Quinoa Porridge

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Creamy warm porridge during Winter is the ultimate breakfast comfort food and a fantastic way to start the morning off.  Traditionally porridge is made with oats but after spotting quinoa flakes I decided to try them out.  Quinoa flakes are a gluten free grain that cook very quickly.  Being a complete protein they are superior to oats when it comes to nutritional value and 100 grams of the flakes contain over 14 gams of protein.

With the launch of Anchor Organic milk I went and purchased myself some full fat (blue top) to cook the quinoa flakes in.  It tastes the same as regular milk but knowing that it is produced using sustainable farming methods makes it all that much sweeter.  With organic foods being on trend brands can sell their products are a premium, and sometimes rightly so – the cost to produce organic food is more expensive for the farmer especially when it comes to production of dairy.

Serves 1

Ingredients

Porridge:
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup Anchor Organic Milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch sea salt

Toppings:
1 cup mixed berries
2 tablespoons manuka honey
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped.
1/4 cup coconut chips or desiccated coconut

Topping ideas: 
peanut butter, banana, yoghurt, chia seeds, seeds and nuts.

Method

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a boil. When the milk boils turn the heat down to low and stir in the sea salt and quinoa flakes.  Stir occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and place aside.
2. Let the porridge sit for 3 minutes and stir making sure it is think and creamy.
3. Place the porridge into a serving bowl and top with manuka honey, walnuts, mixed berries and coconut chips.

Lx

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Low Carb Tacos

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Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients

600 grams organic chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 cup quinoa
1 brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup cherry tomato’s, chopped into cubes
1 small cos lettuce, leaves removed
2 avocados, halved, pip removed and sliced horizontal into strips.
1/3 cucumber, cut into small cubes
Juice of lime or lemons
Pepper

Method

1. Place the quinoa along with 2 1/2 cups of water into a pot and cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes.  Set aside in a bowl.
2. Heat a pan over medium heat, add a dash of oil and simmer the onion and garlic for 2 minutes.  Add the chicken, paprika, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Cook for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Take off the stove and add to the bowl of quinoa, mix well.
3. Place  a large spoonful of the chicken and quinoa mixture into each lettuce cup.  Sprinkle cucumber and tomato over along with the avocado.  Drizzle with lime or lemon juice and garnish with cracked pepper.

Enjoy. J&L x

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Creamy Chocolate Mousse

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Lib and I first made this recipe a few years ago with the inclusion of peanut butter.  It’s hard to believe that the main ingredient is avocado! The mousse is a perfect substitute for traditional dairy mousse, it is so creamy, thick and rich in chocolate flavour.  A great topping for cakes instead of frosting, spoon onto slices of banana or have by itself after dinner.

This recipe we have not used a lot of cacao as it can be quite biter and everyone has a different taste preference, so adjust with extra rice malt (any liquid sweeter will do) or add extra cacao if you like its strong taste.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados
½ cup coconut cream
¼ cup cacao powder
¼ cup rice malt syrup
1 pinch of salt

Method

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and mix until smooth and creamy.
  2. Serve straight away or store in a refrigerator for an hour before serving if you want it extra thick. Store mousse in an airtight container in the fridge.

Jx

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Chili, Ginger and Garlic Cabbage

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My best friend’s father Michael first cooked me this dish, many years ago.  I had never tried cabbage before (I had always thought it smelt a bit funny) but as soon as I ate this, I was hooked.  This is now one of my favorite meals, it’s also the cheapest – read the ingredients list to see why.  Super tasty, full of flavor, low carb, low fat, no fuss and you can whip it up from wo to go in 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

½ a head of cabbage
400 grams of organic chicken
½ cup of cooked black rice (or brown)
2 tsp of ginger, grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 fresh red chili, finely sliced.
1 Tbsp of Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp of Tamari
1 tsp of Coconut Oil 

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Method:

  1. Cut chicken into small cubes and fry in a wok using coconut oil on medium heat until chicken is cooked through. Set chicken aside in a bowl.
  2. Place ginger, garlic, chili into a wok on a low heat and gently fry.
  3. Cut the cabbage into square like pieces, nothing too small or it will wilt and go soggy. Place into the wok with garlic, ginger and chili.
  4. Add sesame oil and tamari, stir through so that the sauce is covering the cabbage. Place lid on wok – this will allow the heat to gently steam the cabbage making it soft.  Occasionally stir.
  5. Once cooked combine with chicken and rice.

