Great blogs of fire! 

So, firstly I have to apologise for my distinct lack of blogs. The Summer holidays have hit me like a wet fish in the face and left me wandering around in a haze of fog, facts, figures and fatigue. Even though we home Educate our son, we do tend to take a break for the Summer holidays. As much as for myself as for my beloved. Time to catch up with friends who go to mainstream school and lap up the sometime Sun (ahem). So like most people, the lack of structure can really throw me off.

Our beautiful woodland ⬆️

But when I sit back and ask myself if I’m doing enough to fill the days or achieving the goals I’ve set for work, I realise that I actually go way above and beyond what’s required. We do a lot and I love that we do but sometimes it’s good to sit back and take stock. Let the beloved be bored for once, take a break from worrying about life, pour a large cup of whatever and relax………:)


Lido love ⬆️

I was poorly a few weeks back and my wonderful friend brought me round a ‘self care basket’ it was one of the loveliest gifts I’ve ever received and much needed. It opened my eyes to the fact that I always seem to leave myself til last. Since receiving that gift I’ve definitely put aside some time each day to meditate and write and it’s been so beneficial.

That wonderful friend has written a fantastic blog on self care. Take a look at her site.

⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️

http://www.everydaytalessite.wordpress.com
One thing I am super proud of, is the fact that I finally completed my course and am now a qualified nutritional therapist, yay! It means I, along with my partner are one step closer to going live with our business.  So watch this space……:) I can tell you that it involves food, lifestyle and fitness but the rest will have to wait…..It will be worth it, promise!


Feed me Seymour! 

So I couldn’t leave you without posting something on food. Afterall, it is the greatest love of my life…..well, after my 2 beloveds of course.
As a busy mum, I’m always looking for quick and easy food to make. Still focussing on health and taste but something you can throw in a pot or baking tray, engulf with herbs and serve.

Step forward halloumi, yes that salty block of gorgeousness is my new favourite cheese and goes beautifully with roasted veg,


Roasted halloumi & veg salad 

Or salad, or just grilled on its own. The saltiness adds so much taste, you hardly need to season. I just drizzle some olive oil and black pepper to some leaves and devour.


Or make some halloumi kebabs and pop on the BBQ. You just can’t go wrong 🙂

I’m working on some new taste sensations and will be sharing those real soon. Until then, enjoy some Summer Sun, embrace your you and keep cooking. Love to you all xxxx

Great balls of….chocolate heaven! 

These raw chocolate bombs are so moorish, they only lasted a couple of days! Delicious and so good for you. Full of antioxidants and energy giving proteins and so simple to make.

I always make sure I buy unrefined organic ingredients and the best coconut oil in my opinion is pure extra virgin coconut oil. It hasn’t gone through any process to strip it of its goodness. If you suffer with a sweet tooth, these will satisfy your craving without sending your blood sugars into orbit and the cacao content will fill your body with the important antioxidants it needs.

Ingredients 

For the Centre

1 1/2 cups ground almonds or a mix of walnuts and almonds if you prefer the inside to be a bit more moist.

1 tbsp coconut oil

10 pitted soft dates ( medjool are great)

1 to 2 tbsp cacao powder ( depending on your taste)

1/2 cup chopped roasted hazelnuts for sprinkling at the end

For the chocolate 

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup cacao powder

About 4/5 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla essence

Method 

Pop all your centre ingredients into a blender and blitz until everything is blended. You want the consistency to be fairly sticky, so it’s easy to roll into balls.

Roll into balls and place on baking parchment. Pop them into the fridge while you make the chocolate.

Chocolate 

Put your coconut oil in a pan and melt on a low heat. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and stir with a hand held whisk. Then add the cacao, whisk until the powder has completely dissolved and leave off the heat for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times.

Grab your balls and then dip in the chocolate. Place the balls into a tray with baking parchment on. You may need to spoon more chocolate over the balls for complete coverage. Sprinkle some roasted chopped hazelnuts over the top and then freeze. They take about 30 minutes to set.

I like them straight out of the freezer, the chocolate has a crisp crunch but the inside is still fairly soft. Yum!


I hope you enjoy making these, they are so delicious:)

Happy Hump day all xxx

Caramelised onion & aubergine bake……

Here’s a recipe to tickle your tastebuds. Simple, quick and melt in the mouth delicious.

