Hungarian Mushroom Soup


Date Published: March 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, sides, mains
Serves: 1 big pot (6-8) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Toby and I have been relief veterinarians travelling around Australia for the past 6 months. We’ve spent the last two months in Grafton, NSW and we have quite enjoyed our time here with the great team we’ve been working with. Sadly it’s time for us to move on in a couple of weeks and once again we have to start the process of using up all the things in the fridge. I’ve had a few recipes lined up for the week to destock the fridge, most of them repeats of old dishes, but today I decided to make something new. I’ve had this ‘Hungarian Mushroom Soup’ recipe saved from Allrecipes.com for over a year and for whatever reason never got around to making it until today. It was the perfect recipe to get rid of leftover parsley and celery – which I always end up buying too much of because every recipe only ever needs a little bit (and I refuse to buy half bunches of celery for $3 when I can get a whole bunch for $3.50 even if I don’t need it – it’s the principle!) I’ve never been to Hungary (it’s on the bucket list) nor have I had authentic Hungarian soup so I have no idea how close this recipe is to the real thing but Toby confirms that the ingredients and the flavours of this soup is very Eastern European, so how far off could I be? 😜

I LOVE mushrooms and any kind of creamy rich soup so you can see why I was especially excited to try out this dish. This isn’t any ordinary creamy mushroom soup – in fact, there isn’t any heavy cream at all. The creaminess comes from a flour/milk mixture that thickens the soup and the addition of sour cream makes it even richer. Paprika adds a smokiness to the soup that pairs well with the fragrance of dill which are the two dominant flavours of the dish along with the tang of the sour cream. If you want to make this soup low calorie, you can substitute the butter with olive oil and skip the sour cream altogether and serve it on the side as a dollop. This soup can be served on its own as an appetizer or a side dish, or you can bulk it up with some diced potatoes or add in nokedli (Hungarian dumplings) for a full meal.

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 Tbsps (50g) butter
  • 1 large onion, diced (~4 cups)
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced (~3 cups) (optional)
  • 500g white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups (1 litre) chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped (or 1.25 Tbsp dried dill)
  • 2 Tbsps paprika (sweet Hungarian or smokey – or 1 Tbsp of each)
  • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (100g) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 Tbsps lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (250g) sour cream – to make this soup lower in calories, you can add in dollops of sour cream at the end instead of mixing it in
  • 1 tsp salt (or more to taste)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 portions of Nokedli (optional)

Directions:

In a large pot on MED-HIGH heat, melt the butter then add the diced onion and celery. Sauté the veg for a few minutes then put the pot lid on and let it continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the celery softens and is easily broken with a wooden spoon.

Once the celery softens, add in the sliced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Add in the chicken broth, dill, paprika and soy sauce. Mix it all together, turn the heat up until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer with the lid on for 15 mins.

Mix the milk with the flour and pour it into the soup. Turn the heat up again until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer again for another 15 mins. Your soup should be thicker and creamy.

(If using: while the soup simmers, you can make the nokedli (optional) and drain it until ready to use.)

Add the lemon juice, parsley, sour cream*, salt and black pepper. Mix everything thoroughly and turn off the heat when the soup heats through. Do not let it come to a boil. Enjoy! Serve the soup on its own or poured over fresh nokedli.

*Tip: If you prefer to use less sour cream, you can skip it in the soup altogether and just serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream on the side instead.

Summarized Recipe:

