baking, breakfast, Cardioprotective food, Healthy treats on the run, Uncategorized, What to eat when

Breakfast on the run: Giant Sultana and Oat cookies

Yum – I’m missing these giant sultana and oat cookies I baked for work a few months back for a fundraiser. Sometimes if you don’t have time for breakfast a baked item can be ok occasionally. You just need to watch for the oil or fats used in the treat as they be a super nourishing cookie, which could be a drawback for your diet and your daily fat total can add up quickly before lunch, especially if you are watching your weight, it all adds up. I originally made these cookies for the nurses I work with, as they are always working hard without having had breakfast. This cookie would also suit anyone who is working hard, working out, or learning hard on the schoolyard. With the nurses I work with, a lot of them work long shifts and because they have to put other people first, they sometimes skip breakfast and lunch too. So I got the idea to make a breakfast cookie, but healthy. I used a recipe from the taste website – you can view it here. -> Taste recipe

For this recipe I replaced butter with Meadow Lea buttery cook and bake click here for product info which is better for your heart. I’ve used rice bran oil in the past as well to make these and my Vegan Anzacs and they still always come out on top taste wise. I have no affiliation with Meadow Lea, the Rice bran oil company or Taste. Just saying.

I also added some pepitas and other nuts into the mix like a couple walnuts. You could also add pecans or dates if you like for a fudgey hit.

The verdict: Not bad! I had some nurses comment they were pretty awesome, a couple even went home for their kids lunch boxes.

The fibre content in the cookie from the oats is also very good for hitting the daily fibre requirement to protect against cholesterol and other nasties like bowel cancers.

I call them the cardio protective, healthy cookie. These cookies raised about $200 towards my fundraiser for the cycle for education which is a world vision fundraiser for primary school education kits. You can read more about this if you like via this link.

But yeah, healthy baking can be done and it’s something so many people should know more about. Especially when you feel like you need a healthy treat!




Sushi at home

Today I made slow roasted pumpkin, sun dried tomato and cream cheese sushi. Sushi at home is so easy to make in summer and such an easy meal to make on a budget.  Its a good recipe to make while you are at home during the day, if you are working on a project, or if you are simply chilling, as there are a few steps to do and different stages. At the moment I’m at home recovering from an ankle sprain so I have the time, and a couple of helpers to help me with the cooking. I once had this combination at a great little Japanese restaurant in Randwick and its one of my favourite combinations for vegetarian sushi.

You will need:
Sushi rice (medium grain brown or white rice), cooked and cooled
1 sushi mat
1 packet of nori (seaweed)

Pumpkin, 2-3 large roasted pieces
Sun dried tomatoes, 50gm
Cucumber, sliced
1-2 slices from a block of Philly cream cheese (I used the light one), you won’t be eating the whole block over lunch

Cook the rice according to the directions on the packet and after the rice is cooked, sprinkle the rice with 3-4 Tablespoons of sushi vinegar and leave to cool.

We used 4 cups of rice for 6 people and probably about 1/2 a cup of vinegar.

I would recommend using a small amount of vinegar initially like 2 Tablespoons per cup of cooked rice. This step is best done in the morning, before anything else.

At the same time, I would also prepare the pumpkin. My local shop has pre peeled and cut wedges of pumpkin which are always convenient for roasting. I still have a big bunch of herbs from when my friend Elda the dietitian came to visit last week to see how I was going and showed me her recipe for home made pesto so I used some of the rosemary and sage to make the roasted pumpkin extra fragrant.
I crunched the herbs up in my hands (called bruising), to release their herb oils, and rubbed them onto the pumpkin. With a drizzle of olive oil plus some salt, the pumpkin was ready to go.
I roasted it in the 200deg. oven for about 40 mins, or until it was soft and starting to brown.

Once you have the rice, and the pumpkin ready, and they have both cooled bit, you are ready to roll. Use a clean plate or a chopping board.

