Monthly Archives: July 2013

Eggplant Bake

Eggplant is a good source of potassium, Vitamin K & magnesium. There is also a phytonutrient found in eggplant skin called Nasunin which is a potent antioxidant and free radical scavenger that has been shown to protect cell membranes from damage. How helpful, thank you eggplant.

Ever noticed how walnuts look like little brains? Well that is because they are smart little nuts. They are LOADED with vitamin E which is an excellent antioxidant, rich in omega 3 fatty acids which provide an excellent anti inflammatory action for our bodies and contains lots of important B-complex vitamins. What clever little nuts.

1 lge eggplant, chopped roughly
3-4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped roughly
Handful walnuts
Goats cheese to top
Pinch salt & pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs melted coconut oil (or oil of your choice)

This is so easy, almost too easy to even write down. It will probably take you longer to read this than actually prepare is dish. Preheat your oven to 170C. In an ovenproof baking dish add chopped tomatoes & eggplant and toss well with coconut oil, salt, pepper & cinnamon. Spread evenly over the baking dish, top with crumbled goats cheese & walnuts & bake for 20-30 mins until golden.

Nut-Free Coconutty Balls

These are no-nut balls. Yep, I just said that. Sometimes you just need to not have nuts in your life, other days you just need nuts. Today was a nut-free day AND I have Coconut Butter from Honest to Goodness to create with before the GIVEAWAY. If you want to be the lucky recipient of a jar your can get all the details HERE. I am going to give away one jar this week, one next week & a few more on the 14th August. Get posting & sharing the MFR love!

200g sunflower seeds, lightly toasted (or nut of your choice)
150g Coconut Butter
Zest & juice of 1 orange
50g Goji Berries (optional)
1 tbs Maca or Lucuma powder (optional)
2-3 tbs Raw Cacao

In your food processor blend the sunflower seeds until they start to form a paste. Add the coconut butter & orange zest & juice, lucuma/maca & blend until smooth. Add the goji berries & pulse a few times just to combine. Now I made 3 different types of balls, you can choose one or make them all too. Some I just used the batter as it is now, rolled balls & that’s it. Others I rolled the same batter into balls then rolled the balls in raw cacao to coat at the end. The last lot I added a couple of tbs of raw cacao to the food processor, gave it a bit of a blend, then rolled that chocolatey goodness into balls.

The Fitographer

This is my husbands photography blog. The Fitographer, it’s awesome. Check it out.

This is me… An amateur, weekend warrior photographer; with a passion for animals (in particular – Dogs!)… You will see me grow and learn as this blog matures… And hopefully one day, I may become talented and competent enough to take this game up for a living (feel free to give me a ‘virtual’ upper-cut if you feel I am barking up the wrong tree here… I don’t want to be ‘that guy’ who thought he could sing, with friends who wouldn’t give him some honest feedback, and so entered a talent show, only for the world to cringe at how absolutely sh!thouse he sounds!!!)?!

My very talented and very stunning wife is part of the reason I am commencing this… She seems to think I am ‘OK’ with the camera; but I sometimes wonder if she is ‘that friend’ who doesn’t have the balls to tell me that I suck!!! Needless to say, she is the bomb, and if you are a health nut foodie, you should definitely stop by My Food Religion. The other reason is so friends and family who don’t have accounts on Instagram, Flickr or Facebook, can check out my work… And critique the sh!t out of it!!!

Without blowing wind up my ‘proverbial’ or boring you to death with self appreciation and gloating, I have no accolades in this field (photography… or blogging), nor do I care for them. I photograph ‘stuff’ because I freaking love it… From finding something beautiful (or sometimes hideous – You will definitely see some hideous subjects…), to prepping my weapon (my camera of choice – being whatever is at my disposal at the time; which, is either my iPhone 4S, or DSLR Canon Rebel T3i), taking aim to find the perfect composition and light (this hardly ever happens with dynamic and mostly disobedient subjects, like a dog… Most of my animal shots are pure flukes with some ‘interesting’ results), to then editing my shots to try make the finished product look half presentable…

And yes, you read it correctly… I use a Canon Rebel T3i (or 600D). I honestly don’t feel I need to race out and buy a 5D (or better… Just at the moment, anyway), as I love my current camera and am fluent with the settings, so it just feels like an extension of me. In my very amateur opinion, that is all that really matters… I don’t have a vast array of lenses, only the kit 18-55mm, a 50mm 1:1.8, and a 12-24mm F4 (wide angle zoom). I have a wish-list of items to come, but at the moment, these are delivering good results for me (hopefully you agree?!).

