This time 5 years ago I was staying in a tiny apartment in the beautiful city of Barcelona, trying to pretend I was Spanish. Without much success.

The main purpose of the trip was to have dinner at El Buli – at the time the best restaurant in the world.

As often happens when I travel, there was lots to think about.

To cut a long story short, I made the decision to leave my safe fun job designing chocolate biscuits (cookies) and have a go at turning my blog into a business.

I had no idea how I was going to do it. But that was part of the fun!

I did know WHAT I wanted to do.

I wanted to help people by sharing my knowledge of food science and my passion for simple healthy food. I was bursting to help people like you discover what I had – that delicious healthy meals need not be complicated or time consuming.

I wanted to share that by reducing the number of ingredients and using simple techniques, cooking can be amazingly easy, healthy AND tasty.

I had no idea what lay ahead. Not even the possibility that I could and would start an online cooking school helping students from places as far flung as Mozambique, Iceland and Peru.

It’s been so much more rewarding than I ever dared to dream.

So to celebrate the anniversary of that momentous decision and to say thank YOU for reading (and because it’s Christmas!) I’m having a super limited time sale on membership to the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School.

kindvall_stonesoup_school_01a

Apart from my holiday bundle, this is the first time I’ve had a sale on SVCS membership since last Christmas. So if you want to start the new year by simplifying or upping your cooking skills now is a great time to join!

The 30% OFF Christmas Sale is for a LIMITED TIME only.

To make sure you don’t miss out use the link below:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/newsvcs/

UPDATE: The Christmas Sale is Over!

Not sure if online cooking classes will help you?

Here’s what Carol, Julie, Rebecca and Jim have said about them….

Carol, SVCS Member.
“You have changed my life! I never really thought I’d get into cooking, or be any good at it. Your simple recipes and especially your videos and attitude have given me inspiration and confidence. Really dramatic change for me. I can’t thank you enough.”

Julie, SVCS Member.
“I am also almost ready to get rid of most of my cook books, as I really only use your recipes now. In fact I tend to scan all other recipes and if there are more than 5 ingredients, or steps just pass it by. I’m looking to simplify my life, and you really have made quite a difference to that – I enjoy preparing dinner now.”

Rebecca, SVCS Member.
“I really appreciate how your (classes) have freed the way I cook. From reducing the number of ingredients, to using what I have on hand, and to your many, many other ideas: thank you. I love your approach and imagination. You have inspired me.”

Jim, SVCS Member.
“Love the videos; cooking works very well in this format.”

______

spiced eggplant with farro-3

Easy Spiced Eggplant

If I were vegetarian I’d eat a lot of eggplant. I just love its meaty texture and ability to absorb other flavours. It’s great served here as a warm salad with some farro and yoghurt but you could also use the eggplant as a chutney or relish to serve with chicken, pork or lamb.

enough for 2
2 onions, diced
2 eggplant, diced into 2cm (1in) cubes
2 teaspoons baharat or see below for alternatives
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 cups cooked grains or legumes, to serve
1 bunch coriander (cilantro) or parsley to serve
natural yoghurt to serve

1. Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onions and cook covered on a medium heat until the onion is soft and a little brown – about 10 minutes.

2. Add the eggplant and continue to cook with the lid on, stirring every 5 minutes or so until the eggplant is no longer crunchy.

3. Add the spice and remove the lid. Keep cooking until the eggplant is soft. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.

4. Toss the herbs in with your grains or legumes and divide them between 2 plates. Top with eggplant and finish with the yoghurt.

Variations

different spices – Baharat is a Lebanese blend of 7 spices. The best substitute is to use equal parts ground cumin, coriander and smoked paprika. Or just use one of those spices. Or use another spice blend such as garam masala or even curry powder.

carnivore – serve as a side to BBQ or roast chicken, pan fried pork chops or sausages.

no eggplant / different veg – use zucchini and/or red bell peppers (capsicum) or mushrooms.

dairy-free – replace yoghurt with hummus or a mixture of equal parts tahini, lemon juice and water.

different grains / legumes – I used farro in the photo but it would be great with lentils, barley, brown rice, quinoa, white beans or chickpeas. Or serve with your favourite flat bread or tortillas.

