This Pumpkin Pie Spiced Chia Pudding is a fun treat for a Halloween breakfast or dessert!
Step 1 – For the faces, I painstakingly cut out shapes from chalkboard stickers. I wish I’d been able to find my glass window paints as that would have been so much easier. Don’t try to stick on or paint on the glass once the pudding is inside, as the condensation from the cold pudding will prevent any adhesion. For Pumpkin face inspiration, choose from the two pdf booklets below.
Step 2 – Use your choice of nut, seed, organic soy, or dairy milk to suit your particular diet preferences. For a richer pudding, use coconut or dairy cream.
This is a fairly standard pumpkin pie spice mixture, however, it can easily be adjusted according to taste. For example, as I find nutmeg quite strong I would use half the amount stated. The amount of cinnamon can easily be doubled if cinnamon is a favourite spice of yours. For making a larger amount of Pumpkin Pie Spice to use later, find a recipe here.
Step 3 – Black chia seeds would also work well, as long as you don’t mind the orange colour being less vibrant.
Step 4 – These serving glasses are recycled from Chocolate Pudding Cups bought at Aldi, though I’m sure you can come up with something equally as inventive.
Step 5 – The dark chocolate used for the hair could be replaced with raw cacao nibs or crumbled homemade chocolate biscuits.
Enjoy the fun and please send me a photo of your creation!
This Salted Caramel and Banana Smoothie is not only delicious but also highly nutritious. It is an excellent start to the day for kids and adults alike. It has become my favourite quick breakfast.
The maca root originated in Peru. It looks like a potato and a radish had a baby but has a nutty, slightly caramelly/butterscotchy flavour. We use it dried and powdered.
It is touted to possibly help with increasing low libido, increasing fertility, boosting energy and endurance, reducing blood pressure, improving mood, fighting free radicals, reducing sun damage, improving learning and memory, and reducing menopausal symptoms. Sounds like some pretty amazing side benefits to enjoying maca powder in your food preparation.
Though maca may not be suitable for everyone. One article I found, offers this caution, “If you’re on blood thinners, maca may not be right for you. It has so much vitamin K — which helps your blood form clots — that it may counteract your medication. Ditto that for men with elevated blood PSA (prostate specific antigens), who should stay away from maca. The plant’s extracts might act like estrogen, so avoid it if you have hormone-sensitive conditions like breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers or endometriosis.”
For the rest of us, it’s important to not indulge in too much of a good thing whatever it is, so according to my research, I limit the amount of maca I use in my cooking/food preparation to two tablespoons a week.
I use sea salt that naturally has iodine or pink Himalayan salt that has some extra minerals.
The amount of salt you use will depend on your taste and how much salt you already consume. Too much salt can worsen high blood pressure.
According to The Victorian Government’s Better Health website, “around 75% of the salt in our diet comes from processed foods, which means we may be unaware of the amount of salt we are having.”
This is another good reason to cook for ourselves as then we can keep track of our salt intake, which should be no more than 1 teaspoon a day for most of us. Remember that too little salt also has negative side effects. In severe cases, low sodium levels in the body can lead to muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting and dizziness.
The riper the banana the more sweet the smoothie will be. I sometimes make this smoothie to use up almost over-ripe bananas and often don’t need to add the dates.
If you don’t have time to freeze the banana, add a few ice cubes to ensure it is nice and cold.
This Super Quick Freezer Fudge recipe was created by my low tox mentor Alexx Stuart of Low Tox Life. This delicious and nutritious fudge can be ready to eat in 30 minutes.
This recipe is a sneak peek of just one of the recipes from our new collaboration ebook, “Low Tox Life Easy Read Recipes“. This ebook contains 20 of Alexx’s best-of quick and easy recipes. Of course, they are set out in my easy-read recipe format. Easy recipes in an easy format – it doesn’t get much easier than that! 🙂
Alexx is the person who started the Low Tox movement over a decade ago. I started my low tox journey with her incredibly informative Go Low Tox course. I was so impressed with Alexx’s knowledge of how to lead a more “low” tox life (rather than the impossible “no” tox life), that I became a Low Tox Coach through her Low Tox Method program.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is the best to use here as you want it to go solid when cooled in the freezer and stored in the fridge. MCT coconut oil will not solidify.
Check that the Nut or Seed Butter that you buy is made from 100% of the nut or seed of choice. Some have added refined salt, sugar and emulsifiers and these are best avoided if you want the most “real” food.
Cocoa Powder that has been alkalised is Dutch Cocoa Powder. The Dutch processed version is darker and has a less bitter taste. On the other end of the spectrum is Cacao Powder which is unroasted (raw and dried). It is the most bitter-tasting of the three but also contains the most antioxidants. Any of the three can be used in this recipe. It’s all up to your taste preference.
For the liquid sweetener, there is the choice of Maple Syrup, Rice Malt Syrup and Honey. I am partial to the taste of Raw Honey, however, Pure Maple Syrup is the best choice if you are on a Low FODMAP diet and Rice Malt Syrup is popular for those wanting to reduce their intake of fructose.
Vanilla Bean Powder is simply ground and dried vanilla beans. If it is difficult to find then simply use Pure Vanilla Extract instead. Imitation Vanilla Essence will leave a nasty aftertaste.
Chopped Nuts are the suggested add-in, however, add in your favourite nuts, seeds and/or dried fruits.
When melting the coconut oil and nut or seed butter, I find it works best to stir the mixture as it is melting. Then I remove it from the heat and whisk in the cocoa or cacao powder, sweetener, and vanilla before stirring in my add-ins.
The amount of time it takes to freeze will depend on your freezer so you may have to be patient which is difficult when knowing how yummy this treat will be.
This Spiced Beef Cheeks recipe could not be any easier – sprinkle on the spices and slow cook for 8 hours. The beef cheeks release their own juices to make a rich sauce subtly spiced with the flavours of Morocco. The meat ends up so deliciously succulent.
If you haven’t tried Beef Cheeks, then this is the best way to do so. Ask your local butcher for them. I can’t believe I have been missing out on this moist and succulent cut of meat until this year.
