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Miso Eggplant with Soba Noodles and Walnuts

Miso Eggplant with Soba Noodles and Walnuts

Food Matters | July 19, 2020

Miso is the perfect balance of salty, sweet, fruity and savoury. This sheer complexity of flavour is like no other and is a formidable match for the full-bodied silkiness of eggplant. Roasting the eggplants makes this a much healthier alternative to traditional Japanese deep-fried miso eggplant. But beware, this dish is super addictive!


4 eggplants (about 1.5 kg)
125 ml (½ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
6 shallots (about 200 g), finely sliced
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 tablespoons white miso paste
200 ml dashi (Japanese soup stock) or other vegetable stock
3 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
400 g soba noodles
½ cup sliced Chinese shallots
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
sea salt and black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2. Peel strips of skin from the eggplants, from top to bottom, so it leaves a stripy pattern. Cut into 2 cm cubes and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with half the olive oil and roast for 20–25 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the oven, place in a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt and allow to cool.

3. Place the eschalot and the remaining oil in a large pan and sauté over medium heat for 3–4 minutes. Once softened, add the ginger and garlic and cook over low heat for another 5 minutes.

4. Add the miso paste, dashi or stock, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar and stir well to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.

5. Finally, add the roasted eggplant to the miso sauce and combine well.

6. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the soba noodles according to the packet instructions, stirring constantly to prevent sticking. Drain and refresh under cold running water.

7. Combine the soba noodles, miso eggplant and Chinese shallot and season well to taste.

8. Place on a serving plate and scatter over the walnuts.

Pumpkin Quinoa Salad with Maple Hemp Dressing

Pumpkin Quinoa Salad with Maple Hemp Dressing

Jacqueline Alwill | June 18, 2020

Juiciest of salads right here, if I could deliver its deliciousness through the screen I would!

Tips: Whilst I’ve used pumpkin you could go sweet potato instead and if no corn is handy then sub out corn for roast carrot and quinoa for rice and olive oil for hemp oil and this would still taste absolutely amazing!

This recipe serves 4-6 as a side


800g jap pumpkin, cut into 1-2cm chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup (80g) quinoa, rinsed
2 cobs corn, kernels sliced from cob
¼ cup pepitas
¼ cup sunflower seeds
4 asian shallots, finely sliced, white part only
½ cup mint leaves, finely sliced
½ small bunch coriander, roots and stalks, finely sliced
sea salt and black pepper

Maple hemp dressing
2 tablespoons hemp seed oil
3 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons maple syrup


1. Heat oven to 200C and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper, place pumpkin pieces on tray drizzle with olive oil, season with sea salt and place oven to cook for 15 minutes.

2. Cook quinoa with 1 cup water until tender, fluff with a fork and set aside.

3. Cook the corn, pepitas, sunflower seeds in 1 teaspoon olive oil in a frypan for 4-5 minutes, or until lightly toasted.

4. Whisk ingredients for dressing together in a small bowl or shake in a jar.

5. Make salad by tossing cooked pumpkin, quinoa, corn, seeds, shallots, mint leaves, coriander and dressing together in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Chana Masala, Indian Chickpea Curry

Chana Masala, Indian Chickpea Curry

Food Matters | May 31, 2020

Chana (meaning chickpea) and masala (meaning curry) has to be my favorite Indian curry. During our time in India, we ate this curry with every meal. We shared other curries in order to try something new each time, but, in the end, the chana masala was always the best.


2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 onion, diced
400 g can whole tomatoes
400 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (see Tip) 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to serve
Chopped coriander leaves, to serve
Steamed basmati rice to serve

Masala Curry Paste

2–3 long red chilies, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2–3 cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds


1. Using a large mortar and pestle, pound the masala curry paste ingredients for about 10 minutes or until you have a smooth paste. (Alternatively, you can use a small food processor.)

2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and curry paste and sauté for 30 seconds.

3. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes, then stir through the tomatoes and chickpeas.

4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until reduced to a thick curry.

5. Remove the pan from the heat, stir through the sugar and lemon juice, then taste and add a little salt, if necessary.

6. Sprinkle the chana masala with coriander and serve with steamed basmati rice or garlic naan on the side and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Simple & Hearty Autumnal Vegetarian Stew

Simple & Hearty Autumnal Vegetarian Stew

Alexx Stuart | May 2, 2020

I took a trip down memory lane today, to my little flat in Bondi where I lived for a bit when I was a bartender. I loved that little place. As I was a bartender working crazy hours, having evenings to prepare dinner wasn’t really a ‘thing’. So I would batch cook a few basics that I made up – I was never good at following recipes – and would freeze little plastic container portions and defrost them straight into a non stick saucepan at lunch time before heading in to work.
Cheap. Hearty. Yummy. Ridiculously simple. Done organically it’s a $15 meal for 4 with accompaniments. I hope you enjoy it as my little family sure did tonight. All gobbled up.

