Butternut butter bean sausage rolls

Sausage rolls are a massive favourite with my kids … and husband!

They are easy to make in bulk, and freeze and they are perfect for hiding veggies, so it is nice to know that they can be a slightly healthier option for my family – Obviously they’re still wrapped in pastry so they’re definitely a ‘sometimes’ food!

This is a simpler version of my veggie loaded sausage rolls and are Harry’s current favourite 🙂

I use Chevup sausages in my mix. They are a skinless, gluten free, Aussie beef sausage with about half the saturated fat of normal sausages – I feel much happier about using them than the questionable sausage mince that is commercially available. You can find more details about them here.

The sausages I use have great flavour, so if you are using regular beef mince, there is a note below the main ingredients for a couple of extra things for you to add.

Gluten, egg, dairy, nut and soy free pastry is the next issue. There are many GF pastries out there but they are often really disappointing. Obviously use the one that suits your diet and that you enjoy.

I have used this pastry from the Gluten Free Bakery:
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And it does a pretty good job. But ….

if you live in WA you really, REALLY have to check out Busy Bees Gluten Free pastry (I buy from Weigh n Pay in Woodvale)! It is amazing! It comes in a long roll and it handles just like wheat based pastry. It is soft and easy to work with and even non GF people have been happy to eat it!

  • 8 Chevup sausages
  • 250g butternut pumpkin
  • 400g tin butter beans (drained)
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
  • 4 sheets of your puff pastry (1 used 3 regular and 1 ‘everything free’)

If you are not using the Chevup sausages, use

  • 450g beef mince, plus
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp mild paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic flakes
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos

Finely blitz the pumpkin. (Speed 6 for 8 seconds, scrape down and repeat).

Add the additional flavourings and oil, if not using chevvups and process again (Speed 5, 8 seconds)

Add the sausages or mince, to the processor and process until it is quite smooth (Speed 6, 10 seconds at a time, scrape down in between).

Add the butter beans and process until well combined (speed 5, 10 seconds, scrape and repeat)

Add the nutritional yeast, hemp seeds, salt, aminos and herbs and then process again until evenly combined and fairly smooth (speed 6, 10 secs, scrape and repeat)

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Cut the pastry sheets in half and divide the mixture up between the sheets.

I find it is best to place it in a thin line down the middle of the pasty.

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Roll the pastry over the top of the mix to form long cylinders.

Lay on a lined baking tray with the join side facing down (helps the join to hold together as it puffs).

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Cook in a preheated 210C oven until meat is cooked and pastry is puffed and golden brown. (Use a short burst under the grill to get them extra golden and flaky). Takes about 35-40 mins in my oven.

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Enjoy 🙂

Boosted Breakfast Bars

My crew are on school holidays – hooray!!!

Holidays means slower mornings, adventures, time together …. and food. So much food!

I’m always astounded at how much more my kids neeeeed to eat in the holidays, when compared to what they eat from their lunchboxes during the school term. They tell me that it is because at school they stuff in what they can super fast so that the don’t miss out on their precious play time – apparently holiday are then for catch up!

These gorgeous bars are fibre filled, have a good serve of polyunsaturated fats and with a sweetness that comes from whole fruit, they’ll satisfy you and keep you going for ages. They work well as morning tea on the run too.

  • 1 cup GF weetbix
  • 1 cup rolled oats OR 1 cup fruit free GF muesli
  •  3/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour OR plain GF flour mix plus 1 tsp psyllium
  • 1 rounded tsp GF baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tbsp hemp seeds
  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 large overripe banana
  • 2 heaped tbsp seed butter (or nut butter that suits)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice

Place all of the dry ingredients together in your processor/thermal cooker/bullet and pulse a few times until the ingredients are roughly chopped and well combined. Then set aside.

Place the dates, seed butter, milk and vanilla into your thermal cooker. Cook on 90C, Speed 2 for 3 mins. Add in the banana and cook on speed 3, 90C for a further minute. Then boost up to speed 4 for 8 seconds.

To cook this one without a thermal cooker, place the dates, seed butter, milk and vanilla into a saucepan and cook over a low heat, whilst whisking regularly until the mixture is well melted – the dates will still be quite large. Add in the banana and continue to cook, whilst whisking for a further 2 minutes. Then transfer the whole mix to a blender or processor, then process until smooth.

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Now add the dry ingredients back to the wet and process until just combined (Speed 2, about 15 seconds). The mixture will be quite thick and sticky.

Scrape into a line 20×20 baking tray and use a spatula to smooth out and press down into the tin.

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Place into a preheated 180C oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until risen and golden brown.

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Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the tray before moving to a cooling rack  to finish cooling before slicing in to 8 bars.

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These will last several days in an airtight container in the fridge, or freeze them individually to pop into lunchboxes or grab on your way to work.

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Enjoy

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Savoury Hemp Seed Scones

Scones are such a wonderful comfort food. Today I think I am channelling my Nanna and great Gran as I make their stew and Scones 🙂 🙂

I love to make traditional foods that actually contribute something beneficial to our dietary intake so, with these scones we’ve replaced some of the white flour with a wholegrain flour as well as adding in Hemp seeds and Nutritional yeast – both plant based, allergy friendly complete protein sources. They are good sources of B vitamins and fibre and the hemp seeds help to give us heart healthy poly unsaturated oils and one of the very few plant based sources of vitamin D.

