Saturday, 17 May 2014

Raspberry, Banana, Mint Sorbet

This is such a quick, easy, nutritious and delicious dessert, or in fact a little snack for any time of day! And, this is one that both kids and grown ups are sure to enjoy... nothing but gorgeous fruit and a hint of honey.

Total quick-fire recipe tonight - it's Saturday so no time for idle banter...there is some serious time wasting and movie watching to be done!

Raspberry, Banana, Mint Sorbet

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar

1 cup frozen raspberries
1 banana
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp honey

1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
2. Serve immediately, or store in the freezer.

Note - if you store in the freezer it will become very hard. Before serving, remove from the freezer for about 15 minutes to allow to soften, and you may even like to re-blend it to get the smooth, silky texture back.



Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Secret Spice Chicken, Coleslaw, and Mashed Cauliflower - Clean KFC!

I think I could probably count on one hand the number of times I have eaten KFC in my life - just not really my cup of tea, even before starting on the clean eating journey. Even when I did have it I tended towards the popcorn chicken...something about those little nuggets of chicken that were a bit more me than the greasy bony stringy bits of chicken that seem to be the norm. Then there's that potato and gravy which tastes like....well kind of nothing really! Except for salt....lots and lots of salt! Don't even get me started on the soggy coleslaw! Anyway, right or wrong, it's never really been my kind of meal anyway, but hubby on the other hand used to be quite a fan! KFC is definitely on my hit-list of foods I really really recommend he avoids unless it is the only food left in town and he has no other options!

So, as any good wife would do (hahaha!) I decided to treat him a little by recreating one of his faves in a clean way.

This meal is made with gorgeous moist chicken thighs, coated in 'secret herbs and spices' (not so secret though...I'm about to tell you!), served with delicious fresh coleslaw with a homemade mayonnaise, and cauliflower mash (I also did a little potato mash too for true authenticity).

You can pretty much put together your own coleslaw and mash, depending on how you prefer it. You can click here for a coleslaw recipe if you need a recipe (just use homemade mayonnaise and the juice of half a lemon for your dressing instead of the fish sauce if you prefer), and click here to find the recipe for the homemade mayonnaise.

For your cauliflower mash, click here to find a yummy easy recipe that hubby rated as "better than mashed potato" - and he's a mashed potato man!

So, without further ado, here is the 'secret recipe' for the chicken...

Secret Spice Chicken

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free

6 chicken thighs (I used bone in, but you can use boneless to save cooking time) trimmed of excess fat
3 tbsp tapioca starch
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp garlic flakes or garlic powder
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional, you can omit if you have delicate palettes to feed, or add more if you like a spicy kick)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp peppercorns or ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 210C. Line a baking tray or roasting dish with baking paper (if you like less mess!).
2. In a spice blender or mortar and pestle, combine the fennel seeds, basil, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper. Blend or pound until finely ground.
3. In a large snap lock bag or bowl, add the tapioca starch and 2 tbsp of the spice mix. Shake the bag around, or mix the chicken well in the bowl using your hands, to ensure all of the pieces of chicken are well coated in the mixture. You can do everything up to this step well ahead of time if you prefer, and just keep the chicken in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
4. Place the chicken on the baking tray and, using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, coat each piece in a little oil.
5. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.
6. Serve the chicken with your cauliflower or potato mash and a healthy serving of coleslaw.



Saturday, 10 May 2014

Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate Ganache and Berry Coulis

Ok, so I don't usually like to rate my cooking too much as I am a firm believer that one mans trash is another mans treasure so to speak. Just because I like a recipe it doesn't mean you will, and everyone has different dietary needs and desires.

In saying that, this recipe has made me break that rule! It is SO good!! Obviously this is designed for special occasions but to be honest, other than the chocolate topping which is a bit decadent, this really is made from nothing other than wholesome, nutrient dense foods. 

The whole dessert is free of gluten, grains, dairy, nuts, and soy, and if you leave off the chocolate topping there is no refined sugar either. You could either choose to leave off the chocolate as mentioned, or you could make some sugar free chocolate using coconut oil, cacao butter, cacao power and a little maple syrup or honey to sweeten.

ADDED 27/05/14

I just wanted to slightly edit this post because I think I might have even made the pie just a little better!! I will write the modifications in another colour in the recipe below - The directions are basically the same, I just modified the ingredients a little and made my own chocolate ganache free from refined sugar - enjoy!

Oh, and here are a couple of pics of version 2.0!

Excuse those pesky dots on top -  I accidentally dripped water on it just before the photo was taken...grrrr!! 

