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


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

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Pumpkin laksa

I started writing this post months ago and thought I should get finished it since it’s about pumpkin based soups and here it is spring.  (Though as I type it’s a typical spring – raining and a little chilly so I could well imagine a bowl of something hot right now).

I’ve been trying to do a weekly meal plan and that includes some prep for meals later in the week to save time.  I roast pumpkin one night when the oven’s on so it’s quicker to use when cooking with it.  I leave the skin and seeds on and just cut it into large quarters – it’s easier to cut up and take the skin off when already cooked.  It can be turned into a seafood or chicken laksa (see below) although there’s nothing wrong with pumpkin soup.  If you don’t like spicy hot food don’t be put off by the idea of a laksa – most of the jar sauces you buy aren’t that spicy hot but are full of flavour. Use less rather than more if you’re not sure.  (Ok, ideally you would make your own laksa or curry paste from scratch anyway).


Roasting pumpkin

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