Caramel Slice is Very Nice

caramel slice

After almost 11 months my brother is back from living in South America! Yay!

I thought this called for a celebration.

I’ve been wanting to try out a clean caramel slice for ages- so thought this was a pretty good time to whip out the recipe I’d been eyeing off.

I used the recipe from Wholefood Simply and OMG- delish.

BUT. I broke my food processor…I’m just going to say that it was worth it and it gives me a needed excuse to invest in a much more hardy one (any suggestions?)

You can get the recipe here.

 

 

First for the new year!

Well I’ve been on holidays for the past few weeks, and as such have been a little too slack in the writing department. But on the plus side I’ve been able to spend time in the kitchen experiments and whipping up some awesome creations!

Tonight I made a delicious dumpling noodle soup! Not the healthiest dinner ever- but it’s pretty close and the fresh ingredients and flavors are amazing!

Wonton noodle soup:

3 salt reduced stock cubes (chicken or vege)
photo (12)3 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
1.5 litres of hot water
Small onion sliced thin
1 garlic glove crushed
3 celery stalkeds sliced thin
1 carrot grated
3 spring onions sliced thin
1 bunch of bok choy
1 packet of thin hokkien noodles
2 teaspoons of seasame oil
1 packet of dumplings (I buy some homemade veggie ones from our local Asian supermarket)

Lightly fry the onion, garlic, ginger for a few minutes until fragrant. Add stock, water, soy, carrot, celery amd spring onion.
Bring to the boil.
Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Add dumplings and boy choy, cook for 8 minutes (or until dumplings are done).
Prepare noodles and seperate into bowls.
Top with soup and dumplings.

I like to garnish it with some fresh coriander! YUM!

Soph xx

PS: if you have a good dumpling recipe (preferably vegetarian) I would love to know- still trying to find a winner!

Tuna, rice & all things nice

I’ve been a little slack with writing lately. But not in the kitchen 🙂

Summer is approaching and it is the season for salads! So I’ve been experimenting.

The other day I whipped up this simple tuna and rice salad for my dad and I. It got the tick of approval from him- my number 1 critic so I figured it must be good! 

Ingredients: 

1 can  of tuna
1/2 or 1 cup of Brown rice (cooked)
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumber
Sweetcorn
Olives
Baby spinach
Lemon
Cracked Pepper
Low-fat feta
Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Chop up the veges and mix them together. Top with the tuna and squeeze the lemon on top (and olive oil if using).
Crumble the feta (you won’t need much!) and crack the pepper!

And that’s it- simple as! Enjoy.

 

Soph xx

Falling off the bandwagon & reining in the willpower

You know when you have one of those weekends that is super busy, very social and full of late nights? Late nights, combined with alcohol and food that isn’t overly nutritious, and you know that you shouldn’t be eating it but you just can’t stop yourself?

Well that was me last weekend. And three days on I am still feeling the effects.

Friday night was the end of a loooooong busy week at work. Usually we don’t have anything thing on Friday nights are reserved for a movie and comfort food. Only once a month do we indulge in take away- as a treat. On the other nights we’ll make burritos or pita pizzas- something “special” but still healthy.

However after the hectic week we had both had it was simply too easy to order out. First mistake.

The next day I woke up feeling terrible! I’ve been eating so well lately that I think I gave my body a shock- not good. You’d think I’d learn right?

Well Saturday I did my usual gym, Grit Strength and Body Attack- it doesn’t feel like a Saturday without it. I was on track for a good and healthy day until I had to go to work. We had our largest event of the year on and as part of the communications team, I was needed. It was a fantastic evening. Most things went smoothly and we celebrated. With, you guessed it, food and alcohol. The event didn’t finish until midnight, so when we had pack up we went out to celebrate.

Now don’t get me wrong- it was a great night with great people. However, the next day wasn’t so great. Especially seeing as I didn’t get to bed until gone 4am with too much alcohol and bad food in my system.

I guess that would have been ok if I could have lounged around on Sunday, relaxing, maybe doing some cleaning. But no. Of course I had a large family gathering for my brother who is travelling to South America for 8 months (lucky him). Although thank goodness he too had had a late night!

So, after waking up on Sunday and rushing around the house to finalise things before my large family descended (my mum is one of 7!) I was hungry of course. I did make myself a delicious berry smoothie in the morning but my hung over body was unfortunately craving the triple brie and dips that were covering the table. And why not just have a glass of wine to go with it?

So 5pm comes about and everyone is slowly drifting off. You’d think I could relax right? Wrong.

Last year a close friend of mine passed away. And one of my friends had arranged to have a catch up at one of his favourite places. I would never miss it, so we headed there.

It was wonderful to see everyone and support each other and his family during this hard time. But of course I had a drink. And some dip. And given there were hot chips sitting right in front of me…..

 

Each moment was important, minus the lazy Friday, and while I was in it I enjoyed it. But come Monday, and Tuesday- I am still feeling it. I feel like I am playing catch up with my body. Catch up on sleep, catch up on nutrition, catch up on fitness…

I feel yuk. It’s make me realise just how much better I feel, not just in the moment, but for the coming week, when I look after my body.

Today I wasn’t careful about what I consumed. Why? Because I already feel like it wouldn’t matter this week. That’s not good! Two and a half days have gotten me into this mind-set that will take almost a week to get out of!

I’m not going to deprive my self of fun times, going out, drinking- but I’ve realised I need to limit my self.

I want to continue waking up feeling amazing, as I have been prior to this week.

I just need to rein in the will power.

So, do you have any tips for staying on track?

Soph xx

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Veggie “sausage” rolls

I haven’t eaten a sausage roll in years. Aside from being a vegetarian for the past few years, I always prefered other options.

However I’ve come across several decent recipes for vegetarian “sausage” rolls, so I adapted and merged the ones I like best and came up with some clean eating, easy and delicious veggie rolls!

What you’ll need :

-Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees

-2 cans of lentils
-1/2 a cube of vege stock (crumbled)
-1 glove of crushed garlic (you could use pre-minced)
-1 medium red onion, diced
-2 teaspoons paprika
-2 teaspoons curry powder
-1 teaspoon mixed herbs (or fresh parsley!)
-2 grated carrots
-1 beaten egg
-1 cup of corn crumbs (or bread)
-1/2 cup of walnuts, chopped
-8 mountain bread wraps

Combine all the ingredients apart from the wraps. Make sure the mixture is really well combined. I like to use a potato masher and squash the lentils a bit.
Cover a baking tray with paper. Lay out two wraps on top of each other. In the middle of the wrap place 1/4 of the mixture and roll it up.
Continue with the remaining wraps.
Lightly cover the tops in olive oil.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes!

See? Super easy AND delicious!

Soph xx

Vegetarian Girl

October is vegetarian month! Many people don’t know but I was a vegetarian for six+ years and it was only last year that I slowly started to introduce it- and even then it’s hardly at all.

My problem always was that I love cooking. I also love eating. I love to appreciate food, and I realised the last time I was in Europe that so much of the food had meat. Luckily my brothers would always order delicious dishes so I was able to still get my vege dish, but taste some of theirs too!

I still haven’t ordered a meat dish in the past six or more years, but if my parents make a curry and the tofu happens to be cooked with the chicken- I’m not going to refuse it. I’d just pick the chicken out now.

I’m always on the hunt to find amazing vegetarian cafes or restaurants. Or places that just cook amazing vege food! One thing that is hard to find though is a delicious vege burger that is sold in supermarkets.

Don’t get me wrong I have found a fair few dining out, but the ones in the supermarket either contain 100+ ingredients or make me bloated and sick.

So I set my mind to finding a recipe.

And after a fair hunt and several kitchen experiments I am in love! 

I’ve make these countless times and they are SUPER delicious. They taste great baked in the oven, fried or best of all BBQ-ed!

The recipe comes from Veggie Num Num– an amazing vegetarian website that i urge you all to have a look at. Click here for the recipe!

One thing I have found though is that to make the recipe a little cleaner is I sometimes use corn crumbs which are 100% maize.

What are you favourite vege burgers? Please hit me with them- I’m always on the look out for something new!

Soph xx

Cacao, cranberries and almond balls

balls

For the past few months I’ve been wanting to get my hands on some raw cacao powder and the endless recipes that I continued to find spurred me on. I love chocolate, so what could be better than a chocolate that is good for you?!

Yesterday I finally go around to buying some cacao power. And today I made some balls.

O.M.G.  I think I’m in love.

This stuff is amazing. I compiled a whole lot of recipes I found and created these from the ingredients I had and love.

They are perfect- I thought I made enough to last a week but now I’m hoping they will last the day after one of my brothers was salivating in the kitchen while I was making them.

I love the dried cranberries in them- they add the sweetness and you don’t have to use any honey or other sweetener! Plus they make the balls taste a bit like a cherry ripe!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup raw organic cacao powder
1 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup almonds
1/2 shredded coconut

Soak the dates in hot water for 5-10mins
In a food processor combine all the other ingredients, then add the dates.
Leave the mix for a few minutes.
Form the balls and roll in extra coconut.
Pop in the fridge for 30 minutes + to set!!

Soph xx

Muesli

Ingredients:

-oats
-cinnamon (to taste)
-Pumkin seeds
-sunflower seeds
-natural almond flakes
-dried cranberries
-goji berries
-shredded coconut

You can either make it fresh each morning or mix all the ingredients together and store in an air tight container (super convenient for busy mornings!)

-Lastly pour over milk, soy milk, almond milk or your choice of liquid!!

Enjoy!

Soph xx

 

Clean eating

I’ve always been interested in food. And I’ve always loved being active.

About two months ago I came across the term “clean eating” and didn’t give it much of a second though. 95% of the time I eat really well. The other 5% would consist of dinners out, the occasional junk food and the lolly/ chocolate jar at work that haunts me- let me tell you at 3pm it is hard to resist that Caramello Koala just three steps away from your desk…

Anyway. Somehow I came across clean eating about three weeks ago- only this time I noticed it. I go to the gym about 4 times a week, run at least twice and play netball and I work hard. But my figure doesn’t budge in the slightest. So after a few hours of reading, researching and looking at all the wonderfully delicious recipes online I decided to eat as cleanly as possible. And you know- it hasn’t been too hard.

I’ve just had to alter small things that I haven’t really missed. Bread was the big one for me- but I haven’t had any since and honestly I don’t miss it- the only thing I am missing is any bloating!! When I do feel like bread I have a mountain wrap instead. They may not be 100% clean but with only 4 ingredients they come fairly close!

I must admit it was hard in the mornings. In summer I always have a smoothie for breakfast- that would be easy and clean. BUT it’s the middle of winter and I’ve been wanting something more comforting…

So I looked over and over in supermarkets but everything- even the “natural” muesli was loaded with sugar, vegetable oil and things I can’t even pretend to pronounce. I headed to a health food store last week and found a variety of muesli that seemed good- but ridiculously expensive. So I set about making my own.

And it is delicious!

(I will post the recipe next!!)

So wish me luck and hope I don’t stray!

Soph xx