Archive for Fish

What the kids eat in… Russia

Perhaps it’s my frozen feet, but I’m back thinking about world food and looking for inspiring ways to warm my cockles. I’m figuring that a country with large chunks of permafrost might be able to give me some good guidance.

So what do the Russians feed their kids in those early years before Vodka becomes the staple diet? Well, the freezing climate and general poverty makes for a fairly grim culinary history (of course, this is just my opinion), but a fish pie or ‘kulebyaka’ is a bit of a bright spot. Traditionally it’s made with a thicker pastry, but I’ve got a great filo version that is so nice and crunchy that the kids are guaranteed not to notice the range of vegies which combine with the rice and boiled eggs to provide a complete nutritional shot.

Now, fearers of filo, I hear your pain. It can be a nuisance to work with. But if you give it plenty of time to defrost you’ll have a better chance of success. Once thawed, open it out, cover it with a clean, damp tea towel and be a bit patient. Your first one or two might not be quite so gorgeous, but they’ll still be yummy and that’s the main thing.

Crunch, yum. Crunch, YUM. Feet still cold though.

Filo ‘kulebyaka’ cigars

1 packet filo pastry
250g packet microwave rice
415g can red salmon (pink will do, but red is much nicer in this recipe)
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 small carrot, peeled, grated
1 small zucchini, grated
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, diced
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp dill

Leave the pastry out to thaw – read packet for product specific instructions.

Preheat the oven to 190C, line two trays with baking paper.

Cook the rice according to packet instructions. Set aside leave to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine all of the vegies, salmon (crush any bones), eggs, zest, dill and pepper. Add in the rice and mix well.

Open the (well defrosted) filo out. Spray a sheet then fold it in half, so that it’s almost a square. Dollop ¼ cup amounts of mixture in a line parallel to the fold line. Allow about 3 centimetres free at either end. Roll the pastry around the mix. Don’t worry if you get a tear. Just keep gently rolling until you have a nice cigar shape. Squeeze the ends closed.

You can make these to this point then refridgerate until you want to cook them. Just give them a spray of oil and store them between layers of baking paper.

When you’re ready to cook them, pop them on the trays. Spray with oil and bake for 20 minutes until golden and crunchy.

Makes about 16.

128 pages, 40 projects, 85 pages of printables…

Did you see that I’ve birthed the latest Vegie Smugglers product? It’s a ‘Craft for non-crafty’ e-book. I’ve collated up all of my favourite projects and added a bunch more, covering food, fun & learning. It’s available now at the shop…

Comments (2) »

From the suburbs to the world in just over an hour

I’ve got yet another awesome parenting moment to share with you (I do like to make you all feel better about your own efforts)… I went to pick up my daughter from her friend’s house at 3pm on Sunday afternoon. Was offered champagne. Had to admit that not only would I love one, but that I’d already had a couple, whilst on a playdate with my son, which had started at 10am. Bad look? Much?

It’s been nearly 8 months since THE MOVE and I’m having trouble keeping up with the partying pace of the suburbs, but I must say I’m having a great time and I’m wondering why I struggled raising kids in apartments for so long when there were spacious blocks, sunshine, beer (and champagne) fridges and HOBBIES to be enjoyed out here.

Still, with highs come lows, and Monday did roll around. Not only was the washing not done, but neither was the shopping, the nurofen box was empty and the kids were HUNGRY since all we’d managed for dinner the night before was boiled eggs.

I’m still trying to catch up, which is why it’s taken so long to post up this congee recipe. Over on facebook, some were intrigued and unfamiliar with congee, which is eaten by over 2 billion people throughout China, Asia & India. Basically it’s a rice soup, affordable to make and fantastic comfort food. The name, texture and additions change depending on the region.

In Japan it’s called Okayu, served thick, with eggs & grilled fish. Koreans eat juk, of course served with kimchi and the Indians call it kanji, a runnier version, served with lentils and chutney. Throughout all of these cultures, it’s commonly given as a first food to babies. Pretty similar to rice cereal after all, but a hell of a lot tastier.

