Sunday, September 18, 2011

Homemade Veggie Stock

We all know that store-bought veggie stock can be loaded with salt and other flavour enhancers, so why not make your own at home. It really is easy to do, and tastes yummy. Here's my recipe:

To make 2 litres

2L of water
1 onion, unpeeled and halved
1 garlic clove, unpeeled and halved
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stick with leaves, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
peelings of 1-2 scrubbed potatoes
1 bay leaf
1 parsley sprig

Combine everything in a deep saucepan. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Cool, then strain thru a sieve, discarding all the vegetables and herbs in the sieve. Store the stock in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days. Alternatively, freeze and use within 4 months.

And that's it!! EASY!!! I portion mine out and freeze for later use.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's Been Too Long

Hey all,

It really has been far too long, I know. Life (well, more specifically Roller Derby) has got in the way. But I've still been cooking up a storm, and have some gems to share with you. Am gonna get active again real soon, but am rather pooped tonight and just need to get to bed for a good night's sleep. Just wanted to let you know that I'm still here and I still care!!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fruity Bread/Muffin/Cake!!!

This is one of the staples in our household - I always have to make double because Cam gets rather addicted to it! You can make it as a cake, as muffins or as a slice and it is equally delicious!

60g butter or vegetable oil (I use coconut oil)
60g honey (the original recipe calls for 125g honey, but I find that is way too sweet)
1 egg, beaten
125g carrots or apples (or a mixture), grated
2 bananas, mashed
90g self-raising flour (I use brown rice flour or wholemeal plain flour with a teaspoon of baking powder)
60g sultanas, dried cherries or apricots
1tsp lemon or orange zest, grated

  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • Cream the oil/butter with the honey
  • Beat in the egg
  • Add all the other ingredients and mix well (add extra flour, if necessary, until a spoon stands upright in the mixture)
  • Turn into your baking receptacle of choice and bake until golden brown (about 45mins)
 It will keep for about 4 days in an airtight container or freeze it for later use! Yum!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

San Choy Bow

So this isn't really a classic kiddies dish, but my two LOVE it. They wolf down every last morsel and I usually end up topping them up with leftovers from my plate. Here's my recipe:

Small cos or iceberg lettuce for cups
Udon noodles (optional. I don't have the noodles but hubby & the girls like them)
500g beef, turkey or chicken mince
1/2 cup celery, finely diced
1 cup carrot, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas (cooked as per packet instructions)
1/2 cup spring onions
2cm piece of ginger (minced)
1 garlic clove (minced)
2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if you can't get tamari)
2 tbsp mirin
1 tsp fish sauce
Coriander for garnish

Optional extras:
Ground peanuts for topping
Water chestnuts

Fry onion. ginger, celery & carrot for 5 minutes.
Add mince and fry until browned.
Add peas & garlic & fry for another minute
Add sauces and fry for another few minutes.

Once heated through either serve with lettuce cups or on top of noodles.

This is such a simple dish and so tasty. I used to make it with oyster sauce & sweet soy sauce, but really it is just as nice with the tamari & mirin and you are using much more natural ingredients without all the added sugar. Give it a bash - you will love it!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I love hummus. Before bubs came along I had made it once or twice without much success, and usually just bought it from the supermarket. But with my new-found lease of life in the kitchen I was game to try it again. And boy am I glad I did!! This is such a versatile dish for little ones and packed full of goodness. It is a source of complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids.  It is also a great source of:
  • iron
  • vitamin B6
  • vitamin E
  • folate
  • fibre
  • potassium
and with some added extras it is even more nutritious.
The basic recipe I use is as follows:

1/2 cup of cooked chickpeas (I use dried chickpeas which I soak overnight then simmer for 60 minutes and then drain. You can use a can of chickpeas if you prefer)
2 tbsp tahini
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
1-2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil

Place the chickpeas in a food processor and process until smooth
Gradually add the olive oil until you get the consistency you desire
Add the lemon juice, tahini & garlic and process to mix

And that is your basic hummus. It freezes well for up to a month, so you can portion it out and freeze for later use.

Now for the fun part. There are so many other things you can add to hummus - here are some of my faves:
  • Roast a red capsicum then add to the food processor with the other ingredients. Reduce the amount of oil in the recipe by 1 tbsp, adding it back if necessary to create the right texture.
  • Add a handful of lightly steamed spinach to the food processor when blending the ingredients.
  • Stir ground cumin into your prepared hummus, or top with sweet paprika.
  • Replace the chickpeas in the recipe with white beans (like navy beans) or black beans.
  • Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup pureed sweet potato or pumpkin to the blender whilst mixing the ingredients.
  • Add natural yoghurt to the blender for extra creaminess and extra calcium!
  • Add 1 or 2 chopped, cooked beetroot to the hummus and blend well. This produces a fantastic pink hummus that may attract even the pickiest eater!
  • Stir a little curry powder into prepared hummus for a unique and surprisingly good zing of flavour!
Today I added some cumin and some yoghurt, and it was definately my best batch yet. I toasted a wholemeal pitta bread and spread hummus, cream cheese and tuna in the middle and served to the girls. They loved it!!

