Month: September 2015

Fruit, Oat & Chia Bars

Fruit Oat Chia BarsAn alternative to our favourite oat bars, the chia seeds add a great healthy touch.

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 apple, peeled and grated
1/2 pear, peeled and grated
1 small banana, overripe and mashed
1 egg, beaten
1 1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 7×11 baking tray with parchment.

In a large bowl mix together oats, flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, apple, and pear. In a small bowl combine the banana, egg, and milk.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix to combine. Pour mixture in to the prepared pan, bake for 45 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and slice.Keep either in the fridge or freezer.

Mac & Cheese Bites

Mac and Cheese BitesHandy to have as a side dish and so easy!

6oz small pasta shells
1 Tbsp milk
3/4 cup grated cheese
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a mini muffin pan. This makes about 30 bites so the bigger the pan, the better!

Cook the pasta according to the direction on the packet, and cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, beat the egg, add the milk, and grated cheese. Add the cooled pasta and mix it all together. Spoon in to the prepared pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes until starting to brown.

You need to let these cool in the pan a bit before you take them out – maybe 10 minutes or so, otherwise they won’t set and will just fall apart when you take them out!

Lentil Soup

Lentil SoupWith the change of seasons comes great days for soup! Here’s another favourite.

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/8 tsp chili powder
1 quart chicken broth (no salt added)
1 cup red lentils, washed
1 large carrot, diced
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Heat a little olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add the tomato paste and spices and stir, cook until fragrant – about two minutes.

Add the broth, lentils and carrot. Bring to the boil over high heat, then cover and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer until the lentils are soft, which will be around 30 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree to desired consistency, then add in the lemon juice.

Porcupine Meatballs

Porcupine MeatballsGreat for everyone and a nice twist on regular meatballs. Just add some veggies and you have a complete meal!

1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup uncooked white rice (I used basmati)
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp celery salt
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 can (15oz) tomato sauce/tomato puree (not ketchup!)
1 cup water
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Mix all ingredients together apart from the last three, and roll in to balls. Makes around 18, depending on the size.

Brown the meatballs in a pan, then drain and discard any excess grease. Add the remaining ingredients and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for around 40-45 minutes until the meatballs are cooked and the rice is tender.

Peanut Butter Bread

Peanut Butter BreadAnother quick bread – this one is so quick, by the time the oven has heated up it’s ready to go in! You could also try using it as sandwich bread – jam in the middle maybe? In Canada I use Golden Valley jam which has no sugar – just fruit and pectin.

1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
1/2 cup natural unsalted peanut butter
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1 large egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 8×4 inch loaf pan.

In a mixer or large bowl, mix together the first 7 ingredients until combined. In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture slowly to the batter.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn out on to a wire cooling rack.

Banana Bread

Banana BreadI like making quick breads – so much less fussing than with cookies or muffins! Quick to throw together and then get it in the oven. This is a fave – typically banana bread is loaded with sugar, but this one is a much healthier option!

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
11/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 cup mashed ripe banana – approx 3, depending on size

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 8×4 inch loaf pan.

In to a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda and salt together. In a stand mixer (or hand mixer if you’re up for extra effort!) combine the sugar, vanilla and butter, beating at medium speed until smooth. Add the egg, and continue to beat until fluffy and light in colour. Add the bananas, and mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture slowly, and mix until just combined. Pour in to the prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn out on to a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

Pasta Pie

Pasta PieWe all love this – tastes like lasagne but with half the effort! I also liked that I could make it in stages while keeping an eye on my daughter. I could cook the spaghetti, then play, then cook the meat sauce, play, mix the cheese mixture, play, then assemble and in to the oven. Yay!

8oz spaghetti (could use other pasta), cooked
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup parmesan (divided)
1 pound ground beef/chicken/turkey (I used beef)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups of your favourite pasta sauce
1 cup ricotta (could use cottage cheese)
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup grated mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350F. Put the cooked pasta in a bowl and mix with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Mix eggs and 1/4 cup parmesan in a bowl, then mix with the pasta. Put the pasta in a deep dish pie plate or springform pan and spread so it covers the bottom.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a pan and brown the meat. Pour the pasta sauce in and mix to combine.

In a bowl mix the ricotta, remaining parmesan, and Italian seasoning. Spread this over the pasta, then add the meat sauce, then sprinkle the mozzarella over the top.

Put the dish on a baking pan/sheet pan (it can leak!) and bake for 30 minutes.


Veggie Rice Cakes

Veggie Rice CakeGreat to have as a side for dinner, and versatile – you can mix up the vegetables and seasoning depending on taste.

1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated cheddar/mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup vegetables – I use corn, peas or steamed broccoli
Pinch seasoning – coriander, cumin, Italian etc
2 large eggs, beaten
Oil for frying

Combine rice, breadcrumbs, cheese, vegetables and seasoning in a bowl. If you’re using broccoli. cauliflower etc I would steam them first before adding. Add eggs and mix together. Shape mixture in to patties (somewhere around 1/8 – 1/4 cup size is good). Heat oil in pan and add patties, cook around 2 minutes each side until golden brown.

If you’d like to freeze these, do so before cooking them in the pan. When you’re to use them, just defrost and cook.

Egg & Veggie Bites

Egg Veggie BitesThese are so yummy! I love these just as much as my daughter – possibly more so!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, grated
1 large zucchini, grated
3 large eggs
1/4 cup cream (could use half and half or whole milk)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 12 hole mini muffin pan. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion until clear, then add the carrot and zucchini. Cook until soft, around 7 minutes in total. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cool,

Beat the eggs, cream, and parmesan cheese together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in cooled veggies. Add flour and baking powder.

Spoon the mixture in to the prepared muffin pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Veggie Fritters

Veggie FrittersThese fritters are tasty and have great veggie content. They are very forgiving and you can change the seasoning if you like, or even swap out the veggies for something else, likeĀ  corn, or chopped steamed broccoli.

1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 zucchini, grated
1 small onion, chopped
1/3 cup ricotta (can substitute milk)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup flour (either all purpose or whole wheat)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix everything in a bowl until combined – if mixture looks a little dry, add a bit more ricotta/milk, or flour if a little wet.
Heat some olive oil/cooking spray in a frying pan on medium heat and add spoonfuls of the batter to the pan. Cook until golden, then flip. Once the other side is golden, remove and put on a plate lined with paper towels.
These freeze well.