Christmas Leftovers – Quinoa, Vegetable and Fetta Salad & Baby Puree

Like a lot of people, I woke up this morning with a massive food hangover.  Whilst I didn’t really overeat yesterday, the food that I ate was much richer than my normal diet.  Opening the fridge today and seeing all the leftovers just waiting to be devoured over the next few days was enough to make my stomach turn.

As we had quite a few leftover veggies, and I needed to make some more food for baby Aiden, I mixed together our leftovers with some cooked quinoa as well as some feta and seeds in an attempt to return to our healthy eating ways.  It tasted great, and we didn’t need a huge amount to fill us up for lunch (I did leave room for some trifle though!).

Quinoa & Vegetable Salad

 

For Aiden’s puree, I picked out 10 or so baby spinach leaves from the salad mix we had and lightly steamed them, before adding to the quinoa and veggie mix and blitzing for around 20 seconds with a stick mixer.  Our little man loved his lunch – lucky as he will be also having it for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow!

Baby Puree Vegies & Quinoa

 

You can use any leftover veggies that you may have, and you could also add any left over meat (e.g. chicken, turkey).  I used:

Roasted Pumpkin and Sweet Potato (approx 500g)

2 roasted carrots

2 corn cobs (kernals removed)

1 cup of cooked peas

1/2 cup of fetta cheese crumbled

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup pepitas

1 cup of uncooked quinoa

* Cook quinoa as per instructions on packet, add vegetables, seeds and fetta and stir to combine – Serve

To make the baby puree – I steamed approx 10 baby spinach leaves in the microwave for 20 seconds, added to the quinoa and vegetables (no seeds) and blitzed with a stick mixer for approx 20 seconds.

What are you doing with your Christmas leftovers?

 

Carrot, Banana and Coconut Muffins

These muffins are jam packed full of yummy fruit, veggies and seeds and are also quite filling – the perfect snack to stop any over indulging at your next Christmas party!  This recipe is from ‘Wholefoods for Children’ by Jude Belreau. I am LOVING this book, it is full of great recipes not only for babies and kids, but the big kids too!  This recipe made around 24 muffins, so I stashed half of them in the freezer, and they have defrosted really well.

Please don’t be put off by the list of ingredients, these were really quick and easy to make (with a little helper), and you can always substitute regular flour for spelt flour and cow’s milk for coconut milk if you don’t have any. The original recipe also suggested sultanas, but I prefer currants.

Carrot Banana & Coconut Muffins

130g white spelt flour

165g wholemeal spelt flour

90g rapadura sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

45g desiccated coconut

1 teaspoon quinoa flakes

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts roughly chopped

1/4 cup sunflower seeds roughly ground

1/4 cup pepitas roughly ground

1 banana cut into small pieces

1/2 cup rasins

90g unsalted butter melted and cooled

1 egg

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup plain yoghurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line muffin tins with cupcake papers

* Place the flours, sugar, baking powered, cinnamon, coconut, quinoa flakes, nuts and seeds into a bowl and whisk together to combine.

* Add the carrot, banana and currants and mix through

* Place the butter, egg, coconut milk, yoghurt and vanilla in a bowl and mix until it has just combined

* Add to the dry ingredients and mix through until just combined. Let the mixture stand for a couple of minutes to absorb some of the liquid, then spoon into muffin pan.

* Bake for approx 20 – 25 minutes until golden on top and cooked through.

Trail Mix Cookies with Carob and Goji Berries

Once again I started out with the best intentions of following this recipe to the letter, but I just couldn’t stop myself.

We’ve been a bit muesli crazy at our house lately, and instead of making yet another muesli slice I wanted to try something different.  I started with a recipe from Great Family Favourites by The Australian Women’s Weekly for Cruchy Muesli Cookies.  I followed the recipe for the first two ingredients, but then I let myself get carried away.  I did start with good intentions, as I thought the amount of caster sugar seemed too much and it just went from there.

I may have gone a bit overboard with the amount of ingredients I added, I was a bit worried when I was rolling the mixture into balls that they just wouldn’t hold together, but luckily they managed to hold themselves together.

I really enjoyed these, and they reminded me a little of the breakfast bars I made a little while ago.  The boys also enjoyed them too, luckily I wrote down what I was putting in them as I went so they can be made again!  Enjoy xx

Trail Mix Cookies with Carob & Goji Berries

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup spelt flour

1/2 cup caster sugar – I think you could get away with reducing this even further, or omitting completely.

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons raw carob powder

250g of trail mix (or you could use any combination of nuts/fruit that you have)

2 tablespoons goji berries

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 tablespoons shredded coconut

1 tablespoon wheatgerm

125g butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 tablespoon boiling water

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees & cover two oven trays with baking paper

* Combine all dry ingredients (except bicarb soda) in a large bowl

* Melt butter with golden syrup in a small saucepan over a low heat.  Add combined bicarb soda and boiling water mixture.  Pour into dry ingredients and mix until well combined

* Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls & place onto trays, allowing approx 4cm space between balls.  Flatten the balls slightly with your hand/back of a spoon

* Check biscuits at 15 minutes – they should be starting to brown on the edges. You can cook for longer if you prefer a super crunchy cookie.

* Leave to cool on trays for 10 minutes before transferring to rack

Pear, Goji Berry and Almond Loaf

After making a couple of purchases from the Maggie Beer stand at the Good Food and Wine show over the weekend, I was super keen to use the dried Duchess Pears that I had bought.

I was initially thinking of making a muesli slice, and just adding the pear to it. After opening the pack and smelling their delicious sweet scent, I knew I needed to make them the star of the dish (OMG I sound like a Masterchef judge with that comment!).

