Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Is it the end, or the beginning?

With Clean Eating March days from being complete, I have started to reflect on the month that was.

I won't lie, the fruitarian way of eating is not for me.  Whilst I love my food mainly raw, I do love baked pumpkin and sweet potato.  I also like the choice of being able to have some gluten free grains every now and then, quinoa mainly.

So, whilst it's been fun coming up with new recipes, I'm really looking forward to eating the things I love.
This month has taught me that whilst I am definitely a plant based enthusiast, I can't, and won't, classify myself as anything in particular (raw, fruitarian, e.t.c).
I love the freedom that this gives me, and whilst I prefer and crave mostly raw foods, I'm not restricted to just that.
Like I've said before, life is short, so there's no point in feeling like you're missing out!
This brings me to the subject of coffee.  
I was really expecting that I would go through some sort of withdrawal when I stopped, but surprisingly there were no headaches, no moodiness, no wanting to kill everyone is sight, it was actually a non-event!
Therefore, I am back on coffee come the end of March, not because I need it, but because I like it.  I love the social aspect of it, and I really, really, love the taste.
No judgement from my inner self (who is mostly quiet a harsh critic), so it must be ok :)

I hope everyone else who has been on this journey, has taken something useful away from it.  Regardless of how strict you followed the rules, or how many times you gave in to habits that you were trying to change, you are still a winner in my books.  First and foremost, you took a step in the right direction, and that means the most.  
But I hope that the end of March doesn't mean the end of your journey, and to help you along, I hope that this post and the recipes in it, keep you inspired and eager to keep going.  Not to mention the changes that you have seen in yourself, your body and your mind.

I have a special guest for today's post.  She's another very inspiring lady who I have discovered on Instagram.
Whilst I haven't met her in real life, i just feel her positive vibe through her food.  It's infectious!

Electra is a born and bred 23 year old Melbourne girl and like most Melbournians, she is a self-confessed foodie. 
She is currently completing a Masters in Organisational Psychology and in her free time she hangs out in the kitchen (when she should be studying) creating a mess so her real estate family and gym junkie boyfriend have an incredibly LeanELicious meal to come home to. She also enjoys going for runs, walks with friends, lifting weights and bikram yoga.
And now for the o.h.m questions!

1. What is your eating philosophy?

I have always strived to make healthy food choices. I believe that what we put in our bodies is one of the most important choices we make. I notice that when I eat fresh, clean, healthy produce my body rewards me – I am happier, I feel lighter, I feel more energetic and I have a more positive outlook. When I eat heavily processed, indulgent, cheeky meals I am often grumpy, guilty and unmotivated.

2. When and why did you decide to eat this way?

Growing up I played sport at an elite level and a good diet was a crucial component to my development as an athlete. However over time I slowly began to notice that my stomach would bloat and often felt weird after meals; yet it wasn’t until I was curled up on my bed in a ball on the verge of tears that I realised I had some extreme changes to make. My first trip to the doctor resulted in me being prescribed medication which I felt was a ‘band-aid’ solution and I wanted to heal my stomach, not ‘band-aid’ it. So I skipped the meds, grabbed my laptop and started researching. For me it started with cutting out difficult to digest grains (think wheat flours, pasta (I’m half Italian!), bread, wraps, rice, noodles – all my favourite carbs) and all processed foods (goodbye dairy milk chocolate, café muffins and my favourite Yoplait yoghurt). It was hard but once I noticed how much better I was feeling I was more motivated to stick with it.

3. Have you noticed any changes since changing your eating philosophy (if any)?

It has been the most incredible journey and every day I am learning new things about food and its relationship with my body. I listen to my body more than I ever used to. Last week was the first time in 3 years that I was able to say ‘I have healed my stomach’!! It was the greatest feeling of achievement. It hasn’t been easy being so ‘boring’ with my food choices and most people don’t understand why I can’t just eat a pizza and have a glass of wine. My brother thinks I just live on lettuce but anyone that follows my instagram knows that is definitely not the case. I am more creative and open minded with healthy foods and whilst I don’t think I could ever be 100% raw or 100% vegan or 100% paleo etc., I aim to incorporate principals from all of these healthier styles of eating and create whatever my body is craving – which is usually amazing salads, smoothies and whole foods.

4. What is your favourite dish to cook?

I LOVE my homemade raw-nola (raw buckwheat, activated almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas, chia seeds, shredded coconut and medjool dates smothered in blended dates and a bit of coconut oil).

