Spring lentil salad

October 25, 2010

A healthy lunch or accompaniment to chicken or lamb, this salad can be substituted with pretty much anything seasonal and tastes very virtuous! You could use flat leaf parsley instead of coriander, almonds instead of cashews, tamari instead of vinegar. Up to you!

Serves 2-3 for lunch or 4 as accompaniment


1 tin lentils, drained
1/2 bunch English spinach, washed well
1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-3cm pieces
1/2 avocado, chopped roughly
2 celery stalks, chopped roughly
Large handful of coriander, chopped roughly
Large handful cashew nuts
Cider vinegar (or wine vinegar)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Blanch asparagus for approx 2 minutes until just cooked. Drain and poor into ice water to maintain crunch and colour.

Add lentils, spinach, asparagus, avocado, celery, coriander and cashews to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and a few splashes of vinegar. Season with s&p and toss to mix everything through.


A quick and easy pasta using delicious Spring greens.

Serves 2


1 red onion, chopped finely
2 large handfuls English spinach, washed well and sliced finely
1 bunch asparagus, sliced finely
2 handfuls basil
olive oil
Spaghetti (approx 200-250g)

Boil water for spaghetti. Add pasta and prepare sauce while it cooks.

Saute red onion in a good splash of olive oil. Add asparagus and spinach and saute for 1-2 minutes until just cooked/wilted. Drain and add cooked spaghetti. Drizzle generously with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, sprinkle basil leaves and toss.

Serve with grated parmesan.



October 17, 2010

From the Syrian Food Safari on SBS, this recipe is so fresh and vibrant, and tasty! We served the salad with slow roasted leg of lamb and labne mixed with fresh mint and olive oil – delicioius!


3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp sumac
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice

2 Lebanese cucumbers
2 medium tomatoes
Handful of baqli leaves (purslane) [if you cannot find this it’s fine without]
Handful of finely sliced radish
4 leaves iceberg lettuce
½ red capsicum
½ green capsicum
½ cup of mint
½ cup flat leaf parsley chopped
3 spring onions, chopped
1 toasted pita bread/Lebanese bread

Crush the crushed garlic and mix the salt, paprika, sumac, olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl.

To a large mixing bowl add the following; cucumbers cut into 1cm pieces, tomatoes cut into eighths, baqli leaves, radish, lettuce roughly torn, the red & green capsicum cut into 2cm squares, fresh herbs and the spring onions. Add the bread, torn into small, rough pieces.

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well and serve.

American-style Pancakes

October 6, 2010

A Jamie Oliver  recipe worth trying. These are incredibly light due to the beaten egg whites. An additional step but worth the extra washing up! These are delicious served with sliced banana, natural yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.


3 large eggs
115g/4oz plain flour
1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
140ml/5fl oz milk
a pinch of salt


First separate the eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into another.

Add the flour, baking powder and milk to the yolks and mix to a smooth thick batter.

Whisk the whites with the salt until they form stiff peaks. Fold into the batter – it is now ready to use.

Heat a good non-stick pan on a medium heat. Pour some of your batter into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes until it starts to look golden and firm. Loosen with a spatula and flip the pancake over. Continue frying until both sides are golden.

Serve with your favourite topping.

Chickpea burgers

October 5, 2010

Another favourite from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson. Great for children and can be made and frozen for another day. The original recipe has sprouts but I sometimes substitute for 1 cup of grated zucchini. These work great with salad or you can make a ‘burger’ with a roll, chutney, salad etc.


2 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (or parsley or basil or mint)
1 onion, chopped
Grated zest of one large lemon
1 cup micro sprouts, chopped (try broccoli, onion, or alfalfa sprouts – optional) OR 1 cup grated zucchini (moisture squeezed out)
1 cup toasted (whole-grain) bread crumbs
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter)


Combine the chickpeas, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a very thick, slightly chunky hummus.

Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the herbs, onion, zest, and sprouts/zucchini.

Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. At this point, you should have a moist mixture that you can easily form into twelve 1 1/2-inch-thick patties. You can always add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm up the dough if need be. Conversely, a bit of water or more egg can be used to moisten the batter.

Heat the oil in a heavy pan over medium low, add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Turn up the heat if there is no browning after 10 minutes. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Carefully cut each patty in half, insert your favorite fillings, and enjoy immediately.

Makes 12 mini burgers.