One Pot Pasta With Broccoli, Olives, Mascarpone and Lemon

I think I’m just gonna go ahead and marry myself.

140g dried wholemeal penne
200g young broccoli with its young leaves, cut into small florets
some kalamata olives
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp basil pesto
3 tbsp light mascarpone (left over from that amazing cheesecake I made)
½ small bunch parsley, torn

Cook the pasta following pack instructions, adding the broccoli 4 mins before the end of the cooking time.

Reserve a cup of the water, then drain everything and tip back into the pot.

Add all remaining ingredients to the pot + enough of the pasta water to create a creamy sauce. Season with a good grinding of black pepper and a little sea salt.

Makes for two.

review no31 hugo&leo french bakery


The headline of this piece should really be: Persian breakfasts made possible for Kiwi girl by French baker in rural Japan.

One of Japan’s biggest problems is its lack of brown bread. I’m serious. It’s devastating. That artificial crap (sorry, but it really is) sold at the supermarket must die! This is where Hugo&Leo, the loveliest french bakery (with a legit french baker + yogi!) comes to the rescue. Situated in the serene Nishiawakura Village of Okayama, their delicious bread has been my saviour. So what makes Hugo&Leo so special? Well, apart from the most welcoming owners, their ingredients are simple, locally sourced and where possible, organic. Their tasty menu boasts a variety of breads including wholemeal fig and walnut, rye, walnut and prune and millet corn bread. Are you salivating yet? I’m day dreaming about fig and goat cheese bruschettas to be honest. Anyways… in addition to good bread (and by good I mean spectacular), sweet treats such as croissants, muffins and cakes are also on offer. And if all that ain’t enough to lure you in, be sure to try their vegetarian quiches and pizzettes.

Hugo&Leo operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am-5pm but try to drop by early as they’re super popular! I’m hella lucky that their place is a mere 10 minutes away but if you have to travel a long while to get there, trust me, it’ll  be worth it. Dine in or out (the view is just gorgeous) and make a day of it! X

For more info head to their super informative website here.

Vegan Wholewheat Spaghetti

image (1)

1 yellow onion (diced, small)
olive oil
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 can/jar of organic all-natural pasta sauce
1 punnet of mushrooms (diced or as is)
1 small thingy of broccoli (sliced to individual pieces)
1 large ripe tomato (diced, small)
1/2 packet of organic wholewheat spaghetti (or soba!)
salt and chilli pepper

So easy, hardly a recipe at all…
1.fry onion with a little olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat until golden.

2.add the tomato paste to the onion and fry for an additional minute – this is my mama’s secret tip and what gives her food it’s vibrant colour

3.add the entire contents of the pasta sauce followed by the remaining vegetables to the pan (mushroom, broccoli and tomato) then turn down the heat and let simmer.

4.While  the sauce simmers, boil the spaghetti as per packet instructions.

Drain, rinse and add spaghetti to sauce mixture then season to taste.

Cook for an additional 5 or so minutes then nomnomnom with loved ones or as I did, in the beautiful company of yourself.

vegan chickpea, avocado and cashew salad

I think I’ve already mentioned that Japanese schools do “school lunch” which is actually pretty cool as everyone eats the same thing and it’s usually super healthy. However; it’s not easy when you’re vegetarian as almost always meat is involved and of all kinds! So recently, I sucked up the courage to cancel my school lunch which has left me having to make my own. Yippee! (no sarcasm intended, I love this shit).


Vegan, healthy and so filling!

3/4 cup wholemeal couscous
1 small carrot (diced, small)
1 small cucumber (diced, small)
1/2 avocado (diced, small)
handful of raw cashews
1/2 can of all-natural chickpeas
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Cook couscous as per packet instruction (usually just a matter of adding hot water and letting it sit).

Combine with the remaining ingredients and voila!

For best results, let cool before nomnom!