Hello from the Eastern States!
This week I’m staying with one of my best friends who moved to Sydney earlier this year at her snazzy apartment in the Cronulla area. I arrived at around 6am on Saturday and we drove straight up to the Blue Mountains and hiked through there for several hours with beautiful weather and scenery – it was amazing!
Yesterday after going for a 6km jog in the morning we decided that since the weather was on our side (it seriously does not look like winter over here!) we would do the Bondi to Bronte coast walk. It’s about 3/4km from one to the other and then we explored Bondi for a bit too so needless to say our legs were feeling a bit tired at the end of the day! But well worth it as the views were beautiful and being so active feels amazing!
Once we got home we decided to whip up this recipe Amanda had found since she also loves being healthy and eating as clean as possible (it’s good to have a friend to email recipes to and fro with and I’m so happy I finally get to try some out with her!).
We halved the recipe (the original quantities are stated below) since there’s only two of us and modified some of the ingredients since its all we had on hand. It still worked out great and was such a delicious guilt free treat after a beautiful day 🙂
Raw Carrot Cake with Cashew Cream Frosting
2 cups raw cashews (preferably soaked for a few hours)
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp liquid coconut oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
Water, as needed
2 large carrots, peeled
1 1/2 cup oat or buckwheat flour (we used wholemeal plain flour)
1 cup dates
1 cup dried pineapple (we only used dates)
1/2 cup dried coconut
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1. To make the frosting
Blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender/food processor until smooth, adding as little water as possible. Put in a bowl and set aside.
2. To make the cake ‘batter’
Cut the carrots into small chunks. Put all the ingredients in food processor and pulse until its in really small pieces and sticks together.
3. To assemble
Press half the cake mix into the bottom of your cake pan (original creator used a spring form that was about 6 inches but we just used little ceramic bowls). Spread on about 1/3 of the frosting. Put in the freezer until the layer of frosting is hard (took around 20 or so minutes). Press on the rest of the cake mix and put in the fridge overnight and frost the rest of the cake in the morning (we just put the frosting on straight away and put in the freezer again until hard).
And there you have a delicious, raw and healthy dessert!
Sorry for the lack of posting in the last week! I have my last exam tomorrow (hoorah!) which means less time studying, more time cooking – I’m so excited 😀
Tonight’s dinner is pretty simple and not the most gourmet meal, but it’s another one of those handy meals to have when you’re lacking on time but still want something yummy and nutritious! I served mine with a whoooole heap of veges and half a cup of quinoa and it made a scrumptious meal. The fish I used is just frozen Basa fillets that you can get at coles and woolworths and they’re not the most flavoursome fish so I made up a kind of tomato salsa-ish dressing to add something else to the meal.
Baked Fish with Lemon & Tomato Dressing
Adjust ingredients based on servings (this served one)
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
- 1 frozen Basa fillet (defrosted) [can use any type of fish really though]
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp juice of a lemon
- Tomato, diced (I used cherry tomatoes because it’s all I had)
- 1 tbsp Mixed herbs
- 1/2 tsp ground chilli powder
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place fish on alfoil (or baking paper) on a baking tray (with sides folded up to prevent the dressing running everywhere).
- Stir together tomato, lemon, oil, herbs and chilli to taste.
- Pour over the fish and fold the alfoil/paper around the fish to seal it.
- Place in the oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until fish is cooked (should be firm but still moist and flaking)
- Serve with steamed vegetables & brown rice/quinoa
I’m off to Sydney on Friday night for a week so I won’t be posting until I get back, but I will be creating! My friend Amanda, who I’m spending the week with, is also a clean eater and we’ve already sussed out many recipes to try! So expect lots of yummy and healthy recipes for when I get back!
Have a great week everyone! xo
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.
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 Jude 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 😉
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
- 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)
- Red capsicum
- Baby spinach leaves
- Red onion (I used about a quarter of one) [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
- Dice chicken and brown in a frying pan (don’t cook it all the way through, but get the basics done)
- Drain and rinse chickpeas in a strainer (to remove the excess salt)
- Chop vegetables into whatever size pieces suits your fancy (the smaller, the faster they cook)
- Dice the red onion and finely chop garlic (or use one of those handy garlic presses)
- Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook onion and garlic for 2 – 3 minutes
- Added tinned tomatoes, tumeric, chilli and cumin and stir through. Taste and adjust the spices as needed.
- Add the rest of the vegetables into the saucepan and add as much water as needed to cover them.
- 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.
- Squeeze lemon juice into the sauce pan and stir through.
- Serve with brown rice or quinoa.
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 😉
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 🙂 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!
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)
- 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
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease baking tin (or use a silicon like me).
- Stir together flour, nutmeg and cinnamon
- Mash banana in a bowl and whisk in the egg. Add the yogurt and honey and combine.