It’s a great one to prepare in the morning and just pop in the oven at dinner time. It even tastes yummy cold, the day after. Sounds perfect to me 🙂

Ingredients 

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 large aubergine (sliced length ways)

1 courgette (sliced length ways)

1/2 cup pine nuts

2 large beef tomatoes (thinly slices)

3 large red onions (thinly sliced)

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp chilli powder

Salt and pepper

Grated cheddar cheese

Method 

Turn your oven onto about 180/200 fan asst


Start by frying off your red onion and pine nuts in the coconut oil, season and cook for about 10 mins on a low heat. Add your tomatoes, chilli and cinnamon and cook until the onions have caramelised. About another 15 mins. Leave to one side.


Add your slices of courgette and aubergine and a little more coconut oil, if needed. They literally only need a couple of minutes. You just want to soften them a little. Turning once.

Start layering your baking dish. I put the tiniest bit of coconut oil on the base, then the onion mixture. Followed by aubergine and courgette, then the grated cheese. Repeat but make sure you completely cover the top with cheese.

Bake for about 25 mins and then serve.


No nasties in this meal, just a sumptuous sweetness from the onions and a hint of heat from the chilli.

I hope you enjoy cooking and eating this 🙂

Happy Tuesday all xxx

Cacao and it’s benefits….


(Cacao & hazelnut choc pots)

I use raw cacao powder in pretty much all of my raw bakes. It is rich in flavour and is packed full of antioxidants, containing 20 times more antioxidants than blueberries! In fact it contains the highest antioxidant levels of any natural foods on Earth. Making it one heck of a superfood and far superior than regular cocoa or processed chocolate. The health benefits are ridiculous, containing calcium, protein, magnesium, riboflavin and carotene. A natural mood enhancer and fantastic for balancing hormones.

The Theobrama Tree ( The cacao beans or seeds come from this tree, are roasted and ground to make cacao powder)


Last week I made some delicious chocolate hearts. They were so easy to make and definitely sorted my choc fix out. I use the mixture for the topping on my caramel slices too.


Ingredients 

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup cacao powder

4 tbsps maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla essence

Method 

In a pan on a low heat, melt the coconut oil. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and stir. Then pour all the cacao powder in. I use a metal whisk and stir until the powder is cooked out. It should look shiny and shouldn’t be too thin or thick.


Pour it into moulds of your choice and then freeze.


(I added chopped hazelnuts to the mixture above)

Once you take them out of the freezer, they do need to be eaten sharpish, otherwise they will melt.

I’m working on a recipe to help them stop melting and last longer, so watch this space 🙂

Protein balls 


Mix a 1/4 cup of cacao powder

10 dates

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 1/2 cups of almonds & walnuts

Blitz up and then roll into balls. I rolled the balls in coconut to give a bit more texture. Freeze and take out as and when.

Cacao is now stocked in most supermarkets, try to buy organic raw cacao, as this is the least processed kind and therefore much better for you.

More recipes to follow on my next blog 🙂

Hot and spicy courgetti noodles in a Thai style broth….


This recipe went down a treat, with chilli heat and crunchy vegetables, it makes for the perfect lunch or dinner. Is low in carbs, super filling and totally delicious 😋

Ingredients 

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 large red onion (roughly chopped)

1 large red pepper (sliced)

1 cup broccoli (break into small flourettes)

1 1/2 cups mushrooms (cut in half)

1 large or 2 small courgettes ( I make them into ribbons by using a peeler length ways)

2 tsp hot chilli powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 cup of tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

1/4 pint of water

1 cup of chopped coriander

1 tsp chilli flakes to garnish

Method

Using a wok, add your coconut oil and onion and fry for a couple of minutes. Add all your other vegetables (apart from the courgette)and spices and fry off for about 5 minutes. Add the tamari and coriander and stir for about 2 minutes. Then add your courgette ribbons and water. Summer for about 10/15 minutes. Keep tasting. I do sometimes add a bit more spice or chilli heat.


Serve In a bowl and garnish with fresh coriander and chilli flakes.
Happy Monday to you all 🙂



Lemon, coconut & almond protein balls…..

So I tried a variation on these last week, thanks to my friend and was instantly taken by how light and zesty they tasted. A really nice change from the usual cacao protein balls I make.