(Thanks to for all the extra hummus ideas!!)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Healthy Meatloaf!!!

Meatloaf is one of those things that I heard a lot about in the movies, but had never eaten it. I made it for the first time a few weeks ago and it is now one of the staples that I try to keep in the freezer at all times. Believe it or not it is an incredibly versatile dish, and also pretty healthy. The bubs love it and so do me & Cam!! Here's my recipe:

Healthy Meatloaf

500g organic beef mince
1 cup wholemeal breadcrumbs (I've also used cooked quinoa, and it worked great)
1 small onion, grated
1 carrot, grated
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chopped herbs (use parsley, coriander, basil, whatever you have)
1 egg lightly beaten
Any other veggies you fancy - I have added chopped green beens, zucchini, corn, peas, collard greens

1. Preheat oven to 180C
2. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with hands until combined
4. Place the mixture into the loaf tin
5. Cover with tin foil and bake for approx 1 hr (or until cooked thru). I take the tin foil off for the last 5 mins or so, to let the top brown.
6. Remove from oven and pour off excess fat.

When cooled, you can cut it into slices and freeze in portions for a quick meal. Some meal ideas are;
  • You can serve it on it's own with veggies
  • You can mix it with noodles, veggies & tamari
  • You can mix with cooked pasta & cheese
  • You can put it in sandwiches
Really, a rather versatile dish!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Cleanse is over!

So, I decided today that my 7 day cleanse should be a 6 day one, and I am now officially done (cos I've had a couple glasses of champagne, so I'm figuring that spells the end...). What have I learned? Well, quite a few things:

  1. I don't need to snack on bread to fill me up
  2. I don't need to have a massive portion at every meal
  3. If I'm prepared, with easy, healthy things to eat in the fridge, then it is really easy to maintain a healthy diet
I'm not saying I'm gonna be a saint from now on, but it has made me think about what I put in my mouth. 

I tried another new Ang mish-mash recipe this evening for the bubs. Again, went down a treat. I'll call it, Cheesy Veggie tahini pasta.

Cheesy Veggie Tahini Pasta

Green Beans
2 tbsp tahini
Olive oil
Half a clove of garlic (minced)
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp ricotta cheese
Large block of cheddar cheese (grated)
Wholemeal pasta

(NB I always use organic dairy products & pasta when feeding the bubs)

Steam the cauliflower, pumpkin & green beans until softish and able to be eaten by bubs with only 4 teeth!
Cook the pasta until just tender.
Gently fry the garlic in some olive oil for a couple of minutes. Add the butter & tahini and fry for a minute. Take off the heat and add the lemon juice, ricotta & cheddar. Then add the veggies & pasta and stir through.

I added a little grated cheddar cheese on the top at the end. Bubs loved it and ate most of it (except for the caulifower, I have real problems getting them to eat that now. They used to love it!!)


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cleanse Day 3 & new recipes

So the cleanse is going good. I'm almost at the end of day 3 and feeling OK. I've been a bit tired throughout the day, but that could be the lack of exercise due to my busted knee. Although, I have started thinking about Friday night and how I like a nice glass of wine or 4 - it's amazing how dependent on alcohol we become without even realising it. I'm hoping I can make it thru a week sober!!!

To help me get thru the cleanse I made a big pot of sweet potato & carrot soup with some chicken stock I had in the freezer. I also made a big coleslaw (without any dressing) with red cabbage, spring onion, carrot & some herbs (vietnamese mint, mint, & coriander). The herbs weren't on the cleanse list but I figure they ain't gonna be bad for me. I put this in my salads and I also stir-fried it with some rice for brekkie. Yum!  Tonight we're having chicken with turnip mash & green beans.

The bubs are obviously eating as normal, so that has been kinda tempting when I cook them something that I like. I have made a couple of new dishes this week, a mish-mash of recipes I already had and some ideas I found online. Last night I was at a loss as to what to give them, and somehow came up with the idea of lentil bolognese - it went down a treat! Recipe is as follows:

Lentil Bolognese

Half an onion
Garlic (you choose how strong you like it. We like lots!)
1 eggplant (aubergine)
Corn from 1 ear of sweetcorn
1 cup of red lentils (I used dried whole red lentils but you can use tinned ones too!)
1 tin of tomatoes
Some Italian dried herbs
Some chopped fresh parsley
Cheese for top

NB I'm not a big fan of being totally precise when it comes to these sorts of dishes. Just use whatever veggies you have in the fridge and go for it!