_____

I forgot to announce last week…
The people who purchased my new book ‘Healthy & Tasty‘ during the launch and won 12 Months of Souptones Meal Plans ($297 value) were:
– Lin Moore
– James Etheridge
– Agnes Moran
– Jeannie Sadzius
– Marion Vilkaitis

Congratulations! You’ve been contacted via email with details on how to claim your prize :)

With lots of Christmas love,
Jules x
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Back in September, I ‘outed’ myself here on Stonesoup by revealing my 3 worst cooking habits. A bit of a brave move for an introvert like me.

Anyway, I promised to report back on my progress. So here we are!

BAD HABIT 1. Picking While I Cook

This is easily the toughest habit for me to break. So don’t be surprised that I still pick from time to time. But I do feel like I’ve made progress.

I’ve been tracking whether I feel ‘full’ or ‘hungry’ when I sit down to dinner in my habit tracking app on my phone (it’s called ‘habit keeper’). Usually it’s only one or two nights a week I’ve been over doing the ‘picking’.

Having more of a focus in this area has helped.

But the biggest change is that Fergal moved to having one nap a day. So we now have lunch at 2pm rather than midday. This means I’m much less hungry in the evenings.

It’s amazing how changes to your schedule can have a knock on effect to how much food you eat.

BAD HABIT 2. Dull Knives

OMG… This has been the easiest habit to kick AND the most rewarding. I’d forgotten how much easier it is to cut with sharp knives.

All I did was make a promise to sharpen our knives every Sunday night (or Monday if I forget). It’s amazing what a difference it makes.

I’ve even found myself sharpening mid week if they aren’t up to scratch. Love it!

BAD HABIT 3. Not Washing Leaves and Herbs

There have been countless times when I’ve been tempted to not wash my leaves. But then I’ve thought about sitting down to write this post and have dug out the salad spinner (one of Fergal’s favourite kitchen toys).

But there’s also been many a time, mostly when I’m in a hurry taking photos, that I’ve fallen back into my old ‘dirty salad’ ways.

So progress but not perfection!

What about you?

Got any bad cooking habits you should break? Or good habits you’d like to form?

I’d love to hear about them in the comment below :)

quick fish salad-2

Quick Fish Salad

We’ve been trying to eat fish at least once a week. And I’m really enjoying it! This recipe is one of my fishy favourites. I love it with flat head fillets but it works with any fish or even chicken for that matter. Hooray for fish!

enough for 2
400g (14oz) fish fillets
2 tablespoons flour (optional)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bag salad
mayo, to serve

1. Heat a frying pan on a medium high heat with a little oil. Toss fish in the flour (if using) with some salt and pepper.

2. Cook the fish until golden on both sides, about 3-5 minutes depending on how thick it is.

3. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season and toss in the salad leaves.

4. Divide salad between 2 plates. Top with the hot fish and serve with mayo on the side.

Variations

gluten-free – The flour is just there to add a light crispy coating to the fish but you can easily skip it or use your favourite GF flour. I used chickpea flour which adds a lovely yellowy colour.

chicken – replace fish with chicken breast or thigh fillets. Chicken will take an extra minute or 2 on each side to cook. I wouldn’t bother with the flour if cooking chicken.

beef – this salad is also surprisingly good with steak sliced into strips and tossed in the flour.

vegan – replace fish with a drained can of chickpeas or white beans. Skip the flour and just pan fry the legumes in a little oil until well browned. Use a vegan mayo or see below for other egg-free ideas.

egg / mayo-free – replace mayo with lots of lemon juice, natural yoghurt, a dollop of creamy ricotta or goats cheese or with a tahini lemon sauce (3 tablespoons each lemon juice, tahini and water).

vegetarian – replace the fish with sliced halloumi cheese. Skip the flour and pan fry until the cheese is well browned on both sides. Or try a fried egg salad.

more veg – feel free to add your favourite raw salad veg such as grated carrot, cherry tomatoes, grated beets, sliced cucumber, sliced zucchini, chopped red capsicum (bell peppers). Or add a handful of frozen peas to the pan for the last minute of cooking the fish.

more substantial – serve with home made fries or toss in some steamed potatoes or torn chunks of sourdough bread.

