Lime Pie (GF vegan)

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Crust

  • almond pulp from 2 batches of almond milk (I use 1 cup of soaked almonds per batch)*
  • 1/2 cup dates soaked in boiling water and 1/2 cup soaking water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 gluten free (or normal) weetbix

*alternatively use 2 cups of oats or 1 cup of oats and 1 cup of almond meal or 2 cups almond meal or 1 cup of walnuts and 1 cup of cashews (NB oats are not GF)

Filling

  • 1 cup dates soaked in boiling water and 1/2 cup soaking water
  • 1 cup cashews (presoaked 1/2 hour in boiling water, or overnight in cold water, drained)
  • 1 400 ml tin coconut cream
  • 2 – 3 sachets “gel it in”
  • 4 Tablespoons ground chia seeds
  • Juice of 5-6 limes
  • Zest of 1-3 limes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch of spirulina, green food dye (optional)

 

Method

  • Process crust ingredients to crumbs and press into a lined (with baking paper) 22 cm tin and put in freezer or fridge to harden.
  • Process dates and cashews with coconut cream.
  • Cook “gel it in” with lime juice / zest according to packet instructions.
  • Quickly mix lime mix through date / cashew / coconut mix, chia, vanilla, (spirulina and / or colour if using), and spread over base.
  • Leave to set in fridge for several hours.
  • Optionally you can freeze and eat like an ice cream cake (take out 20 minutes before eating) or can freeze and leave to completely defrost for a creamy / mousse consistency.

Protein Neatballs

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I have been tweaking my diet to try and get more protein or at least make sure I am eating enough protein….since everyone has a burning desire to know how you get enough protein without eating meat. Keep calm because PLANTS HAVE PROTEIN.

I have been measuring macros lately to see just how much protein there is in plants and I can happily report back that there is plenty.

Here is my brand new neatball recipe. We just ate it and it was a big hit with the small people. #winning

INGREDIENTS:

(makes 40 balls about 2cm diameter – 10 serves – extra serves can be frozen for another meal or will last about 7 days in the fridge)

Balls:

  • 150 grams walnuts
  • 50 grams dried cranberries (unsweetened)
  • 1 tin 4 bean mix (with the liquid)
  • 200 grams oats (I used porridge oats but rolled is fine)
  • 30 grams kale (including small stems)
  • 60 grams parsley (including small stems)
  • 30 grams tomato sauce (no added sugar / salt)
  • 30 grams torula yeast
  • 1 Massel “beef” stock cube crumbled (or about 2 tsp powder)
  • 60 grams pea protein powder (I used Coles – if you use a SPI or PPI it will be even higher in protein)

Tomato sauce: (enough for 4 people)

  • 900 grams fresh tomatoes
  • fresh herbs (I used basil and oregano)

METHOD

  • Preheat oven to 180-200 degrees Celsius.
  • To make balls, put all ingredients in food processor and blend until it forms a sticky dough.
  • Form into balls about 2cm diameter.
  • Place on tray lined with baking paper.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes / turn over and bake for another 10.
  • While the balls are baking, process tomatoes and place in a fry pan with the herbs (chopped or whole) and fry off to reduce liquid. You can add garlic if you like. I didn’t have any left so I didn’t.

SERVING SUGGESTION

I served mine over zoodles (julienned raw zucchini) and everyone else had over gluten free spaghetti. You could also serve with mash potato or polenta.

NUTRITION

(per 4 balls served with 1/4 of the tomato sauce recipe and 200 grams Zucchini noodles)

  • Calories: 329
  • Fat: 13 grams
  • Fibre: 9.9 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 38.9 grams
  • Sodium: 266.8 grams
  • Protein: 21 grams (see: magic….no meat, and yet, protein….OMG!!!)

