Monthly Archives: October 2014

Incan Salad

2014-10-30 12.55.562014-10-30 12.55.36

South American deliciousness in Incan Salad: Quinoa, Sweet Potato, Rice, Corn and Beans with an avocado, lime and chilli sauce. Sprinkled with some spring onion greens, chopped coriander leaves and hemp seeds. This one will keep you full for hours!

Incan Salad
Prep time
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Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: South American
Serves: 4-6
  • 2 cups or 300g cooked quinoa (about ½ cup dry)
  • 2 cups or 360g cooked short grain brown rice (about ¾ cup dried)
  • 2 cups frozen corn, defrosted
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 180g cooked sweet potato cubes (2 large sweet potatoes, peeled, diced, roasted)
  • Garnish (optional):
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • hemp seeds to garnish - optional
  • Dressing:
  • 1 medium avocado (about 220g of flesh)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 75ml lime juice
  • 100 ml water
  • 1 tsp semi dried chopped chillies (Gourmet Garden brand) - or to taste
  • 1 heaping teaspoon rice malt syrup or other liquid sweetener
  • zest of a lime
  1. To make this salad really easy to throw together, peel, dice and roast your sweet potato the night before or earlier in the day, then refrigerate.
  2. You could also cook your grains too and refrigerate so you don't need to wait for your grains to chill before assembling the salad. You can also leave out the rice altogether and double the quinoa but as it's quite an expensive ingredient this does help to cut the cost!
  3. You can cook brown rice and quinoa together in a rice cooker, just combine the ½ cup quinoa and ¾ cup dried grains with 2 cups water.
  4. Make the dressing by blitzing all ingredients apart from the lime zest in a blender, or jug and a stick blender, or a fork and some elbow grease will do the same job. Stir in the lime zest, taste and adjust the salt / lime juice etc to your taste. It should be quite tart to contrast with the sweetness from the potato.
  5. In a very large bowl, combine the rice, quinoa, sweet potato, beans, corn and cubes of potato and combine well. Stir through the onions and coriander - or leave in bowls if you have sensitive taste buds around the table so everyone can add their own.
  6. Serve with the sauce and hemp seeds to sprinkle if liked.



Mexican Pasta

Quick and easy weeknight dish that can be on the table inside 30 mins and you can spice it up or down depending on you or your family’s tastes.

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Mexican Pasta
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Cuisine: Italian / Mexican
Serves: 4-6
  • 300g wholewheat fusilli /penne etc
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 green capsicum diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t coriander
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • ¼ - 1 tsp chilli powder to taste
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1.5 cups sweetcorn
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 jar mild (or medium / hot) salsa
  • Garnish:
  • 1 avocado diced
  • Chopped coriander
  • Hot sauce
  1. Bring water to the boil in a large pot and boil your pasta.
  2. Water sauté the onion and capsicum over a medium heat, then after a few minutes add the garlic and herbs / spices and stir for another minute.
  3. Add all other ingredients apart from garnishes and mix thoroughly. Simmer until hot then tip in drained pasta once it's ready.
  4. Dish up and garnish as desired with avocado, coriander and hot sauce.


Kale & Tofu Cannelloni

I’ve always loved cannelloni, but filing those little dried pasta tubes is very fiddly and time consuming!   This one uses wholewheat lasagne sheets, and a light and tasty tofu kale filling, baked in a rich tomato sauce and topped with crispy breadcrumbs.  Simple enough for a family dinner but good enough for company too!  Also another great way to get kale into your children!

2014-10-22 19.38.07

Tofu Kale Cannelloni
Prep time
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Recipe type: Cannelloni
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 375g plain firm tofu
  • ⅓ cup soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1 T American style mild mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 T chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 T nutritional yeast
  • 1 small onion (slightly larger than a golf ball size) finely diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • PASTA:
  • 4-6 wholemeal lasagne sheets (I used instant variety)
  • SAUCE:
  • 375g of your favourite oil free Bolognese / tomato & basil style pasta sauce, a jar or homemade - (or a can of chopped tomatoes, blended with 1 tsp garlic granules, 1 tsp onion granules, 1 T tomato paste & 1 tsp sugar until smooth, then stir in 1 tsp dried Italian herbs).
  • 1 slices wholemeal bread
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1 T nutritional yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  1. De-stem the kale, roughly chop and simmer in large pot of boiling water for 8 mins until softened.
  2. Rinse under cold water, take handfuls, firmly squeeze out the water and then slice each handful into 4-5 pieces.
  3. Meanwhile, fry the onion and garlic in a small pan over a gentle heat with a splash of water until softened.
  4. Mix the soy milk, miso, mustard and salt together in a small bowl
  5. Put the tofu in a food processor and pulse a couple of times, before adding the kale, dill, walnuts, nutritional yeast, soy milk mixture and the onion and garlic mixture. Pulse until it is breadcrumb like, not so much that it becomes a green paste! Remove the blade and this is now ready for your lasagne sheets.
  6. NB: If you don’t have a food processor, mash the tofu with a fork until like breadcrumbs, finely chop the kale and thoroughly mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
  7. Bring a large wide pan of water to the boil.
  8. Prepare a lasagne style baking dish by lining it with half of your tomato sauce.
  9. Boil each sheet of lasagne separately for 4 minutes, pop into a bowl of cold water or run under the cold tap; remove to a chopping board. As each one is done you can start layering your cannelloni dish, or cook them all ahead of time and layer between baking paper to prevent them sticking together. If storing in the fridge, wrap in cling film so they don’t dry out.
  10. Heat the oven to 180 o Centigrade.
  11. Take a lasagne sheet and cut it in half across the long side (i.e making two rectangles, not long skinny strips). Take one piece and scoop up approximately 2-3 tablespoons of the filling and arrange it in a tube shape across the lasagne, then roll up. The two edges should overlap by about 1-2 cms, so use this as your guide to how much to put in!
  12. Place your cannelloni tube in the sauce at one side of your dish.
  13. Keep this going as your boil your sheets, cut, fill, roll and place.
  14. Pack them snugly against each other. You should need 4-6 full lasagne sheets, making 8-12 cannelloni before you use all your filling and they ideally will just fill up your dish. You may need to cut the last one in half to fill up the gap in the corner. Mine looked like this:
  15. I used 5 sheets, so 10 cannelloni.
  16. Pour the rest of the sauce over the cannelloni.
  17. For the breadcrumb topping, put all the ingredients in a food processor or small chopper, process until breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the top of the cannelloni.
  18. Place in the oven for 25 minutes or until breadcrumbs crisp and sauce is bubbling. If breadcrumbs are browning too quickly, cover the dish with a sheet of foil.


