foxyolive

Journey to the best health of my life (yes, the journey includes olives)


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Sweet potato hash with eggs

When I first saw this Whole30 friendly recipe I knew that one day I would definitely make it!  I finally made it yesterday and it was so good.  I’m 6 days into my Whole30 and I’m doing great. Yesterday I definitely felt the need for more carbs though.  I made this delicious meal which was tasty and satisfying.  I had it with a big salad on the side.

Ingredients

1/2 sweet potato
1 large pinch of Himalayan sea salt
A few shakes of a mixed herb powder
1 tablespoon of fresh crushed garlic
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 egg (if you want)

Peel the sweet potato and shred it.  If you have a food processor then you can follow what nom nom paleo did.  If you don’t then you can use a spiralizer like I did.  It was a bit tricky, but once I got the hang of it the spiralizer worked great!  Put the shredded sweet potato into a mixing bowl and add the salt, herbs and garlic.  Use your hands to mix it up.  Feel free to change it up for your taste buds.  You can add pepper, chili flakes and various other herbs.  Melt the coconut oil in a pan and add your shredded yam.  I cooked it with the lid on for a few minutes until I could see the potato browning on the bottom layer.   On the side make an egg (I always use coconut oil to cook my eggs).  Eat while hot!

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Paleo carrot soup (using Vitamix)

I have been wanting to make soup for a really long time. I finally got around to it. The recipe is so simple – anyone can do it! I used elana’s pantry’s recipe as a base.

Ingredients

1lb of carrots
1 medium sized apple
1 medium sized onion
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 can of coconut milk (I used a 560ml can)

Directions

I followed a very similar process to Elana. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan and chop the onion, carrots and apple into large chunks. Saute the onion, carrots and apple in coconut oil until tender. It took about 15 minutes for me to do this on medium heat. Add ginger to the saucepan and stir in. Put this mixture into your Vitamix and add the coconut milk. Puree the mixture.  I transferred the pureed mixture back to the saucepan and brought to boil.

I did not use chicken stock or water as per Elana’s recipe. Believe it or not I completely missed reading that line! My soup was very thick (tasty, but thick). Next time I’ll be adding water. I do not drink orange juice (google it – you might stop drinking it too!) and did not have any oranges to make my own juice so skipped using this too. Next time I’ll add homemade orange juice and see what happens.  I’ll also add some crunchy veggies like broccoli or celery.  I think it would really compliment the soup.

The soup is filling.  The recipe made about 5 cups of soup and lasted us a couple of days.  Enjoy!


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Cauliflower mash

I love mashed potatoes. It’s one of those foods that I can’t get enough of once I start. However, I eat limited potatoes these days. Also, I need to bring more vegetables into my diet. What better way to do that than by substituting potatoes with cauliflower, but still getting the feel of mash potato in the end?!

This recipe is inspired by Dianne Sanfilippo of balancedbites.com, and her loaded cauliflower mash recipe can be found here.  It was so good that I thought I was eating mashed potatoes!

Ingredients

1 large head of cauliflower
1/2 red onion
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Handful of fresh parsley
Pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Chop the cauliflower into 2 inch pieces (after removing the leaves).  Boil water (I used about 1 inch) and steam, covered, until cauliflower softens.  It took about 12 minutes for me.  This was the first time I was steaming vegetables and had to look up how you do it.  I ended up buying and using this – it was so easy!

While the cauliflower is steaming, prep all the other ingredients.  I don’t have a food processor so used my Vitamix.  I put the half onion in my Vitamix and turned it on.  It chopped/minced the onion in less than 5 seconds.  Heat the onions on low heat until it’s softened (use a bit of the coconut oil if needed).

Place the cooked onions, 1/4 cup of chicken broth, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, handful of parsely and pinch of Himalayan sea salt into the Vitamix.  Mix until the parsley has been chopped and the mixture has blended together.  Drain the cauliflower and add into the Vitamix (with the blended ingredients).  Mix everything together.  Use the Vitamix Tamper to stir.  Scoop out and serve!

Tips

I love parsley so I added a lot.  Add according to your taste.  I also love cilantro – I’ll make sure I have some on hand next time.  Diane added bacon and mushrooms too which I’m sure would taste fantastic.  I’m a big onion fan and there wasn’t enough for me – I”ll be adding more next time.

