Smoky Pea Soup w/ Mint Pistou


1 leek

2 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped

3 cups of frozen green peas

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1-2 tablespoons of Mexican fajita seasoning or a tiny touch of liquid smoke

5 cups of vegetable stock

salt and pepper

2 cups of fresh mint leaves, washed

¼ cup of nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

2 cloves of garlic

1/4 cup of olive oil



Finely slice the white part of the leek and set the rest aside for stock or another recipe. Gently cook the leek and garlic in a medium pot, in a little water (just enough to stop the leek from sticking to the pan while it cooks) until the leek softens. Stir regularly while you cook the leek and add a little more water if you need to.

Add the potatoes and the stock to the pot and bring it to the boil. Once the stock has come to a boil, turn the heat down to a medium simmer and cook until the potato is almost cooked. Just before the potato is ready, add the peas and cook another couple of minutes. Add the Mexican Fajita seasoning or liquid smoke. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste and blend all ingredients until smooth.

While the soup is cooking prepare the mint pistou by simply blending the mint leaves, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil and set aside.

Serve the soup hot with fresh crusty bread and topped with a generous dollop of mint pistou.


Serves:  Serves 4

Time: This only takes about half an hour if you pop a top on your pot to get it to the boil and cut your potato quite small.

Freeze: Suitable.

Notes: Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast that is rich in B12. It offers body and a cheesy flavour to recipes. It can be purchased in well stocked health food stores.

Liquid smoke offers a plant based smokey flavour to soups and marinades. It can be purchase online and at well stocked delis.

For a lower fat option you can simply omit the pistou.

Rosemary, Garlic & Bean Dip

This is so so easy and the result is rich, creamy, fragrant gorgeous dip. It’s perfect for a kids snack with vegetable sticks or at a party or BBQ.


1 x 400 gram can of Cannellini beans, washed well and drained

1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons of olive oil (I use a cold pressed olive oil)

½ teaspoon of salt

2 cloves of roasted garlic

1 extra tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary leaves



Blend all the ingredients except for the extra tablespoon of rosemary leaves.

Once the ingredients are all well blended and smooth, stir the extra rosemary through the mixture and serve.

If you wish you can pour a little extra olive oil over the top when you serve it.


Serves: Makes about 1 cup of dip

Time: Seriously takes about 5 minutes

Freeze:  I wouldn’t

Note: I made this using raw garlic and the garlic was too sharp on your tongue. I just popped a bulb of garlic in the oven on a low to medium temperature – about 150c with oil and cooked it until it was soft and well coloured. I then added 2 cloves to this and the result was so much better. Roasting the garlic takes that raw harshness away and you end up with a lovely sweet result.

Chocolate Mandarin Pudding

I’m a bit into mandarins at the moment so purchased a massive bag of them the other day to play with some recipe ideas. Here is my 1st effort! It turned out just as I had imagined so I am thrilled:)

…………It is incredibly simple. So simple in fact that I was tempted to keep playing with it, but sometimes “less is best” and this is a perfect example of that old adage. I didn’t use a lot of mandarin but its notes still shine through in the pudding.

And it’s **full** of flavour.



1 x 300gram pack of silken tofu (I use Blue Lotus organic silken tofu)

2 x mandarins

4 tablespoons of cocoa (a really good quality one will make a difference such as Dutch Cocoa but if you don’t have that don’t stress and just use what you have)

3 tablespoons agave syrup (if you do not have agave syrup use icing sugar to taste)



##GENTLY## grate the skin of the mandarins with a citrus zester (I highly recommend investing in one of these if you like a lot of recipes that use fruit zest. I have never had the same results with a normal grater for jobs like this. I end up with large chunks and pith which is not pleasant. Doing this with a zester will impart the flavour of the mandarin without chunks.)

Blend the zest and the rest of the ingredients together till smooth.

Refrigerate for a few hours


Servings: 2 -3

Time: Takes me about 5 minutes to make this one.

Freezing: Not suitable for freezing

White Minestrone


White minestrone tends to take a back seat to its tomato based sibling. It’s a perfect alternative to people seeking recipes without tomato though. I use no oil in this dish as I am not trying to brown any of the vegetables and garlic is optional too. I just let the vegetables and flavours speak for themselves. You don’t get the same punchy hit you get from tomato based minestrone, but what does result is an earthy, creamy, nourishing dish, that is calm on the palate.



