High Protein, High Fibre, Summer Smoothie Bowl

I’m constantly devising new smoothie recipes, so its no wonder that my blog is full of smoothie variations (see my detox smoothie, my green tea smoothie, and my acai bowls). There are just endless combinations.

This summer smoothie bowl I have created with a focus on vitality, protein and fibre. The key ingredient here is the Cacao Macadamia Raw Slim &  Tone Protein by Amazoniathis stuff has 7.5mg of iron and is 76% protein, which is fantastic for reducing fatigue and boosting energy.

This powder gives the smoothie bowl an irresistible nutty chocolate taste, as well as packing it with protein and iron for satiety and energy throughout the day. 

In my bowl I have: 

  • 30g Slim & Tone Protein 
  • 1 cup baby spinach – a great source of vitamin C for immune health
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries – for fibre, to help your body digest the protein
  • 1/2 cup almond milk 
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husks – brilliant for digestion as high in fibre
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • You can also add some extra nutrients such as the collagen and pro/pre-biotic powders from Vida Glow and The Beauty Chef

Whip these up in a blender, and pour them into a bowl. I like to garnish with Carman’s fruit free muesli, seasonal fruits, healthy nut butter’s from Mayvers.

Breakdown
Calories: 219 (335 with 1 tbsp peanut butter topping) 
Protein: 26g
Fat: 5g | Fiber: 14g | Carbs: 23g
Prep time: 5 mins

xx

Falling in Love with Poke Bowls

For those who don’t know, Poke pronounced “poh-kay”, is a native Hawaiian dish of diced raw fish in some sort of marinade.

For most, raw fish probably doesn’t seem appetising, but when whipped up in a salad-style bowl with an assortment of other flavours it’s to die for. Raw fish is also beneficial for heart health, weight loss, and contains vitamin A and D (see more here).

I got onto the poke bowl trend after discovering a restaurant (Greenhouse Asian Salads), which does a brilliant Poke bowl with tuna, black rice, soybeans, wasabi peas, and veggies.

I must have been going on about how much I loved Poke because a friend bought me a poke recipe book (probably to stop me from dragging her all over the place to try different poke bowls).

To make them yourself, you need a protein, base, salad, marinade, and some toppings for extra flavour and crunch. Here are my favourite combinations:

  1. Protein
    1. Diced Raw Tuna in Mayo
    2. Diced Raw Salmon in Soy Sauce
  2. Base
    1. Black Rice
    2. Quinoa
  3. Salad
    1. Shaved Carrots
    2. Green Papaya
    3. Roast Corn
    4. Edamame Beans
  4. Dressing
    1. Balsamic Glaze
    2. Roasted Sesame Dressing
    3. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    4. Sesame Oil
  5. Toppings
    1. Wasabi Peas
    2. Seaweed Salad
    3. Dried Seaweed (Nori)
    4. Sesame Seeds

Each time I make a poke bowl I mix it up with a variation of the above! Let me know if you try it.

p.s. If you live in Sydney and want to have Poke in a restaurant, try Poke, Nude Fish, Fishbowl (Japanese twist) or Pokéd.

xx

Start the day right: Low FODMAP Fluffy Protein Pancakes

I’ve recently transitioned back to the low FODMAP diet, following the recommendation from my dietician, as my gut has been giving me problems again.

The low FODMAP diet reduces foods that may give people stomach pain and discomfort. I usually do the diet for 6 weeks or so, and then when I’m feeling better I slowly introduce other foods.

If you are not familiar with foods eliminated from the diet, head over to the the MONASH website to read more.

Although the diet is pretty restrictive, I’ve been changing up some of my favourite recipes to suit a low FODMAP lifestyle.

These pancakes are 100 calories each, and because of the extra protein, the meal keeps me full until lunch.

Why is protein for breakfast important?

Protein is an important macronutrient for muscle growth, tissue repair and recovery. You want to make sure you are getting a healthy serving of protein in the morning so that your body can use the day to develop and maintain its lean muscle. Protein also helps to keep you full, so having it for breakfast stops you from getting ravenously hungry at 3-4pm and binging on unhealthy foods in the pantry.