My version is a cultural hybrid, quite thick, and cooked until the rice is breaking down but still has some texture. I use it as a carrier for small cubes of fish. But if your kids will fuss over that, then shredded cooked chicken (even a BBQ chicken) will be a fantastic variation.

vegie smugglers fish congee

Perfect for babies, the elderly, the sick (and hungover).

Fish & corn congee

¾ cup short-grain rice
6 cups good-quality chicken stock
3 tbsp shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
125g can creamed corn
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
White pepper
300g boneless skinless firm white fish fillets, diced
¼ red capsicum, seeded
125g can corn kernels

Sliced spring onions and coriander sprigs, to serve

Rinse the rice well under running water, drain and add to a saucepan with the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 50–60 minutes until the rice is soft and breaking down. Stir regularly to avoid sticking.

Add the shaoxing wine, soy and oyster sauces, creamed corn and ginger. Add white pepper to taste.

When this is nice and hot, add the fish and vegies and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5–6 minutes until the fish is just cooked through.

Serve the congee topped with spring onion and coriander.


Vegie Smugglers complete lunchbox planner

You can now buy the complete VS lunchbox planner for just $9.95!

Have you all seen that I’ve updated the Vegie Smugglers shop? And newly available is The Complete Vegie Smugglers lunchbox planner – which is a snazzy 92 page e-book, combining all of the term planners into one place for a bargain price of $9.95. Unlike my cookbooks, which only ship in Australia, you can buy my e-books worldwide! Click here to grab one.

Comments (2) »

Let the festive season begin

Perhaps I’m allergic to my new house, because it seems that I’m waking up on most Sunday mornings with a headache. You see my new house is quite FESTIVE with a nice deck and views and I find myself entertaining a lot of FESTIVE FOLK. And we drink wine. And being a bit of a drinking lightweight who can only safely imbibe 2-3 glasses of chardonnay before I’m in the hangover zone, I’m finding myself spending most Sunday mornings with a slight haze of discomfort and a new appreciation of the clever R&D teams who masterminded Nurofen zavance.

Perhaps there is something in the water of this big dry land that does predispose the population to a love of getting drunk. There is something GREAT about the sense of fun that comes with a warm afternoon, good friends and a cold glass of something that makes you giggle.

Yet again on the weekend, I served up something yum for the adults, but left the kids to run amok with a sausage and sauce in a slice of bread. Not even any onions. I know it’s a top Aussie BBQ tradition but with a full two months of festivities ahead, I think I need to do better and lift my nutrition game. No more mumblings about ‘fridge space’, ‘easiest options’ blah blah blah.

So I’m rummaging through recipes and thinking about ways to keep the upcoming summer parties slightly more healthy for the kids. Or at least providing good options for them that are enticing for the adults too. Probably a chip or two fewer wouldn’t hurt any of us.

The first thing that sprang to mind was this sushi slice. Most kids will eat some kind of sushi – it’s easy to adapt the filling to suit your family’s tastebuds. This recipe is a classic avocado and tuna combination which seems like a good place to start. Do you think your kids will eat this? What fillings will you try out? I always like to hear your opinions on my recipes.

And why sushi slice? Well, it’s perfect for folks like me who adore Japanese food but never quite got the hang of the whole rolling a sushi roll thing. Just two lamington trays the same size and you’re done. And it’s great party food, as you can make it a few hours ahead and refridgerate it. The less I have to handle sharp knives after a wine the better.

Anyway, let’s clink glasses and ‘kampai’ to the upcoming (healthy) party season. And of course, if you do find that you’re waking up with a headache EVERY morning, you might want to look over at AA and have a think about whether it might be time to pass the mineral water instead.

No sausage? No bread? Heresy!

