Salad cheat sheet

Big M is the master at making salads and can turn any green leaf into something interesting. I need to follow a recipe or need some prompting.

I’ve just finished working on this salad cheat sheet and was keen to share it with everyone. The cheat sheet lists potential salad ingredients grouped together by type. It’s ideal to use to toss together your next salad. I’m going to colour print my version off, get it laminated and hang it up inside our kitchen cupboards.

Download a copy of the salad cheat sheet [PDF 68KB].

If you want to be inspired by words, Healthy Eating, Naturally has a good summary on salad making 101.

B.T.W. Another handy poster is The Cookbook People’s Kitchen Conversion Cheat Sheet.

Taking lunch

I’ve never been very good at taking lunch to work, but when I do it’s usually leftovers. It doesn’t help that I crave variety and hate stale bread so sandwiches are out.

Last year, I worked with a lovely accountant, who had a fabulous food preparation area. Everyone had closed-in bookshelves above our desks, and instead of storing paperwork there, she had a mini-kitchen. Her space included cutlery, plate, bowl, sharp knife, cereal, sugar and tea bags. She also had her own scrubbing brush and clean tea towels (a revolutionary idea for me, as I hated using the communal ones!)

Since then I’ve been more adventurous with my lunch preparations. I love the “The Top 100 Recipes for a Healthy Lunchbox” book as it gives a good range of options and also points out allergy friendly options. There are plenty of blogs dedicated to lunchbox ideas and they provide plenty of inspiration. Perhaps the most amazing one is the Vegan Lunch Box (and book).

Bento boxes communities and blogs include Bento ChallengeBento Lunch, Just Bento, and  What’s for lunch at our house. I love the way some people use cookie cutters to create fun shaped food, although I guess that’s really for the kids.

It’s good to have some dedicated containers for lunch. This will minimise your packaging waste and may help to stop your food from leaking in your bag. Look for heavy plastic containers (numbers 1, 2, 4 or 5) are best. Tupperware containers are a popular option. You may like to consider the following:

The Challenge

About a year and a half ago we bought a house and our interest in gardening blossomed. It was a natural progression that our love of food would lead to wanting to try to grow our own organic produce. Ultimately, we were interested in finding out how hard it would be to become self-sufficient without giving up our day jobs, moving to the country or growing dread-locks.

We wanted to know whether two amateur gardeners could grow enough fruit and vegetables to feed themselves within a year.

We wanted to follow The Diggers Club article on being self-sufficient in “Growing your Own Heirloom Vegetables”. It explains in perfect detail how to “Convert your lawn into a food garden” [PDF]. The author Clive Beazley claims you can grow 254kg of fruit and vegetables in just over 10 metres cubed. The average consumption of fruit and vegetables per person in Australia is 242kg (according to ABS).

We’re aiming for 236kg* of fruit and vegetables on one tank, for one couple in one year.

We’re going to loosely follow the The Diggers Club instructions, substituting fruit and vegetables for ones suited to Brisbane’s climate and our tastes. We hope to inspire others to dig for dinner.