With Autumn finally bearing down upon us, it’s a good time to share a light but warming meal with your Little Person ..and this one is super-easy! The only forethought it requires is a preheated oven; thats my kinda meal! It’s great for last-minute picnics and side-dishes, as well as a meal in it’s own right. It’s also a good way to use up leftover veggies.
Ingredients can be pretty flexible really – the whole shebang depends upon roasted veg, and those handy little pouches of microwavable rice they have at most supermarkets. You can go for plain, wholegrain, or one of those which has lentils, or quinoa mixed in – your choice. Here are a few of my favourites, below, though I usually just go by what’s on offer! Couscous would work equally well.
As for dips, again, you may want to see what’s on offer. But if in doubt, I find that Houmous or Tzatziki deliver. Experiment!
EASY AUTUMN SALAD – serves 4 children, or 2 adults
1 x pouch wholegrain rice (Tilda, or similar)
Assorted root veg (could include, but is not limited to..)
1/2 Butternut squash, Carrots, Onions, Parsnips, Peppers
3 Garlic Cloves, unpeeled
A handful of small-chopped Rosemary and Thyme
1 x tub tzatziki, houmous, or similar
1 x small bag young spinach
First, turn the oven on to 180ºC
While it warms up, chop your veggies into large segments, place them on a tray with the cloves of garlic, and rub them with olive oil and a good handful of the rosemary and thyme – or whatever other coarse herbs you have to hand.
Chop up several large handfuls of the spinach (this is to prevent gagging if your tot is pre-molar, as with the herbs!)
Sling the veggies in the oven once its hot enough. Check them at 20 or 30 minutes – I usually cook mine for 40, but I like them well done, so do to your own tastes. As long as the butternut squash can be sliced easily, they should be done.
Cook the rice (typically it only takes about 1-2 mins in the microwave) and put on one side to cool a bit.
Chop the roasted veggies up small, if you have a very little one. Squeeze the inside of the now softened garlic cloves into the warm rice, add the chopped roast veg, and mix through.
Now add the chopped spinach, and the tub of dip, and mix through.
And you’re good to go!
You can, needless to say, adapt the ingredients to suit yourself, and its good cold too. Enjoy!