As we saw in NSW over the weekend, all good things must end. And before they end, they will usually become corrupt, festering things, self-interested and spoilt. And so endeth the first school term of Miss Fruitarian. Without checking the calendar, I knew when week 8 had dawned.
The mornings have been getting progressively tougher. Teeth brushing is taking a good 15 minutes, even with me keeping a watchful eye over proceedings. Uniforms are being put on back-to-front, school hats left in the car and the reading folder is never ready for return on time.
The exhaustion comes like a wave and finally crashes down to shore. Today, Miss F has collapsed and is in need of a day at home. Luckily, being a WAHM, I can accommodate it. In the olden days it would have been tears all around as I forced her into a uniform and off to early morning care. These days, it’s just tears on my part as I try to get work done around a complaining patient who has perked up considerably since I announced she didn’t have to go to school.
Dinner tonight needs to be something comforting yet healthy, that I can make whilst being constantly interrupted. This baked rice dish fits the bill – and it uses up the last of the eggplant and basil from the garden.
Baked tuna & tomato rice
Butter, for greasing
4 cups chicken stock
1½ cups arborio rice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 finger eggplant, very finely diced
1 medium zucchini, grated
500ml passata (bottled tomato puree found in the supermarket near the Italian pasta sauces)
½ cup boiling water
150g cheddar cheese, grated
125g can corn kernels, drained
185g can tuna in oil, drained
Handful of basil leaves, torn
Parsley sprigs, to serve
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a lasagne or casserole dish.
In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the stock to the boil, then add the rice and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times until par-boiled. Drain.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and eggplant and cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid sticking.
Add the drained rice and zucchini and cook for a minute or so, stirring. Add the passata and water. Stir until well combined. Add the cheese, corn, tuna and basil and mix thoroughly. Season to taste and remove from heat.
Spoon into lasagne dish and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes until the top is golden. Top with parsley sprigs and serve with green salad.
SERVES 2 ADULTS & 3 KIDS