Sun dried tomato and cashew nut pesto

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Delicious with just about anything, this is a grazing plate and BBQ’d burger’s best friend. But given our monsoon weather, maybe opt for the slathered over toasted sourdough, avocado and / or bacon option. The ‘clarted over courgetti’ (or pasta) variety makes a regular appearance on my instant healthy supper table. With jamón and cold meats; stirred through tomato dishes to give them, well… more. I’m sure my tips are superfluous, I doubt anyone’s a stranger to pesto. Add parmesan if you want but the flavour’s so good, it really isn’t necessary. This lasts for weeks, I make a big batch ensuring I’m never without.

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200g sun dried tomatoes
2 tbsp cashew nuts
4 tbsp olive oil – I use the oil from the tomato jar.
1 tsp dried red chillies. Or 1 tsp Kema Kulo if you have it.
1 clove garlic – optional.
Pinch sea or Himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp turmeric – untold health benefits


Add all ingredients to a blender, Magimix or Vitamix and blitz until you a have rough paste. Basically as you would pesto.


Store in the fridge in an airtight jar or container for as long as you would sun dried tomatoes. My guess would be you’ll eat it long before it goes off.

(Paleo) pumpkin seed and cranberry bircher

Posted in: Uncategorized

I’ve been a fan of traditional (oatie) bircher for many years, so initially only developed this lighter, crunchier paleo version for the sake a visiting friend. Given I sometimes find the classic recipe a little heavy and, dare I say it, potentially gloopy, I was keen to experiment. As it turns out, the fresh, tangy apple against nutty, popping seeds is pretty damn fine. And as a bi-product, we have another paleo breakfast.

Paleo pumpkin seed & cranberry bircher

Paleo pumpkin seed & cranberry bircher


1 apple, grated
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/2 dsp linseed / flax (much cheaper than chia!)
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp natural bio yoghurt
1 dsp dried cranberries

For Non Paleo / Oatie bircher, add:

2 tbsp porridge oats
1 tbsp yoghurt (additional to above)
2 tbsp cow’s, almond, coconut or rice milk


Add ingredients in order listed above to a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside for an hour for the flavours to develop fully. Stir and serve as is. Delicious and nut


This recipe keeps well in the fridge so I do a bigger batch, setting me up with Breakfasts-to-Go for a busy week.

Cacao nut energy bites

Posted in: DF, Featured, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Another relentlessly popular snack worthy of a re-post. Packed with nothing but (seriously) good stuff, these were a crowd pleaser at a recent Lululemon event and an energy staple on my Tarifa Yoga Holidays. They’re even a winner at parties, in fact, energy bites are fast becoming the new chocolate brownie of cafes. Nutritionist colleague, Kate’s added her recipe to our Gather & Gather meetings and snack range. So much more productive than a sugar or crisp crash and burn ‘pick me up’. This is my version.


I’m not a huge fan of overly ‘datey’ flavours so have given options for (wholesomely seductive) maple syrup and added a pinch of sea salt for a healthy take on salted caramels. Think: protein, fibre, antioxidants, no refined sugar, raw, coconut oil, dairy and gluten free etc etc. I’ve used cup measures to save scale faffing; they really are very easy.

Makes 15 balls or 20+ bites


1 cup (6 tbsp) pumpkin & sunflower seeds
1 dsp linseed and / or chia, split 50/50
1.5 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp almonds or almond butter
2 tbsp maple syrup or 3/4 cup pitted dates, I find most people prefer maple syrup
2 tbsp dried cranberries – adds a tart sweetness… that’s not datey :)
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp maca (for added energy) – optional
Pinch Himalayan or sea salt
1 dsp desiccated coconut for coating – if making into balls


Blitz seeds (including linseed / chia) and almonds until they resemble chunky breadcrumbs – around 30 secs. If using almond butter, add this with other ingredients after whizzing seeds. Sorry Vitamix, but I find Magimix infinitely more efficient on drier recipes.


