What’s the ‘healthiest’ way to eat MEAT? + a recipe!

I am all for cooking up an ample carcass of protein and gelatinous bone goodness, (cue the smell of lamb shanks, osso buco and roast chicken to name but a few) but in this contemporary state I am in at the moment (you too? Get out!) Sometimes slow cooking meat on the bone isn’t feasible

especially when you get home and you want dinner stat.

This is where my creativity with chicken breasts is put to work – like most Australians (I recall Masterchef stated we ate 45kg per person per YR!) I find chicken massively convenient and easy to impart well-known flavors upon. My main priority when cooking meat in a hurry, is to ensure I cook it without charring it to within an inch of its life.

Barbequing on the whole isn’t the best method of meat consumption every day– as the very nature of ‘charring’ your meat produces cancerous Hydrocarbons and Amines that cause massive oxidative stress on your body. That being said- I will NEVER say no to a good barbecue. How UN- Australian 😉

In order to combat any worries of potential ‘cancer causing’ agents- I get my hands dirty.

Really dirty.

And massage my meat with an awesome marinade.

…marinating not only boosts flavor but also reduces the formation of these Amines and Hydrocarbons – quite significantly.

Interestingly some scientists at the Food Safety Consortium project at Kansas State University have discovered that herbs of the Lamiaceae family (Basil, Mint, Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, and Sage) used in marinades reduced the formation of free radicals rather well.

So when it comes to quick meat dishes in a flash here are

3 RULES

1.  Marinade– Delicious and easiest way to avoid cancer-causing compounds. Some research even shows that marinating for 30 minutes can reduce the formation of these compounds by 90%!

2. Lean Protein Cuts – Cuts of meat with less fat are less likely to drip fat and flare the BBQ flames all over your juicy steak.

3. Don’t burn the S*&t out of your meat – tone it down please.

And with that said – here is my chicken marinade, using turmeric, the humble spice with amazing anti-inflammatory properties and even shown by the Cancer Research Centre in Hawaii to reduce cancer causing Amines by a half!

… for an extra side of delicious, my peanut free satay sauce. One word. YUM.

Chicken Marinade INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 tablespoons tamari

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon fresh grated turmeric

2 garlic cloves, crushed

500gm Chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

METHOD

Mix your marinade ingredients together and rub into your chicken breast

Let stand for 30 minutes or overnight

Heat up your pan with some coconut oil and over low heat, cook your chicken until done!

Satay Sauce INGREDIENTS

2 cm piece fresh ginger, chopped

1 brown onion, chopped

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon macadamia or coconut oil

1 teaspoon good quality curry powder

1 tablespoon tamari sauce

¼ cup almond butter or tahini

1 teaspoon chilli flakes

1 teaspoon stevia (or 2 teaspoons of honey)

1 cup coconut milk

METHOD

Process together the ginger, onion and garlic in a mini food processor.

In a pan on low heat, fry the above mixture in coconut oil for a few minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add curry powder and tamari and stir well before adding almond butter, stevia and chilli flakes.

Add coconut milk to almond sauce and stir thoroughly until the sauce is smooth. Cook on low heat for 2 minutes – remove from heat and serve with your chicken!

Don’t forget some veggies. 😉

 

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Green Protein Bar

Ok ok….so I am a huge fan of whole food and believe I should really just have a nice wholesome piece of protein with a suitably dressed veggie…but sometimes (quite often really) I know I am going to be out and about not sitting down when it comes to meal times. In this circumstance I have go to meals that I prepare on Sunday afternoons and bundle them up in portions ready for the week ahead. The key here is simplicity and ease; beautiful bundles that have limited carbs and sugars with maximum protein hit. Think of these as your go to protein bar sans soy fillers and questionable alcohol sugars.

Ingredients

½ cup macadamia nuts, soaked overnight to soften

1 ½ cups of coconut (organic prefereably…or one without sulphites)

¼ cup unflavoured whey protein powder

4 tbs of chia seeds (preferably soaked overnight)

4 tbs of green powder

½ cup water

½ coconut oil melted (or your desired fat;-)

½ tsp of liquid stevia

Process the nuts, coconut, green powder, and protein powder until you have a gummy powder consistency. Add the soaked chia seeds, drained of any excess water, water and coconut oil until combined. Press the mixture into a small pan and refrigerate. That’s it!

