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Makes me Smile, Food that Grows

27 Nov

These are some photos of our garden. Koha and her cousin and Nanny planted some fruit a while ago and they are just starting to grow food. This makes me smile. I think we’ll be enjoying these this summer!

blueberry plant

blueberry plant




passionfruit (the bags are to keep birds away)




Barley Salad with Corn, Capsicum, and Baby Spinach

27 Nov
Barley Salad

Barley Salad

Pearl barley for lunch once again! This time with corn, capsicum, and baby spinach, with lemon juice drizzled over the top. Yum! The pearl barley and corn were cooked in the rice cooker, and then other ingredients were added. This salad is super easy and fast and a great way to add a serving of whole grains into the day.

Cauliflower Mash

26 Nov
lamb chops with cauliflower mash and green salad

lamb chops with cauliflower mash and green salad

This recipe is amazzzing. It is a great substitute for mashed potatoes, and tastes even better than mashed potatoes! It’s super low in calories, it’s clean, it’s paleo, it’s low in carbs, it’s high in fibre, it’s basically a dieter’s dream side dish ❤

For extra flavour, you might add some chopped up herbs such as parsley or spring onion, or you could add butter or olive oil, or salt and pepper, or even garlic. Mmm.. garlic butter mashed cauliflower… Yummo!

Now for the recipe:

You will need:

  • Cauliflower
  • Water – enough to cover the cauliflower in the pot
  • Large pot
  • Mashing stick, or hand blender (the hand blender would be best as it would make the cauliflower extra creamy). If desperate, a fork should also work.

You will:

1: Boil the cauliflower in water, until the cauliflower is soft



2: Drain the water

Step 2

Step 2

3: Mash the cauliflower

Step 3

Step 3

4: Serve, adding optional flavourings (see suggestions above). I served mine with marinated lamb chops and a garden salad.

Health Benefits:

As a cruciferous vege, cauliflower has a tonne of healthy properties. It’s high in Vitamin C and contains a range of B vitamins. It’s also high in fibre, which is awesome because that aids healthy digestion. Cauliflower is very low in calories. By replacing standard mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower, you’ll shave about three quarters of the calories off your side dish, without compromising flavour or volume.

Sunday Meals Husband Cooks: Mussels, Salad, Gourmet Potatoes

26 Nov
Mussels and salad

Mussels and salad

This is Sunday night dinner, courtesy my husband. Lately he’s been steaming mussels on weekends and we eat them with large servings of salad.

These mussels were steamed on the stove and were served with lemon juice and garlic. My husband loves garlic on mussels, but I personally prefer lemon juice and pepper. He experimented by using both lemon juice and garlic on this meal. Our salad was simple, with cut tomatoes and apples over mixed lettuce greens. We also had gourmet potatoes with cracked sea salt and a little bit of butter. It was delicious and so healthy. Mussels are a great source of iron and protein and are low in fat. They’re also very very very cheap, and it cost less than $4 for all of us.

When purchasing mussels, be sure to look at the shell and go for mussels that are closed and unbroken. They should also be kept in sea water at the store, and eaten soon after they’ve been bought. We tend to eat ours the same day, which is why mussels are a weekend thing for our family.

Summer Barley Salad with Avocado, Apple, Baby Spinach, Capsicums and Cucumber

22 Nov Oh yeah! Barley Salad!
Oh yeah! Barley Salad!

Oh yeah! Barley Salad!

For lunch today we had a lovely barley salad. First, we cooked the pearl barley in the rice cooker in the exact same way you’d cook rice. Then we added the barley to baby spinach, chopped and peeled apples, chopped avocado slices, orange capsicum, and sliced cucumber. We chose those veges based on what we had to hand, and it would have tasted just as nice with other veges too. We mixed the whole thing up and drizzled some fresh lemon juice over it (we picked the lemons out of the garden, mmm so good). This salad was hearty but fresh and light. A great summer meal.

