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Healthier Anzac Biscuits

Healthier Anzac biscuits

This recipe is based on a traditional Anzac biscuit recipe but with a healthier approach.  When I was a kid we never had sweets in the house with the exception being holidays, birthdays and special occasions and then Mum and the kids would make up a batch of biscuits like these.    Anzac biscuits were tradionally made on ANZAC day, a public holiday in Australia to remember and pay respect to those that were involved, died  and served in Wars.
Although sugar should be kept to a minimum, these biscuits are better than most as they contain a good amount of fibre from the coconut and rolled oats. In this recipe the amount of sugar is reduced as most recipes simply don’t need the amount of  sweetening listed and is replaced with Rapadura (or Panela) This is a cane sugar simply made by evaporating moisture out of the juice. It’s healthier than regular sugar as the plant micronutrients are retained albeit in small amounts, These include iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and B6.  Like wise golden syrup has been replaced with organic maple syrup as it’s less refined and contains antioxidants, zinc, manganese and trace amounts of calcium potassium magnesium and iron.
Ingredients
2 cups organic gluten free plain flour (or wholemeal if not gluten intolerant)
2 cups organic rolled oats
1½ cups desiccated coconut
1½ cups rapadura
250 mg organic butter
1½ tblspns organic maple syrup
120ml boiling water
2 tspns bi-carbonate of soda
Method
Sift flour into bowl
Add rolled oats, coconut & rapadura
Melt butter in saucepan, skim off the milk proteins that will float to the surface as it comes to the boil. This is particularly important if you are gluten intolerant as the proteins in dairy products may also be an intolerance for gluten sensitive people.
Add maple syrup & water
Add bi-carb of soda, stirring and allow to foam & pour immediately into dry ingredients.
Mix well then take small pieces of mixture & press out on greased trays, allowing space between each for spreading.
Bake in slow oven 140o as they burn easily. Cooks in 20-30 minutes.
Makes approximately 24 biscuits

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Zucchini spaghetti with smoked trout

A light tasty grain free alternative to regular pasta.  Providing protein, healthy fats and boosting your vegetable intake.

Ingredients

1 tblpsn extra virgin olive oil

1 onion halved and sliced

1 clove garlic minced

12 mushrooms sliced

½ red capsicum sliced

2 zucchinis topped & tailed

1 tbslpn parsley finely chopped

1 smoked rainbow trout

Himalayan salt & fresh ground pepper

Directions:

Gently sauté onions, garlic, mushrooms and capsicum for 10 minutes

With a spiraliser process zucchini to form “spaghetti”.

Cut the rainbow trout from the head to tail down the centre

Peel back the skin and gently lift the flesh away from the spine and removing any bones along the edges as well.

Gently fold the trout and zucchini spaghetti through the sautéed vegetables until warmed through, approximately 2-3 minutes.

Serving Suggestion

With a pasta spoon dish up the mixture into shallow bowl plates and serve immediately.

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Grilled ginger lime fish Thai cabbage salad

Grilled ginger lime fish Thai cabbage salad (sugar free)

Serves 4

Ingredients

One ling fillet approx 500g

2 tspns fresh grated ginger

1 lime juiced

½ tspn tamari

2 coriander plants washed and finely chopped

2 cups shredded cabbage white (cut about 4cm thick)

2 cups Bean sprouts rinsed (type used in asian cooking)

2 eschallots (spring onions) thinly sliced diagonally (green and white part)

2 medium carrot peeled and julienned (cut into long match sticks)

½ cup or Vietnamese or regular mint chopped

2 coriander plants washed and finely chipped

½ cup dry roasted cashews

Dressing

½ – 1 red chilli (seeded and finely chopped) optional

2 tspns macadamia oil

1 lime juiced (2tblspns)

2 tblspns fish sauce

2 tblspns umeboshi (or rice wine) vinegar

2 tspns mirin (available from health food store – check ingredients and do not buy one with alcohol init.)

Method

Place Ling on baking paper on a tray and sprinkle with ginger, coriander and lime juice and ½ tspn of tamari drizzled over it.

