Stewed rhubarb with orange and rosewater yoghurt jar

OMFG  I’ve been having way too much fun this week making the prettiest breakfasts. It turns out the bowl is a thing of the past and breakfast in a cute jar in colourful layers really is just so much more incredibly fancy. This is the kind of thing you see on Instagram and think who on earth has time in the morning, or the motivation to layer up all their fruit and yoghurt and make patterns on the top etc. Well this week I was THAT person. And you can be too with extremely little effort!

Rhubarb yoghurt
rhubarb yoghurt
Feeds 4-5 people or 1 weeks worth of breakfast fun
 
500g Rhubarb or any other stewed fruit that’s in season, plums amazing too
2 x oranges juiced
2 tbsp rosewater
3 tbsp honey
 
Nutty layer
3 handfuls of nuts, I used almonds and walnut but any will do
5 dates
 
Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt
 
Additional toppings, sliced banana, chia seeds, grounds LSA, coconut chips, runny honey, cacao nibs

Start with the stewed rhubarb, chop it up roughly into a wide saucepan and add the orange juice, rosewater and honey and simmer on a low heat until soft and broken down. Taste it for sweetness, sometimes it can taste tart so just add more honey. It should take about 15-20 minutes.

While thats cooking, add the nuts to a food processor and pulse until chunky, add the dates and pulse until combined.

Voila, now all you need to do is make pretty alternate layers with the yoghurt, rhubarb, nutty layer in a pretty jar or glass. And chuck on some mega amazing extra toppings just to add to the show off factor.

 

Chocolate, cardamom and beetroot cake

Beetroot anc chocolate cake It’s a cake! A big birthday beetroot cake! And it has taken a while to get here, so many cakes made. I actually nailed it first time but then doubled the recipe and suddenly it just tasted like soda, so then I had to make another and another and another just to get  it right. And thats a cake every single day since Monday so I’m over cake and having chocolate all over my clothes…never mind…yay for cake!

It was Jase’s birthday on Tuesday so thats what all the baking was for. I got super excited to have a party in our attic room which I just turned into a Scandinavian paradise by white washing the wooden ceiling, then I hung festoon lights and it just looked mega cool. Actually…it felt a little bit like an awkward teenage party, Jase and I hanging out in a room we had all set up waiting to see if he actually had any friends that would turn up on a school night. Anyway congratulations to him he had heaps of friends and I got overexcited and drank too many bubbles…and then totally forgot about the birthday cake until everyone was leaving…whoops!

CAKE TOP

top slice 2

Beetroot cake
250g 70% dark chocolate 
200g unsalted butter
200g unrefined organic brown sugar or coconut sugar ( I used ACME sugar which is amazing!!)
6 free range medium eggs
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
200g spelt flour
½ tsp ground cardamom
300g grated beetroot
pinch salt
 
Chocolate and avocado icing
2 very ripe avocados
½ cup dark chocolate, melted
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 heaped tbsp cacao powder
½ cup of honey
Drop of vanilla essence
 
Raspberry cream middle layer
150g cream
80g raspberries
1 tsp honey
 

Firstly get your oven onto 180°C .

To make the cake, melt the butter and the chocolate together in a bain marie.

While it’s melting grab a bowl that will fit all the ingredients into it and add just the eggs and sugar. Using an electric whisk, beat the mix until its really pale, thick and creamy, if you think your there keep going for a minute just to make sure. It did take me around 8 minutes so hang out and read a trashy magazine while your doing whisking.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda/powder and cardamom.

When everything is ready and the chocolate has cooled pour the chocolate mix into the eggs and fold through, then sieve in the flour mix, then add the beetroot.

When all smooth and delicious pour the mix into a standard springform cake tin lined with baking paper.

Cook for about 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool unless you just want it just with ice cream then serve it warm because its reaaaal good hot!

For the icing

Melt the coconut oil and dark chocolate in the microwave until its runny.

Spoon the flesh out of the avocado into a blender along with all the other ingredients until super smooth. Then scrape it all out into a bowl and chill in the fridge for the minimum of half an hour.

