Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sharing food

The cacao-coconut Nut Balls went down a treat at the Chiro! I was so happy to be able to share the recipe and make other people happy with my cooking. Cooking for friends and family is one thing but sharing with people you don't know is so much fun :)
The girls at reception loved them so much everyone in the waiting room was eager to join in. I'm a happy happy girl. I must share my food with strangers more often. And share healthy recipes! Everyone was floored when I told them they were vegan, sugar free, gluten free and healthy. Even the kids loved them. Yay! I even brought them seconds because everyone loved them so much they were gone in a flash!

Sorry for the lack of regular posts. Life tends to get in the way and when I have boring meals I figure the posts would bore you too. So yeah, food has been boring recently, lots of the same things- Dumpling vegetable soups, salads, pasta, hummus, fruit etc. I didn't bother with more photos of the same... 

I got a haircut to celebrate 60 days of eating well (aka no binge eating), he took about 6 inches off.. It's the shortest I've had it in a decade. Feels odd. Not sure if I like it. But it's definitely a change!

I finally made something to eat worth photographing last night. I got a new curly/spiral cutter. I know its a small thing to get excited about but I was thrilled to see the curls emerging from the end of the twisty cutter. I may have jumped when I saw how cute they were. I can't wait to try it on another vegetable now! 

Pink Curly Carrot Salad
4 tbsp Beetroot Dip (beetroot, horseradish, tahini)
4 tbsp Hummus
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Pine nuts
1/4 cup dried pumpkin seeds
1.5 large carrots
  • Use spiral cutter to make carrot curls
  • combine beetroot dip, hummus and water to make dressing
  • dress carrot and stir through seeds and nuts
  • Enjoy!
And this is for with lunch/dinner- a nice big salad of: curly carrots, spiral carrots, alfalfa, sprouted lentils, watercress!

Hope you all have a wonderful day full of yummy colourful food! xxx
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quinoa with Edamame & Peas

I finally got back to the gym today after being sick for weeks... until now I've been walking, using the step/twist cardio machine I have a home and using my free weights, body weight exercises, swiss ball, yoga/pilates. Come to think of it if I added some running to that I could probably do without the gym... although I do love the classes and the people hmm something to think about. What do you prefer? gym or home/outside workouts?
I ate the other half of my berry buckwheat porridge 
cold for breakfast with desiccated coconut sprinkled on top! Its delicious cold as well as hot as I found out when I was ravenous after the gym. Today was full of food! Exercise gets my appetite going. Lunch was a big bowl of edamame and a mandarin; afternoon tea was some protein filled choc coconut balls. 
By dinner I was extremely hungry again and my eyes were bigger than my stomach- I made two dishes and ate about 1/3 of each.... one at a time next time. 

Quinoa with Edamame and Peas
1.5 tbsp Tomato paste
1 cup stock
1 cup quinoa (cooked)
1/2 cup edamame (frozen
1/2 peas (frozen)
2 tbsp vinegar- I really felt like vinegar, feel free to alter this if its not to your taste.
  • cook quinoa (1:2)
  • combine quinoa, water, stock powder, tomato paste, peas, edamame in a pan
  • reduce until there is no water left and the vegetables are cooked (5 mins?)
  • taste, add in the vinegar to your taste, combine well
  • enjoy
The other half of dinner was soup with dumplings but I forgot to take a photo- sorry!
It was like this one but with edamame instead of the carrot and with these dumplings
Easy quick and yummy!

Does anyone else enjoy eating from the cupboards? I know it sounds odd but I enjoy the challenge of inventing meals with whats in the house, you know in the times before shopping or when you have to stick to the budget but got excited at the health food store and got something too expensive (or is that just me?)

Hope you're all well and full of yummy healthy things- All the best xxx
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Monday, July 18, 2011

Berry Buckwheat Porridge

I was getting a little sick of oats so I thought I'd try something different. I'd only had buckwheat as a savoury dish before but they work surprisingly well sweet too. They have an earthy hearty flavour so you do need to use more of any additional flavours. This recipe works well with quinoa too. 

