- I don’t really dig heavy cream, especially whipped cream, I never have… just find it too full on.
- White sugar and me ain’t mates. If I want a break out, or break down (sugar hangover = depressed Lou) a sugar overload will give it to me, toot sweet.
- Yes, they may be delicious, but traditional desserts make me feel like crap. What’s wrong with creating something that is both delicious plus actually nutritionally beneficial?
- 1T tahini
- 1T agave or brown rice syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2t coconut oil
- 2t cacao powder (or regular cocoa)
- Mix everything together, pour into a plastic container or mould lined with glad wrap and freeze.
I think it’s time we had a talk. A little chat about our bodies. No, no that talk, but this one for me, has been pretty significant.
Would you believe until a few months ago, I would never bare my legs? I was the ‘girl who always wore black leggings,’ (title for my new novel?) In Melbourne, this what not an issue, as the weather there is so sporadic you will get rain, wind, hot and freezing all in the space of a few hours. You have to be clothing-ly prepared. Also, people wear a lot of black in Melbourne; I think it’s to do with being trendy and mysterious or something. In New Zealand, the black leggings were fine, as come on- it’s generally freezing there, even in the middle of Summer. I fitted in well, wearing my leggings by day – spending my nights next to a cozy fire, braiding my leg hair. It was all good.
Then I moved to Queensland. A place that could be considered on the border of being sub-tropical. A place where the catch phrase is ‘Queensland. Beautiful one day, perfect the next.’ It’s actually called the ‘Sunshine State.’ So yes, it is warm and sunny. All the time. Black leggings? Hmmm not really appropriate attire. Especially at the beach.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the heat. I love the sunshine, the outdoors, the beach, the water – it all makes me so happy. What was making me unhappy was the state of my skin. In particular, my legs.
The leggings were because my legs were pretty much constantly covered in a gross itchy rash. If I shaved or waxed my legs, it would make it worse. So I had hairy, rash covered pins. Sexy. I tried everything – super fancy supposedly sensitive razors, different creams/gels, different waxing techniques, you name it, I tried it. Those depilatory creams are just so toxic it’s unbelievable (the smell along should be warning, I think I got a buzz off one) not to mention what they did to my skin. Burning off your hair? Oh yes, please, burn me! I’ll pay money for you to burn me. Amazing.
See the gap between where pants stop, and feet start? That’s all that was ever bared.
So I kind of just gave up. Resigned myself to constantly having tanned feet and ankles, with the rest of my legs being hairy, blue and rashy. It was really depressing actually.
mmm, looks delicious, can I have a slice?
You actually could if you wanted to, but I’m not sure how you’d do swallowing this bad boy. This (well, actually coconut oil) has given me the gift of bare legs… this Summer I’m wearing shorts. Yeah.
I decided a few months ago I was over the leggings. Over wearing any sort of long pants or skirts in Summer. It’s ridiculous, and I want brown legs for once. My cure? Going back to basics. No fancy pharmacy products with all their claims… just keeping things simple.
I figured if I can eat it, I can use it on my body… I came up with this idea, the concept of using coconut oil in the shower as a protective layer over my skin before shaving. I already use it as a moisturiser, so I know my skin likes it. Yes, it clogs up my razor, but now I can even use the crappiest of crappy cheap-o razor and my legs stay rash free. Seriously, I love coconut oil.
I decided to take things a step further (read: had too much time on my hands, and a bag of beeswax I’ve been meaning to do something with for ages) and created a type of exfoiliating/moisturising shaving bar. This is really simple. Stupidly simple. If you don’t have the shaving problems I did, this is just a lovely treat for your skin. One side has oats and herbs to scrub away dead skin, and the other is a beautiful moisturiser.
Lou’s Lotion Bar For Lovely Legs (and other bits)
- Equal parts grated beeswax and coconut oil (pack beeswax down tightly) I used 3T of each.