Footnote: I just did a quick search for normal meatballs and macros and found macro organic meatballs – 5 balls (no sauce or noodles) If you check it out the protein is 20 grams (per 5 balls). True the sauce and zoodles have some protein (7.5g total….mostly from zucchini) but if you add 5 balls to normal pasta and sauce the macros will be similar or less and the carbs / calories will probably be more. Feel free to report back on the maths. 🙂

Pesto

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Our garden, and next door’s garden (which we are looking after), both have an abundance of basil at present. Basil is my favourite herb and basil pesto is my favourite sauce / spread / condiment. Traditionally (or at least commercially and the way I first learned to make it) pesto contains basil, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese (and pepper). This is a vegan and garlic free take on the recipe but you could easily substitute the salt and nutritional yeast for grated Parmesan and you could add garlic to your hearts desire. This recipe will last a while in the fridge (though it doesn’t last long enough here to test out how long), and also freezes well (for several months). It is excellent as a pizza base sauce, on pasta or zucchini noodles as well as a spread.

I made some pesto last week garlic free due to a friend’s intolerance and found that I actually preferred it this way. I brought the left overs to a family dinner and it was well received….so well that the recipe was requested…..uh oh….I had not written it down as I hastily made it last time….so writing this has involved making another batch so I could get the “exact” quantities down as I went……It’s going to be so hard getting through the results of that adventure (not 🙂 ).

RECIPE (yields about 2 cups)

  • 4 cups tightly packed basil (just the leaves and flowers – discard tough stems)
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts (I just toast mine by microwaving for a minute or 2)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • juice of 1 lemon (or about 4 tablespoons of lemon juice – to taste)
  • salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • course ground black pepper (optional / to taste – about 1 teaspoon)
  • 60 millilitres extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

  • Put basil in food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
  • Add nutritional yeast,  and blitz until incorporated.
  • Add pine nuts and blitz to a paste.
  • Add pepper / salt, and lemon juice, and blitz until paste is smooth.
  • With motor running on food processor, pour in the olive oil until homogenised into mix.
  • Scrape into jar (if storing in fridge or using soon), or into small plastic containers / ice cube trays (if freezing).

Looking back and looking forward. (A year in review.)

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Just a little bit excited about our trip to Tokyo (and Japan)!

It’s nearly time to wrap up 2016 and start a brand new year. Joelle over at A beginner’s Journey has reminded me I ought to be doing a year in review post…..because that’s what you do.

Although, as social media feeds keep reminding me, 2016 has been a year of losses (even in the last week), 2016 has been a pretty good year for me personally. A lot of the people who died were from the world of music and arts. One of that number hit much harder than the others, and was way more confronting, because they were a friend and musical colleague of mine, and they were of my generation and it was way too soon for them to leave. In perspective, I see it as a reminder that (1) we don’t live forever and that is part of the beauty of life, and (2) we should make damn sure we do and say everything we need to today and not wait for tomorrow, just in case….

To be honest I don’t know where the year went. Life has been crazy busy. I have had lots of music commitments, I have continued to work in an ever changing and challenging (often to the point of being frustrating) environment, I have been helping my kids learn various life skills, I have been experimenting in the kitchen, and I have been holiday planning and travelling. In addition to being a musician, a professional, a mum and a wife, I have been training (Karate) fairly intensively this year. So I guess the old adage “Time flies when you are having fun.” is probably a reasonable explanation to why this year has felt so short (when actually it had a whole 24 extra hours!!).

MUSIC

Musically speaking, I have been involved in several performances (both choral / vocal and instrumental) with Lumina and Lyrebyrd and also done some singing and playing just for fun. I have not had time to write anything new but I had one of my works performed again in the fringe and to top it off it was voted by the audience poll as the most popular piece in the concert, (which was an absolute honour, especially considering the programme included some absolute gems).

WORK

I am not at liberty to say much about work but despite its frustrations (mostly related to IT issues), I am grateful for my job and my colleagues and continue to be challenged by my clients (in a more positive way than I am challenged by the IT issues!!). And besides working pays for extras like presents and karate lessons!