Banana Cream Pie with Chocolate Ganache and Berry Coulis

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, option for free of refined sugar


1 cup desiccated coconut 
1 cup sunflower seeds  (1 cup raw almonds)
6 medjool dates (or 6 dried dates, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chia seeds
4 tbsp water

2.5 cups desiccated coconut
5 ripe bananas
1 large tsp vanilla paste
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup frozen raspberries

100g Dark Chocolate (70% or more), broken into small pieces
1 cup coconut milk

Try this topping instead for a refined-sugar free version
4 tbsp cocoa butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1.5 cups cocoa powder
1/5 cup coconut milk
4 tbsp maple syrup or honey

Berry Coulis (recipe from Dr Libby's Real Food Kitchen)
2 cups frozen blueberries (I used raspberries the second time - YUM!)
4 tsps honey
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp psyllium husk (if you have it - recipe works just fine without it)

1. In a food processor or blender combine the ingredients for the base until thick (coconut, sunflower seeds (or almonds), dates, cinnamon, chia seeds, water). Press the mixture into the base of a springform tin. Place in the fridge to set.
2. In the same food processor (rinsed of course!), place the coconut for the filling. Process the coconut until it forms a smooth butter (this will take a few minutes depending on the gruntiness of your blender.
3. Add the bananas, vanilla, and lemon juice to the blender. Blend until a smooth mixture forms. 
4. Pour the banana mixture over the chilled base. Smooth the top and place in the freezer to set. Press the frozen raspberries into the mixture in a pretty pattern (or just chuck 'em on randomly if that's more your style!
5. To make the coulis, put the blueberries (Or raspberries), honey, lime, and psyllium (optional) in a blender or food processor and blend well. If the berries are still straight out of the freezer, it will make more of a sorbet (an awesome dessert in itself!), but if you leave it to sit for 10 minutes or so, the blueberries will soften and it will form more of a sauce. 
5. When you are nearly ready to serve, you can prepare the topping. Over a low heat, warm the coconut milk until warmed but not boiling. Allow the chocolate to melt into the coconut milk until thick. Or for the other topping, melt coconut butter, coconut oil, and maple syrup (or honey) in a bowl over a heat of simmering water. Heat until just melted. Keeping it on the heat, add the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the coconut milk, whisking the whole time. Give it a good stir to make sure the mix is smooth and well combined. 
6. Pour the ganache over the dessert and smooth. This will set fairly quickly because of being frozen, so you will want to work fairly quickly if you want a nice smooth finish.
7. Place back in the fridge for a couple of minutes to set the ganache. Remove from the fridge and cut into slices with a sharp knife
8. Serve topped with a generous serving of berry coulis



Friday, 9 May 2014

Salmon Cakes with Beetroot Salad and Homemade Mayonnaise

Yum, yum, yum! For those poor people who do not like salmon, you don't know what you are missing out on! (hubby is one of them - trying to convert him). The kids and I love our salmon, and not only does it taste great, but it is amazingly good for you. Full of omega 3's and good for almost every part of your body.

This meal makes a great lunch or a fast, simple dinner. It is very easy to prepare, and can be modified to suit depending on what you like and what you have in the fridge. I had it for lunch served with salad greens, grated beetroot, and topped with a big dollop of homemade mayonnaise.

I now refuse to buy mayonnaise as I have yet to find one that isn't made with nasty oils, or contains an array of additives and preservatives...and the best part is it is so easy to make (so long as you have 5 minutes spare, and a bit of patience!). I have gotten into the habit of whipping up a batch at the start of the week so that we have it in the fridge when we need it. I mix it with tuna to put in the kids sandwiches, add a little garlic to make a garlic mayo to go with homemade oven chips, or blob it on a salad for an instant dressing.

But I digress...typical! So anyway, these salmon cakes make a perfect lunch, but you could also add a few more veges to the plate and maybe some homemade potato or kumara chips and make a delicious dinner. They are very versatile - could even be good enough for breakfast!

Salmon Cakes with Beetroot Salad and Homemade Mayonnaise

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free


Salmon Cakes
1 large fresh salmon fillet or 1 large tin of salmon (preferably red)
1 tbsp dill leaf tips (fresh or dried)
1 lime
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove garlic, grated)
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 egg
1 tbsp coconut flour
salt and pepper to taste

Beetroot Salad
1 cup mixed lettuce leaves of your choice
1 tomato, diced
1 medium beetroot, peeled and grated
Juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper

1. If you are using fresh salmon, preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place salmon on the baking tray (be sure to remove the bones - this is easiest just with a pair of tweezers to pluck them out). Sprinkle the dill and garlic over the salmon and squeeze over the juice of half the lime. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes or until just cooked through (the time will vary depending on the size and thickness of your piece of salmon). Remove from the oven and allow to cool. While the salmon is cooking, this will give you plenty of time to make your mayonnaise and prepare your salad.
2. If you are using tinned salmon, or once your fresh salmon has cooled a bit, simply mix the salmon in a medium bowl with all other ingredients (dill, juice of the lime, garlic, onion, celery, mustard, egg, coconut flour, seasoning) and mix well to combine.
3. You can choose how to cook the cake - I baked them in the oven for about 20 minutes until hot and lightly golden. If you prefer, you can pan fry them. Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat and cook until golden on both sides.
4. To make the salad, combine the lettuce, beetroot, and tomato, squeeze the lemon juice over and season with salt and pepper. Toss well to mix.
5. Serve the salmon cakes on top of the salad and pop a big dollop of mayonnaise (see recipe below) on top.

