What am I making with my organic veg boxes? Come on in, I’ll show you.

best-things-about-melbourne-WLL-veggiesI get my veggie boxes from Whole Larder Love, and a few people lately have asked me what I’ve been making from the contents. It’s a bit fun, like a Masterchef Mystery Box, but gianter and with more cabbage.

I must admit, I’ve been thinking in all sorts of traditional recipe ways when I open the box and see it swimming in potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and beets. Nothing fancy from this kitchen! I’ve even been looking toward traditional European recipes owing to the cabbage and potato business. German, Irish, British – give me all of the peasant food! Hearty, easy, delicious ways of using this wonderful veg.

So here’s a list of what’s been going down:

Colcannon – (my silverbeet/chard version is here, but it’s usually made with cabbage) I made a massive batch and froze most of it. Using the potatoes and cabbage (kale would be good too).

Roasted potatoes.

Hash browns

Potato latkes/fritters

Gnocchi – made with mashed roasted potatoes, and pesto using the basil.

Baked loaded potato skins (made from the skins of the potatoes I roasted for the gnocchi), topped with spring onion + sour cream

Okonomiyaki – a Japanese dish I love using cabbage + carrot. I have used this recipe, but this one from Cake Crumbs and Beach Sand is also amazing.

Yakisoba – using the cabbage, carrot, broccoli and any other veg you like.

Roasted beetroot chunks in salads

Roasted beetroot risotto

Gourmet Girlfriend’s Beetroot Marmalade

Also probably will make beetroot hummus (and this beetroot and feta puree would make a great dip)

This quiche recipe was good with kale + onions mixed in, and sliced tomato on top

Pizza sauce with the tomatoes – I simmered chopped tomatoes with some basil, salt, a pinch of sugar and a little tomato paste. You can blend to make it smooth, but I don’t bother. Freezes well.

Margarita pizza with the above sauce, the basil, and homemade pizza bases.

I have thought about making gazpacho from the tomatoes, cucumber, basil etc. Haven’t quite gotten there yet!

Roasted corn and boiled corn as side dishes

I used some boiled corn and some thinly-sliced cabbage and red onion in a mexican-style salad with thinly-sliced jalapeno, manchego cheese, lime + olive oil dressing. Lots of salt, a few sneaky sliced black olives.

Will be making this corn chowder today, which is THE BEST IN THE WHOLE WORLD, and I will freeze for dinner next week. I’m actually the most excited about this.

Also considered making corn relish.

Broccoli Cheese soup

Gourmet Girlfriend’s Cavalo Nero and asparagus tart merged with Cavalo Nero, Caramelised Onion, Pea and Ricotta tart (I used the homemade base of one of the recipes, then the filling of the other)

Gourmet Girlfriend’s Quinoa, Tuscan Kale, and potato soup (I threw in some of the tomatoes, and served with parmesan-style cheese and some of the basil. Also really good with feta!)

Baked turnips and potatoes

Roasted carrots

Veggie Slice – a good catch-all for kale, chard, carrots, potato, zucchini, etc.

Veggie-cheddar soup - again, throw in whatever you have.

Caramelised apple and cinnamon scrolls

And for other ideas, check out what I did with this organics box, and this one. I hope they help!


Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Golden rice salad

Golden-rice-saladThis golden rice salad is a nice change from my usual bowl of brown rice, and is rather sunshiny now that it’s getting warmer again. The yellow is from turmeric, which is amazingly good for you, but doesn’t impart much of a flavour. Never fear, everything else makes up for it!

In this salad, I mixed cooked brown rice with roasted sweet potato cubes, steamed beans and broccoli (but they would be lovely roasted too) with a pinch of turmeric, salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley, feta, lemon juice, lemon zest, apple cider vinegar and a little flaxseed oil to taste, as a dressing. I like mine pretty lemony/acidic, but you do what you like.  Topped with chopped almonds and walnuts (not pictured because I am a dick), it is a sweet, lemony, crunchy bowl of happy goodness. Why wouldn’t you want it for lunch?

Also had it with haloumi. You know that rocked my world.

What’s happening with you guys for Meatless Monday? Whatcha got for me?

