Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

Pizza for Picky PeopleIt’s a truth universally acknowledged that once you make your own pizza dough, it’s near impossible to buy a shop-bought base again. Not only is it insanely cheap (the cost of flour and a yeast sachet) but the results are incredibly delicious. It also becomes a family activity when you have the kids on the bench helping out with their own little ball of dough and a small rolling pin.

My trick for the little picky people in my life is to put a bunch of mixed vegetables into a food processor and blitz. The blitzed vegetables can be stirred into some organic tomato paste with a pinch of salt and pasted liberally over the pizza base and topped with grated cheese.

The pizzas look deceptively vegie free but are filled with all the sneaky goodness of kale, capsicum, mushrooms and carrot.

For a quick and easy pizza base recipe, try this one from taste.com.au.

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Dirty RiceDo you ever get the feeling that brown rice is the least desirable member of the grain family? Well I love brown rice. I love its nutty texture, its earthy colour, its distinctive flavour. I want to be the Patrick Swayze to this dish and give it its moment in the spotlight. This meal is fabulous with leftover brown rice that has sat in the fridge over night. I’m deliberately loose with the measurements; make the proportions to your own preference.



Cooked brown rice that has been cooled in the fridge

Vegetable Assortment i.e. broccoli, red capsicum, mushrooms, carrot….cut into stir fry sized pieces

Extra firm tofu, sliced and patted dry

Garlic and Chilli, finely diced

Cashew nuts

Soy Sauce

Olive Oil


1) Fry the tofu crispy, then set aside.

2) Heat a generous amount of oil in a wok. Add chilli and garlic, closely followed by all the vegies with some generous splashes of soy sauce. Cook for a few minutes.

3)  Add tofu, cashews and brown rice. Add more oil and soy sauce. Cook stirring until well heated.


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The Accidental Gardeners

We’re absent gardeners, forgetful with water and not much is safe around our two toddlers. Yet somehow in the space of a few short months, we have managed to grow ourselves a vegie garden.

A real one.

This year we’ve harvested half a dozen zucchinis, a bunch of baby carrots, a couple of heads of lettuce, a punnet’s worth of cherry tomatoes, a dozen green beans, bucket loads of wildly out-of-control rocket and a crop of 1-metre high basil to keep us in pesto for a year. Our passionfruit vine grew like Jack’s beanstalk and is covered in little green golf ball shaped fruit. In pots we have lemongrass, rosemary, oregano, thyme, parsley, mint, chilli, a bay leaf and kaffir lime tree.

It’s incredibly satisfying to have an edible garden. Forget Fischer Price, our garden provides endless entertainment for the kids. Watering, mulching, caterpiller capturing and handling little yellow lady beetles. The kids have taken to chewing on basil leaves and can identify herbs from their smell and taste.  Given the size of our backyard, I can’t imagine us ever living sustainably, but we can keep ourselves in herbs and teach our kids where food comes from.

In terms of sharing a garden with toddlers, I can’t recommend enough the Birdies raised garden bed, which provides a little protection for our green friends and puts the vegies at a lovely height for our backs. The kids have a little foot stool each which they happily ferry between compost bins and vegie patch. We had our garden bed filled with beautiful soil from Flower Power…which was a fabulous event all on its own (see below).

I don’t know if it’s our Sydney climate, but I’ve come to the view that if we can garden…anyone can.Soil

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My little boy leads the anti-vegetable movement in Sydney. His zeal has brought out new levels of deceit in me as I smuggle vegies into the least suspecting of meals.

Recently a strange phenomenon took place.

It all started with a trip to the petting zoo, where he fell in love with guinea pigs.

From that point on he has wanted to be a guinea pig, even though we explained that guinea pigs eat carrot sticks and cucumber (and showed him some YouTube clips for reinforcement).

Now that he is a guinea pig, he eats carrot sticks with great gusto.

Just like that.

He also walks around most of the day on all fours and squeaks when I talk to him..but I’ll take my victories where I can.

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