PARENTHOOD / FAMILY

I have said it before and it bears repeating: Being a mum (or a dad) never really gets easier; it just gets different. I am a fairly practical mum. I feed my kids, I try to teach them right from wrong, I cuddle them, I read them stories, I give them band-aids (if there is blood), I cough up money for teeth, I make their birthday cakes. I help them learn about the world through experiences, by spending time with them, and leading by example. I try not to shelter them and I am honest when they ask questions (even where others may perpetuate a myth).

I am probably not ever going to be one of those mums who sacrifices everything for my kids. If I was, I don’t think they would ever learn that I am important too, that I should (and do) respect myself, and that I deserve respect. If they don’t learn that, I don’t think they will learn to be independent, or confident, or respect themselves. I love my kids to the moon and back, even though I have moments where I would like to send  them to the moon and ask them not to come back for a while.

The more my kids grow up the more their personalities and preferences, strengths and talents shine through, and the more I realise that despite the fact that they have, by and large, been parented in the same way, they are so different from each other.

My big boy is a very academic and almost pedantic individual, who likes to think, at least when it comes to things like information and concepts. He doesn’t think a lot about feelings (other than his own at times). He struggles to control his moods, and he struggles with the world not being all about him, which has found him in all sorts of strife, particularly at school. He is all about pushing boundaries, and saying no, and he is very stubborn, (like his mum), but hasn’t yet learned to channel that stubbornness into drive.

My baby girl is the more empathetic and caring of my kids. She is artistic, musical and often socially adept beyond her years. She can also be stubborn but generally she uses this rather better than her big brother. She is competitive. If her brother has it, she wants it, especially if it is a skill. She just decides what she’s going to do and practises determinedly until she gets it. This was particularly noticeable when she wanted to swim, and when she wanted to ride a bike. I think at least some of this tenacity and confidence has come about through training Karate, which she really enjoys. She struggles with so many things at school, and because her big brother is (and was at the same age) so far ahead of his peers in things like writing, maths, and spelling, it’s hard to accept (for her and sometimes for us), that she’s normal and not really too far behind behind. I think she has now decided it’s really time she could read properly (and I am all for it) so she’s been struggling her way one letter at a time through books with me.

FOOD AND COOKING

My adventures in the kitchen have been more about making good food in large batches quickly (at least in terms of preparation time) than about making lots of fancy things that take forever to make and 5 seconds to eat (or having the small fry take a look and refuse). I would love more time in the kitchen (and the last 2 days I have had the luxury). Usually though, with work and training and all the other stuff, having meals planned and ready to go in 5 minutes is essential. That said, I have been enjoying some more relaxed meal preparation and catering over the Christmas and New year break while we are all home and unhurried. I have made some old favourites and tried some new ideas. I even made vegan Bailey’s tonight for me and my husband, after he suggested it as a way to use the vast and static collection of whiskey that has now moved house with us about 5 times without much disturbance! (It was delicious and way too easy!)

Another thing I have been playing with is the lowest common denominator approach to cooking. I have several friends with food allergies / sensitivities and other dietary preferences. I have enjoyed the opportunity to prepare fodmap friendly, gluten free, nut free, (insert any other requirement) vegan food, insomuch as it presents as a problem solving activity and an art of deception. I made a lovely pesto yesterday which had to be gluten free (ok), vegan (ok), and garlic / onion free…..difficult but succeeded….and it was made primarily from homegrown ingredients picked fresh from the garden!

Apart from these aspects….the other thing I have been trying to  do is make  use of food / by-products and minimise waste. Of course technically we don’t waste any kitchen scraps since we compost them (or at the moment feed them to the chickens next door), but if there is more I can squeeze out of something before it goes that direction, I will. I have even tried to make my own cleaning and “beauty” products, using things like orange peel, coffee grounds and other things one normally just throws away. I have learned how to take advantage of aquafaba (the liquid left after boiling pulses – eg in the tin or the pot), made my own apple cider vinegar and orange vinegar, invented lots of ways of using up almond pulp from almond milk making and am currently in the midst of inventing new ways to hide use zucchini in recipes, as the garden is going nuts.

