Eat those fats!

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It’s a beautiful day for lunch in the park. Here is what my husband and I munched on.

For lunches we typically use what’s available in the garden and fridge to make salads. We throw some things together, so each time the combination is different and (usually!!) lovely.

Today’s lunch – a medley of leaves from the garden, sliced avo, thinly sliced veal and beef sausage, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, diced red onion and a drizzle of cold pressed virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar. High in good fats, protein, and vitamins. Perfect!

Remember, if you want your body to use fat as fuel, you have to eat it! If you’re avoiding grains and sugar, good in you, but don’t forget to replace it with good fats that will nourish and satisfy.

E xx

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Nut Jumble Granola

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Crunchy and delicious, this granola is a perfect snack anytime of day! Serve with natural Greek yoghurt for a creamy and satisfying breakfast, or equally delicious, serve with almond milk and berries for a dairy-free option. I eat it straight from the jar.

Nut Jumble Granola is gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I try to keep things as natural, whole, and unprocessed as possible. Sadly, many supermarket cereals and muesli are packed full of sugar and additives. High levels of sugar, hidden in most packet foods, increase insulin resistance and body-fat storage. Additives and synthetic ingredients overwhelm the liver with its job – to detoxify your body.

Nuts, seeds and coconut are nutrient dense. They contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential to growth and repair. Not only that, but the mono- and poly-unsaturated fats are heart-healthy; working to manage inflammation and lower cholesterol. Coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides, which are absorbed and converted by the liver directly into energy to be used by the body, and so they are unlikely to be stored as body fat. As the experts are saying – you have to eat fat to burn fat!

Cacao powder has been used in this recipe. Cacao is labelled a superfood for its high levels of antioxidants, magnesium and iron. It makes Nut Jumble Granola chocolatey and decadent, however, if you are not such a sweet-tooth feel free to omit the cacao and/or honey. Try adding cinnamon or ginger to create something a little different.

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Recipe

1.5C brazil nuts
1.5C almonds
1C coconut flakes
1C pumpkin seeds
1/2C chia seeds
1/2C sesame seeds
1C goji berries
3/4C coconut oil
1/3C honey
2 to 3T cacao powder

– Preheat oven to 130 degrees Celsius, fanbake.
– Roughly chop all nuts and spread out on large baking tray. Melt oil and honey together and pour over the nuts. Add the cacao powder. Stir to coat evenly.
– Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. Keep an eye on this process – there is nothing worse than burning a tray of expensive nuts!
– Remove from the oven and stir through the coconut flakes, seeds, and goji berries. Return to the oven for a final 5-10 minutes.
– Cool before storing in sterilised jars. Will keep for 2 – 3 weeks.

Emma xx

I am inspired by the Whole Pantry App’s Cinnamon and Cacao Granola. This a wonderful app with beautiful recipes – find out about it here. The Whole Pantry App

Parmesan, Parsley and Pistachio Pesto

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This is an easy-breezy, beautiful, and flavoursome condiment. Use as part of an antipasto platter, to flavour a salad or sandwich, or in my recipe for Pesto Baked Chicken and Prosciutto. Recipe for that one later.

What’s more, this pesto is overflowing with goodness that will bless your health.

Each of the five simple ingredients – garlic, olive oil, parsley, pistachios, and parmesan – are powerful in their own way. Today I’ll share with you a bit about the first ingredient, as I use it in almost everything, and for good reason!

Garlic

The multifarious medicinal properties of this herb have been bragged about down the centuries. In medieval times, garlic was said to cure the common cold, the flu, and even the plague. Perhaps due to the strength of its odour, strings of aged garlic were strung around houses to ward off evil spirits, such was garlic’s perceived potency!

The two components of garlic worth mentioning are allicin and diallyl sulphides. Both compounds have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. They have been used to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, to fight cancer and other degenerative diseases. They also function as antioxidants. There you go – so many reasons to flavour your food with garlic!

The digestion of allicin any diallyl sulphides are what lead to garlic breath, and can even cause a pungent skin odour for days after consumption. But don’t let that put you off! Read about garlic here.

Recipe

4 small-medium cloves garlic (use less if you’re not as much of a fan as I am)
3/4C extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil
2.5C parsley, chopped
1.5C pistachios
3/4C parmesan, finely grated

Place all ingredients into food processor and blend until well combined. Add more or less olive oil to taste.

Pumpkin-top Lamb Curry Pie

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Today for dinner all I wanted was pie. Hot, tasty, comforting pie. Ever in search of making food more creative and more nourishing, I made a dairy and gluten free pie using only whole food ingredients. So not only does this special pie suit all dietary requirements, it is sweet, creamy, and scrumptious.

