Monday, January 28, 2013

A Common Sense Note; Salt & Sugar

For those of you cutting salt or sugar from your diet and succeeding - power to you, congratulations, I am happy for you and I hope you feel amazing and springy and totally healthful as a result.

For everyone else, who, like me, finds the prospect of quitting anything a sure fire way to make you immediately want to gorge on the product you're meant to be avoiding, remember this when it comes to sugar or salt - 

If you're going to eat it, taste it.

What you don't want is salt and sugar hidden in foods that barely taste sweet.  Breakfast cereals, breads, fast food, a lot of packaged food can all be super high in salt and/or sugar, but it doesn't really taste salt, or sweet.

If you're going to eat salt, add some to your marinade, or on your potatoes, or somewhere where it will bring out the flavour of your yummy, real food.

If you're going to eat sugar, make sure it's a yummy home made chocolate cake, or if you enjoy it in your coffee or tea, have it there.  Just make sure you can taste it!

I've probably said this all before, but sometimes I feel people can get caught on the extremes - quit it all together, or totally ignore it's bad for you and eat whenever.

Where do you most enjoy your salt or sugar?

I can't eat hot chips without salt, and I absolutely love getting my sugar from ice cream.

Stay well,

Thursday, January 24, 2013

15 Minute Meals?

So my aim, lately, is to cook quickly like Jamie.  That man is so insanely inspirational.  I don't own his 15 minute meal book, but I don't think he'd care - he'd love that I watch his show, get in the kitchen and experiment with making things I've never made before.

A few of the results are tangled in the below images..

EXCITING.  Full Stop.
Even more so because those beetroots are from my own garden!  As is the rosemary.

Those veg accompanied this - my first roast.
I'm not one for tags and I didn't eat it, but #worldsworstvegetarian

Pizza from Williamstown.  
Not great.

15 minute meals!  Sort of.. took more like, 10.
Big salad (on my favourite plate which is covered in Flamingos, pineapples and palm trees).
Lettuce and cucumbers from the garden, sliced pear, pomegranate and haloumi.
We had this with some salmon fillets... can you get easier or healthier?

Brekky pancakes that literally took 4 minutes.
2 mashed bananas, around half a cup of flour (I used spelt flour), cinnamon and 2 eggs.
Covered in blueberries, Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.
Filling and totally yummy - really tastes like banana cake.

Rice noodles take 4 point nothing seconds to cook.
This one is made into a salad with raw capsicum, cucumbers, peanuts, fresh mint, fresh basil and a soy, chilli and orange juice dressing.
Also super fast.

Poached egg on salmon on wholegrain sourdough toast.
Find your best local baker and stop getting your bread from the supermarket.

Make your fruit exciting.
Nobody wants a 2 week old wrinkly apple with the sticker falling off - eat it fresh and present it attractively!  Especially if you have kidlets.. it works!

Making of pasta sauce - garlic, basil, walnuts, roast pumpkin and chilli...

Looks like scrambled eggs, but is a frittata made with mashed cauliflower.
More smoked salmon - a great thing to have in the house for quick meals (if you like it).
Kale sauteed in garlic.  Yes yes yes.
And quick quick quick.

Tonight's dinner was seafood in a chilli broth (ginger, garlic, stock, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, a little olive oil), with beans and toasted rye mountain bread which was seasoned with lime juice and pepper.
Yes, this took 15 minutes.

I really don't know why people say it's hard to cook healthy.

What food have you been loving this year?

Stay well,
Nat x

Saturday, January 12, 2013

January So Far

I love January.  It's such an inspiring time of year and has the absolute best weather.  It's a shame I'm now spending some of the most beautiful days in an office, but there's still plenty you can do before 9am and after 5pm - you just have to do it, instead of talk about it.

How is your January going?

I am feeling very healthy these past couple of weeks, and the healthier I feel, the healthier I cook.

Last night's dinner was stif fried tofu, greens and rice noodles in a honey & black pepper marinade.  It was tasty.

M had an extra week of leave over me and made me this gorgeous salad with a piece of salmon one night.  Super tasty.
He also got me that gorgeous blue baking dish for Christmas.

Minestrone cravings hit when I returned from my beach trip.  A giant, giant pot followed and was consumed over the next 5 days.

Why can I cook?  Because my Mum can cook.
All hail Mum's AMAZING BEYOND WORDS Cassata.
I really can't tell you how good this is.

 I never shared my Christmas Kitties with you...

Munro did not want the Santa hat.

... nor did Buckley.

I love my kitties.

So far I have cleaned out my room and it's such a blank canvas I am overwhelmed, but it's exciting.  On the subject of blank canvases, I bought a few and some paint.  I am excited about that, too.

So really, tell me how your January's going?
Do you have great plans for 2013?
Remember, it's going to be a great year!  & my healthiest year yet...

Stay well,
Nat x

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

I haven't been around much, trying not to force it, just write as it comes..

As usual, I spent the Christmas/New Years period down at the beach eating too much good food and drinking more than usual (a friend drinks Campari with soda water and orange and has turned me to the same).  It was great to get away and I sincerely hope one day I am writing to you from the beach I long to live by.

But now I am back and back to work on Monday, too.  I've chosen not to be 'depressed' about it.  I have a good job and a lot of great things to be thankful for.  That, and I've decided 2013 is going to be an amazing year after a less than fun 2012.

This year, I have plans to exercise daily, and mostly gently, say Hara Hachi Bu as a reminder befre each meal (taken from this book I read over Summer - I recommend it!), make my back room an amazing personal space I can escape to, do more after work and focus on my home and making it more of one (it's still quite bare).

Do you have plans for 2013?

I hope you had a wonderful holiday break and I look forward to sharing more food with you over the next 12 months.

Stay well,
Nat x