Easter Treats for Hunter Gatherers


eggsEaster weekend is a couple of days away so it’s time to channel your inner hunter gatherer and marshal the troops for the inevitable living room Easter egg hunt.

You’ll want to explore high and low when you discover how good these solid eggs taste.  And just like traditional eggs, these orbs of deliciousness can be encased in pretty foil and hidden deep under the couch or buried in your favorite pot plant.

Just because it’s Easter, there’s no need to get embroiled in the supermarket price wars, just battle it out in your own home with healthy homemade creations.

Note these will melt on a hot day so if you want to avoid finding melted chocolate under the couch cushions in a few months then perhaps it’s better to move the hunt to the backyard.

kids_spring06_egg_chickens_vertGather your ingredients, make these ahead of time and store in the freezer

Solid Chocolate Eggs

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup coconut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 TBS rice malt syrup or sweetener of choice
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • 2 TBS shaved cacao butter or coconut cream

(You can find ingredients here)

Method

  • Melt coconut oil and butter in a small saucepan over a low heat
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until combined
  • Using an Easter Egg mold, or if you don’t have one you can substitute by using a mini muffin pan, (I used one for this photograph), egg cups, or rounded ice cube trays, grease the inside of your tray with coconut oil so the eggs don’t stick to the sides when you are removing them.
  • Pour mixture in and place in the freezer to set.  Minimum chill time is just 15 minutes in the freezer.
  • Once set, remove them from the freezer and detach eggs from the mold or muffin pan by gently tapping on the base.  Once removed, run your index finger the warm tap, being careful not to burn your fingers and with your index finger swipe over the egg to slightly melt chocolate at each base then sandwich both halves together. Return eggs to the freezer for five minutes to set.

For more Easter recipes why not try out these spegg-tacular creations and let me know what you’ll be making for Easter this year and don’t forget to share them on Instagram.

Sugar Free Chocolates

Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Roughs

I Quit Sugar Bounty Bars

Chocolate and Berry Pudding

Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

Hoppy Easter!

Lee xo

Ps Find out more about my recipe books here.

Two Simple Breakfast Bowls


breakfast bowls

Nourishing Bowls

Hello autumn! In an effort to coax me and my cozy high socks out of bed on cooler April mornings I’ve been filling my mind and appetite with warming breakfast bowls and spicy chai.

Never one to argue with a craving, for the past few weeks, I’ve been on a bleary-eyed breakfast bowl bender and today I’m sharing two of my favourites. You may have already seen them on insta because we are on very good terms at the moment.

Two extra special kind of delicious bowls, one savoury and one sweet. Double yum!

As the colder weather rolls around it makes sense to eat with the seasons. We change our clothing to move with the seasons so it makes sense to change our diets too.  In my undying hearty appreciation of food I think that seasonal food tastes much better because it’s had the chance to ripen and develop naturally, brimming with more nutrients and minerals and it’s easier on the hip pocket too.

To break out of your breakfast rut, swap out your current dubious gluten free mystery packaged cereal and try these healthy nourishing bowls. Really, all you need is an investment of fifteen minutes at the stove and before you know it you’ll be fully awake and enjoying a comforting bowl of nourishment. Gulp!

Used by the Aztecs quinoa, a hard core super grain is gluten free, high in essential amino acids, and a great source of protein. Feel free to tinker with the recipes and top as you desire depending upon the season.

Supercharged Tip: Make extra quinoa to squirrel away in the freezer or for a quick lunch or dinner.  Try fried rice or veggie stir fry. Your future self will thank you.  More

Feeding Fussy Eaters



Photo by the Whimsical Wife

Photo by The Whimsical Wife

This blog post goes out to all of the parents or caregivers of picky eaters, and ones who are raising children in a processed fast food nation. I think that covers just about every parent.

If your child is stuck in a pasta, nugget, boiled rice or potato mash commercial time warp, here are three no-nag ways to ward off an oncoming meal-time battle and have them eating out of your hands.

There’ll be no more shaking of heads and sealing of lips, look forward to saucer eyes and open mouths as kids hoover up these healthy meals like there’s no tomorrow. You can find more recipes in my Supercharged Food for Kids recipe book here.

But first, five tips to help you to encourage your children to eat well…

  1. Don’t be afraid to say no and express your love with healthy foods.  A way of nurturing kids is not to give them nuked processed foods full of sugar and bad fats. Show them you care by feeding them foods that will help them grow and develop.  They’ll also be able to understand and experience the taste of real food and set up their taste buds for life.
  2. Follow the 80/20 rule.  Don’t feed them squeaky clean food all of the time and let them indulge in treats in moderation.  They will develop a healthy relationship with food that way and not be the playground health nerd.
  3. Keep a healthy pantry, if you don’t have Tim Tams in the house it’s easier to offer an alternative and say try this ‘zoo poo” rather than yes we have a packet of Tim Tams but we’re not letting you anywhere near it.  Pester power will be in full swing if they can see it’s in the pantry and know it’s only a pincer grip away.
  4. Don’t force the issue.  If kids don’t want to eat something then let it go and have a healthy backup plan that you know they’ll enjoy and can fall back on. Explain how certain foods will make them have strong bones and healthy bodies and why it will benefit them.
  5. Create kid friendly versions of your meals; for example if you’re making a delicious pumpkin soup, use the base mash for your little one and then turn it into a soup for you by adding herbs, coconut milk or stock. Talk to your child about the flavours and textures of the food you’re eating and if you can, sit down and eat meals together.

I’d love you to introduce these recipes into your child’s life and let me know what you think in the comments section below. More

Smashed Sardines with Avocado on Chia and Flaxseed Loaf



sardines avo
People often ask me what my favourite recipe is from my new book Eat Yourself Beautiful and although I love them all my special favourite is Smashed Sardines with Avocado on Chia and Flaxseed Loaf.  It’s probably because I eat it a few times and week and always feel so happy afterwards. Clap along if you agree.

Sardines may not immediately strike you as a happy food, but these little guys are sky high in mood boosting omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B12 and loaded with minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They can also make your wallet happy because they’re an inexpensive meal to bring the table.  A can of sardines in extra virgin oil will set you back about $1.80 AUD.

A 2012 study reveals that fish oil increases transmission of serotonin in the brain which controls emotion.  Because of their ability to increase serotonin levels this makes fish oils a good mood food to include in your diet.

Hair, skin and nails benefit too; sardines are one of the most powerful beauty boosters because their omega-3 content benefits the circulatory system, hydrating the skin, and helping you to avoid incoming wrinkles. More

Eat Yourself Beautiful on Sunrise Channel 7


Bounty Bar Recipe from I Quit Sugar Kids


The Bounty Bar IQS Kids

Today I’m super excited to be sharing details and a recipe from Sarah Wilson’s latest e-book, I Quit Sugar Kids Cookbook, aimed at helping parents and care-givers encourage their children to eat healthier food.

As someone who has written a kid’s recipe book Supercharged Food for Kids, I was thrilled to be asked to contribute one of my recipes to Sarah’s new book, which is full of so many delicious sugar free recipes that kids will enjoy eating again and again. The book also has a lot of helpful information for parents about how to make savoury foods fun and exciting.

IQS KidsThere’s a section on navigating the school tuck shop which can be an area where many parents struggle with their children’s choices.  But kids will be pleased to know that the IQS Kids Cookbook is not suggesting a full ban. They provide a real canteen order list and the foods which are IQS approved.  There are ways to steer your kids’ choices in a healthier direction whilst still letting them have the thrill of ordering from the tuck shop.

Speaking of the school yard, I’m sure there will be much playground envy when kids start to open up their lunchboxes to reveal the yummy and fun recipes that are included in this fantastic book.

