No Grain Coconut Cookies

This started out as an experiment which I didn’t feel would work because I struggle to get the consistency of recipes right when I use Coconut Flour. But this one not only worked but the cookies are so delicious and soft, not crunchy. The flavours are subtle and not over powering and there is just enough sweetness to satisfy a sweet craving. However you can always add some apple puree for an extra bit. There is no grain, fat, dairy or egg in this cookie.

No Grain Coconut & Date Cookies
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 


Course: Snack
Servings: 12 cookies
Ingredients
  • 60 g Coconut Flour
  • 50 g Desiccated coconut
  • 100 g Cashew Nuts These must be soaked in water for at least 20 minutes
  • 1 large Banana
  • 30 g Chopped dates
  • 1 tsp Ground cinnamon
How to make
  1. Rinse the soaked cashew nuts and place them in a Nutribullet with the banana. Add a little water and blitz to create a smooth and paste, like a smoothie consistency.

  2. Add all the other ingredients in a bowl and add the cashew/banana mixture to this.

  3. Use your hands to mix  and bring the ingredients together to make a firm dough.

  4. Using your hands make the dough into 12 small cookies. Make a ball first and then press them between your palms to flatten.

  5. Place on a oiled and lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes at 180C.

  6. Cool on a baking tray once cooked and then enjoy.

  7. They will keep in an air tight container for 2 days.

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Salad Ideas: Broccoli Rice Salad

The salad ideas do just that, give you ideas of combination of vegetables to put together. Change the vegetables for ones you prefer. I love the flavours and textures of this salad and mixed with the Lime & Tahini dressing it is just super yummy.

Salad Ideas: Broccoli Rice Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

The salad ideas do just that, give you ideas of combination of vegetables to put together. Change the vegetables for ones you prefer. I love the flavours and textures of this salad and mixed with the Lime & Tahini dressing it is just super yummy. 

Course: Salad
Servings: 6 people
Ingredients
  • Broccoli Rice( 1/2 head of broccoli blitzed in the food processor)
  • Sliced Red onions
  • Shredded Iceberg lettuce
  • Sliced Raw mushrooms
  • chopped Red Pepper
  • Sweetcorn
  • Toasted Pine nuts (dry roasted in a pan)
  • Red Kidney beans( tinned)
How to make
  1. Assemble the ingredients and toss in the Lime & Tahini Dressing(recipe on my blog). 

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Brain Food Muffins

 

Brain Food Muffins
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

These quick and easy muffins are very filling and are packed with foods which provide lots of protein, omega 3, fibre, natural sugar, and slow releasing carbohydrates, which means they are great for breakfast and a post work out snack. I made them as a request from my daughter, Riya, who was studying for some exams. She asked for a healthy snack which would keep her going, help her concentrate and keep her satisfied without falling asleep.  They are gluten free, dairy free and can be made egg free by substituting the eggs for chia seeds. 

Course: Snack
Servings: 24
Calories: 333 kcal
Ingredients
  • 290 g Ripe Bananas
  • 25 g Chia Seeds Soak these in water for a few minutes to allow them to swell up.
  • 40 g Flaxseeds
  • 150 g Oats
  • 200 g Ground Almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp Baking powder
  • 120 g Crunchy peanut butter
  • 100 g Apple Puree I use Biona Organic
  • 60 ml Maple Syrup
  • 60 g Coconut sugar
  • 130 g Dark Organic Chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp Vanilla essence
  • 2 tbs Coconut oil melted
How to make
  1. Start of by placing the flaxseeds and oats into a nutibiullet and grinding them for a few minutes. 

  2. Next place all the ingredients, except the chocolate chips, into a food processor or a Kitchen Aid mixer and mix for a few minutes until the mixture has combined together into a cake mix consistency. This may take 3 to 5 minutes.

  3. Finally fold in the chocolate chips and then using an ice cream scoop, scoop out the mixture evenly between the cupcake cases.

  4. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 180C.  Once cooked, remove from the oven, allow to cool on a rack and then eat.

  5. They can last for a few days in a cake tin but benefit from being warmed through to soften. 

Nutrition Facts
Brain Food Muffins
Amount Per Serving (100 g)
Calories 333 Calories from Fat 183
% Daily Value*
Fat 20.36g31%
Saturated Fat 5.18g32%
Sodium 130mg6%
Carbohydrates 26.69g9%
Sugar 15.46g17%
Protein 10.66g21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Vegan Breakfast Cheesecake

 

Vegan Breakfast Cheesecake
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

I love cheesecake mainly because of the combination of textures; the biscuit, nutty base and the creamy filling topped with a syrup. This is my healthy version which is also vegan. There is an option to not add the protein to the yogurt or to make it using low fat curd cheese. 

