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Apple Pancakes Y’all

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Fasting, Gluten Free, gut healing, gut health, intermittent fasting, Kids, Lunch Box Ideas, lunch box ideas, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, supercharged food, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

appleThe humble apple is one of my greatly adored kitchen staples and today I'm sharing an apple recipe from my brand new book Fast Your Way to Wellness.

Affordable, nutritious and versatile, they’re a scrumptious fruity must-have that I love to continually replenish within my kitchen. Whether sliced thinly and thrown into salads, baked and stuffed with nuts and oats, stewed and made into apple sauce, or lovingly formed into a classic crumble, apples are the jack of all trades and a loyal friend that awaits transformation into all kinds of delectable creations.

Apples are nutritional ninjas, boasting loads of wellness boosting properties. Did you know that apples are a wonderful ingredient for regulating blood sugar? Recent studies have shown that the polyphenols contained within apples can help to prevent rollercoaster blood sugar spikes. Particular flavonoids like quercetin have the effect of inhibiting enzymes like alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase which normally break down carbohydrates into simple sugars. Therefore when you eat apples, your body deals with less simple sugars and releases you from spikes in blood sugar.

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Supercharged Summer Popsicles ☀️

Written by lee on . Posted in anti-inflammatory, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, Kids, Kids' Recipes, Nutrient Rich, Push Ups and Icy Poles, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

PopsiclesIn the searing heat of summer, I want my food to be refreshing, full of supercharged ingredients, and speedy to prepare. Balmy evenings and the dry warmth of the summer air begs for our energy to shift from the comforting presence of the stove and lengthy food preparation, towards simple alfresco food solutions that can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

In the warmer parts of the year, my priorities shift away from indoor activity, to more outdoor, social engagements; morning yoga sessions and beach walks followed by throw-together breakfasts, inviting friends over for a shaded outdoor lunch of simple, seasonal ingredients, and family gatherings where common sense, last-minute entertaining or pot luck offerings are regularly required.

When enjoying the food of summer, I always tackle my food planning with a two-fold approach. Firstly, and most importantly, I focus on healing, supercharged ingredients that are full of the season’s well-curated nutrients that support immunity, energy and vitality that the summertime requires. Secondly, I love to embrace speedy simplicity by taking hold of the ritual of batch cooking, one pan options, and easy-peasy snacks and refreshments that allow less time in hands-on food prep, and more time enjoying the outdoors and the presence of those I love.

For summer breakfasts, you can’t go past a glorious granola topped with a mountain of seasonal fruits. My Cranberry and Walnut Granola is my favourite go-to. I find great contentment mixing and baking a large batch of this scrumptious stuff during a Sunday batch-cooking session. You should smell the aroma! The blissful scent of sweet cranberries and roasting nuts will fill the air of your home, comforting your mind with the assurance of nourishing breakfasts sorted for the week ahead. I love to immerse my granola in homemade almond milk topped with fresh organic farmer’s market fruits. You can’t beat passionfruit, mango or raspberries!

One pan meals minimise the need for hands on time in the kitchen, and you don’t have to miss out on flavour with a throw-together dish. My Seven Minute One Pan Salmon with Greens is one you could do blindfolded, and always delivers the light, fresh oceanic flavours of salmon, plus the anti-inflammatory benefits of this high omega 3 fish. It’s also surrounded by seasonal greens that are important for oxygenating the blood to increase energy levels for outdoor cricket or rugby and trying to keep up with chasing around my three step sons during the holidays. 

But if I were to uphold one of the greatest summer recipes that I know of, I’d have to wave my banner for these no-fail popsicles. For the amount of effort required to whip up a batch of these darlings, it never ceases to amaze me how many times they have brought a sense of delight to both adults and children on a sweltering summers day.

As guests drizzle in through the holidays, I love to have a few variations of this basic recipe stored up in my freezer to bless unexpected guests. At the point of their presentation, it’s beautiful to watch the kid come out of everyone in response to the offer.

When whipping these up, you can use the basic variation, add cacao for a cheeky chocolate flavour, or try some of these seasonal variations:

  • Blend in some mango chunks and scatter some whole macadamias into each mould
  • Drop a handful of chopped strawberries into the mix before pouring into moulds for a strawberries and cream popsicle
  • Stir the pulp of two passionfruit into the mix before pouring.
  • Blend in a handful of blueberries and the zest of one lemon.

The best thing about this recipe is that it utilises simple non-perishable food items that can be kept on hand for use at any moment. Aside from being conveniently canned, coconut milk is also highly nutritious and rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous. It’s also dairy free, so your popsicles will still impress friends or children with dairy allergies.

My Heal Your Gut powder is included in this recipe but is an optional addition. However I always love to prioritise a scoop, as it’s a simple way to cram in its remarkable gut healing benefits of improving detoxification, aiding nutrient absorption, increasing the health of hair skin and nails, and boosting hydration in the hot weather. You can read more about the benefits of the HYG powder and purchase it here.

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Popsicles

Makes 6-8 popsicles 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of organic coconut milk 
  • seeds of one vanilla bean (or alcohol free vanilla/ vanilla powder) 
  • 2 Tbsp HYG Powder
  • 10 drops of stevia (or to taste) 

For chocolate version add in 1 tsp of cacao powder

Method:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Pour into popsicle mould and leave in freezer for 3-4 hours. 

