Simple One Pot Chicken Noodle Soup


Date Published: June 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, easy, mains, healthy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

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I LOVE chicken noodle soup. It’s so delicious and warms you right up on a cold day. Growing up in an Asian household, I never heard of chicken noodle soup until we moved to Canada and I would always see it on tv or referred to by someone as something that everyone would eat when they’re sick. Of course my mom had no idea what it was so I never got to have it until one day I saw it at the grocery store in a Campbell’s soup can and got my mom to buy it for me. I instantly fell in love with it – it actually reminds me of my mom’s Asian chicken soup but without the rice, shiitake mushrooms and different vegetables. I never knew how easy it would be to make until I came across a recipe on AllRecipes.

This recipe is easy and warming. The best part is, it’s also low in calories! I always end up eating half the pot every time I make this soup because it’s so damn good. You can choose any time of pasta noodles you like, but I prefer the classic spirals. You can also use leftover shredded roast chicken for this soup instead of chicken breast.

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 Tbsps olive oil (or butter)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • Half a bunch (4-5 stalks) of celery, diced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 pinch of dried thyme
  • 8 cups (2L) chicken or vegetable broth (try a low sodium one)*
  • 1 chicken breast, diced
  • 1.5 cups of uncooked pasta noodles (whichever kind you like)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil (or butter) in a pot over MED heat until fragrant (~30 seconds). Then add the carrots, celery, and mushrooms (if using). Cook until the vegetables are tender and easy to break with a spoon. You can put a lid on to quicken this cooking time.

Add the oregano, basil, thyme and chicken/vegetable broth. Bring it to a boil, then simmer on low heat for at least 20 mins to let the flavours infuse.

Add diced chicken and noodles to the pot. Continue to simmer until the noodles and chicken are cooked. Turn off the heat, salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Simple One Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Date Published: June 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, easy, mains, healthy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 20 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps olive oil (or butter)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • Half a bunch (4-5 stalks) of celery, diced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, diced (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 pinch of dried thyme
  • 8 cups (2L) chicken or vegetable broth (try a low sodium one)*
  • 1 chicken breast, diced
  • 1.5 cups of uncooked pasta noodles (whichever kind you like)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil (or butter) in a pot over MED heat until fragrant (~30 seconds). Then add the carrots, celery, and mushrooms (if using). Cook until the vegetables are tender and easy to break with a spoon. You can put a lid on to quicken this cooking time.
  2. Add the oregano, basil, thyme and chicken/vegetable broth. Bring it to a boil, then simmer on low heat for at least 20 mins to let the flavours infuse.
  3. Add diced chicken and noodles to the pot. Continue to simmer until the noodles and chicken are cooked. Turn off the heat, salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

Okonomiyaki


Date Published: June 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, easy, healthy, low calorie, mains, vegetarian, sides, appetizer
Serves: 4-6 large pancakes | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins per pancake

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I LOVE okonomiyaki. I can’t remember when I had my first one, but my latest trip to Japan a few years ago reignited my love for them. They’re widely available in Japan but my favourite one was in Osaka at a little hidden place called Dan recommended by our Airbnb host. There are many variations of okonomiyaki around different regions of Japan but the basic recipe is typically similar.

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savoury pancake made of mainly shredded cabbage and a flour batter then topped with a variety of sauces and toppings such as kewpie mayo, okonomiyaki sauce, and bonito flakes. The pancake is cooked on a flat top and covered with a lid to steam and soften the cabbage. The result is a beautiful golden brown pancake with a slightly crunchy texture. It’s filling and satisfying as a main dish or quick snack.

You can experiment and add different toppings into your batter such as corn, ham, shrimp…etc. Just be careful not to add too many toppings and change the texture of your pancake.

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:

Okonomiyaki flour, bonito flakes and seaweed flakes/seasoning
  • 200g okonomiyaki flour
  • 300ml water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 10 cups cabbage (~1 small cabbage), sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Toppings:
    • Okonomiyaki sauce
    • Kewpie mayo
    • Seaweed flakes
    • Bonito flakes

Directions:

In a large bowl mix the okonomiyaki flour with water until you get a smooth paste. Then add in beaten eggs, cabbage and onion. Mix until everything is combined.

(See photo above for the consistency of what your batter should be. There should be enough batter mixture to cover all the cabbage pieces. It may differ depending on how thin you sliced your cabbage. Add more batter mixture if it doesn’t look like there’s enough.)

Heat a flat pan/skillet on MED and add a drizzle of oil. Ladle your batter onto the heated pan to size of your liking. You want it roughly 2.5cm thick. Flatten slightly with your spatula and push in the sides so you have a circle. Cook for 5 mins on each side covered with a lid. It should be golden brown on both sides.

