cauliflower and zucchini fritters - lia burton nutrition

Cauliflower and Zucchini Fritters For The School Lunch Box Win

Monday saw my kiddos go back to school after the Easter holidays and truth be told I did a little happy dance.  Don’t get me wrong, I love having them home with me. It’s a time  for sleep ins, easy mornings, day trips exploring nature and catching up with friends.  It’s also a time jam packed with sibling squabbles, noise, mess and so many requests for food.  How is it that children can quite happily have one snack break and lunch at school, but at home it’s all day grazing?  Maybe I need to bring some school time structure to the holidays. Who am I kidding, that’s so not me!  School holidays also mean I get absolutely no work done. Zilch, zero, none.  Hence my happy dance at the return to a quiet house in which I can be really productive and actually get stuff done.

Their return to school also means I’m back to making school lunches and I thought I would share with you the recipe for my cauliflower and zucchini fritters.  These little babies went down a treat with my kiddos and are perfect for popping into lunch boxes.  They taste great hot or cold, on their own or tucked into a sandwich.  I use besan (chickpea) flour in my fritters, which makes them gluten free, and also imparts a lovely nutty flavour to them.  You can substitute the besan flour for any type of flour, whatever you have to hand will work.  I just have a shed load of besan in my fridge and am finding ways to use it up.

Cauliflower and zuchini fritters

Once you get the hang of the fritter, the combinations are endless.  They are really just vegetables, egg and flour at their core.  You can use up whatever veg you have lurking in the crisper drawer of your fridge.  Think grated pumpkin and haloumi, broccoli and carrot, spinach and pea.  The idea is to get creative.  The egg is important as it helps to bind everything together.   If you are cooking for someone with an egg allergy, another protein may work, like mince or mashed beans, but don’t quote me on this.

cauliflower and zucchini fritters - besan flour - lia burton nutrition

I created these fritters with my eldest in mind.  Zoe has decided that eating meat just isn’t her bag and has decided to give it a flick.  It is a decision she hasn’t come to lightly, but she is dedicated to her new found vegetarianism.  As a result of this, I have had to get my thinking hat on to make sure she gets nourishing and yummy lunches that tick all the boxes.  Lucky for Zoe, her mum’s a nutritionist and a foodie!

cauliflower and zucchini fritters - grated veg - lia burton nutrition

cauliflower and zucchini fritters - lia burton nutrition

Cauliflower and Zucchini Fritters (gluten free, vegetarian, kid-friendly)

1 free range egg
1 cup of besan flour
1 tbsp Greek yoghurt
1 tsp baking powder
1 small zucchini, grated
1/4 head of cauliflower, grated
1/2 cup of grated cheese
1 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Break the egg into a mixing bowl and whisk until it has doubled in volume.  Add half of the besan flour and mix to form a paste.  Add the yoghurt and stir to loosen up the mixture.

Add the grated vegetables, remaining flour, baking powder and cheese and mix well to combine.  Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a generous amount of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.  Add spoonfuls of mixture and cook for five minutes on each side until golden. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towel.

I like to serve these fritters with a squeeze of lemon and a little bowl of Greek yoghurt to dunk them into.

xx Lia

First day of school feels + Muesli bar slice

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My youngest babe is starting school next week.  My feels are all over the place.  One minute I’m thrilled to bits for this really ace kid as he is so excited to be going to school, and the fact that he looks super cute in his uniform is a bonus.  The next, a wave of pure emotion washes over me and I have water welling in my eyes.  I’m looking forward to the silence that will transcend over the house, especially after the Yell Fest 15/16 (school holidays) ends.  I can’t believe how loud an argument between a ten year old and an eight year old is!  I really can’t wait for all the extra mental space I will get with no interruptions from children requesting food, drinks, more food, the ipad and all their other really important needs to be able to focus on my little nutrition business (if you need a Nutritionist in 2016, I know a good one!).

I really can’t quite believe how quickly life travels and a milestone, such as your youngest starting school, is such a reminder of this.  Whilst I am going to miss my ace kid so freaking much, I am also so very ready for the next stage in my life.  The stage where I get to make a whole heap of goals and hit them hard.  This year of 2016 I have declared to be the year of me.  The last ten years has seen me devote so much time, energy and love towards my kidlets, and whilst I wouldn’t have had it any other way, I am now ready to make me more of a focus of the time, energy and love.