For the pastry I have used only almond meal, coconut oil and eggs. Coconut oil has many health benefits, one being that it is able to be converted directly into energy by the liver, and therefore is less likely to be stored as body fat. Almond meal (simply ground almonds) offers all the nutrients that are packed into almonds: vitamin E, copper, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and iron. These nutrients are essential to many bodily functions – including skin and nail health and function.

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

Pie Filling

1kg lamb leg steak, cut into chunks
3 onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3T fresh ginger, finely chopped
3T mild curry powder
2T mixed spice
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
400g tin crushed tomatoes
3T tomato paste
165mL coconut cream
2C beef or lamb stock
3T coconut oil (for frying)

Pie Crust

350g almond meal
3T coconut oil
2 eggs

Pie Topping

2/3 medium butternut pumpkin, grated without skin
1T coconut oil

Method

I recommend chopping and preparing all ingredients before starting to cook. This makes the process more enjoyable and relaxed, and you are less likely to come out the other side with a kitchen that resembles a bomb site!

– Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
– In a deep pan, brown the lamb in batches and set aside.
– Lightly fry the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and spices in a few tablespoons of coconut oil, stirring regularly to avoid burning. Keep a eye on this as the spices suck up a lot of moisture.
– When the onion is translucent and the spices are fragrant, put the browned lamb back into the pan. Follow with the stock, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and coconut cream.
– Allow the curry to simmer for half an hour while the other ingredients are prepared.

To make the pastry, simply combine all ingredients in a food processor. Mould the pastry thinly to the base and sides of the pie dish. Prick the base with a fork, and blind bake in the hot oven for 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn oven down to 180.

Grate pumpkin and combine with 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, to encourage it to bind together a bit more when baked.

Spoon the curry into the prepared pastry base. Cover with the pumpkin topping and press down lightly with your hands.

Pop the pie into the oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with a light green salad. Torn kale leaves, lettuce and crunchy cucumber compliment the creamy, sweet pumpkin perfectly. Enjoy!

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Mop up the juices with greens… For many reasons

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Although not apparent in the photo above, my husband is eating his heart-healthy fats and protein breakfast on a bed of wilted spinach and chopped fresh tomato. No bread in sight!

Although not against eating grains in and of themselves, I’m a big supporter of replacing processed bread (which is often highly refined and contains some synthetic ingredients that your liver just doesn’t need to deal with) with leafy greens, and increasing plant intake.

Why? I’m currently devouring (not literally) Dr Libby Weaver’s book Beauty From The Inside Out and she offers many reasons to increase your intake of leafy greens.

Here are a few. Leafy greens…

1. Are good sources of soluble and insoluble fibre, which supports gut health and regular bowel movements.
2. Contain essential vitamins and minerals.
3. Contain amino acids, which are vital for immune support, muscle growth and repair.
4. Enhance the quality of your blood by supporting optimal blood pH – more on that later.

Lastly, they are great for mopping up tasty juices! So why not try replacing some grains with greens today?

You can find out more about Dr Libby Weaver here.

Chocolate super mousse

Here I present you with a chocolatey, smooth and satisfying treat. However, it is a treat you can enjoy every day and know you are blessing your body!

This recipe can be enjoyed as a smoothie (slacken with added water to preferred consistency), or it can be savoured as a tasty dessert mousse, sure to satisfy even the sceptics out there (you know who I’m talking about!).

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You need:

1 large avocado
2 ripe or frozen bananas
Big handful pumpkin seeds
1C blueberries and strawberries
1t vanilla bean extract
2T honey
3T cocoa
1 large cup water, or to taste

Put all ingredients apart from honey and water into food processor and blend until the consistency is smooth. Taste and add honey to sweeten to taste, and water to reach desired consistency. Pour into a glass to drink as a smoothie or into a dessert glass to enjoy as mousse!

The wonder of fresh, simple ingredients

It is my opinion that too often we over complicate the process of preparing a flavoursome meal. Yet, the old adage holds true – fresh, beautiful ingredients create the best-tasting dishes.

We are on holiday at the moment, and that means a few things – stunning summer produce, easy trips to orchards and the farm gate, and not wanting to spend time in the kitchen when we could be at the beach.

Last night we found ourselves in transit, short on the usual spices, herbs and condiments, so we got creative with what we had: fresh, beautiful veges from the orchard near where we were staying!

So we used our intuition and creativity, and whipped this up in about 20 minutes:

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And what a flavoursome meal it was! Healthy, whole,and nourishing. Smashed avocado and lemon, crudités, quinoa and amaranth gently flavoured with wild mint and parsley, and of course, salt and pepper steak. Delish!