Monthly Archives: January 2013

Shank You Very Much

Ooooh this is exciting! My first time cooking shanks. 2nd time cooking lamb. Had no idea what I was doing but I have watched enough cooking shows in my time to give it a crack and “Ready Steady Cook” assures me that lamb, red wine & rosemary work. On a side note, I’m pretty sure it’s near impossible to stuff up anything in the slow cooker. My long-time carnivore sister Christie was suitably impressed, she can be a pretty hard marker so I am air-punching right now. Go me.

1 cup red wine
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 L stock of your choice (I use my homemade beef bone broth)
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
Big pinch salt & pepper
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Few sprigs rosemary
2-3 tbs turmeric
4 lamb shanks
1 tbs coconut oil for cooking

Pop the turmeric in a bowl. Coat the shanks in the turmeric- you can roll them in it, I just pretty much rubbed it all over the outside. Heat the oil in a frypan, add garlic, onion and any turmeric left from coating the shanks & cook until the onion is translucent. Transfer this from pan into your slow cooker. Pop the same pan back on the heat and seal the shanks on all sides then pop them in the slow cooker too. Add all remaining ingredients to the slow cooker. Turn it on. Go do your thing for about 5 hrs. You can leave it longer. I left mine for about 7hrs. Serve with a cauliflower mash or cauliflower rice. We had ours with a cauliflower & zucchini purée.

Orange & Almond Cookies

I wanted to bake a cake tonight. Lemon & poppyseed. I didn’t have any lemons left. Or poppyseeds. Then I lost interest in the cake idea, they do take a while to bake. I have no patience today. So, change of plan. Cookies. Actually cookie dough, or bake-free cookies if you like. You will like. They are fast, they are clean, they are sugar free, they are full of great healthy fats & protein. Splendid splendid no bake orange & almond cookies, or balls, you can make them balls, or just eat the dough out of the bowl. I totally didn’t do that.

1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup coconut butter ( if you don’t have this you could try1/2 cup coconut flour & 1/2 cup coconut oil- I have not tried this so not sure if it will be the same as the butter)
Juice & zest of 1 orange
Stevia to taste (or sweetener of your choice)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract
1/4 cup chopped lightly toasted almond (optional)
1/2 cup flavorless (or vanilla) protein powder (you can use extra coconut flour if you don’t have this)
Pinch salt

Add everything together in a bowl or food processor & mix well until completely combined. Should be a dough-like consistency. You can add a bit extra coconut/almond flour if it is too wet still. Spoon into your hand and shape into whatever you like and pop them in the freezer to set. I store mine in the freezer too but the fridge would be fine. I also baked a couple just for fun. 180C for about 10-15 mins.

Here’s the baked ones…

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And the raw version…

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Capsicum & Walnut Dip

Say no to cr@ppy sugar loaded, preservative full & artificial everything dips from the supermarket! That would work well on an election banner 😉 Make your own people! It is cheap, super easy, you know EXACTLY what is in it, and, the best bit is it will not de-rail your clean eating. Have your dip & eat it too. Woo hoo! This made LOADS of dip, I ended up eating it with my salads, omlettes, dinner for a few days as well as taking a container of it to a party with my own home made crackers.

2 red capsicum, deseeded
3 cloves garlic
Handful fresh basil leaves
1 tbs fresh grated ginger
2 tbs coconut aminos (or tamari)
Juice 1 lemon
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 cup lightly toasted walnuts (or nuts of your choice)
About 2 tbs olive oil
Pinch salt & pepper

In the food processor add everything except capsicum & nuts and blitz until all chopped as best you can. Add capsicum & nuts and pulse a few times until it is the chunkiness you like. That is it. Done. Told you it was easy didn’t I?

Minted Ginger Lemonade

Holy sweatballs it is hot! We needed a cool refreshment, ice cold lemonade would be nice, sans the kilos of sugar please & thank you! Lemons are antibacterial, antiviral, immune boosting, aids ingestion and helps cleanse the liver. Ginger is loaded with antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory and is an excellent for alleviating gastrointestinal distress.