These Beef Cheeks can be served over mashed, sweet potato, pumpkin, or potatoes, or this Soft Polenta recipe courtesy of Australian celebrity cook, Maggie Beer.
This Beef Cheeks recipe is adapted from a recipe by Vered Deleeuw. See the original recipe here.
This silky smooth truffle recipe is so easy to make. It also has the benefit of protein and fibre that is usually not found in a truffle. It is almost healthy!
The protein is provided by the cashews and the protein is found in the dates that also provide a natural sweetness.
After soaking the cashews overnight, you simply add everything to a blender and spoon it into the moulds. Isn’t that super easy?
Be experimental with some extra additions. I like to use coarsely chopped nuts, rosewater, or pure organic essential oils such as peppermint or sweet orange. If you use essential oils, take care not to overdo it. Add a drop at a time until you get the desired flavour.
The addition of fresh ginger gives a normal Sweet Potato Soup an extra boost of flavour and nutrition. The seed and herb gremolata topping adds colour, texture, flavour, and some protein.
Another soup on this website that uses Sweet Potato is the Cream of Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup by Executive Chef Matthew McTigue of the El Tovar Hotel restaurant located on the rim of the Grand Canyon. It is a little different because Chef McTigue uses powdered ginger instead of fresh. Both are delicious!
This super easy Fish in Coconut, Lime and Coriander Sauce is mild yet flavoursome. Most of the ingredients are blended into a liquid in which the fish is then poached. So Easy!!
Even if you don’t like coriander, it is worth a try. Or you can try my Fish in White Wine and Mustard Cream Sauce.
This tasty but not-too-hot version of Chilli con Carne couldn’t be easier and is pretty much foolproof. This Tex-Mex dish has been around since I was young and is still a favourite in many households.
It took me a while to decide whether to be true to Chilli con Carne’s North American origins and use the spelling”Chili” or stick to my Australian roots and spell it “Chilli”. I decided to be consistent with the Australian spelling throughout the rest of my website so “Chilli” it is!
Using lean minced/ground beef prevents too much oil from floating on the top of the finished product.
Bottled tomato passata is found in the supermarket aisle near the pasta sauce. I use passata instead of the usual canned diced tomatoes because I prefer to use foods from glass rather than cans. I haven’t yet seen bottled kidney beans. They would also be hard to find and I want cooking to be easy.
The ground chilli powder is ground dried chillis and not the chilli, sugar, etc. mix also known as “chilli powder”. If you are worried about the amount of heat, then substitute the ground chilli powder with dried chilli flakes.
Canned diced tomatoes can be easily substituted for the passata. The cans here are 400 g so two cans would work.
The cooking time for the Chilli con Carne will depend on your consistency preference. Some like it more liquid to serve over rice, whereas I like to cook it for the full 40 minutes so that I can easily eat it on its own with a fork. It is also great served over a baked potato.
Kohlrabi is back in trend but is often overlooked. This salad uses the slightly sweet and peppery taste of Kohlrabi to complement the sweetness of the carrot. The sweet citrus dressing is the perfect finish.
If you are looking for another salad with grated carrot, try my Beetroot and Carrot Salad with Ginger and Lime Dressing, Moroccan Salad, or Asian Style Coleslaw. To find other easy read salad recipes, choose “Salads” as the category option on the Recipe Page.
There is a trend at the moment, that I agree with, that recommends eating more protein and fewer grains. Because of the nuts and chia seeds, this chia pudding is the perfect option for a protein-rich breakfast or sweet treat. Chia seeds are also rich in Omega-3s.
This Chocolate and Nut Butter Chia Pudding is also a convenient on-the-go breakfast if you set these puddings in their own spillproof jar or container. Simply pack it in a chiller bag and take it with you to work, the kid’s early morning soccer game, uni, or school.
Fortunately, there is now a wide choice of nut butters besides the peanut butter that I have used in the photo. If you are intolerant to nuts, then a seed butter would also work.
For Paleo, Vegan, and Low FODMAP dietary preferences, use the coconut yoghurt and maple syrup options.
For another grain-free breakfast option that you can have on the go, try my Paleo Zucchini Muffins.
This easy-to-make kimchi will provide your gut with some beneficial natural probiotics. Kimchi will add extra flavour and goodness to any meal, especially stir-fries, eggs, and even toasted cheese sandwiches.
Kimchi is like spicy sauerkraut and is as common in Korea as sauerkraut is in Germany. I have been a fan of sauerkraut ever since my extended stay in Tuebingen, Germany in 1985.
Despite this love for sauerkraut, I had never been brave enough to try Kimchi – only because I thought it would be too fiery hot. That is until I saw an easy Kimchi recipe on the website of Changing Habits and figured I could make my own. This way I could have some control over the level of spiciness.
This was the first fermentation I had ever attempted. I was totally surprised at how easy it was. Like a lot of others, I was a little worried about accidentally creating some unknown biohazard. I read that in order to avoid this, a necessary first step is to start with clean equipment and sterilised storage jars. The good bacteria produced by the fermentation process will actually fight any minor bad bacteria in the jar or in the gut. However, do discard the kimchi if you see mold on the surface or smell or taste anything that is not a clean sour taste.
If you are following a Keto diet and use Kimchi only as a condiment, then this small amount of carrot is allowed.
Ferments are not recommended for a Low FODMAP diet.
Some people, especially children, who are not used to eating a diet rich in probiotics may, at first, find fermented foods difficult to digest. Some even have to start with as little as half a teaspoon or less and build up from there. If there is a consistent problem with digesting fermented food, then please seek medical advice to discover the reason why.
The choice of chillis will determine the heat intensity of the Kimchi. Traditional Kimchi uses gochugaru, a Korean chilli powder. Gochugaru is a milder version of red chilli flakes because it does not include the seeds and membrane of the chilli. The seeds and membrane are where most of the heat is. I prefer using fresh ingredients when I can, so I chose the mild red chillis that I often use and can easily buy at my local fruit and vegetable shop. To help you decide which chillis to use, click here for a guide to some of the types of chillis, what they are best used for, and what their heat factor is.
If you prefer to use the tamari sauce and not the fish sauce, choose an organic variety such as Pure Harvest. This will avoid GMO soybeans that have been sprayed with glyphosate (the active ingredient in zero and roundup).
Pegans (Paleo plus Vegan) can use coconut aminos instead of fish sauce or tamari sauce.
As mentioned before, start with squeaky clean hands, utensils, and sterilised jars. Click here for three different ways to sterilise the jars before filling them with the Kimchi.
Once the Kimchi is fermenting, some recipes suggest opening the lid daily. The fermentation process produces gas bubbles and opening the lid allows these bubbles to escape and prevent any unwanted explosions of trapped gas. I didn’t open the lids and had no problem, but figured I should warn you of the possibility.
When the Kimchi has reached a level of sourness that is to your liking, store it in the refrigerator with the lid sealed. It will continue to ferment but at a much slower rate.
Forget packet or bottled Madras spice mixes! Cook this well-known Madras Curry from scratch! It is made more simple for you by using the same measure for most of the spices.
This may look like a long list of spices, however, once you start cooking from scratch you will find that your spice collection will naturally increase. I use these spices over and over. See the recipe for my Super Easy Slow Cooker Moroccan Beef.
Skirt or chuck steaks are cuts of meat suitable for stewing. Stewing requires a long, slow, moist method of cooking in order to break down the muscles fibres of these cheaper cuts of meat. Each country has its own unique names for stewing cuts of meat. If you can’t find “chuck” or “skirt” then look for “flank”, “blade”, or “round”. These are all suitable for the stewing method used in this Madras Beef Curry recipe.
If you use Stock or Broth powder to add more flavour, for the sake of the health of you and your family, avoid the stock cubes that have MSG disguised as “yeast extract”. I use a premium powdered bone broth from Broth of Life.
Tomato Passata is a bottled tomato puree. I always have a bottle or two on hand to add extra nutrition and flavour to a number of dishes such as my Italian Zucchini Boats. Passata is also my secret ingredient for making more flavourful and moist taco meat.
In order to cater for different pots and stovetops, I have been generous with the amount of liquid used. If you like curry with a thicker consistency, simply remove the lid after an hour of cooking. Keep checking that it doesn’t get too thick.
A beautifully moist celebration cake that will delight everyone, especially your paleo and coeliac guests. This celebration cake is adapted from the famous Chocolate Chia Seed Cake recipe by Tania Hubbard. Another of my favourite cakes is Tania’s Date, Cinnamon and Rosemary Cake.
This recipe has been doubled to make two layers that will sandwich together. If a single layer is your preference, simply halve the ingredient amounts and use one tin.
To decorate this cake, firstly I coated it with a mixture of 1/4 cup softened coconut oil, 1/4 cup honey, 1/2 cup or more of cacao powder, and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. I kept adding cacao powder until I got the spreadable consistency I needed.
Then I used chocolate chards made by melting a good quality dark chocolate, spreading it on a layer of baking paper, covering with a second piece of paper, rolling up to a sausage width, then letting it set in the fridge or freezer. Once set I gently pulled the two pieces of paper apart to release the chards. Go here for the video that I used as a reference. If you don’t own an offset spatula then use a rolling pin as was done here. I made my chocolate layer for the shards a little thicker than normal and rolled the baking paper not so tightly as I wanted sturdy chards that would survive the transport of the cake. I used a little melted chocolate to attach the shards.
I then used strawberry halves alternated with fresh bay leaves around the top edge.
Finally, I sprinkled with a dusting of cacao powder (mainly to cover an imperfection that was in the centre of the cake. 🙂
A crunchy Christmas salad of broccoli and cauliflower with the sweetness of dried cranberries or cherries and the extra crunch and goodness of macadamias. It is mixed together with a sweet yoghurt dressing.
If you aren’t a fan of fresh mint then try swapping it for 1/2 cup of dedicated coconut.
For paleo or vegan diets use plain coconut yoghurt.
Another salad that can be converted to a Christmas salad is my Sweet Nutty Coleslaw. Simply use dried cranberries or cherries for the sultanas and red apple for the green apple. I think it is so much fun using food in the Christmas colours of red, green and white.
Nut Butter Cookies are taken to a whole new level of deliciousness with a drizzling of dark chocolate. So choose your favourite nut butter and give these a try!
Almond flour is ground blanched almonds and almond meal is ground whole almonds.
Cassava flour is made from drying and grinding the tuberous root of the cassava plant. It is naturally gluten, grain and nut-free. Because of its fine texture, light colour, and neutral taste, it is becoming a popular substitute for wheat flour, especially for baking. It can be purchased from health food stores and some supermarkets.
Tigernut flour is less starchy than cassava flour. A tigernut is not actually a nut but another tuberous vegetable. Again it can be purchased from health food stores and some supermarkets.
Oat flour is simply blended or processed rolled or traditional oats. I make my own if I need oat flour. I always start with organic oats to avoid the glyphosate (think zero and roundup) often used during the harvesting of non-organic grains.
If beginning a Paleo diet then use the cassava or tigernut flour and not the oat flour.
Nut butter can be a choice of peanut, almond, macadamia, cashew, or even tahini. Just be sure it has your chosen nut as the only ingredient. Some brands sneak in salt, sugar, and even vegetable oil. I used organic peanut butter for my cookies.
Look for dark chocolate that uses cocoa butter and not the cheap, nasty, and highly processed “vegetable oil”. Vegetable oil sounds healthy but is anything but healthy.
Also, choose dark chocolate with at least 75% cocoa. You end up with less sugar that way.
Step 5 – To get your biscuits the same size, use a measuring tablespoon or a cookie scoop. A cookie scoop is like a small ice cream scoop like the one on the right. I found mine so useful that I now have three different sizes. They are easily purchased online.
Step 7 – Cooling on the tray for 5 minutes helps the cookies firm up a little before moving them. Then using a cooling rack helps any residue steam to escape. This helps the cookies firm up better.
