Pear, Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf. A delicious, guilt free treat for your tummy. Perfect as a toddler treat too!

Like cake? Love cake? But feel a little guilty when you eat it? Have no fear! My loaf is here! This Pear, Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf is totally guilt free, low in added sugar and loaded with healthy goodies like chia, buttermilk and raspberries.

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf. A delicious, guilt free treat for you mummy tummy. Also a great toddler snack!

Not too long ago Legoman and I sat down to do a cupboard clear out in our kitchen. A whole bunch of unfun was had. But, I did realise we had a lot of certain things. Apparently I hoard almond meal, carob powder, pasta and macadamias. There are worse things I could be hoarding! Don’t judge me!

Macadamias are Australia’s gift to the land of nuts. They are a little buttery ball of good fats, antioxidants and even have natural plant sterols to keep your cholesterol in check. Plus, they’re Australian so of course they’re wonderful! They work beautifully into both sweet and savoury dishes (did someone say Macadamia crusted fish??). Next time you’re out shopping, try some macadamias and try not to eat them all before you bake this Pear, Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf!

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf. A delicious, guilt free treat for your tummy. Perfect as a toddler treat too!

The day I baked this was our local Winter Magic Festival which is held each year to celebrate the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. It is such an amazing outpouring of community spirit and love. This year was the first year I haven’t gone in a while, but I was feeling very pregnant and very uncomfortable that day. So I baked instead (and did laundry, cleaned the toilets, did the dishes….). But gorgeous Legoman and Possum had a fab morning together. Here’s a little happy snap of Possum in her get up. Dressed proudly by daddy! She said she was a strawberry, and apparently I was a rainbow. Love her so much!

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf

Pear, Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf – Makes 1 loaf

1 cup SR flour

2 Tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1/2 cup water

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup LSA

1/2 cup macadamias, chopped and toasted

2 pears, peeled, cored and chopped

1/3 cup frozen raspberries

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

75g butter melted

1/4 tsp cinnamon

3 Tbsp coconut sugar

1 tsp No Egg with 2 Tbsp water or 1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a loaf tin.

2. Soak your chia seeds in water and let sit for 15 minutes.

3. Combine dry ingredients (except coconut sugar) and nuts in a large mixing bowl.

4. Beat together, in a separate bowl, the buttermilk, NoEgg and coconut sugar until bubbly.

5. Stir wet, chia and dry mixes together. Add butter, pear and raspberry. Stir to just combine.

6. Pour into a baking tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Check with a skewer. Allow to cool before chowing down!

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf. A delicious, guilt free treat for you mummy tummy. Also a great toddler snack!

And just an aside, I’ve been having a local tour of local hospitals the past few days thanks to by placenta previa. This has left Legoman flying solo with Possum at home. He sent me this picture of our kitchen tonight. It looks AMAZING! And I just want to publicly say a HUGE thankyou to my husband for being such a wonderful support for me and such a loving daddy to our Possum. I love you Legoman! xxx

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf

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Cheats Spaghetti and Meatballs

Cheats Spaghetti and Meatballs

On top of spaghetti. All covered with cheese. I lost my poor meatball. When somebody sneezed.

I will give you $5 if you didn’t just sing that in your head! Everyone loves spaghetti and meatballs! With the weather we’ve had today it was the perfect bowl of comfort our bellies were looking for. And this cheats version means no time wasted in making the meatballs.

cheats spaghetti and meatballs

This Cheats Spaghetti and Meatballs is a great way to squeeze some veg into a dinner that your whole family will eat. It’s a tasty combination of eggplant, sweet capsicum and yummy zucchini. The meatballs are made using simple sausages! Genius! All you do is squeeze the meat out of the casings straight into the pan to make little meatballs. Takes a moment compared to making your own. I used a $4 packet of sausages from Aldi (I’m totally converted!). Too easy! My secret ingredient is just a little pinch of cinnamon to add a lovely sweetness without any added sugar.

Possum loved her dinner and so did Legoman. Dinner success! This might be one that ends up on your meal plan for next week? Or even on your family favourites list?

cheats spaghetti and meatballs

Cheats Spaghetti and Meatballs – Serves 4

400g spaghetti

6-8 sausages (I have made this with beef sausages and with pork, both are delicious)

1 onion diced

1 medium eggplant diced into small cubes

1 red capsicum diced

1 zucchini diced

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 Tbsp tomato paste

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp cinnamon

salt and pepper

Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley to serve

1. Put a large pot of water on to boil, ready for the pasta.

2. In a large skillet/frying pan add the olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until starting to colour. Add eggplant and cook stirring for 5-10 minutes until starting to soften. You may need to add an extra glug of oil.

