Thursday, 30 January 2014

News flash!!!!!


It appears that sometimes we forget that we don't need to have a lot of ingredients on hand to be able to whip up a fresh, quick and easy salad. Simple good quality ingredients can be bursting with flavour if you just let them! Trust me, ripe juicy tomatoes diced tossed together with fresh basil, drizzled with olive oil in sprinkled with some sea salt will get you on my side!

How many times have you been making a salad thinking, 'now what else can I put in there?'

Why??

So it looks good? So it looks all colourful and special when you take pictures of your food and people will think it looks like it came from a restaurant!!! Ha ha you're special.

Anyways in celebration of taking pictures of our food, here is what I am eating!


Notice how awesome I made it look buy editing the photo so it looks nothing like  the real thing??



Carrot and ginger slaw


2 large carrots grated
1 tablespoon of finely grated ginger (fresh!!)
1 hand full of coriander finely chopped

Dressing

2 tablespoons of tahini
3 tablespoon of olive oil
Juice of one lime
Cracked pepper


Combine the grated carrot, coriander and ginger in a bowl. Squeeze over lime juice
In a separate bowl mix the tahini and olive oil to a smooth consistency.
Mix the dressing through the carrot mixture and ta daaaaaaa!!!!

You can have this as a side (makes enough for 2) or just eat the whole lot on a bed of some fresh leafy greens!


I aslo made this once before without coriander and grated the carrot finer....finer carrot was better!  

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Don't judge me


So I have a funny story and a personal confession. Which one do you want first? I am just going to decide for you basically because I have to. Confession first because that kinda led to the comical turn of events. 
I am a recipe hoarder. Yup. Like crazy. I’m talking magazine recipes, little brochures you pick up at the supermarket, online recipes, and let’s not even mention the ever growing amount of scrap pieces of paper that I have scribbled on with recipes and ideas that have paralysed whilst waiting in line to pay for my fruit and veg. Picture it. 31year old female going into a trance like state while someone is yelling ‘next please’ at her. Now that’s just embarrassing. And then there are the cookbooks. The cookbooks that I don’t even use! Aaaaah!!! I know!! Why don’t I use them??? It is mainly because most of the recipes contain ingredients that I don’t really eat anymore. But I keep the books because the collection makes me look like I am veteran chef. No, that’s not true. I keep them because I think that I will cook from them when people come over to play.  Which I decided was silly because if I wouldn’t eat some of the ingredients myself, then why would I feed it to my family and friends??? Mmmm well it depends how much I like them. Kidding!

So as with most recipes I come across, I research substitutes for certain ingredients and make my own Mellness version. Which is fun and challenging at the same time.

But now it’s story time……

Today is Australia Day here in Oz. Actually that has absolutely nothing to do with it. But what it means is that it is summer. I want ice cream. But what I don’t want is the dairy laden kind. What I also don’t want is ice cream that has a list of 26 ingredients most of which have numbers at the end of them and make me scared.
I guess that means I’m not goin out to by ice cream today!  And this is where my cookbooks become famous!

I came across a recipe for rosewater and pistachio ice cream in a book given to me a while back that is on display in my kitchen. So I decided that my challenge was set! Full cream milk= almond milk. Full cream pouring cream=coconut cream. Caster sugar= maple syrup (teensy weensy bit…..I am sorry but I have just done a sugar detox guys…..give me a break! More on that in next post....)

So how’s about how I made scrambled eggs as a result? Bahahahaha! Hilaaaaarious!!!! I nearly took photos but it looked like yellow baby chuck and very offensive to the eye. But I think I may have recovered. So standby while my rosewater, coconut scrambled eggs are freezing.

Meanwhile back at the ranch I was scared that my kitchen festivities were going to be a waste. So I got creative. And frugal.

I had egg whites left from my ice cream venture right, so I beat those lil whites till they were nice and fluffy and made chewy coconut cookies!




 Stuff you need

·      2 cups of shredded coconut (I would use desiccated next time)
·      2 tablespoons of coconut oil
·      3 tablespoons of cacao hazelnut butter (this is just raw cacao blended with hazelnuts. That’s it! But you could make your own with any kind of nut butter and cacao powder)
·      2 tablespoons of goji berries or sultanas
·      3 egg whites
·      Pinch of salt

*When I am not being so I-don’t-want-to-have-too-much-sugar I shall add a bit of honey for extra chewiness and sweety goodness. Just melt it into your coconut oil and nut butter. You should try it, go on.


How to make them

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Beat egg whites until nice and fluffy and add to the dry ingredients
4. Melt the coconut oil and nut butter together until you have a runny consistency and add to the coconut mixture.
5. Spoon the mixture into clumps on a baking tray and bake for approx. 15-20 mins or until golden brown.



Wanna know how my ice cream went???