Very easy to make and very popular with my little ones – hope you enjoy them too.

  • 3 cups spelt flour (1/3 wholemeal)
  • 4 tsp GF baking powder
  • 4 rounded tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 2 rounded tbsp hemp seeds
  • 85g cold vegan butter
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • extra flour for rolling

Place all of the dry ingredients together in the processor and process until well combined (Speed 4, 8 seconds).

Add in butter and pulse several times until the mix resembles bread crumbs.

Add in the milk and process to combine, adding the milk mixture slowly through the top chute. (Speed 4, about 15 seconds)

Tip on to floured surface and bring dough together until just smooth.

Roughly roll out to about 2cm thick and use scone cutter to cut out.

Place cut out dough onto a line baking tray and then into a preheated 200C oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden and the bottoms sound hollow when they are tapped.

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These are delicious on their own as a snack, served warm with a little butter or a cheese that suits your diet, or even as a side to dinner, instead of a bread roll or damper (we’re having ours with a slow cooked stew tonight).

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Enjoying a ‘tester’ scone with a cuppa in the garden – Bliss!

Makes about 20. They freeze and defrost well.

Enjoy 🙂

P.S. If you would like a sweet scone rather than savoury, simply leave out the Nutritional yeast and add in 2 tbsp of coconut sugar.

**I haven’t made a GF version of these ones yet. I’d start by replacing the spelt with a good GF flour mix at about 2.5 cups and add in a tsp of psyllium husks. Add a little more flour if it is too sticky and be careful not to overwork the dough. Let me know if you try it and I’ll update when I do.

Vegetable Dhal

Lentils are such an amazing food! They are really inexpensive, easy to use is a wide variety of meals and they pack a serious dietary punch when it comes to fibre and protein. They are one of the star foods for improving your gut health! A really valuable and budget friendly addition to your diet.

Like most of my meals that were inspired by other cultures, this is one you’re unlikely to find on the menu of an authentic Indian restaurant – but it is fragrant and delicious!

  • 2 cups red lentil
  • 1/3 cup French (puy) lentil
  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tsp ground corrinader
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 rounded tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 1/2 cups hot veggie stock (I use Massel for a store bought option)
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • 2 large carrots, grated (roughly 1 rounded cup)**
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach, roughly chopped

**you can use an equal quantity of grated pumpkin or sweet potato here if you’d prefer

Rinse and drain your dried lentils

Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan and add the onion, cook until soft.

Add in the ginger and mix well to combine.

Add in the dry spices and fry well until fragrant.

Add in the lentils and stir well to coat the mix. Add in the grated carrot and combine again.

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Add in the hot stock, stir well and bring to a simmer.

Simmer for approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the lentils don’t stick to the bottom of the pan as they are absorbing the stock.

Add in the coconut cream and chopped spinach, stir well and cook until the spinach is wilted, but still bright.

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Serve warm with your choice of ‘bready’ accompaniment – we used suitable wraps that we brushed with a little garlic oil, sprinkled with salt and popped under the grill until they were toasty and brown.

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Makes about 4 adult serves.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Shepherd’s Pie – Veggie Style

Shepherd’s pie is such gorgeous, warming comfort food for chilly winter days. And it was a standard in our house while I was growing up. My maiden name was ‘Shepherd’ so Mum would tease us, and say that she’d need to take fingers or toes from us kids to go in to it.

It’s been a loooong time since I was a Shepherd now, but for years we have still made our version of her pie – you can find that one here.

Lately though we have been making a vegan version of the pie and it is just as yummy and ‘meaty’ as the meat based version. So if you’re a vegan, or if you’re just looking to add some more meat free meals or veggies into your diet – why not give this one a go?

  • 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce if your diet allows)
  • 1 tbsp vegemite (or a GF, soy free miso paste)
  • 1 cup ready made, hot gravy (either homemade, or ‘Orgran’ makes a good vegan and allergy friendly powdered gravy)
  • 3-4 medium grated carrots
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 tins brown lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups spinach
  • About 800g Mushrooms (I like a mix between button, swiss brown and portobello for textural variety)
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Olive oil spray
  • good pinch salt
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary

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In a large saucepan heat the garlic oil, the add the onion, cooking until it begins to soften.

Using your processor or thermal appliance, pulse the mushrooms several times until they are roughly chopped, then add to the onion mix in the pan. Stir them well as they begin to cook.

Add in the aminos, paste and vegemite mix well.

Add the lentils, mix well to combine and allow to simmer gently over a low heat while you prepare the remaining veggies.

Using your processor/thermal appliance or just a grater (if you have the patience!), finely grate your carrot and then add in the zucchini and process until fine (Speed 4 whilst adding and then up to 6 for about 8 secs to process, scrape down and repeat if required)

Add in the spinach, process (speed 4, 8 secs) and then add in the kidney beans through the chute at the top whilst still processing (on speed 4, then up to 5 for 8 seconds once all added).

