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Gluten-free Smoked Salmon Blinis

Gluten-free Smoked Salmon Blinis

Afternoon BBQ’s and get-togethers are one of the best things about Summer. But I know how hard it is to find tasty, healthy things you’re proud to feed your guests. When we have people over I love to make a platter of these gluten-free blinis topped with beautiful fresh smoked salmon which are always a hit! They not only looks impressive, but are a delicious healthy alternative to store-bought dips and crackers. 

Blinis are transition Russian pancakes normally made from buckwheat flour and buttermilk. Buckwheat flour contains gluten which has been shown to cause digestive issues for many people. This version is based on my gluten and dairy-free easy-peasy pancake recipe (just adapted to be savoury), so you’ll need a handful of ingredients, a few herbs and seasonings and you’re ready to rock-in-roll.
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Dairy-free Paleo Cream Cheese

One of my favourite foods is cheese, and while I don’t eat much of it these days, I still crave cream cheese every now and then – slathered on vegetables, in a wrap, as a healthy alternative to béchamel in a vegetable lasagna or on my yummy smoked salmon bilinis.

While it’s pretty easy to find convenient dairy-free alternatives to milk, cheese alternatives are a little harder to find in the supermarket. And if you do spot some, you’ll probably fall over when you see the price!

This dairy-free and paleo-friendly cashew cream cheese is the perfect way to still enjoy soft cheese if you can’t (or prefer not to) consume dairy. The texture and taste of this is pretty close to the real thing, it’s easy to make and cost effective to boot! Read more

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Roasted Pumpkin + Rocket Salad

roasted pumpkin and rocket salad

After allowing a bit more sugar into my diet over the holidays, I have been feeling tired and my skin has flared up again. I struggle with mild dermatitis and psoriasis, and literally a day or two after eating sugar I break out with red, inflamed patches on my chest and face. So.. this past week or so I’ve been making sure my diet is clean again, I’ve removed any foods I know cause me issues and I’m introducing foods that will support my body to detoxify and my skin to improve.

Greens are excellent for this, and salads are the perfect way to get more greens into your diet during Summer. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my fair share of salads over the years and the usual lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad just doesn’t cut it anymore! So, in a attempt to create a variation that was delicious, easy and also supported my body to detoxify (perfect after the post-Christmas indulgence), this salad was created.

It can literally be thrown together in minutes, the most time consuming part is roasting the pumpkin, but I just throw it in the oven, put on the timer and go about my day until it’s ready. Read more

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Gluten-Free Pistachio + Orange Shortbread Cookies

gluten free pistachio orange shortbread

Every year my family goes away for a week at Christmas. It’s always been a week of indulgence filled with chocolates, shortbread biscuits, more chocolates, fruit mince pies, more chocolates, leftover dessert.. you get the idea. For a few years I’d indulge too and write it off as a once-a-year binge.

But the more I learnt about health and how what we eat effects how we feel, the more I realised that having a full-on blowout that left me feeling awful for days wasn’t really how I wanted to spend the holidays. And so over the years I’ve added in more and more healthy substitutions and alternatives to the menu (without anyone really noticing I might add). This year I will be aiming to have a mostly* clean Christmas. *full disclosure: there’s no doubt some champagne + trifle will be enjoyed!

Once I decided that I would start taking control of every food-related situation I found myself in, this became SO much easier to do. Rather than the situation happening to me and having to ‘just go along with it’ – the xmas party, the family BBQ, the holiday, the friend’s birthday bash etc – I would find ways to give myself choices in the situation and gain back some control. Sure, I could indulge in some birthday cake if I wanted to, but I also had a healthy alternative to eat instead. Or I’d eat beforehand so I wouldn’t be starving and have no choice but to dive into the fried food to avoid passing out (or even worse….getting hungry in public). Or I’d bring along a plate of something that I could eat (which is always appreciated by the host).

