Golden Turmeric Latte

Activated Turmeric  for use in Golden Turmeric Latte


1/2 cup filtered water (not tap)

1/4 cup organic turmeric powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat on medium-high, stirring constantly until the mixture forms a thick paste (about 5 minutes). Carefully transfer to a resealable glass container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

To make a Golden Turmeric Latte

To a saucepan add a mug of coconut milk or cream, dairy milk or almond milk.

Add ½ teaspoon of activated turmeric paste (as above)

A small teaspoon of coconut oil / I like to add a cinnamon stick too.

1-2 teaspoons of coconut sugar

Heat gently until oil dissolves.  Pour into a mug and sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon and serve. 

Green Lentil Soup in a slow cooker

Green lentil and vegetable soup (slow cooker)

A thick and creamy soup for swallow practice and leaving some of the vegetables unblended to stretch that trismus out and around the spoon.
A very filling soup with loads of nutrient dense goodness. I adapted it meet some immune system needs by way of turmeric and ginger powder. Yum!

1 cup green lentils

¾ cup split peas ( or you can use more lentils)

1 onion chopped

2 cups chopped potato

2 cups of chopped celery

2 cups of butternut squash

5 cloves of garlic minced

1 litre of stock – chicken or vegetable ( I prefer chicken)

Salt (Himalayan)

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ginger powder

To finish

1 – 2 cups of chopped spinach or kale

Few glugs of quality olive oil

1 cup of chopped parsley

Red wine vinegar, or sherry or lemon juice or I added apple cider vinegar – about a large tablespoon – no science taste and add to suit.

  1. Place all ingredients in the slow cooker , cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  2. Place 3 – 4 cups of the soup in a blender with a few glugs of olive oil and pulse until semi smooth and creamy looking. Add this back to the pot – if you like more whole vegetables then only pulse 3 cups.  I like to leave a few whole vegetables to practice chewing and opening mouth ( trismus exercise)
  3. Stir in spinach / kale / parsley and then let it sit for a few minutes.
  4. Season to taste and add the sherry, vinegar or lemon juice.
  5. You can add parmesan cheese to serve also and I soaked sourdough bread in it with butter!

Mind your C’s and Q’s

C is for Chia seeds. I am like a kid with a new puppy, I just can’t put it down.

I am fast learning as a head and necker (that is, a head and neck cancer patient) that Chia seeds are worth their weight in gold. Today’s experiment involved not only Chia seeds but Powder Me powders and here’s what happened.

Mixed Berry and Chia Seed Pudding

I can hear the groan from here, but trust me this pudding is something meant for breakfast but I snack on it throughout the day and it could double perfectly as a dessert after dinner. I have dysphagia and with the recent removal of my PEG I have to go it alone now in terms of eating orally.

It is still hard to swallow, so this cold, slippery pudding is just right Goldilocks. Pictured here are white chia seeds ( you will note the addition of the red powder does not turn the pudding red, there are no nasty food colourings in our powders) and I first really took notice of them when I started adding them to my smoothies. They create a thickness and slippery fullness that makes them ideal for swallowing.

Now, before they censor me, this is important because avocados are so expensive. Four avocados will set you back almost $16 dollars in Australia, so I mix up it up using avocado and chia seeds every second day or so. Both make smoothies creamy, thick and delightfully decadent.

Chia seeds are the tiny black seeds from the Salvia hispanica plant, a member of the mint family which comes from Central and South America. Today I used a white variety and the seeds, no matter the colour, pack a nutritious punch. High in fibre, protein and omega 3 fatty acids they contain a lot of the nutrients we head and neckers need after radiotherapy.

We are constantly told to eat calories, eat protein, eat fat. Now for the first few months I did that with icecream. Believe it or not, that’s not sustainable and unless you can afford top shelf icecream constantly – I found the cheaper brands made me cough and aspirate. I also didn’t want to be eating all that sugar. Like I said, not sustainable. But to have this easy reach cold pudding in the fridge that takes minutes to make is great.

Has a mouth feel like frog spawn – I am guessing !

