Tag Archives: healthy eating

Low Carb Anti Ageing Mixed Berry Smoothie

I bet you’ve all been wondering what I’ve been up to!

Well, it’s nearly the end of my “No Processed Sugar August Challenge” and I have to be honest and confess that although I started out with good intentions and kept it up for a little bit, I have fallen off the wagon hard and may even be worse than before I set myself out for this challenge! (oops).

So, a few lessons learnt from this little experiment:

  1. Being too strict is extremely hard to maintain and you will probably end up bingeing after even the smallest slip-up. That “oh well I’ve ruined it now” attitude will kick in, and you’ll end up being worse-off than if you had just allowed yourself to indulge a little.
  2. Moderation is key – the “80/20 Rule”: Eat well 80 per cent of the time, and 20 per cent of the time you can enjoy a little indulgence. Of course, still try and go for healthier, homemade alternatives, not that nasty pre-packaged gunk. If you’re going to be bad, at least make it good.

At least now I am inspired to think up yummy clean recipes to try and reverse some of the damage that I have no doubt induced upon myself by demolishing naughty processed sugars. Not only do we know that sugar is a major culprit for weightgain and disease, sugar literally ages your skin by damaging the collagen and elastin. Say hi to sagging and wrinkles. Um, no thank you! 

Here’s a low-carb, low-sugar (minimal naturally occurring sugars from the fruit and milk), high-protein, gluten-free, antioxidant-rich, low-fat, anti-ageing smoothie for you to enjoy as a light meal or post-gym snack.

Low Carb Anti Ageing Mixed Berry Smoothie

Photo of low carb anti ageing mixed berry smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup (250mL) milk of your choice, coconut water or water – I used lactose-free full cream milk
  • 1 tsp flaxseed oil – promotes healthy skin
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 big scoop raw vegan wholegrain brown rice protein  – I use ezyprotein but you can use any other whey or pea protein you like
  • Ice
  • Splash of water, if needed

Method

  • Throw all the ingredients into a powerful blender (like a Vitamix) and whiz until smooth and creamy.
  • Gulp down guilt-free.

Nutritional Information (when made with water)

  • Protein 31g
  • Total fat 6.7g
  • Saturated fat 1g
  • Carbs 7.2g
  • Calories 214
  • Kilojoules 896
  • Fibre 4.4g

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Challenge for August: No Processed Sugars! (and Raw Carrot Cake Recipe)

Hey everyone! Happy Friday to all!

I know I’ve been M.I.A. and have been neglecting you (I’m so sorry!) but rest assured I have been keeping healthy, staying dry (I completed the Dry July charity challenge and raised over $500 for cancer research) and busy dreaming up all sorts of new ideas to post about.

Dry July

Staying booze-free wasn’t too hard at all. The most challenging times were the first few Friday afternoons (I love an after-work red to kick off the weekend), a friend’s 30th (but I got over it after the first hour) and another friend’s birthday dinner (and I soon got over that after the food arrived – oink). I did however, find myself eating a lot more sweets and treats, justifying to myself that since I wasn’t drinking, I was consuming fewer calories anyway, or they were at least cancelling each other out.

BUT as we all know, it’s not (all) about the calories right?  I was consuming more processed sugar than before and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you don’t need me to tell you that nasty processed sugar is addictive and detrimental to your health! Yuck!

There are many opinions out there about sugar – processed and naturally occurring – and how much one should consume. I don’t purport to be an expert on it so I won’t preach here, but I will share with you what works for me, and how I want to eat.

Challenge for August

Now bringing it back to where I started off.. Taking on the Dry July challenge was fantastic – it gave me a goal to work towards and achieving it was very rewarding. I felt positive in body and mind. So I thought, why not take on another challenge in August: No processed sugars?!

Let me be clear: This isn’t a license for me to go and eat barrels of fruit a day and ladle honey over my morning muesli like it’s going out of fashion – a balanced diet is still important – it is an attempt to minimise the amount of processed sugars consumed. Sugar is in so many unsuspecting food items (like Ketchup and many of the Asian sauces we cook with plus so much more!) I can’t possibly cut them all out, but I can at least try to make “sugar swaps” – using healthier natural alternatives where possible – and cut out those blocks of Cadbury after dinner each night, and that 3pm cupcake at work, “you know, because it’s Tuesday”.

I’ll be experimenting with some different sugar alternatives, and working on some other greener meals and snacks, so stay tuned!

