Thursday, 6 June 2013

Raw Lemon Cream Cake with a crunchy "Cacao-Nut" base + blogging and other fun information

Raw Lemon Cream Cake with a crunchy "Cacao-Nut" base 

This might seem unusual as the general theme of my posts is "the recipe" and not much else. I might talk on a bit about how absolutely happy I am with a particular dish or maybe about how amazing it tasted but I generally don't go much further than that. Let's get serious for a moment though - this post represents something special for me. I don't even know if anyone will read it and even more-so if anyone will care, but I have come to the conclusion that this blog provides me with a wonderful opportunity to reach an incredible number of people - if I use it properly!
I see so many wonderful blogs out there which seem to have such a huge following and the bloggers behind those blogs seem to be extremely highly regarded by their readers. I then see some other people whose lives (and sometimes income) revolve around their blog and writing about their passion, which in most cases is "health and wellbeing" as those are the blogs I take interest in.
(Just to remind you that there is a recipe below :P)

As a person who participates in the dreaded "daily grind" of travelling for way too long in too much traffic for a 5 day a week, full-time job, I feel that I am wasting something. It seems that too many of us are happy to just go along with the "norm" and fit in with the expectation that once our studies are complete, we go to work to earn money, regardless of whether we actually enjoy what we do.
I am an Accredited Exercise Physiologist by training and completed a 3.5 year university degree to attain that qualification. In an ideal world I would have come straight out of uni and landed a wonderful job making change for the elderly in a Cardiac Rehabilitation Clinic or improving someone's quality of life by guiding them through the development of new healthy eating and exercise habits and subsequently reducing their body fat percentage and/or their blood glucose levels. Unfortunately the job did not fall into my lap and I ended up doing something that has many many positive points, but does not allow me to fulfill my passion.
Why? Because in today's society it is essential for a young person to earn enough money to begin earning and collecting assets.
Today I came to the conclusion that I am "living a selfish life". Yeah, I feel that I am kind and helpful to everyone I come across, I do go out of my way to avoid offending or inconveniencing people and I definitely will make someone's day easier if the opportunity presents itself.. but who am I to go to work every day in a job that really does not impact the wider population nor require the full extent of the skills I developed at uni, simply so that I can earn money for my own personal gains.
Why should we all participate in the "norm"? Why don't we challenge ourselves by taking a chance and testing the boundaries. People say that "if you love your job, you wont work a day in your life", so why on earth don't we all love our jobs?
I'm not telling you to quit your job today and expect to be a professional sportsperson or a TV presenter tomorrow, but just think about it! Think about what your true passion might be and consider the crazy thought that maybe it isn't impossible to make a job out of it! I truly believe that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and work hard.
All of the above leads me to the point I should have made many many lines back. I have decided that I want to share my passion for health, food, self-love and the fact that self worth is the secret to living a healthy balanced life. I have already managed to reach a few thousand wonderful people through Instagram, who are interested in healthy food and finding ways to eat a healthy yet interesting and delicious diet.
I would love to eventually, dedicate my days to contributing to the empowerment of the population of Australia and the world in order to improve the health of everyone in it. If I can share my knowledge and ideas through (firstly) blog posts and eventually: books, seminars etc. then I will be one happy lady.

So this is me > and from today, I will be working towards making my passion my job. I am not 100% sure how just yet, but I have a few ideas - and I guess that's how things get done.

If I can do it, you can do - so I will try my best and hopefully one day we call all live our dreams :).
If any of you have any feedback or requests on things/topics/information/recipes that you would enjoy reading, please do contact me below. All information and requests are welcome. Anyone who reads my blog is now a part of my journey to creating my new self-generated and self-sustained career.
OK! In case some of you came to this page JUST for the recipe to my Raw Lemon Cream Cake with a crunchy "Cacao-Nut" base,  yes I will finally post it below. This recipe came to me after seeing some amazing raw creations online and then having way too much time in the traffic on my way home from work to consider how I might develop this cake.
Raw Lemon Cream Cake with a crunchy "Cacao-Nut" base


150g raw unsalted cashews
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 tbs Cacao
6 fresh medjool dates
1/2 tbs raw almond butter
1/4 cup coconut oil

Chocolate layer

4 tbs coconut oil
2 tbs cacao
2 tsp almond extract
4 tbs desiccated coconut

Lemon "cream" layer

150g raw unsalted cashews
1/4 cup coconut oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tbs honey (I used Organic Australian Rainforest Honey)


Line a cake tin with plastic wrap.

In three separate stages (crust then chocolate later then lemon "cream" layer), combine the ingredients in each list in a food processor, cleaning the processor between each use.

As the layers are processed, place them in order (crust on the bottom then chocolate later then lemon "cream" layer on top) into the cake tin. Press down each layer firmly on top of the one/s below in order to make sure they press together.

Sprinkle with dessicated coconut (or other toppings) if desired then place in the fridge for at least 20-30 minutes. The cake does not need to be frozen to become solid enough to slice however you can place it in the freezer if you want it to cool quicker.

Remove the cake carefully from the tin by pulling the plastic wrap out slowly and equally on both sides. If this does not happen easily, the cake may need to cool for longer in the fridge or freezer as the base with be the most first part of the cake and will provide stability when removing.

The lemon in the top layer of this cake gives it a super fresh and light flavor. I would not have thought that it would go so well with a cacao base!

Give it a go!

Enjoy x

Ps. I apologise once again for the ridiculously long lecture length blog post! I do hope that at least some of you were interested and/or found it useful in some way :).

