Anyone fancy a recipe for curried fish fingers & sweet potato chips? These irresistible crispy oven-cooked breaded fish bites are full of flavours and perfect for little hands. They’re a great meal to make as a tandem cooking session with your little one and this version of the recipe is allergy-friendly (no gluten or dairy). The sweet potato chips are crispy yet soft in the middle: perfect!
Wriggly and I are really excited to share this recipe for curried fish fingers & sweet potato chips as it’s straight out of my friend Emily’s cookbook, which was released a couple of months ago. Emily sent us a copy of the book so we could read it and try some of her recipes.
I was very excited to receive Emily’s book. It is full of colours and beautiful images and immediately appealed to my whole family. My children leafed through it the evening we received it and decided which recipes we would be making first.
We started with the Savoury Lunchbox muffins, simply because I’d run out of our lunchbox staples and happened to have all the ingredients at home for Emily’s recipe. They were well received by all!
How To Get Your Kids To Eat Anything is so much more than a recipe book, though. It’s a step-by-step method to overcome fussy eating that will take your whole family on a food discovery adventure. The 70 family-friendly recipes included in the book fully support Emily’s innovative approach.
My four take it in turns to go from ‘Best Eater of the Year’ to ‘Fussiest Child in the Universe.’ I have no idea what makes them love raw fish and sushi one day, yet refuse to eat staple foods like bananas or carrots the next. The girls are my pickiest. At the moment, anything green or remotely different in texture gets thrown off their plates. If it’s not brown or beige, it won’t get a second look… Don’t you just wish you could get your children to eat the food you put in front of them?
I think one of the many ongoing struggles you are likely to face as a parent is feeding your children, no matter how much of a food lover you are yourself. As soon as they’re born, you’ve got to make sure they feed well and put on weight steadily. You then start weaning them and you’re never really sure they’re eating enough of everything and getting the right amount of nutrients. Parenting is beautiful, magical, and exhausting all at once.
Emily wrote Get Your Kids to Eat Anything with families like mine in mind. I’m always skeptical about ‘miracle solutions’ to solve a parent’s problem. It’s not what this book is all about. Emily’s 5-phase programme takes dedication and determination, and aims at rethinking the way you eat and how you see food as a family.
It challenges the way your family thinks about food. It also encourages children (and grown-ups!), not only to be more adventurous with food, but also to slowly incorporate them into their diet. Each step comes with lots of advice, activities to try with your family and spaces to record what you’ve discovered together.
Now it’s no secret that I love food. My four eat a balanced diet (with treats) most of the time. No food is forbidden but it’s all about moderation, being sensible and giving our bodies the fuel they need. My children all enjoy helping me cook our meals, but if I’m 100% honest, we always fall back on the same dinner ideas. Let me think of the meals we have at least once a month without fail:
- chorizo pasta
- korma chicken
- vegan carrot & parsnip soup
- gammon & mash
- pesto pasta
- vegan curry
- sausages & mash
- roast chicken
- nuggets and chips
I like to think I feed my children a healthy, nutrient-dense diet, but at the end of the day, on weekdays at least, I just want to cook something that will get eaten and that’s quick to put together. Emily’s book is a practical tool that helps families like ours ease away from those staple meals we have week after week after week.
The 70 family-friendly recipes in the book include breakfast ideas, main courses, snacks, lunchbox ideas, treats and desserts. The steps for each recipe are simple to follow and are not full of unusual ingredients or fancy equipment. You don’t have to be a seasoned chef to cook Emily’s recipes and kids can be involved in the process. Once you’ve tried some of the recipes, you can write what you thought about them in the book and there are prompts for you to start a conversation about the meals with your family.
So, what’s the 5-phase programme to Get Your Kids to Eat Anything?
Each phase comes with clear guidance about what you are going to achieve and learn, a couple of weeks’ worth of recipes to try as well as activities you could give a go at with your family. All these elements are there to help you and your family move forwards with the programme.
PHASE 1: PUT THE UNFAMILIAR INTO THE FAMILIAR
You’ll get started by introducing bits of unfamiliar colour, flavour or texture into family favourites.
I love this nice, smooth start. The first thing I tried was to add green beans to Chilli Con Carne (my best friend’s trick) and over a few weeks, I attempted different spices in our curry recipes. I added a bit more garlic to our guacamole. We’ve also started experimenting with pizza bases. Our new favourite is super thin wraps as pizza bases, with a wide range of ingredients to try on top of our pizzas. Crevette tried artichoke hearts for the first time and Wriggly tentatively put a few slices of chorizo and sweetcorn on her normally plain tomato and cheese pizza. That’s progress in my books!
PHASE 2: EDUCATE
This phase is all about experimenting with smell, taste and texture.
We’ve been playing with our staple recipes. I’ve been adding sweet potato to our mashed potatoes. We also swapped chicken with Quorn in our Korma curry. I’ve substituted regular pasta for their wholewheat alternative, or even lentil pasta. We grew cress in eggshells, went to sushi making classes and tried raw fish.
You’ll also look into the science of taste, understand where food comes from and grow your own.
With my mum’s huge vegetable garden and orchard, my children have been lucky enough to pick fruit, dig for potatoes and harvest green beans and carrots. At home, we’ve grown a few bits and bobs from seeds in our own very small garden (various herbs, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes).
PHASE 3: DISCOVER THE FUN IN FOOD
Build enthusiasm for variety with creative, exciting dishes like pancake plate art and bright red risotto.
We make pancakes and pizza at least twice a month, and every time, I encourage my four to try something different, something fun and even a bit whacky. Pizza faces are their favourites!
PHASE 4: STEP INTO THE UNKNOWN
Push food boundaries with surprising flavour combinations, such as strawberries and cream pasta!
My four love making up their own recipes. If there’s a little bit of pastry left after I’ve made a quiche, they like to make their own little quiches with different ingredients. Whenever we make healthy ice cream, they are happy to include more ‘out there’ ingredients in their dessert and experiment. Some of our favourites are Raspberry & Beetroot Ice Cream with a Kick or Chocolate & Avocado Vegan Ice Cream.
PHASE 5: CEMENT VARIETY
Now it’s time to make sure the habit sticks. Learn techniques to keep your family mealtimes varied long-term.
Emily’s book is so much more than a cookbook: it is a resource that encourages parents to try new things with their children. It gives little ones more responsibility when food shopping, encourages the whole family to have a go at food tasting and embrace change little by little with exciting (yet uncomplicated) challenges. It’s all about having fun with food, bringing conversation about nutrition to the table and being relaxed about feeding your children.
I love the fact the programme encourages families to explore new tastes, textures and smells little by little rather than going for a drastic change of diet that would undoubtedly cause drama. It’s all about baby steps and I love it!
With no further ado, let me share Emily’s recipe for curried fish fingers & sweet potato chips. Wriggly picked this recipe because fish fingers are her favourite and we rarely make them. I love sweet potato fries and homemade fish fingers so we were both happy!
Curried Fish Fingers with Sweet Potato Chips
For the chips
- 500 g sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- a pinch of freshly ground pepper
For the fish fingers
- 240 g skinless cod or haddock fillets
- 2 heaped tablespoons cornflour or any gluten-free flour blend
- 1 medium free range egg
- 50 g dried gluten-free breadcrumbs or gluten & sugar free cornflakes
- a pinch of pepper
- a crushed garlic clove
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
- oil spray
- Preheat your oven to 200ºC (Gas Mark 6 / 400ºF).
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chips (about 1cm thick). Place them in a bowl and mix in the cornflour with your hands. Add the garlic, paprika and olive oil. Mix again, then tip onto a nonstick baking tray in a single layer and sprinkle with pepper.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, turn the chips and bake them for a further 10-15 minutes or until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.
- Meanwhile, slice the fish into 2cm-thick fingers.
- Set up three bowls: the first one containing the flour, the second the lightly beaten egg and the third the breadcrumbs or crushed cornflakes. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, pepper and spices together. Stir half into the gluten-free flour and the other half into the breadcrumbs (or crushed cornflakes).
- Time to have fun! Dip a piece of fish into the flour to lightly cover. Shake off the excess, then dip into the egg to coat then into the breadcrumbs or cornflakes to cover. Place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Repeat until you have used up all the fish. Spritz with the oil spray.
- Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until just golden (to check the fish is cooked through, break one open). Serve with the chips.
Which food do you most struggle to eat?
I know Kale is good for me and I should love it, but it’s really not my cup of tea.
Win a copy of Get Your Kids to Eat Anything by Emily Leary RRP £16.99
I love Emily’s book so much I decided to share the love by giving away a copy of Get Your Kids to Eat Anything to one lucky reader. To be in with a chance of winning just complete one or more entries on the Gleam widget below. You must leave a comment on this post telling me which food you’d most struggle to eat.
To be in with a chance of winning, just complete one or more entries on the Gleam widget below. Good luck!
How to enter the giveaway:
You can pick and choose a range of ways in which to enter. The only one you must click on to get into the draw is the one asking you to leave a blog post comment. You must also leave a comment telling me which food you most struggle to eat.
This giveaway is open to UK residents over 18 and entries are open until 23.59 p.m. GMT time on Sunday 22nd September 2019. Good luck!Emily’s book
If you’re entering the giveaway, check the terms and conditions on Gleam.
Where to buy Get Your Kids to Eat Anything
If you can’t wait to see if you’ve won my giveaway to get your copy, you can get Get Your Kids to Eat Anything by clicking on the Amazon link below (affiliate link*). It’s on offer at the moment.
Disclosure: Emily is a friend and she sent me her book for review but all opinions and photos are my own. I also organised the giveaway myself and will be paying for the book to be sent to the winner. *This blog post contains an affiliate link. This means that if you click on the link and go on to buy the book, I will get a small commission, but you will not be charged a penny more – thanks in advance!