Category Archives: FOOD

Breakfast Of Champions

Over the last few months I’ve been doing a fair bit of work for a local fitness group. As such, I’ve been spending a lot of time at their gyms, surrounded by their trainers and many a beautiful bodies.

Prior to working in this environment, I’d always had the perception that trainers and gym junkies alike would eat very boring meals and eliminate too many food groups (for my liking) to maintain their insane bodies. However, being surrounded by these beautiful people for hours on end, I discovered that variety is key and have managed to picked up a number of tasty meal ideas…

My favourite is this breakfast which I’ve seen every one of their trainers indulge in – yup, all of them!  Here is my at-home version. It’s not your typical breakfast, but it’s so tasty!

Two hard-boiled eggs sliced, Israeli Hommus (the good stuff, and it must be full fat), smashed avocado, baby spinach, tomatoes, radish, blanched broccoli, cucumber, nuts and seeds (raw cashews, pepitas and sunflower seeds). Serve with a wedge of lemon, a slice of rye, paleo or sourdough bread and a long black – enjoy!

Yummy Corn Fritters

If I’m to be completely honest, I’m one of those people that regularly skips breakfast (I feel a pang of shame as I type this). My first meal of the day normally consists of a glass of water, a big cup of coffee followed a few hours later with a mid-morning snack.

My weekends however, are a different story. If I’m not headed to brunch (one of my favourite pastimes) the husband and I enjoy a big breakfast at home. One of our all time favourites – corn fritter stacks.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 Sweet Corn Cob (approx. half a cup)
  • Capsicum (approx. 30g)
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1/3 Cup Wholemeal Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Sweet Paprika (Sometimes called hungarian paprika)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 20mls Water
  • Oil of your choice

Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Heat some oil (I use coconut oil) in a non-stick pan. Take two heaped teaspoons  of the mixture and spread out evenly. Cook each side until golden. Makes 4 Fritters.

To serve: I stack the fritters with mixed lettuce, blistered grape tomatoes, avocado and grilled haloumi cheese and drizzle with my favourite dressing.

Olive Oil Dark Chocolate Ganache

I’ve been making simple homemade ganache for years… a quick and easy dessert that’s a crowd pleaser, through and through. But after hearing about olive oil chocolate mousse on my travels through Greece last year, I decided I had to try it or recreate my own version. Lets just say it was a success [based on the speed my husband demolished his].

What you’ll need:

  • 60ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil (look for a bold, rich and fruity flavour)
  • 300ml Cream
  • 180g Dark Chocolate (look for a good quality dark chocolate with at least 30% Cocoa butter) I use Stevia 70% Cocoa chocolate nibs.
  • Salt – optional

1. Over a bain-marie (heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water), gently melt the chocolate ensuring the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water in the pot.
2. Once the chocolate is completely melted, turn off the heat.

3. Stir in the olive oil until the mixture is completely combined.
4. Slowly pour half of the cream into the chocolate and olive oil mixture, and mix well.

5. Pour the remainder of the cream into the mixture – stirring more vigorously as the mixture will be of a thicker (but still runny) consistency.
6. Once the mixture is consistent, pour into four standard sized ramekins. 
7. To bring out the fruity olive oil flavour and bitter sweetness of the chocolate sprinkle with salt.
8. The ganache can be served hot and runny with biscotti or strawberries for dipping.
9. To serve the ganache chilled, allow the mixture to cool outside of the fridge. When the top looks darker in colour with a glossy finish, pop the ramekins in the fridge to fully set. I serve my ganache with spelt cookies and chilled coffee. Delish!

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Moist Coconut Mini Muffins (Gluten & Sugar Free)

Gluten free has been such a big deal over the last few years. I am not a Coeliac, nor am I a strict Paleo follower…but I do believe in good v’s bad carbohydrates, and therefore watch my intake of white flour and sugar (even natural forms, such as honey and fruit).

When it comes to cakes, particularly fluffy, moist sponge cakes, I give them a miss (98% of the time)… but not wanting to feel like I’m missing out all the time, I developed the below recipe. It’s my answer to sweet-cake-cravings and let me tell you, these little puppies are deceivingly good!

What you’ll need:
¾ cup coconut flour
½ cup stevia
4 eggs – separated and at room temperature
120 g melted butter
¾ cup coconut milk (room temperature)
¼ cup of milk – I used skim (lukewarm)
1 vanilla pod deseeded

Instructions…


Separate your eggs. Mix the egg whites until they are stiff – then set aside.


Beat the egg yolks and stevia until the substance looks light in colour. Add the vanilla followed by the melted butter (ensure it isn’t hot, as the eggs will cook) and continue beating for another two minutes. Add the coconut flour and mix well.


The mixture should look yellow and stiff at this point. Slowly add the coconut milk and cows milk and beat until the mixture is well combined, light and fluffy. Note: If the milk is cold, the butter will harden. Using a spatula, slowly fold in the egg whites ¼ at a time.


Grease your cupcake tins/silicon trays (I used mini muffin trays) and spoon the mixture and bake in a preheated 180c oven for 45 minutes for mini muffins or until the top is golden. These muffins can be eaten warm or cold and will store in the fridge for up to a week.

