Apple & Berry Crumble

Hello again!

I’ve been house sitting my parents house down in mandurah for the past week and a half while they’re in the US (lucky ducks! Can’t wait until that’s me next year!) and I think the winter weather plus being back in my family home has got me craving classic winter desserts! When I used to live here and I didn’t live the clean eating lifestyle, I used to always eat the Nanna’s Apple Pies with ice cream during the winter months for dessert and being back here is making me crave it!

So, to satisfy my cravings without resorting to the packaged pies I know are sitting in the freezer, I decided to whip up my own yummy dessert! Instead of a pie, I’ve made a crumble but I’m happy with that coz I’m a sucker for those types of desserts (warm pies and crumbles are seriously my dessert weakness – give me them over cakes and brownies any day!).

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I looked to a few recipes online for guidance, but in the end I winged it and created my own recipe! They’re pretty easy things to make your own so you can change it up as you please, especially with the topping. You can add chopped nuts and dried fruit, use maple syrup or honey and the list goes on! Add more syrup to make it sweeter. The possibilities are endless! πŸ˜‰ so without further ado, my version of clean eating …

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Apple & Berry Crumble
Serves 2

Ingredients
1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup mixed berries
2 tsp organic agave syrup
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp wholemeal flour
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp desiccated coconut
1 tsp cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Add apple and berries in a medium pan with enough water for them to stew in.
  3. Simmer apple and berries for 5 or so minutes, or until soft.
  4. Mix together the oats, flour, coconut, oil and cinnamon with your fingers until it becomes crumble like in texture.
  5. Pour apple and berry mixture into a ramekin dish (you may want to grease it but mine was fine).
  6. Drizzle agave syrup over the mixture.
  7. Spoon crumble mixture over the top. Sprinkle with more cinnamon if desired πŸ˜‰
  8. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden on top.
  9. Serve while hot with a side of plain Greek yogurt (as a substitute for ice cream, otherwise it tastes great on its own!).

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Enjoy your classic winter comfort dessert, minus the guilt! I’m eating mine wrapped up in a blanket watching masterchef which is what generally makes me crave yummy food! At least I have my own tonight and don’t have to sit here drooling πŸ˜›

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xo

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The “I’ve Got a Whole Bunch of Vegetables to Use and No Time” Curry

As I’ve mentioned previously (only every post for the past two weeks) I’m currently studying for a buttload of exams (two done, three to go!) so time is not my friend at the moment. Times like these it’s tempting for people to just grab takeaway or resort to packet food, so I am here to show you that a simple, easy and delicious dinner can be whipped up in the time it would take for the pizza delivery guy to get to your house!

Best thing about tonight’s meal also was that I have heeeeaps of leftovers that I can pop in the freezer which means I have several meals ready for me to go when I really cannot be bothered to cook (it happens sometimes). Another great thing about this meal is that you can throw in as many vegetables and extras as you like, which is handy if you’re like me and had a bunch of vegetables that needed to be used pronto. So, the recipe is pretty much add/subtract what you like and adjust the quantities of the curry sauce as per taste preference.

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The curry is based on a recipe my mum gave me, originating from Tanzania where she has spent a lot of time, effort and money helping those who need it over there! You can visit this website for The School Of St JudeΒ to see where a lot of her effort goes into, it’s very inspiring stuff! I remember when she was on a trip there, the main source of food she ate was veges and beans and at the time I wouldn’t go near that stuff (again, was a bit of a fussy eater in my younger years!) and so she would laugh and say the meals were “Hayley’s Worst Nightmare”. However, here I am now making huge batches of the stuff all on my own accord! Who would have known hey E πŸ˜‰

The title of the curry will constantly change but tonight’s curry was:

Chicken, Chickpea & Sweet Potato Curry
Serves: probably get about 4-6 servings out of mine
Time: 10 minutes prep, 25 minutes cooking

Ingredients

  • One can of Macro Organic Diced Tomatoes (No Salt Added)
  • One can of Macro Organic Chickpeas (can use Kidney Beans or any other type)
  • One sweet potato
  • One skinless chicken breast (remove to make vegetarian – I just had to use up this chicken before it went off)
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot
  • Red capsicum
  • Mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Red onion (I used about a quarter of one)Β [brown onion would be better but there’s none in my house!]
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil (about 2 teaspoons for cooking)
  • 1 tbsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp ground chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • About a cup of water (will change depending on how much veges you put in – need enough to cover them)
  • Half a lemon