Homemade Mayonnaise:

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free

1 egg
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup extra mild olive oil (this is one time where you don't want to use your beautiful gourmet olive oils - the flavour will be too strong. Go with one of the ones labelled 'extra light' otherwise all you will taste is oil)
juice of half a lemon

1. In a blender, combine the egg, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Blend for about 30 seconds just to combine.
2. Place the oil in a pouring jug. With your blender running on medium speed, slowly pour the oil in. And I mean slowly! Keep just a very thin trickle running in. Anything more than that, and you risk either a very runny mayo, or a split mayo. Neither are ideal! What you want is a thick, creamy consistency that stick to a spoon.
3. Once all the oil is poured in (this will probably take about 4-5 minutes), blend for about 30 seconds longer. Scrape down the sides of the blender to make sure you get a nice even consistency, add the juice of half a lemon, and blend again for about another 30 seconds to incorporate the lemon.
4. Once you've made it, store the mayonnaise in airtight container in the fridge. It will last for at least a week. This recipe makes about 1 cup.



Thursday, 8 May 2014

Simple Meatballs with Cauliflower Mash

This meal is a great one for the whole family - I kept these meatballs very basic in flavour and served them skewered onto a stick. The kids loved them, and by serving them with some cauliflower mash and a beetroot salad and drizzling them with a little sweet chilli sauce they were very adult friendly too!

You can always add whatever you like to the meatball mixture to give it whatever flavours you like - even just adding a tsp or so of chilli powder would give it another dimension - but they are also delicious as they are! By making them very simple in flavour, it allows you to be a little creative if you want to with combinations of sauces and accompaniments.

I served the kids meal with just some steamed vegetables and gluten-free pasta, as my 2 are not huge on anything mashed...not even potato. A cauliflower mash for hubby and myself is a yummy alternative to mashed potato or kumara, and it's totally delicious - and incredibly simple and quick to make.

The beetroot salad was inspired by my gorgeous friend who I saw yesterday - she was telling me about her yummy salad with beetroot that she had made, and it sounded delicious! Had some beetroot in the fridge so grated it and added it to our basic garden salad just grated raw - LOVE that beetroot flavour! If you are not a beetroot lover, just make a classic salad or serve with whatever veges take your fancy. Give the beetroot a go though, if you's So good for you! Beetroot contains a whole swag of super nutrients, and is particularly beneficial for your heart health.

Basic Meatballs with Cauliflower Mash

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free

500g mince of your choice (I used beef, but any kind will work)
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 tsp ground coriander
1 egg
salt and pepper

2 cups cauliflower florets
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp butter, coconut oil, or olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with baking paper
2. Put a pot of water on to boil (enough water to cover your cauliflower)
3. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for the meatballs (mince, garlic, mustard, coriander, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine.
4. Take small scoops of mince mixture (about 1-2 tbsp) and shape into balls. 
5. Thread the meatballs onto skewers (I put 3 on each skewer, but you decide how many you want), place on the baking tray and bake for about 15-20 minutes until meatballs are cooked through
6. While the meatballs are cooking, place the cauliflower in the boiling water. Cook until tender.
7. Drain the water and add the other ingredients into the pan with the cauliflower (mustard, butter or oil, salt, and pepper). Use either a masher or a stick blender to mash or puree the cauliflower until it reaches the consistency you prefer. Some people prefer to have a really smooth puree, others prefer a bit more texture (I'm into a few lumps myself, but hubby is a smooth man!)

Serve the meatball skewers on top of the mash and drizzle with your choice of sauce. Pop a wee side salad on the plate, and dinner is served! 

For the kids, serve the meatballs as they are, or maybe with a wee dollop of tomato sauce (check which one you use - watch out for nasty additives! Some are really high in sugar, and some contain gluten, so be sure to read the ingredients. We use the Ceres Organic one, or the I Love Sauce one which are pretty good). You can also put their favourite veges on the plate and either some pasta or maybe some mashed potato or homemade potato chips on the side. 



Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Fish and Chips/ Fish Stuffed Capsicum

My poor little blog has been sorely neglected over the past month or so, but there has been a lot going on behind the scenes lately! I have made a few big decisions and although that has meant that I have had less time to devote to getting fresh new recipes up for my loyal readers, I am really excited about my big new undertaking.

