7 Days of Frugal Family Recipes: Day 3

Saving money for holidays and other fun things can be so hard especially when on mainly one income but I find that if you don’t waste your money on unnecessary purchases and meal plan then it is pretty amazing how much you can save!

I make this meal usually at the end of our week before the shopping gets done and I just tend to use what veges are left over in the fridge so nothing goes to waste.  It is definitely my favourite dish at the moment and is so great for you too 🙂  Some may think it is weird to have roast veges on noodles but it is actually amazing. Of course you could have it with rice, cous cous or quinoa but it isn’t as yummy as noodles! If you have parsnips in season you can make a parsnip gravy to pour over (roasted parsnips blended to a creamy consistency with a bit of vege stock)

Balsamic Roast Tofu and Veges on Rice Noodles (V,GF)

Ingredients:

  1. 250g firm tofu
  2. 1 zucchini
  3. 1 small capsicum (bell pepper)
  4. half a small butternut pumpkin (squash)
  5. 1 large onion
  6. 1 carrot
  7. add any other ingredients like broccoli, cauliflower or kale
  8. half a bulb of garlic separated with skins still on
  9. olive oil to coat veges
  10. balsamic vinegar
  11. 1 packet of rice stick noodles
  12. tamari
  13. salt and pepper


Method:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius and chop all the veges and tofu into similar size chunks (about 2cm cubes) and put them all into a large baking tray sprinkle with olive oil (or oil of choice) and salt and also splash over some balsamic vinegar.  Mix all of this through with your hands to coat all of the veges and tofu and put in oven to bake for approximately  30 minutes. While this is in the oven, put on a large pot of water on high and bring to boil for rice noodles and cook but do not over cook or they turn to mush. Pretty much cook them like pasta – you want them to still be a bit firm but not tough.

Drain rice noodles and serve with a dash of tamari over it to soak in the noodles and then pile the roasted veges and tofu on top. Sprinkle with black pepper (if you made parsnip gravy – pour that on).  You can thank me later hahaha … ENJOY!


Peace and Love,

Naomi

weekly goal: 7 days of frugal family recipes

This week I would like to share with you all some vegan and gluten-free recipes that I love to make that are really yummy but dont break the budget.   I plan to write a recipe a day for 7 days.

These recipes could easily feed a family of four (or have plenty of leftovers for lunches or effort-free dinners).   I definitely emphasise vegetable content in these recipes also as we can all use more vegies in our diet plus they are not very expensive. 

My first recipe I will share is what I made us for dinner tonight.  Tofu & Vegies in coconut turmeric broth and cumin potatoes.


I make this when silverbeets are in season as they are usually only a couple of dollars and the bunches are so huge as I like to use the whole bunch in this dish. This recipe was inspired by a couple of different dishes that I have had on my travels through Malaysia and Fiji.  When in those countries these dishes were eaten with your fingers and no cutlery and served on a banana leaf.  Tonight I didn’t have any banana leaves handy so a bowl and plate it is 😊.  

This dish is also great for making little modifications based on flavour preferences or available produce in your fridge and pantry which is how I do most of my cooking.  Generally I would prefer sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes but I only had the latter today as I got them cheap!

Tofu & Vegies in Coconut Broth (V, GF)

Ingredients:

  1. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  2. 250g of firm tofu chopped into (approx) 2cm cubes
  3. 1 bunch of silverbeet (swiss chard) washed and sliced across leaves like ribbons.
  4. 1 large onion roughly chopped
  5. 1 large carrot peeled and sliced thinly
  6. 1 handful of chopped broccoli or other vegies you would like to add (e.g., cauliflower, asian greens, zucchini)
  7. 1 can of coconut milk/cream
  8. 1 cup of water 
  9. 1 vegetarian gf stock cube 
  10. one (approx) 4cm chunk of fresh ginger finely chopped or grated.
  11. 3tsps of turmeric
  12. salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat oil on high heat in large soup pot and add onion and carrots and handful of chopped vegies and sautè with lid on pot and stirring regularly until they begin to soften slightly (about 3 mins) then add tofu and 1 tsp of turmeric.  Keep regularly stirring the ingredients another couple of mins so they don’t stick and burn the bottom but keep the lid on between stirs. Add stock cube and cup of water and put the lid on again to let that simmer for about 3 more minutes then add the ginger and all of the chopped silverbeet, stir it as best you can then replace lid to let the silverbeet steam and soften. When it looks like the silverbeet has softened stir the mixture then add the coconut cream and 2tsp of turmeric (you may want to add more depending on personal preference) and a good dash of black pepper, turn the heat to med-low and leave lid off.  Let simmer for about 10mins for flavours to intensify and mixture to reduce slightly. Adjust seasonings to taste and ensure vegies are soft but not mush!  Voila!!

Cumin Potatoes (V,GF)

Ingredients:

  1. 1tbsp coconut oil 
  2. 2 tsps cumin
  3. 4 cups of chopped potatoes with peel on (in rough cubes approx 2cms) 
  4. 1 onion roughly chopped
  5. salt to taste

Method:

Heat oil on med-high heat in deep frypan (that has lid) and add onions and potatoes then put lid on between stirs to allow heat to build up and potato to soften.  If oil dries up you can add a little bit of water or a bit more oil to potatoes to keep steaming and cooking them. Next add cumin and salt and stir frequently but placing lid on frypan after each stir and cook until potatoes are soft but still retaining a firm shape (this can take a while depending on how large you diced the potatoes). 

