Recipes from Low Tox Life

BODY LOTION CUPCAKES

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MAKES 3–4 large bars

You’ll also need some silicone moulds in your preferred shape or paper cupcake liners.

30 g (1 oz/½ cup) grated beeswax
65 g (2¼ oz/½ cup) cocoa butter
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) coconut oil (refined for no coconut scent)
25 drops essential oils of your choice (e.g. rosemary, vetiver and jasmine, or a woody or floral combo)

Melt the beeswax over low heat in a bain-marie or double boiler (a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water). Once the wax ismelted, still over the heat, melt in the cocoa butter. Once the cocoa butter is melted, melt in the coconut oil, stirring well. Remove from the heat and stir in the essential oils. Pour the mixture into your chosen moulds.

Wait patiently for them to harden – this will take about 1 hour at room temperature, or you could hurry things along in the fridge.
 

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HOT CLOTH CLEANSER

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MAKES about 80 ml (2½ fl oz)

Pro tip: When working with beeswax, keep a designated DIY toolset just for recipes that include it, as it’s a nightmare to remove completely from utensils and bowls, and can clog up sinks easily. Keep a spoon, a stainless steel bowl for your double boiler/bain-marie and a grater in a bag with your block of beeswax, and you won‘t need to clean them after use.

25 g (1 oz) castor oil
25 g (1 oz) olive oil
30 g (1 oz) cocoa butter, or shea butter for those with clogged pores
20 g (¾ oz) beeswax
7 drops rosemary essential oil
7 drops eucalyptus essential oil
6 drops lavender essential oil

Weigh the castor oil, olive oil, cocoa butter and beeswax into a heatproof bowl. In a bain-marie or double boiler (the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water), stir until the beeswax and cocoa butter are melted.

Remove from the heat and stir in the oils. Pour into jars and allow to cool, then close with a lid, and label with the product name, ingredients and date.

To use, scoop out some cleanser with a fingertip. Rub it between your fingers and then onto your face to melt. Massage it into your skin with circular motions. You might want to massage it in for 2 minutes, concentrating on those areas that need deep cleansing (nose, forehead and chin). Run the tap until the water is hot to the hand, and wet your washcloth thoroughly. Wring out the washcloth, and place the hot cloth over your face for a couple of minutes. If it cools off, just rinse again in hot water and put back on your face. Gently wipe off the cleanser with the hot washcloth.

Finish with a splash of cool water. All clean and totally self-loved.

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BUY NOTHING NEW CURRY

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SERVES 4 GF DF NF EF 

Don’t be bound by my ingredients list – truly, make this curry your own by using any limp veg that has got less and less pretty and is less and less likely to be used. For a yummy soup, add another cup of stock, remove the cinnamon stick at the end, and blend on high for a few seconds.

60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) coconut oil
6 cardamom pods, bruised with the back of a knife
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 large onion
1 × 2.5 cm (1 inch) piece chopped ginger
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons your favourite curry powder
1 large red chilli or ½ teaspoon chilli flakes (optional)
4 fennel fronds
4 limp, unpretty celery stalks, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks
12 left-over silverbeet (Swiss chard) stalks, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks
125 g (4½ oz/1 cup) ugly green beans a few beetroot leaves (or any other leaves)
200 ml (7 fl oz) coconut cream
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) vegetable, chicken or beef stock
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) filtered water
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)

Heat the coconut oil with the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and fennel seeds in a large saucepan over low–medium heat, then fry the onion for about 20 minutes, until very golden but not burnt. Add the ginger, garlic, curry powder and chilli flakes (if using), and cook for 1–2 minutes, until aromatic. Add the veg and stir until well coated with the spices. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until everything is warmed through and the vegies start to soften. Simmer for 15 minutes. Top with garnishes such as black sesame seeds, sliced spring onion (scallion), sliced chilli and coriander (cilantro) leaves, and serve as is, or with rice or quinoa or with flat bread.
 

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MAURITIAN CHICKEN FRICASSEE

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SERVES 10 • COOKING TIME 3 hours (stovetop then oven) • ACTIVE TIME 25 minutes
SERVED Hot; always better the next day if you fancy prepping in advance

GF DF NF EF
This Mauritian fricassee is known as the ‘kids’ dish’ of the average lunch feast spread. It’s mild, not spicy, but still totally delicious. As a big kid, this is an ultimate comfort food for me – and a taste of my childhood, as I so fortunately spent the summer by the sea every couple of years with the Mauritian side of my family.

1 tablespoon sea salt
10 chicken legs
5 chicken thighs, skin on if you can get it, halved
1 bunch parsley
60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil
60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) refined coconut oil (or olive oil if you have no refined coconut oil)
400 g (14 oz/2 large) red onions, halved then thinly sliced into half-rings
6 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced, green and white parts separated
1 heaped tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 heaped tablespoon crushed garlic
10 thyme sprigs
6 tomatoes, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrated purée)
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
160 ml (5¼ fl oz) filtered water
2 dried chillies (optional – for grownups who love a bit of spice)
1 large fresh red chilli, thinly sliced, to garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Sprinkle the salt over all the chicken pieces and rub in well. Set aside a few parsley leaves as a garnish and roughly chop the rest.

Heat a flameproof enamelled cast-iron casserole pot on the stovetop over high heat. Set aside 1–2 tablespoons of the oil then heat half the remaining oil in the pot. Sear half the chicken pieces for 4–5 minutes, until the skin is browned all over. Remove the chicken and set aside in a large bowl. Repeat with the other half of the oil and the remaining chicken. (Alternatively, you can cook the chicken in two pots at once, then use one of them to make the Simple Mauritian Lentils or the Eggplant Curry. How’s that for thinking, eh? It’s the bartender efficiency in me coming out.)

Heat the reserved oil in the same pot over medium heat, and fry the onion and the white parts of the spring onion (set aside the green parts as a garnish, or add them now if you prefer). Add the ginger, garlic, thyme and chopped parsley, and cook for 1 minute. Return all the chicken to the pot and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato passata, water and dried chilli (if using). Bring to a gentle simmer.
Put the lid on the pot and transfer to the oven for 2 hours, then remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve straight away, garnished with the reserved parsley leaves, the spring onion greens and the fresh chilli (if using), or save for the next day.

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