Easy Picnic treats
In Singapore we are lucky enough to enjoy picnic weather the whole year round and there are so many interesting locations, as well as local parks, to gather with friends and family and enjoy a meal outside. A picnic can be as simple or complex as you wish it to be, but your kids will remember the times had together more than the food, so take it easy and aim for stress-free food. There are so many easy options for eating outside, a family favourite is a takeaway in the park, add a blanket and you have a meal out of the norm. Sliced fruits and vegetables are an obvious choice (my kids could make a meal of watermelon!) and dips can make these a bit different. There is probably more in your fridge that could be used for sandwiches and filled rolls, or leftovers can be made into
something else like quiche, filo wraps, or an egg slice. Frozen foods reheated in the oven and then slightly cooled like samosas, spring rolls, chicken nuggets also make an easy sure win addition.
One of the most important things is to remember food that food will spoil very quickly in the heat, especially meat, eggs and dairy. Using cooler bags and blocks help, as does ensuring the food is consumed within a short time frame, but, when in doubt chuck it out!! And maybe keep the fancy cheeses and charcuterie for at home (with wine and without kids!).
Here are a few more suggestions:
Vegan Quiche – Tofu, Spinach & Mushroom
Ingredients 1 + 1/4 Cup Buckwheat Flour 100g Coconut Butter 3-4 Tablespoons Water 200g Silken Tofu 1 + 1/2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast 3-4 Sprigs Fresh Thyme 3 Tablespoons Soy Milk Sprinkle Black Pepper 1 Onion – Finely diced 1 Handful Baby Leaf Spinach Finely chopped 1/2 Cup Button Baby Mushrooms Finely Chopped 1/4 Cup Grated Vegan Cheese
Method Preheat oven to 180ºC
To make the filling
Add the tofu, nutritional yeast, milk, sprinkle of pepper and thyme to your blender and blend until really smooth then set aside.
Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and gently fry the onion and mushrooms on a low heat until soft and sweet.
Add the chopped spinach to the pan and cook for about a minute or until its slightly wilted.
Take the pan off the heat and allow to cool slightly before pouring the tofu mixture in and combining really well.
To make the pastry
Add the buckwheat flour and coconut butter to a bowl and combine together by rubbing your fingers and thumbs together until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. You should no longer be able to see any lumps of coconut butter.
Add the water one table spoon at a time and work into the dough until it starts to stick together. Mine took 4 tablespoons.
Turn onto a floured surface and roll until it is about 5mm thick.
Using a 80mm round cookie cuter cut out 24 circular shapes.
The dough is a little harder to work with than normal dough so when putting them into your muffin tin be really gentle. I found that by pressing the edges rather than the centre they slotted in perfectly.
To assemble Spoon a teaspoon of the tofu mixture into each muffin case and sprinkle with a little vegan cheese. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Applesauce, Banana, and Chia Seed (ABC) Cookies
To make my ABC cookies you will need apple sauce, a ripe banana, chia seeds, butter, flour, and quick cook oats. You can also add vanilla extract and or cinnamon for extra flavour.
Step one: Blend the apple sauce, banana, chia seeds, and vanilla extract together.
Step two: In a mixing bowl put the dry ingredients, oats, flour, cinnamon, and baking powder. Combine these together by whisking them.
Step three: Add the blended wet ingredients and melted butter to the dry ingredients, stir to combine. The dough will be quite wet at this stage. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 10-20 mins. This chilling time gives the chia seeds time to gel and the butter time to cool and harden making the dough easier to work with.
Step four: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (360 Fahrenheit)
Step five: Scoop the cookie dough into balls, place them on a baking paper-lined baking sheet, and flatten gently with the back of a spoon.
Step six: Bake for 10 minutes until lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Savory Chicken & Veggie Bites
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, sliced
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 1/4 lbs. ground dark meat chicken/
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large egg
1 tsp Italian seasoning mix
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Place the first 5 ingredients (baby spinach, zucchini, bell pepper, green onion and basil) into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until fine diced, scraping down the bowl as needed to ensure uniform size.
Add the ground chicken and remaining ingredients. Pulse briefly, just until ingredients are combined. Remove blade from the bowl. Form meat into small (2-3 inch) patties.
Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of avocado oil (or oil of your choice) to hot skillet. Place chicken patties about 2" apart. Working in batches, cook patties about 3-4 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Serve immediately, or allow patties to cool and store in fridge for up to 4 days. To freeze, place patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in freezer. Once frozen solid, transfer patties to a freezer safe container for up to 1 month. To reheat, place thawed patties in a 250°F oven for about 5 minutes.
Time-Saving Tip: Make a double or triple batch and freeze them for making quick and easy future meals.
Sugar Free BLW Muffins Banana Lemon and Walnut
Ingredients 300g plain flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 60g crushed walnuts 3 bananas chopped 250ml milk 2 eggs 60ml rapeseed oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Zest 1 lemon Juice 2 lemons Method
Pre-heat oven to 170ºC.
Add flour, baking powder and walnuts to a bowl and stir. Make a well in the centre then set aside.
In a separate bowl mash the banana until it is smooth. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir really well until it becomes creamy.
Slowly pour the wet mixture into the flour and whisk it until they are fully combined and silky smooth.
Divide the batter into lightly oiled mini muffin moulds. I had enough batter left over to make 4 large Mummy sized muffins too.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until brown and a wooden skewer comes out clean.
Serve warm or cold.
1 cup Flour 1 tsp Baking Powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 egg 1/4 cup White Sugar 3/4 cup Milk (approx.)
Sift Flour, Baking Powder and salt into a bowl.In another bowl beat egg and White Sugar until thick. Add with Milk to the sifted ingredients. Mix until smooth.
Spoon tablespoon-full amounts onto a hot greased griddle or non-stick frying pan. Turn pikelets over when bubbles start to appear on the surface. Cook until golden.
Contributed by Francie Fenton