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1 serves

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs of olive oil

  • 1 ½ tsp Sumac

  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 150g mixed natural nuts and seeds of your choice


Method

Step 1. 

Preheat oven to 150*C

Step 2. 

Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix until the nuts and seeds are evenly coated with seasoning.

Step 3. 

Line a baking tray with baking paper

Step 4. 

Evenly spread nuts and seeds onto tray and bake for 20, tossing the mix every 5 minutes.


Nutrition Values


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3 serves

Ingredients

  • 1 1/12 cups mixed oats, rice flakes and quinoa flakes

  • 1 cup almond milk

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

  • 1 cup of organic vanilla bean yogurt

  • 2 grated pears

  • 2 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or liquid sweetener of choice

  • ¼ cup crushed macadamia nuts


Method

Step 1. 

Soak grains overnight in almond milk and lemon juice and refrigerate.

Step 2. 

In the morning, remove muesli from the fridge and stir through vanilla bean yoghurt, grated pear, grated ginger, maple syrup.

Step 3. 

Sprinkle crushed macadamia nuts over the top and serve!


Nutrition Values


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Party dish

Ingredients

  • 7 Carrots , copped roughly

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 cup frsh coriander, chopped

  • 1 cup Greek Yoghurt 

  • 1 Tbsp Moroccan Spices

  • Juice of 1 lemon


Method

Step 1. 

Preheat oven to 180*C

Step 2. 

Roast carrots and garlic cloves for 45 minutes (or until soft)

Step 3. 

Blend carrots and garlic together in a blender , adding the coriander, yoghurt, spices and lemon juice.

Step 4.

Serve with chopped veggies.



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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 butter nut pumpkin (cut in half through width)

  • 2 beet roots, chopped

  • 100g crumbly fetta

  • Roasted seed and nut mix

  • 150g mixed seeds & nuts

  • 3 tsp Moroccan spices

  •  

    1 ½ Tbs olive or coconut oil


Method

Step 1. 

Preheat oven to 180*C

Step 2. 

Place cut pumpkin and beetroot on a baking tray and roast for about 40 minutes or until soft.

Step 3. 

In a bowl, combine seeds oil and spices, mix together and bake for 15 minutes, tossing them every few minutes until browned and crunchy.

Step 4.

Once the pumpkin is soft, remove from oven, scoop out seeds from base, and set aside. With the remaining pumkpin, cut away skin and chop up into cubes. Mix with beetroot  cubes, seed  mix and c rumbled fetta.

Step 5.

Serve salad in the pumpkin base for a  yummy and edible bowl! 


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1 Loaf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chia seeds

  • 1.5 cups water

  • ½ cup LSA

  • 1 cup mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds

  • 100g hazelnut meal

  • 2 tsp honey3 tbsp coconut oil

  • 200g chopped dried peaches


Method

Step 1. 

Preheat oven to 160*C

Step 2. 

In a bowl, mix water and chia seeds and leave to soak until a gel forms- stirring periodically.

Step 3. 

In a separate bowl melt coconut oil, add in honey and chia mix.

Step 4.

Mix through the remaining ingredients into  the chia mix and stir until thoroughly combined.

Step 5.

Press the seed mix into a silicone loaf mould.

 Step 6.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Step 7.

Remove loaf from mould, place onto oven rack and continue to bake for a further 20 minutes.  

Step 8.

Allow to cool completely before serving (this may take over an hour).

Step 9.

Serve with Natural yoghurt, chopped banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon for a delicious breakfast


Nutrition Values


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Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3-4 pieces eye fillet steak 

Steak Rub: 

  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp pepper corns
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes 
  • 1 tsp salt flakes 

Salad: 

  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • Half bunch mint leaves
  • 1 telegraph cucumber (peeled  lengthways into fine ribbons)

Dressing: 

  • 2 tbs lime juice
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp fish sauce

Method

Step 1. 

Add all steak rub ingredients into a mortar and pestle and finely crush.