Raw Carrot Cake*

Depending on which way you look at it, this could be the perfect (or counter-intuitive) way to bring on my August challenge: a raw carrot cake using only natural ingredients and no added processed sugars (only honey and fruit are used as sweeteners). Just remember that cake is meant to be a treat, so enjoy in moderation.

raw carrot cake

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups walnuts
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup organic rolled oats – I used my morning raw muesli mix already stocked in the pantry (my cake batter was scattered with almonds, pepitas, sultanas and coconut – yum!) 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt – I love a touch of saltiness in my sweet!
  • 12 large fresh dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup dried chopped apricots or pineapple – I used a combination of both
  • 2 large raw carrots, grated
  • 1 orange
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste – which I didn’t have so I used 2 tsp natural vanilla essence
  • 2 tbs raw protein powder

Method

  1. Combine walnuts, chia, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, protein powder, orange zest and salt into a food processor and processed until mixed and finely chopped.
  2. Add dates and apricots then process again until mixed through.
  3. Add grated carrot and vanilla and then process again until combined. The mix should now form a lovely dough.
  4. Tip into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add oats and kneed through the mixture.
  6. Press cake firmly into a 15-20cm baking tin that is lined with baking paper.
  7. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Leave at least 2 hours to allow the carrot cake to rest.
  8. Lick fingers and bowl.
  9. Enjoy as is or with your choice of frosting.

Frosting Ideas

  1. Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt
  2. For a raw cashew or macadamia nut cream, combine 1 cup raw nuts with 1/2 cup orange juice or coconut water and a little vanilla. Blend in Vitamix until smooth and creamy
  3. For a cream cheese style frosting, combine 250g soft cream cheese with a little lemon zest, juice, vanilla and maple syrup and honey, and beat until combined and creamy. You can use quark or Neutachafel (try Flannery’s, I think Barambah organics makes a quark) or a naughty but easily-accessible option is Philadelphia cream cheese (not raw or sugar free!!).

This cake is rather dense, and will cut up into about 16 slices. I ate 3 in the first day – oops! Enjoy xx

*Recipe credit to Teresa Cutter, The Health Chef: http://www.thehealthychef.com/2013/07/raw-carrot-cake/
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Thai Chicken Burgers with Korean Slaw

Image 1It’s the first weekend of Dry July, so in an effort to keep busy and eat clean, I decided to make a healthy dinner (as opposed to lazily getting takeout as I am often guilty of on a Friday night, bottle of wine in tow).

This recipe is from the “detox” menu plan in Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good” cookbook. By the way, I’ve tried a few of her recipes now and I must say, I am digging them! I had mine bun-free as I had already indulged in pizza, chips and cake today (oops) but you can have them on a gluten-free bun. These burgers were, as my friend Lauren would say, absolutely deeelish!

Thai Chicken Burgers

Serves 4

  • 500g minced chicken breast
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
  • 2/3 cups coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped – I used spring onions
  • 1 tsp very finely minced red chilli – I used 2 small hot chillies
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbs neutral oil (like canola, grapeseed or safflower oil)

Thoroughly mix the chicken with the garlic, coriander, shallots, red chilli, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 4 burgers (I made 8 smaller ones).

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Rub each burger on both side with a bit of the oil and grill for about 8 minutes on the first side and another 5 minutes on the second, or until nicely marked and firm to the touch.

Korean Slaw

Makes 2 cups

  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil – Next time I would use only 1tbs, it was a tad oily for my liking
  • 2 tbs freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded cos lettuce
  • 3 tbs finely diced red red onion
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced – I used spring onion
  • 3 tbs roughly chopped coriander
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice and fish sauce in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow the slaw to sit for at least 10 minutes and as long as 6 hours before serving.

Easy as!

I hope you enjoy the burgers as much as I did, and that you have a happy and healthy weekend! Rest relax rejuvenate xx

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Protein Power Balls

IMG_2147I’m a huge fan of Teresa Cutter (aka “The Healthy Chef”) and her approach to food – she creates delicious functional foods for optimum health and wellbeing.

I have been meaning to give these protein balls a try forever but have never gotten around to it, so Friday night when my girlfriend came over for healthy fish and veggies (and wine – what? It’s the weekend, plus isn’t a glass of wine good for you?!), we gave them a whirl. They turned out absolutely dangerously delicious!! Let’s just say we couldn’t stop at one..