TRAVEL

Planning a holiday overseas with 2 kids was fun but difficult. When you are a couple, you hop on a plane and play things by ear when you get there. You can’t really do that with kids. Although I didn’t plan our Japan trip down to the last second, all accommodation and internal transport arrangements were confirmed and booked (mostly independently) before we left. This involved lots of late nights because the kids like to interrupt or suggest the same thing a zillion times while you are trying to arrange things. On the plus side, travelling with a mobile router made life easier and allowed us to be somewhat flexible with the itinerary within an area. Overall the holiday was a success and my only complaint is that we didn’t have enough time. There will be a next time though. I am determined.

KARATE

I have written over 1000 words and only mentioned Karate in passing…..OMG….how did that even happen? This year has been a pretty big year for me. I have learned so much, and gained so much. Sure there have been the observable gains in skill acquisition, but the internal changes and the things I have learned about myself and what I can achieve, were the bigger gains as far as I am concerned.

At the end of last year, my instructor helped me to “step up” my training. To be honest I was pretty perplexed about what “stepping up” would look like since I was already training more days in the week than I wasn’t, but, I went along for the ride, because I love Karate, and to be honest, when it comes to Karate I trust his judgement of what I am capable of (even if that occasionally initially surpasses what I think I am capable of)!

The year has been punctuated by various events of significance and interest, some of which I have written about in other posts throughout 2016. (You can catch up here on Karate posts.) The year was punctuated by several network and wider MA community events, which I had the privilege of participating in, including open and invite only workshops, a tournament, the annual gasshuku in Queensland, and my first 2 network panel gradings. Whilst all of these were enjoyable, informative, and fantastic learning experiences, I would have to say that my happiest times were at regular classes in my home dojo, just learning, learning to teach, and helping others learn.

Training has been full on, and I figured out by the middle of the year (if not before) what “stepping up” involved. By half way through the year it became evident that the plan was for me to do a double grading in November. This initially freaked me out somewhat if I am honest. I knew I would “get” all the kata and the physical requirements in time, but I wasn’t sure I could “be” a second kyu, especially not without having dipped my feet into the muddy (ie brown) waters at 3rd kyu for a good six months. It also meant going things alone for sections of the grading (since the rest of my “team” of purples were grading to 3rd kyu). November came and I was prepared. It’s been 6 weeks or so since I passed 2nd kyu and was awarded a Senpai title. With all my other belts, it took little or no time to get used to the new rank. My brown belt with it’s 2 black stripes, not to mention being referred to in social media and email and text and especially in person as “Senpai” has taken until about the last week or two to feel real and intermittently “comfortable”. At least I actually respond to Senpai now.

In terms of the more personal achievements, the stuff that is perhaps harder to see on the outside, I have been able to move on from some of the mental barriers and stereotypes that had been holding back my mind, and grow in confidence. I have had some support in this process, and there were times where it wasn’t easy, but time and reflection have helped a great deal. In a nutshell it has mostly been about extending and melding my personal attitudes into Karate and vice versa. Given that Karate is really a part of me, this has been a natural progression to some extent, but the “growing up” has been made easier by my “big brothers and sisters” having been there before.

After the excitement of our November grading, which saw us undergo a big colour change and my Senpai and 2 other Senpai at the sister dojo I train with, achieve their shodan, I had a great time helping plan and arrange our dojo end of year Celebration. I felt it was particularly important to arrange something to Celebrate our achievements as a club this year, because, as you can see, it has been big and exciting year, and not just for me personally. That said, at the dinner, I received the inaugural MIK (Most Improved Karateka) Award. I know I have improved but it’s hard to see yourself the way others see you. It was a proud moment for me (if not a surprising one), but not as proud as the moments I have had seeing others in the dojo achieve things they never thought possible.

THE END OR THE BEGINNING OR BOTH

So this is the end of looking back, or is it? Whilst we probably shouldn’t dwell on the past, I am sure that I will look back on this in future, as a reference point at the very least. Looking backwards doesn’t necessarily mean going backwards. Looking backwards can be a stepping stone to looking forwards.

