Blackberry Balls

A healthy snack or for afternoon tea.
200g porridge oats
50g blackberries
10 dates, depipped
50g desiccated coconut
1 vanilla pod, scraped
1 tsp cinnamon
25g desiccated coconut for rolling the balls in.
In a blender blend the oats until they are the consistency of flour. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend to combine.
Roll the mixture into 16 balls. Roll each ball in the desiccated coconut to coat.
Place in the freezer for half an hour. Remove and place in the fridge until ready to serve.
They will keep for two weeks in a container in the fridge.

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Sweetcorn Chowder with Avocado Salsa

Thank you Josh for this colourful meal.
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 corn on the cob, trimmed and kernels removed
1 leek, washed and chopped
4 potatoes, washed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp paprika
500 ml vegetable stock
500 ml water
125 ml soy milk
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chopped parsley or coriander leaves
1 lime, quartered
4 bread baps
Avocado Salsa
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
2 shallots, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp lime juice
Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Cook the corn kernels, leek and potato, covered, for 10 minutes.
Add the garlic and half the paprika for a minute to release the fragrance
Add the stock and the water and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Remove from the heat and stand for 10 minutes.
Place 500 mls of the chowder in a blender and blend for 2 minutes.
Return to the pan. Stir in the soy milk. Heat until hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Avocado Salsa
Combine the avocado, shallots and lime juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Warm the bread baps in the oven.
Serve in 4 warm bowls. Sprinkle with the remaining paprika. Top with the avocado salsa and chopped parsley. Serve with a slice of lime and warm bread baps.
Leftover chowder can be frozen but reheat in a pan not the microwave.

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Red Capsicum Dip

4 red capsicums
400g tin chickpeas, drained
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup of fresh basil, finely chopped
fresh basil flower to garnish
serve with crackers, carrot and cucumber sticks and radishes.
Cut the capsicums into quarters. Remove the seeds and membranes. Place skin side up on a greased oven tray.
Cook under a hot grill for 15 minutes until the skin blisters and blackens. Place in a large zip-lock bag. Seal and leave to cool.
Peel away the skin and discard. Place the flesh in a food processor with the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, oil, water, garlic, paprika and cumin. Season with the pepper to taste. Process until smooth. Stir in the chopped basil.
Pour into a serving bowl. Garnish with the basil flower.
Place the bowl on a large serving plate and surround with the crackers, carrot sticks, cucumber sticks and radishes.

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Cold Tomato and Basil Soup

This recipe came from our friend Peat in Spain. He had successfully served it to guests. Our weather is warming up 31C today so we may be enjoying cold meals soon.
8 ripe tomatoes, quartered
small bunch of basil, freshly picked
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 Tbs red wine vinegar
2 Tbs brown sugar
3 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp sea salt, to taste
1 tsp paprika
4 ice cubes
Crispy Pitta Bread
2 pitta breads
2 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, halved
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
pinch of salt
Start the day before!
Mix all the ingredients well, apart from the ice. Place in a container and put in the fridge overnight or for at least 6 hours.
Next day add the ice cubes and mix in a blender until smooth. Add salt to taste.
Crispy Pitta Bread
Heat the oven to 170C.
Halve the pittas. Brush them with olive oil and then rub them all over with the garlic halves.
Use a serrated knife to cut the pitta bread into long strips.
Place on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with the remaining ingredients and return to the oven for 5 minutes, until golden and crisp.
Allow to cool.
Serves 4 people.
Serve the cold tomato soup with the crispy pitta on the side.


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Sesame Crumbed Tofu

Tofu is a healthy food high in protein and containing iron, magnesium and calcium but low in calories and no cholesterol.
300g firm tofu, patted dry with kitchen paper
420g pkt vegan noodles
75 gm plain flour
35 gm sesame seeds
vegetable oil to shallow fry
1 red capsicum, deseeded and finely chopped
1 Tbs grated ginger
1 bunch choy sum, or other Asian greens, chopped, retain stems seperately
200 gm bean sprouts
1 Tbs sesame oil
60 ml soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the noodles and stand for 30 seconds. Drain, then refresh under cold water and drain again.
Combine the flour and sesame seeds and add salt and pepper. Spread half the mixture on a plate. Cut the tofu into 16 squares. Place the tofu in the mixture and sprinkle the remaining mixture over the top. Press the mixture gently into the tofu to coat.
Heat 2cm depth of vegetable oil in a frying pan or wok. Shallow fry the tofu in batches for 2 minutes each side until golden all over. Drain on kitchen paper.
Heat a further Tablespoon of oil in the frying pan or wok. Add the capsicum, ginger and choy sum stems and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the choy sum leaves and stir-fry for a further minute. Add the bean sprouts, noodles, sesame oil and soy sauce. Stir-fry for a further two minutes.
Serve the sesame crumbed tofu on a bed of noodles.
Serves 4 people.

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Heaven on a Stick

We have just had a children’s party but these fruit kebabs can be adapted for adults. They are health and can be served at any time.
1 dozen mini kebab skewers
1 pear, cubed
1 banana, thick sliced
6 strawberries, halved
2 oranges
1 small tin coconut cream or small container of soy yoghurt
Peel one of the oranges and cut into chunks removing any pips and segment membrane.
Thread chunks of pear, banana, strawberry and orange onto the kebab sticks.
Grater 1 tsp orange zest and squeeze 1 Tbsp orange juice. Stir them into the coconut cream or the yoghurt. Pour into a small serving bowl.
Serves 4 people.
For adults substitute the orange juice for a fruit liqueur such as Cointreau.

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Lovely to drink in the early evening as the sun goes down on a hot day.
1 bottle dry white wine, chilled
400 ml apple juice, chilled
400 ml peach juice, chilled
1/4 lemon, thinly sliced
1/2 orange, thinly sliced
1/2 lime, thinly sliced
10 leaves of mint, lightly crushed
Place all the ingredients in a 2 Lt jug.
Add ice and stir to combine.
Serve in cold glasses.

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