Real Food Everyday, by Caralee Caldwell

Caralee Caldwell’s recipes are special. Not only because they are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free (and I’m allergic to dairy) but because every time I whip up one of her recipes everybody is utterly silent around the table as they chow down on some fabulously tasty home cooked kai.

Sometimes it’s as simple as kumara and caramelised onion frittatas. Admittedly, somebody has moved my muffin tray, but by combining roasted kumara with some beautifully burnished onions (saute in a pan with some herbs, maple syrup and salt) and half-a-dozen eggs in a tart dish, you have a scrummy afternoon tea, and if you’re lucky, something to tuck into the lunch boxes the next day. The zucchini and corn fritters are also a similar win.

If you haven’t already experimented with chia seeds, I highly recommend chia puddings as a great way to start your day. Combine coconut milk, chia seeds, vanilla extract, cinnamon and honey in a jar and allow to set for a minimum of three hours.  A few cacao nibs and frozen fruit don’t go amiss either and it’s a great breakfast too.

There are also three different kinds of granola and combining almonds, pecans, cashews, sunflower seeds, shredded coconut, cacao powder, coconut oil, maple syrup and some vanilla extract brings together a rather spectacular alternative to cornflakes.

Then comes family favourites. Move along KFC, there is a whole new level of popcorn chicken rocking down the aisle and if the rate it disappears seems to be anything to go by, then it’s competition time for fried chicken goodness. It also uses coconut flour and almond meal for the batter and with a few additions of paprika, curry powder and salt, you have no need to hanker after the Colonel. A yummy fish pie with coconut milk and a kumara top also makes the list, especially if you have family who want a few staples with a healthier twist.

Finally, the apple slaw is definitely another of my favourites, not just because it so simple to make (apples, cabbage, carrots, red onion coriander, lime) but because the flavour is refreshing and offers a much healthier substitute to what’s normally on offer.

It’s a good collection of healthy recipes that may not make up your everyday weekly menu but can definitely add some fresh flavours to our diet.

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Dione is an Auckland based theatre director and writer with background in performance and community & cultural development. She works as a freelance arts journalist, guest lecturer and creative advisor on a range of different projects both in New Zealand and internationally. She is primarily a non-fiction reviewer who adores travelogues, history, memoirs and creative cooking texts. Read more at

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