Category Archives: food

You are as scrumptious as a good bunch of kale.

Kale chips | Danelle Bourgeois

Kale chips | Danelle Bourgeois

Kale chips | Danelle Bourgeois

 

I don’t know why, but the diet I was on (should really still be on it but… nahhhh) really made me crave potato chips (which I’m not supposed to have at all – no potato, plus it’s fried in all sorts of badness) so I had to find something that could work well in it’s place. Nuts are so boring to me and they just didn’t satisfy my need for a crunchy snack like a chip can. So I turned to good ol’ kale chips!

 

The first time I made these they were wayyyyy too salty. The recipe I used gave no indication of the amounts of things to use so I was just guessing (something I am not good at doing apparently). I could tell I liked kale chips through the saltiness, so I had to give it another shot when I got back on the diet. Here’s my recipe (with measurements!) in case you want to give them a go – they’re super easy!

 

Kale Chips

 

3 stalks of kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

 

Preheat over to 150 degrees celcius.
Cut the large ribs out of the middle of each kale stalk.
Cut or break the leaves into approximately 2 inch sections.
Pop the kale into a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt and give it a good toss.
Lay it all out onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
Put it in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until crisp and darkened.
Take them out of the oven and let cool for a bit. Enjoy!

 

P.S. I didn’t just want to call this post ‘kale chips’, so I started Googling kale puns (good lord, what is wrong with me?) and I found this post; 25 pick up lines for kale lovers. Apparently there are other people out there as cool as I am. ;)

Juice cleansing.

Juice cleansing | Danelle Bourgeois

JuiceCleanse_03_SML

 

Every time I’ve seen my psoriasis specialist he’s tried to convince me that juice cleansing will do me a world of good. He even had me watch Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, a doco about a man who beat his urticaria (another skin condition I suffer from but ‘p’, as I like to call it, is my real issue) by only consuming fresh juice for 60 days (no food that entire time!). After watching the film I thought I’d give this juice cleansing business a shot.

 

My mum is letting me borrow her juicer, but I still haven’t even taken it out of the box. Having no juicing experience, I decided it might be easier (plus I’m lazy) to just purchase a juice cleanse from Pure Health Delivered – a company who creates juice cleanse packs and sends them out to you with instructions on when to drink which juice. Seemed easy enough, and even though it was costly, I’d rather pay more than have had to sort out my own juices constantly.

 

I decided to go with the 3 day advanced cleanse (purely because the basic one included a pineapple based drink which I’m allergic to). Leading up to the cleanse, you’re meant to ease into it by cutting out all refined stuff (no gluten, dairy or sugar) and just eat fruit and vegetables. I didn’t really get a good chance to do this so I already wasn’t off to a good start. The schedule for each day was the same – green, green, green, zesty lemonade, green, cashew at 2-2.5 hour intervals. I thought I would share some notes I took down about each day and I how I felt afterwards…

 

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Day One

 

My first impression of the green juice was that it tasted like kiwifruit (despite the fact there is no kiwifruit in it). Which I thought hey, this isn’t so bad. By the time I had gotten 3/4 of the way through the first bottle, I was over it. The taste seemed to have gotten worse. Almost had a sour quality to it. By the time I was on to my third green juice of the day I was pretty much hating them.

 

It seemed like 2 hours between each drink is not enough time. By the time I had finished one juice, then tried to down a heap of filtered water (oh yeah, you have to drink 2-3 litres of water a day as well!), my alarm would go over for the next juice! I felt like I was just constantly drinking the entire day which I wasn’t used to at all.

 

I was looking forward to the zesty lemon juice after so much green juice. I clearly didn’t read what the ingredients were of it beforehand though and it was basically just lemon and cayenne pepper. Now, for those that don’t know me very well, I LOATHE pepper. Even just standard black pepper that people seem to drown their food in I can’t handle. It burns, so bad. So the drink turned out to basically just be a lot of cayenne and I couldn’t drink more than a mouthful. I wasn’t really prepared for that to happen so I tried to make my own with just water, lemon and a tiny bit of raw honey to sweeten it. Tasted super gross.