Place the nori on the mat then add the rice, about 1/2 cup per sheet.
Use the back of a spoon to spread the rice out over the surface of the sheet, leaving a small space about 2 inches, uncovered. Think of it like an envelope flap.

Once you have the rice evenly spread out on the nori, in the middle of the sheet, place your fillings in a small area about 2 cm. You want to stack it a little rather than spreading it out.

Alternate your vegetables and protein – on this one I put the cucumber down first, followed by the cream cheese, pumpkin, and sun dried tomato.

Once its lined up, you’re ready to roll.

Pull the nori sheet up with the mat and roll it overtaking sure to keep a firm grip on the sheet as you roll it. Use the mat to help you to keep the roll structured. Keep rolling it until the nori flap seals the sushi in.
Cut in half to serve as rolls or into individual slices for share plates.

We also used tomato and onion tuna with sundried tomato and cucumber which was nice, and classic tuna, avocado and tuna and mayo.

We also have made aburi salmon sushi at home with the help of my brother and his trusty blow torch but thats a recipe for another time!







Time for Baba

A go to guide on how to make the perfect babaganoush


We have already delved into my childhood trauma of domates so today I thought I would open the door on my next therapy session – my complete retching disgust of patlıcan (aubergine or eggplant or just bleugh!).  I mean seriously even this photo of my finished recipe of Baba Ganoush cannot make it look even slightly appetizing!

babaganoush 2Patlıcan is not a food that I would voluntarily consume.  It is slimy.  It is bitter.  Cooked it looks a bit goopy.  All black and weird and just ugh!  And just who would want to eat something that is named after an egg but is a plant?  Does that even make sense?  And while I am at it where did the name pineapple come from?  Practically everyone else in the world calls them ananas (including here in Türkiye) but again some crazy person came up with the idea of calling it a pineapple. 

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Rainbow Garden Quinoa Kale Bowls 

I work really long hours sometimes like most working people. So I find it important to have some basics in the fridge all the time. Last week I had some quinoa left in the fridge and kale from the pumpkin salad. I felt like bi bim bap but decided to make it with the quinoa to finish it off. This was the result. 

The day before I had eaten toast for dinner – leftover curry plus some extra veggies 

I pan fried one asparagus bunch and some cherry tomatoes and sliced up half an avo    
  Added feta cubes and then thought it could do with an extra protein hit- so I friend an egg on top 


breaking into the yolk


that runny yolk


my flatmate had this one with pork!


Then, packed lunch the next day adding some extra sweet potato and blanched red cabbage (topped with Sricha chilli sauce)  

I had sprouted mung beans I bought from the green grocers as well which added a fresh element 



Spiced pumpkin, kale and quinoa salad 


This easy to make five ingredient salad I just made this Halloween past ! I sprinkled cinnamon on the pumpkin.. Kind of a pumpkin spice theme 🙂

It was really very festive and I would consider bringing this back at Christmas! The leftover quinoa lent well to the base of some rainbow quinoa bowls I made for mid easy week mid week work lunches or post work out dinners. 


2 cups quinoa, cooked in 2 cups veggie or chicken stock

1/4 Japanese pumpkin, cubed and roasted

100gms Feta cheese  cubed 

A bunch of curly kale – tear the leaves of the stalk in bite sized pieces 

Optional cranberries for sprinkling, 1/2 cup  


1. Heat oven to 180 degrees – wash peel and cut pumpkin into large cubes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle some oil on. Sprinkle over a teaspoon of cinnamon, and some honey if you like. I leave the skin on while roasting it. Cut the feta into cubes  for use later. 

2. Boil water on stovetop and add the stock powder. When boiled, add quinoa and cook as per directions on the packet. Place the lid ontop as the water evaporates, and fluff with a fork. Season with salt and pepper and olive oil.

2. Place the quinoa on a plate and top with the kale and pumpkin. Sprinkle the cranberries over the top. 

tricoloured quinoa


gathering ingredients


blanched kale leaves


roasted pumpkin pieces


top with feta cubes

This was yum alongside some baked herb chicken and capers. 

