Gluten free, dairy free, egg free and vegan options provided.
Welcome to 2017! This is the Year of the Rooster. The rooster is hardworking, courageous, talented and confident. It is also one of the healthiest signs, so let us all embrace these virtues for a healthy and happy year. This year, I am focusing on ‘getting back to basics’ in the kitchen - travelling back to ‘Grandma’s kitchen’ and the tasty treats that were cooked up with really wholesome fresh foods.
We will also be watching the seasons and looking forward to foods that help us cool down in Summer and warm up in Winter, and, in some cases, just fun food because we are kids! So from all of the kitchen staff, I welcome you to or back to our kitchen and hope the students are well nourished from our efforts.
So here we are again at the end of another school year, this time saying farewell to the Class of 2016. I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all of the ladies who have helped me tirelessly in the kitchen throughout the year. You have all been fantastic. Thank you! Lastly, I wish the whole school community a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and fun filled New Year.
See you in 2017.
If you are looking to lose some pounds before Christmas (like I have) do “The Swap”. I have swapped - • white for brown products • normal anything to salt or sugar reduced • ice cream for yoghurt • banana bread for whole grain fruit toast • milk coffee for tea • tea for herbal tea • cereal for oats • rice and processed carbs for beans/lentils or quinoa • puff pastry for filo • crackers & cheese for vegies & hummus • cheese for cottage cheese • wraps for barley wraps • pasta for stir-fry (the hardest ever!) I have included only 60 minutes of hard exercise and light weights to my normal walking routines to maximise the effects. Don’t forget the most important of all swaps. Swap the isles of the supermarket with only the edges!
Thank you everyone for a most memorable birthday, particularly that of the impromptu JCS choir ‘happy birthday’ melodies. It is well into spring and we must constantly look towards mother nature to bless us with the tastiest fresh foods of the year. So look for recipes that excite you and use all the foods that colour the rainbow. Always too remember to buy something you don’t really know what to do with and give it a go. Add some quinoa or kale or Persian feta to your meal to brighten your day.
Feeding children vegetables can be a tortuous adventure sometimes. With fussy eaters, I find that the slow and steady approach works best. Find ways to introduce new foods (scary foods) even if it is blended into a meal. My favourite vegetable to ‘mix-in’ is the cauliflower. Just like cabbage, kale and broccoli the humble cauliflower belongs to the Brassica family and contains cancer-fighting compounds. Try adding it to any soup, chopping it finely into a sauce or steaming it to add into mashed potatoes.
Welcome back to Term 4, the time of primary Shakespeare, Halloween, Sports Carnival, Nativity play and Christmas preparations; but most importantly of all-Mrs. Moor's Birthday. So there are many fun and exciting days ahead for our program.
This term, as well as the fun of these great days in our calendar, we will be trying a few new menu items and staying focused on nutrient dense foods that kids WILL eat. There will be an emphasis on plant-based foods (salads and vegetables) with a high water and fibre content and low harmful compounds for wellbeing.
As usual, we start week 1 with the basics that the children know and enjoy and then move forward into new ideas...and desserts.
For the children’s pleasure: Prizes have been handed out from book week and, at a weak moment, I agreed that four winners could choose any meal they like. This past week was pizza, and this coming week we will be having Banofee Pie…again. Two true favourites, and like all favourites a whole lot of work. The standing ovations and the cheering makes up for it all! Bless them. For the kitchen: We are currently well staffed by wonderfully dedicated parents and friends of JCS, BUT we don’t have any ‘back-up’ help. If there is any parent out there who would like to occasionally help out when there is a need (such as life commitments, sickness or holidays etc.), please send me your phone and e-mail details. Your time and help would be greatly appreciated. This is a paid position even if you are ‘back-up’.
At the pleasure of the children,
Head of Kitchen
When thinking of morning tea ideas remember the freezer! Particularly in Summer. Home made snacks that are fun (but with hidden healthy’s) are the best. Try making some blueberry and bran muffins, ‘chocolate’ protein balls, corn kernels, left over pasta, mini wholemeal and vegetarian pizzas, vegetable ‘meat’ loaf, superfood coconut snack bars and freezing them individually. Also freeze a few UHT small milk cartons.
Then all you have to do is choose, grab and pack. They will all defrost fresh and cool for a big mid-morning appetite.
And don’t forget the prize winning Mother Nature wrapped bananas, apples and oranges.
