Monthly Archives: August 2012

Pesto Veggie Stack

This is a great high protein lunch, snack or dinner and you can load as many veggies in here as you like. Mushrooms would be a great addition and you can use sweet potato instead of pumpkin if you prefer.

Now let’s talk about eggs…. In a world full of misinformation about nutrition, most people mistakenly think that the egg yolk is the worst part of the egg, when in fact, the YOLK IS THE HEALTHIEST PART OF THE EGG! By throwing out the yolk and only eating egg whites, you’re essentially throwing out the most nutrient dense, antioxidant-rich, vitamin and mineral loaded portion of the egg. Yolks contain more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and B12, and panthothenic acid of the egg. In addition, the yolks contain ALL of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the egg, as well as ALL of the essential fatty acids (EFAs). In fact, the egg whites are almost devoid of nutrition compared to the yolks. Even the protein in egg whites isn’t as powerful without the yolks to balance out the amino acid profile and make the protein more bio-available. Keep in mind, even though this seems like a lot of eggs, this makes about 8 serves so you are not eating a dozen eggs at once. I eat about 3-4 whole eggs a day normally so don’t have a freak out.

12 eggs
1 head broccoli
200g pumpkin
Red capsicum
2 carrots, grated
1/4 cup Pesto

Preheat your oven to 170C. Slice the broccoli into pieces about 1cm thick (it doesn’t matter if some pieces are a bit bigger or smaller), do the same with the pumpkin and the capsicum. Whisk the eggs together with the pesto and add the grated carrots. Layer the broccoli and pumpkin on top of each other on a baking dish, once it is all used, pour the egg mixture over the top and place the sliced capsicum on the top. Bake for about 35-45 mins or until cooked. Slice and serve. This freezes well and make a great lunch or high protein snack.

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Broccoli & Basil Soup

Broccoli has a strong, positive impact on our body’s detoxification system, it is also a rich source of fiber, Vitamin C, beta carotene, folate, as well as a variety of other important nutrients. Broccoli has fantastic anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects in our bodies, it is low carbohydrate and helps support a healthy digestive system. Basil has been shown to have some great antibacterial properties. This soup is very low in carbohydrates, high in fibre and a great source of nutrients.

1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
500g broccoli, chopped
500g cauliflower, chopped
Bunch basil, including stems
1.5L Chicken Bone Broth (use veggie stock if you are vegan or vegetarian)
1 avocado, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Pop everything except the basil and avocado in your slow cooker or a big pot and let it simmer for a few hours until the veggies are nice and soft. Add the basil and avocado and blitz with a stick mixer or food processor until smooth. You are ready to eat! It is pretty delicious with a nice big dollop of natural yoghurt 🙂

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Chicken Bone Broth

The benefits of broths made on bones are plentiful! As the bones cook in the water, minerals and other nutrients are released from the bones and into the water. Homemade broth is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals that are really easily absorbed when we eat it. Bone broth contains glucosamine and chondroiton – these are useful in the treatment of arthritis and joint pain. This broth also contains loads of collagen, which is the building block of cells to bones, ligaments, cartilage and the brain. Read more about the health benefits of bone broth HERE.

4 chicken frames, roasted
2 L water
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 bay leaves
Chunk ginger, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Take the roasted chicken frames and rest of the ingredients, chuck it all in the slow cooker, turn it on, go to bed/work. The longer you leave it, the more nutrients will end up in your broth. Strain the liquid through a sieve. Done, magic. You can do this in a big pot instead, just pop everything in the pot, let it simmer for at least 6 hours. (I generally leave mine for 24-48hrs just topping it up occasionally with more water.) Strain through a sieve. This can be frozen if you like as well.

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Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sunday morning sleep in and pancake extravaganza! How good….. Would have been better if I didn’t read the clock wrong and think that it was 7.30 when it was in fact 6.30am….Sleep-in Fail.

Sweet potato is a rich source of flavonoid anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber that are essential for optimal health. These pancakes are similar to the Muscle Fuel Pancakes as they are high in protein and have no added sugar. They are not made on white flour so you will not feel like you have a chunk of play-doh in your guts after eating them 🙂

250g roasted sweet potato (about 1 lge sweet potato)
3 eggs
1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 cup flavourless protein powder
2 tbsp nut butter (or coconut oil)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
OPTIONAL- stevia or honey to taste

In a food processor mix all ingredients until smooth. Spoon into a hot pan and cook like regular pancakes. We ate ours with some natural yoghurt, fresh chopped strawberries and raspberry purée.

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Coconut Blondies

You may have tried the Black Bean Brownies, well these are the blonde version. I don’t think they are dumber but they do possibly have more fun.

Canellini beans are rich in fibre and B vitamins, especially folate. Flax meal is very high in omega 3’s which helps prevent heart disease and lower blood pressure. Flaxseeds have more antioxidants than blueberries!

1 can canellini beans, drained and rinsed well
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup coconut butter (you can use a nut butter instead)
1/4 flaxseed meal (you could substitute for oatmeal or almond meal)
Pinch salt
6 fresh dates, pitted
Stevia to taste (you can use a few tablespoons of maple syrup, agave or honey instead)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract or powder or the beans of 1 vanilla pod

Preheat oven to 160C. Combine all ingredients except shredded coconut in the food processor and blitz until smooth. Press into a baking paper lined tin, I used a loaf tin to get thicker blondies, but you can use a square cake tin if you like, I’d probably double the recipe though so they are not thin & dry. Sprinkle the shredded coconut on top and press into the batter so it sticks. Bake for about 30mins. Allow to cool then cut into squares and store in the fridge or freezer.

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Key Lime Tarts

I don’t even know what to say except that these are the BOMB! They are super low in sugar (only a few fresh dates!) and are beautiful enough to serve at a dinner party. Enjoy!

Crust Ingredients:

1 cup walnuts (you can sub for macadamias if you like)
4 fresh dates (for a sugar-free version sub dates for 1 tbs coconut oil and a pinch stevia)

Directions:

Place walnuts and dates into a food processor and pulse till combined. Take crust mixture and spoon into your mini cheesecake pans (or one large pie pan) and press into the pan. Bake for 10mins at 180C or until just starting to brown. Remove and set aside. You don’t actually have to bake this- you can have them as ‘raw’ tarts if you like. I made a couple of raw ones too.

Filling ingredients:

2 1/3 cup cashews (soak the cashews in water for a few hours prior)
1/3 cup coconut butter (you can use coconut oil if you don’t have butter but reduce to 1/4 cup)
Stevia to taste (you can add 1/2 cup maple/agave instead if you like)
1/2 -3/4 cup fresh lime juice (start with 1/2 and see if you want more tang)
2-3 tablespoons lime zest (depending on how ‘Limey’ you like it)
1/2 cup coconut cream
2 kaffir lime leaves, bruised (to bruise- roll them up and whack them a few times with the blunt end if your knife)
Extra zest to decorate

Directions:

In a small saucepan add lime juice, lime leaves, zest, coconut butter, coconut cream and stevia and heat over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 mins. Remove lime leaves and set mix aside. Drain water off cashews and pop them in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add saucepan mix and blitz again until all combined.

Spoon lime filling on top of your crust in your mini cheesecake pans and sprinkle with extra lime zest. Pop back into the oven @180C for 10-15 mins until just browning at the edges. Remove, allow to cool and pop in the fridge for a few hours to set. Once again, if you want a ‘raw’ tart you can skip this baking bit and just pop them straight into the fridge to set.

Once set, gently remove from tart shells and serve.

Here is a raw and a baked one, side by side…

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These are my raw ones…

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And the baked version…

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Hangover-Buster Smoothie

You don’t have to have a hangover to enjoy this smoothie but seeing as I do have one (fabulous wedding we attended last night!) I thought I’d test it out. I know the look of this may be difficult to bear with a hangover but if you can manage to get past that you will feel better for it!

Coconut water comes from young green coconuts and is completely different to coconut milk or cream. It contains no fat and has the same electrolyte balance as blood making it natures BEST rehydrator. Coconut water contains many naturally occurring bioactive enzymes which aid in digestion and metabolism and it is a great source of potassium and B-complex vitamins.

Spirulina is a type of algae. It is about 60% protein and contains ALL the essential amino acids! It is a super food that helps detoxify the liver and counteracts toxins in the body (hence why I needed it!), among a huge number of other great health benefits.

Bananas are the healthy-carb pick up you need (put down the bacon & egg mcmuffin!) and are packed with great minerals and nutrients. The berries will give you the antioxidant punch you needs to help your body start detoxifying and the spinach is an anti-inflammatory as well as an antioxidant.

Handful baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup chopped pineapple (or whatever is in season- mango, kiwi fruit)
1/2 banana
1 tsp Spirulina (optional)
1/2 cup frozen berries
Mint leaves (as many or as few as you like)
2 cups coconut water (you can just use water)

I didn’t actually measure any of those ingredients so add more or less as you go, that is approx amounts. Pop it all in the blender or food processor and blitz until its smooth. Enjoy!