- 1/8t baking soda
- 1t honey
- 1/8C oats, roughly chopped
- 1t rosemary (dry)
- 2t lavender flowers (dry)
- Use a double boiler or a stainless saucepan that you don’t care about (I have a designated, non food creating one). Gently melt down beeswax and add coconut oil. Do not let it boil, you just want it melted.
- Add in everything else. (This is super easy and quick as the heavy stuff sinks and the layers sort themselves out).
- Pour into desired moulds, or clean plastic container which has been lightly greased with olive oil. (I just use whatever is in my recycling bin).
- Place in fridge.
- Using a blunt butter knife, ease out of mould(s). Chop up into pieces/slices if you made one large bar.
- 5 Medjool dates softened in a few tablespoons of hot water
- 500g silken tofu (I like the Japanese kind, less of a ‘soy’ flavour if you get me)
- 1/4t salt
- 1/2t lemon juice
- 10 drops vanilla stevia liquid (or an additional 4 dates with 1/2t vanilla extract instead… it’s what I use for Misty)
- 5-6t cacao powder (however strong you like it)
Blend everything together.
Recipes to follow for the toppings that are pictured. Sorry to be a tease. You’ll forgive me.
I have used this ‘pudding’ in heaps of different ways – But wait! There’s more! It’s awesome as the soaking ‘agent,’ for overnight oats (in place of yoghurt, milk etc) or for a chia seed pudding. I’ve also made a peanut butter and banana version, and an almond butter and jam. All definitely worthy of a YUMMO. I’m thinking it would be wicked knickers on top of pancakes too. Just saying.
The biggest plus is that Misty loves the stuff; I can make a big batch, and we can both happily munch our way through. It would be awesome for all those little gummy monsters out there that don’t yet have the equipment for chowing down on the hard stuff.
So that’s about it. What do you think? Dessert for breakfast? Breakfast for dinner? Or simply dessert for dessert? Whatever floats your boat, that’s what I say.
If you think I’m bad with going off on tangents when I write – you should see me in the kitchen. I begin with a recipe to try, or an idea of a certain dish that I would like to prepare. I always end up getting distracted by some new ingredient or stroke of genius (yeah, right) half way through. The resulting dish is about as far away from the original idea as you can get without being arrested (that makes no sense whatsoever, similar to my style of cooking).
It all started with a few skinny eggplants I bought for some reason. I don’t know what I was thinking of doing with them, but they were pretty and purple so I bought them. Fast forward to lunch today, and I knew I had to use these beautiful, albeit annoying fridge dwellers. I chucked them in a hot oven, not really thinking it through, and this happened:
It seriously exploded in there. It looks kind of like a squid trying to escape. I find the insides of eggplants quite unnerving.
Due to the slightly creepy appearance of the insides, I decided to blend them up, thus banishing all thoughts of giant squid tendrils flapping around in my belly. Doing what I do best, I proceeded to scrape out the fridge and dump it into my blender along with the eggplant. I found some abandoned roast pepper strips (thanks Viper) a little plastic bag of herbs my girlfriend stole for me from another friends garden, some garlic and sad looking lemon wedges. A few dashes of seasoning, and a new delight was born. It’s kind of in between hummus, baba ganoush and pesto – really it just reminded me of a pesto because of the basil.
Vegan Eggplant Pesto
(Vegan, gluten free, nut free, soy free)
- 1C roasted eggplant
- 1/2 roasted red pepper
- 1t lemon juice
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 1/2T nutritional yeast
- 1/4t balsamic vinegar
- Big handful of fresh basil leaves
- A few sprigs of fresh sage
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 3T apple puree (or pumpkin, mashed banana etc)
- 1/2C rice (white or brown)
- 1 3/4C milk (I used full fat coconut milk, but cow, soy, almond etc are all good substitutes)
- 1/4C chopped dried fruit (or date puree gives it a lovely caramel flavour)
- 3/4t ground cinnamon or mixed spice (Pumpkin Pie spice)
- 2t tahini
- 1/2t pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
- Keep and eye on it, and stir every few minutes to prevent sticking.
