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Pear & Coconut Muffins – Dairy & wheat free

These muffins are a little treat for kids (and their mums) without being too naughty. The ground almond and rice flour create a different texture to the usual muffin, though still very tasty. I enjoyed mine with a cup of tea and Leroy managed to eat 2 whole muffins before I had even took a bite. He loves it when I’m baking though he has no concept of time so struggles being patient. I believe he thought it was worth the wait in the end.

Ingredients

1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cups almond meal (check packet does not contain traces of wheat, if so you can ground your own)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 large tin of pears, drained
1/2 cup rice flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons of honey

Steps

Preheat oven to 180degrees, grease 12 hole muffin pan. Beat eggs and then add oil and honey.
Combine almond meal, coconut, flour and baking soda. Blitz up pears into small pieces. Add pears to mixture and combine gently. Add egg mixture to bowl. Divide mixture into muffin pan holes.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden. Leave muffins to cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out. Serve warm.

Note – If you would prefer more sweetness in your muffins you could use 3/4 cup caster sugar instead of honey. Once they are baked you could also sprinkle some icing sugar. Pears could be substituted for berries or peaches.

Enjoy.

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Dairy free muesli squares

Well it’s been awhile since my last blog. Sorry for my absence, I have just been so busy juggling Leroy & Leila. I haven’t had the chance to be creative and try new recipes, I have just been cooking our trusted family favourites. Today I had some time on my hands so I decided to make some dairy free muesli bars for snacks for the family. The past month I have given up dairy as directed by my doctor as it may be the cause of Leila’s eczema. It honestly hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be though I am missing cheese & chocolate of course. Normally I make muesli bars with condensed milk but this recipe is without this ingredient and they were just as yummy. Give them a try.

Dairy free muesli squares

Ingredients

1 cup of traditional oats
1 cup of roasted cashew nuts
1 cup of pine nuts
1 cup of desiccated coconut
1/2 cup of almond meal
1 cup of mixed dried fruit, chopped
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 tablespoons honey

Steps

Preheat oven to 180degrees.Line dish with baking paper allowing overhang. Blitz nuts into a fine powder consistency.
Combine oats, nuts, almond meal, coconut and fruit into a bowl. Separately whisk egg, vegetable oil and honey together. Stir into the muesli mixture.
Transfer mixture into your baking dish and press down firmly to even out. Sprinkle some oats on the top. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan first, then cut into the squares and serve.

Enjoy.

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Roasted pumpkin & chickpea salad

Here is a quick and delicious salad, great for kids as very nutritional and yummy to eat. For something different you could also add pasta, fresh cherry tomatoes or fresh herbs from the garden, or perhaps something else your little one likes to eat.

Ingredients

  • 500g pumpkin, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 420g canned chickpeas, rinsed & drained
  • 350g chopped spinach
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Steps

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees, put roasting pan in while heating.
  • Place pumpkin in hot roasting tray, add olive oil and salt and pepper, toss to combine. Roast pumpkin in oven at 180 degrees to 40 minutes or until tender. Then set aside.
  • Heat chickpeas and spinach in frypan, stir until spinach has wilted.
  • Combine pumpkin, chickpeas and spinach in a serving bowl, season to taste.

This salad can be served accompanied with fish or meat, or can be eaten on its own as a tasty lunch option. Enjoy.

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Vegetarian Quiche

Quiche’s are another quick and easy meal to make. Below is a vegetarian version using spinach and zucchini.

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet of short crust pastry
  • 1 pack of swiss cheese sliced
  • 300ml light fresh cream
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 eggs
  • 100g spinach
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced thinly
  • Salt & Pepper

Steps

  • Heat oven to 200 degrees.
  • Line Quiche plate with pastry.
  • Divide cheese into 3 lots and lay first lot of cheese over pastry.
  • Cook onion in fry pan until soft then set aside. Cook spinach in pan for a few minutes until wilted, then squeeze liquid out of leaves by hand and set aside.
  • Fry zucchini for a few minutes.
  • Layer spinach and half of onion then cover with next lot of cheese. Layer zucchini and the rest of the onion, season.
  • Cover with remaining layer of cheese.
  • Mix eggs and cream together in pouring jug. Pour over the layers.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees, then bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees.
  • Remove from oven and set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Ready to serve, enjoy.

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Grandma’s BBQ Lamb Fillet with dips, salads & flat bread

Grandma’s first recipe post – Here is an easy Sunday lunch the family can enjoy.

BBQ Lamb fillet with dips, salads & flat bread

Ingredients

  • Lamb fillet marinated with garlic & rosemary approx 1kg, serves 4 people
  • Store bought Hummus dip – caramelised garlic version is popular
  • Store bought Tzatziki dip
  • Turkish flat bread- BBQ the bread & serve warm
  • Potato x 6 medium size, peeled and cut into quarters
  • Cucumber Salad includes; 1/2 Cucumber, thinly sliced, Cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    Thyme, 1 sprig, Dressing; Infused macadamia oil, 1 splash (different varieties available at the supermarket
  • Rocket & Mango salad includes; Rocket, 1 packed, 1 x Mango, cut into bite size pieces, 1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly, Slivered almonds, 1 x handful, Pepitas, small sprinkle
    Salad Dressing; 1 clove crushed garlic, salt & pepper, dash of raw sugar, 70ml olive oil, 30ml extra lite olive oil, 30ml pukara estate liqueur vinegar.

