Goodbye from this address!

7 Oct

Hi all,

Just wanting to do a farewell post from this address! My very first blog address…

I am now at www.naughtynaturopathmum.com.au and all of my musings and giveaways will come from there 🙂

I look forward to hearing from you over at the new digs,

Alisha xxx

Advertisements

Organic Wine Giveaway!

4 Sep

wine

I love wine.

There, I’ve said it!

I can’t drink it like I used to (nor would I want to!) but a nice glass or 2 when the kids are in bed and I can finally sit down and enjoy a wine with dinner is a lovely part of my day.

Beer? – no.

Spirits – no.

Wine – hell yes!

So how to make wine even more appealing to me? 

Make it organic.  

There are so many organic wineries out there now and I love that! Hubby and I used to live an hour away from Margaret river and we have visited the Yarra Valley and Hunter Valley quite a few times so we have been able to see organic wineries in action and taste some amazing vintages but I have never been to The Barossa (cue pouty face). 

Pure Vision Organic Wines are based in Virginia, S.A. which is about 40 minutes from the Barossa and I have really loved trying the wines from this winery.  Pure Vision sent me a mixed dozen to slowly work my way through 😉 and I so I enlisted some reviewing help much to the annoyance of my husband, mum and friends 😉

Here is what I like about organic wine and this company all rolled into one paragraph –

“Pure Vision is a South Australian owned boutique winery dedicated to providing premium quality organic wines. Sourcing only the finest organic grapes from South Australia, we have met our vision to produce wine which captures the essence of each grape in its natural glory. Our certified organic grapes grow free from synthetic chemicals or fertilisers – a process which releases the natural colours and flavours resulting in wine which tastes pure, clean and divine.”

Small Australian boutique business – check.

Wine that is better for our health to drink – check.

Better growing practices for our environment – check.

So their mixed dozen which you may also be the lucky recipient of contains –

Merlot

Shiraz

Cabernet sauvignon

Sauvignon Blanc

Chardonnay

Pinot grigio

Rose

dinnerandwine

My favourite from these has been hard to pick but the Rose is pretty special and went really well with my marinated baby fig and blue cheese pizzas I make!

My mum adored the Shiraz and has already bought herself a few more bottles from Dan Murphys!

Hubby loved the Sauvignon Blanc and I must admit this was delicious with our fish and chips dinner one night!

So what do you have to do to win a mixed dozen for yourself and a gorgeous Pure Vision Wine apron to faff around in while cooking and entertaining?

Be a blog subscriber – to receive my blogs via e-mail just pop your e-mail address in the ‘follow by e-mail’ box here on this page

Like Pure Vision Facebook page, click HERE

be a liker of my page also, click HERE

Leave a comment on this blog telling me your favourite wine out of the list above and then the winner will be drawn randomly from these blog comments using random.org

You must have an Australian address for postal purposes and the giveaway closes at midnight on Wednesday the 11th and the winner will be announced on the blog on Thursday 12th as well as notified by e-mail.

 

********************THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED********************

CONGRATULATIONS ELISHA!!!!!!

 

 

If you would like to check out the Pure Vision Organic Website and order any of these amazing wines, please click HERE

apron

Good luck!

Yours in health,

Alisha x

Homemade Coconut Yoghurt

24 Aug

Image

Homemade Coconut Yoghurt!

The lovely Leah Pepper sent this recipe in to me and I put it on my facebook page and oh my goodness! What a response!

I started making it straight away to see how it would work out and in 24 hours, I had an amazing, delicious and much cheaper coconut yoghurt in my fridge –

Directions are simply this:

“whisk about 4 heaped table spoons of yoghurt with 2 cans of coconut cream in a very clean/ sterilised glass bowl, then you just put a tea towel over it and let it sit on the bench for about 24hrs … bottle it, fridge it and that is it !!!! so easy”

Did you ever think it would be that easy?