Fry the onion in some butter or olive oil or coconut oil for a few minutes.
Add the garlic, eggplant, sweetcorn & herbs and fry for another 5 minutes
Add the lentils and enough water to cover them. Simmer until the lentils are soft, adding more water if needed
Add the tin of tomatoes and the fresh parsley & heat thru for a few more minutes
Serve with spaghetti and grate some cheese on top!

Voila - an easy healthy dish that anyone not doing a 7-day cleanse can enjoy! The bubs ate it up, hubby scoffed his and I ate my soup! The only comment from hubby was that it could have been saucier, so next time I would probably add some tomato paste and maybe another can of tomatoes (or some fresh tomatoes).

The other new recipe I tried this morning was some filo pies stuffed with chickpeas, chicken, leek, sweet potato, carrot, zucchini, aubergine & ricotta. Let's call them Chicken, chickpea & veg pies!

Chicken, chickpea & veg pies

1 or 2 chicken breasts/thighs (I already had some cooked chicken in the freezer which I used)
half a leek
some cooked, mashed sweet potato (again, I had a little in the freezer)
half a large aubergine (eggplant) chopped into small pieces
half a large zucchini (courgette) chopped into small pieces
1 carrot - chopped into small pieces
Half a cup of chickpeas (I use dried ones but you can use a can of chickpeas instead)
pinch of cumin
a couple of tablespoons of ricotta cheese
Filo pastry

Brown the chicken (if not already cooked) then add all the veggies (apart from sweet potato)
Add the cumin
Fry for about 5 minutes.
I then added a little water and simmered it off for about 10 minutes.
Once everything is going soft, add the sweet potato & chickpeas (and the chicken if you are using cooked chicken)
Fry for another few minutes
Take off the heat and add the ricotta.

You then just need to make these into little filo parcels. I had enough mix to make 12 pies. You therefore would need 6 layers of filo pastry and some melted butter. To make the pies, cut each layer of pastry into 6 squares, which gives you 36 squares. Lightly brush one square with butter, cover with another square and brush with butter. Add a 3rd square and brush the edges with butter. Place a heaped dessertspoon of filling in the centre. Bring up the corners of the pastry over the filling and pinch the edges together to form an envelope. Repeat with the remaining filling & pastry!

The above may seem daunting if you've never done it before, but trust me it is easy. It is only my second time making filo pies and they have turned out great both times! I had never bought filo pastry until 2 weeks ago - I had to ask the store clerk where it was kept! So if I can do it, anyone can do it.

I'll take a photo of the finished result for you to see.

Must go now, I hear some hungry bubs waking up for a snack. Think I'll give them some peach & plum slices cos it's easy!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

7 Day Cleanse

Hubby and I have decided that we should do a cleansing diet for a week to compensate for all the excesses of alcohol & food over the festive season. So today is day 1! For the next 7 days there will be no wheat, no dairy, no caffeine, minimal sugar (from pears & kiwi fruit) and lots of greens!

I'm feeling confident but hubby is already finding it hard due to the nature of his work (he's a landscaper and therefore pretty active during the day). Let's hope we can last the full week - my body needs it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Food for the day - 15th Jan 2011

Here's what was on the bubs menu today:

Omelette with zucchini, onion, garlic, grated beetroot & carrot with a slice of organic oatbran toast
Slice of watermelon

Veggie Muffin plus toast with peanut butter & organic ricotta (peanut butter is made fresh & contains only ground peanuts)

Veggie Crumble Pie with roast potato & sweet potato served with tahini & yoghurt dip
Rockmelon, grapes, peach & yoghurt

Fruity Bread
Plum & Nectarine

The Veggie crumble didn't go down too well with bubs - had to give them some toast with avocado to top them up!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

First blog post ever!

So I've finally done it. I've taken the momentous step of starting a blog! I've only been procrastinating for the past 6 months...

So why have I done it? Well, I'm the mum of 14month old twin girls and have found it extremely challenging since my girls started eating solid food (it was challenging before that too, just in a different way!)

They mainly eat organic, whole foods, with hardly any processed food. This equates to many hours spent in the kitchen for me. I wanted to share my experiences and recipes with anyone else out there that is having the same challenges.

So here goes. Come along for the ride!!!