My Favourite Go-To Recipes

I am always cooking. Whether it be for the café, recipe testing at home, writing blog posts or e-books, or simply entertaining at home. Food for me brings a sense of togetherness, of community, and of sharing amongst strangers. And I think it’s truly a beautiful gift to be able to cook for those you love.

Like everyone, I have my all time favourite dishes, the recipes I crave often depending on what mood I’m in. Some recipes are from travels, some adapted from my childhood, and the others I have created on my own.

Nikki Heyder My Favourite Go-to Recipes


I grew up in Asia and have a very multi-cultural background (Asian/Arabic/Italian) so as a child my palate was developed on both curries and pasta dishes, fish soups and Italian broths, turmeric elixirs and ginger teas, right through to freshly squeezed orange juice from my Nonna’s garden. As you can imagine, my pantry and fridge nowadays always needs to be stocked with a variety of herbs and spices that transport me instantly to another part of the world.

Some of my all time favourite cuisines (and their accompanying key flavour ingredients) are listed below. You can use these flavour combos with most dishes to create food that’s bursting with tasty goodness.


  • Smoked Paprika
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Chilli
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Preserved Lemon
  • Tomato Paste
  • Coconut Yoghurt


  • Dried Oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Tomato Paste
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Fresh Basil
  • Garlic
  • Lemon


  • Red Shallots
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Chilli
  • Tamarind
  • Ground Cumin
  • Keffir Lime Leaves
  • Turmeric
  • Fried Shallots
  • Lemongrass
  • Galangal
  • White Pepper


  • Fresh Mint
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Thai Basil Leaves
  • Sesame Oil
  • Lime
  • Chilli
  • Lemongrass
  • Fish Sauce
  • Garlic
  • White Pepper
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Star Anise
  • Cloves


  • Coconut Oil
  • Coconut Cream
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground Cumin
  • Ground Coriander
  • Ground Ginger
  • Ground Turmeric
  • Garlic
  • Garam Masala
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Fresh Mint
  • Chilli
  • Curry Leaves


  • Tamari
  • Sesame Oil
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Miso Paste
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Seaweed
  • Lemon
  • Ginger
  • Spring Onions

So now you know my pantry ‘must have’s, here are 3 of my all time favourite recipes which are quick, easy, and very satisfying!

BREAKFAST – Choc Berry Smoothie

2 tbsp fermented brown rice or pea protein
1 large frozen banana
1/2 ripe avocado
Handful baby spinach
3 ripe strawberries
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp maca powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp raw honey
1 1/2 cups Cocobella Straight Up coconut water

Simply blitz in your blender or bullet, and serve!

DINNER – Coconut & Turmeric Laksa

Nikki Heyder My Favourite Go-to Recipes Nikki Heyder My Favourite Go-to Recipes

1 large red chilli (optional)
1 tbsp belacan (shrimp paste – you should be able to buy this from a gourmet grocery store or you local Asian grocery store. Feel free to exclude it if vegan)
2 whole lemongrass stalks, chopped into small pieces
6 macadamia Nuts
4 large garlic cloves, halved
2cm piece ginger, cut into small pieces
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin

400g organic, non-GMO tofu or tempeh
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp Tamari sauce
1 tbsp sesame seeds

400g packet brown rice noodles (or any other noodle of your choice)
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tins full fat organic coconut milk
1.5 litres vegetable stock or water
Vegetables of your choice – I use broccoli, cauliflower, and potato all cut into small cubes
Fresh mint & coriander
Fresh mung bean sprouts
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt & pepper

Cocobella Coconut Yoghurt – Natural, to serve

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Place chili and shrimp paste in a small bowl covered with about 1/2 cup boiling water and let to sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, place tofu or tempeh on lined baking tray and drizzle with melted coconut oil, tamari and sesame seeds. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until starts to brown and turn crispy.
  4. Using a small food processor or NutriBullet, combine soaked chili/shrimp paste and the water with remaining paste ingredients and pulse until thick and smooth.
  5. Heat coconut oil in large pot and add your paste, cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes until fragrant.
  6. Add coconut cream and stock and bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add your vegetables to the broth and cook until tender.
  8. Soak the brown rice noodles in boiling water according to packet instructions.
  9. Take the broth off the heat and stir through lemon juice.
  10. To assemble, place noodles in bowls and pour in the soup and vegetables. Top with mung bean sprouts, tofu cubes, fresh mint and coriander, a wedge of lemon and a dollop of Cocobella Coconut Yoghurt to serve.


DRESSING – Rocket & Basil Pesto

Nikki Heyder My Favourite Go-to Recipes

2 cups firmly packed fresh rocket leaves
1 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup roasted almonds or almond flakes
1 1/2 cups good quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt & black pepper


Blitz all ingredients in a food processor or NutriBullet until smooth. Perfect to use with pasta, chicken, salmon, smear onto toast with fresh tomato, or even use as a salad dressing.


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