Vanilla miso tahini fudge

VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE | NUT-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | EGG-FREE | LOW FRUCTOSE | IQS APPROVED | 6 INGREDIENTS ONLY | ONE PAN ONLY

I become innovative when I am craving something sweet – which is a dangerous attribute to have! After scanning the pantry, I came up with this combination which is incredibly fudge-like but without any sugar, dairy, preservatives, colouring & minimal plastic packaging (my other passion currently is the environment). The only ingredient that comes in plastic is the Miso paste.

INGREDIENTS
100g tahini
80g coconut oil
35g coconut butter
1 1/2 teaspoons rice malt syrup
1 teaspoon miso (I love Spiral Foods)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder (I use Heilala)

METHOD

  1. Melt coconut butter, coconut oil & miso on a low heat. I never bring any part of this recipe above a low heat. I find the Miso doesn’t completely mix in which gives the fudge some lovely salty pops
  2. Once almost all melted, tip in the tahini & sprinkle in the vanilla
  3. once all mixed together, turn off the heat & stir through the rice malt syrup
  4. You can let it cool slightly, then pour into silicone moulds. I recommend placing the silicone mould tray on a chopping board so it doesn’t bend/spill when you’re lifting it into the freezer. Seeing as it is halfway to Christmas, I thought I’d give my Christmas tree moulds a go 😉
  5. Depending on the size of your mould, these can be ready in as soon as 30 minutes.

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Best low-fructose bliss ball recipes

Most bliss balls are crammed with fructose in the form of dates, or added sweeteners. It’s time to step outside the box & try some of the awesome low-fructose recipes out there – choc full of nuts, cacao, seeds, coconut oil, & sweetened with nut butters, cinnamon, vanilla or a touch of low-fructose sweeteners including rice malt syrup or stevia.

IQS Choc-Cashew bliss balls

IQS Fruit-free bliss balls

Lilian Dikmans Peppermint bliss balls

The Nourished Psychologist fruit-free bliss balls

Honest to Goodness bliss balls can be made nut-free. I would personally also omit the goji berries to make them lower in fructose.

Jessica Sepel’s sugar-free protein balls – these contain a little stevia, which is a good substitute for sugar as it is low in fructose.

Everyday Simple Health bliss balls – contain no added sweetener. Once you have been sugar-free for a while, you will find some of the most simple ingredients actually taste quite sweet – like cinnamon.

I always save the best til last – this is my favourite bliss ball recipe, I’ve personally made it & can’t wait to make it again – Teresa Cutter AKA The Healthy Chef’s raw cashew & vanilla lamington bites

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I (have) Quit Sugar

Nearly 4 years ago, a friend told me about a new “diet” called “I Quit Sugar”. Pft, I thought, as if I could live without packets of sweets, jersey caramels & cake, especially with 2 young children draining my energy & working 3 days a week. But hey, I gave it a go & have never looked back. Granted my mouth may still water when I look at something, but then I remember I won’t enjoy it & I’ll feel crap afterwards. I happily say no to cake now & genuinely don’t feel I’m missing anything.

I’ve been an Ambassador for the program over a year now & it is still a thrill to see how much people’s lives are changed by the IQS 8WP.

I can genuinely tell you I LOVE the meals on the program. If you asked me to pick a favourite, I’d be hard pressed to choose between the Pad Thai, peanut butter & strawberry on toast, avo/feta/pea smash, turmeric haloumi bowl, zucchini & haloumi fritters, sweet potato/quinoa/kale/ginger. You get the idea.

The more you eat real foods & cook your own meals, the more confident you become in swapping ingredients & experimenting with tastes then you can either continue to use the recipes; or refine them based on your personal taste. I tend to substitute out all gluten & replace where required with gluten-free bread; zoodles in place of pasta.

I am thrilled to be able to give YOU $10 off if you sign up for the program, just click here

NOTE: I have never endorsed a product I don’t genuinely believe in. Having done over half a dozen of the IQS 8 Week Programs, trying the recipes, enjoying the meals & communicating with other people doing the program, I feel passionate about what a great way of life it is.

 

 

Zoodles, mushrooms & peas

VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | IQS | JERF | LOW-FRUCTOSE

Anyone else find they open the fridge door a few too many times & can’t work out what to prepare? I am spending so much time at home with a 9 week old who can’t yet wear suncream, which means we are spending most of the day indoors.

