baked tomatoes with cheesy rice filling

This is the perfect veggie recipe. Boasting good amounts of protein, low GI carbohydrate and fibre, it will sustain your energy levels and assist with muscle maintenance. 

It's such a versatile dish to make, as you can use whatever grain you prefer, add whatever herbs are in season, and use your favourite legumes. even swap the cheddar for some feta cheese - make it yours. 

Serves 4

1/2 cup low GI brown rice

1 cup (250ml) water

8 large ripe tomatoes

2 shallots, finely sliced

1 cup grated tasty cheese

125g can four bean mix, drained and rinsed

50g button mushrooms, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil

1.  Preheat oven to 160°C. In a saucepan over high heat bring rice and water to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover saucepan and simmer for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and stand, covered for 5 – 10 minutes.

2.  Cut tops off tomatoes. Gently spoon pulp out of tomatoes into a bowl. Mash pulp with a fork. Combine cooked rice, tomato pulp, shallots, ½ cup grated cheese, four bean mix, mushrooms parsley and basil.

3.  Divide rice mixture into tomatoes, top with remaining grated cheese. Place tomatoes into oven proof dish with enough hot water to come 1cm up the side of tomatoes.

4.  Place dish into oven, bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and tomatoes have softened. Serve with green salad drizzled with olive oil.

Nutrition information (for two tomatoes): Kilojoules: 1311kJ (315cal) Protein: 17g Carbohydrate: 32g Fat: 11g Saturated fat: 7g Fibre: 7g sodium: 325g


Friday night special - asparagus, zucchini and mushroom spaghetti

Last night was such a rainy, stormy night here in Newcastle. We aren't used to these wicked storms that end a humid day, because these are totally non-existent in Adelaide.

Anyway,  last night was stormy, really stormy. We are still living with my parents until our new home in Newcastle is ready (just a few more days), and the whole house hold felt like spaghetti - maybe it was the weather? For Nigel this was a given as this is his 'night before a game' ritual, and he has plenty of bolognese sauce frozen ready to go.  But I  seriously cannot stomach the stuff after almost 11 years. So, we needed an alternative. 

Don't you just love when you do a big shop at the start of the week and you still have some beautiful fresh veggies left at the end? Well, we had some asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms and parsley. I had also been given a whole bag of lemons from the Fruit Brothers (in Hamilton) for our stand at the Oyster Festival last week end (did you catch our pics on Facebook and onInstagram)?

Anyway, back to what I came up with. This vegetarian spaghetti dish was a winner and it took 15 minuets to make! 


This is a totally authentic quick snap (with poor lighting and styling) with my iPhone - no studio photography seen here.

This is a totally authentic quick snap (with poor lighting and styling) with my iPhone - no studio photography seen here.

Ingredients (serves 4)

250g dried spaghetti

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + extra for drizzling

7 (100g) button mushrooms, thickly sliced (leave skin on)

1 bunch (120g) asparagus, woody ends removed and chopped into 3cm pieces

1/4 cup of pine nuts

1 large (250g) zucchini, use the vegetable peel to make zucchini strips

1 bunch of parsley, leaves removed and finely chopped 

1 long red chilli, seeds removed and thinly sliced (leave seeds if you like it hot) 

Zest and juice of 1 lemon 

Shaved parmesan and cracked pepper for serving 


Put spaghetti on to boil.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over a medium to high heat and cook mushrooms on each side for about 2 minutes, or until golden and cooked through, then set aside. - Intentionally cooking the mushrooms on each side versus stirring them around the pan will help them turn nice and brown/golden and prevent them from becoming watery. This will give a nice taste and texture for the pasta.

Wipe the frying pan out then with approximately 1-2 minutes until the spaghetti is ready heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive over a medium to high heat, add the asparagus and pine nuts and cook for approximately 1 minute.

Drain the spaghetti (reserving some water from the saucepan).

Add the zucchini strips, parsley, chilli and mushrooms to the frying pan and stir, heating through for approximately 30 seconds.

