December 1, 2010 § 14 Comments
Hello long lost blog souls! How i’ve missed you!
As you may or may not know, I am currently suffering from PTSD. Post-traumatic-science-disorder. Too much anatomy, physiology and chemistry study has predisposed me to night sweats, fainting spells and uncontrolled binges on raw-cacao concoctions. Exams do that to a girl.
How has your week been? My, it’s getting close to the festy-season epicentre. It always creeps up so fast! I have yet to brave the shops to track down perfect christmas gifts for my 3 trillion relations, however soon the time will come where I will have to beat through the crowds, nimbly sidestepping crazed consumer zombies in my vibram five-fingers, and buying over-priced soaps for my numerous aunts as I give up all attempts to be thoughtful. I had grand plans to bake/un-bake/sew/knit/craft delightful homemade tokens of christmas love for everyone, however in usual scatterbrain style, I have left it to the last again.
Everyone likes soap.
As requested, I wanted to recap some favourite smoothie ideas for you all as I’ve been getting my fair share of blended foods of late, with the raw kick.
Tricks for awesome smoothies
* Use frozen bananas for creaminess & sweetness – really makes a difference to the texture & general deliciousness of the final product.
* Adding greens such as spinach will provide an instant chlorophyll-kick without compromising flavour. I use baby spinach in just about every blended beverage and the taste is completely unnoticeable.
* The addition of any kind of paste or nut-butter is guaranteed to tip your smoothie over the flavour precipice. So. Amazing.
Let’s get to it!
Avocado, Banana, Tahini and Honey (personal favourite!)
1/2 ripe avocado
1 large frozen banana
1 tsp of each tahini (raw, unhulled) & raw honey
rice or other non-dairy milk (I never measure this, but generally I like as little as possible to achieve a more ‘pudding-consistency’)
Classic Spirulina Breakfast Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 large handful baby spinach
1-2 heaping tsp Spirulina
1-2 heaping tsp raw carob powder
2 tbsp chia seeds soaked in 4 tbsp water
rice milk (maybe 1 cup?)
Water & flesh from 1 young coconut
1 heaping tsp raw cacao powder
Spinach & Peanut Butter Perfection
1 frozen banana
1 large handful baby spinach
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 cup rice milk
(optional: 1 tsp raw cacao or carob powder)
Avocado, Spinach and Chia Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1/2 ripe avocado
2 tbsp soaked chia seeds
handful baby spinach
(Optional: raw honey for sweetness)
Orange & Banana Flurry
2 small frozen bananas
1 ripe orange
enough rice milk to blend
Carob, Banana, Avocado Breakfast Pudding
1 frozen banana
1/2 ripe avocado
2 tbsp soaked chia seeds
1-2 heaped tsp carob powder
tiny amount of rice milk to blend
Top with: drizzle raw honey, shredded coconut
NB: For any ‘pudding’, you can also sub the banana for frozen berries & add some raw honey for sweetness. Delicious and refreshing!
That, my friends, is all for now. I am hitting up a cute little local gym this arvo due to the persistent rain and all things dreary; it is muchos cheapos, just the way I like it, but I need to go NOW before my skin grafts on to this computer chair and I am stuck here in front of the mac forever!
Hope you’re having a collectively spiffy afternoon, and I can’t wait to return to normal blogging post-exams. Oyyyyyyy, my cranium is crying.
November 7, 2010 § 6 Comments
Did you all live it up on this sensationally sunny Sunday? When it’s been overcast and miserable for a few days, I literally cartwheel out of bed and squeal with glee upon peeling back my blinds to reveal blue skies and (delayed) springtime sun. I’m a mad woman who takes the notion of seizing the day to a whole new extreme; I engaged the pincer grip & nipple-tweaked this day until it begged for mercy. Sunday’s off are a rare treat; I’m going to milk them for all they’re worth!
Off course, after reading Born to Run before bed last night, I made the executive decision to don my vibrams and be a barefoot bandit this morning, pre-breakfast no less.
Y’all know I don’t function so well on an empty stomach, so I scarfed a medjool date before I left for good measure.
I did a long-ish run yesterday afternoon and never like running to any great extent 2 days in a row, so I frolicked around the beaches, scampering about in that crazy, childish manner that seems to be inspired by my bare, liberated tootsies, walking here, running there, and generally loping about grinning at the beauty of it all. I wish wish WISH i’d had my camera because it was absolutely, eye-wateringly beautiful out there. Sometimes I sprint down to the beach, collapse on the sand and just stare into the ocean wondering how the hell everything came to be so gosh darn delightful. I was contemplating the Deepak Chopra-ish notion that we create our own realities; that we are the ultimate creative forces in the universe…This being the case, let me just say then that I am a veritable Van Gogh, I never knew I was such a supremely skilled artiste :D.
Of course, wandering in an hour later with sand in my hair and a glint in my eye, I was ready to MURDER a spirulina shake.
Bubbling cauldron of superfood pow-ah.
I then got to making a raw picnic for the man and I, as I was SET on heading back to the beach with camera in hand.
I spiralized some carrot & zucchini, then made a dressing from yellow miso, lemon juice, raw honey, ginger, sesame oil, tamari and water.
This impressed Jarad, carnivore extraordinaire. Sweet victory!
I then decided on a special Sunday treat in the form of this AMAZING sourdough that is baked near my house, that i’ve somehow never tried before. Lordy, this was delicious. I schmeared on a big dollop of lentil dip and ascended to foodie heaven.
I was again sporting my VFF’s, with embedded foliage.
We checked out some sculptures that are positioned around the beaches as part of an annual exhibition. I love how interactive they are; both with people & the environment. Although I WAS a little turned off by the sheer number of bodies now congesting the walkways; it was kind of sad because I’ve had the chance to see the whole exhibition many times but this was Jarad’s only chance…however we gave up halfway because the throngs of people made it nearly impossible to get a good look at each artwork, and we are generally unenthused about crowds 😦
Some cool ones included this ‘reef’ made out of milk-bottle caps and what-si-mer-call-it cables.
And a giant chicken. Complete with living tail-foliage and oversized eggs. I tickled his chin.
Sexy boulder beauty.
Pinchy the crab.
Spotted! Sneaky VFF sighting. This dude totally rocked the white sprints – how does he make them look so ultra cooooool?
I love this one. I think it pairs beautifully with the physical setting. Very calming.
Once we abandoned the crowds, we returned home to demolish my third and final course of the picnic that had to remain in the freezer for reasons that will soon become apparent.
I MADE HEALTHY RAW VEGAN ICE-CREAM! WITH HOMEMADE CACAO CHIPS!
The recipe was one I’ve been dreaming up for a while, and I would like to declare it a triumphant success! Stay tuned for the recipe low-down. Get excited.
Now, I need to rest my weary eyelids and crawl into bed with another chapter of Born to Run. Completely engrossed.
November 2, 2010 § 5 Comments
Today has been a funny day. Funny like bizzaro; my head is in a weird place.
I’ve been reading Deepak Chopra’s Ageless Body, Timeless Mind for a couple of weeks, mainly on the early morning commute to college (FYI, I have never had so many epiphanies on public transport!). I’ve been meaning to do a post on all the amazing things i’m getting out of this book, and also through further research into quantum physics and the rest of that murky, miraculous field of study.
I’m also watching a documentary in a similar vein called What the Bleep do we know? which explores quantum physics further and basically debunks most of what we cling to as ‘reality’.
Oh boy, I don’t think i’m up for a D&M as to the intricacies of either right now, however know that some geeky meaning-of-life hypothesising is coming your way! And also, my strange, dreamlike mood is probably a result of too much brain stimulation…the malformed ranga cranium can only absorb so much in one day!
I also skipped college today. Oh dear. And slept in. Double dear. Both of these do not make me feel too grand, but the torrential rain, minimal sleep and trippy trance-like state warranted some executive bludgy action.
This was elevensies. I ate a coconut + chia seeds for breakfast but obviously I was a hungry monster by the time I got home from Jarad’s mid-morning.
Enter Apple-pie cake. I won’t post a recipe just yet because it could do with some tweaking, but I basically made a spelt pancake, threw on diced apple while it was cooking and topped with coconut oil, raw honey & cinnamon. Apple strudel sprang to mind. As did making another. Luckily, I was too lazy to pull all the ingredients out for round two.
Spent the morning working on assignments and mooching in my snuggie (please know that a friend gave this to me as a JOKE… but the glorified blanket with arm-holes that makes me look like i’m in some kind of hellish cult HAS found a special place in my heart. So warm, so ridiculous).
I had a raging headache which is insanely rare these days, but decided I needed to suck in some fresh air and get the haem flowing; 8km run seemed to do the trick.
By the time I got home I was hungry for some chlorophyll and some carbs.
I made an oversized kale & seaweed salad with lots of grated veggies, sesame seeds and arame.
Served with a bowl of the EASIEST vegan mac ‘n’ cheese recipe ever, that I threw together today and LOVED.
Cook one serving of pasta (I use buckwheat, or gluten-free rice pasta).
Drain, rinse and return to pot.
Squeeze in the juice of 1/4 lemon (one good sized wedge).
Add ~ 2 tbsp savoury yeast flakes.
Add 3/4 tsp dijon mustard.
Add cracked black pepper.
Stir through to warm.
Serve with more lemon, pepper and herbs on hand.
Easy squeezy lunch.
After I took this I realised our resident share-house gnome was lurking in the background, doing his creepy dwarfish-thang. I don’t even remember whose yard or under what circumstances this gnome was
stolen consensually acquired, but now it’s a running joke between roomies to place him in awkward and compromising positions to catch the other members of the household off-guard.
My flatmates know how to get me; gnomey in the blender at 6am. Very nearly a spirulina & spinach gnomey smoothie. He has also appeared in peg baskets, in the washing machine and lurking under the covers. Pervy, pervy gnome.
Afternoon snack consisted of an Ezekiel bread stack with banana, tahini, honey & cinnamon. These ingredients seem to be a recurring theme in my posts, no? Hooked, what can I say?!
EVEN THE BREAD IS DROOLING!
Mmmm so many delicious eats today, and I have a feeling dinner is going to be no exception 😉
October 22, 2010 § 7 Comments
Thanks to all who entered the dialogue on women’s issues last post. Here I was feeling all bashful about typing out the words ‘menstrual cup’ and hitting publish; turns out you all live for the gory details! Hell, next time i’ll just cut to the chase and dive straight into STI’s (with pictorial accompaniments, muaha!).
BUT now that i’ve whet your appetite, here are some delicious eats from the past few days.
Can you believe I actually FORGOT how to make porridge yesterday morning? These were my first batch in months, and now that the weather is warming up I thought I’d ditch the ice-cold smoothie tradition and re-introduce oats, just to live by absurdist logic.
I have a feeling the Spirulina shakes won’t be gone for long though; you know what they always say – 3-million micro-particles of algae a day keeps the doctor away!
My signature bowl of taste confusion. Beans, quinoa, tomato-tahini sauce, grated salad, ciltrano…some seaweed just to squeeze one more ethnic influence in there.
Mixed together is some kind of surreal, super-food dream!
I’ve also been training (flogging) my inner domestic goddess and just so happened upon a dark, dangerous culinary secret .
Granola is a gra-no-brainer.
Seriously, can’t go wrong.
I’m not even going to insult your intelligence with an actual RECIPE because, being the talented and delightful chefs that you are, i’m sure you can follow your tounges 🙂
Oats ~2 cups
1 tsp cinnamon
You basically mix all the dry ingredients together, barring sultanas and in a separate bowl combine enough coconut oil, honey and a small amount of molasses (it has a strong, rich flavour) to roughly coat the oat mixture.
(NB: You can also use maple syrup or any other liquid sweeteners of your choice).
Spread the mixture onto a sheet of baking paper on a tray & cook for around 15 minutes at a fairly high temperature, perhaps 200. Judge by the furnace-like capacities of your oven and CHECK, CHECK, CHECK every 5 mins or so. Burnt granola maketh for a broken heart.
Bake until golden. Your abode will smell like a magical gingerbread house & you can expect lost children from the woods to throng at your doorstep demanding treats.
My advice; tell them to rack-off.
Once golden, remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes or so. It may clump together, this is normal. It’s the original crunchy-nut cluster before it became an unrecognisable sugar-nut-cluster.
Add your sultanas back in, and serve with ice cold rice/almond milk, sprinkle atop hot oats, banana soft-serve, or just go at it dry like some of us are known to do.
I would suggest gifting some of it away however, as my hand appears to have an auto-pilot, granola-eating function that I just can’t for the life of me override! You too may find the same inexplicable tendency…!
That’s it from me, but have a fabulous weekend all of you x
October 2, 2010 § 6 Comments
I am speaking to you from a land far far away; Where left is right and East is West and the whole world has gone tospy turvy. I am referring, of course, to Western Australia – where the sun sets over the sea. I am obviously enamoured.
No photos of my surroundings as yet, however I would like to share the rawsome mousse-like creation that I magicked into being just the other day.
It has officially usurped spirulina sludge-shakes as my breakfast of choice, and includes all necessary food groups; Protein, Healthy Fats, Carbs, and Banana.
Borne of desperation and a severe lack of ingredients, I stumbled across a combination that is startlingly reminiscent of the childhood favourite, yo-go. Remember that awful, yet criminally addictive mousse-like substance that masqueraded as ‘yogurt’ but was clearly whipped sugar/flavour/air?
This is the answer to all your lingering yo-go fantasies!
In the vein of Chocomole and Banana Soft Serve, Choc-Chia Yo-Go utilises that number 1 mystery ingredient, Avocado. Throw in a frozen banana, soaked chia seeds and some carob and you’re on your way to whippy trippy bliss.
1/2 ripe avocado
1/2 frozen banana
1-2 tbsp chia seeds, soaked*
2 tsp carob powder
1 tsp raw honey (to make truly vegan, can sub agave etc)
may need extra 1-2 tbsp water to blend
Toss everything in a decent blender & whip yourself happy.
* To soak chia, I add about 3 times the amount of water as seeds & let sit for around 10 mins, stirring occasionally. You will know if they need more liquid.
This morning pre-departure, I had a moment of heart-stopping agony when I realised I was SANS BANANA. No phallic yellow friend was to be had. Instead, I used frozen wild blueberries & added a little extra honey for sweetness. Result: AMAZING.
Serve with shredded coconut, chopped banana, granola, a drizzle of honey, cinnamon – choose your own adventure!
Anyhoo, hope you’re all enjoying a delicious Friday. I am so utterly knackered that I may just have to curl up & nap, basking in the presence of the eternally lovely Bonne Ma and her amazing new HQ.
September 26, 2010 § 6 Comments
Gloooooorious Sunday to you all!
Another cracking day to distract me from Wednesday’s looming Anatomy & Physiology exam.
Ahhh, hang it, I cram therefore I am!
Seriously, give me too much prep time and I lose that vital adrenalin rush that only comes with leaving chapters of content to the dying moments of the night before. It’s the way I roll yo.
This morning, I was greeted by a delectable sunlit breakfast; fishtank-green algae shake & ginger tea (goes by no other foul-sounding alias).
Who am I kidding? This breakfast did not spontaneously spring into being and materialise on my carpet; there was no doting mother presenting it to me as I stumbled out of bed hungry & demanding (although there may be in ONE WEEK when I visit Bonne Ma in W.A!!!)
God I go on…
Anyway, after I made it myself and arranged it artfully on the floor, I thought it looked rather pretty in the springtime sun.
Looks like a bubbling cauldron. Did I mention in order to create the swamp shake, one must dance around the blender chanting incantations (*spirulina maca chia, spirulina maca chia!*) and cackling like an old crazy cat lady?
Yes yes, a delicious start to the day.
UPDATE on the mindful eating challenge:
I could tell you that I’ve been utterly devoted to the cause, mindfully eating like a champ with all good things to report…
…But I would be lying through my crooked, yellowing cat-lady teeth.
I actually feel as if I am going through a really snacky stage right now, possibly due to pushing the exercise a little more, being bored whilst studying, and still experiencing ‘trust’ issues with my body as to whether it is full or or just tricking. (You’re not full *ho ho ho*, you just need some more CEREAL that’s what!!!)
Being completely aware of this tendency whilst simultaneously filling another cup full of museli does not, I fear, equate to mindful eating.
Ultimately having the ‘challenge’ in my head has somehow inspired me to think about food moreso than usual, and despite all good intentions, I cannot say I have formed better eating skillz over the last couple of weeks.
I do think I am learning to recognise when I am truly hungry; it’s the habits I have to work on!
This morning however, I did eat my breakfast sitting listening to the radio; no phones, no TV, no newspaper, no computer. It was rather pleasant.
Similarly, lunch had the same peaceful, anti-technological feel.
It was also an homage to the gorgeous, summery weather we’ve been experiencing here in Sydney over the last few days.
Avomatato & Amaranth Springtime Salad
(Avocado, Sweet Potato & Tomato!)
Another amaranth experiment.
It turned out well, however I would dearly love to have used quinoa for this as the amaranth ends up much like polenta; it was very mushy and not-quite suited to the salad theme. I, being a hangry monster, still considered it delightful!
1 c amaranth
2.5 c water
1 c chopped greens (I used english spinach)
seasoning (salt & pepper or herbamare)
1 tomato, diced
1/2 avocado, diced
1 sweet potato, cut into 1-2cm dice & roasted with olive oil & seasoning (I used cajun, mmmmm!)
big handful of fresh coriander
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
juice & zest of 1/2 a lemon
cracked black pepper
- Cook amaranth in water with seasoning until absorbed, throwing in greens at the end to wilt.
- Combine roasted sweet potato pieces, tomato, avocado, coriander & dressing in a bowl.
- Serve salad over amaranth (or quinoa, or cous cous) and garnish with pepper & coriander.