Well it was for me – My first batch turned out brilliantly and also for many others.  Of course there will be less success in areas that aren’t as temperate as Brisbane (where I live) at the moment so after quite a few more posts, this is the extra info I have gleaned along the way from all my lovely likers who experimented with this also –

A more In-depth explanation!

In a sterilised glass bowl (I just run boiling water over it) add either 2 cans of Spiral Organic brand coconut cream or 2.5 cans of Ayam brand coconut cream (these ones are smaller) into the bowl.

I recommend using these brands as I know both are in BPA free cans and have nothing else added except a little organic guargum (less than 0.5%) in the spiral one. Spiral is available from healthfood stores, some supermarkets and online organic shopping sites like Organics on a Budget.

Ayam brand is available through almost all supermarkets. It’s not organic but has absolutely nothing else added.

Please always buy full fat coconut cream.  I never buy coconut milk as you are basically paying for the company to add water to the coconut cream so if you ever need coconut milk for other recipes – just buy the cream and add your own water to thin in a little – you will have more for less money 😉

To the coconut cream – add 4 tblspns of a coconut yoghurt, this is called your ‘starter’.

If starting for the first time and want to keep it completely dairy free, add a bought coconut yoghurt brand, the ones I have tried with and work well are CoYo and Pure Veda – these are available from the healthfood store.

Add a sweetener (you don’t have to!) such as maple syrup or coconut sugar – I have used both and they worked well and gave it a slight sweetness 🙂

Whisk together and leave in a warm spot on the kitchen bench covered with a tea towel for 24 hours.

If it is cold where you live or you haven’t had success with doing things with so many variables!  Other ways to do this are –

easiyo

a) Use an EasiYo maker such as the one in the pic above.  These are available from most supermarkets and are usually around $20 – use the same ingredients but the outside container will be filled with boiling water to keep it warm!

b) Use a glass container with a lid so you can wrap your yoghurt-to-be in a towel and put in a small esky with another container filled with boiling water and with the lid on which will create a nice warm environment for that yoghurt to culture!

Questions

Can I start it off with a dairy yoghurt? 

Yes! Just be aware that it then won’t be 100% dairy free!

It is still a bit runny? Did it work?

If you followed directions and it has thickened quite a bit but not to the normal thickness of yoghurt you are used to, yes, it has still worked! It is never going to be a thick set yoghurt which generally requires a thickening or setting agent like cornflour or gelatine.

How can I use it?

My favourite ways of using this yoghurt are in smoothies, to soak cereal in (with a splash of coconut water also! Mmmmm!

Use it instead of cream with your yummy healthy desserts – combine with fresh fruits, juiced or whole and eat as is or make ice-creams from it – the list is endless for you and kids to enjoy!

coconutyoghurt3

Why coconut?

This is a fabulous cream to replace dairy and soy milk especially for making yoghurt as nut milks are not easy to make into a yoghurt!!

Do I just Keep Using the homemade coconut yoghurt to make the next batch?

Yes, as long as you make it every 5-7 days to keep feeding the bacteria.  If it starts to become less effective, or tasting a bit sour for your likes simply start with a new bought yoghurt!

Why is cultured food so important?

Fermenting and culturing foods with good bacteria helps our gut lining and digestion of our foods.  We already have bacteria in our gut but adding to that in the way of good bacteria helps propagate our bodies own levels and keeps things balanced.

Essential for everyone, children and adults alike to decrease food intolerance, increase immunity and keep the gut wall protected from leaky gut syndrome which then leads to inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

coconutyoghurt2

To read more about how important bacteria is for our gut and overall health, please read my blog here Gut Health – Heal Your Gut

Yours in Health,

Alisha x

Healthy Mexican!

19 Aug

foodskool

Healthy Mexican!

