Fragrant citrus brown rice with pecans by Samantha Gowing

Serves 4

2 cups of brown rice, well cooked
2 tablespoons macadamia oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon grated turmeric
1 cup celery, finely sliced
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
½ cup coriander, finely chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries  
Salt & pepper

¼ cup pecans, roughly chopped
Herbs and flowers  
Combine the first seven ingredients while the rice is still warm.  Then add the rest of the ingredients once the rice is cool.  Allow to stand for at least 30 minutes to let the flavours develop. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped pecans, herbs and flowers. 

Samantha is a chef and clinical nutritionist, she runs her business Gowings Food Health Wealth, a global wellness solutions company in Byron Bay. You can find more of her recipes at

Sam Gowing fragrant-brown-rice-citrus (1).jpg

Buddha bowls by A Dietitian and A Photographer

Photo Credit: A Dietitian and A Photographer

Photo Credit: A Dietitian and A Photographer

Serves 4

1 large sweet potato, washed and cut into small cubes
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
Olive oil
1 ½ - 2 cups brown rice
2 chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp crunchy 100% peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
Juice of one lime
Approx ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 avocado
2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
Coriander (optional)

Preheat oven to 190°C.

Combine the sweet potato, onion and olive oil on a baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until tender and golden brown.

Meanwhile, cook the rice according to packet instructions.

In a frypan over high heat, heat a drizzle of olive oil before adding the chicken. Sprinkle with the paprika and cook, tossing, until golden brown and cooked through. Set aside.

To make the dressing, combine the garlic, soy sauce, peanut butter, honey, lime juice. Whisk in enough olive oil to reach your desired consistency (I like it thick but pourable).

To serve, place rice in the bottom of bowls and top with spinach. Place chicken, sweet potato and sliced avocado next to each other on top. Drizzle with dressing and garnish with coriander.

A Dietitian and A Photographer is a gorgeous website created by high school friends Sophie and Emma. They are currently working on a cookbook together, they love collaborating with other women in food and you can check out their website

Golden saffron pumpkin cake by Hayley McKee

Photography by Tara Pearce

Photography by Tara Pearce

Serves 8-10

The warm, honey-like notes of saffron lend the pumpkin-flecked batter of this cake an addictive quality. Nasturtium butter helps form the cake's base - adding to its sunset looks and grassy, garden vibe - while the egg yolks deepen the colour and give it a lovely, crumbly texture.

150g butternut pumpkin
5g nasturtium petals
230g caster sugar
170 g unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of saffron threads
6 egg yolks
1 egg
300g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
icing sugar  and whipped cream, to serve

Add the pumpkin to a steamer set over a saucepan of lightly simmering water and cook until tender. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool, then mash 80 g of the pumpkin to a bowl until smooth. Reserve for later the remaining pumpkin.

Preheat the oven to 175°C. Lightly grease and line a 20 cm round cake tin with baking paper.

Rub the nasturtium petals into the sugar using your fingertips. Don’t be delicate here; the more you rub, the more the petals will infuse their flavour into the sugar.

In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the sugar and petal mixture together with the butter and saffron threads for 6 minutes on high speed until creamy and voluminous. Continue to beat on low speed, adding the egg yolks one by one followed by the whole egg, then add the mashed pumpkin, flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix together until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared tin, then gently push the reserved cooked pumpkin pieces into the batter so they’re evenly distributed. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the tin for 5 minutes, then carefully turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with fresh cream.

This recipe will give you a good batch of shells to reuse in your garden. Crushed coarsely they make an excellent slug and snail repellent and can add calcium to your soil, which can be a great boost to your tomato, beetroot and capsicum plants.

This recipe extracted from Sticky Fingers, Green Thumb by Hayley McKee. Published by Hardie Grant. Photography by Tara Pearce.