LUXE / HEALTH nourishing bone marrow…

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The cooler weather we’re experiencing calls for comfort food and trust me, there is nothing more satisfying than this tasty bone marrow dish, hot out of the oven! It’s super simple and despite the somewhat strange look you might get from your butcher when he asks you if the beef bones are for your dog (yes, this really happened!), once you explain you’re after the bone marrow, most butchers will happily split the bone vertically for you and send you on your way. Aside from the melt-in-your-mouth taste, bone marrow is one of the most nourishing foods you can eat and is great for gut health. Let me know what you think…

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LUXE / HEALTH Nourishing Bone Marrow

Ingredients:

1-2 beef bones, split vertically
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped
Himalayan sea salt
Black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
Fresh crusty bread

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 220C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  • In a small jug, combine olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Place bones on baking tray (marrow side exposed) and drizzle olive oil mixture over top. Season generously with salt and pepper and sprinkle over lemon zest.
  • Roast for around 20 minutes until the bone marrow is soft but not completely runny.
  • Serve smeared on fresh toast loaf and devour…then go back to your butcher and stock up on beef bones!

 

LUXE / HEALTH carrot cake…

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This was my first (and only) attempt at creating a healthy version of carrot cake and I have to admit – it was a winner all round!  If you’ve got a surplus of carrots lingering in the bottom of your fridge, I suggest you whip up this wee treat, grab a cup of tea and enjoy every single mouthful…

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LUXE / HEALTH Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

3 large carrots, grated
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla bean powder
Dash ground cinnamon
Dash ground ginger
2 cups almond meal
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup rice malt syrup
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (or raisins if you prefer) + extra to serve
2 tsp. baking powder

For the icing:

Cream cheese
Pinch vanilla bean powder
Lemon zest and juice, to taste

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 160C on bake.  Then, in a large bowl mix together the grated carrot, eggs, spices, almond meal, walnuts, baking powder and coconut oil.
  • Mix well then pop into a lightly greased loaf tin.  If you haven’t got one already, I can highly recommend the silicon loaf tins you can buy nowadays!
  • Bake for around 90 minutes or until cooked through, the cake should be moist but hold together.  This is another recipe where you need to trust your instincts and after 60 minutes, check the cake every 10 minutes or so as every oven differs slightly.
  • Cool in the loaf tin completely before popping onto a rack.
  • Meanwhile, whip up some cream cheese icing by popping a few tablespoons of cream cheese in a hand mixer with a pinch of vanilla bean powder and the zest of one lemon.  Slowly add lemon juice, to taste and a little honey or rice malt syrup to sweeten (optional).
  • Once the cake has cooled, use a spatula to ice the loaf and sprinkle with extra chopped walnuts.  Simple.

LUXE / HEALTH banana + oat cookies…

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Give me a bunch of too-ripe bananas and I give you these wee gems…enjoy!

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LUXE / HEALTH Banana + Oat Cookies

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas
2 cups oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup choc chips (substitute for raisins or chopped nuts if you want to ditch the chocolate!)
1 tbsp. rice malt syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
Dash ginger powder

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 140C, then in a large bowl, mash the ripe bananas well.
  • Add the oats, coconut, choc chips, rice malt syrup, coconut oil and a dash of ginger powder (or cinnamon if you prefer) and mix well.
  • Line a baking tray with baking paper then pop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the tray – should make 12-14 cookies.
  • Cook for around 45 minutes at this low heat, then crank your oven to 180C for another 10-15 minutes to crisp up the outside.  The cookies should look nice and golden brown but still be chewy on the inside so just trust your instincts when it comes to your oven and keep an eye on them!

LUXE / HEALTH shiitake soba bowl…

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When you’re lacking dinner inspo and want something quick but healthy and comforting all in one go, then I promise this soba bowl will hit the spot….

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LUXE / HEALTH Shiitake Soba Bowl

Ingredients:

1-2 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 leek, finely sliced
2 bunches Pak Choy, roughly chopped
Handful shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Coconut oil
5-6 tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tbsp. sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 packet soba noodles

Method:

  • In a small jug, mix together the rice vinegar, sesame oil and lime juice.  Taste, season and set aside.
  • Slice chicken breasts into 1-2cm chunks, then heat a little coconut oil in a wok or large frypan and stir-fry for a few minutes until chicken has browned a little and cooked through, then set aside.
  • Cook soba noodles according to packet directions while you prep your veg, then rinse and drain well.
  • Add a little extra coconut oil to the wok then add the garlic, leek and mushrooms and stir-fry for a couple of minutes until soft before adding the Pak Choy.  As the greens begin to wilt, add the chicken back to the wok, followed by the drained soba noodles.
  • Drizzle over the dressing and toss well to combine.
  • Divide between two plates and sprinkle with fresh coriander.  Done!

