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Eco-eating (With Vegetarian/ Eat Less Meat links & vegetarian recipes)

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#1 ~Susan~

Posted 18 June 2007 - 01:56 PM

List any tried and true favourites here.

Member recipes

Lentil and Vegetable Shpherds Pie

Roasted Vegetable Stack with Greek Marinated Tofu

Chargrilled Vegetable and Fetta terrine

Caramelised Onion and Mustard Tart

Tofu Stir Fry

#2 ~Susan~

Posted 18 June 2007 - 04:02 PM

Lentil and vegetable Shepherds pie.

-Brown lentils ( I use canned organic ones)
-1 onion chopped
-1 clove garlic,crushed
-Lots of chopped mushrooms (about 1 - 1and half cups)
-1 stick celery chopped
-2 carrots finely sliced
-half head broccoli chopped
-1 tbsp tamari
-1 vegetable massel stock cube.
-3 tbs tomato paste
-either 3-4 chopped fresh tomatoes or a smal can of diced tomatoes
-some mixed herbs and oregano
-salt/pepper to taste.

Mashed potatoe for topping.

Cook onions, garlic and mushrooms first til soft, then add remaining ingredients and top with a little water if needed.
Cook for 30 minutes on low heat.
Then pour into dish and top with mashed potatoes
add grated cheese on top if you wish.

I serve mine with some chilli on the side.

#3 Guest_dixiebelle_*

Posted 18 June 2007 - 04:18 PM

POST #10 has my guide to Eco-eating, if anyone is interested!

Toddler Recipes and Ideas

Here are my vegetarian ones (not vegan, sorry)...

Quick and Easy, Last Minute Ideas

Fruit and cheese platters
(cubed cheese, dried fruit, grapes, fresh fruit pieces)

Scrambled eggs
(cook in microwave with some cheese, easy and good for them)

Spaghetti or Baked Beans on toast
(very easy, nutritious and kids love it)

Vege fingers (Carrot or Celery sticks) and Hommus dip

Little tins of corn kernels or peas or cold baked beans
(keeps them amused as they eat them one by one)

Corn thins with toppings

Potato gems
(easy ideas when you are too tired/ busy to cook...)

Frozen Vege �Lollies�(try the diced corn/ peas/ carrot mix; nutritious and some kids love it this way and think they are 'lollies'!)

Baking try Banana mini muffins, Sweet Potato muffins

Finger foods

Spring Rolls

Try making spring rolls, with rice paper, left over or stir fried chopped up vege's... roll up, freeze in portions, then defrost and fry/ bake... serve with sauce...

Bean Nachos

Easiest Nachos - Get those small tins of baked beans, some plain corn chips, some cream cheese spread (jar) or grated cheese, maybe tomato sauce too... put on plate, zap in microwave for 25 sec's or so...

Vege Fritters

Vege fritters - Use up cooked & mashed/pureed vege's (sw. pot/ pumpkin/ peas/ zuchini/ corn/ any), mix with flour, egg (google for recipe) and frozen portions in small ziplock bag... Defrost in bag - snip corner off and pipe into frying pan/ oven tray to cook - serve with tomato sauce...

Corn & Zuchini Fritters

1 large zuchini, chopped finely or grated
2 cups fresh corn kernels
2 green onions, chopped finely
2/3 c plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2/3 c buttermilk
2 eggs
125g can creamed corn
1/2 c sweet chilli sauce

1. Cook zuchini until starting to become tender. Add corn kernels and onion; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. Sift flour and soda into medium bowl. Make well in centre of flour mixture; gradually whisk in combined milk and eggs, whisking until batter is smooth. Stir in zuchini mixture, and creamed corn.

3. Por 1/4 cup batter into same heated oiled frying pan; using spatula, spread batter into round shape. Cook, two at a time, about 2 minutes each side, or until fritter is browned lightly and cooked through. Remove fritters from pan; cover to keep warm. Repeat process with remaining batter.

4. Divide fritters among serving plates, serve with sweet chilli sauce (use tomato sauce for toddlers).

Veggie Pikelets

1 small zucchini, peeled and grated
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon corn
1 tablespoon frozen peas
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup SR flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1 cup of milk

~ Cook the grated carrot, zuchinni and peas and corn in the orage juice over a low heat
~ Sift the flour into a bowl, and make a well in the centre
~ Add the egg and beat gradually
~ Add the milk and beat into a thick batter
~ Add the cooked veggies
~ Heat a frypan
~ Using a little oil for each batch, drop spoonfuls of the batter into the pan.
~ When bubbles appear, flip each pikelet and cook on the other side
~ Serve warm with butter, or by themselves.

Basic Frittata

Makes: approx. one dinner and one lunch

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup vege�s (see below)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
100ml full cream milk or soy milk
� cup grated cheese

Fry pan:

1. Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pan and saute the zucchini over a low heat for about 10-15 mins, or until soft.
2. Mix the eggs, milk and pepper together and pour over zucchini
3. Cook until set underneath. Turn it over or put the pan under a medium hot grill for a few minutes, or until the frittata is golden and set.

Vege options:
1 small zucchini (thinly sliced) OR
small cubes of pre-cooked potato OR sweet potato/ pumpkin OR
cup of diced frozen vege�s OR
left over vege�s

Main Meals

Pasta ideas

You can just use your normal recipes, but try using different shaped/ coloured pasta, spirals, ones made with vege�s or turn it into a pasta bake.

Put the little baby food tins, such as Heinz Mixed Vege's, into cheese sauce for pasta.

Try cooking zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, capsicum etc. then pureeing, and add to naepolitana sauce.


Risotto - make a microwave risotto and freeze in those colourful little containers... defrost, add milk and re-heat...

Creamy, cheesy, easy microwave risotto
� small brown onion, diced finely
Optional: 1 small clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups salt reduced stock (vege)
� cup grated cheese
� cup milk
Optional: � cup of your choice (frozen diced vege�s or grated zucchini)
1. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chopped onion (and garlic, if using) and oil. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
2. Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with the oil. Microwave on high for 4 more minutes.
3. Add the stock and return bowl to microwave. Cook the rice on high for 18 minutes, stirring once half way through.
4. Add � cup diced vege�s and stir through. Check to see that the liquid is almost all absorbed, or that the risotto isn�t too dry. Add more stock or hot water, as needed, and microwave for a further 2 minutes.
5. Take the bowl from the microwave and let the rice absorb the last of the liquid, stirring 2 or 3 times. Check the rice is soft, and cook longer for short periods, as required.
6. Add the cheese and stir through to melt. Add seasoning to taste, such as herbs or spices that your toddler likes.

Vegie Slice

1 onion, finely chopped
2 zucchini, grated
1 carrot
1/4 cup peas
1/4 cup cauliflower florets
5 eggs
1 cup SR flour, sifted (works fine with gluten free flour)
1 cup grated cheese (I never add this much and it works fine)
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Cook onion until onion is tender. Add to vegies and cheese and mix through. Add lightly beaten eggs, flour and oil and mix until combined. Pour into well greased pie dish and bake at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes.

Stuffed mushrooms, vege Shepards Pie, vege Lasagna, Vege Bake, Potato bake

Edited by dixiebelle, 25 August 2008 - 09:45 AM.

#4 jadeh

Posted 18 June 2007 - 04:36 PM

Sweet potato soup - about 1kg of sweet potato, vegetable soup, coconut milk, curry powder and a packet of lentils!

#5 Guest_dixiebelle_*

Posted 16 July 2007 - 07:57 PM

Lentil & vegetable cottage pie (vegetarian)

Ingredients (serves 3)
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 onion, fi nely chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbs sundried tomato pesto
1 cup (250ml) tomato passata (sieved tomatoes)
1 bay leaf
1 tbs chopped thyme
1 cup (250ml) vegetable stock
400g can lentils, rinsed, drained
800g potatoes, peeled, chopped
100g unsalted butter
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
2 egg yolks
100g grated cheddar*
Preheat the oven to 200C. In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion for 1-2 minutes. Add celery, carrot and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add pesto, passata, bay, thyme and stock.
Simmer gently for 15 minutes until vegetables are cooked. Stir in lentils and season, then transfer to a 1.2-litre baking dish. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender.
Drain and mash. Stir in butter, milk, yolks and cheese. Spread over lentil mixture and roughen top with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbling and golden.