Step 9 – When drizzling the chocolate, use the empty, lined cookie tray underneath to catch any chocolate drips. This prevents less chocolate mess on the kitchen bench.
Have you read the ingredients on store-bought BBQ Sauce? It is at least half sugar and it is refined sugar!
Back when I didn’t know better, I would let my son use BBQ Sauce on everything as a way to entice him to eat.
This very easily made BBQ Sauce is four times less sugar and it is refined sugar-free. There is also an option to add some chilli powder to make it even more flavoursome.
So, next time you are having guests for a BBQ, impress them with this tasty and more nutritious version of this must-have condiment.
I have used repurposed tamari sauce bottles that were thoroughly washed then rinsed with boiling water before bottling the sauce.
When I bottled the sauce I had to be careful that the sudden change in temperature of the air in the bottle didn’t cause the sauce to spit out as I was pouring in. That is why I have recommended letting the mixture cool a bit before bottling. A jar works just as well and the spitting won’t be a problem because the mouth of the jar is large enough to let the expanded air escape.
In fact, if you use a wide mouth jar rinsed with boiling water, carefully pour in the sauce straight from the stove and seal straight away, the sauce will last longer in the fridge. This is because the jars have been sterilized and sealed before any bacteria can get in.
Also, vinegar is a natural preserving agent. Foods that have a pH value of less than 4.6 will not support the growth of disease-causing bacteria. When I have been more particular with my sterilizing, I have kept the sauce in the refrigerator for a couple of months before opening. Once opened it needs to be used within the 10 days.
If you open it your sauce jar and there is a rush of escaping air, mould growing on top, or the flavour has changed for the worse then discard it.
I usually make my sauce the way described in the recipe and either give a jar away or make sure my weekly meal plan includes recipes that go well with BBQ sauce. These could be homemade hamburgers, pulled organic pork, nitrate-free bacon and eggs, frittata, or a mixed grill.
If I could do it all again, I wouldn’t have brought a store-bought bottle of BBQ Sauce into the house in the first place! I hope you try this recipe and decide for yourself if you want to go back to a store-bought sauce that is 50% sugar.
These Nutty Tahini Bites are a protein-packed sweet treat! Use any nuts and seeds you have on hand to create your own favourite Tahini Bites. They will be hard to leave alone!
If you don’t like ground ginger then you can replace it with 1 or 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
Tahini is often associated with Hummus yet it is also a nutritious addition to sweet treats, especially if you have a nut allergy. I also use Tahini in salad dressings like in my Asian Style Coleslaw recipe.
This Chicken and Mango Curry is a favourite of mine and of many who have tried it! In fact, I have posted it again especially for my high school friend Kathy Joll (nee Nelson)! I recently took this dish to a school friends’ get together and Kathy and her husband asked me for the recipe.
This is a mild curry though the choice of your curry powder will ultimately determine the heat of the final dish. There is the addition of extra turmeric to give the dish a lovely yellow colour and to provide the health benefits of turmeric.
The mango makes this a slightly sweet curry so the kids should enjoy it. My big kid does!
Small crunchy pieces of fresh broccoli and cauliflower are combined with a subtle honey yoghurt dressing to make this salad a welcome change to a leafy salad. I would never have thought raw broccoli and cauliflower could taste so good. In fact, I would not have considered it until I was asked to develop a recipe with these two vegetables. I was so pleasantly surprised and hope you will be too.
If you follow a vegan diet, simply use coconut yoghurt and exchange the honey with maple syrup.
If you have any leftover broccoli, try my Broccoli and Fennel Soup.
This Coriander Salmon with Coconut-Tomato Salsa recipe and photo are courtesy of Mark Hyman, MD. It is from his book “Food: What the Heck Should I Cook?”
Dr. Hyman believes that “we all deserve vibrant health and happiness – and that we can get there using the real power of food”.
This is a complete meal of salmon, salsa, and vegetables! You can view more of Dr. Hyman’s recipes here!
I’ll be honest, Wild Caught Salmon is now hard to find and very expensive if you do. An alternative would be to use another wild-caught fish.
Why wild-caught? Here is one doctor’s view on why we should avoid farmed fish.
Forget the over boiled Brussel sprouts that Nana used to serve. This easy Honey Mustard Roasted Brussel Sprouts recipe will change your view on Brussel sprouts forever.
When choosing fresh Brussel sprouts, look for bright green outer leaves and no browning on the stems.
For a Vegan version, choose maple syrup instead of honey.
Wholegrain Mustard can be substituted with Dijon Mustard.
When trimming the ends of the Brussel sprouts, trim the bare minimum if any at all. If too much is trimmed away the Brussel sprout will break apart into separate leaves.
If you want less cleaning up of the roasting tray, use a larger bowl for mixing everything together, then tip the coated Brussel sprouts into the roasting tray. This way you get less up the sides than when mixing in the roasting tray.
A heavy-based tray, like the enamelled cast iron one I have used, will help with faster browning. If you don’t have a heavy-based tray and the Brussel sprouts aren’t browned enough by the time they are tender enough, you can brown them under the grill for a very short time.
This Banana Cake Smoothie gets its better-than-average banana smoothie taste by the addition of other Banana Cake ingredients; namely cinnamon and walnuts. These ingredients make this smoothie nutritious as well as delicious.
This Banana Cake Smoothie recipe works just as well with whatever milk suits your dietary preference. Nut milk is a good choice if you prefer dairy-free, paleo, or a vegan diet. Oat milk works for dairy-free, nut-free, and vegan.
If you are using dairy, then the best quality milk would be one that is whole fat, and pasteurised but not homogenised – the less processing the better.
Bananas are a good source of potassium which helps to lower blood pressure, fibre which aids digestion, Vitamin C for a healthy immune system, and B6 that helps the body with stress. I’m sure you will agree that this very convenient fruit is quite a powerhouse of nutrition. FYI, rub the inside of a banana skin on your next bug bite and see if it reduces the inflammation. For more banana recipes try my Grain-free Banana Slab Cake or Jason Ford’s Paleo Pancakes with Berry Salsa.