Flat-pack sushi squares

1½ cups sushi rice (short-grain rice, available at most supermarkets)
2¼ cups water
100ml sushi seasoning
(or make your own: 90ml rice vinegar, 3 tbsp caster sugar, 1 tsp salt)
4 sheets nori seaweed
½ cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds removed, grated
1 small carrot, peeled, grated
95g can tuna in brine, drained
125g can corn kernels, drained
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 avocado, very thinly sliced, covered with a drizzle of lemon juice

Pickled ginger (optional), to serve

Give the rice a really good wash under running water until the water is no longer milky. Drain. Pop the rice into a saucepan and add the water.

Place the (well-fitting) lid on the pan and bring the water to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer for 10–12 minutes or until the water is nearly all absorbed. Turn off the heat, leave the pan covered and let it sit and steam for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the vinegar, sugar and salt (if needed). Pour over the rice and use a wooden spoon to mix through.

Prepare a lamington tin by lining it with plastic wrap. Place a layer of the nori seaweed paper over the bottom (use scissors to cut them to fit).

Mix together the cucumber, carrot, tuna, corn, soy and mayonnaise. Pour off any excess liquid and discard.
Use wet hands to place half the rice over the seaweed. Evenly top with the vegie mix and the avocado, then carefully top with the rest of the rice and another layer of seaweed.

Put a second layer of plastic wrap over the top. If you have another pan of the same size, place it on top, weighted down with a couple of cans. Place in the fridge for 1–2 hours to firm.

When ready to serve, use a really sharp knife to cut the sushi into bite-sized squares. Serve with pickled ginger (if using).


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Comments (3) »

Something a bit fishy (and why my life resembles ‘The Block’)

The great Australian dream of home ownership is truly great, isn’t it? Somehow wrapped up in nonsense about freedom and opportunity we end up enslaving ourselves to ridiculous mortgages and weekends spent cruising Bunnings trying to find a parking space amid all the other folk pursuing their own Aussie dreams.

Our dream has just had a nightmarish phase as the simple sale of our flat coincided with US debt default worries, downgrades and stock market ‘volatility’ which made for some gut wrenching weeks as buyers fled the market and we were left with two mortgages, sleepless nights and a skin breakout that had me reaching for the concealer stick as though I was 14 all over again.

But thankfully we found just one person willing to pay at least something for our place. Let’s just say we weren’t in a great bargaining position and I could totally empathise with the contestants on ‘The Block’ who were barely able to mask their disappointment even under 8 tonnes of TV makeup and some pretty dresses.

But with everything signed and cooling offs cooled, the move is back on after a delay of several weeks. Which explains why my posts have been a bit all over the place. Too stressed to be inspired, I’ve been digging through the files to find pictures and old post ideas. My camera is buried in a box (hopefully) somewhere safe, so my only photography method is my iPhone which makes me as modern-as-tomorrow but not exactly precise.

So if you’ve thought there’s been something fishy with my posts – you’d be right! We’re nearly back on track though, so as a tribute to all things dodgy and cobbled together, here’s my ‘something fishy’ fish burritos recipe to enjoy.

vegie smugglers fish burritos

Adults might like some bottled jalapenos to add a bit of kick.

Something fishy burritos

1 red onion, finely chopped
1 zucchini, finely chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
½ lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
125g can corn kernels, drained
400g skinless, boneless firm white fish fillets (try barramundi)

To serve:
10 bought tortillas
Lettuce, chopped
Tomato, chopped
Avocado, chopped
Grated cheese
Mayonnaise (optional)

In a bowl, mix together the onion, zucchini, garlic, cumin, parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion mixture and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, or until starting to soften. Tip in the corn and keep everything mixing around for another 2–3 minutes or until the vegies are lovely and soft. Remove and set aside.

Sprinkle the fish with salt and black pepper and add whole to the pan. Cook over medium heat for 3–4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Squeeze over a little extra lemon juice. Remove from the pan.

Warm the tortillas according to packet directions. To serve, pile up the vegie mix, break off some fish and add lettuce, tomato, avocado, cheese and mayonnaise (if using). Roll up to serve.



