Tag: sustainability

Pumpkin, Kale and Risoni Soup

Pumpkin, Kale and Risoni Soup

Hello Friends, Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing one of my new favourite winter soup recipes; Pumpkin, Kale and Risoni Soup. If you have followed my blog for a while you probably already know how much I LOVE soup 

How and why you should make your own vegetable stock!

How and why you should make your own vegetable stock!

Hi Friends! Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen post! Today’s post is kind of a recipe post, combined with a post about minimising waste, eating real food, frugal living and saving money. All my favourite topics in one! So, making your own veggie stock. If 

Easy Sourdough Starter Pancakes

Easy Sourdough Starter Pancakes

Hi Friends,

Welcome to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing these easy and delicious sourdough starter pancakes.

As any regular readers would know, I am always on a mission to reduce my food waste (and plastic waste) and cook more from scratch. I am a lover of sourdough and I spend $9 every week on a freshly baked loaf of organic sourdough for myself (Nathan does’t eat it). Which a) is a lot of money for a loaf of bread and b) is something I’m wanting to learn to make myself. So, a couple of weeks ago I decided to take the plunge and create my own sourdough starter.

I haven’t found this to be the easiest process (I have a blog post on my experience coming very shortly). To create sourdough starter, you need to discard majority of it twice a day everyday while you are building the cultures, otherwise you will have too much starter and the flour you are feeding it won’t be enough for the cultures to thrive off.

Meet Mr W. Leviosa (my sourdough starter) I’ve been informed if you don’t name them you’re setting them up for failure, I am also a hopeless Harry Potter fan and I thought Leviosa was quite fitting as it originates from the latin word Levo meaning ‘I lift’ which is exactly what I’m hopping Mr W. Leviosa will do.


Discarding this much sourdough starter everyday was getting on my nerves because it is such a waste AND it’s a very thick gluey mixture that seems to permanently attach itself to anything it comes into contact with. Whilst you can compost sourdough starter, I decided to try and cook with it. Mr W. Leviosa isn’t quite powerful enough to bake a loaf of bread with just yet, however he is perfect for pancakes!

Confession, I am not the biggest pancake fan (I know, what is wrong with me) growing up my mum and sister loved them and mum would often make them for us from scratch, but I’m much more of a sourdough toast for Sunday breakfast kind of gal.

Nathan on the other hand LOVES pancakes and I decided this would be a good use of my sourdough starter discard. Nath was heading off to go mountain bike riding with one of his friends so what better way to give him some energy for the day than to fill him full of pancakes (and sugar) and use up the starter discard in the process.

This recipe was very easy to throw together and produced extremely fluffy and soft pancakes! I used 1.5 cups of sourdough starter, I just kept the discard from the two feedings the day before in the fridge and then added the discard from the feeding this morning and voila, 1.5 cups of sourdough starter.

I added a little extra flour to make the pancakes thicker, added in some eggs and some milk, some baking soda and some salt. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

If you wanted to make this vegan, use plant based milk and substitute the eggs for either two flax eggs or applesauce or mashed banana!

I didn’t use any sugar in the pancake batter as I feel like it is sweet enough with the toppings, however if you have a sweet tooth, add in some sugar to sweeten them up!

If you are also on a journey to making your own sourdough and have some starter you want to use, give this recipe a go, I promise you won’t be disappointed! If you do, be sure to let me know how you liked them either in the comments down below or over on Instagram, I would love to hear from you. If you would like to see more posts like this, feel free to subscribe to my blog via email so you receive a notification each time I post.

If you know me personally and you want to come over for some pancakes, just let me know, I have a lot of starter to use and I’m happy to cook them for you!

Until next time, take care!

X Kiah

Sourdough Starter Pancakes

These fluffy and delicious pancakes are so easy to throw together and will help you to use up excess sourdough starter discard without having to throw it away or put it in the compost. The starter makes them so fluffy and delicious you'll want to make them everyday!

Course Afternoon Tea, Breakfast, Morning Tea, Sunday Breakfast
Cuisine American, Australian
Keyword Easy Fluffy Pancakes, Pancakes, Sourdough Pancakes, Sourdough Starter Discard, Sourdough Starter Pancakes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 people


  • 1.5 cups fresh sourdough starter I saved the discard from a couple of feedings in the fridge
  • 2 whole eggs or substitute flax eggs, apple sauce or mashed banana
  • 2 tbsp flour optional - depends how thick you like pancakes
  • 2 tbsp milk either dairy or plant based milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp butter or butter alternative for cooking
  • 2 serves of toppings of your choice


  1. Add the fresh sourdough starter to a mixing bowl

  2. Add the flour and milk, mix through well

  3. Add the eggs or egg substitute and wisk until combined

  4. Add the salt and baking soda and mix through, set aside for a few minutes

  5. Heat a large pan over a medium heat (I used my enamel coated cast iron pan which I love!) add in butter or butter substitute

  6. Once melted, ladle in a scoop of the pancake batter, cook over a low to medium heat until large bubbles start appearing on the top of the pancake (this doesn't take too long to keep an eye on it!)

