Easy Healthy French Onion Meatballs


Date Published: Aug 9th, 2022 | Last Updated: Aug 9th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: < 15mins, appetizers, easy, healthy, low-cal, mains, quick and easy, snacks
Serves: 24 meatballs | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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This meatball recipe will probably not be the best meatballs you’ve ever had, but they will probably be the most healthy and without compromising on flavour! High cholesterol runs in my family so I’m always looking for ways to lower fat, cut the grease, and sneak in some veg or oats – this meatball recipe does just that, by incorporating zucchinis, rolled oats, and 95% lean beef mince as the bulk of the meatball.

The one down side about a healthy minimal fat meatball is that it has a tendency to become dry when cooled, therefore they must be served asap when hot or tossed in a sauce or soup to absorb extra moisture. I like to add it to a pasta sauce and serve it with zoodles (zucchini noodles).

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • French Onion Seasoning:
    • 1/4 cup onion flakes
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 beef bouillon cube, crushed into a powder
    • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
    • 1/4 tsp celery salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 500g extra lean beef mince (95%)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 zucchini, grated with liquid squeezed out

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180˚C.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the seasoning ingredients (onion flakes, onion powder, garlic, beef bouillon, dried parsley, celery salt, black pepper). Next add in the rolled oats, beef mince, egg, and zucchini to the bowl and combine.

Form the mixture into even-sized meatballs – any size you like, as long as they’re all the same size. Makes about 50 x 3cm meatballs, or 24 x 5cm meatballs. Arrange the meatballs on a lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20mins or until cooked (the timing will depend on how large your meatballs are). Serve immediately, toss in a sauce, or add into a soup.

Summarized Recipe:

Easy Healthy French Onion Meatballs

Date Published: Aug 9th, 2022 | Last Updated: Aug 9th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: < 15mins, appetizers, easy, healthy, low-cal, mains, quick and easy, snacks
Serves: 24 meatballs | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • French Onion Seasoning:
    • 1/4 cup onion flakes
    • 1/2 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 beef bouillon cube, crushed into a powder
    • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
    • 1/4 tsp celery salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 500g extra lean beef mince (95%)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 zucchini, grated with liquid squeezed out

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix together the seasoning ingredients (onion flakes, onion powder, garlic, beef bouillon, dried parsley, celery salt, black pepper). Next add in the rolled oats, beef mince, egg, and zucchini to the bowl and combine.
  3. Form the mixture into even-sized meatballs – any size you like, as long as they’re all the same size.
    • Makes about 50 x 3cm meatballs, or 24 x 5cm meatballs.
  4. Arrange the meatballs on a lined baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20mins or until cooked (the timing will depend on how large your meatballs are). Serve immediately or toss in a sauce.

Taiwanese Style Beerhouse Clams (台式九層塔炒海瓜子)


Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: Taiwanese, Asian, easy, mains, sides
Serves: 2-4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

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This was one of my all-time favourite dishes growing up in Taiwan. My brother once got mad at me when we were kids when I ate them too fast, lol. The sauce is SO good, you MUST serve it over white rice to soak up all the delicious flavours. This recipe is commonly found in the beerhouses of Taiwan or seafood shops.

The clams that are traditionally used are called hai gua zi (海瓜子) which roughly translates to ‘ocean melon seeds’ – I think it has to do with the oval shape of them that resembles melon seeds? 🤷🏻‍♀️ They’re small oval clams with a patterned shell that are commonly found in the region. Any small species of clams can be used in this recipe as long as they’re fresh! I actually had a bit of a hard time finding fresh small clams for this recipe in Australia – even the local seafood shops didn’t have them. Surprisingly they were available at the Costco in Adelaide, SA however were a bit pricy at $20/kg for pipis (it was totally worth it though 😜).

Note the patterned shell and the oval shape of the hai gua zi –>

Image source: https://inf.news/en/nature/b6dd63ea2ba851d1cda05f356fb35732.html

What is a Taiwanese Beerhouse (啤酒屋)?

