This past week has been quite a relaxing one for me as it will only get busier now we’re heading into the ‘silly season’ – my favourite time of year! Over the past few weeks I have been enjoying the Melbourne racing … Continue reading
It’s my first week back in Melbourne since my travels and it’s been absolutely FREEZING! I’ve been drinking lots of herbal tea and making winter meals to keep me warm. Here’s something many of you didn’t know about me, I’ve never actually had a ‘proper’ winter before. Yes I’ve visited places during the winter and have seen snow multiple times but to live in a city where I can wear a winter coat and boots day in, day out is quite exciting for me.
Along with embracing the winter fashion I’ll also be making plenty of hearty meals that are full of nutrients. If you would like to be the first to receive these healthy yet hearty meals straight to your inbox, just hit ‘follow’ and enter your email on the right side of this page –>
So, here’s just a few things that I’ve been making/buying this week.
The above meal is one of my go-to weeknight dinners as along with being healthy it is simple, quick and tasty. After a busy day at work and in this cold weather all I’ve been craving is warming foods. By adding warming spices such as cinnamon and cumin to the sweet potato it really brings out the flavour of the vegetable – try it out next time you’re roasting some!
This week I’ve been stocking up my healthy pantry – two of the health food stores in my area have had ‘super saver’ days (one 20% off and the other 15% off) so how could I not buy anything?! Although initially it is quite an outlay, these products will last me a long time and I know I can make/create a lot of different recipes with this selection.
As I’ve moved to a new area in Melbourne, one of the first things I did was check out my local health food store and find out when their ‘super saver’ days are. It is common for health food stores to have 15% off on the first Saturday of every month, but make sure you ask and put it in you calendar as you can make a real saving!
Before heading to the Prahran Markets to buy some fresh produce for the week, I stopped by Organica for an almond milk latte. It was just what I needed as it was quite cool – as you can see by the number of layers I’m wearing! I haven’t eaten there yet, but they have some great raw vegan slices, healthy salads and soups and takeaway meals.
This was last night’s dinner and boy did it go down well. Made with organic grass fed lamb mince and fresh vegetables all sourced from the markets it was just what I needed. You too can make this roasted stuffed pumpkin with moroccan spiced lamb – it’s actually one of my favourite recipes. The best part is I have plenty of leftovers so tonight’s dinner is sorted.
Now for the vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf recipe. I made this at the start of the week as a quick breakfast option and to enjoy at morning tea. It’s actually a vegan and gluten free version of this loaf.
Almond meal is a light flour that’s also gluten free and grain free (it’s basically ground almonds). The additions of chopped almonds add a crunchiness, the coconut adds a slight chewiness and the quinoa flakes add bulk to the loaf.
As I’ve mentioned previously, a chia ‘egg’ is just chia seeds mixed with water. It’s a vegan substitute that acts as a binding ingredient just like a regular egg does – plus it has the added nutritional benefits of chia seeds!
Once the dry and wet ingredients have been separately mixed, it’s time to combine them. Make sure you gently fold them together in the larger bowl so the blueberries don’t break/bleed their colour too much.
All mixed together now and you can really see the different elements that make up this deliciously healthy loaf.
I always line my loaf tins to ensure the baked good can be easily removed. Plus, it means less cleaning up as you just need to wash it in hot soapy water without having to scrub bits of loaf off the tin.
The loaf needs to be pressed into the tin to ensure a nice, even top. I sprinkled a few extra chopped almonds on top just for decoration, feel free to do the same!
Just how a loaf should look – golden and crunchy on top! Enjoy a slice of this healthy loaf with some almond butter and a cup of tea, or just by itself.
Make sure you allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing as it is quite delicate!
This loaf will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.
Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf
Makes 1 loaf
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
- 2 TBSP chia seeds
- 6 TBSP water
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt*
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease or line loaf tin with baking paper.
- Combine almond meal, baking soda, shredded coconut, almonds and quinoa flakes in a large bowl, set aside.
