Fluffy Hotcakes/Pikelets

Makes 24; serves 3-4
No gluten, dairy, soy or cane-sugar

Serve this popular fare sweet or savoury; for breakfast or a fun dinner. These are so moist and fluffy they do what few of the pancake family can accomplish: they are even nice the next day for snacks, lunch or reheated. This recipe was adapted from a wheat-flour-based Jamie Oliver recipe and was made with the inspiration of my teenage, pancake-loving friend Lily. Technically when such batters fill a pan they are pancakes; if large, thin and with no leavener such as baking powder, they are crepes; if served small they are hotcakes or pikelets.

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Glazed Orange & Ginger Meatballs

Makes 32; serves 4-5
(No gluten, dairy, legumes or nightshades)

New Zealand supermarket shoppers are fortunate to be able to purchase grass-fed, free range venison without antibiotics or growth-promoting hormones. Farm-raised venison has a mild flavour with many cuts – such as medallions and stir-fry – requiring only a few minutes of cooking. Or make the meatballs using ground lamb. New Zealand lamb is almost all pasture-fed.

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Fast Fab Ways with Fish and Seafood

(No gluten, dairy and with options for most diets)

Squillions of possibilities follow from a few core concepts. There is a specific recipe (one of my favourites) and then a range of easy ideas.

Fish is an excellent source of Protein, Zinc, iodine, selenium, Magnesium, Calcium (see related articles under website TIPS), many B vitamins and a good source of iron. Iodine and selenium are low in New Zealand soils so fish and seaweed are critical sources. The darker, oilier types of fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines are high in the anti-inflammatory brain food Omega 3 fatty acids (TIPS: The Fats of Life). These are also critical to heart and arterial health. See the HEALTH STORE page for my report: The Heart of the Matter for how to treat and prevent cardiovascular problems.

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Pumpkin Patties

(Vegan; no gluten, dairy or egg; with options for nightshades*)

Some vegetarian food is dull and earnest, chaotically combined, or endlessly chewy. Inexperienced cooks often just remove the meat and compensate with heaps of cheese. Little understanding is shown about contrasting and harmonising shapes, colours, textures and the five core tastes of sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and umami (savoury). Dishes can be low in focus and subtlety – and Protein (see TIPS page) due to poor plant combinations.

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Bean Burgers

Makes 12
(No gluten or dairy)

Even people of otherwise refined sensibilities commonly exhibit a murmuring pleasure from food eaten messily by hand with primal juices dripping. These burgers can be fried, baked or barbequed. Consume sedately as patties – accompanied by salad or mixed steamed vegetables – or serve on toast or buns. Offer an assortment of stack-your-own components: lettuce, tomato, gherkin, cooked onion and mushrooms, mustard, relish, aioli or Green Herb Dressing (see The Shape Diet).

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Fluffy Breakfast Pancakes

Serves 4
(No gluten, dairy or cane sugar)

Watch these disappear. High in calcium, hormone-balancing isoflavones, and vitality-sustaining protein, low GI, yet delicate of structure, these will entice even the breakfast-phobic. No one will ever guess the ingredients involved. Maple syrup is a classic topping, or try new Apple Syrup, which is available in supermarkets and is free of added sugar.

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