3. Squeeze the meat out of the sausages into the pan to make little meatballs. Continue stirring to brown the meatballs.

4. When meatballs have browned, add in the remaining vegetables and garlic. Cook for a few minutes.

5. Add in your tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, dried oregano, cinnamon and salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Continue to cook over low-medium heat for 20 minutes. Sauce should thicken and meatballs should be cooked through.

6. Cook pasta as per packet directions.

7. Serve with parmesan and fresh parsley. A lovely glass of red wine would go down a treat (this pregnant mumma has to wait a while longer for that!)

I hope your whole family can sit down together, enjoy your Cheats Spaghetti and Meatballs and enjoy each others company.

cheats spaghetti and meatballs

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Mango and Coconut Smoothie

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

I must be missing summer at the moment. Pina Colada Muffins one week, Mango and Coconut Smoothie the next! We live in the Blue Mountains, Australia, which is a remarkably beautiful place. But come winter time, it’s really bloody cold! Our fruit bowl is full of pears, apples and bananas. Nothing like the melons, mangoes and stone fruit we devour in the summer months. Thankfully I have found that you can buy 1 kg (yes 1kg!!) of frozen mango for around $6 at Aldi! Woohoo!!

And the other week, while I was in hospital, a foodie friend of mine not only brought me two trays of Italian pastries (he knows me well!) but he also brought some amazingly delicious coconut milk. I’m so used to coconut milk in tins from the supermarket, that this cold bottle of light sweet coconut milk was a revelation!

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

Now I know smoothies are all the rage at the moment and people are loading them up with avocado, quinoa, protein powders and the milk of yaks from outer west mongolia. In our house smoothies are a much more simple affair, with one main purpose. To cheer up a tired and cranky two year old. This Mango and Coconut Smoothie can be prepared with a toddler in one hand and your ingredients in the other. It comes together in a moment so little people don’t have to wait. And it is super delicious!! And healthy too! Huzzah!

This Mango and Coconut smoothie was a mega super amazing hit with my little Possum. Initially she wanted to save some for Daddy, but poor Legoman never got to taste it as Possum decided the extra glass was probably better off in her belly.

So go grab yourself some frozen mango, some coconut milk not in a tin and some healthy bacteria packed yoghurt to whip together this delicious Mango and Coconut Smoothie. Enjoy!

Mango and Coconut Smoothie – makes 1 big smoothie or enough to share with a hangry toddler

1 cup frozen mango

1/2 cup plain full fat yoghurt (or a few big spoonfuls)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and whizz together until smooth.

That’s it! So simple and delicious! A great snack for pregnant mums, breastfeeding mums, busy mums, tired mums, happy mums, hangry mums and your little folk too. Add frozen mango to your shopping list on your meal plan this week (click here for your free printable meal planning template)!

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

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Pina Colada Muffins

Pina Colada Muffins

Ahhhh sweet summer nights, sipping Pina Colada’s on a beach front somewhere wonderful… all just a dream for this heavily pregnant mother of a toddler! Doesn’t mean I can’t bake some super tasty muffins! Because cocktails and muffins totally compare. Excuse me while I go sob in the corner for a moment…. Rightio! Back again! This pregnant mumma is also living in the icy start of winter, where our pipes are already starting to freeze in the mornings and our windscreens need to be scraped of ice before driving anywhere. So sure, why not tropicana on your tastebuds! Liven things up!

These Pina Colada Muffins are a delicious combination of some of my favourite things.

Coconut, lots of coconut.

Pineapple. Mmmmmmmm

Lime. Sweet, sweet (or sour) lime.

Pina Colada Muffins

Plus a few other healthy yummos like chia seeds, yoghurt and banana to make these Pina Colada Muffins totally guilt free. They are both egg free and nut free making them perfect for school lunches and toddler afternoon teas. And with only 2 Tbsp of coconut sugar added you can confidently even give these as a little baby led weaning treat too!

Legoman’s verdict… “They’re sweet. They’re good.”

Possum’s verdict… “Deliiiccccciiiiioooooooooouuuusssss. I want more muffin!”

