Another passion of mine is cooking, particularly sweet things. Much to my partners dismay I am always making things that one can not say no to, once, twice and perhaps threes times. He likes to tell people that his growing girth is a result of my cooking not from his lack of self control. I have to admit I myself have a hard time not eating it when its just sitting there calling out, eat me. For this reason and the fact Amelia really does not need to be subjected to overly fat and sugary foods I try and make healthier alternatives. Its amazing that you can actually halve the fat and sugar content in most sweet dishes without affecting the flavour too much and you can substitute most of the refined sugar with natural sugars in fruit or honey.
I am really glad that I can cook and look forward to passing it onto Amelia. I have to admit that I have yet to crack open a jar of processed food for Amelia (apart from the good old baked beans) which I believe is important because the amount of preservatives found in processed foods can not be good for little ones. My thoughts are that preservatives are a major contributor to the increase in allergies and behavioural problems. Anyway, enough of that, here are some great recipes that are really yummy.
I have made these little rolls a few times now so I thought that I would actually write down the recipe so that all can enjoy.
- 4 Spring onions or half an onion, chopped.
- 1/2 large zucchini, grated
- 1 carrot grated (unpeeled, its very nutritious)
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped.
- 1 tsp ginger, grated.
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbl soy sause
- 3 Tbl tomato sauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 C packaged bread crumbs (by all means use fresh if you have to time)
- 500g lamb mince (really nice alternative to beef)
- 6 sheets of pre-rolled puff pastry
- pepper to taste
Roll up the pastry over the meat and cut into segments, however big or small. You can also put more mince on the pastry if you want fatter sausage rolls. You can also cut down on the salt content by omitting some of the fish and soy sauce. Cook these little suckers for about 45 mins or until nice and crispy at 200 degrees centigrade. Dont leave out for too long because they will not last. I froze most of mine in order to have quick and easy lunches for Amelia. I will just reheat in the oven. Another good thing is that the mince mixture can also be used to make mini meatballs for little fingers. The egg and breadcrumbs help keep the mixture binded together. Sometimes I make meatballs (in Australia we call them rissoles) one night using half of the mixture, I then put the rest in the fridge and make the sausage rolls the next day.
My day of cooking ended with banana bread that is also great for freezing slices for quick snacks when on the go. I just pull out frozen and put into our lunch box and by the time we get around to eating it it has defrosted whilst keeping the other food cool at the same time. There is no need to take canned food for convenience because with a little preparation they are just as convenient and more nutritious.
- 3/4 ripe bananas (I always freeze my over ripe bananas just for dishes like these. Just defrost and squeeze out the centre when soft)
- 1/3 C melted butter
- 1/3 C sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup of raisons or sultanas
- 1 1/2 cup of sifted Plain flour/ Wholemeal Plain flour (either works)
Melt the butter in the microwave in a large bowl. Then add all the ingrediants, stirring together until you reach the flour at the end (its kinda like muffins, does not like to be worked too much). Bake in a small loaf pan at 175 degrees centigrade for 40-50 minutes. Cool on a rack, slice to eat. It does not need butter smeared on it to make it tastier.