Pinaattipäivät – Spinach Days

It has been a long time since I last wrote. I always promise to myself to write at least one post per week but oh well. I guess this is the reality when you are working 5 days a week in a busy job and have a toddler. Not much of your own time and when you do, you just want to be and breath. I love my job and that keeps me going when I am tired or sick as today when having a day off from work.

My daughter and I had a very spinachy week last week, we did spinach pancakes and spinach soup and she loved the both. I felt like a huge victory when I got her to eat something green, she is one of those kids who prefer pasta&chicken, pasta&sausages, rice&chicken , white bread and all of these with loads of ketchup. No vegetable have I managed to get her to eat for 3 years! Spinach victory, that what it was. I was also excited to be able to do both spinach soup and pancakes without dairy or eggs (my soup I served with one boiled egg as it is traditional to do so). My husband did not recognise the oat milk base in the spinach soup when he did blind tasting, that is how good and authentic it tasted like! Here you are these simple recipes, perfect for toddlers. My daughter loved dipping bread in different kind of soups.

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Spinach Soup (Dairy free):

1 litre of oat milk
1dl (1/2 a cup) white flour
150g of frozen spinach
1tsp salt
hint of white pepper
hint of nutmeg

1. Mix cold oat milk and white flour together and whisk it a bit to make sure no flour lumps appear.
2. Heat it up to the boil and then keep in heat (without boil) and mix all the time until gets thick (takes 10-15min).
3. Add spices.
4. Serve with bread and boiled eggs if you prefer.
This is super tasty and so traditionally Finnish! The same thick soup tastes great with boiled potatoes too when used as a sauce.

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Spinach pancakes (Dairy free): Makes 8-10 small pancakes

 2 1/2 dl (1 1/4 cup) oat milk
a bit under  1/2 dl (1/4 cup) canola oil
1 1/2-2dl (3/4-1 cup) white flour
1/2tsp salt
2-3 cubes of defrosted frozen spinach

1.Mix together oat milk, canola oil, then add flour and salt.
2. In the end add the defrosted spinach cubes and mix well.
3. Fry in the frying pan in canola oil and serve with sugar or jam.

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View from my office building. Pretty amazing!

Beetroot patties

Like my husband noted last night I have not been very innovative in the kitchen after the baby arrived. As every mother knows this is only due to the busy days with the toddler. After an active day I usually just prefer something quick and easy for dinner, those three hour cooking sessions that we used to have are past, at least for a little while. Last night I felt innovative for some reason, I guess it is this moving. I am so excited about our move, new life in Australia and everything related to that so I feel like I suddenly have a lot more energy than before.

When I was in Finland my mum cooked beetroot patties/burgers, however you prefer to call them and I got inspired. I absolutely love beetroot and particularly with horseradish they are the best friends if you ask me.  My mum used buckwheat flour in her patties but I thought I’d try something new. I created beetroot rice patties…and they were amazing! Juicy, delicious, they had that lovely sweet beetroot flavour, crispy on top and yummy! I served them with salad and horseradish cream but they would go perfectly inside of the vegetarian hamburger too. They are dairy and egg free as I tend to cook these days so suitable for vegans too.

beetroot patties

Makes 8-10 patties:

2dl (1 cup) cooked long grain rice

3 beetroots (grated but not cooked)

2 tbsp white flour

2 tbsp corn starch like Maizena (this replaces the eggs and ties the dough together)

1 tsp salt

hint of black pepper, white pepper and paprika

1/2 tsp thyme

1. Grate uncooked peeled beetroots.

2. Mix the grated beetroot with cooked rice.

3. Add the white flour and Maizena.

4. Add the spices.

5. Heat up the pan and pour vegetable oil on it (don’t be shy, oil is good for you!)

6. Mould the patties in your hand and put them on the frying pan. Cook them on both sides so that they become crispy on top.

7. Heat up the oven to 200 celsius degrees.

8. Place the cooked patties on the baking tray and bake them for 15 minutes in 200 celsius degrees to finish them and to make sure beetroot is soft and cooked.

