Pistachio cake

Pistachio cake

St. Patrick’s day home-baked treat, anyone?  This is lovely and moist and soaked in rosewater and lemon syrup.  Make it at least 2 hours before you want to serve it so the syrup has time to soak in.  You can buy unsalted shelled pistachios in Middle Eastern and Asian Stores.  The recipe, adapted by me to be healthier, is from Claudia Roden’s Arabesque.  I am including 2 sizes of cake so you don’t have to go with enormous all the time, if you don’t have 12 people to serve.  I increased the amount of lemon, to give a little more tang, and switched the immuno-suppressing sugar for xylitol/erythritol (from health shops).  If you want to make serving this more spectacular, get yourself some rosepetals/rosebuds from a Middle Eastern shop and crumble some of the rose petals around and on top of each slice. 

To serve 6
3 eggs, seperated
60g xylitol or erythritol
25g coarsely chopped raw unsalted pistachios (optional)
100g pistachio flour (finely ground raw unsalted pistachios)
1 x 10-13cm round loose-bottomed cake tin

Syrup for small cake:
75g xylitol/erythritol
90ml water
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs rosewater

To serve (optional):
125ml Abbot Kinney’s/Coyo non dairy coconut yoghurt or whipped cream (I like to mix in a few drops of rosewater to either)

Large cake (to serve 12)
5 eggs, seperated
120g xylitol/erythritol
50g coarsely chopped raw unsalted pistachios (optional)
200g pistachio flour (finely ground raw unsalted pistachios)
1 x 23-25 cm round loose-bottomed cake tin

Syrup for large cake:
150g xylitol/erythritol
180ml water
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs rosewater
To serve (optional):
250ml Abbot Kinney’s/Coyo non dairy coconut yoghurt or whipped cream (I like to mix in a few drops of rosewater to either)

1. Make the syrup.  Bring the xylitol/erythritol, water and lemon juice to the boil, simmer till everything is dissolved.  Stir in the rosewater.
2. Let the syrup cool, then chill it.
3. Beat the egg yolks with the xylitol/erythritol to a pale cream, then add the ground pistachios and mix very well.  Beat the egg whites until still and fold in gently.  Pour into a greased cake tin and sprinkle the coarsely chopped pistachios, if using, on top.
4. Bake in pre-heated oven (180C/fan 165C).
Test for done-ness (where needle or point of knife comes out clean) after 35 minutes for the small cake and 40 minutes for the large, which should take around 45 minutes.  If the cake is still sticky, give another 5 minutes, then test again.
5. Turn the cake onto a deep serving dish.  Make little holes over the top with a fork and pour over the syrup.  The holes will let it soak in quickly.
6. Serve, if you like, with the coconut yoghurt or (if you’re not dairy sensitive) cream.

Why this is better for you:
OK, so raw nuts are much better than baked (because nut/seed oils get damaged by heat) but this cake is high in protein and contains no sugar.  This means it won’t disrupt blood sugar levels.  Maintaining blood sugar balance is important if you care about your vitality and health.  Erratic blood sugar levels contribute to fatigue, mood issues, inflammation, auto-immune conditions and so, so much more.  Stay well.

Bitter and sweet radicchio, orange and blue cheese salad

Bitter and sweet radicchio, orange and blue cheese salad

I invented this last winter when the bitter Seville (marmalade) oranges came out and it was lovely.  You can make it with an ordinary orange though – it will just have more contrast of sweet and bitter which is super-delicious!  If you are dairy-sensitive you can increase the walnut halves…Roquefort is a blue sheep’s cheese that contains a variety of beneficial bacteria for your tummy.  Sheep’s cheese is also easier to digest than cow.

For 2
1 large head of chicory or a medium head of radicchio
1 orange, peeled and sliced thinly across its equator
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
30g Roquefort cheese
Balsamic vinegar
Small handful walnuts

1.Wash and arrange leaves on two plates and top with the orange slices.
2.Crumble the Roquefort over and sprinkle on the walnut halves.
3.Drizzle a tablespoon of the olive oil and about a dessertspoon of balsamic over each plate and enjoy…

You could also make this salad using watercress or endive.

