Quick And Easy Vegetable Soup Recipe

Brought up on my mothers home cooked traditional meals, I am no stranger to soup… honestly, I can ramble a good 20 odd straight off the top of my head at any given time. However, it seems to me there are a lot of people around me these days who don’t know how to make soup, or hold of a lot of misconceptions about soup. Despite what people may think soup doesn’t have to be labourious or take hours to make, instead, soups can be one of the simplest, easiest, heartiest things you can make.

Vegetable Soup


  • Great for bulk cooking
  • Freezes well
  • One-pot cooking
  • Versatile
  • Healthy
  • Quick and easy *ready in approx 15 minutes

Ingredients (per serve)

  • 200 grams of cauliflower (approx. 1/3 of a large cauliflower or packed 2 cups)
  • 50 grams (about ½ a medium) carrot
  • 50 grams of frozen peas
  • 50 grams red capsicum/bell pepper
  • ½ medium tomato
  • ¼ medium onion
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock – or water with a stock cube added
  • Drizzle of oil – for cooking
  • Other recommended ingredients that can be included include – green beans and/or corn; replacing a portion of stock with canned/pureed tomato for a richer soup; and/or adding shredded chicken, beans or red lentils (which will require additional liquid) for a protein boost.

Herbs and Spices *Please adapt the spices to your taste preferences. You can simply double the quantity of spices/herbs if you like them.

  • ¼ teaspoon of sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder – you can use fresh garlic if you prefer
  • ½ teaspoon of Italian herbs – I used oregano, basil, thyme and marjoram
    *You can also use herbs like dill, rosemary or fennel to suit your taste preferences
  • ¼ pepper
  • Pinch of salt – if your stock is salty you might not need this
  • Other recommended spices/herbs that can be included include – cumin, turmeric, chili and/or cayenne or bay leaf, dill, rosemary and/or fennel.


  • 1 small pot with a lid – if you’re only making a single serve. If you don’t have a lid, you may need to use more stock/water
  • Kitchen knife
  • Chopping board
  • Blender – I used a handheld blender
  • Spoon
  • Knife or fork


  • 200g or cauliflower is approx 50 calories
    A great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6.
  • 50g of carrot is approximately 20 calories
    A great source of vitamin A
  • 50 grams of peas approx 30 calories
    A good source of vitamin C, B1, K, Manganese and fibre.
  • 50 grams red capsicum/bell pepper approx 30 calories
    A great source of vitamin C as well as B6 and A
  • ½ medium tomato approx 10 calories
    A good source of vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum, and vitamin K
  • ¼ medium onion approx 10 calories
    A good source in vitamin C, was well as dietary fiber, and folic acid
  • The nutritional content and health benefits of the remaining ingredients including stock, herbs and spices will depend on the type you use.
    However, according to my research, 500mls of the average supermarket stock will set you back approx 40 calories.


  1. Chop cauliflower, capsicum, onion and carrot roughly. The size of your cutting will determine the cooking time, the smaller the quicker it will cook so I recommend small florets for the cauliflower, 1.5cm cubes for the carrot and ½ cm strips for the capsicum and onion.
    Note: To speed up the process, I cut my onions, and whilst sautéing them I cut the rest of my vegetables.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, herbs and spices and sauté until onions are transparent, approx 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add stock. When the liquid boils, add the carrot and cauliflower. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the capsicum and tomato. Cook until the carrot and cauliflower is tender. This should take approx another 3-5 minutes depending on how small you cut your vegetables.
    Note: To test of vegetables are tender, simply taste a vegetable or place a sharp knife on a vegetable, and applying very minimal pressure, the knife should enter the vegetable with little give. If the knife meets resistance in the middle of the vegetable, more so than the outer portion of the vegetable it is not quite ready.
  4. Once tender. Turn off heat, and add peas.
  5. Vegetable SoupBlend soup to desired consistency. I use a handheld blender and simply give it a quick 5-10 second buzz.
    Note: Be careful of any splash back if you are blending the soup whilst it is still hot.
  6. Serve immediate, or let cool and pack away in the fridge for tomorrows lunch, or freeze for an evening you can’t be bothered cooking.

Cauliflower Rice Recipe

Cauliflower rice has become the core to of many of the dishes I have recently been making. My new found obsession with Instagram really opened my eyes to just how much of a staple this simple idea has become. And I’m not surprised, because if I can get my traditional Polish family enjoying it to the point it gets requested I’m sure you and your family or friends will enjoy it too.

