HelloFresh Flavour Generator

So today, I finished work an hour later than what I was initially planning to. Exhausted and hungry, it would’ve been so easy to just walk to our favourite take away and order our usual chicken pad thai and crispy pork belly (not that there’s anything wrong with them – I love them!). But we were determined to eat a freshly cooked meal at home. The only dilemma was: what to cook?

In comes HelloFresh’s Flavour Generator.

Say goodbye to playing the “I don’t know what I want but no I don’t want this this or this” game (and yes I’ve been known to play this game ALL.THE.TIME).

With the Flavour Generator, you pick the flavour and cuisine you fancy, including if you’re after something sweet, spicy, tangy, herby, or feeling a little bit more adventurous with a random taste. And voila! It gives one, two, or three recommended dishes, and even a chance to spin again just in case it wasn’t what you were after. Another great thing about the Flavour Generator is you don’t have to be a HelloFresh customer – if you’re out of ideas for what to cook, just hop on the Flavour Generator and it’ll literally do all the “thinking” for you.

Tonight, I wanted a lot of flavour because hey, it’s Thursday aka almost the weekend (yay!). So I picked Mexican Flavour, and something Tangy. The Flavour Generator gave a few recommendations which I wasn’t feeling, so I kept spinning until I found the one I was after. Chicken. Rice. Flavour. Big tick.

A quick look at the meal box HelloFresh sent through this week along with the recipe book, and we decided to have Cajun Chicken with Roast Veggie Rice Bowl. The ingredients and preparation were so simple and easy, using the freshest ingredients, with the least amount of work, and maximum taste.

I’m so stoked to find super fresh ingredients in my meal box. Everything I needed were there, which made preparing dinner even easier.

I quickly pre-heated the oven, chucked the basmati rice in the rice cooker, and started chopping the vegetables. Meanwhile, Mr J pan fried the chicken which he pre-seasoned with the cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. 15 minutes of prep work, 20 minutes of cooking time, a couple of minutes of plating (and taking photos… ahh the life of a foodblogger), and done.


A delicious, freshly cooked meal that used the freshest ingredients, with a right balance of rice, chicken, and vegetables, and loads of flavour (and look at that colour!), was ready in less than 45 minutes.

This post was a collaboration between HelloFresh and Sugarlace. Thanks to HelloFresh for the fabulous meal box and for introducing me to the Flavour Generator. Thinking about what to eat will never be the same again!   

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Ippudo Shojin Vegetarian Ramen, Ippudo Sydney

I love my Japanese food, and I love my ramen.

Picture this: my Japan trip, circa 2008. Our flight just arrived in Osaka from Australia. It was 5 degrees C outside, almost 9pm, raining cats and dogs, and we were starving. Starving I tell you (what do you expect from a 9 hour flight on a budget airline?)! Walked around the empty streets of Osaka, the sound of the pachinko machines echoing in the background, when we saw a stream of yellow light coming out of a narrow opened doorway. The smell of broth ushered us in, and we suddenly found ourselves inside a hole in a wall, 2 table ramen restaurant being manned by the happiest noodle-turning, broth bubbling ramen guy on this side of the planet. And the ramen? It was manna from heaven – tonkotsu broth, noodles, boiled egg, chashu (pork slices), nori (seaweed), shinachiku (seasoned bamboo shoots), sesame seeds, and a hint of garlic. H E A V E N.

Tori Shoyu Special: simmered pork belly, roasted seaweed, flavoured black mushroom and bamboo shoots, spring onions.

