Avocado & Tomato Toasts

by Susan Smith in ,

Simple food is often the best. Today’s post isn’t so much about the recipe, it’s more about awakening the senses with some visual inspiration for a really healthy, low-carb, quick and easy meal. What you see is what you get!

Cool, creamy avocado, roughly mashed together with lime juice and fresh coriander, piled on to hot toast and topped with sweet, sizzling, grilled tomatoes is a delicious, hot and cold taste sensation that beats beans on toast any day of the week! 

Vegan, Paleo and keto friendly, this savoury offering contains enough healthy fat to keep you satiated for hours. Perfect! 

Avocado & Tomato Toasts (serves 4) 


2 large, preferably Hass, organic avocados (or 3 medium)

Organic lime juice, freshly squeezed

Small bunch (approx 20g) fresh organic coriander, leaves only, roughly chopped 

2-3 drops Tabasco pepper sauce

Himalayan fine pink salt

250g organic mixed baby or cherry tomatoes

Freshly ground organic black pepper

Organic extra virgin olive oil, for grilling and drizzling

Extra sprigs of fresh organic coriander leaves, to garnish


Pre-heat the grill to High. 

Warm 4 individual serving plates (I do this in the microwave).

Peel and stone the avocados and place in a bowl together with half the lime juice and the tabasco sauce. Roughly mash together with a fork into a fairly coarse textured consistency. 

Taste and season with salt. Add more lime juice if you think it needs extra ‘zing’ then stir in the chopped coriander. Cover the bowl with cling-film and set aside in a refrigerator.

Put the tomatoes in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper then place under the hot grill for 3-5 minutes until cooked through but not collapsed. 

Whilst the tomatoes are grilling, toast slices of Vegan Paleo Nut & Seed Bread (2 slices per person) on both sides. 

Place the toast on the pre-warmed serving plates. Pile the cool avocado mixture on to the hot toast, dividing it evenly between the slices of toast, then top with the grilled tomatoes. 

Drizzle over a little extra olive oil and decorate with extra coriander leaves, if liked.

Tuck in!



Avocados ripen after picking. I buy them whilst they’re still hard and keep them in the refrigerator. They’ll usually ripen at room temperature within a couple of days, but you can speed up ripening by putting in a fruit bowl with a ripe banana. Avocados are ready to eat when they yield to gentle pressure in the palm of your hand - please don’t prod them with your fingers as they bruise! Once ripened, they can be put back into a refrigerator to store for a few days longer.


Fat 41g Protein 3g Carbohydrate 6g - per serving of guacamole & tomatoes

Fat 17g Protein 5g Carbohydrate 8g - per slice of Vegan Paleo Nut & Seed Bread toast

Primal Pronto Drop Scones

by Susan Smith in , , ,

Light, versatile and so quick to make, these little fluffy cushions of loveliness can be served with either sweet or savoury dishes whenever you fancy something bready to eat. I like them for breakfast - either topped with a little raw honey, maple syrup, fresh berries or 100% fruit spread - though my real ‘soft-spot’ is for old fashioned marmalade, because it brings back memories of my childhood. 

Sent off to boarding school at five years old, I could never seem to get enough food to eat! It was here that I was introduced to Robertson’s Golden Shred marmalade with their (now politically incorrect) Golliwog branding, which included beautifully made enamel brooches to collect and pin to the lapel of my school blazer. Overly sweet and unsophisticated it may have been, but back then, much like Paddington Bear, marmalade was my hunger monster’s saviour! 

School breakfasts were usually our choice of pre-packaged cereal (Sugar Puffs for me please!) followed by plates stacked high with yesterday’s scantily ‘buttered’ (with Stork margarine, I fear), pre-sliced white bread. It seemed to me that magic marmalade could transform these half-stale offerings into something rather nice that temporarily filled me up. Teatimes were similarly skewed in favour of high carb foods. Bread with jam or chocolate spread, a banana and soft, sticky buns - the sort topped with glacé white icing. We didn’t mind! These are sweet treats as far as children are concerned and, for me, also a real source of comfort that helped me deal with the stress of being away from home.

Unfortunately, overloaded with wheat, gluten and sugar, young children are particularly vulnerable to tummy bloating, clogged-up systems and chronic constipation. Our guardians must have had an inkling because every morning they would check to see if we were ‘regular’ by keeping a 'poo log'! The ‘little me’ thought it most prudent to try and save face when asked the question, so I’d always answer in the affirmative. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise that no amount of toilet paper rammed down the loo would disguise the fact if I’d lied! I’d only know I’d been rumbled when I was given All-Bran for breakfast instead of my favourite cereal. My blushes weren’t spared either. An uninteresting bowl of roughage foisted on a child lets everyone know where their bowels are at. I was embarrassed and ashamed - as if it was my fault! Scarred by this early life experience, I was still eating what I thought was a mandatory bowl of All-Bran every morning up until my thirty-eighth birthday! 

Being regularly fed massive amounts of refined, processed, high carbohydrate foods not only caused my digestive discomfort, but also nagging hunger too. I was part of an experimental dietary disaster promulgated by the food industry in collusion with public health advisers, which in my view was, and still is, tantamount to child abuse because… 

Normally when you eat some food your blood sugar goes up and your insulin levels rise to get the nutrients into your body cells. Once this work is done, your blood sugar goes back to normal. All is as it should be and you’ll only get hungry again when you need more energy. However, when you eat certain foods that contain a lot of sugar and carbohydrates, your blood sugar sky-rockets. In response, your body releases inordinately high amounts of insulin to get the sugar inside your cells. Once your blood sugar spikes, the excess insulin, which is far more than your body needs, continues affecting your blood sugar way and beyond just normalising it. Consequently, your blood sugar continues to plummet much lower than it’s supposed to. At which point, your brain then tells you you’re still hungry! Unbelievably, as a child, in an attempt to satisfy these constant hunger cravings I resorted to eating Germolene after dormitory lights out! By the time I was eleven I was, unsurprisingly, quite porky!

Fast forward almost sixty years, and today’s recipe for Primal Pronto Drop Scones served with orange fruit spread is my idea of heaven. This is bread and marmalade revisited in satisfyingly good taste with no nasty consequences. As warm and as soft as a hug, these high protein, low-carb, nutritious Primal Pronto Drop Scones a.k.a Scotch pancakes served straight from the pan, showcase all the comfort factor of freshly baked or toasted bread with the crunch of pumpkin seeds. Grain-free and gluten-free, and loaded up with tangy, low-carb, organic orange ‘marmalade’ served with a plentiful supply of freshly brewed coffee, they are one of the things I most love about being a grown-up. Oh, and they are really filling too!  

Primal Pronto Drop Scones (make about 16)


150 g organic ground almonds

50 g organic tiger nut flour

2 tbsp organic coconut flour               

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp sea salt

250 ml raw organic full-fat milk (or homemade, unsweetened almond milk)

3 eggs, beaten 

30 ml organic tiger nut oil (or coconut oil, melted)

2 drops organic liquid stevia

50 g organic pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp organic tiger nut oil (or coconut oil) - for frying


In a large bowl, combine the ground almonds, tiger nut flour, coconut flour, baking powder and sea salt together with a whisk.

Measure out the milk into a jug then add the beaten eggs, liquid stevia, and tiger nut oil.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet ingredients, whisking the mixture as you go. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes a thick, but still pourable, smooth batter - no lumps please! 

Set aside for a minute or two to allow the coconut flour to fully thicken out the mixture. If the batter then seems too thick to pour thickly from a spoon or ladle, add a little filtered water. When you’re satisfied that the batter is of a thick ‘dropping’ consistency, stir in the pumpkin seeds. 

Place a smidge of oil in a large, shallow non-stick frying pan and set over a medium heat. When hot (takes about 2 minutes), spoon small pools (heaped tablespoons) of the batter into the pan, spacing them well apart - no more than 2 or 3 pancakes at a time - making each pancake about 6 centimetres (2.5 inches) in diameter. 

Cook for about 1½ - 2 minutes until the underside is golden brown, then using a flexible, thin-edged silicon spatula to help you, carefully turn them over and cook for 1½ - 2 minutes on the reverse side. 

Turn onto warmed plates and serve immediately with either no-added-sugar 100% fruit spread, fruit puree, fresh berries, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. 



Primal Pronto Drop Scones are every bit as good served alongside a cooked breakfast, a bowl of soup, or curry. Alternatively, spread lavishly with savoury toppings e.g. Carrot Hummus or a feisty tomato and avocado salsa for a filling snack or starter. Or, make them into small ‘blini-sized’ canapés and serve with drinks.  

Whilst these drop scones are very quick and easy to make, you may find you need to cook several batches before you get fully acquainted with the optimum temperature (medium/low not medium/high) and exact cooking times (keep checking their doneness' after 1½ minutes) to get them light, fluffy and perfectly golden on both sides. N.B. Let the drop scones firm up just enough for you to turn them over without the uncooked batter running off the top surface when you do. It takes a little practice!  


Carbohydrate 3g Protein 4g - per pancake

Cheddar Muffins

by Susan Smith in , , , , ,

Tasty, filling and sustaining, these yummy Cheddar Muffins are a high-protein, low-carbohydrate viable alternative to bread and the perfect accompaniment to soup. So perfect, that soup need no longer be relegated to starter or snack status but can sit proudly at lunch or dinner as the main event. The fact is that these bread-like Cheddar Muffins pack enough nutritional oomph to turn every veggie soup into a satisfying meal. 

But don’t stop there. Their ‘breadiness' invites you to slice them through and fill them like a sandwich. They also toast beautifully - you only need to toast their cut side - before serving with scrambled eggs, creamy mushrooms, cheese and tomato or any other toast topper that takes your fancy. 

I like them best of all when they’re still warm from the oven and spread with generous amounts of grass-fed butter. A veritable nutritional powerhouse of goodness, it appeals to the child in me to split them in half horizontally (like a scone), then eat the all the bottom halves before slowing-down to savour the warm, golden, crunchy, deliciousness of their cheesy toppings. If you’re craving comfort food, Cheddar Muffins can be on the table in 40 minutes - with satisfaction guaranteed.  

Cheddar Muffins (Makes about 10)

IngredientsMakes 10

75g unsalted butter, melted

150g ground almonds

50g coconut flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp paprika

freshly ground black pepper

4 large eggs, beaten

6 tbsp diluted milk (50/50 with filtered water)

125g organic vegetarian Cheddar cheese, finely grated

30g vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, finely grated


Pre-heat the oven to 200℃ (fan) / 400℉ / Gas mark 6 and line a muffin tray with 10 large paper cases.

In a small saucepan melt the butter over a very low heat. Take the pan off the heat and allow the butter to cool slightly.   

In a large bowl mix together the ground almonds, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, paprika and black pepper. Add the grated Cheddar and combine well with a fork.

Add the melted butter, the beaten eggs & the diluted milk to the dry ingredients and continue to mix everything together well with a fork until a thick batter is formed.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cases (about 65-70g mixture per muffin) - for speed I use a self-releasing ice cream scoop - then lightly press the mixture down evenly into the paper cases with the back of a fork.  

Sprinkle over the grated Parmesan-style cheese, dividing it equally between the muffins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes (I turn the muffin tray around halfway through the cooking time to ensure even browning). 

Best served still warm from the oven.



Whilst I recommend these muffins are served warm fresh from the oven, they do have a tendency to vexingly stick to their paper cases until they’ve gone cold. If you don’t want the hassle of scraping remnants of muffin off their paper cases with a teaspoon, use non-stick tulip wrap muffin cases instead. 

Carbohydrate 7g Protein 14g - per muffin

Primal No-Oats Porridge

by Susan Smith in ,

As we’re still in the midst of National Breakfast Week, what could hit the spot more on a cold winter’s morning than porridge? 

Whenever I tell people about my Primal diet, often the first question it raises is “What do you do about breakfast?”. People, listen-up! If you think dissing grains means no more cereal-style breakfasts, this Primal No-Oats Porridge is simply going to blow you away. It’s amazing! It looks like porridge, it tastes like porridge and its porridge-like texture (sorry Sarah!) is so authentically ‘porridge’ you might even doubt its healthy credentials. A quick check of the ingredients should reassure you. 

Although there are no high-carb oats in this porridge, it is still relatively high in carbohydrates when you include banana in the recipe. I love the addition of banana - after all, porridge is renowned for being comfort food - but you may prefer to leave it out if you’re trying to lose weight by restricting your carbohydrate intake to 50-100 grams per day and you’re a three-meals-a-day kind of person. 

Personally, I’m not. I only have two meals a day with maybe an occasional snack of nuts, cheese or a little fresh fruit in-between. Anyway, I find this breakfast so satisfying and sustaining that I really don’t need to eat anything else until my second (and last) meal of the day, which I always try to eat late afternoon and definitely before 6pm in line with my body’s circadian rhythms. Eating my breakfast late morning (around 11:30am) and my main meal of the day late afternoon (around 5pm) generally leaves me feeling contentedly full without ever feeling fat. I should add that after our evening meal, come rain or shine, we also do a brisk 2.5 mile walk every day! 

If you still think a 37 grams of carbohydrate ‘hit’ seems excessive for one meal, leave the banana out of the equation altogether and top your porridge with a handful of fresh berries instead. Also, a sprinkling of sesame, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, chopped walnuts or toasted coconut chips would be good to ring the changes. I haven’t tried it yet, but since I love toasted coconut flakes I might just have to knock up some porridge made with coconut milk! There’s lots of opportunity to get creative here! 

Apart from the 15 minute wait for the chia seeds to ‘gel-up’, Primal No-Oats Porridge is a really quick and easy Primal Pronto breakfast to prepare. Whether you like your porridge fruity, nutty or basically pure, sweet and creamy, it’s now a healthy, no-grain option that’s definitely back on our breakfast menu. Enjoy!  

Primal porridge primal breakfast recipes.jpg

Primal No-Oats Porridge (Serves 1)


1 tbsp organic white chia seeds + 3 tbsp filtered water

1 tbsp Sukrin organic almond flour

1 tbsp organic ground almonds

1 tbsp organic tiger nut flour

1 tbsp organic cold-milled golden flaxseed

Small pinch of sea salt

170ml organic almond milk, preferably homemade (or organic raw cow’s milk)

½ large or 1 small organic banana, sliced (I like to cut mine on the slant) - optional

1 tsp pure vanilla extract 

Sukrin Gold (or organic pure maple syrup / organic raw ‘runny’ honey) - to serve

A little extra milk or cream - to serve



Mix the chia seeds with the filtered water and set aside in a refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Place the almond flour, ground almonds, tiger nut flour, flaxseed, vanilla extract and sea salt into a medium saucepan with the almond milk.

Bring to the boil over a medium heat, whisking continuously until the mixture thickens.

Take the pan off the heat and gradually whisk-in the chia seed mixture, then the sliced banana (if using).

Re-heat the porridge over a moderate heat whilst stirring for 2-3 minutes more - until the banana slices soften and the porridge is really hot - and then turn into a warm serving bowl. 

Sweeten to taste with Sukrin Gold, organic maple syrup or raw honey, add a splash of creamy milk (either nut milk or full-fat raw organic cow’s milk/cream) and/or decorate with nuts, seeds or fresh fruit (e.g. fresh berries, slices of kiwi, fruit puree etc.). 


Carbohydrate 14g Protein 9g - per serving (without banana, sweetened with Sukrin Gold)

Carbohydrate 37g Protein 10g - per serving (made with banana)

N.B. Please allow extra carbs if serving with other fresh fruits, honey or maple syrup. 

Low-Carb Breakfast Buns

by Susan Smith in , ,

I couldn’t resist the challenge of coming up with something new for National Breakfast Week! Unbelievably, these delicious, light-textured, incredibly moreish, vegan, Low-Carb Breakfast Buns are dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, egg-free and refined sugar-free. No slight-of-hand ‘natural’ sweeteners are added to the mix either…even if you don’t have my fave zero-carb Sukrin Gold to hand (although I think you should!), just one single tablespoon of pure organic maple syrup will sweeten the whole job lot nicely!

These really healthy Breakfast Buns are so fast and easy to make that my man thinks I should add another category to Primal Plate…”Not so much Primal Pronto, more like Instant!” 

If you suffer from a nut allergy, you can substitute whole organic pumpkin seeds for the chopped walnuts. The buns still retain the same satisfying ‘crunch’ and with or without nuts both versions are equally as good.  

So good in fact that you don’t need to reserve them for breakfast. I’d be happy having mine at teatime too! Lovely served warm from the oven with a drizzle of maple syrup, you can almost feel these resistant-starch packed beauties doing you good! Definitely something worth getting out of bed for!

Low-Carb Breakfast Buns (Makes 12)


150g organic tiger nut flour 

25g Sukrin reduced-fat organic almond flour 

25g organic cold-milled golden flaxseed

2 tsp gluten free baking powder

40g organic walnuts, finely chopped (if you are allergic to nuts, use whole pumpkin seeds instead)

40g organic sunflower seeds

90g organic coconut oil, melted (or 6 tbsp organic cold-pressed tiger nut oil )

1 tbsp Sukrin Gold (or 1 tbsp organic pure maple syrup)

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (I use Ndali)

225ml unsweetened almond milk, preferably homemade (or 225ml full-fat, raw, organic cow’s milk)



Pre-heat the oven to 200℃ / 400℉ / Gas mark 6

Line a 12-hole bun tin with 12 paper bun cases

Weigh all the dry ingredients directly into a medium sized bowl and, using a fork, mix together well.

Add the maple syrup (if not used Sukrin Gold) and the oil and combine.

Pour in the milk and continue to mix with a fork until the mixture comes together into a thick batter-like consistency.

Spoon into the bun cases (you’ll need a smidgeon over 50g of batter per case) and bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Serve warm from the oven with a little maple syrup drizzled over, if liked. 


Carbohydrate 9g Protein 4g - per breakfast bun (made with maple syrup & cow’s milk)

Carbohydrate 7g Protein 3g - per breakfast bun (made with Sukrin Gold & almond milk)

Eggs Florentine

by Susan Smith in , , , ,

I’ve come in for a bit of flack recently from people who say they’d like to eat simple, tasty, healthy (low-carb) food on a regular basis, but at the end of a long day are too tired, busy or hungry to cook the recipes I post on Primal Plate’s blog. 

I can empathise, but like everything else in life, whether you cook or don’t cook really depends on your perception and priorities. The likes of Jo Wicks (The Body Coach) and TV celebrity chefs may be able to briefly convince you that it’s possible to knock up a delicious meal in 15 minutes flat, but try a couple of their ‘simple’ recipes out for yourself (how about a vegetable stir-fry?) and you’ll likely conclude one of two things; 1) there’s something wrong with you because it’s taken you nearly an hour to cook a meal that’s should have taken a quarter of that time, or; 2) it’s a con, so next time you’ll just buy a ‘ready-meal’ instead. 

