Feijoa and coconut loaf

This feijoa and coconut loaf tastes amazing and is a nice way to use up feijoas . If you’ve got a tree no doubt you’ll have them in abundance and when you can’t eat any more as they are, then there are plenty of yummy ways to cook with them.

I have to admit, I’m not a fan of moving into the cooler seasons, but one thing I do love is feijoas.  These green gems are only available for a few months a year which probably makes them even more appealing.

While my feijoa trees have only just started fruiting, I was lucky enough to be given a big box from Old Road Estate.  I got creative in the kitchen and made this feijoa and coconut loaf.  It has an intense feijoa flavour and uses coconut flour which makes it moist, high in fibre and gives it a slight coconut flavour which complements the feijoa nicely.

The feijoa and coconut loaf only uses a small amount of sugar, but if you wanted you could leave it out altogether.  Of course, it won’t be very sweet without it.

Interested in the nutritional benefits of feijoas?  They provide a source of dietary fibre and a  serve of two feijoas will also give you 64% of your RDI for vitamin C.

If you’re after other feijoa recipes, you might also like my recipe for fejioa cheesecake which you can find here.


Feijoa and coconut loaf

Author Nicola


  • 2cupsfeijoa flesh + 2 extra large feijoas
  • 1bananachopped into pieces
  • 1/4cupground linseed or LSA
  • 1/2cupplain flouryou could use wholemeal/spelt or gluten free flour too
  • 1cupcoconut flour
  • 3eggs
  • 1/4cupsugar
  • 1.5teaspoonsbaking powder
  • coconut chips for the top


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius and line a loaf tin with baking paper.

  2. Add all the ingredients, except the extra feijoas to a food processor or blender and mix until well combined. 

  3. Peel the 2 feijoas and slice thinly. Lay over the top of the loaf.

  4. Pour into the loaf tin

  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until cooked in the middle. Top with coconut chips.


What I ate Wednesday


It’s that time again – a round up of ‘What I ate Wednesday’ featuring the most delicious falafels and my fave salted caramel snack balls.  Here it is!!


I’m a real sucker for the reduced to clear bins at the supermarket and I found some organic sourdough bread in there that was close to it’s best before date for $1.50.  So I put it in the freezer to use for toast.  I found it hard to get moving this morning so it was a super simple breakfast of crunchy peanut butter on the sourdough toast accompanied with a coffee.   As you can see I like my peanut butter thick!



For morning tea I had a banana, an instant coffee plus I had some chocolate in my bag and I had a row of that. I think when it comes to dark chocolate, this is one of my favourites.



I made falafels on Sunday night (which you would have seen on instastories if you follow me on Instagram) and even though I REALLY couldn’t be bothered I’ve been super grateful this week as they’ve been delicious for lunch!  They’ve got kumara in them which gives them a delicious texture and stops them from going dry.

I also cooked and froze some brown rice which is a good to the falafels.  Lunch looks like it took a lot of time but it was actually super simple because I had the falafels and rice ready already and the salad was left over from dinner the night before.  I just added an extra tomato and a big blob of pesto, some mayo and chutney which make it taste delicious.

To finish off lunch I had a decaf coffee and some Tom and Lukes Salted Caramel Snack Balls.  I am in love with that flavour.



Even though I really like fruit I’ve found I’m not always eating two pieces a day.  So I’ve been trying to make an effort to include more variety.  I love mixed berries and yoghurt so I bought this to work.  I add some chia seeds with the frozen berries as they soak up the liquid as the berries defrost and stop the yoghurt from getting too runny.  This yoghurt was a mix of plain unsweetened probiotic yoghurt and the boysenberry Collective yoghurt. I find it a wee bit sweet by itself but love the flavour so I often mix it.  I only had blueberries in the freezer and they weren’t that nice defrosted so this snack was kind of disappointing and not very satisfying.

Someone in the office had quinoa chips, which are really just the same as any other chip but made out of quinoa flour.  I had a few of these which were tasty.  I think if my berry snack had been satisfying I wouldn’t have had them but it wasn’t and I felt like something else.



Wednesdays are always a bit of a rush at dinner time as I work half an hour later. I quite often do something in the crock pot and today it was a casserole. I had it with veggies (which I overcooked – doesn’t that suck!)  and potato/kumara mash.  It’s definitely not the most attractive meal in the world (especially with this photo taken in the evening), but it’s always a satisfying meal!

And that’s a wrap!  See you next week for another episode 🙂





What I ate Wednesday

What I ate Wednesday used to be a regular feature here on Eat Well NZ until mum life hit and it’s been a long time since it featured.   But after a few requests, I’ve decided to start it up again.

What I ate Wednesday is not about what you should eat.  Because diet culture (sometimes sneakily disguised as ‘wellness’) has taken us so far away from what ‘normal’ eating can look like, some people have told me it’s helpful to see what ‘normal’ eating can look like and that food isn’t just about fuel but about enjoyment, pleasure and nourishment.   And I know I’m nosey and like looking at other people’s meals and snacks for inspiration so I thought you guys might like to do the same too!   Everyone has different dietary preferences and need different amounts of food (which varies day to day too) – so keep that in mind when reading.  

So here we go.  Here’s my latest ‘What I ate Wednesday’ post – and yes it is Friday haha! I never got time to post it until today.


I mentioned over on Instagram that I’ve been in a bit of a food ‘funk’ lately.  I haven’t been organised and I haven’t been planning which has often meant I haven’t had foods at home that appeal to me and since I’ve been tired thinking about preparing food in the morning has been an effort!   So I got organised in the weekend and made some things to have on hand, including this chocolate peanut butter granola.  It has a base of oats toasted with a peanut butter/cocoa and honey mix with added almonds, sunflower seeds, cranberries and freeze dried raspberries.  I had this with some probiotic yoghurt and milk which was a tasty combination!

I wasn’t that hungry this morning so I just had a small bowl, then I made a latte and had this while catching up on a few emails at home.   I definitely think the coffee machine is my favourite appliance at home.

Morning Snack



Tasti sent me these yummy nut mixes so they’ve been on the menu lately for morning tea.  I also went out and bought a second coffee…..  I’ve been super tired lately because I’ve been busy and I’ve had too many late nights. So I went for a walk to the cafe down the road and got coffee.   I have a Keep Cup but I have lost it – so yes it’s a takeaway cup but at least the Mojo ones are plant based and compostable!  And the lid can go in the recycling.


I think wanting a second one is sometimes psychological – simply wanting something nice for a pick me up.  I definitely can’t have more than two or I start feeling agitated.  I started to watch this webinar but then our internet connection went slow so I gave up (for now).  Gut health is such a fascinating topic!



I’ve got a thing for coleslaw at the moment.  I like the crunch and flavour of it when it’s combined with something creamy in texture like mayo and hummus.  So for lunch I had it with brown rice, hummus, avocado and a couple of eggs I boiled in the morning when I was getting ready.  When I’m more organised I cook my own rice and freeze it to use for lunches but sometimes I just buy the instant rice packets.  This was a satisfying, yummy lunch and I finished it off with a couple of these Tasti Peanut Butter and Caramel Balls because I felt like something a little sweet.


Afternoon Snack

Bananas are an easy snack for me – prepackaged, portable and ready to go!!



I work later on a Wednesday so dinners are always something that’s quick and easy since I have a hungry child that needs to eat early-ish.  I made spaghetti Bolognese with pulse pasta.  I have nothing against normal pasta but I love the fact that this is a great source of fibre and made from legumes which are nutrient dense.  Plus I like the taste (which is of course important!).  I made the bolognaise with mince, lots of mushrooms, onions and leeks (because I’ve still got quite a few leeks in the garden that need using).  I cheated and used a jar of garlic, onion and tomato pasta sauce to go with it.  I served it with some broccoli and cheese on top.    Mince and pasta dishes are always a hot fave with Elise so we usually have something with mince once a week.

I was sent a box of Remedy Kombucha the other week so I had one with dinner – this flavour is my favourite one I’ve tried so far from the Remedy range.

After Dinner

It was such a nice warm evening my husband suggested we go for a walk down the road to the shop and get an ice cream.  I was still quite full for dinner so I got one to have later.

I’ve seen the new Whittaker’s & Tip Top ice creams advertised and since I love Whittaker’s chocolate I got one.  Having the Whittaker’s chocolate coating was delicious but the maple caramel swirl in the ice cream was a wee bit sweet for me. The dog enjoyed everyone’s left over ice-cream!

PS I did drink water through the day too – I just didn’t photograph it 🙂




Easy vegetarian nachos

We grew up with plenty of Crockpot meals, and in fact, mum’s Crockpot only just gave up the ghost after more than 20 years of cooking us regular meals. I love the ease and convenience of Crockpot / slow cooker cooking and there’s so much you can do with it – including vegetarian nachos!

Nachos might be an easy dinner but with the Crockpot they are even easier! Created with plenty of vegetables and served with a delicious salsa, they’re a healthier twist on the original.  Black beans and kidney beans provide antioxidants, fibre and plant based protein and are very filling and economical to buy.  The most time consuming part of this recipe is crushing the garlic cloves and chopping the onion!  You can literally make these in 5 minutes before work. Then after work, prepare the salsa and you’re ready for a delicious crowd pleasing dinner.

Even though the ingredients list is fairly long, it’s very simple to prepare.  If you wanted you could even use some premade Mexican seasoning which you can find in the herb and spice area at the supermarket.  Cocoa may seem like a strange addition but it is really delicious in nacho beans and adds a nice richness to it.

Here’s the recipe:

Vegetarian Nachos

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 tins of tomato
1 tin black beans
1 tin kidney beans
4 portabella flat mushrooms, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons cocoa
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce

For the salsa:
2 chopped tomatoes,
6 chopped jalapenos
½ avocado, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon coriander, chopped

To serve:
Tortilla chips (I used Mission Mexican brand)
Sour Cream or Greek yoghurt
Lime wedges


Add one of the tin of tomatoes to the Crockpot.  Drain the second tin of tomatoes and add this too. Draining the second tin stops the bean mix from being too wet.

Drain and rinse the beans and add this to the Crockpot along with the mushrooms and onion.  Sprinkle over the herbs, spices, cocoa, and chilli flakes.  Stir in the sweet chilli sauce and mix to combine the ingredients. Sweet Chilli Sauce isn’t very Mexican but it adds great flavour.

Turn the Crockpot to low and leave for 6-8 hours.  Cooking the bean mixture in the Crockpot really allows those delicious Mexican flavours to develop, but because everything is cooked you can eat it before this if you want.

Serve with the salsa, tortilla chips, sour cream, lime wedges and garnish with coriander.

This post was sponsored by Crockpot









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.



What I ate Wednesday

Firstly, apologies as last Wednesday was supposed to be ‘What I ate Wednesday’, however I was sick and all I ate was a couple of pieces of toast with marmite. And as you can imagine, that would not have been the most exciting day of eating to feature!  So I’ve done it today instead.

Here’s my day of food in pictures.  These photos aren’t exactly master pieces but you get the idea 🙂

Breakfast today was muesli, Greek yoghurt and some stewed plums.  My muesli was a real hybrid today.  It was a mix of a homemade one, a one my husband bought and another one I bought.  I had a little of each as there wasn’t much left! There was oats, almonds, seeds, coconut and just a really small amount of dried fruit. For Greek yoghurt I usually buy Anchor Greek.  It’s the highest in protein so it’s great to help keep you feeling full.  If you remember my big plum haul from a few weeks back, I cooked some up and froze them in little glad bags.  They’ve been handy to defrost as I need them and they taste amazing with Greek yoghurt.

When I got to work I had 1/2 an instant coffee. The coffee at work isn’t the greatest so I didn’t finish it.

I spent most of the morning on the road for work.  I was a little hungry when I got back late morning and needed something to tide me over until lunch.  I am not usually much of a cracker person, but one of my favourite snacks at the moment is wholegrain crackers with either tomato or cucumber and cheese. FYI, crackers vary so much in terms of nutrition, so do check out the nutrition information before you buy.  I’ve got some chutney, cucumber and cheese that is in the fridge at work at the moment, and I have a box of crackers at my desk.

I’ve got lots of cucumbers in the garden so at the moment and pretty much everything comes with a side of cucumber! I had 3 sesame and chia crackers with chutney, cucumber and cheese.

For lunch I had left over panko crumbed fish, roasted cauliflower and zucchini and salad.  I love having leftovers, it makes lunch so easy the next day.  I also took a small amount of quinoa from the freezer and defrosted and heated that to go with lunch.

I usually take fruit and yoghurt to work for snacks but I forgot them today, so I went to the supermarket and grabbed a small bunch of grapes and a yoghurt.  I ate these about 3.30pm.  I then had just a couple of nuts which I forgot I had (not pictured).


Dinner tonight was a new recipe. I have so many recipe books I thought I should really start to use them more and experiment a bit so I made Chelsea Winter’s Sesame Chicken.  Minus the sesame seeds. Whoops.  I thought I had some but turns out I didn’t. It still tasted pretty good.  I served it with soba noodles and stir fried broccoli, capsicum and zucchini. My dinner had about 1/2 cup of broccoli, a zucchini and half a large capsicum in it – so about three serves of vegetables.

It’s quite an interesting exercise to reflect on a days eating.  I always try and get vegetables in at lunch as well as dinner.  Food doesn’t have to be expensive, fancy or contain superfood powders to be healthy.  My day is pretty basic, but covers a range of food groups and is nutrient dense, but tasty too! In terms of sugar (since it’s a hot topic right now), there would have been a small amount in the muesli from dried fruit, some in the chutney, a little in the yoghurt (the sugar is mostly from lactose, but it did have a little added in the berry) and the sauce for dinner also had some honey in it.  But seriously, nothing to stress about in the context of a healthy, balanced diet and likely to be under the recommended intake.

So that’s it – I’ll be back with another episode of ‘What I ate Wednesday’ in two weeks time!

Creating a nourishing, filling smoothie

There’s nothing like a cool, creamy smoothie for a quick and easy meal. The trick though is getting the balance of ingredients right so it’s both filling and nourishing and you’re not left feeling hungry an hour later! As a nutritionist, one of the common things people say to me is that they love smoothies, but they just don’t keep them feeling full.  So today I thought I’d share with you my tips on creating a balanced smoothie that’s smooth, delicious and filling.

Creating the ‘perfect smoothie:

The right balance of ingredients

If you’re having a smoothie for as a meal, you need to consider how much you’d normally have to eat at a meal. For example, a little coconut water and a handful of berries wouldn’t sustain you for breakfast, so you’d need to add more than that to your smoothie.

To keep you full, a smoothie should have a good balance of fruit/vegetables (which provides carbohydrate for energy), some healthy fat and a protein source, blended together with a liquid.  These are all just general guidelines, everyone is different so take your needs into account, experiment and do what works best for you.

Quality equipment

The other thing that’s essential in creating a perfect smoothie is having the right equipment. The key to getting a nice textured smoothie is a good blender. When it’s a smoothie, you don’t want to have to feel like you have to stop and chew!

I really never enjoyed greens in my smoothies as there’d always be stringy bits or chunks but now I’ve got a NutriBullet, I’m loving it.  The NutriBullet definitely lives up to the hype. Even tougher vegetables are completely blended up so you’d never know they were there.   I snuck cucumber into my husband’s smoothie and he had no idea.

The same goes for nuts, seeds and dates – they’re blitzed up beautifully in the NutriBullet.  This is useful from not just a texture perspective, but also nutritionally for some foods such as seeds.  For example linseeds are a source of omega 3 fatty acids, but unless they are ground, they tend to pass through the body undigested. The NutriBullet really breaks these down so you can get all the goodness out.

What to put in your smoothie:

1. Fruit and vegetables

Full of vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, fruit and vegetables are the superstars in nutrition. I’d generally suggest sticking to 1-2 serves of fruit in a smoothie for a serving and topping up your smoothie with a serve or two of vegetables.   This provides a good flavour base and provides carbohydrate for energy.

For a creamy smoothie, a banana is always a good base. As soon as mine start to go a bit spotty in the fruit bowl, I chuck them in the freezer to wizz up into smoothies. I pop them in the freezer whole, then when I need one, I either run it under hot water or microwave it for 30 seconds so it’s still frozen, but I can peel off the skin.

Any other fruit can be used in a smoothie, and some of my favourites include kiwifruit, passionfruit, berries of all types and feijoas (when they’re in season).

For vegetables, you can add as many as you like, but I find to keep the taste balance right, generally between 1-3 servings is good.

Here’s some of my favourite vegetables to add:

Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, silverbeet, cos lettuce (1-2 handfuls)
Other vegetables – carrot, beetroot, celery, cucumber

Avocado – avocado is great source of healthy fats and can help make your smoothie nice and creamy.  It’s perfect in a green smoothie.   I’d use about 1/4 of an avocado as a good portion size, and if I used avocado I might use a little less nuts/seeds to balance out the fat and energy content.

2. A source of protein:

Including a source of protein can help will help make your smoothie sustaining.  If you’re making your smoothie with cows or soy milk, this does give it some protein (there are around 10g of protein in one cup of low fat milk), but I like to top it up with either some Greek yoghurt or protein powder.

Nuts and seeds provide both fat and protein, so adding a serve of these will add a small protein boost too.

My two go to sources of protein are:

Greek yoghurt – I’ll often buy Anchor Greek as it’s the highest in protein, but just buy what you like.  I’ll add about 3-4 heaped dessert spoons. Greek yoghurt is also a good source of calcium and provides vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.  Yoghurt also helps thicken the smoothie.

Protein powder – There are so many on the market, and to help you choose I’d suggest looking for a naturally sweetened product that is just protein powder. At the moment I’m using Clean Lean Protein powder, and in the past I’ve used whey but there are plenty of natural options on the market today. Protein powders are not a necessity at all, but can add a good protein boost, flavour and texture.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds pack a huge amount of nutrition into a little package, and the great thing about using a NutriBullet is that it grinds them up to perfection so you don’t have lots of lumpy bits or chunks in your smoothie.

Nuts and seeds are a good source of healthy fat which when combined with other foods slows digestion so they help to keep you satisfied and full.

A couple of tablespoons is generally a good serving size, but you can have more or less depending on your own nutritional needs.

Here’s a sample of what you could add, but really, any nuts or seeds that you buy are a nutritious addition:

Chia seeds – Chia seeds are rich in nutrients. They provide omega 3 fats, magnesium, potassium, selenium, calcium and phosphorus as well as smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals. Chia seeds also swell up and make your smoothie thick if it’s left to sit a while.

Linseeds – these are a lower cost option than chia seeds that also provide omega 3 fatty acids. They are also a source of magnesium, potassium and dietary fibre. The NutriBullet does a great job of grinding them up.

LSA or LSC – these blends of linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds or linseeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds are an easy way to get a variety of seeds/nuts in your smoothie.  Both provide some omega 3 fats plus a range of vitamins, minerals and fibre

Nuts – take your pick – all nuts provide heart healthy fats and plenty of vitamins and minerals.  The image below shows you the star nutrients in certain nuts, but they all contain a range of nutrients.  Find out more here


Herbs and spices such as mint or cinnamon; vanilla bean paste, cocoa powder and Fresh As freeze dried fruit powders are some of my favourite flavour boosters for smoothies. Mint is lovely in green smoothies and fruit powders really boost the flavour intensity. Experiment a little with these and find something you like. They’re not a necessity but they help mix things up and up the tastiness.

There are so many other extras you can buy in the form of Green vegetable mixes to ‘superfood’ powders.  These are not necessary, but if you want to add them feel free. Spend your money on the basics first.

So, lets put all this information together in a couple of delicious, healthy smoothies.


Best Ever Green Smoothie

In my opinion, this is the tastiest green smoothie out. The mint is an essential; it adds a gorgeous taste and helps highlight the sweetness in the banana.

1 frozen banana
1 kiwifruit
¼ small avocado
1-2 handfuls of chopped spinach
Juice from 1 lime
Juice from ½ lemon
1 tablespoon mint leaves
Piece of cucumber, about 8 cm long, chopped into chunks
4 desertspoons of Greek yoghurt (about 150g)
1 ½ tablespoons chia seeds
½ – 1 cup of water

Place all ingredients into the NutriBullet and blend until combined.

