Creating a satisfying, delicious salad

Cooking, Food, Health

Creating a satisfying, delicious salad
Image

Recently my boyfriend expressed to me how he loves salad, loves how good it is for you but never feels like its quite enough to fill him up and satisfy him. It got me thinking that SO many people (particularly men) have the same vision on salad.  I think a lot of people’s vision on salad is that it includes lettuce, and a few other watery, raw veggies that realistically a rabbit would only be satisfied after eating.

For me, creating a salad for dinner is one of my favorite meals and creations. I love how versatile it can be. In my world… salad can involve grains, meat, veggies, fruits, nuts, super foods, herbs, spices, cheeses and basically anything I feel like throwing in!

I thought I’d do a post on how simple it is to take your salad from being a rabbits dinner to a man’s meal.

So firstly the base… A traditional salad would use a green base such as lettuce, spinach, and rocket. I say why not add the lot. Mix your greens, considering they’re so good for you throw them all in. ½ a cup of spinach, ½ a cup of lettuce, ½ a cup of rocket and even ½ a cup of kale for extra goodness.

A base to me is not just the green stuff… If were talking a man’s meal a grain MUST be added. My favorite grain to use in salad would definitely be quinoa.

Quinoa has been found to have the highest nutritional profile of all the grains…. It also conveniently cooks the fastest and is bursting with energy, B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium and Vitamin E. Gluten free and the ideal food for endurance… need I say anymore? So chuck in a cup of cooked quinoa (two if you’re feeding a big group). If you’re not feeling the quinoa thing your options are endless… Brown rice, millet, buckwheat, kasha, amaranth, barley are all other amazing, nutrient rich grains that you can alternate with.

Next I think of the body. What type of mood I’m in, how hungry I am and what I’ve got in the fridge are basically all the factors that contribute to this phase. Generally I would throw in a few raw veggies and a few cooked veggies. My favorite raw veggies would be cucumber, capsicum, sprouts, tomato, occasionally carrot. Like I said what ever you prefer and what ever you have in the fridge.

Cooked veggies for a salad are AMAZING. Roasted, steamed, boiled, fried… I love cooked veggies and they make a salad so much more interesting and delicious. Sweet potato is a goody… particularly roasted with some coconut oil and Himalayan salts (heaven).  Zucchini cooked in the pan with some spices (cumin and paprika are a good combo) is a great one and roasted beetroot, carrots, and onions all intensify the flavor of your salad. This phase is really the phase to get creative and pick what suits your taste buds.

Now fruits. You may think eh? Fruit and salad? But trust me on this one… from apple, to figs, to grapes, to mango… fruit and salad is a match made in heaven. Some of my greatest meal memories are of mum’s famous sweet potato, mango, feta and beetroot salad. SO YUM.

Next we add the extra sustaining and filling ingredients. Nuts and seeds! Nuts and seeds are quite honestly my secret to making a filling salad. Candied nuts are food from the gods… If you haven’t done this before all you do is pick your nut (walnuts are my favorite) pour maple syrup or honey over them… place them on a tray lined with baking paper and put them in the oven at about 180 degrees celcius and cook for about 15 minutes. They are heavenly. If you’re not into the sweet/savory thing it’s as simple as getting ½ a cup – 1 cup of raw nuts and-or seeds (activated if possible) and throw them in the salad bowl.

Then there are the add ins. Whether it be for flavor, nutritional goodness or an experiment these little add ins can make or break a salad. My favorites are a good quality, organic goats chees, goji berries, seaweed, herbs (fresh mint and feta are an amazing combo with roast veg), lemon and lime, nutritional yeast flakes… again, get creative. Whatever is in your fridge or pantry will do.

Last but not least we have the dressing. No one likes a naked salad! Well some people do but dressing it again enhances the flavor, increases the nutritional benefits and makes it more filling (if done correctly). Here I will tell you my very secret ingredient to most of my meals, all of my dressings and something of which I have a personal addiction to…. TAHINI. Creamy, versatile, healthy, filling… you can add this stuff to anything and it will create heaven in your mouth and belly. So my favorite dressing at the moment is garlic, chilli, lemon, tahini, water, olive oil, cumin, and coriander. Blend/ mix it together and pour it over your salad. Basically tahini can be thrown in a blender with anything to suit your personal tastes and desires. If you are stuck for ideas just comment and ask me because I have plenty of ideas for you.

ANYWAY there you have it. A salad made into a man’s meal. YUM.

Why do we eat?

