Monday, 31 August 2015

A freezer meal (with dessert!!)

Hidy-ho folks!
I hope your week has been traveling well so far and if it's been anything like mine; flying along so far! Where does time go??

Any who, that's not why I'm here today.

Nope, today I have a treat for youuuuu! Raise your hand if you like lasagne.

Raise your hand if you like fudge.

Ok, now lower both your hands down because you look quite strange with both your arms up in the air! ;)

You may remember me mentioning the hectic-ness of life returning with early morning athletics training and the rest of life as well, so today I thought I'd give you two recipes that I made over the weekend to make this week a little easier (and a lot more delicious!).

And yep, it's freezer friendly lasagne and fudge (not together, that would be a little too strange but good!)

First and foremost- to make a good lasagne, you need a good bolognaise sauce-type thing. This one just happens to be healthy and choc full of veggies too. Did I forget to mention the whole recipe is vegan? :)

1 handful diced onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 whole tomato chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
some cracked black pepper
3 button mushrooms, chopped
1/4 carrot, grated
3/4 cup lentils, drained and rinsed
3-4 slices eggplant (around 0.5cm thick)
3-4 slices capsicum
1 tablespoon tahini
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1. Into a saucepan throw in a handful of diced onion, 1/2 teaspoon garlic and 1 teaspoon of oil and cook on medium heat for  few mins until softened and fragrant.
2. Add the tomato and mushrooms and cook until softened (you may want to add in 1/4 cup water at this stage)
3. Throw in the dried herbs, pepper and carrot along with 1/4 cup water (if previous water has evaporated) and cook until tomatoes fall apart (around 3-5 mins)
4. Add the lentils and grated carrot and stir to combine.
5. Cook on low for 5 minutes until most of water is absorbed (still want some), stirring occasionally (add more water if required)
6. Meanwhile place the eggplant and capscium in a frypan over medium heat and cook until softened through:
7. Stir the tahini, nutritional yeast and 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl.
8. Now layer up!
1st: some lentil bolognaise:
Then either eggplant/ capsicum 'pasta' sheets
Followed by some 'cheese tahini sauce'
Repeated until reaching the top:
9. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees celsius for 20 minutes or until golden on top and bubbling!
10. Remove from oven to cool:
11. And transfer to container for freezing!
Lasagne layer love:
Now picture this. A frozen lasagne all ready and waiting for you in the freezer...

AS WELL as some choc fudge bites! YES!!

1/3 heaped cup rolled oats
tablespoon oat bran
2 pitted dates
1-2 tablespoons peanut butter (I chose two :)
1 tablespoon choc protein powder
1 heaped teaspoon raw cacao powder
2 heaped tablespoons greek yoghurt

1.Place everything but the yoghurt into a small food processor and whaz until broken up into what resembles very fine bread crumbs

2. Place in a bowl, add the yoghurt and stir to combine:
It will be quite fudgey and delicious!
3. Roll into ball and freeze in a container until required!

These bad boys will not disappoint and served as a great brekky for me post-athletics training!
So there you have it- lasagne AND chocolate fudge bites, both freezer friendly, health friendly and super duper tasty!

Give these a go if you're short on time during the working week and still want a taste sensation to bring a smile to your face in the midst of all the crazy! Have yourself a great day!! Bye for now friendly friends! :D

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Back to Training!

Hidy-ho folks!
It doesn't seem all that long ago that I was whining like a big baby complaining about the lack of time I had with early morning cross country trainings before school and all the meal prepping I had to do before-hand.

Just when I though life could start calming down a little I could get back to slower, more relaxing (whilst still not that relaxing... I still have school!) mornings, I am back at the school oval when the sun's just starting to rise, in my sports uniform and runners, warming up for the interschool athletics team!

So it's back to Stephanie rushing around with crazy-frizzball hair (sweat and my hair don't mix) rushing from here to there trying to sort out what I need to prep in advance to make the following day a little easier.

