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a recipe for holiday happiness

mimi’s bowl shares her delicious recipe for christmas


“i wanted to reach out to other parents, who felt as i did. firstly, to put an end to “babyfood panic” by talking about it and secondly, to really re-think babyfood and family food for a busy modern parent. there are so few relatable parent voices out there, and even less tried and tested parent friendly recipes. only a parent, who has been there, understands the determined rejection given by your baby, toddler, or child, when they repulse at the sight of food, you have lovingly made for them. i would personally challenge any professional chef not to quake at the very thought of a baby, or toddler diner, sitting at one of their tables!”

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mini red lentil & sweet potato pies - serves 6 people

in this recipe i am using the lentil sauce as a base for this comforting veggie pie, with a sweet potato topping. however, you can also batch cook the lentil sauce and freeze it, as it is great served with spaghetti, or even rice. so we can all eat the same meal,i don’t add salt, i am a big believer in eating the same menu as my kids to save time. who has the energy to prep a whole load of separate meals? for adults and bigger kids, this is delicious with a dash of worcestershire sauce, it just adds an extra depth of flavour. 


for the lentil sauce:

+1 tablespoon olive oil
+1 onion, peeled and diced
+1 large carrot, peeled and diced
+1 celery stick, trimmed and diced
+2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
+250g red lentils, rinsed in running water
+350g tomato passata, or chopped tinned tomatoes
+1 tablespoon tomato puree
+½ teaspoon, fresh thyme leaves, pick from stems
+750ml vegetable stock (no added salt stock for small children), or water

for the sweet potato mash:

+4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
+25g unsalted butter
+30g grated cheese, this final topping is optional


for the lentil sauce:

+take a big cooking pot and heat the olive oil, then add the prepped onions, carrots and celery. cook until soft and translucent, this will take 15-20 mins
+next add the garlic, and cook for a further 1-2 mins stirring so the garlic doesn’t catch as it will turn bitter
+next add the lentils, passata (or tinned tomatoes), tomato purée, thyme leaves and stock (or water)
+bring everything to a simmer and cook for 45 mins to 1 hour: reducing until you have a lovely thick sauce. you can add a little more liquid (stock or water) if needed
+once cooked, remove your sauce from the heat and finish with a grind of black pepper. the red lentils and vegetables should be completely soft and cooked through
+set aside to cool, this will help you when you assemble the pies

for the sweet potato mash:

+meanwhile bring a pot of boiling water to the boil, add the prepped sweet potato and cook until tender when pierced with a sharp knife
+remove the sweet potato from the heat and drain. tip the cooked sweet potato into a bowl and lightly mash adding butter

to assemble the pies:

+preheat the oven to 180°c (fan oven)
+you can use mini oven dishes, for single portions, or one large family-style dish
+add a generous base of the cooled lentil sauce and top with a layer sweet potato mash. dot with a little extra butter
+cook in the oven for 25 mins (approx.) until golden and bubbling. you can add a little grated cheese (this is completely optional) for the last 10 minutes of cooking
+remove from the oven and cool a little before serving

miriam is the founder of mimi’s bowl. she cooks modern baby and toddler recipes from her home in west london. she is mum to one little girl, 4 years old, and a baby boy, born this summer. sharing her honest view of cooking at home whilst offering recipes and parent cooking hacks. miriam blogs and posts daily what they eat at home, via her instagram feed. she has just started weaning her little boy and is on a mission is to end (what she calls) “babyfood panic”. if you are looking for new parent-friendly recipes, then follow her at:

website: www.mimisbowl.com/
instagram: www.instagram.com/mimis.bowl
facebok: www.facebook.com/mimisbowl

photo credit : © Mimi's Bowl
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