According to an article at Food Matters, cinnamon prevents inflammation in the body, helps to regulate cholesterol levels, and is useful for lowering blood sugar levels.
Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acid which is considered critical brain food. Studies have found that the omega -3 in walnuts may help to lower cholesterol. Walnuts also have good amounts of protein, fibre, and calcium.
Chia seeds are thrown in for even more protein, fibre, calcium, and omega-3. You can read more about the benefits of chia seeds here.
This super easy Vegan Creamy Coriander and Lime Dressing is also oil-free for those who want to avoid oil. It gives any salad a fresh-tasting lift while avoiding the additives that are in most store-bought dressings. It is particularly delicious as a condiment for my Spicy Zucchini Fritters.
If you don’t like coriander, then easily turn this dressing into a Mint and Lemon Dressing. Simply replace the coriander with fresh mint and the lime juice with lemon juice.
You can adjust the consistency from a thick dressing to an easy pour dressing (as shown in the photo) by adjusting the amount of water used.
This bone broth recipe, courtesy of Sherwood Rd Organic Meats. makes it easy to make your own nutritious and healing bone broth instead of relying on the pre-packaged stocks and powders that are full of unnecessary additives.
Knuckles or marrow bones are recommended as the best to use for making this broth.
I actually cooked mine in a slow cooker. I left it cooking for 24 hours in order to extract as much goodness from the bones as possible. I now have 2-cup containers in my freezer ready for any recipe that asks for beef stock or broth like my Super Easy Slow Cooker Moroccan Beef or my Gluten Free Swedish Meatballs.
Kellie Foster from The Kitchn, asserts that “bone broth can be used for any type of cooking, just like you’d use stock or traditional broth, although it’s also wonderful for sipping warm”. See her article here if you want to know the difference between broth, stock, and bone broth. To summarize, bone broth is cooked the longest and is the most nutritious.
These pretty Raspberry and Rose Jellies are an enjoyable not-too-sweet treat that will provide you with the goodness of raspberries and gelatine. The jellies are sweetened with pure maple syrup or raw honey.
This recipe was inspired by a gelatine Turkish Delight recipe by the very lovely Scarlett Willson from Cultured Baby.
Another recipe that uses rosewater is my Thermo Cooker Turkish Delight Custard.
For busy cooks, this Super Easy Slow Cooker Moroccan Beef is a flavoursome alternative to a usual boring beef casserole. The recipe perfectly combines the exotic flavours of Morocco with the sweetness of some dried fruit. I’m sure this Moroccan Beef recipe will become a favourite.
If you like the Moroccan combination of cinnamon, paprika, turmeric and cumin, then you may also like my Moroccan Carrot Salad.
The best cuts of beef for a long cooking casserole or stew are the cheaper and tougher cuts like Chuck (Blade), Shin, Brisket or Skirt steak.
A couple of equally delicious alternatives to the currants, sultanas or raisins are quartered dried apricots or dates.
When buying dried fruit I always look for sulphate free. Sulphites are added as a preservative or to retain the colour, especially in apricots. Sulphites have the ingredient list numbers of 221 to 227 and can cause respiratory or skin reactions. I personally get an itchy rash on my neck whenever I unknowingly eat anything containing sulphites.
I also search for dried fruit that doesn’t have “vegetable oil” in the ingredient list. This is often added to keep the fruit separated, however, the processing of vegetable oil makes it a product best to avoid if you are wanting to put the best ingredients into your body. To avoid these added “nasty” ingredients I stock up on organic dried fruit when it is on sale. I know the online shop at Changing Habits sells organic dates that naturally do not have sulphites or vegetable oil.
This Moroccan Beef recipe can also be cooked on the stovetop by sauteing the onions in a tablespoon of oil, adding the spices and then browning the meat before adding the liquid. Simmer on low for at least 2 hours before checking if the meat is tender. This method gives even more flavour but is not as convenient as simply putting all the ingredients in the slow cooker. If set to “low” the slow cooker can usually be left unattended overnight or during the day. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular slow cooker.
Of course, sweet potato takes less time to cook than the beef. So, if you don’t want your sweet potato to be very soft, then add it halfway through the cooking time. Personally, I like the way the soft sweet potato starts to thicken the casserole. Stir gently if you want to keep the pieces in tack.
I usually serve any beef casserole with cooked spinach, green beans, Brussel sprouts, or zoodles (spiralized zucchini noodles). If you want something to mop up the yummy juices then try basmati, brown or cauliflower rice, or mashed potatoes.
The addition of cumin, paprika, and extra black pepper make these Spicy Zucchini Fritters are a spicier version of my Zucchini and Corn Fritters.
Both recipes are perfect for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. They are also a tasty way to get more vegetables into the diet.
A few years ago we were being told that extra virgin olive oil should not be used for shallow frying because it burnt too easily. Now it seems to have received the tick of approval again. Though it is worth keeping the temperature down to below the smoke point. A lot will depend on the temperature of your particular stovetop and the olives that the oil came from. I was told by a local producer and seller of fine olive oil that certain olives produce oil with a higher smoke point. Other producers must have realised the advantage of this as I have noticed in my local supermarket that there is now a high heat resistant extra virgin olive oil for sale.
To ensure the best quality eggs from the happiest chickens, reach for “organic” eggs. Their price is coming down as more and more consumers insist on a better nutritional quality of their eggs as well as a better quality of life for the chickens who lay them.
I am still amazed at how much confusion there is around green onions. In my home state of Queensland, Australia they are called “shallots”, whereas in most parts of the USA they are called “scallions”. I have also seen them called “spring onions”! Go here for a good article from My Food Bank on the difference between shallots, green onions, scallions and spring onions.
If coriander (cilantro) is not your favourite herb, then use parsley or basil as a substitute.
The choice of flour is dependant on your diet preference. If you follow a Paleo diet then Cassava flour is an excellent choice. If you prefer gluten-free flour then cassava flour also works or use your favourite GF flour mix or buckwheat flour. Be aware that most store-bought gluten-free flour is often highly refined and contains other additives besides flour.