This recipe could be modified with sweet potatoes or by adding curry powder or chilli powder instead, but as I have a fussy 2 year old our options for spicy food are limited.   This dish is great as is or if you would like to extend it a bit further in case of large families or friends over; it is great with rice, cous cous or flat bread.  ENJOY 💛


I hope this was easy to follow, I rarely write down recipes so this was quite the challenge for me!  Thanks for reading and let me know your feedback!! 

Peace and Love,

Naomi

H O M E and H E A L T H

In my last post I mentioned our plan for buying a place of our own in May to save our sanity.  I chose to wait three more months instead of buying right away as we needed the extra savings to have 10% house deposit and so we could also have a great savings history and sort out some other things like desexing our dog.  We have been looking at different units and townhouses in the areas we like so we are more educated in what a good price is as well as what we want for our first place and what we are willing to compromise on.

At the start of this month I viewed a unit(condo) in Mermaid Beach that I could really see us being happy in, so we ended up making an appointment with the broker earlier than planned.  Since then, we have been in regular contact with the broker and the real estate agent as there have been several issues and setbacks towards getting pre-approval for a home loan.  Luckily the unit(condo) is still available but we might miss it as we are waiting for paperwork to come through for us.  Even if we miss this unit, I trust that the right one will show up for us, I am just really glad that we have begun this process as it takes way longer than I thought it would!  So if anyone out there is in the same stage and hasn’t talked to a broker about pre-approval yet and all the documentation you need, then I would get on to it!! We had talked to a broker earlier on but more as an enquiry into what deposits we would need and what our price range would be but apparently some bank criteria has changed and loans are harder to come by at the moment.  So many people that I have talked to have said that it seems so hard to get through the pre-approval process.

I have been keeping up with our 52 week savings game so we have cash for Xmas and also saving $100 a week for our snow trip in August as well as saving for our house.  I do have to go out today and buy our little girl some warm onsies for winter this year.  She is rapidly outgrowing all her clothes, so I have to get a few onesies, tights and singlets.  She kicks off all blankets so I don’t bother with them anymore so I have to make sure she is warm enough without them while she sleeps.  The onesies are also great under her snowsuit.  Our new car is still awesome too, and I am looking forward to driving down south to the snow in it!

In other news, I have been suffering from daily migraines for months, and it seemed to be getting worse.  I had an intuitive thought recently that giving up dairy may help and looking into it, dairy is a food that causes inflammation and all sorts of issues for a lot of people let alone the problems it causes the cows 😩….I do prefer a vegan life and I have always felt great when vegan – I had taken to drinking a lot of cows milk when pregnant and had kept this up during breastfeeding as I would crave it.  Anyway, I thought it was worth a try so gave it a go.  I seemed to go through a full on dairy detox and I had stomach problems and bad headaches for the first 6 days but am now feeling the best I have in a very very long time and I lost 1.5kilograms in that week!

My husband is also doing well without gluten in his diet and has had more energy and lost weight because of the change.  I also like gluten free eating although I am not as strict on this for me and our baby.  I definitely notice the difference but geez gluten free and vegan products really empty the wallet!  Although I have found that if you stick to mostly to wholefoods then it isn’t so expensive.  Hopefully when we are finally in our own kitchen I can try making some gf breads too!

I am so looking forward to having our own space again.  I belong at the beach and living away from parents!  Yesterday Lennox and I had the day to ourselves at home.  It has been ages since we got to do that and I had forgotten how important that time is to me and for her.  I loved it.  It will be so awesome to be back at our beach every day and spending time together.

I hope you all have a safe holiday season 🌞

 

 

 

why i am giving up wheat and sugar

I have never really done this before but two days ago I decided that I needed to take a break from wheat and sugar for a while or maybe even permanently and see how my body responds.  My husband said he was keen for the change too.  I never thought we ate a lot of wheat or sugar – I thought that we ate mostly whole foods and veges until I realised these ingredients are actually a big part of our weekly meal plan!  Not to mention our quest for a beer with a view!  It looks like our beer tasting sessions will also stop for a while.  The reason I came to this decision is because I have suffered migraines and bloating ever since I can remember and I had never thought that wheat intolerance was the issue or that I have too much sugar in my diet until recently. I began to look into the symptoms of food intolerances and I pretty much fit the bill.  Things began to get much worse when I was pregnant and it has not been much better – if not worse since I gave birth.

Once I decided this had to change I went through my cupboards to look at how much food we would need to give away, bin, or use up before the change.  We have cous cous, pasta, puff pastry, pizza bases, vegetarian wheat gluten products, bread and breadcrumbs to get rid of.  Wheat and sugar are also in the vege stock cubes I use, the sauces I like and spice mixes I like aswell!! I had to quickly think of alternatives to these items or I was afraid I might back out of the plan.  I realised there is many yummy alternatives to these items and have made a bit of a meal plan to begin our change.  I have also said to myself that I will not be too hard on myself if I slip up here and there, as long as it doesn’t become a habit again.  So I have given away a lot of pasta and bread to a friend and have made wheat and sugar free meals for the last couple of days and things are going pretty well.  I am actually pretty excited about learning some new things to make and today I went shopping and bought some gluten free items to try.

I hope this change helps my tummy and headache problems! I’ll keep you all posted……