A Taiwanese beerhouse is a place where locals like to go afterwork to unwind, drink beer and eat hot stir-fry dishes. They’re not breweries, they’re just a place to drink and eat. If you’re a foreign visitor to Taiwan, chances are your host wouldn’t bring you to one of these beerhouses. They’re usually noisy, loud with drunk people, and no doubt lots of cigarette smoke. It’s frequented by people of lower socioeconomic classes and call girls as well as the average working man with their coworkers. It’s kind of like taking a guest to a rowdy grungy bar – it’s not for everyone, but the food is usually damn good. These beerhouses are becoming a dying culture and it’s getting harder to find them in Taiwan – possibly due to an attempt to elevate the social status of the area or maybe from the years of economic downturn and less availability of disposable income, or maybe it’s from Westernization 🤷🏻‍♀️. I remember my dad taking us out afterwork when I was a kid and getting out of the cab to see a long street of back to back beerhouses lit up with flashing neon lights (although in hindsight, beerhouses definitely aren’t the best place to bring children 😅). The last time I visited a couple years ago there were only two left on the street – the food was still just as good though!

What is beerhouse-style food?

Taiwanese beerhouses usually serve food that is made quickly over a high heat that packs a ton of flavour. These dishes are commonly very salty and/or spicy which goes great with a bowl of rice and a bottle of cold beer. Common dishes you’ll find are “three-cup” based recipes, which involve the triple threat for a lip-smacking combination: soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine. It is often sautéed with ginger, garlic, and Thai basil – the basis of classic Taiwanese beerhouse flavours. This clam recipe doesn’t diverge far from the beerhouse basics.

Thai Basil vs Italian Basil?

There are no substitutions for basil in this recipe. You MUST use Thai basil which is a lot stronger in flavour. Basil is a key component of this dish and without a good strong basil, the flavours just won’t be right. You’d have to probably at least double the amount of Italian basil to get similar results.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1kg fresh small clams (ie. Pipis)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4cm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 2-3 long Thai red chilis, sliced (remove the seeds if you want it less spicy)
  • Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsps Chinese cooking wine (ie. Shaoxing)
    • 1 Tbsp of black vinegar
    • 2 Tbsps oyster sauce
    • 3 tsps white granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 LARGE handful (~3 cups) of Thai basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil for drizzling

Directions:

*This recipe cooks QUICKLY on HIGH HEAT! Make sure all your ingredients are chopped, prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.

Rinse the clams thoroughly under running water. Optional: soak in salty water 15mins before.

Prepare the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl: cooking wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Set aside.

In a wok on HIGH heat, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the garlic, ginger, and chilli for 2-3 mins until fragrant.

Add the clams to the pot and sauté for 30 seconds then drizzle in the sauce ingredients: cooking wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, and white pepper. Mix around and let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes then put the lid on. Let the clams steam for 3-4 minutes or until they all open up. Careful not to steam them for too long or else the clams will get tough and chewy.

Once the clams have opened up, add in the basil leaves and drizzle the sesame oil over the clams. Sauté for another minute and turn off the heat. Serve! Best served over white rice.

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Style Beerhouse Clams (台式九層塔炒海瓜子)

Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: Taiwanese, Asian, easy, mains, sides
Serves: 2-4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1kg fresh small clams (ie. Pipis)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4cm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 2-3 long Thai red chilis, sliced (remove the seeds if you want it less spicy)
  • Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsps Chinese cooking wine (ie. Shaoxing)
    • 1 Tbsp of black vinegar
    • 2 Tbsps oyster sauce
    • 3 tsps white granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 LARGE handful (~3 cups) of Thai basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil for drizzling

Directions:

*This recipe cooks QUICKLY on HIGH HEAT! Make sure all your ingredients are chopped, prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.

  1. Rinse the clams thoroughly under running water. Optional: soak in salty water 15mins before.
  2. Prepare the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl: cooking wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a wok on HIGH heat, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the garlic, ginger, and chilli for 2-3 mins until fragrant.
  4. Add the clams to the pot and sauté for 30 seconds then drizzle in the sauce ingredients: cooking wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, and white pepper. Mix around and let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes then put the lid on. Let the clams steam for 3-4 minutes or until they all open up. Careful not to steam them for too long or else the clams will get tough and chewy.
  5. Once the clams have opened up, add in the basil leaves and drizzle the sesame oil over the clams. Sauté for another minute and turn off the heat. Serve! Best served over white rice.

