Thursday, 10 January 2013

cleaning up my act

As promised, I am going to post only clean eating recipes for the month of January.  I'm on a clean eating mission and all will soon be revealed!  
Doesn't that sound so mysterious? The other reason why I'm on a mission is for purely selfish reasons, and that's because I want to be the healthiest that I can be.  I figure by looking after myself, inside and out, I will hopefully set a good example to my two girls.  This world has gone crazy, and I can't imagine what the future holds, so at the end of the day, without health, we can't navigate through all the amazing, crazy and scary stuff that may lay ahead.

I've been doing quite a bit of reading lately, and like with everything, I've taken the information and have adjusted it to suit me and my lifestyle.  I haven't changed the way I eat that much, just avoiding some things.  I have however, changed the order in which I eat them.  If you are interested in health, you should really check out some of the principles to eating outlined in "the beauty detox solution" by Kimberley Snider.  Can't recommended it enough.  
So without further delay, here are some recipes that I've been flogging of late that are clean, lean and deliciously good for you.

Green Smoothie
Makes about 1 L


1 ripe banana (frozen if you have it)
1 ripe pear
1 stalk of celery
1/2 mango
1 cup of spinach
1 cup of cos lettuce
1/2 lemon juiced
1/2 tsp spirulina
1 tsp flax seed oil
1 TBS raw lucuma powder (optional)


Process all ingredients in a high powered blender with ice and 400 ml of water until super smooth.

I make this smoothie everyday and it's my breakfast.  It's fair to say that I'm addicted and I don't think I'll ever give it up.  
After a mug of warm water and lemon, I have 1/2 L of water with a probiotic and then have this.  Delicious and filling. 
Best of all, you can tweek the recipe to add the fruit and vegies that you like.  I find this combination works for me.

Lunch is usually composed of large salads so here are some of my favourites, along with some other more dense dishes.  
But don't be fooled, salads are just as filling!

Kale and Bok Choy Salad with Avocado Dressing
Serves 1


4 stalks of kale of choice
2 bulbs of bok choy
5 cherry tomatoes
1 cup of mixed leaves
2 stalks of celery
1/2 cup red capsicum
1 TBS nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 avocado
1/2 lemon juiced
himalayan pink salt and fresh crushed pepper to taste


Tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces, this will give you the opportunity to massage your kale*.
Chop the rest of the ingredients, except avocado and lemon juice, into bite sized pieces and place in to a large bowl.
Mash your avocado and mix with the lemon juice and season.
Add nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper to the salad. 
Pour avocado mix to the salad, and using your hands, combine gently to coat all veggies.
Serve and munch.

*massaging kale makes it go from fibrous and bitter to silky and sweet.  Take bunches of kale in both hands -- with the fibrous ribs removed -- rub them together and repeat. You'll notice a visible change as you do this; the leaves will darken, shrink in size and become silky in texture.

Bok choy is delicious raw, and along with other asian greens, are my new favourite addition to salads.

Everyone has their own version of pumpkin soup, and it's one of those dishes that I find really comforting and filling. Here's my version.

Pumpkin Soup
Serves 2


4 cups of pumpkin (I cut my pieces small so that they take less time to cook)
1 cup of carrot (as above)
1 stalk of celery sliced
1 ear of corn
1/2 cup brown onion diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 vegan stock cube


In a medium pan, add 1/2 cup of water, onions, garlic, celery, carrot and pumpkin.
Place lid on top and cook over medium heat until onion becomes translucent.
Add stock cube and enough water to just cover the pumpkin, replace lid and cook on low-medium heat until vegetables are tender.
Remove from heat and blend with a stick blender (If you like it thinner, add more water, if you like it thick, cook with lid off if there's too much liquid for your liking).
Slice kernels from the corn and add to soup.  Cook on low for another 7 minutes.  Just enough to cook the corn kernels.
Season if desired and serve.

I'm lucky to live in such a diverse area of Sydney, so a quick stroll to my local shops had me musing over some giant looking green mangos.  What to do, what to do?  
Here it is:

Vietnamese Green Mango Salad Rice Paper Rolls
Makes 8-10


1 cup peeled and grated green mango
1 1/2 cups of baby spinach chopped
1 cup of bean sprouts
1 small carrot shredded
1 cup of mint leaves
1/4 cup of chopped raw almonds
2 TBS coconut sugar*
2 TBS lime juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp himalayan pink salt
8-10 pieces of round rice paper


In a large bowl, add the vegetables, mango and mint.  Combine the sugar, juice, oil and salt separately and stir until sugar dissolves.  Add this to the vegetables, along with the almonds, and toss gently to combine.
Put some water in a plate and lay out a thick kitchen towel next to it.
Soak rice paper round in the water for about 10 seconds or until it starts to go a little bit soft.  Place it flat on the towel.
Place a small handful of filling in the centre (about 1/2 cup).
Fold in the sides and roll up the wrapper to make a spring roll.
Place the roll on a plate, seam side down, and repeat with the rest.
Position them so they don't touch or they will stick to each other.  Cover the rolls with a damp paper towel.
Serve immediately or you can wrap them individually in glad wrap and eat at a later time.

