Plant Based Mum Blog

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Recipe of the Quarter - Pumpkin, Lentil and Spinach Lasange

We are well into Winter here in Australia, and my family has been favouring hearty meals to keep us full and warm. For our ‘recipe of the quarter’ we share a Pumpkin, Lentil and Spinach recipe that is sure to keep you nourished. 

Ingredients 

  • Gluten-free lasange sheets (375g packet)

  • 500g Tofutti (or other vegan ricotta cheese substitute)

  • 690g Tomato Passata

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 900g pumpkin, peeled, cut into small cubes

  • 2 x 400g Cans Brown Lentils, rinsed well and drained

  • 120g Baby Spinach, washed well and shredded

  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock

  • Good pinch nutmeg

  • Salt and pepper, to season

Time: 2hrs and 20 minutes

(Note: This recipe makes enough for our family for two nights, plus a little for Mummy Green’s  lunch too!)

Method: 

  • Preheat your oven to 190C and grab out your baking dish, a large bowl and a small bowl to be set aside.

  • In a large fry pan, heat the oil over a medium heat and cook onion until golden brown.

  • Add garlic to fry pan and lightly fry, before adding lentils, pumpkin and stock.

  • Stir in the majority of a jar of passata (setting aside about a cup worth for use later).

  • Cover frypan and bring to a boil. Once boiling lower the heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, until the mixture is thick.

  • Once cooked, pour mixture into a large bowl and set aside to cool. Once the mixture has cooled down transfer the bowl to the fridge.

  • Mash the Tofutti (or your chosen vegan ricotta cheese substitute) in a small bowl, add nutmeg and season to your liking.

  • Grease your baking tray and add your bottom layer of lasange sheets.

  • Add pumpkin mixture and top with ricotta and more layers of lasange. Repeat until baking tray is full, ensuring your last layer is lasange sheets.

  • Bake for 45 minutes, or until cooked through.

  • Serve and enjoy!

Bon Appètit!  

vegetarianlasangerecipe

Family Travel - New Zealand with Baby

In February we embarked on a family holiday to New Zealand - and this was baby’s first time on a plane, and her first time overseas. 

We share our top recommendations for family friendly travel in New Zealand’s South Island... 

Our Top Travel Tips for Travel with Baby 

  • If it is baby’s first time overseas, organise the passport well in advance - and make sure all family members passports are still current!

  • Breastfeed your baby on takeoff and desend - it helps with the pressure in their ears, it worked for us so much so that our bubba fell asleep! Offering a bottle of formula (or some water if your baby is old enough) would work in the exact same way - fed and sleeping baby for the flight is a win win!

  • Pack hand sanitizer and antiseptic wipes for the flight so you can wipe the area down and clean little hands before they eat - the last thing you want to deal with on your fun family holiday is illness

  • Bring on board a change of clothes and spare bibs for baby and a fresh top for yourself

  • Carry a couple of small books and small toys on the flight if you have the room, they are great for distractions

  • Pack one of baby’s comfort items to ease the transition to napping and sleeping in a different cot and unfamiliar environment

  • Try to plan activities and sightseeing around your baby’s routine if a routine is what they are used to

  • For Mum and Dad, invest in a local pre paid SIM card to pop in your phone, this will come in very handy in the event you get separated from a family member, experience an emergency when out and about or you need to access WiFi to find details of a local doctor. And don’t forget to pack your charger and an international power adapter or two!

Our top picks for baby friendly cafes in South Island NZ

  • Joe’s Garage in Christchurch

  • Water Drop in Christchurch

  • Fergburger in Queenstown

  • Bespoke Kitchen in Queenstown

  • The Spice Room in Wanaka

  • Maggie's Kitchen in Greymouth

Our top picks for family activities in South Island NZ

  • Hop on the gondola, stroll the bontanical parks or visit the fascinating Orana Wildlife Park or the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch

  • Stroll around historical Arrowtown, taking a visit to the Lakes District Museum, Dorothy Brown’s Cinema and the famous Remarkable Sweet Lolly Shop

  • Visit the Kiwi Bird Wildlife Park, take a Jurassic Safari of the Highlands or embark on a scenic family cruise in Queenstown

  • Stop by the Shantytown Heritage Park in Greymouth

  • Take in the view of the beautiful Lake Tekapo and visit nearby Mount Cook

  • Walk around the stunning lake Wanaka with baby in the ergo carrier or pram

  • Visit the UNESCO world heritage listed Fiordland National Park

newzealand.jpg

Close by - check, stunning scenery - check, plenty of family friendly fun - check...New Zealand certainly is the perfect family friendly destination - especially for those travelling from Australia with baby for the first time! 

Baby's Yummy Tummy - Baby’s First Foods

We are onto solids in our household for the first time, which is super fun and exciting. We have tried Bellamy's organic rice cereal mixed with breastmilk (which she loved!), and have also tried a few homemade purees (starting as single ingredients at first, and then moving to flavour combinations).

Flavour combinations that have been a hit include:

Avocado and Pear Puree

Mix half a very ripe avocado with a half peeled and steamed pear (mashed loosely). Add two-three teaspoons breastmilk and mash until smooth. 

Banana and Mango Puree

Cut one organic very ripe banana and one ripe mango into chunks. Blend until smooth. Optional to add two-three teaspoons of breastmilk for added immunity and nutrient boost.

Carrot and Potato Puree

Wash and peel one fresh organic carrot and one fresh organic small potato. Cut carrot and potato into small cubes and steam them. Rinse to remove starch. Puree steamed and cooked carrot and potato until desired consistency is reached. Optional to add two-three teaspoons of breastmilk for added immunity and nutrient boost.

Pumpkin and Spinach Puree

Peel and chop 1/4 pumpkin into small cubes (store remainder for mummy and daddy's dinner). Steam until tender. Finely chop a small handful of fresh baby spinach. Blend cooked pumpkin and spinach until smooth. Optional to add two-three teaspoons of breastmilk for added immunity and nutrient boost.  

Sweet Potato, Broccoli and Pea Puree

Finely chop 1/4 small sweet potato and steam until tender. Add 3 washed, organic broccoli steams/florets and a handful of peas and steam until tender. Puree or mash ingredients until desired consistency is reached. Optional to add two-three teaspoons of breastmilk for added immunity and nutrient boost.

Bon Appétit!