Green Split Pea & Ham Soup

Another Winter soup recipe for you, this one I have to admit isn’t one I’ve grown up eating. I am more used to the Italian chunky soups like minestrone but I thought I would give this soup a go and see what I thought. One thing I first learnt was it was made with split peas not green peas. While you can see recipes that use green peas traditionally it’s actually split peas.  It also uses ham hock to flavour the soup then shred the meat and add to the soup. I have to say it wasn’t one of my favourite soups ever but a nice change nevertheless.



Split Pea & Ham Soup


500g green split peas

1 tbs olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 onion, diced

2 carrots,  diced

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 bay leaf

sprigs of thyme

1 smoked ham hock

1L (4 cups) chicken stock

1L (4 cups) water

salt and pepper


  1. Rinse split peas under cold water
  2. Heat oil in a large pot on high heat, add oil, onion and garlic cook for  mins until onions soften.
  3. Add all other ingredients with the whole ham hock into the pot cover and simmer for 2-2 1/2 hours or until thickened and split peas are tender
  4. Discard bay leaf. Remove ham hock take off the skin and any excess fat.
  5. Shred the meat off the bone and set aside
  6. Puree soup with a stick blender or in a blender
  7. Add the shredded ham back to the soup and season with salt and pepper






Italian Eggplant Parmigiana

Continuing to use up the endless amounts of basil leaves it was sauce making time and the last of the sister in-laws eggplants. I decided to make the family classic eggplant parmigiana.


This is one of those traditional recipe that has been made in our family for generations like most Italian families and now I  will share with you. Though the traditional version is a little different in every family and well I have opted to bake my eggplants first instead of frying them for a healthier option.

Cook in the oven 15-20mins
Start Layering 
Top with bocconcini

Italian Eggplant Parmigiana


1tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic crushed

2 cups  tomato passata

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup of red wine (optional)

1 bunch basil leaves

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggplants sliced thickly

2 tsp oregano

50g parmesan cheese

100g bocconcini cheese thinly sliced

salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 180’C
  2. To make tomato sauce; Heat olive oil in a small saucepan on the stove add garlic and cook till just browned and fragrant
  3. Add passata, water, salt, wine and basil to the pot
  4. Bring to the boil, turn down to low heat with lid on and simmer for at least 30 minutes
  5. Meanwhile place sliced eggplant on a lined baking tray sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil
  6. Cook in the oven for 15-20 mins until just tender
  7. In a 18x 25cm baking dish spoon some tomato sauce on the base just to cover
  8. lay one layer of eggplants, spoon sauce generously over the eggplants, followed by some parmesan cheese and basil leaves
  9. Repeat layering using all remaining eggplant, top with sliced bocconcini
  10. Bake covered with foil for 30 mins then remove foil and cook for a further 15mins until bocconcini has melted and browned and eggplant is tender

Italian Eggplant Parmigiana 








Orecchiette with Pork, Broccoli Mushrooms and Roast Tomatoes


Such a quick and easy family favourite that satisfies every member of the family and still with some added veggie goodness.

I have used orecchiette pasta shells but you can use any type of pasta with this. For vegetarian version leave out the pork.

Orecchiette with Pork, Broccoli, Mushrooms & Roasted Tomatoes


500g orrecchiette

2 tbs olive oil

500g pork mince

1 small onion diced

2 garlic cloves

salt and pepper

6-8 cherry tomatoes

1 head broccoli cut into florets

1/2 lemon rind finely grated

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring to the boil. Add Pasta and cook per packet instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, In a large frypan on high heat add olive oil , garlic and onion and saute for 3mins until onion has softened.
  3. Add pork mince cook for 5-6 minutes until browned and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low
  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place tomatoes and roast in a 180’c oven for around 5 mins until blistered and partly soft. Remove and set aside
  5. In the last 2 minutes of pasta cooking time add the broccoli florets into the pot of boiling pasta let it cook then drain along with the pasta. Reserving 1/2 cup of water from the pot.
  6. Add the pasta and broccoli with the reserved water to the pork mixture in the pan and toss to combine.
  7. Add  lemon rind and grated parmesan, roasted tomatoes and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. you can also use chilli salt for extra heat.



Thai Chicken & Glass Noodle Salad with Chilli Lime Dressing


When the hubby hates coriander so you make a coriander packed thai noodle salad all for yourself!

Coriander is one of those herbs that you either love to love or hate to hate. With quite a few people giving it a bad wrap over the years, there is even a Facebook page setup just for coriander haters can you believe. Unfortunately the debate will stand the test of time so for the coriander lovers out there this is a light and tasty salad with a perfectly balanced dressing of hot, salty, sweet & sour exactly what the Thai do best.

[recipe-title=”Thai Chicken & Glass Noodle Salad with Chilli Lime Dressing]

250g glass noodles / vermicelli

400g chicken breast  shredded

1/2 small cabbage shredded

1/4 cup coriander leaves roughly chopped

3 green onions sliced

2 tbs roasted peanuts roughy chopped

Chilli Lime Dressing

2 small chillis finely chopped

2 cloves garlic crushed

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup lime juice (around 2-3 limes)

1 tbsp honey



  1. To make dressing  place all the ingedients into a jar and shake well. Set a side
  2. In a bowl place noodles and fill with boiling water set a side for 10-15mins. Then drain and run under cold water.
  3. Place noodles, cabbage, coriander, green onions, peanuts and chicken in a bowl pour over the dressing and using your hands toss well.
  4. Top with extra coriander leaves

Tip: If taking for work lunch leave the salad undressed and take it separately.





Rhubarb & Almond Loaf 

Rhubarb & Almond Loaf


Rhubarb is in season right now and is amazing in winter baking and desserts. Here I’ve shared an easy loaf recipe that reminds us how much we love rhubarb!

Pop the kettle on and enjoy a piece as you truly deserve. Oh and don’t feel guilty about it either as its refined sugar free!

Have a great week!


Rhubarb & Almond Loaf

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 10mins prep 45-50 cooking time
  • Print

Recipe adapted from Delicious Mag May 2017 issue


3/4 cup rice malt syrup or honey

150g butter

1tsp vanilla bean paste

2 eggs

3 sticks rhubarb, chopped

1 cup spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 cup almond meal


  1. Preheat oven 180’c
  2. Beat rice malt syrup, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy
  3. Add eggs one at a time until well combined
  4. Mix through flour, almond meal and baking powder
  5. Roughly chop 2 sticks of rhubarb and mix through the mixture
  6. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and pour mixture in
  7. Slice the remaining rhubarb in half the in thin slice lengthways
  8. Arrange laying on the top of the mixture
  9. Bake for 45-50 mins or until when a skewer comes out clean when tested