7m +, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Puree, Savory, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Secret healthy Dip-Dip Sauce

  • 7m+
  • Nut Free
  • Egg Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Vegetarian 
  • Can Be frozen

Like most small humans,  The Monster loves sauce,  any sauce,  ketchup,  mayo,  sweet chilli, if he can dip stuff in it he is happy.  He actually says dip-dip as he dips,  super cute… But anyway, most of the time even the fussiest of eaters like ketchup (even if they claim to hate tomatoes.) So I set myself a mission to create a healthy version with some hidden veg to share with you guys.

I used veg I had in the house that needed using up, so feel free to substitute the veggies as you need to. Pumpkin, carrot or sweetpotato in there would also test great. 

Because it’s homemade and doesn’t contain sugar this will only keep in the fridge for about 5 days.  I however I freeze it in an ice cube tray,  this way,  if The Monster is going to want sauce with his meal that day I can just pop one cube out and it defrosts in about a  minutes, just give it a stir. 

Ingredients

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoon’s of pure tomato puree
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1 handful of broccoli 
  • 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Method

Roughly chop your veggies.  Place a saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onion in a little oil,  until soft but not brown. Add the tinned tomatoes and the roughly chopped veg and simmer for about  5 minutes.  Stir in the balsamic and the tomatoes puree and then leave to cool.  Once cool,  pop the sauce into a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth. 

It’s as simple as that.  Place a small jar of it in the fridge and the remaining into an ice cube tray. 
Enjoy

Em xx

8m +, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lunchbox Idea, Nut Free, Savory, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Yummy Lentil,Spinach and Sweet Potato Dhal

  • 8m+
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free
  • Vegeterian
  • Freezable

I promised you a delicious lentil dish and here it is! My Yummy Lentil Dhal is great for big and little tums and as with most of my recipes it freezes super well! It makes a fab lunch or meat free dinner with a chappati (my local Emirates Coop does great ones for a dirham a pack….bargain!) 

There is no chilli in this dish, so all the flavour comes from non-heat baring spices (which also have fab health benefits) Lentils are an amazing powerhouse of nutrients, that are super important to growing children such as Iron, Zinc, Folate and Calcium. They really are amazing things.

Ingredients

  • 125g mixed or red lentils
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 handful of frozen spinach
  • 1 small onion roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons corriander powder
  • 2 teaspoons tumeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 400ml water

Method

Place a saucepan on a medium heat hob and add a drizzle or oil or smal knob of butter. Cook the onions and garlic for a 2-3 mins until soft but not browned. Add the potato and powdered spices and cook for 2 mins. Pour in the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes until the potato and lentils are soft. Stir ocassionally and add more water if it becomes dry. When cooked add the tomato paste and the spinach, mix for 2 mins until spinach is heated through.

Thats it, ready to eat.

Enjoy

Em xx

6m +, Breakfast, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Savory, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Review – Book Munch Cafe


4 out of 5

  • Food: 4/5
  • Entertainment for kids: 3/5
  • Facilities: 3/5
  • Discounts: Emirates Platinum

So I have been promising you all that I will start doing reviews for ages now, and this week I’ve finally got around to it…yay! 

The Monster,  the best friend and I visited the Al Wasl branch (they also have one in Business Bay)  of Book Munch for lunch. It was the first time I have been here and I have to say that the fact it marries two of my favorite things (food and books) was a good selling point for me. 

Parking is available at the rear of the building, it’s RTA parking so not expensive at all. As soon as we approached the door we were greeting with a big smile and help with the pram,  always a good start. The cafe was pretty quite so we had plenty of space but I would see it being a squeeze if there were a few people with prams there. Then first thing I noticed when I went in was the kids book den (which also has a box of jigsaws). Bright,  cosy and with a wide selection of books in English and Arabic. The Monster wasn’t impressed at having to leave it when it was time to eat. 

The highchair for The Monster was brought to the table quickly and was clean. The kids menu had plenty of choice and most importantly for me included a good section of healthy choices and not processed fried foods. The Monster had breaded fish with mash and cherry tomatoes. It was all made fresh and the fact he demolished a good three quarters of it shows that it also tasted good. 

As for the grown ups,  I had the sweet potato poutine. It was a generous portion and tasted great,  so good The Monster stole some of it too. My friend had the steak sandwich which was massive! It looked pretty impressive and she really enjoyed it,  the down side was she then had no room left for dessert…. Oh well guess that’s down to me. Sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream and salted caramel sauce. I have eaten my fair share of sticky toffee pudding in my time and I would defiantly put this up in the top 5, so good,  I’m actually drooling just remembering it hahaha. Oh and we washed it all down with homemade ice teas, berry and lemon. Neither was sweetened a per our request and they were really delicious however the lemon one was very lemony,  which was a hit with m friend but some people may find it a bit over powering. 

So after a lovely lunch,  a kids reading nook and friendly staff why did it not make the 5/5 mark? Quite simply,  the bathrooms. While clean you do have to leave the cafe to access them, first getting an access code from staff. There is a changing table in the disabled toilet and it was spotless but it is a downside.

Overall I would definatly go back, I loved the friendly feel of the place and the food was fab.

Enjoy

Em xx

8m +, Egg Free, Lunchbox Idea, Nut Free, Savory

Salmon Bites

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  • 8m+
  • Egg Free
  • Nut Free
  • Lunchbox Idea
  • Can be Frozen

My Salmon Bites are delicious and super easy to make. They’re fab as the protein in a main meal or enjoyed as a simple snack. The Monster loves dipping them in sweet chili sauce, although I love them with aioli (these are just as tasty for adults as they are for kids.)

The recipe makes about 10 pieces but you can make them any size you like. They keep in the fridge for 2 days or can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Ingredients:

  • 250g skinless salmon fillet
  • 1 small potato
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • small squeeze of lemon

Method:

Chop the potato roughly and boil until tender. Whilst that is cooking finely dice the salmon fillet and ensure there are no bones hiding in it. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and whiz briefly to bring everything together (don’t do it for too long or you’ll get a paste) you want to keep plenty of texture.

Heat a small amount of coconut oil (or whatever oil you chose) in a frying pan over a medium heat.

Form the mixture into small balls using your hands and then squash into patties. Pop them into the frying pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown and cooked through.

 

Enjoy

Em xx

7m +, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Vegetarian

Baked Apples and Prunes

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  • 7m +
  • Diary free
  • Egg free
  • Nut free
  • Gluten free
  • Vegetarian

This is such a simple and quick recipe. It makes a fab dessert or even a snack. Best of all it’s super healthy. Now I do have to warn you that it can have a ‘loosening’ effect on a little one, (…less politely, they may poo like mad after!) thankfully it doesn’t seem to effect my Monster this way, as he loves this recipe. It’s one of those things that he’ll eat even if he hasn’t got much of an appetite, when he’s teething or under the weather. As it’s so quick I tend to make one at a time but you can make multiple ones as they do freeze ok.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Apple (I used a gala apple)
  • 2 large prunes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of water

 

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Peel and core your apple and place in a baking dish. Roughly chop your prunes and stuff into the apple where the core used to be. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the apple and pour the water into the bottom of the dish. Bake in the oven for 35 mins. Half way through baste the apple with the water in the bottom of the dish and stir the prunes. Allow to cool before serving.

 

Enjoy

Em xx