Welcome to my Friday Foodie series where I get to feature my favourite foodies and wellness experts.
This week I am featuring Collette White, who is the amazing woman behind the website and cookbook series Cut Out The Crap. I love Collette's recipes, they are gluten, dairy and preservative free.
I hope you enjoy my interview with Collette.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do and what inspired you to lead a healthier lifestyle?
My name is Collette. I am married to Josh and together we have 4 pretty great children (Miss 14, Miss 12 and 6 year old boy/girl twins). We now live in Tasmania after making the huge movie to here from NSW in May 2016. Food intolerances, constant illness and behavioural issues (in my now Miss 12) inspired me to lead a healthier lifestyle and continues to inspire me daily.
What inspired you to start Cut Out The Crap?
I was diagnosed with multiple food intolerances, over 10 years ago, and fell into a mini state of depression as I loved my food so much and felt there were no recipes out there at the time to cater for me and all of my intolerances.
During a treatment in the Blue Mountains I had a ‘break through’ moment when I was inspired by these words of wisdom told to me: “In life we are all dealt obstacles; strong people see the obstacles and somehow manage to get over them.
Most simply stop there. What you have to do Collette is do something with the knowledge you have gained whilst getting over your obstacle, then run with it, it will change your life”
My immediate and not so confidant answer to her was “well maybe I could write a recipe book” (!!)
I started creating recipes, sharing them with family and friends and with encouragement from others I decided to put them all into a book “Cut out the Crap”. From there my business & passion for creating recipes and helping others began. I now have four Cookbooks, all being gluten, dairy and preservative free. 3 of them are best sellers and I have a beautiful little COTC community which I love and am grateful for.
What exciting plans do you have coming up for 2017?
Since moving to Tasmania last year I have a new passion for fresh food that comforts my body. I am excited to be working on another mini cookbook and hope to have it out later in the year! (the title is yet to be revealed ;-‐)
What tips would you give to someone who is just starting to make changes to their health and wellness?
My advice would be to be kind to yourself. I wish someone had told me this early on. Don’t compare yourself to others as everyone attacks their journey differently. I am an ‘all or nothing’ person and others make one change at a time. Neither are right or wrong. We are all different. Do what is best for you and your family and look after yourself by being kind to yourself.
Do you have any tips for eating well on a budget?
My biggest tip would be MEAL PLAN. It takes a little time out of your week or fortnight but makes such a huge difference in the end. I am a little ‘over the top’ and meal plan for breakfast, lunch and dinner … but with all my intolerances, I feel the need and it works well for me. But even meal planning for dinner leaves you knowing what you are eating, so there is no excuse for buying take-‐away (which not only costs more but is the unhealthier option) and then when you go to the shops, you have a list, you stick to the list and therefore you spend less $ as you are not wandering around buying loads of things you might not need.
Other tips are grow your own vegetables and herbs, shop at farmers markets, have a vegetarian dinner once or twice a week and / or buy in bulk when you can.
Stir –frys! There is NO excuse to not be able to make a quick 10 minute stir-‐fry. You can even buy pre-‐cut meat and vegetables if you are really time poor and a little soy, honey and garlic is a perfect packet free sauce and such a better opinion than take-‐away. So quick, easy, tasty and healthy!
The other thing you can do if you have a day / few hours off, is get into the kitchen for a cooking afternoon. Make a double batch of meals like a bolognaise sauce and freeze in portions or if you like slow cooking, pre-‐cut a load of vegetables and meat and freeze in portions to throw into the slow cooker of a morning, so it is ready for when you get home of a night. Yum!
What is something that you enjoy doing when you have some ‘me’ time
I love reading. It is something I don’t do often enough and probably mostly because when I do pick up a book I become truly unsociable and find it hard to put the book down until I am finished! I have been trying to have earlier nights, putting my phone away and reading a chapter before bed to get through all the books I have unread!
What is your favourite recipe to cook? Can you share the recipe with us?
One of my favourite recipes is this one from my website. It’s always a hit with guests and perfect when you need to ‘take a plate’ … the only issue is stopping after only on piece ;-‐)
Nutty & Salty Caramel Squares
- 1 cup raw almonds (170g)
- 2 tblspns cacao (10g)
- 1 tblspn chia seeds (5g)
- 10 medjool dates – seeds removed (140g) 1 tspn coconut oil – solid (5g)
- pinch salt
- 1/2 ‘heaped’ cup peanut butter (200g) 4 tblspns maple syrup (70g)
- 5 medjool dates – seeds removed (70g) 2 tspns coconut oil – solid (10g)
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup macadamias roughly chopped
- 1/4‐ 1/2 tspn salt
Line a small meatloaf tin with baking paper and set aside.
In a food processor place all the ingredients for the base and combine on a high speed until completely mixed and almost paste like.
(THERMOMIX: Speed 7 – 40 seconds)
Put the mixture into the lined tin and push down firmly and evenly to form the base of the slice. Place in the freezer whist you do the next step.
Place all the ingredients into the food processor for the ‘nut caramel’ and combine on high until completely mixed.
(THERMOMIX: Speed 7 – 40 seconds)
Pour the ‘nut caramel’ mixture over the prepared base and smooth out to make an even layer. Sprinkle with chopped macadamias and then the salt. Push the macadamias into the caramel slightly.
Place in the freezer for 2 hours before cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.
Note: You can swap peanut butter for your choice of nut butter – ALSO – use a GOOD quality salt, not table salt!
A bit more about Collette and where you can find her
Mum of 4, blogger, business owner and foodie, best known for her best-‐selling gluten, dairy and preservative free ‘Cut out the Crap’ cookbooks.
Collette is passionate about helping you on your food journey. She loves to bring joy into your home by creating and sharing delicious tried and tested recipes.
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Website – Shop – Blog www.cutoutthecrap.com.au