Gluten Free Ginger, Molasses and Date Cookies

Date, ginger and molasses cookies

Makes 12, Prep time 15 min, cook time 8 min

I am always on the search to make sweet treats a little bit healthier especially gluten free ones.

This recipe utilises the sweetness of dates, it also has no added oil, eggs or dairy but still tastes good.


¾ Cup dates, soaked in ¾ cup boiling water for 5 min, drain ¼ cup of the liquid then blend to a smooth paste.

¼ Cup of crystallised or stem ginger

¾ cup buckwheat flour

¾ cup brown rice flour

¼ cup chia seeds

1 tsp egg replacer (found in most supermarkets)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ cup rice milk

1 Tbsp molasses

Preheat oven to 160C and line a baking tray. In a medium sized bowl sieve together dry ingredients. In a small bowl mix together 4 tbsp of the date paste, chopped ginger, milk and molasses. Add wet ingredients to dry mixing well; add a little more milk if mixture is dry and crumbly.

With wet hand roll tbsp sized balls of the dough and place on tray, flatten with a fork and then place a small dollop (about ½ a tsp) of the date paste on top.

Bake for 8 minutes, then remove and cook. As with a lot of gluten free baking it can dry out very quickly so store in an airtight container or eat them all quickly!


Stuffed Sweet Potato

stuffed sweet potato

Serves 4, Prep time 20 min, cook time 1 hr

Sweet potato is full of goodness and much better for you than a standard potato. The stuffing is delicious and can be modified with any veggies you have in your fridge.


4 medium kumara (sweet potato)

2 onions

1 medium zuchinni

½ cup of almonds

½ cup sundried tomatoes

½ cup water

2 cups spinach

2 Tbsp tamari

½ tbsp fresh thyme

1 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 180C, place sweet potato on a tray and bake for around 1 hour until soft.

While they are baking, dice onions, zucchini, almonds and sun dried tomatoes, in a large heavy bottomed pan, sauté the veggies in water, adding extra water as it evaporates.

Chop time and add to pan along with spinach and tamari. Cook until onions are soft.

Remove kumara from oven and allow to cool slightly then cut them in half and scoop out flesh, leaving a little against the skin for structural support.

Add kumara flesh to onion mixture and stir through.

Stuff mixture back into sweet potato and sprinkle the top with nutritional yeast.

Bake for 30 min until hot.

Serve with avocado and pesto.


Vegan Cottage Pie

Vegan Shepherds Pie Shepherds Pie

Cottage pie, the ultimate comfort food but often full of animal products, this one is a twist on the traditional version as it has no meat, dairy or gluten. The cauliflower mash is a nice alternative to potatoes.

Serves 4, Prep time 30 min, Cook time 1 hour


1 packet veggie mince

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp coconut or olive oil

½ C frozen peas

2 carrots

½ C sunflower seeds

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 bay leaf

1 tsp veggie stock powder

2 tbsp diced parsley

Salt and pepper to taste.

Cauliflower Mash

½ head of cauliflower

1 Tbsp miso paste

1 Tbsp avocado or olive oil

½ C non dairy milk or coconut milk

1 tbsp grainy mustard

¼ tsp chilli powder (optional)

Preheat to oven to 180C

Heat a large fry pan to medium heat, using the coconut oil fry onions until soft then add carrots, garlic, bay leaf and peas, cook until soft. Add the veggie mince and tomatoes, stock and parsley. Bring to a simmer for 5 min until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and remove bay leaf.

Roughly chop cauliflower and put in a pot, cover with water and bring to the boil, simmer for 5 min or until very soft, drain water and add milk, miso, mustard and chilli, using a hand blender process until very smooth, if you don’t have a hand blender you can use a food processor.

Transfer the mince mixture into a deep casserole dish approx 25cm in diameter. Top with cauliflower mash making sure you seal up any gaps. Smooth top and then score with a fork.

Place in oven and bake for 30-40 min until top is golden.

Serve hot with garden salad.


Avocado Lime Mousse

Avocado lime mousse

A gorgeous rich mousse that is much healthier than the usual ones. It makes a refreshing and delicious finish to any meal. It’s important that the avocados are soft but not overripe for the recipe.

Serves 4, prep time 10 min plus 20 min chill time.


2 large ripe avocados

2-3 tbsp cup lime juice

4 tbsp honey or coconut sugar

¼ cup coconut oil, melted

¼ tsp vanilla essence

½ cup fresh or frozen berries

In a food processor bowl (or using a hand immersion blender) place avocadoes, 2 tbsp lime juice, honey, coconut oil and vanilla. Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides or bowl.

Taste mixture and add extra lime or honey if you desire.

Spoon mixture into 4 small ramekins and transfer to fridge for at least 20 min to set.

When ready to serve top with fresh berries.


Rustic Tomato and Barley Stew

barley, corn, tomato Barley Tom stew

Prep time 20 min, cook time 45 min

I created this hearty summer stew to help deal with the overload of tomatoes and sweet corn this time of year. It also utilises black barley which is a nutty delicious grain often grown in New Zealand, it takes longer to cook than pearl barley but if you can’t source it the latter will work just as well. If you are gluten free you can use brown rice or kidney beans as a substitute.


1 onion, diced

4 cloves of garlic

1.5 kg of tomatoes

1 tbsp coconut or olive oil

5 tbsp tomato paste

½ tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp mixed herbs

1 tbsp molasses

2 tsp honey

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

2 cobs of corn (cut corn off the cob)

1 cup black barley (or 1 can black beans if gluten free)

Handful of fresh basil

Optional – veggie ‘meat balls’ or falafel for serving

Cover barley with 4 cups of water in a pot, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for about 45 min until tender, it will still be quite chewy. Drain and rinse. If you are using the beans, simply drain and rinse then set aside.

While barley is cooking, chop the tomatoes to a chunky dice. Place a large pot over a medium heat and sauté onions in oil until soft.  Add garlic, tomato paste, mixed herbs, and chilli, fry for 30 seconds until fragrant. Stir in diced tomatoes and any juices. A lot of liquid should be released from the tomatoes as you bring them to a simmer over gentle heat. Add in molasses, honey, salt and vinegar (add a little water if dry). Simmer for about 20 minutes until tomatoes are soft and falling apart and mixture has thickened slightly. Stir in corn, barley and pepper and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.  If you are topping the stew with falafel or meat balls, cook according to packet then serve stew topped with these, finely diced basil and your favourite bread.

Want to combine Nourishfull food with overseas adventures? Join me this winter in Africa where I will be leading cycle trips and cooking delicious healthy food with wonderful Golden Bay company Escape Adventures, check it out at www.escapeadventures.co.nz.