summer vegetables

mellow tofu & vegetable stew with kombu

15th July 2012

deep breath in…..

and let go….

I did ask for something tremendous to come into my life and I think this is it.

This shift. I’m grateful.

But then with these

shifts, there’s always a letting go.


mellow tofu & vegetable stew with kombu

I usually make this for a Friday lunch when the children get home earlier from school.  Change the vegetables to suit the seasons. Quick, simple and tasty.  Inspired by a friend, Sher, who was an inspirational sparkle in the kitchen, putting quick, healthy meals on the table for her 4 children.  The secret to this dish is to simmer the sweet potato until it is soft and breaks up, as it thickens the sauce and makes it especially tasty.


1 Tbsp ghee/ oil

200 grams tofu

2 medium carrots

2 medium sweet potatoes

6-inch strip kombu (kombu contains glutamic acid – a food tenderizer and flavour enhancer)

2 small zucchini

handful green beans

handful cabbage

½ tsp cumin powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp paprika

6 – 8 cups vegetable stock

fresh coriander

salt to taste


1.  Peel the sweet potatoes and carrots and cut all vegetables into bite-sized wedges – set aside.

2.  Heat ghee in a heavy based saucepan and saute tofu, add the turmeric, paprika, and cumin powder – allow to saute with the tofu for a few seconds, then add the stock, kombu, sweet potato, zucchini and carrots – simmer for 20 – 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft.

3.  Remove the kombu, slice into half-inch squares, then add back into the soup.

4.  Add the green beans and cabbage, simmer for 10 minutes more or until tender.

5.  Add salt to taste and freshly chopped coriander.

Serve with rice or quinoa.


Goodness shared from Stacey

summer moon kichadi

27th June 2012

I spent the late, late part of the day working in the garden under a big, white, round moon…..

summer moon kichadi

Guaranteed to soothe unsettled hearts.

Generously serves 3 


½ cup brown basmati rice

½ cup split moong dal/red lentils, although the moong dal is ideal as it has a very soft, soothing quality

3 cups water

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp ghee


2 tsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger

¼ – ½ tsp chilli flakes/or a fresh green chilli, chopped (depending on your level of spice)

½ tsp rasam powder

6 curry leaves

2 small carrots

6 small zucchinis (just a little bit bigger than your index finger)

½ cup fresh/frozen green peas

1 tsp salt

½ tesp jaggery

¼ cup coriander leaves

squeeze fresh lemon

to serve

lots and lots of ghee


1.   In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, rinse the rice until the water runs clear, add water, ghee and turmeric powder, bring to a boil, then turn down to a slow simmer for 20 minutes.

2.  Rinse the dal until the water runs clear and add to the rice, continue to simmer.  You may have to add a little water if it looks like it is drying out.

3.  Cut the carrots and zucchinis into moons and set aside.

prepare the voggarane

4.  In a medium pan, add ghee and cumin seeds, asafoetida powder, ginger, chilli, rasam powder and curry leaves – fry for 30 seconds.  

5.  Add carrots and zucchinis, cover and saute until just tender.  You may need to sprinkle a little water once or twice.  

6.  Add the green peas and saute for a few minutes, then turn off the heat, and set aside.

7.  When the rice and dal are soft, add the vegetable mixture, salt to taste, jaggery and combine well – simmer for a few minutes.  Depending on the desired consistency, you can add water.

8.  Add the coriander and a squeeze of lemon.

When serving, drizzle each bowl lavishly with ghee.

Goodness shared from Stacey

a soup the colour of marigolds & a little friend

30th October 2011


Inspired by Nigel Slater from his book;


I love the title of this soup!

I have been meaning to make this soup at the end of every Summer when I have the usual over-abundance of sun-soaked, yellow tomatoes and marigolds popping out everywhere in my garden, giving joy and colour wherever you look.  I added orange peppers, as I have an over-abundance of these as well.  Small, sunset-coloured peppers.  Lots of them, all twisted in their home-grown shapes.  I can see their cheerful and bright splashes of colour in amongst the greenery now, as I write this from the kitchen table.

This is a simple soup, pulsating with flavour and brightness.  I decided to give it a long-simmering at the beginning, like Donna’s Cherry Tomato Sauce to really bring out the flavours before adding the stock or water.  I use a Le Creuset pot which keeps the temperature balanced and even when cooking, so when this soup simmers, a lot of liquid comes out of the tomatoes.  This is why there is very little water added.  If you find the soup dry when cooking, add additional water.  If you do not have yellow tomatoes, then use your regular cherry tomatoes.  Just make sure the tomatoes are ripe and ready if you want a flavoursome soup.

– a little friend –

a soup the colour of marigolds

Enough for four


a drizzle of olive oil

1 bay leaf

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh oregano

450g yellow tomatoes

6 medium/450g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 medium orange bell pepper, deseeded, peeled and quartered

2 – 3 cups vegetable stock or water – more if needed

1 tsp jaggery/sugar

sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

parsley, finely chopped 

basil leaves (optional)


1.  Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan (should be hot enough so that herbs sizzle when added). Add whole herb sprigs and bay leaf, toss in the hot oil so that the flavour infuses and herbs turn bright green.

2.  Add whole yellow tomatoes, toss until all are coated in oil, then add bell pepper and carrots – leave to sizzle on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and let stew away for 45 minutes.

3.  Turn off heat, take out and discard the sprigs of thyme and oregano and remove bay leaf (return to the soup after blitzing.)

4.  Add the 3 cups stock/water and blitz it into a thick, pulpy broth using a hand blender.

As Nigel Slater says, “…as bright and cheerful as a jug of June flowers.”

5.  Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper.

6.  Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley, a leaf of basil and drizzle with olive oil.

Serve with freshly baked bread and a bowl of guacamole or a big spoon of cooked quinoa in each bowl.


