Little Bear’s Grain Free Granola

granola

Things are starting to get more interesting when little Bear helps in the kitchen now.  She’s definitely discovering her confidence and it’s really becoming more of a case of me helping her rather than the other way around, sometimes this works out well, other times, not so much.  I like to think the below recipe was a joint effort, she’d probably disagree, either way it’s a winner with both of us.

INGREDIENTS

½ Cup sunflower seeds

½ Cup pumpkin seeds

½ Cup coconut, desiccated, shredded, however you like it, we used desiccated

¼ Cup chia seeds

¼ Cup linseeds

¼ Cup roughly chopped walnuts

¼ Cup roughly chopped brazil nuts

¼ Cup unsweetened apple puree

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Optional:

¼ Cup washed and dried sultanas

¼ Cup washed, dried and diced apricots

¼ Cup washed, dried and diced figs

¼ Cup cacao nibs

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 150 C on bake or fan bake.

Gently mix together all ingredients, except the optional ones if you’re using them, until well combined.  The apple puree helps it all become crisp and make little clusters so try and get that over everything if you can.  Once it’s all well combined, spread it out thinly and evenly over a large baking dish and bake for ~30 mins gently stirring and turn every 10 mins or so.

Let it cool completely and then stir in any optional extras you’re going to use.  Store in an air tight container.  Will keep nicely for a week.

We enjoy it with ½ a sliced banana and some almond & coconut milk.

Boiled Orange, Carrot & Almond Cake

boiled orange cake

This is a lovely dense, moist cake, with an amazingly vibrant orange flavour.  It does require a little pre-work but I promise you it is worth it.  Grandma Bear has lots of oranges on her trees at the moment and this is made with the small blood oranges which I don’t like eating fresh.

I tend to start this this day before making the orange puree and then leaving it in the fridge overnight, but whatever works for you.

If you can bear to leave it this is actually better the day after baking, but it’s still really good just cooled as well.

INGREDIENTS

350 – 375g orange puree

250g ground almond meal

150 – 175g grated carrots

Large handful of well washed and dried sultanas

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon of baking soda

50g coconut sugar

2 large eggs

DIRECTIONS

To make the orange puree, take approx. 4 small oranges (organic if you can get them because you’re going to be eating the skin) give them a cursory scrub and cover in a pot with cold water.  Bring them to the boil and then turn the heat down to keep them simmering for 2 hours.  Let them cool completely and then rip into chunks, removing any seeds you find on the way, and puree in your food processor or with a stick blender.

To make the cake, pre-heat the oven to 180 C on normal bake.

Combine the orange puree, eggs and sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.  Gently stir together all remaining ingredients into a big mixing bowl then add the orange, egg, sugar mix in to and stir until just completely combined.

Tip into a cake tin lined with baking paper, I use a 25cm round spring form tin, and bake for 1 hour.  Depending on your oven you may want to start checking the top after 45 mins or so to see if you need to cover with foil to stop the top burning.  Trust me the cake is so moist it will need the full hour of baking.  To test for done-ness stick a wooden skewer in the middle, it should come out reasonably cleanly with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it.  It if looks like it’s got cake batter on it, keep baking for a bit longer.  When cooked remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool completely in the tin before turning out.

Protein and Cacao Breakfast Bowl

Photo

I think I really need to work on my food photography skills!  You might have noticed that I’m more concerned with the way things taste than the way they look, but after looking at today’s effort I think I may need to pick up my game just a little…

Anyway, this does taste very good.  It’s a lovely creamy, chocolatey, fruity bowl of deliciousness to start the day.  It’s been super chilly here in NZ the last week or so and I’ve been experimenting with Paleo porridge and really, really haven’t cracked it to my liking.  The fact that you can add hot water to this breakfast bowl gives you a warm treat that’s not slimy, gritty or strange smelling (don’t worry I will share my porridge adventures with you one day, just not right now).

The below ingredients make a serve big enough for me, but super easy to multiply as you need.