Kale, Quinoa, & Carrot Salad

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Quinoa, Kale & Carrot Salad
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Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
  • ½ bunch kale
  • 2 tsp tahini
  • 2 T orange juice
  • 175g dry quinoa
  • 1 large carrot (about 250g, unprepared weight)
  • ½ cucumber (about 200g)
  • 1 small red onion (about 60g unprepared weight)
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower & pumpkin seeds
  • 60g sultanas/ raisins etc
  • 150 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 25 ml tahini
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 3g salt
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 10 ml white wine vinegar
  1. Put the quinoa on to cook - rinse well first in a fine sieve, and use double the volume of water (or prepare earlier, and refrigerate). Once cooked, place in a large wide bowl to cool and refrigerate until needed.
  2. Wash, de-stem and finely chop the kale, place in a large bowl
  3. Add the 2 tsp tahini and 2T orange juice and massage really well for 5 minutes until it has reduced in size and is softened.
  4. Coarsely grate the carrot, finely dice the cucumber and onion and add to the bowl with the cooked quinoa.
  5. Toast the seeds in a small pan over a medium heat until crisp and golden.
  6. Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients - whisk in a jug or use a blender.
  7. Pour most of the dressing over the salad and mix well. Allow to sit for 30 minutes before serving with extra dressing if liked, plus the seeds and dried fruit on top.


Oil-free Red Pepper Pesto

This is a game changer.  I’ve tried making many many pestos without oil over the years and been mainly disappointed.  The essential oil in basil it seems has to blend with some other kind of oil to be drawn effectively from the leaves and the pine nuts / cashews didn’t seem to be enough.  The liquid which comes from red peppers (capsicums for the Aussies reading) is a funny oily kind of substance which I thought might work.  So happy I was right.  You have to try this. 🙂

2014-10-01 13.53.05

Oil-free Red Pepper Pesto
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Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
  • 4 small / 3 medium / 2 large red peppers / capsicums
  • 1 large bunch basil (or use 2 if they're smaller like supermarket bunches)
  • 2-3 tablespoons raw pine nuts or cashew pieces
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ½ - 1 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
  2. Wash your peppers well, then place stalk-up on a baking tray lined with baking paper (bring the paper up over the sides as you want to catch any escaping juices).
  3. Wash your basil, then pluck off all the good leaves (not blackened / bruised) and tender stalk tips and put them in your food processor
  4. Add the nooch, garlic - sliced, and salt
  5. After about 20 minutes check your peppers and rotate them carefully, turning blackened spots underneath and be careful not to pierce them so the juices escape.
  6. Check again after 15 minutes and rotate once more. After 45-60 minutes they should be ready depending on your oven. They should be and collapsing but not flat yet!
  7. Place them in a bowl, and cover with cling wrap and place in the fridge for 15 minutes or until just cool enough to handle, but still warm / hot. Wearing disposable gloves can help here!
  8. Holding them over the bowl, split them open, remove the stalk as many seeds as you can and peel off as much as the skin as you can. Let the juices drip into the bowl. Place pieces of flesh into another bowl as you go along. Once you're finished, place a fine sieve over the bowl of prepared peppers, and tip your bowl containing the seeds, stalks and skin over it, adding all that lovely syrup / juice to your peppers. Discard the other bowl contents.
  9. Add your peppers and juice to the food processor with your basil etc., and process on high until it is the texture you like. It helps if the peppers are still a little warm.
  10. Adjust the seasoning and serve.
  11. This makes an excellent dip also if you add a can of chickpeas /cannellini beans.


Mexican Pasta Salad

2014-09-26 10.14.55

Mexican Pasta Salad
Prep time
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Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 large red capsicum
  • 1 medium green capsicum
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup kidney beans
  • 2 stick celery
  • 3 sliced spring onions
  • 350g wholewheat pasta - penne / conchiglie / fusilli
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 70ml white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons cashew cream (cashews: soaked, drained blended with enough water to cover)
  • 1 heaped tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp semi dried chillies (or chilli paste / fresh - to taste)
  • lime zest
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
  • Diced avocado - optional.
  1. Put your pasta on to boil and meanwhile prepare the vegetables:
  2. Dice the capsicum, celery, finely slice the spring onions and place in a very large serving bowl along with the kidney beans and corn.
  3. Place the dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and frothy.
  4. Once pasta is cooked, drain well and rinse under cold water, drain well.
  5. Tip into the bowl with the vegetables, pour over as much of the dressing as required, top with the lime zest and coriander and stir again. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Lovely with diced avocado on the top also.