Here’s the recipe

1 cup (250 ml) water mixed with 1-2 tablespoons of protein powder (vanilla or plain) I use 180 Nutrition (Australian and no added nasties – that’s a whole other blog)

¼ cup (35 g / 1.2 oz) whole white chia seeds

2 teaspoons of Powder Me Mixed Berry powder

And or 6 strawberries

2 tablespoons natural yoghurt or coconut milk or coconut yoghurt

1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)

2 teaspoons of coconut sugar (optional)


  1. Combine water and chia seeds into a bowl and stir gently for 3 minutes.
  2. Set aside for 20 minutes allowing the seeds to form a soft gel appearance.
  3. Puree the strawberries, turmeric & mixed berry powder until smooth in a blender. If you are not using fresh fruit just turf the powders in the bowl with the water and chia seeds.
  4. Spoon pulp into a bowl.
  5. Add  3 tablespoons, natural yoghurt, coconut milk or coconut yoghurt.
  6. Mix through until combined.
  7. Divide between 2 serving bowls. I put mine in one larger glass bowl with an airtight lid and put it in the fridge.
  8. Garnish each pudding with a sprinkling of mixed berry powder and drizzle with a light drizzle of coconut milk.
  9. I added some cinnamon and frozen fruit for the image.

Q is for Quinoa –

Quinoa is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is an herbaceous annual plant grown as a crop primarily for its edible seeds; the seeds are rich in protein, dietary fibre, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. Source: Wikipedia It’s great for people looking for gluten free and the rest of us? Well, I am still experimenting with it. I don’t mind eating it if someone else has prepared it into a wonderful dish or a salad made of it with fried haloumi and lemon juice, then I’ll eat it.

I am yet to wax lyrical about it. Give me time, I’ll find something worth while writing about. In the meantime try the pudding. Ten out of ten.

Help me Rhonda kick start the Honda!

Kickstart or “activate” your turmeric. Who knew?

Activated Turmeric is better than just slugging back Turmeric powder and hoping for the best & here is why.

If it is not activated it’s not activated, meaning it is not doing the intended job. I started taking turmeric about 12 months ago to help with inflammation after surgery and radiotherapy. Turmeric contains Curcumin, which is the strong anti -inflammatory ingredient we are after. The end goal is to get the Turmeric from your mouth to your small intestine where it can be absorbed and be its most beneficial. To activate you need to follow this equation: –

Turmeric + Black Pepper + Fat = Kickstart Rhonda, that is activated Turmeric

Black pepper contains Piperine a compound that increases the bioavailability of Curcumin. Piperine slows the absorption of Curcumin in the stomach allowing the fat time to carry the Turmeric to the small intestine and that’s as techy as I am going to get for you and all you really need to know.

So to make this as easy as possible make up a small jar of activated turmeric paste and keep it in the fridge to use in smoothies and Golden Milk drink (recipe below).

Here’s the recipe to kicks start your Turmeric journey and get it out of the yard.


1/2 cup filtered water (not tap)

1/4 cup organic turmeric powder

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat on medium-high, stirring constantly until the mixture forms a thick paste (about 5 minutes). Carefully transfer to a resealable glass container and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.


Golden Milk is a gorgeous way to have turmeric.

Combined with your preferred milk turmeric boosts calcium absorption, while the added fat from the coconut oil aids in your bodies ability to absorb and reap the rewards of turmeric. This soothing drink is the perfect thing to incorporate into your night time routine or on a cooler autumn afternoon to help promote a restful night’s sleep and boost immunity.


1/2 – 1 tsp turmeric paste

1 cup milk (almond, soy, coconut, or dairy) try my home made oat milk recipe you can find it on The Food Manifesto facebook site.

1 tsp coconut oil

Honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar to taste

Cinnamon or nutmeg to taste

Combine turmeric paste, milk, and coconut oil in a small saucepan and heat on medium high, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from coming to a boil. Once heated, transfer to a mug and add the honey and cinnamon if you like. Perfect for the pending cooler weather.

How to read a recipe.

Read it through from start to finish.

Read it though from start to finish …no, that’s not a typo, I can always remember at college being given a test of some sort that said: Please read through the entire assignment before starting. Only to find that if you didn’t, you would have missed the bit that said, answer only questions 1 and 2, of a 12 question assignment.

Remember, a sharp knife makes preparation a great deal easier.

Ingredients – have you got all of them? make sure you locate each ingredient in your kitchen pantry and ensure that the cardamon is just that and not ground chilli. Is that spring form cake tin 8 inches or 12 inches?

Are there sub recipes where things are expected to be already made…as in the case of rubs for meat/chicken and or sauces such as bechamel and or tomato for pasta dishes like Mousaka and lasagna.

Common cooking terms – brush up on your knowledge. Saute, fold, cream, beat etc. They all have a very distinct purpose and will ultimately affect the outcome of the product you are cooking. So make sure you know what each means and how it is done. Cut, slice, dice, chop and some of the culinary terms too like Mirepoix for example or Boquet Garni which will open up a whole new world of cooking for you.

