Tag Archives: vegetables

Pea, Chickpea & Quinoa Fritters

Happy New Year! Wow. 2013 was quite challenging (more like First World problems challenging) – nothing in comparison to what I am sure millions of parents around the globe have to deal with every day when it comes to raising their children. I am feeling very lucky these days, too many bad news stories from hanging out with my friends that work for DOCS. We are still very blessed with our healthy little girl Rafaela, She will be two in 8 days! She has an amazing little personality these days. I have to say the most adorable thing is seeing her wiggle her bum when she is free of her nappy before her bath. It washes away the countless tantrums and leg clinging episodes we battle with throughout the day. Oh the joy!

What I do love about her age now is she can help me cook. She is so excited stirring and pounding pizza dough. I hope we can keep up the enthusiasm. Today she helped me make the fritters below and all she could say was “Oh wow” and “Yummy in my tummy”. Then she gobbled down three of them for dinner. I’m not quite sure that she understood, that what she was eating was what she helped me make. Regardless, she was eating a dinner littered with green, which was amazing enough.

I’m back at work full-time now, therefore the opportunity to really consider our meals has been limited and hence the lack of posts. Though the recent festive season (I hosted our family Christmas dinner) really ignited my love for menu planning, cooking and inventing! I’ve enjoyed an extra week off at work and armed with a few new cookbooks for Christmas, it’s game on!

As with the start of every New Year, I try to turn over a ‘new leaf’ in my eating habits and inflict these on to the hubby. This usually consists of weird grains and vegetables. He hates peas and isn’t really a fan of quinoa. We started off using quinoa instead of breadcrumbs on schnitzels. It was merely quinoa (cooked in vegetable stock) seasoned with salt, pepper and some sage on the chicken. Add a squeeze of lemon before serving with mash and greens. They worked out fantastic but didn’t photograph well. It was a really great way to pack in some extra protein, fibre and iron. With a great deal of left over quinoa, I started to look for different ways to use it and adapted this Donna Hay recipe.  As I said, Rafaela hoovered these down, which makes me so happy! Andrew also went back for more… did I mention he hates peas! We both agreed that they tasted like Chinese fried rice. Random indeed!

I served them up with a green salad and a little bit of tomato relish (store bought) and can be eaten warm or cold. This recipe makes around 14 (I did lose 2 fritters during the process of cooking – Try using a spatula and spoon to flip them)

Pea, Chickpea & Quinoa Fritters

2 cups (250g) of cooked peas (Use wholefood organic peas)

1 x 450g can of chickpeas (Use organic chickpeas)

2 cups of cooked white quinoa

1 carrot, peeled and grated

1 spring onion, finely sliced

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of rice flour

2 tablespoons of vegetable or sunflower oil (more for cooking)

Sprinkle of ground cumin

Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper for seasoning.

Method

Roughly mash the peas and blend the chickpeas in a food processor. Place into a bowl with the quinoa, eggs, rice flour, oil, carrot, cumin and season with Salt & Pepper. Mix well to combine and sit aside.

Line a baking tray with non –stick baking paper and start to form ¼ cupful’s of the mixture in to thin patties. Lay the patties on the tray to set before shallow frying.

Heat the extra oil in a non-stick frypan over medium heat and cook, in batches, for 3-4minutes each side until golden. Drain on absorbent paper. The fritters can be served warm or cold.

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Rafaela cooking up a storm!

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Golden Pea, Chickpea and Quinoa Fritters

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Chicken, Couscous & Bacon Meatloaf

Adapted from a Donna Hay Recipe

It has been awhile, I must say. What has happen since then and now, well Rafaela is growing up fast. She is 21 months old. I’m looking forward to when I can say she is 2 years and then we just go up by halves right? Imagined if we referred to our ages in months, I would be 380 months old! We definitely are in full swing of the infamous ‘Terrible Twos’ she loves to throw the most outrageous tantrums and the attitude is phenomenal. She has the ‘Terrorist’ as her nickname. However on the flip side she is so incredibly smart and funny. Her personality is shining through these days, even if it can be more challenging. She loves to repeat what we say and do, so eating now is getting to be a tad less of challenge as she wants to eat more and more by herself… Now from what I gather about most kids, green needs to be unseen so hiding vegetables has become my new pass time. Hence the Meatloaf! It’s a great way to use mincemeat and also hide vegetables. I’ve adapted this recipe from Donna Hay. She had these so nicely wrapped individually… Sorry I couldn’t quite pull that one off with the little one. So I’ve gone all traditional and used a loaf pan and a stack of additional vegies. The couscous gives the loaf a really nice texture and actually holds the loaf together quite well. The bacon naturally adds a nice smoky flavour and keeps the whole dish moist. To freeze, merely slice and place between non-stick baking papers in a freezer proof container.

