My husband and I decided to have dinner with just the two of us the other day while boys were fast asleep. I just wanted to relax and enjoy some adult conversation with my husband. So, naturally I took advantage of our brief vacation from parenthood to make a more adult meal that we could both enjoy.

This hearty recipe is so rich and satisfying. Fennel is a joy to roast- the flavours intensify as the surface caramelizes, giving it a rich, almost meat-like texture and flavour. To jazz up my sweet potato puree (and give it a little extra nutrition!), I added red pepper, hemp seeds, Brazil nuts and paprika.

When preparing this dish, it’s important to think about timing- make sure that you’re well organized so that everything comes together at the right time. I recommend roasting the sweet potato at the same time as the fennel- it takes roughly the same time to cook, and the fennel will stay warm under the foil while you finish making the puree.

So, that being said, find someone special to enjoy this wholesome dinner with, light some candles, and enjoy! And remember, eat well to live well!

 

 

 

ROASTED FENNEL WITH SWEET POTATO & RED PEPPER PURÉE, LENTILS.
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Servings: 2 People
Ingredients
  • 1 large Fennel bulb (cleaned and cut in half)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil for roasting
  • 1 medium size sweet potato
  • ½ red pepper
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp Himalayan pink salt
  • a small handful of Brazil nuts
  • 2 tsp hemp seeds
  • 1 cup lentils
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 185C (370F)


    2. Drizzle the fennel with coconut oil and salt, and cover with foil. Bake at 185C for 40 minutes.


    3. Meanwhile, cook lentils according to package instructions. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.


    4. Bake sweet potato until soft, approximately 40 minutes. In the last 20 minutes of baking, add the red pepper and roast until soft, approximately 20 minutes longer.


    5 .Combine the softened sweet potato, red pepper, pink salt, smoked paprika, hemp seeds and Brazil nuts in a blender, and puree until smooth.


    6. To plate, place one half of the fennel bulb onto each plate. Add the sweet potato puree and lentils. Enjoy!


The warmer weather is quickly arriving, so I decided to come up with a sweet treat to feed my boys (and enjoy myself!). These cranberry popsicles are so creamy and sweet, but without any of the processed sugars, artificial colours and preservatives that you find in packaged products.

I love ice cream! For me, it’s all that nostalgia of being a little girl again- that sweet, cold refreshing feeling as I take my first bite, memories of childhood just come flooding back! And let’s get real, who DOESN’T have fond memories attached to summer days eating ice cream? My biggest problem with ice cream, besides all the sugar, is the fat-laden dairy that is usually packed into it. While I do love the smooth creaminess of a dairy-filled iced treat, I don’t love the use of conventional cream. My solution was to use coconut cream. It provides the same mouthfeel we’ve come to expect from ice cream, but without all the extra calories and saturated fats. While I’ve chosen to use cranberries this time because I love the tart flavour and nutritional content, this recipe would be just as delicious with any fruit substituted in- try blueberries, raspberries, peaches, or even fresh lemon juice for a fun twist on this recipe!

So, take out your sunscreen and your favourite pair of sunglasses, hit the beach, and enjoy this refreshing treat! Eat well to live well!

 

CRANBERRY ICE CREAM
Prep Time
3 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
8 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Servings: 6 People
Ingredients
  • 300g cranberries, frozen
  • 1 cup agave Syrup
  • 250 g coconut cream
Instructions
  1. Blend coconut cream, agave syrup and frozen cranberries in powerful blender 

    Place the mixture in ice cream forms and freeze for 2-4 hours. 

Recipe Notes

For this recipe I use very powerful blander Vitamix

If you have children, you probably understand how hard it is to come up with fun snacks for them on a regular basis. Kids can be picky, and it can be hard to balance nutrition and flavour in a way that they’ll enjoy. That’s why I love these rice bars! They’re sweet, crunchy, and (best of all!) really healthy!

