If you haven’t discovered My Darling Lemon Thyme yet, we think you need to. The blog is the work of Kiwi Emma Galloway, Emma grew up in New Zealand, but now lives with her family in Perth, Western Australia. My Darling Lemon Thyme offers a glimpse into Emma’s life, alongside delicious allergy friendly recipes, organic gardening tips and stunning photography.
Emma trained in professional cookery and worked as a chef for almost eight years, before leaving the kitchen when she became a mother. It wasn’t long before Emma discovered her two children suffered from gluten and lactose intolerance, allergies that Emma soon found she shared. With some experimentation Emma mastered gluten and dairy free cooking, My Darling Lemon Thyme was created as a place to share her experiences.
Many people ask where the name for the blog came from, Emma explains it below:
“I call my daughter 'my darling Clementine' after that old children's song, you know the one. So anyway, when she was around 3 ½ she got a bit mixed up and started calling me 'my darling lemon thyme.' I thought it was too cute not to use, especially as she enjoys cooking as much as I do.”
Emma will release her first cook book at the start of April and we can’t wait to get hold of a copy! To try Emma’s recipes for yourself scroll to the bottom of this interview, or visit her blog.
Q. Can you please tell us a little about yourself? Why did you become interested in health and nutrition?
I’m a former chef, mother of two, real food lover, blogger and author of My Darling Lemon Thyme - Recipes from my real food kitchen (Harper Collins NZ, April 2014). I grew up in the small west coast town of Raglan, in a somewhat ‘alternative’ family. We’re vegetarian and my parents grew most of the fruit and vegetables we ate. Nutrition and our wellbeing was always at a forefront of everything my mother did. So I guess you could say I’ve been interested in health and nutrition my whole life really, even more so since the birth of my two kids and the diagnosis of our gluten and lactose-intolerance a little over 5 years ago.
Q. What is your food philosophy?
Achieving a better life through simple, nutritious, wholesome, real cooking. Buy local, prepare simply and have fun!
Q. What does a day in your plate look like?
I usually start the day with a glass of lemon water followed a little later by porridge of some sort. This could be millet, quinoa or chia based depending on the time of the year and what I’m feeling like. I also drink a lot of smoothies throughout the summer months. Lunch is usually a quick salad made up from whatever I have in the fridge and dinner tends to be Asian-inspired; rice, a vegetarian protein and salad or cooked vegetables.
Q. What would you say to anyone wanting to improve their health and vitality through what they eat?
Listen to your body. Each and every body is different and no one way of eating is the right way for all. I don’t believe in extremes (other than for medical reasons obviously) and instead I just go buy the rules of eating simply and cooking from scratch. Love your body and most importantly, enjoy food!
Q. If you had to pick, what are your favourite superfoods?
Chia seeds would be right up there, as mentioned before we eat them often for breakfast. I also use them as a thickener and binder in some of my gluten-free baking. Mesquite powder is another long-time favourite; its caramel-sweet flavour is absolutely beautiful in smoothies, baking and raw treats, not to mention all the goodness it brings. Cacao is well loved in our house, for obvious reasons (Mmmm, chocolate)! And virgin coconut oil is one of my all-time favourite ingredients.
Then there are the humble things like, avocados, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, berries and nuts, which we eat on a daily basis.
Q. What is your approach to balance and moderation in your diet and lifestyle?
I’m all about balance and moderation. I don’t do extremes and other than eliminating gluten (and most dairy) I enjoy a well-balanced diet which includes the odd sweet treat and hot chips at the beach in summer (I’m not perfect and don’t want to be!). Sometimes I feel like we are all becoming too obsessed with everything that’s right and wrong about food and forgetting that the simple things in life like; exercise, smiling, hugging someone you love and being happy are all just as important in the bigger picture of life.
Q. In your mind what do you think is the biggest misconception about a healthy, plant-based diet?
That is has to be expensive. We grow our own veggies, shop at the farmers markets and cook from scratch to keep costs down.
If you don't have maqui powder, I reckon a little cocao, carob or mesquite powder would make a lovely version of these, just swap the lime zest + juice for a little orange zest + juice instead. Brown rice syrup can be used in place of maple syrup if preferred.
RAW MAQUI, CASHEW + LIME BITES
1 cup (125g) raw cashews
1/2 cup (45g) desiccated or shredded coconut
2-3 teaspoons maqui powder
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted if solid
2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
The finely grated zest and juice 1 medium lime
A teeny pinch of fine sea salt
- Place cashews, coconut and maqui into a small food processor and grind to a fine meal.
- Transfer to a bowl and mix in remaining ingredients.
- Shape into balls or use a tablespoon measure to shape into domes.
- Place onto a tray and freeze for 15-20 minutes or until set. Store in a lidded container in the freezer and enjoy frozen.