Serve drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce, kewpie mayo, and a sprinkling of bonito flakes and seaweed. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Okonomiyaki

Date Published: June 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: June 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, easy, healthy, low calorie, mains, vegetarian, sides, appetizer
Serves: 4-6 large pancakes | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins per pancake

Ingredients:

  • 200g okonomiyaki flour
  • 300ml water
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 10 cups cabbage (~1 small cabbage), sliced thinly
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Toppings:
    • Okonomiyaki sauce
    • Kewpie mayo
    • Seaweed flakes
    • Bonito flakes

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix the okonomiyaki flour with water until you get a smooth paste. Then add in beaten eggs, cabbage and onion. Mix until everything is combined. (See photo above on what your batter should look like.)
  2. Heat a flat pan/skillet on MED and add a drizzle of oil. Ladle your batter onto the heated pan to size of your liking. You want it roughly 2.5cm thick. Flatten slightly with your spatula and push in the sides so you have a circle. Cook for 5 mins on each side covered with a lid. It should be golden brown on both sides.
  3. Serve drizzled with okonomiyaki sauce, kewpie mayo, and a sprinkling of bonito flakes and seaweed. Enjoy!

Roasted Spiced Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Dressing


Date Published: May 15th, 2021 | Last Updated: May 15th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: salad, sides, healthy, low calorie, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

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In an attempt to eat healthier, Toby and I have been cutting dairy out of our diets and as much saturated fats as possible. We’ve been on this new diet for about 3 weeks and I must say it has been much easier than expected, however the temptations in our new clinic have been a challenge. This new clinic is the most well-stocked clinic we’ve ever been to in terms of food. There are snacks and junk food in pretty much every drawer and cupboard in the lunch room and even a chocolates/Tim Tams drawer in the fridge! There have also been 2 catered meetings and one was KFC and the other was pizza 😭. Although eating healthy isn’t hard, but the temptations everywhere have been quite the challenge. Happy to report we’re still staying strong though!

One of the key things to eating healthy or staying on track is to plan your meals ahead of time. It’s so easy to just grab fast food on the way home or open up a bag of chips at the end of a busy work day when you’re too lazy to cook, but if your meals are planned ahead of time and you already have your groceries done, it’s easier to stay focused. It also gives you an extra push to use up the veg in your fridge to make sure it doesn’t goes off 😜. I’ve been researching lots of recipes that are low in saturated fats and calories and so far this is one of my favourite side dishes and it’s so easy to make. The original recipe is from BudgetBytes with a few adaptations.

This mediterranean-inspired dish is made of delicious roasted cauliflower in a blend of spices with chickpeas, red onions, and fresh parsley, drizzled with a tangy garlicky lemon tahini dressing. To make this a full meal, toss it over a bed of kale. This dish is packed with flavour and the fibre and will keep you full all day.

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 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 can (420g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (skip if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 3 Tbsps + 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Half bunch (~5 cups) curly leaf kale (optional – for a full salad)
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • Lemon Tahini Dressing:
    • 1/3 cup tahini
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 Tbsp sugar (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F).

Roast the cauliflower: In a large bowl combine: paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, pinch of salt and pepper, and 3 Tbsps of olive oil (or more if it seems a little dry). Add in cauliflower, red onion, and chickpeas and mix everything around and spread it onto a lined baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked and browned on the edges.

(Tip: You can also put this through an air fryer for about 10-15mins, just remove the chickpeas first and put it in the air fryer in the last 5 mins, otherwise when the chickpeas cook too much they start to pop!).

Optional: Prepare the kale: While the cauliflower roasts, prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the tough stems. Wash and dry the leaves in a salad spinner and discard the stems. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the leaves and massage the kale with both hands until the leaves are soft and turn a darker shade of green (1-2 mins). Set aside.

Make the dressing: Add all the ingredients of the dressing together in a bowl and mix until combined and smooth: tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, salt and sugar.

