No food makes me feel more comforted than spaghetti and meatballs, and that's  always been the way  I have  moved from  pork, and veal to the turkey variety in  an ongoing effort  to clean up my diet,  but my meatballs still have dairy  (cheese), gluten (breadcrumbs), and  egg.  One  afternoon, we devised  this incredibly easy, incredibly good  "friendly” version that  still does the trick.

(E) Elimination Diet (make without the tomato sauce and simply cook the meatballs in the pan the whole way through, or bake them in the oven)

(P) Protein-packed

·         1 small onion, roughly chopped

·         2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

·         8 fresh sage leaves

·         8 large fresh basil leaves

·         Leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme

·         Leaves from a 12cm sprig of rosemary

·         1/4 cup Italian parsley

·         1 large handful of arugula (rocket) roughly chopped

·         500g ground turkey

·         1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

·         1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

·         4 cups (1 recipe) Go-To Tomato Sauce

·         3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Turkey meatballs

Combine the onion, garlic, herbs and arugula (rocket) in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until very finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl along with the turkey, salt and pepper. Use your hands to thoroughly combine all the ingredients, then roll the mixture into golf ball-sized meatballs. 

Place the Go-To Tomato Sauce in a large pot set over low heat and let it get warm.  While the sauce is warming, heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet (frying pan) over a medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs, in batches if necessary, until they're browned all over, 2 to 3 minutes on a side. Transfer the browned meatballs to the simmering tomato sauce and partially cover the pot, let the meatballs cook gently for 1/2 hour, carefully stirring every now and then to make sure they're cooking evenly. Serve hot with your favorite gluten- free pasta or a pot of polenta.

Serves 4 (makes 2 dozen golf ball-sized meatball)

Go to Tomato sauce


·         2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

·         6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

·         4 large fresh basil leaves

·         2 X 800g cans whole peeled tomatoes with their juice

·         Coarse sea salt

·         Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat, add the garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add 2 of the basil leaves and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the 2 remaining basil leaves. Turn the heat to high. Bring the sauce to a boil, turn the heat to low, season with salt and pepper, and let it bubble away on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and crushing the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Cool and refrigerate. This sauce keeps for a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or for 6 months in the freezer.

Makes 4 cups    

Spicy sweet potato soup with chipotle + coriander

My gosh, this is the perfect soup with its south western flavors and its creamy, rich texture without the dairy you’ll really feel as if you-e having a treat. For a bit of texture, pan-fry a few pieces of sweet potato in a bit of olive oil with toasted ground cumin or coriander and slide them onto the finished soup before serving.

(E) Elimination Diet

(V) Vegan

·         2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

·         1 large red onion, finely diced (about 11/2 cups)

·         2 garlic cloves, minced

·         5 sprigs of cilantro (coriander), leaves reserved for garnish, stems tied together with a piece of kitchen string

·         ¾ teaspoon cumin

·         Coarse sea salt

·         1/2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo (chipotle chilies in a tomato sauce)

·         2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 6 cups)

·         6 cups vegetable stock

My gosh, this is the perfect soup with its south western flavors and its creamy, rich texture without the dairy you’ll really feel as if you-e having a treat

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, cilantro (coriander) sprigs, cumin, and a heavy pinch of salt and cook, stirring now and then, until softened but not browned, 10 minutes. Add the chipotle and the sweet potatoes and stir to combine. Add the vegetable stock to the pot and turn up the heat. Once the soup comes to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are very soft, about 30 minutes. Remove and discard the cilantro (coriander). Carefully puree the soup in a powerful blender. If you want a really refined, smooth texture, you can pass the pureed soup through a fine-mesh strainer. Garnish each bowl with a few of the reserved cilantro (coriander) leaves.

Serves 4

Flourless anything crumble

Crumble is always a nostalgic crowd-pleaser. You don’t even have to mention the flourless/sugarless part with this one - no-one can ever tell. This recipe is great with stone fruit and berries (try mixing raspberries with fresh apricots, or sliced nectarines with blueberries)

(V) Vegan

(P) Protein-packed

Flourless anything crumble

Flourless anything crumble

·         4 cups fruit (peeled and sliced stone fruit, berries, whatever)

·         4 tablespoons good-quality maple syrup

·         1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

·         ½ cup almond meal (or grind ½ cup blanched almonds in a powerful blender until they’re powdery)

·         ½ cup quinoa flakes

·         A pinch of fine sea salt

·         ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (or any dessert spice try cardamom and clove, for example)

·         2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Toss the fruit in a shallow baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the maple syrup and the lemon juice. Mix the almond meal, quinoa flakes, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the 2 remaining tablespoons of maple syrup and the olive oil and mix until just combined. Crumble the mixture over the fruit and bake until the topping is browned and the fruit is bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serves 6

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