With love,
Jules x
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Recently, my Irishman came across a fascinating documentary called ‘Gut Reaction: What You Eat Could be Making You Ill‘.

To cut a long story short, the program focused on the latest research on gut bacteria and health.

It boils down to this…

Eating processed food = unhealthy gut bacteria = unhealthy person.

and…

Eating lots of fiber from fruit and vegetables = healthy gut bacteria = healthy person.

I was surprised at the number of diseases linked to poor gut bacteria. They include emphysema, inflammatory bowel disease, MS, autism and asthma.

The clear message was healthy gut bacteria calm the immune system and reduce inflammation.

So even if you aren’t suffering from these diseases, your health will benefit from eating more veg and encouraging the growth of ‘good’ gut bacteria.

How do you eat more veg?

Here are my 2 favourite ways to include more vegetables (and fiber) in my diet.

1. Replace grain based foods with vegetables.
For example, instead of serving a stir fry with steamed rice, I make cauliflower ‘rice’ by grating raw cauli in the food processor. Or instead of serving my bolognese sauce with spaghetti, I dump it on a big bed of baby spinach.

Or for lunch, instead of sandwiches, I’m a fan of a big salad including legumes such as chickpeas, beans or lentils. Or in the cooler months I go for soups.

2. Eat veg for breakfast.
Forget about toast and cereal. Most days I have poached eggs with some sort of veg or salad. My favourites are raw grated broccoli or cauliflower. Or I’ll have my eggs with lentils which are packed with fiber.

What about YOU?

Got any favourite tips for eating more veg? I’m always on the lookout for new ideas so I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

beet caviar

Beet ‘Caviar’

This lovely beet sauce was inspired by Heidi over at 101 Cookbooks. Being a big fan of beets I couldn’t resist such an exotic sounding dish. And I’m glad I didn’t. We had it with some pan fried salmon and a green salad. So good (and pretty too!).

makes enough for 4 as a sauce
3 large beets
1 cup toasted walnuts
4 dates (optional)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Trim beets and scrub and pop in the oven whole. Roast until tender, about an hour.

2. Let your beets cool then peel and pop the flesh in a food processor. Add walnuts, dates (if using) balsamic and garlic and whizz until you have a chunky paste.

3. Serve at room temperature or chill and serve cold.

Variations

nut-free – replace walnuts with sourdough bread crumbs.

more saucey – drizzle in some olive oil for a more saucey consistency.

sugar-free – skip the dates and use sherry or red wine vinegar instead of the balsamic.

different veg – I can imagine this working well with other root veg such as sweet potato or carrot.

different accompaniments – as I mentioned it’s lovely with pan fried fish but also works well with chicken, a pork chop or even with lamb. Or serve with pita or Turkish bread as a dip or starter. Vegetarians will love it with pan fried halloumi or with grilled eggplant ‘steaks’. I had some leftovers with my poached eggs for breakfast.

With love,
Jules x
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____________________________

ps.

h&t 3D cover

Have you seen my new eCookbook?

For all the details, go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

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I often get asked where I get the ideas for my recipes and blog posts. And the truth is I find inspiration pretty much everywhere… magazines, restaurants, online, my veggie garden, when I’m looking in my fridge…

But one of my favourite places is the Stonesoup by request survey I set up to capture your questions or ideas for future blog posts.

It’s been a while since I took a request, so today I have a great one for you…

“How do you balance out saltiness? I liked your post on vinegar, and would like more of the food “sciency” posts!”
Marilen

For me, seasoning is the most important skill when it comes to making your meals taste delicious.

I’ve already written about ‘How to Season to Taste‘ and the ‘2 Most Common Seasoning Mistakes‘. If you need help with seasoning in general, they would be great places to visit.

But what happens when you add too much salt?

This isn’t a cooking mistake I make often. Basically, over salting is very difficult to rectify so I’m paranoid about not adding too much.

I always err on the side of under seasoning and have a jar of salt at the table for everyone to do the ‘fine tuning’ themselves.

But on the odd occasion I find myself with an excess salt situation, there is only one reliable method I turn to…

Dilution.

