Lamingtons

These delicious morsels contain much less sugar than the originals, but taste so much better than the store bought variety! They are the perfect treat, and a much loved Aussie tradition. These ones also contain coconut flour, which you should be able to source from most Australian or New Zealand supermarkets, or your local health food store. This means that these are completely free of gluten (just check the chocolate), so everyone can enjoy them 🙂Continue reading →

Zucchini Slice

This dish is my go-to simple meal. It makes enough for four lunches, but can be enjoyed at any meal time. Nutritionally speaking, it’s perfect! It’s packed with veggies and protein, with the added bonus of some bacon and feta cheese. I used a sheep milk feta, which is easier to digest and super creamy. But if you’re a vegetarian, feel free to omit the bacon – it will still be yum!

Zucchini Slice (Serves 4)

3 medium sized zucchini (approx. 450g)
3 Tbsp fresh chives 
2 Tbsp fresh thyme
3 slices of bacon
100g sheep milk feta
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)
8 eggs
3 Tbsp Besan flour (see note at bottom)
1 tsp baking powder

Start by preheating the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a baking dish (approx. 20cm x 20cm) with baking paper.

Using a cheese grater, grate the zucchini into the dish. Slice the bacon into strips or cubes, as small or as big as you would like. Mine were roughly 1cm squares. Add to the dish. Finely chop the fresh herbs, and add to the dish along with the chilli powder and salt and pepper. Chop the feta cheese into cubes about 1cm wide, and add to the dish. Give all the ingredients a little stir to combine.

Next, grab a blender or food processor and add remaining ingredients. If you don’t own one of these, it’s fine! Simply add them to a bowl to whisk instead 🙂 If you do have a blender, simply blitz for about 10 seconds. You want the eggs and flour to be mixed through, clump free. However you don’t want to start cooking the eggs from the blades heating after a prolonged blend. So keep it quick!

Pour egg mix over the zucchini mixture. Then simply pop in the oven to cook for 35-40mins. Enjoy warm or cold with a simple garden salad.

Lisa xx

Note: Besan flour is made from ground chickpeas, so is loaded with protein. It is also gluten free, which means anyone with allergies can still enjoy this dish. You should be able to find it at your local health food store, or organic supermarket. If you prefer, you can substitute it for wholemeal flour, however you may need to add a little more.

The Story of The Epstein Barr Virus

cropped-mountain11.jpg

It was early November 2014, and I woke up Sunday morning with what felt like an epic hangover. Only thing wrong was, I hadn’t drank the night before! I figured my body just needed some rest, and spent most of the day in bed. Two days later I found myself with a horrendous stomach ache, nausea, a migraine, and extremely cold. A routine visit to the doc provedContinue reading →

Gingerbread Cookies

Christmas is without doubt my favourite time of year. In my part of the world it means summertime, bbq’s, catching up with friends and family, and of course an endless supply of delicious food. And although I eat a predominately healthy diet, I’m a big believer in occasional indulgences! These cookies are so light and scrumptious, with the perfect balance of spices. They are also gluten free which is great for any of you with food sensitivities. You can enjoy them as is, or topped with a little dark chocolate for extra decadence 😉 

Gingerbread Cookies (Makes 15)

1 1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup coconut flour
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp all spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 eggs

Start by preheating oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl, and mix to combine. In a small bowl whisk eggs, and then add to the large bowl with remaining ingredients. The mixture will be a little more moist than most cookie recipes, however if it looks more like cake mix then add a couple more tablespoons of almond meal. 

Using a dessertspoon, scoop balls of dough into your (slightly) wet hands, and roll into balls. Then pop on a lined baking tray and gently press down on the cookie with your fingers. You just want to flatten them a little, but given the dough is quite soft this won’t need much pressure. Repeat with remaining mixture. 

Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 10-12mins. Then remove from the oven to cool. They taste delish as is, but if you are feeling decadent, then melt some dark chocolate to decorate with. The best way to do this is by boiling a small amount of water in a small pot. Then place some dark chocolate in a glass bowl and place the bowl on top of the pot. The chocolate will slowly melt. Then, dip a skewer into the chocolate, and use this to ‘paint’ on your decorations. If you have a piping bag you can use this instead! If you want to make reindeer, I just added a dried cranberry as the nose. But you can be as creative as you like! 🙂 Enjoy!