1/2-1 cup fresh lemon juice (depends how lemony you like it)
Dash stevia
1/2 cup finely chopped mint
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped
Zest of 2-3 lemons
1.25l sparking mineral water/soda water
2 tbs freshly grated ginger

In a large jug muddle together all ingredients except mineral water OR if you have a stick blender use that to blitz everything together. Pour over mineral water and mix well. That’s it. You’re done. I strained off the green bits for the photo because it looked a bit like I had lawn clippings in my jar but I actually drank it with all the special green stuff 🙂 This would be delicious as a cocktail…..

Stuffed & Wrapped Chicken

The meat soirée continues…. This time with prosciutto. How have I survived this far without it?! This is super easy and can be served with whatever else you fancy. The chicken is stuffed with what is essentially a pesto that I made from what was left in the fridge, there was no measuring so just experiment with what you have in the quantities you have. That’s helpful isn’t it. Off you go.

Stuffing-
2 big handfuls Italian parsley (you could use basil or regular parsley if you like)
2 big handfuls kale
1 long red chilli
1 tbs grated ginger
2-3 handfuls walnuts (or whatever nuts you like)
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tbs olive oil (or oil of your choice)

Chuck everything but the nuts into the food processor & blitz until it is all chopped up & looking “pesto-ish”. Add the nuts & pulse a few times until it is at the consistency you like. If it is too wet, add some more herbs/kale, if it’s too dry add a dash more oil or some water. Done.

Wrapped Chicken-
4 chicken breasts- sliced open so that you can stuff them
About 8 pieces of prosciutto (bacon would probably work too)
1 tbs coconut oil for cooking

Preheat the oven to 200C. Stuff the chicken breast with the pesto stuffing and close over to contain. Wrap the chicken with 1-2 pieces of prosciutto to cover the outside. Heat the frypan & add the coconut oil. Once hot, add the chicken breasts, cooking just enough on each side to seal them. Pop into a baking paper lined tray & into the oven for about 15 mins until cooked through. You could cook them completely in a frypan if you like, I find they stay more juicy & the outside doesn’t burn in the oven though.

Getting My “Swish” On & Oil Pulling

Is oil pulling the new black? Well it is for me, at least this week.

One of my fabulous facebookers Mia brought to my attention last week this concept of OIL PULLING. She saw an article written about it with coconut oil, she knows I’m obsessed with coconut products so 1 + 1 = googling the bejeezus out of the topic to learn more, then jumping on board with both feet.

I must admit I was a little hesitant at first, it sounded disgusting, but let’s be honest, when has something being disgusting stopped me from trying it. You all know I do love a good self-experiment. What’s more, my skin is $hithouse at the moment (among other things) and my face looks like a pimply teenager- this is not what being in your 30’s is meant to be about. Overshare? Too late.

So, what is this “oil pulling” business? Well it stems from ancient Ayurvedic medicine and is used as a detoxification method. The theory is that the oil “pulls” many of the billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins that reside in our mouths (Candida and Streptococcus are commonly found in our mouths) out. These organisms, and their toxic waste products, can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health issues.

So what do you actually do? You take about a tablespoon of oil and swish it around in your mouth for 15-20mins, then spit it, and the nasty toxins, out. You can do this up to 3x a day BUT it is best done on an empty stomach.

Benefits include

Brightening & whitening teeth
Healthier gums
Removal of mucus
Boosting the immune system
Preventing bad breath
Increasing energy
Having a clearer mind
Decreasing headaches
Clearing the sinuses
Alleviating allergies
Better sleep
More clearer skin
Regulating menstrual cycles
Decreasing inflammation
Improving the lymphatic system
Improving PMS symptoms

How am I doing it?

* I am using coconut oil (of course I am). The same stuff I use to cook with, you can use almond, olive or sesame too. Not sure what else.

* 20 mins….. Really? The first time I did this I lasted 5. I got bored. I decided I needed to be occupied while I “swish” my oil. Now I swish while I take the dog for a walk. I may need to rethink that though as it is awkward when people say “good morning” and I just give a weird, oil-filled-mouth-smile, try not to dribble, wave and don’t speak….. Perhaps I could swish whilst I am preparing my breakfast & ironing my clothes/making the bed etc? Actually, that isn’t going to work for me either, I don’t iron. You can try that though.

Trav & Astro just being cool, try that pose while swishing oil….

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* Being realistic, the ONLY time I really have an empty stomach is first thing in the morning so I am doing it then. I wake up, get dressed to take Astro for a walk, get my mouthful of oil & off we go on our walk. I “swish” for 20mins, then spit that stuff out. You do NOT want to spit it down your sink, it will start to clog the drain. Toilet, bin, wherever, just not your sink.

