Remember those coconut energy balls I recently made? Well, I decided I wanted to play around with other fun flavour combinations that would give me the same boost, but keep me interested with new ingredients and flavours.

I came up with these tigernut and plum energy balls, and I’m so happy I did! I like to take a little bite after a workout to restore some of my lost electrolytes, and I usually eat one mid-morning to get me through the day.

I love tigernuts! They’re naturally sweet, and so nutritionally dense. It’s a wonder they haven’t gained in popularity much more. They’re full of fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium and protein. They help regulate blood sugar, meaning you’re less susceptible to crashing later in the day too.

Dates are another one of my favourite things! They are very sweet, so you only need to add a few to really reap the benefits of using them in place of sugar. Almond butter is not only an excellent binder in this recipe, but it’s full of protein and amino fatty acids, so it’s perfect for your muscles and giving long-term energy that will last the entire day!

I chose to use plum powder in this recipe, which you can find at any health food store or high end grocery. Make sure it’s real, all-natural fruit powder- there are a lot of sugar-laden imitators out there, so you need to be vigilant! Any fruit powder will do- acai would be a great alternative, and has its own excellent benefits. Raspberry powder is full of beneficial ketones, and also gives a sweet, tart flavour. Just by switching the powder, you can completely change the entire flavour of these balls, so feel free to play around!

The next time you’re looking for a quick, satisfying energy boost, try making a batch of these tigernut energy balls! Eat well to live well!

Tigernut Energy Balls
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Course: Dessert, Snack
Ingredients
  • 5 handful of Tigernuts
  • 5 Dates
  • 1 tbsp Almond butter
  • 2 tbsp Plum or Raspberry powder (or Acai powder)
Instructions
  1. 1. Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until smooth.


    2. Using your hands, roll the mixture into 5-8 balls. 


I love buckwheat! If you’ve been following my blog for a little while now, you’ll know I use it quite a bit. That’s because it’s incredibly versatile, has a great texture and a nutty flavour, and is full of nutritional value. Despite its name, buckwheat isn’t a grain at all- it’s actually a seed. It’s completely gluten free, and is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. By lightly roasting the buckwheat before boiling it, you get the full effect of its nutty, earthy flavours.

 

This tartare is the perfect appetizer to start a meal, but also can be as a main. Because of the layers, it has so much texture and depth- I guarantee that no one will miss the meat! Vegan tartares have actually gained in popularity a lot lately, and for exactly that reason- it’s a familiar food, created in a more modern, healthy, interesting way.

 

If you’re pressed for time, try making the aubergine-tomato mixture ahead of time. It can be made up to a day in advance and kept in an airtight container in the fridge. The buckwheat can also be made up to a day in advance, as long as it’s kept well-sealed so it doesn’t dry out (there’s nothing worse than dry buckwheat pieces!) Serve this yummy tartare with a mixture of GF crackers, and veggie slices, such as cucumber, carrots, and endives. Your guests will love it, and you’ll love that it’s full of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants! Eat well to live well!

 

Buckwheat-Aubergine Tartare
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Course: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • 1 cup roasted Buckwheat ( cook in water )
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • 2 aubergines, halved
  • 2 tomatoes, halved
  • cumin
  • rapseed oil
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
For Guacamole:
  • 1/2 fresh tomato
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 avocado
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • seaweed dulse (optional)
  • 1 tsp Hemp seeds
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 185 C (370F)


    2. Cut aubergines, tomatoes and garlic in half. Brush with rapseed oil, season with salt , cook in oven for 20-25 min at 185C. Once cooked, put all ingredients into a food processor, mix until smooth, add cumin. 


As a busy mum, I need all the energy I can get! Whether you’ve had a challenging day at work, a tough workout, or have just been chasing around your kids all day, we all need a little energy boost from time to time.

That’s why I love these simple little coconut balls. They taste delicious, and are perfectly portioned to give you a sweet little hit of energy when the 3pm slump hits. Best of all, they can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks, and take less than 20 minutes to put together!

I love coconut. It’s like nature’s candy- sweet, with that perfect mouthfeel! Coconuts are also a great source of fiber, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals! They’re rich in potassium, which we need to keep our brain running at full capacity, and are also rich in calcium and magnesium. These energy balls make a GREAT post-workout treat, and quickly restore all the electrolytes lost while exercising.