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If you like Piña Coladas……

….And getting caught with Lorraine. That’s how it goes right?!

Last week I bought a beautiful pineapple from the markets and realized a few days ago that it has gotten REALLY ripe! Like probably too ripe to eat as it was. After chopping it up and freezing it in a ziplock bag I forgot about it, until today. I wanted to make something a little bit yummy for dessert but didn’t really feel like going to much effort…. Enter frozen pineapple.

Bromelain found in pineapples is thought to help neutralize fluids to ensure that they are not too acidic. Bromelain also has protein-digesting properties to help keep the digestive track healthy. Pineapples are high in antioxidants and are also an excellent anti-inflammatory.

1/2 pineapple (cut into chunks and frozen, the riper the better)
1 cup coconut cream
1 egg white (omit if vegan)

In the food processor blitz the pineapple until it is all broken down, add the coconut cream and blitz to combine, now add the egg white and mix on medium speed for about 1-2 minutes. The egg white gives it a really creamy texture but you can leave it out if you like. Taste it, if you prefer it sweeter you can add a bit of maple syrup or agave and re-blitz to combine. Don’t use honey, it will just go all frozen and won’t blend well. You are now ready to spoon it into your bowl and dig in….or eat it straight out of the food processor. Whatever, I won’t judge. If you like piña coladas, and getting caught with Lorraine….

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Lacto-Fermented Cabbage

So, lacto-fermented foods??….. Heard of sauerkraut? It is a lacto-fermented food. So this process is basically “pickling” the food by using the Lactobacilli bacteria to do the job. There are loads of great reasons to eat lacto-fermented foods and you can read more about them HERE. If this is the latest in the gut-health bandwagon, I am jumping on with both feet!

Lactobacilli bacteria stimulate our immune systems and help protect the body from infection. The lactic acid they produce when fermenting food actually helps normalize our stomach acidity. Lacto-fermented foods improve digestion and stimulate the growth of good stomach flora and improves the bio-availability of minerals in the food.

You can ferment any veggies at all, carrot, cucumber, radish, cabbage, daikon, beetroot…

You will need –
A jar with an airtight lid, both sterilized with boiling water
A bowl
Something to gently pound the cabbage – meat hammer or I used the end of a wooden rolling pin.

1/2 red cabbage, shredded or grated
1 tbs Himalayan rock salt
1 tbs caraway seeds (optional)
4 tbs whey (you can use an extra tbs salt if you don’t have whey but whey works better)

Place all ingredients into a bowl and use the “pounding” implement to gently pound the cabbage to release the juices, you can knead it with your hands if you like. You will need to do this for about 10 minutes. Spoon into your sterilized jar and press down firmly so there is about an inch from the top of the jar and the liquid comes to the top and covers the cabbage completely. Pop the lid on tightly and place on the bench at room temperature for 3-4 days before moving it to the fridge. After 3 days you can eat it! I eat mine with some veggies and lean protein for lunch or dinner. You can have it with salad or pop some in your SUSHI.

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Quinoa Risotto

Quinoa is a gluten-free nutritional powerhouse. It is often called a ‘grain’ but it is actually a seed and is pronounced keen-wah – just in case you go asking for it and they look at you like you are a twit for pronouncing it how it’s spelt 🙂 Quinoa is a complete protein source containing 9 essential amino acids and is particularly high in Lysine which is responsible for healthy tissue growth and repair. Quinoa is also a great source of magnesium, is low in fat and is a lower carbohydrate solution to grains.

2 cups quinoa (soaked for a few hours prior if you have time, overnight is even better)
1 cup white wine (optional)
4 cups hot Vegetable Stock (you can use chicken if you prefer)
1/2 cup fresh parsley- chopped
1/4 cup fresh thyme (you can use basil, sage or any other herb you like)- chopped
1 onion- finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbs oil of your choice (I used macadamia)
Pinch salt
Cracked pepper to taste
2 chicken breasts- cubed
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 zucchini- cut into chunks
Few handfuls of baby spinach (optional, I just like green stuff in my dinner)

Heat a large deep frypan or saucepan, add oil and cook chicken until sealed and about 1/2 cooked. Remove from pan and set aside. Add garlic and onion and sauté until onion is soft. Add drained and rinsed quinoa and wine and bring to a simmer for a 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of the stock, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally & add stock a bit at a time as it is getting absorbed. After 5 minutes, add remaining stock and all remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring back to a simmer and simmer for a further 10 mins, stirring occasionally or until quinoa is cooked. Once it is cooked, remove from heat and serve.

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