Archives October 2014

Tropical Raspberry Smoothie

There’s nothing like a patch of warm weather to put me in the mood for smoothies.  I made this one a few weeks back and it was too good not to share. This smoothie is almost like a slushy.  Thick, delicious and sweet, it’s perfect for replenishing carbohydrate after a tough exercise session.

I used a mango flavoured coconut water which was super delicious and added a nice flavour to this smoothie.  The banana taste doesn’t come through very strongly at all, but it does add a nice thickness to the smoothie.

The combination of banana and coconut water make this smoothie a good source of potassium.  A diet that is high in potassium is associated with maintaining good blood pressure control.

Here’s how to make this tropical raspberry smoothie

1/2 bottle of Mango Cocowater
1 small banana
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

You don’t have to add the chia seeds, but they do add some extra fibre and omega 3 fats.

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until the smoothie is thick and well blended.



Crispy potato and cauliflower cheese fritters

I’d been thinking about making a healthier version of both potato bake and cauliflower cheese when I had the bright idea of combining both into a yummy but simple crispy potato and cauliflower cheese fritter.  This is so much easier to make, with no cream involved and they taste amazing.

The fritters are simple.  Just cauliflower, grated potato, Mainland Noble cheese mixed with a little seasoning and egg  and flour to combine. When pan fried, you get a crunchy, flavourful fritter with the goodness of cauliflower and potato without an overload of fat.

I used Mainland Noble cheese for these fritters.  Mainland Noble is a new cheese variety that I’ve fallen in love with.   It contains 30% less fat than tasty cheddar (that’s even less than Edam), yet it’s full flavoured with a smooth, creamy texture.   This cheese took seven years to develop, and you can tell -it’s the best lower fat cheese I’ve tried.  It’s not surprising that it’s award winning.

Here’s how to make the crispy potato and cauliflower cheese fritters.


Two large agria potatoes
1/2 a head of cauliflower
1/2 an onion, finely sliced.
1 1/4 cup of grated Mainland Noble cheese
1 large egg
3 tablespoons cornflour
1 teaspoon baking powder.
salt and pepper

Wash the potatoes well, dry then grate.  Place the grated potato in a clean tea towel.  Squeeze as much liquid as you can from the potato and place the grated potato in a large bowl.

Cut the cauliflower florets from the stalks and finely chop into small pieces.  Place in a pot with a small amount of boiling water and place on the stove top over a medium heat.  Boil the cauliflower for 2-3 minutes and drain well.  Pat with a couple of paper towels to blot up any excess liquid then add to the bowl with the potato.  Add the onion, cheese and egg.  Sprinkle over the cornflour and baking powder and season with salt and pepper.  Mix well until all the ingredients are combined.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a fry pan.  Place spoonfuls of the mixture in the pan and cook over a medium heat until golden brown on each side.

These fritters are delicious by themselves or serve alongside slow roasted tomato and asparagus with a little grated cheese on top.  They’d also be amazing with a poached egg on top.


Chocolate Apricot and Macadamia Nut Slice

Nuts have been a long time favourite snack for me, and with today being National Nut Day I thought I’d share a bit of a special way to enjoy the humble nut.

Nuts are a simple wholefood rich in many essential vitamins and minerals.  Nuts are also a source of protein, fibre, antioxidants and heart healthy fats making them a fantastic snack that keeps you feeling fuller for longer.  To see the nutritional benefits of different types of nuts, check out this post.

Anyway, back to the Chocolate Apricot and Macadamia slice.  This slice uses macadamia nuts and almonds to create an indulgent yet healthy nutty treat.

I was inspired to make this after one of the ladies at work bought a giant slab of a similar slice to work – only it wasn’t that healthy!!  Thanks to Alison’s Pantry and Mother Earth, I had some nuts to play around with so I thought that a chocolate apricot macadamia slice would be a nice recipe to modify into a healthier version, so out when the refined ingredients and in went lots of delicious nuts and other wholefood ingredients.  The outcome, this delicious, nutrient rich slice.


Here’s how to make it

Chocolate Apricot and Macadamia Nut Slice

For the base:
1 cup of dates, soaked in boiling water for 1 hour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup coconut
1/2 cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup whole almonds

For the topping:
1/4 cup dried apricots
1 cup macadamia nuts
100g dark chocolate
1/4 cup coconut flakes

Drain the dates well and place in the bowl of a food processor.  Add all the ingredients except for the whole almonds.  Turn the food processor onto a medium speed and blend the ingredients together for a couple of minutes until combined.  Add the whole almonds and blend so all the dates are mixed through well, but there are still a few chunky almond pieces.  These add to the texture.

Press the base mixture into a lined and greased slice tin.

Finely chop the dried apricots and cut macadamia nuts in half.  Chop the chocolate into chunks.  Press the nuts and apricot pieces randomly across the slice.  Fill in the spaces with the dark chocolate, the sprinkle over the coconut.

Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes.

Leave to cool then cut into squares.

Since it’s National Nut Day,  I thought I’d share links to some of my other favourite nut recipes too. Check them out below.

Homemade nut bars
Raspberry, banana and coconut raw cheesecake
Home made nut butter



Breakfast banana pops

I’ve seen lots of frozen banana dessert ideas but this breakfast idea got me more excited! Breakfast banana pops!

It’s such a simple idea  but it’s a yummy alternative to usual breakfast ideas and is especially nice in the warmer weather.  Banana dipped in Greek yoghurt and rolled in goodies of your choice.

These hardly need a recipe, but here’s what you need:

Banana (duh!)
Greek yoghurt
Coatings – I used the following
sliced almonds

What to do:

On a piece of baking paper, sprinkle your coatings.  Cut your banana in half and slide a popsicle stick in the end of each banana piece.  Dip in the Greek yoghurt to get a good coverage.  Roll the banana around in your coatings.  Place on another piece of baking paper and put the bananas in the freezer.  Eat the next morning for breakfast.

There are so many ideas you could use:  chia seeds, muesli, cocoa nibs, linseeds, other nuts.  Use your imagination and come up with something delicious just for you!

What would you put on your banana breakfast pops?


Top 4 gluten free lunch ideas

If you’ve got celiac disease or are gluten intolerant then going gluten free makes such a difference to the quality of your life.   However, making the switch to a gluten free lifestyle can sometimes limit your options and leave you wondering what should I eat?!

Sovereign are all about empowering New Zealander’s to take charge of their health and well being, so I thought I’d share some of my favourite gluten free lunches that are delicious and packed with goodness.

One of my favourite gluten free ingredients is quinoaQuinoa  is a really versatile, nutrient rich food that’s great as a side dish or made into an array of yummy salads.  As well as being gluten free, it’s is a good source of phosphorus and is high in iron and magnesium.  Quinoa is also source of zinc, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin E.

Quinoa is quick and easy to cook too.  Simply rinse the grains under water in a sieve.  Place the quinoa in a pot with double the amount of water and simmer until all the liquid is dissolved.  1/2 a cup of uncooked quinoa will make around 1 cup of cooked quinoa.

Here’s my top four gluten free lunch ideas based around quinoa.


Roast pumpkin, carrot + quinoa salad. 

Make a batch of this salad in the weekend and have the left overs for lunch over the next day or two.  You could also freeze this in individual containers to grab on the go and defrost at work.  Serve with some salmon or chicken for added protein. Find the recipe here.

Quinoa salad with chickpeas, feta and apples

With crunchy apples and walnuts plus the tangy feta, this salad is a really yummy combination of tastes and textures. Find the recipe here.


Feta, pumpkin, mushroom and quinoa frittatas

Made in texas muffin tins, these frittatas are easy to make and are a filling lunch and can be eaten hot or even cold.  I freeze these and reheat at work for a quick easy lunch.   Serve with a salad.  Find the recipe here

 Quinoa sushi

Switching out refined white rice for quinoa turns it into a low GI, higher protein lunch.  Plus it tastes great too!   Find out how to make it here.

What are your favourite gluten free recipes? 

This post was made possible thanks to Sovereign.

Spring quinoa salad with asparagus and slow roasted tomato

This quinoa salad with slow roasted tomato, asparagus and pistachios is a delicious spring salad.

You know it’s spring when you see blossom, lambs, spring flowers and asparagus!!  At the market this weekend I bought a lovely bag of tender asparagus along with some vine tomatoes and felt inspired to create a fresh salad with quinoa.

I slow roasted my tomatoes and asparagus and made this tasty salad.  It’s perfect as a side dish for dinner and also for a yummy lunch.

Quinoa is a nutrient rich gluten free grain (well it’s technically not a grain, it’s a seed).  It’s a good source of phosphorus and is high in iron and magnesium.  Quinoa is also source of zinc, folate, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin E.

Recipe for Spring Quinoa with Slow Roasted Tomato & Asparagus

1 cup of quinoa
2 cups of vegetable stock
8 small tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped into pieces.
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 small red onion
1/4 cup pistachio nuts


Preheat oven to 160 degrees celcius.

Rinse the quinoa and drain. Place the quinoa and stock in a pot and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and allow to simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the water.  This takes around 15 minutes.   Once cooked place the quinoa in a bowl.

While the quinoa is simmering, place the tomatoes on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Set a timer and bake for 15  minutes.   When the timer rings, add the asparagus and cook both the tomatoes and asparagus for 10 minutes.

Take the quinoa and mix through the parsley, red onion, pistachio nuts and the tomato and asparagus.

Serve with some steamed vegetables and salmon or steak for a delicious, filling meal.