Tag Archives: Vitamix

How To: Look Like Miranda Kerr

… or at least emulate her supermodel glow by gulping down the same superfood-packed green smoothie that the Aussie model starts her days with.*

The lovely people at Total Vita have generously supplied me with some of the ingredients (thank you!!) so that I could whip one up for myself. Hoorah for me!

Total Vita is an awesome online natural health goods store. Check them out at www.totalvita.com.au for all your healthy and organic food, supplements, vitamins, natural beauty and eco-friendly home product needs!

I come across a lot of green smoothie recipes and I was expecting it to be the usual spinach, kale, cucumber concoction. But not so! One ultimate nutrient-packed breakfast smoothie will require the following..

Kerr’s Ultimate Morning Smoothie

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Ingredients

  • 1 glass (235mL) fresh coconut water – mine came from a carton but it’s close enough for these purposes
  • 1 glass (235mL) cold-pressed coconut milk
  • 1 tbs acai berries antioxidant-rich fruit (layman’s terms: anti-cancer, anti-disease, anti-aging!!). I used acai powder.
  • 1 tbs chia seeds – these tiny little suckers (pun intended) will soak up liquid and go all gelatinous. They are great for colon-cleansing (high-fibre), they are gluten-free, full of Omega-3’s, are a complete protein with all essential amino acids, are high in antioxidants, vitamin C and calcium, and are great for healthy hair skin and nails – why hello there Kerr glow!
  • 1 tbs maca powder – this vitality enhancer will give you a big boost of energy, especially in the bedroom! Woot woo!
  • 1 tbs spirulina – a true “superfood” jam-packed with goodness but the big ticket here is its high Chlorophyll content. It will help remove toxins from the blood, bind with heavy metals in the body and help remove them, alkalise your body and boost your immune system.
  • 1 tbs goji berry powder – nutritional powerhouses, these berries are used in traditional Chinese medicine to help with improving eyesight, cleansing the blood, improving the condition of the skin and increasing longevity! I used actual berries and not powder.
  • 1 tbs raw cocoa powderrich in antioxidants and magnesium and deliciously chocolatey – sold!
  • 1.5 tbs vegan rice protein powder

Method

Throw all ingredients into a powerful blender (like a Vitamix) and whiz until smooth and creamy. I blended mine with lots of ice.

Verdict

Jam-packed full of nutrients and a little luxe, but how does it taste? Well I won’t say it’s the most delicious green concoction I’ve tried but it’s not too bad, especially considering it’s got a good dose of spirulina, which I normally find rather offensive and unpalatable. Here you can’t really taste it at all. Just remind yourself of all the health benefits and the vision of your Kerr-like strut down the runway (aka street), blend it with plenty of ice, and you’ll be powered all the way until lunchtime.

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*Recently featured on Net-a-Porter’s The Body Beautiful video series: http://www.net-a-porter.com/magazine/200/21

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Mexican Beef Tacos with Chimichurri Corn and Green Goddess Slaw

IMG_2154On the weekend my girlfriends and I had a takeaway picnic lunch in the park – to take advantage of the beautiful winter’s day, and really so we could all be selfish and have whatever flavours we felt like that day. I opted for Chinese (steamed chicken with rice and greens and lots of chilli) and my friend had Mexican. The few bites I snuck in were yummo and thus became my inspiration for tonight’s dinner.

This is a mix and match of a few recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s “It’s All Good”. I took a few liberties and improvised a little with what I had in my fridge. Next time I may be a little lighter-handed on the oil and salt, but that’s my personal preference (and it’s a little healthier), though my dinner amigo thought it was just delicioso as is.

Mexican Beef Tacos with Chimichurri Corn and Green Goddess Slaw

Serves 4 hungry fiesta guests

Mexican Beef

Rub some rump steaks with olive oil and Mexican seasoning (cumin, oregano, garlic, paprika, chilli, pepper) then BBQ for a few minutes on each side. Remove from heat, cover and leave to rest whilst you make the sides.

Chimichuirri Corn

  • 4 fresh ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • Himalayan rock salt
  • 2 tbs Chimichurri (see recipe below)
  • 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

Remove the kernels from the corncobs. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over high heat and immediately add the corn kernels and a large pinch of salt. Cook, stirring now and then, until the corn is softened and takes on a bit of char around the edges, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the Chimichurri and chilli flakes. Season to taste.

Chimichurri

  • 1 packed cup Italian parsley
  • 1/2 packed cup coriander
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Himalayan rock salt

Pulse everything together in a food processor (I use a powerful blender like a Vitamix). Let it sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Mexican Green Goddess Dressing

  • 2/3 cup Greek yoghurt – I use Chobani No Fat. It’s got heaps of protein, zero fat and low in sugar (and non of the yucky added sugars)
  • 1/4 cup coriander
  • 2 scallions, which and light green parts only
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 jalapeno – I used a whole one, I like spicy
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

Combine all the ingredients in a powerful blender and blitz until completely smooth. This makes a lot of dressing. If you don’t use it all, it will keep well in a jar for up to a week.

Slaw

  • 1/2 red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/2 green cabbage, finely shredded

Combine in a large bowl and top with Green Goddess Dressing. Keep some dressing to the side for your hombres who like a creamier salad.

Now assemble! Layer all ingredients onto heated tortillas. Top with salsa, Tabasco, chopped chillies, extra coriander, big squeeze of lime.. whatever you like! That’s what makes Mexican so much fun to eat!

¡Buen provecho!

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Zing!

Picture of an immune boosting green smoothie

Immune Booster Green Smoothie

It’s getting darker in the mornings and you’re reaching for the extra blankie at night. Yep that’s right, winter is just around the corner. You can feel it in the air and in your bones. Winter means toastie hot chocolates (I’ll have an extra marshmallow please!) and a reason to pull out your fabulous suede boots, but it also means it’s flu season.

Stay phlegm-free this winter with this delicious immune boosting green smoothie. Now whilst I don’t normally advocate smoothies made with a whole lotta fruits (they can be very high in sugar), this smoothie uses citrus fruits only, which are relatively low in sugar. Plus, it’s worth all the nutritious vitamin C goodness you’ll be nourishing your cells with, to keep you fighting fit and strong as the mercury drops outside.

Ingredients

  • 2 oranges, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 lime, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, peeled and roughly chopped
  • large handful of spinach leaves – all-round nutritional powerhouse
  • small handful of parsely – vitamins A & C and anti-inflammatory
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric – antiviral and anti-inflammatory
  • 2cm-piece of ginger (more if you like a kick!) – anti-inflammatory
  • 1/2 cup coconut water (or just filtered normal water, it’s up to you)

Throw all the ingredients into a powerful blender (eg Vitamix) and whiz away. Easy as.*

Bottoms up!

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The ingredients

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Peel, chop, blend..

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Drink!

Picture of an immune boosting green smoothie

*This recipe is adapted from Teresa Cutter’s website www.thehealthychef.com

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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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