Chocolate Nut Hearts


Makes about 40 x 2.5 cm shapes

Paleo, vegan; no dairy, gluten, cane sugar, soy

Charming chocolate shop-worthy morsels. Store in the fridge or freezer and they last well. Great for snacks or as a dinner party dessert on a platter with grapes, berries or sliced seasonal fruit. Children can help make these in minutes. As with eating the finest chocolate though, it will melt from warm fingers that then need to be licked. Sorry about that.

They have intense flavour and nutrition. Cocoa for flavonoids, iron and magnesium; nuts for zinc and protein; prunes for calcium, potassium, soluble and insoluble fibre. The recipe is strikingly delicious as is. More flavour options are also provided. Read more

Vegan Caramel Nut Ice Cream

Makes about 3 cups

Paleo, vegan; no gluten, dairy, soy or cane sugar

Keep frozen fruit on hand and this can be made in 5 minutes. Cool, creamy, crunchy and naturally sweet. Thanks to the combination of fruit, nuts and legume (peanut) it is also a good source of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals. Unlike most frozen banana mixtures, this one stays creamy when frozen and stored, rather than becoming rock-like. Read more

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Cashew ‘Cream Cheese’ Icing

No gluten, dairy, egg or cane sugar

You can dispense with any recitation of this cake’s nutritional virtues and confidently serve it on the basis of great taste alone. Moist, dark with layers of flavours and it improves with age. It is topped with a cream cheese-like icing made from cashews instead of dairy. A similar Vegan Chocolate Cake recipe on my site has a chunkier texture and a baked on topping. Read more

Simple Succulent Eggplant

Simple Succulent Eggplant in 2 Ways

Vegan, Paleo; no gluten, dairy, eggs, cane sugar, citrus; one has no soy or other legumes

Big, small, deep purple to pale green. Low-cal, high-fibre eggplant readily absorbs colours and flavours. It is a favourite in the diverse cuisines of the Mediterranean, Middle East, Africa, India, East Asia and ever since the Spanish took it to South America. Kiwis should likewise learn to bake, fry, grill, BBQ, fritter, casserole, simmer and stew it. An easy preparation-style is to cut it into slices or in half – as I’ve done below – top it (eg olive oil, salt, pepper, hummus, red onion) and bake. Read more

Roast Pumpkin with Cashew Crumble

Serves 6

Paleo, vegan; no gluten, dairy, egg, legumes, nightshades

Reduce the crumble recipe if you must. But I love having extra to sprinkle over salads, soup or steamed veg. Lots of nutty flavour to enjoy in so many ways. And it stores well.

Try this over other roast vegetables such as kumara and eggplant. Serve over steamed green beans or cauliflower. Add pizazz and protein to a salad of greens and beetroot. Just grab a spoon and snack on it. Read more

Cumin and Rosemary Crackers

Makes 32
Paleo, vegan; no grain, gluten, dairy, egg, or legumes; low FODMAPS; with nut-free option

Wonderfully crisp, crunchy, stylish and flavourful. Very easy to make, yet deceptively alchemical. Before baking, the mixture looks like porridge, not crackers. The change in structure is thanks to the linseed and chia seeds. Their high soluble fibre content absorbs much of the liquid and acts as a strong binding agent. They are also a good source of minerals and prebiotics which can help gut health. Read more

Salted Caramel Chocolate Nut Tart

Serves 12-16
Vegan, Paleo; no gluten, grain, dairy, soy, legumes, egg, citrus or cane sugar

I have prepared this often and I don’t think anyone has eaten it and not released a pleasurable sigh like a happy balloon.  Originally a recipe from the excellent gourmandeinthekitchen.com, I have made numerous adjustments, especially to simplify instructions, decrease sweeteners, and make the ganache-style topping creamier. The result is rich and satisfying, so serve in small portions. Read more

5 Minute Strawberry Jam

Makes 3/4 cup

Paleo; vegan; no grain, gluten, dairy or cane sugar

Vivid, fruity and fabulous. Just 4 ingredients, 5 minutes prep and about 15 minutes for chilling. Use on toast, or for a snack or dessert dollop on or ripple through coconut yoghurt or my Apricot Whip. Or sandwich between cookies or cake layers. Make while summer berries are at their luscious best. Or experiment with other seasonal fruits. Read more

Mulled ‘Wine’ (alcohol-free)

Makes 4-5 glasses

Vegan; no grains, dairy or cane sugar

Hot, spiced fragrant mulled wine, cider or juice is a welcoming treat when entertaining on cool evenings. It’s fun, innovative and healthy to offer guests the option of a special drink without alcohol. If you use this recipe, you can partake anytime.

There are many versions of mulled wine, but commonly it includes red wine, spices and citrus. To “mull” is to heat and spice. Cheap wine was disguised in this way by the ancient Greeks and Romans. It re-established itself as fashionable in the 70s, perhaps served before fondue by an open fire. Bell-bottoms obligatory. Read more