Vegan Parmesan


Date Published: Feb 8th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 8th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: basics, easy, healthy, how-to
Serves: 1.5 cups | Prep time: 1 minute | Mix time: 30 seconds

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I’m not vegan, nor could I ever go vegan, but I do often try to cut down my intake of dairy for health reasons. The hardest part of cutting down dairy is the cheese. My idea of a perfect picnic is a giant cheese board with crackers and fruit pastes. Mmmmmm. I could eat cheese all day every day. I’m a cheese fiend!

Although I have yet to find a replacement for an ooey gooey cheese, I have found a replacement for Parmesan from Minimalist Baker. This recipe uses nutritional yeast as the source of its cheesy flavour and it’s super easy to whip up. Although it won’t melt, you can still use it anywhere you’d use Parmesan. I sprinkle it over pizza, pasta, and add it to savoury baked goods like tuna cakes.

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a strain of deactivated yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that is often used in baking, brewing, and wine-making. The yeast is grown, deactivated, dried, and packaged. It has its own nutritional benefits, but best of all it has a nutty cheesy flavour. It’s a very popular vegan product as a cheese replacement. You’ll usually find nutritional yeast in the health food section. A little goes a long way!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 180g (1.5 cups) cashews (raw or roasted/salted)
  • 6 Tbsps nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt (skip if you’re using salted cashews)

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until you get a consistency that looks like parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust salt if needed. Done! Use immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Summarized Recipe:

Vegan Parmesan

Date Published: Feb 8th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 8th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: basics, easy, healthy, how-to
Serves: 1.5 cups | Prep time: 1 minute | Mix time: 30 seconds

Ingredients:

  • 180g (1.5 cups) cashews (raw or roasted/salted)
  • 6 Tbsps nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt (skip if you’re using salted cashews)

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until you get a consistency that looks like parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust salt if needed. Done! Use immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Smoked Salmon Spread


Date Published: Dec 14th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 14th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, <15 mins, appetizers, on the go, quick, dips, snacks
Serves: 1 large bowl or 6 bagel spreads | Prep time: 10 mins | Mix time: 2 mins

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This is one of my all time favourite dips. I’m surprised it has taken me this long to write it up! A good cream cheese bagel has always been one of my weaknesses. When I did a vet student placement in New York years ago, there was a bagel cart parked outside of the American Medical Centre. Every morning I’d get an ‘everything bagel with cream cheese’ and it was always the best part of my morning because he loaded it with so much cream cheese 😛. One day I walked up to the cart and before I even spoke, he already started apologizing that he had sold out of the ‘everything bagel’. Although I was disappointed, I was more surprised that he actually remembered me and it was nice the have a bagel guy that knows my “usual”. (Don’t worry guys, I got a plain bagel instead, and it had just as much cream cheese 😜). Aaaaanyways, I digress. The point of that story is that I really fucking love bagels and cream cheese – but what’s even better? Smoked salmon and cream cheese! You’ll commonly find “lox” on the menu of a bagel shop in New York (lox and cold smoked salmon are often used interchangeably, although lox isn’t always smoked). It’s usually served on a toasted bagel with cream cheese, capers, dill, and red onion. Mmmmmmmmm. This recipe is essentially all of those ingredients blended together to make a quick and easy salmon spread.

This dip is perfect to serve as a dip at a party served with some fancy crackers, or as a quick and easy snack or breakfast spread over a warm toasted bagel.

What type of salmon?

I prefer to use cold-smoked salmon for this recipe (the fancy pieces of sliced pink heaven). I usually buy them in big packages from Costco so it’s a little cheaper and it’s also a great way to use up the remainder of the smoked salmon before it goes off. Blending it with the cream cheese and other ingredients preserves it a little longer. It also gives you a break from eating straight up smoked salmon because you bought too much from Costco because it was so cheap… You can also use smoked trout which is a little cheaper and to me, they taste very similar.

You can also used canned smoked salmon instead which will make this recipe even cheaper to make, however the canned version will have a more robust fishy taste so you’ll either have to use less of it in this recipe or increase the rest of the ingredients. It also won’t have the pretty pink colour so your dip won’t have the blush pink colour, but flavour wise is similar.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Recipe originally adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/233564/the-best-smoked-salmon-spread/

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 package (8oz/226g) cream cheese, softened
  • 150g smoked salmon (cold smoked sliced or canned*)
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tbsps fresh dill, (leaves only, no stem)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 drops hot pepper sauce (ie Tabasco) OR 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsps green onion, chopped (optional)

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy/smooth.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or best overnight before serving. Enjoy!

