Coconut Banana Breakfast Cake


Sometimes you just want breakfast to feel a little special on a Tuesday, but you don’t have time for anything elaborate. Or some days just feel better if they’re started with cake.

This cake meets all your morning needs, it’s a well-rounded breakfast that can make any day a little more exciting.

Coconut flour is a funny beast to bake with, until I tried this recipe I found it usually makes this dense and gluggy. Given that microwave mug cakes are also often dense and gluggy I thought I was heading for disaster. But, surprise! This cake is really light, almost like a sponge cake!

So if you bought coconut flour and now don’t know what to do with it, I recommend trying this cake to change your mind about coconut flour. Coconut banana breakfast cake is super quick and versatile.

Once you’ve tried the basic version try adding spices or fruit. My current favourite is diced peach which dots little bursts of sweet, warm peach in every mouthful! Delightful.

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Chicken and Corn Chili Verde

So, it’s been a while…

Chicken and Corn Chili Verde is a dish I’ve made a dozen times and been meaning to post for a long time because it is super delicious. We make a big batch on Sunday afternoon to last the whole week served with brown rice and yoghurt.

I insist you use chicken thighs, and make them free range. Chicken is generally pointless, so if I must use it then it has to be the thigh because it has more flavour, is more tender and cheaper. No arguments.

Without further ado, I present Chicken and Corn Chili Verde – she’s not much of a looker but has a great personality.


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Brown Rice Jambalaya


2-3 chorizo or Andouille sausage, sliced

500g chicken thighs, diced

2 onions, diced

2-4 cloves of garlic, minced

4 sticks celery, diced

2 green capsicums (bell peppers), diced

5 bay leaves

2 cups brown rice

800g tin of diced tomatoes

4 cups of liquid (stock and/or water)

3 heaping tablespoons of Cajun seasoning

Salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit).

With a little oil, in a large, oven-safe pot fry sausage until slightly brown. Add the chicken and fry until the chicken is just cooked.

Remove the meat from the pot. In the remaining oil and juices at the bottom of the pan, fry the onions, then add the garlic, capsicums, celery and bay leaves. Sauté for 2 minutes then add the meat back in along with all the other ingredients.

Keep the pot on the stove until the mix is bubbling and then put it in the oven with a lid on for 1 hour.

Check occasionally to make sure it is not too dry (add more water/stock if necessary), if it is too wet, cook with the lid off for the last half hour.

The jambalaya is ready when the rice is cooked through.

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Lentil Lasagne with Cauliflower Bechamel

I promise you'll go back for seconds!

I promise you’ll go back for seconds!

This is a ‘meat-lovin’-husband-approved’ vegie lasagne. The lentils give it great substance, the cauli-‘cheese’ sauce is awesome and everything comes together in many delicious layers! It’s super cheesy with only 50g of cheese in the whole lasagne, that’s less than 10g per slice!

There’s quite a lot of work putting this together, but it makes HEAPS to last all week.
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Posted in Frugal Foods, Healthy and Tasty, Main Dishes, Vegan Option | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Intolerant Friend Cookies

Well, really cookies for friends with food intolerances…

These cookies are free from wheat, dairy, egg and soy. So if you have vegan friends and friends with food allergies (except nuts – I can’t help you there), then these are a really good option. Despite being free from traditional ingredients they are still really tasty.



1 1/2 cups almond meal
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 cup cocao nibs (or chocolate pieces)
1/3 cup cranberries

1 tbs ground flax (or 1 egg)
4-6 medjool dates
1tbs coconut butter (or nut butter, oil, or real butter)
1tsp vanilla

1. mix the ground flax with 3 tbs of water, leave in the fridge for 15 minutes
2. soak the dates in hot water for 15 minutes
3. mix the dry ingredients
4. mix the wet ingredients in a blender including a little of the water from the dates until it blends well
5. mix wet into dry
6. on a baking tray make small balls from the dough then flatten slightly with a fork (they won’t spread when baking)
7. bake at 180 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until slightly browned at the edges


Process photos




Posted in Dessert, Healthy and Tasty, Uncategorized, Vegan and Delicious, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Superb Chipotle Bean and Tomatillo Corn Salsa Nachos

I don’t claim that these are better than all the nachos in the Americas, but I’m going to put it out there that these are some seriously spectacular nachos.