Pina Colada Muffins

I have really wonderful memories of sipping Pina Colada’s on Tonsai Beach in Thailand, with the freshest of fresh coconut and pineapple in them. Swinging in a hammock. Watching the lightning flash across the ocean. Off I go day dreaming again…

These Pina Colada Muffins are quite a moist mix so when baking make sure to give them a little skewer test to check if they are done. I had to keep putting them back in the first round, I think I was a bit too excited to try them!

Pina Colada Muffins – Makes ~16 mini muffins

225g tin pineapple pieces in natural juice

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1 cup SR flour

1 cup desiccated coconut

1 tsp baking powder

270ml tin coconut cream (I use Ayam brand as it’s 100% pure coconut, not watered down or thickened)

2 bananas, mashed

2 Tbsp coconut sugar

2/3 cup full fat plain yoghurt

2 Tbsp coconut oil melted

Zest of 1 lime

1. Strain off the juice from the pineapple into a medium bowl. Add the chia seeds to the juice and let soak for 15 mintues

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C and grease a mini muffin pan.

3. Combine desiccated coconut, SR flour, baking powder, coconut sugar and lime zest in a large mixing bowl.

4. Mash bananas and stir through pineapple pieces.

5. Whisk together coconut cream and the chia seed mixture.

6. Combine chia/coconut mix, pineapple/banana mix, dry mix and yoghurt.

7. Spoon into muffin pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, check with a skewer that they are cooked right through as this is quite a moist mixture.

Pina Colada Muffins

I had to add in this photo of the pineapple pieces. The sunshine through the bowl was making such beautiful patterns. And that photo of the whisk is actually a colour photo, looks black and white. Pretty groovy 🙂 I hope these Pina Colada Muffins add some tropical sunshine to your day! Enjoy!

Pina Colada Muffins

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Easy Chicken Alphabet Soup

Easy Chicken Alphabet Soup

Do you remember having alphabet soup as a kid?? When I saw these alphabet pasta shapes at our local ALDI I just had to buy some! More for me than anyone else. Possum has been really getting into the alphabet lately and can even sing the whole alphabet song (proud beaming mumma over here! hello!). I thought this would be a fun way for her to play, learn and enjoy delicious homemade chicken alphabet soup. Possum makes soup at most meals. This involves putting a bit of everything into her cup of water, stirring it and then drinking it……… delicious……

This Easy Chicken Alphabet Soup is the perfect way to use up leftover roast chicken. A nice bonus when you’re using meal planning is this 2 for 1 kind of cooking! Less fuss, less stress and less cost. Bingo!

And yes I did have just a bit of fun picking out the letters to spell “alphabet” for my nice pic up the top 🙂 You likey? I used a Lego keyring (guess who owns that one!) as my lighting. So fancy! So professional!

Alphabet Noodles

As a little side story, it’s funny how sometimes the universe knows things way before you do. I cooked this soup on Saturday night. I did the grocery shopping during Saturday day, I normally do it Monday. I also strangely had the house pretty darn clean and organised by the time I went to bed that night. Plus Possum hadn’t had any Mummy Milk for 3 days… That night I was rushed to hospital with bleeding. I am 30 weeks pregnant and have placenta praevia. Legoman was out bush and out of phone reception. Not a fun situation.

To cut a long story short, I am now home again after a couple of nights in hospital. Both baby and I are absolutely fine. I was joking that had the hospital had a kitchen, a DSLR and wifi I could’ve happily blogged whilst there! Instead I used up all my data on my phone reading everyone else’s blogs (I found a few new ones here and here)!

Easy Chicken Noodles Soup cooking

Easy Chicken Alphabet Noodle Soup – Serves 4

For the broth:

Leftover Roast Chicken (I had nearly half a chicken left), skin and bones included

3 carrots very roughly chopped

1 onion peeled and quartered

2 bay leaves

10 peppercorns

a pinch of salt

1/2 red capsicum very roughly chopped

5 cups of water

large handful fresh parsley

For the remainder of the soup

1/2 cup of alphabet soup noodles

2 carrots sliced

2 cups broccoli florets

1. Place all ingredients for the broth into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 10-11 hours. Or do as I did and start it on high for a few hours while you go do the grocery shopping then turn in to low until close to dinner time.

2. After cooking the broth, strain it through a pasta strainer. Strip chicken carcass of as much meat as you can. I still had nearly half a chicken on my leftovers so this was quite a meaty soup.

3. Add the strained broth and chicken meat to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add your sliced carrots. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add your alphabet pasta and broccoli. Cook for 5 minutes.