Why this is good for you:
Bitter foods (like radicchio, rocket, watercress, chicory, Seville oranges) stimulate your gallbladder to contract as the meal reaches your small intestine.  The gallbladder pumps out fat-splitting bile salts and fat-digesting enzymes too.  This is great news if you want to tune up your gallbladder, enhance the digestion of that meal, and facilitate removal of waste products from your liver.  And avoid gallstones!!!  Other bitter foods that help tune up your gallbladder include watercress, chicory, endive, organic rocket (much stronger than “conventionally-farmed”).  Drinks that help your gallbladder if you drink it after a meal include dandelion coffee which you can buy on the fantastic Dublin-based website www.intelligenttea.ie  Make just like for filter/cafetiere coffee and add milk if you want.  DO avoid instant dandelion products, they are stuffed with sugar (lactose/dextrose usually) so they really are not helpful to you.  100% chicory drinks also have some benefit but dandelion is more potent.

Oat cinnamon pancakes

Oat cinnamon pancakes

I LOVE these.  Heard a recipe on the radio using cheese but I swapped it out for full fat thick natural yogurt or strained kefir (you strain the kefir through a muslin in a sieve to thicken it) an it’s DELICIOUS.  I quite like my pancake Tuesday pancakes with lemon juice and some honey or Dr Coys Erylite or Xylitol to sweeten.  But you could use stewed apple, apple puree and a big dollop of cream or non-dairy coconut yoghurt on top if you feel the urge.  If you are a bit dairy sensitive like me, home-made kefir could be the one form of dairy that you can tolerate really really well.  That’s because the process completely breaks down the lactose, as well as the casein protein, which is what  most people have a problem with.  YUM!!  Would you like me to do a post on how to make kefir?  If so, give me some feedback.


Makes 4 large pancakes (you can use normal oats/oat flour if you are not gluten-sensitive)

50g gluten-free oats, blitzed in the food processor to make a flour (or use Merry Mill gluten-free oat flour from good health stores like the Hopsack in Dublin 6)
4 eggs, organic if possible
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract (avoid “essence” – it contains gluten)
10 drops pure stevia (optional) – I like “sweet drops of stevia” form health stores
150ml (10 tbs) natural full-fat yogurt, Greek yogurt or thickened kefir (strain home-made kefir through a sieve lined with muslin/kitchen paper and use the thick stuff that remains)
Optional: 1/2 tsp gluten-free baking powder (makes a fluffier, higher pancake, more like a drop scone)

  1. Bitz all the ingredients together in a blender (or using a large bowl add the dry ingredients and mix well.   Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, add the eggs, mix with a wooden spoon, add the wet ingredients and beat until everything is smooth.
  2. Cook on the pan using extra virgin coconut oil, avocado oil or (a bit less healthy) light olive oil.
  3. Enjoy…


Why this is better for you:
Ceylon cinnamon helps balance your blood sugar and prevent diabetes!! Stevia is a more natural sweetener than most others and contains no calories.  Like erythritol and xylitol from health stores, stevia does not raise your blood sugar levels – so this is a friendly recipe for anyone who cares about their health or has blood sugar issues like diabetes.

Oats are a great source of soluble fibre, which feeds some of your good gut bacteria to help all aspect of your health, mental and physical.  So  much better than wheat because lower in gluten.  Published video evidence now proves that gluten damages your small intestine for at least 3 hours.  This study was done on non-gluten-sensitive people. Yes, that includes all your normal people out there.  Damaging your gut allows undigested food, bacterial cell walls and toxins to spill into your bloodstream. This eventually compromises your health by inflaming either your brain or other parts of you. 

Eggs are a high quality source of protein and (if they are organic) omega 3 fatty acids and phospholipids which our brains and cell membranes need for every function of our body.  Please don’t be afraid of eggs (unless you are sensitive or allergic).  Eggs do not give you heart disease.  The 1950’s study showing eggs cause heart disease was carried out on rabbits.  Rabbits are vegan!  Unlike us, they can’t cope with animal protein.  The real culprit with heart disease is a high grain carbohydrate diets, inflammation and lack of beneficial fats, quality protein and vegetables, herbs and spices. 

