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Posts Tagged ‘organic’

Going Organic – Keeping the Price Down

Written by Lee on . Posted in News

Picture this: you're in the supermarket alone. That's right, you're the only person in there (what a dream?!). It's just you and the fruit section. All of the other aisles are empty and not a person in sight. You look to the apples and think to yourself, "hmm... is it worth paying lots more for an organic apple? Will it make me healthier?". You look at the apples and the apples are almost glaring back at you. What to do?

Then you consider your bank balance and end up picking the generic, cheaper one. You feel a little bit guilty. "Did I pick the wrong one?"

Going organic is better for the environment, but there is a commonly held perception that switching to organic food is expensive. Is this really the case? Or, are we being brainwashed by supermarket chains into sticking with budget brands and mass-produced groceries?

Rising Demand for Organic Food

Back in 2008, consumer demand for organic food was growing, even though upmarket supermarket chains had stocked organic food for a quarter of a century. The rise of popular TV chefs such as Jamie Oliver, fuelled a market for healthy, environmentally-friendly fruit and vegetables. Shoppers were beginning to understand the value of purchasing food that was free from additives and pesticides and tasted better. Some would also argue eating organic foods is healthier, and some would also argue that there's very little scientific evidence to support this. 

To this day, the demand for organic food is still growing. It comes down to us wanting choice. We want to be able to choose what we eat and where it comes from. We want to know that with every purchase we make, we're not having a negative impact on the environment.  

Organic Fruit, Veggies, Dairy, and Other Groceries

As we all know, the demand for organic food is steadily increasing. Shoppers have decided that they don’t mind paying extra for organic fruit and veggies. In the U.K. Tesco sales of organic foods rose by 15% between 2016 and 2017 and Ocado reported a similar rise of 16%. It isn’t just organic fruit and vegetables that are hitting the mark. Today’s shoppers also want organic fish, dairy, and other types of groceries.

The Price Barrier

Ten years ago, buying organic foods cost an arm and a leg (and maybe a house... and an overseas trip...). It was the main barrier for shoppers. Organic food costs more to produce, so inevitably, shoppers have to pay more for the privilege of buying organic. Organic chickens cost around two and half times more than a regular chicken. Organic vegetables are also twice as expensive.

For a cash-strapped family, it is hard to justify paying twice as much for a weekly shop, even if the food tastes much nicer and is better for our health and the environment.

Fortunately, there are ways to keep your grocery bill down, even if you are feeding a large family. The average family spends 10% of its budget on food. If you switch to organic, this figure will rise. However, if you become a smart shopper, you can reduce your costs.

The best way to reduce the cost of organic food is to grow it yourself. Cultivating fruit and vegetables is not as difficult as you might think. All you need is a garden or planters and some time.

If you don’t have green fingers, try shopping locally. Local organic food producers often sell their produce at farmers markets and in farm shops. Since they are not paying high distribution costs, they can afford to sell at a more competitive price.

Also, try using the almighty internet to look for savings. We can make money online via currency trading, and we can find organic food delivery services that offer great deals. Subscribing to organic box deliveries can save you money and can be suited to fit your lifestyle. Subscription services are available at different price points, so pick the service you want and look forward to receiving fresh, organic produce weekly or monthly. It's like a little present to yourself! 

Obviously I'm not going to tell anyone that they need to buy everything organic! It's a personal choice. However, if you do want to give it a try, don’t let higher prices hold you back from living your organic dreams.

Spicy Meat Balls

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Sugar Free, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Spicy Meat-a-Balls

I'm drawn to Italian meatballs and I'm not talking about the guys from Jersey Shore.... On serving these "just like mama used to make" delights, mentioning the words "That’s a spiceeee meat-a-ball" is hard not to do it without gesturing wildly and launching into a heavy fake Italian accent. I know you guys will go ga-ga over this delicious Italian inspired dish which is super easy and packed with healthy ingredients.