Enjoy with salad and horseradish cream!

Allergy friendly gingerbread recipe

Despite our daughter’s allergies I want her to experience all the things that other children do including baking. Of course this means we need to be extra cautious and she can only bake with the ingredients that suit for her so regular cookies which include butter and eggs just won’t work, her hands would get just swollen and itchy plus the risk she would eat the mix scares us as we do not want to use the adrenaline pen unless necessary.

Last week I felt like Finnish Christmas cookies which are gingerbread biscuits. I googled a lot to get the best recipe, the most allergy friendly one but I could not find a good one so I decided to try my own. It worked super well, so here you go. If you want to do some dairy and egg free gingerbread biscuits for allergic kids this recipe is great. If you want to bake them just for some other reasons preferring vegan/dairy free diet this works perfectly then too! You cannot tell they are dairy and egg free!

My little daughter absolutely loved baking the biscuits!

gingerbread

Makes three oven trays of biscuits:

3/4dl (a bit less than 1 cup) dark syrup (treacle syrup in the UK and in OZ)

1 dl (1/2 cup) sugar

Gingerbread spice: 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cardamom, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp ground ginger

125g dairy free margarin (I used sunflower margarin in the UK, in Finland you can use Keiju dairy free margarin.)

4 1/2 dl (2 1/4 cup) white flour

1 tsp no-egg powder mixed with 2 tsp water (You get this from Waitrose or Ocado in the UK and from Punnitse ja Saasta store in Finland. This is ORGRAN Australian product so available anywhere in OZ.)

2 tsp baking soda

1. Prepare the gingerbread spice

2. Cook syrup, sugar and dairy free margarin with gingerbread spice in the sauce pan until nice and shiny brown.

3. When the liquid is nice and brown take it away from the heat and mix in the no-egg.

4. Mix flour and baking soda together and add into the syrup mix.

5. Knead well.

6. Use flour when baking if needed.

7. Bake for 6-9 minutes in 175 celsius degrees.

ENJOY! Works well with blue cheese like Stilton on top -this is a Finnish style to eat them 🙂

Squid and king prawn linguine-Mustekala-rapupasta

I finally got this recipe here. I made super delicious seafood pasta last week and thought I’d share the recipe with you. Simple, quick and so tasty.

I have some weird pasta phase going on at the moment and we have had various delicious pastas for dinners for the past couple of weeks. I guess now when I am at home with our daughter I walk so much outdoors that I feel super hungry in the evenings! Pasta is the perfect cure for that kind of hunger.

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Cook and enjoy!

olive oil

1 onion

2-3 garlic cloves

180ml (one small bottle) dry white wine

400ml water

1 cube of chicken stock (I used Knorr)

150g squid rings

150g king prawns

2 tbsp choppend fresh parsley

linguine

1. Dice the onion finely. Add onion and crushed garlic to the wok with a bit of olive oil. Cook until golden brown.

2. Add wine and let it boil/simmer for five minutes to boil the alcohol away.

3. Add water and chicken stock cube. Cook in low heat such as the sauce simmers and reduces a bit.

4. Start cooking linguine in a separate sauce pan. You want to add squid and prawns to the sauce at the last minute so that they won’t become chewy!

5. When linguine is 3 minutes away to be ready add squid and prawns to the sauce and add parsley too. Let it simmer for those 3-4 minutes.

6. Drain the linguine.

7. Serve the pasta with the sauce.

Super good!

Carrot Bread -Porkkanakakku

carrotcake-2

I found this recipe from one of my favourite vegan blogs called Chocochili. It is such a good blog so I happily advertise it here too (Finnish blog).  Most of the recipes are suitable for my daughter but tasty enough such as I don’t think the flavour suffers from the allergy friendly cooking. The original recipe is for cupcakes but I used the same dough for carrot bread. It is definitely more of a bread than a cake. The only thing I really changed in the recipe was that I replaced almond milk with oat milk. I was surprised how moist the cake turned out. It is not very sweet either so it can be eaten both at breakfast or brunch time. I love it as I prefer sweet continental style breakfast, eggs and bacon are just not my cup of tea! Hope you enjoy this bread!

100ml grated carrot

150 ml (2/3 cup) dark brown sugar

250ml oat milk

100 ml vegetable oil

350ml (1 2/3 cup) white flour

2 tbs potato starch

1,5 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1. Mix dark brown sugar, oat milk and oil in the bowl.

2. Mix all dry ingredients together.

3. Combine dry ingredients with the brown sugar-vegetable oil-oat milk mix.

4. Add grated carrot and mix.

5. Bake in 175 centigrades for 30-40min until fully cooked. Do a ”fork test” and if the dough does not get stuck to the fork it is ready.

PS. I tested the banana version too. You can make it simply by replacing the grated carrot with 1-2 mashed bananas -tasty!

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Löysin tämän ihanan kakkuohjeen lempi vegaaniblogistani Chocochili.  Voin lämpimästi suositella kyseistä blogia kaikille, jotka suosivat maidotonta ruokavaliota. On kyseinen blogi toki muutenkin mainio! Tämä kakku on todella herkullinen ja nopea.  Englantilaisessa maailmassa tämänkaltaisia kakkuja usein kutsutaan leiviksi pikemminkin kuin kakuiksi, sillä ne eivät ole niin makeita. Alkuperäinen ohje oli muffineille ja niissä oli mantelimaitoa. Korvasin mantelimaidon kauramaidolla ja tämä maittava kakku oli valmista uuniin. Suosittelen! Kakku ei ole liian makeva ja sopii jopa aamiaiaselle tai brunssille!

1 dl hienoksi raastettua porkkanaa

1dl fariinisokeria tiiviiksi painettuna

2,5 dl kauramaito

1 dl rypsiöljyä

3,5 dl vehnäjauhoja

2 rkl perunajauhoja

1,5 tl leivinjauhetta

1 tl vaniljasokeria

1 tl kanelia

1/4 tl neilikkaa

1.Laita uuni kuumenemaan 175 asteeseen. Kuori ja raasta porkkanat.

2. Mittaa kulhoon fariinisokeri, mantelimaito ja öljy. Sekoita tasaiseksi.

3. Yhdistä toisessa kulhossa kuivat aineet. Kaada neste kuivien aineiden joukkoon ja kääntele tasaiseksi. Lisää lopuksi sekaan porkkanaraaste.

4. Paista n. 30-40minuuttia kunnes kypsä.

PS. Testasin baananilla myös. Voit tehdä banaaniversion korvaamalla porkkanaraasteen 1-2 banaanilla -herkullista!

Banana cake -Banaanikakku

banana bread

Super tasty banana cake/bread. As my daughter’s dairy allergy has not eased yet our family stays dairy free which I in fact don’t mind. This banana cake is quick and easy. It is also egg and dairy free too. Suitable for both toddlers and adults. My hubby ate it for breakfast and dinner!

Banana cake/bread

1 1/2 dl (3/4 cup) caster sugar

4 dl (2 cup) white flour

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp vanilla sugar

1 1/2dl (3/4 cup) oat milk (regular milk)

100ml vegetable oil

2 mashed bananas

1tbs cinnamon

1. Mix the dry ingredients together.

2. Mash the bananas.

3. Add the oil and oat milk into the dry mix. Add mashed bananas. Add cinnamon.

4. Pour mix to the baking tin.

5. Bake in the oven in 200 celsius degrees for 35-40 minutes until baked through and looking golden brown.

Koska pikkutyttäremme maitoallergia ei ole helpottanut on perheemme maidoton ja pysyy sellaisena. Tässä super herkullinen ja helppo banaanikakku. Sopii niin aikuiselle kuin lapselle..mieheni popsi sitä niin iltapalaksi kuin aamiaiseksi!

Banaanikakku:

1 1/2 dl sokeria

4 dl vehnäjauho

2 1/2 tl leivinjauhe

2 tl vanilja sokeri

1 1/2dl kauramaito (tavallinen maito)

1dl rypsiöljy

2 muussattua kypsää banaania

1rkl kanelia

1. Sekoita kuivat aineet.

2. Muussaa banaanit.

3. Lisää rypsiöljy ja kauramaito kuiviin aineisiin. Sekoita joukkoon muussattu banaani.

4. Kaada kakkuseos voideltuun vuokaan ja paista 200 asteessa 35-40 minuuttia kunnes kakku on kypsä ja kullanruskea väriltään.

Gluten, dairy and egg free banana blueberry cake -Gluetiiniton, maidoton, munaton banaanimustikkakakku

banaanimutsikkakakku

Again this silence..I think I have no more excuses now, just being terribly busy. I am back to work now and after the working day there seems to be so little time left for anything! I am loving it though. After a year at home with the baby work seems like 5 days a week holiday! I know it probably sounds horrible but for me this is a perfect balance. I cannot handle being staying-at-home-mum, it really drives me crazy. I need my own life and  I need to have challenges in my life -my brain needs stimulation and what I do for work certainly does it. It is also so glorious to have my morning coffee peacefully before starting to work.

We found a perfect nanny for our little daughter and we could not notice any change in her behaviour when I started working -pretty amazing. She sleeps as well (as badly as usually :)) and she is not any clingier or more tearful when I finish the work. In fact she is the happiest baby you can ever imagine as the nanny does all sort of wonderful activities with her all day long. So all in all, this is the most amazing arrangement we could have ever hoped for. My husband has a happy wife and  we have a happy baby.

I was quite depressed the last couple of months staying at home only. Even though I have lots of friends with babies it was still not enough for me, I needed some balance and I wanted to see myself not as a 24/7 mother but also a capable career woman with a drive to work. I know it means less baking and cooking and therefore probably less frequent blog posting but it is better. My usually so positive and cheerful personality changed drastically by the end of the last year and I felt like I was not myself anymore. I was just sad and miserable all the time and every day seemed to just repeat itself. Same fights with the baby over eating (without any success!) and acting as a constant entertainment machine day after day, month after month. I know there are women out there who are at their happiest when they can stay at home full time and I certainly admire them but I am not one of those I get not only a cabin fever but huge anxiety. Now I feel so happy every day when I started working. I meet adults, I can communicate with people who do not throw themselves to the floor when they get annoyed and I can challenge myself in a working life. Wonderful..and my new job is great too!

As my baby still does  not eat I tried the” NHS approach”, the approach the dietician here in England suggested, that was ”feed your baby with pizza, cakes, crisps, ice cream, add sugar to everything..to get calories in”. Well, of course I cannot give dairy, eggs or gluten to her so I baked this banana blueberry cake.  It was super good..although she spitted it out straight away and threw rest of it to the floor -no success with the NHS approach either. So I won’t try this unhealthy suggestion any more.

Anyway, don’t believe my baby, her taste buds do not exist, this cake is really good. Our American friend who is visiting us here absolutely loved it. It was his birthday yesterday so it was kind of his birthday cake. I hope you enjoy the recipe too. It is simple and quick and of course you can use regular flour if you do not need a gluten free version.

4 1/2dl (2 1/4 cup) white flour (white gluten free flour)

2 dl (1 cup) sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar

3 dl (1 1/2 cup) blueberries (frozen are fine)

2 bananas

2 1/2dl (1 1/4 cup) rice milk or regular milk if you can eat dairy

1  1/4 dl (1/2 cup) dairy free melted margarine or regular margarine

1. Combine the dry ingredients.

2. Mash the bananas. Mix the mash with rice milk and melted margarine.

3. Combine the blueberries with dry ingredients and then banana mix.

4. Pour to the cake tin and bake 50-55 min in 175 Celsius degrees.

ENJOY!
Tip: Add some Betty Crocker icing on top and it is even more delicious!