Friday, 12 April 2013

inspiration station

You would have to be dead to not be inspired by life.  Everyday is filled with opportunities to learn and grow and I just love that.  How lucky we are!
So for today's post, I have another very inspiring lady to introduce to you.  What got me about her, apart from her beautiful food and the fresh ingredients she uses, is that she is only 17.  
I introduce to you Grace, in her own words:


I'm currently a high school senior living in Northern California, but next year I'll be moving across the country to attend American University. I love where I live - I have year-round access to farm-fresh veggies and frequent farmers markets when I find the time. However, I also love to travel. I've been to thirteen countries and spent last summer living in Salamanca, Spain. I truly believe that exploring other cultures is the best form of education one can receive. For many years, I played soccer, softball, and ran track, but I've been a swimmer my whole life and continue to do so today. Aside from school, I love to spend time outside, whether it be a hike or a visit to the beach. I hate to be so cliché, but I'm pretty much your average teenage girl expect with a passion for leading a healthy lifestyle! 


And now for the OHM questions:
1.  What is your eating philosophy?

When it comes to eating, I think it is incredibly important to maintain a nutritious, wholesome, and sustainable diet. I don't put limitations on what I can and cannot eat, but I do try to keep my intake fairly balanced - mostly fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds, grains (like quinoa and oats) and the occasional lean protein. I also think it is important to consume food in its original state, or as close as possible; I stay away from any overly processed or packaged foods. That being said, I know that I'm not always going to be as clean as I'd like when it comes to my diet: like everyone, I have midnight cravings that are only satisfied with a heaping spoonful of peanut butter (or two). So I'm reasonable with myself and allow a little wiggle room a slip up here and there. More than anything, food should be enjoyed and explored, because good food can be healthy and can be easy!

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

I am so fortunate to heave health-minded parents who, over the years, have inspired my own lifestyle. As a child, I was never fed processed snacks or sweets and my lunches were far less exciting than those of my peers; emphasis was always placed on local, wholesome food in my household. This was the source of abundant whining on my part and many mid-aisle arguments in grocery stores, but looking back, I am so thankful for their decision to keep my diet clean. Even now, they are still a source of support and encouragement: they keep the kitchen stocked with fresh veggies, fruit, and other healthy bites.

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

 Since I've started focusing on cutting out unnecessary grains, processed sugar, red meat, and some dairy, I've definitely noticed a change. I feel lighter throughout the day, better fueled during my workouts, and sleep more deeply during the night. I've also been adement about staying hydrated - I drink tons of water and green tea, which has helped tremendously with headaches and overall sluggishness that I experienced before. 

4.  What is your favourite dish to cook?

I love making (and eating!) pancakes. I'd tried every ingredient out there, from almond milk to coconut flour to spinach. The recipe part is a bit of an adventure, the flipping part is sometimes a challenge, and the eating part, my favorite, is always so worth it!

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

This question is tough because I'm so attached to so many ingredients, but I'd have to say berries, bananas, almond milk, peanut butter, and oats. But some sort of green is absolutely necessary too, and kale is is my favorite; so kale! 

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

Smoothies. Almond milk, bananas, and whatever other fruit or greens lying around always make a great snack. I'd love to get into juicing, but I don't have a juicer. Definitely an item on my wishlist, though!

7. Sweet or savoury?

Probably sweet. I have a rather persistent sweet tooth - I constantly crave berries, apples, bananas, sun dried fruit and peanut butter. That being said, I also like balance. After I have something sweet, I always want something savory!

What recipe will you share with us today?

As I mentioned, I can't get enough of pancakes! I love this recipe because it's so simple and easy but yields amazing results. I like topping mine with a bit of yogurt and warmed berries.

1 egg
1 banana
1/4 cup oat four

Grind 1/4 cup of oats in the food processor until they become a floury consistency. Then add the banana and egg and pulse until thoroughly mixed. Cook on medium heat with a tiny bit of coconut oil until they begin to bubble, then flip. Enjoy!

Wowzers!! They look amazing, and a healthy alternative for those of you who eat animal protein.  Who needs packaged fake food when you can quickly and simply make these little clouds of goodness?

When I was reading through Grace's answers, apart from getting the sense that she is in for big things, I also loved what she said about her parents being her biggest influence.  
It's a comforting thought, specially when I think about the battles I have with my girls sometimes regarding food.  Really ignites my determination to stick to my guns where healthy food options are concerned.

If you are on instagram, you should check out Grace @GRACEFUL_HEALTH and get inspired.  Her 4K+ followers are on a good thing!  
Grace, thanks so much for being part of the blog.  Apart from being an awesome babe, you're also a role model and all round legend.  I salute you!

