3 Tasty Things Archive

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‘3 Tasty Things’ is a little segment of fun and deliciousness I share each week in our Friday newsletter. This page is an archive so you (and I!) can remember what’s been featured in the past.

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18 AUG 2017

Winning Sunday brunch…
Cumulus Baked Eggs. Super easy and so delicious this was the recipe my weekend guests requested. Serve with sourdough toast for my carb lovers and with Broccoli Toast for me. And lots of Kerrygold Irish butter for everyone!

Most popular post on Instagram…
Baked Lentilotto! If you haven’t tried it, the recipe is over here. Feel free to mix it up with any flavour combinations you’d normally use for risotto.

Monday Night Soup success…
Still addicted to my No-Cry Roast Onion Soup! Super warming and comforting.
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11 AUG 2017

Surprisingly Effective Hangover Food…
Avo on Toast with Smashed Olives & Tahini. After a big day and night in Melbourne I was very happy to come home and enjoy a big dose of healthy fat to ease the pain. Funny how I used to crave lemonade when I’d had a big night and now I genuinely want something nurturing.

Ingredient of the week…
Home made chorizo! After making and smoking 40kg (80lb) of Chorizo with friends over the last two weekends my fridge and freezer are now over flowing. Talk about a nice problem to have. We had Chorizo Tacos on Sunday, Roast Brussels Sprouts and Chorizo with Hummus on Tuesday and Super Yum Cabbage & Chorizo (instead of bacon) on Thursday. My Irishman also had Chorizo for breakfast with his scrambled eggs. Luckily we’re happy to keep on eating it!

Family dinner success…
Finally getting my boys to love lentils with this super easy Baked ‘Lentilotto’ basically it’s just as comforting as a risotto but much lower GI, higher protein and higher in fibre. And it’s super delicious. There is hope!

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4 AUG 2017

Super tasty and energizing lunch…
Home Made Pate on Cauliflower Seed Toast. I haven’t been eating much red meat lately and really noticed my energy levels dipping. Pate is my favourite way to boost my Iron levels and get me back to my usual energetic self.

Most Popular post on Instagram…
Spiced Tomato Soup with Roast Hazelnuts! A new fave that even Finbar loves (I serve his up before adding the harissa). Recipe coming soon!

New favourite Low Carb pasta substitute…
Ricotta Gnocchi. Still perfecting the recipe but basically just combined smooth ricotta with a little psyllium and some parmesan, formed into little pillows and baked until warm and brown. Served with Crispy Sage, Browned Butter and Pine Nuts. Soo soo comforting and good (AND blood sugar friendly).

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28 JULY 2017

Vegetable of the week!
Lots of love for Brussels Sprouts at the moment. Roast or pan fried are my faves but they also make a lovely shaved sprout salad or slaw. Still think this recipe is my fave.

Winning side salad…
Making the most of the amazing kale I got from the farmers market with this Lime & Tahini Kale Salad. Love it as a tasty lunch with some sardines or a handful of roast nuts to bulk it out but it’s also brilliant as a hearty side.

New favourite cookbook…
‘Breddos Tacos’ by Nud Dudhia and Chris Witney. It might seem strange to be getting inspiration for Mexican cooking from a London restaurant / taco shack but I’m enjoying it all the same. Have also discovered a brilliant Australian producer of authenic corn tortillas so there has been lots of taco love in our house! Also happy to report that these tortillas are pretty blood sugar-friendly if I don’t have more than two.

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21 JULY 2017

Super easy and satisfying dessert!
Had These Chocolate Peanut Butter Thins for a Saturday night treat. They had been hiding in the freezer since my photo shoot for my Baking Book and were just as tasty as when freshly made.

New favourite soup…
Tossing up between calling it ‘Aussie Onion Soup’ or ‘No-Cry Roast Onion Soup’. Either way it ticks all my favourite boxes… Easy, few ingredients and super tasty! Recipe coming soon.

Sunday Baking Win…
Turned these Pear Cup Cakes into a round cake (20cm /8in springform pan). Baked the same time as the muffins and replaced the milk with yoghurt and the pear with a few handfuls of frozen cherries and chunks of dark chocolate. Total winner!

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14 JULY 2017

Totally addictive sauce…
Used the dressing for my Miso Harissa Cauliflower as a sauce for our Sunday brunch. With Poached Eggs, Sausages and Roast Brussels Sprouts it was soo soo good. Like a grown up version of ketchup!

Yuuummy Monday Night Soup…
Spicy Tomato with Coconut Milk. Super creamy and good. Finbarello (my 1-year-old) said ‘yuuuummmmm’ when I gave him his first mouthful. My Irishman said it was like a Butter Chicken Curry in soup form. Really easy to make too. Recipe coming soon!

Old favourite curry…
My Irishman’s Sunday night curry fest is continuing. Last weekend it was Lamb Saag which is an Indian curry with a pureed spinach sauce. As much as I’m a butter chicken fan I think the saag would have to be my desert island curry. You can try my simple Super Green Chicken Saag recipe if you want to enjoy the goodnesss yourself.

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7 JULY 2017

A really good sandwich…
Slow Cooked Lamb Sandwich. I used my Broccoli Bread, shredded Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder, lashings of Mayo and some baby spinach. So good! (although Fergal, my 4-year-old spat our his broccoli bread and just at the lamb).

A favourite cake…
Have really been enjoying the Chocolate & Zucchini Cake leftovers from Fergal’s birthday celebrations. I decorated it with a white chocolate ganache so there was plenty of sugar for the Birthday boy and I could enjoy the actual cake part guilt-free. Win win!

Soup of the week…
Zucchini Laksa. In a twist on this recipe, I used sliced mushrooms instead of zucchini noodles for me and cooked spaghetti for my boys (who weren’t really into it in spite of the spaghetti!). My Irishman and I were happy though.

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30 JUNE 2017

Best thing I ate last week!
Roast Spiced Cauliflower with Tahini & Honey Dressing. You have to make this. Chop 1/2 large cauli in bite sized pieces, toss in a little oil with 1 teaspoon smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon ras el hanout (or use 2 teaspoons curry powder). Roast 250C (480F) for about 20 mins or until well browned and tender. Mix 4 tablespoons each lemon juice, tahini and water with 1 tablespoon soy sauce and a scant teaspoon honey. Serve roast cauli with sauce drizzled over and a handful roast almonds and 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley chopped. Enough for 2 as a side but I could eat the whole thing in one sitting. So good!

New favourite sauce…
Chilli Herb Oil. For a quick and easy way to add freshness to BBQ or cooked meat, fish or veggies just chop a bunch of fresh herbs (I used coriander / cilantro but parsley, mint or basil would all work) and chop a small red chilli. Stir in 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season generously with salt and drizzle away. We had it with BBQ lamb chops one night and pan fried fish another.

Most popular post on Instagram…
Bacon Gremolata. Super easy and soo delicious! Recipe over here.

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23 JUNE 2017

New favourite lunch…
Avo on Toast with Smashed Olives & Tahini – taking the old classic to a new (low carb) level! Just toast a slice of Broccoli Sandwich Bread (or whatever bread you like), smash a small avocado on top, sprinkle with a squeeze of lime. Smash 2-3 black olives (removing the stones) and scatter over the top of the avo. Finish with a little drizzle of tahini. A flavour explosion in every bite!