Want an example?
My Friday looked like this:

Woke up, changed, scoffed a small brekky before training, got my but kicked at training (middle distances are hard!!), changed into my school uniform, had school, rushed home, changed into work uniform, rushed to work, came home, died. Almost.

So where do I have enough time to make anything to eat in a day like that?

The answer is the night before, and here's a look at the food I prepped the night before this hectic Friday:

My pre-training breakfast was four pitted dates filled and then surrounded with different nut butters:
So delicious and perfect fuel for me!

The night before I whipped up some banana + rhubarb steel cut oats, let them cool and placed them in the fridge, eating them cold the next day after training:
Great recovery fuel!
I also roasted up some pumpkin, purple carrot and beetroot the night before and made a salad with the roast veg, toasted pine nuts + sunflower seeds + pepitas, spinach, tomato, lentils and orange/ lemon juice squeezed over
Seeing as I was also making my dinner for that night on Thursday, I decided my Friday dinner could be a simple 'breakfast' affair with some toast spread with Vegemite and avocado, boiled eggs, baked beans and greek yoghurt (separate bowls of course ;) finished with a handful of brazil nuts.

So, even though I didn't have a spare minuted in between everything that was happening Friday, my little prep the night before helped immensely!  I sure was happy to see food after that grueling training!

What about you?
Do you food prep?
What's your favourite meals to prep in advance?
Are you a fan of cold oats? I'm not going to lie, they did taste a little bland, but I was too hungry to care!

That's it from me today folks, I hope you have a lovely day and eat something yummy! Bye!! :D

Thursday, 27 August 2015



Carbohydrate, fructose, dextrose, candy, sweet, sucrose, sweetener, lactose....

Whatever you want to call it/ label it/ do with it, it's the same thing. Sugar.

And we love it.

Now this isn't a scientific post with all the nutritional information and fancy smancy information containing all of the 20 letter words associated with the chemistry of food and there will definitely be none of these; C12H22O11.

Nope instead I just want to have a chat about it, my own experience and the awesome documentary that brought all of these thoughts into my head to begin with!


Here's a brief synopsis of the recently published documentary created, directed and starring Damon Gameau:

THAT SUGAR FILM is one man’s journey to discover the bitter truth about sugar. Damon Gameau embarks on a unique experiment to document the effects of a high sugar diet on a healthy body, consuming only foods that are commonly perceived as ‘healthy’. Through this entertaining and informative journey, Damon highlights some of the issues that plague the sugar industry, and where sugar lurks on supermarket shelves. THAT SUGAR FILM will forever change the way you think about ‘healthy’ food.

I thought this was such an interesting way to explore the impacts sugar has on us, as Damon doesn't go on a diet filled with lollies, soft drink, chocolate etc. rather simply eats a typical, even considered 'healthy' diet.

 He filled his pantry and fridge with items like low-fat fruit flavoured yoghurt, cereals, juice boxes, muesli-bars and pre-made sauces and simply had to make sure he reached the average daily intake of sugar, the westernised world consumes (40 TEASPOONS!!).

Obviously upon learning that a serving of some fruit yoghurt with cereal on top and a glass of juice for breakfast made up around 1/3-1/2 of the 40 teaspoons, it became clear that he would have no trouble reaching this goal.

 Again, none of the foods he was consuming were labelled as 'junk food' or 'bad', he was simply eating what the majority of us buy from the super markets. 

 What's more, he had gone sugar free for multiple years prior to this. Boy did his body get a shock.

 But enough about that documentary (though you should definitely give it a watch!) let's move onto the message of the whole documentary, how we as humans fit into all this.

 Hundreds of years ago humans had to hunt and gather for their own food (shocking, I know) and sometimes food wouldn't come by for long periods of time. As a result we developed a sensitivity to the sweet stuff and immediately our brain would light up and awaken at the sweet taste on our tongues, telling our bodies that we had a quick source of fuel and energy and we should eat as much as we can to restore the energy we had lost.

 Not much has changed to this day, which is why our brains seem to wake up more when we have sugary foods and we find it hard to control the amount we eat (and why we are always hungry for more).

