Zucchini Slice for lunch!

I made this for my little girl on the weekend as she just loved it. As well as being packed full of goodness, this Zucchini Slice has a great texture and consistency for little hands, learning to use cutlery, and little taste buds.

I might add that this is also yummy for mummy and daddy too with a side salad, you may want to season with salt and pepper and add some more cheese before cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 5 eggs
  • 2 zucchini grated
  • 1-2 carrots grated
  • 1 cup of sweetcorn
  • 1/2 cup of grated cheese
  • 1 medium sized can of salmon in olive oil (salmon broken up) OR equivalent of fresh salmon (Note – this can be substituted for finely shredded roast chicken)
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 cup of wholemeal self raising flour

* you can substitute and veggies that you have left over or that your little ones particularly like, just make sure they are grated or very finely chopped.

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (160 degrees if fan forced) and line a leamington tray with baking paper.

2. Whisk eggs together in a bowl. Add all ingredients except the flour and stir thoroughly.

3. Add flour and stir through.

4. Pour into lamington tray and bake for 30 – 40 mins in the oven, until the top is nice and brown…

5. Cool, slice into ‘fingers’. Some can be divided up and frozen.

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Enjoy watching them eat it, smear it and pull it apart to get the bits they want!

Kathryn xx - Black

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Baby Banana Bread!

Who doesn’t LOVE banana bread for morning or afternoon tea? Or a late night snack?!

This baby banana bread recipe is free of added sugar, and packed with nutrition! As adults, it tastes way too bland for us, but for babies who are new to eating and enjoy having finger foods (approx. 7 months +), it is really yummy!!

There are a few options to this recipe, and you can also replace the bananas with cooked and pureed apple or pear. Make sure you choose the option that suits your family the best.

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe bananas.
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1.5 cups of almond meal, or wholemeal flour, or a combination of both (almond meal will make this loaf much more dense).
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • ‘splash’ of cows milk, goats milk, or almond milk – (this is really for the consistency. You want it to be like a thick paste)
  • Optional – 2-3 medjool dates, pitted.

Method

  1. Blend banana, eggs and cinnamon (and dates if using) in the blender until smooth, pour into mixing bowl.
  2. Add almond meal and / or flour and baking soda to the bowl.
  3. Mix together and use a splash of your chosen milk if you need to alter the consistency.
  4. You can bake in muffin pans or a loaf pan. I like to use a loaf pan so then I can cut into finger food sized pieces. In a loaf pan lined with baking paper, place in a 180 degree oven for 20 – 30 mins (until cooked). The cooking time varies depending on wether you use almond meal or flour.

Cool, slice and let them enjoy! I also sometimes spread with some natural peanut butter… yummo!

Hint: you can make most things ‘baby friendly’ by omitting the sugar and salt options and look to use more spices for flavour. Also think about making things more nutritionally dense by using coconut flour, almond meal, nut butters and full cream greek yogurt in your baking.

 

 

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The best ever Spaghetti Bolognese!

It’s cold, it’s dark… and I have never met anyone who doesn’t LOVE spaghetti bolognese! For me it was a childhood favourite, particularly in winter, it reminds me of being at the snow with my family and cousins… and of rain on our tin roof at my parents farm.

Because of these memories, and its ability to satisfy the hungriest crowd, spaghetti bolognese has remained a weekend staple as I grew up.

Now, anyone who knows my family, knows that my husband can cook one and only dish – and that is bolognese sauce! So, I do have to tread very carefully here… his sauce is really very tasty, and I am so happy when he is home all weekend and I don’t have to cook! The difference is, that my bolognese uses ONLY whole foods (not a jar of sauce in sight), lots of vegetables, no artificial anything AND it has a secret ingredient that is guaranteed to make your tastebuds dance!
The veggies in my dish not only add lots of fibre, they also add bulk, meaning the mince goes further, and there is enough left for lunch the next day… oh and don’t worry, you can’t even tell the veggies are in there!

Ingredients:
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 carrot, very finely diced
2 sticks celery, very finely diced
500gms (heart smart) beef mince
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 medium sized eggplant, finely cubed
4 roma tomatoes, cubed
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped mushrooms
1 cup chicken or beef stock (preferably homemeade)
1 1/2 cups pasatta (or you can use a can of Australian crushed tomatoes, no added salt)
1 red capsicum, finely diced
3 – 4 bay leaves
2 teaspoon dried oregano
4-5 Anchovies to taste! (SECRET INGREDIENT)

Spaghetti for serving – approx 1 cup cooked pasta per person.

Method:
1. In generous amount of olive oil, sautee onion, celery and carrot over a medium heat until the vegetables soften and begin to caramelise, sticking to the bottom of the pan a little.

2. Add the mince, garlic, tomato paste and anchovies and continue to fry until the mince breaks up and starts to brown. Give this process a good 10 minutes to allow the tomato paste to be cooked down and the bolognese mix to start to become quite sticky in the pan.