Winning low-carb take on hummus…
Roast Broccoli Hummus! So tasty even Finbarello (my 1-year-old) is loving it!. Just roast 2 heads broccoli until tender (about 20 minutes at 250C / 480F). Cool then puree in the food processor with a little garlic, and 4 tablespoons each tahini, lemon juice and water. Be generous with the salt and use anywhere you’d normally serve hummus. We had it with SLow Roasted Lamb and it was amazing (if I do say so myself).

A super tasty salad dressing…
I had completely forgotten about my Onion Dressing until the other night when I was scrolling through the site looking for salad inspiration. It will take your next salad to a way more complex place but it’s also a lovely sauce to serve with grilled or BBQ meats, especially sausages.

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16 JUNE 2017

Legume of the week…
Cooked a batch of cannellini beans in my slow cooker (soaked overnight then drained and cooked on low for 7 hours or see this recipe if you don’t have a slow cooker). Have been using them through the week. My fave is these Braised Beans we had for Sunday brunch with Poached Eggs and black pudding. And the best news is they’ve been fine for my blood sugar!

New Sunday baking win…
Fergal and I made some brownies and swirled peanut butter through the top before baking. Super pretty and delicious! Used this brownie recipe with 100g (3.5oz) smooth peanut butter.

New twist on an old favourite sauce…
Made a Hazelnut version of this tasty Cashew Sauce. Served with BBQ lamb cutlets and Addictive Roast Brussels Sprouts for date night with my Irishman.

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9 JUNE 2017

Low carb bread of the week…
Made a cauliflower version of my Cheesey Carrot Loaf. I served it with snacks for our bonfire on Saturday to some friends who own a bakery and they really loved it! Win! Also pleasantly surprised how much my boys have been actually eating it this week. I especially loved it in my Tuscan Kale & Bread Soup on Monday.

Old favourite supper made new…
This Spiced Roast Eggplant given a low carb twist by substitute some leftover slow roast lamb for the cooked quinoa. So easy and delicious!

Most popular post on Instagram…
Cherry Ricotta Crumble Cake from my new book. You can access the recipe online over here. It’s one of my all time favourite cakes that had the honour of being Finbar’s first birthday cake earlier in the year.

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2 JUNE 2017

Warming family dinner…
Sausages & Lentils with some Roast Root Veg in the side for my little carb lovers and some Rosemary & Garlic Kale for me.

Super delicious Japanese supper…
Roast Broccoli with Ginger Miso Dressing. Roasted chopped Broccoli in a little oil (200C / 400F) until well browned (about 20 mins). For the dressing mix 1 tablespoon grated ginger and 1 generous tablespoon white miso paste with 1/4 cup each soy sauce, olive oil and rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar). Toss hot Broccoli in the dressing with a handful of sliced snow peas and serve with pan fried tofu (or chicken) and some sesame seeds. Even better the next day when the tofu has had time to marinate in the dressing.

A simple Monday night soup…
Fennel and Hazelnut Soup. Sweat 2 diced onions and a diced bulb of fennel until soft and translucent. Add 3 cups chicken struck and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Season with salt and serve in deep bowls with a few handfuls of roasted Hazelnuts and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (or chilli oil) for richness. Love how the Hazelnuts look like chickpeas and give a satisfying nutty crunch.

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25 MAY 2017

Super tasty brunch…
Garlicky Mushrooms with Poached Eggs and Dukkah (a middle eastern topping of hazelnuts, sesame seeds and spices – it’s super easy to make your own). For the brunch I just browned 500g (1lb) sliced mushrooms in lots of butter adding 2 sliced cloves garlic toward the end. Piled these onto two plates and topped each with two poached eggs, a super generous sprinkling of dukkah and a little flat leaf parsley.

Monday night soup…
Made a big batch of bone broth on the weekend to fuel my Monday night soup addiction. This week’s version was an oldie but a goodie…my Red lentil and Preserved Lemon Soup and it didn’t even spike my blood sugar!

A fresh and creamy salad dressing…
Just mix equal parts Greek or home made yoghurt with mayonnaise. So fresh and lovely. I used mine on grated raw kohlrabi and served with a big dusting of za’atar (middle eastern spice blend – but dukkah would have worked as well), roast almonds and some flat leaf parsley.

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19 MAY 2017

Luxurious Mothers Day Supper…
After being taken out for a beautiful Japanese lunch by my boys, I just wanted something light and simple for my Irishman and I to have for our date night dinner. Made a batch of my seed crackers from my new baking book and served with an Irish blue cheese, a French Camembert and a new Italian favourite called Ossolana. Some sauerkraut added freshness and crunch. So good!

Fun family dinner…
My Irishmans Sunday Night Curry theme is continuing. This week it was butter chicken served with rice for the boys and a big plate of greens for me. While I’m loving our new tradition, just between you and me I like my more simple Butter Chicken recipe better.

New cookbook addiction…
Alementari by Linda & Paul Jones. A fab collection of salads and breakfast favourites from the Melbourne Italian-Lebanese cafe of the same name. Had scrambled eggs with dukkah and goats cheese for breakkie. Had forgotten how much I love dukkah for adding a last-minute flavour boost.

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12 MAY 2017

Winning family dinner…
Tuna Melts with a side of Radicchio & Rocket (Arugula) Salad for me and Roast Sweet Potato for my carb lovers. Used my Life Changing Cauliflower Bread and mixed together a large drained can of tuna with about 4 generous tablespoons of mayo. Piled this on top of 4 bread slices and placed on an oven tray. Sprinkled liberally with grated cheese (I used emmental but any good melting cheese will work). In the oven for about 10 mins at 180C (350F). Happy family and no complaints from my Irishman about having fish for dinner!

Sunday Baking Session…
This was my first week in months just baking for fun (not to test something for my new book!). Had a heap of zucchini from the garden that needed desperate attention so made my Honey & Almond Zucchini Cake. So good with a up of tea and lashings of double cream.

New flavour combo…
Smoked Fish with Kale and Almond. Basically substituted smoked trout for the chorizo in this recipe. Used a little more lemon and toasted the almonds in the oven. So good and possibly even better than the chorizo version.

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5 MAY 2017

Soup rediscovery…
No-Chop Butternut Soup. A fave from my childhood that I’ve avoided from a carb perspective. Kept my serving modest and was generous with the topping of browned butter and crispy sage leaves. And my blood sugar wasn’t too bad. The boys enjoyed theirs with toast.

New slightly unusual flavour combination…
Mushrooms and tarragon. Normally I automatically reach for thyme when cooking mushrooms but have been challenging myself to experiment with new matches. Just browned some chopped mushrooms in butter with a little garlic and added some chopped tarragon just before serving. Lovely on a slice of Broccoli Toast with Poached Eggs for Sunday brunch. Even my Irishman, who isn’t a mushroom lover went back for seconds.

If you’d like to learn more about flavour combinations, I highly recommend ‘The Flavour Thesaurus‘ by Nikki Sargent.

Brilliant new habit…
My Irishman has volunteered to cook family dinner every Sunday. So good to have him back in the kitchen. This weeks Lamb Curry was really tasty. Served with Chilli Oil and Cauliflower Rice for me and Fergals Fried Rice for my carb-lovers.

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28 APR 2017

Family favourite potato dish…
Gratin potatoes… the slicing does take some work even with a mandoline but the resulting extremely happy Irishman (and small boys) was worth the effort. Brilliant for leftovers too.