 

I had heard that the cashew dream juice was really yummy. And it did taste good. However, I really struggled with the texture of that one. The cashews were obviously never going to to a proper thin liquid stage, so instead it felt quite pulpy – I could almost chew it. That kinda put me off that drink completely and I struggled to drink the entire bottle.

 

Day Two

 

This day was a lot easier than the first. I managed to drink the first three green juices with no problem at all. I ditched the zesty lemon one altogether. However, going for my fourth green juice of the day, I nearly gagged at the sight of it. I have a bit of a weird issue where sometimes if I just absolutely don’t feel like something, even the thought of having it can make me want to/actually throw up. As soon as I got it out of the fridge I felt weak and I thought about being sick right there in the kitchen sink. So, I made a call to eat a plain gluten-free rice cake to see if it calmed me down. And it did. So yeah, cheated on that second day but at least it got me to drink the rest of the green juice, right?

 

I found the cashew dream juice easier to drink on day two – I just tried to drink it as fast as I possibly could so that I wouldn’t get hung up too much on the texture.

 

Day Three

 

My last day of the cleanse happened to fall on Big Day Out (a music festival) and I had hoped to go later in the evening which would allow me to finish all of the juices before going there. But plans changed and I ended up going after my third green juice of the day. You can’t bring any drink in with you to BDO so I had to just not have the rest of the drinks since I was there from 3pm till 11pm. I could see people walking around with salads which I thought would be handy to ease my way back into food land, however I couldn’t even find a stand that sold them! I ended up having to have hot chips and a hot dog while I was there which I was kind of disappointed about (but they tasted amazing haha). So, in conclusion, day three was a bit of a bust.

 

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Overall I didn’t find myself being hungry much during it at all. The only times I wanted food was when I could see or smell whatever Hook was eating and I got jealous haha. I had a headache majority of the 3 days, and never really felt ‘better’ after it. Nor did it do anything at all for my psoriasis. So. Probably not the best spent $190 ever haha. I’d be interested in trying it again once I use the juicer I have and figure out a good set of juices (that I actually like) to do it with. I think enjoying the juices would make all of the difference!

The Kinfolk Table Gathering

 

The wonderful Shaye of On My Hand is hosting the next Kinfolk event on Saturday 19th October in Mount Maunganui, and I’m lucky enough to be photographing it! Let me tell you now, it’s not one to be missed!

 

This gathering will be a beautifully catered dinner by Spongedrop and Devour Catering in celebration of the release of Kinfolk’s new cookbook ‘The Kinfolk Table‘!

 

Tickets are on sale now!

Lemon and oat crumble slice.

 

I’m such a HUGE lemon fan. It’s ridiculous. When at a restaurant ordering dessert, it’s always something lemony that I look for. Lemon meringue pie on the menu? SOLD. And when it comes to baking, same goes. The easier the recipe, the better. I’m not a big fan of having to do things on the stove with baking, so anything that just involves mixing ingredients and away you go is what I like. Which is exactly why I loved baking this slice.

 

You can find the recipe over on Kirsten’s blog High Tea With Dragons. The only thing I changed with this recipe is I added another tablespoon of lemon rind (because I’m lemon obsessed) and I also added a little bit of golden yellow colouring gel to give it more of a yellow look. I like my lemon baking to be lemon coloured hehe.

 

I kept mine in the fridge and it tastes so good straight out of there. I ate my last slice of it today. So I may need to go get more lemons and make some more because this slice is SO good. Bonus for me: Hook isn’t a fan of lemon stuff at all which means when I bake it I get to eat it all myself! :P

Good old chocolate chip cookies.

 

These cookies have been my biggest accomplishment during my sick leave from work whilst recovering from my surgery. Moving around a lot isn’t really good for my nose right now so pretty much lying down, sitting around watching TV or nerding it up on the net is about the most extensive thing I should be doing. But I’ve been bored. So I decided to do me some baking!

 

I still have a heap of lemons left over, but I just wasn’t in the mood for something lemony at the time (shock horror!), and instead opted for some good old chocolate chip cookies. I pretty much only bake paleo recipes at the moment. Not sure why. The rest of my diet isn’t paleo based, but for some reason I like to bake with almond or coconut flour and honey instead of sugar. Guess it makes me feel like I’m making some kind of healthy choices? Haha.

 

These cookies are really moist (worst word ever) and delish! I’ve nearly eaten them all already. Oops. Super easy to make as well. I probably could have tried harder to make them a bit rounder and not so clumpy looking, but they taste the same anyway, so no biggie. Hehehe. Recipe below!

 

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Bite Sized Baker

 

3 and 1/4 cups almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut flour (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used a whole pack of Cadbury’s Baking Chips which aren’t paleo but shhhh)

 

Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius.
Line baking tray with baking paper.
In a bowl, combine the almond flour, coconut flour (optional), salt, baking soda and cinnamon (optional).
In another large bowl, combine eggs, vanilla extract, honey and coconut oil.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and add in the chocolate chips. Give it a good mix.
The dough might seem quite wet but it should be fine. You can put it in the fridge to firm up if you want to.
Spoon balls of the dough onto the baking tray.
Bake for 8-10 minutes.
Let them cool on the baking tray for a bit – they still seem wet when you take them out of the oven, but as they cool they firm up.

Lemon and chia seed muffins.

 

I got a bit bag of lemons this weekend (because they’re my favourite!) and am planning on doing a few lemony bits of baking. First up are these yummy lemon and chia seed muffiins. They taste great! And bonus is that they are fully paleo friendly! So they contain no gluten, dairy or sugar. Score! I think next up will be some form of cookies, and maybe even some lemon bars! Yum yum!

 

Lemon and Chia Seed Muffins
Makes 12-16 small muffins
Adapted from Delighted Momma 

 

1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon coconut flour
5 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
2 lemon’s juice
1/3 cup honey (I used liquid honey and then didn’t bother melting it with the coconut oil)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 lemon’s zest
2 tablespoons of chia seeds

 

Preheat oven to 162 degrees.
In a large bowl mix together the eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon juice.
Melt the coconut oil and honey together and pour into the egg mixture.
Mix all the wet ingredients together.
In a separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients.
Slowly stir them into the wet ingredients.
Fill each muffin tin (or lined muffin pan) with about 1/3 cup of batter.
Bake for 22 minutes.

Kinfolk Honey Harvest Workshop

 

On Sunday I went along to the Kinfolk Honey Harvest Workshop held in the quaint little George Fraser Gallery and it was so much fun! We learnt all about the importance of bees, the process of honey-making, and learnt how to make our own honey infusions to take home. We also got to taste test a bunch of delicious honeys! The lovely Shaye of On My Hand and Greta of Greta Kenyon Photography hosted our Auckland event and they did such an awesome job of it!

 

After making our herb and spice infused honeys we got to enjoy a traditional Chinese tea ceremony to kick off the amazing morning tea that was put together for us. All of the baked goods had a little honey inspiration in them. Danielle from Spongedrop made the most amazing orange polenta cardamom cake with honey marscapone. YUM! And Caron from Little Doe brought along some scrumptious gluten-free bread which I smothered in cheese (oh man I love cheese haha). It was great to see some familiar faces attending too – Danelle (same name!!) of Danelle Bohane Photography and Julia of Studio Home blog!

 

Super keen to head along to more of these Kinfolk events! Can’t wait to hear what the next one is going to be!

The Elimination Diet: Challenging

Day 36

Before I left for Christchurch I contacted my ENT specialist about my progress (or lack there of in this case) on the Elimination Diet. So far I’ve seen no improvement on my sinuses whatsoever, which means that it’s fairly likely that a food allergy is not the cause of my problems. He told me I may as well start challenging foods now so here goes!

