Category Archives: lunchboxes

Loverly food: broccoli, fetta and parsley mini scones

173The lovely Reem tweeted Amy and th3litteredhen and me on Saturday asking for some kiddo inclusive baking recipes. By the time I got back to her with ideas (I was at my much loved weekly Pilates session) she’d already made fruit scones and then, of course, I had to make scones too.

We still have a LOT of broccoli to use up and I went savoury cos lunchboxes and two birds with one stone and all that!

Now this recipe is one of my favourite kinds – using lots of good, healthy ingredients that are needing using up from the fridge and it is a one bowl mix situation plus created very few dishes. The kiddos even ate them happily so WIN!

Ingredients

  • 3 cups plain flour – if you want to use wholemeal then please do – they will just need a bit more yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 and a half cups plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 small head broccoli, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup fetta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • salt to taste
  • milk to “wash” the scones with

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix….don’t overmix as scones aren’t very forgiving with that.

Put mix on lightly floured benchtop and gently press the mix down until it’s about 2.5cm thick but truly, this doesn’t matter too much as long as the size you go with is consistent and you adjust cooking time accordingly.

Cut out the scones with an espresso cup or something of that ilk and place on a lined baking tray. When you’ve cut out as many as you can, lightly bring together dough and press it out again.

Brush the scones with a bit of milk – this makes them go a lovely golden brown on top – and bake for around 15 minutes but check at the 10 minute mark to see how they’re faring.

Allow to cool on an cooling rack and place in air tight container. They’ll last a few days in a container but as with all scones will freeze really well too.

 

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Loverly food: Zucchini & ricotta muffins

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Our freezer stocks for lunchboxes is running low so over the next few days I’m concentrating on restocking supplies.  Mr 5 is a fabulous eater and I love having a freezer full of goodies to choose from for his lunches.  He’s really proud of his lunches too and his teacher giggles at how excited he gets about what he’s packed.

Yesterday Mr 2 was really unwell.  He napped for over two hours which he has probably never done in his life.  I think I blocked out the first year of his life as I truly can’t remember if he’s done it previously.  I decided to make him a raw coconut and cacao treat and with all that was on my mind I shoved my finger in the hand held food processor/whizzy thing.  Major cut on my index finger – gory and ick and I cried hugely.  So I’ve been cooking with an injury. Oh woe is me. 🙂  Like small children do though, he got sick quickly and has recovered quickly, waking at 4am for the day and he is very chipper indeed!

To manage some of his energy we’ve been cooking this morning.  He will eat almost anything if he’s helped cook it so there’s method in my madness.

In addition to the muffins we’ve made a batch of oat, quinoa and strawberry breakfast cookies and these chickpea and chocolate biscuits though I held the peanut butter to make them lunchbox friendly.

Anyway, these muffins are really lovely and fluffy, I think the ricotta helps with that.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • half cup milk
  • half cup coconut butter, melted
  • three quarters cup ricotta
  • 3 small zucchini, grated
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped – if coriander isn’t your thing use any herbs you like! And dried is ok too.
  • pepitas to put on top

Method:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. If you would like to use muffin papers line a 12 cup muffin tray with them, if not, grease the muffin tin.

Combine the eggs, ricotta, milk, and coconut butter in a bowl. Grate the zucchini in to the bowl. Place chopped herbs in same bowl.

In a separate large bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder. Make a well in the centre and add the egg mixture. Mix carefully – easier said than done when a toddler is involved. The more you mix it the tougher it’ll be.

Spoon mix in to muffin tins til around 3/4 full, then scatter a few pepitas on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown on top.

This made around 18 muffins for us.

Loverly food: Ricotta, orange and cranberry cake

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I’ve made this cake twice now and it’s a hit with all four of us. So, I thought I better blog it before I forget how I actually did it!!

I LOVE ricotta. It’s actually one of my favourite foods. Yes, I know it’s a bit bland but it’s just so much about what you put it with and it’s very versatile. Plus, I love that once upon a time someone thought to make something so delicious with the “waste product” from making other cheeses.

• half a cup of honey
• 3/4 cup softened butter – you could try with coconut oil if you want though I haven’t yet
• a heaped cup of ricotta cheese – the fresher the better though I don’t recommend you buy the mass produced supermarket stuff it is not at all the same
• 3 eggs
• juice and zest of one orange
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 2 cups plain flour
• half cup dried cranberries (add more if you like)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Cream the honey, butter and ricotta in a bowl – I did mine in my electric mixer but you don’t need to.
When nicely combined – the ricotta will still be lumpy – incorporate one egg at a time.
Add the orange juice, zest and vanilla extract and combine.
Lastly add the flour, baking powder and cranberries and try not to over mix.
Cook in a loaf tin for around 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. A round or square pan may take a bit longer to cook through.
Leave to cool in the tin for around 10 minutes and invert on a cake rack.

I am actually thinking of making this cake in to mini-cakes with some chocolate chips and in it for Easter gifts!

This cake also keeps in the fridge really well in an air tight container.
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Pinspired: mini pretzel bites

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I thought I would start a Friday series based around things I find on Pinterest. Hardly a unique idea I know but I know I have lots of things languishing on the many boards I have happening that I’ve been meaning to try but haven’t got around to!

