PB&C BANANA BREAD

This peanut butter and chocolate (PB&C) banana bread combines the classic peanut butter and banana combo (PB&B) with some decadent marbled chocolate. I’m not usually a big fan of banana bread, but give me bananas with peanut butter… now, that’s a different story.

Ingredients:

  • 3 – 4 ripe bananas (depending on size), mashed
  • 1.5 cups self raising flour
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 – 1 cup rice milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • (Optional: 1 extra banana for decoration)

Method:

  1. Combine the mashed bananas, self raising flour, egg, milk and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl.
  2. Transfer mixture to a lined baking tray.
  3. Stir in peanut butter and melted chocolate to create a marble effect, leaving some chocolate for decoration.
  4. Drizzle the remaining melted chocolate on top. (Optional: add another sliced banana on top for decoration.)
  5. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Allow to cool and set before serving.

SPINACH & CASHEW PESTO

This pesto sauce is so good and versatile that it deserves its own post. A great way to sneak in some extra vegetables and healthy foods, you can use it as a pasta sauce, salad dressing or even sandwich/burger sauce!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
SPINACH PESTO SPAGHETTI

SPINACH PESTO SPAGHETTI

My first attempt at making pesto last year was a miserable fail. This second time around, however, was a huge success and even sibling approved! Mixed with some spaghetti or pasta of your choice, it’s the perfect cozy meal for a night in.

Ingredients:

Spinach Pesto Sauce

  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup cashew nuts
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon

Spaghetti

  • 1 packet spaghetti of choice
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 6 button mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Cook the pasta according to package instructions then drain, rinse and cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor add all pesto ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. In a separate pan, heat up some extra virgin olive oil, add garlic and fry until brown.
  4. Add cherry tomatoes and mushrooms sauté until cooked.
  5. Add pasta to pan and stir through.
  6. Add pesto sauce to pan and stir through until all ingredients are well combined.

Have this spaghetti topped with cheese, vegan cheese, nutritional yeast or some chickpeas to keep it vegetarian and vegan. Alternatively, you could add some tuna or shredded roast chicken!

ZUCCHINI & CARROT MUFFINS

Savoury muffins are a great on-the-go breakfast or snack option, as well as an excellent way to sneak in some veggies! Make up a larger batch and store in the fridge or freezer, then simply reheat and go!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used soy)
  • 2 slices (40g) cheese, sliced/chopped/grated

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl until well combined
  2. Pour mixture into a lined muffin tray.
  3. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. Cool and serve, or freeze and reheat when required!
BLUEBERRY & PUMPKIN SEED SCONES

BLUEBERRY & PUMPKIN SEED SCONES

There was a time when I strongly disliked scones. The dryness, the lack of taste… But then I was introduced to fruit scones and the combination of scones with jam. Whilst traditional scone lovers may find this controversial, fruit scones were a game changer for me.

These blueberry and pumpkin seed scones combine the sweetness of the blueberries with the nutty, roasted flavour of the pumpkin seeds to make a crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside version of this traditional afternoon tea.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil spread
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used soy)
  • 1 tablespoon dried or frozen blueberries
  • 1 – 1.5 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

Makes 4 – 6 serves (depending on the size of your scones!)

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl until a slightly stick dough forms.
  2. Line a baking try with baking paper and dust with flour before distributing dough evenly along tray, allowing space between.
  3. Dust top of scones with more flour.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or until cooked through and slightly brown on top.
  5. Serve with jam and/or cream and your favourite hot beverage!
CRUNCHY MEDITERRANEAN SALAD

CRUNCHY MEDITERRANEAN SALAD

When you’re tasked with making a last minute salad but have limited fresh ingredients at home, what can you do? Improvise with some pantry staples!

A common myth is that canned or frozen fruit and vegetables are not as nutritious as fresh, but this is not true! Canned and frozen foods are generally cheaper, convenient, and are just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts! Since they’re shelf stable, I love to keep them in stock to use as back up or on those days when I’m time poor!

This crunchy and juicy Mediterranean-inspired side salad is one example of what you can do with some pantry staples when you’re short on time (takes less than 10 minutes)!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large can four bean mix, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large can corn kernels, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large red capsicum, diced
  • 1/2 cup roasted chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

Simply mix all ingredients together and serve! You can top with your favourite cheese or Halloumi or a pinch of salt ☺️

VEGETARIAN PENNE BOLOGNESE

You may have heard of the Meat-Free Monday movement by now – an initiative to encourage everyone to eat less meat and eat more plant-based meals throughout the week. There are many benefits to a plant-rich diet, including reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and improved gut health.

Recently, some studies showed that reducing red meat intake in particular reduced risk of heart disease compared to other types of meat.

Whether you’ve been doing Meat-Free Monday’s already, or you’re already fully vegetarian or vegan, or you’re still eating meat but just want some ideas to have more plant-based meals, this recipe is simple, tasty and nutritious!