One of the chapter’s in the book is aimed at fructose free party recipes, an area where many parents struggle to find party food that isn’t going to send their kids through the roof on an artificial high. 

More

Chocolate Truffles


Chocolate Truffles

I know it sounds a bit counter productive but these are not going to last long in the fridge.  You’ll be diving in for more with every last mouthful.  These chocolaty morsels are a new recipe from my latest recipe book.

Although not exactly textbook truffles, take a walk over to the dark side and you’ll discover that they are not only delicious and texturally sound but can also fit the bill when you’re in need of an easy chocolate fix.

A perfect accompaniment for your cup of tea, why not infuse them with your own flavours such as peppermint or orange to make them unique.

Wrapped up in pretty boxes and tied with ribbon, they make the perfect homemade gift. It’s best to house them in the fridge until you’re ready to give them, if you can last that long from opening the refrigerator door.

Chocolate Truffles can be frozen for up to a month in a sealed container, then all you need to do is drag them out and pop them into the fridge a few hours before consuming.

Chocolate Truffles

Makes 28 truffles

Ingredients

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) additive-free coconut milk
  • 125 g (41/2 oz/1/2 cup) nut butter
  • 30 g (1 oz/1/4 cup) ground cacao
  • 60 g (21/4 oz/1/2 cup) chia seeds
  • 75 g (21/2 oz/1/2 cup) raw sesame seeds
  • 75 g (21/2 oz/1/2 cup) raw pumpkin seeds
  • 75 g (21/2 oz/1/2 cup) raw sunflower seeds
  • 75 g (21/2 oz/1/2 cup) coconut flour
  • 21/2 tablespoons rice malt syrup, or sweetener of your choice

Method

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth
  • Remove 1 tablespoon of the mixture and use your hands to form small balls
  • Repeat with the remaining ingredients
  • These will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 2 weeks, and the freezer for 3 months

Supercharged tip: Blending chia seeds makes them more bio-available for the body. These are also delicious rolled in grated coconut

For more information about my new recipe book Eat Yourself Beautiful click here.

Rebooting Your Child’s Lunchbox


vintage desk and bikeIt’s almost time to send the kids back to school, which means for many parents and caregivers busy schedules and challenging lunchbox fixing.  If you’re looking to reboot worn out and tired lunch box ideas and get creative then here are some of my simple tips.  Giving kids nutritious meals can really make a big difference to their mental clarity, focus and behavior in the classroom.

When it comes to packing and presenting lunchboxes that your kids will enjoy and devour, much of the battle will be in communication and variety. Unfortunately, taking the “You’ll get what you’re given” approach that many older generations may have experienced, is a sure fire way to ensure that kids are removed from a relational experience of food.

monday-to-friday-lunchboxWhat we are all aiming for is a place where children are able to freely and creatively engage in the process of making healthy food choices, and learn how to take responsibility for what they are eating. By opening up a relevant two way conversation about the importance of eating real foods, and giving them the opportunity to make some choices about what they may be able to have in their lunchbox, will more likely result in an empty container on their return home from school.

Let your child be involved in the purchasing of their lunchbox, make sure it is sturdy with a strong lid, insulated or comes with an ice pack no parent likes to a black mushy banana on the return trip home. If they choose one that they love, they won’t mind toting it around, hey you can never be too cool for school! If you’re using plastic then BPA free makes a good choice.

Choose a lunch box with separate pockets or sections and make sure it is large enough to hold a flask or drink bottle.  Using smaller lidded containers will protect the lunchbox and its contents and alleviate the need for foil and cling wrap. They are useful for dips, salads, fruit, wraps and casseroles. More

Gluten free whole blood orange cake


Blood Orange Cake

Blood oranges feel like the forgotten fruit. They’re the jewels in the crown of the citrus world, so tasty, tangy, sweet and rich in Vitamin C they’re wonderful for the skin and offer up unique health benefits.

Unlike other citrus fruits, blood oranges are less acidic and contain anthocyanins, excellent anti-oxidants which are the same red flavonoid pigments that you’ll discover in the intense purpleness of blueberries. Just like a diamond is put through extreme stress to become a white sparkly gem, so too are blood oranges. Exposed to freezing nights combined with high day temperatures forces the development of their rich ruby- red colouring.

Anthocyanins are employed by the body to prevent oxidative stress from free radicals and help control and lower inflammation. Combine anthocyanins with polyphenol and high levels of vitamin C and here you have one of nature’s true superfoods. Vitamin C stimulates collagen production that’s why it’s such a great skin food and crucial for the normal development and maintenance of bones, gums, teeth and cartilage. More

Buckwheat Pasta with Flaked Trout


buckwheat pasta LR

There’s no time like the present for a bit of self- reflection.  How did last year shape up for you? Was it smooth sailing or were there things that you would have done differently given the opportunity?

Many of us start to the New Year with a resolution or two, whether it involves assessing our relationships, financial decisions, deciding to clean out your proverbial closet or vowing to never drink again after one too many cocktails!

What are some of the changes you’d like to see happen in the year ahead?  I’d like to do some more travelling this year and experience life a bit more, instead of being chained to my computer and also start a restorative yoga class for people who want to do gentle yoga to help give them more energy and recover from illness.

Whatever it is you choose to do this year, if you’re ready to wipe the slate clean, start afresh and ring in the New Year with a resolve to be happier and healthier, then setting yourself a realistic resolution to make gradual changes to your eating habits and lifestyle will be a lot easier to maintain.  Making small changes might not seem like much at the beginning, but soon, these small changes really do become significant larger changes that you will notice.

In a dietary sense, a few examples of small changes might include swapping your daily coffee every second day for dandelion or herbal tea, or cooking with brown rice instead of white. Or it may even be that you will become less restrictive with your current eating habits and allow yourself the occasional treat without feeling guilty. More

Pre Order Your Copy of Eat Yourself Beautiful


EYB official cover stickThere’s no time like the present to be your best self.

My new book will show you how to build a flawless, fabulous and healthy you with clean foods.

With more than nutritious 100 recipes – many of which are free from gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar Eat Yourself Beautiful is a simple and inspiring guide to eating for optimum health, beauty and successful aging.

“Spinach and coconut water, it’s a lot cheaper than a cosmetic surgeon”.

My motivation to write the book came from wanting to explore and share with you more foods and recipes which contain anti-inflammatory ingredients to heal the body from the inside out and lower inflammation levels.

I’ve been indulging in anti-inflammatory recipes for over a year now and have never felt better. In fact at nearly forty-seven I feel better than I did in my twenties.  The wonderful bonus about eating this way is that you’ll not only feel healthier, more energized and vital, you’ll notice changes on the outside too, clearer skin, healthier hair, stronger nails and less wrinkles!

Throughout the book you’ll discover secret recipes for juices, snacks and meals, delicious, easy-to-make heirloom recipes which you can cook again and again.  It’s my own personal guide to achieving inner and outer health through simple, delicious recipes using every day nutritionally rich, anti-inflammatory foods to boost longevity and promote vitality.

The delicious recipes contain everything from the skin-boosting power of plant collagen to the most potent antioxidants on the planet, to jump-start your immune system, boost energy levels and maintain your long term health and well-being.

I’ll also show you how eating the wrong foods can be visible on the outside too.

Edible beauty is the key to a healthy life, so get ready to throw out restrictive fad diets for good, enjoy your food and eat, drink and be beautiful!