Raspberry cream

Just whisk the cream until just before the peaky thick stage and add the honey and raspberries, keep whisking until its at the thick stage.

Cut the cake in half lengthways and make sure that it’s cool or your cream will melt all over the place.

Fill the middle with the cream and put the top back on. Then using a pallet knife spread the avocado icing all over the top.

Et Voila! Oh wait no, chop up some pistachios for a bit of fancy colour or you could decorate with more raspberries, grated chocolate etc!

A small confession and Asian inspired chicken meatballs with cucumber and chilli dipping sauce

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Wow it’s been a stupidly long time since I last posted anything and I have been feeling incredibly guilty. My sister had been abusing me for months and friends hounding me for more recipes and stupid stories. So here I am, tail between my legs and boy oh boy has a lot happened!

Well firstly me and my man made the extremely adult move and bought a house! We are crazy happy despite moving into the cat hair infested home sporting walls from a bad acid trip, purple walls…wait, two tone purple walls, fluorescent greens, bright blues, strobe lighting, I think you probably get the picture! Now, well without blowing my own or Jase’s trumpet…wait that came out wrong, I’m blushing…. we are rocking this whole house renovation business. I have taken on the role as best painter in the world, Jase plays with a drill and I get distracted picturing Channing Tatum from the new Magic Mike film and end up dribbling paint all over the carpet. No big deal as the carpet smells like cats and the stuff that made it to the walls look fabulous. There is a lot of my handiwork that can’t be seen too as I decided to try my hand at electrics pulling off all the ugly lights from the walls and hacking at the wires with my kitchen scissors. Surprisingly I didn’t electrocute myself, Bravo!

I also travelled to South America to meet Jase after he finished a shoot for North Face doing silly things like skiing, hiking and growing a beard, all above 5000m, sometimes I think he’s mad. Anyway I intend to write some blurb on that soon so I’ll save you from thinking jeez this girl has got the verbal poops.

Oh wait there’s more …the actual coming out! Right the big reveal. Well it turns out I’ve been living a lie. Well not entirely – I did truly give the whole Vegetarian, Paleo, Vegan, every fad you can imagine a good shot over the last few years. But at the end of the day it turns out, I love bacon! And not just bacon but all meat…especially steak, bread, cheese, pasta, pizza…the lot. Gosh a giant weight has been lifted. There’s nothing like starting a healthy food blog trying to use alternatives for absolutely everything and then turning full circle. It was a gradual process since moving to New Zealand, not being helped by living with a boy who wants bacon, cheese and sriracha on bloody everything! Why does that stuff smell so damn good? However, the main thing is that my tummy (which was the reason I started all this) has decided to chill out. This has led me to behave more frivolously with my food choices, I have exciting mornings where I eat a croissant and then wait to see what happens, can you imagine the fun?! My tummy was the entire motivation to explore the wonderful vegan, gluten free world and it was a crazy discovery and I learnt stupid amounts from so many super cool blogs, and maybe that’s the reason my stomach no longer inflates like a giant balloon after everything I eat.

Just to be clear I’m still going to be posting healthy recipes to make at home, I’m not just vegging out on the sofa eating Mac n cheese, I will be spiralizing courgettes to go with my bolognaise and I haven’t turned to the mega dark side, I’m still not going to touch white sugar, I mean come on ewwww – that would be too far!

So welcome to the new blog, still healthy, just more normal and stuff!

Asian inspired chicken balls with cucumber and chilli dipping sauce

Thai chicken balls

asian chicken meatballs

Dipping sauce
 2 tbsp soy sauce
½ lime juiced
½ tsp finely chopped chilli
½ tsp finely grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp organic unrefined brown sugar
5 tbsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp fish sauce
2 tbsp finely chopped cucumber
 
Chicken meatballs
1 shallot
1 small fresh chilli, 
1 ½ tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 spring onions
4 lime leaves
 
2 chicken breasts
1 lime zested and half juiced
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
 
Salad
1 carrot
½ cucumber
Handful of bean sprouts
half a lime to squeeze over

First make the dipping sauce. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Done!

