Meatloaf

Meatloaf and veg Meatloaf

Packed with flavour and, of course, nutrients! It is a great dinner if you have things to do, as you just pop it in the oven and let it do its thing.

Serves: 4   Time: 1 hour, mostly hands-off

Ingredients: 1 finely chopped onion, 1 crushed fresh garlic clove, 1 finely chopped chilli, 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon of dried or fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/3 cup grated tasty cheese, 2 eggs, 1 small grated zucchini, 1 grated carrot, 500g of pork mince, 500g of beef mince, salt, pepper.

Steps: Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Really make sure it is all mixed together well. I used a wooden spoon. Transfer the meat mixture to a loaf tin and flatten nicely with your wooden spoon. Bake for about 45 mins at 200 degrees celsius. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. This will help it to set an make it easier to handle.

We served ours with baked beetroot and steamed broccoli. Mmm mmm!

 

Attitude and Perspective – Achieving Your Health Goals

Riverton Coast Run Pano

An awesome running adventure along the coast of Riverton, Southland with Rosanna

Lose fat, get shinier hair, achieve clear skin, get fitter, get energised, eat cleaner – almost everyone has a health goal on his or her radar. Are you achieving yours?

Tracking progress can be an important part of achieving your personal health goals. BUT, there are so many different ways to track progress that it can become overwhelming. I reckon that if you have your attitude and perspective in order, then there is NOTHING stopping you! Here is some advice should you wish to use it (but remember it is also important to think for yourself):

10 little suggestions that you can implement RIGHT NOW!

  1. Make overall wellbeing your goal. A goal to become healthier and happier is a more positive and sustainable than setting an aesthetic bar to reach (think bikini body and get shredded programmes). Weight loss and positive visual changes will often become an added bonus.
  2. Keep a positive attitude: I believe that slow progress is good progress, because it is sustainable! If you make positive changes every day, then eventually you will eliminate bad habits and continue to thrive in your health well into the future.
  3. Be open-minded: Your perception of ‘healthy’ today, can change with time. Be open to change and tweak your lifestyle choices to keep up with your values (and science). Remember how fat used to be the bad guy, and now it’s sugar?
  4. Have realistic steps in place to reach your goal. Planning your food for the week, removing all crap food from your house, and finding like-minded friends can help.
  5. Monitor your progress on how you feel: yes the scales, BMI measurements, skin-folds (for example) can give you a tangible progress report, but of what? The numbers splurted out by these tests are only telling you isolated results and cannot tell you about your overall health and wellbeing. You already know how you feel… that is why you made health goals in the first place.
  6. Be honest with yourself. If you have been falling back into your old lifestyle habits then take a mental check-in, admit that you have been a bit side-tracked, get over it and keep moving forward with your new lifestyle. Sometimes you just need to give yourself an honest kick up the bum.
  7. Remember why you are doing it: to live the healthiest, happiest, most energetic life that you possibly can! To me, it is all about the quality of life right now and hopefully, all the way into old age. I lead an honestly healthy lifestyle because I want to be active, mobile and independent for the rest of my life. I want to stay out of hospital and always do the things that I love to do and be around the people I love!
  8. Stick to your guns: often when you are in the process of positively changing your lifestyle choices, others try to stop you…. Without even realising it! ‘Oh come on have a biscuit, treat yourself,’ sound familiar? A simple ‘no thanks’ should do the trick, and remind yourself that you want to be healthy, not sick.
  9. It’s your journey: the only person you should compare yourself to is yourself! You have no idea what that glowing goddess that runs the health food store (a totally imaginary example) has going on in her life. Just worry about yourself and that will do.
  10. Think for yourself! Decide yourself (based on a mixture of personal anecdotal evidence and science-based research) the way that you want to eat and live. It is important to question information that you see (especially on TV and in magazines), because you don’t know how reliable it might be. Taking up every diet that pops up is not often effective.

I hope this helps someone to achieve his or her health goals; it has certainly reminded me of mine! Here’s to healthy, happy, energetic, fun-filled lives!

Riverton Coast Run Selfie

A little message at the end: These blog posts are simply to help me process my own learning. I have no medical, health-science-y background… although I am studying towards a diploma of nutritional science, and I do my best to consult reliable research. If you see any info that doesn’t quite look right, then great! Comment away with your thoughts, because I would love to know more.

 

 

 

 

Raw Ginger Chew

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Time: 15 minutes hands-on plus setting time.