Chicken, couscous and bacon meatloaf

Ingredients

1 tablespoon of Olive Oil

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 carrot grated

1 zucchini grated

6-8 bacon rashers, rind removed

1 cup cooked couscous

1/3 cup oregano leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 eggs

500g chicken mince

2 rashers of bacon, extra, chopped.

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (350 F). Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Allow to cool completely.

Line a loaf tin with the rashers of bacon, slightly overlapping. Place on a baking tray and set aside. Place the couscous in a bowl with the onion mixture, oregano, lemon rind, mustard, eggs, mince, extra bacon, Salt & pepper and mix to combine. Place mixture into the loaf tin, packing it in tight and then fold over the bacon.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through. Increase temperature to 220 degrees (440 F). Set aside for 5 minutes before inverting onto the baking tray, lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until golden.

Serve with tomato chutney or sauce if desired. Makes 6-8 slices.

Top left: Packing in the filling. Bottom left: Snug as a bug in bacon rug, Right: Rafaela chowing down.

Top left: Packing in the filling. Bottom left: Snug as a bug in bacon rug, Right: Rafaela chowing down.

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Pumpkin, Zucchini & Fetta Mini Quiches

What glorious weather we’ve been having lately. Rafaela is taking full advantage of it too. She is much more nimble on her feet and one of her favourite words is ‘Outside’. The great thing is that she knows she has to have her shoes and hat on before she can go out there which is a great little habit! When the weather is great we try and spend as much time outside getting some much needed vitamin D. So we have been considering what makes a good ‘movable feast’. We had a somewhat impromptu picnic today with the family and we made crispy tofu rice paper rolls. Really straightforward… but not quite bubbachoo friendly right now, but great for your bigger kids!

Another great ‘movable feast’ item is the mini quiche. It’s also a great way to use up leftovers and hide vegetables, which is my new task. Therefore this recipe is totally interchangeable with a number of tasty combinations. Think ham & cheese, mushroom, spinach & fetta, corn etc.

Rafaela seems to have regained her true ‘Hunter’ appetite. She is currently well (aside from a weird rash). No congestion and no teething. Outside of just eating pasta she hasn’t been very adventurous, though she is starting to show a need for independence and eating by herself. She has the coordination down pat, just can’t work out how to get the food on the fork or spoon, I’m sure we will have some kind of stabbing cutlery injury any day now.

Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 12+)

1 Zucchini grated

½ Butternut Pumpkin, peeled & cubed.

½ cup of Cheese (Try Grated Gruyere, Cheddar or Fetta)

3 – 4 Eggs

½ cup Milk or Pouring Cream

Fresh or dried Chives, finely chopped.

1-2 sheets of Puff Pastry

12 hole cupcake tray

Salt & Pepper for seasoning

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees, toss the cubed pumpkin with a little splash of olive oil and salt & pepper.  Spread the pumpkin on to a tray lined with non-stick baking paper and roast in the oven for 20-25min until cooked, remove from the oven and cool. Prepare the cupcake tray with a light brushing of olive oil. Defrost the puff pastry and cut out enough rounds to line the holes of the tray. They do not need to line the entire cup. If you want to be a bit more health conscious or frugal with the pastry then you need just enough to make a little cup.

Place the zucchini in a small fry pan and cook gently for 2 minutes, remove from the heat and cool. Prepare egg mixture by whisking eggs and milk together. Then lightly season with salt & pepper.  I like to do this in a jug so you can easily pour the mixture into the individual cups

Fill up the pastry cups with pumpkin (2-3 cubes per cup), zucchini, cheese and chives. At this stage you can add any additional ingredients (Little ham or bacon is nice) evenly fill each cup with enough egg mixture to cover the pastry or to just the lip of the pastry.

Place the trap into a 180 degree preheated oven and cook for 25-30min until the pastry is golden and puffed and the filling is firm.

To freeze, make sure that they are completely cooled first. To reheat, wrap them in foil and place back into the oven. Adjust timing based on thawed or frozen.