Assemble the salad: Once the cauliflower finishes, add it to the prepared kale along with chopped parsley and drizzle the tahini dressing over top to finish. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Roasted Spiced Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Date Published: May 15th, 2021 | Last Updated: May 15th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: salad, sides, healthy, low calorie, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 can (420g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 Tbsps + 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Half bunch (~5 cups) curly leaf kale (optional – for a full salad)
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • Lemon Tahini Dressing:
    • 1/3 cup tahini
    • 1/3 cup water
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
    • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 Tbsp sugar (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F).
  2. Roast the cauliflower: In a large bowl combine: paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, pinch of salt and pepper, and 3 Tbsps of olive oil (or more if it seems a little dry). Add in cauliflower, red onion, and chickpeas and mix everything around and spread it onto a lined baking tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked and browned on the edges.
    • (Tip: You can also put this through an air fryer for about 10-15mins, just remove the chickpeas first and put it in the air fryer in the last 5 mins, otherwise when the chickpeas cook too much they start to pop!).
  3. Optional: Prepare the kale: While the cauliflower roasts, prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the tough stems. Wash and dry the leaves in a salad spinner and discard the stems. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the leaves and massage the kale with both hands until the leaves are soft and turn a darker shade of green (1-2 mins). Set aside.
  4. Make the dressing: Add all the ingredients of the dressing together in a bowl and mix until combined and smooth: tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, salt and sugar.
  5. Assemble the salad: Once the cauliflower finishes, add it to the prepared kale along with chopped parsley and drizzle the tahini dressing over top to finish. Enjoy!

Spicy Basil Chicken Stir-Fry


Date Published: March 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, quick & easy, healthy, low calorie, <30 mins
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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Get ready for a quick and easy, healthy, low-calorie, and flavourful stir-fry! Sounds too good to be true? It isn’t! The great thing about this recipe is that it’s super versatile – you can add just about any veggies you want to this dish, perfect for clearing out the fridge at the end of the week. The flavourful sauce is just oyster sauce but when cooked in all the released juices of the chicken and the liquid from the veggies, it becomes damn delicious and magical. Serve over a warm bed of rice or toss in some noodles.

You can easily change the amount of spiciness of this dish. This recipe is suited for a mild to moderate amount of spice, but feel free to kick it up a notch by adding more chilis or use a spicier type of chilli instead. A good chilli oil would do well in this dish too.

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 Tbsps olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 long red chillis, sliced and deseeded (feel free to use a stronger chilli if you prefer it spicier)
  • 1 medium onion, diced to 2cm squares
  • 6 chicken thighs (~600g), deboned and skinless
  • 1.5 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • 300g (3 cups) white button mushrooms
  • 1 can of baby corn (fresh is fine as well)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 handful (~2 cups) of fresh basil leaves

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large pan/wok on MED-HIGH heat and sauté the garlic, chilli, and diced onion for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.

Add in the chicken, sugar, and black pepper, and continue cooking until the outside of the chicken turns white (don’t cook through the chicken completely, just the outside).

Add the mushrooms, baby corn, carrots, and oyster sauce to the pan and cook until the chicken is done. (The veg should be done at the same time as the chicken.)

At this stage, your sauce should be runny/watery. Take out a few spoonfuls of the sauce into a small bowl and mix in the cornstarch until well combined. Add the cornstarch mixture back into the pan and mix everything around for a couple minutes. Your sauce should now be thicker.

Feel free to add more cornstarch mixture if you prefer your sauce thicker – just don’t go crazy or else your dish might be goopy.

DO NOT add cornstarch directly to the pan or else it will form clumps. You must dissolve it in a separate bowl first!

Once the sauce is the right consistency, turn off the heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Spicy Basil Chicken Stir-Fry

Date Published: March 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, quick & easy, healthy, low calorie, <30 mins
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 long red chilli, sliced and deseeded
  • 1 medium onion, diced to 2cm squares
  • 6 chicken thighs (~600g), deboned and skinless
  • 1.5 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup oyster sauce
  • 300g (3 cups) white button mushrooms
  • 1 can of baby corn (fresh is fine as well)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsps cornstarch
  • 1 handful (~2 cups) of fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan/wok on MED-HIGH heat and sauté the garlic, chilli, and diced onion for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
  2. Add in the chicken, sugar, and black pepper, and continue cooking until the outside of the chicken turns white (don’t cook through the chicken completely, just the outside).
  3. Add the mushrooms, baby corn, carrots, and oyster sauce to the pan and cook until the chicken is done. (The veg should be done at the same time as the chicken.)
  4. At this stage, your sauce should be runny/watery. Take out a few spoonfuls of the sauce into a small bowl and mix in the cornstarch until well combined. Add the cornstarch mixture back into the pan and mix everything around for a couple minutes. Your sauce should now be thicker.
    • Feel free to add more cornstarch mixture if you prefer your sauce thicker – just don’t go crazy or else your dish might be goopy.
    • DO NOT add cornstarch directly to the pan or else it will form clumps. You must dissolve it in a separate bowl first!
  5. Once the sauce is the right consistency, turn off the heat and stir in the fresh basil leaves. Serve over rice. Enjoy!