 

 

Image

 

 

This week we wanted to share with you a tasty, healthy way to enjoy Mexican without all the cheese, meat and chips that all add up to way too many food intolerances for some people! This is a simple, easy and delicious recipe idea that is perfect for a special family movie night over the weekend or a simple mid-week meal. It is tasty and is great because it is like a treat but it is healthy and avoids Mexican food always having to be about corn chips fried in GMO vegetable oils or overly-processed tortilla wraps. This is a nice light way to enjoy Mexican flavours! The recipe is already gluten-free and if you serve it with cashew cheese it is dairy-free and vegan as well.

 

Mexican Wedges….! (serves 2-4)

4 large potatoes, washed & cut into thin wedges

4 tsp cumin, ground

4 tsp coriander, ground

4 tsp smoked paprika, ground

2 tsp chilli powder

salt

guacamole

1 large / 2 sml avocadoes, mashed

Juice of 1 lemon

Salt & pepper

 

 

mexicanpotatonachos

 

salsa

3 tomatoes, diced

½ red onion, finely diced

1 bunch Coriander, finely chopped

1 long red chilli, deseeded & finely diced

juice of ½ lemon

salt

1 tbs olive oil

bean mix

1 can pinto/black beans

1 tsp cumin, ground

juice of ½ lemon

2 tbs olive oil

4 tbs water

salt

 

cashew cheese

 

cashewcheese

 

 

If you want to avoid dairy you can blend 1 cup of raw cashews with 5 tbs – 10 tbs water (depending on desired consistency – add gradually), good pinch salt, juice of 1 lemon and serve as

‘cashew’ cheese

Also delicious served with quark (for dairy lovers) and jalapenos (for chilli lovers like us!)

Preheat oven to 200 ̊C. Toss potato wedges in spices & salt and spread out on a baking tray. Sprinkle oil all over wedges and bake for approx. 40 mins to 1 hour or until crispy and cooked.  For the guacamole mix avocados with lemon juice & seasoning and set aside in a bowl. For salsa mix tomatoes, onion, coriander, chilli with lemon juice, oil, and salt a stir together. Set aside. For the bean mix place beans and other ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until it becomes a puree or paste then set aside. When the potatoes are cooked to your liking then you can top with the guacamole, salsa, beans and serve with some quark and jalapenos or extra chilli sauce depending on how you like it.

TIPS&/TRICKS – * You can also use all sweet potatoes instead of potato or half and half for extra nutrition and colour * You can substitute kidney bean for the black bean or pinto beans * 

Sophie and Linda,

foodskool

Mums In Health – Featuring Sonia Donaldson of Natural New age Mum!

16 Aug

Image

We haven’t had a Mum In Health here on the blog for aaaaages!

What a way to bring this series out of hibernation with, who could possibly be described as, the Matriarch of Mums in health here in the blogosphere – Sonia Donaldson of Natural New age Mum fame! (well, she’s famous in my circles but she would call this nonsense!)

Sonia has really led the way for a lot of us mum’s who are passionate about health in internet land. She covers absolutely every facet of what ‘health’ means to me in an easy to understand, fun, inspiring and well documented way through her popular facebook page and blog.  She is also mum to two very amazing children that are a real testament to kids who are brought up with physical and mental health as priority in mind. 

I have been lucky enough to be taken under her wing as I started my journey out of the clinic and into cyberspace since becoming a mum and I can thank her for most things I have learnt along the way about communicating with you all through a page and blog.  I’ve also learnt so much about resources, products, people and ideas about health in the home and as a parent….Hey, I’m a smart cookie, I wasn’t going to be taught by anyone but the best 😉

So it’s been a real privilege to be taught, friended and inspired by today’s mum and I will let the usual ‘Mum in Health’ questions tell us what we want to know about Ms Sonia and she also shares one of her healthy chicken nugget recipes from her ‘Just Say No to Nuggets Campaign’

Who are you?

Hi, I am Sonia (aka Natural New Age Mum)

www.naturalnewagemum.com

What is your particular interest/area in/of health?

I am interested in anything healthy, natural or new age really! I will give just about anything a try. My main passions though are healthy, whole food cooking, living chemical free and getting in touch with my spirituality. I talk about things I am trying out and discovering on my blog.

