Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Add a Litte Colour to Your Plate

Ramp up the colour on your plate and get more fruit & veg into your day as a result !!

Start the day with a fruit salad

Lunch on Sourdough with Hummus, Roasted Sweet Potato and Watercress

Snack on Strawberries and Date Paste - one of my boys favourites.  

Date Paste

1/2 cup almonds, soaked overnight in filtered water then washed and drained
1 cup fresh dates, pit removed
1/2 cup cocnunt water
1/4 cup carob powder
1 cup young thai coconut meat

 Dine on Roasted Cauliflower with Apple and Cranberries.  Recipe here

And don't forget to add a side of greens.  Can you ever get enough.  

Others Ways to Slip a Bit of Colour in Your Day

Beef up casseroles, soups and stews with extra vegetables
Swap out dessert for a piece of fruit

Add a side salad of greens, tomatoes and avocado to your pizza

Consider fruit smoothies for breakfast or if you're game go green as per here or here

Stuff your sandwiches sky high with greens and bright salad such as carrot, grated beetroot, alfalfa sprouts, red onion, tomato or avocado.

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Little Pumpkin Semolina Bites

These were gobbled up as an afternoon snack and then served well in the lunch box the next day. Don't feel limited to making little mini ones as I would happily serve these for dinner or lunch alongside  guacamole, cherry tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce, natural yoghurt and a salad.  Another option I would happily enjoy would be grilled vegetables  piled on top of a larger pancake seasoned with salt, pepper, herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice.  Just go with whatever you have on hand.  Feel free to add herbs to the mixture although my boys aren't into herbs so I generally omit them or do some plain and some with herbs for my husband and I.     

Little Pumpkin Bites
Inspired by Vegetarian - its not all bean and tofu
Makes approximately 30 small

2 cups (250 gms) coarsely grated pumpkin
1/4 cup milk (60 ml) 
1/2 cup semolina
1/2 tsp  baking powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup grated cheese
(your choice of herbs finely chopped if you wish)

Place the pumpkin and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat
Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low, cover and cook stirring occasionally for 6 - 7 minutes or until soft
Remove from the heat and mash the pumpkin with a fork 
Set aside to cool to room temperature 
Sift the semolina and baking powder into a separate bowl
In another bowl, combine the cooled pumpkin mixture with the eggs and whisk into the flour to make a smooth batter (should be the consistency of smooth cream)
Stir in the grated cheese and your choice of herbs if using
If necessary add a little extra milk, a tablespoon at a time and season to taste

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat
Lightly grease the pan with your choice of oil (i use ghee)
Place heaped teaspoonfuls of the batter into the frying pan to make pancakes about 4cm (1 1/2 inches) in diameter
Cook on each side for two minutes or until golden brown
Repeat with the remaining mixture, oiling the pan in between each batch
Cook pancakes on a plate and serve with mashed avocado and tomatoes

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Oaty Pear & Millet Muffins

Oaty Pear and Millet Muffins
Makes 12

2 large eggs
1/4 cup rapadurra sugar
2 T almond butter
3 1/2 T unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 cup rolled oats, plus more for topping
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup of grated pear

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius (350 fahrenheit)
Line a muffin or cupcake pan with paper liners
Using a stand mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar until well mixed and increased in size
Add the almond butter, melted butter and vanilla, mixing well to combine
In another bowl combine the millet flour, quinoa flakes, rolled oats, pinch of sea salt, baking powder and baking soda
Add these dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix thoroughly ensuring not to overmix
Gently stir in the grated pear
Divide the mixture among the set out paper liners, topping each with some additional oats
Bake the muffins for 20 mins or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean
Allow to cool on a wire rack and then eat!

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Roasted Cumin Cauliflower & Charmoula

The cauliflower is possibly underrated in many ways despite its offerings of versatility and taste.   As an excellent source of Vitamins C and K, a good source of vitamin B6, folate, fibre, manganese and omega 3 fatty acids the cauliflower is possibly a "must get into more" food.  To make the most of cauliflowers vitamin C content consider adding raw florets to salads or as a side to dips however, if lightly steamed is your preference then pureed cauliflower makes a nice substitute for mashed potatoes.  My personal preference is lightly roasted as above with a splash of olive oil and seasoning.  