Links for vegetarian recipes:

And remember, eating less meat means you can still have meat in a meal, but use half the usual amount and use rice/ grains/ legumes/ vege's to make it go further (like mexican food with mince, but add beans...)

Anyway, here is an easy idea for a vegetarian snack or for the kids... Leftover Vegetable Samosa's (you may have your own version already!)

I had some left over vege's (carrot, choko, potato, broccoli) plus added some cooked pumpkin, peas and capsicum...

Fried them a bit in frypan, then added some curry powder, bit of cinnamon, tiny bit of brown sugar and coconut milk, then let it all cook til the vege's were broken down a bit more...

I used rice paper rounds (used to make fresh spring rolls) instead of puff pastry or rice paper, as we need gluten free, which I soaked in water to soften...

Put couple of spoons of the vege mix on rice paper round and roll up.. ETA, making sure you tuck the ends over as you are rolling, so they are enclosed.

I oven baked with some oil on them, but you could also shallow fry.

You could also use some mince meat, or cheese in the mix, maybe even some cashews or chopped walnuts. Serve with kecap manis, sweet chilli and satay dipping sauces.

I have also frozen some samosa's before I cooked them, to see how they go with being defrosted then cooked, as it would be easy to make extra whilst doing them, then always have some on hand in the freezer.

Roast Vegetable Lasagne Recipe

Roasted vegetables are layered with tender pasta and a creamy cheese sauce and finished with bubbly, melted cheese. This rich vegetarian dish is just as delicious when reheated.

Serves 6-8.

950g mixed vegetables (we used pumpkin, sweet potato, zucchini, mushroom and eggplant)
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons sundried tomato pesto
660g canned crushed tomatoes
About 100g fresh lasagne sheets
1 cup grated tasty cheese

Peel and slice vegetables and place in a large bowl. Season vegetables with salt and pepper, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and toss to coat with oil.

Place pumpkin and sweet potato on a baking tray or dish and roast at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes. Turn vegetables over and roast for a further 5-10 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and roast for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. (Turn the vegetables once during cooking.)

While vegetables are roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft (about 2-3 minutes). Add garlic and pesto and cook for another minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in roasted vegetables.

Spoon half the vegetable mixture into 2.5 litre casserole dish. Top with a layer of lasagne sheets. Spread with half the cheese sauce. Repeat the layers, finishing with cheese sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.

Cheese Sauce
80g butter
50g plain flour
2 1/2 cups (625ml) milk
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir flour into melted butter and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, until sauce is smooth. Continue cooking until sauce bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.


#6 Guest_dixiebelle_*

Posted 16 July 2007 - 08:22 PM

DB's Stuffed Mushrooms... great on a BBQ! (on a nibbles plate, or as an entree, side dish or main)

Fresh mushrooms (approx. 1 paper bag's worth!)
1 packet frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and seperated
1 packet Australian fetta, crumbled (Danish style is good)
1 - 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
cracked black pepper
small amount diced bacon, optional
1/2 to 1 cup grated cheese
1/2 to 1 cup chargrilled capsicum strips/ pieces

- Take some medium to large mushrooms (really big ones, you only need 1 - 2 per person for side dish or entree but they are so good people always want more!) and brush away dirt. Remove and discard stems.
- In a bowl mix a defrosted packet of frozen spinach, a small block of crumbled fetta cheese, 1 - 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 to 1 cup of grated cheese, some cracked black pepper and if you can source it, some diced local bacon, if you like.
- In the base of the mushroom put a small strip of chargrilled capsicum, then a spoonful of spinach and cheese mix. Place on a plate or tray and finish rest of mushrooms.
- On a heated BBQ or fry pan (or even cook in oven) add some olive oil and place mushrooms. I often use a small amount of stock or water, or even white wine, splashed onto the BBQ or fry pan as you are cooking them then close lid, to help speed up cooking by steaming them. It also prevents bottom of mushrooms sticking/ burning.
- Cook til mushroom flesh is soft and cheese is melted.
- Use leftover spinach and cheese mix in an omlette the next morning, or freeze it for next time

#7 3cuties4us

Posted 17 July 2007 - 01:57 PM

This Turkish / Foccacia Bread is fantastic!!  I will never buy Turkish/Foccacia Bread again!  It is so easy, and really yummy.  I might make some hummus tomorrow, and make some more bread to go with it!  Literally takes 5mins hands on prep!

