Cheesy Zucchini Rice

My Cheesy Zucchini Rice recipe is a huge hit in this house.  It’s a fantastic side dish that goes with so many things.  Last night we had it with garlic and mushroom sausages and tomorrow night we are having it with curried fish stew (I make it stretch across two meals) but you could use it to accompany other meat dishes or even a vegetarian stew.

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

There is a little secret ingredient in this Cheesy Zucchini Rice dish.  Shhh. Don’t tell you kids, but there is cauliflower in it as well.  This helps to bulk up the meal and adds in extra veggies.  I bet they won’t even notice.

Every time I make this rice recipe, everyone at the table is pleased!  It is tasty and just a little bit more exciting than plain rice.  It’s a nice change.

So, here’s my recipe:

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

Ingredients

  • 1/2 packet of 40g French Onion Soup mix
  • 3 1/2 cups rice, uncooked
  • 5 cups water
  • Chopped cauliflower - chop either finely or coarsely (add as much as you like)
  • 3 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 oz (60g) butter, cubed
  • 1 zucchini, grated
  • 1 1/2 cups cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Combine soup mix, rice, water, cauliflower, worcestershire sauce and butter in saucepan.
  2. Cook on stove until boiling. Leave to boil for 5 min or so, then turn heat off and leave to steam with lid on for 20 minutes.
  3. Once cooked, stir in the zucchini and grated cheese.
  4. Allow to stand 5 minutes to warm through.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/cheesy-zucchini-rice/

Now you  know that this Cheesy Zucchini Rice is so easy to make, don’t you? If you are going to boil rice anyway, you might as well make this.  There is hardly any extra effort involved. That is why I am sharing it with you. Simple recipes like these are just what we need to make our meals extra delicious and special, without spending hours slaving away in the kitchen and washing millions of dishes.

Of course there are variations:  You can substitute grated carrot instead of zucchini (or add grated carrot to the zucchini), you can omit the cauliflower or replace the cauliflower with chopped broccoli. You could also add baby spinach leaves to wilt in at the end. I’m sure there are other vegetables you could add to this recipe.  Let me know if you modify it and love the changes!

Hot Tip:

You could turn this Cheesy Zucchini Rice into lunch.  After cooking whichever variation you prefer, serve the cooked Cheesy Zucchini Rice into bowls. Complete the meal by adding a fried or poached egg on the top. Yum!

Trina xx

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Healthy Bliss Ball Slice

Welcome to my recipe for Healthy Bliss Ball Slice. It’s time for something for the health-conscious.  I believe in healthy eating but it’s still got to taste good!  This slice is absolutely delicious and good for your body as a bonus!

Healthy Bliss Ball Slice

This used to be my recipe for Bliss Balls, but you know I’m all about time efficiency, so I’ve turned it into a slice.  Ain’t nobody got time to stand there rolling mixture into balls and then coating in coconut.  I prefer to just press it into a tray, sprinkle coconut on top, let it set, then cut it up into small squares.  They are the same portion size, just a different shape. If you really want yours to be a ball, you could just “roll your own” 😉

Healthy Bliss Ball Slice in tray

My family loves this slice and it never lasts long in the fridge. We take it to school/work, eat it as an after-school snack, and grab pieces at the end of the day for supper with a cup of tea. I love it because it tastes naughty but it’s really not.

Healthy Bliss Ball Slice

Healthy Bliss Ball Slice

Ingredients

  • 100g pitted prunes
  • 100g apricots
  • 100g dates
  • 50g dried mango
  • 100g sultanas
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil (or boiling water)
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 100g dessicated coconut
  • + 50g dessicated coconut for topping

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients, other than the coconut for topping, into a food processor.
  2. Blitz until a paste forms. Add more boiling water if mixture is too stiff.
  3. Press mixture into a greased 18cm x 28cm lamington tray.
  4. Sprinkle with extra dessicated coconut.
  5. Chill in the fridge for 2 hours to firm up.
  6. Cut into small squares and serve.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/healthy-bliss-ball-slice/

The recipe I use can be adjusted to suit whatever dried fruit and other additions you think might be good in this Healthy Bliss Ball Slice. It’s then the consistency that you will need to adjust accordingly by simply adding more water until it is smooth and easy to press into the tray.