If it’s a soup, sauce or casserole that contains liquid you can easily add some water or other liquid to help spread the salt out. In other cases, you can dilute by adding other low salt ingredients.

For example, if you have over seasoned the salad below, you could toss in some extra zucchini or other raw veg to balance things out. Or if there’s too much salt in your bolognese sauce serve with extra unsalted pasta.

What about adding a potato?

There’s an old wives tale that adding a raw potato will ‘soak up the salt’. While it will absorb some liquid (including some salt), it’s not going to preferentially soak up the salt.

What about adding lemon or other acid?

If you google ‘fix oversalting’ most of the articles that come up talk about flavour balance and adding some acid such as lemon juice or vinegar to ‘balance’ out the saltiness. This is a high risk proposition because salt and acid tend to enhance each other.

There are some times when adding a little acid can help but more often it’s going to make things worse. So be very careful.

What about adding sugar?

It’s true that sugar and salt balance each other out. Which is why salted caramel is so delicious.

If you have a slight salt imbalance, a pinch of sugar can help. However if you’re at the stage where your dish just tastes super salty, adding enough sugar to balance is only going to make it taste really sweet and weird. I’ve tried this years ago with an over salted bolognese and ended up having to throw it out.

That’s why I stick to dilution.

super moist zucchini & tuna salad-2

Super Moist Zucchini & Tuna Salad

I’ve been really getting into grated raw zucchini as an ingredient. I love the mild ‘greenish’ flavour but the best part is all the moisture in the zucchini keeps your salad or whatever lovely and moist. My Irishman had this salad for lunch at work yesterday and he was raving about it so much he took a photo and sent it to me. High praise indeed!

enough for 1
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 small zucchini
1 medium can tuna

1. Combine lemon with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a medium bowl. Season.

2. Grate zucchini using your food processor or a box grater.

3. Toss zucchini in the dressing along with the tuna.

Variations

vegetarian – replace tuna with poached eggs or pan fried halloumi or crumbled salty feta.

vegan – replace tuna with chunks of avocado and a handful of almonds.

carnivore – replace tuna with shredded BBQ chicken or sliced cooked sausages.

hot! – use tuna in chilli oil

fresh fish – pan fry tuna steaks or other fish fillets and serve with the salad.

different veg - use carrots, beets or cauliflower or a combination of any of the above.

no grater - finely slice the zucchini into strips using a veg peeler or mandoline then slice the strips into smaller slivers.

herby – feel free to toss in some flat leaf parsley, basil or mint.

With love,
Jules x
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______________

h&t 3D cover

ps. Have you seen ‘Healthy & Tasty’?

To make sure you don’t miss out, go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

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When I was studying biotechnology, (as part of my Food Science Degree) if you had asked me whether eating healthier could change your genetics, I would have automatically responded ‘no way’.

I used to think that our genes are something we’re born with. Something we can’t change.

So you can imagine my surprise when I happened across a study which showed the opposite.

Yes, changes in our lifestyles such as diet, exercise and stress levels actually change which genes are expressed in our bodies.

Amazing stuff.

In the study 30 men with low level prostrate cancer were tracked over 3 months where they changed their diets, exercised for 1/2 hour every day and engaged in stress management practices such as meditation.

As expected, the men all improved their health with lower blood pressure and weight loss. The surprising thing was they also changed the expression of around 500 genes.

Disease prevention genes were turned on and genes known to be linked to disease were turned off.

So next time you feel like getting pizza instead of cooking something fresh for yourself, remember this study.

Any positive changes you make to your lifestyle aren’t only going to impact your external health, it’s making a difference at the genetic level!

Need some fresh ideas for Healthy AND Tasty Meals?

h&t 3D cover

Then you might need a copy of my new eCookbook!

For all the details go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

_______________________

asparagus bread torta-4

Asparagus Bread ‘Torta’


This unusual dish was inspired by the London chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. His was a bread ‘pudding’ but when I called my version that at a brunch we hosted, everyone was very skeptical.

Luckily I was convincing enough to get everyone to try it. My little asparagus dish stole the show. And it was competing with bacon so that’s saying something.

