Tuesday, January 21, 2014
I’m not sure where the recipe originated for these squares, but I came across it on Facebook. I shared it on my facebook page and then gave it a try for myself with a few minor changes, which I’ll share with you here. They were a big hit, especially with Ayla.
They make such a great finger-food for babies and toddlers, because they’re easy to hold onto, they’re not super messy, and there’s no added sugar.
The rest of us liked them, too. The boys have been packing them in their lunches for school, and I like them as a healthy sweet snack.
They’re not overly sweet, but as long as you use very ripe bananas and add raisins, I found they were sweet enough to satisfy my craving. The cinnamon and vanilla compliments the subtle sweetness nicely.
…And even cats like them!
Our kitten, Hunter, was very curious about the squares while I was trying to photograph them. He kept photo-bombing my pictures. He also liked to sit under Ayla’s high chair and try to steal a few pieces that she dropped. That’s his favourite place to be lately. If he’s not under her chair, he’s on the dining room table.
And yes, that is Candy Crush on my tablet in the background. I have an addiction, okay? But at least I’m eating healthy.
Healthy Banana Oat Squares
3 mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 cup quick oats
1 cup large flake oats
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350
- Grease an 8 x 8″ baking dish
- In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients together.
- Pour the mixture into the baking dish and spread it out with a spatula until even.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edge begin to brown.
- Let cool and then cut into squares. .
Makes 16 squares.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
It's a brand new year, which is always a great time to start eating healthier. There are certain foods out there, known as 'superfoods,' that are packed full of nutrients and anti-oxidants to help keep you healthy. Quinoa and kale are two of these amazing foods, so I combined them in this lasagna-like casserole. It's also gluten-free and meatless.
Here's what my family thought:
Ayla was in love with this meal. She ate two large helpings of it, scooping it up in fistfuls and stuffing it in her mouth. Bennett ate all of his and liked it, but Cole wasn't completely convinced. He wouldn't give me a reason why he didn't give in a thumb up, but he hates lasagna (weirdo), so that probably had something to do with it. He didn't give it a thumb down either though, so he obviously didn't think it was all bad. Since Tony hates quinoa, I wasn't expecting him to like this, but surprisingly, he ate most of it. He said that was because he was hungry, not because he liked it. I think he secretly liked it a little bit and just didn't want to admit it. I'm not a huge fan of quinoa either, but I liked this. Lasagna is one of my favourite foods, and I loved the lasagna flavour of this dinner. There's a lot of cheese in it, which I also love.
Lasagna-Style Quinoa with Kale
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
2 tsp olive oil
4 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced onion
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 500g tub of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
pinch of salt and pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 bunch of kale, chopped
1 jar pasta sauce
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
- In a medium saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes, until quinoa is cooked and all liquid has been absorbed. Set aside.
- In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat, and saute onion, mushrooms, and garlic until softened. Drain off excess liquid, add salt, and set aside.
- Steam kale for about 5 minutes, until wilted. Place in a paper towel and squeeze it well to remove liquid.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt, pepper, lemon juice and kale.
- In a greased 3 quart baking dish, layer half of quinoa, then half of pasta sauce. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of mozzarella, followed by all of mushroom mixture and all of ricotta/kale mixture, then top with the remaining quinoa, pasta sauce, and finally sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Cover and bake at 400F for 35 minutes.
- Remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.
- Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
If you like this recipe, then be sure to try these other healthy recipes from Life Made Delicious.
General Mills is gearing up for the Olympics in early February. Cheerios will be cheering on Team Canada and Pillsbury is going to be having a great contest. Check out the Life Made Delicious Facebook page for more details.
Saturday, January 4, 2014
With all the sweets and rich food we've enjoyed over the holidays now behind us and a fresh new year ahead of us, it's a good time to start eating lighter foods. It's not always easy to make that transition, but this pasta can help. It tastes so good that you'll think it should be full of fat and calories. Luckily, thanks to lower fat turkey bacon and a creamy cheese sauce made without butter or cream, this dish is actually very light. It also has nutritious squash and spinach.
It takes a bit of time to make it because the squash is roasted in the oven, but you could cook it on the stovetop instead if you're short on time. I just love the flavour of slow roasted squash.
Cole is not a squash fan, but he does love bacon, so he gave this a so-so rating. Bennett and Ayla loved it all! I can always tell when Ayla likes something, because she hardly drops any of it on the floor. The floor was practically spotless after this meal.
Butternut Squash and Bacon Penne
6 strips turkey bacon
3 cups diced and peeled butternut squash
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 cups penne
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Lay out strips of bacon on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Place in cold oven and turn it to 400F. Once oven has reached 400 F, remove bacon. Break it into small pieces and set aside.
- Coat butternut squash with olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Spread squash onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast at 400 F for 45 minutes.
- Boil water and cook penne according to package directions.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, flour and salt. Bring to a boil, whisking continuously until thickened.
- Remove sauce from heat, then stir in cheddar cheese.
- Combine roasted squash, crumbled bacon, cheese sauce, cooked penne and fresh baby spinach.
- Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 400F for 10 minutes.
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
I started the year about 8 months pregnant with my third child.
I had gestational diabetes, like I did with my previous pregnancies, so I began writing a blog called the GD Diaries to document my experience. I had to watch my carb intake quite carefully and I experimented with a lot of low-carb recipes. This No-Noodle Lasagna was a favourite of mine.
On February 8th, my baby girl Ayla was born.
|Belgian Beef Stew January 2 2010
|Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala July 2013