Add remaining ingredients and mix for a couple of mins until you have a sticky dough. Roll into pieces smaller than a golf ball and coat in the desiccated coconut set aside earlier.

Or for ease, you can press into a tray and slice into squares after chilling. Either way, put straight to the fridge to retain the shape.

They keep for a while so I make double quantities and store for pudding or as a snack to tide me through exercise. Indulgence doesn’t get more virtuous.


Cranberry & lemon amoretti

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, V, WF

Thanks to your calls to action post my supper clubs, fitness events and yoga holidays, this superhero stars again. Almost 2 years after I first shared the recipe, it really is a good one. True Wholesome Seduction: a super tasty snack that’s healthy, low carb and protein packed. These mini morsels are even vegan, dairy, gluten and refined sugar free and still somehow taste of un-compromised indulgence. Ideal for pre / post exercise; a (very buff) friend now keeps them at the ready for his relentless triathlon training hunger. Groan! If iron man fitness doesn’t float your boat, they’re perfect with coffee.


Makes 10 – 12 amoretti.


200g ground almonds, bought or home made (skin off almonds)
zest of one lemon
20g / 1 tbsp dried cranberries, rough chopped
2 medium egg whites
2 dsp maple syrup, raw honey or agave


Pre-heat oven to 150C. Mix almonds, lemon zest, almond extract and cranberries and set aside.


Whisk together egg whites, agave and honey until you get soft peaks. Fold in almond mix. You should have a sticky dough.


Break off chunks and roll into pieces slightly smaller than a golf ball. Coat with icing sugar (optional) and place on greaseproof lined baking tray.


Bake for 12 – 14 mins until lightly browned on top. With a knife, unstick the bottom and transfer to a cooling rack.

Cool before eating and store in an airtight container.

Coconut & mushroom scrambled eggs

Posted in: DF, S, SF, V, WF

Crunchy yet creamy; seductive yet wholesome; filling yet bloat free; these are scrambled eggs as, I’d hazard a guess, you’ve never had them. I’m addicted. Knowing my appreciation for his native nut, and Wholesome Seduction, #ChefRaheem of Old Harbour Hotel in Kerala worked his magic on countless coconut incarnations for ‘Madam’. Every one created with health and healing in mind. Raheem’s an artist and doctor all in one. And my unfailing inspiration.


Feeds 1


1 dsp coconut oil
2 eggs
Dash coconut (or cow’s) milk
Salt and black pepper – I like sea or Himalaya pink salt
½ carrot, grated
1 tbsp mushroom, or spinach. Or both.
1 tbsp desiccated coconut

Optional extras:

1 tbsp spinach, finely sliced
1 dsp cabbage, finely sliced – I like this for added crunch
¼ onion


On a medium flame, set coconut oil to heat in a frying pan. Meanwhile whisk eggs with milk and salt. Set aside.

Sauté carrot and mushroom (+ any other optional extras) in the hot coconut oil for 1-2 mins – you want the veg to remain crunchy.

Add whisked eggs, stirring until cooked and fluffy. Add in most of the desiccated coconut, remove from the heat immediately and serve.

Top with the remaining coconut and a side of roasted tomato or toasted rye bread. I like Village Bakery for taste and because there’s no added yeast (yeast = bloat and lethargy for me).


Click here for why I fell in love with coconut oil and here for the best ones to buy

Coconut iced coffee

Posted in: DF, Featured, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Apparently The Garcia’s can’t have a conversation without the subject of coffee making an appearance. Bad coffee being the cause of untold dismay, it seems. Iced coffee, however, can redeem many an ‘operator error’, tasting as robust and sweetly creamy as any passionately barista’d flat white. I’ve given measures for one glass but tend to make a batch for the fridge, topping up with coconut milk and ice for my morning wake up addiction. On a recent Indian holiday, I ‘encouraged’ friends at Old Harbour Hotel and Kashi Art Cafe to do the same; Kerala means Land of Coconuts after all. And a new menu fixture was born.


