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.

 

 

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

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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!

Cauliflower rice salad with mango, red pepper, herbs and The Fat Radish curry sauce

IMG_2956It’s my last week in the UK before I fly home to beautiful Wanaka and my handsome Mr who I won’t have seen for over 6 weeks! I am getting super excited but then I have had to say quick hello’s and goodbyes to lots of people which of course sucks, although showing my best pictures and describing my life in an extremely positive light has hopefully tempted a few to come visit.

I’ve been hiding out in Dorset for most of my trip, London is far too scary and stressful and there are a lot of pretty odd people there who don’t walk past and say hello which is a change from extremely chirpy Wanaka. So I have been wellied up, walking dogs, cooking lots for my Mum and apparently todays task is clearing out all my stuff. My room is most definitely about to become a guest room….sad face!

This recipe was inspired from THE FAT RADISH Kitchen Diaries cookbook which I just bought a load of to give out as presents. I would have got one for myself but books take up way too much valuable weight in a strict long haul suitcase. Anyhoo, when I ran off to live in New York for 2 months about 4 years ago I got put in touch with the crazy clever English boys Ben and Phil who started up The Fat Radish and boy oh boy have they done a sweet job. The restaurant is just ridiculously cool, and the food is so fantastically fresh, colourful and homely. They have a real farm to table vibe with vegetables being the star of the show (FYI they were totally the creaters of the Kale trend). I worked in the kitchen for their events company Silkstone which meant I got to cater at some incredible venues and I was over the moon inspired but what they were up to. Oh just thinking about it is making me want to jump back on a plane to that crazy city! If you ever travel to NYC it’s a must visit in the Lower East Side and the book has a gazillion delicious looking recipes that will make you want host a party and pretend your cool like them living in New York.

cauliflower rice salad

cauliflower rice salad
cauliflower rice
Serves a crowd…probably around 6 
 
1 cauliflower, cut in florets
1 red pepper, diced into small squares
2 small spring onion, finely sliced
handful coriander, roughly chopped
handful parsley, roughly chopped
2 handfuls rocket, roughly chopped
½ mango, cut into small squares
4 tbsp of The Fat Radish curry sauce

First off make the curry sauce recipe from below. Then steam the cauliflower florets until tender, around 10 minutes then leave aside to cool in a colander so they dry off.

While it’s cooling prep the veg to go into the salad.

Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice, don’t go crazy or it will go too smooth. Chuck it all into a big bowl, mixing through all the chopped herbs and vegetables and about 4 big spoonfuls of the curry sauce. It will take some seasoning so don’t be shy with some crunchy sea salt and pepper.

Serve at room temperature along with a green salad.

THE FAT RADISH curry sauce
makes 2 ½ cups (too much sauce for the recipe but it’s amazing added to just about anything!)
 
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 green apple, peeled cored and thinly sliced
1 (2 inch) knob of ginger, peeled and minced
1 kaffir lime leaf  (or 1 lime zested and juiced)
1 ½ tbsp curry powder
2 tsp turmeric
1 can coconut milk
salt, pepper
 
Place the oil in a saucepan set over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, apple, ginger, lime leaf, curry powder and turmeric and cook until softened, about 10 mins. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 10 mins. Remove to cool and blend till smooth and season. 

Zaalouk ~ Moroccan Aubergine salad

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I am absolutely loving my trip home, especially last week when my Mum, sister and I jetted off for Ladies on tour in Marrakech!! Wow it’s a cool city. I thought it was a bit like “The Lion the witch and the wardrobe”, your’ll be wandering along a street that smells like wee and not look like anything exciting is down it, then you go through a Riad door and boom, your suddenly in the most incredibly beautiful moroccan courtyard. It’s insane!

I’m going to put lots of photos and restaurant tips up soon so I won’t go into massive detail now. However, I will say that the food is pretty tasty. We did two nights of Moroccan feasts, and they really are feasts. You start with salads…not salads like we know, not many greens. Instead there are about 9 plates of different dips and veggies. The one I have made was my favourite, probably because I have a slight obsession with aubergines. With the plates you get a basket of flat breads and just dig in. Then after that it becomes a meat feast. Chicken tagine followed by lamb and cous cous, then sometimes even two desserts..pfff I had to walk around the block a few times before bed.

