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breakfast gluten free

The ultimate chocolate buckwheat granola clusters

April 29, 2017

I often find breakfast a challenge, I like variety so having a jar of home made granola on hand is always helpful, it also serves as a coffee-break snack! Granola is easy to make and your kitchen smells wonderful when it’s baking. This one is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking by adding more or less rice syrup.

Although the name suggests otherwise, buckwheat is actually not a wheat, nor is it even a true grain. Buckwheat is the fruit seed of a plant similar to rhubarb and sorrel so it is a great option for those wanting gluten free recipes. Buckwheat groats also add a special crunch when toasted and are high in minerals and anti-oxidants.

Quinoa puffs are literally quinoa grains that have been gently heated until they ‘puff’ they have a yummy, toasted flavour with a soft center, you can eat them on their own as a breakfast cereal.



Makes one extra large jar


1 cup of buckwheat groats
1 cup of quinoa puffs
1 cup of coconut threads
1/2 cup sliced almonds or other nuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 teaspoon of himalayan or sea salt

1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted
3 – 4 tablespoons of rice syrup or organic 100% maple syrup or honey
3 tablespoons of cacao powder
1 tablespoon of tahini
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius.

Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.

Melt the coconut oil by placing a smaller bowl into a larger one of hot water or by gently heating in a small pot over a low heat.

Mix together all the liquid ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well. It will be sticky, chocolatey and clumpy.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread out your granola as evenly as possible.

Bake for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Break up the granola with your hands and place in an airtight container or lidded jar.

Serve with your favourite nut milk, yoghurt and fresh fruit.

I love snacking on mine too for a mid afternoon pick-me-up!

breakfast gluten free

Have you tried millet porridge yet?

March 20, 2016

Autumn is upon is in this part of the world, the mornings are cooling off and our appetite changes towards more comfort food. Millet porridge is one of those for me, having been an avid oats girl from way back this is a surprising delight!

The gorgeous plateware is individually created by Joy Smithers of Batch Ceramics in Australia and was supplied by Shipshape of Waihi Beach who are a NZ stockist.


Gluten free/dairy free/refined sugar free
Serves two to three

1 tablespoon of coconut oil
4 tablespoons of organic millet
1 tablespoon of organic flax seed
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
2 cups of plant based milk (coconut, almond etc)
2 medjool dates, sliced
2 tablespoons of almond butter (optional)
2 tablespoons of dairy free coconut yoghurt (optional)

Add the coconut oil to a small saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and heat for 30 seconds to bubbling. Add the millet and flaxseed and stir to coat with the oil and spices for about another 30 seconds. Add half of the milk, the salt and the vanilla, stir well and turn down to a low heat. As your millet slowly simmers and thickens, gradually add the rest of the milk and stir frequently. Cook for a further 15 minutes, add more milk if required. I like my millet slightly nutty, if you prefer less texture then cook longer.

Serve with the almond butter, coconut yoghurt, dates and extra milk. If you want to add more sweetness then serve with honey or coconut sugar.

You will find that a little goes a long way with millet porridge as it’s quite filling!

I’ve also served mine with Banana Bread from my cookbook Bestow Treats I – all gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free recipes.


breakfast desserts

Croatian pancakes (palachinke) for brunch

June 14, 2015

My youngest son loves pancakes. He’s 9yrs old so of course he loves pancakes! It’s a regular weekend request – “Mum can you make Croatian pancakes?”. He loves that aspect of our heritage. So instead of my usual recipe I decided to see how John from he needs food makes them (his Croatian recipes are amazing). His recipe was pretty much the same as mine except that I don’t use soda water and add in a tablespoon of melted butter. I followed his recipe to the letter and the result was beautiful, light pancakes with just the right amount of sweet – yum!

By the way my son eats them just with lashings of melted butter.


Makes 15 (larger than a saucer, smaller than a bread n butter plate size)

3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup soda water
1 cup flour
3 tbsp caster sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Butterfor frying

Beat the eggs with the milk and soda water, whisk in the flour, sugar, salt and vanilla until smooth. Leave to sit for 30 minutes.

Heat a knob of butter over a medium-hit heat in a small non-stick frying pan. Tip out the excess butter into a heatproof dish and put aside. You want to have an even spread of butter over the pan. Ladle in about 1/3 of a ladle of batter, tilt the pan to spread evenly. Cook until the edges are starting to lift then flip over and cook the other side. Between each pancake I brush some of the excess butter over the pan with a pastry brush.

Serve with berries and mascarpone and chopped pistachios.








Making Granola Sunshine

March 15, 2015

Making Granola is like making sunshine, the smell of it wafting through the house as it toasts and the taste of freshly made granola is divine to say the least. I add dried, fresh or preserved fruit at serving time, with milk and a dollop of greek yoghurt – sunshine in a bowl.

I use coconut sugar to get a lovely caramel flavour and a good NZ honey, this time I used a rewarewa flavour. The pure vanilla is a must, it really makes a difference.



2 cups of wholegrain rolled oats
1 ½ cup of mixed nuts, chopped (I’ve used almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts in this batch)
½ cup of sunflower seeds½ cup of pumpkin seeds
¾ cup of coconut chips
½ cup of flax seed
2 tablespoons of butter
1 tablespoon of coconut sugar
1 tablespoon of raw honey
1 vanilla pod, scraped
¼ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of cinnamon



Preheat your oven to 140 degrees celsius.

In a small saucepan gently melt the butter, honey and coconut sugar. Stir in the vanilla. In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients then stir through the melted butter mixture to evenly coat. Add the salt and cinnamon and mix well.

Line a large baking tray with baking paper and spread your granola mix out evenly across it.

Toast for 15 minutes – use a timer as it can very easily burn and check after ten minutes. Remove from the oven, cool and store in a large jar.


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breakfast light meals simple meals Vegetarian

Eggs en cocette with spinach, mushrooms and parmesan

May 4, 2014

It’s been awhile between blog posts. April was a month where ‘life happened’, it was tough. A good friend lost her beautiful daughter in a tragic accident, bearing witness to this has been heartbreaking. Then a nasty flu virus hit me and it was hard to overcome. Now it’s May and my youngest son and I have been staying in a remote part of New Zealand (by the sea) for ten days of R&R. It’s been very peaceful and we are ready to head home again in a couple of days.

This morning I felt like eggs with a difference for breakfast so decided to try eggs en cocette with spinach and mushrooms. This was so delicate and beautiful to eat – undoubtedly the best eggy breakfast!

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INGREDIENTS (for two servings)
2 organic eggs
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 large mushrooms, chopped
120g of baby spinach leaves
4 tablespoons of cream
2 tablespoons of parmesan, grated
2 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Knob of butter
Salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Grease 2 ramekins with butter. Gently pan fry the onion, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil and butter until the onion is soft. Add the spinach leaves and stir through til wilted (about a minute). Remove from the heat add the nutmeg and cool. Once cool, drain off any excess liquid and chop. Add half of the spinach mixture to each ramekin. With a spoon press the spinach to make a well in the middle and spread up the sides of the ramekin. Break an egg into each one. Add two tablespoons of cream to each ramekin, sprinkle each with one tablespoon of parmesan. Sprinkle each with half the parsley then season with salt and pepper.

Place the egg ramekins in a larger oven proof dish, pour boiling water into the dish till the level is half way up the sides of the ramekin. Place carefully in the oven and bake for 15 minutes for soft eggs. Remove carefully, garnish with parsley and serve. So tasty.



IMG_8128b Beautiful bougainvillea in flower where we are staying.

photob Waihau Bay, East Cape, New Zealand.

breakfast gluten free

A Christmas breakfast

December 22, 2013

To start Christmas day off well try this gorgeous gluten free, dairy free recipe from the Bestow Within Journal.


1 large kumara (or sweet potato)
1 dozen cherry tomatoes
2 large handfuls spinach
2 medium red onions
4 eggs
1 tablespoon of apple
cider vinegar
Coconut oil to cook
Olive oil (optional)
Himalayan or sea salt & pepper
Fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, parsley, oregano, chopped

Preheat oven to 200°C. Slice kumara into 6mm round discs. Coat with a little oil, place in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Halfway through the roasting time wash and slice the tomatoes in half. Place on a second baking tray with the sliced onion, and roast in the oven for 15 minutes or so, until soft. Keep in the oven until ready to serve.

Once the onions, kumara and tomatoes have all finished cooking, bring two pots of water to the boil, one for the spinach and one for the poached eggs.

Add the vinegar to the pot for the eggs. Wash the spinach and add to the other pot, wilt and strain.

When the poached egg water is boiling, stir with a spoon in a circular motion and drop in each egg, one at a time to poach.

Create your stacks by layering 3– 4 kumara slices, then some wilted spinach, a few roasted tomatoes, the onion rings and top with the poached egg. Add some extra roasted tomatoes around the base of the plate, drizzle with a little olive oil and grind salt and pepper over your stack, sprinkle with fresh herbs. Serve.

High in protein, this breakfast will sustain you through the morning. Kumara is also one of the most nutritious of all vegetables. It is a good source of antioxidants, protecting your skin from ageing.

breakfast raw food smoothies

All things Bestow and a green smoothie

October 10, 2013

I have worked with the Bestow Beauty company for several years now in the graphic design and marketing capacity. I relish my time with both the products and the people plus all the marvellous things I have learnt over the years about skin health. I now sell the 3 Bestow products as follows:

Bestow Beauty Oil $36.50
Bestow Beauty Powder $45.00
Bestow Be Cleansed $49.50


If you would like to order any of these please message me (P+P is not included in the above prices).

