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0 In Blog/ Dinners/ From Scratch

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

This Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni recipe was one of those finds that will now stay safely tucked inside my recipe tool box. Another stellar recipe by Jamie Oliver, this pasta dish is truly delicious and is packed with the goodness of spinach and tomatoes. I can guarantee that it will be a family favourite. This dish is also one of Heartfelt Food’s recommended meals that freezes well for enjoying later. 

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This recipe is very easy to follow. Don’t be surprised at the quantity of the spinach, once it starts cooking and you squeeze all the water out of it, it shrinks down to a small ball that fits inside your hand. So it’s worth it to use the recommended amount. As well, I didn’t have a piping bag so I used a Ziploc bag and cut the corner to squeeze the Cannelloni filling in. This method is much faster than spooning the filling in or trying to use your hands. Just a little tip that could save you some hassle. Otherwise the recipe says it all, enjoy making it and enjoy eating it even more! 

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Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni
Serves 6
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Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 400 g spinach
  2. Extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  4. 1 onion, diced
  5. 2 cloves garlic, squashed
  6. 2 x 400 g tins of tomatoes
  7. 1 by leaf
  8. 1/2 bunch of basil, leaves picked
  9. 1/2 lemon, grated zest of
  10. 250 g ricotta
  11. 1 free-range egg, beaten
  12. 2 tsp grated parmesan
  13. 150 g cannelloni, about 14 tubes
  14. 2 x 125 g mozzarella balls, sliced
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Put the spinach and a drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over a low heat. Add the nutmeg, season with salt and pepper, cover and leave to sweat. Help the kids to stir it occasionally until the spinach has cooked down. Place in a bowl and set to one side to cool a little.
  2. In the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil and gently sweat the onion until soft. Add the garlic, tomatoes, bay leaf, a few basil leaves and lemon zest and let it gently simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Have the kids squeeze the moisture out of the spinach into the bowl. Place the spinach on a board so you can chop it up. Return the spinach to the liquid in the bowl and get the kids to stir in the ricotta, beaten egg and parmesan. Season to taste.
  4. Sit the piping bag in a jug, fold its edges over the rim, then spoon in the spinach mixture. Have the kids help pipe the mixture into the cannelloni tubes and lay them in a 20cm x 25cm oven dish.
  5. Spread the tomato sauce over the cannelloni. Scatter over most of the basil, lay the mozzarella slices on top, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and season. Place in the oven and cook for 35–40 minutes or till the top is golden and the pasta tender (if the top browns too fast, cover the dish with foil). Remove from the oven and let stand for a few minutes before serving with the remaining basil.
Heartfelt Food http://heartfeltfood.com/
0 In Blog/ Dinners

Chicken Pot Pie

chicken_pot_pie_heartfelt_foodHave you ever want to make a savoury pie but were a bit too intimidated by the whole process? I found this Chicken Pot Pie recipe and I assure you it’s the perfect first time pie maker recipe. I found it on Meghan Goetz’s site www.twineandbraids.com and she got it from Julie of Lovely Little Kitchen. So now I’m passing it on to you because it’s great find that’s for sure.  I made this pie about 3 weeks ago and it turned out beautifully, absolutely delicious and was perfect for freezing and eating later. 

I suggest having a little fun with the pastry and make some nice shapes on top. I found some great pastry cutters at the local craft shop to add just a little more fun and creativity to this pie. It’s a nice little feeling pulling out a pie from the oven that’s beautifully decorated as well as heartfully delicious! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. 

 

 

Chicken Pot Pie
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Ingredients
  1. 4 TBSP Butter
  2. 1/4 cup chopped onion
  3. 1/4 - 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  4. 1/4 cup chopped celery
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 2 TBSP flour
  7. 2 cups milk
  8. 2 cups milk
  9. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  10. 1 tsp chicken bullion - I used my home made veggie stock paste.
  11. 2 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
  12. 1/2 cup frozen peas
  13. 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  14. 1 sheet puff pastry
  15. 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F and thaw puff pastry.
  2. In a large pot melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and salt and saute until vegetables are tender.
  3. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly stir in milk, heavy cream and chicken bullion and bring to a boil. Simmer gently over medium heat until sauce begins to thicken.
  4. Turn heat to low and add in chicken, peas and thyme.
  5. Pour chicken mixture into a 9x9 baking dish. ( I used a pie dish)
  6. Cut puff pastry into 12 equal strips. Lay the strips over the chicken mixture, weaving them to form a lattice pattern. Whisk the egg and brush on top of the puff pastry.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown.
Heartfelt Food http://heartfeltfood.com/
0 In Blog/ Healthy Snacks

Sweet & Salty Nuts

I’m always on the search for tasty healthy snack recipes as I’m a grazer and always like having good snacks on hand.  When I discovered this Sweet Salty Nuts recipe I had one of those thoughts ‘this tastes too good to be healthy’.  It’s that sweet and salty combo that sends all those pleasure chemicals to your brain. And unfortunately it is hard to just have one handful. But hey, I’ll leave self control up to you. I’m working on my own! 