When you remove them cut them into portions or roll into balls.

Out of the fridge these babies are dense. Once I wrap them up in baking paper for work, they tend to go gooey…. which is also delightful!

Note: If you want to create a chocolate element to this dish…simply ad ¼ cup of Cacao powder and eyeball a little more liquid.

Beauty Food for Cellulite

'German Split Pea Soup (Erbsensuppe)' photo (c) 2009, thebittenword.com - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

Everyone wants to rid their cellulite – it is without a doubt the most common query that arises in my inbox.

Without wanting to sound like a television commercial-

‘cellulite happens’

and while there is no pinpoint solution, there are so many mechanics within your body that you can support in order to even out your skin tone down there.  Seriously.

Firstly, cellulite does not occur simply from excess fat – I know of many a skinny girl who is covered in the stuff.

Celullite is

– Hormonal (too much estrogen)

– Genetic (dam)

– Lack of connective tissue (food to the rescue)

And with many people taught to choose skinless and boneless meat cuts for fear of animal fat there is little wonder that they will ever develop the connective tissue they desire.

Collagen-rich bone broth will give your skin the equipment that it needs to help itself. This is why I love a good osso buco, lamb shank stew or bowl of authentic chicken soup. Anything where you add animal joints to a meal will increase the collagen content – and boy does it taste nice too!

Gelatin rich bones are fantastic for boosting your ow collagen. Gelatin, essentially the cooked form of collagen, is also a much cheaper form of botox if you were thinking of going down that route…

Traditionally diets were filled with gelatin, as most people knew the importance of stewing a whole joint of meat in order to extract the full array of minerals and amino acids from the meal (and also to prevent wastage!). Today, we remove all the ‘offending’ bones, meaning we miss out on integral nutrients, nutrients that help to pacify inflammation – it is little wonder why we always get sick!

Now while it is all very well to make your own bone broth and wack it into your diet- why not incorporate the bone into a recipe?

Below is my recipe for sexy skin:

a gelatinous, creamy soup that melts in your mouth..perfect for these colder winter nights.

Cauliflower & Ham Hock Soup

Serves:

4-6

Ingredients:

1 onion, sliced

1 Head of Cauliflower roughly chopped

1 Litre (4 cups) water (can add more if you want a thinner soup)

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 sprig of fresh thyme

1 ham hock

2 carrots, diced

1 cup sliced celery

Celtic sea salt to taste

cracked black pepper to serve

Method:

  1. Put the onions, water, pepper and thyme into a large saucepan.
  2. Add the ham bone, bring slowly to the boil, reduce heat and simmer half-covered for an hour.
  3. Add the carrots celery, cauliflower and cook for another hour.
  4. Remove thyme and discard.
  5. Take out the ham bone, cut all meat from the bone removing any skin, shred the meat up.
  6. Allow the soup to cool and with a barmix, blend the soup until creamy.
  7.  Return all the meat back to the soup. Prior to serving add a dash of salt and cracked black pepper.

If you let this cool and let it sit in the fridge- the next day you may notice that your soup has turned to jelly.

That’s gelatin.

That’s what you want.

Rest assured once you heat it up- the soup will melt back into a creamy consistency.

And on a plus side- this soup is excellent to transport to work because you are guaranteed it won’t leak into your handbag. 😉

Avocado Thin Mints

Grain Free Raw Vegan Chocolate Thin Mints. Peppermint Avocado

I am obsessed with making raw chocolate.

It is so unbelievably easy to master and furthermore- it means I have ultimate control over the ingredients I put into my bite size morsels.

I LOVE quality ingredients –

and too often most ‘low sugar’ chocolates are filled with malitol, a type of sugar alcohol from the polyol family. Those suffering from IBS often find that these exacerbate bloating, gas and diarrhea. And while a little of it is OK – over the long term, I think consuming anything that makes your stomach bulge is never  good thing! (And I think most would agree).

