A smooth and slightly sweet yoghurt dressing that works wonderfully with coleslaw or almost any salad.
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.
These Zucchini and Corn Fritters are perfect for a healthy breakfast or lunch. Fritters are a really delicious way to add more vegetables into your diet.
Using buckwheat flour makes these fritters gluten-free. To make them Paleo, use Cassava flour instead of Buckwheat. Cassava flour is sold at most health food stores.
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.
I really enjoy a good hearty frittata, especially for Sunday brunch. A frittata is basically a quiche without a base. This keto-friendly frittata uses keto allowed vegetables, bacon and fresh cream, however, you can customise it for your own taste preferences.
For non-keto, a frittata is still a good way to use up any sad vegetables in the refrigerator. I’ll often add grated sweet potato and put grated parmesan cheese on top.
If you prefer a vegetarian diet, then the bacon can be left out without sacrificing the flavour.
Another Keto and Vegetarian breakfast or brunch dish is my Shakshuka Poached Eggs.
An ovenproof frypan makes the job more convenient but if you don’t have one, transfer the frypan cooked ingredients to your usual baking tray. Due to the loss of the residual heat of the frypan, it may take a little longer for the frittata to cook.
These moist and protein-packed Strawberry Orange Ricotta Muffins are grain-free and refined-sugar free. They are a perfect lunch box addition or a quick and satisfying breakfast.
If strawberries are a favourite fruit, you could also try my easy and delicious Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble. I eat any leftovers cold for breakfast.
Almond flour, almond meal and coconut flour can be found in a health food store or the health section of the supermarket. Almond flour is also found in the baking section of the supermarket. Almond flour is ground up blanched almonds and produces lighter coloured muffins, however, almond meal works just as well.
I make my own almond meal by blitzing pesticide-free almonds in my Thermomix. Just don’t overdo it or you could end up with almond butter.
Strawberries are always on the Dirty Dozen list. That is, the list of crops that use the most pesticides in produce. If you can’t find or afford organic strawberries then ensure your strawberries are well washed. Some websites recommend soaking fruit in a solution of bicarbonate/baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) for five to fifteen minutes and then rinsing well before using. Lili He, an analytical chemist at the University of Massachusetts says that “Sodium bicarbonate degrades the pesticides, boosting the physical removal force of washing”. Read more about it here.
These muffins are perfectly moist as mini muffins. Please don’t be tempted to make them into larger muffins or a cake as the heat won’t get to the centre and cook them enough.
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.
A nutty coleslaw with the added sweetness of apples, sultanas, and a sweetened yoghurt dressing.
This Sweet Nutty Coleslaw is perfect served with barbequed meat, especially pork.
For another popular coleslaw recipe, try my Asian Style Coleslaw.
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.
Millen Farm gave me the challenge of developing a recipe for their crop of jalapeños. As I had never eaten a jalapeño, this challenge had me definitely outside of my comfort zone. I had assumed jalapeños were too spicy for my palate.
When I went to buy some, I saw a woman grabbing about a dozen. I had to ask her what she was about to make. “Jalapeño Poppers” was her reply. I had never heard of them but her description had me curious.
After a bit of research, I discovered that Jalapeño Poppers are a popular party appetizer in the USA. Fresh Jalapeños are filled with a herbed and spiced cheesy mixture, topped with crumbs, and then usually deep-fried. I never deep-fry anything, so I concentrated on developing my own baked version.
I was so very surprised at how delicious they were. Yes spicy, but tasty without being too hot. My beloved was also totally impressed.
Make up a batch for the next barbeque or the next time a crowd is sitting down to watch a sporting match on television. I hope you find these Baked Jalapeño Poppers as hard to resist as we did, especially when served with homemade Aioli!
I try to give ingredient options in all of my recipes so that they can be adjusted according to dietary preferences.
For these Poppers to be grain-free choose the nut option, and for nut-free, choose the breadcrumbs (gluten-free if necessary). If you follow a vegetarian diet, these poppers will still taste good with the bacon left out.
Oven Fried Chicken is so much healthier and more convenient than deep fried. In order to make the coating even tastier, this particular oven fried chicken recipe has the addition of parmesan cheese. I’m sure it will become a favourite for dinner or eaten cold at a picnic!
If you are looking for a dairy-free version of crumbed chicken, try the Paleo Chicken Cutlets.
I have been as confused, as I’m sure you have been, about what oils to use for cooking at different temperatures. At one stage, we were told not to cook with extra virgin olive oil, yet the chefs on cooking shows were still using it with abandon.
