Recipe extract: The Happy Kitchen by Rachel Kelly

Spiced tomato baked eggs with sweet potato and guacamole.
Spiced tomato baked eggs with sweet potato and guacamole. Photo: Simon & Schuster


This protein-rich recipe makes for a cheerful weekend brunch on a cold morning. Or serve it with wholegrain tortillas and sour cream for a more substantial lunch or dinner. The guacamole is optional, depending upon how much time you have, and your personal preference.

Serves 2


 Photo: Supplied

For the baked eggs:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

½ red chilli, deseeded and chopped (use more

or less, depending on your preference)

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced


1 teaspoon tomato paste

Handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Dash of red wine

½ teaspoon paprika (optional)

1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

1½ 400g tin chopped tomatoes

1 sweet potato, chopped into 2cm chunks

4 eggs

For the guacamole:

1 ripe avocado (or more if you want extra


Juice of ½ lime

¼ red chilli, deseeded and chopped

Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Dash of olive oil

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan, to serve

1. Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan with a lid and gently soften the onion, garlic and chilli. Add a little water if necessary to prevent them from burning.

2. After 2 minutes, stir in the tomato paste, parsley, red wine, paprika, pepper and sweet potato. Simmer for 2 minutes (add a splash more water if necessary) before tipping in the chopped tomatoes.

3. Cook for another 8-10 minutes, by which point the potatoes and peppers should be softening nicely. The mixture should be the consistency of a thick stew.

4. Create a little dip in the mixture and crack an egg into it, then do the same with the other 3 eggs. Try to get the 4 eggs evenly spaced out and not too close to the base of the pan, to prevent them from burning.

5. Put the lid on and let the eggs poach in the stew on a low heat for a further 3-4 minutes. You may want to spoon some of the stew over the eggs to ensure the tops cook properly but take care not to overcook them.

6. Meanwhile, make the guacamole by mashing the avocado in a bowl and then mixing in the rest of the ingredients.

7. Divide the baked egg mixture between 2 bowls, and serve it with a sprinkle of Parmesan and the guacamole on the side.

The Happy Kitchen's sesame seared tuna with crunchy Asian slaw.

The Happy Kitchen's sesame seared tuna with crunchy Asian slaw. Photo: Supplied


This homely, nourishing dish is delicious, colourful and fancy enough to serve to guests. It contains thyroid-supporting iodine as well as fibre. Depending on your taste, you can add a little more mango and avocado, which boost the slaw's nutritional value. The Chinese five spice can be omitted if you aren't too keen on the aniseed flavour.

Serves 2

2 organic tuna steaks

1 garlic clove, finely sliced

2 red chillies, finely sliced

2½cm root ginger, finely sliced

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

Bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped

20g cashew nuts

2 tablespoons mixed sesame seeds (black

and white look lovely, but use just

white if easier)

2 spring onions, finely sliced

For the slaw (makes enough for leftovers):

½ red cabbage, finely shredded

1 mango, cut into 2cm chunks

3 carrots, grated (or cut into ribbons if you have a spiraliser)

8-10 radishes, sliced

1 avocado, chopped into 2cm chunks

50g fresh coriander, chopped

For the dressing:

1 red chilli, finely chopped

2 tablespoons soy or tamari sauce

1 tablespoon maple syrup or runny honey

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon Chinese five spice (optional)

Extra coriander leaves, to serve

1. Mix together the garlic, chilli, ginger, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and coriander in a bowl. Add the tuna steaks and leave them to marinate for at least an hour.

2. Toast the cashews in a pan for 2 minutes or until they are slightly browned, tossing them to ensure they don't burn. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.

3. For the slaw, combine the cabbage, mango, carrots, radishes, avocado and coriander in a bowl.

4. Make the dressing by putting all the ingredients in a jar with a lid and shaking it. Toss the slaw in the dressing and leave it to marinate for up to an hour – it will lose its crunch if you leave it any longer.

5. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on a flat surface and lightly roll the edges of each tuna steak in them.

6. Put 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a pan over a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the tuna using tongs and sear each side for roughly 5-7 minutes

(depending on how well cooked you like your tuna). Remove it from the pan and set it aside.

7. Slice the tuna and place it on top of the slaw. To serve, sprinkle over the cashews, spring onions and the remaining coriander.

Sure, chocolate can lift your mood but try these Brazil nut brownies from The Happy Kitchen (just to make sure).

Sure, chocolate can lift your mood but try these Brazil nut brownies from The Happy Kitchen (just to make sure). Photo: Simon & Schuster

DARK CHOCOLATE BRAZIL NUT BROWNIES [feeling fragile choice ]

We spent ages perfecting these, ensuring that they were soft, rich and gooey in the centre. Though they are still a treat, you have more control over the ingredients as you are making them yourself. Spelt flour is wholegrain, meaning that it won't lead to a sugar spike as white flour does, and Brazil nuts contain selenium which, as we have seen, plays an important role in the immune system. Cacao is a rich source of magnesium and antioxidants.

– Makes about 15 squares –

10 Brazil nuts

125g dark chocolate (ideally 100% cocoa, or use 85%)

100ml almond milk

150g coconut oil, plus extra for greasing the tin

250ml maple syrup

Seeds from ½ vanilla pod or 1

tablespoon vanilla extract

50g raw cacao powder, sieved

3 eggs

130g spelt flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease a 30cm x 20cm brownie tin and line it with baking parchment. Leave the paper sticking up at the sides to make it easier to lift the brownies out when they are cooked.

2. Roast the Brazil nuts in the oven for 15 minutes, turning them once halfway through. They should be slightly browned. Leave them to cool, and then chop them up coarsely.

3. Put the chocolate, almond milk, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla seeds or extract in a saucepan over a very gentle heat, stirring regularly, until everything has melted and you have a rich, glossy-looking batter.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cacao powder.

5. Allow the mixture to cool for 10-15 minutes, and then beat in the eggs. Add the flour, baking powder and chopped Brazil nuts.

6. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake it in the oven for about 12 minutes. Insert a cocktail stick and it should come out with a little chocolate residue. If you like your brownies less gooey, put the tin back in the oven for a further 3-5 minutes but take it out before the top starts to crack, otherwise the consistency will be more like cake.

7. Remove the tin from the oven and use the baking paper to help you slide the whole brownie on to a cooling rack. Cut it into squares once it has cooled completely.

Edited extract from The Happy Kitchen by Rachel Kelly and Alice Mackintosh (Simon and Schuster, $35), available now. This extract first appeared in The Canberra Times.