2016 has been a blast. I don’t want to forget it, but I am really looking forward to 2017. I don’t really do resolutions anymore, they are too rigid. My aim in karate and in life remains open ended: To be better today than I was yesterday, and better tomorrow than I am today. With hard work and dedication, this is achievable. I’m up for that.

Left to right:

Top: Dragon fly in Kyoto, Temple Gates (Tori) Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto

Middle: Me and Kyoshi after 2nd Kyu / Senpai Award, medals from the 2016 TJKN National Championships, Me and Mini Me at the Championships.

Bottom: Mini Me and her flag sparring medal from the kids tournament at Gasshuku, Selfie at the summit of Mt Misen, Miyajima, Hiroshima, Tofu selection at the supermarket, Kyoto (I think).

 

 

As you like it (aka GF vegan Okonomiyaki)

20160822_160629So….big news is that we are in the thick of planning a family holiday to Japan! The highlights of many of our holidays (at least for my husband and myself) have invariably included food.

We hope Japan will be no exception (despite the warnings of the inherent difficulties of finding vegan / low gluten versions of traditional Japanese dishes in Japan)…..I am optimistic about being able to find something suitable to eat. I don’t however want our 2 pint sized travelling companions to rain on my culinary parade. So in a quest for tolerance of the new and exciting, I am trying out some easily accessible Japanese dishes on them.

So far this week we have had Onigiri, Vegetable Donburi, and Okonomiyaki. I do have a vegan Japanese cookbook which I used for inspiration……however I didn’t have most of the ingredients on the list so I have pretty much winged it for all three dishes. Onigiri and Donburi are pretty easily adaptable to GF vegan versions but Okonomiyaki (literally meaning what you like fried) is typically made with flour and eggs (and often meat or seafood too).

Here is my take on what like, fried!

Makes 8 large pancakes (serves 8)

Ingredients:

  • 10 cups of finely chopped / julienned or grated veg (I included a combination of carrot, broccoli and broccoli stalk, brussel sprouts, bok choi, green beans, celery leaves / stems, spring onion, and super finely chopped mushrooms…..don’t tell Mr 7 about them)
  • 3 tablespoons linseed meal mixed with 1/2 cup water and left to stand while preparing flour etc
  • 1 cup each of the following flours: besan (chick pea), buckwheat, rice, potato, GF plain flour mix
  • 1 tsp (or less) salt
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 4 cups – 5 cups water (enough to make a thickish batter)
  • spray oil for frying

 

Method:

  • Mix flour / salt and baking powder in large bowl.
  • Add linseed / water mix and 4 cups water and mix to a batter, adding more water as needed to form a thick batter (somewhere between pancake and waffle mix).
  • Mix in vegetables.
  • Heat one or several fry pans and spray with oil.
  • Put sufficient batter into pan to form a thick large pancake.
  • Cook on low to moderate heat for about 5-7 minutes and then turn and cook 5-7 minutes on the other side (until browned on both sides and cooked through).

 

Serving:

Serve fresh / hot (although leftovers can be warmed in the microwave or pan or eaten cold and still excellent!)

Accompaniments:

We served ours with Japanese pickles (cucumber sliced finely and left in a combination of soy, rice vinegar, sugar and sesame oil), diced nori sheets, sauce (mixture of vegan Worcestershire, bbq, tomato, soy), sriracha, and a tahini dressing (rather than mayo). I also put sauteed mushrooms with soy and sesame oil on the top.

Luscious lemon cheeze cake smoothie

I have been doing lots of thinking lately…..and yet very little blogging. There are various reasons for this, but I have no excuse not to share this recipe with you all, because it is simple and delicious and lets face it, sharing is caring!

