Honeymoon Acai Bowl

Since our honeymoon in Hawaii, my husband and I have been eager to recreate the infamous acai (pronounced “ah-sah-EE”) bowl that’s been popping up on trendy breakfast menus around Melbourne. Many versions of the acai bowl I have tried have been too sweet and it’s taken me a while to get this recipe right.

The once humble, but absolutely delicious acai berry originates from Central and South America. Some studies have shown that the berry has a higher concentration of antioxidants when compared with other berries, therefore making it’s claim to superfood stardom, but I should note that the research on the health benefits of the acai berry is limited and a variety of fruits and vegetables found at your local green grocer are just as effective and more economical.

An acai bowl addiction can become an expensive one (approximately $9.50 per 400g of frozen puree packs), so it’s not something we would make every morning for breakfast. Having said that, it is a wonderful weekend treat that we love to reminisce over.

A hui hou – Until we meet again.

 

Love Wifey xx

 

Honeymoon Acai Bowl

 

Ingredients

2 x 100g Acai berry frozen puree packs (I use Amazonia, they are usually found in the frozen section of gourmet food stores and health food stores)

100ml Almond milk or Soy milk

1 handful of frozen berries (I love to use raspberries and blackberries)

1 frozen banana (or fresh – my husband likes it this way)

Fruit (I like to use sliced banana, strawberries or kiwi fruit)

Muesli (I prefer to make my own with seeds and nuts and low in sugar)

Shredded coconut

Flaked almonds

 

Method (Serves 2)

  1. Add the milk, banana, frozen berries and acai packs to your blender and blend until you get a thick consistency.
  2. Divide the mixture into bowls and top with muesli, shredded coconut, flaked almonds and fruit.
  3. Sit back, hang loose and enjoy the flavours of Hawaii!
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Detox Chicken Burgers on a Lettuce Bun

It’s been a few weeks since my last post, moving into a new place plus looking after a bub is definitely a lot to take on, not to mention I started my annual glow detox with my naturopath this week (sometimes I wonder why I do this to myself).

So here I was on Tuesday in the midst of moving house, completely caffeine deprived with a 16 week old who’s possibly started the teething process…YES a whole lot of fun… and can I just say I’m pretty sure husband was really lucky to be interstate for work! Haha! But I made it through the first day and here I am onto the third and no longer caffeine dependent! #winning

After no longer feeling sorry for myself, it was back to the kitchen and time to get really creative! How this detox works is pretty much like an elimination challenge, the gut has a total cleanse. This means no sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine, alcohol or any processed foods (this includes things like salad dressings and sauces etc). It’s just pure clean eating. So you can see where this can be a challenge! Everything needs to be made from scratch, which isn’t such a bad thing! Today I was really craving a delicious burger and a traditional burger contains pretty much everything on my no no list, thus I was forced to improvise.

The following recipe is an open chicken burger on a lettuce “bun”, it’s super easy and something you can make a big batch of in advance and pop in the freezer for quick and easy meals. Enjoy!

Love Wifey xx

 

Detox Chicken Burgers on a Lettuce Bun

Ingredients

Chicken Burger Patties 

500g chicken mince

1/2 onion chopped

1 clove of garlic minced

1 egg

3 tbsp rice crumbs plus extra for coating

1 handful roughly chopped mint

1 handful roughly chopped coriander

1 tsp sweet paprika

1/4 tsp ground chillies

pink Himalayan crystal salt

cracked black pepper

olive oil for frying

 

Lettuce Bun & Salad Topping

cos lettuce leaves (you could use other lettuce if you like, I just love cos lettuce)

handful of baby spinach

1 tomato diced

1 avocado diced

juice of 1 lime

 

Method (Serves 4)

  1. Combine all ingredients listed for the patties and mix well.
  2. Roll the patty mixture into balls (about the size of a golf ball) and then flatten them.
  3. Next begin preparing your lettuce buns and salad. Dice the avocado and tomato and place in a bowl and squeeze over the lime juice toss the salad and set aside.
  4. Separate your lettuce leaves, wash thoroughly and set aside.
  5. Heat some olive oil in a frypan and begin to fry your patties making sure they are cooked through.
  6. First place a lettuce leaf on your plate followed by some spinach, two patties and top with your salad. Bon appetite!

 

 

Moussaka with Cashew Cream Béchamel

What’s that? Moose kaka???

Ok, ok I will stop channelling those hilarious mum jokes! This recipe is one of my favourites. As a child it was a staple dish in our household, Mum would make this recipe layering the delicious meat and vegetable filling (without the tomato passata, as Dad would get reflux from tomatoes) with potatoes. Being a vegetable lover, I decided to give Mum’s delicious recipe a revamp and pack it full of veggies and like a traditional Greek moussaka (as my husband would remind me) top it with a creamy béchamel sauce (well in this case a cashew cream béchamel, a bit more friendly on the tummy!).

Whilst I was making this I was thinking you could hide lots of veggies in the filling if you wanted to really bulk it up with vegetable goodness! Have a play with different types of vegetable layers like kohlrabi, turnips or celeriac! Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed!

Love Wifey xx

 

Moussaka 

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 capsicum, diced

1 large carrot, diced 

1 tbspn of tomato paste

1 tspn coarsely ground black pepper

700g-800g beef mince

2 tsps paprika

pink Himalayan crystal salt to taste

vege-spice to taste

700ml Passata (or you could use tinned crushed tomatoes or ripe tomatoes diced)

1/2 cup brown rice

thinly sliced vegetables for layering (e.g. zucchini, eggplant, sweet potato, potato)

 Cashew Cream Béchamel 

2 cups cashews

1 cup water

juice of 1 lemon

pinch of pink Himalayan crystal salt

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degree celsius.
  2. Soak cashew nuts in a bowl covered with water for at least 1hr.
  3. Slice your layering vegetables (I used sweet potato, zucchini and eggplant) and set aside on a paper towel to dry.
  4. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté onions and garlic until they soften. Then add capsicum and carrots, continue to cook until soft.
  5. Add the tomato paste and season with paprika, salt, pepper and vege-spice. Once the veggies are soft you can use a Bamix to puree, this is a personal choice, I quite like my veggies chunky.
  6. Whilst the vegetables are softening, drain the cashew nuts and place in a food processor with 1 cup of water, lemon juice and salt. Blend until you get a very smooth creamy mixture and set aside.
  7. Add the mince and rice to your veggie mixture and stir until browned. Stir in the passata. Take off the heat.
  8. Place a layer of sliced vegetables (use one type of vegetable at a time) at the bottom of a baking dish, lightly salt and pour some of the filling on top.
  9. Continue to layer the vegetables and filling until you finish with a layer of the filling on top.
  10. Top with the béchamel and cover the baking dish.
  11. Bake for approximately 30-45mins or until the vegetables are just tender.
  12. Remove the cover and bake further allowing the béchamel to brown.
  13. Serve with a side of salad and enjoy!

Got Milk? – Breastfeeding, Boobies & Cookies

Raising your first child as many would know is a great big journey into the unknown. There are of course pre-natal classes that are great at providing you with lots of information regarding health during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding etc and it’s fantastic that we have these resources available. However, it can feel quite overwhelming getting all of this information at a stage where you’re shitting your pants and thinking how am I even going to get through childbirth and why the hell would I need to start thinking about breastfeeding now?

The truth is, I didn’t really give breastfeeding much thought. I had heard from many mums that it wasn’t easy and me being naive thought surely childbirth is harder… Boy, I was wrong. Thankfully, like my birthing experience, I went into breastfeeding with an open mind, “que sera sera” was pretty much my motto and I was determined to give breastfeeding a go for as long as I could and if it didn’t work I was going to accept it and not get upset about it. I’m not sure if it was the circulation of post-natal hormones, but I wasn’t prepared for how upset I would be when I wasn’t able to breastfeed. But looking back I realise that I really didn’t need to be upset. I’m not less of woman or a bad mother just because I couldn’t continue breastfeeding my son. It just wasn’t going to happen for me and unfortunately I was already behind the eight ball before I even started.

There were several factors that prevented me from successfully breastfeeding and they were all out of my control. The first was missing the all important unlimited skin-to-skin contact and the first breastfeed. I was rushed to theatre almost immediately post birth, meaning my son was also immediately introduced to the bottle. I had severe postpartum haemorrhaging which delayed my milk supply from coming through and my son had a mild tongue tie that prevented him from being able to latch on and stay on.

Being determined to give breastfeeding a real go I did plenty of research, used lots of resources and tried LOTS of different things. The hospital was a great support and my advice to all new mums is don’t be afraid to use the resources that are provided to you, because you’re not alone and you don’t have to do it on your own. Breastfeeding is really hard work. A great source of information was the Australian Breastfeeding Association website they have great fact sheets and loads of helpful FAQs like where to hire a breast pump or breastfeeding classes. My local maternal and child healthcare nurses were also extremely helpful and offered great advice and tips. But a real big help for me was attending the breastfeeding clinic at the hospital. I spent a whole day with a lactation consultant to demonstrate how my son was breastfeeding. We tried lots of different tricks and I got lots of helpful hints and advice. The greatest piece of advice I received was to eat lactation cookies (see my recipe below) to help increase my milk supply and they did work! But unfortunately my son’s tongue tie, which we picked up with the maternal child healthcare nurse and lactation consultant, made it  really difficult for him to even latch on.

