Coming Soon Pete Evans Simmer Sauce Meals

Just released are Chef Pete Evans Simmer Sauces range available through selected IGA stores or online through . I ordered 2 of each sauces to try them out. they are suppose to be the same as the healthy everyday meals range. $7.99 for 330ml jar of sauce. Paleo, Gluten Free, Made with natural ingredients. I will review once they arrive. Continue reading

3 Days Camping

Stopped at café on road side at East Lynn NSW for lunch the first day and again at breakfast the last day. Hubby got curried beef Pie and Sausage Roll. All homemade. My Spinach and Cheese in puff pastry was so nice I had it on both days. A real treat for me as I don’t normally eat pastries.

Lunch & Breakfast: Spinach and Cheese Pastie

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Lamb roast easy way

I recently bought roast lamb on bone and decided to speed up the process of cooking it buy slicing it into steak size pieces and pan frying it in olive oil on stove. Steamed peas and pumpkin in microwave 4min on high. Made a mint jus w pan scrapings added fresh mint from herb pot growing and added organic apple cider vinegar.

Homemade Peking Duck

I didn’t do the normal drying with fan step as It wasn’t a full duck and it  was still a tasty duck dish regardless. I did mine in stages in fridge which dried the skin out in a container with cling film over top. Not traditional but when in a hurry to do it was a good outcome.

Homemade peking duck and fried rice

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Breakfast : With Kimchi

Hubby still on vacation and had a lot of manual work to do today so I wanted to fuel him for the day. Todays breakfast fry up with kimchi was a nice full breakfast to keep me going until lunch time. Avocado is a good fat in small amounts along with the gut benefits of kimchi off to a great start. Fry in skillet with cooking spray, egg, tomato & Italian sausage with onion.

Breakfast fry up with kimchi

Australian Healthy Food Guide

Australian Healthy Food Guide is a great little magazine with plenty healthy nutritional information and health advice as well as great recipes. I have been making recipes from here since magazine was first published. Here are my photos of the recipes i have made using their recipes.

Australian Healthy Food Guide: 100 Meals from 10 basic Recipes: Lentil & Vegetable Soup Recipe



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Family Favourites: Mum’s Shepherds Pie

We were on cooking together and I wanted hubby to choose some dishes to make. This was one his mum (and mine) used to make all the time growing up.  I have adapted it only slightly to fit with both versions from both mums and what I had at time of cooking eg lactose free milk which normally be full cream milk.

Mums Shepherd Pie

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I got this recipe on pinterest. I had coconut water with mine. Blend in blender 1 Banana, 4 Strawberries, 1 handful Kale, 1 handful Baby Spinach with 1/2 cup coconut water. Great for a quick meal any time of the day. Makes 2 serves. 

Banana kale strawberry spinach coconut water

Honey Mustard Chicken

It’s not often I purchase sauce packets as I like to make my own. This one was on special at end of the year and still in used by date so I used it as I am in process of clearing out pantry items and freezer and fridge before doing more groceries which I do from time to time. it not only saves $ but clears out items with nearest used by dates.

Honey Mustard Sauce with Pan-fried Chicken & Steamed Veg

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Soups: Tomato

This is the only soup I buy as I am the only one who eats it. Salt reduced Heinz Tomato Soup. Serve with Toast and Logical Margarine. I made the toast into parmesan toast which is toast spread with margarine and grated parmesan on top  then grill it under the grill until cheese melts. Dip into the tomato soup. Soo Good!

Heinz Tomato Soup Salt Reduced

Breakfast: this weeks breakfast

This week I am making more effort to cook meals at home rather than eat out. Hubby is on holidays so its tempting to just go out and enjoy eating out but I am aware that I don’t know how meals are prepared and calories can increase as well as sodium if I am not careful which then has a adverse affect with my health issues. I came back from 3 day weekend with what I thought were healthy meals out to find a 3kg gain. 

Italian Sausages, Onion, Egg, Vegepod Tomato & Avocado

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Away for 4day weekend for a wedding on a tight budget at the moment as unexpected expenses cropped up 2 days before leaving so decided to make own meals as we were able to get accommodation  with a kitchenette.  So here are the meals.