Date syrup can be found at any health food store or high end market. It’s an excellent pantry staple to have on hand, especially because it’s an easy substitute for sugar in recipes. While traditional rice krispie treats (the inspiration for this recipe!) contain marshmallow- which is essentially just concentrated sugar- I decided to keep my recipe clean by using nut butter to hold the rice puffs and syrup together. You can use any nut butter you like best, but I’m particularly fond of almond butter. The soft, buttery flavour works well with the nutty rice puffs, and it contains a relatively high amount of protein and low amount of fat, compared to other nut butters.

These treats will last for up to a week if stored in an airtight container, but you’ll probably devour them before then! I like to make big batches, so that the boys can have them during the week when they get home from school. I hope you enjoy this easy, fun recipe! And remember- eat well to live well!

 

BROWN RICE PUFFS BARS
Prep Time
4 mins
Cook Time
8 mins
Total Time
12 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 80 g gluten free brown rice puffs
  • 60 ml yacon Syrup or Date Syrup
  • 80 g nut Butter ( I use Almond butter)
Instructions
  1. 1. Melt the nut butter and syrup in a pan over low heat. Mix in the rice puffs.


    2. Transfer the mixture to a tin lined with parchment, and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. Cut into squares, and store in an airtight container.


Recipe Notes

For this recipe I use Big Oz rice puffs brand 

Cashews are excellent for pureeing into cheeses. They are fairly flavour-neutral, and have a great mouthfeel. The addition of lemon juice and nutritional yeast provide the tangy, salty, umami flavours that are often lost in translation in vegan cheeses. I guarantee, you won’t even miss your traditional cheese log!
Seaweed is another excellent flavour intensifier, but has the added benefit of being an incredibly beneficial superfood. Besides being full of vitamins A, C, E as well as several essential minerals, it is SO versatile and easy to use! Dulse doesn’t need to be soaked, making it the most convenient type of seaweed on the market, and it has a bright, vibrant colour that makes any food more appetizing! I decided to use it as a garnish, to add a bit more interest and flavour to my cheese, but it’s also great in salads, or on its own as a snack!

Next time you have company coming, whip up some of this cashew cheese, break out the veggie sticks and gluten free crackers, and enjoy! Eat well and live well!

CASHEW CHEESE WITH SEAWEED DULSE INGREDIENTS
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Course: Snack
Ingredients
  • 125 g cashew nuts (soaked in water)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbs nutritional Yeast
  • pepper, to taste
  • seaweed dulse (for garnish)
Instructions
  1. 1. Soak Cashew nuts in water for at least 2 hours.


    2. In a food processor or blender, combine nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and pepper.


    3. Form the mixture into a log, and cover with Seaweed Dulse. Rest the cheese in the fridge for at least 40 minutes before slicing.


There’s nothing like a nice, warm cup of soup on a cool rainy day. I have a deep love of Asian food- especially miso soup! I love how the balance of ingredients come together to make something so special, while keeping fat content low compared to Western soups.

I love using seaweed because of its incredible nutritional properties, and this recipe is the perfect excuse to use it, especially since it’s such a commonly found ingredient in miso soup. For this recipe, I decided to use dried wakame, as it has a light, smooth texture and flavour. Feel free to use any dried seaweed you like though.

In this recipe, I also chose to add chickpeas. While chickpeas aren’t commonly found in miso soup, I find they make a welcome addition to the soup by adding substance and extra protein. Make sure the chickpeas have soaked for at least 10 hours, so that they have the chance to cook fully before they’re added to the soup. Because the soup comes together so quickly, the chickpeas won’t have time to finish cooking when in the broth, so make sure that they’re perfectly done before adding them to the miso broth. Most chickpea packages come with cooking directions, but my general rule of thumb is to boil 1 cup of peas in 3 cups of water for half an hour or so.

I hope you enjoy my version of miso soup! It’s so healthy, warm and delicious, I guarantee it’ll be your new go-to recipe when you need a quick rainy day meal! Enjoy, and remember- eat well to live well!

