Thursday, April 28, 2011

Apple Cupcakes

Cupcakes are always a special treat for little kids. These ones are just as special but contain two whole apples for extra fibre and nutrition. Top with gorgeous butter icing for parties, or serve as they are for morning tea. They also freeze well.

Apple Cupcakes
2 whole apples, pureed with skin
90g canola margarine, melted
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup SR flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten

  1. Beat eggs with sugar until creamy.
  2. Add pureed apples and vanilla.
  3. Gradually add in flour, alternating with milk. Beat gently until smooth.
  4. Mix in melted margarine.
  5. Pour into paper cupcake cups.
  6. Bake at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Roast Balsamic Vegetable Tart with Paneer

This is a delicious spin on a Sunday roast. Paneer is cheese used in Indian cooking. It has a hard, slightly crumbly texture and tastes a little like cottage cheese.. It is also very low in salt. If you can't find paneer, Feta would also be lovely in this tart, but omit the salt in the dressing.

Roast Balsamic Vegetable Tart with Paneer
2 sheets reduced fat puff pastry
2-4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 Kent pumpkin, peeled and cubed
600g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
5 brown onions, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
200g paneer, diced into large cubes
Bunch basil leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp iodised salt

  1. Place puff pastry sheets flat on two oven trays.
  2. On another tray, place cubed vegetables for roasting and rub through olive oil. Bake in a hot oven until slightly caramelised. Remove from oven and set to the side.
  3. In a saucepan, combine sugar, balsamic vinegar and salt to make dressing. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for a couple of minutes until it begins to turn syrupy.
  4. Pour dressing over hot baked vegetables. Gently stir through paneer and chopped basil. Then scoop vegetable mix out of tray and place carefully within the puff pastry, leaving a 2cm border clear.
  5. Bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and golden. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Carrot and Oat Pancakes

Pressed for time and want a quick and easy vegetable pack snack for the kids. Try these tasty pancakes. Adults will love them too. Suitable for 10 months+.

Carrot and Oat Pancakes
1 red capsicum, cored and roughly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and roughly sliced
1/2 cup oats
4 eggs
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1/2 cup SR flour
3/4 cup peas
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
Cracked black pepper to taste

  1. In a food processer, puree capsicum and capsicum with eggs.
  2. Pour processed vegetables into a large bowl. Combine with remaining ingredients, stirring until well mixed.
  3. Cook spoonfuls of the batter in a hot lightly oiled pan.
  4. Pancakes are delicious served hot or cold.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spinach and Ricotta Tart

A delicious way to get some more green leafy vegetables into your family's diet. Pastry, eggs and cheese make any dish a winner with kids. Suitable for 12 months +.

Spinach and Ricotta Tart
1 sheet reduced fat puff pastry
500g frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
1 onion, finely chopped
500g ricotta
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated cheese (use mozzarella if doing a lower salt version)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Cracked pepper

  1. Line a pie tin or bowl with puff pastry.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all remaining ingredients.
  3. Mix well, and then spread evenly over puff pastry.
  4. Bake at 180 degrees for about 50 minutes or until tart has just set in the centre.
  5. Delicious hot or cold.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Morrocan Roast Vegetable and Chickpea Salad

Make this delicious and nutritious dinner with leftover roast vegetables, or bake them specifically for it. An easy alternative to the Sunday roast.

Go light on the seasoning if you are feeding children. And since unsalted roast vegetables make wonderful finger foods for babies, this dish is perfect for feeding the whole family.

Moroccan Roast Vegetable And Chickpea Salad
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 zucchini, thickly sliced
6 baby potatoes, thickly sliced
500g sweet potato, cut into cubes
3 onions, peeled and quartered
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp Moroccan seasoning mix
50g rocket
1-2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Place potatoes, sweet potato, and onion in oven tray and coat with 1 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 tsp Moroccan spice mix. Bake until cooked and slightly caramelised.
  3. Heat remaining oil in a hot saucepan and fry thick sliced zucchini until just cooked. Season lightly.
  4. Combine roast vegetables, zucchini, chikpeas, rocket, and sweet chilli sauce in a large bowl, mixing gently with a large spoon.
  5. Delicious served warm.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Cherry Tiramisu

For a deliciously different twist on a tiramisu style dessert, add fresh or canned cherries.

For a lower fat version, substitute 250g of the muscarpone for 250g of light ricotta. You won't even notice the difference.

Cherry Tiramisu
800g fresh cherries, pitted
250g savoiardi (sweet sponge finger biscuits)
1 cup esspresso coffee
1 cup marsala
300mL thickened cream, whipped
500g muscarpone
3 tbsp caster sugar
Drinking chocolate
Optional flaked chocolate

  1. Cover the fresh cherries in marsala and leave overnight in the fridge.
  2. Add coffee to the cherries and marsala. Carefully spoon out cherries, leaving liquid in the bowl..
  3. Dip each savoiardi biscuit into the coffee marsala mix before placing in the tiramisu dish. Line the base with half the savoiardi biscuits.
  4. Add a couple more spoonfuls of the coffee marsala.
  5. Spoon over half the cherries.
  6. In a large bowl, fold whippped cream into muscarpone.
  7. Spread half the muscarpone mix over the first layer of cherries.
  8. Sprinkle drinking chocolate over and repeat layers one more time.