Month: October 2015

New Veggie Of The Week – Acorn Squash

Acorn SquashFor the last few weeks we have been trying a new vegetable each week. Some weeks it might just be a new one for Zoe, sometimes it might be for all of us. Past weeks have seen us try jicama and turnips – this week, it was acorn squash. Ohhhhhh it was so good!! And just as important – so easy.

1 acorn squash
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil
Dried thyme
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Slice squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff. Slice squash in to 3/4 inch slices. In a bowl, mix together the other ingredients. Add the squash and stir it around to coat.

Lay the slices out on a baking tray, and put them in the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes until squash is tender and golden. The skin will peel off easily.

Beef, Lentil & Pasta Bites

Beef Lentil and Pasta BitesThese can be mixed up a bit – you could swap the ground beef for ground turkey, or even swap the pasta for rice. Throw in some diced zucchini, mushrooms – so versatile, just work with what you have in the fridge!

150g dried pasta (I used small shells)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp olive oil
300g ground beef
1/2 cup red lentils
14oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth (no salt added)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups grated cheese

Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat the oil in a medium pan, add the onion and garlic and cook until onion is soft. Add the beef and brown. Drain off any fat. Add the lentils, tomatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, and any veggies you want to add.

Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender, then add the Italian seasoning. While that’s cooking, cook the pasta.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, and add the pasta, cheese, and meat/lentil mixture. Stir well to combine. Spoon mixture in to a greased muffin pan, filling the pans to the top. It should make around 24 regular size “muffins”. Cook for 20-25 minutes.


Fluffy banana pancakes

Fluffy Banana PancakesSomebody couldn’t wait to take a bite of these! Great way to use up ripe bananas and very handy to have in the freezer to pull out for breakfast. I often add blueberries or coconut too, once I had a peach that needed using so chucked that in too – it’s pretty versatile, but they’re great as is too.

1 mashed banana
1 cup flour (I use half all purpose and half whole wheat)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)

Mix everything together in a bowl, and leave it for half an hour if you can – they’ll be fluffier this way. Cook like regular pancakes. If I’m adding blueberries, I put them in the raw batter once they’re in the pan – so put the batter in the hot pan, then sprinkle a few blueberries on top of the batter before you flip them.

Beet & White Bean Dip

Beet and White Bean DipThis dip has amazing colour! Great to serve with some veggie sticks. Zoe had carrot, grape tomatoes, jicama, red bell pepper, and snap peas.

1 medium beet
1 large garlic clove, peeled
15oz can white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400F. Rinse the beet and wrap in tin foil. Put on a baking tray (that has sides, in case the beet leaks!), and bake for 45-60 minutes, until you can poke a knife through it easily. Let the beet cool, and remove the skin. I find the easiest way to do this is to get a paper towel and just wipe it off.

Once the beet is cooled, put everything in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Dip will keep for a week in the fridge. Makes around 4 cups.

Cranberry, Orange and Veggie Loaf

Canberra Orange Veggie LoafGreat combo of flavours and the yogurt makes it nice and moist. I just used regular yogurt but I’m sure Greek yogurt would be good too.

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup oat bran
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup dried dranberries
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 cup plain yogurt
3 Tbsp applesauce
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tsp grated orange zest
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a loaf pan.

Combine flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in cranberries and nuts. In a medium bowl, mix together the yogurt, applesauce, eggs, orange juice and zest. Mix in carrot and zucchini. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones until just combined.

Pour batter in to pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Leave in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack.

Banana Soft Serve “Ice Cream”

Banana Soft ServeThis is like a dessert but you’d never know it looking at the ingredients! The consistency is somewhere between a thick yogurt and soft serve ice cream.

1 frozen banana
1 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Blend together until smooth. Use a blender that can handle ice cubes as the banana needs to be totally pureed! It may be easier to cut the banana in chunks before freezing. You could also add/substitute other frozen fruit – berries, mango etc.

Pumpkin Honey Muffins

Pumpkin Honey MuffinsAnother pumpkin hit! I was looking for something to use up the leftover pumpkin from a batch of Pumpkin Waffles and these turned out great! I think they’d also be great with a few chopped walnuts or pecans, but I specifically wanted something nut free to take to playgroup. And they’re dairy free!

1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a muffin pan. Put the raisins in a cup with hot water and let them sit while you get everything else ready.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the centre of the bowl and pour in the eggs, pumpkin, applesauce, and honey. Mix until just combined.

Drain the water from the raisins and add to the mixture (add nuts now if you want to add those). Spoon in to the muffin pan. Cook for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Greek Yogurt PancakesThis recipe comes from The Pioneer Woman, who I discovered a few years ago. A lot of her recipes are not so healthy but this one is great!

2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
7 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Greek Yogurt (I used plain 0%)

Put the Greek yogurt in to a bowl and add the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir until combined. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla together, then add them to the yogurt mixture. Stir until combined.

Heat a pan with a little oil or butter and cook the pancakes in whatever size you want. I would suggest not too big – these are very light pancakes, almost like a crepe, so they can be tricky to flip! Yum!

Lentil & Veggie Wedges

Lentil Veggie WedgeGreat hot or cold – good for picnics too!

1 cup red lentils, rinsed in cold water and drained
2 cups water
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Ground black pepper to taste

Put the lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes until lentils are soft. Drain any excess water off. Mix in remaining ingredients.

Grease a round 9 inch pan. Pour mixture in to pan, press in using the back of a spoon and cook at 375F for 30 minutes. Cool slightly and then cut in to wedges. Freezes well.

Corn & Cheese Muffins

Corn Cheese MuffinsAnything involving corn is always popular in our house!

1 cup creamed corn
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp oregano

Mix the corn, eggs and milk together in a bowl. Mix everything else together in another bowl. Mix the dry ingredients in to the wet ingredients and fold together. Add more milk (or more corn) if too dry. You can either make 24 mini muffins or 12 regular muffins – just spray the pans first. Bake at 430F for 9-12 minutes or until the tops spring back.