Archives July 2016

What I ate Wednesday

As I head to the end of my second trimester of pregnancy, I have noticed my appetite has increased.  I’m really hungry when I wake in the mornings so I’ve been having bigger portions, and I’m also more hungry during the afternoon.  It’s completely normal of course, as you do need to provide bubs with extra nutrients and energy, although you definitely don’t need to ‘eat for two’.   I’m just listening to my appetite and hunger/fullness cues and going for options that will nourish us both, with the odd treat if I really feel like it.

Here’s what I ate today.


Surprise surprise breakfast was porridge!  I think I’ve had porridge most days over the past few months for breakfast.  I have really been loving it, but the past few days I’ve been a bit bored of it.  It could just be the toppings (berries) but I’m keen for some fresh ideas – let me know what you’re currently having.  I’m planning on making some more of this granola in the weekend so that will give me another option too.   Today I had porridge with chia seeds, yoghurt, berries plus a nut/seed/fruit/coconut mix sprinkled on to to add some extra crunch.  I’m using chia seeds and LSA most days either with breakfast or with yoghurt/fruit for a snack to boost my omega 3 intake.  Marine sources are best absorbed, but I like to provide myself with a bit of a top up from plant based sources.

I also has a latte at work and enjoyed that whilst catching up on a bit of research on intuitive eating.

Morning snack

Around 10.30am I had some banana blueberry bread I made in the weekend.  I’m loving this recipe – it’s made with coconut flour and wholegrain flour and is also low in added sugar plus it tastes really good!  I’ll be sharing the recipe at some stage, but in the mean time here’s a recipe for  similar version just with banana if you’re keen to try it out.  I also had a small handful of mixed nuts – brazil, almond and cashews.


Lunch was kind of reconstructed omelette on toast spread with avocado.  How good is it to have avocados back at a good price?  I cooked the egg and spinach before work and reheated it.  This was pretty tasty and a good mix of healthy fats, protein, carbohydrate and some non starchy vegetables.


I had an early lunch as I run a course on Wednesdays which I start setting up about 11.45am.  We have a break around 2pm at the course and it’s catered so there is fruit and sandwiches.  I had a handful of grapes and a mini sandwich (ie a quarter) which was cheese and tomato.

Back in the office, I had a banana and then a bit later I had a white chocolate sante bar.  I’m not usually a white chocolate person but I really felt like it, so I had it and it hit the spot.

After work I had some carrot sticks I didn’t eat earlier and half a bottle of kombucha that was left in the fridge from yesterday.


I felt like it had been a while since I’d had red meat, so tonight we had steak for dinner.  Red meat is of course a good source of iron, and in pregnancy your iron requirements increase therefore including good sources of iron is important.  With our steak we had home made mushroom sauce, onion, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and kumara mash.  A delicious combination!

So that’s me for another fortnight – I hope you enjoyed the latest instalment. And do let me know if you’ve got any delish breakfast ideas I should try.



Roasted pumpkin, spinach & chickpea salad with halloumi


Left over roast vegetables can make a great base to create a yummy salad for lunch the next day.  One of my favourite roast vegetable is currently pumpkin so whenever I have the oven going I make a some extra to use for the next few days.  I don’t know if it’s pregnancy or just the fact that it’s delicious, but I can seriously chow down on it – lucky it’s so cheap right now!  Believe it or not, pumpkin isn’t as starchy as kumara or potato even though it has the same texture.

This combination of ingredients is a winner, so next time you’ve got the oven going, bake some pumpkin and make this for a yummy weekday lunch idea.    The chickpeas provide a source of protein, fibre and low GI carbohydrate, and the pumpkin and spinach give you two serves of vegetables towards your 5 plus a day.  The halloumi, nuts and currants add some delicious flavour and texture.

Roasted pumpkin, spinach & chickpea salad with halloumi

Serves 2 (can easily be doubled to serve four)

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tin of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups roast pumpkin, cut into bite sized pieces
3 cups baby spinach or spinach, chopped
2 tablespoons slithered almonds
3 tablespoons currants
5 slices of halloumi

Place the drained chickpeas in a small bowl and sprinkle over the oregano, smoked paprika and garlic powder.  Mix well to evenly coat the chickpeas.