INGREDIENTS

1 – 2 Tablespoons of coconut yoghurt, make your own, or buy, Coyo is expendy but quite delish and I haven’t personally tried it, but I have heard good things about Raglan Coconut Yoghurt

1 scoop of protein powder, I use nuZest Clean Lean Protein Powder, vanilla flavour

1 dessertspoon of cacao powder

1 Tablespoon of mixed seeds, I’m using pumpkin and sunflower at the moment as they’re little Bear’s favourites

2 Brazil nuts, high in selenium

¼ cup of mixed berries, I’m enjoying blueberries and blackberries.  I just get bags of frozen ones and let the defrost over night as I need them

½ a banana, sliced

~1/4 – ½ Cup of water, I’m using hot because it’s so cold at the moment, but whatever suits your preference will be fine!!

DIRECTIONS

Put everything together in a bowl and stir gently until combined – that’s as hard as it gets 🙂 yum!

Lamb Loin Fillets with Caponata

lamb loin

Well here is effort number two with the Silver Fern Farms product Italian styles.

INGREDIENTS

2 lamb loin fillets, again like with the steak, hubby bear ate one and Baby Bear and I shared the other one, but for normal adults I’d allow one each

1 teaspoon coconut oil

½ brown onion, finely chopped

1 medium aubergine, cut into chunks

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Small bunch of fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped

1 tin of crushed tomatoes in juice

1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, do try to get the good stuff, cheap ones often have all sorts of nasty additives in them

1 Tablespoon of olives

1 Tablespoon of capers, if you can get the ones preserved in salt do, just give them a really good rinse before using

Salt and freshly ground pepper

At least 2 Cups of shredded greens, I used baby kale and cavalo nero

Optional: Splish of extra virgin olive oil and Tablespoon toasted pine nuts
DIRECTIONS

Make the caponata first as it needs to cook for a while.  Heat a medium sized sauce pan over a gentle heat and sauté the onion in the coconut oil for about 5 minutes or until soft.  Add in the aubergine, cinnamon, thyme, tomatoes vinegar, olives, capers, salt and pepper and bring to the boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer for approx. 30 mins or until thick and stew-like.

Meanwhile bring you lamb loins out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature uncovered on a plate (I believe they call this blooming, sounds fancy so I thought I’d throw it in!). Heat a heavy based fry pan over a medium heat until searingly hot then add in the fillets.  For medium rare cook on each side for 4 minutes.  Then rest for another 10 minutes before plating up.  While the meat is resting wilt the greens in the hot pan with any of the juices that came out of the meat then dress with the olive oil and pine nuts.

Plate up and enjoy!

Waldorf-ish Salad for One

waldorf salad

I suspect it’s a pregnancy thing, but I really, really like celery at the moment, I mean really like it.  To the extent that the following salad is my go to lunch every weekday.  Now I’m back to eating again I find myself craving after fresh, clean, slightly sweet, crunchy stuff and it certainly fits the bill.  It’s super easy and quick to throw together, just add a couple of crunchy seedy crackers (Little Bird Flax & Almond are my favourite at the moment) and you’re sorted!

INGREDIENTS

2 ribs of celery, roughly chopped

½ an apple, cored and diced

Small handful of walnuts

¼ ripe, but firmish avocado, diced

Optional, depending on how strictly Paleo you are, small cube of tasty cheese cut into slivers

Also optional if you’re not pregnant and raw eggs aren’t a ticking bomb, teaspoon of mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS

OK, now this is the hard bit, combine everything in a bowl and toss gently to mix.  Whew!  We made it, I knew you could do it!

Silver Fern Farms Porterhouse Steak with Vege Mish Mash

silver fern farms steak

I was lucky enough to be able to trial a couple of different cuts of the Silver Fern Farms meat selection.  Hubby Bear had quite a bit of say in which cuts we chose (aka he chose them), but I must admit this was a good choice.  I still have the lamb loin fillets left to cook so stay posted to see how they turn out!!

