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Rhubarb crumb bar

Rhubarb crumb bar

Rhubarb crumb bar by More Than Just Carrots

Pinks and greens

Rhubarb is back in season, already! It is such a pretty vegetable, I absolutely love the combination of pink and green in it. We do eat with our eyes as much as with everything else don’t we? But how do you eat this fruity vegetable? Yes, technically it is a vegetable, not a fruit, because it doesn’t have seeds in it.  Nevertheless, we tend to eat is as fruit.

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Leek in Ham Gratin

Leek in Ham Gratin

Leek in ham gratin by More Than Just Carrots

Chicory or Belgian endives in ham gratin is a traditional Belgian dish. We Belgians love chicory, cooked or raw in a salad, we eat lots of it. Because chicory is a fairly bitter vegetable not many kids go crazy for it. Neither did my husband when he was a kid. So as mums sometimes do, his was flexible about it and made some rolls with leek instead of chicory.

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Venezuelan Arepas or corn cakes

Venezuelan Arepas or corn cakes

Venezuela

These corn cakes are a traditional recipe from Venezuela recommended by a lovely Venezuelan friend. She used to have them every day in Venezuela, just as I used to eat bread every day in Belgium.  ‘Arepa’ is simply the Spanish name for these corn cakes as used in most of South America.

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Soaked Pancakes with Grapefruit and Blackberries

Soaked Pancakes with Grapefruit and Blackberries

 

grapefruit and backberry pancakes

 

Pancake Day

Pancake Day is coming up, so I want to share my latests favourite recipe for pancakes. Any excuse is good enough for pancakes for me, but which one is better than Pancake Day?? At the moment I love our soaked pancakes with grape fruit and blackberries. I make part of the batter on the night before I bake the pancakes, leave then to soak overnight and add the fruit in the morning.

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Nutty Jammy Dodgers with Chia Jam

Nutty Jammy Dodgers with Chia Jam

Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots

Valentines Day

So next week is Valentines Day!  Are you celebrating Valentines Day this year?  Maybe you have some time off next week with the kids and you have time to do some baking? Making these jammy dodgers will provide some fun entertainment for at least half a day, that is for sure. These heart shaped treats would also work great on a Alice in Wonderland themed party!

Valentines Day is just another date in the calendar for me really, but this time I thought it would be a good occasion to finally make these jammy dodgers I have wanted to make for a while. Since we had the Linzer torte at Christmas and New Years, I have had this idea to make a healthier version of jammy dodgers.

Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots     Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots     Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots

Chia Jam

For the jam, I made some chia jam from frozen strawberries. As it is the middle of winter now, that is the best way to get berries I find. You boil a sauce of the strawberries, sweeten a bit with honey. The chia seeds add some extra nutritional value to the jam, but they are critical for the texture. When added to a liquid, these tiny seeds generate a gel, this makes the jam thicken without having to add loads of sugar.

If you use quantities in the recipe for the jam, that will give you a an extra pot for other use. Keep it in the fridge for at least a week.

Nutty Pastry

The pasty I used is very similar to the one of the Linzer torte. I had a little play with the cookie cutters, some circles, some hearts and that was all there was to it! As with the Linzer torte these biscuits become better as they get the chance to sit for a while. I made plenty to make sure there are some left for when they are at their best, which is after about 1 week.

Healthier?

So all in all, these are not what you could call ‘really healthy biscuits’ as they still contain quite a lot of sugar.  Nevertheless, they are definitely a lot better than shop bought ones because they have:

  • wholemeal flour as opposed to white flour
  • a big part of the flour is replaced by hazelnuts
  • the jam is only a little bit sweetened with honey as opposed to 60 % of refined sugar in most shop bought jams
  • the chia seeds bring in some extra nutritional value to them

Conclusion, there is still a fair amount of sugar and calories in these biscuits, but less of it. They contain more fibre and more nutritional value. So if you are planning on indulging anyway, why not enjoy making these chia jammy dodgers with the kids and have the treat a little bit healthier and definitely far richer in flavour as well!

Enjoy!

Chia Jammy Dodgers

Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots

Chia Jammy Dodgers from More Than Just Carrots

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Apricot and Cashew Energy Bites

Apricot and Cashew Energy Bites

Apricot and cashes energy balls

I first made these apricots and cashew energy bites last winter.  We had just one day where there was some snow here in Kent. It was rather pathetic, there was just a tiny little bit. Nevertheless, the kids were very excited and they were outside playing even before it was light. There was so little they used a hand brush and a dustpan to bring it together. They just managed to make a mini snowman!

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Marinated salmon cubes with stir fried green vegetables

Marinated salmon cubes with stir fried green vegetables

Marinated salmon from More Than Just Carrots

Marinated Salmon Cubes: The easy part

These marinated salmon cubes are one of our favourite ways of eating fish at home at the moment. Soya sauce has always been popular, so we use it for all sorts of marinades: for chicken, for cod and also for salmon. We started to have these salmon cubes with stir fried noodles and veggies. Everybody loved them, especially the salmon cubes, they were always picked out first!

Marinated salmon from More Than Just Carrots

 

The marinade is made out of soya sauce, fresh ginger, sesame oil and a little bit of honey.  This mix gives the salmon a great rich flavour and a tiny bit crispy on the outside but sill very soft and delicate on the inside.

The veggies on the other hand…

Because the salmon cubes were so popular I started making them more often and in other combinations.  The latest is with these stir fried green vegetables.  Both my husband and I absolutely  love them. Unfortunately the kids are not convinced yet.  I have made this geen stir fry a few times now and the kids aren’t very keen at all! Both cabbage and leek still seem really tricky for my kids. That is just the best excuse to be making these again and again though, that is for sure…

I won’t give up!

I really think they will start liking this dish because it doesn’t have any tricky tastes to it, there is nothing bitter, sour or spicy in it. It doesn’t even have cumin or coriander both tasting fairly strongly. It does have got honey, peanut butter and soya sauce in it, three tastes they all really love. So what else can they ask for?

The trick is to get them so far that they will taste it a few times, enough so they will realise this is their type of flavour. I hope, that is! Anyway, maybe your kids are leek and cabbage lovers already. If they are and they like peanut butter as well, they will absolute devour these.

The recipe for the vegetables is very much inspired by a recipe from Dale Pinnock‘s cookbook called The Medicinal Chef. A wonderful book full of healthy recipes and it has a lot of information about health benefits from different types of food.

If you like the marinated salmon, you might want to try my recipe for the marinated cod as well. That has proven to be popular with the kids as well!

Marinated salmon from More Than Just Carrots

Marinated salmonfrom More Than Just Carrots

 

 

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Wholemeal Spaghetti with Rucola Pesto and cherry tomatoes

Wholemeal Spaghetti with Rucola Pesto and cherry tomatoes

Rucola Pesto from More Than Just Carrots

Super quick dinner

Spaghetti pesto is one of the most easy and quick dishes to get ready. It is so perfect for a busy weekday tea when there is no time for real cooking and especially when nobody had thought ahead about dinner at all. This really needs no more than the time for the pasta to cook. So what is that, 10 minutes, even less? You make the pesto while the pasta is cooking.

Rucola Pesto from More Than Just CarrotsThis time I didn’t make pesto out of lack of time. It was simply because I had two bags of rucola in the fridge. (I do get confused by the name, it is sometimes called rocket, roquette and arugula as well). These 2 bags ended up there in our fridge because at New Years Eve we decided to skip the starter. We gave good playing and thorough chatting and catching up priority over food! It was so absolutely the right decision, sometimes there is just too much to talk about!

Freezable

Rucola has a fairly strong, peppery, taste so even as an adult I don’t like a plate full of it, it needs to be softened with something. Nuts, parmesan and the olive do just that. The other great thing about pesto is that it freezes well. I freeze what is left in smaller portions that can be taken out whenever it come to use.

Rucola Pesto from More Than Just Carrots

Colour on your plate

The bright green colour of rucola is just like spinach and basil perfect for a beautiful bright green pesto.

Simply serve with wholemeal spaghetti and cherry tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes give a lovely refreshing taste and feeling in the mouth that work well with the specific taste of the rucola pesto. Of course, their beautiful contrasting red colour makes it looks so much more appetising as well!

Nutritional Value

Rucola has amazing nutritional value, too much to sum up here, but it has lots of vitamine C, K and A and is rich in folic acid, so really worth adding some to your diet and introducing it sooner than later to your kids. This rucola pesto is a perfect way to start!

Enjoy!

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Linzer torte

Linzer torte

Linzer torte from More Than Just Carrots

This little Linzer torte is what was left after our New Years Eve dinner.  I had never eaten this traditional Austrian cake before until just before Christmas when we were invited to a friend’s house. She is a wonderful cook anyway, but oh my, this was so delicious. I do have a sweet tooth, I know I do, but this was just so tasty!

I immediately decided to make it for our New Years Eve dinner. It turned out Linzer torte needs to be made at least 1 week in advance but better even longer. That worked extremely well with our festive schedule. Bake it before all the hussle and bussle and then quietly leave it to get ready on it’s own for the last big party at New Years Eve.

Our big cake had stars on top like my friend’s had. Traditionally Linzer tortes have a lattice design, but these little flowers are cute as well, especially with Christmas behind us now. I might try one with hearts for Valentine’s!

Linzer torte from More Than Just Carrots

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