5. What ingredients are a must-have for your fridge/pantry?

ALWAYS fresh fruit and veg. My staples are frozen bananas, mangoes, berries and fresh veg for super salads. You will also find seaweed for sushi, tamari, extra virgin coconut oil, apple cider vinegar and quinoa in my pantry. My biggest tip is to make sure you have some activated nuts and date balls on hand for those times when you need a healthy snack. It’s all about being prepared for those moments when you’re in a rush.

6. Juices or smoothies? What do you prefer and what combination?

I love juices but smoothies will always win (it’s also so much easier to clean the blender when you’re on the go). I have a green smoothie most mornings made with kale, spinach, frozen banana and mango, pea protein, maca powder and a green powder. However my most favourite smoothie is frozen banana, raw cacao, coconut yogurt and medjool dates blended super thick and creamy.

7. Sweet or savoury?

Sweet – but always healthy! Date balls, granola, smoothies, fruit, tomatoes or pumpkin with my pesto zucchini pasta, sweet potato chips, acai bowls…all pretty damn sweet!

True to her word, she has created a delicious dessert recipe for us.

My Easter Chocaholic Treat
Serves 4

There are 4 layers to this delicious chocolate treat with 3 parts: the crunchy base, then a smooth choc mousse, then in the middle is a coconut and banana layer, then the choc mousse again.


Crunchy Base 

4-6 Medjool Dates 
¼ Cup of Almonds or Hazelnuts 
2 Tsp Raw Cacao Powder

Choc Mousse 
2 Ripe Medium size Bananas 
2 Ripe Avocados 
¼ Cup of Raw Cacao Powder (loosely packed) 
2 Tsp Dark Agave Syrup 
Opt: pinch of cinnamon or tsp vanilla extract

Banana Layer 
2 Ripe Medium size Bananas 
4 Tablespoons of Coconut Cream (organic)


Line 4 ramekins with baking paper. In a food processor or Vitamix pulse dates and almonds/hazelnuts until nice and crumbly. Dive mixture between the 4 ramekins and press into the base so it is nice and compact.

Rinse the food processor and place all ingredients for the mousse and blend until smooth and creamy (no lumps). Place half the mixture in a bowl to the side for the last layer. Spoon the other half of the mixture evenly between the 4 ramekins. Make sure it is a nice even layer.

Rinse the processor and blend the banana and coconut cream until smooth for the middle layer. Gently layer this banana layer on top of the choc mousse. Spoon the final layer of choc mousse on top of the banana layer.

Place the ramekins in the freezer for an hour to firm up. You can leave them in as long as you want. Before eating pull out of the freezer an hour before or place in the fridge. Peel off baking paper.

Before serving top with cacao nibs and if you want some drizzle blend 4 tablespoons of coconut cream with 3 teaspoons raw cacao powder.


Tip: If you have trouble layering the mixture, place in the freezer after each layer for 10 minutes to firm it up.

That sounds and looks amazing!! Thanks so much Electra for sharing your amazing recipe.  If you want a dose of inspiration, follow Electra on IG: @leanelicious.

So what has the past two weeks looked like for me food wise?  Here's a peek.

Salad Bowl with Satay Sauce
Serves 1


Use whatever veggies you like/have on hand.  Here's what I had:

1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1/4 cup red onion
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup fresh coriander chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint chopped
1/2 cup grated purple carrot
1/2 cup grated orange carrot
1 cup snow pea sprouts
1/2 cup baby spinach
1/2 tomato chopped
1/3 avocado
1 tsp hemp seeds

Satay Sauce

Flesh from 1 young coconut
3 TBS coconut water
1 TBS peanut butter
1 TBS almond butter
1 tsp grated ginger
1 TBS maple syrup
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp tamari



Arrange your veggies in a large bowl, topping with the avocado and hemp seeds.

Sauce (Makes about 1/3 cup)

In high speed blender, add all your ingredients and blend until smooth.  Add more cayenne pepper if you like it extra spicy.

Serve your salad with your satay sauce on the side.

