Food trends in our house seem to change faster than my nappy, but one thing that seems fairly constant is MA-MA’s obsession with me eating lots of oily fish. Indeed, Grandpa regularly sends her articles on this very issue and it appears it’s so important to my well being that extreme steps have to be taken to ensure I eat enough of the good stuff. No pressure. Even the type of fish seems desperately important and those yummy looking orange fish fingers I see in the Tesco freezer cabinet are definitely not on the menu. MA-MA might be slightly crazy, but fixation is all going to be worth it when I graduate from Oxford and thank her for being such a good parent!
And on that note we returned from our Thursday morning playgroup, famished, just in time for lunch. I was served the absolutely delicious Mediterranean Fish Casserole from MA-MA’s beloved Gina Ford Baby and Toddler Cook Book. The minute I see what it is, I’m ecstatic, and frankly slightly frantic. I LOVE this dish and can hardly wait to get started. I make my feelings of impatience very clear, and MA-MA has to quickly blow on the food to cool it down before I lose the plot.
I actually really like fish, but even if you don’t, it truly doesn’t matter because it’s delicious! There is nothing naughty in this at all – basically just peppers, courgette, fish and rice in a yummy tomato-y sauce, but somehow it all comes together in complete harmony, and I can’t cram it into my little mouth fast enough. It doesn’t taste like fish, it doesn’t taste like veg, it just tastes awesome, and everything is nicely mushed together so there’s no chance of my fish-phobic pals picking anything out.
I think the peppers and courgette work very well here, but MA-MA sometimes replaces the white fish and rice with trout and quinoa, and that is great too. MA-MA loves this too, and she mixes in some harissa and just a small pinch of salt to her portion to make it a little tastier. It also freezes very well and I think goes well with some steamed broccoli.
My Big Baby Belly rating: MMM MMM MMM!
Mediterranean Fish Casserole
Adapted very slightly from the excellent Gina Ford Baby and Toddler Cook Book
Suitable from 7 months (mashed)
Makes 6-8 servings (less, if you have a Big Baby Belly like me)
1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 courgette, diced
1 400g can of tomatoes with herbs
1 tbsp tomato purée
1.25 litres vegetable stock (there is a recipe in the book for this, but MA-MA tends to use Kallo Very Low Salt Vegetable stock cubes)
110g easy-cook rice
450g white fish fillets (the recipe suggests cod or haddock, but I also love it with salmon or trout), skinned and boned
– Head the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the peppers and cooking for another 4-5 minutes
– Add in the courgettes, tinned tomatoes, puree, stock and rice, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 20 minutes
– Add the fish and simmer gently for 10 minutes until the fish is cooked. Stir everything together, but careful not to stir to vigorously or the fish will break up!