White cauliflower with green leaves


Megan: Having an intense dislike of potato and an indifference to rice provides me with a reasonable amount of restrictions.

I personally don’t feel the need to assimilate my foods to replicate or replace other foods (vegetarian bacon?!), however I frequently cook for other people and if there is one way to make your guests think you are not only fussy, but pedantic, it is to replace one thing with another.

I bring to you… cauliflower.

It is like some sort of godsend really, its texture and mutability yields to such various creations that I wonder if the culinary world was meant for fussy people.

Now, I won’t be ridiculous and suggest that anything that contains potato or rice can be simply replaced by cauliflower, however a lot of dishes (I think) are improved, certainly in nutritional value and often in flavour.

My standard is plain rice.

Cauliflower is simply grated (or blended) to resemble rice sized pieces.  Then you steam for 10 minutes or microwave on high for 8.  No need to add water  or anything really.

I personally like to steam my cauliflower with curry leaf/basil leaves or something to add a bit of flavour to ‘faux rice’ as steamed plain cauliflower has a certain smell to it.


Mashed potato.

For my ‘fauxtato’ I use a simply recipe;

1 head of cauliflower

1-2  clove of garlic

2 1/2 tablespoons of butter

1/4 cup of cream

tablespoon of Parmesan

Salt & Pepper

I cut up the cauliflower and microwave for 8 minutes – you can add any other flavours you like here, bay leaf/cloves/rosemary.  I would recommend that whatever flavour you add, you place under all the cauliflower to allow the best release of the flavours. After steaming/microwaving you must put the cauliflower onto absorbent paper and pat it dry.

Fry butter and garlic.. add cauliflower, add in cream and Parmesan blitz with a blender and season to taste.  If you want it to be a puree rather than a mash just add some milk.

Unlike potatoes, you can’t really stuff it up or turn it into glue.

Only mash and rice? no no.. I have also made fauxtato gems.

Essentially you steam/microwave the cauliflower – pat dry.

Add 1 – 2 eggs and tablespoon or Parmesan, season with whatever you like and a tablespoon of flour.

Roll into balls, you can put a crumb on them/bread crumbs/panko or whatever and fry them.


Sadly, I have also made ‘fauxtato salad’ which given that i also don’t eat eggs, wasn’t at all like a potato salad.

1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets and steamed

6 rashers of bacon

3 spring onions

1/2 a oven roasted capsicum


1/2 cup of whole egg mayo, 1/4 cup of sour cream, 4 tablespoons of dijon or other mustard, pinch of cayenne and salt and pepper.


Jesse: Cauliflower is underappreciated. This is more I think, due to its colour than its flavour. Like eggplant and potato, it’s capable of taking on new flavours whilst retaining its own nutty, cabbage-like character. It doesn’t need to be smothered in cheese to be tasty (although who doesn’t like that classic dish?). Cauliflower works particularly well in Indian cuisine. Here are two recipes that are probably some of the best Indian dishes I’ve tasted.


Aloo Gobhi

Vegetable oil

1 Onion, sliced

2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste

3 tbsp ground coriander (best if freshly ground from roasted seeds)

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 stick cinnamon

1 bay leaf

1/2 cauliflower, in florets

2 potatoes, large cubes

3/4 tin coconut milk



– Fry onion gently in oil until golden brown, then add garlic and ginger until it loses pungency

– Add spices and fry until aromatic, but not burnt

– Add vegetables, stir briefly, then cover with coconut milk.

– Allow to simmer gently until cooked and sauce is thick. Season to taste

– Serve with roti bread


Cauliflower Pakoras

1/2 cauliflower, chopped into small 1cm pieces

2 cups chickpea (besan) flour

1 cup thick Greek yoghurt

2 tbsp Garam Masala

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp cumin seeds

2 green chillis, chopped finely

bunch coriander leaves, chopped finely

2 tbsp garlic paste

2 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients in large bowl. Consistency of batter should be sticky but not gluey. Add more besan/yoghurt to adjust if necessary

– Make balls of 4cm diameter

– Deep fry small batches in vegetable oil until brown and cooked through. Don’t allow the oil to get too hot.

