Neapolitan Pizza (Margherita)

Margherita pizzaLove pizza night? Over a cold beer or red wine, of course? Making a home-made pizza is easy and also fun choosing your favorite toppings. Simple yet delicious Neapolitan pizza needs only a few ingredients – a good quality buffalo mozzarella cheese, fresh basil leaves, tomatoes and tomato paste. Here is step-by-step.


1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
3/4 warm water
2 cups of flour
a pinch of salt
olive oil
Toppings: tomato paste, tomato, basil leaves, buffalo mozzarella, olive oil, salt and pepper

  1. Mix a teaspoon of yeast, a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of flour in 3/4 cup of warm water. It should look like a thin pancake batter. Let it sit for 10 minutes until bubbly.
  2. Then put 2 cups of flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl and add activated yeast mixture.
  3. Use a wooden spoon or your hand to combine together until you get a big clump. You might need more warm water or flour depending on your dough.
  4. Once it comes together and forms a smooth dough, drizzle olive oil over and cover with a cling film. Let it sit on kitchen bench until doubled in size.
  5. Take the dough onto a floured surface and gently knead into a ball.
  6. Let it sit again for about an hour, covered with a cling film while you preheat a pizza stone in the oven (200) and prepare the toppings.
  7. Stretch a ball of dough into a thin round and put on a preheated pizza stone (or a baking sheet). For toppings, spread tomato paste and top with sliced tomatoes, drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  8. Place in the oven for 10 minutes until crispy and golden.
  9. Top with torn fresh mozzarella cheese and basil leaves on hot pizza. Drizzle more olive oil before serve.
  10. Enjoy with beer or wine!


Lentil Beet Salad

My pantry is always stocked up with whole grains like rice, beans and lentils. They are such a staple food for me whatever I decide to make. What I love about whole grains is that not only they taste awesome but also contain important nutrients including vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre. They are complex carbs meaning they break down slowly, leave you feel full longer and provide sustained energy. If you are used to white rice and processed foods, it might take a bit of time for your digestive system to get used to. Try to introduce whole grains gradually into your diet for example mixing half of brown rice with half of white rice, replacing white pasta with whole grain pasta, spreading hummus in your sandwich instead of butter. Soaking and cooking grains helps too. I normally soak grains overnight, then rinse and cook until they are soft and tender. Soaking reduces cooking time, helps to optimise nutrition absorption and makes easy on the digestive system. Once cooked, I then add veggies, nuts, dried fruits or herbs and spices to make it more interesting.
lentil beet saladI used Puy lentils to make this salad today. They are originally from Le Puy in central France and taste quite earthy and sweet. These little guys are a great vegetarian source of protein and rich in iron which most vegetarians are lack of. If you didn’t soak them in advance, you just need to add more water and cook a bit longer. I think it would be also nice to sprinkle some toasted nuts or crumbled goat cheese on top. Enjoy x


1 cup Puy lentils, soaked overnight
1 beetroot
1 carrot
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse pre-soaked lentils and cover with cold water in a pot. Bring it up to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until cooked. Drain and set aside. Finely chop the green top of beet root and grate beetroot and carrot. Place them in a large mixing bowl along with cooked lentils. In a separate bowl, add all dressing ingredients and mix well. Pour the dressing into the salad and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer to a serving bowl/ plate.

Chickpea Tomato Stew

chickpea tomato stew

I adore a nourishing bowl that is vegetable centric and also full of flavour. This bowl happens to be one of my favorites and on my menu almost every week. When I build a vegetarian or vegan meal either salads or stews, I always combine grains, legumes and vegetables to make it filling and satisfying because a bowl of veggies is just not enough and nutritionally unbalanced. Herbs and spices are a must to kick up the flavour. My favorites are cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, fennel seeds, za’atar, parsley and coriander. For a texture, you can change your cooking method – raw, grilling, steaming, braising, roasting, stir-frying, etc. Another way is to sprinkle some toasted nuts on top. It makes a meal more appealing and ,of course, adds healthy fat into your diet.

