Mains · Snacks and starters · Soups

Pea, Mint and Lemon Soup

pea, mint, lemon soup

This has got to be one of the quickest soup recipes in my repertoire. You can always trust most kiwis to have a bag of peas in their freezer and a lemon tree in the back garden. It tastes great and you can swap the mint for coriander or parsley for a different flavour.


Serves 4, Cook time 15 min



1 tbsp coconut oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

750g frozen peas

½ cup mint leaves roughly chopped

1 litre vegetable stock

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Pinch of smoked paprika

Warm the oil in a large pot, add the chopped onion and cook on a gentle heat for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add 3/4 of the peas, the chopped mint leaves, and 3 cups of the stock. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Blend the soup in a food processor or with a hand immersion blended it should be a thick puree. Return it to the pan, season with salt and pepper and add the remaining peas, stock, lemon zest and juice. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with smoked paprika.
Serve with fresh bread, you can also freeze it into portion sized pottle’s for your lunch.

Mains · Recipes · Snacks and starters

Beetroot and Carrot Energy Salad

beetroot, super food, energy, carrots

A super quick and nourishing salad that tastes unbelievably yum and it is so good for you. It also keeps well in the fridge and the flavours marinade more with time. This also tastes great wrapped up in Nori or in pita bread.

Beetroot is amazingly good for you, loaded with nutrients and antioxidants, and has been found to lower blood pressure. It is is high in folate just 100 gm provides 75% of the RDA. While carrots may not help you see in the dark they are high in vitamin A and have been found in studies to reduce risk of glaucoma.

We were given some amazing home-pickled nasturtium seeds recently which taste amazing in this salad, I haven’t seen them in stores anywhere but capers or diced gherkins make a good substitute.

health, energy carrot

Serves 4 sides, prep time 10 min
2 carrots
1 medium beetroot
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sliced almonds
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 clove crushed garlic
5 dates diced
1 tsp garam masala
1 cup parsley , finely diced

1 Tbsp pickled nasturtium seeds or capers – optional

In a food processor with a grating attachment or using a standard grater, grate the carrot and beetroot. Place in a large serving bowl and sprinkle over garlic, garam masala, balsamic and apple cider vinegar. Toast the seeds and nuts over a medium heat until fragrant, then add to the salad along with the diced date and finely chopped parsley.

Combine well and leave to marinade for at least 30 min before serving.

Mains · Recipes

ABQ Sushi with Crispy Sesame Tofu

 vegan, sushi, amaranth, quinoa, barley

I love sushi and would eat it for every meal if I could, The only thing I am not so keen on is the processed white rice that is in it. I think this alternative makes it taste even yummier although beware it can fall apart easier when you cut it!


Raw Sushi


Amaranth and Quinoa are both ancient grains packed full of essential amino acids and powerful protein. The crispy tofu makes for a fantastic crunch but can easily be omitted or swapped for tempeh.

quinoa sushi



Crispy Sesame tofu

1 packet of tofu- drained/pressed for 5 minutes

2 tbsp Tahini or nut butter of choice

1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari

1 clove garlic crushed

½ cup white sesame seeds

½ cup black sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 180 Celsius. Slice tofu into long strips. In a shallow bowl mix all other ingredients. The mixture should resemble a thick sauce, add a few tbsp of water if necessary.

On a plate sprinkle both colours of sesame seeds. Dip tofu in tahini sauce and then roll in sesame seeds, place on lined baking tray and bake for 20-25 until crisp and golden.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

ABQ sushi

½ cup barley (for gluten free use ½ cup or red or black rice or buckwheat)

½ cup Quinoa

½ cup Amaranth.

2 ½ cups water

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup

Veggie filling of choice- I use strips of thinly sliced




Red Capsicum

4 Sheets Sushi nori

In a pot over medium heat bring barley, quinoa and amaranth to boil with the water, lower heat and simmer for 20 min, you may need to add more water if it starts to boil dry.

Remove from heat and stir through rice wine vinegar and maple syrup and allow to cool.

