Tag Archives: healthy

Quinoa, Sweet Potato and Rocket Cakes

19 Mar


Well, well, well… B has had her annual trip down to Melbourne, and it was great to see her.

We ate many meals at restaurants… and in fact I think I am STILL full from going to The Abyssinian, but we did cook ourselves a few healthy meals. After seeing B’s quinoa stuffed squash, I was inspired to try some more quinoa recipes.

This recipe is a ripper if you want a healthy go-to meal for the week, to take as lunches, and to fill in busy night dinners. As it makes loads. It would also work well as a vegetarian option for a BBQ.

What you will need…


Sweet potato, quinoa, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, olive oil, rocket (arugula), egg, breadcrumbs, paprika, and lots of salt and pepper for seasoning.


We started by chopping up the sweet potato, you want the equivalent of two medium sized potatoes. They were steamed them until they were soft and then mashed in a large bowl, mixing in some chopped rocket at the end.


Then we chopped put the onions, celery, carrot and garlic and sautéed them until softened. We added in the garlic, quinoa, paprika and some water, and cooked it down. It reminded me of making a risotto, I may even try this recipe using stock instead of water next time. We cooked it until the quinoa was tender and the liquid was absorbed.


We whisked up egg with some salt and pepper… don’t hold back… it was great with a few good pinches of sea salt.


We mixed it all together along with the bread crumbs we made by roughly blitzing a couple of slices of rye bread in the blender.


After letting the the mix cool down a little and forming some patties, they went in to a hot oven and let them bake for around 35 minutes. They were a little crisped on the outside, and still soft on the inside.


Served on a bed of rocket, with some plain yoghurt and mint atop, delicious!

Our ingredients made about 18 patties, perfect for left overs.



1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion or equivalent, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 3/4 cups quinoa
2 1/2 cups of water
2 Tbs sweet paprika
2 medium sized sweet potatoes, diced and steamed
1 1/2 cups rocket (arugula), chopped roughly
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup rye or wholemeal bread crumbs (around two slices)
generous sea salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 200C/400F.
Sauté the onions with the carrot and celery until soft, then add the garlic, quinoa, water and paprika and cook until quinoa is tender, and the liquid is well absorbed.Mash the steamed sweet potato with the rocket, and then add the quinoa mixture and all remaining ingredients.When cool enough to handle, make patties around the size of the palm of your hand, and place on a baking paper lined baking tray.Bake until the outside of the patty is a little crisped or browned, around 35-40 minutes.Serve with a dollop of plain yoghurt, a little mint, and a salad made of rocket.


Spiced Zucchini Chips with Tahini Dipping Sauce

13 Feb

B’s roasted chickpeas are a hard act to follow. Healthy and delicious snacking.


I think zucchini chips, alongside a tangy and healthy sauce fits the bill. The kind of thing you could whip up when the zucchinis are taking over the back yard, or on a summers day when people are coming over for a drink. They are tasty, in a way you don’t think zucchini will be.

The tahini sauce I served them with, is something I love and a reminds me of a dressing I once had on a celery heart salad that I will never ever forget, from Rumi in Brunswick, Melbourne.

This is how I made them…


with zucchini, some spray oil, salt, pepper, sweet paprika and chili powder.

I used the food processor to slice the zucchini, but you could slice by hand. I then prepared all of the trays I have (two baking trays) with baking paper and a very brief spray of oil. I would use cookie sheets if you have them. One zucchini filled one tray.


I sprinkled sea salt sparingly over the slices, gave a grind of pepper, and then sieved the other spices over the top with a tea strainer. Be careful not to over spice, as they shrink so dramatically, the flavour is intensified.

Then I placed them in a very slow oven for one and a half hours. I turned the oven up a little after an hour to ensure they got crisp and browned nicely. Your oven may vary the times. I kept a close eye on them for the last 10 or so minutes, and pulled out those that cooked before others. They are perhaps a little time consuming to be an every day thing, but I enjoyed them so much I made another batch the next day. I only have the two trays, but I would make more if I had more trays!

