Well this post is an exciting first for me ... it's my first Product Review. The lovely Taryn of Wordstorm has sent me the Masha to take for a spin. The Masha is an electric masher. At first glance it resembles a stick blender, but upon closer inspection, I noticed that instead of a blade to cut and puree the food, it has a "rotor-cone" which spins and pushes the food out to the sides where it is forced through small holes, thereby mashing instead of pureeing. Taryn has asked me to give the Masha a go, and to create a recipe using it. By doing this, I'm in the running to have my recipe and blog featured in the Masha Recipe book.
I took the Masha away on holidays with me over the past couple of weeks, and had a think about what I could create, and I decided I'd tackle our current toddler food issues...
Hannah is really NOT keen on her vegies at the moment. So being the Mummy of a non-vegie-eating toddler means I need to be very creative with getting those healthy foods into her. I do want to say though that I always encourage her to eat vegies in their normal form. This is a fact of life afterall, and she needs to learn to like vegies whether she wants to or not, but as this is going to be a long-term battle with stubborn little Hannah, Daddy and I have become very good at hiding, disguising and generally tricking Hannah into eating them without realising it. Now, one of our favourite weekend dinners for a long time has been homemade pizza, and I have now created a pizza sauce recipe (using the Masha) to incorporate an insane amount of vegies. And the best part is that both Bethany and Hannah dig in and almost inhale this pizza without even realising how healthy it actually is. Well, to be truthful, Bethany (who's always been a great vegie eater) is in on the secret, and she takes great delight in helping to cut up the vegies, and spread the pizza sauce, then giggling while Hannah slurps up every last mouthful!
I've also managed to fluke a super-easy pizza-base ... what do they say about necessity and invention? I went away on holidays without my usual recipe for a pizza base, so I just kinda made it up as I went along and it actually worked pretty well. I thought I'd share that as well, though I'm sure there's a tonne of good recipes online!
Pizza Sauce Ingredients: (Note: Makes enough for about a gazillion pizzas, so you can make it in smaller quantities if you like, or see below for left-overs ideas.)
- 1/2 a butternut pumpkin
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 zucchinis
- 2 carrots
- 1 head of broccoli
- 1/2 an onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp sugar/brown sugar or honey
Pizza Base Ingredients: (Makes enough for 1 large pizza, which is plenty for the 4 of us for dinner, with a couple of left-over pieces in the fridge)
- 3 cups plain flour
- 14g dry yeast (2 sachets)
- 200ml warm water (plus a little extra in case you need it)
- 1 tsp sugar
Method (the sauce):
1. Cut up the pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchinis, carrots and broccoli into even-sized pieces (so they cook evenly)
2. Place these vegies into a steamer pot, and steam over boiling water for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until the vegies are very soft ... almost overcooked! (You could always microwave your vegies if that's what you prefer to do ... me, well I've always liked steaming!)
3. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and garlic and set aside for later.
4. Once the vegies are steamed, pour out the water from the pot, then transfer the vegies to the now dry pot.
Here's the exciting bit ....
Yep, I had a helper!!
7. Add the tomato paste and sugar/honey and mix well.
8. Spread over your pizza base (see below for recipe), top with desired pizza toppings, cook in oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and nice and golden, then serve. Yummo!
- You can pretty much substitute any vegies in this recipe, but I find it helpful to have a pasty base vegie like pumpkin or sweet potato. It stops the mixture from being too watery, and also gives a good sweet flavour-base.
sandwich spread, for more pizzas, or even as a stir-through sauce for noodles or pasta. My girls LOVE any of these variations.
Method (the pizza base)
1. In a small bowl place dry yeast, sugar and 200ml warm (not hot) water. Stir well to dissolve yeast and sugar and set aside
2. Sift flour into a large mixing bowl
3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water/yeast mixture. Mix well with hands until it comes together into a rough dough. You may need a little more water if it's too dry. Add sparingly until dough comes together.
4. Knead dough well on a floured surface for at least 3-4 minutes
5. Place dough back into bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave sitting in a warm position for approximately 30-60 minutes, or until dough has risen to about double it's original size.
6. Roll or press dough into desired pizza shape on an oven-safe tray. We just used a cookie sheet and pressed out into a large rectangle-ish shape.
Then you're ready to top and cook. The base will take approximately 10-15 minutes to be cooked in a moderate oven (around 180 C).
So what did I think of the Masha? Overall, I found it to be great. It is much more powerful than I thought it was going to be, and it definitely mashes rather than blends the food, which is a good thing when you want to maintain some texture and avoid the dreaded glue-like glugg. I also like that the Masha "rotor-cone" is plastic, as it seems like it is safer, especially in a kitchen where lots of little fingers are always keen to help.
If I had to give a negative, I would say that it's a shame the base part (around the rotor-cone) is made of white-coloured plastic, as after just one masha-use with pumpkin and other orange-coloured vegies, and with an immediate rinse off after mashing, this part is now stained and no longer it's pristine white colour. Oh well, no biggy I guess! This doesn't affect the performance of the Masha in any way.
Anyway, hope you (and your vegie-refusing toddlers) love this pizza sauce as much as we do. Again, a huge thanks to Taryn and Wordstorm for the opportunity to feature this product and create a recipe!