 

 

CHICKPEAS MISO SOUP
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Course: Soup
Servings: 4 People
Ingredients
  • 1 pre cooked chickpeas
  • Miso bouillon
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2-3 shiitake mushrooms
  • asparagus
  • 50 g leaves dried seaweed
  • Handful of pea shoots (for garnish)
Instructions
  1. 1. Dissolve miso bouillon in hot water. Add the chickpeas to the dissolved bouillon and cook it for approximately 10 minutes with the mushrooms and asparagus. Taste the broth, and add the soy sauce until the desired salt level is achieved (roughly one tsp does it for me, but feel free to add more!)


    2. Add pre cooked chickpeas to soup 


    3. Add the dried seaweed last.


    5. Garnish with pea shoots. Serve immediately.


I love baking, but working with vegan and gluten free ingredients took some adjusting. Although there are many more options now than ever before, most recipes are written for conventional baking, which can be difficult if you’re trying to cut out all the usual suspects such as eggs, flour, butter, and sugar. That being said, it’s not impossible to make delicious, vegan and gluten free baked goods, it just takes a bit of knowledge and the right ingredients.

If you haven’t tried Teff flour, you have been missing out! Teff is a fine grain that is native to Ethiopia, and boasts a wealth of nutritional value. Teff is rich in amino acids, as well as protein, calcium and iron, and is completely gluten free! It is so easy to use, and can be treated just like regular white flour in baking.  I used a blend of teff flour and almond flour, just to smooth out my dough.

Once you’ve made the dough, the whole thing comes together fairly quickly. I like to make my dough in advance and let it rest, so that I have lots of time to prepare my filling. If you’re stretched for time, make the dough up to 24 hours in advance, and keep it wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator.

This quiche is excellent served hot or cold, and goes well with a salad for a nice lunch option. If kept wrapped, it can be kept in the fridge for up to two days, making it an easy work or school lunch for the next day. I hope you enjoy my healthy twist on a French classic! Eat well to live well!

ARTICHOKE & TEFF QUICHE
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Servings: 5 People
Ingredients
  • For crust:
  • 1 cup teff flour
  • ¼ cup almond flour (or rice)
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 tbs corn flour
  • 140 ml coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • For the artichoke-spinach filling:
  • 280 g cooked tinned artichokes
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • handful spinach
  • 3-5 mushrooms (sliced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • parsley leaves, torn
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • Himalayan pink salt and white pepper to taste
  • 120 g any hard vegan cheese
  • 1 tbs Hemp seeds
  • 2 tbs nutritional Yeast
  • 3 tbs milled Flaxseeds
  • ½ cup oat cream
  • 1 cup oat milk
Instructions
  1. 1. Start by making the crust- blend the teff flour, almond flour and cornstarch together with a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add the coconut oil, and slowly add enough cold water to form a firm dough. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.


    2. Roll out the pastry onto a lightly floured surface (use a bit more teff or almond flour for dusting). Using a rolling pin, roll the dough evenly until it is roughly 1 cm thick. Gently drape the dough onto a greased quiche pan, and prick the dough evenly with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking (this is called docking, it prevents the crust from puffing later!) Let the dough rest for another 20 minutes.


    3. Preheat oven to 185C (370F)


    4 .Once the quiche dough has rested, place a baking paper into the base of the crust, fill with baking beads, and bake for 15 minutes. Let the quiche cool slightly and remove the beads by lifting the paper- be careful, as the beads may still be hot!


    5. Next, make the filling- cook the mushrooms, garlic and spinach in coconut oil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and allow to cool before mixing in the rest of the ingredients.


    6. Fill the crust base with the filling mixture, and return to the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes longer, until warm and bubbly. Allow to cool for another 5-10 minutes before serving.


I’ll admit it, I have a bit of a sweet tooth! So whenever I get a craving for something sweet and crunchy, I whip up a batch of these biscuits. They’re the perfect healthy snack to add to my childrens’ lunch boxes, and I keep one or two aside just for me. Tigernuts flour is naturally sweet, making it a great gluten free flour to use in sweet baked goods. You can typically find tigernuts flour in a health food store or high end grocery shop, but it can also be found online as a last resort. Of course, to add a bit of extra sweetness, I chose to add yacon syrup (which can be substituted with agave nectar). Ground turmeric adds a light golden colour to the finished product, and also enhances the biscuits’ nutritional value. Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory, so it can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis, amongst other diseases. It has a mild flavour, despite the fact that it’s commonly used in curries, meaning it’s an easy ingredient to sneak into most foods.

