21 August 2013

Kinder Kitchen Competition winner - Ellie from North London

Competition question - How many broad beans are in this bowl?

Well done to Ellie from North London. You were the closest with your guess of 92 broad beans. There were actually 117 broad beans in the bowl. Your spatula will be with you shortly!

Details of the next competition to follow shortly.

Happy cooking everyone!

Kinder Kitchen Top Tip - Staying hydrated

During this hot spell it is important to keep you and your family hydrated. Many children resist drinking water so here are 5 fruits & vegetables high in water content that you could give your children to keep them hydrated on these wonderfully balmy sunning days. They are packed full of wonderful vitamins too!
  1. Watermelon
  2. Cantaloupe melon
  3. Cucumbers
  4. Celery
  5. Grapes

To read more and get nutritional information go to: http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/hydration-foods-drinks-dehydrate-your-body.php

20 August 2013

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants.

I have recently been reading a selection of books written by Michael Pollan. His books simplify the global food problems we all seem to be experiencing, in the Western world at ay rate.

The answer, he writes, to this increasing problem is

'Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants'
Yes it is supposedly as simply as this and really on reflection, it is. Our Western diet consists of too much processed food and meats, lots of added sugar and salt and refined grains. We just don't eat enough vegetables apparently - and this is true. Michael writes that people from countries that eat a range of traditional diets that haven't been 'Westernised' are much healthier and suffer up to 80% less from illnesses such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
This is particularly the case in Japan. My brother visited Japan recently and commented on how slim and fit the Japanese are. On returning to Heathrow and boarding the tube into London he looked around and was shocked how 'fat' we all are.
The truth is some people will not eat a single vegetable in a day, a week or a month. Some hardly ever eat vegetables. Frozen processed foods, take away meals and fast food restaurants have become the norm and people are not cooking any more.
In order for the next generation to live long and healthy lives we really need to turn this around. Tinned sweetcorn, frozen peas, broccoli or freshly boiled potatoes all have the valuable nutrients needed for a healthy diet so please always try and provide you and your children with some form of vegetable with your meals.
For more information on Michael Pollan and his books go to: http://michaelpollan.com/books. They are a fascinating read and easily digestible!

10 August 2013

Kinder Kitchen Fabulous Food Facts - Bananas

A hand of bananas
The wonders of the simple banana!
Did you know....
  • Do banana’s grow on trees? No they don’t actually. The banana plant is actually a giant herb and the banana itself is a berry as it has seeds

  • There are some 1000 different varieties of bananas throughout the world, most of which you can’t eat due to their taste

  • Some 100 billion bananas are eaten annually in the world

  • A bunch of banana’s formal name is a ‘hand’ and a single one is called a ‘finger’
Bananas are very healthy for you and are a great snack. Eaten alone or added to yoghurt, added to cakes, loafs & cereal or wrapped in foil with chocolate and bbq’d - they are very versatile. 

9 August 2013

Kinder Kitchen Healthy Recipe - Homemade Vegetarian Asian Pot Noddle

Ingredients I rummaged together
My children have gone out for the day with my mum so that I can work on all my up and coming projects which are pilling high due to the school holidays and just not enough hours in the day.

I hadn't planned anything for lunch and took a look in my fridge. I found some Asian greens that an Auntie had left with me the other day, soy sauce, chilli sauce, a spring onion, a discoloured lime, a clove of garlic and a red chilli for some extra heat. Oh and some miso paste. I luckily had some noodles in the cupboard, but had I not, I could have also used the leftover rice I had in my fridge (remembering to reheat the rice properly before adding it to the jar).

Kinder Kitchen Homemade Vegetarian Asian Pot Noodle

Ingredients chopped and ready for a good water
  • A bunch of fresh green, finely diced (or whatever you have in your fridge - finely dice cabbage, sweetcorn, finely copped broccoli all work)
  • 1/2 a small clove of garlic, finely chopped (I didn't have any but freshly grated ginger would also be a delicious addition)
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. chilli sauce (although if you have fresh or frozen chilli this will do instead)
  • 1/2 a lime
  • 1 large or 2 small spring onions
  • 1 1/2 tsp. of miso paste (half a vegetable stock cube crumbled if you don't have any miso paste)
  • 1 medium nest of noodles
My deliciously fragrant & healthy lunch
Plus any other ingredients you fancy or want to use up that do not need cooking.


  1. Place the noodles at the bottom of a medium airtight jar
  2. Spoon in the soy and chilli sauce, then add the green vegetables, onion, chilli, garlic, lime juice and miso paste (or stock cube) - plus any other ingredients you wish
  3. Pour in enough boiling water to cover 2/3rd of the ingredients. Give it a really good shake for 30 seconds or so and then leave to stand for 5 minutes. Stir half way thorough
  4. And enjoy.

Top tip:

If making this for children who are not used to spicy heat, leave out the chilli sauce and chilli.

This is a great lunch recipe idea to take into the office. Prepare the night before but not adding the boiling water and leave in the fridge. Just add the boiling water when you are ready to eat the pot noodle at work.

Easy, delicious and nutritious!

7 August 2013

Kinder Kitchen Kid's Healthy Recipe revisited - pitta bread pizzas

When you are in a hurry and have a little tomato sauce in the freezer along with some frozen pitta bread these are so quick and easy to make they are a god send! They are easy to make from scratch too!

