Sunday, 7 April 2013

Bonjour from Paris!


Right now I'm sat in an apartment in Paris and as I write this my eyes keep wandering out the window to the people walking down this very pretty street lined with the bakeries, little cafes and restaurants - I love this place. 

My parents came to visit me in London as part of their Europe travels and I have joined them in Paris, which was their next stop. I'm taking a little blog break and have already found so much inspiration here for things I want to make. Including a sugar-free version of these:

I tried I dark chocolate one today, yum! 

During our site seeing we found a fresh food market. It was SO busy and after wandering through we could see why. There was the freshest fruit and vegetables, fish, cheese, bread, nuts and dried fruit. AND all pretty cheap. It was definitely not a tourist attraction as no one really spoke English. (Which made it all the more fun to try and buy things.)

Here is our haul from our market adventure:

Missing from this photo is a couple of perfectly ripe avocados, coriander hummus and smoked salmon. All of which I have enjoyed on plenty a rice cake with some cheese too. As well as a little nibble out of nearly every macaron to try the different flavours. And the strawberries... so good! After the amount of walking and stair climbing we have done I feel this is justified... :-) 

I'm still on the hunt for proper socca (the traditional version of lentil bread). It's more commonly found in Nice but I'm sure it's gotta be around here somewhere!

Without wishing the time away, I'm already excited to get back in the kitchen and start creating. Until then I'm officially unplugging.

Au revoir!

Friday, 29 March 2013

Lemon and Poppy Seed Biscuits (Everything-Free)

If you're looking for a treat this Easter weekend that is something other than chocolate these might be for you. 

By the time I'm done telling you what's not in these biscuit/cookie creations you will be thinking well, what IS in them?? (Apart from lemon and poppy seeds.)

There is no:
  • sugar
  • dairy
  • gluten
  • flour
  • nuts

What is the main ingredient? Chickpeas.

Stay with me here, just a second. You can't taste the chickpeas. But they do create the best flour like cookie texture for these biscuits. Trust me! 

Lemon and Poppy Seed Biscuits
(Sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, grain-free)
Makes about 20 biscuits.


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter  
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 1/4 tsp pure stevia
  • 1 Tbsp poppyseeds
  • pinch of fine sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until thoroughly combined. 
  • Spoon about half a tablespoon of the mixture onto lined baking tray and flatten down into a cookie shape with your fingers. The biscuits won't change shape in the oven.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. 

When you pull these out of the oven you won't believe they are flourless. They are a bit crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, perfect!

You can find this recipe over at Wellness Weekend. 

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

How To Make Lentil Bread

Lentil bread... if you're not into lentils it doesn't sound too appealing does it?! Well I can assure you that you don't need to like lentils to like this bread. 

Red lentil bread

It's also known as socca, a traditional French flat bread that is usually made with chickpea flour. I prefer the texture and taste of lentils in this recipe, hence the name. 

It is something I make on a regular basis so I don't really look at my recipe, I just kind of go into auto pilot. Then a few days ago I had the urge to look back at the old post I did on red lentil bread... WOW I don't know what I was thinking but the measurements were SO wrong. Which is weird because it definitely was working for me at the time I posted it. I even tried to follow my recipe on the post but I didn't bother putting it in the oven because once I mixed it I knew it wouldn't work. There was way too much water and it was so runny. I ended up just adding more lentils until the consistency was back to normal. 

So before anyone else attempts to make some lentil bread from that recipe and ends up with a mushy mess I thought I better give it a much needed update! I've also added some tips and tricks as well. 

Lentil Bread
Gluten-free, yeast-free
Makes about 6 slices

  • 1 cup uncooked lentils (red or green)
  • 200ml water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp oil (olive, coconut)

  • Heat oven to 180C.
  • Blend the lentils to create a flour. It doesn't have to be perfect but make sure the majority is grinded up. 
  • Add the water and salt and blend together. 
The next step changes depending on what type of baking tray you use. Either a silicone baking tray or just an ordinary baking tray. Both 8 inch:
If you use a silicon baking tray:
  • Add the oil into the bread mixture and blend together. 
  • Pour into silicon tray and bake for 15 minutes. 
If you use a normal baking tray:
  • Add the oil to the baking tray.
  • Put the tray with the oil into the oven for about 2 minutes to warm up. 
  • Now pour the bread mixture into the tray. (Be careful of the hot oil, pour slowly!)
  • Bake for 15 minutes. 

Green lentil bread with almond butter

It works so much better when you take the different steps above according to the type of baking tray you use. Through my own trial and errors I've ended up with awful dry bread and awful oil drenched bread. So trust me on this!

This is more of a dense flat bread. So...

Can I use it to make a sandwich?

Yes. I have and I like it. You might find it too dry so just add something like avocado or hummus to give it a bit of moisture. 

Can I toast it?

Yes. It holds together nicely but you don't really need to unless its a way to just warm it up. Because it's been cooked in the oven it already has a toasty texture. 

