Weekend recap; food for the masses; sweet-potato sparring.

August 30, 2010 § 1 Comment

Salut amigos!

An awesome weekend was had; good food, a smattering of shopping and amazing company, predominantly in the form of this lovely lass.

When I say lass,  I mean wo-man, and when I say wo-man, I mean MA!

Fleeting visits are so bittersweet; all of a sudden the day is gone it’s time to leg it back across the country…and my pantry is still absurdly full! Clearly I did not force feed to maximum potential.

What did go on in the kitchen however, was delicious to say the least.

In usual shambolic style, I decided to trial a spanking new recipe out on the guest – always risky. Not however when you’re in the hands of Miss Gena from Choosing Raw, queen of exceptionally healthy, tasty, decadent dressings and dips. With a surplus of avocados, I settled on this creamy avocado cumin dressing that the ma pronounced delightful, alongside the staple tomato-tahini dressing that i’d be happy to hook to my godddamn veins.

Sampling the goods on a slice of whole wheat pita.

Also had to do some quality control on the avo dip & a new crunchy PB I picked up from the health food store. Check; all scoffable.

I predicted we would need extra nourishment for the days adventures, in the form of healthy spelt pancakes for one, with added banana chucks & fresh berries.

I predicted correctly. I topped mine with some raw honey and coconut oil, with a sprinkle of shredded coconut.

When we finally dragged our consumerist little butts home for lunch (sans shopping bags thank you very much), I made us steamed white sweet potato with a big kale salad.

Indecision as to the perfect saucy topping led to this lava landslide; a trio of tomato-tahini, avo & capsicum hummus. It was ridiculously good.

Lunch dessert (because every meal should have this vital component) consisted of raw almond cookies, taken from High on Health with a few variations.

3/4 c almond meal

1 tsp cinnamon

pinch celtic sea salt

1/4 cup crushed pecans (chunky)

1 overflowing tbs raw honey

1 tbs unhulled tahini

handful raisons

handful pepitas

1 tbs coconut oil

Mix everything together, form into balls and freeze until desired.

Evidently, my desire was great. Who wants to eat like a lady? Not me; poise be damned.

The afternoon was spent wandering around a fancy part of town that would usually intimidate a hobo like me, with it’s trendy boutique shoppe’s and pseudo-bohemian eateries, however I had the ever-stylish mother to legitimise my presence. (I HATE going into expensive shops on my own, I can feel the penetrating, we-know-you’re-a-student-stares I tell you!) We ended up having a fine old time in some gorgeous, shiny bookstores and lush specialty shops, and saw the movie Boy which is a fantastic NZ flick that is honest, warm and downright charming. Love love love independent cinema.

For dinner I asked the boy to come dine with us, and cooked smaller versions of NO-CHEESE-PLEASE vegan pizza, with a brown-rice and black bean concoction and a side of steamed greens & ginger.

This morning’s farewells were a sad affair; doesn’t it just SUCK to have such a close, wonderful relationship with your mother?

Luckily I had an awesome day at college to distract me from my woes, and tonight Chels and I busted out another decent pre-dinner run. Afterwards I was haaaaang-ree, but unfortunately this kitchen ain’t big enough for two epic sweet potatoes.

Cha, woooo-cha!

Brydie had sweet potato envy. Mine was definitely better endowed.

Speaking of endowed.

Chelsea! Oh my…

Well chums, I have other wonderful things to report but I am tired beyond recognition and bedfordshire beckons.

G’night! x

Donations, updations and culinary temptations!

August 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Goooooood afternoon and happy Friday!

I am SUPER excited due to the impending arrival of Bonne Ma tomorrow for a fly-by catch up. (I am referring, of course, to my beloved mother dearest. BS MUM if you will).

With one day to make up for months of missed gossip sessions, health-food experiments and retail therapy, it is going to be an epic task to fit so much mother/daughter bonding into a mere 24 hours!

Shortlist for the days’ activities include:

  • Talk over tea.
  • Banter over brunch.
  • Deconstruct over dinner.
  • Philosophise over phood.

…..is this getting out of hand?

But seriously, there really is too much to do! How do you like to hang with the ‘rents?

In other news, I couldn’t let a day pass without crumbling to the desire for a semi-raw salad bowl once again! This was particularly satisfilling.

The secrets’ in the shredding my friends. Shredded cabbage, spinach & kale, carrot, mushroom & red pepper.

For this bowl I cooked a new ‘super-grain’ mix I scored that combined yellow/red/black quinoa, amaranth and millet. OMGYUM. I seasoned it with Herbamare – a condiment I’ve seen frequently on food blogs but never had the joy of witnessing in Aussie stores, until yesterday.

Check those ingredients!

I cooked up the quinoa mix until almost done and threw in some small broccoli florets to steam through at the end. I then layered over top of salad, and added about 1/4 c cooked chickpeas & chia seeds for good measure (NB: for regular use I soak these, to facilitate absorption in the body, but sometimes I just want their delightful little CRUNCH!).

Dressed with extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic, Dijon mustard, finely chopped garlic, lemon juice, tiny taste of raw honey & cracked black pepper.

All mixed up with one place to go.

I’ve said it before, but DAYAM, vegan is delicious!

Also, you can now (or will very shortly) be able to find me at Healthy Living Blogs.com, an online community of bloggers from around the world who are healthy little bunnies.

The blurb.

Healthy Living Blogs is a new resource for the health blogging community. Created by Lindsey of Sound Eats, HLB is a site designed to enhance the positive community of the healthy living blog world. Bloggers and readers can explore the site and find more blogs to love, bloggers in their area, and forums to deepen healthy discussion and support. If you’re interested in having your site listed on HLB, simply send the following information to healthylivingblogs@gmail.com and check the site out for yourself!

  • Email subject line: MEMBERS

  • Your name (please share if you prefer to go by first name, first and last, or however you prefer to be known on the Internet)

  • Blog Name

  • Blog URL (please start with http://, not www.)

  • Your twitter handle, if applicable

  • Your location (if you prefer not to disclose this information for privacy’s sake, that is completely understandable. We’ll simply include your blog listing in the A-Z listing, not by location, too)

  • Any specific labels (i.e. vegan, gluten-free, weight loss, running, etc.)

Check it out if you have a blog & are interested in getting involved (i’m looking at YOU HanEats!)

Something that also drew my attention today was Triple J’s/ABC’s appeal, together with Unicef, for donations to the Pakistan flood victims.

I made my way over to Unicef right away to send some dollars through, because my god, if I can spend $150 on groceries in a week, surely I can spare money for a donation.

FYI – almost 20 million people have been affected by these floods, which are being called the worst natural disaster of our generation. Despite the magnitude and horror of the events that continue to incapacitate a nation, 1/5 of which is submerged, there has been lacklustre media coverage and sluggish international support. Did you know that the sheer number of people touched by the disaster is greater than the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti Earthquake combined? Insanely incomprehensible. So if you can, think about donating as little or as much as you’re able, because (to invoke that incredibly clichéd, yet stunningly truthful mantra); every dollar counts.

I believe that is my 2 (or more) cents for the day!

Enjoy the weekend bellas! x

 

 

Build-a-salad.

August 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hey friends!

How’s the mid-week treating you? I’m feeling a little sorry for myself for the usual reasons; skin is rebelling, inadequate sleepy times and a general lack of fruit in my immediate vicinity. Ah Saturday grocery shop, will you ever hold me over one full week? My prediction is not, seeing as the more I buy, the more I consume, and so the cycle goes! But enough of my trivial woes, that’s not what we’re here to talk about.

We demand fewd!

Namely, how to construct a last-minute, leftover-utilising, tastebud-tantalising warm dinner salad.

This is what I do in a pinch:

Start by finely shredding some greens (whatever you have on hand) such as kale, english spinach or cabbage into a bowl. Top with grated carrot, zucchini, capsicum, mushroom, tomato…vegetables always match, so go for culinary gold! I find shredding everything really works well in these kind of salad bowls to get the flavours happening.

Then add a warm/wholegrain + protein component. I used red quinoa cooked in veggie stock and some leftover mixed beans.

Feeling sea-weedy? Soak some wakame to dress-up the whole affair with added iodine, calcium, iron….oh, the miraculous benefits of marine munchables are infinite!

Engage in some excessive saucing, perhaps of the tomato-tahini variety if you’re feeling decadent. Otherwise, a simple olive oil, balsamic, mustard, lemon, honey & pepper dressing will suffice! (Though maybe not the GREATEST complement to seaweed in this instance…! Works with salad, chickpeas & quinoa really well.)

Munch! The warmth of the quinoa softens up the shredded veg and makes the whole thing a semi-raw, fully-awesome dinner/lunch option.

I also cut open this avocado that was utter PERFECTION…I just had to share it with you via a dimly lit point-and-shoot photo that does it little justice…

For dinner tonight, I was in a nasty, mopey, indifferent mood that called for the comforting presence of pita bread and beans el mexicana.

I winged this taco pile, and was surprised at it’s edibility!

I baked some wholemeal pita bread I had frozen in the oven until warm & crispy, cooked up some garlic, onion, cumin, coriander seeds, paprika, mixed beans, chopped tomato, tomato paste, salt & pepper and ‘shrooms in the pan, topped with avocado & fresh coriander, and snuck in some jalepeno action on the side. This dinner lacked veggies, but packed comfort factor. So did the almond milk hot chocolate I just whipped up. Who wants another?!