Goodness shared from Stacey

summer minestrone with brown rice

14th August 2011


Inspired by Heidi Swanson’s  ‘Supernatural Cooking’

In her version, it is called ‘Spring Minestrone’ and she uses onions, snow peas and asparagus.  My version is inspired by Summer and what is abundant in my garden.  With a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, a crackling of fresh pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, it is so satisfying. Serve it with sourdough toast and a big bowl of guacamole to satisfy the other smaller members of the family.

This soup can be adjusted to any seasonal vegetables. The brown rice is magical and creates a creamy, natural, soothing and nourishing soup!  I used small round, brown rice as I love how it forms into little soft stars at the end of the simmering.


Warm days, a little cloudy with a gentle breeze.


summer minestrone with brown rice

Serves 4

Deeply nourishing and soothing. If you don’t have vegetable stock on hand, replace with water and add the end off a block of parmesan for extra flavour.


2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup round brown rice, rinsed

1 fresh bay leaf

7 cups vegetable stock

2 sticks celery, finely chopped

2 baby zucchini, cut into rounds

1 carrot, peeled and cut in diagonals

handful green beans, cut in diagonals or handful of broccoli

a few kale leaves, finely shredded

finely chopped fresh dill, parsley or coriander

salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper, lots


1.  Heat olive oil in a medium heavy-based saucepan, add rice, bay leaf and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

2.  Pour in vegetable stock and bring to boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

3.  Add celery, carrots and simmer until rice is tender, about 35 – 45 minutes.

4.  Add green beans/broccoli and simmer for 5 minutes.

5.  Add finely shredded kale, fresh coriander, dill or parsley, salt and pepper to taste – simmer for 2 – 3 minutes and serve immediately – this way the vegetables stay crisp and bright.

When serving, drizzle with olive oil, grated parmesan, a sprinkle of lemon zest and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


Goodness shared from Stacey

summer & winter roasted vegetables

3rd May 2010

I am posting two versions of this and both are my favourites.  Next month, we will be heading into our Summer months here in Israel, and over in Australia where Donna is, it will be the Winter months.  So this recipe covers my homes in both parts of the world.

During our recent colder months, I made the Winter version quite a lot as I had an abundance of fennel and cauliflower in the garden.  It is so quick and so tasty.  It goes great with yoghurt and avocado sauce, lentil dahl, quinoa and a green salad.  Also, this combination is good if cooking for a crowd.  This photo is from our recent Winter, and I will follow with a photo of the Summer roasted vegetables in the Summer season.

winter roasted vegetables – cauliflower, fennel & pumpkin

head of one medium cauliflower, broken into florets

large wedge of pumpkin, or 2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks

6 fennel bulbs, cut in half, and then quartered

olive oil

4 – 5 sprigs rosemary

4 -5 sprigs of thyme

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius.

Place the cauliflower, sweet potato and fennel in a deep baking tray.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle over the rosemary and thyme. Place in the oven and bake until tender. Cover with alfoil for the first 30 mins and then remove. Stir occasionally.

summer roasted vegetables – okra, eggplant & beetroot

8 small potatoes

1 small eggplant

1 red pepper

6 small beetroots

okra (handful)

1 tab fresh ginger, finely chopped

1/2 tspn turmeric

sprinkle of cumin seeds

Steam potatoes and beetroot until just starting to soften.  Cut the eggplant in half lengthways, then quarters, sprinkle with salt and let sit for 20mins.

Place all vegetables in a baking tray with finely chopped fresh ginger, turmeric and a sprinkling of cumin seed.

Bake until brown and the potatoes are crisp.

Serve with a lentil dhal and lightly spiced basmati rice (Heat a little ghee, fry cumin seeds, then a little curry powder.   Add rice, and water and simmer covered until the rice is tender).

Goodness shared from Stacey

red pepper & tomato sauce with chilli

9th September 2009


Cherry tomatoes, green and red capsicum and red chillies are what is abundant in my garden at the moment, so when stuck for a quick dinner this was a welcome inspiration.  The recipe was inspired by a wonderful cookbook that Donna gave for me for my birthday called ITALIAN KITCHEN by Maxine Clark.  I cook with chillies often, but mostly I keep them whole and safely intact…that is until today.  This recipe wanted them halved and deseeded!  Now I was under the impression that if you took out the seeds, out goes the fiery heat, well, this is not the case as I found out the hard way, or at least not with these garden chillies.  And having undertaken this with my fingers, they are still a little warm and fuzzy this morning.  So what I had to do after chopping the deseeded chillies and adding them to the sauteing capsicum, was to fish them all out again.  Having successfully recovered 90 percent, the sauce was still fiery, but pretty amazing as well.  So when cooking this, you will have to use your own judgement and knowledge of the chillis available and your limitation of fiery spice.



fiery red pepper sauce

Serves 2


1 sweet red pepper (capsicum)

1 large fresh red chilli, halved and deseeded

4 Tbsp  extra virgin olive oil

15 cherry tomatoes (or two ripe big tomatoes)

2 Tbsp freshly chopped basil

1 tsp jaggery/sugar

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

a handful of green olives (deseeded)

freshly grated parmesan cheese


1.  Dice the pepper (capsicum) into medium pieces and finely chop the chillies (be careful and use your judgement as noted above).

2.  Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the chillies and peppers, cook slowly for 20 mins or until really soft.

3.  Meanwhile, dunk the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds, slip off the skins, and chop the flesh coarsely.

4.  Add the tomatoes, jaggery/sugar and season with salt and pepper – half cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes until well reduced and soft and thick.

5.  Stir in the fresh basil and toss with your chosen cooked pasta.  Throw in a handful of roughly chopped green olives and parmesan cheese.



Shared goodness from Stacey

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