Uncategorized

I love food! I love the smell, the taste, its appearance… but most of all I love the way food brings together families, friends and loved ones. Because of todays busy society, its often we forget to be present whilst eating. How many times a day do you think you eat completely unconsciously? Simply put I have a deep belief in the importance of sitting down, being present, enjoying, sharing and LOVING your food. It’s something that I’m personally trying to work on as I’ve noticed eating has become something that I just do rather than experience.

It has become more common amongst society to eat ‘on the go’ or to be doing something whilst eating e.g. reading, scanning through social media feeds, driving, walking, talking on the phone. It’s like our eating time has become our ‘eat and get things done’ time.

To explain where I’m going with this I think it’s important to go back to the basic question of which I believe a lot of people have forgotten the answer to, that is… why do we eat? In my opinion, food is for survival, enjoyment, health and wellbeing. Really thinking about food, what it is to you and the value you have in eating and sharing a meal can be an amazing way of re connecting to what you are consuming and therefore the effect it has on your body and wellbeing.

Taking it back to the simple rules of a family dinner…

You may or may not be familiar with these but these are the rules I was surrounded with in my own and my friends homes growing up.

1. Everyone one must sit around the dinner table

2. The table must be set

3. Everyone must help contribute to the meal

4. No phones at the dinner table

5. TV must be switched off

6. Gratitude and appreciation must be given to everyone who contributed to the meal.

These rule basically go back to simply being present, appreciative and respectful at the dinner table and therefore enjoying each and every mouthful with your loved ones.

To me rule one represents the enjoyment, celebration and unity food creates in society. Food tastes SO much better when cooked by a loved one, with a loved one or eaten and enjoyed alongside a loved one. Rule two represents how setting the table tells your body and mind that you’re about to eat and therefore reminding yourself to be present. Rule three again reconnects us to sharing a meal, putting love into the meal as well as helping to unite as a family or a group. Rules four and five are the teenagers worst nightmare, but again take it back to being respectful to your loved ones, sharing a meal, creating engagement in the conversations at the table and spending quality time together. Rule 6 to me is a HUGE deal. This is in no way a religious thing more so just paying respect to where your food came from, who prepared it, farmed it and paid for it. What it is that your eating and the nutritional goodness and benefits that it will serve your body and mind.

Chew your food, smell your food, observe your food, taste the different ingredients in your food… completely finish and swallow one mouthful before you begin the next, feel and observe the different textures and flavors as you eat. I can guarantee physically and mentally you will feel SO much better and food will become a heck of a lot more enjoyable.

 

Image

Coconut, banana and hazelnut chocolates

Clean Creations, Cooking, Fish out of the water, Food, Health, Nutrition, Vegan, YUM

RECIPE:

Chocolate
½ cup cocoa butter
3 tbsp of cocoa powder
3 tbsp of coconut nectar

Heat all ingredients in a saucepan on a low heat. Gently cook and stir until all melted and combined. Do not let it boil and set aside.

Coconut + hazelnut mix
3 tbsp creamed coconut
1 cup of desiccated coconut
1 tbsp of coconut nectar
3 tsp of hazelnut butter
1/2 cup of hazelnuts

Blend together and pour a thin layer of chocolate into the bottom of your molds. Then using a teaspoon put coconut blend evenly through chocolate in the mold then pour more chocolate over. Continue to do so once or twice. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Leave aside a quarter of the mix for next step.

Coconut bananacream topping
Left overs of coconut mix
2 small bananas
1 tbsp of chia seeds

Blend all together and pour onto pre prepared chocolate bases. Smooth evenly over the chocolate molds and put back into the freezer for another half an hour. Remove from the freezer and store in the fridge covered for 3-4 days.

Enjoy 🌸💗😘
ImageImageImage

Antigravity Yoga

Charity work, Fish out of the water, Health, The Choclo Project, Training, Yoga

Antigravity yoga is easily my favorite type of yoga. For anyone who hasn’t seen or heard of it before, it may look daunting and a little strange but trust me when I say, it’s incredible.

It allows you to gain all the benefits of traditional yoga but with zero compression on your spine and joints. Being perfectly suited to older, stiffer bodies or for anyone recovering from an injury. It is extremely rejuvenating, challenging, relaxing and fun and there is forever a new pose or variation to try.

Here are a couple of the poses I did this morning in my Choclo gear. The Choclo product is so suitable and perfect for the antigravity yoga as there are no zips to catch and the fabrics work beautifully against the hammock. It keeps everything in securely and the colors look incredible against the white hammock.

