Thursday, 29 August 2013

Gluten free chicken breast nuggets

Today I saw a horrible video about the chicken nuggets they sell in the US- you can watch it here. It looked at the nuggets under a microscope, and it was gut churning. If you were to take a photo of my face watching it I would have looked like I was smelling a rotten egg, inside a rotting chicken... you get my point.

I know many parents feed their children chicken nuggets (I try to avoid it, but I too am guilty of the easy Macca's dinner very occasionally) What is worse is when I try feed Pip healthy foods when she is surrounded by children eating unhealthy, sugar laden, processed junk. I feel like a bad mother (which is ridiculous!!!) when she is denied the same crap food as her peers. She doesn't want to be different. She sees it as deprivation. And the mother guilt sets in... Or when we go out for tea and all they offer children is chips and nuggets! Ah, I could go on forever about this!

So I decided to make my own chicken nuggets for her. So she doesn't feel like she's missing out. I will freeze a batch for her to eat when I'm in one of those 'cannot be bothered' moods.
These are gluten free and cooked in coconut oil (the only oil that doesn't change composition when heated) Read more about that here (strongly suggest- very interesting read)

1 chicken breast, diced (or however you want your nuggets to look)
2 table spoons of buckwheat flour
1 table spoon almond meal
1 table spoon quinoa flakes

1 egg, lightly beaten

salt and pepper to taste.

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Heat coconut oil in heavy base pan.
Combine flour, meal and flakes in a bowl, season with salt and pepper (or any spices you like if making adult version)
dip chicken in egg wash, drain off excess.
Coat chicken in dry mix.
Cook chicken until golden and cooked through.

Try not to eat them all... ;)

Monday, 26 August 2013

Everybody love parfait...with home made, gluten free, sugar free granola... New recipe

I love parfait! Omnomnomnom. It's my favourite breakfast, it ticks all the boxes. Tangy fruit, smooth yoghurt, crunchy granola. Tick, tick tick.
This is the recipe for my yummy granola (toasted muesli) Full of protein, healthy fats and good carbohydrates to kick start your morning. Make it in bulk and store it in an air tight jar- sprinkle it on smoothies, yoghurt, icecream (my healthy version) or just eat it with a spoon straight from the jar!

6 Hazelnuts
6 walnuts chopped
6 almonds chopped
6 cashews chopped
1 tablespoon pepita
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/3 cup quinoa flakes or certified organic oats
1 teaspoon rice malt syrup

Pre heat oven to 150 degrees C (less if fan forced).
Line oven tray with grease proof paper (I use silpat mats)
Toast hazelnuts for 5 min or until skin peels off. Rub off skins in tea towel.
Roughly chop.

Add all ingredients together in bowl and coat with rice malt syrup

Spread out on tray and toast in oven, stirring 2-3 time until every thing is golden.
Leave to cool and becomes deliciously crunchy.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Raw chocolate and hazelnut brownie tart

This is my first attempt at free styling a recipe. My cooking style is very much a 'chuck it in and see how it tastes' style, so putting together a recipe of my own takes restraint in holding back and measuring what I'm actually putting in my dish!

I love clean, raw, brownies. And I love choc avo mousse. So I thought I'd combine them into one decadent dessert.
This is so good, I had the husband asking for seconds.

This makes one small tart (about 15cm diameter tin)- it is rich enough that 1/4 of a piece will satisfy (although I ate a half..... oink oink)

6 Medjool dates (pitted)
2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
1/4 cup walnuts
3/4 cup hazelnuts
1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt flakes
1/4 cup almonds

Chocolate mousse
1 avocado
2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
3 tablespoons of agave syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt flakes
1/4 teaspoon mesquite powder (optional)

In food processor blitz walnuts and hazelnuts until finely ground.
Add in cacao power and salt, blitz until combined.
Add in medjool dates 1 at a time while food processor is still running
Add in almonds and blitz until broken down but still leaving them in little chunks.
Mixture should stick together when pressed.
Scoop out and press into tart tins then pop into freezer to set

Blitz all ingredients in processor- add more sweetener if avocado taste is still present.

Fill tart case with mousse- pop back in freezer to set.
Cut right before serving.
Try to share and not eat it all me...

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Choc chip almond cookies

Everyone loves a good choc chip cookie. Well, I do anyway. On the weekend my lovely husband came home from Subway with 3 yummy cookies- one for Pip, himself not that I could eat them...he forgot. Gluten and me do not mix, and as tempting as they smelt, the memory of the belly ache that would follow is enough for me to not think twice at sneaking a bite.

So today I thought I'd try my hand at cooking up a delicious cookie that we could all eat. And these did not disappoint! Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, egg free, refined sugar free. Worthy of an omnomnom get-in-ma-belly tag.

The smell that filled my house when cooking these babies was enough for me to risk burning my tongue when I snuck one straight off the baking mat (delicious, but not recommended).

