Frozen Yoghurt Bark

I’ve seen this concept of food called “bark” quite a bit recently, mostly with chocolate of some description. However, I stumbled across a blogger named “The Fussy Eater” who has created a marvellous recipe for Greek Yoghurt Bark. I took my inspiration from her however, I completely simplified it just because of time, budget and level of laziness at the time. I like the idea of the yoghurt bark just because it is handy if you don’t have any popsicle holders (or all the ones you currently have are occupied) and also too I find that if I freeze a bunch of yoghurt in a cup, I feel like I need a jackhammer to eat it and so this method of frozen yoghurt works a treat. This recipe is lactose free and refined sugar free!

Frozen Yoghurt Bark

What you’re going to need

250g Greek Yoghurt (the one I made is using Black Swan Lactose Free Greek Yoghurt)***

4 strawberries, blended into a thick liquid (no water necessary)

flat tray, lined with baking paper

Method

1. Pour yoghurt onto the lined tray and spread evenly

2. Pour your strawberries over the top (if you want to get fancy with patterns just use a skewer and play around with it)

3. Freeze for about 4-6 hours

4. Snap and enjoy!

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***Black Swan Foods are an Australian brand which I don’t think are stocked overseas currently. If you are lactose intolerant, substitute your preferred yoghurt of choice

Carrot Dip

So you’ve got a whole bunch of carrots left in the fridge. You’re not really feeling carrot sticks or just boring old boiled carrots. What do you do? Make a dip! As I have written about previously, hummus is my dip of choice so thought I’d a put a spin on it by using the abundance of leftover carrots that I had in the fridge instead of chickpeas. The carrots actually give the dip a subtle element of sweetness which is not overpowering in the slightest! It also provides a vibrantly coloured dip which I am obsessed with. The colour makes the dish really! This will take an extra five minutes to make in comparison to my go-to hummus but I assure you, it is worth the extra little bit of effort.

Carrot Dip (yield 1 cup)

What you’re going to need

3 medium sized carrots, sliced into circles (honestly shape doesn’t matter because they’ll be blended anyway. However the smaller you cut your carrot the faster they will cook)

2 teaspoons tahini

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cumin

salt to season

Method

1. Boil water in a medium saucepan. Once boiled, cook your carrots until you can easily stick a fork through them.

2. Drain your carrots but retain about 1/2 a cup of the water.

3. Add all of the ingredients except the water into a pulse blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. (May need to add some of the carrot water just depends how smooth you would like it!)

4. Serve with crackers or vegetables such as cucumbers or celery (or I guess you could serve it with carrots too…I’ll leave you to decide on that one!)

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Tuna Zucchini Pasta Salad

So I absolutely love seafood! Unfortunately seafood can be a bit expensive at times and also inconvenient as I only like buying seafood from specific places. However, tinned tuna is my saviour and it’s always an item on hand at home. I wanted to add some protein to this salad and as I was in a bit of a hurry, tuna was the easiest choice. For this recipe, I have loaded the salad with greens so that it is super healthy! Also the best thing about it too is that I did not use any oils. I made a dressing out of the smashed avocado which i lightly seasoned and then I mixed that through the salad to give it moisture. It works as a creamy dressing so was a perfect accompaniment for the zucchini. I like making salads because it forces you to be creative with ingredients you have readily available. It is incredibly easy to whip together and so there’s no excuse to reach for fried or “fast foods”. This will actually save you a bit of coin too.

Tuna Zucchini Pasta Salad

What you’re going to need

1 tin tuna (any kind is fine, a healthier option is to choose one in springwater as opposed to oil)

1/2 zucchini, julienned

handful baby rocket

handful baby spinach

1/2 avocado, mashed (to prevent making more washing up, just mash up your avo whilst it is still in the skin. Its works as a bowl!)

10 walnuts

salt and pepper

lemon juice (optional)

Method

1. Season the avocado with salt and pepper

2. Place the tuna, zucchini, rocket and spinach in a bowl and combine with tongs.

3. Scoop the avocado in and mix through until all the ingredients are coated with avocado

4. Top with walnuts.

5. Drizzle with lemon (optional)

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Raw Cacao Truffles

Every human being should know that yes, 3:30itis is a legitimate thing. It is that time of day when you start to get sleepy, hungry and feel a whole mixture of emotions. Luckily today, I decided to manage my 3:30itis with some raw treats which are jam packed with all the good stuff and no nasties (not even any sweeteners are added!!!). These glorious creations were so easy, they took about 2 minutes!!!