For the meatballs, put the first lot of ingredients into a food processor…basically not the chicken and sauces. Whizz up until finely chopped then add the chicken, soy etc and a big pinch of salt. Pulse until all of it’s all mixed up.

Put a large non-stick frying pan on medium heat and drizzle a little sesame oil in. Now get your hands all covered in raw chicken and make some small balls to cook in the frying pan. When frying wait until they are nice and caramelised before turning. Check they are cooked by chopping one in half and if your nervous or eating them later just sear them in the pan on high heat and pop them in the oven for 10 minutes.

For the salad using a potato peeler make ribbons from the carrot and cucumber and mix with the sprouts. Serve with half a lime to squeeze over.

Serving ideas, either scrap the salad and serve them like extremely fancy nibbles at one of your raving parties, or serve all together and pour the dipping sauce over the salad. OR if your feeding a gang add some coconut rice to the mix and you’ve got yourself a pretty mean spread.

Photos by me

Easy, creamy cold Avocado, guacamole style soup

Guacamole soup

Makes 2 little jars (as seen in photo)

Mega quick and easy summer cold soup made from the kind of salady ingredients you probably have hanging about in the fridge. This is basically a blended version of guacamole…yes! It tastes oh so heavenly and is absolutely rip your pants off, I’m the heathiest person on the planet food. Get Blending!

1 ripe Avocado
2 tomatoes
1 thumb sized chunk of cucumber
1 clove of garlic
1/2 red pepper
chunk of chilli, depending on how spicy you like it
juice of 1 lime
A small handful of coriander
salt and pepper
 

Stick everything in a high speed blender until totally creamy and smooth, check for seasoning and add more herbs, lime juice and then pour into a container and chill in the fridge. If you want to eat it immedietly blend with some ice cubes. I serve it with some chopped up red pepper, cucumber and a drizzle of olive oil is aways pretty delicious.

 

 

Surprise holiday to the totally tropical Fiji Islands

Food from FLossieBula…wow it’s been a while, I got a little distracted by Christmas then we road tripped up to Kaiteriteri next to the Abel Tasman National Park for a week with a bunch of friends which was awesome, apart from the fact that the boys decided to wear speedos for the entire holiday, I spent the whole time trying not to look but somehow the offensiveness draws your attention and then you look like a perve. For New years we planned to hike into the Abel Tasman to stay at a friends Bach but woke up to the most insane wind and rain storm. Most of the ferries where cancelled and one had to turn back half way which was apparently the first time he had turned back ever after probably hundreds of trips. We managed to persuade the ferry company to take us in since we were a big group and off we went looking totally ridiculous in our home made bin liner waterproofs and sun hats that kept flying off. We crashed through the sea, no one was sick which was pretty impressive and then we landed at Anchorage Bay. From there we hiked in the rain for a couple of hours until we got to Torrent Bay and then as we got the the Bach the clouds parted and the sun came out…queue one spectaluar rainbow and then it was party time! And as if that wasn’t good enough on New Years day a family in the bay put on the most insane fireworks display I have ever seen, it lasted half an hour and was bond film worthy. I thoroughly enjoyed the ending too when we all realised that the barge the fireworks where set off from was on fire….oh the excitement.

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Just a glimpse of New Years

After that we headed to Wellington for 2 nights which was dangerous…they have pretty amazing shopping there and such awesome restaurants. From there we were heading off for a week to a surprise location….man my boyfriend is a good one! So he got me to Aukland airport and I still had no idea where we were off too, only that I basically just needed a bikini. He almost got me onto the flight without me finding out but they needed to have me at the passport desk so then I found out that we were heading to FIJI!!!! Lots of high pitched excitement and hula dances followed until we landed in the tropical island.