A Moveable Feast - Pumpkin, Zucchini & Fetta  Mini Quiches

A Moveable Feast – Pumpkin, Zucchini & Fetta Mini Quiches

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Leftover Chicken Soup

It has been a while since I’ve posted any recipes, I must say the cold weather has taken its toll on the family. We’ve had a little sick monkey on our hands, well I am going to say it has been on and off for the last 6 months and it has just been exacerbated by the cold weather.  I am sure every parent goes through this battle, months of runny noses, ear infections and chesty coughs. I think the hardest thing is she can’t blow her nose. I think it would solve a great deal of her problems! She likes to make the noise and pull out tissues from the box and hold them to her nose which is all very cute, but isn’t helping!

Along with the sickness comes the teething, Poor girl has mini volcanoes all along the back of her mouth waiting to erupt. This all contributes to one upset little girl. Her appetite has definitely suffered, we have reverted back to the puree food so how timely that it’s soup season!

This is a great recipe to use up left overs, especially after a roast/BBQ chicken meal. You can make this with home-made stock or pre-made stock, just look for options that are organic and low in sodium (Salt). We have a cheeky weekend ritual; well it pretty much started when Andrew started renovating the house. We enlisted the help of many capable friends and family to help with a bit of coaxing – Lunch and beers. So began the trip to the best little BBQ chicken place in the hood.

So if you roast your own chickens of not, this is a great recipe from Donna Hay that uses up the carcass of the Chicken to make a beautiful, clear stock.

Left over Chicken Soup

1 cup of soup mix (Split peas, barely, lentils) or small pasta like Rissoni

Baby Spinach

Roast chicken, shredded

2 carrots

1 Zucchini

Chicken Stock

Cracked pepper and parmesan to serve.

Basic Chicken Stock Recipe

1.5kg chicken bones (still with some meat on)

2 onions, halved

2 carrots halved

2 sticks of celery, chopped

8 litres of water

8 black peppercorns

4 stalks of flat-leaf parsley

2 fresh or dried bay leaves

Sea salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the chicken bones, onions, carrots, celery in a large baking dish and bake for 1 hour. Transfer to a stock pot or large saucepan with the water, peppercorns, parsley and bay leaves. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer rapidly, uncovered.

Reduce the heat so that the stock simmers slowly but constantly. Skim the surface of the stock with a spoon occasionally so that it remains clear. Simmer for 1 ½ hours or until the stock is well flavoured. Add a generous amount of sea salt to bring out the flavour.

Strain the stock through a fine sieve. Allow to cool, and then remove any solidified fat from the surface. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze in ready to use portions. This should make 4 litres of Stock.

To make the soup, dice carrot, zucchini and any other vegetables such as potato and add to the chicken stock, cooking until tender. Meanwhile, cook the soup mix or pasta according to the packet instructions.  Add to the stock along with Shredded chicken and simmer for a few minutes, check for extra seasoning. Before serving, add baby spinach leaves and allow them to wilt. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a little cracked pepper and crusty bread.

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Zucchini, corn, carrot and cheddar loaf

Wondering what to make for the kids lunch boxes this week? Why not try this Zucchini, corn, carrot and cheddar Loaf? I found this recipe on a recent trip to NZ. I had the chance to go through archived Donna Hay magazine in her IPad App and found this in a old Kids issue.We love a good loaf at home, however they are usually sweet ones. I made this loaf in about 10-15 minutes, this was the time that Rafaela sat down and ate her lunch. So it is very easy and very quick. We have a walking toddler on our hands now, so cooking can be quite acrobatic at the moment and I will say that kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it!

The original recipe calls for grated cheddar. I had a mexican cheese medley in the freezer and introduced a lone carrot sitting at the bottom of the vegetable tray. The texture is light and fluffy, yet dense enough to remain in tact if toasting or using as a sandwich. It is best served with some extra sliced cheese and tomato chutney.

Zucchini, corn, carrot and cheddar loaf

2 ½ cups self-raising flour

1 ½ cups grated cheddar cheese

1 cup grated zucchini

1 cup sweet corn kernels

1 cup of grated carrot

2 green onions (Scallions) sliced

2/3 cup Canola or Sunflower Oil

1 cup of Milk

2 eggs

Sea salt and cracked pepper

Cheddar and Tomato Chutney, to serve.

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (350 F). Place the flour, grated cheese, zucchini, sweet corn and green onion in a bowl and mix to combine. Place the oil, milk, eggs, salt & pepper in a separate bowl and whisk to combine. Add the zucchini mixture and stir until well combined. Pour into a lightly greased 8cm x 22cm (1.75 litre capacity) loaf tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Bake for 55-60 minutes if until cooked when tested with a skewer. Serve with the cheese slices and chutney. Serves 8

Slice of the loaf

Slice of the loaf

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We continue the series of all things “round” with this burger recipe. It is a combination of a couple of different recipes and I have also adapted it to include quinoa and some extra vegetables. Of course, the thing with burgers/patties/rissoles/cakes is you can really just add anything to the mix and you can somewhat hide ingredients that you little one is quite picky about.

