Brown Rice Salad with Currants, Cashews and Capsicum

This is my new favourite way to eat brown rice.  I ordered this a local cafe and loved it so when I got home, I googled the ingredients and found a similar recipe that I’ve slightly adapted below.  A nice side dish to grilled chicken breast, with steamed vegetables, or a perfect meal alone.

(Recipe adapted from Serendipity Corner, photo from same)


1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
6 spring onions, finely diced
2 red capsicum, diced (I used chargrilled capsicum from a jar as they are out of season and expensive right now!)
2 tablespoons each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons reduced salt soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil

Place the rice in a pot with the water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer.  Stir occasionally. Cook for around 30 minutes, until the water is totally absorbed and the rice is cooked.

While the rice is cooking, place pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a lightly oiled pan over medium heat and stir constantly until slightly toasted.  Set aside.

Mix the lemon juice, soy sauce, oil and garlic in a shaker and shake until well mixed.

When the rice is cooked, put into a bowl leave to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Add the spring onion,capsicum, seeds, currants, cashews and parsley and mix.  Pour over the dressing, adding to taste.  You may not need to use it all.

For more delicious, healthy salad ideas check out more recipes here.

Garlic Hummus

Garlic hummus

In the weekend I made garlic hummus for the first time. I wish I’d done it earlier – it’s quick, easy and works out cheaper and just as tasty as my favourite store bought brands.   Hummus makes a great spread or dip and is high in protein and low in fat. I’ve been eating hummus on wholegrain bread with tomato and avocado all week for lunch. I’m addicted!

Hummus is a nutrient rich dip.  Made from chickpeas, it provides a source of vitamin B6 and folate, as well as dietary fibre.  Tahini is traditionally used in hummus, you can leave it out but I’d encourage you to buy a jar as it keeps for a long time in the fridge and it really adds to the flavour of hummus.   I used Macro Organics which was just over $7 for a large jar.  Tahini is made from sesame seeds and provides a source of calcium, as well as iron and magnesium.

Here’s how to make garlic hummus:


1 190g can chick peas, drained
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons water
8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
bunch of parley and chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste.

Simply put all ingredients in a blender and blend till combined.  Add a little extra water to get the hummus to your desired consistency.  Taste, then add a little salt and pepper if desired.

Voila, you’ve just made garlic hummus.  Enjoy.

Better for you Brownies

Decadent yet full of nutrients, these brownies make a delicious, better for you treat.  Made with antioxidant rich prunes, and dark chocolate these brownies are gluten free and have that characteristic fudgey brownie texture and a great chocolatey taste.

Prunes provide a great source of fibre, potassium, beta carotene, and unique antioxidants called neochlorogenic and chlorogenic acid. According to WH foods, these antioxidants help prevent free radical damage against fats. Since our cell membranes and brain cells are made mainly of fats, these antioxidants are very valuable in keeping our bodies and brains healthy.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b3e2eb”]Better for you Brownies[/typography] (Adapted from Elana’s Pantry)

1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup apple juice
4 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla essence
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (use real chocolate, not compound chocolate)

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b3e2eb”]Method:[/typography]

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b3e2eb”]1.[/typography] Place prunes and apple juice in a pot over a medium heat. Gently simmer for around 15 minutes, or until the prunes have absorbed most of the apple juice and are soft.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b3e2eb”]2.[/typography] While the prunes simmering, mix together the oil, vanilla and eggs until well combined.  In a separate bowl sift the cocoa and baking soda, and add the sugar and salt.  Mix.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b3e2eb”]3.[/typography] Remove the prune mixture from the heat and pulse in a food processor. Mix in the egg and cocoa mix and pulse again until combined.  Add chocolate chips.

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”18″ size_format=”px” color=”#b3e2eb”]4.[/typography] Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish and pour in mixture.  Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes.  This is lovely served slightly warm with greek yoghurt.


Green Smoothies

Smoothies are the most delicious way to jam pack vegetables, fruit and other nutritious ingredients into a quick meal.  Smoothies have become my favourite after exercise snack while I’ve been doing my half marathon training runs.  A perfect mix of protein, carbohydrates and lots of nutrients to boot.

This is my latest favourite: Avocado, Kiwifruit and Banana

This smoothie is a source of healthy fats including omega 3 fats, fibre, potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, vitamin C and calcium.

