Hearty breakfast smoothie

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I am a firm believer in breakfast. The bigger the better usually. I don’t think I have ever missed a breakfast in my life. Not only does eating first thing (after a glass of warm water with lemon and cayenne to wake you digestive system up) rev your metabolism for the rest of the day it boosts your energy and squashes 3:00 treat cravings. I also like to pack in as many nutrients, fibre, protein and iron as I can to get a good start to the day.

Hearty green breakfast smoothie:

1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 frozen banana
1 small bok choy
1 large handful kale (taken off the stem, steamed and cooled)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 TBS flax meal
1 TBS natural peanut butter
Cinnamon (don’t be afraid to really give ‘er on the cinnamon front, it adds such a nice flavour and sweetness while lowering blood sugar levels)
Stevia for added sweetness if desired
4-5 Ice cubes and water

Blend everything up, add the ice cubes and blend until smooth, slowly stream in cold water until it’s the consistency you like.

Calories: 880
Protein: 32.37 grams
Fat: 39 grams
Fibre: 15 grams
Iron: 8 mg

This smoothie pretty much contains half of everything you need in an entire day; including nearly half of your calories (based on 2000 calorie a day diet and half your fat (the good kind NOT the yucky saturated kind). This may freak some people out, but most of the calories and fat comes from the quinoa, sunflower seeds, peanut butter and flax; all beautifully nutrient rich food that I wouldn’t eliminate for the sake of a “low fat smoothie”. Instead, why not use all the energy and protein your giving yourself by drinking this smoothie to get outside and go for a walk or jog before work? You’ll feel so much better for it! If you’re worried about using nearly half a days calories on breakfast, don’t be. You just need to use your calories wisely…You could, for example, have a hearty lentil and vegetable soup for lunch and a tempeh salad with mixed greens and vegetables for dinner with a couple healthy snacks thrown in and still be under the 2000 mark, (what i’m planning on eating for the rest of the day 🙂 yummm)

So to sum up…Don’t be afraid of good fats; your metabolism will love you for the morning energy boost and your whole body will be going crazy for all the nutrients and minerals you’re flooding your body with.

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Cheers!! To breakfast!!!

Tempeh dippers vs chicken nuggets

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I just can not get over how simple and good this stuff is. These bad boys I simply fried in coconut oil with some paprika, pepper, honey and nutritional yeast and dipped in ketchup and Tamari sauce. The texture and dip-able nature of these tempeh strips remind me a lot of chicken nuggets.

I would like to take a moment to compare the nutritional value of the two foods…

Per 100 grams:

Calories:

T-160
C-297

Protein:

T-19g
C- 15g

Fibre:

T-6g
C-0.9

Calcium:

T-50 mg’s
C-0 mg’s

Sodium:

T-4.8mg
C-574mg

Fat:

T-3.6 g
C-18 g

Cholesterol:

T-0 mg
C-55mg

Iron:

T-2
C-5

Tempeh = less calories, more protein, more fibre, more calcium, way less fat, way less salt, no cholesterol, no dead birdies.

Now, that nutritional info is based on store bought frozen nuggets; I’m sure home made wouldn’t be quite so bad, but I feel like WAY too many people take the easy route and feed themselves, or worse, their kids, the quick and convenient frozen nuggets.

These tempeh dippers literally take less then five minutes from opening the package to slicing and cooking. Can you get any more convenient?!?

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Get dippin’ !!!

Grilled tempeh, new fav food

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Grilled tempeh exhibit A…with scrambled tumeric and mushroom eggs, dill mustard, avocado, capsicum, tomato, sautéed purple onion and rocket all rolled together in a rice wrap and finished off with some tomato sauce. Eff yeah.

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Grilled tempeh exhibit B…in a fresh salad with balsamic reduction and olive oil dressing.

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Grilled tempeh exhibit C, similar to exhibit A but Sans wrap.

So to sum up, Tempeh rocks!! I can’t believe I have been a vegetarian for twelve years and just recently started eating it!

Tempeh is basically the non-processed version of tofu. It’s just whole soybeans fermented and formed into a block. It has a nutty flavour and a slightly chewy texture (in a good way), so for those who find tofu bland with an off putting texture, this stuff is quite the opposite!!

With all three meals above I simply sliced the tempeh and grilled it in a pan with some coconut oil, paprika and pepper. That’s it!!!! And it’s so so yummy.

Tempeh, among other benefits, is full of iron, is a complete protein and helps aid digestion (because it’s slightly fermented.)

Bottom line, get some tempeh, throw it in a pan, I promise you you’ll love it!!

Colourful spring salad two ways

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Two of our lovely friends from home are here visiting for two weeks and so far we have had a pretty great time! On their first night here I wanted to make something easy and summery and something I could make in advance so I didn’t have to forfeit precious happy hour time in the kitchen! Speaking of happy hour…

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…t’was very happy indeed!

Anyway, Pasta salad seemed to fit the bill…I got a bit carried away with the veggies though and ran out of room for the pasta. Instead we just cooked up some brown rice pasta and quinoa separately and spooned the salad on top. We’re pretty clever like that…

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Kat, Alana and Ali spooning it up!

