Fiesta Friday #22! Green Tea Smoothie

Happy Fiesta Friday!  This week’s event is hosted by Margy and Sylvia – thanks lovely ladies!  Angie from A Novice Gardener, is the creator and instigator of this weekly party precinct, for which this is my third attendance.  The fellowship and connection with other fabulous bloggers from those weeks has been fantastic, and I am looking forward to another great time. Please come and join the party – click on any of the links in this paragraph to find more info.

”Fiesta

As I’m from the land Down Under, 4th July isn’t the celebration of patriotism currently underway in the USA.  I’m more than willing to join in your celebrations though :).  Alas my offering for this week’s party is not red, white or blue – rather it’s green.  A lovely, lip-smacking green smoothie.  What better way to join in a party than to lift a glass, give a clink, then sip (or slurp as the case may be) away.  This beverage has the added bonus of being ridiculously good for you too, so you can imbibe as freely as you would like.  I hope you enjoy!

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Original RFD Recipe – Green Tea Smoothie (serves 2)

This recipe does take some forward planning, though I usually have the frozen ingredients in my freezer as staples.

Ingredients

  • 250 ml cold green tea
  • 1 tart apple (eg Pink Lady), cored and diced
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  • 2 good handfuls baby spinach (approx 1 cup)
  • Chunk fresh ginger, approx 1cm x 2cm, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2/3 cup frozen (fresh) pineapple
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 lemon, peeled, seeded and quartered
  • 1/2 lime, peeled and quartered

Method

  • Make green tea in advance and allow to cool
  • Wash and chop fruit and vegetables
  • Place tea in blender or Thermomix
  • Add spinach and mint
  • Add remaining ingredients
  • Blend until smooth and creamy (Thermomix – 1 minute speed 8)
  • Pour into tall glasses or Mason jars, garnish with additional mint and enjoy!

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Notes

If you aren’t accustomed to drinking green smoothies, you may find some of these ingredients utterly bizarre.  I did too until I sampled smoothies that included things like zucchini and avocado.  These both add a lovely creaminess to the smoothie, and I rarely make one without one or the other. 

The cucumber, lime, ginger and pineapple all provide a tangy, tropical freshness, as well as being packed full of nutrients.

This blend is a little tangy – if you would prefer a milder flavour, try omitting either the lemon or lime, or adding a tablespoon of raw honey.

I like my smoothies nice and thick – if you would prefer a thinner drink, simply add more liquid.

 

Fiesta Friday #22 – Turkey Salad with Green Goddess Dressing

Those long hours I mentioned last week most definitely came to pass, and there are 2 more days of them.  Hence I am running late to the party this week – apologies fellow Fiestarites!

I have a confession to make.  Turkey is not a big thing in Australia.  We don’t have Thanksgiving, and our traditional Christmas meat is a leg of ham and piles of seafood.  Up until recently, I had only had processed sliced turkey on sandwiches.  I may have had real turkey meat once or twice before in my life.  I can hear the gasps from the American visitors from here!

Well, I will give it to you – turkey is well worth the rave reviews, and I’m ashamed that it’s taken this long to discover it.  I’ve been having it in all manner of ways lately, usually once or twice per week.  As this is a new venture for me, I welcome any tips and ideas on your favourite turkey dishes 🙂

As always, Fiesta Friday is brought to us by Angie at A Novice Gardener, and is this week’s #22 is co-hosted by Foodbod and Butter Basil & Breadcrumbs.  There are some fantastic people in attendance, so please join the party – click on any of the links in this paragraph to find more info.

”Fiesta

I mentioned recently one of my newest recipe book purchases – and that is saying something, as recipe books are a bit of an obsession for me – Pete Evans’ Healthy Every Day.  I’ve been working my way through it, and this week’s party salad is an adaptation of one of his stellar recipes.  So grab a plate, pile on some of this yummy salad and top with a generous dollop of the dressing and enjoy!

Ingredients

Salad (amounts are per serve)

  • 1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
  • Tablespoon flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 royal gala apple, cored and finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 slice organic turkey ham, diced
  • 1 tablespoon activated walnuts, roughly chopped
  • Generous dollop of dressing

Dressing (serves 2-4 depending on how generous you are!)