Lamb is one of those power packed foods providing the entire body with a wide range of essential nutrients for a balanced and healthy diet.  Packed with protein, iron, zinc, B vitamins, selenium, vitamin D, and long chain omega-3s, lamb certainly provides optimized health and energy to the body.

In a nutshell, lamb provides needed vitamins for the body and immune system function. Vitamin B12, which is an essential vitamin for proper brain function; Zinc supports healthy immune function, cell division and overall growth; Iron is an integral component of haemoglobin and aids formation of red blood cells in the body, omega 3 benefits emotional health and the heart and amino acids are necessary component of every living cell.

Together with fuelling the body these high protein meatballs will certainly spice up your life! The twist of fragrant herbs and spices will heighten your taste buds, with the ground nuts providing a rich and light flavour throughout keeping the meatballs from drying out.

Delicious and bound to please the whole family from the little ones to the more mature. Enjoy as a starter with a roasted cherry tomato dipping sauce or make a meal of it and partner with a quinoa pilaf. Top with homemade relish...

Serve with Quinoa Pilaf and Homemade Relish

Spicy Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 500 grams organic minced lamb
  • 1 organic egg
  • 2 brown onions chopped finely
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 TBS fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 TBS coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • pinch red chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts preferably soaked and dried (almonds/walnuts/cashews)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 TBS Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for frying

Preparation

  • Place all spices and herbs in a bowl and mix
  • Lightly fry onions and garlic in coconut oil then set aside
  • Using your hands mix lamb, nuts, spices, herbs and egg together and then add onions and garlic and season to taste
  • Shape mixture into balls and over a medium stove top heat coconut oil in a frying pan
  • Add meatballs and sear on each side, transfer to the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 min or until cooked
  • Drain meatballs on paper towel and serve by themselves or accompanied with quinoa pilaf or a crispy green side salad.

For more gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar-free supercharged recipes visit www.superchargedfood.com

Quinoa with Winter Squash & Yellow Pepper

Written by Lee on . Posted in Autumn, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Golden Quinoa

If you sweet on Superfoods then this recipe is a powerhouse of nutrition.

First things first, Quinoa (which is pronounced keenwah), it isn’t a grain. In fact is a relative of my other favourite supercharged ingredient, spinach. When cooked, Quinoa resembles couscous with a slightly al dente texture to it. As it cooks and tastes just like a grain it is wonderful for tired tummies that find grains difficult to digest.

While this humble dish is perfect for the occasional vegetarian in you, the addition of Quinoa is a wonderful source of protein to boot, containing all nine essential amino acids that the body requires for hormone and muscle production. Interestingly, Quinoa also contains magnesium, a wonderful mineral that allows muscles to relax…the perfect ingredient for dinner after a long and tiring day.

Pesto Zoodles

My favourite culinary herb is basil, by the way, you should really try this delicious pesto zoodle pasta dish whilst I'm on the subject… Pesto is a bonus for me as it is a highly antiseptic and antibacterial herb. Basil has traditionally been used as a digestive aid for upset tummies. Most herbs, given their pungency and intensity, often impart great healing properties; most if not all are wonderful internal cleansers.

For this reason, I make it a ritual to use my home grown herbs or buy fresh organic herbs every time I do a fruit and vegetable shop. It’s so easy to tear a few leaves here or there to garnish over your breakfast, lunch or dinner. And given our need to eat more raw green veggies, the simple act of garnishing with herbs takes you one step closer towards your journey in health, whole foods and healing.

To intensify the creaminess of this dish I’ve added the wonderful, deep orange hue of butternut pumpkin. The tangerine tone indicates another stellar property of this supercharged dish, carotenoids. Carotenoids are shown to protect against heart disease and can assist in preventing macular degeneration, amongst other wonderful things! To sweeten the deal, just a cup serving of butternut is almost half your daily need for vitamin C!