Searching on the Lifestyle Food website, I came across a Bill Granger recipe for Apple, Dried Cherry and Almond Loaf (from his ‘Every Day’ book) that I thought I could adapt.  Whilst I was confident the Pears alone would give enough flavour to the loaf, I wanted to add a little something extra. It was a decision between Goji Berries and Cranberries and I’m very happy with the decision I made!

This is soooo good...

This is soooo good…

50g rolled oats

300ml milk

240g self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

180g dried pears (original recipe is 125g dried cherries and 50g diced dried apple)

75g brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons honey

1 lightly beaten egg

3 tablespoons of roughly chopped almonds & additional 1 tablespoons of extra chopped almonds

* Place oats in a bowl with milk and soak for 30 minutes

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease and line a loaf tin

* Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, stir in rolled oats mixture, dried fruit, sugar, cinnamon, honey, egg and almonds

* Spoon into tin, level the top and sprinkle extra almonds over the mixture.

* Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack.

Banana and Blueberry Muffins

In our household milk and bananas seem to disappear into thin air, and every couple of days we need to re-stock.  Somehow a couple of bananas slipped through the cracks and had began to die a slow and smelly death in the fruit bowl.  Looking for a new inspiration, I was flicking through Donna Hay’s Fast and Fresh and decided to adapt her basic muffin recipe.

In an attempt to make these healthier, I decided to cut out the sugar completely and I replaced it with 1/2 a cup of malted rice syrup and omitted the extra honey.  I then added blueberries for some extra sweetness.  To boost the protein content, I added rolled oats, wheat germ, LSA and chia.

Scott wasn’t very impressed with these – he complained they weren’t sweet enough,  I quite liked them though, yes they lacked some sweetness, but I still enjoyed the flavours – and Liam? Well as usual, he was more than happy to be a taste tester and loved them.

I think some further modifications are needed, next time I will use a sugar substitute like stevia in place of the brown sugar, and the malted rice syrup in place of the honey..

Yum!

Yum!

2 Cups plain wholemeal flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup raw sugar (substituted with 1/2 cup of Malted Rice Syrup)

2 tablespoons honey (omitted)

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1/4 cups vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 mashed bananas

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/8 cup LSA

1/4 cup rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees

* Place the flour, baking powder and sugar (if using) in a bowl and mix to combine

* In a separate bowl, mix together the honey, egg, buttermilk, oil, vanilla (and malted rice syrup if using)

* Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined

* If using, stir through the fruit and other

Breakfast Bars

Don’t let the name fool you, although this recipe is called ‘Breakfast Bars’ (from the lovely Donna Hay), I dare you to try to resist these throughout the day!  Instead of making the muesli slab into bars, I cut it into small slices, which are perfect for morning tea.

I couldn’t resist adding to the original recipe, I used it more as a base to start from and then added various ingredients we had in the pantry.  I added the honey as due to the extra ingredients I had added, I felt it needed a bit more help to bind together.

I LOVE these, even Scott and Liam were also impressed.  Liam even swiped a piece whilst I was taking photos of the slice and I found him sitting back on the couch quite happy with himself.  After cutting the slice, there was a bit of leftovers on the baking paper – these were awesome mixed with vanilla yoghurt and strawberries!  I’m now thinking of even making this combination up as a muesli mix.

Enjoying afternoon tea

Enjoying afternoon tea

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup flaked almonds (I used blanched almonds)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup quinoa flakes

2 tablespoons wheat germ

2/3 cup plain whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup dried cranberries

I also added:

Replaced 1 cup of dried cranberries with 1/4 cup goji berries and 3/4 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons coconut

2 tablespoons LSA mix

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/4 cup pepitas

1/4 cup honey/or honey substitute if you would prefer

* Preheat oven to 160 degrees

* Place oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, quinoa (and pepitas if using) on a tray lined with baking paper and bake for around 10 minutes until golden

* Place the wheat germ, flour, baking powder, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and stir to combine (add coconut, LSA mix and chia seeds also if using)

* Add the oil, egg, honey (if using) and vanilla and stir until smooth

* Add the oat mixture and the cranberry/goji berry mixture and stir to combine

* Spoon mixture into a slice tin lined with baking paper and push down using the back of a spoon. Bake in over for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown.

* Cool in tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a rack to cool further, then cut into bars/slices and enjoy!

breakfast muesli bar

 

Linking up with the Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays

Protein Balls

Contrary to popular belief, not everything I make is unhealthy.  These protein balls are super quick to make, use up whatever you have in your pantry, and are a great snack to satisfy your sweet tooth – Scott even mistakes these for rum balls!

I came across the idea, whilst Aiden was in NICU and one of his nurses bought some in for me to try.  I normally don’t measure any of the ingredients I put in, however below is what went into my latest batch. I tried a friends version this week, she adds acai berries and cocoa powder which gave them a great flavour.

protein balls copy

300g pitted dates

1/4 cup LSA mix

2 tablespoons hazlenut meal

1/4 cup coconut + extra for rolling

2 tablespoons  black chia seeds

100g walnuts

50g blanched almonds – toasted

50g brazil nuts

What's rattling around in my pantry this week

What’s rattling around in my pantry this week

* Soak dates in boiling water for 20minutes until soft , then drain excess water

* In a bowl, combine dates, LSA mix, hazlenut meal and coconut. Using a stick blender, blitz until dates reach desired consistency (I like the dates to still have some shape to them, it’s up to you though!)

* Add chia seeds, walnuts, almonds and brazil nuts and blitz until nuts are in smaller pieces – don’t worry, even though it doesn’t look very appealing, they do taste great!

date balls 1 copy

* Roll tablespoon sized balls in coconut and then pop into the fridge to set.