Archive | February 2013

Vegetable spiced soup with lentils and yoghurt

I am still craving soup. I guess I am looking forward to winter as not coping well with the 30 degree weather in Melbourne. It’s not ideal when you are heavily pregnant (36 weeks). This soup recipe is hearty with a little spice, makes you feel great. I usually double the recipe ingredients so I can freeze some for a rainy day. My son enjoyed it, although he didn’t eat his zucchini.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g butternut pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1m cubes
  • 400g canned tomatoes
  • 200g broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 ltr vegetable stock
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Spices; 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Greek yoghurt

Steps

  • Fry leek & garlic in olive oil for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
  • Add spices and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.
  • Add stock, bay leaf, lentils, carrot and pumpkin. Bring to boil, then turn heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Add tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini and 700ml of water, simmer for 15 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.
  • Add peas and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Bring your family to the table and ladle soup into bowls. Serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt and toasted bread.

Enjoy.

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Cauliflower, carrot and leek soup

I had a craving for soup this weekend so decided to make this yummy dish. This recipe is originally from my Dad, however I have changed things slightly over the years. I always enjoy eating this soup and the recipe makes a big batch so I can freeze some of it for times when I am too busy to cook.

Ingredients

  • 2 x leek, sliced thinly
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 x cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1kg of carrots, peeled and chopped roughly into 2cm pieces
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Steps

  • Fry leek in oil for a few minutes to soften, add crushed garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add carrots and cover with water, bring to boil and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add cauliflower and simmer until both carrots and cauliflower are soft.
  • Drain liquid from soup into a bowl and set liquid aside. Some will be added back to soup later.
  • Process vegetables to create a puree using a stickmaster or food processor.
  • Return vegetable puree to pot and add approx 800ml of set aside liquid. Bring to boil. (Add more liquid if soup is to think)
  • Once boiling turn down heat and simmer on low. Add milk and stir for 1 minute. Season. Remove from heat.
  • Bring your family to the table, ladle soup into bowls and serve with a teaspoon of greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of nutmeg if you wish.
  • Served with toasted bread.

Enjoy.

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Did you know?: Benefits of cottage cheese

Cottage cheese is delicious and very versatile.  It can be incorporated into yummy meals for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Here are some of the benefits of cottage cheese:

  • Calcium – This mineral is needed in your body to build strong bones and initiate muscle contractions and nerve impulses.
  • Protein – Eating protein source at all meals is important for blood sugar stabilization and satiety.                      
  • carbohydrates – Cottage cheese has a natural sugar called lactose because it is a dairy product                                   
  • Versatility – Adding cottage cheese to other foods increases the protein content without dramatically increasing the calories.

Read more on benefits : http://www.livestrong.com/article/473534-benefits-of-cottage-cheese/#ixzz2LOqRk74g 

 

Some cottage cheese recipe websites below;

Cottage cheese pancakes http://www.babycenter.com/209_cottage-cheese-pancakes_34800044_0.bc

Pasta shells florentine with cottage cheese http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Pasta-Shells-Florentine/Detail.aspx

Cottage cheese, honey and cinnamon on toast! http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Cottage-Cheese_-Honey-And-Cinnamon-On-Toast_-Recipezaar?columns=4&position=35/36

Ways to use cottage cheese http://daisybe-tips.aspx

Key emotional needs for children

According to Dr Vicky Flory, there are seven key emotional needs that all children have regardless of their age or cultural background:

  • to have a secure relationship with a parent or other caregiver
  • to receive help with managing their emotions
  • to receive emotional support, particularly when they are experiencing difficulties
  • to have a sense of belonging
  • to feel loved
  • to feel accepted and approved of
  • to have clear expectations, routines, and boundaries.

Read more at the link below;

http://www.kidslife.com.au/Page.aspx?ID=4210

 

10 minute main – creamy mushroom and spinach gnocchi

10 minute main? Sounds to good to be true? It was actually delicious & I think I did manage to get it done within the 10 minutes.

Creamy mushroom & spinach gnocchi by Australian women’s weekly.

http://aww.ninemsn.com.au/food/cookbooks/8463096/creamy-mushroom-and-spinach-gnocchi-10-mins

I served it with a piece of pan fried fish & fresh cherry tomatoes. Check out the link.

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Mid Week Dinner – Pork cutlets with mashed potatoes and vegetables

Here is a quick and easy mid-week dinner for the family.

Pork cutlets with mashed potatoes and vegetables

Ingredients

  • 4 Pork cutlets
  • Thai dressing – Combine 2 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp fish sauce, 1/2 tsp sugar, salt & pepper. Transfer to a dish and add cutlets. Cover and marinate for 10 minutes.
  • 6 medium potatoes, boiled.
  • 4 large carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Olive oil
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Jar of apple sauce

Steps

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and return to pan, add milk, butter and season to taste. Set aside. Steam carrots, peas, beans and corn for 5 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a bowl and add butter & mix, season to taste. Set aside. Cook pork cutlets in fry pan for 4 minutes on each side, transfer to platter.

Bring all dishes to the table and serve with apple sauce.

If you prefer you can set aside a small portion of everything for your child prior to seasoning, then season the dishes afterwards.

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Looking forward to Easter!

Growing up we always celebrated Easter with family, food and lots of chocolate. The excitement of Easter dropped off during my young adult years, I was more excited about the public holidays and eating chocolate then the actual tradition. Now that I am a mummy, Easter feels fun and exciting again and I want to make a big deal about it. This year I want to decorate the house with stylish colourful easter ideas and create some fun easter food. Who’s with me?

See this fabulous link below to some fun decorating ideas;

http://www.sasinteriors.net/2012/03/easter-and-spring-decorating-ideas/

Some more decorating links;

http://www.hgtv.com/topics/easter/index.html

http://www.marthastewart.com/274530/decorating-for-easter/@center/276968/easter

Some links to recipe ideas for fun easter treats;

http://www.bettycrocker.com/menus-holidays-parties/all-holidays/easter

http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipes/tag-2541/easter-treats.aspx

http://spoonful.com/easter/easter-recipes

OK so not very healthy, but its Easter! Please share if you have any great ideas or links to Easter decorating and recipes.

 

The Classic Lasagne

An old favourite that always brings a smile to the table.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 225g beef mince
  • 2 carrots, chopped finely
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Pinch of caster sugar
  • 600g canned diced tomatoes
  • 225g fresh lasagne sheets
  • 125 grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & Pepper

Cheese sauce

  • 300ml milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • Slice of onion
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 140g Cheddar cheese, grated

Steps

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Heat oil in pan, cook onion and garlic for 5 minutes while stirring.
  • Add the beef, breaking it up, until browned. Stir in celery and carrot and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste.
  • Add sugar, oregano and tomatoes, bring to boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile start on cheese sauce.
  • Pour the milk into a saucepan with bay leaf, peppercorns and onion. Heat gently until just before boiling point, then remove from heat, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain the milk into a jug.
  • Melt butter into a clean saucepan. sprinkle the flour in slowly and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove from heat and gradually stir in the milk, pour milk in slowly but stirring quickly. Return to the heat and bring to boil, still stirring constantly.
  • Continue stirring cheese sauce until thickened and smooth, once consistency is a thick cream sauce then stir in mustard. Add cheese slowly and stir. Season to taste. Set aside.
  • Ready to create lasagne layers. Using a large rectangular dish make alternate layers of the meat sauce, lasagne sheets and parmesan cheese. Pour the cheese sauce over the final layer, covering the dish completely.
  • Sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Bake in oven for 40 minutes or until top is golden and bubbling.
  • Serve with crusty bread and a side salad.

Yum!

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