It is pretty normal, or so I have read, for kids to be fussy with their food. Where one day they may have liked eating something and now they sit in protest if it even comes near the plate. Rafaela has so far done this with carrots. It was her favourite as we started on solids, then she wouldn’t have a bar of them and now she can’t get enough of carrot sticks. Also, I have always been pretty adamant about including something green into her meals, zucchini and spinach have been standard but broccoli has always needed to be mixed up in the dish. So beating the Broccoli ban has become a more difficult feat. Even cheese, such an easy snack and a great source of calcium, will only go down the hatch if it’s melted or mixed into her meals.

So, like I said, making a burger is a great way to disguise any undesirable foods and this is for all ages!  Two birds with one stone in this house. With these lamb burgers, I am able get Raff eating more vegies and my husband, Andrew, eating quinoa.

Again, these burgers are very freezer friendly and great for the whole family. They can be served with all your favourite trimmings in a bun or on their own with mash or salad on the side.

Ingredients (Makes 12 – 14 larger burgers and 10 + mini burgers)

500g lamb mince

1 cup quinoa, cooked (prep notes below)

1 egg

1 small Spanish onion (or ½ large), finely chopped.

1 medium zucchini, grated

1 small carrot, grated

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

80g of fetta, crumbed.

2 tsp. cumin, ground

Fresh or dried oregano (roughly a teaspoon)

Pinch of pepper

Method

Place dry quinoa into a large fine mesh strainer and rinse with cold water.

Place rinsed quinoa into a small saucepan and cover with 2 cups cold water.

Bring the quinoa to a boil and turn down to a low simmer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and cool before mixing into lamb.

You can either finely chop or grate the vegetables or place them into a food processor for whiz.

In a large bowl combine lamb, quinoa, egg, onion garlic, vegetables and spices. Mix thoroughly until the mixture comes together and is smooth.

Prepare the lamb burgers by forming them into small balls, usually the width and of your child’s palm. Flatten down into a patty and place on baking paper.

Place a large non-stick sauté pan over high heat for 1 minute. Add the patties into the hot pan and brown on each side. Cover and cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes.

To plate the dish place the lamb burger with some fresh salad or fresh tomato puree. Top with a dollop of natural yogurt mixed with fresh mint or with some sweet potato mash.

 

Lamb Burgers

Lamb Quinoa Burgers

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Baby Lentil Falafels & Garlic Yoghurt Sauce

Here is a simple recipe from Donna Hay’s latest cook book ‘Fresh & Light’. I have been looking for simple, healthy recipes that are freezer friendly and it has so many easy recipes that use fresh ingredients.

Patties, burgers, cakes, rissoles, meatballs… however you want to define food rolled up and then pan fried or baked is fine by me. All I can say is, these little round morsels of food are making a huge comeback in our household these days. It is the ultimate odds and ends recipe, using up odd vegetables and the staple mincemeat or that odd can of chickpeas from the pantry. So this is the start of the Palm series. I say palm as I make them all the size of Rafaela’s palm (the recommended portion size) for her and everyone really. So watch this space, over the coming weeks I will be focusing on all things…. Round!

Lentils are a great addition to your little bubba choo’s diet; High in protein, so great for Vegetarians. They also tend to take on the flavours that they are cooked with, Making them very versatile. You might want to start with Red lentils, they are slightly lower in fibre so they don’t produce as much gas as brown and green ones. They also cook to mushier consistency. Some suggestions for Lentil include; cook them in a homemade broth, mash them with vegetables, Use them as a thickener or throw them into a soup or casserole. They would require 20min of cooking. Always thoroughly rinse lentils as they are prone to debris.  This recipe calls for a can of brown lentils. These are readily available as all supermarkets. You can also get organic varieties, which I have used below.

These little Falafels are very tasty and are not deep fried. Like most falafels, they are best served with a sauce. So I’ve included the one from the original recipe. Rafaela gobbled these down, while smearing the yoghurt sauce all over her face. They freeze really well and are a great meal or snack option. These are perfect for the whole family. I found them a great finger food for parties.

Lentil Falafels (makes 12)

1 x 400g can brown organic lentils, drained and rinsed.

