My husband bought a whole tray of zucchini’s last week so we’ve been eating them down. After eating them the same way for the past week I had enough and wanted to make something different, so Zucchini fritters it was!
These fritters are full of flavour and so crispy!! They make a great option for packing in kids school lunch boxes to. Gracie is not a big fan of zucchini at the moment, but she really enjoyed these.
I’m also trying to reduce our meat consumption moving forward so these make a perfect alternative meal.
Casey-Lee is a qualified Nutritionist, Naturopath and mother to another little Gracie, based in Brisbane, Australia. I just love her outlook to food and we adore her delicious recipes. All Casey-Lee’s recipes are Gluten, Dairy and refined sugar-free which makes them a fantastic resource for families who have food allergies and/or intolerances and are looking to transition to a more wholesome way of eating.
I recently caught up with Casey-Lee to find out more about herself and Live Love Nourish.
How has becoming a mother affected your outlook on food?
As a Nutritionist and Naturopath my outlook on food has always been of an understanding and respect for how much food can impact our health and the way we feel on a daily basis. Now as a mum I have an even greater respect (and real experience) for the influence food has on our children’s development, behaviour and ability to thrive. Becoming a mother has also made me become much more time-efficient in the kitchen with a great appreciation for making recipes that are not only kid-friendly but time-friendly too as well as embracing a messy kitchen!
What lead you to become a qualified nutritionist and naturopath?
Growing up I always had an interest in natural health and was lucky enough to be surrounded by a family interested in healthy living also. Becoming qualified meant I could share my passion for helping others to live a healthier and happier life.
Why are all your recipes Gluten, Dairy and refined-sugar free?
I really believe in the benefits of eating a whole-foods diet (avoiding processed and packaged food as much as possible). When you stick to fresh and whole food you naturally eliminate the processed sources of gluten, dairy and sugar and instead begin to cook with real food ingredients that love your body back. As I teach in my 8 week online program, I also believe in tuning in to your body to find a diet that best works for you and your body’s unique needs. For me that means cutting out gluten, dairy and refined sugar. My recipes are all 100% free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar catering for anyone looking to embrace a whole-foods way of eating as well as to support anyone with food sensitivities and special dietary requirements.
Can you tell us a bit about Live Love Nourish and the philosophy behind it?
Live Love Nourish is an online health website that specialises in sharing healthy, simple and real food recipes (all free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar) as well as practical nutrition and lifestyle advice and the Live Love Nourish signature 8 week program. I believe health requires a holistic approach and we feel our best when we live true to ourselves, have love for ourself and others and nourish our body. Hence, the philosophy behind LLN is to “live the real you, love truly and deeply and nourish from the inside out”.
What’s your favourite family meal?
This changes week-to- week! At the moment, I’m loving my healthy version of “fish and chips;” crispy skin salmon with homemade sweet potato chips seasoned with spices and served with an avocado dipping sauce. My toddler Gracie loves this too.
What advice would you give to families navigating special dietary requirements?
Navigating special dietary requirements can be a little challenging at first but here are some tips I hope help you along your way to better health:
Keep it simple. Use simple ingredients.
Stick to whole and real foods, as close to their natural state as possible
Avoid packaged food as much as possible (this is what can often complicate the process with having to read and interpret labels)
Stick for fresh food as much as you can
Try new recipes and ingredients you haven’t cooked with before
Get your kids involved in the kitchen. The more involvement they have with food, the better their relationship with food will become and the more willing they will be to trying new foods
Start with a well-stocked pantry and fridge. Having healthy options on hand makes meal time easier
Plan ahead. Plan your week of meals on the weekend prior. This will help to reduce food stress at meal times
Be kind on yourself. Allow a little extra time and space at first. Seek support where you can.
If you are looking for help with what to stock in a healthy, gluten, dairy and sugar free kitchen, the Live Love Nourish Pantry Detox e-book is currently on sale for AU$5. The e-book includes an extensive list of ingredients to stock, healthy swaps and alternatives and money-saving tips.
