What does Organic truly mean?


It’s no secret that New Zealanders love for organic food is on the rise and you know times are changing when mainstream brands like Anchor launches an organic range of its milk.  Not so long ago, consumers used to only be able to purchase organic food products in a health food store or at the local farmers markets; now there are whole aisles dedicated to organic products in the supermarket. Hurrah!

It’s always good to have an opinion and even better when it’s an informed one – while we know organic is good for us, could many of us actually define what truly ‘organic’ produce even means?

Essentially it means farmers use mainly the resources already on their farms. Organic means that what you are eating is in its purest form, no synthetic pesticides have been used, no antibiotics, no genetic modification. It does mean organic farmers have to work harder to sustain the health of soils, ecosystems and stock. This is because an organic production system is designed to increase soil biological activity, maintain soil fertility, enhance biological diversity within the whole system and recycle plant and animal waste (compost anyone?) in order to return nutrients back to the land.

“Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality for all life involved”

  • The International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements.

So what does it take to obtain organic certification in New Zealand?

At the moment in NZ, organic produce isn’t always strictly audited. So any certification is generally voluntary – but there are globally recognised certifying bodies like AsureQuality, which is government owned and a strict regulator e.g. under their organic certification, farms have to have converted to organic for a minimum of three years before being considered. They carry out annual audits to to renew and maintain organic certification.  That is no easy feat for organic farms and I imagine an expensive process.  Organic Farmers must have plans in place that would be invoked should there be a natural disaster or shortage of feed due to extreme weather conditions.  It doesn’t just stop at the farm though, it’s the whole process e.g. to be deemed organic, slaughtering of organic products and the processing of them cannot be contracted out to a party that is not organic certified themselves.

Why do we prefer organic?

To be certified, organic livestock farming must be free range, have access to pasture, open air exercise areas, open air runs, provide protection against rain, wind, sun and extreme temperatures and the maximum hours of artificial light must not exceed a maximum that respects the natural behavior of the animal.  For most people choosing organic is for ethical reasons, just as nature intended!

In reality, organic is not always the most affordable option and as milk is a staple in just about every household we applaud Anchor for stepping up their game and introducing relatively low cost certified organic milk to consumers with the bonus that it is available in supermarkets all around the country.  It’s giving consumers more choice. The Anchor Organic range also prides itself on traceability – the grass to glass story, as Anchor can trace any bottle of its organic milk back to the exact farm it has come from; I think this transparent journey is often a strong motivating factor for a lot of organic consumers when they make purchases as I know it is for myself personally. This way you know that what you are eating/drinking/wearing is produced in a way that benefits the land and animal – you can’t get much better than that!


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Quinoa Porridge


Creamy warm porridge during Winter is the ultimate breakfast comfort food and a fantastic way to start the morning off.  Traditionally porridge is made with oats but after spotting quinoa flakes I decided to try them out.  Quinoa flakes are a gluten free grain that cook very quickly.  Being a complete protein they are superior to oats when it comes to nutritional value and 100 grams of the flakes contain over 14 gams of protein.

With the launch of Anchor Organic milk I went and purchased myself some full fat (blue top) to cook the quinoa flakes in.  It tastes the same as regular milk but knowing that it is produced using sustainable farming methods makes it all that much sweeter.  With organic foods being on trend brands can sell their products are a premium, and sometimes rightly so – the cost to produce organic food is more expensive for the farmer especially when it comes to production of dairy.

Serves 1


1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup Anchor Organic Milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch sea salt

1 cup mixed berries
2 tablespoons manuka honey
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped.
1/4 cup coconut chips or desiccated coconut

Topping ideas: 
peanut butter, banana, yoghurt, chia seeds, seeds and nuts.


1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil. When the milk boils turn the heat down to low and stir in the sea salt and quinoa flakes.  Stir occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and place aside.
2. Let the porridge sit for 3 minutes and stir making sure it is think and creamy.
3. Place the porridge into a serving bowl and top with manuka honey, walnuts, mixed berries and coconut chips.