I’m really sorry if it’s not asparagus season where you live. See the variations for alternative veg ideas.

enough for 4-6
500g (1lb) asparagus (about 2 bunches)
2 cups milk
3 eggs
3 croissants, sliced about 1cm (1/2in) thick
2 large handfuls grated parmesan cheese
green salad, to serve

1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Break the woody bottoms off the asparagus and pop in a loaf pan 24cm x 12cm (approx 9.5in x 5in) with a little oil.

2. Roast for 20 minutes or until the asparagus is almost tender.

3. Combine milk, eggs and parmesan in a large bowl. Season. Toss in the croissants to moisten.

4. When the asparagus is cooked, place on a chopping board and slice half into chunks, leaving the remaining stems whole.

5. Line the loaf pan with baking (parchment) paper. Layer half the croissants in the pan. Sprinkle over the chopped asparagus. Layer in the remaining croissants and pour over the rest of the egg mixture. Top with whole asparagus spears.

6. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until well browned and puffy. If you touch the top with your finger it should spring back.

7. Cool a little before slicing and serving with salad.

Variations

dairy-free – replace milk with your favourite dairy-free milk spiked with a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, I’d personally go with almond milk. And you might want to use bread instead of buttery croissants. Use about 8 slices of a rustic loaf like a sourdough chopped into cubes. And just skip the parmsean.

gluten-free – replace croissants with about 8 slices GF bread that have been cut into chunks. You might like to substitute cream for the milk to make up for the lack of croissant butteriness (I would!).

different veg – when it’s not asparagus season I’d try broccolini, zucchini, eggplant (aubergine) or red peppers or a combo. Adjust the roasting time of the veg as needed.

carnivore – toss in some cooked sausage or crispy chopped bacon in with the chopped asparagus in step 5.

pescetarian – add some chopped smoked trout, smoked salmon, tuna or canned salmon in with the chopped asparagus in step 5.

more decadent – the first time I made this I used cream instead of the milk. It was really good!

With love,
Jules x
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________________
ps. Not sure if ‘Healthy & Tasty’ can help you?

Here’s what Ruthie had to say about her purchase…

‘Hey Jules,
A BIG Thank You for another “can’t wait to get cooking” e-book! Have already glanced through and am inspired to start creating some culinary magic. I’m intrigued and eager to try your “Broccamole” recipe… two world’s colliding here with deliciousness!!
I also LOVE how so many of your recipes are naturally gluten free (as this is a dietary requirement for me) and that you provide variations in other recipes to suit, where possible.
Congrats on another great compilation, all the best, Ruthie :)’

Ruthie, ‘Healthy & Tasty’ Owner.

To make sure you don’t miss it go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

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Recently I’ve been reading a fab little book by one of my blogging friends. It’s called ‘The Butcher and the Vegetarian’.

It chronicles my friend’s journey from vegetarian to occasional meat eater for health reasons. And it’s a great read.

Tara talks about growing up, when her mother was all about making everything as healthy as possible. They often ate steamed veg with brown rice and NO oil or salt. Not exactly tasty.

It made me a little sad because I think there is often a misconception that healthy food can’t be pleasurable.

The thing is, if you eat broccoli and actually enjoy it, you get the same health benefits as if you ate it like it were a badge of honour.

So today I wanted to share my favourite tricks for making veg taste amazing… Because aren’t we all more likely to eat more veg if we actually enjoy them?

6 Ways to Make Vegetables Taste as Good as Potato Chips*

1. Use salt
Many vegetables contain a lot of bitter flavours. And while a love of bitterness can be acquired, there is something you can do to mask it.

Yes, our old friend salt.

Really it makes a HUGE difference. Don’t be worried about the negative health connotations associated with salt. That’s for when you’re eating industrial-sized quantities, not the small amount of sea salt that it takes to mask the bitterness in your broccoli.

Salt is also great because it enhances flavours.

2. Use butter or olive oil
Fat carries flavour and provides fat soluble vitamins which tend to be lacking in veg. So it’s actually better for you to use butter or olive oil when cooking veg.

Needless to say, the tastiness factor should also be considered!

