time to think about it

2014.02.27_loving earth cacao

I have decided to be more mindful of what food I am putting into my body. Most of the time I am so busy that I end up not really paying enough attention to the food I eat. I am no longer happy to be like this. I really want to actively attempt to think about what I am actually eating and make better choices every day.

My friends have been teaching and telling me a lot about health and food lately. There are so many things that I am just used to having and not thinking twice about it. I’m not talking about fast food like McDonald’s and the like. We all know those foods aren’t good for us. But I’m talking about anything that is processed, anything with an ingredient as a number, or preservative or something artificial. Even simple and ordinary things like say an ice-cream. I just assume that things are food, they’re being sold, and they wont kill me today so it’s ok. But actually it shouldn’t be ok, because these foods aren’t natural and they aren’t doing me any good.

Anyway, I am sure I will talk more about these things as I learn more, for today though I want to tell you my first step toward thinking about it. I’m going to make some delicious brownies that my friend had made the other day. These brownies were Raw Chocolate Brownies. They were actually so good that I would choose them over any other brownie.

The recipe comes from The Healthy Chef, and I purchased the Raw Cacao from The Spring Street Grocer.

Jx

Links

The Healthy Chef

Brownie Recipe

The Spring Street Grocer

Loving Earth

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image-4

 

I made this last night. Chicken bolognese. It is from Matt Preston’s new cook book, Fast, Fresh and Unbelievably Delicious…I think that is the correct name.

 

It was my first time with chicken bolognese and it turned out well, my favourite part of it was the cherry tomatoes.

 

The thing I love about Matt Preston himself is that everytime I have had a question about his recipes I can tweet it to him and I always get a reply. It is really excellent. Especially for someone like me that isn’t very experienced in the kitchen. My question was whether I could freeze the sauce, he responded with “Don’t usually have leftovers but yes you can freeze but only if chicken mince was fresh (not thawed from frozen). Eat soon!” Thanks Matt!

ricotta and spinach stuffed pasta shells

Oh hey there.

Here’s what I cooked for dinner last night. They were delicious. I’d never made them before, however I had made cannelloni and they are quite similar.

This page I’ve scanned in for you is from my journal which I have titled “Juliet’s  Cooking Adventures. I started this journal earlier this year but haven’t really had the chance to try new recipes because I was so busy with uni. And now I am on holidays so hopefully I can cook more.

The reason I have made this journal is so I can track my cooking progress, remember what I’ve made and what I thought about what I’ve made. 

I really love food but I’m not that great at coming up with my own recipes, so I kind of hope that by keeping a cooking journal and trying to regularly add to it my cooking skills can improve!

 

ricotta & spinach stuffed pasta shells

 

TIPS:

-It didn’t mention anywhere in the recipe that you should season it with salt and pepper, i highly recommend some salt at least, probably in step 4.

 

Bon appétit! 

 

ps. the image of the pasta is my own!

Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

S A L T  A N D  V I N E G A R  K A L E  C H I P S

The recipe is from the book; “The eat, drink, and be gorgeous project.”

Kale is the new potato! These light and crunchy “chips” are practically guilt-free.

SERVES 8

2 bunches kale, rinsed with stems removed

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3tbsp olive oil

1tsp salt (or less, as desired)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the kale into 2-to-3-in/5-to 7.5cm pieces. In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, olive oil, and salt. And the kale and toss by hand until all the leaves are covered. Evenly distribute the kale among the prepared baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes, or until the leaves are crispy. If the chips are not sizzling or crispy yet, turn up the heat to 200 degrees Celsius and bake for a few minutes more. Baking time varies depending on the size of your chips and desired crispness; note that the outer edges cook quicker than the pieces from near the stem. The chips are best if enjoyed immediately, but can keep overnight in an airtight container in the fridge.

IMG_8431Washed Kale.

IMG_8433Kale on the tray ready to go into the oven.

IMG_8439And, voilla. Salt and vinegar Kale chips.

I only made half the recipe, so one bunch. I ate half of that for lunch with some chicken. They turned out super delicious. I just need to make sure they’re crispier next time, the ones in the middle of the tray weren’t as crispy as they should be, but they were still good enough to eat. Yum. I think I’d prefer these over salt and vinegar potato chips from now on.

butterscotch muffins

B U T T E R S C O T C H  M U F F I N S

 

 

I made some muffins today and they turned out great. They’re from the Nigella book my friend let me borrow. You should make them too, they’re so easy to make.

 

Ingredients:

3 very ripe bananas

125ml vegetable oil

2 eggs

250g flour

100g caster sugar

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

150g butterscotch (or chocolate) morsels

 

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line a 12-bun muffin tin with muffin papers.

2. Mash the bananas and set aside for a moment

3. Pour the oil into a jug and beat in the eggs.

4. Put the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder into a large bowl and mix in the beaten-egg-and-oil mixture, followed by the mashed bananas.

5. Fold in the butterscotch morsels, then place equal quantities in the prepared muffin tin – I use an ice cream scoop and a spatula – and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Makes 12

 

* I made half the recipe, so only making 6 muffins *

** I couldn’t find butterscotch morsels so i used caramel bits instead **

 

- Juliet

spaghetti bolognese

S P A G H E T T I  B O L O G N E S E

When I chose this particular recipe I didn’t realise that it had to cook for 2 hours. As a result, last night I didn’t get to eat dinner until 11pm.

From now on I need to remember to read the full recipe ( ingredients and instructions) before I start cooking.

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Serves: 6

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stick, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

500g beef mince

1 cup beef stock

2 x 425g cans chopped tomatoes

1 and a half cups (375ml) red wine

1 teaspoon sugar

500g spaghetti

1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based pan and stir the onion, carrot and celery over medium hear for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add the mince and cook over high heat until well browned, breaking up any lumps with a fork. Add the stock, tomato, wine and sugar.

3. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Cook the pasta in boiling water until just tender. Season the sauce and serve with the spaghetti. The sauce can be kept for up to 2 days in the fridge or frozen for up to 2 months

*** I didn’t put wine in my sauce because I didn’t have any, so instead I added half a cup extra beef stock and one cup of water ***

*** I also didn’t add garlic because garlic and I don’t really get along ***

*** It turned out really well ***

- Juliet x