Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Recipe of the week: Pumpkin Pie

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada!! Pumpkin pie is the favourite dessert for any Thanksgiving Day meal. Last year, I made my very first pumpkin pie and this year, my second. This year though, I made my own pastry. There is wheat, sugar and dairy in this recipe but it’s worth the trip down Yummy Lane. I had a small piece with whipped cream and enjoyed every crumb, as did my guests.

Kai Chronicles

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. I haven’t had a proper Turkey dinner since I left Canada. For years, I have been saying I want to do a big Thanksgiving turkey dinner but I’ve yet to pull it off. This year will be my closest attempt: BBQ chicken with mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, roast kumara, spinach, corn and peas. And then……..

pp5 A Pumpkin Pie Down Unda

Pumpkin Pie

This is an easy recipe and one that I’ve adapted from the original belonging to my sister, Virginia. It’s not sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free or guilt-free but it’s worth it. I’ll work-out extra tomorrow.

It makes one pie. Serve with whipped cream. Enjoy.

1/2 cup of rapadura sugar

1/2 tsp salt – I use Himalayan Pink

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp of cloves (I often omit this)

2 eggs (they better be free-range)

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Recipe of the week: Banana Bread Free-style

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I collect recipes. I have for years. This one came to me via Facebook. I do not have the recipient’s name or link but this “free-style” banana bread is too good to not share. Photo and design by me.

bb1

bb 2

 

 

For PDF click Banana Bread Recipe


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The Best Dairy-free Chocolate Pudding

I’ve been on my 6-week elimination diet for over 4 weeks now and although it gets easier, I still feel a bit down when I see my boys eating chocolate.

So much so that last week I started to have hot cocao drinks made with raw organic cocao powder and almond milk. Sometimes, I add 1 tsp of raw honey (which is against the rules but as they say, rules are made to be broken).

Those drinks have been a blessing and very satisfying but when I came across a dairy-free chocolate pudding recipe in my collection, I had to try it. And it is delicious, despite the odd ingredients.

For all you people cutting out gluten, dairy, sugar but still want a treat, try it. It’s now my favourite dessert.

chocolate pudding

 


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DETOX: If it’s green, go for it!

It’s that time of year when most of us have over-indulged on food and booze over the Christmas holidays. I certainly did.

Just when I thought my body was at a point where I could have my cake and eat it too…

All was great. I was eating and drinking whatever, whenever. I was still exercising daily and felt great.

Then it happened.

I woke up the other day…BLOATED as hell. Yes, woke up that way.

It seems it all caught up with me.

And fair enough. I should have known.

So, when I saw Food Matters promoting a 3-day detox, I jumped onboard.

I’ve done many detoxes and restriction diets in the past so a 3-day one was not scary to me. Although the FM’s site is hosting it from Jan 3-5 inclusive, I am doing Jan 4-6 inclusive because of the time difference (they are based in the USA).

I’ve made a few minor adjusts to the menu as well but nothing I think is too drastic.

I’m in the middle of day 2 now and feel great. Mr M is also on it with me although he refused to give up coffee. He’s addicted and likes it that way. Me, on the other hand, have been virtually caffeine free for over 2 years now so I’ve had no pain or withdrawal symptoms from anything I’ve been going without. Proof that my healthy lifestyle and commitment is working!!

I’ve imposed my own detox rules for the 3 days. If it’s GREEN, go for it. There are a few exceptions like lemon, ginger, red onion and tomatoes (which are in a recipe supplied by Food Matters).

I’ve been loving the green diet – seriously good.

Here’s a look at my intake for the 3 days (each day is the same):

ginger water

On rising have a glass of ginger and lemon water

water glass

drink at least 1 litre of water before anything else

Green smoothie

1 large glass of green smoothie: coconut water, avocado, lemon, spinach, herbs, supergreen powder and protein powder. NOTE: this is not part of the FM detox.

