Chicken and Black bean Quesadillas


Change up dinner a bit with this tasty dish, Cumin and paprika seared chicken layered with hummus, cheese, spinach and red onion inside a toasty tortilla topped with avocado sour cream. Simple dinner but a tasty one for a mid night Mexican twist or a long weekend lunch treat this will be perfect to change things up.  I made 4 jumbo size quesadillas however you could use small wraps and get more if the family is bigger. I just used my frypan to toast but if you have a sandwich press they would be done in half the time.

Chicken and Black bean Quesadillas with Avocado Sour cream

500gm chicken diced or sliced
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tin diced tomatoes with oregano
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tin black beans in spring water, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. coriander stalks
2 tbsp. fresh coriander leaf
2 cups cheese, grated
4 dsp. hummus, I used honey carrot
1/4 red onion, sliced
1 cup. baby spinach
1/2 avocado
125 gm sour cream
1 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
4 jumbo tortillas
Oil spray


  1. In bowl combine chicken, garlic salt, pepper, cumin, paprika. Stir to combine and allow to marinate and develop flavour for 30minutes or overnight.
  2. Heat fry pan over medium to high heat, add oil followed by chicken. Cook for 10 minutes and then turn, you want you chicken to brown nicely to develop flavour. Cook for a further 5 minutes and add the diced tomatoes and brown sugar and chopped coriander stalks, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes stir in black beans.
  3. Remove from fry pan and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Time to assemble; Spread one dessert spoon of hummus over the wrap, sprinkle half wrap with cheese onion spinach and some fresh coriander leafs followed by 1/4 of the chicken mixture top with little more cheese. Fold over tortilla. repeat until all are ready to be cooked.
  5. Heat fry pan over medium heat and spray with oil, place folded tortillas in and cook each side for 2 minutes until toasted. If you have a sandwich press this is perfect to use.
  6. In bowl add sour cream, avocado and sweet chili sauce. Smash and stir to combine.
  7. Cut quesadillas into 3 and top with avocado sour cream, sweet chili sauce and shredded iceberg lettuce.

Serves: 4 Jumbo quesadillas

Tender Venison Necks


Everyone who knows me knows I absolutely love a good bargain! One of my favorite things to do is get the reduced to clear meat goes very cheap and usually still has 2 days good before it must be frozen. However these were not reduced to clear they were full price $3.86 for 5 venison necks, $5.99kg now that is awesome isn’t it?

Venison is one of my favorite meats its super high in iron and very lean! Today I was in a relaxed mood as it was my day off so i decided to put the slow cooker on. I love the thing I must say switch it on in the morning by dinner time all you have to do is thicken and make some mash. Love a simple dinner and here is a beauty one im sharing with you all!

Venison necks are a nice cheap cut of meat and they have a surprising amount of meat on them to so its a great value for money meat. You can find them at most supermarkets i picked these up from pak n save however i used to get them at countdown and sometimes new world as well. The ones here are from Canterbury from a farm called the Merchant of Venison.  If your lucky enough to have wild venison or know a hunter who could get you some give it a go with that it has a more gamer flavour and is also delicious.

Slow Braised Venison Necks with Cranberry and Pumpkin
Swede and Agria Mash


5-6 venison necks
1 tsp paprika
1 onion, fine dice
1 stalk celery, medium dice
2 cloves garlic, fine dice
2 carrots
1/2 small crown pumpkin, peeled and 3-4cm dice
1 tin diced tomatoes
400ml water
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp fresh rosemary
1/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
2 tbsp cornflour + water for slurry
Swede and Agria Mash
1/4 swede, peeled and small 2cm dice
3 medium agria potatoes, peeled and 4cm dice
1 spring onion, finely sliced
50gm butter
1/8 cup milk
salt and pepper


  1. Turn slow cooker onto low.
  2. Season venison generously with salt, pepper and the paprika on both sides.
  3. Heat medium fry pan over a medium to high heat, add 1 tbsp oil followed by onion, celery and garlic. Saute until opaque add to slow cooker.
  4. Brown venison necks both sides add to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients, apart from the cornflour.
  5. Cook on low for 6 hours, combine cornflour and small amount of water to make a slurry stir into venison and cook for further 10 minutes.
  6. Bring swede and potato to the boil and cook until tender. ( it is important to cut the swede smaller as it takes longer to cook than potato.)
  7. Drain, mash and stir in butter, milk, spring onion, salt and pepper. Stir well.
  8. Serve venison necks on bed of swede and agria mash with sprinkle of crumbled feta and chopped celery leaves.

