Quinoa, Antipasto and Goat’s Cheese Salad

Hello! You might remember me from such films as “that blogger who went on holiday”. 

I’m here with another post from the archives that I posted as a farewell a few years ago when we took a trip to Japan. I had my very lovely neighbour and blogging powerhouse Nikki from Styling You do a guest spot with a salad she made for me one night when I went over for dinner. I had never had quinoa before, on account of it sounded like hippie food. But then I remembered I actually liked hippie food and she made this and I was converted.

Take it away, Nikki and Stacey of December 12, 2011!

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White Chocolate Bean Blondies

This is a sponsored post for Edgell Plus One.Beans In a white chocolate blondie Of course! Extra nutrition that you can't even taste.

I know, right? Pureed beans in a dessert?

I usually prefer my beans brownieless, but when Edgell invited me to create a few recipes for their site for the month of July, they had one stipulation: they each had to contain a veggie. Even the Afternoon Treat recipe.

Not one to shy away from a challenge (have you any idea how competitive I am? Steer clear of me and board games if you’re chicken), I went about thinking of all the things I could hide a veggie in that I would still want to eat. And when I thought about white beans and the white chocolate version of a brownie, I figured I had a winner.

blondies

The One Pot Wonders were already old favourites, but with a twist – sliced green beans in the minestrone, sweet corn in the Mexican lasagna, and changing my usual cheesy corn and asparagus pie into mini tartlets for your afternoon dining pleasure. Bite-size is always better, right? Cute food is good food.

blondies-2

But the brownies – oh the brownies.

You guys, I put beans in a brownie and I didn’t hate it.

Beans In a white chocolate blondie? Of course! Extra nutrition that you can't even taste.

We all know beans pack a real nutritional punch, and cannellini have a beautiful mild, sweet flavor so they’re easy to add to anything for extra goodness – I always have cans on hand and I find myself popping them into soups, stews, hommus, Mexican dishes (excellent in burritos), pasta dishes and this beautiful cassoulet I make when I’ve got frosty weather and plenty of time.

The beans helped create a really lovely fudgy texture and their mild taste worked so well with the traditional brown-sugar flavour blondies are known for. Plus white chocolate goes with just about everything, so that helps! The beans blend up really smoothly, so honestly, you wouldn’t even be able to tell they were there.Beans In a white chocolate blondie? Of course! Extra nutrition that you can't even taste!It took a few attempts to get the texture just right, and I err on the side of undercooking rather than overcooking to ensure it’s brownie-y rather than cake-y, but it tastes so damn good. And the cake-y attempts? I chucked on an icing and everyone gave it the thumbs up. You can’t lose!

If you’d like to see the recipes, you can head over to the Edgell Plus One site, where you can add an extra veggie to your everyday dishes until your heart is content. Make sure you also check out the other recipes that make it easy for you get more veg in your daily diet. I won’t tell anyone about your beany brownie secret!

So tell me – have you snuck a veggie in somewhere? Have you snuck a veggie in a dessert

White Chocolate Bean Blondies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cups Edgell Cannellini Beans, rinsed, drained and pureed (you might need a little water to get it going)
  • 1 Large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Directions

Step 1
In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugar, and pureed beans.
Step 2
Add egg and vanilla and stir to combine thoroughly.
Step 3
Stir in flour and baking powder until mixed.
Step 4
Stir in flour and baking powder until mixed.
Step 5
Line an 8in x 8in baking tray (lamington size is also good) with baking paper, and spoon in the batter. Spread out until it fills the bottom, and smooth over the top.
Step 6
6. Sprinkle reserved white chocolate chips over and bake 20-25 minutes (the brownies in the picture were cooked 15 minutes), until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan.
Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

The things I didn’t know I wouldn’t know

I originally published this on September 24, 2011 when my first was a wee babe. I was talking about this post in the car the other day with a lass who hopes to be a mum very soon. I told her that everyone having a baby obviously has a different experience, and that some find this motherhood gig easier than others at first. Hell, all the time! It depends on so many variables.

I really felt like I hit the ground running when I had my kids. Like I was born for this. Sure there were hiccups, I remember one particularly stressful night sleeping on the floor of the baby’s room covered in a kiddie bath towel, but for the most part I had complete confidence in me, my baby, and knowing how to get by and thrive. Until this happened:

Miss Veggie Baby has been sick this week. Snotty, dribbly, incredibly out of sorts and not sleeping.