Optimum juicer

Mid-morning: 1 glass of green juice (made in my new Optimum slow juicer!!). Celery, cucumber, parsley, spinach, kale, lime or lemon – anything green! Sometimes ginger too.

green salad

Lunch: green salad. I love love love this and will incorporate it into my summer salad menu. Greens (any), avocado, celery, cucumber, spinach, salt & pepper, 1 TBSP olive oil, 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar and a sprinkle of fresh lemon juice. I’ve also added a bit of red onion for extra flavour. It’s simply divine!

green juice

Mid afternoon: another green juice or herbal tea

soup 1

Early dinner: Green soup. Doesn’t this look delicious? Zucchini, celery, garlic, green beans, tomatoes, fresh herbs, spinach, miso paste and water. Boil for 30 minutes.
soup 2

Soup’s up. This smelled so good cooking. It was awfully good and another recipe that I will add to my collection. Food Matters calls it Potassium Soup and you can get the recipe from their site.

day 1 tummy

Belly on day 1

day 2 tummy

Belly on day 2

As well as the above, I am drinking lots of water throughout the day and peeing heaps!! In the evening (and during the day) herbal tea is allowed. Chamomile is recommended at bedtime, which I drink regularly anyway.

I like this detox. I can see myself doing this again. And with another holiday coming up in 3 days, it may not be too long before I schedule the next one!

Btw, I am still exercising daily. Besides needing an afternoon nap on day 1, I have not felt any ill effect from this detox.

Do you give your body an internal cleanse/detox regularly? I’d love to hear about some healthy methods. 


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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


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5 delicious healthy snacks

So, I’m 15 days into my health kick and I’m doing well and feeling pretty good. Sure, I ate pumpkin pie 2 days in a row and some chocolate but that’s just the way I roll.

Mostly though, I am enjoying eating better and saying no to alcohol. Here are my favourite top 5 healthy snacks.

honeycomb

Fresh honeycomb…yum

5. Honeycomb – loaded with enzymes and antioxidants, eating honey still in the wax is a great immune booster! Just chew the wax up and toss it when the honey is gone. Of course, I get this from my local beekeeper. One small piece daily is plenty.

choc PB

No added fats, oils, salt or sugar!! Gotta love that!

4.  Mayver’s All Natural Peanut & Cocao Spread – This is absolutely delish and now that chocolate is considered healthy, I eat usually only eat the dark, pure stuff! Just a teaspoon of this all natural spread satisfies a chocolate craving. It’s also great spread on banana slices if you’re looking for something sweet.

PB and apple

Lovin’ organic peanut butter at the moment

3. Organic peanut butter on celery or sliced apple. Nuts are a great source of protein, rich in energy and antioxidants!

hummus

Ok, so the hummus is not with crackers or veggie sticks but this is also a great snack or meal!

2. Hummus with rice crackers or veggie sticks. Comprised of chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic, olive oil and spices, hummus is full of protein, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids!

Smoothie 2

Daily smoothie ritual

1. Smoothie – I’ve always loved a good smoothie after my workout. They are filling and yummy. The benefits of my smoothies are protein, probiotics, antioxidants, potassium, fibre, oleic acid, vitamin C, B vitamins, amino acids and they are quick and easy to make!

What are your favourite healthy snacks?

 

Btw, it’s Kai Chronicles’s 2nd birthday today! WordPress sent me this in honour.

anniversary-1x


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Gluten-free lemon cake

I’ve had this recipe for years and have made it several times. It’s delicious and gluten-free but I’m not saying it’s low in calories!! For anyone on a gluten or wheat free diet, this really hits the spot when you’re missing a piece of cake!!

Lemon Polenta Cake

Feb 11 cake

250g soft butter

rind of 2 lemons

1 cup sugar (I reduce this to max 3/4 of a cup)

3 eggs, separated

1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice

150g ground almonds

1 cup fine polenta (cornmeal)

SYRUP TOPPING

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup of sugar

Heat together until sugar is dissolved. Pour over warm cake.

Cake Method

Beat butter, rind and sugar until fluffy

Add egg yolks

Stir in juice, almonds and polenta

polenta 3

polenta 2

polenta 1

Whip egg whites to make fluffy

polenta 4

Fold into polenta mixture

polenta 5

Bake for 45 minutes @ 180 C

Pour syrup over cake

Serve warm

This cake keeps well in the fridge for several days. Enjoy!