Kinder Kitchen pitta bread pizzas (from 9 months)

Great finger food or for the packed lunch box
6 pitta breads
Olive oil
1 tin of plum tomatoes
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Some fresh or dried herbs for the sauce and to top the pizza with
1 ball of fresh mozzarella torn or cut into small pieces or 6 tablespoons of grated cheddar cheese

  1. First, make the tomato sauce by frying the garlic in a little oil on a low heat for 10 seconds (careful as garlic burns easily)
  2. Then add the puree, tinned tomatoes and herbs and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes. Once cooked, puree the sauce with a hand blender to a smooth paste. You don't have to puree the sauce if you don't have time
  3. Spoon the tomato sauce onto the pitta breads and then place the cheese on top and finish off by sprinkling some herbs on the cheese.
  4. Place under a medium grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese is bubbling
  5. Slice into fingers and serve as a main course, place in a lunch box or as finger food.


You can always double the quantity of tomato sauce to keep in the fridge (up to three days) or freezer to use at a later date.

You can add all kinds of toppings to these pizzas – ham, sweetcorn, spinach, fresh tomatoes, pineapple – basically anything that does not need to cook and can just be warmed up under the grill.

6 August 2013

Adding a litte sugar and salt to homemade food is not sacriligious - is it?

I keep reading article after article from Europe and especially the US regarding ways that the government and key organisations are tackling obesity and illnesses associated with unhealthy eating habits. They talk constantly about reducing the calorie intake by limiting snacks, regulating portion size of fizzy drinks and the like and eliminating foods with high sugar and sodium content. This is all good if at the same time children are having cookery lessons where they learn the benefits of healthy eating and basic recipes which give them a starting block to go home and cook with their parents. It's one thing to take away the favoured snack, but you need to replace it with tasty food that the children actually enjoy eating. Otherwise the forbidden food becomes even more of a wanted thing and children's cravings become uncontrollable.

my delicious tomato salsa with the tiniest pinch of salt
In the UK, I read articles saying that you should omit sugar and salt from children's meals. When I cook at home I always add a little salt to what I am cooking because adding 1/2 tsp of salt to a meal for 4-6 people is hardly a lot - the key is I want the food to taste good. We should look more to French and Italian cuisine (to name a few) to get our ideas when we teach children. On the southern continent they use the raw ingredient and by adding a little salt they are enhancing the taste of a piece of meat, fish or vegetable. In addition a tsp. of sugar in a tomato sauce goes a long way to making it very tasty. For example, our tomatoes in the UK are not that sweet as they don't receive the sweetening rays of sunshine that tomatoes on the Southern Continent receive. A little sugar does not hurt when you are enhancing the flavour of food.

By adding sugar and salt to food, especially when teaching children to cook, allows us to explain to them about moderation. By totally ignoring the issue and pushing it under the carpet will only result in children yearning more for the so called 'forbidden' fruits.

I recently attended a cooking course aimed at teaching children cookery in schools. One of the recipes was chickpea and cauliflower curry with turmeric and other spices. It was the most tasteless curry I have ever tasted and all you could taste was the turmeric - which if any of you use it in your cooking will know, it is not the most pleasant taste in the world. Why was it tasteless - because the recipe did not have any salt in it because it was aimed at children (not 12 month year olds but children from 5 upwards who are allowed a little salt in their diets). Well, if this is the food we are going to serve up our children in schools, then there is no surprise we have such a huge food problem in this country.

4 August 2013

Kinder Kitchen Competition - guess how many broad beans

It's competition time again!

This time I have a child's spatula to give away. To enter please answer the following question:

Can you guess how many broad beans are in the bowl my daughter is holding?

Answers by Friday August 23rd please.

Good luck!

Kinder Kitchen Competition winner

Well done to Sarah P who sent me through the winning pancake recipe from July's competition. The yummy recipe will be posted shortly. The fun egg cup and spoon is winging it's way over to her as I write this.

2 August 2013

Kinder Kitchen Kid's Healthy Recipe - lemon & beetroot fairy cakes

Yum! Fresh beetroot
I love beetroot. To me it's like marmite. You either love it or hate it. My kids haven't taken to it as yet but I'm hoping they will in time. It is quite earthy in taste and that's one of the reasons I love it. I love to eat it on it's own, with a drizzle of olive oil, vinegar & pepper, in a salad or with smoked fish. It's also great in a fresh juice and gives the juice a great vibrant colour.

At the children's garden party I held a couple of weeks ago we made lemon and beetroot fairy cakes. They went down a storm! You could only taste the beetroot slightly - and that's only because I was looking for it. The children didn't notice the beetroot as the lemon was the more dominant in flavour. The cakes were delicious and a wonderful pinkish colour.

Enjoy baking!

Lemon & Beetroot fairy cakes


200g plain flour
200g butter at room temperature
150g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 small beetroot, finely grated
Juice and rind of 1 lemon 
Preheat oven to 180 C/gas mark 6
  1. Place 24 fairy cake cases into cupcake tins
  2. Place all the ingredients in a bowl together and mix for a couple of minutes with an electric whisk
  3. Spoon the mixture into the muffin case. (The cases should all be around 2/3rds full) 
  4. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the top of the muffins feel firm to touch. These muffins stay very moist due to the lemon juice and beetroot
  5. Once cool, eat just as or top with icing of your choice
Go to http://www.lovebeetroot.co.uk/healthy_info/index.asp#.Ufu4rTtwbIU for more information regarding the wonders of beetroot!