LUXE / HEALTH salad series…

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This Sydney heatwave has me craving nothing but salad so if you can relate, get stuck into this pork, pomegranate and pistachio beauty…

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LUXE / HEALTH Sumac Pork and Pomegranate Salad

Ingredients:

1 pork fillet
1 cup quinoa
1 pomegranate
Handful of fresh mint, roughly chopped
Handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
4-6 spring onions, finely sliced
Handful pistachios
Handful of steamed green beans
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sumac
Zest and juice of one lemon + extra
Olive oil

Method:

  • In a large bowl, mix the ground coriander, cumin, sumac, lemon zest and lemon juice with a good glug of olive oil.  Pop the pork fillet in the marinade, cover and chill for a few hours, or overnight if possible.
  • Rinse the quinoa and drain well before adding to a saucepan with 2 cups of water.  Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the water has absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.
  • Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, then cook your pork for 3-4 minutes on each side until well browned and the pork has cooked through.
  • To assemble your salad, toss the quinoa with your steamed green beans, spring onions, fresh coriander, mint and pistachios.  Add the juice and seeds of the pomegranate and pile high on your plate.
  • Slice the pork fillet into 1/2 cm slices and place on top of your quinoa salad.  Serve with a squeeze of lemon and any extra pomegranate seeds.  A crumble of goats cheese or a dollop of Greek yoghurt would go down a treat too!

 

LUXE / HEALTH roast chicken with pesto and pea quinoa risotto…

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If you’ve roasted a chicken (and have no idea what to do with the leftovers), then I promise you this recipe will be a lifesaver.  The quinoa risotto is far simpler than it sounds and the whole dish makes a tasty work lunch alternative to the standard rice and tuna combo we all know and love.  Let me know what you think…

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LUXE / HEALTH Roast Chicken with Pesto and Pea Quinoa Risotto

Ingredients:

For the pesto:
1 bunch fresh basil
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup grated parmesan
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
Sea salt and pepper

Quinoa
Roast chicken (if you can’t be bothered roasting a chook, any protein will work well with the quinoa as a base)
Green peas
Radish
Rocket

Method:

  • If you’re roasting a chicken from scratch, preheat your oven to 180 then pop your chicken in an oven bag and generously rub olive oil, sea salt and pepper into the skin.  Secure the bag firmly then pop in the oven to roast – around 30mins per 500g.
  • Meanwhile, prep your pesto by throwing the basil, garlic, parmesan, lemon juice and pine nuts in a food processor or blender.  Add a good 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Once it’s thick and creamy and tastes delish, cover and pop in the fridge till you need it.
  • For the risotto, rinse and drain well 1 cup of quinoa, then add to a saucepan with 2 cups of water.  Bring to the boil, then cover and lower to a simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the water has absorbed and the quinoa is nice and fluffy.
  • Once the chicken is ready, shred with two forks and set aside.
  • Then, in a large bowl, mix the cooked quinoa with the pesto and add 1 cup of cooked green peas (frozen is fine – just steam them in the microwave for a couple of minutes).
  • To serve, pile your plate with fresh rocket, a few spoonfuls of the quinoa risotto and garnish with sliced radish.  Add a good helping of the roast chicken on top and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.  Simple!

LUXE / HEALTH salad series…

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Another day, another salad!  I promise you though, this one will hit the spot and solve any of those mid-week dinner dilemmas too…

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LUXE / HEALTH Lamb with Pumpkin and Goats Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

1 lamb backstrap
1/4 Kent pumpkin, sliced into wedges
Handful rocket
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 small Lebanese cucumber, shaved into ribbons (just use your vegetable peeler)
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Small handful pine nuts, toasted
Goats cheese
Olive oil
Balsamic reduction
Ground cumin
Sea salt and black pepper

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 then prep your pumpkin by slicing into thin wedges.  Pop on a baking paper lined tray then drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper.  Once your oven is hot, roast the pumpkin for 35-45 minutes until cooked through and tender.
  • Drain and rinse your tinned chickpeas, then place them into a salad bowl with a large handful of rocket, the sliced onion and cucumber ribbons.  Toss with a little olive oil and set aside.
  • To prep your lamb, bring it to room temperature then generously rub ground cumin, sea salt and pepper into the meat.
  • Heat a frying pan or grill plate and once it’s piping hot, cook the lamb for two and a half minutes each side before setting aside to rest.  This will give you nice pink, rare lamb.
  • Once the pumpkin is cooked through, drizzle a little balsamic reduction over the pumpkin wedges – then you’re ready to plate up!
  • Place a couple of pieces of pumpkin in each plate, then heap a generous serve of the rocket salad on top.  Slice the rested lamb and place on top of your salad before sprinkling with pine nuts and a generous (read: very generous!) helping of goats cheese.  Dinner sorted!

