Miriam Cooper founded Mimi’s Bowl after having her first child, who is now three. She shares some of her favourite recipes to help you avoid baby food panic.
Oat and Banana Pancakes
“Weekends in our house often mean pancakes,” says Miriam. “We have more time at the weekend to eat breakfast and it is lovely to sit down as a family and plan the weekend together over breakfast. This recipe replaces flour with blitzed oats, for some added fibre. It is also really easy to remember when you are slowly limbering up in the morning, as there are just three ingredients in the batter.”
- 80g oats, (you can use gluten free)
- 200ml milk, dairy or non-dairy
- 1 medium banana
- vegetable oil, for cooking
- small handful of blueberries, to serve
Blend the oats in a blender until you have oat-flour. Add the milk and the banana, then blend until combined. Heat some oil in a frying pan. Add one ladleful of batter at a time to the pan to make Scotch size pancakes (you don’t want them to be too thick, so the pancakes cook through). Cook for a couple of minutes until bubbles appear on the surface of the pancakes. They are now ready to turn. Turn and cook on the reverse side. Once both sides are cooked and golden, remove from the pan and set aside ready to serve. Repeat until you’ve used up all the batter, adding more oil to the pan as needed, wiping away any excess oil.
Serve the pancakes, with fresh blueberries and for smaller children you can cut the pancakes into easy-to-grip sticks.
Homemade Vegetable Sauce
“This really useful vegetable sauce, is a recipe I make again and again,” explains Miriam. “I recommend batch-cooking and then freezing the sauce in multi-portion trays. It is really useful to have on standby, as its delicious on pasta, chicken and pizza bases – the list is endless.”
- 2 small onions, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 (680g) bottles tomato passata
- 250ml water
- 2 red peppers, cored & cut into 4 large pieces
- 1 large courgette, trim & cut slice into rounds
- 1 small butternut squash (500g), peeled and diced
- olive oil
Preheat oven to 170°C. Prep the courgettes, butternut squash & red peppers for roasting. Toss in a little olive oil and spread evenly on a tray. Roast the vegetables in the oven for 20 mins.
Take a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and gently sweat the diced onion until soft and translucent (10 mins approx.). Add whole garlic cloves, carrot, tomato passata and 250ml of water, then cover with a lid and simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally. The carrot and garlic should be soft and cooked through. Add the roasted vegetables and any juices to the pot. Simmer for a final 10-15 mins.
Remove from the heat and blend into a thick and delicious vegetable sauce, you can add little more water if needed.
Miriam says: “This is one of my daughter’s absolute favourite dinners. Better still, everything you need to make my pea risotto comes from the freezer or kitchen cupboard, making it a brilliantly easy kitchen standby supper. I use homemade chicken or vegetable stock (the recipe is on my website and I freeze the stock in multi-portion freezer trays for when I need it). If you use a stock cube, use one with no salt.”
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 150g risotto rice
- 500ml homemade stock (or no added salt stock), warmed in a pan
- 100g frozen peas
- Parmesan, finely grated to serve (optional contains dairy)
Take a shallow pot and melt the butter and heat the olive oil on a low heat. Add the onion and gently soften for around 10 minutes until translucent. Next add the rice and stir into the onion, olive oil and butter until every grain of rice is well coated.
Now you are ready to add the liquid. Add a ladleful of the warm stock at a time and keep stirring. Once the liquid is absorbed repeat until the risotto has absorbed all the liquid (20 mins or so). When you add the last ladleful of stock add the frozen peas and they will cook for the last few minutes of cooking.
If you want a lovely bright green risotto, just blend some cooked peas with a few tablespoons of stock into a pea purée. Stir through the final risotto. Let the risotto sit for 5 minutes, with a lid on just to settle. To serve, add grated Parmesan to finish, if using.
Apple Oat Bars
“These filling and healthy oat bars are so easy to make. I have added some seasonal flavours: chopped apple, cinnamon and raisins. This recipe is versatile, so add flavours you like; I make another version with Pear, Ginger and Chocolate Drops, which my little girl really enjoys. You can sweeten these for older children with a tablespoon of maple syrup but I prefer them unsweetened,” explains Miriam.”
- 100 standard oats (not jumbo, or rolled)
- 100ml organic milk, dairy or non-dairy
- 1/2 apple, cored and diced, grate for small babies
- 20g raisins, omit for small babies
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180C fan. In a bowl combine oats, milk, chopped apple, raisins and cinnamon. Mix the ingredients well until everything is combined, with the fruit spread evenly throughout the mix.
Take an over proof dish, or tray, line with baking paper, empty the oat mix into the dish. Flatten and push the mix to the edges of the dish using a spatula, until you have a flat oat bar. Cook in the oven for 20-25 mins until golden and toasted
Remove from the oven and allow the oat bar to cool in the dish – this will stop the bar cracking and hold its shape. Cut into squares and enjoy. Once cooled you can store in an airtight container for a couple of days also, if they last that long.