 

Zucchini Bolognese

Let me preface this by saying that there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating carbohydrates, if your body digests them well. But if your body functions better with a little less carbs, and more fats and protein, then this is the ultimate meal! It’s also great if you just want to mix up your routine, and add a few extra green veggies in your diet. Strangely, when most green vegetables are cut finely, they taste better! Not scientifically proven, but that’s what we’ve found in our house (specifically zucchini and asparagus). Plus using something like a spiralizer to turn zucchinis into noodles, is a great way to get the kids interested in vegetables! 🙂

Zucchini Bolognese (Serves 3)

400g grass fed minced beef
1 brown onion
2 cloves garlic
700g pasatta (tomatoes only)
2-3 button mushrooms
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
salt + pepper to taste
3 zucchinis
2 large handfuls of wild rocket (or spinach)

Start by finely dicing the onion and garlic. Then heat a large saucepan on high. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan, and then add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 2-3mins or until starting to brown. Then move the contents to the outside edges of the pan, and pop in the beef in the middle. Cook for about 1min, and then flip the mince beef (as best you can), in order to brown the other side. It doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through at this point, you just want to start the cooking process with a little browning. You can also start to break up the mice beef with a wooden spoon. 

Add the pasatta, sliced mushrooms, paprika, and herbs, and stir to combine. Once it starts to bubble, turn down the element to medium heat. Then simply leave to simmer for 20mins, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, you can use a spiralizer to turn your zucchinis into noodles. If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can either use a mandolin, a veggie peeler, or finely slice with a knife. Divide zucchini noodles between two bowls, and top with a large handful of rocket. You can mix them around with your hands to combine slightly 🙂

Once the bolognese is looking good, and has reduced to a consistency you like, add a little salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Then scoop onto the bowls of greens, and top with a little fresh herbs, or cheese if you prefer. Enjoy!

Notes – you may be wondering why I suggested grass fed beef specifically. Well, grass is much higher in omega 3 fats which are anti-inflammatory, as opposed to most grains which contain inflammatory omega 6’s. The higher ratio of omega 3’s we can consume the better. If you reside in New Zealand, almost all of the beef is grass fed 🙂 Unfortunately not everywhere is so lucky, so if in doubt just ask the butcher.

Mexican Stuffed Baked Kumara

Baked kumara or sweet potatoes are a great alternative to regular potatoes, and not because of health reasons. Regular potatoes are perfectly healthy in moderation, but sweet potatoes are much softer and deliciously gooey. They also have the added benefit of requiring less cooking time (always a win!), and they are highly nutritious. They pair perfectly with the traditional flavours of Mexican cuisine. However I’ve added a few little twists. I’ve topped these beauties with coriander pesto, but if you are one of the many people who hate coriander, then you can simply replace this with some homemade guacamole (see notes at the bottom).  

Mexican Stuffed Baked Kumara (Serves 2)

1/4 cup dried black beans
1 tomato
1 capsicum
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 small chilli (optional)
2 medium sized kumara/ sweet potato (200-300g each)
2 Tbsp coriander pesto
fresh salad greens to serve
salt and pepper

Now the first thing is you need to soak the black beans in plenty of water overnight, or first thing in the morning. Then rinse thoroughly before using. 

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Then wash the kumara or sweet potato and place on a lined baking tray. Using a knife, or a fork, stab the kumara a few times to allow it to ‘breath’ when cooking. This ensures your sweet potato doesn’t explode in the oven 🙂 Then you can spray with a little olive oil if you wish (totally optional) and then place the tray in the oven. Leave to bake for about 1 hour, but check it after 45mins to make sure it’s ok. It will be cooked when it is super soft.

Meanwhile, add black beans to a pot of warm water on medium heat. You’ll want at least a couple of cups of water in the pot as the beans will expand and soak up a fair bit of water. Leave to simmer for 40mins.

You will have a little bit of time up your sleeve whist waiting for the beans and kumara to cook, so feel free to go have a cuppa tea. 

Once the beans are cooked, they should taste nice and soft, and not crunchy. Drain and rinse them, and add them to a nonstick frypan. Finely dice the tomato and capsicum and throw them in the pan as well. If you are using a chilli, finely chop it and add to the pan. Drizzle a little olive oil over the ingredients and add the paprika and cumin. Heat the pan to high and ‘stir-fry’ (minus any extra oil) for about 5mins, or just enough for the capsicum and tomato to be nicely softened and slightly browned. Remove from heat.

Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and pop each on a separate plate. Score each one straight down the middle, lengthways with a sharp knife. Then squish the two ends together slightly, and the kumara should open up nicely for you. Top with half of the bean mixture each, and then a scoop of pesto or guacamole if preferred. Top with some fresh coriander and serve with a side of green salad mix. You are welcome to add a little cheese as well if you like, but it does taste amazing without it too. Enjoy!

