CHEESE & SPINACH AGNOLOTTIAnd SPINACH AND FETA SALAD
CHIPS & BEANSAnd CHEESECAKE CRUMBLE
Egg free, dairy free, gluten free and vegan options available
Healthy fast food can seem to be a difficult task for many. The key is to have a ready stock of pantry items and some forethought. If you make friends with your freezer, cryovaced fridge products, some UHT products and good quality canned foods, you are well on your way.
Think of the savings to your wallet and your health!
Some ideas to help you:
1When you make a curry or stew, make double portions and freeze the other for another day or put into pastry for pies.
2Cut vegetables you won't get to into pieces for stir fry or ‘roasties’ and freeze.
3Use left over mash and add anything then roll in breadcrumbs and freeze for quick croquettes.
4Use leftover risotto and some cheese and roll into arrancini balls, then freeze.
5Make burger patties in advance and freeze.
6Always keep burger buns freshly frozen in the freezer.
7When you make a lasagna – make 2 or 3 at once and freeze the others.
8Make your own pizza base dough and freeze the dough balls before they rise. When they defrost they will finish rising (my favourite idea). No store bought pizza again!
And don't forget to buy some of my pasta and curry sauces, chutney or cheeses at the school Open Day (Sunday May 29th) for your pantry!!!
The last week of the term is here and we shall go out with some of our favourite ‘NEW MENU’ items and ‘TASTE TESTERS’. I am very glad to hear that the children love our new, inspired menu items and their willingness to try new things has overwhelmed me.
There is more and more research hurtling us towards changing the ‘old diet habits’ into a diet of what’s now known as ‘The Blue Zone’. This is where the healthiest and oldest people on the planet live. These people eat simply. They:
·Eat mostly plants
·Cut right back on meat (if not vegetarian)
·Eat from the sea (if not vegetarian)
·(one of the most important) Listen to their bodies.
This is what we are trying to teach and inspire our students at John Colet to do every day.
What a successful few weeks we have had on the ‘taste test’ menu. Well done to everyone! The children have loved the spicy soup, Thai fried rice, pasties, coleslaw and chickpea tabbouleh salads, all of which will return to the menu. Our main taste tests this coming week are the Rote Grutze dessert (a German berry custard style dish), quinoa and the Greek salad. Other things will come, depending on what there is to create new flavours from. If you are not traveling this weekend, try taking the time to clean out any old or unhealthy foods from your cupboards and fridge. It always inspires me to have a fresh, clean and neat kitchen to create from. This should not take more than 1 hour. Be brutal, particularly with old herbs and spices, they make food bitter.
Have a Happy and Safe Easter Break. Donna Moor Head of Kitchen
Recently we have added a few added delicacies to our menu. The children are now experiencing the addition of the ‘TASTE TEST MENU’ when it is offered. This menu is to help introduce the children to new and more exotic flavours, without any pressure. They have the right to try and like or dislike. Any of the foods that the majority likes will become part of our regular lunch menu.
Many of the ‘Taste Test Meals’ come from some children’s desire to have ‘what the teacher’s are having’. These meals are recreations of the previous day’s menu. This reduces our wastage and increases our offerings of the full vegetable version of the meal itself. • Spicy Beans is the full spice version of the nacho sauce • Thai Soup is blended Sunshine Thai with extra spice • Vegetable Frittata is roast vegetables, baked with eggs
So if you are looking to increase your child’s taste buds with no pressure, encourage them to visit me at the front counter.
In Australia, we fall very short on the consumption of fibre rich legumes such as beans and lentils. It is reported that as many as 3 out of 4 people don’t eat enough of them. Beans, lentils, chickpeas etc bulk out many delicious meals and add to the satiety of the dish. These delicious little devils can also help reduce blood pressure and are counted as 1 of your 5 vegetables per day.
At John Colet we • add red lentils to a blended soup. • combine chickpeas or green lentils with a salad of beetroot, avocado and rocket.
To improve your consumption of fibre, simply add some kidney beans to your next Mexican fiesta or, my favourite, add green lentils to cottage cheese/hummus cream with salad in a barley wrap.
We were not born with food cravings; they are long term eating patterns that make solid pathways in our brains as we grow. Any habits are hard to change but it is possible to retrain our brains to follow a better path. It is just like learning to walk after falling down 1000 times as an infant. If we teach our children from an early age to eat on the 80%-20% rule of 'Good' vs.'Bad' they will have an easier time when food choices become their own. Start with tantalising aromas in your kitchen and an honest smile of how great dinner will be. The sense of smell will drive the sense of taste. Never forget, at every opportunity let your kids help with the preparation of any meal.