Must be off to sip tea and prepare for 10pm bedskies. Need more sleep y’all!

‘Nite! xxx

Chocolate salty balls.

August 24, 2010 § 3 Comments

Hook you in? You dirty Southpark fiends..!.

I DID make chocolate truffle balls on the weekend though, and oh boy, did they go down a treat.

Choc-Almond Truffles

Taken from Kimberley Snyder (recipe halved)

1 c raw almonds, ground in blender

heaped 1/4 c raw cacao powder

1/4 c raw honey

1/2 – 1 tbsp coconut oil

pinch celtic sea salt

shredded unsweetened coconut for rolling

  • Combine all ingredients except coconut in a bowl. You may need to get down and dirty with your hands for this one.
  • Mould into bite-sized balls.
  • Roll in coconut & freeze until ready to pop a few.

I made these on the proviso that I would be giving them away to my friends and sharing the truffly love, NOT laboring over a batch only to consume it by myself, in it’s entirety.

My bestie came down to play for the day, so we had an impromptu picnic. It was awesome to catch up over delicious food and tranquil sea-side scenery.

I made a roasted sweet-potato salad with more tomato-tahini dressing. Really, how empty was my life before I landed upon this recipe? It shall now adorn every meal with its nutty goodness.

Apologies too for my lack of posting committment…I finished my first exam for college yesterday, and all my efforts were going into the ROTE memorisation of skeletal muscles, location of bones & cell biology. I am completely in love with anatomy, it fascinates me. But also hurts a little in the squishy parts of my brain.

Anyway, because i’ve been such a bad blogger, I thought i’d at least give you something worthwhile to read to compensate:

I have a problem.

August 21, 2010 § 5 Comments

I spend way too much on groceries. Each week my hand reaches for a new and more exciting type of sprouted bread, super grain or sea vegetable, that is invariably more expensive and further removed from my student budget.

Today I broke my PB of grocery expenditure.

It needs to stop here.

On the bright side, my pantry is now a haven of exotic, healthful goodies and my fridge an oasis of cool leafy green!

Mmmm sprouted spelt bread. So sweet, so doughy. I sliced it up and froze it promptly, to avoid the usual gluttony.

Be mine, roasted pumpkin hummus. Hey, you already are!

New seaweed love; Wakame. Ahhh I love the taste sensation of sucking on a big, washed up piece of driftwood. No really, can’t get enough weedy delight.

Buying nuts in bulk hurts me in my wallet, but now that i’m determined to make my own nut milk, it’s a worthwhile investment.

Tried this variety of my beloved Clippers tea at a friends place the other day. It is gloooorious!

New hand cream. Like bobby pins, my hand creams tend to mysteriously evaporate into the fourth dimension, never to return. I hope this one sticks around though, it’s delectable.

If war should break out, I’m stocked.

Lunch was a snacky affair that featured new hummus, toasted spelt bread, salad and an apple.

I’m serious about reigning in my grocery bill, so am considering:

  • Joining a food co-op and getting a box of fruit & veg a week.
  • Buying a plot at a local community garden and trying my hand at edible gardening.
  • Quitting college & procuring full-time work to support my habit.

Option c) is thus far the most realistic.

Hope you’re weekends are swell! Picnic antics with some old chums tomorrow is looking good; diligent study is not. C’est la vie!

Hey gluten, you’re not my friend anymore!

August 20, 2010 § 1 Comment

Hello hello!

I have briefly emerged from my haze of anatomical double-dutch to give you some blog lovin’! I’m studying for the very first exam of my new course, so the overachiever within has gone a little crazy-ape-bonkers. Must. Earn. Gold. Star!

Anyhoo, study mania aside, I am welcoming this little breath of spring we’re experiencing with arms in the lateral position! How wonderful to finally fling off the michelin-inspired winter layers and feel the sun on your back, and yet, exposing those scaly, white appendages with the feet attached aint so grand. For me, or anyone else who happens to witness such vulgarity.

The last couple of days, I caught up with my old chum gluten here and there, and realised, I don’t like that jerk at all! We’ve grown so far apart in our months of separation…

I’ve been unwittingly gluten-free for the last 1-2 months, after replacing morning oats with spirulina shakes and obviously steering clear of all traditional breads/pastas etc. Have felt grand, and also noticed that I have not been getting creepy red-eye syndrome at all anymore. Winner!

Today, after the last couple of days in which certain glutenous foods have been chowed (pasta, biscuits, bread) I’m feeling not so hot. After eating some bread & biscuits yesterday I saw an immediate return of the bloodshot peepers, and when I googled it it seems there is a definite possibility that gluten intolerance can cause irritation of the eyes, respiratory tract and of course, the digestive system. I am the Sherlock Holmes of nutrition!