 

 

LUXE / HEALTH grilled peach and bocconcini salad…

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There’s nothing better than summer fruit on a hot day and with Sydney currently sweltering through a heat wave, I am craving light and tasty salads for dinner.  This wee dish is super simple, but the combo of sweet sticky peaches and fresh bocconcini is too good not to share.  The perfect side dish for your next barbecue!

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LUXE / HEALTH Grilled Peach and Bocconcini Salad

Ingredients:

2 peaches (yellow or white is fine – just make sure they’re not too ripe)
1 small bag of rocket
4-6 balls of baby bocconcini, sliced thinly or torn roughly
Handful of green beans
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar or reduction (whatever you have handy)

Method:

  • Start by prepping your peaches by halving them and removing the stone.  Lay them on a board and drizzle over a little balsamic reduction or vinegar.
  • Heat your grill, I used the barbecue, but a grill pan would work just as well.  Once it’s piping hot, place your peaches sticky side down and cook through for 3-4 minutes until golden and glazed.
  • Meanwhile, steam a handful of green beans then run under cold water to cool.  Drain well.
  • Toss your cooked beans with rocket, sliced bocconcini and a little olive oil.
  • Pile the salad onto a serving platter and once your peaches are ready, place them gently on top before drizzling with a little extra balsamic to taste.
  • Devour immediately! 

LUXE / HEALTH bircher muesli…

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Without a doubt, bircher muesli is my favourite brekkie, especially during summer!  While there are a zillion and one variations for this classic dish out there, I assure you this one is super simple and will take you less than five minutes to throw together in the morning.

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LUXE / HEALTH Bircher Muesli

Ingredients:

2 cups organic rolled oats
1 cup almond milk
1 cup coconut water
2 Granny Smith apples, grated
1/2 cup raw almond, roughly chopped
Honey
Greek yoghurt (optional)
Berries

Method:

  • In a large bowl, mix the oats with almond milk and coconut water.  Cover and pop in the fridge to soak overnight.
  • In the morning, add grated apple, chopped almonds and a generous squeeze of honey to the oat mixture and stir well.
  • Serve with extra nuts, fresh berries and yoghurt.
  • Store any leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days.

 

LUXE / HEALTH sticky chilli pork tacos…

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Mexican has got to be one of my absolute favourite cuisines!  For many people however, I think there is still a bit of hesitancy when it comes to cooking Mexican at home as most recipes feel overwhelming due to their seemingly never-ending list of steps, sauces and spices.  So, when I set about creating this dish, I was mindful that I wanted it to be something you could whip up just as easily on a weeknight as you could on a weekend and that most of the ingredients would already be hiding in your cupboard.  Not only are these tacos delicious, but I can assure you, they’re about as healthy as Mexican comes too.  They’re gluten free and if you want to make them dairy free, simply ditch the yoghurt.  Let me know what you think…

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LUXE / HEALTH Sticky Chilli Pork Tacos

Ingredients:

8 gluten free soft corn tacos
1 avocado
4 tbsp. Greek yoghurt
1-2 tsp. sweet chilli sauce

For the pork:
500g pork belly ribs (boneless is ideal, but I usually just slice the meat off the bone after cooking as the bones add a heap of flavour!)
1/3 cup honey
2 red chillies, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of 1 lime

For the slaw:
1/4 head red cabbage, finely sliced
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 large Lebanese cucumber, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
Handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Small handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime

For the beans:
1 tin black beans
1 tsp. ground cumin
Sea salt and black pepper

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 240C.  Then, in a small jug, mix together all the ingredients for the pork – honey, chillies, garlic and lime juice.
  • Pop the pork ribs in an ovenproof dish lined with baking paper and pour over the chilli marinade.  Roast for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and sticky on the outside.
  • Meanwhile, make your slaw by tossing together the sliced cabbage, spring onions, cucumber, coriander, mint and the juice of 1/2 lime.  Set aside.
  • Cook the black beans in a microwave safe dish for 2 minutes, drain well, then toss in a small bowl with cumin, sea salt and black pepper.  Set aside.
  • Slice a ripe avocado into thin segments, and swirl the sweet chilli sauce through the Greek yoghurt.
  • Once the ribs are cooked, chop into 2-3cm chunks (slice the meat off the bone first if your ribs aren’t boneless), then heat your tacos in the microwave for 40 seconds until warm.
  • To assemble: place a spoonful of beans on your taco with a pinch of slaw, a couple of slices of avocado, a few chunks of sticky pork and a generous dollop of the yoghurt.  Serve with extra spring onions and fresh coriander.
  • And repeat…