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Lemon Coconut Bliss Balls (no dates!)


Lemon coconut bliss balls with no dates are perfect for those who want to make bliss balls but aren’t a fan of dates.  Because for a sweet snack, you can’t beat a bliss ball.  They’re quick to make, contain mostly nutrient dense ingredients, they keep well and they’re also delicious!  For a change from your typical chocolate flavour bliss balls, I created these lemon coconut bliss balls which have a delicious zing to them.   I know there are quite a few people that are not a fan of dates, so these lemon coconut bliss balls have no dates  – which also lets the yummy lemon flavour shine through.  I used less nuts and added coconut and sunflower seeds which make these a bit friendlier on the budget too.

I like to keep a jar of bliss balls in the fridge to grab when I feel like something sweet and I grab a few out to take to work most days.  I’ve made a few different flavours lately that I’ll share with you soon!  But for now, here’s the recipe for the lemon coconut bliss balls (with no dates!).

Lemon Coconut Bliss balls with no dates!


Lemon Coconut Bliss Balls with no dates


  • 1cupcashew nuts
  • 1cupsunflower seeds
  • 1cupcoconut + extra for rolling
  • zest of 1-2 lemons1 makes a less intense flavour
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1tablespoonof honeyyou may like to add a little extra if you prefer sweeter
  • 1tablespoonmelted coconut oil


  1. Place the cashews and sunflower seeds in a blender.  Pulse until they are broken up and a fine texture.  Add the coconut, lemon juice, honey and melted coconut oil and blend again.  You may need to push the mixture down at the sides.
  2. Once combined, roll the mixture into balls and coat in coconut.
  3. Store in the fridge.

If you’re keen to try out some other bliss ball and sweet recipes, check out my other recipes here.

Cherry tomato tart


Now I’m back at work I’ve been on the hunt for yummy but easy ideas for lunches, so I’ve been doing a bit of experimenting in the kitchen and come up with a few new recipes.  This cherry tomato tart is the result of  this.  While I do miss being able to just open the cupboards and create whatever I feel like at the time, it has been quite good to try new things again and get creative in the kitchen.   So when time is short, but you want something tasty, nutritious and delicious, this cherry tomato tart is a winner.    I used the delicious Beekist cherry tomatoes which come in a range of colours as they all taste a little different and have beautiful colours too, from red, maroon and orange.

This would also be great for kids school lunch boxes.

Cherry Tomato Tart

1 medium kumara
2 tablespoons pesto
2 zucchini
100g feta cheese
4 large eggs
1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Salt and pepper
Chopped Italian parsley for garnish

Slice the kumara into thin slices, around 1/4 cm.  Place in a microwaveable bowl and heat for around 3/4 minutes until slightly soft.  Alternatively you could place them in a pot of boiling water.

In a small dish (mine was 20 x 14cm), line the bottom with the partially cooked kumara. You may need to overlap the kumara to cover the bottom.  Spread the pesto over the kumara.

Thinly slice the zucchini lengthways and lay this on top of the kumara.  Crumble over the feta cheese.  Beat the eggs together in a small bowl and pour over the vegetable mixture.  Top with cherry tomatoes.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees Celcius, until cooked through.  Sprinkle over some fresh herbs once cooked





Cranberry, Cashew and Chocolate Muesli Bars

Cranberry, cashew and chocolate muesli bars are a delicious, crunchy bar that keep well and are easy to make.  Breastfeeding is hungry work and I like to have a few options for on the go snacks.  Often I’ll have fruit, nuts, yoghurt or bliss balls but I wanted to give something new a go so I flicked through my recipe books for some inspiration and came up with these. I based the recipe on Chelsea Winter’s recipe from Homemade Happiness (which is a great book by the way -you can buy it here).   I used cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and cashew nuts to give them a festive look and used dark chocolate to coat the base because lets face it, things are even better when they have chocolate!!

These keep pretty well and you can double the recipe to make two trays if you want to keep a good supply up.  I like to store them in the freezer as they are nice and crispy that way.