Turkish Pide Bread

cup warm water
Pinch sugar
3 teaspoons dry yeast
3 cups plain flour
teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
cup warm water, extra
1 egg, lightly beaten
Seasame seeds

1. Place water, sugar and yeast into a large bowl and leave in a warm place for 5 mins until frothy.
2. Add flour, salt, oil and extra water and mix to a soft dough.
3. Turn onto a floured board and knead for 10 mins (Gaby helping so I only did about 5mins and was fine)
4. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave until doubled in size.
5. Divide dough in half, make into a ball and, using the palm of the hand, flatten the dough into a piece approx 18-20cm in diameter.  Place on a greased baking tray.
6. Brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 220degC for approx. 8 mins or until puffy and golden.
Serve immediately while hot.

I didnt have any sesame seeds, so I sprinkled top with fresh basil and Parmesan; and my second one with sweet chilli sauce and Parmesan.  Yummo!

Great with Curried Kumara (sweet potato!) Soup:

Curried Kumara Soup

25g butter
1 large Kumara (sweet potato) chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 large potato, chopped
1.5 teaspoons hot curry powder
3 cups stock
1 cup milk or coconut cream (I use coco cream)
chopped chives.

1. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
2. Add Kumara, onion, potato and curry powder.  Cook until onion is clear.
3. Stir in stock and bring to the boil, simmer gently until veges are tender. (I use my large electric wok or stock pot)
4. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.  Pour back into original pot/wok etc.
5. Add milk/coconut and salt.  Reheat until almost boiling.
Serve garnished with chives.
Serves 4-5

#8 AprilEthereal

Posted 25 July 2007 - 09:39 AM

Spinich & Ricotta Ravioli in a Rich Tomato Sauce Recipe
Vegan  Yes
Vegetarian  Yes  
Category  Main Course  
Serves  4-5  
Description  Delicious and filling, impress your friends by making your own fresh pasta - plus you can ensure pasta without the additives and animal by-products!  
Time to prepare  1-2 hours (the first time at least!)  
Ingredients  Pasta
500g Wheat Flour
5 teaspoons of egg substitute mixed with 150 ml of water (Note: I used this rather than 5 eggs - you can also use 1 cup of natural mineral water if preferred)

1 cup of ricotta (or vegan equivalent)
3/4 cup (approx) of baby spinich leaves, chopped finely.

tin of tomatoes, whole
1 onion, chopped finely
tablespoon of cooking oil
1-2 cloves of garlic, crushed
teasp. sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
dried italian herbs or other similar variety
tobasco sauce (optional)  
Instructions  Pasta
Pour flour into large bowl and tip egg sub. mix into centre of flour. Mix together to form a dough - if too dry add more water, if sticky add more flour.
Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until an evenly mixed consistency is reached. Gran a fistful of the dough, and roll it out till it becomes flat and long.
If you have a pasta maker (highly recommended), wind the dough through on the widest setting first, then fold it and repeat 4-6 times, until a decent sheet results. Then decrease the width of the pasta maker until the sheet becomes as thin as you desire (I do mine till position 6). If you don′t have a pasta maker, this will be a lengthy process for you, as you will have to continue to roll out the dough, until it is as long and thin as you can get. Repeat this process till all dough is used.
Mix together the ricotta and chopped spinich in a small mixing bowl. Place the mixture evenly spaced onto a sheet of the dough in small round balls. Place another sheet of dough on top and then pat it down gently around each bit of the mixture. Using a crinkled pasta cutter or a knife cut the sheets into square pieces. Continue this till all dough if used. Place in lightly dusted baking tray, cover and place in fridge (If layering sheets, to avoid sticking, place baking paper between layers). Ravioli can be stored for up to two weeks.