Koha loved it, including the spinach. Baby spinach is so good because it doesn’t have the bitter taste that spinach sometimes has, so it tastes more bland like lettuce, which makes it a lot easier to feed to those who are a little more picky.

If you are planning a summer barley salad, I’d recommend this one. Alternatively, it would be really tasty to have lettuce or spinach, with tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, and feta cheese with a balsamic dressing.

Koha’s Breakfast – Sprinkles Make The World Better

12 Aug
Koha loves sprinkles :)

Koha loves sprinkles 🙂

We often have porridge in the morning for breakfast. It’s quick, easy, and nutritious. It’s also easy to customise and make seem new every day. For this breakfast I put some sprinkles on top of the oats. Koha was so excited by it 🙂

Sprinkles on Oatmeal

Sprinkles on Oatmeal


Related articles

Easy snack from the supermarket: Porridge pouches

29 Jul
Baby Food Porridge Pouch

Baby Food Porridge Pouch

I sometimes buy these baby food porridge pouches when they’re on special at the supermarket. My favourite ones to buy are actually the organic ones (not the one in the photograph, which was just the one on special at the time) because the organic ones seem to have the best ingredients. These are really convenient as snacks or small meals and Koha loves having them in her lunch box to ‘sip’ on. They are also pretty yummy and nice for adults too 🙂

I can’t cook – healthy snacks

22 Jul
Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables make great snacks (Photo credit: nutrilover)

If you aren’t able to cook for whatever reason, that’s no reason to forgo healthy meals. These snacks and lunch box ideas are all easy and require minimal or no preparation.
Prepared by the Earth
Mother nature can be so kind, as she’s already prepared the following snacks for us ready to eat. All we need to go is buy them from the supermarket, or pull them off the tree or out of the ground.
  • Banana
  • Apple
  • Carrots (or baby carrots for extra cuteness)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Apricots
  • Pears
  • Peanuts
  • Almonds
Minimal Preparation at Home 
  • Sandwiches
  • Wraps
  • Salads
  • Baked potatoes
  • Porridge
  • Eggs
  • Barley

Store Bought Snacks

  • Baby food pouches of porridge or organic veges or fruit (really easy to eat for adults too)
  • Cheese
  • Marinated mussels
  • Smoked chicken
  • Smoked eel
  • Sushi
  • Sandwiches, wraps, salads
  • Deli meats

Pearl Barley

17 Jul
pearl barley

What to look for in the shop, usually near the soup – pearl barley

We’ve only recently started eating pearl barley as a low GI carb with loads of fiber. It’s cheap, it’s nutritious, and you can use it in loads of different meals. I like it because it is quite chewy and has more of its own flavour than rice does. It seems to work quite well as a rice substitute in stir-fries and as a side, for days when rice feels too boring. I like to cook it in vegetable stock, which I find gives the barley a really yummy flavour.

Pearl barley is also very cheap – another option for anyone doing the Live Below the Line challenge, or anyone who wants to save money.

pearl barley cooking in stock

pearl barley cooking in stock

To find pearl barley in the supermarket, look near the soups. That’s where I found my bag of barley, after first hunting around the supermarket’s bulk food section and rice section and feeling disappointed when I couldn’t find any.

Brain power super foods that keep you sharp

11 Jul
The brain

The brain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are certain foods that support the brain and its development better than other food options. By incorporating these into our diet I can do well at university and Koha can do well at creche.

Brain super foods are those which either enhance mental clarity, boost memory power, or increase alertness. Common brain super foods include:

To further support your mind, it is also important you ensure you eat enough food. The brain burns through calories quite quickly, especially when tasked with difficult problems. You need to eat regularly throughout the day to ensure your brain functions at a high level all day.

It is also important you sleep, especially when you are learning new things. When you learn something new you are more likely to remember it if (1) it interests you, (2) you repeat it later on in the day, for example by using a new word in a sentence or by explaining the concept to someone else, and (3) you sleep and allow your mind to convert it into a stronger memory while you sleep.