This one is too easy (and super healthy!) Whenever I get home from the office late (which can be often due to many clients in London which need attending to..) I always reach for the cous cous. 1 to one ratio of grain to boiling water in a sealable plastic Tupperware and let sit for 3-5 mins. Fluff with a fork & add some salt and pepper.
Toppings can be just about anything! From left over casserole/curry to what I did tonight. A few roasted chopped veggies with some light olive oil, salt and pepper, rosemary and a squeeze of lemon juice.
For reference, I used:
1/2 Red Onion (broken into chunks)
3 small cloves of garlic (sliced)
1/2 Red bell pepper
Handful of sweet cherry tomatoes
1/2 can of 4 bean mix (rinced and drained)
Chopped into chunks and threw into an oven proof dish. Baked for approx. 15/20 mins and DING! Dinner is served.
Ended up making 3 large serves (4 medium serves, but I was starving...) Which is perfect as I told a friend at work I would shout a home cooked lunch!
One serve for dinner. One serve for her and one for myself again tomorrow for lunch.
Haven't even put a dint in the fridge full of veggies I have from the markets!
I wonder what I should make tomorrow...
How wonderful. That I am lucky enough to live in a city with such amazing fresh produce and enjoy pleasant conversation with knowledgable farmers!
A wonderful Sunday. Dragged my mamma and boyfriend to the Fresh Food Farmers Markets in Brisbane (Mt Gravatt Showgrounds) and managed to secure this bountiful bundle of fruit for a measly $23! (can you believe it!?) Recipes running through my head as I wander the o-so-packed stalls full of wondrous smelling fresh ingredients (soon to be in my belly).
I am so, excited! Am thinking this gorgeous collection of fruit should last me just over a week maybe.
Need to get to the store to stock up on some quinoa, chia & flax seeds also.
I have some brilliant plans for the figs. (supposed to be $3.99 for 3 Figs but the lovely man gave me 6 for $3! Talk about a bargain..) Thinking gnocchi with baked figs camembert and crispy sage and a fig tart (sugarless pastry of course!) not sure what filing yet but I am certain that if I make one, this blog will hear about it!
I am also thinking those zucchini's red bell peppers, squash, pumpkin and tomatoes will roast beautifully with some fresh rosemary, and some cous cous. Kind of excited to see how many recipes I can make!
'Twas a lovely Sunday..
So it has become evident to me that you simply cannot give up sugar without substitutes for it (Stevia powder in my case). As you're aware, I'm not giving up fruit (though I am sticking to low, sometimes medium GI fruits to ensure I keep the sugar spike at bay) yet sometimes you need a sweet treat in the form of a cookie!
I looked up a few sugar free recipes but couldn't find what I was looking for. I ended up using a super simple shortbread recipe (one that I have not used before, was limited by the foods available in my kitchen) and ended up with the following recipe:
50g butter (softened)
1 heaped tbs of Natvia
2 cups of flour (sifted)
Pinch of salt
Super easy right? As you normally would with sugar cookies, I creamed together the Natvia and butter. Make sure you beat vigorously as the more you beat- the fluffier your cookies will be.
Sifted in the flour and salt and formed the dough into a ball.
Refrigerate for 5 mins (or until a little firmer and colder- this makes the dough a little easier to handle) and take back out and reform into a log shape.
Cut 1cm thick slices down the log and place on parchment paper or a greaseproof baking sheet.
Bake for 25mins at 180 degrees Celsius and when they're golden brown - let them cool and enjoy!
I also ground up a little more Natvia in a mortar and pestle and sprinkled over the top (just a replacement for icing sugar) was scrumptious with my herbal tea.
Happy Cooking :)
Posted by Kathryn Cook at 1:42 PM
OK. So I think I should first mention that I am not quitting ALL sugars. Just all processed sugar. This means, no tomato sauce/pre-made sauces/convenience dinners (or pretty much anything in the supermarket that isn't raw) as absolutely everything has sugar in it these days!
So with that in mind, I will continue to eat natural sugars, this means, the sugars in fruit, honey and natural maple syrup. That is all.
It is actually quite tough to ensure I check the packaging on the back of a packet before consuming the product (especially at social events) however, tonight for instance, my boyfriend is taking me out to dinner (so sweet!) and without limiting what he would like to eat, we are going to opt for Asian food where I will be able to choose whole natural cuisine (I'm thinking maybe some Vietnamese rice paper rolls or maybe some sushi - though sushi will be a big treat as I try to stick to brown or raw rice when cooking at home) I absolutely love Thai food, and miss it greatly, but it is often a hassle to ask the waitress if there is any sugar present within many of the curry pastes they use (I am thinking of just telling people I am diabetic, seems more acceptable..) though I will say that many Thai restaurants merely use coconut cream or milk to 'sweeten' their curries which is just fabulous!