Roasted Cumin Cauliflower & Charmoula
Serves 4 or 6 as a side

1 cauliflower, separated into small florets
3 Tbs Cold Pressed Olive Oil
1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Preheat oven to 185 degrees celcius
Separate the cauliflower into small florets
Place in a large bowl along with the cumin seeds and garlic
Add olive oil and work through with hands to evenly coat the cauliflower
Place in a large roasting dish and place in oven
Cook for 15 – 20 mins or until slightly tender
Turn oven setting to grill
Continue to cook the cauliflower until a nice golden brown colour is achieved (approx 5 mins)

Charmoula Dressing
Makes 1 jar

Adapted from Alice Hart - Vegetarian

1 small bunch coriander (leaves only)
1 small bunch basil (leaves only)
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
75ml cold pressed olive oil
½ tsp sea salt
2 small garlic cloves crushed
½ tps paprika
1 tsp ras el hanout
1/2 T honey

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped
Add more olive oil if appears to thick and season with cracked black pepper

Keep covered in the fridge for up to one week

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Be Better By Choice- Quinoa & Berries for Breakfast

  The idea for this post was inspired by a client of mine. We have shared a very fun and interactive relationship in the kitchen.  Our work together has focussed on "being better" and has included the preparation of nourishing, quick and easy meals that will give her body what it needs to prepare for conception and grow another human being.

 We started with her first meal of the day - Breakfast.  We swapped out the processed breakfast cereal and its nutritional claims for that matter and opted for a nutrient boosting breakfast consisting of - quinoa, organic natural yoghurt, blueberries, goji berries, walnuts and shredded coconut.  After a quick lesson in "how to prepare quinoa" - see here, a natural and more satisfying breakfast is now her break of day staple and an overall better choice.

 From a fertility perspective this breakfast offers an array of vitamins and minerals both necessary for and valuable to conception, hormone regulation, sperm production, quality and quantity.   Overall however, eating a wholesome, nutrient rich and unrefined breakfast as such will give the body nourishment to do great things with no matter what stage of life you are at.

So Be Better by Choice!  Make better choices toward better health gradually and find a routine that works for you. If you require any assistance with this then click here or if you have any ways to share on how you have made your start to the day better I wold love hear from you.
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

On My Plate....................

Did you know that whilst you are sleeping your metabolic rate slows by 5 percent  
and that eating breakfast literally breaks the fast to kickstart the  metabolism to its normal being???

Well I say any excuse to eat but thankfully it's true so consider breakfast a great thing to do every day.  The green smoothie is everywhere so if you haven't had a try yet then start here for a dose of raw goodness.  

Green Smoothie
Serves 2

1/2 buch organic kale, washed (leaves only)
1 mango
1 large banana
1 heaped tsp crunchy peanut butter
3/4 cup filtered water (add more for a thinner consistency)
1/2 cup ice ( i like mine cold!!!!!)

Place all the ingredients in a blender and whiz until smooth.

Don't be frightened away by a green smoothie with thoughts of "yuck"  The mango and banana in this  green smoothie make it very tame and far from hard core .  The peanut butter also rounds out the flavour of the greens so I encourage you to give it a go and suck up all those valuable vitamins and minerals in their raw state.  I figure if the kids drink it it can't be to bad. Chill factor is a must for me so don't forget to  cool things down by adding ice to the mix especially now that the weather is heating up in the  Southern Hemisphere (well in some places at least)

Poached eggs are a no brainer for breakfast.  They are an excellent source of protein, vitamins and iron.  Choose organic pastured eggs if you can find them for the reason that pastured eggs come from chickens that are free to roam and forage for insects meaning happier and healthier chickens and therefore eggs.  Any readers on the Sunshine Coast can get pastured eggs from Rawganix Farm who attend the Kawana Farmers Markets every Saturday morning from 7am - 1pm

If you are into your toast then consider adding a slice of wholegrain sourdough toast for some slow release carbs on the side.