3. Add in the eggplant, mushrooms, roma tomatoes, capsicum, bay leaves and dried oregano and stir through well. Season well with your salt and pepper.IMG_5261
4. This next step takes time and is important when developing the flavour. Allow the mince and vegetable mix to continue to cook, stirring frequently until all the vegetables have softened and the liquid has completely evaporated. Again, wait until the mince and vegetables start to caramelise and stick to the bottom of the pan. This will take a good 20 minutes at the least, and can be left to cook for up to an hour.

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5. Add in the canned tomatoes and stock. Season well, stir thoroughly and then cover the pot, bringing the bolognese to a soft boil. Turn to simmer for 30 minutes minimum, ideally longer as more flavour will develop.

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6. Ta – Dah! The most perfect bolognese that will satisfy adults and children alike!

You can make this even more tasty, and more of an adult dish, by adding a slug of red wine in step 3. Serve with lashings of your favourite cheese, or tun it into a lasagne… and ENJOY!!

 

Love,

Kathryn xx - Black

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Fish Cakes!

Fish is a great source of protein monounsaturated fatty acids, especially omega 3′s.

Eating fish 2 – 3 times a week, is what I recommend… but there is no need for it to be boring!

These healthy fish cakes are so simple and a great way to serve fish.

They are particularly wonderful for those that aren’t so keen on fish (like the kids!) as the flavour and texture changes when they are cooked – they hardly even taste like fish!

Serves 4

Ingredients


  • Large handful of parsley
  • 1 small red onion, peeled
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • 500 gram of firm white fish (Snapper, Blue eye or any other firm white fish work well) roughly diced
  • Zest of one lemon
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Coating:
 Sesame seeds

Method

.    In a food processor, process the parsley, onion and garlic until finely chopped.  Add the fish, seasoning, lemon and zest and process to a rough paste. If you don’t have a processor, you can dice the ingredients finely and squeeze together with your hands.

.    Roll with wet hands into patties.

.    Dip into the sesame seeds and set aside until ready to cook.

.    Over a moderate to high burner, heat enough sesame oil or macadamia nut oil (or whatever you choose to use) to coat the bottom of your pan.

.    Cook the fish cakes for about 3-4 minutes on each side or until just brown.

Serve immediately with salad or vegetables – Enjoy!

Why not be creative and make ‘fish burgers’ using the fish cakes as patties?

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Healthy, Wholefoods, Creamy – Fettuccine!

Is it possible? a healthy, low in saturated fat, tasty and fresh version of Creamy Fettuccine?

Here it is! I made this on friday night and it was so good I just had to share with you all today. Here is the base recipe, I added chicken, chili and broccolini to mine, and chicken, chili and fresh basil to my husbands (he really has an aversion to broccolini!). We both agreed that this dish it really lovely at the end of a long week, it can be nicely paired with vino of your choice and does not leave you feeling heavy and sluggish like the original creamy sauces can. Fabulous for kids too!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock, or chicken stock (I used chicken stock because it was what I had in the freezer, and also I was pairing it with chicken.)
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated.
  • ½ cup low-fat milk (your choice of dairy, nut or rice milk)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped chives
  • 500g fettucine pasta

Method:

Heat olive oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Add the cauliflower and cover with vegetable / chicken stock. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta ‘al dente’.

Drain the cauliflower, reserving 1 cup of the stock. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor or blender and add 1 cup of stock and ½ cup low-fat milk.

You can continue to add more stock or milk, until a sauce consistency is achieved based on your preference, and it is smooth without any lumps. Add the cheese, chives and black pepper to taste. Toss through the cooked fettucine and top with a little extra cheese if desired.

* Ideas to toss through some protein options might be chicken, smoked salmon, firm white fish or scollops. For a meal packed with veggies some grated zucchini and finely chopped broccolini goes nicely!

Enjoy! xx

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Delicious Red Capsicum and Rosemary Spread!

Continuing my current theme of homemade, whole foods sauces (without all the added salt, sugar and preservatives), on the weekend I made my very own ‘spread’.

This is so lovely, fresh and nutritious… and all whole foods (apart from a pinch of sea salt to bring out the flavour).

Try this as a dip, on steak, salmon or spread on toast and topped with feta or goats cheese. I think it is a real winner!

Makes approx. 250g (1 cup)

  • 3 large red capsicums, halved and seeded
  • 2/3 cup sunflower seeds
  • a pinch of cayenne
  • sea salt
  • juice of ½ a large lemon (or more to taste)
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves picked.

Method:

Prepare the capsicum, place on a baking tray and roast at 200 degrees C for approx. 40 mins, or until slightly charred.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool

Briefly toast sunflower seeds, cayenne and pinch of sea salt in the fry pan on a low heat.