- I also squeezed extra lemon over mine, because I’m a citrus fiend.
Fresh and tasty!
Well my friends, it’s here I leave you.
If you were working on mindful eating, how did it go? Any tips for a struggling lass?
September 21, 2010 § 7 Comments
The phantom blogger (me) has crept out of the shadowy depths (pantry) to say hi to my favourite creepy stalkers interested parties (all of you!). I missed my blog baby; I fear it may be showing signs of malnutrition.
I’ll admit, I have had lacklustre motivation for blogging lately, due to cosmic forces putting a damper on my strength and willpower and youthful vigour (if I had any to begin with) in general. Why must life ebb and flow and cycle with glorious peaks of insight and mysterious troughs of apathy? Yes, you heard it here, the up-and-at-them vegan with a fetish for early morning action and all things wholesome does have her off weeks. This was an orrrfffff week my friends.
But you know what? It’s nothing a good coconut couldn’t fix!
I bow before you, King of nuts.
The i’m-just-about-to-attack-you-with-a-cleaver stare.
I do believe that the promise of a young coconut can lift anyone’s mood, as well as slogging it out on a good run. Before this photo was taken I was feeling pretty blah/wah/gah, however I made myself get up, hit the pavement, and within minutes I was feeling focused and happy once more. Especially with the allure of a big cacao coconut smoothie to come home to.
Most importantly, this week has featured some delicious kitchen experiments.
I believe in utilising all available left-overs and thus these dregs-of-fridge burgers were born! My my, I do have a way with appetising titles don’t I?
For these little babies, I mashed left-over black beans & chickpeas together with steamed sweet potato, seasonings (S & P, cajun, paprika) & coriander and baked in the senile oven (NOT fan-forced) at around 200 degrees for an unfathomable period of time. Enough to brown & crisp them, obviously.
I ate them with hummus & excessive amounts of lemon juice, and vegetables for Africa. (Poor Africa, all these empty promises).
Let me now introduce you to the most delightful beverage to ever pass my greedy lips; peanut butter sludge shake. (Did I get you with that one?)
It contained handful baby spinach/greens of your choice, rice milk, 1 tbsp natural PB, 1 heaped tbsp carob powder, 1 medium frozen banana. Lord give me strength, for there are no words to describe the gustatory goodness of this smoothie. Please believe me when I tell you that the spinach is undetectable. Really, truly, the only hint of it’s presence is a swamplike tinge and the undeniable chlorophyll high one experiences after downing liquid greens. Have one for breakfast and you can smugly proclaim that your AM eats were RAW (if using raw nut butter/subbing it out) and VEGGIE-FILLED. I aim for every meal to have a leafy-green component. Try it, you will notice the difference in your energy and general raaaaadience darlings.
For lunch, I attacked this pre-prepared seaweed salad that was ready and rearing to be taken to college this morning. Ready, before I decided to crawl back under the covers (in keeping with the pervading theme of laziness this week) and study the shitzen out of Chemistry. We have an exam tomorrow (*wee runs down leg*) and I deemed a day of cramming to trump a 5 hour lecture on the importance of workplace professionalism. Good call me.
Ay karumba, never thought i’d be sitting a science exam in my literature-loving lifetime, however times they are a-changin’, and my brain must learn to adapt to these new and vom-inspiring exciting challenges!
(Side note: please eat seaweed salad with chopsticks, it is fabulous. Also, to make this, use rice wine vinegar + sweet mirin + tamari (in order from most, to least amount used) to make a dressing, sprinkled over kale, greens, julienned beetroot/carrot, capsicum, wakame (soaked & sliced), coriander & sesame seeds )
So anyhoo, speaking of brain remodelling, I am now reading this exceptional book.
My awe-inspiring chemistry & anatomy lecturer was telling us the other day about research into neuroplasticity, and the emerging science that is starting to debunk old-school notions as to localized, unchanging brain function. Ie. you damage a part of your noggin’ that controls speech, you’re done-diddly-un for as a conversationalist. Not so according to Norman Doidge, author of ‘The Brain that Changes Itself’, who has demonstrated the mind-blowing (literally) capacity of the brain to re-learn & re-program.
Also FINALLY read ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy, which was bleak, harrowing and brilliant as expected.
With that, I guess I should be off to make good on my promise of studying from dawn til dusk, with the aim proving to myself that my brain IS a malleable, infinitely intelligent organ capable of redirecting thoughts of film, Foucault and food to those of saturated hydrocarbons, cations and anions… (onions? No, bad brain!).
Hope you’re all enjoying your Tooooosday.