Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Sonoma Spelt Maple and Almond Breakfast Muesli

I have long been on a quest for the perfect muesli, and after eating this fabulous example I'm left wondering if I've found it! I stumbled on this accidentally on a recent trip to Sydney. It was lurking in a rather humid and murky health food shop in Randwick. I was immediately intrigued. But vaguely disconcerted by the $14 price tag, for the 500gm bag.

It sounded great. Had a wonderful ingredient list full of recognisable stuff! Oats, spelt, maple syrup, almonds, raisins, sunflower oil, vanilla. Wow. All actual foods. All low GI ingredients. I must be in heaven. Made by an artisanal bakery, Sonoma, in Sydney. I've had their breads before in fancy restaurants and been very impressed.

So how is it? It smells fantastic- full of warm, caramelly aromas- such a shame blogs aren't scratch and sniff

Not stingy with the nuts either
I was lucky the week or so I was eating this (and I think their serving size of 125gm is just crazy, I would have eaten half that- making it almost cheap) in that I had an abundance of figs and blueberries to have on my muesli, making it even more delicious.

Life imitating art, or at least packaging
I'm looking forward to stocking up on more of this on a future trip to Sydney, and also checking out their Honey Spice Muesli.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Couscous and Vegetable Soup

It's heading into autumn in Australia, so this post is about a soup I last made a few months ago now. Actually I've been making this soup regularly for over 10 years. I usually tweak it a bit, but it always smells fragrant and fabulous. I've tried it as a Quinoa and Vegetable Soup, but it wasn't as good, so I think I'll stick with using couscous. 

I've always made this with regular couscous, but have recently discovered that it has a medium GI of 61-65. Israeli pearl couscous is lower GI (52), so I'll have to try it with that next time. I've only used pearl couscous once, it was quite a few years ago, and don't remember liking it very well, but it should be fine in a soup, where it is more a textural component.

Couscous and Vegetable Soup

Looks like I used a kumara this time as well

2 tblsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 chicken breast fillets, cut into 1cm pieces
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tblsp tomato paste
425gm can diced tomatoes
1.5L hot chicken stock
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
4 yellow button squash, quartered
90gm (1/2 cup) couscous
2 tblsp coarsley chopped coriander

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, add onion and cook over low heat until soft, then add chicken and cook a further 3 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, cardamon and paprika and stir over low heat for 3 minutes until fragment.

Add tomato paste, tomato and chicken stock and season to taste. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

Add carrots, cook for  5 minutes, then add zucchini and squash and cook a further 10 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender. Gradually pour in couscous and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and serve in warm soup bowls sprinkled with coriander.
Serves 6

Adapted from a recipe in Australian Gourmet Traveller August 1997

The original recipe includes 1/4 tsp chili powder with the other spices. My family don't like chili heat, so I've never added it, but I'm sure it would be nice.

I love pumpkin, so often add a chunk of that with the carrots.

The quinoa wasn't awful in the soup, but there just wasn't as much compared to the couscous and it changed it somehow. It might be worth trialling adding more quinoa.

Cross posted from Soup, Soup, Glorious Soup

Friday, 4 March 2011


I've made this delicious dip several times now. It's always tasty, and always slightly different. I've made it with thawed frozen peas, or cooked peas, which changes the texture and consistency of the final result somewhat. Uncooked peas give a slightly drier result.

The recipe is from the wonderful Clotilde Dusoulier's amazing Chocolate and Zucchini blog.

Peas are a wonderful, delicious, low GI (48) vegetable.


300 gm frozen peas ( raw or cooked)
A bunch of coriander, washed, dried, leaves plucked (as much as you want, I love corainder  and usually use a decent sized bunch)
2 tblsp nut butter (almond butter or ABC, almond brazil cashew, butter)
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
salt to taste

Place peas, coriander, nut butter, garlic, sweet chili sauce and salt in a food processor.

Whizz to desired consistency (I like leaving mine a bit chunky).

Can easily be made the day before you need it. Keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.

The original inspiration is here. I'm very excited because I managed to find a packet of the Dr Karg Seeded Spelt that Clotilde has with her Peacamole on a recent trip to Sydney. I'll have to make another batch soon. She calls hers Peacamole, but I prefer the name Poiscamole.

The first few times I made it I just used it in fairly traditional ways, as a dip with crackers or crudites. Which was delicious of course. Last time I tried a few new uses as well. Instead of pesto, on pasta for a simple dinner.

With a pasta salad for a work lunch.

All delicious. It's so versatile!