- Combine chia seeds and water in a bowl, set aside for 2 minutes or until liquid has absorbed.
- Stir in vanilla extract, coconut oil, coconut yoghurt and blueberries into chia ‘egg’ bowl.
- Fold wet and dry ingredients together.
- Transfer batter to prepared loaf tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely in loaf tin.
- Slice with a bread knife and enjoy!
- Substitute the coconut yoghurt for 1/2 cup mashed bananas
- Make sure you allow the loaf to cool completely otherwise it may crumble.
I’ve already sliced the up into individual portions and have them all wrapped up, ready to take to work for the week!
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Firstly, Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful Mum and all the amazing Mum’s today! I hope you’ve had a wonderful day surrounded by your loved ones. Unfortunately I was unable to spend the day with mine but last weekend I surprised her in Sydney for early celebrations and what a weekend it was!
On Saturday morning we went for brunch at Bread & Circus in Alexandria and I had the ‘summer on toast’ – it was honestly the best brunch I’ve had in a long time! Such simple ingredients yet so delicious – goats chevre, heirloom tomato, torn basil, chilli flakes and lime on essene bread with a side of eggs. Perfection.
This definitely provided me with more than enough fuel for a full day of shopping with Mum!
After a busy shopping day on Saturday, Sunday was more low-key with a family lunch. Sydney really turned on the weather – it actually felt like I was back on the Gold Coast…
My younger sister and I enjoyed our early morning coffees and a walk around the beautiful Kirribilli streets before heading to the family lunch. In Kirribilli, Anvil Coffee Co is a great cafe located on the wharf. Much to my surprise they served almond milk and had quite a nice menu too – I gauged this only from reading it not actually eating anything.
It was really special to spend quality time with my family last weekend as it’s such a rarity these days; but I can assure you we definitely make the most of our time together when it does happen.
I cannot believe it’s been one month since I moved to Melbourne! My morning routine has completely changed – from early morning exercising, cooking a big breakfast and driving to work I now exercise in the evenings, eat breakfast out of a jar (most days) and take the tram to work.
If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed my multiple breakfast jar posts, such as the one below…
These have become my go-to breakfast as I make them the night before and grab it on my way out in the morning. I use a jar as it’s easy to carry and the food travels well in it, plus I like to make my food look appealing so the clear jar assists with that!
As you can see in the photo above there are a number of elements to my breakfast jar – granola, fruit, cinnamon, yoghurt and nut/seed butter.
This granola only takes 5 minutes to make and you can add in whatever granola ingredients you have in your healthy pantry. Lately I’ve been using buckwheat groats and chia seeds as the base as they absorbed the liquid and provide bulk to the granola. The pumpkin seeds add a crunch and the coconut, well I really just love coconut… so I add it in for extra flavour.
Once the fruit is cut and the granola is made, it’s time for the fun part! A little tip, if you’d like your breakfast to look artistic use a teaspoon when layering the ingredients as they won’t end up on the sides of your jar if you’re careful enough.
For the jar, I actually use an old nut butter jar – about 400g. Just thoroughly clean it out and peel off the label then you have a non-toxic way to enjoy your breakfast!
Here’s some flavour inspiration for you! The cacao avocado spread + figs has probably been one of my favourite combinations so far – I think it’s the decadence of having chocolate for breakfast that gets me time and time again! Plus, the avocado really makes the spread creamy so it’s indulgent yet guilt-free!
This will keep in the fridge for up to two days (depending on the fruit used) in your sealed glass jar!
- 2 TBSP chia seeds
- 2 TBSP coconut flakes
- 2 TBSP buckwheat groats
- 2 TBSP pumpkin seeds
- 2 TBSP almond milk/milk of your choice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 TBSP nut butter or this or even this
- 2 TBSP coconut yoghurt/yoghurt of your choice
- Fruit of your choice, sliced
- Place chia seeds, coconut, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds and almond milk in a bowl to make the ‘granola’.
- Mix until well combined then set aside for two minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
- Layer, in a glass jar, the nut butter, granola, cinnamon, fruit and yoghurt until filled to the top.
- Place lid on tight and store in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!
- You can add any ingredients you like to the ‘granola’ – goji berries, bee pollen, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, quinoa flakes, oats, etc. would all work well!
The colours in this jar are so vibrant and make me enjoy breakfast that little bit more…
What are your thoughts on the breakfast jar?
Only four sleeps till Christmas! I actually cannot believe how quickly it has come around. I’ll be honest with you, I absolutely love Christmas time – from putting up the Christmas tree to listening (and singing along) to carols. Everyone seems to be in high spirits and to me it definitely signifies family time.
It’s also a time to indulge in special treats as you usually only enjoy them once a year. This year, my family and I will be enjoying this raw festive fruit tart on Christmas Day. It is a simple yet delicious dessert and best of all you can top it with whatever fruit that takes your fancy.
The chia seeds add a slight crunch to the base and are full of omega 3’s. Just warning you in advance, make sure you check your teeth before family photos are taken as the seeds sometimes get stuck in them!
I always grease and line the tart pan to ensure the tart it can be easily removed when ready to serve.
Using clean hands, I press the tart base into the pan then use the back of a wet spoon to create a smooth shell.
Simplicity is key with this filling with vanilla extract being the ‘star’ ingredient.
As it’s currently summer in Australia I decorated the tart with mango and strawberries as they are in season. Even though I’ve made this tart for Christmas, it can be made for any special occasion as it’s a simple yet versatile recipe.
The tart can be stored it in a sealed container in the freezer for up to two weeks.
Raw festive fruit tart
- 2 cups almonds
- 10 fresh medjool dates, pitted
- 2 TBSP chia seeds
- 3 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 TBSP water
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup macadamias
- 3 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 mango, sliced
- 14 strawberries, washed and halved
- Or whatever fruit takes your fancy
- Place all base ingredients in a food processor and process for 3 minutes or until crumbly.
- Press into a 28cm tart pan which has been lightly greased with coconut oil and lined on the bottom. Smooth with the back of a wet spoon then place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Place all filling ingredients into a Vitamix or food processor and process for 5 minutes or until smooth.
- Pour into tart base and even out with a spatula.
- Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or until solidified.
- Decorate, cut into 16 slices and serve. Enjoy!
This recipe has been featured as one of Lorna Jane’s Move Nourish Believe 12 Days of Christmas.
As I entertained friends last week for an early Christmas dinner, it seemed appropriate to set the table festively. For the table cloth I used calico – it looks plain now, but with the help of red and green fabric markers my friends and I wrote messages and ‘quotes of the night’ on it. Such a great memento to have from such a special evening.
I hope you are all prepared for your Christmas celebrations!
Lately I’ve been drinking chia seeds with lemon and water throughout the day as a different way to up my daily water intake. Not only have I been drinking more water, but I have also noticed I haven’t had to snack as much. I think it’s my body’s way of saying I was only thirsty instead of hungry all along!
Chia seeds are full of omega 3 and are high in antioxidants. When they come into contact with liquids they expand like there’s no tomorrow. That’s why I’ve only added 1 tablespoon of them as this will expand to around 1/2 cup!
The lemon juice adds a fresh flavour to your water and also has an alkalising effect to the body.
I usually sip on mine throughout the morning and I’ve found that I don’t need to have my usual morning tea snack – most of the time anyway!
Chia lemon water
- 1 TBSP chia seeds
- 750mL water
- 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced*
- Add chia seeds to the bottom of glass jar/water bottle.
- Add water and lemon juice then secure the lid.
- Shake until all the chia seeds are loose. Enjoy!
- Add more water as you drink it if the chia seeds expand too much.
- You could use fresh lime or orange juice instead of lemon too.
- Make sure your glass jar/water bottle doesn’t have a straw as the chia seeds might get stuck in it!
I’d love to hear what you think of this drink!