Pad Thai



1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

½ tablespoon fresh minced ginger

1 small red chilli, finely sliced

2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

¼ cup soy sauce (or Tamari if you want this to be gluten free)

¼ cup soft brown sugar (or you could use agave instead if you prefer)

¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice

 2 tablespoons peanut butter (I only had smooth but crunchy would be brilliant in this)

200 grams rice noodles

2 cups Chinese cabbage, finely shredded

1 cup spring onion, washed and finely sliced

1 large bunch coriander, washed well, roots finely sliced and leaves roughly chopped

#optional 200 grams tofu (I use Blue Lotus Organic), cut into cubes

½ cup peanuts

handful dried shallots



Heat the oils in a wok and sauté the ginger, chilli and garlic on a low heat. Turn the heat off.

Whisk the soy sauce, sugar, lime juice and peanut butter together in a bowl, add to the wok and stir to combine.

Cook or soak the noodles as per the packet instruction and drain. Be careful to not overcook them.

Bring the sauce in the wok to the boil and add the noodles, cabbage, spring onion, coriander and tofu, is you are using it. Mix everything well.

Serve immediately and garnish with the peanuts and dried shallots.


Yields: 2 serves.

Time: Takes about 25 minutes.

Freezing: Not suitable.

Cinnamon Scented Pumpkin & Black Bean Curry


Just as the name suggests this is a sweet curry. It’s a quick fragrant nourishing meal for a cold night. It’s also beautiful to have for lunch the next day.



1 small brown onion, peeled, cut into large dice

1 small red chilli, halved lengthwise, seeds removed and finely sliced

1 large tablespoon of curry powder

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 can of good quality crushed tomato

1 cup of vegetable stock

2 cups of pumpkin, peeled and cut into small cubes

1 can of black beans, well rinsed and drained



Get your rice cooking If you are going to serve this with rice.

Heat a small amount of oil in a large pan and gently sauté the onion and chilli until they have softened and the onion has started to *caramelised. See Notes.

Put the curry powder in a small dry pan and carefully dry roast it over a low heat. Stir it as you go and only roast for a minute or 2 to bring the aromatics of the curry out.

Add the curry and the cinnamon to the onion and stir them over a low heat until they are well combined. Add the tomatoes, stock, black beans and pumpkin. Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cover the pan and continue cooking until the pumpkin is tender.

I serve this with steamed brown rice and garnish it with loads of fresh washed coriander just before serving.


Yields: 2 large serves

Time: 25 minutes

Notes: Caramelising the onion is an important step. It means to cook the onion until it starts to brown and the natural sugars have come out. This gives the onion a sweeter, caramel flavour.

You can get black beans at well stocked health food stores and some supermarkets.  If you can’t find back beans just substitute them with kidney beans or chick peas.

Vietnamese Vermicelli Salad

Spicy, sour , fragrant, crunchy, simple and delicious. This salad packs a punch!

YOU NEED (for the salad)

2 x100 gram packs of vermicelli rice noodles

1 large red capsicum (also known as bell peppers), core removed, seeds out and very finely sliced

2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks

a handful of spring onion (also known as scallions), washed, cut in 1/2, sliced into thin strips lengthwise

1 bunch of Vietnamese mint, washed and roughly chopped

a good handful of sweet basil, washed and gently torn

1 cup of crushed, salted and roasted peanuts


YOU NEED (for the dressing)

2 limes, juiced

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

1 small red chilli, halved and finely sliced (I have some that are REALLY hot at the moment and decided to live on the edge and not remove the seeds)

2 lemon grass stems, finely sliced. If you don’t have lemon grass stems, use a tablespoon of bought minced lemon grass. Do get fresh lemon grass if you can though, as it adds a nice crunch and is so fragrant).

1 tablespoon of coconut sugar (alternatively use soft brown sugar)

5 kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped



Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until they are well combined and set aside.

Prepare the noodles as per the packet instructions. If you are using hot water refresh them in cold water immediately and drain them. Grab handfuls of the noodles and roughly chop them with scissors. Shorter noodles make the salad easier to eat.

Combine the noodles with the rest of the ingredients (except for the nuts).

Add the dressing to the noodles mixture and stir well to combine.

