Healthy and Balanced Family Recipes
'My recipes are colourful, pretty, balanced and designed to inspire happy & sustainable eating habits'
Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash
1/25/2020 0 Comments
rainbow roast vegetables
Make a tray and use as sides for main meals throughout the week.
1/2 cauliflower, stalks, leaves & florets chopped & washed
10 Brussels sprouts
1 medium sweet potato, cut into discs (skin on, rinsed)
4 beetroot, quartered
2 zucchini, chopped
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place cauliflower. zucchini and brussels sprouts on a tray , spray with olive oil and season. Roast 30 minutes, checking midway to turn once golden brown.
Place beetroot & sweet potato on another tray, spray with olive oil, roast 45 mins.
Tips: Use herbs such as thyme or rosemary or spice mixes such as za'atar or dukkah to roast with vegetables for additional flavour.
10/27/2019 0 Comments
vegetarian chilli bowl
Pack a plant-based punch for meat free Monday (vegan, vegetarian, gluten free). Set out all ingredients and encourage children to serve themselves.
2 x 400g canned beans such as chickpeas & black beans, drained
1 tb tomato paste
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Cooked brown rice
9/22/2019 0 Comments
chilli, feta, mushroom pita stack
I promised a return to fresh, few ingredient balanced meals and this will be the best thing you eat all day.
Packed with folate, choline, Vitamin B12, iron, protein, B vitamins & monounsaturated fats and the right balance of macronutrients: carbohydrates, lean protein & vegetables.
Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
4 mini wholemeal pita
2 cups baby spinach
40g feta cheese
4 tablespoons hummous
Chilli, salt, pepper
1. Boil 500mls of water, add a generous glug of white vinegar.
3. Heat oil in a pan, add garlic, mushrooms and brown on high heat. Remove and add spinach to the pan until wilted.
4. Crack 2 eggs into rapidly boiling water, reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining eggs. Whilst eggs are cooking, toast pita and set aside.
4. Spread pita with hummous, pile each with mushrooms and a poached egg. Scatter feta, heap spinach on the side. Season with chilli flakes, salt and pepper.
9/21/2019 0 Comments
soba noodle & tofu nourish bowl
Vegan, vegetarian, GF
Packed with phytonutrients, fibre, slow release prebiotic carbohydrate, plant-powered protein and monounsaturated fats, this meal is a balanced way to eat vegan or vegetarian.
Ingredients (serves 2):
180g soba noodles (ensure 100% buckwheat if GF)
300g tofu or chicken
1 sweet potato
1 cup broccoli
1 cup cauliflower
1 zucchini, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tb soy sauce (tamari if GF)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tb crushed nuts
1 tb tahini paste
1 teaspoon honey/maple syrup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari for GF
1. Boil soba noodles 3-4 minutes, drain and set aside
2. Heat rice bran oil in pan, add garlic, tofu or chicken and mushrooms. Once starting to brown, add soy sauce. Cook on high heat about 2 minutes and remove.
3. Steam sweet potato, zucchini, cauliflower and broccoli in the microwave until soft.
4. Add dressing ingredients in a jar, shake.
5. Divide noodles, tofu, vegetables between 2 bowls, dress with tahini sauce, scatter with crushed nuts and serve.
Gluten-Free, Low FODMAP options, vegetarian
Have you ever looked at a 4-year-old’s outfit and thought, ‘I wish I could do that?’ You know what I’m talking about, stripes, stars, spots clashing all over the place, topped off with gumboots and sunglasses. Look, I know that I have and really, why not? Life’s too short to be matching. A very special little friend visited the other day, sporting the most amazing outfit, that may or may not have included a ladybird jacket cape. Stop it. One day, she will rule the world.
The thing is, these kids are onto something. Imagination is key, so why not let the sparkle and pizzazz extend to their meals? Today’s post is about my rainbow day, inspired by the children. It’s all about making yourself feel that little bit fancy. Trust me, you’ll feel good and the kids will pick up what you put down.
Let’s start with breakfast fit for a mini dictator queen (at her request, of course):
1. ‘Circle rainbow porridge:’ Quick oats made with milk, kids given creative licence with cinnamon shaker, fruit and a little honey to decorate. Tomorrow we’re adding blueberries.Breakfast, lunch or dinner:
2. Avocado and tomato on sourdough, topped with chickpeas, rocket, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Dinner for everyone. I’m not into making separate meals, it's time consuming & unnecessary. Also, preparing food with the children and eating together helps to shape lifetime eating habits. Gluten free or Low FODMAP: use gluten-free bread
3. Rainbow pizza: This is a great school lunch box idea. Spread 4 small wholemeal pita pockets with passata, topped with a variation of: grated carrot, grated zucchini, chopped beetroot, canned corn, grated cheese and olives. Add lean ham or shredded chicken breast. The idea is to let the kids make their own rainbows. Trust me, they’ll want to eat their creations. Grown-ups can add some basil and chilli flakes to their ‘rainbow pizzas’ to add a bit more zest to happy hour. I know that I need it.