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

A few ideas for your winter veggie box

what-I-did-with-my-organics-boxHowdy, gang!

As I was unpacking my organics box the other day, I had to think quickly about what was to be done with all of it. Organic veggies don’t last long, and it’s horrible to waste them, so I mentally put them in order of what needed to be used first and started prepping some of them for dinners during the week. Then I thought some of you might like to see what I came up with, so am sharing here today! Hopefully it will inspire you to get a heads up on meals, rather than think you’ll use something later only to watch it turn to slodge in the bottom of your fridge. Expensive slodge.

Ok, so here’s what I received:

1 kg carrots

1 kg potatoes

1 fennel bulb + fronds

1 kg pumpkin

1 bunch silverbeet

1 bag shallots and an onion

1 red onion

1 sugarloaf cabbage

2 x pak choy

4 x bok choy

2 heads broccoli

6 oranges

What I did:

Immediately cubed and roasted the pumpkin. I used half for pumpkin, haloumi and fennel salad (using half the fennel, and some of the red onion), and the other half for pumpkin, fennel and orange soup (using the other half of the fennel, roasted, the juice of an orange and zest of half, a carrot and two potatoes) that I made in the Soup & Co while the stove was busy with other things. The soup got frozen, and we had the salad for dinner that night.

While that was in the oven, I sauteed the silverbeet with the onion and some garlic. I thought about freezing that for a future spanakopita, but ended up throwing in some grated carrots and cubed potatoes and making a frittata/veggie slice and froze that.

The pak choy and bok choy, the sugarloaf cabbage, a carrot and some broccoli were used the next night in a stir fry similar to my veggie yakisoba. I wanted to keep half of the veggie/cabbage combo for wontons, but I got too hungry :)

Then I got tired and sat down. I had made four dinners in a couple of hours – that’s totally enough! The carrots, shallots and potato would keep, and I used the broccoli for something, only I don’t remember what. It can be blanched for a few minutes in boiling salted water, then cooled and frozen also for future use.

Oh and the oranges I made into a cake… as you do.

Do you cook ahead? (I don’t always) It’s such a good idea.
Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Summer meal ideas

Because seriously – who wants to put the oven on? Or even take too long cooking things?

Not me, but I’m pretty lazy.

Anyhow, if you’re pressed for time, or just want a relaxed approach to dinner when everyone’s hot and frazzled and tired, here’s a few ideas that don’t take long, don’t need too much heat, or can be done on the barbecue outside. I actually wrote a few down so I would not have to struggle finding non-oven things for dinner and thought maybe you guys might like some inspiration too. My kindness knows no bounds.

Now fetch me my margarita.

no oven dinners



Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Guest Post: I’m the only vegetarian in my family.

Howdy y’all! Today we have Sheri guest posting, all the way from Canada! She blogs at What The Boy Ate about her picky-eatin’ son, life as a stay at home mom, and being the only veggie in her family, which I know some of you struggle with yourselves…


Hello Veggie Mama readers, I am honoured to be able to write a guest post while Stacey spends some quality time with the new babe.  Firstly, this is my first guest post ever, I am very new to the blogging world, with my blog is only a couple of months old.  Secondly, I’m nervous, I am not the best writer in the world, but have lots to say and hope I can get across my passion of being a vegetarian and how I feel about food.  And, thirdly, aaaaahhhhh (freaking out scream)!   

Okay, got that off my chest, here we go.  My name is Sheri, I am a Holistic Nutritionist and I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This is cattle country and not the best or easiest place in Canada to be a vegetarian.  I became a vegetarian about 3 years ago, but had been thinking about it for 5 years before that.  It was a slow process, first it was red meat, one night I opened a package of ground beef and the blood at the bottom made me want to throw up.  Next it was chicken, at dinner one night I bite into my chicken and hit a small bone, I almost gagged right there.  I did read up quite a bit before I did it, I wanted to make sure I got all my vitamins and minerals I needed.