Fiji beach

food from flossie

food from flossie

We stayed near Nadi on the mainland for a couple of days which was absolutely boiling and adventured around and found the most amazing food market in Lautoka that was just loaded with amazing fruits, spices and veggies, it was damn frustrating though because we didn’t have a kitchen and all I wanted to do was cook up everything. I did go a little crazy at the spice stall though and buy a whole load of indian spices in the hope I could get them past customs.

food from flossie

food from flossie

food from flossie

food from flossie

food from flossie

We then headed to Mantaray island in the Yasawas for the rest of the week to hang out on the beach and the boys wanted to go diving. I’m getting better at swimming in the sea these days, but I still get freaked out snorkelling that a shark or eel is going to sneak up and bite me. So the first time we snorkelled on the reef I was like a limpet attached to Jase and holding his hand, arm, leg pretty much whatever I could get my hands on and then I relaxed a bit and got over excited by all the disco fish in the incredible reef. I was then persuaded/forcefully booked onto a dive the next morning which I was just a little bit nervous about, especially with all the shark chat I kept hearing. Anyway we got to hold hands with Seta our instructor and just float about breathing and it was awesome, so many amazing fish and I loved it. So I by accident ended up doing my dive certificate which meant 3 dives on day one, then 2 the next day and then 1 just before we jumped on the ferry back. It was hardcore and in 4 out of the 6 dives we saw sharks and I didn’t even have a panic attack, oh and we dived through caves….I can’t tell you I’m changed woman! The coolest thing we saw was an octopus which was like a chameleon and kept changing colour and shape as it moved, the funny thing is that we were all huddled around watching it closely and not paying the slightest bit of notice that 3 reef sharks were circling us.

food from flossie

food from flossie

food from flossie

Such an amazing holiday, the food was delicious too, loads of curries indian and asian inspired. And the fresh fruit…stop it, so good, I probably ate a pineapple and 3 mangos a day easily. Oh and the Fijian people!! Absolutely hands down the friendliest people on the planet…so smiley and everyone waves and shouts Bula (Hello and welcome in Fijian as well as wishing you happiness and good health)

food from flossie

We are back and missing holiday time but it’s always a good sign when driving home and you see the beautiful Lake Wanaka and realise where we live is not too shabby at all.

Chocolate milkshake with coconut milk and cacao

chocolate milkshake
chocolate milkshake

Oh bonjour chocolate milkshake that’s really delicious, healthy and feeds you and a friend.

Makes just over 1 Mason jar but it’s really filling so 4 kids or 2 adults

 2 bananas
¼ cup cacao
splash of vanilla essence
¼ desiccated coconut
4-6 dates depending on size and sweetness, make sure you take the pips out
1 ¼ cups coconut milk
1 tsp coconut nectar, honey, maple syrup….if you like it sweeter

Whizz it all up together in a high speed blender until totally smooth!

And if you want to be jazzy and do the coconut around the top of the glass…melt some honey on a plate, turn the jar upside down and roll in the runny honey and then do the same on a plate of desiccated coconut and it should all stick.

Photos Jase Hancox, Colab Creative

Sundried tomato, veggie lasagne with rosemary cashew cream cheese

Veggie lasangna with cashew cheese

Last week I managed to persuade my whole house to participate in a detox week…well 5 days because some of us had parties at the weekend and none of us have the will power to arrive at a party and dance away with a soda in hand. So we gave up sugar, coffee, dairy, all grains/legumes, alcohol and any non grass fed animals. It all seems to be going well apart from the coffee heads and Jase got pissed because all he wanted was bacon. I made this vegetable lasagne one night because I haven’t done much experimenting with cashew cheese and I was keen to find out what the hype was about and whether I was going to turn my nose up…I am a big fan of le fromage you see. Well it was actually really good and when smeared all over a lasagne it did trick you into thinking you were eating a cheesy béchamel.

The detox week went pretty well until on Friday night I got a little overexcited about partying with my buddy Anna because Jase was out of town. I decided it would be a super idea to skateboard to town in a floor length kimono, handbag on my arm, hmmm this is already sounding quite ridiculous and I didn’t even mention that my penny board is bright pink. It didn’t take long for the first injury…you see town is downhill so you get some speed up and then you out of control, so I slowed myself down by grabbing onto a rose bush….what a clever dick! That was the first bloody incident. Then we went to a Mexican party at Anna’s friends, drank margaritas, ate tacos and had a swell time. Then hey, next good idea, lets skate home. Skating uphill went ok, then we got to our road which is unfortunately for me a natural bowl. So before I knew it I had decided to bomb the hill from the top, kimono flowing in the wind a bit like a super hero cape, it was awesome I was going really fast but then the speed wobbles hit. I had one of those slow motion moments when your like hmmm this is going to end with my face on the pavement. So smash, I tarmac planted at about 30 k/ph, I think head first because I still have a giant egg on my head, and grazes all down the side of body, and a lovely one on my forehead too. So lesson learnt….don’t drink margaritas and skate, and also, get better at skating! Anyway Jase now thinks I am a badass with all the tough stickers all over my body so I’m feeling pretty cool.