1 large zucchini, spiralised into noodles
Handful of mushrooms
1/2 cup frozen baby peas
1 tbspn chopped parsley
6 olives
1 tspn nutritional yeast (or Parmesan for non-vegans)
1 tspn chilli flakes
1 tspn paprika
1 wedge lemon

METHOD

  1. Spiralise one zucchini. If you don’t have a spiraliser, just use a vegetable peeler to make thin ribbons lengthways
  2. Throw zucchini in frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil, nutritional yeast, paprika & chilli – stir constantly for about 2 minutes
  3. Tip zoodles into a bowl, add a touch more olive oil & throw in mushrooms. Stir constantly until they have a good browned look, add on Parsley at last moment. Tip into bowl
  4. Add about 2 tablespoons water to same frying pan. Throw in peas & cook for 1 minute.
  5. Pop olives on. No such thing as too many. Squeeze over a wedge of lemon. Sprinkle over some more chilli flakes to your taste.

Serves 1

Filling vegan meals

I had a message from a lovely follower, Jodie, who wanted suggestions on filling vegan meals. I agree that if you are used to meals heavy on protein including meat, seafood &/or dairy, a vegan meal may seem not as filling.

First of all be sure to include the following:

1. Some form of carbs
– quinoa or black rice are my favourites. There are also some great gluten-free breads, just read the ingredients. I have been using Naturis for years now – their gluten-free bread is free from any additives or preservatives.

2. Good fats
– avocado & olive oil are my staples!

3. Vegan protein
– protein powder in smoothies, chia seeds in everything, nuts on or in everything, seeds (pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds are my go-to)

Some of my filling vegan meals include
Cauliflower kale quinoa salad
Kale, carrot & quinoa salad 

It’s worth trying these delicious dishes too:

Green Kitchen Stories Luise & David not only create wonderful recipes & beautiful images, but they also have 3 children

Sweet potato & lentil stew – just replace the honey with rice malt syrup for strict vegans

Chickpea & za’atar Salad -Just omit the goat’s cheese

The Brown Paper Bag – Jacqueline’s recipes always look mouthwatering. Take a peek at her website & you’ll be hooked.

Singapore noodles with tempeh

Turmeric rice with cauliflower steaks – ghee can be substituted 

My New Roots – needs no introduction! 

My New Roots big comfy sweet potato – just omit the goat’s cheese

My New Roots chickpea tortilla nachos  this looks delicious!

That Sugar Film

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Tapioca & Almond Porridge

Vegan Pho

Quick cinnamon baked beans

Moroccan vegetable platter – the recipe calls for Greek yoghurt however you could replace with tahini

Teresa Cutter aka The Healthy Chef

Detox veg curry

Green pea & spinach risotto – I would substitute in some nutritional yeast in place of Parmesan for some “cheesiness” 

Earth Burgers

20 pantry items to kickstart a healthy 2017

If I could force everyone to have 2 New Year’s Resolutions they would be to drastically reduce high-fructose foods & to start purchasing pantry staples from bulk stores, using their own jars.

My top 20 pantry items to kickstart your healthy 2017 are:

1. Nuts – a quick, easy snack high in protein & fat to fill you up & ward off sugar cravings

2. Buckwheat – a versatile ingredient delicious in a home made muesli, great soaked overnight in stewed berries & coconut yoghurt for a gluten-free vegan bircher. I buy a big jar from Naked Foods.

3. almond meal – muffins, cookies, crumble topping, muesli. Such a versatile gluten-free ingredient

4. Coconut oil – cook with it, use it in a vegan chocolate or slather it all over your body or through your hair. You can buy an organic coconut oil in Aldi or Woolworths for less than $7 a jar.

5. Olive oil – cook with it, use in dressings or in a low-fructose cake.

6. A variety of spices including zaatar, cumin, chilli, sumac, curry powder, cinnamon, Ovvio Organic turmeric – spices pimp any dish & make them way more interesting.

7. peanut butter – one of my all time favourite Asian dressings combines PB, tamari & freshly squeezed lime. An easy toast topper. Buy organic only (even Coles & Woolworths have their own organic PB) & check nothing is added like oils or sugar.

8. Tahini – delicious in a dressing with freshly squeeezed lemon & turmeric. Also adds a delicious element to home made chocolate. Mayver’s hulled tahini is the best.

9. Tamari – adds flavour to any dish, it’s a gluten-free version of soy sauce, made with whole soy beans & no added sugar. I buy Pureharvest brand Tamari.

10. cacao – no brainer here – to make all kinds of sweet treats. Cacao is the raw, unprocessed version of cacao. You can even buy it in stores like Aldi now.

