Slow Cooker Moroccan Vegetable Stew

These days trying to get dinner on the table at an appropriate time is a near impossible task, most of the time we just eat  salads and stir fried veggies.  Its still tasty, but sometimes I just want something a little fancier.  When I do get time I can make some gourmet tasting meals, but why waste that energy when I just want to play with my cute little baby.

In comes the trusty slow – cooker.

This Moroccan stew is the perfect dump and forget meal.  I mean you can saute the onions and garlic before dumping it in the slow cooker, but I don’t bother and it comes out great.  The amazing flavours of Moroccan cooking makes this stew something really special and so easy to prepare.

Serve it with wholewheat couscous, cauliflower rice or a delicious crusty bread.  The possibilities are endless!  You don’t even have to use the same vegetables.  Use whatever you have on hand or your favourite vegetable combinations, this is a very versatile recipe so experiment!

SLOW COOKER MOROCCAN VEGETABLE STEW – serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 small butternut, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 tsp  ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp water – optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Add all ingredients except the cornflour and 2 tbsp water.  Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours or on high for 3 – 4 hours.

If you want a thicker stew add the cornflour mix and stir until it thickens.  Taste and season to taste.

Serve with couscous, quinoa or anything you like.  This tastes even better the next day.

an instant of life captured for eternity

^^ Arren got a new hat.  He looks so cute and tubby.  He still hates the brightness.  I need to get him some baby sunglasses.

^^ In this photo he actually looks like he likes the bassinet, but this guy…this guy hates the bassinet.  He kicks the crap out of it while making a lot of displeasure sounds.  I don’t know what’s wrong with the bassinet, maybe his baby friends told him horror stories.

^^ I just love these little zipper outfits.  They’re just so convenient and easy to put on a cranky little baby.  They were such a mission to find in Cape Town, apparently they don’t sell well.  I don’t understand, they’re just the best! We even have some cute summer zipper outfits.

^^This is one of the short sleeve zipper outfits! Nothing cuter than baby shoes.

^^ Beautiful sunsets on an extremely windy day.

^^ Its a great day if you wind surf.

^^ I actually did my hair and make up, but it was so hot, windy and cold all that hard work for nothing!

Hi friends! How was your weekend? I feel like i haven’t done one of these posts in ages! Baby life has been crazy, but so much fun.  We actually went out twice this weekend! Twice! Can you believe it? Both of the trips were a complete bust,  Arren really, really doesn’t like any form of heat or wind! but hey, we made it out! that’s a miracle in itself!

 

 

Cloth Diapering 101: Why we love it!

Cloth diapering seems like such an old fashioned notion.  Something that our grandmothers used to do.  Big white cloths that had to be folded and pinned with a safety pin and the whole thing would be covered in diaper cover in hopes of making it look a little more attractive.  These days cloth diapers have gone from being something that’s incredibly inconvenient to amazingly aesthetically  pleasing.  Its not just all about looks though, cloth diapers have come a long way and now is a pretty, convenient option that’s way easier on the planet, but also easier on baby’s bum.

When I first found out about  Arren making a little home in my body, I knew that I wanted to cloth diaper.  I wanted to have a lighter footprint on the planet and Carl loved all the money we would be saving.  As my due date approached and I started thinking about how tired and love struck I was going to be in the first couple of weeks I started getting a little scared.  No one wants to wash a crap load (pun intended) of laundry when you’ve got a fresh little poop monster on your hands.  That’s why we also got a bunch of bio degradable disposable diapers to go along with the cloth diapers.  I’m really happy that we had them on hand they were great!  They fit Arren really well and we got to throw away the gross black poop stage diapers!

As soon as we started on the cloth diapers I was sad that we didn’t start sooner! First of all he looks so cute in all the different colours.  He’s got a colour for every mood.  We even have a cute little pink diaper that he looks so punk rock in.  He seems so excited every time he sees pink!  He also seems happier in his cloth diapers, he doesn’t mind peeing in his diapers, doesn’t get diaper rash in them because it never really leaves him wet and he sleeps in longer stretches at night because he’s never that wet.

CLOTH DIAPER 101 TIPS AND TRICKS

  1. Find a brand you like: We  have two sets of diapers.  The one batch we got second hand and the other is a cloth diaper brand called biddykins.  The second hand brand is terrible! they fit a bit strangely and the insert doesn’t really do anything.  We double up on these diapers and that took away the problem,but they still fit a bit weird.  The second brand Biddykins, is just AMAZING.  We just love them so much, the quality, the inserts, the cute prints and the price is just the best.  Always read the reviews of a cloth diaper brand, that’s the best way to find a good brand and have an idea of what people think of them.
  2. Washing:  I wash the diapers with all Arren’s clothes. I’ve even used a 30 minute cycle without having a stain problem.  If it seems a bit discoloured I hang them up outside to get naturally bleached by the sun.  It works perfectly! It also works on white clothes.
  3. Tea tree essential oil:  I don’t think the diapers smell that bad in a diaper bin, but we throw tea tree oil in the bucket to prevent odour.  This also works great for any bin.
  4. Make sure it fits everywhere and doesn’t have any escape holes for bodily fluids.  Its easy to clip these diapers on, but taking the time to see if its tighter is for your best interest.
  5. The booster pad matters! Having a good booster pad makes  your diaper experience that much better.
  6. Don’t be freaked out at the cost: Cloth diapering saves money! When you buy your first pack it doesn’t seem that way, but this is a once off cost and that once you have them you have them.  If you’re planning on having more than one child you wont have to buy more for your next baby.
  7. Cloth diapers can become an obsession.  With all the cute prints its hard to stop buying new ones.  I don’t see a good reason to stop because they are just that great, so I shall continue to shop until I drop.  Or until I have no house left at all, and all my furniture is just covered in cloth diapers.