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Veggie lasagna with cashew cheeseCashew cheese

1 cup cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp and ½ tsp nutritional yeast
2 slices of a shallot (roughly a tsp chopped)
¼ cup water
sea salt (needs quite a few big pinches) pepper and dried rosemary or any other herbs you fancy

Tomato sauce

1 shallot finely sliced
2 big garlic cloves sliced
1 sprig of rosemary with the leaves taken off
2-3 tbsp olive oil
4 medium tomatoes roughly chopped
½ cup sundried tomatoes
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
handful of basil leaves

Vegetables

4 small courgettes, sliced thinly lengthways
1 red pepper cut into about 3 big pieces around the core
2 big handfuls of spinach
 

First soak the cashews for 2-4 hours in cold water.

If using actual dried sundried tomatoes soak them too in boiling water for about an hour.

You can get started on the courgettes by slicing them lengthways into thin strips and grilling them, I used the bbq but a griddle pan on a high heat or the oven will do fine too. Drizzle them in a little olive oil and grill until they are soft and have some charred lines. Do the same with the red pepper.

Wilt the spinach in a big frying pan with a little olive oil and some seasoning and set aside.

For the tomato sauce, on a medium heat fry the shallot and rosemary until soft, then add the sliced garlic followed by the chopped tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes have softened and some start to fall apart. Blend with the sundried tomatoes, basil, apple cider vinegar until smooth…oh and add some seasoning.

Now you can start assembling the lasagne. Spoon a bit of the tomato sauce on the bottom of your dish and spread it evenly. Then layer over the courgette, a teeny bit more tomato sauce, the wilted spinach and grilled sliced peppers. Finish with the remaining tomato sauce, a sprinkle of extra sundried tomatoes and some dried rosemary.

Heat it up in the oven at 180˚C for about 30 minutes until hot

While it’s in the oven you can make the cashew cheese. Drain the cashews and give them a rinse with cold water then put all the ingredients in a food processor, they normally have a smaller bowl bit for when you are doing small quantities. Pulse away until it goes really smooth, mine took ages so I just left it going for a few minutes so don’t panic it will get smooth eventually.

Check it for seasoning, it does need quite a lot of salt and you can keep adding more dried herbs and yeast to make it taste cheesier. If you wan’t it runnier just add a splash more water etc.

When the lasagne is hot, spoon over the cashew cheese layer and serve away for totally fake cheesy goodness!

Photos Jase Hancox, Colab Creative

 

Spring pea, courgette, lemon and avocado soup

Spring soup 4

Spring soup 3

This is a late post because last week was my birthday and I got distracted and taken on adventures in the South Island. And what a fabulous birthday it was, my first ever hot one and I spent all day in my shorty dungarees which was ace. We started off the day in Christchurch and went to the Farmers market in Deans bush, ate ice cream and then road tripped down to Akaroa. Akaroa is a cute little French village on the East coast, there are actually french people there, I felt oh so european again which was super, and we played Petanque, for hours and I beat Jase lots and then I got stung by a bee.

So the most exciting part about Akaroa is that they have penguins!!! And Dolphins!!! So we went on a dolphin, penguin hunting mission and 4WD through the rain and fog, yes New Zealand is funny and you can go from hot summer to cold rainy winter in a flash. We went adventuring in this huge bay and then found all these penguin boxes and figured they came up there to sleep at night but it turns out all the Mumma penguins were in the boxes sitting on the babies. We met the farmer who looked after them and he lifted the box and let us have a look and shit they were cute, totally black and about the same size as my hand, and they were yellow eyed penguins which are extremely rare…score! We didn’t find any dolphins but we did find a seal so I was happy. Then we drank bubbles in party hats and went to The Little Bistro, a cute little restaurant in Akaroa and had a hearty 3 courses and a bottle of red by which point I was a little bit cross eyed and giggly…yay for birthdays!