Crunchy Asian Salad with Sweet Tamari & Sesame Dressing
Serves 1


1 cup shredded chinese cabbage
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup of bean sprouts
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup red capsicum slices
2 TBS red onion diced
1/4 cup fresh coriander chopped
1/4 cup of fresh mint chopped
2 TBS sunflower seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 TBS tamari
1 TBS maple syrup
1 TBS unhulled tahini


Mix all your veggies and sunflower seeds together in a large bowl.
In a small container with a tight fitting lid, add the tamari, maple syrup and tahini and shake until it emulsifies.  Add to salad and mix thoroughly with your hands.
Top with sesame seeds and serve.

This next salad is turning out to be one of my faves of the last fortnight.  I just love the texture and flavour combination. 

Kale & Fennel Salad with Dried Figs & Creamy Avocado Dressing
Serves 1


1 stalk curly kale
2 stalks tuscan cabbage*
1 cup of shaved fennel
4 dried figs
1/2 avocado
1/2 live juiced
splash of ACV
Himalayan pink salt to taste


Chop your kale finely and add to a large bowl, along with your fennel and finely chopped dried figs (save one fig for garnish).
Blend the avocado, lime juice, acv and seasoning using a hand held blender until smooth.
Add to the salad and mix thoroughly with your hands.
Top with remaining figs and serve with a side of fresh orange wedges to increase iron absorption.
*tuscan cabbage is a type of kale in case anyone is wondering and looks like this:

Watermelon & Tomato Salad with Basil
Serves 1 as a light meal


3 cups watermelon cubes
2 cups of mixed cherry tomatoes halved
4 basil leaves sliced thinly 
2 tsp evoo
1/2 lemon juiced
Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Arrange the watermelon, tomatoes and basil on a plate.
Drizzle with evoo, juice and sprinkle on salt and pepper.
Serve immediately otherwise the tomatoes drop too much water and it becomes a watery tomato mess!

Zucchini, Broccoli & Kale Salad with Enoki & a Creamy Lemon Dressing.
Serves 1


1 medium zucchini spiralized 
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup broccoli florets sliced
1 cup enoki mushrooms
2 tablespoons shallots
1 TBS hemp seeds
1/3 cup unhulled tahini
1 lemon juiced
1/4 cup water
1 garlic clove
2 TBS diced onion
Himalayan pink salt to taste


Place your zucchini, spinach, broccoli and enoki in a large bowl.  
In a high speed blender, add your tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic and onion.  Blend until smooth, adjust seasoning.
Pour over salad (makes about 3/4 cup so you'll have some left over, bonus!).
Use your hands to mix thoroughly, place on serving dish, top with some extra dressing, and sprinkle on hemp seeds and shallots.
I used the left over dressing of this salad to coat chunks of pumpkin and sweet potato, which I then slow roasted in the oven. The finished product was then added to a salad for my work lunch.  
This particular mix was from bottom to top: mixed salad greens, shredded red cabbage, red capsicum, baby spinach, the coated roasted pumpkin, avocado, kale, dried figs and topped with hemp seeds.  I used more dressing over the top of it all and it was delicious!!
This is how I take my food to work.  It is the easiest, most convenient way for me and it fits a lot in.  
I love how you can see all the colours and ingredients, they don't end up getting gross and wilted, I think because they are all tightly packed and have no where to move!!
Get yourself a jar and try it out.  You can probably recycle some glass jars or purchase some at an op-shop near you.  If you are in Australia, I recommend this place.  They have a great range and fast delivery.  I've also seen some at Kmart for $2!

Layered Salad Bowl with Spicy Guacamole
Serves 1


1 cup of chopped cos lettuce
1/4 cup diced red capsicum
1/4 cup diced green capsicum
1 cup of alfalfa sprouts
1 ear of corn, kernels removed
2 TBS chopped red onion
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
6 pitted kalamata olives sliced
1 medium avocado
handful of fresh coriander, roots and leaves, extra leaves for garnish
1 lime juiced
Himalayan pink salt to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBS pomegranate seeds


With a hand held blender, process the avocado, coriander, lime juice, salt and cayenne pepper until smooth.  Adding more seasoning, cayenne pepper if you need to.  Put aside.
In a medium bowl, arrange your ingredients in layers, I layered mine as per ingredients list.
Top with spicy guacamole, and sprinkle on left over coriander leaves and pomegranate seeds.

This next recipe is not raw, but it's definitely clean.  I really hope you like it.

