Split Pea Soup

A hearty and delicious soup with earthy flavours from green split peas and creaminess from potatoes, balanced by sweetness from cabbage and leeks. Great for babies and everyone else! Add some zing from lime or lemon and a creamy topping of choice, and we are in soup heaven! A favourite in our home. Ingredients need only be roughly-sliced since they are eventually blended.

Free from: Nuts, Sugar, Wheat, Gluten, Dairy. Vegan. Serves 6

Ingredients

1 onion, 1 celery stick (optional), 1 tsp grated ginger, 3 garlic cloves, 2 medium potatoes, 1 carrot, 1½ cups dry green split peas, 1 large sweet potato, 1 baby white/green cabbage – or equivalent piece from a large cabbage, cup chopped leeks (or more cabbage), 3 tomatoes, 1 bunch mint (optional), lemon/lime/sumac, choose something fatty (yoghurt, cottage cheese, sour cream, coconut milk, butter etc.).

Preparation: Soak 1½ cups of green split peas for 8 to 24 hours. Rinse every 8 to 12 hrs.

Method

  1. Chop 1 onion and 1 stick of celery (optional) and fry in a dash of oil on medium heat in a large pot till translucent. Add 1 tsp of ginger and 3 garlic cloves. Fry for another minute.
  2. Rinse the soaked split peas and add to the pot with about 1 litre of cold water. The 1½ cups dried split peas should have swollen to about 2¾ cups of split peas.
  3. Add the following to the pot as you get them ready, in the following order: 2 medium potatoes (peeled and sliced), 1 carrot (sliced), 1 large sweet potato (peeled and sliced), a baby cabbage (or the equivalent from a large cabbage), about cup of leeks.
  4. Add salt, cover the pot and allow all ingredients to simmer on medium-high heat till potatoes are almost soft.
  5. When the potatoes are almost soft, quarter and de-seed 3 tomatoes and add them, as quarters into the pot. (We leave them as quarters so that when the tomatoes have melted, we can easily fish out the skins from the pot.)
  6. When the potatoes and green split peas have softened, remove the tomato skins from the pot and transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and blend (or use a potato masher instead, for a more rustic texture). Blend with 20g of fresh mint if a minty flavour is desired (optional).
  7. Serve with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice or dried sumac.
  8. This dish so far is very low in fat, so choose your source of fat to lift the flavour. You can choose from a dollop of yoghurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, coconut cream or butter. If you are reducing fat in your diet, try a hot sauce or chopped chilli (for those that can tolerate some heat). Also good with freshly cracked black pepper.

By Natasha Subbiah (Unity Mama)

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Brinjal Pasta

A combination of white sauce with tomatoes and brinjals creates an indulgent deconstructed lasagne. Like lasagne, this dish takes some time to prepare but is absolutely worth it!

Free from: Nuts and Sugar. Vegetarian. Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 large brinjals (or 8 small), butter, 1 large onion, 1 carrot, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp paprika (or ¼ tsp chilli powder), 3 tsp coriander powder, 6 medium tomatoes (or 500g plum tomatoes), 4 tablespoons flour, 2 cups milk, 400g pasta.

For the brinjals:

  1. Chop 2 large brinjals (or 8 small brinjals) into bite sizes. Coat in 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter and a sprinkle of salt.
  • To fry on the stove: Pan fry on medium heat with the lid on, stirring regularly. Keep the lid on when not stirring. Cook till softened.
  • To fry in an air-fryer (preferred method): Fry for 5 minutes on medium heat. When the air-fryer stops, do not open the air-fryer for a few minutes to allow the brinjals to steam and soften. Then turn the air-fryer back on for a further 5 minutes. Repeat cooking and steaming until golden and soft.

 For the sauce:

  1. Chop 1 large onion and 1 carrot. Fry with a drizzle of olive oil on medium-low heat till browning.
  2. Add 2 garlic cloves – chopped or crushed. Fry for another minute. Add 1 tsp paprika (or 1/4 tsp chilli powder) and 3 tsp coriander powder.
  3. Peel, de-seed, and chop 6 medium tomatoes (see page 49 for methods of how to peel tomatoes). Add the tomatoes to the pot and salt to taste. Allow to cook with the lid on till tomatoes soften.
  4. Transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor and puree (or use a potato masher).
  5. Add 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 4 tablespoons butter to the pot. Fry the flour until it smells toasty (about 2 minutes). Keep stirring. Add in 2 cups of milk, a little at a time. Allow the milk to absorb into the flour before adding more, to prevent lumps from forming. Keep stirring vigorously.
  6. Combine white sauce, tomato sauce, brinjals and 400g of cooked pasta. Best served a side green salad.

by Natasha Subbiah

For more recipes and tips on how to get kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, follow me on Facebook.