So, with this approach, this year I’m taking a lot of my own food on our family holiday so I feel like I have a choice and I don’t feel bad for saying no to what everyone else is eating (if I’d prefer not to eat it). Of course I hate missing out on delicious treats as much as the next person, which is why I have been playing around with a healthy gluten free shortbread cookie recipe which I will bake and take along to enjoy when the mince-pies and shortbread come out. Read more

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Fig + Olive Flax Crackers

olive flax crackers

These fig and olive flax crackers would be a perfect addition to your xmas party or a healthy accompaniment to any snack table. They’re gluten and wheat-free and loaded with fibre to fill you up and help support your body’s natural detoxification system.

In creating these delicious crackers, I realised something… I love making food from scratch! There’s something so rewarding about figuring out ways to make healthy home-made alternatives to those things I used to buy off the supermarket shelves… Things filled with artificial chemicals, preservatives, additives, flavours and nutrition-less calories, that caused me to have a whole host of mental and physical health issues.

I certainly didn’t always have this joy for getting creative in the kitchen. In fact I used to HATE cooking!! I didn’t know what I was doing half the time, and I felt like I was useless at it. I’d find it stressful, a big pain in the butt and the last thing I felt like doing when I got home after a long day at work.

What changed for me though, was when I changed to eating a whole-foods diet I started to really value where my food came from and what it did for my body. I saw food as a way to nourish it and give it the nutrients it requires to function well. I started to understand that things out of boxes gave me less of those vital nutrients and a whole lot of things that weren’t even food in most cases! Read more

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Sugar Free Xmas Brownies

sugar free xmas brownies

These brownies are probably my all-time favourite treat! And they are so much healthier than the original that I don’t feel the slightest bit guilty devouring a big slice!

The sweetness comes from the natural sugars in roasted sweet potato and honey – nothing processed – and it’s completely gluten-free as well. Win-win!

I’ve tweaked my original recipe to give it a Christmas vibe, as this would be the perfect healthy dessert to indulge in over the festive season. If you’d like some other ideas for a healthier Christmas this year, you can check out my 16 Ways to Have a Healthier December post.

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Carrot, Ginger + Apple Soup

carrot and ginger soup

While soups are traditionally associated with Winter, I think they’re the perfect meal to have when you want to give your digestive system a break every now and then.

Spring + Summer is BBQ season, and while I try to eat a lot of fish, sometimes I find myself eating more red meat than I’d like. After a couple of days of heavy meals I usually start to crave a light dinner or lunch – and if I’ve had my fair share of salads, a bowl of soup is my go-to. If the weather’s warm outside, then I’ll have it cold or at room temperature. 

This  carrot, ginger + apple soup is lovely and sweet and totally fits the bill. It’s filling on it’s own, however I like to add some flaxseed to mine to boost the protein and fibre content (making it even better for helping my body detox naturally). Plus the bright and vibrant colour makes you just want to jump in and eat it! Read more

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Choc-Berry Layered Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are a staple in my kitchen, and for good reason. They are packed with so much nutrition that helps sustain energy, boost digestion and detoxify the body. Plus they’re really versatile, and can be eaten soaked (so they become gel-like) in puddings, desserts and smoothies, or as they are to add crunch to salads, sprinkled over chicken or fish, in baked goods or even on a bowl of fresh fruit.

This dessert or breakfast (or let’s face it – mid afternoon snack) is packed with so much nourishment for your body, quite frankly you can have it any damn time you please! The sweetness in the recipe comes purely from berries and bee pollen – no sugar added, and the coconut milk and flakes are full of healthy fats that will keep you full and satisfied longer. Not to mention the protein and fibre packed into those chia seeds!
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Coconut + Chilli Kale Chips

Kale is by far one of my favourite vegetables. It’s so versatile that I’ll usually incorporate it into at least one meal a day. Whether it’s in a green smoothie, sauteed in coconut oil and served alongside poached eggs, chopped up in a quinoa salad or all on its own as a yummy and healthy afternoon snack (in chip form).

It’s one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet so eating more kale is a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet.

