Karina’s Environmental Cooking Tip! 


There are many things you can ‘bag’ out, or criticise, in regards to real sustainable eating practices within the world. When it comes to food shopping, however, one way to not be ‘bag’ged out, would be to use a recyclable bag! This way, you don’t need to waste precious plastic bags every time you shop. You’re also doing your bit to help the environment.

Other sustainable practices include:

  • Cutting down on waste by buying fresh, unwrapped produce.
  • Avoid buying products with excessive packaging
  • Reuse all you can, e.g. grocery bags and glass jars
  • Recycle all you can, e.g. cardboard, paper and acceptable plastics from food products


Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma



Karina’s Anti-contamination Cooking Tips!


Some times, sharing is caring. When it comes to germs, however, sharing isn’t caring and there are many things you can do in order to keep your food safe. A select few things you can do, are as follows:

  • Wash hands, benches, chopping boards, knives, utensils etc often, in order to prevent contamination.
  • Avoid cross-contamination. Use a chopping board for chopping vegetables and a separate chopping board for chopping meat, if you need to prepare a combined vegetable and meat based dish. Alternatively, you can use one chopping board, however, chop your veggies first, then clean the chopping board very well. After the board is clean again, use this board to chop your meat, then clean your board again.
  • Clean your chopping knife before and after chopping your vegetables and clean your chopping knife before and after chopping your meat.

Have fun and be safe in the kitchen!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma


Karina’s Sweet Potato Pan Haggery with Wholegrain Mustard and Fresh Curry Leaves!



  • 1 small bunch fresh curry leaves (leaves pulled off the stalk, then chopped finely)
  • 6 medium-sized brown onions, peeled, then sliced medium thickness
  • 1.7 kg golden sweet potatoes, peeled, then sliced thinly
  • 7 cloves of garlic, peeled, then crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of french wholegrain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil (for cooking onions)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil for lining bottom of baking tray, then 1 tablespoon of olive oil for topping the top layer of the bake
  • 200 g reduced fat tasty cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 large pinch of cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt to top the potatoes, to make them crunchy


Preheat a fan-forced oven to 200°C.

Using a very large frypan and on high heat, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil for a few seconds, then carefully place all your onions into that pan. Wait for 2-3 minutes before stirring. Once 2-3 minutes are up, stir, then let it sit for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat this process about 2 more times, or until the onions are transparent.

Once the onions are transparent, add your garlic, then sauté for one minute, or until aromatic. Once aromatic, add the wholegrain mustard, along with the curry leaves and cracked black pepper. Give this mixture a very good stir, then turn the heat to off.

Using a large lasagne baking tray, drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil evenly along the base of the tray.

Line the tray with 1 layer of sweet potato slices. Top this layer with 1/3 of the onion mixture, followed by 1/3 of the grated cheese. Repeat this process for two more layers. Once the last layer has been completed, evenly drizzle the last layer with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, followed by 1 teaspoon of salt. The salt will give the potatoes a lovely crunch for the top.

Cover the tray with aluminium foil, then cook in the oven for 20 minutes. Once 20 minutes are over, carefully peel off the aluminium foil, then place back into the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the top is crispy and the cheese is slightly golden. Once cooked, turn the oven to off.

Compiling the beauty:

Carefully ladle the Pan Haggery onto a plate. You can eat this on it’s own as  good light meal or vegetarian meal, or, you can accompany this dish with your favourite roast meats.

Have fun in the kitchen!


Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma


Karina’s Healthy Cooking Tips!


There are many ways to cut on fat whilst cooking. See the below short list which may help keep healthy cooking habits:

  • Avoid cooking in batter. Grill your fish and bake your chips.
  • Stir-fry, adding a very small amount of olive oil or another good oil.
  • Steam your vegetables until just cooked. Try not to overcook vegetables, as some vegetables loose their crunch and also loose nutritional content.
  • Roasting your meats and vegetables is quite healthy and it also enhances the natural flavours.
  • Try using olive oil, instead of butter, in your cooking. This helps reduce consumption of saturated fat from butter.

There are plenty more healthy cooking tips, however, this will do for now.

Have fun in the kitchen!


Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma


Karina’s Crunchy Red Cabbage, Carrot and Mixed-Mint Salad with Ginger, Sesame, Garlic and Lime Dressing.

IMG_7604 2.JPG

Main Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 medium red onions, sliced finely
  • 1 small bunch of fresh thai basil, torn into pieces, stalks removed
  • 1 small bunch of fresh mint basil, torn into pieces, stalks removed
  • 5 medium-sized carrots, peeled into ribbons using a potato peeler
  • 1/2 a small red cabbage, shredded into thin strips


  • 2 limes, freshly juiced
  • 1 small birds eye chilli, sliced very finely
  • 1/2 a tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced finely
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced finely

Garnishing Ingredients:

  • 5 fresh purple beans, sliced thinly (use green if you don’t have purple)
  • 5 large red cabbage leaves, taken from the outside of the cabbage
  • Extra tiny sprigs of fresh mint-basil (7 will do)


Using an extra large mixing bowl, combine all the Main Salad Ingredients together, by tossing well with clean hands. This is fun for the kids to do, as  it involves them feeling fresh food with their hands.

Combine all the Dressing ingredients, then mix well with a spoon until well combined. Pour this salad dressing evenly over the salad, using your clean hands to toss and coat the salad well with the dressing. Kids can do this bit as well, as they will be able to smell interesting food flavours.

Compiling the Beauty:

Using a large, rectangular or square platter, arrange your 5 large cabbage leaves on the plate, then pile all your salad on top of them. Sprinkle your sliced purple beans evenly over the salad, then jab the salad with your fresh mint-basil sprigs.

Great for a BBQ side-dish, or for a healthy vegetarian light lunch.

Serves 10 as a side dish, or 5 as a light lunch.


Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma


Fresh Vegetarian Rice Noodle Soup!



  • 1 medium onion, peeled, then sliced finely
  • 1 medium sized red capsicum, cored, deseeded and sliced into medium sized strips
  • 1 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into disks
  • 2 small red chills, sliced finely
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced finely
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced finely

Last Minute ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch of fresh thai basil, chopped
  • A small amount of fresh thai basil, to garnish
  • 1/2 a fresh lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 450g fresh rice noodle sheets, cut into desired thickness


Using a medium-sized pot, combine all your ingredients into the pot, except for the Last Minute ingredients. Cook, on medium heat, for approximately 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked. Once cooked, turn the heat to low, then place your last minute ingredients into the same pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for approximately 2 minutes, or until the noodles have softened. Once cooked, turn the heat to off.

Compiling the Beauty:

Grab your favourite soup bowl, then ladle the ‘soup’er fresh soup into that bowl. Garnish with some more fresh thai basil.

Relax and enjoy!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma


Karina’s Electrical Safety Cooking Tips!


I thought I’d make this post very short. Of course, we can go into detail regarding electrical safety, however, the below two are a good start to go by:

  • Don’t stick a utensil (forks, knives etc) in a toaster to retrieve trapped toast. This may be a “shock” to your system.
  • Don’t use any electrical power chords which are damaged in any way. It could be “shocking” news if you did.

Have fun and be safe in the kitchen!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma


Karina’s Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Dill!



  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 kg sweet potato, cut into large cubes
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and kept whole
  • 5 rashers of rindless bacon, fat removed
  • 1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard
  • 150 ml thickened cream
  • 2 tablespoons of roasted aioli

To Garnish:

  • 1 large bunch of fresh dill, stems finely chopped and leaves left in small pieces
  • 1 pinch cracked black pepper


Pre-heat your oven to 200°C. Once preheated, place 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a large baking dish, along with your sweet potato and whole garlic pieces, then place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Once the garlic is cooked, turn the oven to ‘off,’ then take your garlic cloves out of the oven. Return your sweet potato to the oven, then allow the sweet potato to cook for another 5 minutes using the residual heat of the oven to cook the sweet potato.

Using a large bowl, mash your roasted garlic cloves with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, along with the roasted aioli, wholegrain mustard, thickened cream and cracked black pepper, until it forms an even and smooth paste. Place all your roasted sweet potato pieces into this bowl, mixing well until evenly coated. Set aside in the refrigerator until you have cooked your bacon.

Using medium heat, briefly heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large fry pan. Once heated (should only take a few seconds), place your bacon rashers into the hot fry pan, then cook, without disturbing or turning, for 2 minutes on each side, or until crispy, then turn the heat to ‘off.’

Once the bacon has cooled enough to handle it safely, cut the bacon into small strips, then set aside.

Compiling the Beauty:

Take your sweet potato salad out of the fridge, then spoon a quantity large enough for one serving, into your favourite bowl. Sprinkle your sweet potato salad with enough crispy bacon and a fine, but vibrant, sprinkling of fresh, elegant dill.