Note- if you prefer to make a guacamole with this dish instead of the coriander pesto, simply mash 1 avocado with the juice of 1 lemon or lime, and combine with 1/2 red onion diced. Simple but delish! 🙂

Coriander Pesto

Coriander is one of those flavours that you either love or hate. So I understand this recipe is not for everyone. But for those of you who like it, I promise this recipe is a must! It’s a great addition to any Mexican dish, or added to a salad for extra flavour. Or spread on your sandwich or toast filled with lots of greens 🙂

Coriander Pesto (Makes about 1 cup)

large bunch of coriander/ cilantro
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup pepitas
juice of 1 lemon
2 large garlic cloves
salt and pepper

Simply add all ingredients to a high speed blender and pulse for 30 seconds. It will still be a little bit crunchy, so if you want it smooth, then simply blend for longer. Now, this tastes a LOT better the next day, so pop it in the fridge and scoop onto dishes as desired. It should keep for about a week or two. Enjoy! X

Nourishing Big Breaky Bowl

This refreshing dish is the perfect savoury brunch or breaky option. It makes you feel like you’re having a cafe worthy breakfast at home! But without the price tag. Packed with lots of nourishing greens, cherry tomatoes, and fresh herbs this will certainly kick start your day with a bunch of vitamins and minerals. Topped off with creamy halloumi and eggs, its the perfect combination of super healthy, and utterly delicious.

Nourishing Big Breaky Bowl (Serves 2)

2 zucchini
9 cherry tomatoes
2 large portobello mushrooms
large handful of alfalfa, or alternative sprout
half a bunch each of parsley and mint
100g halloumi cheese
4 large eggs
olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper


Using a spiralizer or vegetable peeler, cut your washed zucchini into noodles, or long strips. Then finely chop the fresh herbs and add to a large bowl with the zucchini noodles. Drizzle with a little olive oil (about 1-2Tbsp) and the lemon juice and toss to combine. Set aside.

Next we’re going to chop up everything in preparation. So slice the cherry tomatoes in half, and cut the mushrooms into thin slices. Then fill a small pot with tap water and add your eggs. Pop a lid on and bring the water to the boil. Once boiling cook the eggs for a further 4 minutes. Once cooked, drain the pot and fill with cold water to stop the eggs cooking any further. Leave to cool.

You can now begin plating up 🙂  In two shallow bowls add a bit of alfalfa to each, roughly spreading around the plate. Top with the zucchini noodles, and then the cherry tomatoes.

By now the eggs should be cool enough for you to peel. Carefully peel all the eggs, discarding the shells. Place on a chopping board and roll in a little extra fresh herbs. Just leave them there until the rest of cooking is finished.

Chop the halloumi into four pieces. Then grab a large non-stick fry pan and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once the pan is hot, add the halloumi and cook for 1 minute, before flipping and cooking for a further 1 minute. Remove from the pan and leave to rest. While the pan is still hot, add the sliced mushrooms and sauté for 1-2mins, or until cooked on through.

Place the cooked mushrooms on top of the zucchini bowls, followed by the cooked halloumi. Chop the eggs in half and add to the top of bowl. Garnish with some fresh herbs and salt and pepper. Enjoy!

Lisa x

 

Egg and Bacon Filo Pies

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’m sure you’ve all heard it before, but truly, it gives your body the fuel to boost your day. This meal is perfect because you can make a batch on the weekend and then enjoy a  week of delicious grab-and-go breakfast. Its packed with protein to keep you satiated, and the fats make this one yummo start to the day!

Egg and Bacon Filo Pies (Makes 6)

8 eggs
3 rashers of bacon
1 tomato
6 sheets of filo pastry
1 cup milk of choice (I used soy)
1 chilli (optional)
parmesan cheese (or pecorino)

 Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease a tray of 6 large muffin cups with some butter or coconut oil. 

Grab one sheet of filo and fold in half twice. Cut along the fold lines, so that you end up with four relatively even pieces of pastry. Stack the four mini pieces of filo on top of each other and push carefully into one of the muffin cups. It will fill the entire muffin cup with some overhang as well. Repeat with remaining 5 sheets of filo. Drizzle a little olive oil or melted butter over the filo cups.

Then chop the tomato as finely as you want – I did mine quite small, but if you prefer it super chunky that’s fine too. Evenly distribute chopped tomato into each of the filo cups. Then chop the bacon into approx. 1cm squares (doesn’t have to be exact at all), and add that to the filo cups too. Feel free to add some pepper and salt if you wish. 

In a medium sized bowl whisk together milk and eggs until well combined  and slightly fluffy. Pour into muffin trays, trying to get the same amount in each. If you want a bit of kick, add some finely sliced chilli to each filo cup as well. Then top with a little parmesan cheese (or alternative choice), and pop in the oven to cook for 25-30mins or until cooked through and lightly browned.

Serve with some homemade pesto or tomato relish, and some salad greens. Enjoy!