Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Dairy free cheesey polenta chips - a baby led weaning recipe

I was talking to a friend a couple of weeks ago over coffee, babies playing happily (well stealing each other's toys and then instantly wanting wheatever the other one had) at our feet. I felt a bit like I was at the confessional when I said that sometimes I missed Harry being purely breastfed - pre weaning days. It was just so easy. Now, sometimes I find myself scratching my head at about 11am, hopeful that inspiration will strike. A lifetime of toast and marmite being my default position when I can't think of what to have for a meal has not stood me in good stead! Thank goodness for baby led weaning and houmous really.

One of the things Harry really likes for his meals is that he's in control. Hence doing baby led weaning really. He likes to hold what he's eating - irrespective of how impractical that may be! These polenta chips were born out of a need for something different - I do find we eat a lot of pasta - and wanted a different carbohydrate.

I find for this that non-stick foil is necessary - our roasters aren't great, most are elderly and have been donated to us - and the non-stick Bacofoil works well to ensure that the chips come off whole. You may have better pans than I do, but if not, give the foil a try. 

Polenta chips

100g polenta/ cornmeal
500ml low salt, dairy and soya free veg stock (I use Marigold bouillon) - or just water
25g Violife cheese, finely chopped
1/2 garlic clove grated
1/2 tsp oregano

Pop the cornmeal in a saucepan and add the stock/water. Stir, stir stir so it doesn't go lumpy.
Bring to the boil over a low-medium heat and continue to stir as you add in the chopped cheese, garlic and oregano
Continue to stir, the mixture will thicken up until it's like porridge - once it's boiling, cook for about 4-5 minutes
Pour onto a plate/ wide bowl and leave to cool and set. You don't want it too thick, so use a plate that's big enough for it to set a couple of centimetres or so deep.
Once it's set (I popped mine in the fridge for a couple of hours) cut it into chip shapes
Line a roaster or baking sheet with foil, and lay the chips on it
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees - and cook the chips for about 10 minutes - then turn them over and cook for another 10 minutes or until crispy and browned

Remove from the oven and allow to cool - I found this easily made 5 portions for a hungry baby.

I served them as a baby polenta bravas with a portion of tomato and butternut squash pasta sauce that I'd frozen. Harry loved them, and M was quite partial too!

Michelle at Utterly scrummy has some lovely courgette batons that would be lovely as another baby led weaning food - her recipe isn't suitable for those of us who are CMPA and egg free, but looks fab, and we could omit the parmesan, and use Oatly cream as your sticky for the breadcrumbs. Oh and check that your bread is dairy and soya free. I'll have a go at them and post and link up with Michelle's recipe in the next few days.

Please excuse shocking photo - evidently I didn't get the camera out!


Emily said...

I love the idea of these. Crunchy and cheesy - best combo! Don't worry the pictures didn't put me off at all :)

Unknown said...

I am a huge fan of Polenta so love this.

Elizabeth said...

I could quite happily tuck into this for lunch! I remember how easy breastfeeding was. All my children are much older now and in different eating phases - each age brings its own challenges!


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