*These are best eaten at this time, as if left overnight or too long in the freezer, the coconut milk sometimes splits. 

Make them and let me know how you go!  Viva la holidays 🙂

Lee xo

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Bonkers Banana-cado Bread

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Bread, Breakfast, Breakfast, Dairy Free, Dessert, Desserts, Gluten Free, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, Healthy Meals, Kids, Kids' Recipes, lunch box ideas, Organic, Snacks, Sugar Free, supercharged food, Vegetarian

banana-avo-bread

Bananas and avocadoes are two foods always stocked in my fruit bowl. I honestly don’t know how I could live without these perfectly packaged portions of nourishment, in fact I'm bonkers about them.

While the spotlight is often on ambiguous superfoods found in the depths of Amazonian rainforests, I like to think that some of the simple seasonal foods we have grown up with are also brimming with supercharged goodness.  This is something that I've discovered in my own kitchen at home; everyday foods often hold some of the greatest nutritional superpowers. My mission in life is to find ways to harness the nutrient density of these ingredients; maximising their benefits through the pleasure of everyday simple and delicious recipes.

Smashed avo on toast certainly is a national favourite in Australia and also was peaking in cafes on my recent trip to New York City, and why wouldn’t it be? Creamy, green, versatile and full of nourishment ranging from an abundance of heart healthy monounsaturated fats, a big hit of fibre, vitamin K, folate, vitamin B6, potassium and vitamin C; these perfect portions of goodness can turn a piece of toast or a standard salad into a thing of gastronomical wonder.

I love a bit of smashed avo, but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg in a hipster café to enjoy its goodness, and can quite frugally enjoy this wholesome café favourite at home. My ultimate go-to breakfast recipe is my smashed sardines with avocado on chia and flaxseed loaf which is full of anti-inflammatory fats, and wonderful for anti-ageing by supplying the skin with moisture from the inside out.

My chilled avocado soup is also an ideal way to enjoy the delight of Mexican flavours and is a brilliant recipe to share as a light meal or starter in the warmth of summer.

No salad really feels complete to me without the presence of luscious chunks of ripe green avo, and another way to celebrate this dreamy fruit is within my kale, strawberry and avocado salad; a beautiful lunch or side to grace your family table.  It's one I'll be serving at my annual orphans Christmas event at my house this year. For more Christmas recipes go here.

Now bananas are another one of those everyday foods that just don’t get old. It’s likely these yellow friends were a presence in your daily school lunchbox, and are the perfect on-the-go snack to bring energy and nourishment in an instant. But don’t let this commoner fool you. They are absolutely loaded with nutrition.

We all know they’re high in potassium which is important for relieving anxiety and stress, enhancing muscle strength, metabolism, water balance, electrolytic functions, and balancing the nervous system; but did you know that bananas are also loaded with vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese and fibre?  They also contain several types of potent antioxidants, including dopamine and catechins, which have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and degenerative diseases.

I love to enjoy bananas as a quick morning snack before exercise. I never let an over-ripe banana go to waste; storing them up in my freezer as a quick way to add creaminess to breakfast smoothies. A stash of frozen bananas always means I can have a sustaining smoothie bowl on offer;  whizzing up a deliciously customised blend bejewelled with different crunchy sprinkles like cacao nibs, nuts, seeds or coconut on top.

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Spicy Lamb Koftas

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Ayurveda, Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Dairy Free, Dinner, Eat Right for Your Shape, Gluten Free, Healthy Meals, Kids' Recipes, Lunch, Lunch Box Ideas, lunch box ideas, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Salads, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, supercharged food, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

kofta

In need of a little umph and energy?

These Spicy Lamb Koftas from my Ayurvedic bible Eat Right For Your Shape are the perfect energy building food.

Lamb's gamey taste will remind you of the strong blood building qualities of red meat which also helps you build internal heat; a serious requirement of the flighty vata, who tends to feel the cold and become destabilised physically and emotionally. Vatas out of balance caused by a lack of warmth, grounding and digestive fire will be prone to dry skin, poor circulation, muscular aches and pains and arthritis.

Koftas are such a comfort food; even their name is filled with an ultra-cosy vibe. Their hearty nature will warm up your metabolism, so you feel warm from the inside out but can be eaten any time of the year. Rosemary & cumin highlights add to the warmth and spiciness of this rustic and sturdy dish.

Where possible, it’s important to purchase organic and 100% grass fed and finished lamb, which will contain higher amounts of healthy fats including omega-3 fatty acids, bringing another level of wholesome nourishment to build energy and stamina.

Pastured meat’s EPA fatty acid components are also incredibly important for mental health, as EPA is directly linked to brain function and emotional stability.

The fat content in these lamb kofta’s will bring an increase in digestive fire, as will the inclusion of fiery spices like warming ginger and the grounding zing of fresh parsley.

Lamb's natural oily and warming qualities will make you feel capable and maybe even a little competitive. It’ll bring the bounce back to your step, and make you feel more focused and driven.

Enjoy these delightful ayurvedic kofta’s as a midweek meal that’ll be enjoyed by the whole family.