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Healthy Hot Chocolate

Healthy Hot Chocolate

Coming into the winter months, you really start to remember how comforting it is to relieve the cold weather with a nice warm cup of hot chocolate. Unfortunately most of the store bought or cafe bought hot chocolates are filled with a range of unhealthy ingredients, with the most common offender being sugar.

The great thing is that hot chocolate also always features cocoa, which most of us already know has extremely healthy properties such as being high in antioxidants as well as improving heart heath and concentration through improved blood flow through the heart and also to the brain. When it comes to antioxidant concentration, a study conducted at Cornell University found the antioxidant concentration in hot cocoa is almost almost twice as strong as red wine. There are many other health benefits to be recieved through the consumption of cocoa which can be found here, here and (a slightly more scientific article) here.

So, when the weather turns chilly, instead of having your daily dose of antioxidants in the form of red wine, turn to one of the recipes below.

For a super simple, satisfying and light Hot Mocha, try my;

Almond Milk Hot Mocha
Single Serving

1-2 tsp organic instant coffee (as desired)
1 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 tsp Organic Honey
100ml unsweetened almond milk
Boiling water

Place coffee, cocoa and honey in a mug and add boiling water to fill the mug to halfway and stir. This will help to melt the honey (and also remove it from your spoon).
Once the mixture has dissolved, fill the rest of the mug with almond milk and heat in the microwave until desired temperature is reached.

This is my morning treat almost every morning at work lately! I have one coffee per day hence why I used a little more than a tsp and am ok with it. This is super quick and easy and makes my mornings at work much more enjoyable.

To transform this into an evening treat, I recommend leaving out the coffee and adding a little extra cocoa.

Decadent Coconut Hot Chocolate
Single Serving

1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbs coconut cream
1 fresh medjool date, pitted
1tbs cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
Pour mixture into a mug then heat in the microwave until desired temperature is reached.

To make enough hot chocolates for multiple people, I would recommend multiplying the ingredients by the number of people, blending as above then heating in a saucepan over low-medium heat on the stove.
Separate when warm into separate mugs.

This thick and creamy mixture is rich and smooth and is heavier than the Almond Milk Hot Mocha (above). I would have to say, as an evening treat, it doesnt get much better than this.

Happy Winter!! x

Monday, 3 June 2013

Paleo zucchini pasta with avocado and basil pesto and turkey meatballs

Paleo zucchini pasta with avocado and basil pesto and turkey meatballs

I have wanted to try this for SO long after seeing people create these amazing dishes that trick you into thinking its a huge plate of pasta but it is actually the super healthy super-vegetable, zucchini!
I finally bought myself a julienne peeler on the weekend for about $13 (later to see one for $8 :| ) and it is proving to be a very worthwhile investment :).

I have done some research and have seen a number of different techniques people use to prepare their zucchini pasta once sliced. The one I ended up choosing worked really well so I will explain it below.

Basil is allllways delicious and paired with avocado, the sauce is incredibly creamy and smooth with a perfectly spiced mild chilli flavour. While the ingredients list looks long, I think it is safe to say that these are ingredients many of you might have in the fridge already. More importantly, this dish is well worth a trip to the shops on the way home.

I believe this pasta could either be served raw (obviously minus the turkey meatballs) or cooked (as mine was).

Before we start, here is the full list of ingredients: (separated into parts later on)

8 green zucchini's
Himalayan Crystal Salt
2.5 ripe avocados
3 cloves of garlic
3 small red chilli's
Juice from 1 lime
2 cups of fresh basil, loosely packed
Small handful fresh parsley
Small handful of fresh chives chopped
1/4 cup almond milk
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 whole egg
2 tbs almond meal
500g turkey mince
1/4 cup olive oil
Extra olive oil for cooking meatballs
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparing my zucchini pasta

8 green zucchini's - makes 4 big servings of pasta
Himalayan crystal salt

First, wash the outside of the zucchini's under running water.
With each zucchini, start peeling length ways with your julienne peeler to create spaghetti-like strands.
Peel until you reach the seeds in the middle and then begin on the other sides!
Place the zucchini pasta in a large bowl and grind some the salt over the top.
Toss the pasta with some tongs and grind more salt to ensure it is well spread through.
Leave this while preparing the rest of your meal and then in batches, rinse the salt off under cool running water in a sieve - let drain.
The purpose of the salt is to "sweat" the zucchini and you will find that quite a lot of moisture is released from the zucchini during this process.
Place the pasta in batches on paper towel in order to soak up the liquid as much as possible. You may need to discard of the wet towel and start with fresh towel to make sure maximum liquid is collected.
You want to get as much liquid as possible so that the sauce does not become to watery.
Leave the pasta to sit until it's time to add it to the sauce.

Now on to the rest of the dish!

Avocado and basil pesto

2.5 ripe avocados
2 cloves of garlic
2 small red chilli's
Juice from 1 lime
2 cups of fresh basil, loosely packed
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup almond milk

Combine all ingredients except almond milk in a food processor until well combined.

The texture should resemble a thick smooth paste.

Turkey meatballs

1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 small red chilli, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 whole egg
Small handful of fresh chives chopped
2 tbs almond meal
500g turkey mince
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients well in a bowl - I find it easiest to use my hands :).
Roll the turkey mince into small balls.
This mixture makes approximately 25 small balls. Make them as small of large as you like.
Place the meatballs into a lightly oiled fry pan and fry on all sides on medium heat until cooked through - approx. 10 minutes.


Place the sauce in a saucepan and add the zucchini pasta. Toss through the sauce and add the almond milk.
Simmer over low-medium heat with the lid in place for approx. 10 minutes to soften the pasta.

Once pasta is ready, serve onto separate plates or bowls and top with your desired number of meatballs!