 Of course, we've all read those posts, or seen those news articles outlining the damaging effects of sugar on the body (weight gain, insulin resistance, diabetes, liver problems etcs.) but how do you stop yourself from consuming something you actually crave


If you have read my blog for a while, you may have come across the fact that I don't eat highly sugary foods (like lollies, soft drink, juice, processed cereals, ice cream, chocolate bars etc.) and if you're anything like every single one of my friends/ peers, your first question may be; 'How could you live without sugar?'

Prior to my diet change (into vegetarianism with low dairy, wheat and sugar consumption) I'd seen friends, family members and  even people on tv trying and ultimately failing at giving up the extra sweets. I saw them become cranky, irritable, showing real withdrawal symptoms from something as 'harmless' as sugar. I saw that they couldn't sustain slapping their hand away from the biscuit tin, or huddled in the corner of a dark room rocking back and forth murmuring to themselves to not give in to the demons. (Ok, the second example may have been slightly exaggerated. Slightly. ;))

 So when I was told that I should probably cut back on all processed and added sugars, I thought it would be impossible. But it wasn't. Hear me out:

 The first few days were fine. You know, you have that new and exciting feeling and that mental drive to make sure you do everything 100% perfect. Then it became a week and the novelty started to wear off. By week 2, I will admit there were times where I would watch my family eat some cake, or have some ice cream and I would literally drool at the sight.

Then came 30 days.

 Yep, for some reason 30 days was the magic number for me (and they say around a month is needed to stick a habit). After a month I simply didn't crave it. I was used to how things tasted on their own without the sickly sweet addition of sugar. I began to appreciate the real flavours of food and then notice the subtle sweetness in them.

Apples were bursting with sweet, crisp crunch, sweet potatoes used sweet syrup and even plain oats took on a sweetness I had never noticed before. I think after that month I was given a juice of some kind at a restaurant and the taste was so sweet I could not even finish it. I had trained my taste buds to appreciate the 'hidden' sweet flavours of nature that I had smothered by my intake of sugary processed foods.

 So to all of you out there who think you can and will never shake your sweet tooth problem (if it truly is a problem; ie. your over consuming and feeling the negatives- remember we are allowed to treat ourselves!) give it a month and then see where your at. I think you just might find that that vanilla frosted cupcake will become a little too sweet for your liking.

Your turn:
Do you have a sweet tooth? I definitely believe I do and make sure I satisfy it with delicious fruit and sweet potatoes of course!
Have you struggled to cut sugar from your diet in the past?
Favourite naturally sweet food?

 This is just me Thinking Out Loud- head on over to Spoons to see what everyone else is thinking about this Thursday!


 Have a fabulous day friends, tell someone you love them (it may just brighten their day) and as always- eat something delicious! Bye!! :D 

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

WIAW #71 Athletics day eats!

Hidy-ho folks.
I hope you're all having a fabulous week so far- we're halfway through!!- and are ready for some FOOOD! Why? Because on Wednesday’s we drool over everyone else’s eats in the hope of gaining inspiration, ideas and possibly (and more accurately), a reason to scroll mindlessly through pictures of food.
Not that I really need a reason. It’s my favourite past-time.

Alrighty, now that I’ve creeped everyone out, let’s move on to this week’s WIAW. Thanks as always to Peas and Crayons for creating this awesome link-up!

This specific day of eats is from Monday, the day of my school’s sports carnival (and yes, I was running in a few events!)

Breakfast: 7:20am
To fuel me through the day I decided to have a hearty breakfast of a super big green smoothie with all the fix-ins:

Frozen banana, frozen zucchini, frozen avocado, soaked rolled oats (1/3 cup rolled oats + teaspoon chia seeds, soaked in ½ cup almond milk for 10-15mins), peanut butter, vanilla protein powder, spinach and water- all whizzed up until smooth, creamy and delicious!

This combo guys- you need to try this combo- it's like cake batter in a jar!