It was delicious and fresh and the best part was we had enough leftovers to accompany our free range eggs and toast the next morning!!!

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We were feeling a little fragile the next day and this definitely hit the spot!!

If you want to recreate this fresh veggie salad madness I used:

A cup or so of baby tomatoes
1 large cucumber
1 jar black olives
1 jar artichoke hearts
1 can corn
Fresh snap peas
Red and yellow capsicum (pepper)
Fresh basil leaves
Green onion
1 can of Chick peas (toasted in a fry pan with coconut oil, paprika, cayenne, cumin, coriander and rock salt till crispy)
All veggies chopped quite finely and drizzled with olive oil.
We also drizzled a really awesome balsamic reduction that Katrina had brought us on there which was a very nice touch.

I love how pasta salad always makes it feel like summer! Enjoy 🙂

Tofu pear salad

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I had zero inspiration of what to make for dinner tonight, not a normal situation for me as I usually plan out what I’m going to make for dinner while I’m eating breakfast! Yes, I’m food obsessed. Anyways, I asked the four year old I nanny what she thought Ali and I should have and she said salad, (is she trying to tell me something?) and I immediately thought of our beloved pear and tofu salad that we haven’t made in ages!

It’s super easy and quick when you’re not feeling like cooking or a big clean up, and of course, rather nutritious.

Gather up some:

Rocket (arugula), spinach
Cucumber
Baby tomats
Pears
Green onion
Purple onion
sweet and salty tofu

Chop up everything and arrange prettily on a nice plate. Sauté the purple onion with the tofu. Add that to your plate of beautiful veggies and use what ever dressing tickles your cucumber…I whisked up a mixture of Dijon mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, miso, garlic paprika and pepper.

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Gettin Greek

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Last night I concocted a full Greek feast complete with pumpkin falafel, vegan tzatziki, creamy humus, salad and flat bread.

I got the inspiration for the pumpkin falafel from Week day vegetarians butternut pumpkin falafel recipe . I had never thought to add anything to falafel before. Who woulda thought? Anyhoo here’s my recipe for pumpkin falafel:

1 cup chickpeas
1 cup roasted pumpkin
1 cup cooked barley (we just started eating this and it’s so good, don’t know why we didn’t eat it before?!)
1/2 small onion chopped
1-2 garlic cloves minced
1 TBS fresh parsley
1/2 TBS coriander
Salt, pepper and a dash of cinnamon

Mash the chickpeas and the pumpkin. You can do it in a food processor just be sure not to over process it into mush. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Form into patties and either bake or fry. I fried as I was hungry and needed food NOW but next time I think I’ll bake, I think it will cook them more evenly.

Served on a bed of spinach with chopped tomatoes, green capsicum/pepper, hummus, vegan tzatziki and crispy warm flat bread

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Well hello there nice little morsel of food, would you like to come into my belly??

Vegan Tzatziki:

1 package organic silken tofu
1TBS apple cider vinegar
1 garlic minced

Process till creamy and then add:

1 grated cucumber
Chopped parsley
Dill
Coriander
Salt and pepper

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Mix ‘er up

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T’daaa!! Vegan tzatziki!

Everyone’s got there own humus recipe and I never measure when making this dip; But basically if you add tahini, olive oil, Lemon juice, and garlic to chickpeas you’ll end up with something resembling hummus. My special trick for making it extra smooooth though is to slowly stream water in (a fair amount) while blending!

Was a really delicious meal! And today with the leftover roasted pumpkin and barley I made a real tasty salad

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Yummmmy right??

I just sautéed some purple onion in coconut oil, added the pumpkin and barley and let that warm up while I whisked up a legit dressing of: a big tablespoon light miso, olive oil, Lemon juice, garlic and some water.

Chucked the heated up barley mixture onto some Spinach and chopped tomats, tossed with the dressing. Bam. So good!

Mock tuna salad, buckwheat pancakes and tempeh beet loaf

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This high protein mock tuna salad gets its tuna-ish texture from the mashed chick peas and fishy flavour from the seaweed and soy sauce. Complete with celery and pickles as all good tuna salads should have, this is a pretty darn good fake.

1 can chick peas mashed
1/4 home-made mayo (to insure free range organic eggs are used)
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 cup minced celery
1-4 cup shredded carrot
3 TBS chopped pickles
1/2 TBS nutritional yeast
2 green onions chopped
1 TBS Tamari
1-2 crumbled nori sheets or about 1 TBS dulse flakes
Pepper, Himalayan rock salt, paprika

Combine all ingredients and Serve as you wish. I had it for dinner on spelt toast and leftovers the next day on zucchini and carrot spirals…

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Yummmmmy. I really enjoyed the leftovers the next day!!

We went to our favourite cafe in manly, Pure, for breakfast today and I had some amazing buckwheat pancakes..

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Sooooooo goood!! The edges were a bit crispy and the middle was nice and fluffy 🙂

Good start to the day it was; unfortunately the day ended on a bad note when I burnt the f%*# out of my hand making dinner.

