Food, Tips Tricks and Hacks

Sneaky Cheeky Mac & Cheese

If your toddler is a fussy pants then trying to hide vegetables in everything becomes a art form. Suddenly you become a wizard, creating concoctions to hide the veg behind an invisibility cloak of pasta, granola and much more. I’m having to hide veggies in everything in everything as Dylan just will not try them naked!

Hopefully this batch cook recipe will help a little and give you a a bit more time in the long run to be with your little ones rather than thinking up what on earth to serve up for dinner! This recipe can be portioned up and stored in the freezer for a quick grab when your having one of those busy days too. Enjoy xx

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Makes: 20 Toddler Potions    Prep: 30 mins    Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 4/5x Frozen mini chicken fillets
  • 1x Large handful frozen butternut squash chunks
  • 200g Frozen peas
  • 400g Macaroni pasta
  • 3x Spring onions
  • 2x Large handfuls of spinach
  • 1x Garlic clove
  • 300g Grated cheese (I used pre grated to save time)
  • 1 x Low salt chicken stock cube
  • 2x Tablespoons olive oil

White Sauce

  • 2x Tablespoons butter
  • 2x Tablespoons plain flour
  • 250ml Oat milk or 400ml cows milk
  • pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees fan, put your frozen chicken and frozen butternut squash on a backing tray and pop in the oven for 25 mins or until the chicken juices run clear. 
  2. Meanwhile, to a pan of boiling water add a low salt chicken stock cube and your  macaroni pasta. turn down to a medium heat and leave to simmer until pasta is tender. Stir occasionally to stop the pasta from sticking to the pan.
  3. In another pan melt two tablespoons of butter on a medium to low heat, one the butter starts to foam add two tablespoons of plain flour and mix until it has combined into a ball, keep stirring it so the flour cooks off a little then slowly add your milk little by little mixing thoroughly each time, this will help you to get a smooth sauce. I used Oat milk for this as Dylan still can’t handle the lactose in the milk but you can use your usual milk here. Oat milk will make the mixture a little thinner I’ve found but the cheese will help to thicken it up. 
  4. Once all the milk has been added gently simmer for 2 mins then add 300g grated cheese, stirring through until it has completely melted and the sauce is a smooth silky texture. Once ready take the white sauce off the heat and place to one side. 
  5. Take the pasta off the heat when it has become tender and drain some of the starchy water into a smaller pan. Drain the rest of the pasta and give it a quick rinse to remove any left over starch. Place in a bowl and add two tablespoons of olive oil to loosen the pasta and stop it from sticking as it cools.
  6. In the small pan add 200g peas with the stock and top up with water simmer on the hob for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and roughly mash the peas.
  7. Take the chicken and butternut squash out of the oven and place to one side to cool slightly.
  8. Finely chop two large handfuls of washed spinach and add to the bowl of macaroni ab1b3e96-2844-408f-b654-52aaee62e054.jpg
  9. Roughly chop 3/4 spring onions.
  10. Place mashed peas, spring onions, one large clove of garlic and a small amount of the white sauce into a blender and mix until smooth. Add to the remain white sauce mixture.
  11. Roughly mash the butternut squash and add to the macaroni along with the blended mixture of peas and spring onions and garlic. Don’t panic if it looks a bit green, once mixed through it wont look so scary!
  12. Dice up the chicken finely and added to the bowl, mix once more along with some pepper.
  13. Transfer to a large oven proof dish or two separate ones. Add a sprinkle of grated cheese on top and pop into the oven for 25 mins. 9419642d-790f-4c78-b879-1999542dd1b5.jpg

Leave to cool then portion up into approx 20 toddler sized portions and pop in your freezer for a quick dinner option that even the fussiest of eaters will gobble down and you’ll know they’re getting a few more veggies and protein in at least one meal of the day!!

MUM HACK: If all else fails add reduced sugar and salt Tomato Ketchup when you serve up, works a treat for us on those extra specially fussy days!

 

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