Secrets of the Chef- The MacPherson Diaries

This woman is incredible. Businesses, children, partner, dog and all the while cooking away in her wee kitchen. Jana McPherson has helped me along the way with my new baby and business more than she will ever know.

I love comfort food and this stuff blows it all out of the box. When you just can’t be bothered preparing something that takes forever these two recipes will hopefully help you out when life is just too busy and you want some dam. good. food.

Jana MacPherson also writes a brilliant blog The MacPherson Diaries which you can find here.

There are a few things that I’ve learnt on the journey they call motherhood.   1: Mum cannot survive on toast crusts, soggy rusks and cold coffee alone. 2: Leftovers are your friends. Today’s recipes are a couple of my favourites which get me through the day.

The Coconut Porridge is purely about filling up my own cup, my children wake early and hungry, so I often forget about my own needs while tending to theirs. If I can have enough forethought to set the slow cooker the night before then this recipe is a game changer. It is affordable, filling and delicious and it’s easily prepped in minutes. The slow cooker does all the work for you while you sleep. If only the housework would do this too!

Secrets of the Chef- The MacPherson Diaries

Slow Cooker Coconut Porridge 

2 C coconut milk

2 C almond milk or water

1 C rolled oats

1 teaspoon sugar or honey

Pinch of salt

Add everything to the slow cooker and turn on low before bed and it is ready when you wake up. A small amount sticks to the sides so don’t be alarmed.

I have served with slices of pear slices and maple syrup. Delish!

*you can use 4 cups of any liquid combo you like really, I am dairy free so I love the creaminess of the coconut milk and coconut sugar would be also be delicious instead of the maple syrup.

We often have roast chicken in our house (crowd pleaser + simple are my favourite dinners!) and Hunter LOVES rice, well not on Tuesdays or Thursdays, but most of the time (*cue parental nod). So I often cook up rice in big batches and freeze it in individual portions to have on hand when you need something desperately (but still aiming for some nutritional value).

We used to have a version of a Sushi Bowl on at our restaurant and I couldn’t get enough of them. I’ve put my own stamp on this one and it makes the leftovers feel like the hero, not an after thought.

Secrets of the Chef- The MacPherson Diaries

Teriyaki Chicken Sushi Bowl 

2 C *cooked brown rice

1 C **shelled Edamame beans

2 cooked chicken breasts

Teriyaki Sauce

1 c soy

1 c mirin

1 c sugar

Wakame / Seaweed salad ,  Kewpie Mayo & Sushi Ginger to serve

Serves 2


Make Teriyaki Sauce by putting all ingredients in a bottle and shake to combine. Take 1 c of mixture and place in a pot over a medium heat and reduce until slightly sticky.

Cook edamame to the instructions on the packet and season with salt.

To Assemble

Place a large spoonful of rice on the plate. Follow with the cooled edamame.  On goes the chicken breast and finally spoon over some of the teriyaki sauce. Don’t be shy now, add a large dollop of wakame followed by ginger & mayo.


This is a great starting point and you can just keep building or substituting to your hearts content; think salmon, avocado, cucumber, wasabi & soy. Oh the options!

*Rice: I use brown rice where possible because it is more nutritious, though it may be more in keeping with the theme to use white rice, so use your preference. I cooked mine with a little chicken stock to give it more depth and interest. You want the rice to be cold or at least at room temperature when serving.

**You can get shelled edamame at most supermarkets in the frozen food section.

*** Teriyaki Sauce: I make this in a big batch and it keeps uncooked in the fridge for at least 10 days. It is great with so many meal ideas: salmon, beef, tofu, rice, noodles etc.

Secrets of the Chef- The MacPherson Diaries Secrets of the Chef- The MacPherson Diaries

If you try either of my dishes, drop me a line and let me know what you think. I love chatting about food and if you were wondering, a glass of rose goes perfectly with the sushi bowl, just in case you needed an excuse to open a fresh bottle.

Xxx Jana

The MacPherson Diaries