Thursday, 20 December 2012

Life - tea, potatoes and nut butter

So much for my big blogging spree I thought I was going to have last week. I'd planned yummy cheesecakes and roasted spatchcocks and... they just never happened. No one (read: neither mum nor I) has been that hungry so nothing has really been cooked. Ok, so I lied about the cheesecakes. I made a second batch of cupcake cheesecakes with crushed up, pink-icing-and-100s-and-1000s-covered-sugar-soaked cookies for the base so I thought it might not be a good idea to post that recipe up. But I had a few other things to mention about stuff I found yesterday.

I really don't know how I found it - I must've been looking up herbal teas - and I found this website called Steepster. Basically, it's a social networking site for people who love to drink tea, and you rate the tea you drink and talk to other tea drinkers across the globe. Sounds ridiculous? Honestly, I think it is a bit. But I love the simple idea of it. I think the fact that I am signed up to it will make me want to drink more tea (herbal tea, that is) and hopefully get a better understanding of it. And find some tea-drinking friends too! Another good site kinda like that that I found is Punchfork, which is a Foodgawker-style site but you can put a preference in for paleo stuff. That's right, there's a foodie blog place you can choose to get you completely paleo meals! Aaand they have an app, so I'll certainly be using that a lot.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Lazy Stuffed Zucchinis

Neither mum nor I wanted a big dinner tonight, and neither of us wanted to do anything fancy. Mum said that she'd be happy with toast for dinner. But on the weekend we picked up a couple of cute little (like 15cm long) fat, organic zucchinis and I didn't want them to go yuck. And I'd planned this meal at the beginning of the day so it was going to happen.

This recipe is a very, very laid back recipe - if you could call it a recipe at all. I was pretty demotivated to take good photos so what you see is the best my laziness could do with an iPhone. Which is very little.

I gathered a collection of paleo stuffed zucchinis and found that it's basically just minced meat, a few bits and bobs, herbs and spices if you're feeling snazzy, and your scooped zucchini. The recipe that really wowed me the most was this one from Eat Drink Daily with the addition of olives. Boy, were they a good addition! They really tied the whole thing up, and I think that without it, this recipe wouldn't even be that fantastic enough to write about.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Mistakes I've Made - Activated Almonds

Yesterday I mentioned that I made my own almond meal using my 'failed' almonds. How do you just fail a nut?

As I've mentioned in a previous post, you have to soak nuts for them to not stuff up your insides, so when I came back from Costco with a big bag of almonds the other day, I decided to try to soak them all at once and dehydrate them so that I can just eat them without worrying about soaking overnight.

The bag was emptied into a big bowl, the almonds were blanketed with water, and a splash of apple cider vinegar was stirred in. Ok, maybe a big splash of vinegar. I didn't really know how much to add so I just kinda poured it in.

And they sat in the cupboard with a tea towel lid overnight.

In the morning I rinsed them and preheated the oven to I think it was 150 degrees to start with. Once the almonds were patted dry with paper towels, I lined a few cookie trays with baking paper and spread out my now-expanded almonds between them because there were that many of them. I popped the trays in the oven like so and checked them every half hour. I advise you not to check this often; it makes you feel like your nuts have taken a lifetime and nothing has happened since you last visited.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Orange Almond Cupcakes

I don't even know how many days it's been since I've posted. I'm not going to count, because I'm trying to not stress (hint: that hasn't happened.) and I've been really demotivated to post anything because I've had nothing to post. So I think next week I'll be posting a whole ton because I've planned about four recipes to make, plus I want to post about something that's not cooking related. Just thought about it now, make that two things. Three things. I'll get up to date with posting then! And by the time Christmas rolls past and we get to New Year's, I'm going to be chockers with days out and courses to go to and I'll try my hardest to keep blogging at the (unstable) rate I've been going. And then it's into year 11! So that'll probably mean you'll be lucky to hear a peep out of me. For the next two exciting years.

I made these cakes at a time where I just wanted to bake, regardless of my oven's temperament. So I made these for my friends because it seemed easy and kinda healthier than they looked like it tasted. And because I like cooking for people I love :)

Monday, 10 December 2012

Healthy Oniony Rissoles (and they're easy!)

I haven't got too long and I haven't got any photos (yet) so this post will be a quick one.

Yesterday I made a big batch of rissoles to keep in the freezer because I get so annoyed when mum comes home with ugly, preservative-, additive-filled balls of 'meat' which she thinks are great. Nuh uh. She said that it all comes down to convenience so I decided to come up with a basic recipe for rissoles I can make to put in the freezer. I'd prefer to spend 15 minutes making these over spending a much longer time worrying about what is in those globs of intestinal destruction.

I didn't take any photos of the rissoles because, to be honest, squished raw meat is not pretty. Especially with my uber cool camera of an iphone. And also, when I finished shaping them they went straight in the freezer so it's not like I cooked them straight away.

But I did have a try of them today. And they need a little bit of a touch up, shall we say? I've added changes that I would personally add but feel free to make them however you want!

Healthy Oniony Rissoles

Makes 28 medium sized rissoles

1kg chicken mince
1/3 cup flaxseed meal
1 egg
2 stalks celery
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 medium sized mushrooms
1 large Spanish onion
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Chop up the celery and mushrooms up into tiny little bits. I put it all in a blender, which I think would be a lot easier than doing it by hand.
Slice the onion into little chunks, not as small as the celery and mushrooms but small enough to fit into a little rissole.
Put the oil in a medium pan and once the pan is hot, fry the onions and garlic.
When the onions are half cooked, add the mushroom mixture and stir it around until the mushies are all cooked through. Let cool (or not, if you're impatient.)
In a largeish bowl, mash together the chicken, flaxseed meal, egg and salt and pepper with your hands until combined.
Add the onion mix to the chicken and mush it all together with your hands.
Shape the meat into balls as big as the dent in your palm and place on a prelined baking tray.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes or until it's cooked inside.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Earth Hour 2013

Guess what I found today?

The 2013 Earth Hour campaign video! Last year I wasn't so concerned about the whole save-the-planet idea, but now, through my journey of healthiness and wellness I've picked up on hints about environmental problems that the world faces, and I kinda wanted to do something about it this year. So when I found that the Earth Hour people were giving us the opportunity to make a change for the earth we're switching our lights off for, I decided to throw myself into the challenge.

The 'theme' of the day hour is 'I Will if You Will' so I've accepted this challenge and I'll do this in return. Watch my video right here to see what I'll be doing. Hopefully I'll inspire you guys to get involved in Earth Hour too!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Grains in a Nutshell

In this post, whenever I say 'grains', I mean:
- grains
- legumes
- beans
- nuts
- seeds
so just include all those when I use the word 'grain', got that?

You might have noticed that my posts could sometimes say things like 'This is paleo so I'll eat it' or 'Preferably, soak/sprout the grains' and it might pique your interest as to why I tend to shy away from grains.

I would like to stress that I AM NOT ON A LOW CARB DIET. I don't do diets. Especially low carbs, because you need carbs for energy.

The reason why I put grains to the side is not because of what they give you (lots of energy), but what they take away from you. There's more to those nasty little buggers than meets the eye.

I could go on for hours about why you shouldn't eat grains, which grains are better for you, who can eat more grains than others, ways to sub grains, grains that aren't actually grains, health benefits of grains, but I just wanted to make a short little post so that you guys can get a bit of a taste as to why grains aren't as great as they're made out to be.

Have you ever wondered

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Mistakes I've Made - Baked Eggs

This morning I had a bit of time so I decided to make myself baked eggs for breakfast. Bad idea. Well, not really. I definitely learnt from it. It was kinda funny how I stuffed up because, in a way, I planned for it to happen this way.

My baked eggs went as followed:

I fried up my sliced mushrooms and greens (some grown up bok choi and a bit of spinach) the night before...

but I only half cooked the greens because I knew that they would get even more cooked in the oven in the morning, so the white bits of the bok choi was still quite crunchy. And I popped it all into a medium sized ramekin.


I have been so stuck for blog post topics so you might have noticed that I completely missed Sunday’s post. And I’m not even sorry.

The whole year our religion class has been going to meditation fortnightly and today was the last time we ever got to go. I don’t think we get to do it in senior years unfortunately. But the 80-something sister sang a Christmas song to us and it was really really cute :) Anyway, meditation.

Meditation, scientifically, is something like bringing your brainwave rate thing down to a stage of half-asleep or something, but most people recognise meditation as something to fix your mind up somehow, whether that be calming you down or focusing your attention. There’s a thousand reasons why people meditate, but here’s the main reasons why I meditate:
- to improve my focus. I want to strengthen the part of my brain that yells CONCENTRATE at me when I’m doing some sort of hard-to-focus-on work, and I’m sure studies have backed up meditating for focus somewhere.
- it calms me. Just give me five minutes when I’m agitated or angry and after a little sit-down, I’m a little less agitated and angry.
- it's part of my sleep. Kinda like the calmness thing, I meditate last thing before bed because it really relaxes me. It gets me from a pace of working to a pace of slowness and usually sleepiness. Doing meditation before bed helps me settle down and it's like someone in my brain goes around and switches off every last switch during those five minutes.