What I ate Wednesday

Firstly, apologies as last Wednesday was supposed to be ‘What I ate Wednesday’, however I was sick and all I ate was a couple of pieces of toast with marmite. And as you can imagine, that would not have been the most exciting day of eating to feature!  So I’ve done it today instead.

Here’s my day of food in pictures.  These photos aren’t exactly master pieces but you get the idea 🙂

Breakfast today was muesli, Greek yoghurt and some stewed plums.  My muesli was a real hybrid today.  It was a mix of a homemade one, a one my husband bought and another one I bought.  I had a little of each as there wasn’t much left! There was oats, almonds, seeds, coconut and just a really small amount of dried fruit. For Greek yoghurt I usually buy Anchor Greek.  It’s the highest in protein so it’s great to help keep you feeling full.  If you remember my big plum haul from a few weeks back, I cooked some up and froze them in little glad bags.  They’ve been handy to defrost as I need them and they taste amazing with Greek yoghurt.

When I got to work I had 1/2 an instant coffee. The coffee at work isn’t the greatest so I didn’t finish it.

I spent most of the morning on the road for work.  I was a little hungry when I got back late morning and needed something to tide me over until lunch.  I am not usually much of a cracker person, but one of my favourite snacks at the moment is wholegrain crackers with either tomato or cucumber and cheese. FYI, crackers vary so much in terms of nutrition, so do check out the nutrition information before you buy.  I’ve got some chutney, cucumber and cheese that is in the fridge at work at the moment, and I have a box of crackers at my desk.

I’ve got lots of cucumbers in the garden so at the moment and pretty much everything comes with a side of cucumber! I had 3 sesame and chia crackers with chutney, cucumber and cheese.

For lunch I had left over panko crumbed fish, roasted cauliflower and zucchini and salad.  I love having leftovers, it makes lunch so easy the next day.  I also took a small amount of quinoa from the freezer and defrosted and heated that to go with lunch.

I usually take fruit and yoghurt to work for snacks but I forgot them today, so I went to the supermarket and grabbed a small bunch of grapes and a yoghurt.  I ate these about 3.30pm.  I then had just a couple of nuts which I forgot I had (not pictured).


Dinner tonight was a new recipe. I have so many recipe books I thought I should really start to use them more and experiment a bit so I made Chelsea Winter’s Sesame Chicken.  Minus the sesame seeds. Whoops.  I thought I had some but turns out I didn’t. It still tasted pretty good.  I served it with soba noodles and stir fried broccoli, capsicum and zucchini. My dinner had about 1/2 cup of broccoli, a zucchini and half a large capsicum in it – so about three serves of vegetables.

It’s quite an interesting exercise to reflect on a days eating.  I always try and get vegetables in at lunch as well as dinner.  Food doesn’t have to be expensive, fancy or contain superfood powders to be healthy.  My day is pretty basic, but covers a range of food groups and is nutrient dense, but tasty too! In terms of sugar (since it’s a hot topic right now), there would have been a small amount in the muesli from dried fruit, some in the chutney, a little in the yoghurt (the sugar is mostly from lactose, but it did have a little added in the berry) and the sauce for dinner also had some honey in it.  But seriously, nothing to stress about in the context of a healthy, balanced diet and likely to be under the recommended intake.

So that’s it – I’ll be back with another episode of ‘What I ate Wednesday’ in two weeks time!

Lemon and plum loaf

A lemon and plum loaf has to be one tasty way to make the most of summer fruits.  If you follow me on instagram you would have seen one of the giant baskets of plums I’ve picked over the past week. As well as eating them, giving plenty away and stewing and freezing some, I thought create a lemon and plum loaf to use up the excess.

This loaf is made mainly with almond flour which is more nutrient dense than plain flour, so this version is healthier than alternatives.    I didn’t have enough almond flour so added a little plain, but you can use all almond flour if you wish and that would also make it gluten free.  I used honey and coconut sugar as sweeteners as I like the flavour, but feel free to use whatever you wish.  Coconut sugar is lower GI than other sugars, but it is still a sugar, so the loaf remains in the treat section of your food.

The lemon and plum loaf was divine, so I thought it would only be fair to share the recipe with you before the end of plum season.  The tangy lemon works well with the sweet plums, and it’s got that melt in your mouth texture that’s always delicious.

