ABC – Cook with me

Starting with one baby at a time, Maggie & Rose are truly passionate about introducing a healthy and creative love for food at the earliest stage possible.

aggie & Rose is the original family members club and for five years they’ve been developing their fantastic cooking classes. Recipes are created and devised by founder Maggie Bolger (a mother of four) and headed up by Arabella Tyrrell (great niece of the one and only Fanny Craddock!). They are simple and fun for children but also cultivate creativity in parents too; giving them inspiration for the daily chore of what to cook. The programmes are in 12 week blocks and themed to align nicely with the Early Years Foundation Stage. Topics like ‘ABC cook with me’ and ‘Superfoods for Superheroes’ are a unique way of combining food, fun and education into weekly 45-minute classes. Maggie says, “These simple principals can be easily adapted at home, with a little patience and creativity in the kitchen. The alphabet is a great way to introduce different foods and learn basic phonics. Repetition is key for little minds, so when introducing a vegetable always start at the beginning of the alphabet and find your way to the letter of the vegetable in question. At the club, we have recipe cards with a colouring activity on one side. At home, this is easily done with an alphabet book.” Here are four of their fabulous recipe cards to get you going on your alphabet cooking adventure…Have fun! For more information visit

Asparagus & Aubergine Gratin

This is a yummy vegetable dish that is perfect as a main or side. Any combination of veggies work and it is an excellent way to hide any that are not favourites with the kids!

What’s in it
• 2 x packets of Asparagus (about 15 stalks)
• 2 x Aubergines
• Good dollop of Olive oil
• 2 x shallots
• 1-2 jars of good tomato pasta sauce (Dress Italian)
• 2 x packs of tasty mozzarella
• 20g of melted butter
• 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
• A handful of chopped Parsley
• 1/2 cup of fresh brown breadcrumbs
• A squeeze of lemon juice
• A pack of Parma Ham (optional)

How to make it
1. Trim the asparagus, roughly chop the shallots, and slice the aubergine into 1cm chunks. Toss them all together with olive oil and lay out in a roasting tray. Roast them on a high heat (200C) for about 20 minutes, make sure to turn them at least twice.
2. While the veggies are roasting, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and parsley, put to one side.
3. Slice the mozzarella.
4. When the veggies are roasted, line the base of a baking dish with them (if using the ham layer it over the veggies here).
5. Next spoon over the tomato sauce covering the veggies and then cover with the mozzarella.
6. Mix the breadcrumb mixture with butter and lemon juice and layer over the gratin.
7. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
8. Serve with some crusty bread and fresh rocket, tossed in olive oil and lemon juice.

Baked Banana Bread

In our house bananas don’t last long enough to go brown, so baking them allows for this recipe to be made whenever you like.

What’s in it
• 2 cups whole spelt flour
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 3 baked bananas
• 2 eggs
• 1/2 cup agave syrup
• 1/2 cup milk
• zest of an orange

How to make it
1. This is super easy. Put all the wet ingredients in one bowl, and all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix the ingredients to combine in their bowls.
2. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix it all together.
3. Pour into a generously greased and dusted loaf pan.
4. Bake at 200C for about 50 minutes.
5. Wait 10 minutes before removing from the pan and placing on a wire rack to cool.

Chickpea, Carrot & Coriander

This recipe is super easy to throw together and is a great alternative to cooked vegetables with the evening meal. The sultanas sweeten it up for the little ones.

What’s in it
• 1 x can of chickpeas
• 4 x grated carrots
• 1/2 cup of sultanas
• A handful of freshly chopped coriander
• Olive oil
• Lemon juice 
• 1/2 teaspoon of runny honey
• 1 x tsp ground cumin

How to make it
1. Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, honey and cumin together to make the dressing.
2. Combine all the remaining ingredients in a big bowl, pour over the dressing and make sure it is well mixed together.

Date Loaf

This is a perfect healthyish sweet snack and a great alternative to biscuits (we love it with a bit of butter spread on a slice).

What’s in it

• 1 cup of dates, pitted and snipped into pieces
• 1 cup raisins
• 1 & 1/2 cups water, boiling
• 2 cups flour, whole-wheat is best.
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup almonds, chopped

How to make it

1. Pop the dates and raisins in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them, let them sit for a bit and cool.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into another mixing bowl.
3. Stir egg whites and vanilla into cooled date mixture.
4. Add date mixture and almonds to flour mixture; stir until well blended. (Mixture will be thick).
5. Spread into a well greased loaf tin.
6. Bake at 200ºC for 40-50 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean.
7.Cool in pan for 10 minutes.
8.Keep the loaf wrapped in a tea towel to keep it moist, slice it into good chunky pieces and enjoy!