Wednesday, December 12, 2012

as of late

I’ve been so busy lately. Understandably it is that time of year when things get a little crazy, but coupled with a move and some thrilling news that we will be expecting our first little bub in early May 2013, things seem to be rolling along quicker than I’d like!

Yes! We are expecting a little girl – currently 19 weeks along – and am so in love with her already. We’ve been enjoying her movements and kicks for a couple of weeks now and the feeling is just so beautiful (I know I say this now, when she’s only 250g).

She’s our little miracle. It took two years of trying, surgery, drugs and being told we’d never conceive naturally to get to this point – but here we are, a natural conception. I will do a couple of follow on posts about our story, how I healed my PCOS naturally and how ‘giving up’ can sometimes be the best thing.

So, what I have been up to lately:

Moving house.

Making a chicken coop – I’ve been an assistant to Joel the builder as he constructed his designed from scratch coop. Hopefully we get the chickens this weekend!


Growing a baby – she’s just gorgeous!

Setting up the house for Christmas – the tree has be up since the 2nd week in November, normally it’s earlier but we were moving.

Making Christmas wrapping decorations.

Starting Christmas presents – home-grown and dehydrated lemon myrtle spice.

Amongst the above, it has been sweltering heat and I have been loving the abundance of mangos. This cooling smoothie has been just perfect snack/breakfast in this 2nd trimester where all I crave is fruit.


(serves 1)

150g natural yoghurt
1 mango, flesh of
A handful of ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and whiz until thick and smooth. Pour into a glass and top with homemade muesli if desired.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

smooth matcha shake

This is such a wonderful 'shake' that I have been enjoying at the moment. The summer days have really set in (with gusto), and as I am in the midst of packing and moving, a refreshing afternoon drink has been a bit of a lifesaver for me.

Yep, we're moving house and really looking forward to it. Currently we are living in a one bedroom loft style barn conversion and moving 200m down the road to beautiful stone cottage.The barn doesn't have any inside doors and extremely open plan living. It has been decided that with a change in circumstances, this may no longer be very practical, thus the change!

this little guy is looking forward to the new place

I'm really looking forward to the bright new kitchen, especially having a pantry! At the moment all our flours, nuts, cereals and grains are stored in a long narrow cupboard. It's a bit difficult to find anything as I have to reach back and feel around for the ingredients that I'm after. It takes quite a few goes before I actually find what I am looking for. So a pantry is very very exciting for me.

Enough of that, on to the recipe. This is just a delight. Refreshing, smooth, easy and best of all anti-oxidantly healthy.


(serves one)

1/4 c organic natural milk/alternative
1/4 c water
1 tsp matcha powder
1 tsp sugar (extra to taste)
a handful of ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a martini shaker/protein shaker/blender and shake/blend until smooth.
Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

orange almond cake

Finally on the mend and back at work with only a lingering cough. Being sick is just the worst, and I was definitely very miserable.

Feeling better means I'm back in the kitchen but still feeling like something pretty simple and basic, I whipped up this orange almond cake. I can't take any credit for the recipe as I picked it up in a cookbook somewhere, the name and place evades me.

I found this cake to be just so moist and flavoursome, holding its form perfectly even with no flour. I shared with my family who was also surprised at the moistness of the cake.

I didn't have almond meal, but had plenty of almonds on hand, so I processed 200 g in the food processor until fine.


(serves 8-10)

2 oranges
1 1/2 c almond meal (or 200g almonds ground)
6 eggs, lightly whisked
1 tsp bi-carb soda
1/2 c raw sugar

Heat oven to 160 C and line a spring form cake dish with baking paper
Place oranges in a pot and bring to the boil.
Simmer for 45 minutes, drain and cool.
Place in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Fold in almond meal, eggs, sugar and bi-carb gently.
Pour mixture into the tin and place in oven to bake for 45-50 minutes (until firm).
Remove from oven and cool.
Serve and enjoy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

garlic, lime and chili mussels with spelt pasta

It's like a ghost town on this blog a the moment.. and not for any other reason than the fact that I am down and out with the flu.

I am truly miserable right now, coughing, sneezing, moaning and carrying around roll of toilet paper to blown my nose. I feel like I'm suffering the 'man-flu'.

Joel has been great, bringing me cups of peppermint tea first thing in the morning and offering to get me anything I need. I am so glad my husband works from home.

Enough of my misery. I haven't been adventurous in the kitchen recently, as you can imagine. However, as they say on the cooking shows - here is something I prepared earlier.


(serves 2)

70g wholemeal spelt pasta

1kg organic live mussels (in shell)

1 tblsp olive oil
1/2 garlic sprig, minced
1 lime, finely grated rind and juiced
1/2 small red hot chili, finely sliced
1/4 c dry sherry
2 handfuls of green peas, roughly chopped
1/4 c finely chopped parsley

salt and pepper to taste

Bring a medium sized pot of water to the boil and add pasta, cook until al-dente then drain and set aside.
As the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a saucepan/wok and add garlic, chili, sherry and lime rind - cook until fragrant and sherry has mostly evaporated.
Turn off heat and stir through the peas.
Bring a large pot/saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the mussels.
Boil for about 5-7 minutes until the mussels have opened.
With two-thirds of the mussels, remove the flesh out of the shell and add to the garlic mix - keeping the remaining mussels in the shell for decoration.
Re-heat the saucepan/wok and add in the pasta, parsley and lime juice tossing and heating through for a minute or two.
Serve and decorate with the mussels in shell.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

pick-me-up breakfast smoothie

My goodness we had some hot days here last week. It was so nice not being wrapped up in layers upon layers of clothing.

The only downside was that with the sudden heat came that feeling of utter lethargy. The unwillingness to move around too much in fear of melting.

So, on days like those, I like to whip up a smoothie to cool me down. In this one I included malt extract, deemed as natures pick-me-up as it is full of important B vitamins, essential for energy.


(makes 1 - large)

1 banana, roughly chopped
4 ice cubes
1/4 water
2 silverbeet leaves, roughly chopped
1 tblsp malt extract
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp chia seeds
4 strawberries, green left on
1/2 c yoghurt (or alternative)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth (30 seconds or so).

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

vegan risotto with truffle oil

You may not realise it, but I love any excuse to add truffle to a meal. I usually add it to a mushroom based dish and this one was not going to get away without a drizzle or two.

It’s such a whole sensory experience that compares to none other. When you sit down to a meal and smell the truffle, it’s like your first kiss, every time. Your heart skips a beat and you can’t wait to dig in, but you want to take it slow and savour every moment. What an analogy huh!

Risotto is an awesome one pot meal to spare you that laborious task of washing up too much. Adding to that beautiful experience.

I don’t know about you, but usually I find myself using heaps of pots and baking dishes when preparing dinner. It’s not so bad because I wash as I go – we’ve got a pretty tight kitchen so bench space is hard to come by. Actually, if I think about it, every night the dishes (bar the ones we eat on) are all washed up and stacked before we sit down to eat. Joel likes that because he is always on washing up duty but there is rarely much to do.


(serves 4)

1 tblsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely sliced
200g button mushrooms, finely sliced
1 c arborio rice (risotto rice)
2 ½ c water
1 bunch asparagus, sliced into 1cm rounds
1 c peas, frozen or fresh
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Tartufo Bianco (white truffle oil)

Heat oil in a heavy based saucepan, add onion and stir until softened.
Next add mushrooms and stir fry for approximately 5 minutes.
Add rice and mix for a further 2 minutes.
Then add 1 c of water to the pan and simmer until water has been absorbed, stirring minimally.
Next mix in the asparagus and add the remaining water.
Cover saucepan to cook through, approximately 15 minutes.
Finally add the peas stirring the risotto until the peas are cooked.
Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with truffle oil and serve.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

carrot cake muffins

Hooray, the days are reaching summer proportions. It felt like the coldest winter ever, but we seem to be on the other side of it now and I'm looking forward to spending time at the beach.

Anyway, to celebrate the dramatic weather change, I decided to do some baking. I know, crazy.. why would you turn the oven on in 30C+ weather? Because I wanted some carrot cake, that's why.

I whipped these up, left them to cool then took a plate to my parents place to share. Because what better way to celebrate (and test) than to share. 

Mum said that the muffin was delicious. She even closed her eyes as she ate saying 'you better make sure you put in your blog that your mum loved these'. Done!

Dad said there's a real 'wang' to the icing before the coconut kicks in and that he loved the cake.

I told Joel what Dad said, and he started saying it. Great, now the word wang was being thrown around in reference to my muffins. Nice. Still, it didn't spoil the beauty of them!


(makes 12)

3 carrots, grated
1 c plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp bi-carb soda
1/4 c raisins
1/4 c walnuts, slightly crushed
1 tsp mixed spice
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1/4 c water
2 tblsp sugar
1/4 c coconut oil

2 tblsp creamed coconut, warmed
2 tsp water
1/2 lime, grated rind and juice
1 tsp agave syrup

Heat oven to 160C and line a muffin tray.
Combine all ingredients for the cake in a large bowl and mix until well combined.
Spoon a tablespoon size amount into each muffin hole in the tray.
Place in oven for 20-30 minutes until cake springs back to the touch.
Remove and cool entirely.

Combine all ingredients for the icing in a small bowl until well combined.
Using a butter knife, spread the mixture over the cooled muffins.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

vegetable quiche

This is just a quick and easy recipe (bar the cooking time), that you can whip together in no time and leave in the oven to cook away.

I've used a variety of vegetables in this because it's so important to keep your diet varied with the vegetables and grains that you use. Each have a unique makeup of vitamins and minerals, so it really is vital that you vary what you eat so that you can get all the beneficial nutrition. If there is a vegie that you haven't heard of before, maybe consider trying it, if you're not sure ask around to see how others add it into their diet.

This recipe made enough to feed a family, but, with just the two of us at home we had a few leftovers. Making meals that are a little bigger is great for a quick lunch the next day or a meal stored in the freezer. This recipe is certainly no exception as it made the perfect healthy lunch for the next day, both cold and warmed up.


(makes 8-10 slices)

4 zucchinis, grated
2 potatoes, grated
3 carrots, grated
2 brown onions, grated
4 eggs, whisked
100g goats cheese, crumbled
¼ c nutritional yeast flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 150 C and grease a medium baking dish with olive oil.
Combine all ingredients well and press into dish.
Bake in oven for 1-1 ½ hours.
Remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Monday, September 24, 2012

garden breakfast juice

The weather is certainly getting warmer here and with it comes the desire for lighter and refreshing meals.
This also means that it is time to bust out the juicer and make it a permanent home on my bench top.

Before Joel ducked out to the markets to pick up groceries, I raided the refrigerator for what remnants of fruit and vegetables we had left to make a super breakfast juice. Talk about quick and easy breakfast! It’s just the clean-up that can be a bit of a fuss.. but it’s worth it.

I fed all the components through the juicer and poured it into a tall glass. Then went outside to sit in my garden to check on my summer seedlings and watch the little red-browed finches build a nest in the ficus tree next to our table and chairs.


(makes 400 mL)

2 carrots
3 oranges, skinned
1 grapefruit, skinned
1 inch piece of ginger
¼ bunch celery
1 medium beetroot

Wash all ingredient thorough and feed through the juicer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

vegan apple pie

Okay, okay, okay, so my craving for apple pie was not entirely quenched by the tea that I came up with the other day. It kept coming to mind that I just wanted to enjoy a real, warm apple pie - and I finally gave in.

Joel hovered the whole time that I was making this. I've never seen him so interested in something that I am making. He would just wonder into the kitchen, sip on his beer and say 'mmm I love pie'.

The smell that filled the house was this warm, caramely rich and deep appley cinnamon smell that made it hard not to dig in as soon as the pie came out of the oven.

To top off this evening, a book that I have been eyeing off for over a year now has finally been released. I have it downloaded on the kindle app on my ipad ready to go.

So, I am going to love and leave you as I have a date with a book and some pie.


(makes 6-8 slices)

2 c white spelt flour
1 tblsp fine sugar
3 tblsp non-dairy butter
45 ml iced water

4 apple (skin on), cored and sliced 1cm
1/4 c currants
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tblsp water

In a medium sized bowl combine flour, sugar and salt.
Rub butter into flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
Create a well in the middle and slowly add water, cutting it in with 2 forks. 
Add enough water for the pastry to come together without being sticky.
Roll into a ball and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut 1/4 of the pastry out and place back in the refrigerator.
Roll out the 3/4 of the pastry between two baking paper sheets.
Remove one side of the paper and invert into baking dish, press down and slowly remove the top sheet.
Trim off excess pastry and use to fill in any gaps.
Using a fork, poke holes in the pastry and place in oven for 20 minutes until golden.
Remove and cool.

While the pastry is in the refrigerator cooling, start the filling.
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized pot and heat on medium for 20 or so minutes until apples are softened.
Remove from heat and cool.

Fill the pastry dish with apples.
Then, roll out the final 1/4 of pastry and cut into 2cm strips.
Lay each strip down diagonal, about 3cm apart down the length of the dish.
Repeat in the opposite direction.
Return to oven to bake for a further 20 minutes until golden.