P.S - for all my friends out there planning for pregnancy take note that eggs are rich in choline ( a chemical similar to B vitamins) that is essentially important for women and their reproductive system.  Overall everyone can gain numerous benefits from the humble egg that offers an abundance of benefits that see it back in favour all over again as a fabulous nutritional storehouse.

We've had a run of eating raw lately and this zucchini bread served us well in many ways right from breakfast through to dinner.  My favourite way to enjoy this is with some sweet cherry tomatoes atop some lush green avocado along with a twist of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.   It's easy to prepare but a dehydrator is required however I would think a low temp oven would suffice and give a similar result albeit not raw. The flaxseeds give this bread an earthy subtle nutty edge and offer their services as an excellent source of fibre, protein and magnesium in addition to being a good source of vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, zinc and selenium.  More so, flaxseeds are rich in Omega 3 essential fatty acids in particular alpha lineolic acid (ALA).  Needless to say flaxseed in any form is great for the skin, relief of constipation, blood glucose stabilisation and has been studied extensively for it protective effects on women's health.  You can purchase flaxseeds both whole and ground from most supermarkets and health food stores.  Whole seeds are best stored in an airtight container in a cool place for several months whereas ground seeds do need to be kept in the fridge.  

Some other ways to get the benefits of  flaxseeds include
 these spelt pikelets 
Sprinkled over  the top of natural yoghurt, vegetables or as an addition to your favourite smoothie in the mornings.

Find the recipe for raw zucchini bread here   

I do have a tendency to refer to my slow cooker as a best friend for good reason.  The convenience of being able to prepare a large quantity of healthy food for freezing comforts and reassures me that we are not going to starve in busy times.    So convenient and  so cheap!!  I must add not to be shy here so throw in whatever needs using up if you wish.  Personally I think a smidge of cream or natural yoghurt would go nicely with this dish as well.  Also I tend to go a bit heavier on the ground spices as I find that  store bought and pre ground means they tend to be less intense.

Chickpea and Vegetable Curry
Adapted from Slow Cooking - Anthony Thompson
Serves 4 - 6

2 large onions, roughly chopped
1 T grated fresh ginger
4 T cold pressed olive oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
400gm fresh or canned tomatoes chopped
2 crushed green cardamon pods
6 cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
200g sweet potato, chopped roughly into chunks
3 carrots halved lengthways
400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 broccoli broken into small florets
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander
250g bag baby spinach, washed
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season

Blend half the onion and the ginger to a smooth paste in a mini food processor and set aside
In a large frypan, cook the remaining onion in your choice of oil with the garlic and cinnamon over medium heat for 8 mins, until onions have softened but not coloured
Spoon the mix into the slow cooker and add all the remaining ingredients except the fresh herbs and spinach
Cover and cook on low for 6 - 8 hours until the root vegetables are tender
Turn the heat to high, fold in the coriander and spinach and serve

For the flatbread follow this recipe here and adapt by omitting the sesame seeds and thyme and add a 1/4 cup finely chopped coriander and 1 -2 fresh red chilli's finely diced.  It's always nice to have something to dip with.

Blueberries are considered to be one of the top anti ageing foods so add a cup a day to keep your mind young, improve short term memory and protect against mental decline.  Now that summer is approaching blueberries are everywhere so stock in and reap the benefits from this low sugar snack.     I think blueberries are good any time of the day as are cherry tomatoes with a smidge of cheese that will help keep blood sugar levels on par and assist with the assimilation of important vitamins and minerals also. 
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Hey There, I’m Sherilyn the creator of Wholepromise. This is where I venture outside of being a mum, wife and Fertility Nurse Specialist. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Qld, Australia and am spoilt by year round access to Farmers Markets offering a plethora of local, seasonal and organic produce. In all Wholepromise is my style of food, it’s the food I want my boys to appreciate and it’s the food that makes me happy. Styling and photographing it is just another bonus.


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