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 4
Calories: 183 kcal
Ingredients
  • 80 g Oats
  • 75 g Walnut halves
  • 80 g Chopped Dates, dried pitted
  • 20 g Apple Puree organic Biona
  • 100 g Blueberries for the topping
  • 8 tbsp Live yogurt for the topping
  • 40 g Protein powder
How to make
For the Base
  1. Toast the Oats and Walnust together in a frying pan, turning regularly to avoid the mixture burning. Toast the mixture for 5 minutes

  2. Place the toasted mixture in a Nutribullit along with the dates. Blitz the contents

  3. Remove the contents and place in a bowl. Add the Apple Puree and mix together to form a crumbly type consistency.  Divide this mixture into 4 suitable containers.

To Make the Filling
  1. In another bowl add the yogurt and protein powder, mix together. Divide this mixture between the four containers which already have the oats at the bottom. 

For the topping
  1. In a pan, add 100g of blueberry and a small amount of water and heat. The blueberries will soften as they warm through. Allow to cool and then pour on top of the yogurt mixture. 

  2. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. 

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Breakfast Cheesecake
Amount Per Serving (100 g)
Calories 183 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1.25g8%
Sodium 170mg7%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Sugar 8.58g10%
Protein 9.71g19%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Black Bean and Vegetable Curry

Black Bean & Vegetable Curry
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This is super quick dish which works well eaten with Naan or pitta bread as well as rice or a vegetable rice for a low carb meal. The spices add warmth and depth to the curry without being too spicy. Black beans are a great source of protein and fibre. 

Course: Main Course
Servings: 6
Calories: 98 kcal
Ingredients
  • 2 x 400 g Tin of Black Beans
  • 125 g Onion Chopped
  • 20 g Fresh Ginger Chopped
  • 20 g Fresh Garlic Chopped
  • 5 g Whole Cinamon stick
  • 2 Whole Black pepper corns
  • 10 g Whole Cumin
  • 1 Whole Black Cardamom or green of you can't find the black one.
  • 2 tbs Oil or 1 tbs ghee
  • 4 tbs Tomato Puree
  • 100 g Spinach
  • 100 g Courgette Chopped
  • 100 g Carrots Chopped
  • 2 tbs Ground Cumin/coriander mix
  • 1 tbs Paprika
  • 1 tbs Meera's Chaat Masala
  • 1 tsp Meera's Garam Masala
  • Salt and chilli to taste
How to make
  1. Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan.

  2. Add the whole spices to the oil and temper for a minute.

  3. Add the onions, ginger and garlic and cook for one minute. You may need to add water to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan or burning. 

  4. Next add the chopped vegetables and the spinach. Stir thoroughly. 

  5. Add the tin of Black beans with the water. Stir to mix through.

  6. Add the ground spices, the tomato puree and the water(if needed). Stir.

  7. Bring to the boil and then place the lid on the pan and simmer for 15 minutes.

  8. Serve with Naan or pitta bread or alternatively with brown rice or cauliflower rice. 

Nutrition Facts
Black Bean & Vegetable Curry
Amount Per Serving (100 g)
Calories 98 Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value*
Fat 3.57g5%
Saturated Fat 1.79g11%
Sodium 44mg2%
Carbohydrates 11.38g4%
Sugar 2.98g3%
Protein 5.02g10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Moroccon Curry

 

Moroccon Curry
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

If you are looking for a dish which is a real palate pleaser then this is the one for you. The warmth of the spices, the sweetness of the cinnamon and earthiness of the paprika give the dish a rounded yet robust flavour. It is a homely one pot dish but I have served it many times with guests for lunch and dinner and any time of year. It is vegan and has a great combination of proteins from the chickpeas and the pink lentils. If you serve this with the Mixed Quinoa with pine nuts and seeds, it makes for a perfectly balanced meal. 

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Moroccon
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 250 kcal
Ingredients
  • 2 tbs Olive oil
  • 200 g Onion red or white
  • 10 g Fresh Garlic chopped finely
  • 10 g Fresh ginger chopped finely
  • 2 tsp Ground Roasted Cumin & Coriander Blend 1 teaspoon of each if you are not making yours fresh
  • 2 tsp Meera's Garam Masala recipe on blog
  • 1 tsp Ground cinammon
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • 100 g Leeks chopped coarsely
  • 100 g Carrot chopped coarsely
  • 100 g Courgette chopped coarsely
  • 660 g Chick peas
  • 100 g Sweet Potato with the skin on chopped into 1cm pieces.
  • 50 g Fresh Spinach leaves
  • 20 g Pink Lentils
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tbs tomato puree
  • 25 g Fresh coriander chopped coarsely
  • Water or vegetable stock to cover
  • salt to taste
  • chilli flakes for added heat if required.
How to make
  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy based casserole dish, which can be used on top of the hob.

