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 This is a simple stew, if you would call it that, that I made for Cooper. It easy to make and very tasty. It's a great dish for babies and toddlers, but also makes a tasty lunch or side dish for mum and dad too. It's one of those dishes, that I always have the ingredients for.

Cooper is a bit poorly just now. He has a stinking cold, but he still enjoyed this for lunch. He wolfed down his porridge today too, so that is a good sign. He was more off his food before the cold arrived. Mind you, he is teething just now and a cold quite often seems to come at the same time as his new teeth. It's no fun being a baby, sorry I meant to say toddler. I must stop calling him a baby now he is one and walking.

Anyway, here is the recipe.

Tomato, Couscous & Bean Stew

1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely sliced
2 large flat mushrooms, chopped
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g tin mung beans
4 tbsp tomato puree
1 cup couscous
1&frac12 cups/ ¾ pint vegetable stock (I used Heinz Organic Vegetable Stock Cubes as they are very low salt and suitable from 4-6 months onwards.)
freshly ground black pepper
a handful of fresh basil, torn or chopped

Saute the garlic and shallot in the olive oil until the onion is tender and translucent.

Add the mushrooms and cook gently for a few minutes until they too have softened.

Pour in the chopped tomatoes, well rinsed mung beans and the couscous.

Add the vegetable stock and tomato puree and stir well.

Simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the couscous has fluffed up and the stew has thickened, season with black pepper. Don't add salt if this dish is for a baby or toddler, but you may like to add a little if you are making it for adults.

Makes 3-4 adult portions
6-8 baby or toddler portions

Lastly add the fresh basil.
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