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Serves about 5-6 as a starter mezze plate
 
2 medium sized Aubergines
2 tbsp olive oil
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 heaped tsp paprika
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
1 pinch cinnamon
sprinkle of dried chilli
5 medium tomatoes, skinned and seeds removed
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
glug extra virgin good olive oil
½ tsp pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar
small handful of fresh coriander and parsley finely chopped

Firstly cook your aubergines. Preheat your oven to 200˚C and put the whole aubergine on a baking tray covered with some foil and bake for around an hour, turning over halfway through. The flesh should be soft all the way through, you can check by poking or stick a skewer in. Once cooked take out and leave to cool

To skin the tomatoes, score a cross on them and pour boiling water over the top. After about 10-20 seconds the skin should split and then just take them out and it’s super easy to peel off the skin. Then de-seed them and chop them up into small squares.

Add the olive oil to a medium sized saucepan and gently fry the sliced garlic until almost golden. Then add the spices for a minute giving them a good stir then add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes down for about 20 minutes until they fall apart and become a yummy thick sauce. Season the sauce and put aside.

Grab your aubergines and cut them in half lengthways and spoon out the flesh from the skin into the tomato sauce. Using a spoon poke the aubergine around a bit so it breaks up.

Stir in the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, herbs and seasoning, with a glug of good olive oil. Give it a taste and adjust the amount of lemon, herbs etc to your taste.

Serve up with some moroccan flat breads or sourdough with a mezze plate…I served it with some manchego cheese which was darn tasty.

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Behind the scenes shooting in my Mum’s greenhouse

Carrot and courgette spaghetti with coconut and lime dressing

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 Oh mon dieu France you have really outdone yourself this week! After leaving the grey stinking rain in the UK to beautiful sunshine and 32˚C in Capbreton on the French coast I found it very hard to leave. It’s been an epic week of friends, lots of crazy yummy, anonymous fresh fish…speared out of the sea with a harpoon none the less! Longboarding to the beach, running and trips to chic Biarritz to pootle about looking in all the fabulous shops, eating ice cream, drinking wine and snacking on all the Tapas. Biking out to the lake in Hossegor for oysters and then sampling all the delicious french wines on the bike home….tres bien! It was a super special bunch of girls to get together, 2 of us from New Zealand, 1 from Canada and the rest Switzerland and France with 1 very brave male host. You can imagine the high pitched excited squeals that rung in the air.

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girlsOne of the oddest things that happened was when we saw two slugs doing the dirty one evening which was probably the weirdest thing I have ever seen, after some googling and intense staring we worked out that they are hermaphrodites and thats why there were two strange wiggly things. (New fact for you all)

This recipe was inspired from the most insanely yummy lunches I had with my Mum just down the road from us in Dorset at The Pythouse, the cutest cafe/restaurant with pick your own vegetables. It’s very much the garden to plate concept which is tres cool. The new chef there is also an ex Ottolenghi chef so since he is my favourite chef ever I was dying to go and try his creations. I had a salad very similar to this one but with Kohlrabi, I tried to get hold of some in France but I by accident bought black radish which turned out to be yummy for about 20 seconds then you get hit by a wall of peppery spiciness . So use real kohlrabi or substitute for courgette. I also was excited to use a spirulizer for the first time ever, can’t quite believe I don’t have one yet, off to amazon immediately to get that sorted.

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Serves 6-8 as a side salad or around 4 as a main

8 carrots, spiralized
2 courgettes, spiralized
1 handful fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
 
Juice and zest of 2 limes
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 tsp coconut oil
1 garlic clove, minced on a microplane
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, minced on a microplane
 
200ml coconut cream…or milk
pinch chilli flakes
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp coconut nectar or any other sweetener 
3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
 2 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted
 
On a low heat add the sesame oil and coconut oil to a non stick small saucepan, stir in the garlic, ginger and chilli flakes and let it all sizzle for a minute stirring all the time so it doesn’t catch.
Add in the coconut cream, lime juice and zest, fish sauce, agave and let it simmer and infuse for about 10 minutes, season to taste and then set it aside to cool.
 
Using a spiralizer, spiralize the carrots and courgettes into a big bowl. Add the chopped herbs, coriander seeds, and sesame seeds and dress with the cooled coconut dressing. You will probably need to season it all a bit more with some salt and pepper then serve away.
 
