Oh my goodness! Have I just discovered like the best healthy ice cream ever? Have I been living under a stone? Who would have thought that frozen berries and bananas blitzing it together will create like amazing ice cream?
Totally. In. Awe.
It must be some sort of food science. Too bad science (except for biology) was never my strong subject. Looking at a few health food blogs and instagram, people were commenting how lovely it is to blitz up frozen banana. I always have some frozen bananas in my freezer- it's my quick snack. A little with almond butter goes a long way. Sometimes, I throw them into smoothies. And now, it can be ice-cream! I also love the colour of the ice cream from the berries.
Surely I can have this up my sleeve in the future for an "ice cream" when Asher discovers the world of sweets?
PS- Happy 5th Wedding Anniversary! I will write more in my next post. But today is officially 5 years since we signed the papers.
PPS- Happy 9 months Asher. Nine months of you in our life. We love being your parents.
Frozen Banana Berries "Ice Cream" (serves 2-3)
2 frozen bananas
1frozen cup of mixed berries
Blitz everything up. It will look like granita at first, keep going and it will turn into a creamy texture. DIG IN!
I was looking at my previous posts and it hit me that I never wrote about Zucchini noodles. I swore I thought I did! It's one of those food that I go to whenever I feel like having noodles. It's rare that I feel like having pasta- as for some reason, it always makes me feel heavy and gluggy. To think I used to cook pasta up every week without fail!
I bought one of those vege twisters at 40% off at our local appliances store and boy was I hooked. I have since made long vege noodle strands out of carrot and zucchini. I have yet to try beetroot yet but I bet it will taste amazing. My only complain is that it takes ages (and my son isn't old enough to do it for me yet!), plus there could be some wastage if the zucchini is too huge to fit into the little equipment. I tend to just chop up the leftovers and throw it in anyway. I might just invest in a bigger and more friendly to use spiraliser in time.
My hubby grew a mini herb garden for me. I promise I will take photos of it one day! But from it, we managed to harvest quite a healthy bunch of basil leaves. This form the basis of our pesto.
I added parmesan cheese in my home made pesto- yes, it's not strict paleo but I can tolerate a little dairy after I have eliminated it for some time from my diet. Also, I identify myself as more clean eating than paleo. That's a good thing because I can't imagine life without cheese! In life, I truly believe there is no one size fits all, and you have to find what works for you and your body.
For me, I find that my family flourishes when we reduce grains, wheat, gluten and stick to the natural meat, seafood, veges wholesome food that you find in markets. Asher started his first solids with avocado and I'm pleased to say that even though I let him try some cereal at 8 mths, he has never taken to it- instead, his young palate always seem to prefer chicken, beef, lamb, spinach, peas, leek, sweet potato, pumpkin and of course congee. We also gave him eggs and he loved it! Yay to food experimentation.
So back to the pesto- it really is a blitz it in a mini food processor kind of meal. The noodles? I sautéed it lightly and then topped it up with the chicken pesto.
Chicken Pesto Zuchinni Noodles (serves 4)
3 huge zucchini- made into noodles shreds
1 tsp garlic
500 grams of chicken mince
1/2 cup of peas
1 huge bunch of basil leaves. Probably around 2 cups
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup garlic olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tsp of pine nuts
Blitz pesto ingredients together.
Saute pan with some garlic and chopped onion. Brown chicken mince. Toss pesto and peas over it. Taste. Add a little water if mixture seems dry.
In a separate pan, sauté zuchinni noodles with a little oil till slightly soft. Dish them into bowls and top it with chicken pesto and some more cheese!
It only took me a few years, but I'm really excited when friends and family finally understands why I eat the way we believe in. It's not a fad, it's not a diet. I'm no longer wanting to lose weight. All I want is to be strong and healthy. Man, I'm not even looking at being an athlete or look like I have muscles bulging out. Being slim, toned and moving functionally is good for me.
As I persists on, people do not try to talk me out of eating the way I do anymore. In fact, I often think it's strange that we have grown to rely on sugar and processed food over the years and think of that as normal. Why is it not ok to eat food that comes from farms and not factories?
How do I know? We get invited to lunches over at friends and they cook clean for us! We receive invites from our lovely friends and families saying that they want us to eat clean and healthy in their kitchen too. In some ways, I felt a little bad that people are bending over backwards to serve us food that we love. But in other ways, I realised... hey, that's healthy food for them too! It's fuelling their bodies better. We had a lovely salad with green goddness dressing and the hosts tried their hands in making spelt pizza (still not completely clean BUT better than dominos), and then we were invited to another place where I had grilled chicken tenderloins with a pumpkin and feta salad. Oh, how about another lunch where we had grilled chicken winglets, meat balls, kebabs, and beetroot salad to boot. Seriously. They all tastes fantastic and we had a great time.
I'm in awe of people like OMGPaleo, or TheSpunkyCoconut. They make real food tastes even better. I adapted these little babies from Spunky Coconut to bring to my friends of course. They are more like mocha cakes- I wouldn't call them brownies at all. But still a good little treat.
Mocha Coconut Slab Cake
1 cup of Almond Butter
1/2 cup of nepresso coffee
1/4 cup coconut flour
3 tablespoon of cacao powder
2 tablespoons of honey
1 tsp of vanilla paste
1 tsp of baking powder
pinch of salt
Handful of shredded coconut
Pre heat oven to 180C
Put everything in the mixer. Whisk it. Then spoon into lined 8by8 baking pan! Sprinkle coconut on top. Bake for 30 minutes. Done!
So there comes a point where I would like to share with you my post pregnancy weight lost. I wrote about my struggles here and here. So right now, I have managed to shed 20 kgs post birth (I dropped 10 kgs after Asher was born) and is now slightly below my pre-pregnancy weight. It wasn't easy and that took me 6 months to achieve it.
(yes me and my big tum tum and massive weight gain at 37 weeks pregnant)
I was glad though, that my focus wasn't about losing weight initially. It was about getting fitter and fuelling my body right. I started writing a food diary and eating well- like really well. I'm talking clean food 90% of the time and treats 10%. As you have read here, I love my food so it is impossible of to survive on a diet of lettuce leaves and chicken breasts. I eat beef, lamb, seafood, all kinds of vegetables and listened to my body. For snacks, I had eggs, nuts, chia pudding, cheese, home made granola bars and muesli, yogurt and bliss balls (and all the bakes I make!).
Exercise? I went slow. I went for daily walks, then pilates and mums and bubs swimming classes. I returned back to met con, konga and boxing- and here I am. In the process, I won a challenge set by my gym and is now fitter than ever before. I'm not stick thin and is actually the happiest I have been with the way I look. I don't judge myself as much as more importantly, I feel strong. At the moment, I go to the gym 4x a week- twice met con and twice boxing. I walk with my husband and baby all other days and try to incorporate pilates stretches on other days. When I feel like it, I might throw in a home body workout here and there- but that's not often.
The other day, a good friend told me that she wants to practise clean eating too. So she came over for lunch after her workout and we tucked into some healthy tuna and sweet potato patties. Oh, the kids loved it too! I feel proud when friends and family believed in what I am doing. Perhaps to the rest of the world, it may seem strange or obsess or I am not eaten "real food". Trust me, I am. When does eating non processed packaged stuff (including breakfast cereals) become real? We have become mesmerised by the media my friends. It's time to get down to the basics I reckon. And enjoy food the way it is supposed to be enjoyed.
Sweet Potato Coconut Tuna Patties (around 16 patties)
1 sweet potato steamed or roasted in oven. Mashed it.
2 cans of tuna
1 chilli chopped
handful of curry leaves chopped
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tablespoon of coconut flour
Shredded coconut to coat
Coconut oil to fry
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a spoon or your hands. Shape into patties and fry them in a pan using coconut oil. Serve with a side salad.
It's almost like I have rediscovered pecans. Once upon a time, I'm mad about walnuts. Then I went on to pine nuts and even cashews. Now, I like to put pecans in all my baking and granola.
From time to time, I do love a good cookie. Hubby likes them in his snack box as they are portable and easy to munch on. Making a good healthy cookie without processed ingredients like white flour can be tricky- especially since I like my cookie a little crispy.
I think you know about my search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Check this and this and this healthy version out... Since we hardly eat flour products, I find it difficult to make cookies at home.
Not anymore. I have the "Make ahead Paleo" cookbook by Tammy and have been experimenting with glee. Her version is the "Kitchen Sink Cookies" but I made a few changes as we generally don't take as much maple syrup on honey. That could have contributed to why my cookie isn't as crispy as well.
One thing that I learned in this cookbook is the use of arrowroot starch and flour! It really does make the finished product more "normal" cake/cookie tasting. My only complain is that clean cookies usually do not keep well. I re toasted mine the next day and it tasted just as good- if not better as it became crispier!
ps- did you see the photo of my new measuring spoons? They are soooo cool that I'm keeping them aside for props! LOL
Pecan Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies (I made 28 cookies)
1 cup almond flour
3 tablespoon of coconut flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
2 tsp of vanilla paste
2 tablespoon of maple syrup
splash of almond milk (around 2 tablespoon)
2 tablespoon of coconut oil
1/4 cup of pecans
1/4 cup of cranberries
1/4 cup of chocolate chips
Put baking paper on baking tray. Preheat Oven at 180C. Whisk dry ingredients together. In a jug, mix eggs and other wet ingredients together. Fold wet to dry. Then fold in pecans, cranberries and choc chops. Spoon teaspoons onto baking tray. Flatten it. Bake for 15 minutes till golden.
I can have this for breakfast, lunch or dinner any day! It's such a quick and simple recipe that I do not know why I have not done this before!
The other day, hubby said to me that he realised how much his views of food has changed since I have tweaked our family meals to become clean and healthy. His line manager treated himself and team to frozen coke. Hubby took a few sips and couldn't have any more. He said he simply felt ill.
Oh that was a proud moment for me.
As a wife and mum, there is nothing more I want than good health for my family. It's such a lovely feeling when even hubby realised that this is a lifestyle change and he felt better because of it.
So sausages- are they really healthy? I believe they can be. We do not have sausages every day. However, I think it is important to find a butcher who can make gluten free and hopefully sugar free sausages with quality meat. Not the rubbish supermarket sausages that we have no idea what's in it. Usually that's full of preservatives, sugar and flour.
That paired with eggs and spinach- ahhhhh....quick and easy meal DONE!
Sausage Egg Frittata (serves 4)
3 or 4 good quality pork sausages casing removed
1 red onion diced
1 tsp of garlic
2 red chill diced
1 cup of spinach leaves
1/4 cup of chives chopped
4 or 5 eggs
1/4 cup almond milk
Preheat Oven at 180C. Saute onion, garlic and chill. Brown sausage mince meat. Fold through spinach leaves. Meanwhile, Whisk eggs with almond milk and chives. When sausage meat is cooked, spoon into oven safe dish. Pour eggs on to sausages. Bake 20-25 minutes till done! Serve warm or cold.
Boy am I excited to share this recipe with you. I have discovered the beauty of gelatine! Our family mainly follow a paleo and/or eating clean menu plan (made by me! ha!). I believe in eating clean most days of the week, and then if I'm out or spotted a treat I really like, I eat without guilt. It's about fuelling my body the best way ever 80-90% of the time but enjoying treats when I like as well.
Many of my friends, especially close family members asked me- but won't I miss the fantastic food like pastas, hawker delights like chicken rice and fried prawn noodles? The answer to me is... no.
I was surprised myself. I think the reason is because I do not deny myself those food completely. It's about being sensible. Hubby had some chicken rice when we were in Singapore, and I happily tucked into his food (he ate my grilled fish and sambal vegetables too!). Besides, who says rice is a bad food? It's really not that bad. It's just that we tend to overdose ourselves on it.
Oh how about desserts? Those on my instagram would probably remember that I tucked into some beautiful cakes and desserts in Canele Singapore, Antoinette and even at TWG. Not to mention, I asked a friend to baked us some gorgeous matcha opera cakes.
At home though, hubby and I eat clean pretty much most of the time. That's why I like to bake clean treats at home. Reading a few paleo recipe books, I came across the magic of gelatine powder. One evening, I heated up some almond milk with 2 chai tea bags and vanilla paste. Then I dissolved some gelatine powder with hot water, whisk it through the milk, spoon into glasses and placed it in the fridge.
The result? A lovely light "panna cotta" ready for us to eat when Asher is asleep. In fact, it's a little like the soy bean curd dessert I used to have back home! Certainly something for me to experiment further for sure.
Chai Vanilla Almond Panna Cotta (serves 4)
2 cups of almond milk
1 tablespoon of honey if using unsweetened almond milk
2 chai tea bags
1 tsp of vanilla paste (you can also use vanilla bean- scrap the seeds but also throw in the pod in the milk to let it infuse further)
1/2 tsp of gelatine powder
2 tablespoon of hot water
Infuse tea bags with milk and vanilla on stove top. Let it simmer for around 5 minutes or so. As it cool slightly, dissolve gelatine powder with hot water. Strain the almond milk mixture.
Whisk gelatine into the almond milk mixture. Spoon mixture into separate glasses or ramekins. Serve with some chia seed pudding or like me- with some raspberries and dark chocolate flakes.
food brings people together, regardless of culture and country of origin. imagine this space like a huge dining table-filled with home cooked food, with people sharing, loving and eating. eat and enjoy.