Heat olive oil in a fry pan over a medium heat.  Add the chickpeas and pan fry for around 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the chopped pumpkin and stir until the pumpkin is warmed.  Next add the spinach and cook until wilted.  Sprinkle over the almonds and currants.  Place in bowls.

Clean the fry pan then over a medium heat, cook the halloumi slices until golden brown.  Spread evenly between the mixture.

Season with salt and pepper.  Eat and enjoy!



In a Nutritionist’s Kitchen – June/July edition

I always find interesting to see what products and brands other people are loving right now, especially when it comes to food.  As I was tidying my pantry in the weekend (how does it always get so messy?!) I thought you guys might be interested in seeing some of products I’ve been trying out over the past month.

So here’s a quick wee round up of a few of the things I’ve been using in my kitchen lately.  I do have to say I’m so in love with the Tom and Luke’s snackaballs I’ve shared below and that cooking with coconut flour has become a new obsession!  It’s always fun to try something new and the good news is I’ll have plenty of recipes to share with you over the coming weeks.  If you’ve got any recipes you think I should try with it, do let me know in the comments at the bottom of the page.

Ceres Organic Coconut Flour

While a lot of coconut products are over hyped, one product that I have been enjoying using lately is coconut flour.  Because it’s made from the dried coconut flesh, it’s a great source of dietary fibre and can help improve the nutrition of baking when replacing more refined flours.

Coconut flour doesn’t behave the same way as ordinary flour in baking, so you can’t make a straight swap.  It absorbs lots of fluid, so you’ll find your mixture needs to be runnier than usual, and it generally works well with plenty of eggs.  I’ve had a bit of an experiement with some good results.  One of these is my banana loaf.  It’s moist and flavourful yet not overly sweet.  Check out the recipe here.


Barkers Unsweetened Blackadder Blackcurrant Juice

I was sent a sample of this a couple of weeks back and I have to say I have been enjoying it as a refreshing change from water sometimes.

This concentrate contains no added sugar, and when made as directed it has just under 1 tsp of sugar per glass.  It’s tart yet flavourful and blackcurrants are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C.

It’s delicious both hot and cold and you can add a splash to smoothies as well.

It’s available at supermarkets and costs approximately $8.90 for a bottle which makes up 28 glasses.


Tom and Luke’s Snackaballs

I’m really in love with these balls!  They’re made with nuts, pea protein and a range of other nourishing ingredients.  My favourite flavours are the strawberry and macadamia and salted caramel.  The strawberry ones contain real freeze dried strawberry pieces and the salted caramel ones taste so much like caramel, they are a nutrient rich delicious treat.  They’re perfect for when you feel like something a little sweet.

They come in 70g bags containing 5 balls which is fairly large for a snack size if you’re not very active.  Try sharing them around or save some for another day!

You can find them at New World supermarkets and I’ve seen them priced between $2.30 – $2.99 a bag.

Peanut Butter Frooze Balls

While we’re on the topic of balls…. I’m also really loving the new version of Frooze Balls – the peanut butter flavour.  I think it’s my favourite of the Frooze Balls and I reccomend trying it if you haven’t already.  Like the Tom and Luke’s balls – a packet is a large snack size, so share around or save some for later 🙂

The ingredients are simple – roasted peanuts, dates, coconut and a little salt.

Many supermarkets now stock these, and you can find out more about them and the other flavours on their website here.



Matcha tea

I was sent a sample of Matcha Matcha tea and I’ve been drinking this as an alternative to other hot drinks weekends.   To be honest it isn’t something I’d thought about buying as I wasn’t sure what the taste would be like, but I had been interested in trying it.  I’ve been drinking mine with almond milk and I actually really like it.  It tastes much like green tea and I think it complements the flavour of almond milk nicely.    So what is it exactly?  Matcha is a special variety of green tea that has been stoneground into a fine powder.  It has about 1/3 of the caffeine of coffee and is very high in antioxidants – even more than green tea.  You can read more about it here.

