Tag Archives: #glutenfree

Pumpkin (Squash)

Pumpkin (Squash)

Easy to get all year round vegetable but what I consider a winter food, rich in beta-carotenes Vitamin A which is great for eyesight and a healthy immune system, pumpkin has healthy fats with Vitamin C, B6, Magnesium, Iron, Potassium, Calcium and even Protein it is surely one of the most healthy comforts foods in my opinion.

With so many ways to cook pumpkin; boiled, steam and baked (skin on is easier to prepare and you get less waste) on their own or pureed into a soup or dips, added to casseroles in chunks, stuffed with other foods, and added to salads (especially with beetroot and baby spinach) you are bound to find many ways to use pumpkin.

I love it baked on its own or thrown into a Tajine, I love Tajine because they are super easy to make and use up left over vegetables in the crisper.

Recipe: My leftover Vegetable and Bean Tajine (can also be made using a slow cooker)

  • Add in this order to lightly oiled Tajine;
  • 1 large or 2 small onions cut into wedges
  • An assortment of cauliflower, pumpkin, broccoli, zucchini and any other vegetable
  • 1 can of either soya beans, cannellini beans or chick peas
  • 2 tomatoes diced with ¼ cup water (or can of diced tomatoes omit water)
  • 1 handful (or more) beans, can be frozen
  • Drizzle ¼ cup of olive oil over top
  • Don’t not stir
  • Place lid on and allow to cook on stove top for approx. 30 minutes
  • When vegetables are soft and start breaking down;
  • Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • And 1-2 of cumin
  • Half a bunch of coriander roughly chopped
  • Season with salt and pepper to your taste
  • Then stir together for final cook approx. 10 minutes whilst you prepare rice or couscous to serve Tajine on top of.

Enjoy 🙂




are an autumn vegetable which is part of the onion family and should start becoming abundant and more affordable, they are a great source of minerals and vitamins that are essential for optimum health. Their leafy stems indeed contain several vital vitamins such as pyridoxine, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.

100 g fresh stalks provide 64 µg of folates. Folic acid is essential for DNA synthesis and cell division. It is said that adequate levels in the diet during pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects in the newborn babies. There is also evidence that blood pressure can be reduces and risk of stroke minimised by incorporating Leeks into the diet.

Essential vitamins such as vitamin A, C, K, and vitamin E are also in high quantity benefiting diets lacking these vitamins.

Easy to find in supermarkets and green grocers or market usually in bunches of 3.

Leek is highly versatile in cooking and sweeter than its relative onions; it can be treated like onions, bake on its own with a little oil and salt, cooked into tofu quiches, casseroles, as a main ingredient filler for stuffed mushrooms, as a soup with potato or in risottos to name a few ideas.

Recipe: Easy Pasties

  • Cut puff pastry sheets into 4 squares.
  • Cook some potatoes using boiling method, once tender, drain and mash.
  • Add lightly sautéed sliced leeks, peas, corn, chopped carrots or any other vegetables you like and mix together.
  • I like to add a little Moroccan spice as well.
  • Place a small amount on each pastry square and then fold over ‘gluing’ edged together with a little soy milk.
  • Cook in oven 180 degrees for approx. 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Serve with green salad.

How do you enjoy leek?


Kidney Beans

Kidney beans

were named due to their resemblance to a kidney and are loaded with potassium and magnesium, which can help keep blood pressure in check, they are high in fibre and also contain essential fatty acid omega 3.
It is important that Kidney beans are cooked prior to consumption as they can make you very sick due to a toxic agent found in beans however mostly in Kidney beans and is not recommended to sprout because of this.
Cooking is simple, leave beans in a pot of clean water overnight, the next day rinse and fill pot with fresh water and bring to boil after which they should simmer for an hour or so until tender. Alternatively they are found pre-cooked in cans within supermarkets and other grocery stores.
They suit a number of dishes including; salads, stews, casseroles, pies and spreads i.e. refried beans.

Recipe: This week my husband has promised to make a favourite; Chili Beans with Chocolate which is packed full of protein – YUMMY.


  • 150 Grams TVP mince; soak in warm stock for at least 20 mins until double in size (or a can of lentils)
  • 1 Onion; Diced
  • 3 Cloves garlic; Crushed
  • 800 Grams Kidney beans; Can rinsed and drained
  • 800 Grams Tomatoes; Chopped
  • 300 mls Vegetable stock
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • Pinch cayenne pepper and Cinnamon
  • 30 Grams Dark chocolate; Broken up
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Directions:
    Brown the TVP mince in a frying pan over medium heat, then set aside.
    Sweat the onion and garlic in olive oil but turn heat down so they don’t brown.
    Combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer on a low heat for one hour.
    Serve with tortillas and lettuce or on its own.

    Kidney Beans

    Kale (borecole)


    there has been a lot excitement about kale recently and I for one and excited too  it is thought that Kale may provide significant health benefits, including cancer protection and lowering cholesterol.
    Kale, also known as borecole and has curly leaves that are either purple or green and belongs to the same family as carrots.
    A rich source of calcium, protein, potassium vitamin C and vitamin K, Kale is a superfood that is versatile and tasty.
    Kale can be used as one of the main ingredients green smoothies, can be baked into chips, added to casseroles or stir-fried with other vegetables or even on its own with a little oil and garlic.
    So freely available now you can pick it up a mist supermarkets and green grocers, as with most of my shopping I prefer to buy form the local markets.
    Tonight we are having Kale added to our Tangine, what will you be having your kale with next?