Simple fresh herb pesto to weed and feed your gut bacteria

Simple fresh herb pesto to weed and feed your gut bacteria

Every herb has healing properties so herb pesto isn’t just about making your food taste even better.  Herbs stimulate your body to make more antioxidants.  But herbs also have a selective antibiotic effect.  That is, every herb has action against certain disease-causing bacteria* AND encourages growth of friendly bacteria in your gut.  Different herbs discourage different “bad” bugs.

For the most powerful health effects place the pesto in a clean glass/ceramic jar and leave to ferment on the kitchen counter for 2 days before using.  The fermentation potentiates the polyphenols (beneficial plant compounds) making them more usable by your body.  Using the garlic helps keep the pesto fresher but isn’t essential.  If any fluffiness develops on the top of you pesto just scrape it off before using.

The proportions of ingredients to each other don’t really matter so long as you end up with something that’s not too runny.

A generous handful of one fresh herb: Thyme, oregano, parsley, mint, sage, coriander, basil, tarragon, dill are all good.  Rosemary is fantastic as well but very strong-tasting – maybe do 1/2 and 1/2 with parsley.
Extra virgin olive oil to bind (1/2-1 cup)
Optional: 2 large cloves freshly crushed garlic

  1. Wash the herbs, remove any woody stems (for soft herbs like dill, parsley and basil you use the whole stem so long as its soft).
  2. If using a mini food processor cut the herbs roughly into 2cm lengths then blitz with the garlic and 1/2 cup of the olive oil until you get a paste.  If the food processor isn’t catching the herbs you can add more oil to make it all go round.
    If making the pesto by hand chop the herbs finely (a mezzaluna or a large knife with a smooth curved blade is good for this).  In a bowl mix with the garlic and extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Decant into a clean glass or ceramic jar covered with a saucer, a piece of muslin, or the lid laid loosely on top.  Leave at room temperature for 48 hours before starting to eat.   It will be fine for a week in the fridge.
    Tip: if the pesto starts to go very brown (this happens with basil and coriander) add a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil on top to help preserve the colour.

Good to know:
Did you know that many gut bacteria are normal in certain amounts but toxic if they overgrow.  For example the yeast-like fungus known as candida.  Small amounts in your gut are normal but when you have a high carbohydrate diet or take antibiotics or acid-blocking drugs candida can take over.  It develops a filamentous form (hyphae) which invade your gut lining and cause damage.  Food sensitivities, digestive symptoms, autoimmune conditions (e.g. hypothyroidism) and even mood changes can result. 


Asian pot-au-feu (quick chicken stew)

Asian pot-au-feu (quick chicken stew)

I adapted this from a recipe by Raymond Blanc to include more greens and a little less stodge.  It makes a lovely, gently flavoured dinner.   Even my husband, who says he doesn’t really like meals that involve broth, likes this one.

In my newsletter last month (to people who subscribe for FREE via my website www.annacollins.ie), I talked about why chicken broth can help prevent wrinkles.  To make this even more nutritious you could make the following meal using home-made chicken stock (made by boiling organic chicken bones in water and a dash of apple cider vinegar) instead of the water in the recipe.  Or use chicken pieces on the bone instead of fillets.  I like to make a four-person amount and reheat thoroughly for another dinner later in the week

For 4

3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into bite-sized chunks (about 2cm thick)
1 small (Swede) turnip, peeled, cut into bite-sized cubes
4 small organic chicken legs, 2 breasts on the bone cut in two, or failing that, 4 fillets (but chicken with bones is better)*
6-8cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 large heads broccoli, cut into florets
Optional extras: (NOT for SC diet): 100g 100% buckwheat noodles/rice noodles (soak in boiling water 5 mins, drain and refresh in cold water until ready to use at the end).
Tamari sauce (this is a gluten-free soya sauce)