- Wait until most of the liquid has been absorbed, turn of heat and place a lid on the saucepan. Let the rice soak up the rest of the liquid. (Puree in the food processor for under 8 month olds).
- Eat warm, or pop in fridge to firm up to serve with Chia Seed Jam. Far too hot here for a warm breakfast… the pudding goes all solid-like so you can carrrrrve off chunks (spoken with a Scottish accent, naturally) yummo.
First up, I made some for Misty, as I had a baked sweet potato lurking in the depths of my fridge that needed dealing to.
Dummy Sucker Dough:
- 2 1/2T mashed sweet potato
- 1t tahini
- 2T coconut flour
- 1/8t ground cinnamon
- 2t currants (or any finely chopped dried fruit)
- 2t peanut butter
- 1t honey (or a few drops of stevia if you are sugar-freeing it)
- Pinch sea salt
- 3/4-1t cacao or cocoa (however strong you like it)
- 1/4t vanilla extract
- 2-2 1/2T coconut flour (depends on the size of your banana)
- 1 small banana
- 1T “bits” – chopped nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, whatever you like (I chucked in some crushed peanuts)
- Mash together everything with a fork. Eat as is, or make into shapes.
- I like little balls. (stop it).
- If you like, freeze them – I highly recommend frozen balls (ha).
I was very excited to find coconut flour (New discovery #1) that doesn’t cost a million dollars. I have been wanting to try it out for ages, but couldn’t justify spending $17 for 500g (!) Apparently, my local health food store (read: my favourite store, visited by myself and Misty almost innappropriately frequently) has found a new supplier and has managed to get the price down. Hooray.
My next New discovery was something of a happy accident (not that kind). I always grind up my salt and flax seeds in the same pestle and mortar. I don’t clean it in between. Yes, I am very lazy BUT I discovered that the flax/salt combo is both delicious and nutritious when sprinkled over pretty much anything. Get your Omega 3s while you are hardening your arteries – two birds with one stone baby.
This New recipe is a work in progress. Sorry. It’s almost there; I was surprised how good it was first time off the bat, a few more tweaks and it’s yours. I just like to take unattractive photos.
The New recipe incorporates my New obsession. No, it’s not chocolate. Not really – it does contain cacao but that’s where the similarities end.
Misty is walking everywhere these days. I have to start putting shoes on him because I think people are looking at us and thinking, ‘huh, dirty hippies – look at that child’s feet – disgusting.’ These New shoes are pretty tough; not strictly “New,” (they were a gift) but they only fit his grubby feet now.
Old is New again = New project.
Don’t you just love it when you find something you lost/forgot about? It’s like having something New all over again. Another happy accident (no, get your mind out of the gutter) was stumbling across this retro pattern as I packed up our book cupboard. Also because the pattern is literally OLD (can you tell? Complete with some little old nana’s sewing notes scribbled on it) and I am going to create something fresh and New based on a groovy classic.
New snack. (From New recipe that is not quite right, but good enough for afternoon tea).
I love it how if you say any word over and over again it starts to sound really weird. Then you start to think about words, and how a certain sound that we make with our mouth has a specific meaning. Then I think that I think too much.
What’s new with you?
Misty’s new favourite thing is biting. Biting me. He thinks it’s hilarious, and I don’t know how to stop him. He also thinks me saying ‘No!’ is positively wee- your- nappy funny. He has nibbled the railing of his cot, knawed the TV cabinet, and loves gnashing his teeth on my measuring spoons. I suppose it’s just like having a puppy – our wooden outdoor furniture will never be the same after Boosty’s treatment of it. Bite marks? Try whole chunks of arm rests and chair legs GONE.
So I realise that this recipe would have been a great Hallo-weeny type dish, but since it’s not really celebrated here I’m not bothered. I have a little monster all of my own. Let’s hope he will enjoy biting into these, rather than my shoulder or knee caps. He’s seriously going to draw blood soon, it really hurts. I figure if I combine cheese with anything, Misty will eat it, so I’ve snuck some chicken in too, to see if he’ll go for it this time.