The fact is, it wouldn’t take me much less than 15 minutes to singlehandedly boil an egg and prepare a couple of slices of buttered toast - let alone to create a family meal. Realistically, if you want to eat well, you need to make space in your life to cook. That said, many Primal Plate recipes are no more complicated than the fast and furious meal suggestions promoted on television and social media. 

Many of the recipes I post often involve nothing more than throwing everything together in a bowl, whacking it into a tin and getting on with life whilst the oven does its thing. I suggest you start with Grain-free Bread and take it from there. 

However, if you want ‘speedy’ recipes, look for those that have no more than 5 main ingredients. For example, Primal Plate’s Courgetti with Cherry Tomatoes & Asparagus, Leek, Stilton & Walnut Stuffed Mushrooms or Italian Style White Fish in Tomato Basil Broth. You can add today’s recipe for Eggs Florentine to the list. 

Personally, I don’t find cooking a chore when it’s a shared opportunity to create something tasty to eat with the people I love, but on this occasion, just to satisfy my curiosity, I asked my ‘sous chef’ John to step down from his food-prep duties, whilst I switched on a stop-watch and got on with making Eggs Florentine without his help. 

No slouch in the kitchen, I could make this recipe in my sleep! In my head, I’d roughly calculated 12 minutes to steam-boil the eggs, 2 minutes to peel them, 4 minutes to make a quick cheese sauce, 3 minutes to wilt and drain some ready-washed spinach and 4 minutes final cooking time under a hot grill. Total: 25 minutes. 

But not so fast! It actually took 37 minutes 21 seconds to bring everything together and about 3 minutes to finish if off under the grill - i.e. 40 minutes for an experienced cook to prepare and serve a simple meal for three people. A novice cook would take longer. My point is, there’s a lot of kidology going down in the kitchen! What you see on TV cookery programmes and on social media is not what you get. I know, because I trained Sarah to compete in Junior Masterchef and the winner in her heat had the majority of his ingredients for his curry pre-made by his mother! Sure, a professional celebrity chef could probably chop an onion in 20 seconds flat but who peeled the damn thing in the first place? Eggs Florentine requires you to grate cheese and peel eggs - simple enough to do but time-consuming. If you’re being filmed, you can make these behind the scenes tasks magically disappear but you have to allow for these ‘extras’ when cooking at home. 

In my case, every partner I’ve ever had (similarly my children) will step into the breach to fulfil the role of peeling, chopping, slicing, grating - as well as the ongoing washing-up. A glass of wine in hand, our combined efforts to get the meal on the table heralds the end of our working day and the start of social time. It’s pleasure not pain and something we all look forward to. 

None of the photographs on Primal Plate are ‘staged’ - it is the actual food we’re about to eat that day. Primal Plate is a cookery blog and its raison d’être is to encourage people to spend more time in the kitchen and learn how to eat properly. By showing you what we eat and sharing innovative, primarily vegetarian recipes that aren’t made with sugar, grains, legumes, unhealthy fats and cancer-causing meat I hope to convince people that cooking at home pays dividends on the time invested, namely: quality time spent with your family, delicious dinners, optimal health, quick loss of excess body-fat and easy weight maintenance.  

You reap the consequences of your actions either way. With so many major health issues now affecting so many people, it’s time for us to get back in the kitchen and to teach our children to do likewise. 

It’s not just that people think themselves too busy to cook - it’s a lack of basic cookery knowledge that’s also part of the problem. Primal Plate is here to help. Off the top of my head, I can think of more than a dozen home-cooked, easy-to-make meals that we turn to for busy days, which haven’t yet featured on this blog. In response to your feedback, I’ll be rolling out my quick, tasty ideas in the forthcoming weeks and months. You’ll find these in the Recipes section of Primal Plate’s blog under Primal Pronto.

To start with, my variation on the classic Eggs Florentine recipe. It's made with spinach, hard steam/boiled eggs and topped with a flour-less Primal cheese sauce before being finished off under the grill. A truly indulgent brunch, light lunch or supper to treat family and friends to. 

Eggs Florentine (Serves 4)

8 organic free-range eggs

1 tbsp olive oil

500g organic spinach, ready-washed

225g crème fraîche (I used Rodda’s crème fraîche because it doesn’t split when heated)

200g Gruyere cheese, finely grated

1 dsp (20g) Dijon mustard

Pinch of cayenne pepper

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper



Boil a kettle of water. Pour about 2.5cm (1 inch) of the boiling water straight from the kettle into a saucepan. 

Place a steaming basket inside the pan and place the eggs into the steamer-basket (I find a collapsible steamer most useful because one-size fits all pans). 

Put the lid on the pan and steam/boil the eggs for 12 minutes until hard-boiled. 

Whilst the eggs are cooking, heat up a large pan (big enough to hold all the spinach) over a high heat. When the pan is really hot add a tablespoon of olive oil and throw in the spinach (you may need to do this in 2 or 3 batches - allowing each batch to wilt down slightly before adding the rest). Stir fry the spinach for 1-2 minutes until it has all wilted. 

Tip the cooked spinach into a colander and press out as much liquid as you can - I use a potato masher but the back of a spoon will do. Return to the pan and lightly season with sea salt and black pepper.

Heat the crème fraîche, mustard and 160g of the cheese together in a saucepan over a medium/high heat. Whisk continuously until the cheese has melted and you have a very hot, but not boiling, unctuously smooth, cheese sauce. Take the pan off the heat and season with a pinch of cayenne pepper and two pinches of sea salt.

Tip the eggs into a bowl of cold water then quickly peel them (if they're still too hot, hold them in a clean tea towel so you don’t burn yourself) then place each shelled egg onto a clean chopping board and cut in half.

Preheat the grill to high.

To assemble the dish: spoon the spinach along the bottom of four individual gratin dishes (alternatively, use one large gratin dish). Place four egg halves per person (yolk side down) on top of the spinach then evenly spoon or pour over the hot cheese sauce making sure each egg is covered. Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese evenly over the top of the eggs.

Finish under the hot grill for 3-4 minutes or until heated through and golden brown. 



If you’re looking for quick, healthy, vegetarian and Primal meal ideas, organic, free-range ‘pastured’ eggs are the business! However, after all my years in the kitchen I’ve only just ‘twigged on’ to steam-boiling eggs! I can’t even remember where I read about this method, but it’s altogether a much easier and reliable way to boil eggs because you can take them straight from the fridge and, because they’re not actually immersed in the boiling water, they're much less likely to crack when the heat first hits them. They’re cooked to perfection in exactly 6 minutes for a soft-boiled egg and 12 minutes for hard-boiled. Primal Pronto at its best! 

Annoyingly, as with Parmesan cheese, it’s hard (impossible?) to find vegetarian Gruyere. Joseph Heler make British Gruyere with non-animal rennet but having spoken to them today, I was informed they do not supply their cheese pre-packed to supermarkets but rather to retail, wholesale food service suppliers as an ingredient for their ‘ready meals’. You may have more luck finding vegetarian versions of Emmental (the melting quality and nutty taste is quite similar to Gruyere) or Edam (always check the packaging to confirm it’s vegetarian) - use either of these instead of Gruyere if you’re strictly vegetarian.  


Carbohydrate 4g Protein 35g - per portion

Sweet Potato, Cheese & Chilli Muffins

by Susan Smith in , , , ,

I like Jamie Oliver's recipe and I like Rose Elliot's recipe... but which is better?!

Today’s blog post for Sweet Potato, Cheese & Chilli Muffins was inspired by both and as both are a frequent source of reference for me, I take my hat off to each of them for being the innovative and inspiring food crusaders that they are. Nevertheless, I still think Primal Plate can legitimately take credit for these incredibly tasty, savoury muffins. Let me explain.

I first made Rose Elliot’s Cheese & Sun-Blush Tomato Muffins, featured in her book Vegetarian Supercook, about ten years ago, then last week I was watching Jamie’s Super Food programme on Channel 4 and was again reminded how useful Rose Elliot’s original recipe was for a low-carb, gluten-free lifestyle because it didn’t contain wheat flour. On the other hand, I really liked Jamie’s idea for Sweet Potato Muffins with a chilli ‘kick’, but cannot agree that wheat, or any other grain qualifies as super food.

“Cutting-edge research, for example, has revealed that consumption of modern wheat [the only sort of wheat most people are likely to encounter in their entire lifetime] is the first step in triggering autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.” says Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly. And, “Wheat raises blood sugar higher than nearly all other foods, including table sugar and many candy bars”.

And for those who think that a gluten-free diet is the answer he advises: “The few foods that increase blood sugar higher than even wheat include rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca starch and potato flour—the most common ingredients used in gluten-free foods, which leads to weight gain, diabetes, cataracts, arthritis, cancer, dementia, heart disease and growing belly fat. This is why many celiac patients who say goodbye to wheat but turn to gluten-free foods become fat and diabetic. Gluten-free foods as they are currently manufactured are very poor substitutes for wheat flour.” For more information visit the Wheat Belly Blog.  And, here's a list of recommended alternative flours for baking.
You live and learn! Perhaps it was the tapioca flour in my Primal Naan Bread, which we ate four times in quick succession whilst I was developing the recipe that caused me to gain two pounds in weight in one week (thankfully now lost again)! As with previous health warnings on this food blog, the message is this: Anyone who consumes gluten-free foods, including my gluten-free naan, and/or other baked goods made with healthier sugar/flour substitutes, should still regard them as an occasional indulgence.

Anyway, I digress because there are no bad things listed in the ingredients for these quick, easy-to-make, gluten-free Sweet Potato Cheese & Chilli Muffins. Going back to Rose’s and Jamie’s recipes, the only jar of sun-blush tomatoes that I had in my food cupboard had a sell-by date of 2013 (must have a clear-out!) so I decided to substitute the missing tomatoes with Jamie’s idea for sweet potato and chilli - albeit not weight for weight. Both their recipes included cottage cheese (in massively varying amounts) but to be honest, by the time I’ve changed everything around to make my recipe Primal (grain-free) and/or added or subtracted ingredients and amounts for a different flavour or texture, I always end up forewarning my family that it is by no means certain the end result will be something good for us to eat! On this occasion, I knew about half-way through the cooking time we had a definite ‘winner for dinner’ by the way my muffins were rising admirably to the challenge. High-five me!

Light, puffy and protein-packed these Sweet Potato, Cheese & Chilli Muffins truly are a super delicious super-food for you to enjoy at any time. Two muffins per person served with a bowl of hot soup makes for a simple but filling lunch or supper. Eat them for breakfast and they’ll keep you going until lunchtime. Perfect for picnics (a bit of an obsession of mine as a wedding photographer’s assistant that often needs to pack up healthy food for Sarah and I to eat on-the-move) or as a nutritious snack, they’re sustaining, easy to transport and can be eaten one-handed (important for all busy multi-taskers).   

Taking the best from Jamie and Rose, I reckon I’ve trumped both with this muffin recipe. Cook up a batch this weekend and see if you don't agree!

Sweet Potato, Cheese & Chilli Muffins

Ingredients (Makes 9)

225g sweet potato (approximately 190g peeled weight)                    

2 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped

2 fresh red chillies, 1 finely chopped, 1 finely sliced            

5 large organic free-range eggs, lightly beaten

250g cottage cheese (can be low-fat if you prefer)

100g ground almonds                                        

50g coconut flour 

50g vegetarian parmesan-style cheese, finely grated

1 tsp baking powder

60ml milk (or water)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper                 

2 tbsp sunflower seeds



Preheat the oven to Preheat oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas mark 4.

Line a muffin tin with 9 medium-sized (cup-cake sized) paper cases.
Peel the sweet potato and coarsely grate into a large bowl. Add the cottage cheese to the bowl with all but 15g of the grated ‘parmesan’ cheese, the chopped chilli and chives, coconut flour, ground almonds, baking powder, beaten eggs and milk.

Mix together with a fork until everything is nicely combined then season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Evenly divide the mixture between the muffin cases (about 105 grams per muffin) - spooning it into the cases until they’re three-quarters full. Scatter each muffin with the reserved cheese, then sprinkle over the sunflower seeds and arrange 2-3 thin slivers of chilli on top.

Bake for 35 minutes or until set, risen & golden brown.

Served warm = totally yum!



Everyone will enjoy these savoury muffins straight from the oven - just allow them to cool down for about 5 minutes before serving. They’re also surprisingly good cold and will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container stored in the fridge.

Unfortunately, no one seems to sell non-stick baking parchment muffin liners. I certainly don’t fancy spraying the inside of my paper cases with commercial non-stick baking spray (processed oils are not good to eat) but you can make your own non-stick cases by cutting out 12½cm (5 inch) squares of parchment paper and pressing them down into your muffin mould with the aid of a small measuring cup. You can also buy non-stick silicon muffin moulds.

On this occasion I simply opted for baking my muffins in greaseproof paper cases and eating them directly out of their cases with a spoon - using it to scrape off the last crumbs of muffin that were frustratingly ‘glued' to the paper.  

Carbohydrate 9g Protein 14g - per muffin

Griddled Asparagus & Tomato with Pecorino with Parmesan Crusted Chicken / Twice-Baked Cheese Soufflés

by Susan Smith in , , , , , , ,

There’s a debate going on in our household. A sort of ‘Daddy or Chips?’ to-ing and fro-ing. Sarah thinks I should feature more meat recipes on Primal Plate’s blog and I’m not finding any reason to do so. In fact, the opposite is true - I am not interested in promoting meat consumption.

Mass cruelty is going on, and millions of factory-farmed chickens, pigs and cows are suffering the consequences, without any encouragement from me. Most people don’t want to know how the food they eat arrives on their plate, because if they become fully aware of the heartrending, unmerciful, intense farming methods, kept ‘under wraps’ by agribusiness and food advertising agencies, natural empathy will force them to change their eating habits, or at least make them willing to pay the extra price for compassionately and ethically reared farm animals. I have a solution. If you think you can’t afford to buy organic, free-range, grass-fed meat, stop eating meat! Or, if you must eat it, save it for special occasions when you are happy to pay a little more for the privilege.

So now my intention is clear, I can indulge Sarah and look to those people who like to draw attention to the fact that meat is most often missing on Primal Plate’s blog. Today’s post should make the point admirably. 

Griddled Asparagus & Tomato with Pecorino is a fresh, light-bite that’s been slightly modified from an original Waitrose recipe. More than a cold salad but not quite a hot dinner, this dish captures all the flavours of summer with the minimum of fuss. With the exception of griddling the asparagus spears (which only takes about 6-8 minutes) everything else can be pre-prepared and quickly assembled when you’re ready to eat. 

It’s delicious with Parmesan Crusted Chicken (buy your chicken here) assuming you’ve taken on board the importance of provenance - but here’s the thing, it’s twice as good (and a lot more convenient to serve) teamed with Twice-Baked Cheese Soufflés (recipe adapted from Rose Elliot’s book Vegetarian Four Seasons).

This is my sort of food - tasty soft pillows of all-protein goodness, topped with golden, crunchy, cheese - and no animal suffering in the making thereof! When it comes to deciding which is more enticing to eat, I think the photographs here say it for me!

Still, I’ve included the recipes for both chicken and soufflés, so you have the choice. However, I entreat you to please stop supporting the horrors of intensive animal farming by paying the extra money for free-range, outdoor bred, organic chicken - without exception. Thank you.

Griddled Asparagus & Tomato with Pecorino (V - see note below) (Serves 2-4)


250g tomatoes, halved (I used Pome dei Moro)

500g asparagus, trimmed

Fast and easy vinaigrette

30g pine nuts, toasted

25g pack fresh basil, shredded if leaves are large, or left whole if small

30g Pecorino, Parmesan or Twineham Grange cheese, finely grated



Pre-heat the oven to 150 ℃ / 300℉ / Gas mark 3

Arrange tomato halves in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking parchment . Cook in the pre-heated oven for up to 1 hour. N.B. Because oven temperatures can vary considerably, check the tomatoes progress after 45 minutes - they should be semi-collapsed, semi-dried and slightly caramelised when they’re done - definitely not scorched! Remove from the oven and set aside.

Gently toast pine nuts in a small dry frying pan over a low heat until golden - watch like a hawk, don’t let them burn!

Make the fast and easy vinaigrette. Set aside.

Wash asparagus, drain and dry. Snap off the bottom of the spears and peel the lower third with a potato peeler. Drizzle the prepared asparagus with olive oil, coating them evenly, then season with salt and pepper and set aside. 

Just before you’re ready to serve, heat a griddle pan to hot. Cook the asparagus in a single layer until lightly charred and tender (takes about 5-8 minutes)

Arrange the cooked asparagus on a large serving plate, scatter with the tomatoes. Drizzle generously with the vinaigrette then top with pine nuts, shredded basil leaves and grated cheese…in that order.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken (Serves 2) 

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 

1 egg white, lightly beaten

60g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

A generous grinding of freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp Clearspring organic sunflower frying oil



Pre-heat the oven to 200℃. 

Combine freshly ground black pepper with grated Parmesan.

Dip each chicken fillet into the beaten egg white and then firmly press the chicken into the combined Parmesan and black pepper.

Heat the oil in a non-stick oven-proof frying pan over a medium heat. When it is hot, cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. Do not be tempted to move the chicken around the pan - it will be crispier if you leave it alone. 

Put the frying pan into the pre-heated oven for a further 8-10 minutes until cooked through. N.B. if you’re not sure if it’s completely cooked, cut through the middle of one of the chicken fillets with a sharp knife and check.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 3 minutes before serving. 


Twice-Baked Cheese Soufflés (V) (Makes 8 soufflés - serves 4 for a main course, 8 as a starter) 


Butter for greasing 

8 tbsp ready-grated Parmesan cheese

225g full fat cream cheese (I used Longley Farm)

4 large egg yolks, lightly beaten

150g Gruyere cheese, finely grated

5 large egg whites

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper



Pre-heat the oven to 180℃ / 350℉ / Gas mark 4. Boil a kettle of water.

Generously grease 8 ramekin dishes, then sprinkle the insides with 4 tablespoons of the ready-grated Parmesan.

Put the cream cheese into a large bowl and mash with a fork until it’s smooth. Gradually mix in the egg yolks, then add half the grated Gruyere. Season with sea salt and black pepper. 

In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with a clean grease-free whisk (preferably electric if you’re not feeling energetic) until they stand in soft peaks.

Stir one tablespoon of the whisked egg whites into the egg yolk mixture to loosen it, then using a metal tablespoon gently fold in the rest of the egg whites.

Spoon the mixture into the ramekins to come level with the top, but don’t pile it up any higher.

Stand the filled ramekins in a roasting tin, pour the boiling water round to come halfway up the sides and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are risen and set.

Remove from the oven and allow to get cold - they’ll sink a bit. Loosen the edges and turn them out. It’s easiest to turn them out into the palm of one hand, then transfer them to an ovenproof dish.

Sprinkle with the remaining Gruyere cheese, then with the rest of the Parmesan cheese. 

They can now wait until you’re ready to bake them. Then, pre-heat the oven to 200℃ / 425℉ / Gas mark 7.

Bake them for 15-20 minutes or until they are puffed up and golden brown.

Serve immediately.


It’s impossible to make Pecorino or Parmesan cheese without using animal rennet, so they are not suitable for vegetarians. Twineham Grange cheese is made with a vegetarian rennet in place of the animal rennet and is the only cheese of its type to be Vegetarian Society Approved. For more information click here.

Twice-baked cheese soufflés are excellent for a special brunch served alongside slices of wild smoked salmon and accompanied by a glass of freshly squeezed orange and pink grapefruit juice. They can even be made and frozen in their dish, ready to be quickly defrosted and baked.  

The cooking times for chicken breast fillets depend on their size and thickness so I have allowed some latitude in my timings. Try to ensure that both fillets are the same weight so you’re not juggling around with different timings for each. Ultimately, you have to use your discretion but, if in doubt, nothing will spoil if you cut one open, just to make sure it’s nicely cooked all the way through.


Carbohydrate 6g Protein 8g - per serving of Griddled Asparagus & Tomato with Pecorino/Twineham Grange cheese

Carbohydrate 0g Protein 44g - per serving of Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Carbohydrate 2g Protein 28g - per main course serving of 2x individual Twice-Baked Cheese Soufflés (1g carbohydrate 14g protein - per soufflé)

Blueberry & Coriander Seed Muffins

by Susan Smith in ,

It is my twenty-second wedding anniversary today and there’s one food-related delight, baked in honour of my husband, that I want to share with you. After a miserably cold May and start to June, I’d been hoping that the lovely warm weather we enjoyed in April wasn’t the beginning and end of our summer because I’d planned for us to start our special day with a laid-back, leisurely breakfast of Blueberry and Coriander Seed Muffins, eaten ‘al fresco’ in the sunshine, with several delicious cappuccinos. Luckily for me, John is not only the best of husbands and the best barista in North Nottinghamshire, we also woke up to a gloriously sunny day! 

Whilst blueberries are available all year round, the start of the season for British blueberries is June (lasting through till September) so they’re bang-on time for our morning celebration. What could be healthier than field-fresh fruits so chock-a-block with antioxidants and phytonutrients they’ve been labelled a ‘superfood’? Or more sensuous than plump, juicy blueberries with their sweet-sharp ‘pop’ of flavour and the lovely inky juices they release during cooking?

It took me a while to fathom out how to make the perfect gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free blueberry muffin, but I’m proud to say that I think I’ve achieved my goal with this original Primal Plate recipe. The flavour of blueberries combined with a little sweetness from raw honey and the spicy, slightly citrus fragrance of freshly ground coriander seed makes for a delicious, low-carbohydrate, home-baked muffin that’s an aromatic, flavourful and visual treat to share with everyone you love (suggest you make double the quantity if there are more than two of you!). 

Actually, come rain or shine, baking Blueberry and Coriander Seed Muffins to show my appreciation for 22 years of wedded-bliss is absolutely guaranteed to put a smile on my favourite man’s face! #feelingsmug!

Blueberry & Coriander Seed Muffins (V) (Makes 6 Muffins)


65g (2½oz) unsalted butter, melted 

60g (2oz) raw, clear honey

150g (5½oz) ground almonds                                         

20g (¾oz) organic coconut flour, sifted

1 level tsp baking powder                

¼ level tsp sea salt

1 tsp coriander seed, freshly ground (I use a pestle and mortar)

3 large organic eggs                    

1 dessertspoon vanilla essence

60ml (2 fl oz) full-fat whole milk - or enough to make a soft batter 

150g (5½oz) fresh blueberries, preferably organic



Preheat the oven to 180℃ / 350°F / Gas mark 4 and line a muffin tin with 6 paper cases.

Put the honey and butter into a small saucepan, set over a low heat until the butter is just melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together the ground almonds, coconut flour, freshly-ground coriander seed, baking powder and sea salt.    

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey/melted butter and vanilla essence.

Using a rubber spatula, mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Add enough milk to make a soft batter of dropping consistency. 

Gently fold in 125g of the blueberries, then spoon the mixture into the paper cases (about ¾ of the way full - or approximately 105g batter per muffin) 

Top with the remaining 25g blueberries, allowing 2-3 extra blueberries per muffin.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes


Look for blueberries that have a firm, smooth skin and a waxy bloom. Most of the nutrients are in the skin so although large, plump fruits are touted as the best, I think smaller ones may in fact be better for you. 

Also, according to a 2008 study, it was found that organically produced blueberries can contain significantly more antioxidants that conventionally grown ones.

Raw blueberries are a wonderful snack - especially useful to give to children instead of sweets!


Carbohydrate 17g Protein 10g - per muffin

Baked Eggs with Asparagus, Mushrooms & Cheese

by Susan Smith in , ,

I love British asparagus. It has to be one of the most distinctly delicious vegetables ever, and right now is the time to be taking advantage of its very short season - traditionally between St. George’s Day (23rd April) and Midsummer day (21st June).

Magnificent whichever way you cook it, perhaps my favourite way is to lightly steam it and serve it with salty dairy ingredients such as butter and cheese. Asparagus also has a particular affinity with eggs, so hollandaise sauce - a heavenly combination of eggs and butter - is for me the ultimate indulgence. 

Suffice to say, I’ll be going mad for British asparagus for the next few weeks…steaming, roasting, boiling, chargrilling, in salads (like the Spanish are wont to do) or raw, this seasonal treat is seriously good! Clearly I’m not the only one to appreciate English asparagus’s delicate, fresh, sweet taste (eaten raw it reminds me of young freshly-podded peas) because sales of this trendy vegetable have sky-rocketed in recent years. So, whilst British asparagus is currently enjoying its truly deserved ‘best in the world’ status, I think it would be remiss of me not to feature some of my pick-of-the-crop recipes.

The shortest and sweetest one I know involves nothing more than snapping off the bottom ends of the spears (they conveniently break just in the right place), placing them in a single layer in a large frying pan with a good knob of butter (25g / 1oz) and 150ml / 5fl oz water and cooking them over a medium high heat for 2-3 minutes until the water has almost evaporated. Turn the heat to medium and continue cooking, turning occasionally, for another 6-8 minutes until the asparagus is glistening and tinged golden in a reduction of buttery juices. Served with lemon, a few flakes of sea salt and a grinding of black pepper, it’s simply irresistible. 

However, after my hyper-excitement about British asparagus now hitting the shops, it would be a bit of a tease to just leave it at that! So today’s recipe for Baked Eggs with Asparagus, Mushrooms & Cheese, is altogether a more substantial dish - a meal in itself. It is also a celebration of asparagus that marries it together with some of its most harmonious flavour pairings - eggs, cheese and mushrooms. 

Baked Eggs with Asparagus, Mushrooms & Cheese can be ready to eat in 45 minutes. It’s also fast and straight forward to prepare. The only tricky part is keeping the egg yolks still slightly runny whilst making sure the egg whites are properly set (though it’s infinitely better to have over-set egg yolks than it is slimy egg whites!) The best way I’ve found to get this dish just perfect is to use individual oven-proof dishes set in a bain-marie (water bath) and to be meticulous with the timing!

Baked Eggs with Asparagus, Mushrooms & Cheese (V) (Serves 2)


350g asparagus (7-8 spears per person)

150g organic closed-cup mushrooms

1 tbsp olive oil

125 ml organic double cream

80g Parmesan or Twineham Grange (vegetarian) cheese, finely grated

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 large organic free-range eggs

Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs, to garnish

15g butter, for greasing gratin dishes (the dishes I use are 23cm x 17cm / 9in x 5in)



Boil a kettle of water. Pre-heat the oven to 180℃ / 350℉ / Gas mark 4

To prepare asparagus, bend the asparagus spear (close to its base) until it snaps, then throw the woody end away. If the ends still feel tough, you can pare away the exterior with a potato peeler to reveal the more tender flesh beneath.

Pour the boiling water from the kettle into the base of a steamer. Lay the asparagus spears in the top of the steamer and, with the lid on, steam for 2-3 minutes until crispy-tender. Drain and plunge immediately in cold water to stop the cooking process (or place under a running cold tap). Drain again, then dry the spears between two sheets of kitchen paper and set aside.

Either quickly wash the mushrooms under a cold tap and dry on kitchen paper or clean them with damp kitchen paper and cut into thickish slices (4-5 slices per mushroom). Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium high heat and quickly stir-fry the mushrooms for 3 minutes or until softened and golden brown. Immediately tip the cooked mushrooms into a metal sieve set over a bowl (to drain off the excess juices), then lightly season the mushrooms with sea salt and black pepper and leave to cool.

Butter two individual oven-proof (gratin) dishes well. 

Boil another kettle of water.

Lightly season the cream with sea salt and black pepper. Divide all but 2 tablespoons of the cream equally between the two dishes. Swirl the dishes around so the cream is distributed evenly over the bottom of each dish then sprinkle over about three quarters (60 grams) of the grated cheese, again dividing it equally.

Arrange the cooked mushrooms and asparagus neatly on top, in that order. Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese. 

Carefully break 2 eggs into each dish, then spoon the remaining cream over the top of each egg. 

Place the dishes in a large roasting tin and pour in enough boiling water from the kettle until it reaches about halfway up their sides. 

Bake in the pre-heated oven on the middle shelf for 10 minutes - since oven temperatures can vary considerably, check after 8 minutes - the egg whites should be just set (still wobbly but opaque) and, hopefully, the yolks slightly runny. N.B. Don’t overcook as the eggs continue to cook in the residual heat of the dishes after they’ve been taken out of the oven.

Carefully (I use silicone oven gloves), remove the dishes from the bain-marie directly onto a dry tea-towel.

Garnish each dish with a sprig of fresh parsley and serve immediately with a decent glass of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Deliciously sexy, unctuous food, or what?


Choose asparagus spears that are uniform in size - not too thick and not too thin (definitely not sprue). Given a choice, I like my asparagus to err on the side of thicker rather than thinner because I think you get more flavour and texture. To check the uniformity of thickness within a pre-packed bunch of asparagus, tip it upside down and look at the base of the shoots. You want them all roughly the same diameter so that they will cook evenly. Fresh asparagus should have tight perky tips and shoots that are straight and firm. If possible, eat on the day of purchase - though asparagus will keep in a refrigerator for up to 4 days with the base of their stems wrapped in damp kitchen towel and placed inside a perforated plastic bag.

Asparagus packs a nutritional punch, with high levels of vitamins A and C, potassium, iron and calcium. They're also a diuretic and give your pee an unmistakable aroma (which, weirdly, not everyone can smell!).

Twineham Grange cheese is a delicious vegetarian alternative to Parmesan Reggiano. This full-flavoured hard cheese is absolutely perfect for cooking. It seems to me to have the melting quality of Gruyere with a similar flavour profile to Parmesan. Brilliant! 


Carbohydrate 9g Protein 35g - per individual serving

Mushroom Cheese Burgers

by Susan Smith in , , ,

Encouraged by some unusually warm spring weather this year, my eldest daughter and son-in-law have been firing up their BBQ since 6th April. Accordingly, the rest of the family were very happy to receive an invitation to join in the fun this bank holiday weekend (even if the weatherman was  threatening rain).

My son-in-law is the archetypal carnivore, so steak, sausage and burgers are his bag. In theory, he should enjoy the Paleo/Primal diet, but won’t be persuaded to give up his high carb favourites! Anyway, between his voracious appetite for meat, people’s general expectation of what’s quintessentially BBQ fare, you’d think there’d be a mis-match with my preference for all things vegetarian. Still, it doesn’t have to be so. In August 2008, I invited all my family to a BBQ and then caused several raised eyebrows when I announced it was going to be an entirely meat-free affair! In spite of some family member’s initial reticence (which turned into disbelief at the variety of vegetarian options on offer) it turned out to be one of the most successful family BBQs ever.

Back then, I relied heavily on vegetarian wonder woman Rose Elliot, and specifically her book Vegetarian Barbecues and Grills for inspiration. Ninety-nine per cent of Rose Elliot’s recipes never let me down. But this week, for the sake of originality, I decided to have a bash at making some Halloumi Veggie Burgers courtesy of Green Kitchen Travels. Unfortunately, when I read through the recipe properly, I couldn’t see how simply combining grated courgette, grated carrot and grated halloumi would work. Turns out, I was right.

Halloumi cheese does not melt when heated, so it’s ideal for grilling in flat slices on a BBQ (like a burger) but as I discovered, if you just add a load of wet ingredients to grated halloumi and nothing else to bind it together, you’ll end up with a halloumi ‘salad’ or at best, halloumi rösti! Undeterred, I added ricotta to the mix, which at least enabled me to mould everything into burger patties. Nevertheless, these were still far too wet and fragile and, in my view, would disintegrate on a BBQ. If the authors would like to elucidate, I’d be most grateful! On the plus side, Primal Plate tries these things so you don’t have to. Essentially, they tasted quite good, so at some point this summer halloumi burgers may well make an appearance on Primal Plate with the essential missing ingredient (what ere that be), added!

For now, I’m going with the thought that if it aint broke, don’t fix it. So instead I’ve adapted a Rose Elliot recipe to create some moist and tasty Mushroom Cheese Burgers. I know from experience that these burgers hold together well on the grill and, being pre-cooked, all I needed to do when we were ready to eat, was brush them with olive oil and compete with Nick for cooking space… 

The day after the night before, and I can vouch it was a very good party. Proof that a flexi-vegetarian rubbing shoulders with a devout meat-eater - aprons donned, cooking tongs and spatulas drawn over hot coals - is definitely viable. I still think the delectably crisp Mushroom Cheese Burgers were the star of the show. However, the halloumi, having been demoted from its intended pole position as a burger, really came into its own as Halloumi & Vegetable Skewers (recipe coming soon) - a colourful, barbecued veggie alternative to meat or, for any meat-eating diehard like my son-in-law, a healthful vegetable distraction!

You’ll need a deep-holed muffin or Yorkshire pudding tin to pre-bake these burgers.

Mushroom Cheese Burgers (Makes 8 x 7cm / 3 inch burgers)

Ingredients - for the burgers

2-3 tbsp olive oil

450g (1lb) button mushrooms, wiped clean with damp kitchen roll and sliced

350g mature Cheddar cheese, grated (I used Sussex Charmer)

2 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped

1 tbsp fresh thyme, leaves only

3 large eggs, beaten

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil, for grilling

Fresh rosemary sprigs, to garnish


Ingredients - for preparing the tin

20g butter, melted

1-2 tbsp Napolina Italian Grated Cheese



Pre-heat the oven to 180℃ / 350℉ / Gas mark 4

Brush 8 compartments of the muffin tin with the melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with the dry-grated cheese (Napolina). Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the sliced mushrooms and fry until tender and free from liquid - this will take about 15 minutes or so. 

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chives, thyme, cheese, beaten egg and season with sea salt and black pepper to taste (go steady with the salt - strong-tasting Cheddar already packs a lot of flavour).

Divide the mixture between the tins, smoothing the surface of each ‘cake’ with a spatula knife.

Bake for 15 minutes, until firm to the touch and lightly browned. 

Cool completely in the tins, loosen the edges with a small knife, then turn out.


To barbecue or grill:

Brush the burgers on both sides with olive oil. Place on the grid of the barbecue or under a hot grill and cook until browned. 

Turn over and cook the other side, brushing with a little more oil if necessary.

Top each burger with a sprig of rosemary and serve piping hot. 


Carbohydrate 2g Protein 16g - per burger

Little Ham and Egg Pies

by Susan Smith in , , , ,

Unusually, for someone who embraces Primal living, I don’t eat much meat. When I do it’s a) because 'fast' meat dishes like steak and salad are my go-to easy option when I'm just too busy or b) I believe it’s the best or only option available to me when I’m eating out. Either way, in spite of enjoying the taste of meat and knowing that it can in fact be a nutritionally sound choice, I’m usually at odds with my decision. 

I was in fact vegetarian for over a decade because I believe that the animal cruelty involved in factory farming of around two in every three farm animals today (that’s over 50 billion animals a year!) is an abomination; a testament to man's stupidity. Not only is our insatiable appetite for cheap food causing so much suffering to farm animals, it’s trashing the environment and fuelling climate change too. Quite apart from the stress and disease that cramming farm animals together causes, it seems obvious to me, and somehow only fair in the face of ‘farmaggedon’, that human health is also at risk. By eating meat from animals that have been routinely injected with drugs such as antibiotics and growth hormones and animals given unnatural animal feed - grains grown with pesticides, herbicides and fungicides - we’re exposing ourselves to disease too. So if you want to protect your health, the answer is to only eat pasture raised meat - namely, meat from animals that have been allowed to roam freely on lush grass. I recommend Green Pastures Farm

That said, these Little Ham and Egg Pies (original recipe from Simple Food by Jill Dupleix) have been a life-saver when I’m on the move and I’ve needed something quick and easy to eat. Tasty and sustaining, they really come into their own when we’re working flat-out at a Mirror Imaging wedding. Travelling between venues, Sarah drives whilst I feed these little protein packed morsels into both our mouths at the same time!

Also handy for a school lunch box, picnic fare, a high protein snack after a work-out, breakfast on the run, to serve with drinks, or served warm for a light supper or brunch. I’ve even converted the recipe into making ‘tiny’ ham and egg pie canapés using quails eggs and Parma ham! Little Ham and Egg Pies are all-rounders. They’ll keep for up to three days in a refrigerator. 

Little Ham and Egg Pies (Makes 12)


1 tsp olive oil or butter

12 slices best quality ham

12 large organic free range eggs, preferably pastured

2 tbsp double cream

Sea salt 

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp chopped parsley

4 tbsp Parmesan Reggiano, freshly grated



Heat the oven to 180℃ / 350℉ / Gas mark 4

Lightly oil a 12 hole muffin tray with melted butter or olive oil

Line the base and most of the sides of each mould with a slice of ham. Break an egg into each hollow.

Drizzle a little cream over each 'pie' and scatter with sea salt, pepper, parsley and parmesan.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the egg is just set and starting to shrink away from the sides of the tin.

Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then run a small knife around the mould to loosen the ham and egg. Remove to a wire tray.

If there are any straggly pieces of egg white left on the bottom of the ham just wipe away for a neater appearance.

Eat warm or at room temperature.



Buy the best quality ham you can afford, preferably organic and free-range.

Your average slice of processed meat does not come from a grass-fed pastured animal so don’t base your diet around cured meats such as bacon, ham charcuterie etc.  A little eaten occasionally is okay but treat cured meats as an adjunct to vegetables, fruits and fresh meat.

Also, go easy on the salt when you’re seasoning these ham and egg pies because often processed ham is heavily salted already. 


Carbohydrate 0g Protein 13g - per serving

Walnut & Banana Bread

by Susan Smith in ,

If you think that over-ripe bananas are just too unappetising to eat and are really only fit for throwing away, then this scrumptious recipe should make you think again!

