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Guest Recipe: Soba Sensation!

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Guest Recipe: Soba Sensation!

kims noodles

The utterly gorgeous Kim (aka Kine) is a fashion/beauty/lifestyle blogger from my home town in Perth. She's on her way to becoming a chiropractor and enjoys a pescetarian lifestyle. Check out her blog here and delight in her playful posts and personable writing style!

kim lye

This is Kine's recipe for an incredibly quick and easy nutrient-packed soba noodle dish. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat and are a really tasty gluten-free alternative for regular noodles or pasta.

Kine's Soba Noodle Sensation (serves 1-2. gluten free. vegetarian.)

kims noodles

Ingredients:

  • Packet soba noodles (use the packet's recommended serving size)
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce (or coconut aminos for soy-free option, or tamari for gluten-free option)
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 small knob of ginger
  • Soft tofu

Method:

  • Boil a bunch of noodles according to the packet, run them under cold water for a summer dish.
  • Make a marinade using sesame oil, soy sauce, a dash of water, garlic and chilli.
  • Grate over some raw zuchini, ginger and soft tofu.
  • Add the marinade!

Takes me less than 10 mins and I love it so much! You can add whatever variations to it; sometimes I boil silverbeet in with the noodles.

 

 

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Meatza Sub

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Meatza Sub

meatza sub 4

I have pretty fond memories of buying pizza subs from the school canteen - tangy tomato sauce on a toasty thick piece of white baguette, smothered with melted cheese and occasionally a sprinkle of parsley and some chopped ham for good measure. It was quick, cheap, and a nightmare for my insulin and cholesterol haha.

But what were the vital components of this canteen favourite? A variety of textures, piping hot from the oven, tangy sauce and capable of being eaten sans cutlery. Fake-out mission accepted.

 

Meatza Sub (serves 1) (gluten/dairy/sugar free. low carb. low fructose.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini, cut in half lengthways
  • 1 egg or 2 egg whites
  • About 60g of lean mince (I used beef but you can use chicken/turkey/roo or even some chopped up ham. If you're vego, lentils will work but make sure they're dry after you've rinsed them)
  • 2 tsp almond meal
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium tomato paste or organic ketchup (watch the sugar!)
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional; you can swap out for parmesan if dairy's okay)
  • Yellow mustard (I use French's - just make sure there are no ingredients you can't pronounce, or anything ending with "ose"...aka sugar)
  • Chopped parsley

 

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees celsius
  • Scoop the middles out of the zucchini halves so that they turn into little boats (zuc-canoes?!). You want to take out the wet, seedy flesh and leave enough flesh that the zucchini will still be sturdy after baking (see mine below - I took a little too much out!)

  • Pop the zucchinis on a baking tray, canoe side up, and into the oven
  • Meanwhile, fry up your mince with lots of spices of your choice. I used some leftover Moroccan-inspired mince that needed using up! (if you're using ham or lentils, don't worry about this bit!)
  • Pull the zucchinis out after about 10 minutes or just when they start to brown.
  • Spread your tomato paste or ketchup in the boats.

  • Mix your mince with the egg and almond meal. The egg will start to cook - that's okay :)
  • Evenly distribute the mince mixture between 2 zucchini halves and sprinkle the nutritional yeast or parmesan on top.

  • Return to the oven for about 15 minutes. You'll know when they're done when the mince mixture feels firm and there's nothing that oozes when you press it...
  • Pop onto a plate and squeeze over some mustard and sprinkle the parsley over with another pinch of nutritional yeast. Season with salt and pepper.

1 Comment

Meatza Sub

1 Comment

Meatza Sub

meatza sub 4

I have pretty fond memories of buying pizza subs from the school canteen - tangy tomato sauce on a toasty thick piece of white baguette, smothered with melted cheese and occasionally a sprinkle of parsley and some chopped ham for good measure. It was quick, cheap, and a nightmare for my insulin and cholesterol haha.

But what were the vital components of this canteen favourite? A variety of textures, piping hot from the oven, tangy sauce and capable of being eaten sans cutlery. Fake-out mission accepted.

 

Meatza Sub (serves 1) (gluten/dairy/sugar free. low carb. low fructose.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 zucchini, cut in half lengthways
  • 1 egg or 2 egg whites
  • About 60g of lean mince (I used beef but you can use chicken/turkey/roo or even some chopped up ham. If you're vego, lentils will work but make sure they're dry after you've rinsed them)
  • 2 tsp almond meal
  • 1 Tbsp low-sodium tomato paste or organic ketchup (watch the sugar!)
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional; you can swap out for parmesan if dairy's okay)
  • Yellow mustard (I use French's - just make sure there are no ingredients you can't pronounce, or anything ending with "ose"...aka sugar)
  • Chopped parsley

 

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees celsius
  • Scoop the middles out of the zucchini halves so that they turn into little boats (zuc-canoes?!). You want to take out the wet, seedy flesh and leave enough flesh that the zucchini will still be sturdy after baking (see mine below - I took a little too much out!)