Wonderfully comforting soup…
Spiced Cauliflower & Cashew. Soften an onion in a little oil. Grate a thumb sized piece of ginger and throw it in. Add the chopped florets of 1/2 large cauliflower and 1 can coconut cream (unsweetened), large handful cashews and 1/2 cup water. Simmer covered about 15 mins until Cauli is tender. Add 2-3 teaspoons garam masala (or curry powder) and plenty of salt. Purée with a stick blender and serve with another handful of cashews. So warming and nice to have a vegetarian meal that’s also low-carb!

Tasty sauce for pan fried fish…
Preserved lemon and olive. Stone and chop a handful of kalamata olives and finely chop 1/4 preserved lemon. Stir through mayo or add enough extra virgin olive oil and a splash of lemon to make a chunky sauce. Serve with fish and a salad.

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21 APR 2017

Super decadent Sunday brunch….
Leftover cold roast beef with chimmichurri, mustard mayo and a fried egg (plus toast for my carb-lovers). Inspired by one of my favourite cafes. We all really enjoyed this unusual tasty brunch.

Brilliant family dinner…
Made my Seriously Easy Moussaka with eggplant from my garden(!) Sorry about the gloat, couldn’t resist). Everyone loved it. And my Irishman said he liked it better than lasagne. Tossed in some cooked short pasta for the boys and they were happy too. Having the leftovers again tonight. Yum!

Old favourite salad…
Made my Shaved Cabbage Salad with Parmesan & Aged Balsamic to take to a friends place for Easter Sunday lunch. Everyone loved it. It’s also great because it’s a salad that doesn’t mind sitting around.

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14 APR 2017

Easter treat I’ll be making this weekend for my boys...
These Potato Rosti – these little nests always go down a treat for Sunday brunch and the nest aspect makes me think of Easter. If you’re keen for a healthier option my Crispy Zucchini Fritters are the next best thing.

Another new favourite bread…
Have been having a sandwich moment this week. It’s been a long time. And this Broccoli Sandwich Bread is my fave go-to. Giving you guys another ‘sneak peek’ from my new baking book!

Other Easter treat I’ll be making…
My new favourite chocolate cake. Thank heavens this one is low carb! Have timed it well that I *have* to make this this weekend for my photography shoot for the new book.

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7 APR 2017

Favourite source of iron...
I’ve been experimenting with low carb vegetarian dinners mid week which has been fun (and delicious!) I know I need to get my iron somewhere so have been loving my home made pate for lunches.

New favourite bread…
Still heavily into baking at the moment getting the finishing touches on my new book! Have been loving my new Cauliflower Seed & Nut Bread toasted and slathered with smashed avocado and togarashi (Japanese spice blend) Or the pate I mentioned above. You can have a ‘sneak peek’ at the recipe over here.

New favourite (veggie) pizza topping…
It’s not traditional, but my Irishman and I both loved our Cauliflower Pizza last night topped with pureed roast beets, goats cheese, walnuts and kale (which went all crispy in the oven). So good!

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31 MAR 2017

Yummy mid-week soup…
Leek and Kohlrabi. A tasty low-carb twist on the traditional Leek & Potato. Just sweat and onion and 2 chopped leeks in oil. Add 2 diced kohlrabi (or potatoes) and 2 cups stock. Simmer, covered until kohlrabi is tender. Puree, season and serve with a big drizzle of chilli oil. So good!

Super delicious sauce…
Miso Harissa Sauce inspired by Andrea from Dishing Up the Dirt. We had it with crispy pork belly on Saturday and I’ve been loving the leftovers with my poached eggs and even a sardine salad. Just mix together 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup white miso paste, 2-3 tablespoons harissa and 3 tablespoons rice vinegar. Super addictive.

Most popular post on Instagram…
My Melt-in-the-Mouth Savoury Cheesecake. If you haven’t tried it, you can find the recipe over here.

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24 MAR 2017

New favourite cookbook…
‘Dishing Up the Dirt’ by Andrea Bemis. So excited to have this vegetable-focused seasonal book from one of my all time favourite food bloggers.

Old favourite salad…
I haven’t had kale in the longest time but picked up a few bunches last time I was at the markets. Had forgotten how amazing this Marinated Kale Salad is with it’s super addictive tahini and lime dressing.

Awesome sauce…
Made this Cashew Nut Sauce last night to have with some BBQ fish and salad (and chips for the boys). Had forgotten how tasty it is!

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18 MAR 2017

Most Popular Post on Instagram…
It was my 1/2 Birthday last week and we celebrated with a cheese-focused ‘picnic’ dinner. One of my all-time favourite easy meals. Made more of these broccoli flat breads. So good with cheese! Especially the St. Agur blue.

Favourite family treat…
These easy home fries are my fave low-stress way to cook potato chips. Have recommended to a few of my playgroup friends and they keep telling me how much they love them!

Winning family roast chicken dish…
This flavour-packed Herby Green Roast Chicken served with these Roast Diced Veg using carrots, potato and sweet potato. Something for everyone!

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10 MAR 2017

Most Popular Post on Instagram…
These braised beans with sage and parmesan. We had them for brunch with a poached egg. Such a nice change from our usual pork-heavy Sundays.

Sweet treat of the week…
Crunchy Almond Crumbles. Have been working on a sugar-free / gluten-free crumble recipe for my new baking book. Made these with blueberries on Saturday night. So good!

Guest post on Mind Body Green!
Faster Than Takeout: These 5-Ingredient Recipes Will Get Dinner On Your Table, Stat.

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3 MAR 2017

New family favourite curry…
Basically soften 2 onions in lots of oil, add a little grated ginger, grated turmeric (or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric), 2 chopped tomatoes, a can of coconut milk, about 20 fresh curry leaves and a diced eggplant. Simmer covered for about 20 minutes or until the eggplant is soft. I added some boiled potatoes for my boys and some canned tuna for my Irishman and I. Serve with a squeeze of lime and some wilted greens for me and rice for the carb-lovers. Feel free to add a little fresh or dried chilli – I didn’t and we all enjoyed the fragance of the super mild curry. Fergal even ate all his eggplant!

New favourite sandwich bread…
A cauliflower version of these broccoli flat breads. Super satisfying and so lovely to be able to have a sardine sandwich for lunch without worrying about my blood sugar! More to come on these.

Most Popular Post on Instagram…
Cheesey Carrot Bread! Experimenting with a savoury version of my favourite carrot cake recipe for my new low-carb baking book. Part of my evil plan to encourage small boys to enjoy eating their vegetables.

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24 FEB 2017

Another fave way to cook zucchini…
Zucchini burgers! Using this recipe I served with labneh instead of the yoghurt and some smoked trout. Super tasty and even the boys ate their burgers.

Favourite low carb burger buns…
So good to be able to have a burger bun recipe that doesn’t spike your blood sugar! They’re also great for sandwiches.

Winning mid-week family dinner…
My Quick Veg Curry using garam masala instead of curry powder to keep it mild for the boys. Served chilli oil at the table for some adult heat. And with Egg Fried Rice for my carb-lovers and cauliflower ‘rice’ for me. Everyone happy! I also love how a curry can warm you up in Winter and cool you down in Summer.

