The Blog

Pistachio, Pear and Chocolate Buckwheat Cake

pistachio pear cake 1

My husband Mat is travelling at the moment, and whenever he does, I’m reminded how lucky I am to have a partner in kid-raising, dinner-making, dishes-doing, bill-paying crime. One of my dear friends was a single parent during those first few challenging years, and I still have no idea how she managed. Well actually I suspect the support of a wonderful mum, family and good friends were kind of crucial. That old saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is so relevant, not just for raising children, but just for being a human. Social connection and support is so important – feeling valued and loved, sharing experiences, having someone you can reach out to for advice, and just sometimes having a good whinge.

So without my main man this week, I’m left with a bit of a void, but I’m encouraging myself to use the time to focus on those other social connections with the rest of my ‘village’. It’s easy to fall into a routine and especially with the littles and work and life – it gets busy! But cake always helps to bring people together. Especially this one 🙂

pistachio pear cake 2

This is the perfect cake to serve mid morning or afternoon to remind yourself that life is ace. It is light enough to leave you feeling good afterwards, but dense enough to carry some real nutrition. N.B. I’m just not a fan of sponge. There, I said it. I’m sorry to all the sponge cake lovers, but I feel like it’s just eating air. And although air is great, when I crave cake, I want something a little more dense and filling.

This cake is also gluten free, using buckwheat flour as the main flour which I love. It’s high in protein and fibre, and also has …

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Mexi Bowl with Spirulina Black Rice

mexi bowl 1

There’s a Mexican place near where I live that sells burritos, bowls, tacos and the like, and they have on their menu spirulina black rice. At first I balked at this, dismissing it as a marketing ploy, but of course I ordered it anyway… I forgot about it by the end of the meal as I didn’t really taste it, but thought about it later and decided I should experiment with it one day.

Black rice is a variety of rice that is super high in antioxidants – particularly anthocyanin, which help to protect our cells and fight off disease. It has comparable levels to blueberries, but with more fibre – how cool is that?! Plus it’s sleek ebony appearance makes it a little bit mysterious and exciting.

Spirulina is a form of blue-green algae, that is packed with minerals (especially iron and magnesium), protein, antioxidants and chlorophyll. So why shouldn’t they pair up together?

Mexi bowl 2

I like to make versions of this Mexi Bowl quite a lot – I’m a major fan girl of Mexican flavours and spices, and jalepenos. This one has a simple black bean and veggie mix, some greens and then of course the compulsory toppings. Unfortunately my quest to replenish my jalepeno stocks failed miserable today, so I’m replacing with plain ol’ green chilli. It’s not the same 🙁

Also, I have given you the ingredients for much more of the black bean mix than you will need for this dish, but it is always good to have leftovers in the fridge for lunch, or to use in tortillas or tacos, to serve alongside any favourite grain, or with eggs, or you can freeze it too. It might seem like a long list of ingredients, but mostly it’s spices which there is a good chance you …

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Spiced Brown Rice Pudding

Brown rice pudding 2

My nana used to make me rice pudding when I would stay with her as a kid. I LOVED it. It is something that is automatically cozy and comforting, and it will always remind me of her. I’m not exactly sure of the ingredients she used, but I know there was rice and condensed milk. I was obsessing over this the other day, and I couldn’t take it anymore – I had to make my own version.

This rice pudding uses brown rice that I soaked overnight. This process improves the bioavailability of the rice, unlocking minerals that can be bound by anti-nutrients like phytic acid, and also makes the rice more digestible. Plus, I think it makes the pudding even creamier. If you don’t want to or don’t have the time to soak, it’s ok, you can still make it without soaking.

The addition of the almond butter adds protein, but feel free to swap it up with different nut butters – the smoother the better to maintain the gorgeous texture.

brown rice pudding 3

Spiced Brown Rice Pudding

1/2 cup short or medium grain brown rice (soaked overnight in water and 1 tsp lemon juice)

1 cup coconut milk, full fat

1 cup milk of your choice

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

Pinch of cardamom and nutmeg

1 tsp maple syrup or brown rice syrup

Small pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Almond butter for serving

Extra cinnamon and cacao nibs (optional) for sprinkling

If you have soaked your rice, drain, give it a good rinse.

If you haven’t soaked the rice, just proceed as below 🙂

Add the rice, milks, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom, nutmeg and maple syrup to a small – medium sized saucepan, and place over a medium heat.

Bring to a simmer stirring every now and then, and …

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An interview with wholefood goddess Jude Blereau – and a giveaway

Jude pear lentil salad copy

Image from Wholefood from the ground up by Jude Blereau (Murdoch Books)

I’m absolutely, heart-burstingly excited to be able to share this interview with you today. This wonderful woman has been an inspiration and mentor to me with her expansive food knowledge and no-nonsense approach. Back when I had just started studying Naturopathy, my wonderful friend Suzie gave me a cookbook for my birthday – ‘Coming Home to Eat, Wholefood for the Family’ by Jude Blereau. I was immediately hooked, and have been a major Jude fan girl ever since. And lucky us, she has just released a new book – ‘Wholefood from the ground up’. It is her fifth masterpiece, and just quietly – it’s her favourite. To celebrate, you have the chance to win a copy of this beauty, but more on that later.

In this book, Jude talks about her nourishing wisdoms. She speaks about the importance of a whole, natural and unrefined diet, of eating proper meals over snacking, of sourcing quality ingredients, balancing cooked and raw, including quality sweetness, balancing nutrients throughout the day, and how to put all of this into the context of your life. She also proclaims deliciousness as an important nutrient in its own right – such a lovely way to illustrate the fact that food should be delicious and enjoyed with pleasure, and that this is an important part of our overall health. Oh and it is jam packed with delicious wholefood recipes, with useful and wise tips and notes sprinkled throughout.

Jude lemon cupcakes copy

Image from Wholefood from the ground up by Jude Blereau (Murdoch Books)

This book celebrates food, tradition, knowledge and respect, and is so much more than a cookbook. The recipes are, as is expected from Jude, thoughtful, educational and inspirational. The styling is gorgeous. The information is comprehensive …

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Meg Thompson

Naturopath & Nutritionist
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