Category Archives: healthier

Crunchy Polenta Fingers- Chris’ Dips

I love snacking, and I’m always trying to come up with quick and easy foods to create. Especially vegan and vegetarian dishes that are portable and easy to eat on the run.

Polenta is such a versatile food which can be made sweet or savoury.  It can be used to make ‘fries’ or sweetened to make desserts.

For these Polenta snacks I used pre-firmed Polenta which can be purchased in the pasta section of your local supermarket.

You will need:

Half a polenta slab cut into fingers
1/2 container Chris’ Spiced Roasted Carrot and Turmeric Dip
3/4 cup Gluten Free bread crumbs

Slather each finger in the dip- I used a spoon to make this easier and then dunk them in the bread crumbs so they are completely covered.

Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Bake in a fan forced oven at 180 degrees for 20 mins to half an hour until the fingers are browned.

Leave to cool once cooked and then enjoy them dipped into more of Chris’ Dip or a plain Greek yoghurt. 

I made these gluten free to tie in with the dip and I also had a friend coming over who was gluten intolerant.
These would work well with quinoa instead of the breadcrumbs or even a cheese mixed in with the breadcrumbs.

These can be enjoyed warmed or cold.  For pre-heating do this in an oven as a microwave will leave them soggy.

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Ritchie’s Supa IGA- Rowville

If you live in the area of Knox, or you’re not too far away head over to Wellington Village. This little supermarket is taking a huge, positive step into healthy living and better food alternatives.

If you’re leading a Gluten Free lifestyle, Vegan, Raw or just conscious of what you’re eating definitely make the drive to IGA.

I lost count of the vast variety of brands stocked, and American brands such as Mary’s Gone Crackers and Amy’s are readily available.
Aussie brands such as Mayver’s and Pana Chocolate cover the walls. 
Ritchie’s new Healthy Living section is, by no means small. There is a whole section of the supermarket full of organic and gluten free items. There’s even a fridge and freezer section dedicated to coconut yoghurts, almond milks and a full selection of frozen goods.

The confectionary isle has Sweet William, Greens, the before mentioned Pana Chocolate and Alter Ego bars.
If you’re focused on a Gluten Free life there’s plenty to choose from- pastas, sauces and spreads.

IGA has a boat load of Orgran products along with a wonderful range of Vegan items- everything from frozen goods, yoghurts, chocolates and cheeses.

There’s also plenty of juices and other beverages to choose from, including cold, ready to go drinks.

I am very impressed with the displays and the huge variety of brands. The prices are very good too. It’s great to see a company with such buying power making the healthier lifestyle easier to achieve & products simple to locate. 

If it’s tea you’re after there’s a massive isle dedicated to just that, trust me there’s plenty to chose from! The staff are very helpful too, it was great to not have them shy away from uncommon products.

Beans, legumes and canned goods litter the shelves, with a tiny 99c on them, what a bargain!

Ritchie’s Supa IGA in Wellington Villiage will now be my new shopping destination, rather than having to flit from one supermarket to another, then to a healthfood store and then online.
Keep up the excellent work IGA, hopefully other supermarkets will follow your lead!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

These little devils are super sweet and very moist.  Perfect for those with a sweet tooth that are watching their calories but aren’t too concerned about a naughty treat every now and then.

You Will Need-

1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 cup Natvia for Baking
1/4 cup Natvia Drinking Chocolate
1/2 cup dairy free chocolate chips
4 eggs/*egg replacer
120g softened Nuttlex
1 tbsp. bi carb soda

Combine the flour and bi carb in a bowl.  In a separate bowl whisk the butter, both Natvia’s, and eggs.
Once mixed slowly add the flour mix and then stir in the chocolate chips.

Spoon small piles of the mix onto lined baking pans and bake in a pre heated oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.
You can flatten out the cookies with a fork before baking depending on how much you would like the cookies to spread.

You will find the cookies will bake almost like mini cakes with fudgy centres.

One cooked leave on a wire rack to cool and harden.

These are super yummy and very sweet.  Perfect with ice cream or dipped in a warm drink.

This recipes makes 20 cookies.

Each cookie contains 63 calories, 4g fat, 3.8g carbs & 1.9g protein

*Using egg replacer makes these cookies vegan.

15 Kilo Weightloss

So I’m nearly there.