I was cooking for a detox group last week and I made a really delicious soup with cauliflower, cashews and avocado and it was all creamy and amazing so here is my version using some Spring veggies and herbs.

Spring soup

 

Serves 6

1 big tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, chopped up small
½ cup cashews
8 cups of water
4 medium courgettes, grated
3 cups of frozen peas
 
1 avocado
1 lemon zested and half juiced
handful of mint, parsley, basil
sea salt and pepper

In a big saucepan melt the coconut oil on a medium heat, then add the onions and cook until they are soft and transparent. Add the garlic and stir for a few minutes making sure it doesn’t brown. Add the water and cashews and simmer for 15 minutes.

Put the grated courgette and peas into the pan and let it bubble away until the peas are cooked, normally around 5-10 minutes.

You can now blend it all, maybe wait until it’s cooled down a bit just in case your blender melts but most are heat proof.

Blend it up with the avocado, lemon zest, juice, herbs and salt and pepper. Don’t be shy with the salt it does need quite a bit!

Blend until it’s silky smooth and serve with a drizzle of good olive oil and it’s good with some parmesan, and if your not a veggie some crispy bacon would be amazing!

Chocolate ganache tart

IMG_3120 I have finally made it to the last leg of my journey back to New Zealand!! I am currently sitting in the Koru Lounge in Auckland which is bliss after 2 actual days of travelling. Just had a shower and a raid of the breakfast bar and of course stealing some booze from the fridge….it’s ok it’s not actually stealing, you allowed to take it, I’m sure people would have frowned at me less if it wasn’t 7:30am but I need to get my monies worth!

I had a long stop over in Shanghai which was interesting, they do eat funny things there, lots of packets of dried fish and crabs that sit in a fridge and I assume you just munch them…shell and all. I ordered up some won ton soup which had teeny shrimps floating in it with their legs and heads on…you could even see their eyeballs, I felt like they were watching me eat, it was scary. But they did have epic fresh mango smoothies for just a $2 which gave me the ultimate brain freeze…probably a good thing as I needed perking up after no sleep.

Anyhoo what a fabulous trip home, on my last weekend I summoned the whole family, cousins, Uncles and Aunts for my pretend Christmas/birthday/my sisters birthday and bonfire night. It was awesome we had sparklers, honey and mustard sausages, and fireworks yaya for two Christmases. We didn’t actually have turkey or anything, but we did do crackers and some party poppers and drank lots of wine and had a jolly time.

For pretend Christmas I made this absolute cracker of a choccy tart. I had something similar in a new Vegan restaurant in London called Nama which was so incredible that I thought they must have sneaked cream in. After a few tests I got this coconutty, super chocolaty tartness which you could feed to everyone, and maybe don’t mention that it’s vegan as I’ve learnt that people (my sister) think your weird and gross and don’t want to eat it.

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Makes 1 normal cake tin sized cake

1 ¼ cups of ground nuts (whatever you have, I used almonds and hazelnuts)
½ cup desiccated coconut
6 dates
3 tbsp coconut oil
pinch of salt
 
Chocolate filling
1 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp cacao butter or coconut oil
150g dark chocolate at least 70% I use green and blacks 85%, chopped up small
2 tbsp maple syrup or any other sweetener like coconut nectar/honey

To make the base whizz the nuts up in a food processor until they are ground up small. Add the coconut, dates and whizz until the dates are combined, then add a pinch of salt and the coconut oil. Push it down into the base of your cake or tart tin, making sure its firm and smooth all over then stick in the fridge.

To make the chocolate filling, heat the coconut milk, maple syrup and cacao butter up until it bubbles then pour it over the chopped chocolate, stir it until it’s smooth then add a pinch of salt. Pour into the cake tin, sprinkle over some cacao nibs if you have some and chill in the fridge for around 2 hours until it’s set.