4. Then serve! It’s really that crazy simple!!

If you don’t have a slow cooker you can easily make the broth by sitting all the ingredients in a large saucepan on very low heat on the stove top. You could reduce the cooking time this way too.

I could’ve tried to style this soup, but really it’s such a kiddie classic and nostalgic wonder, I just had to put a picture of Possum’s cute little pink bowl and teaspoon instead. I hope your family enjoys this Easy Chicken Noodle Soup!

Toddler Serve of Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

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Egg Free and Gluten Free Corn Fritters

Egg Free and Gluten Free Corn Fritters

I love me a good brunch. Sadly Legoman thinks it’s a waste of time. And with a toddler and conflicting work schedules it’s a rare treat. I always, always, always order corn fritters when they are on a menu. Especially if they come with avocado and bacon…. mmmmmm… bacon. I was flicking through my recipe folder and got pretty excited to find a corn fritter recipe with no egg!!

I modified it slightly to try and make it more kiddie friendly (less spices), sadly Possum still wasn’t keen on them tonight but was happy to gobble up close to a whole avocado and a bucket of yoghurt. Legoman on the other hand said it was a keeper.

I chose to make mine little hand size to make for easy dipping, but you can also make them more grown up sized. I reckon they would be even tastier with a little salsa of some kind on the side. Something a little sweet and a little zingy!

Egg Free and Gluten Free Corn Fritters with Mint Yoghurt and Avocado – serves 4

120g chickpea (besan) flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

pinch of salt

200g frozen or fresh corn kernels (don’t need to defrost)

3 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped

A big handful or coriander, roughly chopped

160ml full fat milk or water (I reckon coconut milk would rock too)

Sunflower oil for frying 

1-2 Tbsp chopped mint

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup yoghurt (plain full fat)

1 ripe avocado (or more if you love your avo!)

First make up the yoghurt by combining yoghurt, mint, salt and pepper in a bowl. Set aside.

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix in corn, spring onions and coriander. Stir in milk.

Heat 1cm of oil in frying pan to medium high heat. Use a heaped teaspoon amount per fritter, making sure not to over crowd the pan. Cook until golden brown on each side (I left the first batch a little too long and they looked a bit like those old ladies at the beach who could be made into handbags). Remove and drain on paper towel. Keep fritters warm in the oven while you cook the rest.

Serve these Egg Free and Gluten Free Corn Fritters with yoghurt and slices of avocado. Yum!

Corn Fritters

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Toddler Cooking Adventures!

quick and easy microwave popcorn

It’s all been feeling a bit like Noah’s ark at the moment. Crazy rain and wind throughout our state for days on end. Weather like this makes me want to crawl under a blanket, eat lots of food, drink hot chocolate and binge on TV series on DVDs. Alas being the mother of a toddler, this scenario pans out a little differently…. “mummy! mummy! mummy! I want to watch a mooooooovie!! mummy! moooooovie!” normally this has started at about 8:30 in the morning. Depending on my level of sleep, patience and general awesomeness I can sometimes hold out until about 3pm. Then it is not just a movie, but popcorn and movie time! For Possum AND mummy 🙂

Possum has been really enjoying getting into the kitchen lately and pretending to cook constantly. Making microwave popcorn from scratch has been a really fun, simple and easy way to include her in the kitchen as well as make a super tasty and reasonably healthy snack for the two of us to share.

Here is how to make it! What movie will you be watching? Our favourites are Madagascar Two (Possum calls it Lion Movie), Ratatouille (Rat Movie) and Rio 2 (Rio Movie).

Easy Microwave Popcorn – serves 4

1/3 cup popping corn

a decent chunk of butter

a shake of salt

Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl (I use my Pyrex mixing bowl) for around 30 seconds in the microwave, making sure you have a cover over the bowl. Take bowl out of the microwave, add your salt and popping corn (this is Possum’s job). Stir to combine (also Possum’s job).

Possum's cooking adventures

Possum’s cooking adventures

Stir stir stir

Stir stir stir

Place bowl and cover in the microwave for 3 minutes 20 seconds for a 1000W microwave.

Don't forget the cover!!!

Don’t forget the cover!!!

Stay close by to listen for when the pops slow down. Take your delicious hot bowl of buttery popcorn out of the microwave using oven mitts. Divide among movie watchers or share from one big (but still hot so be careful!) bowl. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Delicious hot popcorn!!

Delicious hot popcorn!!

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