Sunday, 16 August 2015

Raw Chocolate Mint Slice

Lot's of nutritional goodness in this raw slice: almonds, cacao, coconut, cashews, tahini, kale...WT? Oh yes, I managed to slip some kale powder in among all the goodness. This is from Dr Libby's Real Food Chef with some minor tweaks.

  • 2 cups raw almonds (soaked in water) OR I used 1 cup ground almonds
  • 6 Medjool dates, pitted & coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Cacao powder
  • 1/2 Cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp tahini or water
  • 2 tbsp water

Blend all the ingredients  in a food processor until combined. Press into a 25cm x 35cm slice tin and freeze for 10-15 minutes or until set.

Next make the mint layer and spread over the set base.

Mint layer:
  • 1 tbsp Spirulina or kale powder (this adds the green colour but you can't taste it)
  • 10 drops peppermint oil
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rice syrup or honey or maple syrup
Blend the ingredients in a food processor till smooth.

Once you have put the mint layer on let it set in the freezer and once it has set top it with the choc icing below.

Chocolate icing:
  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup rice syrup or honey or maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup Cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 100 grams cacao butter or coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp tamari
Melt cacao butter (or coconut oil) in a saucepan over gentle heat. Allow to cool. Then combine this  with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and blend till smooth.

Return the tin it to the freezer now with all 3 layers so the choc icing can freeze and set. Enjoy :)

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Cauliflower Mac n Cheese

Nothing says comfort food like mac n' cheese. And I reckon this one is healthy as it has a good helping of cauliflower ;)

serves 4
takes 30 mins
  • 1 cup dried macaroni or your favourite dried 'tube like' pasta
  • 50g butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup brown flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 - 1 cup coarsely grated aged cheddar, plus extra for scattering over the top
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme or parsely
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
  • 1/4 cup coarse day-old sourdough breadcrumbs or Panko 
  • large handful hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • To serve: green leaf salad...or not :)
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil then add dried macaroni and cook until al dente (5-6 minutes) 
  3. Adding cauliflower after 2 minutes
  4. Drain and pour into a large baking dish & set aside
  5. Combine breadcrumbs, hazelnuts, oil 1 tbsp thyme in a bowl & set aside
  6. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add flour and stir until golden (2-4 minutes)
  7. Gradually whisk in milk and stir until mixture is thick and comes to the boil (2-4 minutes)
  8. Stir in cheese, remaining 1 tbsp thyme, mustard & season to taste
  9. Pour cheese sauce over cooked pasta & cauliflower, stir in and scatter with remaining cheese and grill until golden (3-4 minutes)
  10. Serve with green salad if you like ;)

source: Taste Magazine#112

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Fig & Goat's Cheese Focaccia

Fancy cheese on toast! From Nigel Slater's book, Eat.

serves 2
  • 6 figs, sliced thinly
  • 250g soft goats cheese, sliced into 2cm slices
  • 4 tblsp soft honey
  • loaf of fresh focaccia
  • 2 tsp fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped

  1. Set oven to 200oC.
  2. Split the focaccia horizontally to give two pieces and place on an oven tray.
  3. Pour some of the honey over the focaccia and place figs on top followed by another trickle of honey and rosemary leaves. Bake for 15 mins.
  4. Remove and add slices of goat's cheese. Turn oven to grill setting and grill for 5 minutes or until cheese starts to melt. Serve immediately. YUM :)

Grilled Eggplant & Haloumi with Tomato Vinaigrette

Tasty, quick week day meal with only two main ingredients it still hits the satisfaction spot.

serves 2

  • 3 eggplant, cut widthways into 1½ cm-thick slices
  • olive oil
  • 250 g haloumi, thickly sliced
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) mint leaves, coarsely chopped 
Tomato vinaigrette
  • 400 g very ripe vine-ripened tomatoes (about 4) coarsely chopped
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar


  1. For tomato vinaigrette, purée tomatoes in a food processor,
    pass through a fine sieve into a bowl (discard seeds and skin), stir in olive oil and vinegar and season to taste. If you have a Vitamix you won't have to sieve it!
  2. Preheat a char-grill over medium-high heat. Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and grill, in batches, turning once until cooked through (4-5 minutes each side).
  3. Increase char-grill to high heat, brush haloumi with olive oil, grill until golden (1-2 minutes each side). Arrange with eggplant on serving plates, drizzle with vinaigrette, scatter with mint and serve immediately. YUM :)
source: Gourmet Traveller

Orange & Chocolate Chip Cake

I don't do a lot of baking so when I do it has to be easy. This cake comes from my favourite kiwi cook, Annabel Langbein. Just throw the ingredients into a food processor, easy! I've made a few changes to make it slightly healthier but still yum.


  • 1 large orange (unpeeled)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 125gms softened butter
  • 1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup stevia; 1/2 cup coconut sugar)
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 1 cup cocoa nibs (or sultanas/raisins or chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C. Grease a 20cm diameter cake tin and
    line the base with baking paper.
  2. Cut the orange into quarters, remove the seeds and whizz in a food processor until finely chopped.
  3. Dissolve baking soda in 1/2 cup water and add to the food processor with butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour. Whizz to combine. Add cocoa nibs and walnuts and stir with a spoon or pulse several times to just combine (don’t whizz them or they will break up)
  4. Pour into prepared cake tin and bake until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. (about 35 minutes)
  5. Orange lightening cake will keep in an airtight container for up to a week or can be frozen.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Crispy Snapper in Butter, Leek & Caper sauce

Snapper cooked in butter served with a crispy skin, topped with salty capers, olives, baby leeks and juicy borlotti beans in under 20 minutes. Yum!

serves 2
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 15g butter
  • 4-6 baby leeks, trimmed & sliced thinly (or one large leek) or diced onion
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
  • 1 x 400g can borlotti beans and 2tbsp salted capers - drained & rinsed
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives 
  • sea salt & pepper
  • small handful of fresh parsley
  • 2 firm white fish fillets - I used snapper with skin on. If you choose a fillet with no skin, dust in seasoned flour before cooking
  • baby spinach leaves to serve
  1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a sauce pan over a medium heat and cook the leek & garlic until soft.
  2. Add beans, tomato paste, red wine, vinegar, olives, stir and
    season. Simmer for 5 minutes, take off heat and add fresh parsley.
  3. Prepare fish i.e dust with seasoned flour or if serving with the skin on, score across the fillets then season.
  4. In a fry pan add 1 tbsp olive oil and 15g of butter, medium-high heat until butter almost turns brown. Add fish, skin side down and cook until brown, 2-3 minutes. Flip fish over, turn heat off and let it sit for 1-2 minutes until fish is opaque & cooked through.
  5. To serve: place fish on plate, pour over sauce from the fry pan. Spoon beans over the fish, and top with salad leaves, freshly ground pepper and drizzle of olive oil. Enjoy!
adapted from Dish#59

Friday, 3 April 2015

Easy Pancakes (rice flour)

Trevor & I are cutting out wheat at the moment so experimenting with different flours. I love pancakes but these kinda turned into pikelet size and they certainly weren't fluffy but apparently if you let the mixture sit for an hour or overnight this helps.  I'll let you know if I'm ever that organised to make something an hour ahead before I get hungry! But this worked without the waiting and once we smothered them in maple syrup & blue berries they were yum.

makes about 8-10

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk (I used rice milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • To serve: fresh blueberries & maple syrup


  1. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients first followed by all the wet ingredients.
  2. Oil a fry pan, heat on medium adding batter (which will be quite runny) only once pan is hot. I kept mine pikelet sized as they were easier to flip.
  3. Once bubbles begin to form on top, flip & cook until browned on other side.
  4. Serve hot with maple syrup & fresh blueberries. Enjoy!