Other fish recipes to try:
Family fish pie
Salmon bites
Baked tuna & tomato rice

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Comments (2) »

What the kids eat in… Malaysia

Lucky children in Malaysia grow up eating these delicious prawn fritters called Cucur Udang.

Super easy to make, they’re a good way to get the kids eating a new protein. Not that I desperately need them to grow fond of expensive seafood, but sometimes my best friend and I like a bit of adult gourmet, and this recipe is a way to deliver both a kid-friendly and adult-tasty dinner in one dish (just sprinkle over some chilli, spring onions and coriander for the adults).

And they’re cooked in no time at all, completing the recipe golden triangle of interesting, easy and delicious.

Makanan ini enak!

Cucur Udang

1 cup self-raising flour
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp ground turmeric
(for colour, optional)
250g cooked prawns
4 spring onions,
thinly sliced
125g can corn kernels, drained
Handful of bean sprouts
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 eggs, whisked
Canola oil, for frying
White pepper

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the salt and turmeric (if using).

Peel and devein the prawns then chop them into a texture to suit your family (I need to nearly mince mine). Add to the bowl with the spring onion, corn and bean sprouts.

Mix it all together and add the chilli sauce, egg and pepper. Add 1 cup water, a little at a time, until you have a good batter consistency.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium–high heat. Spoon in ¼ cup amounts of the mixture and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn over and cook the other side until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel.

Serve the fritters with salad and bean sprouts.



Comments (2) »

The best way to smuggle… cauliflower

I was always a good eater as a kid, but cauliflower was one of the few vegies that made my tastebuds recoil. My recollection is that we ate the drab thing a lot – but perhaps that’s just me unfairly forgetting the 6 nights a week that we ate stuff that I really loved (my mum is a great cook).

Funny how the food aversions stick around. I talk to parents all the time who worry about their kid’s eating habits, only to confess mid-conversation that they are themselves modelling the fussy-food behaviour. And I realise that cauliflower is the vegetable that I don’t buy as often as I should (since it’s full of fibre, vitamins and anti-cancer compounds). I use all sorts of excuses in the supermarket – it’s expensive and the kid’s don’t like it… but hang on a minute – that’s not actually true… I never expect the kids to like it but actually my kids DO like it (particularly smothered gratin-style in a cheese sauce and baked).

Recently I bought a chunk of it and served little florets along with broccoli simply microwaved and drizzled with lemon juice – the kids were excited and ate it all up (I think I even heard ‘yay! cauliflower!). Just goes to show what a bit of variety can achieve.

So my lessons learned were..
1. Don’t pass my food aversions onto my children.
2. Don’t assume anything about what they will and won’t like.
3. Keep the vegies served on a regular rotation (absence does seem to make the heart grow fonder).

And if you are nervous about introducing cauliflower to the family, try out this fish pie, which artfully smuggles both cauliflower and parsnip into the top layer. It’s a great recipe for autumn when cauliflower is just coming into season and the unaffordable excuse disappears too.

This is not the vegie of my childhood nightmares!

Family fish pie

Butter, for greasing
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1 carrot, peeled, grated
1 zucchini, grated (peel first if necessary)
400g white fish, cut into 2cm cubes
2 tbsp plain flour
1 cup milk, warmed (soy is fine)
¾ cup grated cheese
1 tbsp finely chopped chives and/or parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp white wine
Salt & black pepper
Canola oil cooking spray

4 medium potatoes, peeled, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled, chopped
1 cup cauliflower florets
25g butter
½ cup milk (soy is fine)
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a lasagne or casserole dish.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft (but not brown). Add the garlic for 1 minute then add the carrot and zucchini. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the fish and carefully mix through for 3-4 minutes.

Add the flour and milk and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, chives, lemon and wine. Mix through and season well.