Chickpea Korma

A mild saucy curry made with cashew nuts.

Suitable for young children and up.

Free from: Sugar, Wheat, Gluten and Dairy. Vegan. Serves 5

Ingredients

  ¾cup cashew nuts, 1½ cups chickpeas sprouts, 1 medium onion, 1 bay leaf (optional), 3 cloves of garlic, ¼ tsp chilli powder, ½ tablespoon cumin powder, ½ tablespoon coriander powder, ½ tablespoon garam masala, 4 tomatoes, 1 red or green bell pepper, 6 sprigs coriander (aka. cilantro – optional).

Special Equipment: Blender, food processor or grinder.

Preparation: i.     Soak cup of cashew nuts in water for 2 to 8 hours.

  1. Sprout chickpeas to yield 1½ cups of chickpea sprouts.

Method

  1. Boil chickpeas till soft. Alternatively, use a pressure cooker to save time.
  2. Fry 1 finely chopped medium onion in oil/butter/ghee on medium heat with 1 bay leaf (optional).
  3. When the onion starts to turn golden, add 3 cloves of garlic – minced or crushed, with tsp chilli powder, tablespoon cumin powder, tablespoon coriander powder, and tablespoon garam masala. Add more oil if necessary and fry on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the bay leafy and add in 1½ cups of boiled chickpeas, a red or green pepper (chopped) and salt. Allow it to fry while preparing the tomatoes. Add a splash of water if necessary.
  5. De-seed, peel and blend 4 medium tomatoes. Add in the tomatoes, and salt. Allow to cook on medium heat for just a few minutes while prepping the cashew sauce.
  6. Add the soaked cashew nuts to a blender with ¾ cup of water and 6 sprigs of coriander (optional) and blend. Add the cashew cream and cook with the lid off for a few minutes to intensify flavours and thicken sauce. Taste to correct salt.

Best served with a side green salad and rice. Smash chickpeas for babies.

Recipe from “How to Get Kids to Eat Fruits and Vegetables” by Natasha Subbiah

For more recipes plus tips on how to encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables, follow Natasha Subbiah’s page on Facebook.

 

Butternut Fritters

From the book: How to Get Kids to Eat Fruits and Vegetables by Natasha Subbiah

This is a healthier (and I dare say – tastier) version of a time-honoured South African treat – pumpkin fritters. The recipe is sugar-free, but with the combination of butternut, banana and, raisins, it is so sweet, you wouldn’t miss sugar. The amount of flour you use can vary based on how moist your butternut is. This recipe works well with gluten-free flour as well as regular flour.

Free from: Nuts, Sugar, Wheat, Gluten (choose gluten-free flour) and Dairy (choose oil or butter). Vegan or Vegetarian. Makes about 12 fritters.

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized butternut (500g – 1½ cups mashed), 3 tablespoons butter (or ghee or oil), 2 bananas, cup raisins, 4 tablespoons desiccated coconut (optional), 2 tsp baking powder, tsp bicarbonate of soda, tsp salt, 7 to 12 tablespoons flour.

  1. Peel and chop a medium-sized butternut. Place in a microwavable dish with lid on and microwave till soft. For a speedier alternative – buy a 500g pre-chopped butternut (even easier if it comes in a microwavable bag).
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Drain out any excess water from the butternut. Portion out 1½ cups mashed butternut. Add 3 tablespoons of butter (or ghee or oil). Melt the butter first if the butternut has already cooled.
  3. Add 2 mashed bananas, cup raisins (chop the raisins if they are large), 4 tablespoons desiccated coconut, 2 tsp baking powder, tsp bicarbonate of soda and tsp salt.
  4. Add 7 to 12 tablespoons flour (gluten-free flour mix or wheat flour) – the number of tablespoons of flour you will need to add will depend on how moist the butternut is. The batter should still be quite fluid, somewhere between a pancake and cake batter consistency. Adding too much flour will dilute the sweetness.
  5. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Spoon 1 heaped tablespoon per fritter onto the baking sheet. Bake at 180ºC till golden. Then flip the fritters and bake for another 5 minutes.

From “How to Get Kids to Eat Fruits and Vegetables” by Natasha Subbiah

For more follow the How to Get Kids to Eat Fruits and Vegetables Facebook page.