Sunday, 10 September 2017

Traditional potato salad alternative

One of my favourite salads when I was little (and remember I never really liked salads, so I use this term loosely), was the good old potato salad. The one with the creamy dressing found at most great Aussie backyard BBQs or family gatherings. We all know that this salad isn't really healthy at all, but it makes us feel better when we call it a salad 😉 So here is my potato salad alternative. Like always its simple and delicious to make, and you will impress all of the regular potato salad lovers.

Roasted vegetable salad


  • 1 parsnip
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 2 potatos
  • 1 swede
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 beetroot
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp of wholegrain mustard
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of sunflower kernels
  • 1/4 pepitas
  • 1 can of lentils, drained and warmed if serving warm or can leave them cold.


  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Peel all vegetables and dice into cubes. Coat in olive oil, and bake in over for 15-20 or until cooked (but still firm).
  2. Combine peanut butter, tahini, maple syrup, wholegrain mustard and water in bowl to form a dressing.
  3. Toss dressing, sunflower kernels, pepitas and lentils through roasted vegetables.
  4. Can be served hot as a side dish, or cold. We sometimes eat this as a main too! 
  5. Enjoy
Love Mandy M

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Simple and delicious

Once upon a time I was a victim of prepackaged foods. I still cooked regularly, but when I was getting home from uni, or work late it was much easier (or so I thought) to buy something from the "heat and serve" part of the grocery store. One of my go to quick meals, was to buy the pre-made pasta sauces, and pasta and in less than 15min I had dinner on the table. To be honest though, the sauces were never really that tasty and most are packed with salt or added preservatives that are not very good for us. Today I will share a recipe for a pasta sauce that takes only as long to make as the pasta takes to cook. Dinner is still ready in under 15min, but you get to know exactly what goes in it, and make it from fresh produce. Like my Arrabbiata recipe, the sauce is vegan friendly, but super creamy and delicious.

Pesto and Chili Pasta Sauce


  • 2 deseeded chili
  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp of cook pro stock paste
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • juice of one large lime
  • 100g of sliced sun-dried tomatoes or halved fresh cherry tomatoes


  1. Using the cook processor, insert the multi-blade, and add the chili, cashews, basil, olive oil, garlic and stock paste. Pulse for 10 seconds, scrape down sides and repeat until blended into a pesto.
  2. Set temperature to 80 degree Celsius, speed to 1 and cook for 2min.
  3. Add the avocados and lime juice, and pulse for 10seconds, scrape down sides and repeat, until avocados are pureed. 
  4. Replace the multi-blade with the stir assist. Add the tomatoes. Set temperature to 80 degrees Celsius, speed to 1 and cook for 8min.
  5. Stir through freshly cooked pasta and serve!
Thanks for reading!
Love Mandy M

Sunday, 3 September 2017

The Berry Nice Dessert 

Today I did lots of experimenting to make a dessert that not only looks amazing but is low in processed sugars, gluten free (for all your celiac friends) and vegan friendly. May I present to you...

The Berry Nice Tart 😋

The crust

  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 1 cup of tapioca flour
  • 50ml of olive oil
  • 50ml of maple syrup
  1. Place all ingredients into the cook processor with the multi-blade attachment. Pulse for 15 seconds, scrape down sides and repeat until ingredients form a crumble and presses into a dough.
  2. Using olive oil, grease a 20cm round, 3cm deep fluted, loose bottomed tin. Press dough into pan to form your tart crust, ensuring that the thickness is even on both the base and sides of tin.
  3. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 15min.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

The vanilla creamy jelly center

  • 1 cup of soaked cashews (2 hours of soaking or more is needed)
  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp of tapioca flour
  • 2 Tbsp of agar agar powder
  • 2 tsp of vanilla bean paste
  • Zest of one small lemon
  1. Place soaked cashews and water in the cook processor with multi-blade. Increase speed slowly up to 10, and blitz for 5min.
  2. Using a nut cloth, strain the cashew milk. Place the cashew milk into the cook pro with the stir assist. Place the cashew meal onto am oven tray and bake for 30min at 100 degrees Celsius.
  3. Add maple syrup, tapioca flour and agar agar to the cashew milk in the cook pro.
  4. Set temperature to 70 degrees Celsius, select speed one and mix for 10min.
  5. Add vanilla bean paste and lemon zest and stir on speed 1 for 20 seconds.
  6. Let cool for 15min in cook pro.
  7. Pour mixture into cold tart crust.
  8. Place in fridge for 3 hours. 

The berry nice topping

  • 1 punnet of strawberries
  • 1 punnet of blueberries
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp of agar agar
  1. Place berries, orange juice and maple syrup into the cook pro with the stir assist. Set temperature to 70, remove measuring cup, set speed to 1 and cook for 3 min.
  2. Add agar agar to mix, set temp to 70, set speed to 1 and cook for 5 min.
  3. Stir on speed 1 for 15 min, without heat to cool mixture.
  4. Once cooled, add to the top of your tart, placing strawberries on first, followed by blueberries.
  5. To garnish, add the zest of one orange and use the cashew meal crumb.
  6. Enjoy with friends and family.
Happy eating!

Love Mandy M

Saturday, 2 September 2017

You can make friends with salad

Growing up I didn't really like to eat salad, and I quoted Homer Simpson quite often "You don't make friends with salad", and I loved to sing Bart's "You don't make friends with salad" song. What I discovered a little later in life though, is that what I didn't like, was your average boring, garden variety salads and I especially hated french salad dressing or any really that had a strong vinegar taste. Now, I eat lots of salads, but I always make my own dressing to go on them so I know exactly what I am eating, and infuse the dressings with flavours I love and flavours that complement each other. Today I will be sharing my new salad recipe with you, which will indeed make you friends 😉

Early Spring time Salad

Salad Dressing


  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger
  • 1 tsp of grated galangal
  • 1 tsp of cook pro stock paste
  • 1/4 maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 orange 


  1. Heat oil in pan on medium heat.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, galangal and stock paste to the oil and simmer for 5 min
  3. Add the maple syrup and orange juice and simmer for 5 min.
  4. Turn off heat and let cool for 15min.
  5. Using a fine strainer, filter the dressing to remove any solids.



  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 capsicums
  • 1 onion
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 can (425g) chickpeas
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 cabbage leaves
  • 60g of dried cranberries
  • 100g of mixed lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa.


  • Pre-heat the oven 180 degree Celsius.
  • Peel and diced sweet potato, slice capsicum into strips and cut onion into wedges. Place sweet potato capsicum onion and chickpeas on oven tray. Coat in olive oil, and bake in oven for 15-20min or until slightly golden.
  • Julienne the carrot and slice the cabbage thinly.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, place all ingredients into a bowl and toss. Pour over salad dressing and serve.
This salad is great at the start of spring with its fresh citrus flavours. It can be served warm on the cooler days or be served cold on the warmer days. The cooked ingredients can be kept separate from the fresh ingredients and be tossed through just before serving, making it perfect to take to a weekend bbq, picnic or make extras for work lunches throughout the week.
Happy cooking!

Love Mandy M

Friday, 1 September 2017

The Taste of Italy

I love pasta! It is delicious, but all those carbs are not great for my waist line. I recently discovered San Remo pulse pasta though, which is made from peas, lentils, chickpeas and borlotti beans. Not only is it lower in carbs but is packed full of protein, which means I can have all my fav simple vegan sauces without feeling like I should of had more protein. It also has much more fiber than regular pasta, which means it is a lower GI option (sugars break down more slowly, giving you longer lasting energy), keeps you feeling fuller for longer and serving sizes can be alot smaller.

Arrabiata has to be one of my most favorite pasta sauces of all time. To me, this sauce tastes like the essence of all great Italian food. It is deceptively simple but with the combination of basil, tomato, garlic and chilli it is not lacking in any flavour.

Pene Arrabbiata


  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 deseeded chilli
  • 8 tomatoes (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 Tbsp cook pro stock paste
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 cups of Basil leaves


  1. Place all ingredients (apart from basil) into the cook pro with the multi-blade
  2. Pulse for 10 seconds and scrap down sides, repeat twice (total 30seconds). If using canned tomatoes pulsing for 10 seconds should be enough.
  3. Take out measuring cup and replace multi-blade with stir assist.
  4. Set temp to 100 degrees Celsius, and cook for 10 min with speed 1.
  5. Add basil leaves and stir for a further 1 min. 
  6. Serve with cooked pene (or your fav pasta, cooked as per packet instructions).
  7. Enjoy!

Love MandyM

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Healing Tea

I have had the best week. I got to fly to my home town and visit my family. My BFF's little boy (who I have claimed as my nephew) turned 2 years old and we got to celebrate together! Unfortunately I picked up the flu somewhere along the way and have been drinking lots and lots of tea. For those who know me well, know that I love tea. It is not uncommon for me to have 10-15 types of tea in my cupboard at one time. When I am sick though, I like to make my own concoctions up. Today's recipe, is one of those teas. It has peppermint (which is a natural decongestant, fever reducer and can help with nausea), ginger (a natural anti-inflammatory and can help treat nausea), lemon (to reduce phlegm) and honey (which is good for soothing sore throats and suppressing coughing). Here is how I make it!

Healing tea recipe (per cup)


  • 2 tsp of dried peppermint, or loose leaf peppermint tea
  • 2 tsp of organic honey
  • 1 tsp of fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 250ml boiling water


  1. Place all ingredients into a tea pot and steep for 5 min. 
  2. Strain tea, before drinking.
  3. If using fresh peppermint leave, steep time can be increased to 7min, and peppmint leave can be left in tea for drinking. 

Love Mandym

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Sweet Potato Bruschetta Tart

This morning my husband was able to go into work late, so I got up early and made us breakfast to enjoy together before I dropped him off at the train station. This is what I came up with.

Introducing sweet potato bruschetta tart. This recipe was very simple and would be great to make as an entre for a dinner party, or as a light lunch, brunch or breakfast.

Sweet potato Bruschetta tart


  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 1 cup of tapioca flour
  • 2 Tbsp of dried thyme
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 50ml of cold water
  1. Place all ingredients into the Kitchenaid Cook Processor, and pulse for 15 seconds, scrape down sides and repeat, until ingredients comes together forming your pastry dough.
  2. Using olive oil, grease 6 small, loose bottomed tart pans, or alternatively 8 bottoms of a muffin tray. Press dough into the pans to form your tart crust, ensuring that the thickness is even both on the bases and sides of the pans.
  3.  Bake in oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes. Let rest for 10 min before removing the tin cases


  • 1 large roasted sweet potato (can be baked at same time as tart, if cut into small cubes)
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
  • 2 Tbsp of almond feta
  • 3 large tomatoes 
  • 1 bunch of basil
  1. Spread the almond feta evenly over the inside of the tart case in a think layer.
  2. Place pistachios and sweet potato in the cook processor and pulse for 15 seconds. Place this inside the tarts on top of the almond feta layer.
  3. Dice the tomato into small pieces, removing the seeds and soft center (this can be placed in the freezer to add to a stock later).
  4. Finely slice basil and mix with the diced tomato.
  5. Place tomato and basil mixture on top of the sweet potato.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Have fun cooking and creating!

Love Mandy M