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.

 

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.

 

 

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

 

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.

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

Salad new

 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.

sea
 oysters
 

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