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17 FEB 2017

Fave way to cook zucchini…
My zucchini growing efforts have been a bit sad this year. But many of my friends have zucchini growing everywhere and I keep getting zucchini gifts. While I love to spiralize my zucchini into ‘noodles’, there’s only so much raw zucchini a girl can handle. This week I started slicing it, drizzling with lots of olive oil and roasting until tender and browned in places (about 20 mins at 200C / 400F). Then as it cools tossing in some torn mint. So so great! Even better slathered with some home made yoghurt and topped with some melted butter – Turkish style.

New vegetable success with my little men…
We had a vegetarian version of this moussaka last night and I couldn’t believe that Fergal gobbled up his eggplant. There is hope of him not just being a meat and potatoes man. (Actually he’s more a potatoes with potatoes man at the moment)

Most popular post on instagram…
This quote which even beat an ice cream cake! Now that’s saying something.

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11 FEB 2017

Delicious fresh twist on pesto…
My basil is going crazy this year. I’ve been making so much pesto I was started to get a bit bored with it. (Not a complaint, just an observation!). So last night I used almonds instead of the cashews in this recipe and added the zest of a lemon and about 4 tablespoons lemon juice plus a few tablespoons almond meal to make it extra creamy. Really happy with the results! Like pesto but fresher without all the usual parmesan cheesiness. Loved it with roast broccolini and sausages.

New favourite marinade for lamb chops…
From the Persiana book by Sabrina Ghayour. For 2 people combine 1 teaspoon turmeric, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, 1 clove garlic and 4 tablespoons olive oil + salt and pepper. Marinate lamb for at least an hour (i did mine for about 4 hours). We has these on the BBQ on Sunday and they were so so good! With my lemon tahini sauce and a fattoush-style salad.

Most Popular Post on Instagram…
Chocolate Cream Cheese Muffins. A little something I’m including in my low-carb baking book. And you get a sneak preview at the recipe! Actually maybe I need to make them again… just to be sure they’re as good as I remember 😉
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3 FEB 2017

Most Popular Post on Instagram…
Cherry & Ricotta Crumble Cake. A new recipe I’m working on for my low-carb baking book!

New favourite way to get small boys to love vegetables…
Fritters! After the success of my potato rosti last week, I thought I’d see how they went with zucchini fritters. Still can’t believe they ate them. Recipe coming soon but in the mean time you could just substitute zucchini for the potato in this recipe and add a small bunch of chopped mint.

A savoury cheesecake!
Inspired by a recipe in the Honey & Co. cookbook I made a savoury cheesecake for Sunday brunch. Really lovely served warm with some smoked salmon and a side salad. One of those dishes that is super cheesey and satisfying yet light and airy. Recipe coming soon!

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27 JAN 2017

Winning small person dinner…
Hot Cheesey Chickpeas. So excited that I’ve finally got Fergal into chickpeas as they’re such a brilliant staple for quick nutritious meals. Now if I could only get him to love lentils like I do…

Another new favourite cookbook…
‘Honey & Co. Food From the Middle East’ by Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer. Have been cooking my way through this gem. Love the fresh flavours and (mostly) simple approach. Had the lamb sharwamma for dinner on Saturday. So good!

Special Sunday Brunch for my Irishman’s Birthday…
Potato Rosti with Shaved Ham and Poached Eggs. I made a double batch to have leftovers but of course they all vanished. Lots of potato love in our house.

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20 JAN 2017

Winning family dinner…
Kofta kebabs cooked on the BBQ in 38C heat. Served with flat bread for my little carb lovers. Fergal had great fun making ‘rolly pollies’ wrapping his kofta in the bread.

New favourite cookbook…
Made in India Cooked in Britian by Meera Sodha. I’ve been looking for a good, authentic yet simple Indian cookbook for years and I’m happy to say I’ve finally found it. Having a Pistachio and Yoghurt Chicken Curry tonight. Can’t wait!

Special sweet treat for my Irishman’s Birthday…
It’s been so hot this Summer, my Irishman has requested I dust off my ice cream making skills. Planning on going all out with this Rich Dark Chocolate, a Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter. Definitely not diabetic-friendly but super easy to make. No ice cream machine required!

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16 DEC 2016

Favourite way to spice up any meal…
Chilli oil! Have been experimenting with a more simple version than this one using fresh chillies. Instead just warm 1 cup extra virgin olive oil with 2 tablespoons dried chilli flakes (or crumbled dried red chilli) and 1 teaspoon cayene pepper or hot chilli powder. Warm on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Cool then strain and pour into a bottle. Drizzle liberally over everything (well maybe not ice cream… but then again maybe?!)

Family favourite pasta…
Made a fresh pea sauce for short pasta for the boys last night. They were skeptical at first but ended up loving it! Just warmed 2 handfuls frozen peas with a few generous hunks of butter until warm. Then whizzed them and the leaves of 2 sprigs mint with my stick blender until pureed. Tossed through hot pasta. Had to stop my Irishman stealing it from Fergal’s plate (normally that only happens with potatoes!).

New favourite sweet treat…
Home made Nutella. Just whizzed 250g (1/2lb) roasted hazelnuts until nut butter consistency then whizzed in 100g (3oz) dark chocolate. So simple and so good!

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9 DEC 2016

New favourite low carb vegetable…
Kohlrabi. It looks a bit ‘out there’ but I love that you can use the whole veg. The leaves will work wherever you’re using chard or spinach. The ‘root’ part can be used like most root veg. I made these curried kohlrabi fries and have been experimenting with making a salad with kohlrabi chopped into match sticks.

Family favourite protein…
Pork sausages! The only ingredient I haven’t been able to find a great local supplier for is sausages. So while I was in Sydney last weekend I stocked up with 6kg pure pork sausages from my favourite butcher, Hudson’s Meats. My boys have been loving having sausages for brekfast this week with their eggs. And we loved my sausage version of this Moroccan Tajine.

Most popular post on Instagram…
A pic of wee Finbar and I out and about in Sydney last weekend.

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2 DEC 2016

Delicious new flavour combo…
Hummus with preserved lemon! One of my playgroup friends put me onto this yesterday. If you haven’t ever made preserved lemons they’re super easy and inexpensive to make (recipe here) and make a fab gift. Just stir the chopped rind of one preserved lemon through your favourite hummus. So good! We had it with meatballs and wilted greens.

An old favourite dessert rediscovered…
Strawberries with Balsamic and Marscapone. From my print book 5-Ingredients 10-Minutes. I had forgotten how delicious strawberries taste when marinated in your best balsamic vinegar.

Most popular post on Instagram…
A bit of a surprise… a quote from Confucis beat my Chocolate Pecan ‘Pie’! “The more man meditates on good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”

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25 NOV 2016

A favourite sauce…
Yoghurt and garlic. Just mash 1/2 clove garlic with a little salt using the side of your knife until you have a fine paste. Stir through 1/2 cup natural yoghurt. We had it last night with grilled asparagus and lots of roasted Hazelnuts. So good! For a richer more filling version I’m keen to try it with 1/2 yoghurt and 1/2 mayo.

Brilliant BBQ dinner…
Made some tiny Moroccan meatballs (use this recipe without the sauce and added 1 teaspoon Ras el Hanout -Moroccan spice blend or you could use Baharat. Cook meatballs on the BBQ instead of the oven). Served with Babaganoush and grilled eggplant, zucchini and red peppers. So good!

New way to cook broad beans…
Just grill them whole. So simple and delicious. Similar to edamame. Only works with tiny broad beans literally the size of your finger so you’ll need to be growing your own I’m afraid.