If you are on a plant based diet and you would like to make some pancakes, here's a link to some banana oat pancakes I made last year that turned out awesome.  And child friendly too :)

More recipes?  You betcha!

I'll start with some dessert recipes that I did before I got on to food combining.
I've decided to post them because people have requested the recipes so here they are. 

Passionfruit Tart
Serves 12

Ingredients

Base

1/4 cup dried figs
8 medjool dates
1 cup raw pecans

Filling

1 1/2 cup cashews soaked and rinsed
1 lemon juiced
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup water
2 TBS coconut oil
Pulp of 3 passion fruits

Method

Base

Process all ingredients in a food processor, place in a lined 12" round pan, press down and place in freezer whilst you make the filling.

Filling

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender except for pulp.  Process until super smooth.
Pour into your prepared base and smooth the top.  Pour pulp on top and use the sharp end of a knife to swirl it through in what ever pattern you like.
Return to freezer for at least an hour.
When ready, let sit for 15 minutes, slice and serve.
As you can see, I really should have waited for it to finish setting but I just wanted to eat it!!

Banoffee Pie 
Serves 8

Ingredients

Base
1/2 cup raw almond/pecan mixture (or nuts of choice)
5 medjool dates

Filling

8 frozen bananas
1 fresh ripe banana + 1 extra for topping
2 tsp of vanilla extract
Juice of half a lemon*

Toffee

6 medjool dates
3/4 cup water
1 TBS raw mesquite powder** (optional)

Method

Base

Place all ingredients in a food processor and turn it into crumbs.  They will stick together when pressed.  
Pour into a cake pan (I used a rectangular glass one) and press until you have an even base.  Set aside.

Toffee

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until super smooth.  If you use a vitamix like I do, it can get quiet warm so I made it in the second step so that I could put it in the freezer to cool whilst I made the ice cream.  I didn't want it to melt the ice cream and go through it, rather sit nicely on top.

Filling

Place all your ingredients except the extra fresh banana, into a high speed blender and blend until you get an ice cream consistency.  Like soft serve.  RESIST ALL ATTEMPTS TO EAT IT!!
Pour the prepared banana ice cream on to your base, remove the cooled toffee out of the freezer and pour over the ice cream.  Smooth it out and top with slices of fresh banana.  Freeze for at least a few hours or overnight.
When you're ready to serve, rest out of freezer for about 15 minutes, slice and serve.
*I added lemon juice to the recipe although I didn't use it in mine because I think it will stop the banana ice cream from turning dark, purely from a presentation perspective.  I don't think it'll make a big difference to the taste.  If you don't mind it turning a little dark then feel free to leave it out.

**mesquite powder is ground from the pods of the mesquite plant, and has a sweet, nutty, caramel-like flavor, making it ideal for desserts and for use as a natural sweetener. 
It's high in protein, low on the glycemic index, and a good source of soluble fibre, meaning it digests relatively slowly and does not cause spikes in blood sugar. It's gluten-free, and is also a good source of calcium, iron, lysine, manganese, zinc, and potassium.
I use loving earth brand.

Now for some food combing meals, or as close to perfect food combining as I could get!
Let's start with breakfast.  So sometimes, I crave something more than just smoothies.  Sometimes I crave porridge or granola but I just don't think I could go there again, specially since it's a big no-no where food combining is concerned.
All I can picture is my intestines crying because I'm slowing down my digestion so early in the day.
Luckily, there's a fruit only option that I've discovered and which I'm totally addicted to.
Enter apple 'granola'.

Raw Apple Date Granola with Cinnamon Banana Milk
Serves 1

Ingredients

Granola

1 large apple of choice (I used red delicious)
1 medjool date
squeeze of lime juice

Cinnamon Banana Milk

1 large ripe banana
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/8 cup water

Method

Granola 

Add apple and date to your food processor, squeeze on the lime juice and process until it resembles granola.  Pour into a bowl.

Milk

Blend banana, cinnamon and water and you're done.

Pour milk over the granola and serve.
Too easy!
I was particularly ravenous this day, so I served it with a two tone smoothie.
The green smoothie contained kale, cos, baby spinach, celery, pear, banana and grapes.  The yellow smoothie on top had banana, orange, kiwi fruit and passionfruit.
So delicious.

Did I say I was addicted already?  Umm, yes.
The following day, I added a little bit of vanilla extract to the granola and had it with some blended blueberries.  Vanilla & blueberries are such a delicious combination.
Topped it off with a two layered smoothie again, although you can't tell from the picture but the bottom layer had persimmon, ginger and banana and the top layer had papaya, pineapple, banana and mint.
Uh ha, addicted.

