Thursday, May 31, 2012

homemade roasted almond butter

I'm forever topping up our stash of homemade nut butter and the most recent is this basic roasted almond butter.
Seriously, you'll be surprised at how simple it really is to make.

Friday (my day off) is usually my cooking and cleaning day. So, when it comes to making the almond butter, I just put the almonds in the oven to roast while I vacuum the house. Then come back and take out the tray to cool, go and clean the bathroom, come back and whack the roasted almonds in the food processor while I scoot around and tidy a few things (checking the food processor intermittently). 
Then it's done. And so is the house work, bonus!

I cannot rave enough about how amazing this nut butter is.
It's so smooth and deliciously versatile - makes for a perfect breakfast topper, snack or protein in a salad/sandwich.

This recipe requires nothing other than straight up almonds. No oil. No sugar. And definitely no artificial preservatives.

Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, so even when stored in the refrigerator the nut butter does not 'set' but remains in a thick runny consistency. 
It's not like any of the store bought kind of nut butters that seem to have a thick layer of oil sitting on the top, where the under layer is this dry, tacky kind of goo.

To be honest when I first homemade almond butter, I was so unsure as to whether I made it right. The nut butter didn't separate - as in the natural oils didn't rise and sit on the top which is what I was used to.
Maybe that's because it's made fresh, but what ever it is, it's addictively beautiful!


(makes 300 mL)

500 g raw almonds
pinch of Himalayan rock salt to taste (or more)

Arrange almonds in a single layer on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Heat oven to 180 degrees and roast almonds for approximately 15-20 mins - until the oils have released.
Remove from oven and cool completely.
Place in food processor and using 'S' blade, process for about 7-10 mins until smooth and runny. 
You will need to stop the processor and scrape down the sides periodically.
At this stage you will need to taste test and add the salt as desired - processing well between additions.
Store in a container in the refrigerator for 1 - 2 weeks (if it lasts that long!).

Processing the nut butter

Love x

Monday, May 28, 2012

roasted fava bean crisps (bean nibblets)

The other day a colleague at work brought in some 'Dry Roasted Fava Bean' snacks that she got from the store.

They were really tasty!

As I do all my shopping at the market or online, I had to figure out an inexpensive way of making my own version of these nibbles.
I tasted and stared at the fava bean snacks for ages trying to figure out how I could work this.

The was obviously a little oil, salt and an oven involved.

So I started soaking a small amount of beans just to give it a go.
On my first try, they turned out great!

I was so happy with the end result and when I asked Joel what he thought I should call them, he said 'bean bites nibblets'.

I reckon that they will make a great addition to a trail mix, or the perfect protein packed snack.

I had them for lunch in a salad, but Joel just devoured them on their own.

Best eaten fresh out of the oven, but they seemed to keep well in the refrigerator (even kept their crunch!).


(makes 2 cups)

1 c dried lima beans, soaked for 12 hours
1-2 tsp olive oil
salt to taste

Heat oven to 180 degrees.
Place beans in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
Simmer for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and drain.
Combine with oil and salt to taste in a mixing bowl and toss.
Arrange on a baking tray, lined with baking paper.
Bake in oven for 30 minutes, tossing every 10 mins.

Nibble xo.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

homemade beetroot pasta with pine-nuts and zesty greens

So, it's Joel's birthday today.

I dedicate this post to him.

I know what you're thinking; why am I blogging on such an important day, when I should be spending time with my husband.

Answer: he's playing Legos right now.

Joel is a Lego collector.

I bought him 10 kg of Lego for Christmas last year and it was the beginning of the end as he's found any excuse to add to the collection ever since.

Anyways, we spent the day together - starting out with some delicious wholemeal pancakes (chocolate chips for Joel) topped with fresh jam and almond cashew nut butter. 
Then on to the toy store.. yep, the toy store.
He needed to add to his Lego collection.

We got home late afternoon and while Joel tore open and constructed his new toys, I started on dinner.

Whenever I ask Joel what he feels like for dinner, the never ending 'pa-sta, pa-sta, pa-sta' chant begins.

I'm not such a fan of pasta, so these days I just say 'you have two options for dinner; this or that'.

But today is his birthday after all, so this is a blog post about my pink pasta for the birthday boy.

And by 'pink' I mean beetroot.

Also, I wanted to incorporate some kale, basil and lemon from my garden. 
That's when I decided on a zesty topping.

If you have a pasta machine, now is the time to dust it off and bust it out. 
If not, no problem, just use a rolling pin!


(serves 4)


1 c flour + some
1 organic free-range egg
1 tblsp beetroot puree
1tblsp water
pinch of salt

Combine the above ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until well combined.
Turn mixture on to a floured surface and knead for 5-10 mins.
Put dough aside and rest for 20 mins.
Cut into 8  even portions.

Pasta machine
Feed through rollers until level 8, flouring the individual portions after each level.
Finally feed through the 'spaghetti' setting on the machine.


Rolling pin
Roll each portion as thin as possible.
Then using a sharp knife, slice into desired lengths.

Heat a large pot of salted water and drop spaghetti slowly into the water.
*Boil for 1 minute or until the pasta has risen to the top.
Using a slotted spoon, remove pasta from water, drain and place in a large bowl.

*Tip: you may find it easier to boil small portions.


2 medium zucchini, shredded

1 tblsp lemon zest
1 large lemon juiced
1/4 c pine-nuts
8-10 italian basil leaves
1 tsp of salt
1 bunch of kale, roughly chopped
quality olive oil
salt and pepper to serve

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
Toss the mixture through the warm pasta and serve.
Drizzle with oil and serve with a pinch of salt and a turn of cracked pepper.

I love my husband and am so happy to be by his side forever. I will always be there to cook him pasta as he celebrates his future birthdays.

Love to my lover xoxo

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

raw kelp noodle salad

As lovers of Japanese food, we regularly consume sea vegetables.

I often add some wakame to a stir fry or grab some seafood salad from my local fish monger. 

Trying something a little different, a few months ago I ordered these raw kelp noodles from my favourite online raw food source.

Not cheap at $10 a pop, I hadn't ordered more until now. And let me just say these noodles are totally splurge worthy.

I was so excited when my recent order arrived in the post and couldn't wait to crack them out and eat them!

So, with the perfect meal in mind I dropped in at my local fish monger after work and picked up some fresh salmon, planning on serving it raw with the noodles.


Kelp Noodles are fat-free, gluten-free and very low in carbohydrates and calories. The healthful content provides a rich source of trace minerals including iodine which kelp is well known for.

It is recommended that you shouldn't consume too many sea vegetables in one sitting but as the kelp noodle isn't super concentrated, it's a perfect balance.

The taste, well, it's very neutral and mild with a crisp crunch when bitten into. 


(serves 2)

340 g raw kelp noodles, rinsed
4 spring onions, sliced thinly
1/2 c peas, fresh or frozen
1 tblsp mixed sesame seeds

2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp mirin
1 tsp wasabi paste
1/2 lime juiced

salmon (optional)*

Combine kelp, onions, peas and sesame seeds in a large bowl.
Toss and set aside.
Next, combine oil, soy sauce, mirin, wasabi paste and lime juice in a small jug.
Whisk until well combined.
Pour over the noodles and sit in the refrigerator for 30 mins to allow flavours to infuse.

*Optional: thinly slice some sashimi grade salmon and roll horizontally into a rose. Arrange on top of the kelp salad and serve with a sprinkling of wasabi sesame seeds.

Savour... xx

Monday, May 21, 2012

okara savoury cakes

As promised, here is the recipe for the left over Okara from the soy milk/tofu of my previous post.

I'm not a fan of food wastage and try to incorporate any byproducts into new recipes.
Okara is the perfect example of this. Not only is it a versatile ingredient, but also very nutritionally beneficial.

One hundred grams of wet paste contains 3.2 g of protein as well as 4.1 g of fiber and 80 mg of calcium with only 50 calories. Okara also provides small amounts of iron, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine.

Much like tofu, Okara acts like a sponge adopting its surrounding flavours.

Wet Okara paste.

Usually I add any left over Okara into a bread mix, but this time I opted for something a little different.

Savoury pancakes!

Joel says these pancakes taste potato-y, which made them the perfect candidate for a fishy compliment.

You really could top these delicious savoury cakes with whatever you choose, but I have gone with smoked trout.

Have I expressed my love for smoked trout?

No? Well, I adore smoked trout.

It's on the menu at least once a week.


(makes 12)

 1 1/2 c or so left over okara from making tofu
1 c buckwheat flour
1 tsp bi-carb soda
1/2 c almond milk
1 c water
pinch of salt

coconut oil for frying

Whisk all ingredients together until it comes together in a batter-like consistency.
Heat a teaspoon of oil in a heavy based pan and spoon dessert spoon sizes of the batter into the pan.
Cook each side for 5-7 minutes.
Once cooked through place on a cooling rack for a couple of minutes.
Top with your desired topping.
I have gone with some smoked trout and freshly chopped chives.

Friday, May 18, 2012

fresh homemade tofu

Late last year we drove across the country to visit my brother and sister-in-law who live in Esperance.
It's a gorgeous little town on the southern coast of Western Australia with Australia's whitest beaches and bluest oceans.

A one way trip took us 36 hours of driving, broken up into 3 days.

It's not about the destination, but the journey. The drive was very therapeutic and we got to chatter away about life and dreams - not to mentioned tore our way through a couple of audio books.

One of which was 'Under the Dome' by Stephen King.
Not the most comforting author to be listening to when your out camping in the middle of the dessert!

Anyways, enough of that.

While we were in Esperance, I insisted that we visit the local health food store.

While browsing the shelves, Joel discovered this 'Tofu Making Kit'. 
As a huge advocate for making everything from scratch, I just HAD to get it.

Funnily enough, the lady at the counter explained that it was her family who made the Nigari from the local Lake Crystal, Pink Lake.

What came in the kit was a mould, muslin cloth and Nigari.
Nigari is Magnesium Oil. Essential to life, magnesium is crucial for optimum health and vitality.

This recipe calls for the Nigari, but if you don't have any or you can't get your hands on it, ask your local health food store if they have any Magnesium Oil - it should do the same thing.

Homemade tofu is unlike anything I have tasted before.
It's delicious and so smooth!

Makes me wonder what they put in the store bought kind, that makes it taste so different.

This recipe first explains how to make soy milk from the soy beans (no Nigari required for this), then how to make the tofu from the milk.


heavy based saucepan with lid (medium-large)
mould (can use an old container with holes poked through)
muslin cloth (or new chux cloth)
large bowl
wooden spoon
slotted spoon


(approximately 450g)

1 c soy beans
15 ml Nigari (for firm tofu, use less for silken)

Start off by soaking a cup of soy beans for 8-12 hours.

Once soaked, you end up with about two cups of beans.
Drain and place in a blender with 3 cups of boiling water.
Blend for 1-2 minutes until you have a smooth paste.
Pour the contents of the blender into a heavy based saucepan.
Add 4 cups of boiling water and bring to the boil.
Once at boiling point, remove from stove.

Strain the contents of the pot through a moist muslin cloth lined colander/strainer, into a jug.
(Tip: The mixture will be hot, so use kitchen gloves at this point).
Squeeze all the moisture out of the muslin cloth.

At this stage you have 2 things:

*Okara - soy bean fibre (not required for the rest of the recipe)
1 1/2 L Soy Milk - you can stop here if you're just after soy milk

*Most people discard this, but Okara is full of nutritional properties and can be used in other recipes where flour or binding ingredients are required.
I will be posting an Okara recipe as my next post, so stay tuned.
Store the Okara in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Taking the soy milk, pour contents back into the saucepan (ensuring the pot has been cleaned).
Bring to the boil and simmer for 7 minutes.
Combine the Nigari with 1/2 c of boiling water and mix well.

Remove the pot from the stove and using the wooden spoon stir the milk from side-to-side (6-8 times) while drizzling 1/3 of the Nigari mixture into the pot.
Remove the spoon and drizzle over another 1/3 of the Nigari.
Cover the pot and stand for 5 mins.
Curds will start to appear on the top of the mixture.
While lightly stirring the top 1/2 inch of the mixture, drizzle over the final 1/3 of the Nigari.
Cover and stand for a further 5 mins.

Line the mould with cleaned muslin cloth and sit in a colander over a bowl.

Using a slotted spoon, spoon out the curds into the mould.

Fold the muslin cloth over the top of the curds and press a weight on top (or a plate if using alternative).
Let the moisture drain out of it (4-5 mins).

Next, place the mould in a bowl of iced water for 5 minutes while it firms up.

Remove tofu from the mould and serve fresh in your favourite dish.

If you are wanting to keep the tofu for longer, you will need to place it in a bowl of water, cover and store in the refrigerator - replacing the water daily.
Will keep for up to 3 days.

Sorry about the marathon post! xo

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

raw protein energy balls

This past weekend we spent canyoning.
It was so much fun! But just a little chilly.

This recipe is something that I whipped up last week to take with us.

High protein energy hits.

It’s just what we needed while tackling the uphill climbs, 25m waterfall abseils, giant boulders and not to mention the last three hours of hiking and navigating in the dark.

I will definitely be making these again! Especially for the snow skiing later in the year.

While I was making these, I just kept adding bits and pieces that I know would be super nourishing for our bodies and was so surprised when rolling the balls that the mixture turned out to make 40!

I think I'll be freezing half the batch for a quick snacks at a later date.


(makes 40)

2 c triticle flakes, soaked for 12 hours and drained
1/2 c dried dates, soaked for 12 hours and drained
1/2 c raw peanuts + extra
1/4 c shredded coconut + extra
2 tblsp chia seeds
1 tblsp raw super food powder*
2 tblsp raw protein powder
1/4 c dried cranberries
1/4 c almond butter
3 tblsp agave syrup
1/4 c raisins
10 drops stevia

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined - should resemble a sticky dough-like consistency.

In a mortar and pestle combine the extra coconut and peanuts (you could also add a pinch of vanilla salt).
Grind until the peanuts a broken into pieces.

Scoop out tablespoon size portions of the processed mixture and using wet hands, roll into balls.
Then roll the balls in the coconut and peanut mixture and set in the refrigerator over night.

You can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for later consumption.

*I use a super food powder that is a mix of the top 15 super foods (known) of the world.

Unfortunately I didn’t get the camera out for the abseils or the glow worm tunnel, but here’s a couple of snap shots.

Morning view of the mountains.

Cooking up our oats for breakfast.

Ice on the tent. Brrr.

View from the first cliff climb.

Morning tea with our energy balls.

Last bit of sunlight for the afternoon.