Add the lemon zest and juice, spaghetti and reserved water and stir through for another 30 seconds or until heated through.

Serve in bowls with shaved parmesan, cracked pepper and an extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

I promise this is the perfect Friday night spaghetti dish - ENJOY!!!

Vegetable Quinoa Fried 'Rice'

Photo by A_Lein/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by A_Lein/iStock / Getty Images

This nutrient dense quinoa recipe is delicious and a nice change from the traditional fried rice dish.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tablespoon of rice bran or peanut oil

3 cups of cooked quinoa (1 cup dried yields 3 cups) colour of choice

6 large eggs

2 garlic cloves

1 medium-large red onion, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 large red capsicum, diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 cup of frozen peas

2 spring onions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of salt-reduced soy sauce (choose a soy sauce labelled 'gluten free' if you require a gluten free diet) 

2 teaspoons of sesame oil

1/4 cup of roasted almonds, chopped


Cook quinoa and let cool.

Whisk the eggs together in small bowl and set aside.

Heat (rice bran or peanut) oil in a wok over a medium to high heat.

Sautee onion, garlic and carrot for approximately 2 minutes.

Add zucchini, spring onions and capsicum and cook for approximately 2 minutes, continually stirring.

Add cooked quinoa and frozen peas and stir through vegetables.

Make a well in the middle of the quinoa and pour the egg in well. Scramble the egg.

Once the egg is cooked add the almonds, soy sauce and sesame oil and stir altogether.

Nutrition information per serve Energy 1658kJ (394cal), protein 20g, fat 21g, saturated fat 4g, carbohydrate 28g, sugars 5g, fibre 8g, sodium 469mg

Reblogged from Nov 2013

Black lentil, quinoa, apple and goats curd salad


Most of you have probably met the lovely little quinoa since its popularity soared just a couple of years ago. Now lets just clear one thing up before we move on…it is pronounced keen-wah NOT kwin-oah. This ancient little grain (well, its technically a seed) that features on many modern menus has become a staple in many households, including my own.

There are many reasons why I do love this little grain and why I invited it into our household.

The dietitian side of me loves that it is a complete protein source, is gluten free for those who require a gluten free diet and has a low Glycemic Index (GI), meaning it can stabolise blood glucose levels and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

The foodie side of me just loves its aesthetic appeal and nutty texture.

I can’t say that I love quinoa for its taste and flavour (as it really doesn’t have any) but I love that it is a blank canvas for many different flavour combinations.


Ingredients (serves 4)

1/3 of a cup of white quinoa (this will yield ~1 cup cooked)

1/3 of a cup of red quinoa (this will yield ~1 cup cooked)

½ of a cup of black lentils (this will yield ~ 1 cup cooked)

1 small pink lady apple, thinly sliced with skin on

1/4 cup of roasted almonds, chopped

1 large handful of rocket or baby spinach 

1/4 bunch of flat leaf parsley finely, chopped

¼ cup of olive oil

Juice of one small lemon

goats curd



Cook lentils - bring water to a boil and add the lentils. Boil for 2-3 minutes and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until tender (~25-30 minutes). Lentils must not be overcooked or they will become soft and mushy.

While the lentils are cooking, rinse the white and red quinoa and cook in plenty of water. Just add the quinoa to the cold water, bring to the boil then simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes - once the germ turns opaque and splits from the seed (this will resembles little curls).

Cut the apple and make the dressing while the lentils and quinoa are cooking. To make the dressing just combine the lemon juice, olive oil and chopped parsley (it can be blended in a small food processor).

Once the lentils and quinoa are cooked, combine them with the rocket, apple, roasted almonds and the dressing.

Top the salad with a few teaspoons of goats cheese as I have done in the image.

I love this recipe because it is aesthetically beautiful and the textures and flavours are just lovely. I am sure it will impress all of your family and friends and it is so easy to create.

Bon Appetit!