Frozen Banana Dessert

frozen banana dessert frozen banana dessert with chopped nutsApparently 1.4 million bananas are thrown away every day! How many of them are yours?

I usually make banana bread or banana and oatmeal muffins with my old bananas but when I saw this recipe for banana icecream I started putting my over-ripe bananas in the freezer straight away!

A few weeks later when I had enough bananas in the freezer, I discovered that the blitzing process is made a lot easier if you slice the bananas quite thinly before you freeze them, and let them thaw slightly before turning the processor on!

So far, we’ve had just plain banana, and some topped with chopped nuts & everyone has loved them – next time we’re going to try making lollies!

Frozen Banana Dessert

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 large, very ripe bananas – peeled, cut into thin slices and then frozen
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla extract

optional extras

  • fresh fruit, chopped
  • chocolate chips
  • coconut flakes
  • nuts or seeds

Instructions

  1. Let bananas soften at room temperature for about five minutes.
  2. Blitz bananas, cinnamon and vanilla in a blender until smooth and creamy, this may take a few minutes.
  3. Pour into bowl, top with extras and serve immediately, or add to your favorite ice-lolly molds and freeze for later.

 

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Singapore Noodles with Tofu

Singapore Noodles with Tofu
Singapore Noodles with Tofu

We always need quick & easy meals, which are still reasonably healthy – a quick search on BBC Good Food suggested this which seemed to fit the bill.

The original recipe called for Tikka Masala Paste, but as I have ishoos with buying jars of stuff I’m only going to use once, DH made his own using a Jamie Oliver recipe which I’ve included below.

We didn’t have beansprouts as my sprouter is languishing in a cupboard somewhere, and used a splash of lime juice instead of real lime wedges to serve.

Singapore Noodles with Tofu

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 100g fine rice noodles
  • 140g firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 3 spring onions, shredded
  • 1 small chunk fresh root ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 100g mangetout
  • 100g beansprouts
  • 1 tsp tikka masala paste (see JO recipe below if you don’t have any)
  • 2 tsp reduced-salt soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • roughly chopped coriander and lime wedges, to serve

tikka masala paste

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 fresh red chillies
  • 1 small bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

Instructions

  1. drain the tofu (we do this by wrapping in a clean tea-towel & placing under the heavy chopping board)
  2. make the tikka masala paste if making from scratch
  3. cook the noodles as per instructions. Drain & rinse under cold water & cut into short lengths
  4. heat 1tbsp of the oil in a wok or frying pan, add the tofu & stir-fry until browned all over. Drain on kitchen roll
  5. heat the rest of the oil in the wok. Add the spring onions, ginger, pepper and mangetout, then stir-fry for 1 min. Add the noodles and beansprouts, then stir to mix.
  6. mix together the tikka masala paste, soy sauce, chilli sauce and 1 tbsp water, then add to the wok, stirring until everything is well coated in the sauce.
  7. serve sprinkled with the coriander, with lime wedges for squeezing over.

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Fruity Waffles

It’s at times like these that I wish I had a waffle maker. Then I remember what I PITA the machine I used to have was, and that I have no room in the kitchen cupboards for one, and that if I had one I wouldn’t be able to restrain myself & would be eating waffles all the bloody time!

So, we will stick to buying the shop bought ones occasionally. I spent a fortune on the fruit, but we had enough left over for fruit salad for tea.  I was surprised that the only one who wanted the fromage frais. I think DH would have liked some maple syrup, but really, the sugar on the waffles was more than enough.  The kids loved arranging the fruit too 🙂

Fruity Waffles

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • some waffles
  • some fruit
  • some fromage frais, creme fraiche or cream

Instructions

  1. warm the waffles
  2. serve with toppings

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Halloumi Cheese Salad

Halloumi Salad
Halloumi Salad

I only ever have halloumi on the BBQ.  As it doesn’t look like we’re going to have one any time soon (it’s still in the box in the garage) I needed another way to get my fix. A salad seemed the easiest way.  It was very easy to make, and very tasty. I was a bit dubious about the yogurty dressing, but it turned out to be really nice & I’ll definately be having it again.

Halloumi Cheese Salad

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 250g pack of halloumi cheese
  • 1 bag of watercress, spinach and rocket salad
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 150g sugar snap peas

for the dressing

  • 4tbsp of  Greek yogurt
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 2tsp of chopped basil
  • 2tsp of chopped parsley

Instructions

  1. Cut the halloumi cheese into 8 thin slices and grill or fry until golden on both sides.
  2. Meanwhile, in a bowl mix together the spinach, watercress and rocket salad, cherry tomatoes & sugar snap peas
  3. For the dressing, mix together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, 1tbsp of water, chopped basil and parsley.
  4. Add the grilled cheese and dressing to the salad, toss gently and serve.

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Cherry Choc Chip Icecream

Cherry Choc Chip Icecream
Cherry Choc Chip Icecream

DC1 (5) absolutely adores cherries, so when this recipe for Cherry Choc Chip icecream popped up on my facebook feed (like Super Healthy Kids here) I knew I had to make it.

It’s the same kind of things as the Frozen Berry Yogurt we all love, you just make it a couple of hours ahead & pop in the freezer.  As expected, it was very easy to make & absolutely delicious.  I only had plain yogurt, so added a tsp of vanilla essence to the mix.

