The Shrinking Hubby’s Miracle Chocolate Brownies

The Shrinking Hubby’s Miracle Chocolate Brownies

Wow!  I thought that these might be popular – I mean chocolate is always bound to sell itself right?!  But I was blown away by the response I got from the photo of these brownies I posted on Facebook last night.  So as promised, here is the recipe!  I hope you and your kids enjoy these delicious and healthy treats!  (as always I have included Thermomix and regular methods below)

The reason why these are such a winner is because they are not only gluten and grain free, dairy free and refined sugar free, but they are also nut free which is great for school lunchboxes.  I have included a recipe for a dairy free chocolate ganache which makes these a decadent treat, but they would be just as nice without the ganache and much less messy for lunchboxes.  However my kids (and husband) did love the icing!

The kale is an added bonus, but it is not essential so if you really detest kale, just leave it out.

The Shrinking Hubby’s Miracle Chocolate Brownies

What you will need:

  • 500g (about 1 pound) sweet potato (peeled and finely diced)
  • 1 cup (40 grams) kale (shredded – stalk removed)
  • 200 grams pitted medjool dates (about 14 dates)
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cacao
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 large organic free-range eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free (aluminium free) baking powder

Thermomix method:

Place the sweet potato and kale into the mixing bowl with 100 grams water and cook 100 degrees/10 minutes/speed 2/REVERSE.

When cooked, blitz 20 seconds, speed 8.  Scrape down and blitz 10 seconds speed 8.  You may wish to repeat to get the texture you like with the kale.

Add 200 grams pitted medjool dates (about 14 dates) and mix 10 seconds, speed 9.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix 7 seconds, speed 7.  Scrape down and repeat another 2 times until well combined.

Pour into a greased and lined square baking tray and bake for 18- 20 minutes, 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) until cooked through.

If you wish to ice the cake with my chocolate ganache (recipe below), leave in tin to cool slightly, then pour the ganache over the brownie making sure it is evenly covered.  Put in fridge until icing is set, then cut into squares and serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge (they won’t last long I promise!)

Regular method:

Steam the sweet potato and kale.  When soft blitz in a food processor with the dates until well combined and the kale is a texture you are happy with.

Add the remaining ingredients and combine well.

Pour into a greased and lined square baking tray and bake for about 18- 20 minutes, 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) until cooked through.

If you wish to ice the cake with my chocolate ganache (recipe below), leave in tin to cool slightly, then pour the ganache over the brownie making sure it is evenly covered.  Put in fridge until icing is set, then cut into squares and serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge (they won’t last long I promise!)

Chocolate Ganache

  • What you will need:
  • 100 grams good quality dark chocolate (I used 70 percent).  If you want to keep this refined sugar free you can use a dark chocolate that is sweetened with stevia
  • 100 grams coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional if you want a sweeter ganache – I didn’t use)
  • 25 grams butter or coconut oil

Thermomix method:

Place chocolate into mixing bowl and blitz 8 seconds speed 9.

Add the remaining ingredients and cook 3 minutes, 50 degrees, speed 3.

Regular method:

Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan and stir until melted over a very low heat.

I hope you enjoy them!  And be sure to let me know how you go in the comments 🙂

The Shrinking Hubby’s Gluten Free Sausage Rolls

The Shrinking Hubby’s Gluten Free Sausage Rolls

I love having a batch of homemade sausage rolls in the freezer to give the kids on those nights that you really don’t feel like cooking.  I’ve always made my own filling – thus ensuring they are full of a range of veggies, and organic, grass-fed mince.  I used to cook them with a store bought (butter) puff pastry until I realised that my kids reacted badly to gluten.  I then starting experimenting with making my own gluten free pastry after realising that it is impossible to buy a gluten free pastry that isn’t made with margarine or vegetable shortening – both which I avoid like the plague.   I won’t lie to you, gluten free pastry is not easy, it’s very fiddly and can be quite messy, but to offer my kids their favourite dinner knowing that it won’t cause them health problems is worth it!  (and as long as you manage to hide them from the grown ups these sausage rolls are a great freezer staple to have on hand!)

The recipe below makes enough filling for 3 lots of the pastry quantities below, so if you prefer, you can freeze the filling in batches to pull out and make a batch at a time as required.

I have made these both with and without a Thermomix, and I have included both versions below.

The Shrinking Hubby’s Gluten Free Sausage Rolls

To Make The Gluten Free Puff Pastry

What you will need:

  • 90 grams ice cubes
  • 180 grams cold unsalted butter
  • 200 grams gluten free plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

Thermomix friendly method

Place the ice and butter into the mixing bowl and blitz 15 seconds, speed 10.  Scrape down bowl.

Add the flour and salt and mix 5 seconds, speed 5.  Scrape down bowl. (the mixture will resemble crumbs – this is normal)

Turn dial to closed position and knead for 2 minutes.

Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Non Thermomix method

Place the ice and butter into a food processor and blitz until well combined (careful to stop before the ice melts too much).  Scrape down the bowl.

Add the flour and salt and mix again for a good few seconds until well combined.  (the mixture will resemble crumbs – this is normal).

Now this is the tricky bit.  You need to knead the crumbs by hand on a large chopping board.  It will be messy and sticky but persevere and try and get it all into a ball, quickly wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  This is the hardest part but I promise you it will come together and you will achieve a dough that you can use!

To Make The Gluten Free Beef Filling

What you will need:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 peeled carrot
  • 500 grams organic, grass-fed beef mince
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • fresh herbs (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Thermomix friendly method

Add the onion and garlic into the mixing bowl and blitz speed 5 for 5 seconds.  Scrape down bowl.

Add the zucchini and carrot and mix speed 5, 5 seconds.

Add the beef and mix speed 5, 15 seconds.

Add the almond meal, egg, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, tomato paste, salt, pepper and herbs (if using) and mix speed 5, 20 seconds.

Scrape down bowl and mix a further 10 seconds, speed 5 – or until well combined.

Non Thermomix method

Finely chop onion, garlic, carrot and zucchini (or blitz in food processor until you reach your desired texture.)

Add to a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix well using your hands for best results.

How to pull them together:

Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

Ok, as I said, using gluten free pastry can be really tricky.  I have made these several times, and honestly rolling them with a rolling pin is sticky and unproductive.  I have found that the easiest way to make them is to take sections of the pastry out of the fridge at a time (I usually do it in thirds) and roll into little balls about 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons each, roll into a snake and flatten into a rectangular shape with your palm.  Pop a dollop of the beef mixture in the centre.  Quickly roll the pastry around to form a sausage roll shape.  (hence the rustic nature of these ones :-))

When you have made all your rolls, whisk an egg in a bowl and paint the egg mixture over the sausage rolls to give them that golden sheen.

Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees) for approximately 30 minutes or until well browned.  If you intend to freeze you can do so and then reheat them in the oven when you are ready to serve them.

Enjoy, and if you stumble across any tips for making the preparation of these any easier – please feel free to share your wisdom in the comments!


The Shrinking Hubby’s Egg and Veggie Scramble

The Shrinking Hubby’s Egg and Veggie Scramble

This is a fantastic way to start the day – especially after a good workout! It is tasty, filling and as always very nutritious!

It might look like a bit of work in the kitchen but it seriously only takes a few minutes to throw together.  If you are time poor it’s a good idea to chop up a couple of leeks and some veggies at the beginning of the week and just grab handfuls when you are ready to make it (rather than chopping it all every morning).

I don’t have it with bread and I don’t feel like I am depriving myself.  Apart from adding heaps of flavour, the coconut oil and butter make it really satisfying, and you’ll find you won’t be hungry again for ages. Enjoy XX

The Shrinking Hubby’s Egg and Veggie Scramble

(Serves 1)

What you will need:

  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or good quality grass –fed butter
  • 2 free range eggs (organic if possible), whisked quickly in a separate bowl
  • About 1 inch of leek
  • Mix of chopped veggies – e.g. zucchini, tomato, broccoli, beans, spinach, asparagus
  • Sea salt/freshly cracked pepper

How to pull it together:

Heat the butter and/or coconut oil in a pan.

Add the leeks and cook until browned.

Throw the rest of the veggies into the pan and stir through until well coated.

Add the whisked eggs and stir through until scrambled.

Serve and eat immediately.

Note:  If I have any leftover meat from the night before (e.g. steak, lamb or chicken) I add this with the veggies.  For a kick you can add some fresh chopped chilli with the leek or a good quality chilli paste stirred through at the end.

Enjoy XX

The Shrinking Hubby’s Chewy Salted Caramel Cookies

The Shrinking Hubby’s Chewy Salted Caramel Cookies

These are a really yummy and healthy treat.  I confess to having a bit of a thing for salted caramel, and these bring those flavours out beautifully.  With only a handful of ingredients, and a few seconds to blend together they are quick and easy to pull together and a great one for the kids to make.  My daughter is excellent at pitting the dates for me and these are her favourite cookies!  Enjoy XX

Chewy Salted Caramel Cookies

Makes approximately 16 cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups raw macadamia nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted medjool dates
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


Place all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until well combined.

If using a Thermomix (or similar), place all ingredients into the mixing bowl and mix 20 seconds, speed 9.

Roll the mixture into balls about 1 tablespoon each.  Flatten with your palm and bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees Celcius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 12-15 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

Careful as they will burn easily so keep an eye on them and keep in mind that they will continue to cook for a minute or so after you have taken them out of the oven.

Allow to cool and enjoy.




Jazzing Up Your Veggies (Part 2)

Jazzing Up Your Veggies (Part 2)

It’s been a while since I wrote my article ‘Jazzing Up Your Veggies’ which has some great tips for getting creative with ordinary vegetables to make them more appealing and delicious.  You can check it out here  – seriously that sea salt and cinnamon roasted sweet potato is just so yummy!

