Friday, October 29, 2010

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto

The best type of rice to use in risottos is the short grained arborio variety. However, I generally use basmati for this dish since it is lower in GI and cooks quicker when I am in a rush. Brown rice basmati is also available now which will make this rice dish even more nutritious.

Chicken and Mushroom Risotto
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup rice
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups reduced salt chicken stock
10 mushrooms, sliced (button or oyster)
2 tbs shredded parmesan cheese (approx15g)
120g mixed baby spinach and rocket leaves
Cracked black pepper

  1. Heat oil in a deep saucepan and lightly fry onions and garlic.
  2. Add chicken to brown and remove once cooked
  3. Add rice to saucepan, stirring whilst cooking.
  4. Pour in white wine and then stock.
  5. Add sliced mushrooms.
  6. Season with pepper. You should not need to add any additional salt.
  7. Cook gently until almost all liquid is absorbed and rice is almost cooked. Place lid on saucepan and remove from heat to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  8. Stir through parmesan and spinach mix
  9. Serve hot, topped with a sliver of fresh parmesan

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Orange and Date Loaf

Instead of just the juice of oranges, this cake contains two WHOLE oranges making it a high fibre and nutrient packed snack for kids. The dates add sweetness and the almond meal adds an omega-3, calcium, and protein boost. A perfect pre-sport snack for school lunch boxes.

Orange and Date Loaf
1 1/2 cups SR flour
1 cup almond meal
150g dates, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 large oranges, peeled
2-3 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line silicon loaf tin with baking paper
  2. Use food processor to puree 2 oranges. This should amount to approx. 2 cups of orange puree.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, almond meal, sugar, and cinnamon. For a sweeter loaf, use 3 tbsp of sugar.
  4. In another bowl, combine puree orange, dates, and eggs
  5. Pour wet ingredients into the flour mix and fold through until combined
  6. Pour mixture into the loaf tin.
  7. Sprinkle top with granulated brown sugar (optional)
  8. Bake for about 60min at 180 degrees or until skewer tests clean. Check at 50min.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Roast Pumpkin and Cannelini Frittata

This is quite possibly the tastiest frittata I have ever cooked. It contains no added salt and is suitable for babies 9mths+.

Roast Pumpkin and Cannelini Frittata
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
800g Kent pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and sliced into 1cm thick segments
1 tsp ground cinnamon
400g can of cannelini beans, drained
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
10 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

  1. Spray a baking tray with oil and line with pumpkin slices. Sprinkle with cinnamon and roast, turning once until cooked and slightly caramelized.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large flat fry pan. Cook onions, then turn off heat. Add rosemary and remove from pan.
  3. Layer same pan with half the roast pumpkin, cannelini beans, onion, mozzarella and beaten egg. Repeat layers.
  4. Bake in hot oven (180 degrees) for 45min - 1hr or until set in the middle.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Pear Friands

Ok, so I would probably categorise these as a party food, but they were also absolutely delicious, rich in good fats, and full of fibre from the whole pears and almonds.

Pear Friands
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup SR flour
100g canola margarine
2 very ripe pears, cored and pureed fresh with skin
Juice of half a lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g icing sugar
3 egg whites

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and lightly grease friand tin or prepare cupcake papers
  2. Beat egg whites until stiff
  3. Mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl
  4. Add a little of the egg white mix to the large bowl and stir to combine well
  5. Add remaining egg white and fold in very gently with a metal spoon
  6. Spoon into tin or papers
  7. Bake at 200 degrees for about 25 min

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lamb Shanks with Polenta Mash

Use a pressure cooker to speed up the cooking process and you will have delicious lamb  shanks with tender meat that falls off the bone ready in less than an hour.

Use fresh herbs for flavour instead of salt to make these tender lamb lanks a perfect iron-rich meal for babies and toddlers to enjoy.