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18 NOV 2016

Most popular post on Instagram
Gluten-free Chocolate Muffins. Recipe here. Also finally nailed a sugar-free / low carb version for my new baking book.

Old favourite cookbook…
Moro by Sam & Sam Clarke. Based on recipes from their London restaurant this book has really stood the test of time. If you love Moroccan / Spanish food it’s really worth adding to your collection.

Spring veg favourite…
Broad Bean Pesto. One of my Irishmans all time favourite things to eat. We had it with poached eggs and bacon for a lovely Sunday brunch. And if it’s not Spring where you are, frozen broad beans work really well.

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11 NOV 2016

New favourite salad dressing…
Lemon & Miso! OMG you have to try this… mix 2 tablespoons lemon juice with 2 teaspoons white miso paste and 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Use to dress a green salad or as a sauce for chicken or fish. So fresh and salty and good!

Brilliant weeknight dinner…
Cajun Chicken & ‘Slaw. My Irishman has been cooking me dinner on Tuesday nights. This was an absolute winner using super moist and tasty chicken thigh fillets (with the skin on!) from the farmers market.

A New way with eggs…
Strapatsada. I was skeptical about the idea of tomatoey scrambled eggs but decided to give them a go at Nigella’s recommendation. Both my Irishman and I were blown away with how delicious and satisfying the creamy tomatoey eggs were. We had ours for Sunday brunch with a green salad and a side of black pudding but looking forward to trying it as Nigella suggests with fresh basil and some salty feta crumbled over for a lighter mid-week dinner.

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4 NOV 2016

New favourite low carb dip / sauce…
Tuna ‘hummus’! Basically replace the chickpeas in this recipe with canned tuna. And maybe up the lemon a little. Use it anywhere you’d normally use hummus. We had it as a bed for some leftover spiced lamb. So good!

A ‘blast’ from the past…
This Pistachio & Mint Sauce. It’s more than 5-ingredients but don’t let that stop you from trying this exotic Middle Eastern sauce. We had it with slow cooked lamb which was amazing but I’m keep to try it with salmon as well.

Winning flavour combo…
Smoked Paprika & Rosemary. I used them to flavour a batch of salty roast almonds which are super delicious. Keen to explore other options as well. Thinking it would be a great way to jazz up simple roast or pan fried chicken breasts or thighs. Or even spruce up some good old pork sausages. And my Irishman has already asked that we try it on our next batch of roast spuds.

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28 OCT 2016

Most popular post on Instagram…
Wee Finbar at 8 months. OK so he’s not a ‘thing’ but there’s definitely a lot of deliciousness 🙂

New favourite snack…
Turmeric & Togarashi Cashews. Just roast 1 cup Cashews for 5-10 mins at 200c (400F) until lightly browned. Then toss in 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, 1.5 teaspoons ground turmeric and 1 tablespoon schichimi togarashi ( I used one with some nori (seaweed) flakes in it. If you don’t have togarashi sesame seeds and some cayenne pepper will work. Finish with lots of sea salt flakes. And be careful not to wipe your fingers on your jeans like my Irishman did! Turmeric stains are tough to remove.

New favourite flavour combo…
Parsley & Fennel Seeds. So fresh and vibrant. Made a sauce to serve with BBQ tuna steaks on Saturday night. So much goodness! Recipe coming soon.

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21 OCT 2016

A favourite way to turn leftovers into a satisfying meal…
I call it the ‘soup leftover trick’. It’s perfect when you have lots of little bits and pieces that won’t make a cohesive meal. Last night I used some leftover beef Vindaloo curry, chicken stock and roast mushrooms. Added some spiralized daikon ‘noodles’ and served with lots of natural yoghurt. So good!

Favourite new use for my slow cooker…
Steaming! On Sunday I steamed a chicken for the first time and it was so delicious! Succulent and moist. First I chopped the whole chook into 4 pieces and rubbed with a little (like 1 teaspoon) Chinese 5-spice and lots of salt. I then put about 2cm (1in) water in the base of the slow cooker. Popped the chicken on a rack so it wasn’t touching the water and left it on high until the chicken was cooked through – about 3 hours. I also tried to steam some Chinese broccoli but got impatient and finished it off in a saucepan. I’ve never been that into steaming but now excited to try new things!

New way with eggs…
Turkish Eggs with Yoghurt & Sumac! Pictured over here. Basically poach eggs and serve on a bed of natural / Greek style yoghurt with a drizzle of melted butter on top and a sprinkle or sumac (middle eastern spice – substitute smoked paprika or baharat) and some pinenuts if you have them. I served with this Kale Salad but simple greens would work too. Love how it elevates everyday eggs to something exotic and new.

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14 OCT 2016

Winning Sunday night dinner…
Beef Vindaloo. Use beef cheeks instead of chicken in this recipe and cooked it in the slow cooker until super tender. Lovely with cauliflower ‘rice’ and some herby (mint and coriander) yoghurt. Also brilliant leftover lunches!

Most popular post on Instagram…
Individual Cauliflower ‘Pizza’ for Fergal’s dinner. Still can’t believe that he actually loves eating cauliflower in this form. There is hope! I’m looking forward to having the last one for my lunch today. Recipe here.

Warming mid-week soup…
Peanutty Chicken Satay Soup. Basically just added 1.5 cups stock to this curry recipe. Super warming, comforting and satisfying.

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7 OCT 2016

Most popular post on Instagram…
Asparagus in my garden! Had the most wonderful surprise when I was weeding my garlic on Sunday. The asparagus which I thought had died last summer is not only alive but sprouting 3 tiny spears. Now the question is to chop or not to chop?

New take on an old favourite…
I was chatting to Soupstones member Jim during the week and he mentioned how he loves making cauliflower mash with sour cream. I thought he said cream cheese which gave me a fab idea to replace the butter in this recipe. Loved it with last nights sausages. But thinking Jim’s sour cream will be worth trying too!

New super tasty Asian flavour combo…
Ginger & Spring Onion. While we enjoyed the slow cooked pork and ssam sauce for our Korean Bo Ssam last weekend, my favourite part of the meal was the Ginger and Spring Onion Sauce. So fresh and vibrant. Apparently Koreans also eat the sauce tossed through fat noodles. I’m dying to try the combo on a simple chicken stir fry. Imagine it would be great over fried rice or even fried cauliflower ‘rice’.

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30 SEPT 2016

New favourite flavour combo…
Beef & olives! We had an Argentinian inspired version of Shepherds Pie for family dinner on Sunday night. Really loved the flavour burst that the Kalamata olives gave. To try it for yourself just add a large handful of pitted kalamata olives to this recipe.

Old favourite sauce rediscovered…
Chimmichurri! Something I hadn’t made in ages. So fresh and so good! This time I used it as a post-cooking marinade for some thin ‘minute’ steaks so the meat juices mingled with the sauce.

Delicious mid-week dinner…
Sausages & lentils. With my lentils pre-cooked and my sausages poached all I needed to do was heat and serve. Oh and make a quick green salad to have on the side.

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23 SEPT 2016

Easy mid-week dinner…
Super Yum Bacon & Cabbage! Made this last night with red cabbage. So satisfying and delicious. Still amazes me how tasty simple food can be.