Ingredients

  • 330g raw whole almonds or walnuts – I didn’t have quite that many almonds so made up about 50g of the difference with pistachios
  • 60g protein powder – I use ezyprotein (vanilla) which is an Australian certified organic, sprouted, bio-fermented, raw, wholegrain brown rice protein powder
  • 16 fresh dates, pitted
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder – I used raw cacao powder
  • 1 tbs natural vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • desiccated coconut, goji berries, cocoa, nuts for rolling

Method

  • Throw almonds, cinnamon, protein powder and cocoa into a food processor and process until the mix looks crumbly – Vitamix won’t work, I found this out the hard way.. but you can blitz the nuts in a Vitamix, chop up the dates and moosh all ingredients together with your hands in a big bowl. Get dirrrrty!
  • Add dates and vanilla extract and process again until the mix starts to come together
  • Add a splash of water if you need to so that the mixture is soft and forms a soft ball
  • Form into 14 decent sized balls
  • Roll in coconut or other suggested coatings and store in the fridge (up for 4 weeks, if they last that long!)

Nutritional Info (per ball)

  • Protein 8.2g
  • Carbs 7.6g
  • Total fat 12g
  • Saturated fat 0.9g
  • Fibre 2.8g
  • Kilojoules 703
  • Calories 168
Picture of Protien Power Balls

After-dinner treat

Recipe from: The Healthy Chef http://www.thehealthychef.com/2011/09/protein-power-balls/

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Overnight Oats

Picture of Overnight Oats

Good morning!

Lately I’ve been getting a little bored of my breakfast green smoothie and have been craving the chewiness of.. FOOD!

Don’t get me wrong, I love my green smoothies but sometimes you just want that spoon-to-mouth-and-chew action.

One way I have been switching it up is with Overnight Oats (aka Bircher muesli). You still get all the convenience of a one-jar breakfast that can be eaten on-the-go, and what’s better, it basically prepares itself overnight!

Basic Overnight Oats Recipe

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats – I use my own mixture of rolled oats, quinoa flakes, coconut flakes, sultanas, raisins, apricots, almonds, sunflower seeds and linseeds
  • 1/3 cup milk (soy, dairy, nut, coconut, or even water if you are trying to be good)
  • 1/3 cup yoghurt – I use Chobani No Fat, it’s super high in protein and doesn’t have any yucky additives*
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • pinch of cinnamon – I like a good dose
  • (you could add some vanilla or a pinch a salt also)

Throw all ingredients into a jar. Screw the lid on and swirl to combine. Place in fridge overnight. In the morning, add in slices of banana, berries, crunchy granola or nuts, coconut.. whatever tickles your fancy. Grab the closest spoon, your bag, keys and you’re out the door ready to face the day!

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My Overnight Oats, coffee & water with lemon and apple cider vinegar to kick start the day

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Check out http://www.buzzfeed.com/arielknutson/overnight-oat-recipes-oatmeal-cold for some awesome Overnight Oats flavour inspiration!

Next I’m going to try out this Green Monster Vegan Overnight Oats – this way you’re not missing out on your morning greens! Stay tuned to see how my Green Monster Vegan Overnight Oats turn out (and tastes!!).

Picture of Green Monster Vegan Overnight Oats

*I use Chobani Greek Yoghurt (Plain Fat Free). Per 180g serve, it has 17g protein, 0g fat and 6.9g of sugar (but it’s lactose which is naturally occurring in dairy and not yucky added sugars). You can find Chobani at Coles and Woolies.

Green Monster Vegan Overnight Oats image credit to:
Oh She Glowshttp://ohsheglows.com/2012/03/23/green-monster-vegan-overnight-oats-getting-back-into-running/
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Super Green Sprout Salad

Picture of a green salad with sproutsWell, mine is loosely interpreted and has added tuna (sorry to all strict greenies out there!)

Picture of super green sprout salad and tunaSome days you just don’t want to cook dinner. Especially when it’s late and you’ve just come home from a long day at the office. Long day or not, I’m a huge fan of the “assembled dinner”. Call me lazy.

That, coupled with my prerogative to use up what’s in my fridge (who can be bothered to go to the shops at 8pm, plus you save money and don’t waste produce), led me to try out this recipe I found on the Loving Earth website. I had radishes (which I rarely, but in this instance conveniently stocked), 2 yet-to-be opened containers of raw sprouts that needed to be consumed before they turned nasty (the longer you keep them the higher risk they become for E. coli and Salmonella), along with a very ripe avo that was begging to be used ASAP.

