Thursday, November 22, 2012

Healthy Alphabet Pasta with Steamed Cod Fish 健康字母意粉

Tired of feeding your little ones with porridge, porridge and porridge all the time? Why not give it a change this time by introducing tiny alphabet organic pasta. It's yummy and give a different variety to little one's diet.

I cooked this for my 3.5 yo and 11.5mo today, both of them loved it and finished the entire bowl each. My elder boy had a bigger bowl of course. :)

A healthy meal for my precious duo - Organic Alphabet Pasta in vegetable soup.

My Little boy's portion, served with grated cheese and lightly flavored steamed cod fish fillet.

My baby girl's portion, without the grated cheese.

Only fresh ingredients are used in this recipe, no canned puree, no packaged stocks, only the good and natural stuff. Where possible, I try to avoid feeding canned / processed food to my baby especially when under 1 yo.

If you prefer tomato puree version, refer to my earlier post here.

Preparation Time: 10 min
Cooking Time: 15 min
Serving for: 2 little ones

3 palmfull of alphabet pasta

For vegetable soup base:
- 1 palmful of purple cabbage, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 palmful of pumpkin, diced (I skipped this as I ran out of pumpkin)
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 teaspoon of anchovy powder (refer here for recipe)
- 1 big table spoon of grated cheddar cheese

For Vegetarian version, skip the following ingredients.

For Steamed Cod Fish
- 1 block of cold fish fillet, about 200gm, completely defrost
- A few slices of ginger

Note: you may change the choice of vegetable but tomatoes and carrots shall remain.

The Making:
1. Boil a pot of water (about 4 small rice bowls), once boiled, add all the vegetables. Close the lid and let it shimmer for about 5 minutes. You can add some salt into the soup, but I skipped that as I'm using anchovy powder.

2. In the meanwhile, clean the cod fish,lightly coat with salt and sprinkle with the slice ginger. This is to avoid the fishy smell.

3. Add the alphabet pasta into the soup. Let it boils for 10 minute (or as per the cooking time indicated on the packaging)

4. While the pasta is boiling in the pot, steam the cod fish in a steamer on top of the pot of soup for 5 minutes (if the fillet is thicker than 1", steam slightly longer). You can also stem the fish on a separate pot but this is most time and energy efficient way :)

Note: Use a chopstick or fork to test that the fish is cooked - once it can be easily separated when poked, the fish is ready.

5. Turn off the stove. Sprinkle with some anchovy powder.

6. Serve pasta in a shallow dish, add a big spoonful of grated cheddar cheese on top for added taste and nutrition.

7. Lay the steamed cod fish on top. For elder toddler (above 2 yo), add a few drops of light soya sauce and sesame oil to add flavor for the fish.

The pasta taste best when serve hot, as the cheese will melt in the pasta and give it a nice natural aroma.

This is the organic pasta I used for this post.

Useful tips!
1. Some infants may be allergic to cheese, so for first time feeding, give a small amount and observe for possible allergy sign such as rashes, itchiness etc.

2. For baby between 8mo-12mo, you can boil the soup base for slightly longer so the carrots are thoroughly soften.

A Note about Salt in Baby's Food
Most if not all books and sites I read advised against adding salt, sugar or any artificial flavoring into baby's food, this is to avoid them from becoming a picky eater at young age and most importantly, for health reason. Excess salt may be harmful to baby's kidney at such young age and some processed food already contain certain amount of salt in them.

I have did some reading about salt & sodium for little ones, do read on more here if you are interested..


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