I keep a few of these on hand, and eat either half or a full one when my energy is running low. I perk right back up, and am able to keep up with my busy family for the rest of the day. Eat well to live well!  

Coconut Energy Balls
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 


Course: Snack
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp white almond butter
  • 50 g desiccated coconut
  • 30 g cream coconut block, melted
  • 3 tbsp almond milk
Instructions
  1. 1. In a saucepan over low heat, stir the coconut block and almond butter until smooth.


    2. Mix in the milk and dessicated coconut.


    3. Allow the mixture to cool until you’re able to handle it. Using your hands, roll the mixture into 5-8 balls. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. 


Some nights, you need a nice, warm, filling meal. That’s why I came up with a yummy, veg-forward vegan lasagna for just such a night! The nice thing about this lasagna is it removes all the bad stuff- the fatty cheese and meat, the starchy pasta. This is pure flavour and nutrition, in a convenient single-serving! While you certainly can buy gluten-free pasta- the market is full of GF pasta options if that’s your thing- I decided to use whole cauliflower medallions to mimic the flavour with a fraction of the calories.

As all good cooks know, a good beschamel sauce is a necessity! It is smooth, creamy, and rounds out the flavours of the garlic-filled tomato sauce. I chose to mimic a beschamel by using mashed potatoes, and added some nutritional yeast to make it taste more like that familiar cheese taste that we all love! While the cashew milk in the potatoes is completely optional, I find that it rounds out the flavours and smooths out the texture, to give the overall dish a bit more oomph! Besides, cashew milk is full of vitamins E and K, and has no naturally occurring sugars like regular cow’s milk, so it won’t cause your blood sugar to spike.

If you’re short on time, the aubergines, garlic and tomatoes can be roasted and pureed up to a day in advance, and reheated in a saucepan before adding to the baking dishes. This meal is so easy to scale up, making it the perfect recipe for a large, busy family.

Next time you’re looking for a hearty family that will please everyone, try this easy vegan lasagna! Eat well to live well!

Vegan Lasagna
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Ingredients
  • 2 aubergines, halved
  • olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half
  • 2 tomatoes, cut into halves
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 7 potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup cashew milk (optional) for richer taste
  • Cauliflower, cut into medallions
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 185C (365F)


    2. Brush the aubergines, tomatoes and garlic with olive oil and season with salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Once cooked, transfer to a food processor and puree until smooth.


    3. Brush cauliflower with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes.


    4. Boil potatoes until soft. Mash, and add milk, salt and nutritional yeast.


    5. Using individual baking dishes, fill the bottom with a small amount of the aubergine and tomato, followed by the mashed potato. Bake for 10 minutes, until the mashed potato has a slightly crispy crust. 


    6. Add roasted cauliflower to the dish (at the top)


Does anyone else find it difficult to come up with different school snacks on the regular? My boys are growing, and have been eating a lot lately, meaning the lunches I pack keep getting bigger and bigger! Besides that, they always want new stuff in their lunches, so I’m on this continuous rotation of inventing new snacks. It can be exhausting (but let’s be honest, it’s still so much fun)!

 

Luckily, these oat bars are a big winner in my house! They are crunchy and gooey, with just the right amount of sweetness! Best of all, I feel good about feeding them to my growing boys, because they’re full of protein, calcium, amino fatty acids, and complex carbohydrates. They can be kept for up to a week if properly wrapped and stored in an airtight container, making them a good option for school lunches, or a midday pick me up snack for you!

 

Once you’ve perfected the technique of making these bars, it’s easy to mix up the ingredients to suit your own personal tastes- or, to constantly change up the flavours if you have a picky group to please like I do! Pecans can be substituted with any other type of nut- try almonds for an extra hit of calcium, or brazil nuts! You can also add in your favourite dried fruit- dried mango, pineapple, or coconut flakes would all be excellent in these bars, as would goji berries!

 

Next time you’re in need of a new idea for school lunches, try whipping up a batch of these! Eat well to live well!

Homemade Oat Bars
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Course: Snack
Ingredients
  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 6 dates
  • water (for soaking dates)
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup pecan nuts
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
Instructions
  1. 1. Preaheat oven to 165 C (325F)


    2. Soak dates for at least an hour. Blend with the soaking water until smooth.


    3. Add the pureed date water to the oats, chia seeds, nuts, hemp seeds and honey.


    4. In a small saucepan over low heat, stir coconut oil and almond butter until smooth and runny.


    5. Gently pour the almond-coconut mixture into the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.


    6. Pour the mixture into an ovenproof baking tin. Bake 15-20 min. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes, and cut into bars. 


