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Recently, I’ve made a conscious choice to refocus around feeding my family more homemade foods, using up our own home grown ingredients where I can and making my own staples more often than not. 

This bread took about 5 min to make the dough for, left it for 30 minutes to rise while dinner was cooking in the Thermomixers and then 50 minute bake time while I did other things. Just by doing a bit extra when I’m already cooking, we then had plenty for lunches of leftover dinners.

By multitasking just a little or doing just one or two extra tasks while I’m already in the kitchen… I end up with less to do at other times when I’m short on time! This has helped me avoid expensive or less-than-ideal-nutrient options so we us reduce our stress and expenses at this time of year.

Here are just a few ways I’ve been saving our sanity, avoiding waste and keeping us fed while we are heavily committed with work, school and after-school activities

Make more at a time: two batches of my gluten free dough – some for a side dish of rosemary + garlic pizza bread, the rest to make a loaf of bread for breakfast and lunches for the following 3 days. About 10 minutes for both batches of dough… 

Cost about $3 with mostly organic ingredients AND saved stress before work/school.

Multitask: while the bread was baking and dinner being consumed, I spent about 15 minutes setting up my Thermomix to make minestrone soup using rainbow silverbeet (aka swiss chard) and tomatoes from our garden, plus some organic potatoes, zucchinis and carrots that needing using up.

Leftovers for breakfast, lunches and/or dinners, sorted!

Cut out recipe steps: Do some recipes turn you off because they are hands on for the final presentation? Recipe itself takes a few minutes to do, but fiddling around rolling the base mix into balls takes way longer? instead, I place bliss ball mix flat into slice trays, chill, then chop into chunks and maybe quickly throw them in with some desiccated coconut and coating the whole batch at once. I’ve recently used this recipe with great success! 

SUPER quick snack and no sticky hands!

Recipe hunt: If I’ve got extra fruit I’ll hunt down a recipe to and make the easiest and quickest “treat” I can… maybe try a crumble (see my apple crumble below!), a fruit coulis (sauce) for using in yoghurts or other dishes, or even just remember to chop and freeze them early enough to use for other purposes later on! Many recipes can be prepared now and frozen for later, so you can have a quick go-to on lazy nights or for the unexpected “bring a plate” events.

Less waste, yummy recipes to experiment with and/or a little extra food stored away for later.

Veggie chop: Veggies looking sad and nearly ready to get chucked? Got extra greens from the tops of your root veggies? Chop them up and freeze for soups, stocks and any dish you can smuggle veggies into! (I use a Thermomix to help speed things up, but any preferred tool will do!)  Less waste plus save time when needing quick go-to’s.

I have recently done a Facebook live on the topic of avoiding waste in the kitchen, which you can check out here.

Let me know which of these tips or tricks is of most interest to you – and share your best hacks!

Until next time,

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