Muesli Bars

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen. We store these in the freezer since they don’t get particularly hard and you can eat them as soon as you take them out.

Makes 24 to 32 bars (depending on how you cut them!)


Muesli Bars

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cup almond meal
  • 2 cup coconut chips
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups of dried fruit (I usually use cranberries, or a mixture of chopped apricots, mango and pineapple)

Method

  1. Heat oven to 300F. Oil two 8×12-inch baking dish.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and then mix in the honey.
  3. Pour (scrape) the mixture into your prepared baking dish and press as tightly as you can.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, until light golden brown.
 

Maple Syrup Granola

When we first moved here, I found a delicious granola in our local supermarket. It was healthy and tasty and everyone loved it. The problem was that it was $18 for a bag that we went through in under two weeks. It didn’t take long for me to start making our own. We use maple syrup, but I’m sure it would be great with honey. We don’t put dried fruit in because child #1 doesn’t like dried fruit in her granola. This is child #2′s favourite meal—almost always mixed with homemade yogurt.

 

Maple Syrup Granola

Ingredients

  • 5 cups of oats
  • 1 cup of coconut chips
  • 1 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup of almonds, processed to meal
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil, just melted
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup

Method

  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients.
  3. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup and mix well.
  4. Spread evenly over two large cookie trays.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes, then mix the granola and switch the tray positions in the oven (top to bottom, bottom to top).
  6. Bake for 10 more minutes.
  7. Allow to cool before storing in container.
 

Sweet potato, kale and bean quesadillas

These sweet potato, kale and bean quesadillas are so good that I usually find myself hovering at the kids’ elbows, ready to seize any leftovers. They are easy to make and all components freeze well, so if you make extra of everything, it makes for a very quick and easy dinner on another night. You can serve them with avocado and salsa, but they are delicious on their own. These are great for picnics by the lake—easy to transport, and you don’t need utensils. Last time we took them on a picnic, we didn’t even bother with plates…

Sweet potato kale and bean quesadillas 600x450 Sweet potato, kale and bean quesadillas

Sweet potato, kale and bean quesadillas

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked beans (or 1 can) (we use a mix of black, pinto and kidney)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • a large handful of kale
  • 6 whole wheat tortillas

Method

  1. Steam the sweet potatoes.
  2. When nearly done, add the kale.
  3. While sweet potatoes are steaming, heat oil in a small pot on medium high.
  4. Add onions and garlic and cook until onion is translucent.
  5. Add beans, chilli powder, mustard and cumin and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add soy sauce and then mash bean mixture. Set aside.
  7. Mash the sweet potatoes and kale together.
  8. Spread the bean mix on one half of each tortilla, and the sweet potato mix on the other half and then fold in half.
  9. Cook for a few minutes on each side in a large pan.
 

Creamy cauliflower and sun-dried tomato pasta

Cauliflower is one of those things that I feel like we don’t eat often enough. I’ve been on a bit of a mission lately to find some new ways to eat it, and this creamy cauliflower and sun-dried tomato pasta is a keeper.

Creamy cauliflower and sun dried tomato pasta 600x568 Creamy cauliflower and sun dried tomato pasta

Creamy cauliflower and sun-dried tomato pasta

Ingredients

(Lightly adapted from thekitchn.com)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped into bite-size pieces

Method

  1. Cook your noodles.
  2. Heat the olive oil on medium in a large pan (we use a large cast iron one).
  3. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook until the onion softens and starts turning translucent.
  4. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and the cauliflower, and cover with a lid.
  5. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the nutritional yeast, and stir until well blended.
  7. Remove from heat when the cauliflower is tender.
  8. Serve the noodles in bowls, with the cauliflower sauce over the top.

 

 

Rice cooker miso mushroom risotto

This rice cooker miso mushroom risotto is super quick and easy but also nutritious and incredibly satisfying—comfort food at its best. Both kids loved it. If you have any leftovers, you can make make arancini. More on that later…

Rice cooker miso mushroom risotto 600x450 Rice cooker miso mushroom risotto

Rice cooker miso mushroom risotto

Ingredients

  • 3 rice cooker cups of rice (approximately 3 x 3/4 cups)
  • 4 cups water, hot but not boiling
  • 4 tablespoons genmai or aka miso paste
  • 1/2 oz chives, chopped
  • 5 oz shiitake mushrooms (2–3 cups), chopped
  • 2 (large) cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 avocados, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Mix the miso into the water. Note that you should never boil miso—some of its superpowers will be lost if you do.
  2. Put rice into rice cooker bowl.
  3. Add the chives, mushrooms, garlic, olive oil and tamari.
  4. Add the miso water to the rice cooker.
  5. Turn the rice cooker on and wait until it’s done.
  6. Stir the avocado through the cooked risotto.
  7. Eat and enjoy!
 

Creamy cashew tomato pasta

This vegan creamy cashew tomato pasta is lovely and peppery, and until I tried it, I honestly had no idea just how great pepper can taste. Quick, easy, and delicious—what’s not to like?!

Again, I have Oh She Glows to thank for my starting point.

Creamy Cashew Tomato Pasta 450x600 Creamy cashew tomato pasta

Creamy cashew tomato pasta

Ingredients

  • 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped (or one 14oz can)
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup red pesto
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 decent-sized cloves of garlic (if in doubt, add more!)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 large handful of chopped fresh basil
  • whole wheat pasta of choice (I prefer spaghetti for this)

Method

  1. Cook your pasta.
  2. While your pasta is cooking, put your tomatoes into a blender.
  3. Add the cashews, red pesto and water to the blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Add olive oil to a large pan on medium-low. When hot, add the garlic and saute for a few minutes.
  5. Before the garlic starts to burn, add the sauce from the blender and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add salt and let it cook for a few minutes, until hot throughout.
  7. Remove from heat and mix in the basil and pepper.
 