Kids will especially find them fun to eat on their little skewers, and they’re a great way to ground littlies as a trusty witching hour meal to bring them back down to earth!

For busy families, double the recipe for lunch the next day. You can even serve them minus the skewer as a great protein addition to a salad made with seasonal vegetables.

I hope you enjoy them 🙂 Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Spicy Lamb Koftas

Serves 4 makes 8 koftas

  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) lamb
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece of ginger, peeled and grated

  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint

  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Celtic sea salt, to taste

Preheat a chargrill pan or barbecue hotplate to medium.
  To make the koftas, mix all the ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Divide the mixture into eight portions and form each into a short sausage shape. Thread each onto a bamboo skewer and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Place the skewers on the prepared pan or hotplate and cook for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.

Serve with a garden salad in warmer months or roasted vegetables in winter.

 

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Fighting the family worm disaster with Diatomaceous Earth

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, gut healing, gut health, Heal Your Gut Powder, Heal Your Gut Powder, healthy gut. digestive health, Healthy Home, Herbal Medicine, Kids, Learn, Spotlight On

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Worms. I’m sorry, this isn’t the most enjoyable subject material, but if you’re a mum or dad with  school aged children, you may already be familiar with this unsavoury situation. If you haven’t experienced it in your family yet, it’s time to get informed so that when the problem rears its ugly head you know exactly how to tackle it. I also have some great news on a natural way you can rid your body of these pesky critters before resorting to drugs.

Pinworms, also known as threadworms are the a parasitic worm and the most common worm infection in Australia, the UK and the USA.  Kids are more likely to pick up an infection than an adult, probably because of children’s tendency to put their fingers in their mouths, and you may notice worms emerging in your family when your littlies begin day care and school. An annoying truth of the childhood worms experience is that once a child is infected, other members of their household are also likely to get pinworms unless strict hygiene practices are observed.

Threadworms are spread by children scratching their bottom and carrying the worm eggs back to their mouth with their hands. They can also be spread indirectly through food and dust. The eggs can survive up to two weeks outside the body, and once these eggs are swallowed, they hatch in the small intestine and travel down.

Despite the ugly reputation, a pinworm infection is relatively harmless and can be easily treated.

What to look out for

Signs of a pinworm in children include

  • Tiredness, or generally feeling “out of sorts”
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Lowered appetite
  • Itchy bottom, especially at night
  • Small white worms appearing around the anus
  • White worms in stools

Home care practices

When you notice an infection of worms, you can help reduce the spread to family members through

  • Discouraging scratching the bottom
  • Keeping everyone’s fingernails trimmed and clean. A nail scrubber is a good option.
  • Washing hands with warm soapy water after the toilet
  • Laundering bedding in hot water
  • Vacuuming the house often to remove eggs

Ridding the body of worms naturally

Diatomaceous Earth is a brilliant first step alternative to over the counter drugs and is something that I personally consume regularly to rid my body of parasites, especially during travel overseas or if I suspect an infection. It’s been very effective in gently cleansing my digestive system. And a clean digestive system is the starting point for overall body and mind health. It’s also a beautiful all-rounder for family gut health and cleansing and because it is a food not a supplement, it's safe for adults and children.

Diatomaceous earth is one of the best natural, food based anti-parasitic medications. It works by attracting bacteria, fungi, viruses, pesticides, drug residues etc to absorb them. The hollow cylinder structure allows pathogenic bacteria to become trapped and passed through the body. Larger parasites found in the stomach are actually cut up and killed by the Diatomaceous Earth particles!

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My naturopathic grade, Diatomaceous Earth, also known as organic fossil shell flour or as I like to call it Dinosaur powder, also contains 15 minerals that are beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing. With its detoxifying properties, you and your children will be able to absorb these minerals much more effectively!  Being high in silica it has the added benefits of better hair, skin and nails too.

One tablespoon of diatomaceous earth taken by an adult, once a day for seven days, can be extremely effective for killing parasites. When used on children, bear in mind that height is a better indicator of the size of their G.I. tracts than their weights. Thus, a child who is 4 feet tall should take 2 teaspoons, and a child who is 2 feet tall should take 1 teaspoon.

You can simply add your appropriate dose to water or juice twice a day, preferably before meals. You can even add it to smoothies or sprinkle it on top of your children’s cereal as it’s completely free of additives, fillers, sugars, artificial sweeteners or preservatives!

Heal Your Gut, Diatomaceous Earth is a safe food grade product and of the highest D Earth grade. When using it, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and always consult your health care practitioner when treating children.

Find out more about my Heal Your Gut Powder here.

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Seven ways to supercharge your child’s snacks

Written by lee on . Posted in Before and After School Snacks, Blog, Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, lunch box ideas, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Supercharged Food Menu

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There are many challenges that parents face in the daily rhythms of raising children, and one thing that can take the edge off the chaos is ensuring that your child is nourished with the right foods. I cover this in my new kids cookbook Supercharged Food for Kids.

Whilst I'm a firm believer that the three main meals should be the greatest priority for filling your little one with the bulk of their nutrients and fuel, I also think snacks need to be well thought out as they are what regulate their blood sugar and moods.

Here are seven ways you can supercharge your child's snacks.