Jx

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Poached Pears with Cinnamon and Anchor Greek Yoghurt

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Pears are harvested in New Zealand and Australia around February to March and are generally available until May so this is the perfect time to get your pear fix.  Poached pears are a beautiful addition to have on top of muesli, keep in an airtight jar and snack as you go or as a dessert topped with Anchor Greek Style Yoghurt for added sweetness.  Anchor Greek Yoghurt is high in protein and low in fat – deliciously good for you.  It’s thick and creamy, with a tasty fruity layer of either strawberry, passionfruit or pear.  We put some of the leftover poached pears in a smoothie with more of the Anchor Greek Style Yoghurt and some spinach, wow, dream combo!

Anchor Greek Style Yoghurt has no artificial colours or flavours, and comes in a cute little 180g pottle, or a 450g tub. There is also a 950g natural version – perfect for cooking, baking, and amazing in smoothies.  You can pick it up at New World and PAK’n Save stores nationwide.

Ingredients for Cinnamon Poached Pears

3 large Pears, cut into wedges (we used Taylors Gold variety)
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1/4 cup of Coconut Sugar
3 cups of Water
1 teaspoon of Vanilla Essence
180 gram punnet of Anchor Greek Style Yoghurt (we used passionfruit flavour)

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Method

  1. Wash pears and cut into wedges (approximately 4 wedges per pear).
  2. Combine water and sugar in a large sauce pan, break cinnamon sticks into large pieces and also place into the sauce pan.  Cook over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  Once sugar has dissolved add the pear pieces, vanilla essence and stir to combine.  Cut a disc of non-stick baking paper and place over the pears.  Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the pears have softened.
  3. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pears to serving dishes.  Top with some of the liquid, cinnamon sticks and a pottle of yoghurt.

    J&L x

#officialblogger #snackchat

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Massaged Kale Salad

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Kale, not just for green smoothies, you can also use this nutrient powerhouse in your salads! As Kale is course and tough the best way to make it palatable is to massage it.  Yes, literally give it a good massage to soften it up and turn it into your new favorite salad base.  Of course you will need a tasty dressing and the one in this recipe is a winner.

Use the massage kale as a side dish or pile lots of your favorite foods on top and create an epic salad.

Salad Ingredients:
1 bunch of kale
1 cup edamame beans
1/2 red onion, sliced
1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 avocado, sliced

Dressing: 
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
2 Tbsp Balsalmic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to season

Method:
1. Remove spine from the kale leaves and discard spine so that there are just the leaves left.   Wash them thoroughly and dry off.  Chop the leaves into small pieces and place in a bowl.
2. Mix all of the dressing ingredients together. Pour into bowl of kale leaves and with your hands massage the kale gently for a few minutes.  It will soften, go shiny and turn a dark green colour.
3. Add the rest of salad ingredients on top and serve.

Jx

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Vegan Mud Cake with Cashew Icing

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Everyone loves a good chocolate cake recipe so I thought I would experiment and make a chocolate cake that is vegan, therefore free of egg and dairy.  This cake is so beautifully moist, gooey and decadent.

I have used the cashew icing recipe in a few of my previous desserts but I wanted to make a vibrant pink icing for Valentines Day. I initially tried using raspberries but the icing was lumpy and didn’t have a good consistency, I tried again using beetroot and it blended so well and the colour came out so beautiful.

This delectable mud cake is the perfect dessert and it is unbelievably easy to make. I made this for Valentines Day but it would be a hit for any celebration.

Cake Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups of unbleached all-purpose gluten free flour
1 cup of coconut oil, melted.
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
1.5 tsp of baking powder
2.5 tsp of baking soda
1 1/4 cup of raw cacao or cocoa powder
1/3 cup of melted dark chocolate. (I used Whittakers 70% Dark Ghana)
2 tsp of vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups of coconut sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
2 tsp of cinnamon

Icing Ingredients:

1 small beetroot – slice into small cubes (skin off)
1.5 cups of raw cashews
2 Tbsp of melted coconut oil
1.5 Tbsp of vanilla essence

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C and lightly grease 2x 8 inch baking trays.
2. Mix the coconut oil, olive oil, dark chocolate and vanilla essence in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cacao, coconut sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and stir well.  The mixture should be think and creamy with no lumps. If the mixture is too thick, add more melted coconut oil and if the mixture is too wet add more flour or cocoa.
4. Divide the batter and add evenly to the 2 baking trays. Place the trays in the oven.
5. Bake for around 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let the cakes cool before icing.
6. To prepare the icing, blend the cashews, coconut oil and vanilla essence in a blender or food processor.  Slowly add the beetroot until the mixture turns into a vibrant pink colour. If the mixture is too thick, add a small amount of water so it turns into a smooth and fluffy consistency.
7. Once the cake has cooled down, frost the first layer of cake with pink icing. Add the top layer and ice generously. I sprinkled desiccated coconut over mine, alternatively dust with icing sugar or cocoa.

I served mine with a dollop of coconut yogurt but it would also be delicious with dairy free ice-cream. Store in an airtight container in the pantry. Cake should keep for 4-5 days.

Enjoy! L x

 

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Exotic Fruits Iced Tea

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Exotic Fruits Iced Tea

In November I spoke at Red Seal’s launch of their new tea range. Red Seal is a New Zealand owned and operated company, well known for their natural products including supplements, toothpastes and teas.
At the launch I spoke about the benefits of tea and also created two delicious iced tea recipes. One of my favourite flavours of the new range is ‘Exotic Fruits’. Some of the beautiful ingredients this tea includes is:

  • Hibiscus
  • Apple
  • Rosehips
  • Natural Flavouring
  • Orange Peel
  • Pineapple Fruit Juice Granules

I always have a jug of iced tea in my fridge so I can sip on it throughout the day, hydrating on nutrients. If you are wanting to cut out coffee and soda drink consumption, this recipe is going to make it a lot easier to curb any cravings!

Ingredients:

5 Red Seal Exotic Fruits tea bags
2 cups (500 ml) of coconut water
1 cup of boiling water
2 cups of cold water
1 tablespoon of black chia seeds
1 lemon (finely sliced)
1 cup of fresh mint leaves (chopped)
¼ teaspoon of fresh grated turmeric (okay to substitute with powdered turmeric if there is no fresh turmeric on hand)
Ice cubes for serving

Brewing directions:

1. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the tea bags, into a 2 litre container
2. Steep for 5 minutes and then fill the container with 2 cups of cold water and 2 cups of coconut water.
3. Steep for another 5 minutes and then remove the tea bags
4. Place the chia seeds, turmeric, sliced lemon and mint into the container and stir well
5. Pour the tea into glasses and add ice before serving.

L x

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Mini Christmas Pavlovas

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There is a long standing dispute as to whether the humble Pavlova originated in New Zealand or Australia; it seems to be New Zealand who can take claim to fame for this popular Christmas dish (read more here) but I can bet you Aussies will say otherwise.  Regardless of where the Pavlova originated from we can all agree that they are delicious!

This recipe is inspired by Sovereign and their #lifetakecharge mantra. Here, I’ll show you how to take charge of Christmas and enjoy a traditional festive treat without all of the additives!

Most Pavlova recipes call for additions of ingredients such as vinegar, corn flour, icing sugar and a whooollee lot of castor sugar.  I have tried to make these mini pavs as low in sugar as possible, however, there still needs to be an element of sugar in the recipe for the meringues sake, so in this case I have opted for Norbu – a natural sweetener made from Monk Fruit.

Libby has given us some tips on reducing our sugar intake and I have another to add to her list – When baking replace refined sugar with natural sugars. There are plenty of natural sweeteners available at the supermarket or your local health food store so if you are a regular baker little changes like this can make a big difference over time.

I have topped my mini pavs with cream to keep them traditional but if you are dairy free try a coconut yoghurt or goats milk yoghurt (generally suitable for people who are lactose intolerant). The addition of walnuts on top add a nice crunchy texture that compliments the chewy meringue really well.

Makes 6-8 mini pavs

Ingredients:

6x egg whites
1/2 cup sugar (I used norbu – stevia would also work well)
1 cup full fat organic cream
1 tsp pure vanilla essence
1 punnet of strawberries, sliced.
3 kiwi fruit, sliced.
2 passion fruit (to drizzle over top)
Handful of chopped walnuts.

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Method:

1.  Pre heat oven to 160 degrees celsius/fan bake.  Line a tray with baking paper.
2. In a bowl whisk the egg whites until they hold firm peaks.  Then slowly add in the sugar whilst still mixing.
3.  Spoon egg white mixture on to baking tray in circular shapes. Place into the oven and cook for 30 minutes.
4.  Once cooked turn the oven off and leave cooked pavlovas in the oven with the door ajar.
5. Time to prepare the cream.  Add cream and vanilla essence into a bowl. Whisk until nice and firm.
6. Once the pavlovas are cool spoon on cream and flatten out/smooth over with a spatula.
7. Decorate with kiwi fruit, strawberries, passion fruit and chopped walnuts.

If you wish to make the pavlovas in advance they will keep for about 4 days in an airtight container.  Only decorate with cream and fruit on the day that they will be eaten otherwise the liquids will cause the pavlovas to soften and crumble.

Jx

#officialblogger #lifetakecharge

 

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Apple and Elderflower Iced Tea

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Apple and Elderflower Iced Tea

Iced tea has proven to be one of the healthiest drinks available. Not only does it revive you on a hot day, but also adds nutrients to keep you healthy.

Improving health is a multifaceted process. Many of us are already aware of the steps which one needs to take to maintain a healthy life like quit smoking, keeping a check on the level of alcohol consumed, avoiding fried food, and including a lot of fruits and veggies in our everyday diet.

But most of us did not know the fact that drinking a glass of iced tea during the day can take care of most of our problems. Iced tea is rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that keep a check on calories consumed during the day. Not only does it refresh your mind but also improves your health, especially if you are addicted to soda then it is time to change to a healthy cup of iced tea.

If you are into caffeine consumption, a glass of iced tea can balance that out. Not only will it cut down on the consumption of caffeine but will help you get rid of the habit of drinking coffee.

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to talk at Red Seal’s launch of their new tea range. At the launch I spoke about the benefits of tea and also created two delicious iced tea recipes. Red Seal is a New Zealand owned and operated company, well known for their natural products including supplements, toothpastes and teas.

As a herbal tea addict I was so excited to try the new tea flavours which use ingredients such as hibiscus, rose hips, blackberry leaves, elderflowers and orange peel. The teas contain no artificial sweeteners, gluten or caffeine.

A great idea is to make a big jug of iced tea and to keep it in your fridge. Also filling your drink bottle up with iced tea and sipping on it throughout the day is going to provide you with many nutrients.  This recipe is so delicious and great to have if you are wanting to cut down on caffeine, alcohol and soda drink consumption.

Ingredients:
5 Red Seal Apple & Elderflower tea bags
4 cups of sparkling water
1 cup of boiling water
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
3 tablespoons of agave nectar
The juice of one large granny smith apple
Ice cubes for serving
Optional garnish: Mint sprigs and lemon slices

Brewing directions:
1. Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the tea bags, into a 2 litre container
2. Steep for 5 minutes and then fill the container with 4 cups of sparkling water. Steep for another 5 minutes and then remove the tea bags.
3. Place the grated ginger, agave nectar and apple juice into the container and stir well.
4. Pour the tea into glasses and add ice before serving.

L x

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