Category Archives: Food

Living More Sustainably: Vegetarian one day a week

I fully admire those that can live a zero waste existence. It’s certainly something to aspire to. I am just not there yet. However, I really believe that if a whole bunch of us start with just some small changes it will have a massive environmental impact.

Starting over a year ago now we have been implementing changes in our home to try and live more sustainably. Interestingly, I started implementing a lot of these and didn’t mention it to Hubby to see if he noticed and commented on it or if the change bothered him. None of the changes we have made so far have phased him at all.

I thought I would share one of these every now and then. If you like the tip feel free to implement it. I know these are not new ideas. I am just sharing what small changes I have been able to easily incorporate into our lives to make our family more environmentally friendly.

Vegetarian one day per week.

This is a great example of something I started to implement without Hubby even noticing. I did this at the same time I started meal planning. This was a beautiful change to make hand in hand. Not only is eating meat free once a week good for the environment, but meal planning reduced our weekly food waste and grocery bill significantly!

I did this for over a month before asking Hubby if he’d noticed we were eating vegetarian at least one night every week. He hadn’t noticed that, but he’d been liking the meals and the organisation of meal planning. It actually saved us a lot of time over the week as we were not having that daily “what do you want for dinner?” discussion and then spending time rummaging through the pantry for options hahaha. He actually got into the process and is now much more involved in our food choices and also dinner and food preparation YAY!!!

Here’s the thing… this doesn’t have to be a complicated meal. Often this is my simplest dinner of the week. Very often I combine this with pasta night. At the moment we are both loving the Rana range of pastas particularly the Ricotta & Spinach Tortellini and the Pumpkin & Roasted Onion Ravioli. Even better when I score the family pack on sale as this gives us two nights of dinners. Especially when I chuck in some brocolli and mixed vegies. My 11 months old loves these pasta dishes as well, she doesn’t eat pasta in other forms apart from these and lasagne so that’s another bonus for us.

Honestly once you look at a couple of vegetarian meals it is a lot easier than the pressure that people put on themselves to create incredible dishes. Yes, you certainly can do that. OMG there are some amazing vegetarian and vegan dishes out there, but there are also some quick fixes.

Loving the Wildly Good range for a quick healthy vegetarian or vegan meal!
Wildly Good Falafel bites in a yum salad bowl with sweet potato waffle fries YUMMO!!!!!


Baby Frittatas

I have been experimenting with frittatas trying to make one using oat milk for kiddo who is lactose intolerant. Frittatas are great for baby led weaning and getting protein (eggs) and a variety of veggies into bubs. I made these in a muffin tin as it was easy to portion out that way. You can also freeze these.

I will say that I think because of the oat milk it seemed to take longer to cook that when I normally cook frittata.

This recipe made 11, but I feel I overfilled the cases so would probably make 12.

Ingredients

1 small carrot
1 small zuchhini
pumpkin (I like butternut, but whatever you like)
4 eggs
1 cup of oat milk (can use normal milk if not lactose intolerant)

Method

  1. Cube your pumpkin, place on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and roast at 160C (fan forced) for around 40 mins (turn half way). I would let it cool a little before using it. You will need 1 cup (I used the leftovers to mix with other veggies for meals).
  2. Grate carrot and zucchini.
  3. Heat around a tbsp of oil and cook zucchini, carrot and pumpkin for around 2 mins.
  4. Beat eggs and milk.
  5. Add vegetables to the milk mixture and pour the mixture into your muffin tin.
  6. Bake at 160C for around 20-25 mins.

Notes

  • When I use normal milk this is more like 15 mins.
  • If lactose is not an issue for you, you could also sprinkle some cheese on top before you bake.
  • As an adult these taste good, but I had to add salt and pepper haha.
  • I leave the skin on my zucchini, that is up to you 🙂


Banana Oat Pikelets

This is SUPER easy to make and it is quite possible you could make it without purchasing anything. I made this with stuff that was already in my pantry. Great for baby led weaning and they freeze well. Kiddo LOVES these! Honestly I kind of do too.

Makes around 16 decent sized pikelets.

Ingredients

1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 mashed overripe banana
1/2 cup oat milk
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Method

  1. Add dry ingredients to beaten egg and combine.
  2. Add oat milk, cinnamon and vanilla and combine.
  3. Add mashed banana and mix well.
  4. Heat a fry pan on medium heat, add a small amount of butter, or spray to prevent sticking then add spoonfuls of batter. When bubbles start to appear flip to cook the other side.

Notes

  • If you want a runnier consistency you can add more milk.
  • If you are not lactose intolerant then you can use normal milk rather than oat milk.
  • I served these strait up to kiddo. I also put them with strawberries and am planning to use them to introduce her to peanut butter.
  • These freeze well so in future I will likely make double batches (not going to lie I have stolen a few as well haha).

Healthy Oat Fruit Bars

I have been experimenting with Oat fruit bars/slice suitable for baby led weaning for my 8 month old who is lactose intolerant. We are trying to build up her tolerance a little by including very small amounts of lactose in her diet, but let’s be real, many of these types of things have dairy. So here’s one I have messed around with that made up a LOT of slice, she LOVES it!!! It also freezes great and I like it with a coffee or tea too, so bonus!

Ingredients

3 cups of rolled oats
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 1/4 cup A2 milk
1 1/4 cup oat milk
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup of finely chopped dried prunes
3/4 cup of finely chopped dried apricots
1 mashed overripe banana
1 grated granny smith apple
2 tsp cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C (fan forced oven). Grease a slice tin – I use two medium sized ones as this is what I have.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Pour into slice tins. Bake in oven for around 45mins. You can check it’s done when it is firm and springs back to touch.
  4. Once it has cooled you can cut and serve.