Here is a list of possible additions:

  • dried fruit medley
  • dark choc bits
  • cocoa
  • almonds
  • walnuts
  • oat bran
  • rolled oats
  • maple syrup
  • dried apples
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • LSA

I’m sure there are lots of other things you could add in to make this Healthy Bliss Ball Slice delicious. If you have any good suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.  I’d love to hear how you make yours!

Trina xx

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TMH weekly menu 1

Hello friends!  Do you need some meal planning inspiration? This week I didn’t have much time to meal plan so I thought I would use the recipes I knew my family loved – I used my blog! Usually I like to try at least one new recipe each week, but this week I didn’t have time to search Pinterest or my recipe books for something new.  So I put together the TMH weekly menu 1.  This is a set of dinner recipes that I can reuse down the track when I need a quick meal plan.  The recipes are easy to find!

So because I was putting together the TMH weekly menu 1, I thought you might like it to keep up your sleeve too.

Here is my written meal plan for this week.  Note that I have included Meatless Monday and when Dr TMH was not going to be home for dinner.  I don’t meal plan for weekend dinners and our Friday night dinner is very simple, as you can see, and straight from the freezer (but I will cook veggies to go with it).

TMH weekly menu 1

The list below are links for you to my blog posts about these meals.  The blog post will either give you my recipe or refer you to where I got that recipe from. Happy meal planning!

Meatless Monday: Leek and Barley Risotto

Tuesday: Sticky sausages with mashed potato and veggies

Wednesday: Spaghetti bolognese

Thursday: Pork (used chicken mince instead this time) patties with apple and sweet potato mash

Friday: Chicken schnitzels (from the freezer) with veggies – no recipe for this one!

Not sure if I will get around to making any extras.  This is where I list any cakes, muffins or slices that I make during the week for lunchbox treats or to have on hand as snacks.  I write them down here so that I can note where I got the recipe from and what it was that I made.

TMH weekly menu 1 recipe list

I hope this selection of recipes will help you with your meal planning.  Use it when you need some inspiration or just pinch one or two for your menu.

If you want to see my blog post about how I meal plan, you can find it over here.

Hope you are having a great week.

Trina xx

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Everyday Brownies

Today I am going to share my recipe for Everyday Brownies with you.  This is a super-quick and easy recipe.  Another one the kids could make on their own.

I call these Everyday Brownies because I think we should eat them every day!  Just kidding, but when you make them yourself you will see what I mean. So delicious. They are a bit fudgey inside (I recommend slightly undercooking them for that fudgey-ness).

Most brownie recipes have lots of sugar in them (around 2 cups!). To me that is totally unnecessary and although I’m not going to try and sell these to you as being “healthy”, they only have a modest amount of sugar in the recipe.  You could argue that the 2 cups of sugar makes them more yummy, but it also raises the calorie content and I don’t think it’s worth it.

Here is the recipe for my delicious Everyday Brownies:

Everyday Brownies

Everyday Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (250g) butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease an 18cm x 28cm (9x13 inch) baking pan. Set aside.
  2. Whisk the melted butter and cocoa powder together in a bowl until smooth.
  3. Add the flour and sugar, mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared baking pan and spread out evenly.
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  7. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool.
  8. Ice if desired.
  9. Once completely cooled, cut into squares, remove from pan and serve.
http://trinamichellehouse.com/everyday-brownies/

 

Add Icing

If you want to jazz them up you could ice them with chocolate icing. Simply mix: 2 Tbsp melted butter, 2 Tbsp cocoa, 2 cups icing sugar + 2 Tbsp milk (or whatever amount you need to add to achieve the smooth spreadable icing consistency you are after). Personally, I prefer the brownies without icing because they still taste delicious and it’s so much quicker not to bother with the icing. But if you do, make sure you add sprinkles to the top!