– Serve with tamarind chutney and raita.

Note: I generally don’t measure the flour/yoghurt, but just adjust by feel and/or common sense

I always get nervous about cooking something that someone likes, there is unexpected pressure to meet up expectations.

My girlfriend’s mother has been cooking Malaysian food forever, she makes wonderful Malaysian food.

As I understand it, Malaysian food is a fusion of various cultures as it is a mult-ethnic society and therefore there is a lot of diversity within its’ influences. Malay food is influenced by the Ancient Spice Route and I guess there’s is no way to describe it other than to say that its heavily influenced by Indonesian, Chinese, Indian, Sumatran, Thai, Singaporean.  Although influenced, it has its own flavours and becomes its own.

As a result of its various influences, Malay Cuisine is broken down into various subsets like Malay-Chinese, Malay-Indian, Nyonya, Malay (which is more of an Indo/Thai influence)

Often if you go to a Chinese Malay place, they will have adapted a traditional Indian dish to blend with their own spices and cultural flavours and vice versa.   So the subsets of cuisine are particularly important, and yet fused together.

So with all of that in mind and an ever-growing library of Malaysian cookbooks (i think we have about 32) I selected a few which I thought might inspire me.

I settled on a curry because I thought this was something that would work with a novice.  An overwhelming sense of dread filled me as they all the curries had potato and rice.   I am not really keen on rice, i think of it as some pointless starch whose only real purpose is to absorb curry sauce (perhaps not so pointless) but to me, no real flavour. I am also not a fan of anything particularly hot.. another sense of dread filled me as i poured over the books ’10 whole chilis/ 20 dried chilis’.. and belecan. Belecan is a dried shrimp paste which stinks it is an overwhelming and it gets into everything. Every recipe I looked at had excessive amounts of it. I knew this was just something I would have to suck up though.  Potatoes – I just … well essentially no. I am not eating them, I am not putting them in a curry and I was reasonably sure there was no real need for them flavourwise.

I know from eating Malaysian curries that potato is almost as essential as chilli.

Anyway, I settled on a recipe for which I thought I could adapt slightly to cover my loathing of potatoes, the fact i had no fresh galangal and was flavourful so i could reduce the chilies;


Adapted from “Southern and Northern Malaysian Nyonya Cuisine”

(the book is written in Malay and translated to English)

(A) (B) (C)
4  x chicken thighs 6 x french shallots 3 x tbsp of tomato paste
2 x chicken breasts 4 tsp of belecan 1 x tbsp of curry powder
½ cup of oil 10 x dried chillies 1 ½  x tbsp of sugar or substitute
½ head of cauliflower 5 x cloves of garlic 1 x tbsp of vinegar
5 curry leaves 2 x lemongrass stalks 1 x tbsp of turmeric powder
2 x stalks of coriander 1 x tsp of salt
1 x tbspn of ground coriander 1 x cup of water
1 x cup of coconut milk

Pound or blitz all of (B) together.  I processed it and then fried it all off. You have to fry it off very slowly to make sure all the ingredients have fragranted themselves. This should take awhile, doesn’t need to be really high heat and its probably best if its at a medium heat and if it starts to stick provided you have fried for a bit, you can add a little water, it will absorb or evaporate

Then add the chicken and brown it

Blend (C) together and add to the pot once the chicken is browned. Then let it simmer for an hour        or so, stirring occasionally. I simmered mine for about 1 ½ hours.

Then I steamed the cauliflower for 10 minutes with curry leaf.

Having watched people cook Malaysian curries and talking with them, i knew a few essential things to take on board;

1. Under no circumstances cook with olive oil, use vegetable oil

2. Be patient… seriously patient.

I took it all on board, loosely followed the recipe and all in all it turned our fabulously – although it did take me about 3 1/2 hours as i slow cooked my chicken – and also made curry leave kai-lan, sambal serai prawns, chili sambal and pandan coconut pannacotta.

Instead of rice i steamed some grated cauliflower with curry leaf and we didn’t have potato, which potentially could have made the sauce thicker and milder.  Despite reducing the dried chili amount it was still too hot for my liking.  but the big compliment was that my girlfriend said not only was it better than her mothers * but it was the best curry she had ever had (although she said it would have been better with potatoes)


Whoa-oh, I like it
Are you likin’ it too?