According to the USDA, a single cup of raw kale contains:

  • Vitamin K: 684% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
  • Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA
  • Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA
  • Manganese: 26% of the RDA
  • Copper: 10% of the RDA
  • Calcium: 9% of the RDA Read more
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Sweet Potato Pasta with Bolognese

Sweet_Potato_Pasta_Recipe

If you’re a pasta lover looking for a tasty gluten-free substitute then this sweet potato pasta recipe is for you. 

Before I bought my first spiralizer a year or so ago, I’d gone without spaghetti for nearly 2 years! Pasta was one of my favourite meals as a kid, and as a uni student pasta bake was without fail, on the menu a couple of times a week. But when I went gluten and grain-free 3 or so years ago, pasta was no more (sad face).

And while I felt fabulous for it, it didn’t stop the cravings for a good lasagna or spag bol every now and then. But luckily the invention of these amazing spiralizing machines has meant that I can enjoy them using vegetable noodles – without having to sacrifice my clean eating principles (happy face)!

I’ve experimented with lots of vegetables in this dish (and we’ve had lots of fun coming up with kooky names for all of them!) but I find sweet potato pasta or noodles (aka swoodles) has a texture and weight that most resembles pasta. After a few mouthfuls you don’t even notice that you’re not chowing down on a mouthful of linguine!

Spiralizers are really versatile, and you’d be surprised what vegetables you can eat this way. Ribbons of things like carrot, beetroot and cucumber can be used to make a multitude of salads, sweet potatoes can also make curly fries or hash browns and carrot and zucchini are a delicious substitution in a veggie noodle pad thai. They’re a little bit of an investment, but you’ll definitely be able to use it for more than the occasional ‘pasta’ meal.

It does pay to invest in a good spiralizer that will stay sharp though – particularly if you Read more

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Easy-peasy gluten + dairy free pancake recipe

easy-pancakes-recipe

Growing up, pancakes were reserved for special occasions. Birthdays, Mother’s Day, Anniversaries, the occasional long weekend.

As I got older Valentines Day was added to the mix, but I never had pancakes on just any old Sunday. Until I discovered an amazing, super easy, healthy and tasty recipe from my friend at My Innate Vitality that is! I’ve put my spin on it, and it’s been on regular rotation at our place to rave reviews for months, and no one has ever even noticed it’s a healthy alternative!

This batter is really versatile, so go ahead and get creative with the toppings/flavourings to keep it interesting. A chocolate flavoured version would be delicious by simply adding cacao powder, or you could try it topped with nut butter and banana, maple syrup or raw honey or even stewed apple and cinnamon. The options are endless! It can also be used for savoury blini’s (I’ll be posting the recipe for these soon) by adding lemon juice and dill.

Why it’s good for you:

  • Eggs are known as a great source of ‘complete protein’ because they contain a complete range of amino acids (which are the building blocks of protein). These are the primary components of our muscles, hair, nails, skin,eyes, and internal organs. They also help maintain a healthy immune system, sustain muscle mass, give cells their structure, boost metabolism and keep you fuller for longer. 
  • Banana’s are a low GI food which means they take longer to metabolise, keeping you fuller longer as well as stabilising your blood sugar – meaning less cravings and energy crashes. Green or unripe bananas in particular are good for overall digestive health as they are high in resistant starch which provides food for good bacteria in the lower digestive tract.

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Healthy banana bread with pear

Healthy-Banana-Bread-with Pear

If you’re after a healthy Sunday afternoon treat, look no further than this quick, easy and totally delicious healthy banana bread with pear! It’s both gluten and dairy-free and full of fibre and good omega 3 fats.

In the spirit of seasonal eating, I wanted to include some seasonal fruit in this healthy banana bread recipe and I’m glad I did! Pears are out in abundance at the moment, and for this recipe I used beautiful golden Beurre bosc pears which work really well in desserts. 

Using flaxseed is a great way to naturally replace gluten-containing grains which can be inflammatory to the body, and the combination of coconut flour, flax AND pear makes this a fibre packed delight!

Why it’s good for you:

  • Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 which maintains the healthy functioning of the nervous system and manganese which is important for everyday skin health and blood sugar regulation. 
  • Pears are high in fiber to maintain Read more