Sunday, February 26, 2012

Muesli Bars - Moderate chemical

Moderate Chemical Muesli Bars

I find this the easiest way to get the muesli mix really well compressed to end up with a bar that won't fall apart.  I use baking paper on top and a straight-sided glass to smooth and press the slice all over.

"Hidden Nutrition".  It's my new mantra,  thanks to Mim over at the facebook Failsafe Eating Support Group.  (She is the purée queen,  adding chocko and swede to all sorts of things.)  I love to make food that the kids will just eat and eat because it's yummy... and I know they're actually getting something that is GOOD FOR THEM.  Not just 'not too bad',  but actually GOOD.  The 2 girls share food at an after-school art class and the other kids all love these as well.  So,  it's not just about my kids being 'used to stuff with no flavour'.  (hardy har har)  Okay,  so what's the secret in this one?  There are 2.  Condensed milk (HELLO) and chocolate chips (MUMMA).  Did you notice I said 'Moderate chemical' up there?  What I'm weighing up here is the actual dose of a chemical eaten vs the benefit of the other foods.  THIS IS NOT AN ELIMINATION DIET FOOD...  unless you omit the chocolate and the vegetables.  Ms C seems to be tolerating these quite well;  small pieces and only every 3-4 days.

Ms D just sidled up to me and read this  post over my shoulder....  "ZUCCHINI?!?!?!?!" Yes, dear.

SAFETY FIRST:  Always use a spatula,  those Condensed Milk tins are sharp... and bandaids just won't stick to tongues.

  • 4 cups of cereals  
  • I use 2 cups of Oats, 1 cup each of Puffed Rice, Puffed Millet 
  • 2 tabs Quinoa Flakes
  • 2 tabs Psyllium Husks
  • 1 large Carrot*,  peeled and finely grated
  • 1/2 medium Zucchini*, peeled and finely grated
  • 2 tabs Rice Bran Oil
  • 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips **  (No additives)
  • 1 x 395g-400g can of Condensed Milk (low-fat or full-fat;  you choose)
  • Preheat oven 180ºC
  • Line 2 large baking trays
  • Combine cereals, Quinoa, Psyllium, Carrot, Zucchini in a large bowl
  • Pour oil over and stir to ensure it's well dispersed
  • Spread onto 2 trays and then cook until lightly browned - about 20 minutes
  • Allow to cool
  • Put Choc Cips and Condensed Milk into large mixing bowl
  • Add cooled muesli mixture and stir well for a few minutes to ensure it is all well coated with the Condensed Milk
  • Press into lined deep tray,  about 30x30cm (12") until it is quite smooth
  • Bake in moderate oven for 20-30 minutes or until browned
  • Allow to completely cool then finish off in the fridge for at least an hour before slicing it into bars or squares... or whatever shape you might choose.
  • Keeps for a few days....  not really.... it won't keep because it's so yummy!  Can be frozen and allowed to thaw in the lunchbox,  no worries. 
* Moderate Salicylates
** Very high Amines

Verdict:  Did you see where I mentioned Condensed milk and Chocolate?  Yeah... right.  Need I say more?  Pfffft.

Tweeks:  Oh, the places you could go here.  I plan to gradually increase the quinoa flakes. If you have any home-dried apples and pears,  you can add these too.  Fresh coconut is Moderate amines as well if you wanted to bother grating that?  You might also like to try Rice Bubbles, Puffed Amaranth, Millet Rings to make up the 4 cups of cereals.  But I'd start with 2 cups of rolled oats.

Estimated Nutritional information supplied by : Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Servings per package:    20.00
Serving size:    0.59    g

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tangy Quinoa 'Risotto' with Ricotta

When the kids ask what's for dinner and I give them the answer (because I've finally got back on the menu planning wagon)...  and then they screw up their noses and say "Awwwwww....  I don't want that!"..... I lose steam.  Yes,  some goes out my ears (ha ha) but I mean I lose momentum.  Suddenly I don't feel like making it anymore and so I sit down and start looking online for inspiration.  Then I notice I have some notifications on facebook....  then an email comes in... then I must update my status... then... I must comment on that hilarious picture about homebirth... then... then dinner is not made.

But Ms D saved the day when she suggested Risotto.  Woohoo!!!!  Yay!!!  Oh...  wait....  we don't have any arborio rice.  (And really,  that much cheese is not a good idea as far as amines go)... and then I wonder.... hmmmm....  I get excited all over again.  Can I make risotto with quinoa?  Thanks to google... I found a few recipes and decided I'd just follow my gut on it.  So,  here it is,  a Quinotto?

  • 1 cup white Quinoa ( rinsed 3 times)
  • 1/2 - 1 Leek, finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 3-4 sticks Celery, finely sliced
  • 1-2 Carrots*, finely diced  (omit if not having Salicylates)
  • 4-5 stalks Asparagus, sliced  (leave aside until the end)
  • 2 litres hot water
  • 1 tab Vegetable Stock Concentrate
  • 1 tsp Citric Acid
  • 150-200g Ricotta cheese (preservative free!!)
  • Extra Water if required.
  • Wash the Quinoa and drain while you're slicing and dicing the vegies
  • Put Leek, Garlic, Celery, Carrot into the Thermomix and sautée on 100ºC, 5 minutes, Reverse soft
  • Put in Butterfly attachment
  • In a separate jug, combine hot Water, Stock Concentrate and Citric Acid
  • Put drained Quinoa and stock mixture into Thermomix
  • Cook on 100ºC, 30 minutes, Reverse Speed Soft
  • Add Ricotta cheese and stir for 3 minutes on Reverse Speed Soft
  • Stir through with Asparagus in a serving bowl (eg Thermoserver)
  • At this stage, I realised it was too gluggy and so I added some water from the kettle, until it I judged it to be right.  You may not find this... but keep an eye on it.
*Moderate Salicylates
Verdict:  Again,  I am pretty amazed I came up with this.  A little it chuffed.  Ms D tasted it and declared it 'YUM' and then didn't eat it "There's something missing."  Ms C ate it all and went in for seconds, Mr JR ate it up and Mr JA didn't.  I enjoyed mine,  but agreed it needed another something.  Mr frillypants hit the nail on the head I think when he said it needed some leafy greens.  ALAS!!  If only we could have those leafy greens.  So,  if you can tolerate them,  you might like to add some baby spinach or rocket.

Tweeks:  Give those greens a try (even some Pak Choy?),  maybe add some kidney beans for a different texture.  Mr frillypants' meal was gluggy... again...  because he ate about 30 minutes after the rest of us.  That quinoa is very thirsty!

Yorkshire Pudding

Mr frillipants' mum gave me this recipe, which really is the easiest-peasiest thing ever. I am in the habit of making this wi...