Category Archives: Recipes

Fruit & nut muesli bars

By Diane Stevens.

Here is an easy recipe that we have adapted from Bill Granger’s muesli bars.  They are a healthy alternative to sweets (i.e. no butter or refined sugar) and are ideal as an  energy boost for kids:  in their lunchboxes, for morning tea or afternoon snack, before sport or homework!

125 ml sunflower or grape seed oil 

1 cup honey

¼ cup pure maple syrup

4 cups rolled oats (untoasted)

½ cup sesame seeds

1 cup pitted dates, chopped

½ cup mixed dried fruit (I used dried cranberries, currants,sultanas)

¾ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional for decoration on top)

  • Preheat oven to 150 Celsius.  Grease a 20 cm X 30 cm lamington pan and line with baking paper.
  • Put oil, honey and maple syrup in a small saucepan over low heat, whisk until ingredients are combined.
  • Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and add honey mixture. Stir well ensuring all ingredients stick together loosely.
  • Transfer mixture to pan, spread evenly to edges of tray and press firmly. If desired, sprinkle an additional tablespoon of sesame seeds over prepared pan.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown
  • Allow tray to cool or store in refrigerator overnight before cutting into bars. They are ideal to freeze or will keep in an airtight container for 4-5 days.


Glowing skin recipes

For glowing skin, nutritionists recommend teens cut down on processed, salty foods and pack in plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, oily fish and lots of water. Green leafy vegetables, berries, mangoes, papaya, almonds, pumpkin seeds, salmon and tuna are all great for healthy skin – at any age.

Here are a couple of ideas for packing in the essentials.


1 apple

1 beetroot

1 peeled kiwi fruit

1 handful of parsley

4 carrots

Put the ingredients through the juicer.

Note: Parsley and Carrots (and other orange vegetables) contain pro-vitamin A and C, essential for healthy skin. Beetroot is another super ingredient.


1 small paw paw or mango

1 handful of blueberries

2 tablespoons of natural yoghurt

ice or cup of water

And if your teen is really committed to glowing skin and doesn’t mind a green smoothie, add a handful of destemmed baby spinach.

Toss the ingredients into the blender.

Note: drinks are healthier when they aren’t icy cold, but the ice gives a better, fluffier texture. Orange fruits contain pro-vitamin A and berries are high in vitamin C.


A bag of baby spinach leaves or other dark green salad leaves.

1 mango (diced)

1 avocado

I handful of almonds

I handful of pumpkin seeds

Toss with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing.

Try this salad with a piece of grilled salmon (with the skin on) for a super meal.

Note: Almonds have a natural anti-inflammatory benefit and pumpkin seeds contain zinc, which stimulates the immune system, controls inflammation and helps heal wounds. But an excess of zinc in the diet can be harmful.

I tend to use macadamia nuts, instead of the almonds and pumpkin seeds, and add marinated feta cheese. It’s not as beneficial to the skin, but it sure is a tasty (and popular) combination.

Michael Van Straten’s website is a mine of information on nutrition or check with your nutritionist or GP for professional advice.


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Pomegranate & Green Bean Salad

Pomegranates are fresh at the green grocers at the moment so what better way to get teens to eat their greens, than add these luscious ruby jewels – they are delicious in a green bean salad. Symbolising prosperity, hope and abundance these super fruits are also rich in Vitamin C, potassium and antioxidants.


(serves 6)

Ingredients:       3-4 handfuls of fresh green beans or thin french beans

½  red sweet pomegranate

½  cup flaked almonds

½  spanish onion

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp pomegranate concentrate

salt & freshly ground black pepper

lemon juice of ½ lemon

lemon zest of ½ lemon

Salad:                    Cut ends of beans and blanch them in boiling water until bright green and crisp (not so they turn soft and dull green) – about 3 minutes. Remove them from heat and transfer them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Heat grill and toast the almonds under it watching carefully they do not burn until some are golden brown.

Finely slice the spanish onion.

Separate the arils or seeds in the pomegranate by breaking the fruit into quarters and then submerging them in a colander in a dish of cold water. Keep hands in water while you separate the arils from the pith. This stops the juice staining your clothes and the arils should sink to the bottom while the pith floats to the top.

Dressing:             Combine the olive oil, balsamic, pomegranate concentrate, lemon juice, lemon zest with a pinch of salt and black pepper.  Add to taste the vinegar and pomegranate concentrate – the result you’re looking for is a rich tangy dressing.

Assemble the salad starting with the green beans then the pomegranate seeds, and top with the spanish onion and lemon zest. Add the almonds at the last minute otherwise they will go soggy if left on top for too long.

If you do not have pomegranate concentrate the dressing is fine without it.

Bon Appetit!


Texan Ribs

Try this recipe for a tasty family meal or for a casual dinner with friends. 

1/4  cup barbecue sauce                       

1/2  cup tomato sauce

1 tsp of Dijon or wholegrain mustard 

1 tsp Worcestershire

4 racks of American style pork ribs         

3 tbsp soy sauce                 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. To make sauce, whisk together first four ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Place the 4 racks of ribs into a roasting pan and add ½ cup of water and the soy sauce. Cover pan with foil and place in the oven for 1 hour. This will both tenderise the meat and substantially reduce cooking time on the barbecue.
  • Transfer to barbecue and cook with lid on. Cook one side of the ribs on medium heat for approximately 10 minutes..
  • Then turn over ribs, generously brush barbecue sauce on the top (seared) side, return lid to barbecue and allow ribs to cook a further 8-10 minutes.
  • Then turn over ribs once again and brush more sauce on this side. Cover for 2 minutes but keep a careful watch as ribs covered in sauce can burn easily.  Again, flip ribs to allow other side with sauce to singe for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from barbecue. Serve immediately, or cover with foil and keep warm for 5-10 minutes.

.  Note: American style pork ribs are available at most butchers and supermarkets. Supermarkets place them on the shelves usually Tuesday and Thursday beside the pork fillets and pork chops

Cooking time may vary due to different ovens/barbecues. If the ribs are tough they are undercooked and can be placed back in the oven, covered, for 10-15 minutes. If they are overcooked, they tend to be too dry.


You might also like:

The secret to getting cricket whites WHITE. Read here.

Handling rejection when your teens thinks your too embarrassing to be with. Read here.

Homework tips. Read here

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