3 Simple Tips to Avoid Overeating AND Enjoy Your Food More

Saag Chicken-2

You might not believe me. But there is a down side to following your dream. Well at least when that dream revolves around writing, reading, talking, thinking, photographing AND cooking food.

Yes being surrounded by delicious things is brilliant on one hand. But it also means a lot of opportunities to overindulge.

I hate it when I’ve had a big day in the kitchen ‘tasting’ this and ‘picking’ at that and I sit down to dinner and just don’t feel hungry any more.

As my Irishman says, ‘hunger is a tasty sauce’.

I always feel like I’m missing out when that particular condiment is absent.

The good news is I’ve found some simple strategies that help me avoid over eating.

And better still, they actually help me enjoy my food more.

3 Simple Tips to Avoid Overeating AND Enjoy Your Food More

1. Sit down at a table.
How can you give your food the respect it deserves if you have half your attention on the TV or your Instagram feed? Sitting down at a table and shutting down your devices or other distractions is probably the easiest thing you can do to enjoy your food more and feel more satisfied.

While I do sit down for all my meals, I’m definitely not perfect! I have a terrible habit of ‘picking’ at things as I cook. Since I make Fergal sit down to eat his snacks and meals it’s only fair that I lead by example, so am working on it.

2. Eat slowly.
It’s hard to really savour and enjoy your food if you’re shoveling it down. I’ve found the best way to eat more slowly and really appreciate every bite is to ask myself a simple question when I’m starting to load up my fork.

Is there food already in my mouth?

If yes, I put down the fork and wait until I’ve finished that mouthful before loading the next. It takes a bit to remember but once you build the habit you’ll be surprised how effective it can be.

3. Chew.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to count every bite. Where’s the fun in that?

Here’s what I do…

When I feel the urge to swallow, I remind myself to chew just a few more times. Simple and for me really helpful.
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Want more simple ways to streamline your healthy eating?

If you’re interested in learning how to simplify not just healthy eating, but the whole of your life, then I recommend checking out A Simple Year.

It’s a 12 month program which focuses on simplifying a different area of your life each month. If you join us I’ll show you even more ways to simplify not only your approach to healthy eating but also your kitchen and your cooking.

For more details, go to:
www.simpleyear.co/

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NOTE: ‘Early Bird’ Registration ends 13th November.

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Saag Chicken-3

Super Green Saag Chicken

One of my first real jobs was waitressing at an Indian restaurant. While I was pretty crap at waiting tables, I did develop a deep love for Indian food. One of my all time favourite curries was an intensely green spinach sauce called ‘saag’. It’s amazing with lamb but also great for giving chicken a meaty ‘iron’ rich boost.

Although spinach is traditional, I prefer it with the more intense flavour of kale. But any greens are good. It’s one of those dishes where the complex curry flavours satisfy the taste buds and the greens satisfy your body. So good!

enough for: 2
takes: 20 minutes
450g (1lb) chicken thighs or breasts, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 bunches spinach or kale, washed & sliced into ribbons
4-6 tablespoons cream
natural yoghurt & chilli oil (optional), to serve

1. Heat a little oil in a large pot. Brown chicken, on a medium high heat stirring every few minutes until just cooked through. Remove and place in a clean bowl.

2. Add a little more oil to the pan and toast curry powder on a medium high heat for about 20 seconds. Add the chopped spinach / kale and a splash of water. Cover and cook for 5-10 minutes until the greens are wilted down. Check and stir every few minutes and if drying out or starting to burn add more water.

3. Remove from heat and add cream. Roughly puree the greens with a stick blender or leave chunky. Taste and season with lots of salt and pepper. If you’d prefer a stronger curry flavour add more curry powder.

4. Return chicken to the pan and heat again until warmed through. Divide between two bowls and top each with a generous dollop of yoghurt and a drizzle of chilli oil (if using).

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Variations

different greens – Use whatever greens you like such as collards, silverbeet (chard), rainbow chard, beet tops,

carb lovers / more substantial – serve with steamed rice, warm naan bread, or steamed potatoes. Or knock yourself out and go with all three!

dairy-free – use coconut cream.

vegetarian – It’s brilliant with the Indian cheese paneer (just crumble through at the end). I’ve tried it with home made paneer and it was amazeballs, if a little time consuming. Or pan fry some halloumi and serve with. I imagine saag chickpeas or lentils would be amazing. My Irishman loves it with a handful of roasted cashews on top.

no chilli oil – use dried chilli flakes or powder or chopped fresh chilli for some visual interest and extra heat.

mild / little person-friendly – use garam masala instead of curry and skip the chilli oil.

Big love
Jules x

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ps. This is the 4th year we’ve run ‘A Simple Year’.

It’s something I’m really proud to be a part of not only sharing my expertise but also learning from the other contributors.

I love how there’s a different focus each month to keep me on track without feeling overwhelmed.

To find out more go to:
www.simpleyear.co/

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Roasted Cauliflower (Four Ways!)

Learn how to roast cauliflower, plus three delicious variations! You'll find Italian, Mexican and Indian versions with this roasted cauliflower recipe. cookieandkate.com

Happy Halloween weekend! Cookie’s prancing around in her Wonder Woman costume, and I crashed a friend’s office Halloween party yesterday. It’ll be quite a successful Halloween once I get my hands on some peanut butter cups (Trader Joe’s dark chocolate mini cups are my fave).

I don’t suppose this roasted cauliflower recipe has much to do with Halloween, but it is the perfect side dish for fall and winter. I don’t get excited about raw cauliflower, but I’m obsessed with roasted cauliflower. Have you tried it?

how to slice cauliflower

Raw cauliflower transforms into golden, caramelized deliciousness in the oven. If you roast it with just olive oil, salt and pepper, it’s a tasty snack (I could eat it like French fries). You can also use basic roasted cauliflower to add bulk and tasty roasted flavor to other veggie dishes, like my lentil tacos and farro salad. It’s neutral enough that it doesn’t overwhelm other flavors, so it goes well with a variety of cuisines.

Continue to the recipe…

The post Roasted Cauliflower (Four Ways!) appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos with Avocado-Pepita Dip

These roasted sweet potato tacos feature spicy black beans and avocado-pepita dip. Delicious! This taco recipe is vegetarian (easily vegan) and gluten-free. cookieandkate.com

Confession: last week, when I shared some of my favorite savory sweet potato recipes, I intentionally omitted this one because the photos made me cringe. I photographed them again yesterday afternoon under this gorgeous fall sunlight, and thought I’d share it with you today in case you’ve skimmed past their original photo. I was reminded that orange and green are a rather garish color combination, which might make a fun Halloween dinner, now that I think about it.

sweet potatoes and avocado

When I originally shared this recipe well over two years ago, Cookie was healing after her accident (we don’t like to talk about it) and I was just getting settled into my current little house. I was thrilled to finally have my own dishwasher and washer and dryer (modern-day conveniences never get old!).

Now, Cookie’s back in tip-top shape and I’m gearing up to move us to a more functional living space. I’m surrounded by fabric samples and can’t stop waffling back and forth between bed frame options. Help!

Continue to the recipe…

The post Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos with Avocado-Pepita Dip appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

My Edible Garden Springtime Update (the possum ‘wars’ continue)

Veg Garden Spring 16

There are many things I love about not being pregnant. Drinking wine in the evenings with my Irishman tops the list without question. But being able to bend down in my garden is definitely up there. It’s the simple things.

Since my last edible garden update where I shared a warts-and-all ‘tour’, I’ve been spending more time tending my veg.

So things have definitely improved!

Now that Spring is in the air around here (well at least it is today, I might be lighting the fire again tomorrow), I thought I’d share how things are growing…

My Salad / Greens Garden

At the moment my main goal is to grow enough salad and greens so we don’t have to buy any. Basically because home grown greens taste so much sweeter and more alive than store-bought veg. Plus they’re more perishable so having a handy supply in the garden means I’m less likely to waste them.

To kick start my Winter garden I planted a heap of seedlings from this old guy at my farmers market. He’s a real old Aussie who calls everyone ‘mate’. I love him.

Anyway, after planting my tiny lettuces, kale, spinach and chard (silverbeet) I was feeling like a proud mamma. So you can imagine how devastated I was when I woke up to find there had been a possum attack leaving my ‘babies’ decimated.

It. was. the. last. straw.

No more Jules-nice-girl. It was time for the big guns. Enter ‘the nets’.

All I can say is ‘why didn’t I do this sooner?’

Oh and ‘take that possums’.

Luckily with their new protection my seedlings (except for the Tuscan kale) recovered and we’ve had salad or greens in some form on the go. Not enough to cover all our needs but heading in the right direction.

Now there’s also some broad beans which are coming along nicely. Can’t wait to make this Addictive Broad Bean Pesto again.

I also have bok choy, more rainbow chard, rocket (arugula) and Asian salad greens in my future. Yay!

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Veg Garden Spring 16

My Herb Garden

So as my Dad says, ‘you wouldn’t read about it’. In my last garden update I shared my ‘crafty’ trick for out-witting the local possums in their hunt for flat leaf parsley. Basically just planting basil (which they don’t like) around the parsley. It worked for months.

BUT get this…

The very next day after publishing that blog post, I came out to find my parsley completely mauled by you-know-who. Who knew that possums read blogs? Or that they had such excellent taste to read Stonesoup?

Now that we’re netting positive, my herb garden has really come into its own.

OMG! I can’t tell you how much better food tastes with a variety of fresh herbs at my kitchen doorstep.

Ever since reading ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ I’ve dreamed of this little luxury and this year I’ve finally ‘nailed it’. I have masses of flat leaf parsley, chives, coriander (cilantro), chervil, sage, red veined sorrel, thyme and oregano. With mint and rosemary planted elsewhere.

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Spuds
Spuds

The Spuds!

One of my favourite times of the year in the garden is our annual family potato harvesting sessions. This year was especially fun because Fergal was really into it. There’s nothing like the ‘magic’ of pulling potatoes from the ground. Plus we had a surprisingly bountiful crop.

Since my boys (and man) love their spuds I decided to go ‘large’ with our potato planting this year. I’m experimenting with more exotic varieties to make it even more fun. Have planted Carlingford, Red Norland & Purple Congo (which keep their colour when cooked!).

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Veg Garden Spring 16

The NEW Strawberry Patch

Last year we had quite a few strawberries but either the birds or blue tongue lizards got to them before Fergal and I could. So this Winter we relocated the strawbs to a less lizard-infested part of the garden at the front of the house. And of course have added netting! Looking forward to some full-flavoured organic berries with lashings of double cream.

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Veg Garden Spring 16

My Modest ‘Orchard’

After sharing my orchard sad story last time, I’m happy to report there’s some great news this spring! My three remaining trees are all still alive AND the plum actually had blossoms recently so I’m hopeful this will mean there is some home gown fruit in my future. I have a net ready so don’t get any ideas birds of Wamboin.

From left to right there is rhubarb which you can’t really see, a Winter Nellis Pear, a Moya Plum and a Burre Bosc Pear. Oh and my favourite 3-year-old. So far so good on the growing boys project.

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Veg Garden Spring 16

Garlic City

One of my most successful crops last year was my garlic. Thankfully something neither the kangaroos nor possums enjoy.

It tasted amazing AND I got a little burst of pride every time I reached into the pantry to pull out a clove or two (or 40 for the time I made Lamb with 40 cloves of garlic!). We really loved that lamb so I planted 3 times as much this year.

Looking forward to being able to give home grown garlic as gifts in the future.

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Asparagus

An Asparagus ‘Surprise’

Vegetable gardening has an element of unpredictability that I love. Especially when you think something is completely dead only to find it reappearing months later.

Can’t tell you how excited I was to find these baby asparagus growing in with my garlic a few weeks ago. One step closer to having a huge asparagus patch.

