Tag Archives: Simple

ThermoMix heaven….

Easy, healthy cooking.

About a year ago something happened that literally turned things around for me in the kitchen. I met Caroline, my Thermomix consultant. She’s also a mummy with two young children so we clicked straight away over shared experiences.

Together she showed me how this one piece of equipment could help me in so many ways – not just making it possible to make healthy and tasty options but to do so quickly and easily, which of course meant I didn’t resort to store-bought yuckies. And having more free time was a bonus I didn’t anticipate but certainly appreciate.

Now I’m not big on selling things but seriously, this ‘thing’ she showed me, was about to turn my kitchen experience around.

Even better, I could get those nutrients into my littlies, especially my fussy young man, without resorting to a battle. Of course, trying new tastes often results in the reflex spit-out but a bit like the sleeping patterns persistence can pay off and it took less time than I imagined.

Yes, a Thermomix is a considerable investment, but for me it’s also been a Godsend and possibly one of my best purchases as a parent. They also have many options to almost ‘lay buy’ or ‘pay off’ this piece of kitchen equipment. I use mine almost every day and for everything from a smoothie, making porridge, chopping vegetables, cooking a whole meal at once, including steaming vegetable in the varoma, whilst making a pasta sauce in the jug!

This 1 item has eliminated so many from my kitchen. It chops, blends, steams, boils, stirs, cooks, poaches, purées and all on a timer. So no boiling over, burning pans or constant stiring. Best of all it comes with a recipe chip, which is amazing! It has hundreds of easy to make recipes, that takes no time at all to prepare and cook. Well actually this machine pretty much does everything. The LCD screen works a bit like an iPad. It prompts you all the way so you basically cannot stuff up! Easy!

Not only is Caroline always just a phone call away to help with cooking and recipe tips, but as well as a Thermomix consultant I’ve also gained a friend.

Your interested to know more, please feel free to contact Caroline direct. I’ve popped her details at the bottom of this post.

Or jump onto the ThermoMix website and check it out for yourself!

Here’s one of our favourite sneaky veg recipes:

Carrot and Zucchini Choc Muffins

1 medium zucchini
1 medium carrot
30g raw sugar
130g chickpea flour
30g raw cacao
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch salt
30g almonds
30g macadamia nuts
70g grapeseed oil
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin tray
Grate zucchini and carrot speed 7 for 2 seconds, transfer to a bowl
Add all ingredients from raw sugar to macadamia nuts and mix speed 5 for 6 seconds
Add oil and eggs and mix speed 5 for 20 seconds
Add back zucchini and carrot and mix speed 2 for 5 seconds on reverse
Transfer mixture to prepared muffin tray and bake for 20-25 minutes
Transfer to wire tray to cool for 10 minutes

I like to serve these with vanilla coconut custard…( one of Caroline’s recipes).

These can even be frozen so you always have a supply on hand!

If you would like to contact Caroline to arrange a cooking demonstration or purchase you own Thermomix you can contact her on 0402 483 803 or carolinesomma@hotmail.com

What’s your style?

As a qualified interior designer, I would have to agree on most parts of this blog.

Not to say that if you don’t have these, you are not stylish. Everyone has style in their own way, and much like art, I believe style is personal. Your home is your abode and reflects you and your personality and lifestyle.

Love the images provided.

I’m a bit of a monochrome lover at the moment. Also ‘industrial / Scandi / minimal’. Actually I don’t know that I stick to one specific style? My taste is blended pending on the room.

What’s your style?


Swimming lessons.

Swimming lessons.

We live in a country where summers are filled with swimming and fun.

I personally believe that learning to swim especially from am early age is highly important.

Most Australians have a pool in their back yard, or have readily access to either a pool, river, damn or beach. This is great in our scorching summers as it’s a great way to cool down.

The Australian lifestyle means that water sports and activities form much of our relaxation and activities on weekends.

Children are naturally attracted to water and quite often have little or no fear of water however they also have no understanding or awareness of the dangers that water can bring.

A child can drown in less than two minutes. Be it in a bath, a bucket, a pool, a pond, or a deep puddle.

Infants are top heavy; their heads are heavier than the rest of their body so they can topple over easily into water hazards. Water levels only need to cover their nose and mouth and they can drown. Imagine face down in a puddle. It only needs to be deep enough to cover airways. Toddlers also are not always able to help themselves up if they fall face down.

There is insufficient evidence that suggests a child under the age of three years old can develop adequate swimming skills to prevent drowning.
A child can drown in 5 cm of water

With so much water around us, I personally believe we should all be safe. This includes learning to swim. It could save your life.

Drowning is the most common cause of accidental death in Australian children aged 5 and under. 70% are aged between 1 and 3 years old.

Although the number of children drowning in Australia is on a decrease, 35 children under the age of 5 drowned in a 12-month period during 2002 / 2003. Quite staggering if you ask me.

Another important factor for not only swimming but everyday life is CPR.

The first few minutes in an emergency are vital and can make a huge difference between life and death.

In many remote or rural areas, help may be miles away- it may be up to you.

• Learn CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) and update your training regularly.
• Keep CPR instructions on the pool fence and in the first aid kit.
• Keep emergency numbers by the phone or two-way radio, or program them into the phone.

CPR posters and training are available from your local-

• Royal Life Saving Society
• St Johns Ambulance
• Surf Life Saving Association

So why can’t we all swim?
Swimming lessons are readily avail within Australia. I’m personally Austswim qualified, I’m also a qualified pool lifeguard and have my Oxy Viva certificate and senior first aid certificate. This is mainly because I am also a qualified personal trainer and fitness instructor.

You can contact your local swimming pool or ambulance service or if you live near a beach speak with a lifeguard. They will all have relevant information in where you can get qualified. Bring qualified can save life’s.

Jamie Oliver inspired fried rice.

Jamie Oliver inspired fried rice.

So I was watching a Jamie Oliver cooking show last night on how he try’s to minimise his food waste, and how thousands of dollars worth of food is water each year due to it simply going off prior to being eaten or used.

One of the recipes he made was a fried rice. It looked super easy and super delicious!

We all now how I like eating healthy, clean, easy, yummy food so I decided to make my twist on his recipe.

1 x family size packet uncle bens brown rice – cool in microwave for 90 seconds
1 x teaspoon garlic paste
1 x tablespoon chilli paste
1/4 x cup hot chilli sauce
2 x eggs
1 x small tin corn kernels
1 x bunch rocket – Finely sliced
1 x 100gm hot salami sliced
1 x 100gm roast pork

I used sandwich sliced roast pork and salami, pre packed from the supermarket. I always have sandwich meat in the fridge. You can always use ham, beef, chicken whatever you prefer. Jamie Oliver used left over roast beef.

In a large non stick fry pan heat the garlic, chilli and rice storing until all combined.

Add the corn followed by the meats.

Once all combined add the hot chilli sauce, then 1 egg making sure the raw egg is evening dispersed and cooked.

Add the rocket combine and press down firm so that the rice will crisp against the fry pan bottom and edges. Again Jamie used cabbage rather than rocket. I had no cabbage so used rocket instead.

With a spoon make a small well in the centre of the fried rice and crack the 2nd egg into the well.

Put the lid on and turn the heat off and let sit for at minimal 30 minutes.

These flavours enhance overtime and by leaving it sit with a lid on, the 2nd egg will cool from the existing heat.

This will last up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge.

I serve with grilled haloumi…! Yumo!

Remember as with most of my recipes, you can add as little or as much spice and flavour as you like! I like a lot of bite in my chilli – this recipe is only mild, I generally add 1/2 cup of extra hot chilli sauce.

Overnight oats!

Overnight oats!

Ok so perhaps I’ve jumped on ten bandwagon here 🙂

These are actually delicious and creamy! My little guy and I have porridge every morning so I thought, hey why not try these. Simple, easy, delicious!

1 x cup rolled oats
1 x cup milk – your choice. I’ve used almond and full cream. (Not together)
1 x teaspoon chia seeds
1 x tablespoon honey

Add all ingredients into a jar with a lid or Tupperware is great also.
Shake, refrigerate, eat!

This is best if it’s been in the fridge for minimum 12hrs…. I make mine at lunch time for the next morning. Yumo!

You can also add other flavours, such as banana or simply top with fruits? Granola, anything really. It’s just like porridge but no cooking required!

Styling your home?

Styling your home!

Like our fashion our homes reflect our personality. Dressing or styling our home is very much like styling our homes.

We choose what we like and not always what we should ‘wear’ or ‘dress’ our homes in.

There are many different styles for our homes and the ideas and options are never ending.

Most people go neutral and keep it ‘safe’. That’s not always a bad thing but remember your home is reflecting your style. Express yourself.

Whether you want to break all the rules or remain true to your home’s specific architectural style, hopefully my tips below can help you decide what styles you favour and how to pull a ‘space’ together by incorporating one (or more!) decorating styles within your home!

Your style should really be a reflection of your lifestyle .

Do You Have More Than One Style?
People are complex, and so are design styles. Take tips from your favourite TV shows, watch renovation program’s and steal their ideas. Providing you like them 🙂 I also use Houzz app on my iPhone and Pinterest to gain ideas!

Even if you know your style, or the style that you want for your home, it’s easy to get side tracked and make rushed purchases or decisions that turn out to be a mistake. Keeping to what you really like is key. This will also help save money in those spate if the moment purchases.

I find that making a ‘mood’ board very helpful. Ask for fabric samples when you see something you like. Take photos where you can then stick them on your mood board to see if you do actually like it when it’s together and if the pieces you have chosen work well together in your space.

Making lists will help to keep you on track with decorating. Once you’ve defined the style you want, clarify your needs and evaluate your surroundings. Lists also help prevent purchasing too much furniture or accessories for your space.

Shopping online can be a great way to browse, learn and save. I prefer to go into stores so that I can feel fabrics and textures along with ‘testing’ the product for it’s comfort etc.

Ok, so maybe your moving in with your partner and sent to create a discs that works for you both, however your spouse is contemporary yet you love traditional. Or maybe you recently married and need to combine households.

Below are some tips can help both partners live in decorating harmony, even those with opposing likes and tastes.

Mixing Styles can be easy if you choose it to be. If you like a little bit of everything, or wish to combine elements of several styles, try to stick with a simple couloir pallet. Too much colour with too many styles can get messy and look like it’s ‘thrown’ together or rushed. You don’t want your home to make you feel uncomfortable. Yes styles can be mixed but if your mixing say eclectic and traditional, try to use similar colours to blend the styles. You want to choose furnishings and decor to create a room that flows and works together.

I’ve listed below a few different styles to help you define and understand your style a little better.

Coastal / Beachy
If you love the comfortable and airy feel of coastal homes, you can bring the beach home with you, add soft flowing fabrics, neutral colours with hues of blue, perhaps some yellow.
Think Ralph Lauren cross ship in the night.
Nautical with a twist.
Typical characteristics of a Coastal style :
Ocean and sky blue colour hues.
White as a predominate colour perhaps wall colour.
Light-reflecting materials such as glass or mirrors, these also help to make a space feel larger or give the feeling of openness.
Rattan, sea grass, bamboo, cane or teak, helps the space feel earthy and ‘holiday home’ like.
Nautical and natural or “found” decor
Natural fibers such as linen, sisal, jute, and cottons.
Easy-care floors such as tile or hardwood, think high traffic and easy to clean.
Weather-beaten or distressed woods, this helps to make the space feel as though it has character and that the piece has a story to tell.

Art Deco
Art deco design is traditionally formal and controlled, however at the same time is sophisticated and a bit flamboyant. The combination of these contradictory elements is what makes art deco so appealing and has endure the test of time.

Typical characteristics of an Art Deco space:
The use of rectilinear and symmetrical forms along with stylized shapes.
Sharp edges along with bold, accentuated curves.
Reflective surfaces and the use of mirrors.
The repetitive use of geometric shapes combined to make stepped designs and patterns, use multiple geometric fabrics on your chairs and it cushions but contrast them in either colour or shape – ie navy on white cushions with perhaps stripes or zig zag pattern.
Luxurious materials such as exotic woods, inlays, gold and chrome, also dark colour timber feels luxurious.
Aztec and Egyptian influences including the ziggurat, the sunburst and the electric bolt.
Evocative lighting that emits a sophisticated mood, dimmed lights or bold lamp shades.
Bold colors with sharp contrasts, though black and white and neutrals are also popular and easy to work together.

If you like calm and comfortable and steer clear of flashy or cluttered decor, the traditional style may be for you. Timeless and classic in design, the traditional style is the most popular decorating and design style in many homes today.
Typical characteristics of Traditional space:
Warm or dark wood tones. Think cherry, mahogany, walnut stains on timber.
Soft, warm, mid-range color palette, rose pinks, greys, taupe and browns.
Focus on symmetry and repetition, keep the sane amount of cushions in each end of your couch.
Extensive use of moulding, on either your ceilings or around mirrors, kitchens almost like framing.
Semi-formal yet comfortable appeal, the space is comfy to sit in yet could also host a meeting.
Embellishments such as tassels, trims and skirted furnishings, but nothing baroque. Use these as accents for curtains and pillows.
Understated decor with classic, straight lines, not too much furniture in these rooms keeping it minimal and key the accents create the interest.
Windows are dressed with curtains or shades that are deep in colour and block out light.
Carefully controlled clutter such as books, family photos in classic frames, art and displayed collections of ‘trinkets’
Soft patterns or plaids again as accents perhaps used in a throw or cushions.

Cottage or Shabby Chic
This might be for you if you gravitate toward vintage and sentimental elements and are looking for a decorating style that will make a comfortable and family friendly home.
Typical characteristics of a Cottage space:
Slipcovered, overstuffed furnishings, big lounges that liked ‘lived in’ and it oversized.
Soft color palette using pale greens, pale pinks, pale blues, soft grays, creams and white.
Painted and/or distressed furnishings and decor. Again these look like they have a story to tell.
Fresh flowers and florals in Patel colours.
Vintage or handmade items, not too many vibrant colours but also try use a pop of colour.
Tea-stained or faded fabrics, think calico or raw linen colours.
Architectural detailings – moldings, columns, etc – often reused in unique ways.
Painted or rusted wrought iron furniture, chair backs, dining stools, vases etc.

If you like bold furnishings or prefer a room with artistic flair, take a look at contemporary style. Sophisticated, clean lines and dramatic finishes are all elements of this style.
Typical characteristics of a Contemporary space:
Neutral color palette with “pops” of bold colour.
Clean lines and smooth surfaces.
Soft curves, but avoids the ornate or ornamental.
Reflective materials such as chrome, steel and glass. As stated before, using mirrors will also make your space feel larger as mirror reflects light and will appear more spacious.
Natural fabrics with a focus on texture and tone. Think raw linen with wool or knitted cushions.
Use of black and/or white.
Geometric patterns or shapes
Sleek cabinetry and lighting (built-ins, recessed). Beige, no mouldings etc.

Contemporary is often confused with Modern but actually the two are very different styles, although both tend to favour simple, uncluttered spaces with smooth, clean lines. The Modern style is an older style that originated during the late 19th century, but from whom Contemporary design derived some of its ideas.

Country style may not be what you think. American flags, Shaker chairs and hearts make up only a small part of this vast style. This style was birthed in the high courts of European royalty, so country-style furnishings and decor are often quite refined.
These elegant but comfortable and utilitarian roots give basic varieties of country style decorating today. Though these varieties are considered distinctive styles, they share many of the same characteristics. Muted colors, handmade furnishings and accessories, and patterns such as chunky checks, stripes and florals or hand-woven fabrics are all elements of the country style.

American Country
There are quite a few fans of this decorating style, and quite a few variants within this class of decorating. A cluttered, Americana style is commonly thought of when one says “country style,” with emphasis on comfort, warmth and lots (and lots!) of charming decor items. The original American Country style was simple, and celebrated the idea of craftsmanship with clean lines and handmade furnishings. Think of Shaker, Amish, or Arts and Crafts style furnishings. This type of American Country style is still very popular today.

English Country
English Country is a more formal decorating style than American Country, but is still more relaxed than one would have once seen at court. The emphasis is on detailing and elegance, with a comfortable twist. Think of Chester sofas, traditional oil paintings, plaids and garden-inspired patterns, and carved detailing in furnishings and decor.

French Country
Also known as the French Provincial style, French Country appears, at first glance, much like the English Country style, though French Country has its own distinct elements. French Country furnishings appear “lighter” than English, with delicate curves. Though French Country may contain natural elements, it doesn’t incorporate nature as heartily as the English style. Think wrought iron, toile fabrics, plaster walls, roughened wood, images of roosters or other farm life, and natural stone.

Spanish Country
One of the boldest styles in country decorating, Spanish style focuses on vivid but earthy colors, natural woods and art. Think exposed beams, plaster or stucco walls, hand-painted pottery and tiles, soft curves and hand-carved furnishings and decor. Religious icons and shapes, such as statues or crosses, are also common elements of Spanish style furnishings and decor.

Tuscan (or Italian) Country
Currently one of the most celebrated styles of country decorating, the Tuscan Country style often melts the line between indoors and out. Think warm, earthy colors, terra cotta, exposed stone and brick, wrought iron, uncovered windows, natural woods and rough plaster walls. The main inspiration behind this style is found in the Italian people themselves – unpretentious, warm, comfortable and celebratory.

Eclectic Style Decorating
If you love to mix and match and have a flair for pulling it all together, check out the eclectic decorating style. If you love a variety of styles but have trouble making it work in your space, don’t worry – we can help with that too!
Typical characteristics of an Eclectic style space:
Calm mix of periods and styles
Neutral background colors
Unexpected use of materials and/or items
Uniqueness in art and furnishings
A “pulling together” through pattern, shape, texture, finish or color
Lack of clutter – everything has its place
Old easily mixed in with new
Handmade items or items with sentimental value

French Country
Casual elegance, sunny splashes of color, and an emphasis on natural and rustic accessories can remind you of your summers in France, or make you feel like you spent them there!

Interiors that incorporate a global style – exotic colors, artwork, crafts and furnishings – evoke an eclectic, vibrant feeling. Think large artworks if famous buildings, national flag prints on cushions or throws, duvet covers in maps, taxidermy animals. Think ‘global traveller’.

Industrial style in interiors is similar to what it sounds like – a look that celebrates the industrial aspect of our lives. Think raw materials, steel, rust, black, chunky, exposed ceilings, exposed brick almost like an old warehouse.

Any style that has its origins along the Mediterranean coast has to be beautiful. If you love bright coastal colors and rooms with an exotic flair, Mediterranean style may be for you.

This is an often misunderstood style, but a beautiful one with its roots strongly grounded in the arts and architecture. The modern style is a perfect decorating choice for those who like simple, uncluttered spaces with clean lines and a lack of fussy adornments.

Tropical Island
One of the most misunderstood styles, a room decorated tropical island style is not necessarily filled with fake palm trees and Hawaiian prints. The tropical island style is actually an elegant style that celebrates the customs and colors of the Pacific Island people.

Typical characteristics of a Tropical Island style space:
Bright colors and patterns, especially tropical or woven.
Barkcloth, linen, sailcloth or canvas fabrics.
Native decorations such as masks and other carved decor.
Rattan, sea grass, bamboo, cane or teak.
Tropical plants and flowers inside and out.
Hardwood, concrete or tile flooring.
Sisal or jute rugs.
Dark or weathered woods.
Handcrafted items, think grandmas pottery vase hand painted.
Nautical decor.


Home made pizza!

Easy home made pizza!

I don’t know one child that doesn’t love pizza!

This is a simple yet effective and yummy way to make pizza. You can also get your little ones involved. I have has my neices and nephews help make these yummy pizzas and with their input, it inspires them to eat them.

Be as adventurous as you like with the toppings, include vegetables if you like. I start with simple flavours and also make faces and pictures with the toppings making it all that little more fun!

1 x packet whole meal pita bread (8 pieces) I use the smaller size – diameter approx 20cm
2 x cups grated cheese
1 x small tub tomato paste
1 x cup diced bacon or ham
1 x cup pepperoni (doesn’t have to be hot or spicy)
1 x cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 x cup sliced grilled capsicum / peppers
1 x cup cooked Finley sliced chicken breast


Preheat your oven to 160 degrees
Get some baking trays and either use a non stick spray or line the tray with baking paper.

Pull apart the pita bread so that you have singular pizzas.

Spread an even amount of tomato paste on each individual pita bread making sure you go to the edge.

Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Top your pizza with what ever topping your desire!

Remember you can make faces using pepperoni for eyes, peppers for a mouth, cherry tomato for cheeks or eyes.

Let your little ones imagination run wild. Make cooking fun and enjoyable and having them involved will encourage healthy eating and also wanting them to help!

Let’s hope they are enthusiastic about helping to clean up!

First aid and your family.

First aid in your family.

It was recently bought to my attention by a reader of my blog just how important first aid is to know.

So I’ve decided to write about why first aid is really important and shy we should ‘at least’ know the basics.

Many accidents happen in and around the home so knowing the simple things could save a life.

Whether it’s a minor or major situation, first aid knowledge will give you the confidence to act quickly and smartly. This could be the difference between life and death.

First aid teaches you how to deal with every day cuts and scrapes and nosebleeds.

You will also learn advice on treating asthma, fractures, sunburn, poisons, low blood sugar and much more.

Heart and circulatory disease is one of our biggest killer’s during your first aid course you will learn how to recognise and treat heart attacks and shock.

Simply learning the basic DR ABC

ABC – airway, breathing and
CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

DRSABCD stands for:

D= Danger – always check the danger to you, any bystanders and then the injured or ill person. Make sure you do not put yourself in danger when going to the assistance of another person.

R = Response – is the person conscious? Do they respond when you talk to them, touch their hands or squeeze their shoulder?

Send for help – call triple zero (000). Don’t forget to answer the questions asked by the operator.

A= Airway – Is the person’s airway clear? Is the person breathing?

If the person is responding, they are conscious and their airway is clear, assess how you can help them with any injury.

If the person is not responding and they are unconscious, you need to check their airway by opening their mouth and having a look inside. If their mouth is clear, tilt their head gently back (by lifting their chin) and check for breathing. If the mouth is not clear, place the person on their side, open their mouth and clear the contents, then tilt the head back and check for breathing.

B = Breathing – check for breathing by looking for chest movements (up and down). Listen by putting your ear near to their mouth and nose. Feel for breathing by putting your hand on the lower part of their chest. If the person is unconscious but breathing, turn them onto their side, carefully ensuring that you keep their head, neck and spine in alignment. Monitor their breathing until you hand over to the ambulance officers.

C = CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation)
– if an adult is unconscious and not breathing, make sure they are flat on their back and then place the heel of one hand in the centre of their chest and your other hand on top. Press down firmly and smoothly (compressing to one third of their chest depth) 30 times. Give two breaths. To get the breath in, tilt their head back gently by lifting their chin.

Pinch their nostrils closed, place your open mouth firmly over their open mouth and blow firmly into their mouth. Keep going with the 30 compressions and two breaths at the speed of approximately five repeats in two minutes until you hand over to the ambulance officers or another trained person, or until the person you are resuscitating responds.

The method for CPR for children under eight and babies is very similar and you can learn these skills in a CPR course.

D = Defibrillator – for unconscious adults who are not breathing, apply an automated external defibrillator (AED) if one is available. They are available in many public places, clubs and organisations.

An AED is a machine that delivers an electrical shock to cancel any irregular heart beat (arrhythmia), in an effort get the normal heart beating to re-establish itself.

The devices are very simple to operate. Just follow the instructions and pictures on the machine, and on the package of the pads, as well as the voice prompts. If the person responds to defibrillation, turn them onto their side and tilt their head to maintain their airway. Some AEDs may not be suitable for children.

I’ve also included a few links on where you can do your first aid certificate (if your in Australia) otherwise google first aid within your suburb, town, state or country and I’m sure you will find a the relevant information.

Hopefully this will encourage everyone to learn first aid. It could save your loved ones life!





Warm Quinoa Salad

Warm Quinoa Salad with Edamame & Tarragon

This recipe is one that a good friend if mine passed onto me. She like to eat good wholesome foods that also taste great, not only is this quick and easy, it really does taste great!

1 cup quinoa,
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup drained and diced jarred roasted red peppers
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, preferably toasted

1. Toast quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes aromatic and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a fine sieve and rinse thoroughly.

2. Meanwhile, bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the quinoa and return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook gently for 8 minutes. Remove the lid and, without disturbing the quinoa, add edamame. Cover and continue to cook until the edamame and quinoa are tender, 7 to 8 minutes longer. Drain any remaining water, if necessary.

3. Whisk lemon zest and juice, oil, tarragon and salt in a large bowl. Add peppers and the quinoa mixture. Toss to combine. Divide among 4 plates and top with walnuts.

Note: Quinoa is a delicately flavored grain that was a staple in the ancient Incas’ diet. It is available in most natural-foods stores and the natural-foods sections of many supermarkets. Toasting the grain before cooking enhances its flavor and rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa’s natural, bitter protective covering.

Cooking Tip: To toast walnuts:
Cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Calories 404, Total Fat 18 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 6 g, Sodium 645 mg, Carbohydrate 46 g, Fiber 16 g, Protein 17 g, Potassium 319 mg. Daily Values: Vitamin A 20%, Vitamin C 20%, Iron 25%. Exchanges: Starch 3, Lean Meat 1, Fat 3.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Cherry ripe cheesecake balls…!

So this easy yet delicious recipe isn’t for those dieting. It’s rich in flavor and absolutely  devine! It was passed on to me from a friend and the basics can be varied for different flavors.


  • 250 grams cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cherry ripe bars, diced
  • 3/4 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • dessicated coconut to coat
  • chocolate dukkah to coat or cocoa or grated chocolate.

Beat the cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer until smooth (I use Philadelphia cream cheese) add coconut and mix well. Then add the diced cherry ripe bars and mix with wooden spoon.

Take one teaspoon of mix and roll into balls. These can be as large or as small as you like. Place coconut and dukkah – or your chosen dressing  in small bowls,  now lightly roll your balls in the chocolate dukkah or your chosen flavor.

Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

Recipe Hints and Tips:

  • Cherry Ripe Cheesecake Balls must be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator at all times unless serving, They will keep for 4-5 days in fridge.
  • Chocolate dukkah can be bought from some supermarkets or you can substitute it with drinking chocolate or finely shaved chocolate in any flavor you fancy.
  • Change the type of chocolate bar to give you endless options, peppermint crisp for example for a tasty yet easy after dinner mint style dessert!