Five tastes chili and basil chicken stir fry with vegetables and quinoa/brown rice with mineral water with lemon

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Paleo Slices/Museli

I have wanted to experiment with ingredients to get a paleo slice to take to events such as when I am rostered on supper or morning teas at church. Here are two I have done today. They all crumbled when I cut them so I have Now Called them a “Muesli” for hubbies breakfasts. as he has muesli every day 

Paleo Slice #1

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Asian Greens

I added the Asian greens to pan after cooking the honey soy sesame chicken. Tossed 1 handful vegepod Asian greens, 3baby bok choy

Vietnamese Roll: Slaw #5

Coles sell vietnamese bahn mi bread rolls (without fillings). I love creating different things in them. Here I teamed it with another simple slaw #5: red & green cabbage, organic carrot and green shallots with lemon juice served with baby pink kraut

Slaw #5 and kraut


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Panko garlic schnitzel

Cooking together this meal was great knowing the salad was all homegrown from the vegepod. We made our own schnitzels too and cooked them in coconut oil. It made a double batch of chicken schnitzels so we have another meal and less mess to make.

Panko garlic schnitzel w chips and vegepod salad

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Seasoned chicken salad

Pan fried chicken seasoned with sea-salt and pepper cooked in extra virgin olive oil with garden salad (iceberg lettuce, organic cherry tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, organic carrot, mushrooms) and pickled ginger and seedless grapes

Seasoned chicken and garden salad

Salad Bowls

At the start of the week I make up salad bowls for hubby’s work lunches. Some days I make the same with a bowl for myself. These are this weeks salads so far.

 Feb #1 Salad Bowl  (Mixed leaves with Carrot, Cherry Tomato, Cucumber, Seedless Black Grapes)


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Soups: Thai Tom Yam

Cold night and wanted soup that was healthy. I found Tom Yam Soup Paste that was low in salt for Thai food. Hot chili hit for the dish would be too hot for those who don’t like chili but we do. I used turkey breast fillets instead of prawns and followed the list of ingredients on packet . It simply all goes into a pot and cook until meat is cooked. (Had to add Mushrooms, Green Shallot, Fish Sauce, mushrooms, chili, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf) Cooked on stove in pot.

Tom Yam Soup

Box meals 2018

I have been wanting to get back into paleo diet and this was a nice way to do it. It also helps me see what coloured vegetables I am having each day. More box meals will be coming in near future so stay tuned. I use disposable bento boxes to display food.

1x Pan fried Organic free range egg in non stick skillet, 2Tb cut red cabbage cooked in 1tsp tamari,1/2tsp garlic powder, 1tsp coconut oil/1tsp sesame oil and light pinch sea-salt, 1 handful bean sprouts cooked in previous sesame oil with sea-salt, 1tsp kimchi, 1/2 tsp sriarcha sauce w 1/4 cucumber cut into batons and cooked in the same sesame oil. *Meat free Meal

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Beetroot Puree with Pan Seared Duck

I was able to pick up some duck breasts on sale and hubby doesn’t like duck so I took the opportunity to treat myself to a nice duck lunch at home.  The hero of the dish though is the beetroot puree. I haven’t made it before and it turned out so good I decided the duck didn’t need a sauce, the puree was enough.

Pan Seared Duck with Beetroot Puree and Kale Chips

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Grass Fed Beef Mince #1 Base

Using Grass Fed Beef Mince for different meals . Out of 2x 500g packs of mince I got 4 meals. see recipes below. These are also paleo recipes that I revert back to. The shaxo xing cooking wine may not be paleo. I didn’t have any red wine which is usually in the recipe. It is also the base for bolognaise sauce.

Grass Fed Beef Mince #1


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My Bliss Balls

Paleo bliss balls are a great healthy snack. I decided to give it a go and make my own. Really good! To my surprise I had all the ingredients available in stock and used what I had. You could use other combinations such as coconut and dried apricots, cacao and nuts just to name a few. They remind me of the fruit balls I used to make with weetbix and sweetened condensed milk. These are much healthier as all natural ingredients..


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I have been looking at smoothie bowls for a while but never made one until today  I am doing mine in different forms :  smoothie mugs, smoothie bowl, smoothie cups. So good for a hot day. Can be a snack or main meal . Breakfast, lunch or dinner.  Continue reading

Cook Together Dishes 2018

Cooking together with hubby for meals gives both of us help to get a quicker meal on the table and it mixes it up with cooking. We have a roster on different days where we do individual cooking then other days we cook together. It was recommended by my psychologist. She says if you can cook together in same kitchen at same time it promotes unity and harmony and builds bonds of marriage stronger together.  So here are dishes we have done so far this year.  See my pinterest boards for last years meals.