Not only have school holidays taken up a significant chunk of time in the last couple of weeks (we had some really great family time, and enjoyed a slower pace and just taking each day as it came), but I have made the big decision to return to studying! After 10 years out of study mode (although we are all learning all day, every day really aren't we?), I decided to commit to spending the next year studying Holistic Nutrition. I have been umming and ahhing about this for nearly 6 months now, and last week I decided to just bite the bullet and do it. Scary!!

So, as of now, I am officially a student, and 1 year from now I will be a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (a New York based school). I am really looking forward to the next year, and I am also looking forward to be being able to share some of the things I learn with all of you.

Watch this space!!

So now I guess I had better pop a wee recipe up before you all loose interest! I made these fish and chips about a week ago after hubby had a wonderfully successful fishing trip. I LOVE fish fresh from the ocean - it is so amazingly tender, and has a taste that you just can't find in fish from the supermarket. Actually, it is rather the lack of 'fish' taste that makes it special - any time your fish smells or tastes particularly fishy it is probably a bit old...truly fresh fish just has a wonderful fresh ocean flavour and the fish just melts in your mouth.

My all time favourite way to cook fresh fish is to simply pan fry it with a hint of garlic until lightly golden, but sometimes the kids need something a little more interesting, and we are also so spoilt with my husbands fabulous fishing skills that we get plenty of opportunities to try new ideas.

I decided with this batch of fish to make it 2 ways (based mostly on what needed to be used in the fridge!!). For the kids, I made a simple batter, and pan fried it until golden. For hubby and myself, I took a sweet red capsicum, halved it, and stuffed it with a coconut fish filling. Both options were delicious, and both were served with a fresh green salad and roasted potato and kumara. I also topped the stuffed capsicum off with a beetroot dip...I had beetroot that needed using!!

Keeping it simple for the kids...

Best of both worlds for hubby...

The stuffed capsicum in all it's glory with the beautiful beetroot dip on top

Fish and Chips/ Fish Stuffed Capsicum

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free


Battered Fish
2 large fish fillets (your choice of fish), cut into chunks
3 tbsp tapioca starch
2 eggs
1/2 cup water
salt and pepper
2 tbsp coconut oil for frying

Stuffed Peppers
2 fish fillets, diced
1 red capsicum, cut in half lengthways, seeds and stem removed
1 large handful of fresh coriander, roughly torn
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 clove garlic, grated
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

Beetroot Dip
1 large beetroot, steamed or roasted until soft with 2 clover of garlic
2 tbsp tahini
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper

1. To make the battered fish, combine batter ingredients (tapioca, eggs, water, salt, and pepper) in a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium/high heat. Dip the chunks of fish into the batter, coating well, and place straight into frying pan. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side until golden brown.
2. To make the stuffed capsicum, preheat oven to 180C. Line a baking tray or oven safe baking dish with baking paper. In a small bowl, combine the fish, coriander, coconut milk garlic, lemon and seasoning. Mix well to combine. Stuff the mixture into the prepared half capsicums. Bake for about 15 minutes or until top is just starting to colour, and fish is cooked through.
3. To make the beetroot dip, combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until well combined. Adjust seasoning, and add a little more lemon juice if desired.

Serve the meal with roasted potatoes and/or kumara (either cut into chunks or cut into chips depending on your preference for the night!), a fresh garden salad, and steamed veges for the kids if they are not salad fans.



Thursday, 1 May 2014

Fish and Prawn Curry

That old saying that a curry gets better the next night is so true! This curry was really yummy the first time round, but I reheated it a couple of nights later on 'leftovers night', and it was divine!

Containing fish and prawns, this is a nice option for a meat-free night - but you could make it with any type of meat you prefer, or even add a couple of extra cups of vegetables and make it a vegetarian  option.

 First night - served with cauliflower rice...

Second night - served with carrot and zucchini 'noodles'

Fish and Prawn Curry

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free

4 small snapper fillets (or your choice of white fish), cut into large chunks
300g prawns, shelled
2 tins tomatoes
2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced or grated
2 cm cube of ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 small butternut pumpkin, skin and seeds removed, diced
2 red capsicums, cut into large chunks
2 cups baby kale or spinach
1/2 cp coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsps coconut oil

1. In a large pot or pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, ginger, chilli, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Fry off for a minute or so to release the flavours and aromas. 
2. Add the pumpkin and about a quarter of a cup of water to stop any sticking. Cook for a few minutes until pumpkin starts to soften, then add capsicum, tomatoes, kale, fish, and prawns. Cook until fish is cooked through and prawns are no longer opaque.
3. Add coconut milk, simmer for a minute or so to heat through, season to taste, then remove from heat.
4. Serve with cauliflower rice or steamed basmati rice and garnish with fresh coriander. For an alternative option, serve with carrot and zucchini noodles (take a zucchini and a carrot and use a spiraliser to create noodles, or shred with a vegetable peeler if you don't have a spiraliser).