This loaf is moist, tangy and delicious and goes perfectly with a big dollop of Greek yoghurt.  Enjoy as a lovely treat.

Lemon and Plum Loaf

3/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup plain flour (or gluten free flour)
1.5 teaspoons baking powder.
2 tablespoons honey (warm slightly so it is liquid)
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons of milk
zest and juice from 1 large lemon or two smaller lemons
2 eggs
100g coconut oil, softened
8-10 plums, cut into quarters and stones removed

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius on fan bake.

Mix together the coconut oil, honey and sugar together. Add the eggs and beat together well.  Add the almond flour, baking powder, lemon zest and juice, yoghurt and milk.  Gently fold together.

Line a loaf tin with non stick baking paper and pour the mixture into the loaf tin. Place the plum pieces into the loaf tin and press slightly into the mixture.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes.  To check if it’s cooked, insert a skewer and it should come out clean.

When cool, dust the top with a little icing sugar and serve with Greek yoghurt.  Store in the fridge.

New things I ate and liked

I’m one of those people that spend hours in the supermarket checking out all the new products! I also end up spending way too much at the supermarket because I can’t resist putting in extras.   I love food and thought I’d start a new series once a month of new foods I’ve tried, their benefits and how I rate them so you can try out some of the foods I like too! Here’s some of the new things I’ve bought recently.

1.  Kombucha

So I’ve been hearing all about kombucha and other fermented foods for a long time lately but never ventured further than my usual yoghurt in terms of pro-biotic fermented foods.  When I saw my local Moore Wilsons store now stocked kombucah I thought I had to try it out.  I was a little hesitant but it was good.  Good as in really quite tasty and refreshing!  The flavour was really pleasant, almost like cider and it was really fizzy!

Kombucha is made by fermenting tea with a bacterial and yeast culture plus sugar.   Because it’s fermented it does contain small amounts of alcohol (less than 1%)

The brand I bought House of Kombucha contains 85 calories, 17g of carbohydrate including 12.5g of sugar for a 330ml bottle.   Per 100ml it has 3.8g of sugar.  This is less than half of fruit juice (approx 10.7g per 100ml).

This is definitely a tasty and healthier alternative to other sweet drinks and I really enjoyed it, and that bacteria is good for your gut health.   I’m thinking I might try and make my own as it’s not cheap to buy.  This was $6.50.  Worth it though for a treat.


2.  Mainland Noble Cheddar

This cheese is the perfect compromise between flavour and fat content.  My husband moans if I buy Edam as he says it tastes boring.  He’s a tasty cheese guy.  And tasty is definitely tasty.  Mainland Noble is the answer to our cheese arguments.  It tastes fantastic and it’s actually lower in fat than Edam.  Noble contains 30% less fat than Tasty cheddar but it has a much stronger taste than Edam.  It’s creamy, smooth and delicious and I totally recommend it.

3. The Collective Tummy Love Yoghurt

I was recently sent this yoghurt to try out which I was excited to try as The Collective do make delicious yoghurt.  I do chop and change between yoghurt brands, but The Collective have some awesome flavours that I often buy. I eat a fair amount of yoghurt and mix it up with The Collective but also always a natural, unsweetened yoghurt too such as Symbio or De Winkles.

Tummy love contains quinoa, chia, linseed and buckwheat as well as blueberry and it’s quite filling as a snack with some fresh berries.  It’s a nice flavour and contains both prebiotic and probiotic cultures.  Prebiotics are a food source for probiotics, so consuming them together helps support colonisation of the good bacteria in your gut.    My favourite The Collective yoghurt though is still Black Plum.


4. Pana Chocolate

I’d been wanting to try Pana Chocolate for a long time, and I bought some a wee while ago to try.  It’s handmade with raw, organic ingredients which is reflected in the price.  It’s between $8-$9 for a 45g bar.  I had the coconut and goji flavour.  I thought it was nice, but the texture of the chocolate wasn’t as smooth as other brands I’ve had.  This was most definitely best served chilled which made the goji nice and chewy.  A yummy treat and a good option if you want organic and raw – but I do love Green and Blacks Organics, Dark Lindt and Whittakers for a cheaper option that’s a little creamer in texture.