1 large leek, use only the white part, wash and finely slice it

#optional 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1 cup of button mushrooms roughly chopped

1.5 litres of vegetable stock

1 cup of penne pasta

1 small turnip, peeled and cut into a small dice

1 large brown potato, cut into a dice. Make this dice a bit larger than the turnip though because the potato will cook faster than the turnip.

2 cups of green cabbage, finely sliced

2 cups of cauliflower, cut into small florets

1 cup of zucchini, cut into a small dice

1 can of butter beans, washed thoroughly and drained

1 can of chick peas, washed thoroughly and drained



Put the leek and the garlic into a large pot with a little water and sauté till the leeks soften. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they too have softened.

Add the stock and bring to the boil.

Add the pasta, potato, turnip. cabbage and cauliflower to the pot and simmer on a gentle heat for 10-15 minutes. Just before the pasta is cooked and the vegetables are tender, add the zucchini, butter beans and chickpeas and simmer for another few minutes.


Serves: 4 to 6

Time: 30-45 minutes

Freezing: Wouldn’t recommend.

Notes: You can use the green part if the leek if you wish. I prefer not to for this dish. I keep the green section and utilise it in other recipes.

Gluten free options would be to eliminate the pasta or simply use gluten free pasta.

tom yum gai (Asian soup recipe)



1.25 litres vegetable stock (I use Massel brand)

1.5 tablespoons of fresh galangal, grated or finely chopped (I didn’t have fresh so I used galangal powder which I found in an Asian grocer)

4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons of vegetarian fish sauce (I get mine on line from the Cruelty Free Store)

2 teaspoons of red curry paste (There are a few without shrimp paste. I used “Maesri Red Curry Paste” which is in a small red tin with a little black and white picture of an elderly Asian lady. Found it in the Asian section in Safeway)

6 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced

I stem of lemon grass. Just use the white section, remove the core and discard it and finely slice the rest

100 grams of shitake mushrooms, leave stems on and cut mushrooms lengthways in 4 large slices

1 cup of fresh bean shoots

1 cup of carrot (cut into matchsticks)

300 grams of fresh rice noodles.

½ cup of fresh mint, washed and roughly chopped

½ cup of coriander, washed and finely chopped

spring onion for garnish (also known as scallions)

# optional~ 1 small red chilli, finely sliced


Heat the vegetable stock in a large pot with the kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lemon grass, red curry paste, fish sauce and lime juice. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and carrots and simmer gently for another 2 minutes.

Add the fresh rice noodles and simmer gently till they break up.

Throw in the bean shoots and herbs and serve garnished with some spring onion.


Serves: 4

Time: Takes about 30 minutes

Freezing: Not suitable for freezing

Chai Spiced Poached Pears

YOU NEED (for the poached pears)

4 small pears, peeled. I leave the core in and stem on. 200 grams of brown sugar (I actually used an organic coconut sugar but brown sugar is fine) 1.5 litres of water 3 cardamom pods 1 cinnamon stick 4 cloves 3 star anise



Put all the ingredients into a small pot except for the pears and bring to the boil. Once boiled turn the temperature down so that the mixture is barely simmering. It should look like there is no movement in the water.

Place the pears in the pot. Cover with a cartouche or be lazy like I was and just carefully balance the top from another smaller pot on top of the pears to keep them submerged in the liquid.

Poach until the pears are cooked through. Test by using a bamboo skewer. You are looking for next to no resistance from the pear when you pierce it with the skewer.

YOU NEED (for the syrup)

200 grams of  brown sugar 200ml of water 3 cardamom pods 1 cinnamon stick 4 cloves 3 star anise


Place all ingredients in a small pot, stir to combine, bring to the boil then turn down the heat till a slow simmer for approx 5-10 mins.

Once all the sugar has dissolved, the mixture no longer looks watery, takes on a gloss and looks syrupy. Turn the heat off.

Place syrup and pears onto serving plates and serve immediately.

*Be lovely with coconut yoghurt.


Servings:  4

Time:  Approximately 20 minutes

Freezing: Not suitable for freezing

Notes: Instead of sugar you can use pure maple syrup or agave

Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse


This is the perfect snack…… or perfect for dessert!

You absolutely cannot tell that there is avocado in this. It’s rich, chocolate velvet and is absolutely delicious.