Cook Time: 31 mins
Serves 4: 2 adults, 2 kids.


1 large purple onion, rough chopped
¼ cup olive oil
500 ml stock veggie if you’re keeping the whole thing vegetarian / vegan otherwise I use chicken or beef broth
1 tin BPA free chopped tomatoes or 1/5 cups tomato passata
1 tin organic pinto or kidney beans, drained
1 tin organic lentils, drained
3 cups baby spinach or kale
1 sprig rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
1-2 cups fresh herbs to garnish (parsley for keeping it Euro or coriander if you want to take it into Mex territory with avocado, cheese and corn chips)


1. Fry the chopped onion in the olive oil. 

2. Once just getting browned, add the garlic salt, rosemary, thyme and fry for 1-2 minutes. 

3. Add everything else. 

4. Simmer for 30 mins on low until thick and rich. Add salt and pepper to taste.

DONE. Too easy, right? 

Serve with sautéed spinach and quinoa or rice.

Sweet Potato with Sesame & Coconut

Sweet Potato with Sesame & Coconut

Jacqueline Alwill | March 25, 2020

This recipe is a great side dish, awesome to add to a nourish bowl, and packed with gut-healthy & immunity boosting resistant starch from the sweet potatoes.

This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and vegan!

Serves 6 as part of a shared meal


1.2 kg sweet potato, peeled and cut into 3cm cubes

½ teaspoon curry powder

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

3 pinches salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup flaked coconut


1. Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper.

2. Toss the sweet potato cubes in the curry powder, sesame, sea salt and olive oil.

3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

4. While the sweet potato is cooking spread the coconut flakes over a lined baking tray.

5. Remove the sweet potato from the oven and place the coconut flakes into the oven to toast for 2 minutes until golden.

6. Toss the ingredient together and serve.

Jacqueline’s website, The Brown Paper Bag Nutrition, is loaded with healthy, whole food recipes with a focus on plant-based eating as well as fabulous health, nutrition and lifestyle advice.

Classic Spanish Potato Tortilla

Classic Spanish Potato Tortilla

Sharon Selby | February 24, 2020

There are times when I just crave comfort food or want to load up on delicious carbs, especially during the winter months. Since gluten, dairy and refined sugar are off-limits (most of the time…), here’s one great dish I can still enjoy without compromise or feeling guilty. Here’s introducing the classic Spanish tortilla.

I perfected the Spanish tortilla when I lived in Spain in my early 20s studying at a university and, in my spare time, teaching English to the university lecturers. My favourite pastime, however, was getting to know the local cuisine and especially the sensationally good tapas. Go to any bar or café in Spain and you will enjoy a variety of tapas and tortilla is always on the menu, traditionally served with baguettes and patas bravas (basically deep-fried potato wedges).

So, since those sides are off-limits I have to say a simple green salad goes superbly well with this.

You can jazz this classic Spanish dish by introducing some great vegetables like capsicum, zucchini etc into the mix but I love them the traditional way. Besides, I load up on the great nutrients with the salad on the side.

This dish is so versatile, perfect for school lunch boxes, as a side or for entertaining guests by cutting into squares at your next party.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes


2 large potatoes (500g) peeled and chopped
1 brown onion diced
6 eggs
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
⅓ cup olive oil, though coconut oil work wells
Generous seasoning to taste


1. Heat the oil of choice in a medium-size frying pan and add the chopped potatoes and onion to the pan. Stir occasionally until the potatoes soften which will take about 20 minutes on medium heat.

2. Once cooked through with a large spoon take out the potato and onion trying to reserve as much of the oil in the pan and place the mixture into a bowl.

3. Beat the eggs, add the parsley and seasoning until well combined and stir in the potato and onion mixture.

4. Put the same pan with the leftover oil and reheat. Add the tortilla mixture and cook on medium heat, using a spatula to smooth over the edges to resemble a cushion shape.

5. When almost set (about 10 minutes) and the surface is no longer runny, place a plate over the frying pan and tip over.