I like to dose my dish with generous servings of heart healthy fats. Taking a lead role in this incredible heart-warming dish are walnuts. With a handful of walnuts containing twice as many antioxidants as an equivalent amount of other common nut varieties, walnut will up-the-anti when it comes to nutrients and provide you with long lasting energy.

It’s such a simple dish to make too, just whip out your casserole dish, make a pot of tea and meditate on the swirling of quinoa, the browning of onions and the act of eating wholesome and good-for-you foods.

Quinoa with Winter Squash & Yellow Pepper

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • ½ cup basil leaves torn
  • 1 butternut squash peeled and chopped into 5 cm chunks
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup yellow pepper, sliced
  • 1/3 cup brown onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup raw walnuts
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Shredded coconut to garnish
How to Make:
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over high heat
  • Add garlic, yellow peppers and onion and sauté until browned
  • Add squash and cook for about 10 minutes
  • Meanwhile rinse quinoa thoroughly
  • Stir stock, rinsed quinoa, walnut, coconut milk and salt and pepper into the pan
  • Cover with a lid and reduce heat, simmering for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed
  • Spoon into wide bowls and garnish with shredded coconut and torn basil
Enjoy!
For more gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar-free recipes visit www.superchargedfood.com

No Bean Hummus

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

No Bean Hummus

I adore hummus… seriously adore it.  My preferred vessel is a scoopable cracker or crudité to ensure maximum consumption per bite.  But you know what?…it just doesn’t love me back.

Even if I practice the art of moderation I still appear to find the whole process gut wrenching so to speak. And yes, I am a foodie…I know how to properly prepare beans.

The bean thing isn’t a new phenomenon…nor is it unique to me. Beans, often hailed as a vegetarians wonder food because they combine starch and protein is held back by the very fact it contains both nutrients.

Generally, if you combine starch and protein you get a boatload of gas, bloating and other digestive issues.

Here’s why:

When you eat protein your stomach produces hydrochloric acid and an enzyme called pepsin to create an acidic environment to break them down.

When you eat a starchy vegetable, grains or beans, an enzyme called ptyalin is secreted, which develops an alkaline condition ready for starchy foods to be digested.

What happens then when you eat the two together? Well…the acid and alkaline enzymes can’t do their jobs as they neutralize each other. Digestion falters and the food we consume begins to ferment.

I won’t elaborate…but needless to say I stay away from beans as I personally feel they do me wrong in the nicest possible way.

This is where my no bean hummus comes into play. Hand on heart…it tastes identical…. I’ve just snuck in a raw zucchini and almonds for creaminess…tempted?

Do try.

No Bean Hummus

Ingredients

  •  3/4 cup sunflower seeds or soaked almonds
  • 3/4 cup tahini
  • 2 zucchini peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic peeled
  • ½ tsp. Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. fresh basil
  • ½ TBS ground cumin
How to Make:
  • In a blender combine all ingredients
  • Blend until smooth and add a little filtered water if necessary
  • Serve with green veggies, as a dip or topping with your favourite gluten free cracker

Chilled Mexican Avocado Soup

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Spring, Summer

Chilled Avocado Soup

Mexico is one of my favourite travel destinations.

I spent some time in gorgeous Puerto Vallarta a few years ago and stayed at the most charming and adorable Beachfront Villa.

I sampled delicious and authentic Mexican food during my trip and found that there was so much potential within the Mexican cuisine; healing herbs and spices, a variety of colourful fresh ingredients bursting with beneficial phytochemicals, fibre filled beans and protein rich meats.  However, the Americanisation of Mexican cooking has seen this potential warped for the purpose of convenience in urbanized and capitalized societies like our own.

Visit your local food court and you’ll find yourself staring down the barrel of guacamole, salsa and two limp iceberg lettuce leaves, and although they might look healthy, they are a mere distraction from the copious amounts of cheese, sour cream, starchy, refined carbohydrates deep fried in hydrogenated oils, sodium laden refried beans and poor quality meats. A lovely plate of artery clogging, acid forming, disease creating mess. Yes... the paradox of Mexican food.

In an effort to recreate the authenticity of traditional Mexican cuisine, this healthy version of chilled avocado soup will deliver those flavours you love so dearly minus the garbage. Here are some of the nutritional facts you can share with your amigos as you enjoy this guilt free meal.

The dominant ingredient in this meal is the amazing, creamy avocado.  Avocados have been considered as nature’s multivitamin. According to the California Avocado Commission, Avocados contain more than 20 vitamins and minerals! Just one cup of cubed avocado contains 39% of the RDA for vitamin K, responsible for bone health, healthy blood coagulation and proper brain and nervous system functions. It also supplies the body with 25% of the RDA for vitamin C, which is important for the body’s immune response, the development of collagen, and in the prevention of oxidative stress caused by free radical damage. Avocados also contain 22% of the RDA for folate, which is of paramount importance in the production of red blood cells, and the proper development of the brain and spinal cord of an unborn infant.

In the mineral department, avocados contain significant amounts of potassium, magnesium, manganese and copper. They are actually higher in potassium that bananas! Potassium is such a vital mineral, with several functions in the body. For example, potassium is used in the body to help regulate mineral and fluid balances, prevent strokes of the brain, regulate muscle contraction and relaxation, maintain the electrical conductivity of the brain, assist in healthy metabolic processes and assist the kidneys to remove toxins and wastes through the process of excretion.

Studies have shown that when combined with antioxidant rich foods such as spices, salad or salsa, the fats in avocados help our bodies to absorb healthy phytochemicals called cartenoids. This Mexican style avocado soup uses this premise to enhance the bioavailability of the cartenoids found in paprika. Cartenoids are the pigments that give paprika its bright red colour. They are known for their great antioxidant potential, and their significant role in protecting the body’s cells from oxidative damage, thus being a great preventive measure against the formation of cancer cells.

Cumin, a spice that actually originated in Egypt, has great medicinal qualities that make this dish all the more enticing. Herbalists have long appreciated this spice for its antispasmodic and carminative --- or gas reducing properties. No more awkward post Mexican stomach problems! In Ayurvedic medicine, it is prized as a common treatment for indigestion, vomiting and diarrhea. Cumin has been found to significantly benefit the digestive system, with a soothing effect on mucous membranes in the gastrointestinal tract.  Other studies show that cumin appears to stimulate the liver to secrete more bile, which aids in the breakdown of fats and the absorption of nutrients.

I hope by now you are no longer afraid of the dark side of Mexican food. Follow this recipe and these worries will be a distant memory. Welcome to the brighter, healthier side of our beloved Mexican food fiestas!

Avocado Soup Mexican Style

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados, ripe, pitted, peeled, and mashed
  • 2 TBS EV Olive Oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cups homemade vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 lemon freshly squeezed
  • 1 TBS lemon rind
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Celtic Sea Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Lime quarters to garnish

Let’s Get Cracking:

  • Sauté onions in olive oil until browned
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined
  • Place in bowl and chill until served
For more gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar-free recipes visit www.superchargedfood.com

