Category Archives: dairy free

Crunchy Polenta Fingers- Chris’ Dips

I love snacking, and I’m always trying to come up with quick and easy foods to create. Especially vegan and vegetarian dishes that are portable and easy to eat on the run.

Polenta is such a versatile food which can be made sweet or savoury.  It can be used to make ‘fries’ or sweetened to make desserts.

For these Polenta snacks I used pre-firmed Polenta which can be purchased in the pasta section of your local supermarket.

You will need:

Half a polenta slab cut into fingers
1/2 container Chris’ Spiced Roasted Carrot and Turmeric Dip
3/4 cup Gluten Free bread crumbs

Slather each finger in the dip- I used a spoon to make this easier and then dunk them in the bread crumbs so they are completely covered.

Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake in a fan forced oven at 180 degrees for 20 mins to half an hour until the fingers are browned.

Leave to cool once cooked and then enjoy them dipped into more of Chris’ Dip or a plain Greek yoghurt. 

I made these gluten free to tie in with the dip and I also had a friend coming over who was gluten intolerant.
These would work well with quinoa instead of the breadcrumbs or even a cheese mixed in with the breadcrumbs.

These can be enjoyed warmed or cold.  For pre-heating do this in an oven as a microwave will leave them soggy.

Healthy Pizza Bites- Chris’ Dips

Have you tried the new range of Chris’ Dips?

My favourite at the moment is the Spiced Roasted Carrot and Turmeric.
It is FULL of flavour and very moreish. It’s safe to say I’ve eaten the entire container.

The great thing about the Chris’ Dips range is they taste like you’ve just made them yourself. Fresh, light, delicious and full of all the good stuff; for example the carrot is actually visible in the dip- and it’s only 39 calories per serve!

I wanted to create something warm and tasty, yet healthy- to feel good about what I was eating!

These take no time to make and you can add whatever pizza toppings you prefer or what suits your dietary needs.

I sliced a green capsicum in half and used Chris’ Spiced Roasted Carrot and Turmeric dip as my base, topped with sundried tomato and grated Bio Cheese.

Bake in a preheated fan forced oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes.

These are healthy, full of flavour, vegan and vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, low in saturated fat, and perfect as a snack or as an entrée. 

They would work well at a party too, and make simple finger-food. 

I love Chris’ Down 2 Earth range, it’s great for the health conscious and next on my list is their Japanese Eggplant and Miso dip!

Best get creating!

Oliver’s Real Food

Oliver’s is the kinda place that you want to see at every shopping centre, every airport & at every servo. These guys are making healthy, quick, nutritious food accessible.  Unfortunately the only downfall at the moment is that it takes an eTag to visit them, something I don’t have…

So I bought an east link day pass and proceeded along the Ferntree Gully road on-ramp to go out of my way to stop for petrol (only to exit via the next off ramp- Oliver’s is in between).

There’s nothing like seeing a line of people, mainly tradies and men in business suits, lining up for their edamame & freshly squeezed juices. I can’t say much for the parents lining up at Ronald’s ( Ohhh is that too obvious?) for, as my son calls it- Fatty Fat Food.

Three young guys were maning Oliver’s and they were all over the customer service. Using my name they reiterated my order, called me over when my Choconana Smoothie & almond milk latte was ready & even offered me some muesli bar samples.

The set up of Oliver’s is pleasing to the eye, collections of lifestyle & nutritional books are on display, along with their varieties of sandwiches, prepared salads, juices & my FAVOURITE- Pana Chocolate (!!!).

There’s a huge selection of gluten free foods, including toast, muffins, slices and brownie options.
There’s also vegan & vegetarian food & drinks available too.

The menu is diverse and doesn’t just have a handful of items. 
Breakfast, lunch & dinner can easily be purchased & the service is quick & friendly.
The staff were more than happy to make suggestions & go through any allergen information.

Oliver’s provide three seperate menus- a standard menu, allergen menu & then a brochure broken down into Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free & Dairy Free. These guides make food choices, easy. I purchased a fruit salad with coconut flakes, almond milk latte, smoothie & carrot cake. Everything was enjoyable & the carrot cake the best I’ve ever eaten.
If you’re eating with kids & they’re not going to be satiated with a smoothie or juice the ‘kids menu’ at Oliver’s is actually kid suitable. There’s nothing deep fried, nothing processed & no fries!
A kids pack includes a little sandwich- yes with crusts- sultanas, yoghurt, cheese, crackers, carrot & banana bread. Perfection. Honestly, we should be cherishing our kids bodies & nourishing them, not filling them with highly processed, fat laden foods.

Oliver’s isn’t about the latest fad or diet, nor are they about pushing food choices onto their customers. I think Oliver’s is just living up to their name- Real Food. 
Nutritious, flavoursome, natural, organic foods. 
The better foods that fill your body, the better you will feel & the better choices you will make.

Oliver’s is ground breaking. They’re providing foods that are readily available & making their mark in the ‘fast’ food industry. Oliver’s is ‘fast food’ because it’s easy, simple food. It’s not traditional, it’s natural.
Support this company, and what they’re doing. Embrace the changes & competition they’re bringing to healthy, convenient food.

Visit http://www.oliversrealfood.com.au for locations & franchise opportunities 
or search Oliver’s Real a Food on Facebook.

The Nutrition Bar

I love that there are so many more places opening up that are providing real, genuine foods.
Nutrition Bar has been at the top of my list for a while & I finally made the visit to Richmond by train today.
The two staff members working today were friendly and patient as I perused the menu boards for my nourishing breakfast.
I settled on an Acai Bowl with strawberry and banana.