I swapped some of our mandarins for some of my friend’s mums lemons the other day. These lemons are absolutely the best lemons on the planet. They are enormous, vibrant yellow things of beauty, and so full of semi sweet tangy juice that I have only had to use one for this recipe (and I love lemons!!). If you like things less lemony then I would suggest using the juice of 1/2 a standard lemon and / or just using the zest.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large meyer lemon (zest and juice – optionally flesh also which is my preference)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of cashew or almond butter (optional)
  • 2 frozen bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 – 1 cup almond or soy or coconut mylk (depending on how thick you want it)

 

METHOD

Place all ingredients in blender (or stick mix jug) and blend until thick and smooth.

And that, my friends, is it.

 

 

 

Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Icecream

It’s been a bit of a lazy day and I didn’t feel like making dinner for everyone. We all had something different and ate separately. I had Satay porridge with mushrooms….followed by a long nap on the couch. Husband encouraged me to get up since it was only 7:45pm and he knows I won’t sleep if I stay passed out on the couch.

While I was passed out on the couch though I was day dreaming…..mostly about karate actually…..but also about a new ice cream recipe…..so I got up and made it…..and it was as good as I planned…..and even hubby liked it so I then had to make a second batch for him because his plea to save him some came as I licked the last of it off my spoon. Neither bowl hung around long enough for a photo!

So here is my “dreamy” recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • small handful of hazelnuts – briefly toasted in fry pan and skins removed
  • 1 and 1/2 frozen bananas sliced
  • 3 heaped teaspoons (or more) cocoa or cacao
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of non dairy milk (just to make it easier to blend bananas – if you are more patient you can omit)
  • 1 rounded teaspoon black or hulled tahini

METHOD

  • In a chopper or small food processor briefly chop the nuts (or if you are keen do them by hand or in a bag crush roughly with a heavy rolling pin), and set aside.
  • Put the other ingredients in the food processor or chopper and pulse until smooth and creamy like thick soft serve.
  • Add in the chopped nuts and pulse briefly to mix in.
  • Eat (try to resist making orgasmic moans of pleasure as this attracts interested looks which usually means attention to the contents of the blender which then means less for you or that you have to make another batch!!)

Fighting the good fight.

 

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A year ago yesterday, at the time of starting to write this post, (22nd February 2015), I acquired my first real Karate injury; a broken toe. The injury was, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, a catylist for positive change. My injury made me realise that it is possible for me to pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep “fighting the good fight”, where I formerly would have catastrophised for way too long to do so in a timely fashion. Although, initially this lesson was learned in a physical sense, it quickly translated into all areas of my life.

Fighting the good fight means more than just being able to train while recovering. Fighting the good fight means doing your best in whatever you do. Fighting the good fight is looking out for yourself and for everyone else. Fighting the good fight is being proud of who you are and leading by example. Fighting the good fight is being honest with yourself and being honest with others. Fighting the good fight is finding the light at the end of the tunnel and setting your course toward it. Fighting the good fight is living everyday as if it is your last.

When my toe broke, a lot of mental barriers broke too. Sure I had made a lot of positive changes in my life before, but it took breaking a bone to remind me that like bones, life is fragile, and life is precarious, and life can change in an instant. It made me confront the fact that no matter how I live my life, I won’t be here forever.

This made me considerably more determined to share more with people, to plant seeds for positive change, both close to home and further afield, and to lead by positive example. I started to care more about how I lived my life and care less about what others thought about how I lived my life. I started to believe in myself and believe that some of the things I believed in were worth sharing. I know I am far from perfect. Perfection is a long road with no end in sight, so I do the best I can with what I have. So a year ago (25/2/15), when I was finding it difficult to walk, and a bit frustrating not to, my blog, “A work in progress” was born.

It started with recipes (which people had been asking me to blog for ages) but the blog quickly grew into a space for sharing my ideas and reflections on much more than just what was going on in my (evolving) kitchen. I will admit that I enjoy writing just for myself. This is a surprise to me as English was my worst subject at high school, and I disliked writing prose and essays throughout university and beyond. I have, however, found writing this blog to be therapeutic and, at times, even cathartic.