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Low Carb Tacos


Serves 3-4 people


600 grams organic chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 cup quinoa
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup cherry tomato’s, chopped into cubes
1 small cos lettuce, leaves removed
2 avocados, halved, pip removed and sliced horizontal into strips.
1/3 cucumber, cut into small cubes
Juice of lime or lemons


1. Place the quinoa along with 2 1/2 cups of water into a pot and cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes.  Set aside in a bowl.
2. Heat a pan over medium heat, add a dash of oil and simmer the onion and garlic for 2 minutes.  Add the chicken, paprika, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Take off the stove and add to the bowl of quinoa, mix well.
3. Place  a large spoonful of the chicken and quinoa mixture into each lettuce cup.  Sprinkle cucumber and tomato over along with the avocado.  Drizzle with lime or lemon juice and garnish with cracked pepper.

Enjoy. J&L x



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Creamy Chocolate Mousse




Lib and I first made this recipe a few years ago with the inclusion of peanut butter.  It’s hard to believe that the main ingredient is avocado! The mousse is a perfect substitute for traditional dairy mousse, it is so creamy, thick and rich in chocolate flavour.  A great topping for cakes instead of frosting, spoon onto slices of banana or have by itself after dinner.

This recipe we have not used a lot of cacao as it can be quite biter and everyone has a different taste preference, so adjust with extra rice malt (any liquid sweeter will do) or add extra cacao if you like its strong taste.

Serves 2-4


2 ripe avocados
½ cup coconut cream
¼ cup cacao powder
¼ cup rice malt syrup
1 pinch of salt


  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth and creamy.
  2. Serve straight away or store in a refrigerator for an hour before serving if you want it extra thick. Store mousse in an airtight container in the fridge.



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Chili, Ginger and Garlic Cabbage


My best friend’s father Michael first cooked me this dish, many years ago.  I had never tried cabbage before (I had always thought it smelt a bit funny) but as soon as I ate this, I was hooked.  This is now one of my favorite meals, it’s also the cheapest – read the ingredients list to see why.  Super tasty, full of flavor, low carb, low fat, no fuss and you can whip it up from wo to go in 10 minutes.


½ a head of cabbage
400 grams of organic chicken
½ cup of cooked black rice (or brown)
2 tsp of ginger, grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 fresh red chili, finely sliced.
1 Tbsp of Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp of Tamari
1 tsp of Coconut Oil 



  1. Cut chicken into small cubes and fry in a wok using coconut oil on medium heat until chicken is cooked through. Set chicken aside in a bowl.
  2. Place ginger, garlic, chili into a wok on a low heat and gently fry.
  3. Cut the cabbage into square like pieces, nothing too small or it will wilt and go soggy. Place into the wok with garlic, ginger and chili.
  4. Add sesame oil and tamari, stir through so that the sauce is covering the cabbage. Place lid on wok – this will allow the heat to gently steam the cabbage making it soft.  Occasionally stir.
  5. Once cooked combine with chicken and rice.


IMG_8758 IMG_8768 IMG_8754

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Poached Pears with Cinnamon and Anchor Greek Yoghurt


Pears are harvested in New Zealand and Australia around February to March and are generally available until May so this is the perfect time to get your pear fix.  Poached pears are a beautiful addition to have on top of muesli, keep in an airtight jar and snack as you go or as a dessert topped with Anchor Greek Style Yoghurt for added sweetness.  Anchor Greek Yoghurt is high in protein and low in fat – deliciously good for you.  It’s thick and creamy, with a tasty fruity layer of either strawberry, passionfruit or pear.  We put some of the leftover poached pears in a smoothie with more of the Anchor Greek Style Yoghurt and some spinach, wow, dream combo!

Anchor Greek Style Yoghurt has no artificial colours or flavours, and comes in a cute little 180g pottle, or a 450g tub. There is also a 950g natural version – perfect for cooking, baking, and amazing in smoothies.  You can pick it up at New World and PAK’n Save stores nationwide.

Ingredients for Cinnamon Poached Pears

3 large Pears, cut into wedges (we used Taylors Gold variety)
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1/4 cup of Coconut Sugar
3 cups of Water
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Essence
180 gram punnet of Anchor Greek Style Yoghurt (we used passionfruit flavour)



  1. Wash pears and cut into wedges (approximately 4 wedges per pear).
  2. Combine water and sugar in a large sauce pan, break cinnamon sticks into large pieces and also place into the sauce pan.  Cook over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Once sugar has dissolved add the pear pieces, vanilla essence and stir to combine.  Cut a disc of non-stick baking paper and place over the pears.  Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the pears have softened.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pears to serving dishes.  Top with some of the liquid, cinnamon sticks and a pottle of yoghurt.

    J&L x

#officialblogger #snackchat





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Massaged Kale Salad


Kale, not just for green smoothies, you can also use this nutrient powerhouse in your salads! As Kale is course and tough the best way to make it palatable is to massage it.  Yes, literally give it a good massage to soften it up and turn it into your new favorite salad base.  Of course you will need a tasty dressing and the one in this recipe is a winner.

Use the massage kale as a side dish or pile lots of your favorite foods on top and create an epic salad.

Salad Ingredients:
1 bunch of kale
1 cup edamame beans
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 avocado, sliced

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
2 Tbsp Balsalmic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to season

1. Remove spine from the kale leaves and discard spine so that there are just the leaves left.   Wash them thoroughly and dry off.  Chop the leaves into small pieces and place in a bowl.
2. Mix all of the dressing ingredients together. Pour into bowl of kale leaves and with your hands massage the kale gently for a few minutes.  It will soften, go shiny and turn a dark green colour.
3. Add the rest of salad ingredients on top and serve.






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Vegan Mud Cake with Cashew Icing


Everyone loves a good chocolate cake recipe so I thought I would experiment and make a chocolate cake that is vegan, therefore free of egg and dairy.  This cake is so beautifully moist, gooey and decadent.

I have used the cashew icing recipe in a few of my previous desserts but I wanted to make a vibrant pink icing for Valentines Day. I initially tried using raspberries but the icing was lumpy and didn’t have a good consistency, I tried again using beetroot and it blended so well and the colour came out so beautiful.

This delectable mud cake is the perfect dessert and it is unbelievably easy to make. I made this for Valentines Day but it would be a hit for any celebration.

Cake Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups of unbleached all-purpose gluten free flour
1 cup of coconut oil, melted.
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
1.5 tsp of baking powder
2.5 tsp of baking soda
1 1/4 cup of raw cacao or cocoa powder
1/3 cup of melted dark chocolate. (I used Whittakers 70% Dark Ghana)
2 tsp of vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups of coconut sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tsp of cinnamon

Icing Ingredients:

1 small beetroot – slice into small cubes (skin off)
1.5 cups of raw cashews
2 Tbsp of melted coconut oil
1.5 Tbsp of vanilla essence


1. Preheat the oven to 180 C and lightly grease 2x 8 inch baking trays.
2. Mix the coconut oil, olive oil, dark chocolate and vanilla essence in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cacao, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and stir well.  The mixture should be think and creamy with no lumps. If the mixture is too thick, add more melted coconut oil and if the mixture is too wet add more flour or cocoa.
4. Divide the batter and add evenly to the 2 baking trays. Place the trays in the oven.
5. Bake for around 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool before icing.
6. To prepare the icing, blend the cashews, coconut oil and vanilla essence in a blender or food processor.  Slowly add the beetroot until the mixture turns into a vibrant pink colour. If the mixture is too thick, add a small amount of water so it turns into a smooth and fluffy consistency.
7. Once the cake has cooled down, frost the first layer of cake with pink icing. Add the top layer and ice generously. I sprinkled desiccated coconut over mine, alternatively dust with icing sugar or cocoa.

I served mine with a dollop of coconut yogurt but it would also be delicious with dairy free ice-cream. Store in an airtight container in the pantry. Cake should keep for 4-5 days.

Enjoy! L x



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Symbio Feel Better February


We are always stressing about the importance of gut health and how beneficial pro and pre-biotics are when talking about this subject.

Symbio’s Feel Better February is a simple, effective way to help achieve digestive balance. It’s easy. Enjoy one 150g serve of Symbio Probalance (or 200mL serve of Symbio Probalance Pouring yoghurt) a day for 14 Days in a row, and combined with the tips and tricks Symbio will send you, we guarantee you’ll feel the difference.  In fact Symbio are so confident you’ll feel a healthier, more balance you at the end of 14 days that they’re offering a guarantee. Feel the difference or your money back!

On Saturday 17th January Libby and I went to The Cloud on Auckland’s Queen Wharf for the Symbio Yoga Event, the class was taken by Mande White.


The class was packed full of people keen to hack into their inner yogi and that is exactly what we did. It had been a while since I had practised any yoga and the next day my shoulders were so sore. What a work out! We had a lot of fun.


So what’s included in the Symbio Feel better February Challenge?

You’ll receive:

  • Daily emails containing wellness tips and tricks to a healthier more balanced you.
  • $1 off coupons throughout to ensure you’re always stocked up.
  • Inspiring quotes to keep you motivated.
  • Serving suggestions for interesting ways to enjoy your Symbio each day.

What sets Symbio’s pro-biotics apart from the rest?

  • Symbio’s unique DR10™ blend of probiotics has been rigorously tested in numerous independent trials. The results? DR10 has been proven to increase ‘good’ bacteria in the gut which in turn results in a calmer, happier, feel-better you, inside and out.
  • When you eat enough of the right kinds of probiotic cultures (like a daily dose of Symbio), it can help to balance more than just your insides. As your digestion becomes less sluggish, your energy levels start to lift, and you glow. And who doesn’t want a bit of that?
  • Symbio contains tummy taming probiotics making it a deliciously divine way to create some inner happiness (not to mention tastebud happiness).

If you want to sign up to Symbio’s Feel Better February and receive a helping of inner calm every day, click here.

P.S. When you sign up you could be in to win a trip for two to a stunning wellness retreat in Noosa, Australia!

J x

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Exotic Fruits Iced Tea


Exotic Fruits Iced Tea

In November I spoke at Red Seal’s launch of their new tea range. Red Seal is a New Zealand owned and operated company, well known for their natural products including supplements, toothpastes and teas.
At the launch I spoke about the benefits of tea and also created two delicious iced tea recipes. One of my favourite flavours of the new range is ‘Exotic Fruits’. Some of the beautiful ingredients this tea includes is:

  • Hibiscus
  • Apple
  • Rosehips
  • Natural Flavouring
  • Orange Peel
  • Pineapple Fruit Juice Granules

I always have a jug of iced tea in my fridge so I can sip on it throughout the day, hydrating on nutrients. If you are wanting to cut out coffee and soda drink consumption, this recipe is going to make it a lot easier to curb any cravings!


5 Red Seal Exotic Fruits tea bags
2 cups (500 ml) of coconut water
1 cup of boiling water
2 cups of cold water
1 tablespoon of black chia seeds
1 lemon (finely sliced)
1 cup of fresh mint leaves (chopped)
¼ teaspoon of fresh grated turmeric (okay to substitute with powdered turmeric if there is no fresh turmeric on hand)
Ice cubes for serving

Brewing directions:

1. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the tea bags, into a 2 litre container
2. Steep for 5 minutes and then fill the container with 2 cups of cold water and 2 cups of coconut water.
3. Steep for another 5 minutes and then remove the tea bags
4. Place the chia seeds, turmeric, sliced lemon and mint into the container and stir well
5. Pour the tea into glasses and add ice before serving.

L x

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