I’m just loving cloth diapering, seeing a happy baby is just the best and he just looks so cute how can I deny him of those things!

 

No Bake Chocolate Balls / Nut Free

I’ve been spreading myself really thin lately, due to my own stubbornness and the fact that most of the food here contains msg.  Why? I don’t know.  Even the simplest of food contains msg or you just can’t find it here, not the msg, just some food, like a really nice sunflower butter or apple butter.  Occasionally I would love a little bit of convenience just to make things a bit easier  even amazon is against me and refuse to ship some of their items here. Why amazon? Why? I love you and want to buy everything from you, why do you play me like this?

Sometimes life throws you curve balls and makes you zen it out in the kitchen, while creating a whole bunch of yummies!

It all starts with the most amazing sourdough rye bread I make for Carl’s work week, this bread is just the best and the more the sourdough starter ages the better it gets.  After that I make gluten free protein brownies that’s sugar free and just amazing, sunflower butter, occasionally peanut butter, popcorn trail mix and of course my favourite snack during the week these amazing no bake chocolate balls.

These balls are my favourite little snack,  its the fastest thing to grab while taking care of Arren.  They taste like a decadent chocolate cookie,but way healthier and you don’t even have to switch on your oven!  They’re nut free and made with simple ingredients, well I guess simple for me.  I have all these ingredients on hand all the time.  You can make these gluten free, by using gluten free oats.

Now, prepare your mouth for the best treat ever.

NO BAKE CHOCOLATE BALLS27 Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 – 5 tbsp cocoa powder or chocolate protein powder (  I usually add protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp water – optional

Directions

Add the oats to the food processor and ground until course.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until a firm ball forms.  If its having trouble blending add a tbsp water.

When done start forming balls.  I come out with 27 balls, but  I start of small and end up getting bored and have bigger ones at the end. Refrigerate.

Sit back and enjoy these little treats.

Lessons I’ve learned From My Son

Having little Arren Yuki in my life has truly filled my life with so much joy, but one of the biggest surprises has been what a little quiet philosopher this little guy is.  I feel like I’m getting the best wisdom in the world just from being this guys mom.  Every day is a learning experience with him, not only learning how to be great at eating with one hand  ( eat with chopsticks! It’s easier!), but some of the most amazing thoughts about simplicity and taking it slow.

He’s become one of the best teachers I’ve ever had and I know it’s just going to get better, he’s probably going to be a tough professor when the terrible twos hit, but the best lessons come from the toughest teachers.

LESSONS LEARNED FROM MY SON

  1. Enjoy the little things;  Going out for a simple shopping trip seems like the most extravagant thing you can possibly do and the most enjoyable experience.  If you actually get to shower and get dressed you will feel like its the best day of your life.
  2. Patience; When you pray for patience we get challenges.  Arren has taught me how to have patience and not get so easily worked up.
  3. A smile can make your day, your week ,your month.  We sometimes forget that a smile can make someones day.  Smile easily, you never know who needs one.
  4. To be brave;  I’ve always seen myself as a complete hypochondriac, but Arren has shown me my own strength.  From Pregnancy  to birth.  To doing everything in my power to get him away from the wildfire that had us evacuate our home and even seeing Carl chase a baboon out of our house while screaming and grunting at it.
  5. Endurance;  When you bounce the whole day, and you feel like you can’t go on anymore somehow you find the strength and endurance to continue or deal with the aftermath.
  6. Finding time for romance; everything can be turned into a romantic date.  Finding some time to watch netflix or having sneaky breakfasts alone while he sleeps.  Always find time for affection.
  7. To always look at the world with wonder: Always look at the wonder of this planet like its the first time you’ve seen it and the awe of being alive.  Sometimes just finding your arms is amazing just ask Arren.
  8. Don’t take life so seriously.  Laugh easily, but also cry easily.  Sometimes a beautiful nursing moment can have a surprisingly loud fart added to the mix.
  9. Babies are like cats: They love scratching you, making you work for their love and just seem disinterested in you a lot of the time, but them they smile at you.

I can’t believe I’ve been a mother for 6 weeks!  It feels like we’ve had him with us forever and I can’t wait to see what other lessons he teaches me. What lessons have your children taught you?