Feeling Fresh: Mum’s Hedgehog Slice and a Summery Lunch

As the days are counting down towards the end of my degree (34 days to go!), it’s beginning to sink in that for the first time in four and a half years, I won’t be juggling the insane stress of work with study. Needless to say, that’s a really exciting thought.

For a moment back there, a miniscule nanosecond of a moment, I thought “Whatever will I do with my free time?”. Then I forehead slapped myself. Oh, silliness is me, what a foolish thought. The more appropriate question is “However will I fit in all of the things I have been holding back from experiencing, learning or doing due to the time, stress and financial constraints that uni has entailed?” You see, I have a bit of a list of things that I’m trying to find time to do at the moment that keep getting put on the back-burner due to my demanding study schedule. But on top of this, I feel that in order to get the most out of every minute of every day, I need to be feeling my best. Continue reading

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Fifty Shades of Green: Golden Beet’n Barley Salad and the Basic Green Smoothie

When is a meal not a meal? When it’s missing greens of course! If you thought otherwise, I’d like to know your name and how you got in. Kidding… even if you thought meat I’d still let you read my blog. Everyone is invited to this party. Greens for all! Greens in everything! Greens forever! Greens in every shape and form and colour! Fifty shades of green! Continue reading

For the love all things grilled and good for you: My Grandmother’s Aubergine

In the late 1960’s, counter-top microwave ovens began to appear in the kitchens of trendy, modern families. They became the new, revolutionary and very fashionable cooking appliance. Cookbooks published at the time will tell you how to cook a ‘roast’ dinner in the microwave, a souffle, and even ice-cream! Don’t believe me? Check it out. My mum’s microwave cookbook would have you believe that anything can be made in one (it also fails to mention the high risk of lumpy custards and gravies, and porridge volcanos). Basically, the world went a little batty over the invention of the microwave oven.

The sandwich press is my microwave oven. Continue reading

The return of the food processor: Pesto Pasta Salad, Bean’n’Basil Besto, and breakfast in a wine glass

Ash’s version: traditional pasta

Hello again world! Yes, I’m alive. Apologies for the delay in posting.

Rather than attempt to post recipes twice each week, I am taking a quality-over-quantity approach. After all, these recipes must be worth repeating, and if I’m draining my creative juices and giving you less-than-amazing dishes, not only will you be disappointed, but I won’t be living up to my own standards. While blogging is important to me, if it is to reach a high standard, it has to be sustainable along with other big time-consuming priorities: working, studying and fitness. So please bear with me, and when you visit Cat’s Kitchen, expect to see a high quality weekly post. I will be only sharing the best of each week with you, which often will mean that each post will include multiple recipes.

Such as today’s. In celebration of the return of my food processor and blender, I succeeded in using each and every part of it – the blender, the big-bowl processor and the small-bowl processor. For breakfast, I made a apple, berry and coconut smoothie – satisfying and delicious. Lunch was a pesto pasta salad, two ways. Creamy, fresh and believe it or not, oil and nut free. The final recipe is a bit of a fusion between a bean dip or hummus, and basil pesto. Bean’n’basil pesto? Let’s call it a besto. Continue reading

Escaping to the Blue Mountains: two soups and a spicy curry

For the past few days we have been staying in an adorable cottage in the Blue Mountains. We’ll staying the entire week.

Reading a lot, writing a lot. And taking photos.

Today it’s about zero degrees (or so it feels to us, softies that we are), and drizzling rain.

We’ve been pottering around the house in flannelette shirts, red wine in hand, nibbling rum’n’raisin chocolate and playing rummy in front of the fireplace.

While confined to the house, I’ve had the luxury of simmering soup for hours, slow-cooking a curry, and generally appreciating all that is warm and comforting.

Today I’ll share with you the hot and sour soup I whipped up yesterday, a more traditional vegetable and bean soup that sat on the stove for a good two hours before making it’s way into our tummies at lunchtime, and a spicy, creamy, slow-cooked mushroom and eggplant vindaloo. Continue reading

Sweet corn and zucchini coleslaw

Before an exam, my favourite meal is a big invigorating salad. Given that I’ve got to be all sharp and alert for the next 2-3 hours, with 100% focus, the worst would be to eat something greasy and heavy.

Have you ever had a ‘food coma’? The sleepy-after-Christmas-dinner kind of feeling? That’s your body crying out in protest as it strains to digest what you’ve put in it, sapping all of your energy in doing so. Your brain usually feels sluggish too. Moral of the story – eat vegetables before an exam, preferably raw vegetables, and you’ll be brighter.

So this was what I packed on Wednesday to take to uni for lunch. Shaved cabbage, shredded zucchini, fresh sweet corn and sliced shallots, dressed with tahini and lemon. Yum. Filling. Brain food. The sweet corn balances out the tart tahini dressing, shallot adds some bite and the rest makes for a satisfying crunch. Continue reading

Drumroll… the chickpeas!


This is the most ubiquitous chickpea recipe in my kitchen. It’s quick, easy, tasty, flexible, nutritious and cheap. I make a pot of it at some point just about every weekend and Ash takes a little container of it to work each day, having them piled on top of vitawheat crackers with sliced tomato. If there’s any leftover on Saturday morning I’ll often eat a little bowl of them for breakfast, microwaved. I’ve served them as mini-tart filling (entree), as a dip (nibblies), eaten on top of salad (dinner), and in a sandwich (lunch). Continue reading

My new favourite salad… Ever.

We just did the grocery shopping, so I had a fridge full of fresh ingredients to pick bits and pieces from to make a salad. It was so good that I’m making it for dinner again this week! It’s crunchy and light but still very filling. And I love the combination of peanut, soy and chilli – unbeatable flavours. The fig is a key ingredient here, we just happened to buy 6 of them because they’re in season and so cheap! Happy coincidence. Continue reading

The blog is born. And puttanesca beans are a birth-day present. Eat in your birthday suit.

I really didn’t want to start a blog just yet, but it seems like the only manageable way to share recipes in a format that allows them to be easily accessed, archived and formatted. Ah well.

As a salad topping

Simple Puttanesca Beans Continue reading