Method

    1. Dice chicken and brown in a frying pan (don’t cook it all the way through, but get the basics done)
    2. Drain and rinse chickpeas in a strainer (to remove the excess salt)
    3. Chop vegetables into whatever size pieces suits your fancy (the smaller, the faster they cook)
    4. Dice the red onion and finely chop garlic (or use one of those handy garlic presses)
    5. Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook onion and garlic for 2 – 3 minutes
    6. Added tinned tomatoes, tumeric, chilli and cumin and stir through. Taste and adjust the spices as needed.
    7. Add the rest of the vegetables into the saucepan and add as much water as needed to cover them.
    8. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Leave to simmer for around 20 minutes (I think it was) or until vegetables are cooked. Stir through every now and then. Taste the sauce as well and adjust spices as needed.
    9. Squeeze lemon juice into the sauce pan and stir through.
    10. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

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This isn’t your traditional thick sauced curry but I like it all the same. Good flavours and healthy as! Can’t go wrong. And like I said, now you’ll have tonnes of leftovers so you have no excuse for grabbing takeaway coz you’re too tired. Win win!

Until next time xo

P.S – sorry the photos aren’t that amazing but the lighting in our kitchen isn’t the best, plus it’s not one of those foods that looks like a million bucks πŸ˜‰

Wholemeal Banana, Blueberry & Walnut Loaf

Hello again!

It was officially the first day of winter yesterday and Perth let us know about it! Woke up at 6.30am to go to a gym class and when I realised it was only 4 degrees I promptly resumed my snugged up position in bed and read my book for a while (just for the record, I went to another class in the afternoon in case you were judging my lack of commitment ;)).

Exams start on Tuesday for me, so I’ve still been chained to my desk studying each day… So to break up the boredom today I decided to make banana bread! I decided to take a risk and take bits and pieces from various recipes to make my own version, so I was a bit worried when I put it in the oven but turned out pretty good I think! I added blueberries and walnuts but those are optional depending on preferences πŸ™‚ I’m calling it a loaf also because of the way it turned out when it cooked – the top is quite hard like a loaf of bread and the shape resembles a loaf of sourdough due to the silicon baking container I used!

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Wholemeal Banana, Blueberry & Walnut Loaf
Serves: 12 (I cut this up into 12 pieces (not slices) but depends on how thick you like your slices)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal self raising flour
  • 3 large bananas (I only used 2 large bananas and there just wasn’t enough banana flavour!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Chobani 2% Low Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey (add more if you have a sweet tooth – I could just barely taste the sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (can also add more)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnut pieces
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease baking tin (or use a silicon like me).
  2. Stir together flour, nutmeg and cinnamon
  3. Mash banana in a bowl and whisk in the egg. Add the yogurt and honey and combine.
  4. Stir together the dry and wet mixtures (you may need to add more liquid if the mixture is too dry).
  5. Fold through the blueberries and walnuts.
  6. Place mixture in tin and bake for 50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
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    I think my experimental recipe was a success (for me anyway!). It doesn’t taste like your traditional banana bread (and mine just needed a touch more banana flavour!) but as clean eater it tastes good to me πŸ™‚ you might need to add and subtract ingredients based on your own personal taste but the basics are there for a good banana loaf!

    Enjoy your week everyone! xo

Sunday Morning Wholemeal Banana & Cinnamon Pancakes

Sunday mornings really are the best (unless you work weekends in which case, sorry!). That one day of the week you can lie in a little later and take some time out with a cuppa and a book. Such a good day of the week deserves a good breakfast and this week it’s pancakes for me!

Nothing will ever replace the fluffy, buttery goodness of traditional pancakes but mine were pretty darn tasty, if I don’t say so myself! When you first start eating clean, the wholemeal and sugar free versions of your favourite food just don’t taste the same and it’s tempting to give it all up and indulge in that [insert your favourite guilty pleasure here] that you’ve been avoiding. But stick to it and soon you’ll be craving the healthy stuff and the thought of eating those other things really isn’t appealing at all.

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Anyway, enough rambling – more pancakes! I got the basics of this recipe from taste.com.au but have adapted it into my own recipe (as per usual). I also adjusted the quantities to only make enough for one or two people (depending on your hunger levels) so double the quantities to make more. My mix made around 5 reasonable sized pancakes (excluding the ‘practice pancake’ which the first one always becomes!) but it all depends on how big or small you like ’em!

Wholemeal Banana & Cinnamon Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large banana (save the other half for serving)
  • 3/4 cup of wholemeal self raising flour
  • 3/4 cup of milk of your choice (the recipe called for Buttermilk but I actually used 1/2 cup Chobani Greek Yogurt + 1/4 cup macro light soy milk – view this guide to see how you can substitute chobani in your cooking)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp flaxseed meal (linseed)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil for cooking (you can buy it as a spray but I just put a drop in the pan and used a paper towel to spread it thinly around

To serve:

  • 1/4 cup mixed berries (put them in a small seperate bowl to defrost while you cook)
  • 1/2 large banana
  • 1/4 cup chobani greek yogurt (2% low fat)
  • Squeeze of honey
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Method