This whole recipe comes together in less than an hour (including chill time!), which means you can have delicious, healthy biscuits whenever you like. They can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week, making them a great option for snacks on the go. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Eat well to live well!

 

 

TIGERNUTS-OAT BISCUITS WITH TURMERIC
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 cup tigernuts flour
  • 3 tbs gluten Free Oats
  • ¾ cup corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 4 tbs Yacon syrup (or Agave)
  • 1 tsp Agar Agar (vegan gelatin powder)
Instructions
  1. 1. Combine the dry ingredients first, and then add the coconut oil, agave nectar and agar agar powder to make a dough.


    2. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.


    3. Preheat oven to 155C (310F)


    4. Shape the dough into small rounds, and lay evenly onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, and allow to cool fully before serving.


I was craving chocolate the other day, so I came up with this muffin recipe using carob and avocado to satisfy my sweet tooth. These muffins are moist, chocolatey, and sweet, but are completely gluten free, low in sugar and high in fiber and antioxidants.

This is an excellent recipe if you’re looking for something to do with an overly ripe avocado. Avocado naturally plays on chocolate flavours, and is an excellent substitute for other fats, such as butter, in baked goods. To mimic the flavour of chocolate, I used carob. Carob is available in chips, powder and liquid- for this recipe, I used carob powder in the batter, and garnished the muffins with grated carob from a bar. It is widely available in all forms in health food stores and high end grocery shops. The reason I prefer carob to chocolate is simply because it has a higher nutritional value; it has quite a bit of fiber, antioxidants and is very low in fat and sugar despite its natural sweetness.

The best part about these muffins is that I don’t feel guilty about feeding them to my boys for breakfast. I’ve never understood why so many breakfast foods for kids contain chocolate, considering the high levels of sugar and fat going into their young bodies first thing in the morning, but it’s a fact that most kids do like chocolate for breakfast, so I might as well make them happy while knowing they’re eating something healthy! Whether you’re eating these little muffins first thing in the morning, or in the middle of the afternoon as a sweet treat, this is the perfect chocolate indulgence. Eat well to live well!

 

AVOCADO & CAROB MUFFINS
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 small avocado
  • 4 tbs Carob powder
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 4 tbs coconut nectar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • ½ cup coconut oil (melted)
Instructions
  1. 1. In a blender, puree avocado, carob powder and almond milk until smooth.


    2. Transfer the pureed mixture to a bowl, and combine with the rest of the ingredients.


    3. Grease a muffin tin with coconut oil, and preheat oven to 185C (365F)


    4. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins, and bake for 20 minutes.


    5. To test for doneness, stick a toothpick into the center of a muffin. If the toothpick comes out clean, the muffins are done. If the muffins need more time, continue baking for another 10 minutes, and test again at 10 minute intervals until done.


    6. Allow the muffins to cool slightly, and garnish with grated carob.


As a busy mum, weeknight meals can be a challenge sometimes. It can be difficult to continuously come up with new, healthy recipes that please everyone at the table. My boys love noodles, so I have been figuring out new ways to use different types of noodles in our dinnertime routine. I really like Japanese noodles right now, especially buckwheat noodles (also called Soba noodles), because they’re naturally gluten free, cook quickly, and have a much higher nutritional value than other noodles.

Goji berries are really trending right now, and with good reason. Aside from being absolutely delicious, they are high in antioxidants, improve immune function and promote skin and eye health. I really like them in this recipe, because they add a kick of colour and sweetness as well. Make sure to soak your goji berries for at least an hour before using them in the recipe, so that they have time to fully rehydrate.