I MADE ICE CREAM!!!

AND IT WAS EDIBLE!!!!

And this is what it looked like…..





 Don't be mistaken by the runniness, it's maple syrup. Don't you worry, this ice cream was in scoops!



So here’s what I did…..


 The food part


1 cup of almond milk
1 cup of coconut cream
6 egg yolks
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
¼ cup toasted pecans (yes it was supposed to be pistachios, but it was all I had)
Rosewater to taste

I also added a couple of teaspoons of coconut flour to thicken it up as I didn’t have the caster sugar.


The creating part

1. In a saucepan combine cream, milk, vanilla and cinnamon stick and heat on low till almost boiled.
2. In a bowl beat egg yolk, maple syrup and coconut flour together.
3. Gradually add in the milk mixture and continue to beat.
4. Return mix to the saucepan and continue to heat until thick. That was until thick, not until the yolk starts to scramble! Lol!
5. Mix in the rosewater and pecans.
6. Pour into a bowl that you will be able to continually mix in and place in the freezer. Unless you have an ice cream machine which in that case makes you way more awesome.
7. Check the ice cream mix every 30-45mins and take out to beat with a hand beater just as the icicles start to break them up. Continually do this until you have the perfect creamy icy treat that you can scoop.

Then drizzle with something amazing ( I just used maple syrup) but you can use berries, crushed nuts, honey…whatevs!!!


Pheeeeeeew I'm sleepy now!





Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Ha ha ha ha!!! How easy is that?!


So let us start from the start…..

For most of you that predominately eat a mainstream diet of supermarket bought packaged and commercial foods, with a bit of fruit and veg mixed in then the thought of changing your ‘foodstyle’ let alone your lifestyle is probably freaking you out!  But relaaaaaaaaax! Don’t think that to live a healthier life that you need to be making all of these crazy weirdo changes that are probably unachievable, not even relative to you and completely unrealistic to your life at the moment.  These new crazy ideas are usually the latest in the ‘what’s hot’ section of the newspapers. Or better yet, what’s ‘trending’. What does that even mean anyway????

Let me be super clear. This is not a new way of life. It is actually old. It just might be new to what you have always known. And it is so not our fault. It is just about getting back to basics. As one of my fav podcasters Sean Croxton says ‘old school foods don’t create new age diseases'. Fat wasn’t put in food to kill us! Now I don’t want you all thinking that just because I support and promote the benefits of getting more and more superhero like that I am trying to convert you from your skinny milk vanilla latte breakfast and supermarket pasta with tin canned sauce dinner (which does make me want to vomit just a tiny bit in my mouth) trust me, I would looooooooove to! But I don’t have a certificate IV in cult leading. It is just about giving you the information in more of ‘dummies guide ’ way that it is much more digestible that is going to help you decide what feels right for and is important to you and where you might be with your health at the moment. For me, over the years I have gotten so worked up and confused at what I should and shouldn’t be doing. You read one thing that tells you something is good and then the next thing tells you it’s bad! Aaaaaaah!!!! And then I started to realise…..’hang on just because a food or particular exercise is considered fantastic, doesn’t mean it is fantastic for me right now.’

As they say, the teacher will only arrive when the student is ready. And hey, you might be ready. And being ready may just be that you have a spark of interest because of someone you heard about or saw recently that has lost a bit of weight and is feeling great. Maybe depression and anxiety is becoming far to popular around you. It might be that you are sick of hearing about the increase in diseases and don’t want to head down the path that seems to be just an inevitable part of getting older.  It might even be that you are still reading! And if you are? Wooooooo weeeeeeee!

So who is with me then?  I said WHO IS WITH ME????

Cool, so what is a good recipe to start with? 

As with any recipe there is always the basic easy version and the more complicated head chef version. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT!!! It doesn’t matter if you are a vegetarian, vegan or a striving carnivore! To start with just don’t make things too complicated by trying to find the best supplement for this or, what super food you should have for that or by trying to incorporate too many new herbs, practitioners and weirdo new ‘diets.’ You just need to start easy so can achieve more teeny weeny goals rather than trying to be a superstar and achieve bigger goals but less of them.  Lots of little ones will make up those big ones!!!! What I have learnt from my own experiences is that the more I stressed out about not having this or not doing that, the more it brought me down. And once again I am not fully there yet and am still designing my own particular health model. But I don’t want you all to turn into little stress heads because that ‘S’ word is the main nasty that is causing us to get sad, fat, sick and less amazing than what we are.

stress= NOT INTERESTED!!!!

So after thinking about this online journal that I let you all to read I started to realise that even though I am super excited about learning all this stuff, not everyone else is. And that is waaaaaay fine. Because hey,  we all have different time constraints, schedules and priorities.  And mostly, we just want to know what the basics are so we can pick and choose. And as we stroll along we start to work out what we want to know more about and things we don’t. So I am going to try to keep my ramblings to a minimum. So this post is done……….