Serve spread on a toasted bagel or as a dip with crackers.

Notes:

  • Halve the recipe if you’re making it for yourself for breakfast. It’s a large portion and you’ll end up eating it for a week trying to finish it before it goes off. Speaking from my own experience 😜.
  • *If you’re using canned smoked salmon, the fish flavour will be more robust and you may have to use a little less of it or increase the other ingredients to adjust.

Summarized Recipe:

Smoked Salmon Spread

Date Published: Dec 14th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 14th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: easy, <15 mins, appetizers, on the go, quick, dips, snacks
Serves: 1 large bowl or 6 bagel spreads | Prep time: 10 mins | Mix time: 2 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (8oz/226g) cream cheese, softened
  • 150g smoked salmon (cold smoked sliced or canned*)
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tbsps fresh dill, (leaves only, no stem)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 drops hot pepper sauce (ie Tabasco) OR 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsps fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsps green onion, chopped (optional)

Directions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy/smooth.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or best overnight before serving. Enjoy!
    • Serve spread on a toasted bagel or as a dip with crackers.

Notes:

  • Halve the recipe if you’re making it for yourself for breakfast. It’s a large portion and you’ll end up eating it for a week trying to finish it before it goes off. Speaking from my own experience 😜.
  • *If you’re using canned smoked salmon, the fish flavour will be more robust and you may have to use a little less of it or increase the other ingredients to adjust.

So Easy Healthy Chocolate Mousse


Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: quick, easy, healthy, vegetarian, dessert, low-cal, <15mins
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 5 mins | Blend time: 1 min

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Get ready for a quick, easy, healthy, vegan, sugar-free, low-carb chocolate mousse! Sounds too good to be true, right? I promise it’s worth a try. Chocolate mousse is one of Toby’s all-time favourite desserts and although this isn’t quite as good as his favourite version, it still got his official stamp of approval for being pretty damn good especially since it’s a healthy alternative! He can gorge on this guilt-free and better yet, it’s SO easy to make.

This mousse isn’t as fluffy and light as a traditional chocolate mousse but it’s still packed with chocolatey flavour and just as creamy because it uses avocados as the main ingredient. You can eat this on its own with some diced strawberries or alternatively choose to use it as a frosting on a cake or as a stuffing in a pastry.

What makes this recipe so amazing?

Quick and easy – Just blend all the ingredients together. It comes together in 15 minutes, perfect for a quick snack or last minute dessert plans.

Vegan – No dairy products are used. Avocados are the main ingredient that gives this mousse its creamy velvety texture.

Sugar-free – Medjool dates are the best kept secret to replacing sugars in a recipe without adding any extra flavour! You can alternatively use honey or maple syrup if you don’t have any dates on hand.

Low-carb – Compared to a regular chocolate mousse, the only ‘carb-y’ ingredient in this recipe are the dates. No extra added sugars

Healthy – avocados, dates, and soy milk make up the bulk of this recipe!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 24 pitted dried Medjool dates
  • 4 ripe hass avocados, pitted with the flesh scooped out (~500g of flesh)
  • 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup soy milk (or any milk alternative)

Directions:

Soak the dates in hot water for 10 mins until soft (this will help the dates blend easier).

Drain the dates and blend the rest of the ingredients (avocados, cocoa powders, salt, vanilla, soy milk) together until you get a smooth mousse texture. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Add more soy milk if too thick, or more soaked dates if not sweet enough. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

So Easy Healthy Chocolate Mousse

Date Published: Oct 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Oct 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: quick, easy, healthy, vegetarian, dessert, low-cal, <15mins
Serves: 4-6 | Prep time: 5 mins | Blend time: 1 min

Ingredients:

  • 24 pitted medjool dates
  • 4 ripe hass avocados, pitted with the flesh scooped out (~480g of flesh)
  • 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup dutch cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup soy milk (or more to your liking)

Directions:

  1. Soak the dates in hot water for 10 mins until soft (this will help the dates blend easier).
  2. Drain the dates and blend the rest of the ingredients (avocados, cocoa powders, salt, vanilla, soy milk) together until you get a smooth mousse texture. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Add more soy milk if too thick, or more soaked dates if not sweet enough. Serve!

Roasted Red Pepper Zucchini Fritters


Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, snacks, easy, healthy, < 15mins, appetizers, low cal, vegetarian
Serves: 8 large fritters | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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This past weekend Toby and I discovered a discount produce market only 10 mins near our new place in Western Australia. The market is held every Saturday at a large produce distribution centre and at the end of every week they sell BOXES of leftover produce that didn’t get sold to the shops for CHEAP. We got an entire box of zucchinis (that’s ~40 zucchinis!) for only $5. We also got a box of 45 red bell peppers (known as capsicums in Oz) for only $10. The deals were insaneeeeee. Toby and I love a good market and even better yet we LOVE a good deal. So now we have a shit ton of zucchini and capsicums that we have to use up – we just can’t pass a good deal. For the past week I’ve been researching and experimenting with different zucchini and capsicum recipes. I decided to roast most of the capsicums so they keep longer and its just so versatile to use in sauces, spreads, topping in salads, marinades…etc. With the zucchinis I’ve made a few soups that have turned out pretty well and of course this fritters recipe has definitely been a winner. I’m sharing this recipe as the first of many capsicum/zucchini recipes that is to come. We’ve made these twice now and they’ve turned out great each time. They’re so easy to make, packed full of vegetables, healthy, and quick to make.

Only $15 for the lot!!

This recipe makes 8 large patties. You can eat these on their own, in a burger, or served with a dipping sauce. Our favourite is to have it with a side of garlic aioli. You can even form them smaller and serve it as an appetizer or a snack. They store pretty well in the freezer as long as you cook them first. To keep it healthy, we’ve air-fried them (which was actually a bit of a pain to do them in batches because we only have a small air-frier 😅), but you can also shallow-fry them for optimal crunch, or bake them.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 5 cups (~3 medium) zucchini, grated* (see note)
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced small (you can buy them in jars to roast them yourself)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 4 large eggs, beaten

*Grate the zucchini with a food processor if you have one so the zucchini retains its moisture. If you grate it by hand, the zucchini becomes watery and your batter will be more wet. If you don’t have a food processor and only have a box grater, then add a couple tablespoons of flour to your batter until you get a consistency thick enough to form into patties.

Directions:

  1. Combine everything except for the eggs in a large bowl and mix well: zucchini, roasted red peppers, red onion, panko, parmesan, salt, and white pepper.

2. Once everything is combined, add in the beaten eggs and form the batter into 8 evenly-sized patties. (If your batter is a little wet, add in a few tablespoons of flour to thicken it up.)

3. Air-fry at 180˚C for 10-15mins until crispy on the outside. Alternatively you can fry them with some oil in a shallow pan until crispy or bake them at 200˚C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

Serve on its own or with a dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Roasted Red Pepper Zucchini Fritters

Date Published: Sept 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: Sept 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, sides, snacks, easy, healthy, < 15mins, appetizers, low cal, vegetarian
Serves: 8 large fritters | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups (~3 medium) zucchini, grated* (see note)
  • 3 roasted red peppers, diced small (you can buy them in jars to roast them yourself)
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cups panko
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 4 large eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. (Preheat the oven to 200˚C if you’re going to be baking them.)
  2. Combine everything except for the eggs in a large bowl and mix well: zucchini, roasted red peppers, red onion, panko, parmesan, salt, and white pepper.
  3. Once everything is combined, add in the beaten eggs and form the batter into 8 evenly-sized patties. (If your batter is a little wet, add in a few tablespoons of flour to thicken it up.)
  4. 3. Air-fry at 180˚C for 10-15mins until crispy on the outside. Alternatively you can fry them with some oil in a shallow pan until crispy or bake them at 200˚C for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Serve on its own or with a dipping sauce. Enjoy!

Chicken Shawarma


Date Published: Aug 23rd, 2021 | Last Updated: Aug 23rd, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, healthy, quick and easy, low cal
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Jump to recipe |

Get ready for a SUPER easy and SUPER flavourful chicken shawarma. This is one of our favourite go-to easy and healthy meals during the work week that is not only ridiculously easy, but also packs so much flavour. The recipe for the spice mix is originally from RecipeTinEats.