1 1/2 cups almond meal
2 tbspoon raw cacao powder
1/4 cup cacao nibs
2 tblspn coconut oil- melted
1/4 tspn baking powder
1 tspn vanilla extract
1/4 tspn sea salt flakes
2 tblspn agave syrup (or maple syrup)
1/4 cup desiccated coconut

Chocolate sauce
2 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of cacao powder
1 teaspoon agave syrup

1. Preheat oven to 170C 

2. Combine all ingredient in a bowl

3. Scoop 1 tablespoon of mix and roll into ball. Place on lined tray and press centre in with thumb.

4. Bake for 13 min. Remove from oven and allow to cool 

5. Meanwhile, make chocolate sauce- melt coconut oil, mix in cacao and agave syrup. Allow to cool until sauce thickens slightly, but not set.

6. When cookies are cool, pour over chocolate sauce. Put it fridge to set.

Try not to eat all in one sitting.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Back into running and my chocolate protein smoothie

Today I went for my first run in nearly 9 months. It's been just over 5 weeks since Jimmy was born (naturally) and I've been busting to have a little jog each time I take the kids for a walk in the pram. Cue pelvic floor exercises!!
After I had Pippa I took up running, and completed my first half marathon when she was about 15 months old. I love running. It is my version of meditation, and I get such a high after a good jog.

I wasn't allowed to run throughout my 2nd pregnancy due to a possible incompetent cervix (I had surgery to remove about 1/3 of my cervix due to grade 3 precancerous cells just before falling pregnant- get your pap tests ladies- they save lives!!). I got the all clear to exercise at 25 weeks, but by then I was too big to consider taking up running again. I really didn't care, I was just happy to have made it to 25 weeks with no trouble!

Yesterday while on our walk I tried a couple of little jogs to see how it felt, and while pushing two kids in a pram was bloody tough (about 20+kgs to push) the jogging felt really good (if it was only for about 50m at a time). So today I decided to head off on my own. It was a beautiful, sunny winters day, perfect conditions for a light jog. I've just downloaded the Lorna Jane app, so I thought I'd trial it instead of my old run keeper.
After a little warm up, off I went. And surprised myself how far I went! I managed nearly 4km, at a nice leisurely pace and a couple of stops thanks to a pesky shoelace. I was puffing but surprisingly i didn't die in the ass at the 1km mark!
Hopefully I can get out of bed tomorrow!

After every run I always refuel my muscles and aid recovery with protein- today, in the form of a shake. I thought I'd mix it up- and because I'm breast feeding I'm burning extra calories, so I added in extra nutrients to fuel my milk supply (protein is great for milk production).
This smoothie would be perfect for breakfast (or any meal really!) It's sweet, chocolatly and packed with protein, healthy fats, fibre and lots of super foods.
1 scoop of protein powder (I use plain whey protein isolate)
1/4 avocado
1 cup almond milk (of fluid of choice)
1 table spoon raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
1 teaspoon chia seeds
3 madjool dates (pitted)
4 walnuts
2 tablespoons of greek yoghurt (optional)
Whizz in blender top with cacao nibs and bees pollen for yummy crunch!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Green smoothie

A revolution is upon us! A green smoothie revolution!
If you haven't already caught on to the green smoothie craze, you best read on.

I don't know anyone who doesn't like a good smoothie. Fast to make, easy to eat (One handed eating essential for me at the moment as I breastfeed my 2nd child on demand) and so simple to pack in all the goodness you need for a perfect balanced meal.

I always made smoothies, mostly protein smoothies for breakfast, but it was only just recently that I was swayed into adding some big leafy greens to my smoothie for a nutrition hit. It took a while to get my head around adding spinach or kale into my recipe, and since I nearly always used frozen blueberries they always ended up looking like I was drinking brown sludge....
But... you can't taste the spinach... so close your eyes and forget it's there- just enjoy the health benefits that come with adding these super greens to you meal.
Spinach has so many goodies packed into it- it's extremely rich in antioxidants, a rich source of Vit A, Vit C, Vit E, Vit K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, Vit B2, calcium, potassium, Vit B6, folic acid, copper, high protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids. And breathe, that was a long list.
It has double the fibre of other greens, it's high in beta-carotene which supports heart health, fights cancer and keeps your eyes healthy

My daughter loves her green smoothie, and if I can get all that goodness into her in one meal I'm pretty happy!

