Cannellini beans, zucchini and feta muffins

When it comes to picky eaters I have quite an experience ;-) My little adorable Luca is going through a phase of “I do not want meat, mommy!” and not even the beloved Italian meatballs with tomato sauce will appeal him. Meat equals proteins and if he doesn’t want to eat meat I have to find another way to offer him proteins. That’s when my creativity comes to help.

The cannellini beans and zucchini muffins with feta cheese have been a surprisingly appreciated substitution for a meat meal. Kid happy + mommy happy! It’s vegetarian and gluten free at the same time!

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They are tasty thanks to the feta cheese, soft and creamy thanks to the cannellini beans and moisten thanks to the zucchini. In addition to that between the eggs and the beans they are loaded with proteins!!

That’s all you will need for 12 muffins:

cannellini muffin ingred

PROCEDURE:

– Wash the zucchini, cut the edges and grate them in small flakes with an hand grater or with an electric one.

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Place the zucchini in a colander to naturally drain their liquid. Adjust with a pinch of salt on top: it will help the zucchini to loose their water. Set it apart for 30 min.

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Meanwhile place the chopped half onion and the garlic clove in a blender and blend everything for 30 sec. Try to reduce the onion in very small pieces, the smaller, the better.

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Add the cannellini beans previously removed from the can and washed under running water. Blend everything in order to obtain a nice creamy mix.

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Take a medium size bowl and add the cannellini beans mix and the eggs. Stir.

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Slowly add the rice flour and mix in order not to form grains

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Add the parmesan and stir

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Add the feta cheese and the zucchini. If the zucchini look still kind of watery to you, drain some extra water with your hands and add the zucchini to the mix. Stir everything.

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Using a silicon cupcake mold, place two generous tablespoons of mix in each hole and fill it. As the muffins do not have any baking powder inside they will not raise a lot. Bake the muffins in the pre-heated oven at 350 F. for 45 minutes. Let them cool down and enjoy! I think that they are best if served warm.

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Enjoy!

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posted on September 19, 2014

Apple cake – gluten free

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When it comes to apple cakes my mind goes back to my childhood when my mom used to prepare an amazing apple cake: soft, high and beautifully golden. As I love to try new options and recipes, I decided that I wanted to have the same fluffy and soft cake that my mom prepared, but…gluten free. With few modifications here and there I’m happy to share with you my gluten free apple cake. The kids loved it and I really hope you are going to love it too!!

This is all you will need for a regular size (6/8 portions) cake:

apple cake ingred

Are you ready? Let’s start together:

– Take one apple (I chose Fuji ones) and peel it. Slice the apple in very thin slices.

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– Place the apple slices in a bowl and squeeze the lemon juice on top. Toss with your hands the apple slices so that the lemon juice will cover evenly all the slices. Set it apart.

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– In a kitchen mixer add the butter cut in small cubes (the butter should be soft, room temperature) and the sugar. Let the mixer work for 2 minutes at low speed in order to create a nice cream.

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– While the mixer is working divide the egg yolks from the whites.

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– Place the eggs white in a medium size bowl, add a pinch of salt and with an electric whisk beat the eggs white untill stiff and dry. Like this:

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– Go back to the mixer. The butter + sugar should be nice and creamy. Add the egg yolks, the yogurt and the vanilla extract. Let it work for 1 minute.

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– Add the baking powder to the rice flour and slowly add the dry mix in the mixer, one teaspoon at the time.

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– You will obtain a thick and smooth dough

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– Slowly add the stiff egg whites to the mix with a spatula or a spoon, not with the mixer or you will lose the fluffy effect. The thick dough will transform into a fluffy cream.

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– Add the apple slices and gently mix.

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– Transfer the mix in a springform cake pan. If the pan is in silicon you do not need to grease it. If it is a standard metal/aluminum pan you might want to grease it with some baking spray or butter.

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– Final decoration: slice the remaining apple in thin slices, leave the peel (it’s more beautiful!!) and decorate the surface of the cake with the apple slices.

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– Bake the apple cake in the pre-heated oven at 400 F. for 45 minutes. Let it cool down for 5 minutes and enjoy!!!

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posted on September 11, 2014

Baby pasta with fresh tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of those foods that you may be unsure about giving to your baby. Not because they are allergenic, but because they may cause a not so fun diaper rush or an upset tummy due to the high level of acidity. That’s why it is recommended to introduce tomatoes (most of all raw ones) between 10 and 12 months of age, when your baby’s digestive system is more mature.
It is, of course, for you and your pediatrician to decide when is the most appropriate time to introduce tomatoes to your little one. Both my kids started enjoying tomatoes at around one year with no side effects.

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With that being said, tomatoes are an incredible source of vitamin C that helps Iron absorption, and Vitamin A. Both good reasons to introduce tomatoes in your baby’s diet at the appropriate age.

Let’s talk about the recipe: super easy and super yummy. With few changes I use it for the rest of the family too!

That’s all you will need for two baby portions:

baby pasta ingred

Pastina or baby pasta is a standard pasta (durum wheat flour) just in a very very very small size: baby size. In this way it is much easier to chew as, once cooked, it will be a kind of pasta cream, very close to a couscous texture. You can find baby pasta at the grocery store and it comes in different shapes (all very tiny). You can choose the one that you like, I opted for a tiny grains one.

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How to proceed:

– peel the tomatoes and remove the seeds. If they are vine ripened tomatoes you should easily remove the peel just making an X incision on the peel with a sharp knife and delicately peel them. Chop them in tiny tiny pieces, the smaller, the better.

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– Chop the basil leaves in small pieces

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– Fill 3/4 of a sauce pan with water and let it boil. When the water is boiling add the baby pasta or pastina. Let it cook for 2 minutes or the cooking time you will find on the box. This time, as we are cooking for babies, you do not need to add any salt in the boiling water nor in the tomatoes.

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– Strain the baby pasta in a colander.

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– In a medium size bowl add the baby pasta, the tomatoes, the basil, the grated parmesan cheese and the oil. Mix and serve!

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If the quantity is too much for your baby you can store the pasta in an air tight container for one day. To warm up again the pasta, add few tablespoons of water and either warm it on the stove in a small pan or in the microwave.

Enjoy!

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posted on September 6, 2014


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