Basil-parsley dip

Basil and parsley pesto dip

Combining basil, parsley and a handful of nuts into a dip is nothing revolutionary, but the result complements the crisps and crackers so very well.

Linseed crisps

Linseed crisps

Cooking for people who can’t eat grains, including wheat, can be a challenge when it comes to snacks and finger foods. It’s all very well to keep putting out those celery and carrot sticks on the table, but sometimes, you just want to do more for people. These linseed crisps do just that.

Mung bean curry

A curry sauce for mung beans

When this idea of a mung bean curry first came to light, it seemed too good to pass by. We had our partly sprouted mung beans, and now we have a curry sauce to dress them up. It’s a great little alternative to a heavy meat and rice curry.


A different spicy tangy zucchini curry

Yes, we have our annual glut of zucchini from our veggie garden, and we’re on the search for new ideas. Apsara’s recipe for bitter gourd in spicy tangy gravy looked like it could be adapted to give our palates a different taste experience. And it was. It’s a deliciously tangy dish that makes zucchini taste like nothing else we are used to.

Georgianesq walnut sauce

A Georgianesq walnut and coriander sauce

This walnut and coriander sauce is something we’ve used it for all sorts of things—as a filler for celery sticks, a sauce for those Turkish aubergine meatballs, or even a dip with these biscuits for something different. Just once, we used it for its purpose as a dressing for a chilled green-been salad.

Guacamole, served with some extras to make a tasty little appetiser


Avocado is a bit of a luxury here, and guacamole is an absolute delicacy. Because of its specialness, our guacamole is really just mashed avocado with seasonings added: lemon juice, salt and pepper, and sometimes onion. That’s about it. If we have a few people, then it becomes a full-blown appetiser with some celery and tomato to…

Rose petal jam: just rose petals and sugar

Rose petal jam (uncooked)

This delicious rose petal jam needs no cooking: it’s raw jam. It’s just a matter of grinding sugar and rose petals into a paste. It is unusual, and you need to be selective with the rose petals: pick the freshest and most fragrant ones you can find. but it’s well worth the effort.


Vegetable moussaka

A rich layering of lentils, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms and more, this vegetable moussaka is a winner, or so the boys in the family say. It delivers on its promise as a really delicious vegan meal.

Olive and celery tapenade, served with cucumber to satisfy the all our friends

A very vegan tapenade of olive and celery

Create a lighter olive tapenade by popping a stick of celery into the mix. Serve the results on cucumber rounds for an easy appetiser with a difference that suits just about anyone.

A jar of chilli beetroot chutney

Chilli beetroot chutney

Chutney is one of life’s little pleasures. This recipe for beetroot and chilli chutney has become a real winner in the chutney-loving side of the extended family. It’s surprisingly not-too-hot given the amount of chilli, and even my chilli-averse sister loves it.

Coleslaw an Asian style of dressing with coriander

Coleslaw two-ways (vegan)

It’s time for coleslaw. And not just any old coleslaw. This one comes with two options for dressing: one option is a recipe we’ve been using for years, uses a deliciously creamy, yet vegan mayonnaise, and everyone prefers it; the second one is now a new favourite and uses some much-loved ‘Asian’ flavours. Our new favourite is pictured here.


Sunday soup: Broccoli and almond

Broccoli soup with almonds and leek makes a delicious entree or even a light dinner: just have more if you’re still hungry!

Quinoa porridge or pudding: good for breakfast and dessert

Quinoa porridge or pudding: breakfast or dessert

We discovered quinoa a couple of years ago as another option for lots of things, but it was this pudding with its combination of apple, orange and quinoa, that grabbed our enthusiasm. It’s designed as a breakfast porridge, but it also makes good dessert for the über health conscious.

A food-free mini cupcake - no wheat, no dairy, no egg

Food-free chocolate cupcakes

‘Food free’ is a label we invented for a very restricted diet one of our relatives was forced to endure for a few months: no gluten, no egg, no dairy, no legumes, no nuts, no spices. It’s pretty limiting, especially if there’s a demand for, oh, a birthday cake for a child. We still have food…

Tahini halva with carrot and ginger

A successful halva experiment: carrot, ginger & tahini

Halva is one of those love-it-or-hate it things. I’ve never met anyone who’s just so-so about this middle-eastern sugar and tahini treat. Add in the flavour of minced ginger and carrot, and you have a delicious little sweet with just a touch of zing.

Orange, carrot, ginger smoothie

The colour orange: a smoothie

We don’t have a juicer, but when the Seasoned Traveler published her recipe for her Orange wellness elixir, I just had to give it a try. A quick google, a grater, a blender and some suitable cloth, and it all became possible: an orange smoothie to match my green smoothie from some months ago.

Preserved zucchini

How to preserve zucchini

We’ve preserved zucchini by drying it (sun drying and in the dehydrator), ready for use in winter stews, and by this wonderful pickling method I found on an Italian vegan website: zucchini, salt, vinegar and oil. The Italian author says this dish will make the winter ‘lick his moustache’: what an excellent way to describe…

Leek and potato soup, a hearty meal for the family

Sunday soup: Leek and potato

Leek and potatoes combine to make this soup a real classic. We enjoy this as a hearty evening meal or Sunday lunch rather than the more formal, pureed presentation. Sometimes, we take out a little, puree that, and pour it back in to thicken the soup a bit.

Excellent energy biscuits

Malar’s excellent energy biscuits

The search for healthy snacks has been part of our quest to avoid refined sugar. Malar’s healthy cookies—biscuits without egg, oil, butter or sugar—are an excellent and delicious energy biscuit that would be ideal for a mid-morning school snack, or they might be great for extra energy on the bushwalking trail. I’ve even been known to sneak a few for a pre-breakfast (followed up with fruit, of course), and they are indeed delicious.

Quick and crispy chickpea and cauliflower

Quick roasted chickpeas and cauliflower

Roasted garlic, baked chickpeas, crispy cauliflower, sweet roasted capsicum: what a combination. Best of all, if you have chickpeas ready to go, it’s a good quick dish to bake; and it’s perfect for someone dining alone. I guess it could be a side dish in a main meal, but I think it’s far too good for that. So we make it for lunch or even brunch.