'recipe' here. There will be new recipes in the book too!
I love this post from Nicole - 10 tips for an easier dinner time
I'm looking forward to lunch with girlfriends on Sunday. I'm taking chocolate, coconut, almond slice, one of my favorite recipes from Georgia at Well Nourished
If you love food blogs and haven't found Golubka yet I think you'll be happy to visit
I'm excited to have written a piece for Confetti Magazine, looking forward to seeing it live in the next little while
Remarkable series of photos - Children around the world with their favorite toys - found via A Cup of Jo
Have you seen Wholehearted? A new project celebrating motherhood that Jodi is involved in
How wonderful does My Darling Lemon Thyme the book look?
I'm presenting another Blogging for Beginners workshop next Saturday 15th of March, 9.30am-2.30pm, $60 includes lunch. If you're local and would like to come along you can book your place at Sorrento Community Centre ph. 5984 3360
Ok, I'm off to do some much needed exercise and then rustle up some homemade pizza for River and Sol. Have a wonderful loooooooong weekend (those of you like us who are lucky to have one!)
See you back here next week for more wholefood & family life xx
Friday, March 07, 2014
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
So, we continue today with the second list of meal and snack ideas from around the web.
In our house at the moment we are still loving any mangoes we can get our hands on but now that Autumn is officially here there's some beautiful pears about.
River is studying Vietnam at school this term and yesterday I went into his classroom and taught the class how to make rice paper rolls, each student rolled their own and many for the first time bravely tasted coriander, Vietnamese mint and fish sauce "eeeeww!!" was the response of some, and fair enough too, they're all fairly potent flavours. I was impressed though by their willingness to try things.
What to cook? What to cook?....
1. Speaking of mangoes, how good do these mango and coconut chicken skewers sound? Anything on a stick seems to win kids over! Perhaps you could even try this with firm white fish.
2. They seem to equally love anything in a wrap...beef fajitas
3. For a vegetarian idea I think this Italian spinach pie looks like a winner
4. How about Moroccan lamb stew?
5. Lunchbox love: Emma's spiced apricot, orange and quinoa muesli bars sound too good for school lunch!!
What are your current family favorites? Share them in the comments - no matter how simple they may be, share them they make become another family's new favorite and we all know how good it is to find a dish everyone loves!
Monday, March 03, 2014
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all kept chooks? Imagine the joy of our children collecting eggs each morning. I am looking forward to the day that is a reality for my family when we eventually move from our rented beloved home where our landlord is not keen for us to keep chickens (but was happy for us to dig up a big patch of lawn to plant veggies so I'm not complaining!)
In the meantime we are really blessed to be able to buy organic eggs at $7 a dozen from one of two local farms where we know the farmers and can see the chickens pecking around happily.
Cage and free range
I've written on this topic before and still I can't understand why eggs from chickens subjected to the cruelty of living in cages are still being sold. Yes there's been a slight win in this area last week with the Australian Capital Territory announcing a change in legislation to ban battery cages (and sow stalls for pigs) but we still have a long way to go. And then as if trying to do the right thing when buying food isn't hard enough, there's the whole free range marketing lie to wade through. You see, there is no legally binding definition of the term free range in Australia so it is open to very loose interpretation. Just because the farm says their chickens are free range does not mean that the chickens are not treated with antibiotics
If you can't keep chickens in your backyard and don't live near a good farm, then farmer's markets or your local health food store would be your next best bet. This fantastic list on the Animal Welfare Labels website will give you trustworthy details of many brands of eggs that are marketed as free range but in fact may be keeping their chickens in far less space than you imagine free range to be.
Why eat organic eggs?
By choosing to eat organic eggs you reduce your and your family's exposure to chemicals, antibiotics and growth hormones that pass through the chicken to the eggs. Organic eggs come from chickens that have been fed organic feed. And to me this reason is worth the higher price.
Keep your own chickens
If you have the space and are keen to keep your own chooks but haven't a clue about what to do, head on over to Farmer Liz's blog, Liz has it all there for you in words and pictures.
Share your thoughts on all things eggs, where do you buy them? who keeps chickens? If you are having trouble finding a good source of organic eggs leave a comment and maybe another reader can help.
And if you want to catch up on the series and see the other steps go here.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
1. Pete grew those cherry tomatoes, then cooked that sauce, then took the photo! No end to his talents.
2. Our little helper in the garden. We're happy that this year he can work out on his own which ones are ripe enough to pick!
3. The current state of my pinboard. I love River's words on the red paper 'I was as happy as the sun', and the pics - me with my nan, cousin and aunty 3 of my besties, Sol and I on his first day of kinder this year, River and Sol looking thrilled last summer about having their first ice cream from the Mr Whippy van that drove up our street and top right is that same cousin as a little girl with my bro.