 


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WWW – What’s Working for me Wednesday

WWW

I missed the last 2 weeks of WWW. I had too much working for me those past weeks because I was on holiday in far north Queensland!!! This Wednesday though, I am back to reality and back to writing. Believe me, I was surprised to not have written at all during my holiday. That was not my intent at all.

I’m on day 3 now of my healthy eating and all is well. My diet consists of dairy-free smoothies, vegetables, some fruit, probiotic yoghurt and protein(nuts, free-range chicken, salmon and eggs)..and decaf coffee..lots of coffee. I have been wanting something sweet so today I made a flourless chocolate cake. It’s more like a brownie and very yummy. It’s definitely what’s working for me this Wednesday!!!

I found the recipe in the pages of a past House & Garden magazine. There was a 3-page spread by Teresa Cutter on chocolate treats that are good for you. She says

Chocolate comes from the antioxidant-packed cocoa or cacao bean, which is also a source of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, chromium and iron.

Great news, Teresa!!!

So far, I’ve tried 2 of the 8 chocolate recipes that she provided and both have been easy, healthy  and delicious. The cake has very few ingredients and I whipped it up in less than 10 minutes. Even Master T liked it. I just wish I could have had a glass of cold milk with my piece like he did!! If you want to try it, here’s the recipe.

you'll need this

you’ll need this

and this

and this

 

280g quality dark chocolate ( I used 70%)

2/3 cup organic coconut oil

4 free-range eggs

2/3 cups almond meal

2 Tbsp cornflour or arrowroot flour (I used potato flour)

Preheat oven to 180. Grease and paper a 20cm springform pan.

melt chocolate and oil

melt chocolate and oil

Place chocolate and oil in bowl and set over a pan of simmering water.Stir to melt the chocolate.

add eggs

add eggs

Remove from heat and whisk in eggs.

Stir in dry ingredients and combine well.

ready for the oven

ready for the oven

Pour into pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out with moist crumbs. Cool slightly in tin then refrigerate for 3 hours (I did 1 hour and it was fine). I sprinkled the cooled cake with pure cocoa powder before serving.

IMG_0666

 

Keep in mind that this cake is very, very moist and quite oily. It does taste of coconut and has a mealy texture due to the almond meal. To me though, any dessert that contains chocolate and no gluten, yeast or dairy is a winner!!! Maybe I really can have my cake and eat it too….

 

 


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Easy Dhal

This easy dhal recipe ticks all the boxes to most restricted diets. There is no dairy, meat, wheat, gluten, yeast, sugar, malt, sweet vegetables or caffeine in here. I have been making this version since 2005, when I heard chef Bill Granger speak to Kim Hill on Radio NZ. Thanks Bill.

Dhal

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red/brown onion, finely sliced

2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1 large green chili/chili flakes (decide how hot you want), finely chopped

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground cumin

250g/1 cup red lentils (I rinse first)

1 tbsp lime/lemon

Method:

Heat oil in pot, add onion, ginger, garlic, chili, salt and cumin and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Dhal in the making. Step 1

Add the lentils

Step 2

Add the water. Cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Last step..let simmer for 20 minutes

Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.

Homemade, healthy dhal ready to serve.

Top with coriander leaves. Serve with rice and/or naan bread.


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I’m a control freak when it comes to food.

So, I’m not on my restricted regime anymore. The demise started last weekend when I was feeling like absolute crap.

 

I was taking Panodol just to stay upright but still felt the effects of a mysterious internal infection. The day before, I made chocolate chip biscuits for Master 6 and the kids I was looking after for the weekend. Well, I decided that I wanted to try one…just one to perk myself up a bit. One wasn’t enough. However, I did stop at two. They were delicious.

 

The next morning, I made bacon and cheese tea biscuits (similar to scones) for the boys’ breakfast and lunch boxes. I had one. I could not resist it. Today, I made chocolate banana muffins. I thought about resisting but I choose not to and had 2 mini muffins ( baby size).

 

The chocolate banana muffin (regular size not the mini version).

It was the third time in 10 days that the word resist came to my present moment. When asked by my yoga teacher why I did not go to the doctor I said, “I resist western medicine.” As soon as I said it aloud, I knew I had to reflect upon it.

 

Then when I thought in my mind ‘I can’t resist that tea biscuit’, I knew it had to end; the controlling relationship I have with food. I remember what Eckhart Tolle said, “What you resist persists.”

 

It doesn’t mean I went on a binge and devoured all restricted items. I did not. But I’m over with being such a tight-ass. I don’t do this strictly because of my health condition, although that has always been the premise. I think I do it out of the need to control a situation that only I can. I know this sounds vaguely like the mind of someone with an eating disorder. I am now on a mission to change my thoughts about food. I know I have conditioned myself enough to moderate food now…in the name of my health.

 

That is why I made an amazing dinner tonight including one thing I normally would not eat and haven’t eaten in 8 months: Wheat Pasta. I normally insist on eating only gluten-free pasta.

 

The dish I wanted to create is nicer with a fresh egg fettuccine. The Garlic Lovers Pasta Sauce is a recipe handed down to me from my very good friend, Gillian McKenzie. She used to make this when we were flatmates in Vancouver, Canada. Now, it is a regular menu item at her restaurant,The Seaside Shanty in Chester, Nova Scotia. It is easy, fast and yummy!  Here’s how to make 2 servings (or 3 small).

 

 

  1. Mince 5 cloves of garlic. Add it to 2 TBSP of oil in a saucepan; sauté until soft, about 1 minute. Do not burn.

Step 1

2. Add 1tsp of dried basil or mixed Italian herbs (that’s what I use)

Step 2

3. Add 1/5 tsp of chilli flakes or cayenne pepper. ( I use a little less)

4. Add 1tsp each of salt and pepper.

5.Add 2 cans of chopped or crushed tomatoes. (I use chopped)

6. Simmer for 30 minutes. Take lid off pot half way through.

7. BBQ 2 free-range chicken breasts. I season with salt, pepper, and olive oil only before cooking. Cut into slices when cooked.

Step 7

8. Cook a package of fresh fettuccine pasta according to the package instructions. Or make your own if you’re real keen. Sometimes, I am that keen.
9. Twist pasta onto a large plate.
10. Top with 2 large spoonfuls of sauce.
11. Grate fresh parmesan cheese over the sauce.
12 Top with sliced chicken.

13. Serve.

Step 13….don’t serve with recipe card!!

14. Eat.
15. Enjoy.
16. Love

 

One item I am not ready to resume is alcohol. I love a cold beer on a hot summer day so I can wait until those days arrive. My goal is November. I will try the moderation thing with alcohol again. I used to do it so there is no reason I can’t again.

 

I know I have said all these things before and then I go and stick myself back on a restricted regime that I don’t really enjoy.

 

I love to cook. I love to bake. I love to eat the foods I make out of love and joy. How can that be wrong?

I do have a respiratory condition that I need to monitor but I am so grateful that I am not celiac or diabetic or have a condition that calls for me to never have the foods I love again. I think it’s time I let go of my control freak ways and just enjoy life. Isn’t that what we are all here for?

 

By the way, I finally gave in and saw a doctor on Friday, August 24th. I am now on 2 medications: prednisolone (which is great, I’ve been on it several times over the past 17 years) and clarithomycin tablets, which I believe is an anti-biotic*. The doctor said 17 days with a cold or flu is not the norm and he even took some swabs of my throat and nose for testing. Two days on and I am feeling much better although I haven’t had a proper night’s sleep. I’ve been awake since before 4am this morning and it’s now 9pm. My early morning coughing fit has not subsided yet. Maybe tonight’s the night.

 

If you are maintaining a new eating regime or trying out a restricted diet for weight or health reasons, I urge you to stick with it for a minimum of 3 weeks. Often new habits are formed around this time and you just may not even want the “bad for you” foods as much or again. If you fall off, get back up there the next day. I have been up and off that wagon so many times now that more often than not, I will choose gluten-free, dairy free, yeast free and alcohol free items first anyway. It’s about your conditioning and priorities. If your health is in question, then it’s a no-brainer. Yes, it’s damn hard especially when you’ve lived your entire life eating the foods that are making you ill.

 

The question is: Are you living to eat or eating to live?

 

 

*always take a probiotic supplement or have some live culture yoghurt daily while taking as away to maintain good bacteria in your tummy.

 

Inner Health for ummm inner health

 

I love this yoghurt.It may be dairy but it’s good for the tummy!