Joe’s Mean Green

Joe's Mean Green

After watching ‘Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead‘, by fellow Aussie Joe Black, we have been inspired to try a few more juices and particularly more kale. Have a look on his Reboot website for more info.

This juice recipe features kale which contains many health benefits, including being rich in nutrients (contains antioxidant nutrients, anti-inflammatory nutrients & anti-cancer nutrients). This juice is also rich in immune-boosting nutrients, detoxifying and alkalising ingredients for the body. It’s also a wonderful energetic kick start to the day; but ensure you have it at least 30 minutes before any food to reap all the nutritional benefits.

We have grown to love kale and have incorporated it into our daily diet by juicing it, including it in our smoothies and recently discovered a fantastic Kale and Goji berry brownie recipe which I’ll be sharing soon because it’s too delicious to keep a secret!

Joe’s Mean Green

Makes one serving (350ml)

TIP: A few ice cubes in the juice jug, to cool the juice slightly, tastes great.

Ingredients

  • 6 kale leaves (if none around, a combo of spinach, collards and Swiss chard can be used)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 green apple
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled
  • Small piece of ginger root (2.5cm)
  1. Rinse and chop ingredients ready for your juicer
  2. Start with the ginger, then the leafy greens, the apple and cucumber will help the ginger come through
  3. Enjoy immediately, separately to a meal to help your digestion get the most from the juice

For more info

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/

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Exquisite Quinoa Penne Pesto with Chicken

Quinoa and Rice Pesto Pasta Salad

This week we tried a new type of pasta made from Quinoa and Rice. We have been converted to say the least!

It has been one of the best finds of all time because it was easy to digest, tasty and it has a much higher nutritional content than most other staple grains.

Quinoa has been all the rage these past few years and is now a readily available in most fine dining restaurants and cafes around Sydney due to its amazing taste, health benefits and versatility. This South American grain is extremely high in protein and iron and boasts a low glycemic index, resulting in slower rates of digestion, keeping you feeling fuller for longer without feeling bloated. This quinoa and rice pasta is gluten free, wheat free, yeast free, dairy free, sugar free, egg free, nut free and cholesterol free. It is rich in essential amino acids, vitamin B2, E and A.

The quinoa grain itself is super easy to cook and it has a delicious nutty taste which makes any meal come alive! I will be posting some great recipes soon, including a delectable quinoa risotto! YuM!

In the mean time, we are hooked on this new healthy pasta and with our new vegetable patch growing ever so quickly at the moment; our basil plants are exploding with fresh leaves perfect to make homemade pesto. I will be posting my recipe for that in the near future as I prefer making things fresh when possible as the taste surpasses any store bought product. Though I have store bought pesto before, it is now a thing of the past because I have been enlightened to the enhanced flavour of fresh pesto thanks to my aunty and uncle in Bergamo, Italy; who have a contagious love and passion for fresh food. Also because basil is a breeze to grow and amplifies flavours of many dishes, pizzas and salads too!

This type of pasta salad recipe traditionally has cream included but I find that the pesto is sufficiently creamy and doesn’t need additional cream added, making it an even healthier dish to enjoy.

If you haven’t tried quinoa and rice pasta yet I encourage you to, you will never look back! Where do I get this quinoa and rice pasta you ask? It is available at selected health food stores and I will place some links at the bottom of the page for those of you who are keen to try this brilliant food!

Stay tuned because I will post some great quinoa recipes and take you through the steps so you can enjoy this fantastic superfood too!

Exquisite Quinoa Penne Pesto with Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of dry Quinoa and Rice Pasta
  • 250g chicken breast fillets, trimmed
  • 1/2 cup of basil pesto
  • 1/2 cup drained sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Coconut oil (or similar) for cooking

Method

  1. Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water, following packet directions, until tender. Then Drain
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add chicken. Cook for 5 minutes each side, until cooked through
  3. Return the pasta pan over medium-low heat. Add the pesto, chicken and sun-dried tomato. Stir to combine. Cook stirring for 2 minutes or until heated through
  4. Ready to serve and enjoy 🙂

Quinoa and Rice Pasta Stockists

Energy Cacao Amazeballs

Energy Cacao Amazcubes

These scrumptious little pieces of energy are inspired by a store bought cacao coconut ball. They were so delicious and a nice alternate from the Heavenly Protein Energy Balls that these have now become one of our favourite on the go snacks.