I was an RSPCA Inspector until recently, and love dogs beyond words (not so much the human race after seeing some of the things I have seen and dealt with!!!)… I own a Great Dane named Astro, and so you will see him (and his posse of furry friends) take centre stage throughout this photo blog… Hopefully you can get to know him and his mates through my work, better still, ME… And, appreciate my photography in whatever form it takes. Feel free to criticise the sh!t out of it/me, give feedback and or make comment. I welcome your input!

Trav

Eggs are back!

OM-Freaking-G I cannot believe I forgot to tell you all that eggs are back in my life!! These magic little bullets made their reappearance a few weeks ago and have been making a regular cameo back in my life a couple of times a week since. If you don’t know the story behind the LOSS OF EGGS from my life you can read it HERE.

So, after a bit over 2 mths of an egg free existence I thought I would try my luck at reintroducing those bad-boys and voila, no bloating, no break outs and I didn’t watch to scratch my eyes or throat out! Yee Ha people yee-freaking-ha. Going out for breakfast just became a WHOLE lot easier.

On a side note, I also very stupidly thought that dairy, gluten & cane sugar in the form of sticky date pudding & ice cream for my brother’s birthday might be worth a shot… Rookie error. Not even slightly surprisingly my guts blew up within about 15mins, my eyes were itchy, I wanted to scratch my throat out. Pretty happy to say that I would be pretty ok for gluten, cane sugar & dairy to stay out of my life for good.

I also on a different week accidentally had banana, pineapple & almond milk while creating and taste-testing smoothie recipes for Primal Pantry. My eyes were itchy within 20mins, obviously I hit myself with 3 potential allergens at once so I am not really sure where I am at with those individual things but once again, pretty happy to keep them out of my life for the time being. Eggs were the only thing I have really missed & after lots of probiotics, homemade sauerkraut, homemade kombucha & LOADS of bone broth my gut seems to be able to handle them! Hooray hooray!

Creamy Pesto Spaghetti

So I have a new kitchen appliance…. Well it’s not really an appliance as much as a device. I have a Veggie Twister that I have loved up until now. Trav hasn’t loved it so much because he normally gets the task of ‘noodling’ things & the veggie twister can give you a bit of RSI after a while. Recently one of my favorite people Bel from Intensity PT introduced me to the SPIROOLI I can’t believe she has been holding out on me for so long. I considered unfriending her on Facebook but she just had a whole organic lamb delivered to her house & I want to be invited to eat it so I need her for a little longer. Anyway, SPIROOLI has changed my life, it is SOOOOO much easier than the veggie twister, quicker & just way betterer. I don’t know if that’s a word but it should be.

Zucchini is low calorie and a great source of fibre. It is rich in vitamin A, flavonoid and poly-phenolic antioxidants such as carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds help scavenge harmful oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species from the body that play a role in aging and various disease process.

6 zucchini’s, noodled (I used my SPIROOLI)
Big bunch basil
Big bunch parsley
1 cup pistachios, lightly toasted
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Pinch salt & pepper
1 lge avocado

Noodle your zucchini & set aside in a big bowl. In your food processor blend the lemon juice, oil, apple cider vinegar & herbs until very well chopped. Add the avocado, salt & pepper & blend until smooth. Add the nuts and pulse a few times to combine. Chuck the pesto on top of the noodles & mix well. I recommend getting in there with your hands and giving it a good mix to get the pesto to properly coat the noodles. Don’t be shy. Hands work way better than any other implement I could find in my kitchen, and I have a cr@pload of implements in my kitchen so trust me on the hands. Now, you can chuck this in a big frypan & gently warm it through if you fancy, we ate ours raw & cold like a salad but I did warm it up the next day when I ate leftovers. Both ways are delicious. Whatever floats your boat.

Vanilla Mint Ice Cream

This looks good doesn’t it. It really was, it was delicious. I had never actually had ice cream made with fresh mint before and well, it was fresh, and minty. Geeze I am good at describing stuff. You guys are so lucky. It tastes completely unlike any mint-flavored ice cream you have ever had, using the real deal instead of mint extract or essence makes all the difference. I actually only used 1 tbs honey to sweeten mine but you might need to add more if you are used to sweeter stuff.

3 cups full fat coconut cream
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey/maple syrup (or stevia to taste)
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla bean powder)
2 egg yolks

Whisk the cream and water together, and pour them into a saucepan set over medium-low heat. When the mix begins to bubble slightly at the edges of the pan, stir in the honey until it dissolves. Turn off the heat. Add the mint into the saucepan. Take a sharp knife, and cut a slit length-wise in the vanilla bean, then pop the whole thing in with the liquid ingredients and the mint. Cover the pot and allow it to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain into a mixing bowl, cover it & pop it to the fridge until cold. When the ice cream mix completely cold, whisk in the egg yolks until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and watch the magic happen.

Why I’m Nuts for Coconuts & a Giveaway!

My first giveaway and it is of one of my most favorite things in all of the land….. Coconut Butter! Most of you may have noticed that I am pretty nuts for all things coconut. It is border-line an obsession. I would say that I eat at least one serve of coconutty goodness every day. Is that weird? Actually don’t answer that, it’s not going to change anything for me, so just keep your opinions to yourself….. Unless your opinion is that I am totally normal, not even mildly unhinged & that I do not have coconut OCD…. Then share your opinions freely. Wow that got off-track, how unusual for me.

So, I have been lucky enough to be sent some DELICIOUS JARS OF HEAVEN from Honest to Goodness to giveaway to you!! BUT WAIT, there’s more…. and it’s not a set of steak knives that can cut through a shoe with ease (why would you want to??). As well as that you can get 10% off any orders from Honest to Goodness from the 1st until the 15th August. That’s 2 weeks people, you have 2 weeks to stock up on what you need. Use the code 13MYFOOD at the checkout.

So why do I love coconut products?

#1- Coconut products are freaking delicious. Oil, butter, milk, cream, shredded, flakes, flour. It is totally versatile & 100% a mouth party.

#2- 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, the metabolism boosting medium chain triglycerides can aid in weight loss.

#3- The lauric acid in coconuts is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Coconut can help boost the immune system and is very nourishing. Put it on your skin, in your hair, use it as a deodorant or toothpaste.

#4- Coconut oil is very heat stable and this makes it a great oil for cooking. It is not damaged easily through heating like many other oils and stores really well also.

#5- It is so versatile & a brilliant option for those who have food intolerances. Unless you’re intolerant to coconut, in which case your life must be very sad. Coconut products can be used in sweet or savory dishes, as a substitute for butter, other oils, milk, cream, grain flours. You can read about my LOADS MORE USES here.

Even more about the health benifits of coconut products HERE if you don’t believe me yet.

So for the GIVEAWAY, what do you need to do?? Handstand walk through the main street of your city dressed as a coconut…. or not, though that would impress me no end! You need to share the MyFoodReligion love & your creativity.

So to be a winner you need to-
* Be an Australian resident- sorry but no international shipping will be happening
* Share the blog or Facebook page with as many people as possible
* Tag me on Facebook or Instagram (myfoodreligion) with your coconut butter creations

The winners will be drawn on the 16th August and DON’T FORGET that you can get 10% off your Honest To Goodness Order from the 1st-15th of August 2013!! Hop to it 😉

Chicken Stroganoff

Ever noticed how asparagus makes your pee smell funny? Don’t look at me like that, you know it’s true & I am SURE you have wondered why. Well, you are welcome. I did some research and found you an answer. So, apparently not everyone experiences the joys of weird smelling pee after eating asparagus, genetically some people escape this, I am yet to meet one of those people. The reason for the stink-pee is that asparagus contains a number of sulphur-containing compounds. If you are lucky enough to be genetically blessed (?) your body will enable the breakdown of these sulfur compounds through your digestive process and voila, your pee stinks. So there it is.

This doesn’t look like a regular stroganoff but man it tastes amazing! The thighs stay really moist don’t dry out and are a taste sensation! It tastes just like the beef stroganoff my mum used to make when we were little, only less beefy 😉 Get on it, you’ll love it. Serve it with zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice for a great nutrient-packed & low carbohydrate accompaniment.

1 tbs sweet paprika
1 red onion, diced
1 tbs coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbs tomato paste
2 cups mushrooms, chopped roughly
500ml coconut cream
Pinch salt
Pepper to taste
1 kg chicken thighs

Preheat your oven to 150C. In a crockpot or frypan, heat the coconut oil and sauté onion & garlic until onion is translucent. Add paprika & tomato paste & cook for a further 2-3 mins. Add the coconut cream, mushrooms, salt & pepper and bring to the boil. If you are using a crockpot you can now add the chicken and pop uncovered into the oven for 2-3 hrs. If you are using a frypan you now need to place the chicken in a baking dish & pour over the liquid from the fry pan. Pop this in the oven uncovered for about 2 hrs. Now you can shred the chicken with 2 forks & mix it through the sauce or leave it as whole pieces. I served ours over zucchini spagetti with some grilled asparagus. Delicious. Even better the next day as leftovers.

SSB Superfoods Chocolate Fudge

You WILL NOT believe that this gear is good for you, and not even just GOOD for you, AMAZINGLY FABULOUS for you! It is packed with Superfoods goodness made with my very own hand blended batch of Shakti’s Superfood Blend or SSB. This stuff is a top notch blend of Spirulina, Chlorella, sprouted grasses, bee pollen, chia, mesquite & maca root. It doesn’t have any weird fillers or random ingredients & is a staple in all our smoothies, kombucha homebrew, sauerkraut, as well as anything else I can find to put it in.

This recipe came into creation as I was making some goodies for the cake cabinet down at Primal Pantry. They love their SSB down there too so I thought I could make awesome fudge even more awesome by adding some SSB. I was right. It is even more awesome than I anticipated. High 5 to me. I said awesome a lot in that paragraph.

2 heaped tbs coconut oil
1 cup coconut butter
1 cup nut butter (or seed butter or extra coconut butter)
4-6 fresh dates (depending on how sweet you like it)
3 tbs raw cacao
2 tbs SSB
2 tbs protein powder (optional)

In your food processor blend your nut butter, coconut oil, coconut butter, dates & cacao together until smooth. Add your SSB & protein if using & blend well to combine. Taste the mix. If it is too bitter add a couple more dates, or not chocolately enough, add another tbs cacao. Once it tastes the way you like. Pour it into a baking paper lined dish & pop it in the fridge (or freezer if you are completely impatient like me) to set. I grated a bit of orange zest on top because i was feeling all fancy but that is totally optional. Chop into pieces & gobble that gear up. You could add some extra yummy bits like cacao nibs, goji berries, chopped nuts etc at the end too if you like.

Salmon & Chard

This is super simple & super tasty. Chard is a relative of the spinach & beet family & it is jam packed full of phytonutrients, is high in vitamin C, E, B6 & potassium. Don’t forget that vitamins A, D, E & K are fat soluble so we want to make sure we are having a bit of healthy fat with our chard to ensure we can get the most from it & absorb all its goodness. Smoked salmon is a good source of protein, vitamin D & selenium as well as being rich in awesome Omega 3 fatty acids. Look for wild caught salmon if possible. Farmed stuff is the equivalent of grain-fed beef.

300g smoked salmon
1 tbs coconut oil
Bunch chard (you can use collard greens or kale)
1 red chilli
2cm square fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 eshallots
Juice 1 lemon
Big handful coriander

In frypan heat the coconut oil. Sauté the eshallots, chilli, ginger & garlic until fragrant & eshallots have softened. Add the chard & sauté until it is wilted. Add remaining ingredients & cook until salmon just changes color. Eat up.