comings and goings (+ a smoothie recipe)

I’ve been feeling pretty flat and unmotivated the last little while. It may be obvious to you when this happens as my posts slow down and I lose momentum. Part of the reason for my silence lately though has been because my grandpa was incredibly ill, and passed away towards the end of May, on my birthday. The weeks leading up to his death were intense for our family, with many hours spent by his bedside. We were all living in a little bubble, it seems strange now to be out in the light again.

A few hours after he died, my Mum and I left the hospice and we were driving to my Aunty’s place. The baby was screaming blue murder in the back seat and it was a Friday evening. We had to drive down Chapel Street, which those of you in Melbourne will know for its restaurants and good times. I’m from wayyyyy over the other side of the city so I don’t ever go there, but there we were, driving along, stricken with grief after having just watched someone we love breathe their final breaths, and there were lights, cars, traffic, people everywhere going out for dinner, smiling, laughing, and generally having a great time. It was so strange to see that life doesn’t stop for anyone or anything.

Since then life really has just pushed on. It’s the baby’s first birthday this Saturday, and we had the family over last weekend to kick off her birthday week. We were meant to have a picnic, but typical Melbourne rained all day so we had everyone at our place. We were pretty unprepared given we had planned to go to a local state forest, but we pulled it off. I made this cake and it was an absolute hit. I will be repeating it this Friday when I have my mother’s group over for a little birthday celebration. I’m going to try making it gluten free for Friday though as my beautiful friend A has just been diagnosed with coeliacs and I don’t want her to miss out! Hopefully it turns out ok.

In other news as usual I have washing coming out my ears, I can never seem to get on top of it, I refuse to spend my days doing nothing but washing, but maybe if I did, maybe then it would be done? Washing is such a mystery to me, I tell myself that everyone else has it under control but perhaps I am just deluded. I hate it! I told myself this morning that I was going to clean out the girls’ clothes today and throw everything out, figuring that then I would have less to wash and put away…? I think I might be onto something… then I got overwhelmed and looked the other way.

When I’m feeling like everything is just too much, I really try to pay attention to what I’m eating. It’s times like these that I want to reach for the sugar, the cake, the chocolate, and I have to practice a lot of willpower to stop myself from doing this. I’m by no means perfect! But I do try to make sure that I’m getting some bang for my buck when I choose what goes in my mouth. The picture above is today’s lunch for the three of us – me, the Pixie and the baby. It’s probably one of my favourite meals, basically just a bowl thrown together with a combination of things we have on hand with some nuts and seeds chucked on top. This bowl includes a mint, pea and couscous salad my mother in law made on the weekend, toasted nori, fermented cabbage, pickled onions, beetroot, spinach, sweet potato, cherry tomatoes, and some sprouts. The Pixie had half an avocado (she calls it an avocado bowl), some sweet potato, toasted nori (she calls that mermaid food), and a choc pop that Birdie and I made yesterday – basically a bliss ball coated in chocolate made from coconut oil, maple syrup and raw cacao. It does have a pretty strong taste so she wasn’t a huge fan of it, but I gave some to the baby (probably shouldn’t have given cacao is a stimulant, I’ll regret that tonight) and she devoured it! She also had some sweet potato.

The smoothie pictured is a version of the basic smoothie I make everyday using up leftover cooked oats from the girls’ breakky:

+ Almond milk

+ Coconut cream

+ Avocado (because I don’t like bananas unless they are in a cake!)

+ Chia seeds

+ Pepitas

+ Cacao

+ Left over oats

+ A few dates

I have a version of that every morning and there is usually some left over. Sometimes I freeze it and have it as nicecream. Yum!

Well that is all from me for now. I’ve got a baby tapping me on the leg and a Pixie wanting me to help with a puzzle so I had best stop this ramble here.

Hope you’re all having a wonderful start to the week!

eating

One of the questions most commonly asked amongst my friends:

What’s for dinner tonight?

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We are a bunch that love to cook and swap recipes and inspire each other in this way. Another one of the most commonly repeated phrases:

I’m so bored with cooking! I don’t know what to make! I’m sick of all my recipes!

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I love hearing what my friends are making for dinner. It’s more often than not something I haven’t thought of making myself, which encourages me to try something new. I love hearing what other people’s staple meals are and what they cook if they have nothing planned and nothing in the fridge (this happens around here all too often due to bad planning on my part).

In saying that, as a rule I fill out a meal planner each week. I have tried to do this fortnightly or monthly but the longer my plan goes for, the more likely I am to run out of food or not have the ingredients I need so weekly works best for us.

I am finding it especially hard to think of things to eat while the heat wave continues in Melbourne. Yuck! We don’t have very good air conditioning so it makes it difficult to cook anything extravagant. I’m using my slow-cooker a lot as it doesn’t heat up the kitchen, along with the BBQ.

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This week we are having:

Monday // chicken, barley and veg stirfry

Tuesday // lentil dahl in the slow-cooker with brown rice and greens

Wednesday // salmon on the BBQ and salad

Thursday // brocolli and chickpea noodles

Friday // ooh potentially have a girlfriend coming over for a movie night so will put some more thought in here!

Saturday // rice paper rolls with raw satay sauce and salad (sounds la-di-da but is ridiculously easy)

Sunday // kid friendly pad thai with tofu

When I’m thinking about what to cook I have some basic rules. We are currently trying to eat more fish so I’m trying to schedule that in once a week. We eat red meat about once a fortnight and chicken around once a week. We don’t eat pork aside from bacon every now and again from our free-range butcher. Outside of that we eat vegetarian meals mainly based around legumes or another protein combination. I limit tofu to once a week, if that, due to high levels of processing and being unsure about my thoughts around soy consumption for the kidlets. That’s about it!

What’s for dinner at your place tonight?

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Some other food related posts you might be interested in:

Ditching the big guys

When breastfeeding costs more than formula

Comfort food

Feeding a small child: what has worked for me