Tag Archives: Breakfast

Tropical chia parfait

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Last week I bought an ebook from a girl who I had met many years ago in Tasmania, but has since moved to Melbourne. She has a fantastic website called The Holistic Ingredient and has just released her first recipe book, The Nourishing Kitchen.

I have made a couple of the chia recipes in the book which were great and should be tried! Yesterday however, I experimented with her parfait idea and came up with a delicious tropical blend of my own. Until I read Amy’s book, it had never occurred to me to put the chia seeds into a blender. It results in a lovely smoothie texture.

Anyway, I popped this recipe on my Facebook site and got quite a bit of interest, so I thought I should upload it to my blog so you could try it too! You need to put the chia seeds in the fridge to soak overnight for best results, otherwise if you don’t mind a crunchier texture leave it soaking for at least 30 minutes.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons chia seeds

1 cup milk of choice

1-2 strawberries

1/2 banana

2 cm chunk fresh pineapple chopped

Juice 1/2 lime

1 tablespoon coconut cream/yoghurt of choice

2-3 mint leaves (optional)

Sprig mint and slice strawberry for garnish

Method

Mix chia seeds with milk and leave in the fridge to soak overnight.

In the morning, pop in all ingredients into a blender and whizz up until you get your desired consistency.

Garnish with extra mint and a slice of strawberry (you could also pop some more coconut cream or yoghurt on top).

Enjoy x

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My favourite breakfast or dessert – Chia pudding

chia puddingThe other night at dinner my friends were quizzing me about my new diet! Now let me say upfront that I am not on a “diet” as such and am not advocating any particular diet, I am just interested in staying fit and healthy. A huge part of that is being careful about what you put into your body. I have always maintained, a fairly constant weight, except whilst pregnant of course. I guess I was just blessed with a fast metabolism. Those who know me would flip if they thought I was dieting to lose weight, as I am probably on the lighter side of normal! So, I suppose you would say I have altered the way I am eating to attain optimal health! I think I am heading in the right direction and like most things, it is a work in progress.

I have always eaten what most people would consider to be a pretty healthy diet. I’ve never been a fan of bread or milk. Whilst most mothers would pack their children a quick Vegemite sandwich and send them off to school, my poor mum was requested to make me a salad. In my day, they would provide milk to all of the school children except me, who was exempt and would have an orange juice instead!

My husband has a background in science and as such feels the need to base everything on research rather than just blindly following the latest trends. For some time now, he has been looking at the Paleo diet and the research to back it. Most of it seems pretty much like common sense, but there are some areas that we still haven’t found enough evidence to change what we currently do. Whilst conducting our research we have found various versions of the Paleo diet. Typically there are those who advocate a diet that is high is saturated fats such as coconut, olive oil and animal fat and others who advocate a low fat diet. In case you’re wondering, we lean towards the low fat version, but do eat some coconut cream, milk and oil on occasions.

I can’t say that we are fully Paleo, as there are other dietary restrictions that also dictate what we/I can eat.  For example, while most people following the Paleo diet would probably drink almond milk, it is high in oligos which I react to (it is a FODMAP) so I drink rice milk. I probably should add that I exercise about 5 days per week, so I figure my rice (and the odd bit of potato) intake counts as what Dr Sharon Carson calls the “athletes carb option”. While we had been eating low fructose for some time we have now dropped cane sugar out of our diet completely.

This was prompted by a few things going on around us. One of which was a local orthopaedic surgeon, Gary Fettke, who has set about to raise awareness of the perils of fructose by starting a Facebook Page and website called No Fructose. He has some great information about fructose and weight loss, for those who are interested, on his site!

At around the same time one of my friends who is battling cancer quit sugar. Whether by coincidence or not, and with a bit of help from chemotherapy as well, she currently has no cancer growing in her body. While I didn’t feel the need to read about how to go about quitting sugar, I know others do. There is a great book out by a fellow Australian Sarah Wilson called I Quit Sugar. She also has recipe books out and a great blog. There are links to these on my website.  Me being me likes to experiment with food, so I thought it would be a good idea if I cut sugar out as well and helped my friend to find products that would suit her and to adapt recipes so she didn’t feel like she was missing out on the good things in life, but without the fructose! In the mean time my husband did his research and found that there are links between fructose and cancer and that there isn’t really a beneficial use for fructose in the body. There are a whole gamut of health conditions that it’s thought that fructose contributes to. You can read more about that on the No Fructose website!

Anyway, back to our dinner conversation. I listed the things that I don’t eat which include dairy, grains, cane sugar, legumes and some fruits and vegetables. The girls wanted to know exactly what I did eat as they didn’t think there was much left! That day was a really bad example as I had been busy so only had a bit of coconut yoghurt for breakfast and some snack foods (nuts and fruit) during the day. So I thought I would share with you all a yummy breakfast that I found and adapted so that my friend could eat it, and it doesn’t contain any cane sugar!

I adapted the recipe from the very talented Alkaline Sisters. You need to make it the night before if you’re eating it for breakfast…it only takes a minute to make and is so worth it! No cooking required, and it’s really easy to take travelling with you.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons chia seeds (black, white or a mixture is fine)

1 cup milk (I use rice milk, but use any kind you like)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice (I sometimes use nutmeg instead)

1/8 teaspoon cardamon

1 teaspoon sugar free vanilla essence/extract or 1/2- 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped and mixed in with the spices – also add the pod for extra flavour.