As a friend of Healing Gracie’s Gut receive a $50 discount off The Live Love Nourish 8 Week Online Program using the code NOURISH at the checkout. The program is an online guide to help you live a healthier and happier life and includes 8 weeks of meal plans all done for you, (all free from gluten, dairy and sugar) shoppings lists, nutritional guides and support to develop a healthy relationship with food.
After hearing how much Gracie loved the Live Love Nourish ‘free from’ banana bread Casey-Lee is kindly sharing this amazing recipe. The Live Love Nourish Banana Bread is free from gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, eggs and sugar!
We’ve been on Chef Steps again (one of my husbands favourite websites!) after making the appletouille which was a huge hit I wanted to make something that was AIP compliant but also the whole family could enjoy.
As anyone on AIP knows you have to cut out all nightshades, which means no tomato sauce, so we’ve come up with our own version which is just as delicious.
Roasted Root Vegetable Ratatouille with Nomato Sauce
Founded by Mum of three boys Skye Abrahams, Packed is a Melbourne business supplying real food lunchboxes to children in pre-school to grade 3.
Launching in February, Packed only uses the best quality local produce and organic wherever possible. A new menu is prepared each term based on seasonal ingredients and no additives, preservatives or refined sugar are ever used.
I caught up with Skye recently to find out more about herself and Packed.
How did the idea for Packed come about?
Packed has come about as a combination of a life-long passion for health and food, and noticing a gap in the market for truly healthy, sustainable lunchboxes. Packed will target Melbourne schools that either don’t have a tuckshop, or only have unhealthy options. I hear many parents complaining about the greasy corner milkbar without a single gluten free option and not a vegetable in sight. Parents deserve a day or two off the lunchbox treadmill, and the quality of their children’s lunches shouldn’t have to suffer in order to achieve this.
Will you be offering special dietary requirement options?
Yes! All our lunches are refined sugar free and free from additives including preservatives, colours and flavours. We also have plenty of gluten and dairy free options available.
What does “sustainability” mean to Packed and why should parents care?
I really didn’t want to create a take away option that put a further strain on the environment. We’re early days at Packed, so we’re currently operating using Greenmark compostable packaging, but the plan is to operate using a fleet of stainless steel lunchboxes that we collect and wash each day from school (watch this space!). Parents are more time poor than ever before, with many families having both parents working. It’s easy to see why readily packaged foods are so popular. I want to provide a convenient option that eliminates packaging entirely. Many schools are promoting “nude food”, so it’s great to be able to supply a lunch that is in line with this philosophy.
What’s your approach to feeding a growing family?
In a nutshell: Just eat real food. I have overcome some serious fussy eating in our family (think plain carbs only). I find consistently offering a broad, healthy, colourful spread of food and discussing the benefits of various food with the children has really helped broaden their palate. We also talk about the detrimental affects too much sugar and “fake food” full of numbers can have on our body. I notice behavioural side effects following high amounts of sugar and especially artificial colours, so I always use that as an opportunity to talk about how that food made them feel. I don’t like to demonise any food, so I try not to get too uptight about what the boys might eat at a party or a friend’s house, but educating them on the benefits of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins and having these foods at the centre of their diet is my mandate.
What’s your boys favourite lunch?
They all have different favourites! The older two love fresh fruit, especially berries. I craved raspberries during pregnancy and it’s easy to see where that came from! I caught one of them trading pocket money for the youngest’s left over egg and lettuce sandwich, so that is evidently a current fave! My youngest loves a hot meal, so in the cooler months I send leftovers in a thermos for him. I’m hoping to be out at schools with a pot of warm soup as part of our “Packed” lunch service in the winter months!
What’s the one food you couldn’t live without?