    Pumpkin Pepitas Seeds

    Pumpkin Pepitas Seeds

    are the green kernels from pumpkin seeds. The seeds are removed from the pumpkin, then dried so that they are ready to eat.

    They are a great source of protein iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium, Magnesium helps your body neutralize metabolic acids, absorb calcium, additionally Pepitas contain copper, B vitamins, vitamin K and vitamin E. They also contain L-tryptophan, which promotes healthy sleeping patterns and lowers depression. High zinc levels make them a natural protector against osteoporosis.

    They are also the most alkaline-forming seed which helps counter-act the many alkaline foods in everyday diets.

    Pepitas are yummy by themselves or in a trail mix, added to bread mixes, cereal or salads.

    They are super easy to find and are very inexpensive.

    My favourite use for Pepitas are adding to salads and my chia puddings, what’s yours?Pumpkin Pepitas Seeds

    Chia Seeds

    Chia seeds

    where a toy ‘pet’ when I was growing up, I would never have thought that they held so many health benefits and were so versatile to use. Chia seeds are either black or white and there is no significant nutritional difference between the colours, I like to use the white ones because in smoothies and puddings they look better.

    Chia seeds are another one of those foods that you say “what doesn’t it do” and is gluten free 😉

    * Omega 3Chia seed has 8 times more omega 3 than salmon, more importantly, chia doesn’t contain cholesterol and toxic heavy metal components as fish and other marine or animal products.

    * Calcium
    Chia seed contains 5 times more calcium than milk.

    * Protein
    Chia seed possesses 23 percent protein, this is higher than other traditional cereals such as wheat (13.7 %), corn (9.4 %), rice(6.5 %), oats(16.9 percent) and barley(12.5 %).

    * Fibre
    Comparing the fibre content of chia, it has 1.6, 2.3, 2.6, 8.3 and 9.8 times more fibre per 100 grams of an edible portion than barley, wheat, oats, corn and rice, respectively.

    * Iron
    Comparing iron content of chia seed with other traditional iron-rich sources products, chia seed has 6, 1.8, and 2.4 times more iron per 100 grams of edible portion than spinach, lentils, and beef liver.

    * Antioxidants and vitamins and minerals
    Chia contains high portion of antioxidants, and that makes it a very stable source of omega 3, and enables us to store chia seed and flour for extended periods of time without becoming rancid.  Chia seed is also a good source of B vitamins.

    Nutritional source http://www.chiaseeds.net.au

    Chia seeds can be sprouted and when added to liquid swell up and become gel like. They are a great additional to; cereals, muslie bars, trail mix, smoothies (add last just before blending), make yummy puddings, are great as egg substitute, thickener for soups/jams to name a few things.

    They are really easy to get now but price varies significantly from supermarket to produce market so if you get into them as much as I do then check out the markets for bulk prices.

    Recipe: Chia Pudding

    base consists of putting into a jar 1 cup Milk (coconut, soy, almond) and 4 tablespoons chia seeds with 1 tablespoons of sweetener (Agave, maple syrup, rice syrup); then add whatever you like, fruit, seeds, vanilla or cacao and giving it a good shake then leaving for several hours or overnight for the chia seeds to plump up.

    What are you favourite inclusions to chia puddings?

    Chia Seeds

    Maca root

    Maca root

    is from a plant that grows in central Peru in the high plateaus of the Andes Mountains.

    Maca is used for anemia; chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS); and enhancing energy, stamina, athletic performance, memory, and fertility. Women use maca for female hormone imbalance, menstrual problems, and symptoms of menopause. Maca is also used for weak bones (osteoporosis), depression, stomach cancer, leukemia, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, erectile dysfunction (ED), to arouse sexual desire, and to boost the immune system. Source WebMD Read more

    It can be picked up from health food stores and is starting to pop up more in organic stores as well.

    I use it in powder form in smoothies and am incorporating it into a new variant of the Protein Bite range which will be released next month.

    Little is known about the safety and side effects of short-term or long-term use of maca. Therefore it’s best to err on the side of caution when taking medications, especially if pregnant

    Maca Root



    is a very well-known vegetable however the extent of its benefits are not that well known. The stem and the top sprout can be eaten either raw or cooked and aides the body by way of helping reduced cholesterol, assisting the body’s ability to detox and is a very rich source of Vitamin D, Protein and Calcium.

    It is very easily sourced from Fruit stores, markets and supermarkets, and can be bought fresh or snap frozen.

    Steamed or cooked into Tangines broccoli sprouts are very flavoursome and can be great in salads once cooled down. Broccoli can also be preserved and pickled for longer storage and delicious crunchy side or to put into rice paper rolls.

    The Stem is also great for cooking, you paid for it, you should use it, cut into small pieces try dumplings and slices as chips or stir-fry’s.

    Raw the stem is getting a new lease of life by being used in green smoothies but its best to do a little reading first to get the tastes right as the blending of broccoli releases many nutrient and also its bitterness.


    Goji Berries

    Goji Berries

    are considered one of the super-foods, it has a fountain of youth benefit due to it containing all essential amino acids, and having the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. They are also loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber. Goji berries have 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals. Natural in anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal compounds and their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system.

    They are normally found in Australia dried in health food, supermarkets and pharmacies, but best value is from local market nut and dried food stores.

    They are great eaten as is, put into trail mixes and/or muesli, rehydrated and blended up in smoothies and used in deserts. One of @avegansmiles Protein Bite variety has Goji Berries combined with Cranberries to provide all the above goodness in one easy, convenient and yummy to eat ball.

    goji berry