Monday, July 30, 2012

grilled snapper with daikon sesame salad

It's so great to grow your own veggies especially when you have not been able to made it to the markets. 

But, nothing else in my garden seems to last like the radishes. 
I guess the kangaroos and possums have not acquired a taste for this peppery vegetable.

I've been eyeing off my daikon radish for a while now. Watching it slowly grow higher and higher!
Finally it was ready for harvest and I knew exactly what I was going to build with it.

It's so rewarding growing your own veges. I love being able to wander outside and pick a few leafy greens for dinner, or a couple of herbs to garnish a meal.

I look forward to the day the Joel and I settle on our own acreage with a HUGE vege patch. I will grow everything.. including my own olives for pressing and a small vineyard for wine.

But for now, I'm content with the few things that I am able to grow.


(side serves 4-6)

1 large daikon radish
2 tblsp sesame oil
1 tblsp mirin sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tblsp nigella seeds
pinch of Himalayan rock salt

4-6 portions fresh snapper 

Shred or grate the daikon and toss with all other ingredients, leave in refrigerator for flavours to infuse.
Heat a grill pan, lightly oil and sear the snapper fillets for 4-5 mins on each side.


P.S. Our weekend was well spent.

Friday, July 27, 2012

rustic protein bars: vegan

We’re off to the snow this weekend for a small taster before our big week on the slopes in August.

Our snow gear has been in storage for 2 years as we missed last year’s season and the one before we were overseas. Digging out our gear was fun, it felt like Christmas again. I was constantly saying ‘Oh, I’d forgotten I had that!’. We hung our jackets and pants on the stairs to get some air, but it only made us more impatient to be at the snow.

So, we’re excited.

Joel is a snow boarder, but I’m a skier from way back. It’s always fun to tease each other on the slopes, as we’ve got totally different styles.

In the mad rush of getting everything together, I wanted to make a healthy and cheap energy hit that we could just take with us on the hill.

Because of the busyness I didn’t spend too long on the pretty-ness of these bars, so they really have that ‘rustic’ look.

I know they look rough, BUT, they are ever so yum and will do the trick for our protein and energy hits.


(makes 16)

1 c rolled oats
½ c coconut flakes
¼ c protein powder (I’ve used hemp seed protein)
½ c dried/dehydrated fruit (I recently dehydrated some fresh cranberries and gooseberries – took 12 hours)
¼ c pine nuts

¼ c agave syrup
¼ c unhulled tahini
2 tblsp coconut butter
½ c water

Heat oven to 130 C and line a loaf/slice tin with baking paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Heat the wet ingredients in a small pot over the stove until tahini is well integrated.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir well to combine.
Spoon mixture into the lined tray and press mixture firmly down.
Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes to an hour.
Cool completely before slicing.
Can store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze pulling them out as required.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

sprouted wheat berry salad with jerusalem artichokes: raw

This past weekend there was an Organic Food and Living festival on in Sydney.
I hadn’t heard it was on until a couple of days before hand and was glad I had a free day to head down and check it out.

It took us 4.5 hours to make our way around to all the stalls, and by the end I was so inspired.

Lunch was awesome too, we had some spelt vegan pizzas.. me thinks I will be doing my own adaptation soon!

On the way out, I noticed a guy selling a heap of organic fresh produce and seeds, and was immediately drawn in by the Jerusalem Artichokes. One box for $2, SOLD!

I've been meaning to get my hands on this tasty root, however my grocer doesn't seem to stock any.

Natively known as the 'Sunroot' in America (as it is part of the Sunflower family) it is a bit of a nutritional power house. Packed with dietary fibre, anti-oxidants (such as Vitamins C, A, E) and minerals - potassium, iron, and copper. It also contains small levels of valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamin.


(serves 4)

1 c whole organic Australian wheat, soaked for 24 hours
200g Jerusalem artichokes, shaved/finely sliced
½ c fresh basil leaves
bunch of salad greens, roughly chopped
½ lemon juice
1 tsp lemon rind
2 tsp hemp seed oil

Note: you will need to start this recipe 2-3 days before hand, to allow time for the wheat to sprout.
Drain and rinse the soaked wheat.
Place wheat in a glass jar, covered with a clean muslin/chux cloth fastened with a rubber band.
Store in a cool dry location rinsing the wheat twice a day for 2 days until the wheat starts to sprout.
Do a final rinse and place in a large bowl.
Add all other ingredients and toss well to combine.

Monday, July 23, 2012

homemade chocolate with amaranth: vegan, low-gi

Homemade chocolate isn’t as difficult as you think it is. If you have all the ingredients available to you, it should take no more than 5 minutes.

Finding vegan chocolate is getting easier, but it’s still a bit of a challenge. Coupled with my love of making things from scratch, creating my own chocolate is a must.

Being the control freak that I am, I like to be able to tailor make my food to my tasting. If you haven’t been able to tell by now, I like to keep my desserts low-gi and not overly sweet.

I added a bit of coconut butter/oil to the recipe to stretch out the cocoa butter; this is where the mass producers would add in milk products.

I know cocoa butter is a bit dear, but it’s well worth the purchase. And a little bit goes a long way.

I’ve used the popped amaranth from my previous post to bulk out the chocolate, resulting in a bit of a ‘chocolate crackle’ adaptation.

This recipe turned out really tasty! Even Joel, who loves his ‘normal’ chocolate, was way on board devouring 4 portions in one sitting.
It’s sweetened just enough to offset the vanilla salt and with the roasted amaranth – yummm..

Other than the popped amaranth, this recipe is raw.

Don’t expect to be eating commercial chocolate when you nibble on a bit of this. I feel my this recipe is taking chocolate back to the raw basics and celebrating what makes chocolate real.


(makes 40)

1/4 c raw cocoa butter
1 tblsp coconut oil
1 tblsp creamed coconut

1/4 raw lucuma powder
3 tblsp raw cocoa

1 tblsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
20 drops stevia (add more for desired sweetness)
1 vanilla bean, seeds
1/4 tsp vanilla salt

Melt cocoa butter, coconut oil and creamed coconut over warm water.
Meanwhile, combine amaranth, lucuma and cocoa powder in a bowl, mix together and create a well in the middle.
In the well pour remaining ingredients and slowly add the melted oils.
Stir thoroughly until all combined and spoon 2 tsp amounts into chocolate moulds or ice cube trays.
Set in the refrigerator to set for a couple of hours.
Then you should be ready to enjoy!
Store in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

Friday, July 20, 2012

popped amaranth: how to

I’ve been making my own puffed amaranth for a while now.

Back when Joel and I were in college, he used to work night shift at a cereal factory (Sanitarium). So, each time I start popping amaranth, the house fills with smells of roasted grain and Joel says “what smells like the factory?”. 
That's how I know that I'm doing it right.

I know you can buy puffed amaranth these days, but I find it cheaper and fresher to just whip a batch up for breakfast if I have time.

Amaranth is an ancient 8,000 year old grain that was once a staple in the Aztec diet.
The Amaranth plant is related to Swiss chard, quinoa, beets and spinach and produces thousands of tiny seeds that make up this grain-like ingredient.

Amaranth has so many health benefits for you, low in calories, high in fibre, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorous. As amaranth is gluten-free, it acts as a great alternative to wheat, rye or barley.

How to


Amaranth Seeds

Heat a heavy based saucepan (with a completely sealed lid), on high heat for about 3-5 mins.
Drop a tablespoon amount of amaranth seeds in the pot and place the lid on top.
The seeds should start to pop instantly, like pop-corn.
Tip: I tend to pick up the pot and jiggle it a bit for even heating.
Once the amaranth stops popping, tip out of the contents to cool.
Repeat until you have the desired amount.
3 tblsp of amaranth seeds will make 1 c of popped amaranth.

To eat you can top with milk of your choosing, fruits, nuts and seeds etc. Or, add it to homemade muesli, savoury muffins, muesli bars, crackers or even homemade cereal chocolate (recipe for this to come).

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

cherry and caviar lentil salad with sherry dressing

Joel did the groceries at the markets this past weekend.
It’s the first time since we’ve been married that he has done groceries on his own (over 4 years).

The reason being, that he wanted for us to have a whole day out together without having to worry about getting to the markets in time for groceries.
To be able to spend the day out, just us, as a bit of a belated birthday day for me.

He set the alarm for Sunday morning and got up super early. I know how he does not like getting up early, especially on a weekend! It means so much that he would do that for me - aw!

We went out for brunch and spent the day in each other’s company enjoying the sun. It was so lovely – but of course, time went too quickly.

Anyways, he went off to do the shop while I got to sleep in and praise be to him, he did well.

When he came back, I unpacked the groceries spying a bunch of fresh cherries. Trying not to think about food miles, I knew they were going to be part of a dinner this week.

Digging to the back of my pantry (a bookshelf cupboard), I pulled out a bag of caviar lentils - they are a favourite of ours.
Delightful little pops, they don’t require a massive amount of cooking time but can add a bit of class to the old brown lentil.

Mixed with a few other ingredients and topped with a sherry dressing, oh boy did this salad go down well.


(serves 4)

1 c caviar beluga lentils, soaked for 12 hours
¼ c pine nuts
1 c roughly chopped parsley
15 (or more) fresh cherries, deseeded and roughly chopped
5 shallots, finely sliced
1 lebanese cucumber, diced
2 celery stems, diced

2 tblsp dry sherry
2 tblsp quality olive oil
pinch or two of Murray River salt flakes

Place lentils in a heavy based saucepan, cover with water and bring the boil.
Simmer for 15 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water to cool it down – set aside
Next, heat a heavy based saucepan and add pinenuts.
Toss constantly to ensure even toasting – once toasted remove from heat to cool and set aside.
Combine parsley, cherries, shallots and cucumber in a large bowl.
Toss through pinenuts and lentils.
For the dressing, whisk sherry, oil and salt together and pour over lentil salad.
Serve x.

Monday, July 16, 2012

chia delight

This is my go-to breakfast; especially on a Monday morning.

No one likes to end a beautiful weekend to go back to work.

So, when I know that I won't have much time in the morning (on account of the snooze button), this is my go-to healthy breakfast.

The night before I put together the following ingredients so it's ready to go as I dash out the door.

I love the way it sets and becomes almost pudding-like.

Chia seeds can soak up to 10 times the amount of its body weight (which can be great for hydration during exercise).

After eating, the nutrients travel to the cells very quickly due to the ease in digestion and assimilation.  Use them when you want to build or regenerate healthy body tissue.

High in fibre, omega 3's and protein, this Aztec super food keeps me going all morning.

My ch-ch-ch-chia breakfasts vary each morning - as to the different fruits, nut butters and kefir water/milk available to me.

This recipe outlines my most basic of recipes and is the foundation of my chia delights.


(makes 1)

1 1/2 tblsp black chia seeds
1 c coconut kefir milk (or any liquid/milk of choosing)
fruit, seeds and nut butters

Combine chia seeds and coconut kefir together, whisk well.
Set aside for at least 10 minutes, or place in refrigerator overnight until set.
Top with desired fruit, nuts/seeds and enjoy.

Good morning sleepy heads! xo

Friday, July 13, 2012

kefir fennel slaw with lemon myrtle

Ever since I have been taking kefir and adding it to meals, I have noticed a huge difference in my vitality.

It’s amazing really. 

While I don’t necessarily have any issues with my skin, it just seems to be brighter as a result of the probiotics in my system.

Everything seems to run better, and even when exercising I notice that I have heaps more endurance.

I’m even sleeping better.

I’m alternating between the milk and water probiotics, and am finding that I’ll drink a ¼ c of the milk/yogurt first thing in the morning and ½ c of the water just before dinner. It stabilizes the blood sugar which leaves me feeling much more satisfied and energised for longer.

Here is a simple recipe I have come up with that incorporates the kefir yogurt into meals. If you don’t have kefir, that’s fine just substitute it for plain natural yogurt.


(serves 4)

1 large fennel bulb, shaved or finely sliced
10 romaine lettuce leaves, finely sliced
1/2 c kefir yogurt (or natural yogurt)
1 tblsp organic apple cider vinegar
1 tblsp quality olive oil
1 tsp lemon myrtle
pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Soak fennel in a bowl of cool water for 20 minutes then drain.
Add fennel with all the other ingredients in a large bowl.
Toss until well combined.
Serve straight away or sit in the refrigerator for up to an hour to let the flavours infuse.