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Spiced Roasted Whole Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad

Well, they say that time flies when you’re having fun, so I must have been having a lot of fun lately! Actually, that’s true. Since I posted last I’ve been doing lots of writing, cooking, taken on some more lecturing, am deeper into my Masters, turned 40 (!!), and we also took a beautiful holiday which I will post about soon as the cooking workshop I did was incredible. I hope you have had a wonderful few months too. Today I have this delicious, festive looking recipe to share with you, that is both fancy looking and simple to make – my favourite. But I wanted to share something else first.

This month, being October, I am participating in the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation’s initiative ‘Frocktober’ to help raise awareness and funds for research into an early detection test for ovarian cancer. Did you know that one woman in Australia dies from ovarian cancer every 10 hours? Part of the reason for this is that it is usually quite advanced by the time it is diagnosed.

In the early stages, symptoms can be vague, nonspecific, or completely absent. Symptoms of ovarian cancer can include unexplained bloating, digestive discomfort and gas pains, changes to bowel habits, backache, difficulty eating or feeling full easily, urinary symptoms, abnormal vaginal bleeding and unintended weight loss.
Aside from having the opportunity to rock out a frock every day, I am supporting #frocktober2017 to help raise awareness and funds for much needed research into early detection. At present there is no early detection test, which is contributing to the high mortality rate of the disease. I would love it if you could help spread the word by visiting and sharing my page from the link below with your friends and family, and of course you

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Crunchy Clustery Cocoa Pops

coco pops 1

Let me introduce you to a good friend of mine. I think you will get along really well. They are super gorgeous, and back it up with a depth of character and versatility to boot. They are happy to represent a nourishing snack coupled with some yoghurt perhaps, or just as content as a sprinkle atop your favourite porridge or smoothie. Always the life of the party, they will bring protein and healthy fats to keep you balanced and nourished, calcium and magnesium to soothe and support your nervous system and muscles, and most importantly, deliciousness to delight your heart. Please meet Crunchy Clustery Cocoa Pops!

I’m just going to let you two get acquainted now.

Enjoy! Meg. xx

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Crunchy Clustery ‘Cocoa Pops’

This recipe is super versatile. Feel free to swap up the nut butter and the nuts as you like, and if you want to minimise the caffeine, swap half of the cacao powder for carob powder.

Serves 8-10

½ cup almond butter, or your favourite nut butter, or half tahini half nut butter

¼ cup rice malt syrup

1-2 tbsp maple syrup

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tsp vanilla

1 cup buckwheat

½ cup almonds, roughly chopped, or any nuts you like

1 ½ cups brown rice puffs (or millet or quinoa puffs)

1 cup desiccated coconut

½ cup raw cacao powder

 

Preheat oven to 150°C.

Combine the almond butter, rice malt, maple syrup, sea salt and vanilla in a large bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine – I find this easiest using my hands, to make sure everything is coated.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and spread out the mix on top.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the nuts and coconut are just starting …

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Chaotic Dahl

chaotic dahl 1

This is a chaotic dahl. It might not look all that chaotic at first glance, but if you listen closely you can hear the kids and dog going crazy in the background…

It’s chaotic dahl because you can still get this together when chaos has descended. When it’s 5.30pm and you realize you’ve done no meal prep, have very little in the fridge, and a hungry, cranky household.

It tastes delicious, it’s fabulously nutritious, and no-one complains that you had to use parsley as a garnish because there was no WAY you were leaving the house to buy coriander at this point. Convinced?

Here is the recipe for you. There are a number of spices, but if you don’t have them all on hand, feel free to substitute. The ginger, garam masala, cumin and smoked paprika are kind of definites though! High in iron, B vitamins, fibre, magnesium and warming spices, it’s lovely on a cool night to enjoy with yoghurt and a side of rice or your favourite grain. And perhaps it’s no coincidence that a lot of the nutrition in this meal works to support and relax your nervous system, and is building and nourishing to your body 🙂

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CHAOTIC DAHL

Serves 4-5

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 large or 2 small onions (red or brown), chopped

1 clove of garlic, smashed and chopped

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

2 tsp garam masala

2 tsp ground cumin

1-2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp turmeric

¼ tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp tomato paste (optional but gives you a richer flavour)

1 x 400g tin tomatoes

1 cup coconut milk

1 ¼ cup red lentils, rinsed well and drained

1 cup of any greens you have (peas, green beans, spinach, kale, etc)

 

Once you have your onions and garlic chopped, …

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A little video on gut health

Martine interview

Well what an amazing Autumn it has been so far! We have just harvested the last of our late tomatoes, and are still enjoying some beautifully warm days and incredible sunsets here in Melbourne. Lots of cooking, planning out the year, teaching and also lots of study for me, as I’ve just started a Master of Public Health which I’m ridiculously excited about.

I wanted to share something a little different with you today, that I hope you will love. Late last year, I was lucky enough to be interviewed for a video series by Gold Quill award winning journalist Martine Harte of Engaging Women. Her team has put together a video series called ‘The Trick’, where some wonderful women will be sharing their knowledge on a huge range of topics. I hoped you would find this video on gut health interesting and relevant, and so have shared with here. It gives a little run down of gut health, why it’s important, and some tips for improving yours. To check it out,  CLICK HERE

I’d really love to know what you think!

Meg X…

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Meg Thompson

Naturopath & Nutritionist
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