I wanted to do something quite simple that would let the flavour of the meat come to the fore and I think this was a success, there was certainly nothing left on anybody’s plate at the end of the meal and in Baby Bear No. 1’s case that is pretty rare…  She would rather filch food off my plate than finish her own even though it’s exactly the same.  Nothing quite like the grass on the other side of the fence 😉

INGREDIENTS

2 x porterhouse steaks, Hubby Bear can polish one of these off by himself, but Baby Bear No. 1 and I need to share as her tummy is still little and mine is currently being squashed mercilessly

½ head of broccoli, chopped into florets

1 Cup of sliced button mushrooms, white or brown

½ brown onion, finely sliced

½ red capsicum, roughly sliced

1 Tablespoon coconut aminos

DIRECTIONS

Take the meat out of the fridge and let it come to room temperate (~10 minutes on the bench should do OK).

Combine the onions, mushrooms and aminos in a large saucepan over a medium heat and cook until softened, stirring occasionally.  Next add the broccoli and cook until just starting to soften.  While it’s still al dente and brilliantly green throw in the capsicum and stir to coat everything together.  Capsicum is wonderfully high in vitamin C so you don’t want to destroy that by too much cooking.  Take the pan off the heat and leave the lid off so it doesn’t keep cooking too much.

Heat a heavy based fry pan over a medium heat until hot then add in the steaks.  Leave to sear for ~4 minutes each side (and just leave them alone while they’re cooking, don’t poke them!!) for medium rare (I had to cook mine for a bit longer, poo to pregnancy dietary requirements) then leave to rest for ~10 minutes to let the fibres relax and the juices redistribute through the meat.  Then plate up and enjoy.  We did 🙂

IMG_2447

BACON, GREENS AND MUSHROOM FRITTATA

frittata

You know how some nights you get home and you just want dinner to be sorted?  The house looks like a whirlwind has been through it, you’ve got loads of washing to put through, Baby Bear wants you to read ‘Munch Crunch What’s For Lunch’ for the thousandth time (no? is that one just me?) and you just want to do things as quickly as you can.

Well drum roll please for my go to easy to do, the frittata!  Veges, bacon and eggs, it’s got all the essentials in it and most of the time is spent just leaving it to do it’s thing in the oven, got to love it.

Apart from the bacon, eggs, milk, salt and pepper, you can pretty much add in whatever.  It’s one of those awesome ‘use up what you’ve got’ dishes that always seem to turn out great.  This is also great with any roasted pumpkin, kumara (sweet potato), yams or beetroot you might have left over.  Go wild, I dare you 😉

INGREDIENTS

5 large eggs, please make them free range if you can, you will definitely see/taste the difference

½ Cup of almond milk

Good pinch of salt and grinding of black pepper

1 Cup sliced button mushrooms

2 Cups shredded greens, we used baby kale and cavolo nero for this one because that’s what we’ve got in the garden at the moment, but it’s also great with broccoli, silverbeet etc.

150 – 200g diced shoulder bacon, again please make this free range if you can, piggies who aren’t free range farmed have a horrible, horrible life and you don’t want to be putting the end product of that into your body

DIRECTIONS

Pre-heat your oven to 180 C.

Sauté your bacon, greens and mushrooms in a heavy based pan over a medium heat, keeping it moving so it doesn’t catch anywhere.  There’s really no need to add anything to the pan for this as you get some fat rendering from the bacon and there’s plenty of moisture in the greens and mushrooms.  Once your bacon is just cooked through, your greens are wilted and mushrooms softened, transfer to your baking dish.  I use a silicone cake pan as it cooks well and is super easy to get out, but you can really use whatever you want, just remember the deeper the mixture in the dish, the longer it will take to cook right through.

Next comes your eggy mix.  Combine your eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a bowl or wide jug and beat well to combine.  Tip evenly over the veges and bacon in the pan and give a gently jiggle to distribute everything.  Then pop into the oven to cook for approx. 20 minutes.  However, as mentioned, time to cook will depend on the depth of your mixture in the pan.  You really don’t want to overcook this, so do keep an eye on it.  It’s done when the top is golden and there’s no wibble wobble if you shake the pan.

We had this with a super simple avocado and capsicum salad last night, as Baby Bear number 1 would say “tasty!”

frittata 2