So now I am a vegetarian and I am the only vegetarian in the family and this makes meal planning and the preparing of the meals hard. 
As a vegetarian there are a couple of things I make sure I do every day.
    • I take my vitamins.  There are some days that I know are going to be busy and I might not eat the way I should.  I always take a multi vitamin, B complex, Calcium/Magnesium, Vitamin D (so important here in the northern hemisphere), B12 and my fish oils.
    • Eat breakfast.  This is such an important meal, if for some reason I don’t have breakfast, but mid-morning I am tired, cranky, shaky and starving.  My body is screaming at me “feed me”, once I do I am okay, but feel that the rest of the day is thrown off by this missed meal.  Breakfast for me might consist of leftovers from dinner, muffin and smoothie, savoury crepes (I make batches of crepes and freeze them) or yogurt and berries with flax seed.
    • I also drink lots of water.  I need to keep hydrated through out the day, this helps flush out any toxins, keeps me regular and keeps my energy up.
When we eat out, mostly with the kids we end up at a fast food restaurant and I don’t need to tell you, especially if you have kids, which one we end up at.  There are no vegetarian options at this restaurant and I refuse to pay $5 for a iceberg salad once they take off the chicken.  So, I don’t eat.  Every once in a while I can convince them to head to a Mexican/taco fast food restaurant here in town, where I can make my own burrito and load it up with rice, two kinds of beans and tons of veggies.  This, unfortunately, is not too often.
Dinners around here are the hardest.  They include a meat, potatoes/rice/pasta and veggies for the family.  Myself, I usually eat the potatoes/rice/pasta and veggie portion and but there is not protein for me.  I do something try the faux meat out there, I do like Tofurky’s sausages, they are not bad and have actually made a pasta with sausage and tomato sauce and nobody noticed it wasn’t a meat sausage.  I also occasionally use Yves ground faux beef and have used it in tacos and spaghetti sauce and again no body noticed.  I don’t like to use them often, because they are still a processed food product. 
I am hoping one day my family will convert to vegetarianism, but I am not holding my breath.  In the meantime, I do my best, some days I don’t get all the nutrition I should I know that, but other days I do great.  There are some days I think “it would be so much easier if I went back to eating meat” but then I think of why I became a vegetarian and could not do it.  GROSS! 
I seriously, could go on and on about this subject.  I am passionate about being a vegetarian, for me it’s the treatment of the animals and the slaughtering of them for my consumption that sickens me.
So there you have it, I have so much to say, but feel I have taken up so much of Stacey’s blog with my prattling on already.  Please visit my blog, which is actually about how I am trying to convert my picky eating son over to a whole foods way of eating.  I am over here at www.whattheboyate.blogspot.com.  Please bear with me as I figure this blogging world out, get a rhythm going and figure out a regular posting schedule.  I hope that you follow along on the boys and my journey.
Thank you!
p.s. Stacey asked me to include a picture, but I take horrible pictures, almost every picture I have had taken my eyes are closed.  There is a very small one of me on the website.

Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Veggie meal plan

I get asked quite a lot if there are recipes to go with my meal plans, and usually there aren’t – simply because I don’t often make the same thing twice, and I’m usually experimenting with something that will eventually end up on the blog most weeks. So I decided to make a meal plan of all the things I’ve already made whose recipes appear on the site. It’s also helpful that a lot of them can be made in a double batch to stash in the freezer for after iBaby 2.0 arrives.

See? You can’t help someone else without helping yourself ;-)

Honey-soy sesame saute and Quorn crispy fillets.
Brown rice salad with crispy fried tofu strips.
Little girl refused mac and cheese this week so I think I will try her on a stir-fry type thing.
And I made a batch of pink cupcakes that should see her through, not to mention I’ve still a ton of vegan choc brownies so she won’t be feeling too deprived!
What’s on the menu at your place?
Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Veggie Meal Plan and pleading the case for independent grocers.

As part of my efforts to buy local and eventually avoid the big two supermarkets as much as I can, I decided to take a road trip to Maleny in the Sunshine Coast hinterland and see if doing my shopping at their IGA was viable. I do shop at farmer’s markets and two local fruit + veg places, but it does require several trips a week and with two babies, that might be a bit ambitious!