Whilst waiting to see the paediatrician to review the tongue tie, I decided the best thing to do was to just be relaxed as I could and rather than making every feeding session traumatic for the both of us, I just offered the breast if he was feeling up for it and expressed 8 times a day. This was really tiring and challenging but I persisted  for 2 months and even after snipping his tongue tie, which improved his ability to suck, his interest in feeding from the breast just wasn’t there. The bottle which he had known from the beginning was just far easier than working for it!

I won’t lie I felt really bad and ashamed that I stopped breastfeeding, but how could I continue when I got upset every time? I felt like a big let down and it was at this point I knew I had to stop, it just wasn’t working for me. It took a while for me to convince myself that I wasn’t letting anyone down and I can see now the best decision I made was to stop breastfeeding. A big weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

So to the mums out there who might be sitting there reading this, doing it tough and struggling it out, you’re doing a great job. Remember you’re not alone, use all the resources available to you and talk to someone. Everybody’s experience with breastfeeding is different and keeping your sanity is just as important for you as it is for your baby. But most of all, do what works for you and don’t feel bad about it, you’re already a star in the eyes of your baby.

 

Love Wifey xx

 

Boobie Cookies

The key ingredients in this recipe for aiding milk supply are oats and brewer’s yeast. Oats contain loads of iron which is important in maintaining a healthy milk supply and immune system. Brewer’s yeast also contains loads of iron but also lots of protein and phytoestrogens which is thought to be the main reason why it works so good for increasing milk supply. If you don’t like chocolate chip you can substitute with other flavours such as pistachio and dried cranberries or almonds and incaberries.

 

Ingredients

3 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour

5 tbsp brewer’s yeast

3 tbsp ground flaxseed

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp shredded coconut

1 tsp chia seeds

230g dark chocolate chips

pinch of pink himalayan crystal salt

180g butter

4 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk

1 vanilla bean (split and seeds scraped) or alternatively you can use vanilla bean extract/paste

 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
  2. Mix oats, spelt flour, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, shredded coconut and chia seeds.
  3. In a separate bowl using an electric mixer, begin to beat the butter and coconut oil on a medium speed, then slowly add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the egg, egg yolk  and vanilla until throughly combined.
  5. On a low speed begin to add the dry mixture little by little until combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips to the mixture using a spatula.
  7. Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop balls of mixture and place on the lined baking tray approximately 5cm apart and flatten the balls slightly with your fingers to make more of a disc shape but don’t completely flatten them, you want them to be fairly thick.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.
  9. Allow the cookies to cool and store them in an airtight container.

 

This recipe makes about 20 cookies.

Protein Power Pancakes

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE to cook and right up until the birth of our little baby I was spending my pre-natal days cooking up a storm. As my cooking spree was temporarily put on hold post-baby, you can imagine my excitement when I finally had the energy and opportunity to get back in the kitchen.

Five weeks post-natal and what a beautiful day it had been in Melbourne, the sun was shining and baby was sound asleep after his early morning feed. I felt like it had been eternity since I was feeling semi-normal again and decided it would be a great day to get back into the kitchen. Having woken up with a craving for pancakes but not the guilt that’s associated, I whipped up these babies, ticking all the boxes for a yummy & nutritious breakfast. These not only make a delicious breakfast but they also make a great snack to suppress those mid morning or late afternoon sweet cravings. I often like to make a big batch storing them in an airtight container in the fridge and then popping them in the toaster when I’m ready to eat! There are a few flavour variations you can try but I am a plain Jane and love vanilla!

So without further ado I present to you my Protein Power Pancake recipe, enjoy!

Love Wifey xx

Ingredients

1/4 cup spelt or GF flour

1/4 cup LSA (if you can’t find LSA use any other nut meal like almond meal)

2 tbsp desiccated/shredded coconut

2 scoops of protein powder (you can have fun with this, I like to use Amazonia RAW protein powder in vanilla or cacao & coconut)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 eggs

1/3 cup of milk/milk alternative

pinch of pink himalayan rock salt

 

Method 

  1. Mix all dry ingredients into a bowl.
  2. Add eggs and milk and mix well. If you need to, add more milk or LSA to get it to a good consistency, you obviously don’t want it to be too runny!
  3. Heat a non-stick pancake pan on medium flame and pour approximately 1/4 cup of the mixture onto the hot pan (the pancakes should only be pikelet size).
  4. Once the mixture starts to bubble flip your pancake over for about a 1-2mintues.
  5. Top your pancakes with anything you like or just eat them plain! I like to top with banana and honey or fresh berries and shredded coconut!

Serves 4 (makes about 12 pancakes)