Like the Heavenly Protein Energy Balls I previously mentioned, these little gems mainly consist of dates which are rich in several vitamins, minerals and fiber too. These delicious little pieces of fruit contain oil, calcium, sulfur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are all beneficial for health.

Also included in these little nuggets is raw cacao powder, which is known as a superfood; full of flavonoids, which act as natural antioxidants. It is rich in magnesium, an energy mineral and vital electrolyte. This superfood is  also a good source of sulphur which is associated with strong nails, shiny hair and a healthy liver and pancreas. It also contains phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a mood enhancer. While this super-molecule exists naturally in the brain, the only other food that contains PEA is blue-green algae.

Also included in this super easy recipe is coconut oil, we have recently switched to using coconut oil for our cooking which has several brilliant advantages to health which include:

  • Boosting of metabolism which aids with weight loss
  • Improves heart health & reduces health risks associated with diabetes
  • Coconut oil is made up of healthy fats lauric acid, caprylic acid and capric acid which contain antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral prosperities to boost the immune system
  • Improves digestion & nutrient absorption

The list goes on and on, its easy to cook with and there are different types that don’t have a strong coconut taste if you’re not too keen. I’ve found the health food types the least potent in coconut taste thus far, though even major supermarkets these days stock it in the health section. It will come in a solid form but it has a low melting point so cooking is a breeze.

I love the fact that adding coconut oil to our diet has added lots of health benefits, and its not a heavy oil like other types of cooking oils that leave you with a greasy aftertaste.

I encourage you to give it a go if you haven’t already, it’s a small but great change with long term health results 🙂

I hope you enjoy these new found snacks as much as we do!

Energy Cacao Amazeballs

Makes 12 small balls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of dates (presoaked in boiling water for 20mins)
  • 1/2 cup of dessicated coconut
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
  • 5 tbsps coconut oil

Method

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor until well blended
  2. Shape into small balls or cubes, they are tasty and packed with nutrients, so small is a good size
  3. These delicious treats are ready to enjoy!

Green Bliss Smoothie

Green Bliss Smoothie

This would have to be one of the best if not THE best smoothie I have ever tasted!

We have recently been enlightened to the great benefits of Kale; including it into many of our fresh vegetable juices and now we are hooked on this banana-kale smoothie for life! It tastes divine, and it’s super healthy.

Kale also known as a superfood which is rich in vitamin A; great for vision, vitamin B (folate), vitamin K essential for normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Kale has more iron than beef per calorie (YaY!! says someone who isn’t hugely fond of eating red meat and lacks iron in her diet). High in fibre and has no fat. So what’s there not to like about Kale?

I’ve also come across a fantastic kale brownie recipe which I’m keen to try in the near future; if it’s a success I’ll definitely post up the recipe. Both Neil and I were not expecting this smoothie to taste so good, but we were speechless as we savoured our new favourite smoothie down.

It’s best to have the smoothie on an empty stomach to ensure you reap all the fabulous nutritional benefits; your body will love you for it! It’s filling and will keep you going all morning!

Green Bliss Smoothie

1 Serving, 5-10 minutes preparation time

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups kale leaves, washed, stems removed and lightly packed
  • 1 frozen banana pre-chopped
  • 1 cup chilled almond milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter or other nut butter
  • a thin slice of fresh ginger
  • shake of ground cinnamon
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  1. Place all in a juicer and blend until all ingredients are smooth
  2. Enjoy this brilliant smoothie immediately! 🙂

Inspiration from www.healthygirlskitchen.com

Heavenly Protein Energy Balls

Energy balls

These bursts of energy are jam packed with goodness; a fantastic alternative to store bought energy balls and protein bars.

I discovered this recipe last year and every time it’s been made, it doesn’t take very long till it completely disappears! I took a few batches for some wonderful work colleagues and they vanished within seconds. I was quite overwhelmed by the requests to make more…yes they’re that good!! So, when I make this recipe I always make a minimum of 2 batches at a time.

I have no doubt that there will be lots of very happy people with the sharing of this recipe. These are a brilliant snack for a pre or post workout, or if your going on a nice long bike ride a few can be taken as snacks.

What I love is that they’re easy to make and nutritious, the dates are full of natural fibre, magnesium, iron and potassium. The almond butter is high in protein (excellent for muscle recovery after a workout) and also keeps you fuller for longer. Add a scoop of protein powder if you’re in training mode. The more raw, unprocessed and organic the ingredients, the better.

Heavenly Protein Energy Balls

Makes 8

Prep time: 10 minutes

TIP: Soak dates in boiling water for approximately 20 minutes before preparing the recipe (this will ensure mixture is nice and smooth).

  • 10 whole pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsps raw cacao
  • 2 tbsps almond flakes
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)
  • Shredded coconut, chia seeds, cacao for rolling
  1. Place the softened dates, almond butter, cacao and honey in a food processor and blend until smooth. (If mixture is a little dry, add a few drops of date soaked water.
  2. Place the mixture in a medium sized bowl and mix in almond flakes by hand.
  3. Roll into small balls (about the size of a golf ball).
  4. Then roll balls into coconut or other yummy ingredient as you wish…then refrigerate. Too easy!

Spelt and Vanilla Fluffy Vegan Pikelets

IMG_1740

Welcome to the month of November! I am determined to make the last two months count by trying out some new healthy recipes and continue to challenge my frame of mind when it comes to food and maximum nutrition.

I have recently decided to try spelt flour in place of white flour in my cooking.

Spelt flour is known as the ‘Grandfather of Wheat’. It is high in fibre and manganese.  Manganese helps your body utilise key nutrients, it protects cells from free radical damage, maintains normal blood sugar levels, promotes optimal function of your thyroid gland and keeps bones strong. It is also higher in protein and lower in gluten than white flour.

The appearance of spelt is very similar to wheat, however it’s outer shell is much harder than wheat before milling. Due to the hard outer shell, higher amounts of vitamins and minerals are present in spelt flour in comparison to wheat flour.

It’s flavour is quite similar to whole wheat flour but slightly sweet and nutty. What I also love about spelt flour is that it is more easily digested, due to spelt’s high water solubility, the grain’s vital substances can be absorbed easily into the body. The nutrients are made available to the body with minimal digestive work.

There are numerous ways of including spelt in a diet, spelt bread and pasta are readily available from most health food stores, along with spelt flour itself.

I have also started using almond milk instead of soy, just for a good change as I prefer not using dairy milk at all. The almond milk boosts any milk shake or recipe with more protein and it has a beautiful nutty flavour and texture.

So all in all, with all the health benefits of spelt flour, it was pretty easy for me to give it a try and the result was absolute deliciousness! You wont be disappointed, or have any guilt for splashing out on some pikelets.

Spelt and Vanilla Vegan Pikelets

Makes 12 pikelets

Dry ingredients

  • 1 cup Organic Spelt flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • Pinch of fine himalayan salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or 3-4 drops of stevia
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • Coconut oil for cooking

Method

  1. Mix all dry ingredients into a bowl and all the wet ingredients into a separate smaller bowl
  2. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until smooth
  3. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow batter to rise as spelt flour takes a little longer to absorb liquids
  4. Prepare a pan on low heat with 1/4 tsp coconut oil
  5. Gently spoon batter into pan, forming 2-3 small pikelets.  Cook for 2-3 minutes or until bubbles appear on surface and are golden on underside, then flip to finish
  6. Remove from pan and serve immediately
  7. Serve with fresh fruit and maple syrup if you wish 🙂 Bon appétit!

Please note: I have made pikelets for this recipe but if you prefer pancakes, the recipe makes about 6. Enjoy!