So, what else do I pack into my smoothie on a daily basis?
Well, I start with the base recipe-
Almond milk (or whatever fluid you like- water, milk, soy- add as much or as little- eat-it-with-a-spoon consistency or drink it)
1 tblsp chia
1 tblspn flax meal
1 scoop of protein powder (I use unflavoured, but you could use vanilla, banana etc)
1 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
2 cups of spinach (fresh or frozen)

Add in any fruit you like
This recipe I have banana and frozen mango (thanks Coles for stocking it now!)
other favourites are frozen blueberries, raspberries, fresh kiwi, pear- anything your heart desires.
Top with some goji berries, pepitas, walnuts and bees pollen for a bit of crunch factor ;)

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Chocolate walnut breakfast mousse

Another delicious breakfast by the Holistic Ingredient, so simple and full of awesome super foods- walnuts, cacao, chia seeds, avocado, macs powder and cinnamon.
You can make any flavour of mousse with chia seeds. Omit the cacao powder, and instead you could put in your favourite flavoured protein powder ( I have cookies and cream Whey protein isolate) although you probably would have to take out the sweetener if you did this. 
Or pop in some peppermint essence, or orange rind to make choc peppermint or jaffa mouse.

Apprx 1.5 cups almond milk (or milk of choice), add more if you prefer a runnier smoothie
1/3 cup of walnuts, or about 20 g
1/4 of an avocado
2 tblspns chia seeds
1 tblspn raw cacao (or to taste, I like my chocolate intense, I added an extra half tablespoon)
2 heaped tspns maple or rice malt syrup, or sweetener of choice, to taste
1 heaped tspn maca powder (optional)
1 heaped teaspoon raw cacao nibs
1/4 tspn cinnamon
Pinch of vanilla powder (or essence)
Pinch salt
Leave half the walnuts and cacao nibs aside. Throw the rest of your ingredients into the blender and blend until really smooth. Top with the cacao nibs and remaining walnuts. I would recommend making this the night before or at least half an hour before you eat it to allow the chia seeds to soften.

Quinoa stuffed capsicum with beetroot chips and rocket salad

Looking for a delicious, healthy dinner, packed with goodness and flavour?
This is one of my favourites! Quinoa stuffed roasted capsicum with beetroot chips and rocket salad
I added chicken into the quinoa stuffing, but if you're vegetarian simply omit, or replace with chickpeas or lentils for extra protein.
1 Capsicum, top removed, deseeded and charred on open flame (I put mine over the gas hot plate) 
100gm cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed in cold water until runs clear.
1 cup of good quality stock (chicken or vegetable)
1/4 teaspoon each of cummin, ground coriander, tumeric and paprika (or any spices you like) plus a sprinkle of chilli powder (optional)
1/2 cup each of grated zucchini and carrot
4 small cubes of goats cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Beetroot thinly sliced
1 cup rocket
6 walnut halves, broken into pieces.
olive oil
2 cubes of goats cheese

Preheat oven to 180' (less if fan forced)
Cook quinoa in stock and spices until seed becomes opaque and looks like they have tadpole tails. Add in cooked chicken, veges and season to taste. 
Put stuffing into capsicum, push down 4 pieces of goats cheese into stuffing, and cook in oven until capsicum is soft (20-30 min).
Place beetroot slices on lightly oiled (coconut oil) baking paper. I actually use silpat mats (nonstick baking mats from my old macaron baking days). Lightly spray beetroot with coconut oil. Cook in oven for 10 min, watching that they don't burn. Remove, flip chips over, roast again for 5-10 min until cooked.
Toss together rocket, goats cheese beetroot chips and walnut halves with a dash of good quality olive oil
Remove capsicum from oven, serve with salad

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Dairy free Chocolate icecream

Thank goodness someone showed me how to make clean icecream. So simple and easy, all you need is the frozen bananas and a food processor/ high powered blender.

1 frozen banana
1 tsp cacoa powder

You could add in peppermint essence/ vanilla powder, chilly powder or anything you enjoy with chocolate to give it a twist.

Blitz banana until creamy, add in cacao powder, blitz until incorporated.
top with nuts of your choice



This divine creation is from Petite Kitchen, another blog I follow. It is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, refined sugar free and very yummy!! It isn't overly rich or decadent, so you won't feel sick after a slice or two! The coconut flour is very high in fibre and so needs lots of moisture to stop it becoming dry (hence the 5 eggs). I ended up whipping the egg whites first (I separated the 5 eggs) to try and give the cake a bit more fluffiness, but i'm not sure if it helped at all! Do as you wish!
I topped mine with coyo (DELISH coconut yoghurt) to keep it healthy, but I'm sure cream would be better!

Serves 8
• 1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries, or fruit of your choice
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil, or unsalted butter
• 5 free range eggs
• 1/2 cup coconut flour
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
1. Preheat the oven to 150°C and grease or line a cake tin with baking paper.
2. In a small saucepan on low heat, melt together the extra virgin coconut oil, and honey. Set aside to cool.
3. Add the raspberries to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, including the coconut oil and honey. Blend until smooth.
4. Pour the batter in to the prepared cake tin, then bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean once inserted.
5. Leave to cool, before inverting on to a plate.
6. Lovely served with fresh cream, ice cream or natural yoghurt.