After hours of research about smoke points and extra virgin oils (the only ones I use), I have come to the conclusion that I can very safely use extra virgin olive and/or coconut oil for pan-frying and baking. However, I ensure I don’t go over a medium heat (halfway) on the stovetop, or over a moderate oven (175 degrees C or 350 degrees F) in the oven. I never deep fry food so I don’t have to worry about what to use there.
I mostly use olive oil as it is the cheapest but also use coconut oil when I prefer that flavour. Having said that, I have discovered a wonderful non-aerosol avocado oil sold in the Australian supermarket Woolworths. Though, drizzling the oil over the chicken works well too.
The more I learn about the way our food is manufactured by big companies, the more I am trying to buy organic. I want my eggs and meat from happy chickens that were free to roam and feed in a field, not cooped up in a small space. Hence, I keep my eye out for specials on organic products. Also, I now do most of my fresh food shopping at Farmer’s Markets. It may not be all organic but at least I feel better buying directly from a local farm.
I also don’t want to buy the meat or eggs from chickens that have been fed GMO corn. Do you know that one of the main reasons that most corn is genetically modified is to make it resistant to the herbicide glyphosate (think zero and roundup)? This herbicide is said to kill our beneficial gut bacteria and cause developmental and reproductive issues. If you are interested, you can read a short WebMD article about “Herbicides and Your Health” here.
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 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.
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.
Do you want a spaghetti sauce recipe but without pasta as the base? Then these Italian Zucchini Boats are just the answer.
Zucchini is used as a “boat” to hold the pasta sauce. They are then topped with freshly grated Mozzarella cheese that melts and browns in the oven. Yum!
This recipe was inspired by the girls at Easy Budget Recipes. I saw the recipe on their Instagram feed and thought it was a great way to use zucchini.
Passata is sold in tall bottles rather than in tins. It is an uncooked tomato puree devoid of any additives – just 100% tomatoes. Some have citric acid added but I avoid those brands. It is very smooth because the tomato skins and seeds have been strained away.
A prepackaged Dried Italian Herbs mix can be substituted with 1 teaspoon in total of your favourite mix of any or all of the following dried herbs – oregano, rosemary, parsley, thyme, basil, and sage. Of course, you can add more to suit your taste.
Note that “Italian Herbs” is different from “Italian Seasoning”. You can use it as a substitute however you may have to cut back on the other seasonings – salt, garlic, etc.
Mozzarella Cheese seems to come in many forms. In Italy, I discovered that mozzarella is more soft and white, and traditionally made from buffalo milk; what we call fresh mozzarella or the smaller bocconcini here in Australia. It was definitely not found pre-shredded in a zip lock packet.
For this recipe, I grate the Mozzarella from a firmer more yellow Mozzarella block, ball or “pear” because it:
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
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.
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.
In Australia and most of the world, this Sunday is Mother’s Day! Why not surprise Mum with a breakfast dessert of Honeyed Yoghurt Panna Cotta.
The literal meaning of Panna Cotta is “cream cooked”. This stray from the traditional Panna Cotta is light and refreshing because it uses yoghurt instead of cream. This is the easiest Panna Cotta recipe around.
Make it the night before then top with fruit and nuts for a very special breakfast treat, or decorate with flowers for a pretty evening dessert.
When measuring the gelatine, take care that the teaspoon is level or under rather than over, otherwise the Panna Cotta will set too well and end up almost rubbery.
“Blooming” allows the gelatine granules to absorb water to the centre of the granule so that it can dissolve properly. If heat is applied before this happens the mixture ends up grainy.
Here I use a low heat, continually stir, and test the mixture periodically between my figures until I can’t feel any granules. The mixture should not get too hot to the feel so this is a good way to also prevent the mixture from boiling.
You can use glass serving dishes or even water glasses to pour the mixture into. I used 6 small dishes bought at Ikea. This allows room for a fruit and nut topping if served as a breakfast dish.
I prepare this in the morning for a nighttime dessert or at night for a special breakfast. If you leave them any longer than 12 hours in the refrigerator, then covering will prevent them drying out.
If I am using this Panna Cotta for dessert, I decorate with flowers. I have dianthus, marigolds, and geraniums growing in my garden for this very purpose. Here I have used dianthus and geranium petals. I wouldn’t use commercially grown flowers as I can’t be sure they haven’t been sprayed with insecticide.
For breakfast I will decorate with fresh or frozen fruit and chopped nuts. For a special breakfast I add flowers as well.