And whilst we're on the subject of breakfast, I have to tell you that I have been enjoying some ice cream of late.  That's the thing with eating clean, ice cream is a meal!

Apple Pie Ice Cream
Serves 1

Ingredients

2 frozen bananas
2 small apples
4 dates
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and make into ice cream.  Serve and devour immediately!
I had mine accompanied by a green juice and some fresh fruit and topped with dates and a sprinkle of extra cinnamon.

Ombré Ice Cream
Serves 1 (about 800mls)

Ingredients

Blueberry

1/3 cup frozen blueberries
2 frozen bananas

Beetroot

1/4 of a small beetroot, peeled
2 frozen bananas

Raspberry

1/3 cup frozen raspberries
2 frozen bananas

Method

Blend each layer separately in a high speed blender, to ice cream consistency.  Place each layer in a serving glass and serve.
Top with fruit of choice.  I used kiwi fruit.
I have to say, the beetroot layer was my favourite!

And just one more ice cream recipe

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream
Serves 1

Ingredients

2 frozen bananas
1/2 cup of fresh raspberries + 1/4 cup extra (or frozen)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 lime juiced

Method

Place bananas, lime juice and vanilla in a high speed blender and make ice cream.  Scoop out half into a glass, add some of the extra raspberries.
Place 1/2 cup of the raspberries to the ice cream in the blender and process for a few seconds only.
Pour on top of ice cream and raspberries, and top with some more of the extra raspberries.  Serve immediately.
And let's finish breakfast off with a bang shall we?  
The Mayans were on to a good thing when they started blending chilli, chocolate and spices in their dishes.  Apart from having a myriad of great properties, my favourite is that chilly increases your metabolic rate, even for three hours after you consume it! 
This is why it fits perfectly after a fasted morning work out.  Double threat or what?!

Chilli Chocolate Smoothie Breakfast Bowl
Serves 1

Ingredients

3 frozen bananas
1/4 cup water
1 date
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 TBS raw cacao powder


Method

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until super smooth.  Pour into bowl and enjoy topped with your favourite things.
I used 1 fig, 1/2 ripe banana,goji berries and some raw cacao nibs.
So good.
Moving on to some savoury dishes.  The first two are raw.

Cauliflower 'Fried' Rice
Serves 2 as a light meal

Ingredients

Rice

3 TBS fresh coriander leaves
3 cups of cauliflower florets

Method

Place ingredients in a food processor and process until they resemble rice grains.
Place in a large bowl and add:

3 cups of broccoli florets sliced thinly
1/4 cup red capsicum diced
1/4 cup yellow capsicum diced
1/4 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup carrots diced
1/3 cup enoki mushrooms
1/2 cup corn kernels
5 snow peas thinly sliced on the diagonal
3 TBS red onion thinly sliced
1 TBS tamari
freshly ground black pepper

Toss until all ingredients are incorporated and top with fresh chilli and coriander leaves and a lime wedge.

Crunchy Sprout & Apple Salad with Apple Tamari Dressing
Serves 1

Ingredients

Salad

1 cup bean sprouts
1 small carrot julienne
1/2 cup wombok thinly sliced
3/4 medium apple julienne
1 stalk of celery thinly sliced
1 TBS sunflower seeds
1 TBS fresh mint chopped
1 lime juiced

Dressing

1 TBS tamari
1 TBS brown rice vinegar
1/4 apple grated, juice included (left over from above)
Himalayan pink salt to taste

Method

Add all your ingredients to a large bowl.  Toss to combine.
Make the dressing by mixing all the ingredients together and pour over salad.  Toss again to incorporate dressing.  Adjust seasoning.
Place on a plate and serve.

I have started introducing some cooked foods into my life, mainly at dinner time and at the moment it's just pumpkin, sweet potato and quinoa.
With the cooler months coming, it makes sense for me and I feel good about it.
I still combine the two and I'm still having my first two meals raw.  So far, so good.
So here are some recipes that I've had whilst I make the transition.