Brainy Salmon Pate

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

  Salmon Pate I heart salmon... In fact you could say I’m a salmon addict. Trawl through the latest research and you’ll find countless reasons why this super fish is one of the healthiest types of fish around. One of my favourite reasons to eat wild caught salmon is the omega-3 fat content which helps to reduce inflammation and reduce the pain of inflammatory conditions. Even if you don’t suffer from inflammation, we all need to increase the amount of heart healthy Omega-3s in our diets and oily fish is one of the best sources for these essential fatty acids (did I mention that they were ESSENTIAL?).  Here are some more healthy fats.
Another reason to celebrate this wonder fish is that, contrary to other common fish varieties; beautiful wild salmon can be eaten without dramatic concern for its mercury content. So there’s no need to be salmon-phobic about heavy metals. Read more about Wild Salmon and Super Foods here.
Above and beyond the obvious health benefits of salmon, its source of Omega 3s and protein content, Wild Salmon has some other unfamiliar but highly beneficial claims to fame.
As little as 110gm of Salmon contains your daily allowance of Vitamin D. Vitamin D, is not abundant in most food choices, and one of the best ways to get a shot is a good dose of sunlight! Given the sedentary nature of the jobs we lead today, a good daily measure of sunshine is usually hard to come by, that’s why many of us have become severely deficient.
It also contains vitamin B-12 THAT wonder vitamin which assists in the prevention of anemia and combats tiredness, anxiety and depression. Canned salmon also has a wonderfully large amount of calcium, due to the fact that the bones are preserved with the fish. Don’t fear these little critters, they literally disintegrate once you mash the salmon! Vertebrae have never been so healthy!
Pay particular attention to the type of canned salmon you buy and ensure its Wild. Most ‘Atlantic Salmon’ has come from farmed sites, where fish are crammed together and fed an horrific concoction of soy protein, corn, antibiotics (the fish are bound to get sick in such tight confines!) and even pigments to ensure what we see looks like the real deal ‘pink’ or ‘red’ salmon.
To keep this pate together gelatin is my go to ingredient. Gelatin is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless thickening agent, which when dissolved in hot water and cooled, forms a jelly to hold other ingredients together.  Supercharged with nutrients the truth is that it’s essentially a cooked form of collagen which helps to repair skin, hair and nails.
Gelatin is 35% glycine, an amazing anti-inflammatory compound, particularly good at healing and soothing the intestinal lining aka gut and digestion issues. Gelatin is also a great source of arginine, a well-known component to many ‘fat loss’ supplements.  Here's some more info about the wonders of gelatin. So why spend fortunes on expensive amino acids that help regulate the metabolism, when we can find them in nature?
All of the pate ingredients are readily available and not cost prohibitive (yay!) so why don’t you create a little salmon variation in your diet and served it up as the French do?
Enjoy with gluten free bread or crackers or crunchy kale chips.
Ingredients
  • 1 can salmon (415 gms)
  • 2 TBS lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon rind
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh dill
  • 1 TBS gelatine
  • 1 small red onion chopped
  • 1 TBS fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 TBS capers (rinsed and drained)
Here's how to get smart
  • Remove any bones from salmon and drain but reserve the liquid
  • Place salmon, lemon juice, rind and dill into a food processor and blend until combined
  • In a saucepan on a medium heat sprinkle the gelatine over 2 TBS of the reserved liquid until the gelatine dissolves
  • Add to the salmon mixture, stir in the onion, parsley and capers.
  • Refrigerate until set
For more gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast or sugar-free recipes visit www.superchargedfood.com Lee 🙂

Cheesy Spinach Quiche

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog Breakfast, Blog Lunch, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Organic, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Yummy Quiche Squares

I have a soft spot for eggs.  Quality eggs are an affordable compact package of nutrition, full of high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids and should be included as a part of any healthy diet. But unfortunately an egg just isn’t an egg anymore and nowadays it pays to shell out the (slight) premium to enjoy good quality eggs.

So what is a good quality egg you may ask? The answer is simple. A fresh one, preferably organic and one that you can knowingly claim has been fed only a natural diet. (Think worms, grubs, dirt, grass…. Gets you salivating doesn’t it?)

Your best bet when on the search for the perfect egg is to head to your local farmer’s market or co-op and start asking questions. Be on the hunt for honest farmers who leave their chickens with fresh air, plenty of sun and room to move.  Farmers who allow their chickens a diet free of reconstituted corn pellets are proud of their eggs and you’ll want to grab these babies by the dozen (or two!).