The food bank report of 2015, ‘Hunger in the Classroom’, suggests that students that do NOT eat a well-balanced breakfast can lose as much as 2+ hours of learning time every day. The other thing we find is that most people believe that breakfast is a quick small meal that is eaten on the run. It is not. It should be the largest meal of the day. Try these suggestions to keep your kids going-
1-2 eggs, scrambled with any vegetable they will eat (eg mushroom and tomato) or tofu, on wholegrain toast + a small piece of fruit with natural yoghurt.
1 Weetbix with milk and ½ banana + a boiled egg with soldiers.
Muesli with fresh berries and yoghurt- prepared the night before.
Points to remember-
For any non-vegetarians, adding in or swapping lean breakfast protein is another alternative.
You can also prepare breakfast the night before, ready for heating.
If you must eat and run, grab an apple and a prepared protein toastie in a napkin, or the above muesli, and fly.
CHEESY TOMATO AND LETTUCE SANDWICHES (with mixed fruit yoghurt)
PUMPKIN SOUP AND SOLDIERS
Vegan, dairy free, gluten free and egg free options always available
As we are still grabbing every last ounce out of the summer warmth it may be time to start thinking of things to do with the relatively low price of great summer fruits before the autumn hits. Making popsicles is a great way to use up ready to eat (but no one is) fruit. Try;
Layer two or more different fruits with a layer of yoghurt.
Blend fruits with yoghurt or leftover bits of ice cream from the tubs. Whose house doesn’t have this?
Mix fruit with cold fruit tea (a favourite cooling popsicle amongst the grown ups).
Or simply make a little jam or bottle some great stone fruits.
Head of Kitchen
One of my favourite foods at the moment is the ‘kumara’ or the sweet potato. Not to be too closely associated with the white potato, the kumara is a starch root vegetable native to South America. The kumara also comes in white, orange and purple varieties, and derives its flavour from the enzyme that converts starches into sugar. These wonderful hearty vegetables are high in potassium, iron, fibre, beta-carotene and vitamin A, B6, C, E & folate.
So if you are someone who drops fruit from your diet when ‘dieting’ then always add in kumara - you will lower your GI whilst sustaining your vitamins and minerals that you lose from this practice.
TIP: bake the kumara with the skin on (and eat it) because this is where the majority of the fibre is and it is delicious!
It is that time of year when we ask for expressions of interest in working in the kitchen next year. Each year families leave the school and some vacancies open.
So if you have a little time and would like to help out and see your kids in action please let me know. We are always happy to see interested parents involved in daily school life.
Vegan,dairy free, egg free and gluten free options always provided
The benefits of the simple everyday 'super foods' are the cornerstones of a balanced, easier life around food.
The lettuce, tomato, carrot, kidney bean, eggs, multigrain breads and yoghurt are some of the simplest and yet richest foods you really can't eat enough of.
So stop sweating the big stuff, stop keeping up with the super food fads and go back to the basics. With a couple of boiled eggs, a green salad with a handful of beans over the top and you have a great meal that can be eaten any time of the day.
As many of you know one our favourite meals is our JCS Saucy Pasta. It may look like tomato sauce on pasta - but you would be mistaken. The sauce is comprised of a whopping 10 vegetables, red lentils, fresh herbs and spices.
Recipe for Saucy Pasta 2 cans of tinned diced tomatoes 2 onions, dices 2 stalks of celery 1/2 sml head broccoli (5-6 florets) 5-6 florets of cauliflower 1/4 cup peas or beans 1/4 cup of corn 1 zucchini 1 carrots 1 cup mushrooms 1/3 cup red lentils 5-6 cloves garlic 2 heaped tablespoons of tomato paste. Oregano, parsley, basil, chili flakes to taste Salt and pepper to taste.
Dice all vegetables roughly. Cook onions, celery and carrots until tender. Add in garlic, herbs, paste, S&P and fry for 1 minute. Add in all other vegetables and lentil with the tinned tomatoes. Add in 1/4 cup of water at any time if moisture is needed. Cook for about 20 mins until vegetables and lentils are soft. Blend with a stick blender, letting sauce down with water to your desired thickness.
Serve with pasta. Note- add spinach to make it a Florentine sauce.
This along with the pasta and cheese make for a high fiber and protein meal.