Can I go wild and add spices and herbs?

Go wild my friend. In fact, if you come up with something tasty please let me know! 

This recipe can be found over at Wellness Weekend

Friday, 22 March 2013

In The Wellness Corner with Emily Chan-Norris

Welcome to another Friday in The Wellness Corner. I'm thrilled that we are joined by Emily from Embrace True Health. I have been following Emily for ages now and her insightful, knowledgeable posts kept me coming back for more. It was through her blog that I first understood what mindful eating was (which I wrote about that just last week). Be sure to check this girl out!

Introducing Emily... 

Name: Emily Chan-Norris
Age: 31
Location: San Diego, California

Can you tell us in a sentence or two what you do?

I show people how to lose weight, boost their energy, reduce their stress and feel more confident without dieting, depriving themselves or feeling overwhelmed. I mostly support women in their 30s and 40s who are motivated and ready to do what it takes to create happier, healthier lives for themselves.

What first made you interested in health and wellness?

I used to be depressed, tired, stressed out and have bad skin. When I discovered the healing power of real food and let go of the toxic foods I was addicted to, I became happier, my energy soared and my skin cleared up. I was so amazed at the impact of diet on overall health and well-being that I wanted to share it with the world! Now when I eat foods that don’t serve me, all of my old symptoms come back almost immediately. It’s quite remarkable.

What keeps you motivated to practice what you preach?

My business keeps me motivated. It’s really difficult to inspire other people to get healthier when I don’t practice what I preach. When I make self-care a priority, not only am I being a healthy role model for my clients and followers, but I’m significantly happier, I have more focus and drive, and I feel more connected to my life’s purpose. Everybody wins!

What staples would we find if we went rummaging in your kitchen?

Lemons, leafy greens (especially kale, my favorite), broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, apples, chia seeds, hemp seeds, olive oil, coconut oil, cinnamon, stevia, sea salt, and ground pepper.

What is your favourite on the go snack?

My go-to travel snacks are nuts (macadamia nuts, cashews, and almonds), some kind of nut/seed bar, or a protein shake. When I want to get really fancy, I’ll make a wrap with almond butter or sunflower seed butter, sliced banana, cinnamon, and a couple drops of stevia or raw honey.

If you could share one piece of advice loud and clear with the world what would it be?

Set yourself up for success by creating an inspiring and empowering environment for yourself. Clear your kitchen of tempting junk food and restock it with whole, unprocessed foods. Let go of the toxic people in your life who drain you and surround yourself with positive people who support and inspire you. Take pride in your living space by clearing out the clutter that’s weighing you down. It’s easier to stick to healthy behaviors when you’re in a healthy environment.

What could you not go a day without?

Plenty of sleep, water, and greens! They help keep my mood and energy levels high throughout the day.

Favourite quote?

"Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." ~Jim Rohn

Could you share a recipe with us?

Absolutely! This is a recipe for Chia Pudding, an easy and tasty treat, healthy enough to enjoy at any time of day.

Chia Pudding 

Yields 1 Serving


  • 2 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Coconut or Almond Milk (unsweetened, plain)
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 5 drops Liquid Stevia (or sweetener of choice, like raw honey)
  • Tiny dash Sea Salt


  • Combine all ingredients in a small bowl (or mason jar), stir (or shake), and cover
  • Place in refrigerator for 15 minutes
  • Remove from refrigerator and stir
  • Put back in refrigerator for at least another 10-20 minutes (feel free to leave it in the fridge overnight if you want to eat it in the morning)
  • Remove from refrigerator, stir, and enjoy!


To make this a more filling snack or meal, add toppings after removing from the refrigerator. Topping ideas include coconut shreds (unsweetened), sliced banana, berries, or hemp seeds. Chia seeds have a pretty neutral flavor so they go with pretty much anything!

To make this a chocolate-y treat, add 1/2 to 1 tsp cacao powder to the mixture (and stir) before putting it in the refrigerator.

Get connected: 

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Flourless Apple and Blueberry Crumble

served with easy raspberry ice cream

I made this apple and blueberry crumble a couple of weeks ago on Mothers Day. It was kind of a last minute throw together idea!

Keeping in gluten free I used almond flour for the crumble with some chopped brazil nuts for extra crunch. YUM. 

Flourless Apple and Blueberry Crumble
Gluten free, dairy free, sugar free
Serves 6 


  • 5 granny smith apples
  • handful of blueberries
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup chopped brazil nuts
  • tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • pinch of stevia extract

  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Chop/slice apples and place in a sauce pan with lemon juice, cinnamon and a splash of water. Cover and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the apples have slightly softened. 
  • In a small bowl combine almond flour, brazil nuts and a tiny bit of stevia. Add in melted coconut oil and stir together. Add a little more coconut oil if the mixture is too dry. 
  • Transfer apples into a baking dish and sprinkle in the blueberries. Top with crumble mixture. 
  • Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the top begins to brown.
  • Serve with easy raspberry ice cream, vegan cream or organic greek yoghurt.