Here’s a little bit more about what you’ll discover inside the book;

  • Over 100 recipes to lower inflammation and take care of your inner and outer health
  • Top secrets to successful, ageless beauty using powerful everyday foods
  • How to identify primary aging accelerators and what foods to avoid
  • Learn how to rectify common beauty concerns
  • Scrumptious recipes for super skin, hair and nails and a glowing complexion
  • Uncover secret anti-wrinkle accelerator foods
  • Unearth my top 20 beauty boosting foods and why they are important to include in your diet
  • Create delicious recipes for smoothies and drinks, healthy snacking, breakfasts, lunches and dinners and mouth-watering desserts
  • Get stuck into a  seven day beauty meal plan and shopping list

Click here to order your copy today and it will be posted to you in mid-January. preorder_ribbon

Some of the delicious recipes you can indulge in are, Buckwheat pasta with flaked trout, Raspberry studded pumpkin pie, Layered quinoa trifle, Gado Gado, Immune-boosting garlic soup, Seaweed and sesame salad, Supercharged breakfast bars, Cranberry and walnut granola and many more.

buckwheat pasta LRpumpkin pieLayered Quinoa TrifleGado Gado LRgarlic soup LRSeaweed and sesame low resSupercharged Breakfast Bars LR

Granola

Happy cooking :)

Lee xo

Layered Quinoa Trifle and Christmas Day Recipes


Layered Quinoa Trifle

Tis the festive season. So let the hunger games begin.

The decorations have been hanging around the supermarket for months, weekly gift guides have been falling out of newspapers across the country and now Christmas is so close we can almost touch it. It’s a time when dessert making is at its peak and there’s no better time to get re-acquainted with trifles.

Loved by many, trifles are a somewhat retro Christmas dessert where indulging in seconds or thirds is not uncommon. Laying out the fruit sponge, scattering with delicious fruit and adding thick layers upon layers of custard, cream, jelly and whatever else you have on hand is all part of the process. Maybe Christmas trifles are still a tradition at your house and even now you love to pile your plate high with this popular and colourful dessert.

With these memories in mind, I’ve combined some of my favourite nutritious ingredients to recreate the classic trifle recipe. The recipe is from my new cookbook Eat Yourself Beautifulwhich will be hitting the shelves in January, a good time to start the year off with healthy intentions!

In this layered quinoa trifle there are layers upon layers of health-promoting ingredients.  I’ve substituted sponge for quinoa, giving the dish a distinctive creamy nuttiness. I’ve added a couple of dollops of full-fat Greek style natural yoghurt added in place of cream but if you don’t consume dairy why not try this cashew nut cream instead.  Just sprinkle through some coconut flakes for crunch and texture and your trifle is ready for tasting.

I think you’re going to enjoy my layered quinoa trifle recipe with a twist!  You may like to serve it in a glass jar with a ribbon tied around the edge.

Layered Quinoa Trifle Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 100 g (31/2 oz/1/2 cup) quinoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 6 drops stevia liquid, or 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
  • 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
  • 2 bananas, sliced
  • 130 g (43/4 oz/1/2 cup) full-fat Greek- style yoghurt
  • 4 tablespoons coconut flakes 110 g (33/4 oz/1/2 cup) mixed berries
  • 1 teaspoon almond butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds, for sprinkling

Method

  • Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve. Rinse with cold running water for 2–3 minutes, moving the seeds around with your hand to ensure that the seeds are well rinsed and any residue is removed.
  • Bring 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) water to the boil in a large saucepan.
  • Add the quinoa, return to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to low for 12–15 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
  • Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • Place the quinoa in a bowl and stir through the cinnamon and salt.
  • In a saucepan over medium–low heat, warm the almond milk for 3–4 minutes.
  • Stir in the vanilla and stevia or rice malt syrup.
  • Add a couple of spoons of quinoa to four glass jars, or glasses.
  • Mix through the almond milk and follow with layers of slivered almonds, banana slices, yoghurt, coconut flakes and berries. Repeat until the jars are full, with berries as the top layer.
  • Top with the melted almond butter and chia seeds.

For more Christmas inspiration, I’ve compiled a list of some favourite recipes over the past year that are all gluten-free and packed with nutrients. So treat you and your guests to this delicious spread.

THE STARTERS

Bite-sized appetizers are perfect to serve as guests arrive. Try this smoked salmon and pistachio terrine, which can easily be assembled in the morning, left to set in the fridge, and taken out when needed.

This pea and lamb soup works well as an entrée too, with the beautiful flavour of the peas and parsley garnish keeping it light and summery.

Fancy a salad option? This kale, strawberry, and avocado salad is an exciting combination, as is this warm beetroot, carrot and pear salad, both full of warm Christmas colours.

THE MAIN

For an alternative to turkey or ham, buy an organic chicken and make this delicious paprika, garlic and rosemary chicken, bursting with flavour and warmth.

Serve the chicken with sage mashed cauliflower as a light alternative to potatoes, as well as a hazelnut-encrusted pumpkin, and a nutrient-packed side of green beans and spinach. Here are the recipes.

DESSERT

Looking for a sweet treat that is healthy too? My luscious sugar-free chocolate is sweetened with natural stevia.

You can also find more recipe ideas on my Christmas post last year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Cooking!

Lee xo

You can buy my recipe books here.

My three favourite happy foods



seanuts LR
Have you ever noticed how what you eat affects how you feel?  Research suggests that good food can really put you in a buoyant mood. According to a study in the UK, The Food and Mood Project, 80 percent of people who were surveyed reported a significant improvement in their mood and found that when they were drinking more water and eating more ‘supporter foods’ such as vegetables, fruits, oily fish, nuts and seeds, brown whole grains, fibre, protein and organic foods they experienced less depression and anxiety.

The researchers also discovered that excess stressor foods such as refined sugar, caffeine and alcohol improved mood at first but then left people feeling stressed because they weren’t providing adequate nutrition and their bodies were left depleted.

The science behind foods effect on mood comes down to chemical and physiological changes in our brain structure which can lead to altered behavior. The survey indicated that supporter foods have been proven to alter your metabolism and brain chemistry, ultimately affecting your energy level and mood.  More

Nut Butter Biscuits


Photography by Nina Thornton Photography by Nina Thornton

Old school biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to share your morning or afternoon cup of tea. I designed these especially for kids, and the recipe comes from my book Supercharged Food for Kids as they’re a great lunchbox treat or after school bite. Sometimes snacks can be a bit of a tricky one, as you crave a morsel that is crunchy, sweet and satisfying but preferably good for you too. I’m happy to say that these nut butter biscuits tick all those boxes, as well as being packed with nutrient-dense ingredients they’re delicious and fantastically fulfilling.

The nut butter base adds a mild nutty taste that enhances the other flavours, and is abundant in protein and healthy fats, to keep you content. Almond butter is a variety you may want to use, but feel free to experiment with cashew or macadamia because they both work very well in this recipe. Extra points if you make your own too.  More

Hungry for Change


hfc-dvd-cover-180x241A few years ago I was at a major turning point in my life and hungry for change.   I was lying in a hospital bed staring at the ceiling one night and I asked myself a simple question which at the time had no idea would have such a profound effect on my future.

The question that was swirling around in my head seemed to make perfect sense to me but others around me weren’t so convinced by what I was contemplating; I’d always been quite interested in nutrition but this time I wanted to know even more about the food I was eating and whether certain kinds of foods could not only provide me with nourishment but actually become my medicine to eventually restore and heal my body.

After being diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, when I was faced with the prospect of a dull and overcast life on steroids, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, this teeny idea that had begun  blossoming in my mind like a flower in springtime, was slowly becoming a much bigger part of how I wanted my future to look.   I envisaged a future which would allow me to live freely and naturally and one that would see me healing my body with certain foods, and wean myself off the cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs I was having difficulty swallowing daily.