  • Pop the zucchinis on a baking tray, canoe side up, and into the oven
  • Meanwhile, fry up your mince with lots of spices of your choice. I used some leftover Moroccan-inspired mince that needed using up! (if you're using ham or lentils, don't worry about this bit!)
  • Pull the zucchinis out after about 10 minutes or just when they start to brown.
  • Spread your tomato paste or ketchup in the boats.

  • Mix your mince with the egg and almond meal. The egg will start to cook - that's okay :)
  • Evenly distribute the mince mixture between 2 zucchini halves and sprinkle the nutritional yeast or parmesan on top.

  • Return to the oven for about 15 minutes. You'll know when they're done when the mince mixture feels firm and there's nothing that oozes when you press it...
  • Pop onto a plate and squeeze over some mustard and sprinkle the parsley over with another pinch of nutritional yeast. Season with salt and pepper.

1 Comment

Guest Recipe: Spicy Black Bean Burgers

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Guest Recipe: Spicy Black Bean Burgers

bean burgers 3

This inaugural guest post comes all the way from Canada! I spent six months studying in Toronto and safe to say, the maple syrup, poutine, bagels with cream cheese, endless aisles of "breakfast cereal" (...Cinnamon Toast Crunch oh.my.god.) and abundance of yummy breakfast haunts that serve waffles the size of your face loaded with cream...yeah, that ALL went to my face. I've always had chubby cheeks but check this out:

Normal chub face

After about 4 months in Toronto (so much face...and everything else for that matter)

My return home from Canada actually kick-started my healthier lifestyle. Anyway, I digress.

I met Emma in Toronto as a fellow journalism student and we've kept in touch. She's wonderfully intelligent and recently lost some weight with a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Not one wanting to give up old favourites, Emma made changes in the kitchen to kick things up a nutrient-dense notch and make vegetarian food exciting and satisfying. And so her Spicy Black Bean Burgers were born.

Take it away, Emma!

As a girl who grew up eating burgers, chicken fingers and pork chops, I will freely admit to loving imitation-type foods. I love maple-infused 'bacon' tempeh, tofu, and yes, veggie burgers. I like food that pretends to be something else while giving me a similar experience. Veggie burgers let you pile on all the typical burger toppings without sacrificing a ton of the taste, as basic beef patties don't taste like much anyways!

It doesn't help that since I became vegetarian in 2010 (my sister followed in 2011), my mom started buying lots of fake veggie products when we came home to visit. I know that it helps her plan meals better by just giving us the veggie alternative of whatever she and Dad are eating, and I appreciate the effort she's making. However, I'm a bit wary of the ingredients in some of these products.

It's been widely reported that many big-name makers of soybean products use a chemical called hexane, a chemical pollutant and neurotoxin, to bind their products together in place of the fattier soybean oils, which are removed in processing.

There's no REAL reason to worry... Environment Canada says the amount in our food doesn't contribute hugely to our hexane intake (way more of it comes from inhaling paint and gas fumes) but it's still concerning that the producers of your veggie "chicken" burger are contributing hugely to the levels of hexane being pumped into the atmosphere.

Also, most soy patties taste like cardboard. 

:(

Sooo... what's a reasonably skeptical yet clean-eating girl who likes good food to do?

Make some yummy REAL burgers!

I've made it a bit of a mission to search out the best veggie burger in Toronto and have found that some of the best ones incorporate quinoa, mushrooms and onions. Something about the way those foods smell when mushed together and sauteed makes me a bit weak in the knees.

But the one I turn to the most at home is this stellar black bean burger recipe from Gina at Skinny Taste. They're spicy, hearty and hold together well - something that's often hard to achieve in a burger with a lot of ingredients.

They're also divine served with some sliced avocado and salsa, or as Gina recommends, a dollop of chipotle mayo.

 

Spicy Black Bean Burgers (serves 4) (vego. low fructose. dairy free. low fat.)

 

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz (2 cups) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro (aka coriander)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup quick oats* 
  • Burger buns (Ed's note: you could use a large grilled field mushroom or thick slice of eggplant instead)
  • 1 small avocado, diced thin (optional)
  • Salsa
  • Mayo stirred with canned chopped chipotle pepper (Ed's note: Aussies, if you can't find this in the same aisle as beans/canned tomatoes or Mexican food, there are usually cans of milder peppers you can buy. Add some cayenne powder for va-voom heat.)

 

* You can use rolled oats, but the burgers won't hold together as well, as the pieces are bigger

 

Method:

  • After washing the beans, dry them well, as the moisture will keep them from sticking together. Mash them in a bowl with a fork (I use a potato masher as they're hard to squish) until they form a paste.
  • Chop the red pepper, scallion, garlic and cilantro then blend using a food processor or blender.
  • Add spices, oatmeal and egg to the pepper mixture and then pour into the bowl with the beans:

  • Shape into 4 patties and place on a sheet of baking paper. Freeze for at least two hours before cooking. 

  • I usually use about a tablespoon of olive oil or oil spray. Set the burner on medium heat and cook about 7 minutes on each side.
  • Garnish with avocado and salsa or chipotle mayo.

 

Emma Prestwich is a recent grad of Ryerson University's journalism school in Toronto, Canada. Emma loves writing, running, and talking it out over a few beers. She is passionate about balance, trying to eat clean, and dessert. You can find her on Twitter at @emma_prest.

 

 

 

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Kale Sweet 'n' Sour Salad

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Kale Sweet 'n' Sour Salad

kale 3

Kale is one of those things magazines keep telling us to eat because it's AH-MAAAAY-ZING for your overall vitality. The truth is, it tastes a bit like arse unless you give it some lovin' in the kitchen. So that's what I did.

kale salad 1

Kale Sweet 'n' Sour Salad (makes 4 serves)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 4 spring onions, sliced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 Tbs goji berries
  • Hulk-sized handful of parsley (basil also works well) roughly chopped
  • 4 tsp EVOO (I used a passionfruit infused EVOO for even more flavour)
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Juice of half a lemon (about 1/4C)
  • Stevia, or 2tsp honey
  • Cayenne pepper (optional)

Method:

  • Wash your kale! You don't want to find any little buggies hiding in the curly leaves. I say this from experience, except I found half a bug. 
  • Wash your kale again.
  • Pat the kale dry and strip the leaves from the stalk (pull down the stalk "against the grain" and they should come right off). Tear them into bite-sized pieces and pop them in a big mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle about a teaspoon of sea salt into the bowl, along with the 4 teaspoons of EVOO.

  • Alright, now it's time to get personal with your kale. It's had a tough day, you know? So treat it to a nice, firm massage! Don't be scared to get intimate with your kale. (in all seriousness, though, this is the most important part of the recipe because it softens the leaves and helps ease the bitter taste raw kale has)
  • You'll know when you've massaged the leaves enough when they shrink down/wilt a little bit and go a darker, more vibrant green. Of course you could always taste one of the leaves, too. Here's what mine looked like:

  • Throw in your spring onion, goji berries*, parsley and lemon zest. Crack some black pepper over the top and give the whole lot a toss. (* at this point, you can leave your salad in the fridge to dress & eat later which will give the goji berries time to plump up. Otherwise, pop your gojis in a little bowl of tepid water while you're preparing the salad for them to soften up)
  • Time for the dressing! Simply use a fork to combine lemon juice, honey (or stevia - liquid is best in this instance) and cayenne pepper if you want to give your salad some sass.
  • Pour the dressing over the leaves, give it another good toss and serve!

Notes

I usually serve this with chicken or fish. You can also dice up a few strawberries to add to the mix, grapes also work well. This also tastes delish with toasted almonds tossed through!

You can experiment with what you add to your kale! Your standard base is a massaged bowl of kale using salt and oil.

 

Why this kale salad is kick-ass 

  • Per calorie, kale has a higher iron content than beef. Chyeah, tell that to your carnivorous boyfriend/brother/dad/male acquaintance next time they sit down to a steak. Low iron levels can make you feel tired, but iron is also awesome for getting oxygen around the body...which is kind of important, no?
  • Kale is a calcium super-source! Put down the "extra calcium" milk and pick up the kale (besides, kale has more calcium per calorie than milk).
  • There's a tonne of fiber in kale to keep things moving in your digestive system
  • Plus loads of vitamins in kale (A, B, C and even K!) which together maintain healthy eyes, skin, metabolism and all things wonderful
  • EVOO is a healthy source of fat that will make your skin glow, give you sustained energy and keep you full
  • Considering they're dried fruit, goji berries pack a lot of punch for a comparatively little amount of sugar. Plus they have ALL of the essential amino acids (building blocks of the body!) and are little protein bullets. They're a wonderful antioxidant to fend off any nasties like bacteria, fungus and wrinkles.

 

 

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Mini Meatloaves

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Mini Meatloaves

mini meatloaf

Meatloaf. It's one of those things that sounds completely unappetising and is synonymous with a large man who is past his prime doing farewell tour after farewell tour. However, making your own mini meatloaves can be a great fun and convenient way to get protein and iron.

Mini Meatloaves (makes 8-10)

Ingredients:

  • About 520 grams lean beef mince 
  • 1 brown onion, diced finely
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 whole egg
  • A few button mushrooms, chopped reasonably finely (optional)
  • Spices (go nuts and experiment! I like to combine coriander seed, cinnamon and hot paprika)

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced)
  • Spray 8-10 holes of a muffin or friand tin with non-stick spray, or wipe them with some soft butter on paper towel
  • Pop your mince into a large bowl and break it up with a fork
  • Add your onion, carrot, mushrooms, spices plus some salt and pepper. Combine with a fork.
  • Crack your egg into the bowl and break the yolk with a fork. Combine with the mixture - this is your glue!
  • Using a spoon, pop equal amounts of mixture into the muffin/friand holes
  • With the back of the spoon, press the mixture into the tin so it's nice and compacted and the tops are smooth. At this point, you can brush the tops with some organic ketchup if you like!
  • Pop the tin into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, turning the tray around halfway. You'll know when they're cooked when they're nice and brown and firm to touch.
  • Run a knife around the edge of each hole, lift out your meatloaves and enjoy!
  • Store extras in zip-lock bags in the freezer.