Snack: 11:30am
As the day was a little disjointed with ‘scheduled eating times’ (typical to a regular day at school) I had my snack at around 11:30am (after my long jump and 800m run) which was a nice pot of peas and corn:

Lunch: 1:40 ish?
Again with the disjointed times and not wanting to compete on a full stomach, I waited until after my 100m sprint (I CANNOT sprint to save my life and as a result came 2nd…. Last J ) and 400m sprint? Yeh, let’s call it a sprint, I positively inhaled my lunch. Probably around 1:40 pm ish.
A huge container of spelt pasta, steamed veg (pumpkin, parsnip, swede, purple carrot) spinach, chickpeas, nutritional yeast and no-added-salt tomato paste.
Yes, it is as big as it looks. Yes I ate the whole thing par a couple pieces of steamed swede as I was reminded I’m not actually too fond of steamed swede (much prefer it roasted!)

My last event was about an hour later- a 4 X 100m relay (yep another sprint, which I didn’t do too well at (You may/may not be surprised to learn that I made the team… for the 1500m and 800m only J ) and then it was home time. More importantly- food time! I was in need of some food!

Snack: 4:00pm
Enter my afternoon ‘fruit and milk’ snack of a sliced fuji apple, black grapes (so good!) and a mug of soy milk.

Dinner: 6:45pm
I felt kinda funny and sort of sick for the remainder of the day (I was quite sunburnt and probably a little low on water) so when dinner rolled round I didn’t really feel like anything. Enter what I managed to throw together:
A baked sweet potato with coconut butter and cinnamon and a side of steamed Brussels. Coz why not?

I sort of got some appetite back and had a small handful of nuts. Then I was done. Physically, mentally, sunburnt-ly done! I collapsed on the couch, watch some telly and then BED!
So that’s what I ate!!

Tell me:
Are you a sprinter or a long distance runner? I used to be a sprinter… now I’m most definitely not!
Favourite lunch to fuel a busy/ tiring day?
Ever just feel like a baked sweet potato with coconut butter/ nut butter and that’s it? This happens a little too often with me!

I hope you all have a great day, do something you love to do and of course eat something delicious! Bye for now friends!! :D

Monday, 24 August 2015

Pumpkin Pesto!

What happens when you combine pumpkin with pesto?

Well... you get pumpkin pesto...

BUT! You also get something that's out-of-this-world delicious, full of all the yumminess of pesto and pumpkin and sneakily filling (did I mention it is ridiculously good?)

I don't know where I first got the idea for pumpkin pesto (I most likely saw it on Food Gawker/ Tasty Query/ Pinterest/ one of the many food sites I frequent often) But I am mighty happy that I did see it and as a result re-create it!

 I was going about making my lunch one night last week (night before prep is so good for rushed mornings!!) and I steamed up some pumpkin...
Whazzed up some pesto...
Added the steamed pumpkin to the pesto...
And voila! Pumpkin pesto!!
Well, that's great stuff, now you have a pot of pumpkin pesto for lunch.

Ha ha, no, I then went about cooking up some quinoa and char-grilling some capsicum, eggplant, zucchini and mushroom:
 And mixing it all together!

 It may not look like the most appetizing thing in the world, but boy did it taste goooood!

So next time you're whipping up a batch of pesto to lovingly coat your al dente pasta, or swirl over your beautiful flavoursome pizza, try adding in a bit of pumpkin for added sweetness, awesome taste and some extra nutrients too!! WIN-WIN-WIN!

Your turn:
Do you like pesto? I remember when I first tried it at a pizza parlour and absolutely hated it. Something must have changed since then!
Do you add anything different to your pesto? I think next time I'd like to make a char-grilled capsicum pesto. Mmmm
Pesto + -------- is the best combo? For me it's always been pizza, but pasta is a close second!

 Well, that's it from me today folks (it's been a very pesto-y kind of week already! Can you tell I've embarked on a new obsession (well, old obsession), I hope you all have a great day, do something that makes you happy and eat something delicious (which probably makes you happy too!). Bye friends!! :D

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