Summer has come to Melbourne this week with another scorcher today. The sort of day that makes one reluctant to cook for fear of unnecessarily heating up the house. To add another challenge to the day’s meal provision, chez KP is drastically short of fruit and veg. Lil Miss’s birthday extravaganza made the farmers market impossible.

The first task to be tackled was lunch. I had enough bakery bread left in the freezer to make sandwiches, the tricky part was filling them. With some judicious mixing of scraps, I made a sandwich filling for 6 sandwiches.

Frugal sandwich filling
1/4 tub cream cheese
slightly less than half an avocado
half a carrot, diced
1/4 capsicum, diced
1/2 tomato, diced
medium tin of tuna in springwater, drained
juice 1/2 lemon

  1. Mash everything together with a fork.


The next challenge was dinner. I confess to be somewhat less budget minded but certainly not extravagant either. A quick trip to a local Chinese restaurant yielded 1/2 a roast duck for $12. The rest of the ingredients were found in the fridge, pantry and garden. We had four generous serves out of this. More satisfying to the taste buds than takeaway would have been but I felt as refreshed as though I’d had a night off cooking. Win/win.

Chinese roast duck and noodle salad
1/2 Chinese roast duck
1/2 capsicum, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
1/2 lebanese cucumber, julienned
1/2 red onion, sliced
thin Chinese noodles, cooked and drained
bunch coriander
1/2 cup peanuts
add to dressing that comes with duck
1 teaspoon chopped chilli
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon palm sugar
juice 1 lime

  1. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss (if making in advance, add peanuts and coriander immediately before serving)
  2. Combine all salad ingredients in a jug and whisk with a fork. Pour over salad immediately before serving.