3. Don’t boil your veg
One of the easiest ways to make veg taste yuck is to boil the hell out of them. Boiling is also problematic because your water soluble vitamins end up down the sink.

These days, the only veg I boil are broad beans, edamame and spuds for roasting or when I’m making mash.

So how do I cook my veg? Read on…

4. Roast, pan fry or stir fry
I love roast veg but they can take a while, so I often pop them in a frying pan for a speedier alternative.

Unlike boiling, these dry heat methods of cooking help add yummy caramelized flavours to your veg and remove excess moisture. Which is why they’re so delicious!

5. Use good quality veg
When I was little I hated peas. Boiled frozen peas were all I knew. And then one day when I was older I had a life-changing spring vegetable soup at a little restaurant called the Lynwood Cafe which had its own vegetable garden. I couldn’t believe that I not only liked the freshly picked sweet peas, I loved them.

Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with frozen peas. They’re a brilliant vegetable to have on hand.

I tell the story as a reminder that all veg are not equal when it comes to flavour. The carrot you get from the supermarket generally never holds a candle to one you grow yourself.

6. Use tasty accompaniments
I’m a big fan of using tasty accompaniments to make my veg more palatable.

Here are some of my favourites: chorizo, chilli, soy sauce, parmesan, miso paste, bacon, pesto, fresh herbs, spices and hummus.

roast cauli with chorizo

Roast Cauli with Chunky Chorizo

Roasting cauliflower is the easiest way to turn it into a super tasty treat. I love how the pale colour of cauli makes the chorizo pop. The cauli also packs a nutritional punch just as weighty as broccoli and its other brassica cousins. I’ve used oregano in the picture because I was out of parsley and the oregano in my garden needs eating up.

enough for 2
1 head cauliflower
2 chorizo, sliced into chunks
1 tablespoon sherry or wine vinegar
1 bunch flat leaf parsley or oregano, leaves picked
1 handful roasted almonds or other nuts

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (475F).

2. Chop cauli into bite sized little ‘trees’. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with a little oil and a splash of water. Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes.

3. Remove foil and scatter chorizo over the cauli. Season with salt. Return to the oven uncovered for 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice until the chorizo is cooked and the cauli is soft in the middle and browned.

4. Combine vinegar with 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Season.

5. When the cauli is cooked, toss the dressing in. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

6. Divide between 2 plates and serve with herbs and nuts on top.

Variations

vegetarian – Skip the chorizo. Add a pinch of smoked paprika to the dressing. Serve cauli, herbs and nuts with a poached or fried egg or a dollop of cooling ricotta.

vegan – replace chorizo with a drained can of chickpeas. Add a pinch of smoked paprika to the dressing.

more substantial – serve with pita bread, steamed brown rice, hummus or cooked quinoa. Tossing in chunks of sourdough at the end so it soaks up the chorizo oil can also be really lovely.

nut-free – replace the nuts with extra chorizo. Or serve with toasted breadcrumbs instead.

different meat – any sausage can be used here. Or try finely sliced strips of chicken thigh.

* Thanks to the lovely Darya Rose for the title inspiration. And for those of you not familiar with ‘potato chips’ they’re the Australian version of ‘French Fries’.

With love,
Jules x
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________________

ps. Have you seen my latest eCookbook?

h&t 3D cover

For all the details go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

pps. I’ve had some really lovely feedback on the book already.

Here’s what Eve had to say about her purchase…

‘Hi Jules, just a quick reaction…
I am so excited about this eCookbook, congratulations!
I purchased it almost instantly as I knew you would not disappoint me… and indeed, even after only a quick glance through it, this is again a success.
I love how you always find ways to make tasty food in all its simplicity! Even with a busy schedule, I’m always eager to try one of your recipes… Can’t wait to try one of these!
Congrats!’

Eve, ‘Healthy & Tasty’ Owner.

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‘Healthy & Tasty’ is NOW READY!

