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Showing posts from 2018

Apple and Carrot Earl Grey Tea Loaf

Over the weekend I helped my daughter bake a tea loaf called Bara Brith - neither of us had come across this unusual sounding loaf made with tea and absolutely LOADED with sugar and dried fruit. Needless to say, it went down a storm and apparently we are baking another one this weekend! It got me thinking how I could make a slightly healthier version

Think:
- a fraction of the dried fruit
- stripping out all the refined sugar
- adding masses of grated carrot and apple

The children loved this as much as the high sugar version - hurrah! I also added some chopped walnuts for a bit of texture. Feel free to increase the amount of raisins (any other mix of dried fruit) to taste but remember the apple and cinnamon already add sweetness.

The texture of this loaf is quite dense and high in moisture owing to the amount of fresh fruit/veg. Once sliced it can be lightly toasted under a grill and smeared with butter or dairy free equivalent in much the same way as a conventional tea l…

Honey Mustard Salmon and Supercalifragilistic Slaw

Many a day I dream of how easy life with children would be if I were Mary Poppins - the effortless tidying up for one and who wouldn't want a bottomless pit of a handbag. Then there's her perfect juxtaposition of stern yet kind as opposed to my total lack of dignity in the manic scarper for a timely school run. Well, if all else fails, I can at least be commended for attempting to feed my children healthy food!

With the onset of summer comes a waning desire to spend any length of time toiling over a hot stove. Yesterday I made a slow cooker beef casserole for dinner but in the context of the sun shining and the shedding of coats and scarves, it felt more than slightly incongruous, gastronomically speaking. Step forth this lazy Salmon 'n' Slaw.

The kids absolutely love salmon, especially covered in the sticky honey mustard glaze (the idea unashamedly pinched from my sister who makes a delicious ham glazed with this mix). The slaw is smothered in a creamy and zesty lime…

Sweet and Savoury Grain-Free Nori Granola

The best cinema popcorn was always the sweet and salty. Likewise a sprinkle of sea salt is like fairy dust on chocolate. So mixing up the umami saltiness of nori and tamari with a touch of maple syrup in this granola is not such a weird combination! To be transparent, this recipe veers more to the savoury side so don't expect a sugary granola cluster waiting to be doused in milk for breakfast. It works best sprinkled on plain yogurt, soup or salads.



Sweet and Savoury Grain-Free Nori Granola
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free
Makes 1 tray (approx 3 small jars full)


Ingredients:
Dry:
50g (1/3 cup) hulled hemp seeds
50g (heaped 1/3 cup) raw unsalted sunflower seeds
50g (1/3 cup) raw unsalted almonds
50g (1/3 cup) raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
15g (1 1/2 tbsp) black sesame seeds
15g (1 1/2 tbsp) white sesame seeds
3 sheets nori seaweed, torn into approx 1/2 inch pieces
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1- 1 1/2 tsp shichimi togarashi (Japanese spice mix) - depending on how spicy y…

Raw Miso Carrot Soup

Arguably as simple as making a savoury smoothie really. This raw soup (served chilled) is so quick to make. Perfect for lunch or scale up the recipe and serve small bowls of it as a light and refreshing starter.


Raw Miso Carrot Soup
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Nut-free
Serves 1 as a main or 2 as a starter


Ingredients:
2 medium (approx 220g) carrots, peeled, trimmed and roughly chopped
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp (30ml) miso paste
2 tbsp (30ml) tahini
3 tbsp (45ml) fresh orange juice
100-150ml filtered water
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste if needed

Optional garnish: spiralised carrots, sesame oil, coriander leaves, pinch of chilli flakes, additive-free furikake (or sub sesame seeds and some crushed nori seaweed)

Instructions:
1. Blend all ingredients together in a high powered blender, starting with 100ml of water and adding extra to thin it down if consistency too thick. Adjust seasoning if required with …

Whole Orange and Butternut Squash Breakfast Muffins Revisited

It was two years ago that I first published this recipe and a lot has changed in that space of time. All else aside, my little blog continues to chug along - admittedly at glacial pace and with, at times, so few page views that I am led to wonder why I bother. Except I know that the reason I bother is because this is my dream and it's what I love. What is there left in this life without dreams to nurture and creativity to channel? So on I go. 



I'm revisiting some oldies but goodies so as not to forget about these recipes. Sometimes us oldies need to know that we're still loved.

I've tweaked this recipe ever so slightly from the original and added more accurate measurements and a pinch of nutmeg but in essence it's the same super easy muffin recipe, that uses a whole orange - skin, pith and all, and plenty of butternut squash. Enjoy.