Green Monster Balls:
1/2C cooked rice
1/2 large free range organic chicken breast
1/3C grated cheese
1T ground flax seeds
1/3C edamame (or peas)
Freshly ground black pepper
A handful of greens (I used Indian spinach) chopped up finely (either by hand or just whizz in the food processor).
- Pulse chicken and breadcrumbs together in a food processor.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and place in fridge for 15 minutes.
- Roll tablespoons full of mixture into balls.
- Bake at 180 degrees C for 10 minutes, roll balls over and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
You probably know I’m fond of salmon. I know a certain yogini that’s very fond of the stuff too. As well as being ridiculously delicious, eating salmon has done wonders for my skin (Skin Series #2 coming up). Salmon has a special place in my heart; it was the first meal that Viper cooked for me, as he tried to woo my affections. He definitely has talent when it comes to preparing and cooking fish. Wooing? Not so much, but the salmon did help his cause. We love to play around with toppings/flavours to pair with salmon … honey, sweet chilli, soy, miso, brown sugar – so many great combinations. Keeping things sugar free this week, and the results spoke for themselves.
One of our favourite meals that we eat without fail each week is the same one he prepared for me, many moons ago. Sometimes the simple things are best – grilled salmon (on the rarer side of cooked) a fresh seasonal salad, and boiled potatoes with a home made dill tartare. I know I tease Viper about his fisherman-skills, but he totally knows his fish and how to wrangle them in the kitchen.
Smokin’ Salmon technique
Piece of salmon (250g ish) with skin ON. (I don’t eat the skin, it creeps me out, but it is essential for the cooking method).
- 1t soy
- 1/4t tamarind paste
- 1 medjool date, chopped up as finely as you can
- 1cm piece root ginger, grated
- 1T boiling water
Mix tamarind, soy, ginger and date. Pour over the hot water, which just loosens everything up a little. Loosey goosey.
Top fish with mixture. Sprinkle over a pinch of salt.
Now I can’t take credit for the method – this was Viper’s stroke of genius. I’ll be honest with you; I can’t cook fish. Well, I just don’t – Viper is a ninja at it, he always presents the most perfectly cooked, succulent fish – so why would I try and risk botching it? Oh, and I’m lazy. So while I was having a shower, Viper did this:
- Place the fish on a baking sheet, lined with aluminium foil. Crank up your grill (around 200 degreesC) get the fish under it (maybe the second rung down, not too far away) for a fast and furious scalding. Basically, you want to get the outside of the fish crisping and the skin even slightly burning at this point. This seals in the moisture and gets the smokey flavour happening.
- After 4-5 minutes under the grill, pull fish out, and wrap it up in the aluminium foil you have it sitting on. CAREFUL. Use tongs.
- Place your fish parcel in a hot dry fry pan, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remember, it’s always better to pull it off the heat earlier rather than later – overcooked fish is such a shame! If it is too rare for your liking, you can always return it to the heat. We removed the skin before eating, as it burns with the cooking process.
- 1/2C mayonaise (I usually make my own, here is the general idea, but pre prepared is totally fine)
- 1 gherkin (5cm in length, approx) grated or chopped very finely
- 1/2T capers, chopped finely
- 1/2t wholegrain mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt to taste
- Squeeze of lemon juice to taste
- 1T fresh dill, chopped finely
- 1/4C breadcrumbs (I used millet bread but any bread is fine)
- 1/2C vegetable puree (something starchy works best, I used carrot and sweet potato)
- 1/4C pureed corn kernels
- 3T brown rice flour
- 1/4t curry powder
- 1/8t aluminium free baking powder
- 1/8C sesame seeds
- 1/8C raw cashews
- 1 egg (or 1 flax “egg”)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2t fresh or dried herbs (I used fresh chives and mint)
- Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
- Heat a fry pan with a little oil or butter.
- Drop teaspoons full of batter in, and cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden brown.
- Serve with a dollop of yoghurt, sour cream or mashed avacado.