Meanwhile, for the topping, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the potatoes, parsnip and cauliflower. Boil for 10-15 minutes. Test one of the largest pieces with a fork. If it skewers easily, drain the vegies into a colander, then return to the pan. Add butter and milk. Mash well. Taste and add more milk or butter if the mixture needs it.

Spread the fish mixture evenly over the bottom of the dish. Carefully put the potato layer over the top. Spray with cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes until golden.


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Comments (14) »

End of term fatigue (and the rot sets in)

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.

A more-ish, pick-me-up dinner for tired kiddlies

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
Black pepper

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.


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Comments (17) »

What Juanita eats when she’s not reading the news…

With the Vegie Smugglers cookbook so fresh off the presses, I’m still a bit chuffed whenever I receive positive feedback about it. Setting up as an independent publisher of quality publications has not been easy. I love it when people tell me how nice the stock is, how gorgeous the photos are etc etc. That’s all great, but what I REALLY want to know is how are the recipes working in your household?

A smattering of copies have made their way around town, and one person who instantly sprang to mind to send one to was Juanita Phillips, broadcaster and author of A Pressure Cooker Saved My Life. She seems like a nice lady. And a busy one. With small kids to boot.

And apparently she is nice, since she emailed me straight away – a chatty note about the food battles at her house (food boredom, with a small and over-used collection of dinners on high rotation). I was VERY chuffed when she said…

“I love your book! I’m very very excited about it. It looks gorgeous but more importantly the recipes are terrific. I made the salmon pancakes on Sunday night and the only sound at the table was quiet scoffing as every last pancake was eaten.”

She plans to work her way through the book AND tell all her friends about it. Awwwww she IS a REALLY nice lady. So in tribute, I’m renaming the Salmon Pikelets after her…

Salmon Pikelets

The pikelet that more journalists trust.

Juanita’s salmon pikelets

These little miracles are delicious fresh, reheated or from the freezer. The smaller size makes them perfect for toddlers seeking a bit of feeding independence.

2/3 cup self-raising flour
6 eggs
1/3 cup milk
400g can red or pink salmon, drained, flaked
2 cubes frozen spinach portions, thawed (or ½ cup fresh English spinach, finely shredded)
1 small red onion, finely diced
125g can corn kernels, drained
2 tbsp chopped chives or coriander (optional)
Black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and milk and whisk out any lumps. Use your hands to crumble in the salmon (crushing up any bones), then stir through the spinach, onion, corn and herbs (if using) until evenly combined. Season with pepper.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add 1-2 tbsp of batter to form pikelets 5-6cm wide. Cook for 2-3 minutes then use a spatula to turn over carefully. Flatten with the spatula and cook for another couple of minutes until golden brown on both sides. Repeat in batches with remaining batter.

Serve with green beans and lemon wedges.


STORAGE Place cooked pikelets on a plate for 10 minutes to cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Reheat in the frying pan, oven or microwave.

FOR THE ADULTS Serve these on a bed of rocket and smother them with sweet chilli sauce and a squeeze of lemon.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Comments (14) »

Eat with your eyes (and get food in your eyebrows, on your lap and in your hair)

One of my kids has always been a grotty little thing. A bit like a walking diary – remnants of the day gather in layers on their clothing and are smudged in stripes around their head (and my house). I can see layers of morning tea underneath the milk from 2.30 and the after dinner biscuit adds a decorative element to finish the day. The fingers have permanent texta stains and I have, more than once remembered Pig Pen and wondered if we’re related.

Dirt is apparently good for kids, which might explain why this child is very healthy. But at dinner I’ve been driven to the point of total frustration and have now had to instigate two new rules.

1. If there is cutlery set out, then we MUST at least TRY to use it before we start picking through dinner with our fingers. And;

2. NO TONGUES at the table. I DO NOT want to see your tongue at any stage. We do not lick our gnocci clean. We do not lick the seasoning off baked vegies. Our tongue stays in our mouths at all times and if at all humanly possible we try to keep our mouths closed while we chew.