I’ve lost 15.2 kilos with 4.8 kilos to go to reach my weightloss goal.
It wasn’t easy. But it was at least achieveable & I didn’t need to sweat it up at the gym or perform a zillion crunches.
I just looked at the situation logically.
How does my body feel and/or react to certain foods. And what exercise do I actually enjoy?
With the aid of a FitBit I was able to track my calorie burn progress on a daily basis & work out my intake from there…
It’s a simple equation that makes sense but acting upon it & sticking with it is the challenge.
For example- 
Burn more calories than ingested.
I think the downfall to this is the food choices. A food may be low in calories, but is it nutritionally beneficial?
Is it going to be satisfying?
Is it going to be enjoyable to eat?

 

Being creative with foods & trying new meals can make eating more of an event than something that needs to be done.
My purposeful exercise was a minimum of a one hour walk per week. Sometimes I couldn’t do this but I planned my times carefully and tried to attempt this a couple of times a week. Nothing strenuous or involved, an almost leisurely stroll listening to some upbeat tunes.
I also aimed for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day- easy when working in retail, but was actually easier than I first though when on my days off.
I also had a 2,000 calorie burn per day.
All this was measured using a FitBit that I religiously wore daily. It’s a fantastic, high tech pedometer which also tracks sleep patterns, weightloss & stairs climbed.
Foods that were high on my priority list were fresh fruits & vegetables. When I couldn’t purchase something in particular- tinned was more than suitable. I made a lot of salads, and ‘tasting plates’- a bit of this & a bit of that, anything from croutons to salmon to dip to prawns. 
I ignored Fat Free & Diet labelling & instead actually read the nutritional information, focusing on the calories, fat & salt & sugar. 
Calories are a measurement of energy, literally instructing the buyer on how many calories to burn to create obsolete calories.
Desserts & sweets were still on the list & I just came up with better, healthier versions of recipes & favourites.
Substituting ingredients for others, & making smaller portions meant feeling satiated and also successful.
I weighed weekly to keep tabs on my progress but mainly used my clothes & general feelings of wellness to judge how I was progressing.
Breads & pasta made me feel heavy & bloated so rather than cutting these foods out I had smaller portions & allowed them a couple of times a week. Bloating & general ‘blah’ disappeared & whether it’s a sensitivity or intolerance I felt much more in control & balanced.
After about six months my skin was better, bloating & hunger was under control & my clothes were loose!
I was fitting into pre pregnancy & pre any where close to pregnancy clothing. 
My meals are now lighter- in calories, fat & salt, much more nutritionally balanced & made from scratch. Plus cup cakes, slices & brownies are still on the menu.
I’m still focusing on my steps & burning calories but it’s become second nature & counting calories are not such a strict priority.

I’ve been enjoying, vegan & vegetarian meals, the occasional meat dish, lots of seafood & many varieties of fruits & vegetables. I’m hoping to lose a small amount more & really focus on being nutritionally balanced, fad-free & comfortable when eating foods & not worrying about bloating or lethargy. 

  

24 Days of Salad: Cranberry & Feta

So this salad was meant to be made with spinach but I only realised this as I tossed the last of the spinach to the guinea pigs. 

I scrounged up some coleslaw and added a handful of low fat feta diced, a handful of dried cranberries & two sliced spring onions. I drizzled some balsamic vinegar over the top too.
It combines sweet and salty flavours and perfect as a light meal. Next time I would as some raw almonds too.

Healthier Option Lollies

These took no time to make but I’m still not 100% sold on the results. 

Wee Man in the other hand could not get enough of them.

You will need 6 oranges, juiced, 2 large carrots, juiced. About 400ml in total.

Heat a quarter of the juices in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of rice malt syrup & 3 tablespoons of gelatine of your choice. I used 
Vege Set as it’s Vegetarian.

Using a whisk blend mixture until all gelatine & syrup had dissolved, do not boil. Return the heated mix back to the rest of the juice & briskly mix.
Pour the juice into flat trays or dishes. Keep it 1-2 centimetres thick. I used regular silver serving trays. 
Chill in the fridge for about 2-3 hours.
Then remove & use a knife to cut into squares or use a cookie cutter. I used the tip of my icing set to create circles.
These are about 1.5 calories each, no fat, contain fruit & vegetable. I made about 200 piece from this recipe.