Smoked salmon avocado rolls recipe

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A fresh and fun idea for lunch for your kids. My little Luca really likes smoked salmon, that’s why he really enjoys those “sushi style” rolls. On my side I like the good amount of Omega 3 fats contained in smoked salmon. Once in a while it’s a good ingredient for our meals.

The addition of avocados makes this lunch even better as they are packed with nutrients and heart-healthy compounds. Remember also that avocados are an amazing source of lutein with powerful antioxidant properties. All good reasons to give avocados to our kids (and to ourselves too!!).

Multi-grain bread and some good cream cheese will complete this lunch idea!

What you will exactly need to prepare 8 rolls:

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Procedure:

- take the two slices of multi-grain bread and remove the side crust with a knife

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- with a rolling pin flatten the bread

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- spread the cream cheese on the bread

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- add a layer of smoked salmon on top of the cheese. You can choose any smoked salmon variety that you like, I opted for a wild caught alaskan smoked salmon. Even the Norwegian one is great!

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- last layer. Mashed Hass avocado. I suggest to mash the avocado with a fork in order to obtain a nice creamy texture

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- slowly roll the bread slices in order to obtain a nice bread cylinder

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- with your hands compact the cylinder

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- using a sharp knife slice the cylinder in 1 inch rolls

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Done! Enjoy.

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posted on August 22, 2014

Vegetarian gluten free eggplant pizza recipe – kids friendly

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My kids simply adore pasta and pizza, maybe it’s the Italian dna ;-) In order to offer them a nice and balanced diet I try to give them either pasta or pizza once a day, preferably at lunch. Sometimes it happens that my little Luca, even if he had his daily dose of pasta at lunch asks me pizza again for dinner. That’s when I try to accomodate his food requests and my balanced diet wishes at the same time thinking outside the box. That’s how the eggplant pizza was born.  The final result is so tasty and light that the whole family enjoys this alternative kind of pizza!!

This is all you will need for 4 people:

eggplant pizza ingred

Procedure:

- wash and peel the eggplants. You can always leave the peel, but as I’m cooking for kids I noticed that they really enjoy eggplants without any complaint if they are without peel.

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- slice the eggplant on the length in thick slices, 1 inch thick.

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- place the slices on a paper towel in a baking sheet, one next to the other. Sprinkle some salt on top and place them apart for 20 minutes. The salt will let the eggplant release some extra water that the paper towel will absorb.

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- After 20 minutes gently pat the slices with some paper towel to dry them out from the extra water and the salt

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- Remove the paper towel and substitute it with some parchment paper. Place the eggplant slices one next to the other on the parchment paper. Place few tablespoons of Extra virgin oil of olive in a cup and with a pastry brush gently brush the surface of each slice on one side only.

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- Sprinkle the slices with some oregano, either dry or fresh. Bake the eggplant slices in the preheated oven at 400 F for 25 minutes.

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- While the eggplants are cooking we can prepare the fresh tomato sauce. You can use a good quality store bought one…but the homemade has a totally different taste ;-)  I used sweet cherry tomatoes in season from the farmers’ market. so sweet that it seems they put some sugar inside!

Chop the tomatoes in pieces.

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- in a medium frying pan add two tablespoons of extra virgin oil of olive and two cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped in half. Turn the heat on at medium and let the oil get warm for 30 seconds.

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- add the tomatoes, adjust with salt, stir and let it cook at medium for 10/12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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- the tomatoes will soften and release all their juice creating a nice and inviting cream

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- the tomato sauce and the eggplants should be ready at the same time. It’s time to assemble our pizza.

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- Remove the eggplant slices from the oven and let them cool down for 5 minutes. Do NOT switch the oven off. Spread a generous tablespoon of tomato sauce on top of every slice.

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- Place some slices of fresh mozzarella on top

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- add a teaspoon of grated parmesan cheese

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- decorate with few leaves of basil and a drizzle of extra virgin oil of olive

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- place the eggplant pizzas back in the oven for 8 minutes in broil mode to let the cheese melt and form a lovely golden crust.

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eggplant pizza

Enjoy!!!

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posted on August 14, 2014

Dairy free vanilla pudding with raspberry sauce recipe – baby friendly

I do have a passion for puddings or “spoon desserts”, creamy and delicate. Thanks to the fact that they are a very good idea for a snack or breakfast for kids and babies I have a wonderful excuse to prepare them for my kids and have a spoon myself :-)

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Today’s recipe came out one day when I was going to prepare a pudding for my Luca (3 yrs) and my little Alex (10 months at that time) was nicely staring at me from the high chair….he was definitely interested in what I was preparing but unfortunately the ingredients were not 100% appropriate for him. That’s how I decided to prepare a dairy free, animal gelatin free version of the vanilla pudding. With few changes to the usual recipe this pudding came out light, delicate and delicious. The additional raspberry sauce is a must!!

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This is what you need:

baby white pudding ingred

Procedure:

- in a medium saucepan add the agave nectar, the corn starch, the agar agar and the vanilla paste. Stir with a whisk and slowly add the rice milk and the almond milk. Keep whisking in order to avoid any grain.

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- turn on the heat at medium and keep whisking up until the mix will start boiling

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- turn off the heat and keep stirring for 1/2 minutes.

- pour the mix in a silicon mold of your preferred shape and size. I used for my baby a heart shape ice cubes silicon mold and for my toddler a cupcakes heart shape silicon mold.

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- place the mold in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours in order to obtain a firm pudding. Using silicon molds will make the removal of the pudding very easy.

- for the sauce: place the raspberries in a blender with the lemon juice and mix for 1 minute in order to obtain a nice cream. If you are giving the sauce to a baby or to a picky toddler you can pour the raspberry mix in a strainer in order to remove all the seeds. I do not add any sugar as I try to select very sweet raspberries. It’s totally up to your taste: you can add to the sauce few tablespoons of agave nectar or honey or, if you are cooking for babies under 12 months, just one teaspoon of vanilla paste.

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The vanilla pudding is lovely as a kids friendly dessert or for breakfast or just for an afternoon snack. You can store the pudding in the refrigerator in the mold for up to 4/5 days. Enjoy!!

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posted on August 8, 2014


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