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Save money and time. Collect fresh vegetables for family meals

Sugar free drink inspiration for summer entertaining

Fruit Infused Sparkling Water

 

Fruit Infused sparkling water

Sugar free for one month! It is not so difficult surely? We don’t eat much sugar really so I was not overly concerned about pledging to go a month free from sugar. I use a little sugar in school baking, but I don’t indulge in that, it is for the kids school snacks. The main thing I was worried about was my one sugar in my single (very much needed) coffee each morning. As it turns out it has not been as bad as I thought to have no sugar with my coffee. I have just realised that my soy milk lists organic rice syrup as an ingredient. I am not sure if that would be considered sugar or not??   I need to do some work on this prior to my morning coffee or things could become unpleasant in my home….

Febfast raises funds for young people facing disadvantage that puts them most at risk of problematic alcohol and drug use. The organisations supported by Febfast have specialist programs and health workers across the country to provide important support services to these young people.

Compared to the challenges faced by disadvantaged young people each and every day, it is really not a stretch to contribute to this worthy activity. Not only am I assisting others in need of help but I am also giving my body a rest from sugar, allowing it to reset and have a breather after a hectic period of indulging during the festive period.

If you can contribute to this cause please do so by supporting my fundraising here. I’d love to meet my fundraising goal to provide some much needed help to young people who are not as fortunate as my children.

I am sure you can see the gorgeous fresh summer fruit in this recipe image. If you are wondering about sugar content in fruit, it is ok. Fruit does of course contain natural sugars. As such fresh fruit is ok to indulge in over the duration of the challenge. You can read more about what is in and what is out as part of the challenge here.

Weekend entertaining is the most difficult time when taking part in an activity such as this.  I am sharing this recipe for fruit infused sparkling water today so that you will not be “missing out” on anything. It is also a great recipe to use for those who are pausing from alcohol. I would hazard a guess that if you put a jug of this on the table that it would disappear pretty quickly. You can switch the choice of fruit to any combination that you enjoy. I love peach. lime and fresh mint together so it was an easy choice for me.

Fruit infused sparkling water

Don’t wait until the weekend comes around, have a glass on your desk to blast away the 3 pm blues.

Fruit infused sparkling water

Sugar free drink inspiration for summer entertaining
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Sugar free, fresh fruit infused sparkling water. A refreshing, healthy summer alternative to sugar laden soft drinks.
Author:
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 500 ml
Ingredients
  • 1 lime - sliced thinly
  • 1 punnet fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 1 peach - cubed
  • 500 ml sparkling water
  • 12 ice cubes
  • 3 springs fresh mint
Instructions
  1. Add the fruit to a serving jug and then pour in the sparkling water and the ice
  2. Stir to combine and pour into glasses, top with fresh mint leaves.
Are you pausing for February? If you are unable to join in this year, I would love for you to help me raise some much needed funds by contributing here. Thank you!

Kyrstie

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How to avoid the constant repetition of dinners

Lamb Skewers with Mint Pesto

 

Lamb Kebabs

Variations of family favourites is a great way to try “new” meals that you know your family will enjoy. I am a little drained of meal time inspiration at the moment. We have a glorious abundance of fresh produce coming from the garden to use and enjoy. In summer it is not just a case of the usual vegetables, there is that but there are LOTS of them. After getting to meal number four using the same ingredients in different ways it can be a challenge to come up with something else.

I know that a big percentage of mums, or dads, who are charged with “dinner duty” suffer from lack of meal inspiration, it is the thing that makes online food sites and blogs, food magazines and cookbooks so popular. They solve that issue by providing inspiration. I know that it can feel like there is a constant repetition of the same meals over and over and over and over again – because they are safe. Because you know the kids will eat them, because you know you will not have to deal with or listen to complaints and whining at the end of the day when you are already tired.

For those of you keeping track, I have previously posted a recipe for Lamb Kebabs, they were made with diced lamb rather than lamb mince which I used in this recipe and they featured different flavours. Same, same but different…..

These lamb skewers were created with one thought in mind – I need to use more cucumber and zucchini, and in a way that is different to how I have served it every other night this week.  I served this recipe with a side dish of raw zucchini and cucumber dressed with lime juice, olive oil, fresh mint and a pinch of dried chilli flakes. This meal led to another cucumber and zucchini leaving my kitchen bench top and that is a great thing in the midst of a constant bounty being added each day.

Anyway, the point I hoping to make is that kebabs are something that are enjoyed in our home. They are a quick and easy meal that any side dish can be added to. You can use whatever you have on hand. By using combinations of familiar ingredients that you know everyone in the family enjoys it is easy to introduce new variations. Not only does this allow for the introduction of some new flavours and additional vegetables for fussy eaters, it provides the opportunity to add a another family favourite meal to your collection. For example, if you make a pie recipe with chicken and vegetables and a cheese-based sauce try making it with red meat and a tomato based sauce instead. You may be surprised at how much your family enjoys the new flavours.

You will know if a recipe you want to try is a risk. I try to minimise the risk by simply adding something different to an already accepted combination. For example, if you know your kids love bacon and cheese quiche, try adding carrot next time. If they accept that as an addition you have a bonus vegetable added to their day.  This is all easy to add to “paper” but as a mum with one fussy eater I do caution you from messing with already “perfect” recipes so be warned – there are some recipes that you are “famous” for and should not be messed with. Let them shine and have their glory and be the backstop to your regular menu plan.

Note:

I have a disclaimer to add to this recipe – I almost didn’t post it here because:

  1. The meat didn’t stick together very well and fell off most of the skewers when I cooked it
  2. I took the photo later in the day than usual and I am not happy with it

BUT… they tasted so so great that in reality there is nothing wrong with the recipe. I should not have tried to keep them on the skewers. I had an image in my mind of what I wanted the recipe to look like when it was cooked and it didn’t quite work out that way. If I was not going to photograph it I wouldn’t have cared about that at all, or given it a second thought. The mint pesto is perfectly matched with the lamb. If the kids were not going to eat it I would have added some finely chopped fresh chilli to it.

My suggestion is to make and cook little meat balls (or patties) instead of trying to keep the meat on the skewers. If you cook them as small balls in a pan you can then add them to skewers if you really want to once they are cooked.

Lamb Skewers with Mint Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Lamb skewers served with a mint pesto. A family favourite combination of fresh summer flavours that can be easily modified by adding sides you know your family will love.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 500 grams lamb mince
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 cm freshly grated ginger
  • 1 egg
  • handful (about 9) green beans finely chopped
  • pinch salt
  • Mint Pesto:
  • 1/ bunch fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 4 stems of fresh coriander leaves
  • 4 stems fresh Vietnamese Mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons macadamia nuts
Instructions
  1. Combine the lamb ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine
  2. Mold small balls and set aside on a plate. If you have time to spare add the plate to the fridge to set
  3. If you would like to do so you can add them to skewers *read the paragraph prior to the recipe first
  4. To make the relish combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine, add a little water if necessary to further loosen the mixture
  5. Heat a pan to medium-high heat and add some oil to the base so that the meat does not stick
  6. Cook for a few minutes, turning to brown and cook through - approximately 6-8 minutes in total
  7. Serve the lamb topped with the pesto and sides of your choice
Lamb Kebabs

Do you mess with family favourite combinations to create new recipes ? Have you made any great discoveries that you have now added to you family favourite list?

Kyrstie

 

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