Favourite Roasted Pumpkin Spinach Soup


Date Published: March 22nd, 2021 | Last Updated: March 22nd, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, vegetarian, easy, quick, healthy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

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Of all the soups I make, this is probably one of the top go-to soups that Toby and I put together the most often. Why? Because it’s damn delicious, damn easy, healthy, low calorie and and filling. It even makes for an easy clean up. Sounds too good to be true, eh? The best part is that you don’t need to follow this recipe to a tee. You can add whatever veg you like to the roasting pan – which is a perfect way to sneak in extra veg for picky eaters or an even better way to clear out the fridge. All you gotta do to make this delicious soup is to roast the veggies, add some chicken stock, and blend it all up. That’s all! No cream, no butter, just a buttload of veg that keeps you full. If you ever follow the NY Times Cooking Blog, they occasionally post “no recipe recipes” which I think is a term that perfectly describes this type of recipe.

I’ve written the recipe as a guide to the basic version of the soup but feel free to swap out or add in any of the ingredients – the combinations of this soup are endless. I’ve made it with cauliflower, red pepper, zucchini…etc. If you want to bulk up this soup even more, you can add in rice and chicken as well. To make it indulgent, add a cup of cream at the end.

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 (~6 cups) pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups (3 large stalks) celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters or eighths
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1.5 tsps paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 4 cups loosely packed (120g) baby spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180˚C (375˚F).

Roast the veggies: In a large baking tray, add in: pumpkin, celery, onion, garlic, paprika, salt, and olive oil. Mix it all around and roast in the preheated oven until all the veggies are soft and breaks apart easily when cut with a wooden spoon (30-45 mins). Toss the veggies around halfway through to ensure even cooking.

Once the veggies are cooked, empty the contents of the baking tray into a pot and add in the chicken stock. Turn the heat on to MED-HIGH and let the soup come to a boil. Once the soup comes to a boil, turn the heat OFF and remove the pot from the heat*. Then use an immersion/stick blender and blend the soup until smooth.

*It’s very important that you remove the pot from heat before you start blending otherwise when the thickened soup starts boiling again it starts to splatter everywhere!

Add in the spinach and submerge it into the soup until the leaves become soft, then blend the soup again until everything is combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot!

(Tip: If you’re feeling indulgent you can add 1 cup of heavy cream at the end. I always leave out the cream to make it a healthy soup.)

Summarized Recipe:

Favourite Roasted Pumpkin Spinach Soup

Date Published: March 22nd, 2021 | Last Updated: March 22nd, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, vegetarian, easy, quick, healthy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1kg (~6 cups) pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 3 cups (3 large stalks) celery, diced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into quarters or eighths
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1.5 tsps paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
  • 4 cups loosely packed (120g) baby spinach leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C (375˚F).
  2. Roast the veggies: In a large baking tray, add in: pumpkin, celery, onion, garlic, paprika, salt, and olive oil. Mix it all around and roast in the preheated oven until all the veggies are soft and breaks apart easily when cut with a wooden spoon (30-45 mins). Toss the veggies around halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  3. Once the veggies are cooked, empty the contents of the baking tray into a pot and add in the chicken stock. Turn the heat on to MED-HIGH and let the soup come to a boil. Once the soup comes to a boil, turn the heat OFF and remove the pot from the heat*. Then use an immersion/stick blender and blend the soup until smooth.
    • *It’s very important that you remove the pot from heat before you start blending otherwise when the thickened soup starts boiling again it starts to splatter everywhere!
  4. Add in the spinach and submerge it into the soup until the leaves become soft, then blend the soup again until everything is combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot!

(Tip: If you’re feeling indulgent you can add 1 cup of heavy cream at the end. I always leave out the cream to make it a healthy soup.)

Warm Pumpkin Kale Pesto Bowl


Date Published: March 20th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 20th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: salads, easy, mains, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

Jump to recipe |

Last weekend Toby’s parents came to visit us in Grafton, NSW and we took them for brunch at a local café called Heart & Soul, recommended by one of our nurses. Like many restaurants in the COVID-age, their menu was digital and after scrolling through a few options, this caught my eye: “Breaky Bruschetta Stack – Organic sourdough bread with sautéed mushrooms, tomato, kale, pumpkin, danish feta & H&S pesto. Can be made vegan & is also a great lunch option $17.90″. Usually when we eat out, I tend to get something hearty, meaty, and not at all healthy, but I wasn’t particularly hungry that morning so I decided to get something a little lighter from their limited menu. I wasn’t expecting too much since the ingredients seemed pretty basic but I was happily surprised! In a small town of pubs and cheap takeaway food, I was impressed by the wholesome food and myriad of hearty flavours that came through in this dish that not only made it super filling but it was damn delicious. If you’re ever in Grafton, NSW I’d recommend heading to this café.