When did you first become interested/serious about health?

From an early age -our family was pretty health conscious and we ate homemade, nourishing meals. I have been on an interesting journey with my health and wellbeing! I was one of the gym and diet coke crowd at one point! It wasn’t until I got a bad virus and resultant chronic fatigue about six years ago that I really started investigating organic, additive free, toxin free options. It was an eye-opener last year to also find out I was gluten-intolerant. I am always learning.

How did this change your life?

It made life more bearable. When I stopped overloading my poor immune system with chemicals and wheat, I became better. I had more energy to live life. It’s still an on-going process, but I am getting there!

Did this change again when becoming a parent?

No, I have always believed kids need lots of nourishment for their growing bodies. We got used to being the odd ones out!

 

soniaandzara

 

 

What is the most important thing you would like to teach your children about health?

I’d like to teach them the skill of listening to their body to work out what is right for them to eat. Does it feel good when you eat that? Does your body like it? Does it make you want to run and dance? Does it make you happy?

Any fun facts about yourself you’d like to share?

I have an ‘issue’ with commercial chicken nuggets. They gross me out. I started a “just say NO to nuggets” campaign on my blog, giving mums some easy, home-made alternatives. It is a bit of an obsession. Knowing Alisha’s fondess for quinoa, I am sharing my Quinoa and Dukkah Crumbed Chicken recipe with you.

This recipe is gluten-free, egg-free and contains protein-packed quinoa and lots of yummy spices.

Okay, so this is what you need:

500g organic or free range chicken, cut into strips

1/2 cup buttermilk (use homemade mayo if you are dairy-free)

1/2 cup of organic quinoa flakes

1/2 cup of dukkah (purchase from spice aisle or make it in your thermomix)

1/2 tablespoon of Herbamare

Okay, so this is how you do it:

Marinate the chicken strips in buttermilk. I like to leave it overnight as it makes the chicken really moist and tender, but a couple of hours is okay.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Mix the quinoa flakes, dukkah and Herbamare well and place on a plate.

Taking the strips one at a time, slightly wipe off the buttermilk on the side of the bowl.

Roll in the quinoa mix, pressing it on firmly.

Chuck them onto a tray lined with baking paper and give them a spritz with some oil.

Fling them into the oven to cook for about 10 minutes, depending on how big your strips are.

Our favourite dipping sauce to serve with this is mango chilli chutney and greek yoghurt.

It is lovely served with a huge salad and nice the next day in a wrap with salad for lunch.

Enjoy.

 

 

untitled

 

 

Thankyou so much Sonia – for this lovely recipe, your interview and everything you do for all of us xx

Connect with Sonia over at her blog HERE

and her facebook page HERE

Yours in Health,

Alisha x

foods-kool gives us their favourite muffin!

12 Aug

foodskool

 

 

Image

 

our favourite muffin …

skool

Now you may not know this about us and unless you are a close friend and you bring us soup or muffins when we are really down and out…. we have a general hatred towards the muffin! I know it is not fair and there are lots of good-hearted muffins out there but they can also be fat and calorie laden health food posers that accompany a flat white and destroy good people’s figures without them even knowing they have a BAD habit….

 

These muffins, however, have won our hearts and they are healthy and easy on the hips as well. One of the many diets we have tried and tested, before we came across what we now live as a lifestyle rather than a diet, is the Liver Cleansing Diet by Sandra Cabot. When we were on the three month liver cleanse, we in fact got the opportunity to meet Sandra in Cleveland in Brisbane at a seminar. It was like meeting a rockstar for us, sad but true; We were tongue tied when she signed our 1980’s copy of the Liver Cleansing Diet!

 

Anyway, these muffins are so easy to make they take twenty minutes so we often make them for breakfast and I make them anytime we have overripe bananas on the bench so we can have them as snacks. I think they are roughly 80-100 calories each when you make them as 6 muffins from this recipe so a great snack portion or have two as breakfast!

