Category Archives: courgette

Courgette, Cheesy, Vegetarian Bites

These little Courgette, cheesy, vegetarian bites were inspired by a recipe in my River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook who in turn were inspired by someone else but using Aubergines instead of Courgettes.  I’ve slightly adapted it by adding some ground almonds to replace some of the breadcrumbs and sometimes I add a finely chopped onion.  They make very delicious, nutritious little snacks or finger food but they aren’t just for toddlers!!  I love them, but I warn you, they are very moreish.  I make a pile, usually doubling up the recipe below, then freeze some of the uncooked mixture so there are usually some to hand, just defrost before baking.  

Courgette2ND

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/gas 4.  Oil a baking tray or use baking parchment paper to line.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-25 minutes
Makes: 15-18

Ingredients

500g courgettes, grated (I prefer grated to diced in this recipe)
1 small red or white onion, finely chopped (if using)
Zest of half a lemon
1 egg, lightly beaten
2-3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan
70g mozzarella diced
30g breadcrumbs (around 1 slice of bread with crust)
20g ground almonds
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to season

Method

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the courgettes (if using the onion fry this first in a separate small pan) for around 15 minutes until soft – grated courgettes will give off some liquid, drain this off halfway through frying.  Let the Courgettes cool, then combine with the rest of the prepared ingredients until you have a nice sticky mixture.  Season with sea salt and  black pepper to your own taste.

CourgettbitesND

Roll mixture into small balls, place these on your oiled baking tray (I use a spray oil) and bake for around 15 minutes until lightly golden brown.

courgettebiteND Collage

Courgette, Cheesy, vegetarian bites can be served hot or cold, they are great for the little ones lunchboxes too.   I love them either way, I am not fussy!  They are very quick to put together especially if you use a food processor to grate the Courgettes and  buy the ready grated Parmesan, other cheeses can be added and Gruyere is another favourite here.    

CourgettefinalND

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Savoury Courgette Tomato Mozzarella Muffins

I have a penchant for vegetable cakes, we all know how delicious carrot cake can be, even without the icing!  Cakes with vegetables baked in can be a healthier option by providing a tasty way to increase vegetable consumption, especially for children who aren’t keen on anything resembling a vegetable.

This recipe contains no butter or sugar, carrots can be substituted for courgettes if you want a sweeter batter or a mix of both is good too.  I have used white, brown and a mix of the two flours, all are equally tasty, the latter having more fibre of course.

The sun-dried tomatoes can be substituted with roasted cherry tomatoes.

Give the grated courgettes a good squeeze through a sieve to eliminate excess liquid before adding to your batter.

I used just a sprinkle of parmesan before baking, I was over-exuberant with it once and it just over-ran and melted in a puddle all around the muffins in the tin which I still picked off and ate, so very tasty, melted, baked cheese!

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.

Makes around 12 large muffins

Ingredients

1 large egg
50ml olive oil
150ml semi-skimmed milk
200g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
4-6 sun-dried tomatoes (drained and chopped)
1 large courgette, grated
Salt and black pepper
150g mozzarella, chopped into small pieces
¼ tsp paprika
grated Parmesan for sprinkling on top

Method

Put the egg, olive oil and milk into a bowl and whisk together until blended.  In another larger bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, pour the egg/oil/milk mixture over the flour and gently combine, muffins need minimal mixing or they can become rubbery once baked.  Add the sun-dried tomatoes, courgettes and the seasonings and paprika to your taste.  Finally add the chopped mozzarella and combine together.

Pop mixture into a prepared muffin tin lined with muffin cases, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on the tops of the muffins.  Bake for 20-25 minutes turning once halfway though.

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Vegetables in Disguise

I really love tomato based sauces, I can find a use for a tomato sauce in so many dishes that we eat.  The one I make the most at the moment is the vegetables in disguise version for my toddler girl, she eats plenty of fresh vegetables but occasionally when she is fussy this sauce packs a lot in! 
My personal recipe goes something like this:

Take a good glug of olive oil and gently fry a medium onion with a small clove of crushed garlic, I see some slicing of garlic in recipes but I prefer the good, intense garlic taste that crushing gives a dish.  Toddler ND is well used to garlic and onions in her food thankfully as we eat a lot of them!

Next grate 2 medium carrots, ½ a large courgette or 1 small one and a 2″ chunk of sweet potato and saute with the onions and garlic for a few minutes without browning. 

Add chopped tomatoes, I really love Sainsbury’s Polpa Fine, they are just right in texture, the 500ml box is perfect for this recipe, but if I have a glut of tomatoes I will roast some the day before, whiz them up a little in the blender and use those.  Even if I don’t have a glut I will often use fresh tomatoes, just depends how fast I need to whip this up!

Then add around 200ml of vegetable stock (I make 300ml in case I need a little extra), I like the Kallo brand, its gluten free too, a teaspoon of tomato puree and ½ teaspoon each of basil and oregano completes the dish. 

Simmer for around half an hour, then freeze into small batches and either add to other dishes or add rice to make mini toddler “chilli” with kidney beans or pasta for a “bolognaise”-type meal.   This recipe is ideal for toddlers as it makes a lovely sweet sauce but is chock full of vegetables in disguise!

For us, I use the same recipe, rehydrate sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water,  saute in olive oil and another clove of garlic (I love the aroma of freshly crushed garlic so much I could dab it behind my ears!), add to the sauce and whiz it up till smooth.  I like to freeze this so I have a quick rich sauce that can be defrosted fast and have other ingredients thrown in, prawns being a favourite of mine.  It is great on its own though run through olive oil coated pasta.  Simple, very tasty and full of goodness.  Season as you wish with black pepper or whatever you love!  Bon Appetit!

Nutritional Info:
Onion – B1, B6, Folic Acid, C, Chromium, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum, Phosphorus, Pottasium, Iron, Selenium, Sulphur Compounds,  Flavonoids, Fibre –  rich in Quercetin
Garlic – Manganese, B1, B6, C, Phosphorus, anti-viral, anti-bacterial , selenium, calcium, copper
Olive oil
Tomato – Vitamin A, C, E, K, B1, B2, B6, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Iron (little), Lycopene, Lutein, Phosphorus, Zinc
Courgette – Vitamin A, C, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, Vitamin K, Folate
Sweet Potato – Beta carotene, B1, B3, B5,B6, C, E, Biotin, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Zinc, Fibre

Carrots Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, B-complex, E, K, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus.