Category Archives: FOOD

Fresh

One of my favourite things to eat is salad. I know… I can hear the ‘how boring!’ being screamed at the screen. But ever since I was a little girl, picking fresh lettuce from our garden with my grandmother (a very simple, yet self-sufficient Croatian village woman dressed in black from head to toe) the idea of not having fresh produce on a daily basis is not only a foreign idea, but also ludicrous!

The memories of sitting at the kitchen bench watching my baka (grandmother in Croatian) meticulously and ever so carefully, clean, chop, assemble and dress the salad, is the respect and care I hope to share with my own children and grandchildren one day. But one of my biggest pet peeves, is the nasty dressings full of numbers, thickeners, sugar and salt that people dress their salads with. Salad dressing is so easy to make and one of my favourite clean, nutritionally enhanced dressings is a classic vinaigrette with yeast flakes.

Now, if you don’t know what yeast flakes are (AKA nutritional yeast) … all you need to know is, it tastes great (adds depth with a cheesy, slight mushroomy flavour) and its packed full of goodness – Vitamin B, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin etc etc

So, what do you need for this dressing?

  • Good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Good quality/organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Yeast Flakes
  • Stevia (or natural alternative sweetener)
  • Salt & Pepper

In a jar: 6 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 4 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 Tablespoons of Yeast Flakes. Stevia, Salt and Pepper are all to taste…however I put 3/4 teaspoon of Stevia and a good grind of salt and pepper. Mix, and to taste test… dip a lettuce leaf into the dressing.

Grab some gorgeous fresh produce and enjoy!

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Oh so good oats

Admittedly, I am one of those people who don’t always have breakfast. It depends on how early I get up, how late I’m running, or if I’m training in the morning. If I know I’m training (which I do on an empty stomach), I like to have breakfast ready and waiting for when I get back. And overnight Oats is my favourite healthy but super indulgent carb load.

Ingredients

  • 200g Rolled Oats
  • 100mls Milk (I use skim)
  • 100mls Organic/Raw Coconut Water
  • 100g Greek Yogurt (I use Jalna low Fat Greek or Total 0)
  • Stevia or Rice Malt Syrup (I use 2tsp)
  • Shredded Coconut (handful) – Alternatively use a grated Apple

Instructions: Measure out each ingredient into a bowl and mix well. Divide the oats into 2-3 small containers/jars. Store in the fridge overnight. Eat as is, or top with berries or toasted nut and seeds

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Easy Mixed Berry Chia Jam

Like many folk, I have a weakness for the sweeter things in life, but jam (jelly) has always been something I’ve avoided. It’s not that I don’t like jam, but rather the idea of consuming between 30 – 60% sugar in one spoon has always put me off. However, a few weeks back after experimenting with my chia, yogurt and berry trifle, I accidentally made a jam like substance. A few tweaks and I’ve perfected a healthy, no cook berry chia jam. Ingredients

  • 150g frozen mixed berries
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Rice Malt or 3-4 teaspoons of Stevia
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

IngredientsInstruction

  • In a small bowl defrost the berries (either overnight in the fridge or in the microwave)
  • Once the berries are defrosted, smash the fruit using the back of a fork until approx. 80% of the fruit is broken down.
  • Sweeten the mashed fruit with either rice map syrup or stevia, to your liking.
  • Add the chia seeds and mix.
  • Put the mixture in the fridge for approx. 5 minutes to thicken.
  • Pull the mixture from the fridge and stir again. Transfer to an airtight container, refrigerate and enjoy! (Makes about 1 cup of jam.)
  • Transfer to an airtight container, refrigerate and enjoy! (Makes about 1 cup of jam.)

final product

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In My Fridge

Today I’m opening my fridge doors to give you a closer look at what goes into my husband and I on a weekly basis.

I am the everyday cook in the family, so what is in the fridge is ultimately dependant on me. And since I suffer from stomach issues (IBS) from my early twenties, the fridge is mostly stocked with fresh and lean foods (I’ve also had my gallbladder removed, so don’t process fats very well).

It hasn’t always looked as ‘clean’ (process free) as this. You see, coming from a european background, a mother that’s a chef and a mother in law (MIL) that’s always trying to ‘fatten’ us up, saying no to food, seconds or a doggy bag is a huge insult often resulting in many a guilt trips. I also worked at some of Australia’s largest food manufacturers, which meant I was always trying/experimenting/ cooking with the products we were making.

But over the years, will power, the eye opener of seeing what goes into processed foods (the sugar, salt and fat levels are so high, all in the name of taste & preservation) and the aftermath and illness experienced after consuming these foods, meant I decided my body/I couldn’t take it any longer. The husband and I now eat by the 80/20 rule, but even still, try to make the smarter choices.

