It’s A Cookie Kind Of Day

It’s miserable outside. Drizzly, cold and grey. When the weather is like this I crave three things – hot drinks, good books and fresh-out-of-the-oven biscuits. I must have been preparing for this subconsciously – I absentmindedly picked up some organic dark chocolate chips while running the gauntlet that is Terra Madre on a Saturday morning. So when the longing for a warm baked sweetie knocked on the door of my brain, I was ready.

I waded through about a zillion websites, trying to find a grain-free, low-sugar recipe that didn’t look like balls. It took a while. Just when I thought I’d found a good one it would include something completely whack or the comments would annihilate the recipe and it’s maker.

Eventually, I found one that sounded pretty good and tried it out. You can find it here. I made a few changes (added extra choc chips; halved the recipe because I WILL eat that many cookies if they are around; subbed coconut sugar for palm sugar and cut it by a half as the coconut flour I use is quite sweet already) and they came out great … although I was not paying attention towards the end, and the cookies came out a little browner than I would have liked. But they taste lovely, have a nice texture and are just the way I like my choc-chip cookies – thick with a soft inside and slightly crisp on the outside.

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Now the heater is on, I have a full tummy and all is well in the world. Happy cookie day!

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Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake

After a delicious dinner of pulled pork and roasted vegetables, Tyson was saying how much he would like a lemony dessert (hint, hint). We argued a bit about making apple crumble – I really wanted to try out a pie or tart base and he just wanted the usual crumble we often eat for breakfast. BORING.

At the same time, we turned to each other and said ‘Don’t we have some cream cheese in the fridge?’

It was a bit weird. So we took it as a sign. Lemon cheesecake all around. I made one, loosely based on this recipe.

My normal recipe disclaimer applies – this is how I made it. I’m not a recipe tester or pastry chef, and I’m not saying this recipe is perfect. It might not work for you. It might be too dry, or too moist, or too crumbly. You might think it tastes like crap. I made it and I liked it and this is how it was done.

Filling

250g full fat cream cheese

3 teaspoons of honey

1 egg

zest and juice of one lemon

blueberries

Crust

120g almond meal

70g melted butter

Method

Put the ingredients for the filling (except for the blueberries) into a food processor and blend until smooth. Taste it, and add more honey or more lemon as you like. Go nuts and add some vanilla if it makes you happy.

Mix the almond meal into the butter until it makes a thick paste but is not too dry. If it is too dry, add more butter. If it is too wet, add more almond meal. Press into your cheesecake receptacle (I used a tart case) all the way to the edges.

Pour the filling onto the base and spread out evenly. Try not to eat too much of the filling mix or your cheesecake will be too skinny.

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Artfully arrange the blueberries onto the top of the filling.

Bake at 180 degrees until it looks ready, light brown around the edges but not burnt. Mine took about 45 minutes.

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While the cheesecake is baking, lick every utensil you used to move that filling around, then use a spatula to scrape out the last tiny bits of filling that are in the food processor and lick that too. Don’t be a clown and try to lick the blades of the food processor, it will only end in tears. That’s how good the filling should taste.

Here is the hardest part. Once it is out of the oven, you are going to have to wait for it to cool. If you don’t, the base will crumble and the filling will be too gooey. It’s going to need to spend some time in the fridge. When it is cool and set, it is ready to eat. Enjoy!

cheesecake slice

Bulletproof Coffee……. Oh Buddy.

Bulletproof coffee is: Coffee, Organic grass-fed butter and MCT oil blended together.  It is amazing.  MCT oil is found in coconut oil (that’s what I use) and is the next best thing if you don’t have the pure extract ( http://www.upgradedself.com/upgraded-mct-oil.html).  Sometimes I just drink coffee with butter.

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Bulletproof coffee is the trademark of Dave Asprey.  Asprey is the founder and author of the biohacking site Bulletproof Executive and podcasts Bulletproof Radio.  I highly recommend both and suggest you take a look at the original post on the Bulletproof Coffee recipe.

http://www.bulletproofexec.com

https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/bulletproof-executive-radio/id451295014

I have been on Bulletproof coffee for about a week now and it has made a huge difference. I’m not sure if Bulletproof coffee is good for everyone, but I’m 100% sure it’s good for me. I noticed the difference instantly. I have increased my focus (therefore my productivity), I have more consistent energy and less hunger (without overeating the night before or interrupting the balance of my hormones). The effects of the coffee usually last about 3-4 hours. Thats solid, uninterrupted work. Also, because I’ve been interested in intermittent fasting lately Bulletproof Coffee has been very important.  Check out Bulletproof fasting if you’re interested.