Next, add the hot gravy to this mix and process until well combined (Speed 5, 8 seconds).

Add this vegetable and gravy mix to the mushroom and lentil mix on the stove. Mix well to combine and bring to a gentle simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Peel and chop the potatoes, then bring potatoes to the boil in another saucepan and boil until soft. (If you’ve used a thermal cooker to do the veg … you can easily do the mash in it too – Drop chunks of potato onto speed 4 spinning blades through the hole in the lid. Turn up to speed 6 for about 10 seconds after adding. Turn off, scrape down, add about 1/4 cup water and cook on Steam Temp, Speed 2 for about 8 minutes, scraping down once during cooking time. Blitz on Speed 5 until roughly smooth, then add rosemary and salt then mix again on speed 4 for about 4 seconds).

Transfer the mushroom and veg mix to a large casserole dish.

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Drain and mash the potatoes together. I don’t like the mash too smooth – leave it rough and chunky, then add the salt and rosemary.

Top the mushroom and lentil mix with the mashed potato. Because it is quite thick, I find it easiest to place blobs of the mash around the dish and then spread from there. Use a fork to spread it so that you get raised lines that go lovely and crunchy in the oven.

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Spray the top of the potato with the olive oil and then place in a pre-heated moderate oven for about 30 mins, turning on the top element of the oven, or placing under the grill for the remaining 5 minutes to give you a little more colour and crispiness.

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Mmmm …. messy, ‘rustic’ comfort food!!

This makes a very large dinner enough for all 6 (I’d say 4 adult serves) of us for dinner plus 4 yummy lunches too.

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Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Pumpkin Meat balls

This dinner was so well received by all of my kids that I was actually a little bit shocked!

The 2 big boys had seconds and asked for thirds, the 2 little ones totally cleaned their plates (including actual licking!). Ellie even asked if she could have them for her birthday dinner 😮 Now they are a very firm family favourite.

They are pretty simple to make, they make a lot and it’s easy to have a meat meal but use only a little meat whilst boost it with a good serve of veg to help meet our daily targets and to really increase the fibre content – Good for your health and good for your budget too! I think they key is to make the mixture fairly smooth.

  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 400g tin butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 300g pumpkin
  • 1tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • A few grinds of pepper
  • 1/2 cup GF bread crumbs**
  • 1 tbsp garlic olive oil
  • 600ml tomato pasata
  • 1/2 cup hot veggie stock
  • Good pinch pink salt flakes
  • Fresh basil
  • Pasta of choice to serve

**for a deeper savoury flavour and to further boost the nutritional value of this meal, instead of just straight bread crumbs, I often use 1/4 cup of Nutritional Yeast, 1/4 cup of hemp seeds and 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs.

Peel, dice and steam the pumpkin (speed 1, ST, 10 mins).

Place the pumpkin, butter beans, beef mince, herbs, salt and pepper in your food processor and process until well combined and smooth. (Speed 4, 10secs, scrape down and then speed 5 for 15 seconds).

Add in the bread crumbs* and mix again until well combined (speed 4, 8 secs)

Place mix into the fridge for at least an hour, but up to overnight.

Using a heaped teaspoon of the mixture, roll the meat balls.

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Heat the oil in a fry pan and fry meatballs on each side until golden.

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Add in the pasata, stock, pinch of salt and basil and simmer gently for 5-6 minutes before turning balls and simmer for a further 5-6 minutes or entirely cooked through.

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Serve on your favourite pasta and top with a little cheese that suits your diet.

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We use a mixture of GF pasta and steamed green beans as our base

*Recently when we’ve been making these I’ve been baking them to avoid the crazy splatter on my stove. Brown them with the oil in the frying pan then pop them in a big baking dish, pour over the pasata and stock, top with basil and then cover with alfoil. Place in to a preheated 200C for 25 minutes.

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Makes about 24 balls.

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Lean, Green and Mean soup

This soup originally started as a way to use up my remaining veggies before I did the grocery shopping the next day. Stretching my budget, reducing food waste and packing in the veg – lots of my favourite things! We loved the combination so much that we’ve just kept going with it!

Fabulous dietary fibre, an amazing array of natural vitamins and a decent source of protein too – this one is such a great lunch for cooler days in winter.

It make about 10 serves and freezes well.

  • 1 large head broccoli, roughly chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1kg sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 2L hot stock
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (75g)
  • 3 tbsp Nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp Garlic olive oil

Heat oil in a large pot, add in the sweet potato.

Cover sweet potato with hot stock and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes before adding in the cauliflower and broccoli. Place lid on soup pot and allow to simmer for about 12 minutes.

Add in the spinach and seeds (if you don’t like bits, you are best to mill your seeds before you add them) and simmer for a further 3 minutes.

Add in the nutritional yeast and use an immersion blender to blend until the soup is fairly smooth.

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Serve warm on it’s own or with a your bread of choice.

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Enjoy 🙂

 

A serve of 2 ladles has approximately: 177.8cal, 27.89g carbs, 5.64g fat, 7.08g protein and 3.48g fibre