So this morning Mr 2, who loves nothing more than making a floury mess and using the electric mixer, and I made these mini pretzel bites via the awesomely named, I heart naptime.

The verdict: they’re a bit of a fuss to make with the boiling and rolling etc but the recipe is perfect in terms of quantities. Also, for us who bake in Celsius the oven needs to be set to around 220 degrees.

We all love pretzels at our house and I am going to package them up for after school and 3pm work day snacks. They would totally rock with a cheesey sauce but I’m not going that far!

I would love to know what you’ve found and tried on Pinterest lately. Please do share!!!

Loverly food: Chocolate zucchini, apple and yoghurt cake

croppedLittle Lion is going through a few weeks of super dooper fussy pants eating.  Things he usually eats happily have been declared, “sgusting” (disgusting) and my patience for it is wearing very thin indeed. As I’m not sure how long he can live on home-made muesli and puffed corn I am veggie smuggling.

Most Sunday mornings after breakfast, I do some baking and this morning I thought I’d try my hand a refined sugar free cake using some of the large number of zucchinis we have (pity I can’t make a tomato “cake” cos we have a heck of a lot of those from the garden too!).

It’s a very moist cake indeed and the boys have devoured a row for morning tea.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large apple
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 2 cups flour – I used a combination of rye, wholemeal and plain
  • 1/2 cup cacao – sieve if necessary
  • 1/2 cup plain yoghurt

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius, lightly grease a cake tin of your choice. I used a 22cm square dish.

2. Dice apple and cook until soft – I did mine in the microwave with a dash of water – and squish with the back of a fork or food processor type gadget to make a “sauce”. Frankly, I didn’t want to make too many dishes so I just roughly did it with a fork.

3. Add butter, honey, baking powder, baking soda and vanilla to a large bowl (or in your stand mixer if you like) mixing until a lovely cream has been formed.

4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.

5. Gently fold in flour, zucchini, apple, cacao and yoghurt to the butter mixture. If it isn’t looking quite cake-y enough do feel free to add a little more yoghurt.

6. Pour in to cake tin and bake for around 25 minutes, depending on the size of the tin you use.  When tested, a cake skewer should come out pretty clean.

7. Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then invert to cool on a cake rack.

These are going to be lunchbox fare for Bebito too and despite his initial hesitation – he spied the zucchini straight away – he loved it.

Loverly recipes: Mini carrot pancakes

20140123-140100.jpgOver the last few weeks I’ve been stocking the freezer with lunchbox goodies in anticipation of Mr 5 starting school next week.  His eating regime will be rather different, particularly the times he can eat compared to what he’s used to so I will be very interested to see how it all goes.  My focus has been on healthy, low GI, high protein food.  Ideally, I want things that will appeal to Mr 2 as well so that he eats a healthy diet.  Unlike Mr 5, Mr 2 can be a really fickle eater so it’s him I really struggle with most of all, especially with protein.

As is my usual style, I’ve overthought things – I came up with a master list of foods, in consultation with him, then allocated a “style” of meal – ie. pizza/scroll day is on Tuesday – and made a couple of versions of these types of things for him to choose from. I know from his days at preschool that he was more likely to eat his lunch if he has chosen it himself.

Last night I was playing around on Pinterest and came across these two really yummy looking recipes – carrot cake waffles and  honey and oat pancakes so I combined the idea of both and made up some mini carrot pancakes.  They are delicious and I think will make a perfect recess snack or even for breakfast!

  • 1 cup flour – I used rye flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 large grated carrots
  • half cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup natural Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Mix flour, baking powder, carrots, oats and cinnamon in a bowl.  Add vanilla, eggs, yoghurt, maple syrup to dry ingredients.  Gently fold all ingredients together. It’ll be all lumpy which is a sign it’s going to be DELISH!

Spoon tablespoons of the mixture into a fry pan over a low-medium heat with a little butter melted (I like the taste of pancakes cooked in butter but hey, if super healthy is your thing you could do the coconut oil or whatsoever you prefer). When bubbles form on the top and pop you know it’s ready to turn them over – it should take a couple of minutes for each side to cook them through.

You could add sultanas, coconut, linseeds, chia seeds or anything at all that takes your fancy.

Tuna, quinoa, mint and tahini bites

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I’ve found that making lunchbox items for us all and freezing them one of the most time saving things for the days I’m working. It means a little bit of organising on weekends but it’s worth the effort.

Today I made up these tuna, quinoa & tahini “bites” and they’re really delicious.

Ingredients:
1 x 425gram tin of tuna, drained
1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked as per packet directions and drained really well
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated
4 mushrooms, grated
1 egg
3 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons of chopped mint or other fresh herb of your preference
Semolina to coat (or breadcrumbs) – I used this to ensure they were really crispy which is often what sells something to my Mr 4

Method:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Mix all the ingredients except semolina together. Form into small, tightly packed balls and roll to coat in the semolina.
Place on a lined oven tray and slightly flatten to form patties.
Bake for about 10 minutes until brown. Turn and bake them for another 10 minutes or until brown.

Serve with some salad and some natural yoghurt to dip.

Yum! I promise!