Muffins are basically the perfect food for busy people! They’re portable, they’re delicious, and they give you a ton of energy to get you through your day. That’s why I like baking muffins for the week ahead, and keeping them on hand to put into my boys’ lunch boxes, or grab for a quick breakfast on my way out the door.

 

I’m always trying to come up with new recipes for my muffins, just to keep things interesting. I get bored with flavours if I eat the same thing for too long, and by mixing it up, I’m ensuring that I’ve got a lot of nutritional diversity happening in my day-to-day diet.

 

For this recipe, I decided to use brown rice milk, because I feel it’s very complimentary with the earthy flavours of sweet potato, date sugar and nutmeg. As I’ve discussed before, chia seeds are FULL of health benefits, including omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, calcium and fiber. Plus, they have this great little crunch to them, making them a welcome addition to any baked goods!

 

These muffins can be made in under an hour, making them the perfect recipe to make on a Sunday or Monday night, when you’ve got a busy week to look forward to. They keep for up to five days in an airtight container, although they usually don’t last that long in my house! Next time you need a nice little snack to have on hand at home, try making these muffins! Eat well to live well!

 

Sweet potato & Chia Seeds Muffins
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Course: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup gluten free white flour
  • 1 cup brown rice milk
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp date sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 sweet potato grated
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 185C (370 F), and grease a muffin pan with coconut oil.


    2. Mix all ingredients together. Pour into muffin tin.


    3. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. To test doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the muffin. If the toothpick comes out clean, the muffins are done. Otherwise, continue to cook and check at every 10 minute interval.

 

IMG_9273

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I have a bit of a sweet tooth! My kids do, too, which is why I’m always trying new healthy dessert recipes out on them!

I love using avocado and cacao together in dessert recipes. Avocado plays so well on chocolate flavours, and it lends a buttery mouthfeel that just works in sweet foods. Besides, avocado is an amazing superfood, and I like to use it as much as I can!

Yacon syrup comes from a plant that grows in South America, and is an excellent replacement for sugar! It is naturally sweet, but it’s also been proven to regulate blood sugar and lower bad cholesterol. It can be found at any health food store or high end grocery.

I prefer to use almond milk in this recipe, but any nut or rice milk will work. I like that almond milk gives this recipe a little extra sweetness, and balances well with the other flavours.  

This mousse has quickly become my kids’ favourite treat! Whip some up today, pop it in the fridge, and have a light, chocolate-y refreshing dessert tonight! Eat well to live well!

 

AVOCADO CHOCOLATE MOUSSE


Course: Dessert
Servings: 2 People
Ingredients
  • 1 perfectly ripe avocado large
  • 2 tbsp Yacon root syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • handfull of rasperries
Instructions
  1. 1. Place all the ingredients into a blander, mix well until smooth

    2. Place raspberries in small bowls or glasses, fill the cups in with the mousse at the top. 

    3. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 min

    4. Decorate with raspberries at the top 

Recipe Notes

For the mousse filing, I used piping pastry bag with a piping icing nozzle to give it a nice touch.

Tofu is such a versatile food. Its neutral flavour lends itself to a variety of applications, including one of my favourite recipes- crispy seared tofu!

Tofu is incredibly healthy, but you should try to make sure you’re buying organic tofu to avoid any GMO presence. I try to keep my groceries as organic as possible- the cost is slightly higher, but there is no price too high for the health and wellbeing of my family! Luckily, organic tofu is readily available in most grocery stores.

Rice flour is an excellent alternative to regular flour for frying. It crisps up well when it hits the oil, and it is completely gluten free!

This entire dinner comes together very quickly. Try this quick, healthy dinner tonight! Eat well to live well!

 

CRISPY RICE-TOFU WITH BLACKEYE BEANS
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Servings: 2 People
Ingredients
  • 200 g organic tofu
  • 3-5 tbsp coconut oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup rice flour for coating
  • pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • 400 g black eye beans
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 50 g chickpeas shoots
  • 200 g purple sprouting broccoli
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp black sesame
Instructions
  1. 1. Coat tofu in salt and rice flour. Fry with coconut oil until golden and crispy.