1. Load them up on protein

Protein is the building block of your child’s growth. Really, there is little that goes on within the body that doesn't require protein. When paired with carbohydrates, including protein in a snack will help to keep a turbulent tantrum at bay by regulating the uptake of sugar. Eggs, meat, fish, cheese and combining grains with nuts or seeds, or pulses with grains will provide a hit of protein.

2. Be generous with fat

Do not fear fat! Saturated fat from animal (butter, ghee, chicken skin, full fat dairy, and fats from pastured meat) or plant (coconut oil) sources are responsible for many critical functions in the body, and will keep your child full and nourished between meals when added to snacks. Unsaturated fats from avocado, nuts and seeds are also wonderfully nourishing to growing bodies. Nut butters, cheese, avocado, labna or yoghurt are lovely snack additions for kids. Try making these Cucumber Sailing Boats.

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3. Focus on complex carbs

There is absolutely no place for many of the commercial snack foods available today that are high in simple carbohydrates that spike sugar levels and are highly processed. When using carbohydrates in snacks, always opt for wholefood sources of carbohydrate like wholegrains like quinoa, millet, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat, spelt, lentils as well as potatoes and sweet potatoes.

4. Explore colour

Once you’ve covered the macronutrients through fats, proteins and complex carbs, you can be liberal with colourful fruits and vegetables that will fill your child’s body with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and phytonutrients that will cover an enormous range of compounds to contribute to good health. Try to cover all colours of the rainbow to supply a diverse range of protective antioxidants.

5. Be savvy about sweetness.

Kids love a good treat, and there’s no reason to deprive them if they are homemade and full of nourishing ingredients. My favourite real food sweeteners include raw honey, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup, stevia, and dried unsulfured fruits like apricots and dates. Use these to make sweet treats. They'll love these fabulous Chocolate Popsicles.

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6. Persist with diversity. Snacks are a great opportunity to introduce a range of foods to your children. Supercharging your child’s diet means exposing them to a diverse range of foods that will provide a range of nutrients for their growth and development. Persist through rejection. Sometimes it takes four or five introductions to a food before a young child will accept the new taste.

7. Cram the goodness into a smoothie. Smoothies are a great pick-me-up snack for kids, especially in the afternoons after a big day out. They are hydrating and potentially highly nutritious—you’ll be able to add sneaky ingredients that they’d normally reject.

You'll find more delicious recipes for kids in my book Supercharged Food for Kids.

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Cucumber Sailing Boats

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Gluten Free, Kids, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter

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Getting little ones to eat their veggies can be a little tricky; especially through the toddler years. Sometimes it can feel like every effort you make to nourish those little bodies is a complete waste of time- ending up as a pile of mess all over the floor, or simply left untouched; the bin as its destiny.

Despite the discouragement that can come with these parent vs child food wars, please remember that any opportunity to nourish your kids with real food is never wasted, even if it takes some time (and maybe a few tantrums) to get there. If you haven't discovered it yet, my book Supercharged Food for Kids features fully road-tested recipe that kids actually eat and enjoy.  I've collated a collection of my most loved kids recipes, ones like mac and cheese and pizza and chicken nuggets but all with a healthy slant and a couple of nifty ingredient switches.

Persisting with a real-food culture despite seasons of narrow tastes will always pay off. I know how easy it can be to give into their constant requests for sugary snacks or chocolate, but maintaining a culture of real-food variety; continually exposing your youngsters to different colours, textures and flavours of real, unprocessed, fresh of wholefoods is bound to build a long term appreciation and openness to healthy food. 

Another great way to get kids enjoying their veggies is to have them involved in the process of selecting and making their food. Creating some space in your schedule to bring your kids along for the journey of shopping (or better yet, picking- if you are fortunate enough to have a veggie garden) and being involved in some kitchen creations can be a real source of joy for little ones, and a great time to teach them about the origins of their food.

These cucumber sailing boats are a fun project that the kids will adore making with you. They are very easy to make, and are a great snack combining the beautiful micronutrients that raw veggies have to offer, as well as a nice hit of healthy fats from the yoghurt; perfect for filling up and nourishing growing bodies.

Cucumbers are a wonderful summer vegetable, are super easy to cut up at any time, and kids generally take to veggie sticks fairly easily. Cucumbers are a secret weapon of hydration in warm weather due to their high water content and their ability to cool the body down. Red capsicums are another lovely raw veg that can be easily cut into veggie sticks for a child’s lunch box, and their bright red colour is evidence of a host of free-radical fighting antioxidants including high levels of vitamin C- perfect for boosting the immune system during the years of childhood bugs.

Kids will enjoy these darling little boats as an afternoon snack or weekend project with friends. They also make a great finger food for a birthday party or gathering where hungry little tummies are present.

Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 2 small Lebanese (short) cucumbers
  • 260 g (914 oz/1 cup) plain full-fat yoghurt or coconut yoghurt for dairy free
  • 6 drops liquid stevia or 2 teaspoons your sweetener of choice
  • pinch of Celtic sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped dill
  • 1 red capsicum (pepper), seeded
  • toothpicks, for decorating

Method

  • Cut the cucumbers in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds. 
  • Combine the yoghurt, stevia, salt and dill in a bowl. Spoon into the hollowed-out cucumbers. 
  • Cut triangles for sails out of the capsicum. Skewer each sail with a toothpick and stick the other end in the cucumber.

Supercharged Tip  

This is a great snack to let the kids make on their own – with parental supervision.

Health Tip  

Cucumbers are mostly water, so they’re a great way to keep the body hydrated. They’re also a good source of B vitamins, so they’ll give your child a little energy boost.

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Ham and cheese pizza

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Gluten Free, Kids, Nutrient Rich, Yeast Free

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It never ceases to amaze me that kids as young as one have an instinctive attraction for junk food. Chocolate. Fries. Cake. Cookies. They just know.  Once they've been exposed to these kinds of foods, they'll often talk about it and ask for them again, and again, and again. Rather than neglecting children of these treats, I like to take up the challenge of offering them these 'naughtier' foods; but better. Better ingredients, and better flavour. 

Pizza is one of the foods that kids just adore- a big, easy to grasp triangle of starchy carbohydrate covered in fatty melted cheese? It's a kids dream, and speaks to their biological instincts for macronutrient dense foods. This is why kids are so obsessed with toast! It’s a quick source of energy that tastes great. 

Unfortunately most pizzas that kids are exposed to at parties or any standard gathering in western culture has possibly come out of a cardboard box housed in the frozen food section of the supermarket. Have you read the ingredients lists on those things? It's like reading a lab report, not a list of foods. 

Another problem with the standard pizza offered to children and adults alike in our modern food culture is the problem of the wheat source. Aside from the fact that many kids have allergies and intolerances to wheat; the modern wheat grain that around ninety percent of the western population eats today was only hybridized in the last few decades. 

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‘Straya Day Lamingtons

Written by lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Kids, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

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‘Straya day is almost here and I’m celebrating the ‘Bush Capital’ with a healthy version of one of our nation’s iconic sweet treats.

Although not being born an Australian, celebrating this day has never felt alien to me and it’s a wonderful thing to have a special day nominated to praise and thankfulness at being able to live in this radiant country.

Marking ownership, community, belonging, love and acceptance are feelings that all Aussie’s and newfound-Aussie’s like myself are able to experience first hand.

And on that note, what better way to celebrate our national birthday than to fire up the Barbie, throw on your swimmers, forget any troubles and rejoice with family and friends with the sun brimming down on us!

Bounding forward with this sense of belonging and togetherness, I’d love you to create some unique national treasures in the form of delicious Lamingtons.

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Did you know that these scrumptious chocolaty treats were named after Lord Lamington? However, how they came to be square is a question slightly more shrouded in mystery.

Either designed around the appearance of Lord Lamington’s favourite hat, or made originally from dirt by the Lord’s youngest niece whilst she was making a ‘mud pie’ with a twist in her garden, it has never been officially confirmed, however what we do know is that the Lord’s niece had quite the vivid imagination.

Taking on the spirit of this sprightly little girl and her homemade mud pie, I’m sharing my ‘Straya Day Lamingtons recipe from my new cookbook Supercharged Food For Kids. It’s a print version of my popular eBook.

Getting children involved in the making of food is an enjoyable way to bond after a busy day or week of school, not to mention a pleasurable way to get hands on and have fun and just relax in the kitchen. Ok, maybe not relax completely but it sure will be entertaining! Minus the clean up 😉

With your children learning the ways of the quantities, measuring and mixing, their hard efforts don’t go a miss, a little reward of licking the bowl (we all do it!) will be sure to place a wide grin on their chocolate smeared faces!

So let’s grease those paws and pans and get baking to celebrate our joyous day.

Happy Australia Day everyone 🙂

‘Straya Day Lamingtons

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 55g (2oz) extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • 60g (21/4 oz/1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 180g (6 1/4 oz/2 cups) desiccated coconut

Icing

  • 110g (3 3/4 oz/1/2 cup) extra virgin coconut oil
  • 45g (1 1/2 oz) coconut butter
  • 55g (2 oz/ 1/2 cup) cacao powder
  • 60ml (2 fl oz/ 1/4 cup) almond milk
  • 90g (3 1/4 oz / 1/4 cup) rice malt syrup
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F)
  • Grease and line a 20cm (8 inch) square cake tin
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the rice malt syrup and vanilla until light and fluffy.

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  • Beat in the coconut oil, then gradually beat in the coconut flour and baking powder until smooth.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

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  • Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

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  • To make the icing, stir all the ingredients together in a bowl until smooth.
  • Spread out the desiccated coconut on a plate.
  • When the cake is cool, slice into squares and dip each square into the icing, coating well.

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  • Roll in the coconut, ensuring all sides are covered.

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  • Refrigerate to set the icing.

The Lamingtons will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

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Supercharged Food for Kids Print Book

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Kids, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

cover kids

Getting kids to eat food that is good for them doesn’t have to be the Mount Everest of parenthood!

Today I’m celebrating the release of my book Supercharged Food for Kids in print form, which is a new and updated version of my popular eBook, and in it I’ve turned my attention to those who need the best nutrition – our kids!  

I’m sharing a quick and simple Chocolate Popsicle recipe from the book for all of the ice cream guys and girls. It’s creamy, chocolaty and tastes scrumptious.

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As a mother myself, wholefoods chef, and former English teacher who’s spent years helping kids grow academically, I’ve created a book that I hope will inspire and help families make better food choices.

Supercharged Food for Kids is my mission to change the way children eat so we can build stronger, healthier and brighter kids.

The book features simple to make recipes to help parents deliver the right nutrients needed for kids to sustain their energy levels, keep their mood up, concentrate and perform at their best.

I believe in the 80/20 rule: try to give your kids healthy options 80% of the time and you're doing well.

In the book I offer numerous tips on how to sneak wholefoods into everyday meals and Supercharged Food for Kids features healthy versions of family favourites, swapping an ingredient or two to make them more nutritious.

You won’t find any low-fat foods here as manufacturers often compensate for the loss of fat with large amounts of sugar and additives. I use good fats which are an essential component of a child’s diet required for healthy development and brain function.

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From breakfast (think savoury breakfast muffins, chai coconut pikelets and French toast) to lunch (zucchini slice, mini salmon frittatas and gluten-free pita pockets), dinner (veggie-packed lamb meatballs, cauliflower mac + cheese, and Mr Tomato heads with tuna) and the ever-important before and after school snacks (Tamari nibble mix, “zoo poo”, and cacao bomb crackles).

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You'll discover lots of lovely and stress free ideas for the school lunch box – delicious sandwiches, wraps, pizza, pasta, nuggets muffins, energy and treats – and advice on how to eat for allergies and intolerances, which so many parents have to navigate around.

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Supercharged Food for Kids is full of resources to help establish positive eating habits for your kids that they can maintain for their rest of their lives.

Also I’m so excited to share the happy news that my sixth cookbook in the Supercharged Food series, Eat Right for Your Shape is available for pre-order here too!  Eat Right for Your Shape takes a fresh look at the ancient healing system of Ayurveda and applies it to the way we eat and live. This book has been cooked up in the Ayurvedic kitchens of Kerala, where I spent time last year studying Ayurvedic nutrition and cooking.

PRE ORDER either of these books now for delivery in late January and you’ll receive a free copy of my Renewable Table eBook as a gift.

Chocolate popsicles

Makes 4

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas
  • 65 g (214 oz/14 cup) nut butter
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/14 cup) additive-free coconut milk or coconut water
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
  • 14 teaspoon stevia powder or your sweetener of choice (rice malt syrup/honey etc)
  • 4 ice block (popsicle/ice lolly) moulds and sticks

Method

  • Whizz all the ingredients in a food processor to combine.
  • Pour into the ice block moulds and add the sticks, then freeze until set.

Happy cooking 🙂

Lee xo

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Gluten Free Chicken Schnitzel, Two Ways

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Kids, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

chicken snitzel2

If you’re one of those people whose earliest meal making memory is defined by bread crumbly fingers from chicken schnitzel preparation, you’ll be pleased to know I'm on a simple yet honourable mission today, to share two of my favourite schnitzel inspired recipes.

Schnitzeling is a serious family endeavor and whipping up a schnitz as a weeknight treat will leave every family member licking their fingers and feeling unanimously satisfied after a busy day of doing.

This hearty TV-dinner and next day lunch forms the base of a versatile chicken lover’s sequence from my eBook, The Renewable Table will which will see you right through to the weekend.

I’m sharing the first two recipes in the sequence, a chicken schnitzel with parsnip mash with garden salad and a filling schnitzel wrap with lemon and a slathering of parsnip spread.

When purchasing chicken to create this sequence, buy free-range chicken, organic is best. Chicken is easy to work with and can be stored in the freezer in freezer safe containers and pulled out as needed to add to a range of hearty main meals, snacks, soups and salads.

If you decide to buy whole chickens, you can use every part of the chicken – everything from the succulent breasts just like in this recipe, right down to the chicken carcass to create a nourishing homemade bone broth. In a Renewable Kitchen, nothing at all gets wasted.

While traditional chicken schnitzels tend to be anything but healthy – high in saturated fat and refined carbohydrates, this recipe substitutes white breadcrumbs with almond meal and coconut flour. These high-fibre flour alternatives combine with the eggs to create a light yet crispy coating that perfectly compliments the succulent melt-in-your-mouth texture of the meaty breasts. The crumble can also be stored in the freezer for later schnitzel making.

The paprika and sea salt bring the dish to life with zest and the parsnip mash makes an ideal healthy yet creamy accompaniment that closely resembles potato mash. The Mediterranean-inspired garden salad provides a crisp freshness to balance out the flavour of the schnitzels.

When preparing a family meal, to ensure that you have all of your nutritional boxes ticked, try and mix and match colours and textures. This schnitzel dinner for example, is a delicious nutritionally complete meal, rich in protein from the chicken, phytonutrients and antioxidants from the parsnip mash and garden salad, and healthy fats from the egg and coconut oil used for pan-frying.

There’s also nothing more cost effective and time saving than cooking a wholesome family meal and then transforming and repurposing the ingredients to use for other meals throughout the week. The meat and the vegetables are already cooked, so reusing them in new dishes, as in my filling wrap recipe below for day two, is a resourceful and effective way to bring home cooking to the office or school.

Saving extra portions to use for the next day is also a great way to avoid waste, saving you significant dollars in the long run. You’re much less likely to nibble on nutritionally poor choices if you have a full lunch box.

Children can benefit too, offering them fresh, health-promoting foods is a priority for mums everywhere and often one of the most challenging meals of the day is school lunches.

chicken wrap2

Kids will love the second day nutritious renewable wrap recipe. After enjoying a restaurant-quality chicken schnitzel for dinner, the next day you’re going to be giving the leftovers a brand new home. Repurposing it straight into a wrap, along with a generous smear of parsnip spread, this serves as an excellent margarine replacement, and finishing of with a handful of the pre-made salad.

Presto! With little effort you’ve created a balanced lunch filled with fibre, healthy fats and protein that can be transported to school or the office, and will keep everyone satisfied and focused well into the afternoon.

My gluten-free crepes are a high-fibre, low sodium and low GI alternative to highly refined white bread. These wrap-rolling fluffy crepes are so versatile they’ll instantly become a staple in your family’s lunchtime repertoire.

Using only a handful of nourishing ingredients, crepes can be used to make gluten-free wraps as in this recipe, or topped with berries and goat’s cheese for a fancy breakfast or healthy dessert even the kids will enjoy. They hold remarkably well too, so no more niggly doubts about ingredients from those pesky-thin commercial wraps causing havoc in lunchboxes.  

I challenge you to make regular pub meals a thing of the past and create affordable, tantalizing and healthy home-cooked meals cheaply and easily. You’ll be so caught up in the flavours that you’ll want to add these dishes repeatedly to your weekly meal planning and they get a thumbs up from the kids too. I recently test drove them on twelve hungry children who eagerly hoovered them up in a flash.

Continuum cooking makes renewable dishes so much more enjoyable, because you’ll feel like every meal is a fresh new dish. You’ll also save time for the more important things by not having to cook your chicken and vegetables from scratch on each occasion.

Time to finally get stuck into that book you’ve been meaning to read!

 

Chicken schnitzel with parsnip mash and garden salad

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Schnitzels

  • 4 chicken breasts, sliced in half width-ways to form 8 pieces (4 for tonight’s dinner, 4 for schnitzel wraps.
  • 1⁄2 cup arrowroot (or tapioca flour)
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 cup coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp paprika (lending an extra hit of flavour and helping to produce a beautiful golden colour in the coating)
  • Sea salt and pepper

 Mash
(There’s enough here allowing you to save half for a chicken wrap recipe or to nibble as a snack later)

  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 medium parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Salad 


(There’s enough here to create next day wraps as well) 


  • 4 large handfuls rocket 

  • 1 cup button mushrooms, halved 

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 

  • 1⁄2 cup Kalamata olives 

  • 1⁄2 avocado, diced 

  • Small handful fresh basil leaves, torn 

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Mash 


  • Sauté onion in 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp water in a large pot for 3-4 minutes.
  • Place the chopped parsnips into the pot with enough boiling water to cover. Add herbs and seasoning. Stir to combine ingredients.
  • Bring to the boil and turn down to simmer, cooking for 25 minutes, or until parsnips are soft.

  • Turn off heat and carefully pour out the parsnip broth into a jar, leaving just a little bit of water in the bottom of the pot.
  • Add remaining olive oil to mixture. Using a stick blender, or transferring to a food processor, blend until pureed. Set aside.

  • The leftover broth can be stored in the fridge and used as a vegetable broth or you can drink it right away as a nourishing beverage.

Schnitzels

  • To make the crumb mixture, add the almond meal, coconut flour, paprika, sea salt and pepper to a shallow bowl, mixing to combine.
  • Place the eggs into a shallow bowl and whisk.
  • Place the arrowroot flour in a separate shallow bowl.
  • To tenderize, take the chicken and pound it into a uniform thickness if thin schnitzels are preferred the best way to do this is in a ziplock bag (goodbye chicken splatters!) This step is optional.
  • Dip each piece of chicken into the arrowroot flour, then egg mixture, then the crumb mixture. Make sure that they are evenly coated.
  • Pre-heat a large fry pan on medium-high heat with 1 tbsp coconut oil. Cook each schnitzel for 4-5 minutes on each side, adding a fresh tbsp of oil each new round of schnitzels (cooking 4 at a time, depending on the size of your fry pan).
  • Set aside 4 of the schnitzels for your next recipe such as Schnitzel wraps below first allowing to cool to room temperature then placing into a sealed container and refrigerating for up to 3 days.

Salad

  • Place rocket, basil, mushrooms, tomatoes and olives in a bowl and combine.

  • Separate half the mixture and set aside in a bowl, refrigerating until preparation of continued recipes (this will keep undressed in the refrigerator for up to 5 days).
  • With the remaining half, add avocado, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix well to combine.

Day Two

Chicken Schnitzel Wrap with Lemon and Parsnip Spread

Makes 4 Wraps

INGREDIENTS

Gluten free Crepes:

  • 1 1/3 cup tapioca flour

  • 1 1/3 additive-free coconut milk
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of sea salt

  • 80g butter

Wraps:

  • 4 chicken schnitzels, cut into thin diagonal strips 

  • 4 gluten free crepes
  • 1 grated carrot 

  • Juice of 1⁄2 lemon 

  • Leftover mash from schnitzel recipe
  • Leftover salad from schnitzel recipe
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste 

METHOD 


Crepes:

  • Combine all the ingredients except the butter in a medium bowl and stir well.
  • Heat one-quarter of the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Pour in one-quarter of the mixture and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan
  • After 2–3 minutes, carefully flip and brown on the other side.
  • Repeat with the remaining butter and crepe mixture.

Wraps:

  • Lay out the 4 crepes on your kitchen bench.

  • Spread a heaped spoonful of parsnip mash down the centre of each crepe.

  • Add all other ingredients evenly across the 4 crepes and season with sea salt and pepper. Squeeze a touch of lemon juice in each crepe.
  • Roll into cylinders, curling in the bottom edge so filling doesn’t fall out.

  • Cover in foil and store in the refrigerator until it’s time to take to work or school. Lasts in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 

Happy Cooking 🙂

You can purchase the Renewable Table here

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The Renewable Table e-Book

Written by lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog, Blog Breakfast, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Healthy Home, Kids, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Supercharged Food Menu, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

The Renewable Table Cover

Welcome to my brand new eBook The Renewable Table. I’m so excited to officially launch this book today.

The Renewable Table is a "loaves and fishes" philosophy that reimagines your original meals into two, three or even four more, delicious dishes.

I’ve been working on the recipes in the book over the past twelve months and I’m happy to report from the front line that the dishes are a far cry from reusing any old leftovers that you simply re-heat and then take to work in a container, although you certainly can do that if you want to.  

In this book I share exactly how to prepare creative dishes and reimagined meals in a fraction of the time.  For many people, cooking home cooked meals that are also nutritious can be time consuming and expensive and that’s where I come in.  

I've been at my most industrious in the kitchen, creating a series of hardworking and versatile dishes or "Stepford wife" meals that’ll enable you to save time and money without compromising on taste or quality. These are my absolutely delicious and hearty marathon meals that last the distance for you and your family.

The reason I wrote the book is to provide you with the perfect solution to the common problem of time, money and inspiration, which I’ve found over the years, is often a stumbling block to healthy eating.  

I present beautiful recipes and tips that I’m hoping will become your family’s greatest kitchen collaborator and ones that will reduce your shopping bills considerably. Hallelujah I hear you cry!

rhubarb piesIndividual Rhubarb Crumbles

The recipes are not only good for you, they’re also stress free and concocted with my favourite ingredients; simplicity, taste, affordability, sustainability and will make your time in the kitchen effortless.

Through my own experience as a busy full-time working mum, in the book I share efficient and practical ways to prepare mother-ship meals that can be reclaimed and renewed to continue on for another meal or four!

The book centres around the concept of ‘continuum cooking’, which I find is the most resourceful and environmentally friendly way to cook, and I can happily report that it’s a positive response to the ever-increasing problem of food wastage.

Continuum cooking saves energy, time and money and ensures you’ll always have a hearty meal at your finger tips, freeing you up to spend more time with and on the things that you love and enjoy. The whole purpose of The Renewable Table is for me to inspire and nurse families through how to begin a Renewable Kitchen and how to create their own continuum cooking routine with pantry and cooking needs sorted.  

chicken piesGluten Free Chicken Filo Pot Pies

Throughout the book I chaperone you with tips about how to buy in bulk and provide shopping lists to have on hand for store visits.  I show you how easy it is to cook a delicious meal with just the right amount of ingredients so that there’ll be enough on hand to renew the mother-ship recipe for your next breakfast, lunch, dinner and beyond.  I also unearth vital secrets for turning that next meal into new creations with different textures and flavours, herbs and spices.

What I've sought to do throughout the book is to do all of the thinking for you, and give you ways to make meal planning and recipe creating a breeze. I’m so thrilled to have been able to pilot a money-saving program which includes some fantastic dessert recipes to please people with a sweet tooth and savoury lovers too. The renewable meals also satisfy children and their lunchboxes as well as friends or guests at your next sustainable gathering.  

Over the years, I’ve come to learn which dishes are best for continuum cooking. I call these ‘renewable meals’ because family and friends rarely believe they’ve been created from a prior meal.  

I’m giving you a few examples of some of the kinds of recipes that you’ll discover in the book. There’s a breakfast and morning tea sequence that takes you from a scrumptious Apricot and Macadamia Granola and then breakfast is repurposed into a tray of yummy Apricot Muesli Bars
for the kids and then a nutritious Breakfast Smoothie Bowl the following day.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 1.02.45 pmFor chicken lovers there’s a perfect weeknight TV dinner sequence that carries onto lunch the next day and dinner the next night. You’ll begin with gluten-free Chicken Schnitzels with Parsnip Mash and crisp Garden Salad then this dish is reinvented into a wholesome Chicken, Broccoli and Mixed Leaf Salad, followed by a Chicken Schnitzel Wrap with Lemon and Parsnip Spread.

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These are the kind of recipes that will bring families joy and nourishment and ones that will become an integral part of weekly meal plans. 

I hope you‘ll love the book just as much as I do.

Click here to purchase a copy.

Lee x

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