Thursday, 25 June 2015

Change and challenge.....start liking it!!

Yes, the places you will go............ if you start making changes!!

I am best friends with my comfort zone. Or I was. I actually think we might be going through a bit of a break up.  And that would usually scare the whiteness out of me, but it’s not. Because I think I have, wait for it…..CHANGED!! There you go, I just said the 'c' word that everyone hates! Well one of them. So why do we all hate change? Or, why do we hate being challenged by change for that matter? Have you got your answer? Good. I don’t really have mine so let’s go with yours. Yay, thanks! But what I do have is some answers as to why I think that I am starting to open up to the idea of going on a speed date with change.  It’s because I have noticed some pretty cool things that can come as a result of c-h-a-n-g-e!

Who hates being bored? I know, everyone does. ‘Being bored is my hobby’……said NO ONE EVER! But what does being bored really mean?

adjective: bored

feeling weary and impatient because one is unoccupied or lacks interest in one's current activity.

Hahahaha so how do you fix that little dilemma then eh? Get busy doing something that interests you so you feel stimulated and react to the world and others with more patience. Basically the complete opposite of every word that defines the word bored.

Now it might not be that easy to do what interests you, but that is where challenge comes to the party. I noticed something today. I have only been working at my current job for 2 months. A job that I had absolutely no experience in and needed to learn from scratch. In the beginning I was so nervous, uneasy and hated not knowing exactly down to a tea what I was doing. I like knowing EVERYTHING. It makes me feel safe and secure. But today I noticed that things weren’t so busy at work and because I now know what I'm doing like the creases in my pinky finger, I started dropping the ball a bit. The sub conscious part of my brain was on auto pilot and I wasn’t engaging and putting my  ‘conscious’ mind to work. And our conscious mind is where we need to be living more and more of our lives. What had happened was I had gotten comfortable with what I was doing. I got stale. When I realized that I wasn’t bringing my full ‘A’ game that I started thinking….’maybe I actually like change.’ No. Really?? Me? Yikes. 
Here are some of the things about change and challenge that I have noticed recently that have awesome written all over them......
  • It starts the ball rolling and paves the way for more changes to occur because you aren’t as scared anymore. Because of this, you feel way more motivated to make changes in other areas of your life or at least be ok with changes that happen that you cant control
  • You get addicted. You start wanting more challenges to change things up because you start adapting to new and different situations far quicker!
  • You say goodbye to being a fish that is caught in a safety net. Freedom!
  • You feel way more positive and start getting all of these crazy creative and innovative thoughts and ideas.
  • This then makes you happier. And people like happy people. They want to be around them. People will then want to be around you. Not stalk you. Just be around you, like normal people.
  • You feel more like a champion because you have more confidence. 
  • Surviving what you think might be scary gives you more resilience to do other things like quit sugar. And let’s face it, everyone is scared of quiting sugar!!

Ok, I am not writing anymore. That should get you started on thinking about whether you are stale and bored or if you are a challenge and change junkie. Or if you want to be the latter one :-)

Love xxxx

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Baked eggplant with walnut mushroom crumble

So today is Sunday which means I was sitting at a cafe having my coffee, stimulated by the general public and their interactions with one another. So naturally as I type away at this recipe I can't help but listen in on conversations around me! Don't pretend like you guys don't either! It's like when people say that they have never peed in the shower....who the f**k gets OUT of the shower to pee?? Lies! Anyway this morning I wasn't amazed at what I heard, mainly because most people were just talking about OTHER people. Which is generally the case these days. Which is really starting to bug me! Does anyone else think that catching up with friends or loved ones just to talk or gossip about others is a commmmmm-plete waste of time???  Exactly. If I am talking to you, i want to hear about YOU!! So aaaaaanyway instead the pearler I have is from my train ride to work this week. There is a young girl I see every morning, but on this day she was with her boyfriend. And she totally came alive and said the cutest most beautiful thing......

18/06/15 train in between Footscray and North Melbourne.....

Boy:  "But how do we know??"
Girl: "We don't, we just know it in our hearts..."

Awwwww isn't that gorgeous??  She so passionately wants to open her own cafe :-)

Ok food time!!

Baked eggplant with walnut mushroom crumble

Stuff you need!
1 medium sized eggplant halved length ways
2 table spoons of olive oil
pinch of salt

For the crumble

1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup of activated walnuts (soak your nuts and don’t be lazy!)
1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs cumin powder
2 teaspoons of dried coriander or powder
1 tsp tamari or coconut aminos

What to do with it!!

  1. Pre heat oven to 180 degrees and place eggplant halves on a foil lined baking tray, cut sides up.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle each half with a tablespoon of oil and rub in. Bake for approximately 20-25 mins or until the tops brown. Then flip over for 5 mins.
  3. While eggplant is baking, place all ingredients for the crumble in a food processor except the salt and pepper and pulse until you have a chunky crumbly texture. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Once eggplant is done serve on a bed of baby spinach and top the eggplant halves with crumble mixture.

