Tag Archives: Rice

Vegetarian Risotto




1 cup white basmati rice

1 onion finely diced

2 cloves of minced garlic

1 carrot

5 mushrooms

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 cup vegetable stock

1-2 cups water

1.5 tbsp grated Parmasean

2 tbsp olive oil, salt & pepper to taste


  1. Mix the vegetable stock and water together and add to a saucepan and warm. In a separate saucepan heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and warm on low heat. While it’s warming, finely dice your onion and mince the garlic. Once olive oil is warm, add onion and fry for 5 minutes on low heat. Then, add garlic and fry for 3 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally
  2. Add rice and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Turn heat up to medium-high and fry the rice with the onions and garlic for 1-2 minutes, stirring
  3. After 1-2 minutes, add about 1 cup of warmed vegetable stock and some salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high fire for about 3-5 minutes, while you chop the carrot and mushrooms into small cubes. After 3-5 minutes, or when the rice absorbs most of the stock and just starts to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and the carrots and more warm liquid, mix. You want the rice to cook slowly, gaining a sticky consistency – adding liquid as it absorbs into the rice
  4. Next, add the mushrooms – you’re the judge of when and how much liquid to add, as you the one watching the rice cook and absorb, so if you need more liquid at this time, add more. All together, you will probably use about 2-3 cups of the liquid
  5. Continue to simmer, occasionally stirring, tasting the rice to check if its nearly cooked. This will probably be another 3-5 minutes. When the rice is nearly cooked, add the peas, tiny bit more liquid and salt and pepper. Let the rice now cook another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Once the rice is cooked, turn the heat off, add the grated parmesan, mix and cover. Leave to rest for 2 minutes. This is when the rice really takes form as a risotto and becomes a lovely, sticky consistency. Mix and serve
  7. Voila!


Risotto requires a little bit of love and attention while preparing to ensure that the rice cooks well, and the grains achieve a smooth and sticky consistency. It might be worth setting a timer, maybe on your smart phone, for each stage to remind yourself to continuously check the rice. You don’t want to overcook it, and it does require constant liquid ladling. It might sound complex, but honestly, it’s such a simple dish. Cooking risotto is like making toast – you can’t really mess it up.

White rice is as cost effective as pasta, it’s definitely toddler approved and it’s more easily digested than pasta, so it’s a good alternative to what might seem like a constant rotation of pasta dishes in your house. You can make this recipe with risotto rice, but I use white basmati rice because I always have it in the house, and it cooks faster. This recipe can be prepped and cooked in about 30 minutes, and it requires no planning – spontaneous cooking at its best! You can add whatever vegetables you have in the house: carrots, mushrooms, green beans, butternut squash, sweet potato, leeks, kale – just try to add the more dense vegetables in the early cooking process, so they have time to soften.  If you want a more hearty meal, you can use homemade chicken stock instead of vegetable stock, and add chicken or salmon to the risotto. The chicken or fish stock will add depth and flavor galore, boost the nutrient profile, and make the dish a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids. Adding an oily fish like salmon will also up the essential fatty acid profile which is so important in developing infants, babies and toddlers.

Cooking risotto fills the house with a beautiful smell that is unmistakable in its aroma. I would often cook it while both girls were taking their afternoon nap, and as Number 1 approached 2.5 years old, she would wake and come downstairs and ask, “did you make rice!?!” It’s a favorite of my girls, and of mine because they can easily feed themselves the sticky rice, there’s always enough for leftovers, it can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian and it feels gluttonous, but it’s actually very healthy. Hooray for risotto!

Additional Note

This will serve 4 – two toddlers and two adults. Or, if you’re having fish or chicken to accompany it, which is what we do, this recipe will serve 4, with leftovers.



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Poached Cod in Red Sauce

Cod in Red Sauce



400-500kg (1 pound) of responsibly sourced Cod

1 onion chopped

1 red pepper chopped

2 garlic cloves chopped

1.5 tbs pine nuts

3 cups tomato sauce (this is about 1 large 680g jar or about 3 cans)

1 cup water

1/2 juice of lemon

Ghee or olive oil for frying

3 sprigs of Thyme (1/4 tsp if dried), Salt & Pepper


  1. Warm ghee or olive oil in a saucepan for a minute then add chopped onion, garlic, red pepper and the leaves of 1 sprig of thyme, or a pinch of dry thyme. Sauté on a medium heat, covered, for 7 minutes
  2. Season your fish with half juice of lemon, salt & pepper. Cut into 3″ pieces (prepare your rice or potatoes while your vegetables are cooking – see below)
  3. Once the veg have softened, add the red sauce, water, 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper and the remaining thyme. Bring to a boil
  4. Add the fish to the boiling red sauce, reduce heat, cover. Poach for 10-12 minutes, until the fish is cooked. Once the fish is cooked, take a spoon and separate the whole pieces of fish into tiny flakes. This will help to make the sauce lovely and thick
  5. Add pine nuts and drizzle with olive oil
  6. Voila!