They are so simple to make and are packed full with flavour and nutritional goodness. Lots of so-called power bars or energy bites on the market, are unfortunately loaded with sugar and gluten, to name but a few ingredients. They may well contain protein but are packed out with things like maltodextrin, a filler known to spike blood sugars because of its high glycemic index, or fructose, another ingredient which is not great for our bodies. Given that the only organ in our bodies to utilise it, and not in a good way, is the liver. Over eating of fructose can cause the liver to overload, turning the fructose into fat. Always check the ingredients but better still, just make your own protein bars.

So to my balls………

Ingredients 

1 cup ground almonds

Grated rind of 1 lemon/ Orange works too

7 medjool dates

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 1/2 tbsp dedicated coconut

Pinch of salt

Method 

Pop all of your ingredients into a blender and mix for about 15 seconds or until the mixture holds together.

Roll into balls and then pop in the freezer.


No nasties, just pure protein from the almonds and chia seeds and natural sugars from the dates. A seriously great choice of snack for energy and nutritional value.

Happy Tuesday all xxx

Getting creative with veggies & why low carbs could be the key to weightloss and well-being….

I bang on about Swede a lot but there’s good reason for this. For so long, Swede has been popped in a box and brought out for Sunday lunches and the odd bit of mash. I remember it always being a bit lacklustre and the texture wasn’t much better, just watery and not great, to be honest.

When I started cutting down on carbohydrates, I had to become more creative with other vegetables. The Swede is packed with vitamin A & C and is cull of fibre and calcium. It has 9g of carbohydrate which is much lower than sweet potato, which contains 20g and potato, which has a whopping 30g! For weightloss, eating low carb foods can be ultra effective. The higher the carb content, the higher the insulin running around the body and insulin instructs your body to store fat and block the fat already in your body. Lowering your carb intake, means the body will start burning fat, which will increase energy levels and aid in maintaining your weight.


Which of course is why adding healthy full fats and protein to your diet is so much better than carbohydrates for your body. They are easier to burn and so much better for your body.

Back to the Swede! 


Tonight I literally cubed 1 whole Swede, boiled for 25 minutes and then sautéed them in:

2 tbsp coconut oil

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp hot chilli powder

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp turmeric

And a couple of pinches of Himalayan ground rock salt.

Fry until golden brown and slightly crispy and serve with a hot tomato curry or on their own with a lemony yoghurt or coconut cream dip.

They are delicious, nutritious and so easy to make.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Cumin & Chilli Cauliflower rice…..

I’ve had a lot of people ask me for this recipe, especially after I served it at my lil beloveds Birthday party this week. It really is a taste sensation, full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory spices, great for digestion and your overall health.

Ingredients 

3 tbsp coconut oil

1 head of cauliflower (blitzed)

1 large red onion (chopped)

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp hot chilli powder

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp cinnamon

Salt to season

Method

In a large pan, on a medium heat, add the coconut oil. Melt it down and then add the spices, salt and red onion. Fry the onion off for about 5 minutes and then add the cauliflower. Cook for about 30 minutes.


The cauliflower can dry up quite easily, so if you think that’s happening, add some more coconut oil. Also, keep tasting, if you prefer more heat, add more chilli or more paprika.


I served my rice with a tomato and onion curry.


Tomato & onion curry

Ingredients 

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 large red onion (thinly sliced length ways)

2 large tomatoes (roughly chopped)

I carton organic chopped tomatoes

2 tsp cumin

5 cardamom pods

2 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground all spice

2 tsp paprika

Salt

Large bunch of fresh coriander

Method

In a large saucepan add your coconut oil, onion and spices. Coat the onion and then add the tomatoes. Stir for about 5 minutes and then add the carton of chopped tomatoes. Season well and then simmer for about 45 mins on a low/medium heat.

To garnish, I added some red onion and red pepper roasted in the same spice mix. It just adds a bit more texture and sweet taste. Roast for about 30 mins at 180 fan asst.


In a bowl on the side I made some lemon yoghurt. I use full fat Greek yoghurt, about 4 tbsp and add the juice of half a lemon. It goes beautifully with the sharpness of the curry.


Throw some coriander over the dish and work away. It’s a truly delicious dish and one that tastes just as nice cold. Great for buffets and picnics 🙂

Happy cooking all cxxx


Why eat fat first thing? 

Cauliflower patties topped with happy eggs and mushrooms

When I became grain-free I really struggled with breakfast options. I mean not only am I grain-free but low carb too, so in my mind, I was left with little choice. Well, blow me down, how wrong was I!

