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asian slaw


{VANESSA} This is a fresh, healthy and tasty coleslaw to take to your next BBQ. It uses daikon (sometimes called Chinese radish) a vegetable you have probably seen especially if you shop at Asian vegetable shops but never had the guts to try....




{INGRID} Post New Year’s Resolutions – So who’s on a diet? and who is still sticking to it? Mine is the ‘Get Real’, or the ‘Be Honest’ diet which is basically mind games I play with myself, saying...


Tell us your favourite

Posted on: January 29th, 2014 by Vanessa Opera 2 Comments


1. Garlic Edamame beans My now 5 year old son loves these beans so its a perfect way to get greens into him. He sits in front of the TV shelling and popping them into his mouth – perfect kid snack!

2. Lazy Girl’s Zucchini Spaghetti with Peas, Crème Fraîche and Pesto What an awesome side dish, I cant wait to make it. I also love the funky moving image showing you how to make zucchini ribbons from a humble cheese grater. Lazy girl has a fear of the mandolines and clearly likes to make life easy for herself – I totally get that! BTW did I read that she is only 17 years old? – this generation Z chic is pretty freaking amazing and on to it!!!

3. Sichuan dry-fried green beans I eat these beans when ever I go to Canton Cafe in Kingsland, they are so good, it could be my main course. They do their beans with ground pork but check out this vege version from Diana at appetite for China. Be warned they aren’t diet friendly and that explains why I love them so much!

4. Easy broccoli salad Check out Jill and her blog foodtastic mom. Her about me page really makes me smile – its the reality behind lots of beautiful blogs – a hard working/juggling mum! This broccoli salad is super easy. IThe salad dressing she suggests could be any creamy mayo style dressing. Hopefully its a winner with the kids too…

5. Steamed spicy bok choy I love Asian greens, they are cheap, super easy to cook, healthy and taste so delicious. Adding a splash sesame oil and soy and a sprinkle of chili and garlic really transforms these to a stand out dish.

6. Ingrid’s brussel sprouts You have to make these, they will convert any brussel sprout hater in to a lover, if you like the throw it all together in a pan and leave it idea, check out Vanessa’a roasted brussel sprout recipe.

7. Kale and mint salad with a spicy peanut dressing Yum kale and peanuts. This recipe is a wildcard winner in their regular contests. Check out and enter their current contest “best road trip snacks“. Maybe I should enter my easy peasy noodle fritters the kids love so much or Ingrid’s bacon and egg pies?

8. Vanessa’s Warm cabbage and bacon salad  Delicious and moreish, crunchy and healthy – this warm salad is a great addition to any meal.

9. Green tomato salad Do you have green fingers? Does your garden produce more green tomatoes than red? Check out Renee’s meal featuring a fresh sounding green tomato salad.

Posted on: June 21st, 2013 by Vanessa Opera 1 Comment


HOW TO COOK WITH YAMS: Most of us stick to the usual veges in our winter roasts. We often comment “I wonder how you would cook those? or they look interesting“. Yams look pretty weird, they are small and knobby but have an appealing yellow/pink colour. They are super simple to cook and cook quite fast because they are so small. I decided to throw them in with a roast dinner, but jazz them up a bit with a honey and spice coating. Don’t be scared and give them ago. If your kids like potato, they are sure to like the sweet sticky cute yams! 
How to eat yams


LEARN HOW TO LOVE SPROUTS: A big favorite of mine is brussel sprouts, which seems to disturb most people. In winter, I’m always throwing them into the roasting dish with other winter veg, drizzle some olive oil, add some rosemary or thyme, salt/ pepper and you have an easy throw together side to any meat. Just the other night, I threw in cut yams and sprouts, olive oil, a sprinkling of seasoning (cumin, ground coriander and cayenne pepper) and roasted them for around 30 mins, it was a perfect match for my roasted chicken legs. Check out some other easy ideas for sprouts below. 
How to love brussel sprouts

TWO WAYS WITH CABBAGE: My memories of cabbage are of coleslaw’s at summer barbies or Dad eating his German sausages with sauerkraut. As an adult I have discovered the Asian influence adding cabbage and it many varieties to stir fries. It really makes a meal go further, is low fat and very very tasty! Try two very different takes on making a meal out of cabbage.
Cooking with cabbage