  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 3 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons basil, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 125ml extra-virgin olive oil

Method

Salad

 

  • Place spinach leaves in bowl
  • Add parsley and apple and toss lightly
  • Top with turkey
  • Drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper
  • Add dressing to taste and top with walnuts

Dressing

  • Place all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor or blender and process until well combined
  • With the motor still running, slowly pour in the oil and process until the dressing thickens and the herbs are finely chopped

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My Notes

My dressing didn’t emulsify properly, so it was more like a pesto than a lovely creamy dressing – it was still delicious though!

Fiesta Friday #21! Fun Free Jamdrops

I can’t believe that another week has passed, and also that I have been so lax as to not post since last Friday.  The end of the month is always very busy at work, but June is compounded by being both a quarterly performance month, plus end of financial year.  Some long hours are on the way!

And what better way to get through the grind, and survive those extra mind-bending hours than with a sweet treat?  My plate for this week’s Fiesta Friday contains some delectable little biscuits based on an Australian favourite – the Jamdrop.

Jamdrops are essentially a shortbread biscuit, where the dough is rolled into a ball, flattened and a dimple placed in the middle which is filled with jam prior to baking.  They have been a favourite of mine since childhood, but with our dietary restrictions, they had been relegated to the memory drawer. I like nothing better than a challenge though, and finding a version of jamdrops to fit with our ‘Rawleotype‘ restrictions is a pretty big one!

The challenge – create a dairy free, gluten free, egg free and refined sugar free version of jamdrops.  Hmmm – time for the thinking cap to go on.  My colleague’s daughter has dubbed this type of baking as ‘fun free’, as all of the fun ingredients have been taken out.  They may be fun free, but the end result was still darn tasty!

I digress though.  In case you have not yet come across it, Fiesta Friday is a weekly celebration created by the amazing Angie A Novice Gardener, and is this week’s #20 co-hosted by Foodbod and Foodie On Board.  It’s all about sharing ideas, activities, recipes and mixing and mingling.  A delightful way to spend your Friday!  Please come an join the party – click on any of the links in this paragraph to find more info.

”Fiesta

I’ve mentioned one of my new favourite sites is Elana’s Pantry.  Well you can thank her for the inspiration for these little gems.  Her Linzer Heart recipe gave birth to my jamdrops, with a few tweaks.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract (sugar free)
  • 4 or 5 fresh strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar

Method

  • Combine almond flour and salt in a bowl
  • Make a well in the centre and add the grapeseed oil, agave and vanilla
  • Stir until well combined
  • Form dough into a ball and chill in the freezer for about 30 minutes
  • Remove the strawberry hulls, and dice into small pieces
  • Place strawberries into a bowl and sprinkle the coconut sugar over them; set aside whilst the dough chills
  • Roll the dough into balls, roughly walnut size, then place onto a lined baking tray
  • Flatten the balls to about 1cm thick
  • Using your thumb, place a small dimple in the centre of each biscuit
  • Place a few pieces of strawberry in each dimple
  • Bake biscuits at 180 degrees Celsius for 5-10 minutes until golden

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Note

These biscuits do not keep well due to the fresh fruit, so they are best eaten on the day they are made.  A perfect party plate!

I made these before discovering there are actually sugar-free jams available (I am very new to this sugar-free thing), so next time I will try traditional jamdrops.

Hi and Welcome (updated)

Welcome to my blog, recording my topsy-turvy journey into the world of Whole Food.  Since beginning this blog a few short months ago, my path has been redirected from a purely Raw Food diet to one I have dubbed the ‘Rawleotype‘ diet.  This is a somewhat peculiar mix of Raw Vegan, Paleo and GenoType.  The main emphasis remains that the food we eat is whole, natural and unprocessed, and that gluten, dairy, eggs and refined sugar are limited.

I hope that I may be able to share some of the things I learn, to help you maybe avoid some of the problems I have, and to provide some helpful tips on things that have worked for me.  I hope you will join me as I Hunt and Gather a raft of recipes, tips and ideas 🙂

Fiesta Friday #20! Raw Chocolate Truffles

This is my first post for Fiesta Friday, which is a weekly celebration brought about by A Novice Gardener, and is this week’s #20 co-hosted by Fae’s Twist & Tango and A Pug in the Kitchen.  It’s all about sharing ideas, activities, recipes and mixing and mingling – sounds like fun!