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Veg Garden Spring 16

My Cumquat Tree

A lovely gift from my super thoughtful mother-in-law for my birthday last year, I just love this little tree. There have been ripe cumquats ready for picking for a while now, but I have been ‘saving’ them for some reason. Although now it’s starting to flower again it must be harvest time. Can decide whether I should just eat them fresh or poach them with spices.

Decisions, decisions.

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Do you grow your own food?

What are your latest triumphs and disasters? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

I have so much to learn!

Big love
Jules x

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ps. Looking to Simplify Your Life?

In case you missed this last week…

If you’re interested in learning how to simplify not just your cooking, but the whole of your life, then I recommend checking out A Simple Year.

It’s a 12 month program which focuses on simplifying a different area of your life each month. If you join us I’ll show you even more ways to simplify not only recipes but your kitchen and your approach to healthy eating.

For more details, go to:
www.simpleyear.co/

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Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 1.00.50 PM

NOTE: ‘Early Bird’ Registration ends 13th November.

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10 Savory Sweet Potato Recipes

If you love spicy, savory sweet potatoes, check out this roundup of 10 delicious recipes! You'll find sweet potato chili, burritos, veggie burgers and more. cookieandkate.com

Can I get an amen for savory sweet potato recipes? I still can’t stomach sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top, but I am perpetually in love with spicy sweet potatoes. That sweet-and-spicy combo keeps me going back for more, whether it’s featured in a burrito bowl, salad, soup… you name it, I’m in. Based on your comments, it seems like you guys are, too. It’s no wonder we all get along.

I rounded up ten of my favorites for you. I have some more sweet potato recipes here (all savory!), but a few didn’t make the cut because the photos don’t do them justice. I’m slowly starting to re-shoot those unappetizing old photos (my Thai red curry and pineapple fried rice just got a new look) so they look more appealing and meet my 2016 standards. I’m afraid that if I really let my perfectionism loose, I’d spend all my days photographing old recipes instead of creating new recipes. Then my photography skills would improve with all the practice, and I’d have to start over again. Do you see the problem here?

Anyway, I won’t be doing any cooking this weekend because I’m on maid of honor duty for my best friend’s wedding! You might be able to catch some of the festivities on Instagram stories. If savory sweet potatoes aren’t your thing (or even if they are), here’s my pumpkin recipe roundup from last October. Hope you all have nice, cozy fall weekends.

Continue to the recipe…

The post 10 Savory Sweet Potato Recipes appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Apple Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Simple apple oatmeal recipe made with steel-cut oats! The oats and apples cook together in the same pot. It's a healthy and delicious fall breakfast. cookieandkate.com

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best, and this oatmeal is one of them. I’m on a seasonally appropriate apple kick, and when I was trying an applesauce filling for last week’s apple tart, I wondered if I couldn’t cook homemade applesauce and steel-cut oats in the same pot, at the same time. Their cooking methods and timing are similar, so why not?

ingredients

That was a very good question, and the result was so delicious that I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before. Why didn’t I think to cook apples in my oatmeal before I added orange zest and a swirl of cranberry sauce? Or topped my oats with strawberry chia jam and coconut whipped cream?

You really think I would have come up with the concept when I featured my maple cinnamon applesauce on steel-cut oatmeal nearly four years ago. Head smack.

Continue to the recipe…

The post Apple Steel-Cut Oatmeal appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Why I LOVE to Keep My Cooking Simple + Roast Mushroom ‘Toasts’

W3 roast mushrooms

Last weekend I was digging through the Stonesoup archives looking for a curry recipe when I was reminded of why I have a love-hate relationship with my blog comments.

I love that you, as my reader can let me know what you like or don’t. And I love being able to learn from you.

But sometimes it can be hard when you put your heart and soul into your work and someone give it the ‘thumbs down’.

Anyway, on the Vindaloo blog post as well as some instructive comments there was one saying how they didn’t understand my obsession with using 5-ingredients.

I remember at the time feeling really down about it. But after some thought I could see where they were coming from.

Why 5? Why not 6-ingredients? Or 4?

You know it’s not the exact number that matters. It’s about the principle of keeping things simple. Choosing a number just gives me a framework to create in.

And there are plenty of reasons to keep your cooking simple. Well at least some of the time 😉

4 Reasons I LOVE to Keep My Cooking Simple

1. Simple food tastes great!
I’m still amazed how delicious food can taste when you cut back on the number of ingredients and let your produce ‘speak’ (err taste?) for itself. Sure fancy restaurants meal with layers and layers of flavour are lovely, but when I’m cooking for just me, I love to ‘wow’ my taste buds with the beauty of my ingredients.

2. Simple food is easier to prepare.
A blessing for us home cooks who don’t have an army of ‘sous chefs’ to do our washing and chopping.

3. Less cleanup!
Less ingredients to put away. Less dishes to wash. Worth it for this benefit alone!

4. More flexibility.
People often say how much they love the ‘variations’ I include at the bottom of my recipes because it allows them to make changes to suit their own tastes and dietary requirements. One of the biggest reasons I can do this is the simplicity of the original recipe.

AND it’s not just in the kitchen…

As I mentioned in January, 2016 is my year of ‘Simplicity’.

I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy with a new baby and a 3-year-old in the house. But I have made some progress which has really been helped by following along with ‘A Simple Year each month.

Here are some of the changes I’ve noticed:
– Feeling happier.
– More time for the things that are important to me like gardening, crazy kitchen projects, reading, yoga, meditation, knitting, walking and running.
– A less cluttered, calmer house.
– Enjoying my meditation more.
– Appreciating the ‘miracle’ of my little family more. And yelling at them less (still a work in progress though!).
– More organized with my personal finances.
– Better at mindful eating = enjoying my food more and over-eating less.
– More thankful for all the good in my life.
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Want more simplicity?

If you’re interested in learning how to simplify not just your cooking, but the whole of your life, then I recommend checking out A Simple Year.

It’s a 12 month program which focuses on simplifying a different area of your life each month. If you join us I’ll show you even more ways to simplify not only recipes but your kitchen and your approach to healthy eating.

For more details, go to:
www.simpleyear.co/

Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 1.00.50 PM

NOTE: ‘Early Bird’ Registration ends 13th November.

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Mushroom 'Toasts'-2

Roast Mushroom ‘Toasts’

I love roasting mushrooms because it’s super easy AND you end up with the most delicious, intense, almost ‘meaty’ morsels. They’re my new favourite diabetic-friendly replacement for toast. I adore them spread with iron-rich pate as in the photo above but they’re pretty much good with any of your favourite savoury toast toppings. Think grilled cheese, tuna melts, hummus or even smashed avocado with lashings of salt and pepper.

They keep well in the fridge so I usually roast a whole batch then warm them in a frying pan or the oven as I need them for breakfasts or lunches.

enough for 3-4
takes 30 minutes
6-8 medium portabello or flat mushrooms
1 – 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1/2 bunch thyme (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C).

2. Trim mushroom stalks and place in a baking dish stem side up. Scatter with garlic, thyme (if using), salt & pepper. Drizzle generously with olive oil.

3. Bake 20-25 minutes or until mushrooms are browned and tender.

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Variations

dairy-lovers – use butter instead of oil.

sliced – feel free to slice the mushies first. Expect the cooking time to be slightly less. And they’ll be much tricker to use as ‘toast’.

small mushrooms – button mushrooms, swiss brown or shittake can all be used. Expect the cooking time to be slightly less.

exotic mushrooms – if using oyster, enokki or other exotic mushrooms follow the same method but check much earlier.

different herbs – thyme is my go-to for mushroooms but sage or rosemary are also lovely.

Big love
Jules x

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ps. This is the 4th year we’ve run ‘A Simple Year’.

It’s something I’m really proud to be a part of not only sharing my expertise but also learning from the other contributors.

I love how there’s a different focus each month to keep me on track without feeling overwhelmed.

