Apple Crumble Cheesecake Slice

250g plain or gingernut biscuits
125g butter, melted
500g philly cheese, softened
2/3 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup cream
1 teaspoon mixed spice
5 (500g) apples, 3 peeled and finely chopped, 2 sliced
1 cup rolled oats
¼ cup plain flour
¼ cup brown sugar
50g butter, chilled, chopped

Line base of 30 x 20cm pan with baking paper. This makes the cheesecake easy to remove.
Process biscuits until coarse crumbs, add melted butter, and process again until finer. Press into the base of lined pan.
Beat the Philly, caster sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until just smooth.
Beat in the eggs then stir through the cream and mixed spice.
Fold through the chopped apple then pour onto the prepared base. Arrange sliced apple over the top.
Place oats, flour, and sugar in a bowl. Rub in butter until combined. Sprinkle over filling.
Bake at 180 for 30 to 40 minutes or until just set (cheesecake will wobble a little
in centre). Turn off oven. Cool cheesecake in oven for 3 hours with door ajar. Refrigerate thoroughly.
Cut into squares and sprinkle with icing sugar if desired.

Velveting Chicken - Keeping chicken breast juicy

"Velveting" is a Chinese technique used with lean dry chicken breast to make it more succulent and juicy. Although Chinese, you can adjust the flavours to whatever cuisine you're cooking. I like to use chicken treated this way in pastas and salads. You can double triple or quadruple the recipe easily. Just be sure to use a lot more boiling water.

2 tablespoons cornflour
1 tablespoon liquid - this could be soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, white wine, brandy
1 tablespoon oil - this could be a neutral oil, olive oil, sesame oil.
Pinch each of salt and (optional) sugar. No salt if you've used soy.
2 chicken breasts diced into small, even cubes. The size doesn't really matter, but having them all the same size does, so they're all cooked at the same time.

1.) Toss the first 4 ingredients together and mix well to combine. Add chicken pieces, mix well and place in fridge for at least 30 mins, and up to 24 hours.
2.) Bring at least 2 litres of water to the boil. When it's boiling give the chicken a big stir to break up the coating. Turn the heat off and move the pot to one side.  3.) Then add the chicken and stir gently to ensure water surrounds each piece.
Leave in the water until cooked. This will depend on the size of the pieces of chicken. Test one to see. Try not to overcook them because they can become dry and stringy, and that's exactly what you're trying to avoid. I think slightly undercooked chicken breast is better than overcooked.
If you're cooking them to add to a stir fry undercook slightly because the chicken will receive it's final cook in the wok.
4.) Drain the water away. This can be done immediately before you use it, or prepared hours ahead.


The salt and sugar act as a brine and migrate into the flesh of the chicken, changing the structure of the proteins so they retain more liquid. The cornflour mixture acts as a coat to protect the chicken from loosing moisture and the outside of the pieces from the harsh heat of the water. Magic!

Chicken, Zucchini and Lime Balls

500g minced chicken
2c grated zucchini, from 2 or 3 zucchini
3 Tbsp oil


2-3 green onions finely sliced
3-4 tbsp mint
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp gelatine (this helps keep the meatballs juicy)
Juice from 2 limes

Mix seasonings thoroughly together in a large bowl.

Toss through grated zucchini.

Add chicken mince and mix thoroughly.

Heat olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat.

Use a small scoop or a heaped tablespoon to scoop meatballs into the pan. Cook for about 7 or 8 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook an additional 4-5 minutes, or until golden brown and the centers are cooked through. You may need to do this in 2 batches.

Remove meatballs from the pan.

Raise heat and reduce the liquid in the pan until it is browned.

Pour off the extra oil.

Add meatballs back to pan and toss to coat.

Serve immediately or serve chilled.

Beetroot Red Velvet Cupcakes - sugar, dairy, gluten and grain free

Beetroot Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 large beetroot, washed and grated raw.
3 eggs.
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt.
1 1/2 cup almond meal.
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 tablespoons coconut oil.
1/4 cup stevia
1 teaspoon baking powder.

2 teaspoons cocoa
1 teaspoon stevia
1/3 cup water


1. Preheat oven to 170 C and line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake cases.

2. Blend all ingredients (in a blender or with a stick blender) until it’s a smooth batter, then divide between the 12 cases.

3. Cook for 40 minutes.

4. Combine syrup ingredients and mix with stab blender. Heat 1 minute in microwave.

5. Pour syrup over cupcakes after they come out of the oven.

Servings: 12

Preperation: 15 mins

Cooking: 40 mins

Pine Lime Pork with Coconut

Actually, this sauce is delicious with pork, chicken, fish or tofu. Pan fry the protein, and serve this over the top.

2 tblspn coconut oil
2 thick slices fresh pineapple, cut into 1cm pieces
½ white onion cut into 6 wedges
1cm ginger, julienned
1 small cucumber, cut into 1cm pieces
Juice 1 lime
1-2 tblspns sugar
1/3 cup coconut cream
4 kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded.
½ cup mint and/or coriander, coarsley chopped.
Heat oil over medium heat and fry pineapple until it looks cooked.
Sprinkle with salt and sugar, raise heat and fry, stirring occasionally, until pineapple is caramelised.
Remove pineapple, leaving remaining oil.
Add onion with ½ cup water and  a pinch of salt. Continue to cook over high heat until water is evaporated and onion is nearly cooked. Add ginger and continue to cook until onion is finished cooking.
Continue cooking on high heat, add coconut cream and kaffir lime leaves. Simmer a minute or two until thickened slightly.
Add pineapple, cucumber, mint and coriander. Heat briefly.
Pour over pan fried chicken, pork, fish or tofu.