Notes

  • This makes a LOT. I wanted this so I could cut into baby sized pieces and freeze. If you want a more normal sized amount you could halve everything, but I also did not want to waste half an apple and banana.
  • I used prunes and apricots, but you could replace these with any dried fruit.

Where have I been?

Huge thank you to those of you who have contacted me to see if I am okay. This is why I love you guys!!! Thank you to everybody that has stuck in there with me! 🙂

I know I have been neglecting this space and not connecting with you all as much as I should have, or as much as I would like. I don’t really have much of an excuse, life has just been insane for many months now.

 

After we froze our embies we decided to have some time off from the fertility craziness. The docs didn’t really want to transfer the embies anyway as they felt I was too big.

I spent some time really soul searching and thinking about my life journey and how far I had come and what I wanted the next year (this year) and the rest of my life to hold. You know… nothing too heavy right?! Haha

I know I mentioned in a previous post that I had spent a lot of time researching weight loss surgery and what it could do for me with in regards to my insulin resistance, PCOS and snail thyroid. I also finally found out why sometimes my outer thighs goes numb, it is a condition where nerves get pinched randomly (can be cured or greatly improved through weightloss). So I bit the bullet, after 10 years and numerous diets and lifestyle changes I agreed to have sleeve surgery in April.

What?! I hear you say, but it is already May! Yep, that’s right, already done.

I didn’t tell many people. To be honest after so many years thinking about it and researching to come to the decision that I thought was best for me (even though I was petrified and didn’t really want to do it) I really didn’t want to hear any more opinions. So my parents knew (turns out they told a few people), obviously Hubby knew (turns out he told people too) and a couple of my friends knew.

Managed to not have a huge panic attack before surgery, mainly by trying not to think about it and just going through the motions of preparing. Afterwards I initially questioned all my so called wisdom and research because damn did I hurt. Being someone who is very independent though I was determined that even though I had just had major surgery a couple of hours before I was going to the toilet. So I did.

I pretty much had a dream recovery, slight allergic reaction to the dressings after a few days and slight infection on the surface of one of the wounds. Food wise I have had no issues. Was having issues getting enough protein, but I am getting much better at that now that I have added soft foods back in. Eventually I should be able to have all the foods I have before.

I hear people label this “the easy way”, boy is that far from the truth. For me this was (and continues to be) harder than quitting smoking. You still have to do all the work in regards to healthy food and exercise. It is just a tool, a very effective tool, but it is on me to make it work.

I have been doing well so far. Since 19 March (I am including pre op diet where I lost 6.8kgs) I have lost 13.9kgs. I am not ashamed to say that I am SUPER proud of myself for that 🙂

I know that for doctors the actual weight is what they focus on, but for me I am enjoying the non-scale victories just as much. The issue with the thigh numbness is already noticeably better which is amazing as I would get this multiple times a day previously – In the last 5 days I think I have had it once!!! I also fit into 2 blouses that I LOVED that no longer fit me. In fact they fit me better now than when I bought them! I am also much more comfortable in my car, not that I was uncomfortable before, but it just fits me better now.

It is a challenge everyday. You have to be super prepared food wise so you are not caught out. My father was suddenly taken to hospital last Friday (so a week today) and I was initially caught out a lot… loving coffee and quiches and veggie fritattas from a number of cafes at the moment for dinner as I am going straight from work to the hospital at the moment. Funny part is I can only eat about half, which then means either I get to make sure Mum has a decent meal or I get lunch the next day. Today I am stoked with my leftover pumpkin, spinach and ricotta quiche – you guys SOOO GOOD!

I find I am eating a lot more vegetarian meals. Not on purpose, just because I gravitate towards these meals as I enjoy them. I am glad though as I had been trying to move towards a more plant based diet prior to the surgery because it is supposed to be beneficial for the conditions I have. It does mean that sometimes I am not hitting the protein level I need to be so I have to be careful.

So now that I have bowled you all over with my crazy last few months tell me stories! I have missed you all 🙂

 

 

 


Gözleme all the way

Have you tried gözleme? If not you should absolutely put it on your ‘must try before I die’ list. Technically I do not have one of these lists (yet!), but it rolls off the tongue beautifully so I think it should be a thing 🙂

I have an amazing group of friends at my work. They are brilliant people and truly without them my day to day life would not be half as shiny. We often like to have lunch together and one of my friends had been eyeing off a gözleme place that has been under construction for some time now. Finally it opened, so obviously we had to go on the first day.

gozleme-potato

Potato, spinach & feta – SO GOOD!!!

Looks great on the plate and even better when you taste it. It is served on a wooden board with a wedge of lemon. We all loved it and have already visited again a couple of times. It is promoted as Turkish street food and is made fresh, you can literally watch them make it for you from rolling out your dough to placing the finished product on your board. It is completely tasty and the people that run it are (from what I can gather) 1-2 families who are all Turkish, spanning across 3 generations, which I think is really cool.

Last week we went there and were offered Turkish tea (or Rize tea), it was a promotion and you got a free cup with every gözleme. I was a little hesitant because I had been warned off Turkish coffee, but I promised to try new things this year so I did… and I LOVED it. It was super yum. It is served in this elegant tiny little glass with a teeny teaspoon and a sugar cube. My friend and I were only disappointed that there wasn’t more.

turkish-tea

Turkish tea with spinach and feta gozleme

Such an interesting contrast to be eating street food with your hands and sipping on tea out of an elegant cup like a posh lady.

9/10 will eat and drink again – A LOT.
It is probably not good that this is such a short walk from my work, but honestly it is not that bad for you is it?