Haven’t heard of The Choclo Project? They are one of my incredible sponsors and a brand of which I’m EXTREMELY proud to be aligned with. They produce ethical clothing for balanced living. Their fabrics are incredible and so comfortable you won’t want to get out of them. The best part about the Choclo Project is that the purchase of any Choclo product results in 5% of sales going directly to the children in the various centres they support. This concept not only gives the children a feeling of freedom as they tap into their imagination, but it will give the kids ideas of a positive way to make a living and change their lives. Please follow the link to find their amazing story and product http://www.chocloproject.com

If you know of an antigravity class near by you I completely encourage you to give it a go and give it a few tries as the more classes you do, the more familiar and comfortable you become in the hammock and the more enjoyment you will get out of the class. Image

Image

Image

MIXED BERRY AND WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

Clean Creations, Cooking, Health, Nutrition, Vegan, YUM

Mixed berry and white chocolate cheesecake

Image

Now, this was one of those creations where my friend and I literally just threw things into the thermomix and hoped for the best. It ended up turning out incredibly and I’m almost going to claim it as the best cheesecake yet! Because it was such an experiment the measurements may be slightly off but just go with the flow and experiment yourself to find the right consistencies.

 I’m up in Lennox Head at the moment and this area has so much amazing food-spiration. I’ve got a thermomix and a huge kitchen so I’m so excited to be able to just experiment and have fun while having access to so much amazing, fresh, organic produce. There’s something about warm weather and living by the ocean that gets my mind and body inspired. I hope you love this cheesecake as much as my mum, my friend and I did because we ate it within two days!

Base

1 cup of almond

½ cup of hazelnuts

1 cup of medjool dates

Blend all ingredients together until consistently combined. Shape to bottom of a cake tin and set aside in the freezer.

White chocolate filling

4 cups soaked cashews

1 cup coconut cream (or coconut milk)

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup raw organic honey

pinch of salt

Blend together until smooth. Set aside half the mixture for the berry filling and pour the other half evenly onto the pre made base and place into the freezer.

Berry filling

½ of the pre made white chocolate filling

1½ cups of organic, frozen mixed berries (or fresh)

¼ cup of raw organic honey

splash of water

Heat the water, honey and frozen berries in a small saucepan on a medium heat until the berries are defrosted. Pour the berries and the sauce from the berries into the left over white chocolate filling and blend again. Pour evenly over the pre prepared base and white chocolate layer and place into freezer for 2-3 hours to set.

Serve with coyo and store covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.
ImageImage

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CUPS

Clean Creations, Cooking, Fish out of the water, Food, Nutrition, Vegan, YUM

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CUPS

 ImageImage

These scrumptious little choccy cups were another experiment as I had left over soaked cashews from the berry and white chocolate cheesecake I made a few days back now. I basically just threw in things with out accurately measuring so be wary of that when you’re re creating them as my measurements may be a little off but trust your instinct to find the right consistenciesand taste as you go.

They are SO yummy with some coconut yogurt and are the perfect sweet treat after dinner. Enjoy!
Image

Base
1 ½ cups goji berries
½ cup of almonds
½ cup of hazelnuts
1 tbsp of coconut butter

Blend all ingredients together. I used extremely moist goji berries so aim to get them if you can and if the mixture doesn’t seem to be sticking together well enough add in a few medjool dates or some extra gojis. Place into a cup cake tin and cover the bottoms evenly and flatten them out.

1 ½ cup of soaked raw cashews
¾ cup of coconut cream (or coconut milk)
¼ cup of desiccated coconut
3 heaped tsp of raw cocoa powder
1 tbsp of creamed coconut
½ a cup of a sweetner (maple syrup, honey, agave, coconut necter)

Blend all ingredients together until a smooth, fluffy consistency is formed. Pour into the pre prepared cup cake tin bases smooth out the top. Put into the freezer for 2-3 hours to set, then keep in the fridge covered for 2-4 days.

Mint and beetroot quinoa

Food, Health, Nutrition, YUM
Mint and beetroot quinoa salad
Image
This salad is such a simple yet delicious recipe that you can store in your fridge and nibble on throughout the week. It is such a delicious, healthy and vibrant meal I’m sure it will leave you feeling satisfied and with a smiling stomach.
Not only is this salad delicious but it is super charged with some of my favourite super foods. Beetroot is known to be great for boosting stamina and making your muscles work harder. It is full of goodies including magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamins A, B6 and C and folic acid. Quinoa is one of my favourite foods. It’s a great alternative to rice and has the highest nutritional profile out of all the whole grains. It’s an extremely high energy grain and has been grown and consumed for about 8000 years. It contains all 8 amino acids to make it a complete protein, it is high in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium + vitamin E.Mint promotes digestion, soothes the stomach in cases of indigestion or inflammation and is even known to have very positive effects on alertness, retention and cognitive function. So now you can eat this meal and while enjoying the flavours, enjoy the fact in knowing how amazing all these ingredients are for you!
Recipe + Method
1 beetroot peeled and slice into wedges
1 apple sliced
½ and onion peeled and sliced into quarters
1 handful of mint
Blend the above ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped and combined. Set aside
1 whole avo diced
1 cup of sliced greens (spinach, rocket, lettuce, kale)
1 cup of quinoa

