Archives February 2015

Simple summer rainbow salad

This summer salad is a yummy combination of tastes and textures and has become a favourite in our house.  Often with vegetable based salads, it’s easy to get into the mindset that salads must be lettuce based. They don’t! It’s time to get creative with all the delicious in season vegetables while they last.  This salad contains a range of coloured vegetables, which means it provides a big variety of antioxidants, phytonutrients and vitamins. It’s also really yummy with red onion in place of the spring onion.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 yellow capsicum, cored.
200g small tomatoes, or a punnet of cherry tomatoes
1 avocado
1 handful of basil1 handful of parsley
4 spring onions
1/2 telegraph cucumber
50g feta cheese

This salad is simple to prepare.  Remove seeds and core from capsicum and finely dice into small pieces.  Place in a bowl.  Chop the tomatoes and avocado and add to the capsicum.  Finely chop the herbs and chop the spring onions into rounds.  Peel the cucumber and cut into small chunks.  Add these to the other vegetables in the bowl.  Cut the cheese into small cubes and mix through the salad.

You can serve this salad on top of some baby spinach or kale, or just as.  I like to have this as a side to a BBQ along with some corn cobs and steak.  Enjoy!

Good Buzz Kombucha Product Review

A couple of weeks ago I received a box full of Good Buzz Kombucha which was pretty exciting!  I’ve tried kombucha once before and I did quite enjoy it, so I was keen to give this product a test.

What is kombucha?

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink, made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. It originates from Asia, and because it undergoes bacterial fermentation it is a good source of probiotics.  Probiotics are very important for gut health and your immune system, and consuming probiotics regularly is necessary to maintain this.


The Good Buzz Brewing company only use quality ingredients to produce their kombucha.  Green Tea, when used, is certified organic. They use Fairtrade Organic sugar and artesian water from Te Puna Wai Ora (Spring of Life) under the Hutt Valley in Wellington.

Sugar content:
Because this is a fermented product, the sugar content is much lower than other sugar sweetened drinks as the bacteria/yeast consume it. The bacterium, mostly lactobacilli, preserves the brew and will continue to eat the sugars in the bottle. Cold slows this process down.

It contains glucose and fructose which averages about 3.5% or 11g per bottle. Some varieties are slightly higher, some are slightly less.


This product was refreshing and easy to drink.  It has a unique flavour that’s almost like cider, but not as strong or sweet.  It has a very light fizz to it.   My favourite flavours were jade dew, which was very fresh and also feijoa, as I do love feijoas!  On a hot day after work, it was really enjoyable.

The product has floaty bits, but don’t let this put you off.  These are the live bacterial cultures. It’s a small, slightly rubbery disc at the top of the bottle, which does look similar to a skinless grape. This is totally harmless, and it’s a true sign that the drink is in fact ‘living’ and probiotic.


There are 5 flavours available:

Green tea
Jade Dew
Lemon and ginger

My verdict: Good Buzz Brewing Company Kombucha is a tasty sweet drink that has the benefit of containing live probiotic cultures.  It’s lower in sugar than many sweetened drinks.  Fermented foods are of importance to our diet, so I’d use this product in conjunction with other fermented foods, such as yoghurt is more nutrient dense than kombucha.  This is  a nice treat with the benefit of being a source of probiotics.

Tropical iced tea slushie recipe and WIN a set of teas

Fruit teas are one of my favourite things to drink when I feel like something sweet, and they’re especially delicious served cold on a hot day.  Fruit teas are hydrating, refreshing and good for you too!

Red Seal recently launched a new range of fruit teas, and I have to say they are really delicious.  The teas are sugar free, gluten free, contain no caffeine and are calorie free.  The good thing is they can be brewed both hot and cold, so you can make a refreshing iced tea without having to boil and cool it. Iced tea in an instant, now that’s a good thing!

For something even more delicious, I’ve created an iced tea slushy with one of my favourite Red Seal tea flavours, Exotic Fruits.   This flavour is a delicious blend of pineapple and melon with hints of passionfruit.  I’ve blended it with some fresh tropical fruits for a low sugar summer treat.

Ingredients for Tropical Iced Tea Slushie:

1 mango
3 slices of pineapple
juice from 1 lime
juice from half a small orange
4 Red Seal Exotic Fruits tea bags
1 cup of sparkling water/soda water

Cut up the mango into chunks and place the mango flesh in a freezer safe bowl.  Add the sliced pineapple.  Place in the freezer for 4-5 hours, or overnight.

When you’re ready for your slushy, take the frozen fruit from the freezer.  Set aside.  Pour the sparkling water into a large glass and add the teabags.  Leave to sit for 5 minutes, then dispose of the tea bags.

Place the frozen fruit, tea as well as the juice from the lime and orange in the blender and pulse until the fruit is blended up and it is well mixed.  Serve with wedges of lime, orange and pineapple and fresh mint.

This makes two drinks.


To check out the entire range of Red Seal fruit teas, visit their website here.


To celebrate the launch of the Red Seal Fruit Tea range, we’re giving away a full set of the teas. The flavours are:  Exotic Fruits, Blood Orange, Strawberry & Rhubarb, Apple & Elderflower, Lemon & Ginger and Peach & Pineapple.

To win, simply comment with what flavour tea you’d like to try the most. Winner will be drawn on Wednesday 18th February after 8pm and announced on both this post and my facebook page

Congratulations Rose Geden!!  You’re the winner. I’ve emailed you to arrange delivery of your prize.

Open to NZ readers only sorry.

This post was sponsored by Red Seal. All opinions are my own.


Citrus chicken salad with macadamia and avocado

A salad can be a really filling, nourishing meal that contains a balance of all the food groups, if it’s done well.  This citrus chicken salad with macadamia nuts and avocado ticks this box. Years ago, I thought of salads as “diet food” that were bland and boring, but they are most definently not.  The key to a good salad is ensuring you get a balance of vegetables, protein, carbs and fats as this keeps it flavourful and filling.

Chicken lends itself to a wide range of flavours, and this simple citrus marinade infuses the chicken with an amazing flavour.  The citrus marinade, creamy avocado, crunchy salad vegetables and macadamia nuts make a yummy combination of flavours and textures.

This salad provides a good serve of vegetables, healthy fats from the avocado and nuts, protein from the chicken and carbohydrate from the grapes and orange.  All in all, it’s a meal that will help nourish your body and give you the energy you need to be at your best.

This makes a light dinner meal, or lunch.  Serve this citrus chicken salad with crusty bread or a side of new potatoes if desired.

Citrus Chicken Salad with Avocado and Macadamia Nuts

Serves 2

350g chicken tenderloins, or skinless chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons reduced salt soy sauce
2 oranges
1 cos lettuce
1 cup of green grapes
1/2 small red onion
1/2 yellow capsicum, cut into strips.
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, cut in half
1/2 a large avocado, cut into pieces

Cut chicken into small pieces and place in a medium sized bowl.  Sprinkle over the turmeric, crushed garlic and soy sauce.  Take one of the oranges and grate the rind.  Add this to the chicken.  Next, squeeze the juice from the orange over the chicken.   Mix well.  Set aside for at least 45 minutes to marinade, or leave in the fridge for up to 8 hours.

While the chicken is marinading, prepare the salad ingredients.  Rise the lettuce and tear into small pieces and place in a bowl.  Cut the grapes in half and sprinkle over the lettuce.  Slice the red onion into 1/2 rings, then in half again. Add to the salad mixture along with the capsicum.  Peel the other orange and cut into small pieces. Add to the salad, then sprinkle over the macadamia nuts.  Add the avocado to the salad once the chicken is ready to stop it going brown.

Once the chicken is marinaded, place a pan over a medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Take the chicken pieces from the marinade and place in the pan.  Cook for approximately 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.


Watermelon smoothie

When it’s hot, there is nothing more refreshing than watermelon. And it’s no wonder, because it’s 92% water.  Watermelon is a good source of vitamins A and C and is also a source of vitamin B6. It’s a sweet, healthy and delicious way to hydrate.  Watermelon also makes a fabulous smoothie and I recently created this version as a yummy, refreshing snack. It’s simple to make, with a blend of fruits and some cucumber which adds to the refreshing flavour, plus provides a bit of a vegetable boost to your day.  The cucumber flavour isn’t overpowering but it combines really well with the sweetness and flavour of the watermelon.

This smoothie is the perfect way to boost your fruit and vege intake too!

Here’s how to make the watermelon smoothie


2 cups diced watermelon
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 of a cucumber, peeled and cut into cubes.
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup of water, or you can also use coconut water
2 teaspoons chia seeds

Place all the ingredients in a blender and enjoy as a refreshing drink.  This smoothie isn’t filling enough for a meal, but would be a good snack, or accompaniment to a meal.




Falling in love with the potato

Are potatoes healthy?  The poor potato has had a bit of a hard time lately.  A lot of people have let the potato take a back seat in their diet, swapping it for kumara or cutting it out of their diets completely.  I’m quite often asked “Are potatoes healthy?” While nutritionally, a kumara does have more nutritional value, the potato is nothing to scoff at.

It’s time to take a look at the potato and start loving it again.  And with new season potatoes out now, there’s never been a better time to enjoy the potato.

Nutritionally, the potato is far better with the skin on as lots of it’s nutrients and antioxidants are stored here.  The skin also provides fibre.

The potato is a source of a range of essential nutrients:

Potatoes are one of the best vegetable sources of potatoes. Potassium is found in every cell of the body.  It, along with sodium, help regulate fluid flow in and out of our cells. This affects our blood pressure.  While sodium tends to be abundant in the modern diet, potassium is less so.  Eating plenty of vegetables and some fruit is the best way to keep your potassium intake high.

B Vitamins

Potatoes are a source of the following B Vitamins:

Thiamin (vitamin B1)

150g of potato supplies up  to 10% RDI of Thiamin.

Our bodies need thiamin for carbohydrate metabolism and normal neurological and cardiac function.

Thiamin contributes to:

*nerve and muscle functioning
*energy production
*psychological function.


Niacin (vitamin B3)

Potates are a good source of niacin and supply up to 25% RDI in a 150g serve.

Niacin (vitamin B3) is necessary for:

* normal neurological function
* energy release from food
* structure and function of skin and mucous membranes.


Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5)

A 150g serve of potato will give you 10% of your intake of pantothenic acid.

Pantothenic acid is necessary for normal fat metabolism and contributes to:

* growth and development in children
* energy production
* normal mental performance
*synthesis and metabolism of some sex and stress related hormones, vitamin D
*synthesis and metabolism of some neurotransmitters

Folate (vitamin B9)

Potatoes are a source of folate and supply 11-17% of the RDI in a 150g serve. Folate is necessary for normal blood formation and cell division. Therefore, adequate folate is important for a huge range of functions within our body. Folate is important for pregnant women too, as a low folate intake is related to neural tube defects like spina bifida (supplementation is recommended one month before and during pregnancy, but it’s also important to eat a diet that contains folate rich foods).

Vitamin C

We often think about fruit as being the main source of vitamin C, but potatoes provide a good source as well.  A 150g serve of potato provides 12.2g of vitamin C which is 30% of the recommended daily intake.

A bit about glycemic index:

Potatoes fall in the moderate to high category of the glycemic index, depending on the variety. This means the carbohydrate is digested quickly.  For some this has been a reason to avoid them.  However, because potato is a wholefood, it provides a source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  Also potatoes are generally eaten alongside other foods such as meat and vegetables. When consumed in a mixed meal, the glycemic index changes as it’s not just one food that’s eaten, it’s a range of nutrients. So in a mixed meal, the effect on blood sugars isn’t likely to be as rapid.

Also, cooked potatoes that have been cooled have a lower glycemic index as when they cool. This is because some of the starch is converted into resistant starch. Resistant starch is not digested, therefore the total carbohydrate intake of the potato is reduced and it also lowers the glycemic index by slowing digestion.

So, are potatoes healthy?  As you can probably guess, yes, they are.

My favourite ways to eat potato:

The potato is so versatile.  In summer, freshly boiled new potatoes are delicious with olive oil and fresh herbs.  I love baked potato too.  Another way to enjoy potato is in these delicious potato, cauliflower and cheese fritters.

What’s your favourite way to enjoy potato?



2.University of Sydney GI database


Images 1 and 2 from