It is so important to read the recipe thoroughly, I cannot emphasise this enough and it’s also important to have the ‘tools of trade ‘ at hand. Measuring cups or spoons, a small set of scales and large mixing bowls. Measuring jugs, juicers, cake tins, muffin pans, the list can be as long or as short as you like. I made do with old wine bottles as a rolling pin for many years. Over the years you add to the utensils and gadgets to make cooking easier. Always have on hand, baking paper, bakers powder, herbs and spices … which means storage containers.

Never underestimate the value of completely reading and understanding a recipe. It’s imperative you understand what’s being asked of you to be successful in the kitchen. Much like a good shopping list it is your “plan” for your intention. The old rule of NEVER shop without a list and never shop whilst you are hungry. Yes …don’t do that.

Watercress and lemongrass soup with poached egg requires mise en place.

Lemon Delicious Pudding

Courtesy of Gourmet Traveller and Bethany Finn’s mum.

60 gm unsalted butter, softened

330gm (1 1/2 cups ) caster sugar

Finely grated rind of one lemon , plus 150 ml juice (from about 3-4 lemons)

3 eggs, separated

60 gm self raising flour

375 ml milk (1 1/2 cups) milk

Pure icing sugar an pouring cream to serve ( i also add Golden North Ice Cream)


Preheat oven to 170oC. Beat butter ,sugar, and lemon rind in an electric mixer until pale(2-3 minutes). Add yolks one at a time.beating well to combine between each addition, add flour, then gradually add milk, mixing until a smooth batter forms. Scrape down sides of bowl and stir in lemon juice. Transfer batter to a bowl and clean dry mixer bowl thoroughly.

Whisk eggwhites in an electric mixer until firm peaks for, then gradually add to batter, gently folding in until well combined. Pour into a 1.5-litre ceramic or glass dish, place in a deep baking tray, transfer to oven, then fill tray with enough boiling water to come halfway up sides of dish.

Bake until risen and golden brown on top(40-50 mins) Cool briefly (5minutes) then dust with icing sugar and serve with cream or ice cream.

Chicken and Corn Soup

My version based on Helen Gregor’s original recipe it’s one of my favourite soups to make all year round you will need the following kitchen utensils.

  • stock pot or pressure cooker
  • large stainless steel bowl
  • medium stainless steel bowl
  • large strainer

Ingredients: Stock or Soup Base

  • 1kg chicken or chicken pieces
  • 2 litres of water
  • 2.5cm ginger -skinned and grated
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 470g canned creamed corn
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 4 tablespoons of cornflour
  • 4 tablespoons of water (tepid) to mix with cornflour
  • 2 egg whites (optional) whisked until soft peaks form
  • $2 shallots for garnish (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil (to finish)

I also add garlic and sometimes celery to the original stock mixture, I also add a lot more ginger than the recipe asks – personal taste, but ginger has amazing health benefits and I find this amount of liquid needs it.

Method: Making the Base Stock

For those that are scared of making stock and soup – It’s super easy and the only way you will make a really good flavoured soup. I am pretty rustic about it these days, but literally getting organised with the ingredients before- hand it’s the best way to go – mise en place. Place it in the biggest pot you have and then add all the other ingredients. Water, garlic (optional) onion, peppercorns, celery (optional)

Bring it to the boil and if needed, skim scum as it comes to surface.

Reduce heat and gently simmer. For about a 1.5 hours. In a stockpot it should take about 30 minutes.


Strain the stock – hopefully you have a colander or strainer big enough for the job. If you don’t, I’d advise purchasing one.

Once you have strained the ‘stock’, wash the stock pot out and then pour the liquid back into the stock pot.

Put all the other ingredients into the liquid that is; creamed corn, chicken stock powder, sesame oil and additional ginger. TASTE IT – adjust seasoning to taste, I normally put in a bit more white pepper at this stage.

Method Continued:

Pull the chicken off the carcass and add to the soup. You may like to dice it, it should pull off easily in your hands. Use the second stainless steel bowl for this. Give some to the cat whilst he’s in the kitchen.

Lastly, pour the corn flour and water mixture slowly into the hot stock and continually stir whilst pouring. Too avoid lumps put a little of the hot stock in the combined mixture. Continue to stir until the soup starts to thicken. Lastly, add the whipped egg whites slowly into the hot stock. Fold them gently in and serve. You will have a layer of egg white on top but keep folding through the hot soup to cook the egg white. Stir in the sesame oil. Serve with chopped shallots.