Food photos forced  by me and taken by Camilla Rutherford
 

Raw Cauliflower and broccoli tabouleh with cucumber, feta and harissa sauce

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Summer is here…well I think they call it Spring but it seems too hot for that today. I got to wear my dungaree shorts the other day and that made me dance inside probably because I looked like a 7 year old wearing a nappy. In Wanaka and actually probably a lot of places in NZ you get crazy winds in Spring, I just did a giant laundry day and hung everything up only to find all my undies had flown off the line into the very quiet and slightly awkward next door neighbours garden…fun times.

Yesterday we had the Treble Cone mountain closing day which was pretty ridiculous, everyone wears fancy dress and it’s a big party on snow. One guy even brought his wood fired pizza oven up so everyone was making pizzas, drinking beers and skiing some slush in the sun. Now the winter is over and it has flown by, I’m off back to the UK for 5 weeks in a week to go party at two different weddings, catch up with some friends in France and I managed to persuade my Mum to take me and my sister to Marrakech for 3 nights…yahoo. Getting excited about Morocco I decided to make this yummy grain free Tabouleh style salad with my favourite harissa and fresh pink pomegranate.

There are 2 options for this salad, you can either mix the harissa in with the salad and make it into a delicious mess OR you could keep the salad super fresh by dressing it with olive oil and lemon juice and use some of the harissa to marinate some fish or meat and serve it along with the salad and a dollop of harissa on top! Up to you, it’s such a yummy sauce I would make double and use it up over the week to jazz up all your meals!

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Serves a crowd! I’d say about 10 as a side with other salads at a BBQ 
 
Harissa
5 big dried chillies (depending on how spicy
1 tsp coriander seeds 
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
 
3 big cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 red onion, peeled and diced
1 roasted red pepper (I used a jarred one OR a tbsp tomato purée OR a handful of sundried tomatoes)
1 lemon juiced (zest first into a big salad bowl)
3 glugs extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp greek yoghurt (optional)
 
Salad
1 head broccoli
1 head cauliflower
4 spring onions, sliced finely using all the green stuff!
1 cucumber (sliced in half lengthways, de-seeded and cubed)
1 pomegranate, seeded (wear a t-shirt you don’t like as you will spray the juice over yourself)
200g feta (optional if dairy free) cut into little cubes
1 lemon zested (plus the zest from the lemon used in the harrisa)
1 handful of chopped parsley
1 handful chopped coriander
1 handful chopped mint

Harissa

Boil the kettle and soak the chillies for around half an hour and then dry them off.

Toast the seeds in a dry pan over a low heat until fragrant and put aside.

Fry the onion, garlic, chillies and pepper in the pan with a splash of olive oil until golden and smokey. Add everything plus the lemon juice to a high speed blender and pulse until you have a super smooth sauce.

If you don’t have a blender, don’t panic use a pestle and mortar (the more authentic and muscle making way) to mash the spices into a paste, then add the rest of the ingredients until you have a sauce)

Add seasoning to the sauce and 2 glugs of olive oil and voila it should be incredibly fragrant, smoky and delicious!

Salad time

Chop your broccoli and cauliflower into rough florets, leaving the stalk and chuck bit by bit into a food processor until it looks like rice, then spoon into a big salad bowl.

Add the zest, diced cucumber, feta, herbs, spring onions, pomegranate, keeping a bit aside to sprinkle on top for garnish.

Season the salad and then stir through as much of the harissa as you like, I used almost the whole bowl because it got sucked up by the cauliflower.

Serve at room temperature with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and spring onion.

Crunchy raw sprout salad with thai peanut, ginger and coconut dressing

 

0L9A64310L9A6403It’s a beautiful day here in Wanaka, the sun is shining and I managed to get my ass out of bed at 6am to go to my early boxing class. I love to beat up our padded instructor before breakfast, it makes me feel badass!

I wanted to make a asian style salad today with a kickass creamy ,nutty dressing full of vitamin C, superfoods and other goodies. Something for all you lucky people that are having summer could take to the beach or serve along side a bbq, and my fellow winter pals can also take lakeside on this surprisingly warm day. It turns out Kiwi winters are much warmer than the swiss ones…phew!

The views in Wanaka are absolutely ridiculous and I have not been taking advantage of the crazy scenery for my posts so from now on I will get more creative and take my creations to beautiful locations and give you more food with a view!

Talking of beautiful locations…on Sunday Jase took us on a 4×4 mission to Mace town, an old gold mining town from the 1800’s where they mined for gold in the Arrow river. It has been a ghost town since the 1930’s with just rubble left and a couple of little cottages. The trip there was epic, we had to cross the Arrow river 22 times each way on a 4WD track, it’s a good thing we have a meaty truck, although with all the smashing about with water over the bonnet and over rocks the bumper almost fell off. There were a few poop your pants moments, mainly when we were on a muddy track on the side of a mountain with a death drop into the valley and I was having backseat driver trust issues.

Enough about my adventures…here’s a yummy salad you can take on your own ones!0L9A64180L9A64240L9A64460L9A6474

Serves 4
 
Dressing
1½ cup coconut milk
1 red chilli with seeds
2 tbsp chopped ginger
1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
5 tbsp chopped  coriander stalks
¼ tsp of turmeric
¼ tsp of curry powder
2 fresh kaffir lime leaf
2 tbsp sesame oil
½ cup of water
salt and pepper
 
Salad
2 cups bean sprouts
2 cups alfalfa sprouts, or any kind of  sprouts you like
1 carrots, shredded or grated
1 cup brussel sprouts or cabbage shredded
½ cup raw quinoa, cooked  or noodles
1 bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
 
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
 
To make the peanut dressing, put all the ingredients apart from the peanuts in your Vitamix or high speed blender and whizz until smooth. Season and add the peanuts and blend a bit more so the peanuts are still a bit chunky for some crunch.
 
For the salad cook the quinoa as instructed and leave to cool. Toast the seeds in a frying pan on a medium heat until golden. Put all the shredded veggies in a big bowl with the sprouts. To shred either finely slice or grate or if you have a magimix with all the cutting attachments that chops them crazy quickly.
 
Mix everything all together making sure the dressing is over all the salad, season away and serve either on it’s own or alongside some delicious fish or some bbq meat.
 
A cool idea for lunches is to pack it all into a jar with the dressing in the bottom, then all you do is mix it up and give it a shake when your ready to chow down.

photos Jase Hancox Colab Creative0L9A6481

Rye and buckwheat bread

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Isn’t it cool when you discover something new and delicious that you can add to your life. I finally bought myself some Psyllium husks last week so I could start playing with making yeast and wheat-free breads, it’s pretty cool what you turn out with. First I tried Deliciously Ella’s Superfood bread which was so yummy but I was looking for a less seedy and more rye bread tasting loaf, something I could smear marmite and avocado all over….not at the same time though!

I absolutely love the dense, dark Biona breads that are perfect for eating with coconut oil and avocado but I haven’t found a replacement here in New Zealand which has been getting to me. So here was born my first attempt at a rye and buckwheat bread using the guidelines of Deliciously Ella’s recipe, and it’s pretty darn good!

This is a delicious, dense bread, high in fibre, very filling and the recipe means that you can mess about and put whatever ingredients you like in it! Buckwheat has been a new introduction to my diet and I have been buying the groats and whizzing them up in my magical Vitamix to make fresh buckwheat flour. They are a perfect replacement for flour to make gluten free pancakes etc, and they also happen to be crazy good for you, it’s a great source of protein, vitamin E and is an antioxidant. Who doesn’t love eating bread when it’s actually all good for you!

Makes 1 loaf
1 ½ cups rye flour, or kibbled rye
1 cup buckwheat flour, or buckwheat groats
3 tbsp Psyllium husks
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup walnuts
½ cup linseeds
½ tsp salt
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups cold water

If you are using the kibbled rye and buckwheat groats, first put them both in a Vitamix or high speed blender and pulse until they turn to flour.

In a big bowl mix all the ingredients and then add the water and stir together. It will be really dense and not runny at all.

Leave the mix for about an hour to soak up all the water and preheat you oven to 180˚C

Line a loaf tin with baking paper and pack all the bread mix down so it’s flat on the top. Sprinkle some left over seeds on top to make it look prettier when cooked.

Bake it in the oven for around an hour. You can poke it to check it’s firm or pull the loaf out with the baking paper and have a look at the bottom. It needs to have a dark brown crust all the way around or it might crumble.

Leave to cool and to eat it slice it thinly and toast. Best eaten with some coconut oil, avocado and lime and some salt!

It freezes really well too so once cooked I sliced half of  it into nice thin slices and stored in the freezer. The rest keeps well in a bag in the fridge.