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light meals seafood simple meals snacks

NZ fresh scallops on roast veg with pea puree

March 2, 2017

Being a great lover of New Zealand seafood, scallops are a firm favourite and a pleasant reminder that summer is nearly here! Here’s a nice, easy scallop taster using roast beetroot and/or kumara (making it even more New Zealand) as a base. I think I preferred the beetroot, when you roast it you get a lovely subtle, sweet flavour that works well with the pea and scallop (or so I thought).

I added a Stoneleigh Chardonnay – not because I wine match because in truth I would have no idea about all that, I just really like this wine!

Yummo 🙂











Serves 2 for a taster

6 scallops
1 beetroot
1 kumara
1/2 cup of frozen or fresh peas
1/2 cup of frozen or fresh edamame soybeans (if you don’t have these, double the quantity of peas)
2 large mint leaves
1/2 cup of reserved pea cooking liquid
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
Salt and pepper

Serve with:
Lemon wedges
Pea shoots

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Slice your beetroot and kumara (sweet potato) into thick circles – about 5mm each. Brush both sides with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast on a lined tray for 20-25 minutes until cooked and golden brown.

While the veg is roasting, bring a small pot that is half full of salted water to the boil and blanch the peas and beans for a couple of minutes, strain but reserve 1/2 a cup of the liquid. Blitz the peas, beans, liquid, mint leaves and some salt and pepper with a stick blender until you have a nice puree.

Heat a frypan or hotplate on high with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the butter, I use a hotplate as this gives the scallops a nice caramelised finish but a heavy based pan will also do the job!

When the butter and oil is sizzling add your scallops, season with salt and pepper and fry quickly (only takes minutes) to a nice golden brown on each side.

Layer up your plates with the roast veg segments, dollops of pea/bean puree and a seared scallop. Season well and serve with lemon wedges, pea shoots and microgreens.

light meals salads seafood simple meals

Fresh snapper tortilla with pineapple salsa

December 31, 2016

Initially I was going to call this a taco but then after researching the difference between taco, burrito, tortilla it seems that tortilla (in Mexican cookery a thin, flat maize pancake, eaten hot or cold, typically with a savoury filling) is more correct. I think the ‘wrap’ or ‘tortilla’ is more transportable and easier to eat than the taco shell so they’re great for taking on a picnic or in the boat for a fishing trip! If you make the pineapple salsa and the avocado cream the night before the flavours will develop more and so your tortilla will be extra tasty.


1 fresh pineapple, diced
1/2 a fresh chilli, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 mint leaves, finely chopped
A small handful of coriander, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate. Your salsa will stay fresh for 2 – 3 days.

1 avocado
Juice of one lemon
A good handful of fresh coriander

Whiz with a stick blender and refrigerate. Your avo cream will stay green and fresh for 2 – 3 days due to the lemon juice content.

Makes 6

3 fresh snapper fillets
1 tablespoon of flour
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

Shake all together in a plastic bag to coat the fish fillets evenly. Pan fry your fish over a medium-high heat in a little olive oil and a knob of butter until golden brown on both sides. Set aside.

6 wraps or tortillas, I use the smaller ones, about bread and butter plate size
1/4 of a red cabbage, finely sliced
A good handful of snowpea sprouts (I always chop the ends of them so they are not quite so long and more manageable)
Olive oil

Brush a frypan with olive oil and heat over a medium-high heat, add your tortillas one at a time and cook on both sides till golden. Along the centre of each tortilla add some sliced red cabbage and some snow pea sprouts. Chope the snapper fillets into bite sized chunks and add a few of these to each tortilla. Spoon over pineapple salsa and dollop with the avocado cream. Season with salt and pepper, wrap and serve or wrap and pack.

The great thing about this type of food is it’s very mix and match, use what you have on hand eg. instead of pineapple salsa make a cucumber – tomato salsa or add mango to the pineapple. Layer with lettuce and grated carrot rather than cabbage and sprouts.



gluten free light meals seafood simple meals soup

Lime, chilli, prawn noodle soup

June 9, 2016

If you’re feeling the winter blues lately you may like this little vibrant pick me up. There’s something about lime, chilli and coriander that just works. This soup is easy and so ‘next level’ in flavours, try it – you’ll love it I’m sure!


Serves 3-4

1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 cm slice of fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups of chicken or vege stock (preferably home made)
2 tablespoons of tamari (Japanese soy)
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
Juice and zest of two limes
20 prawns, fresh or frozen
1 red chilli, sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
125 grams of vermicelli noodles
A small handful of fresh coriander

Soak or cook the vermicelli noodles according to the packet instructions.

Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute or two. Add the stock, tamari, fish sauce and lime zest & juice. Bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for five minutes. Add the prawns and simmer for another 3 – 4 minutes. Remove the prawns and set aside.

Divide the noodles into serving bowls, ladle the soup over the noodles, then add the prawns, chilli and spring onion. Scatter with coriander leaves.






light meals pasta seafood simple meals

Mussel spaghetti with basil, chorizo and tomato

May 12, 2015

As winter knocks on our door and the last of the tomatoes and basil fade, I felt it was time for some vibrant, flavoursome seafood! This dish is a firm favourite of mine and green lipped mussels with chorizo works so well…


Serves 4 – 6
300g spaghetti pasta
2 tablespoons of olive oil
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 large Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup of chicken stock
Juice one lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
16-20 fresh mussels
2 large tablespoons of crème fraiche or sour cream
A good handful of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
A good handful of fresh basil, chopped
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Place the tomatoes on a baking paper lined tray, drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, they should be a deeper red colour and the skin should be starting to blacken. Set aside.

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan according to the instructions on the packet. Drain.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large frypan and fry the chorizo until golden brown, remove from pan and set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook over a low heat until soft – about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and the lemon juice to the pan and bring to the boil.

Scrub the mussels well and de-beard the mussels. Add the mussels to the pan and place the lid on Leave for about 3 minutes and check to see if the shells have opened, if not they may need another minute. Remove the mussels and set aside discarding any unopened ones. Add the, parsley, basil, chorizo, tomatoes and crème fraiche and stir through. Season with salt and pepper. On a large platter place the cooked spaghetti and mussels in their shells, add the mixture of all the other ingredients, garnish with more parsley and basil. Serve with lemon cheeks.



seafood simple meals

Fresh mussels recipe with beans n bacon

November 23, 2014

I love New Zealand seafood, there’s just no other way to say it. I grew up on the water, mostly around Northland and watched my father countless times boil the tin for fresh crayfish or prepare the smoke house for today’s catch. Earlier this year I created some dishes for Aquaculture NZ and of the ten this is the one I dream about the most. It’s so vibrant and tasty that it’s a tragedy when it’s all gone! It’s also a very economic family meal, give it a try you won’t regret it.


20 fresh mussels
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, final chopped
2 bay leaves
1 cup of chicken stock
Juice of one lemon
2 390g cans of cannellini beans
6 tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons of olive oil
10 rasher of streaky bacon, chopped
2 spring onions, sliced
1/2 cup of parsley chopped
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Serves 4-6.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Place the tomatoes in a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 mins or until the tomatoes are a lovely rich red and starting to darken on the edges.

While the tomatoes are cooking scrub and de-beard the mussels. Then heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large frypan and cook the bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Tip any excess bacon fat out of the pan, leaving about one tablespoon in the pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently until the onion is soft – about 10 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, lemon juice and bay leaves. Bring to the boil.

Add the mussels and place the lid on the pan. Leave for about 3 minutes and check to see if the shells have opened, if not they may need another minute. Remove the mussels and set aside discarding any unopened ones.

Add the cannelloni beans to the pan and the bacon and tomatoes, heat through for a few minutes over a medium temperature. Remove half the mussels from their shells and stir into the sauce. Remove from the heat.

Ladle the sauce into bowls, add some mussels in their shells, scatter over the spring onion, parsley, parmesans and salt and pepper.

Serve with lemon cheeks and fried or grilled ciabatta.



HealthyMe light meals seafood simple meals

Healthyme – Zesty layered fish bake

October 9, 2014

At the moment I’m working on a new book with Janine Tait (dermo nutrition guru) which is for the Janesce skincare Vital Cleanse menu. The Vital Cleanse has been part of the Janesce program for many years and so Janine and I decided to present it in a lovely book with new recipes and a meal planner. I especially loved this fish bake beacause it’s seafood and the crust is really good as an alternative to breadcrumbs! The Vital Cleanse book will be launched early next year.


Serves 2 to 3

¼ cup of pumpkin seeds
¼ cup of sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
Zest of a lemon
Himalayan or sea salt to taste
Pepper to taste
¼ cup of parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil

500 grams of fresh fish
3 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
1 clove of garlic, chopped
¼ cup of parsley, chopped
Juice of one lemon
Himalayan salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Pulse the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in your food processor until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Place in a medium sized bowl and add the sesame seeds, lemon zest, salt, pepper, olive oil and parsley.

Place your fish fillets in an oiled, shallow baking dish. Layer the sliced tomatoes on top of the fish and sprinkle with parsley and garlic. Add salt and pepper and the lemon juice.

Cover with the crust and place in the oven for 20 minutes until crust is golden brown and fish is cooked. Serve with fresh salad and brown rice.





500 grams of fresh fish (I’ve used snapper)
Tomatoes x 3
Italian parsley
Lemons x 1
Olive oil
Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds


seafood simple meals

Thai salmon parcels

July 24, 2014

This is a really delicate, flavoursome dish and so easy to do with the added bonus of no messy frying. The rice has a sweet, sticky coconut flavour – very yummy.  The hardest part is knowing whether your salmon is cooked and you don’t want to overcook it. Test one after 10 minutes by checking the flakiness of the middle of the piece of salmon, it should be juicy and just flaking. If it’s not flaking at all in the center then it will need another few minutes.



Serves two

250-300 grams of fresh salmon, cut into two pieces
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
4 tablespoons of coconut milk
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 makrut (kaffir) lime leaf, finely chopped
2 spring onions, chopped
1 cup of black rice or basmati rice
2 tablespoons of fresh coriander and parsley, chopped
Himalayan or sea salt
Ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Cook the rice according to instructions on the packet.

Mix together the coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, chilli and makrut lime.

In a baking tray add two rectangles of baking paper (large enough so you can enclose your salmon parcel). Place half a cup of the cooked rice into the middle of each piece of baking paper and spread a little. Add a salmon piece on each. Spoon over even quantities of the coconut milk mixture on each parcel. Top with half of the spring onion. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the sides over each and then fold the ends and roll them up to enclose your parcels. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes. Serve with coriander, parsley and extra spring onion.







Bluff oysters 3 ways

March 8, 2014

It’s that time of year when the taste buds go mad with anticipation of the very first bluff oysters! For those of you not familiar with New Zealand oysters – Bluff is the southern most tip of New Zealand that grows the fattest, sweetest, juiciest oysters on the planet. So I managed to get my hands on some and decided I would try 3 different dressings. I love my oysters raw, to cook them is absolute sacrilege I think. Anyway as I didn’t have any oyster shells to serve them in I had to be a little more inventive. I love the idea of oyster shooters but didn’t have any decent glassware, however I had some gorgeous solid silver spoons! What better way to indulge in one mouthful of fresh, creamy, Bluff oyster heaven…


Dressing 1 – lime/soy
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
1 teaspoon of fish sauce
1 teaspoon or 1 cube of palm sugar
1/2 red chilli finely chopped

Heat the above ingredients gently in a small saucepan till the sugar melts – stir frequently.

Add 1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
Zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves

Allow to cool.

Dressing 2 – wasabi cream
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon of wasabi paste
1 tablespoon of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon of finely chopped chives

Blend the sour cream, wasabi and lemon juice together to a creamy sauce.

Dressing 3 – Lemon vinaigrette
2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
1 spring onion finely chopped

Mix all together.

Place your gorgeous plump oysters in spoons and dress with the 3 different dressings. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with lime zest, lemon zest, chives, coriander to suit.



Favourite recipes light meals seafood simple meals

Mum’s mussel fritters

December 14, 2013

There’s something about mussel fritters that’s very addictive and very New Zealand. I couldn’t imagine life without New Zealand seafood or life without my mum! I’ve watched her make these countless time and I think the trick really is in the prep (see recipe).




12 fresh mussels
1/2 brown onion
a good handful of parsley, chopped finely (I also add some fresh coriander)
1 egg
1 tablespoon of flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil for frying

You need to place the unopened mussels in a bowl or the kitchen sink and pour hot water over them, this makes them easier to open. Then open the shells, discard the nasty hairy bit (haha), remove the mussel from the shell and place the mussels into a food processor. Add all the other ingredients and pulse to mix. The batter should still be a little on the chunky side. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Heat the olive oil in a fry pan. Fry large tablespoons of mixture gently in the oil until golden brown. Serve with lemon wedges. Because the mussels are not pre-cooked the result is very delicate, fresh tasting fritters!

Other variations may include adding half a grated courgette to the mix and serving with a lemon mayonnaise (see below).


2 egg yolks (your eggs must be fresh otherwise the mayo won’t thicken)
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup of oil (olive or rice bran or canola)
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of parsley, chopped

Using a stick blender or whisk, mix together the egg yolks and lemon juice. While the blender is going slowly trickle in the oil, the emulsion will gradually thicken to a smooth mayonnaise consistency. Place into a small bowl, stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

light meals salads seafood

Fresh salmon salad with home made dill mayo

December 6, 2013

This is nice and easy, the dill and fennel add some great flavours. When I was cleaning up I accidentally dropped my vintage glass eggcup and silver teaspoon (see photo below) into the insinkerator while it was going! Glass splinters all over the kitchen. Sad about the loss of my treasured eggcup though 🙁


For the salmon:
300g to 500g fresh salmon cut into pieces
1/2 fennel bulb
1/2 beetroot
1/2 telegraph cucumber
1 tablespoon olive oil
Small handful of dill, chopped
Himalayan or sea salt & pepper to taste
1/2 lemon
2 spring onions, sliced

Pan fry the salmon in the olive oil till golden on the outside and just cooked on the inside. Thinly slice the fennel bulb, beetroot and cucumber (use a mandolin if you have one). Mix the salmon and vegetables gently together, squeeze over the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, garnish with half of the dill – save the other half for the mayo. Dollop with the home made mayo.

For the mayonnaise:
2 egg yolks
1⁄2 teaspoon of mustard powder
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1⁄2 cup of olive oil
Chopped dill (optional)
Himalayan or sea salt & pepper to taste

In a blender add egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice, vinegar and salt/pepper. Blend to combine. With blender running, very slowly add the oil into the mixture. Continue blending until the mixture is thick and forms an emulsion. Season to taste, stir in the leftover dill from the salmon recipe. Will keep up to 2 weeks if stored in a sealed jar in the fridge.