OK so who doesn't love fish & chips? Having it for lunch of a Monday - bonus!! We have fish, potatoes and salad every Sunday so it's a no brainer for lunches the following day. Max is still OK with fish so he had this plus some home-made sugar-free ketchup in his thermos. Two plums (sooo nice at this time of year), chopped veg and some yoghurt with fermented fruit.
Today the boys took the same lunch as it was all vegetarian! Veggies, plum, nectarine, home-made yoghurt with fermented strawberries (you just have to try these!) and blueberries. They made zucchini pizzas for me last night so they got those alongside a jacket potato. I added butter and sour cream to the potato in the thermos. Shame there's not enough for me to have the same ....
As Max is determined to remain a vegetarian for a while I need to rethink the way I cook. It is not enough to dump the meat and add some melted cheese or an egg. I am gradually getting better at providing meals that are tasty and nutritious without the traditional proteins I would add. But I am still a long way off being confident that I am providing a balanced diet and being able to serve enough decent protein substitutes and fat to keep Max satiated. Not only do I not want him to feel hungry but I want to make sure he is looking forward to meals with the same enthusiasm he used to. Ahhh, to be at a less busy point so I have the luxury of spending hours perusing new recipe ideas. But alas that is not so. I have however, made a promise to myself that I will do one recipe specifically for Max every other day so I am at least moving forwards and getting closer to serving the sort of food that will tick all of my boxes.
The lunchbox shown is Joe's from this morning. Chopped veg, corn, nectarine, plum, home-made yoghurt with fermented strawberries and blueberries. To go in the thermos a marinated chicken wing, a zucchini fritter and some potato wedges. Max got the same but minus the chicken wing and I added a broccoli burger and some melted cheese (yes I resorted to the melted cheese ... sigh). In my defense the broccoli burger was a new recipe and it rocked!
I am feeling very smug about tonight though. Check out the Kumara (sweet potato) Quiche. It looks and smells fab and I tasted the mixture and can confirm that if Max doesn't like it I will be quite happy to snarf the whole lot.
Lentils are one of those foods that just don't present well. They can taste absolutely fabulous but have very little plate appeal ... Not that my boys care when eating them as they taste great and are a really good, filling addition to the lunchbox. But when I'm photographing them I'm not enthused about the "look". I am however, delighted to serve them - especially to Max. Now he's not eating meat lentils are a simple way to provide protein and help keep him full too. I have noticed he seems to be eating more so his body is probably missing the satiating meat portion he would normally have.
Today he has chopped veg (a given), corn, apple, plum, a piece of kumara quiche and a big portion of lentils. I cooked a big batch last night and spent time thinking how I could infuse flavour into Max's without adding any meat stock/meat. I was delighted as his actually tasted better than the other one I did which I slow cooked with some lamb!
The kumara (sweet potato) quiche I baked yesterday for Max was well received and of course makes the perfect lunch fare. Here he's taking a big chunk of the quiche and some baked cauli tots in the thermos. He also has his standard chopped veggies, a piece of fresh corn, home-made yoghurt with fermented strawberries and blueberries and cherries and watermelon. No prizes for guessing what season we're in!
So my lovely Max has just started at Intermediate School. It's a big step up in terms of maturity and responsibility. Now he needs to leave a lot earlier for school, catch the train to and fro and generally be more independent. It's been such a positive move for him and he's loving it all. Mon night he came home from school and asked whether he could go vegetarian. We discussed his reasons for choosing to do this and he explained what he was thinking and what he had researched. I said that it wasn't a problem but a little more warning may have been helpful. To which he replied "we eat so many veggies anyway it's not exactly going to be a huge difference!" True ....
I'm getting into my stride now so today for lunch he has corn, a nectarine, a plum, mixed chopped veg, veggie nori rolls (no rice just veggies) and to go in the thermos a jacket potato and cheese). There is also a totally sugar free (as in no sugar or sugar substitutes) quinoa muffin. I don't bake for my boys ... poor neglected little mites .. but I do test recipes for my programs and then they are the very willing recipients of the samples :)
As summer is in full swing and all the lovely berries are cheap and plentiful we're doing a lot of experimentation. On the back of the Fermented Blueberry success we decided to try strawberries. The boys have declared them even better. They are lovely and sweet, fizzy and soft. Perfect on top of yoghurt but the boys reckon mixed with some of the blueberries creates the ultimate dish.
So simple to make and so delicious to eat whilst being excellent for gut health. Follow the link for the recipe!
My lovely Max decided to make a Valentine's food art plate on Sunday. This is what he came up with to accompany the fish for dinner. So creative and pretty!
Max and I enjoyed the workshop last night at Koru Hub in Island Bay. What a lovely location to hold a talk, Jackie is absolutely the best host ever!
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Fermented foods are all the rage at the moment, and for good reason. They are easily digested and contain probiotics. Introducing good bacteria into our guts enables our whole system to function more efficiently and that makes us feel better.
The down side is that they are not always "kid" (or adult) friendly! However, that is no longer true. Once you've tried our Fermented Blueberries the kids will be begging for more.
They are soooo simple to make and a delicious addition to oats, yoghurt, pancakes or even a savoury dish. I now have two batches fermenting at the same time to keep up with demand.
Don't be scared, 2 ingredients and 30 seconds to get started. Why wouldn't you?
Link to the recipe here:
Hi I'm Judith. Welcome to our page and please feel free to comment or contact me personally. I am mother to two fabulous boys, Max and Joe and am passionate about fresh food for families.