Vanilla Boysenberry Smoothie

Slightly sweet, with a hint of vanilla, this is one of my favourites.  You can’t taste the cucumber at all and its a good way to sneak in an extra serve of vegetables

1 cup boysenberries
1 frozen chopped banana
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1-2 tablespoons cashew nuts
8 cm piece of peeled cucumber, chopped
4 dessertspoons of Greek yoghurt (about 150g)
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Place all ingredients into the NutriBullet and blend until combined.

“Carrot Cake” Smoothie

This dairy free smoothie reminds me a little of the flavour of carrot cake

1 small frozen banana
1 small orange, quartered
1 medium sized grated carrot
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 serve of vanilla flavoured protein powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
2 Brazil nuts
2 teaspoons chia seeds

Place all ingredients into the NutriBullet and blend until combined.

This post was made possible thanks to NutriBullet



Roast vegetable, feta and mushroom frittata

For an easy weekday lunch, frittata is a great option.  Make a batch on a Sunday, and you’ve got lunch for a good few days.  You can freeze it too, and grab it out for those days when you’re not organised for lunch.    I’m trying to be more organised with food prep at the moment, and this is on my list to make again!  Simply make a big salad and you’ve got a balanced lunch.


1 cup pumpkin, diced in small pieces
1 cup kumara, diced in small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 button mushrooms, sliced
8 free range eggs
100g feta cheese
2 tablespoons pesto
1/2 punnet cherry tomato
1/3 cup grated edam cheese
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.  Place the pumpkin and kumara on a baking tray.  Drizzle over the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl and beat well.  Chop the parsley and stir through the eggs along with the pesto. Break up the feta and stir through the egg mixture. Pour into a greased dish.  Sprinkle over the mushrooms and the roasted vegetables. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and add to the top of the frittata. Sprinkle over the grated cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Serve with a salad for a yummy lunch.

The perfect zesty green smoothie

Green smoothies can either taste great or taste like lawn clippings (well, what I imagine lawn clippings would taste like!) so I’ve been playing around to get the perfect combination of taste and green factor 🙂 I think the key is getting a balance of fruit plus something to give it a little zing, and currently my favourite is mint.  Mint is a refreshing herb and this definitely comes through in the drink.  I find this smoothie to be both invigorating and satisfying – kind of like a coffee pick me up but without caffeine.  If you don’t like green smoothies, then don’t worry – there are plenty of other opportunities to get your vegetable intake up.  Smoothies are just one way.

This smoothie is zesty, yet just sweet enough.  It’s creamy, but refreshing.  This makes a filling smoothie that will bump up your fruit and vegetable intake for the day.

Apologies for the average photos – these are from my phone rather than my camera.

Ingredients for one zesty green smoothie:

1/4 avocado
1/2 a large banana  (or one small)
2-3 leaves of kale (I used 2 small leaves of cavolo nero), hard stalks removed
1 kiwi fruit
small handful of mint leaves
1 dessert spoon chia seeds
1/3 cup natural unsweetened yoghurt (or Greek yoghurt)
1/3 cup water

Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Enjoy!

Chocolate round up review

If there was one food that I had to name as my favourite sweet treat, it would most definitely be chocolate.  Chocolate has become quite the boutique business, and today there are many brands to choose from that are organic, or use alternative sweeteners.  In the name of research, this year I’ve given myself the fun task of trying out some of the different brands so I can be well informed on letting you know what’s delicious and what’s so-so.  This is of course, just my opinion, so feel free to try them out for yourself and please comment in the comments section below on your favourite chocolates!



Dark Chocolates


For a fair trade, organic product, Trade Aid chocolate was a fairly good buy.   It contains just a few simple ingredients, cocoa mass, cane sugar, cocoa butter and emulsifier.  It also has decomposable packaging which I’ve never seen before. The flavour is nice, but it’s not my preferred choice for dark chocolate.  It doesn’t have the smoothness of other chocolates, and it doesn’t melt in your mouth the same as some other brands. I know some people really love this, but it’s not my top pick for flavour.