The protein powder in the recipe: The protein powder you choose really makes the pancake – so make sure you choose a protein powder you enjoy the taste of. Prana Plant Protein and Vida Glow are two of my to-die-for brands, as I really crave a sweeter protein mix, and I prefer plant-based formulas. Note that soy protein is not low FODMAP, go for brown rice protein or pea protein.

The Recipe

You will need:

  1. 25g Chocolate Protein Powder
  2. 1/3 Cup rolled oats (Use coconut flour for the gluten free option)
  3. 100ml almond milk
  4. Pinch of Salt
  5. Pinch of Cinnamon
  6. 1 egg or 1 tbsp chia seeds
  7. 1/4 tsp baking powder
  8. Coconut oil for cooking
  9. Peanut butter, blueberries (no more than 40g), chopped banana for topping (no more than 100g).
  10. Sometimes I also add Vida Glows Cacao Maple Beauty Skin Formula for collagen production, a probiotic boost and some great Omega 3’s.

Method:

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender to form a thick batter
  2. Heat a fry-pan to a medium-high heat and grease pan with coconut oil.
  3. Pour the batter into circle shapes the size of your palm and cook each for about 3 minutes. Flip when you first see bubbles forming on the top of the batter.
  4. EAT & ENJOY

xx

Pancakes: Breakfast with me!

Hands down my favourite breakfast is pancakes. Although scrambled eggs & avo on sourdough comes pretty close.

There’s nothing better than a tower of soft, fluffy pancakes, covered in delicious toppings.

This morning I woke up with a burning desire for pancakes.

I like to mix up my pancake toppings: it’s usually a compilation of nut butter (I’m addicted to Mayver’s peanut butter), fresh & frozen fruits, sugar free maple syrup, chia seeds, coconut yogurt, caco nibs, dried fruit & nuts, or regular vanilla yogurt.

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Today I went with frozen blueberries and a very thick drizzle of almond butter for the topping. For the pancakes themselves I blended 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup oats, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds, and a pinch of cinnamon and salt. I cooked this on a medium-high heat.

I wanted to address almond milk. If you are interested in the alternatives to cow’s milk, you have probably heard whispers about almond milk being part of a fad health craze, or that it just doesn’t taste good.

I investigated almond milk, and whilst it does have far less protein and calcium than soy milk and cows milk, it is a great option if you are looking for something lighter to go with a protein dense meal (such as peanut butter drenched pancakes). In terms of the taste, I’ve love it, but perhaps it is an acquired taste for some. Give the chocolate or sweetened versions a go for a while before you switch to plain, unsweetened almond milk.

Hope you have a lovely Friday leading into an even better weekend. I’ve got lots planned – this one’s meant to be sunny in Sydney!! Stay tuned for more recipes and adventures 🙂

xx

New Brunch Spots, High Tea, and Health Shots

Thankfully its been warm, sunny weather in Sydney, and as we FINALLY turn into Summer and Uni has finished, I’ve been trying to catch up with all my friends whenever I can around work.

I’ve been dotting around Sydney trying some good (and not so good) places. There are a couple I would highly recommend.

Flowerchild is a sweet little cafe in both Brookvale and Chatswood and I’ve managed to go to both in the past fortnight. It’s has dainty, flower embellished decor and serving up platters that look more like works of art than meals.

I’ve also been having scone cravings lately. I’ve tried baking some myself, but my favourites are from The Tea Cosy in the Rocks. We indulged in cheesy scones with smoked salmon, sour cream and chives, alongside some classic scones with strawberry jam, thick cream and Nanna’s Apple Pie Tea. This was a fruity, warming black tea that reminded me of Christmas – you can buy it in their shop!

I also tried out Momo Bar in Manly, who brought the Poké trend to Sydney. I had the Tiki Bowl: edamame, cabbage, seaweed, ginger, onion, carrot and fried shallots, with roasted sesame sauce. Delicious!