 

food

 

 

Image

 

 

banana muffins (makes 6)

This recipe is from the wonderful Sandra Cabot and the Liver Cleansing Diet.

She is an amazing woman and we love her wholefood approach to eating and educating people. We probably make these muffins once a week and we always thoroughly love them.

2 large ripe bananas, mashed

2 tbs honey

2 tbs olive oil / coconut oil

1 tbs LSA or almond meal

2 tsp vanilla essence

1 ¼ cups w’meal spelt flour

2 ½ tsp baking powder

2 tbs walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 180 ̊C. Mix bananas, honey, oil and LSA together in a large bowl. Fold in remaining ingredients and mix well until combined but don’t over-mix (an over-mixed muffin always turns out tough and chewy). Spoon into a greased non-stick muffin tin and bake for 20-25 minutes.

 

Have a great week everyone…

Sophie and Linda

foodskool

A Weight off my mind….

9 Aug

beyourfriend

(Image credit)

Overweight. Big. Fat. Large. Trying to lose.

Words that I am saying goodbye to and I’m writing this blog today to help you start to as well.

You see, it’s these types of words that circle constantly around the brain of people who are over their ‘ideal’ weight and they cause so much harm.  Negative thinking about how we view ourselves keeps us where we don’t want to be.

I say ‘we’ because to any woman reading this who is unhappy with their weight – I’m there with you.  In fact I’m quite overweight at the moment and I promise that is the last time I use that word to describe myself.

What a less critical and less judgemental person would see when they look at me and know what I’ve been through this year is a woman who has struggled with a recent set of obstacles thrown at her by life and has turned to food for comfort and fulfilment.  She has been there before and will probably go there again, this is not new to her.

Nothing else.  It hasn’t changed who I fundamentally am nor does it need to define my future.  It is my past and my present.

I have a lot of baggage associated with my body image as every single person on this planet has.

I also feel less authentic in my profession as a naturopath as I feel I should embody a picture of health.  It’s unfortunate that ‘health’ is associated with the slim figure but it is.  I don’t place any more value or view as more healthy in ‘skinny’ over ‘plump’ when I look at others, so why should I judge myself so critically?

Because that’s what we do.

That is the whole problem.

I’m not advocating a certain weight to be more healthy – it’s our state of mind that needs to get healthier.

So here is a promise from me to you and I want you to make one in return to me.  

I know you don’t know me personally but I am just like you.

Full of doubts, insecurities, self admonishment.

I’m hard on myself and I treat others better than I treat myself.

But my main glimmer of hope right now is this awareness.

I need to love who I am at all my stages in this life.

If my outside did not reflect my struggles, my heartache, my achievements, my faults, then what would I use as my yardstick to know what I need to work on?

We have to love this vehicle that houses our very imperfect self and treat it with the utmost kindness and love – just as we would treat our friends, our family, our partner, our sons, daughters and anyone that crosses our path that needed our help.

So this is my promise.

I will love my less than ideal weight.  

I will love whatever I become, even if that means smaller or bigger.

I will love that I’m still standing after 2 pregnancies and still learning to take care of all of my hearts since we have multiplied so quickly

I will love that I will know what it’s like when people come to me with similar issues

I will love that I know how to help them

I will love the person that is trying to hide from photos and the world until she is where she thinks she needs to be 

I will love being recognised for what I do and not what I look like

I will love you if you allow yourself to start loving you too

 

 

mistakes

 

 

I would like to thank a liker of mine that sent me this message this morning after she read an extract I shared on my facebook page that was published in The Huffington Post by Sarah Koppelkam

“Thank you for sharing the post about weight.. so poignant for me…issues stemming back to my childhood and issues I don’t want to pass on to my daughter and the timing is perfect I was nearly going to go to Jenny Craig tomorrow (after obsessing about the 6 kilos I cannot shift of pregnancy weight after 18 months)which goes against ALL of my food and health philosophies… think I will give that appointment a miss!! THANK YOU xo”

Here is the extract titled “How to Talk to Your Daughter About Her Body”.  It is very wise advice and beautifully written and I think it is not just something we need to be teaching our son’s and daughter’s but also ourselves.