To find out more go to:
www.simpleyear.co/

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Gluten-Free Apple Tart

This delicious apple tart features an easy crust made with almond and oat flour. It's gluten free and easily made vegan/dairy free, too! cookieandkate.com

This post is brought to you by Bob’s Red Mill.

Happy weekend! I hope you all are soaking up this glorious fall weather. Long walks and picnics at the park are just my speed, and it’s the perfect time of year for them. If you’re in the mood for a fall baking project, however, I have a fun one for you. I hope it doesn’t look too intimidating—trust me, if I can do it, you can, too.

apple tart ingredients

Making standard pie crusts with butter at just the right temperature is not my idea of a good time, so I’m excited to be sharing this tart crust recipe with you. I developed it for my cookbook, but ended up cutting the recipes that used it.

The dough is super easy to make with almond flour, oat flour, melted butter or coconut oil, and a little maple syrup and salt. No kneading, no rolling, no fuss. Just press it in and poke it with a fork and it comes out of the oven looking so pretty.

Continue to the recipe…

The post Gluten-Free Apple Tart appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

14 Fun & Random Facts About Me+ A ‘Super’ Delicious Soup

Chorizo & Kale Soup-2

The other day I was having loads of fun updating my ‘about’ page. And it occurred to me that you might not know all this stuff.

So this week I thought I’d share probably more than you want to know about the ‘brains’ behind Stonesoup.

Oh and I have an amazing soup recipe for you too!

14 Fun & Random Facts About Me

1. I’m addicted to home made mayo and eat it most days. Sometimes for every meal! I also love peanut butter, salad greens (a meal isn’t a meal without something green), stinky cheese, mushrooms, asparagus, butter, beets, kale, lentils, steak tartare, a good roast chook, poached eggs, chickpeas, dark chocolate and double cream.

2. I live in a beautiful part of rural Australia with my Irish husband and our two young sons. We’re between Sydney and Canberra and I feel blessed every day that we get to wake up among the gum trees, birds and kangaroos. The men in my life feel blessed we have plenty of space to grow potatoes and play our music as loud as we like.

3. I don’t believe in diets or counting calories. Because they take the pleasure out of food AND for most people they don’t work in the long term. I believe it’s much more effective to focus on building healthy habits around eating well and being active.

4. I have PCOS and Type II Diabetes. So in spite of what I said above I do (mostly) restrict my own eating to low carb / high fat to keep my blood sugar under control. It also makes me feel especially blessed to have conceived my boys naturally in my early 40s.

5. I created the White Tim Tam. The full story is that I have a degree in Food Science. My early career was in product development for large food companies like Kellogg and Arnotts (owned by Campbells). If you’re not an Aussie, Tim Tams are an iconic Australian chocolate biscuit (cookie) and definitely not diabetic-friendly!

6. I am terrified of snakes. But have somehow ended up living in an area with a large population of deadly (and aggressive) tiger snakes. I tell myself that ‘if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger’, but I still scream and run away whenever I see one.

7. I have a ‘thing’ for bacteria and yeasts. So I love making my own fermented foods like yoghurt and sauerkraut. When I was studying food science my honours thesis was in food microbiology looking at the bacterial populations of Blue Vein and Camembert cheese – any excuse to eat more cheese!

8. I have 2 science degrees (food science and wine science). I had a brilliant time working all over the world making wine including France, California and Australia. I also learned one important lesson, making wine is hard, hard work. It’s much better to just pay someone else to make it so I can focus on the drinking part!

9. I HATE when people ask me what my last meal would be. Mostly because I don’t like thinking about not being able to eat any more and also because it’s so tough to decide! That being said, I would love my last meal to start with champagne and oysters. And possibly end with blue cheese and Château d’Yquem (dessert wine).

10. I enjoy food styling and photography and take pretty much all the photos for Stonesoup. However I’m terrible at photographing people, especially myself.

11. When asked for my ‘occupation’ on forms I usually write ‘author’ because (a.) I actually am a published author and have also written several eCookbooks. And (b) it’s much easier than having to explain the whole blogger / online cooking school creator / meal planner thing.

