Mealo – No Repeat 2018

This is my attempt to not repeat a dinner for the entirety of 2018! I’ll update this post to keep track of progress, share recipes and highlight my recommendations.

1 January: Fish taco bowl (quinoa, white fish cooked in spices, any toppings and sauce you’d put on a taco)

2/1: Barley salad with marmalade dressing. I didn’t have any leftover Christmas ham, so made a vego option with roasted pumpkin instead.

3/1: Vegetarian Bun (Vietnamese rice noodle salad).

4/1: Pappardelle with roast tomato pesto (chop and roast any tomatoes for 45 minutes, blend with parmesan, almonds and olive oil), mushrooms, balsamic red onion and ricotta.

5/1: Okra sweet and sour curry. I didn’t have fish, so bulked this out with extra veges – capsicum, broccoli, carrot – and added a hard boiled egg to each serve.

6/1: BBQ chicken chipolatas with rice vinegar slaw (shredded red cabbage, carrot, nashi pear, coriander, corn kernels, dollop of dijon mustard and rice wine vinegar to taste)

7/1: Mango glazed pumpkin, with crispy chick peas, paneer and cauliflower. I added the cauliflower in to bulk it out and served it with cashew rice.

8/1: Zucchini slice with roasted carrots.

9/1: Chicken drumsticks and mixed potato salad with pickled onion dressing.

10/1: Spaghetti with lentil bolognese.

11/1: Char siu eggplant on rice. Based on a pork recipe, this one has gone vego with eggplant instead and bulked out with extra broccoli and other veg.

12/1: Coconut and lime salmon with mango salad.

13/1: Grilled corn and quinoa salad

14/1: Chorizo and sweet potato salad

15/1: Spicy soy chicken

16/1: Teriyaki udon noodles

17/1: Kiwi, lime and chilli fish

18/1: Calamari, orange and hummus

19/1: Roast tomato pesto pasta (roast 8 – 10 tomatoes until they begin to char, cool then blitz with almonds, parmesan and olive oil)

20/1: 7 hour lamb and Cypriot grain salad

21/1: Pacos Tacos

22/1: Thai pork and basil

23/1: Chargrill vegetables, pearl cous cous and haloumi

24/1: Falafel and black rice tabbouleh

25/1: Tofu satay noodles

26/1: BRAT (bacon, rocket, avocado, tomato)

27/1: BBQ

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28/1: Paprika chicken and salad

29/1: Ricotta pasta

30/1: Turkish zucchini and haloumi bake

31/1: Gazi (Greek feast)

1 February: Sesame chicken with cashew rice

2/2: Lemon butter garlic salmon

3/2: Cauliflower burgers

4/2: Warm lentil and panneer salad

5/2: Pineapple and tamarind pork

6/2: Hanoi style eggs

7/2: Wild rice, haloumi and grilled peach salad

8/2: Singapore noodles

9/2: Kangaroo steaks and crispy onions (adaption from this recipe)

10/2: Pulled pork udon noodles

11/2: Pumpkin and edamame cous cous

12/2: Vietnamese take out

13/2: Wild mushroom tortellini

14/2: Middle Eastern pearl cous cous

15/2: Cauliflower, chick pea and coconut curry

16/2: Salmon with miso soba

17/2: Flammkutchen

18/2: Crispy cabbage salad with haloumi

19/2: Holy Bowly with smokey tahini sauce (this one is really good)

20/2: Cavatelli pasta with octopus

21/2: X’ian style cold noodles

22/2: Spicy turmeric fish

23/2: Italian lentils with pork and chilli sausage

24/2: Stuffed mushrooms

25/2: Grilled capsicum, spicy cous cous & crispy haloumi

26/2: Orange and broccoli quinoa

27/2: Cayenne chicken on brown rice

28/2: Summer pumpkin dahl

1 March: Chilli, zucchini and lemon spaghetti

2/3: Crepes (Breizoz French Creperie)

3/3: Birthday noodle bar

4/3: Gourmet snags and various salads

5/3: Italian feast (Riserva)

6/3: Lentils and mushrooms

7/3: Roast vegetable quiche

8/3: Antipasto bowls

9/3: Zucchini pitas

10/3: Salmon and coconut wraps

11/3: Hotdogs

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12/3: Quinoa vegetable fritters

13/3: Vegetarian Pad See Ew

14/3: Greek noodle salad

15/3: Japanese lamb meatballs with miso glazed pumpkin

16/3: Pea, mozzarella and mint pasta

17/3: Flake and chips

18/3: Pesto chicken kiev

19/3: Nothern Thai chicken and noodle curry

20/3: Summer greens tomato and basil frittata

21/3: Broccoli, green chilli and smoked almond spaghetti

22/3: Middle Eastern zucchini rice with soft boiled egg

23/3: Chicken salsa tacos

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… plenty more to come …

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Exploring Victoria

This is an overview of some spots around Victoria that I’ve visited, hiked and explored recently. I hope it provides some inspiration to get outdoors and enjoy the parks and trails available!