Gluten-free & Low FODMAP: use gluten free pizza bases
9/5/2019 0 Comments
korean pancakes (jeon)
Gluten free, vegetarian, low FODMAP
Jeon are a brilliant way to encourage children to eat their vegetables! They are super easy and a good way to use up any leftover vegetables.
1 carrot, grated
1 potato, grated
1 zucchini, grated
1 capsicum, finely diced
1 red onion, finely diced (omit for low FODMAP)
1 cup flour (wheat, rice (gluten-free), wholemeal)
1/2-1 cup water
Rice bran oil
Dipping sauce: 1 tb soy or tamari (GF) and 2 tb rice vinegar
1. Squeeze out excess moisture from the zucchini and potato. Add vegetables into a large bowl.
2. Mix together water and flour, then add with egg to the vegetable mixture. You may need to add water depending on consistency.
3. Brush a pan with rice bran oil, heat well and add 1/3 cup quantities of mixture to pan. Cook approximately 2 minutes per side until golden brown.
4. Serve with dipping sauce.
Delicious sides include: smoked salmon, avocado and salad.
Vegetarian, Gluten free, FODMAP friendly
When the sun is shining, making dinner with vibrant, fresh ingredients feels exciting. Make my rainbow rice paper rolls this weekend, packed with plant-based protein, sustained release carbohydrates, vitamin C, beta carotene, iron and monunsaturated fats.
The combination possibilities are endless.
I used: pre-marinated satay tofu (marinate your own plain tofu for gluten-free) (pan-fried 2 mins each side), grated carrot, shredded purple cabbage, sliced cucumber, capsicum, avocado and coriander leaves.🥒
Soak rice paper sheets for roughly 30-60 seconds, place ingredients inside middle third of rice paper add ingredients and roll. Work quickly as the rice paper is quite sticky. Place rolls on a plate with a clean, damp towel covering them to keep fresh.
Dipping sauce: sweet chilli sauce with a bit of fish sauce and lemon juice.
Other ideas: shredded chicken, vermicelli noodles, spinach, mint, avocado (omit for Low FODMAP option)
8/25/2019 0 Comments
8/21/2019 0 Comments
black bean sweet potatoes & salsa
Another day, another soup to warm you through to the soul and boost those immune-fighting nutrients for this long, cold winter. This covers most food groups in one excellent bowl. Many micronutrients = happy body. It includes some great plant-based protein from the chickpeas and continues along the theme of my love affair with legumes. Really. Here is my healthy twist on a traditional favourite.
1 whole chicken (I removed as much skin as possible), cleaned
2 garlic cloves
Dried bay leaves x 3
salt, lots of black pepper
half bunch kale, leaves removed or 2 handfuls spinach
1 small bunch broccoli, cut into small florets, stalks sliced
1/2 cup barley
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
lemon zest, dill to serve
1. Cover chicken in large pot with cold water, add roughly chopped carrot, onion, garlic and celery, seasoning and bay leaves.
2. Cover with lid and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer for about an hour, until chicken cooked through.
3. Remove chicken, garlic cloves and bay leaves from pot, add rinsed barley and continue cooking stock until barley soft, roughly 30 mins. Whilst this is cooking, remove chicken bones and reserve meat.
4. When barley cooked through, add broccoli, kale (or other leafy green) and chickpeas. The heat from the soup will cook those veg.
5. Add some of the chicken back to the pot, stir through lemon zest and dill and serve.
- Reserve some chicken for sandwiches or to add leftover chicken to brown rice with frozen mixed veg, canned corn and low salt soy sauce for quick fried rice.
- Freeze leftover chicken for other sandwiches and meals
- You can prepare this recipe up to step 3, strain the broth and put the veg and barley aside. If the broth is refrigerated overnight, any fat that comes to the surface can be skimmed off the next day. Simply add the barley and cooked veg back in, reheat the soup and go from step 4 the next day. Of course, you don't have to wait a whole 24 hrs if you would prefer to serve immediately.
- The kids may enjoy this with some cheesy soldiers on the side.
I hope you and your family enjoy this as much as we did,
8/21/2019 0 Comments
5 healthier lunch box treats
It’s almost school time again and one of my friends from school (which was, ahem, a little while back now), requested some healthy lunch box treats. Whilst I can only take credit for one of these recipes, I can tell you that they will all be baked, frozen and appearing in my children’s lunch boxes.
1. Nicole Bando, APD – Pineapple and coconut wholemeal muffins
This recipe uses yoghurt instead of sour cream and wholemeal flour rather than white. A small amount of added sugar makes it a healthier alternative to other treats.