The tahini sauce was just…


tahini, lemon, garlic, salt, pepper and a little warm water. I mashed the garlic to a paste with a little salt, using the back of a knife.

Then I mixed all of the ingredients together in a bowl. I sprinkled with a little sumac to serve, but you could also use paprika.


Yummo. Crispy.




ingredients to suit two trays 

2 medium sized zucchini, sliced to the thickness of a quarter, or 20 cent piece here in Australia. A food processor slicer works well, as would a mandolin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
Olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 140C/285F

Cover two baking sheets or trays with baking paper and spray very lightly with the oil. Placed the sliced zucchini on the trays, with no overlaps, and spray very lightly with oil again. Season with the salt and pepper. Season also with the chili powder and sweet paprika. Using a tea strainer to apply lightly and evenly works well.

Bake in slow oven for around 1.5 hours, keeping an eye on them. I found I needed to turn the oven up toward the end, to around 155C get them crisp. They shrink dramatically, so please don’t get a shock at the final product. My suggestion is to make as many trays as you can fit in your oven/have on hand.

These chips soften up after a few hours, so make them just before devouring.




1 Tbsp tahini
2 tsp garlic – mashed with a good pinch of salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Generous grind of black pepper
2 Tbsp warm water

Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl, and taste. Add more seasoning if needed. If the consistency is too thick, add a little more water.


Cauliflower, silverbeet and goat’s cheese pies

1 Oct

B’s savoury cake…. reminded me of savoury muffins… and then…..

The other day, my good friend Beth dropped over a huge bunch of silverbeet (chard) that she had grown, and a large piece of goats cheese, and then emailed me this recipe. Talk about spoiled rotten! I absolutely love the way she has written it out, so I am posting it just as she sent it.

I made it in a muffin pan, I thought this was a perfect thing to keep already portioned in the fridge, ready for a quick-to-make lunch, dinner or even breakfast. Full of veggies, eggs… and OK, a bit of cheese, and oh so very tasty.

This is the email…

2 heaped cups of cooked brown rice (must be cold)
¼ cup finely grated grana padano 
1 big egg
1 cup milk
4 eggs
1 cup roasted cauliflower (did mine under the gorilla with some evo and finished with truffle oil… arghh, drool)
1 large onion, caramelized
1 cup of fresh goat’s cheese, crumbled
1 cup of sautéed silverbeet
fresh thyme
salt and pepper (I am of the firm opinion that eggs need a GOOD amount of salt)

Okee dokee

Mix all of filling stuff together and have ready to go.

Mix crust stuff and press into a fluted flan – mine is 22cm dia and 4.5 cm deep with a loose base.

This step must be done thoroughly, otherwise leakage will occur!!!

Bake in a screamingly hot oven for 9 minutes, then take out of the oven and leave the oven door open.

Add filling mix immediately, return to oven, turn down to 170 degrees and bake for somewhere between 30 – 40 minutes.

Try not to eat all of it in one sitting.

Honestly, I adapted from a broccoli and spring onion version I found on the interwebs, using what I had in the fridge, so it clearly lends itself to bastardisation 
B xx

Isn’t she awesome?

A bit of translation may be needed:
In Beth and Alice speak, a gorilla is a griller, or a broiler for you Americans. And, being ornery, I roasted my cauliflower instead.
Evo, is extra virgin olive oil.

I steamed my silverbeet, as I love it steamed. You could do either.

I used a muffin tin, as I don’t have a fluted pan, but also… nice and easy to package them up in the fridge or even freezer in that size.
Grana Padano is similar to Parmesan.
170 degrees C is 340 degrees F

It is an unfussy meal, which is worthy of a much better photo than I have taken here. Even though it is full of veggies, it would actually go well with some leafy green, or tomato salad served beside it.

Wonder how long I can hold out before I make another batch. I am tipping not long. Thank you for the recipe Bethois. Over to you B!

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