Veggie muffins

These muffins are great to bake in bulk and keep some in the freezer for a quick snack.  They are gluten and dairy free, and also pack a veggie punch.


250g pumpkin, grated

250g apple, grated

130g sultanas

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

3 eggs

1/2 cup coconut water

1 tsp vanilla extract

300g gluten free plain flour

2 tsp baking powder


Preheat oven to 180C

Prepare 2 muffin trays with paper liners, enough for 18 muffins

Mix together the pumpkin, apple, sultanas, olive oil, vanilla, maple syrup, coconut water and eggs in a large bowl.

Add in the gluten free flour and baking powder, and mix well to thoroughly combine

Put approximately 2 dessert spoons of the mixture into each muffin case.  Divide the rest of the mix between the muffin cases until they are roughly even in size.

Bake for about 50 minutes.  Check they are baked all the way through by inserting a metal skewer and seeing if it comes out clean.

Gluten free baked goods don’t usually have the same shelf life as gluten containing foods, so freezer any muffins that won’t be used in a day or two.

Rhubarb Coconut Muffins

Rhubarb coconut muffins

Rhubarb is probably my favourite fruit, and I find it difficult to pass.  These muffins are delicious and gluten free.  It may seem like a lot of sugar, but it is necessary to overcome the tartness of the rhubarb.  If you substitute another fruit, reduce the sugar by half.


1 cup rapadura sugar

2 large eggs

½ cup melted coconut oil

1 cup yoghurt (dairy or coconut)

2 cups buckwheat flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

1.5 teaspoon baking soda

1 tsp celtic sea salt

2 tsp vanilla

½ cup boiling water

1 cup stewed rhubarb

1 cup desiccated coconut


  1. Trim 1 bunch of rhubarb to ensure all leaves removed. Cut into 3cm lengths. Add to sauce pan with a table spoon of water and cook gently for 20 minutes on a low heat.  Don’t add any sugar.  This will give you 1 cup stewed rhubarb.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C
  3. Mix all the ingredients together, combine well.
  4. Evenly distribute the mixture between the paper cases
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cook.
Bolognaise for busy week night dinners

Week night Bolognaise

I quite like cooking, but perhaps not every single night! Coupled with the fact that it isn’t logistically possible to cook every night, it means I cook a lot in bulk and freeze.  One of our staple meals is bolognaise, we probably have it once a week.  I load it with lots of vegetables, and immune boosting garlic and herbs from the garden.  Not only does this make a really healthy meal, but also an economical one.  I balance the budget by splurging on the organic or grass fed mince and some organic vegetables, and saving money by buying the rest of the vegetables from the wonky vegetable section.  And of course, the herbs are free.

There is a wonderful array of colours in this dish, and kids don’t even realise they are eating so healthily!

To take my thriftiness to a whole other level, I then add the off cuts of the vegetables to a chicken carcass in the slow cooker to make my week’s supply of bone broth.

The total cost of these ingredients is $53.00, and this will do 6 nights of dinner for 5 people.  Served with some rice, less than $10 for dinner.  How does that compare to your last minute dinner?


2kg mince

1 kg carrots

1kg red capsicum

1kg zucchini

500g mushrooms

4 x 400g tinned tomatoes

Big bunch of oregano, marjoram and parsley

6 cloves garlic

4 onions


  1. Add the mince to a large stock pot, and brown, breaking up the lumps with the back of a wooden spoons
  2. Use a high speed food processor to finely chop all the vegetables.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the mince first
  4. Next add the carrots, zucchini and capsicum
  5. Last add the mushrooms.
  6. Add the tinned tomatoes and simmer for about 30 minutes
  7. Finely chop the herbs and add to the bolognaise. Simmer for another 10 minutes
  8. Freeze in portions, so one portion is for one night for your family. Don’t be afraid to freezer in glass – just wait for the bolognaise to cool, and leave about 10% headspace in the jar.
Constipation secret weapon : Seedy Muffins

Occasionally kids get constipation.  For adults, it is easy to say, ‘just take some psyllium’.  Not quite so easy with children.  I can’t imagine many children gulping down this slimy beverage.  The commercial products containing psyllium are full of artificial sweeteners and additives, I wouldn’t recommend them.  So recently when one of my children had a bit of an issue, I made some muffins containing psyllium, and lots of other ground up seeds.  Prunes and pears, famous for their laxative properties, are used to sweeten.  Hey presto, no constipation anymore!  These taste a bit sweet because of the pears and prunes, so not hard to persuade kids to eat them.  If you want to reduce the sugar content, replace the pear juice with water.  As my daughter said, ‘they taste a lot better than they look’.  They are quite small, so you can give frequent small doses of the seeds.

