If you are a regular Instagram go-er or food blog follower then you have no doubt heard about the magic of frozen bananas. When blended they produce a creamy and rich ice-cream substitute, thanks to their high pectin content. The humble banana will provide about one quarter of your vitamin C needs, plenty of resistant starch (a food source for friendly gut bacteria), approx. 10% of the average person’s daily potassium requirements AND they are possibly one of the most filling fruits on the market with a low GI ranking of 52. Whizzing one of these up in the food processor makes a delish snack or dessert. I love adding in some peanut butter for a protein boost, which also makes this recipe a good option for a post-workout snack.
I have finally climbed out from underneath my festive season rock and reached for my laptop. Happy NY! Each year we pledge to eat cleaner, get fitter and all that jazz. So there is plenty of nutritional advice floating about across January. I thought I’d jump on the band wagon and kick of the year by getting back to healthy eating basics. Eating between meals is something we all do, but often we don’t snack for the right reasons or choose the best snack food. So when is the right time to snack? And amid all the muesli bars, yoghurts, crackers, nuts and packaged fruit snacks, what food choices should we be making?
Pho is one of those rare meals which is delicious, super cheap and healthy. As myself and the majority of my friends are trying to stick to a budget and/or ‘diet’ (pre best friend’s wedding) pho is something that we have been opting for a lot of late. Recently, however, I have bought a house and unfortunately even good ol’ budget Pho has had to become a little less frequent…but I am determined not to deprive myself and so set out to find an economical, quick-to-make, healthy and tasty recipe so that I could make it at home. Most pho recipes are quite time consuming, as they require a stock to be made from scratch. In the interest of turning pho into a speedy and wholesome weekday meal, I have used a ready-made chicken stock which is not quite as delicate in flavour but it does the job. This recipe was adapted from a beautiful vegetarian pho by Brett Sargent, and major tweaks include adding in a whole bunch of veggies and some chicken to produce a more filling result.
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but our knowledge often doesn’t translate into action after we have snoozed our alarms several times and inevitably find ourselves rushing out the door with a banana (or nothing) in hand. Your breakfast routine can determine how you feel, what you crave and how much you might eat throughout the rest of the day, so I have compiled the top 5 things to do at breakky time to optimise your day.
A deliciously decadent tart that can be whipped up in under 45 minutes. Please do not let the tofu in this tart put you off, when combined with melted chocolate tofu makes the best textured mousse I have ever tasted. There is not even the slightest hint of tofu flavour in this dessert and I guarantee you will be eating the tofu mousse straight out of the food processor. This tart is very rich, and is best eaten when paired with fresh or preserved berries or stone fruit. You can use whatever nuts you have available at home to make the base. This tart is vegan friendly, just be sure to use dairy-free chocolate chips.
Unlike the traditional panna cotta which is comprised mainly of cream, this version consists mostly of yoghurt. Yoghurt boasts all the nutrients offered in milk, but in condensed form. The average small tub of yoghurt (approx. 200g) contains all the calcium of a 250ml glass of milk. Protein is also utilised to a greater extent when consumed in yoghurt rather than milk, AND yoghurt is a great source of beneficial gut bacteria or probiotics. When selecting your yoghurts make sure you watch out for those containing aBc cultures, which help to restore your gut microflora thereby aiding digestion, immune function and vitamin and mineral synthesis. Our gut microflora can get upset by illness and sometimes lifestyle factors, and we can replenish friendly bacteria by consuming aBc culture-containing yoghurts. This recipe is one delicious way to incorporate more yoghurt into your diet, and it is perfect for dessert on a warm night or even as a healthy breakfast.
Having fallen in love with the banana fritters I wolfed down at the Adelaide Night Noodle Markets, I felt compelled to make a healthy alternative which I could consume on a daily basis at home. I admit I am using the term ‘fritters’ here rather loosely as these bananas are coated in cinnamon and vanilla extract rather than oil, but they still have that delicious cooked-banana texture and taste even better with a drizzle of honey yoghurt.
I would like to begin with a shout-out to all my pale-skinned pals: if you visit Rio be prepared for lots of stares, because we stand out like shining beacons among the sea of tanned bods. If you can complete your time in Rio free of sun-burn you deserve a medal. The reason why the streets are empty between 10-4 became very apparent, very quickly. The sun is an absolute scorcher, so if you are planning on spending the day at the beach I implore you to invest in an umbrella. If you are one of those lucky tanned human beings, you will fit right in. I happened to visit Rio with one of these such humans, and she had no problem at all hitting the waters for a midday swim whilst I cowered in the shade.
Last weekend I made the trek over to beautiful Kangaroo Island. Time really slows down on the island, and mostly I just spend it reading Harry Potter or taking way too many photos of my dog running on the beach. This time I was determined to make use of my free time by making cheesymite scrolls which I have wanted to make for ages but can never seem to find the time. These scrolls are made using 100% wholemeal flour, so they have a decent fibre content compared to your typical cheesymite scrolls. Thanks to mum we only ever have the ultimate gourmet style cheeses in our fridge, so naturally I got a bit excited and used three of them, namely Paris Creek Organic and Biodynamic Cheddar, Gouda and Norwegino. I recommend going fairly heavy-handed on the Vegemite for good flavour.
If you have ever seen ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’, you will have heard of Moussaka. Poor Toula is laughed at by her class mates for eating ‘moose-kaka’ whilst they all enjoy their ‘white wonder bread sandwiches’. If I was Toula, I would have laughed in their faces for having crappy lunches. Moussaka trumps a limp white bread sandwich every day of the week in my books. This Moussaka recipe was adapted from food genius and love of my life Jamie Oliver’s beautiful veggie moussaka. I bought this dish to a dinner with vegetarian friends, and we wolfed it down whilst playing cards against humanity with lots of wine. This recipe puts a veggo spin on a classic Greek dish, yet being packed with brown lentils and chickpeas it still has all the ‘meatiness’ of your typical moussaka. It is time consuming to make, so if you are planning on cooking this meal make sure you have a good 2.5-3 hours up your sleeve. I can promise you the time spent making this moussaka will be well worth it.