Thursday, October 17, 2013

back to basics: roasted vegetable salad

Are you caught in the trap? The trap of feeling like you have to come up with something new, something different, original every day to cook for your family? Or the trap of wanting to cook things that your children will eat and resisting cooking with what you have for fear they won't eat it? Well, fear not. As with so much in our modern life we could take a whole lot of pressure off ourselves if we followed the KISS principle and Keep It Simple Sista.

You know the story, you look in the fridge or the pantry and wonder 'what am I going to cook for dinner?' When there's only a few ingredients it can be tempting to think, 'I just need a few more ingredients to cook something that the family will eat' then you go out and buy those few and ingredients plus a swag of other foods you didn't intend to buy.

If you have some vegetables, some herbs/spices and protein you can make a meal, you don't need to go shopping and if you are thinking 'hmmm but X won't eat that' just cook the meal with what you have and give it a go, I'm guessing there will be at least one element of whatever dish you serve that each member of your family will enjoy.

For dinner last night I had taken out some flathead fillets from the freezer, what to have with it? In the fridge we had carrots, leek, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and cabbage plus potatoes in the cupboard. A roasted vegetable salad was perfect to go with the fish.
I chopped up the veggies into chunks and roasted them in the oven in melted butter and mixed dried herbs. While they were roasting I crumbed the fish, rolling it first in gluten free plain flour, dipping it in egg and then rolling it in rice crumbs. Then washed some mixed lettuce leaves that Pete picked from a local farm. Once the veggies were done I pulled them out to cool before tossing them through the salad leaves and heating the pan to cook the fish.
Pete whipped up a salad dressing using his 'whatever we have in the fridge and pantry wants to go together' recipe. In this case it was apple cider vinegar and a dash of sesame oil.

Good food doesn't need to be fancy or complicated, from just a few ingredients you can create a really wholesome nutritious meal. By working with what you have you minimise waste, save money (& time and petrol driving to the shops) and this mama thinks that teaching our children to appreciate what we have rather than seeking more or something different all the time is a good thing.

Of course if you have menu planning down pat you'll have all this covered, but even then remember it is ok to get back to basics, keep things simple and give things a go that last month someone didn't want to eat but this month they might.

How is the dinner hour at your house? Clean plates? Fussy eaters? Are you doing handstands to get them to eat good food? Tell us in the comments.


  1. You've inspired me! We're having roast beef tonight so a lovely roast vegie salad will be the perfect accompaniment. Thanks, lovely one x

  2. That's a pleasure Jodi I'm glad I could save you some thinking of what to have with you roast. Hope it was all delicious. Happy weekend x

  3. Thank you for this! I was really struggling in inspiration and you've reminded me that it doesn't need to be fancy or different all the time.


Thanks for your comments. I read every one!

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