I followed the recipe as close as I could using whatever I had in my fridge and pantry.

For the Salad

  • A big handful of mesculin greens – I used oak lettuce
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 can of chickpeas – I used the raw sprouts (crunchy combo including chickpeas, lentils, mung beans and other goodness)
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley – I used mint instead
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 3 radishes
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds
  • 2 tbs activated pumpkin seeds – I didn’t have any so left these out
  • 1 tbs activated buckwheat – I substituted with leftover grilled corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup activated almonds – I didn’t have any of these either so I left them out. I would use insecticide-free almonds soaked overnight. No need to dry before eating. Just rinse and pat dry
  • Fresh sprouts to garnish

Method

  1. Cut broccoli into florets and steam until just tender – I blanched, it’s so much easier and less clean-up! 
  2. Thinly slice radishes and cucumber and place in a large bowl
  3. Add leafy greens and chopped herbs along with chickpeas and broccoli
  4. Slice avocado into squares and carefully fold through the greens
  5. Roughly chop nuts and seeds

For the Dressing

  • 2 tbs tahini – I use Flannery’s own brand unhulled
  • 1 tbs white miso paste – I didn’t have any so substituted with tamari
  • 2 tbs water – I used 3 tbs hot water
  • pinch of salt – I omitted as tamari is already salty

Method

  1. Whisk all ingredients together, taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly – I added cracked pepper, and next time would add some crushed ginger and garlic
  2. Pour the dressing over the salad, mix gently to coat
  3. Before serving, sprinkle the salad with the chopped seed mix, and add a good dose of sprouts to the side – I didn’t have any alfalfa but you can see from the picture what they mean. Next time I would also add a good squeeze of lemon at the end to bring out some freshness

This recipe is relatively high in fat (heart-healthy fats though), so feel free to reduce the amount of avo or dressing you use and substitute with some protein. If tuna doesn’t float your boat, try some grilled chicken or turkey breast, or tempeh if you are a herbivore. I used tuna as I already had it in my pantry. If you add all the nuts and dressing, canned chickpeas and buckwheat, you probably don’t need the extra protein. It’s very filling (and protein-ful) already. This recipe yielded two big salads.

Quick, simple, lean and green! Bon appetit!

Feature salad image credit to: https://lovingearth.net/recipes/super-green-salad-sprouts
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Meet My Friend, The Carb

Picture of different types of carbohydrates

Say WHO now?!!

Yes, you heard me right, let’s be friend with carbs.

That is, so long as they are the healthy wholesome not-super-processed kind and you’re not devouring all the dinner rolls in the breadbasket (unless you’re an Olympic athlete of course).

Carbophobia

I was inspired to write this post because I too, for a long time, was a fearer of all things starchy and carbohydrate, but after embarking back into my exercise regimen (I got lazy over Christmas), I found that I wasn’t able to get keep with with everyone at Barre Pilates or maintain the pace on my runs. My body was simply fatiguing too quickly. I had no energy and I could actually feel my muscles eating away at themselves! I wasn’t seeing any appreciable results from my training – no increased muscle mass, no fatloss (very disheartening).

I had tried to subscribe to a low-carb diet for a while, even trying Paleo for a bit, but I found it just didn’t work for me. In fact, I gained a ton of weight and couldn’t figure out why! Feeling frustrated, I decided to do some research of my own.

I was eating more than my fair share of nuts and avocados and falling into the common trap of “Oh it’s okay, these are healthy fats, I can have as much as I like”, inadvertently snacking on calorie-dense foods to fill that ‘carb-emptiness’ feeling. What I failed to remind myself was that my body doesn’t actually differentiate between good fats and bad fats (in terms of energy, I’m not talking about heart-health here), and that all fats consumed will be stored as just that – fat. I’m still an advocate of including fats in your diet, just make sure they are good fats and that they are portion controlled.

Quick Carb Science 101

Carbohydrates are converted into glucose in the body to be used as energy. If you eat protein and fat with carbs, your body will use the carbs first, and store the rest. So, Atkins-esque peeps will advocate cutting out carbs to force your body to utilise energy from its body stores (“ketosis”). For me personally, it’s just not a sustainable way to live. I can’t train effectively or be productive at work or in other facets of my life.

