GREEN EGGS & CHILLI + a bit of a ramble

photoAs I may have mentioned in a previous post, I love eggs. I’ve also developed a bit of a taste for chilli. While I’m no buff and there is no way I could do insanity sauce, I love the way chilli enhances all of my favourite dishes, even in small amounts. In fact, I made turkey chilli con carne for dinner this evening! What I’m about to post is my favourite breakfast at the moment. Simple but super yummy. Some other egg combos I like include tomato and avocado salsa with fried egg and smoked trout or salmon with scrambled egg and shallots. Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

1 slice toast

2 eggs

chilli flakes

1 cup fresh spinach

1/2 tsp crushed chilli

1/2 tbs shredded parmesan

4 pitted black olives, finely diced

olive oil

THROWING IT TOGETHER

There’s nothing to it! In food processor or blender, mix the egg, crushed chilli, spinach and parmesan. Whack your bread in the toaster. Scramble your eggs and stir through the olives and chilli flakes, before serving on toast. Finish it off with a drizzle of olive oil. I don’t butter my toast – I will usually drizzle a touch of olive oil on it instead.

raw peppermint choc chip ice-cream

unnamed (1)Today has been eventful, to say the least. I won’t bore anyone with the details but by the end of it, I was definitely craving some sort of sweet comfort food. I’ve always really liked mint slice biscuits and decided to try my hand at something with a similar flavour. For some time now, I’ve been making my own sugar free ‘ice cream’ using frozen bananas as a base. I’ve tried countless flavours, the best being fig and berry (until today). I had to post this one right away. I imagine some people would look at the ingredients and think they were a bit odd but the peppermint flavour dominated and the result was great. I’ll absolutely be making this again.

First I’ll start with the standard ‘ice cream’. It’s SO simple – basically freeze whole bananas, cut them into thick slices and process them with whatever ingredients you see fit, until it’s of the right consistency. It takes all of 5 minutes and it is a much healthier option than store bought ice cream. I usually use 1 banana per person.

 

Serves 2

 

INGREDIENTS

1 frozen banana

1/2 avocado

handful of fresh mint

1/4-1/2 tsp peppermint oil or extract (adjust to your taste)

1 tbs cacao nibs (plus extra to serve)

50ml almond milk (any milk will work)

handful of baby spinach (optional but why not)

 

METHOD

Cut the frozen banana into thick slices and process with all of the other ingredients.

Pour into a freezer safe container for around 2 hours. Give it a mix and spoon into a bowl.

Serve with extra cacao nibs and enjoy!

clean eating pancakes + a catch up

1461175_10151721167470737_1012107530_nGood afternoon, Dear Reader. Hope you’ve had a good weekend. Mine was more than satisfactory. Celebrations and fun with family and friends, lots of good food, a few glasses of red, a muay thai training session (that somehow left me covered in bruises) and the final rehearsal for a project I’ve been involved with. University is over for the year and I’m very happy about that; already enjoying podcasts, new music and straight back into the books I’ve been craving. I now have more time to get back into cooking, writing and catching up on the blogs I like! Lots of great stuff going on. In light of that, I wanted to start the week on a positive note, so I made a big batch of pancakes to enjoy with my house-mates this morning. This is my ‘go to’ pancake recipe. I found it in a clean eating book and it’s perfect – high protein, low fat, low carb and most importantly, super tasty. With only 4 ingredients, it’s simple to throw together and is a good base recipe to use. Today I served the pancakes with some grilled fruit and a bit of maple syrup but you can add whatever you like. Here are a couple of filling or serving ideas (omit the cinnamon for the savoury blends):

  • Bacon with chives
  • Turkey and spinach
  • Grated apple and blueberries
  • Almond or cashew butter with berries
  • Lemon or orange zest
  • Mushroom, ham and spring onion
  • For chocolate pancakes, add a heaped tbs of cacao powder
  • Pumpkin mash, cloves and nutmeg

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Perhaps the same applies to life in some sense. Here’s a good quote I found last night while searching for new podcasts. 

Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering its a feather bed.

