After long hours working around the clock researching the Australian version of the Cut the Chemicals Cookbook has finally arrived!
Now our Australian followers can learn which grocery lines are safe to buy and feed the family along with all the tasty recipes to fill lunch boxes and hungry tummies guilt free!
Click here to find out how to get your eBook!
My daughter has a little friend over this afternoon and I was going to buy a treat for afternoon tea as I'm feeling a little time poor with the impending house move, but I decided " no I can whip up something quickly if only to save a few pennies!"
I grabbed the iPad as all my cookbooks are packed away and quickly googled a recipe for choc chip cookies ... Yes I know sounds like sacrilege for a mum advocating eating healthy chemical free foods to enlist the aid of some random internet recipe. Surely I'm a domestic goddess that was born instinctively knowing the right amount of self raising flour in a choc chip recipe?
Not so. In fact I'm hopeless with recipes. My brain does not retain them, hence an iPad and the internet are a match made in heaven for a mum like me. You see most recipes on the internet are pretty much the same basic recipes with slight variants. A basic cookie mixture doesn't have to be hard and it's pretty easy to make sure it's additive free.
I just made sure I used natural vanilla not vanilla flavouring and Dairy Fine Choc Chips. If I wanted to be really good white choc chips would be better. You could even add some cocoa powder for a double choc chip cookie. Much better than store bought and saves you some cash too as you would have all the basic pantry ingredients already right? (By that I mean you have my book and have the basic pantry as recommended?)
Now when you Google that awesome little recipe, Pin it for next time on your Pinterest Board ... Or look at my board for the cookie recipe #Cookbook-Cut-The-Chemicals!! Too easy!
I've been focusing a lot on our Facebook page this week on what I pack in my children's school lunches.
I was inspired by a post from the 100daysofRealFood Blog and the tools Lisa Leake uses in her school lunchboxes.
I want to share with you a new tool in my school lunchbox arsenal. These are silicone cupcake cases and I'm using them as little snack holders in the lunchbox. They are on special at Coles today, two packs for $10 so that's a saving of $2 for 12 in total.
Tune in tomorrow to see how I plan to use them!
Egg, mayo and spring onion sandwich on whole meal bread
Vaalia yoghurt with frozen raspberries
Nutella hot cross bun
Cucumber and carrot rounds
Bread and hot cross bun courtesy of my local baker and friend Marlene from Brumbys bakery at Heritage Springs here in Pakenham.
This lunch box has protein, fibre, dairy, fruit and vegetable with small fats in the Nuttelex sandwich spread. Plus a little sweetness for energy and fun!
Even though I endorse the use of packaged foods as long as they are additive and preservative free; we still practice moderation, particularly in school lunchboxes .....
Do you find it difficult to think what to put in school lunches that is free of nasty chemicals? I thought I would share with you our typical lunch box that I made this morning.
I have a couple of rules for my lunches:
1. It must have a dairy product
2. It must have at a minimum one piece of fruit
3. Whole grain bread is used for the sandwiches
4. Sandwich must have at least one vegetable
5. Only one manufactured snack (beside the yoghurt)
I try and do as much homemade as time allows so in the second picture is a slice of homemade orange cake coloured with Hopper Foods Natural food colourings. No icing.
So today's lunch was:
A Vaalia yoghurt
Sandwich with Brumbys wholemeal bread,
Coles home brand tuna with mayo and corn
Home brand Coles plain potato chips
Home made orange cake.
Note the portion sizes? A child doesn't need a whole packet of chips or a large size yoghurt. Buy your chips in bulk rather than individual packets and buy fruit that's in season. This all helps to keep the cost down.
And because we are in Australia always remember to put in some ice blocks to keep cool.
What did you pack today that is additive and preservative free?
Sometimes I need to remind myself just how far my children have actually come on this food journey of ours and give them a lot more credit.
We recently had a little friend of my daughters over for an afternoon play date and I soon realized how different our food habits are now.
It was very hot when I picked the kids up from school so I bought them some frozen orange. The guest didn't like this and asked if we had Zooper Doopers instead (a colored and sickly flavored ice Popsicle in a tube)to which I had to say no we didn't. But I did have a healthy Smooze (natural flavored ice treat) from the freezer she could try. She didn't like their coconut flavor.
