Monday, 30 April 2012

healthy week

Spinach triangles1PestoPersimmonLunchPomegranateMuesli

Last week we decided to have a healthy week in this house. We decided to go vego for the week, give up alcohol, chocolate and lollies and try to eat more fresh and less processed food and sugar around here.

Its been great. Just concentrating on our food choices has been a positive thing, instead of just grabbing the easiest thing we've had to think about each meal. As a result our repertoire of vegetarian dinners has increased, which I'm really glad about. This experiment has helped us find some delicious new recipes to add to our rotation, the egg curry and the spinach triangles were especially delicious, and easy and even the kids loved the marinated tofu despite claiming to hate this ingredient.

I didn't eat red meat or chicken as an adult before I had children and I've felt recently that we've been relying too much on meat to make a meal even if its just a small part. It will be interesting to see how we fare now the week is over.

There have been concessions, we ate prawns on Saturday night when we took advantage of Mr F's trip to our favourite dumpling shop suburb to buy frozen dumplings for dinner and the vegie options were sold out. And I made my new favourite cake on Saturday to celebrate Mr D's brave day, - a trumpet exam in the morning followed by Goalie duty at soccer. Also the pastry and the tofu and the ravioli was all pre-prepared for convenience. It would be nice to make our own, but we wanted to see how we could embrace healthier options within our usual routine.

Our menu this week has gone like this:
Monday - Marinated Tofu and Vegie stir fry with rice
Tuesday - Home made Pesto on pasta with green salad
Wednesday - Thai Red Egg Curry and Rice and Papadams (Marion's red curry kit)
Thursday - Spinach and Feta triangles and Homemade coleslaw
Friday - Roasted Butternut Pumpkin & Fresh Sage Ravioli and Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli from local pasta makers Peppe's with homemade tomato sauce and homemade Bread.
Saturday - Steamed Prawn Dumplings and Chinese Green Vegetables Stir Fry with rice
Sunday - Vegie burgers with Salad

Dessert each night has been a plate of cut up fruit including mandarin, banana, apple, persimmon and grapes with dried apple, apricots and prunes and almonds. That's been one of our favourite parts of the week and as someone who doesn't eat enough fruit its been an easy way to increase my intake.

For school lunches it helped to buy some new small containers. Instead of prepackaged cheese sticks we've had sliced cheese with rice crackers. They were very popular and will stay on the menu. Muesli bars were replaced with a small container of fruit, dried fruit and nuts. Sandwich fillings have been more difficult and ended up being variations on cheese, but my kids have never liked the easy options like jam or honey for school lunches. We bought Sushi making ingredients but didn't get round to it yet. We also made sugar free banana apple muffins which went in lunches a couple of times.

For breakfast we ate cereal and it was interesting to compare the different healthy options we'd bought using the nutrition information on the side panel. Sometimes the healthy option is not what it seems! I ate muesli with yoghurt and fruit. I'm such a toast girl that this was a big change and I liked the way it filled me up for longer and made me delay my first cup of tea.

So all in all a good week! Any ideas for more family friendly vegetarian dinners gratefully received ;-)


  1. Wow that is so excellent! I have been getting so bored of our standard (when you have little time) easy to make meals... argh! You have inspired me to get out the vegetarian cook books! I think the vegetarian option is great, there is so much variety, hey! Thank you :)

  2. There is certainly some lovely, creative healthy food thing going on in your kitchen. Though I would never say we are vegetarian (we do love our meat here) we usually only have it a few times a week, so a lot of the time the vegetables become the "star" of the meal. We've been enjoying soups and roasted vegies in all sorts of things lately.
    We rarely have sugar here now and I have to say I think we are all the better for it. It's a battle with the kids at times though :)

  3. Great idea, I think we rely on meat too much too and our dinner is always centred around it. Your menu looks delicious.

  4. I'm taking notes here! I really need to. This looks so good :) Kx

  5. Great idea! I'm already veg, on the way to vegan, but I don't always make time to eat healthily, and it can seem like a massive undertaking to switch all of a sudden (for any healthy change). So, a great idea to do it for a week, and retain the things you really liked. Yeah! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Those puffy triangles sure look yummy - must make some of them soon.
    It's funny to read this, as I've been thinking we need a bigger health kick. We are vegetarian, and already eat quite healthily - but I want to take it to another level.
    I'd love to make our own tofu and cheese - but at the moment that's not going to happen (the lack-of house issue + having Ross River Fever).
    But - you've given me inspiration to try harder.

    Tonight I made the yummiest chickpea dinner. Littest complained she didn't like it, but I can't remember anything she's liked in the past week! My husband loved it - said it was better than any restaurant. We never use tinned chickpeas (or any tinned beans or veges actually). It does take a tiny bit of planning, but I put the chickpeas on the soak for 1 hour and then simmered them for about 3slow hours. {Suggest overnight soaking, but not necessary}. No salt while cooking - only bit at end. I like putting lemon in too, near to end of cooking - half a lemon cut into wedges, just thrown in. I fried up spices (cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, sea salt in olive oil or ghee), then added red onion and then diced eggplant. Cook for a bit, then add diced fresh tomatoes - quite a few. Cook it down for about 5 mins, then add the cooked chickpeas with their cooking water and the lemon. Can cook now for as long as you want, depending on how soft and cooked down you want it, at least 15-20mins. A big heap of fresh coriander at the end is lovely too - or parsley. We served it with couscous, but also good with rice (I'd eat brown rice every single day, but my family won't). I hope this is a new yummy dish your family enjoys eating.
    Also - when I make cakes I've been using coconut sugar. It's really yummy, not overpowering and not processed white sugar.

    Yah to a healthy eating kick - it's always good when the whole family gets in on it. Good luck with keeping it up.

  7. Looks and sounds fantastic. I call myself a 'recovering vegetarian' as I went vegetarian in high school and still don't eat meat, though I eat chicken and fish. :)
    As a result we eat a lot of vegetarian meals in our house. Like home made pizza, veggie lasagna, veg and lentil soup, chick pea and cous cous salad.

  8. Yum, those spinach triangles look delicious! Yeah I was vegetarian between the ages of about 19-26...but fell off the wagon after a trip to Europe where I didn't know what I was ordering half the time! We still eat a lot of vego food. My mum's been vego for nearly 30 years, so she's given me a lot of ideas too. You might find a couple of ideas on my blog...
    This is one of my favourites, tastes like sushi without the rolling (can serve with or without chicken)

  9. I made one of those decisions a couple of months ago - what a difference it's made to the general wellbeing. As far as menu suggestions go, they're not my strong point. Every now and then I throw quinoa on the dinner table and everyone looks slightly disconcerted.

  10. This is so inspiring. I have been loving your pics on IG, it's great to read the words that accompany them. I eat fish, but other than that my diet is vego. I am so bored with my weekly repertoire, glad you can breathe some new life into my meal planning.
    So happy that i found your blog xxx


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