1. In a large saucepan cover the turnips and carrots with boiling water and boil for 10 mins.
2. Add the whole chicken fillets, garlic, ginger, making sure all just covered with water and cook (simmer) for 15 minutes.
3. Add the broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes.
4. Check that the chicken is cooked.  When it is done
5. Divide the cold cooked noodles between 4 large bowls.  Cut up the chicken fillets into bite-sized slices if you can be bothered.
6. Ladle in the rest of the ingredients on top of the noodles and chicken
7. Provided you are NOT on the SC diet you can add tamari sauce to taste.  For SC diet just add more salt and pepper.

Variation (not for SC diet!):
For a mostly vegetarian version, add 100g cubed fermented tofu or tempeh, cut into bite-sized cubes at the same time as the broccoli, and use chicken stock or a chicken stock cube (provided you are not a purist vegetarian!)

Why this is good for you
Swede turnips, carrots and all orange fruits and vegetables are a rich source of carotenoids such as beta carotene.  Eating a diet rich in beta carotene and other carotenoids found in green, red and purple vegetables will give your skin an attractive golden glow, according to a study of university student who increased their fruit and veg intake for a few weeks.  Beta carotene is also important for clear skin, excellent eyesight and helping prevent wrinkles and digestive problems.  The list of its activities is endless so I won’t bamboozle you with more details!  Broccoli is a great source of folic acid, which helps daily repair and maintenance of your stomach and intestines. It’s also rich in indole-3-carbinol, which helps your liver get rid of the hormone-disrupting chemicals that can cause low thyroid, hair loss and dry skin.

Did you know that organic/free range chicken bones, boiled, yield a powerhouse of immune supporting nutrients like proline and collagen, which help heal your gut? Naturally reared chicken (organic) is better because intensively farmed chickens have high levels of toxins (heavy metals) inside their bones. These toxins are released when you boil the bones for a long time to make soup. Gut healing is important on a day to day basis because every 72 hours you shed your single-cell thick gut lining. Without lots of repair going on constantly, your ability to keep that gut lining working properly declines. Result: poor nutrient absorption, increased tendency to food sensitivities and autoimmune symptoms(e.g. hypothyroidism). You also increase your risk of sepsis (a life threatening condition that can occur with viral and other infections). So really, keeping your gut in tip top shape is one of the most important keys to great health.

Chai (Indian Spicy Tea) 2 Ways

Chai (Indian Spicy Tea) 2 Ways

Do you love warm, spicy drinks?  I do and love the idea of chai but dont really like the sugar laden, condensed-milk builders tea type on offer in Indian restaurants.  Traditionally chai is made from tea, spices, sugar and condensed milk.  No exactly a vitality-boosting beverage.   I swapped the tea for naturally caffeine-free rooibosch tea which (unlike traditional tea) doesn’t blocknutrient absorption.  I sweeten it without sugar and use a non-dairy milk instead.   This tea aids detoxification due to the spices – quite a nice thing to do at this time of year if, like me, you ate (and drank) a bit more than was good for you during the holidays.

I’ve included a simple chai recipe you can make on the spot, and also a chai blend you can mix up and keep in an airtight container somewhere dark.  Always keep your dried spices in a dark place in an airtight container to avoid loss of potency.

If you like your tea black, substitute water for the milk. I fyou like it made entirely on milk, feel free to do that but bear in mind almond milk can split when you boil it for a long time so coconut (or dairy) milk will give you a better consistency at the end.

Basic Chai

To serve 2:
1 1/2 cups (about 350ml) water
1/2 cup milk of your choice – cow, unsweetened almond/coconut
2 rooibosch teabags or 3 heaped teaspoons loose rooibosch tea
6 cracked cardamom pods
½ cinnamon stick, crumbled
grating of fresh nutmeg
4 cloves
Optional sweeteners: stevia drops (or xylitol/erythritol)

Put the spices, water and tea into a saucepan, bring up to the boil, turn down and simmer, covered with a lid, for 1-15 minutes.  Add milk and sweetening to taste.