That said, I still need to get the kids organised for their imminent return to school and so I hit the kitchen this morning and knocked up a rather awesome muesli bar slice.  Me being me, it had to be nourishing and delicious, and I reckon I have met the brief.  Oats are such a great addition to your baking as they provide heaps of soluble fibre, keeping little tummies feeling fuller for longer.  Oats are also a good source of B vitamins, particularly thiamin and niacin, that assist in energy metabolism and helping fuel active bodies.

I thought it only fair that I share this winning muesli bar slice recipe, as I know quite a few mums that will be feeling all the feels about their kiddos starting school this year. And for those of you well established in the school life, I salute you, you survived the holidays.  Enjoy the peace next week.  And maybe a cheeky piece of my muesli bar slice.

 

Muesli Bar Slice

1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup puffed rice
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/3 cup wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
125g butter
1/2 cup nut butter or tahini
1/2 cup honey or rice malt syrup
1/2 cup golden caster sugar or coconut sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 160C.  Line a slice tray with baking paper.

Mix the oats, puffed rice, quinoa flakes, spelt flour, coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds in a large mixing bowl.

Pop the butter, nut butter, honey, sugar and vanilla into a saucepan and gently melt everything together over a low heat.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir well to combine everything together.  Pour the batter into the lined slice tray and bake in the oven for 30 minutes until golden on the top.  Remove and let cool completely before slicing.

 

Here’s to moving forward

xx Lia

 

Lunch Box Loving + Banana Bread

School lunches are a big part of my weekday mornings.  Two of my three kiddos are at school, with next year seeing all three there, I’m an old hand at the school lunch box.  I’m definitely not one of those uber-organised, make-the-lunches-the-night-before kinda girl. I’m a more of a chuck-it-in-the-lunch-box-whilst-loudly-reminding-my-girls-to-get-their-school-uniform-on kinda girl.  If I had $1 for every time I ‘reminded’ the girls to put that #$%&ing uniform on I would be able to employ someone else to do the morning routine.  Whilst the evening before isn’t my bag, a bit of Sunday baking and organisation is.  I need to have tasty, nourishing snacks and meal options on hand to pop in the girl’s lunch boxes or all they get is just cut up fruit and veg, which no kid wants to open a lunch box and find just that.  This weekend will see me cooking up a storm, accompanied by the whirlwind of mess, in my kitchen.  I’m not a clean cook, but that is a story for another day.

Today, I offer some lunch box loving I have found in my travels in internet land that may end up filling your little ones, or even your own, lunch box in the coming week.  I feel a weekly wrap up of all the good lunch box options out there may just have to become a regular feature.

Spelt muffins from Colour Me Anna.  These look like a really yummy basic muffin recipe.

Easy mini lasagne from Planning With Kids.  My bread hater loves these for lunch, either cold (kids hey!) or warmed up in and popped in her thermos.  Just make sure you remember a knife and fork.

Nut free muesli bars from Lisa Corduff.  These are an absolute winner and feature in my girl’s lunchbox often.  Even my fussy middle one likes these!

Choc-nana and sesame biscuits from Hello Lunch Lady. How good do these look?  I think it is physically impossible for Kate Berry to make anything look bad in her photos.

This Sunday’s bake off will see me busting out my banana bread as I have a glut of bananas turning a lovely shade of black in my fruit bowl.  Does the food world need another recipe for the ubiquitous banana bread?  Probably not, but I offer up this version anyway. It tastes delish and is pretty nourishing to boot.  It is gluten-free, dairy-free and processed sugar free just because that is what I felt like making when I developed this one.  It can even become a vegan super star if the eggs are replaced with a chia gel.  See here for lowdown on chia gels and other egg replacements.

 

Yet Another Banana Bread Recipe

1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 large bananas, mashed
2/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
decorations – I banana cut into rounds, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes

Preheat your oven to 180C or 170C fan forced.

Pop all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix together with a spoon (can it be any easier!).  Pour the mixture into a loaf tin lined with baking paper.  To decorate simply sprinkle the banana rounds, pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes on top.  Place into your preheated oven and bake for 40-50 minutes.  If the delicious cinnamony-banana smell wafts through your kitchen any earlier, check to see if it’s cooked.  Let cool in the loaf tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire tray to cool completely.  I can never wait this long and always slice off the the end piece and slather it in butter whilst still warm, but that’s how I roll.

As a parent of school kids and a nutritionist, I fully understand the importance of healthy school food.  Stay tuned for lots more info and inspo about healthy, nutritious and yummy food that you can pop into your kids lunch boxes.

Here’s to moving forward

x Lia