Well that’s another week done and dusted. I had two days at work (which I wrote a little about here), a meeting with my thesis supervisor on Friday that went well and was treated to dinner on Thursday night (roast beef and veg with a lemony desert from a restaurant in town). The Elder Teen has just finished his first week at shearing school on a local farm and Mr Scraps has finally started photographing some of our shed junk to list on Ebay.
My dishwasher tablet recipe was re-blogged twice this week. Once by someone who has been reading my posts here and once after I was approached by someone through Facebook after I left a comment on a post in a sustainable living group. Mr Scraps informs me that I am now officially famous and should start offering my services as an “expert” on TV talk shows You know like those people they get on to tell you how to feed your family for $10 a day on what equates to $50 worth of corporate sponsored ingredients.
I think I might just stick to archaeology a while longer before I start asking for a dressing room with my name on it.
I didn’t keep exact track of what we all ate this week as the Elder Teen was fed by the shearing school, the Younger Teen had three days of cooking for Food Technology at school and we ate out Thursday night. Between this and sports training running later than usual two nights this week I didn’t do a whole lot of cooking and we mainly ate the meals I had stashed in the freezer.
HINT: for busy families the freezer can be your best friend. Whenever there’s leftovers divide them up into meal sized portions and stash them in the freezer. It’s great for really busy days, when something unexpected crops up and your meal plan goes out the window, that week when you can’t (or don’t want to) get to the shops or just when you can’t be bothered cooking. Just pull out of the freezer, heat and eat. We call it Dinner Bingo! Our version of the old frozen TV dinners, but yummier and without the packaging.
We had both the Eldest and the Uni Student home for the weekend which was lovely. To keep everyone feed I made a quick pot of Veg Soup Friday night using whatever veg was hanging around in the bottom of the fridge (this week it was carrots zucchini, onion and cabbage) and two containers of our homemade Scrap Stock from the freezer flavoured with the rinds from some Parmesan cheese I had saved. The cheese rind was suggested by the Archaeologist I work with and she was right, it was delicious.
I also whipped up a batch of these yesterday.
They literally take ten minutes ( plus some time to set) and if there’s any leftover they’ll go into school / work lunchboxes during the week.
I make them low sugar by using rice malt syrup, really dark chocolate chips (which is really 85% cocoa chocolate chopped up small and kept in a jar in the pantry) and this time just a sprinkling of sultanas because I found some hiding forgotten in a container in the back of the cupboard but you can literally add whatever you like or even leave them plain.
I love a versatile, throw it all in the bowl and mix recipe. These are dairy and egg free and could easily be gluten free if you made them with gluten free oats.
No Bake Muesli Bars
2 tablespoons chia seed
6 tablespoons water
1 & 1/2 cups oats
1 cup oat flour (this is just oats ground until fine and powdery. I use my mortar and pestle but you could use a blender).
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew etc)
1/4 cup rice malt syrup ( or you could use honey or maple syrup)
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut
1 cup of add-ons – for this batch I used 1/2 cup of chopped cashews & almonds, and 1/2 cup chocolate chips & sultanas, but you can use anything you like.
To make mix the chia seeds with water and let sit while you pop the oats, oat flour and coconut into a bowl and mix well.
In a saucepan over a low heat warm your coconut oil, rice malt syrup and nut butter until melted and we’ll combined. Let cool for a few minutes then stir in the chia seed/water mix. Mix into your oat/coconut mix adding your cup of add-ons.
Once well combined pop the mix into a tray lined with paper (or I use a wax wrap). Press down really firmly and pop into the fridge for an hour or so to set (or the freezer for half an hour if you have a Threenager/ Teens/Mr Scraps who don’t like waiting).
When firm, slice into bars. This made 12 about the same sized as those commercially made individually wrapped muesli bars but you can cut them any size you like.
These will last at least two weeks in a container in the fridge. They are quite soft but will hold up okay in a lunch box as long as the weather isn’t too warm ( coconut oil has a tendency to return to liquid on a hot summer day).
Hints: This is really versatile – add a splash of vanilla, any chopped fruit you desire or even some chopped marshmallows. You could add things like fresh berries or other fruit but just be aware this will shorten the shelf–life of your bars a little and you may need to add a few more oats to soak up any excess moisture.