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The Pounamu Prophecy - birth of a book Two women, two cultures and an ancient Maori prophecy that will change their lives. That's the tag line for The Pounamu Prophecy - my first novel. It has been a slow process, interrupted by moving...


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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...


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Katalin’s Beans

Posted on : 06-10-2011 | By : Cindy | In : My idiot-proof recipes


My good friend Katalin gave me this recipe for the most delicious way to cook dried beans. She uses black beans. So far I’ve tried it with haricot and black-eyed beans. It tastes great whichever beans you use.  I try to make a batch each week, especially at the moment when I can’t exercise and need to not over-eat. After a meal of these beans there is no room for chocolate! They taste lovely with a dollop of plain yoghurt or raita (yoghurt, cucumber and mint). I also eat them with steamed vegetables followed by fruit for a simple nutritious meal.

Katalin’s Beans

  • 1 large cup dried beans
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green capsisum, chopped finely
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped finely
  • 2-3 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use red wine vinegar)

Soak beans in plenty of water overnight.

Heat a little olive oil in a large fry-pan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes then add celery and capsicums. Cook 5-6 minutes until softened. Drain beans and add to fry-pan. Pour in enough stock to cover. Cover and simmer on low for 1-2 hours, adding more stock or water when necessary. The beans should end up quite saucy. Once cooked add cumin, vinegar and salt to taste.


Lentil pumpkin soup

Posted on : 21-08-2011 | By : Cindy | In : My idiot-proof recipes


Lentil pumpkin soup is my latest invention for a no-fuss, high fibre meal. I’ve been eating it for lunch over the past week. Just a quick re-heat in the microwave and I can hobble back to rest up my sprained foot. I usually eat an orange afterwards – the vitamin C quadruples the amount of iron I absorb out of the lentils.

It’s somewhere between soup and dahl, and it’s delicious and cheap! I have to admit that I have no exact quantities for this recipe – I just chuck it all together! If you want it thicker, add more lentils; if you prefer it thinner, add more stock or water. Enjoy!

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 pumpkin (750-950g), peeled and chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups reduced salt chicken stock
  • 1-2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Lemon juice and iodised salt

Place onion, garlic, pumpkin, lentils, stock and cumin in a large pot. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until pumpkin is soft. Blend until smooth. (I use a stick blender which I put straight into the pot.)

Add salt and lemon juice to taste. Add more cumin if you like. The combination of these three flavourings is what transforms the soup into something special.

Let me know if you like it…

Black Garlic super-food goes gourmet

Posted on : 07-11-2010 | By : Cindy | In : Vegetables


Hmm – shall I buy more of that unpasteurised Italian cheese, some smoked trout or perhaps a small piece of nougat? I was in the Gourmet Grocer yet again, so entranced by the range of food available that I was barely aware of the man who entered the shop and headed straight for the counter. With a few friendly words Andy, one of the owners, handed him a mysterious brown paper bag and watched the man leave the shop. He turned to me and in a confiding tone said, “He’s from Rockpool.” I was obviously meant to know what Rockpool was. Thank goodness it only took a few seconds of pretending to be impressed before I remembered. Rockpool is one of the top restaurants in Sydney. “What was he doing here?” I asked. “Buying black garlic.”

Black garlic? I had never heard of the stuff. But there it was – a basketful of burnt looking garlic bulbs – sitting at the counter. If you want black garlic in Sydney, you have to go to the Gourmet Grocer in Balmain. No doubt if I hung around the store long enough I would see all sorts of famous chefs wander in to secure some of this latest trendy food.

Exquisite Thai food on a balmy night at the beach – Ko Samed, Thailand

Posted on : 11-07-2010 | By : Cindy | In : Colourful taste, Travelling


“Hello, you want sit here for nice dinner?” Two young Thai men beckon us towards large low tables where holiday-makers recline on triangular cushions as they eat dinner. We had already eaten there, under the stars with the waves lapping literally at our feet. Amazing setting, OK food.

Tonight we are flip-flopping in our jandals down Koh Samed beach, around the rocks, through to the next beach to Jeps Bungalows. The food here is fantastic. The menu offers every cuisine but we turn straight to the Thai dishes. What shall we eat tonight?