The brunch dish known as Avocado Toast has been transformed into the fancier and tastier Avocado and Pea Smash. Go from a boring to a brilliant breakfast or brunch with this impressive version of the humble Avocado Toast.
I have used homemade grain-free bread to make this dish also suitable for those avoiding grains or gluten.
If you are following a vegan diet, simply omit the feta or use a vegan version.
This recipe will feed two hungry people or if served with a poached egg, hash browns and salad, it will easily feed four.
This Blender Chocolate Cake uses almond meal instead of wheat flour. Almond meal makes this a wonderfully rich, moist, and nutritious cake that is not too sweet. A small slice is all you need to satisfy any craving.
It is so easy to make that the kids can make it for you. All the ingredients are quickly mixed in a blender or food processor before being poured into the cake tin.
Almond meal is easily made at home by blending or processing raw almonds into a coarse flour-like consistency. Blanched almond flour can also be used however it is usually more expensive. Blanched almond flour has the almond skin removed before grinding it to flour.
I store my almond meal and flour in the refrigerator as this prevents the natural oils in the flour from going rancid. This is more likely to happen now that the surface area of the nut has been increased with the grinding.
Use an extra virgin oil – a good oil that will feed the brain. Processed oil, like “vegetable oil”, is to be avoided because of the harmful chemicals and extreme heat that is used in the processing. Extreme heat has an undesirable oxidation effect on the oil.
A light tasting extra virgin olive oil can also be used. If you are still worried about a strong olive oil flavour, I would add a teaspoon more of vanilla and perhaps a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
If you don’t have a blender or food processor, a bowl and whisk will do just as well. Simply ensure there are no lumps left in the mixture.
This mixture is runnier than most cake batters, however, this does not affect the end result.
I feel it is important to take pride in the presentation of any dish. It takes only a little extra effort to dust some cacao powder or sprinkle some coconut sugar onto the top of the cake. Edible flowers are a really quick way to add some colour and interest. I have used dianthus that I grow in my garden. You can also use marigolds, geraniums, violets, impatiens, and clover blossoms to name a few.
This easy Braised Red Cabbage recipe is the perfect accompaniment to roast beef or chicken. The addition of apple to the cabbage gives this dish a little sweetness.
I first discovered Braised Red Cabbage when I lived in Austria. I was immediately converted to this delicious side dish that I still use for roasted or braised meat.
For any leftover red cabbage, you could make Asian Style Coleslaw.
These moist Zucchini Muffins are protein packed and quick to make. They are perfect to have on hand for a quick breakfast or lunch box addition.
Offer these sweetened Zucchini Muffins as a way to get your kids to eat more vegetables. You really can’t taste the zucchini.
These are a great way to use up any zucchini that are starting to get a bit old looking. Another way avoid waste is to make them into bite sized mini muffins so that if the kids do turn their nose up at them, only a small one goes in the school bin rather than a large one. I have the philosophy to always “serve small then come back for more”.
Other muffin recipe to try is the Sticky Date Muffins from Anja Cass. Otherwise, any favourite cake recipe can be turned into quickly made and convenient muffins.
This Eggplant and Tahini Dip is delicious paleo and keto-approved hummus that uses eggplant instead of chickpeas. You can also find a Pumpkin Hummus recipe here.
The recipe can also be Low FODMAP if you use garlic-infused oil and don’t eat more than one tablespoon of tahini in one day, which equates to a third of the whole amount of dip. This would be a lot, no matter how delicious it is.
If you don’t have an oven grill to char the eggplant skins, then use a barbeque grill.
The lemon and herbs help this Marinated Roasted Eggplant go so well in an Italian panino (sandwich), or as a side dish for a picnic lunch. One of my friends, who usually doesn’t like eggplant, likes it heated up as a side dish with Roast Chicken.
This recipe is the first of the year for Millen Farm, where I am now volunteering as the recipe developer for the beautiful organic foods in season.
Globe eggplants are usually big, black, and bulbous like a light globe. They should be firm and shiny with a green, not shrivelled, stem.
Lemon juice can be substituted with Apple Cider vinegar for a stronger pickled flavour.
Thyme can be replaced with oregano leaves.
I have used mild green chillies, however, the choice is yours as to whether you prefer it hotter. Red chillies give a pleasing colour contrast.
Instead of roasting in the oven the eggplant can also be pan-fried on the stovetop or barbequed on a grill. In fact, the grill lines make this a more attractive dish.
This grain-free Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe is courtesy of the lovely Alexx Stuart from Low Tox Life.
Because of the molten dark chocolate chunks, I’m sure you won’t stop at just one.
Alexx is the author of a brilliant book of the same name. Her book and website www.lowtoxlife.com, show how to reduce the toxic load on the body, home, food and mind.
Seed Crackers are now popular for those who are trying to avoid grains. These are also dairy, egg, and nut free.
This easy recipe is courtesy of the delightful Candice Bauer. Candice, and her equally delightful husband Matt, have a natural skincare company BARE by Bauer, so it makes sense that she cooks real, whole food that will also nourish the skin from the inside out.
These crackers are flavoured with rosemary and smoked paprika, however, you can easily substitute these with your favourite herbs or spices. Turmeric works really well.
If you want to use a rolling pin instead of pressing the mixture into the tray, you may find your rolling pin too big to avoid the tray’s edges. If this is the case, then use a glass jar as a rolling pin.
Instead of scoring the mixture into squares or triangles, Candice likes to make it even easier by simply breaking the cooked mixture into rustic looking pieces.
The crackers are left in the oven to cool in order to help them dry out a little more.
This Grain-free Christmas Pudding Mug Cake is a great recipe to have on hand if paleo or gluten-free guests turn up to your Christmas gathering.
It is also quickly made if you want to have your own grain-free Christmas pudding alternative. This is what I am doing, as my diet is now gluten-free.
If Christmas Spices aren’t your favourite flavour, then try my Grain-free Double Chocolate Mug Cake recipe.