* I am only 2 days in, I can’t really comment on any major changes. My skin is still crap. My teeth might be a bit whiter? I need to take a photo actually now so I can compare. I will revisit this in about a month & see where we’re at.

Have you tried “oil pulling”? What did you think?

Chicken & Bacon Meatballs

My fabulous friend Jac sent me this recipe from PaleOmg (who I LOVE) for these curry beef meatballs. They looked delicious but I didn’t have beef, or the patience to read the recipe, so off I went on a tangent. Here’s what happened. High in protein, low in carbohydrates and packing the punch of amazing health benefits from all of the wonderful spices, not to mention being a taste sensation. Thanks for the inspiration Jac & of course PaleOMG- you need to go to her blog. You’ll laugh so hard you’ll probably pee…. Oh she makes great food too.

200g organic bacon, diced (chorizo would work well instead)
1kg chicken, minced
1 tbs coconut oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 tbs curry powder
1 tbs garam Marsala
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
500ml coconut cream
2 big handfuls finely shredded kale (optional)

In a dry pan add the curry powder, garam marsala & cinnamon and cook on a low-med heat until spices are fragrant (about 2-3 mins should do). Pop spices into a bowl with the coconut cream and mix well. Put aside.

Into the same pan add the coconut oil, bacon & onion & cook until the onion is translucent. While this is happening, roll your minced chicken into balls (I did big ones because I am lazy but any size will do) and pop into the pan with the bacon & onion and brown the meatballs on all sides. Pour over the coconut & spices sauce & add the shredded kale. Turn down to a low heat and allow to simmer for about 10-15 mins, turning the meatballs occasionally. We served ours with some zucchini noodles but cauliflower rice would be awesome too!!

Choc Chip Cookie Dough Protein Balls

I was eating cookie dough last week while baking cookies, who am I kidding, very few cookies actually made it in the oven. I don’t know why I bother, the dough just tastes so damn good, raw cookies are the way of the future…. Or dough straight from the food processor. I can see you judging again, stop it and go try it, it’s delicious. Add some protein and voila, could just about be considered breakfast food. This is loaded with healthy fats, no sugar, high in protein ANNNNDD it’s cookie dough!!! If that doesn’t just about make you pee with excitement I seriously don’t know how to help you. You will probably have to go join those weirdos that DON’T LIKE MANGOS.

1 cup protein powder (vanilla or flavorless)
2 tbs chia seeds
1 cup coconut butter
1 cup nut butter
1 egg (vegans use flax-egg alternative)
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 tbs lucuma powder (optional)
Stevia to taste (or 1/4 cup raw honey/maple syrup)
1/4 cup raw cacao nibs or dark choc chips

This is so easy it’s stupid. I probably don’t even need to tell you but I will because I am nice & I want to share the cookie-dough love. Get your food processor out, add everything except the cacao nibs and blend to combine. Taste it. If it needs more stevia, add some & re-blitz. Add cacao nibs, pulse briefly to combine. You are ready to roll. I rolled mine in some extra chia seeds & cacao nibs, coconut would be good too or you can just leave them as they are. If you are feeling totally lazy you could just press it into a dish, let it set & eat it like fudge……mmmmmm fudge. I keep mine in the freezer but the fridge will be just fine.

Vietnamese Chicken & Green Mango Salad

This happened because we have a mango tree that hangs over into our back yard & pretty much just makes a big-a$$ mess. Along with this, the possums in said tree make a cr@p load of noise and upset the dog. He doesn’t like possums, they scare him, 70kg Dane scared of a 3kg fruit-eating fur ball…. That happens. Don’t judge. I am sure they say mean things to him that we can’t hear. Anyway, back from the tangent, I decided to pick some of the mangos and see if they actually tasted any good, all the ripe ones had bites out of them so I grabbed some green ones. I have had a few delicious green mango & green papaya salads before so I thought I’d give it a crack. Green mangos are LOADED with vitamin C- about as much as a whole pineapple in one mango.

Dressing-
2 tbs coconut aminos
Juice 1 lime
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
1 red chilli, deseeded & finely chopped
2 tbs olive or sesame oil
1-2 tsp raw honey (optional)

Mix all dressing ingredients well in a container. I just chuck mine in a little jar & shake the cr@p out of it. Done.