Pan seared Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries

Brussels Sprouts must be the worlds most hated vegetable.  But trust me, it’s time to give them another go.  They are not what you remember.  When cooked nicely, they’re quite tasty.   The key is in choosing small sprouts as opposed to large ones, and another golden rule – DO NOT BOIL!!

Brussels Sprouts contain a compound called glucosinolates that have health benefits and breakdown to compounds that have possible anti cancer effects within the body. They’re found in all cruciferous vegetables (ie cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower etc) . They do though unfortunate tendency to release lots of sulphur the longer they’re cooked which is why mushy overcooked Brussels sprouts are not very tasty.

As well as the glucosinolates, Brussels sprouts are a good source of vitamin C as well as providing fibre, vitamin A, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium and even a little calcium.

Here though is a recipe for a warm salad that is totally delicious – great as a side dish with roasted chicken or other meat to make your meal a little more special. The tart cheese and the tangy feta cheese along with the crunch of pecans make a delicious combination that I’m sure will convert any Brussels Sprout hater.   Tell me are you a hater or a lover of Brussels Sprouts??

Pan seared Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries

Ingredients for 2-3 serves:

1 tablespoon olive oil
400g Brussels Sprouts
1/4 cup whole dried cranberries
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup pecan nuts
50g feta cheese, cut into cubes

Trim bottoms off the Brussels sprouts and cut in halves or quarters.  Heat olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the Brussels Sprouts.  Stir regularly and cook for around 8 minutes.  Add a tablespoon or so of water during cooking – this helps the cooking process.  The sprouts should still be slightly firm to bite – not super soft and mushy.

Add the balsamic vinegar and the cranberries and cook for a further couple of minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir through the pecan nuts and the feta cheese.

This is also nice with brown rice mixed through it for a vegetarian dish.   I had this for my lunch today from last nights left overs.  Yum!





Sweet berry omelette

This week I’ve having eggs for breakfast as a bit of an experiment.  I’m usually an oats girl, sometimes home made muesli or even just plain old toast when I’m feeling lazy.  I always thought eggs were too time consuming to be bothered with weekdays, but they’re actually really quick to prepare  – literally between 5-10 minutes depending what you make.  Sure you have an extra dish to wash, but it’s not really a big deal.    Eggs are also a good source of vitamins and minerals – you can read more about it here.

I’ve had eggs 3 days this week and have been enjoying it as a change to my usual oats or toast, and they definitely help keep me feeling fuller for longer.  This sweet berry and banana omelette has to be one of my favourite things I’ve had using eggs, so I thought I’d share it with you all – super easy to make and a great source of protein and other nutrients.


2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 small banana
1/4 cup raspberries (I used frozen and defrosted them)
drizzle of maple syrup or honey

Beat the eggs and cinnamon together in a bowl with a whisk.  Pour into a fry pan over a medium heat.  When the omelette is almost set, take off the heat.  Slice a banana and place over one side of the omelette.

Place back on the heat for another minute or two until cooked through.  Serve with some berries and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup.



Banana coconut muffins

These banana coconut muffins are a lot different from the super sized cake like muffins you’d buy at the supermarket.  They’re made with spelt flour which makes them good for people with IBS who follow a low FODMAP diet. O and they’re super tasty!  I’ve been having them in my lunch box this week.


1 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup ground almonds
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup macadamia nut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 egg
1 /2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 180  degrees Celsius.  Put dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir to combined.  In a jug mix together the oil, maple syrup, egg and milk. Add this plus the mashed banana into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Don’t over mix or it will lead to tough muffins.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes.


Roast vegetable, feta and chickpea salad


Lunch time is a good opportunity to pack some veges into your diet but as it get’s cooler salads are becoming less appealing. I made a big bowl of this the other day to last me a couple of lunches and it was really yummy.  With roasted beet, pumpkin and Brussels sprouts it’s a bright rainbow of colours which means lots of antioxidants and nutrients.

It also contains feta cheese which adds a little bit of salty deliciousness, as well as  a sprinkle of sunflower seeds for some healthy fats. The  chickpeas provide a  source of protein and carbohydrates, so it’s a good balanced lunch.