Serves: 2-4

Strawberry Season


Tomorrow is the first day of summer here in New Zealand. Picked up some cheap NZ strawberries and had a stray packet of the kiwi classic ginger nuts in the cupboard.


What do you think ill be creating for dessert tonight?

Comment below

Recipe and Dessert Photos to come.

Yay its the last day of Spring

New Zealand Venison


Fennel and Beer Braised Venison Shank with fresh Marrow served upon Creamy Garlic Mash and wine fried Green Cabbage

New Zealand the land of the long white cloud for many we call it home and I also call it paradise. With rolling hills, native forests, winding rivers and snowy peaks our country has it all.

We produce some of the best top quality meat here in New Zealand. Lamb, Beef and Venison are some of the largest meat exports from our country which go all over the world. Venison  is the star of tonight’s dish. Venison has more iron than beef and is lower in fat than skinless chicken. The range of farmers in new Zealand that are producing venison available in supermarkets is growing. Venison is one of my favorite meats , wild is even more delicious however today I am using store brought New Zealand farmed venison. I got 4 venison shanks from pak N save last week for $9.00 I thought this was a good deal. When adding a bulb of fresh fennel, carrots, onions, diced tomatoes and beer it bulks it out along way. Served upon creamy garlic agria mash and wine braised green cabbage you can’t get any better than this dinner.

As the days are cold and wet we are wanting house and heart warming meals, ones with hearty rich flavour that will keep you going. Here is an iron rich slow braised fennel, beer and venison dish with creamy mash and wine fried cabbage and venison marrow, best way to end a cold Dunedin day.

Would you like this recipe? Comment Below

New Zealand Food Writers Competition

Here is the lastest page I have added to my blog, showcasing my entry into the New Zealand Venison Food Writers Competition in 2013. I did not win however I had the honor of them publishing my recipe and the picture is featured on their page and I was also mentioned in the New Zealand Hospitality magazine last year.


New Zealand Food Writers Competition.

A trip to the beach


A kiwi classic

A day of adventure

Today I took a trip out of Dunedin and headed down the coast just a short trip 20 minutes down the east coast of New Zealand to the small community of Brighton. As I opened the car door and got a whiff of salt air the memories come flooding back not of here in Brighton but of my childhood and all the trips me and my family would take to the beach. One thing that all of those trips had in common was the good old kiwi classic Fish and Chips. Growing up in New Zealand we hold two things very close to our hearts; 1- Fish and Chips with classic Watties tomato sauce and 2- Our beautiful country.

Growing up in a country like this is a privilege New Zealand is by far one of the most amazing places on earth. I have done a bit of travelling over the years to Australia, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore and I will tell you this now and I can guarantee again in the future that there is no place in the world like home, New Zealand.

Our country not only has amazing people but the land is such an amazing place it gives you so much, you just have to know what you are looking for.
While on my wee trip to the beach to reminisce in a great family past time of hot chips and tomato sauce I thought I would put my knowledge of foraging to use and forage some ingredients to make a dish out of. In my first year of my degree we did a foraging paper which showed and helped us understand what around our country is edible and it provides on a daily and seasonal basis. It was to my amazement that there is so much around you that is edible and is free, there are so many plants that grow around the coast  that are edible. I set about looking around the coastline where there was plenty of foliage and found an abundance of beach spinach (Kokihi)- Native to New Zealand it is not the same kind of spinach you get from the supermarket it has thicker leaves and has a similar taste. It has red/pinky stalks and creeps along the ground a good source of vitamin C .

Beach Spinach ( Kokihi)We are so lucky in New Zealand


Here are two images of New Zealand beach spinach , on the left is some lush patch of fresh new growth that was in a spot well shaded and protected from the sun and on the right is some older beach spinach which was more open to direct sunlight. Both are edible but the greener leaves have a more fresh taste to them as they are younger.
I will be posting a dish that uses beach spinach in a later post.
It can be used like regular spinach just make sure that you give it a good rinse and then it is ready to use. Great in salads, pasta dishes even puréed  up and served on a piece of venison.

Please check out a post I will be adding in the next couple of days: Handmade beach spinach pesto.