Thai eggplant and tofu rice bowl

This Thai eggplant and tofu rice bowl is so simple and tasty and our kids love it. We usually serve it over zakkoku rice, but it would also make a great side dish on its own.

Thai eggplant and tofu rice bowl 600x592 Thai eggplant and tofu rice bowl

Thai eggplant and tofu rice bowl


(Lightly adapted from

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 eggplant, chopped
  • 1 block of medium-firm tofu, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 soy sauce
  • 2/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • rice


  1. Cook your rice as you please.
  2. While your rice is cooking, heat the olive oil on medium in a large pan.
  3. Saute the garlic for a few minutes.
  4. Add the red pepper flakes, eggplant and tofu.
  5. Cover with a lid and cook for a few minutes, until eggplant has softened.
  6. Add the basil, cover and cook for another minute or so.
  7. Serve over rice.




Balsamic spinach and bean salad

This balsamic spinach and bean salad is a new lunchtime favourite in our house. It’s very quick and easy, and it’s delicious. It is a simplified version of this recipe at 101 Cookbooks (which looks delicious but we rarely have fresh thyme in the house, though I keep meaning to start a herb garden).

20130212 144902 600x450 Balsamic spinach and bean salad

Balsamic spinach and bean salad


  • 4 1/2 cups of cooked mixed beans (this time I used one jar of adzuki, one jar of garbanzo and one jar of mixed beans, just because that was what I pulled out of the freezer)
  • 2 large handfuls of baby spinach

Balsamic dressing:

  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 tbsps honey
  • 3 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsps fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Put the beans and spinach into a large bowl.
  2. Mix together the dressing ingredients.
  3. Pour the dressing over the beans and spinach.
  4. Mix well and serve. It was delicious with some fresh whole wheat oatmeal bread on the side.

Coconut corn bread and beans

This is my take on a black bean recipe that I came across here. I didn’t change a whole lot, but I like to think my substitution of a 10-bean mix for plain old black beans is significant!

This recipe is very easy to double, and it is freezer-friendly, making for an easy dinner on one of those days when it’s just not happening for you.

20130115 195148 e1358308507795 Coconut corn bread and beans


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for oiling the baking dish
  • 3 cups cooked beans (or two 15-ounce cans)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning (see below for ingredients)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup corn flour
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk


  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C, and oil an 8 inch baking dish.
  2. Mix together the ingredients required for the seasoning. As the original recipe author noted, you’ll end up with a lot more than you need, but it’s easy to keep in the cupboard and if you have it on hand, this is a really easy meal to put together.
  3. In a large bowl, combine beans, tomatoes, corn, seasoning, soy sauce, and coconut.
  4. Pour into the baking dish.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, corn flour, maple syrup and baking powder. Add the coconut milk and olive oil.
  6. Stir until just combined.
  7. Spread over the bean mixture.
  8. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes, or until the top starts to brown.

Homemade yogurt

We all love yogurt, but it is crazy expensive, so we decided to start making it. Instead of buying 4 big tubs of yogurt every week, we now buy one 2L jug of organic milk and one tub of yogurt to use as fresh starter every 3-4 weeks. That translates into a savings of $50+/month. We invested in a yogurt maker (this one, because it has a really tall lid and we can make 2L of yogurt at a time!), but I know lots of people just wrap the jar up in warm towels and put it in a warm spot somewhere.

Yogurt 450x600 Homemade yogurt


  • 2L of organic milk
  • 1 cup of organic yogurt


  1. Pour milk into a big saucepan and heat to 80C. (A digital thermometer with an alarm comes in handy here.)
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool to 45C.
  3. Pour some of the milk into the jar with the yogurt and mix well.
  4. Add the rest of the milk to the jar.
  5. Put in yogurt maker (or wrapped up and in a warm spot) for approximately 12 hours.
  6. Refrigerate and enjoy!


We started making our own hummous when we lived in Japan. Whenever I came across it (usually in a specialty deli), it seemed so ridiculously expensive that I could never justify buying it.

We eat it a lot—as a snack with crackers, or in our sandwiches and quesadillas at lunchtime. The whole family loves it.

The hummous in this photo was for O’s birthday party, and it was made pink with the addition of a small roasted beet. I loved the beet version; the others liked it but prefer the regular version.

Beet hummous 600x449 Hummous


(This recipe makes a double batch. We usually freeze half.)

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (consider keeping the bean-cooking liquid to thin out the hummous at the end if necessary)
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of tahini
  • 4–6 cloves of garlic, crushed (we always opt for more rather than less)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (more as necessary)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Process until smooth.
  3. Add additional olive oil or water to thin it if necessary.

Fennel, onion and olive pizza

I have always wondered what fennel looks like, and now I know. I came across this recipe the other week and decided it was time to finally buy some fennel. The pizzas smelled fantastic (all licorice-y from the fennel) and they tasted great.

Fennel onion and olive pizza 600x450 Fennel, onion and olive pizza


  • 4 (10-inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 bulb of fennel, in small-ish slices
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • handful of fennel fronds
  • small amount of grated mozzarella cheese


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 475F / 245C.
  2. Mix the fennel, onion, olives and olive oil in a bowl.
  3. Spread the mix over the pizzas.
  4. Top with mozzarella.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with fennel fronds and serve.

