Archive | April, 2012

Seriously Seedy Spelt bread in 10 mins!

Happy Monday all! This weekend has been a big cooking weekend so another recipe to start the week!

Before I start just wanted to let you know that have a couple of awesome workouts which I will be uploading over couple of  weeks. So watch this space!

Anyway, for today’s post I have the most delicious, quick and easy spelt soda bread recipe to share with you. It literally takes 10 minutes to prepare (if that!) and only 35 minutes to cook.  I was utterly shocked that making bread could be this easy! It tastes awesome and my version is 100% spelt and seeds, no white wheat flour whatsoever meaning that it wont send your blood sugar levels soaring.  

Incase you are not familiar with the Spelt grain it is an ancient variety of wheat that has a higher  protein content and also higher B vitamins, potassium and iron content than other types of wheat. Bread made with this flour plus the addition of seeds has a lower GI than most other types of bread. If you can’t find spelt you could always substitute for stone-ground wholemeal flour instead and if you can’t find the seeds I used below you can always experiement with different varieties.

Seriously Seeded Spelt Soda Bread

3 3/4 cup of Wholemeal Spelt Flour (you could subsitute for stone-ground wholemeal)

3 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds

3 tablespoons of sunflower seeds

3 tablespoons of chia seeds

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 teaspoons of baking soda

Optional: 2 tablespoons fennel seeds (if you do decide to use fennel seeds just a warning that it does flavour the bread quite strongly)

1 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 cup of buttermilk

A bit of extra buttermilk

Method

Pre-heat your oven to 200 c. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl and mix together. Add in most of the seeds (leave around 2 tablespoons). Make a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Stir the dough until it just comes together, if it is a little too dry then add a splash more buttermilk.  Tip the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead for about a minute or until the mixture comes together in loose ball. Don’t knead for too long.

Working quickly place the ball onto a lightly floured baking sheet and cut a deep cross in the top (around 2/3 of the way through). Brush with buttermilk and sprinkle with the remaining seeds.

Bake for around 35 minutes on the middle shelf, it the top doesn’t have enough colour then move up a shelf for the last 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Adapted from River Cottage Everyday by Hugh Fearnley- Whittingsall, published by Bloomsbury

PS  To try and decrease the sodium content of this loaf I will probably try and cut down on the teaspoon of salt next time

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Egg’cellent dish!

Can you relate to this? You get back from work late and realise that yet again you have forgotten to take the evenings dinner out of the freezer! What to do?

You don’t want to waste money on an expensive greasy takeaway but you don’t exactly feel inspired to pop out to the shops to create a last minute gourmet meal either. This is where this quick and easy little dish from Bill Granger works wonders!

Created from left overs that are lying around in the fridge, it literally takes almost no time to cook. It’s packed full of protein and veges and is relatively light, especially if you are eating later than you would like. 

The recipe below serves 4 and it’s yummy cold so the hubby and I usually take a portion to work the next day…

Bill Grangers ‘Open-Faced Feta and Leek Omelette’

2 x leeks, washed and sliced (The recipe says white part only but I used all of it)

3 small zucchini (courgettes), finely sliced

A couple of handfuls of Broccoli, chopped very small (Bills recipe doesn’t include this)

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons, chopped fresh mint

3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

6 eggs, lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons water

A little salt and pepper

115 g feta cheese, drained

Heat the grill to its highest setting. Place a 9 inch frying pan (with a heatproof handle) over a medium to high heat. Add the olive oil, leek, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes stirring continuously. Add the broccoli and zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the herbs and pour the eggs over the top. Crumble the feta over the omelette and cook for 5 minutes. Finish under the grill for another approx 5 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

And there you have it…Too easy!!

A SENSIBLE 14 day Detox

My post this week is a SENSIBLE 14 day detox plan that I often give my clients if they are low in energy levels, feeling a little down or depressed or if they want to kick start a weight loss plan.

I say SENSIBLE IN CAPITALS because there are no expensive supplements to take, no living off cabbage and soup for 2 weeks, its easy to follow and stick to and there no aggressive or potentially damaging powders that claim to rid your body of toxins (often causing more harm than good!)

This detox plan focuses on healthy nutritious eating, getting adequate portions of protein and vegetables and quite simply cutting out sugar.

The reason for cutting out sugar – very briefly excess or overloads of sugar that aren’t converted into energy are stored in the body as fat. This can lead to weight gain. Also the excess sugar will send your blood sugar levels soaring, initially leading to an energy boost but then what goes must come down and eventually you are left with a tired lethargic slump. Then you guessed it, you will need to refuel with more sugar to keep you going!  Is that mid afternoon slump familiar to anyone?

Anyway give this program a go and let me know what you think… Please note – you are still allowed small amounts of dry wine, tea and coffee but obviously in moderation!!

DR PHIL MAFFETONE’S 14 DAY DETOX

Dr. Phil Maffetone’s 14 day weight loss and cleansing test is a great way to get started on a program that will detoxify your body safely and with great results!

This is a great program for anyone who wants to regulate their blood sugar with healthy foods.

The Two-Week Test
Dr. Philip Maffetone

I developed the Two Week Test in the early 1980s to help people get back their intuition and instincts about healthy eating. This is the first step to getting off the vicious diet cycle which is perpetuated so much this time of year.

Many people eat too much dietary carbohydrate – beyond what their bodies can tolerate. The Two Week Test is a simple method for understanding and correcting this problem.

First note if you have any of the following problems, and write them down:

  • Physical or mental fatigue
  • Blood-sugar handling problems
  • Intestinal bloating
  • Sleepiness after meals
  • Increased fat storage and weight
  • Increased triglycerides
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Poor sleep
  • Depression
  • Addiction

In addition, if you are concerned about your weight, weigh yourself before starting the test. After the test, you will ask yourself again how you feel regarding these complaints, and also check your weight on the scale.

During the Two-Week Test you will significantly decrease your intake of carbohydrates. It is important that you do not go hungry. Eat as much as you want but stick strictly to the recommended foods. Before you start the test, make sure you have enough of the foods you’ll be eating during the test. Go shopping and stock up on these items. In addition, go through your cabinets and refrigerator and get rid of any sweets in your house, or you’ll be tempted.

As for the test itself, you merely want to eat using the following guidelines for a period of no less than two weeks.

Foods to avoid:

  • Bread, rolls, pasta, pancakes, cereal, muffins, chips, crackers and rice cakes.
  • All sweets
  • All products containing sugar such as ketchup, honey, etc. (read labels!).
  • Fruits and fruit juice.
  • Highly processed meats such cold cuts, which often contain sugar.
  • Potatoes, corn, rice and beans.
  • Milk, half-and-half and yogurt.
  • So-called healthy snacks, including all energy bars, shakes and drinks.
  • All soda, including diet.

Foods to eat:

  • All cooked or raw vegetables (except potatoes and corn).
  • Whole eggs, unprocessed cheese, cream.
  • All unprocessed meats including beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, fish and shellfish.
  • Tomato, V-8 or other vegetable juices such as carrot juice.
  • Nuts, seeds, nut butters.
  • Oils, vinegar, mayonnaise, salsa and mustard (check labels for added sugars).
  • Sea salt (unless you are sodium sensitive).
  • Water! At least six to ten, 8-ounce glasses each day.
  • Dry wine, coffee and tea if you normally consume them.

After the Two-Week Test
Re-evaluate your list of complaints. If you feel better now than you did before the test, or if you lost weight, chances are you were previously eating too much carbohydrate and would benefit by lowering your intake. Any weight loss during the test is not due to reduced calories, as many people eat more calories than usual during this two-week period. It’s due to the increased fat-burning resulting from reduced insulin production. While there may be some water loss, especially if you are sodium sensitive, there is real fat loss.

If your blood pressure has been high, and especially if you are on medication, ask your health-care professional to check it several times during the test. Sometimes blood pressure drops significantly and your medication may need to be adjusted, which should be done by your health-care professional.

   

Adding Carbs
If the Two-Week Test improved your signs and symptoms; the next step is to determine how much carbohydrate you can tolerate, without a return of these problems. This is done in the following manner.

Begin adding small amounts of carbohydrates to your diet with every other meal or snack. This may be an apple for a snack, or some brown rice with dinner. Begin with fruits, lentils, rice and honey, and afterwards try bread, potatoes and others. Whatever you add, make sure it’s not a refined carbohydrate: no foods containing sugar, no refined-flour products (like white bread, rolls or pasta), brown rice instead of white, etc. Don’t add a carbohydrate to back-to-back meals, as insulin production is partly influenced by your previous meal.

With each addition of carbohydrate, watch for any of the symptoms you had previously that were eliminated by the test. Look especially for symptoms that develop immediately after eating, such as intestinal bloating, sleepiness or feelings of depression. If your hunger or cravings disappeared during the two weeks and now have returned, you’ve probably eaten too many carbohydrates. If you lost 8 pounds during the test, and gained back 5 pounds after adding some carbohydrates for a week or two, you’ve probably eaten too many carbohydrates.

PS – Photo taken at Killcare, near Sydney Australia.

An old favourite that tastes of goodness!

This weeks post is an extremely simple and easy old favourite that I am sure most of you know how to cook already.

Each and every time I cook this particular recipe I remember in one mouthful why I love it so much! I honestly think this recipe actually tastes of goodness and I know it sounds insane but to me it is almost like you can actually feel the vitamins and other good stuff travelling down back of your throat (ok perhaps I am slightly weird!!)

Anyway, the recipe I am talking about is Ratatouille which is basically a tomato and aubergine (sorry egg plant for you aussies!) based dish. It is great as both a main meal feature – in addition to sufficient portion of protein of course and also an accompaniment to a main dish.

I tend make more of a feature of it, usually crumbling feta cheese on the top…along with my usual concoction of pumpkin, sunflower and chia seeds. I also like to stir in a can of tuna  for extra protein.

Anyway enough of my garbling… I am sure there are a million recipes out there for Ratatouille but this is mine!

Ratatouille that tastes of goodness:

2 x onions – chopped

3 x sticks of celery – chopped

2 x courgettes/zucchini – chopped

2 x aubergines/egg plants (cut into chunks and blanched in boiling water for a couple of minutes)

1 x large red pepper – chopped

2 x 400g cans of tomatoes

8 x sundried tomatoes

1 x tbsp tomato paste

1 x handful of chopped fresh basil

Some chopped oregano

Pinch of salt and pepper

Feta/Goats/Sheep’s cheese crumbled on the top

Pumpkin, sunflower and chia seeds sprinkled on the top

Method:

Fry the onions in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes, then add the peppers, courgette and celery and sun-dried tomatoes. After about 4-5 mins add the aubergine (that has been blanched in hot water) and after a couple of minutes again the cans of tomatoes, herbs and seasoning. Simmer gently for around 20 -30 mins and serve.

Serves: 

Around 4-6 – My hubby and I got two lunches each and an evening meal accompaniment out of it. We find it’s actually better the next day!


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