Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Mushroom Chilli with Lime

Lately, I've been pondering a lot about the meaning of life! I think Douglas Adams and Monty Python have already had a few stabs at it. There's a lot of talk about it, quotes about it but has anyone actually defined it?

"Life is rather like a tin of sardines-we're all of us looking for the key." Alan Bennett 

So has this anything to do with Mushroom Chilli with Lime? Absolutely!

If this meaning involves giving your body the best possible food, which in turn will keep you healthy then yes, its all part of the meaning of life, for me anyway. And it fuels the brain and gives more time for procrastinating and thinking of what the hell am I really doing here.

Hey, this is getting a little heavy. 

I need to add more value to what I am doing in my later years, so it is time to get all my jobs done, things I have put off for a while, then I will have some breathing space. I have made a huge list and I am going to work through this over the next couple of months. That painting job, family history, the garden project, the photography project, the collage, that mandala etc etc.

With all that accomplished it will be time to plan the rest of my life...................!

So to start off this rather eventful week, I offer you this delicious, easy to make, flavoursome, low calorie recipe (around 200 calories). It's full of fibre, protein, vitamin C and D, B6, Riboflavin and Niacin. 

Can you beat that?



500g mushrooms, sliced thickly
400g can of kidney beans, washed and drained
1 brown onion, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic diced
1 tablespoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground chilli or chilli flakes (more if you want it really hot)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons smokey paprika
salt and pepper
400g can chopped tomatoes
4 tablespoons olive oil
handful fresh coriander, chopped
juice of 1/2 lime

Lime dressing
1/4 cup  light sour cream or Greek yoghurt
ime zest and juice 

Make the lime dressing first. Zest the lime and juice it. Keep the juice and the zest seperate.  Put the zest, 1/4 cup of Greek yoghurt and half the juice into a small container and stir to incorporate. Now set aside.

In a large frypan add oil and bring it up to temperature. Lower the heat and add all of the spices and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Do no allow the spices to burn or they will be very bitter.

Next, add the mushrooms. Cook relatively high so the mushrooms colour up but do not release juices. Throw in the chopped garlic and keep stirring, making sure that everything is covered in the oil and spices. 

Time to add the washed beans and tomatoes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander and season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for approximately 25 - 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Make sure you stir often to avoid burning.

Add the juice of half of the lime and stir in. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle the top with more chopped coriander and a few dollops of the lime dressing.

Serve with salad, rice, quinoa, cous cous, bread or just eat by itself.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Oat and Almond Biscuits - A Healthy Alternative

Hello 2018! Welcome to what is going to be a roller coaster of a year. Kitchen renovations, travel, hiking and a plethora of kayaking as well as great food and stories. Firstly Fruit and Nut Biscuits - a healthy alternative.

I'm back from my December break and really motivated to be in the kitchen whipping up heaps of new recipes I have been playing with over the holidays. 

Might have to wait for the weather to cool a little before I really cook up a storm, but I'm starting with a little sweet treat because of a change in my diet (more on that later.)

I was on the hunt for a biscuit - you know just a tiny morsel of something a little sweet for my morning break, but with a lot of healthy stuff in it.

I've spent a long time looking and trying and I've decided this is the best I can do. I mean seriously, is there such a thing as a healthy biscuit?

Chocolate was definitely out, so was a Jammy Dodger
It needed to be healthy, nutty, fruity, not too sweet and fast to make. I think these just about cover all of that.

According to Good To Know, in Britain people eat their way through 141 million packs of biscuits per year! My goodness that is a staggering number of calories! I am sure Australia is almost as bad statistically. No wonder we have an obesity problem. 

In my research I came across this website,  Australian Healthy Food Guide. It has some great food facts, tips for eating well, recipes and more. Even if you are not in Australia I am sure you would find something of interest here. Go ahead and check it out.

Anyway, I have taken one of their biscuit recipes and adapted it to suit my taste and as far as biscuits go, it's reasonably healthy, providing you don't pig out on the whole batch in one go. 

Now let me think it time for a cuppa and a biscuit yet?

Here's the recipe.



1 cup rolled oats
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup sultanas
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 raw almonds, skin removed, roughly chopped - see note*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
80g margarine
3/4 cup of soft brown sugar or dark brown sugar
1 1/4 cups plain flour
2 -3 tablespoons of fresh orange juice

1. Cream sugar, vanilla and margarine together in a bowl until light and creamy in texture.

2. Beat the egg into the margarine mixture.

3. Sieve baking powder, baking soda and flour and fold into the the creamed margarine.

4. Next, add the oats, nuts and fruit and fold in until well incorporated. Add  orange juice and mix thoroughly. Use your hands if it's easier.

5. Take a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball the size of a large walnut. Place these on a tray lined with baking paper. Slightly flatten each one with the back of a fork. 

6. Bake in a preheated oven 160ºFF/350F for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on tray for 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack. When cold, store in an air tight container for up to 5 days. Makes around 24 -26 biscuits.

* to take skin off raw almonds, place in a small bowl and pour boiling water over them. Leave for a couple of minutes and the skins will easily slip off. 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Marmalade Breakfast Muffins - Gluten Free

We make a lot of home made jam and marmalade at my place. 

The next best thing to my gluten free muesli is my Marmalade Breakfast Muffins.

As I have said before my husband is a marmalade addict. Can't tell you how many dozen jars of it we have in the cupboard. This recipe was developed so we could use some of the marmalade we made and give me something new to eat for breakfast. Since going gluten free a month or so ago, I am really feeling the difference. But, eating muesli every morning, plus the odd egg or two is pretty tedious so these muffins are a real godsend.

I have made a few muffins for breakfast before but they always seem a little dry (sorry Jamie Oliver) This time I have incorporate two different fruits to try and keep them as moist as possible. Try them out and let me know what you think. You can certainly add some extra butter, margarine, jam or marmalade to them or eat them as the are with even more fruit. Haven't tried to toast them yet, but I am sure my husband will - but that's another story.



200g gluten free plain flour
1½ teaspoons gluten free baking powder
few teaspoons of your favourite marmalade
1½ teaspoons baking soda
110g apple sauce or 2 green apples peeled, cored, cooked and mashed
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons rice malt syrup
1½ teaspoons cinnamon
60g oats
2 eggs
1 banana mashed
150 ml plain yoghurt/coconut yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons mixed seeds flax, pepitas, sunflower
50ml oil, sunflower, grapeseed oil
butter or margarine to grease muffin pan or use paper cases

Pre heat your oven 180º/160º FF/325F

Put flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and oats into a big bowl and mix thoroughly.

Now in another bowl beat two eggs, add mashed banana, yoghurt, vanilla, honey, rice malt syrup, oil, apple sauce. Mix thoroughly. Now add all the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until you have completely incorporated one into the other.

If you use paper cases, place them into your muffin pan. You will need 10 -12, or grease the pan to make it easier to tip out the finished muffins. 

When you have done this, make a small hole in the top of each muffin using the end of a wooden spoon. Using a teaspoon fill the holes with marmalade.

Sprinkle the top with seeds and bake in a preheated oven 180º/160ºfan forced/325F for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown. Take out of the tin and cool on a rack.

Can be eaten straight away or frozen for a couple of weeks.

These muffins are deliciously moist and the marmalade really adds a lovely twist.

This is my last post before the Christmas break. Here is wishing you a very Happy Christmas and a safe, healthy and adventurous New Year. Thanks for all your kind comments and welcomed suggestions - see you on the other side.

If you do not celebrate Christmas then I hope you have a wonderful few days with your family and friends.