Posh Chai Blend to use again and again
I adapted this from a lovely Fortnum and Mason blend my nephew gave me.   But using South African Redbush (rooibosch) instead of normal tea enhances the health benefits.

6 heaped dessertspoons loose rooibosch tea
3 cinnamon sticks, broken up with your hands (make sure it’s the real Ceylon cinnamon, which looks like rolled cigars.  The cinnamon that looks like rough bark is only Cassia cinnamon, which doesn’t have the health benefits)
20 cloves
1 heaped teaspoon cracked coriander
20 cracked cardamom pods (bash whole coriander seeds and cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar for a minute)
1 level teaspoon ground ginger
2 star anise if you have them, broken up
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

To serve 1:
3/4 cup 9about 180ml) water
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk
1 dessertspoon posh chai blend
Stevia drops (or xylitol/erythritol) to taste

Why this is good for you:
I love to make meals and drinks that contain spices.  Did you know that spices stimulate your body to make more antioxidants?  The spices themselves also help reduce numbers of disease-causing bacteria and increase numbers of friendly ones.  This is very relevant if you would like to maintain fantastic vitality and health as you go through life.  Spices help protect you from almost all chronic diseases.  The more different types you take in, the better.  

Tannins in tea bond to nutrients in your meals and prevent you absorbing these precious nutrients.  Tea is also naturally high in aluminium, which is a toxic metal.  Green tea is interesting because if you make it the traditional way  you reduce the tannins a lot and aluminium significantly.  Green tea also contains epigallin catechate, a powerful protector against cancers, premature ageing and much more.  That’s why its OK to drink a couple of cups of green tea a day if you make it the traditional way.  To make green tea the traditional way pour boiling water on leaves, infuse 1 minute, throw away water then use fresh boiling water to brew the tea for 5 minutes.

Oven roasted cauliflower & green bean salad

Oven roasted cauliflower & green bean salad

This is a delicious way to enjoy cauliflower.  I use my Middle Eastern tahini sauce as a dressing but you could also dress with extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and some paprika/smoked paprika.  If you like, add some chopped fresh oregano or flat leaf parsley when the salad has cooled.  The tahini sauce is also lovely used as a sauce over some simple poached/grilled fish, or as a dip with vegetable sticks.  Keeps well in an airtight jar for several days.  I like to make the dressing a bit in advance, to let the flavours develop.  Eat it warm or cold – it’s all good.

For the salad:
1 medium cauliflower, leaves removed
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 dsp sumac
Freshly ground black pepper
Himalayan/sea salt
2 large handfuls (about 250g) green beans (or runner beans)

For the dressing:
1 rounded tbs light tahini
2 tbs lemon juice and about 125ml cold water OR 150ml home made kefir (lemon juice OR kefir gives the sauce acidity and balance)
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 200C/185C fan
2. Placing the whole cauliflower with stalk downwards, cut in half, and cut out the big central stalk. Then slice each half in slices approximately 1.5cm thick.  Slicing (rather than breaking into florets) helps the cauliflower to caramelize deliciously.
3. Place in an ovenproof roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle over the sumac, a good pinch of salt and lots of black pepper and mix gently to coat everything evenly.
4. Roast for 20-25 minutes until you can pierce easily with a fork.
5. While the cauli is roasting, boil the kettle.  Steam the green/runner beans until they are slightly softened but retain some crunch.  Drain and refresh in cold water.  This stops the cooking process.  Once cooled, drain.
6. Make the tahini sauce.  Whisk or blitz together in a mini food processor all the sauce ingredients.  You are aiming for a consistency about the texture of double cream.  You may need to add more water as you go to achieve this.  The tahini will clump initially.  Just keep mixing, and adding more liquid if needed.
7. When cauliflower is cooked so a fork pierces it easily, empty it and the green beans, into a serving dish and drizzle with the sauce.