 

“How to talk to your daughter about her body, step one:
Don’t talk to your daughter about her body, except to teach her how it works.
Don’t say anything if she’s lost weight. Don’t say anything if she’s gained weight.

If you think your daughter’s body looks amazing, don’t say that. Here are some things you can say instead:

“You look so healthy!” is a great one.
Or how about, “you’re looking so strong.”
“I can see how happy you are – you’re glowing.”

Better yet, compliment her on something that has nothing to do with her body.

Don’t comment on other women’s bodies either. Nope. Not a single comment, not a nice one or a mean one.

Teach her about kindness towards others, but also kindness towards yourself.

Don’t you dare talk about how much you hate your body in front of your daughter, or talk about your new diet. In fact, don’t go on a diet in front of your daughter. Buy healthy food. Cook healthy meals. But don’t say “I’m not eating carbs right now.” Your daughter should never think that carbs are evil, because shame over what you eat only leads to shame about yourself.

Encourage your daughter to run because it makes her feel less stressed. Encourage your daughter to climb mountains because there is nowhere better to explore your spirituality than the peak of the universe. Encourage your daughter to surf, or rock climb, or mountain bike because it scares her and that’s a good thing sometimes.

Help your daughter love soccer or rowing or hockey because sports make her a better leader and a more confident woman. Explain that no matter how old you get, you’ll never stop needing good teamwork. Never make her play a sport she isn’t absolutely in love with.

Prove to your daughter that women don’t need men to move their furniture.

Teach your daughter how to cook kale.

Teach your daughter how to bake chocolate cake made with six sticks of butter.

Pass on your own mom’s recipe for Christmas morning coffee cake. Pass on your love of being outside.

Maybe you and your daughter both have thick thighs or wide ribcages. It’s easy to hate these non-size zero body parts. Don’t. Tell your daughter that with her legs she can run a marathon if she wants to, and her ribcage is nothing but a carrying case for strong lungs. She can scream and she can sing and she can lift up the world, if she wants.

Remind your daughter that the best thing she can do with her body is to use it to mobilize her beautiful soul.”

 

I hope you all will return the promise I am making to you – we can all help each other see our beauty whatever our size and if we want to change how we look in any way – we can!

But not by beating ourselves up and certainly not by withholding love from ourselves until we reach that ever elusive ‘perfect’ as there really is no such thing.

 

Yours in Health,

 

Alisha xx

Chicken Soup for the Soul

7 Aug

Image

This is a very easy chicken soup to make that is filled with all the good stuff to fight off colds, heal a cold and generally keep you warm and satisfied on a cold night.  I call it my chicken soup for the soul as I always feel at peace after a nice big bowl and like I’ve been hugged from the inside 😉

It is a great soup to have on stand by frozen in the freezer (not in plastic – stainless steel or glass containers only please!) to pull out and partially defrost on the bench before popping on the stove top again.

The combination of the chicken stock, garlic, ginger and onions all help combat viruses that cause head cold symptoms and can even disperse symptoms once a cold has taken hold.  

The high protein content enables the body to feel strong and repair any damaged tissue.

The spring onions added at the end, in Chinese Medicine, are thought to help disperse the energies of wind/cold and can even induce a sweat to rid the body of the virus.