”Fiesta

I have actually been on leave this week, and have been spending a substantial amount of time either sleeping, or fiddling in the kitchen.  I was fortunate enough to have one of my colleagues send me the Wellness Trilogy from 4 Ingredients, after finding out about our new dietary regime.  This is the first recipe I made from the Gluten & Lactose Free book, and it is so delightfully simple yet decadent, that I thought it is a perfect recipe to post for Friday Fiesta.  I hope you enjoy!

Original Recipe from 4 Ingredients: Cacao and Date Truffles

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, lightly toasted and crushed

Method

  • Blend together the cacao, dates and coconut
  • Roll into small balls
  • Roll balls into the crushed nuts to coat
  • Chill before serving

Truffles

My Notes

As usual, I didn’t have all of the specified ingredients for the recipe, so substitution was in order, so almonds were used in place of pistachios

I did not roast the almonds, simply pulsed them in my Thermomix for a few seconds until they were broken into smallish chunks

Raw Seed Crackers with Goat’s Cheese

imageI am loving my dehydrator!  Although I haven’t had a chance to do as much with it as I would like as yet, I am already supremely grateful for it.

One of those recipes I had previously made note of, then written off, is this one from The Raw Food Mum for crackers.  There are times when you just want something quick, light and savoury to munch on.  One thing I had been missing with raw food was that texture of bread, crackers or baked goods.

These more than satisfy that craving.

Although for the purpose of this post I have coupled them with a non-raw cheese, the crackers themselves are fully raw, and would go very well with a raw hummus, dip or cashew cheese.

Original Recipe from the Raw Food Mum

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of ground flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 yellow onion chopped finely
  • 1 1/3 cups of sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup of sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup of nama shoyu (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cups of water

Method

  • Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined
  • Slowly add nama shoyu and mix through, then slowly add water until there is a nice consistency.  You should be able to easily spread this over the dehydrator sheets.
  • Dehydrate at 43 degrees C for four hours, then flip and dehydrate for another 1-2 hours

 

My Notes

I didn’t include the nama shoyu, as all soy has been banned from our diet

I used a french shallot rather than a yellow onion, as I find the flavour is a little milder

I don’t think I made my mixture quite wet enough, as the crackers are quite brittle

Otherwise, very yum!

 

Goat’s Cheese

I have made goat’s curd cheese several times since removing cow’s milk from our diet years ago.  It is quite ridiculously easy – if I can do it, anyone can!  It has a lovely mild flavour, which you can dress up by adding other ingredients after it has drained, such as chives, pepper, lime and chili etc.

Ingredients

  • 1 litre goat’s milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Heat milk in a large saucepan over medium heat until it just starts to bubble and looks foamy on top – do not boil!
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar – you should see the milk split immediately
  • Allow it to settle and cool slightly, add the salt, then pour through a cheesecloth-lined strainer
  • Leave to drain for several hours, overnight if possible
  • Remove the curd from the cheesecloth and place into a bowl and add extra flavourings if you like
  • Keeps for about a week – if it lasts that long!

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Raw Blueberry Pancakes – Recipe

imageI was ecstatic recently to have won an Excalibur dehydrator.  I’d been eying them off, but couldn’t bring myself to purchase one.  I didn’t really have a spare $500 anyway.  And for me, who doesn’t win anything, this was a huge event!

Whilst waiting for its arrival, I went hunting for all of those recipes I’d previously written off due to not having a dehydrator.  I have them all lined up ready to go, though have only made three so far.  The first were a batch of lemon cookies.  They were a little hum-ho, mostly I think because I didn’t have the thermostat high enough.  I also forgot to take a photo, so will post those when I retry them.

Next in line were raw blueberry pancakes – yummo!  Whilst not the light, fluffy traditional pancakes, I found these still to be pretty darn scrumptious, and will definitely be making them again!

Original Recipe from Alissa Cohen

Morning, Noon and Night Pancakes

Ingredients

Makes 10 pancakes

  • 2 cups pecans, soaked for 4 hours
  • 2 cups pine nuts 
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • Seeds from 2 vanilla beans
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups blueberries, muddled

Method

  • Put the soaked pecans and any remaining soaking liquid, pine nuts, bananas, agave, vanilla, salt, and ½ cup water in a high-speed blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Using a spatula, fold in the muddled blueberries.
  • With a ladle, drop ½ -cup measures of the batter onto Teflex-line dehydrator racks, leaving at least ½ inch between the pancakes.  They should be thick like pancakes, about ½ inch thick, not thin like crêpes
  • Dehydrate for 8 hours
  • Flip the pancakes onto clean Teflex sheets and dehydrate for 8 more hours.
  • Cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.

