Scientist in the making…

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My little scientist in the making!! We picked up an Under The Sea kit from National Geographic the other day and whiled away a couple of hours creating deep sea corals and creatures.

It was a great activity for a 5 year old! (with some help from the mama…)

xx

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Always in the fridge….hummus

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Since healing my body I’ve really learnt how to appreciate food in it’s natural state. Hummus is one of my favourite accompaniments to have with salads, baked sweet potatoes or even tortillas. It’s super easy and cheap to make and lasts in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Ingredients
600g canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed
3 garlic cloves, crushed
100ml olive oil
2 tablespoons tahini paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup water – optional

Directions
Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Add water if needed.

Raw bountys…

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My gorgeous sister-in-law, Claire, told me about a delish sounding raw bounty bar on the Mrs Flannerys website. And of course I had to give it a go!! (Although it would have worked a little easier with your Vitamix Claire!!)

I worked out that it’s definitely important to use organic coconut so it will still contain a lot of the oil. It’s also easier to make it in a larger batch (min 1 cup) so it doesn’t get caught under the blades if using a food processor. (Also good as the whole recipe makes only a small batch and trust me, you’ll want more…)

Ingredients
Filling:
• 1 cup Organic Desiccated Coconut
• 1/4 cup Organic Coconut Oil
• 1 TBS Organic Maple Syrup (or other natural sweetener ie. honey)

Raw Chocolate Coating:
• 3 TBS Organic Cacao Butter
• 1 TBS Organic Maple Syrup – or natural sweetener
• 2 TBS Organic Cacao Powder
PreparationFor the coconut filling:
• Make coconut butter by placing 1/2 cup of the coconut in a food processor and blend until butter forms
• Once you have the butter – add the rest of the filling ingredients and process until the mixture forms together.
• Pour the mixture into a lined baking dish and place in the freezer to set

For the chocolate covering:
• Melt the cacao butter until it has turned to a complete liquid.
• Then remove from heat and add cacao and maple syrup and mix well, making sure there are no lumps!

Take the filling out of the freezer, and tip upside down to remove from dish. Remove lining/paper and then cut into bit sized pieces.

Next, dip pieces into chocolate coating and pop them back into the fridge to set the chocolate completely.

xx

Paleo brownies….

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Since the TV ban in the O’Shea house hold my little man has decided he LOVES to cook!!! Whether it’s cutting veggies for soup, stirring pots of porridge for breakfast or even better….  stirring the mixture for chocolate brownies……

I found this recipe on an amazing paleo blog called  Eat Drink Paleo. These are a rich yet light chocolate brownie. They are paleo and sugar free – except I put a 85% cocoa chocolate ganache on top. But for a sugar free ganache option you can always use coconut oil, cacao and a little maple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium raw white sweet potato, peeled and grated (using the larger holes of the grater) – 2 to 2 1/2 cups of shredded sweet potato
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of raw honey, melted in the microwave if it’s too thick
  • generous 1/2 cup of virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaped tbsp of gluten free baking powder
  • ½ tbsp of baking soda
  • 1 cup cacao (reduce that amount if you prefer a milder chocolate flavour)
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 185 °C
  2. Combine grated sweet potato, eggs, vanilla, honey and olive oil in a large mixing bowl and stir together until well incorporated. Then add baking powder and baking soda and stir.  Add cacao powder, mix and finally add coconut flour. Avoid adding too much coconut flour as it will absorb too much moisture which will result in drier brownies.
  3. After stirring everything together, pour the mixture into a baking tray greased with a little olive oil. Approx 1 inch thick
  4. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Remove the tin and cool for 5-10 minutes before carefully removing the brownie cake form the tin. You can cut it in quarters and remove one part at a time if the bottom stick a little. Leave the brownie cake to cool down before cutting.
  5. Finally, melt some dark chocolate in a bowl over boiling water or in a microwave. Use a spatula to drizzle and spread melted chocolate over the top. Slice into individual serving squares. You can also top them with raspberries or strawberries.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Number of servings: about 12

xx

Kingy parkrun….

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So…. since NO-ONE and I mean not one person out of the 17  I messaged was keen to join me last Saturday morning… this post has to be purely about me and my first ‘solo’ Parkrun experience. (glamorous finish line photo and all!!)

And it was absolutely awesome! Well that was by the time I finally got there…. My Parkrun barcode did not pop out the printer till 7.37am. It was my last ditch attempt after having internet problems all week and being unable to access the link from laptop/phone/printer. (You name it and we had an issue with it last week.)

So I frantically changed out of my uggies and trackies and got to Salt just in time for the 8am start. Lots of gorgeous people and the most sublime environment to run 5kms. And sure I was passed by a mum pushing a pram with her 2 year old toddler and 3 week old son who she’d breastfeed before sliding him into the pram before the start line (And yes she was the first female across the line a good 3.36 minutes before my finishing time of 25.06) But hey what the hell!

Lots of fun for anyone who wants to join me next time….

xx

Soft tortillas with chicken, black beans and avocado

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These soft tortillas were divine! We topped them with hummus, chicken, black beans, leafy greens, avocado and parsley pesto. Only made six so it was a perfect lunch time meal for the family during the school holidays.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Eggs, Whisked
  • 1/2 C. Almond Milk
  • 2 T. Coconut Flour
  • Pinch of Sea Salt

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, starting with the eggs.  It is on the runnier side.
  2. Grease a pan and with medium heat, pour mix to make 5-6 inch sized “tortillas.”  It takes about a one minute per side.
  3. Place your toppings on and EAT!

xx

Supercharged lasagne…

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There’s nothing better than finding a new recipe which puts a healthy spin on a re-occurring weekly meal request from the boys. This recipe uses zucchini in place of pasta and natural yoghurt instead of white sauce and is absolutely amazing to eat. Sure, the little people in the house don’t think it’s quite as good as the “real lasagne” but it is certainly great for a change.

1/4 cup olive oil

3 small zucchinis, sliced lengthways into 5cm pieces

1/4 onion, chopped

500g minced beef

4 tomatoes, chopped

125ml tomato passata

2tbs tomato paste

1 1/4 tsp fresh or dried herbs – basil, thyme, sage, oregano

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

200g plain yoghurt

2tbs nutritional yeast flakes – found in healthfood stores

1 Preheat oven to 200 degrees C and grease ovenproof dish

2 Add 2tbs olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat and gently fry zucchinis on both sides until golden. Remove from pan and set aside.

3 Add remaining olive oil, onion and garlic to the pan and cook until golden. Add the beef and cook until brown. Add the tomatoes, passata, tomato paste and herbs and reduce the heat. Simmer, covered, for 15mins and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Add half the meat mixture to the oven proof dish, followed by half the zucchini and yoghurt. Repeat and top with the yeast flakes. Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 25mins.

5 Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe found in Womens Fitness May 2014

 

xx

 

Every home needs pom-poms…

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I’ve been seeing pom-poms on cushions for quite some time now and I love not only that they give a new lease of life to your soft furnishings but I also love  how they create that extra feeling of “home”. And…… after a friend introduced me to the Tweed Heads wonderland Fantazia Fabricland my cushions fate was sealed…. They have an amazing array of just about everything including many colours and sizes of pom-pom trail.

Now, I am a lazy (and cheap) sew-er so my cushions always follow along the path of a pillow case rather than the zip up variety and this actually worked in my favour as I was able to just sew a pom-pom trail around the circumference of my already made cushion cover. (To work out this technique just turn a pillowcase inside out and you will see exactly how they are folded and sewn. I always grab half a meter of my chosen fabric, hem the two ends and use the entire piece for a 50cm cushion insert)

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xx