It is important to add, if you child suffers from ongoing constipation, or uses laxatives, you need to get them seen by a Nutritionist work out why.  Constipation isn’t normal, and using laxatives isn’t normal.

Seedy Muffins


2 tablespoon ground psyllium

1 tablespoon ground chia seeds

1 tablespoon ground linseeds

1 cup pear juice (from the canned pears)

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

½ cup gluten-free rolled oats

600g gram tinned pears

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

5 prunes (stones removed)


  1. Grind up the psyllium, chia and linseeds in the food processor
  2. Add the pear juice, and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to form a gel.
  3. Stir in the pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and oats, and pulse to break up the seeds.
  4. Combine with the tinned pears, cinnamon and prunes and pulse again
  5. Divide into 12 muffin cases, and bake for 35 minutes at 180˚C.
  6. Allow to cool fully before removing from tin.
Veal and celery meatballs


1kg veal mince
1 bunch celery – leaves trimmed and reserved for stock
2 eggs
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon coconut oil

Finely chop the celery. Use a food processor if you have one.
In a frying pan, gently saute the celery and garlic in coconut oil, for about 5 minutes
In a large mixing bowl, mix together the veal mince, celery, eggs, quinoa and garlic.
Form meatballs from the mixture and line up on baking trays.
Cook for 25 minutes at 180C, turning once.

These freeze really well, then you just lift out the number that you need the night before. I put 3 in a lunch box.

Chicken and leek meatballs


1kg chicken mince

1 leek

1 small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 eggs

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon coconut oil


Finely chop the leek.  Use a food processor if you have one.

In a frying pan, gently saute the leek and garlic in coconut oil, for about 5 minutes

In a large mixing bowl,  mix together the chicken mince, leek, parsley, eggs, quinoa and garlic.

Form meatballs from the mixture and line up on baking trays.

Cook for 25 minutes at 180C, turning once.

These freeze really well, then you just lift out the number that you need the night before.  I put 3 in a lunch box.

Quinoa Salad


400g tricolour quinoa

½ butternut pumpkin – peeled and chopped into 2cm pieces

2 large fresh beetroot – peeled and chopped into 2cm pieces

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Handful flat-leaf parsley – finely chopped

½ pomegranate – seeds scooped out

120g goats fetta – chopped into 2cm pieces

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar


Rinse the quinoa well in a sieve.  Bring to boil in large pan of water, and simmer for 15 minutes

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Roast the beetroot and pumpkin, with the coconut oil and thyme, in the oven for 25 minutes.

Drain the water off the quinoa and allow to cool.

Mix together the roasted vegetables and quinoa.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Moroccan Lamb Shanks


3cm fresh ginger

2 tablespoons cumin seeds

1 tablespoon ground coriander

pinch celtic sea salt

4 garlic cloves

4 lamb shanks

1 large eggplant – cut into thin slices

2 red capsicum – cut into thin slices

1 tablespoon coconut oil


I blitzed the ginger, cumin, coriander, sea salt and garlic cloves in the Thermomix, and added some coconut oil to make a paste.

In a heavy based fry pan, brown the lamb shanks for 1 minute. then add the spice paste and continue on medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until you can smell the spices.

Add the shanks to the slow cooker, add in the eggplant and capsicum.

Cook on high for 4 hours.

Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or cauliflower rice

Garlic and ginger pink fish and veggies


1 large clove garlic

2cm fresh ginger

700g salmon

2 tablespoons tamari

For veggie platter:

1 large red capsicum

2 carrots

1 avocado

1 cucumber


Finely chop the garlic and ginger, or blitz in a food processor if you have one.

Mix with the tamari.

Place the salmon in a glass dish, coat with the marinade and put back in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Line you sandwich press with baking paper and cook the fish in the sandwich press for about 5 minutes.

Chop the vegetable into pieces the right size to pick up.



Green smoothie with avocado

If you need to rush out the door in the morning, at least the the 90 seconds to make a smoothie to take with you.  If you have the ingredients prepped the night before, it’s a no brainer.  Just don’t make the smoothie the night before.  Boil an egg or two to bring with you too to make it a more substantial meal.


  • 2 cups spinach, washed
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 apple cored and chopped
  • Half a lemon, peeled
  • Sprig of parsley
  • ½ avocado


  1. Place all the ingredients in a high speed food processor for 30 seconds.
  2. Serve