Thursday, 31 January 2013

clean eating 101

So it occurred to me that some people are a little lost when it comes to nutrition.  I am always caught a bit off guard that things that I think are common sense are quite foreign to others.  
Of course, I don't think this is a negative, rather, it presents an opportunity to share ideas and knowledge.
And I don't mean that I am an expert, far from it to be honest, but there's nothing I love more, than sharing what I am passionate about, and that is healthy, delicious, nourishing, unaltered, clean food.
Ok, ok, so I'm not always such a clean eater, I do have a penchant for sorbets and such delicious treats but on a whole, I've found that my journey through food, has lead me to having less and less of the more 'naughty' foods.  
Maybe it's like with anything, once you develop a habit, it's hard to give it up.  Healthy eating is definitely one of these things for me. 
My advice to people is this: read everything.  Research what you are interested in and you will find answers.  Make sure you keep an open mind, and also, beware that there is a lot of crap and conflicting info out there.
If you want to get started on eating clean and eating well, here are five simple suggestions.

1.  Keep it simple.  This is my mantra.  The less you do with it, the better it will be for you.  Eating foods as close to their original form is without a doubt, the best way to get the maximum benefits.  For this reason, I eat mostly raw.

2.  Drink water.  Simple, yes, but easy to forget.  

3.  Eat when you're hungry.  I had to learn to do this.  Like I said, changing habits is hard and I've always been one for routine.  I had to unlearn and relearn new habits.  A challenge but so worth the time to get there.  At the end of the day, it came down to lifestyle change.

4.  Always eat a hell of a lot of greens.  They are so good for you, they provide so many vitamins and minerals and much needed fibre.  Amazing.

5.  Eat seasonal.  I know it's hard sometimes, but, eating what's in season is best for obvious reasons.  There's also the added bonus that seasonal fruits and veggies are also cheaper and at their best.  Of course if it's within your means, eat organic where possible.  I can't always do that so i make sure I wash my fruit and veggies really well.  
TIP:  Rinse your fruit and veggies, then fill your sink with water, add some apple cider vinegar, and let your produce soak in that for about 15-20 minutes.  Helps to remove all the pesticides and other nasties.

There you are, a few simple steps to get you started, now for the recipes!

A word of warning, the following recipes contain the use of zucchini, A LOT!  I just love them as they are really flavour neutral but are pretty, filling and have a wonderful texture.
zucchini pasta for days!!!

White asparagus, zucchini and mint salad
Serves 1


2 medium zuchhini
1/2 bunch white asparagus
1/4 cup fresh peas
1 cup baby rocket
1 cup of fresh mint leaves
1 orange peeled and segmented
1/2 lemon juiced
1 tsp himalayan pink salt
fresh cracked pepper
1/2 avocado to serve (optional)


Wash all your veggies thoroughly, use a salad spinner for your rocket if you have one.
Slice zucchini using a potato peeler into thin ribbons and place in a large bowl, along with peas and rocket.
Cut half of the asparagus into bite sized pieces and with the other half, use the potato peeler to slice into ribbons.  Add to bowl.
Chop your mint leaves and mix in with your zucchini ribbons, rocket, peas and asparagus.
Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly with your hands.
Place on your plate and arrange orange segments on top.
Serve with a side of avocado slices.

Japanese Seaweed & Enoki bowl
Serves 1


2 cups of baby spinach
1 zucchini peeled into ribbons/spiralized
1/2 bunch of enoki mushrooms
5 cherry tomatoes halved
80g japanese seaweed salad
1 TBS tamari
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 nori sheet, cut into thin strips
pickled ginger (optional)


Place all ingredients except ginger and nori, in a serving bowl and toss gently.
Arrange the pickled ginger around the sides and top with nori bits.

The following two recipes require the use of a spiralizer (handy little tool), see previous post.
However you can get away without one by using a potato peeler to cut into ribbons and then cut into thin strips with knife.
I first tried this pasta at a raw food workshop I did at Sadhana Kitchen.
I fell in love with it because of it's creamy texture and awesome flavour.....without the bloating that comes with eating pasta.  Better yet, it's so fast to prepare, I'm usually done making it in less than 20 minutes.  Perfecto :)

Zucchini Fettucine Alfredo
Serves 2


For Fettucine
2 medium zucchini
2 cups baby spinach

For Alfredo Sauce
1 cup raw activated cashews* 
1/2 clove of garlic
1/4 cup brown onion
3/4 cup water
1 tsp raw unpasteurized brown rice miso
1 tsp dried dill
2 TBSP cold pressed EVOO
2 TBS nutritional yeast
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste



User spiralizer to turn zucchini into fettucine.  Place in a large bowl with the washed and rinsed baby spinach.


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour sauce over zucchini and spinach and use your hands to coat, serve.  
The most delicious thing EVER!!