Here’s how to make them:

Cranberry, Cashew and Chocolate Muesli Bars

1 cup of rolled oats
1 cup of desiccated coconut
1/2 cup cashew nuts, chopped finely
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup dates
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup brown sugar (or you can use honey or even leave out all together)
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
1 cup rice bubbles or puffed quinoa
100g dark chocolate, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius on fan bake.  Line a large oven tray with baking paper and add the oats, nuts and seeds.  Toast in the oven for 5 minutes, then mix then up, and add coconut for final five minutes.  Remove and leave to cool slightly.

Chop up the dates very finely, as well as the cranberries.  If you have a food processor, use this to chop them finely.

Add the dates, cranberries, coconut oil, sugar, water and vanilla essence to a pot over a medium heat.  Simmer gently for about ten minutes stirring regularly until the fruit is really mushy.   Leave to cool until it’s warm.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oat/nut mixture, the rice bubbles and the dried fruit mixture using a wooden spoon.

In a lined slice dish, sprinkle over the finely chopped chocolate.  Add the slice mixture and press down really firmly with either a spoon or clean fingers.  Press it down as hard as you can so it stays together.

Place in the fridge for at least one hour.  Remove and slice into bars.  Store the Cranberry, Cashew and Chocolate Muesli Bars an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.







The busy girl’s guide to workday lunch ideas

I’m not one of those people that cook and prep lunches or dinners for the whole week on Sunday.  As much as I love food and cooking, the idea of spending hours prepping on a Sunday and eating the same food all week just doesn’t excite me.  What does though is a more simple approach for workday lunches. Here’s my guide for quick, healthy work lunch ideas.

In the weekends, I do spend a little time making some options that I can freeze and grab out on the day if it tickles my fancy. Some days I’ll have leftovers or prep something the night before. For the other days, I keep a well-stocked fridge of options that includes Dairyworks cheeses, boiled eggs, bread, avocado, nut butters, tomatoes and fruit which gives me throw together options if I need them so I don’t have to buy my lunch. This is saving me money and time. I love it!

Here’s my routine for quick, healthy work lunch ideas

Shopping and Prepping:

To get organised for lunches and snacks, there are some key items I usually buy.
At the moment, these include:

  • Wholegrain bread (I’ll keep a loaf or half a loaf in the freezer at work, or just take what I need for the day)
  • Dairyworks mini cheese blocks.  These are a great size to keep in the fridge at work and I love how the packet is resealable.  They also do cheese slices (already cut) which is super handy too, as well as pre-grated mixed cheeses.
  • Avocado and tomato (I’m making the most of it before they go too crazy in price)
  • Vegetables such as carrots and celery
  • A bag of baby spinach
  • Nuts – usually a mixed variety.
  • Dairyworks Rice Crackers and Cheese.  These are perfect for when you need something on the run.  Because I’m on the road for work sometimes, these are easy to grab along with a piece of fruit for something to eat when I’m at a clinic at a different location to my normal office.
  • Nut butters – eg peanut butter/almond butter.
  • Yoghurt

With these few bits and pieces you can create quite a few lunch ideas, and these are some of my regulars when I haven’t had time to organise anything else.

  • Wholegrain toast with tomato, egg and cheese
  • Toasted sandwich with tomato, baby spinach and cheese
  • Wholegrain toast, avocado, tomato and egg
  • Sandwich with cheese, baby spinach and avocado
  • Wholegrain toast with peanut or almond butter and banana
  • Fruit and yoghurt with a generous sprinkle of nuts


With my supplies, some of my favourite options are:

  • Cheese slices with carrot sticks
  • Fruit
  • Carrot and celery sticks dipped in almond butter/peanut butter
  • Dairyworks cheese and rice crackers
  • Yoghurt
  • Nuts

Very little preparation is involved for the quick and easy lunch items. What I do do though is boil some eggs at the start of the week to have on hand.  These can go on toast, or otherwise make a good high protein snack.  According to The Kitchn, boiled eggs will keep for up to a week in the fridge after they’ve been boiled.  Write the date on them so you know if they’re good or not.


In the weekends I do a little bit of food prep, but in general I try to make it something I’m going to eat in the weekend and use the leftovers for the week ahead.  Currently these options are frittatas and vegetable soups, both nourishing and filling options which you can freeze and grab as you need.

Sure they take slightly longer than grab-and-go options, but a little bit of prep is all that’s required to make 5-6 days worth of lunches. Here’s two of my current favourite recipes that you can freeze.