Why eat fat first thing? 

Eating healthy fats like coconut oil are essential for feeding your body and setting it up for the rest of the day. It speeds up your metabolism and will give you that much required energy. Despite what modern medicine would have us believe about fat, it is not stored as fat in our bodies. It is a food to fuel and burn.

Nuts, eggs, full-fat yoghurt, to name but a few, are perfect breakfast foods. Healthy fats and proteins to keep you nice and full, but boosting your metabolism at the same time.

Yoghurt pots

I love a yoghurt pot. For breakfast I add nuts (mainly walnuts, pine nuts & ground almonds) cinnamon, chia seeds and a little flaxseed to a couple of heaped tbsps of full fat Greek natural yoghurt. It’s so delicious and incredibly filling.


If I have a yoghurt pot for lunch, I’ll add raspberries, goji-berries and blueberries. I never have fruit first thing, as the sugar spike from even natural sugars can increase blood sugar levels. Fruits are healthy in many ways but they also contain carbohydrates, which turn to sugar. They are best eaten from mid-morning onwards, once the stomach is lined with healthy fats. As a migraine sufferer, this increased blood sugar would definitely trigger an episode, so I steer clear.

Sometimes I even add cacao or a crumbled protein ball (recipe on the blog) into the pot. Not in my morning pot may I add. Simply divine too!


Eggs any which way really. I usually go for a scrambled egg, red onion and mushroom omelette with herbs and chilli flakes. Garnished with tomatoes in coconut oil and cinnamon.


Sometimes, if I’m lucky, there will be leftover courgette fritters or cauliflower patties. (Recipes on the blog) Just reheat in coconut oil. They are so yummy and again, satisfyingly filling.


Courgette fritters 


Cauliflower patties 

Or a simple slice of almond & flax bread with lashings of almond butter. Great for digestion and stimulating your morning movements……😉 Almonds lower blood sugar levels, are packed with healthy fats and promote weightloss, reducing hunger and helping with lowering cholesterol.


Almond and flaxseed bread 

If we all fuelled our bodies this way, we wouldn’t crave nasties like crisps and chocolate through the day. Our bodies would be working slowly, metabolising the wonderful healthy fats around our bodies, reducing said cravings and giving us an abundance of energy…..it’s a no brainer!

Roll on breakfast time……..cxxx

You can’t get better than a courgette fritter! 

Courgette Fritters 

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I really do feel as if I’m flying by the seat of my pants. The Weekend, as glorious and wonderful as it is, comes and goes in a blink of an eye and then wham, bam, Monday arrives like a brick wall in the face. I’m quite an up n at ’em person but even I struggle to lift my body out of bed and get going on a Monday.


The Weekend was spent creating some more raw bakes. I love looking at flavour combinations and seeing if they work. Thankfully, they all did. The pressure was on though, as these particular bakes were for a potential client to taste. So they had to be right. I may have used some colourful language at times, all in the name of art though.


As I said in a previous blog, being gluten-free and grain-free for a long time now, ive literally tried every sweet and savoury product going. The cakes are always packed to the hilt with sugar and although some bakes are tasty, they are still loaded with unhealthy ingredients.

I’ve made it my mission to make healthy food that is not only packed with nutrition in mind, but never at the cost of tasting delicious. Just because you take a few ingredients out, doesn’t mean it has to taste like cardboard. I recently sent a dish back in a restaurant because the gluten-free tortilla was literally as tough as old boots. You couldn’t even rip it!!


So, tonight I was short on time and famished. I was cooking all Weekend and failed to notice the lack of food in the cupboards. Luckily for me my yummy courgette fritters consist of 3 ingredients, all of which I had. Phew!

Ingredients 

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 small or 1 large courgette-Grated

1/2 cup grated cheddar or Parmesan

2 tbsp almond flour

Salt and pepper to season

Method 

Combine all of your ingredients in a large bowl. Roll into 1/4 cup size balls and then flatten with your hands. You’ll have a palm sized fritter.


Melt your coconut oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat. Place your fritters in the oil and cook for about 15 minutes. The mixture is quite delicate, so don’t turn mess about with it too much.


Turn and then cook for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.

They are so simple to make and a great accompaniment to any dish. Enjoy 🙂

Happy Monday all cxxx