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Date Published: March 26th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 26th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: soups, sides, mains
Serves: 1 big pot (6-8) | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsps (50g) butter
  • 1 large onion, diced (~4 cups)
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced (~3 cups) (optional)
  • 500g white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups (1 litre) chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (or 1.5 Tbsp dried dill)
  • 2 Tbsps paprika
  • 2 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 cups (500ml) milk
  • 1/3 cup (100g) all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 Tbsps lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup (250g) sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 portions of Nokedli (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large pot on MED-HIGH heat, melt the butter then add the diced onion and celery. Sauté the veg for a few minutes then put the pot lid on and let it continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the celery softens and is easily broken with a wooden spoon.
  2. Once the celery softens, add in the sliced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Add in the chicken broth, dill, paprika and soy sauce. Mix it all together, turn the heat up until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer with the lid on for 15 mins.
  3. Mix the milk with the flour and pour it into the soup. Turn the heat up again until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down to low to simmer again for another 15 mins. Your soup should be thicker and creamy.
  4. (If using: while the soup simmers, you can make the nokedli (optional) and drain it until ready to use.)
  5. Add the lemon juice, parsley, sour cream*, salt and black pepper. Mix everything thoroughly and turn off the heat when the soup heats through. Do not let it come to a boil. Enjoy! Serve the soup on its own or poured over fresh nokedli.

*Tip: If you prefer to use less sour cream, you can skip it in the soup altogether and just serve the soup with a dollop of sour cream on the side instead.

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

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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!

Oma’s Pumble and Knockle (Hungarian Paprika Potatoes with Bread and Nokedli)


Date Published: March 19th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 19th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

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Years ago when I first started cooking, I asked my friend Alex what his favourite dish was. He said it was a traditional Hungarian dish that his Oma (grandmother) would often make for him called “Pumble and Knockle” (we’re not sure if this is actually how the name of the dish is spelt, but it was his closest guess). I asked him to get the recipe for me to expand my cooking repertoire, but like typical old school grandmas she doesn’t measure what she puts in the dish and does it all by feel. He eventually took some photos and notes of her making it and this is my attempt at deciphering her recipe. Some of the amounts aren’t exact so I had to guesstimate a little. I’ve never actually had this dish from her before and I have no idea how close I am to the real thing, but I must admit its pretty damn tasty.

This may not be the most mind-blowing dish you’ve ever had, but its humble, down to earth, and made with basic cheap ingredients that make it satisfying and filling. This pumble and knockle is made up of caramelized onions, paprika potatoes, simple nokedli (noodles), and buttery bread. The simple flavours make you just want to keep eating and eating.

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:

  • Nokedli:
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) water
    • ~1 cup (~150g) all-purpose flour (you may not need the whole cup)
  • 1 Tbsp + 50g of salted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly into rectangles 2mm thick
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 slices of white bread, cut into 2cm squares

Directions:

Make the nokedli (noodles) dough: combine egg, salt and water in a bowl. Whisk until combined, then gradually add in the flour until you get a thick sticky dough (you may not need the whole cup of flour). Set aside.

For more comprehensive step-by-step instructions, follow the nokedli instructions here.

In a large pan or wok on MED-HIGH heat, sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of butter until it starts to turn translucent (~5mins). Then add in the sliced potatoes, paprika and salt. Continue cooking until the potatoes are cooked and the onion is caramelized (~15mins). When finished cooking, remove from the pan and set aside.

While the onion and potatoes are cooking, cook the nokedli by bringing a small pot of water to a boil and tear off 2cm pieces of the nokedli dough and drop it into the boiling water or use a spoon to drop the dough into the water to make it less messey. The dough will be ready when it floats to the top. Taste to see if they’re cooked (3-5 mins). Once they’re ready, remove them from the pot and strain them. Set aside.

In a pan (you can use the same pan as before, just give it a quick wipe-down) on medium heat, melt the butter and add the bread pieces to it. Stir for a few minutes until the bread soaks up the butter and becomes lightly toasted. Then add in the cooked nokedli and cooked potato/onion mixture. Mix it all together and cook for another few minutes until everything is warmed through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

Original photos of Oma making Pumble and Knockle: an homage

Summarized Recipe:

Oma’s Pumble and Knockle (Hungarian Paprika Potatoes with Bread and Nokedli)

Date Published: March 19th, 2021 | Last Updated: March 19th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, easy, vegetarian
Serves: 4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

  • Nokedli:
    • 1 egg
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/3 cup (80ml) water
    • ~1 cup (~150g) all-purpose flour (you may not need the whole cup)
  • 1 Tbsp + 50g of salted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly into rectangles 2mm thick
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 slices of white bread, cut into 2cm squares

Directions:

  1. Make the nokedli (noodles) dough: combine egg, salt and water in a bowl. Whisk until combined, then gradually add in the flour until you get a thick sticky dough (you may not need the whole cup of flour). Set aside.
  2. In a large pan or wok on MED-HIGH heat, sauté the onion in 1 tablespoon of butter until it starts to turn translucent (~5mins). Then add in the sliced potatoes, paprika and salt. Continue cooking until the potatoes are cooked and the onion is caramelized (~15mins). When finished cooking, remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. In a pan (you can use the same pan as before, just give it a quick wipe-down) on medium heat, melt the butter and add the bread pieces to it. Stir for a few minutes until the bread soaks up the butter and becomes lightly toasted. Then add in the cooked nokedli and cooked potato/onion mixture. Mix it all together and cook for another few minutes until everything is warmed through. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

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!

THE Best Mushroom Stuffing


Date Published: Feb 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Feb 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: sides
Serves: 1 large tray | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1.5 hrs

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Stuffing is definitely in my top 10 favourite things to eat. I could eat it all day everyday – just let me drown in the buttery goodness of the soft bread in aromatic herbs. Warning: this recipe makes quite a big batch for a party, so if you’re scaling down for dinner, feel free the halve the recipe. I always make the full recipe no matter the party size in hopes that there would be leftovers so I could keep eating it for the rest of the week 😜.

Stuffing is a classic side dish to any Thanksgiving dinner. There are many variations out there but the base ingredients are always the same: bread, celery, parsley, and onion cooked in butter and baked in a blend of herbs including poultry seasoning. Poultry seasoning doesn’t seem to exist on the supermarket shelves in Australia (then again, neither does Thanksgiving) so whenever I visit home in Canada I always bring back a bag with me. If you can’t easily access poultry seasoning, there are a few recipes floating online to make your own!

I’ve made this stuffing at least a dozen times over the years and it’s always a talking point. The trick that I learned the hard way is not to add too much liquid to the stuffing. You must mix things quickly and not let any liquids pool at the bottom or let it sit for too long before baking, otherwise the bread becomes too soggy and you end up with a really mushy stuffing and doesn’t bake as nicely. To limit the mushiness, you want your bread cubes to be as dry as possible before starting and you want to add only enough liquid so everything is just slightly wet.

Side story: One year at the food pavilion at the annual CNE in Canada, a food booth made stuffing WAFFLES! It blew my freaking mind. The waffle was made of delicious stuffing and then topped with turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and gravy. It was like the perfect Thanksgiving dinner in waffle form! I’ve always wanted to try and recreate it, but never got around to buying a waffle maker.

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 loaf of sliced plain bread (cheapest one will do) (or 12 cups  dry bread cubes)
  • 1 cup (227g) salted butter
  • 1 large (2 cups) yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1.5 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Chicken broth as needed (~2-3 cups) (you can use vegetable broth as well to make it vegetarian)
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Directions:

Tip: You can store the cubes in the bread bag until ready to use

Dehydrate your bread (skip this step if you’re using dry bread cubes): Preheat oven to 180˚C (350F). Slice the entire loaf of bread into cubes. Spread out the cubes evenly in a single layer on a baking tray (you will need to split it up between a few trays so they get evenly toasted) and bake until the cubes are dry and crunchy, flipping over once. This should take about 10mins. Once the bread cubes are dehydrated, set them aside to let cool.

Alternatively, if you plan ahead you can leave the bread cubes out overnight to air dry instead of baking them – but this may take longer depending on how humid your environment is. I like to store them in the bread bag once cooled.

Tip: This is probably the most time-consuming part of this whole recipe. You can do this step a couple days ahead of time to save time if you’re cooking a big dinner – just keep the bread cubes away from moisture until you’re ready to use.

Preheat oven to 180˚C (350F).

Melt the butter in a pot and cook the onion, celery, mushroom and parsley until they’re soft and break easily with a spoon. Once cooked, turn off the heat.

Place the dried bread cubes into a large bowl and season with poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Spoon the cooked vegetables over the bread without the butter liquid and mix everything together quickly, otherwise the bread will start getting soggy.