Janine Tait, director of Bestow and myself are now working on a Bestow Cooking Journal which will be available early December. If you would like to be notified as soon as it is available please click here.

This morning I thought I would try a green smoothie with avocado, I’ve read a few recipes lately for this and haven’t really been able to get my head around it to be honest. Avocado in a smoothie?? Are you sure? Anyway today was the day to bite the avocado bullet. The result was actually suprisingly good, creamy good!

Blend together:
250ml Coconut Water
1/2 medium sized avocado flesh
small handful of fresh kale leaves
1 tbsp pure maple syrup or honey or a dash of stevia to sweeten
1 tbsp Bestow Be Cleansed
1/2 tbsp Bestow Beauty Powder
A few ice cubes



beverages breakfast

Raw cacao-banana smoothie with almond milk

September 2, 2013

Smoothies are oh so popular at the moment with a positive trend towards a more raw, therefore healthy diet. For me personally I do my best to eat unprocessed foods and my love for cooking from scratch certainly helps with that. Since my experience with invasive breast cancer two years ago I have changed my lifestyle considerably and a large part of that is diet.

A fresh juice or smoothie is a great way to start the day. Raw cacao powder is now readily available at health stores and has great nutritional value plus gives you a distinct chocolate flavour. This is not a smoothie that I’d have every day but once or twice a week is perfect, even leave it to mid afternoon when your energy is a bit flat – it’s a nice pick-me-up.

A little bit of thought has to go into preparing healthy food to ensure you have fresh ingredients on hand and items like almonds need to be soaked in water for 8 hours prior to making almond milk. See how to make almond milk below.


Two ripe bananas
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 cup almond milk or organic coconut milk
1 tbsp raw honey or organic maple syrup

Blend all the ingredients, add some goji berries and cocoa nibs if your wish.


1 cup raw, natural, organic almonds
2 cups water

Soak the nuts in the water for 8 hours. Drain the water off and add another 2-3 cups of fresh water (I like 2.5 cups but adjust to your taste liking). Blend until nice and creamy. Strain into a large jar using a nut milk bag (these are available at health shops or I purchased mine from Little Bird Organics in Auckland). You could use a sieve if you have a really fine one but the bag works a treat and you can squeeze it out.

You are now left with almond milk and a nice almond meal by product that you can freeze and use as a base for tarts etc. Easy peasy!


Home made organic granola

August 31, 2013

This home made granola is easy, smells amazing when roasting and tastes great. Store it in a sealed container for several weeks. Serve with lashings of greek yoghurt and fresh or stewed fruit. This is also another recipe inspired by The Green Kitchen.


2 cups organic jumbo rolled oats
1 1/2 cups of roughly chopped nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil or a mixture)
1 cup coconut chips
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardomom powder
1/2 cup honey (runny or melted)
1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)
3/4 cup of goji berry/cocoa nib mix (optional, get this from your health store)
12 pansy flowers, petals only (optional)

Organic ingredients preferred but not essential

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Mix the oats, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, coconut, honey and coconut oil together in a large bowl. Don’t be afraid to get your hands into it to mix it well! Lay out on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Toast in the oven for 15-20 mins, keep checking it and stirring it so that it roasts evenly and doesn’t set off the smoke alarms. When golden and crispy, remove from the oven and cool.

Place your pansy petals (if you are using them) in the oven for a few moments to dry – don’t burn them.

When the granola is cool place it in a large bowl and mix it with your hands to break it all up. Add the goji berry mix and the dried pansy petals and any other ingredients you like such as dried apricots, cranberries etc. Place in sealed jars.




breakfast gluten free

Banana, blueberry hotcakes – gluten free

July 24, 2013

I brought a gorgeous cookbook last week. It’s called The Green Kitchen. It’s vegetarian, has stunning images and a gorgeous layout. This was the first recipe I tried which was a real success and I can’t wait to make them again.

I’ve called them hotcakes (the original recipe is pancakes) because here in NZ pancakes are really large and quite thin where as these are smaller and thicker – like hotcakes 🙂



3 ripe bananas, mashed
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of coconut, dessicated or thread
1 cup of blueberries (thawed if frozen)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp coconut oil for frying
2 tbsp of maple syrup or honey (for topping)
2 tbsp if plain yoghurt (for topping)

Mix together the mashed banana, lightly beaten eggs, coconut, cinnamon and most of the blueberries (reserve some for serving) in a bowl. The mixture is a bit runnier than a normal pancake mix.

Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick fry pan till bubbling then turn down to medium. Add a large tablespoonful of the batter to the pan for each hotcake – smaller than pancake size but larger than pikelets. Cook for two – three minutes until they look reasonably set. Flip carefully (they’re a little tricky but if they are set enough it’s not too difficult). Cook the reverse side for a minute or two, they should be a nice golden brown.

Stack the hotcakes and serve with a dollop of yoghurt, a few extra blueberries, some runny honey or maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Invite me for breakfast.

Serves 4