Four days ’til Christmas! I’m definitely getting very excited about the festive celebrations now! For me, Christmas time means family time. We eat way too much delicious food, spend quality time hanging out and create many lasting memories. There’s nothing more important in my … 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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This week it’s been overcast and rainy on the Gold Coast, signalling a cool change into winter. Thus meaning only one thing for me at breakfast time: porridge, and quinoa porridge at that!
During the cooler months, it can be a bit boring to just top your porridge with the same ingredients day in day out, so it’s nice to spice it up by adding flavours when cooking. Here’s the first of many porridge flavours for you to enjoy this coming winter… carrot cake!
It’s important the carrot is cooked through so you’re not eating raw carrot for breakfast. It is also a great way for kids to get some extra vegetables in their daily diet – as they wouldn’t expect to have them hidden in their porridge! Just a little tip, if making it for children grate the carrot even finer and ensure it’s completely mixed in so they won’t see the flecks of orange.
Cinnamon and nutmeg are warming spices which are ideal to incorporate into your breakfasts on those cooler mornings. These spices, among others, aren’t just for flavouring dishes they are also beneficial to your health.
This porridge surprisingly tastes like carrot cake and is a real treat to enjoy for breakfast!
Creamy carrot cake quinoa porridge
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 TBSP coconut yoghurt
- 1 TBSP raisins
- 1 TBSP coconut chips or shredded coconut
- 1 TBSP walnuts, chopped
- 1 tsp almond or walnut butter
- Place quinoa, carrot and almond milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes or until creamy, stirring occasionally.
- Add nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, and continue to cook for two minutes.
- Stir through coconut yoghurt, raisins and coconut chips.
- Serve in bowl and place chopped walnuts and nut butter on top. Enjoy!