- Stir together the dry and wet mixtures (you may need to add more liquid if the mixture is too dry).
- Fold through the blueberries and walnuts.
- Place mixture in tin and bake for 50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
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 🙂 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
This week I’m staying at my parents house in Mandurah so I can study for exams without distractions (nice town but there isn’t much to do… Hence why I come here to study) so I decided to be a lovely daughter and cook dinner tonight! Apologies if my writing is all over the place – a whole day of study has sapped my creativity (evidence: just had to google whether ‘sapped’ is a word or if I just made it up…)
Anyway, found this recipe for ‘Italian Crustless Quiche’ on cleaneatingmag.com.au and I just added more vegetables! Made this dish a couple weeks ago with some close friends of mine and it was that good that I decided to make it again 🙂
Crustless Vegetable Quiche
Makes 6 large (dinner portion) servings or 12 smaller (side) servings
- 2 cups eggplant, chopped into cubes
- 1 cup zucchini, chopped into cubes
- 1 cup red capsicum, chopped
- 1 – 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil (for frying pan)
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn in pieces
- Or any assortment of mixed herbs
- 3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees (200 fan forced).
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, onion and garlic in oil for 10 minutes (or until soft and browned). Take off the heat.
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk eggs, milk, black pepper, thyme and oregano (or the herbs that you have).
- Add egg mixture, basil and mozzarella and spinach leaves to vegetable mixture. Gently stir until eggs and mozzarella are evenly distributed among vegetables.
- Mist a round or square glass pan with cooking spray (I didn’t do this and it was fine – easy to clean). Pour in egg-vegetable mixture. Place in oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes to set quiche.
While this is cooking my amazing Mum made her ‘infamous’ (it’s infamous now coz she’s made it twice) Raw Pad Thai to have as well. The recipe (from here) says it’s best to leave it in the fridge for a day but it still tasted amazing being made half an hour before consumption.
Raw Pad Thai
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 2 large carrots
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts or radish sprouts (spicy) (optional)
- ½ cup crushed peanuts (optional)
- ½ cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro (optional)
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup almond butter (or cashew butter, or a blend of both)
- 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
- ¼ cup tamari (select a wheat free version for gluten-free diets)
- 2 tbsp agave (or maple syrup)
- ½ tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ginger root, grated
- Use a spiralizer (or mandolin or vegetable peeler) to create noodles from the carrot and zucchini. Place them in a large mixing bowl and top with the other vegetables.
- Whisk sauce ingredients in a bowl. The sauce will be thick, but will thin out after it’s mixed with the vegetables.
- Pour the sauce over the vegetables and toss.
Voila – delicious and nutritious dinner is made! Even Dad said he liked it 😉 and there’s heaps of leftovers too. Bonus!
And that’s it from me – I’m out! Brain is officially mush. Need to go off and recharge before another full day of study tomorrow… xo
Just a quick post at the moment – I’ve got five exams coming up in the next two weeks and so study is taking priority! Whipped up a quick batch of muffins for brain food! (Little bit of procrastibaking too…)
Original recipe from taste.com.au but modified to suit my needs!
Banana & Blueberry Yogurt Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
- 1 1/2 cups wholemeal self raising flour
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup Chobani 2% Greek Yogurt (or other low fat alternative)
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- Sprinkle of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees (170 if fan forced oven). Grease a 12 tray muffin pan (or use silicon muffin cases).
- Stir together the flour and chia seeds.
- Whisk together the banana, egg, oil and honey (Hayley’s Handy Hint: put the oil in first and use the same measuring cup for the honey – the thin layer of oil prevents the honey from sticking to the cup!).
- Combine the flour and liquid mixture and stir until just combined.
- Fold through the blueberries.
- Spoon mixture into muffin tray and bake for 12 – 15 minutes (until golden brown and skewer comes out clean).
- Transfer whole muffin tray to oven rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tray and place on oven rack to cool further.
Easy, peasy! Took me about 25 minutes total to make (including clean up time which I did while they were baking). You can freeze them and then take them as an on the go snack to work/school/uni. I like my muffins warm so I generally heat them up in the microwave for 10 seconds but they can be enjoyed defrosted too!
P.S – made the Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for my parents this morning (studying down in my hometown of Mandurah for a few days) and it received the thumbs up from my Dad (who’s a white bread and meat kind of man hehe). The real test will be the clean vegetable quiche I’m making for dinner tonight – recipe and verdict will be up later tonight!
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.
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
- 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
- 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
- Mash 1/2 banana in a mixing bowl.
- Combine milk (and yogurt if you substituted it like me), egg, honey and banana in the bowl.
- 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.
- 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).
- Cover with glad wrap and stand for 10 minutes.
- 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!).
- 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.
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).
Melt in your mouth, scrumptious pancakes are now yours to enjoy! Don’t forget your cuppa 😉
Happy Sunday! xo