1 cup (70g) fresh breadcrumbs

100g Ricotta

1 egg

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ coriander leaves

1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon rind

Sea salt and black pepper

Sunflower oil or macadamia nut oil for brushing

Garlic Yoghurt Sauce

1 cup thick plain yoghurt

2 garlic cloves crushed

2 tablespoons of Tahini paste

2 table spoons of lemon juice

2 table spoons of chopped chives

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees (450F). To make the garlic yoghurt sauce, combine the yoghurt, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and chives. Set aside.

Place the lentils, breadcrumbs ricotta, egg, cumin, coriander, lemon, salt and pepper in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is just combined. Shape 2 tablespoonful’s of the mixture into small patties and place on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper.  Brush the patties lightly with oil and bake for 10 minutes each side or until crisp.

Serve with Garlic Sauce. For infants try serving with couscous and vegetables. For older kids & adults, try serving with salad and pita bread.Image

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Spinach & Ricotta Baby Cannelloni

Well it feels like it has been a while between drinks (err Posts). We are into the full swing of the juggling act that is working and parenting. Rafaela seems to be thriving in day care, drinking from a cup all on her own and climbing like a little monkey. The drop off is getting easier, tears are fading and is now replaced by a disappointing look. We have progress!

More and more Rafaela is enjoying different foods; she is at the age where the list of foods she can’t eat is depleting rapidly. I started making Cannelloni after my mother-in-law had a bumper crop of spinach. It was spinach and ricotta bonanza in our household for a few weeks. We tried the Greek Spanakopita pie as well as spinach and ricotta gnocchi but the most appropriate for Rafaela to enjoy and the most successful (the gnocchi was pretty tricky) was the cannelloni. It is the perfect family dinner for a house obsessed with spaghetti and in desperate need of a pasta shake up! This is a variation of a classic Donna Hay recipe. It was really about omitting and substituting certain ingredients to make an infant friendly batch. Spinach is a great source of Calcium, Iron & Vitamin A. It is recommended to start babies on Spinach after 8 months as they can contain nitrates and are an oxalate food and should be eaten in moderation. Below is a baby friendly spinach & ricotta cannelloni recipe. I would keep aside a portion of the mixture for Rafaela and the rest for the adults. It is a great dish to freeze for those now so often moments we need a quick tasty meal and lunch the next day!

Baby Basic Tomato Sauce

1 x 400g can of Organic diced tomatoes

1 small onion finely diced

1 garlic clove crushed

Sprinkle of nutmeg

Splash of olive oil

Handful of fresh basil leaves

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Then sauté onion and garlic till tender. Add the diced tomato and ¼ cup of water (I usually wash the remainder of the tomato out with this water).

Add the fresh basil and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until thick and lumpy.

Cannelloni

1 x Baby Basic Tomato Sauce

2 x packet of lasagne sheets (contains 8 sheets) halved lengthways

½ cup of finely grated parmesan cheese

Filling

2 bunches or 500g of English Spinach, trimmed.

750g of fresh ricotta (I find fresh from the deli works better than the containers. It tends to contain less moisture)

1 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley leaves

1 tablespoon of chopped dill

½ cup of fresh breadcrumbs

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c.  To make the filling, blanch the spinach in a saucepan of boiling water for 5 seconds, then drain. Squeeze out any excess moisture, and chop.

Combine the spinach, ricotta and parmesan, herbs and bread crumbs. Grease a 20cm x 30cm ovenproof dish. Spread 1/3 of the tomato sauce over the base of the dish. Lay a lasagne sheet on a flat surface, spoon on some ricotta filling and roll up. Place into the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining filling and sheets. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the cannelloni, sprinkle with the extra parmesan and bake for 25-30min or until soft and heated through.

Now this recipe makes a heap of Cannelloni. If you save 1/3 of the filling for your bubba choo you will make approximately 18-20 cannelloni.

Suggestions: I have also included some cooked pumpkin into the mixture. It adds a nice sweetness to the dish and it helps get Rafaela’s Veggie content up! Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

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Dad’s Spag Bol (aka Spaghetti Bolognese)

It’s back to school week. While the traffic gets worse, the trains fill up with kids and the feeling of summer holidays fade, I have to return to work. This wouldn’t normally bother me, well it hasn’t in the last year that I’ve been on maternity leave but now my real juggling act begins. So far it has been pretty stable transition, easing into work while Rafaela has been slowing engaging in day care activities and it seems like she is adapting well. It is really hard to leave her after spending so much time together. However I can already see her growing and learning so much. She still crawls commando style and is absolutely filthy when she gets home but she is almost up on to her feet and can say “bye” and “up”.

