Slow Cooked Spaghetti Bolognese

The ultimate mince dinner, this slow cooked spaghetti bolognese is perfect for a midweek meal.  Simply load into your crock pot the night before and chill overnight, before switching on in the morning as you walk out the door.  Come home to a slow cooked Italian meal the family will love!

2 tsp vegetable oil
400 g beef mince
1  tsp  mineral salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
2 tbsp cold pressed olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 tbsp of fresh oregano leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1x400g can organic chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar

300g dried spaghetti
75g parmesan, grated
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the mince in batches, sprinkling with salt and pepper as you go.  Remove and set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in the same frying pan and gently saute the onion, carrot, celery, oregano and garlic for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the pan with the mince, balsamic and brown sugar. Add to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.
  4. Serve with spaghetti and cheese.
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking time: 6 hours
Serves: 4-6

found: 18 April 2010

Welcome to the second issue of Found. This week I have not spent anywhere near as much time traveling the web.  I have been absorbed in reading Patrick Holford's Optimum Nutrition Bible, this has been causing many gasps and moments of astonishment - better than a crime novel! I finally took the time to check out the you tube channel of a friend of mine (admittedly initially at his house), but the work is so beautiful - I keep taking guests hostage and playing clips for them, so to break the habit I share the address with you.  Then I capped the week off with a day of learning more about whole-foods with the Koanga Gardens class on Nutrient Dense Food incluing Weston A. Price's practices of fermentation.
Therefore, this week the global world of wellness, whole-food and inspiration is a pleasure to share with you.

Patrick Holford's New Optimum Nutrition Bible. (wellness)

I have been so inspired by this man I have added him to my "Health Heroes" list on Twitter! This book is amazing, it explains the intricacies of health, eating and living well in a way that is easy to understand, but certainly not dumbed down.  There is no skimping on research paper references, pictures, diagrams and analogies. If you have a body that you want to run at the OPTIMUM - feel brilliant and bursting, then this is a great book.  It may make strange bedtime reading to anyone else, but Patrick Holford has a secure place on my bedside table.

You Tube Channel: mozely1 (inspirational)

This is 5 short clips, kids on skateboards, a guy with a camera, a great song or two.  Simple, serene and stylish, produced solely for pleasure and inspiration.  I watched this clip with an 8 year old friend of mine who was propped up at my kitchen bench this week.  We both felt compelled to watch the lot. Enjoy..

Koanga Gardens Nutrient Dense Food Workshop (whole-food)

I have to admit I need to do some reading on Weston A Price.  I can share with you that he was a dents from Ohio who in the 1930's began the research into the cultural and community differences in diet.  He specialized in communities that had been untouched by civilization and many of his theories are very influential in healthy eating practices now.   His book "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" is a record of his study, although I can not personally recommend the book at this stage I can recommend the day course that I attended at Koanga.  The following link will take you to their course information page (they are located just North of Auckland in Kaiwaka).

Blueberry Buttercake for a Crowd

When cooking for huge catering jobs cake recipes get multiplied, then divided, then multiplied.  Until at some point it is hard to remember just what size cake you will end up with when cooking from old scratch up note books and shabby crossed out worksheets.  This recipe is one of those, it needs to be made in a 31 x21 cm roasting pan (this is the size of the standard supermarket bought roasting pan).

250 g butter
2 cups sugar
6 eggs, beaten
4 cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sour cream (500g pottle)
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups blueberries (two punnets)

Preheat oven to 180ÂșC

  1. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, beat in eggs one at a time.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and add to the mixture alternately with the combined sour cream and vanilla essence.
  3. Pour batter into a 20 cm spring-form cake pan and sprinkle with blueberries.
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when tested.
When cool, cut into large squares and serve dusted with icing sugar.

found: 11 April 2010

Welcome to the first short-article of "Found". Over the week I have travelled the web discovering lovely sites, some filled with stylish inspiration, others are established favorites of mine- used again and again, and others new finds, filled with excellent wellness or whole-food information. "Found" is my weekly Sunday round-up of who I would like to introduce you to in this wholeness global town.

My Yoga Online (wellness)

I personally use this site. Because I have slowish internet I tend to buy the downloads both yoga and meditations. This might sound a little crazy but I have found that for the price of about 2 Auckland yoga classes I can own a great class that I can do as many times as I like, anywhere. If I download to my laptop it means I can get a yoga class in even if I am stuck in a hotel room or away at the beach. Of course this will never beat the personal service of attending a class, however any yoga is better than no yoga in my book.

Oliver's Real Food (goodfood/wholefood)

Many of you will know that I have just returned from a week in Australia. I stayed with the founders of this amazing fast real food store (yes I am the converted). With a genuine desire to provide a better option to travelers. Oliver's delivers additive and preservative free food that is packed with flavour. Check it out next time your traveling in AU. I might be a little biased but I am 100% sure you will agree.

Decor8 (inspire)

This is a very pretty design blog that is bound to inspire anyone with home. Filled with pretty ideas and good information on colour mixing, this well maintained blog is well worth a look. The host of the blog Holly Becker is a design consultant who is now such an acclaimed blogger she has recently been interviewed about this blogs huge circulation (over 80 000 subscribers) on problogger (see her blog to hear the interview).

I have left the option to post your own links open so that you can share your favorite links with the community. If you would particularly like me to look at a specific sight feel free to contact me through the message service or on

Quick Passionfruit Curd

This is the quick and dirty recipe, if you are paranoid you can place the ingredients in a bowl over boiling water (the double boiler method), but I find this recipe reasonably robust.

Seasonal delicious quick and fantastic with pavlova and organic yoghurt (like we had last night).  Passionfruit curd is a great way of bringing this Autumn treat into the winter months and is one of the simplest and quickest preserves. Keep in the fridge once opened and enjoy on toast, scones, as a filling for cakes or topping for desserts.

6                passionfruit, flesh only
6                egg yolks
3/4  cup     sugar
1     tbsp    honey
200 g        chilled butter, cubed

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.
  2. Over a medium heat stir continuously until the butter has melted and the curd has thickened.  Do not boil.
  3. Pour into sterilised jars and allow to set.  Cover and use as required.
This recipe makes 2 cups.

Sell-out Seeds, Digestion, Liver and a Road Trip

Todays blog is inspired by a product I sampled yesterday on my travels up the Australian Pacific Highway from Sydney to Nelson Bays.  Being healthy happy travelers we stopped at Oliver's Real Food with my brother and my two gorgeous nephews for lunch.  Oliver's were sampling a health product created by Melbourne-dwelling-Kiwi Graeme Johnstone as a result of his own fight against increasing digestion problems.

The product called Kapai Puku is a delicious crunchy seed mix that helps promote weight loss, is high in omega 3 from flaxseed and chia seeds and is free of gluten and genetically modified ingredients.  Crunchy and delicious added to cereal, salads, desserts, snacks, sandwiches or smoothies this product is in such high demand after the following news segment (click here to watch) it sells out instantly.

Kapai Puku is not yet available in New Zealand but it made me think about what is available that is specifically natural and good for the digestive system and whole body in a similar way.  Then I remembered LSA. Anybody who has ever visited a health food store or supermarket aisle seems to have tried or at least heard of LSA or Linseed Sunflower and Almond mix.

I make my own version of LSA in Autumn when the nuts are fresh but I add walnuts for brain health and for the natural sweetness of wild New Zealand walnuts.  I add this mix to cereals, baking, smoothies and yoghurt on a daily basis to keep myself in tip top nick.

Laura's SLAW

1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup linseed
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw wild walnuts

  1. Combine all ingredients and pulse in a food-processor until they resemble chunky breadcrumbs.
  2. Store in a glass jar in the fridge and use a few tablespoons per day. It is important that nuts and seeds are stored in a cool dark place to prevent the oils from becoming rancid.

Cooking up Australia

Australia (Country Guide)Not much of a post today as I am packing for a long week cooking just north of Sydney.  Tomorrow is a morning spent with my nephews and my brother and his wife.  Next weeks blogs will be all about preserves and quick dinners for blokes, so check in for handy tips and pretty pics.
Until then,

Love life, love cooking, love feeling good.


Photos from todays bake-off with Midnight Kitchen

lining the cake pan (but not greasing) allows the light chiffon cake to climb the sides of the pan.

getting as much flavour into the mix happens right at the start with the wet ingredients, vanilla seeds and lime zest flavour the Midnight Kitchen mix.