Note: You can use 100% coconut milk and vanilla essence should you not have a fresh vanilla pod.

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Fig, Goji and Coconut Slice

The holidays are a real blow-out for many of us. You can’t help but reach for those little bites and nibbles (between meals) especially when there’s a drink in hand. This holiday season, I decided it was going to be different. I didn’t stop myself from eating these little bites, but rather I would bring a platter of homemade healthy goodies with me. One of the crowd favourites was this fig, goji and coconut slice… What you’ll need

  • 200g Shredded Coconut
  • 60g Goji Berries
  • 120g Dried Figs
  • 2 Tbsp Rice Malt Syrup
  • Pinch of Salt (optional)

1. Pop the shredded coconut into the blender. Removed the hard stems from the dried figs and pop them into the blender two at a time. As you are adding the dried figs, observe the moisture level of the mixture. You do not want the mixture too wet (some figs may be juicer than others) so it is okay to either put less figs or add more coconut. 2. Once the mix is well combined, turn the blender off. Add half the goji berries, salt and two tablespoons of rice malt syrup and blend until the mixture is well combined.

3. Add the remainder of the goji berries and pulse the blender to ensure some of the goji berries are left whole. Take a small slice tray lined with cling wrap and press the mixture into the dish. Fold over the edges of the cling wrap to cover the top of the mixture to ensure it doesn’t dry out. Place the tray in the fridge for 3 hours. 4. After this time, the slice will be ready to cut and enjoy!

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Chinese Tea Eggs

I first came across Chinese tea eggs whilst travelling in China – surprise, surprise. More specifically, we were prepping for our hike across the peaks of Yellow Mountain in Huangshan.
Whilst waiting for our local driver to take us to the mountain base, we went in search of breakfast. The aroma is what hooked us first…. we wove our way through the tiny streets of this very basic village, until we finally stumbled across the source – an older gentlemen crouched over some pots, a steamer and a griddle … plain hot steamed buns, shallot pancakes and tea eggs. My eyes lit up, but more-so once I took a bite…

Since then, tea eggs have become a snack I love having in the fridge…. not only are they healthy, but also the aroma that fills the house whilst cooking reminds me of Christmas.

What you need:

  • 8 eggs at room temperature
  • Orange, mandarin or tangerine peel
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • 4-6 Star Annise
  • 3 tsp/Tea Bags of Black Tea
  • 1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice
  • 1 heaped tsp Sugar (I use Stevia)
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce or Tamari
  • Water

Instructions

1. Wash your eggs well, then popped them to boil for 6 minutes.

2. In a separate smaller but deep pot, place 5 cups of water to boil. Place all your ingredients into the pot. Once it has reached boiling point, turn the heat down and pop a lid onto to stop the water evaporating.

3.  Once your eggs are boiled, place them onto a tea towel (to stop them rolling away). Allow the eggs to cool until they are easy enough to handle. Tap/crack each egg all over. 4. One by one, pop each egg into the pot with the tea and spices… cook for a further 2hours.

5. Turn off the heat and allow the eggs soaking for a further 30 minutes. Drain and you’re ready to shell and eat…

Kale Burst Salad

If you’ve been following my blog (or Instagram) for some time now, you’d know that I am a bit of a salad nut! I eat it daily, but the key is to never let it get boring. My kale burst salad (an adaption/ interpretation of a salad I’ve tried at Top Juice) has been a BBQ staple at my place lately. The sweet, salty and crunchy bursts of flavour are a hit every time.

What you’ll need:

  • Kale (washed well with warm water)
  • Slivered Almonds (Activated or toasted)
  • Pepitas and Sunflower Seeds (Activated or toasted)
  • Pomegranate  (If you are not a fan, substitute with beetroot)
  • Dried Sultanas
  • Greek Feta Cheese (any firm feta will do)
  • Cooked & Cooled Quinoa
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon
  • Salt

Instructions

1. Soak and wash the kale well with warm water. Do not be afraid to scrunch the leaves as they’re very hardy. Chop the leaves into bite size pieces. 2. Deseed you pomegranate, toast your seeds and nuts (if you’re not using activated seeds and nuts) and cut your Feta into small cubes.

3. Pop your kale, sultanas, pomegranate, feta, nuts and seeds into a bowl and season with olive oil, salt and lemon. 4. Add your cooked and cool quinoa and toss. Quinoa is super easy to cook. i.Wash the quinoa well. ii. Cook on the stove using 2 parts water to one part quinoa. iii. Once the water reaches boiling point turn down the heat and pop a lid on top. Stir occasionally so the quinoa doesn’t catch on the bottom. iv. When all the water is absorbed removed the lid and cook for another 2 minutes until the quinoa looks dry. v. Pop the quinoa in the fridge to cool down. Use when ready.

5. Mix ingredients well, taste and add any ingredients you think the salad is missing.

This salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. You’re best to leave the nuts and seeds out and adding prior to serving to maintain crunch.

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Crunchy Choc Nib & Goji Slice

A few weeks ago a girlfriend of mine served up these yummy, crunchy, bitter sweet slices with our afternoon tea. My mind, as it typically does, started to try and identify each ingredient. A few weeks later, still thinking about how good the slice was…I needed to attempt a replica.

What you need:

  • 1.5 Cups Activated Buckwheat
  • 250g Pitted Dates
  • 1/2 Cup Goji Berries
  • 1/2 Cup Cacao Nibs
  • 1/2 Cup Cacao Powder + 1/4 cup spare for dusting
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Vanilla Bean Pod

Instructions:
1.In a large bowl, place the activate buckwheat, cacao nibs, cinnamon and seeded vanilla pod. 2.Meanwhile soak the goji berries in lukewarm water until soft. Drain the water and gently squeeze the goji berries to remove any excess water 3.Chop the dates into small chunks and with a fork squash/mix into a paste. 4.Combine the goji berries and date paste together 5. Now combine the goji and date mixture with the dry ingredients – mix well.

6. Add the 1/2 cup of cacao powder to the gooey mixture 7. If your mixture is too wet, add more cacao powder and or buckwheat. Form into a ball. 8. Place your mixture onto a lined tray.

9. Flatten out the mixture into a rectangular shape. 10. On a new lined tray, dust cacao powder and carefully flip the flattened slice mixture onto the cacao powder.

11. Peel the parchment paper off and dust the remaining exposed side with cacao powder.

12. Place a fresh sheet of parchment paper onto the slice slab. Now place a tray on top and weigh it down with a book or a few magazines. Place the slice in the fridge for one hour 13. After an hour, cut into bite size squares and enjoy. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to two weeks (if it doesn’t get eaten before then).

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Healthy Snacking

Far too often we turn to cookies, a bag of potato chips or a deceivingly high sugar-filled, low-fat yogurt for our mid-afternoon. Our snacking habits have become a hidden health hazard for many – with too many calories, sugar, sodium and fat being consumed. Worst of all, these snacks don’t keep you full for long and add little to no nutritional value to our diets.

So, what are some healthier snacking options?  These are just a few of my go-to options depending on wether I need a sweet-hit or something to tide me over until my next meal. My rule? aim for high protein, high fibre snacks (as it will keep you fuller for longer vs carbohydrates) with 50 – 200 calories in total.

  1. Kiwi Fruit – lower sugar vs most other fruits.
  2. Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds – high in protein and good fats.
  3. Apple slices with nut butter – seriously filling and so tasty.
  4. Coconut water – sometimes filling up with liquids does the job, plus, coconut water hits the sweet spot.
  5. Boiled eggs – I boil a few at the beginning of the week and keep them in my fridge for a quick on the go bite.
  6. Edamame – I buy them frozen, defrost in the microwave. Can be served hot or cold, season with salt (I use pink himalayan).
  7. Kale Chips – store bought or homemade, they’re a great snack.
  8. Stevia Dark Chocolate – Because every girl needs her chocolate fix.
  9. Emma and Toms raw life bars.
  10. Protein bar – the rule is to look for bars with 200 calories or less with a minimum of 10 grams of protein.
  11. Almonds – preferably activated.
  12. Rice Cracker with Low fat cottage cheese topped with homemade mixed berry chia jam.

Homemade Almond Milk

When I tell people I make my own almond milk, I immediately get asked – Why? Are you lactose intolerant? Can’t drink cows milk? or Are you on some strange diet?
The honest truth is, I like the taste and believe ‘everything in moderation’ is key to a happy, healthy life. And because my dairy intake can be high at times (I love milk, Greek yogurt and cottage cheese) I try and balance my dairy intake with almond milk.
So, why make almond milk over buying it? Simple! Homemade almond milk is so easy to make, tastes so good and has no added nasties.
What do you need?

  • 240g Raw Almonds
  • 1L water
  • Blender
  • Muslin cloth/Cheese bag
  • Jars/bottle

1. Soak your almonds overnight in the fridge or blanch them with boiling water for 30 minutes. I blanch mine and remove the skin so that the almond meal (byproduct at the end) is beautifully white and can be used as a flour substitute in baking later.
2. Wash and pop the almonds into your blender and add 1 Litre of water – depending on your blender size you may want to do half at a time.
3. Blend the ingredients on high, then pour the content into your muslin lined bowl or cheese bag and drain. If you’re using cloth, fold/double up the cloth to ensure it doesn’t stretch and allow small traces of almond to past through.

4. Slowly gather the sides of the cloth/bag and squeeze. The liquid strained into the bowl is almond milk and the stuff left in the cloth is almond meal.

SAMSUNG CSC5. Store your almond milk in small jars or a bottle and keep refrigerated. Your 240g of almonds, yields approximately 1 Litre of milk.

 6. If you’re like me and use almond meal frequently… pop the wet almond meal onto a baking tray and bake on low at 130C until the almond meal is dry.

Some of my fave almond milk smoothies include: 1. Strawberries, vanilla protein powder and almond milk. 2. Dates, strawberries, a splash of coconut water and almond milk 3. Nut butter, cocoa, stevia and almond milk. 4. Dates, cocoa and almond milk 5. Coffee, vanilla protein powder and almond milk.

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