Place under grill and cook until fish flakes gently separate with a fork approximately 6-10mins depending on thickness of fillet.

In a salad bowl combine, cabbage, sprouts, eschallots, carrot, mint and coriander.

Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well.

Pour over salad and toss well to combine all the ingredients.

When cooked cut fish into bite size pieces and place over the top of the salad.

Sprinkle the cashews over and serve immediately.

Ginger lime fish Thai cabbage salad

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Chicken San Chow Bau

San Chow Bau

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

500g chicken mince

2 tspns ginger

1 medium red chilli – remove seeds and dice finely

2 tspns macadamia oil

½ red capsicum diced

1 carrot julienned

handful of swiss brown mushrooms quartered

½ small tin chestnuts cut into matchsticks

2 eschallots (green spring onions) sliced into small portions

1 bag of Chinese bean sprouts

2 tblspns oyster sauce

1 tblspn tamari

½ lime juiced

1 coriander plant chopped

iceberg lettuce leaves

2 tblspns cashews

Method

Saute chicken mince in oil until cooked approximately 5 mins

Add onion, ginger, capsicum, carrot and mushrooms stir through and cook for 5 mins

Mix sauces and lime juice together

Add eschallots, chestnuts, chilli and bean sprouts to pan and combine well

Add sauces and mix through quickly

Remove from heat and stir through coriander

Place in serving bowl and top with chopped dry roasted cashews

Spoon into lettuce cups and serve immediately.

Options

If nightshade free, replace red capsicum and chilli with diced red radish.  Check sauces if gluten free.

Try snow pea sprouts instead of bean sprouts

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Lentil and vegetable patties with guacamole topping

Lentil and Vegetable Pattie  (gluten, dairy nightshade free)

Lentil vegetable patty with guacamole
Lentil vegetable patty with guacamole

Heart healthy vegetable and legume meals with good fats Lentils are an excellent source of vegetarian protein and soluble fibre acting as a prebiotic to improve gut health 

Serves 4

Ingredients

1cup mashed precooked potato, pumpkin or sweet potato or combination

½ large spanish onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic

1 grated carrot

1 grated zucchini

11/2 cups brown lentils

½ cup chopped fresh coriander

Method

Add mashed sweet potato or other starchy vegetable to onion, garlic, carrot, zucchini and lentils and coriander and mix well together.

Using a large spoon or clean hands form into patties.

Place baking paper on baking tray. Place patties directly onto baking paper.

Cook in oven for approximately 20mins on 180oC until heated through.

I also roasted quartered onions at the same time to add to the salad.

Meanwhile make the guacomale (recipe below)

Serve patties on a bed of salad leaves and top wtih guacamole

You may also drizzle flaxseed oil and lemon juice (2:1 ratio) dressing over the salad leaves and patties if desired

Guacomale Ingredients

1 ripe avocado

½ sml Spanish onion finely chopped

¼ green capsicum finely chopped

five drops of Tabasco sauce

1/2 lemon juice

1 tblspn fresh coriander leaves chopped

Method

Mash avocado with a fork in a bowl

Finely chop onion & capsicum

Add Tabasco sauce and lemon juice to taste.

Mix all ingredients together adding coriander leaves

Health Benefits – Avocado

Avocado is a very good source of healthy cholesterol free fats, fibre, Vitamin K. This makes it an ideal spread to use on sandwiches instead of butter or jam. It also contains good levels of vitamin C, B5, B6 and potassium. Additionally, it has some protein and is moderately anti-inflammatory, contributing to better health.

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Ratatouille – a celebration of Summer Vegetables.

Summer Vegetables match perfectly with the weather tending to be lighter and more enjoyable for this time of the year.  This ratatouille recipe combines all vegetables that are all in season in Summer.  This means you’ll be buying them at their cheapest and freshest, which means they’ll pack a bigger nutrient punch too.