For the best quality gelatine buy organic or at least make sure it is sourced from grass fed animals and free of sulphites. Sulphites are used as a preservative and some people are sensitive to them. I am – I develop an itchy rash that starts on my neck. According to the App “The Chemical Maze“, in others it can cause bloating, worsen asthma, destroy vitamin B1, cause lung and skin irritations, etc. If you want to read more about sulphite sensitivities you can start with this article on the Australian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy website.
I buy gelatine from the Changing Habits store in Australia, however simply google “buy organic gelatine” for your area.
Choose a good quality yoghurt that does not have thickeners or other additives.
Forget the low fat versions. We need the fat to utilise the vitamin A in the yoghurt as vitamin A is fat soluble.
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.
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.
This week I am particularly proud of my 24 year old son because he helped me with the development of this recipe. Butter chicken is one of his favourite foods, so he felt he could be a good judge on the taste of it.
Between the two of us, we have come up with a deliciously rich, mild curry that even has a dairy free option.
If you don’t like Christmas Cake then here is a truly moist and delicious grain-free alternative! Don’t be deterred by the addition of rosemary as it combines perfectly with the spices and olive oil to give a wonderfully rich flavour. This cake is one of my all time favourites!
The original recipe is by the talented Tania Hubbard. It can be found in her recipe book “Abundance” and on her website at www.glutenfreegrainfree.com.au.
Most of us could use more plants in our diet and this plant based bolognese is a quick and delicious way to achieve that.
It is quick because split red lentils cook much quicker than regular brown lentils, and a food processor does all the chopping involved.
Depending on the stock you use, you may want to add more salt – a good quality salt of course. If you like spicy, the amount of chilli flakes can also be increased.
This recipe makes nearly 8 cups so unless I’m cooking for a crowd, I use half then freeze the other half.
If you like Turkish Delight, you are going to love this smooth, grain-free, chocolate and rosewater flavoured custard.
This is the first of my recipes that has catered for those who have some type of Thermo Cooker.
A Thermo Cooker makes this grain free custard a no fail dessert but if you don’t have one, then don’t despair. Simply blend all the ingredients, then cook over a double boiler while constantly stirring with a silicon spatula. It will be cooked when the mixture coats the spoon.
Gather your ingredients and utensils. Please note that I have used an Australian 20 ml tablespoon, which equals 4 teaspoons.
This recipe is grain free as it uses tapioca flour/starch instead of cornflour. Cornflour can be used as a substitute, however use only 1 tablespoon.
This custard can also be dairy and/or nut free depending on the type of milk you choose. If you are on a low FODMAP diet, it will also determine what milk you use.
Honey can be used instead of maple syrup but as it is stronger tasting you may want to add less than the 2 tablespoons. You can always stir in more at the end.
I find the best additive-free rosewater in my local Persian grocery store. I love the taste of rosewater so I would add the whole tablespoon. Use less if you haven’t tried it yet. If you aren’t a fan of rosewater then simply leave it out.
You don’t need fancy dessert bowls – nicely shaped water glasses will work just fine.
I’m trying to do away with using plastic wrap so I use a saucer to cover the custard while it cools. Never heat food covered in plastic wrap as it emits toxic fumes. In fact, don’t let it come in contact with food as it is full of nasty chemicals. I will still sometimes use what I have left to cover food without letting it touch the food.
You can eat this custard warm, however I think it tastes better as a cold dessert.
If you feel uneasy about getting an uneven sprinkle of cacao powder, use a sifter or shaker. Cacao is different to cocoa, in that it is the raw version that is higher in antioxidants.
Using rosebuds is an extravagence but you must admit it looks good. You could even use fresh rose petals, however it would be difficult to find organic. You would definitely not want to ingest the pesticides sprayed on the roses bought in the supermarket and most markets.
These flavoursome chicken cutlets have a grain free crumb of almond flour, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried parsley. They have become my all time favourite crumbed chicken recipe. Cook them for the little or big kids in your house tonight.
The recipe is courtesy of Amanda Savastio from Jersey City, USA.
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.
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.
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!
The addition of mashed pumpkin upgrades ordinary hummus to another level of nourishment and deliciousness.
Serve it with seedy crackers or fresh vegetables such as carrot or zucchini sticks, cauliflower florets or snow peas.
A flavoursome Swedish Meatballs recipe that avoids gluten by including the added protein in almond meal instead of using bread. There are also dairy and grain free options.
