Noah, my 13 month old son, used to be quite a good eater but a few weeks ago he decided to become very difficult when it comes to eating lunch and dinner. Breakfast is fine, he always seems very happy about feeding himself and is very impatient if my preparation takes too long (don’t ask me why…he still gets a bottle at 11 pm, the so called “dream-feed”, and I breastfeed him as soon as he wakes up in the morning…so he shouldn’t be hungry at all). I have no idea why he is such a fussy eater at the moment and it really upsets me that so much lovingly prepared food ends up in the bin. Anyway, I’m not giving up on him being a better eater and I just keep on doing what I’m doing. I hope it’s just a phase….
This chicken coconut curry I cooked yesterday was quite successful. I think adding peas was the winner. He loves peas. Actually he loves everything that is round, little and colourful. His favourite fruits are blueberries. If you put a bowl of different fruits in front of him, he would always go for blueberries first and not until there’s no more of them left will he then go for other fruits.
He didn’t eat the whole plate but I managed to feed him more than half of it while he was enjoying picking out every single pea with his chubby little fingers.
Ingredients: ( Serves 2-3 )
- 1/2 a chicken breast, poached and finely sliced (if it’s for your toddler)
- 1 cup rice, cooked
- 1/2 a onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 cup broccoli
- 1 cup peas, defrosted
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 a tin coconut cream
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp mild curry powder
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste (you can also serve it without s/p)
- Start by heating the oil in a large sauce pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft or lightly golden.
- Add the chicken, curry powder, carrot, water and coconut cream and bring to the boil. Then reduce heat and let cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add the broccoli and cook for another few minutes until broccoli is tender.
- Add peas and coriander just 2-3 minutes before serving.
- Serve with rice.
For me, as a European, it’s really weird to have winter in summer. I mean, May, June, July, August used to be my favourite months of the year as they were warm, sunny and full of happy times at the lakes, or trips to exciting new places by the sea.
Now, that I live in Australia, it’s the opposite. We have winter now. Not that I would call it that…it’s more like autumn in Austria. All the frangipani trees have lost their leaves or are still loosing them, and the beach is almost empty, except for a bunch of surfers who don’t mind the cold outside – the water is still nice as my hubby would say… When I say cold I mean around 10-20°C…that’s what the Aussies call winter. There is no snow or foggy days, no, there is sunshine, lot’s of sunshine and sometimes a few rainy days and wind. The problem is that as soon as the sun goes down it gets cold and the nights, I tell you, they can be a bit chilly. The houses are not built for this time of the year–don’t ask me why…I have no idea! They don’t have central heating like almost all of the houses in Europe have and their windows are thin…omg they are really thin.
Anyway, it’s beautiful here and it’s nice that Bondi Beach is empty and quiet for a few months of the year.
Now, I looove to eat salad, nothing better than a fresh & healthy bowl full of vitamins and nutrients on a warm sunny day. But what if it’s cold and rainy and you feel more like a warm, filling dish but still craving the sourness and freshness of a salad? That’s when my warm pumpkin salad is the perfect choice for you!
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
- 1 small hokkaido pumpkin, pitted and cut into pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, pitted and cut into slices
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 handful of cocktail tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped and roasted
- 1 block of feta cheese (or goats cheese), crumbled
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced
- 3 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
- olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the pumpkin, carrots and bell pepper on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast veggies for about 25 minutes or until tender
- Meanwhile heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, add the pumpkin seeds, walnuts and garlic and cook until golden.
- Transfer the roasted veggies, tomatoes and feta cheese to a bowl, add the lemon juice, a bit of olive oil, and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly until well combined.
- Serve with the roasted nuts and seeds on top.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF PUMPKIN:
- Weight loss (Pumpkin is rich in fiber, which slows digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer)
- Low calorie (Pumpkin may be filling, but it’s also a low-calorie superstar)
- Sharper vision (good source of beta-carotene which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is essential for eye health)
- Better immunity (Vitamin A also helps your body fight infections, viruses and infectious diseases. Pumpkin oil helps fight various bacterial and fungal infections. Vitamin C may help you recover from colds faster)
- Younger looking skin (beta-carotene helps protect us from the sun’s wrinkle causing UV rays)
- Lower cancer risk (Research shows people who eat a beta-carotene-rich diet may have lower risk of some types of cancer, including prostate and lung cancer. Vitamins A and C are both antioxidants, and they act as a shield for your cells against cancer-causing free radicals)
- It may help treat diabetes (In scientific tests, pumpkin has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels, improve glucose tolerance and increase the amount of insulin the body produces)
Winter’s here! Yesterday was really wet and cold in Sydney, so I thought it would be nice to have a warming hot soup for dinner. I bought green split peas a few days ago and our fridge was full of veggies so I decided to make a big pot of veggie split pea soup. Soups are not everyone’s favorite but I’m a big fan of soup. They are super easy and quick to make and they warm you from the inside out. Nothing better on a cold winter’s day….especially when you have a little toddler at home who needs your full attention and is a difficult eater at dinner time, it’s nice to not have to worry about the soup slowly cooking on the stove.