Step 2. 

Spread rub mix onto a plate and roll the eye fillets so they are evenly covered.

Step 3. 

In a pre-heated pan, cook steaks until medium rare.

Step 4.

Take steaks out on pan and allow to rest of 5 minutes then slice into ½ cm slices.

Step 5.

Add all the dressing Ingredients into a bowl or jug and whisk together until combined.

 Step 6.

Mix Mint, cucumber and pomegranate seeds together in a bowl and separate onto 4 plates.

Step 7.

Top salad  mix with steak slices and drizzle dressing over the top.  


Nutrition Values

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Confession: Nine times out of 10 I really don't dig green smoothies- they look kind of cool and are supposed to be the bee's knees, but usually they are nothing by blended salad. But This morning I hit the proverbial nail on the head with this blend and was suitably satisfied after my gym session!

 

Ingredients:

1/2 banana

1 scoop Vanilla protein powder

small handful parsley

small handful coriander

handful baby spinach

1/8 avocado

200ml water

 

Method:

Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend until properly combined!

Voila!

 

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There is nothing more inspiring than coming home from an early morning wander around the farmers markets. Canberra has the luxury of being situated amongst some amazing farming areas and each Saturday morning these farmers come together in the spacious sheds at EPIC to share their wares.

This salad was a real no brainer- most of the food I prepare is actually! When you are working with fresh and seasonal food, it's really hard to go wrong! I started with the yoghurt dressing because I had just cracked a fresh tub from a lovely farm in Tilba Tilba, on the South Coast. I am a bit in love with this stuff- when you open it you are greeted with a delicious layer of cream before you even get to the seriously luscious yoghurt! I don't think my mum knows that there is actually any cream in the yoghurt because I have usually got to it before she gets a look in (shhhhh!). The herbs for this dressing were plucked straight from the pot on our front porch- picking fresh herbs will never get old!

The salad component is embarrassingly easy. I steamed some of the baby broccolini sprigs we got from the markets, chopped up some pre-prepared beetroots which we have as a staple in the fridge, sliced up some Batlow fresh pink lady apple and crushed a handful of walnuts to finish up with a crunch.

If you wanted to make this a bit more substantial you could add in a protein like poached chicken, but I found it pretty satisfying as is- nothing rabbit-foodish about this salad.

Serves 2, 20 minutes preparation time.

Herby Yoghurt and Lemon Dressing

1 cup natural yogurt (I used local Tilba Tilba yoghurt)

Juice and zest from 1 lemon

Small handful of fresh herbs (I used a mix of curly parsley, sage and thyme)

1 clove of garlic (finely chopped)

2 tbs garlic infused olive oil

Salt to taste

Add yoghurt to a bowl and stir through the lemon juice, lemon zest, oil, garlic, herbs and salt.

 

Spring Salad

4 pre-cooked beetroot (chopped into small chunks)

2 cups Broccolini

1 pink lady apple

1/2 cup crushed walnuts

 

Steam Broccolini until tender,  run under cold water to cool and freshen up, then arrange onto a platter. Place chunked beetroot over broccolini.  Slice the apple thinly and arrange over the broccolini and beetroot. Finally, scatter walnuts over the platter and drizzle yoghurt dressing to finish!

 

I don't think I need to warn any one about the perils of excess beetroot consumption, however be mindful of it's presence in this recipe so as to avoid any scares the next day...if you know what I mean :S

 

 

 

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 This recipe is pretty much the babushka of the vegetarian baking world- veg inside veg style. I started with a couple of  the more exotic types of mushrooms, I like they were Enoki and Oysters? Anyhow, they are 1oo% more tasty that the regular button mushrooms, a fact which I hadn't appreciated until now. I threw them in a pan with a touch of olive oil and some garlic and the rest is history.


