Sunday, November 27, 2011

Colourful Coleslaw

This is my new favourite version of coleslaw salad. :)  Not only because it tastes yummy, but also because it's so colourful and pretty. :D

I didn't measure the ingredients this time, but it went something like this: (it doesn't really matter how much of what you put in...)

2 1/2 cups chopped purple cabbage
2 cups grated carrot
1/2 large green pepper, chopped (add more if you like, this is just all I had in the fridge)
+- 1 cup tangy mayonnaise mixed with 20 drops liquid stevia (add more if you'd like it sweeter)
handful raisins
handful chopped walnuts

1.   Mix all ingredients (except mayo mixture) together in a large bowl.  Pour over mayo and mix until everything is coated.
2.   Refrigerate until ready to use. 

I forgot about sunflower seeds, so you can add a small handful of those as well if you wish - it's always nice to cram as many beneficial nutrients as you can into a dish. :)

This salad is also very alkalizing (besides the mayo and the walnuts).

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Banana Choc-Chip Muffins

These muffins are really soft and spongy...and of course yummy. :D  These little delights are necessarily very healthy because of the flour used here, but at least they're basically sugar-free (provided you cut out the chocolate chips and use oil instead of apple sauce).

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/8 tsp stevia powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 medium very ripe bananas (mashed)
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup + 2 heaped tbs plain greek yoghurt
1 tbs ground flaxseeds mixed with 2 tbs water & left to stand for 5 mins before adding
2 tbs apple sauce (or oil if you wish)
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla essence

1.   Preheat oven to 350 F / 160 C, & coat a muffin pan with non-stick coating
2.   Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, stevia & salt in a large bowl
3.   In another bowl, whisk together bananas, peanut butter, yoghurt, flaxseed mixture, vanilla & apple sauce
4.   Stir banana mixture into flour mixture until combined
5.   Fold in chocolate chips and divide mixture into muffin pan.
6.   Bake for 20 minutes, or until testing stick comes out mostly clean
7.   Let cool in muffin pan before removing from pan.

1.   once the muffins are baked, they'll feel very soft and you may think they're not yet done, but they are done as long as the inserted stick comes out mostly clean - you don't want to bake it until the stick is entirely clean because then you may lose a lot of the softness of the muffin.
2.   if you want to make a bread out of this, pour mixture into a bread tin and bake for about 40-50 minutes or until testing stick comes out mostly clean.
3.   they freeze really well also, and once defrosted, they're just as fluffy and soft as before.
I ran out of whole wheat flour so I used white flour instead, that's why it's so light in colour.

Protein Rich Beans & Viennas with Barley

This recipe is similar to my Beans & Viennas with Barley one, but this one here has some extra ingredients to add more protein to this dish.  And I used fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones here, and needless to say it tastes better this way. :)

1 cup uncooked barley, cooked according to instruction
1 large onion, chopped
oil for frying
2 1/2 cups fresh diced tomatoes (including seeds and juice)
1 can (+- 410g can) red kidney beans, drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 can lentils (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 can chickpeas (about 1 1/2 cups as well)
3 soy vienna, sliced
1 tbs worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried mixed italian herbs
+- 1/3 cup veggie stock

1.   Fry onions in oil until translucent.  Add tomatoes and stir to warm them through.
2.   Add beans, lentils & chickpeas and cook on medium heat until warmed though.
3.   Add worcestershire sauce and herbs and simmer for just a few minutes until the flavours are released
4.   Add the viennas and veggie stock, cover and simmer for at least 15 minutes until everything is warmed though and the flavours have had a chance to mix.

Serve on barley.   Makes about 4 medium servings.  The main protein sources here are the kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils.
This freezes well enough, but may go a little mushy during the defrosting process.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Foods with Benefits: Cucumbers

  • they're a good source of anti-oxidants to help fight free radicals
  • they have anti-cancer properties, particulary for estrogen related cancers (breast, ovary, uterus, prostate)
  • may assist in reduced risk of cardio-vascular disease
  • the skin is a good source of fibre
  • contains many nutrients, and is considered a good source of Vit. A & C, potassium, molybdenum and folic acid
  • they're very low in calories (only about 14 calories per 100g of cucumber) (btw, anything that contains less than 20 calories per serving is considered calorie-free food, so you can have as much as you want!) :)

Cucumber, Cheese & Sprout Sandwich

I'm trying to cut out any kind of white bread wherever I can, so I use a low GI, whole wheat, high fibre bread that I find really tasty. :)

Another way to incorporate sprouts into your meals is by adding them to sandwiches, like this one.

2 slices of health bread
butter (I don't like "dry" bread....I need me some butter!)
a few thick slices of cucumber
grated cheddar cheese
alfalfa sprouts
himalayan powdered salt to taste

Slap everything together for a yummy lunch.  Cucumbers are also very low in calories....only about 14 calories per 100g of cucumber, so there's no need to limit these in your diet.  :)

Banana Strawberry-Yoghurt Smoothie

We had some strawberry yoghurt to finish before the weekend, so I made this smoothie with it:

4 bananas
6 heaped dessert spoons strawberry yoghurt
2 tbs flaxseeds, ground
2 tbs uncooked oats, ground
1 cup milk

Blend together.  Makes 2 thick & large-ish smoothies.  Yum. :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

5 Minute Chocolate Cake

This is really not a healthy delight, but it is a delight nonetheless, and is perfectly suitable for those late night (or any other time really) chocolate cake craving emergencies.  I'm so glad someone gave me this recipe.  It's no gourmet cake, but it really is tasty and chocolate-y...IMHO.  :)

It makes a good-sized single serving:

4 tbs cake flour
4 tbs sugar
2 tbs cocoa powder
1 egg
3 tbs sunflower oil
3 tbs milk
vanilla essence (optional)

1.   Add dry ingredients into a coffee mug and mix.
2.   Add all other ingredients and mix well until well combined
3.   Microwave on high for 3 minutes.  It will rise a bit but won't "overflow"

Grab a spoon and munch!  (oh, but for goodness' sake let it cool a bit first - a very impatient task when the cake is just sitting there....staring at you....waiting to be munched....teasing your nostrils with chocolate-y cake aromas....)

I use 3 tbs sugar & 3 tbs cocoa powder instead though and it's still just as delicious - must cut out some sugar where we can!  ;)

Linked up at these tasty blogs:
Rook No. 17          .

Beans & Viennas with Barley

This is made with soy viennas of course. :)

I was in the mood for barley, so I had to think up something good that I could serve with it and so I came up with this dish, and I think it turned out nice.  Well, even my husband liked it, so there must be something good to it. :)

Serves 2-3

1 cup uncooked barley, cooked according to instructions
olive oil for frying
1 onion, chopped
1 can chopped tomatoes with sauce (+-410 g)
1 can red kidney beans, drained (+- 410 g)
1 1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried mixed italian herbs
3 soy viennas, defrosted & sliced into thinnish slices
himalayan salt to taste

1.   Fry onions over medium heat in olive oil until translucent.
2.   Add kidney beans and tomato.
3.   Stir in worcestershire sauce, cumin and herbs
4.   Let simmer for about 20 minutes, add viennas and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Serve warm and add salt to taste if you like.

I want to try this with fresh tomatoes next time (didn't have enough last night).

Friday, November 4, 2011

How to sprout your own seeds

Sprouting your own seeds and beans etc is really easy, not at all time consuming and takes up virtually no space in your home, and unless you grow some of your own fruits and veggies, sprouts will be the freshest nutrients you can get.  All you need is a sprouter, which usually look something like this:
It's just a stackable plastic goodie:
Sprouts: Day 1
You place a thin layer of your choice of beans and seeds (here I have alfalfa seeds and mung beans in the top row and dried chickpeas below).  Don't completely cover the bottom of the container with beans/seeds, because they will be expanding quite a bit, so leave some space like I've done.

Then all you do is re-stack your layers so that the perforated layer is on top and the un-perforated container is at the bottom to catch the water - each day pour 1/2 cup of clean water onto the top of the sprouter and it will pour down over all your beans/seeds.  Remember to empty the water from the bottom holder every few days so that it doesn't overflow.  Also, keep the sprouter out of direct sunlight - I just put mine in a corner on my kitchen counter where the sun doesn't reach.
I've started these sprouts today and will add some more photos to this post as the sprouts progress.  Within a few days you'll have deliciously fresh & crunchy sprouts. :)

My favourite way to eat sprouts is by adding them to salads.
 ******** ******** ********
Sprouts: Day 2
 They look pretty much the same as yesterday, but have expanded some.
******** ******** ********
Sprouts: Day 3
The top 2 have started sprouting.
******** ******** ********
Sprouts: Day 4
The mung beans (bottom pic) are almost ready! Actually you can eat them already, but I like them sprouted a little more before I use them.
Anyhoo....Project Chickpea Sprouting has been terminated...they haven't succeeded in sprouting, and it may or may not have something to do with the fact that my dried chickpeas have expired.... :O  But nevermind, they work exactly the same as the ones above. :)
******** ******** ********
And the sprouts are ready!  :D
Sprouts: Day 5
So how easy was that?!  Now I place them in a sealed container in the fridge where they'll still keep for a few days.  Just a note though, in my experience, the chickpeas don't keep as long as these other 2, so rather eat them sooner.