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Chilled Spinach and Avocado Summer Soup

The day before was declared the hottest day of the year. Then yesterday was declared the new hottest day of the year. And now today is anticipated to supercede the temperature of yesterday. Phew! Nothing for it but a chilled soup that requires no cooking.


Chilled Spinach and Avocado Summer Soup
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free
Serves 1 (or 2 as a starter)


Ingredients:
Baby spinach, 1 large handful (50g), washed and dried
Basil leaves, small bunch
Mint leaves, approx 15 leaves
Celery, 2 small sticks
Courgette, 3" piece (60g)
1/2 small ripe avocado (40g), peeled and pitted
1" piece lemongrass, bruised
1/2" piece ginger, peeled
1/4 lime, peeled
big pinch chilli flakes
2 tbsp Nutritional yeast
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 - 3/4 cup water or cold stock/ broth, depending on desired consistency

Optional garnish: chilli flakes, pomegranate arils, mint/ basil leaves, furikake (sesame seed and seaweed sprinkle), sesame oil

Opt…
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Easy Chocolate Mini Baked Doughnuts (or is it Donuts?)

Does anyone, except a former English Literature and Linguistics student, care about the nuances between doughnut versus donut? Thought not!


These little one-bite mini versions are simple but chocolatey. Feel free to glaze with a simple coconut oil + high cocoa content chocolate concoction if in the mood for something more decadent. Sprinkles also always an option.


Easy Chocolate Mini Baked Doughnuts
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free

Makes approx 25 mini


Ingredients:
1/4 cup (35g) sifted coconut flour
1/4 cup (25-30g) unsweetened cocoa powder, or cacao
1/2 tsp baking powder
big pinch sea salt
3 tbsp (50g) coconut oil, melted
4 medium eggs
2 tbsp unsweetened pumpkin puree
1/2 ripe medium banana
optional 1-2 tbsp honey, agave or maple syrup

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees celsius, 350 degrees farenheit.
2. Lightly grease a mini doughnut tin with coconut oil (or use silicone doughnut pan).
3. Combine coconut floour, cocoa (or cacao) powder, bakin…

Instant Pot Mexican Mince

Every day when my daughter comes home from school she regales me with details of her school lunch that day down to the exact flavour of yogurt. One of her favourites is 'Mexican Mince' (the fact it is accompanied by a pile of nachos in high probability contributes to this enthusiasm!).


Raw Brownie Bliss Balls (Nut-free, Dried Fruit-free!)

Has it escaped anyone's notice that bliss balls invariably are a concoction of mushed together nuts/ seeds and dried fruit? And, especially in commercially prepared versions, they veer heavily towards the dried fruit camp - which means in essence it's simply a ball of sugar, albeit 'unrefined'.


Warm Mushroom, Fennel and Olive Salad

There's something slightly treat-like about having something warm in my salad. Probably to do with the fact that it involves more than just chopping up raw vegetables, piling them in a bowl with a drizzle of random dressing type condiments, before diving in with just a fork. So you could argue this is a salad of self-love - spending that little bit of extra time to make the day a smidge more special.


Marinating the fennel mellows out the strong liquorice flavour and the addition of juniper berries adds a fresh citrusy scent. The crunchy fennel contrasts against the earthy pan-fried mushrooms; the olives add another good pop of umami savouriness and a smattering of pumpkin seeds provide texture as well as some satiating good fat.

The honey mustard dressing is best drizzled on at the table and brings everything together with a delicate orangey sweetness.


Warm Mushroom, Fennel and Olive Salad
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free
Serves 2
 Ingredients:

Mar…

Bullet Jounal Review

I am a stationery addict.

There. I have said it out loud. Ever since I was a little girl I would collect, curate and derive infinite joy in owning a treasure trove of bright and beautiful inks, pens, pencils, paints, notebooks, paper, stickers and so on. Art shops trumped TopShop, no contest.


When other girls were painting their nails and playing with makeup I was arranging my colouring pencils. Not much has changed. Makeup is still pretty 'meh' to me, whereas a shiny new set of brush pens makes me all tingly inside.

I still own much of my original paint and pencil sets from way back when - another characteristic of mine is both my hoarder instinct (a source of much discord in our home) and my careful (bordering on obsessive) regard for my possessions.

So I will leave it to your imagination the level of excitement when the concept of Bullet Jounalling floated into my field of awareness! That was back in October - over 6 months ago - and once I started I haven't missed a si…

Chocolate Coconut Tart

We used to host dinner parties for friends much more frequently than these days. Life is like a see saw - with our friends on one end and our children on the other. And despite their perceived smallness in stature, we all know which side of the see saw holds all the weight!


Still, when we do finally get round to entertaining, I still find it a fun and creative process to invent a new dessert. This Chocolate Coconut Tart is as close to a 'regular' dessert as I've made in a long while - it is VERY rich and does contain a reasonable dose of dried dates so blood sugar levels beware.

Nevertheless, it is free from all refined sugar, dairy, grains and gluten and is even nut-free. I served it alongside fresh raspberries to provide a balancing sharpness and a scoop of dairy-free coconut ice cream. Remember also to take the tart out of the fridge 30 mins to an hour before serving so the tart filling can soften at room temperature.

Biggest problem of this recipe was the lack of time …

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken and Asparagus

Some days I am overcome with the tedium associated with deciding, yet again, what to make for dinner. Last week, I was faced with some uninspiring chicken sitting in the fridge, along with some asparagus (April is prime asparagus season) and, for some unfathomable reason, a surplus of lemons in the fruit drawer. One overriding criteria was minimal effort - associated with prep time, cooking and pots/pans for washing up. So clearly this dish was born out of nothing but sheer laziness!


Strawberries 'n' (Celeriac) Cream

Overenthusiastically anticipating summer with a premature quintessential British classic: Strawberries 'n' Cream! One of my favourite things to do with the children in the summer is strawberry picking (and their unabashed eating more than they pick). This is no ordinary cream though (evil villain laugh) - but hides a plethora of antioxidants, fibre, minerals and vitamin K from the celeriac.


We are at the end of celeriac season here so, as we usher in the summer fruits (prematurely), we wave a fond farewell to our winter friends who have provided such comfort in the colder seasons.


Strawberries 'n' (Celeriac) Cream
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free
Serves 2



Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (150g) fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
2 heaped cups (225g) peeled and cubed celeriac, steam cooked and cooled (or sub 2 medium white sweet potato if celeriac not available)
4 tbsp (1/4 cup, or 65g) coconut cream (thick solid layer from top of a can of coc…

Prawn Chopped Salad with a Creamy Nut Dressing

Some days I wonder if anyone really cares for any of these rather basic salad recipes but this is what I eat so this is what I document! Sorry for the simplicity...