Steps

Fry lamb in frypan for 5 mins on each side to seal. Then roast in bbq for a further 15-20 minutes per 0.5kg for medium rare. Slice up and transfer to serving platter.

Bring potatoes to boil, simmer for 5 minutes, flush with cold water. Drain.
Toss in olive oil and bake in fry pan on BBQ for approx 30-40mins or until golden, transfer to serving plate.

Bring all ingredients of cucumber salad together and transfer to a serving bowl. Again bring all ingredients of Mango salad together and transfer to another serving bowl.

Place all dishes in the middle of the table and let the family serve themselves. Serve with dips and flat bread. Delicious.

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Pumpkin loaf

I found this recipe in the Woolworths fresh christmas edition magazine. I only tested it the other day and wow! Delicious! Good for lunch boxes and afternoon snacks.

Pumpkin Loaf Recipe – woolworths fresh magazine

Prep 15mins
Cook 40mins
Serves 6

Ingredients
650g diced pumpkin
1 x diced onion
250g sliced mushrooms
1 x cup roasted cashews, ground
3 eggs
1/2 cup of breadcrumbs
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped parsley

Steps
Line loaf pan with paper. Spray pumpkin with oil and roast for 20 minutes or until softened.
Fry onion and mushrooms in oil until soft.
Combine pumpkin with onion mixture, 3 eggs, breadcrumbs, cheese and parsley. Season and spoon into loaf pan. Sprinkle over extra cheese and bake for 25 mins or until golden.
Stand for 5 minutes. Serve with salad or just by itself.

20130115-122625.jpg¬†Picture doesn’t do the dish justice, it was very yummy. Easy for little ones to eat with spoon or hands.

Corn, cheese & vegie muffins

This recipe is for my savory corn & cheese muffins, the corn adds plenty of sweetness to the muffin, these are very easy on the pallet. Great for quick snacks when out and about.

Ingredients

1 x small red capsicum, diced very fine

1 x small red onion, diced very fine

1 x 420g can of creamed corn

1/2 cup of polenta

1/2 cup of milk

1 1/2 cups of self-raising flour

100g melted butter

2 eggs, lightly beaten

60g cheddar cheese, cut into 12 cubes

Grated cheddar cheese for sprinkling

Olive oil spray

1 tbsp caster sugar (optional)

Steps

Mix polenta and milk in a bowl, cover and set aside for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 200 degrees (fan forced 180 degrees), oil lightly 12-hole muffin pan with olive oil spray. While oven is heating up cook onion and capsicum in fry pan for couple for minutes. Set aside to cool.

Sift flour and sugar into a large bowl, add corn, onion mixture, melted butter, egg and polenta mix. Mix batter gently only until just combined. Please do not over mix. Spoon 1 large tablespoon of batter into each muffin hole then place 1 cube into the middle of each hole. Top each hole with the remaining mixture. Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are cooked. Turn out onto rack to cool for 5 minutes. Then they are ready to eat.

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Creamy Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is another family favourite, its something we just can’t get enough of. Easy to make and lasts in the fridge for days. A great snack for kids which fills their tummies.

Ingredients

280g short grain rice

1.8L of milk

100g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Steps

Rinse rice and then place in saucepan and cover with plenty of cold water, at least 2 cm above rice level. Bring to boil and cook for 5 minutes, the drain.

Bring the milk to boil and add the rice back into the pan, cover and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Stir gently every 10 minutes. The mixture will become creamy, test the rice is very soft. Ensure your rice doesn’t stick to the pan and burn.

Turn the heat off and add the vanilla paste and sugar and combine well. If you don’t want to use sugar you can use honey to sweeten your pudding. The vanilla paste and sugar will quickly dissolve in the pan. The pudding is now ready to serve.

Options to serve as is or with your favourite fresh fruit. Today we just ate it plain, very delicious. This recipe makes enough to have seconds the next day, if this is too much for you just divide all ingredients by half and cook for about 30 minutes.

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Organising dinner in minutes!

Sometimes we just don’t feel like cooking, it may be a hot day, a long day, or you simply just didn’t get time to organise anything. On these days I tend to pick up a barbecue chicken on my way home and prepare some salads with ingredients I keep in the fridge and pantry.

BBQ Chicken with 2 side salads

Ingredients

1 x bbq chicken, break down into pieces

For plain salad, combine below 3 ingredients + half of dressing.

1 bag of mixed lettuce leaves

2 punnet of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

2 cucumber, diced

For lentil salad, combine below 4 ingredients + half of dressing.

I x can 400g brown lentils, drained

1 x can 400g baby beetroot, drained

1 x can 300g corn, drained

200g pasta, any type. Let cool slightly before adding to salad. Cook according to pack instructions.

For the dressing;

Juice of 1 x small lemon, add to equal amount of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Mix all ingredients together. Season to taste.

Once all of the above has been prepared you are ready to bring the family to the table. If your little one prefers to eat with their hands you can just create a little tasting plate which they can pick from. If they can use cutlery then you can combine all salad ingredients together and sprinkle with shredded pieces of chicken.

Note: My little one never eats the lettuce leaves but I like to include them on his plate every now and then. This way he gets use to them being part of his meal and eventually he can enjoy them. You will have plenty of chicken and salad left over which is great as it makes for a healthy lunch the next day!

On these days there is also not a lot of washing up!

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