Green Lentil Soup with Leeks
 image credit:  Everything I Want To Eat  cookbook

image credit: Everything I Want To Eat cookbook

This recipe is adapted from Jessica Koslow's Everything I Want to Eat cookbook (which I'm kinda in love with).

If you want to sprout your lentils, you'll need to start that a few days ahead of time, otherwise, you'll just need to soak them first and cook them longer. 


TIME: 40 MINS prep / 1+ cooking


- 1 cup of Puy green lentils

- 3 tablespoons of evoo

- about 3 large shallot onions

- 1/2 cup or so of fresh fennel (about half a fennel bulb)

- 1 small parsnip 

- 2 stalks of celery

- 1-2 leeks - washed well then finely chopped

- 1-2 spring onions - washed well then finely chopped

- 1 cup or so of spinach, silverbeet or Chinese broccoli (i used Chinese broccoli from my local asian grocer) chopped

- 1/2 lemon

- 1/2 cup of fresh dill

- salt to taste



So either you decided use sprouted lentils or dried. If dried, put them in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for 10 minutes then drain.

Boil the lentils in the large pot with 3 cups of water and 3/4 tablespoon of salt. Simmer gently for 10 mins if sprouted, or 20 if not. 

While the lentils cooking you can either hand chop your shallots, fennel, parsnip and celery - or - if you have a food processor - hey presto! chop them all together - just not too fine. FYI- if you use the processor don't bother washing it yet - we can use it again shortly for the leek and spring onion green puree.

Heat a large pan to medium heat, add oil and shallot, fennel, parsnip, celery and 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables are soft but not browned. Approx 5mins.

Then add the shallot vegetable mix to the lentil pot. Remove from heat and let the flavours meld while you make the leek and spring onion puree. 

Bring a small pot of salted water to the boil. Drop in the leeks and spring onions - just o blanch them - approx 30 seconds. Drain and pop them on plate and put into the freezer to cool for 2 minutes. Then, place them into the food processor (or use the knife to chop finely if you don't have a processor) and puree, adding a little cold water as needed. 

To serve, heat the lentil soup to a gentle boil, stir in your chopped spinach, (or silverbeet or Chinese broccoli), just to let it wilt a little. Taste and add salt if needed. 

Stir in your green leek and spring onion puree - hopefully it's nice and bright! And a big squeeze of lemon juice. 

Ladle into bowls and garnish with dill. 


Smokey Chickpea Stew
 image credit:  Everything I Want To Eat  cookbook

image credit: Everything I Want To Eat cookbook

This recipe is adapted from Jessica Koslow's Everything I Want to Eat cookbook (which I'm kinda in love with).

I soaked dried chickpeas overnight, but I haven't tried with canned chickpeas. It's not hard, it's just a matter of thinking ahead. 


TIME: 30 MINS prep / 2+ cooking


- 2 cups of dried chickpeas

- 3 tablespoons of evoo

- 2 small brown onions finely diced

- 2-6 garlic cloves (depending how large and how much you like garlic) finely sliced

- 2 thumbs size knob of ginger, peeled and finely grated

- pinch of ground cinnamon

- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

- 1 can of diced tomatoes (drained but keep the liquid to the side)

- 1 small can of tomato paste

- salt to taste 

- silverbeet - stems removed, leaves washed and finely sliced

- parsley - leaves picked and chopped for garnish

optional - feta / crispy bacon / aioli to serve + a big-ass baguette with butter! 



Soak your chickpeas overnight in a large bowl with enough lukewarm water to cover them by a few inches, plus 3 tablespoons of salt

Next day, drain and rinse the chickpeas and put them in a large pot to make the soup in.

Add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1.5L of fresh water. Bring to the boil then reduce and let simmer gently for 60mins until the chickpeas are soft and cooked all the way though.

Return the empty pot to the stove and add the oil, onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, cooked over a medium heat stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 2 mins. 

Add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon and paprika - let sizzle for a moment then add the tomatoes. Cook for a few minutes, stirring only every now and then - you want the tomatoes to brown and stick a little to the pot to create more flavour - scrape it up and let it stick again a few times. 

Add the chickpeas and their liquid back in. If there's not too much chickpea water, you might want to now choose to add another 1/2-1 cup of water and the tomato juices to make the stew soupier! I now add the tomato paste to intensify the richness. 

Let the stew now bubble away gently for 5 or so minutes. Then, using a slotted spoon, scoop out about half of the chickpeas and but them into a bowl or jug and smash them with a potato masher, fork, or hand-held blender to get a creamy chickpea mash.

Return to the chickpea mash to the pot. Stir in. Taste. Add more paprika or salt if you like at this point. 

To serve, top the silverbeet over the hot soup to help it cook down a little. 

Add feta, or crispy bacon you cleverly cooked while the soup was bubbling away. 