Pumpkin and parmesan soup


Pumpkin soup is a go-to favourite for the cooler weather and the addition of parmesan cheese really ups the flavour of this recipe.  I use the Dairyworks brand which comes in a resealable container which I love.  Otherwise I tend to end up with crusty, hard cheese!


1.5kg of pumpkin
1 large onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped1 L of vegetable stock (use 1 cup less if you prefer a really thick soup)
¼ cup Dairyworks parmesan cheese

To Serve: Natural yoghurt, extra parmesan cheese and chives.


Deseed the pumpkin and cut into chunks.  To make peeling the pumpkin easier,  place the pieces in a microwavable bowl and heat for 5 minutes.

While the pumpkin is heating, roughly chop the onion into chunks.  Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat then add the onion. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the smoked paprika and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.

Take the pumpkin from the microwave and cut off the skin.  It should be much easier to remove as the pumpkin will be slightly cooked.

Add the pumpkin to the pot and heat for around 5 or so minutes.  This helps caramelise the outside of the pumpkin and adds to the flavour.  Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.

Cook for between 15-20 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft.

Take off the heat.  Add the parmesan cheese and stir through.  Blend with a stick blender being very careful not to splash yourself with hot soup.

To serve, stir through some natural unsweetened yoghurt, extra parmesan and top with chives.

Pour the soup into individual serving size containers and freeze for a later date. I poured mine into a pyrex jug from the pot to make this job less mess.

Smokey kumara and vegetable frittatas

These vegetable packed frittatas use a delicious mix of three different Dairyworks cheeses all conveniently packaged into one pack.  This Dairyworks cheese blend contains a blend of smoked parmesan, colby and cheddar to give these frittatas an amazing flavour.  There are other options available too. You can check out the range here.


1 medium kumara
1 wedge of pumpkin (about the same size as the kumara)
1 red onion
1 capsicum
½ tablespoon olive oil
5 mushrooms
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
4 blocks frozen spinach, defrosted.
Approximately 100g Dairyworks Smokey Joe grated cheese
8 eggs
2 tablespoons of milk
Salt and pepper to season


Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.  Either grease a 6 hole texas muffin tin, or line with baking paper.

Peel the kumara and pumpkin and cut into thin slices.  Place these in a glass bowl and microwave for 5 minutes.  This will slightly cook them to ensure they don’t end up undercooked when you bake the frittatas.

While the kumara and pumpkin are precooking, core and chop the capsicum and cut the onion into slices.  Heat the oil in a medium fry pan over a medium heat.  Cook the capsicum and onion mix for 5 minutes, then wash and chop the mushrooms and add these along with the worcestershire sauce.  Cook for a further 5 minutes.  Add the spinach, stirring well to combine with the other ingredients and heat for 2 minutes.   Season with salt and pepper then take off the heat and set aside.

Beat together the eggs and milk.  Season with a little salt and pepper.

Now get ready to layer up your frittatas.  Take your muffin tins and add piece of kumara then some pumpkin.  Add a spoonful or two of the other vegetable mix.  Top with a good spoonful of grated cheese.  Add another layer of kumara and pumpkin.  Add some extra grated cheese.  Repeat this with all the muffin tin hole.  Next, pour over the egg mixture evenly between the frittatas.  You can top with a little more cheese if you wish.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through.

Store in the fridge or freeze in an airtight container.

For a workplace lunch, serve with a salad made with the baby spinach, tomato and avocado and any other vegetables you might have on hand.

I hope this inspires you to get sorted for some delicious, quick, healthy work lunch ideas and makes your life that wee bit easier.
This post was made possible thanks to Dairyworks.




Cranberry Almond Muesli Bars


Cranberry and almond are a delicious combination and together in these cranberry almond muesli bars, they make a filling, nourishing sweet treat.

With a busy weekend on I wanted to make something healthy, quick and easy for lunches for the week ahead and these cranberry and almond muesli bars are just that. You simply mix together the nuts, seeds, oats and fruit then mix with the melted honey, nut butter and oil mix.  There’s no cooking required either – you just simply press into a dish and refrigerate.  Easy and tasty!

