Sain et Dรฉlicieux Toasts Franรงais (aka Healthy & Delicious French Toast)

Bonjour!

Parlez-vous franรงais ?

Okay, I’ll stop pretending I know French now ๐Ÿ˜‰ because honestly, I’m a born and bred English speaker and I hardly know beyond the basics of most languages. However, I do have some very exciting news to share that will change that dramatically – in fact, it is changing my whole life dramatically!

One week ago, I booked a one way flight to London. I leave on a plane in 6 months time to go backpacking around the world for as long as I want and can. I have made no other plans and I am going by myself. I may seem calm when I write these sentences so plainly, but words cannot describe the excitement, exhilaration, freedom and anticipation I feel at doing something so amazing in my life!! It’s something I have always wanted to do and I had a big chat to myself several months ago and decided that next year was my year to do it.

And so on that note, I urge ALL of you to give yourself what you want most in life. I don’t want to preach and tell you how to live your life, but think about this: you have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ll ever do – act accordingly.

For me, this really hit home. I almost decided not to go ahead with it because I felt like I should start working next year (since I finish uni this year) and start setting myself up for life. But the key word was should in that sentence. I almost chose to do it because I felt like it it was what I should do. But it’s not what I want to do. I want to live a life doing the things I love and for me, travel brings me happiness. Another saying I found that really helped me make this decision was “don’t be afraid to give yourself everything you’ve ever wanted in life.” And so at 22 years of age, I will be getting on that plane and living the life I want. I will be living in incredible places, spending my days doing amazing things and meeting people I would have never met if I had decided to stay at home and work. I have the rest of my life to work and settle down, but right now I am care-free and young and I intend to live it up as much as I can! I know that this will be something I can look back on as an old lady and reminisce about it as the best time of my life. Not sitting there regretting the choices I didn’t make.

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Anyway, enough about me and my ramblings! I’m just so excited to be going that I can’t help it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I decided to treat myself to a scrumptious breakfast. I’m currently 1/3 of the way through my end-of-year-very-exhausting-and-full-on prac for my teaching degree and I’ve hardly had any time for myself. My every thought and action revolves around this prac at the moment and I know that if I keep going this way I will become very run down, exhausted and start to resent it. So I took some time out this Saturday morning to have some ‘me time’ – this time is incredibly important so that I can reset myself, get in a better head space and generally just de-stress. My morning involved no alarm clock (although I still woke up early because of that body clock of mine!), lying in bed after I woke up for as long as I wanted, going for a run along the river and then coming back home and making myself a cup of chai tea and a yummy brekkie!

I watched a movie last night and one of the meals they ate during it was French Toast and I got hit with a massive craving for it! But of course, I needed to make it healthy ๐Ÿ™‚ normal french toast is covered in sugar and made with white bread, so it is very simple to make clean and healthy.

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French Toast

Ingredients

  • 2 slices of wholemeal bread (no preservatives or added sugar – 100% wholemeal flour!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 cup of Lite/Skim Milk (or soy/almond etc)
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon

Method

  1. Whisk egg, milk, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl.
  2. Place bread in mixture and coat on both sides (don’t soak the bread until it’s soggy – it just needs to be coated)
  3. Place bread in a non stick frying pan on medium-low heat (this heat allows the bread to be cooked without burning the outside)
  4. Cook until bread is firm and golden brown, flipping the bread over to ensure it cooks evenly.
  5. Serve while warm with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon on top!

I ate mine with fresh fruit and greek yogurt – Strawberries are so cheap in Perth at the moment (3 large punnets for $3!) so I had fresh strawberries, banana and I even had a side of fresh mango too – we are very fortunate to have a mango tree in our backyard and the windy weather last night dropped several on the ground. Yum, yum and yum!

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You can of course vary your toppings – you may want to drizzle honey or maple syrup on top. I’m just sweet enough already that I didn’t feel the need ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Bon appรฉtit !

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Mediterranean Frittata

As I mentioned earlier, I’m looking after my parents house for a few weeks so that I can look after the numerous items that need taking care of including our dog, Caddie, and the four chickens that my parents also own. I love that my parents have chickens because nothing beats fresh, free range eggs! Here’s a photo from a year or so ago showing the mansion that they live in, designed and hand built by my dad! They really do live a luxurious life, no wonder their eggs are so yummy!

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However, the problem I’ve recently been experiencing is that there is only one of me here and four chickens. Each chicken lays one egg a day. This would not normally be a problem if a full household lived here. But one person eating maximum two eggs a day (if that!) is resulting in a surplus of eggs. 4 eggs laid – 2 being eaten = 2 extra eggs per day = several dozen eggs in the fridge.

So, what to do with all these eggs? A friends mum the other day suggested a frittata! Excellent idea. Frittatas are also great because you can put basically whatever you want in them and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal! Great for using up vegetables and also great for leftovers to take as an easy lunch to work/school/uni etc. So based on what I had in the fridge, I made myself a Mediterranean inspired frittata for lunch! But like I said, you can put anything in these things!