Click the images for more info and photos

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Tarra Bulga National Park

Where is it? Gippsland, take the M1 out to Traralgon and head south to Balook. Traralgon-Balook Road is a prime country driving! – just over 2 hours from Melbourne

Distance: 6 km

Time: Approx. 1.5 hours

Most recent visit: 4 January 2018

Difficulty: Easy

Cool features: The ferny view from Corrigan Suspension Bridge is cool. While the bridge is very popular, the Forest Track is super quiet, so is a very peaceful walk.

Map and track info: https://www.trailhiking.com.au/tarra-bulga-scenic-circuit/ (includes an extension to the Cherry Track)

Notes: There are a couple of nearby waterfalls you can cruise to – Cyathea Falls are pretty and at the end of a short walk featuring some incredible Myrtle Beech trees, while Tarra Falls are by the side of the road and have very poor visibility.

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Australian Gardens, Cranbourne

Where is it? Take the Monash from Melbourne to the South Gippy – about 45 minutes

Time: 1.5 – 2 hours

Most recent visit: 31 December 2017

Difficulty: Easy

Cool features: The feature desert landscape as you enter, the abundance of birds, and the array of colours.

Map and track info: https://www.rbg.vic.gov.au/visit-cranbourne/attractions/australian-garden

Notes: Where are all the bandicoots at? In the scrub areas to the left as you enter, there are plenty to be found, but be patient and polite! They probably won’t invite you in for a cuppa if you’re stomping on by. On one visit we saw heaps of the little guys (bandi-cute!), but on the last visit we only spotted one. Keep your slippery senses about you, too – there’s plenty of snakes in the neighborhood!

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Macedon Ranges Walking Trail

Where is it? About half way to Bendigo, straight up the Calder – just over an hour from Melbourne

Distance: 18.8 km

Time: 6 hours

Most recent visit: 29 December 2017

Difficulty: Moderate, but the beginning is really steep!

Cool features: The wildlife and changes in forest and landscape as you progress through the walk.

Map and track info: https://www.trailhiking.com.au/macedon-ranges-walking-trail/

Notes: Use the map to navigate the track and don’t be deterred by the beginning of the hike – once you turn onto the track from Douglas Rd, there’s an elevation gain of nearly 400m in about 1 km, so it’s pretty dastardly if you’re not prepared. After that, the walk levels out and becomes a pleasant day’s work.

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^ Hanging Rock looks very small from up here (Camel’s Hump) ^

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Grampians – Fish Falls and MacKenzie Falls

Where is it? West Victoria, about 3 hours drive from Melbourne

Distance: 9.7 km (circuit)

Time: Approx. 3 – 3.5 hours

Most recent visit: 28 November 2017

Difficulty: Mostly easy with very steep climb at MacKenzie Falls

Cool features: MacKenzie Falls are way better seen in person – they are huge! Fish Falls aren’t as grandiose, but they are way quieter (there’s no carpark like there is at Mac), so arguably nicer to hang out at. Walking through the gorge is beautiful and the changes to the surrounding rock faces on approach to MacKenzie Falls are really impressive.

Map and track info: https://www.trailhiking.com.au/mackenzie-falls-circuit/

Notes: We completed this as a return trip – Zumstein’s Picnice Area to MacKenzie Falls via Fish Falls – instead of a circuit, which took about 2.5 hrs including a break for lunch.

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Grampians – The Pinnacle

Where is it? West Victoria, about 3 hours drive from Melbourne

Distance: 10 km (circuit)

Time: Approx. 4 hours

Most recent visit: 27 November 2017

Difficulty: Moderate (there are steps assisting most of the steepest sections)

Cool features: Silent Street, the Grand Canyon and the view from the top (obviously)

Map and track info: https://www.trailhiking.com.au/pinnacle-track-circuit/

Notes: The THA page I’ve linked above gives an interesting direction… Let’s just say to go clockwise on the trail seemed a whole lot harder. We did the circuit in the opposite direction, heading toward Venus Baths first and continuing from there. What an incredible trek it is! And take the canyon route… You’ll thank me later.

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