Tag Archives: Cook

Rainbow salad with creamy, lemon dressing

Delicious before dressing...
Delicious before dressing…

This salad dishes up delicious flavours and a variety of nutrients from the colourful vegetables. My toddler gobbles it all up every time.  Of course, she helps prepare the dressing and finish off the salad. Any version of this dish is served with quiche, fish, roasted free range chicken, marinated tofu or bbq skewers in our home. Yum!

I blanch beans, cauliflower and broccoli for an extra few minutes to serve my infant too.

1 carrot grated
1 medium zucchini grated
¼ large red capsicum very finely diced
1 head broccoli, in bite sized florets
½ head cauliflower, in bite sized florets
3 generous handfuls of green beans, topped and cut in half
1 handful baby spinach leaves

½ cup full fat natural yoghurt
1/3 cup egg mayonnaise (made from free range eggs)
2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice to tast
cracked black pepper
2 tsp olive oil (optional, but nice)
½ to 1 tsp runny honey

1. Blanch the broccoli and cauliflower for a couple of minutes. Blanch the green beans for four minutes. Once out of boiling water, immediately rinse all blanched vegetables with cold water in a colander, shake dry and add to large bowl.
2. Add remaining vegetables and optional extras to the blanched vegetables and stir gently to combine.
3. Prepare dressing. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl with a spoon. Adjust lemon juice and mayonnaise to taste.
4. Add dressing to vegetables. Gently stir through and serve immediately.

Cook’s Note:
Any colourful vegetables that don’t release too much water suit this salad. Fresh corn is good. Pre-cooked brown rice and toasted flaked almonds add carbs, protein and complexity making it a complete meal.

This salad keeps well undressed in the fridge for a couple of days, but it never lasts that long in our house!

Wholesome, delicious food made to fuel growing bodies.
Wholesome, delicious food made to fuel growing bodies.

Activist note:
We are connected to the hens that lay our eggs. Let’s choose a free range life for them by buying higher animal welfare products. Ban the cage. Note if you live in Australia, Coles brand egg mayonnaise is made from free range eggs and very reasonably priced.


Wholemeal banana cake with chocolate chips

Delicious, fragrant and addictive.
Delicious, fragrant and addictive.

This delicious, generous sized cake is easy and quick to prepare. It is my usual adaptation of several recipes over time. My toddler loves to sit on the bench and help with mashing, pouring, mixing and sampling along the way! Yum. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine.


Spray oil to grease tin
2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
½ cup wholemeal plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup non-dairy milk
4 tbsp (more or less) dairy-free chocolate chips
2 free range eggs
80 g melted butter or dairy free spread or 4 tbsp rice bran oil
5 over ripe bananas, mashed


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan forced). Spray oil in 26 cm non-stick spring form pan to lightly grease. Line base with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Combine flours, cinnamon and chocolate chips in large bowl. In a medium bowl, stir well to combine milk, eggs, melted butter and banana. Add banana mixture to flour and stir until just combined. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  3. Bake in pre-heat oven for 45 or so minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and cake springs back lightly to the touch. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes. Place onto wire rack to cool completely.
  4. If cooking with toddler, clean bench and toddler from head to toe!
Crystalised brown sugar is a nice texture contrast to the beautiful soft centre
Crystalised brown sugar is a nice texture contrast to the beautiful soft centre

Cook’s notes

This is my favourite version with chocolate chips but you can omit or substitute with nuts to suit your taste. For dairy free, substitute milk products with non dairy alternatives. For vegan, omit eggs. There is enough mashed banana in this recipe to not worry about substitution.  Coconut is nice too. Just substitute comparable amount of the plain flour.

I could have called this recipe banana bread, but really, we all know it’s a cake…

Baked Mushrooms

Unattractive, but delicious!
Unattractive, but delicious!

This recipe is another of my toddler friendly concoctions. My little miss loves to sit on the kitchen bench and help construct these. I chop and grate extra toppings because a fair amount goes into her mouth instead of on the mushrooms. I list the ingredients for these shown in the photos, but you can add anything you have on hand just as long as it’s diced and doesn’t release too much water during the cooking process.

Toddlers gnerally eat what they cook, so we may as well make it nutritious.
Toddlers gnerally eat what they cook, so we may as well make it nutritious.

As for quantities, aim for a nice rounded shape on the mushroom, kind of like a good bottom! This is not the best looking dish, but it always taste amazing and is a very nutritious addition to any meal. Last time we prepared these, I served them on the side of a tomato-based pasta dish.


Large, flat mushrooms, stalks removed (twist and pull)
Rice bran oil
Zucchini, diced
Grated tasty cheese
Leftover vegetarian sausage, diced
Cob of corn, kernels removed
spinach leaves, roughly torn
Pepper, seasoned to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius (160 degrees fan forced)
  2. Lightly grease oven tray with rice bran oil
  3. Lay mushrooms gill side up on tray
  4. Sprinkle diced ingredients over mushrooms and press down with fingertips, leaving the cheese and pepper until last
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 mins or until cheese is golden brown.

To serve toddler, cut into large pieces so each bit can be picked up with a fork.

These are popular with adults and children in our household.
These are popular with adults and children in our household.

Baked corn fritters

Fast as a flick of a lamb's tail! Delicious for everyone and great for little hands.
Fast as a flick of a lamb’s tail! Delicious for everyone and great for little hands.

Baked corn fritters

I made this recipe in response to my little baby being extremely needy one day and my subsequent inability to fry anything on the stove with said child attached to my hip. So I made my usual corn fritter recipe and piled it into a mini muffin tin. Well, they worked out superbly! These little treats are moist and loaded with extra goodness from the chick pea (besan) flour. My toddler exclaimed “cupcakes!”, then proceeded to eat two straight up. Enjoy!


1 cup chickpea flour
¾ cup wholemeal self-raising flour
2 tbsp sesame seeds + extra for sprinkling
1 425g can of creamed corn (low sugar variety if you can get one)
2 free range eggs
2 tsp minced coriander
2 tbsp rice bran oil
1 pinch salt + a grind of pepper


  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees celcius fan-forced (180 regular temp)
  2. Combine dry ingredients in bowl
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and fold through
  4. Coat 24 hole mini muffin tin with spray oil
  5. Fill holes with mixture and sprinkle on extra sesame seeds
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden.

Note: These are dairy free. To make this recipe egg free, add another tbsp of rice bran oil. These are really nice with vegan cream cheese.

Perfectly sized for little hands.
Perfectly sized for little hands.