Of course, it’s a bit of an uphill battle, but one I feel the need to revisit every time someone else’s child has been here and displayed stunningly good manners. Recently a little friend came over. She sat still all dinnertime. When her plate was clean (and there was NOTHING on the floor around her) she brought her empty bowl to me in the kitchen, unprompted. I was so shocked, I forgot to say ‘thank you’.

I like to think that my kids can turn it on when they’re visiting elsewhere, but I’m not sure.

Some nights I have the strength to tackle lessons in etiquette and correct usage of utensils. But other nights, if my mummy-patience is more than a little frayed, I just make these salmon bites and avoid the flashpoint entirely.

Salmon bites recipes smuggles zucchini

See, they\’re mouth sized, in the hope that your child can play \’fit the shape\’.

Salmon & zucchini bites

Don’t worry about this mix being quite ‘wet’. Rolling the balls in flour gives them a nice crunchy coating and ensures that the inside stays nice and moist.

185g can pink salmon, drained
2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
1 zucchini, grated (you can peel the skin off first, if your kids are absolutely green-phobic)
1 egg, lighten whisked
1/4 cup plain flour
2 tbsp canola oil, for cooking
Lemon wedges, to serve

Combine all of the ingredients except the flour in a large mixing bowl.

Squeeze into gold ball sized patties. Toss in the flour and coat evenly.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the patties in the oil for 3-4 minutes each side until golden.

Remove and drain on paper towel.

Sprinkled with lemon juice and serve as a snack or place in a wrap with salad and light mayonaise.


Toddler Recipes: What (and how) to feed fussy eaters

Advice on how to get your toddler eating a wide variety of vegetables with 26 clever recipes that smuggle the healthy ingredients in.

Comments (12) »

What the kids eat in… Mexico

Rest assured Victorians, I’m not talking about you, but that colourful, warm territory to the south of that big scary country (the bossy one that cruises the world picking fights with little countries, pushing freedom and the right to eat donuts for breakfast, get morbidly obese then craned out of our house by emergency services). The territory of Dora and Frida Kahlo, where there’s a fantastic cuisine that stars in the Vegie Smuggling atlas. It’s healthy, with lots of legumes and salad, often served snugly in tortillas that hide the worst of the healthy stuff and leave the kids seduced by cheese and guacamole.

This Australian/Mexican quesadilla recipe warms my heart for many reasons – 1. It’s quick to make. 2. It’s fun to eat. 3. You can pretty much keep everything you need long term in the pantry, which makes it a perfect last minute/after work meal.

Another factor which makes it a VS winner is that it can be easily adapted to suit various members of the family which means you can get everyone eating the same meal with a minimum of fuss (add chillis or bottled jalapenos, leave out the coriander or add extra cheese).

Here’s a tip – the first time you make it, the flipping can be a bit nerve wracking. Mini tortillas make it much more manageable.

Tuna quesadillas

Dora eats these tuna quesadillas, and so should you!

Tuna Quesadillas

185g can tuna in springwater
185g can tuna in olive oil
125g can corn kernels, drained
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
125g can four bean mix, rinsed, drained
¼ red capsicum, deseeded, finely diced
Black pepper
1 cup grated cheddar or mozzarella
10 ready-made tortillas

Drain the tuna in springwater and place in a mixing bowl. Add the undrained tin of tuna in olive oil and the rest of the ingredients except for the tortillas. Mix until combined.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.

Carefully separate the tortillas (heat for a few seconds in the microwave if they are sticking). Place one on a chopping board, cover generously with the tuna mix and top with another tortilla.

Slide the tortilla sandwich carefully into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Using a spatula, ease out of the pan onto a large plate, hold the top with your hand and flip over. Carefully place back in the pan to cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side until the tortillas are crisp and the cheese is melted. Repeat with remaining mix and tortillas.



Like this recipe? Check out my cookbooks to find a bunch more meals that your family will love.

Comments (3) »