sarah's own natural garden

updates from our lifestyle block – gardening, chickens, green cleaning and more


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Kale chips – I’m not sure it’s a thing

Hearty kale chips

‘Kale chips’ – who hasn’t heard about them.  I guess the assumption is that kale, being a superfood, would be even more super as a chip.  I cringed and laughed at the idea but finally gave it a go. We’ve had alot of kale over winter. Sometimes it felt like it was the only thing growing.  If the leaves are small and tender they’re ok sliced into a salad but otherwise they’re better cooked. I use it in stew like dishes where it gets cooked until it’s unrecognisable but I assume the goodness is still in the meal. So I was keen to try this kale chip idea as another way to eat it.  Yes it works, it’s easy and is tasty so if you’ve got loads of kale give it a try.  I say this reluctantly because I hate a band wagon and it’s still not for everyone.  And they’re not ‘chips’ as in oven chips – more like crispy kale garnish. If you really can’t do kale chips then use this same quick method to make a ‘crumble’. Like black pepper or kelp the kale crumble can be sprinkled onto a meal to add a bit of tasty kale goodness. Continue reading

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Mushroom and miso broth – easy to make and so tasty

Mushroom and miso broth - easy to make and so tasty

Mushroom miso broth with egg – a bowl full of goodness

I love a noodley brothy meal and will often buy one for lunch or make a version at home. I think it’s because the depth of flavour of the broth/soup means it feels satisfying without needing to full up on something fatty or bready. It’s quick to make at home and very forgiving – I can use whatever vegetables I have to hand and adding a bit more or less of something isn’t going to ruin the whole meal (I don’t do well with recipes that need exactness). Maybe eating a home made broth is just psychological – I know all the goodness that’s gone into it and that in itself is satisfying. Whatever the reason – I hope you’ll find the umami/savory flavours in this recipe as tasty and easy to make as I do. Make it for one as I often do or make a bigger batch and freeze or keep some in the fridge for later. Continue reading


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Making sticky rice – it’s easier than you’d think

How to make sticky rice

Sticky rice and fish steaming

I’ve been playing around with cooking and eating sticky rice lately. I’ve made it a few times and it’s surprisingly easy and more impressive on the plate than plain rice. I struggled to find out how to cook it online as most of the methods use it as a dessert rather than in a savoury meal so I wanted to write up this blog to encourage you to try it. Continue reading


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Toilet cleaner that became dishwasher powder

homemade dishwasher powder

I’m slowly building up the number of cleaning and beauty products I make at home and am always reading blogs and trying something new.  Hand soap, deodorant and dishwasher powder are the current ones I’m trying to get right. After several attempts I’m happy with this dishwasher powder recipe (you can skip the blurb, take my word that it’s easy and just scroll to the ingredients list and make it).

I didn’t start out out making dishwasher powder with this recipe – I read about a home made cleaning ‘bomb’ that you drop into the toilet bowl, wait for the fizzing to finish then scrub clean.  I love these kind of recipes, the simpler the better so I gave it a go. Continue reading


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A week of eating ugly from the garden

slim pickings in the garden these days

I have a massive veggie garden and people often look at it and assume we’re self-sufficient in vegetables but I buy an embarrassing amount. Last week I decided to be resourceful and only cook with vegetables from the garden.  I was inspired by the high cost of vegetables at the moment and my general love of not wasting things.  Due to our exposed windy site and a terrible summer it’s not been very productive. Yes there’s stuff growing – it’s just half eaten by bugs, in small quantities or kale. How do I make meals from it? Continue reading


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Making pesto from the garden

Pesto recipe

Making pesto from the garden

A selection of disorderly growing greens for pesto making

I love making a mixed green pesto as it uses a variety of raw greens I know are good for me but I probably wouldn’t include in a meal unless I was having a salad or a smoothie.  And I struggle with having a green smoothie. A traditional pesto recipe uses basil, pinenuts, garlic, oil and parmesan cheese but it’s very flexible really. When I make it I swap out pinenuts for whatever cheaper option I have on hand and instead of just basil I use whatever garden greens I’ve got growing .  It’s hard to write a recipe with exact quantities because it depends on what greens you use and what your own taste preference is.  I’m still refining my pesto recipe but this should give you something tasty to work from – Continue reading