The truth is that I don’t like kale normally. Try as I might, it tastes bitter and unappealing to me. But I know it’s packed with nutrients and fantastically good for you. And it’s wonderfully cheap. So I’ve been experimenting with different flavours to add to it and I think I’ve come up with a winning formula! Bursting with fresh, fiery tastes, this Asian-style version can be served with rice for a light lunch or as a side dish with, say, steamed fish and rice. Enjoy!
gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, egg-free, nut-free, citrus-free
Serves 1 as a main course or 2 as a side dish Preparation time 5 minutes Cooking time 5 minutes
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lemongrass stalk, finely sliced
- 1cm/½in piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 200g/7oz kale, chopped
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1–2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
- Heat both of the oils in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat. Add the lemongrass, ginger, chilli and then the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the kale and stir-fry for about 2 minutes until the kale is starting to look cooked.
- Mix together the rice wine vinegar, agarve syrup and 1 tablespoon of the tamari and pour into the pan. Cook, stirring, for another 1–2 minutes until all of the kale is cooked but remains quite crunchy. Check the seasoning and add the other tablespoon of tamari if you like. Serve hot.
This wonderful cheesecake is filled with sweet blueberries, and accented by zesty lime, rich soya cream cheese and spicy ginger biscuits. The world is filled with people who ADORE cheesecake and, having never, seriously, ever been able to eat one, I’ve now been able to join them. YAY! Delicious and stunning, and I know from experience that it travels well (I carried it from West Dulwich (where I live) to the offices of Simon & Schuster in Bloomsbury when I presented my book Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at the Sales Conference.) I use Tofutti Creamy Smooth – a dairy-free alternative to cream cheese – because it has a beautiful taste and texture and works brilliantly in this cheesecake. It takes a while to make because you need to make the biscuits first, then put the cheesecake together, bake it and leave to chill and set. But wow is it worth it!
Serves 6–8 Preparation time 40 minutes, plus at least 3 hours setting Cooking time 1 hour
100g/3½oz dairy-free margarine, melted, plus extra for greasing
300g/10½oz/2 cups blueberries
550g/1lb 4oz soya cream cheese
175g/6oz/1 cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
zest and juice of 2 limes
175g/6oz dairy-free margarine
125g/4½oz/¾ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour
50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
50g/1¾oz/¹⁄₃ cup maize flour
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp gluten-free baking powder
scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
1cm/½in piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
1 To make the biscuits, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and line two baking sheets with baking parchment. Put the dairy-free margarine and sugar in a saucepan and heat over a low heat until the margarine has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 4–5 minutes until the mixture has caramelized slightly and become syrupy.
2 Sift the flours into a large mixing bowl and stir in the ground ginger, gluten-free baking powder and xanthan gum. Add the root ginger and, using your fingertips, rub it into the flour mixture until well mixed. Add the margarine and sugar syrup, and stir well with a wooden spoon.
3 Spoon the mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, onto the baking sheets. Using your hands and the back of a metal spoon, shape each mound into a round biscuit shape about 3mm/1∕₈in thick.
4 Bake for 8–12 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. Break into pieces.
5 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Lightly grease a deep 20cm/8in springform cake tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with baking parchment. Heat the dairy-free margarine in a saucepan over a low heat until melted. Put the biscuits in a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the crumbs to the melted margarine and mix well. Using the back of a spoon, press the mixture evenly into the base of the cake tin. Cover with the blueberries and leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
6 Meanwhile, blend the soya cream cheese, sugar, and lime zest and juice together in a food processor until smooth. Add the eggs and blend until smooth and creamy.
7 Pour the cheese mixture over the blueberries and bake for 30–35 minutes until pale golden brown and the top feels firm to the touch. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake to rest in the oven for another 30 minutes.
8 Ease the cheesecake out of the tin and leave to cool completely, then chill in the fridge for 3–4 hours until completely set before serving.
I’ve started a detox this weekend. I haven’t done one since before I got pregnant with Zoë and I fell like a really need to do one. Over the summer I ate lots of sugary foods and I’m really noticing the effect – I’ve put on weight and I’m feeling really tired, especially after eating, and I don’t feel refreshed when I wake up in the morning. Of course, when you have a small child, it’s hard to tell whether tiredness is due to broken nights or your general health. But the fact that I’m really craving sweet food and I’m also waking up at the classic sugar-rush time during the early hours of the morning are telling me that it’s time to detox.
I’m going to do a combination of the detox plans from one of my all-time favourite books, Clean Up Your Diet by Max Tomlinson and herbs from the A Vogel Detox Box. I first met Max about 10 years ago and he has been an incredible inspiration in my life ever since – and he recommended this detox kit. It is made up of tincture mixes of Milk Thistle, which is meant to help your liver function, which in turn helps your body to eliminate toxins, Solidago which is a traditional tonic for your kidneys, helping to reduce fluid retention and things like puffy eyes, Frangula which is said to aid digestion and is a mild laxative and Calendula which is wonderful for boosting your immune system.
So, I’m going to cut out all alcohol, sugar, packaged, tinned or processed foods and red meat. And I’m going to seriously boost my intake of fruit and veggies and eat just organic chicken or fish. On top of that, I need to drink 2 litres of water a day, minimize my salt intake, do food combining, try not to eat after 8pm, and try to make lunch my biggest meal of the day. I’ll probably have a juice for breakfast every day and have a handful of nuts and seeds, too. And then I think I’ll try to do the protein/veggies combo – with probably a huge salad – for lunch and then the low-GI carbs/veggies combo – again with a large salad – for as early a dinner as I can possibly do. And I’ll snack on fruit and veggies during the day.
Here goes – wish me luck! This was my juice this morning. It’s a classic but I love it because of the taste and also the beautiful colours –
- 3 beetroots, scrubbed and ends removed
- 4 large carrots, scrubbed and ends removed
- 2.5cm/1in piece of root ginger
- Push the ingredients through an electric juicer and serve immediately.