Pork with Hazlenut Salad

Pan Fried Chicken Tenders with Bean Salad #3

Toasted Sandwiches

Using up the last of the gluten free Bread here is a quick lunch using other leftovers I had to use up. Photo doesn’t do it justice. It’s a lot nicer than it looks.

Gluten free Bread toasted with Leftover Slow cooker beef brisket & Quinoa Tabouleh

Coconut Cream Sauce

I wanted to make Pete Evans Paleo lime coconut sauce but didn’t have the ingredients so here is what I made with what was left before grocery shopping day. It was just as good as the other one I normally make.  It goes well with fish and salmon that has been steamed and vegetables. 

Coconut Cream Sauce

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Udon Noodles

I love udon noodles but don’t have them often as I cant have a lot of carbs anymore. So this was a treat for me. This post will show different ways to use them. Often I serve them with Thai oyster sauce, chili, garlic, and sesame oil. This time I did a little different to use up ingredients in fridge and pantry. Tip : Thai Oyster Sauce is not as salty as Chinese oyster sauce and can be found at any Asian supermarket. Often Asian Sauces are a lot cheaper at the Asian supermarkets can be less than half price.

Hoisin & Garlic udon noodles

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Slow Cooker :7hr low BBQ Beef Brisket

Aldi had beef brisket on special and brisket is perfect for slow cooker. I added this to slow cooker with 1 onion sliced and 1/4 bottle of salt reduced BBQ sauce. Cooked on low for 7hrs and it just falls apart. I am making it into homemade kebab with wraps &  quinoa tabouleh.

Slow cooker 7hr bbq brisket

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Barb’s basil pesto

Using up pesto. See previous post under sauces for pesto recipe)

Dish made by hubby with 2 cups wholemeal spaghetti cooked in saucepan with boiling water while chicken cooked. 2 steamed chicken breasts cooked in microwave steamer (11minutes from frozen or 6minutes if unfrozen). When spaghetti is cooked (taste) then drain and mix through the 1/2  jar of pesto. Serve with the chicken.

Wholemeal spaghetti and chicken

For more pesto recipes see these posts

Platter Barb’s Basil Pesto

 Chicken Pesto Bruschetta

Barb’s Basil Pesto Recipe

Sauces: Homemade

As I cleared out fridge of any bought sauces I wanted to make some of my own I haven’t tried before. I also made another batch of the mint sauce I made last year.

My Creamy Fennel Mustard Recipe is Soo Good! Great for BBQ  with Sausages/Steak/Chicken or even Fish or when you want a salad dressing that’s not the normal mayo. No cream involved. Definitely making this one again.

My Basil Pesto Recipe worked out rather well. I don’t add parmesan to mine but a lot of recipes for basil pesto do include it so it is up to the individual taste. I personally don’t think it needs it.

The Chimichurri Recipe from Coles free magazine. Had this one with Steak. Neither hubby nor I liked it.

My Mint Sauce Recipe will be a favourite.

Creamy fennel mustard

Basil pesto


Mint Sauce #1






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Steak and seafood

I wanted to do steak and chimichurri sauce i made. I didn’t really like the sauce but when i team it with the rest of the plate it was ok. This plate was 2 serves for me. I could only eat half and kept rest for another meal. (The chips fish cocktail and sea shanty with aioli for me is 1 meal in itself). Hubby ate the lot in one go. The Chimichurri sauce was a recipe from a free magazine I picked up at the supermarket.

Chimichurri & pan fried steak, baked in oven chips, sea shantie and fish cocktail baked in oven, yummis gluten-free aioli, oroaric without ham, baby pink kraut


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Salads: salmon and fennel

Coles Supermarket has a free recipe magazine had this great recipe. So many good ones to choose from. They are tasty meals and quick to prepare. If you have a healthy pantry and fridge most items you should already have in stock.

Fennel and salmon

Baking: bought mixes

I have found a great gluten-free brand which had great baked items that never fail. I made red velvet cupcakes last time. This time brownies.  Taste better than normal ones and would never know they are gluten free. Simply follow the directions on the back of the box.

Gluten-free Brownie


Salads don’t need to be boring lettuce and tomato. Here are some that I use all the time. Great for a bring a dish and everyone loves them.

Mixed leaves, cherry tomatoes, pitted olives, baby capsicum, cucumber

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Barb’s gluten free bread

Through 2 failed attempts to get this right i managed a 3rd loaf using gluten-free flours, lactose-free milk and yogurt and organic free range egg for this bread. Nice crusty bread. I found the gluten free flour in Coles supermarket. It was really nice. Tip:  if you need to toast or reheat it just sprinkle a light sprinkle of water and it comes out like its just been baked.

Barb’s gf bread

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Slaws: #1 Easy

Pete evans recipe in his latest paleo book had a similar one. This is my version of that as i changed it to what i had available. A tasty slaw that I will revert back to. You could add a dressing but I used lemon juice and didn’t need to add another dressing.

Summer slaw

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Rices: which one to use?

There are many types of rice now available on the market. This list doesn’t cover all of them but its my go to ones I use regularly when having rice with dishes. I cook rice in absorption method where the water covers the rice (about 1 thumbnail above the raw rice) and cook in microwave for 10minutes.  Then don’t drain it just fluff it with a fork. The water absorbs into the rice hence its the absorption method of cooking it.

Tip: I have since watched a documentary last week on rice and whether its healthy to eat. The show highlighted the fact its ok but it needs to be rinsed overnight to remove the arsenic in it. Without soaking it first for a long time the arsenic is still in it. Once it is soaked overnight its ok to eat when its then drained and cooked.   Continue reading

Panang Chicken

Panang Chicken to use up the paste I bought. Simply chicken, paste, vegetables and organic coconut milk and dish is ready when chicken is cooked through. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Penang chicken and steamed rice

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Lettuce Wraps:Bento Soy Minced Beef

Bento Soy is a Japanese soy which I don’t use very often but wanted to team it with mushrooms and minced beef. So here is the lovely combinations. Not many flavours to contend with but worked well. Loved this one and so did hubby. Will be making it again. Its a lettuce wrap or san choi bau type dish but with Japanese flavours instead of Chinese.

Bento Soy, grassfed beef mince lettuce wraps

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Bean Salads: #1 & #2

Bean salads are substitutes for meat for me and a great filler. Can be used with other meats, fish, prawns, poultry or on its own as a stand alone salad. Great if you have to take a dish to friends and its a little different than the normal salad that everyone brings. I have since found organic bean tins and tins with salt reduced. I always rinse the beans before using so it doesn’t have the brine they are preserved in.

Bean salad #1

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Smoked salmon w mango plate

Love mangos and they were on special this week. So i made this yummy salad. I used my vegepod cucumber, red onion, and mixed leaves with smoked salmon and green shallots and arranged them on a plate. No cooking involved.

Mango & smoked salmon plate

Salads: 3 ways

Same ingredients for 2 salads shown and one with dressing. The third salad similar ingredients but swapped olives for vegepod cucumber with different dressing

Base salad: Mixed leaves,  yellow tomato, red onion, celery, carrot, pitted olives.

No cucumber or salad dressing

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New Years Day Breakfast

I use to watch cooking shows and they had this combo for breakfast. Here is my version. Great filling breakfast to keep you going until lunch time. A nice combination of flavours. This is one hubby liked and it was enough to fill him up for the morning without needing snacks between to get him through until lunch.

Mac n Cheese, Baked Beans, Gluten Free Sausages

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Fish cocktails not fried

Fish Cocktails, Sea Shanties and Chips are all cooked in the oven rather than saturated in oil in a deep fryer gives the same result without added fat. Yes they take a little longer to cook but has same great taste.  Team with tartare sauce or lemon wedges and garden salad or on their own with tartare/lemon/aioli or sweet chili sauce.

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Steamed chicken dinner

Mum use to do a Sunday roast chicken dinner when I was living at home. It had mashed potato with gravy and seasonal vegetables. This to me is comfort food. I have done my own healthier version without roasting the chicken. It is steamed in microwave steamer as well as the vegetables

Steamed chicken dinner

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Pan fried Breakfast

Hot breakfast without the grease and healthier ingredients. My last one for the year.  Pan frying in non stick skillet using cooking spray is a healthier option than traditionally frying in oil for the same type of English breakfast. Makes this breakfast a good option .

Gluten Free Sausages, Organic Free Range Egg, Tomato, Mushrooms & Tomato Sauce

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