  1. Mash 1/2 banana in a mixing bowl.
  2. Combine milk (and yogurt if you substituted it like me), egg, honey and banana in the bowl.
  3. Sift flour into a separate mixing bowl (with wholemeal flour, the bran flakes will be left in the sieve – make sure you add those in and gently stir through!) and add chia seeds, flaxseed meal and cinnamon. Gently stir through until combined.
  4. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the liquid mixture. Whisk until the mixture is relatively smooth (it won’t be a super silky liquid but there shouldn’t be any lumps of flour).
  5. Cover with glad wrap and stand for 10 minutes.
  6. Spray a medium frying pan (or use my oiling method) and turn stove on to medium heat. Once warm, spoon the desired amount of batter into the pan (I use a ladle – a trick I learnt from dad!).
  7. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip the pancake (practice your chef skills ;)) and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

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8. Cover the pancake with foil on a plate or place in the oven on low heat (100 degrees or so) to keep warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.
9. Thinly slice the remaining banana. Serve your pancakes with a dollop of Greek yogurt, mixed berries, the banana, honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon (or any of your preferred toppings).

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Melt in your mouth, scrumptious pancakes are now yours to enjoy! Don’t forget your cuppa πŸ˜‰

Happy Sunday! xo

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Winter Roast Veges & Warm Quinoa, Avocado & Feta Salad

Although it’s technically not winter yet, the temperature drop recently has made me feel like it is (10 degrees at night is cold right? Maybe its just the tiles in my room making me feel like I’m in an igloo…)

And a cold “winter” night to me says roasted vegetables! The smell of rosemary wafting through the kitchen is a comforting one – it just always reminds me of home. My parents always cook up a mean roast but I don’t think they would have ever thought they’d see the day when I would make a big batch of roast veges for myself (to say that I was a ‘fussy eater’ when I was younger is a slight understatement… sorry guys! :P)

I decided to whip up a quick quinoa salad too as a side – easy to make and just adds something else to the meal since I’m not roasting any meat. Both meals take minimal preparation and will make heaps of leftovers!

When I started preparing my veges I realised that I didn’t have any rosemary in the house – I ummed and ahhed for a while but made the decision to run down to the IGA and grab some and it was definitely a good call. Garlic and rosemary go together like peas and corn (except I don’t like peas so that’s never been a combo that works for me ;)). I took the scenic route to make it worthwhile and got treated to a pretty view of Perth across the Swan River (sorry iPhone quality).

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Winter Roast Vegetables

Prep: 10 mins (or 20mins if you need to run down to the IGA like me!)
Cooking: 45 – 60 mins

Ingredients (not limited to these – add in veges to your hearts content!)

  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet Potato
  • Carrot
  • Red onion
  • Cup mushrooms
  • Eggplant (not a traditional roast vege but I needed to use it so in it went!)
  • Garlic cloves
  • Fresh Rosemary sprigs
  • Mixed herbs
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method

  1. Turn oven on to 190 degrees.
  2. Cut up all the veges (except the mushrooms-keep those separate) into pieces (doesn’t matter what size or shape, although thinner/smaller cook quicker) and place in a mixing bowl. Cut up garlic into smallish pieces (or keep them whole).
  3. Pour 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon or so of mixed herbs and several springs of rosemary in the bowl.
  4. Mix together so that all the pieces are coated with the oil and herbs.
  5. Place all vegetables on a wire rack that is sitting on top of a baking tray wrapped with aluminium foil. Spread the veges out so they have some breathing space and place in the oven.
  6. Cook for anywhere between 45 mins to an hour. They should be easily pierced with a fork when they’re ready. Keep checking on them at 20 minute intervals, turning the veges if they need it. Place the whole cup mushrooms in the tray at the first 20 minute mark.

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Warm Quinoa, Avocado & Feta Salad

Prep: 5 mins
Cooking: 15 – 20 mins
Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (makes about 1 cup cooked quinoa)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 small shallot (thinly sliced)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Low fat Feta cheese
  • Walnuts (cut into smaller pieces)
  • Red capsicum
  • Green capsicum
  • Dried parsley flakes

Method

  1. Cook quinoa as per instructions (I did mine on the stove top: rinse quinoa in a sieve before adding to a saucepan, add 1 cup of water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 – 15 mins or until the liquid is absorbed. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally).
  2. Mash the avocado in a bowl before adding to the quinoa and mix together. Leave to cool slightly.
  3. Place in a bowl and add other ingredients (you be the judge of how much of each you want! I’ve never been one for exact quantities for this kind of thing – although remember to get the right portion size of the cheese!)

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And dinner is served! Definitely a happy and satisfied tummy tonight πŸ™‚ which I will need to get me through the study I’m planning on powering through! Exam time makes for such exciting Saturday nights… #unistudentlife

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Enjoy! xo