Dinner Ramblings and Recipes

Dry Harissa Spice Mix
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In less time that it would have taken me to go to the shops I have whipped up a simple dry Harissa mix. Just enough with no wastage.
  • 1 tsp cumin seed, toasted and lightly ground
  • 1 tsp coriander seed
  • 4 tsp dried chilli, chopped finely
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  1. Mix together an very lightly toast until aromatic
  2. Roughly pound with a mortar & pestle


No Fuss Roast Pumpkin Soup

No Fuss Roast Pumpkin Soup
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This is Donna Hays recipe and it is amazing, easy and a winner. No peeling, no fuss. Simply yummy and easy.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6
  • Approx 1.5kg butternut pumpkin, halved and seeeds removed
  • 2 onions halved
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 ltr quality chicken stock
  • 2 cups (500ml) water
  • Sinble pouring cream, to serve (optional) although I do like sour cream in mine
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Place the pumpkin, onion, cut-side up, and the garlic on a lightly greased large oven tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook for 1 hour–1 hour 10 minutes or until onion is caramelised and pumpkin is soft. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Scoop out the flesh of the pumpkin into a large saucepan. Remove the onion and garlic from their skins and add to the pan.
  3. Add the stock and water, and, using a hand-held stick blender, blend the soup until smooth. Place the soup over high heat and bring to the boil to warm through. Sprinkle with pepper and drizzle with cream (if using) to serve.

The video on how to make this soup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZX56KUjKQ8


Easy Pulled Pork

Easy Pulled Pork
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Pulled pork is a super easy way to eat roast pork and mega delicious when done this way.
Recipe type: Dinner
  • 1.5kg (approx) boned pork
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 4 small garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 medium brown onion quartered
  • ¾ cup Best BBQ Sauce (Click for recipe
  • 1 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  1. If using oven turn on to 120°C
  2. In a heavy cast iron pot add the splash of olive oil
  3. Remove any butchers string from pork
  4. Remove skin off the pork taking care to leave as much of the fat layer as possible
  5. Gently place the pork in the pot taking care to keep it in the same form as what it was with the string on
  6. Dot the onlon and garlic around the meat
  7. Mix chicken stock and Best BBQ Sauce together and poor over meat
  8. Add the thyme
  9. Cook for 4-5 hours or until pork is easily shredded
  10. When cooked remove pork from pot, shred and put in a bowl, spoon some liquid over and cover
  11. Thicken the remaining liquid with corn flour, arrowroot or my favourite psyllium husks for a dash of fibre.
If you have a slow cooker use it on the high setting.
For a more caramelised sauce brown the meat and onion before cooking - easier to do if you are cooking in the oven


Red Lentil & Chorizo Soup

Red Lentil & Chorizo Soup
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This is amazingly good and easy. For those who want a inexpensive meal and would normally not even touch lentils this is for you.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 6 people
  • Red Lentil & Chorizo Soup

    1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 200g good quality spicy chorizo
  • 1 x large onion diced
  • 2 x carrots diced
  • Pinch cumin seeds
  • 2 - 3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • Pinch golden caster sugar
  • Splash red wine vinegar
  • 250g red lentils
  • 800g chopped tomatoes or passata
  • 850ml good quality chicken stock (home made if possible)
  • Plain yogurt to serve
  • Olive oil to serve
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan.
  2. Add the chorizo and cook until crisp and it has released its oils. Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl, leaving the fat in the pan.
  3. Fry the onion, carrots and cumin seeds for 10 mins until soft and glistening
  4. Add the garlic and fry for 1 min more.
  5. Scatter over the paprika and sugar, cook for 1 min
  6. Splash in the vinegar. Simmer for a moment,
  7. Stir in the lentils, and pour over the tomatoes and chicken stock
  8. Give it a good stir, simmer for 30 mins or until the lentils are tender.
  9. Blitz with a hand blender until smooth-ish but still a little chunky.
  10. Serve in bowls, drizzled with yogurt and olive oil, scattered with the chorizo and a sprinkling of paprika.
Can be made several days ahead or frozen for 6 months.

Recipe slightly changed from Barney Desmazery



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Granola is as varied in ingredients as you want it to be. It is also marketed as a gourmet breakfast cereal when it is nothing more than a little fancied up toasted museli. The best think about making your own is you can add whatever you like to it and have control over the quality. Oh, and there is the massive difference in price. This is my favourite granola recipe however I encourage you to add and subtract your ingredients as you desire.
Recipe type: Cereal
Cuisine: Breakfast
Serves: 16
  • 3 cups rolled oats (not instant)
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt (optional)
  • 2 tbsp pepitas
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp almond meal
  • ⅔ cup roughly chopped raw nuts (almonds & hazelnuts work well)
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup (genuine Canadian)
  • ¼ cup organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup mixed dried fruit diced (Optional: eg apricots, pears, sultanas, dates)
  1. Heat oven to 150°C
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together except the fruit
  3. In a separate bowl mix sunflower oil, vanilla and maple syrup
  4. Pour into bowl of dry ingredients and combine until well mixed
  5. Spread on a backing sheet and put into oven
  6. Stir every 15 minutes and cook until a lovely rich golden brown
  7. Cool then add chose chopped fruit
  8. Store in a sealed container
  9. Serve with cold mild and or fresh plain yogurt
Do not be afraid to play with your ingredients. It is fun and easy and the best breakfast you can have.



Nutty Chocolate Bars


Nutty Chocolate Bars
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No mixing required. Just layer the ingredients and bake. Incredibly easy and super yummy. This is not the cheapest to make. I estimate it costs me $15-20 to make. However I do use organic, fairtrade chocolate; organic coconut and high quality shortbread with no additives. I use a mix of almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamias and brazil nuts, cashews, avoiding the addition of peanuts. I usually do not eat foods that are from cans due to the BPA linings however condensed milk is in unlined cans. I use 70% chocolate that I roughly chop up. You can use milk chocolate or white chocolate but we find that too sweet and these types of chocolates are not that good for you with all their extra additives and the high sugar count. This is a treat and not one to eat in large quantities in one sitiing.
Recipe type: Biscuit
  • 125g butter melted
  • 1 cup shortbread biscuits
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 375g chocolate chopped
  • 395g tin condensed milk
  • 1 cup of mixed raw nuts roughly chopped (mix your nuts to your liking)
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Grease and line a lamington tin
  3. Pour butter over base of tin
  4. Sprinkle biscuit crumbs over butter
  5. Sprinkle coconut over biscuit layer
  6. Scatter chopped chocolate over the coconut layer
  7. Pour condensed milk over chocolate layer
  8. Sprinkle chopped nuts over the condensed milk layer
  9. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool in container then cut into fingers.


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