If you can’t get Mixed Spice, find an empty jar and make your own simple version by combining:
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon allspice (pimento)
1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
Other ingredients you may like to add to the pudding to vary the flavour:
1 TBS coarsely chopped nuts,
1/2 tsp vanilla extract,
1/2 tsp orange zest, and/or
If you are interested, I am now gluten-free for the following reasons:
As sugar cane can also be sprayed with glyphosate, I search for organic molasses and rapadura (unrefined cane sugar aka jaggery or panela).
I am excited to include this Cream of Sweet Potato and Ginger Soup recipe in my collection. It holds very fond memories of my recent vacation to the Grand Canyon. Imagine eating dinner while watching the warm smile of the sunset putting the Canyon gently to sleep after a long hot day.
This Soup recipe comes from the historic El Tovar Hotel restaurant, which is located on the rim of the majestic Grand Canyon.
The first mouthful of this lovely soup had me wanting more. So much so, I was reluctant to share with my dinner companion, and we always share. I’m thrilled that Executive Chef Matthew McTigue was kind enough to pass it onto me.
The ginger provides a subtle warming flavour that is a delightful variation of traditional Sweet Potato Soup.
If you have a lot of sweet potatoes you could also make the Pumpkin Hummus recipe and substitute the pumpkin with sweet potato.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of
This spicy chicken wing recipe is courtesy of the lovely Kirsty Wirth from Kultured Wellness!
Kirsty is an expert on gut health and has co-authored a recipe book, Gutlicious, that is full of great recipes to help introduce and maintain good gut bacteria.
There is an incredible amount of emerging research that affirms that a healthy gut microbiome is necessary for the health of the body and brain.
The cooking time stated is the minimum to cook the chicken wings to the juicy stage. Of course, oven variations and the size of the wings will have an influence on the length of the cooking time. You will know they are cooked when you insert a cooking skewer in the thickest part and the juices run clear.
If you want crispier wings, then cook longer and/or turn the temperature up to 200 degrees Celsius (400 Fahrenheit).
For another oven-roasted chicken recipe, try my 4 Ingredient Roast Chicken.
Avoid the additives found in store bought aioli and easily make your own with a stick/immersion blender. This aioli is wonderfully creamy and so delicious with sweet potato fries, in a salad dressing or as a dip for raw vegetable sticks.
There are two culinary distinctions between aioli and mayonnaise. The first is that aioli contains garlic, and the second, is that aioli is made with extra virgin olive oil rather than a lighter tasting oil that is usually favoured for mayonnaise.
There has been some controversy about the purity of oils labelled “extra virgin”. An article in the Sydney Morning Herald stated that, “the global industry has been rocked by a series of scandals, with a recent US 60 Minutes segment revealing up to 80 per cent of extra virgin olive oil sold in America did not meet legal grades because they have been adulterated with cheap sunflower or canola oil, or are a different oil altogether – scented and coloured with “a few drops of chlorophyll”.”
To avoid this, I source locally produced olive oil. If you live in Australia, click here for a great article written by Choice Magazine. It even covers how to store and cook with extra virgin olive oil. Basically, store it in a cool dark place and use it within six months. When using extra virgin olive oil for cooking, I don’t use temperatures over 180 degrees C (350 F).
I also use extra virgin olive oil in the Date, Cinnamon and Rosemary Cake. This is actually my favourite cake recipe.
I have used a wide-mouthed “Ball” preserving jar but if you don’t have something similar, try to find a tall narrow container.
This is how the mixture will look when it starts to cream. From this point, you slowly raise the stick blender up the jar as it mixes.
If by chance the aioli won’t cream together or separates, simply add 2 teaspoons of boiling water and remix with the stick blender. I know first-hand that this works. I was impatient and didn’t want to wait for my eggs to reach room temperature so had to use this rescue method myself.
When I lived in Italy for a time, I became a hot chocolate junkie. The Italian hot chocolate is so deliciously thick and decadent. Be warned, you only need a small amount to get your chocolate fix, especially if you add the grated chocolate. It is almost like drinking chocolate pudding.
You will notice in the recipe that I have given a few ingredient choices in order to cater to as many dietary preferences as possible.
If you want your family to eat more broccoli, then try this Fresh Pea and Broccoli Soup. The sweetness of the peas mostly disguises the taste of the broccoli.
You could gradually introduce this soup by firstly cooking my Fresh Pea Soup, then this Fresh Pea and Broccoli Soup, then perhaps they will try my Broccoli and Fennel Soup. The more greens in the diet, the better!
For the little ones, add a bit more of the powdered greens and name it “Hulk Soup”! Powdered greens are found in the health food stores and in most supermarkets now. They are usually a mix of spirulina, alfalfa, barley grass, etc. They give an extra boost of the all-important minerals found in natural green foods.
I refuse to eat a cake that is dry so I make sure all my cake recipes are moist. This Almond and Orange Blossom Drizzle Cake would have to be my most moist because of an orange juice syrup that is drizzled on after cooking.
Use the Cassava or Tapioca flour if your dietary preference is Grain-free or Paleo.
Blanched Almond Flour or Meal is made from blanched rather than raw almonds so has a lighter, more pleasing colour compared to Almond Meal. Another recipe that uses blanched almond flour is my Almond and Raspberry Roulade.
Cassava is the wholegrain version of Tapioca Flour so is my preference. However, it may be more difficult to find; try a whole food store.
Rapadura Sugar is the pure sugar cane juice, that has simply been heated to evaporate off the water. It has a lower glycemic index, and higher micronutrient content compared to refined cane sugar. It is also called Panela. Click here if you would like to know more about the different types of cane sugar.
Macadamia Nut Oil is my favourite oil for cooking. It was always considered expensive, however, now it is possible to find it for the same price as coconut oil.
Orange Blossom Water is made from distilling Orange Blossoms. It has a unique orange floral scent and flavour. If you don’t think it will tantalise your taste buds, then you can replace it for more orange juice or liqueur.
Shakshuka is a tasty and hearty dish of eggs poached in a spicy tomato base.
It is popular in the Middle East and North Africa and is rapidly becoming a popular breakfast in trendy cafes.
Shakshuka is so easy to make at home and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. It makes an excellent Sunday brunch!
