Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Odds and ends and bits and bobs. We’ve all got them.

3 Ways to Healthify Your Lunches at Home

green smoothie healthy lunch

I quite love going to the dentist. So much so that I often turn up early.

Yep. I’m one eager beaver.

The reason for my enthusiasm? Magazines. Specifically, being able to sit, uninterrupted and read a magazine. Cover to cover.

Yeah, you know you’re a parent when…

But it was during a recent waiting-room reading session that I came across a study that said 80% of adults did not eat the recommended minimum of five serves of vegies every day. And it didn’t surprise me. I know there are many days I fit in to that category.

Usually it’s because we’re leaving all our vegie-eating until dinner time. Which means it’s nearly impossible to eat enough of the good stuff. So we really need to try to have at least two of those vegie serves at lunch.

Here are three simple, cheap, healthy ways for us who stay or work at home to boost our vegie intake every day. And there’s not a soggy salad in sight:

Quinoa and Vegetable Patties

These patties are delicious, healthy and filling. And best thing, you can make a big batch of the mix on a Sunday and keep it in the fridge, frying up a few patties each day. Or (and this is what we do – it’s easier) cook up the entire batch and keep them in the fridge, reheating for lunch.

Bonus: You can add lots of different veges to the mix. Last time I added shredded brussel sprouts and kale, grated zucchini and spring onions. Just adjust the egg/breadcrumbs as needed.


Sauteed Greens, Mushrooms and Brown Rice

Cook up a big batch of brown rice on Sunday and keep it in the fridge. Reheat ½ to 1 cup per person, as needed.

Add a nob of butter, some crushed garlic and ginger to a hot frypan. Then add a handful of sliced mushrooms and two or three handfuls of greens. (Try baby spinach, shredded silverbeet, kale and snow peas). Sautee for a few minutes, then add to the rice.

A splash of soy sauce and chilli sauce on top, and it’s ready to go.

Super healthy, super tasty and ready in five minutes. Perfect!


Green Smoothies

Despite their appearance, these are delicious and an awesome way to boost your raw vege intake. The recipe below is per person.

Add to your blender:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 apple
  • 2-3 handfuls of leafy green (baby spinach and bok choy are nice and mild. Kale is delicious and silver beet or spinach are good options)
  • 2-3 cubes of ice
  • splash of water
  • splash pure cranberry juice

Blend for a minute and enjoy!

Adding flaxseed oil, chlorophyll and LSA mix will boost the sticking power, taking you through to dinner time, with no trouble.

Do you have any easy, quick lunch-time recipes that boost your vege intake? I’d love to hear them!

How To Hide Vegies – Salmon Patties

hidden vegetable recipe - salmon patties
{via Pinterest}

Does anyone here have fussy eaters in the home? Kids who will. not. eat. that. thing?

Or even more frustratingly, stubborn fussy eaters who will gobble something one night, but refuse point-blank to even try it the next?

Yeah. We have one of those. So my vegetable-disguising skills are under development. I’m hoping to reach the level of Ninja-Cook by spring.

This recipe is one of the greatest ever invented, because:

  • you can hide all manner of veges in it
  • the kids can still see the evidence of veges (I’m a big proponent of the fact kids will eventually begin eating well regularly if they keep trying new foods. It’s just the trying that’s, well, trying…)
  • they taste delicious to kids and adults alike
  • I feel satisfied that the kids have eaten a good, nutritious dinner

Needless to say, it’s on high rotation in our meal plan.

You need:

  • large tin salmon, drained and flaked
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp self-raising flour
  • small onion, grated
  • small carrot, grated
  • 2 potatoes, grated
  • handful chopped parsely
  • canola or vegetable oil, for shallow frying

I also add some or all of the following, depending what’s in the fridge:

  • sweet potato, grated
  • brussel sprouts, finely sliced
  • zucchini, grated
  • frozen peas
  • pinch of cumin
  1. Heat oil in a hot frypan.
  2. Mix all ingredients well, to combine.
  3. Using your hands, take about one tablespoon of the mixture and form a loose ball in the palm of your hand.
  4. Cook in batches, pressing down lightly as you place each patty into the pan.
  5. Cook approx 3-5 minutes on one side (until golden), flip and repeat.
  6. Drain on paper towel.
  7. Serve with salad or homemade, oven-baked sweet potato chips and a dollop of mayonnaise.

And presto! Dinner. And everyone’s happy.

These also keep quite well for lunches the next day or leftovers the next night. Which makes them even more awesome.

Do you have any good strategies for fussy eaters? Or just good, healthy meals in general? This mum would love to know!

Thrifty Meals: Tuna and Vegetable Pie

Last week I posted the recipe for Roast Tomato and Olive Pasta – which people seemed to really like. So I thought, while I’m rubbing the weekend out of my eyes and gearing up for another busy week, that I would re-post this recipe from my old blog.
Tonight’s dinner is actually a “kids” dinner, but Sparky and I dig it too, so it’s win-win!

You’ll need:

2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
large tin tuna, flaked and drained
1+ cup of grated cheese
1 onion, finely diced 
1+ cups frozen veges (I use peas, carrots and corn)
OR tin corn kernels, drained
1 egg, lightly beaten
  1. Combine tuna, onion, veges and cheese in a bowl.
  2. Put one sheet of pastry in the bottom of a greased baking dish, and fill with the tuna mix.
  3. Season if you’d like, then place the second sheet of pastry over the top, pinching/tucking it into the side of the dish, to get a fairly good seal.
  4. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and put into a preheated oven (200C) for around 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and flaky and the filling is bubbling away.
We have ours with steamed veges, but it would be yummo with homemade chips, baked sweet potato or salad too.

Play Time: Water Play

Stinking hot summer days often mean cranky-head kids, cooped up inside for hours while the sun beats down.

This play-time activity (you can see the previous posts here) is great any time of the day if you have a shaded area in your backyard, or in the late afternoon if not.

Water play is basic and probably needs no introduction, but it’s usually the simplest activities that give our kids the most mileage. (Balloons and a cardboard box, anyone?)

You need:

  • water
  • hose/sprinkler
  • various buckets
  • cups, bowls, strainers etc


Let the kids have at it.

Simple is good.


Play-Time: More Handmade Christmas Wrapping Paper

On Friday I got all serious on you, so today I thought I could show you the fun, messy catalyst for my “perfection is overrated” post.

Even though my Play Time posts are geared towards those of you with kids, this particular activity is so joyful and fun that I would highly recommend anyone with an hour or two and some old clothes to give it a whirl.


You’ll need:

some colourful acrylic paints
plastic bowls/plates
brown kraft paper roll
old clothes
old facewasher for clean up

1. Roll out your kraft paper on the grass, or a painter’s drop-sheet. Hold down with a couple of weights to stop it blowing around.

2. Squirt some of your paints into the bowls, or you can fling the paint straight from the tubes. A combination of both is great for both the experience and the visual result.

3. Have at it, friends! Fling, drip, splat, whirl and flick to your heart’s content.

4. Leave to dry completely (this may take a few hours if you use as much paint as we did)

5. Use as wrapping paper or as an accent to plain kraft paper. And have fun telling everyone about your painting adventures on Christmas Day.

This would also be a fun and inexpensive way to create art work for your walls. Either cut the kraft paper to size and frame a few to hang, gallery-style, or buy some pre-made canvases from a craft store.