This bolognese uses textured vegetable protein (TVP) as a substitute for regular minced meat. TVP is essentially soybean meal – it’s packed with almost as much protein as regular meat, but with little to no saturated fat!

Ingredients:

  • 250g wholemeal penne pasta
  • 1 can (425g) lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP), rehydrated in 1/2 cup hot water
  • 4 small carrots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1/2 brown onion, diced
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add pasta. Cook until al Dante (Note: wholemeal pasta may take a bit longer to cook).
  2. Heat oil in saucepan, sautée garlic and onions until brown.
  3. Add carrots, textured vegetable protein and diced tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until carrots are cooked through.
  4. Add cooked pasta and mix through.
  5. Sprinkle parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast flakes (for vegan option) to serve.

ROASTED KALE, PUMPKIN & WALNUT SALAD

Whoever says that salads are boring simply isn’t doing it right… (Confession: I used to be one of those people!) This salad ticks all the boxes with crunchy textures, satiating grains and high fibre seeds!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 small Kent pumpkin, chopped into large chunks
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Parsley flakes
  • 1 cup walnuts, roasted
  • 1/4 cup quinoa, boiled
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds

Method:

  1. Add kale to lined baking tray. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle chopped garlic cloves over the top. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes or until slightly crispy. (Note: kale burns very easily, so be sure to check regularly!)
  2. In separate baking tray, add pumpkin chunks, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle parsley flakes over the top. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  3. In separate pot, cook quinoa according to packet instructions (typically boiled in approximately 1 cup water).
  4. Once kale, pumpkin and quinoa are cooked, mix together in salad bowl. Stir in walnuts and sprinkle hemp seeds to serve.

This salad is high in protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, omega-3, omega-6 and dietary fibre, and can be served on the side or as its own meal. To make it a main dish, simply add an extra source of protein like tuna, chicken breast or tofu!

很多人不喜歡吃沙拉是因為覺得好像吃草一樣,坦白說我以前也是! 但其實如果配搭得好,沙拉也可以很好吃的!譬如這個烤南瓜核桃沙拉,不僅營養價值高 (含有蛋白質、維生素A、維生素C、奧米加3、奧米加6、纖維素等等),還很有口感和飽肚感,不妨試試!

LEMON & SEED CAKE

I have a history of making terrible baked goods, especially when I try to make recipes healthier or put a ‘creative spin’ on them… Apparently dietitians have a higher tolerance of mediocre-tasting but ‘healthy’ food, which is why I always test things on my family (haha!).

It’s gotten to the point now where my family always look at new creations with trepidation and low expectations…

This lemon cake I made a couple weeks back was met by this same dubiousness, but… the verdict was that it was good!

Ingredients:

  • 2 small lemons, skin washed and left on
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 4 flaxseed eggs (4 tablespoons flaxseeds + 2 tablespoons water, let sit for 5 minutes until set into gel)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 3 tablespoons slivered almonds/almond flakes
  • 3 tablespoons pepita seeds
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, roasted
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Method:

  1. In a pot, boil lemons in a bit of water for 1 hour or until soft (be sure to check there’s adequate water in the pot and the lemon skin doesn’t burn).
  2. In a separate bowl, add all other ingredients and mix until well combined.
  3. Once lemons are soft, puree in blender or food processor.
  4. Add pureed lemons to mixing bowl with other ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Add mixture to lined baking tray. Bake for 40 – 60 minutes or until cooked through.

This cake does take a bit of time to make (approximately 1 hour prep and 1 hour cook time). The end product though is a moist and dense loaf that’s super high fibre and high in vitamin C! The seeds give a crunchy texture and are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fibre for gut health! Best served with vanilla ice cream or plain yoghurt to balance the acidity of the lemons.

Be sure to tag me on Facebook or Instagram (@rikkyso) if you try it!

AVOCADO & CHICKPEA DIP

AVOCADO & CHICKPEA DIP

Lately I’ve been experimenting with sneaking in chickpeas into my cooking to increase my family’s and my own intake of legumes and fibre. So far there’s been chickpea cookies, roasted chickpea snacks, chickpeas on rice, and chickpeas in salad… Last week I tried chickpeas in dip and you could barely tell they were there.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 small avocados
  • 1 can (420g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

Blend chickpeas with a bit of water until smooth. Add all other ingredients and blend or mix by hand.

This recipe makes a large enough batch for a few days – use it as a dip or spread in sandwich or as a creamy salad sauce! If the creamy texture and high fibre content isn’t enough to convince you, this dip is also high in protein due to the yoghurt and chickpeas.


扁嘴豆是一個既便宜又營養價值高的食品,含有豐富纖維素和蛋白質。最近在嘗試不同方法把扁嘴豆無聲無色地加到食物裡,目前試過曲奇餅、烤扁嘴豆、還有加到沙拉和米飯裡. 上個禮拜還成功地融入了牛油果醬裡,配上紅蘿蔔和小黃瓜,是一個很健康的零食!