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Patties with Siracha Mayo & Caramelised Onions


Makes 8 patties

3 medium sweet potatoes
1/4 cup quinoa uncooked
1 cup finely chopped kale
1/2 cup pecans 
1 TBS maple syrup
Himalayan pink salt to taste

Siracha Mayo
Makes approx. 1 cup

3/4 cup soaked and rinsed raw cashews
1/4 cup diced red capsicum
1/2 cup of water
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt or to taste
1 TBS of Siracha hot sauce (or to taste)

Caramelised Onions
Makes approx. 1 cup

2 large brown onions
1 TBS rice bran oil
1 TBS maple syrup



Pre-heat oven to 205 degrees celsius.  Line a tray with baking paper and set aside.

Cook your potatoes in your preferred method.  I steamed mine, took a little while.  You could use the microwave if you are pressed for time but I try to avoid it if I can.
Rinse and cook your quinoa until grains are translucent.  Drain water and set aside.
Heat a small frying pan on med-high heat and add your pecans until lightly browned.  Cool and chop into pieces.
Once sweet potato is cooked, mash until smooth.  Add your maple syrup, kale, pecans and quinoa.  Check and add seasoning.
Mould into patties and place on lined tray.
Bake for about 18 minutes, then turn and bake for another 18 minutes.  Once done, leave them in the oven whilst you get your veggies or other accompaniments ready.


Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until super smooth and creamy.
Adjust seasoning/spice if needed.
Place in a small serving bowl.
This will keep in the fridge for about 3 days in an airtight container.

Caramelised Onions

Heat oil over medium heat.  Slice onions thinly and add to warm oil.  Stir to combine then turn heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
Add maple syrup and cook for another 2 minutes.
Place in serving dish and serve.

I served the patties with some shredded red cabbage which I tossed with lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt.  Some baby spinach, cos leaves, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, tomato & beetroot.
It was a winner.

Before I start on the next lot of recipes I just want to point out something.  They may look like dessert recipes, and undoubtedly, some of them are.  However, they are all packed with good stuff, and apart from the cookies(which should be enjoyed in moderation), can be had any damn time of the day!
If you are trying to stick to food combining, which I try to as much as possible, always have your fruits on an empty stomach.  Not all of the following recipes follow the food combining laws so just be mindful of that.

Fruity Pops
Use a hand held blender for these.
Makes 1 of each

Blueberry and Vanilla

Blend 1/2 cup of blueberries with 1/2 tsp of vanilla exact.


Blend flesh of one mango 

Pineapple and mint

Blend 1 cup of pineapple chunks with 4 fresh mint leaves

Raspberry and Watermelon

Blend 1 cup of watermelon cubes with 1/2 cup raspberries

Banana Choc

Blend 1 banana with 1/2 TBS raw cacao powder and 1 date

Pour prepared flavours into moulds.  Leave to freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Avocado Ice Cream Pops with Strawberry Sauce
makes 6


2 medium ripe avocados
2 frozen bananas
3 TBS maple syrup
1 cup strawberries
1 medjool date


In a high speed blender, combine avocados, bananas and maple syrup.  Blend until smooth and creamy.  Will be a mousse like consistency.
Pour into mould and freeze overnight.
For the sauce, blend the strawberries and date together until smooth.
Once ready, remove pops from moulds, arrange on a plate and pour sauce over the top.
Serve immediately.
I had some left over avocado mousse from this recipe so I made this:

Avocado & Banana Mousse with Pitaya & Passionfruit
Make mousse as above, top with fresh pitaya and fresh passionfruit.  Too easy!

Spiced Persimmon and Pumpkin Custard Pots
Makes about 2 cups


2 large ripe persimmons
1 cup pumpkin cubes (the sweetest variety you can find)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
1/4-1/2 cup of water (depending of thickness preferred)
1 date (or more depending on taste)
1 TBS raw pistachios chopped
pinch of Himalayan pink salt


Blend persimmons, pumpkin, water, spices and date.  Adjust dates (sweetness), spices and water if required.
Place in serving dish (I used glass jars), and top with chopped pistachios and a sprinkle of cinnamon and salt.

I know the salt sounds like a weird addition but it really works with the flavours.  Kinda like salted caramel, but feel free to leave it out.