I’ve had enough nachos in my life to tell the good, from the bad (I’m looking at you soccer stadium in Utah – bleurk!) and these were really freakin’ good. I knew they’d be good, because it was an awesome combination of ingredients, but I wasn’t expecting this from vegetarian nachos. Often vegetarian nachos are too bland, or too cheesy, or too sloppy, or too salty (salt does not make up for meat people!).

But there was great substance to these nachos: the beans were flavourful and hearty, vibrant guacamole, solid tortilla chips, but it was really the combination of the beans with such a kick-ass salsa that pulled it all together.

K and I agreed that these were the best nachos we’d had, not just best vegetarian ones (and vegan sans cheese and yoghurt/sour cream), but best nachos. period.

I dare you to try not to fall in love with these nachos

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Toasted Corn and Tomatillo Salsa

Mexican ingredients can be hard to find in Australia, which is a shame because their food is amazing and it quite suits our climate, plus I love Mexican food and wish I could eat it every day.

Over the years I have found a number of good foreign food shops around Brisbane and I’m often found stocking up on herbs and spices, nuts and beans, or condiments and unusual ingredients. I don’t feel out of place in my favourite Indian store in McWhirters in the valley turning to K and asking “do we need more upma and idli mix?” or “how many bags of edamami and cans of kickapoo?” at Yuen’s around the corner.

For more European ingredients I head to Woolloongabba (that’s a place in Brisbane if you’re not Australian, and yes, we know it’s may sound funny to you). On a recent trip I picked up a can of tomatillos because I didn’t like my chances of getting fresh ones here. I really enjoyed them in a couple of Mexican themed salads I made, but then I had most of a 30oz can left. So K and I set about making the most superb nachos we’ve ever eaten including this toasted corn and tomatillo salsa.

This was fantastically light and zingy against the rich, hearty chipotle beans; likewise it made an excellent dip that was also good for the waistline.

These nachos will knock your socks off thanks to corn and tomatillo salsa

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Posted in Dips, Healthy and Tasty, Main Dishes, Snacks, Vegan and Delicious, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Vegan Pesto

This is a super dooper simple recipe that you can keep up your sleeve for a quick dinner, or to add flavour to everyday dishes. This is good pesto by itself but you can also use it as ready to go basil for other dishes, or a spread for pizza or sandwiches.

The base is vegan, you can always add parmesan to the top of the dish later if you really want to but you can get the right flavour balance between the lime, nuts and salt so you won’t even notice it doesn’t have cheese.

I wait until I see nice big bunches of basil at the markets for a good price and then I make a big batch all at once, that way I can eat some and freeze some for later. The frozen pesto can be softened in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then you can just chisel of the amount you want.

Vegan pesto on zucchini pasta, yum!

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Posted in Frugal Foods, Healthy and Tasty, Ingredient Prep, Vegan and Delicious, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Sumac Szechuan Calamari

I’m really fussy about seafood. The long and the short of it is I don’t like it. But somewhere in the middle I like calamari and sashimi. Seriously, I love raw salmon, but as soon as you cook it, you’ve lost me.

I’m hoping that living in Portugal will change my mind about fish because it is a good source of protein and omega 3, but for now I’ll stick to sashimi and calamari.

So I don’t eat a lot of seafood and I know it is also a really good source of B12, so here is my version of calamari. This is a party on your taste buds! Taking some citrusy spices from the East and the Middle East brings a new twist on the classic lemon pepper calamari.

We tried the sumac and Szechuan pepper combo and the spices by themselves. We both liked the combo best, my second favourite was sumac by itself and K’s was Szechuan.

I reckon this would be the best calamari you’ve every had

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Sweet Potato Chips

Oh I’ve missed you all! I’m sorry for my hiatus from theLAB, I had a surprise assessment at university and then a very busy week. But I’m back and hopefully I’ll be able to post again more frequently.

I have so many delicious ideas I want to share. I’ve made tasty calamari, fruit buns and surprise ingredient chocolate cake! I can’t wait to post these for you.

Today is a little quick recipe to get back into the swing of posting.

If you’ve never had sweet potato chips, I implore you to rush out and buy sweet potato now to make them! They are so much tastier than normal potato and super tasty with sweet chilli sauce and sour cream.

Best chips ever? Quite possibly

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