learn how to cook Quinoa with lemon and parsley at Jacican cookingPopping up in my feed is pictures of people cooking amazing things – seafood, tagines, roast with all the trimmings – no one is really living on what they have in their pantry.

I’m taking a different approach and trying to use up what I have in the pantry first, cooking what I have on hand.

And it turns out, I have a lot of Quinoa on hand, leftover from now non-existent catering jobs.

As cooking is in my blood, heart and soul, I am going to work out as many ways to cook Quinoa as possible, maybe come up with 100 recipes.

So far, I have three.

This recipe was served as a side dish with last nights dinner (Building Maintenance doesn’t feel like I’ve fed him right unless there are carbs on the plate).

The next night, I stuffed it into zucchini, then baked the lot in the oven covered with fresh tomato sauce.

Quinoa with pickled lemon and parsley recipe.

Cook Quinoa using pressure cooker method, 1-part Quinoa 2 parts water, 3 minutes on high pressure.

Finely mince a 250 ml jar of pickled lemons and a bunch of parsley.

Once the Quinoa has cooked for its three minutes and the steam has released from the pressure cooker, but the quinoa is still hot, stir through the minced lemon and parsley.

Season with salt and pepper.



A friend told me recently, that in tough times make sure you have Brussels Sprouts. They will survive at the bottom of your fridge through everything.

chopped brussel sprouts waiting for your lunch at Jacican

Here’s how you cook them

To save on the typing, from now on I’m going to call Brussels Sprouts, BS.

I like to peel off any leaves for the outside that are past their best.

have brussel sprouts with your lunch at Jacican

You can either cut a cross in the bottom of each BS or cut each BS in half vertically.

chopped brussel sprouts into halves for lunch at Jacican

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil. Blanc your BS in the boiling water for 2 minutes. I do less time, not more, as I like my BS still crispy. Not grey and soggy. 

Dice a couple of strips of bacon and one onion.

Heat a frying pan. Add a spoonful of butter. Melt.

Add the bacon and onion to the frypan. Fry off until the bacon is crisp, and the onion cooked.

Throw in the BS. Fry off until they start to brown.

fry your brussel sprouts in a frypan with bacon and onion

To finish the BS off, pour in ½ cup of white wine. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and the chef’s secret ingredient, sugar.  

On this day, I’ve served mine with a rack of Wattlebank park farm lamb

Brussel sprouts served with lamb rack at Jacican lunch

Stay safe and keep cooking!


Plum hot sauce recipe Jacican Mirboo North

This recipe is from Olive Scott.

It was given to me by Jannette Langely when bringing her granddaughter to a Jacican kid's cooking class. 

I have changed it from imperial and metric and use whole spices, crushed where I can.

This recipe is a vegetarian version of a Worcestershire sauce (but we can’t call it Worcestershire because we don’t live in Worcester). 

Plum Hot Sauce Recipe


  • 1.8 kilograms of plums
  • 1.2 kilograms of treacle
  • 28 grams of pepper, ground - you can use whole and crush
  • 14 grams of ginger, ground 
  • 30 grams of salt
  • 900 grams of brown sugar
  • 3.3 kilograms of vinegar
  • 28 grams of allspice - you can use whole and crush
  • 7 grams of cayenne pepper
  • 110 grams of garlic, crushed


  1. Wash plums. Cut the plums in half and remove the stone. Place plum in a large preserving pan.
  2. Put the rest of the ingredients in the pan with the plums. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to prevent sticking.
  3. Boil for 1 hour or until the sauce thickens to the consistency you like. 
  4. Bottle and seal. 

This is one of the recipes we make in Jacican preserving cooking class.

I love tomato season, and you get to make your year's supply of chutneys and sauces. 

I usually make 10x of this recipe at once - you will just need a bigger pot. 



  • 1 kg red tomatoes - peeled and chopped
  • 1 brown onion - peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic - peeled and chopped
  • 330 ml vinegar
  • 160 grams of sultanas
  • 4 cloves
  • pinch (small) cayenne
  • 1/2 TB salt
  • 200 grams of sugar


Put all ingredients - EXCEPT SUGAR -in a large saucepan. 

ingredients in pot

Heat over medium heat, stirring until boiling.  Cook until mixer thickens, about 1 and 1/2 hr hours.

mixed ingredients in pot  cooked tomato chutney

Remove from heat.  Add sugar, return to heat, stirring until boiling.  Cook a further 1 and 1/2 hours until the mixer does not separate.  Stir frequently. 

add sugar

Bottle and seal in hot sterilized jars

finished chutney

This recipe should make 5 x 250ml jars of chutney. 

This is one of the recipes you will learn to make in a Jacican preserving cooking class, depending on seasonality and availability of produce. 

Each preserving class changes depending on what is available in the Jacican kitchen garden. 

The best time to visit Jacican to learn to preserve tomatoes is from February to May each year. 

To book into a Jacican Preserving class, follow the link here

In 2023, Jacican is holding a one-off Tomato preserving class where you will learn how to preserve tomatoes in six different ways. Tomato Preserving can be booked through One Hour Out. 


On the Jacican cook group, you asked for my Tomato sauce recipe.

Here is it …

Tomato sauce

Jacican tomato sauce

This recipe uses 1 kilogram of fresh tomatoes. You can expand this recipe to the weight of tomatoes you have to cook. I would usually do 10 kg at a time.



1 kg Red Tomatoes - roughly chopped

1 clove of garlic

1 whole allspice

5-gram yellow mustard seeds

2 whole cloves

pinch (small one) cayenne

120 ml vinegar

6-gram salt

75-gram sugar



Cook tomato and garlic until well pulped. Put through mouli to break down to a fine pulp and remove the skin and seeds. Rinse out the pan and return the pulp to it.

tomatoes  tomatoes in mouli

Tie spices in a muslin bag and add to tomatoes along with cayenne, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Cook until it does not separate anymore. Approximately 1 and 1/2 hours. Strain to remove spices.

added sugar  add vingar

Bottle and seal in hot sterilised bottles




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Acknowledgment of country

Hello, I’m Jaci Hicken, from the lands of the Brataualung clan, which is where I’ve spent most of my life.

I would like to acknowledge all of us here today to cook together and share a meal.

I love sharing my dream of growing the food this country has to offer and share it with you.

The traditional place that we come together today is on the lands Gunaikurnai people

And I’d like to pay my respects to our elders past, present, emerging leaders, along with all the young people in our community.

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