Lamb Shanks
1 tbsp olive oil
4 lamb shanks
2 garlic cloves, peeled and bruised
2 onions, halved
2 carrots, sliced into large segments
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup reduced salt chicken stock
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Cracked black pepper

  1. Heat olive oil in a pressure cooker, add lamb shanks, turning to seal on all sides. (You could also do this in a large saucepan and then transfer the shanks with the other ingredients to bake covered in the oven for 2-3 hours)
  2. Add red wine, allowing to steam and cook off alcohol
  3. Add remaining ingredients. Secure lid on pressure cooker. Cook for about 40-60 minutes, checking as required. Shanks are ready when meat falls of the bone.
Polenta Mash
1 cup polenta
3 cups milk
2 cups reduced salt chicken stock
2 tbsp (40g) margarine
  1. Bring milk and chicken stock to the boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add polenta, stirring constantly until it thickens to desired consistancy.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk through margarine
  4. Serve immediately

Friday, October 15, 2010

Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup

This is a great way to add more lentils to your family's diet. Very lightly spiced, the soup tastes fabulous with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and a garnish of fresh coriander.

Suitable for the whole family. Use a salt-free stock and consider omitting the sweet chilli sauce if cooking for babies under 12 months.

Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1L salt-reduced or homemade (salt-free) chicken stock
1 cup red lentils
800g peeled diced pumpkin
2 tbsp peanut butter (no added salt or sugar if cooking for infants)
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat olive oil in a deep saucepan. Add onion, garlic and spices, frying lightly until fragrant and onion soft.

  2. Pour in chicken stock

  3. Add red lentils, pumpkin, peanut butter, and sweet chilli sauce

  4. Simmer gently for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally

  5. Once cooked, remove from heat and puree with hand blender

  6. Serve with a dollop of yoghurt and fresh coriander

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Parmesan Cauliflower Blinis

These nutritious little pancakes make a great snack for kids. Suitable for 10mths+.

For adults (and even toddlers!) they are delicious topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

Parmesan and Cauliflower Blinis
1/2 cup puree steamed cauliflower
1/2 cup SR flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/2 cup milk

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl

  2. Drop spoonfuls of mix into a hot, lightly oiled pan

  3. Cook on one side until bubbles begin to form, then turn once

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Clear Asian Soup Base

This is a simple clear soup base that is quick and easy to make and so versatile. Make it as spicy as you like, add noodles, dumplings, mushrooms, vegetables, prawns, or anything else you can think of.

Clear Asian Soup Base
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 chilli, finely sliced
1 tsp crushed or finely grated ginger
Lemongrass stalk, finely sliced
1L salt reduced chicken stock
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp palm sugar or firmly packed brown sugar
Fresh coriander

  1. In a large pot, gently fry chilli, garlic, and ginger in sesame oil

  2. Pour in chicken stock and all remaining ingredients, except coriander

  3. After adding in any extra ingredients (noodles, meats, etc), sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Meal-in-One Fried Rice

With the addition of tofu cubes, cooked prawns, diced ham or sliced omelette, this fried rice recipe makes a nutritious and simple dinner. It also works well cold for picnics or BBQ's.

I usually cook this dish using firm, hi-protein tofu and I make sure I dice the vegetables as small as possible. My daughter loves rice and tofu already and doesn't seem to mind the multitude of coloured vegetable bits that accompany her every spoonful. Her dinner is usually polished off very quickly when I serve this.

Meal-in-One Fried Rice
1 cup basmati rice (uncooked)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp ginger, crushed or very finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed or very finely chopped
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 red capsicum, finely diced
1 cob of corn, cooked and kernals removed
1 cup peas
250g firm tofu, diced

  1. Cook the basmati rice in water. Set aside when cooked. Alternatively, use up any leftover steamed rice.

  2. Heat oils in a large pan. Add onion, garlic and ginger, cooking until onion is soft.

  3. Add in sauces, mushrooms and carrots. Cover with lid and simmer until carrot is soft. You may wish to add a few drops of water.

  4. Stir in remaining vegetables and tofu. Cook until heated through.

  5. Stir through rice.