Spinach, cherry tomato and garlic pasta

spinach cherry tomato garlic pasta

Popeye owes much of his strength to spinach, and I fondly remember my three young nephews scarfing down entire plates of sautéed and creamed spinach after watching the cartoons. If spinach was absent from dinner, they would collectively rain hell and fury like you’ve never seen. I don’t blame them, and their allegiance is well-justified, because apart from being delicious, spinach features on most superfoods lists. Continue Reading →

Pantry Basics: Kinpira Carrot (金平人参)

kinpira

Kinpira carrot, stir-fried grated carrot seasoned with soy and sugar, was one of the dishes I learnt to cook at the Haru Cooking Class on our last trip to Kyoto. I know it probably isn’t high on your list of dishes to master, but it’s a delicious, quintessentially Japanese vegetable side dish which has opened my eyes to how home cooked Japanese meals are actually put together. And I simply love it. Continue Reading →

Root Vegetable Patties

root veg patties

Root vegetables are a firm favourite with my kids. My son particularly loves parsnips and raw carrots, and the baby girl adores beetroot and sweet potatoes. I usually cut an assortment into batons, toss in olive oil and simply roast in the oven until crispy and crunchy (best with parsnips), and they really enjoy them that way. But with my little ones, it’s important to keep things interesting so they don’t get bored and start rejecting the food (as much as they liked it before). Cooking the humble but nutritious veggies this way is a fun and novel alternative, and my cheeky daughter thoroughly enjoys getting dirty and messy eating the patties with her hands. Continue Reading →

A hug in a bowl: Puy lentil soup (with Parmesan toast)

Puy lentil soup with Parmesan toast_1After a couple of months of holidays and feasting, I needed to go easy on myself mentally and physically, especially for the sake of my stuffed tummy (and health!). So, I started to prepare light and satisfying meals, and one of my favourites is invariably soup. Continue Reading →

Power Breakfasts: Cottage Cheese Pancakes

cottage cheese pancakes

My son loves pancakes, especially if I use his favourite shape cutters to make police car-pancakes or mammoth-shaped pancakes. I’m sure he would be just as pleased as pie if I just cooked him his breakfast using an instant mix. But as mothers do, I’m always thinking of ways to feed my children food that is tastier and more nutritious. Packed with protein and calcium, these power pancakes give the little ones extra muscle-building oomph for a great start to the day! I think they are best eaten with fruit preserves, which complement the tang of the cottage cheese very well. Continue Reading →

A tasty and healthy “cream” of tomato recipe

Since my baby girl C was born slightly more than a year ago, I’ve started on a collection of hand-written recipes in a book, to be eventually given to her as her sixteenth birthday present. When the day comes for her to live on her own and cook for herself, she will have the recipes on hand to make the food that I cooked for her, food that she loved, and food that we ate together as a family. Continue Reading →

Power Breakfasts: honey, banana and peanut butter bars

When I think of a nutritious breakfast on-the-go, muesli bars are the ideal. Compact, tasty and substantial enough to keep you filled until lunch, I keep a container of these in the fridge at all times, for a quick bite in the car when we are strapped for time in the mornings. My son loves them as an afternoon snack when he comes home from school, and because these bars are so moist, soft and chewy, I also give small bits (after taking out the nuts) to my 14 month-old daughter to nibble on when she’s peckish. Some added chocolate chips will take them into dessert territory; a healthy, yet still indulgent accompaniment to a cup of tea after dinner. Continue Reading →

Family Food: Whole Wheat Sugar Cookies

Healthy Cut <div style=

I am slightly obsessed with cramming as much whole grain as I can into my toddler, T’s diet and have been hunting for a tasty whole wheat cookie recipe for ages. The few I’d tested out sadly tasted like caked sawdust. So, I was thrilled when both T and CH gave this one the thumbs up. I love that the dough works beautifully when it is cut out (T really appreciates interesting shapes). It’s also deliciously tasty and just sweet enough to satisfy CH’s sweet tooth. To top it all off, it’s a 100 per cent whole wheat sugar cookie!

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Cashew Nut Pesto

Pesto at its best is fresh, piquant, zingy, creamy, and surprisingly luxurious. It’s comforting for me to know I always have a jar of it in the fridge because it’s not only incredibly tasty and versatile, it also helps me put meals together instantly. To fuel my pesto obsession, I currently have fifteen basil plants growing in my garden. Yet I still use them up too quickly! Pesto effortlessly jazzes up roasted new potatoes, steamed broccoli/french beans/asparagus and it’s utterly delicious paired with mozzarella or avocado in a toastie. Continue Reading →

Family Food: Easy Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Salad

If you’ve been put off by bland tasting quinoa salads (as I have), this recipe for roasted vegetable and quinoa salad may just change your mind. For the longest time, I put the blame on quinoa itself. Despite that fact that quinoa is a complete protein high in fibre, iron and magnesium—an all-round superfood—I’d avoided it like the plague for many years because the first time I’d eaten quinoa, I felt like I was being punished. It tasted like damp cardboard someone had forgotten to season. Continue Reading →

Nigel Slater’s chocolate beetroot cake: one of the best chocolate cakes I made

 

Putting vegetables in baked treats is not uncommon as they add moisture to the bake. We have shredded carrots in carrot cake and sliced zucchini in muffin – but beetroot in a chocolate cake? As I was watching Nigel Slater (in Simple Suppers) make a beetroot cake, I was going “what the hell was he thinking?”. Continue Reading →