Lets take a closer look;

1. Organic tofu, salmon, organic wax & cloth wrapped cheddar, parmesan cheese, bacon, greek feta.
2. Egg whites, organic/free range eggs, cottage cheese (lots of it), leftover baked chicken, leftover brown rice, low fat greek yogurt.
3. Coconut water, leftover store bought tabbouleh salad, flat leaf parsley, spring onions, pre-cooked pumpkin, kale.
4. Baby spinach, iceberg & cos lettuce, ground turkey.
5. Radish, ginger, asparagus, mint, dill, cucumber, zucchini, scarlett butter lettuce, vine ripened grape tomatos.
6. Red capsicum/peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, swedes, swiss & button mushrooms, basil, carrots, snap peas, fennel, coleslaw cabbage mix, celery.

7. Chia seed and coconut water pudding, avocado, butter, lemon.
8. Truffles, homemade tomato relish, tamarin paste, carrot sticks, haloumi cheese, ghee, sparkling water, almond milk.
9. To preface, a lot on this shelf is for when we have people (and there kids) over. Tahini paste, artichoke, sambal olek chilli paste, kaya paste, tartar sauce, dijon mustard, coke zero, tomato sauce/ketchup, jalapeños, kids fruit cups .
10. Dessert wine, amino’s, diabetic cordial, skim milk.

In the freezer…

11. Mangos, mixed berries, peas, edamame, slivered almonds.
12. Chicken breast, fish, fish, fish & more fish (caught by our friend & best man),
13. My uncles sausages (made specifically for me, no added nasties), pork roll, miso and prawn dumpling soups, beef steaks, pork steaks, pumpkin, sliced banana, spinach.
14. Mixed berries, pecans, salmon, spinach, frozen corn, almond meal, edamame.

I’m a huge healthy food and clean fridge inspo seeker. Show me your clean meals and fridge by hash tagging – #inmyfridge and #eatingrainbows on instagram so I can see! xA

 

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Muggin

A few weeks back after devouring a block of Lindt touch of salt chocolate, I realised I had fallen into the sugar trap… needing a hit at 3pm, then again after dinner, oh and then maybe for supper too! Sound like an addict much? I consciously tried to discipline myself but would lapse …and regularly used the excuse of “well, I exercise most days”. Then one evening, whilst grabbing a few necessities at a local department store I came across ‘the wall’ – a sign if you’ve ever seen one, plastered with one book; I quit sugar for life by Sarah Wilson. The next day, I read the book from cover to cover. Most of it was information I already knew and tried to live my life by – eating whole foods,  restricting certain food groups, not drinking your fruits etc. But what Sarah pointed out and I feared was you don’t need to count calories because your body tells you what you need and when – a big eek for me because I always followed calories in vs calories out. The other eek was that many people lack/don’t consume enough good fats and proteins, the two food groups which can actually curb cravings. Within a few days of quitting sugar and increasing good fats and proteins, the cravings were gone! The best part? there are so many great recipes in the book, including sweet treats like my favourite (super quick & easy) Paleo choc-coco muggin, which I just had to share. You need:

  • 1/4 cup almond meal or gluten free self raising flour
  • 2 tablespoons of desiccated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of granulated stevia or 1/2 tablespoon rice malt syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk or any other type of milk – I used almond milk
  • Organic yogurt of your choice – coconut, greek etc

Combine dry ingredients into a microwave safe mug and stir to remove any lumps/ clumps. Then add your liquid and stir.

Once the mixture is well combined pop the mug into a microwave on high for 2 minutes. Serve with yogurt and chow down.

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Chia Chow Down

Chia Pudding

I’ve known about chia’s ‘super-food’ benefits since my time working in the food manufacturing industry. It’s high in protein, fibre, calcium, manganese etc etc… but I’ve always seen it as an added ingredient (in bread or crackers) rather than a main ingredient.

A little over 6 months ago I came across chia pudding pods and chia smoothies and to say I became a little obsessed is a total understatement. The best part is, it’s super easy and quick to make at home and it actually tastes good.

The chia seeds have no taste themselves so it’s more the liquid element, which is absorbed by the chia seeds that provide the taste. Here is one of my healthier versions… Coconut Water Chia Pudding with Greek Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of coconut water
  • 70g greek yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of honey (taste dependant)
  • Fruit – berries and figs
  • 1 tablespoon of nuts/seeds

Instructions

  • In a small container mix chia seeds & coconut water – stir well and pop into fridge for 2 minutes. Pull the mixture out of the fridge and stir again to ensure there are no lumps. Store back in the fridge for another 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes the chia will form a pudding like consistency. If the mixture is too thick for your liking add another tablespoon (or two) of coconut water.
  • Top the chia pudding with the greek yogurt, mix of fruit, nuts and seeds and drizzle honey to taste. Now… just chow down!!!