– 2 cups wholemeal flour
– 2 tspn baking powder
– 1 cup low fat Greek yoghurt
– 2 eggs
– 1 tspn vanilla essence
– 1/3 cup coconut or olive oil
– 1/3 cup sugar
– 3/4 cup shredded coconut
– 1.5 cups chopped fresh or drained canned pineapple (in juice, not syrup)
1. Whisk eggs, yoghurt, oil and vanilla.
2. Add flour, baking powder, coconut and sugar, stir.
3. Fold through pineapple (drain juice first), place into 12 patty pans.
4. Optional: sprinkle tops with coconut and bake at 180 degrees (fan-forced) for 20 mins.
2. The Biting Truth – Strawberry, Zucchini and Banana muffins
A great source of fibre, low in added sugars and a way to pack in some fruit and veg.
Serves: 10 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 30 minutes
250g Wholemeal self-raising flour
1/4 cup Olive oil
1/4 cup Rice malt syrup, pureed dates or honey (optional)
1/2 Punnet strawberries, sliced
Shredded coconut, 1/2 cup
1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
2. Line muffin tray with paper cases or spray muffin tray with olive oil.
3. Grate the zucchinis and apples. Use a tea towel to squeeze out any excess juice.
4. Using a fork, mash the bananas.
5. In a bowl sift the flour. Then add the rice malt syrup,cinnamon, apple and zucchini and stir to combine.
6. Add the bananas and mix together. (Note: be careful not to over stir the mixture).
7. Stir in the oil until the mixture forms together. (Note: add water if required).
8. Spoon the mixture into cases and press a slice of strawberry onto the top of each muffin. Then top with a sprinkle of shredded coconut.
9. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
3. The Nutrition Guru and the Chef – Sweet Potato and Oat bars
High fibre, low sugar and includes some veg in your child’s day.
Author: The Nutrition Guru and The Chef
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
Total time: 40 mins
2 cups of almond meal (or equal quantity of spelt flour, or equal quantity wholemeal plain flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup sultanas (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder (choose gluten free baking powder if coeliac or highly sensitive to gluten)
1 1/2 cups grated sweet potato (skin included)
1/4 cup olive or coconut oil
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (optional)
Pre heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Grease and line a 20cm x 20cm baking tin with baking paper
Place almond meal, oats, sultanas and baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl
Stir well to combine
Grate the sweet potato and add to the mixture
Stir well to combine
In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs lightly
Add the oil to the eggs and whisk lightly to incorporate
Add this mixture to the sweet potato and almond meal mixture, then add the honey or maple syrup
Stir well to combine all ingredients
Pour mixture into a greased and lined loaf pan
Optional: you may wish to sprinkle with crushed nuts or seeds such as pumpkin or sesame to decorate
Bake for 30 minutes, until brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Remove from oven and leave in tin to cool.
4. Taste – Sugar-free banana bread
A healthier spin on the traditional banana bread (read: cake)
4 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 160C or 140C fan-force. Grease and line an 11.5cm x 22cm (base measurements) loaf pan with baking paper.
Mash bananas in a large bowl with a fork until smooth. Add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla and stir until combined. Sift flours, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarbonate and salt over banana mixture (tip in the flour kernels). Stir until combined. Spoon into prepared pan and level top with a spatula. Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
5. Foost – Veggie scrolls
A great alternative to sandwiches that you can mix up to keep lunch interesting.
Makes 12-15 scrolls
1½ cups wholemeal self raising flour
1½ cups white self raising flour
2 Tbs reduced fat margarine
1 cup low-fat milk
½ cup pesto
low fat dip or tomato paste
½ cup olives
1 large handful fresh spinach leaves
1 red capsicum
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
1 small zucchini
¾ cup reduced-fat cheese
Turn oven to 200°C
Line tray with baking paper
Dice mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and capsicum
Grate zucchini and cheese
Sift flours in bowl and combine with wooden spoon
Rub margarine into flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
Add milk and mix into soft dough
Place dough on lightly floured surface and kneed until smooth
Roll out onto a 20cm and 23cm rectangle
Spread dip or tomato paste over dough, leaving a 1cm strip along 1 long side
Sprinkle dough with tomatoes, red capsicum, mushrooms, spinach, zucchini and cheese
Roll up, like a Swiss roll
Cut into 12 – 15 rounds, being careful not to squash roll
Lay scrolls flat onto prepared baking tray, about 3cm apart
Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack
Try using a range of ingredients to flavour the scrolls, sweet and savoury.
Nicole is a specialist Paediatric and Family Health Dietitian and Lactation Consultant, in private practice. She provides evidence-based, sustainable nutrition and feeding advice that supports optimal health and growth, and meets a family at their unique needs. Nicole graduated from Monash University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Nutrition & Dietetics, and worked as a Clinical Dietitian at a large metropolitan tertiary hospital, with Melbourne’s most critically ill, for over 15 years, before a career change to infant and family feeding.
Helping with (click the links for more info):
Mastitis, Blocked Ducts and other breast concerns.
Is my child overweight?
My child is underweight.
Breastfeeding a newborn baby.
Food Allergies and Intolerances.
My baby is not interested in solid foods.
Weight loss after baby.
Too much breastmilk and oversupply.
Low breastmilk supply.
Weaning off breastmilk.
Breastfeeding education before baby arrives.
Nutrition for primary school aged children
Nutrition for preschool aged children