Hints and tips for this recipe:
Step 1 – Using an unrefined cold pressed extra virgin oil is the best for your health. The more processed oils have had petroleum based chemicals used in the extracting process or have been heated to temperatures that make the oil unhealthy. Heat the unprocessed oils to a medium heat (on my electric stovetop I go no higher than 6) so that they don’t burn and smoke.
Step 2 – If you like nutmeg, you can add 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg here.
Step 3 – Using a guide like a measuring tablespoon makes the job so much easier. I bought online a cookie dough scoop which is much like the old ice-cream scoops. I have found it invaluable for getting even meatballs, protein balls, and cookies. This step is also a great place to get the kids involved.
Step 4 – Be gentle with the meatballs in this step, so that they don’t break apart.
Step 5 – This is the step where you can choose your cooking fat depending on what diet you may follow.
Step 6 – If you are using a starchy thickener, by coating the starch grains in oil, it helps to separate them and prevent a lumpy sauce.
Step 7 – By mixing in your liquid a little at a time, it also prevents lumps. But don’t be worried, as mixing it in off the heat makes it pretty foolproof.
Step 8 – A mixture that is being thickened needs to simmer for at least 1 minute in order to burst the cell wall of the starch grains and prevent a “floury” taste.
Step 9 – Let the meatballs simmer for 5 minutes to get them nice and hot again, then taste to see if you want to stir through more salt or pepper. In order to get more nutrients than are found in the traditional mashed white potato that these meatballs are traditionally served over, I serve them over mashed sweet potato or cauliflower.
This is like an edible turmeric latte with the extra protein boost of gelatine, which is also good for your gut lining. Click here for a great article on the health benefits of turmeric and why, as with everything, moderation is the key. For a second opinion, here is another article on the benefits of turmeric. These turmeric latte jellies are a snack that you never have to feel guilty about.
I’m actually not a total fan of turmeric lattes yet I find these really hard to leave alone. Perhaps it is because they have the added taste of my favourite herbal tea – liquorice. So decide on your favourite tea and use that as the liquid instead of just plain water.
Gelatine powder is available in the baking section at the supermarket, however, it is preserved with sulphites that are not good for you, especially if you are prone to asthma. I myself am allergic to sulphites – I get an itchy rash around my ears. It is best to buy grass-fed beef or pig gelatine at the health food store or online, or better still a fully organic one.
The nutrients in broccoli are great for the brain and the fennel in this broccoli soup gives the soup a subtle enticing flavour. This recipe couldn’t be much easier!
If it suits your diet, chicken stock can be substituted for the vegetable stock.
This easy, yet impressive, beef steak recipe is courtesy of the lovely Tracey Pattison. It is just one example of a dish from her beautiful cookbook, “Healthy Meals: Love to Cook”.
The photograph is courtesy of Steve Brown Photography.
If you are a fan of the peanut butter and honey combination, then you will be a fan of these super easy popsicles.
Peanuts are a good source of protein, healthy fat, and vitamins and minerals that are good for the brain. However, if you have a peanut allergy, just use almond butter instead.
Raw honey is not heat treated so will eventually crystallise. I personally love it in this “candied” form but if you prefer it runny, then just set the honey jar in the sun for a day.
To make this recipe vegan, use maple syrup instead of honey.
This egg Frittata is an easy option for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The kale can be substituted or mixed with spinach or silverbeet.
If you can’t source nitrate-free bacon, simply leave it out.
Original recipe and photo are courtesy of Dale Gray from The Daley Plate.
This chocolate recipe is so easy that I don’t bother buying the expensive version in the stores anymore.
Cocoa butter can be found in most whole foods stores, but keep your eye out, as I found mine in a Spanish and Italian Food grocery store.
If you like it sweeter you can increase the honey or maple syrup up to 1/2 cup.
For my last batch, I replaced the vanilla with a few drops of food grade pure peppermint essential oil. I would suggest you add a drop at a time until it suits your taste. Next time I am going to try sweet orange essential oil.
This smoothie recipe is courtesy of my friend and mentor, Gayle Lawrence. It is packed with all the nutrients needed for a good start to the day.
The Slippery Elm powder can be optional, however it is very healing for the gut so perhaps add a little at first then work your way up.
This is a quicker, fresher version of the usual split pea soup. Once all the ingredients and utensils are gathered, it can be on the table in 20 minutes.
If you follow a Dairy-free, Vegan, or Paleo diet, use coconut yoghurt instead of dairy cream or yoghurt, or leave it out altogether.
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