For one serving:

1/4 avocado
1 kiwifruit
1 frozen banana
3 teaspoons of flax seeds
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup milk

Blend ingredients together, and enjoy.

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Homemade muesli bars


Homemade muesli bars are one of my favourite things to make for workday snacks.  They are so simple to make and you can be pretty flexible with the base ingredients to substitute nuts and seeds etc.   I have used tahini in place of peanut butter and butter in place of the coconut oil.  Both times they turned out well and had a different taste which helps keep it interesting. These homemade muesli bars are also yummy with a drizzle (or coating) of chocolate on them.  Because let’s face it – chocolate always takes things to the next level of deliciousness!

To create a nourishing and delicious homemade muesli bar recipe, these home made muesli bars contain the following ingredients for the base:

Linseed (flaxseed) a good source of plant based essential omega 3 fats, source of fibre.

Pumpkin seeds – a source of zinc plus other nutrients 

Sesame seeds – high in maganese and copper, plus a source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fibre

Almonds – high in heart healthy monounsaturated fat, source of vitamin E, magnesium

Oats – a source of fibre and contain vitamin B1 and B5, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium

These are best kept in the fridge as in hot weather they can go a wee bit soft.

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Homemade muesli bars

Homemade muesli bars are simple to make and you can even experiment with different nuts and seeds to create something that suits your tastes.  Make a double batch and keep half in the freezer for those times when you’ve got nothing at home but want a tasty, nourishing snack. 

Prep Time 15 minutes Refrigeration time 45 minutes Servings 16 bars


  • 1/4cuplinseeds (flaxseeds)
  • 1/4 cupcup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4cupalmonds
  • 1cuprolled oats
  • 1/3cupcranberries
  • 1teaspooncinnamon
  • 1/3cuppeanut butter
  • 1/4 cuphoney
  • 1/4cupmelted coconut oilor substitute butter
  • 80gramsdark chocolate


  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Place a small pot over a medium heat and add together the honey, peanut butter and oil, heating for around 5 minutes.
  2. Gently stir the mixture as it heats, being careful it doesn’t burn.
  3. Pour the honey mixture over the seed and nut muesli mixture and mix well. Spoon into a lined slice tin and press down well with the back of a spoon. If using the chocolate, melt the chocolate then drizzle over the top.
  4. Place in the fridge for around 30-45 minutes, or until set and cut into squares.

  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

If you are after other home made muesli bar ideas, here’s some other yummy recipes:

Cranberry and Almond Muesli Bars

Cranberry, Cashew and Chocolate Muesli Bars





Easy homemade bread

I’m a bread lover from way back, but I rarely make it because of the time it takes (i.e, I’m too lazy!). So if you’re like me and can’t be bothered with the all the kneading and waiting around then this is the bread for you. Aside from the fact it’s simple to make – no kneading, no proofing – the best thing about this bread is that it is really similar to my all time favourite bread brands Vogels/Burgen.  This bread is made with wholemeal flour and scattered with pumpkin seeds and chia seeds it has the same great texture with the crunch and goodness of pumpkin seeds which are a good source of zinc and healthy fats.

Busy People’s Bread – Adapted from Annabel Langbein’s recipe by the same name

Makes one loaf

1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons honey
1 cup cold water
3 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast granules
2  1/4 cups wholemeal flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (original recipe uses sunflower so you could use these too – I just had pumpkin in the cupboard)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 80C. Grease and line a 25 x 10 cm loaf tin with baking paper.

In a large bowl, mix the boiling water with the honey to dissolve. Add the cold water and yeast and put to one side for 10 minutes.

Whisk the yeast mixture and then add the flour, salt and seeds and mix with a large spoon until evenly combined. It will be a loose, wet batter.

Place the mixture in loaf tin, spread evenly and flatten the top. Sprinkle an extra tablespoon of pumpkin seeds over the top of the loaf and run a sharp knife through the top of each loaf in at least 3 or 4 places so that it rises evenly without splitting.

Bake for 20 minutes at 80C and then turn the oven up to 210C and bake for a further 35-40 minutes.

When cooked the bread will sound hollow when tapped. Turn out of the tin while still hot and peel off the paper, otherwise it will stick to the bread (as I learned the hard way…).

It’s lovely with strawberry jam or marmite and cheese.