Tag Archives: gluten-free

Family-friendly meal: Cheesy Porcupine Meatballs

My family has eaten a LOT of meatballs lately, as I’ve made this recipe over and over to test out the ingredients. Luckily, they love it! My mother reminded me a while ago that she used to make these when I was a child, which prompted me to have a go at making them (with hidden vegetables, of course). My kids stick their forks into them whole and eat them like lollipops.

Although the meatballs take a little preparation, the dish is quite easy to cook. The meatballs cook in the sauce, so there’s no standing over the cook-top trying to ‘brown the meatballs on all sides’. I’m notoriously bad at frying meatballs, and usually end up with meat-cubes.

This dish also has a bolognese-style flavour, so if the kids love bolognese (and the adults, because who doesn’t?), but you want something a little different or less pasta-heavy, this might be a good one to try. The Thermomix recipe is also below the regular recipe. Continue reading

Christmas Berry Trifles with Orange Custard (Sugar-free and Paleo)

I love Christmas, and my enthusiasm has been further invigorated by having a three-year old who wakes up every morning and asks; ‘Is Santa coming TODAY?’ For me, Christmas is mostly all about the food. In the past this has meant indulging in a lot of over-processed sweets, so I’m genuinely excited about my first sugar-free, real food Christmas. A Christmas about good food with lots of flavour.

This Christmas is all the more exciting because my husband will be home – as a shift-worker in emergency services he’s worked every Christmas since we had our first son. Mr 3 is right at that age where he is very caught up in the magic of it all, and it’s our littlest baby’s first Christmas too – so I’m very happy that their dad will be home to enjoy it!

I made these individual trifles to have when my Mum came over for lunch, on the day we put up the Christmas tree. I always have a very romantic notion of ‘putting up the Christmas tree’, and the reality is always far more chaotic, with this year being no exception. But these trifles are fructose-friendly, and by happy coincidence also grain, gluten and dairy-free, so they are also suitable for those living a paleo lifestyle. They are also very adaptable, so take or leave or change whichever layers you want to! πŸ™‚ For vegetarians, the jelly could possibly be substituted with a berry chia pudding – noting that I haven’t tried this. Continue reading

The link between my physical and mental health – and a recipe for Hazelnut Nut-Ella Biscuits

I’m starting to realise how much my physical health affects my mental health. I wrote previously about considering coming off my anti-depressant medication, which I take primarily for anxiety, although I consider anxiety and depression to be different sides of the same coin. I have taken this medication for over six years, and it has only been this year – in my busiest, most sleep-deprived year yet – that I have felt in a place where I am ready to *try* living without it. I put this down to cutting out processed foods and fructose. I have felt so much healthier this year, and my frame of mind has followed suit. I feel more optimistic, happier, more resilient and able to cope with daily challenges, and had less mental exhaustion.

Comparatively, when I’m sick my mental health declines too. I am a terrible patient. If I get a cold or flu, ALL HOPE IS GONE. I am miserable. Pessimistic. A total negative nancy. The negative self-talk, self-loathing and paranoia goes into overdrive, and along with it, the need to indulge in unhealthy comfort food. I realise now that this once served to keep me trapped in a cycle of mediocre physical and mental health. Continue reading

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