the nature strip

Kids apple & spinach smoothie with quinoa & avo
May 30, 2013, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Babies, Food

Apple & spinach smoothie with quinoa and avocado

My toddler is starting to become a fuss pot. I spend a lot of time preparing fresh, organic food only to find it thrown on the floor, rejected, or spat from his mouth. The waste makes my heart sink.

Greens are especially becoming the “I’m not going to eat them mummy no matter how hard you try to make me to!” food. But I’ve had a brain wave – smoothie them!

Today’s lunch was a roaring success. Even though his facial expression said: “I’ve been tricked”

  • Apple and spinach smoothie – vitamin and mineral fix plus a good combo of vitamin c and iron for better absorption.
  • Avocado and quinoa – essential fats and amino acids.
  • Vegetable tofu which he loves – great protein, great calcium

green smoothie aftermath


I’m a vegetarian and I ate lamb
May 27, 2013, 11:44 am
Filed under: Food, General thoughts

I have been a vegetarian for 20 years and haven’t eaten any dairy for five. The other day I ate a piece of lamb. And then I cried.


After some suspicious blood tests I panicked and decided to contemplate incorporating meat back in to my diet. Hence the piece of lamb. I didn’t take this decision lightly, and in fact I feel quite traumatised from it. It’s hard to put all of your beliefs and what is such an important part of you aside.

But I did it. And I don’t think I will do it again. The lamb was organic and it actually tasted quite nice, but I couldn’t get past the fact that this animal went through trauma and stress to sit on my plate. I couldn’t put out of my head the blood running like a river in the pan.

But I do understand that people eat it – and that’s ok. I am actually about to start reading a book called The Vegetarian Myth which looks at whether eating meat is healthier and better for the planet than a vegetarian one. It should be an interesting read. I have also been investigating the link between consumption of meat and high bowel cancer rates.  Meat sounds pretty toxic to me.

Another interesting point I read lately is that by shunning meat, you are turning your back on promoting and supporting ethically produced meat. Is this a valid point?  I think we all have a responsibility of looking at where our food comes from and how it is produced, especially when it comes to factory farming.

So, I am now back to my green, veggie eating ways and I’m happier for it. And so are the animals.

Toddler rainbow food
May 22, 2013, 11:26 am
Filed under: Babies, Food

It’s important – and stressful – making sure your baby is getting the right food and the right nutrients. I am forever fussing about a balanced diet – is he getting enough iron? What about calcium? Is there zinc in this?

This probably stems from my own concerns for my health and commitment to consuming a nutrient dense diet.

I am guilty of offering my toddler mashed up gloop for way too long – sure it was healthy but there is only so many times you can offer a toddler mashed up veggies and what about the essential fats and protein?

So recently I have been creating rainbow plates of food for him to enjoy that ensures a wide variety of vitamins and minerals with the added bonus of encouraging his dexterity and motor skills.

Plate 1:

tofu, veggies and blueberries

  • Sauteed vegetables of pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini and broccoli in coconut oil.
  • Marinated vegetable tofu
  • Dice tomatoes
  • Blueberries

My son ate the plate as follows: tofu first, then on to blueberries, with a bite of pumpkin in between, the greens, a nibble of tomato only to discover tomatoes are much more fun being thrown on the floor.

Plate 2:

Toddler rainbow food - tofu and veggies

  • Boiled buckwheat (excellent protein source) mixed with avocado
  • Sauteed potato, grated coconut, broccoli  and zucchini
  • Stewed apple

The plate was left bare. His face wasn’t.

face covered in food

Veggie lasagne – warm, tasty and from the heart.
May 20, 2013, 7:32 pm
Filed under: Food

vegan lasagne

A couple of weeks ago it was Mother’s Day. I forget that I fall in the ‘mum’ category as I am so focused on acknowledging my own mother on this day. I feel somewhat undeserving of any acknowledgement – my mother has putting up with my crap for 35 years. I have only notched up 15 months on my belt.

vegan lasagne

For some reason, over the years, lasagne has become the dish of choice when cooking up special occasion meals. So for Mother’s Day, my partner took the reins in the kitchen and with my Dad as Sous Chef, produced a veggie lasagne that was juicy, rich, and hearty – much like love really.

preparation for vegan lasagne

This was a vegan version (yes you can have a TASTY vegan lasagne!)


  • Vegetables – eggplant, zucchini, mushroom and capsicum
    Wholemeal pasta sheets
  • Onion and garlic
  • Tinned tomato
  • Fresh basil
  • Pepper to taste
  • White sauce –corn flour, soy milk and Nuttalex.
  • Optional – dairy free parmesan cheese to sprinkle on the top, post baking.

Bake in the oven until golden brown.

vegan lasagne


This dish also makes for a wonderful dinner during cold winter nights. Did I mention it goes beautifully with a glass of red?