My Irresistible Homemade Hummus

Lately I’ve been back on the Hummus wagon.

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:

  1. 400g canned, washed & drained chickpeas
  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

A salad to suit the season?

Reading over and editing this post I realised how many times I used the word Spring. It starts to sound funny if you say it too many times, 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, holidaying climate that summer is bringing, it’s sad to see those cool, breezy Spring days go.

Because Spring is the season before Summer, here in the Southern Hemisphere, its 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 I am reminding myself not to be too cynical about salads – with the right ingredients they can taste great, and they do have numerous health benefits.

So this Spring I worked with some of my favourite ingredients to create the perfect Spring salad.

You will need:

  • 1 medium common tomato
  • 135g tinned salmon
  • Mixed green lettuce leaves
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • Heaped tsp of dried chia seeds
  • 100g chopped canned beetroot
  • 50g avocado

Cost: approximately AUD $10   Calories: 380

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Perfect! xx

My New Acai Bowl Recipe

Acai Bowls have been a craze in Sydney for the past year or so, with so many acai-focused places popping up that I now have a mental list of spots for the best bowls in the city (check out Bare Naked Bowls and The Fruitologist).

But, every now and again (usually when the bank balance is looking sheepish) I make a cheap, easy, TASTY, homemade acai bowl for breakfast or lunch.

Most of the ingredients are inexpensive and can be picked up at your local Supermarket, but the problem comes down to sourcing the actual acai powder. For some reason every brand wants to charge exorbitant prices for a tiny bag of acai (probably because the acai berry can only be found in Brazil).

My hack is the Creative Gourmet Organic Acai Puree (only $8!!).

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It contains little individual packets of acai puree that you can add to your acai bowl.

For my recipe you will need:

  1. 1 x Creative Gourmet Organic Acai Puree pack
  2. 20g Smooth Peanut Butter (Mayver’s is my hands down favourite)
  3. 50g frozen strawberries
  4. 50g frozen blueberries
  5. 1/2 cup water
  6. 1 medium banana
  7. Dried Chia seeds & Shredded Coconut to garnish

Approximately 340 calories. Time: 10 minutes

Method:

  1. Blend the acai packet, water and frozen berries together until a thick smoothie consistency is formed.

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2. Pour blended mixture into a bowl.

3. Chop up the banana and place on top, then weigh out 20g of peanut butter.

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4. Sprinkle the chia seeds and shredded coconut on top (tasty added health benefits).

Mmmm!

Healthy Homemade Pizza (recipe) & Movie Night

Usually when it’s my turn to cook, I try to whip up something a little fancier for a bit of challenge – Thai green curry, lamb roast, or laksa for example (when I say fancy, I mean fancy by my terms).

Tonight I decided to keep it simple and throw together a pizza, with what turned out to be quite an eclectic mix of toppings (a tasty mix nonetheless).

The idea to make pizza’s started brewing in my mind when I spotted wholemeal pizza bases in the grocery aisles.

From there I meandered around the supermarket, grabbing ingredients which I thought would go together – butternut pumpkin (pre-diced), asparagus, basil, low-fat mozzarella, a tomato, roasted peri peri chicken slices, shallots and an 85c tin of champignon mushrooms (the mushrooms were a bit random, but the 85 cent bargain got me).

The best part was that it was only 15 minutes from when I started cooking to when I served the meal. This was ideal as I can’t stand that irritating feeling that comes around 7pm, when all you want is dinner but you still have to cook it.

After winging the recipe for a tomatoey-ish sauce by blending 3 tbsp greek yogurt, basil and 1 whole tomato, I covered the base with the sauce and arranged the assorted ingredients on top. 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 would highly recommend (funny, clever and heartwarming).