So there’s an interesting thing to consider if you want to up the ante with your healthful pursuits. I feel 100% better gluten free, even though i’m not coeliac.

Today is gluten rehab.

After an epic & gorgeous morning run (before which I smashed a date & cup of magnesium drink thing), I came home to my beloved spirulina goop fest. Please note the viscosity of which no spoon can penetrate. Lately i’ve been making my own Pepita Milk for the base. YES, PUMPKIN SEED MILKY GOODNESS! Will post more about it, but basically blend up 1/2 c soaked pepitas with 3 c water and a date or two for taste. BOOM. This sludge monster also contained spinach, frozen banana, chia seeds, spirulina & vanilla rice protein.

Snackity snack dish. Goji, pepitas, coconut, dried cranberries.

Predicting that lunch will feature this left-over lentil/tomato soup I made last night. I was too impatient to let the lentils cook properly, so on the al dente side…but delicious nevertheless. Made up the recipe as always, so it will have to remain a mystery until such time as I can get my shit together and measure it out!

This is the extent of my study siesta, so I bid you farewell! Have a glorious weekend!

Detox results; what i’ve been chomping on; blah wit’ da sickness.

August 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Why hello there!

How was everyone’s weekend? Excellent.

Me, you ask? I have not stopped…Until now, when I decided to take the day off college because I am officially not over the snot-face episode that has been plaguing me since Friday. I may have called it a little too soon on Saturday when I declared myself fit & ready for action (after inundating the unsuspecting pathogens with ginger, herbal tea and leafy greens) and took it upon myself to do my normal gung-ho Saturday run (without the gung, and with a little extra ‘ho’). Clearly I needed to be resting instead, because that combined with an average of 5 hours sleep a night set me back again yesterday. I completed my senior first aid with a head full of goo and a plastic mannequin that now, as well as being in a permanent state of unconsciousness, also has the virus I passed on whilst performing mouth-to-mouth. Yummeh!

As a side note, I am drinking out of this mug that I bought on a whim. It made me smile.

So now I have bored you with the details of my disgusting illness, let’s get to the good stuff!

My follow-up consultation with the naturopath post detox program was also on Saturday & was interesting, as expected.

She said I looked healthier than ever (despite my gummy face) so that was nice to hear! (Flattery sure gets my continued custom!) She took a blood sample again to do a live blood analysis and i was FREAKED OUT to actually SEE the viral bodies lurking amongst the red blood cells (you watch on a screen). Eeeeeeeek! Matters were made no better when Robyn exclaimed….wait on! (peering through microscope & revealing ominous-looking white cluster) what’s THAT?!….AHHHH! For a moment the hypo in me returned and I had visions of the discovery of some terminal illness, right then and there. Never fear, it was just the virus we were seeing. How fascinatingly disturbing.

Anyhoo! My cells looked distinctly rounder, clearer and more separated than last time I went, 6 weeks ago. She said I still need to up the magnesium & iron somewhat, but that i’m in ‘great shape’ and am basically her favourite client. Ok, maybe not the last part.

My own observations after the program:

  • complete abatement of allergies – these improved significantly when I cut out dairy, but the detox seemed to obliterate that pesky hayfever for good.
  • improved fitness & stamina – this is probably a combo of me doing physically more, as well as feeling more spritely (medical term y’all) and being supercharged on essential vitamins & minerals.
  • I feel like my stomach has finally found peace and decided to stop molesting me with it’s grumby, grouchy, hypersensitive ways – again, this improved after going vegan, but due to the program I feel like my insides have been healed like never before!

I would recommend doing something like this to anyone – but keep in mind it was by no means a ‘hard’ thing for me to do because I didn’t really change anything about my diet, I just added a bunch of supplements to help things along. So no detox symptoms were felt. This could be different if you’re doing a more intense program or if you’re just starting out and your body has more to purge.

Finally, we come to the food.

Happy lunch snack fest.

Tempeh in coconut oil, apple, date, carrot, almonds, avocado, tomato & herbs, lemon, dried tomato…bliss.

Avo with lemon & cracked pepper. Gimme!

Tempeh with organic tomato sauce. Cos sometimes a gal just wants a big dollop of fire-engine red to adorn her plate!

Made these stuffed peppers for me & my flattie the other night, taken from Choosing raw. I ignored advice to buy yellow or red peppers, cos i’m cheap like that, and that may have brought the dish down slightly. I also made a few substitutions to the rice/bean mix that probably weren’t too inspired, but HEY! I stuffed a pepper!

Typical BS lunch – sweet tater with black beans & Tomato Tahini Dressing. Yes it was amazing, if you were wondering. Huge salad lurks outside the frame.

Yikes, better see to some study/illness rehabilitation.

Byeeeee!

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