These Everyday Brownies cut really nicely into neat squares once cooled in the baking pan. They are great for school lunches as a special treat or for afternoon tea when everybody gets home. In the photo below there are already a few pieces missing……

Everyday Brownies cut up.

Also, this recipe freezes well and you can double it to feed a crowd.

I hope you will make these Everyday Brownies and that this recipe becomes a regular in your kitchen.

Let me know if you have a favourite brownie recipe. Is it easy like this one? Do you prefer it iced?

Trina xx

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Handbag hacks

Hello friends!  Today I thought we’d talk handbag hacks.  I know you don’t want me to meticulously take out everything from my handbag and give a running commentary about each item. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Instead, I thought we’d talk about some of the criteria for selecting the ultimate handbag and also some handbag hacks to make your bag more organised and space efficient (and makes life easier – bonus).

The ultimate everyday handbag

My current everyday handbag is probably the best bag I have ever had. When I go handbag shopping I don’t care about the brand, as long as it satisfies all of my strict criteria:

  • good colour (neutral but not too “old lady”)
  • zip closure for main compartment
  • two outside pockets (one for phone, one for keys + trolley coin)
  • one zipped inside pocket + 2 small open pockets (this is rare)
  • sturdy handles (my bag is heavy!)
  • good size but not too big (or I’m tempted to put more in it)

The two outside pockets

When I hold my bag over my shoulder, the outside pocket on the side of the bag against my body is the one that holds my mobile phone. This is so that if the phone rings or gets a text message while I am out and about, I am likely to feel it vibrate and not miss a call if I don’t hear it ring. It is also very quick to grab my phone when it rings and I’m not fumbling around in my bag looking for it.

One zipped inside pocket

This pocket in a handbag is usually fairly small.  It is amazing what I can fit into this pocket! I always keep a pen, nail file and hairpins in there. The main item I squeeze into the internal zipped pocket, though, is this weird little purse thing from when my kids were little.  It’s just the right size for spare keys that I like to carry with me, but don’t want on my keyring all the time. And again, these little bits and pieces are so hard to find when you need them if they are left to float around inside the main bag compartment.

Internal zipped pocket

Contents of internal zipped pocket

And there’s these super-handy fold-up scissors too!

Fold-up scissors!

Two small open pockets

It is a gem of a handbag that gifts you with, not only a zipped inside pocket, but also two small open pockets on the other main internal wall off your handbag.  These pockets are gold. In one I put my “handbag holder” (this thing is one of the best inventions ever. It means your bag never has to sit on the dirty floor of a cafe).

Handbag holder

In the other little pocket I also keep my lipgloss – nice and handy.

Two internal handbag pockets

In the same open pocket I keep my hand sanitizer as well.  I always need this in a hurry (because if I am out to eat, I can’t wait 10 minutes to search my bag for it, I’m much too impatient for that).

The main compartment

The main compartment of my handbag needs to be able to fit this:

Handbag insert

This is a handbag insert I purchased and I’ve never looked back.  We all need one of these (I got mine from here – super cheap). I won’t list everything I can keep in it, but it just means that everything is easy to find and get to.  There’s a spot for my wipes (since having kids I still don’t leave home without them!), tissues, hand cream, emergency folded up shopping bag, etc.  It makes switching handbags over quick and easy if you need to. On top of this insert thing, I keep my purse so that it is easy for me to grab out of my handbag when I need it.

Purse in handbag

That’s it!  We’re done! Handbag tour with hacks over!

Closed handbag

So there you have my handbag hacks! What are some clever ways you use your handbag?

Trina xx

PS  You can read my previous post reviewing a Kate Hill bag over here.

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