Not Butter Chicken

Not Butter Chicken wm

I have said it before and I will say it again DON’T be put off by a long list of ingredients. Recipes like this are the easiest to make and are up in no time.

Vegetables, herbs, spices & “cream cheese” ………………………and you have a really creamy, fragrant and TASTY meal!



1 cup potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

1 cup pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes

2 handfuls green beans, trimmed

½ tablespoon coconut oil

1 large brown onion, peeled and finely sliced

3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon hot chilli flakes

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon ground cardamon

2 1/2 teaspoons of garam masala

2 ½ teaspoons of cumin

¼ teaspoon of hot chilli powder

pinch of ground cinnamon

1x 400 gram can of chopped tomatoes

1/3 cup water

1 x 250 gram container dairy free cream cream cheese

1 cup organic firm tofu, cut into cubes

½ teaspoon salt

1 bunch of coriander. Roots removed. Wash the stems and leaves well. Finely slice the stems and roughly chop the leaves.



Get a steamer on the go and steam your vegetables. I put my potatoes on first for about 5 minutes and then add my pumpkin. Right before they are tender, I throw in my beans for just a few seconds. Be sure not to overcook your vegetables as you want them to remain in cube shapes in the sauce.

Heat the coconut oil in a large non stick pan and sauté the onions on a low heat until they caramelise. This will take a few minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute or so.

Add the tomatoes, water and cream cheese. Stir well to combine and simmer gently for a few minutes. Be sure not to cook on too high a heat or for too long or your sauce will evaporate.

While your sauce is simmering, place all the spices in a small dry pan and gently dry roast them on a low heat for a minute or so. Stir continuously and be careful not to burn them.

Add the spices, steamed vegetables, tofu, salt and coriander to the sauce.  Mix everything together, heat and serve.

Goes beautifully with steamed basmati, salad and pappadums.


Serves: Serves 4

Time: 30 – 40 minutes

Freeze: I wouldn’t.

Notes: I use Nicola potatoes because they are lower GI than other brown potatoes and they cook fast.

Use really good quality tinned tomatoes. It makes a difference.

I am a bit of a chilli wuss and this is as hot as I can take it, so if you don’t like chilli either don’t add it, don’t use hot chilli or add it to taste.

Lebanese Pizza with Macadamia Cheese

Lebanese Pizza wm

Lebanese Pizza with Macadamia Cheese


This is my take on a popular Lebanese breakfast pizza. It’s the easiest and most rewarding dish, packed with flavour and includes a lot of my favourite ingredients.


YOU NEED (for the macadamia cheese)

½ cup of raw macadamias, (pre soaked in water for a couple of hours)

¼ cup of nutritional yeast

½ teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of onion powder

½ teaspoon of garlic powder

2 tablespoons of water

2 tablespoons of lemon juice


YOU NEED (for the pizza)

2 tablespoons of dried thyme

1 ½ teaspoons of ground cumin

½ teaspoon of allspice

¼ teaspoon of chilli powder

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of rice bran oil

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

2 wholemeal Lebanese breads

1 cup of fresh mint leaves, washed

olive oil to serve

fresh lemon to serve



Preheat your oven to 185c.

Drain and discard the soaking water from the macadamia nuts. Blend all the remaining macadamia cheese ingredients together until the mixture is smooth.

Put the thyme, cumin, all spice, chilli, salt and oil in a bowl and stir well to combine. Evenly distribute the mixture over the bread.

Evenly distribute the cherry tomato and spoonfuls of the macadamia cheese onto each pizza.

Place in the oven for 5 – 10 minutes, until the base starts to get a little crispy and colour slightly.

Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Add the mint leaves and serve immediately.


Yields: Serves 2 hungry people and 4 slightly less hungry people.

Time: 10 minutes prep. 5- 10 minutes cooking time. Plus the soaking time.

Notes: Nutritional yeast gives you the cheesy flavour. You can get it from most health food stores, online and at vegan grocers.

This can easily be made gluten free if you use a gluten free base. But as always, double check every ingredient listed as well.

Bean & Corn Tacos

Easy Bean Tacos 1 wm

Bean & Corn Tacos

This is an absolute favourite in our house. We have it with tacos or burritos and left overs are eaten with steamed rice.



2 brown onions, peeled and finely sliced

2- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

3 capsicum (also known as bell peppers) I use 1 yellow, 1 green and 1 red, remove the core and chop into a dice

1 1/2 cups of vegetable stock

2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2 cups of corn kernels

1 x can of creamed corn

2 x tins of kidney beans, rinsed well

2 tablespoons of Old Elpaso Fajita seasoning powder sachet. (This gives you a kind of smokey flavour)

chilli powder to taste



Heat a little oil or water in a wok or large pan and saute the onion until it softens. Add the garlic and capsicum and cook, stirring regularly for another minute or 2.

Add the stock and tomato puree, bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer. Then add the corn kernals and creamed corn. Stir to combine all the ingredients, add the kidney beans and continue cooking on a light simmer.

Continue cooking until the mixture thickens and is no longer a watery consistency. This takes about 15 minutes,

Check the seasoning and add extra tomato paste and/or fajita seasoning. If you like spice, throw some chilli in.

Serve as is with brown rice.


Eat with tacos or soft tortillas and go the whole mile and serve with steamed or blackened corn, chopped tomatoes, avocado, carrot ribbons, garlic chives, fresh spinach, fresh coriander and dairy free sour cream.


Serves: Serves 4 – 6

Time: I have never timed this one but it’s so quick and easy to make and left overs are fine for freezing and great for serving on a busy night with just rice

Freezing: Great for freezing.

Harissa Bean Tagine

Harissa Bean Taginewm

Harissa is a hot paste from Tunisia (North Africa), made from chilli, herbs and spices. Traditionally cooked in a tagine, this dish can also be done by gently cooking on your stove top. Choose good quality chopped tomatoes and go easy on the harissa paste if you are not great with chilli

This is such a simple, uncomplicated, warming, economical and nourishing dish. Loads of fresh herbs lift its earthy notes.



oil for cooking

1 large brown onion, peeled and finely diced

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

2 x 400 gram cans chopped tomatoes

1 – 1.5 teaspoons of harissa paste

2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup

2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained

1 cup of fresh parsley, washed well and roughly chopped

1 bunch of fresh coriander, washed well, stems finely diced, leaves roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt and cracked black pepper to taste

#optional – 1 teaspoon of dried chilli



Heat a small amount of oil in a large pan. Alternatively just use a little water and sauté the onion until softened.  Add the garlic and cook on a gentle heat for another minute or two.

Add the crushed chopped tomatoes, harissa paste and maple syrup. Stir to combine and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the beans. Stir through the parsley and coriander. Bring everything to the boil.

Check the seasoning. Add some chilli flakes if you want more heat.


Serving suggestion: This is lovely served with cous cous, steamed maple carrots, loads of salad dressed in fresh lime juice and olive oil.  Fresh bread to mop up all the juices is also a great accompaniment.

Yields:  4 small serves

Time: Takes about 30 minutes.

Notes: Harissa paste is available in well stocked delis.

I often also add a generous handful of good quality Kalamata olives to this dish, when I add the beans.

If you have left overs, this is delicious on toast the next day.

Spinach Fettuccini w/ Chickpeas, Tomato & Basil


200 grams of spinach fettuccini
rice bran oil for cooking
2 very large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
½ cup of dry white wine
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of balsamic
1 can of chickpeas, washed WELL and drained
½ – 1 teaspoons of dried chilli
2 teaspoons of pure maple syrup
1/3 cup of semi dried tomatoes
1 loose cup of basil leaves, gently washed as they bruise easily
#optional 2 heaped tablespoons of nutritional yeast (I add this for the “cheesy” flavour it adds and the B12 if offers)



Cook the fettuccini as per packet of instructions.

While the fettuccini is cooking, heat a small amount of oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic on a gentle heat.

Then turn the heat right up and quickly add the wine and boil for a few minutes.

Turn the heat back down and add the crushed tomatoes, balsamic, chickpeas, chilli and maple syrup. Simmer very gently till the flavours combine and the tomato “cooks out” (that raw tomato flavour is gone).

Add the semi dried tomatoes, cooked fettuccini and the basil to the pan and combine.

Serve with lots of fresh salad.


Servings: 2 large or 4 small.

Warm Mexican Rice Salad


2 cobs of corn, cut into 8 pieces each

1 large brown onion, peeled and diced

1 green capsicum (also known as bell pepper), core out and fairly finely sliced

1 1/2 cups of long grain white rice

1 tin of crushed tomatoes (I use organic Italian crushed tomatoes)

2 cups of vegetable stock

1/4 cup oil (I used rice bran oil)

1 bunch of coriander, washed well, stems finely sliced and leaves roughly chopped

2 tablespoons of dried oregano

2 bullet chillis for garnish, sliced lengthways, seeds out (or not) and finely sliced



Gently heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions and cook until softened. Add the rice and stir to combine and coat the rice.

Add the tomatoes, stock and oregano, bring to the boil then reduce to a light simmer and cover.

While the rice is cooking lightly steam the corn, Then toss the capsicum and corn in large pan with a small amount of oil until coloured. (Doing the corn on the BBQ works beautifully and you get that lovely smoked flavour that works so perfectly with Mexican dishes.)

Once the rice is ready (takes approx 20 minutes) stir through the capsicum, corn and coriander and serve garnished with the chilli.

This is a great salad to serve with a Mexican meal, to take to a BBQ or portioned into work lunches.

By adding some avocado and beans you can pump up the fill factor. Its quick, cheap, easy and I love it,


Servings: 2

Time: Approx 30 minutes

Freezing: Not suitable


Sweet Asian Greens w/ Almonds & Sticky Rice


1 tablespoon of sesame oil

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

red chilli (to taste),  cut in half lengthways and sliced finely

½ cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon of soft brown sugar (or agave)

2 tablespoons of mirin

1 bunch of bok choy, washed well and ends trimmed

1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed

handful of Chinese broccoli, ends trimmed

good handful of green beans, top and tailed

1 bunch of spinach, washed well, ends trimmed

handful of almonds

1 cup of glutinous rice (I get mine from my local Asian grocer). Otherwise steamed basmati or brown rice goes beautifully with this dish too.




Cook the rice as per packet instructions

Heat the oil in a wok (or large pot), gently sauté the garlic, ginger and chilli.

Add the hoisin, sugar and mirin. Stir till the sugar is dissolved and all ingredients are well combined.

Steam your vegetables. I just barely cook my veg. I like it quickly coloured but super crisp. I do my asparagus and Chinese broccoli 1st for a minute or so and then I add my beans for another minute or so and finally my bok choy and spinach.

Reheat the sauce, add the veg and toss it through the sauce. Throw in your almonds.


Serve with rice.


Servings: 2

Time: Approx 30 minutes

Freezing: Not recommended

Notes: You could cook your vegetables in the wok, but I prefer not to because my sauce reduces  too much so  just gently steam them and add them once cooked.

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.