Author Archives: Hungry Hungry Hippies

Little People: Cooking for Kids

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While I like the idea of having a family dinner time, it’s not really practical for our family at the moment. My kids are young and like to be in bed between 6.30-7pm, they still get messy enough at dinner to need a bath afterwards, and my husband isn’t generally home from work until around 6pm. So, for the moment, the kids have dinner around 5pm and my husband and I eat later. For the kids I often heat up some of our leftover dinner from the night before or serve a portion of our dinner to them and keep it warm for us to eat later.

Although I always serve vegetables with their dinner, I do often ‘hide’ pureed vegetables in the meal too. I still have a stockpile of frozen veggie puree cubes in the freezer so they’re easy to add. Curries are great for hiding veggies in, and I add pureed cauliflower to bechamel cheese sauce. Finely grated vegetables are also a great addition to many meals – I use a microplane grater to get really fine shavings of vegetables. I mix microplaned carrot and zucchini to tomato paste, dried italian herbs and seasoning for use on pizzas and pizza scrolls. I also add them to the pot when cooking my asian 2 minute noodles.

Asian 2 minute noodles

The other night I was cooking chicken and leek pie for dinner. This dish is delicious but when I serve it to the kids as leftovers it ends up looking a bit like mush! I don’t have a microwave so generally reheat it on the stove and have to mix everything together. Feeling inspired I cooked up the sauce in the TMX with the chicken steaming on top (one of my daughter’s mostly eats vegetarian food so I often keep the meat separate). I top the pie with feta and filo pastry then bake in the oven for dinner, but to serve early for the kids I decided to bake some puff pastry ‘pie tops’. I just used frozen puff pastry, cut circles with a large cookie cutter, placed on a lined tray, brushed with egg and baked for 12-15 min at 200C. I served the pie filling in the kids bowls, let them add their own feta and chicken, then popped a pie top on. It was a huge hit. My general rule is that the kids have to clean their bowl before they get another serving with another pie top. I use the same rule for soup and bread – clean your bowl before getting more bread. It usually works well but can end with tantrums so be prepared to stand your ground!

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Of course, I don’t have the time and energy to make little pie toppers and the like every night, but it is fun from time to time. I try to have a few quick kids meal options on hand too for those nights when you come in late and need a fast, nutritious dinner. Some ideas include having frozen pasta sauce in the freezer, I always have my winning pasta sauce and bechamel sauce frozen in cubes ready to use. Asian 2 minute noodles are really quick and easy. Of course you can’t go past eggs on toast for dinner either. Another quick and delicious recipe is Quirky Cooking’s Baked Beans – so good you’ll be wanting them for dinner too. I often save leftover mash to go with these beans. I also try to have mini frittatas or quiches in the freezer – you can pop these on a baking tray and heat under the grill to make a yummy dinner. Last, but not least, pesto of any kind is great to have frozen or in a jar to mix through pasta or spread on flat bread, sprinkle with cheese and bake like pizza.

Well, hopefully I’ve given you a few ideas. All the recipes I post on this blog are things I cook for my family, and  most of my kids eat most of the dishes! Hope yours like them too 🙂

Homemade: Maple Cinnamon Scrolls

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Maple Cinnamon Scrolls

 

Since posting this pic on my personal Instagram feed a few weeks ago I have been inundated with requests to post the recipe. Finally I’ve found time to get back to my blog. Brace yourselves, this recipe is unbelievably good. My SIL made these with my kids in our last school holidays cooking day (so much fun!). The dough proved to be quite resilient to being kneaded and rolled out by little people.

The original recipe comes from Taste of Home and has instructions for making the dough in a bread maker. I’ve written the recipe below for TMX. If you don’t have a TMX or breadmaker, I would imagine you could mix the dough ingredients together well and knead by hand for 5min before leaving to prove, however I haven’t tried this. The filling and icing can easily be mixed by hand or in an electric mixer.The dough takes 2 hours to prove so start ahead of time.

