I love cheesecake. Honestly, who doesn’t? These cottage cheese and blueberry bars hit all the same notes as cheesecake just lighter. It’s beautifully creamy, slightly sweet, with a little tartness to offset everything. While these bars aren’t exactly ‘healthy’, they’re not unhealthy either. So if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, and are looking for ways to satisfy it without going overboard, this is the desert for you.
My family loves a good curry, and one of our favourites is Rogan Josh. Usually we just use a jar of good quality, pre-made paste, but the brand we prefer is not available in Tonga. Luckily, Jamie Oliver has a recipe for homemade Rogan Josh Curry paste on his website, and the curry recipe we normally use is from one of his cookbooks so it couldn’t be more perfect.
The other week we went to Kool Fresh to buy some meat. Unfortunately they sell all of their meat frozen, and generally in huge lumps. Frozen would not be a problem if it wasn’t sold in solid 1-2 kilo blocks. Because it takes forever to defrost (and you end up with three meals worth of raw meat) I’ve moved away from my staple meat of chicken towards quick defrosting meats like fish and mince. These Thai Fish Cakes were the result of me fishing (pun intended) half a kilo of mahi mahi out of the deep freezer while searching for chicken that wasn’t frozen solid to a dozen other pieces of chicken. Although I’ve been meaning to try out more baked fish recipes, I had neither the patience or desire for something complicated. Hence Fish Cakes.
Recently Dad took a trip back to Australia for work. As anyone who lives in Tonga, or countries like it, knows, you will always leave the country with a shopping list filled with obscure tidbits that you can’t find in country(exercise pants, concealer, drink bottles, wrist braces, solid shampoo etc). You will spend most of your free time shopping, and even if it isn’t on the list you will probably come back with cheese. Well not only did Dad come back with everything on the list plus some delicious feta, brie, and Camembert, he came back with cashews and pistachios. Unfortunately when Mum opened one of the bags of cashews they were slightly stale and not very crunchy. Instead of letting them go to waste I decided to make cashew butter (I also used some in my most recent batch of muesli). Continue reading
Despite my father’s constant complaining, I love cooking with black beans. As far as my father is concerned black beans aren’t a ‘real food’, but we all know he’s wrong. Mexican food without black bean just wouldn’t be the same. And Mexican food is amazing. As is anything inspired by Mexican Food, like these Black Bean and Feta Crispy Tacos. Soft tortillas fried to a crunch and filled with flavoursome black beans and creamy feta. This recipe is super easy, so it is great for whenever you are craving something Mexican inspired, but don’t have the time for full on burritos.
I love chai tea. There are few things more warming or satisfying than a big mug of chai. There is a cafe in Brisbane called The Three Monkeys which serves its chai in bowls. Safe to say it’s amazing. Unfortunately I haven’t seen chai tea for sale anywhere here in Tonga. The occasional cafe serves chai lattes but they’re normally the pre-mixed packet ones. Luckily for me some of the stores here sell tea masala. Brew up some black tea, stir in some tea masala, add milk and honey, and you’ve got yourself delicious chai. Tea masala is also an amazing addition to just about any kind of baking. So when I came across this recipe for chai scones I just couldn’t resist.
On my never-ending quest to find healthy things to bake I came across this recipe on Caroline’s Cooking. My version turned out a little too dense, but I realised my mistake pretty quickly (I should have weighed the apples before they were cored and peeled) and we all still enjoyed the cake enough that I will definitely be making it again. It is so yummy, plus it has a heap of apple in it, and no refined sugar (the sweetness comes from the apples, honey, and maple syrup). What more could you want?
Although my Berry Yoghurt Bites didn’t turn out quite like the original recipe, they were still delicious so I thought I’d share them anyway. Hopefully you have better luck with them than I did. These yoghurt bites are a delicious little alternative to cheesecake. Full of flavour, and oh so moreish, but also healthy. What more could you ask for?
Show me anything that involves cheese and pasta I’m in. Unfortunately creamy, cheesy pasta dishes are not good for you. This pumpkin ‘Mac & Cheese’ crosses one of my cheesy temptations off the list. Made with delicious butternut pumpkin, and creamy almond milk, this flavourful substitute will have you craving more and forgetting all about boring old normal mac and cheese.
Any meal that you can cook in a slow cooker is a favourite meal in my books. They’re so easy, and packed full of flavour. Plus they help you make meals that seem fancy but are actually really easy (lamb shanks for example). And if you’re busy during the day you can put a meal on in the morning, go about your business, and when you get home viola! dinner’s ready. I found this sesame honey chicken recipe on Skinny Taste and it sounded perfect.