Nut Free Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Four Ways

Happy Thursday guys, one more day until the weekend. Hooray! This week has flown by with it starting on a bank holiday. I’m suffering from complete lack of sleep from one of my besties hen do’s last weekend, it was amazing but I’m still paying for the late nights. I arrived home to a poorly Reuben who has had us up every night. His 1 year injections really got him and after much debate between chicken pox or measles we decided it was a mild case of measles, on top of his two front teeth coming through… argh!! Mother on the edge spring to mind?

 

With me having felt so crappy this week, it’s been all about quick and easy foods. I’m sure that you’ve all had pesto before, maybe not if your allergic to nuts or seeds but it’s a delicious, quick and easy sauce to jazz up any lunch or dinner and one which I highly recommend you make regularly and keep stashed in the freezer. Making your own will taste so much better than the bought stuff and doesn’t have any added sugar or unwanted preservatives. I’ve never been able to buy ready made pesto due to my nut allergy, so it’s been amazing making my own and discovering what I’ve been missing out on. You really must give this a go, you won’t look back! I also think this is the perfect sauce to introduce big flavours to little ones. Remember never to shy away from giving them bold and exciting things to try, the more we offer, the better chance we have of less fussy and adventurous eaters on our hands.

So, I whizzed up a big batch of Sun-dried tomato pesto yesterday and made sardines on toast with it. (yep – sardines again!) Then I quickly cooked up a basic tomato sauce and added in the left-over sardine mix so that there was a pasta sauce ready to use today. I had roughly 4/5 tablespoons worth left over, so I split it between two pots and froze the rest down. I usually top Chicken or fish with the left-over pesto and then bake in the oven for us or Reubs to have as finger food with some veggies.

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Without further ado here is the pesto recipe taken from my trusty Ella’s Kitchen cookbook, along with the mix to pop on toast and the pasta sauce.

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

*will keep in the fridge sealed for a week, suitable for freezing*

You will need:

2 cloves of garlic

100g pine nuts (optional)

50g fresh basil

6 sun-dried tomatoes

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

50g parmesan cheese

100ml water

 

All you need to do is:

  1. Throw all ingredients into a food processor, mini blender/blender and whizz up until mostly smooth in consistency. Job done! *Remember to heat before serving in other dishes*

 

With the below recipe, I made the full amount and used half of it for toast (one slice for dinner and the other for lunch the next day) and then the other half went into the pasta mix. This is also a perfect lunch for you and baby!

 

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Sardines And Pesto on Toast

*makes enough to serve 4 young children, suitable from 7 months*

You will need:

4 slices of wholemeal bread

2 tins of sardines in oil, drained and de-spined

4 teaspoons of pesto

2 spring onions, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced finely

 

All you need to do is:

  1. Preheat the grill to medium and toast one side of each slice of bread. De-spine the drained sardines and put into a bowl.
  2. Tip in the finely diced tomatoes, spring onions and pesto. Using a fork mash the ingredients together. Grate a small amount of cheese on top.
  3. Spread the mixture on top of the toasts and grill for around 3 minutes or until warmed through.

TIP: you could make cauliflower pizza bases, use naan breads, pitta breads or normal mini pizza bases with this mix. Just spread some passata over the bases, put the mixture on top and sprinkle some mozzarella or cheese of your choice on top.

 

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Pesto, Sardine & Olive Pasta Sauce.

*suitable for freezing. Suitable from 7 months.*

You will need:

1 large or 2 small onions, diced

2 tins of chopped tomatoes or passata

4 tbsp pesto

½ 240g bag spinach

½ of the sardine mix

1tbsp tom puree

6 olives, cut into quarters (optional)

1 tsp chilli flakes (for the adult’s portions)

 

All you need to do is:

  1. Heat up a tbsp olive oil in a non-stick, deep pan. Add the onions and cook for 10 mins to soften. Add in the peso and chopped tomatoes/passata. Bring to simmering point, cover and leave for 15 minutes to cook down.
  2. Add the olives, tomato puree and spinach and sardine mix. Stir through and pop the lid back on to simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Take out the babies/children portions. Season the remaining sauce and add in the chilli flakes if you like a kick.

 

I Hope you find the recipes useful. They will enable you to get at least two meals ready with little effort and time. You can do so many different things with pesto. It will never fail you when you want something quick and easy that tastes delicious! I hope you have some exciting plans this weekend, let’s hope the sun shines. I’m off the have a bath in peace and get snuggled up to carry on watching The Affair, I’m addicted! Say a little prayer that I get a good night sleep tonight, won’t you?

 

Jules xx

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