Ratatouille

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

2 med-lge Onions quartered & sliced

2 tspns extra virgin olive oil

2 med zucchinis sliced in quarters lengthwise and chopped in 1cm thick pieces

1sml or ½ lge eggplant cubed (place on paper towel sprinkle with Himalayan salt, sweat for 10mins rinse and pat dry)

2 cloves garlic

1 red (or green, I prefer red) capsicum chopped into 1cm sq pieces

10 mushrooms quartered

3 celery stalks including younger leaves sliced

½ cup fresh basil chopped

¼ bunch continental parsley chopped

4 ripe roma tomatoes chopped (remove skins by cutting a cross in base & plunging in boiling water until the split opens)

1 tblspn Mirin

Celtic of Himalayan salt

Chilli (to taste)

Toppings

Roasted pepitas (Heavy based pan, heat and add pepitas and cook for about 3 mins shaking pan occasionally to prevent seeds burning, they will pop & puff up)

Method

Place onions in large pot, pour olive oil over and sauté for 2 mins, add zucchini, eggplant, capsicum & garlic and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes, then add mushrooms, celery, tomatoes, herbs, mirin and seasoning to taste. Cook for a further 10-15mins until tender but not mushy.

Serving suggestions

Ratatouille can be enjoyed on its own or as an accompaniment to some protein use as a topping to baked potato or cauliflower rice.

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Chicken larb salad (sugar free)

Chicken Larb Salad Chicken Larb salad

Serves 1-2

Cravings something tasty and fresh, I was inspired to create this quick and easy dish out of some left over cooked chicken & veges in the fridge.

 Ingredients

1 tspn lemongrass finely chopped

½ medium chilli finely chopped

1 clove garlic crushed

1 cup left over chicken chopped into small pieces

1 tspn macadamia or coconut oil

½ small Spanish onion finely sliced and chopped

1/8 red capsicum diced

1 tspn fish sauce

½ tspn tamari (soy sauce)

½ tspn mirin

zest of ½ lime

juice of one lime

8 snow peas sliced diagonally into 4 mm strips

½ Lebanese cucumber julienned

1 tblspn fresh mint roughly chopped

4 x lettuce cups or 3 cups of mixed salad leaves

2 tablespoons of dry roasted cashews chopped

Directions:

Heat pan

Add oil, chicken, lemongrass, chilli & garlic and stir fry for 2-3 minutes until fragrant

Add Spanish onion and capsicum and stir fry for 1 minute

Add fish sauce, tamari and mirin, stir through for another minute

Take off heat and add in the snow peas, cucumber & mint. Combine all ingredients well.Ingredients for Chicken Larb

Wash and spin dry salad leaves

Place leaves on plate and spoon larb mixture over or into lettuce cups

Top with cashews

Variations

Try mixing in other vegetables you like, chopped mushrooms, carrot, corn, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots or water chestnuts for crunch.

Use fresh coriander leaves instead of mint.

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Maple syrup & cinnamon spiced grain free muesli

Paleo friendly, gluten free, grain free muesli.
Paleo friendly, gluten free, grain free muesl

Coeliac, gluten intolerant, paleo, avoiding grains or eating less carbs but still enjoy cereal for breakfast then this one is for you.  So satisying you won’t need much.Ingredients

2 cups of almonds (with skin on)

1 cup of macadamia nuts

1 cup Brazil nuts

1 cup of pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup of almond or hazlenut meal

1/2 cup flaxseeds (linseeds)

2 cups of shredded or coconut flakes (or 1 cup of each)

1 teaspoon natural vanilla essence

½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder

½ cup organic maple syrup (or less)

225g of butter or expeller pressed coconut oil if dairy free

Directions:

Roughly chop all nuts

Mix dry ingredients together

Melt butter (or oil) with maple syrup

Mix liquid with dry ingredients

Spread evenly across a baking tray and bake at 180oC for approximately 30mins stirring every 10mins.

When evenly browned remove from oven and allow to cool.

Keep an eye on mixture so that it doesn’t burn.

Poached pears with sheep's yoghurt grain free crunchy granola & blueberries
Poached pears with sheep’s yoghurt grain free crunchy granola & blueberries

Serving Suggestion

As this dish is high in protein, fibre & good fats you will only need a tablespoon of this muesli sprinkled over some yoghurt and some fresh or poached fruit to zoom through your day.  Stewed apples are a great prebiotic to boost your healthy gut bacteria too.