  2. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook on a medium heat for a few seconds.

  3. Add the dry ground spices, and stir together.

  4. Add the the vegetables and the chickpeas and mix together.

  5. Add the lentils, the spinach and the tomato puree. Stir everything together.

  6. Pour the water or stock in to the pan. Use enough so that the mixture is just barely covered. Place the lid on the pan and simmer for 20-25 minutes. You can leave this to simmer for longer, if you have time. 

  7. Finally add the fresh coriander, the lemon juice and salt and chilli flakes(if using)

  8. Serve with pitta bread, quinoa, rice or just on its own with some plain yogurt.

Nutrition Facts
Moroccon Curry
Amount Per Serving (100 g)
Calories 250 Calories from Fat 22
% Daily Value*
Fat 2.47g4%
Saturated Fat 0.37g2%
Sodium 310mg13%
Carbohydrates 53.44g18%
Sugar 2.51g3%
Protein 3.57g7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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What’s all the fuss about sugar?

This is such a ‘hot’ topic at the moment. For me this is great because the more people who talk about sugar, the more questions they ask, the more we can all raise awareness. The sugar tax came into play on 6th April 2018 and this is only for a specific band of fizzy drinks and is aimed at the manufacturers. So some have responded by reducing the amount of sugar in their products, in an attempt to reduce the tax they have to pay. Now there we were thinking they cared about us the consumers. They will also most likely pass any cost on to us as well so prices will go up. You may think this will help to reduce the consumption of sugary drinks but seriously think about the cost of cigarettes; they are extortionate to the non-smoking community, but ask a smoker and he or she will say well that’s not necessarily a sticking point to make them give up. Besides the main point is that manufactures have us over a barrel; we are addicted to sugar so like nicotine or other drugs, once we realise that sugar is addictive, is poisoning our bodies and that manufactures are using it in everything to make us buy more, we see the vicious cycle we are in. So you will spend what you need to to get your next fix of sugar.

The hard part is that highly processed sugary foods and drinks are every where, literally staring at you all the time, so to try to reduce your sugar intake is extremely difficult. Now we are coming to the real problem; firstly we are addicted.  Second, we we try to wean off our addiction, temptation is everywhere, even hidden in foods and drinks that claim to be healthy! So we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Finally to add to this sad story is that most of the population actually know very little about how to read food labels  and to decipher between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and also are at a loss of how to begin to make changes.

A common start is to eat lots of fruit, dried, and fresh, drink lots of fruit juices and smoothies or use ‘coconut sugar’ or other such ‘healthy’ sugars instead of refined white sugar. However too few people actually understand what impact too much sugar, added or naturally occurring, is having on our bodies and minds.

You may think ‘well its fairly simple’; if we eat too much sugar our body cannot process it and it is stored as fat, leading to obesity; or our body cannot process it because we have overloaded our system and we end up with Type 2 diabetes. And it may seem as simple as that, but what I am discovering, as I continue my own exploration with sugar and food, is that there is a fundamental lack of understanding of what food is and what is does. Without this knowledge we are feeling our way in the dark. Our body needs sugar and can get the sugar it needs from whole, good, natural ingredients.

My feeling is that we need to be educated at a very basic level and at a very early age as to what food is, what is looks like, what we need it for, and how to cook and eat simple food made from scratch using whole ingredients. We need to look at seasonal foods, mixing carbohydrates, move a way from over processed ingredients. This will take time. Think about how long it takes to kick a habit; and once a user or addict you are always one, therefor it may be a lifelong battle.

I, myself, a huge sugar addict, still struggle and have to tell my brain constantly, ‘NO I don’t want that chocolate or cake or two spoons of sugar in my espresso. It’s bad for me. I WANT and I LIKE this tea without sugar, this home made cake with reduced sugar’. It is a challenge but one I feel we need to start. We need to change our mindset, our psychological relationship with processed and convenience foods, our understanding of lifestyle and foods and we need to start it now.

As a parent, Nursery owner, an employer, and a member of society, I feel, I and everyone, has a responsibility to do what they can to try to turn the bleak statistics around; 1 in 5 children are obese, within that range the risk of getting cancer is increased by 30%. That is avoidable and very sad!

I have some useful videos about sugar on my YouTube channel. Please watch them, leave a comment below and let me know what you would like to know more about! How can I help you to make those changes.