Thinly slice your chosen veges in long strips.

Place nori sheet shiny side down and cover with 1/2 cm layer of cooked grain mix, leaving a 2 cm strip free at top of nori, make sure you press mixture right out to sides and that its evenly distributed.

I always find it easier if a work with slightly damp hands to stop the mixture sticking

Place strips of veges and tofu length wise in middle of sheet.

Roll up like your rolling a yoga mat and then use a couple of drops of water to help you seal down the end of the nori to the roll.

Cut into large rounds with a sharp knife and serve with tamari, wasabi and ginger.

Mains · Recipes · Snacks and starters

Black Eyed Bean Falafel


falafel, salad, pita pockets

falafel mixture

Falafel patties
pita pocket party

Not to be confused with the pop sensation the black eyed peas; also known as cowpeas this recipe uses the actual bean/pea (not cut up pop singers). Falafel made from scratch is super easy, just remember to soak beans or chickpeas in advance.


If you forget or don’t have time for this then just use canned chickpeas, the texture will be slightly different but they will still taste great. As always I try to reduce the amount of veggie oil I cook with so instead of frying these little guys I bake them in the oven on baking paper- no oil needed.
I like to lay out all the ingredients to make pita pockets on the dinner table, the ‘create your own pita pocket party’ is a fun thing to do with your family or for a dinner party. I place warmed pitas, a mix of salad greens, grated carrot, tomatoes, avocado etc along with sauce and hummus on large trays ready to go.
Serves 4-6, Prep time- soak beans overnight + 20 min prep, 20 min cook time
2 cups black beans (or chickpeas) soaked overnight – should expand to about 3 cups
½ cup parsley
½ cup mint
¾ cup sunflower seeds
4 cloves garlic
1 small onion diced
2 tsp cumin ground
2 tsp coriander ground
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sy sauce or tamari
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp buckwheat or wholemeal flour
½ Cup water

Remove beans from soaking water, rinse and then place in food processor with all other ingredients except water, blend on high, stopping to scrape down sides until mix is finely ground, test to see if it will form a tbsp sized balls in your hands . Add in water 1 tbsp at a time until it does.
Preheat oven to 180C (345F)and roll falafel into tbsp sized balls, place on lined baking tray and press down slightly, bake for 20 mins until golden brown.
Serve in pita breads with salad, hummus and chutney.

Mains · Recipes

Forbidden Baked Butternut Rice Risotto


This weeks post is dedicated to trying new things, I was invited into a wonderful food blogging community ‘Our Growing Edge‘. They are committed to learning, experimenting and growth by trying new food challenges. This led me to wanting to experiment with the standard risotto recipe- primarily replacing the white rice and baking it in the oven….The results were a success- luckily not a fail, read on for more…

A revered variety of rice in ancient China, Forbidden black rice was considered ‘magical’ and reserved for emperors and nobility. Apparently simply possessing a handful of this ‘Forbidden’ rice could lead to punishment by death. Fortunately times have changed and us commoners can now find it in the local supermarket. Using brown and black rice is a nice alternative to Arborio rice and is more nutrient dense and tastes delicious, the nutty and smoky flavour adds a lovely intensity to the dish.



Serves 6 Prep time 20 mins, cook time 1 ½ hours


½ cup ‘forbidden’ black rice
1.5 cups brown rice (or 2 cups brown if you don’t have forbidden rice)
3 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
2 small brown onions thinly sliced
1 medium butternut pumpkin peeled and diced into 2 cm cubes
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 tbsp tamari
½ cup parsley, diced
4 cups Veggie stock
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste

Soak rice in a bowl of water for a couple of hours to help remove enzyme inhibitors (optional). Place all ingredients (except cup of water) in a large oven proof casserole dish stir and place in center of oven, turn the oven on to 180c and let the dish heat up with the oven cook for 1-1 ½ hours, adding the cup of water at 1 hour mark. Remove from oven, taste and season. Spoon onto serving dishes and top with nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese. Serve with steamed bok choy or greens.

brown rice, black rice, pumpkin,