In its most base form my RAW CHOCOLATE has 3 ingredients

1. Coconut Oil

2. Raw Cacao Powder

3. Stevia to taste

That’s it. Melt oil, stir in cacao, stir in stevia, whack in fridge, let set and remove.

Cacao powder is a particularly miraculous source of magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant and mood stabiliser – no wonder we turn to it in times of stress 😉

With the array of ‘super foods’ out there, it is easy to get a little overwhelmed. I personally buy Cacao on a frequent basis -research has shown that the antioxidants in cacao are highly stable and easily available to our human metabolism and

with nearly 4 times the amount of antioxidants as Goji Berries, and topping the ORAC scale, 

cacao’s ability to combat free radical tissue damage is impressive.

Finally, out of most the super foods I find Cacao inexpensive, with a little going a long way.

With this basic recipe in mind, I’ve been trying to re-create tastes and textures of former chocolate indulgences that I now struggle to digest.

Hand in hand with digestion issues goes an innate desire to consume foods that really feel settled in the stomach – and not just settle for second best.

Which is why I have managed to create a recipe that allows me to indulge in my love for chocolate and fresh produce.

Why not I say!

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Thin Mints with a Twist

Ingredients

¼ cup raw organic cacao powder

¼ cup organic coconut oil

1 tsp of liquid stevia (or to taste)

1 avocado

1 tsp of liquid stevia

1-2 drops of peppermint oil

Method 

1. Over a pot of simmering (not boiling) water, place a heatproof mixing bowl over the top. Add your cacao powder and coconut oil and melt.

2. Add in stevia and remove from heat.

3. Spoon dessert spoons into patty pans – leaving half the mixture in the bowl.

4. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes or until frozen.

5. While waiting for your ingredients to freeze, grab your avocado and mash the flesh with the peppermint oil and stevia. Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking.

6. Remove the frozen chocolate. Place small dollops of your avocado mixture on top of the frozen chocolate mixture.

7. With the remaining chocolate (you may need to re-melt), spoon a final layer on top of the avocado, ensuring the avocado is sealed from view.

8. Place in the freezer and allow to set.

Remove – Eat- Enjoy.

X

Pumpkin Hazelnut Crackers

'Raw Flax 01' photo (c) 2011, innacoz - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

I love a good grazing session, as much as the next person – unfortunately, I don’t think grazing is really great for those with delicate digestive systems which is why I try not to bring things into the house that will encourage grazing. It is best to leave temptation at the door to prevent my eager eyes getting the better of me.

Yes…will power is evasive at the best of times and when there is a block of dark chocolate or jar of almond butter in my way these can get the better of me.

Despite this conundrum, I do appreciate that snacks in all their shapes and sizes are hard to avoid – especially when it comes to socialising and family get togethers, which is why I always advocate bringing your own lovingly prepared creations to the table to ensure that there are tasty and nutritious options for you to eat and to avoid you looking somewhat socially inept. Tis true, but not eating can appear to be an anti-social behaviour among people, that and not drinking. But that’s a whole other article.

Which is why today I bring you the best ‘cracker’ since the Sakata. It has a sneaky vegetable in it, healthy fats and packs an awesome taste punch!

Ready to Mix and Bake?

 

Pumpkin Hazelnut Crackers

1/2 cup grated raw pumpkin

2 eggs

3 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons coconut flour

2 tablespoons hazelnut meal

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

  1. Grab all your ingredients and stick them in your best blender – blend well into a smooth batter.
  2. On a lined baking tray, spread a thin layer of batter.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes
  4. Remove from oven, cut into nice uniform squares (well as uniform as you can!)
  5. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes until the crackers are crispy.
  6. Sprinkle with a little more Celtic Sea Salt and then serve!

(should get about 20 crackers…and if they look all out of whack and resemble hexagons instead of rectangles…remember rustic is de rigueur)

Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins

'Toblerone Muffins' photo (c) 2010, jamieanne - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

As you can see, I have a preoccupation with creating protein snacks.