Cinnamon and Fig Ice Cream with Date Chia Pudding
Serves 1


2 frozen bananas
3 ripe figs
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBS maple syrup (optional)
2 TBS chia seeds 
1/2 cup water
4 dates
goji berries (optional)


Blend your dates and water until smooth.  You may need to add more water if it's too thick. 
Add to chia seeds, stir to avoid seeds clumping together.  Add more water if it's too thick.  You want it to look a little bit runny as the chia seeds will soak up the liquid and turn it into a gel.  If you don't put enough water, your gel will be really thick.
Blend bananas and cinnamon in a high speed blender until it resembles ice cream.  You may need to add a TBS of water to help it along.  Check for sweetness and if desired, add maple syrup.  Blend again if using maple syrup to incorporate thoroughly.
Add your figs and blend until just combined.  
Working quickly, layer your ice cream and chia pudding in a really large glass, top with goji berries and enjoy!

Chocmint Thickshake
Serves 1


Mint Layer

1 frozen banana
1/4 avocado
1 handful baby spinach 
1/4 tsp natural peppermint essence
1/3 cup of water

Choc Layer

1 frozen banana
1/4 avocado
1 TBS raw cacao powder
1/2 scoop sun warrior vanilla protein powder (optional)
1/3 cup water


Blend all ingredients for each layer separately.
Layer in a tall glass and top with raw cacao nibs.

And one last recipe in time for Easter, but you don't have to be in to Easter to have these little gems.  
Best of all, they are raw which by now you should know translates to super easy and super quick.
Enjoy Responsibly ;)

Cinnamon Spiced Chocolate Cookies
Makes 14 small cookies


1/2 cup raw cashews
7 medjool dates pitted
1/4 cup coconut flour*
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 
2 TBS raw cacao powder
1 TBS chia seeds
1/2 TBS vanilla extract


Process the cashews and medjool dates until crumbly.
Add the rest of the ingredients and process until it resembles fine crumbs.
Roll into small balls, pressing into shape and flatten down to make cookies.
Place in freezer to set for about 15 minutes.  You can eat them straight away but I like mine to be a little harder.
They store well in the freezer in an airtight container.
*I used my high speed blender to make the dessicated coconut into coconut flour.  If you can't do this with your blender, buy coconut flour.  You need this for textural reasons.

So that is the end of posts for Clean Eating March.  I want to say a big congratulations and thank you to all of you who have embarked on this challenge with me.  
I really hope that you are feeling better for it.

Thanks also for those who are reading the blog and following my food on IG.  It's great to get your feedback as I'm always looking to improve.
I have also started a Facebook page (one hungry mami) so come join me and share the love! 
I want it to be a place where people can ask questions, make comments, post their recipes, ideas, feedback, e.t.c.

Next month will be filled with more delicious and clean recipes, and new amazing individuals to inspire us.

Stay gold y'all!

Peas, love and mungbeans


Friday, 15 March 2013

Half way there.....

Such an exciting time! Half way through our challenge, or experiment as I now like to call it.  
Who's still in? Who's out? Whatever, I'm sure each and every individual is doing what feels right for them right now so no judgement.  
Just lots of yummy, healthy clean food and good feel vibes.

Like I said in my last post, I have a special treat for y'all. 
I managed to convince a very lovely and extremely talented lady to do a guest spot on the blog.  
I first came across her through Instagram because i just LOVE the look of her dishes and the combination of ingredients she uses.  
Her meals, are the only ones that actually make me want to eat cooked food again!
One day, I hope to get to sunny California and have a macrobiotic vegan fest with this girl.
I've asked her to answer a few questions and she's also very generously provided us with a clean dessert recipe you'll love.  I know I can't wait until the month is over so that I can try it out.
Here she is, in her own words :)

Hello everyone! My name is Diem Ly and I am stoked to be a part of Brenda's Clean Eating March! Let's see... I am a recent college grad from Berkeley who now lives in San Jose, California, tutoring elementary school kids and applying to law school. I love cooking, taking photos of the food I cook, hiking, yoga-ing, Instagramming, and traveling while Yelping for the newest vegan restaurant to try. I also listen to NPR a lot.

1.  What is your eating philosophy?

My eating philosophy is to enjoy eating. Sounds simple enough, but I enjoy my food most when it satisfies not just my palate but also my emotional, mental, and physical needs. When eating makes me feel good in all of these ways, that's when my heart really sings. Over the 4 years since I reinvented my diet, I've found that the kind of food that consistently does this is generally plant-based, whole, organic, seasonal, balanced, and made well. Not all my meals check all these boxes, but I try my best to encompass all these elements in my everyday cooking/eating.