– T. McKenna

 

Serves 2-4

 

INGREDIENTS

200g low or no fat cottage cheese

4  free-range eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

100g rolled oats

 

METHOD

Pulse everything in a food processor until you the oats are ground and you achieve a smooth consistency. Heat oil in a pan and add batter (2 tbs per pancake gives you a nice size). Cook until you see little bubbles form on your pancake and flip for another minute. I sit foil on the top of the cooked pancakes until I’ve finished with the rest,to keep them warm.

Serve with whatever topping you like! If you want to add ingredients to the batter, do so AFTER you process the original mix. Just mix whatever you’re adding in with a spoon. Omit the cinnamon for the savoury fillings.

Enjoy!

pan seared salmon, herb & rice noodle salad

photo 1Hello, dear reader. I don’t have much to say today (weird, I know) BUT I do have an awesome salad recipe to share that I adapted from SBS food. I have made it twice this week already and I will probably also try it with pork and soba noodles. It reminds me of everything that is good about summer and the flavours are perfect. I would like to eat it on the porch of this little cabin I found tonight.

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INGREDIENTS

125g boneless & skinless salmon fillet
1/4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
50g rice vermicelli noodles
4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/4 avocado, peeled and roughly chopped
fresh or crushed chilli to your taste
small handful of fresh mint
small handful of basil leaves
chopped cashew nuts (for garnish)
1/4 lime (to serve)

Dressing

1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
dash of tamari or fish sauce

METHOD

Coat the salmon in sweet chilli sauce. Heat a frying pan, add the oil, and sear the salmon for 2–3 minutes on each side, leaving it a little pink in the middle. Set aside.

Place the rice noodles in a bowl, pour on boiling water to cover, and leave for a few minutes. Drain.

Whisk the dressing ingredients in a bowl. Add the tomatoes (squish them for extra juices), avocado and chilli and gently toss.

Add the noodles, mint, basil and coriander and lightly mix. Break up the salmon with your fingers and gently tuck in to the noodles. Scatter with cashews and serve with the lime wedge.

hello, and a kale & goat’s cheese salad

 

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It’s been a LONG while. I’ve thought of this blog on many occasions but haven’t returned to post. Life is pretty busy, to say the least but that is how I like things. I still make time for that which I am passionate about outside of the daily grind and that never seems to change with all of the exciting things I constantly find to do. I still cook a lot, still volunteer in dog rescue, and I still ride my big old bike around and gawk at everything, in awe of the world around me. I do sometimes wish I had more time in the day, though! I’m currently in between lectures eating a delicious salad and figured I’d post the recipe and a few of my thoughts for today.

This morning I was reading a fascinating story about a former athlete and it got me thinking. Some may glorify people or exaggerate finer details to make for stories to sell but this is what I love about the power of stories. Stories (fictional or not) have always been one of the most meaningful parts of my life, from those I immersed myself in as a child to escape the routine of school life, to those I catch glimpses of walking past people in the street. Often there’s no way to check facts about tales being told and I like that. It’s about perspective and I try to see things with a critical eye but also still allow myself to get completely drawn in to other worlds because this ignites my imagination. Through stories, written or told through other mediums, we learn about others and ourselves and there’s no boundaries. We connect through them and they have the potential to generate positive change in the world. Of course, they can have negative implications too but that is just the way things are. I like that a photograph of something as simple as a person hunching over to get cigarettes out of their bag can be manipulated to appear as something entirely different, or be interpreted as such. I love that people and things can live forever through stories. This is why I can’t get enough of literature, movies, photography and music, or of walking around looking at things. So much to delve into.

In the words of Calvin & Hobbes, “It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy…Let’s go exploring!”

 

KALE AND GOAT’S CHEESE SALAD

 

INGREDIENTS

2 big handfuls of kale

big sprinkle of mix seeds

1/2 avocado, chopped

1 radish, sliced thinly

a few chunks of goat’s cheese

the juice of 1/4 lemon

big glug of olive oil

cracked black pepper

 

METHOD

Toss all of the ingredients. Make a mix with the lemon juice, olive oil and pepper, and stir through. Too easy!

 

best ever kale falafel

 

photoHaving only arrived home last night after a mini holiday, I didn’t feel like doing too much today. So, I spent the day relaxing. I read a book, watched a movie, drank tea, hung at the park with the dog and did some uni work. It was suddenly getting dark and I had no idea what I felt like eating, so I thought I’d see what was around on Foodgawker. After a couple of unsuccessful search attempts, I accidentally stumbled upon this incredible post by Minimalist Bakery. Admittedly, I was a little sceptical about it all (the post is entitled ‘Better Than Restaurant Falafel’). Nevertheless, with the energy of a 12 week old pup after breakfast, I raced up to the local store to get myself some falafel supplies.

I got home, put on some cooking tunes and away I went. I had a lot of fun making these (my enthusiasm might have something to do with having no proper kitchen for the last 4 days) and it wasn’t too messy. I whipped up a salad and a side of hummus, and sat down to eat my fill over the latest episode of Game of Thrones (which was brilliant, as usual). Turns out this recipe was true to its title (I only altered it slightly).

Hands down the best falafel I have ever eaten.

Try it as soon as possible. I think little people would like this too because the flavours are not overbearing. Did I mention they are also vegan and gluten free? Falafel for all!

Makes approximately 16.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups torn kale (or chard/silverbeet)
  • 1 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbs crushed garlic
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • black pepper
  • 4 tbs buckwheat flour (or that of your choice)
  • olive oil, for cooking
  • hummus and paprika (to serve)
  • salad (to serve)

 

METHOD

In a food processor, pulse all ingredients except for the flour and olive oil. Once it looks like a nice paste, transfer to a bowl and stir through the flour until it is thick enough to roll with your hands.

Shape into balls.

Pop some olive oil in a frying pan and once heated, give it a swirl. Cook 4 or so balls at a time, flipping after a few minutes or until lightly browned. When you’ve cooked the other side, set aside and cook the rest.

Serve with hummus and salad, and enjoy!

HOBZ BIZ-ZEJT (MALTESE OPEN SANDWICH) & A BUNCH OF SMOOTHIE COMBOS

Desktop53Hello! What a glorious afternoon we are having here in Sydney. Autumn has always been my favourite season, for its beautiful sunny mornings and nice balanced weather! I’ve been keeping busy with uni work and the like, and I’m enjoying life right now. I have a tonne of work to get through but that is always the way. I was recently thinking about my Nana and the little treats she used to make me. I decided to pick up some ingredients to make her version of the popular Maltese sandwich, hobz biz-zejt. It is absolutely my favourite thing to eat in the world and so easy to put together. I’ve also been trying my hand at different smoothie combos. I’ll post a couple of my favourites below. I hope everyone is well and enjoying life, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. Have a great day!

 

HOBZ BIZ-ZEJT

You’ll need:

bread of your choice (i used toasted spelt but traditionally, you would use white crusty bread)

tomato paste

capers

tuna or anchovies

some sliced olive

parsley

olive oil

salt and pepper

 

Basically, layer your sandwich like in this order: tomato paste, capers, tuna, parsley, olive. Give it a nice glug of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Done! You can have it as an open sandwich (my preference) or use it as a filling. It also tastes great on pizza.

 

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A COUPLE OF SMOOTHIE COMBOS

 

FIG & KIWI (Left): Blend 1 small kiwi, 3 figs, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup almond milk and some chia seeds

FIG & GRAPE: (top right of main picture): Blend 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 cup grapes, 1/2 cup fig, 1 tbs chia and a cup of ice cubes

ORANGE & SPINACH: (bottom right of main picture): Blend 1 orange, 2 cups spinach, 1 frozen banana, 1 tsp psyllium, 1 tsp chia and 1/2 cup water

LIME PIE with berry topping: Blend 1 cup coconut milk, a handful of cashews,  1 small frozen banana, a large handful of greens, the juice of 1/2 lime, 1/4 avocado and 1 tsp coconut oil. Pour into cup then blend a bit of ice with some berries to layer the top with