Crunchy Asian Kaleslaw

Crunchy Kaleslaw with Edamame

I am sure that at some time in our lives, we have casually invited a friend over for dinner, then realised that we did not have as much food in the fridge as we thought. This happened to me on Saturday… (Although it actually happens to me all the time…)


I thought I had plenty of risotto leftover from a large batch that I had made but nope! I had frozen half of it and eaten the rest so it was going to be PLAN B for dinner. The beauty of Plan B meals is that they really push our creative boundaries with cooking and sometimes we can make the most amazing recipes!


We can also make the weirdest thing that we have ever seen but I like to think positively and imagine that everything that I cook is freaking amazing!!


For my creative genius, I had some beautiful big portobello mushrooms, as well as some kale and cabbage. Coupled with a craving for sesame oil (because everyone gets those…right?), I made this crunchy asian kaleslaw to go on my mushroom burger.

Paired together, I had the delicious meaty flavour of the mushroom, followed by the delicate combination of sesame, lemon and soy to give an overall fresh flavour.

Mushroom Burger with Kaleslaw


It can also hold its own and it is fantastic with some cooked edamame beans tossed through it.

Crunchy Kaleslaw



Serves 2___Prep Time: 15 minutes___Cooking Time: None


Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tbs)
2 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce (use tamari to make this gluten free)
1 tsp red wine vinegar (rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar will work too)
¼ tsp of sugar (I used 2 drops of Liquid Stevia)
2 tsp water
pinch of salt


1 bunch of kale, destemmed and torn into large pieces
1 cup of shredded cabbage
1 cup of edamame beans, cooked


  1. In a jar, add all the ingredients for the dressing. Shake well and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the kale, cabbage and edamame beans. Pour the dressing over the top and mix well.
  3. Ensure that everything is evenly covered (I actually massaged the leaves with my hands)
  4. Serve by itself or as a side for dinner.

Let me know what you do for your Plan B meals in the comments section below, or post a comment on my facebook page


Hope you’re a feeling like a super charged unicorn, Olivia xx 



Satay Mung Beans

A meal that calms all the doshas!

Mung beans do not sound appetizing. It’s probably because “mung” rhymes with “dung” hehe!


But name aside, these satay mung beans are actually a really creamy and wholesome dinner.


Another cool thing about mung beans is that they are very good for balancing the body. More specifically, if you are a follower of ayurvedic medicine, then you know that mung beans are prized for the balancing of the three doshas: pitta (fire), vata (air) and kapha (water/earth).


I have dabbled with ayurvedic medicine since I was 18 and a lot of the science behind it makes sense to me. I have a kapha dominant body, which means that I like to move slow, soak in my surroundings and have a very calm personality (most of the time). Being a body type that is mainly water means that living in a rainforest has it’s challenges as cold and wet body + cold and wet climate = super cold Olivia!


That is where these satay mung beans come in handy because the balancing from the mung beans plus the extra heat from the hot sauce keeps my body functioning at its best and I feel great after eating this meal!


You can buy canned mung beans and that makes this recipe really fast but if you have some time, (or are feeling super organised) buy the dried beans, soak them overnight and then give them a day or two to sprout. Not only do sprouted mung beans taste delicious and make a great afternoon snack, but the sprouted beans bring a really fresh flavour to this dish.



Serves 4___Prep Time: 30 minutes (longer if you use dried beans)___Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Satay Sauce Ingredients:

2 garlic cloves
1 tbs ginger, grated (1 inch of fresh root)
1 tsp oil
400mL can of tinned tomatoes
Juice from two lemons (about 4 tbs)
2 tbs soy sauce
3 heaped tbs of peanut butter
Hot sauce (personal preference)


Method for Satay Sauce:

  1. Place all the ingredients and blend until a smooth consistency.
  2. This recipe yields enough for 2 meals so I freeze the remaining sauce.


Putting it all together:

1 onion, roughly chopped
1 tsp oil
1 cup of frozen spinach
1 cup of kale, stalk removed
2 cups of mung beans, cooked or sprouted



  1. In a large frypan, cook the onion with the oil until transparent (5 minutes).
  2. Add the frozen spinach and cook until it is defrosted (2 minutes).
  3. Add the kale and mung beans to the mix, along with a cup of the satay sauce.
  4. Let it cook until the whole mix is hot (5 minutes). Serve with rice.

I hope that you love this recipe and if you do, let me know by posting it on instagram with the tag #lifewithlists or posting a picture on the the Life With Lists facebook page

Have a great day! Olivia x 

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup is hugs for the soul! I love chicken noodle soup!


