This yummy dessert is dairy free, gluten free, and can be made refined sugar free, depending on which dark chocolate you use. It's easy to make, soooo delicious to eat, and packed with fabulous, nourishing fats!
Serves 2, prep time 10 mins
Flesh of a whole ripe avocado
2/3 of a tin of coconut cream (the fatty part and a small splash or two of the liquid)
3 heaped tablespoons of cocoa or cacao powder OR 100g melted dark chocolate (melt in a stainless steel bowl over a pot with 2cm boiling water)
2 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
-Combine all the above in a blender and blend until smooth.
-Taste and add more honey or maple syrup if needed (only likely if you are using cocoa rather than melted chocolate). If it needs thickening, add a little more coconut cream fat.
-Scrape the mix into ramekins, tumblers, or pretty small cups. Refrigerate for two hours.
-Garnish with grated dark chocolate and serve.
Some lovely possible additions are chopped fresh cherries or boysenberries, chunks of dark chocolate, and layers of cream (not dairy free). For a special treat, I like to add all three!
I could eat this Italian-inspired soup again and again. Nourishing, delicious, full of lovely seasonal veg, and comforting in cold weather. The chicken can be left out and more cannellini beans added to make a hearty vegetarian soup.
Serves 2, prep time 60 mins (including making sourdough croutons if desired)
5-6 large potatoes (organic if possible – potatoes can be heavily sprayed with pesticides)
Sea salt and ground black pepper
½ large white onion
1 large leek
Good handful cavalo nero
Few cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
Fresh thyme sprigs
1 tin cannellini beans (use 2 tins if making vegetarian version)
A few good handfuls of shredded or sliced roasted free range chicken
Optional extra: Pre-made sourdough croutons – simply cube the end of a stale loaf of sourdough and bake in the oven for 20 mins with olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt.
This warming soup uses winter vegetables and is lovely to come home to and heat up after a busy day. High in vitamin C, it is a tonic for those feeling stressed or burnt out.
Serves 2-3, prep time 40 mins, you will need a good blender or food processor
1 red onion, chopped
Few cloves of garlic, chopped roughly
1 medium-sized butternut squash, organic if possible
2 medium to large-sized sweet potatoes, organic if possible
Ground sea salt and black pepper
Is your digestive system groaning from Christmas and New Year's indulgence? All that festive and delicious cheese and wine, second helpings at Christmas lunch, champagne brekkies, boxed choccies and rich desserts.... Wonderfully indulgent, and a lot of work for our guts, hey!
Feasting is one of life's great pleasures and we're fortunate to be able to do so. It's also good to rest and soothe our digestive systems.
For a light-yet-satisfying, restorative meal, try this Vietnamese-style soup. It's rich in liver-detoxifying and gut-soothing amino acids, herbs and spices, thanks to the bone broth, ginger, and coriander it contains. It's also gluten-free, hydrating, and offers the antimicrobial powerhouse combo of chilli, ginger, and garlic - good medicine for anyone recovering from a cold or other respiratory illness brought on by end-of-year exhaustion.
Serves 2, prep time 30-40 mins
Coconut oil (for frying) and olive oil (for baking and dressing)
4-5 fresh or frozen mackerel fillets – availability may vary by season and region/country
Dense, wholegrain bread for the croutons – I use rye sourdough, use GF bread if you prefer
100g Gruyere cheese, cubed (if you’re dairy-free, no worries, skip this...if you eat dairy, the Gruyere does add a special flavour)
1 romaine lettuce, finely chopped
8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 chopped red pepper (small cubes)
8 spears of steamed asparagus, cut into thirds
¼ red onion, chopped finely (add more if you really love onion!)
-Heat the oven to 160-degrees Celsius and cut the bread into chunky pieces (croutons).
-Toss the bread in olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Bake on a lower heat for about 30 mins (maybe less if using GF bread), to get the croutons really crunchy.
-Fry the mackerel fillets in coconut oil for about 3 mins each side, on medium to high heat.
-While these cool, prepare the salad ingredients: steam the asparagus spears and chop the red onion, red pepper, romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes and cooked asparagus, and cube the Gruyere cheese. Combine all these ingredients in a large salad bowl.
-Flake the cooked mackerel fillets into the salad, using your hands.
-Add the croutons and combine all ingredients. Dress with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a good drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and some freshly cracked black pepper.
If you fancy, you could add two or three finely chopped anchovy fillets to the salad.