Berry Buckwheat Porridge
Makes 2 serves
1  cup buckwheat
1.5 cups water
2 cups frozen berries
4 tsp cinnamon
10 drops stevia
1 tsp vanilla paste
  • Roast in pot buckwheat for approximately 5 minutes whilst stirring
  • add water, cinnamon and stevia
  • boil until all water is absorbed (15 mins?)
  • add vanilla, berries and cook until thawed
  • enjoy!
I just sort of threw everything together and tasted as I went, next time I might add more vanilla and some more cinnamon at the end but if you want a yummy breakfast where all the flavours blend together in a wonderful combo but you can't identify them separately the above are the right quantities for you!


Herb and Dijon Dressing
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup water
handful of parsley
handful of mint
1/2 lemon - juice and rind
  • combine warm water and dijon mustard
  • chop herbs
  • zest lemon
  • stir though herbs and lemon
  • Enjoy in moderation (its strong!) over a salad or with veggies.
Lunch was a lovely salad lightly dressed in the above
Dinner was spicy carrot and chickpea soup again- yum yum yum :)
Today was a mighty productive day at home, it started with the dishes, doing my nails, doing the gardening- yes in that order, silly me!... made the dressing above for lunch, exercised (yoga/pilates/cardio/weights), went through the entire house looking for things to chuck out in the hard waste collection. We got rid of heaps! there were lots of broken things and things the charity shop won't take, although I managed to find some- so I now have a charity shop pile too. It feels SO much better getting things out of our tiny little apartment. I played tetris with my cupboards and draws and managed to free up two whole kitchen shelves , half a kitchen bench (much needed prep space!) and two bedroom draws. Going up and down the mini step ladder and lifting the heavy things from the high shelves was another workout in itself! Needless to say I was eagerly awaiting my dinner! and I'm actually contemplating some of these 
that I have hiding away in the freezer for dessert later...
Hope you have all had happy and productive days too! xxx
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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cacao-Coconut Nut balls

I finally woke up with an appetite today! It was lovely to hear the grumbles and know I was back to normal. I actually managed to get through a whole bowl of oats! Yeah, I know small things make me happy- I think its a good thing!

Apple and Banana overnight oats
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup water
5 drops stevia
1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds
1/2 tsp banana essence
2 handful puffed grains
1/2 apple
  • combine oats, milk, water, stevia, chia and banana essence
  • leave in fridge overnight
  • in the morning combine with chopped apple and puffed grains and enjoy!
Lunch was a yummy salad (same as yesterday)
I also enjoyed tasting these whilst cooking them...
I decided to make an un-baked treat for my lovely chiropractor and equally lovely receptionists who I've been seeing three times a week to fix my back. They're genuinely gorgeous people and they even sent this beautiful card the other week.
(Made by Paper bark designs)
It cheered me up when I was feeling sick. So I thought whilst I have the time (on uni holidays) I'd do something nice for them too. 
Cacao-Coconut Nut balls
The recipe makes approximately 100 balls (depending on size) a good amount for a party or sharing with friends and family! I like making enough to be generous with. These freeze well so you can always pop them in there as a backup.. they actually taste quite good frozen too.
1 cup almond meal
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup ground chia seeds
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup dried dates
1.5 cups hot water
  • grind flax and chia seeds
  • chop dates and soak in 1 cup of boiling water for approximately 10 minutes 
  • combine coconut, cacao powder, chia, flax, almond meal
  • process all ingredients together to form a sticky fudgey consistency (drizzle in more water as required)
  • roll into teaspoon sized balls and roll in desiccated coconut
  • refrigerate to firm up for approximately 1/2hr
  • enjoy!
Dinner was a comforting bowl of Carrot and Chickpea Soup I made enough to freeze and to have later. Here's to cheap, easy, delicious, nutritious meals! :)

I've put a little slideshow of my work up on the sidebar, if you want to see some great photos (if I do say so myself) check out my red bubble profile and folio! You won't be disappointed- I've got a bit of everything.. if you feel like buying anything they're very reasonably priced.

Hope you're all having a splendid weekend! xxx
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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Oats & Salad

I just had a milky chai tea when I got up because I was really not hungry but felt guilty having nothing (strange after only eating half of last nights vegetable hot pot) so I ate my prepared breakfast at lunch but could only manage half of it.. it tastes lovely and adding the apple for crunch helped break through the texture of the oats like I was hoping- I'll definitely be doing that again! 