Posted on: July 4th, 2012 by Vanessa and Ingrid No Comments


It’s true! Cabbages have such high vitamin and nutrition levels – it can help regulate blood pressure, can treat stomach ulcers, it can even lower the risk of lung cancer in smokers and most importantly it has strong anti- ageing properties. We should be eating a cabbage a day to keep the doctor away.
Cabbage facts – you might just want to know
  • Juicing cabbages and drinking the resulting liquid apparently can aid in the cure of stomach and intestinal ulcers. (Note:  If this in any way appeals I would also add apple juice)
  • If you want to reduce your risk of cancers such as colon, rectal or breast cancer, experts state you should be eating cabbages frequently (at least weekly).
  • Cabbage is high in vitamin C and beta-carotene which act as anti-aging agents. It’s claimed that if you want to look young and stay looking young you need to consume cabbage every single day. (Note: Farts)
  • Its vitamin D content also promotes glowing skin, and its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce pimples and skin irritations.
  • Two minutes walking is all it takes to burn off the calories in one cup of cabbage.(Note: Like you would bother trying to work off cabbage, so sit down, relax and enjoy some lunch)
There is not much this ‘poor man’s drug’ can’t do.
Ingrid’s dish: Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw 
I can just imagine you’re all racing out to pick up a great big load of cabbages now, and that’s exactly what I did en route for a weekend away to Pakiri, a beautiful rugged beach, 120 mins north of Auckland, you can’t go there and not have a bbq, regardless of the weather. So with the blokes with one eye on the Rugby and the other on the Barbie, Vanessa and I got stuck into making some fresh slaws for our first bbq of the season.
Apples are another favourite of mine, they are in season and crunchy, they signal spring is here. They go so well with red cabbage, contrast with the colour, and the flavours blend well. And of course, apples also have their own health benefits to enjoy.  This is such a simple salad to throw together, and it makes a nice light change from coleslaw usually weighted down with mayonnaise.
Fresh and crisp, a healthy alternative to a mayonaise based slaw
Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw 
Serves 4
What you need
2 x Apples (grated or sliced thinly)
1/2 red cabbage (shredded thinly)
Bunch of flat leaf parsley (chopped roughly)
(Note: Remember to keep your cabbage cold, it helps to retain its vitamin content.)
Apple dressing
What you need
1 grated apple (fine grate)
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Rice Wine or White Wine Vinegar
1/2 lemon (squeezed)
Pinch of brown sugar (takes the tartness away)
Pepper to taste
How to make
In a food processor, pulse all ingredients for about 30 secs. If you don’t have a food processor (I didn’t , as I was away from home), just grate apples on the finest grate and mix.
Put salad ingredients in a bowl, adding the grated apple just before serving (so it doesn’t go brown). Work through the dressing, coating all the salad ingredients.
Vanessa’s dish: Warm Cabbage and Bacon Salad
Cabbage, I love the stuff. Like Ingrid said its a great diet food BUT the challenge is making it irresistible and tasty. I guess people have memories of boiled cabbage all washed out and soggy. 
Thankfully my memories of cabbage are of coleslaw’s at summer barbies or Dad eating his German sausages with sauerkraut. As an adult I have discovered the Asian influence adding cabbage and it many varieties to stir fries. It really makes a meal go further, is low fat and very very tasty! 
Garlic and cabbage are a match made in heaven. The recipe below is easy, really moreish, a great side dish or even a weekend lunch with crusty bread and beer.   
Warm Savoy Cabbage and Bacon Salad
Warm Cabbage and Bacon Salad
Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side
You will need
1/2 Savoy cabbage (or regular)
Olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 cup of chopped ham or bacon
2 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 fresh lime for garnish and a bit of zest
How to make 
Roughly chop the cabbage
Slice/dice the onions
chop the garlic cloves
In a large pan or wok saute the garlic and onions until soft
Add the cabbage and stir fry until wilted. (It may look like a lot of cabbage but it reduces when it wilts)
Add salt, pepper and mustard and stir through.
Place in a serving dish.
In the same pan add more oil and quickly cook the bacon or ham until crispy.
Toss through the cabbage.
Place back in the serving dish and serve with half a lime per person for garnish.
Vanessa X
Posted on: September 18th, 2011 by Vanessa and Ingrid 6 Comments