Garnish with the crushed peanuts and serve.


Yields: Makes enough for 4. Or for 2 very hungry people

Time: 25 minutes

Notes: Just use normal mint if you can’t get Vietnamese. It’s not the same but you need mint because it gives the salad a cooling element.

Chilli Sans Carne

Chilli con Carne is a recipe my mum likes to make and I love bean recipes so it was only a matter of time before I played with a veg version.

For those of you looking for a fast, easy dinner. I just used what was in the pantry and honestly it was up in 20 minutes flat.

It’s rich, warming tasty and uncomplicated. If making it for children you can simply leave the hot cayenne powder out.



1 large red capsicum (also known as bell pepper), seeds and core out and cut into a smallish dice

2 large brown onions, peeled and finely diced

1 can of baked beans

1 can of red kidney beans, well rinsed

1 can of chickpeas, well rinsed

1  can of crushed tomatoes

1 can of good quality tomato soup

2 cups of vegetable stock (I use Masell brand)

1 teaspoon of cumin powder

1 teaspoon of hot cayenne powder

# optional – oil for cooking



Get some rice on and cooking to serve this with….

Heat some rice bran oil in a large pot (alternatively just heat a little water instead of oil). Add the onions and cook on a low to medium heat till they are soft and browned. Add the garlic, cumin, cayenne and capsicum and cook for another minute or so.

Add the rest of the ingredients, stir to combine, bring to the boil and gently simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve with rice, vegetables or salad.

# I would also suggest a teaspoon of smoky paprika would be awesome in this, to add depth and a “meaty” tone to it.

# This is S#P#I#C#Y, so if you are cooking it for the family, reduce or eliminate the  cayenne.


Servings: 4-6

Time: Takes me about 20 minutes to make this one.

Freezing: Should be fine for freezing.

Semi dried Tomato & Garlic Chive Chickpea Pancakes



150 grams of chickpea (also known as besan flour or garbanzo flour)

220ml of water

2/3 cup of zucchini, washed and grated (also known as courgette)

1.5 teaspoons of salt

1/3 cup of fresh chives, washed and finely sliced

¼ cup of semi dried tomatoes, drained of their oil and finely sliced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced



Put the chickpea flour into a large bowl and add the water. Whisk until the mixture has a smooth batter consistency.

Squeeze the grated zucchini in a clean, dry tea towel to remove extra water content from it.

Add the zucchini and the rest of the ingredients to the batter and mix well to combine.

Gently heat a small non stick pan with enough oil to grease the pan (I used the oil from the semi dried tomato jar).

Put a well greased pancake ring (I used one because I wanted my pancakes to look pretty) in the pan and pour in just under ¼ cup of the mixture (I used a 1/4 cup, cup measurer). Each time you scoop up ¼ of a cup of the mixture make sure you stir the mixture first so that all the fillings are well distributed in the batter.

Watch your pancakes while they are cooking and when you see bubbles on the surface of the pancakes and also when you touch the sides and they have firmed slightly, gently pull the ring up and place it aside. Then turn the pancake over with an egg flipper. Do this GENTLY. Cook until till browned.

Repeat this process until you have used all the batter and serve

I served mine with a spicy eggplant pickle, semi dried tomatoes and rocket.


Yields: Makes 10 depending on the size of the cooking ring you use and if you use a ring.

Time: Approximately 20 minutes

Freezing: Not suitable for freezing

Notes: If your batter is too wet, simply add more flour and if it’s too dry add more water..

You REALLY want your oil to be fairly hot before you pour the batter onto, otherwise your pancakes will be soggy and oily. Not too hot though or they will burn.  A gentle to medium heat after the batter has hit the pan is perfect, because you want your pancakes to cook through. If your pan gets too hot at any stage just remove it from the heat. Remember like all pancake making sessions that the 1st couple are usually crap and they get better as you keep cooking.

If your pancakes stick a little to your cooking ring when you try to lift it, just get a small, sharp, thin bladed knife and gently run it around the edge of the ring to release the pancake.

These are also lovely with corn, but I do find ingredients with strong flavours like those I have listed or by adding things like olives, capers, spring onions etc work best with besan flour as they compete well with the strong earthy flavour of the flour.