Quinoa and Goats Cheese Cups
On the weekend I cooked 3 courses for three of my friends. I love making healthy food that tastes great for friends. There is something so satisfying about creating a delicious healthy meal that tastes so much better than any fast food or takeaway.
For the entrée I made these quinoa and goats cheese cups, for the main zucchini and pea fritters with avocado salsa and for dessert Dena’s healthy fudge recipe with some shredded coconut added in.
It is my absolute pleasure to introduce to you this week’s gorgeous guest: actress and dancer Dena Kaplan. You may recognise her from shows such as Dance Academy and Tricky Business. One of the many things I love about Dena is that she is such a positive, healthy role model for young women. You just have to take one look at her to see that she radiates health and vitality.
On top of acting and dancing, Dena is also an ambassador for the charity Soi Dog, a wonderful organisation that saves hundreds of stray and abused dogs. She also has a fabulous blog which she started with her two sisters http://kaplansisters.blogspot.com/.
I will let Dena share more about herself and her views on health below and make sure you check out her delicious fudge recipe at the end.
I thought I would just do a quick post today with some of my favourite quotes, I know that some of these have nothing to do with health but I just wanted to share them with you anyway, starting with my all time favourite…
“I believe there is no part of our lives, our adult as well as child life, when we’re not fantasizing, but we prefer to relegate fantasy to children, as though it were some tomfoolery only fit for the immature minds of the young. Children do live in fantasy and reality; they move back and forth very easily in a way we no longer remember how to do.” – Maurice Sendak
These bites are a great little appetiser to serve at a dinner party, while also making a yummy pick-me-up snack in the morning or afternoon. They taste great hot or cold; I found that being in the fridge for a few days actually enhances the flavour!
Makes about 30
1 cup boiled pumpkin (sweet potato would also work for this)
2 cups cooked quinoa (I used red quinoa for this but any kind will work)
¼ cup coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil (plus extra for brushing them with)
3 egg whites (I used the egg yolks to make a big batch of these)
4 tbsp pine nuts
2 tsp cinnamon
Desiccated coconut to crumb (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
In a large bowl mash the pumpkin up with a fork, then add in the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
Take small handfuls of the mixture and press into a ball,. If you are coconut crazy like me roll the balls in some desiccated coconut, but they also taste great without it. Now place the balls on a greased or lined baking tray, lightly brush them with some coconut oil and pop in the oven for about 25 minutes or until they go golden.
Leave to cool for about 5 minutes, then serve. They also taste great cold and will keep in the fridge for quite a few days.
This is a great breakfast option, especially for all you orange and poppy seed cake lovers out there!
1 egg white (I saved the egg yolk and used it in these)
¼ cup of almond meal (you may need extra if the mixture is too runny)
1 tbsp orange peel zest
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
Juice of 1/2 orange
1 tbsp poppy seeds
A few drops of vanilla
Whisk eggs and the egg white together then mix in the rest of the ingredients until combined. If the mixture is way too runny you may need to add a bit more almond meal.
Heat some coconut oil in a pan, then cook large spoonfuls of the mixture. When the edges start to go dry and it starts to bubble on top, flip over and cook the other side until golden brown.
I served mine with a drizzle of coconut milk and a slice of orange.
These are a great gluten free and sugar free cookie to have with your morning or afternoon herbal tea.
1 egg yolk
2 cups desiccated coconut
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
A few drops of vanilla
1 tbsp cinnamon
Handful of crushed cashews (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs and egg yolk together, then add in all other ingredients and stir to combine. If the mixture is too dry add in some more coconut oil.
Take small spoonfuls of the mixture and place them on a lined baking tray. Press them down gently with a fork, then pop them in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden.
Bounty chocolate bars have always been a huge weakness of mine, which is why I decided to have a go at coming up with a sugar free alternative. I was surprised at how well these turned out; they taste just as good as the packaged version if not better!