Favourite seasonal fresh ingredient…
Asparagus! One of my all time favourite veg. Even though you can buy asparagus year round, I only cook it in the spring. My favourite way to cook it is to roast or cook under an overhead grill (broiler) but it’s also great steamed or raw with poached eggs.

Tasty low-carb snack…
Marinated olives. I’ve really been getting back into olives in the last few months as a filling low carb snack that isn’t nut based. My faves are buttery green Sicilian olives which I marinate and keep in the fridge.

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16 SEPT 2016

Inspirational book I’m loving…
‘Cooked’ by Michael Pollan. The man who has been championing a return to eating ‘real’ food, or just ‘food’, as he calls it, is back. This time he’s extolling the benefits of home cooking. Love, love, love that as I listen to his journey to learning to cook from scratch he’s reminding me of all the reasons I love spending time in the kitchen. Super inspirational.

Old fave mid-week dinner…
Spiced Beef & Hummus. Haven’t had this in the longest time but really really enjoyed it. Made my hummus a bit less carby by increasing the lemon juice and tahini which was quite a success. If you’re looking for a vegetarian version it’s also brilliant with Spiced Lentils.

Fresh ingredient of the week…
Flat leaf parsley. Super versatile, parsley is one of my favourite herbs because it not only can add freshness to most dishes, it also lasts for ages in the fridge. It’s also on high rotation in my house at the moment because it’s growing like crazy in my garden now that I have nets to keep the possums away! Used it to make a tabbouleh to go with my Beef & Hummus last night and also to make a fresh spring pesto. So good!

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9 SEPT 2016

Brilliant no-cook Birthday Dinner…
With two little ones in the house going out for breakfast or lunch is a much easier option at the moment. But I still wanted something special for my Birthday dinner without having to cook. The solution? A cheese course with cheese from my favourite specialist food store (The Essential Ingredient). So easy to serve and incredibly indulgent with a special glass of red!

Most popular post on Instagram…
My peanut butter cheesecake! Very happy to tuck into this after blowing out my birthday candles. It wasn’t quite as good after being in the freezer for a few weeks but still delicious! Even Finbar enjoying spreading his everywhere. Recipe here.

Favourite building block / food prep this week…
Poached sausages. We love our thick pork bangers so these days when I buy them I get 10-12 and poach up a big batch. I then keep what we’re going to eat for that meal / week in the fridge and freeze the rest in ziplock bags. If I forget to defrost I just leave them standing in boiling water for 5 minutes or so before browning in a little oil in a hot pan.

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2 SEPT 2016

Favourite comforting mid week dinner…
Baked Lentilotto. All the comfort of risotto with less carbs and more protein and fibre AND practically NO stirring! Plus one of those super easy meals that cooks itself…. just put in the oven, set the timer.

Most popular post on Instagram…
Cauliflower Pizza! Very excited to have finally perfected my low carb pizza base. Recipe coming soon.

Father’s Day breakfast treat…
It’s Fathers Day here on Sunday so we’re having my Coconut Pancakes with blueberries and cream for brunch.

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26 AUG 2016

Winter veg I’m going to miss the most…
Brussels sprouts! These addictive roast sprouts are still my all time fave recipe (and have converted many a sprout hater),

Low carb ‘fruit’ I’m excited about growing…
Rhubarb! When I was living in Cooma my rhubarb was growing like crazy but I gave away my plants because I used to need to add so much sugar when cooking it. But last year I discovered stevia works really well to sweeten it so really excited about having home grown low carb rhubarb!

Cookbook I’m loving…
Nopi by Yotam Ottolenghi. After sitting on my bedside table since Christmas I had a weekend cooking from this delicious little number. The recipes are very restauranty so I used my simplifying muscles and had some really lovely results.

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19 AUG 2016

Winning midweek dinner…
Simple roast chook. I normally save roast chicken for weekend fare but was inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi to do a Wednesday night roast. Just rubbed it with butter and drizzled over the juice of a lemon and popped it in the oven (200C/400F) for an hour. Carved some breast meat for Fergal to have with sweet potato and pesto. Then my Irishman and I had ours later with a green salad. Plus delicious chicken salad for lunch the next day!

Favourite waste-saving condiment…
Carrot top pesto! Made a huge batch with parsley from the garden as well which will be brilliant to have in the fridge for an instant flavour boost.

Most popular post on Instagram…
Our fireside snacks from last weekend’s bonfire. Basically a platter of salami, a terrine from the deli, Sicilian olives, manchego (Spanish cheese) and some home made feta bread using chickpea flour to make it gluten-free and not so carby. Based on a recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini (I subbed chickpea flour 1:1).

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12 AUG 2016

Favourite mid-week dinner…
Chorizo & Kale. We had this last night for the first time in ages and it was soo good!

Favourite protein source…
Poached Eggs. Now the days are starting to get slightly longer my chooks have started laying again so I’ve been heavily into my super fresh poached eggs this week. The secret is to use the freshest eggs you can and lots of vinegar in the poaching water. See here for recipe and video.

Slow cooked weekend treat…
Making my slow cooked brisket this weekend. Will get it cooked in advance so then we just need to brown it over coals around the bonfire. Serving it with a sugar-free version of my BBQ sauce, some ‘slaw and leeks also cooked on the coals.

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5 AUG 2016

Delicious mid-week dinner…
10-Minute Massaman Curry. Super tasty and satisfying. I love it with cauliflower ‘rice’ but my Irishman is always trying to sneak potatoes in!

Favourite Winter Warmer…
Turmeric Tea. It tastes delicious and you get all the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric. I just mix up a batch of spices (recipe here) and then add 1-2 teaspoons to a cup of boiling water with a big splash of milk or cream.

New favourite low carb / gluten-free bread…
Almond bread! I’ve been experimenting with different low carb bread options because Fergal (and my Irishman) are real toast men – especially peanut butter toast. Unfortunately they aren’t fans of my paleo bread based on coconut flour but my new almond bread is a winner! Will have the recipe soon. And this weekend I’m going to try a cheese bread based on grated Parmesan.

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22 JULY 2016

Winning Sunday Brunch…
Mexican eggs from my print book 5 Ingredients 10 minutes. I dressed it up with some smashed avocado, sour cream, warm corn tortillas (for my carb-loving boys), fermented chilli hot sauce and some leftover ‘slaw. And no one complained that there wasn’t any bacon!

Most popular post on Instagram…
Me and wee Finbar out for lunch to celebrate my Irishman’s half-birthday last weekend.

Favourite soup of the week…
Cabbage and tomato. Served with pesto this is definitely my new favourite comfort chunky soup. Recipe coming soon!

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22 JULY 2016

Favourite slow cooked dish…
Duck au Vin! Basically a new take on good old Coq au Vin using duck legs on the bone instead of the chicken. Happy to report that my slow cooker did a great job of keeping the duck lovely and tender. And I just gave them a quick pan fry in some duck fat before serving to add some flavour and crisp up the skin.

Super tasty condiment…
Chipotle mayo. We had this with BBQ brisket on the weekend and the leftovers with some Kale & Chorizo Soup. So delicious! Just whizz or finely chop 1/2 small can chipotle chillies in adobo sauce (about 1/4 cup) and stir through 1 cup mayonnaise.

Favourite simple soup…
I’ve been a little obsessed with soup at the moment. My fave from this week was Kale & Chorizo Soup. Just brown two diced chorizo or other spicy sausage (bacon would work) or sun dried tomatoes if you’re vegetarian. Remove from the pan and set aside then add 3 cups stock and two chopped bunches kale (or other green). Simmer covered until kale is wilted (about 5 mins). Purée and serve with chorizo on top and a dollop of mayo (or chipotle mayo)!