Pour in the remaining butter liquid from the pot and continue to mix well. Don’t let liquid sit on bottom of bowl! Add the eggs and ONLY enough chicken broth to MOISTEN the bread crumbs (too much will result in mushy stuffing, ~2-3 cups). Mix well.

Once everything is incorporated, transfer the mixture to a large baking tray and bake uncovered for 30-45mins, flipping and stirring once halfway through. The stuffing is done once it turns a toasty golden brown colour. Serve!

Alternatively, you can also cook this in a slow cooker: cook on High for 45 minutes, then reduce heat to Low, and cook for 4 to 8 hours.

Summarized Recipe:

THE Best Mushroom Stuffing

Date Published: Feb 10th, 2021 | Last Updated: Feb 10th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: sides
Serves: 1 large tray | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 1.5 hrs

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of sliced plain bread (cheapest one will do) (or 12 cups  dry bread cubes)
  • 1 cup (227g) salted butter
  • 1 large (2 cups) yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cups celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 500g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 1.5 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Chicken broth as needed (~2-3 cups) (you can use vegetable broth as well to make it vegetarian)
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Directions:

  1. Dehydrate your bread (skip this step if you’re using dry bread cubes): Preheat oven to 180˚C (350F). Slice the entire loaf of bread into cubes. Spread out the cubes evenly in a single layer on a baking tray (you will need to split it up between a few trays so they get evenly toasted) and bake until the cubes are dry and crunchy, flipping over once. This should take about 10mins. Once the bread cubes are dehydrated, set them aside to let cool (I like to put them back in the bread bag).
  2. Preheat oven to 180˚C (350F).
  3. Melt the butter in a pot and cook the onion, celery, mushroom and parsley until they’re soft and break easily with a spoon. Once cooked, turn off the heat.
  4. Place the dried bread cubes into a large bowl and season with poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Spoon the cooked vegetables over the bread without the butter liquid and mix everything together quickly, otherwise the bread will start getting soggy.
  5. Pour in the remaining butter liquid from the pot and continue to mix well. Don’t let liquid sit on bottom of bowl! Add the eggs and ONLY enough chicken broth to MOISTEN the bread crumbs (too much will result in mushy stuffing, ~2-3 cups). Mix well.
  6. Once everything is incorporated, transfer the mixture to a large baking tray and bake uncovered for 30-45mins, flipping and stirring once halfway through. The stuffing is done once it turns a toasty golden brown colour. Serve!

Cheesy Kimchi Pancake


Date Published: Sept 6th, 2020 | Last Updated: Sept 6th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, snacks, appetizer, easy
Serves: 2 large pancakes | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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Yum. I love a good kimchi pancake, especially when there’s cheese! If you’re unfamiliar, kimchi is pickled cabbage and its a staple in Korean food. I’ll admit, I didn’t like kimchi initially, but over the years it grew on me. I still don’t love it enough to have cravings or want to eat mouthfuls of it on its own, but I LOVE it in a kimchi pancake. The batter ingredients tones down the bold flavour of the kimchi and the cheese mellows it out.

These pancakes are very quick and easy to make. They’re slightly crispy on the edges and soft on the inside laced with cheese. I’ve based the original recipe from My Korean Kitchen but I’ve put a twist on it and adapted it with some extra add-ins (read: cheese). The dipping sauce isn’t necessary, but it does give the pancake some extra flavour. You can also serve it up with some curry mayo or sriracha mayo.

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:

  • Batter:
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cups water
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 spring onion, chopped
    • 1 cup (~220g) Kimchi, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 Tbsp Kimchi liquid
    • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Dipping sauce:
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp water
    • 1 tsp rice vinegar
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Neutral oil for cooking

Directions:

Make the batter: In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt and water. Then add in the egg, spring onion, kimchi, kimchi liquid and cheese. Refrigerate to firm up the batter until ready to use.

Make the dipping sauce: Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix: soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and sesame seeds. Set aside.

