Flavoursome fare a favourite

Published 5:00am 27 September 2023

Flavoursome fare a favourite
Words by Jodie Powell

A lunchtime favourite created by the tuckshop team at Ferny Grove State High School is proving a recipe for success.

The Ferny Nourish Bowl was one of six finalists in the Queensland Association of School Tuckshops’ annual recipe of the year competition.

Health and Wellbeing Queensland chief executive Dr Robyn Littlewood says she was once again impressed with the quality of entries and the range of healthy options tuckshops are offering students across Queensland.

“We know tuckshops play an important role in providing nutritious, affordable and convenient food and drink options for Queensland families, and I congratulate all the finalists in this year’s award program,” Dr Littlewood says.

“It was heartening this year to see so many healthy and hearty meals and menu items for kids to enjoy while at school with their peers.”

Variety of vegetables

Flavoursome fare a favourite

Ferny Grove State High School Eats at the Grove Canteen and X Block Senior Cafe manager and convenor Megan Towner says the nourish bowl was initially aimed at teachers, but had proven popular with students across the board, particularly senior girls.

“It’s a rice and quinoa salad and we use frozen veggies, but it’s adaptable to whatever’s in season,” Megan says.

The recipe’s adaptability means the canteen team is able to keep costs down, so it’s sold at an affordable price.

Vegetables in the Nourish Bowls might include roasted sweet potato, roasted zucchini, onion, cucumber, capsicum, or cherry tomatoes, all topped with a vegan-friendly Green Goddess Dressing.

Changing flavours

Ms Towner has worked at the Eats at the Grove Canteen for the past 10 years and says while the emphasis continues to be on healthier menu items, students’ tastes have evolved.

“I have definitely seen the kids’ palates change,” she says.

“Some things we’ll try, and we don’t know how they will go but the kids are always up for something new and exciting.

“They love spicy foods like Mexican and don’t hold back on the spices.

“Our karaage chicken always sells out, and the chicken wraps and burgers are popular.”

With the canteen selling about 400 main meals, plus snacks and breakfasts each day, Ms Towner says she and the team put an emphasis on fresh, tasty offerings.

“We have a really good team of ladies that have come from diverse backgrounds and careers.

“It’s a team effort – everybody works really well together.”

The recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes

Serves: 10


2 cups tri-coloured quinoa

2 cups jasmine rice

4 cups water

2 cups frozen peas and corn

200g vegan aioli/mayonnaise

¼ cup Kiro Krush Lime Pepper Seasoning

7.5 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (fresh and/or roasted) eg. roasted sweet potato, roasted zucchini, onion, cucumber, capsicum, cherry tomatoes

2 420g cans of chickpeas

2tsp balsamic glaze

¼ cup pepita seeds

300ml Birch & Waite Green Goddess dressing


  1. Rinse and mix quinoa and jasmine rice with water and cook as per rice cooking instructions.
  2. When almost cooked, add 2 cups of frozen baby peas and corn kernels. Allow to cool.
  3. Stir through aioli/mayonnaise and lime pepper seasoning.
  4. Prepare chosen vegetables (wash, dice, roast).
  5. Drain chickpeas and stir through 2 tsp of balsamic glaze.
  6. Use a 1 cup measure to mould quinoa/rice salad.
  7. Serve with ¾ cup seasonal vegetables, ¼ cup marinated chickpeas and 30ml of Green Goddess dressing. Sprinkle with pepita seeds.


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