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Nut Butter and Jelly Chia Mousse

Belated Valentine's Day wishes to the old and young, singles and couples. May love fill your days and your days be full of those you love.

This recipe can be made with either almond butter or peanut butter. I like it with strawberry jam (St Dalfours is a no sugar variety if you haven't the time or inclination to make your own) but again, the choice is yours.

It's packed with good fats from avocado, fibre from chia seeds and natural sweetness from dates. Top as creatively as you like - I used some melted chocolate, freeze dried strawberry pieces, crushed almonds, cacao nibs and dried edible rose petals.

Nut Butter and Jelly Chia Mousse
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free
Serves 2

1/2 large, pitted and peeled ripe avocado (approx 80g without skin and stone)
1/2 cup (75g) raw unsalted cashew nuts, soaked in filtered water for 6 hours/ overnight and drained
2 large soft medjool dates, pitted (30g), pre-soaked and drained if hard
2 tbsp (20g) chi…
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Sweet Chilli Hasselback Aubergine

I've been gazing admiringly at pictures of hasselback potatoes - a very fancy looking roast potato meets baked/ jacket potato hailing from Sweden. Then I discovered a slightly sad aubergine lurking in the refrigerator drawer and wondered whether I could possibly give him a hasselback makeover!

 Aubergine alone can be slightly squashy and bland so I've added a punchy sweet chilli glaze (NomNomPaleo has a great additive-free sriracha recipe that takes a mere 20 minutes to make).

Serve as a vegetarian main or as a fancy schmanzy side dish. Can also be served cold.

Sweet Chilli Hasselback Aubergine
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free
Serves 2 as a side

1 medium aubergine, washed, dried and halved lengthways
2 tbsp raw honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp tamari (or coconut aminos)
1 tsp GF fish sauce
1-2 tbsp sriracha, to taste (great recipe here)
1 tbsp sesame seeds

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Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free
Makes 1 large bowl

Big handful (1 packed cup) baby spinach, washed and dried
1/2 medium courgette (approx 3"), frozen in slices/ discs
1/4 medium ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
Handful (1/2 cup) frozen mango chunks
1/2 a lime
1 medjool date, pitted
1/4 tsp matcha green tea powder
1/2 - 3/4 cup unsweetened dairy free milk, as needed (I use coconut)

Optional garnishes of choice:
lime slices, hemp seeds, dried edible flowers, extra lime zest, nuts, seeds, dairy free yogurt, unsweetened granola, cacao nibs etc

1. Zest lime before cutting (less messy). Set aside.
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A smorgasbord of vibrant colours - glorious greens, ruby reds and glowing orange, flecked with pops of creamy hazelnut orbs.

Roast Beetroot, Red Chicory, Kale and Hazelnut Salad
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free
Serves 2 (scale accordingly)

2 medium beetroots, washed, no need to peel
1 head red chicory, leaves separated
1 clementine, peeled and segmented (and membrane removed if you have the patience - for purely aesthetic reasons!)
handful (approx 1/3 cup) toasted hazelnuts
small handful flat leaf parsley, roughly torn
100g kale, stalks removed, washed and dried, torn into pieces
1 tbsp EVOO
big pinch sea salt
1 tbsp lemon juice

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1 tbsp (15g) dijon mustard
1 tbsp (15ml) lemon juice
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Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Refined Sugar-free
Makes 8

1 1/2 cups (150g) almond meal
1 tbsp (15g) coconut flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
1 tsp dried lemongrass, finely ground
3 tbsp (45g) coconut oil, melted (use refined coconut oil if you prefer a less coconutty taste to the cookies)
1-2 tbsp maple syrup (or equivalent liquid sweetener), to taste
1 mediu…


This works as a rich, robust and tangy vegetable side dish alongside grilled meats or fish; or serve as a simple vegetarian main, bulked up with a smattering of toasted pine nuts or flaked almonds. Any leftovers can be served cold as a relish straight from the fridge. Best served warm, allowing the flavours to slowly absorb and intensify.

Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free
(Serves 4 as a side, 2 as a main)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large aubergine, washed, dried and diced into 1.5cm cubes
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 red or green (or mix) pepper, diced into 1.5cm squares
1 medium courgette, washed, dried and diced into 1.5cm cubes
1 tin (400g) peeled and chopped tomatoes
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp capers, drained
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
small handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
optional: toasted pine nuts or flaked almonds to serve

1. Heat a med…

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New Year New Post! Activity has been somewhat on the dormant side here on this blog for a while. Just life. What more can I say?

What better way to welcome in the January blues with a rainbow platter of goodness. The kids love simple baked salmon; the chestnuts and sweet potato add natural sweetness, balanced with a tang of lemon juice at the end to complement the Italian seasoning. Also works as an easy and colourful vegetable side dish without the salmon.

Italian Sheet Pan Roast Rainbow Vegetables with Salmon
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free
Serves 2

2 salmon fillets (approx 120g each), skin on
225g brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved/ quartered depending on size (leave whole if tiny)
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/2" discs
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2" cubes
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1/2 cup baby plum tomatoes
1/2 lemon cut into 2 wedges
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp…

Chocolate Beetroot Cashew Cream

The stuff of chocolate-centric dreams... Top with a handful of gluten-free granola and a few berries or spoon over a pud.

Chocolate Beetroot Cashew Cream
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free
Serves 1

1/4 cup (35g) raw unsalted cashew nuts, soaked overnight in filtered water
1 medium (65g) cooked, cooled and peeled beetroot
1/4 medium ripe avocado flesh (40g)
1 large (15g) soft medjool date, pitted
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
6 tbsp unsweetened coconut milk (plus extra if needed)

Optional toppings: grain-free granola, berries, edible dried flower petals

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My Happiness Project Habits

I have been re-reading Gretchen Rubin's 'The Happiness Project' in a bid to reboot my own happiness level. Much of what she says strikes a poignant chord.

Depending on the individual, the route to DIY contentment will vary wildly and not many of us can attest to having 12 minutes free let alone 12 months to experiment with all the facets Gretchen explores in her book.

My five key personal takeaways to unlocking my gateway to happiness lie roughly in the areas of:
1. Sleeping and exercising better
2. Decluttering and organising
3. Launch a blog and enjoy the fun of failure (you are reading the evidence of this!)
4. Mindfulness
5. Practising gratitude

The problem is that every time I have tried to build good habits to tackle and enforce each of these areas, correlating bad habits have an uncanny knack of sneakily sidling their way to the forefront, eventually obscuring all trace of existence of their better halves.

Examining my own habits in light of these areas, I can …

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When I am 'cooking' for just myself I revel in the freedom of not worrying about juggling all the likes and dislikes of every member of the family. This is one of my favourites - and every single ingredient is hated (not just disliked) by at least one if not all of my lovely family! And the best thing about making this for myself is that it's a doddle to prepare and doesn't even require cooking.

Seaweed is a great source of iodine, good for gut health and full of nutrients eg calcium, folate, magnesium. It also aids detoxification and has been claimed in studies to help regulate hormones. Whatever the benefits I love the natural saltiness and it always tastes great with a sesame oil and ginger based dressing.

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Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free

Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side

10g mixed dried seaweed, hydrated and drained
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3 radishes, bulbs finely sliced into disc…