At the time there wasn’t a whole lot of information that I could find on the subject and I was starting to discover that there was a great deal of conflicting advice, especially on the internet.  Fortunately for me, it just so happened that a friend of mine named Cleo sent me a link to the Food Matters DVD which really opened my eyes to the concept of using food as medicine.

As I watched the eye opening DVD, there was a moment that became a huge turning point for me.  Something in the DVD really resonated with me and it made me cry.  It was scary to think that I wanted to go against convention and try a different healing path.  I remember feeling really concerned about being criticised and made to look reckless and irresponsible because my choices were unconventional. But something inside me was convincing me that this was the right path for me even though most of the people around me disagreed.

It was from that point onwards that I was truly convinced I was going to try and discover as much information as I could and become my own “Food Is Medicine” experiment to see whether I really could heal myself without the use of prescribed drugs.

Over the next few years my health improved dramatically with food and nutrition being one of the major components of my recovery.  I also found that healing my gut, lowering inflammation in my body, taking up gentle exercise and doing a daily meditation played an important role in my overall health too.

When Food Matters asked me to be a part of their affiliate program I was really excited because James Colquhoun actually wrote the forward in my first recipe book Supercharged Food, and I was such a big fan of he and Laurentine because of the profound effect they had on opening my eyes to a new way of life.

Hungry for Change is the next book and DVD from the makers of Food Matters and it unravels the clever marketing ploys that the diet, weight-loss and food industries use to keep us coming back for more.  It shows us how we are made to think we are eating ‘healthy’ and ‘nutritious’ food when really what we are being offered is disguised food with minimal to no nutritional value at all. Nutrients from real food – vegetables, fruits and good fats are what enable us to heal from the inside out. These nutrients can’t be obtained from processed foods on a supermarket shelf but from real food grown with no chemicals and pesticides, in our own gardens, absorbing the shine of the sun, raindrops and the minerals from clean soil.

If you’re interested in finding more out about Hungry for Change which will really have you questioning the nutritional values of every packet you pick up off a supermarket shelf, every advertisement you see on TV or in a magazine then you can watch the Hungry for Change DVD here or read the Hungry for Change recipe book here.

Nourish your body with real food and your body will nourish you.

Thank you for reading my story, you can read my books by visiting my bookshelf here.

Happy cooking,

Lee xo

Kale, Strawberry and Avocado Salad with Speedy Jam Jar Dressing


Kale strawberry and avocado saladChristmas is a time of goodwill and eftpos are running a cracker of a campaign.  This year they’re giving up to $2 million dollars to two specific organisations, Diabetes Australia and the Cancer Council Australia, as part ofeftpos Giveback.

Diabetes Australia are using their funding to create a new online support platform for 1.5 million Australians with diabetes and to further early intervention and prevention for the 2 million others with pre-diabetes symptoms.

If you wander over to their website you’ll find that they’re currently running a healthy recipe competition up until Christmas, aiming to receive from the community as many healthy recipes as possible. If you have a favourite healthy recipe that you’d like to share, you can submit yours hereand the very good news is that you don’t have to weight ooops wait too long to find out if you’re a winner because they’re picking out their favourite recipes weekly and dishing out $1000 dining experiences.  I want to enter!

Living with diabetes can be a challenge but getting rest, doing gentle forms of exercise and eating and maintaining a healthy diet including delicious recipes can really help to play a major part of a well-rounded holistic approach to managing the disease.  More

Spinach and Carrot Muffins


Carrot and Spinach Muffins

Photography by Kristy Plumridge

I love these muffins because not only do they taste delicious, they use the natural sweetness of carrots paired with the incredible antioxidant properties of lemon zest.  It’s my second diabetic friendly recipe as part of the eftpos GivebackCampaign for Diabetes Australia.  If you have a favourite healthy recipe you’d like to share, you can submit yours here.

I’ve been using spinach in my dessert recipes a lot lately, remember THAT spinach ice cream?

Using spinach in dessert recipes offers up a healthy dose of iron just when you need it.  I’ve found that one of the best ways to keep on top of my auto immune disease is to make sure my iron levels are topped up and to follow an anti-inflammatory diet. More

Cranberry and Walnut Granola


Cranberry and walnut granola low resNick off tooth challenging granola.  If you’re tired of grinding your teeth on over-baked, processed, ready-made granola then you’ll welcome this recipe from my forthcoming book Supercharged Food; Eat, Yourself Beautiful, because it not only tastes amazing, but will save you on dentist and doctor’s bills too.

It strikes me as odd that many packaged granolas have received health-food cult status considering the ingredients they contain.  Store-bought varieties are often laced with sugar and brimming with bad fats which you might like to give a wide birth to next time you’re browsing the supermarket aisle.

Not only that, it’s the front of the packets covered in bad marketing jargon that are teeth clenchingly horrifying.  Note to corporate advertising executives next time you say “Let’s have a little pow wow before everyone heads out tonight” about your latest mumfluencial peace, love and granola campaign, please remove the following words from your vocabulary: Low fat, light and tasty, slow release, natural flavours, wholesome and naturally indulgent.

Imagine if we actually spoke to people the way advertisements spoke to the general public?

gapingvoid_advertising_punch_face_5001

Special note to Sanitarium, your new byline “It’s what’s inside that counts” couldn’t be more true. Well done on that one.  But, let’s have a look at what is inside your Light ‘n’ Tasty Berry Granola which “provides a delicious combination of succulent sweetened cranberries, mixed berry fruity pieces and wholesome grains”.  More

Warm Beetroot, Carrot and Pear Salad


Warm Beetroot, carrot and Pear Salad

A nourishing salad fit for a busy family is what I am going to share with you today.

Beetroots, carrots and fresh herbs appear to be the biggest culprits for left over fridge remnant veggies – anecdotal evidence I have managed to cultivate among many people I chat to about healthy eating and food waste.

While the best part of my job is helping people take control of their kitchen choices, I’m not a big fan of wasting food and will do anything to save a veggie from the trash can.

And so this recipe, a delicious Carrot, Beetroot and Pear Salad is the perfect example of roasting on the edge vegetables and still getting a great result.

A sweet, satisfying medley of cooked veggies, roasted in the oven with an array of medicinal spices and offset with the crispness of a beautiful pear. Again, any chopped root veggie could be used here – my preference is for beetroot and carrot for their natural sweetness. More

Chicken Pho with Raw Zucchini Noodles


chicken pho with raw zucchini noodles

192_12893568454_3641_nChicken Pho with Raw Zucchini Noodles

Here is a delicious recipe which reminds me of my time spent in Vietnam, where I visited the most amazing tea shop and spent a couple of weeks exploring the country and its wonderful food.

This recipe which contains raw zucchini noodles or (zoodles) comes from a recipe book called A Nourishing Kitchen by Amy Crawford who I met recently in Melbourne and who I now have an affiliation with.

What I love about this particular recipe is that it has a back to basics approach with real food yet still manages to capture the wonderful light fragrant flavours of Pho one of the Vietnamese’s most beloved dishes.  More

Gluten Free Pita Pocket



Photo by The Whimsical Wife

Photo by The Whimsical Wife

Say goodbye to soggy bread.  Sometimes it’s good to have a break from sandwiches and introduce new healthy bread options to kids’ repertoires.

Here’s a breakfast,  lunch, or bulging snack  idea that kids can easily assemble themselves and have fun in the process. It comes from my book Supercharged Food for Kids which you can find here.

The pockets can be filled with bacon and eggs at breakfast time or veggies, avocado and tuna or leftover dinner meat and spring salad ingredients and topped with homemade mayo or ranch dressing.

You can pretty much stuff in whatever you like or whatever you have available in the fridge.

The basic recipe can also be made as a flat crusty pizza and delivered to hungry mouths pretty quickly once your favorite toppings have been fixed.

