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MAKE: Quinoa Tabbouleh

This thoroughly modern take on a traditional and very well known Lebanese salad is just as quick to make as the original version using bulgar (cracked wheat). It comes to Green Tea & Treacle via the lovely Louise Edney who runs the Nourishing Nosh Cooking School.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is often mistaken for a grain but is in fact a seed. Originating in the Andes region of South America it’s gluten free, protein and fibre rich and low GI.

The popularity of quinoa over the past few years has seen it move from a novel ingredient to mainstream item, and it can now be readily purchased in the health food section of most local supermarkets in Australia.

Louise tells me that like grains, quinoa is high in phytates and soaking helps to release these making its other nutrients more readily available. If you have the time start this recipe the day before. If you don’t, simply prepare your quinoa as per the directions given to you on pack.


Quinoa Tabbouleh


Quinoa Tabbouleh

Serves 8 as a banquet dish

  • ¾ cup dried quinoa
  • ½ cup spring onions, thinly sliced (this is about 4)
  • 2 cups parsley
  • ¼ cup mint, roughly chopped
  • 500g tomatoes, deseeded and chopped


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (roughly the juice of one lemon)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Rinse and soak quinoa in warm acidulated water overnight or for a few hours (water containing acid such as lemon or lime juice or whey.)

Drain the quinoa and add to a saucepan of water. Bring to the boil and them reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes*. The cooking time is reduced with soaking. Quinoa is cooked when you can see a light “halo” around the grain. Strain gently through a sieve and spread out to dry.

In the meantime prep the salad vegetables.

Combine quinoa and spring onions in a bowl and squeeze gently together so that the quinoa takes on the taste of the spring onions.

Before combining all of the ingredients set some tomato and parsley aside. Add the herbs and tomatoes to the quinoa and mix well.

Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar and shake well. Dress just before serving and top with reserved parsley and tomatoes.

*Note that the cooking time varies considerably and if you are used to cooking your quinoa without soaking, you need to halve the cooking time.


Quinoa halos

Quinoa halos


If you’ve not really introduced yourself to quinoa and want to get better acquainted, here are a few fabulous recipe destinations that will help you to get to know it better:

Quinoa Salad with lemon, basil and a touch of cumin from Heidi at Apples under my bed

Warm salad of roast cauliflower & quinoa (and some great quinoa facts) by Jules at Stone Soup

Quinoa With Roasted Pumpkin, Zucchini and Basil Pesto by Teresa the Healthy Chef



Karen xxx

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Know: Secrets

It’s with renewed vigour that I tap away at my keyboard all fired up to bring you my news.

What’s so exciting you ask?

Having just spent last week immersed in the world of nutrition with over 700 dietitians and nutritionists, my head is spinning. But today it’s not nutrition secrets I want to share. Today it’s a little treasure produced by a good friend and colleague Emma from Scoop Nutrition.

Em’s a great collaborator. Something easily seen after a quick stroll around Scoop, so of course there are another three great women involved and all with great credentials.

So what’s the secret?

It’s a fabulous little e-book that unloads a wealth of collective and hard earned understanding about finding your voice on social media; The scoop on Blogging Secrets for health & lifestyle bloggers


Scoop Blogging Secrets Cover


I’m busy devouring it now and looking forward to applying its insights into improving my ability to share more with you my lovely readers.

So, if you’re thinking of taking a blogging journey, are mid-flight or, like me have already begun but still have so much to learn, consider an investment* in your blogging future. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.


Scoop blogging secrets Hello


Meet the Blogging Secrets team:

Emma Stirling


Teri Lichtenstein


Heidi Sze


Jemma O’Hanlon



*I was fortunate enough to have received a free copy of this e-book as part of my attendance at Blogging Bootcamp for Dietitians a workshop held at the 2014 Dietitians Association of Australia’s  annual conference. However this post has not been sponsored or solicited in any way and is simply about paying it back to a wonderful friend who has given this baby blogger so much of her time and valuable experience in the past.

 karen xxx

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Make: Pancakes (with your kids)

Well dear friends the irony of writing a blog promoting life balance is that at times one needs to practice what they preach. But, it is with joy that I return after a longer than anticipated hiatus from GT&T and I’m going to stay really calm about the fact that it was actually Pancake Day yesterday….

Investing time hauling out ingredients, measuring cups and spoons before breakfast has generally seemed like too much work in the morning and definitely not to be contemplated on a school day.

However my lovely sister-in-law-once-removed passed on a game changer pancake recipe a few years ago and since then I’ve never looked back.

The recipe in question came from the delightful Nigella Lawson and simply shifts the bulk of the effort to another time with the preparation of the dry mix in advance. So, come the chosen morning all that’s needed is pancake mix, milk, an egg,  and a little butter if we can be bothered melting it, and voila – pancakes ready to go.

Miss 11 has become an expert flipper and has more recently taken over the whole task of pancake preparation. Somewhat of a milestone for our family as it’s quite a task to elbow me out from in front of the cooker. And Master 8, ever the mathematician does a dam good job in preparing the bulk mix whenever we run out. He is also the scribe for the much used recipe post-it-note that lives in our jar. 

I’m all for recipes that  foster kitchen independence in kids. My own first independent ‘dish’ was spaghetti bolognaise (made with beef mince and tomato soup – seventies style). What was your signature starter dish, or that of your kids? And if they’re not there yet perhaps this recipe might help mark a milestone for your family too…


Miss 11 in the kitchen

Cooking up a pancake storm



 Instant pancake mix

Recipe from Nigella Lawson

  • 600g (4 cups) plain flour
  • 3tbsp baking powder
  • 2tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 40g castor sugar
  1. Measure all ingredients into a large bowl and using a whisk combine the ingredients together.
  2. Transfer to an air-tight jar or container.
bulk recipe

Bespoke recipe card by Master 8


Pancake batter

Makes 6 pancakes 15cm in diameter

  • 1 cup dry pancake mix (see above)
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml (1 cup) milk
  • 1 tbsp butter melted
  • 1 grated apple, skin on (optional)*
  1. Preheat a low oven (100C)
  2. Whisk all ingredients in a large jug or bowl with spout
  3. Pour desired amount of mix into a hot greased pan and when bubbles appear on the surface of the pancake, flip it over.  Cook till golden.
  4. Keep warm on a plate in the oven.


*grated apple in pancakes is something my mum always did. A whole apple, skin and all disappears into a cooked pancake never to be seen again but can only ever add to the goodness value of a pancake.

pancake stack


Everyone loves a good pancake so if you are keen for more of an adventure have a look at some of the offerings here…

Flourless banana pancakes by Heidi

Barbecue pancakes with fresh peach compote by Mandy

Milk chocolate chip buttermilk pancakes by  Joy

Oatmeal pancakes by Sean

Karen xxxmaking pancakes

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