Why this is good for you;
Cauliflower is a sulphurophane vegetable.  This means that (like broccoli and cabbage) it is rich in sulphur which is crucial for detoxification.  Detoxification affects every aspect of our health so if you want clear skin, good energy, mood and to keep clear of any health conditions, these sulphur rich veg are great to eat at least 3 times a week.

Garlic is also rich in sulphur and helps rebalance your gut bacteria in favour of useful micro organisms which ALSO aid detoxification.  In fact over 70% of your detoxification is looked after by good gut bacteria – if you have enough quantity and variety of them!!  Spices like sumac, paprika and black pepper, used to coat food, help reduce the toxic substances generated by roasting/heating food to high temperatures.

Spices (and herbs) also stimulate our body’s antioxidant defenses to keep us looking and feeling better for much, much longer.  Kefir, especially when home-made, is a hypoallergenic milk product that’s really rich in over 30 species of beneficial micro organisms.   Did you know that although many of these micro organisms dont survive the acid in our stomachs they still exert a beneficial effect.   Research has shown that even heat-killed friendly bacteria do us good when we take them.  Who knew!  Of course we really also want to grow our own good bugs, which colonise and cling to the walls of our large intestine.  There they ferment plant fibres (if we eat a big variety of plants) to make short chain fatty acids.  Short chain fatty acids like butyrate are essential for daily repair of our gut.  Get your gut health right and you have at least 90% of your health sorted.

Classic mayonnaise with Dijon

Classic mayonnaise with Dijon

I have to say this is the most delicious mayo recipe I have ever tasted.  I so enjoyed it with steamed asparagus and a couple of boiled eggs for lunch today.  Personally I like using a half and half mix of extra virgin sunflower/sesame and olive oils.  Extra virgin sesame oil has a neutral flavour similar to sunflower, in my opinion.  Nothing like the usual sesame oil, which is super heat-treated.  Dijon mustard, salt and herbs preserve the mayo longer.  When its gone over, you’ll know because it will have separated or gone runny.  One yolk will bind up to 1 litre of oil so for a bigger batch you only need to increase the other ingredients.

1 medium/large organic egg yolk, at room temperature
1 tbs Dijon mustard, at room temperature
230ml extra virgin (cold-pressed) oil: olive, rape, sunflower or avocado
1 dsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Himalayan salt
Optional: 2 tablespoons herbs to add at the very end: e.g. fresh chopped tarragon,parsley, coriander or chives.

  1. Bring the egg and mustard to room temperature in advance (chilled eggs/Dijon will leave you with a runny, disappointing sauce!).
  2. Mix the egg and mustard with a stick blender or whisk and while whisking add the oil slowly in a thin stream (this is essential). The mayo should start to thicken.  Many food processors now have a cap on top that has a small hole for this purpose.
  3. Continue whisking and adding until the oil is used up and the mayo is set.
  4. Add vinegar/lemon juice. Mix some more and season with salt and pepper and whatever herbs you are using.
  5. Let the mayonnaise rest in the fridge before serving – this allows the flavour to develop and the mayonnaise to thicken further.

Why this is better for you:
As you’ll know if you’ve been a client of mine, omega 6 oils in the form most people eat them, are toxic.  Omega 6 oils like sunflower, rape, safflower, sesame, canola, soya and “vegetable oil” are heat treated to give them a long shelf life.  This makes their chemical structure change to one that interferes with metabolic functions as they are incorporated into our cell membranes in EVERY tissue of our body.  They are used as cooking oils, and to make bread, cakes, biscuits and confectionary and of course in ready meals, to give them a nice mouth feel.

So if you’d like to avoid or reduce chronic health conditions, swapping out your heat-treated nut and seed oils for healthier options is a winner.  For food prep use either extra virgin olive oil or (never cooked) extra virgin nut/seed oils like sesame, sunflower, rape, walnut and hazelnut.  Commercial mayonnaise is ALWAYS MADE WITH REFINED OILS (if you find one that’s not, do let me know so I can tell everyone!).  Bottom line, we are all deficient in these life-giving untreated, never heated, omega 6 oils.  DID YOU KNOW that mustard can be a powerful tool against eczema (dermatitis)?  A study a few years ago showed that eating mustard daily prevented eczema in mice.  Who knew??

