Last night I was having one of those “can’t be bothered to cook” nights. I really didn’t want to make yet another pasta dish (we eat so much pasta in this house!). So after spending the best part of an hour raiding our cupboards, fridge and freezer, I finally came up with a range of ingredients, and decided to make a fruity couscous salad.
Normally, I’m one of those people who hates making couscous. I can never seem to get the consistency right, nor the flavouring, and have never even attempted to serve it anyway other than plain. The one time I made it for Chase when we first started weaning, more of it ended up on the floor or walls than digested – And the following week I was still finding bits of couscous around the house.
But when picking up Chase from nursery the other day, his key worker mentioned that he had really enjoyed the fruity couscous they’d had for lunch. He rarely eats the means there, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear this, and thought, why the heck not? Let’s have a go at creating my own fruity couscous!
Getting the recipe right
Obviously, my recipe needed to be both weaning friendly, and also dairy and egg free for Chase due to his allergies. So I omitted the butter that would normally be added to the couscous when “cooking”, and just used plain vegetable stock. I chopped up the fruit and vegetables small enough that he could see and hold them, but not too small that he would forget to chew.
I did however worry that the recipe was a little dry once made. So I added in a small amount of liquid, which was a combination of tiny amounts of butter, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice – Giving it just enough moisture and additional flavour to make it work.
Getting the Fusspot to try it
As Chase is so fussy at the moment, and point blank refuses to try new foods. I thought I would have a go at letting him help me make dinner. See if by letting him help, he would be more inclined to try it… I gave him the mixing bowl and wooden spoon on the floor with Daddy, and encouraged him to stir every time I added something else to it.
This was working really well, until I put the pomegranate seeds in. Baring in mind I’ve only ever given Chase pomegranate seeds once when he was about a year old, I didn’t think he’d remember. Boy was I wrong. He spent the next 5 minutes picking them all out and eating them one by one, stopping to empty and reload his hand every time he accidentally picked up a stray piece of cucumber or celery in the process. I ended up having to take the bowl away, as otherwise we’d have no pomegranate left by the time the couscous was done!
Either way, the recipe came out a massive success, and I was really pleased with how bright and colourful it looked! It’s one of those recipes that you could make a batch the night before, and eat leftovers for lunch the next day or two at work. I’ve already added it to my list of summer lunchbox foods for work! Chase enjoyed picking at the fruit, but also happily spooned away at the couscous itself.
Vegan Fruity Couscous Salad Recipe
So without further ado. Here is my recipe for a vegan fruity couscous salad! I’d say this is a great weaning recipe from about a year onward, give or take. It just depends on how well your child is managing pieces. It’s really fruity, and full of flavour. So should be sweet enough to entice even the most fussy of eaters!
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