This week’s menu is by popular request. I recently found out that MANY children love Miso soup…. who knew? So whilst the weather is still cool, I thought I’d make it for them. Some of the students have also asked, “What is in the sausage rolls?” Please check the web site for the recipe or e-mail me anytime. I have been researching processed foods and their dietary implications to our modern diet. One of the interesting ones is that of store bought mayonnaise. Mayonnaise should be, simply, egg, oil and lemon juice. The nut/olive oils, which we have historically used, have been changed in many brands to soybean oils. This is increasing our intake of omega 6 fatty acids. We should be eating equal amounts of omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. Research is showing that the recommended 1:1 ratio is increasing to as much as 20:1 respectively. Unfortunately, this imbalance of omega 6 fatty acids from refined vegetable oils, particularly soybean oil, has shown to be related to all inflammatory-related conditions such as diabetes arthritis, asthma, heart disease and obesity. So ditch the dressings that contain soybean oil and buy (or make your own!!!) the ones with nut, seed, olive or avocado oils. Or try this: Donna’s Avocado ‘mayo’ 100grs Greek yoghurt (Vegan-use coconut yoghurt) 1 avocado 2 Tbsp grape seed oil 1 Tbsp seeded mustard Lemon juice to taste Salt & Pepper Blend and pour. Use on the day.
Head of Kitchen
Next week is Science Week and we, once again, share the hall with the science week team (myself included). In light of this, we are having ‘walk through’ lunches each day. The above menu reflects the items which the children enjoy the most…and can walk with…without spilling.
I hope the children enjoy the week.
With the Olympics coming up, it has inspired me to understand the needs of the vegetarian athlete. The main thing to remember is that all people need protein in their diets. When you are working out it is recommended that you increase your protein levels to aid in the growth and repair of your cells.
This used to mean large doses of animal proteins, today we know a balanced vegetarian diet, that includes plant based protein, assists in muscular development…no meat required! The trick to it is to be well planned and include protein in every meal, regularly throughout the day. The fact is that not every protein source is equal – it is actually the amino acids which make up the protein that our bodies need. Research has led us to understand that there are many plant based foods which provide adequate amounts of these ‘essential’ amino acids.
So eat whole foods, nuts and seeds, legumes, quinoa, uncooked fruits and vegetables (not always), cheese and eggs, along with good quality fats and unprocessed carbohydrates and you too can start your Olympic dream…. or at least watch them on TV with me!
Citius, Altius, Fortius! Train hard!
So many of us are very busy and are losing the desire to ‘fuss’ over every single meal. Here are a few time-saving tips to get you through, hassle free. 1. We can get very busy at work and skip meals. Stash a few bags of pre chopped bags of fresh veggies in the freezer and fridge at work. You can then microwave them for a warm snack, or eat them fresh if you’re stressed to reduce the tension in your jaw. 2. Keep brown rice bowls (or freshly prepared and bagged) everywhere. Add them to your warm veggies and stay full…and gluten free. 3. Always keep canned legumes in the cupboard. If you’re busy pre-soaking, it is a pain. 4. Liven up any plain meal with oil, garlic, ginger and chilli. Quick food doesn’t have to be bland. 5. Always make up bags of mixed nuts, fruits and seeds over the weekend. Have them everywhere for a healthy snack. You need the good fats to keep going.
This week I have been experimenting with some new recipes and inventions for the students’ lunches. On Thursday, we had Cheese and Spinach Scrolls which the children devoured in a taste test. Once I have worked out the logistics of such a feat we will add it to the menu. This week they will be trying my Apple Muesli Crumble.
Here’s a tip for Winter – some of the best family recipes take only one pot. Don’t wear yourself out, warm yourself up!
One-pot recipe – Broccoli Orecchiette Serves a family of 6
1 x 500 gr bag of Orecchiette pasta 500gr broccoli (small florets) 2 shallots (small rounds) 1 bag baby spinach leaves 1 x 600 ml of thickened cream 3 Tsp of parmesan cheese 250grs cottage or feta cheese (crumbled) 1 Tsp garlic 1 Tsp oil/butter
1. Boil pasta as per instructions. 3/4 way through cooking, add in the broccoli and boil until both tender. 2. Drain and leave in strainer. 3. Add the oil or butter to pan, heat. 4. Add in the shallots and garlic and cook for 30-40 sec, until you smell them. 5. Return the pasta to the pan with all remaining ingredients. 6. Stir through, season (salt/pepper) to taste and serve.