That’s it for now, but I think I might make this a regular feature if you find it interesting.  The latest thing on my list to try out for the next edition is cricket flour…..  I’ll let you know the verdict next time 🙂





Creamy cauliflower soup with pumpkin, cashew & tofu fritters


Incorporating more meat free meals is a simple way to look after both our health and our planet. It’s something that’s always in the back of my mind when it comes to meal planning and I’ve been thinking of new ideas that are filling and tasty.  Creamy cauliflower garlic soup and pumpkin cashew fritters are two success stories in my kitchen experiments and they both get a boost of plant based protein from Bean Supreme Soft Tofu.

The new Bean Supreme Soft Tofu is made from whole soy beans (no GMO soy!) and has a higher water content than their other tofu, hence it’s softer texture.  It is very lightly flavoured so it makes a versatile ingredient to add to dishes, both sweet and savoury.

Soft tofu has a soft, creamy texture and is a source of protein, fibre and also provides calcium so it makes a good base for creating meals.

I used the Bean Supreme Soft Tofu in my creamy cauliflower and garlic soup to provide a creamy texture and to boost the protein content.  It might sound a little weird, but it really works!  The result is a nutritious plant based soup that has a great flavour, creamy texture and is filling too.  I also created vegan pumpkin cashew fritters which also have a lovely texture and flavour, thanks to the cashews, turmeric and curry powder.  These can be served alongside the soup or as a meal in themselves with a side of coleslaw.

Creamy cauliflower, garlic and tofu soup


1 medium sized cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil + ½ tablespoon extra
1 medium onion
1 leek (white part only)
6 large cloves of garlic
4 cups vegetable stock
½ cup raw cashew nuts, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes.
Juice from ½ lemon
2 blocks of Bean Supreme Soft Tofu

To serve:
Freshly chopped chives
Extra cashew nuts


Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius.   Rinse the cauliflower, shake off excess water and cut into florets.   Place the cauliflower and the cloves of garlic on a large baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes.

While the cauliflower is roasting, soak the cashew nuts in boiling water and set aside.

Chop the onion in half, then into slices. Rinse and chop the leek into rounds.  Place these in a large pot with ½ tablespoon olive oil.  Stir over a medium heat for around 5 minutes.  Add the vegetable stock and simmer gently.

Once finished roasting, squeeze the garlic from the outer shell and add the garlic flesh to the pot along with the cauliflower.  Drain the cashews and add to the pot.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
Take off the heat.  Add the tofu and lemon juice.  Blend until smooth – if you prefer your soup a little chunky, blend a little less. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Top with a swirl of pesto, herbs and cashew nuts.


Pumpkin, cashew and tofu fritters

These delicious fritters are full of flavour and nutrition.  Serve as a side dish with the soup, or they make a yummy dish in themselves, served alongside brown rice and vegetables.


1 red onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup roasted pumpkin, chopped into small pieces
1 packet  Bean Supreme Soft Tofu
3 tablespoons coconut flour*
2.5 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 cup cashew nuts
¼ cup sesame seeds
Olive oil, for frying

Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.  Place in a medium sized mixing bowl along with the pumpkin, tofu, coconut flour, spices and chia seeds. Mix well.

Place cashew nuts in blender or food processor.  Pulse until the nuts are very finely chopped – almost like the texture of almond meal, but slightly chunkier.  Add the nut mixture to the bowl and mix well to combine.

Place the sesame seeds on a plate.  With clean hands, roll the mixture into small balls.  Coat in sesame seeds and place on an empty plate.  Heat a tablespoon of oil in a fry pan over a medium heat.  Add the fritters and pan fry until golden brown all over.

*I used coconut flour as it is quite absorbent, but feel free to use another type – just add a little more if the mixture feels a bit wet.


For more delicious, healthy plant based tofu recipes, click here


And thanks to Bean Supreme, for some more healthy recipe inspiration I’ve got Revive Cookbooks 4 & 5 to giveaway.  Revive is a popular healthy cafe in Auckland serving up delicious plant based recipes.

To be in the draw, simply comment below with why you’d like to win and hit the facebook ‘like’ button below.  Prize will be drawn on Monday 11 July and the winner will be announced on this post and notified by email. Open to NZ residents only sorry.

UPDATE – Congratulations Katherine T – you are the lucky winner! Check your emails 🙂

This post was made possible thanks to Bean Supreme.