Easy, Healthy and Damn Delicious

The chicken and its flavourful spices are the star of the dish and its so quick to prepare. Marinade the chicken the night before – although there are lots of spices involved, it takes less than 5 minutes to throw it all together in a container and mix it around. Use a garlic crusher to make it even easier. When you get home after work the next day, all you have to do is grill it!

Healthy? There are so many ways you can serve this, but my favourite is over a bed of salad. If I’m feeling lazy or stressed for time, I’ll just buy a bag of pre-washed mixed salad leaves from Woolies or Coles and throw in a few cherry tomatoes and place the sliced chicken overtop served with a dollop of greek yoghurt. It seems basic, but the loud flavours of the chicken will make this plate of food sing – you don’t even need a dressing on top, the yoghurt will be enough to bring it all together. If you’ve got some leftover hummus or tabbouleh in the fridge, chuck it in to bulk it up further.

Toby was too impatient to wait for me to take a photo 😅

What is Shawarma?

Shawarma is a popular middle eastern dish classically served as a wrap made up of veggies, meat, and a sauce. The meat is marinaded in a unique blend of spices that smells incredible as it cooks. You’ll often see the meat stacked on a rotating spit and carved intermittently throughout the day as the outside layer cooks. The meat choices are usually either chicken or lamb – I always go for a mix of both, topped with a generous amount of garlic sauce and yoghurt.

In Australia there are kebab shops everywhere and the doner kebab that is served in these shops are very similar to a shawarma, if not the same. I tried to google the differences between a shawarma and a doner kebab and the main difference seems to be the country of origin but otherwise made very similarly.

How to Serve Chicken Shawarma?

There are many ways you can serve a chicken shawarma. Of course, the classic is to wrap it up in a flat bread with some veggies and a garlic sauce or greek yoghurt with hummus. I prefer to serve mine over a bed of veggies to make it an open plate shawarma salad. I’ve tried it with a few combinations and they’ve all been delicious so feel free to mix it up to what you prefer! If you’re serving this at a party, you can make it a DIY table with multiple toppings for everyone to make it themselves. Here are a few combinations we’ve had:

  • Wrapped in flat bread with lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red peppers, greek yoghurt and hummus (classic)
  • Over a bed of kale and roast pumpkin with greek yoghurt
  • Over a bed of lettuce, tabbouleh, and greek yoghurt

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, butterflied or 1kg chicken thighs (I estimate roughly half a breast per serve)
  • Spice Blend Marinade:
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced
    • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
    • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
    • 1 Tbsp ground cardamon
    • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
    • 2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 2 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsps lemon juice
    • 3 Tbsps olive oil
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Diced pumpkin (optional)
  • Salad greens to your preference (see above for some ideas on how to serve this)

Directions:

Butterfly the chicken breasts (see tutorial) and pound them down until they’re an even thickness. Skip this step if using chicken thighs.

Combine all the ingredients of the spice blend in a bowl (or into the container you’re going to marinade the chicken in to save washing). Add the chicken to the marinade and rub it around the chicken ensuring you’re covering every part of the chicken. Let the chicken marinade in the fridge overnight.

Cook the chicken on a grill or skillet on MED heat 4-5 minutes per side until it’s lightly charred on the outside. Remove from heat and rest on a chopping board for a few minutes before slicing. Once rested, slice the chicken into strips and serve to your preference (see above for some ideas on how to serve it). Add a dollop of Greek yoghurt to the plate or drizzled over the warm chicken. Enjoy!

Optional step: If you’ve got leftover marinade in the container after removing the chicken breasts, toss some diced pumpkin into the container and roast it in the oven or air-fryer at 180˚C for 10-15 mins until cooked through then serve it with the chicken.