Did I mention it tastes amazing?

Super Breakfast

Quinoa Porridge with Banana and Coconut Milk.

For those of you eating breakfast, this is a ripper for the winter months.  Hayley and I started making it a couple of months back when we were first playing around with the Perfect Health Diet.

Quinoa is a seed, not a grain, so therefore falls under the Paleo umbrella (in case you were wondering). Quinoa is a super food, it’s great source of protein, vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids. In combination with the healthy fats from the coconut milk and a few carbs from half a banana, quinoa porridge is a pretty balanced (and nutritious) meal.    

We always cook enough quinoa for a couple of days and leave it in the fridge.  Boil about one cup of quinoa in water until it has opened up but is not fully cooked (bite it, it should be slightly firm but not soft).  From there, strain and lay out on a tray to let cool.  When it’s cool put it in the fridge.   

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When you get up in the morning and are ready for breakfast put a handful of cooked quinoa in a pan with about half a can of coconut milk and about half a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup.  You’ll need to warm it up and let the quinoa finishing cooking in the coconut milk. 

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From there, taste for the right amount of sweetness, put it in a bowl with half a sliced banana and enjoy! 

 

 

Cake For Dinner

It’s Wednesday, I’m more than halfway through my working week (Did I tell you that I am working full time for the rest of this term? Well, I am. And it’s fine!) and I thought it might be a good time to give you an update on my progress with the Perfect Health Diet, amongst other things.

What’s working?

– The eight hour window for eating. Most days it’s down to the wire, and tonight was a tiny bit over, but DUDE. I had a banana loaf baking in the oven. As if I’m not going to wait until it’s ready to be eaten.

– The carbs. Tonight I ate a bowl of chicken broth with rice noodles before CrossFit, plus a couple of rice cakes with a bit of butter (a lot of butter) and I felt great while I was working out. My energy seems to be staying steady (I was a bit worried that the carbs would cause spikes in my blood sugar and leave me feeling flat and craving more carbs) and I’m generally feeling good.

What’s not working?

– The +25%/-25% rule for workout and non workout days. I just haven’t really figured out my baseline, so I eat when I’m hungry until I don’t feel hungry anymore. The first two days I ate about the same amount, but today I was ravenous and ate a lot more than usual. I guess this is one of those things that will take time to work out.

– No screen time within two hours of bed. It’s kind of working, I suppose, and I am getting a lot done in those two hours. I have cheated a little bit and made my laptop an exception – I have f.lux installed so that I don’t get too much blue light, and I don’t watch movies or anything. I just read a bit and do some writing or some work, like tonight.

I’m generally feeling good. The last 24 hours have been great, with lots of fun and exciting things happening. There was a package for Tyson at the front door when I came home from work, so I brought it in and forgot about it. Turns out it was a late birthday present for me, and now I am the proud owner of a ‘Best Wife Ever’ mug. Sweet AND accurate.

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Beetroot Love (and a recipe!)

I didn’t get to post about last Sunday’s foodstorm. Somewhere amongst the shopping and carting of shopping and chopping and cooking, I did something excruciating to my neck. I don’t know what it was, but MAN it hurt. I am just getting back to normal now, and have almost a full range of motion (for the first two or three days I had to turn my whole body if I wanted to turn my head). Anyway, it was quite similar to the previous food storm, except I roasted lamb instead of pork and I cooked up a big batch of Persian beef stew in the slow cooker.

I did a lot of my shopping at the Flemington Farmers Market, which is on every Sunday at Mount Alexander College. There were plenty of great stalls to choose from, and I ended up getting most of my vegetables and fruit, some delicious cheese, free range eggs and some pork mince and bacon. Everything I got was great, but I was especially taken with the beetroots that I bought from the Spring Creek Organics stall.

I peeled and cut them, then roasted them in the oven until they were soft.

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So pretty!

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I put half away for lunches, and turned the other half into the easiest, most delicious beetroot dip you have ever seen.

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Beetroot Dip

2 medium beetroots

2 tablespoons full fat greek yoghurt

A couple of sprigs of mint

Salt and pepper

Cut and cube the beetroots, just like I did. Toss them in some olive oil, and roast them in the oven until they are soft when you poke them with a fork.

Put the roasted beetroot into a bowl with the other ingredients, then whizz the whole lot up with a stick mixer until it is smooth-ish.

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That’s it. Told you it was easy. I may or may not have added some lime juice – I honestly can’t remember.

I’ve been eating this on anything I can get my hands on – the cold roast lamb, scrambled eggs, dipping carrot and celery into it, putting it on bits of apple, crumbling a bit of feta cheese on top … it’s that good.