There are so many nutritional benefits of adding fish to our diets. When my son was starting to eat solid food, good old fish pie was a favourite dish of mine to get him to eat fish, in addition to the childhood staple of fish fingers (of course!!).
I used to make fish pie with the traditional white sauce, but as he grew a bit older he started to refuse to eat it! I did some some internet research to try and find alternative recipes that hopefully would be acceptable to the increasingly fussy toddler. I came upon a recipe using coconut milk which I have adapted and made my own. It’s such a versatile recipe – you can add whatever vegetables you have in the fridge, and whatever fish you prefer. Typically avoid smoked fish, or add it in small quantities, as it has a strong flavour that not all kids will like.
I’m on a mission to ‘Make Veg The Hero’! Basically, I want to try and get my son to eat loads of healthy vegetables, which typically means disguising them as much as possible. This dish will allow you to sneakily introduce vegetables of your choice into the meal. WIN! The key step in this recipe is to use a food processor/small blender to blitz the vegetables into teeny, tiny pieces.
This also makes a great quick family supper – I serve it over egg noodles or spiralised courgettes. If you add more coconut milk it becomes more like a soup.
– Half a small head of cauliflower
– Half a small head of broccoli
– 1 onion
– about 1 tablespoon of olive oil / coconut oil
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 1 red pepper (deseeded)
– 1 carrot
– juice of a lime
– a handful of flat leaf parsely – chopped (optional)
– about 600g skinless/deboned fish – e.g. salmon, white fish (I buy 2 packs of Sainsburys fish pie mix, but it does have smoked haddock in it) – cut into bite sized chunks
– 1 to 2 400g tins of coconut milk (add 1 tin and then you can add more later, depending on how many vegetables you have added, to get the consistency you want)
Note: You can substitute the vegetables with any others you might have in your fridge – green beans, courgettes are great alternatives. Obviously if you add some frozen peas, you don’t need to blitz them but you can add them just before the end of the cooking time. You can also experiment with the quantities of vegetables you add. Use the quantities above as a guide, but it is such a versatile recipe that you can amend it very easily.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pot on a low/medium heat – you don’t want the garlic to burn. Blitz the onions into fine pieces and crush the garlic. Add to the pot and cook for a few minutes. Meanwhile blitz the remaining vegetables as you did the onions and add to the pan. Cook on a med/low heat for about 10-15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft, stirring regularly. Add the tin of coconut milk, bring to the boil and then simmer on a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the fish to the pot, gently stirring so that the fish is covered by the coconut milk (add more coconut milk if you need to). Poach the fish for 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. TIP: Avoid stirring the fish around too much while cooking to avoid the fish breaking up into tiny bits.
Season with lime juice to taste, and add salt and pepper to taste (if adding). Serve with mashed sweet potato, rice, noodles or accompaniment of your choice.
Makes enough for 2 adults and 2 children with extra left over, depending on your portion sizes!
If you are feeding this to a little one as part of the weaning process, blend/pulse in a food processor to the desired consistency. Pop into Super Squish pouches and freeze or refrigerate if not using straight away.