Summarized Recipe:

Chicken Shawarma

Date Published: Aug 23rd, 2021 | Last Updated: Aug 23rd, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, healthy, quick and easy, low cal
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, butterflied or 1kg chicken thighs
  • Spice Blend Marinade:
    • 1 large garlic clove, minced
    • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
    • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
    • 1 Tbsp ground cardamon
    • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
    • 2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 2 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
    • 2 Tbsps lemon juice
    • 3 Tbsps olive oil
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Diced pumpkin (optional)
  • Salad greens to your preference (see above for some ideas on how to serve this)

Directions:

  1. Butterfly the chicken breasts (see tutorial) and pound them down until they’re an even thickness. Skip this step if using chicken thighs.
  2. Combine all the ingredients of the spice blend in a bowl (or into the container you’re going to marinade the chicken in to save washing). Add the chicken to the marinade and rub it around the chicken ensuring you’re covering every part of the chicken. Let the chicken marinade in the fridge overnight.
  3. Cook the chicken on a grill or skillet on MED heat 4-5 minutes per side until it’s lightly charred on the outside. Remove from heat and rest on a chopping board for a few minutes before slicing. Once rested, slice the chicken into strips and serve to your preference (see above for some ideas on how to serve it). Add a dollop of Greek yoghurt to the plate or drizzled over the warm chicken. Enjoy!
  4. Optional step: If you’ve got leftover marinade in the container after removing the chicken breasts, toss some diced pumpkin into the container and roast it in the oven or air-fryer at 180˚C for 10-15 mins until cooked through then serve it with the chicken.

Corn Egg Drop Soup (玉米蛋花湯)


Date Published: June 28th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 28th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, soup, healthy, vegetarian, easy, <15mins, appetizers, low calorie
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Jump to recipe |

Egg drop soup is a Chinese dish commonly served in restaurants as an appetizer or a side with your meal. The Chinese name translates to “egg flower soup” because the way the egg disseminates in the soup makes beautiful swirls that resemble a floral pattern. The english name relates to the fact that the egg is “dropped” into the soup at the end to make the swirls – a little less poetic, eh?

The most basic version of the soup is just the swirly egg and broth. You’ll probably see this version most often in Asia because it’s a quick and cheap addition to a meal. Another common version (and my favourite) has added corn for extra crunch and sweetness. Some places will bulk it up with chopped ham, tofu or even chicken to make it a full meal.

This soup is so ridiculously quick and easy – all you need are a few basic ingredients and 15 minutes to whip this up. It’s also super cheap and satisfying if you’re cooking on a budget. The egg-laced chicken broth based soup with the fresh sweet crunch of the corn makes this one of my favourite classic Asian soups!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper (or more to your liking)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 can (420g) of corn kernels, drained (or kernels cut off of 2 husks of corn)
  • 4 Tbsps cornstarch
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 spring onions, chopped for garnish

Add-ins to consider: ham, chicken, tofu

Directions:

In a pot on MED heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer then add in sesame oil, white pepper, sugar and corn. Let it come to a simmer again, then taste the soup and adjust seasonings as needed, salt & pepper to taste.

Take out a few ladles of soup into a bowl and add in the cornstarch. Mix it around until smooth then drizzle it into the soup while stirring continuously (if you don’t stir, the corn starch will clump together). Feel free to add more cornstarch if you prefer a thicker consistency (remember to mix it with soup first in a small bowl, never add cornstarch directly into the soup or else it will clump).

Once the taste and consistency of the soup is to your liking, turn off the heat.

Scramble the eggs in a separate bowl, then slowly add it to the soup while stirring. The faster you stir, the more disseminated the eggs will be. The slower you stir the soup, the bigger egg pieces you’ll get.

Serve garnished with spring onions on top. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Corn Egg Drop Soup (玉米蛋花湯)

Date Published: June 28th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 28th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, soup, healthy, vegetarian, easy, <15mins, appetizers, low calorie
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/8 tsp ground white pepper (or more to your liking)
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 can (420g) of corn kernels, drained (or kernels cut off of 2 husks of corn)
  • 4 Tbsps cornstarch
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 spring onions, chopped for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a pot on MED heat, bring the chicken broth to a simmer then add in sesame oil, white pepper, sugar and corn. Let it come to a simmer again, then taste the soup and adjust seasonings as needed, salt & pepper to taste.
  2. Take out a few ladles of soup into a bowl and add in the cornstarch. Mix it around until smooth then drizzle it into the soup while stirring continuously (if you don’t stir, the corn starch will clump together). Feel free to add more cornstarch if you prefer a thicker consistency (remember to mix it with soup first in a small bowl, never add cornstarch directly into the soup or else it will clump).
  3. Once the taste and consistency of the soup is to your liking, turn off the heat. Scramble the eggs in a separate bowl, then slowly add it to the soup while stirring. The faster you stir, the more disseminated the eggs will be. The slower you stir the soup, the bigger egg pieces you’ll get.
  4. Serve garnished with spring onions on top. Enjoy!