These scrolls are best enjoyed warm from the oven. I hope you enjoy them.

Ingredients

Dough

  • 150g milk
  • 100g maple syrup
  • 80g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp salt
  • 500g white baker’s flour
  • 2tsp dry yeast

Cinnamon Filling

  • 100g brown sugar
  • 30g plain flour
  • 4tsp ground cinnamon
  • 90g cold butter

Icing

  • 70g maple syrup
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 45g butter
  • 2tsp milk

Method

  1. Add all dough ingredients to the TMX in the order listed
  2. Mix 7 sec, Sp 5
  3. Knead 2min 30sec
  4. Place dough in a large bowl, in a warm spot and cover with a tea towel. Allow to prove for 2 hours.
  5. Pre heat oven to 190C
  6. Divide proved dough into  equal portions and roll each into a rectangle approx 30cm x 18cm
  7. If you’re making your own icing sugar, place raw sugar in the TMX and blitz 20sec, Sp 9, then set aside
  8. Place all cinnamon filling ingredients in TMX and mix 20sec, Sp 4
  9. Spread half the cinnamon filling onto each rectangle of dough
  10. Roll dough from long side to form a log, then slice into 12 slices (so you end up with 24 scrolls)
  11. Place the scrolls cut side down in a greased pyrex dish or tin, just touching each other
  12. Cover with a tea towel and allow to prove for a further 20min
  13. Bake for 20-25min until golden brown
  14. While baking combine icing ingredients in TMX and mix 20sec, Sp 4
  15. Spread the icing over the warm rolls when they come out of the oven and enjoy

Spread cinnamon fillingRolling the scrollsCutting the scrolls Place in lined pyrex dish

 

 

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Healthy Apple Crumble

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Apple Crumble is one of my all time favourite deserts. I was visiting my friend K recently and she served me this delicious, healthy apple crumble from Wholefood Simply. What a fantastic recipe and what a great blog! I’m really enjoying looking through the recipes and deciding which ones to try making myself. Inspired, I have made my own version of a healthy apple crumble and it is so good. I made this for the kids to have when they got home from school and they absolutely devoured it. You can serve it on it’s own, with homemade custard or natural pot-set yogurt.

Healthy Apple Crumble

Ingredients

  • 4 granny smith apples, quartered (peeling optional)
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 90g walnuts
  • 50g rolled oats plus an extra 2tbs rolled oats set aside
  • 60g butter or solid coconut oil, cubed
  • 1/4 tsp salt (I prefer pink salt)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 20g rapadura

TMX Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 180C
  2. Place apples, lemon juice and vanilla seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla pod in TMX
  3. Chop 5 sec, Sp 4
  4. Tip chopped apple into baking dish (I use a 1L pyrex dish)
  5. Place walnuts, oats, butter or coconut oil, salt, cinnamon, rapadura and vanilla from other 1/2 pod in TMX
  6. Mix  3-5 sec, Sp 6
  7. Pour crumble over apple mixture
  8. Ingredients should come together like a crumble mix. If you blitz too much it will become more of a paste. Either way it will still work out fine. Just pour or spread crumble mix over the apple as best you can
  9. Sprinkle 2tbs rolled oats over finished crumble
  10. Bake 30mins

Non-TMX Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 180C
  2. Dice apples into small pieces or pulse in food processor until chopped
  3. Mix through lemon juice and vanilla seeds scraped from 1/2 vanilla pod by hand
  4. Tip chopped apple into baking dish (I use a 1L pyrex dish)
  5. Place walnuts, oats, butter or coconut oil, salt, cinnamon, rapadura and vanilla from other 1/2 pod in food processor and pulse to a crumble consistency
  6. If you don’t have a food processor, chop walnuts by hand and mix with other ingredients until you have a crumble consistency. You may need to rub the butter or coconut oil in with your fingers
  7. Pour crumble over apple mixture
  8. Ingredients should come together like a crumble mix. If you blitz too much it will become more of a paste. Either way it will still work out fine. Just pour or spread crumble mix over the apple as best you can.
  9. Sprinkle 2tbs rolled oats over finished crumble
  10. Bake 30mins

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Easy Peasy Healthy Ice Creams

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Nothing makes my kids happier than when I offer them ice cream for afternoon tea! It is so easy to have your own healthy ice creams in the freezer and ready to go. Here are 2 of my (and my kids!) favourite recipes.