To cook ravioli, simply boil up a large saucepan with water and a pinch or two of salt (optional) add ravioli. After ravioli rises to surface, cook for additional 2-3 minutes, drain and serve. Whilst cooking ravioli, start on the sauce.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan, add crushed garlic, then onion and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add tin of tomatoes and stir, gently crushing tomatoes. Add teasp. of sugar to cut down on acidity, if tin does not already contain sugar. Stir in tomato paste and herbs (if using fresh herbs, particularly basil, stir in at last minute). Add a couple of drops of tobasco sauce if desired. Heat sauce till it boils. Pour on top of ravioli in pasta bowls and serve. Can top with graed vegetarian or vegan cheese if desired.

Note; if you wish to transform this dish to suit a vegan diet, simply replace normal ricotta with a soy equivalent or use a finely grated vegan chedder instead.

Utensils  large and small bowls, rolling pin, pasta maker, spoons (teaspoons and tablespoons), small and medium saucepans, garlic crusher, chopping knife, measuring cup, wooden spoon, strainer.

#9 Party of Five

Posted 13 August 2008 - 09:26 AM

Almond, Chickpea & Pumpkin Stew

500grams Butternut Pumpkin, chopped into 2cm cubes
1 Leek, sliced
½ cup Tomato Sauce
1 tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 cup Water
425g can Chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons ground Cumin
½ cup slivered Almonds
½ tub plain low fat Yogurt (optional)

Cook Pumpkin and Leek in a large heated oiled pan, stirring until leek is soft.

Stir in Tomato Sauce, Tomato Paste, Water, drained Chickpeas, Lemon Juice and Cumin. Bring to boil then simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes or until pumpkin is tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in Almonds. Serve with Yogurt.

NOTE: This recipe can be frozen without the almonds and yoghurt.

Vegetable Quiche

1 Savory Flan Case (from frozen section in supermarket)
1 medium Red Onion (sliced thin wedges)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, crushed
1 cup diced Vegetables
(red capsicum, mushrooms, tomato, baby spinach leaves)
1-2 teaspoons Balsamic Vinegar
½ teaspoon Brown Sugar
½ cup Cream
3 Eggs
50g Feta Cheese

Preheat oven to 180°C. Blind bake flan as per instructions on pack. Allow to cool.

Heat Olive Oil in frying pan, cook Onion and Garlic until soft. Add Vegetables, Balsamic Vinegar and Brown Sugar. Cook until vegetables are soft. Set aside.

Whisk Cream and Eggs together. Place flan on an oven tray. Pour egg mix into flan. Top with Vegetable mix and crumbled Feta Cheese.
Bake for about 30 minutes (or until filling is set).

Pumpkin, Spinach, Ricotta Lasagne

Cooking oil spray
800g Butternut Pumpkin (seeded, peeled, chopped)
300g Sweet Potato (peeled and chopped)
1 pkt baby Spinach leaves
400g Tomato based Pasta Sauce
9 sheets instant Lasagna
Large tub smooth Ricotta
½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese
½ cup grated Tasty Cheese
½ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg

Lightly spray lasagne dish with cooking oil spray. Preheat oven to 180°C.
Place Pumpkin and Sweet Potato in large microwave dish, cover, cook on high for 8-10 minutes. Mash.
Combine Ricotta, Parmesan, Tasty Cheese, and Nutmeg in a bowl.
Spread 1/3 Pasta Sauce on base of dish. Top with lasagna sheets.
Spread sheets with ½ mashed pumpkin/potato mix, top with ½ Spinach leaves, 1/3 Pasta Sauce, ½ Cheese mix.
Top with lasagna sheets, rest of mashed mix, Spinach leaves, Pasta sauce, finish by spreading remaining cheese mix on top. Add some extra grated cheese on top if desire.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for further 25 minutes.

Zucchini and Kidney Bean Enchiladas

10 slices Tortilla bread (or flat bread)
1 Onion, chopped
2 Zucchini’s, grated
400gram can Kidney Beans
1 cup Corn Kernels (canned or defrosted)
2 tablespoons Sweet Chilli Sauce
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/3 cup Cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Cook onions and zucchini for one minute. Add kidney beans, corn kernels and sweet chilli sauce. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring.