Malaysian Satay Sauce


Date Published: June 28th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 28th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, sauces, <15mins, quick and easy
Serves: ~1.5 cups | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 7 mins

Jump to recipe |

This recipe is from Sarah Tiong, one of my favourite contestants on Masterchef Australia. I’d strongly recommend everyone to check out her cookbook which is full of amazing flavourful Southeast Asian dishes.

What is Satay?

Satay is a very popular dish in Southeast Asia (especially Malaysia and Indonesia) made of skewered meat marinated and grilled in a savoury peanut sauce. The flavourful sauce is what makes the dish and there are so many variations of it. In its essence, the sauce base is made of ground roasted peanuts and the mix of different spices and aromatics are what takes it to the next level.

This recipe uses curry powder and tamarind paste for its robust flavour. It’s quick any easy to make, with minimal ingredients. You can use this as a marinade or dipping sauce for whatever you like. I’ve even tossed this sauce with some roasted cauliflower for a quick savoury side dish!

If you’re a fan of satay, check out my other satay recipe that uses red chilli paste and coconut milk: Red Curry Satay Sauce.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 cup (150 g) roasted salted peanuts, finely ground or blended
  • 1 Tbsp (9 g) curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp (15 g) tamarind paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (14 g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water (or more if you want a runnier sauce)

Directions:

Heat a dry small skillet or saucepan over LOW heat.

Add the ground peanuts and curry powder to the pan and stir together for 1 minute until fragrant. Mix in the tamarind paste, brown sugar and water and let it simmer for 5 mins or until it reduces to a thick sauce. If you prefer a runnier sauce, add more water. Done!

Summarized Recipe:

Malaysian Satay Sauce

Date Published: June 28th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 28th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, sauces, <15mins, quick and easy
Serves: ~1.5 cups | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 7 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (150 g) roasted salted peanuts, finely ground or blended
  • 1 Tbsp (9 g) curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp (15 g) tamarind paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp (14 g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water (or more if you want a runnier sauce)

Directions:

  1. Heat a dry small skillet or saucepan over LOW heat.
  2. Add the ground peanuts and curry powder to the pan and stir together for 1 minute until fragrant. Mix in the tamarind paste, brown sugar and water and let it simmer for 5 mins or until it reduces to a thick sauce. If you prefer a runnier sauce, add more water. Done!

Red Curry Satay Sauce


Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces, dips, Asian
Serves: roughly 1 cup | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Jump to recipe |

There are few things in the world better than a good creamy peanut satay sauce and when you pair it with coconut milk and red curry paste? Ohhhh boy. Get your tastebuds ready for a flavour explosion! This recipe uses the homemade red curry chilli paste recipe for a bold and fresh flavour. Depending on how much you make your curry paste, this satay sauce can add a kick! Use the leftovers mixed with cold noodles for a quick lunch or save it for a dip with spring rolls or prawn toast. You’re only 5 minutes away from making this delicious red curry satay sauce!

Recipe adapted from Recipe Tin Eats.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 330ml coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) water
  • 2 Tbsps homemade red curry paste 
  • 3/4 cup (180g) peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tsps white sugar
  • 2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsps dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsps fish sauce
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

In a saucepan on LOW-MED heat, add in all of the ingredients and stir. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes for the flavours to infuse. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Done! Easy, huh?

If the sauce is too thick for you, add in a little bit of water until you reach your desired consistency.

Summarized Recipe:

Red Curry Satay Sauce

Date Published: August 27th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 27th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces, dips, Asian
Serves: roughly 1 cup | Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 5 mins

Ingredients:

  • 330ml coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) water
  • 2 Tbsps homemade red curry paste 
  • 3/4 cup (180g) peanut butter, smooth or crunchy
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tsps white sugar
  • 2 Tbsps apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsps dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsps fish sauce
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan on LOW-MED heat, add in all of the ingredients and stir. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes for the flavours to infuse. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. Done!
  • Note: If the sauce is too thick for you, add in a little bit of water until you reach your desired consistency.