I recently had a chat with a good mom friend, who has a beautiful 15 month old and a thriving career. As many moms can relate, this combination leaves her extremely time poor. Some days she’s gone before her daughter is awake and home after she’s asleep. It’s difficult to find the work/life balance for moms, and often times that can drown them in guilt. My lovely friend, driven by her guilt, will often get home from a full day, and spend her evening batch cooking for her daughter. She feels the next best thing to seeing her daughter is providing her with nourishing food. So, my good mom friend, this one is for you!

Fish in a sauce can be tricky. In my opinion, it’s not as diverse as chicken or meat, so knowing what to do with fish to enhance its flavor is essential. The simplicity of this dish is what makes it so wonderfully delicious! Cod is a light and fluffy white fish. It doesn’t have a strong ‘fishy’ flavor, so many people welcome it into their kitchen. The fact that it’s a mild fish also gives it the ‘toddler approved’ stamp. The fatty acid profile of cod is not as high as other oily fish like salmon and sardines, however, it’s a decent source of omega 3 fat, so keeping it on regular rotation will help to provide the essential fats necessary for the growth and development in babies and toddlers.

I serve the dish with either steamed and buttered potatoes or buttered white rice.  You can prepare either of those while your vegetables are sautéing. This dish should be your go to meal when you have only 20-25 minutes to prepare something nourishing and healthy for the family.


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Mexican Rice Bowl

Mexican Rice Bowl



1.5 lbs diced chicken thigh (vegetarian option use lentils or black beans)

1 onion chopped

2 tomatoes chopped

100 grams of spinach (about 3 large handfuls)

3/4 cup white basmati rice

1/2 cup corn – either frozen or from a can

3 tbs tomato sauce

1 cup chicken stock (vegetable stock for vegetarian option)

1 cup water

1/2 lime juice

Spices: 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp garlic granules, 2 pinches of chili powder, S&P

Ghee for frying

Cheddar cheese optional topping


  1. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and lime juice, let it marinate while you heat the ghee in frying pan.  Slowly sauté the onions for 5 minutes – covered
  2. Add chicken, cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Turn once. While your chicken is cooking, chop tomatoes, wash spinach, mix spices in a bowl, grate cheese.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes – cook for 2-3 minutes
  4. Add rice, tomato sauce, chicken stock, water and seasonings. Partially cover the pan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat slightly. Cook until rice is soft – about 15 minutes.
  5. Turn off fire, add corn and spinach, cover. Spinach will wilt in the heat and you can stir it into the rice once it’s wilted
  6. Serve and top with grated cheese
  7. Voila

This is such an easy dish to prepare – the hard work is buying the ingredients.  Once the ingredients are in the house, the meal can be made in about 30 minutes. Once the rice is added to the dish, it’s just a matter of leaving it to cook.

White rice is one of the primary sources of starchy carbohydrate that I feed to my girls. It gets a bad reputation because it’s considered ‘refined’ and also because it elevates blood sugar levels a bit more than brown rice.  However, if you’re not trying to lose weight, and if you don’t have blood sugar issues, then white rice is perfectly fine, and in my opinion, for babies and toddlers preferable to brown rice.

White rice is basically pure glucose.  It’s white because it’s been hulled and polished, so it doesn’t contain any of the harsh fibers that brown rice contains.  Babies and toddlers have an developing digestive tract, and their mucus membrane, which is the protective barrier inside their colon, is extremely sensitive.  I followed very specific guidelines when feeding my girls, and my goal was to restrict grains and cereals for the first 12-15 months of their development.  Obviously, this is nearly impossible in the world we live in, and I understand that.  It’s OK to have ideals but being idealistic is not always realistic.  As moms, we do our best to achieve our goals, whether it’s breastfeeding, sleeping, discipline, whatever – but babies and toddlers are unpredictable, and so is life.  All we can do is try our best, and know that at the end of the day that bar of chocolate, glass of wine, Netflix marathon or hot bath is waiting to congratulate us – regardless of the outcome.




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