2.  When and why did you decide to eat this way?

I tried going vegan once in high school after reading an article about animal testing, but gave up after a week because I didn't know how to cook and my mom convinced me that all I could ever eat was tofu (sadly, there are so many people who still think that!). The second time I tried going vegan was under entirely differently circumstances. I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia during my second year of college and after fortunately going into remission, I gained a whole new perspective on life, especially health. To be perfectly honest, the most painful thing about being sick wasn't being sick at all. One can get used to the physical pain, but not so much the fear of never being able to achieve your dreams, and definitely not the sight of the people you love most wrought with worry. So more than anything, I wanted to take control of my health and well-being. My doctors, as lovely as they were, actually told me that it was all up to chance if the disease would return. I refused to believe it, initially out of stubbornness. But after doing my own research and hearing/reading the stories of literally hundreds of people, I refused to believe it because of the sheer facts and science that demonstrate just how much of an influence our diet has on our health. This led me to practice a macrobiotic diet with the help of a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and later, a macro counselor from the Bay Area. Soon, I was able to get off any medications that were prescribed for the side effects of the treatments, to the pleasant surprise of my doctors.

I am thankful everyday for my health, and attribute much of it to how I eat. But my diet has become more than a cure for physical illness; it is also one way I practice what I believe in. My last two years at Berkeley were especially insightful, as I delved into the other dimensions of food both in and out of the classroom. I learned about, and was appalled by, the current conventional farming practices that harm the environment, the treatment of workers, especially the undocumented, in the food industry, the treatment of animals, and the inequitable distribution of power between corporations, farmers, and consumers. I don't think eating a macrobiotic/vegan diet will make everything better, but I believe not doing so does make it worse. 

3.  Have you noticed any changes since changing your eating philosophy (if any)?

I've never felt better physically, mentally, and emotionally. It's hard to describe what exactly this feels like and I really don't think you can understand until you've experienced it. In short, I will never go back to eating the way I used to! 

4.  What is your favourite dish to cook?

This is a nearly impossible question to answer!  Lately though, I've been having a blast experimenting with different sauces/dressings for raw and boiled salads! I just made a super simple pumpkin seed dressing that was seriously out of this world.

5.  What ingredients are a must-have for your fridge/pantry?

I'm going to self-impose a limit of 10 items for my answer because the list would go on forever otherwise! 

Brown rice, kale, miso, seaweed (I never run out of nori or wakame), beans (adzuki is my favorite), a seasonal fruit (tonsss of blueberries if they are in season. I could pretty much live off the stuff), brown rice syrup, sesame oil, tamari (soy sauce), and sesame seeds!

6.  Juices or smoothies?  What do you prefer and what combination?

Smoothies! Coconut water, kale, blueberries, peaches, mangoes, and chia seeds.

7. Sweet or savoury?


The recipe I'd like to share with you today is one of my favorite desserts, and I picked it because I thought it would be perfect for the summer in Australia. Though I wouldn't necessarily call this dessert macrobiotic, it does embody the macrobiotic principle of "balance". It is tart and sweet, cold and warm, and creamy but with a kick from the ginger. The ingredients are also good for you! I apologize in advance if any parts of the recipe are unclear. I usually don't cook with or write down my recipes. Please ask for clarifications!

(serves 1-5, depending on portions :D)


Panna Cotta

1 cup (about half a can) of coconut milk
1.5 teaspoons of agar flakes
1/4 cup of water
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
a few drops of vanilla extract
2-2.5 teaspoons of lemon juice (I like mine more tart)

Maple-Ginger Syrup

1 teaspoon of unrefined coconut oil (optional but highly recommended)
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of maple syrup
3 teaspoons of fresh ginger juice

Toppings (optional)
toasted coconut 
sliced mango, or caramelized bananas/ripe plantains.



1. Place agar and water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let the flakes completely dissolve. (It's okay if it does not completely dissolve, but you'll get jelly bits in your panna cotta).

2. Add in the coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 5 minutes. 

3. Turn off the heat and add in the lemon juice. This is a good time to taste the mixture and adjust before you transfer it to your molds.

4. Pour the mixture into small ramekins or any kind of molds you'd like. (I like to use my ceramic cupcake mold or when I'm lazy, I just pour it into a big ol' bowl).  Remember to lightly oil the mold with coconut oil. This will help the panna cotta slide out later. 