We all know we will gain weight if we eat a diet full of creamy pastas and buttery croissants. The weight gain isn’t coming (soley) from the pasta or pastry, but the cream and butter that is being stored as fat because you’ve converted the available carbs to glucose first. So, it’s actually incorrect to say that “carbs are making me fat” – so long as you keep the quality and portions in-check, and keep your body moving, you’ll be fine!

Simply put: When your muscle and liver cells become too full of carbohydrates (ie. your bowl of rice is too big), your body will store the excess carbs as fat on your toosh.

Healthy Carbs

We all need to consume the correct amount of macronutrients (carbs, proteins, fats) for our individual compositions and activity levels. Carbs are essential to our health and wellbeing, what matters most is the type of carbs we eat.

Choose unprocessed, low-GI carbs:**

Picture of a kiwifruit, apple, orange, pear, banana

The Fruits: kiwifruit, apple, orange, pear, banana

Picture of red lentils, beans, peas

The Legumes: red lentils, beans, peas

Picture of Basmati rice, brown rice, cous cous, wholemeal bread, spelt & rye bread, fruit & nut muesli

The Grains: basmati rice, brown rice, cous cous, wholemeal bread, spelt & rye bread (low-gluten), fruit & nut muesli

Picture of pumpkin, corn (fresh), sweet potato

The Veggies: pumpkin, corn (fresh), sweet potato (boiled)

Other options include: Fruits and veggies of course (loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants), soy beans, quinoa, grainy breads, cous cous, wild rice, buckwheat, millet, oats, amaranth..

Not being as active as usual?

Substitute the serve of carbs in your meal with a large serve of green veggies, especially at dinnertime.

Over-indulged a little?

Throw in “Booster Day” into your week. Essentially restrict the amount of carbs consumed, and force your body to turn to its fat stores for energy. But don’t do this for more than one day a week! Your body will go into starvation mode, slow your metabolism right down, and will cling onto every single morsel of food consumed.

Friends for Life

Coming into completing Week #5 of my diet makeover, I can honestly say that I have soaring energy levels, I’m training harder and better than ever, and my recovery time is much shorter. I’m also finally seeing some appreciable results, which is always encouraging.

The key is to feed your body what it needs in order to perform and rejuvenate. It took me a while to figure it all out and what works best for me (it’s hard with all the mixed messages out there). I hope my experience can help you achieve your health and fitness goals also.

Everyone is different, I would love to hear what works for you!

*One serve = 15g carbohydrate

**Some fitness experts say that carbohydrates should be eaten preferably earlier in the day to encourage fat loss and maintain consistent energy levels. Personally I have them in each meal if I am being active, as I really notice the difference in my performance if I skip them (plus I get hungry again quickly), but it’s all about finding what works for you.

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The 3pm Slump

Picture of a takeaway coffee and Arnott's biscuits

Yes you, fellow paper-pusher, I’m calling your name.

It’s 3pm.. and you’ve found yourself in the kitchen shaking the cookie jar around like a giant maraca trying to get your mits on the last Kingston that’s sitting at the bottom of the jar (well, they are my personal fave, move over Milk Arrowroot!).

Whether it’s because you didn’t have a wholesome lunch or because you are just trying to do something else (!!!) to get you through the afternoon (we’ve all had those days), I’m sure you’ve found yourself fallen to the trap of making bad food choices when we are hungry, bored or unprepared. I know I have.

I overcome this problem by being prepared and keeping an inventory of:-

  • an assortment of veggie sticks (or “crudites”, if you’re feeling a little fancy)
  • boiled eggs – for protein and healthy fats
  • hummus – for added protein, a small amount of carbs, a good dose of Omega 3 fatty acids and honestly, because dipping just makes the veggies more fun to eat. I buy the healthy kind from Flannery’s – my favourite is Hafla Organic Hummus. Let’s face it, I’m not making my own so this is the best I can do, plus it’s delicious. Try it – you’ll never eat another brand of store-bought hummus ever again!

A fast, delicious and nutritious snack in next to no time! I have the benefit of a fridge in the office, so I have no excuses! Sprinkle some smoked paprika for an extra flavour punch.

Picture of hummus, boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, carrot and cucumber

Snack pack ingredients

Picture of hummus, boiled egg, cherry tomatoes, carrot and cucumber sticks

Dig in! (pun intended!)

Even better yet, swap your takeaway coffee for a herbal tea or filtered water. Your insides will thank you and you’ll save money too!

If you are hitting the gym after work, top the ingredients on a few Ryvitas or a similar low GI carb.

How do you get through your 3pm slump?