Test these on your brood and let me know what you think?

Makes 4 pitas

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 TBS almond or rice milk
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS coconut flour
  • 1 TBS flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup blanched almond meal
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 TBS mixed herbs chopped fine (optional)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Place baking paper on a baking tray
  • In a bowl whisk egg and add water, milk and olive oil
  • Add dry ingredients and stir well
  • Pour mixture onto baking paper in 2 medium sized circles about 12 cms across and spread evenly with a palette knife
  • Bake for 20 minutes until golden and crispy around the edge
  • Let cool and with a sharp knife slice along the centre so that a pocket is created
  • Stuff with favourite fillings

Happy Cooking

Lee xo

Vegetable Fritters


Vegetable Fritters

My dog Cashew gets jealous when I eat these fritters.  I’ve never really known of a dog to get jealous of vegetables before.  But I think Cashew is an extraordinary dog and a bit of a culinary canine.

For example, recently she was bitten by a paralytic tick which put her in intensive care for four days and whilst she was recovering the well-meaning vet was attempting everything to make her eat something, anything, so that she would show signs that she was improving and come home. But Cashew just kept on refusing, turning up her little snout at any scientifically produced, celebrity endorsed dog food, or bone shaped dog biscuits and looking at the vets like they were insane. More

Chia Coconut Pikelets


Chia Coconut Pikelets

Photo by Pamela Mackertich

I’d love to share a wholesome and delicious recipe out of my Supercharged Food for Kids book.

Pikelets work well for children as they are smaller than a traditional pancake and become a practical and fun finger food for them.  They can also be used for dessert as well as breakfast or packed into a lunchbox for morning or afternoon tea.

I’ve used chia seeds in this recipe because they are a delicious super food, packed with Omega 3s and ridiculously high in antioxidants. They’re extremely versatile and easy to use too. Some great ways to include them in your child’s diet are by adding them to smoothies, sprinkling them on top of yoghurt or cereal, tossing them in your muffin mix or making these delicious pikelets.

Any time you can squeeze chia into your child’s diet, you’re boosting their nutritional profile. By including plain full fat yoghurt on top of these pikelets, you’ll be providing sustenance as well as essential protein, calcium, vitamin C, iron, potassium and Omega 3 essential fatty acids.

When mixed with water, chia seeds become gelatinous. In this form you can use them as an egg substitute in your baking recipes.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 TBS chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cup self-raising gluten free flour
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 TBS coconut nectar or sweetener of your choice
  • 2 TBS butter

Method:

  •  In a bowl place chia, flour, coconut milk, water, eggs and sweetener and mix.
  • Heat a frying pan and melt some butter in the pan
  • Pour in mixture and cook on medium heat until bubbles start to form
  • Flip over using a spatula and cook until browned
  • Continue until finished

I hope your whole family enjoys these pikelets. Top with yoghurt, berries or topping of your choice. You can find more recipes for kids here.

 

Healthy Cookware for Your Real Food Kitchen


vintage_kitchen

Photo from Love Made Me Do It x

As more and more people come around to the benefits of eating healthily and from the source, it struck me recently that there’s little information surrounding the benefits of choosing the correct and healthiest cookware on the market today.

We all know that somewhere lurking in our kitchen is at least one old saucepan that perhaps had its heyday in the 90’s and is hanging in there, just by the skin of its teeth.

Although for many of us it can be a struggle to say goodbye to what is a reminder of a delicious meal created with a special person or a trusty rusty pan that has seen many a day, for a lot of us the time has now come for cookware update.

Not only do old cooking pots and pans often look battered and bruised, they can also be a source of leeching chemicals which infiltrate our food and negate the benefits of all of the wonderfully fresh, organic and healthy produce we are purchasing.

When choosing new cookware it’s important to look at a number of factors, the usability, the price and most importantly, the materials used.  More

Cauliflower & Daikon Rice and Quinoa Pilaf


white riceIt’s time to get out those oversized salad bowls from the back of your kitchen cupboard. Today I’m going to give you lots of healthy options for replacing white rice in your meals.

You know those times when you’re looking for an alternative to stodgy, insulin spiking white rice and not sure where to turn? Well, why not try one of these more nutritious options for the perfect partnership or base to a meal. They make excellent replacements and you can whip them up just as easily.

When eaten regularly, research has shown that eating white rice can increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes.  Aside from its sky high glycemic index, another reason to give white rice the flick is its lack of nutrients after undergoing refinement and processing, stripping the grain of essential B-vitamins, iron, manganese and fibre and leaving you with zilcho nutrition. More

Quinoa Pancakes


?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Here’s a wonderful healthy breakfast or lunch idea that will give you a serve of complete protein and keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Quinoa Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (white, brown or red)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • coconut oil or butter for frying
  • Stevia, lemon wedges for serving

Method

  • In a blender place all ingredients and blend until smooth adding more milk if required
  • Heat oil or butter in a frying pan
  • Place a spoonful of batter into pan and cook until pancake starts to bubble on top
  • Carefully flip it over and continue cooking until it is golden brown.
  • Remove from pan and serve with lemon and stevia.
  • You can make savoury versions too by adding nutritional yeast and serving with a green salad.

4pm Pick Up Biscuits


4pm pick up bicks

Creating and filing a healthy biscuit barrel isn’t a chore with these yummy 4pm Pick Up Biscuits which not only stave off hunger pangs but also nourish children from the inside out. They are one of my new recipes from my just released book Supercharged Food for Kids.

Every parent has encountered the hullaballoo surrounding a chaotic after school pick up, stuck in an endless car line, disgruntlement rising as every traffic light turns to red and mum or dad trying to navigate across town in the fastest way possible to make it in time to drop the kids off at after school activities.  By the time they hit the car kids are usually quite hungry and can be tired and irritable after a long school day, so it’s important to create good eating patterns at this critical time and feed them a snack which is nutritious as well as being delicious. More

Smoked Salmon and Pistachio Terrine


 

salmon terrine

One of my favourite things to do on weekends is to catch up with my girlfriends and prepare a delicious sample spread of pot luck bits and pieces!

Interestingly, after a solid year of writing my Kids’ cookbook, I have decided that there is something inherently comforting about eating food in small, finger like portions. In fact the secret to feeding fussy children lies in the art of chopping and creating food in an imaginative way and I believe we must all secretly take delight in having food prepared into fun, bite size morsels! More

Cacao Bomb Crackles


Cacao Bomb Crackles

Here’s a recipe from my brand new book Supercharged Food for Kids.

It’s crackle time! You’ve probably all witnessed the unhealthy versions of these hanging around on the table at every kid’s birthday party, loved unconditionally by children and parents alike.  These crunchy, crackles of puffed rice are essentially an old fashioned treat that I have always yearned to recondition for a real food 21st century.

Using real food will teach your child to appreciate food’s natural flavours and develop and understanding of what real food actually tastes like and this recipe is the perfect example.  If you skip the sugar-filled, artificially flavoured party treats and instead opt for a healthier version it will ensure you are meeting your child’s nutritional needs with a good supply of magnesium and iron from the raw cacao and B vitamins from brown rice puffs.  Coconut oil and butter will add stickiness and sweetness and provide a great all round anti-fungal and anti-bacterial element.

This recipe is a godsend for busy parents as it can be whipped up quickly and then placed in the fridge for kids to enjoy for morning and afternoon tea, an after school snack or a sleepover.

You can also make Cacao Pops as a breakfast cereal just by omitting the coconut oil and mixing up the other ingredients and chilling in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Cacao Bomb Crackles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice puffs
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 6 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 TBS coconut butter
  • 3 TBS cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  • Line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper cup liners.
  • Place rice puffs in a bowl.
  • In a food processor process coconut sugar until it resembles a fine powder.
  • Place a bowl over boiling water on the stove top and add in coconut sugar, coconut oil and butter and cacao powder until melted on a medium heat.
  • Add desiccated coconut and stir well.
  • Remove from heat, spoon mixture into liners.
  • Place in the refrigerator to set.

You can pick up the new e-book here.

Happy Cooking

Lee xo

Spinach Ice Cream


Spinach Ice Cream

Despite staying away from lactose I’m still very much partial to a scoop of delicious ice cream at times.

The little kid in me still get’s excited when I crack open a fresh tub of creamy home made confection.

As the saying goes, necessity breeds the mother of invention and having recently delved into the art of kids food, I managed to strike the perfect balance- ice cream, blasted green with nourishing spinach under the guise of peppermint. You follow me?

Its Bliss. I know you may think that spinach and ice cream are a pair of ingredients most likely to end up on the cutting room floor, but believe me when I tell you this, they make a lovely refreshing partnership. Bananas bring grown up spinach back down to earth and it’s distinctive flavour is well hidden when combined with coconut milk and mint. More

Supercharged Food for Kids


I’m really excited to launch my new book, Supercharged Food for Kids.  As a mum, wholefoods chef and former English teacher a lot of my life has been spent in the classroom helping kids grow academically. Now I’ve combined my teaching knowledge with my Certificate in Food and Nutrition (Polytechnic West), practical health coaching knowledge (Certified Health Coach, Institute of Integrative Nutrition) and first hand parenting skills to help guide other parents when it comes to integrating healthy eating routines, recipes and food ideas the whole family can benefit from.

My latest mission is to change the way kids eat so that we can build stronger, healthier and brighter kids from the ground up.

Supercharged Food for Kids features 90 recipes and meal solutions that not only taste delicious, but deliver the nutrients needed to help kids sustain energy levels, keep their mood up, concentrate and perform at their best.

SCF Kids Book CoverYou won’t find any frankenfood (genetically modified food) in Supercharged Food for Kids. But you will find kids’ favourites such as pizza, nuggets, pasta and desserts all made with healthy ingredients.

I hope it inspires you to create fresh, wholesome and nutrient rich meals that your children will eat again and again. And hopefully it will help your kids develop good eating habits they can maintain for the rest of their lives.

I’ve included tips on how to remove sugar and processed food, my top ten nutrient army, eating for special diets and allergies, packing and presenting a creative lunchbox, a bunch of tips for busy families, a chapter on sneaking super foods into everyday kids’ meals and information on mood, concentration, energy, performance and squad food.

There’s also a shopping list and Monday to Friday Lunchbox menu as well as some really fun lunchbox ideas that can be made with gluten free sandwiches and wraps.

You’ll find recipes such as Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, Pirate Muesli Bars, Cacao Bomb Crackles, Cheesy Mini Tartlets, Crunchy Chicken Drummers, Rice Crispy Bars, Zoo Poo, Watermelon Ice Blocks, Gluten Free Pita Pockets, Savoury Breakfast Muffins and lots, lots more.

My favourite recipe is Cacao Bomb Crackles.

You can buy the book here. 

Banana and Coconutty Smoothie
Banana and Coconutty Smoothie

Eggplant and Green Bean Curry


photo 2My usual approach to vegetables is to bake, steam or stir-fry them with garlic but this year I’m determined to improve my culinary skills when it comes to cooking vegetables. I’ve recently been using chef and food writer Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage book ‘Veg Every Day’ and this vegetarian recipe is adapted from it.

I’ve used a healthier oil, coconut oil and substituted activated almonds. Homemade curry paste works really beautifully and it’s a gorgeous curry, richly layered, warming and packed with melding flavours. More

Pea and Lamb Soup


Pea and Lamb Soup low resPea and Lamb Soup

Tonight I’m indulging in a fireside supper.  And what better marriage made in heaven than fresh pea and lamb. I used pasture fed lamb and organic fresh peas for this soup and 100% grass fed stock.

Rustic and hearty, simmering on the stove top increases the flavour ten-fold in this soup and if you’re not rushed for time, let it simmer for 15 minutes before blending. This perfect winter fare also contains parsley which provides a deeper flavour but you can substitute with mint if you prefer a more traditional tang.

Peas are rich in protein and a good source of fibre, Vitamin A, C and B1. Whether fresh or frozen they’re an abundant supplier of B1 (thiamin) and iron. Thiamin is essential for energy production, nerve function and carbohydrate metabolism. If you’re looking to promote good intestinal health, peas are the bees knees due to their water-soluble fibers which bind with cholesterol and help excrete it from the body. More

Chai Chia Breakfast Pudding


Image created by artist fleetingmind

Long term commitment… three little words that shoot alarm bells through the ears of commitment phobes across the land, quivering in their running shoes.

But LTC doesn’t just apply to human relationships. If you’ve been trapped in a dreary relationship with the same old breakfast food for the past few months then perhaps now’s a good time to shake up the monotony and slip on a new shoe for size?

Your alarm has gone off, you slam the snooze button a couple of times, hit the shower and then not surprisingly by the time you look up at the clock hands whizzing by, it’s time to set off.  With 9am closing in on you like a whistling kettle, you pop a slab of bread in the toaster and well, there you go again.

Eating the same food every morning is like a relationship where you’re watching someone talking, you notice their lips are moving but you can’t hear anything, only your thoughts stampeding through your mind like a Spanish matador in close fitting tights and a tasseled Chaquetilla.

Eggs, eggs, eggs and more eggs? Again. Really?

More

Blueberries and Brown Rice


2997-250x250As I type this rain drops are attacking my window.  Soon I’ll be walking my dog in the squelchy, slushy grass that lines the water-logged footpath outside. Cashew, my dog, likes to dawdle and sniff every solitary blade of grass in the Olympic-sized park at the top of the hill and the snuffling and shuffling can be problematic on days like today when time is limited and bucket loads of rain are pelting down and collecting in rather large swimming pools on the awaiting pavement.

Right now I’m in bed with a cup of morning chai and for some reason; blueberries and brown rice are whispering sweet nothings in my ear. Maybe it’s just the two of them and the fact that their nourishing combination goes together like a man and his wife that is making me feel comforted and absorbing my thoughts.

The food I’ve been eating lately is simple stuff, not because it’s all the rage, but for other reasons.  My mission when nourishing my body is to ensure I cook with the least amount of processed foods and look for ingredients that are environmentally sound where I can.

All rice, travels through several processes before it makes its way conveniently to your plastic package. Once picked, the seeds are milled to remove the outer husk. This results in simple, untarnished brown rice.

But wait, there’s more to this story. More

Banana Ice Cream


banana-ice-cream-one-ingredient-2This is the easiest banana ice cream recipe you’ll ever make. Said me.

And because it’s so simple, why not rope the kids to lend a hand. After all it’s an intrinsic part of their nature to learn and explore the world before them, so let’s begin their inauguration slap bang in the central hub of the home, the kitchen.

Empowering kids to make their own healthy choices and filling them with healthy, nutritional food, that will energise and revitalise them during such an important time of mental and physical growth, will benefit them not only now but also in the years to come.

The main element of this recipe is bananas; child friendly because of their lofty dose of potassium – an essential ingredient to keep pint-sized nervous systems in good shape. Without potassium, no new brain cells can be created.

The potassium and carbohydrates found in Australia’s number one selling fruit are the ideal brain food to help children stay alert. Potassium enables muscles to contract and expand efficiently during exercising, helping to prevent cramping. So don’t expect any Jungle Jim or rope swing misadventures any time soon.  Bananas contain plenty of essential nutrients like fibre, vitamin C and B6, as well as natural sugars glucose, fructose and sucrose, providing children with natural energy.

Cacao contains high levels of antioxidants and being rich in flavanol, it helps to boost brain function by enhancing blood flow to the brain, perfect for growing, active minds. The cocoa bean is especially high in magnesium converting into calcium and iron by the body, essential for growing strong, healthy bones.

My favourite benefit of this recipe is that the combination of banana and raw cacao allows children a natural sweet treat whilst ensuring they are still receiving essential nutrients that their growing bodies crave and are reliant upon.

Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients
2 bananas frozen and cut into chunks
1 TBS raw cacao powder
6 drops liquid stevia or sweetener of your choice
1 TBS almond butter

Method
Pre-peel bananas cut them into chunks and place in a freezer bag in the freezer
Once frozen, place them into a food processor with the cacao, stevia and almond butter
Puree until creamy stopping to scrape the sides when needed

Tahini and Chocolate Mousse


Tahini and Choc MousseDig in… It’s all good. 

What’s that word when you’re busting loose? Mousse Mousse.  There’s nothing like a little old school hip hop and chocolate to boost your mood. Hip hop and chocolate just seem to go together like Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five.

Speaking of chocolate, have you noticed how often it’s accompanied with bucket loads of the white stuff, sugar, it can be a real downer in the health department.

So, for all you hip hop fans and chocoholics out there, I’ve created a pop-locking recipe (a concoction of all-things-good-for-you), that tastes delicious so you and your crew can dig in guilt-free. More

Sugar Free Chocolate


chocolate

 

Hey guys… I have just reinvented the chocolate recipe to make it more creamy, smooth, tasty and delicious.  Here’s the new recipe, enjoy!

White Chocolate Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup organic coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 TBS vanilla essence
  • 10-12 drops liquid stevia or 1 tsp powdered or to taste
  • 2 TBS shaved cacao butter

Method:

  • Melt cacao and coconut butter and oil in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water then add additional ingredients
  • Place in a container or mould of your choice and freeze for 30mins. Break into bite sized pieces.

Dark Chocolate Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup raw organic cacao powder
  • ¼ cup organic coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 TBS vanilla essence
  • 10-12 drops liquid stevia or 1 tsp powdered or to taste
  • 2 TBS shaved cacao butter

Method:

  • Melt cacao and coconut butter/oil in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water then add additional ingredients
  • Place in a container or mould of your choice and freeze for 30mins. Break into bite sized pieces
  • Don’t forget, you can make other versions to suit your taste by adding orange or peppermint essence, crushed raw almonds, walnuts or cashews.

Supercharged Lasagne


LasagneMy mantra for this year is…

‘It’s the small changes you make every day that count’

Making a concerted effort to eat more vegetables and less processed food will have an ah-mazing effect on your body. Even if you feel the irresistible lure of comfort food, including a couple of healthy swap outs, like using zucchini in place of pasta and adding yoghurt instead of white sauce you can still enjoy a wonderfully healthy and filling meal such as this scrumptious Supercharged Lasagne.

I think small changes everyday work. When you think about it, that extra-large slice of cake or chocolate square is ok, on occasion, because if we go cold turkey and become too strict on ourselves then we end up craving a sweet treat even more.   Then what can happen is that you starve yourself of the occasional treat and then when you do relent you gorge out on the whole cake, which can leave you feeling guilty and mad at yourself. More

Cashew and Coconut Yoghurt Dressing


coconut-water
Drinking coconut water it seems is de rigueur.  But have you ever wondered what happens to all that delicious coconut flesh still left behind in your newly lopped coconut?

Do you even eat it?

I was thinking just that the other day so I wanted to create the perfect recipe using all of the coconut, meat included.

You might be thinking that raw coconut meat contains a large amount of saturated fat, but please don’t let that scare you away!  Most of the fat in coconut meat is a medium chain fatty acid, which is broken down a lot faster than long chain fatty acids. As a result, it doesn’t contribute to high cholesterol.

A good thing to remember when it comes to coconuts and all good fats is moderation is the key.

Here are a few good reasons why all of the coconut should be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet… More

Supermodel Vegetables


cabbage,nude,vegetables-bc2504effbcbfbdd323ecdedadfbfcff_h

You don’t have to be a supermodel to have a close personal relationship with your veggies.  Finding appealing ways to increase your intake of veggies  isn’t always a simple walk on the catwalk.  Although we all realise the benefits of including them in our diets, there is often a disconnect between what we know and what we actually do.

The abundance of options in the vegetable department can often be overwhelming as many of us struggle to accessorize our veggies and turn them into attractive designer dishes.

Enter three delicious vegetable recipes, which will transform your evening meals and have you hungering for veggies, putting you front and centre.

More

Downton Abbey Gingerbread Biscuits


hRun, run as fast as you can…these wickedly good gingerbread biscuits won’t last long on the high tea table.  An aristocratic tea time classic, they would feel perfectly at home in elegant Downtown Abbey.

Actually, gingerbread men were first introduced by Queen Elizabeth I, made for her amusement, she would have gingerbread men sculpted into her favourite dignitaries and courtiers. You could have some fun with this one! More

Gado Gado


gado 3Gado Gado

A typical Indonesian dish, gado gado literally translates to Mix Mix. There are a number of different regional versions of this exotic buffet of vegetables throughout Indonesia and many consider it to be a national dish. It cuts across your palate in a multitude of ways from sweet to tart, spicy to salty. More

Gluten Free Christmas Lunch


Photography by Lise

Constructing a gluten free Christmas lunch is as easy as mince pies! From your first mouthful of spicy nuts to your last gulp of egg nog we have all of your Christmas needs covered and then some!

So you want to have your guests eating out of your hand this festive season….Whether GF or not, enjoying a delicious banquet of healthy and satisfying dishes is the perfect way to combine family festivities, full tummies with limited food overs.

Want to know more about setting the scene and pre-planning? Read Planning your GF Christmas menu  and plan to start a week before the big day.

The Starters

Hors D’oeuvres and nibbles are a fun part of Christmas lunch and go down really well whilst people are mingling around and settling in.  Serve GF Lemony Herb crackers with a selection of Christmassy dips such as No Bean Hummus Baba Ganoush and Salmon Pate or this flavoursome Chicken Liver Pate recipe.

Activated nuts are popular at Christmas time as they can be made in advance and will stay crunchy for the entire Christmas holidays and beyond.  Here’s a guide on how to activate nuts which includes recipes for Turmeric Pepitas, Tamari Almonds and Curried Cashews.

The Main Event…

Carve up this elegant traditional Christmas Ham accompanied by seasonal apple cider vinegar roasted vegetables.

If you’re in moving away from traditional turkey and looking for something nutrient rich and flavorful, I adore this Paprika, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken and the rich ruby red colour looks right at home on the Christmas table.

Serve with Turnip fries and indulge in a simple and delicious Brussels Sprouts recipe enhanced with garlic, toasted walnuts and lemon peel.

On the hunt for a GF stuffing recipe? Here’s my favourite one composed in a muffin pan. Muffin Stuffing.

Avoiding Meat? Tempting Zucchini and Celery Nut Loaf  is a good option.  To serve six make two loaves with plenty of vegetable sides.

The Dessert…

Plum pudding is not everybody’s cup of tea so why not serve something a little alternative this year?  Yummy Gluten Free Fruit Mince Pies are cute and fun and you can wash them down with egg nog inspired Chai Custard.