When it was afternoon snack time I offered fruit, the guest didn't like fruit, but was happy to try my cake, until she was told it was made from Weetbix! That wasn't liked either.
Our poor guest had to resort to eating her leftover school lunch, which was full of processed crackers and cookies with pink frosting and colored sprinkles. The kind of treat my children would never touch these days.
yes, my kids have certainly changed their eating habits and for the better and there is never a complaint or a no when they are offered some Weetbix slice!
We have been trying to get more vegies into our diet here in the Taylor household and tonight's dish is a traditional roast. Really on a Tuesday - I hear you say! Yes, it's true. It's not a whole roast chicken as we need to cut down our protein size but 3 chicken breasts are enough to feed our family of six and give my husband a little bit left over for a chicken salad tomorrow for lunch.
This is how I did it:
1. Cut up vegies in small chunks, all the same size. I used pumpkin, potato, mushrooms and zucchini. Hold the zucchini back as it is a softer vegie and requires less cooking time.
2. Put in large roasting pan and toss in oil.
3. Add chicken breasts whole beside vegies. Cover in oil too.
4. Sprinkle Masterfoods Italian Herb Roast Chicken and Vegetable seasoning on top. It is nasty free. Cover the breasts in foil and cook in the oven for 20 min on 180C.
5. Add zucchini and remove foil so that chicken skin crisps up. Remove when chicken is lovely and brown and vegies roast looking (techinical huh?).
6. When ready to serve use the pan juices to make a gravy (that is only plain flour added to juices, stir until hot, add cold water and stir until thick. Amount of water depends on whether you like thick or thin gravy, season to taste and that's it!).
YUMMMY!!!! And all done in under an hour. The Taylor taste testers love a roast dinner any night of the week!
Time is flying, February already! We are busy packing for our big move to the seaside and I am trying to still work on my Australian Cookbook. In the meantime I saw this on my Facebook stream and thought it was an excellent point. A handy tip to keep in mind when needing to eat good food on the run!
Welcome to 2014! What an awesome break we had here at Cut the Chemicals. The Taylor Family had a lovely Christmas shared with loved ones and a great little trip up the New South Wales Coast in our caravan. The weather was lovely so we were at the beach each and every day.
Christmas day we had a fantastic menu (prepared by me!) and included the following:
Individual Large Smoked Trout Vol au Vents.
Roast Turkey with Cranberry and Sour Dough Stuffing
Roast Vegetables that included Potatoes, Beans, Pumpkin and Maple Syrup Carrots.
Homemade Steamed Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce and Custard
Other treats on the day included mince pies and a homemade Christmas Cake.
The evening meal shared with our neighbors was a seafood platter, baked salmon steaks and pavlova topped with berries and cream. My neighbor also bought over some dutch flans. What a feast!
Everyone enjoyed themselves immensely and we were given lots of yummy treats as gifts over the Christmas period.
I have to say though we are not perfect here in the Taylor home and we fell off the wagon big time! Although my daughter was eating mostly the white chocolate or plain chocolate from out of the gift selections it was the ice-cream trips after a day at the beach, or the quick and easy snack bought while on the road that crept up and got us.
We fell into the laziness of holiday living and were as diligent as we usually were. By the end of our 10 days in the little caravan it was clear that our daughter and even Taylor no. 3 were starting to have major reactions to the build up of chemicals they had consumed over the previous 2 weeks.
It was Mr Taylor who truly noticed the change in the children and was adamant that when we got home it was back to fresh and chemical free. Certainly within a few days of being back on the wagon and drinking plenty of water life was back on a even keel.
The whole experience just reinforced in our minds that what we are doing here at Cut the Chemicals is truly necessary and we have come back with a renewed energy to get on with our new projects this year of spreading the word that chemicals in food are absurd!
Bec Taylor is a lover of all things quick, convenient and tasty. Her favorite foods are sloppy, cheesy and hopefully cooked in one pot as she hates doing the dishes!