Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mixed Berry Sorbet

The chill of autumn is here, but the kids seem to want ice-cream all year round!

So for a treat tonight, I made a 'Mixed Berry Sorbet.' My kids don't mind a little tartness, so I didn't add any sweetener. They'll quite happily suck on lemons!

Serves 6
4 cups frozen mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries)
1/2 cup almond milk or fruit juice

Place frozen berries into a food processor, process into fine crumbs. Add almond milk and blend until smooth (use a spatula to push down the edges, if neccesary.) Serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Carrot Dhal Soup

This is my kids' #1 favourite soup. I make it at least once a week, and serve it with home-made whole wheat chapatis (Indian flatbread.) I always have to double this recipe, to ensure there's enough for lunches the next day.

Serves 6
2/3 cup split red lentils
5 cups vegetable bouillon (wheat-free to make this gluten-free)
3 large carrots, sliced
2 onions, chopped
1 x 8oz can chopped tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 fresh green chili, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp lemon juice

Rinse lentils in a strainer; drain and put into a large pot, together with 2 1/2 cups of bouillon, the carrots, onions, tomatoes and garlic. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables and lentils are tender.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan over a medium-low heat. Add the cumin, coriander, chili and turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Place in a blender.

Working in batches, transfer soup to the blender and process until smooth. Reurn to the pan, add the remaining 2 1/2 cups bouillon and heat through. Serve garnished with fresh chopped cilantro, if desired.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Almond Milk

OK so you've made the ginger cookies, now you want some nice cold milk to go with them...

Or something creamy to splash on your oatmeal...

Here's my favourite non-dairy milk. If you're wondering what's wrong with cow's milk, read this article:

1 cup almonds
2-3 pitted dates (optional- this is for a little extra sweetness, but it tastes great without it!)

Soak almonds and dates overnight in the fridge. The next day, drain and place in a blender along with 3 cups fresh water (add a little water at a time, to really pulverize the nuts and dates.) Over a medium sized bowl, pour mixture into the cut-off leg of a pair of unused tights* and gently squeeze out all the liquid. Discard nut meal. Rinse tight leg in warm water and hang to dry.

Transfer almond milk to a jug and keep covered in the refrigerator, for up to 5 days.

*You can buy mesh straining bags for making nut milk online- they are only about $10- but I've got my trusty tights for now!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ginger Cookies

OK, so this is not health food. But for a rare treat, it's not bad. This recipe uses whole wheat flour and no fat. I use blackstrap molasses which is a source of iron, calcium and B vitamins. The dough will not come together until you roll it in your hands, so don't worry when it looks like crumbs.

Makes 24 cookies
1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 cup molasses
3 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

Preheat oven to 165 C (325 F.) Cut a piece of parchment paper to cover a baking sheet.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and ginger. Stir in molasses and orange juice concentrate.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls, and place on baking sheet. Using the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar, flatten the cookies to 1/4 inch thickness. Bake for 10 minutes and let cool on the baking sheet 1 minute, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve with a glass of cold almond milk.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Rolled Vegetable Sushi

My eldest daughter loves this extra-healthy version of rolled vegetable sushi, which uses whole grain rice. I prepare all the vegetables the night before and put it together in the morning for her school lunches.

Makes 3 rolls/18 pieces
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 tsp tamari/soy sauce (wheat-free to make this gluten-free)
1 avacado
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
3 nori sushi sheets
1/4 cucumber, cut into thin strips
1 carrot, grated
1 spring onion, cut into thin strips
large handful alfalfa sprouts
3 tbsp sesame seeds

Stir tamari into cooked brown rice and set aside. In a separate bowl, mash avacado with lemon juice.

Lay one nori sheet onto a piece of parchment paper. Spread a thin layer of mashed avacado and rice, leaving a 2 1/2 cm space at the end of one side. Lay out a row of cucumber, carrot, spring onions and alfalfa sprouts in a line in the middle of the nori sheet. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp sesame seeds:

Using your finger, moisten the uncovered strip of nori with water, then starting at the opposite end, roll the sushi firmly, making it as tight as possible. The moistened nori end should stick, holding the roll together.

Slice the sushi into 2 cm pieces with a very sharp knife, using a slight sawing motion if necessary (to prevent squashing.)

Repeat with remainin sheets of nori, and serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Green Smoothies

This is how I get my kids to eat their greens! Add greens to any mix of your favourite fruit, plus a cup or two of water to blend. Some favourite combinations in our house include:

Apple Pear
2 apples, peeled, cored and quartered
1 pear, cored and quartered
2 bananas, peeled and broken into chunks
1 handful greens
2 cups water

Pineapple Strawberry
1 small pineapple, peeled and cut into chunks (core included)
6 large strawberries, no need to remove leaves (this is a green smoothie remember)
1 banana, peeled and broken into chunks
1 handful greens
2 cups water

Orange Blueberry
3 oranges, peeled and broken into segments
1/2 cup blueberries
1 banana, peeled and broken into chunks
1 handful greens
2 cups water

Increase the greens as you become braver! Greens can include: bok choy, romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, beet greens, radish greens, parsley, cilantro, mint, stinging nettle, dandelion greens etc.

Frozen is just as good as fresh for smoothies, so buy fruit and greens when on sale and freeze for later use. Only very tough skin and cores need to be removed, so you use up more and waste less.

Monday, September 21, 2009


After several attempts over the years, I have finally got all my kids eating houmous! It is a great sandwich alternative to processed meats and cheeses. My kids eat it with lettuce, sprouts, cucumber or grated carrot. I often substitute other beans for the chickpeas, using whatever I have to hand.

1 x 19 floz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 2 1/4 cups cooked chickpeas)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove
3 tbsp tahini (natural peanut butter is a good substitute, if you do not have any nut allergies)
1 handful fresh cilantro or parsley

Process all ingredients in a food processor, adding a few tablespoons of water as necessary, until a smooth consistency is obtained.

Keeps 2 days in fridge.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


When my weekly organic box contains beets, we all know what's for dinner... borscht! This is my mother's recipe, and a childhood favourite. Now my son loves it, and takes it to school in a thermos for lunch. Even the beet greens don't go to waste. I wash them and keep them in the fridge for our morning green smoothies.

Serves 6
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large beetroot, peeled and grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 onion, finely chopped
1/4 red cabbage, grated
2 tomatoes, skinned, cored and diced
4 cups vegetable bouillon (wheat-free to make this gluten free)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh chopped parsley, to garnish

In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Cook beetroot for 5 minues, then transfer to a large pot. Add 1 tbsp oil to frying pan, cook remaining vegetables for 5 minutes. Add to pot, along with the vegetable bouillon, herbs and seasonings. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook 2 hours. Remove bay leaves before serving and garnish with fresh parsley.