Category Archives: extras


Hi everyone!

Just to let you know that I have a brand new website which I’m very  excited about!  I will be shutting this one down soon.  Don’t worry all the recipes are already safely transferred over and are much easier to find.

Here is a snapshot of what it looks like.  Front page: Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 11.42.06 am

And here is the recipe page:

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 11.45.04 am

I have tried to transfer over the subscriptions too, so if you’ve subscribed to this one to receive new posts via email, you should have already received an email from me about the launch.  If you didn’t and you still want to see my posts, you will have to go to the new site and subscribe.  You can subscribe both to the site and the my new newsletter!

Any questions, please let me know via

NEW WEBSITE is  (I know it’s similar to the old one just without the ‘wordpress’ in the address.

Thank you all so much for your support so far, I’m looking forward to continuing this food & health journey with you.

Love Annabel x

Sex begins in the kitchen!

Did I get your attention? A number of years ago I read a relationship book with this title.  It actually wasn’t so much about how food is the way to a man’s heart, it was about how all the little things we do to help each other (like cleaning up the kitchen!) can go a long way towards increasing our desire (specially us chicks who might need a little lead time ;-)!) for intimacy.  Given this is a food blog though and not a marriage blog I’ll turn my attention to sharing a few recipes that you might like to consider for a romantic night in tomorrow night for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is not a day on our marriage calendar that is given massive attention, however we do usually buy each other a card.  I’d much rather a gift or flowers at a random time than on a ‘required’ day, but given this year the day falls on a Saturday, and we have no other social plans, we’re planning on cooking a nice dinner (probably a family dinner), putting the kids to bed, then having dessert and watching a movie together.  Then it will be a date night at home and the boys will learn a little about the importance of Mum & Dad having time for our relationship without them.

I haven’t decided exactly what to cook, but here are a few ideas I’ve got that you might be inspired to try too.

If you’re after a 3 course meal, why not try this roasted field mushroom with rocket, persian feta (omit for paleo), sun-dried tomatoes and roasted beetroot chips for an entree? Mushroom+Beetroot

Here are a couple of main course suggestions, depending on what kind of protein your after.  I really like this eye fillet with mushroom & crispy sweet potato.

eye fillet mushrooms sweet potato

If you’d rather some lamb (or are feeding the family), why not cook a butterflied leg of lamb.  butterfliedlamgfigglazecooked

If fish is more your thing grill some fresh salmon and serve it with a fabulous salad, like this rainbow noodley one:vegespaghettisalador this pretty peach & greens salad:pretty peach & green salador even some good old brussel sprouts!

brussel sprouts

The pinnacle of any Valentine’s Day dinner is surely the dessert! Here are a few of my favourite desserts that I think qualify as ‘romantic’ and  fit within the ‘paleo or paleo-ish treat’ category.

These lemon coconut tarts are even AIP friendly and if you have a heart shape mould are even more perfect!

Lemon coconut tarts

Sexy Choc- caramel tart:

choccarmelcoconuttart Raw choc-nut raspberry tarts with banana ice cream: 


chocolate coconut ganache


Here is a super easy paleo-ish dessert. Chocolate coconut ganache with fresh strawberries. Bring 1 cup coconut cream to a simmer with 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste, turn off and after 5 mins stir in 100g dark choc till combined. Pour into little dishes (or tart shell) and refrigerate until set. Serve with fresh strawberries.



Or if paleo is not your thing and you want, what I think is the prettiest of desserts, have a go at this Pretty Persian Rose Ice Cream.

Well, hopefully that’s got the romance building in the air/kitchen!  I’d love you to post/comment with your Valentine’s Day meal ideas or after the fact, let me know what you cooked.  You can always tag your photos with #whatannabelcooks and I’ll see what you’ve made.

♥  Annabel x

I haven’t forgotten you! Welcome to 2015.

I know it’s nearly the end of January already but with the kids starting back at school tomorrow, it feels still like the beginning of the year, so happy New Year! I’m quite excited about 2015 after a few challenges in 2014.  I’ve got a few ideas for whatannabelcooks (along the lines of more paleo cooking classes, recipe cards, perhaps a cookbook, gathering a few new followers and selling more rocky road).  Putting on one of my other hats I’ll continue  with my mediation practice (I mediate for separated couples) and am going to start doing pre-marriage counselling/education, so I’m really looking forward to that too (especially working with happy couples).  Somewhere in there the washing will have to get done, family fed and all the mundane things of life done. I’m even planning to prioritise sleep this year too.

So, I must apologise for not having posted a blog since November (but it was a raw paleo snickers bars so surely that makes up for it!).  After November I got pretty busy making and selling my Christmas Rocky Road Wreaths which were a huge success, so that didn’t leave a lot of time for new recipes and blogging.  I often post photos with short recipes on  Facebook  or Instagram so if you don’t follow me on there, I highly recommend you do for the quick recipes, tips, inspiration etc.