Ok kidding!

Here are some dot points (cos everyone likes dot points) of the sorts of things that you need to start considering in order to start making little changes to your day in day out lifestyle. You don’t need to do everything all at once, just start damn it!!!

ð     Clean up what you put in your mouth! And I am talking FOOD here people!
Most of us clean our houses, cars and desks regularly…..but why don’t we clean our bodies?? I’m confused. Well of course we shower, but what about the inside??  Try to minimise as best you can any packaged and overly processed foods, preservatives and additives that you eat. What this means is, you guessed it, you need to eat more of the stuff that grows and is the least molested by people.  The more ingredients, the less it helps you. I know you have probably heard all his stuff already but really the more of that kind of food that you eat, the less the good food is gonna  work.

ð     Exercise enough!
Not too little. Not too much. Juuuuuuust right! Although superficial motivators are the best way to get started. I mean who doesn’t want to look faaaaaabulous at their work Christmas party?? But what is going to happen when you hit your goal weight ? What are you going to do once you fit into your wedding dress? Are you going to keep it up? How? You need another goal to keep you going don’t you? That means your motivation needs to be greater than that dress. Find out why you exercise and continue to challenge whether it is a quick fix or not.

Remember: Motivation gets you started, habit keeps you going.

ð     Sleeeeeeeeeep!
For Mellness sake SLEEP!!! What do we need? 6-8 hours. Is that all that matters? NO!! We need to be sleeping between 11pm and 3am, you need get off your Facebook and Instagram before going to sleep, do not eat less than 2 hours before going to bed (I am so bad at this!!) and prioritise it. I personally need to put sleep ahead of so many other things in my life because for health, energy levels and mental state. And one point in my life I had to and now I would much rather have more hours in my day that are happy and focused rather than just more waking hours.

ð     Reduce toxins in your body.
And this is where that ‘S’ word comes into the picture. Stress on the body or ‘stressors’ are disguised as so many things. So cheeky! They can be in the form of emotions that you are experiencing or are holding onto, financial stress, time constraints, work pressures, chemicals in our cleaning products, cosmetics, skincare, physical injuries. You name it, just about everything these days caused some amount of stress.  And this brings together all of the previous points splendidly because any thing that challenges and stresses the body, is toxic for us. And who wants to be a toxic mutant? Didn’t think so. So nut out you life and find what could be stresses your mind and body (p.s same thing, not different. They are actually bff’s) Is it that you try to cram too much in your day? Are you eating something that might be bad for your belly? Are you taking on other’s problems? Are you using shampoo that is probably harmful to the packaging that it is in let alone your head?


Pay attention to your body. It tells you stuff. Headaches. Not normal! 3PM energy slump. Not normal! Food coma after dinner. Not normal! Reflux and heartburn. Not normal! Moments of feeling down depressed and flat. No normal! A leak or blockage in the plumbing ( you know what I mean J) it’s NOOOOOOOOOOT normal!

I’m sorry peeps, well I’m not actually, but you need to be responsible for your own health care. It is not your doctor’s responsibility to keep you healthy. It is your doctor’s job to try to fix you when you are sick or diseased. This is when we are already in a state of emergency. So let’s not let it get that far.

You will get there guys, I promise. I promise, promise promise promise. And ‘there’ isn’t where I am or where others are, it is where YOU want to be. And in fact you know what? It is not even so much about getting anywhere as such, it is just about being able to god damn enjoy our lives everyday and the people that are in it! (sorry for the blasphemy!)

 And if you want to check out Sean Croxton head to http://undergroundwellness.com

xxxx

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Dairy free Ice cream treats


Dairy free ice cream treats





You can get as totally creative as you like with these! Substitute fruits for whatever is your fav or whatever you have available. You can add things like nuts, honey or maple syrup, cinnamon there are so many different things you can try! I don't even know where to stop. But I will! here is just a couple to start you off!


Cocoberry

Can of 100% coconut milk or cream
Berries of your choice (fresh or frozen)
Spoonful of raw cacao powder (optional)
1 banana


1. Freeze coconut cream/milk in ice cube trays
2. When ready to eat blend in a processor (or blender should work) ice cubes, berries, banana and cacao until smooth!!!

Use as many ice cubes as you need for a perfect consistency, depending on how many you are making for.



Straight up banana nut

Cashews (that have been soaked over night)
Frozen bananas

1. In a blender or processor, blend cashews and bananas until smooth.



*If you want a bit of a crunch add some macadamias or brazil nuts, with some cinnamon. Or add some mango or passionfruit for a more tropical desert. If you want it even creamier you can add some of your frozen coconut cream.