This recipe has great creamy texture and you can change ingredients every time you make it.  It’s a great staple, and it’s an awesome way to sneak in some veggies.


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Crunchy bites

Bites

It has been a while since I’ve done a recipe. So here’s a really quick one that I do all the time!

I have been making this delicious quick snack for years. It is one of those recipes that is never quite the same because the ingredients change depending on what’s in my cupboards. However, that is a good thing since I am sure you can adjust the recipe to you taste!

Ingredients
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seed
1/2 cup pumpkin seed
1/4 cup hemp seed
1/4 cup flax-seed
1/4 cup honey
Handful shredded coconut (for sprinkling on top)
Pecans (to decorate)

Lightly brown the sliced almonds on a low heat (I like to use a wok to make this as I find it easier to mix and flip around the nuts/seeds). Mix in the pumpkin and sunflower seeds followed by the honey. Once the almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds have been coated by the honey, mix in the hemp and flax-seed. Lay the mixture onto a baking tray lined with waxing paper. Use another sheet of waxing paper to flatten out the mixture, and then remove the top sheet. I like to leave it about 1/2cm thick, but you can make it thinner if you wish. Sprinkle with shredded coconut.

Take a knife or pizza slicer and cut the flattened mixture into squares. This mixture makes about 25 squares, but it all depends on the thickness and size of each square. You can decorate each piece with pecans as I did. Place the tray into the fridge to harden for approximately 20 minutes. It’s now ready to eat! Crunchy bites will store in the fridge for weeks and is perfect for a quick ‘pick me up’ snack. I store them in air-sealed glass containers once the bites have hardened.

Tips
Ingredients are extremely variable and the quantity and type of nuts/seeds will dictate how much honey you will require. I find that if I use too much honey it turns out too sweet and clumpy. If I don’t use enough honey then it doesn’t hold together well. It will probably be a case of trial and error to find the right consistency for you. Once you’ve made this a few times you’ll know what any mix should feel like at the right consistency.

I don’t think it matters too much when you mix in the honey. I tend to mix it in after the bigger items and then throw in the smaller items. That works for me. You can substitute the honey, but you would need something that would harden in the fridge to produce the same results. If you like the sweet/salt mix you could throw some salt in there too. Be adventurous!


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Asparagus – grilled and baked

Bakes asapragus

Baked asparagus

I recently had friends come over and was stuck on what to make as a side dish.  To be honest, I don’t remember ever eating asparagus and I didn’t even know where to start. However, I had a quick chat with a few colleagues and realized that this would probably be an easy side dish to make. I’m happy to say that I’ve found a new yummy nutritious addition to my veggie list.

Ingredients
24 sticks of asparagus
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
Himalayan sea salt – to taste
Freshly ground pepper – to taste
Parmesan cheese – to taste

Grilled
Snap off the ends of the asparagus. There is a natural breaking point – just use your hands and snap away (about 1 inch will come off). Discard the ends. I tossed all the ingredients in mixing bowl about 2 hours before it went on the grill and stored it in the fridge. You don’t have to marinate in advance, but I read somewhere online that it will give a fuller flavor. The only reason I did it beforehand was so there would be less to do once the guests arrived – I’m not sure if it made a difference to the final outcome. I used a pinch of salt and pepper; however, this totally depends on your preference. I wasn’t sure about adding the vinegar, but gave it a shot.

Lay the asparagus in a single layer on the grill. Leave for 2 to 3 mins and roll over. Barbeque it for another 2 to 3 minutes and remove – serve immediately. You want it so they are crunchy – I’ve been told they do not taste good mushy. You will notice that they turn a beautiful bright green color. They tasted yummy so I have no complaints! Our friends enjoyed the dish too – I even got an ‘almost perfect’ comment!

Baked
I’ve read that you can also bake or steam them. So the following day I baked the leftover asparagus. I tossed the asparagus in the mixing bowl as before, but this time I didn’t store them in the fridge at all – I put them straight on a baking sheet. I sprinkled some parmesan cheese (I completely forgot to do this on grill – you can sprinkle some just before you take them off).

