Kai Chronicles

Eating, exploring and enjoying life


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Recipe for Apple and Date Lunchbox Treats

appledatecrumblerecipe

When I was a kid, my mother used to make date squares a lot. They weren’t my favourite but I still held fond memories of eating them.

I’ve always loved to bake and I’ve always baked homemade treats for my boy’s lunchbox. I was excited when I got my hands on my mum’s date square recipe and I used to follow it to a tee. My son has always loved them, even when I only put dates in them (as my mum did).

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with the recipe and this is what I’ve come up with (it tastes like Apple Crumble/Crisp…yum).

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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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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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A(nother) new beginning

Day one of my 4-week health booster has been successful. I realise the day is not over but so far, I’m kicking ass…my own ass. Here’s a quick guide to my first day of the new(est) me!

Let’s get physical

I got out of bed at 6:30am, did my daily meditation, the 5 healing Tibetans and 2 rounds of khatu pranam (yoga). Wait, there’s more.

I then did 20 minutes of cardio in my back yard which consisted of a circuit of the following:

3, 2-minutes rounds of skipping

followed by 14 minutes of:

20 push ups

20 squats

80 punches

5 kicks

10 medicine ball lifts

20 medicine ball twists

5 backyard lengths of running with weight

15 stair jumps  (I jump to the second step)

This circuit list is performed as many times in the 14 minutes as you can manage. I did it 3 times. It’s meant to be 12 minutes but I usually cannot do all 3 rounds in that time so I’ve bumped it up to 14!!

I follow this (after a few minutes of  rest) with 3 rounds of a short cool down yoga sequence that I like, similar to a sun salutation.

I felt great after this early morning work-out!! I was so inspired and proud of myself that I went online and ordered myself a skimpy set of shorts and a crop/sports bra. I’m determined to look good in that get-up!!!

 
Just Eat It

Breakfast 9am:

45g of Carmen’s fruit-free muesli

1 TSBP greek yogurt

4 fresh strawberries

1 decaf soy flat-white (like a latte) sprinkled with cinnamon

WATER

Lunch 1pm:

Salad with a spray of balsamic vinegar

1 decaf coffee (as with breakfast)

 

soy coffee with cinnamon

Caffeine free detox tea at 2pm

Afternoon tea/snack 4pm:

Celery with hummus (homemade)

1 fresh date

cucumber slices

Dinner 6pm:

I’m in the process of making dhal. I love dhal and I make it from time to time. Most Indian food is a fantastic option for restricted diets.

I got this recipe from Radio NZ when chef Bill Granger was on speaking to Kim Hill. I modify it depending on what I have in the house so I will include alternatives. I always serve it with rice. Tonight, it will be with brown and wild rice..no white rice for me.

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.

Add the lentils and the water. Cook for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.Top with coriander leaves. Serve with rice and/or naan bread.

Dhal in the making. Step 1

 

 

Step 2

 

Last step..let simmer for 20 minutes

 

 

 

Homemade, healthy dhal ready to serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This lentil dish smells so good as all the flavors blend together. I absolutely love the smell of garlic and I’m so grateful to be able to experience it again!! Simply cannot wait to have dinner. I must say, I am famished!!! Water, I need more water!!!

This is the look I’m going for…lol…seriously though…Tracy Anderson is hot. I do own a DVD of hers and have managed to do it twice. It’s not easy and when I get it back (still have things to move from previous home), I intend to give it another go. Everyone needs goals…and for me, this one is within reach.

Tracy Anderson

As Mr M has another beer without me, I feel great here writing and inhaling wafts of garlicky dhal. I am motivated and inspired by skimpy fitness gear and Tracy’s abs to be the best, healthiest, sexiest woman I have ever been. Who’s coming with me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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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!