Image

You Will Need –

1 whole free range/organic chook

Any old Veg that needs to be used up or veggie scraps

2 cobs of corn

2 eggs

1 carrot

2 onions (1 cut into large chunks for the stock and one finely diced for the soup)

6 cloves of garlic

3 ‘thumbs’ of ginger

4 rashers of free range/organic bacon (diced)

1 bunch of spring onions

2 bay leaves

1tblspn coconut oil

himalayan salt to taste

Method

Either roast your chook or buy a free range chook already roasted (available at most supermarkets – look for the Lilydale range)

Once cooked, disassemble and shred the flesh into pieces with your fingers and put aside

Pop the Chicken carcass (whole) into a pot with bay leaves, veggie scraps or veggie that need to be used up, cut into biggish pieces, a diced onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 thumb of ginger that you have peeled and cut into fine slices, a generous pinch of salt and cover the chook with water so there is at least 2 inches of water above the carcass. Bring to the boil and then pop it on a high simmer for at least an hour.

At some point in this process, pop the 2 eggs in, in their shells to boil for a few minutes and remove and peel (may as well use the liquid that is already cooking to cook those eggs!)

When the stock is done, strain the liquid that is left into another pot or bowl and set aside.

In the large pot that you cooked your stock – add the coconut oil, bacon and the other onion that you have finely diced and fry until nice and brown and smelling beautiful.

Add your stock, shredded chicken, finely diced carrot, corn that you have cut off the cobs and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Add the boiled eggs that you have cut up into small pieces, crush 4 cloves of garlic into the pot and with using a microplane or a fine grater, grate the other 2 thumbs of ginger into the pot. Stir for another 5 minutes and watch the chicken break up even further.

Finally just before serving, add the spring onions that you have cut up.  Use nearly the whole length of them just leaving the very dark green ends so you have white and green in your pot.

Serve in a nice big bowl and have some gluten free toast to accompany if you wish!

Image

Yours In Health,

Alisha x

brown rice is so nice

5 Aug

brownrice

foodskool

Yum how wholesome, satisfying and delicious is brown rice? For us it has that earthy, homely, amazing quality that can make you feel whole and grounded again. Maybe we were hippies in another life but brown rice and vegetables is like a new beginning for us. When times are hard and home cooking disappears or the flu sets in a good old dose of brown rice and vegetables always makes you feel better!

We did a diet in our early twenties which was a basic one month detox plan. Sophie was studying Naturopathy and Linda was a keen participant in any diet trials so we stuck to this detox plan. It was basically just certain fruits or vegetables raw or juiced during the day and then at night you were allowed steamed vegetables and ½ cup of cooked brown rice. We put tahini, lemon juice and garlic over our rice and a couple of tablespoons of raw nuts and seeds. We looked forward to that meal so much I cannot even explain the joy it gave our empty stomachs. So, that is probably why brown rice still brings us that happy feeling. Not to mention how great it is with that dressing and the nuts/ seeds and some salt!

These two recipes work well for us as things we make on the weekend and freeze or refrigerate as work lunches for the week. We, as you will see, like to use brown rice in the form of flour as well. Plus we have included our top tips for brown fried rice!

 

Image (81)

macrobiotic brown rice slice with spicy ginger tomato glaze

I made this recipe up but it does basically follow macrobiotic principles so that is what we call it. The glaze just really gives it a flavour zing!

(makes 12 slices)

2 cups brown rice cooked in 4 cups water with tsp salt

3 small zucchini, grated

1 carrot, grated

½ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup pepitas

3 tbs flaxseeds, ground and mixed with 6 tbs water to form a gel

3 tbs nut butter (ABC spread, almond or macadamia etc.)

¼ cup tamari

4 tbs tomato paste

½ cup raw cashews, roughly chopped

¼ cup sesame seeds

salt & pepper

Glaze – 1 tin diced tomatoes, 2 tbs honey, 2 tbs apple cider vinegar, 2 cloves garlic grated, 4 cm ginger grated, 1 tsp chilli powder, salt

Preheat oven to 180 ̊C and grease and line a rectangular brownie tin with baking paper. Mix cooked brown rice with all other ingredients and stir together until thoroughly combined. Place into baking tin and flatten out evenly. For the glaze place all glaze ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until mixture is thick and slightly reduced. Spread glaze evenly over brown rice slice and then bake for 40 minutes until it starts to brown at the edges. Allow to cool and firm up in the tin and then slice and serve or store for work lunches.