True to my nature, of course I had to try and recreate the dish when I got home. This recipe is the result of my attempt at recreating the dish and I must say I’m pretty damn close. Even Toby, who’s not usually a fan of kale, enjoyed it! The feta and pesto flavours dominate this dish but are contrasted well by the sweetness of the warm roasted pumpkin and the juiciness of the sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes on a bed of soft massage kale. This hearty healthy dish is satisfying, filling, and a snap to put together. Serve it warmed or cooled.

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:

  • 500g (~3 cups) pumpkin, diced into 2cm cubes
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 bunch (~5 cups packed) curly leaf kale
  • 200g brown or white button mushrooms, cut into halves or quarters
  • Pinch of fresh or dried thyme
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced into 2cm cubes
  • 150-200g soft Danish Feta (Greek Feta is okay too but will have a stronger taste and you may want to use less of it)
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (for garnish)
  • 2 poached eggs (optional)
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread or rye (optional)

Directions:

Roast the pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 180˚C (375˚F). In a bowl, mix together the diced pumpkin with a drizzle of olive oil, 1/4 tsp of paprika, and a pinch of salt. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 mins until golden. Set aside.

You can roast it in an air fryer as well to save some time.

Prepare the kale: While the pumpkin is roasting, prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the tough stems. Discard the stems. Wash and dry the leaves in a salad spinner. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the leaves and massage the kale with both hands until the leaves are soft and turn a darker shade of green (1-2 mins). Set aside.

Note: Massaging the kale well is KEY to this dish! Massaging it softens the kale and makes the flavour more subtle.

Poach 2 eggs (optional). Set aside.

In a skillet on MED-HIGH heat, add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and sauté the mushrooms with a pinch of thyme until golden brown. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and add the diced tomatoes to the hot pan. Cook the tomatoes for a few minutes until they start to soften then add back in the mushrooms and cooked pumpkin to the skillet and mix around until everything is warmed through. Turn off the heat.

Butter and toast the sourdough (optional).

Assemble the salad: Divide evenly between 2 large plates: sourdough (if using) + massaged kale + roasted pumpkin/mushrooms/tomatoes + 4-5 spoonfuls of pesto + 4-5 spoonfuls of feta + 2 poached eggs (if using) + sprinkle of flat leaf parsley. Top with fresh cracked pepper. Serve warm!

Summarized Recipe:

Warm Pumpkin Kale Pesto Bowl

Date Published: March 20th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 20th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: salads, easy, mains, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 500g (~3 cups) pumpkin, diced into 2cm cubes
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 bunch (~5 cups packed) curly leaf kale
  • 200g brown or white button mushrooms, cut into halves or quarters
  • Pinch of fresh or dried thyme
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced into 2cm cubes
  • 150-200g soft Danish Feta (Greek Feta is okay too but will have a stronger taste and you may want to use less of it)
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (for garnish)
  • 2 poached eggs (optional)
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread or rye (optional)

Directions:

  1. Roast the pumpkin: Preheat the oven to 180˚C (375˚F). In a bowl, mix together the diced pumpkin with a drizzle of olive oil, 1/4 tsp of paprika, and a pinch of salt. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 mins until golden. Set aside.
    • You can roast it in an air fryer as well to save some time.
  2. Prepare the kale: While the pumpkin is roasting, prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the tough stems. Discard the stems. Wash and dry the leaves in a salad spinner. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt to the leaves and massage the kale with both hands until the leaves are soft and turn a darker shade of green (1-2 mins). Set aside.
  3. Poach 2 eggs (optional). Set aside.
  4. In a skillet on MED-HIGH heat, add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and sauté the mushrooms with a pinch of thyme until golden brown. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and add the diced tomatoes to the hot pan. Cook the tomatoes for a few minutes until they start to soften then add back in the mushrooms and cooked pumpkin to the skillet and mix around until everything is warmed through. Turn off the heat.
  5. Butter and toast the sourdough (optional).
  6. Assemble the salad: Divide evenly between 2 large plates: sourdough (if using) + massaged kale + roasted pumpkin/mushrooms/tomatoes + 4-5 spoonfuls of pesto + 4-5 spoonfuls of feta + 2 poached eggs (if using) + sprinkle of flat leaf parsley. Top with fresh cracked pepper. Serve warm!