Hope you all have a very happy festive season :)

Lee xo

Chicken Liver Pate


B 12 and iron are abundant in this pate which goes great on GF crackers, with vegetable sticks, on spinach bread or just riding solo.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 g chicken livers
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Generous pinch grated nutmeg

Method:

  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the chicken livers and onion over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring, until the livers are lightly browned with no pink remaining, about 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and season well with freshly ground black pepper.
  • Process until smooth and fluffy.
  • Transfer to a small pot, cover with a lid and put in the fridge to chill before using to allow the flavours to blend.

Gluten Free Fruit Mince Pies


Did you know that eating a pie every day for the 12 days of Christmas brings wealth and prosperity for the future 12 months? Well if you believe folklore then why not put that theory to the test and have a crack at these delicious sweet treats.

Classic Christmas Minced Pies don’t need to be full of unhealthy ingredients for you to get the same festive kick.

Typically traditional pastry cups filled with dry fruit and served on Christmas day are loaded with sugar and gluten but the ones I am sharing with you today have broken free from their shackles and are far removed from their counterparts.

There’s no need to suffer through a mouthful of thick gluey pastry and preservative laden ingredients.  You can include fresh apple and sultanas and your own dried fruit mix in this recipe.

Whether you prefer them were topped with stars, finished with a pie lid or crafted with beautiful lattice work these pies will give you the right amount of crumble and a good ratio of delicious filling to casing, the golden rule when on the hunt for a good minced pie.

These yummy Gluten Free Fruit Mince Pies are cute and fun and you can wash them down with egg nog inspired Chai Custard.

Why not get ahead of the game by making these mince pies now and popping them in the freezer until the big day? You will not be disappointed.

Gluten Free Mince Pies

Makes 12 mince pies

Fruit Mince Meat

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup grated granny smith apples
  • 2 TBS orange rind (about 2 oranges)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1 tsp. powdered stevia or sweetener of your choice
  • 11/2 cups dried fruit (blueberries/cranberries/cherries/apricots)
  • 4 cup almonds
  • 15 gms butter
  • 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. mixed spice,
  • 1/4  tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4  tsp. powdered ginger

Method:

  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth
  • Set aside to ensure flavours can meld

Short crust Pastry

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups gluten free plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • 110 gms butter
  • 1 large egg beaten

Method:

  • Set oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Grease 12 cup muffin pan
  • With hands mix flour and butter until it resembles breadcrumbs
  • Add beaten egg and mix until a dough is formed
  • With a rolling pin, roll out dough between two sheets of baking paper and cut into rounds, reserving some for tops
  • Place 12 x round in bottom of greased muffin pan and bake in oven for 10 mins until almost golden
  • Remove from oven and add mince-meat
  • Top with thin pastry crosses and return to oven for 5 mins or until top is crunchy
  • Remove from oven and enjoy

Serve with Chai Custard.

Brussels with Garlic, Red Onion and ToastedWalnuts


Vibrant green, charred Brussels that ooze flavour and nuttiness.  This recipe will convert even the wisest of cynics.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  •  10 cloves garlic whole
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 7 drops liquid stevia
  • Celtic Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 small lemon juiced
  • 1 TBS lemon rind
  • 600g Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts

Method

  • Place 2 TBS oil in large frying pan and heat
  • Throw in garlic and red onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden
  • Add the apple cider vinegar, stevia, and seasonings and simmer on medium heat for five minutes, until caramelized remove and set aside
  • Place remaining olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan; add sprouts, season and cook on high heat for five minutes, stirring until charred.
  • Add lemon and peel and garlic and onion mixture and cook for a further 2-3 mins
  • Add toasted walnuts, and then serve in an earthenware bowl

Paprika, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken


Photography by Lise

Paprika, Garlic and Rosemary Chicken

 Serves 6

Ingredients:

  •  2 TBS of gluten free flour
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Celtic sea salt
  • 6 organic chicken thighs
  • 6 organic chicken drumsticks
  • 1 TBS avocado or Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of organic free range chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 4-6 garlic cloves unpeeled
  • 3 Stalks of rosemary

Method:

  •  Pre heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius
  • Place flour, spices/seasoning in a large zip lock bag & shake to mix
  • Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat
  • Heat oil in a large, flameproof baking dish
  • Shake off excess flour from chicken and add the pieces in batches to the hot pan to brown all over
  • Once browned, place chicken back into the pan; add stock, apple cider vinegar, garlic and rosemary
  • Bring to the boil then transfer to pre-heated oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through
  • Remove chicken from pan, cover to keep warm, and make a reduction by cooking the pan juices in the same dish over a medium heat, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly
  • Place chicken back to the pan and serve it at the table straight from the pan

Serve with Turnip fries and indulge in a simple and delicious Brussels Sprouts recipe enhanced with garlic, walnut and lemon peel.

Lee’s Chicken and Green Olive Tagine with Preserved Lemon


I’ve noticed them around but always thought tagines lived into the oven. So after extensive googling and googling I discovered that stove top cooking is the method that works best for this unique shaped earthenware pot which has its origins planted firmly in North Africa.

Used for cooking or serving, you’ll see that the tagine pot has a distinctively shaped triangular shape which is formed entirely of a heavy clay, sometimes elaborately painted or glazed and each one uniquely beautiful.

More

Cleansing Turmeric and Ginger Tea


Turmeric-and-Ginger-TeaThere are countless gurus in the wellness sphere these days, look around and you’ll find one on every web corner sporting their own alliterated bylines and catchy slogans. But how can you find one that works for you?  You know, one that is not selling a cure for cancer, an expensive online course to sign up to or low fat weight loss program.  Some of the snake oil merchants can even pull rabbits out of hats.

Wondering how to spot a health and wellness guru? Outside of cyberspace you’ll usually find them hanging around lifestyle improvement shows or persuasively sneaking their segments into breakfast television.

When I look for health gurus, I like to look at specific ingredients, because let’s face it health gurus don’t bring you pleasure like food does, you know those wonderful fist pumping moments when the dish you created tastes inexplicably good; I guess you could say gurus are there to change the way you think BUT a beautiful vegetable or spice that flavours up a meal which attacks your senses can really change the way you FEEL and I think that is what is most important.

Speaking of ingredients, there are some Svengalis out there and ones you should steer clear of, the bad fats and over processed, chemically laden non-foods; but real gurus ones that metamorphosize you on a deeper spiritual level come in all shapes and spices, they may not be photogenic, glamorous and trendy like unpronouncable hyped-up super foods but they are REAL.

When it comes to charismatic healing gurus look no further than turmeric.  It’s not just a sunny bright spice to curry up dishes, it’s also commonly used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine. Turmeric originates from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, which is a member of the ginger family and it’s one of nature’s most powerful healers and a true guru.

I know you will relate to this cleansing tea with its alkalising and detoxifying properties which provide powerful anti-inflammatory action within your body. It’s from my latest book Eat Yourself Beautiful.  Turmeric is a superhero ingredient to help heal and prevent dry skin, slow aging, diminish wrinkles and improve skin’s elasticity.

Indian women use turmeric as a facial cleanser and exfoliant.  If you are using fresh turmeric, handle with care as it stains easily. If you do happen to turn your favourite garment yellow try squeezing on lemon juice or eucalyptus to remove the stain.

So here’s to my number one health guru turmeric.  Make it yours too!

Ingredients

  • 250 ml(9 fl oz/1 cup) almond or rice milk
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 6 drops stevia liquid

Method

  • Add the almond milk to small saucepan and heat gently until it reaches room temperature.
  • Add the turmeric and ginger to a mug.
  • Pour a small amount of warm milk into the mug and stir to create a liquid paste, ensuring there are no lumps.
  • Add the remaining milk and sweeten with stevia.

For more healing recipes check out my new book Eat Yourself Beautiful.

Happy Cooking

Lee xo

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