4. A gorgeous melon, a gift from Robin.
5. Spinach and fetta pie for dinner this week didn't last long at all. A definite crowd pleaser here.
(linking up with Ms. Beetleshack Em)
Friday, February 28, 2014
We are about to slip into Autumn. Summer you are gone too soon. Mangoes we'll miss you.
Are your kids driving you crazy asking for treats? Read Georgia's great post on how she handles it.
And if you are worried that you are being too strict when it comes to junk food and that your children will rebel as teens read this.
You can't eat these but they're kind of fun!
If you think happiness, healthiness and creativity should be the foundation of education watch this
Michelle's latest video is up, always so much beautiful food! Go see her make chicken in a pot and spicy meatballs
I loved Ronnie's post - motherhood is...
Don't forget to join me on instagram @wholefoodmama or should that be follow. You know what I mean.
Wishing you all a delicious weekend. Not much planned here which is just the way I like it!
Thanks for reading xx oh and if you like what you find here, tell your friends they might like to visit too the more wholefoodies we have in the world the better I say!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Wouldn't it be nice if when your children asked, 'What's for dinner mum?' you actually knew the answer!!
Well, thanks to a recent chat with my friend Renee who is hungry for some fresh ideas of what to cook for her family I came up with this new series: a weekly recipe link list. I am happy to do the research and find recipes for you that look family and budget friendly, are straight-forward, healthy and sound delicious. Every Tuesday I will post a list of links to 5 recipes that will hopefully give you a boost in inspiration.
We'll try it for a month and see how it goes. If you like it and find it helpful I will keep it going. Let me know what you think.
1. Japanese Beef Rolls - I like the fun presentation of these, the fun factor always helps when feeding children
2.Cauliflower Crust Pizza - Even the most resistant to cauliflower could be won over with this
3.Liana's Chicken and Rice - My friend Liana shared this one pot wonderful recipe with me
4. Red lentil and sweet potato pate - a good snack recipe
5. Chewy apricot muesli bars - some lunchbox love
Happy cooking! x
Monday, February 24, 2014
The weather cooled rapidly here last week and with the changing breeze came a few sniffles and coughs, my first thought was to cook chicken broth.
Home made broth is one of the most nutritionally dense wholefoods that you can add to your diet. It is made by simmering bones of chicken, fish or beef with vegetable scraps, traditionally carrot, celery and onion and herbs such as parsley, thyme and bay leaves. (The difference between broth and stock in case you are wondering, according to this post on The Kitchn, is seasoning - broth is seasoned with salt and pepper, stock is not).
Wholefoods legend and cookbook author, Sally Fallon, dedicates a whole chapter to stocks in her wholefoods bible Nourishing Traditions. On page 116 she writes, "Properly prepared, meat stocks are extremely nutritious, containing the minerals of bone, cartilage, marrow and vegetables as electrolytes, a form that is easy to assimilate. Acidic wine or vinegar added during cooking helps to draw minerals particularly calcium, magnesium and potassium, into the broth."
Need I say more? Well yes I had because I know there will some of you out there who are phobic about the process of making stock, "it's time consuming", "the straining is messy" and so on. Changing your mindset is as important when embarking down this wholefood path as changing what is in your pantry.
It is so important to replace thoughts about cooking from scratch as time consuming with reminders of how nourishing real food is and how vital it is for long term good health of people and planet. Processed food cannot do this. The cost of convenience in the long term is often illness. Pre made stocks found on the supermarket shelf are generally full of nasties, lots of numbers, flavour enhancers and way too much salt. To really get the low down on this check out Claire's excellent post on her Real Food Real Change facebook post about commercially made stock. And don't miss Australia's Queen of Stock, Alexx Stuart's post 10 reasons to make your own stock.
Wholefood chef Jude Blereau writes about stock in her excellent book Wholefood for Children:
"Bone stocks have been used by just about all traditional cultures for nourishment and healing - Dr Alfred Vogel, one of the early organic, wholefood and natural food advocates, describes their use in Europe for healing; in New York, chicken soup is known as Jewish penicillin (chicken fat contains palmitoleic acid - a powerful immune-boosting monosaturated fat); and throughout Asia, fish stock is believed to be the restorer of chi (life force), and is also a rich source of iodine."
This is how I make my chicken stock:
2 organic chicken carcasses (and yes it does make a difference whether they are organic or not)
1 medium brown onion chopped
1 large carrot chopped
2 sticks celery with leaves chopped
4 whole black peppercorns
1-2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
For a nourishing vegetarian stock or broth, simmer some celery, carrot, onion, ginger, garlic and shitake mushrooms in a pot with filtered water.
Go on, give this a go during the week.
Happy cooking! Tune in on Tuesday for a new series - what's for dinner?