Raw Cacao Truffles

What you’re going to need

1/4 cup almonds (or store bought almond meal just depends what you have on hand)

1/3 cup dates, chopped

1 tablespoon cacao powder (keep out the packet for decoration later)

2 teaspoons chia seeds

1 tablespoon tahini

dessicated coconut for rolling

Method

1. If you’re using whole almonds, you will need to process these first into a “meal” . For this step, simply throw your almonds in a pulse blender and pulse until desired consistency is achieved (mine turned out quite fine but not store consistency but I enjoy the texture it gives)

2. Add all of your ingredients into the pulse blender and blend until mix comes together (it should be quite thick and a bit sticky so you may need to scrape down the sides of your blender and blend again.)

3. I used rubber gloves for this stage – Using a teaspoon, scoop a heaped spoonful of mixture into your gloved (or ungloved hands), roll into a ball and place on a plate/tray. (Truffles are meant be small due to their flavour richness but obviously this is a personal preference)

4. Continue rolling into balls until all the mixture is used up. This recipe yielded 12 for me but this may vary. Roll the balls in dessicated coconut or sprinkle with some freshly sifted cacao powder (or both)

5. Store in the fridge (they’ll probably last a week but there’s no way you’ll need that long!!!)

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Basil and Rocket Pesto

I love making pesto because there is no cooking involved besides what you’re serving it with. Which means…you can make it in bulk ahead of time and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use it! I used rocket in my recipe because it adds another dimension to the dish and also just because it’s a great way to incorporate more greens into your diet! I’ve been making pesto for a long time but I feel like I can safely say that I’m 100% percent happy with the recipe I’m presenting today.

Basil and Rocket Pesto

What you’re going to need

Handful basil leaves (save yourself a heap of coin by growing your own)

Handful baby rocket leaves

1 clove garlic, crushed

6 walnuts

4 tablespoons olive oil

pinch sea salt

Method

1. Chuck all of your ingredients into a pulse blender/food processor until desired consistency is achieved

2. Serve with fettucine (I left a little bit of pasta water in with the pasta just to give to this dish a bit more moisture!

Sweet Potato Salad with Balsamic Dressing

So after a long day at work and then my bi weekly kickboxing class, I wanted dinner tonight to be light, simple and healthy. I visited the supermarket during the day today and picked up a sweet potato. Whilst in the queue at Coles, a man said to me “Wow that is a really big potato”. It was really awkward and wasn’t really sure what to say so I just went along and purchased it anyway. It weighed 850 grams!!! And cost $4! Alas, this potato is big enough to last me three meals so I thought it was a pretty good investment. One of the meals I decided to test out tonight which I have been thinking about all day is this salad. Serving size = 1.

Sweet Potato Salad with Balsamic Dressing 

What you’re going to need

1 sweet potato (if you bought a mega sized one like me then you will only need 1/3 of it)

A big handful of baby rocket

1/2 tablespoon pine nuts

Dressing

1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon maple syrup

salt and pepper

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius

2. Peel and cut your sweet potato into 1cm cubes. (Or if you’re super hungry cut them smaller!)

3. Lightly drizzle your spuddies with olive oil and season with salt and cracked pepper

4. Bake for 20 minutes or until a fork can go through them with ease

5. Whilst the potatoes are baking, toast your pine nuts in a fry pan until golden brown. Also, to prepare the dressing, simply combine all your ingredients in a cup/jug.

6. Assemble your salad starting with the rocket, then potato then pine nuts. Dress the salad and enjoy! (make sure to stir the dressing just before pouring because it will have separated when left to sit on the bench!)

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Chocolate and Coconut Granola

Today, my challenge was to create a nutritious yet delicious granola using only ingredients that I had available at home. Granola is quite a genius creation as you can throw whatever you like in the mix and it will most likely still taste fabulous. The granola that I have created is vegan and refined sugar free!

Chocolate and Coconut Granola (makes 2 cups)

What you’re going to need

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup puffed rice

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

1/3 cup raw mixed nuts, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons rice malt syrup

1 tablespoon cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees

2. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, puffed rice, coconut and nuts.

3. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until all the dry mix is evenly coated.

4. Spread the mix evenly over a lined baking tray. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and mix the tray with a spoon periodically.

6. Store in an airtight container for up to a week!