Green Ice Cream

 

Green Ice Cream

My friend K passed this recipe onto me. It is really yummy, healthy and filling for little tummies (good for mums and dads too!). My kids aren’t big fans of avocado so this is a great way for them to enjoy eating it.

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 bananas (the riper the banana, the stronger the banana flavour)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 4 tbs natural pot set yogurt

Place all ingredients in TMX or food processor. Blitz until smooth. Pour into moulds. Freeze & enjoy.

You can add 1-2tsp of cacao or cocoa to make chocolate ice creams

Pink Ice Cream

Mix together and pour into moulds. Freeze & enjoy.

Use any homemade jam, berry sauce or pureed fruit to make these different flavours and colours.

Homemade: Spinach & Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

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Last Christmas I received Alyce Alexandra‘s cookbook ‘Quick Fix in the Thermomix’ as a gift from my family and I love it! The cookbook is beautiful to read with stunning photography and food styling throughout, and all of the recipes I’ve tried so far have been delicious. Alyce is a self-taught cook who grew up in a Thermomix household. She now has several cookbooks out, including her most recent ‘Quick Fix: For Every Occasion’ (which is on my wish list!). 

You can access some of Alyce’s free recipes by subscribing to her online newsletter for free.  At the moment the selection of free recipes includes Cranberry and Hazelnut Crackers, Chewy Tropical Oat Bars, Blueberry & Mint Smoothies, Chickpea & Chorizo Stew, Saffron Mussel Risotto, Middle Eastern Chicken Salad and more. You can see why I like this site!

I’m going to share Alyce’s Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Pesto recipe here today. It is so incredibly delicious. Great as a dip, spread on flat bread pizzas, cooked into pizza scrolls, stirred into beaten egg and cooked into mini frittatas, tossed through pasta or any other way you can think to use it.

My kids absolutely love this pesto. It makes a super-quick dinner stirred through cooked pasta. Additionally I often pop it in their lunch boxes with some crackers or veggie sticks. If your school is nut-free like ours, just be sure to omit the pine nuts from the recipe.

Spinach & Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Ingredients

  • 100g parmesan cheese
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 60g olive oil
  • 300g semi sun dried tomatoes
  • 50g raw baby spinach
  • Handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 50g toasted pine nuts
  • Salt to taste

Method

  1. Place cubed parmesan in TMX and grate 5 sec, Sp 9 and set aside
  2. Place garlic cloves in TMX and chop 5 sec, Sp 5, then scrape down TMX bowl
  3. Add olive oil and sauté 6 min, 100C, Sp 1
  4. Add tomatoes, spinach, basil, pine nuts, parmesan and salt
  5. Chop 4 sec, Sp 6
  6. Transfer to a clean jar and store in the fridge (ideally wash jar in hot, soapy water and dry with a clean tea towel or wash in dishwasher)
  7. Lasts 2-3 weeks in fridge

Please note that I have posted this recipe and recommendation for Alyce Alexandra’s website and cook books solely of my own volition and without receiving remuneration of any type.

Long time no blog!

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My goodness! I can’t believe I haven’t managed to sit down and blog since the start of November! I’ve had a bit of an extended Christmas break. Finally catching my breath and getting back to sharing recipes with you all. In the meantime, if you have kids starting back to school soon check out my lunch box sneak peeks for some inspiration. Lots of easy, healthy recipes that freeze well and taste great.