Share your thoughts and stories about stock in the comments below.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
1. A little gift to myself to start recording notes for our upcoming road trip in May
2. Pete and I celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary this week with a walk on the beach and after a coffee for me and chai for him. All. By. Ourselves! I love the concentration on Sol's face in this photo
3. My favorites from Byron Bay I wear nearly every day
4. Another day, another dish. Domestic bliss
5. Our backyard veggie patch is crazy with corn.
Friday, February 21, 2014
The weather has cooled dramatically here (I am not ready in any way for summer to be over), we have all had the beginnings of colds so chicken soup laden with onions, garlic and ginger is on the boil. We have no plans at all for the weekend which I am thrilled about, a bit of nesting and mooching at home is precisely what I need. River on the other hand will no doubt have other plans in mind, such a social being that boy!
Here are just some of the posts from around the web that captured my attention this week:
Top 20 tips for food bloggers from Cookie + Kate
Chia seed muesli bars from Eat This My Friend
I am yet to buy a copy but Sarah Wilson's latest ebook I Quit Sugar Kids will no doubt be a great resource for reducing sugar in children's diets
Have you visited the Lunch Lady lately?
Oh and pop over and visit Kristin at Mamacino's freshly polished space, while you're there sign up for her free ebook 'Simple ways for smoother mornings'
Jodi summed it up for me in her post about de-cluttering when she asked - do you want stuff or space?
I can't get enough of Erin's Blue Bird Baby
I had the pleasure during the week of presenting a Blogging for Beginners workshop at our local community centre, such an inspiring group of people came along including Bridget, Alysia and June. If you are new to blogging or don't know where to start, and you will be on the Mornington Peninsula on Saturday March 15th I am presenting the same workshop at Sorrento Community Centre I would love to see you there. Cost $60 lunch included, 9.30am- 2.30pm.
Ok, that's it from me for today. Wishing you all a happy, healthy weekend and I'll see you back here on Monday for the next step in the wholefood step-by-step series. Thanks for reading! Xx
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Ok, so this is hardly a recipe I know. Hopefully though you will find some tips and inspiration in this post that will get you or keep you on track with healthy breakfasts and snacks which is what nutrient dense smoothies are perfect for!
Over summer our fridge has rarely been without watermelon, so great for rehydrating on those hot hot days when your appetite is low and thirst is high. My boys, River and Sol decided it would be fun if we put some watermelon in the freezer, watermelon that we promptly forgot about for a few days.
When my husband Pete found the watermelon, into a smoothie it went with frozen banana that we always have in ready supply. Pete's biggest annoyance in the kitchen is waste! Sometimes Pete puts ingredients together just so they are not wasted, ingredients that I think are going to be a very weird combo only to find out they are perfect together. This watermelon banana smoothie is a perfect example. Pete made this smoothie using rice milk, if you like coconut water that would be a great alternative.
I am yet to meet a child who doesn't like drinking a smoothie of some description, they really are a fantastic way of boosting nutrient intake.
Here are my tips for making great nourishing smoothies:
- keep a store of frozen bananas, mangos and berries in your freezer (peel the bananas before freezing them). Stock up when these fruits are in peak season and put them in the freezer
- try out different milks or coconut water rather than using the same milk all the time, some smoothies are good made just with filtered water. River and I like, frozen banana, filtered water and baby spinach.
- add natural unsweetened yoghurt, good fermented dairy is great to add to your family's diet
- if you don't have a high speed blender, use baby spinach leaves when making a green smoothie because they blend to a very smooth consistency even without the high speed. There is nothing appealing about a pulpy, thick green smoothie that will not help your 'eat more greens' cause!
- add in a few brazil nuts, walnuts, pecans, sunflower or chia seeds to increase the nutrient and protein value
- if you want to add a sweetener use raw honey or rice bran syrup or medjool dates
- spice things up - nutmeg is calming and good for concentration, cinnamon is balanced blood sugar and is good for digestion
- add a spoon of coconut oil for some healthy fat which is so important for regulating hormones and for children good fats are vital brain development food
- add in a fresh, organic raw egg for a protein boost (**raw egg is widely not recommended for pregnant women, young children, elderly or ill people due to risk of salmonella poisoning. Vitally important if you do eat raw eggs that they are fresh and that the shells are not damaged in any way before use)
- if your family is making the switch from commercial flavoured milk try this chocolate banana smoothie - 1 cup of milk of your choice, I forzen banana, 2 teaspoons raw cacao, sweetener of choice. Blend and serve.
Watermelon + banana smoothie
I frozen banana
2 wedges frozen watermelon
2 cups milk of your choice
Place in a blender and whizz until smooth. Enjoy!
I'd love it if you share some of your favorite smoothie combos in the comments.