Another tricky one! I’m going to say avocado. How good are avocados?! Fortunately, all three of my boys like avocado, so that is a super easy lunch if I’m short on time. So full of vitamins and healthy fats to fill them up. I remember travelling overseas when my youngest had just started solids. Not wanting to rely on packet food, but not having access to a kitchen, bubs enjoyed many a mashed avo, mashed banana, natural yoghurt, or squashed peach!
Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover with cold water at least twice their volume. Set aside to soak overnight.
The next day, drain the chickpeas well and combine them with the onion, garlic, parsley, and coriander. For the best results, use a meat grinder for the next part. Put the chickpea mixture once through the machine, set to its finest setting, then pass it through the machine for a second time. If you don't have a meat grinder, use a food processor. Blitz the mix in batches, pulsing each for 30 to 40 seconds, until it is finely chopped, but not mushy or pasty, and holds itself together.
Once processed, add the spices, baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon salt, flour, and water. Mix well by hand until smooth and uniform. Cover the mixture and leave it in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or until ready to use
Fill a deep, heavy-bottomed medium saucepan with enough oil to come 6-7 cm up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil to 176C.
With wet hands, press 1 tablespoon of the mixture in the palm of your hand to form a patty or a ball the size of a small walnut, about a scant 1 ounce (you can also use a wet ice-cream scoop for this).
Sprinkle the balls evenly with sesame seeds and deep-fry them in batches for 4 minutes, until well browned and cooked through. It is important they really dry out on the inside, so make sure they get enough time in the oil. Drain in a colander lined with paper towels and serve at once.
Serve with tahina Sauce, pickled turnips, humous and fresh vegetables.
If you have time weigh each falafel out to 43gms
I would like to give a very warm welcome to the lovely Georgia Harding from Well Nourished. Georgia is a Naturopath with over 20 years experience living in sunny Queensland with her two lovely children and husband.
As a background, I stumbled across Georgia, via her Well Nourished Lunchbox Facebook group (which has amassed a huge following!) and swiftly purchased her Well Nourished Lunchbox e-book which has now become a firm favourite in our household.
Fun question to start with! What was the last book you read?
Con Iggulden Conqueror Series – a series of five books that basically tell the life story of Genghis Khan, they were brilliant. The most fascinating part for me is learning how the Mongols survived trekking the harshest climate consuming mostly milk (from their horses and goats), dried meat and root vegetables (while they lasted) and when desperate, they nicked an artery and drank the blood of their mares. Even the heaviest reads come back to food for me – ha ha!
What was your inspiration for starting Well Nourished?
Definitely my kids. I really wanted to help families to feed their kids well. The predictions for the long term health and wellbeing of this generation is pretty dire. Starting my website was my way of sharing my experience as a Naturopath and my passion for making whole foods utterly delicious to make a difference.
How have your own health problems shaped the way you eat?
I’ve always eaten pretty well, I was very lucky to be raised by a very health conscious mum. I’ve been seriously ill twice in my lifetime and I suppose this has actually forced me to look beyond food to heal. On both occasions stress, unresolved grief and pushing myself beyond reasonable limits contributed a lot to my health decline. Eating well comes very naturally, I love cooking – but managing my stress, putting myself first occasionally is a work in progress!
Has your philosophy on food changed since having children?
I suppose I’ve been forced to loosen up a bit. I found with my first child I was very strict around food which was okay when she was little but when she began school and socialising with other kids I had to back of a lot in order for her to develop a healthy relationship with food. Kids are human, it’s normal for them to want what others have so I feed my family very well when I’m in charge, but at parties and sleep overs, they make their own choices (with my guidance and ongoing food education of course). When they don’t make good choices, we talk about how they feel and now my daughter is 12 (and has gorged herself on junk plenty of times) she is now very aware of how food makes her feel and I’m so proud of how she is able to make very healthy choices these days. Paves the way for her being able to self regulate as an adult.
What top 3 tips would you give to families looking to transition to a more wholesome way of eating?