Cherry Choc Chip Icecream

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups frozen cherries
  • 0.5 cup vanilla yogurt/soy yogurt
  • 0.5 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. blitz the frozen cherries with the yogurt in your blender
  2. stir in the chocolate chips
  3. put in the freezer for a couple of hours before serving

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Japanese Tofu Bowl

Japanese Tofu Bowl
Japanese Tofu Bowl

Do you sometimes get in a food rut?

I try really hard to have a variety of things on the menu, but one meal which has stayed the same for what feels like the last million years is wednesday night pizza.  We have good reason for it,  we have a maximum of 30 mins between getting the kids to bed & DH going out, and chucking a frozen pizza in the oven and opening a bag of salad is a very easy (and relatively healthy) option.

Needless to say, we have now both got incredibly bored of it.  DH has suggested we have omelette every week instead, but I want to find a few different options for us to have to avoid the rut sinking  in again.

I started by looking through the the Quick Veggie section of BBC Good Food and saw this recipe for a Japanese Tofu Bowl which I thought was right up our street. The original recipe was for 4 people, so I’ve adapted for the 2 of us (i.e. reduced the liquid, but kept the rest the same)  It suggested covering the tofu in cornflour before frying to get that lovely crispy coating, but I really didn’t see the point as surely it would just get soggy in the soup?  We didn’t have any chilli oil or coriander to garnish, but survived without them.

Although this claims to be quick to make, you do have to first drain the tofu (I do this by wrapping in a clean tea-towel & putting it under the heavy chopping board for 30 mins or so) & then marinade it (ideally for at least 30 mins), which means it might not be much good if you’re rushing in from work to make it.   Despite a few complications (I failed to pre-marinade the tofu, the edaname beans the supermarket sent me were still in their pods, and my noodles weren’t ready cooked) this was still easy to make & very tasty. It’s lightness made it feel like it was very ‘clean’ to eat IYKWIM, but beacuse of the tofu, edaname & noodles it was still substantial enough for our evening meal.  I hope to make it againvery soon as I plan to use some of the broad beans from the garden in place of the edaname.

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 200g firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into 8 cubes
  • sunflower oil, for frying
  • 1 bunch asparagus, base of stalks snapped off, cut diagonally into about 4 pieces
  • 50g fresh or frozen edamame beans
  • 50g frozen peas
  • small piece ginger, grated
  • 400g pack straight-to-wok udon noodles
  • coriander leaves, to garnish
  • chilli oil, to serve

Instructions

  1. Drain the tofu.
  2. Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar and mirin in a shallow bowl. Place the tofu in the marinade and turn to coat. Leave for about 30 mins or more. (If  marinading for several hours, pop it in the fridge.)
  3. Boil the kettle
  4. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the tofu (keep the left over marinade). When cooked, drain on kitchen roll, then wrap in clean kitchen roll to keep warm.
  5. While the tofu is cooking, put 500ml of boiled water in a medium saucepan with the reserved marinade and bring to the boil. Add asparagus, edamame beans, peas, ginger and noodles and return to the boil. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender, about 3-4 mins.
  6. Divide between 2 bowls and put the tofu on top.
  7. Garnish with some coriander leaves and serve drizzled with a little chilli oil.

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Chocolate Boobie Balls

chocolate enery balls
chocolate energy balls

In the past I’ve read lots of opinions on foods to avoid when breastfeeding, but only recently heard about eating lactation cookies to increase your milk supply!  Obviously, I was keen to investigate, but wanted to find a slightly healthier version… Google suggested several recipes, and I chose these little chocolate balls as they seemed like the were the healthiest, easiest, and, well…. most chocolately 🙂

After reading around the subject, it seems the ingredients that are thought to help increase your milk supply are oats, brewers yeast & flax seed.  If you have no need to improve lactation, then you could omit the brewers yeast & flax seed from this recipe, but they are good for you in other ways (e.g. brewers yeast is full of B vitamins, and flax seed contains omega-3 essential fatty acids) and guys, rest assured that despite eating loads of these, DH still hasn’t started lactating yet.

The original recipe used Almond Butter, but I used Peanut Butter instead – I’m sure any other nut butter could be used.  If you wanted to make these vegan, I’m sure you could replace the honey with more maple syrup, but I haven’t tried doing that yet. (Let me know if you do).  I forgot to add the sunflower seeds one week, but no-one complained.

This recipe makes about 50 delicious little balls, which if you are lazy like me can seem like a bore to make.  However, resist the temptation to make fewer bigger balls.  If you do this you won’t be able to secretly stuff them in your mouth without the kids/husband noticing, which means you will have to share them!

But do they work?  To be honest I don’t know…. Luckily I have never had any supply problems, but I do feel like I have more milk later in the day, and we seemed to get through the 8 week growth spurt fairly easily, so perhaps they have helped?   Regardless of whether they improve lactation or not, they are a relatively healthy little snack for me to hide in the fridge and munch on whenever I feel the need!

Chocolate Energy (Lactation) Balls

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Instructions

  1. mix everything together
  2. chill in the fridge for 30mins
  3. roll into small balls & store in the fridge

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