I am still in two minds about heading back to work. I am happy to be back and stimulated again, however I miss being at home and moving at our own pace. I really enjoyed having time cook and consider meals. Now that’s reserved for the weekends. Before Rafaela (circa 2011), my husband Andrew, would cook up Spag Bol as it’s his favourite meal. Everyone has their version, Spaghetti Bolognese is the quintessential family staple meal… right. This one is Dad’s and Rafaela absolutely loves it. It will be high on the weekday rotation in this house!

Ingredients (Makes – A fair bit)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 small onion

1 glove of garlic

1 organic carrot, grated

1 organic zucchini

¼ red capsicum

1 cup organic beef or vegetable stock

250g of organic mince (beef or pork/veal) – I’ve use the Aldi Brand of Organic Beef.

1 x 400g can of organic diced tomatoes

1 small dried bay leaf

Pinch of dried herbs; oregano & thyme

Pinch of pepper

Method

Heat the oil in a saucepan (large enough to hold 5 cups of liquid). Using a food processor finely chop the onion and garlic together. Transfer to the saucepan and cook until soft. In the mean-time add the zucchini and capsicum to the food processor and chop finely. Add grated carrot to the pan and combine well. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the mince. Use a wooden spoon to break up the mince. Once the meat is no longer pink, add the dried herbs & pepper and stir. Then add the zucchini and capsicum, stock, tomatoes, stir to combine. Bring to boil and then simmer for minimum 20min to 1 hour or until the liquid has reduced.

Serve with Organic Spaghetti, Wholemeal Spaghetti or rice or couscous, anything you want. Rafaela likes to slurp up the noodles. She is so fascinated by the action. We just cut the noodles into manageable sizes. This meal is also extremely freezer friendly and obviously enjoyed by mum & dad too.

 

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‘Tis the season for Turkey & Quinoa Meatloaf, gobble gobble!

Tis the season indeed! This year will be our first Christmas with Rafaela and the excitement is slowly growing. The tree is up and the ham is en-route! She has no idea what is going on, she was given her first gift the other day and just ripped and ate the paper.  On the bright side she was eating with her hands…

What I do love about Christmas is the copious amounts of food. My family have a pot luck type soiree, while it’s more of a traditional affair on my husband’s side. Turkey tends to be a quintessential meat at both events. I thought to myself what a great meal for babies at Christmas, all that excitement and energy. Remember that Seinfeld episode when Jerry feeds his girlfriend Turkey so she would fall asleep and he and George could play with her antique toy collection, Priceless! While it does contain certain amino acids that bring on sleep it’s a combination of things that make you sleepy after turkey, usually all the other food and alcohol that goes with the feast.

Regardless, Turkey is a great lean protein; it was one of the first meats I tried. Most supermarkets have a select range of turkey products and its pretty affordable.

Below is a super healthy and protein packed meal for the whole family. While meatloaf is not normally a glamorous meal, you can dress it up by wrapping it in thin rashers of bacon for the Christmas table. Adding Quinoa gives the loaf a great nutty flavour and actually keeps it quite moist. I’ve provided a healthy glaze that is suitable for babies. For older kids you can use the standard tomato sauce type glaze.

Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Turkey & Quinoa Meatloaf 

Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cup water

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

500g ground turkey

1 tablespoon organic tomato paste

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (optional)

2 egg yolks

1x zucchini & carrot, grated

Handful of Cheddar cheese

Glaze (Combine these two ingredients in a small bowl):
• 1 Can organic tomato paste
• 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (or more if you’d like your glaze to be a little thinner consistency)
optional: add 1/8 cup of honey to sweeten glaze

Method

Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, and the water has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Preheat an oven to 180 degrees C and line a loaf tin with Baking paper.

Heat the olive oil in a fry-pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute; remove from heat to cool.

Combine the turkey mince, cooked quinoa, onions, zucchini, carrot, tomato paste, cheese, Worcestershire sauce and egg, in a large bowl until well combined. Shape the mixture into the loaf tin. Either brush on your chosen glaze  or add rashers of bacon, ensure you tuck in the ends to avoid curling.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes  The loaf is ready when your meat thermometer reaches 70 degrees C . Let the meatloaf cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Add your seasoning to your portions and cut a slice into fingers for the baby.

Keeps in the fridge for 2 days and freezes well.

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