It’s a dessert I made for my 3 year old every sometimes. As long as he doesn’t see the avocado go in, all is fine.



1/2 a large avocado

1/4 cup of pure maple natural syrup

1 tablespoon of peanut butter (I use an organic peanut butter that contains only peanuts. No oil, salt and sugar)

1-2 teaspoons of dairy free cocoa (Just add this slowly until you get a lovely rich colour ..enough to forget that you are eating avocado)



Blend all the ingredients together until smooth.

Sieve some good quality cocoa over the top


Servings:  2 children or 1 adult

Time:  5 minutes

Freezing: Not suitable for freezing

Notes: Instead of sugar you can use pure maple syrup or agave

Cauliflower & Chickpea Curry



I had some cauliflower that needed using up and then I picked up some organic tomatoes and capsicum for 1/2 price and had an urge to make a curry. The following is what I came up with.



1 head of cauliflower (approx 4 loose cups), cut into florets

1 can chickpeas, rinsed well

6 tomatoes, core removed and roughly chopped

1 medium brown onion, peeled and finely diced

1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, very finely diced

1 small red chilli, seeded and very finely diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 heaped tablespoon of curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups vegetable stock

1/3 cup tomato puree

1 capsicum (also known as bell pepper)

1 bunch fresh washed coriander, roots removed, stems finely sliced and leaves roughly chopped

2-3 teaspoons besan flour (also known as chickpea or garbanzo flour)



Heat a small amount of water in a large non stick pan and sauté the onion on a low to medium heat until it softens. Add the ginger and chilli and cook for another minute or so.

Add a little more water and add the cumin, turmeric, curry powder, ground coriander and salt and continue to stir on a low to medium heat for a few minutes. Add a little extra water if you need to, in order to stop the spices from burning.

Add the tomatoes, stir all the ingredients together and let them gently simmer for another couple of minutes to allow the tomatoes to start breaking down.

Pour the vegetable stock and tomato puree into the pan. Add the cauliflower, capsicum and chickpeas. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer very gently for about 10 – 15 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked. I allowed mine to remain slightly firm.

Just before the cauliflower is cooked, place 2 teaspoons of besan flour in a small dish with enough water to make a loose paste and pour the mixture into the pan. Stir it through the other ingredients and allow the dish to simmer and the sauce to thicken. If you want the curry to be a little thicker, make a paste with the remaining teaspoon of besan flour and some water and repeat. Serve, once the cauliflower is tender.

Garnish with lots of fresh washed coriander. Serve with steamed basmati or brown rice and pappadams.


Servings: 4

Time: 30 minutes

Freezing: Not recommended.

Notes: Fresh whole spices are always more fragrant. You just grind them as you need them.

You can purchase besan flour in any well stocked health food store.



Guacamole is so versatile. I use it as a sandwich spread, on nachos, on pizza, as a dip, with falafel, on baked potatoes and it goes beautifully with my Mexican Rice and Bean Soup.

I like mine chunky, with loads of garlic, fresh lime juice & plenty of fresh coriander. Just use my measurements as a guide and adjust for your own flavour preferences.



2 medium avocados

1 large clove of garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice

¼ teaspoon of salt

½ a small red onion, peeled and finely diced

1 handful of fresh coriander, washed



Peel the avocado and remove the core. Discard the skin and core. Place the avocado into a bowl and smash it roughly with the back of a fork.

Add the garlic, juice and salt and mix to combine.

Finley slice the coriander roots and roughly chop the leaves. Add the coriander and red onion to the bowl.

Mix all the ingredients. Check and adjust the seasoning if required.



Yields:  Approximately 1.5 cups. Will depend on the size of your avocados.

Time: 10 minutes

Freezing:  Is ok after freezing, but it’s much better fresh

Pine Lime Granita


350ml of fresh pineapple juice

50ml of fresh lime juice

4 tablespoons of pure maple syrup



Whisk all ingredients together.

Pour the mixture into a chilled tray and place it into the freezer onto a flat surface

After an hour, use a fork to scrape the edges of the mixture that have started icing up and push it into the centre of the tray. Continue doing this every 20-30 minutes until all the mixture is completely flaked.

Serve in chilled glasses.


Serves: Serves 2

Time: Prep time is only about 10 minutes. Then simply allow for the freezing process.

Freeze: YUP

Notes: If you are not serving your granita straight away just place it into an air tight container in your freezer until you want to use it.