Sprinkle over parsley and dip in your baguette slathered in butter. 


Tassie Toast
tassie toast rotated.jpg

Having just made my very first voyage to Tasmania (I know, right, first! Crazy that I’ve been to Iceland twice and never Tassie), I digress, my mission was to taste as much of all the amazing produce I’d been told so much about, as I could.

From fine dining to simple home cooked meals, each had its highlights. One particular dish, concocted by Yes, Joy’s wingman (aka my husband Brian) was a simple lunch I’ll now refer to as ‘Tassie Toast’.

We had the pleasure of staying at a lovely Airbnb in Cygnet (just south of Huonville) with a charming vegetable patch we were able to help ourselves to, and where the cherry tomatoes, potatoes, and rosemary from this recipe came from – but – if you can’t fetch them fresh from the dirt in your backyard, go dig a patch immediately! Or, you know, go to the market.




- 4 slices of good bread – sourdough or similar

- 3-4 small potatoes

- A handful of cherry tomatoes

- Few sprigs of rosemary

- Salmon pate (we used Harris Smokehouse available at the Standard Market, or make your own from cream cheese and smoked salmon – google it!)

- Pure cream

- Butter

- S&P to taste


Chop potatoes into 1-2cm pieces or rounds pending size, par-boil for 5mins or until you can easily stick the blunt side of a knife into

While potatoes are boiling, chop your tomatoes in half and heat a small fry pan with butter

Drain potatoes, shake in the pot to roughen exterior and add to the buttery pan with rosemary. Once potatoes are beginning to brown add tomatoes, salt, pepper and stir occasionally until all softened and browned and buttery, add a few dashes of cream if you are feeling extra extravagant, stir, then let bubble away for a minute or two

Now toast your good bread (or have fresh if you prefer)

Spread salmon pate thickly over your toast

Top with potato-tomato mixture


Green Pistou x Goats Curd Dip
 image credit: Lila Theodoros

image credit: Lila Theodoros

In a recent effort to not waste, I found myself in the Yes, Joy kitchen with leftover a green pistou (fancy word for pesto) dressing from a salad made the previous day.

I was also fortunate enough to have some goats curd in the fridge too. When it came to needing a selection of dips for a grazing platter - this concoction was born. And this recipe is at the request of a lovely individual who enjoyed it! :)

Don’t get to exact with the quantities. Essentially you want a nice green pesto mixed in with some goats curd (Meredith Dairy does one available from some large grocers, or if you can’t find that easily or want to save $ a good crème fraiche or soft goat cheese would work well also).




- Half a bunch of Mint*

- Half a bunch of Coriander*

- Salt + Pepper

- Clove of garlic (peeled)


- Citrus of your liking – 1 x lemon, lime or orange

- Goats Curd

*Make with full herb bunches and use the excess pesto atop of some roasted pumpkin with toasted buckwheat & pomegranate seeds, as a salsa verde for tacos, or even on top of grilled fish or steak like a chimichurri!




Cut the roots from the herb bunches

Give them a good wash then dry in a tea-towel or salad spinner

Chop into hand-sized chunks and place the herb bunches into a blender (if you only have small blender you may need to do this in two stages)

Add the garlic clove + generous glug of EVOO + a few pinches of sea salt + a few grinds of pepper.

Squeeze in the juice from the citrus you have on hand


Taste – add more salt or citrus juice to your liking.

Decant your goats curd in a beautiful bowl.

Stir through several tablespoons of pistou to reach a creamy bright green colour. Serve with fresh crudités, breads, corn chips or cracker!

Hello, Summer! 

cooks, featureRachel Surgeoner
Why Owning a Salad Spinner = Winning at Adulting
 Image credit: IKEA

Image credit: IKEA

Do you own a salad spinner?

Do you know what a salad spinner is?

If you answered ‘no’ to either of these questions, we need to talk about how this one simple kitchen utensil can revolutionise your life.

Owning a salad spinner doesn’t just mean you’re a real adult. It means you won’t be having any more soggy salad leaves or herbs in your life anymore. And you deserve well-washed, crisp yet dry leaves and herbs.

Paper-towels? Tea towels? Nope, they just don’t compare to the vortex force of the spinner.

A salad spinner will set you back as little as *$4 at IKEA - it’s a shame you’ve been missing out on this adulthood milestone for so long already.

Drop everything and go buy a salad spinner.

*If you’re serious about life though, fancy spinners are priced $40+

Like this Iwaki Japanese-made spinner with heat-resistant glass bowl

Or this OXO Steel Salad Spinner

waresRachel Surgeoner
California Miso, Avo & Butter Bean Salad w/ Ponzu Garlic Kale

This recipe is from Anna Jones’ A Modern Way to Eat – with just a few Yes, Joy tweaks.