Cranberry Almond Muesli Bars


1/4 cup linseeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup almonds
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup cranberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup almond butter (or you can use peanut butter)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil

Optional: dark chocolate, melted

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.  In a pot, heat together honey, peanut butter and oil, stirring until the honey and peanut butter are dissolved.  Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredient mixture and mix well. Pour into a lined slice tin and refrigerate until set.

Once set, cut into bars.  To make it extra tasty, melt some dark chocolate and drizzle over the top.

Makes 16 bars.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  These keep for around 4-5 days, or you can freeze individually.


Brown rice salad with broccoli, cranberry and almonds

Getting your five plus a day vegetables and fruit can be a totally delicious experience and this brown rice salad with broccoli, cranberry and almonds fits into that delicious experience category.

On a bed of brown rice, the combination of broccoli, cranberry and almond along with snow peas and avocado creates a mixture of crunch, sweetness and creaminess that is both delicious and nutritious.
Brown rice is a wholegrain carbohydrate that supplies you with a nice slow steady release of energy. The avocado and almonds give you some heart healthy fats whilst the cranberries provide a natural sweetness that really makes this salad a hit.  The citrus dressing has slight Asian flavours thanks to the Chinese five spice powder.

Brown rice salad with broccoli, cranberry and almonds

Serves 4-6

1 cup brown rice
1 head of broccoli
1 cup snow peas, ends trimmed off
1 heaped teaspoon coconut oil
3 cloves of garlic, crushed.
1/3 cup cranberries
70g sliced almonds
1 avocado
Juice and rind from 1 large orange
1.5 teaspoons sesame oil (I used Harvest seasame oil)
1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder

Cook brown rice as per instructions on the packet.  Or for a short cut, use the microwave brown rice packets – two would be enough for this recipe.

Chop the broccoli into small florets. Steam the broccoli for approximately 4 minutes, so lightly cooked.  It’s important you don’t overcook it or it will mush up when you pan fry it.

In a cast iron or heavy bottom pan, add the teaspoon of coconut oil and heat over a medium temperature.  Add the crushed garlic, broccoli and snow peas.  Cook for around 3-5 minutes.

Place the cooked brown rice on a serving dish and fluff out with a fork.  Top with the snow peas and broccoli.  Sprinkle over the almonds and cranberries.  Slice the avocado and arrange over the top.

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, rind, oil and Chinese five spice powder. Drizzle over the rice and vegetables.

Serve warm with a serve of protein and extra vegetables for a nourishing, satisfying meal. Leftovers make a great lunch the next day 🙂

For more delicious salad ideas, check out my other recipes here.




Roasted beetroot, carrot, cauliflower salad with halloumi

One of the things I love about summer is experimenting with new, fresh vegetable and salad ideas to go alongside barbecues, or even alone as a meal.  My vegetable garden is full of produce, and I’ve also topped up at the markets so that means there’s lots of colour to inspire me as I open up the vegetable bins.

Roasting beetroot and carrot brings out their sweetness and in my opinion, cauliflower is best served roasted so the combination of these three vegetables is delicious.  For this recipe, the beetroot are roasted in a balsamic glaze that adds a delicious flavour to the salad when combined.

This is delicious served with brown rice and chickpeas or a serve of protein.

Roasted beetroot, carrot, cauliflower salad with halloumi

Serves 3-4

2 large beetroot
1 bunch of baby carrots, or 4 normal sized carrots chopped into wedges
1.5 cups cauliflower florets
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup green bean
100g halloumi cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius fan bake.  Cut the ends off the beetroot, peel and chop into wedges.  Wash or peel the carrots and chop in half (or into wedges if using normal sized carrots).

Place the beetroot into a slice tin and drizzle over half a tablespoon of olive oil, followed by the balsamic vinegar.  Toss to coat.  Sprinkle over the brown sugar.   (I roast the beetroot separately so it doesn’t stain the other vegetables)

On an oven tray, add the carrots and cauliflower and drizzle over the remaining olive oil. Peel and crush the garlic and sprinkle over the top.

Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is lightly browned and the vegetables are cooked.

Steam the beans for 5 minutes, or until cooked, but still firm – we don’t want soggy, overcooked beans.  While the beans are cooking, slice the halloumi into thickish slices (around 1/2 cm) and cut into squares.  Pan fry for a couple of minutes on each side.

To assemble the salad, mix the vegetables together and sprinkle over the cooked halloumi and walnuts.


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!

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