While I am not a vegetarian, I do have a mostly plant based diet, and use meat as a garnish pretty much. This style of eating helps put the emphasis on fruit and veg, which are packed with micronutrients, fibre and antioxidants. I feel I am more likely to hit the recommended two fruit, five vegetable serves if I eat this way, and I just generally feel better! There have been times when I have gone waaaaaaaaay over the top with meat consumption. Don't get me wrong, I love a good steak, but after showing down on chicken and kangaroo whilst preparing for figure competitions, I really feel like I have found my balance by eating a mostly plant based diet.

The fetta, spinach, walnut, mushroom combo is a bit of a winner for me. The fetta was a Yarra Valley cows milk fetta which was so gorgeously soft and squishy- definitely had a few tastes for quality control while cooking this up!

So here's how to get started with this delish vegetarian dish!

Makes 2, prep time: 45 minutes

You need:

1 clove crushed garlic

1 tbs olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups mixed mushrooms

2 cups baby spinach

1/2 cup crush walnuts

2 red capsicums


Pre-heat oven to 180C.

Heat a frying pan, add crushed garlic and onion- stir until brown. Add in mushrooms, stir until they soften and are lightly browned.

Next, stir through baby spinach and let it wilt. Finally, add in walnuts until they lightly brown. Set aside mushroom mix ina bowl.

With the capsicums, chop the top off each one to make a 'lid'. Remove seeds and excess pith. Stuff the mushroom mix into the capsicums, place the lids back on. Then just pop them into a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes, or until capsicums and soften slightly.

If you wanted to make this into a meat dish, you could add chicken, beef or turkey mince quite easily !



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So I have been seeing recipes for home made chocolate a lot lately and wanted to give it a go. I'll be honest and they the first batch I made was a curdled mess. That's the risk you take when free styling in t he kitchen!

When I say this is chocolate, well it's a bit of a stretch of the truth. It's more of a chocolate protein slice, but in my mind it's chocolate and that is all that counts. While the ingredients used are much more nutritionally dense and good for you, the recipe still packs a punch on the energy (calories) side of things so keep that in mind when chowing down on this stuff. A little bit goes a long way as it is quite rich, too much in one sitting will lead to a twisted stomach.


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You need:

 

1 cup melted coconut oil (leave to cool slightly before starting, but still liquid)

3 scoops of chocolate protein powder

1 tbs cacao powder

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup walnuts

2 tbs chia seeds

optional: 2 tbs Body Science Immunreds berry powder

 

In a bowl, mix the cooled coconut oil with the protein powder until fully combined. Next, stir through the cacao, oats, walnuts and chia until a thick liquid is  formed. It should be pretty runny, if not add a few more teaspoons of coconut oil. If you want, add in the berry powder here too.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and pour mix into the tray. Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until completely solid. Crack the chocolate into smaller portions and keep in an air-tight container in the fridge.

If you are lucky, you will forget it is in the freezer, otherwise...I wish you well :)

 

 

 

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 Banan....nah! It's a Plantain !   

Banan....nah! It's a Plantain !

 

Traditionally, if you walk in on someone frying banana in a pan  seasoned with salt and pepper, you take the pan from them, whack on the straight jacket and march them straight to the loony bin.

Luckily, what I have cooked here is not banana, although, I must admit I have been curious about what it would feel like to be in a straight jacket...

Moving right along...

Plantains are a part of the banana family member, however do not look good in pyjama's and therefore are considered to be a different thing. In order to be eaten, plantains need to be cooked, especially when they are in their green stage as they are starchy and leave a funny taste in your mouth (Tried purely for research purposes).  Although, as they ripen, they are better suited to sweet dishes and are very popular at all stages of ripeness in Caribbean cuisine. If its easier to get your head around, think of then as more of a potato than a banana.

Plantains are a great source of carbohydrates for those who are bread-phobic or gluten free but need to bump up their energy intake, and make kick ass chips, as you will find in the recipe below. They have a lower water content than banana's so a slower to ripen. However on comparison, are not far removed nutritionally from banana's, depending on stage of ripeness.