I was not sure what temperature to preheat the oven too. Recipes online said anywhere between 375 degrees and 500 degrees. My oven was already preheated to 375 degrees so I thought I would just go with that. I was also not sure about the time. I think it depends on the thickness of the asparagus, and also what texture you enjoy. Online the time range from 5 minutes to 20 minutes. I didn’t want to overcook them so I put them in for 4.5 and half minutes, rolled them over and put them back in for another 4.5 minutes. They were perfectly done when they came out. The parmesan was a nice change from the night before. In fact, my husband enjoyed them more. You can even squeeze some lemon on top and I’m sure you can vary it easily by using other spices that you may like.

Conclusion
Both times were equally delicious and so easy to make – I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this veggie for so long!


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Gluten free crackers

Gluten free crackers

It is near impossible for me to find delicious sugar free crackers (and I won’t eat sugar substitutes). Even when I have found sugar free crackers they tend to have non natural ingredients that I would like to eat less of whenever possible. A friend passed this recipe to me. They are so easy to make and so tasty! I can also see so many variations that can come from this recipe.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup ground flax seed meal
4 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and knead until a dough forms. My dough was soft and sticky. I’m not sure if it was meant to be this way. I substituted soy milk (original recipe my friend gave) with almond milk so this may have done it. Either way the final product was really tasty. Place the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Take the dough from the fridge and divide it (I chose to divide it into 4 sections). Place one section between two pieces of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to make the dough thin and into a paper-like sheet. My dough was still quite soft so this was easy for me to do. Before I rolled out my dough I made sure the parchment paper matched the size of my baking tray. Peel off one sheet of parchment paper and lay the other sheet with the dough in the baking tray. With a pizza cutter or knife slice up the dough into squares. Repeat with other sections. I had some leftover dough which I rolled into balls and baked too.

Place the trays in the oven and cook for 12 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Both sides will turn a lovely golden brown colour. My dough was very thin so if your dough is rolled out thicker then it may take a few more minutes to cook. Keep an eye on these every few minutes as they burn easily!

Tips
The chia seeds are optional, but they did add a really great flavour (not to mention the nutritional value). You can also add onion powder, oregano, cinnamon or even cayenne pepper. The possibilities are endless. If you’re baking with kids you could use cookie cutters to make some fun shapes. The crackers were tasty on their own, but I’m sure they would go well with many kinds of dips.

Be warned:
these crackers are just as addictive as the ones out the box – once you start it’s extremely hard to stop. Sometimes you just know when a recipe is going to become a regular in your home and this one will be visiting me often!


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Chicken curry

Chicken Curry

This dish is a tasty favourite of mine. It’s so quick for me to do – it’s almost a question of throwing it in the pot and waiting for it to cook! I learnt this from a family friend so every time I make this recipe it is slightly different since quantities are not exact. I picked up this recipe by hearing instructions along the lines of: a pinch of this, and a pinch of that, a larger amount of this and a smaller amount of that. This time that I made it I consciously measured everything. However, do keep in mind that all the ingredients can be adjusted to your taste and these are just guidelines.

Ingredients
5 large chicken breast (chopped into cubes)
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 large onion (chopped)
3 cups chopped tomatoes
3 heaped teaspoons coriander/cumin (powder)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon tumeric (powder)
1 tablespoon crushed garlic and ginger
A pinch of Himalayan sea salt

In a large pot pour in the oil. Heat it slightly and then add the onions. Keep it on a low heat. Once the onions
have browned add the tomatoes followed by your spices (coriander/cumin, garam masala, tumeric powder, garlic/ginger
and salt). Mix these and the onions well with the tomatoes. Then add your main ingredient, chicken! Mix in the chicken so the tomato/onion sauce coats every piece. Keep on a low/medium heat to cook. It depends on the size of you chicken cubes, but it usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes to fully cook. Be sure to check the chicken is fully cooked before serving!

Tips
Keep an eye on the curry while it’s cooking and if you find it too dry then add some water into the mix – add water little by little so there is no chance it will turn into ‘water chicken’ (been there done that). I tend not to add the full quantity of all the spices in the beginning. I do a taste test towards the end of the cooking time and if I feel it needs some extra ingredient then I add it in. So, this time around I had only added 2 heaped teaspoons of coriander/cumin first and then added the third one later. I like my food fairly mild so this recipe isn’t spicy. If you like it spicy then feel free to experiment – throw in some extra garam masala, or even add some red chilli. This recipe is so simple when you know how, but it’s trial and error to find a taste to match what you like since the flavour comes from all the lovely spices you include.