Image (80)

thai steamed banana cake (we get 2 bar cakes and cut them into 8 pieces each to reduce calories to approx 150 per slice – an educated calorie guess)

Yum. We learnt how to make this at the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School on our travels in Thailand. Of course you can make this in small asian bowls or even steam in banana leaves if you have them available. This cake is really simple and so delicious. It is gluten and dairy-free also.

10 small bananas, mashed

120g (1 cup) brown rice flour

30g (1/4 cup) tapioca flour / arrowroot

130g sugar (1 ½ cups) (your favourite)

½ tsp salt

125mls (1/2 cup) coconut cream

100g (3 cups) grated coconut or shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 180 ̊C and boil a kettle of water OR boil water in a saucepan for steaming. Lightly drizzle shredded coconut (if using) with 1-2 tsp boiling water to soften. Put bananas (mashed) in a bowl with tapioca, brown rice flour, sugar, salt, coconut cream and coconut. Mix well until thoroughly combined. Put mixture into greased and lined baking tin / tins and then into a water bath in a larger baking dish – boiling water should come up to about ¾ of the sides of the tins- and cover tightly in foil. Or place in bowl or bowls in bamboo steamer above boiling water and cover. Bake or steam for 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold.

brownricefried

our top tips for amazing brown fried rice:

People always ask us how to make fried rice and say they always make a mess of it. So, here are a few tips.

  • The most important tip is to use cold rice. It works much better and stops you getting a gluggy mess. So, make dinner with brown rice the night before and make a bit extra. Do not overcook your rice too much. Then if you can spread out the leftovers in Tupperware or on a tray and allow to cool. Then cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least a few hours. If you absolutely have to use hot rice make sure it is not overcooked and very well drained and that it is very hot – semi-warm rice makes the gluggiest fried rice!
  • Finely dice a nice array of vegetables for your rice. The more evenly sized they are the better. Remember a bit of colour goes a long way – carrot or capsicum. Don’t forget frozen peas too.
  • Use lovely organic eggs to make an omelette before you cook your rice in the wok. Asian omelettes typically are just eggs beaten until bubbly with a tiny dash of water – no milk. Slice up your omelette ready to go.
  • Have all your ingredients ready to go and a nice large saucepan or preferably a wok with some oil. A good splash of oil in the wok and then get the wok heated up ready to fry the rice. A nice flat spoon or splade (available cheaply in asian stores) is great to get in and toss the rice.
  • The sauces or seasoning you will need for the best authentic fried rice are shao hsing or chinese cooking wine (we like the red labelled Pandaroo brand available in Asian supermarkets for 99c) , soy sauce (Pearl River Bridge is our preferred brand) and some freshly grated ginger. This combination is KEY. Sprinkle the soy over the whole top of the rice so it colours all your rice don’t just plop it in the middle. Use enough soy to taste and a splash of shao hsing and a good tablespoon of ginger.
  • In Chinese cooking the commercial woks are super hot, a lot hotter than we can achieve at home. The principle with maximum heat is to move the rice quickly to avoid overcooking but to heat right throughout so none of the rice is cold. You want heat all around the outside of each rice grain, technically. At home, we suggest maximum heat then add your vegetables then ginger and egg. When vegetables begin to cook toss in you rice and toss to mix thoroughly. Then add sauces and mix thoroughly. Then leave to heat a moment and once you see steam toss again until warmed through and serve.
  • Experiment with your heat. Do not overcrowd the wok with too much rice rather cook in batches. Rice is constantly absorbing water and growing so think of it like that – care for your rice and learn to understand it. For example, when you dip a rice paper sheet in water most people leave it until it is soft but dip it in for a few seconds and remove it when still a bit firm and see what happens – it will go soft because the rice is still absorbing the water and swelling – we guarantee it!

Happy Cooking!

Here’s to wonderful work lunches for all!

foodskool

%d bloggers like this: