Carrot, Date & Nutty Muffins (sugar free)

Carrot Date and Nutty MuffinsOne of the main reasons I’ve really enjoyed #sugarfreeseptember as it’s forced me to try out new recipes. I know you probably think I try out lots of new things, but, to be honest, I often churn out the same thing: Tried and true family favourites. It’s been good to get out of my comfort zone this month.

Anyway, I’ve struggled a little with ideas for baking to satisfy my Husband’s super-dooper sweet tooth. I struck gold when I chanced upon a recipe in Taste magazine which was a recipe from Auckland’s Wilder & Hunt cafe for their bestselling Morning Glory Carrot mini cakes. Being sugar free these looked right up our alley. I modified the recipe a little to suit our taste buds, as well as to comply with what was in the pantry! The result were these glorious Carrot, Date and Nutty Muffins that’ll absolutely make again!  (more…)

Foolproof DIY Mayonnaise

SAMSUNG CSCI stopped buying mayonnaise a couple of years ago once I discovered Annabel Langbein’s Speedy Mayo recipe – which is essentially: Biff all ingredients together and blitz it with a handheld stick blender in a timeframe that’s (nearly) quicker than you can say “Bob’s your uncle”.  I couldn’t even get to my local dairy and back in an emergency to buy mayo as fast as I can make this. Did I mention that it tastes utterly delicious? As I type this I have a huge craving for a plate of crayfish, a side of this mayonnaise and a wedge of lemon. Bring on summer.  My mouth is watering. But, I digress. My recipe below is similar to Annabel’s, but with my own spin on it (I much prefer my recipe, but don’t tell her that, thanks).

On another note, having got used to this homemade goodness store-bought mayonnaise tastes awful: Sweet, artificial – not my think (except Best Foods Mayo – that’s the schizzle).

All you need (ingredients aside, doh) is a handheld blender (called an immersion blender in some countries).


Red Lentil and Chorizo Gumbo

Red Lentil and Chorizo GumboThis Red Lentil and Chorizo Gumbo (because ‘gumbo’ is a much sexier word than stew) is the perfect mid week meal requiring approximately seven minutes preparation – and a slow cooker. If you don’t have a slow cooker in your life, cooking this in a heavy based pot on your stove top would work just fine, I reckon it would need about an hour to cook the lentils to perfection.   (more…)


moussaka recipeA classic Greek Moussaka is made by layering eggplant with a spiced meat filling and topping it off with a creamy bechamel sauce (I’ve called it a cheese sauce here, I’m not that flash), which is then baked until golden. YUM. I first had this dish in Italy and I’ll never forget that first mouthful: Heaven on a plate! (The memory is possibly firmly entrenched by the romance of the quintessential Italian restaurant complete with red and white tablecloths and the hot Dutch guy I was hanging out with at the time…)

So, here’s my version of Moussaka, which probably isn’t terribly authentic, but it is the kind of dish where everyone asks if there’s any leftover for seconds!

Note: The price of lamb mince would have required a home remortgage, so I used beef mince instead. Tasted great.   Secondly, as I’m doing #sugarfreeseptember I made a few tweaks as I’m taking it seriously and having zero gluten. Accordingly I substituted the cheese sauce with cauliflower puree and it was DELICIOUS.  I actually preferred it to how I usually make it (i.e. with a traditional cheese sauce made with flour). Our friends at the dinner party scoffed it blatantly oblivious that it contained a ‘cauliflower puree sauce’.  If you are looking for a gluten free option (or want to up your vegetable intake) I’d definitely recommend using cauliflower puree instead of cheese sauce. The recipe is here. Just make sure you drain out about 1 cup of milk before you puree the mix, otherwise the puree will be too runny. Add extra Parmesan if you like it cheesy…

Note – in the photo I had doubled the recipe as I was feeding a large group!



Cauliflower Pizza base

Cauliflower pizza recipeI love cauliflower. I reckon it’s the king of vegetables. Ever since I discovered cauliflower rice and cauliflower puree I’ve got my creative on. Some bright spark suggested on my blog’s Facebook page that I have a crack at making Cauliflower pizza base. Alright, game on! If you haven’t heard of this slightly odd sounding combo, you use grated cauliflower to make the pizza base, as opposed to using flour which is typically used. Add your favourite toppings and you are good-to-go.

My verdict? Big ups to the original person who came up with this idea – I love it! Not only is cauliflower pizza base super tasty and fun and easy to make: It’s a definite game ;changer for people who are gluten intolerant, or cutting down on carbs. It’s also great for those wanting to lose weight, or simply if you want to up your vege intake!;Those who don’t eat dairy can simply omit the cheese… It’s fair to say the recipe is quite adaptable.

I spent a long time scouring the internet for suitable recipes. There’s a tonne out there. In the end I used this recipe by Tasty Kitchen as the base for my inspiration. I think the secret is to add herbs, Parmesan cheese, sesame seeds and a good amount of seasoning to the base for flavour. Lots of recipes just call for cauliflower and beaten egg, but that didn’t sound particularly appetising to me! (more…)

Dairy Free Chocolate Brownie Recipe

SAMSUNG CSCMy son had his birthday party this weekend and unbeknownst to me one of his little friends has a dairy allergy. Being someone who thrives on feeding people, I just couldn’t bear the thought of her not being able to join in and eat birthday cake or dessert so I whipped up this brownie for her. When I say “whipped up” I mean it: This took four minutes. I had the brownie ready to go in the oven long before the oven had reached the desired temperature! (more…)

Mini Meatloaf Recipe (hide the veges)

SAMSUNG CSCGetting anything green into my son is a battle.  He puts on a fuss if we introduce anything new to his eating repertoire and, if really pushed to give new things a go will gag at the dinner table. Heavens forbid we try to feed him veges. It does my head in but we solider on. I needed to share that, thanks: I feel better now.

So, with my Bachelor  of Mummihood, majoring in trickery, I’ve become a master at hiding vegetables in his food.  This recipe below for meatloaf with a tomato saucey topping is a family favourite that always gets groans of delight from the little fella, as well as the big fella.  It doesn’t have a tonne of vegetables in it, but enough to ease me off my hobby horse and polish my halo that the kid has had something that’s nutritionally sound!  This is also a good weeknight meal that you can have on the table in half an hour.  I make these in large muffin tins: You don’t have to. Whack it in a loaf baking tin if you prefer (like a gingerbread loaf) and bake it for 30-35 minutes. Easy. (more…)

Beetroot, Walnut and Feta Salad Recipe

SAMSUNG CSCI put a photo of this salad on Facebook and asked if anyone wanted the recipe – a couple of you waved your hands: So here you go!

Note, in the pics, I hadn’t added the dressing yet: I’ll do that right before I demolish it (I made this ahead of time for my work lunch tomorrow!). On that note: I have made this salad with a red wine vinaigrette and this orange one: This one is my favourite. There’s something special about the flavour combo of beetroot and orange 🙂

This is such a healthy salad that provides you with lots of nutrients. The walnuts are good antioxidants and promotes a healthy gut environment. The Beet Root is great at lowering blood pressure and even boosts the immune system! All of this, plus it’s really tasty!