Variations

Try a variety of nuts & seeds each time you make it.

Treat the kids or yourself and add a tablespoon or two of raw cacao powder, it’s packed with antioxidants.

Nutrient boosting tip

Soak nuts & seeds in filtered water overnight for 24hrs. Drain & allow to dry slowly in very low heat oven.  Soaking breaks down the phytic acid allowing more of the mineral content of the nuts and seeds to be absorbed. Just 3-4 brazil nuts per day will give you your daily allowance of selenium a powerful antioxidant and vital nutrient for thyroid health.

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Tasty grain free bread – gluten, dairy, yeast & egg free

Gluten free nut bread Quinoa almond flaxseed bread

Ingredients

½ cup (65g) of almonds or hazlenuts roughly chopped

½  cup (135g) sunflower seeds

½ cup pepitas

½  cup (90g) of flax seeds

2 tbspns chia seeds

3 tblspns psyllium husk powder

1 ¾ cup quinoa flakes (or 1.5 cups (145g) rolled oats)

1 tspn Himalayan salt

1 tblspn organic maple syrup

3 tblspn of expeller pressed coconut oil or ghee

1.5 cups/350ml water

Directions:

In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients & mix together

Melt the oil or ghee and whisk together with maple syrup & water

Add to dry ingredients and mix until everything is well combined and holding together (if too thick or dry add a little more water).

Line a loaf tin with baking paper including the sides and spoon in the mixture.

Smooth top with the back of the spoon.

Let rest on the kitchen bench with a tea towel covering for 2hrs min. or overnight.

To ensure dough is ready it should retain its shape even when you pulled away from side of loaf pan.

Preheat oven to 170oC or 330oF

Place loaf pan on middle rack in oven & bake for 20mins.

Remove bread from loaf pan & place upside down directly on a rack and continue to bake for another 30-40mins. Check occasionally and turn down heat if needed to prevent burning.

Bread is cooked when it sound hollow when tapped (knock on base).

Let cool completely on a cake tray before slicing.

Store bread in a tightly sealed container.

Serving Suggestions

Eat as is with a bowl of soup. Top with a poached egg, avocado, hummus, baba ghanoush and your favourite salad leaves, tomato or cucumber.

Variations

In the loaf pictured I used quinoa flakes & Spiral brand coconut oil.  Expeller pressed oil has a higher smoking point so better for cooking.

I also added a greater variety of nuts including macadamia & brazil nuts, keeping the total of nuts & seeds to 1 ½ cups.

I also added hemp seeds in lieu of some of the psyllium & flax seeds. Also try cashew, hazlenuts, pecan nuts, sesame seeds,  walnuts.  Another great protein rich addition are hemp seeds, soon to be legal for consumption in Australia as they are everywhere else in the World.

 

 

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Soothing Simple Carrot & Leek Soup

Carrot & Leek Soup

This is an ideal soup to enjoy when cleansing or after a big night.   Carrots are rich in soluble fibre used as a fuel source for helpful bacteria.  The by product butyrate improves the colon wall reducing inflammation and bowel cancer risk.  Rich in Vitamin A carrots also supports immunity and the lining of all tissues.
Leeks also encourage healthy liver detoxification.

Ingredients

4 cups of hot water

2 cubes of swiss nature organic vegetable stock cubes or if not available massell brand

1 clove garlic minced

2 leeks white part, halved & well washed then sliced

Creamy Leek & Carrot Soup

6-8 carrots, peeled & chopped

½ bunch of fresh thyme

½ bunch of fresh parsley

Method

Put all ingredients into pot with lid, and boil until soft.

Simply serve as is or blend if you prefer a smooth texture as below.

Allow to cool, draining and reserving liquid.

Remove herbs & blend vegetables with enough liquid to form smooth soup puree. Warm gently or enjoy cold for a meal or whenever hungry.

 Serving Suggestions Carrot & leek soup

Add a  dob of natural yoghurt

Or blend some milk into soup for a creamy soup and/or

Sprinkle with chopped nuts, some dukkah (nut, seed & spice mix) or toasted sesame seeds on top.