The leftover quinoa was used as a base for my rainbow garden quinoa bowls  🌈



Peanut Butter, Banana and Sultana muffins 

Peanut butter, banana and sultana muffins are the perfect workout fuel or post training treat.. ! 

I bought this product called PB2 by Bell Plantation at my local health food store and it’s an interesting way to add peanut butter to your diet without as many calories from fat. The webpage had a lot of recipes. Essentially it’s like a powdered peanut butter replacement with 85% less fat than normal peanut butter

I just added a 3/4 cup into my usual blueberry muffin recipe but subbed in bananas for a fruity twist.

The best part about this is that it is one I mixed in two bowls without any fancy utensils 🙂


2 cups self raising flour (I use wholemeal) Or 2 cups plain wholemeal flour plus 1 tablespoon baking soda. Wholemeal will make the mix a little heavier and higher in fibre. I like the heavy texture as it’s more filling but sometimes it is not a light as white flour 

3/4 cup brown sugar 

3/4 cup PB2 powder or 1/2 cup peanut butter of your choice (melted)

3/4 cup sultanas – break these up a little if they are clumping together


2 large ripe bananas, mashed 

300mls buttermilk 

1/2 cup rice bran oil 

1 egg 

Pre heat oven to 180degrees 

Grease muffin two 12 cup muffin tins. As an option you can line with paper if you like. 

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together until well combined.  

In a smaller bowl mix the wet ingredients until well combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well making sure there are no dry lumps of flour. 

Spoon tablespoons of the mix into the pan and bake until cooked for 15-18mins 

If making larger muffins you should be able to make around 15

If smaller, makes about 18 -20

Enjoy ! 


Rainbow Salad & Slaw

Serve these rainbow salads at your next BBQ or dinner

Rainbow salad is served!

Rainbow salad is just that. Bring up your salad game by adding all the colours of the rainbow to your plate. Go beyond green and add blues, reds, and purple by adding blueberries, beetroot, and purple cabbage. Add some mint or coriander to influence the herb note of the plate. Serve with a classic French salad dressing using lemon, olive oil and Dijon seasoned to taste.

This salad is so fun to shop for and make or could even make different coloured plates according to the colours of salad ingredients. I first saw this serving style in South Africa when I was at a friends wedding at Bablyonstoren, a garden and  vineyard. It was so good to eat these beautifully bright salads. I always think of them when I make a salad now!

Green salad by Babylonstoren in South African wine country

Green salad by Babylonstoren in South African wine country. The inspiration for my rainbow 🙂

My Rainbow basket

My Rainbow basket

On this day I was invited to a friends for pulled pork burgers and volunteered to make the salad. I went to my local Coles supermarket and filled the basket with a couple of my favourite items. Yellow squash, asparagus and purple cabbage. Then mint, blueberries and a pomegranate. Zucchini is another favourite vegetable so I picked up some of that too. I had this idea for a rainbow slaw using red cabbage, zucchini and carrot which I also made on the day to go with pulled pork my friend Paul had made. Lots of lemons as well as a fig and a Fuji apple completed the basket. Simply wash and cut up your veggies and place them around the plate on your choice of lettuce according to colour. Serve immediately with dressing on the side. To make the dressing place equal parts olive oil, lemon and half the amount of mustard in a small jar. Shake and season with salt and pepper. Pour over to enjoy.

For rainbow slaw: grate or finely slice 2 cups red cabbage to one cup zucchini and one cup yellow squash or carrot. Mix together in a bowl and drizzle with dressing. To make the dressing: start with the juice of one lemon. Add 2 tsps of mayonnaise and one teaspoon of Dijon mayonnaise and perhaps a drizzle of olive oil if you like. Season with salt and pepper, and mix through the vegetable mix. Since I was going to my friends house, I transported it in a large jar and then dressed it there. It was fun to eat.  

 But here’s one of me with my rainbow plate! image

🙂 Enjoy!!