Homemade: Mulberry Jam

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If you are lucky enough to have a mulberry tree in your backyard (or in my case, in my friend’s yard!) then take some time to make this scrumptious mulberry jam and preserve some of the lovely fruit. My friend, F, and I had a great morning making this mulberry jam – check out her Mulberry Mayhem on Tumblr if you need more mulberry recipe inspiration.

Second batch of mulberry jam in the TMX Cooked mulberry jam in TMX Mulberry Jam

Ingredients

 Makes 500-600g jam (1-2 jars worth)

  • 500-600g fresh mulberries
  • 300g sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 green apples, pips removed and sliced roughly with skin on

Thermomix Method

  1. Place all ingredients in TMX and cook on Varoma, 35 min, Sp 1 with simmering basket on top of lid instead of MC
  2. Check the consistency of the jam by placing a spoonful of jam on a cold plate; if it wrinkles when pushed the jam is ready
  3. If not cooked, cook on Varoma for a further 5 min, Sp 1 and check again. Repeat until desired consistency is reached
  4. Place MC in lid and blitz 10 sec, Sp 9
  5. Spoon into sterilised jars and seal while hot

Homemade: Tomato Sauce

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Since making this tomato sauce for my family, we have been unable to go back to sauce from the supermarket. This recipe makes a tasty, thick tomato sauce that has a very mild spiciness. Of my 3 kids, one loved it immediately, one loved it once I convinced him to try it and one loved it on her second tasting. I love that it is so much better for the kids (and us) than processed sauce from the supermarket, it contains no additives or preservatives, and it even contains vegetables!

Tomato Sauce

The recipe is from the TMX recipe community.

Ingredients

This sauce does stain the thermomix lid and basket, but this resolves within a few regular washes in hot, soapy water.

  • 1000 g tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 180 g red capsicum, roughly chopped
  • 130 g red onion, roughly chopped
  •  2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 100 g red wine vinegar (used in 2 x 50g portions)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 20 mustard seeds
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh if possible
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon pink salt
  • 100 g honey

Method

Makes approx 800ml sauce 

  1. Place roughly chopped tomatoes, red capsicum, red onions, garlic cloves and 50g of red wine vinegar into TMX bowl and chop 5 Sec, Speed 7
  2. Cook 40 min, Varoma, Sp 2. Place simmering basket on top of lid to prevent splattering.
  3. Add remaining 50g red wine vinegar, bay leaf, spices, salt and honey. Cook 20 min, Varoma, Sp 2 with simmering basket in place again.
  4. Insert MC and blitz 1 min, Sp 10
  5. Transfer into sterilised jars. Keeps up to 6 months in the fridge.

Sterilising Jars

Recycle used jars or buy new glass jars for your preserve. Wash the jars and lids thoroughly in hot soapy water, rinse well and air dry. Alternately wash them in the dishwasher. Then place clean jars on a clean tray in the oven at 100C and allow to dry out for 15 min. Pour hot preserve into hot, sterilised jars and seal with lids immediately. As the preserve and jar cools the lid will be pulled in to form a seal. The lid of the jar will ‘pop’ when opened. You can also purchase plastic film seals for your jars that go over the jar before the lid is put on. I’m sure you can buy them elsewhere but I get these ones from Coles ($1.83 for a 24 pack). They are handy if your jars have been reused numerous times and the lids are getting worn.

 

Homemade: Strawberry Lemonade

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I made this strawberry lemonade today for my Goddaughters 1st Birthday Party. Such a nice twist on the usual lemonade, and quick & easy to make. It turns out an absolutely gorgeous pink colour too! I’ll remember to take a photo next time I make it.

Ingredients

  • 2 lemons (washed, ends sliced off, then quartered with skin on)
  • 100g strawberries (approx 8 strawberries)
  • 100g raw sugar
  • 1000g water (still or sparkling)

Method

  1. Weigh sugar into TMX and blitz 5 sec, Sp 9
  2. Add lemons, strawberries and 500g water
  3. Pulse on Turbo 3-4 times (closed lid position)
  4. Add 500g water
  5. Strain through TMX basket or sieve into jug