PS if you think Brussels sprouts are gross, give these a chance as they are quite delicious roasted.

Here’s how:

Ingredients (makes 2 serves)

1/4 pumpkin, chopped into small pieces
2 small beetroot, chopped into small wedges
A couple of handfuls of Brussels sprouts, ends chopped off and cut in half
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
sprinkle of herb seasoning
50g feta cheese
3 tablespoons of sunflower seeds
1 cup chickpeas
3 teaspoons olive oil + 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius.   Pat down the beetroot with paper towels to remove any excess redness.  Place in a roasting dish along with the pumpkin and Brussels sprouts.  Drizzle with oil and mix through garlic and  herb seasoning.  Roast for 25-35 minutes, or until tender.

Place roasted veges in a bowl, and add feta cheese, sunflower seeds and chickpeas.  Stir gently to mix.  Mix together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and drizzle over the salad.  Eat and enjoy!

Recipe for stuffed mushrooms: 30 Days of Wellness

With all the cool, wet weather I’ve been feeling like warm, healthy comfort foods and these mushrooms were the thing in the weekend.  I cooked some pumpkin along with onion and garlic, added some lentils and sunflower seeds, plus feta cheese and piled on top  of some nice fat juicy mushrooms.  It made a delicious healthy lunch.

Mushrooms are a great source of potassium, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6. They’re also a good source of the mineral selenium an essential trace element that functions as a part of an enzyme involved in antioxidant protection and thryoid hormone metabolism.  Selenium is a mineral that is low in the New Zealand diet, so mushrooms can provide an important source to our diets.

PS – sorry for no post yesterday – our internet was down.

Here’s how:

1/4 pumpkin, peeled and chopped into pieces
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1-2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/4 cup brown lentils, drained of fluid
100g feta cheese, chopped
Fresh herbs  for garnish (I used oregano)
salt and pepper
Flat mushroom cups

Place the pumpkin, oil, onion and garlic in a pot and heat over a med-high heat until the veges start to caramalise a little. Add the vege stock and boil until the pumpkin is soft.  Drain the liquid from the pot and mash the pumpkin.  Add the sunflower seeds, lentils and feta cheese and mix.  Stuff mushrooms with the filling and bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 25-30 minutes, or until the mushroom is cooked.

Eat and enjoy!

Oaty Cashew Nut and Almond Balls

If you’re after a natural based sweet treat made from health giving ingredients, then this is recipe is for you!  These babies are sure to have a permanent place in your fridge.  The recipe is based almost 100% on natural, unrefined ingredients, so they’re filling, low GI and bonus – they taste pretty good too.

1/2 cup dates
1 cup rolled oats
70g raw cashew nuts
1/4 cup almonds
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
100g dark chocolate, chopped
Shredded coconut, to roll
Melted chocolate to drizzle on top.

Place the first four ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the nuts are ground into small pieces.  Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until they come together into a firm consistency.  If they are too crumbly, add a little extra coconut oil.   Roll into balls, and roll around in the coconut to coat.  Melt a little chocolate and drizzle on top if desired.

Store these in an air tight container in the fridge.

Enjoy for a morning sweet treat.




Chocolate Macadamia Protein Balls

This weekend I decided I wanted to rely less on pre packaged snacks again and get into the habit of making my own.  After a busy few months, I’d let the habit slide and gone back to buying more snacks.  Which is fine if you choose good products, but I like the idea of combining nutritious ingredients into snacks that I know just what has gone into. I also wanted something that was higher in protein.

These chocolate macadamia protein balls were a bit of an experiment that came out well.  Here’s how you can make them too.

Makes 10 balls.

80g macadamia nuts
25g your favourite brand protein powder
1-2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon cacao powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3-4 tablespoons rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds

Add macadamia nuts to a blender and blend until smooth and buttery.  Place the blended nuts into a bowl and add remaining ingredients.  These amounts are approximates so you may need to make your own adjustments.  You want the mixture to be sticky enough that you can roll it into balls. If not, add a little extra water.  If it’s too dry, add extra oats or protein powder.  Roll into balls and store refrigerated.

One ball is one snack sized serve.  These provide a good source of healthy fats, are high in protein, and a source of fibre – perfect for keeping you feeling full between meals.