Herbed Quinoa Stuffed Tomatoes with Spicy Guacamole
Serves 1

Ingredients

Tomatoes

1/4 cup black quinoa (or whatever type you have)
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup of water
Himalayan pink salt to taste
1/2 cup mint
1/2 cup parsley
1/4 cup red capsicum
1/4 cup red onion
2 large tomatoes

Guacamole

1 large ripe avocado
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves
1 lime juiced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper


Method

Tomatoes

Rinse and drain the quinoa.  Add quinoa, garlic, water and some salt to a medium sauce pan, cover and cook on low heat until all water evaporates and quinoa is translucent.  Turn heat off but leave lid on.  
In a food processor, add herbs, capsicum and onion.  Process until chopped finely.
Fluff up the quinoa with a fork, place in a large mixing bowl.  You have the option here of leaving it to cool or continuing with it warm.  I left mine to cool before I added the herb mixture.
Slice the tops off the tomatoes, and scoop out the inner membranes and seeds.  Stuff with the quinoa and serve with a side of guacamole.

Guacamole

Blend all ingredients using a hand held blender, add salt to taste.

I served the tomatoes on a bed of baby spinach, with some pomegranate seeds and some diced yellow capsicum.

Quinoa Tabbouleh with Fresh Vegetables
Serves 1

Ingrediens

Quinoa

1/4 cup red quinoa (or whatever type you have)
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup of water
Himalayan pink salt to taste
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped finely
1/4 cup red onion chopped finely
1 lemon juiced
Freshly ground black pepper

Veggies

1 medium carrot grated
1 medium zucchini grated
1 large tomato chopped
1/2 beetroot grated
1/2 avocado diced
1 cup of salad greens

Method

Rinse and drain the quinoa.  Add quinoa, garlic, water and some salt to a medium sauce pan, cover and cook on low heat until all water evaporates and quinoa is translucent.  Turn heat off, take off lid and leave to cool.
Once at room temperature, add the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine.
Place quinoa in the centre of a plate and arrange the veggies around it.  Serve.


This next recipe takes some preparing but it's worth it and you can store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Baked Falafel
Makes about 18 balls (approx. 4 cm in diameter)

Ingredients

1 cup of chickpeas
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh coriander
1/2 cup of fresh mint
1 medium carrot
Himalayan pink salt to taste

Method

Soak the chickpeas and sunflower seeds overnight.  
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius and prepare a tray with baking paper.
Rinse soaked chickpeas and seeds and add them to a food processor along with the rest of the ingredients.
Process into a smooth paste (it won't turn completely into mush).
Adjust your seasoning.
Use your hands to form mixture into uniformed sized balls and flatten into patties.  Arrange on to prepared tray.
Set timer and bake for 25 minutes (depending on oven).  Turn them over when timer goes off and bake them for a further 25 minutes.
They will be a little golden on each side.
Serve with your favourite accompaniments.

Zucchini Spaghetti with Coriander Pesto & Baked Pumpkin
Serves 1

Ingredients

Spaghetti

2 medium zucchini spiralized into spaghetti shape
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup baked pumpkin cubes
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 TBS hemp seeds


Coriander Pesto
Makes about 350 mls

1 medium zucchini
2 garlic clove
1/4 yellow capsicum
1 cup coriander (roots and leaves)
1 lemon juiced
3 TBS of unhulled tahini or 1/4 cup sesame seeds
Himalayan pink salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method

Pesto

Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and process until smooth.  Add water if it's too thick, 1 TBS at a time.  Set aside.

Spaghetti

Place all ingredients in a large bowl except hemp seeds.
Add pesto, toss to combine and serve with hemp seeds sprinkled on top.
Store reminder of pesto in an air tight jar.  Will keep in the fridge for about 4 days.

And with the left over quinoa tabbouleh and coriander pesto, I made this:
I mixed about 2 cups of shredded red cabbage with 1 cup of baby spinach and the tabbouleh, added the coriander pesto, mixed it up and voilá!

Just added some bakes sweet potato, fresh tomato and avocado with a drizzle of lime juice and chilli flakes.  Perfection on my plate!

That's all I have for you for the month of April.  Next post I'll look at roping in a mum who is raw vegan and has raised two children successfully on this diet.  Besides that, she makes the most amazingly creative dishes for her kids so even if raw vegan is not for you, any tips to getting kids to eat their fruits and veggies has to be good right?

Peas, love and mungbeans

xxb

3 comments:

  1. Love all your recipes! Cannot wait to try more of them. Very inspiring interview as well. Have to check her out on instagram. Many hugs from Amsterdam!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi,
    We’ve recently launched the website RecipesUS.com. It’s a search engine that aims to gather all the best recipes from US websites and blogs in one place. We’ve noticed that you have a lot of great looking recipes on your blog that we would love to feature on our site. To read more about how it all works and to sign up with your blog, please visit: http://recipesus.com or send us an email on info@recipesus.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Kind regards,
    Senka

    ReplyDelete
  3. Any ideas for Banana replacement. Im highly allergic and find nearly all raw recipes use it.

    ReplyDelete