5. Let cool and refrigerate for at least four hours. (I usually leave it overnight).

SAUCE (If preparing before the panna cotta is served, reheat when you're ready to serve)

1. Add the coconut oil, water, maple syrup to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. 

2. Add the ginger juice and let the mixture simmer and reduce for about 5-10 minutes, depending on your preferred thickness. I prefer it more runny.

3. Taste your sauce and adjust it to your liking. 

TO SERVE: Carefully remove the panna cotta from your ramekins and place on a serving dish. Drizzle the syrup on top of the panna cotta and top with toasted coconut and a slice of mango, caramelized bananas, or any other fruit you'd like.

Okay, am I the only one who is drooling all over this right now?!
Like I said, the lady is amazing, so please check out her IG @dltvo and follow her already, you won't be disappointed!

I have also roped a few other ladies to do guest spots so I will keep them coming every fortnight if I can.  I think it's important to stay connected with like minded individuals, and each and every person I have asked so far is an inspiration to me.  I hope they inspire you too and that you get something out of their offerings.
A big THANK YOU to Diem for being the first lady to kick off what will hopefully be a monthly occurrence following #cleaneatingmarch.  Yeew, I'm excited!!!

Now for some more recipes to keep you going.  Hope you enjoy these, I've definitely had so much fun creating them, and much more fun gobbling them up :)

Smashed Avocado, Lime, Coriander and Pomegranate Sandwich
Serves 1


2 large field mushrooms
1/2 avocado
2 TBS pomegranate seeds
1 TBS coriander (cilantro for my USA friends)
Squeeze of lime juice
Seasoning to taste
1/4 cup baby spinach
1/4 cup grated carrot
3 slices of tomato
5 slices of cucumber


Clean your mushrooms and remove the stalks (you can keep the stalks and used them in salads).
Mash your avocado with a fork so it's chunky, not smooth.
Fill one mushroom with the avocado, top it with pomegranate seeds, coriander and squeeze of lime.  Add your seasoning on top if desired.
Stuff your other mushroom with the salad materials and serve.
This is a really filling meal and reminds me of the big breakfast I used to have on sundays in my previous life.  If you are eating eggs, you can pop a soft boiled egg on it.  If you are eating cooked foods, you can also pop the mushrooms in a sandwich press and cook it that way. No need for oil.
I made this for my sister, with a sprinkle of chilli flakes and a simple baby spinach and red onion salad with lemon juice.
Easy peasy lunch or breakfast.  No grains, no added fat, plenty of veggies, SO much flavour.  DO IT!

Mexican Salad
Serves 1



2 medium zucchini
2 cups baby spinach
1 large tomato
1/2 avocado
1/4 small red onion
Handful of kalamata olives
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1/4 cup red capsicum
1 TBS hemp seeds (optional)

Mexican Mayonnaise
Makes approx. 2 cups

1/2 red capsicum
1/2 yellow capsicum
1/2 cup soaked and rinsed cashews
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 cumin
1 eschallot clove(or garlic)
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
3 TBS apple cider vinegar
1 TBS nutritional yeast
1/2 cup of water


Spiralize the zucchini on the spaghetti setting.  Set aside.
Make the mayo by blending all ingredients together, taste and adjust seasoning.  Add to zucchini, enough to cover and coat (about 1/2 cup).  Store rest in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Place your zucchini noodles in a medium bowl and arrange salad ingredients on top.
Sprinkle on hemp seeds and serve.

I really love avocado, coriander and tomatoes so i used the sauce from above and threw this next dish together for dinner.  I was specially rushed that day and this was just such a quick meal.
Kind of like a deconstructed version of the above with some minor substitutions.

Corn Salsa and Mexican Noodles on Lettuce Cups
Serves 1


4 cos lettuce leaves
1 medium zucchini
1 medium corn ear
1 cup diced cucumber
1 tomato diced
1/4 cup red capsicum diced
3 TBS red onion diced
3 TBS fresh coriander chopped
1/2 lime juiced
4 slices of avocado
1/3 cup Mexican Mayonnaise


Spiralize your zucchini on spaghetti setting and mix with Mexican mayo.  Set aside.
Cut the kernel of your corn and mix it in a medium bowl with the rest of the veggies, coriander and lime juice.  Season to taste.
Arrange the cos leaves on a plate and top each with the salsa and noodles, alternately.
Place the avocado slices on the plate and serve.