The service was quick and the food was presented beautifully and it was worth my train ride!
Nutrition Bar, lined with its wooden benches and matching indoor and outdoor seating is clean, streamlined and bright.

I can imagine it would become quite busy late morning and early afternoon, taking in the hustle of Swan Street. 
The menu is pretty straight forward with detailed descriptions of ingredients and options for vegans and those needing gluten free.
There is a handy take away display cabin ate with oats, raw slices and cakes and pre packed salad lunches, with chicken and falafel options.

My Acai bowl was made fresh and a really good start to my morning. It was made of a acai, banana & coconut water purée topped with toasted granola, nuts, strawberries and banana. 
There’s some gorgeous shakes & green smoothies available, again gluten free, vegan and dairy free options are readily available. 
Additional extras and Superfoods such as bee pollen, buckins, chia, protein powders and vital greens are an extra $1 and Superfood take home packs such as goji berries & maca powder are well priced at $10.
This is one Clean Eating place you need to add to your list. The service, smiles and overall variety at Nutrition Bar will have you returning to try more of their goodness.

The Nutrition Bar will be opening in Windsor soon but is currently open at 121 Swan Street, Richmond or http://www.nutritionbar.com.au or search them on Facebook.
Read up on founder Eli at http://www.theunimpossibles.com

Gluten Free Tofu Dippers

I love using tofu. It’s so versatile and comes in many forms. It’s plain and pretty tasteless but adding sauces, spices and herbs can create many delicious dishes.

Silken tofu is perfect for use in cakes and to even use as vegan ‘scrambled eggs’.


I purchased some Firm Tofu to crumb; and pair with my favourite Roza’s Gourmet Sauce. In the end I couldn’t decide between the two sauces and went with both- Habanero Chilli Mayo & Smokey Aioli. 
You will need:
2 pieces of firm tofu sliced into rectangles
4 tbls gluten free flour
1/2 teaspoon each dill and oregano 
2 tbs coconut oil
1 tsp Roza’s Smokey Aioli
1 tsp Roza’s Habanero Chilli Mayo
Mix the flour and herbs.
Coat the tofu pieces in the flour mix.

Heat the coconut oil in a mini wok or small frying pan.
Once the oil is bubbling away gently place the tofu pieces in the pan and let them sizzle away for about 30-40 seconds on each side.

Once browned and crispy, using tongs place them on some paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

Plate them in a shallow dish with Roza’s gourmet sauces on the side, or you could probably just dip them in the jar.

The herbs aren’t over powering and the flavours of the sauces will come through with each dip. The tofu should be crispy on the outside and firm and moist in the inside.

The Lilydale General

I adore this place. It’s always busy (a good sign) full of life and has a gorgeous variety of foods and drinks.  There’s everything from freshly squeezed juices, smoothies to big breakfasts, tacos and burgers.  All their meals are beautifully presented.  There’s a huge variety of vegan, gluten free and dairy free options.

I started with an Almond Breeze latte.

Followed by Raw Tacos- gorgeously plated on a wooden board, this meal was light and tasty. Made with walnut meat, cashew cream (I think), corn, fresh red tomato and huge lettuce leaves for ‘taco’ cups. Delicious!!

The sun was shining but the rain was pouring, making this little gem of a cafe glitter in its individuality and variety.
The Lilydale General is a quaint little building, a mix of rustic wood and concrete, with greens and whites running through it’s decor.  It’s almost old fashioned yet has a modern twist. Bottles of wine line the walls amongst old fashioned jugs, glasses and the odd soft drink bottle.
I highly recommend visiting The Lilydale General, if not for a meal then grab a smoothie. 

The customer service is top notch and the menu is well priced. It’s fantastic to find a place like The Lilydale General, a place where the owners obviously care about what people want. There’s local produce used, they cater to intolerances, customers food choices and have many options.



I even took a piece of their HUGE Vanilla Slice home. Definitely the ‘best in the state’. Huge, creamy, flaky pastry and perfectly sweet.
You can Like The Lilydale General on Facebook and follow them on Instagram. 

Vegan Cadbury Creme Eggs

I love Creme Eggs.

Like I LOVE them.
They’re gooey, sweet, messy and only hang around for a few weeks of the year.
Due to the high fat and sugar content I decided to create my own healthier version.
A standard Creme Egg has about 150 calories, 9 grams of fat & 24g carbs.
My version (although smaller in size) are 90 calories with 6 grams of fat & 8g carbs.
The following recipe makes 10 small eggs.
You will need:
1 block of dairy free dark chocolate
1/2 block dairy free white chocolate
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 drops yellow food colouring.



Melt the dark chocolate block in a bowl over some simmering water & once melted brush the chocolate into egg moulds of your choice. I bought these for $8 from Woolworths.
Refrigerate until firm- about 40 minutes.
While awaiting your chocolate to set you can begin making your ‘Creme’.
Repeat the melting of chocolate, this time with half a block of white chocolate & the tablespoon of coconut oil.
Once melted and thoroughly mixed pour a third of the mixture into a small bowl & mix with the two drops of food colouring. This will will be your ‘yolk’. 
Leave the rest of the mixture to be used as the egg ‘white’. Let these sit at room temperature.
Pop out your chocolate eggs, once hardened and use some of the left over chocolate to join them together. Leave a small hole either at the side or on one of the ends so the Creme can be inserted.
Refrigerate again until set.
Using a small knife-tip push about half a teaspoon of the ‘yolk’ into the small hole, followed by a teaspoon of the ‘white’. Seal with a dab of dark chocolate and return to the fridge until sealed.
Continue until all your eggs are completed.
Enjoy the eggs at room temperature, & they needn’t be refrigerated.