Start slowly, choose one meal or food group and focus on that. Fill your pantry and fridge with mostly whole foods so there is less temptation to choose processed meals and snacks.
Talk to your kids (and spouse) about the importance of making changes and how eating whole food helps their body and brain to be stronger, smarter etc;
Get them involved, ask for their feedback and support. Encourage them to help you when shopping and cooking – kids who feel they have had some involvement in their meal are way more likely to eat it.
What advice would you give to parents whose children have food intolerances/allergies but are going through a fussy eating stage?
All kids will go through a fussy stage at some point. It’s important to never give in to it and substitute a healthy whole food with nutritionally void food (because ‘something is better than nothing’). I understand that it is tough, but in my experience preventing food fussiness is easier than reversing it and if you give in once, your kids learn that they choose (where as you choose what and when, they choose how much). I have a whole library of information and strategies written on this topic which I’m hoping to release this year.
What’s your go-to family meal?
We eat such a varied diet – the upside of having a compulsively creative cook in charge!! If I’m feeling lazy though it will be some kind of simply cooked protein and a big salad.
What exciting things have you got lined up in 2017?
My website is in the process of being rebranded and rebuilt. I’m also developing an online library (of mostly podcasts) to help busy parents to raise food loving kids (and banish food fussiness). I’ve teamed up with a fabulous psychotherapist to share this fabulous info with loads of actionable strategies to really get kids eating and loving whole foods like my own do. Also a small pictorial cookbook of easy, whole food recipes that even little kids can cook from. Busy year!!
Please note as an affiliate of Well Nourished I will receive a small commission from the sale of each e-book that is made via my website. This helps to cover some of the running costs with maintaining my blog and also go towards some of Gracie’s medical expenses.
To make the wrappers, measure the flour into a large bowl and add the salt. Stir to combine. Pour in the hot water and mix it until it comes together to form a rough dough. Turn it out onto a work surface and knead it for a minute or two until it forms a smooth, pliable but stiff dough. Add a tiny splash more water if the dough is too dry or crumbly. Form the dough into a ball and place it back into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave it to sit for half an hour.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, put all of the filling ingredients into a food processor and pulse it a few times until it’s all quite finely chopped and evenly combined.
Once the dough is rested place it on a lightly floured surface and roll it out as thinly as you can while still keeping it strong enough to hold the filling. Cut eight to ten circles, 3 to 3 1/2 inches in diameter (I used the top of a pint glass and the size worked quite well) from the flattened dough.
Working one at a time put a heaped tsp of the filling into the centre of a wrapper. Wet one half of edge of the filling side of the circle and gently fold it in half around the filling. Carefully fold along one side of the semi circle so that the front is crimped onto a flat back. Press the crimps to the flat back to seal the dumpling and very gently plump it out at the bottom so that it can sit up right. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.
Pour about 2 cups of water into a large wok with a bamboo steamer. Place it over high heat and bring the water to simmer. Gently place the gyoza's into the steamer, cover with the lid. Leave to steam for 6-8 minutes and then gently remove the gyoza with a spoon.
If you want them a bit crisp, heat up the remaining 2 tsp of oil in a large frying pan and place the cooked gyoza in. Let cook on one side for about 4 or 5 minutes until they’re crispy and golden, and then flip them over to brown on the other side. Repeat until they’ve crisped up to your liking.
Server with extra coconut amino's for dipping sauce.
I’m a one pot wonder kind of girl so this recipe really hits the spot, even better you can cook it slowly while you sleep! It’s extremely tender because it’s slow cooked on a low temperature for 12-13 hours and is covered to prevent evaporation and drying out.
My husband bought a tray of lovely heirloom tomatoes from Flemington Markets. Some of them were already pretty over ripe so we decided to make a quick and easy tomato sauce which can be used as the base for many other delicious meals.
Even better it’s cheap to make, you can control the sodium levels and no refined sugar like the majority of store bought sauces contain.