November 11, 2014

K, I’m super excited and a little nervous because it’s been almost 2 years since my last new eCookbook. Anyway, here goes… ‘Healthy & Tasty Meals Made Easy’ is now ready! For all the details go to: www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/ With love, Jules x Share

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The 2 Biggest Entertaining Mistakes
(How to Avoid)

November 5, 2014

love this time of year. Here in Oz, Summer is just around the corner and the lure of long lazy days on the horizon. Yay for holidays. Even though we don’t officially celebrate Thanksgiving here, I love the concept of this holiday. When I lived in California, I really embraced it. Taking the time to […]

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Like to Win a FREE Copy of my New eCookbook?

October 28, 2014

oday I have a bit of a favour to ask… In a few weeks I’m going to be releasing my new eCookbook called ‘Healthy & Tasty Meals Made Easy‘. I’m super excited about it because it’s been almost 2 years since my last new book. But before I put my latest ‘baby’ out into the […]

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Could Simplifying Your Life Make a Difference?

October 21, 2014

his time 5 years ago I was at a big crossroads. I loved my job designing Tim Tams (chocolate cookies) for Australia’s largest biscuit manufacturer. I mean who wouldn’t love working with chocolate? However, earlier in the year I’d had a glimpse of another life. Writing my first cook book was an experience that I’d […]

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How to Make it Easier to Cook When You’re Tired at the End of a Long Day

October 14, 2014

o you ever feel ‘too tired to cook’ after a long busy day? Well you’re certainly not alone! A few years ago I surveyed Stonesoup readers for their biggest cooking challenges. The number 1 response was being ‘tired at the end of a long day’. We all know what that feels like. But how do […]

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My 3 Favourite Spice Blends
(and their substitutes)

October 7, 2014

hen I was getting into cooking, one of the few things I found really intimidating was working with spices. I’m not sure what caused my ‘spice phobia’ but I do remember only using spices if the recipe called for them. I’d always use exactly the types and amounts listed. Talk about restrictive. Over the years, […]

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Should You Be Eating MindLESSly?

September 30, 2014

f I mention the words ‘mindless eating’, what thoughts pop into your head? Probably nothing healthy, right? For me ‘mindless eating’ normally evokes thoughts of chowing down on junk in front of the TV or computer. Big bags of chips or pop corn at the cinema. Or shoveling ice cream straight from the tub. While […]

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My 3 Worst Cooking Habits

September 23, 2014

‘m a huge believer in the power of habits for helping to put everyday decisions on autopilot, making it much easier to live a healthy life. One of the things I’ve learned in my study of habit formation over the years is the power of public commitment. Earlier in the year, I joined Febfast and […]

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How I Keep My Family Healthy

September 16, 2014

few weeks ago, my Irishman was in a lift with a family with a sick baby. He mentioned that he has a one-year-old and the other parents were like, ‘Oh you must be used to him being sick’. My Irishman was a little taken back by this. Over dinner he told me about his encounter […]

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Is Dieting Making You Weigh More?

September 9, 2014

ou know when you come across someone who is a kindred spirit? Someone who has similar philosophies to your own? I love when that happens. Like when I discovered Darya Rose from the fab little blog summertomato.com. Darya and I share a lot in common including a love of vegetables and legumes, a background in […]

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Red Velvet Birthday Brownies

September 3, 2014

an you believe it’s September already? I know! I really love this time of year. Spring is just beginning to make an appearance both in the weather and the produce available at the farmers market. The days are getting longer. And it’s my birthday(!) This year, I’m continuing my birthday traditions of sharing a new […]

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Simple Sauerkraut Recipe

August 27, 2014

o I was very pleasantly surprised with the response to my previous post on fermenting vegetables. It made me super happy to hear that so many of you are interested in fermentation and put in a request for my sauerkraut recipe. So today that’s exactly what I have for you. But before we get to […]

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What Would June Do?

August 20, 2014

ithout a doubt, the saddest day of the year for me is the 20th August. You see it’s the day that nine years ago my family huddled in a little hospital room and watched my Mum breathe her last breath. I still really miss her. This year I’m feeling it even more than usual. I […]

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The Number 1. Way to Improve
Your Gut Health

August 13, 2014

few months ago took an online course called ‘Debunking PCOS‘ which is all about improving fertility and conquering Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome which I was diagnosed with over 10 years ago. The thing that really surprised me about the course was that the number 1 action we were encouraged to take was to heal your […]

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