Although often made with a ham bone, my version of split pea soup is so hearty and heart healthy you won’t miss the meat. Serve with thick slices of rustic bread.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
- 1 potato, chopped
- 2 cups of green split peas, rinsed
- 7 cups of hot water (or stock)
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until softened.
- Stir in vegetables and sauté for a few minutes. Then add peas, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper and bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat so liquid is simmering. Cook until peas are tender, about 1 to 1¼ hours.
- Serve with thick slices of rustic bread (if desired).
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DRIED PEAS:
Dried peas, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only can dried peas help lower cholesterol, they are also of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.
Fiber is far from all that dried peas have to offer. Dried peas also provide good to excellent amounts of five important minerals, three B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. As if this weren’t enough, dried peas also feature isoflavones (notablydaidzein). Isoflavones are phytonutrients that can act like weak estrogens in the body and whose dietary consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of certain health conditions, including breast and prostate cancer.
– 1/2 cauliflower, floreted
– 3 tbsp coconut oil
– 1 garlic clove, finely diced
– 3 cups water
– 1 tbsp turmeric
– 1 tbsp ginger
– 1 tbsp fresh chilli, chopped
– 1 can coconut cream
– sea salt and pepper to taste
– 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
– 1 cup zucchinis, chopped
– 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Coat cauliflower in a couple of tbsp of coconut oil and roast for 20-30 minutes or until lightly golden.
3. Heat remaining oil in a large sauce pan over a medium heat.
4. Add garlic and sauté until golden.
5. Add water, roasted cauliflower, herbs and spices. Bring to the boil then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
6. Meanwhile heat oil in a pan, add mushrooms and zucchinis and sauté until golden.
7. Remove the cauliflower mix from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
8. Blend until smooth and return to pan, add coconut cream and heat slowly until hot.
9. Serve in a bowl with quinoa, mushrooms and zucchinis on top.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CAULIFLOWER
— very low in calories (26 calories/100g)
— rich in health-benefiting antioxidants and vitamins
— low in fat and cholesterol
— florets contain about 2 g of dietary fiber per 100 g
— contains several anti-cancer phyto-chemicals
— immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent
— excellent source of vitamin C
— contains good amounts of many vital B-complex groups of vitamins
- 2 large oranges, washed
- 250 g almond meal
- 6 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 200 ml rice malt syrup
- zest of 1 lime
- 4 stalks of rhubarb, washed and cut in 5 cm pieces
- 1 tbsp coconut flour, to sprinkle on top
- Place the oranges in a large sauce pan full of warm water and boil until the oranges are tender, about 1,5 hours.
- Drain the oranges and cool slightly before roughly slicing. Put them in a large food processor and process until smooth.
- Add the remaining ingredients except for the rhubarb and process until just combined.
- Pour the mixture into a greased pie pan or spring form pan and place the pieces of rhubarb in a pattern on the cake.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 60-75 minutes or until golden.
- Sprinkle the cake with a little bit of coconut flour.
I love this cake! It’s full of flavour, it’s moist and it’s somewhat healthy. Don’t worry about the bitterness of the oranges. The skin loses a large amount of it’s bitterness during the cooking process.
I didn’t bake this cake for my son Noah essentially but he just had a little piece after lunch and absolutely loved it.
– 1 persimmon
– 1 cup of greek yoghurt
– ca. 1/4 cup of muesli (mix of oats, amaranth puffed, nuts, linseed), blended
1. Cut off the top of the persimmon and scoop out the pulp.
2. Put the pulp into a blender and blend for a few seconds.
3. In a small bowl mix the yoghurt with the muesli, then stuff the persimmon with it.
4. Serve with the persimmon purée on top.
If you are looking for a simple and quick breakfast idea for your little ones, this is one good example.
By making your own muesli, you’ll be able to avoid dried fruit (high sugar) and the roasting process, which denatures fatty acids – plus you get to control all the lovely ingredients.
Nutritional benefits of muesli:
— typically has less sugar and calories than most breakfast cereals on supermarket shelves
— high in fiber and whole grains, which regulate the digestive system, are filling and can aid in weight control
— good source of antioxidants
— the addition of nuts provides a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids (especially walnuts)
— milk or dairy alternatives that usually accompany muesli is a source of dairy and protein
The goodness of persimmons for baby:
These fruits are bursting with flavor and Vitamin C, A and B vitamins. One little persimmon contains almost 17 mg of Vitamin C! This fruit is great to serve to your little one to aid in Iron absorption.
It is also an energy-dense fruit. That’s why it is recommended for children, people playing sports and people who are physically or mentally tired.