12. I’ve eaten at some of the best restaurants in the world including el bulli (before it closed), Noma in Copenhagen and el celler de can roca. We pretty much always plan our holidays around a restaurant reservation. Although these days with our small family that tends to be more casual day time places.

13. I have dreams of growing most of our own food. But have a very long way to go. At the moment I’m happy keeping up the supply of fresh herbs, salad greens and eggs from our chooks.

14. Did I mention how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE food? Oh, you get the picture. Good!

Still want to know more?

Inquisitive aren’t you? You can read my whole story over HERE.

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Chorizo & Kale Soup

Spicy Kale & Chorizo Soup

One of my all time favourite mid-week meals is Chorizo & Kale which satisfies both my Irishman’s need for something meaty and spicy and my need for lots of greens! This soup version ticks all the same boxes while being even more comforting and satisfying.

enough for: 2
takes: 20 minutes
2 chorizo, or other spicy sausage diced
2 bunches kale, finely sliced
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon sherry or wine vinegar
shaved parmesan, to serve (optional)

1. Heat a large pot on a medium high heat. Add a good glug of oil to the pan and cook chorizo, stirring every few minutes until the sausage is browned and cooked through. Remove chorizo from the pan and place in a clean bowl. Leave as much of the spicy oil as you can.

2. Add kale and stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer uncovered for 5-10 minutes or until kale is wilted and tender.

3. Remove from the heat and puree soup using a stick blender.

4. Add vinegar. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

5. To serve divide soup between two bowls. Top with chorizo and parmesan (if using) and finish with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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Variations

vegetarian – replace chorizo with semi dried tomatoes or char grilled red peppers and add a tablespoon of smoked paprika to the soup with the kale. You might like to serve with a poached egg for extra protein.

dairy-free / paleo – skip the parmesan or replace with sliced almonds.

different greens
– feel free to use collard greens, spinach, baby spinach, chard, rainbow chard or silverbeet instead of the kale.

no chorizo – any spicy sausage or salami will work. You could also use fresh sausage, just crumble and cook as per the recipe.

hot! – serve with a good drizzle of chilli oil.

carb-lovers / more substantial – add cooked pasta, couscous, potatoes or rice and bring back to a simmer before serving. You might like to double the amount of chorizo too. Crusty bread and butter as a side also works well.

richer – serve with a big dollop of mayo on top of the chorizo.

Big love
Jules x

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Pesto Pasta Salad

This pesto pasta salad recipe is bursting with fresh flavor! It's light, healthy and easy to make. Perfect for picnics and potlucks! cookieandkate.com

I have news! Cookie and I are finally busting out of this dingy rent house and moving to a new place. It’s not a farmhouse with loads of character, but it is a nice, functional space with an open kitchen and clean white walls. I am so excited.

I haven’t wanted to whine, but I’ll tell you now that my distaste for my current kitchen has grown over the cookbook-making process to complete abhorrence. It’s dark in there, no matter what wattage I use in the single overhead light. The water from the faucet tastes funny to me, so I go back and forth to the bathroom tap all day. The grout falls off between tiles under my feet. It’s gross and dungeon-like and the last place I want to be.

pesto ingredients

Needless to say, it’s become a career hazard, and I’m psyched to finally have an exit plan. Woohooooo! I’m going to be much more inspired to cook up new recipes for you guys in there, and to invite friends over for dinner. I can’t wait to decorate, too. I’m eager to sell the stuff I don’t love and transition from an eclectic thrift-store look to a more grown-up, cohesive style. It’s time.

Enough about me; I have a pasta salad recipe for you. It’s prime time for fall picnics, and this light and fresh pesto pasta salad is just the ticket. Inspiration for the recipe came from a new cookbook called Vegan Goodness by Australian food blogger Jessica Prescott of Wholly Goodness. The book offers over 60 plant-based recipes, accompanied with bright and colorful photos that show off the beauty of the ingredients and final dishes. Carrots can be so pretty, can’t they?

Continue to the recipe…

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