10306478_10152522355171871_2023850728592781835_nWhy It’s Great

  • Great for bulk cooking
  • Freezes well
  • Can be made the day before
  • Versatile
  • Healthy – It’s a vegetable!


1 head of cauliflower (or however much you want to make)


  • 600g or 1 medium head = approx 150 calories
  • 4 serves of 150g = approx 37.5 calories per serve
  • A great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6.
  • Also contains choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin (B7).
  • When compared with cooked white rice, 600g will set you back 780 calories, or 130 calories per 150g serving.
  • Nutritionally is doesn’t even come close. Whilst white rice is a good source of folate, thiamine (B1), niacin (B3) as well as containing some magnesium, manganese, and iron, its 90% carbohydrate content really fails to provide fiber.


1) Cut your cauliflower into several pieces. This will help you get it into your food processor and process more evenly.

Blending Cauliflower Rice

2) Process fresh cauliflower until it is the size of rice. If your food processor has a pulse setting I recommend you use this. Otherwise, blend for 2 seconds, pause, check the texture and keep doing this until it’s the right texture.
Note: If you don’t have a food processor you can use a hand grater or cut the cauliflower using the knife, however this can get quite messy.

3) You can serve it raw, however I don’t enjoy the taste of raw cauliflower, and I find it doesn’t quite act like rice as well as it does when cooked. You can cook your cauliflower rice in a couple ways. My personal preference (for textural, bulk cooking and nutritional reasons) is to steam it over the stove, using a pot with a lid, water and a colander.

Cauliflower Rice BowlNote: If you don’t want to steam your cauliflower rice over the stove you can microwave it in a bowl with a cover. The moisture from the cauliflower will steam in the bowl and cook the cauliflower accordingly.

Note: With both options I do recommend stirring the cauliflower rice half way through the cooking process to ensure even cooking. I find it usually takes about 5 minutes to steam, however it may take longer depending on your equipment etc. It’s definitely worth giving it a try at 2.5 minutes when you stir it, and then again at 5 minutes and leaving it to cook further if required.

Cauliflower Stirfry

4) If you are looking to cook a dish such as a stirfry with cauliflower rice it is worth letting it sit and dry a little before using it… As you would with regular rice. Day old is best, but even 5-10 minutes to cool will do if you’re in a rush. This simply ensures the integrity of the texture is kept in tact.

5) Freeze it. Store it in the fridge. Serve it straight up. But most importantly, no matter how you choose to serve it, enjoy!

Microwave Egg White Scramble (With Tomato And Spinach)

I’ve been working on making some life-style changes. I’ve been training hard and trying to improve the quality of my meals. Having tasty, healthy food at work can be tough, especially when everyone around you is tucking into all sorts of filth including cakes, muffins, sausage rolls and chocolate bars. Kicking off the day with a delicious, healthy and satisfying meal is definitely over-looked by a lot of officer workers, yet it can be the key to walking past the free cupcake at morning tea. Because I start early, I eat breakfast at work once I’ve had the time to drink some water and tea, but finding a work-friendly breakfast that was healthy, tasty and satisfying has been my biggest challenge. Porridge (oatmeal) was boring and a carbohydrate feast, whilst a fruit salad was (though natural) a sugar spike, and with all my training, I’ve been looking to find a more protein filled work-place breakfast, though still low in calories… and I’ve finally found it.

Why It’s Great

It’s super quick and easy to prepare and cook. It can be prepared the night before. It’s full of protein. It’s low in calories. Ingredients can be modified easily. People in the jealous will be jealous that you’re not having cereal for breakfast.

This recipe makes 1 serving.


  • 5 x-large egg-whites = 100 calories
    • Protein and Potassium, as well as folate, selenium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
  • ½ a medium tomato = 11 calories
    • Vitamin A, C and lycopene
  • 1 cup of baby spinach = 7 calories
    • Vitamin A, K, as well as folate, E, C, B, calcium, iron and magnesium.
  • ¼ of a small onion = 7 calories
    • Fibre, vitamin B6, as well as C, calcium and folate.
  • 1 tsp of mixed Italian herbs (can be modified to your tastes)
  • ½ tsp of paprika
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper


  • Experiment with different herb combinations to change the flavour of your eggs and keep your breakfast interesting.
  • To add a low calorie cheesy flavour, add a Tbsp of parmesan cheese for 22 calories.

To add texture and carbohydrates, serve with whole grain toast for 80-100 calories per small slice.



