Free From Fridays – Link Up

This week I am co-hosting #Freefromfridays, a regular linky on featuring free from recipes from across the web alongside Emma, the linky host.

Firstly a massive congratulations to Emma, who has just had baby #2! Hats off to her also as she must be knee deep in nappies and sleepless nights once more and still finding time to inspire us all.

I have been an follower of Free From Fridays since trying to find exciting new meals to cook for my vegetarian, lactose intolerant and gluten sensitive hubby!!

I absolutely LOVED last week’s Baked Ravioli from I Say Nomato. It couldn’t have been more timely for me with my 10month old now deciding to baby lead wean himself and refuse the spoon. I have tried it ricotta, spinach and mushroom like in the awesome recipe but also with some other fillings like butternut squash and pea and mint. Stocking up this weekend on wonton wrappers but what a great way to get those veggies down your little ones. K who just turned three last week is also a fan and has been helping me make them!

Baked Ravioli


*Review* Dee’s Vegan Burgers, Sausages and Thai Curry

The lovely people at Dee’s Wholefoods kindly sent me a selection of their product range to sample recently.

Dees Vegan Burgers

I was super excited to try these, not only as I love my veggie mock meats but I am a big Dragons Den fan and had watched the clip of Dee, herself, pitching to the Irish Dragons.

These little packs of goodness are basically a free-from foodies’ dream come true. Free from gluten, egg, dairy, soy, wheat, GMO and low in salt, sugar and fat. Now, if you are anything like me, your initial thoughts are not going to be great but all I’d say is to give it a try, as it will surprise you.

I won’t lie however, it is not the same as having a spicy bean burger from a gastro pub (which possibly tastes so mouthwatering due everything naughty it will have in it), but let’s face it, if I was to eat that as much as I like eating veggie burgers, I would have no chance of fitting into my pre-baby skinny jeans.

Dee’s really has done a great job of putting the ‘healthy’ into something so stereotypically unhealthy and makes her range a great option to incorporate into meals for the whole family.


Dees Thai Veg Pot

I sampled the Omega Burger, Leek and Onion Sausages and Thai Veg Pot and here’s what I thought:

The Omega Burger
Dee’s suggests eating this in a pitta with hummus, sprouts and salad leaves. I was all out of hummus and didn’t have pitta in the house, when I planned to sample these so I had it on a piece of fresh bread, toasted with cheese and topped with garlic mushrooms. When I tried it just on its own, it was not as moist as a lot of the burgers you can buy off the shelf, but that is most probably due to the fact that there is no egg. Nevertheless, I could not tell when it was combined in my meal so loved it and I would have it again.

K had each of the above pieces but separately as burgers are still new for her. She had polished her burger and half her portion of garlic mushrooms, so thumbs up for the Organic Omega Burger from my little one also.

Leek and Onion Vegan Sausages
Another great, healthy, vegan alternative to veggie sausages. With these I ate just as suggested, with mashed potato and veggie gravy.

Thai Veg Pot
It is as if you can taste the health and fresh factors from each mouthful of this awesome curry. I had it with some steamed rice and veggies with the hubby and we polished off the whole tub. It is however, got a good kick of spice to it so it is not for the faint hearted and I couldn’t offer it to K to try as my kids don’t eat spicy.


Family Fever

Win £50 of goodies for National Vegetarian Week!

Happy Vegetarian Week!

Fancy winning an awesome YumBox and a bunch of Organic Goodies? Join me in celebrating National Vegetarian Week by taking part in my snack box brainstorm and you could win a little bundle for your little one, worth £50.

My Hungry Little Veggie loves her new YumBox and is forever munching on her favourite packs of Goodies Gingerbread Men biscuits (which she affectionately refers to as ‘teddy biscuits’.)

I (the food provider) am constantly striving to think up healthy, fun and vegetarian meals for her lunch or snack box.

National Vegetarian Week is organised by the Vegetarian Society and aims to share and promote yummy vegetarian food and vegetarian living. Join me by entering my snack box challenge.

To inspire you to take part, the lucky winner will receive a YumBox worth £24.99 and a selection of Organix Goodies worth £25.

All you have to do is enter with the below and you get a chance of winning! Look forward to all your ideas…

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Competition terms and conditions:

  1. Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding anyone professionally associated with Hungry Little Veggie, YumBox or Organic.
  2. Only one entry per person.
  3. The prize will only be delivered to addresses within the UK.
  4. No responsibility is accepted for entries which are lost, corrupted, incomplete or for any failure to capture entry information. Use of false details will result in disqualification. The entry must be made by the person entering the competition – entries sent through third parties, agencies or by automated means (such as scripts and macros) will not be accepted.
  5. The prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative.
  6. The prize draw starts at 12.00am GMT on 18th May 2015 and closes at 12.00am GMT on 24th May 2015.
  7. Entry for competitions must be received by the stated closing date. All entries received after this date will not be counted.
  8. Hungry Little Veggie reserves the right to amend the competition end date at any time.
  9. Entry is free and must be made by commenting on this blog post. Entrants can gain bonus entries by visiting Hungry Little Veggie on facebook, @hungrylittleveg on Twitter.
  10. Incorrectly completed entries will be disqualified.
  11. The name of the winner will be published on this website within 7 days of the competition closing.
  12. The competition winner must come forward to claim their prize. In the event of a prize going unclaimed for more than 28 days after notification, Hungry Little Veggie may, at its discretion, declare the prize unclaimed and no longer valid, and draw a new winner. An unclaimed prize may not be awarded.
  13. It is the responsibility of entrants to notify Hungry Little Veggie of any change of contact details.
  14. Proof of identity may be required.
  15. Hungry Little Veggie’s decision on all matters is final and binding on all entrants. No correspondence will be entered into.
  16. Hungry Little Veggie reserves the right to suspend, cancel or modify the prize draw at any time (and for any reason) without notice.
  17. If the advertised prize is not available, Hungry Little Veggie reserves the right to offer an alternative prize of equal or greater value. The payment of all costs and expenses involved in claiming a prize are the responsibility of the winner.
  18. By taking part in this competition you agree to be bound by the competition terms and conditions.
  19. Hungry Little Veggie reserves the right to disqualify any entrant and / or winner in its discretion and without any notice in accordance with these terms and conditions.
  20. Once the winner has been selected at random using Rafflecopter, I will inform Organic and YumBox of the winner’s name and address, they will then send on the prize. Hungry Little Veggie will not be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post or arriving late.
  21. Hungry Little Veggie shall not be responsible for damages, losses or liabilities of any kind, including without limitation, direct, indirect or consequential loss or damages arising out of or in relation to the prize draw. Nothing in this condition shall limit or exclude liability for death or personal injury as a result of Hungry Little Veggie negligence.

The TimTam Night Binge

Here’s the vision…you have a child and then you focus on getting back into shape so people can walk past you and your 2 kids and say, ‘I cant believe you’ve had 2 kids…you look incredible!’

Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I need to be fitter and workout more to achieve this. However, when it comes to food, I like to promote healthy eating, especially at home, but everyone has their moments and this was mine!

Tim Tam biscuits

04:00              D wakes up for feed….

04:05              Mid-feed explosive poo…!

04:07              Hmm…lava like poo is escaping nappy boundary and seeping through baby grow onto newly washed pyjamas!

04:12              Feed finished, 3 huge burps and poop everywhere.

04.16              In shower with D screaming as no time to wait for hot water.

04:30              De-pooed, cleaned and changed.

Think I have earned this after that stool stress!

04:40              D’s eyes WIDE open – begin to rock him back to sleep!

04:55              Still rocking…and now he is sporting a huge smile, possibly at my out of tune, half asleep version of ABC

Tired now and need a sugar rush. One more won’t hurt and he’ll be asleep soon.

05:05              HUGE burp and milk puke all down pyjama top

05:06              No intention of changing again so try to wipe myself dry whilst holding D upright

Sneak one last one whilst I pass the forbidden cupboard in search of towel

05:10              Collapse on sofa whilst D practices his new-found rolling technique on his jungle gym

TIMTAM #4 #5
I think these are the only thing which will help me get through this…I’m so tired…need to comfort self pity! 

05:40              D JUST YAWNED –almost home free! Mini victory dance in the living room.

Celebratory treat 

05:41              Stretch back and psych self up for ABC again.

05:47              Asleep at last – scream for joy (on the inside of course) and take a deep breath!

05:49              Put D very gently in cot and rush into bed as still have 40 minutes before K is due to wake

06:00              STILL AWAKE! Self-imposed pressure to fall asleep is overwhelming. 40 minutes sleep time is now down to 30 minutes!! Just lost 10 minutes in NOT sleeping!!! Sleep Sleep Sleeeeeeep!

06:10              OMG now only 20 minutes left until K wakes. Why am I not asleep! Try breathing techniques learnt in one-off meditation class.

06:15              Is there really any point in me sleeping now? Maybe I should get up start cooking. Or I could be really good and do the warm up part of my Insanity workout DVD?

06:25              Still in bed, having achieved nothing and can hear K stirring – right on cue!

Just grab a quick energy burst before K gets up

Still have a few minutes so why not one more

06:30              K wakes. Toothbrush, change, breakfast, pack nursery bag and transfer D into car seat.

Sneak one ‘last’ one with head in fridge as K has healthy breakfast of oatmeal and fruit. Slight guilty feeling!!

07:25              Car loaded with 2 kids

TIMTAM #10 #11
Take for journey as only 2 left now and need to dispose of evidence before Mr M wakes…

Not feeling too great about myself and slightly guilty about sneaking Tim Tam #9, whilst K eating fruit and porridge.

I think I now definitely need some alternative kid-friendly binge options (to avoid having to secretly hide out in fridge doors) so here my initial brainstorm:

  • Grapes:                     Easy to eat on the go and bite size
  • Banana Bread:        Great for using old bananas and healthy, although they do need to be pre-made
  • Energy snacks:        Apricot & coconut energy balls, Special K packs
Friday Frolics

The Bacon Sandwich vs The Tofu Steak!

