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
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.
In a mixing bowl, combine chickpea flour and salt. Gradually add water, whisking constantly, until a smooth, thin batter forms. Let stand, covered, at least 4 and up to a maximum of 8 hours
Preheat oven to 280C and position oven rack in second position from top. If you have a pizza stone or sheet pan, set it on the rack (it will help crisp the farinata from below, but isn't required).
Pour olive oil into well-seasoned large cast iron skillet and swirl to fully coat bottom in an even layer. Using a spoon, scrape any foam from surface of batter and discard. Stir batter to mix well, then pour into skillet. Stir gently to swirl oil on top of batter
Season all over with black pepper and sprinkle with rosemary leaves, if using.
Change oven setting to grill. Set skillet on pizza stone or sheet pan or on the oven rack if not using a stone, and cook until farinata has just set, no longer jiggles, and is browned all over, about 11 minutes. If your grill cycles off, you can prop the oven door open with a utensil to keep it on the whole time.
Let farinata cool slightly until set. Eat warm or at room temperature.
At first, when I was told that we needed to completely eliminate dairy from Gracie’s diet (probably for always) I was very concerned. It’s pretty well known that children need appropriate calcium intake to ensure they grow strong bones and teeth. However if your child has food allergies/intolerances you need to look for alternatives.
Below shows the daily intake requirements for children of different ages:
Babies 0–6 months
approx. 210mg (if breastfed)
approx. 350mg (if bottle fed)
Babies 7–12 months
Children 1–3 years
Children 4–8 years
Children 9–11 years
Adolescents 12–18 years (including pregnant and breastfeeding young women)
So what other foods are high in calcium?
Dark Leafy greens: 95mg in 1 cup of Kale
Oranges: 65mg in 1 fruit
Broccoli: 45mg in 1 cup
Seaweed: 126mg in 1 cup
Sesame seeds: 126mg in 1 cup
Almonds: 72mg in 1/4 cup (20 nuts)
Fortified soy, nut or oat milk: 300mg in 1 cup
Fish (with bones). 402mg in 1/2 cup of canned Salmon
Grace is currently at the age where she is testing boundaries and that typically means she can often refuse to eat the foods I make her. Perseverance is the key, I ‘try and pack a lot of goodness in her food, whether that means me putting extra green veggies in a meatloaf or a sprinkle of sesame seeds over her food.
Simple ways I boost Gracie’s intake:
Fruit Smoothies made from Coconut Vitasoy (enriched with calcium)
Chia puddings made with Coconut Vitasoy (enriched with calcium)
Sprinkle sesame seeds over her food
I’ve posted below a simple but tasty recipe for Salmon Patties which are very high in calcium. If you look through my recipe index you’re find some other great ideas too.
If you make any of my recipes tag: #HGGfood so I can find you!
Zucchini cheese has seriously blown my mind! Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined making cheese out of zucchini…that was until I stumbled across a couple of Instagram Posts telling me otherwise.
As I mentioned before I’m actually lactose intolerant and Dairy-free now, Grace has been Dairy-free for a long-time and my husband…well he just eats anything!!
I found a very simple recipe to start out with, I will be looking next-time to add a few more herbs to experiment further.
Bone broth smoothies are a perfect way to get some extra goodness into your smoothies, especially in the summer when you feel too hot to drink as a broth. We’ve been adding broth into our smoothies since we discovered them at Star Anise Organic Wholefoods a couple of years ago.
They’re a perfect option for kids that aren’t keen on drinking the broth as is.
This how I made ours, I normally just make it by sight so below are the approx measurements.
Use your imagination and make a variety of combinations with non-dairy milks/coconut water, fruits, nut butters, cacao powder – the list is endless.
These simple to make spelt bread rolls are so easy to make, they’re vegan & dairy-free. The end result is a fluffy and delicious bread roll. They are a huge hit with Gracie so they’ve been on high rotation ever since!
Putting everything in a single bowl and using the microwave really speeds up the process for a mid-week bake. It’s important to add the warm liquid to the dry mixture at between 42 – 46 degrees celsius, any higher at it could kill the yeast preventing rise.
Original recipe can be found here – but we’ve modified slightly for Gracie’s needs.
To a large mixing bowl, add 3/4 cup (90 g) spelt flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Whisk to combine.
In a separate mixing bowl (or small saucepan over medium heat), microwave the coconut milk, water, and olive oil until warm - about 45 degrees (~55 seconds). It should be the temperature of bath water. If it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast.
Add wet to the dry ingredients and whisk vigorously or beat on medium/low for 2 minutes, scraping sides as needed.
Add 1/4 cup (30 g) more spelt flour and beat for another 2 minutes. Then add only enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (~1-2 minutes). Then place back in the mixing bowl, loosely cover, and let rest 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 10-11 equal pieces, carefully shape into balls (handling as little as possible), and place in a greased 9x9-inch baking dish or round cake pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place (such as on top of the oven or in a sunny spot) until doubled in size - about 45 minutes - 1 hour. Then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius . Once the rolls have doubled in size bake for 18-20 minutes, or until fluffy and light golden brown. Carefully brush with olive oil for a shiny appearance (optional).