Garlic Ponzu Kale







California miso, avo & butter bean salad

- broccolini or brocolli chopped into little florets

- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds

- 2 tbsp sesame seeds

- ripe avocado

- 400g tin of butter beans, drained

- buckwheat soba noodles(or brown rice)

- sesame oil



- 1 tbsp brown rice miso paste

- 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar

- 1 tbsp ponzu or soy sauce

- juice of ½ lime

- 4 tbsp natural, coconut or soya yoghurt

- sea salt

+ add extra lime if you like it citrusy

+ feel free to experiment with adding a dash of mirin if you have it


Follow the Garlic Ponzu Kale method here 

As for the rest, first make the dressing by shaking up all ingredients in a spare glass jar or whisking in a medium sized bowl.

Next, blanch the broccoli for just a minute or two in boiling water until it turns a lovely bright green. Drain and leave to cool.

Toast the pumpkin and sesame seeds in a pan until lightly golden, transfer to a bowl to cool.

Add soba noodles to boiling water and cook for 4 minutes or as per packet instructions. Once cooled, place them into a large serving bowl and pour a generous glug of sesame oil over them and toss to coat.

Then, take half of the miso dressing and coat the noodles in this too.

Now you can serve with the Garlic Ponzu Kale, avocado, butter beans and broccoli - either mixed together in one serving platter or arranged separately on a plate or bowl.

Pour over the remaining dressing and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.

Oh, and did you know miso is super good if you are wanting more vitamin B12 in your diet but are also trying to cut back on meat and dairy. B12 helps to keep our nervous system and blood healthy and is usually only found in animal products. 




A Modern Way to Eat


Anna Jones is a London-based cook, stylist and writer extraordinaire. In this, her first book she details 200 satisfying, everyday vegetarian recipes (that will make you feel amazing).

Anna simply and diligently lays out how she builds her recipes – including an 8-step process to building any dish, starting with just one vegetable then adding a ‘supporting role’ vegetable, flavour, herbs, crunch and seasoning to finish.

Recipes cover recipes for morning noon and night and all the treats in between.


-       California miso, avocado and butter bean salad [see Yes, Joy’s adaptation to this recipe]

-       Mushroom and parsnip rosti pie

-       Mint, pistachio and courgette polpette

-       Carrot and black pepper soda bread

-       Blood orange and agave margaritas


Jones is an inspiration for anyone with the niggling feeling their career isn’t for them, for anyone (like me) who's ever wanted to throw it all in and follow a passion for food instead. After quitting her day job she started out cooking for Jamie Oliver at his London restaurant Fifteen then branched into food styling and writing and has now been dubbed the UKs ‘New Nigella’.

Purchase A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones



booksRachel Surgeoner


Hetty Mckinnon of Arthur Street Kitchen is my salad guru.

Community brings together sixty of Arthur Street Kitchen's best-loved seasonal, hearty, big-flavoured salads. 

Leaving no vegetable, herb, legume, nut or spice unturned, Community shows the reader how to effortlessly and confidently dish up healthy, meat-free comfort food, perfect heart-and-soul meals to share with family, friends and neighbours.

Hetty got her start in the salad game delivering salad boxes to the locals in Surry Hills in Sydney. Made at home and delivered by bicycle, Hetty became the Surry Hills salad lady! 

 Hetty with her ride in Surry Hills. Photo credit: Luisa Brimble

Hetty with her ride in Surry Hills. Photo credit: Luisa Brimble

There's a great interview with Hetty on The Unbearable Lightness of Being Hungry 


Yes, Joy is an utter fangirl of Community. Fool-proof, hearty and wholesome salad. Every. Time. I picked up a copy of Community at Maple Store in Newtown back in early 2016, it sat on my nightstand and I would occasionally pick it up and flick through the incredible vibrant salads - making promises to myself to cook them. Fast forward 18 months later and I've cooked a quarter of the recipes in the book and have learnt SO MUCH about the art of making salads from Hetty's sage advice. 

My favourites (so far) (which you'll often find featured in Yes, Joy's salad menu)

- Za’atar Roasted Carrots with Kale, Freekah and blood orange-maple dressing

- Chargrilled Zucchini & Pearl Barley with Whipped Feta & Dill

- Roasted Eggplant with Sofrito, Chickpeas and Almonds

- Pumpkin with Chickpeas, Toasted Coconut and Lemon Tahini


Want a copy of Community too? Purchase here and share the Yes, Joy love. 

Hetty now has a second book, Neighbourhood, which just as good as the first. More on that later. 

booksRachel Surgeoner
O-Kale + Ponzu

Now that you’re au fait with the all-important kale massage, you can begin to tantilise your buds (both the ones in your mouth and perhaps your dinner guests) with all manner of kale dressings. 

First up, Ponzu.







Now, let’s talk about really good ponzu.

