Arabella Forge Frugavore in kitchen(The lovely Arabella Forge)

In our latest Foodie Profile we chat with Nutritionist, Cook and Food Writer Arabella Forge. Arabella is a down to earth soul with a conscientious approach and passion for cooking real food. She has shared this philosophy with the world in her fabulous cook book, Frugavore – a staple for every homemaker with its focus on healthy, sustainable and cost saving cooking. In our chat she discusses the Frugavore concept, her journey since publishing the book and has kindly shared one of her favourite recipes too!


1. Tell us a bit about yourself, and how Frugavore the concept and the book came about.

I currently work as a Nutritionist and Food Writer. I started writing Frugavore when i was teaching a cooking series a few years ago which focused on healthy, cost-saving cooking techniques for people in temporary housing. I realised that there wasn’t enough information available on how to make cost-saving sustainable and healthy food choices, so that’s how I developed Frugavore. Frugavore literally means a ‘love of frugality’ so it’s about using good quality food, but making it last longer and stretch further.

Arabella Forge Frugavore_cover

(Frugavore by Arabella Forge)

2. What is the easiest way to become a Frugavore and what do you think the benefits are?

The easiest way is to start connecting directly to the source of your food; this ensures freshness, higher nutrient density and lower food miles. You can do this by buying directly from farmers, buyers clubs or co-ops, or even by just planting a garden.


3. What kind of new opportunities have you been exposed to since the launch of the book?

I have been doing more speaking and teaching work which has been a lot of fun. I find it really interesting speaking to community groups and seeing how so many people are become active within their own networks. During the past few months I’ve seen several community gardens, buyers clubs and food co-ops get started and begin to thrive. The food community in and around Melbourne is really thriving. It’s great to be a part of it.

Arabella Forge Frugavore wild green pie

(Wild Greens Pie with gluten-free pastry)

4. Is there a Frugavore recipe you could share with our readers? 

Wild Greens Pie with gluten-free pastry.


2 cups silverbeet, kale or stinging nettle, cut into rough 2.5cm pieces, lightly cooked in a steamer and allowed to dry.

90g fetta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup currants

dash olive oil


1 cup nut flour (use ground nuts such as hazelnut, almond and pecan. You can buy them whole, then grind them to a flour with a food processor.

1/4 cup rice flour

1 egg yolk

juice 1/2 lemon

pinch sea salt

80g butter


1. Start by making the pastry: blend together all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Check for additional salt.

2. Roll out 60cm of baking paper, fold it in half and place the pastry in the middle of both sheets (like a sandwich). Refrigerate until firm.

3. Make the filling by combining all ingredients. Toss well with your hands, add a generous dash of olive oil and season to taste.

4. Rub the bottom of your pie dish with olive oil then pour in the filling.

5. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Keep the baking paper folded in half and roll out the pastry between the sheets of paper using a rolling pin. It should be about 0.5cm thick. Remove the paper from one side of the pastry, then place the pastry on top of the pie. Pull off the paper on the other side and ensure the pastry sits evenly flat atop the filling. Trim the edges around the top.

6. Place pie in a pre-heated oven at 180C and cook for 20 minutes or until lightly brown and crisp on top.


5. Have you eaten anywhere that practises the Frugavore philosophy?

Silo by Joost is very Frugavore! They have a zero-waste policy, so nothing is ever thrown out; their food waste is turned into compost and all of their produce comes in returnable packaging. They also choose organic and locally-sourced produce wherever they can. It’s a beautiful little cafe in the heart of the city.


6. Which are your favourite foodie spots in Melbourne?

I love the Grub Food Van. It’s like eating lunch in an indoor greenhouse. Last time I ate there I left with a bag of their used coffee grounds which they give away as garden fertiliser.

Lupino in Little Collins Street is also fantastic. They use a lot of beautiful, traditional Italian cooking techniques that comes through in the flavour of their food; their soups and stocks are superb.


7. What is next for you and/Frugavore?

I am currently writing for and The Melbourne Review.  I am also filming two series for Channel 10, It’s a Lifestyle TV and A Taste of Travel. When I’m not at work, my two-year old is keeping me very busy, as are our chickens and beehive.



Twitter: @ArabellaForge

Facebook: Frugavore

Notes: Frugavore is available in all good book stores. You can also buy copies online at