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Emma’s Cake {ginger and lemon verbena friands}

Yesterday, the world lost a brilliant soul.

I first met Emma when I began my studies in naturopathy and nutrition. She was young, vibrant, super intelligent and probably one of the calmest people I had ever met. She was also magnificently kind, and as we now know, incredibly brave.

Over time she became not only a good friend, but a mentor of sorts in navigating the world as a new practitioner. She was… I still can’t believe I am writing “she was”. She was a light.

So today I did the thing I do when the world is not right for me, I baked.

I thought about what Emma loved and I am pretty sure she would have loved what I came up with. Gluten free, enriched with nourishing ghee, fresh herbs, and a good hit of ginger. Yum.

While I cooked, I thought about Emma, but I also thought about others.

I thought about my friend in the school playground this morning and the discussion about weight measures in recipes over cup measures, and made sure to take note of the weight for this one!

I thought about my husband and my kids, and how they make my heart hurt with love.

I thought about a conversation with my sister, and how grateful I am for her.

I thought about a new friend, and how she reminds me of Emma’s calm.

And I spent a little too long running my fingers through the mix of dry ingredients, because it feels nice.

So I hope you love these, and maybe bake them one time for someone you love.

Recipe notes:

The ingredients calls for 5 egg whites. I know, I know, I am not normally a fan of having leftover yolks, but in this case I wanted a particular texture …

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Roasted beetroot and lentil salad with ghee and olive oil dressing

Behind every great salad, there’s an even better dressing. Don’t get me wrong – the actual salad is hugely important too, providing the nutrients and sustaining goodness to give you that ‘I just had an excellent salad’ feeling. The dressing in this case however, is the star. The thread that ties the ingredients together, highlighting their deliciousness even further. Also, the nutritional benefits in this golden, layered liquid are another feather in it’s cap.

A combination of some gorgeous olive oil and silky ghee give the dressing an almost caramel flavour. The olive oil lends us the benefit of its omega 3 essential fatty acids, whilst the ghee (clarified butter) adds some lovely fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D and E, along with vitamin K2 which helps our bodies absorb the calcium from the greens. I could say a lot more about ghee, but that is a whole other post 🙂 The apple cider vinegar primes the digestive secretions, getting them ready to go to work on breaking down the food you’re about to give them, and the sea salt brings everything together.

This recipe will make around 1/2 cup, so you should have some leftover to keep in a jar in the fridge – just  bring it back to room temperature before using again. Also, the beauty of this salad is that you can sub in other things that you have on hand – swap out the beetroot for a different roast veggie, or the lentils for chickpeas, or the sprouts for your favourite leafy green.

Roasted Beetroot and Lentil Salad with Ghee and Olive Oil Dressing

1 beetroot, or left over roasted beetroot

1/4 cup lentils, or any leftover legumes

1 cup pea sprouts, or your favourite leafy green

50g goat’s cheese, roughly broken into pieces…

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Spelt and Teff Pancakes

A quick post for you today, just in case you’re in need of some inspiration for pancake day tomorrow. These are my latest favourite pancakes that have been on high rotation here, so I thought I would share in the hopes that you love them too!

I’ve used some gluten free teff flour in the recipe to mix things up a little, which is similar to spelt in that is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, protein and fibre. If you need the recipe to be gluten free, you could try substituting your favourite GF flour mix for the spelt. Alternatively, if you can’t find teff flour, feel free to use all spelt.

These babies also have an extra dose of fibre with the addition of banana, and also if you choose to use the chia seeds. They don’t have much fat in the actual batter, so choose your favourite to cook them in – I like butter, ghee or coconut oil. They are great for breaky, in lunch boxes, as a snack or after dinner with toppings only limited by your imagination. I love them straight out of the pan with nut butter and yoghurt, or berries and nuts. I hope you love them too!

Spelt and Teff Pancakes

3/4 cup spelt flour

1/4 cup teff flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp baking powder

pinch of sea salt

1 free range egg or 1 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 3 tbsp water for 5 minutes

1 small banana

1/2 tbsp maple syrup

1 cup milk of your choice

Combine the flours, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl, mash the banana and then stir in the maple.

Add the milk to the wet mix, gently stirring to combine.

Tip the wet …

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French Country Cooking, Mimi Thorisson Style. And a Walnut Cake

I’ve been following Mimi Thorisson’s gorgeous blog ‘Manger’ for a long time now. It is complete indulgence. Have a peek if you don’t believe me, and you will be whisked away to romantic French country deliciousness, in every sense of the word. I was lucky enough to attend one of Mimi’s cooking workshops earlier in the year, and came away with much more than some fresh skills. Dotted throughout the weekend were little reminders of living life more slowly, and celebrating the connection with food and seasons. I’ve listed some of my favourites below.

Make the little things beautiful.

Whether it’s some herbs and a swirl on top of the gazpacho, setting the table with ‘the good’ tableware, or putting cut flowers anywhere and everywhere, it brings a little ceremony and specialness to even the most average of Tuesday afternoons.

Celebrate the beauty of your produce.

One of the first things I noticed at Mimi’s incredible home was the way she had all the produce out on display. When I talked to her about it, she said that she just loves looking at it. It is such a simple thing, but a beautiful way to constantly connect yourself with your food and season.

Instead of keeping all your fruit and veggies in the fridge, keep some out on the dining table, in the kitchen or in other areas of your home in bowls or in lovely bundles. It looks gorgeous, and each time you walk past you might even imagine something you’ll make with them.

Sure, you can’t do it with everything, but there’s plenty of fresh produce that fares beautifully out of the fridge in a ventilated area and out of direct sunlight. Avocados, cucumber, tomatoes, eggplant, capsicum (peppers), pumpkins, sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions, ginger, garlic, bananas, citrus, mangoes, …

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Meg Thompson

Naturopath & Nutritionist
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