Gerry & The Pacemakers – I Like It

Coriander. I love it, and so does Megan. Bet you didn’t expect that.

Well, I didn’t use to like it much, and neither did a lot of people I knew. When I found out that there is most likely a genetic pre-disposition to not liking this green, leafy herb, I wanted to know more.

You see, Charles J. Wysocki of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia is known for his studies into why coriander polarises those who taste it. There are two common perceptions of the taste of coriander. Some taste it as vile and soapy, even with a decaying character. Others say it’s fresh and citrussy.

When I first tasted the herb, I predominantly tasted the soapy character, and found it an unnecessary addition to my Thai curry or Mexican salsa. But I continued to eat it when I encountered it, and gradually realised that some dishes just aren’t complete without it. Now, I use it as regularly as parsley. Why has my perception of it changed so much, even though I probably pre-disposed to not like it?

Think about broccoli or brussels sprouts. As a kid, most of us disliked those vegetables because we are genetically programmed to reject foods which have a bitter character to avoid poisons. I remember watching Robert Winston’s amazing documentary The Human Instinct and seeing an experiment where he feeds puréed radicchio to an infant. Let’s just say the results were amusing.

But our tastebuds change as we age, particularly as a child, and many of us now enjoy foods like broccoli. Coriander can have a similar reversal. It’s the prolonged exposure to those foods in dishes that teaches our brain to realise that they are not a threat. Regarding his change in opinion of coriander, or cilantro, as it’s know in the USA, Dr Jay Gottfried of Northwestern University said:

“I didn’t like cilantro to begin with,” he said. “But I love food, and I ate all kinds of things, and I kept encountering it. My brain must have developed new patterns for cilantro flavour from those experiences, which included pleasure from the other flavours and the sharing with friends and family. That’s how people in cilantro-eating countries experience it every day.”

Whilst I’m on the topic of cilantro, I’d like to share a story. My friend from California once said to me , “I just wish I could find my favourite ‘erb here. I’ve looked everywhere.” I asked what it was, and she replied “cilantro”. I told her it’s called coriander in Australia, and she told me, “Oh, I have that in my garden”.

There are other foods I also find taste soapy. Lychee immediately springs to mind. Perhaps, in time, I’ll get over that too. But my point is, sometimes there are physical reasons why people don’t like certain food.

On a final note, if you don’t like coriander leaf, try dry-roasting some coriander seeds, then grinding them in a mortar & pestle. The resulting powder has all the citrus character of the leaves, but also a deep, nutty fragrance which is divine. It might just help you begin to enjoy the herb.

So there we are. The Fussy Foodies are trying to convince you to try something you may not like and we do. I’ll leave you with Gerry & The Pacemakers.

Gerry & The Pacemakers – I Like It


Hating eggs is something I am attempting to overcome.
It is one of those things that people cannot comprehend someone not liking at all.  Poached, fried, scrabbled, soldiers, soft boiled.. just no.
I find breakfast near impossible to fathom as I don’t eat cereal, yoghurt, Salmon and rarely do establishments have breakfast dishes minus egg.  I love to go out for meals, I love doing brunch I love the whole casual Sunday, bed hair, coffee, paper, community of it all.  I generally order french toast, pancakes or waffles – which always delicious, it’s too much sugar for such a relaxed and calm atmosphere of it.

So I have commenced my endeavour to make eggs less nausea inducing and eggscrutiating.

I started off with a scrabbled egg, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of parmesan.  This seriously had me gagging and I think I almost shed a tear when i placed a fork near my mouth.  No egg made it to my mouth that day.

Lesson 1 – failure

I then commenced incorporating more eggs to dishes that I liked.  I love savoury cheesecake which is essentially cream cheese, assorted pre-cooked vegies, fetta, cream, s/p and an egg.  So i started adding more eggs, and not one to beat around the bush I started with an additional 5 eggs. It was so eggy, very quiche-like and others loved it but I wasn’t a fan. I did manage to egg through a slice though I was not keen for breakfast the next day and I think i ended up just eating bacon and sausages. Not egg-sactly my aim.

Lesson 2 – somewhat of an accomplishment

I love throwing things together – scrabbled eggs.  Surely with lots of smoked ham, kale, tomato, cream and cheese these eggs with yeild something of a taste sensation.  I think i may have underseasoned it as it was seriously too eggy.  I briefly considered that the cream was too little (although the texture was pretty spectacular) so I think it was just the egg.

I think i ate a chocolate brownie as a reward and to wash it down

Lesson 3 – failure

I wasn’t prepared to give up on the scrambled eggs though. I attempted this a second time, eggschanging one of the whole eggs for an egg yolk.  On this occassion I had assistance with my seasoning and fresh herbs were added and it was on a bed of bacon. This was actually pretty amazing – i am not sure whether it was the yolk or the seasoning or the herbs or the bacon … or my hangover. but it was good.

Lesson 4 – success.

I was so overwhelmed by my success with the eggs that I revisted my quiche-come-cheesecake this time, only using 3 eggs.  I also had assistance with the herbs and seasoning.  I had to stop myself from eating the whole thing. I must digress that this was very cheesecakey and rich so completely less eggy.

Lesson 5 – success.

Not sure I am ready to accept the challenge of breakfast in a dining establishment quite yet. However my eggsperiment is continuing.
This morning I made scrambled eggs


Unfortunately after i took this photo I realised the cream was not so good, I had to substitute for milk and as a non-milk drinker the only milk was some hi-lo watered down crap

It turned out okay… it was edible.

First of all, welcome to our food blog. I’ve already typed up a bio in About Us, so I’m not going to repeat myself.

Salads have always been an issue for me. Not liking egg or tomato instantly puts the brakes on for your typical European salad. The good old Australian barbeque where someone brings a potato salad, a coleslaw and a garden salad has meant that I mostly eat meat at such an event. Of course, I could pick out the tomatoes, but why bother when there’s a giant plate of sausages as an alternative?

I’ve only recently gotten to the stage where I can eat mayonnaise, but only in small doses. Kewpie, preferably. At my sister’s wedding, the Caesar Salad was exceptional, and the first I’ve actually enjoyed.

But when you approach salads from a different angle, there are plenty of options. Remember, salads don’t have to use too many ingredients. They just need a vegetable or two and something to bring the ingredients together. Here are some simple recipes of salads that I often make when my body is craving green matter. Note: unless specific amounts are needed, my recipes are usually pretty slapdash. Use your head.

Haloumi and Lentil Salad

Wedges of Haloumi, grilled
Can of brown lentils or soaked green lentils
Spring onions
Baby spinach
Continental parsley

Cumin powder – 2 parts
Coriander powder – 2 parts
Harissa paste / chilli powder – 1 part
Lemon juice – 4 parts
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 3 parts

-mix dressing separately, then add to bowl of all vegetables, toss

-top with haloumi

Green Salsa

Coriander leaves
Green chilli, diced
Lime juice

-Dead simple. Serve with chicken tacos!

Rad Radish

Daikon radish, peeled into long, thin strips
Lemon juice
Black pepper

-Great with Indian tandoori meats

Indian Carrot Salad

Vegetable oil
1/4 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
pinch of ground turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
500g carrots, grated
coriander leaves

-Fry mustard and cumin in oil until crackle and pop.

– Remove. Add turmeric, salt, sugar. Cool.

-Add lemon then carrots. Best prepared in advance

-Garnish with coriander

Fenugreek Potatoes

Handful of fenugreek leaves or spinach
(available frozen at Indian supermarkets)

Royal Blue potatoes, cubed and parboiled
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin seeds

– Parboil potatoes, thaw fenugreek

-Fry spices in oil for 30 seconds, add potatoes. Sauté until potatoes fully cooked.

-Toss through fenugreek. Serve warm or cold.

TWITTER: @thefussyfoodies

Jesse won’t eat:

Raw tomatoes
Blue cheese

Megan won’t eat:

Raw fish
anything with a head/tailbones/skin i cant eat
fancy lettuce
fancy mushrooms
Beans Baked, white, kidney