What is ponzu? The internet goes on about the complexities of this sauce, however, as I’m a minarai (apprentice) in the art of Japanese cooking I don’t claim to have written the book. I can tell you, simply put, that it’s almost like a citrus-based soy sauce. In reality, it’s a complex brew made with rice wine, rice vinegar, bonito fish flakes, and seaweed. It’s then traditionally infused with a Japanese citrus fruit called yuzu. 
You can purchase a simple Ponzu bottle from any Asian grocer, and some health food stores. If you’re lucky you might even stumble across a bottle of yuzu juice which you use to enhance your own. 

Fino Foods stocks Yamaki Jozo artisan Ponzu. 

Most of these contain some kind of wheat flour or soy. If you’re gluten-free – you can make your own ponzu! 

- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp lemon juice* (or yuzu)
- ½ tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp mirin
+ some dashi if you have it

*adjust to taste 

(and if you’re not GF you can soy instead of tamari)

(Ceres Organics also make an okay GF Ponzu if you’re short on time and/or ingredients). 

Putting the Ville in Noosa

Noosa is no well-kept secret. This once sleepy Sunshine Coast seaside town is becoming increasingly Bondi-fied and with good reason. 

It’s home to incredible beaches, amazing nature walks and award-winning restaurants. Not to mention a strong concentration of shopping and coffee haunts. If you can manage to tear yourself away from Hastings Street (or first, manage to get a parking space) – there’s much to be explored just around the bend in Noosaville.

In fact, on my last visit to the Noosa enclave, I didn’t leave Noosaville nor dare venture to Hastings Street.

Here’s the Yes, Joy mini-guide to a DAY in Noosaville.

Hire a Boat on the Noosa River

Take a few hours out on a Pontoon Boat. A simple Google search will give you the choice of several operators. Hiring a BBQ Pontoon Boat only requires a driver’s licence. Boats range from 6-15 seaters and around $300 for a half day.

Lunch on board

Of course you can make use if the BBQ on board – fair warning though, it’s no Weber.  Want my suggestion for lunch? Of course you do.

If your seafaring friends are shellfish eaters, whip up a batch of these tasty buns.

Scandi Prawn Buns

1. Forage (aka stop by Belmondos Organic Market) on your way into Noosaville. Pick up some Tanglewood Organic Sourdough buns or a loaf of your liking. While you’re there – grab some crème fraiche, lemon and dill. (Oh, and a coffee, a turmeric elixir, and some pastries for now).

Fresh prawns are next – hit up Noosa Fish Providores on Gympie Terrace for a kilo or more of prawns – keep on ice.  Peel on board and feed the shells back into the river for the fishes! Closed loop responsible picnic right there!

2. The Pontoon Board does not afford much bench space – fashion your chopping board atop an esky and get to work chopping some dill and slice your lemons in half.

3. Once you’ve had fun peeling the prawns, give your hands a quick wash in sea water and its time to throw it all together – place prawns, crème fraiche, dill into a bowl and squeeze lemon juice all over. Add salt and pepper and mix.

4. Serve immediately on your fresh bread, with a side of potato chips.

After your Pontooning comes to an end, freshen up those sea-legs at your local accommodation if you’re staying the night – or simply chill in the park by the river, watch the sun go down and take a moment to appreciate the quiet.

Dinner at Bordertown

Gympie Terrace has a slew of great dining spots – the kinds of places Noosa locals frequent. 

Bordertown Cocktails & Cantina offers the best of the border – American and Mexican food done proper. A fine take on tacos – think confit chicken and crispy skin duck, with a great selection of burgers and sides. Vegetarians are well catered for – as are those who fancy a cocktail or two – the Jalapeño Margarita comes highly recommended.


Noosaville Tips

- Book your BBQ Pontoon in advance for holiday seasons or busy weekends

- Bring tunes to turn your pontoon into a party

- Book an extra hour more than you think you’ll on the Pontoon need ‘cause you won’t want the cruising to stop

- For groups over four it’s a good idea to give Bordertown a call and book ahead


BBQ Pontoon Luncheon Checklist

-   Aperol x Prosecco x Sparkling Water

-   Esky full of ice

-   Salt n pepper

-   A chopping board and good knife

-   Medium sixed bowl

-   Serving spoon

-   Serve ware – plates, napkins, cups etc

-   More drinks, more snacks

-   Sunscreen + hats!


Shopping List

-   Bread

-   Crème fraiche

-   Lemon x 2

-   Dill

-   Fresh prawns

-   Good quality potato chips

-   All of the makings for your spritzers! Extra Prosecco for good measure!


Noosaville Address Book

Belmondos Organic Market – 59 Rene Street, Noosaville

Noosa Fish Providores - 1/185 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville

O-Boat Hire- 222 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville

Bordertown Cocktails & Cantina - 253 Gympie Terrace,





travelsRachel Surgeoner