Tag Archives: vegetarian option

Easy Lunchbox Fillers

Ruby has been going through a spate of not eating her school lunch. Day after day she comes home with a lunch box still full of the lovingly made healthy meal – which takes up a fair bit of time each morning for the lunch-maker (aka Me). She said her friend has quiche for lunch and it’s yummy – so I thought I’d make a batch for this week and see how it goes down.

Here’s the recipe. It’s super easy.


4 eggs beaten.

3tbs grated tasty cheese.

1 red onion diced finely, sautéed gently for 5 minutes until transparent.

3 slices ham diced small. *Omit ham for a vegetarian option

Gluten free pastry sheets (you could use any savoury pastry or puff pastry).

2 tbs cream

Salt and pepper.

1 x 12 muffin tray

Olive oil for greasing.


Preheat oven to 180° C. Mix eggs, cheese, onion, ham, cream, salt + pepper in a bowl. Grease muffin tray with butter or olive oil. Cut out rounds of pastry – if you have an egg ring this can be helpful – and line the muffin tray by pressing the pastry into the bottom of each greased indent. Spoon in egg mixture and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.

These will freeze well. You could take them straight out of the freezer in the morning and put into lunch box to defrost.

Bon appetit!


How to Be a Salad Queen

Paul and I eat a lot of salad. He often has a chunk of steak sliced and tossed through whereas I have beans, chickpeas or sometimes squid or smoked salmon. If you have the basic ingredients at hand it takes literally 10 minutes to make a great salad.

The key to super success is having a balance of textures, flavours and colours as well as a finished dish that looks great.

Textures: soft baked kumara, avocado, hummus, crunchy seeds or nuts, crisp salad vegetables / sliced or grated raw vegetables / fruits, firm beans or other pulses, fruit such as nectarine, apple, feijoa, tamarillo, tomato, plum all give an interesting mouth feel to the salad.

Flavours: tart lemon juice, tangy feta or parmesan, sweet balsamic drizzle and fruits, salty tamari or soy sauce, creamy sweet dressing, fresh vegetables, spicy chilli sauce and ungent avocado or olive oils are some of the flavours to include – not all at once though.

Less is usually more when it comes to food combinations.

Think about what you like to eat and start there – if you’re new to making salads start by making them to please your own palate first and then you can refine your recipe until you get it just right.

This salad I made for lunch one day last week.

Serves 2


10 pieces of crumbed squid – baked in the oven until crispy and sliced thinly

1 large cup prepackaged coleslaw (grated carrot, red and green cabbage, parsley)

½ perfectly baked kumara, chopped roughly (recipe in an earlier post)

2 knobs blue cheese, crumbled

2 really big tablespoons hummus

Small handful of pumpkin seeds

Small red chilli sliced finely – optional if you like a bit of heat

Creamy Caesar or Ranch dressing

Tamari (you can use soy sauce) this takes the place of salt.

Fresh Cracked Pepper


I always like to use nice bowls, you can see my favourite blue one in the picture. People eat with their eyes first. It doesn’t matter if you have mismatched bowls – there’s something quite nice about that too. If you can serve salad in a bowl slightly larger than you need so that there is more bowl showing (if that makes sense) it looks great. Any colour bowl will do.

First place your kumara in the bottom of each bowl, follow with the coleslaw and then the squid – so you have three layers. Just plonk them on top of each other – don’t worry about being too careful. Drizzle over your dressing and tamari – not too much you can always add more later – over dressed salad is a bit yuk. Using your fingers (or two forks) gently toss the ingredients together by scooping and lifting the kumara up from the bottom of the bowl to mix with the squid and slaw. Don’t try and get it perfectly mixed – just separate the layers really and distribute the dressing a wee bit. Next put a big dollop of hummus on one side of the salad, sprinkle the blue cheese and seeds over the top and finally add the sliced chilli pepper and cracked pepper . Serve and eat immediately.

Tasty Egg Cheese and Sausage Pies

The purpose of bite sized chunks is to encourage and inspire you in the kitchen and in life.  To make easy delicious healthy recipes available for everyone – with occasional life musings thrown in.

I have been debating for weeks whether to include meat in some of the recipes.  My family all eat meat / fish and I cook with it several times a week although I am vegetarian.

All of us benefit from a diet rich in a variety of fruits vegetables herbs and legumes and I feel it is really important health wise to eat several vegetarian meals a week.  I also feel that leaving recipes with meat / fish out of the blog means some people won’t be getting everything they need from it.

With that said, the first recipe which includes meat (as an option) forthwith.

These pies are terrific for lunch or brunch, a picnic  light meal or even a hearty sort of snack and are very versatile.  They take about 40 minutes from start to the last crumb being slurped down.  The idea of using soft wholemeal bread instead of pastry means that your pies contain less fat which is awesome.

Ingredients for four pies

6 slices fresh soft bread – I used wholemeal.  Kiwis: Vogels wont work.

Soft butter for spreading or good quality olive oil

4 eggs

1 sausage pre boiled – optional

1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

1 muffin tin – for large muffins . You could use smaller muffin moulds for tinier pies.  Non stick variety if possible.


Turn the oven on to 180 C / 350 F.  Ensure rack is in middle of oven.  With a sharp knife trim crusts off bread and then thinly butter one side of each piece, or brush a light covering of oil if you prefer.  Take 2 pieces of buttered / oiled bread and cut cleanly down the middle to give you four rectangular pieces and four large square pieces altogether.  Press each of the four square pieces into a muffin mould butter / oil side down right up to one edge of the the mould.  There will be a gap on the other side of the mould, take a rectangular piece of bread and fit it neatly into the gap pressing down into the corners of the mould and also pressing the edges of the bread together to make neat little bread cases.

Bread Cases

Sprinkle a little grated cheese into the bottom of each mould then crack a whole egg into it.  Add some small pieces of sausage on top of the egg (optional) and a sprinkle a wee bit more grated cheese.  Season with Salt and Pepper and a sprinkle of Paprika if you like.  Put in the oven and cook approx 20 minutes or until starting to turn golden on top.

Other options:

Instead of Sausage on top of your egg substitute with: little flaked smoked fish or salmon / small pieces of steamed asparagus / chopped chives / crispy bacon / thinly sliced capsicum / a slice of tomato / cubed pieces of feta / spring onions – or a mixture of any of the above.  Get creative and have fun. You cannot put a foot wrong with these little beauties !  If you have children they will love making their own pies