LUNCHBOX MADNESS

Lunchbox Madness

I have been really struggling with lunch boxes recently, and more often than not they come back relatively full – I think this is mostly down to playing too much though. Our school is nut free and Kiwi free making it a little harder for a gluten free mumma! 

I don’t like to send him with sandwiches every day and I certainly won’t send him with anything that comes in a packet! 

Leftovers make a frequent appearance in his lunchbox for example

  • Sausage Rolls 
  • Spaghetti Bolognese 
  • Mac and Cheese 
  • Rice, meat and veg 
  • Sausages
  • Roast meat 

It doesn’t always have to be the same way we had it for tea either! Spaghetti mince has been used in wraps, and his favourite way is to make small cups out of tortilla’s and then in containers have a “make your own” type of affair where he fills his “cup” with a variety of ingredients. 

the sausages we have put in with some buns to make mini hotdogs, and we have put them with some brown rice and veg – fried rice is also great! we usually throw some roast chicken through the mac and cheese for some protein with lunch. 

Our school also has a “crunch and sip” policy which is afternoon snack time where the kids have a time out for a piece of fruit and a cup of water – the problem there is the fruit cannot be a part of their lunchbox it must be separate – I just send MOO with whatever he is feeling for the day, pear apple banana etc – but for snacks in his lunchbox I like to give him a different piece of fruit so he’s {hopefully} getting 2 serves of fruit in some of our fav snacks include; 

  • Sultanas 
  • Greek yoghurt in a small container with another filled with GF muesli so he can combine the two 
  • Cruskits with Vegemite 
  • Ham and cheese 
  • popcorn (I make this in the morning, just a small handful of kernels in a brown paper bag in the microwave for a few minutes until the popping slows – cheaper and healthier than the bags you buy in the supermarket 
  • home made muffins (although aside from my jaffa cakes I am yet to find one he will eat!) 
  • home made muesli bars (his favourites are further down the page) 
  • dry cereal 
  • hard boiled eggs 
  • cheese 

I always only send him with water in his bottle, however on special occasions I will send him with a chocolate milk or a Charlie’s juice which are really good they are the only juice in the supermarket that don’t have any additives and they have the lowest sugar count. Ofcourse they still don’t make it as an everyday or even every week treat. 

I am waiting on an order of reusable pouches so I can start making my own smoothies for him to take! 

Hope this is helpful – and keep posted for some more lunchbox tips. I normally post our daily lunch boxes to Facebook and most to IG too! 

MACADAMIA CRUSTED FISH

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Macadamia Crusted Fish 

w/ sweet potato chips 

I love the simplicity of this dish. I love that it’s minimum ingredients, maximum flavour. I know nuts are fatty but they are good fats! They are great for your heart and boots your immune system – they are full of goodness – can’t have too many in my opinion, but then we don’t calorie count in this house! 

This crust goes well with most white fish and even chicken! 

no need to double take it really is as simple as below . . . 

INGREDIENTS

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia Nut Oil 

White Fish Fillets 

2x Eggs beaten lightly 

METHOD

  1. Blend nuts in blender 
  2. dip fish into eggs then into nuts 
  3. pan fry in the oil 

literally as simple as 1, 2 3! 

We served this with sweet potato crisps which was just thinly sliced white sweet potato drizzled with a little macadamia nut oil and baked in a hot oven until crisp – a little salt and pepper and voila! 

I am totally addicted to sweet potato fries and am serving them with everything at the moment, I have no idea why but MOO won’t touch them (I won’t complain too much though because that means . .  . more for me!) 

Enjoy xox

THE JUICE TEST

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The Juice Test 

For those of you following on Instagram (diary_of_a_fussy_eater) you will be well aware of my juice test. MOO is making grand progress with his food, I am making grand progress with our food and cooking has stopped being a chore once more. I am so passionate about the benefits that are coming from our foods that baking, making and creating are my latest hobby. Together we are all feeling great. 

One critique though if I may, and it is one I am totally guilty of … what we drink is terrible! I am a coffee / caffeine addict to the max! And Moo loves his sugar. I make our own orange juice, and this still doesn’t sit well with him and he still begs for the store bought variety – and he still gets the stock standard NO! response. 

As is evident in my previous posts about food and healing, I wanted to find a way to bring this into what we drink, I’m not a huge smoothie fan and I don’t venture into Boost Juice very often. I like milk flavoured, plain, sucked through a tim tam or coating a choc chip cookie and I do enjoy fizzy drinks. 