1 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp cacao butter
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup, natural honey or a few drops of stevia
2 cups shredded coconut
A few drops of vanilla (optional)
For the chocolate
¼ cup cacao butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 ½ tbsp cacao powder
Maple syrup or choice of sweetener to sweeten
For the filling, heat a saucepan and put in the coconut milk, cacao butter, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla, then stir until it is all mixed together. Be careful not to let it boil. Let it cool for a few minutes, then add in the coconut and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a container lined with baking paper and put into the freezer until it goes hard.
Once the filling has gone hard, melt all chocolate ingredients in a saucepan until combined. Pour it into a bowl and leave to cool for about 5-10 minutes. You may need to stir it occasionally to stop it from going hard.
While the chocolate is cooling down take the filling out of the container and cut it into small squares (or whatever size you would like the bars to be). You may need to dip a knife in hot water so it cuts through the filling smoothly.
Once the chocolate has cooled down, dip the filling squares into the chocolate until they are fully covered and place on a plate. Once you have done this with all the squares place them in the freezer for about half an hour or until the chocolate has hardened, then store in the fridge.
This recipe was made up by my bestie Laura. She came up with this when she was trying to think of something healthy she could feed her gorgeous 23 month old son Noah that would slightly resemble junk food and it was a hit. Laura likes to serve these with roast sweet potato and carrot cut up to resemble chips, such a clever mummy!
I just had to include this photo of Noah, he is so damn cute!
500g organic chicken thigh
2 cups quinoa flakes
2 egg whites
1 tbsp water
1/4 cup grapeseed oil
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs (optional)
Remove all fat from chicken then cut it into small, even pieces.
Briefly whisk the water and egg whites together.
On a piece of baking paper, pour out the quinoa flakes and mix through some salt (and herbs if you are using them). Dip the chicken into the egg whites, then into the flakes, making sure they are evenly coated all over.
Once all chicken is coated heat the oil in the pan over a medium heat. Cook chicken for 2 minutes each side or until golden. Add more oil as you go if needed.
This recipe makes about 30 balls so they are a great thing to make on the weekend and keep throughout the week for an afternoon pick-me-up.
2 cups of nuts (I used a mixture of walnuts, almonds and cashews)
1/2 cup of desiccated coconut
2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 tbsp cacao nibs
2 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp LSA or almond meal
3 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp almond butter (or any type of nut butter)
2 tbsp coconut oil
8 pitted dates
Extra desiccated coconut to roll the balls in (optional)
Mix nuts, coconut, sesame seeds, cacao nibs, cacao powder, LSA and chia Seeds in a food processor until the nuts are finely chopped.
Add the banana, almond butter, coconut oil and dates and blend until the mixture sticks together easily. If the mixture is not sticking together properly blend in a few more dates.
Take small parts of the mixture and roll into balls, then roll through the coconut.
Store in the fridge and enjoy!
I am so excited to share with you today my chat with the beautiful Tara Bliss from Such Different Skies.
Tara is a life coach and has just created a unique and amazing online course called ‘The Party Girl’s Guide to Peace‘ that I know SO many of you are going to love!
In this video Tara and I chat a little bit about her background and why she started up the course, what it’s all about and who this program is suitable for (don’t let the name fool you it’s not just for those of you who enjoy a few too many drinks).
Before you watch the video here is a little bit more on what Tara has to say about the program…
“The Party Girls’ Guide to Peace is a 6 week temple of transparency and truth that nudges you away from the vodka and into vitality. It’s your big fat permission slip to start exercising your power so you can live the life you dream of. It’s a resource for women who are prepared (no matter how terrified they may be) to free themselves from their Party Girl label and instead, as a community, prioritise peace.”
Sounds pretty amazing right?
The Party Girl’s Guide to Peace is open NOW and the community is already thriving!
Week 1 officially kicks off on 16 February but if you sign up now you will get to take advantage of all the awesome pre-course bonuses.
So if this sounds like something you would be interested in head over to The Party Girl’s Guide to Peace page and join the community.
PS: This is my first ever skype interview so you will have to excuse me if I seem a little awkward 😛