#1 Jasmine’s Healthy Habits – Grow a Veggie Garden

img_8670 img_8671 img_8672 img_8674 img_8673The next ten weeks of blog posts will feature my personal healthy habits that I feel make my life more awesome. My first healthy habit – grow a veggie garden!

It’s the first year I have set aside the time to grow and nurture a lush garden full of herbs and vegetables… parsley, basil, lemon balm, oregano, sage, fennel, beetroot, Swiss chard, carrots, sweet peas, purple cauliflower, rocket, puha, pansies, tomatoes, corn, zucchini, and more! Some I planted in the ground, others in containers and pots when I ran out of room. I carefully prepared the soil for weeks before planting, sourced organic heritage seeds that I nurtured into seedlings, transplanted them, and I regularly nourish them with ocean nutrients and water… and of course I harvest them! And collect the seeds when they bolt, so I can plant them again. Seems like a lot of effort…. But here are a few reasons that I think gardening is worth it:

  • Gardening gives me beautiful, fresh, nourishing food every single day. It means I also eat more of it, because there is something special about eating veggies from your own garden. It tastes better too.
  • Gardening gives me a fresh dose of sunshine on days that I spend mostly indoors.
  • Gardening gives me a reason to be mindful. I am connected with my food source, and notice every little change in my plants from when they are seeds to when they are producing veggies. It makes me smile.
  • Gardening gives me movement in ways that I wouldn’t otherwise use my muscles. Think lots of shovelling, squatting and pulling, especially when the weeds start to come through!
  • Gardening gives me me-time. The time I spend gardening is super valuable. It is time blocked out to just do one thing – garden. There is no multi-tasking involved. Just complete focus on one, fulfilling activity.
  • Gardening gives me a connection with the environment in which we live. It helps me to appreciate planet Earth and motivates me to look after it so that it can keep on giving us food. Simultaneously I am minimising my carbon footprint, as my veggies have zero travel distance, packaging or chemicals involved.
  • Gardening gives me enjoyment and happiness. I don’t know what it is, but gardening is like therapy to me! It just gives me a good feeling.
  • Gardening gives me a new community. It is amazing how many people I connect with now that I have a garden… from people from whom I get advice, community gardens where I buy some seedlings, to chatting to colleagues and friends and stealing seedlings from other gardeners. I now have plants from a friend’s garden and my dad’s garden growing in my own.

Gardening will always be a part of my life, because it brings me so many holistic benefits! And this is by no means an exhaustive list of good things that gardening can bring. Comment below if you have anything to add! You don’t have to start with big garden… just start by planting one or two things if you like. Happy gardening!

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy


Wild Rice Meatball Salad



Ingredients: Use organic where possible. Meatballs – 600gm free range pork mince, 3 cloves of fresh crushed garlic, one finely chopped shallot, quarter cup of ground linseeds (if you can grind whole seeds yourself then great, the fresher the better!), 2 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari.

Salad – 1 cup of baby beetroot greens, half a cup of finely chopped carrot-top greens, 1 small very finely sliced carrot, half a cup of young sweet peas (pod and all if they’re young and tender enough), 1 cup of finely sliced red cabbage blanched in boiling water for 2 mins and straight into icy water, 1 cucumber sliced into thing ribbons, 1 cup of cooked and cooled wild rice.

Dressing – 1 tbsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari1 tsp grated fresh ginger, 1 crushed fresh garlic clove, 1 finely chopped fresh chilli, 1 tbsp raw honey.

Steps: For the meatballs, mush all the ingredients together in a bowl with your hands until well combined. Form into meatballs, place onto a lined baking tray, bake for half an hour.

For the salad, toss all ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Toss in the meatballs and drizzle over the dressing. Done!

*You can use any salad greens you have – this is just what I had in my garden at the time! Go ahead and experiment. Make it your own!

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

*Looking for a recipe for something different? Comment below and I will develop the recipe in my kitchen!*

Salmon Kumara Toast


Ingredients: *Use organic ingredients where possible. 1 thick and wide kumara, 2 poached eggs, a whole lot of leafy greens – here I have used rocket, puha and baby beetroot leaves – avocado (as much as you feel like), a couple of slices of smoked salmon, 1 lemon sliced in half width-ways. Optional – butter.

 Steps: Thinly slice the kumara lengthways, to make the ‘toast’ bits. Pop them in the toaster. When the kumara toast pops up, check it to see if has cooked through. If it is still hard, pop it back down, and continue this until it is cooked to your liking. I like mine soft on the inside and crispy on the outside! Crack your eggs into a pot of vinegar-ed (made up word?) simmering water to poach them to your liking. While the eggs are poaching, arrange lots of salad greens on your plate. Throw in some sliced avo. Place the kumara toast on top and butter it if you please. Serve the poached eggs and salmon on top of the ‘toast.’ Squeeze a lemon half all over the whole lot, give it a grind of good quality salt and pepper, and enjoy the beautiful flavours that real food offers!