The night before, or in the morning:

  1. Separate 5 extra-large egg whites into an airtight container.
  2. Dice your tomato and add to the egg whites along with all your other ingredients.
    – Tip: Crack each egg into a small cup one at a time before putting them into the container. This ensures if you do accidentally break a yolk, you haven’t spoilt the whole batch of egg whites (though this is not essential for this recipe).
    – Tip: The egg yolks can be used for egg wash or other dishes later, so they’re worth keeping.

At work:

  1. Poor your mixture into a large/tall bowl.
    – Tip: This is essential as the eggs rise as they cook.
  2. Microwave on high for 45-60 seconds.
    – Tip: This will differ depending on the power of your microwave.
    – Tip: What you are looking for is cooked egg to begin to rise in the bowl.
  3. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl thoroughly.
    – Tip: The eggs will likely be partially cooked, with completely uncooked egg as well.
  4. Microwave for a further 30 seconds, or until the egg is cooked through.
  5. Stir.
  6. Enjoy!


After you make eggs in the microwave once or twice you will begin to get a feeling for the cooking time required.

Family Pleasing Open Tomato and Avocado (and Turkey) Toasted Sandwich

Family Pleasing Open Tomato and Avocado (and Turkey) Toasted Sandwich

My entire family love these toasted open sandwiches.

Why they’re great

They’re super quick and easy to make.
Great for a light lunch or a brunch snack.
Great textures you can sink your teeth into.
Great for people who like to eat several smaller meals throughout the day.

This recipe makes 2 open toasted sandwiches.


  • 2 slices of toasted whole-meal/wholegrain/multigrain toast = 140 calories
    • Depending on the bread it can contain vitamin B1, B2, B3, E, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, cooper, iron and dietary fiber
  • 4 slices of tomato = 20 calories
    • Vitamin A, C and Lycopene
  • 2 tablespoons of ripe avocado = 60 calories
    • Fiber, folate, vitamin C, E, K and potassium
  • 1 tablespoon of red onion = 5 calories
    • Polyphenols, flavonoids
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper

Total = 225 calories

And for those carnivores out there, add a slice of sliced turkey breast for some lean protein.  Being a light meat the flavour will not overpower the rest of the ingredients.

  • 2 slices of turkey breast = 45 calories
    • Protein

Total = 270 calories


  1. Toast the 2 slices of bread to your favourite level.
  2. Whilst the toast is toasting finely dice the red onion and slice the tomato.
  3. Once toasted, spread 1 tablespoon of avocado on each slice of toast. Putting the avocado on first will protect the toast from the more juicy ingredients.
    3.5. *You can put the turkey on here or at 6.5.
  4. Layer 2 slices of tomato on each slice of toast on top of the avocado.
  5. Sprinkle half the red onion on each toast.
  6. Finish with a pinch of pepper and salt on each open toast.
    6.5. *If you’re making sandwiches for multiple people put the turkey on last so it’s easy to recognise.
  7. Enjoy!

Butter Chicken & Potato Curry

Butter Chicken & Potato Curry

$2 – $2.50 per serve
Will keep for a couple days in the fridge
Can be frozen for a later date
Easy way to feed a large number of people


Serving size: 14
Time: >1 hour
Course: Dessert
Difficultly: Easy
(Great for winter dinner; comfort food; eating over 2 days)


12 small potatoes (or 8 medium) 1.74
6 Large chicken breasts 15
6 cups of rice & 6 cups of water
Butter chicken spice mix 1.49
-or you can make your own using a combination of: paprika, cumin, coriander, turmeric, pepper, garlic powder, curry powder, onion powder, mixed spices (try to avoid any pre-made jar sauces; the flavour you get from cooking real fresh spices is worth it.
3 heaped tablespoons of Curry powder
½ bulb of garlic 50c
2 small onions 90c
2 800g cans of tinned tomato 3.00
100g butter
300ml cream
Drizzly of olive oil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Fresh parsley or coriander to serve


  1. Rinse rice. Place rice and water into a large saucepan. Place on high heat-bring to a boil. Once at a boil reduce heat to a medium heat and cook with the lid on until water is completely absorbed and rice is cooked. This should take about 15 minutes – though check instructions on your packet as this will vary between rice varieties.
  2. This step isn’t necessary but I prefer to do it. Bring a large pot to the boil. Large dice potatoes (roughly 1cm by 2cm). Cook potatoes for 2-3 minutes just to soften them a little. Potatoes should be still uncooked and maintain their space. Drain.
  3. Heat oil and butter in a large pot over a medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic.
  4. Add chicken, spice mix, curry powder and let the chicken brown.
  5. Add tinned tomatoes and potatoes. When the pot is back up to a medium heat turn it down to a low heat.
  6. Let the curry simmer uncovered for 1-3 hours. The quicker you want to eat it the higher the temperature will need to be to make the reduction process quicker. However the lower the heat and the longer the curry can cook the more flavour will develop, so it’s definitely worth the wait.
  7. Add cream and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes.
  8. Serve curry over a bed of rice, and garnish with parsley or coriander.

Tips & Tricks
-Make the night before and enjoy over a day or two.
-For variety change the variety or rice you use.
-Make this large serving, divide into containers and freeze for that night you’re just too tired to cook.

Clam Shortbread Biscuits (Clammys)

Clam Shortbread Biscuits (Clammys)

Less than .50c per serve
Can be made the day before


Serving size: 10-12
Time: <45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Difficultly: Easy
(Great for dessert; or parties)


225g    Plain flour
115g    Rice flour
115g    Castor sugar
225g    Butter (salt reduced) – Room temperature

Icing (This will be trial and error & differ person to person)
~4 cups           Icing sugar 1.92
~200g              Butter (reduced/unsalted) – Room temperature
~1-2 Tbsp        Milk
~4 drops          Vanilla bean/Vanilla extract
~2 drops          Pink food colouring

100s & 1000s


  1. Preheat over on low heat 180°C (160°C fan-forced).
  2. Cover 2 trays with greaseproof baking paper.
  3. Mix plain flour, rice flour, castor sugar and butter in a bowl until dough is formed.
  4. Take a small portion of the dough and roll in your hand. The dough will soften as you roll it, so do this as quickly as possible. Place rolled ball onto tray. Do this until all the dough has been rolled into balls. Keep balls well-spaced as they will spread whilst cooking.
  5. Lightly flatten the balls with your fingers until they are 1cm thick and pop into the oven. Cook for ~15-17 minutes or until the cookies begin to brown ever so lightly.
  6. Whilst cookies are baking mix ~1.5 cups icing sugar, 100g butter, 2 drops of vanilla and pink food colouring. Mix until icing is spreadable (adding ingredients as necessary, icing sugar to thicken, milk to thin).
  7. Mix remaining icing sugar, butter and vanilla. Mix until icing is thick enough to roll into a ball (adding ingredients as necessary, icing sugar to thicken, milk to thin).
  8. Take out of the over and remove from hot tray to cool. Be gentle as they are still soft and will harden a little as they cool.
  9. Wait until cookies are cool, and icing the bottom of each with pink icing.
  10. Using the thick white icing, roll into small balls 5-10c in diameter. The icing will soften as you roll it, so do this as quickly as possible. Place the icing balls in the first third on top of the pink iced side on half of the cookies. Place the remaining cookies on top of the cookies with the white icing balls.
  11. Roll very small quantities of white icing (2 per clam) and place on top of the cookies to create eyes. Push 100s & thousands into the icing eyes for pupils.

Tips & Tricks
Substitute white icing balls ‘pearls’ with white candy
Make the night before, keep in an airtight container and serve the next day at a party.
For gluten free option try replacing plain flour with gluten free flour.

Stove-top Goulash Recipe

Stove-top Goulash 

<5 mins preparation 
≈2 hrs cooking time 
$3-$4.50 per serve *for cheaper option $2-$3 see Tips & Tricks 
Large quantity – can be eaten over a couple days 


Serving size: 8-10
Time: ≈2 hours
Course: Dinner
Difficultly: Easy
(Great for winter dinner; comfort food; eating over 2 days)


1.5kg diced beef *for cheaper option see Tips & Tricks
1 (800g) can tinned tomato
2 cups beef stock
1 green bell pepper/capsicum
1 red bell pepper/capsicum
1 large onion
3 garlic gloves
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon mixed Italian herbs
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1 small dried chilli (to taste)
500g Spiral pasta or rice (to serve)
1/2 cup sour-cream or natural yogurt (optional)


  1. Add the olive oil and butter to a large pot and bring to medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté. Add garlic.
  2. Add meat and cook until well browned. Whilst meat is browning, chop bell peppers/capsicums roughly and add to pot.
  3. Add remaining ingredients (excluding sour cream/yogurt) and bring to a boil.
  4. Turn heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes with lid on. Stir occasionally. Remove lid and continue simmering for a further 1.5 hours without the lid. Stir occasionally.
  5. Serve over rice or pasta.
  6. Stir in or serve on top sour cream/yogurt just before serving.

Tips & Tricks 
For cheaper option: Substitute 750grams of beef with potatoes.
Keeps well in the fridge, so you can eat over 2 nights.