Feeds 1


1-2 shots espresso, depending how strong you like your coffee
1 tsp raw honey – optional
1 cup coconut milk – you can also sub 1/3 for coconut water. Drop the honey if doing this.


Make espresso and stir through honey until dissolved – otherwise it will sink to the bottom of your glass.

Drop in a few cubes of ice and shake or stir until coffee is cooled. Transfer to a glass, top with coconut milk and a couple more cubes of ice.


Rebel Kitchen have recently launched a take-away version that tastes almost identical, if a little sweeter. Perfect for a dairy and refined sugar-free caffeine kick on the go. I’ve done the chocolate mylk taste test with several friends and none can believe how good it tastes.

After a lifetime of a market saturated with nasty, additive and sugar laden Food-To-Go, it makes me very happy to see entrepreneurial guys like these popping up. Thank you Rebel Kitchen.


Kale, ricotta & chorizo rosti

Posted in: Featured, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Kicking off the long promised Kale-fest (briefly interrupted by Valentine’s and Pancake Day) with a crowd pleasing brunch. Yes, healthy comfort food does exist. This recipe’s hearty and indulgent, yet packed with antioxidants, Vitamins C, A and K and cholesterol lowering goodness. Hail the Kale!

Crispy and robust, kale’s a natural bed fellow for rosti. Poached egg and avocado are a match made in heaven with the smokey chorizo, and the chickpea flour make these a gluten-free option packed with goodness. Veggies, you can drop the chorizo – the lemon ricotta and smokey paprika are already bursting with flavour. I also love these as a light supper with hung yoghurt and chimichurri. Note: you just use enough coconut oil to keep the rosti from sticking, no deep frying!


Makes 14 fritters


150g chickpea flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp turmeric (for gut health)
1 good tsp smoked paprika
3 lemons, juice of all, zest of 1
150g curly kale
100g ricotta
80g chorizo – I like the thin ‘cooking chorizos’
150 ml water
1 tbsp coconut (or olive) oil, for frying


Chop chorizo into mini pieces, approx. 1cm cubed. Pre-heat frying pan, drop in chorizo pieces and dry fry for a couple of minutes, or until crispy. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Mix ricotta with lemon zest and set aside. Sift flour, salt and spices into a large bowl. In stages, add juice of 2 lemons (retain the third for serving) and 150ml water. Beat into a thick batter, removing any lumps.

Add in the kale and mix with your hands – much quicker for breaking down the kale. You’ll also find the chunkier stalks pretty much pop out so you don’t need to painstakingly pick through removing them beforehand. I eat the smaller bits, Dolly (dog) eats the chunks. Really.

Heat a little coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium flame and dollop in 1 dsp of mix per fritter. You’ll need to press down lightly, ensuring there are no holes but don’t worry about a perfect edge; you’re going for rostis.

Fry for 2 mins on one side, or until reddish brown and 1 minute on the reverse. Don’t touch or move in between or they’ll mush as opposed to crisp.

Squeeze over the remaining lemon juice and eat right away. Ideal for instant suppers or snacks, you’re mix will keep in the fridge for up to a week.


Cacao, nut & berry super shake

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Super shakes are fast becoming as key to a cafe menu as coffee; even Pret’s now in on the cacao & almond milk smoothie action. As such, I’ve been developing recipes for yoga pop-ups, independent cafes and the somewhat larger, Gather & Gather. This is my favourite.

It’s hard to restrict the reasons to love this shake to just a few words, but the fact it tastes like chocolate milk and is actually good for you, is probably key. It’s also super quick to make (-5 mins) and can be eaten on-the-go so ideal for busy schedules. In terms of health tick boxes, think: protein, energy, anti-oxidants, vegan, no refined sugar, dairy free blah blahhh wheat free blahhhh. One friend’s even convinced cacao kick starts her day more than coffee; tall order but I like it.