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

*Looking for a recipe for something different? Comment below and I will develop the recipe in my kitchen!*


Spiced Mince Aubergine (Eggplant!) Bakes

spiced-eggplant-pizzasMakes: Three serves

Time: 60 minutes, around about.

Ingredients: 1 large aubergine/eggplant, 500 grams of mince (from animal of your choice), 2 finely chopped or crushed fresh garlic cloves, 1 finely diced shallot, 1 tablespoon of ras el hanout spice mix, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil for frying, a good grind of sea salt and pepper, olive oil for drizzling, chopped fresh chilli to garnish.

Steps: 1) Slice the eggplant lengthways into 6 slices. 2) Place eggplant slices on a lined baking tray, sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and let it sit for half an hour. 3) Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil to a medium heat in a good-quality frying pan (I love me some enamel-coated cast iron). 4) Add the onion, garlic, ras el hanout, salt and pepper to taste. Stir with a wooden spoon until softened. 5) Add the mince and continue to stir until cooked through. 6) Spoon mince mixture on top of the eggplant slices – as much as each piece will fit. Pop it in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes on 180 degrees Celsius. Keep an eye on it so the eggplant doesn’t burn around the edges. As soon as the edges of the eggplant brown, it is ready to go. 7) Remove from the oven, serve on top of a lovely, fresh garden salad and sprinkle with finely chopped fresh chilli. A dollop of yoghurt goes down pretty well too.

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

*Looking for a recipe for something different? Comment below and I will develop the recipe in my kitchen!*



Quicker-Than-Takeaways Fish ‘n’ Chips


Time: 10 minutes

Makes: 2 serves

This fish can be whipped up in 10 minutes for an easy and nutritious meal that is quicker than a trip to the fish ‘n’ chip shop!


Ingredients: Two fresh fish fillets (I used blue cod here) 1 cup of almond meal, seaweed salt, cracked pepper, 1 egg.

Steps: 1) Mix the almond meal, salt and pepper in a bowl. 2) Whisk egg with a splash of cold water in another bowl. 3) Slice the fish fillets into even squares. 4) Dip each piece of fish into the egg mixture, then immediately coat in the almond mixture. Place on a plate with a paper towel until ready to cook. 5) Cook the fish in sandwich press for one and a half minutes. Done!

Serve with chips of your choice, and a fresh garden salad or steamed green veggies.

Additional Thoughts:

  • These polenta chips go nicely.
  • You can grind up your own almonds for a courser crumb.
  • Ground oats or quinoa flakes are two other crumbing options.

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

*Looking for a recipe for something different? Comment below and I will develop the recipe in my kitchen!*

Date and Cacao Buckwheat Porridge


Time: 10 minutes maximum

Makes: One serve

Ingredients: Half a cup of buckwheat flakes, 1 cup of water, half a cup of blueberries(fresh or frozen), 1 tablespoon of cacao powder, 5 chopped up dates, coconut flakes, quarter of a cup of coconut milk, yoghurt and honey to serve if desired.


Steps: Place the buckwheat flakes, water and blueberries in a small saucepan. Bring to a medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Continue heating in this way until the water is absorbed and it looks porridge-y. Take off the heat and stir through the cacao and chopped dates. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with coconut flakes, and pour coconut milk over top. Dollop some natural yoghurt on top, and a good drizzle of honey if you’re not sweet enough!

By Jasmine at Franklee Healthy

*Looking for a recipe for something different? Comment below and I will develop the recipe in my kitchen!*



Spice-ful Polenta Chips


There are a few steps involved in making these polenta chips, but they are great to have in the freezer ready to pop in the oven when you need an easy side dish. You can experiment with using different spices and stocks, and even adding ingredients like cheese. But, here is a basic starting point to get you going.

Ingredients: 1 cup of polenta, 2.5 cups of boiling stock (for extra flavour) or water, 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 tablespoon of sumac, 1 teaspoon of salt.

Steps: 1) Add all ingredients, apart from the sumac, to a saucepan over a medium heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon for a few minutes or until it forms a creamy mash. 2) Pour the polenta mixture into a medium sized slice tin or glass storage container and spread it evenly like you would a slice. 3) Place the slab of polenta mash into the fridge to set. 4) Remove from the fridge and slice into even, thick chips. 5) This next step is optional, but will achieve perfect chips that are crunchy on the outside… Place on a tray in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. Once frozen, you can store in the freezer in a bag, or use immediately. 6) When you are ready to cook them, remove from the freezer, coat in sumac powder and additional salt if desired, and bake for around 30 minutes on 200 degrees Celsius, or until the chips reach your desired level of crispiness!

By Jasmine Trafford at Franklee Healthy

*Looking for a recipe for something different? Comment below and I will develop the recipe in my kitchen!*