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15 JULY 2016

Favourite simple soup…
Broccoli & Goats Cheese. Super delicious and only 2 ingredients! Just simmer two chopped heads broccoli in 3 cups water until tender (about 10mins). Purée with a stick blender and season with lots of salt. Serve in big bowls with slices of tangy goats cheese on top.

New way to cook fennel…
Loving the Citrus Braised Fennel from the Cornersmith book. Just slice a large bulb of fennel into 1cm (1/3in) chunks. Brown in a little oil in a large flat pan then add 1/2 cup white wine, cider or water and zest and juice of a lemon and an orange. Simmer covered for about 20 mins or until fennel is soft. We had it with BBQ pork chops and lots of seeded mustard but also imagine it would be amazing with fish or a roast chook.

Most popular post on Instagram…
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake! Have finally perfected my sugar-free / low carb recipe using stevia and really dark chocolate. Recipe coming soon.

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8 JULY 2016

Favourite new low-carb vegetable…
Spaghetti squash! After much experimentation have decided the easiest way to cook it is to cut in half crosswise, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with a little olive oil and roast cut side up 200C / 400F until soft about an hour. The obvious way to serve is with a bolognese sauce but there are so many more options. I used it this week instead of mash as a topping for shepherds pie. And planning on trying it instead of grated potatoes to make fritters for Sunday brunch to have with our bacon and eggs.

Winning Indian curry…
Saag paneer. Saag is a spinach based curry so I basically used this recipe but replaced the meat with home made paneer (Indian cheese similar to feta without being as salty). If you’d like to try your hand a cheesemaking, I recommend starting out with this simple ricotta.

Healthy ‘pizza’ opinion!
Cauliflower pizza. After many failed attempts I’ve finally found a pizza base using grated cauli, eggs, almond meal and Parmesan. While my Irishman (very tough pizza critic) said it wasn’t exactly like pizza he did concede it was super delicious and happily polished off the whole thing! Recipe coming soon…

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1 JULY 2016

Most popular post on Instagram
Roast broccoli which even beat a photo of me and wee Finbar in Melbourne. Just cut broccoli into bite sized pieces, place in an oven proof dish, drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes at 200C / 400F until tender. This week I added a tablespoon of curry powder and put in a splash of lemon juice when it came out of the oven. Served with tuna, mayo and baby spinach for dinner one night and had the leftovers with poached eggs for breakfast.

Winning sweet treat…
It was my turn to bring cake for playgroup on Tues so I made a batch of my Paleo Brownies. I changed the name to ‘Coconut Brownies’ so no one would suspect they were healthy. And only revealed that they are low carb, sugar and gluten-free after there were plenty of compliments and people going back for seconds!

Cheese of the week…
After being pregnant and avoiding soft cheese I’ve gotten out of the habit of buying it. So this week I treated myself to a wedge of perfectly ripe French Brie. Had it for dinner last night on top of roast mushrooms with a green salad and roast hazelnuts. So good!

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24 JUNE 2016

Favourite slow cooking ingredient…
Beef cheeks. So if you’re wondering they’re actually from the face (not the backside)! And they cook down to a beautiful cut-it-with-a-spoon consistency. I made a slow cooked Chinese beef dish on the weekend with Chinese 5-spice, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. So good!

Seasoning secret weapon…
Soy sauce. If I want more complexity than just saltiness when I’m seasoning I often reach for soy sauce instead of salt. It’s brilliant in salad dressing, with lentils and I found it added enough ‘brown’ flavours to my beef cheeks cooked in the slow cooker that I didn’t need to do any additional browning.

If you want to avoid soy, look out for coconut aminos a similar type of ingredient made from coconuts. (Is there anything a coconut can’t do!).

New source of ‘free’ food…
I’ve finally had a go at regrowing a bunch of green onions (also called shallots or scallions). It’s only been a week but I feel very proud of my efforts so far. Basically I just took the roots from my green onions I used in my beef and popped them in a jar with enough water to cover the roots. Then leave in a sunny space (a window sill is perfect) and watch them regrow the green parts. I’m planning on planting them out into the garden at some point. But I’m sure you could just leave them growing in the jar if you don’t have space for a garden or pots.

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17 JUNE 2016

Veggie I’m loving….
Leeks! For our bonfire last weekend I roasted some leeks to have with our rotisserie chicken cooked over the fire coals. The leeks got more compliments than the chicken!

I just sliced off the roots and green parts then chopped the white part into lengths about 5cm (2in) long. Then slice the white logs in half lengthwise so you have two semi-circular logs. Layer in a baking tray and drizzle very generously with olive oil and lots of salt. Roast at 200C (400F) for about 40-50 minutes, stirring every now and then. You want the leeks really well cooked. When they’re done drizzle with a splash of wine or sherry vinegar and a little more oil.

New favourite Low Carb Toast Alternative…
Roast flat mushrooms. I do a big batch then just warm in a pan before topping as you would toast. My fave at the moment is pate for a big dose of iron! But also lovely with smashed avocado or cheese.

Speaking of pate…

Convenience food I’m loving…
Maggie Beer Pate. While home made pate is easy (recipe here), it does involve sourcing and handling chicken livers… Not exactly the most pleasant kitchen tasks. Livers are super nutritious and especially high in iron (something I need lots of) so I’ve been loving having a ‘cheat’ option.

Traditionally pate is served as a starter with toast but I’m loving using it in places I’d normally dollop on some mayo. So things like my eggs in the morning or my lunchtime salads. Although easily my favourite is to smear over mushroom ‘toast’.

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10 JUNE 2016

New kitchen equipment purchase…
This doesn’t happen very often but I order myself a slow cooker this week. I actually had one about 5 years ago when I was researching the super slow cooking class. I did an experiment making Coq au Vin in the oven and slow cooker and tasting them side by side. The slow cooker chicken was more moist and tender but the oven won on flavour and appearance. So I decided to stick to the oven and gave away the slow cooker as a prize to one of my students.

Then last week I completely ruined a beautiful piece of brisket because I left the oven on high after roasting some broccoli. Big mistake! These days I often slow cook meat in the oven and then smoke and brown it in our charcoal BBQ before serving. Which made me rethink my whole slow cooker situation. Will report back on whether it was a good idea!

Most popular post on Instagram…
Lamb shanks with Prunes. One of my fave cuts of meat. Recipe over here.

Favourite family dinner…
Roast chicken! Served with Roast Baby Leeks and a Rocket (Arugula) & Parmesan Salad and Sweet Potato for Fergal. Gotta love a roast for deliciousness and ease… Just pop it in the oven and set your timer.

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3 JUNE 2016

New technique for cooking cauliflower…
Brining and roasting it. Actually I’m not sure if it was the brining or roasting in a really hot oven (250C / 480F) with onion and spices or both. But the spiced Cauli Salad with Labna that we had on Sunday night with lamb cutlets was one of the best things I’ve eaten this week. More experimentation required!

Best app for keeping me organized…
Evernote! Love being able to save all my notes, web pages and images in the one place.

Which reminds me, your membership includes access to my online recipe notebook where I keep anything interesting from my favourite blogs and cookbooks. Including the recipe that inspired my spiced cauliflower above. CLICK HERE to access it online.