For the Salad-
3 chicken breasts, grilled/poached however you want to cook them.
1/2 wombok cabbage, shredded
1 cucumber, I “noodled” mine with my veggie twister
Handful fresh coriander, chopped finely
Handful fresh mint, chopped finely
1/2 cup nuts, chopped & lightly toasted (optional) – I used walnuts because that’s what I had, almonds or cashews would be fab too
3-4 spring onions, finely chopped
2 green mangos, sliced as finely as possible- I used a mandolin.

Shred the chicken with 2 forks or just chop it however you fancy. I am loving shredded meats at the moment so I went fork-style pull-apart.

In a big bowl add all the other salad ingredients, pour over dressing and mix really well to coat- get your hands in there and toss it around. Now add the shredded chicken, give it another big mix up, pile onto plates, shovel into your gob. Easy peasey.

Fanuary ?!!??

We all know someone who had had or currently has cancer. It is a heartbreaking disease that needs more funding and research so that we can treat, or better yet, cure it. You know, if all my fabulous Facebook fans just donated $1, we’d almost have $800…. How easy is that.

In November, men (and some awesome Moe-Sista’s) participated in Movember which was a huge success. In January, it is the fairer of the species’ turn to do our bit by participating in “Fanuary”. You don’t have to go all “hippie” and let your bikini grow wild, lets be honest, it’s Summer, no-one wants to see that. You can just donate to Australian Cancer Research, or, if you are in Brisbane, there is a few salons donating all proceeds from all bikini waxes in January to the cause.

This is a copy of the press release about FANUARY.

With Movember mo’s around the nation clean shaven for another year, women can now step into the spotlight on health awareness by taking part in the upcoming ‘Fanuary’ fundraiser for the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.

Brisbane beauty salons In Therapy and Wax’d are leading the movement, by donating all profits from bikini and Brazilian waxes in January 2013 to Woman’s Cancer Research in an effort to raise awareness for women’s health.

Shockingly 1 in 3 Australian women will be directly affected by cancer before the age of 85. With the help of vital research, survival rates have increased 30% over the last two decades.
Movember’s little sister, Fanuary is helping to increase this survival figure by sparking up conversation.

In Therapy owner and beauty therapist, Michele Taylor, who has owned salons for 36 years and worked in the industry since the age of 17, says gone are the days of an ‘all natural’ approach to hair down there. “Hair removal has permeated mainstream culture and speak of trusted waxing salons is more evident than ever,” Taylor said. “We’re encouraging woman to use Fanuary as an opportunity to start a conversation about woman’s health, share knowledge with loved ones and to learn their family history and healthy predispositions.”

In Therapy and Wax’d have partnered with the Australian Cancer Research Foundation as the official charity partner for the Fanuary initiative. Australian Cancer Research Foundation Chief Executive David Brettell believes it is a creative and interactive way to raise funds and awareness for the foundation. “It’s fun and quirky; we’re taking the nervousness out of uncomfortable waxing conversations and directing them to a good cause,” Brettell said. “With January the month of Cervical Cancer Awareness, support for woman’s health has no greater outlet than the quirky conversations Fanuary can convey, bringing awareness and donations together to inspire dialogue and fundamental research materials.”

Wax’d co-ower Kim Winter said partnering with the Cancer Research Foundation was a no brainer having been personally affected by cancer in her lifetime. “Having seen first-hand the affects that cancer can have on a person and their family, I am proud to be supporting such a great cause and doing our bit in helping to get closer to a cure for this terrible disease,” Winer said.

The Australian Cancer Research Foundation is dedicated to helping find cures for cancers through continued funding of world-class cancer research in Australia. If you aren’t able to book in for a wax this January you can donate to the Cancer Research Foundation at http://www.acrf.com.au/.

In Therapy is located at 44 Enoggera Terrace, Red Hill. Wax’d salons are located in Capalaba and Mt Ommany. To make a booking please phone In Therapy on (07) 3369 5000, Wax’d Capalaba (07) 3390 3001 or Wax’d Mt Ommany (07) 3715 6001.

For further information on the Fanuary initiative visit the In Therapy website
at http://www.intherapy.com.au/ or follow them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/intherapy and Twitter @hairlessangle.

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