If you prefer a thicker crumble topping just increase the almond flour and maybe a little more coconut oil if needed. I used half a cup because that was the amount that was left in the house, plus I kind of liked the lighter topping. 

This recipe is shared over at Wellness Weekends. 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Can You Eat Without Technology?

Mindful eating is a concept you may have heard of, but do you know what it can do for you?
When was the last time you ate a meal on your own with no phone, no TV, no book or magazine. Nothing to distract you. For a lot of us it's a rarity.
As soon as I sit down to eat I grab my phone to catch up on texts or emails, or sit in front of my laptop to watch something or read articles. I find it really hard to just sit and eat.
I used to see information on mindful eating and it's benefits but I use to resist the idea of it and would just brush it off. I would think: "That won't work for me" or "I won't get any benefits from that." Then after continually seeing the concept being mentioned by Emily from Embrace True Health I knew I had to try and put it into practice.

First of all what is mindful eating? 
"It is being more aware of your eating habits, the sensations you experience when you eat, and the thoughts and emotions that you have about food. It is more about how you eat than what you eat." -Susan Albers

Mindful eating is about slowing down, being in the present moment and realising you're eating. Have you ever finished a meal and thought "Oh... I don't even remember eating that..." Which leaves you wanting more because you haven't acknowledged the amount you have eaten? That is mindless eating. 

The benefits of mindful eating:

  • Helps you listen to your body and really know when you are full.
  • Allows you become more aware of emotional eating.
  • Gives you an amazing sense of satisfaction and comfortable fullness. 
  • Assists in weight management; you are less likely to overeat.
  • You learn how to truly enjoy your food.
  • Is an act of self love, and your body will love you back for it!

So yesterday I set myself the challenge of mindfully eating for a full week. This means removing all the distractions and just focusing on eating. Sounds easy right? I thought so too. 

I sat down to have my first meal and all I wanted to do was grab something to do. I was struggling to just sit and eat. I even began to daydream and plan things in my mind so I could be distracted in some other way. It took a lot of focus to sit there, look at my food and eat. Sounds like I'm crazy, right?! By the second meal I seemed to settle into the idea more. I'm hoping by the end of the week the commitment to mindful eating will begin to feel more natural. I will let you know how I go and what I discover. 

Now over to you. I really urge you to give this a go. So much focus is placed on rethinking what we eat and not rethinking how we eat it.

Here is what you do: 

  • Take 5 deep breaths before eating to create an optimal, relaxed environment for digestion and absorption.
  • Remove all distractions; leave your phone away from you and turn off the tv.
  • Chew your food!
  • Eat slowly and really enjoy the tastes and sensations. If it helps put your fork down in between each bite. 
  • Feel grateful for your food and the time you have taken to show yourself some self care. 

Give it a try. Like any habit, it takes time to change. So even just giving your breakfast a mindful makeover could make such a huge difference to the way you feel and set you up for a great day.

Leave a comment below or let me know on Facebook  how you go. 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Gluten-Free Kale Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh with a twist! 

This fresh salad reminds me so much of the local deli where I grew up in Australia. It was a Sunday tradition in my house to get rare roast beef, fresh slices of emmental cheese and some sort of side salad along with fresh bread rolls for lunch. While most of the time my Dad would opt for a particular mushroom salad there were times when we would get tabbouleh and I remember it always looking so fresh in that deli. 

Traditional tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat and since I avoid eating gluten I thought it was time for a make over. I have seen quinoa versions of tabbouleh before but I thought another grain might be a closer texture to bulgur. (I'm as shocked as you are that I turned down the option of adding quinoa to something!) 

Millet. It's similar texture lends nicely to this salad and still keeps the dish gluten free. I decided to add in some kale as well. Mostly because other than green smoothies I don't enjoy raw kale. So I added it in the hope the bitterness would be masked by the other ingredients and it was! So if you are the same as me and don't really like raw kale this is a great to add way more of it into your diet. 

Millet and Kale Tabbouleh
Gluten-free. Serves 4-6


  • 1/2 cup uncooked millet
  • 1 cup water
  • 100g fresh parsley
  • 2 handfuls of kale
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 4 spring onions
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granuales
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

  • First prepare the millet. Place in a saucepan with one cup of water. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. It should take about 15 minutes for the water to be absorbed. When finished let stand for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Allow to cool.
  • While the millet is cooling mix together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a small bowl. 
  • Finely chop the remaining ingredients. (I like to add the parsley and kale to my food processor to finely chop them up.)
  • Add the chopped veg and parsley to a large bowl. Mix together with the millet. 
  • Pour the dressing over the salad and mix together. 
  • Serve immediately or let sit covered in the fridge. The longer you let it stand the more the flavours will come out!

This post can be found over at Wellness Weekend.