Lay out tortilla bread and scoop mixture evening between slices. Roll and place on a lightly greased baking tray. Spread a little tomato paste and sprinkle a little cheese on each enchilada. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread crispy.

Curried Vegetable Pie

¾ cup Rice
60 grams Butter
1 Eggs plus 2 Eggs extra
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese plus ¼ cup extra
1 Onion, chopped
1 grated Carrot
1 grated Zucchini
1 small Red Capsicum, chopped
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
¼ teaspoon Turmeric
5 small Broccoli florets
½ cup Sour Cream
½ cup Milk

Cook rice in boiling water then cool a little by rincing under cold water.  Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 23cm pie dish.  Mix in a bowl Rice, Butter, 1 Egg and ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese. Press mixture into pie dish. Heat a little butter in frying pan and cook Onion, Carrot, Zucchini, Capsicum, Curry and Tumeric for 3 minutes. Add Broccoli and cook for a further 2 minutes. Spread vegetables over rice layer.  Mix in a bowl Sour Cream, Milk, ¼ cup Parmesan Cheese and 2 Eggs then pour over vegetable layer.Cook in oven for 40 minutes or until set.

#10 Guest_dixiebelle_*

Posted 23 August 2008 - 07:43 PM

From my latest blog post, but thought I'd share it here too, as there has been some people interested in eco-eating lately.


Save the world by what you eat, or don't eat? Absolutely. Everyday in Australia (fortunately) most of us eat 3 meals a day, often with snacks in between, and indulgences every so often. Think of the difference a diet with less processing, less packaging and less distributing could make. Eating Local/ Organic/ Free Range/ Fair Trade/ ethically produced food may seem expensive and inconvenient, but every little effort you make can help.


A good place to start is my previous posts Eat Less Meat, and the Locavore Movement . You will also know that I have recently become interested in SOLE food (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) through the Ethicurean Movement.

Also try these other links:

Eco Directory - Food

The Green Directory - Food & Drink

Buy In Season Produce

Less chemicals and energy used to artifically 'ripen' foods, and less transport/ importing from other areas. If you shop at your local Farmers Market, you can easily see what is in season, but you may also want to ask where their produce is grown, as it often turns out, even small market stalls or roadside stalls get produce in from other areas. They need to offer a variety of produce to entice consumers who want 'one-stop shopping' to come back to their business.

List of Australian In Season Produce

Base your meal planning around what you find at the markets, or what you are growing, rather than on what you'd like to eat... take the challenge and use your resourcefulness, and creative cooking skills to make the most of the in season produce... Casseroles and soups using Winter vege's, or Risotto using Spring vegetables, or Summer salads.

Consider where you buy from and how it got there

Buying locally grown produce seems like a great idea, but if we went by the Locavore principles and only ate food produced within 160km of where you live, many of us might be feeling a little hungry or at least, miss out on nutrients that a varied diet brings. Realistically, 'eat local' is too simplistic an idea to take on, without many other considerations. A good place to find more information is The Ethics of What We Eat, (2006) by Peter Singer and Jim Mason.

There are also other considerations when you talk about buying local, including how the local produce was grown/ raised, where you bought it direct, or it was sent somewhere else to be processed then back to your supermarket. How it gets around can make a difference too, as shipping & rail freight is better for the environment that road travel, but airfreight is the worst offender by far.

There is often a dilemma of organic, but overseas produce, vs. local/ Australian made produce, which is also covered in the book mentioned above. If you have to buy overseas products, then try to support organic, Fair Trade from poorer countries, who need the support.

Organic food - What does it mean?

Organic food is produced to a set of standards and principles concerning such issues as chemical pesticides/herbicides/insecticides etc; food additives; animal welfare; and sustainability. Organic growers aim to produce food as 'naturally' as possible, free from trans-fats, GMOs, and most additives. Biodynamic farming is a form of organic farming that actively works with the health-giving forces of nature.

More here: What is organic?