2 cups of water
Rinse quinoa then place in a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and stir occasionally. Remove from heat once the balls have become clear and are no longer crunchy (should take around 15 minutes). Place the quinoa into a large bowl and stir in beetroot mix. Add in the sliced greens and avo and mix.
1 cup of mini tomatoes
1 dessertspoon of coconut butter
salt and pepper
Melt coconut butter in pan and place tomatoes in over a medium heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook tomatoes for around 7 minutes until slightly cooked. Remove from heat and place on top of the salad. Halve the tomatoes if you prefer.
Squeeze a wedge of lemon over the salad, mix and serve with a good quality goats cheese. YUM!
ImageImage

Chilli con carne and quinoa cups

A bit of fun!, Clean Creations, Cooking, Fish out of the water, Food, Health, Inspiration, No place like home, Nutrition, Training, YUM

Serves 4

1 onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 large grated sweet potato
2 sticks sliced celery
250 g lean mince (beef, chicken, game meat are all great)
1 red capsicum, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400 g tomato puree
400 g cooked red kidney or adzuki beans, drained
125 g cherry tomato, halved
100 g baby spinach leaves
1 avocado, chopped
1 bunch coriander, chopped
1 lime
1 small chopped red chilli
1 clove of grated fresh garlic
Your choice of Seaweed sheets or Lettuce cups to serve

Sauté the onion, sweet potato, chilli, garlic and celery for 3 minutes until softened.
Add the spices and mince and cook through for 5 minutes until the mince is browned.
Add the capsicum, tomato paste, tomato puree and beans.
Pour over 1 cup of water.
Simmer over a low – medium heat for 30 minutes until thick.
Season with ground pepper and a little salt add cherry tomato.
Fold in spinach and coriander just before serving.
Spoon into bowls lined with seaweed sheets or lettuce cups and quinoa on the bottom.
Top with chilli to taste, basil or extra coriander, avocado and a lime wedge.
Screen Shot 2013-05-19 at 8.41.28 PM

Enjoy, this recipe is truly delicious and super high in protein. Best dinner I’ve had in a long time.

Exercise Nutrition

A bit of fun!, Food, Health, Inspiration, Nutrition, Respected Humans, Training, YUM

I’ve been training pretty intensely lately but have been finding it hard to balance my nutritional intake with the training and not quite knowing how much/ how little I should be consuming before and after… so I decided to do a read up and this is what I discovered:

Energise your work out
Being well nourished, but with your stomach virtually empty is extremely important when exercising. Simply put, it means that based on your pre work out nutrition, your body should be well hydrated, and have enough glycogen to enter your exercise at your peak physical condition. “Glucose is stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. When we exercise the liver breaks down its glycogen and releases the glucose into the bloodstream for energy.” “The muscles use this glucose as well as their own glycogen that is stored in the muscle to fuel their work. When glycogen is depleted we become fatigued.”
How many carbohydrates we consume will influence the amount of glycogen stored and our needs depend on how active we are and the duration of exercise time. If watching your weight, the amount of carbohydrates consumed and the time of day they’re consumed needs to be taking into consideration.

Unless you’re a professional sports person… we generally need enough glycogen in our system from the day prior to exercise to get us through the session. Having a small protein drink made with water of a piece of low GI fruit like kiwi or berries prior to your work out stabilises energy levels. I was surprised to find that “Studies show that drinking coffee or green tea 30 minutes to an hour before your workout results in longer endurance, faster times, less exertion, less fatigue, and more rapid recovery — up to 30 percent better in each category Caffeine also, breaks down fat, freeing fatty acids which are immediately burned.”

If your exercise sessions are of a longer duration… it’s important to take some carb/ electrolyte replacements. For example, coconut water, a banana, passionfruit or orange juice.

Keep hydrated!
Consuming 500 ml of water 15-30 minutes before a workout is ideal. Frequent sips throughout the sessions is important. Post workout, its important to to rehydrate properly to counteract dehydration. Exercise sessions over an hour may need extra electrolytes to help rehydration. I recommend coconut water.

Anyway I found all of that informations extremely helpful, I hope it comes in handy one way or another for you. Eat well, live well, be well. ImageImageImageImageImage