This bowl has nutty chickpeas, salty black olives, colourful vegetables, warm spices and herbs braised in rich tomato sauce. It is an ultimate hearty meal, though it could be nice and refreshing in summer with a slice of toasted bread, too. Enjoy x

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 cup of soaked chickpeas
1 carrot
1/2 white onion
1/2 cup broccoli
1/2 cup cauliflower
8-10 pitted black olives
1 bunch of parsley
1 tomato
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 cups of water or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

Cover soaked chickpeas with water in a pot and boil over medium heat for 20 minutes until cooked. Drain and set aside. Add coconut oil into a skillet over medium heat. When oil is melted, add chopped vegetables except parsley and spices. Stir with a wooden spoon until vegetables are tender and coated with all spices. Season with salt and pepper. Add cooked chickpeas along with water or stock into a skillet. You can add less or more water depending on how thick you want your stew to be. Bring it up to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until veggies are cooked for your liking. Stir in chopped parsley before serving. Ladle into a bowl and serve warm as either main or sides.

Peach Chickpea Salad

peach chickpea saladI’m so emotionally attached to peaches in two different ways. It’s a funny story to share, but Koreans take it pretty seriously when it comes to ‘conception dreams’, which means the dreams that you have while pregnant can be interpreted as the gender or future of the baby. Dreams are commonly about fruits, animals or plants. In my mum’s dream when she was pregnant with me, she was walking over the bridge and lots of peaches were floating along the stream. She was trying to pick one that turned out to be a big, pink and beautifully ripe peach. Then she woke up happy next day. Peach dream normally means a baby girl that is ME 🙂 Another story is that it reminds me our family’s summer holidays. I don’t know if it’s because of that conception dream my mum had, but I absolutely adore peaches in summer. My favorite way of eating it? Wash the fruit and eat as a whole. I know it gets pretty messy especially when you bite into ripe juicy ones.

I’m usually not a fan of adding sweet fruits into the salads. I made an exception though today just because peaches are so good this time of the year and I want to make most out of it. This salad is so refreshing and goes well with chicken, fish or tofu. Ripe sweet peaches, creamy chickpeas, fresh spinach and zucchini, salty feta cheese dressed with a simple dressing. Yum! Try it before peach season finishes x

Ingredients (serves 2)

1 peach, sliced
1/2 cup baby zucchini, thinly sliced
1 cup of cooked chickpeas
1 cup of baby spinach leaves
30g crumbled feta

For dressing
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix all dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar with a lid. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour over the salad and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle crumbled feta cheese.


Chopped Green Salad with Korean Oriental Dressing

Chopped SaladBest thing about this season is that fresh fruits and vegetables are abundant. I couldn’t believe how sweet and tender it was when I bit into a raw asparagus. Asparagus taste so good whatever method you choose to cook either char-grilled, blanched or pan-fried, but I’m going for raw today because it tastes so divine and sweet as it is. So I decided to make this super simple chopped salad to make most out of beautiful vegetables. It is tossed up with authentic Korean dressing, which is tangy, sweet and salty – full of flavour. This dressing goes really well over tofu or fish. I added a bit of cayenne pepper for a kick to my taste but leave it out if you wish. Enjoy x

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 cup of chopped cos lettuce
1 cup of green beans, blanched and chopped
1 bunch of asparagus, sliced
1 sprig of green spring onion, finely chopped
1 cup of bamboo shoot, sliced
1/4 of yellow capsicum, sliced
1/4 of red capsicum, sliced
2 tbsp of green olives, finely chopped
2 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds

Korean Oriental Dressing

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp minced garlic
a dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
ground pepper to taste

Wash and chop all vegetables. Place in a large mixing bowl. For dressing, whisk all dressing ingredients in a bowl or a jar with lid. Taste and adjust seasoning. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds for garnish.
Chopped Salad1