Category Archives: Sides

White Bean & Olive Spread


White Bean & Olive Spread
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Lebanese inspired spread for toast
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Lebanese
Serves: 6 slices
  • 1 can butter beans or cannellini beans
  • Juice and zest of 1 juicy lemon - about 4 tablespoons
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2-4 tablespoons finely chopped red or spring onion (as preferred)
  • 6 black or green olives, chopped
  • 1 tsp capers, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp tahini (optional)
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped mint
  • pinch of chilli flakes or semi-dried chopped chililes
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Zest the lemon and tip into a medium bowl
  2. Juice the lemon into a small bowl and tip the crushed / Microplaned garlic into it to steep.
  3. Mash the beans with a fork in a bowl, or pulse in a food processor until broken down but not a smooth paste.
  4. Prepare the herbs, olives, onion & capers and add to the bowl with the lemon zest.
  5. Add the beans and stir thoroughly, add the tahini, chilli and salt and pepper as desired.
  6. Stir in the lemon juice and garlic mixture. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes as flavour will continue to develop. The garlic flavour will be stronger the next day if it lasts that long! ūüôā
  7. Serve on hot toast with sliced baby tomatoes.
  8. NB: You can use all or one of the herbs, equally delicious with any combination of fresh herbs.


Curried Brown Rice Salad

Indian Brown Rice Salad

Curried Brown Rice Salad
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Brown rice with chopped fresh raw veggies and an Indian inspired creamy dressing For a speedy week night dinner, cook the rice the previous day. This can easily be stretched to feel more mouths, depending on how much rice you add to the chopped veggies.
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6
  • 1 large stick of celery
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium capsicum
  • ½ cup baby frozen peas
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 12 green beans, steamed and sliced
  • 2 fat spring onions, sliced
  • ½ cup raisins or sultanas (optional)
  • 4-6 cups cooked brown rice, chilled or at room temperature
  • Garnishes: (optional): Fresh chopped coriander, coconut, toasted cashews, chopped chillies
  • Dressing:
  • 2 tsp tahini
  • 2 desert spoons avocado
  • ¾ cup soy milk or other milk of choice
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar, any variety
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  1. Put the rice on to cook if you're not using precooked rice.
  2. Whisk together, or blend in processor the ingredients for the dressing.
  3. Finely chop all the vegetables and mix together in a large bowl.
  4. Once the rice is cooked, spread it out on a large tray to cool down, or place in fridge for 30-50 mins if you have the time.
  5. Dish up the rice in to individual bowls and top with the vegetables and dressing, and optional garnishes.
  6. Leftovers can be mixed together and put in the fridge for lunches the next day! ūüôā





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.


Easy Ratatouille (fatfree!)

I used this for a lunch for my PlantPot customers but it was so good I had to write it down for use as quickly as possible again, this time for the family!¬† It was amazingly easy to make without onions or garlic (have to make it that way for a customer) but what was surprising was it was BETTER that way!¬† The flavours of the capsicum, eggplant and zucchini really sing when they don’t have to try so hard!¬† I packaged it up all so quickly too I didn’t get time to take a photo so will have to add one next time!

Easy Ratatouille
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Recipe type: Stew
Cuisine: French
Serves: 8
  • 2 Red Capsicum
  • 1 Green Capsicum
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 5 smallish zucchini
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • ¬Ĺ tsp rosemary
  • ¬Ĺ tsp thyme
  • Pinch of Herbs de Provence
  • Handful basil, shredded
  • Salt & pepper
  1. Core and deseed the capsicum, cut into large chunks ‚Äď about 12 pieces for each one.
  2. Add to large casserole dish over a low heat with a splash of water or stock, place on the lid.
  3. Meanwhile, slice the eggplants into ¬Ĺ cm thick ‚Äď not too thin. Grill them on a sandwich press for a few minutes until softened. Cut each slice into 2-3 pieces and add as you go along to the pot.
  4. Slice the zucchini into large slices ‚Äď about ¬ĺ to 1cm and add to the pot.
  5. Core the tomatoes and cut each into 8 pieces, add to the pot along with any juices.
  6. Add the canned tomatoes, vinegar, dried herbs and place back on the lid and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally for an hour or so until soft and delicious. Stir in the basil and remove from the heat. Season well.
  7. Best served at room temperature.


