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Can I eat mussels if I have high cholesterol?Can I eat mussels if I have high cholesterol? The short answer is yes - you can eat mussels if you have high cholesterol. Mussels are low in kilojoules, cholesterol and fat. The little fat they do have is mostly healthy unsaturated fat with plenty...


Bran MuffinsBran Muffins These bran muffins (adapted from a recipe by Alison Holst) are super filling - a great snack when you are trying to control your weight. Enjoy these muffins with a cup of tea but don't expect to absorb...


Beat the flu with Chicken Noodle Soup It’s Queen’s Birthday holiday today in New Zealand and thank goodness, the sun is shining. I’m sitting in a sunny room writing this post, sheltered from the icy wind blasting up from Antarctica....


My nanna's recipe for homemade Rewena (Maori) bread Rewena Bread Step 1 1 c flour 1 tsp sugar 1 potato Peel and cut potato into small pieces. Place in pot with 1 cup water, lid on, and simmer to mashing consistency. Mash, cool and when luke...


Should I drink bottled water?Should I drink bottled water? Why would you pay for water when you can drink it straight from the tap? Why indeed? Recently I joined a throng of thirsty wine drinkers at the annual 'NZ in a Glass' wine tasting evening in Sydney. ...


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Quinoa Roast Vege Salad – Middle Eastern style

Posted on : 22-12-2013 | By : Cindy | In : My idiot-proof recipes, Super-healthy...er...stuff



“How can I use up this quinoa?” I asked my good friend. A bag of the stuff sat in my pantry, a brown paper reminder of a moment of inspired healthiness while browsing the health food shop. Weeks later, my good intentions still sat there, waiting for me to be re-inspired. And inspired I finally was, not by my friend’s suggestions but by the recipe book she bought me as a present.

I flicked through the recipes, salivating at the gorgeous food photography and mentally noting which ones I would try first. Then one caught my eye: Spiced Vegetable Couscous.  I love roast vege salad and usually toss it with red wine vinegar. This recipe has the added fibre and flavour of chick peas, mint, coriander, tzatziki and a Moroccan spice mix called ras el hanout (paprika, cumin, ginger, coriander, turmeric, fennel, allspice, cardamom, dill, galangal, nutmeg, caraway, black pepper, cloves, rose petals and much more) which I bought at Herbies, a dedicated spice shop, just up the road in Rozelle, Sydney.

Pistachio and Peppercorn Terrine

Posted on : 30-12-2012 | By : Cindy | In : Celebrations, My idiot-proof recipes


It’s Boxing Day and I’m sitting on a picnic rug in the Botanic Gardens overlooking the beautiful Sydney Harbour. We’re here to catch a glimpse of the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race – one of the most dangerous yacht races in the world. Helicopters buzz overhead while a myriad of vessels laden with well-wishers swarm around the racing yachts as they sail up the harbour and out to sea. We’re also here for a picnic of Christmas leftovers – prawns, baguette, cherries, Christmas mince tarts, chocolates (Santa was overly generous with the chocolates this year), and terrine.

Terrines look like hard work but are really quite easy to make. You make it one or two days in advance and on the day, simply take it from the fridge, slice and serve – ideal for a warm southern hemisphere Christmas.

Easter Balsamic Lamb Salad with tomato, cucumber & mint!

Posted on : 06-04-2012 | By : Cindy | In : My idiot-proof recipes


Last night I marinated some lean lamb back straps in caramelized balsamic vinegar and orange juice, then pan-fried them and served them over rocket leaves accompanied by hummus, tomato, cucumber and mint salsa, and flat bread.

It was my attempt to honor the night before Good Friday when the Jewish people celebrate Passover.  Lamb, bitter greens (rocket), vinegar and flat bread (no yeast) are just some of the foods that remind the Jewish people of their miraculous escape from Egypt thousands of years ago.

It is also a significant meal for people who celebrate Easter because Jesus would have eaten similar foods as he celebrated Passover with his friends on the night before he was arrested and killed.

Religion aside, this Middle Eastern food combination is a lovely, relaxed way to start the Easter weekend.  Enjoy!


2 lamb back straps

Juice of 1 orange

1/2 cup caramelized balsamic vinegar (If you use plain balsamic, add 1 tablespoon brown sugar)

Carrot cake with walnuts and ginger

Posted on : 26-03-2012 | By : Cindy | In : My idiot-proof recipes



Eating cake is naughty – right? Not always. To my mind there are varying degrees of naughtiness with cakes and to keep to the least naughty end of the spectrum I tend to make cakes that contain nutrient rich fruit, vegetables and nuts.

This carrot cake is one of my favourites. It is packed full of beta carotene rich carrots, and omega-3 rich walnuts and chia seed. The fat is mostly unsaturated from the nuts and canola oil, and the flour is wholemeal. Best of all it is easy to make – just throw all the ingredients in a food processor. Everyone who tastes it will want the recipe. Forget the heavy cream cheese icing; a dust of icing sugar is all it needs to make it look wonderful.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2-3 carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2-3 tablespoons chia seed (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 small cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend for 3-4 minutes. Pour into cake tin lined with baking paper. Bake at 170-180C (350F) for 1 hour.