Healthier Gingerbread Cookies

Healthy gingerbread cookies, made with whole wheat pastry flour and coconut oil! They are super easy to make. cookieandkate.com

This post is brought to you by Bob’s Red Mill.

Too soon for gingerbread cookies? I hear everyone who put up their Christmas tree this weekend shouting, “No!” These are for you, my cinnamon candle-burning, Nat King Cole-playing friends. I appreciate your enthusiasm.

I usually get all bah-humbug Christmas baby this time of year, since the holiday completely overshadows my December 25th birthday if I’m not careful. I’m already planning my 30th birthday celebrations (with help, thankfully!) and have resolved to embrace the holiday cheer this time around. I might even put up a Christmas tree. A tiny one, with white Christmas lights. That sounds lovely.

gingerbread cookie ingredients

I’ll probably make more batches of gingerbread cookies to share with friends this year, too, now that I’ve perfected the recipe. They’re so fun to make! I made a few simple substitutions to turn classic gingerbread cookies into healthier gingerbread cookies, without sacrificing flavor. The result is a dough that is remarkably easy to make (no mixer required) and manage (it might as well be Play-Dough!).

Continue to the recipe…

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Homemade Vegetarian Chili

The best vegetarian chili - so easy to make with basic ingredients! cookieandkate.com

Greetings from a winter wonderland. Little icicles line the rooftops and the trees are encased in thick layers of dazzling ice. I’m warm and cozy inside with my family here in central Oklahoma.

We can’t be the only ones who are avoiding the grocery stores today, so I thought I’d share my new favorite vegetarian chili recipe. It’s perfect for watching football games with a crowd, since it’s a hearty meatless option that carnivores will enjoy. Plus, it can be vegan and gluten free if you choose your toppings carefully.

how to make vegetarian chili

While the ingredients in this chili are super basic, the flavor is anything but. Simple ingredients can taste exceptional when they start off with aromatics like onion, carrot, celery and garlic. I added traditional chili spices and some smoked paprika for an extra-savory, smoky note.

Blending a small portion of the chili makes it look and taste like a chili that has been cooking all morning long, but it only needs about 30 minutes of simmering. That’s a little trick that I learned from my lentil soup, which is another cozy option for cold days.

Continue to the recipe…

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3 Ways To Eat Low Carb

Steak with Asian Zucchini 'Noodles'

On Monday I got a phone call which made me feel like a bit of a failure.

It was from my doctor saying they had the results of a recent test and that I basically have gestational diabetes.

My mind was screaming…

“That can’t be right… I eat so well. There must be a mistake.”

But the results were there.

You know the ironic thing??

I was already planning to write this week about eating low carb. I had a request from a Stonesoup reader which went something like this…

“I am supposed to eat a gluten free diet also no carbohydrates (according to Quack ). Because of blood problem.

How to get a list of food that is free of above. I am old so not too smart with these things.”

Weird coincidence, right?

Anyway now I’m used to the idea, you’ll be happy to know I don’t feel like a ‘failure’ any more. I’m actually looking forward to learning what I can about the whole diabetes, insulin, blood sugar and diet puzzle.

And finding ways to improve my diet. After all I’m far from perfect!

My 3 Favourite Ways To Eat Low Carb

1. Swap grains for veggies (and legumes).

For most of us the biggest source of carbs in our diets comes from grain based products like breakfast cereals, bread, pasta and rice. About 5 years ago I started experimenting with reducing and even eliminating grains from my diet and I can easily say it’s had the biggest positive impact on my waistline.

These days I have eggs and some sort of vegetable for breakfast instead of a bowl of All Bran. For lunches my go-tos are salads, soups or leftovers instead of a sandwich.

Then for dinners my fave substitutes for grains are to use vegetable ‘noodles’ made from zucchini or carrots instead of pasta or rice noodles. I also love cauliflower ‘rice’ (raw grated cauli) instead of steamed rice. Or sometimes I’ll just serve my stir fry, curry or ragu on a big bed of baby spinach instead of rice or pasta.

For wrapping things I love iceberg lettuce leaves or (my latest discovery) cabbage leaves instead of tortillas or flat bread.

The possibilities are endless but best of all I never feel like I’m missing out.

2. Choose savoury over sweet.

Sweet treats are the other big source of carbs. So there’s a big opportunity to go for a handful of nuts over a cookie at snack time and a cheese plate instead of dessert.

3. Focus on real food. Not ‘low carb alternatives’

If you switch to processed packaged foods labelled with ‘low carb’ you’re really just swapping one problem for another. And usually paying a premium in the process.

Real food with lots of veggies is the way forward.

How about you?

Got any tips for eating low carb? Or are you a confirmed carb lover? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below…

_____

Asian Beef & Zucchini ‘Noodles’

I took this photo a while ago before I invested in a spiralizer. So the ‘noodles’ in the picture were made using my mandoline to slice the zucchini into fine strips and then hand sliced into thinner noodles. While that method is good, I have to say the look and feel you get from the spiralizer is so much better! More on that soon. But if you don’t have either, no stress – see the variations below for suggestions.

enough for: 2
takes: 20 minutes
2 steaks
2 medium zucchini
2-4 red chillies, sliced
3-4 tablespoons soy sauce

1. Remove steaks from the fridge (up to an hour ahead).

2. Wash zucchini and slice into ‘noodles’ either using a mandoline or spiralizer. Sprinkle with a little salt and stand at room temp to soften.

3. Heat a frying pan on a very high heat. Scatter a very fine layer of salt over the bottom of the pan and add the steaks.

4. Cook for 2-3 minutes each side for medium rare (or 3-4 minutes for medium) or until cooked to your liking.

5. Remove steaks and place on 2 warm plates. Carefully wipe out the excess salt from the hot pan.

6. Add zucchini ‘noodles’ and chilli to the hot pan without returning it to the heat. Allow the noodles to warm through then add the soy sauce. Taste and add more soy as needed. If you want the noodles hotter, pop the pan back on the heat but I find there’s usually enough residual heat to get things warm enough.

7. Spoon zucchini, chilli and sauce over the steaks and serve hot.

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Variations

no mandoloine / spiralizer – either slice the zucchini by hand as finely as you can or use a vegetable peeler.

budget – replace steak with minced (ground) meat. Just brown it in a little oil (without the salt crust) then toss in the zucchini, chilli and soy.

vegetarian – replace steaks with cooked white or black beans. Just warm everything in the pan.

more veg – feel free to use more zucchini or add other ‘noodle’ veg such as carrots and/or red peppers. Some fresh herbs like mint or coriander (cilantro) would also be lovely.

paleo / soy-free – use fish or oyster sauce instead of the soy or replace with coconut aminos.

carb-lovers / more substantial – serve with steamed rice OR toss cooked rice, singapore or hokkien noodles in with the zucchini.

Big love,
Jules x

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ps. And something completely unrelated…

h&t 3D cover

It’s the 1st Anniversary of the publication of my most recent eCookbook, ‘Healthy & Tasty Meals Made Easy‘ and I have a tradition of having a little sale to celebrate the ‘birthdays’ of my ebooks.

This year I thought I’d tie in with the whole ‘Black Friday’ sale season.

So for the next 72-Hours only you can get 30% OFF ‘Healthy & Tasty’ – which could be just what you need after all the holiday indulgence!

For more details go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/handt/

SALE ENDS FRIDAY 27th NOVEMBER.

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Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce

This naturally sweetened cranberry sauce couldn't be easier to make! cookieandkate.com

Get this! Last Thursday, I got on an elevator at ABC Home in NYC and started my seven-floor descent. The elevator promptly stopped at the fifth floor. In walked a decorator clutching onto a couple of rolls of wallpaper, followed by Jennifer Garner herself. Unmistakably Jennifer Garner, with her dimples, radiant smile and everything. She smiled at me and said hi, so I did the same, and then she offered to help her decorator carry the wallpaper.

I tried not to gawk at her as we rode five stories down together. She is one classy lady, I tell you. I walked off the elevator feeling like I had a few specks of magic dust on my shoulders. I don’t know how to connect Jennifer Garner with cranberry sauce (let’s say she likes cranberry sauce?), but I just had to share my elevator moment. My one minute of fame-by-assocation, if you will.

how to make cranberry sauce

Ok, let’s talk about cranberry sauce. It’s the neglected, afterthought condiment of Thanksgiving, but no holiday table is complete without it. Cranberry sauce adds a very necessary burst of sweet-tart flavor and ruby red color to an otherwise beige meal.

The homemade version is much prettier than store-bought, not to mention more tasty. Although, I’ll admit that there is something fantastically retro about a gelatinous, shimmering cylinder of canned cranberry sauce on a plate.

Continue to the recipe…

The post Naturally Sweetened Cranberry Sauce appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Cranberry Orange Granola Bars

Cranberry orange granola bars, a wholesome homemade snack! - cookieandkate.com

Good morning from New York! I am perched on a cushy hotel bed, with a window overlooking TriBeCa on my left and a bag of homemade granola bars to my right. I’m here because you all voted for my roasted cauliflower lentil tacos when I asked you to. Thank you so much!

The USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council flew me out here to attend their event. The United Nations designated 2016 to be the International Year of Pulses (think beans, chickpeas and lentils) for their significant health, economic and environmental benefits. We’re going to celebrate tonight with farmers, chefs and magazine editors. Party on, lentils!!!

granola bar ingredients

These granola bars survived the trip intact, so I can vouch for their portability. I got the idea to make a cranberry orange version of my almond chocolate chip granola bars from Lilly, who commented on my cranberry orange granola recipe and asked how to turn the granola into granola bars.

I offered some suggestions but couldn’t get Lilly’s idea out of my head, so here we are. Wholesome, honey-sweetened, cranberry-orange granola bars made with lots of healthy whole grains, nuts and seeds. These no-bake granola bars would also make great “energy bites,” too, if you’d rather roll the dough between your palms to make one-inch balls. If you appreciate cranberry orange muffins and the like, you’ll love these!

Thank you to Lilly for this idea, and for all of you who come over and leave comments with ideas, questions and suggestions. I read each one and try my very best to respond to every single one of them. I’m always bragging on you guys for being so wonderful. Thank you for voting for my tacos, too! I’ll share my New York adventures on Snapchat today (I’m @cookieandkate), if you’d like to follow along.

Continue to the recipe…

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2 Easy Ways to Simplify Any Recipe

Chickpea & Za'atar Cabbage Wraps-2

If you had to nominate your strongest ‘super power’, what would you choose?

For me, it’s easy.

My ability to simplify things, especially in the kitchen would have to be it. Hello 5-Ingredients!

Earlier in the year I wrote a post where I showed how I simplified one of Yotam Ottolenghis recipes which was great fun. So I thought it about time I tackle another one.

But first, the basics…

2 Easy Ways to Simplify Any Recipe

1. Combine like ingredients.
This is always my starting point. Look for any ingredients that are providing the same function and instead choose one. You’ll need to adjust the quantities accordingly. The example below is the best way to illustrate what I mean.

2. Don’t be afraid to outsource.
There are no prizes for making every single part of every meal you eat from scratch. So ‘cheat’ when you feel like it. My favourite examples are to use commercial spice blends or commercial sauces such as hummus, mayo, pesto or curry pastes.

Cabbage Wraps – An Example.

As you may have guessed from the photo above, todays inspiration comes from one of my fave vegetarian blogs, My New Roots. Well worth a read whether you follow a plant based diet or if you’re like me and love your veggies AND your meat.

My New Roots:
Spring Cabbage Wraps with Couscous, Za’atar & Spicy Tahini Dressing
Ingredients list
– 17 items
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 small red onion, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
grated zest 1 organic lemon
1/2 cup kalamata olives
8 whole cabbage leaves
1 cup cooked butter beans
handful fresh pea shoots
1/3 cup tahini
1 large clove garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon raw honey or pure maple syrup
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup ground sumac
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried oregano

Stonesoup:
Cabbage Wraps with Chickpeas & Za’atar
Ingredients list
– 5 items
2-4 cabbage leaves
1 can chickpeas (400g / 14oz)
4 tablespoons lemon juice + wedges to serve
4 tablespoons tahini
1-2 teaspoons za’atar

So what have I done?

1. Combining substantial ingredients.
The couscous, olives and butter beans are providing the filling for the wraps. I could have chosen one of these to use but I was in the mood for chickpeas so they replaced all three.

2. Simplifying the flavours.
The red onion, parsley, lemon zest, pea shoots, cayenne, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and honey / maple syrup are adding extra flavours (and some colour). I chose to slash this down to just tahini and lemon to make a simple sauce for the wraps. If I was allowing myself an extra ingredient I would add in the parsley for some freshness and greenery.

3. Outsourcing the spice blend.
Instead of making my own za’atar, I used a commercial one.

From 17 ingredients down to 5. Easy.

(see below for the complete (simplified) recipe.)

Want more simplicity?

If you’re interested in learning how to simplify not just recipes, but the whole of your life, then I recommend checking out A Simple Year.

It’s a 12 month program which focuses on simplifying different areas of your life each month. If you join us I’ll show you even more ways to simplify not only recipes but your kitchen and your approach to healthy eating.

You’ll need to be quick because ‘Early Bird’ pricing and registration closes 20th November.

To make sure you don’t miss out, go to:
www.simpleyear.co/course

NOTE: The ‘Early Bird’ discount ends 20th November.

—–

What about you?

I’d really love to know about your ‘super powers’! Do tell in the comments below…

—–

Chickpea & Za'atar Cabbage Wraps

Cabbage Wraps with Chickpeas & Za’atar

There are so many things I love about these wraps! The tahini sauce is an old favourite but combining it with za’atar, a middle eastern spice blend is something I hadn’t done in ages.

The other brilliant idea (thanks Sarah B!) is to use cabbage leaves as your wrapping ingredient… Much lighter than using pita bread or other grain based wraps but more substantial and more nourishing than good old iceberg lettuce (my previous go-to veggie based wrap).

Enough for: 2 as a light meal
Takes: 10 minutes
2-4 cabbage leaves
1 can chickpeas (400g / 14oz)
4 tablespoons lemon juice + wedges to serve
4 tablespoons tahini
1-2 teaspoons za’atar

1. Divide cabbage leaves between two plates.

2. Drain chickpeas and rinse with boiling water from the kettle to warm them. Skip the warming if it’s a really hot day.

3. Place warm chickpeas in your cabbage leaves and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

4. Combine lemon juice, tahini and 4 tablespoons water in a small bowl until smooth. Season.

5. Drizzle tahini sauce over the chickpeas and top with za’atar. Serve with extra lemon wedges on the side.

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Variations

carnivore / paleo / legume-free – replace chickpeas with ground (minced) meat such as beef, lamb or chicken. Brown the meat in a pan with a little oil before using to stuff the cabbage. Or use roast diced root veg like carrots, parsnip and sweet potato.

chickpea alternatives – cooked couscous, quinoa, lentils, butter beans, other beans or a combo of any of the above.

no za’atar? – Replace with sesame seeds, or fresh thyme leaves. OR make your own by combining 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds, 1/4 cup ground sumac, 2 tablespoons dried thyme and 1 tablespoon dried oregano (Sarah B.’s recipe). Or order online from a good spice supplier. If you do buy it’s also great sprinkled on cooked eggs, chicken and fish.

carb lovers / more substantial – toss cooked couscous, quinoa or other legumes with the chickpeas OR replace cabbage leaves with warm pita bread or tortillas.

more veg – sprinkle over flat leaf parsley leaves, mint leaves and/or pea shoots. Grilled eggplant, zucchini and peppers toss in with the chickpeas would also be lovely.

no tahini? – tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds you could use almond butter or cashew butter instead. OR replace the whole sauce with well seasoned natural yoghurt (full fat of course!).

hot! – do as Sarah B. does and add some cayenne pepper or other chilli powder to the tahini sauce.

Big love,
Jules x

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ps. This is the 3rd year we’ve run ‘A Simple Year’.

After a few very ‘unsimple’ years in my life… getting married, having a baby and buying a house (and tiny farm) I’ve been getting back into practicing simplicity myself. So I’m going to be following along with the whole program next year.

Super excited to have the amazing Leo Babauta from Zen Habits leading the month of mindfulness in September! Can’t wait.

To find out more go to: www.simpleyear.co/course

NOTE: ‘Early Bird’ pricing and registration ends 20th November.

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16 Healthy Thanksgiving Side Dishes

16 healthy Thanksgiving side dishes, from salads to soups to cornbread! All vegetarian. Find the recipes at cookieandkate.com.

Do you have a Friendsgiving tradition? I attended our annual Thanksgiving with friends (otherwise known as Friendsgiving!) yesterday and my belly is still recovering from the second round. I’d regret not going back for more, though. No regrets here. Nope, not a one.

We had a potluck feast of mashed potatoes, cornbread stuffing, green bean casserole, wild rice casserole, two big green salads and homemade challah. We followed that up with pecan pie, pumpkin cheesecake (!!!), cranberry-apple crumble bars, apple pie, whipped cream and ice cream. I’m sure I’m forgetting something. It was all amazing.

Oh yeah, there was smoked turkey and ham. As the token vegetarian in the group, I passed on those. Laura emailed me the other day and asked for tips on how to eat less meat and more healthy, produce-driven meals during family get-togethers. I know firsthand how challenging it can be to eat well in small towns and amongst those who are more accustomed to the standard American diet. I thought I’d address those issues here, since we’re heading right into holiday season.

Here’s my main tip for “surviving” the holidays as a vegetarian, or for cooking for vegetarians during the holidays: don’t worry about the main dish. I put “surviving” in quotes because there is so much food available during the holidays! There’s no way we’re going hungry, even if we don’t eat the turkey. Personally speaking, I didn’t give up meat so I could eat vegan meatloaf or processed meat substitutes. Side dishes are way more fun!

I don’t think vegetarians are the only ones who agree with me. I looked around at the plates last night and turkey didn’t take up a large portion of anyone’s plate. I confidently declare that side dishes, collectively, are the main attraction at Thanksgiving. Those side dishes can be especially nutritious if they’re made with protein-rich whole grains, vegetables, leafy greens, beans and quality dairy products.

Sometimes just a few simple substitutions can make side dishes more filling and nutritious, not to mention delicious. Examples include choosing brown rice instead of white, buying less processed cream of mushroom soup for the green bean casserole (or making your own) and adding more vegetables where you can. If nothing else, offer to bring a hearty green salad and fill half of your plate with it.

If you’re serving vegetarians/vegans and want to accommodate, we would love it if you would choose vegetable broth instead of chicken broth when you’re making the stuffing. For vegans/dairy-free eaters, you might also offer cheese on the side, rather than tossing it in like you normally would. For gluten-free eaters, you might offer croutons on the side. Most of us don’t want you to cook something special for us, though—we just want to know which dishes we should avoid.

If you’re traveling to a small town for your Thanksgiving feast, you might want to bring some ingredients with you. Nuts and whole grains travel well, as do wholesome snacks like granola bars and apples. I find it really helpful to have some snacks available when hunger strikes so I don’t end up scarfing down four biscuits for breakfast. If you’re driving and worried about finding fresh produce when you arrive at your destination, you could even bring a cooler packed with your preferred ingredients.

If your goal is to simply see more vegetables and wholesome options on the table, I have a wide variety of options for you here! Adding some super enticing, healthy side dishes like these to the Thanksgiving table might just entice your more traditional family members to find a new favorite. They might realize that they really love roasted vegetables. Or that they’ve been missing out on kale salads.

Note that I’m not recommending that you take away their turkey or favorite side dishes. Just add healthier options to the mix and see what happens! “Healthy” no longer means fat-free and flavorless, and you can prove it with these sides. Check out my suggestions below.

Continue to the recipe…

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This roasted butternut squash soup is super creamy but light (and easy to make!). cookieandkate.com

This post is brought to you by Vitamix.

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is only fifteen days away? I’m working overtime to make sure I can relax with my family on the holiday. I bet that if you imagine me on Thanksgiving, you’ll assume that I’ll be helping out in the kitchen all day. To tell you the truth, I really love kicking my feet up and being served a home-cooked meal for a change. Sorry in advance, Mom!

I’m not completely useless. I usually help throw together a salad (like this one) or bring some cornbread with me, which is great because I can make it the day ahead in my own kitchen. This super creamy (yet cream-less) roasted butternut squash soup is another great make-ahead option. In fact, it tastes even better the next day.

roasted butternut squash

I designed this traditional butternut soup to complement typical Thanksgiving fare, like green beans and mashed potatoes. (My other butternut squash soup‘s Thai curry spin doesn’t play nicely with turkey.)

This version would also be a great accompaniment to grilled cheese sandwiches and salads through the end of winter. Basically, if you ever get a hankering for homemade butternut squash soup, this is the recipe for you.

Continue to the recipe…

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How To Stop ‘Thinking’ About Dinner

5-Ingredient Chicken Caccitore-3

A few weeks ago I experienced something completely new. I was ready to stop cooking all together.

I’d just finished photographing and videoing the new recipes for my Tired & Hungry Dinners program. As much as I was proud of the work I’d done, I was over having to think so hard.

Now don’t get me wrong.

I love my job. Normally I find creating in the kitchen energizing and fun. But the little ‘bun’ in my proverbial ‘oven’ was making me feel otherwise.

Luckily there was enough energy left for one good idea…

I made November my month of ‘outscourcing’ thinking about what to have for dinner.

So I’ve been using my Soupstones Meal Plans for the past two weeks.

And I’ve LOVED how easy it’s been to download the shopping list, get my ingredients and then just walk into the kitchen each night, check the meal plan and start cooking.

But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

Like last week when the meal plan included Steamed Fish with Soy & Ginger. I found myself not ‘feeling like’ steamed fish for dinner.

However I had the ingredients, so I made it anyway. And it was delicious!

How about you?

If you’re happy with your current meal planning system then skip down to the recipe below.

BUT if you’d like to stop having to think about dinner so much, then listen up!

I know this time of year may seem wrong to be starting something new. But it’s actually times like now when we get busy that the ‘wheels tend to fall off’ our everyday healthy eating.

Now is actually when we need the most help.

So to celebrate my personal ‘meal planning month’, I’m having a
50% OFF SALE on monthly membership to Soupstones Meal Plans.

For more details go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/ss/

AND if you join during the sale you’ll get two FREE holiday bonuses to help you get through the festive season.T&C VIDEO 3D Cover

1. A Super Easy Thanksgiving Meal Plan.
2. My ‘Stress-Free’ Thanksgiving & Christmas eCookbook

The sale is only available for 48-HOURS.