When the capsicum is cooled, peel back the skin, chop the flesh and add place in a food processor or blender, add the sunflower seeds, lemon juice and rosemary and blend until smooth.

Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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Home-Style Pad Thai with Chicken

Take away foods are ALWAYS laden with salt and sugar… and often contain other additives. A few years ago I started making ‘homemade takeaway’, and my family are used to it now! We have homemade fish and chips, homemade pad thai, homemade rice paper rolls, homemade sushi, homemade burritos and homemade Korma – all using whole foods and no added salt or sugar, and they are just as tasty!

Here is my Pad Thai recipe. You can substitute the chicken for lean beef or prawns, to your taste OR you can make the base and add different meats ‘to order’ for different family members… just like real takeaway!

Ingredients

  • Peanut or sesame oil
  • 300g flat rice noodles
  • 2 Chicken breasts (approx. 500 g)
  • 4-5 spring onions (to taste)
  • 2-3 small red chillies finely chopped (to taste)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 handful bean sprouts
  • 2 cups of roughly chopped cabbage
  • 45 g of roasted unsalted peanuts, crushed / chopped
  • 1 Handful of coriander (to taste)
  • Lime wedges to serve

Sauce

  • Juice of one lime
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup of warm water

Method

  • Cover noodles with boiling water and stand until tender. Drain and set aside.
  • Mix lemon juice, fish sauce, honey, lime juice and 1 Tsp water in a bowl and wisk well.
  • Cut the chicken breasts in half. Place the wok over a high heat and add a tablespoon of peanut or sesame oil. Place the chicken in the wok and cook through until nice and brown on the outside. Take out of the wok and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Slice the chicken thinly and set aside.
  • Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in wok and add the chilli, garlic and spring onions.
  • Add the lightly wisked egg and mix until egg is cooked.
  • Add the chicken, cabbage, bean sprouts, sauce, half the coriander and noodles.
  • Once all cooked through and cabbage has softened, serve up into 4 bowls, add crushed peanuts and rest of the coriander to garnish. Lime wedges to serve
  • Enjoy!

 

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Wholefoods Banana, Blueberry and Coconut Pancakes

I haven’t made these for so long, I can’t even remember the last time! I used to make them a lot, before I started working on weekends… but Fathers Day last Sunday called for something a bit special. So I trolled through my recipe folder (which is quite big these days) and found this recipe, all stained and much loved. We made them together – and they were just DELICIOUS!!

High in protein, and with the added goodness of fruit, these pancakes are naturally sweet, so there is no need for added sugar, and very filling!

Enjoy my wholefoods take on traditional ‘pancakes’.

(makes 10 small pancakes)

Ingredients

  • 3 large ripe (or slightly over ripe) bananas
  • 4 eggs plus 2 egg whites (lightly beaten)
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil OR 1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking (depends on your preference and taste!)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • For serving – either lashings of pure maple syrup OR natural yogurt OR, my favourite – both!

Method

1. Mash the bananas with a fork and place in a medium sized bowl.

2. Add eggs and coconut and wisk all together

3. Add blueberries and stir through.

4. Heat the oil in the pan to a medium heat (not too hot!) and use about 3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake.

5. Serve with natural yogurt, maple syrup and some extra coconut.

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Whole foods TOMATO SAUCE!

It is a favourite in our house, thats for sure… good old Aussie tomato sauce.
Unfortunately, many of the sauces we buy commercially contain large amounts of salt and sugar as well as preservatives, colour and flavour enhances.

I also get a bit concerned about the fact that a lot of our sauces are imported, or use imported ingredients.

In a bid to reduce the amount of sugar, salt and preservatives in my food, I have been experimenting with sauce recipes – everything from tomato sauce to salad dressing.
I am going to bring you my home made sauce recipes over the next few weeks… Starting with my favourite!

Whole foods TOMATO SAUCE

This tomato sauce recipe can be used as a pizza base, a base for pasta sauce, or pureed until it is smooth and used in place of tomamo sauce on pies and sausages!
Makes 12 serves tomato sauce, 4 serves pasta sauce.

Prep time 15 mins, cook time 30 mins.

INGREDIENTS

1 red onion
4 cloves of garlic
6 large tomatoes (overripe is best, I use Roma or Gourmet tomatoes from our local market)
¼ red capsicum
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 190C.
  • Roughly chop the onion, garlic, tomatoes and capsicum, removing all unwanted skins, seeds and piths.
  • Place them onto a large, lined baking tray and mix together with the spices, seasoning and oil.
  • Roast in the 190C oven for 20-25mins.
  • Remove from oven and place into a large pot.
  • Simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
  • Taste to see if there is enough seasoning. Take off the heat when you are happy with its taste and consistency.

If you are making tomato sauce – puree in a blender until smooth.
If you are using as pizza or pasta sauce – leave it chunky.

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