donna’s vege garden

breakfast oat smoothie

14th October 2013



Warmer weather calls out for all things cool, clean and crisp.

Unfortunately, crispness also applies to my garden due to a lack of rain and unseasonal very hot, dry weather.  Unlike Stacey’s green, lush vegetable garden in Portugal, ours is a work in progress.



At least someone is enjoying its current state…….

For breakfast in this type of weather, instead of my regular oats, I have been experimenting with ‘oat smoothies’. I find the addition of oats, apart from all their goodness, provide longer sustenance than a regular smoothie.  Soaking the oats first aids digestion.  As soon as I get up, I place the oats in a bowl, cover with hot water, then leave to soak while I do other tasks that need to be done.  That way, they’ve soaked enough for when I am ready to make my smoothie.

breakfast oat smoothie

Choose your own variety of grain + fruit + nuts/seeds + milk. Whatever you choose, aim to include at least 1 ingredient from all 4 groups. Add sweetener of choice if prefer – I use cinnamon.

Serves 1 – 2


¼ cup soaked wholegrain oats/preferred grain (just cover oats with hot water & let sit for 10 minutes)

1 banana

½ cup soy milk/nut milk of choice

handful blueberries

handful raspberries

1 Tbsp chia gel*

a good sprinkling of ground flaxseed/sunflower seed mix

½ tsp cinnamon


1.  Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend till thoroughly mixed. Serve immediately.

 *To make Chia Gel – In a sealed, glass jar, add 1 tbsp chia seeds & 8 tbsp water. Immediately shake well, then let rest for approx. 10 minutes. Shake jar every minute or so to prevent seeds clumping together. Store in the fridge. Add to smoothies, cereal, omelettes, etc.


Goodness shared from Donna

roasted thyme infused cherry tomatoes

6th June 2010


For those who have been with us since about this time last year, you may remember that I had an abundant supply of cherry tomatoes due to an overplanting mishap.  Well, this year I have managed to repeat that effort.  In fact, I probably have doubled the quantity that will be produced.  Not intentionally, but as I was experimenting with a few different varieties, courtesy of the Digger’s Club (a wonderful online source of heirloom and organic seeds), I planted a few more seeds than intended.  A selection of Brown Berry, Sugarlump and Roma Cherry Tomatoes are beginning to ripen in bunches.

So, in an attempt to use the odd ripe ones, before the mass quantities begin, I am experimenting with and on the hunt for cherry tomato recipes.  This is a quick, but tasty one, and can be used in a variety of ways.  A side dish as I did, pureed in soups, sauces or tossed with roasted vegetables.   In fact, I ended up snacking on quite a few of these straight from the oven.  The flavours produced from the caramelisation of roasting the whole tomatoes and the fresh thyme are perfect as is.  A little burst of flavour.

roasted thyme-infused cherry tomatoes


the required quantity of cherry tomatoes left whole

10 sprigs fresh thyme (I used this for about 20 cherry tomatoes)

good quality olive oil

sea salt and cracked black pepper


1.  Pre-heat oven to 200 Celsius.

2.  Add tomatoes and thyme to a ceramic baking dish (big enough for tomatoes to be in a single layer).

3.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with plenty of sea salt and cracked black pepper.  Toss well, so that tomatoes are coated with the oil – let sit for about 10 minutes before placing in the preheated oven for tomatoes to soak up the flavours.

4.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until skin slightly blisters (see photo below).  Do not disturb during the roasting.

Serve with Brown Rice and Lentil Salad, as a side dish, pureed, or on own.

Goodness shared from Donna

pesto pasta with roasted baby vegetables

18th November 2009

My veggie garden has become ‘weeded’ all of a sudden.  When it rains, the plants thrive, however so do those weeds, and even though I intend to hit them at their first sighting, within a few days of neglect, a ‘carpet’ appears.  This unpleasant sight greeted me when I headed out to pull up some baby beetroot, slice off some baby zucchini and squash for the pasta dish I had in mind.  I had decided to use the dill and parsley pesto I made last weekend, mixed with my favourite labne and tossed through roasted baby vegetables from the garden.  Confronted with the ‘unwanted carpet’, I knew this was going to take some time, so I made a feeble attempt of pulling out some of the weeds, but my heart wasn’t in it…..tomorrow I would face it.  My pasta awaits!


dill & parsley pesto pasta with roasted baby vegetables


500g pumpkin, peeled and roughly diced

2 – 3 baby zucchini, whole

2 – 3 baby crookneck squash, whole (or similar)

2 baby beetroot, cut in quarters

6 cherry Roma tomatoes, whole

olive oil

sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper

spaghetti (or a favourite gluten-free pasta)

3 Tbsp dill and parsley pesto (or favourite pesto)

2 Tbsp labne


1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.  Line flat baking tray with baking paper.

2.  Toss all vegetables in a bowl, add a generous dash of olive oil.

3.  Spread in one layer on baking tray and roast until tender (about 30 – 40 min), turning once.

4.  Cook pasta of choice.

5.  Meanwhile, in a serving bowl, mix together pesto and labne – set aside.

6.  When pasta is cooked, add to the serving dish, mix in pesto and add roasted vegetables and salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

Shared goodness from Donna

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