Anyway! So breakfast this morning. I was definitely in the mood for something sweet. One of the things I miss the most are definitely pancakes or sweet crepes (can now make the sugar free kind actually - a future post maybe?) so today, I opted for the naturally sweet way to wake up on a weekend morning.
200g of Natural Greek Yogurt (be careful, some in the store will contain a high amount of sugar)
Half a dozen cherries
3 or 4 super sweet lychees
1tsp of Natvia (optional)
1 tsp honey (to drizzle)
It. Was. Amazing! Not to mention super sweet for a very low calorie breakfast. If I had some Chia or Flax seeds on hand I would have definitely ground them up in the mortar & pestle and sprinkled them on top. Chia & Flax seeds are a wonderful source of protein and aid digestion (what other sugar filled breakfast cereals claim to do!)
I forgot to mention that I am off coffee also. Not sure if this is something I will continue to do, as it is a bit of a trial to see how I feel (and cope) without it. Substituting for Green Tea, Cranberry & Pomegranate tea, Strawberry & Loganberry tea, Rooibos (which has fantastic health benefits, click to learn more) and of course, Lemon and Ginger tea.
My drink of choice today:
Not usually a big fan of tea bags, I almost always prefer to brew loose leaf tea as it often won't break down as much and retains its nutritional value. However, ensuring I have a nice stash of tea bags at the back of the pantry for convenience never hurt (especially when the coffee is tempting me next to the kettle...).
Off for now. Will continue to post as my days continue. Let me know if you would like to hear a tea review?
I have a feeling I will crave a lot of sugar today.. Thank goodness for Lychees!
I read a number of reviews on this product and simply could not believe the responses and raving reviews I had read.
Picked myself up a packet of Natvia and couldn't be happier! You can read more about it at www.Natvia.com but here is the just of it:
Natvia is a 100% NATURAL sweetener that comes from a plant named Stevia.
It is 95% lower in calories than sugar and is Low in GI and Carbohydrates.
I had been using other sweetness (Equal mainly) but was longing to try a Natural alternative (as part of quitting processed sugar should include avoiding other processed foods/goods).
Natvia is a life safer if you have a sweet tooth! When baking, you can simply replace the sugar and have you cake and eat it to, so to speak.
More recipes using Natvia coming to this blog, but in the meantime, their website has a few wonderful sugar free sweet treats!
First day. Already finding the need to curb sugar cravings somehow and found this lovely recipe.
I added the pine nuts and some Cajun spice for good measure.
The super sweet potato definitely helped curb the cravings (after only one day..) however the Lipton Tea Infusions in Cranberry & Loganberry assisted also.
I am finding that by keeping some berries (both dried Goji berries and some fresh in season cherries & pomegranate seeds) are helping do the trick also!
For the recipe you'll need:
1 Can of Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
50g Pine Nuts
500g Baby Spinach Leaves
1/3 Kilo of Sweet Potato
1Tbs Olive Oil
1tsp of Cajun Spice (or to taste)
Salt & Pepper.
It was so simple! I peeled and chopped the sweet potato into small, inch sized pieces. Roasted in the oven at 180 degrees with a light brush of olive oil and some pink rock sea salt (the only kind of salt you should use) for around 25 mins. Turning the chunks over at half time.
After taking them out of the oven, I left them to stand while I toasted the pine nuts and chickpeas in a small fry-pan with the Cajun spice and the salt and pepper (I really like any nuts/seeds to be a little golden, brings more flavor that way I think..) and slowly added the spinach. I realise that 500g seems like a lot, but spinach does wilt and to be honest, I could have used a little more if I had some on hand.
Finally, I tossed through the sweet potato. It was scrumptious!
So I guess it is fair to wonder why I am here, so a little about me. My name is Kate, and I am a Marketing Consultant based in Brisbane. I suffer from an auto-immune thyroid disease (Graves Disease) and have been researching ways in which I can improve my 'PMS' like symptoms which seem to be worsening with age (despite frequent doctors visits and handing over bucket loads of my blood to be tested by university students).
It came to a point where I stumbled across a number of blogs and forums where young women, like myself found a correlation between thyroid functions and diet (in particular, the consumption of sugar). Much research and many late nights led me here. The decision that would (hopefully) change my life, and social interactions forever.
I hope to document my experiences (honestly of course!) and share my 'sugar free' recipes with all. I will share articles I have read which support the need for everybody to 'quit sugar' and share the challenges I have faced (there will be MANY) and hope to overcome.
This isn't so much to lose weight (though a few kilo's would be a nice bonus) but to generally assist in making Publish Postmy head a little clearer, and my body a little happier.
Feel free to ask questions here and join me if you have a thyroid condition also, or merely just feel the sugar depression!
OK. So that's me. Let's do this!