    2. Cook Blackeyed Beans according to package directions, season with salt and coriander.


    3. Mix chickpeas shoots with lemon juice and avocado oil.


    4. Cook broccoli on steam to save colour.


    5. To plate, layer the beans on the bottom of the dish, followed by the broccoli and chickpea shoots, and top with tofu. Drizzle with lemon juice and avocado oil. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds.


     

Let’s face it, there are some nights when you just want to sit back, relax, and eat chips! That’s what I love so much about this recipe- all the things I love about chips are there, but without all the guilt that comes after.

By using parsnips and sweet potatoes, I can be sure that my family is benefitting from some of the nutrients that are lacking in regular potatoes. Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins A and C (along with a host of other vitamins and minerals!), and parsnips are bursting with potassium, manganese, and vitamins A, C and E. Baking the chips ensures that the maximum amount of nutrition stays in the vegetables, and drastically reduces the amount of fat present in the final product.

Of course, chips need a nice sauce to really make the experience enjoyable. While most people love to dunk their chips in curry or ketchup, those condiments are loaded with sugar, salt and artificial colour and flavours. My red pepper dipping sauce is completely vegan and gluten free, and full of flavour! My family dives right into this sauce, and I get to rest easy knowing that they’re benefitting from all the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties found in fresh, raw peppers, Brazil nuts, and hemp seeds (I’d say that’s a win-win all around!).

I hope you love this healthy variation on chips and sauce as much as I do. From my family to yours, I wish you happy snacking! And remember- eat well to live well!

PARSNIP & SWEET POTATO CHIPS WITH RED PEPPER DIP
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Course: Side Dish, Snack
Servings: 2 People
Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes julienned
  • 3 parsnips julienned
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
For red pepper dip
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • handfull of brazil nuts (soaked)
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp water
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 165C (330F).


    2. Spread the julienned vegetables onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour the olive oil evenly over the vegetables, and season with a bit of salt.


    3. Bake at 165C for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown and slightly crispy.


     To make the dip:


    1. Combine the red pepper, Brazil nuts, paprika, hemp seeds, and lemon juice in a blender with a small amount of water, pulsing occasionally to check the consistency. 


    2. Add more water as needed, and continue to blend until smooth.


Who doesn’t love freshly baked cake? Even though I enjoy a vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free lifestyle, doesn’t mean that I still don’t enjoy whipping up some beautiful baked goods for my family.

The nice thing about this cake is it uses naturally sweet ingredients. Carrots are wonderful natural sweeteners, and dates add that extra bit of sugary, gooey goodness. Once you’ve tried using naturally sweet ingredients, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with white, processed sugar in the first place!

Beyond that, I like that this recipe contains a fair bit of nutritional content, meaning I feel good about feeding it to my boys. The mousse contains Baobab powder, which is full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber. If you’ve never heard of Baobab before, you’re missing out! It’s an African superfruit that is ground into a powder. It has a light, fruity flavour and is bursting with beneficial properties- ever since I discovered it, I’ve used it quite a bit in my recipes!

I hope you like this sweet treat! And, as always, remember- eat well to live well!

 

 

CARROT CAKE LOAF WITH CARROT&CASHEW BAOBAB MOUSSE
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 


Course: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 3 cups gluten free white flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 10 dates (soaked in water 2-3 h in advance)
  • 1 ½ cup oat milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 3 large carrots (grated)
For the mousse
  • 2 carrots (juice)
  • 140 g cashew nuts (soaked in water)
  • 2 tbsp Baobab powder
Instructions
  1. 1. Puree the soaked dates and oat milk in a blender until smooth.


    2. Preheat oven to 185C (370F)


    3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the blended date mixture, coconut oil and grated carrots.


    4. Pour the mixture into a prepared loaf pan, and bake for 45-50 min at 185C (370F)


    5. After 45 minutes, test the cake’s doneness by inserting a toothpick gently into the center of the cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, the cake is done. Otherwise, continue to bake and check it at 10 minute intervals until finished.


     To make the Mousse:


    1. Using a juicer or high powered blender, juice two carrots (roughly ½ cup)


    2. In a blender, puree the cashews, baobab and carrot juice until smooth. Add water to adjust the consistency.