This particular juice was so refreshing and had that citrus boom that I love so much from a cold drink, it wasn’t think and chewy like some juices and it  wasn’t  too watered down. 

Don’t believe me? Ask MOO! He had a glass of this before bed when we made it and has asked for it again since. I will be honest with you, because I haven’t been honest with him, he doesn’t know all the ingredients. I did leave out the ones he would have revolted over. so if you are 5 and a fussy eater, I suggest calling this juice the “Runny nose medicine” yep thats right, we were getting a cold – a dose of juice a night and touch wood it seems we have kept it at bay! 

INGREDIENTS

Small handful of Kale Leaves 

1x Red Apple

1/2 a lemon, rind cut off 

Small piece of Ginger

3 Medjool Dates, pits removed

200g Water (coconut if you have it) 

12 ice cubes

 

METHOD

  1. Add all the ingredients to your thermomix or blender and blend until combined. In the thermomix this took me 1.5 minutes on speed 10 

We have tried other combinations however this was the most successful I will post the Watermelon one next, it was so yummy but didn’t fool MOO who isn’t a watermelon fan I’m afraid! Another combination which worked was 1 carrot, Juice of half a lime, 1 orange (peeled) and a small piece of ginger blended as above with the same quantity of water and ice. 

Let me know how you get on and what other combinations you have tried! 

enjoy xox

CHEAT ‘N’ EAT MAC & CHEESE

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Cheat ‘n’ Eat Mac & Cheese 

I just love mac and cheese, the gooier the better, and luckily for me MOO doesn’t have an aversion to good cheese – this basic recipe is made in my thermomix and I am not sure how well it would convert on stove top though I imagine with enough stirring you should be able to nail it. I love the simplicity, I love that you cook the pasta in the milk I love that you melt too much cheese over the top and I love that you can sneak some veg into there as well. 

I often pop leftovers in the lunchbox but MOO and I do like our pasta cold so this might not be for everyone. It’s great with some chicken stirred through for some added protein too! 

This dish used to be a once in a blue moon, only on a cold weekend dish. There is just something totally decadent about sitting down on in a nice clean living room with the tv on something terrible delving into a big gooey bowl of macaroni cheese … especially on a Wednesday! 

The amounts below make about 4 servings for us so tweak as required! And mums … I suggest you try this ASAP! Whilst dinner is cooking in the thermomix you have time to do a quick tidy get the kids settled and dish up a crowd pleaser! 

Ingredients

300g Raw Macaroni 

300g Milk (I use lactose free) 

300g Water 

90g Cheese (I use lactose free) 

Optionals: onion, carrot, leek, chicken, mushrooms, peas – anything! 

Method 

  1. Set TMX to 90 and add pasta, milk and water (I add onion at this stage too) 
  2. Pop on reverse speed 1 for 10 minutes 
  3. Add cheese and any other additions on reverse speed 1 for 2.5 minutes – again still at 90 degrees. 

It really is that simple. If your kids are old enough they could even make this for you! it’s mess free too. Total mid week winner! 

enjoy xo

CLEAN EATING

Clean Eating

Clean eating with a fussy eater is quite the challenge. But the reward is in the success. Our diet changes have absolutely changed our lives. We feel better, we are more active and I know that what I am putting into my body and my families body is pure.

I admit, we aren’t always great at it, and we have our lazy pig out days, and then there are some things too good to give up. But over all its a mind set change and it works – I get a lot of feedback about our diet, about it being a fad diet, and you know what, even if that is the case, what’s the worst that we are doing? we are cutting out preservatives, additives and everything that is wrong with food – there are no negatives to clean eating.

I have done a lot of research into additives and the effects it has on children and adults alike the way they can effect our health, our emotions, our mental stability and it frightens me. In Australia we allow additives that are proven dangerous and are banned in most other countries including the USA and the UK – so if they don’t use it, why do we?