I don’t know if you know or remember the huge fight Maleny put up when Woolworths bought a block of land in their small, close-knit, co-operative town and started to build a store, but it went on for months and eventually the townspeople lost. It was a classic David + Goliath tale, the eco-friendly, sustainable, fiercely proud community up against the profit-driven faceless corporation, and resentment still burns. People do shop at the Woolworths, but a hell of a lot don’t and won’t under any circumstances.

To be honest, I really love the little IGA. I worked in Maleny for a year before I had Abby, and loved going in and browsing their incredibly extensive deli section for lunch goodies! The staff were super-friendly, I was always charmed by their wooden floorboards and old-fashioned feel (it’s been there since 1905!) and it was always packed with shoppers. Normally that would annoy me, but it’s a different kind of shopper, and I was always pleased to see that with a Woolies merely metres down the road, people still supported a local enterprise.

I also found that they do online shopping, AND will deliver to my house even though I’m a 45-minute drive away. Their everyday grocery prices are on a par with the big two (I always just assumed they were more expensive, given the circumstances) and their delivery fee is cheaper than one of the other supermarkets who is a 10-minute drive away. I think I actually just hit supermarket jackpot. Not only that, but a little old man quipped “do they sell babies at the supermarket now?”, pointing to Abby as I was taking my trolley to my car, and he was so chuffed that I responded they were on sale so I nearly bought two. There’s just something about little country towns, isn’t there? Everyone was so damn nice to us.

Oh, and by the way, they don’t have a clue who I am and have definitely not paid me to say any of this! I just truly am excited it fits my needs so well.

And as a bonus, as I was driving down the mountain on my way to my beachside home, I spotted this:

I pulled over so quickly I nearly gave myself whiplash. I snapped a couple of shots on my phone, and by the time I was back on the road, the rain had gone. There really is something magical about this place.

Anyway, this week we’re eating whatever looked good at the produce section, and whatever I have leftover in the fridge.

Oh! And a mushroom lasagna thanks to these little surprises:

How cool are they?! We grow our veg in mushroom compost, and usually get a little one here and there. But the combination of warm days, cloudy skies and lots of rain lately meant a nice little crop of lovely firm mushrooms. A very nice surprise indeed!

  mushroom lasagna
 sweet potato +black bean enchiladas
 schnitzel + roast veg
 pumpkin soup and homemade bread
 wholemeal penne + roasted tomato and capsicum sauce
 vegan brownies
 apple slice
Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!

Veggie meal plan

It’s about that time of year where lots of this happens:
Rugging up, watching fun things (in this case, River Cottage Spring!) and a hell of a lot of crochet. I’ve got the biggest to-do list and I’ve not even made anything for my own baby yet! Must get cracking as I’ve only got 8 or so weeks left. But I’m getting very, very, very tired ;-/

Anyhow, yesterday I decided to check out the Yandina markets, as I’d never been. I usually go closer to home but on a Noosa chef’s recommendation, I checked it out. I am SO glad I did!

The produce was so gorgeous and fresh, and it was hard to choose which stall to go to! I ended up getting a little from everywhere. This whole haul cost me less than $40 and should do us nicely this week, although I will need some more bananas. My meal plan is very much based on what I found there. I also got some gorgeous olives and handmade pasta.

Speaking of find, I also picked up this authentic ’80s Care Bear for $3! It’s in wonderful condition and there were two of them. There was a LOT of cool trash and treasure at these markets, tons of stuff I will be filling bags with next time I go. It’s like time has stopped out there and cool things have just been waiting for me to come along and collect them! I also bought a gorgeous little pearl and silver antique pendant for $7. A vintage globe has my name on it for next week. I almost spent the fruit + veg money on trinkets.

Anyhow, onto this week’s meals:

* fettuccine with asparagus, pea and mint
* cannellini bean and haloumi salad with roasted tomatoes and kale
* tacos!
* Schnitzel with roasted pumpkin, potato, parsnip, and a pea puree
* Soba noodle stir fry

Pretty easy stuff, but pretty delicious too. I’m going to play around with sundried tomato, feta and kale savoury muffins, and make some date and coconut balls for the baby.


Made a Veggie Mama recipe for yourself? I'd love to see it! tag #veggiemamafood on social media and let me know!
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