We were away for about a month too – 2 weeks with my parents, and siblings and their families in Orange (country NSW) over Christmas and then for 2 weeks with Leigh and the boys in the North Island of New Zealand.  So much adventure, fabulous people and of course lots of food to eat along the way.  I am constantly learning about travelling and following a paleo-ish way of eating and I think the real key is to be prepared and pack a travel cooler bag with snacks like nuts, seeds, jerky, fruit etc. As long as it’s gluten free though I’m far less ‘strict’ than when at home. It also helped that in NZ all the places we stayed had kitchens so we had fun cooking a few things along the way (like rainbow trout caught by my middle son, and green lipped mussels).

So after rocky road licks, Christmas and holidays I’m back on the healthy eating wagon with a mission to stay off sugar and ‘healthy’ sugars for the next little while, so expect more savoury posts/photos etc over the next couple of months.  I’m following Pete Evans (Australian chef now a huge paleo advocate)’s 10 week The Paleo Way program, so I imagine a number of ‘my recipes’ will be from Pete, but I’ll be sure to let you know if they are!

Here are a few holiday food snaps for you to drool over.

Don’t forget that I LOVE getting feedback/questions/comments etc so please ‘like’, comment away.

Annabel xo







paleo/raw bounty bars

I promise I haven’t forgotten you all, it’s been a crazy month celebrating my 40th birthday. Here is the most popular post on the blog this month, remember this one? Has anyone had a go at making it yet? I’ll post some new dishes in July! Happy cooking everyone. Annabel x


paleo bounty bars.jpgI have thought about making these for a while and then as cacao is not AIP friendly forgot about them. The other day I had lunch at the Paleo Cafe with my friends Sharon and Lyn and Sharon brought out her secret stash of bounty bars for us for dessert! I was re-inspired to give them a go. Glad I did!
Coconut FillingCoconut Filling

  • 1 Tbsp cacao butter (melted)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • pinch salt
  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until just starting to come together as a paste but don’t over process as you still want to have some of the texture of the desiccated coconut.
  2. Press into rectangular container lined with baking paper (I used 15cmx22cm) or into rectangular shape. Freeze until solid.
  3. Remove and cut into pieces…

View original post 159 more words

lemon coconut passionfruit tarts (AIP)

When you’re following the auto-immune protocol (AIP) there isn’t much you can eat in the way of ‘treats’.  It is an elimination diet, and to be honest I guess the idea is that you also eliminate the ‘need’ for sugar and treats etc.  But being the sweet tooth that I am, I was excited to come across this recipe for lemon blueberry cupcakes that I could actually eat!

You do need a high speed blender/food processor or thermomix for this recipe.  I found it completely fascinating watching the desiccated coconut turn into a batter (coconut ‘butter’ I guess).

Without further ado, here is the recipe, and you can even check out my instructional video #2.  If you missed the first one, here it is.

  • 3 cups unsweetened desiccated or shredded coconut
  • Zest of one lemon
  • flesh of the lemon used for the zest.
  • ½ cup maple syrup/coconut palm syrup (maple is AIP, not sure about coconut palm but is has a very low GI)
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 passionfruit (or 1/2 cup berries to top)
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C(fan forced)/350F.  Line 8 muffin cups with liners. Or use mini muffins (makes about 20)…
  2. Place the unsweetened coconut in a blender/food processor.
  3. Blend on high until the coconut starts to turn into a paste (about 1-2mins), scrape down sides and blend again until it is like a batter – not too thick.
  4. Add the zest, lemon, maple syrup and sea salt.  Process until it comes together.
  5. Add the baking soda, and process just until incorporated.
  6. Divide batter into  muffin cups.  Sprinkle with passionfruit pulp or berries.
  7. Bake for 25-27 minutes (larger ones, or 15-20mins for minis).  You want them to be a little toasty but not burnt.
  8. Chill in the fridge before taking them out of the pan.
  9. Best served chilled for the best consistency.

lemon coconut tartsLemon coconut tarts

If you are one of my lovely blog followers that just gets the blogs via email, why don’t you consider joining the Facebook page too – it’s a bit more of a foodie community, easier to comment, share, ask questions etc.

heaven on a plate (mango & nectarine coconut crumble pie)

This dessert is a total winner! We had some fabulous friends over for dinner last night – I had had a request for pulled pork tacos so that was the main course. Sadly no left overs for today. As for dessert I was on a quest to come up with a delicious healthy dessert that was as close to paleo and AIP as possible but not look and taste like  weirdo diet food. I don’t even really know what to call it- one friend said ‘heaven on a plate’ and another ‘crumble-pie’, so here it is. I think I am officially in love with coconut!

heavenonaplateHere is the recipe…

Continue reading heaven on a plate (mango & nectarine coconut crumble pie)

absence makes the heart grow fonder?

October – what a month! Last month for me was filled with very special times with family and friends, so whilst there was a LOT of eating, there wasn’t a huge amount of cooking and blogging.  My sister was out from London  and I had a girlfriend’s 40th birthday weekend away. I know you’re unlikely to be hanging out for my every post, but in case anyone missed a new recipe, that’s why!

The other thing I’ve noticed in amongst all this socialising is that trying to follow the auto-immune protocol is HARD and not as conducive to cooking the things I love to cook.  I’m trying to find ‘alternatives’ which you’ll see in a few of the next posts but when you cut out grains, nuts and eggs, well, basically you just can’t bake!