Creamy Mushroom Coconut Lentil Soup


Date Published: March 11th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 11th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, mains, low calorie, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

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I’ve literally JUST made it up in the kitchen and thought it was too good not to add to the recipe collection. As an attempt to eat healthier, Toby and I have been cooking with more green lentils lately. Although higher in carbs, green lentils pack a ton of fibre which keeps you feeling full for longer, lowers cholesterol, and makes you regular (lol). Toby never thought he liked lentils but ever since we started cooking with them he’s realized that he has just never had them made properly!

This soup is not only packed with veggies, high in fibre, and healthy, but best of all it’s low in calories!! Each serving is only 280-380 calories (exact calories will depend on the brand of coconut milk and chicken stock you use). When I say “serving”, I don’t mean a dinky half-ladle bowl – I mean a decent sized bowl of soup that makes you feel satisfied and full. Sounds too good to be true, right?

This soup tastes creamy but not overly heavy. It’s a chicken stock-based soup cooked with onions, celery, a ton of mushrooms and fragranced with fresh thyme and lemon. The lentils add bulk to the soup and are cooked to your liking. The small amount of coconut milk (only half a can for the entire pot) is just enough to make it creamy and indulgent – you’ll forget this soup is low in calories!

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:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup (200g) green lentils
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme (roughly 1 Tbsp of fresh thyme leaves)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Lemon peel of 1 large lemon, sliced into large strips
  • 200ml (1/2 a can) coconut milk

Directions:

In a large pot on med-high heat, sauté the garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add in the diced onion and celery.

Cook until the celery softens then add in the sliced mushrooms. Continue sautéing for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to release their liquid.

Add in the rest of the ingredients to the pot: lentils, chicken stock, thyme, bay leaf, lemon peel, and coconut milk. Let the soup come to a boil, then turn the heat down to low-medium and let it simmer until the lentils are cooked to your liking (~25-30 mins), stirring occasionally.

Once the lentils are cooked, pick out the lemon peel, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Creamy Mushroom Coconut Lentil Soup

Date Published: March 11th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 11th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, mains, low calorie, vegetarian, healthy
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 40 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup (200g) green lentils
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme (roughly 1 Tbsp of fresh thyme leaves)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Lemon peel of 1 large lemon, sliced into large strips
  • 200ml (1/2 a can) coconut milk

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on med-high heat, sauté the garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil for 30 seconds until fragrant, then add in the diced onion and celery. Cook until the celery softens then add in the sliced mushrooms. Continue sautéing for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to release their liquid.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients to the pot: lentils, chicken stock, thyme, bay leaf, lemon peel, and coconut milk. Let the soup come to a boil, then turn the heat down to low-medium and let it simmer until the lentils are cooked to your liking (~25-30 mins), stirring occasionally.
  3. Once the lentils are cooked, pick out the lemon peel, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves. Serve!

Chinese Lettuce Wraps (My version of a San Choy Bow)


Date Published: Feb 15th, 2021 | Last Updated: Feb 15th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, healthy, quick and easy, sides, mains
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

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If you’ve never had a san choy bow (aka Chinese lettuce wraps), you’ve been missing out on life, my friend. It’s a boldly flavourful stir-fry of minced veggies and ground pork served with a bowl of lettuce leaves where you DIY the wraps yourselves. The mince stir-fry is meant to be on the salty side and when paired with the crisp lettuce leaves it balances out the saltiness perfectly. The bold sauce is the heart of the dish – in fact, you can change up whatever veggies you want or substitute the protein for whatever you want (even tofu) and it won’t make too much of a difference as long as the sauce is right. It’s often made with oyster sauce, but I’ve chosen Hoisin sauce as my base because Hoisin is life. You may also see water chestnuts in many recipes for that extra crunch, but I struggle to find it nearby in my grocery stores so I use diced celery instead for the crunch and a little extra flavour. If you’re feeling fancy, you can add in some puffed rice noodles in it as well.

San choy bow is a pretty common dish in Chinese restaurants either served as a side dish or as a main – either way, there’s no neat way to eat it. Be prepared to have sauce drizzle down your hands no matter how careful you are. The first time I had it was at a Chinese restaurant in Brampton as a secondary dish to our peking duck – the first dish was the typical crispy duck skin wraps and the second dish was the meat of the duck stir-fried with Hoisin sauce and served in lettuce wraps. It was heaven. This recipe is my version of a san choy bow and its an homage to the dish I’ve loved for so long.