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This recipe is originally from Quirky Cooking and it’s as easy as tossing together salt, maple syrup and nuts and baking them in the oven.   Nuts that I find great in this recipe are almonds, cashews and pecans. But you can also add seeds like pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds to make a beautiful nut and seed snack mix. The possibilities are really as large as you want them to be when it comes to things you can add to this mix. This nut mix also goes beautifully on top of salad with feta cheese and balsamic vinegar. 

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Have fun with it and enjoy! 

Sweet and Salty Nuts
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 70 g Maple Syrup
  2. 1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
  3. 500 g Mixed Nuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix together maple syrup, sea salt and nuts and bake in oven for 10-15 until nuts are lightly golden. Allow to cool and enjoy!
Adapted from Quirky Cooking
Adapted from Quirky Cooking
Heartfelt Food http://heartfeltfood.com/
0 In Blog/ Dinners/ Soup

Roasted Squash Sweet Potato Soup

As the trees start to lose their leaves and the days start to get cooler I start to get into soup make mood again. I love the endless possibilities with soup, the boundless flavour options and the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you’re eating it.  One of my favourite soups to make is Roasted Squash & Sweet Potato Soup. Now that’s the short name. What I really should be calling it is a roasted medley of butternut squash, sweet potato, carrot, garlic and onion soup.  I simply cut up all the vegetables, roast them, cook them all together with water and veggie stock and then blend. And voila, the easiest yet most beautifully tasty soup!  And you’ll find that the aroma during the roasting of the veggies and cooking the soup is almost equally as enjoyable as the taste of the soup itself! Oh and it’s vegan, gluten free and dairy free! 

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I start by cutting up all the veggies then toss them in olive oil, spread them out on a baking tray and stick them in the oven. After 30 minutes I take out the garlic bulb and onion and leave the rest in for another 10 minutes until they’re golden and brown. By roasting the garlic and onion first it sweetens them both up and calms down the sharpness of their flavour. I absolutely love these flavours in soup. By the time all the vegetables are roasted they’re slightly brown and golden and are beautifully sweet. 

I do the rest in my Thermomix but this can easily be done in a large sauce pan along with a blender of some kind. 

I basically chop up the roasted onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes. Then I add the rest of the roasted veggies along with water and veggie stock paste and cook it up for 15 minutes or so. 

I then blend the soup in my Thermomix for 1 minute until creamy and smooth. I like to add a splash of honey and add some salt to taste to make sure the flavour is just right.  And then I serve the soup with a dollop of yogurt and garnish with parsley. 

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I love this soup because it’s such an easy recipe with very little prep. And it’s my go-to soup recipe for the Fall and Winter season. I hope you enjoy it too. Read my recipe below for a more detailed description of the recipe. 

Roasted Squash & Sweet Potato Soup
Serves 5
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 onion
  2. 1 bulb garlic
  3. 5cm piece fresh ginger
  4. 1 carrot
  5. 1 medium size sweet potato
  6. 1/2 large butternut squash
  7. 2 tbsp olive oil
  8. 1 TBSP Veggie Stock Paste *
  9. 1 Bay leaf
  10. 1 Litre Water
  11. 1 TBSP honey (optional)
  12. Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  2. Cut up carrot, sweet potato and butternut squash into small equally sized pieces, easy for roasting. Cut onion in half and leave on skin. Cut top of garlic bulb off, leaving rest of garlic bulb intact. Toss all the vegetables along with onion and garlic in olive oil, salt and pepper and lay out evenly spaced on baking tray. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown. After 30 minutes remove onion and garlic from oven tray.
  3. Once all the vegetables have finished roasting place onion, fresh ginger and roasted garlic (squeeze out roasted garlic from the bulb) in Thermomix bowl and chop for 3 seconds, speed 7. Add 1 TBSP olive oil and saute for 1 minute, 100 degrees, speed 1.
  4. Add roasted sweet potato, butternut squash, carrot, Veggie Stock Paste, bay leaf and water. When adding water it may not be exactly 1 litre of water. Add enough water to reach the 2 litre mark on the Thermomix bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. And cook for 15 minutes, 100 degrees, speed 1. Once cooked, blend for 1 minute on speed 9. Be careful to put a cloth on top of the lid while blending to avoid hot liquid from coming out the top. This is when I add the honey and add more salt and pepper if required.
  5. Enjoy right away or wait a day for the flavours to deepen. They say the soup is always better on the second day but you may not be able to wait that long to enjoy this one!
Notes
  1. * Veggie Stock Paste - this is a vegetable based soup stock that we Thermomix users make using vegetables, herbs and salt and it's basically a stock paste that is fantastic to use in soups, sauces and all kinds of cooking. Alternatively you can use vegetable or chicken stock or stock cubes.
  2. * This soup freezes really well so is great for future meal planning.
Heartfelt Food http://heartfeltfood.com/
0 In Blog/ Salads