Apple and cinnamon overnight oats
1/2 apple chopped
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup soy milk
1/2 cup water
2 handfuls puffed grains
1 tsp cinnamon + end sprinkle
1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds
  • combine oats, chia, cinnamon, water and soy milk
  • leave in fridge overnight
  • chop apple
  • add apple and puffed grains
  • sprinkle with more cinnamon to taste

So the other half of turned into afternoon tea along with another cup of tea. For dinner I had last nights yummy left overs...
...and a nice big salad!


Green Mixed Salad with Dijon and Apple cider vinegar dressing
Naked salad... and dressed salad...
Dressing:
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Salad:
rocket
baby spinach leaves
mixed lettuce leaves
mixed sprouted pulses
alfalfa sprouts
watercress
  • combine and toss salad ingredients
  • put dressing ingredients in a jar and shake
  • enjoy a flavour filled salad :)
Here's hoping I have a proper appetite tomorrow so I can post something more interesting! 
Have a lovely night xxx
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Friday, July 15, 2011

Vegetable Hot Pot

Food's been a struggle recently (here's to honesty?) I've either eaten too many carbs, skipped meals entirely or got halfway through a meal and lost interest because it wasn't what I really wanted... something's definitely been off recently but I'm determined not to let it get me down. I've been trying hard to stick to my plan but its just not working. 

I think I need to make the breakfasts smaller and remember/force myself to eat 3 meals a day. Easier said than done. On the up side I've made it 50+ days without binge eating and getting out of control! YAY for that :) I have been contemplating making myself 
photograph and post everything I eat- like lindsay's 'what I ate wednesdays' so I don't end up with too little or too much...but that might be a bit too much every day- what do you think?

Tonights dinner was warm, nourishing and filling without being too heavy. Its nothing earth shattering but a combination of everything left in the house before tomorrows shopping trip...
Vegetable Hot Pot
Makes 2 serves
1 big field mushroom
handful dried shitake mushrooms
handful dried king oyster mushrooms
handful dried seaweed
2 bunches chinese spinach
1 big carrot
1.5 tbsp miso paste
4 cups hot water (more if needed)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chinese vinegar
2 tsp roast sesame oil
Sprinkles (flax seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
  • chop veggies
  • combine miso, water, vinegar, soy and sesame oil
  • bring to the boil then add dried mushrooms and carrot
  • when tender add fresh mushrooms and spinach
  • cook for 4 mins or until tender
  • stir through seaweed
  • Sprinkle with seeds and enjoy!
I've been looking into Intuitive eating lately... and considering chucking the scales. Very much inspired by JL's new blog Stop Chasing Skinny. The thought of giving up that control scares me because every time I've stopped weighing myself in the past I've gained weight... even if I have been happier overall. The fact is I still need to shrink, I just need to find a way to do it without driving myself or others insane (you know, counting every calorie, weighing all food etc) I like not counting calories and just watching portion sizes... maybe if I can get this working then I can trust it enough to give up the scales? If anyone has any advice/tips feel free to share them- I'm willing to listen to anything that might help- or anything in general!

I hope you're all going well and appreciating your own unique true beauty, 
All the best xxx
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Measuring food & Cereals

I've been trying to eat well and recover but I've managed to come down with a bad cold too! It feels like I've been sick forever- I've never dreamed about running and swimming and dancing and jumping so much.. I honestly can't wait to get back to normal exercise, at the moment just looking after the house is enough to drain me. I've been making healthy choices and eating until I'm satisfied but not overfull but have still managed to gain weight, I'm hoping its salt/water bloating and the body adjusting to food again and being sick but who knows. I'm just trying not to stress about it and focusing on happy thoughts.

In other news I got some new measuring cups and spoons- they're pretty and pink!
I've decided I need to start measuring my portions and recording what I eat again. I've got a rough plan. I think I've been lacking in the protein department so I'm working on that and getting enough water... also I'm really bad with eating regular meals so I'm going to do my best to eat 3 meals a day. How are you guys with eating times? I find that some days I can easily not eat until dinner and others I'm dying for breakfast. So here's the plan based on this advice. Any comments or advice are more than welcome.

Breakfast-300
Tea
1/2 cup protein
2/3 cup carbs
1 cup rice/soy milk
1/2 tbsp chia/flax seeds
1/2 cup fruit
Morning Tea (if hungry)-100
Tea
1 Fruit or 2 Veg
Lunch-400
1/2 cup protein
2/3 cup carbs
2-4 cups veggies
1/4 tbsp fat (if required for cooking)
Arvo Tea (if hungry)-100
Tea
1 Fruit or 2 Veg
Dinner-400
1/2 cup protein
2/3 cup carbs
2-4 cups veggies
1/4 tbsp fat (if required for cooking)
Dessert (if hungry)-200
Tea
1 Fruit or/and 
1 serve nuts 
1 small treat etc
Total cals 1100-1500 depending on hunger/activity levels. 

In cooking news I made a healthy protein/coconut/chocolate/almond loaf but it needs perfecting. I think it was the biggest baking disaster I've ever had, it was so dense and heavy that it didn't cook all the way through- even after 2 hrs! It was the first time I'd used coconut flour and protein powder instead of flour flour, I'll keep trying because they taste awesome... I resorted to slicing it and re-baking. It tastes good so at least nothing was wasted. I made some chocolate sauce/custard to go with it from coconut oil, soy milk, stevia, vanilla, no egg. I like it but I think it needs some tweaking too. Stay tuned and I'll try and get a decent recipe up. So instead here are a couple of my attempts at healthy breakfasts!

Oats and Puffed Amaranth with frozen berries
1 cup rice milk
1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds
1/2 cup rolled oats
2/3 cups puffed amaranth
1/2 cup frozen berries
  • combine and enjoy as a hearty refreshing breakfast (or lunch or dinner for that matter)
I found the puffed amaranth to be a little lacking in texture and I'm not the biggest oat fan (texture not taste) thus trying to eat it with other things... so I grabbed some other puffs and tried again...

Overnight Oats and puffed grains with fruit
1 cup soy milk (malt free organic)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds
2/3 cup puffed mixed grains (buckwheat, brown rice, millet etc)
1/2 cup thawed berries & banana
  • combine chia, oats and milk and refrigerate overnight
  • pull out the frozen fruit and refrigerate to thaw
  • in the morning add puffed grains and stir through
  • add thawed fruit or warm through if you're cold
  • enjoy!
This is thick, rich, creamy and filling. Its so creamy next time I might cut the milk with some water... but I still feel like my breakfasts are lacking texture. It may be time to try making my own granola! or adding crunchy fruit like apples or some nuts. I'll let you know how it goes. 

Any suggestions are always more than welcome! 
All the best xxx
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Friday, July 1, 2011

Buckwheat & Edamame

I had never tried buckwheat until last night, I'm always up for trying new things- especially if they're healthy! Also I've been having that insatiable hunger that comes with your body trying to fix itself after illness so I've been looking for something hearty to fill me. I figured protein + fiber was the key so was praying that this meal would do it.

Buckwheat, spinach and Edamame
Makes 2 serves
3/4 cup buckwheat
1/5 cups water
1 cup edamame
1 cup chinese spinach
1tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp roasted sesame oil
  • cook the buckwheat (1 part buckwheat to 2 parts water)
  • add spinach and edamame
  • add soy and sesame oil
  • combine and enjoy!

Mixed Green Sprout Salad with Dijon Dressing
watercress
lettuce
rocket
spinach
alfalfa sprouts
sprouted beans/seeds
dijon mustard
water or oil
pepper
coriander
  • combine ingredients
  • make dressing by combining dijon mustard, water or oil, pepper (I like mine fairly thick and prefer to use water but its your choice!)
This meal was just lovely- it may not look like much but it tasted lovely and is wonderfully healthy and filling. I'll keep experimenting and come up with some more yummy buckwheat recipes- if you have any suggestions feel free to let me know! 

I hope you all try new things too- its so worth it when you keep finding things you love and can expand your cooking resources. I know some people like to stick to the things they know are 'safe' but I believe stepping out of your comfort zone is a good thing! (even if it is scary) so if you tend to eat the same things you always have just start with something small, give one new ingredient a go next shop! 

All the best xxx
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