I have also had incredible brunches (i.e. A LOT of smashed avo on toast) at Laneway, The North Spoon, Wild Sage and The Bellagio Cafe.

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Momo Bar Manly – Tiki Bowl

Another thing I’ve caught onto lately is the health shot trend. These supposedly prevent you from low immune, and at first I was a little sceptical.

However, after looking into the argument for them, it makes a lot of sense – it’s a little shot packed with all the good-immune-boosting stuff.

I’ve been making my own health shots to accompany morning tea. They are bitter and slightly off-putting so you will need a palette cleansing chaser. I blend kale, mixed leafy greens, water, turmeric, and chia seeds.

If you’re struggling with low immune, or just want to boost your daily nutrients, it’s something I would try!

xx

A salad to suit the season?

Reading over and editing this post I realised how many times I used the word Spring. I’m sorry but unfortunately Oxford dictionary doesn’t have any good alternatives.

***

We’re getting to the end of Spring over here in Australia, and although I’m excited about the beachy climate that summer is bringing, it’s sad to see those cool, breezy Spring days fade away.

Because Spring is the season before Summer, it’s the time every gym membership goes on sale, Halloween stashes quickly get thrown out, and green smoothies and salads are glorified.

The idea of munching on a bowl of bitter green leaves drizzled with vinaigrette sounds highly unappetizing to me, but with the right ingredients they can taste great and they ensure you are packing your daily greens in.

So, I created the perfect Spring salad, with protein, healthy fats and a range of different flavours.

You will need:

  • 1 medium tomato – reduce risk of heart disease and cancer
  • 135g tinned salmon – rich in omega 3 fatty acids and a great source of protein.
  • Mixed green lettuce leaves
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • Heaped tsp of dried chia seeds – high in omega 3s, fibre, and provide a delicious crunch to the dish.
  • 100g chopped canned beetroot
  • 50g avocado – source of filling, healthy fats.

Cost: AUD 10   Calories: 380

Perfect! xx

A café that only sells salads? My verdict.

An all salad restaurant sounds like the type of thing I would politely decline. Although I love eating healthy and exploring nutritious food options, I don’t advocate eating solely lettuce as a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I sound like a salad hater, and that’s only because the salads on restaurant menus are usually comprised of whole cherry tomatoes, 3 salad leaves and a weak amount of dressing if you’re lucky.

If a salad can be done deliciously.. I’m all in.

Greenhouse Asian Salads has just opened in Sydney and offers a range of exotic salads, which experiment with green tea noodles, chicken wontons, green papaya, white sesame and more.

I decided to head over because reading the menu, every single option had a mix of flavours that sounded mouth-watering.

I opted for the Green House #1, a vegan salad with tofu, green tea noodle, avocado, cucumber, carrot, red radish, cashews and sesame seeds. However, what made it wonderful was the coconut soy dressing. This tied the whole dish together with a sweet tang that left me wanting more.

Mum went for the Naughty Tuna, which was delicious – a mix of tuna, green tea noodles, edamame soybeans and cashews with wasabi dressing.

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Unexpectedly this café trumped a lot of dining places I’ve been to this year, many of which have menus that offer a range of wonderfully diverse cuisines and dishes.

So, I’ll take back my salad prejudice and highly recommend this very green, very healthy and VERY yummy lunch destination.

Let me know if you try it out!

xx

My Delicious Detox Smoothie

Mmm a smoothie is the perfect breakfast when you wake up on a hot day.

A lot can go into a smoothie (and sometimes I do go a bit overboard), so it’s important to fill them with beneficial ingredients. Sometimes I can go a bit overboard on the cacao powder and peanut butter that the smoothie isn’t as nutritious as I had hoped (still healthy relative to a thick shake).

Below is my recipe for a quick, healthy and FILLING smoothie for breakfast. This thing keeps me full until lunch, and I’ve made sure I packed it full of ingredients with wonderful health benefits.

It’s the perfect smoothie if you’ve had an indulgent week (or perhaps a big night) and you want to boost your system with beneficial vitamins and minerals.

You will need:

  • 1 cup spinach – high in protein, fibre, vitamins.
  • 1 tsp turmeric – contains curcumin which increases your immune.
  • 1/4 cup almond milk – rich in protein and calcium.
  • 1/2 cup blueberries – antioxidants combat ageing and boost cognition.
  • 1/2 cup strawberries – source of manganese and potassium.
  • Ice
  • 1/2 banana – great for your daily intake of vitamin B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and potassium.
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds – loaded with nutrients for hardly any calories.
  • 1 tbsp greek yoghurt – makes you feel full and has great probiotics (The Wise Bunny has great Dairy alternatives)
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Blend them…

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Enjoy!

xx

If you have any good smoothie recipes please share them with me! I’d love to try them.

Banana and Almond Muffins? Yes pleaaassee

You know when you have that sudden craving to bake? Well, I experienced this at about 11pm last night and stayed up until midnight baking & feasting away.

I usually head straight for the cacao and dates to make something super chocolatey, fudgy and sweet, but for some reason today my eye caught the two overripe bananas that were sitting on the kitchen ledge.

So, I preheated the oven to 180˚C and gathered together what I could find in the pantry for my banana and almond muffins. These can be vegan and are gluten free.

I used almond meal instead of ordinary flour, as it is high in protein and vitamin E – providing essential nutrients whilst filling you up (read more here). The bananas are the perfect natural sweetener, and they provide a sweet note as well as potassium and fibre.

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Sprinkle of salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (use an egg replacer for the vegan option)
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp almond milk (or any milk of your choosing)

I popped the dry ingredients into a blender, whisked them together (make sure the oats are ground into a fine powder) and poured them into a bowl. Then I blended the wet ingredients to form a runny mixture, which I combined in the bowl with the dry ingredients.

I placed about 2 heaped spoonfuls of mixture into 8 lined cupcake tins. All they needed was 30 minutes in the oven (check with a skewer – no mixture residue should be on it when you poke it through the middle of a muffin), and they were done. Voila!

xx

Nutritional Breakdown (per serve):

  • 137 calories/572 kilojoules
  • 5.0g Protein
  • 8.5g Fat (0.8g Saturated)
  • 9.0g Carbs
  • 43mg Sodium

I found Vegan Yum Cha and it didn’t disappoint 

Wait… doesn’t Yum Cha involve selections of pork buns, prawn/pork dumplings, beef entrails, spiced meatballs, chicken wrapped in lotus leaf?

The Green Gourmet offers a plant-based Yum Cha menu. From fake-Beijing-duck wraps and chia seed ‘prawn’ dumplings to BBQ-not pork buns and taro meatballs, they have it all.

From the outside, the restaurant doesn’t look like much. A (green) hole in the wall, sitting on a major Highway amongst the barking traffic. It’s a gem only locals know about. Inside soft music plays, customers sit at homely wooden tables and the tasty food is served quickly by the friendly staff.

My cuisine craving this week was Chinese. After visiting 45 Broughton Chinese Takeaway on Wednesday night for delicious stir fried black fungi & greens in oyster sauce, sweet & sour chicken, (real) pork buns and San Choy Bow, by Saturday I wanted more.

My friend and I decided to order a Green Gourmet feast whilst doing a Harry Potter movie marathon (the perfect combination).

We ordered the Deluxe Gourmet Entrée which, for $32 together, gave us a selection of BBQ-not-pork satay skewers, ‘oyster’ (mushroom) fritters, steamed dumplings and burdock salad. To complement the entrée range we ordered stir fried veggies in soy sauce, shangtung-not-chicken and finished the meal off with peppermint tea and dark chocolate.

The Green Gourmet also does a fantastic selection of homemade vegan desserts; ‘monkey choccy’ sponge cake, lemon and berry ‘cheesecake’, Oreo chocolate cake (to name a few). But we didn’t have much of a sweet tooth that night so decided to give them a miss.

The Green Gourmet has two locations – St Leonards and Newtown. If you’re in the area definitely give it a try!

xx