Monthly Archives: March 2013

Chocolate Tart

It’s Trav’s birthday today! We went down to Bangalow for the weekend with some friends & pretty much just ate ourselves into oblivion for the weekend. The great thing about the friends we went with (well one of their endearing qualities- Belinda is also an excellent coffee-table dancer), is that they love eating great wholesome food too so we didn’t feel like piles of toxic waste by the end of our trip away. We were slightly sleep deprived from having Astro moaning, snoring, farting & pacing in our room every night. The idea of pet-friendly accommodation is much better in theory than in practice when you have a super-anxious 70kg beast. Take that as a hot tip for new players. Rookie error on our behalf.

Hmmmmm so what to say about this tart?….. Loads of magnesium, fibre, sneaking green stuff & so damn tasty no-one would ever suspect it’s not loaded with refined sugar & processed cr@p. Serve it at your next dinner party…. With whipped coconut cream…. Damn it. I knew I forgot something. Coconut cream would have been amazing with this.

Base-
10 fresh dates
2 cups walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon

Filling-
500ml coconut cream
1/2 tsp stevia powder (or 1/4-1/2 cup maple syrup)
2 ripe avocados
OPTIONAL- 150g 85% dark chocolate, chopped roughly (you can just use a few extra tbs raw cacao instead)
2-3 tbs raw cacao
1 heaped tsp instant coffee (this just intensifies the chocolate flavor)

Preheat oven to 170C. In a food processor blend pulse the base ingredients until they all come together in a rough ‘dough’, you can add a few extra dates if you need to. Press into a tart tin and bake for about 15-20mins until just starting to brown on the edges. Put aside to cool. **NOTE- you do not need to bake the base, this is fine as a raw tart too.

In the food processor now blend the avocado & coconut cream until smooth. Add to a saucepan with the remaining filling ingredients on a low heat. Cook stirring until all the chocolate has melted & the mixture is smooth. Taste it & if it is too bitter for your liking add a bit more sweetener, if it is not as ‘chocolatey’ as you like, add more cacao. Pop it aside to cool.

Once the base & filling has cooled to room temperature, add the filling to the tart shell. You can top it with berries or toasted coconut if you like. Place tart in the fridge for a few hours to set. Slice, eat, enjoy.

No Cook Carrot Cake

By no cook I mean no bake, it still requires a cook. It’s not going to make itself. It’s cake, it’s not that clever. Trav thinks this is the best cake yet…. He also thought that when I blended frozen peas (thanks Bel for the idea) with blueberries & Acai powder in the food processor as dessert one night that THAT was “definitely THE BEST creation ever”, true story. So let it be known, he is VERY easily pleased. This is actually delicious though & was inspired by THIS RECIPE that I adapted based on what I had.

For the base-
1/2 cup almonds (can sub for cashews or macadamias)
4 fresh dates
1/2 cup coconut butter (you could use 1/4 cup coconut oil, it will just change the texture slightly)
1 1/2 carrots, grated
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves

In your food processor blend dates, almonds & coconut butter until fairly smooth. Add remaining ingredients & blend until just combined. Press into a baking paper lined tray (I used a loaf tin) and pop in the freezer while you do the icing.

For the icing-
1/2 cup blanched almonds, soaked in water for about an hour or more, then drained (no drama if you don’t use blanched it will just darken the icing colour slightly- you can also use cashews)
5 tbs water (approx)
Juice 1/2 lemon & zest
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
Dash stevia to taste
2 tbs coconut butter (again you can use coconut oil but probably don’t add the water if you do)

Blend all icing ingredients in the food processor until smooth. Add extra water/coconut oil to achieve the desired consistency. Spread this on top of the carrot cake base & place in the fridge (or freezer if you are super impatient like me). Top with some extra walnuts & a sprinkle of cinnamon. Can be stored in the fridge or freezer, just let it thaw before trying to munch on it when you take it from the freezer.

Banana Cinnamon Cookies

I love cookies. So much. I could eat them every day. According to the health foundation food pyramid, cookies are a ‘sometimes’ food. Well they can bite me, these cookies are an ‘everytime you work your ar$e off at the gym you can have one (or 3) kinda food’. They have some great healthy fat sources from the nut butter & coconut and only have 1 banana between about 12 cookies so are pretty low carb! High fibre, high iron, rich in B vitamins, potassium packed bananas are great fuel for our bodies. Many studies have also shown that adding cinnamon also helps lower the GI of high GI foods like bananas and assists in regulating blood sugar levels. I love cookies. Did I mention that?

250g of nut butter (I used almond but peanut/cashew/macadamia/ sunflower seed would work well too)
1 large egg
60 g coconut oil
1/3 cup raw organic honey or 1/2 tsp stevia powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 very ripe banana

Preheat your oven to 160C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place your nut butter, egg, banana, coconut oil and honey (or stevia) in your food processor and process to combine. Add in your salt and spices and process to mix well. Add your coconut flour and baking soda and process one last time. You should now have quite a sticky dough. Spoon your cookies out on your lined tray and press them down to look like cookies. Bake for 10-15 minutes for a still chewy but nicely baked cookie. Remove from the oven and let cool. This made about a dozen cookies.

Lamb in the Garden

This delicious concoction is super easy, makes great leftovers & can be eaten warm or cold. You can use any veggies you like to make this as low carb or carb-ful as you wish. Packed full full of veggie goodness, lean protein and a whole lotta love. Enjoy.

Lamb backstrap (you can probably use another cut, I haven’t tried)
1 tbs rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbs mint, finely chopped
1 tbs coconut oil
Pinch salt & pepper
1/2 head cauliflower
1/2 head broccoli
1 eggplant, cubed
1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted in cinnamon
2 zucchini, chopped roughly
2 capsicum, sliced
You can add pumpkin/sweet potato/ beans etc if you like

Dressing
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tbs coconut aminos/ tamari
1 tbs raw honey (optional- I didn’t use this but you can if you like)
Shake it all together in a jar.

Roast all the veggies first and set aside. Rub your lamb with the mint, rosemary, salt, pepper & coconut oil. Heat your frypan and cook the lamb to your liking. Allow it to rest for 5 mins before slicing. In a big salad bowl combine the roasted veggies & lamb, pour over dressing and toss gently. Top with walnuts. Add a bit of fresh chopped mint if you like. Dig in.

Lamb Sliders

This dish was inspired by my baby sister Jess. She’s not actually a baby. It is not cool to let babies kick around next to ovens & stoves. That is just plain dangerous. Jess is 21 so completely fine to be left unattended in a kitchen. She made chicken ones like this last weekend and they looked fab so, given my newfound discovery of meat, I though lamb with a mint sauce would be amaze. It was. You will love it. This recipe is sans the bread found in most sliders so won’t clog up your guts like glue. Packed full of veggie goodness, a few healthy carbs & a whole lot of yum, this is a perfect post workout chow down.

Mint Dressing-
4 tbs coconut cream (it works best if this has been in the fridge so it is thick & creamy)
Juice 1/2 lemon
Good pinch salt & pepper
2 tbs chopped mint

Mix it all well in a bowl & pop it in the fridge until you are ready for it.

Sliders-
1-2 large sweet potatoes, sliced into about 1cm thick slices
Baby spinach
1 avocado, sliced
1 capsicum, sliced & roasted (optional)
500g lamb, I used backstrap but I am sure other cuts will be fine too
Add anything else you fancy
2 tbs fresh chopped rosemary
2 tbs coconut oil
Pinch salt & pepper

In a container mix the rosemary, oil, salt & pepper. Add the lamb and coat well in the mix. Set aside to marinate for a bit. Preheat your oven to 180C, on a baking paper lined tray lay out your sweet potato rounds & bake for 20-30 mins until cooked. Removes from oven & set aside. In a hot pan cook the lamb to your liking then set aside to rest for 5-10mins before slicing. Take a sweet potato round, stack it with your spinach, avocado, capsicum & lamb, drizzle with the dressing then top it all off with another sweet potato round.

Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potato. In cakes & slices, savory stuff, hell, even in ice cream! It makes me really happy. These chips make me do a super happy dance. They are kick ar$e. Sweet spuds are high in vitamin D, C, A beta carotene and B6. They contain iron & are a great source of magnesium. Round of applause please for sweet potatoes.

1 lge sweet potato, washed and cut into fries
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
Himalayan rock salt
1 egg white
1 tbs coconut oil

Preheat oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper. In a large bowl mix egg white with all herbs, spices, salt & coconut oil. Add sweet potato pieces and mix well to coat. Place on the baking tray in a single layer and bake for 20-30mins or until cooked to your liking.

Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs

Breakfast for dinner, breakfast for dinner!! The last few weeks, Trav & I have made a point of having breakfast food for dinner at least one night a week. I have no idea why, we are just being weirdos (just like you Mango-hating weirdos). Last week it was Carrot Cake Pancakes, tonight SSSA- or smoked salmon scrambled eggs. Seriously this was good gear!!! This served the 2 of us.

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. Got it? Just eat your yolks please.

Handful of finely chopped kale (you know I love to sneak this into things)
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 big handfuls of chopped mushrooms
2 tbs chopped fresh dill
220g smoked salmon (or whatever the nearest packet size is)
8 large free range eggs, lightly whisked
1 tbs coconut oil

Heat the oil in a large frypan & add shallots & mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are almost cooked. Add eggs and kale and scramble how you like to. When the eggs are about 1/2 cooked, add smoked salmon & dill and mix through gently. Finish cooking. Eat.

Coconutty Fudge

I had a heap of coconut butter left over from making my Coconutty Cookies and I thought that, instead of just eating it with a spoon out of the thermomix (not that I would do that…..Totally hypothetically speaking…. Ok, alright, I have, and probably will again, stop judging you judgey mcjudge), I would make some fudge because that is my fallback plan for leftover nut butter and this was similar and I am not feeling very imaginative.

These quantities are pretty rough so just use them as a guide and adjust as you need to.

1 cup of coconut butter (ish? Maybe closer to 1&1/2 cups?)
2 heaped tbs whey protein
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
2 tsp lucuma powder (you can leave this out, I just chucked it in because I had it)
Pinch stevia (or pure maple syrup)
Raw cacao nibs to decorate- optional

Mix everything really well in a bowl. Pour into a baking paper lined dish. Pop it in the fridge to set. Voila.

Coconutty Cookies

I don’t know why there is a kettle bell in this photo? Maybe these cookies make you want to do some kettlebell swings. I think Trav was being a creative genius. I don’t question it, he’s the photo dude. I was making some more Choc Coconut Clusters and I went a bit overboard with the mixture….. So I started adding extra things to the bowl and these happened. They are, well, coconutty. They are not chocolatey though you could add more cacao if you wanted a more chocolate taste. Hot tip. Coconut butter & coconut oil ARE NOT the same thing people. Think peanut butter v’s peanut oil. Coconut oil is the oil extracted from coconut flesh. Coconut butter is the whole coconut flesh puréed into a butter.

Don’t be deterred by the high fat content of coconuts, the saturated fat in coconut is made up of short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids the body quickly turns into energy instead of storing as fat. Therefore, even though it’s high in saturated fat, coconut can aid in weight loss. Half the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut are composed of lauric acid, which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Coconut can help boost the immune system.

3 cups coconut flakes (shredded will be fine)- preservative free
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract
Optional- 2 tbs protein powder
3 eggs
2 tbs raw cacao
1 tbs nut butter
1 cup Coconut Butter (if you don’t have this you can use 1/2 cup coconut oil & 1/2 nut butter)
Dash stevia (or maple syrup if you prefer)

Preheat oven to 150C. line some baking trays with baking paper. Ok, in a bowl whisk together the cinnamon, vanilla, stevia, cacao and eggs. Pour over the coconut and mix well. Heat your nut butter and coconut butter gently in the microwave or a small pot until it is a bit runny. Pour this over the coconut mix and give it a good mix. It should be looking doughy. If it is too dry, add another egg. Add protein powder now if you are using it. Once all is combined and doughy. With your hands roll into cookie shapes, place in tray, bake for 5-10 mins depending on how fudgy or crunchy you like them. I did mine for about 8 mins. I drizzled some extra coconut butter on top. These are best stored in the fridge though they do freeze well.