Cook the pancakes: Heat a skillet or wide pan on MEDIUM heat. Add a drizzle of oil and swirl the pan around until it coats the bottom well. Pour half of the batter into the centre of the heated pan and swirl gently to spread out the mixture for even thickness. Cook until browned on both sides. Use your spatula to press down the pancake to make it crispy. When finished, remove from heat onto a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Slice into small pieces to serve. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Cheesy Kimchi Pancake

Date Published: Sept 6th, 2020 | Last Updated: Sept 6th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: asian, snacks, appetizer, easy
Serves: 2 large pancakes | Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • Batter:
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cups water
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 1 spring onion, chopped
    • 1 cup (~220g) Kimchi, roughly chopped
    • 1/2 Tbsp Kimchi liquid
    • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Dipping sauce:
    • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp water
    • 1 tsp rice vinegar
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Neutral oil for cooking

Directions:

  1. Make the batter: In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt and water. Then add in the egg, spring onion, kimchi, kimchi liquid and cheese. Refrigerate to firm up the batter until ready to use.
  2. Make the dipping sauce: Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients into a bowl and mix: soy sauce, water, rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and sesame seeds. Set aside.
  3. Cook the pancakes: Heat a skillet or wide pan on MEDIUM heat. Add a drizzle of oil and swirl the pan around until it coats the bottom well. Pour half of the batter into the centre of the heated pan and swirl gently to spread out the mixture for even thickness. Cook until browned on both sides. Use your spatula to press down the pancake to make it crispy. When finished, remove from heat onto a wire rack to cool. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  4. Slice into small pieces to serve. Enjoy!

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!

Brown Butter Thyme Mushrooms


Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4 (as sides) | Prep time: 2 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

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This super easy brown butter mushroom recipe was something I whipped up in the spur of the moment today when I was making a goat cheese stuffed chicken breast for lunch. I LOVE mushrooms and lucky for me I had some spare in the fridge as well as thyme in the garden. Something about thyme and mushrooms just makes a perfect combination and even better when cooked in a beautiful aromatic nutty brown butter. I’d recommend slicing them thick like the photos below for maximum absorption of the delicious brown butter!

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:

  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 500g white button mushrooms, thickly sliced to 1.5cm width
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large skillet on MEDIUM heat, brown the butter (I’ve written a tutorial here on how to brown butter).

When the butter is browned, quickly add in the garlic and thyme, sauté for about 15 seconds then add in mushrooms.

It’s important to lay the mushrooms in a single layer and not crowd them in the pan. You need space to let the liquids evaporate or else they’ll boil in their own juices and result in soggy mushrooms. If you don’t have a pan large enough to fit all the mushrooms, take out half of the brown butter/garlic/thyme from the pan and cook the mushrooms in batches.

The mushrooms will initially absorb all the brown butter and your pan will look dry but as it cooks it will start releasing a little liquid. Mushrooms are cooked when they’re brown and just start to release their own liquid. You can cook them longer if you prefer softer mushrooms.

When the mushrooms are cooked, turn the heat off and sprinkle black pepper and salt to taste. Done!

Note: Do not add salt before the mushrooms are done or else they’ll dehydrate the mushrooms and release liquid into the pan.

Summarized Recipe:

Brown Butter Thyme Mushrooms

Date Published: August 20th, 2020 | Last Updated: August 20th, 2020
Author: Abby |Category: sides, vegetarian
Serves: 4 (as sides) | Prep time: 2 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 70g unsalted butter
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 500g white button mushrooms, thickly sliced to 1.5cm width
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large skillet on MEDIUM heat, brown the butter (I’ve written a tutorial here on how to brown butter).
  2. When the butter is browned, quickly add in the garlic and thyme, sauté for about 15 seconds then add in mushrooms. Do not crowd the pan. If your pan is too small, take out half of the brown butter/garlic/thyme and cook the mushroom in batches.
  3. Mushrooms are cooked when they’re brown and just start to release their own liquid. You can cook them longer if you prefer softer mushrooms.
  4. When the mushrooms are cooked, turn the heat off and sprinkle black pepper and salt to taste. Done!