*you can find coconut sugar at your local Asian grocery store.  Alternatively, use brown sugar or maple syrup.

Dipping sauce
Makes 1 cup


1/2 cup tamari
1/2 cup lime juice
2 TBS coconut sugar
1 TBS lime zest
1 fresh red chilli sliced or chilli flakes


In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients.  Serve along side rolls.
Ok, so my rolling technique leaves much to be desired but it's nothing practice won't fix.  I guess I'll just have to keep making more of these little buddies :)

And whilst we're on Asian flavours, here's a raw vegan recipe for one of my favourite dishes, pad thai.

Raw Vegan Pad Thai
Serves 4


1 zucchini spiralised or thinly sliced into sticks
1 large carrot shredded using potato peeler
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
Small handful of enoki mushrooms, roots discarded
1 cup red cabbage thinly shredded
1/2 cucumber thinly sliced, a few slices for garnish
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup bean sprouts
10 cherry tomatoes halved
1/2 cup fresh mint chopped
1/2 cup fresh coriander chopped, extra leaves for garnish
2 TBS activated sunflower seeds
1 red chilli (optional)
2 TBS tamari
2 TBS lemon juice
1 1/2 TBS almond butter


Combine vegetables, herbs, and seeds in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari, lemon juice and almond butter.
Pour over salad and use your hands to gently combine so all veggies are coated in the dressing and you don't squash them.
Place large handfuls on a plate, decorate with cucumber slices, fresh coriander springs and chilli.

This next salad is good for when you are entertaining.  It's super easy to make and really is a crowd pleaser.  Again, you can add whatever you have available, as long as you have the brown rice.  I take this whenever I'm going over to someone's for a meal/bbq.  This way I'm guaranteed to be able to eat something :)

Brown rice and roast vegetable salad
Serves 8


1 cup of brown rice
2 cups of sweet potato diced
2 cups of pumpkin diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup red capsicum diced
1/3 cup red onion sliced thinly
1 cup of fresh mint chopped
1/4 cup activated sunflower seeds
2 tsp wholegrain mustard
2 TBS raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Cook brown rice to cooking instructions.  Make sure you wash and soak first.  At least 10 minutes.
In a preheated moderate oven, place a lined tray with your pumpkin and sweet potato.  Bake until done (about 25 minutes).
Once the rice and vegetables are done cooking, place in a large bowl, and toss with the herbs, capsicum, onion, cranberries and seeds.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the mustard, oil, vinegar and seasoning.
Add to salad and toss to combine.
Serve as a side or more as a meal.
This recipe keeps well so you can make this and keep it refrigerated to take for lunch to work.
Sticking to grains, the following is a my version of a macrobiotic meal.  

Mami's Macro Bowl
Serves 1


1/2 zucchini cut into match sticks
1/4 large red capsicum sliced into sticks
1 bulb of bok choy chopped
1/4 cup of leek sliced (white part only)
5 oyster mushrooms sliced
1/2 cup wombok thinly sliced
2 cm piece of ginger
1 TBS organic raw unpasteurized brown rice miso
1 TBS tamari
1/2 cup of water


In a large frying pan, add water and place on medium heat.  When water starts to heat up, add miso and tamari.
Mix until miso is dissolved.
Add vegetables and cook on low heat until vegetables are just soft.  DO NOT OVERCOOK!  The macro gods will be upset.
Grate the ginger and squeeze out the juice and add it to the vegetables once the heat is turned off.

To serve

1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup organic sauerkraut (I used Eden organics brand)
daikon raddish cut into match sticks (small handful)
purple carrots cut into match sticks (small handful)
1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts

Arrange in a bowl and enjoy.  Make sure you always eat the sauerkraut first.  It will get the digestive juices flowing and CHEW YOUR FOOD for as long as you can.
Chewing your food well, ensures easier uptake of nutrients by the body, and it also gives your brain time to register when you are actually full.
Moving on to a different grain, the king of grains if you ask me.

Curried Quinoa Stuffed Baby Pumpkin
Serves 2


1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
1/4 cup brown onion diced
1 garlic clove crushed
1/2 vegan stock cube
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup cauliflower florets chopped
1 TBS raisins
1 ear of corn - kernels removed
2 TBS fresh parsley for garnish
2 baby pumpkins, scrubbed, tops removed to be used as lids, seeds scooped out.


Pre-heat an oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Line a tray with baking paper, place your pumpkins and lids on tray and place in oven to bake, approximately 25 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, add your quinoa, curry powder, onion, stock cube, cauliflower, raisins and corn kernels.
Add one cup of water and cook with lid on until quinoa has soaked up all the water,it should look more or less translucent when it's cooked.
Take out your pumpkins from the oven, stuff with quinoa mixture, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Like a warm hug!

More clean recipes to come so keep your eyes open and your tummies rumbling!

Peas, love and mung beans


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