Spiced roast veges

For Alex.

Tasty variation on the standard roast vege fare. Substitute whatever you have – pumpkin, sweet potato, potatoes, garlic, shallots, spices etc. This is what I used in a dish for girlfriends here for Friday night potluck… Would be nice with pumpkin/sunflower seeds too.


  • 2 large smooth golden kumara (sweet potato), peeled and cubed to roughly 1in pieces (this makes it faster to cook)
  • ¼ small golden pumpkin seeded, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tin chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 medium brown onion, peeled and wedged
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp paprica
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam marsala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Canola oil


Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Combine the spices in a small bowl or cup.

Oil a large roasting dish, add the kumara, pumpkin, onion, and chickpeas, stir to coat lightly in oil.

Sprinkle ½ the spice mix over the veges, stir and then add the remaining spices. Stir to coat the vegetables in spices.

Bake in the oven, stirring every ten minutes and testing the kumara until it’s cooked – soft when tested with a skewer. I’d say at least 30-40 min.

Sugar free Raspberry/Chocolate vegan Smoothie

Fiona had the most amazing raw, gluten/vegan raspberry and chocolate cake for her birthday last weekend. So good.

I’ve taken to slicing and freezing overripe/surplus bananas for smoothies. I find they make them super creamy even without any kind of milk, more so with milk. A thicker “smoothie” negates any ice cream craving, this recipe is better than ice cream. And the banana flavour is not very pronounced. Okay, getting on with it:

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 frozen banana (ideally, sliced)
  • 1.5 tsp cocoa powder
  • ¼ to ½ cup soy (or other) milk

Chuck everything together and blend thoroughly. I like to use less milk so everything blends but is very thick, then eat it with a spoon.

It’s not hugely sweet, but the sweetness of the banana keeps the cocoa from being to bitter and the raspberries lend a tart deliciousness.

The anti-social social networker

Invites to events on Facebook are a pain. About 2% are events I actually have any interest in attending. The other 98% are marketing or promo fluff which clog my notification centre and send annoying push notifications.

Worse, some aren’t an event at all but a plea to “vote for me!” or “do you like sausages?!”. I’d hate for my friends to know the truth, that I don’t care about their “event” – I care enough to spare them a “declined” invitation. But how to stop the alert hose?

Two current Facebook features help to flush out these irritations:

1. “Turn Off” event notifications.

Click your notification globe in the site header, roll over the event alert and click the little blue “x” which shows in the right top corner of the notification. A message asks “Turn off notifications for [event name]?” and BAM, gone.

2. Remove Invites

Visit your events page, along the top will sit your outstanding invitations (which you have not yet accepted or declined or “maybe’d”). Roll over an unwanted invitation and, you got it, hit the x. The invite will be subtly removed, your friend will not know unless they check for you specifically, and you will get no further notifications from the event itself.

Of course, if your offending friend is offensive enough, they may just post event spam to your actual timeline or elsewhere in your way on Facebook. Friends don’t spam friends, there is an “unfriend” button!