Tips and tricks for crumble!

  • Substitute the dried coriander for fresh coriander and add in some fresh or sun dried tomatoes
  • Add in a half an avocado diced with some cumber and a squeeze of lemon juice
  • Add some dried, cranberries, sultanas or chopped dates
What else can you use the crumble for??
  •         a raw vegan san choi bow served in lettuce cups
  •        used as a vegan mince meat in hard or soft shelled tacos
  •         filling for rice paper rolls or wrap in Nori sheets for sushi
  •            use as a stuffing for a roast or in baked chicken breasts

Monday, 15 June 2015

Sweet potato, eggplant and salmon 'NOT HOT' curry

Sweet potato, eggplant and salmon curry 'NOT HOT' curry

Seriously, I don't like any curry that is too hot. What is the point of a dish burning the bejeezus out of your mouth so that you can't taste anything that follows? Exactly, there isn't!! But there is just something about a warm, creamy coconut curry that makes me super happy in winter. As long as it doesn't burn me! This recipe was one I have made a few times after it became part of my recipe hoarding collection but I continually change it up. And you can too....remember no rules here!  I like any recipe that is not going to take me forever with too many hard and precise steps. And for a curry this is superbly easy. I have made this once with chicken instead of salmon and it works a treat. If you don't have or want to use eggplant use veggies like, zucchini, squash or even some fresh diced tomatoes work! Whatevs!!! Serve this up with rice or what I have here, cauliflower rice!

Stuff you need.......

2 tsp peanut oil
2 shallots chopped
3 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves
3 tsp curry paste or powder
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup of stock
1 can (400 ml) coconut milk
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp tamari
1 small sweet potato cut into 1cm cubes
1 eggplant cut into 1 inch cubes
300gm salmon fresh or canned
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/3 cup cashews
juice ½ lime
1/3 cup coriander

What to do with it......
  1.   Heat oil in a large deep fry pan over medium heat. Add shallots, ginger and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add cinnamon and curry and stir.
  2.   Pour in the stock, coconut milk, tomato paste, tamari and fish sauce and stir until the tomato paste has dissolved.
  3.  Add  sweet potato and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes and the potato is tender.
  4.   Add in salmon, cashews and peas and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  5.  Just before serving, stir in lime juice and coriander.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Roasted beet, pumpkin and hazelnut salad with orange maple dressing

I have created a little bit of a Sunday morning routine of hitting a different cafe every week for a coffee and study sesh. Apart from the fact that I adore my once a week coffee treat,  I also get crazy inspired 1. I am obsessed with cafe and restaurant design and fit outs and 2. I love love love listening to random convos that I overhear. I have decided that it is my way of getting my hit of how society is tracking seeing as I am such a hermit when it comes to normal people news. I think I prefer my kind of updates though rather than finding out about a 20kg cat that saved its owner from a forrest fire. Riveting.

I have decided that I am going to start my posts as often as as I can with 'Stuff you overhear at cafes'...this one really made me smile!

Rudimentary cafe,  Footscray 

two girlfriends catching up for breakfast......

‘no this is about US connecting, I don’t need to connect with anyone else right now. I was tempted to post it on FB but decided no, because promoting this can make others feel jealous or left out.’ 17/05/15

Perfect :-)

Ok, now for food!

Roasted beet, pumpkin & hazelnut salad with orange maple dressing

Makes approximately 2 main serves or 4 sides

Get this stuff!

1 medium sized beetroot
1/2 butternut pumpkin (or any really)
1/2 cup quinoa (I used red)
1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 tbs coconut oil melted


¼ cup olive oil
1 tbs maple syrup
3 tbs orange juice
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
½ tsp cumin
Cracked pepper

Now do this with it!

  1. Wrap beetroot in foil and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 1 hour
  2. Drizzle pumpkin with 1 tbs of the coconut oil and toss to combine.
  3. Place pumpkin on baking tray and bake in the oven with the beet for approximately 45 mins or until the pumpkin has softened. Make sure you flip the pumpkin half way.
  4. While the vegetables are cooking prepare quinoa according to the packet instructions.
  5. Remove beet from the oven and while wearing gloves,  remove the skin while it's still hot. Chop it into cubes, toss it in the remaining coconut oil and bake on a foil lined tray along with the hazelnuts (on a separate tray) for 10 minutes. 
  6. Once all is ready, combine all ingredients in a bowl before dressing it up!
Here is the dressing situation......

Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Pour over your combined salad just before serving and toss to combine. Season if needed

Tips and tricks 

  • Roast your whole beet in advance. Saves massive time
  • Have your pumpkin chopped up and ready to go a day or so before. Just keep in in a container or zip locked bag
  • Make the dressing before hand too if you like
  • You can substitute the quinoa for some brown rice to save time. You can also use pecans instead of hazelnuts which tastes equally awesome!