Whole Orange and Butternut Squash Breakfast Muffins
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Refined Sugar-free
Makes 12

Ingredi…

Apple and Leek Meatballs

An absolute doddle to make. The little pieces of apple add a hint of sweetness while the sauteed leeks give it a boost of flavour. Serve on top of a heap of shredded veg, salad or whatever sides you like.


Apple and Leek Meatballs
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free
Makes 12, Serves 4

Ingredients:
500g minced pork (could use chicken or turkey)
1 small eating apple (approx 105g), peeled, cored and finely diced
1/2 medium leek, washed, dried, halved lengthways and finely sliced into half moons
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp olive oil (or other cooking oil of choice)


Instructions:
1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
2. Gently sautee leeks with a pinch of sea salt until soft and fragrant - do not brown them. Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius (approx 390 farenheit) and line a baking sheet with parchment.
4. Add all remaining ingre…

Raw Coconut Bounty Bars

There are various national coffee shop chains in the UK that still refuse to acknowledge that dairy and gluten intolerances/ allergies are a very real thing. In the half a dozen plus local coffee shops (I live in the very unhip suburban sticks) there is only ONE coffee shop that actually sells DF and GF baked goods. In some cases there isn't even an alternative to dairy milk, resulting in a rather joyless black cup of basic coffee to accompany the empty side plate bearing the mirage of a muffin/cake/cookie,  rendering the entire experience a near zero-calorie (zero-fun) experience.


Yes,  I know how unhealthy random snacking on treats is and I should be glad of the enforced redemption from sugar laden goodies but sometimes it's just nice to know the choice is mine.

Last week I ventured to London, invoking all sorts of nostalgia for the pre-children me, where, with my rose-tinted glasses, I was impeccably dressed, had a dazzling career and lived life with such gleeful freedom. I…

Shaved Purple Brussel Sprout Salad

The purple variety of brussel sprouts is slightly sweeter than its more common green brethren (which apparently also makes it more attractive to pests like slugs, making them a nuisance for farmers to grow). The leaves are also packed slightly looser than their green counterparts so require less cooking. In light of this, plus the fact that the beautiful colour fades with cooking, I decided to devise a raw recipe for them.


 I stumbled upon this stalk of loveliness while grocery shopping and couldn't resist. It transpires that the bright purple/ red hue is a result of anthocyanin flavonoids which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.


Raw brassicas can be hard on the digestive system so a firm massage with salt and lemon juice will help to wilt and soften them as well as infuse flavour. The dressing is full of bold Asian flavours and sweet citrus which a sturdy salad like is fully compatible with.

Don't forget that the sprouts need to be very finely sliced/…

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

Ingredients:
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…

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


Ingredients:
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

To garnish: sesame seeds, pinch of chilli flakes, small handful roughly c…

Lime Smoothie Sorbet Bowl

Part smoothie. Part sorbet. All sorts of refreshing zinginess! So what if it's raining/ sleeting/ snowing/ blowing a gale outside. One can still dream of residing in tropical climes...


Lime Smoothie Sorbet Bowl
Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free
Makes 1 large bowl


Ingredients:
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

Instructions:
1. Zest lime before cutting (less messy). Set aside.
2. Cut lime in half. Reserve half for another recipe and peel the remaining half.
3. Add spinach, avocado, frozen mango and courgett…

Roast Beetroot, Red Chicory, Kale and Hazelnut Salad

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)


Ingredients:
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

Maple Mustard Dressing (makes approx 1/4 cup):
2 tbsp (30ml) EVOO
1 tbsp (15g) dijon mustard
1 tbsp (15ml) lemon juice
1/2-1 tbsp (10-20g) maple syrup, to taste
pinch sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius, 360 degrees farenheit.
2. Loosely wrap beetroot in foil …

Lemongrass and Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies

These little cuties can be made in two 'flavourways' (if there is such a thing - think colourways in flavour terms!). My favourite is the Lemongrass and Strawberry but Ginger and Marmalade Thumbprint Cookies is a very close runner up. Just substitute Lemongrass with ground Ginger and Strawberry jam with Marmalade.


Feel free to make some homemade jam and the internet is awash with recipes for chia jam, but St Dalfour's jams (high fruit content with no added sugar) are deliciously fruity and take a mere fraction of a second to open a jar!


Lemongrass and Strawberry Thumbprint Cookies
Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Grain-free, Refined Sugar-free
Makes 8

Ingredients:
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…

Caponata

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.


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


Ingredients:
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

Instructions:
1. Heat a med…

Italian Sheet Pan Roast Rainbow Vegetables with Salmon

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


Ingredients:
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
1/2 cup (100g) cooked and peeled chestnuts (I use the vacuum packed ones)
1/2 cup baby plum tomatoes
1/2 lemon cut into 2 wedges
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp…