Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb Stew

Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb Stew

Ever since I shared my first slow cooker recipe, Osso Bucco, back in May 2013 , I have been on a mission to adapt more classic slow cooker recipes to healthier versions, to cater for a wider range of eating plans and styles. My latest recipe, Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb Stew, does not disappoint. This meal is rich in flavour and so so tender, and very easy to make, meaning it's the perfect set-and-forget slow cooker meal. In fact, it is probably in contention for a top three spot, right up there with my Cashew Chicken, Butter Chicken and Osso Bucco.

You can also make your Moroccan spice for this meal, like I did HERE.

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Gluten Free Granola

Gluten Free Granola

Gone are my days of eating cereal, but when I did, I was fan of Special K, Fibre Plus and Weetbix. Sadly, they contain quite a lot of sugar, salt (yep you read that right) and are highly processed. When I first gave up processed foods back in 2012, I still ate oats occasionally for breakfast. In terms of sugar, traditional oats, rolled oats and quick oats tend to have either no sugar or a very small amount. So if you do eat cereal, oats are definitely your better option. 

When I first started Becomingness back in December last year, I shared a granola recipe that contained oats in it and was one of my favourite breakfasts. But for the majority of this year, I have stopped having oats for breakfast, as I have adopted more of a Paleo lifestyle (with the occasional quinoa, buckwheat and dairy). So it was only fitting that I made up a Gluten Free Granola that was suitable for Paleo and also for Vegan. I think this one is an improvement on my original granola recipe, as this granola forms clusters once it has cooled down after cooking and it won't get soggy when you add almond or coconut milk to it.

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How to: Moroccan Spice

How to: Moroccan Spice

I love Moroccan Spice and I do use it quite regularly in my dishes (check out my Shakshouka recipe). I love that it has a decent amount of spice, but not too much chili. It is great on lamb, chicken and amazing on sweet potato wedges.

Until now, I have always used Moroccan Seasoning from the supermarket. However, the other day I was looking at the ingredients listing on the label and I was a bit shocked as to what I read; Ingredients - Salt, spices, nature identical chicken flavour, additive (E635), Canola oil (Contains Gluten and may contain traces of nuts). I read up on the additive E635, which is called Disodium 5'-ribonucleotide, and it can cause itchy skin rashes, hyperactivity, sleeplessness, mood changes and is actually banned in some countries, but not in Australia, USA. Check out Additive Alert for a bit more info.

Safe to say that it is now in the bin, never to be used again! I have now made my own Moroccan seasoning and wanted to share it with you. It is made up of seven different spices and no nasties! I have quite a few recipes coming up that will use my Moroccan spice and I will be linking back to this page, so you can easily make your own too.

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Introducing Thermoblitz

Introducing Thermoblitz

Introducing Thermoblitz and one of the amazing recipes that you can find on the website and Facebook page - Strawberry Mousse Cheesecake.

Caroline started Thermoblitz in 2012 after purchasing a Thermomix. Since then she has grown a quite a following. Caroline creates amazing recipes using her Thermomix (something I really need to own!). You will find an amazing variety of recipes on her page including raw style recipes, everyday recipes and plenty easy to follow recipes.

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Queenstown Fritata

Queenstown Fritata

When I think back on the first time I cooked this frittata, I am reminded of the saying “waste not want not”. During my recent trip to Queenstown (which is a beautiful part of the world – and highly recommended if you are in that corner of the world) the flu hit my family HARD. I ended up staying in the villa for four days and my husband and kids for three days, with the exception of the occasional run to The Mediterranean Market for ingredients (and the pharmacy for drugs!).

Leading in to our last day – we had a bunch of bits and pieces we needed to use. The Queenstown Frittata was born – and it was great. We don’t often eat cheese, but haloumi is never far away from the fridge when our friends Michael and Adelya are around, and it really adds something, so include it if you can eat dairy.

This recipe was pretty ad-hoc, so feel free to improvise with any left overs that you have, and if you find an even better version, let me know what you’ve added in the comments below!

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Gluten Free French Toast

Gluten Free French Toast

Unlike a great many recipes that I get to share with you on Becomingness, French Toast wasn't really a meal that I grew up with - I can't recall having eaten it at all whilst growing up - but I have fond memories of it anyway!

French Toast was the breakfast of choice that Jason made me when we started spending time together. He wasn't a fantastic cook, but he was better than he let on (I soon found out after I snapped my achilles and he got lumped with the cooking duties for a couple of months). So french toast happened, and I was left wondering why I had never had it before!

The french toast recipe that I bring you today is a little different - we're a little more selective with our ingredients these days - but the key ingredients, particularly maple syrup, remain. The big difference is the bread that we used

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Superfood Series: Quinoa

Superfood Series: Quinoa

Welcome to the first of a series profiling some of my favourite ingredients. Whilst I will be calling them Superfoods, I know this can be a highly debatable term; essentially I will be talking about ingredients that I regularly cook with which have unique health benefits.