Activated cashews are just cashews that you soak.  i soak mine as required as I don't have a dehydrator and using the oven to dry them for 10 hours is just not that practical (or bearable) for me.

Carrot and Zucchini Spaghetti with a Coriander Pesto
Serves 1


For Pasta

1 medium carrot
1 medium zucchini

For Pesto

1 cup raw activated cashews
1 cup firmly packed coriander
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup brown onion
3/4 cup water
1 tsp raw unpasteurized brown rice miso
2 TBSP cold pressed EVOO
2 TBS nutritional yeast
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste


Spiralize zucchini and carrot and place in a large bowl.
Place sauce ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.
Pour sauce over pasta, coat well and serve with a little bit extra sauce on top.
Decorate with cherry tomatoes and sprigs of coriander if desired and serve with a side salad of greens.

Note:  Both of the above recipes will leave you with left over sauce.  I also use the sauce like mayo and pour it over veggies when I make raw wraps or as a dip for veggie sticks.

Citrus Berry salad with a Raspberry vinagrette
Serves 1


1 medium zucchini in ribbons
1/2 grapefruit, segmented
3/4 cup strawberry halves
1 cup of baby spinach leaves

1/2 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
3 TBS apple cider vinegar
3 TBS cold pressed EVOO
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste


Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl
Add all your dressing ingredients into your blender and blend until creamy and smooth.
Pour dressing over your salad and serve.

Note: Makes about 3/4 cup of dressing and last for up to 5 days in the fridge in a glass container with a tight fitting lid.
so fresh and so clean
Ok, zucchini obsession over, here's a salad without.

Purple carrot, Mushrooms and Avocado Salad
Serves 1


1/2 bunch enoki mushrooms
1 cup button mushrooms sliced
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/2 avocado cubes
1 medium purple carrot sliced on the diagonal
1/4 red capsicum, diced
1 TBS tamari


Place all ingredients in a bowl, toss with tamari and serve.

It's clear to see from all of the above recipes why I love eating raw so much.  Apart from the food being bright and delicious, it really takes next to no time to prepare.  Seriously, the hardest thing is washing the veggies and cutting a few bits.  
So you can't blame a girl for having a little internal snicker when I hear people use the excuse of 'no time' in response to why they don't eat well.  I hope I can convert a few with my recipes, that's always the goal :)

Okay, so we've had lots of savoury recipes, what about some sweet little treats?
Being summer, we're lucky to have an abundance of fruit, and delicious tropical and exotic fruits at that. 
I've been making the most of that and making delicious fruit salads, or just gorging myself in the freshest I can find.

I always start the day with a green smoothie and here are some of my essentials. The only thing that I will change is the fruit (except banana and pear) to fit the season.
And when a chocolate craving hits, nothing beats a deliciously creamy and cold......

Chocolate Thickshake
Serves 1


200 mls unsweetened almond milk
2 medjool dates pitted
1/2 avocado
1 large ripe frozen banana
2 TBS raw cacao powder
Raw chocolate or cacao nibs (optional)


Place all ingredients (except optionals) in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Serve with optionals on top.
Slurp away :)

And whilst we're on the topic of chocolate, here's a pudding that you can make anytime, in fact, I had it for dinner the other day.  Hey, there's nothing wrong about having dessert for dinner when it's this delicious and clean.

Chocolate Pudding with Figs and Coconut
Serves 1


2 large frozen bananas
1/2 avocado
150 mls almond milk/coconut water mix
1/4 cup flesh from a young coconut
2 TBS raw cacao powder
2 medjool dates pitted
1 fresh fig
1 TBS cacao nibs
2 TBS desiccated coconut


Blend bananas, almond milk/coconut water, coconut flesh, cacao powder and medjool dates until super smooth.  It will be thick, that's how you want it.
Pour into a bowl and decorate with fig slices.  Spread desiccated coconut around rim of bowl and sprinkle on cacao nibs.
Umm, I'm warning you, it's really yum.

And last but not least, I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!!!  Raw, that is.
P.S there's is nothing simpler than making raw vegan ice cream.  Just take frozen fruit, add whatever flavours you want to mix with and process away.  Fool proof deliciousness for seriously lazy ice cream lovers.

Durian and Banana Gelato
Serves 1


1 medium frozen durian seed* (seeds removed)
1 medium ripe frozen banana


Process separately until mixture starts to clump together in a delicious ice cream scoop.
Serve with fresh berries.

My clean eating, mainly raw food obsession continues, will keep you posted with more recipes and all things yum in coming weeks.
And I have a little surprise to share with you next week too.

Peas, love and mung beans



  1. Hi there, i recently found your page through @Cenksii, Just wondering if u have an email address i could mail you on for tips about continuing to eat clean? Thanks x Love ur blog btw!!

    1. hi lovely,
      you can get me on xx