February 24, 2014

Radish, Fetta and Avocado Salad

Fresh and fast, this salad recipe is simple and very satisfying. Perfect for lunch or dinner, I love to serve this salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil, cracked pepper and a little sea salt.

Radish, fetta and avocado salad


  • 1 cup of snow pea tendrils, washed
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 an avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup of crumbled Danish fetta (or whatever fetta you like)
  • extra virgin olive oil, cracked pepper and sea salt for dressing

Simply throw all the ingredients into a bowl and dress with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper.

February 21, 2014

Vegan Love Cookies (gluten free)

A few weeks back, it was Valentine's Day.

When I first met my love, I baked him chocolate chip cookies on our third date and after eating two in the car on our way to dinner, he was smitten. He took the leftovers to his parents' house. When I first met the family, I was recognized with, 'so you're the girl who made those amazing cookies!' Needless to say, baking can really be the way to someone's heart and in my experience, make a very lasting impression.

Naturally on Valentine's Day, I recreate my cookies to give as a sweet treat to my love, as a gift and a little reminder of one of the reasons he keeps me around...

Love Cookies

  • 1 cup of almond meal
  • 1/4 cup of vanilla protein powder (I use a vegan rice blend)
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup of Natvia stevia sweetener
  • 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut 
  • 2 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil
  • One (or two if you want that extra chocolate hit) small milk chocolate Lindt bars*not vegan OR vegan-friendly chocolate bar, I like Pana Chocolate
  • Candy for decorations: I used pink love hearts and edible gold glitter

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (moderately hot) fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients together (almond meal, protein powder, baking powder, coconut, stevia and cinnamon). Add in the peanut butter, coconut oil and vanilla essence and mix until just combined, and then add your chocolate. Carefully mix the chocolate in, taking care not to break up the chocolate too much. If the mixture isn't coming together, add a little water until the mix forms a dough. 
  3. Once the dough is formed, take out a tablespoon of the mixture and roll into a ball. Flatten onto the cookie tray. Repeat until you have run out of mixture. Don't worry if the cookies are quite close together, they won't spread like regular cookies containing flour and butter.
  4. Bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until the cookies are golden brown. Watch them after 10 minutes to make sure they don't burn as I find all ovens are so different, it can be quite hard to set an exact time and I don't want your cookies to be char-grilled!
  5. When they come out of the oven, dust them with your decorations. I used edible glitter and love hearts that I found at the grocery store. Gently press the decorations down onto the cookie to help them stick. Leave the cookies to cool slightly and set on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Store in an airtight container for up to five days.

February 20, 2014

Samantha Faiers Weight Loss due to Crohn's Disease

In the past six weeks, Samantha Faiers (star of reality show The Only Way is Essex and recently on Big Brother) has lost over 10 kilograms during a mystery illness. Her inexplicable weight loss and ill health has now been diagnosed as Crohn's Disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease which is thought to arise from abnormalities in the body's immune system.

Crohn's Disease is a long-term illness that requires constant management through medication and symptom monitoring. A patient will have periods of remission when the disease is not active but during times of aggravation, the patient could experience abdominal pain, weight loss, skin problems, joint pain and fatigue.

The disease can cause serious repercussions to the body but can be difficult to diagnose as the symptoms can mimic those of other bowel disorders. Before Samantha was diagnosed, she was unsure what was causing what she described as the 'sickest she has ever been in her life'.

“My immune system is down so I’m picking up every bug going. My bowels are swollen and so are my intestines. I just couldn’t keep my food down. It was horrible. I lost all the muscle definition in my stomach.”

The 23-year-old will now need to manage her health to ensure she recovers from the aggravated disease. Starting a liquid only diet to allow her bowels to heal, Samantha will need to tailor her diet to the disease.

Daily Mail quoted a source as saying, "at the moment, she is just trying to cope with the excruciating stomach cramps. That has been the most difficult thing. Now, she is working with her gastroenterologist to see if she can work around her illness."

Renowned for her gorgeous curves, the blonde beauty is keen to regain some weight once her health is recovered and does not want women to aspire to her new look. Losing weight due to a severe illness should not be aspirational and a healthy body and mind is and should be your number one priority.

February 19, 2014

Roasted Salmon with Lemon Quinoa

About midday, my mind starts wandering to the thought of what to cook for dinner. As a foodie and a health nut, I love to pack in nutrients into my meals in creative and delicious ways. A favourite in the family is salmon, a rich and omega-3 loaded pink fleshed fish, perfect for roasting. I favour roasting my salmon to cooking in a fry pan because it really cuts down on the clean up afterwards and despite my most thorough cleaning efforts, I always am put off my breakfast by the lingering fish smell the next morning. 

While salmon is frequent craving in my household, quinoa is a new ingredients I have started to play with a meal times. Quinoa (said keen-wah, and yes a few years back, I shamelessly went around ordering que-noah salads only to be greeted with a disdainful look from the hippie behind the counter so no, you're not the only one) is actually derived from a seed not a grain, which makes it packed in protein and wheat/gluten free. It also tastes delicious, especially cooked in vegetable stock, just make sure to rinse your quinoa before use to wash away the seed's bitter coating.

For this recipe, I tried 'Celebrate Health' quinoa sachet, which you won't need to rinse because someone lovely has done that step for you. It also is bursting with yummy lemon and herb flavours, which accompany the salmon beautifully. Celebrate Health is a really fabulous health food company producing sauces and mixes that are low in fructose, low in sugar, gluten free and preservative free (just to mention a few benefits!). Add some fresh vegetables, extra herbs and a few roasted nuts, and you have a sumptuous feast that ticks every nutritious box!

Roasted Salmon and Lemon Quinoa 

Serves 2

  • 2 fillets of Atlantic Salmon (ocean trout would work too)
  • 1 packet of Celebrate Health lemon and thyme quinoa
  • 1/2 cup of lightly toasted pistachio nuts
  • 1/2 cup of parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1 fresh corn on the cob, kernels removed
  • 2 handfuls of green beans, chopped into thirds
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • alfafa sprouts to serve

  1. Cook the quinoa according to the directions on the packet. The recipe calls for stock but I used plain water as I found the packet mix to be flavoured enough for my taste.
  2. Toast the raw pistachio nuts in a hot pan for a few minutes until toasted, but take care not to burn them.. it's very easy to do! Transfer to a plate to cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to a hot 200 degrees and line a baking tray with foil which you can fold up slightly on the sides to create a little package for the salmon to sit in. This avoids the oil from the fish leaking through to the pan, which makes things a little messy. Then place a piece of baking paper on top of the flat piece of foil.
  4. Lay the salmon skin side up on the tray on a bed of parsley. Generously season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes - or slightly adjust depending on the thickness of the fish. I like my fish to be soft in the inside, where it melts in your mouth. Overcooked fish can be dry. Remember it will keep cooking when you take the fish out, especially if you cover with foil so if it needs a couple of extra minutes, this will finish it off perfectly.
  5. Steam the beans and corn kernels for 3 minutes in the microwave. If you are new to cooking vegetables like this, just pop the veggies into a microwave safe bowl and add a splash of water. Cover with a Pyrex lid or plate and pop in the microwave to steam.
  6. When the quinoa is ready, mix in a teaspoon of organic butter and a little sea salt. Then add the vegetables, avocado and nuts.
  7. Serve the quinoa and top with the salmon fillet. Garnish with alfalfa. Dress with a squeeze of lemon to finish. 

February 11, 2014

Melinda's Nourishing Raspberry and Coconut Cupcakes aka Healthy Jam Donuts

This mix is sweetened with Natvia and gluten free, making it easy for clean eaters to whip up a batch of delightful cupcakes in a few minutes. I was inundated with emails and my to-do list was half way down page two when I decided to take a baking break. The perks of working at home. Baking is total relaxation for me and I love testing out new products on the market that make it easier for all of us busy people to make healthy sweets at home. 

Melinda's gluten free goodies range offers cake mixes that are often fructose free, low in sugar and of course, free of wheat. I've tried her brownie mix a few times and loved it so I jumped at the chance to try these cupcakes. 

As I usually do, I modified the ingredients to suit what I had in the pantry and the results were amaze, creating cakes that were moist, fluffy and scrumptious. You can do the same with the mix, just as long as you use the appropriate ratio of ingredients, which you can usually figure out by the mixture's consistency. Not too runny, not too dry. 

When baked, these came out of the oven golden brown and smelling like berry jam donuts, making it a little easier to go back to work.

Melinda's Nourishing Raspberry and Coconut Cupcakes 


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin or line with patty pans and distribute the mix evenly.
  3. Top with chia seeds and bake in a moderate oven (165 degrees) for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. Take out and let rest in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring the a wire rack to cool. Serve warm with camomile tea.

February 09, 2014

My Green Smoothie Recipe

On every health food blog you will hear clean eaters banging on about green smoothies. Green smoothies are the new official super breakfast and I indulge in one every morning. These bright green drinks are not just good for you they actually taste amazing. Really. I crave my green smoothie, I'm not joking. They take mere minutes to make and if you are lucky enough to have a high-powered blender like my beloved Vitamix, the result is a creamy and sweet luxurious morning drink. 

Don't freak out about the colour or the addition of leafy greens, you won't detect the salad ingredients in the smoothie, it's masked by the yummy fruits I promise.

My Green Smoothie


  • 1 large handful of organic baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup of coconut water
  • 1 small frozen banana
  • a few chunks of honeydew melon
  • 1/2 cup of ice
  • 1 teaspoon of probiotic powder (or digestion superfood powder)
  • 1 scoop of vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon of LSA
  1. Put all the ingredients into your blender and mix until smooth and creamy. You can add more water or coconut water if your blender is struggling to mix everything together.
  2. Serve in a tall glass immediately and enjoy! 

February 08, 2014

Chickpea Blondies

Don't let the title alarm you; these blondies taste amazing and are free from gluten, low in sugar and packed with protein. Honestly, you cannot go wrong! Chickpeas or garbanzo beans give the blonde brownies a creamy texture without adding any flavour. Customise the mix by adding your favourite vanilla protein powder to the mix and throw in a chopped chocolate protein bar or 1/2 cup of low-sugar chocolate chips. A chopped or mashed banana or diced dates are delicious additions too.

I promise no one will be able to detect the mystery ingredient, although if you think it will deter friends and family from devouring these blondies in one go, you may want to drop the chickpea bomb...

Chickpea Blondies

  • 400 grams/1 can of cooked chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 of Natvia sweetener (stevia sweetener)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 chocolate protein bar, chopped or 1/2 cup of chocolate chips
  1. Grease a small brownie tin with coconut oil or line with baking paper.
  2. In a blender or food processor, blend all the ingredients except for the protein bar or chocolate chips and combine until creamy.
  3. Fold in the chocolate and pour the mixture into a tin.
  4. Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees) for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Don't overcook the blondies or they will be a bit dry. 
  5. Let cool in the tin and then slice, and serve, or store in an airtight container.

February 04, 2014

Almond Cookies Two Ways (sugar and gluten free)

These almond cookies are loved by health gurus and cookie aficionados alike.  Free from gluten and low in sugar, these tasty treats are perfect skinny sweets to satisfy cravings. The recipe is easy to modify and you can be creative with what you want to add in. I have two delicious recipes below that take minutes to prepare.

Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 1 cup of almond meal/flour 
  • 1 teaspoon of superior ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/4 cup of organic coconut oil 
  • 1/4 cup of Natvia stevia sweetener
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cacao raw chocolate (I used Pana Chocolate in cinnamon)
  1. Mix all ingredients together to form a dough. You can add more almond flour or extra coconut oil depending on the dough's consistency. 
  2. Roll into little balls and flatten on a cookie tray that has been covered in baking paper.
  3. Bake in a hot oven (185 degrees) for 10 minutes or until toasty brown.
  4. Take out a leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Maple Nut Cookies


  • 1 cup of almond meal/flour
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg or ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons of Natvia stevia sweetener
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons of organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of toasted slivered almonds
  • a handful of chopped macadamia nuts 
  1. Mix all ingredients together to form a dough. You can add more almond flour or extra coconut oil depending on the dough's consistency. 
  2. Roll into little balls and flatten on a cookie tray that has been covered in baking paper.
  3. Bake in a hot oven (185 degrees) for 10 minutes or until toasty brown.
  4. Take out a leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.