This recipe is a tiny bit different as it has soy sauce and egg in it but stick with it, it is actually amazing!


I love making the little ribbons of egg at the end of the cooking process. You mix up the raw egg and then gently pour little bits into the hot soup to produce something that is aesthetically pleasing as well as delicious!


As it is very wet at the moment in Victoria, I love this recipe on a chilly night coupled with some good tunes and my woolly socks. I hope you find it as comforting as I do 🙂



4 serves___Prep Time: 10 minutes___Cooking Time: 30 minutes


2 chicken breasts
1L of chicken stock
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 can of creamed corn
2 egg whites
rice noodles


  1. In a large pot, add stock and the whole chicken breasts. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
  2. Remove the chicken from the stock and finely shred with a knife. Set aside.
  3. In the hot stock, add the soy sauce and creamed corn. Cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes.
  4. During this time, cook the rice noodles as per the instructions on the package and set aside.
  5. While the soup and rice noodles are cooking, whisk the two egg whites in a bowl and then gently, pour into the soup mixture. Give the soup a gentle stir and then leave the egg whites to cook.
  6. Once you have thin white ribbons in the soup mix (2 minutes), add the chicken and serve in large bowls with the rice noodles.

Photo Credit: All Recipes



Pesto Hummus

Creamy Pesto Hummus

If you have been keeping track of what I have been doing, you will know that one of the ways that I’m dealing with cooking for one again is aiming for 5 small meals a day.


So far, I haven’t been the best at 5 small meals but I am AMAZINGLY good at eating 3 large meals plus an afternoon snack, plus an after dinner snack and then falling asleep in a mild food coma! Now I want to also note that there is nothing wrong with eating that way! For me though, it doesn’t sit well as I get an upset stomach (bloating) and I don’t like feeling weighed down all the time.


One snack that fills me up and makes me feel good is hummus with corn chips! I also love pesto, which is quite evident through some of my recipes, like the pesto baked eggs or the chicken pesto pasta. So I wondered what would happen if I combined them? The answer… PURE MAGIC!!


This pesto hummus is great by itself but can also be used to add an extra element to a sandwich or accompany your morning avocado and toast.


While experimenting with my hummus, I also discovered the secret to a smooth, creamy dip….. pulverise the chickpeas first! Normally I toss everything together and keep blending until my mix is semi-smooth, but there is usually a couple of chunks of chickpea that I cannot get rid of. If you process the chickpeas first, they form a crumbly paste, which then blends really easily with the tahini, lemon and oil!


This recipe is very quick. It is also very cheap, especially if you buy the dried chickpeas and cook them yourself. I always make a large batch and then freeze them for later to use in stews, salads and of course, hummus.


I hope you a have a great weekend and get lots of love on Valentine’s Day!

Olivia xx 



Serves 8___Prep Time: 10 minutes___Cooking Time: None


2 cups chickpeas, cooked
1 lemon, juiced
2 tbs tahini
4 tbs pesto


  1. In your high speed blender or food processor, pulverize the chickpeas until they form a crumbly paste (1-2 minutes).
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to your chickpea mix and blend until smooth. You may need to stop the processor and manually stir the mixture, depending on the power of your blender.
  3. Serve with corn chips or some crunchy veggies!


Cooking For One Sucks!

How to cook for one

Note about the picture: My fridge currently has a giant tub of yoghurt, more condiments than food and a collection of jars at the back that may be a bit suspicious….


This always comes as a surprise to people but about a month ago, Alex decided that he wanted to go back to Tofino to live/work. He has been talking about this for some time so when the opportunity presented itself, I wouldn’t stand in his way to stop him from doing something that he had been longing for. He has always been supportive of me and my little endeavours and now it is my turn to support him.


Me on the other hand, I really like living in Victoria! I like that I can buy food after 8pm and I have an overwhelming choice of places to eat, drink coffee, bike etc.


We both still love each other so we are still very much a couple and make the long distance thing work with lots of texting, phone calls and when we can, a visit. In fact, I have just come back from Tofino, after spending 4 glorious days with him! I also get the added bonus that I have a very good reason to go to Tofino and I get free accommodation and a place to store my wetsuits.


The downside of Alex gone is that I am living by myself again. This means no cuddles and I am the only person to take out the trash, but the worst thing is having to cook for just one person.


I didn’t think it would be an issue at all! Since I normally cook for two and I do all the cooking in the house. I didn’t think it would be hard to halve my recipes to suit my new living situation. In fact, I was going to cook normal portions and then not cook as often. Brilliant thinking Liv! But there were a couple of important things that I forgot….