For whatever reasons this blog came to be and continued, I seem to have gathered a reasonable audience now.  Some people give me feedback on google plus or facebook, some on the blog itself, and some in person.

I would like to that each and every one of you for joining me on my journey, (especially those who have over the years encouraged me to start it – you all know who you are!!). I appreciate being able to share something with you. If I have made you smile, if I have made you cry or moved you, if I have made you think, if I have convinced you to try something new, or take a step outside your comfort zone, if I have planted seeds for change, if I have given you insights on what it is to “grow up” and keep growing, then I guess I am heading in the right direction. I am still and will always be a work in progress. I will keep fighting the good fight because life is here to be lived.

(Oh, and happy blogoversary to “A work in progress”)

 

 

 

Mean Green Macha Slushie

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I used to think Macha was an acquired taste. I was not a big fan until a few years ago. Mr 7 however has liked it since his first try, so obviously he was quicker in acquiring a taste for it.

I have been getting into these lately. Frankly, it has been hot, I have been training hard and these are really refreshing!!

INGREDIENTS – serves 2 (or 1 if you want a big drink!)

2 cups tightly packed baby spinach

½ cucumber (optional)

¼ teaspoon green leaf stevia powder (optional) *

(you can use 1/2 frozen banana if not using stevia this will sweeten but gives a bit of banana flavour)

1 teaspoon macha powder (green tea)

About ½ cup water or non dairy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)

1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

½ teaspoon coconut essence (optional)

12-24 ice cubes (or more 0r less to desired consistency) – I use about 24 as I like it really icy like a slushy.

Put all ingredients except ice in blender or similar. Pulse and scrape down sides as needed. Add ice once spinach etc are liquefied and pulse until a slushy consistency is achieved, (you can do this gradually if you have a removable central lid on the blender and can do it with the motor running without getting green on everything). Enjoy!

Rainbow Salad

It’s been really hot here the last week so I haven’t felt like doing a lot of cooking or eating much in the way of hot food. We have been eating a lot of salad and a lot of fruit. Getting fruit into my kids is NEVER an issue. I practically buy out the fruit and veg shop and still run out before the end of the week most of the time. Getting them to eat conventional salad….and even getting my husband to eat conventional salad, not such an easy sell!

When you are feeding kids, it’s all about pitching it right. If I had served this up and called it “quinoa salad”, I don’t think it would have had the same response. Call it “Rainbow salad” and I get a request for a repeat performance (which happened today) and a declaration of the fact that I am the best cook in the world. Rainbow salad is an honest name for it as you can see by the ingredients so I am not hiding anything.

Quantities are completely flexible. I have put recommended quantities and vegetable types only. Just used what you have and adjust the dressing accordingly! I never follow recipes so why should I expect anyone else to!

RECIPE (serves about 6-8 with the quantities I have used)

INGREDIENTS:

About 2-3 cups cooked (about 1 cup raw is needed), cooled, quinoa (I used white but mixed or red would work fine) – to cook quinoa put 1 cup quinoa to 1.5 cups water in a pot (after rinsing if desired) and bring to the boil then simmer 10 minutes and then let stand off the heat for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 1 large cucumber cut in cubes
  • 1 large stalk of celery, diced
  • 2 spring onions or 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 radishes finely sliced
  • 1/2 punnet of red and 1/2 punnet of yellow grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 10 snowpeas, sliced into small pieces
  • 1 green capsicum diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum diced
  • 1 cup basil torn
  • 1 cup baby spinach or cos lettuce roughly chopped.
  • 3/4 cup stuffed green olives, roughly chopped (I only put these in today but they were a nice addition)

DRESSING

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 rounded teaspoon shiro miso paste (you could use soy or tamari if you don’t have miso)
  • about 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

ADD ONS / SPRINKLES

  • Pine nuts / peanuts / pepitas (any or all)
  • humus or baba ganoush
  • hot chilli / garlic sauce (because I put that stuff on everything!!)

METHOD

Put all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and combine well. Stir through dressing. Serve in bowls and top with add ons if desired.