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Free-Spirited Nachos

Written by lee on . Posted in Before and After School Snacks, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Healthy Meals, Lunch Box Ideas, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Sauces, Seasonal, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

  nachos Now that the New Year is in full swing, you’ve probably already firmly set your customary resolutions.  Perhaps you’d like to try and eat healthier, exercise more, or maybe you’ve bookmarked a few blogs and cook books and you’re busting to get back into the kitchen and reacquaint yourself with your food processor?
Healthy cooking can be a breeze when you have time on your hands, the luxury of being able to source fresh ingredients and the desire to cook.  The challenge is striking the balance between affordability and quality, ensuring you’re not spending all your free time preparing food and finding recipes that are not only convenient and easy on the wallet, but simple to make with ordinary nutritious ingredients.
Spoiler alert…
So often we’re strongly encouraged to buy an ingredient or health product because it’s good for you, or because someone has told you that it’s healthy, but healthy eating shouldn’t be about strategically placed health claims.  It is really just about simplicity and keeping it real. Buying fresh ingredients in their truest form and preparing them to your liking is the key to being healthy as is leaving packeted processed foods with a string of unfavourable ingredients on the shelf.
When it comes to ‘healthy eating’ why not make 2015 the year to discover what YOU believe in?  Make a stand to eat by your own rules, your way, without self-doubt or others trying to persuade you otherwise?
In the new year, instead of being overly health obsessed and bounding in with gusto to try the next “super berry from the Amazon” or being hoodwinked by a more restrictive, bigger, better fad diet, you know the ones that hustle, race and elbow each other out of the way to weasel their way into your apprehensions and anxieties faster.  Maybe it’s time to begin to believe in you and your inner sense of self knowing and wisdom when it comes to being healthy?
I believe that finding real food that makes you feel happier, more energised, alive and other adverbs can be produced easily without all of the punchlines and sensationalism.  It certainly feels like the right time to throw 2014’s faddish ‘optimal’ diets out the door, broaden your horizons and do what feels right for you.
Healthy eating is not about deprivation and it doesn’t mean that yummy dishes like nachos need to be abolished.  These angelic nachos from my new book Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian are an easy to make healthy alternative to traditional nachos that are often laden with dodgy ingredients and leave you feeling bloated afterwards.   I’ve reinvented traditional nachos to give them a renewed sense of freedom that the new year can bring.  Nachos can be enjoyed regardless of how old you are, in fact they’re the kind of dish which improves with age; much like kombucha, good cheese or Dominic West.  Yes really. 🙂

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Feeding Fussy Eaters

Written by lee on . Posted in Blog Snacks, Bread and Wrap basics, Healthy Meals, Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, Lunch Box Ideas

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.

Supercharged Breakfast Bar

My breakfast bar is packed with good fats, zinc, dietary fibre and B vitamins and these bars make a quick brekkie, lunch box favourite or after school snack.

Makes 10 bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup almond flour or (flax seed meal for nut free)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 1 1/4 cup mixed nuts or (seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower for nut free)
  • 2 TBS dried blueberries
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup rice malt syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

  • Set oven temperature to 175 degrees Celsius
  • Line a baking dish with baking paper
  • Combine all dry ingredients, almond flour, salt, bicarb soda, coconut flakes, nuts/seeds and blueberries
  • In a large bowl, place melted butter, rice malt syrup and vanilla extract
  • Mix the dry ingredients into wet
  • Press the mixture firmly into the baking dish to prevent crumbling
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes
  • Chill to harden up before serving

Gluten Free Pita Pocket

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

 Zoo poo

 Cacao powder is loaded with antioxidants and although sometimes bitter in taste, it can be made sweeter with the addition of a natural sweetener.

Makes 8

Ingredients

  • 4 TBS coconut butter
  • 1/8 tsp. stevia powder
  • 1 TBS cacao powder
  • 4 TBS almond or rice milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened

Method

  • Melt the coconut butter in a bowl over boiling water
  • Add stevia and cacao and stir until combined
  • Add milk and stir until thickened
  • Place mixture in the fridge for half an hour to harden
  • Remove from fridge and take one TBS at a time and roll into ball
  • Roll in coconut flakes and place on a tray
  • Refrigerate until ready to eat

You can bu my Supercharged Food for Kids Recipe Book here.

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Rebooting Your Child’s Lunchbox

Written by lee on . Posted in Kids, Kids Recipe Book, Kids' Recipes, Lunch Box Ideas

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.

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Orange and Cranberry Muffins

Written by lee on . Posted in Before and After School Snacks, Desserts, Lunch Box Ideas

Orange and Cranberry MuffinsMakes 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 TBS orange zest
  • • 1 tsp. powdered stevia or sweetener of your choice
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 TBS orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla or orange extract
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 6 TBS coconut milk

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius, in a bowl combine dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, baking soda, orange zest and powdered sweetener.

In a separate bowl mix eggs, orange juice, cranberries, vanilla/orange extract, butter and coconut milk.

Mix dry ingredients into wet and combine well.

Pour batter into greased 6 cup large muffin pan about 3/4 full.

Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

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Mini Salmon Frittatas

Written by lee on . Posted in Before and After School Snacks, Breakfast, Lunch Box Ideas

 Mini SalmonIngredients:
  • 60g goats or cheddar cheese
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 4 eggs whisked
  • 1/2 cup lightly steamed broccoli florets
  • 100g salmon (drained)
  • Butter for greasing
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Celtic Sea salt to taste
  • Sprinkling of dulse flakes (optional)

Method

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Grease a 6 cup muffin pan. Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Spoon 2 TBS of salmon mixture into each. Bake for 15 mins until firm and golden.

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Rocking Fried Rice

Written by lee on . Posted in Healthy Meals, Lunch Box Ideas

Rocking Fried RiceIngredients:
  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • 2 rashers bacon, finely diced
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup green beans chopped into 2 cm slices
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 5 cups of cooked brown rice
  • (approx. 2 cups uncooked rice)
  • 2 TBS wheat-free tamari
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

 

Method

Heat oil in frying pan until sizzling

Add bacon, shallots, peas, beans, and carrot and stir until lightly cooked.

Add rice. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring only once a minute

Add tamari, and continue to stir for two minutes

Move ingredients over to one side pour in egg and let cook for 30 seconds

With fork, scramble and then combine through rest of rice

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