Roasted Portobello Mushrooms on Spinach/Kumara Salad
For Lauren <3

This tasty recipe sounds harder than it is. I wrote it for the mushrooms and salad to be prepped together. I think it would serve two but as quite a light meal.

The dish would also work well with Pumpkin in place of Kumara (though pumpkin would cook a little faster). The mushrooms have a strong balsamic flavour, I think next time I’ll reduce the balsamic and increase the olive oil. Do what feels right to you.

Remove the feta or use soy feta (is that a thing?), and this recipe is vegan friendly. I used walnuts but pine nuts or pumpkin/sunflower seeds would be good too.

You’ll need a dish to roast the Kumara (sweet potato) and a brownie pan or other oven proof dish which will fit the mushrooms laid flat while in a little depth of marinade.

Check your oven racks are in a position capable of holding your mushroom dish and vegetable roasting dish at the same time, and preheat the oven to 200ºC.


  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup red wine/cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps, average/medium size 

Combine everything except the mushrooms to form the marinade.

After removing the stems, place the mushrooms in the marinade gill side up, and spoon the marinade over them. Cover with a sheet of tinfoil to prevent the liquids from evaporating in the oven and let stand for 10 min while you prep the Kumara.


  • 2-3 handfuls washed baby spinach leaves
  • 2 medium sized golden kumara
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • Rind and 1 tbsp juice of an orange
  • Salt to season
  • Optional – roughly 20g of chopped or crumbled feta cheese of any variety

While the mushrooms marinade, peel the kumara and dice it into 1" cubes. Lightly oil your roasting dish and toss in the kumara and the chopped nuts. Season with salt and place in the preheated oven with the mushrooms.

Leave for 20 minutes, then test your kumara with a skewer. They are ready when they are cooked (not crisp/crunchy) but still quite firm and holding their shape.

Your kumara may need a few more minutes depending on how large your cubes are etc.

When the mushrooms have been in the oven for 30 min, remove them and carefully take off the foil. Use tongs to turn the mushrooms over (gill side down) and put them back in the oven for ten more minutes. The kumara should be left to cool in this time (transferring them to a cold plate or bowl will help them to cool faster).

While the mushrooms finish cooking and the kumara and nuts cool, wash, dry and put the spinach leaves in their serving bowl. Prep the orange zest and juice.

Remove the mushrooms from the oven, add the cooled kumara to the spinach and top with feta (if using) and the orange rind. Drizzle the orange juice over the salad.

Plate up!

I chose to make the salad directly onto plates, then put the mushrooms on top prior to adding the orange zest. Any remaining liquid from the mushroom dish can also be drizzled over the salad, and a dash more olive oil would be fine if you like well dressed salad.

Coconut & Chia Spiced Oats

I’ve been eating oats for breakfast for a long time now, and am starting to play a bit more with what goes in them. This morning I was feeling like coconut, and this first try recipe is a hit!

  • Oats
  • Oat Milk
  • Vanilla Essence (1 tsp)
  • White Chia Seeds (1 tbsp)
  • Cardamom (1tsp)
  • Desiccated Coconut (1 tbsp)
  • Coconut Oil (1tbsp)

I always use a rough amount of oats so just use what feels right (a cup? Probably less…).

Add everything to your bowl, microwave on high for 2 minutes. I usually add a bit more milk or water after cooking to cool things back down. It will smell and taste delicious!

I think it’s pretty sweet as it is, but you could add a tsp of honey too if you’re craving something sweet.

Vegan Chocolate Cake/Cupcakes

I made this recipe for this month’s Twitter’s Hottest Home Baker challenge – but the end results looked a little too poo-like for me to enter. They were delicious though!
I’m not vegan, but I have an eight year old cousin who can’t eat eggs or nuts, so these were made with him in mind. My mum’s gluten free – so for her, I’d take out the flour and a tablespoon worth of oil, and use 1 cup of ground almonds and ½ cup rice flour instead. Winner.


  • 1 ½ cups standard flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup pulp-free orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp malt vinegar


Sift flour, baking soda and cocoa together, stir in sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine canola oil, water, orange juice and vanilla essence.
Mix wet and dry mixtures together, then stir the malt vinegar through just before pouring the mixture into your cake tin/muffin tray.
I baked mine in a silicone muffin tray at 180 degrees celsius for 10-15 minutes, and found that they only rose up a little bit. 
For icing, I used icing sugar, cocoa, orange juice and a tiny bit of canola oil.