It goes without saying, given that if you’re trying to avoid gluten and wheat, then “Grain Fed” chickens are an absolute no-no. A chicken that is ushered outside for a few minutes a day can be labeled “Free-Range” in the supermarket, so just because a carton says “Cage Free” or “Free Range” doesn’t mean they’ve been fed and nurtured optimally. The difference nutritionally is astronomical.

Several studies have shown that pasture fed eggs, compared to their supermarket counterparts contain up to 3 times more Vitamin E, ¼ less saturated fat, 1/3 less cholesterol and 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids.

You really are getting more bang for your buck when you buy the best. Try this tasty Quiche recipe which real men and women will want to gobble up!

Cheesy Spinach Quiche

Serves 4

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 brown onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed, dried and chopped
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 punnet fresh multicoloured baby tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup basil, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted  plus extra for garnish
  • ¼ cup  nutritional yeast flakes
  • ½ -1 cup almond milk

Let’s Get Cracking:

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  • Grease a square baking dish
  • In a frying pan sauté garlic and onion in olive oil until brown
  • Place spinach, pine nuts and basil in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes
  • Set mixture aside
  • In a bowl whisk eggs and almond milk until light and fluffy then season and stir through yeast flakes and spinach mixture
  • Place in oven for 30-45 mins until set
  • Remove from oven and let cool then slice into wedges, garnish with additional pine nuts and baby tomatoes
For more gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast and sugar-free recipes visit www.superchargedfood.com
Happy Cooking 🙂
Lee

How to Make Spinach Bread

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Blog Breakfast, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Sugar Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Spinach Leaves

Looking for a supercharged gluten free nutrient-rich bread option?

It might take a bit of time getting your head around the concept, but this supercharged spinach bread is surprisingly delicious and will win over even the most avowed spinach haters. I'm totally infatuated by this great breakfast, lunch and snack option.  Top with lemon drizzled avocado and fresh tomato sprinkle with Celtic sea salt for an appetizing morning or mid afternoon snack. Bursting with an abundance of goodness, spinach provides vitamin A, C, E and K, calcium, iron and folate. You'll power through the day.

Here's a quick video about how to make spinach bread...

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDYI1NxA--A]

Easy Spinach Bread

Makes approximately 10 slices

Ingredients:

  • 6 packets frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (no additives)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Aromatic Garlic

Let's Get Cracking:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius

Grease baking tray or ceramic roasting pan

Mix together spinach, eggs, and garlic in a bowl

Season with salt and pepper

Spoon mixture into prepared pan and flatten, pressing down with fingers

Bake for 15- 20 minutes or until set

Allow to cool slightly then using a knife or pizza cutter slice into 10 rectangles

Use a spatula to remove individual slices from pan

Wrap slices in freezer wrap and freeze until ready to use

Happy cooking 🙂

Coconut and Almond Bliss Balls

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Dessert, Gluten Free, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Blissed Out Balls

I love these healthy bliss balls anytime of the year, but they are particularly good rolled out at Christmas time, dusted in coconut and looking like they've spent a night in a snow dome. Whipped up on the fly, these guys are super easy to pull together, you literally just lump everything in the processor and voila... blissed out in no time. Plus they're a wonderful snack-happy treat for kids to be Santa's little helpers,  getting the ball rolling and exercising their play dough making skills to create bundles of natural goodness for the whole family to enjoy.

There's a bit of trial and error with the consistency of the mixture, it should be slightly gooey and moist, not too runny or rock hard so that the ingredients crumble in your hands.  The nut butter and tahini are perfect for allowing the mixture to hold which makes an easy rolling experience.  Wheel them through  sesame seeds or coconut to get the full afffect, then refrigerate and enjoy these mouth-watering munchies.