I find that I am on the run a lot and HATE taking pre-prepared food that requires a knife and fork. While a lot of people would debate that my desire to use raw protein powders, kind of goes against the whole ‘whole nutrition’ thing, I see a good quality protein powder as added insurance that my body gets enough protein, since I weight train on a fairly consistent basis.

I am also aware of the realities of most store bought snacks and believe these to be the lesser of two evils for the every day on-the-go girl/guy.

So yes- while real food would be a beautiful slow roast piece of lamb, served on a bed of wilted greens- I am quite sure no one has the capacity at work to bring in haute cuisine Monday-Friday.

Plus I like to bake. 

A good protein powder is super easy to digest, doesn’t leave you bloated and a has a great amino acid profile to ensure your body can easily escort all those nasty city consumed toxins we receive on a daily basis.

That’s right – in order to get toxins out of your body you need amino acids. And where are amino acids? They are in protein.

So what are you waiting for? Get back in the kitchen and start making a mess.

x 

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 Chocolate Hazelnut Protein Muffins

Makes 8 muffins

Ingredients

½ cup of Chocolate Sprouted Brown Rice Protein Powder

1/3 cup of Pumpkin Puree

1 cup of Hazlenut Meal

¼ cup cocoa powder

2 tsp of baking powder

pinch of salt

4 egg whites

1 1/2 cups of Almond Milk

1 tsp of Liquid stevia

Instructions

Grease and line 8 muffin tins.

Preheat the oven to 180

In one bowl, place all your dry ingredients together and mix well.

An another bowl, add all your wet ingredients and give them a light whisk

Combine the two together and stir gently

Divide the mixture between eight muffin molds.

Bake for 30 minutes or until risen and golden.

Remove and cool on your bench top.

Wrap up into individual serves and enjoy at work or play!

Health to Glow Episode 2

Want to impress everyone with Homemade mayonnaise, without all the weird additives?

Watch the second episode of Health to Glow to find out how!

Yum..goes excellent with a bit of Wild Atlantic Salmon or on your work day salad.

In fact- a little goes a long way, and if you use it for your weekday lunch box salad, you can guarantee your dressing won’t leak throughout your bag! Bonus, I say.

Hope you guys enjoy the video, Mel and I had a ball making it…

– I just love the look of intense concentration on my face! 😉

Feel free to share it with loved ones..hey, they might even make some for you it’s that easy!

Have a great Monday,

Holly x

Sensational Swede Soup

Photo Credit: pin add

I’ve been making a point of buying one new veg a week at the Farmers Market and working out

a) what the hell it is &

b) how on earth does one eat it (so it is delicious and not completely reminiscent of frozen carrots and overcooked green beans)

This has proven rather fun (oh the small things) and a challenge that has yielded some impressive results.

This swede soup has been one of them

…to the point where Swede’s are now a staple on my shopping list next to broccoli!

Swede’s, in my opinion, are the new ‘low carb’ cauliflower replacement. For all those paleoified low carbers, delving into their cauliflower crust pizza or cauliflower rice – may I suggest you have a peek at the simple swede?

Despite what looks like a discoloured potato, the Swede is actually part of the brassica family (hello broccoli, cabbage, kale etc)..which means despite it’s somewhat starchy texture –

it is significantly lacking in starch and carbs.

The perfect lower carb antitdote to creamy potato soup, which although is heavenly, can be quite carb laden and not really necessary when…

you have been sitting on your butt all day only to get up and down to traverse the distance between your couch and the fridge. 

The swede also contains a nice wallop of vitamin c – with 100g of the stuff containing 25mg of Vitamin c, 42% of the daily recommended dose.

The taste? It does have a slight (and I mean slight) bitter taste that is easily quashed with a bucketload of spices, herbs or a good tablespoon of butter, should you choose to mash it. And excellent mash it makes indeed!

For me?

I like a nice bowl of soup that fills me up without filling me out. 