Not only is this dish delicious, it’s actually also pretty healthy, low-carb, gluten-free, and best of all really easy and quick to make! You can make everything in about 20 minutes and its also easily customizable and a great way to sneak veggies into the diet.

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:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large sticks of celery (or 3 medium ones), finely diced
  • 2 medium sized carrots, finely diced
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, finely diced (fresh or dehydrated)
  • 500g lean pork mince
  • Iceberg lettuce for wrapping
  • Sauce:
    • 6 Tbsps Hoisin sauce
    • 3 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1.5 Tbsps rice wine vinegar

Directions:

Finely dice all of your veg. Tip: if you’re feeling lazy you can put it in the food processor and pulse it until you get small pieces. If you’re using dehydrated shiitake mushrooms, rehydrate them by soaking them in hot water for 10-15 mins until soft.

In a wok on MED-HIGH heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and sauté the garlic, ginger and onion for 30 seconds until fragrant.

Add in the celery and carrots to the wok and continue sautéing for another 2 mins. Put a lid on the wok, turn the heat down to MED and let the veg steam for 5-10mins until they’re soft enough to break with a spatula. Stir occasionally to ensure the veg doesn’t burn. If the veg seems a bit dry or is burning before it softens, add a tablespoon of water and stir it around then put the lid back on to continue steaming.

While the veg is steaming, you can dice your rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, discarding the hard stems and wash the lettuce leaves. You can also trim the lettuce leaves to shape them like cups if you’re feeling fancy. I usually just eat them whole, but will put in the extra effort to trim them if I’m serving it out to friends.

Make the sauce by mixing together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Set aside.

Once the veg has softened, add in the pork mince and mushrooms to the wok and stir-fry on MED-HIGH heat until the pork is cooked. Then pour in the hoisin sauce mixture and stir until combined. Done! Serve with iceberg lettuce leaves for wrapping and lots of napkins for the inevitable sauce to drip down your hands 😜.

Summarized Recipe:

Chinese Lettuce Wraps (My Version of a San Choy Bow)

Date Published: Feb 15th, 2021 | Last Updated: Feb 15th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: asian, healthy, quick and easy
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large sticks of celery (or 3 medium ones), finely diced
  • 2 medium sized carrots, finely diced
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, finely diced (fresh or dehydrated)
  • 500g lean pork mince
  • Iceberg lettuce for wrapping
  • Sauce:
    • 6 Tbsps Hoisin sauce
    • 3 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 1.5 Tbsps rice wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Finely dice all of your veg. Tip: if you’re feeling lazy you can put it in the food processor and pulse it until you get small pieces. If you’re using dehydrated shiitake mushrooms, rehydrate them by soaking them in hot water for 10-15 mins until soft.
  2. In a wok on MED-HIGH heat, add a few tablespoons of oil and sauté the garlic, ginger and onion for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add in the celery and carrots to the wok and continue sautéing for another 2 mins. Put a lid on the wok, turn the heat down to MED and let the veg steam for 5-10mins until they’re soft enough to break with a spatula. Stir occasionally to ensure the veg doesn’t burn. If the veg seems a bit dry or is burning before it softens, add a tablespoon of water and stir it around then put the lid back on to continue steaming.
  4. While the veg is steaming, you can dice your rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, discarding the hard stems and wash the lettuce leaves.
    • You can also trim the lettuce leaves to shape them like cups if you’re feeling fancy. I usually just eat them whole, but will put in the extra effort to trim them if I’m serving it out to friends.
  5. Make the sauce by mixing together the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar. Set aside.
  6. Once the veg has softened, add in the pork mince and mushrooms to the wok and stir-fry on MED-HIGH heat until the pork is cooked. Then pour in the hoisin sauce mixture and stir until combined. Done! Serve with iceberg lettuce leaves for wrapping and lots of napkins for the inevitable sauce to drip down your hands 😜.

Tzatziki


Date Published: August 21st, 2020| Last Updated: August 21st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy
Serves: 1 cup | Prep time: 10 mins | Mix time: 30 secs + resting overnight

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Tzatziki tzatziki. It’s so simple and so good. My dill plants had been struggling on my balcony over the winter months so I wasn’t able to make this recipe for ages, but now that we’ve moved onto the farm with plenty of space and sunshine, the dill plant here has gone wild! This dip is so refreshing with the cucumber, lemon and dill. Our favourite way to eat this is slathered between two burger buns in a beef patty to make a quick Greek burger but its also fantastic on its own as a dip with bread or veggies.