I’ve made this recipe for 5 to 6 people, because that’s what was needed to feed my family. You could easily scale this recipe up or down, depending on your own needs. A word of caution, though- buckwheat noodles are best eaten right away, so don’t make this recipe in bulk thinking that you can save it for lunches the next day, because it won’t be as good.

This has quickly become one of my family’s favourite weeknight meals, and I hope your family will enjoy it as much as we do! As always, remember- eat well to live well!

 

BUCKWHEAT NOODLES WITH CAULIFLOWER & GOJI BERRIES.
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
14 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6 People
Ingredients
  • 250 g buckwheat noodles (soba)
  • 1 large Cauliflower (cut into small florets)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Handful of Goji berries
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Soy Sauce, to taste
  • Parsley leaves, torn
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • Pinch of seaweed dulse
Instructions
  1. 1. In a large wok, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Once the coconut oil has turned shiny, add the garlic and soaked goji berries.


    2. In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to the boil. Add the noodles, and cook for 4-6 minutes. Strain the noodles and rinse under cold water.


    3. Add the cauliflower and cooked noodles to the wok with the garlic and goji berries, and saute for 2 minutes, making sure that everything is mixed well together. Season the noodles with soy sauce.


    4. To plate, lay an even portion into individual bowls, and garnish with parsley, seaweed dulse and pink Himalayan salt.


Beetroot muffins

I think beets may be one of the most underrated vegetables around. They’re absolutely lovely, grow in almost any condition throughout most of the year, and are bursting with nutritional benefits. In the olden days, beets were used quite a bit as a natural sweetener, which just makes sense, considering their high sweetness content. That’s why I decided to use them in this muffin recipe.

I’m constantly trying to come up with new, healthy recipes to keep my family interested in a vegan, gluten free lifestyle. Afterall, what is the point in making healthy food if nobody wants to eat it? My family can sometimes be difficult, just because we’re a fairly large family and everyone has slightly different preferences. The good news is, we all love muffins, and these muffins have the approval of the entire household!

I used quinoa flour because it adds extra protein to my muffins, which means we’ll all have a bit more energy in the morning to keep us going all day! To add a light, springy texture, I also used regular white gluten free flour- both of these flours are easily found at any health food store or high end grocery. Although the beets carry a natural sweetness on their own, I also added some agave syrup, just to give the muffins a little more sweetness and to add moisture.

You can use any type of nut milk in this recipe, but I find that the buttery sweetness of cashew milk really plays well with the earthy flavour of the beets. Unlike cow’s milk, cashew milk has no naturally occurring sugars, so it won’t cause your blood sugar level to spike. It also contains Vitamin K, and is completely free of cholesterol and saturated fats.

Conventional muffins are typically full of fat and sugar, which is a shame, considering they’re commonly touted as a “healthy” breakfast or snack option. That’s why I love these muffins so much- they have all the convenience of a regular muffin (I’m always thinking of what I can put in my boys’ lunch boxes), they taste great, and they’re full of nutritionally rich ingredients while omitting all the excess fat, calories, carbs and sugar.

So, next time you’re in the mood for a sweet treat, whip up a batch of these (and tell me what you think in the comments below!). And always remember, eat well to live well!

BEETROOT MUFFINS
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Servings: 4 People
Ingredients
  • 4 medium size beetroots, peeled and halved
  • ½ cup Quinoa flour
  • 1 ½ cup White Gluten Free Flour
  • ½ cup Agave syrup
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ cup Coconut oil melted
  • ½ cup Cashew milk
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 handful of Pecan nuts
  • 3 tsp of Beetroot powder (optional)
Instructions
  1. 1. Cook beetroots in boiling water until soft. Once cooked blend till smooth.


    2. Mix all ingredients with beetroot purée, then add the chopped Pecan nuts .


    3. Preheat oven to 185C (370F)


    4. Grease the moulds with coconut oil before you pour the batter in. Bake for 20-25 min at 185 C.


    5. To test doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of one of the muffins. If it comes out clean, the muffins are ready. If they need more time, continue to cook at 10 minute intervals until done.