Serves 4


Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma


Karina’s Rocket Environmental Cooking Tip!

IMG_7566 IMG_7567

This will be a very short and sweet Environmental Cooking Tip, by yours truly, Karina.

If you have sprouting Rocket during spring, you can easily and quickly plant the seeds. All you need to do is wait until the middle of spring, or until you see pods or ‘bulbs’ growing out of your Rocket herb. Crack the rocket pod open, scrape all the seeds out of your pods, pant all the seeds directly into soil, then cover lightly with soil. New shoots will form within days!

You will be laughing with how much rocket you can harvest!

Happy Gardening all!

Have fun in the garden!

Karina x

Copyright © 2015 by Karina Teuma


Karina’s Trifle-Misu with Chocolate-Cowby Custard, Chocolate Soil and Chocolate-Mint Herb Pot Plants


If you like cooking, as well as gardening, then this recipe is for you!

This recipe is very fun to do for kids as well as big kids (like me)!

I made up the recipe, however, the idea of an edible plant was someone else’s (not sure who, so all credits go to this person).


Custard Ingredients:

  • 500ml custard made up as per custard powder packet directions (this usually means using custard powder, 2 tablespoons of castor sugar and 500ml of milk).
  • 200g good quality milk chocolate
  • 3 heaped tablespoons good quality cocoa
  • 3 tablespoons premium strength cowboy drink
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Coffee Soak:

  • 2 heaped tablespoons of strong coffee
  • 3 flat tablespoons of ‘creme de cacao’ Liqueur
  • 1/3 cup castor sugar
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 550g Italian lady finger biscuits

Chocolate Soil and plant Topping:

  • Ten long sprigs of fresh ‘chocolate mint’ herb, freshly cut.
  • 250g chocolate ripple biscuits, crumbled and smashed with a rolling pin

Cream Layer:

  • 250g mascarpone
  • 400g whipped cream
  • 3 egg whites, whipped until soft peaks form
  • 3 egg yolks, whipped with 1/3 cup castor sugar, until pale and thick


  • 2 x new medium-sized terracotta pots, cleaned thoroughly, then set aside to dry naturally
  • 1 x new medium-sized garden trowel, cleaned thoroughly, then set aside to dry naturally
  • Foil to line the inside of both terracotta pots, also using the foil to cover the hole at the bottom of the terracotta pot.


Combine 250g mascarpone with 400g whipped cream, then gently fold in the creamed egg yolks, followed by the whipped egg whites until combined, but still light (refer to cream layer ingredients). Place this cream mixture in a large bowl in the refrigerator to chill.

Place chocolate ripple biscuits in a large and lockable glad wrap bag, ensuring all biscuits are placed inside and all air is knocked out of the bag before closing. Close the bag, then, using a rolling pin, crush all the biscuits until they maintain the consistency of soil. Set aside (away from heat or cold).

Boil 2 cups of water, then, using a spoon and a large bowl, combine all the coffee soak ingredients. Once combined and whilst still hot, carefully and briefly dip all the Italian lady finger biscuits in this mixture, place in a large bowl, then set aside.

Make your chocolate cowboy-custard by following the directions of your custard powder mixture packet and by adding milk and sugar, then follow all directions until your custard is lovely and thick. Whilst your custard is still hot, add 200g cadbury milk chocolate, separated into cubes, then gradually whisk in, along with your bournville cocoa, cowboy drink and vanilla essence. Whisk until all ingredients are well combined, then set aside. Refer to my custard ingredients section under the ingredients section.

Compiling the Beauty:

Grab your two terracotta pots, then line them both with foil. Now the fun begins!

Grab 1/4 of the soaked italian biscuits, then evenly place them at the bottom of one of your terracotta pots. Pour 1/4 of your chocolate-cowboy custard over this, then pile 1/4 of your mascarpone and whipped cream mixture on top. Repeat this process one more time for this first pot. Top with half of your chocolate soil mixture, then gently and artistically stab your chocolate soil mixture with 5 ‘chocolate mint’ herb cuttings. Repeat this process to make your other pot.

Serve with a mess of your chocolate soil and your garden trowel, using your garden trowel as a scoop for your dessert!

N.B. The fresh ‘chocolate mint’ herb is a perfect match for the chocolate-cowboy custard in one mouthful!

This was heaps of fun to make!

Makes 2 pots!


Karina x