I realise that coriander (cilantro) is either loved or hated. If you are a hater, then you can leave it out without sacrificing the overall enjoyment of this dish.
If you are not a fan of capsicum (bell pepper), you can either use half of each or just the sweeter red capsicum or simply leave it out altogether.
For a Paleo or Dairy Free version, omit the feta. For Vegetarian, use vegetable stock powder instead of the broth powder.
If you don’t use the broth or vegetable stock powder in step 5, you will probably want to add some salt and pepper in step 6.
For the feta, I use goat’s feta as a special treat.
It is difficult to get a broth or stock powder that doesn’t have fillers or added “nasties”! If you want to get the lowdown on purchased stock in general, click on this article from Additive Free Kids to read about the sneaky tactics to watch out for when buying additive-free stock/bone broth. I personally use the Vegetable Stock Powder or Broth Powder from Broth of Life.
This roulade is a light, grain free cake rolled with jam and cream. It is refined sugar free, easy to make, and is sure to impress.
The main ingredients are egg and almond flour. This makes it a protein packed dessert that it so much more nutritious than the usual high carb dessert.
Instead of separating the eggs and beating one at a time, the eggs, vanilla and maple syrup are beaten together for 10 minutes in order to incorporate as much air as possible. After 10 minutes the egg mixture should look like this.
I have used my Raspberry Chia Jam recipe though any berry chia jam or fruit spread will do.
In strawberry season, I also make this with cut up fresh strawberries instead of the jam.
While cooking, the mixture will rise a bit then sink back down. This is what it is supposed to do, so don’t panic.
To decorate, I cut the corner out of one of the last sandwich bags I have left, filled it with the cream then piped the cream out with a side to side swirling motion – like piping a smooth zig zag.
In Australia, winter is fast approaching and these Gummies, by the lovely Scarlett Willson from Cultured Baby, are a perfect treat to discourage any colds.
They are packed with the goodness of fresh orange juice, raw honey, vitamin C, gelatine and a bit of turmeric for good measure.
A smooth and delicious pate with the flavour of orange to make it extra special! It is sure to impress at your next picnic or gathering.
Pate traditionally has butter, however the dairy-free option using coconut oil tastes just as good.
This pate recipe is enough for two ramekins (or three if they are small). I use one and the other I freeze for later.
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a total fan of cauliflower. I never quite knew what to do with one except for adding a cheese sauce like my mum use to. That is until I tried this dish from Cathy Meness at www.livinglekker.com.
Adding some hazelnuts and leeks turns boring cauliflower into a brilliant side dish. This roasted version is sure to surprise you.
As a side dish, this recipe would serve four people. What you see in the photo is half of what it makes and I ate the whole plateful for lunch!! I’ve obviously changed my mind about cauliflower!
A Mug Cake is the perfect warm and indulgent last minute dessert. This Mug Cake version is extra special as it has a delicious surprise waiting for you at the bottom of the cup.
Even though this cake is served in a small cup, I find it a large portion. I would suggest you find your favourite person and share! 🙂
Tom Kha Gai is a coconut milk based Thai soup that has the delicate infused flavours of galangal, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves. “Tom” means to boil, “Kha” means galangal and “Gai” means chicken.
This soup is my all-time favourite. Whenever I have a dinner party, this is the soup I serve and it never fails to impress. I don’t know why I don’t cook it more often, as it is quick and easy to prepare once all the ingredients are on hand.
A lovely non-dairy Matcha Latte that can be served hot or cold. I find it difficult to detect that it is not based on milk.
I was inspired by a recipe I found on Instagram by Rebecca Lilly Costa @xxrlily. As I now rarely have dairy in my fridge, I wanted to create a totally dairy-free version so that I could enjoy this drink whenever I wanted.
I apologise to my Italian friends, including my Italian ex-husband, for using the words “dairy-free” and “latte” in the same sentence. I suppose it is similar to the way the words “nut milk” might upset dairy farmers.
Nowadays, it isn’t just Vegans who are looking for dairy-free latte alternatives. So many of us now find the lactose or the high proportion of A1 protein in today’s commercial milk, difficult to digest.
For those who can tolerate dairy fat, Rebecca adds a little ghee to her recipe. This makes it a richer version.
If you are after another drink recipe that uses nut milk as a dairy substitute, check out my Choc Banana “Sneaky” Shake.
These Salted Caramel Roasted Cashews are a quickly made, delicious and nutritious high-protein snack.
The cashews are coated in a sweet but slightly salty mixture before being roasted in the oven.
This prawn dish (or shrimp dish as my friends in the U.S. say) is a perfect light lunch, or an impressive starter for a dinner party.
The not-too-spicy Thai dressing for the prawns couldn’t be any easier. Notice how the measure are mostly all the same? I try to do this with all my recipes, as it makes them easier to eventually memorise.
I don’t like my food too spicy so I have avoided using fresh chillies, until now that is! I have discovered the wonderful colour and not-too-spicy flavour of the “long red chilli”. Now it is a regular in my fruit and veggie bowl. If you want the dressing to be more spicy, simply don’t deseed the chilli or use a hotter variety of chilli.
When using coconut oil in the dressing, ensure all the ingredients are at room temperature otherwise the coconut oil will solidify from the coldness of another ingredient. If this does happen, simply gently heat until the coconut is just liquid again.
It is important to use fresh, locally sourced prawns that still have their shell on. The prawns that have been peeled and imported from overseas will have been preserved in a sulphite solution that some people, including myself, are allergic to. If I peel the prawns myself I am fine but if I eat pre-peeled prawns, I get an itchy rash on my neck that can sometimes travel down to the trunk of my body. The same thing happens if I eat any food with sulphites in it.
The Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, states that “Metabisulfite preservative can sometimes be used to stop crustaceans (such as prawns) from discolouring. Reactions to this preservative (also used in wine, beer and some dried fruit as a preservative) include wheezing/tight chest (more common in those with asthma), stomach irritation (e.g. nausea, pain) and very uncommonly, itch/rashes.” (https://www.allergy.org.au)
This dish can also be served as a tossed salad without the skewers.
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