March 22, 2015

Paleo and Vegan Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Adding coconut yoghurt makes these muffins decadently moist and satisfying, pleasing all crowds. Packed with nourishing ingredients high in healthy fats and muscle-building protein, this is the type of cake you can justify eating at breakfast, lunch or dinner. For a dessert treat, serve with coconut ice cream or coconut yoghurt.

Paleo and Vegan Apple Crumble Muffins


  • 2 cups almond meal
  • 3 scoops of vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal or LSA
  • 1/2 teaspoon mineral salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup of coconut yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of stevia sweetener 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large apple, diced 
  • shredded coconut for topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees. Spray coconut oil in a silicone muffin tin or line with patty pans.
  2. Mix all ingredients together gently, in a large bowl, until combined. 
  3. Fill each muffin hole with mixture until divided amongst 12 cups. Sprinkle with coconut.
  4. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until cooked through.
  5. Let cool in the pan until transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

March 17, 2015

Ten Questions to Ask Yourself When You Are Feeling Low

When life feels overwhelming, it can be easy to fall into a rut. The next time you feel low, here are 10 questions you can ask to gain a fresh perspective and get moving in a more positive direction. They can be applied to any area of your life when you feel down, angry, fearful, sad, or confused.

1. Will I allow myself to play the victim or will I choose to be responsible for this situation?

2. Will I continue to react to circumstances or will I choose to create the life I want to live?

3. Can I take the time to respond from a place of clarity and strength, rather than immediately react to this experience?

4. Will I blame others for the situation or will I take responsibility for it and create an action plan to move forward from a place of personal power and strength?

5. Am I allowing someone else to take away my personal power? (Hint: if you're playing the victim, the answer to this will always be yes.)

6. How can I be of service to this person, situation or circumstance and myself so that we feel buoyed, rather than weighed down?

7. How can I create something meaningful for me and/or others out of this experience?

8. Am I placing expectations on myself or others? Are those expectations serving me in any way?

9. What if, through this challenge I choose to learn, create, grow and expand rather than blame, resent or accuse?

10. What is my gut telling me? (And am I listening?)

Life is full of stimuli; the only thing we can control is how we choose to respond. When you really take the time to think about it, everything happening around us is neutral and meaningless until the point that we give it meaning.

In any situation, it's about choosing: Will I allow this to upset me? Will I choose to make this bad or good? Will I choose to walk away? Will I choose to yell or whisper? Will I choose to react or take time to respond?

Choose to live by your own inner guide and compass. You'll be amazed at how much the world opens up for you, when you choose to open yourself up to the world.

March 09, 2015

Thai Chicken Patties (gluten-free)

Thai Chicken Patties (gluten-free)

  • 500 grams of organic minced chicken or buy chicken breast and process into mince
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons gluten-free Thai green curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Baby Asian salad leaves and sweet chilli sauce, to serve
  • Brown rice noodles, to serve

  1. Cook the rice noodles as per the instructions and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, egg, curry paste, fish sauce, palm or caster sugar, lime zest and juice, and coriander leaves, and mix until combined. Use wet hands to form the chicken mixture into small meat ball sizes or patties. 
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick frypan over medium heat.
  4. Cook the chicken cakes, in batches, for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden brown and cooked through.
  5. Serve the chicken cakes with Asian salad leaves, rice noodles and sweet chilli sauce. I buy Natvia sweetened chilli sauce as regular sweet chilli sauce is high in sugar. 

Strawberry Vegan Cheesecake

I've always thought vegan cheescakes must be hella difficult to make. As soon as I saw raw activated soaked nuts, I tended to put those recipes to the side. Not to mention the absence of dairy or eggs to hold the creamy filling in place worried the traditional baker in me. It takes a lot of confidence in the magic of baking to put a super liquid runny mix in the fridge and pray it won't succumb to physics and simply explode from the tin when you attempt to grandly reveal your cheesecake masterpiece. I know women who this has happened to at rather fancy dinner parties and it took them weeks to recover. Oh the domesticity shame. After producing some gorgeous and sturdy traditional cheesecakes in my kitchen (even low-fat low-sugar versions), I was armed with the knowledge and thus power to tackle cheesecake recipes without breaking a sweat.

But a vegan cheesecake, well that is different. What changed my mind and inspired me to try a dairy-free cheesecake was that this recipe didn't scare me. It didn't say soak nuts for three days before draining, resoaking, saying a magic chant three times and then give a thoughtful blessing. It simply said get some raw nuts, soak them in a little water for an hour and drain. Phew!

While my previous solid track record of triumphs in the cheesecake department was now relatively irrelevant, I figured I was unveiling the result amongst family and hopefully they would understand my kitchen experiments can sometimes not always go to plan. I mean family is a non judgemental environment right? Hmm okay, maybe the pressure was on.

Much like the first time I baked a cheesecake, this was an experiment I tackled with optimism and faith in the magical science of baking, albeit great disbelief. Without any chanting or prayers, my first vegan cheesecake has the most gloriously light filling tinged with a blush of pink and creaminess to rival the best of conventional cheesecakes. I served this sweet little number to a large group of women at a ladies lunch and they were in heaven. But this wasn't just for the ladies, the husbands were found later that day devouring the left overs. I think we have a winner.

Don't be scared, this recipe is actually really easy (dare I say easier than traditional dairy recipes) and is low in sugar, gluten-free and full of healthy fats. I guarantee you will be making this again! Just remember, it will melt more quickly than your usual cheesecake because these ingredients are largely liquid at room temperature. You need to serve from fridge and eat immediately, which shouldn't be a problem :)

Strawberry Vegan Cheesecake


  • 1/2 cup of almond meal
  • 3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoons of Natvia
  • 1/2 cup of raw macadamias, soaked in water for at least one hour
  • 1/2 cup of raw cashews, soaked in water for at least one hour
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of Natvia
  • 1 cup of strawberries - save a few for the topping
  • 1/4 cup of shredded coconut plus some for the topping
  1. Mix together the almond meal, coconut oil cacao powder and Natvia into a crumbly consistency. Line a baking tin (preferably a snap-lock tin for easier cake removal) with greased proof paper. Press the mix into the bottom of the tin until its all spread out and flat. 
  2. In a high-speed blender, blend the nuts, coconut milk, coconut oil (melted), Natvia, strawberries and coconut.
  3. Once the mixture is smooth and creamy, pour into your tin to cover the base. Top with sliced strawberries and shredded coconut.
  4. Refridgerate for at least four hours or overnight. The cake will come away a little from the sides and you can use a knife to loosen the edges before removing.