My Irresistible Homemade Hummus

Lately, I’ve been on the Hummus wagon.

I fell off for a while whilst I was struggling with IBS. To manage it my doctor had me on a low FODMAP diet where legumes are 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 making a savoury hummus at home.

I find homemade hummus much more flavourful than the store bought kind, and it’s a brilliant way to get plant-based protein, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and healthy fats in.

As I’m also (weirdly) addicted to green olives, I’ve added them to the recipe as well – feel free to exclude them if you’re not as keen.

Blend the following until smooth, and try it yourself:

  1. 400g canned chickpeas (washed & drained)
  2. 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).
  3. Lots of Paprika
  4. 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 3 tbsp water
  6. 10 green olives, pitted and stuffed with pimento

Have you made your own hummus before?

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

New & Improved Acai Bowl Recipe

Acai Bowls have been a craze in Sydney for a while now, with so many acai-focused places popping up that I have compiled a mental list of spots for the best bowls in the city; check out Bare Naked Bowls, The Fruitologist and Coco Bliss.

Every now and again (usually when my bank balance is looking sheepish) I make a cheap, easy, TASTY, acai bowl at home. Below is my updated recipe, but check out different acai bowls in my previous posts.

The ingredients are inexpensive and can be picked up at your local Supermarket, except for the actual acai powder. Every brand seems to want to charge exorbitant prices for a tiny bag of acai.

My hack is the Creative Gourmet Organic Acai Puree (AUD $8), or the Tropeaka Acai Powder (AUD $34)

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For my recipe you will need:

  1. 1 x Creative Gourmet Organic Acai Puree pack OR 1 tbsp Tropeaka acai powder.
  2. 20g Smooth Peanut Butter (Mayvers is my favourite)
  3. 50g frozen strawberries
  4. 50g frozen blueberries
  5. 1/2 cup water or more as needed
  6. 1 medium banana
  7. Dried Chia seeds
  8. Shredded Coconut

Approximately 340 calories. Time: 10 minutes

Method:

  1. Blend the acai, water and frozen berries until thick smoothie consistency is formed.
  2. Pour blended mixture into a bowl.
  3. Chop up the banana and place on top, and drizzle with peanut butter. Sprinkle the chia seeds and shredded coconut on top (tasty added health benefits).

Mmmm! xx Have you made acai bowls before?

Cauliflower Pizza & Movie Night

On the weekends, I try to whip up something a little fancier than protein and veggies for a bit of a change – Thai green curry, lamb roast, or laksa for example.

Tonight I decided to keep it simple and throw together a pizza. It turned out to have quite an eclectic mix of toppings because I had bits and bobs of leftover food I wanted to use.

I used butternut pumpkin, asparagus, basil, low-fat mozzarella, a tomato, roasted peri peri chicken slices, shallots and a tin of champignon mushrooms (the mushrooms were a bit random.. don’t know if I’d do it again).

For the base, I used Picasso Kitchen Cauliflower Base! It was delicious! Only 282 calories in the entire base. You can also make your own Cauliflower base if you are feeling creative.

The best part was that it was only 15 minutes from when I started cooking to serving the meal. This was perfect because I was having a hungry day and I just wanted to eat!

I winged the tomato sauce by blending 3 tbsp greek yoghurt, basil and 1 whole tomato. All the pizza needed was 10 minutes at 200˚C in the oven before it was ready to eat.

We ate our pizza’s while watching The Intouchables – if you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it.

xx

A Delicious Alternative to Restaurant Bought Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken is one of my favourite dishes. So, I decided to develop a healthier recipe so that I could enjoy it more nights of the week. Every now and again I do like to enjoy the real thing. If you live in Sydney, Nilgiris does a fantastic butter chicken that I would recommend.

For my homemade butter chicken I substitute the butter, cream and naan for other, leaner flavours.

For one serving:

  • 150g chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt (or plain dairy free yoghurt).
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Handful of slivered Almonds
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (you can try other oils if you like, but I find that olive oil gives the best flavour)
  • Couple of sprigs of coriander, chopped finely
  • Sprinkle of salt and garlic powder
  • 3/4 tbsp of Garam Masala for more authentic flavour
  • Vegetable stock or water, to add if the paste becomes too thick

After mixing everything except the chicken thighs and yoghurt together in a bowl, chop the chicken thighs into small pieces and mix them in with the paste you just made. Then fry the bowl contents on medium-high heat, and once the mix is done stir through the Greek yoghurt.

It’s as easy as that!

I usually serve this with some falafels or brown rice for a nutritious source of healthy carbs!

xx

Fresh Acai Bowl’s for Breakfast!

And I’m back after a huge dry patch of not posting – I’m sorry! I’ve been busy perfecting my Acai bowl recipe.

For those who don’t know what an acai bowl is, it’s a smoothie decorated with crunchy, fruity garnishes and dollops of nut butter. Except, you eat it out of a bowl – like soup!

Acai (pronounced ah sah ee) powder comes from the Acai berry, which comes from the Amazon region. The berries are packed with nutrients, providing a dense source of antioxidants that fight harmful free radicals in the body.

The recipe is very simple, but once you are done with all the different colourful toppings and it begins to look like quite a fancy breakfast dish.

You’ll need to use a blender to whizz all the ingredients together. I use my Nutribullet, which is by far the most powerful blender I’ve ever owned.

For the base:

  • One pitted Medjool date
  • 1 tbsp Acai powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1.5 cup mixed berries
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbsp of peanut butter (any nut/seed butter will do)
  • 1 cup spinach

For the topping, you can use any combination of:

  • Chopped banana
  • Goji Berries
  • Shaved Coconut
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Crushed Walnuts
  • Almond Butter, Peanut Butter, Cashew Butter, ABC Butter
  • Muesli
  • Honey or Maple Syrup (if you are craving extra sweetness)

And voila! Enjoy. Have you tried Acai Bowls before?

xx

Attempting to make Raw Vegan ‘Cheese’ Cakes

I’m not a vegan, and definitely not a raw vegan, but I’ve recently wanted to educate myself on the diet by trying out some recipes.

Yes that’s no animal products, by-products, and nothing can be cooked. Check out YouTuber Kate Flower’s who follows the raw vegan diet, and provides lots of insight into the lifestyle.

I decided to challenge myself to create a raw vegan ‘cheese’ cake recipe. I took inspiration from Choosing Chia‘s recipe and The Loopy Whisk’s post, to guide me and make sure they weren’t a complete flop.

What’s important in this recipe is the fruit! Add more berries to the topping for more flavour.

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup Medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup white quinoa
  • Slice of lemon
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 6 heaped teaspoons coconut yogurt 
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Half tablespoon maple syrup
  • blueberries for topping
  • raspberries for topping

Method
Base

  1. Soak dates in boiling water for 15 minutes
  2. Line cupcake tray with casings
  3. Drain dates
  4. Put dates and cashews in blender and blend until a paste forms.
  5. Press paste into bottom of cupcake casings and put in fridge

‘Cheese’ Cake

  1. Blend white quinoa, juice of the lemon, coconut oil, yogurt, coconut milk until smooth and creamy
  2. Empty mix into a bowl
  3. Mix in vanilla extract (more can be added depending on desired taste)
  4. Pour mixture into cupcake casings on top of base.
  5. Place raspberries and blueberries on top of cakes
  6. Place in freezer for 4 hours
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