Thursday, 15 August 2013

A market and a recipe

Hello people,

Sorry I have not written earlier I have been busy! Busy! Busy!

Anyway I have been doing a little research on free range chickens and what ‘free range’ actually means and I have discovered that when the RSPCA has their stamp of approval on free range chicken it is because there are 1500 chickens per hectare which is only about the size of an A4 sheet of paper per chicken! I was totally blown away by that. I had this image in my head of chickens running around freely all day and was sad to realize that isn’t the case. However there is another group called the Free Range Farmers Association (FRFA) and in order to get their stamp of approval on packaging there has to be less than 750 chickens per hectare. I did some research and Woolworths and Maxi Foods supplies FRFA approved chicken, my Coles doesn’t but I did read that some Coles do. I will include a picture of the logo for you so you know what to look for. It is only little so you have to have a good look.

I went the Collingwood farmers market at the Colingwood children's farm. I loved it! The atmosphere was really warm and welcoming and the animals seemed relaxed and happy-not at all frightened of all those people! I brought some awesome organic produce and you can really taste the difference. I also brought some free range eggs (FRFA approved) called 'Dan's Eggs'. He was a nice guy to. I had been researching his products the night before so I almost felt a bit giddy meeting him because he seems famous to me because I saw his face on the net! hahaha.

The no sugar is coming along ok. Food that I thought was boring is actually getting a lot tastier which is nice. I once stayed off sugar for 5 weeks and someone offered me a twisty and all I could taste in it was sugar. I think we get desensitized to it.

Another thing I realized is that I often use food as a weapon against myself. When I was having a shitty day I used to go straight for sugar knowing that I would feel crappy after it. I haven’t been doing that lately obviously but my it is tempting!

I have a ‘I-can’t-believe-it’s-not Butter Chicken’ recipe for you. It’s from The Michelle Bridges 12 week challenge, which I am doing at the moment.

I-can't-believe-it's-not Butter Chicken
Serves: 2 | Prep time: 5 min | Cooking time: 45 min | 312 Cal per serve
Butter chicken gets a long overdue makeover in this tasty recipe from Deb.
1 Medium Onion (89g)
1/2 400g Cans Canned Tomatoes (200g)
200g Raw, Lean Chicken Breast
1 Tablespoons Tandoori Paste (15g)
80g Canned Red Lentils, Drained
1/4 Cups Light Cream (65g) 1g
Olive Oil Spray

4 Medium Pappadams (40g)
1/4 Cups Liquid Vegetable Stock (64g)
Preparation Tips
• Dice the chicken
1. Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until soft.
2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the chicken and cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes or until light golden.
3. Add the curry paste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until fragrant.
4. Add the tomatoes, stock and lentils and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft and the sauce thickens. Stir in the cream and cook for 1 minute or until heated through.
5. Lightly spray the pappadams with oil and cook on a sheet of paper towel in the microwave for 45 seconds or until puffed.


Tuesday, 6 August 2013

A neat recipe and a healthy lifestyle

I've been thinking about body image a lot lately. Body image is something I have struggled with quite a lot over the years. As a kid I put on weight quite quickly during puberty and my mum approached it by food restriction and talking about my weight. She did what she thought would help me but it taught me that to lose weight you had to deprive yourself of 'bad' food, so through my teen years I starved myself and obsessed over food. What I realise is my mother never talked to me about health. It was always about weight. From my perspective-me eating all these foods that I wasn't fond of and not being able to eat the things that I liked (I used to horde these foods secretly in my room to avoid getting into trouble and so ended up over eating these things anyway) equaled weight loss but I didn't understand or know about nutritional value or what it meant to be healthy or what you eat to maintain health. I was thinking that parents should educate their children about health and good foods rather than use weight as an incentive to eating well. What do you think?

This 100 days of real eating is a different experience for me because it isn't about losing weight, it is about being healthy and it feels a whole lot more sustainable because of that.