Base Ingredients: 1 cup of nuts and/or seeds (almonds, walnuts, macadamias, sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds for example), ¼ cup of chia seeds, ¼ cup of coconut oil, a tablespoon of fresh grated or finely chopped ginger root. And optional: 1 banana or a bit of rice malt syrup to sweeten.

‘Icing’ Ingredients: 3 medjool dates soaked in ¼ cup of water, 1 tablespoon of gelatin powder, 1/4 of a cup of full cream, 1 tablespoon of ground ginger.

Steps: Throw all of the base ingredients in your food processor and blitz until smooth. Press it into a baking-paper lined loaf-tin and pop in the freezer while doing the next bit.

Put all of the ‘icing’ ingredients in the food processor and… you guessed it… blitz until smooth! It might be a bit runny, and that’s ok, because the gelatin will work its magic soon enough. Pour the ‘icing’ mixture on top of the base, and put it in the fridge to set. Enjoy with a cup of tea.

Choose Your Own Curry Adventure: make a real-food curry from scratch

 

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Curries are delicious first and foremost. When made from real ingredients, they’re also super good for you. They are easy to make. They are cheap to make. And, they are easy to vary depending on what’s in the cupboard. So let’s get started.

I begin all of my curries by sizzling some sliced onions and chopped up garlic in a generous (like, really generous) amount of oil or fat. (I use a good cast-iron pan and a wooden spoon). Think ghee, butter, coconut oil or olive oil. I do this on a medium to low heat until they are nice and soft. Yeah, this is an enjoy-the-process kind of meal; the longer it takes, the better the flavours. Put on some music and get into it.

 Next, I add an array of dried and ground spices and salt. You can mix it up here, choosing from any combination of cumin, turmeric, ground ginger, garam masala, ras el hanout, curry powder, chilli flakes, ground coriander and paprika. Or, use a quality curry paste that contains only good things (my favourite is massaman). Fresh ginger and lemongrass can be welcome additions here, too. Stir your selection (as many as you like – a cumin, paprika, turmeric, ginger combo is a starting point – TBSP of each) through the oil, onions and garlic until it starts to smell amazing.

Some creamy goodness and some stock come next for me; about a cup of each. Pour in a can of coconut cream (my favourite), some yoghurt, or full fat cream, and some homemade stock if you have any made up; chicken or veggie stock for white meats and beef/lamb stock for red meats. Or just ignore that rule. Alternatively use water and a little extra salt. Add it to your pan and let it simmer for a wee bit.

Now add some chopped meat (or not – veggie curries are great too. Try chickpeas, lentils or paneer cheese! If using paneer then add it at the end). My favourite has got to be white fish – but add it at the end instead. Let the meat cook through in the creamy curry goodness until half cooked.

Time for the veggies – add any that you like, chopped up small, and continue to simmer away for another 20 minutes or so.

Taste your curry regularly until it has the perfect flavour and consistency for you!

Remember if you are using fish or paneer, add it towards the end as they take a lot less time to cook.

You can add some fresh coriander at the end too.

*Tip: Baby spinach stirred through at the end adds a nutrient boost!

*Tip: You can just throw it all in the slow cooker, give it a stir and cook on low for about 8 hours. Easy!

Enjoy your curry adventure!

 

A little message at the end: These blog posts are simply to help me process my own learning. I have no medical, health-science-y background… although I am studying towards a diploma of nutritional science, and I do my best to consult reliable research. If you see any info that doesn’t quite look right, then great! Comment away with your thoughts, because I would love to know more.

 

Raw Chocolate Espresso Cake

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A decadent low sugar lchf treat.

Bottom Layer: 2 cups of soaked and drained cashews, 1 medium can of Ayam full fat coconut cream, half a cup of cacao powder, 2 tablespoons of instant coffee powder (or to taste), 50 grams of butter or coconut oil. Simply throw it all into a food processor and blend until silky smooth. Pour evenly into a lined slice tin or cake tin and pop in the freezer while making the ganache.

Top Ganache Layer: 100 grams of really dark chocolate, 3/4 cup cream, 1 tablespoon of instant coffee powder. Heat the cream in a pot, then add the chocolate, stirring until it melts. Stir through the coffee. Pour on top of the bottom layer and pop into the freezer or fridge. Slice with a hot knife and enjoy!

5 Simple and Affordable Healthy Meals

 

PORK AND FENNEL SAUSAGES

Pork, Fennel and Apple ‘Sausages’

A good home comfort meal – almost bangers and mash.

Serves: About 4   Time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients: A kilo of pork mince, chopped spring onion, a tablespoon of fennel seeds, a grated apple, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (optional), a teaspoon of tamari (or soy sauce or liquid aminos),  salt and pepper. Depending on your quality of pork mince, you might need an egg to bring it together. See what you think.

Steps: Mix it all together in a bowl. Shape into sausages and lay on a baking tray. Bake for about 20 mins. We served ours with cauliflower mash and kumara/coconut cream mash. Yummy! Or, just serve it with your favourite veggies.

 Beet ‘n’ Beef BurgersIMG_4940

Wholesome, satiating beef patties with a touch of earthiness from the beetroot. And quick and easy too!

Feeds: About a family of 4   Time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients: Beef mince (I used 1kg to feed a few plus leftovers for lunch), 1 grated beetroot – no need to peel, 2 eggs, chives, crushed or chopped fresh garlic, a few pinches of cinnamon, salt and pepper.

Steps: Thoroughly mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Make into patties with your hands. Either heat a pan with butter or coconut oil and fry on both sides until cooked through, or bake in the oven on about 180 degrees celsius for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through.

You can serve these however you like! I ate mine with brussels sprouts fried in butter, parsnip chippies, and a big dollop of homemade hummus. YUMMMM!

Enjoy. Experiment. Make it your own! 

 

IMG_4281Ginger Chicken 

I had Ginger Chicken countless times while travelling South-East Asia, and needed it when we got home. Ginger is one of those foods that I hated with a passion as a kid (ah, mum… did you put ginger in this?!), and can’t get enough of now.

Serves: 4ish      Time: About 30 mins

Ingredients: Coconut oil, a chopped onion, a fair bit of grated fresh ginger – about 5cms or more maybe, a crushed garlic clove or two, a finely chopped fresh chilli, a tablespoon of fish sauce, about a kilogram of chopped chicken breast (or whatever cut you prefer), finely grated zucchini and some baby spinach, salt and pepper.

Steps: Heat a generous amount of coconut oil on a low-medium heat in a frying pan or wok. Add onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and fish sauce, and saute (stirring) for a good 10 minutes at least. It will become soft and aromatic, but shouldn’t be browning. If it is, turn down the heat. Add your chicken and continue to stir until the chicken is almost cooked through. At this point, add grated zucchini and spinach, salt and pepper, and continue to stir until the chicken is just cooked and still juicy. I served mine with oven-baked kumara chips and steamed broccoli. Mmmm mmm.

Chicken and Bacon Mash Up 

Time: 25 minutes Serves: How long is a piece of string? Just up your amounts for bigger crowds!

Ingredients: Diced chicken breasts, thighs or leftover roast chook, any veggies from the fridge chopped into little bits, baby spinach, eggs, butter, salt and pepper.

Steps: Fry your chicken in a pan heated with butter until half cooked through. Add chopped veggies and continue to fry. Towards the end, add spinach, salt and pepper and then crack one or two eggs into the mix and stir until just cooked through. Serve!

*If you want a creamy consistency then add a dollop of cream cheese or crème fraiche and stir through at the end! A sprinkle of cinnamon goes nicely too.

*I shall add a photo of this once I get one!

Honey-Soy Chicken with Kumara Mash and Broccoli

Time: 25 minutes Serves: Again, make as much or as little as you want.

Ingredients: Whole chicken thighs – or chop them in half if they’re big ones, soy sauce, a touch of honey or rice malt syrup if you use it (fructose free), a half a teaspoon of Chinese five-spice olive oil or butter for cooking. Broccoli in flourets and diced kumara (sweet potato) – or your favourite veggies! Butter and a smidgen of milk, salt and pepper.

Steps: Half-fill two medium pots with water that you have already boiled in the kettle, and set them on the stove on a medium heat. Add your kumara to one and let it bubble away. Leave the other one for the broccoli in the last five minutes.

Mix the soy sauce, honey or rice malt syrup and Chinese five-spice together in a bowl. Add the chicken thighs and coat them in the mix. Heat a pan with butter or olive oil to a medium heat and add the chicken. Cook on both sides until cooked through. Don’t overcook it!

Five minutes before it is all cooked add broccoli to the boiling water and simmer for a few minutes until nicely softened. Drain your kumara, mash it up in the pot with some butter and splash of milk, salt and pepper. Serve your chicken with the kumara mash and broccoli on a plate and enjoy!

*Coconut cream is also a beautiful addition to kumara mash.

 *I shall add a photo of this once I get one too!

Tip: I often do not include exact measurements in my recipes, because I think it is so important (and enjoyable!) to feel your way and make it yours. This is how you learn to cook yummy real food with whatever you have on hand. Enjoy the process!

Next week’s blog post will show you how to make an easy and delicious curry from scratch, using the ingredients in your cupboard. Home-made curries are a fab go-to affordable healthy meal!

 

 

Customisable Savoury Crepes!

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Serves: 2   Time: 15 mins (if that)

Ingredients: 4 eggs, a couple of tablespoons of coconut flour, about a cup of water. Seasonal vegetables of your choice, chopped onions and garlic if you like them, curry powder, ginger, salt and pepper (or your spices of choice – garam masala or ras el hanout would be great), butter for frying. I also added a chopped rasher of bacon for extra flavour but I realise that is a bit random with curry powder. It was yum.

Steps: Saute onions and garlic in butter, then add your selection of finely chopped vegetables, spices, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and aromatic.

While this is cooking, combine eggs, coconut flour and water together. Heat butter in a frying pan to a low-medium heat. Pour a teeny bit of the batter in to see if it is the right consistency to hold together. If it seems as though it will fall apart, then add another egg and a smidgen more flour. Once you have it right, pour about a half a cup of the batter into the buttered pan. Cook for a few minutes until it holds together enough to flip, then and cook the other side.

Fill the crepe with your spiced veges and enjoy! If you have fermented veges, then they would be a great addition. Some fresh avocado would go nicely too. Cheese is also good. The possibilities are endless!

You can play around with this; use different veges and spice combinations, or add some meat. Go nuts and experiment!

By Franklee Healthy

 

 

3 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself if you ‘Can’t Afford Healthy Food’

IMG_7195 (2)‘I can’t afford healthy food,’ and ‘I don’t have time to cook’ are common first world statements. I get it – life can be busy and challenging – but if you are someone who makes these claims, then ask yourself these questions.

What are your priorities? – Modern daily pressures combined with family commitments and squeezing in some leisure time means that a lot of people do not have time to cook with real food. Ask yourself; ‘what are my priorities?’ I urge you to make your health and wellbeing one of them. Make time to do it. You don’t need to get fancy – whipping up a nutritious stir-fry takes twenty minutes. Can you shuffle around your priorities and put aside a half-hour to cook you and your family a nutritious meal?

Am I over-complicating it? Healthy food has been glorified to include all sorts of exotic tid-bits from around the world, and so people develop a perception that they cannot possibly afford healthy food. Think chia seeds, raw cacao powder, almond meal, coconut flour, apple cider vinegar, acai berries, goji berries, bone broth, coconut oil… and loads more. Yepp, that stuff can get expensive. The beauty? You don’t need these super foods to be healthy! Just keep it basic; eat fruit, vegetables and meat cooked in some good fat with some modest herbs and spices, and you’re away laughing. Try it. Oh, and your palate will come to love the flavours of real food in time… trust me.

What do I actually spend my money on? A lot of people fill their trolley with processed foods because it is cheap. To reference food journalist, Mark Bittman, you are filling your trolley with calories, not nutrition. You starve your body of essential nutrients. You get hungrier and eat more, because your body cannot get truly full by eating processed crap. Your inclination to buy unhealthy snacks and takeaways increases, because you suffer from sudden extreme starvation while you’re out and about. It’s an addiction. You can tell by the way your kids beg you to buy every treat that drifts past their eye-level. You spend more money on vitamin supplements, immune support, medical supplies and bills because your body and mind struggle to stay healthy on your processed food diet. You spend more money on beauty products because your skin, hair and nails just ain’t glowin’ on that processed food diet. Just find a way to fit basic healthy food into your weekly budget and I bet you will reap the benefits financially, physically and mentally.

So, you can’t afford a healthy diet? Can you afford increased medical bills? Can you afford to suffer from cancers, heart diseases and diabetes? Can you afford to lose family members to illness? I acknowledge that I write this post from a position of comfort; I have a semi-constant income stream. I do not have children. I am already healthy. I have a supportive family. I live in the first world (although, this post is written for a first-world audience). I live in a comfortable house. I understand that circumstances are different for everyone.

Next week I will post five dinner recipes that are quick, easy and affordable. I encourage you to do a real food grocery shop, cook the recipes each night, and see how you go. Get into it, and feel great!

A little message at the end: These blog posts are simply to help me process my own learning. I have no medical, health-science-y background… although I am studying towards a diploma of nutritional science, and I do my best to consult reliable research. If you see any info that doesn’t quite look right, then great! Comment away with your thoughts, because I would love to know more.