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It is seriously so painful, it happened four hours ago now and it’s still throbbing!! I’ve taken four pain killers and have to run it under cold water like every ten minutes!!! Never had a burn so bad before and it’s really a pretty minor one, I can’t even imagine the pain of a really serious burn…shudddder.

Anyways, at least the dinner turned out pretty good…

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Another faker meal it was; getting its texture from crumbled tempeh and colour from beets, this fake meat loaf was a perfect meal on this cold windy night.

1 cup lentils, cooked in veggie stock
4 medium potatoes boiled and mashes with a bit of olive oil, rice milk, salt and pep
1 package tempeh crumbled
1 onion diced and sautéed till translucent
4 garlic chopped and sautéed
1/2 cup raw beets blended in a food processor
1 celery stalk chopped
1 carrot chopped
2 free range organic eggs
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 cup oats
2 TBS miso paste
Cumin, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and press into a loaf pan. Spread mashed potats ontop. Bake 200 degrees for about half an hour ish, till the tops a bit browned. Serve with fresh spinach, tomatoes and green onions

Chickpeas, buckwheat, lentils, tempeh oh my!!! Protein party!!

Sushi rice balls with Chloe

We had our favourite seven year old friend Chloe over for dinner and a sleepover last night…Mid-week sleepover heck yea! We’ve known Chloe since she was five and while not the pickiest of eaters, she is only seven, although we sometimes forget this when we are deep in conversation about boys or Taylor Swift…so I pondered all day about what we could make for dinner that would be fun, nutritious and delicious for all…

RICE BALLS!!! Rice balls stuffed with creamy green sauce that is.

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Ali and Chloe ❤

Recipe:

1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice cooked in vegetable stock
2 green onions chopped finely
2 TBS black sesame seeds
2 TBS white sesame seeds
2 sheets of nori torn into little pieces
(1/4 cup toasted almonds, Chloe is allergic to nuts so Ali and I sprinkled them on top but it would be even better mixed in)

Cook rice and combine all ingredients.

Green sauce:

3 TBS mayo
Handful spinach
Juice of one lemon
Paprika and Himalayan rock salt

Blend until smooth. In normal circumstance I would have made this with cashews blended instead of the mayo and it would have been even tastier and healthier but like the good child minders we are we kept Chloe's allergy in mind 🙂

Now the assembly is a but weird but it works well as its really simple. Get a piece of cling wrap and lay it in a 1 cup measure

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Like that…then add 1/4 cup of the rice mixture and stick your finger in the middle to make a hole where you will put a couple teaspoons of the sauce. (avo in the middle would also be pretty good I assume if you don’t want to bother with the sauce). Close up the cling wrap and twist it up moulding the ball with your hands…twss.

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Untwist the cling wrap and you should have a perfect little ball! You can continue with the same piece of plastic for all the balls (waste not)

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I made peanut miso dipping sauce to accompany the balls as well as some kid friendly carrot sticks and a simple spinach and avo salad.

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Yum!! They were a hit with all big and small! Chloe went a bit overboard on the soy sauce at one point so had to add some extra rice to even it out! Clean plates all round!

Makes about 9 balls.

Rice paper rolls

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I made these ages ago and they were great; I totally forgot about them though, and was only reminded when I saw them on oh she glows, one of my long time fav blogs.

We followed her recipe pretty exactly except we cooked the tofu in coconut oil and paprika and as well as her delicious peanut lime dipping sauce, made a lemon cilantro sauce. I didn’t keep track of measurements as I was chucking everything into the blender in a hurry…basically it was a big handful of cilantro and spinach, avocado oil, lemon juice, tahini, salt and pepper, and nutritional yeast.

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All our Fillings ready to go

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The dipping sauces and a crunchy cashew and black sesame seed mixture.

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Yum yum fresh crispy veggies

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Crispy paprika and coconut tofu

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Wrapping FAIL on the first one, still tastes good tho!!

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Ali won the wrapping battle for sure

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I had my second one wrapped in a romain lettuce leaf as well as the rice paper wrap…double wrapped if you will, which added a nice crunch. We also found that the sauces were better actually in the rolls. We had leftovers so are having them again tonight before yoga!!

Enjoy!

Chick pea flour pizza crust

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This pizza crust is: crazy easy, gluten free, nutritious, quick, delicious, overall GOOD times.

All you have to do is mix equal parts chickpea flour and water and some oil. For one individual pizza I did 1/2 cup of each and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Pour it into a greased cake pan. Bake for about twenty minutes. Take it out and flip it, cook for an additional 5 or ten minutes. Add your toppings and put back in the oven until the toppings are cooked to your liking. That’s it!!

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The crust after removing it from the cake tin, ready for toppings

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Blended up a white bean, sundried tomato, parsley spread for the base.

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Before cooking

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I just cooked mine for an additional few minutes to warm the veggies up a bit. Sprinkled nutritional yeast and black sesame seeds on top for good measure. Yum!!

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For a more conventional pizza, like this one Ali and Jen shared, add cheese on the bottom feta on top and cook for longer 🙂

Whichever way you do it, the crust is definitely a winner. Everyone loved it!!