Coconut and Almond Bliss Balls

Makes 12 medium sized Bliss Balls

½ cup almond meal
5 TBS almond nut butter
½ cup tahini
8 drops liquid stevia
1 cup chopped nuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts
½ cup coconut flakes
¼ cup sesame seeds plus extra for coating

Place almond meal, coconut and nuts into food processor and mix
Add stevia, almond nut butter and tahini and continue to mix until combined
Remove and roll into balls on a flat tray
Place extra sesame seeds in a bowl and roll balls to coat the surface
Refrigerate and enjoy

I’m Think I’m Turning Japanese…

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Blog Dinner, Blog Lunch, Blog Salads, Blog Snacks, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Yeast Free

Japanese Daikon Paper Rolls

I'm turning up I'm turning down I'm turning in I'm turning out... I  love these Japanese Vegetarian Daikon Rolls. I really think so.

This is the ultimate Japanese dish for rookies with no conveyor belt, high chair or colour coded plate in sight.

If you're bored with inside-out-rolls or  criss-cross mayo filled bento boxes with hot-to-make-you-trot wasabi and wheat-ladened soy sauce, why not bring the outside in with this alternative gate to plate, raw vegetable kick-starter.

It's a wonderful get-real party starter and all round healthy alternative to traditional deep fried spring roll temptations that follow you round endlessly on a platter  at a social gathering or event begging for attention.

When you're dealing with fresh herbs and vegetables you can't go wrong...

The Party Guests

  • 1 large daikon radish
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 long spring onions sliced lengthways
  • Warm water for soaking daikon papers
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and julienned
  • 1 knob ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 1 long yellow capsicum
  • 1 long red capsicum
  • 1 TBS wheat free tamari (optional)
  • 3 TBS apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup snow pea shoots
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • ½ cup fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lime juiced

How to Get the Party Started...

Hard at Work

Peel daikon. Using a mandolin or peeler, slice thinly into 5cm x 7cm rolls.

I Could Have Done With a Bigger Peeler or a Mandolin

Soak daikon paper rolls in a bowl of lemon juice and warm water for 20 mins.

How Do you Say Julienne in Japanese?

In the meantime place julienned cucumber, capsicum, spring onion, ginger, snow pea shoots, ACV, sesame oil, coriander, mint, and lime in a bowl to marinade for 10 mins.

I've got it! ジュリエンヌ

Remove daikon rolls from water and pat dry on paper towel.

Minty Freshness

Take one roll and place a small amount of filling at the bottom of the roll.

It's Just How I Roll

Roll up with your hands to firmly enclose filling.

Crunchy Goodness

Who Says Porridge Is Only for Bears?

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Autumn, Blog Breakfast, Candida Friendly, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nutrient Rich, Spring, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Winter, Yeast Free

Toasted Almond and Cinnamon Kasha

I have a new breakfast BFF.  A friend that's that's high in iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc. It's so versatile too and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner and served with sweetness or spiced up at a moments notice.  And it's from a very good family too. The rhubarb family.

And the good news is, despite it's name, there's no connection to the wheat family, so great news for anyone who's avoiding the wheats, those annoying neighbours that seem to play loud music in your digestive system at 4am and keep you awake at night with their drilling in the lining of your intestines.

Hello buckwheat... It is nice to meet you.  I know you and me will be firm friends cause I need a friend who's available all year and one that makes me feel good and energises me. PS...I've heard you're very popular in China, with your  unique ability to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels due to your rich supply of rutin a phyto nutrient which acts as an antioxidant in the body. Now that's impressive.  Anyway that's enough about me let's talk about you...what do you think about me?

If you're looking for buckwheat, here's how to find it...Buckwheat is characterised by it's triangular shape and to make it edible the outer hull is removed. You can purchase it unroasted or roasted (Kasha) and the tastes do vary. It's a bit like good twin, evil twin,  the roasted version has a more nutty, robust taste, unlike unroasted which is delicate, soft, and subtle. I prefer Kasha, the evil twin.