No-yeast whole wheat sandwich bread

I have been trying to find a good no-yeast whole wheat sandwich bread recipe for a long time. My criteria were simple:

  • Must be easy.
  • Must be quick.
  • No yeast (I want to make it now, not in 10 minutes when the yeast is bubbling!)
  • Must be good for sandwiches (ie. not look, feel and taste like a brick.)

Surprisingly, it took me months to find a recipe that met those criteria. The original recipe calls for spelt flour, but whole wheat works beautifully.

No yeast whole wheat bread 600x450 No yeast whole wheat sandwich bread

No-yeast whole wheat sandwich bread

Ingredients

Makes one loaf.

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 –2 1/2 cups soy milk
  • 1 heaping tablespoon honey

Method

  1. Heat oven to 350F / 175C.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Add wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  4. Spoon (mine is too thick to pour well) into a greased loaf pan.
  5. Bake for 60 minutes, or until top is nicely brown.
  6. Let it cool before you try to remove it from the pan.
 

Quinoa banana muffins

These quinoa banana muffins were a huge surprise. I’ve been meaning to make some muffins using cooked quinoa for a long time, and I finally got around to it tonight. I was inspired by this recipe, but I made quite a few changes, and I wasn’t at all sure how they would turn out. Luckily for the whole family, the end result was delicious. I’ll try not to eat them all before the kids wake up tomorrow!

Quinoa banana muffin 600x446 Quinoa banana muffins

Quinoa banana muffins

Ingredients

Makes 24 mini muffins or 12 regular muffins.

  • 1 cup oat flour (just put a cup of rolled outs in a food processor)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  •  2–3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted (preferably virgin, unrefined—it tastes and smells so much better)
  • 2 mashed bananas (small-medium)
  • 1/2 cup plain unsweetened yogurt
  • 1/4 cup date paste
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

Method

  1. Heat oven to 350F / 175C.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
  4. Combine, and then spoon into muffin trays.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until they start to brown a little on top.
 

Umeboshi, tofu and spinach sandwich

This umeboshi, tofu and spinach sandwich came about because we used to go to an awesome restaurant in Daikanyama, called Den Den, when we lived in Japan. It is a specialist onigiri restaurant, and they had the most amazing umeboshi onigiri. They had the regular sour umeboshi onigiri and they also had godai umeboshi onigiri, which are sweet. The godai umeboshi are the most amazing umeboshi I have ever tasted.

Recently, I was feeling a little nostalgic, and that led me to the purchase of some umeboshi paste, with the vague idea of using it to make some onigiri. However, E had another plan—this sandwich. It is delicious and we’ve been eating it regularly ever since.

Umeboshi tofu and spinach sambo 600x448 Umeboshi, tofu and spinach sandwich


Umeboshi, tofu and spinach sandwich

Ingredients

  • Sliced bread
  • Umeboshi paste
  • A few slices of tofu, about 1/2 inch thick (enough to cover a slice of bread)
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • Sprouts
  • Olive oil, for frying tofu

Method

  1. Spread a thin layer of umeboshi paste on both slices of bread.
  2. Lightly fry each side of the tofu (we just pop it into a lightly oiled cast-iron pan for a few minutes on each side.)
  3. Add a layer of spinach to one slice of bread.
  4. Add a layer of sprouts to the other slice of bread.
  5. Add tofu to the middle.
  6. Eat and enjoy!
 

Lentil walnut spaghetti

This lentil walnut spaghetti recipe is an adaptation of one over at Oh She Glows. We’ve been in a bit of a pasta rut for the last while—sticking to a few favourites only—and this is a welcome addition to the dinner rotation.

If you have salsa in the fridge and cooked lentils and sun-dried tomato pesto in the freezer, this is very quick and easy. If you don’t, it will take quite a lot of effort to pull it together.

Lentil walnut spaghetti 600x450 Lentil walnut spaghetti

Lentil walnut spaghetti

Ingredients

  • pasta of your choice (I like whole wheat spaghetti for this sauce)
  • 2 red peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2/3 cup cooked french lentils
  • 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 cup juicy tomato salsa
  • 1 tablespoon (6 large leaves) chopped fresh basil
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach or other greens

Method

  1. If you haven’t got some in the freezer, cook your lentils. Make extra and freeze for next time.
  2. Roast your red peppers. I cut mine in half, remove the seeds, place them cut side down on a tray and broil them on high until they are completely black on top. Let them cool, and then peel the skin off.
  3. Boil some water and get your pasta cooking.
  4. While your pasta is cooking, toast your walnuts however you please. We always have ground walnuts in the fridge, so I just tip them into our cast iron pan and let them get fragrant. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
  5. Heat the oil in the same pan (no need to clean it), and then add garlic.
  6. When the garlic starts to get fragrant, add all of the remaining ingredients except the spinach to the pan.
  7. Mix it all up well and let it cook on medium-low for about 10 minutes.
  8. Put the spinach into the colander that you will use to drain your pasta.
  9. When your pasta is ready, pour it into the colander, over the spinach.
  10. Serve the pasta with the spinach and sauce over the top.