Baked sweet potato and coconut doughnuts

It’s hard to go wrong with healthy doughnuts. This was a fun breakfast, supplemented with some homemade oatmeal bread and fresh fruit.

This recipe was inspired by one over at Weelicious. It also works well with pumpkin (which is what is in the photo below, because those doughnuts were much prettier!) The individual doughnut initials were a big hit.

Baked pumpkin donuts with maple syrup and pecan glaze 600x450 Baked sweet potato and coconut doughnuts

(Makes 16 doughnuts)

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (we’ve also used spelt successfully)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, heated until just liquid
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup steamed and mashed sweet potato (I don’t actually measure it!)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk


  • maple syrup
  • coconut flakes
  • finely chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl.
  3. Mix all the wet ingredients in another.
  4. Pour contents of dry bowl into wet bowl and mix until just combined. (Or, do what I did and start by using the stand mixer to mash the sweet potatoes, and then pour everything else in on top! This is a pretty forgiving recipe.)
  5. Put the dough into a zip-lock bag, close it, and then cut about one centimeter off a corner.
  6. Squeeze the dough into doughnut shapes on a greased cookie tray.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool.
  8. Brush with maple syrup, and then sprinkle with coconut and chopped pecans.



Quick whole wheat oatmeal bread

I have been making this bread from 101 Cookbooks fairly regularly, but I’ve been wanting to make a sourdough starter for a long time so that I could stop using yeast. I still haven’t got around to the starter, but I did manage to find this great yeast-free recipe. The bread is so delicious that E and I find ourselves snacking on it at all hours. It’s good with everything, but I’ve been really enjoying it with some super deluxe manuka honey.

Whole wheat and oat bread 600x450 Quick whole wheat oatmeal bread



  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping spoonful of honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups soy (or other) milk


  • Preheat oven to 450F / 230C.
  • Mix all ingredients together into a heavy batter.
  • Pour batter into an oiled loaf pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.



Whole wheat tortillas

We were given an electric tortilla press as a wedding present a few years back, and we tried to make whole wheat tortillas a few times, but they were always a disaster. Fast-forward a few years and thanks to a house guest discovering it in a cupboard, I decided to give it another go. This time, I did more research. It turns out that in the intervening couple of years, someone had posted a handy tutorial online—using the same tortilla press and whole wheat flour. This time, they turned out wonderfully. I’m not sure if it’s because we now have a stand mixer to knead the dough, or if I just didn’t have the right recipe before, but whatever—it works! It’s super easy, they are delicious and *much* cheaper to make than to buy. The best thing is that they don’t have a bunch of junk in them like many of the store-bought ones do.

It takes 10-15 mins to get the dough ready and then only about 5-6 mins to make a batch of 18 tortillas. We have been saving the parchment paper that separates the store-bought tortillas, so I used that between the tortillas when stacking them. After they had cooled, I slipped them into a zip-lock bag and popped them in the freezer.

We use these for all kinds of things—snack/lunchtime wraps, quesadillas, pizza bases, calzones.

Tortilla 450x600 Whole wheat tortillas


  • 6 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsps salt
  • 2 1/2 cups+ of warm water
  • 2/3 cup olive oil


  1. Pre-heat tortilla press.
  2. Add all dry ingredients to stand mixer bowl.
  3. Add the oil, then the water, adding enough water so that the dough is neither dry nor sticky. It should feel like good play dough!
  4. Knead in mixer for 5 minutes.
  5. Divide dough into 18 balls.
  6. Flatten a ball slightly, then place it in the middle of the tortilla press, towards the hinge.
  7. Press for a couple of seconds, release, repeat.
  8. Turn the tortilla 90 degrees, press, release, press.
  9. Turn the tortilla 90 degrees, press, release, press.
  10. Turn the tortilla 90 degrees, press, release, press.
  11. Remove tortilla and stack, separated by parchment paper.

Sweet potato, banana, oatmeal breakfast bake

We woke up on this morning and no one in the house was super keen for anything in particular. We had some cooked oatmeal in the fridge, as well as some sweet potato that had already been peeled, so I started hunting around for ideas. I came across this recipe at Oh She Glows, and we didn’t end up changing too much.

20130212 090332 600x450 Sweet potato, banana, oatmeal breakfast bake

It doesn’t look like much, but that says more about the photo than anything else—it was delicious.



  • 1 cup regular oats
  • 1 1/2  cups water
  • 1 medium (or 2 small) sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small-ish cubes
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 tsps ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Pecan topping:
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsps coconut oil, warmed until liquid
  • 2 tbsps whole wheat flour
  • 2 tbsps maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Add the oats and water to a saucepan and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  3. Steam the sweet potato until tender.
  4. Mash the sweet potato and banana together, leaving it quite chunky.
  5. Combine it with the oatmeal.
  6. Stir in the cinnamon, maple syrup, nutmeg, and salt.
  7. Spread into an 8″ square baking dish, or equivalent.
  8. Mix the pecan topping ingredients together, and spread over the top of the oatmeal mix in the baking dish.
  9. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  10. After 20 minutes, broil on low for a couple minutes to crisp up the topping.