Buckwheat comes in all shapes and sizes, it can be ground into flour, used  in baking, bread making, decadent muffins and stack-em-high pancakes.  Adding brown rice flour or almond flour when baking adds to its ability to make gorgeous baked goods.  Groats can be a welcome addition to soups, stews or savoury casseroles and add depth, flavour and bulk to create a hearty meal.  It's super easy to pop them into a casserole dish with mixed spices and throw in broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, green beans and tomatoes for a sumptuous and satisfying evening meal. Very exotic. And chilled buckwheat salads are divine in summer too.

I love to use  roasted groats to make a heart warming pot of delicious breakfast porridge and once you've tried buckwheat porridge you'll never go back to the traditional version...

Toasted Almond and Cinnamon Kasha Porridge with Almond Milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup roasted buckwheat groats
  • 2 TBS butter
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2/3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp powdered stevia or 6 drops liquid stevia

Roasted Buckwheat AKA Kasha

The How To

Rinse roasted buckwheat in cold water and set aside

Cinnamon Infused Toasted Almonds

Toast flaked almonds in pan with a sprinkle of cinnamon over medium heat when ready transfer to bowl

Toasted Cinnamon Flaked Almonds

In the same pan melt butter over medium heat

Meanwhile, combine beaten egg and buckwheat and 2/3 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl

Mixing it Up

When mixed add it to the melted butter

Six Degrees of Separation

Over a medium heat stir until buckwheat has dried out and separated

Add enough water to cover to the pan and bring to the boil then reduce heat to low and cover with a lid for approx. 10-15 mins being careful not to overcook

Melt-in-the-Mouth Buckwheat Porridge

Transfer to a bowl and serve with almond milk and crispy cinnamon almonds. Scrumptious!

The Stock Market

Written by Lee on . Posted in All, Sauces, Spring

It's raining today, not heavily but the kind of rain where cascading droplets trickle slowly down the unshuttered window panes and collect in tiny pools along the weather beaten sills. It's hard to imagine yesterday afternoon was spent lollygagging at the beach, sweltering under a stripy umbrella until the clouds turned black, and the wind came from around the corner, threatening to turn our umbrella inside out, pick it up and parachute it away.

Has Anyone Seen My Umbrella?

We spent the best part of the morning wandering around an authentic farmer's market, located in an inner city renovated railway workshop.

Eveleigh Farmer's Market Produce

It was bustling with locals chatting to food artisans and farmers, herding around the profusion of springtime offerings proudly on display.

The market stalls looked so alive. Photogenic fruits and vegetables, gleaming, their vibrant colours catching the dappled morning sunlight.

Heaven Sent Tomatoes

The best tasting healthy food, quality grass fed meat from local farms, organic and free range eggs, herbs and spices filled the air as we crunched, munched,  nibbled and taste-tested our way through the myriad of merchants.  It's such a fun way to shop, from the people who grow your food and share with you it's history. And by the time we reached the end our basket was firmly ladened with spring season treasures.

I Need a Bigger Basket

On Sundays I like to make my own full flavoured stock, with some of the left over vegies I have in the fridge and a whole chicken. I let it simmer on the back burner while everything else is happening.  Once you've made your own stock you'll never go back to the store bought packaged ones again. And you'll be able to sniff out an additive filled stock cube from ten paces.  Real stock tastes so much richer and enhances everything. And it's so easy to make...

Basic Chicken Stock

The Players
1 whole chicken
2 litres of filtered water
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large onion chopped
3 celery sticks chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 bunch parsley
1 bunch rosemary
1 bunch thyme
2 bay leaves
Sea salt and pepper to taste

The How To
Place chicken in a large stainless steel pot with water, lemon juice and all vegetables and herbs
Bring to a boil, and remove foam that rises to the top
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 hours
Remove whole chicken with a slotted spoon
Remove chicken meat from the carcass and reserve
Strain the stock into a large bowl and refrigerate until fat rises to the top and congeals
Skim off fat and place stock in a jar or covered container in your refrigerator

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