Walnut & Banana Bread seemed an obvious choice for our breakfast today as I had several brown and mottled bananas in my fruit bowl that were crying out to be converted into a banana bread. Not only is this recipe a pleasure to make, the smell, reminiscent of treacle toffee, which pervades the air as it cooks, is fantastic. 

Eat whilst still warm from the oven, generously buttered. A mug of hot spicy Organic Three Cinnamon Tea works well for me. It is the perfect antidote to a cold winter’s day.

Walnut & Banana Bread (makes 16 servings)


75g (3 oz) organic coconut flour (I use Tiana)

100g (3½ oz) ground almonds

60g (2½ oz) walnuts, roughly chopped into smallish pieces

45g (1½ oz) raw coconut palm sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp sea salt

400g (14oz) unpeeled weight, over-ripe bananas, mashed well with a fork

100g (3½ oz) butter melted + extra butter for greasing 

4 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract



Preheat the oven to 180C degrees.

Grease a 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan with butter then place a cut strip of parchment paper to fit along the bottom of the loaf pan and up the short sides.

In a medium-sized bowl combine the coconut flour, almond flour, chopped walnuts, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt and mix with a fork to reduce any clumps.

In a separate bowl whisk eggs, vanilla extract and melted butter together. Add the mashed banana and whisk more until well combined.

Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and stir with a rubber spatula until thoroughly combined.

Spoon the batter into the loaf pan and spread it out evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the centre comes out clean.

Take out of the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes or so. 

Run a knife around the edges of the loaf tin to make sure nothing is sticking, then cautiously invert it onto a wire cooling rack, peel off the parchment paper and carefully turn it over so the bottom of the loaf lies flat against the rack. 

Let it cool for another 20 minutes or so before slicing. 



I’ve used raw coconut palm sugar as a sweetener because unlike most sugar it’s real food that offers solid nutritional benefits i.e. it’s not just sugar. See more information here. Nevertheless, sugar is sugar and, in my view, all sugar should come with a health warning! Enjoy this walnut and banana loaf as a sweet treat in moderation.

To store, wrap in a paper towel and keep refrigerated.

Although this still eats well at room temperature, you can enjoy any leftovers by slicing and gently frying in butter. Also, lovely toasted.


Carbohydrate  9g Protein  5g - per slice

Perfect Poached Eggs

by Susan Smith in , ,

There are days when I hanker after the simple pleasure of a perfectly cooked poached egg - soft in the middle and perfectly formed like a mozzarella ball.

Sometimes I just want to eat it with some generously buttered toast for breakfast. Other times I want it to sit proudly atop poached smoked haddock, root vegetable rösti or some griddled asparagus - it’s runny yolk forming an instant dressing. Or for something even more indulgent, drizzled over with hollandaise sauce à la Eggs Benedict style and served with slices of smoked salmon.

However, producing beautifully cooked poached eggs is tricky and, for all my cooking experience, I can never say with confidence that I am able to manage more than one or two at a time. It doesn’t matter if I use the freshest eggs, add vinegar or swirl the water, if I’m trying to cook more than two I inevitably end up with straggly looking eggs and a very messy pan!

Enter the Poach Pod - a reusable silicon egg poacher that delivers identical, consistent and lightly poached eggs every time. No guesswork, no mess. And even though it doesn’t produce the organic shape of a traditionally poached egg that I like, it is nonetheless a genius solution to the problem of cooking more than two eggs at the same time.

Perfect Poached Eggs (V)


Lightly oil the pods before use (I brush mine inside with a little melted butter).

Half fill a lidded pan (I use a large shallow casserole style pan with a glass lid) with boiling water from the kettle to a depth of about 1.5 inches. Note: It wants to come about halfway up the side of the Pod as it floats in the water - if it’s too deep it may go over the side of the Pod, if it’s too shallow the Pod just sits on the bottom of the pan.

Crack a fresh egg into each Pod and carefully lower into the boiling water.

Cook for 4-5 minutes with the lid on (my large eggs took exactly 5 minutes).

When cooked, remove the Pods from the pan. Carefully tip off any excess liquid (condensed steam) if there’s any sitting on top of the eggs. Run a spoon around the edge of the eggs before easing out. I prefer not to invert them (as Poach Pod suggest) because I like to see the egg yolk in contrast to the white.

IMG_3635 copy.jpg

If you still want to try the traditional method of poaching an egg, here are the most significant points to remember:

  • Make sure your eggs are really fresh.
  • Add a small dash of vinegar and some sea salt to a pan of lightly simmering water.
  • Crack the eggs individually into a ramekin or cup.
  • Create a gentle whirlpool in the water to help the egg white wrap around the yolk.
  • Then gently lower the eggs, one at a time into the water, white first.
  • For a soft runny yolk that’s just hardening at the edges cook for about 4 minutes. For a more runny yolk, 3 minutes should suffice.
  • To test when they’re done, lift one out with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with a paper towel and give a gentle poke with a spoon. If it feels too soft put it back in the water for a minute or two more to firm up.
  • Remove the egg with a slotted spoon and serve immediately with a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper.

More information on Poach Pods:

You can buy Poach Pods from Waitrose, Ocado and Lakeland. Lakeland also sell a PoachPod Lift to enable you to place in and remove the Pod from the boiling water more easily. Poach Pods can also be used as individual jelly moulds.


Carbohydrate 0g Protein 8g - per large egg


Nut & Seed Granola à la Paleo Trail-Mix

by Susan Smith in , ,

The headlines in yesterday’s papers caught my eye. A lack of exercise could be killing over 600,000 people a year in Europe and, according to the 12 year study by Cambridge University researchers, inactivity is proven to be twice as deadly as obesity! Furthermore, inactive thin people have a higher risk of health problems,  which suggests to me that obese people who exercise are in a better state of health than thin people who do not!

Don’t panic! You simply need to put on a pair of walking shoes and go for a walk! Walking became an integral part of my ‘get well soon’ strategy just over a year ago, which was when I first discovered Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint.

I believe that it’s the little things done often that can have the most impact on your life. Last year, walking at a moderate pace for 30-40 minutes five times a week on average, I clocked up 626 miles (1000 kilometres), which is the equivalent of walking from Penzance to Dundee! And I burned 39,500 calories in the process! How fabulous is that for minimal effort? Fat or thin, regular walking at a moderate pace (not the same as a gentle stroll!) is the easiest way to keep yourself fit.

Anyway, my husband is already ahead of the game. Even before this latest scientific revelation from Cambridge University, he had upped the anti for my exercise regime to 800 miles in 2015. Sounds good to me.

Probably one of the most frequent questions I’m asked about my diet is “What do you have for breakfast?” I assume what they mean is that most people choose cereal or toast, if only for convenience. If this is true for you, the recipe today is a breakfast ‘cereal’ without the cereal. Namely, a Paleo version of granola that is made entirely from nuts, seeds, raw honey and coconut oil.

I like mine for breakfast with raw milk, which I buy from Gazegill Organics. But it’s also great to eat by the handful when you’re on the move. Pack some into a ziplock bag when you’re going to be out and about and you don’t know where your next meal’s coming from. It is a satisfyingly crunchy, sweet and healthy snack, which eaten on its own boasts a mere 14 grams of carbohydrate per adult serving.

You can use any combination of nuts and seeds you like but we find this recipe particularly pleasing…

Nut & Seed Granola à la Paleo Trail-Mix (18 servings) (V)


55g Brazil nuts, chopped into rough pieces
75g raw whole almonds
100g flaked almonds
110g cashew nuts
150g raw pistachio nuts
75g pecan nuts
70g walnuts
70g macadamia nuts
50g hazelnuts
30g chia seeds
70g sunflower seeds
70g pumpkin seeds
75g flaked coconut

25g coconut oil
50g organic honey



Pre-heat the oven to 140℃ Gas Mark 1.

Line two large baking trays with a silicon baking mat or non-stick baking parchment.

Weigh out all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl - you should have a total weight of 1 kg of nuts and seeds.

Melt the coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan over a low heat until just liquid.

Pour the liquid coconut oil and honey over the nuts and seeds and mix together well with a large spatula.

Spread the nuts and seeds out evenly between the two baking trays - they should be in a single layer.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Take both trays out of the oven and, using a couple of flat wide spatulas turn the nuts and seeds over and around to ensure even cooking.

Return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Repeat the above process, making sure the more golden coloured nuts are moved to the centre of the tray and the less so to the outer edge.

Return to the oven for a final 15 minutes cooking time. Take out of the oven (total cooking time 45 minutes) and allow the mixture to cool on the trays.

When the granola is cooled, break up any big clumps into smaller pieces with your hands.

Store in an airtight container.


Carbohydrate 14g Protein 10g - per serving

Creamy Mushrooms on Toast

by Susan Smith in , ,

Naturally low in calories, fat-free and packed with important nutrients (a mushroom has almost as much potassium as a small banana) Ancient Egyptians believed mushrooms were the ‘plant of immortality’. They are certainly hearty and filling, so eating mushrooms on our grain-free toast for breakfast is a double-whammy of goodness that can easily keep you going until lunch time and beyond.

The creamy mushroom tarragon sauce also works well with roast chicken. Alternatively, cook a selection of fresh vegetables (such as baby carrots, baby turnips, baby cauliflowers, broccoli florets, baby courgettes, sugar snaps peas or mange-tout) until they’re just tender and serve with the mushroom sauce for a light and healthy supper.

I think the very best crème fraîche for cooking is Rodda’s Cornish Crème Fraîche because it doesn't curdle at high temperatures. This makes Rodda’s Cornish Crème Fraîche a fantastically versatile ingredient for enriching sauces and soups. But that’s by no means all. It’s deliciously creamy texture and slightly tangy flavour eaten straight from the pot makes a very luxurious accompaniment for fresh fruit as well as our Spiced Fruit Pancakes with Orange & Apricot Syrup.