I recently read an article questioning whether parents should dictate their children being vegetarian when they are too young to make their own choice.

Firstly, I would like to thank my fellow blogger, who is campaigning for every child to ‘experience the joy of a bacon sandwich’. The article proved a very interesting read, particularly for me, a born vegetarian, raising two vegetarian children.

In all honesty, my initial draft of this post was in outrage and defensive to the core. I have since then had more time to think and it has become a household topic of discussion, sparking some interesting questions for debate.

Why is it that we we raise our children with certain restrictions in place?

The world has become a smaller place and there are now a much wider variety of experiences we can expose our kids to. Schools offer a much wider variety of subjects. Restaurants cater for a wide range of dietary requirements including kosher, halal, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. Our children have the opportunity to learn more languages and live abroad at younger ages. Primary schools have ipad lessons for 4 year olds.

We want to expose our kids to as much as possible and in a world where we are encouraging our children to be open, why do parents exert so much control? It starts from the smallest of things. We dictate everything our children do from what time they should wake up, to what they should eat, wear and do. One of the most iconic entrepreneurs of our time, Steve Jobs (Founder of Apple), used to walk barefooted.

I wonder how many parents would allow their children to go to school without shoes. Imagine a world without control, where children could decide what they do, how they do it and when they do it.

Should parents dictate their children are vegetarians when they are too young to make their own choice?

I set out to answer this thought-provoking question but I am still unsure, battling each side of the debate in my mind. We as parents do what we perceive to be right or wrong within our own belief system. Yes, in the majority of cases, we do impose this on our children with the small things and the big.

We send our 5-year olds to parties, carrying a brand new leather handbag and wearing designer leather shoes, with a note requesting the hosts to respect and honour our child’s vegetarian dietary requirements.

A dairy cow’s life span is limited to four or five years. Within that time, they continue to be artificially impregnated and pumped with hormones to produce over four times as much milk as they would naturally.

So is it right to offer our children milk and deny them bacon?

Our children develop their own value system based on the values lived by parents. If parents are vegetarian, is it right for us to go against our own value system in order to offer an unbiased view of the world to our children?

What is our role as parents? How do we decide where to draw the line? Is our perception of right and wrong flawed or is there even a right or wrong? What do you think?

Inspired and in response to:


Linked Up To:


Brilliant blog posts on

5 food myths passed down through the generations

If you swallow a watermelon seed, a watermelon will start growing in your stomach.

Seriously, come on..I mean how could that EVER be possible! If you are anything like me (i.e. completely gullible), you may well have fallen for many of these gastronomic urban legends. From the absolute ridiculous (see above) to those with a degree of plausibility, kids must grow up thinking they will be the next generation of superheroes.

  • Almonds make you clever Almonds make you clever If only it were that easy! Unfortunately, there are no foods, which will transform you or your kids into child geniuses. Almonds do however, contain essential fatty acids like Omega-3 along with Vitamin E, which provides nourishment for the nervous system and can delay cognitive decline with age.
  • Carrots help you see in the dark Carrots help you see in the dark A glass of carrot juice a day will help you see in the dark. Hmm...although carrot night vision is a little far fetched, carrots are linked to better eye health. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is essential for making Vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency is linked to eye health issues from dryness to macular degeneration, a leading source of blindness. So, you will not get 20-20 vision by pumping carrots into your system, but they do promote good eye health, through the formation of Vitamin A.
  • Microwaving zaps nutrients Microwaving zaps nutrients A total myth designed to make us feel guilty for taking shortcuts in the kitchen! In fact, microwaving cooking is said to be one of the best ways to minimize nutrient loss. The most effective way to preserve nutrients, when cooking vegetables is to use a method, which exposes heat to food for the smallest time, uses minimal liquid and cooks quickly. Microwaving does this. Just ensure not to overcook and use microwave safe containers.
  • Organic foods are more nutritious than regular foods Organic foods are more nutritious than regular foods Organic foods were developed for environmental reasons to promote sustainable farming. Nutritionally, the difference is negligible, with the exception of certain fatty acids in organic milk. Organic food is said to have 30% less pesticide contamination but remember, pesticide levels in conventional produce also have to meet food standard regulations and are therefore not deemed unsafe to eat.
  • Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar Brown sugar is healthier than white sugar Brown sugar and white sugar is made from the refinement process of raw sugar. Brown sugar is basically white sugar, but with molasses having been reintroduced to it. All granulated sugars contain more or less the same nutritional value, so I hate too burst the bubble, but brown or white, it makes little difference.


Nutrition Guidelines for Kids

How do you know you are giving your kids a healthy diet? How much protein is enough protein? How much Iron is enough?

Over the last 5 years, I would say I have become more and more focused on healthy eating. However, since becoming a parent, I tend to think even more about the foods I am offering to my little one.

The most recent GDAs (Guideline Daily Amount) for children are published by the FSA (Food Standards Agency) and are summarized as below.

Recommended Daily Nutrition Allowances Kids