to be honest, what is served at the end of the day is usually based on what it is in our fridge, or what the local market has on offer. That said, this week we've rounded up of some of the best recipes in the Clean Little Tummies arsenal of goodness. If you have tried any of these then please share your experiences with me, or if you have any other favourites then I'd love to hear about them!
1. Beef and vegetable casserole
This beef and vegetable casserole is a firm Sunday dinner favourite in winter from BBC Good Food. It is very simple to prepare and uses basic ingredients which are easy to find. It can be popped in the oven and just left to simmer. TIP: Make sure you double the ingredients and pop a batch in the freezer -- it freezes very well.
2. Sweet chickpea stew
Another warming dish full of vegetable goodness is this Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew by Deliciously Ella. Admission: Belle is not a fan of sweet potato (unless I make it into sweet potato fries), but her brothers love this recipe, and she will eat the rest of it with some persuasion and some tasty rice on the side!
3. Butternut squash and sweet potato soup
If you're after a super quick soup then this is the one you need. Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup by Nigella Lawson. If you buy the ready chopped vegetables then a bowl of warm comforting soup can be on your table in 15 minutes. Simply heaven on a cold winter's day. (And if you don't have the buttermilk either leave it out or add a drop of cream!)
4. Vegetable stew with cheesy herby dumplings
This week we have been warming up on this Vegetable Stew with cheesy herby dumplings - another goodie from BBC Good Food. It's a lovely one for little tummies because of the chunky vegetables, the almost-pasta like pieces of pearl barley and those yummy cheese dumplings which only take a matter of minutes to whip up in the processor.
5. Tomato soup
Finally, for a classic soup night try Jamie Oliver's Tomato Soup. It uses store cupboard ingredients, is quick to make and always a (messy) winner with Clean Little Tummies. Perfect with some freshly baked bread.
I hope you find some warm dinners on here to keep you going through the cold November evenings and that your Clean Little Tummies enjoy them too. Don't forget to share your favourites by tagging us @cleanlittletummieshappymummies!
Love From Caroline & The Clean Little Tummies Gang xxx