MOO suffers Asthma, or should I say suffered. He would get so ill no matter how spotless the house was. I remember after his 4th birthday party, he was sick for days. It was around this time that I started my investigation into the effects of additives, and the benefits of using food to heal. It was at this point that I saw additives in the group 220 were known triggers for asthma. Instantly I thought back to the party and what foods we had served, I had made most of them myself and I couldn’t link it back until I thought about the juice. Apple pop tops – the healthier drink to serve at a party I had thought. I read the label and sure enough there it was 220 – no warning – nothing to say contains asthma triggers. I threw them all in the bin that day – and cut out the 220 group there and then. Since then we have not had an attack. We have bought a shaggy dog and shamefully I admit to not always dusting as often as I could – but whenever he has something with this number group – instantly we see a shift in his behaviour and in his health. I urge you to please check your pantry and your fridge you will be amazed at how many products contain these numbers – in particular this group has been linked to asthma triggers, headaches, sinus problems and behavioural shifts.

It is widely explored that a lot of behavioural disorders diagnosed as ADD or ADHD can be linked to diet – I have experienced this with MOO and it is not just with sugar as we all know children run riot on sugar! Particular colourings or additives can and will send him into a rage, or some will send him into a daze – it is frightening to see that a simple muesli bar can switch his mind off like a switch – and we are placing these into our children’s lunch boxes – thinking it is the healthier alternative.

I know I can sound alternative sometimes but I truly believe food is medicine. We live a contemporary outer suburbs kind of life but when we are ill I always rely on foods to heal us. I use them throughout the year to prevent illness and I have my favourite for when we can’t quite out run that cold or have a bout of gastro. And if that’s not proof enough in his 5, almost 6 years MOO has been prescribed antibiotics twice – both occasions were prior to my discovery of food healing, and since then he has never fallen ill enough to warrant medications. I have noticed my body healing too – I am learning about the healing qualities in each ingredient making myself more aware of what to prescribe when I can feel an illness creeping up on me. I suppose the only time my other half hasn’t been supportive of my drive to heal us naturally is when he had an earache and I wanted to use a garlic head wrap on him … Everyone has their limits hey!

I have composed a simple shopping list of staples that I get almost every fortnight when I do the shop. Quite often I buy the same things week after week yet I am constantly coming up with new and exciting ways to use them. As a rule we try and split our daily dinners 2 nights to fish 2 nights to meat 2 nights vegetarian and 1 night vegan – in no particular order. This has drastically reduced our food budget by at least half!

Here are my staples:

Meat:

Organic Chicken (Thigh and a whole bird)

Mince (beef and pork)

Steak (grass fed)

Fish (varying kinds)

Fruit: 

Berries: Blueberries, raspberries, kiwi berries, strawberries all berries!

Bananas

Pear

Apple

Oranges

Melon

Lemon

Lime

Vegetables: 

Spinnach

Kale

Brocoli

Tomatoes (whole, cherry and grape)

Eggplant

Sweet potato (white and orange)

Mushrooms

Zucchini

Capsicum

Cucumber

Avocado

Onions

Beans

Asparagus

Pumpkin

Cabbage

Cupboard: 

Quinoa (flakes and grains)

Linseed

Almonds

Cashews

Macadamia Nuts

Coconut

Brown Rice

Cacao

Spelt flour

Pepitas

Lentils

Chickpeas

Butter Beans

4 Bean Mix

Other:

Coconut Oil

Macadamia nut oil

Olive oil

3x dozen free range eggs

Natural greek yoghurt

Almond milk

coconut water

Garlic

Ginger

Pink salt

Dark organic chocolate

These ingredients leave your possibilities for meals endless. I always found if I tried to make a meal plan I never stuck to it! And we ended up eating out, ordering in or snacking on toast all evening!!

I hope you find this list helpful in your pursuit of a healthier, happier life!! Keep following for more great recipes to satisfy both you and your fussy eater! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and instagram too for instant updates and plenty of fresh recipes and tips !

CHOC ORANGE “JAFFA” CAKE

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Choc Orange “Jaffa” cake

In the midst of lunch box prep I had an over whelming need to bake these cakes, and I am so glad I did!! MOO loves them, they are gluten free, lactose free and almost guilt free – don’t get me wrong they are a totally decadent treat but you don’t mind indulging on these. 

The original recipe called for a 23″ cake tin, but I baked these in some silicone moulds (6) and a loaf tin – I had full intentions on sharing the loaf but since tasting it – I might just keep this one to myself. 

The individual cakes are the perfect size for a lunch box treat! 

I made this in my thermomix but if you follow Nigella Lawson’s version you will strike gold and no thermomix necessary! 

INGREDIENTS

1x Litre Water

2x Oranges (about 380g) 

1x Tsp Baking Powder 

1/2 x Tsp Bi – Carb 

200g Almonds

6x Eggs

250g Raw Sugar 

50g Cacao 

METHOD

  1. Pour water in TMX bowl 
  2. Add basket and oranges cook for 45mins – Varoma – Speed 3 
  3. Set aside to cool 
  4. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees, and grease desired cake tin 
  5. Mill sugar for 3 seconds on speed 9 – set aside 
  6. Grind almonds on speed 9 for 10 seconds 
  7. Quarter oranges and discard any pips and grisly bits, add to almonds
  8. Add remaining ingredients and combine on speed 7 for 20 seconds 
  9. Pour into prepared tin and bake for 40-45 minutes 
  10. Allow to cool in the tin. 

**Note all my ingredients are gluten free (baking powder etc) these worked perfectly so they are totally guilt free 

This is my first time converting this recipe, I am assuming they freeze well and will let you know otherwise. Though to be honest I don’t see them getting to the frozen stage! 

The orange flavour is really strong, but works really well! 

Perfect with a little lactose free ice cream for dessert, or with lashings of icing sugar – I could just imagine how amazing these would be with some chocolate ganache too! 

These cakes remind my of my childhood when in the school holidays my dad would buy me a bag of Jaffa chocolates and I would steal them away in a tin in my bedroom and secretly indulge in them at night when my brothers were at a safe enough distance not to steal them! Not a lot has changed – as soon as MOO was in bed tonight I found myself cutting a slice and enjoying it in peace! 

Indulge yourselves and for those who have allergies this recipe helps you forget they are even there! You are not missing a single thing here!

Enjoy xo

ChocJafaCake-1

ALMOND MEAL PANCAKES

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Almond Meal Pancakes

I made these a while ago for MOO – he came home from daycare thrilled with himself for trying the pancakes – they were sooooo yummy apparently and he would eat anything on or with them and he couldn’t wait to try them again. So I put the theory to the test and made my own GF, LF Almond Meal Pancakes. 

These were pre Thermomix days though I imagine simple enough to convert to using one. 

MOO ate them and declared they were the best he has ever had, even better than daycare and that he would eat them every day! I like to freeze these in servings of 2 or 3 depending on how big I make them, that way, during the week we have a tasty snack or breakfast waiting for us. 

INGREDIENTS 

1c Almond Meal 

2 Eggs 

1tsp GF Baking Powder

1/4c Water 

2tbs Macadamia nut oil 

Pinch of salt 

1tbs Sweetner of choice – I just use raw sugar 

METHOD

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl 
  2. Cook in batches in frying pan 

To make these in the thermomix I would just add everything and combine on speed 6-8 then pour into the frying pan. 

I served these with some honey and fresh berries

TURKEY DIM SIM

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Turkey Dim Sim 

If I had known clean eating was this good – I would have done it a long time ago! This recipe was half veggie smuggling half not – it satisfied my cravings for all things Chinese that night. 

MOO loved the dim sim, he even snuck one or two from dad’s plate! I tried a few methods with these, as traditionally they have a wanton case but struggled to get it just right and GF. I also tried rice paper rolls but when steaming they tended to fall apart, in the end this proved to be the best method by far! 

As per my recent recipes, I used the Thermomix and Varoma for this recipe. I imagine you could make it just as well using steaming baskets and will try and convert it best I can below – though I haven’t tried it without the TMX yet. 

INGREDIENTS

320g Chicken (Mince if not using TMX) 

2x Shallots 

200g Cabbage

1x Tsp Veg Stock 

Fish Sauce

Sesame Oil 

1x Egg 

1tsp Soy Sauce (GF) 

METHOD (thermomix) 

  1. Place Chicken into TM Bowl, turbo 2 sec 
  2. Add cabbage, shallots, egg, stock, sauces and season with salt and pepper
  3. Pulse until mixed 
  4. Take a tsp of the mixture and roll into a ball then coat in breadcrumbs (I use my own made from GF bread, toasted, and quinoa flakes that have been pulsed together) 
  5. Place balls into Varoma steaming basket 
  6. Fill TMX bowl to half way mark with water, set to Varoma temp, speed 2 for 35 minutes 

**You can wet some baking paper and line your Varoma basket with this to make clean up easier and less messy but I didn’t find that these stuck at all. 