Back home in Australia, my love for ramen continues and one of my favourite spots to get my ramen fix is Ippudo. Have you tried their ramen? And pork buns? And sake-based cocktails? No? Do yourself a favour – grab a spot now and order these three pronto. These are my go-to meal fix especially when I’m feeling nostalgic about my Japan trip. Thanks to Narisa from SD Marketing and Ippudo, I received a very generous invitation to try out their SHOJIN Vegetarian ramen – a lightly brothed soup with whole grain noodles, served with deep fried vegetable kakiage (fried vegetable bits – carrots, corn, etc) and soy protein wrapped in seaweed. A quick search on the Ippudo website showed me that:

The term “SHOJIN” is not just a vegetarian ramen, but one that adheres to strict Buddhist principles. Its aim is to bring out the original flavours of the ingredients and is a cuisine of devotion to details.

Shojin Vegetarian Ramen
Ippudo Sydney bar

We were also treated to an array of Ippudo’s ‘bests’: Pork Bun, Unagi Gohan (grilled eel on rice), and the uber drinks Tokyo Sunrise (sake, grapefruit juice, lychee juice, grenadine), Ippudo Ginjo (Ippudo original house sake), and Ginrei Umeshu on the rocks (plum wine – YUM!).

Thanks to SD Marketing and Ippudo Sydney for the invitation and the warm welcome, dinner, and drinks. Sugarlace & guests dined as guests of Ippudo Sydney. Special thanks to the Ippudo crew especially Mark who looked after us (and our other little guest, baby Talya!).

Ippudo Ginjo original house sake
Tokyo Sunrise: sake, grapefruit juice, lychee juice, grenadine
Ginrei Umeshu on the rocks: plum wine
Ippudo Pork Buns: steamed bun with braised pork and original Ippudo sauce.
Unagi Gohan: grilled eel on rice
Tori Shoyu Ramen toppings
Shojin Vegetarian Ramen broth & noodles
Shojin vegetable toppings

Ippudo Sydney
http://www.ippudo.com.au/
Address: Shop 5021, Level 5, Westfield Shopping Centre/188 Pitt Street Sydney Australia, 2000
Phone:(02) 8078 7020

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Mr J’s Sunday Steak & Veggies

I am blessed to have a husband that loves cooking and eating and shares my passion for everything in the kitchen. We time-share the custody of our kitchen space, and take turns planning for our weekly meals. On weekends though, we try and make Sunday lunch or dinner extra special. One of my most favourite dish to request is Mr J’s steak. He makes a mean tender, medium steak with a side of roast vegetables similar to ratatouille. I usually pair it up with a side salad, but on this occasion I whipped up a quick couscous with Moroccan spices.

Easy, tasty, healthy Sunday lunch… hubby style.

Mr J’s Tender Steak

Makes 2 servings

500g scotch fillet

Marinade:Lemon
Olive oil
Worcestershire sauce
Salt & pepper

1. Mix all the marinade mix in a shallow dish. Marinade the fillet in the mixture for about 1 hour.
2. In a hot grill pan, grill the steak according to preference. For medium, cook the steak for approximately 4 minutes on each side.
3. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest.
4. Once rested, slice and set aside.

Mixed Roast Veggies

Makes approximately 2 servings

1 zucchini, chopped in large chunks
1 carrot, chopped in large chunks
1 onion, chopped in large chunks
1 green capsicum, chopped in large chunks
1 tomato, chopped in large chunks
1 tinned tomatoes1 tbsp Mixed herbs

1. Preheat oven to 200 deg C.
2. In a large baking dish, place all ingredients and cover with aluminum foil. Put in the oven and roast for approximately 20 minutes.
3. Toss the vegetables, and place back in the over for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
4. Remove from the oven.

Couscous with Moroccan spices

Makes 4 servings
This recipe is similar to my Pearl Couscous recipe here.

1 cup couscous
1/2 cup sultanas
2 tbsp Morrocan seasoning
1 tomato, diced
Small bunch of parsley, chopped roughly
Salt & crushed pepper
Juice of 1 lemon

1. Prepare couscous according to packet directions (ie 1 cup couscous to 1 1/4 cups boiling water or stock).
2. Add all ingredients together. Leave to cool for a bit, serve warm with vegetables and steak.

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