Best waste saving tip…
I’ve been making a lot of stock / bone broth recently. In the past I would just discard the bones / veg / meat. But Marco Cannora’s book ‘Brodo’ gave me the idea to use them again.

He calls it a ‘remy’ and basically after making your stock you return all the solids to your pot, pour over cold water and simmer away. Drain and keep the liquid discarding the bones etc.

I then pick any meat from the bones and add this to the ‘remy’ to make a soup. This weeks version had a can of tomatoes, cooked lentils and my rosemary & garlic kale. So hearty, thrifty and good!

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27 MAY 2016

Prepped ingredient I’m loving…
Roast broccoli or broccolini. Inspired by long time SVCS student Carol. Just chop into bite sized pieces (slice the stems and add them too). Drizzle with olive oil and roast 200C / 400F for about 20 minutes or until tender. Add a squeeze of lemon or a splash of vinegar and serve instead of a green salad as a side to pretty much anything. I also had it with poached eggs for breakkie. An another day tossed in some sardine, lemon juice and mayo for a quick lunch. You could also add to some stock to make a hearty soup. So many options!

2-ingredient meal our family loved this week…
Chicken & Peppers… It doesn’t get more simple than this! Or more delicious. Fergal loved his with some rice noodles. My Irishman and I devoured ours with a crunchy bok choy salad.

Favourite sauce this week…
Romesco! We haven’t had this since my Irishman requested it for his birthday in Feb. Loved it with BBQ Pork Cutlets and a side of roast brocoli last Sunday night. Planning on using the rest to have with some BBQ fish from the markets this weekend!

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20 MAY 2016

Waste avoiding tip I’m experimenting with…
I’ve long been a fan of using carrot tops in pesto but this week I had the inspiration to try cooking them. I just rinsed and chopped and wilted them down in a pot with lots of olive oil and a clove of garlic. A bit chewy so I’ll chop finer next time. But love the flavour… A slightly carroty version of flat leaf parsley. My chooks will be getting less carrot tips from now on!

Old favourite meal I’m still loving…
Good old Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry. Made with roast broccolini for something different. If you haven’t yet tried this definitely add to your favourites!

Book I’ve just finished…
‘The Sleep Revolution’ by Ariana Huffington. Did you know the former oldest woman in the world (who died only recently) attributed her longevity to lots of sleep? Made me realize that getting more sleep isn’t going to cut down on time for other things because it may well help you love longer. On a mission to make sure I get my 8 hours every night. It even gave me a new appreciation for the power of napping which my Irishman was very happy to hear!

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13 MAY 2016

1. Sauce I’m loving…
My Sicilan Nut Pesto. I pulled out the last of my Summer basil last weekend and made a big batch of my favourite pesto. I love this recipe because it’s much quicker than regular pesto (no Parmesan to grate).  It’s also much more budget friendly (cashews are cheaper than pine nuts). Plus it’s super tasty! Even Fergal has been devouring it.

2. Quick (low carb) meal I can’t wait to have again…
The good old Irish classic Bacon & Cabbage. My Irishman and I loved this for dinner on Wednesday night. I used red cabbage and my precious home made Red Wine Vinegar. Planning on having it again for our Sunday brunch with poached eggs!

3. Book I’ve just finished…
Better Than Before‘ by Gretchen Reuben. A fascinating in-depth look at habits and how to make or break them. Love her theory that different people respond better to different approaches for successfully adopting new habits. Expect to hear more from me on this!

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6 MAY 2016

1. Low carb veggie I’m rediscovering…
Celeriac! Also known as celery root, I’ve always enjoyed it but found the peeling too tedious to cook it often. Then this week I was inspired by an Ottolenghi recipe to just scrub, wrap in foil and roast it whole (huge why didn’t I think of that? moment!). It took about an hour at 200C (400F). So much easier (and inline with my ‘no peeling’ policy). I then sliced it and served with my leftover mushroom ragu and some pesto.

2. Processed food ingredient I’m (guilty) of loving…
Canned chipotle chillies in adobo sauce. Years ago, when I was travelling in Mexico and Cuba for 6 weeks, I discovered chipotle chillies and was instantly addicted. So much that I stashed about 10 cans in my back pack to bring home with me. Recently I found them for sale in my local Asian grocery store (of course). I’ve been loving just adding them to browned minced (ground) beef and simmering for a few minutes before using as an instant spicy stuffing for roast sweet potato or in nachos.

3. Habit I’m focusing on…
Not picking / snacking when I’m in the kitchen. I still have 2kg (4lb) to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. And while I can fit into my old clothes, they’re a bit tighter than I’d like. I’ve noticed that I’ve developed a bad habit of walking into the kitchen and heading straight to the pantry for a handful of nuts before I start cooking dinner. So far I’ve had some success in kicking this habit by promising myself to snack on veg instead. Usually carrot or celery. Funny how when the option is raw veg I usually decide to just wait for dinner instead.

29 APRIL 2016

1. Recipe I’m loving…
I made a big batch of this Mushroom Ragu yesterday. It’s so nice to have all those hearty slow cooked flavours without the meat. I’m serving it tonight on a bed of baby spinach and the leftovers will go into making an intense mushroom soup for lunch tomorrow when some friends from playgroup come to hang out.

2. Ingredient I’m Loving…
Sardines! These sustainable little oil fish are great on so many levels. I usually have them at least once a week. Recently I’ve been cutting back on dairy because it doesn’t agree with wee Finbar so I’ve been upping my sardines to make sure I’m getting enough calcium.

I generally toss them whole in a salad for lunch. They can really be used anywhere you’d normally use canned tuna or salmon. If you want a good place to start, try mashing them and using in these fish cakes. Or instead of tuna in this noodle dish. Or instead of tuna in this tasty pate.

3. Cookbook I’m Loving…

My Irishman’s sister is vegetarian and for Christmas she gave me a fab little book. It’s called ‘Thug Kitchen – Eat Like You Give A F*ck’ and is written by two dudes from LA who follow a plant based diet and LOVE to swear.

I’ve really been inspired by their Mexican based dishes (the one ethnic cuisine that’s hard to find here in Oz). I love Mexican food and it’s the thing I miss about my time living in northern California.

22 APRIL 2016

1. Kale with Rosemary + Garlic
Rosemary is one of my fave herbs and kale is in my top 10 veg. So I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to think about putting them together. Basically just add the leaves from a stalk of rosemary to this kale recipe and skip the lemon and ricotta.

2. Chilli Oil
One thing I’ve really learned in going low carb is that it’s essential to get enough fat. For a long time I’ve been achieving this by slathering everything with home made mayo.

But last weekend I made a batch of chilli oil and it’s been my go-to this week. There’s a recipe over here that uses fresh chillies but my latest simple version involved warming 1 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons chilli flakes and 1 tablespoon super hot chilli powder over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Cool and strain and use on everything!

3. Brodo
Super inspired by New York Chef Marco Canora’s brilliant book ‘Brodo – A Bone Broth Cookbook’. Basically bone broths are stocks that are designed for drinking on their own where as stocks are for using in sauces and soups etc. Generally broths are made with more meat on the bones so you get more flavour.

I made a big batch of beef broth (plus all the random leftover bones I had in the freezer) the weekend before last and have been loving having my afternoon cup of hot brodo (with some chilli oil) instead of a tea or coffee.

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