The Vegetable Garden Salad

There’s something incredibly wholesome and satisfying about growing your own food and having a vegetable garden. Whether I have a small or large outdoor space I always make an effort to grow some of my own food. It’s incredibly satisfying walking outside to gather the food you’re about to cook with.

Today I made salad using fresh green beans, tomatoes and yellow zucchini straight from my garden. It was so delicious and reminded me why I love eating from my own garden.

When growing my own vegetables I know they are pesticide and herbicide free, I know they’re organic, I can watch them grow and they have so much more flavour than the store bought variety. And I also save money as seeds and seedlings are fairly inexpensive and the vegetables I chose to plan reproduce over and over throughout the summer months.

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My favourite things to grow are lettuce varieties, kale, swiss chard, arugula, green beans, zucchini, tomatoes and herbs. I love growing these because I get a very high yield for very little input. I can also fit these things into a fairly small space and can often be scattered around an established back yard garden.

I found a great article written by Lindsey Boyle of The Sound in Vancouver about a new app called My Green Space, that helps individuals grow their own home vegetable gardens no matter what kind of space they have. So it’s ok if you don’t have a backyard, you can grow your own food too! Check out the article here and prepare to be inspired!

0 In Baking/ Blog

Healthy Apple Rhubarb Crumble

So is it possible to make a Healthy Apple Rhubarb Crumble?

It’s that time of year when apple and pear trees are dangling their precious fruit. And you can still find rhubarb growing in the odd backyard. These ingredients are one of my favourite to bake with, apple and rhubarb crumble being my favourite and standby dessert. I tried today to make a variation of this favourite dessert by making a healthy apple and rhubarb crumble.  And yes, it’s possible and yes it tastes really good!  This version is also great for non-dairy and gluten free eaters.

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What’s fantastic about this dish was that I made it from fresh apples and rhubarb from my brother’s garden. There is something completely wholesome and fulfilling about baking with fruit that you’ve picked with your own bare hands. There’s this real honest connection with mother nature and I just love that. Only problem is that I now have a huge box of apples that I need make use of. So look out for some more apple featured recipes! healthy_apple_and_rhubarb_crumble_2

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found this recipe, Super Healthy Apple-Rhubarb Crumble and it turned out really well. I’ve now tried serving it with low fat vanilla yogurt and vanilla ice cream, both taste great and provide a low fat or yummy ‘I don’t care’ option. There’s no dairy in this recipe for those dairy intolerant individuals. And for a gluten free option use gluten free oats.

I’ve shared the recipe below, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Recipe

Ingredients

2 cups of diced apple
2 cups of rhubarb
2 cups of oats
1 cup of coconut
2 tablepoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of nutmeg
handful of raisins (optional)

Directions

Prepare the filling: Wash and dice the rhubarb, then cook until it’s soft. Finely chop the apple and cook that too.

*The easiest way to cook the rhubarb and apple is to microwave the rhubarb on high for 5 minutes, then add the apple and microwave that (with the rhubarb still in the bowl) on high for another 5 minutes.  It will look something like the below picture when it’s done.

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Prepare the crumble: Mix the oats and coconut together with the cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in the olive oil and mix well. Add the honey last by drizzling it over the mix. This step is really easy if you just toss it all in the food processor and whiz it for a few seconds, until the crumble forms.

Assemble the dessert: pout the cooked rhubarb and apple into a 1-litre dish, then top with the crumble. Save any excess topping for another day. It stores quite well in the freezer.

Bake in a 180 degree C oven (350F) for 15-30 minutes, until the crumble is nicely browned.

Serve with ice cream or low fat yogurt or anything of your choice and enjoy!

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