To make sure you don’t miss out go to:
www.thestonesoupshop.com/ss/

5-Ingredient Chicken Caccitore-2

5-Ingredient Chicken Caccitore

At the moment I’m finding myself turning to dishes like this that you can just pop in the oven and practically let dinner ‘cook itself’. I’m especially fond of chicken drumsticks because they’re super economicnal plus you get all those lovely bones to gnaw on. The other thing I love about this dish is the way the olives bring an exotic complexity to such a simple lineup of ingredients.

enough for: 4
takes: 60 minutes
8-12 chicken drumsticks
1 jar tomato passata (puree) (700g / 3cups)
4 tablespoons butter
2 handfuls black olives
2-3 medium zucchini

1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F). Place chicken, tomato and butter in an ovenproof dish large enough to hold the chicken in one layer.

2. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

3. Remove the foil, turn the chicken, add the olives and bake uncovered for another 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Taste and add extra salt if needed (the olives will bring some so you may not need it).

4. While the chicken is cooking slice the zucchini into ribbons using a vegetable peeler, mandoline or spiralizer. Season with salt and allow the ‘noodles’ to stand at room temp to warm up and soften slightly.

5. To serve divide zucchini noodles between 4 plates and top with chicken, olives and sauce.

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Variations

vegetarian – replace chicken with large mushrooms and serve with some shaved parmesan or crumbled feta for some extra protein.

carnivore – these flavours are also lovely with lamb shanks, beef short ribs or osso buco but you’ll need to cook covered for 4-6 hours at 150C (300F). Uncover and add the olives for the last 30 minutes of cooking.

carb lovers / more substantial – serve with hot buttered pasta or egg noodles (and skip the zucchini if you like).

more veg – add chopped onions, garlic, carrots and/or red capsicum (bell peppers) to the sauce before cooking. Serve with chopped parsley or basil on top. And add a green salad on the side.

paleo / dairy-free – replace butter with coconut oil or olive oil.

bone free – If you don’t share my love of bones, use chicken thigh or breast fillets. You’ll need to reduce the cooking time to about 30 minutes or so depending on their size.

other chicken – also feel free to use a whole chicken chopped into 8 pieces instead of the drumsticks. Or chicken thighs on the bone or chicken marylands (thighs + drumsticks).

tomato-free – replace tomato passata (puree) with chicken stock and add a halved lemon to cook in with the chicken. Squeeze lemon juice into the sauce before serving.

Big love,
Jules x

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ps. And a quick clarification…

Last week I wrote about my best decision ever. The decision I described was my best career decision. My overall best life decision of course was marrying a certain Irishman and having our family!

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Healthy Banana Bread!

Healthy banana bread—it's so fluffy, moist and delicious that no one will be able to tell! cookieandkate.com

Want to make someone’s day? Bake them some banana bread! Just yesterday, I said, “I’m going to bake some banana bread,” and watched a full-grown man’s eyes light up like a kid’s on Christmas morning. Banana bread is one of those classic, all-American comfort food recipes that fills the whole house with warmth and makes everything better. Banana bread is magic.

I’ve been perfecting this banana bread recipe for my cookbook and wanted to share with you right away. This recipe has all the hallmarks of classic banana bread—it’s fluffy, moist, infused with sweet banana flavor, and beloved by toddlers and adults alike.

banana bread ingredients

Unlike traditional banana bread recipes that call for refined flour and lots of processed sugar, this one is made with 100 percent whole wheat flour, so it’ll stick with you. It’s naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup, which offer some trace nutrients that white sugar does not. Lastly, this one calls for a reasonable amount of good-for-you oil rather than whole sticks of butter (choose from coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil).

As you can see, my homemade banana bread has plenty of redeeming qualities, chief being that it won’t send your blood sugar levels for a loop. You can keep them all to yourself, though. No one will be able to tell that this is healthy banana bread! Did I mention that you can whip this up with just one bowl, a few measuring cups and some basic ingredients? Yep, really.

Continue to the recipe…

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