Simple spaghetti with zucchini and basil leaves | Wandering Spice

Spaghetti with Zucchini and Basil (Or, ‘dinner in a flash’)

Simple spaghetti with zucchini and basil leaves | Wandering Spice

I’m starting to accept that I’m the kind of person who likes to have a lot on their plate – at meal times and in life. I’m a furious planner. I make lists left and right, on old envelopes, in notebooks, in my phone. There’s always something new I want to do.

My typical day now starts at 6.15am. I wake up and do 30-40 minutes of exercise, shower and dress, have breakfast with Jase, then head off to a full day at work. When I get home, we’ll put together a quick but healthy dinner or have left overs (my favorite), go for a walk around the neighborhood, and watch TV or work on other projects. Lately we’ve been extra busy. A little update:

  • We are in the process of expanding our business. Have I mentioned this? We own a juice bar, and are looking to expand to a second store. It’s very exciting and I am so proud of what Jase has achieved in the past 18 months.
  • My parents were just here for three weeks, visiting from the U.S. I have a bunch of stories and recipes up my sleeve, but more importantly, it was just so, so, so good to hang out with them. We ate lots of cake.

So, with all of that going on, I’ve been grounding myself with simple, healthy, easy dinners lately. And that, my friends, is where my undying love for quick pastas comes in. [Read more…]

Creamy Avocado Pasta | Wandering Spice

Quickie Avocado and Basil Pasta (Vegetarian)

Creamy Avocado Pasta | Wandering Spice

How are you going with your New Year’s resolutions, goals, habits, whatever you want to call them? I think this is approximately the time – halfway through January – that we’ve abandoned ship or decided to stick with what we’ve promised ourselves for the year.

As I mentioned here, my main ambition for 2015 is to do more than I think I can. Being kinder to myself is also a major priority. Like so many of us, I’m a hair too critical of myself at times, and though I’ve come a long way in recent years, there’s no such thing as too much kindness so I’m keeping the trend going. I’m also punch drunk on mindfulness and yoga. I feel like over the course of the past two years, my entire composition has changed thanks to those two things. I’m still pretty kooky, just less stressed. [Read more…]

Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe | Wandering Spice

How To Make Perfect Roast Chicken and Vegetables

Perfect Roast Chicken Recipe | Wandering Spice

Historically, cooking a whole bird scared me. Previous attempts resulted in simultaneously over and undercooking various parts of the anatomy, confounding as that is. Strangely I was more comfortable roasting a 7kg turkey for 20 people on Thanksgiving than your average chicken for Sunday roast.

Until now.  [Read more…]

Turmeric Ginger Chili Tonic | Wandering Spice

Turmeric, Ginger and Chili Tonic

Turmeric, Chili and Ginger Tonic | Wandering Spice

I can tell by my unusual tan lines that summer has arrived in Australia. Here, the sun is actually out to humiliate you. You say you don’t burn? You do now. Didn’t reapply that SPF 50 every two hours as directed? Congratulations, you are now dyed in the shape of whatever you were wearing that day. It goes a little like that here, between November and April.

The past two days were some of those. Crack-an-egg-on-the-pavement-and-breakfast-is-served type days. I was lucky to visit Heidi at the beach on Saturday – a dip of the cold sea couldn’t have been more necessary. But the day before, hiding away in the shade of our apartment, I made this very quick, refreshing and anti-inflammatory tonic and sipped small glasses throughout the day. If you’re like me and have the tendency to puff up in the heat, this will really come in handy.

Turmeric Ginger Chili | Wandering Spice

Fresh turmeric, ginger, chili and a bit of honey are all that’s required, plus a few cups of water. Fresh turmeric can be found in Asian grocers – if it’s not available, substitute a heaped teaspoon of the dry variety. Fresh ginger is a must, though; its brightness cuts through the chalky lull of turmeric, and just tastes so lovely with the honey.

Turmeric Ginger Chili Tonic | Wandering Spice

There’s hardly a method for this, certainly not worth writing out a recipe, so here is the basic gist:

  • Grate a thumb-sized (about 2″ long) piece each of peeled fresh turmeric and ginger.
  • Slice half (again, about 2″ worth or more) of a mild to medium heat chili, with the seeds
  • Place the turmeric, ginger and chili in a small pot with 3 cups of water and a heaped spoon of honey
  • Warm it up – don’t boil, just hot enough to melt the honey, then let it cool in the pan (this allows it to steep as well)
  • Strain into a glass and serve with ice and a few slices of fresh chili

Now, go forth, hydrate and de-puff!

(For my Northern Hemisphere friends heading into winter: last year I got into making a hot version of this tonic, a healing turmeric tea. It’s more warmly spiced with cinnamon, for the season).

Audio pairing: Gusto, “Disco’s Revenge”

Yasmeen's Paella Pan | Wandering Spice

Happy New Year! A Holiday Recap & Thoughts for 2015

Christmas Gifts | Wandering Spice

Could it be 2015 already? Here I was ticking along in 2014 when BAM, December. Well, you know what they say about time flying, fun and all that.

2014 was a big year, especially the second half. But I can’t shake the feeling that 2015 will be even bigger. It’s a feeling deep in my gut – I just know that it will be significant. I explained this to Jase last night, New Year’s Eve, when we decided to spend it just the two of us. [Read more…]

Mixed Potato Roast | Wandering Spice

Mixed Potato and Rosemary Roast (Vegan)

Mixed Potato Roast | Wandering Spice

No weekend is complete without a trip to our local market. I joke that I’m more 92 than 29, so fittingly, after a morning yoga class I’m wandering the market and often in the same order: coffee, deli hall (for the amazing chicken sausage sample; yeah, I know), the Greek providore for a cabbage roll in the sun, my flower lady and, on my way out, the fruit and veg vendors.

On the weekends, particularly a Sunday, the fruit and veg stalls have $1 tables, loaded with bunches of greens, stone fruit, bananas and root vegetables of all kinds. Last weekend, I scored a big sack of potatoes for a buck, and so followed this tasty little roast. [Read more…]

Friendsgiving 2014 | Wandering Spice

Friendsgiving 2014

Last weekend, we crammed 18 friends into our apartment to drink, chat, and share a meal together. Not just any meal, but a big, warm Friendsgiving meal. For that alone, I am thankful; first that we … [Read More...]

My Vegetarian Kedgeree | Wandering Spice

My Vegetarian Kedgeree

2014 has been a year of resourceful cooking in our home. As often as possible I ask myself, 'what can I make with what I already have, or that requires minimal spending?' One recent answer to … [Read More...]

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Salted Chocolate Ganache | Wandering Spice

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Salted Chocolate Ganache

I'm a bit no-BS in the cake department. Priority #1 is satisfaction. We love to eat the good-for-you stuff in our house: loads of vegetables, lean meats, fruit, fresh juice and smoothies, fish, beans, … [Read More...]

Home in Australia | Wandering Spice

Going back/Coming back

It's hard to explain what putting on an enormous arts festival is like. It sounds like a lot of fun and glamour, and in many ways, it is. There are parties and some of the best conversations … [Read More...]