  7. Use a spatula to flip the pancake and continue to cook on a low to medium heat for another 30 seconds to a minute (make sure you don't burn it)

  8. Remove pancake from pan and onto a plate, store plate in a low temp oven to keep warm while you cook remaining pancakes

  9. Re-grease the pan (if needed - mine doesn't) and repeat until you have used all of the batter and have a delicious stack of pancakes

  10. Serve immediately with your choice of toppings, some ideas are fresh berries, frozen berries heated in the oven, maples syrup, lemon and sugar, nutella, fruit jam - really the possibilities are endless

  11. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Leftover pancakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 days or frozen for grab and go breakfast options during the week!

This recipe can use sourdough starter that isn't strong enough for baking bread. My starter had been going for about 13 days when I made these pancakes (so still very new) and I have a cold house so the cultures were not quite strong enough for bread baking but perfect for pancakes! I just saved the starter discard from about 3 feedings (in a jar in the fridge separate to my main starter) to get 1.5 cups!

September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 2

September Grocery Budget Challenge: Week 2

Hello hello hello! Welcome to another Kiah’s Kitchen blog post! This is the second instalment of my September Grocery Budget Challenge! If you haven’t seen week one, you can check it out here. For those that need a quick recap – this challenge is all 

Easy Black Eyed Pea Curry

Easy Black Eyed Pea Curry

Hi Friends! Welcome back to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post! Today I am sharing my delicious and easy Black Eyed Pea Curry recipe! Cooking with black eyed peas is actually new to me, I have never tried them before! I was in my local green 

Easy Pumpkin, Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

Easy Pumpkin, Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

Hi Friends,

Welcome to another Kiah’s Kitchen recipe post!

This delicious and creamy pumpkin, mushroom and spinach risotto came about because I am really focusing on minimising food waste and being frugal in the kitchen. I had a butternut pumpkin (I think in America this is called butternut squash) that was going to go bad, however I didn’t have anything to use it for at the time. So I decided to cut it in half and scoop out the seeds, place the two halves face down on a baking tray and bake in the oven for about an hour and a half until cooked through. I then scooped the flesh out into a container and froze it for use in a future recipe.

Well my friends, this is the recipe. I had some arborio rice in my cupboard that needed to be used so I decided to create a pumpkin risotto using the cooked pumpkin puree in my freezer. I added in mushrooms because they provide a delicious flavour and are a great substitute for meat in a dish like this (I’m a mushroom lover) and some spinach for greens.

The pumpkin makes this risotto really creamy without actually having to use cream! I did use parmesan, if you are vegan or avoiding dairy, just substitute in a vegan parmesan alternative such as nutritional yeast or vegan cheese.

Risotto really is a labour of love, there is a lot of stirring involved, it’s definitely not a set and forget kind of meal, but I promise you the effort is worth it. We are in the middle of winter here in Australia and it was so nice to sit down to this warming, hearty and nourishing meal after a long day at work.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, if you do make it send me a photo over on Instagram, I’d love to see your creation! Also feel free to follow me @kiah.mcfarlane to see all of my cooking escapades, waste minimisation tips and just general life adventures!

Until next time,

Kiah xo

Pumpkin, Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

A delicious creamy dish perfect for those winter nights in with a nice glass of wine!

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Mushroom Stew, Pumpkin, Risotto, Spinach, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely diced (or minced)
  • 400-500 grams white or brown mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree or cooked pumpkin
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 heaped cup arborio rice
  • 4 cups organic chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese plus extra for serving (or vegan/dairy free alternative)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add stock and water to a small pot and set on the stove to bring to a gentle simmer

  2. Prepare all vegetables as per ingredient list

  3. Once the stock has reached a simmer turn it to low to keep warm

  4. In a large wok or pan, heat olive oil over a medium heat

  5. Saute onion and garlic until translucent and slightly golden

  6. Add aborio rice and stir well to coat in remaining oil and lightly toast (2-3 minutes)

  7. Add mushrooms and white wine and stir well

  8. Continue to stir rice gently adding 1-2 ladles of stock at a time and waiting until liquid is mostly absorbed before adding the next ladle

  9. When you are about halfway though the stock, add in the pumpkin puree and stir well to combine

  10. Continue the process of gradually adding stock until rice is cooked

  11. When cooked, rice should not be hard, but there should be texture to it when you bite into it, generally you can begin testing around 15 minutes or so however it can often take up to 20 minutes

  12. Add salt and pepper to taste

  13. Once rice is ready, add spinach and parmesan cheese and stir through until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted

  14. Serve risotto in bowls, topped with freshly chopped parsley and additional parmesan cheese

Recipe Notes

Risotto is generally best served fresh, rice as a rule does not really freeze well so I recommend consuming immediately after cooking and if there are leftovers, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and eat the following day. This dish is a delicious comfort meal during those cold winter months, perfect with a glass of wine!

How I plan my weekly meals – eat fresh, reduce waste, save time and money!

How I plan my weekly meals – eat fresh, reduce waste, save time and money!

Hi Friends! Happy New Year! Welcome to 2019, it’s going to be a good one! Often January is the time of year where everyone is setting goals and intentions, trying to break bad habits and implement better ones. That’s why I have decided to share 

Five easy ways to minimise waste and become more eco friendly!

Five easy ways to minimise waste and become more eco friendly!

Hey Friends! Today I’m here to talk about waste. Nope, this is not a blog post about poop, the waste I am referring to is the avoidable and unnecessary kind. Right now I don’t think the planet is feeling too crash hot, the air is