Superfoods are typically foods that contain antioxidants and/or high nutritional content that protect the body from toxins, prevent or reduce inflammation, prevent heart disease and cancer, promote digestive health and help regulate metabolism and burn body fat. Some of these foods you may not know much about or even heard of. Or maybe you have heard about them, but are not sure how to cook with them. In my series, I will try and provide as much relevant and useful information as possible.  I would love to also hear from you if you have any questions. So for my first food - I bring you Quinoa

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Caramel Hot Chocolate

Caramel Hot Chocolate

I am big fan of my Aldi Expressi coffee pod machine and I usually have a flat white with almond milk every morning. I also used to be a fan of Aldi's hot chocolate pods, but they contain a fair amount of sugar, dairy and other processed ingredients that I am trying to avoid. This is what their Rich Hot Chocolate pods contain - Sugar, Alkalised Cocoa Powder (28%). Whey Powder (from Milk) (16%), Vegetable Oil, Skim Milk Powder (3%), Salt, Stabiliser (339).

So, I have been experimenting with different ingredients and have come up with this healthy and delicious Caramel Hot Chocolate. Best of all it is dairy, gluten and nut free, so will be suitable for many people. For those of you who don't know much about mesquite powder, it is a superfood which is high in protein and a good source of soluble fibre. It has a sweet, nutty caramel flavour and works really well with the cacao powder. You can buy mesquite powder from most health food shops or online.

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Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken

Slow Cooker Sweet & Sour Chicken

It has been a cold and miserable day here in Nelson Bay, To make matters worse, I am still quite unwell. I got really sick while over in New Zealand and spent the majority of the trip resting. I missed out on skiing and most of the festivities, which I was quite upset about. My husband and children ended up getting sick as well. However, I did take some beautiful pics from the villa that I was staying in. I have to say that Queenstown is a really beautiful place and I am looking forward to going back there. Next time, I better not get sick!

So with still feeling unwell and the current state of weather being pretty miserable, I decided that I needed to make some comfort food using my slow cooker and came up with this Sweet & Sour Chicken recipe. I have to say that this meal was really yummy and super healthy. It was also really easy to make, just throw everything into the slow cooker and leave it to cook.

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Veal Pizzaiola

Veal Pizzaiola

Veal Pizzaiola is another meal that I grew eating as a kid (If I haven't mentioned by now that I grew up in an Italian-Australian family, I am sure you weren't too far off working it out). My mum would serve it with mashed potatoes and green vegetables. It was a family favourite then, and it is still a winner for most of the family today - my daughter still needs some convincing. My version is pretty similar to Mum's one, though I prefer to serve it without the mashed potato - my favourite sides are sweet potato wedges and steamed broccoli.

This is the latest in a series of winter warmer recipes, most of which are old-school family favourites (thanks Mum). You may want to check out Red Lentil & Quinoa Soup , Chicken & Vegetable Soup and Vegetable & Lentil Soup.

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Gluten Free Banana & Macadamia Bread

Gluten Free Banana & Macadamia Bread

My husband has been eating (almost completely) Gluten Free for over 6 years now, and the affect on his general health and wellbeing has been significant. Availability of GF food, at least here in Australia, is excellent - particularly when compared to the range just five years ago. With that said, one long-time staple of GF eating is banana bread. It's the token GF item on the menu - if you eat GF, you'll know what I mean. If you don't - ask a GF friend.

So, when I decided to bring you a banana bread recipe, I knew it needed to be a good one - and it is!  I have gone one better and brought you a recipe that is dairy free too. The macadamias aren't mandatory, but they are delicious, so add them if you can!

You have probably noticed that I am rather fond of macadamia's. I have used them in many of my raw desserts including my Macadamia Chocolate Bark and my Raw Strawberry, Lemon and Macadamia Cheesecake.

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Oysters Kilpatrick ( + The Sustainable Seafood Blog Project)

Oysters Kilpatrick ( + The Sustainable Seafood Blog Project)

There's a bunch of stuff in my life that makes me feel very fortunate - having healthy happy kids, living near my family, and getting to "work" on health and wellness  every day comes to mind. Something else that makes me feel fortunate is having some (fairly meager) views of both Port Stephens and the Tasman Sea from our balcony.

Apart from the view, and the awesome sunrises we get to see, living close to the ocean means that I have a pretty decent selection of fresh seafood on my doorstep. That said, we haven't always made the most of this, and that is a trend I plan on reversing (if you saw my Grilled Prawns (aka shrimp) recipe, you will know that I am already on the way).

Recently, I was contacted by Jessie from Life as a Strawberry, who is also the Executive Director of the The Sustainable Seafood Blog Project and asked to be a Project Partner. I am very honoured to be part of such an important project.

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