Anyway-I made a cake last night (called the caramel mud cake) that tastes naughty but isn't! It has quite a lot of tahini in it and tahini is quite a strong taste so I would suggest cutting it down by half and adding a little honey. I am a massive sweet tooth and I found this fixed the craving! The recipe is from   =)

Caramel Mud Cake – Wholefood Simply Style
The flesh of two roasted sweet potatoes (I thickly slice and roast in their skins, the flesh pops out easily once they are cooked and slightly cooled, and we love eating the skins while the cake cooks)
10 medjool dates, seeds removed
3 heaped tablespoons hulled tahini
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
5 eggs
Pinch of salt
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celcius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line a round 20cm cake tin.
In your blender or food processor puree the sweet potato flesh and dates until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients in the order listed above, mix until well combined.
Pour the mixture into a prepared tin and bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden and an inserted skewer comes out cleanly. Allow the cake to cool slightly before removing from the cake tin and placing the cake onto a cooling rack. Cool the cake completely prior to icing.
Caramel Frosting
3 heaped tablespoons hulled tahini
3 heaped tablespoons honey
3 heaped tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour the mixture directly over the cooled cake for a runny icing or refrigerate the mixture and allow it to set slightly for a thicker frosting consistency.
Isn’t it heavenly? Enjoy!!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Day one!

Ok people,

So this is day one of the 100 days of real food. I am a bit late to get started as so many other things came up but I guess things don’t ever stop coming up so I have to make sure I make food a priority which I realized I don’t usually, which is probably a bit stupid considering that it’s common knowledge that nutrition= a healthy body (for the most part anyway), so it really should be a priority.

I didn’t realize how much preparation and time this challenge would take. Meaning, you would have no idea that sugar is in EVERYTHING!! I went to have a chai latte today and realized I couldn’t. My friend also went to give me some nutri grain and I almost ate it. It is just such a habit to eat anything that’s there without thinking of its contents. Even almond milk and soy milk has quite a bit of processed sugar in it and forget condements! Bye bye sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, bbq sauce and tomato sauce! I will have to make them from scratch. All in all though, I know it is really of benefit to my health so it is a small price to pay.

So today I ate a banana and whole grain toast with avocado for breakfast, eggplant, zuchinni, mushroom, tomato, ricotta and mozzarella bake for lunch and a chicken salad that contained spinach and rocket leaves, walnuts, pear, parmesan and natural yoghurt mixed with lemon juice, garlic and coriander. If anyone wants the recipe to any of this stuff let me know and I can email it. I brought the Lilydale chicken today. I will have to research it a little more though as they weren’t to forthcoming when I emailed them and I have learnt that ‘free range’ doesn’t exactly scream ‘humane’ but there are a group of farmers in victoria who only have half the volume of chickens that most other ‘free range’ farms have. I will have to look into that a bit more and find out exactly where they sell their produce. I will tell you though, there is a lady in yarra glen that runs the ‘good life’ farm and by the sounds of it, the animals are treated as pets, actually get free range of her land and are thoroughly cared for and she isn’t a mass meat producer, also, troubled youth get to work on the farms and it has been quite valuable in their lives.

I found something interesting in the shops today. Black rice. Apparently it is the most nutritious rice you can get and it contains more anti-oxidants than blueberries! I think I may buy some tomorrow and cook some Sunday. I’ll let you know how it goes.

I hope you all have a relaxing weekend! x

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

So this is the very first Blog of which I hope there is many! I am feeling very excited about this project but I am sure you aren't yet because you don't know what it's about so let me get into it!

I saw a website about an American family who ate unprocessed foods for 100 days. It promotes all sorts of nifty ideas and recipes. So I thought it would be amazing to do an Australian one. I am hoping to research things like where to buy ethically treated meat and provide information about when farmers markets are on (because I would soooo much rather be giving money to them than to coles!). I also think it would make me more accountable to act on the things I learn if I share it publicly because it would't just be for myself then.

So the rules of this challenge are (This is taken from the American 100 day pledge also)....

  1. Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
  2. Lots of fruits and vegetables
  3. Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
  4. 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains (find a local bakery for approved sandwich bread 
  5. Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
  6. Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken (preferably in moderation)
  7. Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee & tea, and, to help the adults keep their sanity, wine and beer!
  8. Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
  9. All natural sweetners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation

What you CANNOT eat:

  1. No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
  2. No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
  3. Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredientslisted on the label
  4. No deep fried foods
  5. No “fast foods”

So that's it folks!! Did you have the bugs bunny voice in your head just then??I will be starting this challenge on the 27/7. I have already sourced my local farmers market and brought a few things and am experimenting with a few recipes so we will see! My favourite at the moment is home made peanut butter in celery sticks with sultunas on top (otherwise knows as 'ants on a log'). Try it and let me know what you think!