Ava has NEVER been an eater, even as a tiny baby, she showed little interest in her bottles and weaning her was a nightmare as she just was not/is not interested in food. The only “food” she will eat with gusto is sweets and we all know that’s just NOT going to happen. Β She eats very little on an average day and while she is by no means starving, I do still worry that she’s getting a properly balanced diet as she also is really not keen on veggies and the only ones she will eat without a fuss are peas and corn.

She is also VERY reluctant to try out new foods and flavors and will flat out say she doesn’t like it, before she’s even tasted what is being offered to her. Walter and I have decided to up the antics in terms of forcing her to be a little more adventurous and willing to try different flavors, I mean, the kid can’t live on fish fingers and peas forever.

I do create all the sneaky toddler meals for her too, one of her favorite foods is what she calls “small sagetti”, which is really just spag bol, with the veggies so cleverly disguised that she doesn’t know she’s eating about 60% veg and 40% spag bol. When I make her spag bol, I roast egg plans, baby marrows, cherry tomatoes and red and yellow peppers in olive oil and garlic and then put them through the blender till they form a thick liquid, I add this to the spag bol and it adds to the saucyness and at least I know it’s filled with veggie goodness.

Ava also doesn’t like bland food, she likes foods that are full of flavor, she loves stews and I find these are the ideal way to get her to eat her fill of veggies. One of her favorite stews is Oxtail Osso Bucco.

Oxtail Osso Bucco

And while I also love Osso Bucco, it does loose some of it’s charm when you are eating it so regularly so yesterday I decided to try a new recipe – Guinness, Roasted Root Veg & Lamb Irish Stew… Oh My Word… It was a winner, even with fussy little eater Ava!

Guinness Stew Collage

4 tablespoons olive oil
1.4kg’s of lamb (I used knuckles)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups leeks, sliced
1/2 cup flour
115g of butter
1 can Guinness beer
3 cups beef stock
1 cup tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (I used a can of chopped tomatoes)
ipkt Woolies diced butternut

6 chopped fresh uncooked beetroots
1pkt Woolies carrots
3 sweet potatoes chopped
4 cloves garlic, cut in half
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon chopped
1 cup peas, shelled
Oil for frying

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the lamb and brown evenly. Remove the lamb from the pot and set aside. Add the leeks and saute until soft. Add the butter and melt. Add the flour to make a roux. Turn the heat down to low, and cook the roux until it is brown, about 15 minutes. Whisk in the beer and stock. Add the tomatoes and the reserved lamb, bring to a simmer, and cover. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour.

While the lamb mixture is simmering, combine the vegetables and garlic in a large bowl. Toss with remaining olive oil, salt and pepper and rosemary sprigs. Place the vegetables in a roasting pan and place in a 180-degree oven. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Remove the vegetables from the oven and discard the rosemary sprigs. Add the roasted vegetables and the peas to the lamb mixture. Decant into casserole dish & cook on low heat in the oven (110 degrees) for about 2 hours or until the lam is tender.

Guinness Stew