Simple raspberry or strawberry ricotta toast

Simple raspberry or strawberry ricotta toast

I love this and invented it one weekend a few years ago when I saw beautiful ricotta on sale.  Now I see it seems to be “a thing” on the internet.  Quantities are to serve 2, as usual.  If you use frozen berries and you forget to thaw them overnight first, just put into a pan and warm with about 1 dessertspoon of xylitol or around 5 drops of steviaor some erythritol/xylitol and warm gently, covered, until thawed.  Allow to cool a bit before using.


2 mugs (about 200g) (THAWED OVERNIGHT) frozen or fresh organic raspberries or strawberries (personally I love frozen cos when you thaw them you get lots of juice)
4 small slices 100% wholemeal gluten-free bread (if you eat gluten, 100% wholemeal spelt, wheat or rye sourdough is great with this)
100-150g tub super-fresh ricotta cheese (NOT salted ricotta)
1/4 tsp vanilla powde or vanilla extract (make sure its extract not essence if you want to be gluten-free)

Stevia drops, erytirotol/stevia or xylitol to sweeten

1. Mix the vanilla powder/extract into the ricotta and add stevia/xylitol/erythritol to taste.
2. Toss your berries (with any juice that came out) with stevia/erythritol/xylitol to sweeten to your liking.
3. Toast your bread, divide the ricotta between the 4 slices, piling on top, and spoon over the berries and their juice (if any).
4. Enjoy for a leisurely breakfast.

Why this is better for you
Ricotta is rich in protein which keeps you fuller longer than if you just ate toast with fruit or jam for breakfast.  The protein stops your blood sugar from soaring too high too quickly, which would cause inflammation and accelerated ageing.  Protein slows digestion so this is a slow-burn energy breakfast.  Slow burn meals are really important if you want to be well long-term and be the best body shape for you.  Strawberries (and raspberries) are really rich in vitamin C and polyphenols which help keep every part of our body young-looking, springy and strong – from your skin to your arteries and intestines.  Do go for organic if at all possible.  Xylitol, stevia and erythritol have NO effect on blood sugar – this is good news for all of us, not just people with diabetes.  

Simple grilled garlic & tamari salmon

Simple grilled garlic & tamari salmon

This recipe is super-easy.  It’s what I make when I come home late and want dinner on the table in 15-20 minutes.

For 2

2 salmon darnes/fillets/steaks, ideally wild or organic
A large clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
Tamari Sauce (see “larder & shopping” for where to buy)

1. Brush fish on both sides with the sauce, smear with the garlic.
2. Grill on medium heat for around 5 minutes flesh side up and 1-2 minutes skin side up until very slightly browned (watch it when grilling the skin side, it goes from not done to burnt very quickly).

Serve with:

  • Steamed green or runner beans drizzled with fresh lemon juice or a large salad of mixed leaves, cherry tomatoes and sliced red onion drizzled with my home-made mediterranean or Asian salad dressing or a little fresh lemon juice and a glug of extra virgin olive oil.   These accompaniments are suitable for a paleo (stoneage) or ketogenic eating diet.
  • If you don’t want to lose any weight you could also add a medium steamed or baked sweet potato (just scrub, slice and steam with the skin on for extra nutrients) or some baby boiled white potatoes.  Carbohydrates (grains, potatoes, sweet foods) are weight gainers.

Why this recipe is good for you:
Oily fish is a great source of omega 3 essential fats needed for weight management, beautiful skin and good brain function.  Eating fresh rather than tinned fish is best because the plastic lining of tins contains bisphenol A (BPA).  Fats in the food absorb BPA.  BPA is linked by numerous studies to sex hormone imbalance (eg PMS, low libido, endometriosis, fibroids) and life-threatening diseases of the breast and prostate.   Greens are a rich source of magnesium, which helps the liver clear natural and man made toxins from the body.  common symptoms of magnesium deficiency include stress, wheezing in asthmatics, and sluggish bowels.