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Posts Tagged ‘healthy’

Gwyneth Paltrow CookiesI’m a little ambivalent about Gwyneth Paltrow, but I’m really starting to love her mum. These gorgeous cookies are a creation of Gwyneth Paltow’s mother and they feature in her cookbook My Father’s Daughter. They’re all the the things you would expect of a Gwyneth Paltrow recipe…sugar free, nutritious and healthy, but what suprised me was that they actually tasted like real cookies! So many sugar free recipes have a strange texture and taste, but these are just lovely.

The recipe is everywhere online if you google Lalo’s Cookies. I quarter the recipe because there’s no need for such a huge quantity of biscuits in my house, and they do start to soften after a day and lose their crunchiness. I am very fortunate to be in supply of lovely homemade jam from an aunty so I use real jam in the recipe which makes them extra special. I think little carob buds would be great also.

Lalo’s Cookies (Recipe Quartered)

Ingredients

1 cup barley flour
3/4 cup raw whole almonds crushed in a food processor (about ten 2-second pulses)
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup real maple syrup
Your favourite jam

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  • Combine all the ingredients except for the jam together in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.
  • Form into tablespoonful balls and space them evenly on cookie sheets.
  • Using your index finger, make an indent in each cookie. Fill each indent with a small spoonful of jam.
  • Bake until the cookies are evenly browned, about 15 or so minutes.
  • Let cool before eating.

Lalo Collage

 

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Carrot and Apple Ice BlocksSeveral years ago I attended the Newtown festival on an incrediblly hot day and was blown away by a stall selling 100% pure fruit ice blocks. I immediately went home to experiment with my own version. After a little trial and error I realised that the secret to making a good ice block was to create a mixture that doesn’t ‘separate’ as freshly juiced fruit is prone to do. The trick I came up with was to puree the fruit to mix with vegetable juice. This ‘fluffs’ up the mixture and creates lovely even ice blocks. With the warmer weather upon us, I thought I’d share my simple instructions for homemade ice blocks. These are pure wholesome goodness and the kids love them. The only drawback is the amount of equipment you need in comparison to your available bench space, but it’s well worth the time and mess to stock your freezer for summer.

Carrot and Apple Ice Block CollageEquipment Needed

Juicer

Steamer set

Food Processor

Ice Block Moulds (these are a few dollars in K-mart or discount variety stores)

Ingredients

2-3 Carrots

4-6 Apples

1/4 cup of water

Instructions

1) Peel and chop apples.

2) Steam apple pieces on stove-top until soft (approx 15 minutes)

3) Place apple pieces in a food processor and blitz until thick and smooth. Set aside.

4) Juice carrots.

5) Combine pureed apple with carrot juice. Add water to dilute a little.

6) Pour into ice block moulds and freeze.

Makes approx 6-8 ice blocks depending on the size of your moulds.

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Baked Mushroom1

There’s a wonderful quote from food writer Micheal Pollan: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants”. These past few months I have been trying to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my life. I find meat to be quite filling, so the challenge has been finding ‘hearty’ vegetarian options that are not too overloaded with carbohydrates. Mushrooms and cheese seem to fit the bill quite nicely. It’s hard to classify this little number…perhaps because it’s not quite substantial enough for a meal. I like to think of it as a wonderful entree preceding the starring vegetarian main or a moreish snack. I’ve made it a dozen times now and each time I love it more than the next. Recipe adapted from here.

Baked Mushrooms with Blue Cheese

Ingredients

4 large field mushrooms (stems removed)

150g blue cheese

Handful of crumbled/lightly crushed walnuts

1 small chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped

1 brown onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

A large sprig of rosemary, finely chopped

Baby spinach leaves for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Lightly fry onion in a small saucepan. Add garlic, chilli and rosemary till aromatic. Remove from heat.
  3. Add blue cheese and crumbled walnuts to the onion mixture in the pan and mix together to form a lumpy paste.
  4. Spoon mixture evenly into mushroom cups and smooth down.
  5. Place mushrooms on a tray with baking paper and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes in the oven.
  6. Serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves. This cuts through the richness of the cheese and catches all those wonderful mushroom juices.

Baked Mushroom4

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Homemade PastaWe’ve been tinkering around with a pasta maker we were given a few Christmases ago. There’s loads of tutorials on the internet so I don’t really have anything to add here. Except that I’ve learned kneading wholemeal pasta is a bit like learning to drive a manual vehicle before an automatic. Once you can knead wholemeal dough…the white dough’s a piece of cake. I mean, this baby is TOUGH. Prepare yourself for a workout. Wholemeal pasta also tastes better and makes you feel smug. My husband is pictured below kneading white ’00’ flour which is very finely milled…oh what a breeze. Kneading Dough

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I have a fussy toddler with a very discerning vegie-detecting palette. Consequently I’ve become quite skilled at hiding vegetables in his meals.  These homemade sausage rolls have lots of vegies in them and are so delicious that they feel like a naughty treat.  The mixture freezes beautifully, so it’s easy to wrap any leftovers and have an emergency stash in the freezer.

Healthy Sausage Rolls

Ingredients

500g lean, premium or heart smart beef mince
Puff pastry sheets (I use 25% reduced fat Pampas puff pastry. As a guide, one sheet makes 6-8 small sausage rolls.)
1 brown onion, finely diced
A mix of fresh vegetables (ie 1 carrot, 1 zucchini, 1 capsicum and a few green beans)
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
Herbs and seasoning (I use oregano, salt and pepper)
1 egg (to glaze the puff pastry)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Lay out several sheets of puff pastry to defrost on the benchtop, then cut in half.
  3. Cut all vegetables into small pieces then blitz in the food processor. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate and/or finely dice the vegies).
  4. Place beef mince, bread crumbs, onion, diced vegies, tomato sauce and seasoning into a bowl and mix thoroughly (using your hands is best!)
  5. Shape the mince mixture into a long tube shape and place along the centre of the puff pastry.  Fold puff pastry over so the mince mixture is completely covered.
  6. Beat egg lightly then brush over the top of the puff pastry.
  7. Cut the sausage roll tubes into desired size and place onto an oven tray that is lined with baking paper.
  8. Bake in oven for approximately 20 – 30 minutes or until sausage rolls are golden brown.
  9. Roll any leftover mince mixture into long tube shapes and wrap individually in gladwrap to freeze.  This will make defrosting and preparing your sausage rolls next time quick and easy.

Enjoy!

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