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Ingredients: 

1 brown onion

2 tbs macadamia oil

2 cloves of garlic

2 tsp of ground coriander

2 tsp of cumin

2 tsp of mild curry powder

1 tsp of turmeric

1 tsp of dried ginger

Dash of dried chilli (I probably use a heaping tsp but I am a little more hardcore than the average)

4 Swedes (peeled and cut into smaller pieces)

Celtic Sea Salt

2-3 cups of Vegetable Stock or Chicken Stock . (See note)

Method:

1. Heat Oil in large pot and saute onion until translucent.

2. Add the garlic and stir until aromatic, then add the spices and let fry for a minute until aromatic.

3. Add the stock and the swedes and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until swedes are tender.

4. With a barmix blender stick, puree the soup until thick and creamy.

Serve straight away or ladle into pyrex and freeze . This is a perfect ‘meal in a moment’ on those weeknights where you have forgotten to plan ahead – remove straight from the freezer and defrost in your casserole dish on a low heat. Easy!

Note: Try to ensure your stock is clean and without any added unusual nasties. Homemade is obviously preferable – but we can’t always be domestic goddesses! As for the amount of stock, choose your weapon and go with how you prefer soup. Like a more broth like soup? Add more stock. Like it thick and creamy? Less.

– you get the picture… 

Photo Credit: joyosity

Creamy Curry Chicken Salad

Photo Credit: Natalie Maynor

I am not a massive fan of the stringy, bitter green salads somewhat in vogue at most cafes in Sydney now- a- days.

I beg to differ when I see those urban hipsters, munching on raw, bitter greens and waxing lyrical about how good bitter foods are for your digestion. Ok – so I can not contest that bitter foods stimulate your digestive juices, but I am quite sure my digestion screams to a massive halt if I dare to digest shoots and leaves en masse.

Which is why you won’t see me sparingly dressing a bunch of dandelion leaves and chickweed and convincing you its the latest taste sensation.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE salads – but  I need to eat ones that love me back. This means, salads, properly dressed in a good quality fat to help me assimilate all its nutrients. In fact in a recent study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fats were demonstrated to be necessary for the absorption of nutrients from fruits and vegetables. Those poor ‘lab rats’ who were fed fat free salad dressings, absorbed far less of the phytonutrients and vitamins than their full fat consumers.

Move over vinegar, come hither Mr. E.V.O.O.

I haven’t always loved a good creamy salad dressing. Often they were redolent with cheese ( I really can’t stand the stuff – childhood phobia that I can’t grow out of) and looking at the ones on offer in the supermarket most are filled to the brim with canola oil, a processed oil, high in pro-inflammatory omega-6’s and laced with too much sugar and corn thickeners or gums. It wasn’t until I mastered the simple art of home made mayo, that I relished the creamy taste sensation that is a good quality whole egg accompaniment.

With my own home made mayo on hand, I know I can assemble this simple chicken dish in a flash. This is seriously easy, super nutritious and can be made from a random assortment of goods in your fridge. I usually poach some chicken breasts at the beginning of the week, shred them up and have these on hand to throw into a salad come the lunch hour. Feel free to experiment with different vegggies, I have added some steamed fennel before, left over bits of broccoli, macadamias for crunch

…whatever floats your boat.

Once again- this is more an assembly of food rather than a meal laboured over for hours- after all- that is what satisfyingly, simple and healthy food should be, right?

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Ingredients

Basic Salad Elements

120g of Chicken breast, poached and shredded

1/2 cup chopped celery

Handful of butter leaf lettuce or cos lettuce

Dressing

1 tbs of homemade mayonnaise

1 tbs of greek yoghurt

1/2 tsp of liquid stevia

Scant tsp of good quality mild curry powder (optional but good for a variation and adds a lovely colour!)

Method

Place all your salad ingredients in your serving bowl of choice.

In a separate cup, add your dressing ingredients and whisk around with a fork until mixed well

Add a small dash of hot water to the dressing in order to create a good runny consistency. Only a little please!

Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients, toss to amalgamate all the flavours and textures.

Serve immediately.

..how easy was that!?

This dressing alone is so good that I usually make a large batch of it at the beginning of the week – in fact it was so good that my mum- a woman of few words- rang me up to rave about the left over dressing I had kept in her fridge after mothers day. According to Mum it is lovely over some Roast beef!

So tell me – what’s your favourite Salad assembly?