$3.99 for 100g bar

 Lindt 85% Cocoa

Lindt dark 80% cocoa is the lowest sugar of the supermarket brands of dark chocolate I’ve looked at. Generally, the higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sugar.   It’s my favourite of the over 80% cocoa bars too.  I love the thin, large squares and I find the bite and melt in the mouth factor the best. It contains burbon vanilla bean and this gives it a lovely flavour.  Being high in cocoa, this chocolate is higher than milk chocolate in the antioxidant flavanols, linked to positive health benefits.

$3.99 for 100g bar

This would be my second favourite dark chocolate chocolate.  It has a really smooth, rich flavour and is slightly sweeter than the Lindt chocolate.  It’s also fair trade and organic.  The price per bar is around $3.99.

If you’re not a fan of super dark chocolate, then this dark chocolate might be the one for you.  Milk Whittakers (which would have to be one of my favourite chocolates BTW) is 33% cocoa, so this has 30% more cocoa, but is still sweeter and less bitter than higher percentage dark chocolates.  This has a lovely flavour with some sweetness too.  But to be honest, if I’m having dark chocolate, I prefer it quite dark and bitter, and if I want a sweeter chocolate I prefer milk chocolate.  I use this chocolate in cooking when I want a rich, sweet flavour.

$4.40 for a 250g block.

Speciality “wholefood focus” Chocolates

Loving Earth luvju

I’d been wanting to try Loving Earth chocolate for a while, and on a trip to Wellington last year I bought this one.  I actually really wanted the salted caramel but they’d sold out (SOB!!)  Creamy, smooth and coconutty is the three words I’d use to describe this.  I loved the texture, smooth, melt in the mouth chocolate.  But I couldn’t decide if I liked the coconut flavour.  It was pleasant, but I’m not sure I’d get this flavour again.   I’d love to try some of the other flavours too – they’re not all made with coconut milk.

The chocolate is sweetened with coconut nectar, a low GI sweetener.  It is also made with raw cacao which has higher antioxidant levels.

They’ve recently changed their packaging and size of the bars.  A 30g bar is around $4.99

Pana Chocolate

Image from Pana Chocolate instagram

I really wanted to like Pana Chocolate.  I love their packaging.  Their instagram is beautiful.  It’s handmade.  It uses quality ingredients.  I’ve tried mint, fig and orange and coconut and goji.  But I’m gonna be honest.  I just don’t love it.  It doesn’t have the texture of your usual chocolate bar.  It’s kind of fudgey almost.  I know lots of people love it, but I’m not one of them.  Please let me know how you feel about it!  Am I the only one that isn’t a fan?  Of all the flavours, mint would have been my favourite.  It’s expensive but I can understand why, being handmade with organic, quality ingredients.  Depending where you buy it, it’s between $7-$10 for a 45g bar.

Boutique chocolate

Wellington Chocolate Factory Salted Brittle Caramel

This salted brittle caramel chocolate by Wellington Chocolate Factory was an award winning product at the Cuisine Artisan awards, and I can see why.  It was super delicious.  From all the boutiquey type chocolates and flavours I’ve tried, this is my favourite.  The caramel pieces are on the bottom of the chocolate and are crunchy, sweet and have just the right amount of saltiness (in my opinion) and the chocolate is dark (70%) and smooth.  The chocolate is organic and ethically traded too.

It’s not cheap, but it’s so worth it for a special treat. $13.50 for an 85g bar.

Wellington Chocolate Factory Peanut Butter Raspberry Bar

I love peanut butter, and I love raspberry, so I was keen to try this flavour. Turns out I don’t love peanut butter and raspberry in chocolate.  If you’re a fan of other peanut butter chocolates, then you’d probably enjoy this. The peanut butter is from Wellington brand Fix and Fogg which I love.  The chocolate is dark and rich and quite delicious, but I’m just not a fan of peanut butter in the chocolate.

The bar is $6 for 40g bar.



Lowest sugar dark chocolate – Lindt 85% dark
My favourite dark: Lindt
My favourite boutique/speciality brand: Wellington Chocolate Company Dark Chocolate
Favourite milk chocolate: not pictured, but I love Whittakers milk chocolate and Lindt milk chocolate too.

What are your favourite chocolates?