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

Herb Aioli

Makes 1 ¼ cups
Paleo; no gluten, dairy, soy or cane sugar

Be inventive with 3 to 30 dressings out of one.

Food fashion says mayonnaise is a banal old-timer while aioli is trendy. But aioli is just mayo with garlic. This version is pumped with flavour and antioxidants thanks to ample fresh and dried herbs. Good quality extra virgin or cold pressed oils help us absorb fat-soluble vitamins ADEK and the carotenoids in food. Fats are needed for healthy hair, skin, nails, gut lining – and make up about 50% of the brain.

Most commercial dressings have lots of sugar, artificial additives and often dairy and soy for those sensitive. A homemade dressing can be done in 5-10 minutes. Make one each week or two. Keep it on hand for salads, sandwiches and dips. Or use as a topping on baked or steamed vegetables or fish. You will be grateful. 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

Genuinely Healthy Wraps (most others aren’t)

No gluten or dairy – with options for grains, nightshades, legumes, plant and animal protein

Smoking was once thought of as glamourous. The reality is especially ironic in terms of the associated premature ageing; wrinkles; yellowed skin, nails and teeth; bad breath; as well as chronic and killer diseases.

Before purchasing a prepared food be sure to turn the product over and check out its reality in terms of ingredients. Most wraps have a long list of highly processed artificial additives to cheaply keep them fakely flavoured, supple and long lasting. Read more

Lamb Chops with Cumin Pesto

Serves 2-3

(Paleo; no gluten, dairy, egg, nightshades or legumes)

Finger-licking and succulent. The marinade or its mixing with the meat can be done well in advance. Prep on the night is therefore quick and easy. I’ve tried this on the grill and the barbeque. Although good, this pan fried version has the best flavour. Serve with potato or kumara wedges and salad. Or with mixed steamed veg (eg cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin, chopped garlic) tossed with more olive oil and sea salt with kelp. Guests rave about these vegetable combos, yet they couldn’t be simpler. Read more

Mediterranean Marinated Mushrooms

Makes 12

Vegan; no gluten, grain, dairy, soy or cane sugar.

Serve these as finger food; as a side dish to BBQs, rice or pasta; or like a pickle or relish accompaniment to plain fish, tofu, legumes, meat, egg dishes or anything that would benefit from flavourful zing.

Mushrooms are grown in compost, not soil. They are a good source of selenium, a mineral low in New Zealand soils. A deficiency is linked with the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Read more

Chia Dessert or Breakfast Pudding: 4 Fast Fab Flavours

Chocolate; Apricot Coconut; Apple Cinnamon; Vanilla Fig

Serves 2; 5 minutes prep

Raw vegan and Paleo; no gluten, grain, dairy, egg, soy or cane sugar

Yes, it might seem incongruous, but this is thick, creamy and dreamy enough for dessert while having superfood nutrient levels to qualify as breakfast.

Chia looks like tiny dark sesame seeds. It is similar to linseed or flaxseed in its nutrition powerhouse properties such as soluble fibre, protein, Omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron. It has more antioxidants – including flavonoids, quercetin and phenolics – than many berries and other fruits. For digestibility, chia does not need to be ground or cooked like linseed does. Soaking though will maximise its high soluble fibre content, which is excellent for weight and blood sugar management, liver and bowel function. Read more