 

 

Last night I had my first bit of dairy in over a month. Crazy! I actually don’t like milk, at least not by itself or in something that I can still taste the milk through. If I could have had chocolate milk I would have but that contains cocoa and other bad stuff that I’m not challenging yet. So I decided to go with a banana berrie smoothie.

 

Banana Berrie Smoothie

1 banana
1 cup semi frozen berries, or fresh berries
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup milk (actually I just estimated this amount once everything was in)

Blend it all together… easy!

 

I got a headache almost instantly. That could have been a coincidence, I’m not sure though. I was probably worried that I’d have some kind of side-effect and brought it on myself. Have to note everything down though, just in case.

 

Today I will try have two smoothies, or balls up and drink a glass of milk by itself. I have to have about three cups of milk a day for three days to see if it has any effect. If I feel a negative effect I need to stop having milk, wait till the effect goes away and then I will start bringing in the next challenge food… gluten! If it has no negative effect I can continue to have milk and I think after gluten I will try out other dairy products, like cheese!

 

If anyone has any suggestions for how I can drink/eat milk please sing out! Anything that can add flavour so I can’t actually taste the milk would be fantastic. :)

The Elimination Diet: Bored

Day 21

Another week down and my symptoms haven’t changed. Sigh. My ENT has told me to wait it out till the end of week four and then contact him again about my progress. I can’t imagine that much will change in a week but we shall see.

 

I do feel lighter. Not like, in weight terms (although I have lost weight on this diet). I just don’t feel so bogged down after meals now. Not sure what I will do if he tells me that I don’t need to carry on with the diet. I’m thinking about carrying on as long as I can because I do feel so much healthier. I’m so proud of myself for even making it this far without just having a little nibble of chocolate, or taking a bite of satay chicken off my boyfriend’s plate. As I type this I can smell nachos and it’s basically taking over all of my thoughts! Haha.

 

So I’ve been on the look out for good blogs and recipe sites that promote organic and vegan lifestyles because what I have been living off is so booooooring. I’ve literally eaten the exact same stir fry vegetables every night on this diet. Luckily I’ve come across some goodies which I’d like to share with you…

 

 

My New Roots

Sarah is a nutritionist and vegetarian chef. I think what attracts me most about her blog is her photos! They make everything look so appetizing. I actually found her blog through Bre posting Sarah’s How To Make Nut Milk video. It’s made me really want to make my own, cause it costs about $9 a litre for almond milk here!

 

I’ve been wanting to have asparagus since I started this diet but the ones in the supermarket haven’t looked the best so I’m going to have to wait to make this asparagus ribbon salad (omit the lemon juice from the dressing). I’ve gotten into smoothie mode too, and Sarah’s strawberry sunrise smoothie sounds so good. Pity strawberries are so pricey right now. Because everything yummy that I’d usually eat for dessert isn’t allowed, I was looking for some kind of sweet snack and found these energy orbs on Sarah’s blog. I ended up finding ones that I could buy from an organic food store which are alright but I think I’d rather make my own and change the dates to apricots and maybe add some shredded coconut! Nom nom nom.

 

The Vegan Stoner

This is such a cute food blog! Each recipe is illustrated! Although I’d have to remove a few items from some of these recipes, they all seem so tasty. I’m particularly attracted to this whole beet salad. I’ve never cooked up my own beetroot before so I’m really keen to try this one. I can’t have tofu so that would be out, but I’m sure I could think of some other vegetable to add in. The other recipe that I must try out is this peach rice pudding. Something sweet and warm will hit just the spot!

 

Elimination Diet by Unami

It doesn’t look like this blog has been touched in a very long time but it’s not like the recipes go out of date. I found this blog by searching for homemade pasta sauce recipes. Luckily found this non-dairy pesto recipe which I need to make to add to pasta because it seems to be the only sauce I’ve found that I can actually eat. It’s just annoying that all of the pre-made ones from the supermarket contain parmesan cheese and lemon juice. So making it from scratch will be good for me. Now I just need a food processor….

 

 

So if any of you have any other blogs you want to share with me please do! I need more variety!

The Elimination Diet: The Basics

As some of you might already be aware, I have suffered from ongoing sinus issues for a very long time. I’ve been seeing an ENT (ears, nose and throat specialist) for about 10 months now and earlier this year I had sinus surgery, which for a while was a success. But then I got a flu jab and the sinus infections just wouldn’t let up.

 

So here we are now, trying to find out (again) what is causing my problems. I’ve always had a bit of an allergy problem. I’m already well aware that I’m allergic to animal fur (no cats or dogs for me!), dust and grasses. When I was little I used to suffer from eczema and as I got older that went away, but I now suffer from psoriasis. I also get the occasional bout of acute urticaria which appears to be caused by an allergy to the temperature changes from physical activity. Yes that’s right, I’m actually allergic to exercise. I’m not just using it as an excuse, I really am.

 

That’s just a bit of background to let you know how I got here, to The Elimination Diet.

 

 

It seems that a food allergy (or maybe more than one) is a possible cause for all of my symptoms and there’s no completely accurate food allergy test so the elimination diet is your best bet at finding out your allergies. In a nutshell I am on a very limited diet (which I will go over in a second), and I stay on this until my symptoms go away and I have five or more symptomless days. Then I can start to reintroduce foods and ‘challenging’ them, one at a time. If my symptoms come back straight away then I’m more than likely allergic or intolerant to that one food. But then I have to stop eating that, wait to get a little better, and then start on my next challenge food, and so on until I have challenged everything I cut out. Once I’ve done that I can figure out how I can change my diet to stop incorporating those foods that I’m allergic to and hope that keeps my sinus problems at bay.

 

What I can eat:

Cereals: Quinoa, rice and millet puffs or flakes

Grains: Rice (except wild rice), buckwheat, millet, quinoa, amaranth and teff (I cannot have yeast)

Flours: Rice, millet, quinoa, amaranth, teff, bean flours and tapioca (no wheat/gluten)

Fruit: All fruits except for citrus fruits (no oranges, lemons, limes or grapefruit)

Meat: Lamb and wild game meats such as venison

Beans/Legumes: All beans and legumes except for soy and peanuts

Vegetables: All vegetables except for tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potatoes and corn

Nuts/Seeds: All nuts and seeds except for peanuts

Oils/Fats: All oils except for peanut oil, corn oil and soybean oil

Sweetners: Pure maple syrup and brown rice syrup

Beverages: Water, rice milk, all juices except for ones containing citrus and herbal teas

Condiments: All except for chocolate, tomato products, pepper products and vinegars that contain malt

 

I cannot have any dairy, preservatives or additives, and basically everything I eat has to be fully organic.

 

Day 14

Today marks two weeks on this diet. When I started this I had spent the 3 weeks beforehand with no sense of taste or smell whatsoever, and I was blowing my nose probably about 30-50 times a day. Not a lot has changed to be honest. I can taste and smell a bit now, but it goes on and off and those senses are weakened so I’m only getting a faint taste of whatever I’m eating. Today, for example, I haven’t been able to taste anything at all till I got home and had dinner. Bit of a shame since I didn’t like what I was eating for dinner and could have gone without being able to taste it.

 

I’ve basically been living off rice crackers, rice cakes (very pleased I can spread honey on those!), pears, bananas, plums, strawberries, stir-fry vegetables with mixed herbs to add a bit of flavour, sweet potato chips, macademia nuts, sunflower seeds and various juices.

 

 

My hunt has begun to find good recipes to help keep things interesting with this diet. So if anyone has any ideas for recipes or links to good blogs about organic/vegan/DF/GF eating I would gladly welcome them!

 

P.S. I’ll be impressed if anyone actually reads this entire post cause it is LONG!