Feeds 1


1/2 dsp coconut oil
2 tbsp frozen berries
1/2 banana (frozen if possible)
1 dsp cacao
4 dates
1 dsp almond butter, tahini or peanut butter
150ml almond milk – I love Rude Health
200ml water


If the coconut oil’s set (probable unless you live in a tropical climate), transfer to a cup immersed in hot water. Leave to melt while you make the smoothie.

Put all the remaining ingredients in the order listed above to your blender – I use a stick blender to keep washing up within 1 minute.

Blitz till smooth, add in the melted coconut oil and blitz again.

Tip: Frozen fruit works particularly well in smoothies, adding a thick, frappe like texture. I keep bananas in the freezer for this very reason. It also eliminates the black banana overnight syndrome.

For reasons I recommend Rude Health’s almond over all others, click here: From the streets: Rude Health dairy free milks 

From the streets: Rude Health dairy-free milks

Posted in: DF, N, Reviews, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

I’m often asked for instant protein shake recipes to tick the dairy free / vegan / energy / alkaline, even paleo boxes. OK, I may not subscribe to relentless diet lists, but I can’t ignore the fact that reducing my dairy intake makes me feel better: I have more energy, the zip on my jeans stays up and most importantly, thanks to Rude Health, my repertoire of porridges and shakes has blossomed. To be clear, the reason these guys get my vote, is because flavour is king; I prefer all varieties to cows milk. And don’t get me started on soya milk. #barf


£1.99 / litre from Waitrose or Sainsbury’s. 20% off now at Waitrose.

Until Rude Health, every almond milk left me cold, which, given my obsession with almonds, baffled me. Even the brown rice version somehow tastes so much better than sugary and starchy Rice Dream. Not to mention the health benefits. Lower in saturated fat, free from dairy and refined sugar, protein and flavour packed, these are a storehouse staple for anyone; Dolly (my dog) is partial to a spot of brown rice milk. Hush.


You can make your own almond milk but quite frankly, I’m not sure it’s not worth the faff. Admittedly, it tastes good but the cost to yield ratio makes Rude Health’s £1.99 price tag makes you feel they’re being robbed – you need a sack of almonds for a 100ml trickle. The homemade stuff also goes out of date quicker than an avocado turns from stone to sludge.

Not content with dairy free milk perfection, Rude Health have branched out into granolas, cereals and snacks. All very good.

Check in over the coming weeks as I blog my favourite dairy-free super shakes and recipes to help you avoid winter sniffles. Next week: Cacao, nut & berry energy shake (with almond milk, of course).



Broad bean & cashew pesto

Posted in: DF, LF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

This is one of my favourite fridge staples; it tastes amazing and goes with just about just about anything. In theory you should hull broad beans. Every. Single. One. I did this once, turning grey in the process. According to several guinea pig friends, though, this tastes so good it’s worth the effort. Unfortunately, I don’t have the patience of Ghandi so threw caution to the wind and tested with skins on. The result: zesty, clean, creamy, bang on summer and ready in 10 minutes. A delicious alkaline and raw dip with this week’s Sticky sweet potato wedges, or unbeatable with courgette spaghetti. Alternatively, dollop on salads, rye, fritters or pasta.


Makes 1 350ml jar


1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 1/2 cups broad beans or soya beans, steamed – I like 50/50.
1 dsp tahini
pinch sea salt
2 limes, juice of
1 tbsp cottage cheese or yoghurt – optional
50ml water or olive oil


Blitz the cashew nuts in a Magimix or blender for 20 secs or until you get a breadcrumb texture. Chuck in your chosen beans and whiz briefly.

Add in the remaining ingredients, following with the water. You should have a hummus-like consistency.

Decant to jars in the fridge, eating within 3 days.



I love this with a tablespoon of cottage cheese or yoghurt whizzed through at the end – more protein and a bolder, tangier flavour. In the interests of vegan / dairy free / paleo friendly options, I’ve omitted from the above.