Method

Measure the chia seeds into a container. I use a glass container with a good seal.

Add spices and milk and mix very well.

Put in the fridge and in the morning your breakfast is ready to serve with fruit, nuts or whatever takes your fancy!

Pierre’s Restaurant, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

pierres-brasserie-launcestonOn Friday night I ate at this restaurant with a group of girlfriends.  Pierre’s is somewhat of an iconic institution on the Launceston restaurant/café scene and this year has been awarded a spot at number 12 on the Australian Good Food Guide (AGFG) list of Australian Restaurants.  It has been around since 1956 and in recent years has had a facelift which has modernised it’s interior without sacrificing it’s charm.  With the classic black and white tiles, rich red colours and the high back leather bench seats, Pierre’s provides a sophisticated yet relaxed dining experience and has a great pre theatre feel about it.

The restaurant is divided into two sections.  The main entrance is off George Street and is a long narrow room, dimly lit and lined with bench seating.  The Courtyard room and bar is a bit more open and light and can be accessed either from George Street or through the back, which is handy for those diners who wish to park in the Patterson Street undercover car park which is conveniently located adjacent to the restaurant.  While the back room does have smaller tables, it is also perfect for larger groups or functions.

The menu looked great and the wine list extensive, although I thought there could have been a bit more choice in the Tasmanian wine department.

OuPierres Creme Bruleer table however,  was fairly unadventurous, only ordering two of the main course dishes and two desserts.  Meals were simply presented but loaded with flavour.  The Duck confit a la orange was by all reports a superb dish.  I ordered the fish of the day, which was Atlantic salmon.  The restaurant catered well for my dietary requirements and served the fish with steamed vegetables and a slice of lemon.  The fish was moist, but cooked all the way through.  Desserts also looked great with crème brulee and a trio of sorbets being ordered.

Unfortunately the service on this occasion was a bit slow, particularly when it came to drinks.  We ended up having to go and wait at the bar to order drinks, which was a bit disappointing.  As I’ve dined here previously, I know that this isn’t always the case.

All in all it was a great dining experience and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who is visiting Launceston.  No doubt the locals are already well aware of it’s presence!  Pierre’s is open Tuesday to Saturday for breakfast lunch and dinner.

Delicious Coconut Yoghurt

IMG_9722I just needed to quickly share my yoghurt success with you all.

I bought a yoghurt maker from http://www.greenlivingaustralia.com.au/ along with some pure pectin and vegan culture.  It all arrived last night.  So before bed, after getting a consensus from Facebook on what type of yoghurt I should make, quickly popped on a batch of the coconut variety!

I have offered samples around to friends and received 100% thumbs up.  I find it quite rich, but think I will use it as an alternative to cream.

Ingredients

1 litre of the coconut cream

2 teaspoons of pure pectin

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

A “smidgen” of culture

Method

Pop into the yoghurt maker

Plug it into the power and turn it on.

Leave for 8-12 hours.

yoghurt

In the morning I was greeted with this creamy, deliciousness!

 

Now to try rice milk!

Tallwood, Mollymook, New South Wales, Australia

tallwood_11_02_13_178348[1]A couple of weeks ago, I made it my mission to go and try this restaurant. As I pointed out in my previous review, my brother Matt Upson is chef and co-owner of Tallwood with his friend Clayton Till.

The restaurant has a modern “big city” feel to it, yet it is located in a little town called Mollymook on the South Coast of New South Wales. The décor is clean and fresh and there is a great display of local art works which are for sale.

Outside dining, complete with a retractable awning, is also on offer to make the most of the fabulous NSW weather. There are even knee rugs for when the air is a bit chilly.

Evening dining sees the restaurant transform into a sophisticated indoor space with a great atmosphere. The mood is set off by the clever interior design and gorgeous lighting that throws patterns onto the walls and roof.

Tallwood is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from Wednesday to Sunday. The menu is the same for lunch and dinner, so I decided to have both meals here so I could try more of the dishes (after all I had come all the way from Tasmania and had been waiting quite some time to eat here)!

I dined with my parents, sister in law and daughter for both meals (arguably my brother’s toughest critics). For lunch we decided to have lighter options to save room for our evening meal! The food did not disappoint. Popular with my 5 year old daughter were the taro chips. I was partial to the “salumi Australia” cured meat board and the Black Angus scotch (which I ate without the pine mushrooms due to FODMAP’s), while my mum loved the Portuguese Fish Cakes served with a saffron mayo.

For dinner my favourites were the Japanese pancakes (I have to say that as he adapted them from my recipe!), American spare ribs with tomato, coriander and lime, and the red braised quail. We didn’t have dessert as we were trying to be good! Actually, by special request the chef whipped up some banana and choc chip ice-cream for my daughter!

Tallwood quail a

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed both meals here. The staff were knowledgeable and attentive, without being intrusive. I particularly enjoyed the experience of evening dining.

If you are in the vicinity of Mollymook, you really need to check this restaurant out. If you are a little further down the coast, the Tallwood team also run Merry Street Restaurant and Bar at Kioloa. I know that you may be thinking that I am biased being that the restaurant belongs to a family member. If so, please check out what other people are saying on TripAdvisor!