Category Archives: family

Happy Heart: Butter Bean Hearts

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Butter Bean Hearts

What a winner! These treats are so great to make for a party as finger food, or indeed simply to enjoy with a nice salad for dinner. They are packed with healthy protein which is essential for growth and even my three-year-old loved them!

INGREDIENTS

1 onion
4 small cloves of garlic
200g sweet potato, cut into small cubes
3 small yellow squash, diced
400g tin organic butter beans, drained
400g tin organic red kidney beans, drained (reserve 1 tbsp juice)
2 cups fresh spinach
¼ cup sliced kalamata olives
2 tsp mild paprika
Pepper t o taste (the olives give the dish enough saltiness)
Frozen short-crust pastry

METHOD

  1. Sauté onion and garlic. If you do not have a non-stick frying pan then use oil sparingly.
  2. Add potato, squash, butter beans, kidney beans and tbsp of kidney bean juice and stir to mix. Season with paprika and pepper.
  3. Add olives and spinach and cook until spinach wilts and sweet potato half-cooked.
  4. Cut pastry sheet into four and repeat for remaining sheets. Spoon some cooled mixture into the middle of a square and fold one corner over to the other, containing the mixture into a triangle. Press edges together so that mixture does not fall out. You can simply leave it like this if you wish or else twist the bottom corners of the triangle and bring them together into a knot so that the pastry looks like a heart.
  5. Bake at 200°C for around 15 mins or until pastry is golden brown.
  6. Enjoy on their own or with some tomato sauce for a treat.

Happy Soul: Life Through a Child’s Eyes

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Every day holds an exciting range of possibilities. As a child, she wakes easily and with great enthusiasm.
“Good morning, Mummy!” she squeals, “this is going to be the best day ever!”
The energy she carries is fierce. It sees her leaping to her feet and skipping down the hall for the very prospect of another day like the day before. “Can we do craft again?” she asks, so excitedly that one might think it was a new venture, certainly not an activity she partakes in daily.
Breakfast is an effort, as distractions stall the necessity. So enthralled, she needs to be reminded to eat, as though living purely in the moment causes her to temporarily forget the plate that waits to nourish her. “What’s that, mummy?” she asks, pointing at a lonely web in the high corner of the room. An explanation prompts one of the first renditions for the day as she begins to sing Incy Wincy Spider at the top of her lungs.
“Beautiful singing, darling,” her mother says.
“Thank you, darling,” she replies.
The rest of the day is routine. It is safe. But in her safety, the child learns to express. It is through that expression that a vibrant rage of emotion is witnessed. If she falls over, her life is indeed coming to an end and she is not afraid to show it. Tears fall down her face and she wails with the pain, lets it consume her in that moment until there is nothing left. In that time the demon is vanquished, not left to fester within her until the emotion brims over into dangerous levels.
Outside, she learns about the world around her. She speaks to the animals, and they speak to her. She understands them and they love her for it. In that moment, the world is endless, with possibilities above what we have been told are safe. She could fly, if she wanted. She could be a healer, a race-car driver; the only limits are the vast boarders of her imagination. The only inhibitions, those she has been told to hold caution with.
She does not wish to sleep. Exhausted, she carries herself into bed to await the five stories she managed to coax her mother into reading. There, they cuddle and immerse themselves into a world of foxes with socks and magical pet shops. If the day was too long, she will fall asleep in amidst, dreaming of the simplicities that brought her more joy than any range of complexity. If her determination allows it, she will wade through the stories, and wait for a song that lulls her into the rest that will see her waking with equal enthusiasm the following morning.
There are no laws to instruct us that we should all eventually grow out of this joy for life. And yet, at some point, we are taught to. At some point, the child within us is silenced. What a sad day for our soul, that day is.