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Oh so good, Easy Treats

I don’t think I need to explain my unhealthy obsession with chocolate… and being one of those people that needs something sweet everyday, I’ve jumped on the healthy raw treat bandwagon for some time. Below are two of my favourite (and super easy) recipes…

What you’ll need:

  • 300g of Pitted Dates
  • 1 cup Ground Nuts ( I used almond meal and crushed some Almonds with a rolling pin for more texture)
  • 1/3rd cup of Flaxseed Mix or LSA (ground linseeds, sunflower seeds and almonds)
  • 1 cup Natural Unsweetened Cacao Powder
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 1/3 cup Goji Berries (pre-soak for a plump texture)
  • 1/3 Shredded or Grated Coconut (I used a mix of fine and shredded)
  • 1/3 Cacoa Nibs
  • 1/2 Hot Water

Directions:

1. Remove the pits from the dates ensuring you have 300g in a bowl. 2. Pour 1/2 a cup of hot water over the dates to soften. 3. Slowly work the dates into a predominately smooth puree.

4. In a bowl, add 1 cup of almond meal. 5. Add 1/3 cup of Flaxseed mix or LSA. 6. Add the date puree.

7. Lightly mix the ingredients 8. Add 1 cup of cacao powder 9. Add some rock salt.

10. Combine well, until the mixture looks consistent and tacky to touch  11. Separate the mixture in half, in two bowls.

12. In one bowl, add 1/3 Cup of Goji Berries and 1/3 Cup of Coconut and combine well 13. In other bowl add 1/3 cup Cacoa Nibs and combine well.

14. Lay out some cling wrap (width ways – approx 45cm wide) and shape the Goji berry & Coconut mixture into a log. 15. Fold over the plastic and roll. The log with eventually smooth out to approx 30cm in length. 16. Tighten ends of cling wrap and store in fridge. The log will be ready to slice in one hour.

17. Spoon a small amount of the cacao nib mixture onto raw cocao powder and shape/roll into bite size balls.

18. As an alternative, roll them in coconut or any other healthy alternative. 19. Pop the balls into an airtight container and store in the fridge.

20. Enjoy

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A Good Morning

I wouldn’t consider myself the healthiest of people, but I am very health conscious. The difference? I am not extreme when it comes to the day to day, I enjoy carbs, cocktails, caffeine, chocolate (AKA: Anna’s four C’s)… but I do balance this out with lots and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats and exercise.

One thing I consciously do for myself after a ‘bigger’ weekend, is whip up my Strawberry, Oat & Banana morning smoothie. It’s fresh and filling but doesn’t leave you feeling heavy, bloated or gluggy.

Ingredients:

  • 80g Strawberries (you can mix other berries but avoid tart)
  • 3 Tbsps. Rolled Oats
  • 1 Banana
  • 2-3 Dates (optional)
  • 6 Ice Cubes
  • ½ Water
  • 1 cup low fat Almond Milk (Rice, Skim, Soy or any half-half mix)

If Iike me, you enjoy a smoothie after exercise, omit the dates and replace it with one scoop of vanilla protein powder.

Instructions:

  • Blend Strawberries, Banana, Almond Milk, Ice and Water in the blender. Blitz on high until all ingredients are combined.
  • Add Oats and continue to blitz on high for a minute.
  • Add Dates one at a time checking for taste in-between.
  • Serve chilled or with additional ice.

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Treat Time

I have officially finished my cleanse/detox but have decided to continue on the healthier path with the 80/20 rule… 80% healthy clean eating, 20% not so clean. This is not that easy, considering how much I love my chocolate! So last week, I decided to scour the web looking for lots of healthy treats (in preparation for this week) and came across these truffles/brownies on a couple of sites. The recipe I chose to follow was from our little green dot blog (so much useful information & recipes on living green). I was sceptical at first… I mean how good could they really taste? The verdict? They’re awesome!

both truffles

What you need:

  • 300g of pitted dates
  • 1 cup nuts ( I used almonds, walnuts, pepita seeds )
  • 1 cup natural unsweetened cacao powder
  • pinch of sea salt
  • small dash of vanilla essence (or powder if you have it)

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, pulse the nuts until they break down. Do not blend continuously, otherwise you’ll end up with nut butter.
  2. Add in the cacao powder, salt and vanilla. Pulse until combined.
  3. Blend in the dates one at a time.
  4. You’ll end up with a crumbly mixture that should look like below….
  5. Shape into bite size balls.
  6. Leave them as they are or roll them in coconut or add some cacao nibs for extra crunch.

P.S Super excited, but just though i’d mentioned i’m heading to Cambodia in a few hours…. woop!

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