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Mediterranean Frittata
Serves 8

Ingredients
8 eggs
2 tbsp lite milk
Spinach (I used frozen spinach I found in the freezer coz its easier to stir in)
Eggplant (fresh from the vege patch my parents have!)
Black olives
Mushroom
Garlic
Tomato
Red capsicum
Parmesan cheese (I just used up what I had left which was literally less than the size of my thumb)
Oregano (or other herbs of your choice)
Pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Chop the eggplant and mushroom into slices and fry off with some EVOO to cook it a little bit before going in the oven. I cooked these in a clove of garlic.
  3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, herbs and pepper.
  4. Chop up all the other vegetables and mix ALL the veges in the egg mixture.
  5. Pour the mixture into a greased glass dish.
  6. Cook in the oven for anywhere between 20 – 50 minutes, or until there is no liquid left. Mine took about 40 minutes.
  7. Let it sit for 5 or so minutes and serve!

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Perfect as a side to meal if you cut it into 8 portions, otherwise you could also eat it as meal! I had mine with a salad and it tasted perfecto! You can freeze the other portions and reheat later when you’re short on time for a meal. Easy peasy!

I’ll leave you with a picture of Caddie, the day she decided to break into the chook pen to get the scraps and she let all the chickens out.. How can you get angry at that face?? xo

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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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰
  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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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xo

Bircher Muesli

Hi everyone!

Sorry it’s been so long between posts! I went to Sydney a few weeks ago (has it already been two weeks?? Time flies..) and the day after I got back I went into a two week prac for my teaching degree so I’ve been very busy preparing lessons and school work (not to mention working on assignments that were due at the same time)! My first real taste of teaching life since I started so all of that definitely became a priority during the week which meant all my creativity and spare time has gone into that! However, today is the last of this prac (I’m a bit sad actually, I’ve really come to love my class) so last night while I made muffins for the staff room I also put together my breakfast for this morning.

Now you’re probably thinking “but why Bircher museli? It’s so cold in the mornings and Bircher is such a summer breakfast!” And you would be correct – porridge would definitely be more comforting to eat when it’s currently three degrees and still dark outside. But there is a story behind it all which has made me perfect this recipe over the past two weeks and put it as a must have recipe for this summer! (Which will be here before I know it if this year continues to fly by like it has, yikes!).

The story is that when I stayed with my close friend Amanda in Sydney recently, on a beautiful Sunday morning she took me down to her local area of Cronulla to show me the best bits. First pit stop was infamous Grind Coffee which I do have to agree, lived up to the hype – I’m not a huge coffee drinker but that latte was pretty darn good! We then walked with our coffees down to the beach area and stumbled across an awesome breakfast bar which has no tables, just one bar that overlooks the beach. We decided to try the Bircher after seeing someone walking by with it and OH my goodness – it was heaven. Literally, the best Bircher muesli I’ve ever had. I don’t know what made it so good (I relaxed my clean eating a bit since I was on holiday and its hard to eat completely clean when you eat out) but I made sure I savoured every mouthful. The view was amazing since Sydney decided to give me some amazing weather while I was there and I was so content with life at that moment in time, sitting with one of my best friends and chatting about the good things in life.

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So, there’s my pretty simple story as to why I’m eating cold Bircher on a freezing cold morning, but I finally perfected my clean eating Bircher and maybe if I close my eyes I can imagine I’m back on Cronulla beach with the sun shining on my face… Hehe. It’s obviously not the same as that marvellous creation at Barefoot on the Beach cafe but I think it’s pretty good if I do say so myself and it will be my staple during the warmer months!

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I used a pre made muesli mix (but its the Woolworths Macro Organics Raw Muesli with Coconut so there’s no nasties to be found – check your ingredients before you buy as so many of the pre made mixes add sugar and preservatives) but you can make your own using oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruits etc. It was just quicker and cheaper for me to grab this one. Some examples of what to include are almonds, walnuts, sultanas, sunflower kernels and coconut but there is no way it’s limited to this – be creative!

Bircher Muesli

Preparation time: 5 minutes.
Cooking time: leave in the fridge overnight

Ingredients
– 1/4 cup Macro Raw Muesli with Coconut
– 1 tbsp black chia seeds
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/8 cup low fat milk/milk alternative
– 1/4 cup chobani Greek yogurt
– 1/4 of a grated green apple

Method

  1. Mix together the muesli, cinnamon and chia seeds in a bowl
  2. Add the milk, yogurt and apple.
  3. Stir together to mix it well.
  4. Cover with cling wrap and put in the fridge over night.

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Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon, half a cup of thawed berries (I warmed mine up!) and the other 1/4 of the apple. Or any other topping you’d like including banana, pear, nuts and so on.

It’s that simple (another reason why it’s such a good recipe – super quick breakfast in the morning with hardly any prep time!).

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I do have another hectic couple of weeks coming up, but I do hope to post some more yummy and creative clean eating dishes for you all! Thanks for your patience and have a great weekend (woohoo it’s Friday!)

xo

Baked Fish with Lemon & Tomato Dressing

Hiya!

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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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.

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Baked Fish with Lemon & Tomato Dressing

Adjust ingredients based on servings (this served one)
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  1. 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).
  2. Stir together tomato, lemon, oil, herbs and chilli to taste.
  3. Pour over the fish and fold the alfoil/paper around the fish to seal it.
  4. Place in the oven and cook for 15 – 20 minutes or until fish is cooked (should be firm but still moist and flaking)
  5. Serve with steamed vegetables & brown rice/quinoa

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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

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 Judeย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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)ย [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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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