 

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Meera’s Tandoori Masala

 

Meera's Tandoori Masala
Prep Time
15 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 

This homemade version of a traditional and very popular masala mixture is so much better than anything you will buy in the shops and is also free from unnecessary additives and colouring. 

Cuisine: Indian
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp Black Peppercorns
  • 4 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 4 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 3 tsp Cardamon seeds
  • 4 tsp Cloves
  • 2 7cm Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg it is best to use whole nutmeg which you grate into the mixture
  • 1 whole Red Kashmiri Chilli
  • 1 Bayleaf
  • 1 tbsp Beetroot powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp Ginger pieces, dried
How to make
  1. Place all the whole ingredients, except the nutmeg, into a flat frying pan.

  2. Dry roast them over a medium heat, stirring intermittently to avoid them burning. This will take anything from 7 to 10 minutes.

  3. Allow to cool and then place all the roasted ingredients in a grinder to nutribullet. Blitz until you have a powder. 

  4. Add the teaspoon of ground whole nutmeg to this mixture.

  5. Store in a glass jar in a cupboard. It will last for 3 to 6 months. 

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Vegan Chocolate Truffles

 

Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

These truffles are so simple to make and are a great way to eat non-shop bought chocolates winch contain so much unnecessary added sugar. This recipe can also be used to make a chocolate ganache which can be used to decorate cakes or drizzle over desserts and ice-cream. You can add different flavours to the chocolate by using edible grade essential oils, such a s orange, peppermint or vanilla. They are lower in calories than shop bought chocolate and contain some protein!! The calories noted are per 100g and each ball only weighs approximately 12-15g.

Course: Dessert
Servings: 25
Calories: 327 kcal
Ingredients
  • 225 g 70% Dark Chocolate It is important to use good quality chocolate which is at least 70%
  • 250 ml Dairy free cream I use soya or coconut
  • Toppings of your choice chopped nuts, desiccated coconut, cocoa powder
How to make
  1. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large mixing bowl, preferably glass but not metal. 

  2. In a small pan heat the milk over a low heat until it is hot but do not allow it to boil.

  3. Pour the milk over the chocolate and using a small hand held whisk to stir, until the chocolate has melted. You will notice the consistency change.

  4. Once you have a smooth, velvety sauce, you can add your flavours or just pour into a container which has a lid.

  5. Once the mixture has cooled, place the lid on and put into the fridge for at least 2 -3 hours or overnight.

  6. When you are ready to use the solid chocolate, remove from the fridge and using a teaspoon, take out a bit of the mixture and roll, roughly into a ball shape.

  7. Roll the ball in the topping of your choice and put on a plate. 

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Chocolate Truffles
Amount Per Serving (100 g)
Calories 327 Calories from Fat 227
% Daily Value*
Fat 25.26g39%
Saturated Fat 12.47g78%
Sodium 135mg6%
Carbohydrates 19.66g7%
Sugar 14.34g16%
Protein 5.36g11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Healthy Chocolate Crispie Cakes

 

Chocolate Crispie Cakes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

These are a healthier version of the traditional rice crispie cakes and a great treat for the whole family. This is a fun recipe to get the children involved in and they can choose their own toppings too. These cakes are not only super tasty but are also vegan(if you use the dark chocolate only), nut-free, gluten free. The best bit is that they do not contain any refined sugar! It's all naturally occurring and you can adjust the amount you use to reduce it further. So much better than anything you could buy from the shops!

Course: Snack
Servings: 25 cakes
Calories: 416 kcal
Ingredients
  • 200 g Oats
  • 7 tbs Maple syrup reduce this if you use milk chocolate
  • 50 g desiccated coconut
  • 200 g good quality dark chocolate, minimum 70% you can use a combination of dark and milk chocolate or just milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or essence
How to make
  1. Mix the oats and 4 tablespoons of Maple syrup together and place them in a baking tray.

  2. Bake in the oven at 180C for between 10-15 minutes, until they are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

  3. Melt the chocolate.

  4. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and mix until everything is coated in the melted chocolate.

  5. Place a small amount of the mixture into cup cake cases. You can flatten these to make a base for your favourite topping, shape them into a nest so they can hold a couple of chocolate eggs, or just make them into normal 'crispie' cakes. 

  6. Place them in the fridge to cool for an hour of so. They will keep in the fridge for 5 days.

  7. I usually top mine with a teaspoon of peanut butter, a couple of slices of banana and a very small drizzle of honey. YUMMMMM!

Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Crispie Cakes
Amount Per Serving (100 g)
Calories 416 Calories from Fat 170
% Daily Value*
Fat 18.94g29%
Saturated Fat 11.52g72%
Sodium 35mg2%
Carbohydrates 54.35g18%
Sugar 30.97g34%
Protein 7.09g14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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