My Notes

Due to the pricey ingredients, I quartered the recipe and made 4 pancakes.  They’re quite filling, so 1 is ample for a serving

I used vanilla extract rather than seeds

I had to research what ‘muddled’ means, as I’m relatively new to the world of fine cuisine 🙂  Basically, lightly mashed

I ate my pancakes with coconut butter, and a little raw honey drizzled over the top mmmmmm

I kept the last pancake until day 4 and it was still fine.  Not sure how they lasted that long though….

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Chocolatiering

imageI don’t think that’s even a word, but it’s what I’ve been doing.  Chocolate – the real, straight stuff – is actually on the ‘superfood’ list, but the bitter taste can be a bit hard to enjoy.

In comes raw chocolate.

I have several different recipes, which I will experiment with over time.  This first one was ridiculously easy, and doesn’t have that real bitterness.  However, it does have a rather odd undertone that I’m not sure about.  I assume that’s from the coconut nectar, which I haven’t used much as yet.

Sharny & Julius held a demonstration at my local organic food store a few weeks ago, and I managed to catch the tail end of it.  I also wound up purchasing their book, Healthy Junk.  Whilst that was before our current dietary upheaval, there will still be quite a few recipes that I can use in it.  This is the first one.

Ingredients

  • 70g cacao butter
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut nectar
  • Seeds from 2 vanilla seed pods
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Melt cacao butter in a bowl over simmering water
  • Whisk in remaining ingredients until smooth
  • Pour into molds and place in the fridge to set

 

My Notes

In order to incorporate another superfood, I spread raw almonds in the bottom of a lined tray, then poured the chocolate over the top.  Once set, I broke it into pieces.

I used vanilla extract rather than seeds

Next time I will try either reducing the amount of coconut nectar, or a different sweetener altogether

Spot the Difference

This is the change so far.  I still have a way to go, but I’m pretty pleased with my progress so far.  This is without going hungry, and no frenetic exercise.  Just good, healthy food. 

I’m not a bit one for photos of myself, but when this one was taken the other day, I could really see the change.

The December photo is the one I saw of myself and suddenly realised how fat I had become.

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A State of Confusion

imageOur lives have been completely turned upside down this week. The naturopath has thrown our dietary lives into a spin.

She conducted a live blood analysis, reviewed a very thorough questionnaire we had previously completed, measured weight, height and muscle-fat ratio, and completed the genotype assessment.

In conclusion, she drafted a diet plan that is somewhere between the GenoType diet and the Paleo diet.  

She has also ordered additional blood tests, though she would not disclose what it is she was looking for, preferring to wait until the results come back. Whilst I understand her not wanting to cause unwarranted concern for something that may never eventuate, there is a large question mark hanging over our heads.

When we went for the test, the phlebotomist asked if Mum was being tested for coeliac disease, which raised a few red flags. Coinciding with the naturopath’s ruling to avoid gluten and grains, this was a major cause for concern. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see on that one.

Going back to food, we were given a list (from the GenoType diet) of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods, with instructions to avoid as many of the bad ones as possible. We are also to go gluten free, and preferably avoid all cereal grains, as well as corn, dairy and lettuce – I’m still puzzled about the lettuce. Also ruled out were cruciferous vegetables (kale, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower), due to pre-existing thyroid disease.

There are some elements of the Paleo diet that aligns with the Raw diet, such as no processed sugar, no wheat or processed grains, lots of fruit and veggies. A lot of the ‘good’ food list from the GenoType diet are also part of the Raw Diet.

However, the key difference is the meat. Lots of meat. Three times a day meat. Steak for breakfast, soup for lunch, stew for tea.

Considering for the last two months, we have been predominantly raw vegan, this has been a bit of a culture shock. Thankfully this is not my prescribed diet and I therefore don’t have to follow it, however as I’m the one who prepares all of the meals, it still has made life interesting. I’m trying to still remain at least 70% raw, but it’s simply not practical to cook two separate meals all the time.

Therefore, the strategy is to have raw breakfasts, snacks and desserts whenever possible; maintain green smoothies for lunch, and try to incorporate a raw element into the evening meal. My head is full to bursting with all of the new structure and legal foods, so this week was a bit of a shemozzle.

I’m determined that next week will be better.