Per 100g they contain approximately 30g of carbohydrate, of which 15g is sugar 2.3g fibre, whereas regular banana's contain 23g carbohydrate and about 12g sugar and 2.6g fibre.

While these chips are excellent, I do find the price of plantains a bit expensive at $7/kg. I feel like it might be a case of food celebrity mixed with cost of importing which bumps these prices up, but either way they are good for something different, but not a staple menu item for me!

Recipe:

(Using a green plantain)

To peel a plantain, sliced the skin length ways, run under cold water and peel away the green skin while under the water.

Slice the plantain into 1/2 cm pieces and add to a hot pan which has been sprayed with olive oil. Cook until each side is golden brown and soft through. To serve sprinkle with salt.

 

 

 

I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I have skipped breakfast. And for those times I have missed it, it's likely that somewhere along the way I have had two breakfasts in one day, so In fact, I have probably earn myself some breakfast in lieu.

But understandably, breakfast time is not always going to be the most Zen inspiring time of day. If you have kids, the gym, a hectic work schedule or are just dead-set bad at mornings, then the idea of consistently getting breakfast nailed may seem like a foreign one.

But a lions share of research shows that people who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight, especially when the meal is protein based. Include a low GI source of carbohydrates and a bit of healthy fat in there and your blood sugar levels are going to be stable, plus your chances of avoiding that 10.30 am banana bread just got better!

What about IF (Intermittent Fasting) I hear it's advocates holler from the stand!? This is a style of eating has become popularised by the 5:2 diet written by Dr. Michael Mosely. IF is said to mimic the way in which our predecessor would have eaten, with days when food was plentiful followed by periodic days without food. Fasting gives our digestive system a chance to rest and rejuvenate, while on a cellular undertaking ‘autophagy’, the biological term for when our body clean up aged or dead cell debris to make way for new foundations. There are many formats for fasting which can look like 8 hour feeding windows followed by 16 hours of fasting including sleep), 2 days a week of 500-800 calories then free eating teh other days (as per teh 5:2 diet), full day fasting going from dinner to dinner without food, reducing just protein intake for a period of time, and many more variations on these themes. 

Look, I have given it a go for a few weeks in the past, and can't speak for everyone, but it made me a bit preoccupied about food, which is the last thing you want when trying to lose weight or change your health habits! Also, I found concentrating on tasks difficult, especially as I get pretty ga-ga if my blood sugar levels drop. However,  it did remind me that I don't need to fear hunger- I can go without and be ok. There are many anecdotes of very clear focus with fasting, but for me, it was not a long term change I could implement. 

There are some people who find fasting an easier way to manage weight because they don't need to count calories, which is fine, and some who undertake regular fasting for long term health/longevity reasons. I would still recommend that anyone looking to trial intermittent fasting consult with a health professional to ensure they have all of the correct relevant information before jumping in. After-all, it is just a tool in the nutrition tool box- not for everyone, but might be for some people.  

I would also pose the idea that if you ate dinner at 7.30 pm, sleep for 8 hours a night, and eat at about 7.30 am, there is a level of fasting is in-built to your day anyway (break-the-fast anyone?). After all, sleep is all about giving our bodies a chance to regenerate, recollect and reboot...

Food for thought, but back to breakfast.

 A 'sneaky' breakfast.

A 'sneaky' breakfast.

 

This recipe is not gourmet but it is quick, easy, tasty and fits the 'on-the-run' breakfast bill. If you close your eyes and are really desperate, it could almost be pizza.

This makes 2 batched so you could make one for now and one to freeze for later.

You will need:

2 large grated zucchini's

1 large grated carrot

1 chopped capsicum

3/4 cup quinoa flakes

6 eggs (whisked)

salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and divide into 2 slice tins. The mix should be about 1 cm thick on the base. Bake in an oven at 180C for about 40 minutes, or until cooked through and lightly browned.

 

 

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