11. rice malt syrup – my favourite sweetener. It’s low-fructose & derived from rice. It is a lot less sweet than honey so as you lose your sweet tooth it gives sweet treats just enough sweetness, especially in chocolate . I love Pureharvest which can be found in Coles & Woolworths.

12. quinoa – it’s been round a few years & I always have a store of it, great to bulk up salads or to serve as a gluten-free alternative to pasta

13. sesame seeds – they add flavour & texture to any dish, & are especially good in Asian dishes like a noodle salad. I also sneak them into my vegan chocolate often.

14. pepitas – enjoy them raw, sprinkle them over a black rice salad, lightly roast them with some tamari & chilli for an irresistible snack

15. sunflower seeds – have them raw as a snack, lightly roast them, sprinkle them over salads.

16. Herbal tea – I always choose organic teas as tea is a crop heavily sprayed in pesticides. Have a few varieties – I love Clipper organic peppermint, Spiral organic Genmai Cha, & usually a flavoured white tea or a herbal combination – currently it’s Pukka Night Time & Revitalise.

17. Organic coffee – I make myself a black organic filter Coffee most mornings. No wasteful coffee cups  & you can have your caffeine hit before walking out the door. We all win!

18. Chia seeds – at about 20% protein, chia seeds are great to pimp the nutritional value of a smoothie. You can also use chia seeds in place if an egg.

19. organic Miso soup – I love the Spiral Foods brand organic Miso – a quick, easy snack with 0.14g sugar & 0.92g fat per serve.

20. Tuna – It’s worth checking out this Greenpeace Tuna Sustainability Guide before buying. Hands down, Fish 4 Ever is the most sustainable brand, which you can buy in About Life.

Cauliflower kale quinoa salad

VEGAN | GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | LOW-FRUCTOSE | JERF | IQS

Loving salads at this time of year but while breastfeeding (I’m using that as an excuse for eating a lot), I need something a little more filling, hence adding quinoa as a source of protein & carbohydrates.

As with all my recipes, adapt to your tastes – if you don’t like kale, use baby spinach; if you don’t like chilli, don’t add it. If you don’t like olives then sorry, we can’t be friends.

2/3 cup quinoa (when uncooked – I use Naked Foods)
1 medium cauliflower
3 stems kale
1/4 cup peas
3 stems broccolini (random figure I know, it’s what I had left in the fridge – you can omit it entirely as there is plenty of green in the recipe already)
1 tspn turmeric powder (I use Ovvio Organic brand)
1 tspn sumac
2 lemons, both the zest & juice
2/3 cup sweet potato
1/3 cup mint
1/3 cup olives – any sort. I used some fat green ones & Kalamatas
1 tablespoon zaatar (or dukka)
2 tspns chilli flakes
Olive Oil – I tend to overdo with the olive oil (like Jamie Oliver!), but you shouldn’t need more than half a cup
OPTIONAL FOR VEGOS – 1/4 cup finely grated Grana Padano or parmesan

METHOD
1. Cut cauliflower in half & put on an oven tray. Sprinkle the turmeric & sumac then pour the juice of half a lemon & 1-2 tablespoons olive oil (go on then, pour on a little more if you like). Throw in the oven at 180 degrees celsius & set your timer for 45 minutes. It may need a little longer but better to be able to do a little longer.
2. Cut sweet potato into small pieces & also throw in the oven – in the same oven tray if preferred. Again, a dash of olive oil on the sweet potato.
3. Cook the quinoa – I do 2 1/3 cups to 2/3 cup of quinoa but go for whatever works for you.
4. Once the quinoa is cooked & cooled slightly, pour into a mixing bowl.
5. Use the same pot to cook the broccolini & peas – 2 minutes on the boil to retain maximum nutrients. Drain immediately & add to the quinoa.
6. Use the same pot for a third time to briefly cook the kale – 2 minutes on a gas cooktop on medium heat with a dash of, you guessed it, olive oil, should be enough to soften it slightly. Pour this also into the quinoa mix.
7. Pour the zaatar & juice of the remaining 1.5 lemons & zest of 2 lemons into the quinoa & give it all a good mix. You should be feeling healthier already 😉
8. Tip onto a serving plate – add the mint (I just cut it with kitchen scissors at the lastt minute). Place the cauliflower on top (it’s too pretty to be cut up for serving). Throw on the olives, sprinkle some chilli & dig in!
If you’re adding the grated grana padano, do this at the last moment.

SERVES 4 (or 2 greedy people like me)