Organic foods are produced according to certain production standards, meaning they are grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge, and that they were processed without ionizing radiation or food additives.[1] Livestock are reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones. In most countries, organic produce must not be genetically modified.

From Wikipedia

Benefits All Around

Why choose Organic?

Health Benefits

The benefits of organic food are now well recognized with research findings that confirm that organic foods have far higher nutrient, vitamin and mineral content, as well as not having harmful pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and artificial fertilizer chemicals that are present in non-organic products. Organic food is especially higher in vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium.

From the Organic Food Directory

Earth Benefits

Organic farming methods prevent soil erosion and build healthy soils. Organic farming helps protect water quality. Organic food production uses less energy than conventional food production.

From here.

Tastebud Benefits

Organic food, fresh from the market has an amazing taste, compared to the plastic covered organic produce, or the regular fruit and vegetables, found in the supermarket. And when you know it's so much better for you, it tastes even more amazing!

But isn't it more expensive?

Yes and no. Yes, it will probably cost you more. But if you buy local, in season organic produce, esp. from markets, or try set boxes from delivery services, you may find it is not that much more expensive at all. And the extra cost you pay is so worth it for your health, for your tastebuds and for the Earth we live on! If you can, cut back in other areas, such as unnecessary indulgences or processed, convenience food. Also try to reduce the amount of meat & the type of meat you eat (and if you are buying organic meat, it is quite expensive anyways!) Meal plan so you don't waste any of it, and use up leftovers too.

Certification in Australia

Australian Organic Certification Bodies

How do you know you are getting organic food?

The only way is through organic certification. Certified organic produce means that not only has it been organically grown, but that it has been harvested, prepared and transported via systems and processes that guarantee the product is not contaminated by synthetic chemicals and that it is not irradiated.

From the Organic Food Directory

Also, How Do We Know if it is Really Organic

Finding Organic Produce in your area

Check at your local farmers markets, or try Googling, or these online directories!

The Organic Food Directory

The Environmental Society of Australia - Organics Directory

The Eco Directory - Organic

Global flavours, local produce

Asian and overseas cooking methods and flavours influence the kitchens of multi-cultural Australia, with alot of produce/ items only available from those countries, esp. Asia, in terms of coconut milk, certain sauces and seasonings. But more and more foods are being produced here, and you can also try substituting items for more eco-friendly items made in Australia.

If you can't find suitable substitutes or alternatives, but still want to create exciting, flavourful meals, then challenge yourself to use Native and local ingredients and create unique dishes.

Cherikoff Australian Ingredients

Bush tucker and Native Australian Foods

Incorporate more Whole foods

Buy less processed food, better for your health and less energy used in processing, as well as often in packaging and distribution.

Whole foods are those that are unprocessed and unrefined, or processed and refined as little as possible before being consumed. They typically do not contain added ingredients, such as sugar, salt, or fat.

Examples of whole foods include unpolished grains; fruits and vegetables; unprocessed meat, poultry, and fish; and non-homogenized milk. For some, it is preferable to eat whole foods raw to obtain the maximum nutritional benefit, although this raises concerns of food poisoning.
Whole foods are easily assimilated and absorbed readily by the body. Whole foods are nutrient rich and are thought to promote health because they are a natural source of vitamins and minerals[citation needed].

The term “Whole Food” has been known to describe any food that offers a complete balance in nutritional value while in its natural state. Whole foods typically include any raw fruits and vegetables, as well as nutrient-dense nuts, seeds and sprouts. Some contend that it is preferable to eat whole foods raw in order to obtain their maximum nutritional benefit[citation needed].

From Wikipedia

Incorporate more Raw Food

Eating more of your food raw (esp. all that wonderful organic food, that tastes so good it is a shame to eat it any way other than raw!) means less nutrient loss in cooking methods, and less energy and resources used for cooking.

Not that I am advocating you go as far as Raw foodism, or these people who are into Raw Food Philosophy, Give it to me Raw, but worthwhile trying to eat more salads, or only lightly steaming or stir frying your vege's!

Buy in Bulk & Reduce Packaged food

To avoid unnecessary packaging & trips to the supermarket, buy frequently used items in bulk from a local health food or bulk food store, such as grains, staples etc.

Try to buy food in larger amounts, then ration it yourself into kid size, or portion sized re-usable containers. It takes a little more time, but the difference you can make to landfill is worth it!

Eat More Beans & Legumes

So, if you are going to eat less meat, you can get great nutritional benefits from the forgotten food heroes, beans and legumes. They are also good 'fillers' and make your meals go further, esp. if you are paying for organic/ local food! Look for beans and legumes grown organically in Australia. (I will be blogging more about this soon!)

Free Range and Fair Trade

Although the benefits of buying Free Range (meat, eggs, dairy) & Fair Trade (coffee, chocolate etc.) is more to help the animals & people of Earth, it is also about creating awareness of the growing methods and production of such items.

I will also be blogging more about Free Range & Fair Trade too, as I discover more about Ethicurean eating!

And don't forget Cooking Methods... check out SOLE Mama's post on the Green Kitchen.

Vegetarian Recipes

Edited by Therese, 24 August 2008 - 10:59 AM.

#11 Guest_dixiebelle_*

Posted 23 August 2008 - 08:06 PM

Using lentils/ beans to eat less meat

Healthy & Easy Vegetarian

Easy Vegetarian (includes alot of good links)

Vege slice and Vege patties


Tofu recipes

Vegetarian Main for Christmas

Vegetarian Recipes for Babies

Vege burger recipes

Vegetarian Recipes (Links)

Vegetarian Meal plans

One week No Meat Challenge

Good links here

Vegetarian Meals that Freeze Well

#12 Guest_dixiebelle_*

Posted 27 August 2008 - 09:10 PM

Eat Less Meat

Eat Less Meat & Some Vegetarian Recipes

#13 NewLifeDirection

Posted 03 September 2008 - 07:44 PM

I have some more:


Vegan Pasta Delight


KrisB's Orange Cake

Edited by TheGoodLife, 03 September 2008 - 07:45 PM.

#14 Guest_dixiebelle_*

Posted 08 September 2008 - 08:41 PM

Lentil and Roast Vege balls

Leek and cheese polenta tart

Curried Lentil and Vege Lasagna (Sanitarium)

#15 Guest_MandyChaucer_*

Posted 18 September 2008 - 05:31 PM

grin.gif  Have just made 6 big lentil and veg shephards pies.... Yummo. Pop them in the freezer for quick and easy meals!  So healthy too and the kids love em! wub.gif

#16 Guest_dixiebelle_*

Posted 01 October 2008 - 08:10 PM

Legumes - the Forgotten Food Heroes (well, not at all forgotten by those in this section!)

Here are some Vegan Dinner Party ideas too (posted in this thread, but thought might be good here too.)

Vegan Entree ideas:

Thai pumpkin soup with coconut cream and coriander
Moroccan chickpea and sweet potato soup
Bruschetta with basil, tomatoes and pine nuts
Tapas platter
Fresh spring rolls, with marinated tofu, & dipping sauce

Vegan Main Ideas:

Stuffed eggplants, with Fragrant Lentils and Rice stuffing
Pasta with gremolata
Vege stir fry with cashews and brown rice
Moroccan vegetable and chickpeas, with Baked Polenta squares
Chargrilled vege terrine
Jambalaya with vegetarian sausage

Vegan Dessert Ideas:

Vegan brownies and soy ice cream
Stewed fruit with soy custard
Fruit salad and tofutti 'cream'
Tofutti cheesecake

#17 Guest_dixiebelle_*

Posted 06 November 2008 - 02:37 PM

White bean and marinated tofu salad

#18 RheaNikita

Posted 02 November 2009 - 01:56 PM

I have a food blog which has lots of vegan and vegetarian meal ideas.. I think someone may have already linked my blog on one of the threads here.. that is how I found this great site! Anyway here is the link: 


#19 ktb_au

Posted 18 March 2010 - 06:48 PM

A delicious and easy party food... Vegie sausage rolls (vegetarian, not vegan)


#20 AprilEthereal

Posted 19 March 2010 - 04:10 PM

nikkidynamo Your blog is brilliant! Thanks heaps for the link and I look forward to trying some of your recipes. original.gif

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