I fell off for a while whilst I was struggling with IBS. To manage it, I had to stick to a strict low FODMAP diet where legumes are unfortunately not allowed.
Now that I’m able to eat them again I’ve been using beans and lentils wherever I can. If you love chickpeas too you have to try Pamela Reif’s inventive cookie dough recipe – chickpeas are involved…
If you’re not adventurous enough to try chickpea based desserts, try a homemade hummus.
I find homemade hummus much more flavourful and fresh than the store bought kind, and it’s a brilliant way to get plant-based protein, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and healthy fats in.
I’m also weirdly addicted to green olives, so I’ve perfected a recipe that incorporates them too.
Blend the following until smooth, and try it yourself:
400g canned, washed & drained chickpeas
Healthy dose of lemon, herb and garlic seasoning (I find the Masterfood’s blend the perfect amount of zest and flavour, but you can always use an actual squeeze of lemon, mixed herbs, and a clove of garlic).
For those who don’t know, Poke (pronounced “poh-kay”) is a native Hawaiian dish of diced raw fish, usually in some sort of marinade.
For some, raw fish alone probably doesn’t seem appetising, but when whipped up in a salad-style bowl with an assortment of other flavours – trust me it’s to die for. Raw fish is also a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals – see more on the health benefits 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 the bowls, because a friend bought me a poke recipe book (probably to stop me from dragging her all about Sydney to taste different poke bowls). After trying a couple of the different combinations, I figured you basically need a protein, base, salad, marinade, and some toppings for extra taste. Here are my favourite combinations:
Diced Raw Tuna in Mayo
Diced Raw Salmon in Soy Sauce
Roasted Sesame Dressing
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Dried Seaweed (Nori)
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. Here are some of my other favourite poke bowl spots:
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. For some reason (I’m not complaining) the most convenient thing has been brunch.
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 a dainty and graceful vibe serving up platters that look more like works of art than meals.
I’ve also been having the weirdest scone cravings lately – so I hit up The Tea Cosy in the (iconic) Rocks, where 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 (a fruity, warming black tea that reminded me of Xmas Markets).
Another thing I’ve caught onto lately is the health shot trend. What’s the purpose you ask? They are meant to prevent you from low immune, and at first I was a little skeptical.
However, after looking into them it actually 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 (note: they are incredibly bitter/sour/off-putting and you will need a palette cleansing chaser). I throw kale, mixed leafy greens, water, turmeric, and chia seeds into the blender and down that with a banana (the chaser).
If you’re struggling with low immune, or just want to get all your daily nutrients in one go, it’s something I would definitely try!
Today is my day off and I’m going to do the last of my Christmas shopping. I’ve already dropped $500 on presents this December, and I still have some bits and pieces I want to pick up. Looks like another expensive day, but it’ll all be worth it when Dec 25th rocks round.
You know when you have that sudden craving to bake? Well I experienced this at about 11pm last night and I just had to go with it.
I usually head straight for the cacao and medjool dates to make something super chocolatey-infused, gooey 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 filling banana and almond muffins. These can be made vegan and are gluten free.
I just 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 together to form a runny mixture, which I combined in the bowl with the dry ingredients.
Next I mixed all the ingredients together in the bowl, and placed about 2 heaped spoonfuls of mixture into 8 lined cupcake tins. All they needed was around 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!
I am the number one culprit when it comes to getting hungry when I’m bored.
To stop me from standing in the pantry and eating everything in sight, I have five healthy snacks that I go for when hunger strikes.
Carrot sticks & Hummous – carrot has to be my favourite veggie because of its sweetness, and Pilpel Hummus is my go-to bought hummus because it has so much flavour but doesn’t have garlic in it.
Dried fruit/nut mix – handful of pecans, pepitas, dried apricots, sultanas and walnuts. The fruits satisfy that sweet craving and the nuts fill you up.
Carman’s Nut Bar – Carman’s does such a great range of healthy muesli bars, if your local supermarket stocks them I would definitely recommend checking them out. They are the perfect snack, and funnily enough I got up at 2am the other night because my stomach was rumbling, and a Carmen’s nut bar was the perfect fix to send me back to sleep.
Popcorn – try to avoid popcorns that are doused in butter, just plain corn kernels will do the trick.
Sugarless banana & oatmeal cookies (my own recipe) – note that ‘sugarless’ just means free from processed sugar – but they make up for that in maple syrup and fruity flavour.
Sugarless Banana/Oatmeal Cookies Recipe
I have been making batches of these for longer than I can remember because they are the perfect moreish snack, especially when I’m on the go.
You will need:
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Sprinkle of salt
1/4 cup olive oil (be ready to add more in case your mixture is too dry)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sultanas
2 soft bananas
1/3 cup pepitas
2 tbsp maple syrup
Handful of pecans (to decorate)
Feel free to add chocolate chunks if that’s your thing – I LOVE Pico Super Dark chocolate to bake with.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Mix the oats, flour, cinnamon, salt, sultanas, bananas and pepitas together in a large bowl. Then, add the olive oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup and stir to combine.
Add extra olive oil until the mixture is cookie dough consistency. Roll into small cookie sized balls and whack in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes (or until golden brown).
Bread & Circus Wholefoods Canteen combines fairytale and farmers market in Alexandria’s very own Foodie Warehouse. The cafe was just a 15 minute stroll from Erskineville station.
This cafe gives a new meaning to flexitarian, with great brekkie and lunch options that let you unleash your inner vegetarian (with some cheats).
For breakfast, you can choose to indulge in biodynamic eggs flavoured with parmesan, herbs and truffle oil, or treat yourself to their must-have cardamom spiced banana bread. Each meal is around $20, but if you don’t want to break the budget you can get fluffy biodynamic essene bread with avo for $10.
For lunch you can discover roasted beetroot topped with warm goats cheese or keep an eye out for their ‘sandwich boxes’ with preservative free ham or grass-fed sustainable beef. The menu changes daily, so you’ll want to go back again (and again) for more.
Get your coffee fix with their blends that use beans from Columbia and Guatemala. Tea junkies are spoilt with an array of black and herbal delights, my favourite was the Himalayan Earl Grey.
The canteen has a dreamlike feel with its light wood benches and pastel pink walls, which are bountifully decorated with fresh fruits and veggies.
I went with a close friend, and it was the perfect cafe for brunch to catch up, so definitely make a date and enjoy this hidden gem.