Creamy Mushrooms on Toast (Serves 4) (V)


680g fresh mixed mushrooms, e.g. button, chestnut, crimini and portabello

15g (1 tbsp) organic butter - plus extra for buttered toast

1 tbsp olive oil

200g (⅞ cup) full-fat crème fraîche

Large handful of fresh tarragon, finely chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1-2 day old Grain-Free Bread, cut into 8 slices (about 1 cm thick)



Clean and slice the mushrooms. 

In a large non-stick frying pan melt the butter with the olive oil until foaming. 

Fry the mushrooms on a medium-high heat until soft and the juices have begun to run. Turn down the heat and cook a few moments more until the mushrooms are cooked through.

Take the pan off the heat and stir in the crème fraîche. Return to the heat and simmer gently until thickened and the sauce has reduced.

Add the seasoning and most of the chopped tarragon. Keep warm over a low heat whilst you make the toast. 

Slice the bread and toast on both sides. Butter one side only and place two pieces of toast on four warmed plates.

Gently reheat the sauce through, spoon onto the toast and sprinkle with the remaining tarragon. Serve immediately.


Carbohydrate 20g Protein 16g - per serving


Creamy Mushroom Sauce, without toast 

Carbohydrate 7g Protein 6g - per serving


Chocolate Banana Muffins

by Susan Smith in , ,

You will probably have noticed how Primal Plate posts to date have been biased in favour of low-carb replacements for those ‘naughty but nice foods’ that you’ve always been happy to eat, but might have assumed were essentially off the radar for low carb life-stylers. 

Introducing Primal Plate with Grain-Free Bread, Spiced Fruit Scotch Pancakes and Chocolate Banana Muffins is quite deliberate; a ploy to explode the myth that eating grain-free is an uncomfortably restrictive diet plan. 

That said, these relatively healthy alternatives are not intended to be eaten every day. Carbohydrate intake is the deciding factor in gaining or losing weight and the sweet spot for losing those extra pounds is between 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrate per day. 

One of these Chocolate Banana Muffins uses up 28 grams… so go steady, these are only intended as an occasional treat!

Chocolate Banana Muffins (Makes 6 Muffins)


100g (1 cup) ground almonds                

40g (¼ cup) organic coconut flour

1 level tsp baking powder                

½ level tsp sea salt

1 level tsp cinnamon

½ level tsp nutmeg

30g (2 tbsp) organic coconut oil, melted        

3 large eggs

85g (¼ cup) raw coconut nectar (or maple syrup)        

2 tsp vanilla essence

2 medium-large mashed ripe bananas (300g unpeeled weight)

50g (¼ cup) dark chocolate chips (70% cocoa solids)        



Preheat oven to 180ºC (350º F).

Mix dry ingredients (ground almonds, coconut flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg) well in a large bowl. 

Beat the eggs and mix in the rest of the wet ingredients (coconut oil, bananas, coconut nectar, vanilla). 

Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients mixing well. 

Fold in chocolate chips. 

Pour into cupcake liners in a muffin tin (about ¾ of the way full).

Bake for 30 minutes. 


Carbohydrate 28g Protein 9g - per muffin


Spiced Fruit Scotch Pancakes with Orange & Apricot Syrup

by Susan Smith in , , ,

Tuesday 17th February 2015 is Pancake Day!  It must be at least 25 years since I last allowed myself the indulgence of eating pancakes. My prohibition began with the Hay System Diet, a diet that promotes separating food into three meals a day - one meal carbohydrate, one protein and the third entirely alkaline. I followed the Hay Diet, which subsequently evolved into Vegetarian food combining, for over two decades.

Pancakes are normally made of wheat-flour, eggs and milk, that is to say, high starch wheatflour, protein eggs and milk and, if you’re a traditionalist like me, alkaline lemon juice to serve. Add to this the generous quantity of refined sugar people like to sprinkle on top, for Food Combiners and Atkin dieters (that dietary exploration came later!) pancakes were probably one of my most obvious dietary ‘no nos’ of all time. Until now…

Thanks to this brilliant grain-free pancake batter recipe all things ‘pancake’ have been at the forefront of my mind recently - big time! Sweet or savoury, perfect pancakes have the potential to fill so many of the previous gaps in my culinary repertoire. 

Spiced Fruit Scotch Pancakes is my first offering. Stacked high and served with sugar-free Orange & Apricot Syrup and perhaps a dollop of creme fraiche, it makes for a very impressive dessert when entertaining. Alternatively, leave out the fruit and spice and serve these little beauties plain for a lazy Sunday breakfast, perhaps accompanied by a mixed berry compote (recipe to follow in due course!) or with fresh blueberries and a drizzle of maple syrup. 



Spiced Fruit Scotch Pancakes (Makes 16) (V)

Basic Pancake Batter Ingredients

180ml (¾ cup) raw whole milk (or almond milk, if preferred)

3 large eggs

30g organic ground almonds

45g Sukrin reduced fat organic coconut flour

40g arrowroot flour

15g (1 tbsp) coconut oil

1 tbsp clear, preferably raw (unheated) organic honey

½ tsp apple cider vinegar

½ tsp baking powder


1 tsp mixed spice

85g (½ cup) mixed dried fruit e.g. currants, sultanas, raisins, cranberries



Blend all the basic pancake batter ingredients in a blender. Fold in the mixed spice and mixed dried fruit. Set aside. 

Add some coconut oil to a pre-heated non-stick frying pan.

Drop good tablespoons of batter into the pan (one spoonful per pancake - obviously these need to be cooked in batches). 

Even them out slightly with the back of a spoon then leave alone to cook for 2 - 3 minutes (small bubbles will appear on the surface when they’re ready to turn). 

Cook for 2 minutes more, until the pancakes are cooked through, then remove from the pan. Cover with a tea towel to stop them drying out.

To serve, warm through in a low oven and stack them into a tower on each plate, allowing four to five per person.

Drizzle Orange and Apricot Syrup around the pancake stack and top with a spoonful of creme fraiche, if liked.


Carbohydrate 8g Protein 3g - per pancake with fruit


If you don’t like dried fruit or you want to minimise your carb intake, just cook 3-4 tablespoons of the basic pancake batter first...  

Carbohydrate 5g Protein 3g - per pancake w/o fruit



Orange & Apricot Syrup (4 servings) (V)


2 heaped tbsp All-Fruit Apricot Conserve (St Dalfour’s range of all natural 100% fruit spreads are available in most supermarkets and health food shops) 

Juice & finely grated zest of 1 large orange, preferably organic

1 tbsp clear, preferably raw, organic honey (or 1 tbsp Sukrin icing sugar)



Heat all the ingredients together in a small saucepan over a low to medium heat for 3-4 minutes.

When bubbling and slightly reduced, pass through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing as much of the apricot flesh through as possible.

Return to a clean pan and gently warm through when ready to serve.


Carbohydrate 18g Protein 1g - per serving (made with honey)

Carbohydrate 14g Protein 1g - per serving (made with Sukrin icing sugar)


Grain-Free Bread

by Susan Smith in ,

Just over a year ago I decided to ditch all grains including bread, pizza, pasta, cakes, rice and corn together with potatoes, sugar, trans (hydrogenated) fats, high Omega 6 seed and vegetable oils and anything else that was highly processed, aka made in a factory. Cheerio to the last one standing, which for me was Pizza Express!

It wasn’t such a hardship. I’d been ill for several months and prescribed medication had done diddley-squit to improve my symptoms. My decision to go cold turkey with the steroids and address the problem naturally by re-focusing all my attention on my diet I now know probably saved my life - or at the very least, added more life to my years.

Once I got better, I wanted the comfort of carbs back in my life and so began my search for the perfect no-grain bread. This is where my search ended, on the Living Healthy With Chocolate website (although there's no chocolate in this recipe!)

Still warm from the oven and simply buttered I’d defy you to tell the difference. Thinly sliced and made into a chicken salad sandwich, it is to die for. Or try it toasted and topped with perfectly scrambled eggs or sautéed mushrooms in a creamy tarragon sauce. This is food fit for the gods! Plus, it sustains you like no wheat-based bread ever can!


Grain-Free Sandwich Bread (V)

Ingredients - dry

200g (2 cups) organic ground almonds

85g (½ cup) organic arrowroot powder

50g ( cup + 1 tbsp) organic ground flaxseed

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 rounded tsp baking powder

1 tsp whole flaxseeds (to sprinkle on top)


Ingredients - wet

90g (6 tbsp  butter (or coconut oil)

4 large organic eggs, well-beaten until frothy

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

140g (½ cup) Greek plain yogurt (or coconut cream)



In a small saucepan, melt the butter and let cool for 5 minutes.

Switch the oven on to 180C.

Grease an 8½” x 4½” medium loaf pan and line along the bottom and up the short sides with a long strip of non-stick parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix the almond flour, flaxseed meal, salt, baking powder and arrowroot powder.

Whisk melted butter together with the eggs, apple cider vinegar and yogurt.

Using a rubber spatula, gently mix wet and dry ingredients to form a batter being careful not to over mix or the batter will get oily and dense.

Pour batter into prepared loaf tin. 

Sprinkle top with whole flaxseeds.

Bake at 180C for 40 minutes - or until a metal skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then loosen around the edges with a spatula and turn out.

Let it cool completely on a wire rack and then cut into thin slices.



To preserve freshness, wrap the loaf in a paper towel, place inside an airtight container and keep refrigerated.


Carbohydrate 7g Protein 5g - per slice