Bubble and Squeak

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It’s a bit of a nerve to call this a recipe, but as many people asked me for it, I have to share, but¬†I’m just going to write in regular text rather in my regular recipe layout thingy. ūüėČ

1kg floury potatoes, cubed
1/2 savoy cabbage finely shredded (or Brussels sprouts, or any other left over green veg, eg leek, swiss chard, etc.)
1 large onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring the potatoes to boil whilst you prep the vegetables.

Steam the cabbage until soft and “fry” the onion until soft and lightly browned.

Once they’re cooked, mash the potatoes thoroughly, using as little milk as possible, you need a fairly dry mixture or it won’t flip easily.

Mix potatoes with cabbage and onion together thoroughly and season to taste in a large large bowl.

Heat a large non stick skillet (e.g. Stonewell) and flatten the mixture firmly in the pan.¬† On a low light, cook for 5-7 minutes then flip over using a plate and repeat on the other side.¬† Serve! ūüôā

Kale Stuffed Potatoes

This is more of concept than a recipe so quantities are a bit vague.  Anyway, this is what I do:

Bake 4 large baking¬†potatoes in the oven on a baking tray (I put a metal skewer through each one which speeds up the cooking – don’t bother microwaving – you know it’s not the same!) and bake for a good hour – hour and a half depending on their¬†size and your oven.

Whilst they’re baking boil or steam a smallish bunch of kale until tender¬†then chop finely, and steam-fry a finely chopped medium onion.

Make sure they’re soft and fluffy all the way through before halving them lengthwise, and across the widest part so they will sit flat on the plate without wobbling.

Scoop all that soft fluffy potato out into a bowl, leaving a thin shell that helps the potato keep some sort of integrity and not collapse in a heap.

Add whatever you like to add to your potatoes to mash – we use creamy soy milk, (low fat), houmous, salt and pepper, nooch etc, mash thoroughly, then stir in your onions and kale until really well combined.

Pile this filling back into¬† your potato shells place back on the baking tray and bake for another 15 minutes or so or until you can’t wait any longer.¬† Mmmmmmm.

NB: I will add a photo to this post when I remember not to eat them all so quickly…

Tomato Soup and Kale Stuffed Potatoes

I’ve decided to post most days now and share not just my own recipes but things I find online, from books etc and musings on our food in general.¬† ūüôā

I’m making a concerted effort now to simplify weeknight meals.¬† I have a tendency to get all excited when I’m making my weekly meal plan and then after a day at my desk stumble into the kitchen, when at 6:30 pm¬†that list of delicious¬†dishes¬†is looking rather overwhelming.¬† SO, I have decided to keep anything very unfamiliar or challenging to the weekend¬†(well, Fri, Sat and Sun) and keep Mon-Thurs of the easy or “done it a million times”¬†variety.

My kids love Heinz tomato soup so I’ve been trying to find a substitute that doesn’t send you into a diabetic coma or sculling a litre of water along with it due to all that sugar and salt.¬† I found this one online but can I find it now?¬† Typing in the exact title only takes me to MyFitnessPal where it’s listed as a caloric total someone once added, but no recipe.¬†¬† Anyway it was called Not Your Campbell’s Cream of Tomato Soup.¬† I amended it a fair bit anyway, but if you find it, that’s the original source. And thank you whoever you are, it was delicious.
Rather than just having it with bread, I¬†decided to serve it with baked potatoes, this time stuffed with steamed kale.¬† We love something we call “Stuffily Brocked Potatoes” (due to saying it wrong one day – should have been “Broccoli Stuffed Potatoes”!) so thought I’d ring the changes, and find another way to get the awesome kale into the offspring and the result was perhaps even better.¬† We also had some good wholemeal sourdough (this is our favourite) and a simple cos lettuce salad on the side.

Potato recipe to follow in next post… ūüôā

Tomato Soup
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A knock off of that tinned soup, but so much better for you .
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: British
Serves: 4
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cups diced sweet potato
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (no need to peel)
  • 1 very small onion (e.g. golf ball), diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 150g tomato paste
  • 1 tblspn nutritional yeas
  • 1 tblspn agave syrup
  • 1 tsp salt - or to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. Put water, sweet potato, tomatoes, onion, thyme, coriander, garlic powder, salt and cashew nuts into a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender - about 15 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste, yeast, and syrup and blend with immersion blender until smooth and creamy. Leave to simmer for longer if nuts need a little more time to soften completely and then blend again.

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