METHOD

  1. Shred cabbage, dice Shallots
  2. Combine with egg, mince and sauces
  3. Form into balls and roll in breadcrumb mixture 
  4. Steam until cooked 

I served ours with thermomix fried rice from Quirky Cooking – link below 

http://quirkycooking.blogspot.com.au/2009/08/thermomix-fried-rice.html

 

MOO ate all of his rice, though I did blend the vegetables at the end – not to a paste but just to make them easier to handle. He really enjoyed this dinner and I enjoyed knowing it was good for him. 

Served with some sweet chilli sauce and kicked back after a long week. Nothing beats home made take away! 

 

RAW CHOCOLATE “CEREAL”

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Raw Chocolate “Cereal” 

I say “cereal” because I am not sure I can really call it that … this recipe is gluten free, lactose free, grain free BUT not taste free I really enjoyed this and despite his protest I think MOO will too its more about persistence with this one and I am pretty sure its not what he had in mind when I asked if he wanted a bowl of chocolate cereal!

We played a little food critic game which got 5 mouthfuls down, he wasn’t repulsed by the flavour I think it was more the texture, it wasn’t what he had expected. I plan on making this a regular in our home for breakfast and hopefully will replace our traditional “cereals” 

Next time I might add 2-3 medjool dates just to help balance the flavours – maybe some almonds, I think it’s one of those recipes that will never be the same every time. Totally filling and absolutely satisfying. Again I have used my thermomix to whip this up in under a minute, but if you don’t have one a blender will suffice, just maybe grate your apple separately. 

INGREDIENTS

3x Apples (about 300g – Red or Green, or a combination) 

100g Nuts (I used cashews but think almonds would be great!) 

25g Pepitas 

30g Chia 

25g Linseed 

2Tbs Cacao 

METHOD

  1. Place all ingredients into TMX bowl, pulse on Turbo for 3 seconds 
  2. Serve in a bowl topped with berries and milk of you choice

this recipe will make almost a paste but once the milk hits it, it starts to break down and is a great start to the day. Like I said earlier, try it with some dates to balance the flavours – I can’t wait to try this with some coconut or almond milk, for today though we just used LF milk. 

Comment below or on IG or FB and let me know how you liked it, and any alterations you’ve made! 

Enjoy xo

CHOC MUESLI BARS

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Choc Muesli Bars

I am living in denial about the impending end of school holidays – MOO is back at school on Monday which means an end to my blissful holidays where there is no whining about who has what in their lunch boxes. This year I need to get creative, I need to get him excited and proud to show off his lunch box and not worry so much about the packaged goodies in everyone else’s. These muesli bars were my first experiment and I think went down well, we sent him with them to daycare’s “bring a plate” day and the “plate” came back empty – in fact it was even these guys that were responsible for the first missing tooth! I can feel pretty good about serving these for a snack or treat knowing they pack a punch or iron, protein and all things good – only a small amount of chocolate goes a long way and although I have used the thermomix to make these, I imagine it would be just as easy without one! It’s just a case of melting and combining really. 

INGREDIENTS: 

100g Butter (I used Nutelex – which is vegan friendly) 

90g Brown Sugar 

95 Oats (I used GF oats, though I imagine Quinoa Flakes might do the trick too) 

100g Toasted Muesli (any will do we used GF) 

40 Shredded coconut 

25g Black Chia  

90g Honey (Raw)

2tsp Vanilla Bean Paste  

50g Cocoa Puffs (GF) any cereal or puffs could work 

15g Pepitas 

20g Flaxseed 

**Amounts of dry ingredients are rough – just chuck it all in and mix up the variations 

METHOD

  1. Place Butter, Honey, Sugar and vanilla into TMX bowl and melt on 100 degrees for 3.5 minutes, speed 2. (This can easily be done in a saucepan, just stir until everything has melted) 
  2. Add remaining ingredients to TMX bowl on speed 2 for 30 seconds to combine  (I would suggest putting remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and covering with butter mixture if not using a thermomix) 
  3. Once combines pour into a lined tin 
  4. Either grate or blitz some dark LF chocolate in the TMX, Turbo 3 seconds, and sprinkle on top

Set in the fridge for a few hours before slicing – keeps well for about 10 days in the fridge. Does got a bit soft out of the fridge but still really tasty :) 

Enjoy xo 

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