I often post photos of my food on my facebook page or my Instagram feed  and you guys are always eager to know how I prepare my veggies so I thought I’d share a few more of our family’s favourites here:

1.  The Super Greens Stir-fry

This is my current favourite accompaniment – delicious with barbequed salmon, grass-fed scotch fillet, chicken thighs, lamb cutlets or even aside a succulent roast chook.  The coconut oil and/or butter or ghee make it really tasty (and filling).  The trick is to get the leeks nice and brown before adding the rest of the greens.

All you need to do is heat up a good dollop of coconut oil and/or ghee or grass-fed butter in a large pan.  Add a handful of chopped leek (I usually use about 5cms (or 2 inches)) and cook until nicely browned.  When it’s ready add some chopped asparagus, broccoli, zucchini and beans (or whatever veggies you like) and stir until well coated and cooked to your liking. Add a good sprinkle of good quality sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and serve immediately with your choice of protein.

2.  Zoodles (pasta free zucchini noodles)

If you love your spaghetti but are trying to avoid pasta and starchy carbohydrates, these are just the best thing ever!

What you will need:

  • 2-3 zucchinis/courgettes per person
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • A vegetable spiraliser (or you can use a vegetable peeler for a ‘fettucine effect’ if you don’t have a spiraliser)

How to pull it together:

Create the zucchini noodles using a vegetable spiraliser (see note below).  Place noodles in a colander, sprinkle liberally with good quality sea salt, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and drizzle with a splash of olive oil.  Toss and let sit for about 30 minutes.  You will find a lot of liquid leaves the noodles which means that they will shrink down quite a bit.

You can heat them up before serving, or have them raw – they are delicious both ways!

NOTE:  I have tried many spiralisers to make vegetable ‘noodles’ and the GEFU Spiral Slicer Spiral Fix is by far the easiest and most effective I’ve used.

If you like the idea of Zucchini noodles and want more inspiration I have used Zucchini noodles previously with the delicious Dina’s Tomato Sauce here, my Salmon with Pesto Zucchini Noodles here and we absolutely love our zucchini noodle ‘spaghetti bolognese’ here!


3.  Slow Cooked Tomatoes

These are the best!  So easy to pull together and pack a huge punch of flavour to any meal or salad.   Again, this is a perfect accompaniment to a barbeque, but is also delicious for breakfast with eggs and sauteed spinach and mushrooms.

Lay out some small tomatoes (I used baby roma tomatoes on the vine here but cherry tomatoes, or halved tomatoes also works well).  Drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle some torn basil leaves, sea salt and cracked pepper and cook in a moderate oven for a good 30 – 45 minutes or until well cooked to your liking.



4.  Cauliflower Rice

This is seriously so easy it doesn’t even really qualify as a recipe!  If you have a thermomix, simply pop half a head of cauliflower into the mixing bowl and chop in reverse speed 5 for about 5 seconds.  If you are using a food processor, put the roughly chopped cauliflower into the bowl and pulse until it reaches a texture you like.  Cauliflower rice is brilliant with curries, stir fries, as fried ‘rice’.  A perfect substitute for rice for those looking to avoid grains or starchy carbs.

Feel free to play around with your seasoning, a bit of lemon juice, sea salt and cracked pepper or some spices such as chilli, cumin, paprika or even cinnamon are all delicious!

I love to throw some lemon zest, a squeeze of the juice and some green shallots (spring onion) into the machine with the cauliflower for a lemon zesty ‘rice’.

9k=-15.  Zesty Salsa

I love a tasty little salsa.  This one is delicious served with my healthy nachoschilli mince or with my gluten free chicken schnitzel or a barbequed piece of fish or steak.  It is zesty and tasty and takes no time to prepare!

Don’t be restricted what I’ve used here – you can use what you’ve got in the fridge, some organic corn kernels or rinsed baby salted capers would be nice here too.  The idea is to create a fresh and zesty mix of flavours to jazz up your meal!

(serves 2-4 as a side dish)

What you will need:

  • 1 Avocado diced
  • 1 cucumber peeled and diced
  • A handful of button mushrooms diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum diced
  • 1 green chilli (seeded) finely chopped
  • 1 roma tomato or a few cherry tomatoes diced
  • 1/4 red onion finely chopped
  • About a 1/4 cup of fresh Coriander leaves (cilantro)

For the dressing:

  • The juice of 1-2 limes (depending on your taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

How to Pull It All Together:

Shake or whisk all the dressing ingredents together.  Combine the chopped up veggies into a bowl.  Gently toss the veggies with the dressing and serve!


I hope that some of these ideas inspire you!  I have a few more up my sleeve for the third installment of Jazzing Up Your Veggies – Shrinking Hubby style! Stay tuned!  And don’t forget to like me on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest for more ideas to create healthy meals for you and your family!

Enjoy XX

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