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It’s All Good

I suppose when I look back at it, I have always had an interest in food, with the curiosity and focus on nutrition developing as I got into my late 20’s. Perhaps it’s the Asian in me (the Chinese love food) or maybe it runs in my family (I still remember as if it were yesterday, the summers I used to spend with my family in Sydney when I was very young. My mom would spend countless hours looking at produce, and my dad and I used to laugh at how she could be fascinated by the dead fish out on display at the Fish Market). Little did I know that I too would develop the same fascination!

So, after much encouragement from my friends (thank you!!), I have finally stopped procrastinating and have started this blog. I hope that it will help me explore and develop my passion for food styling, and that it will inspire you to get into the kitchen, try new things, eat and live healthily and happily.

I tossed up whether my first post should be based on someone else’s work, namely Gwyneth Paltrow’s newly released cookbook “It’s All Good”, but given that my philosophy about food (there’s a brief explanation in the About section) is very much aligned to that of her’s and that the book was delivered to my desk just in the nick of time for the weekend (gotta love online shopping), it seemed only fitting (and practical) that I road-test some of the recipes.

It's All Good Cover

Things I like about the cookbook:-

  1. Her philosophy on food – simple, clean, healthy.. delicious!
  2. That it is beautifully printed in hardback and on scrumptious paper delightful to touch
  3. Most recipes are pictured – I like to see what the end result is supposed to look like
  4. The menu plans included in the back – body builder, detox, family-friendly, vegan, everyday – making easy, healthy and delicious food accessible to everyone
  5. The explanations accompanying the recipes – tells us why the recipe has been included, why it’s good for us and little tips for the cook

A slight inconvenience in the book is use of Imperial measurements but I found this was easily overcome with Convert Units (free iPhone app) and the use of my probably not-so-finely-attuned guesstimation skills, but that’s okay, it’s all part of the fun.

Lamb Tagine with Squash & Chickpeas

(that’s Lamb Tagine with Pumpkin & Chickpeas for us in the Southern Hemisphere)

There were a few reasons for choosing this dish:-

  1. It’s getting colder which invites the coziness of warming and heartier meals
  2. The man in my life loves lamb
  3. I was given a tagine at Christmas two years ago and I haven’t had the chance to use it (I swear I’m not lazy, we just haven’t had the correct stove until recently!)
  4. The recipe calls for a marinade that needs to be prepared in a powerful blender which is something I’ve been wanting to try

There’s only two of us and the recipe feeds 4 to 6, plus my tagine is quite small, so I halved the ingredients and scaled down the cooking time (75% should do it).

I also took some liberties with the ingredients and made substitutions with whatever I had in my pantry. Also, the cookbook calls for a crockpot in the oven to slow-cook this meal. I have used a stove-top tagine instead.

Let's get started!

Let’s get started!

The marinade

Blend the marinade ingredients

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Green gorgeousness

Get your hands dirty!

Moosh in the marinade – get your hands dirty! Cover and set in the fridge for at least 6 hours

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Tagine essentials

Take the lamb out to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Brown the meat for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour

Add in the chickpeas and pumpkin

Add chickpeas and pumpkin. Simmer for 1.5 hours

Bon appetit!

Et voila! Delicious, melt in your mouth lamb. Top with coriander and preserved lemon. Bon appetit!

Gwyn's version

Gwyn’s version – and the ingredients list (click to enlarge)

Traditionally, tagines are served with cous cous. I served mine with white quinoa – a gluten free alternative, together with an Israeli salad (cucumber, tomato, red onion, garlic, parsley, mint, lemon juice and olive oil), but you can use anything you like:- millet, brown rice or even some warm crusty bread.

A delicious success! We had no leftovers to pack for lunch.

Stay tuned for more recipe reviews!

Book cover image credit to:
The Book Depository http://www.bookdepository.com/Its-All-Good-Gwyneth-Paltrow/9780349400839
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Fresh Fit N Healthy

Simply Living a Fit and Healthy Life

cookinandshootin

"It's so beautifully arranged on the the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it." - Julia Child

Putney Farm

Get some good food. Cook it. Share with friends. Have a cocktail.

Finger, Fork & Knife

I'm Kate and Finger, Fork and Knife is where I record the recipes that excite, nourish and inspire me. I focus on wholesome, high-nutrition, home-cooked food - recipes that satisfy and delight. Welcome!

Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated

nicolejoyinspire

guilt free and raw desserts - gluten + dairy free, no added sugar

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