Tag Archives: toddler food

Vegetarian larb salad

A country I love is Laos. It a wonderful place in South East Asia, a landlocked haven that until fairly recent years was undeveloped, supporting deep green forests with dappled light, hidden treasures and bamboo gullies, the magnificent Mekong River supporting river dolphins and glorious waterfalls, inland islands dotted with tiny huts, jewelled insects clinging to incredible flowers. The peoples’ culture is sweet, communal and incredibly generous. Spend time in Luang Prabang and you will know what I mean.

Anyhow, larb is served in most restaurants and is regarded as a national dish. It is fresh, spicy, aromatic and delicious served in crisp lettuce leaves. Its usually made with minced meat, generally pork. I don’t eat pork so I made a vegetarian version. We call it “cooked salad” and my children usually have at least two servings at dinner.

Admission: I’m a working mother, so there are two versions to this salad:
1. The “quick my children are walking up the stairs and need to be fed in 10 minutes” version; or
2. The fancy “I can serve this to anyone as a sharing plate on the table” version.

Cook’s note: I make this toddler friendly and then add fresh coriander and chilli seperately afterwards for the adults.

Ingredients

1 packet of Linda McCartney vegetarian mince (frozen)
2 cups of cooked brown rice (more if you like)
4 tbsp rice bran oil
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen sliced green beans
1/2 cup sliced fresh snow peas
1 tbsp Massells chicken stock powder (vegan friendly)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tsp maple syrup
1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped
good amount of fresh cracked pepper
3 cm white section fresh lemongrass finely diced or 1 tsp minced lemongrass
1/2 cup water
fresh lime wedges, coriander and hot chilli to serve.

Method

1. In a non-stick wok, heat 3 tbsp oil. Add cooked rice on high heat for 2 minutes. Add bag of vegetarian mince. Cook on high for another 2 minutes.
2. Turn down heat to medium and add remaining ingredients.
3. Cook for 5  or so minutes until everything is defrosted and hot throughout.
4. Serve immediately to toddlers with a lime wedge. I put a horizontal slice in the flesh to reduce spatter when squeezing.

For the adults, add lime wedge, coriander and chilli.

To make fancy, use fresh ingredients, not frozen. Cook the rice and vegetarian mince combination on high heat for an additional 2 minutes so it becomes a bit crispy before adding remaining ingredients. Adjust to taste and season if required. Serve in baby cos lettuce cups with tiny lime wedges and a sprig of coriander.

Yum!

Note: Leftovers can be used as a filling for wraps for lunches the next day.

Hope you have a lovely week.

vegan larb salad Vegan larb salad pan

10 days in the life of a lunch box

 

 

 

Hi! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on my blog so I thought this one should be full of lunchbox ideas. I am a working mum and I highly value healthy home made food for my children. I make a lot ahead. We even have a box in our freezer called “the bakery” and I’m reminded if it’s running low! We use cooler bags with small containers generally. We also have a stainless steel lunchbox for my eldest used in place of all the containers. Maybe you might enjoy incorporating some of these lunchbox components.

Lunch boxes are always packed the night before and everything put in the fridge for morning. It’s the only way I have found that works in our house.

Here are some ideas below that I regularly use and my children love. The photos aren’t always great because I assemble the lunches at night – no pinterest worthy photos here, just basic, healthful food to fuel growing bodies 🙂

Baked tofu, cheese and vege sticks.
Creamy soy milk jelly pots.
Dairy free, egg free “cup cakes” (date and apricot is a yummy combination).
Free range egg and spinach wholemeal sandwiches.
Coconut and vanilla chia pudding.
Wholemeal, dairy free scrolls.
Celery boats with dairy free cream cheese and sultanas.
Crackers with cream cheese and vegemite.
Yoghurt topped with fresh fruit.
Zucchini slice, cherry tomatoes and pepitas.
Savoury vegetarian muffins (insect shaped silicone molds have proven very popular).
Stemed vegetables with yoghurt dip.
Pasta salad with creamy sauce or plain with fresh vegetables mixed through.
Oven baked pita bread with hommus topped with peas.
Steamed corn on the cob.
Avocado splashed with lemon juice (slice in skin for easy scooping).

 

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Carrot cake bliss balls (vegan, vegetables, wheat free)

Healthy finger food is essential in our house of little hands. I made this recipe as a special treat for my cherubs. These raw bliss balls taste like carrot cake, with fresh carrot and warming spices, but without the sugar, butter and nuts.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups dates
2 carrots
2 heaped tsp mixed spice
2 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp agave nectar (can omit)
water for preferred consistency

Method:

Blend in food processor for several minutes, gradually adding the water after ingredients are finely combined until mixture forms a thick, coarse paste. Roll with wet hands into balls. Refrigerate until set (at least an hour).

Note: I love spices but you can reduce if you would like less intensity.

Optional- these freeze really well. You can also roll them in coconut or sesame seeds. I freeze them individually for my daughters’ play school lunch in the Decor branded dip containers. It works brilliantly.

Enjoy!