Monday, 3 February 2014

Quinoa and Pumpkin Salad

Quinoa Salad is a very versatile dish. You can pretty much change the ingredients every time and you won't be disappointed.

The salad pictured above has the following ingredients in it:

  • 1 cup of quinoa cooked as per the packet directions
  • 2 green capsicums
  • half a pumpkin- roasted and cooled
  • a few handfuls of baby spinach
  • some fetta cheese crumbled through it

I mixed a dressing of olive oil, honey, red wine vinegar and ground cumin to serve over it and it was delicious.

These were just the vegetables that I had on hand on the day and next time no doubt it will be a little different. I would have like to include some roasted zucchini as well, but we were all out.

Do you love quinoa? How do you serve it?

Sunday, 2 February 2014

A Wholefood Lunchbox: First Day Back to School

It's back to school for us finally. So 5 days a fortnight I have 2 lunches to make per day and the other 5 days I have 3 lunches to prepare.

I want to try and steer clear of the usual sandwiches and try a few different things this year.

We've never been one to include anything packaged or store bought so steering away from the sandwiches shouldn't be too hard.

Here is what was packed in our first lunch box of 2014:

  • popcorn with goji berries, coconut flakes, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds; 
  • carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, kabana, cheese and homemade dip; 
  • a chicken drumstick
  • banana 
I'm not sure that I like that the kabana is in this lunch box as it is a processed sausage, so I will most likely swap that out in the future with chunks of leg ham or the like. 

Fingers crossed it all gets eaten! My kids are always saying that the never have enough time to eat all their lunch, I don't know what to say about that, because it is so important that they do have a good lunch!

Oh and these lunch boxes are Goodbyn boxes and are available from Biome in Australia or if you are outside of Australia you can check out the Goodbyn website

What have you been packing in lunches for school? 

Friday, 31 January 2014

My wholefood journey

My wholefood journey started a long long time ago, but I didn't get serious about it all until I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome back in 2011. As soon as I was diagnosed I read as many books on PCOS as I could, and they all pointed to the same things. Wholefoods- nuts, legumes, fruit and vegetables. I started reading more about whole foods, I did a few courses run but some blogger and watched movies like Forks Over Knives.

I chewed my husbands ear off about the changes we would be making to our eating habits, but when he heard I wanted to drastically wanted to reduce our meat intake he didn't like the sound of that, so well I had him watch Forks Over Knives.

He quickly came around after that, that is one convincing documentary! If you haven't seen it yet, please do get your hands on a copy.

So whilst we do eat meat I try to limit it to 3-4 nights per week, I would like it to be less, but it's what works for our family at the moment, so you just have to do what works for you.

And by limiting processed foods as much as possible I noticed improvements in my skin and health in general. We are not 100% strict on foods, if we are out and there are processed foods on offer, the we eat them, we don't make a huge fuss about it.

And as much as I dislike them my husband still does bring things like cheezels and shapes into the house. I don't make a big deal about it when he does, and the kids are just as likely to eat unprocessed snacks like popcorn over his snacks too. If I did make a big deal about it I think that the kids would want them all the time.

My journey is only really starting though, and I hope you can join me. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing more about me and what our wholefood kitchen looks like. Then I'll hopefully start sharing recipes and meal plans with you as well.

What has your wholefood journey looked like?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Soaking and Cooking Legumes

I've often been told that cooking with dried legumes is 'too hard'. But really it's not, it might be time consuming, but certainly not hard.

And when you think about it, it's really not time consuming either, it just takes a bit of forward planning.

The main legumes we use are lentils, chickpeas, pinto, red kidney and cannellini beans. I have just recently started introducing azuki and black beans to our mix and will no doubt be adding more as the year progresses.

The easiest way to prepare legumes for cooking is to slow soak them, so simply putting them in a pot and covering them in water for about 8 hours. Then rinsing them and cooking as required. Typically soaked legumes will need at least 45 minutes to cook, but this is dependant on the legume and the cooking process.

So, say for example I will be making something that requires 2 cups of cooked lentils, I might soak and cook 4 cups and freeze the excess for next time, negating the need to soak and cook the lentils again.

Freezing them is easy, just fill a glass jar but leaving enough gab at the top for expansion and leave the lid unscrewed until they have frozen then secure the lid.

So don't be scared about cooking with dried legumes, if I can do it, anyone can!

Monday, 27 January 2014

What does whole food mean to me?

So I thought I would start off by sharing what whole foods mean to me.

To simplify it, it's just food in it's most natural state (where possible). So fresh fruit and vegetables, and food made from scratch at home.

It really is that simple. Now living where we do it is sometimes hard to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, but that has just meant that we have changed a few of the meals to suit what is available in the shops that week. You see we have no farmers markets or green grocers here, just one supermarket chain.

Sometimes it means that we have to resort to canned foods, but that's not a bad thing, you just have to learn how to make do. Legumes and nuts are also a large part of our diet. We only eat meat about 3-4 nights per week and if I had it my way it would be less than that, but that is what works for our family at the moment, so that is what we will be doing.

You can see a sample of what we eat here in my meal plan for Jan/Feb. I'll also be sharing some of the kids school lunches when they go back to school next week.

What does wholefood mean to you?