  1. It is no fun cooking an amazing meal and then not having anyone to share it with. Sure, I could call my friends to come over but I am used to that instant person being there all the time. (Alex come and try this… oh wait…Where did he go?)
  2. Even though I think that I do all the cooking in the house, I realise now that I don’t. Alex helps me a lot, especially when I am trying to shower while the rice is cooking or just need that extra person to help with the chopping of ingredient. So now, everything takes me so much longer and I hate that! This doesn’t just apply to cooking, but a lot of different chores in the house.
  3. The other person in the house reminds me not to make 4 dishes in one night because we will get sick of that food really quick. Let me explain… sometimes when I am in the kitchen, I start making one dish, which leads to two and eventually I have made 5 different things and now we have to eat them all. I did this the other day and the upside is that my freezer is now full of meals that I made while experimenting with black mung beans, so I will be eating those little suckers for a long time! I will also add that I have already eaten so many black mung beans that I cannot bear to eat another one… first world problems… I know!


So what am I going to do now?

Well I have devised a plan, which I will try to stick to, and see if it works for me. And if it does, well then I can share my successes and failures with you. I also want to hear from you? What do you do? Do you love or hate cooking for one? Do you cook for a family and wish that you could just cook for yourself?


ONE: Designate one day for cooking a couple of recipes, then package them into single serves and freeze them.


I honestly believe this is how I survived my university years! Every Monday, I would cook three different meals, divide them into those plastic take-away boxes (like the ones below) and freeze them. I could grab them at the end of a long day, nuke them in the microwave and tah-dah! Dinner was served! They were mainly pasta meals, like tuna mornay, spaghetti bolognaise and occasionally, a curry but now, I am a little more savi about cooking. Meals that are great to cook and freeze are: Roasted Vegetable PastiesLemon Pepper Baked Chicken, Quinoa for SaladsChicken Lasagne and so many more!

Please note: I am not a huge fan of using plastic containers but I also cannot afford to only use the practical alternatives (I reuse my glass jars but they do not fit in my freezer very well). If you also prefer stainless steel and glass over plastic, these containers would be the best option for you.

TWO: Organise a dinner arrangement with a friend so that you can alternate each week with cooking a meal.


I have other friends that live alone and also complain about not wanting to cook because it sucks when it is just for themselves. Since I don’t see them as much as I like, I want to propose a cooking swap. I cook one week and then I shall come over to their place and they can cook for me the next week. It’s a win-win because I also get to see my friends more 🙂 Now I just have to see if they think that it is a good idea?


THREE: Aim for five small meals a day.


I am a comfort eater. If I have had a bad day, if I am tired, if I am bored, I can always find a reason to eat. This is one thing that I have really noticed with Alex being away, I am snacking a LOT! because I am looking for something to substitute my cuddles.  They are good, healthy snacks but then I am eating full sized meals as well and in the long run, it’s going to make my butt big! When I originally wrote this, I was going to aim for 3 meals and an afternoon snack but after I thought about it, I thought that I would try for 5 small meals instead. I shall be interested to see how this shapes up for me (pun not intended) as I am imagining myself grazing constantly like a cow but it will probably be a nice break for my digestive system as I am not overloading it.

My go-to meals at the moment are: hummus and corn chips, yogurt and chia seed parfaits, medjool dates and the Immune Boosting Lassi from Green Kitchen Stories. These are quick to make and also quite portable so they are perfect for my lifestyle at the moment.

I also want to make a bar or muffin that I can carry easily with me, that doesn’t need to be kept in the fridge and is a savoury flavour… I’ll keep you posted on how my experiments for this go.


FOUR: Try a new recipe each week.


I kind of do this already, since I am trying to have a food blog and all… but again, it is easy to get stuck in a rut. The upside of cooking for yourself is that you can make whatever you want! You could eat noodles everyday of the week if you really wanted because you are the only person that you have to please. I really enjoy new recipes as long as they meet some of my guidelines (not too long to cook, not too many ingredients, no deep frying etc.) so this is the perfect time to try some new things and spread my cooking utensil clad wings and fly into the kitchen. It also gives me an excuse to spend time on the internet, looking at other food blogs… hello food porn!


These are the little steps that I am taking to (hopefully) make cooking for one less crappy and I hope that you find them helpful. If you have any additional ideas, leave them in the comments section below or post them to my facebook page.

Have a great week, Olivia xx