Nori Rolls with Cauliflower Rice and Veggies
Serves 1



1 1/2 cups of cauliflower florets
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
3 sprigs of coriander


1 nori sheet
1/2 carrot julienned
1/4 medium beetroot julienned
1/4 avocado, thinly slice
1/4 red capsicum thinly slice

Carrot and Red Cabbage Salad

1 carrot grated
1 cup red cabbage thinly sliced
1 tsp sesame seeds
1/2 lime juiced



Add all ingredients in a food processor and process until it resembles rice.
Set aside


Place your nori sheet on bamboo rolling sheet.  Add your cauliflower rice and pat down, should be about 3mm in height.  Leave a 2-3 cm gap at the edge.
Add your veggies and roll away from you.  Make sure you tighten as you roll otherwise it'll be too lose and the fillings will fall out.
Wet the edge with water and remove any rice that may be overflowing before you press down to seal otherwise it won't work.
Once sealed, cut into bite sized pieces.


Mix your ingredients together with the lime juice, season if you like and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Arrange on a plate, with salad in a little bowl of it's own and serve.

Orange and Pomegranate Salad with Citrus Cumin Dressing
Serves 1 (or 2 as a side)


2 oranges (I used navel)
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 cup baby spinach
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1/2 lime juiced
2 TBS orange juice (freshly squeezed)


Peel and slice your oranges thinly, making sure you remove the pith as it can be bitter.
Arrange them on a plate with the baby spinach and sprinkle on the pomegranate seeds.
Mix juices with seasoning and cumin and pour on top.

This would also go really nice with a grilled piece of fish if you are eating animal protein.

Dessert time!!

Pecan Ice Cream with Peach, Papaya, Prickly Pear and Pitaya
Serves 1


2 frozen bananas
1 tsp organic vanilla extract
5 pecans
1/3 cup of each fruit, chopped


Blend the bananas, pecans and vanilla extract in a high speed blender or food processor until it resembles ice cream.
Layer a glass with each fruit and ice cream.
Stuff your face!
p.s, this was breakfast!

Cinnamon Mousse with Fresh Figs
Serves 1


1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked and rinsed
1/2 cup water
2-3 medjool dates (depending on how sweet you want it)
1/4 tsp organic vanilla extract
1/4 tsp of ground cinnamon
3 fresh figs quartered


Blend cashews, water, vanilla, dates and cinnamon in a high speed blender until super smooth and creamy.  I would add the water a bit at a time so you can control how thick it is.  You don't want it runny but a fluffy mousse like consistency.
Layer your mousse in a pretty cup with your figs and serve with fresh figs on top.

Lime and Strawberry Mousse with Almond & Date Crumble
Serves 1


Lime Mousse

1 avocado
1 lime juiced
zest of half a lime
1/4 cup coconut nectar (or 100% pure maple syrup)

Strawberry Mousse

1 banana
1 cup strawberries
1 date


1/2 cup raw almonds
6-8 dates


Lime Mousse

Use a hand held blender to blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Set aside

Strawberry Mousse

As above


Process all ingredients in a food processor until they can be rolled into a ball and hold it's shape.
*you will have some left over.  I made them into bliss balls and keep them in the fridge or freezer.  My girls love them and they're a great energy hit pre-work out.  Just don't eat too many though, they are meant to be an every now and again treat!


Place some crumble on the bottom of a glass, add lime mousse, leaving a spoonful for the top. Add another layer of crumble, add strawberry mousse, add the left over lime mousse and top with crumble and a couple of fresh raspberries if you have any around.
LOVE in a glass :)

And last but not least, a smoothie combination that had me weak at the knees when I tried it.

Persimmon and Cinnamon Smoothie
Serves 1


1 frozen banana
2 small very ripe persimmons
1 pear
1 cup coconut water
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


Blend and serve with a sprinkle of raw cacao nibs, flax meal and crushed pecans.

Do you ever get left over smoothie? I always make so much I end up drinking about a litre and a half of the stuff!
Whilst I'm not complaining, it occurred to me that I could freeze the leftovers instead of drinking until I'm overflowing, and have them as a healthy treat when I'm too lazy to make ice cream.  So there's an idea you may want to keep in mind for next time.

Wishing you another amazing week in Clean Eating March awesomeness.

Peas, love and mungbeans