Ingriedients 

  • Pre-made wholemeal pizza base
  • Butternut pumpkin
  • Asparagus
  • Basil
  • Low-fat (optional) mozzarella
  • Tomato
  • Roasted slices of Peri Peri chicken
  • Shallots
  • Tin of Champignon mushrooms
  • Greek yogurt
  • Basil

xx

Beauty Serums for Youthfulness (homemade!!)

blog1.jpgDon’t you love purchasing beauty serums which contain 30ml of pungent cream that claims to ‘rewind ageing’ and ‘bring back youth’ at a retail price of  $100.

Obviously that was dripping with sarcasm. Why pay exorbitant prices for store-bought serums, when you can get the same results for under $10 at Woolworths?

And who doesn’t love some DIY homemade serums for glowing skin/hair and shining teeth (just to enhance that youthful look you’re already mastering).

Check out some of my favourite concoctions below!

Dark Circles Aloe-Cucumber Eye Mask

You will need: 1/4 cucumber, 1 stalk of aloe-vera, 5 drops rose-hip oil.

Cucumber and aloe vera de-puff and soothe the sensitive eye area. Combine all ingredients in a blender and pour into small container. Store in the refridgerator – should keep for up to a month. Apply nightly and leave on for about 20 minutes.

Natural Teeth-Whitening Paste 

You will need: 2 large strawberries (de-stemmed) & 1 tsp bicarbonate soda.

Don’t be suspicious of natural whitening methods! They are just as effective and aren’t harmful to the enamel on your teeth. This one is super easy, just buy a punnet of strawberries and away you go.

Honey Hair Smoothie

You will need: 1 tbsp honey, 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, 1 tsp coconut oil

This is a very moisture heavy formula, so if you have naturally oily hair – lighten your dose and avoid application on your roots. Just keep this in for 20 minutes and then wash out with your usual shampoo/conditioner routine.

And it’s as easy as that! I buy little jars from homewares stores (only about $1) each, to store each of the mixtures in.

xx

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Tea green or Green tea – either way this colour is fresh and clean

Note: I do love to treat myself with store bought serums, as more often than not they do the trick, but I also find homemade beauty concoctions are highly effective.

My super easy, healthy, homemade Butter Chicken

I just love Indian food and this is one of my favourite recipes because it’s so quick and easy (I’m a sucker for a meal with a short prep time).

All I use is chicken thighs, store bought curry paste, tomato paste, sliced almonds, greek yogurt and coriander.

After mixing everything but the chicken thighs and yogurt together with a fork, chop the chicken thighs into small pieces and mix them in with the paste you just made. Then fry it all up with olive oil on a high heat, and once the chicken is done just stir through the greek yoghurt.

It’s as easy as that!

I usually serve this with some falafels or brown rice, but you could definitely pour it onto Basmati rice or Garlic Naan if you want a more authentic Indian experience.

xx

Fresh Acai Bowl’s for Breakfast!

And I’m back after a huge dry patch of not posting – I’m sorry!

I really don’t have an excuse but I’ve been having so much fun checking out other people’s blog posts that I didn’t find any time to make my own.

However, today I made an acai bowl for breakfast, and I thought I would share my recipe with you.

For those who don’t know what an acai bowl is, it’s basically a smoothie which you eat with a spoon and put a heap of yummy, crunchy and fruity toppings on.

I find this recipe very easy, and I’m no great chef. So don’t worry about complexity here.

IThey are also lots of fun to decorate in the bowl, so making your own makes you feel like the ultimate foodie and a world chef.

I use my NutriBullet for the recipe, and whizz the following all together:

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

The best part of a homemade Acai Bowl is decorating it after. For this, I chop up half a banana, crush some walnuts and sprinkle some gourmet muesli.

And voila! Enjoy.

Have you tried Acai Bowls before?

xx

Attempting to make Raw Vegan ‘Cheese’ Cakes..

I’m not a vegan, but I’ve recently been very interested in the lifestyle. A diet a find particularly interesting is raw veganism.

Yep 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 creating 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 medjool dates in boiling water for 15 minutes
  2. Line cupcake tray with casings
  3. Drain medjool dates
  4. Put medjool 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 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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