Two nights ago she screamed inconsolably for ages, which is incredibly out of character for her, and I found myself wondering… is it something I did?

And I realised this has been quite a running theme throughout the last six months… is her behaviour from something I’ve done? Something I haven’t done? Are the choices I’ve made the right ones? Why is she crying like that? Why hasn’t she pooped today? Does she hate my cooking? What if?

Given that they can’t tell you what is wrong, one is reduced to insane guesswork, leaping further and further into assumptions and musings and plain old guilt.

Was she crying because she was teething? She was immunised the day before, could that have been it? Was she reacting to the eggplant puree she’d had for dinner for the first time? Did her stomach hurt? Was she tired? Was she hungry? Would going for a walk in the fresh air help? Was it because I ate that English mustard when I was 8 months pregnant with her?

Did I put enough sunscreen on her? Is the water too cold for her feet? Should we sit more in the shade? Is it ok if she eats the sand?
That thing hasn’t been sterilised, should she put it in her mouth?
Should I really let the cat sleep with her? They love each other so much and he has never hurt her. He just curls up at her feet. They need to co-exist in the same house, should I let them be friends right from the start? Should I lock him in the other room?
Should she be eating a rusk and lying down? She seems to like it. Should she even be eating a rusk at this age? Did I start solids too early? Should I really be buying her pink things? Is she watching too much TV? Should I not have turned the TV on until she was two?
It’s been strange for me, as I love researching and I love knowing and I love being in control. I love knowing what to expect, and what to do when it happens. Nobody ever told me I’d spend the rest of my highly-educated life staring at a crying baby and knowing nothing concrete, just going with my gut.
But what if my gut is wrong?
Augh!
Ps… they stop crying after a bit. And they start telling you what’s wrong. Loudly. And usually while other people are watching ;-)
Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Au Revoir

boss-fight-stock-images-photos-free-clouds-aiview-from-airplane

Today I’m going on a little sojourn for the next few weeks: first up – Bali with my love to celebrate 10 years together. The girls will be with their grandma, who is BY FAR the most excited person about this arrangement. And I’m absolutely beside myself, so that’s saying something.

The week after that, I’ve got a conference in Portland that has come up unexpectedly. Well the trip has come up unexpectedly, the conference has been around for ages. It will just be me solo, so that means quite a bit more time away from the girls than I am used to. Eagle-eyed watchers could have found me at any given moment these last few days watching my children like a lovestruck fool, getting emotional over their tiny socks, and squeezing them until they beg to get away. I really, really love being with my kids. They’re awesome company and incredibly cute. They also let me eat the bulk of the chips.

I also love travelling so it’s quite the conundrum.

I have no idea how I’ll handle it, so I’ll head into it like I do most things: assume it will all be ok until proven otherwise. Plan on crying less than a handful of times. Try to stick to that.

So you don’t cry while I’m gone I’ve got some little things planned here, but on the whole I’m going to go be.

Au revoir!

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Got the Sniffles? Bingewatch these shows on Netflix…

NETFLIX COUCH

As I mentioned in my gingerbread pancake post yesterday, I DO have the sniffles (code for I’m totally wiped out), and I would totally be watching these shows  if I didn’t have to work my caboose off so I can go on holiday for two weeks. Ok, one week – the following week is a work trip so it won’t be total vacation time, but it’s in Portland so everything’s a holiday if it’s in another country, right?

Ok so picture yourself on the couch/in bed/somewhere comfortable, warm, and with arm’s reach treats.

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Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Gingerbread Buckwheat Pancakes

Gingerbread buckwheat pancakes - so yum!As I sniffle into yet another tissue this morning,  I am both nostalgic for the weekend we made these beautiful, warming little winter breakfast pikelets and yearning for next week when I step out of the plane into the welcoming warmth of the Bali sun.

Winter gives me all the feels.

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Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Welcome to Vegan Paradise, Otherwise Known as Smith & Deli

smith-and-deli-7

My love for Mo and Shannon knows no bounds, so it won’t come as a surprise to you guys to hear that their new venture, a little inner-city deli full of all your good food needs, was going to shoot to the top of my favourites list.

All bias aside, though, let me tell you why you’re going to love Smith & Deli, too:

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Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!
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