This is a make-ahead recipe. It takes less than 10 minutes to whip up this recipe but the full potential of the flavours don’t come out until it’s refrigerated for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight. This dip needs time for the flavours to marinate and work themselves out. It sounds a bit crazy but trust me. The first time I made this dip I spent over 20 minutes adding a little more of this and that and it still never seemed quite right. I ended up putting it away and when I revisited it the next morning, it was AMAZING! I was surprised how everything just fixed itself overnight. Now when I make this sauce I don’t even bother with adjusting the flavours until the next day, after its had time to sort itself out.

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:

  • 1/4 (100g) of a continental cucumber
  • 3/4 cup (184g) Greek yoghurt
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsps fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Splash of lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

Grate the cucumber (with the peel) and then wrap it up in a clean tea towel or a few layers of paper towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. You should end up with nearly half the weight of cucumber you started with.

The salt in the dip will draw out the water in the cucumber and result in a wet sloppy tzatziki which is why it’s so important to squeeze out as much water as you can at the start.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 4 hours. Trust me, the flavours are SO much better the next day once the ingredients have had time to marinate together. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Tzatziki

Date Published: August 21st, 2020| Last Updated: August 21st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sauces/dips, easy
Serves: 1 cup | Prep time: 10 mins | Mix time: 30 secs + resting overnight

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 (100g) of a continental cucumber
  • 3/4 cup (184g) Greek yoghurt
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsps fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • Splash of lemon juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Grate the cucumber (with the peel) and then wrap it up in a clean tea towel or a few layers of paper towel and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. You should end up with nearly half the weight of cucumber you started with.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 4 hours. (Trust me, the flavours are SO much better the next day once the ingredients have had time to marinate together.) Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. Enjoy!

Classic Hummus


Date Published: August 21st, 2020 | Last Updated: August 21st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: dips/sauces, snack
Serves: 1 large bowl | Prep time: 10 mins | Mix time: 1 minute

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A good classic hummus makes me so happy. Something about the classic flavours of the creamy tahini with cumin and chickpeas blended together with that kick of garlic makes it magical. There are so many variations out there these days but at the end of the day I always prefer the old-fashioned hummus and best of all it only takes 10 minutes to make! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good spin on a classic such as beetroot hummus or even roasted red pepper hummus, but the additional flavours distract from the true creaminess of a classic which is what makes it unbeatable. This smooth creamy dip is so so good as a dip with some crackers or veggies and even better smeared in a warm wrap! Try it with some leftover lamb roast in a homemade flatbread – I promise it’s phenomenal.

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 can (400g) of chickpeas
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)

Directions:

Drain the chickpeas and keep the liquid aside.

Put the drained chickpeas and the rest of the ingredients (tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and cumin) into a food processor or blender and blend until thick and smooth. If the hummus is too thick, add in one tablespoon of the reserved chickpea fluid at a time and mix until desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Discard the rest of the chickpea liquid.

When serving, drizzle olive oil over the hummus and add a pinch of paprika for garnish.

Pair it with some pita chips made from the homemade flatbread recipe!

Notes:

  • To make this a low carb version, substitute the can of chickpeas with 4 cups zucchini, peeled & chopped.
  • You can try other combinations: beetroot, roasted red peppers and parmesan…etc.

To make a roasted red pepper hummus: roast 3 peppers over the grill or fire until charred. Set aside to cool and scrape off any excessively blackened bits. Place the peppers in a clean tea towel or paper towel and over a bowl, squeeze out any liquid. Save this liquid. Add the roasted red peppers to the hummus and blend until combined. If it’s too thick, then add in a teaspoon of the liquid from the peppers at a time until you reach the desired consistency. You can also add in the liquid from the drained chickpeas as well. Taste and adjust flavours as needed. You may need to add additional salt to the above hummus recipe since adding red peppers will dilute the saltiness of the hummus. Done!

To make a beetroot hummus: Drain a can of beetroots and reserve the liquid. Blend the beetroots into the hummus. Taste and adjust the amount of beetroot as needed.

Summarized Recipe:

Classic Hummus

Date Published: August 21st, 2020 | Last Updated: August 21st, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: dips/sauces, snack
Serves: 1 large bowl | Prep time: 5 mins | Mix time: 1 minute

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (400g) of chickpeas
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)

Directions:

  1. Drain the chickpeas and keep the liquid aside.
  2. Put the drained chickpeas and the rest of the ingredients (tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and cumin) into a food processor or blender and blend until thick and smooth. If the hummus is too thick, add in one tablespoon of the reserved chickpea fluid at a time and mix until desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Discard the rest of the chickpea liquid.
  3. When serving, drizzle olive oil over the hummus and add a pinch of paprika for garnish. Done!