Melbourne Update & Festive Season Raw Recipes

I’ve got lots to share with you! Quite a few fun recipes to help get your creative juices flowing, and lots to update in the Melbourne scene over the past few months.

I had the opportunity to go to Sydney for an amazing weekend getaway in October, purely to see FRIENDS!! It was so lovely. I can’t stress enough how important friends are. Moving away, I’ve felt a little isolated (only at times) from my very good mates, and seeing them, even if only briefly, was really special. We went to see two very dear friends – Tiarna, it was her birthday over that weekend, and Thao,  visiting from London. We also got to see 3 other friends too that came up to see them as well. We were SO fortunate with the weather – until it poured :), but it was great to get a proper taste of Summer.

BRING ON THE SUMMER SUN, I say!!

Tiarna & I @ Clovelly

Thao & I in Sydney! All the way from London..

We stayed in Bondi, and Ky and I had a ball, checking out some of the sights of the city, and Bondi. Ky had never been in Sydney CBD before so that was fun to show him a couple places. We really didn’t have much time to see loads there, but we didn’t go to sightsee anyway.
Tiarna and her boyfriend, who’d newly also got a puppy, have since got ENGAGED!! I’m so happy for the two of them. They’re the kind of couple that just compliment each other perfectly, and it’s not surprising at all they want to tie the knot! Congratulations again.

So I’ve been pretty busy over the past few months, and been involved in some great work. My client list is growing whilst I am also still doing a little bit of testing to build my book for Giant, and a profile here in Melbourne. I’ve been working some pretty weird and mostly long hours, and getting home late for dinner. My loving partner noticed and started getting rather creative in the kitchen himself! I would come home some nights and he would have made this amazing gourmet raw creation, just waiting for me. So cute 🙂 & without a recipe!! This is just one of the nights below. I arrived to an incredibly delicious Raw Burger Stack with ‘Chips’ and Salad – YUM doesn’t even begin to describe. For me it always tastes so much better when someone else makes Raw, probably because I’m so used to my own that I appreciate someone else making instead. I LOVED that he did this. For me it was the ultimate support, coming home tired and drained. Mega brownie points.. he did SO well.

Ky’s Gourmet Raw Burger Stack

Ky’s Gourmet Raw Burger Stack

A nice way to finish the year as it’s coming to a close, was to do the annual end of year Chanel S/S Show in Melbourne, which was at the St Kilda Sea Baths overlooking the bay at sunset – was a lovely evening. Chanel as a client – TICK.

2010 is pretty much gone!! I can’t believe it! I’ve been home a year already from London… where has the time gone?! I’m sure most of you are feeling the same way.

So before it does, I want to share some of my creations and discoveries over the past couple of months. Hopefully to inspire you and use them in your festive BBQ’s, potlucks, Xmas breakups, or just general everyday meals.

Since Mangoes have come into season this year, I’ve begun an obsession. I don’t know why but they just make every smoothie combination AMAZING. Not forgetting to mention salads and desserts too. You’ll notice quite a few of the recipes to follow use Mango, and this is why. If, for some reason you’re not a fan of them, there are other recipes too, or just substitute for another fruit. Remember, this is meant to inspire your creativity. Go crazy!

As always beginning with some GREEN SMOOTHIES 🙂  …

Mango Banana Smoothie

Mango Banana Coconut Smoothie

This is a new take on the traditional Mango-Banana Smoothies you find in Juice-bars today.

* 1 Mango, chopped

* 1 Frozen Banana, chopped into chunks

* 1/2 tsp Camu Camu

* 1 tbsp Coconut Oil

* 1 tbsp ground Cinnamon

* 5 leaves Kale (vary depending on your green preference)

* Handful Shredded Coconut

Blend fruit first, with oil, camu camu and cinnamon – to make it easier on the blender.

Add  Kale and blend until the right consistency.

Pour a little into the serving glass, place shredded coconut on top then pour in more to fill the rest of the glass, focusing the stream to one side of the inside of the glass.  It creates an almost marbled effect in the glass – picture doesn’t really do it justice. Or just serve the coconut on top – whichever suits you.  DRINK/ EAT!

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The Refresher

* 2 Frozen Mango cheeks, chopped

* 1 Pear, chopped

* 1 tsp AFA Bluegreen Algae

* 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

* very big handful fresh Mint

Blend!

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Simply Tropical

* 1 large Frozen Banana

* 1/4 Paw Paw or Papaya

* Juice of 1/2 juicy Lemon

* 2 big handfuls Baby Spinach leaves

Optional: Passionfruit

Blend!

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Vitamin C Hit

* 1 1/2 Bananas, chopped

* Juice of 1 juicy Lemon

* 1 heaped tsp Camu Camu

* 2 fresh Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped

* 2 heaped handfuls Celery Tops (leaves)

Blend!!

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Jicama

Something I discovered over the past couple of months is a vegetable called a Jicama (pronounced Hy-ka-ma).
It’s actually a South American legume that’s widely consumed in Central and Southern America, and is really high in Vitamin C, and a great source fibre. It looks a bit like a Turnip or big light brown Radish, and tastes, and has the consistency of a less sweet Nashi Pear. A cross between an apple and a pear, but without the sweetness. They are delicious! Mostly eaten peeled and raw.

After seeing quite a few raw recipes of Jicama Chips on Youtube, even though it’s beautiful just on it’s own, I’ve created a tasty dish I know a lot of you raw foodies will be excited about.

Jicama Chips with “Chicken” Salt

(Yes! It tastes just like the Chicken Salt we all used to know and love that isn’t Vegan and not nearly as healthy as this one. Although, this recipe does use a bit of salt, it’s not something I would recommend eating everyday.)

Jicama Chips with ‘Chicken Salt’

* 1 Jicama, peeled, sliced, chipped.

* 1 & 1/2 tbsp Nooch (Nutritional Yeast flakes or powder)

* 1 tbsp Onion Powder

* 1 tsp or less Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt (fine)

* 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

* Drizzle Organic Cold Pressed Flaxseed Oil

Place Jicama chips in a bowl.

Apply all ingredients on top, and coat/ combine.

Taste, and add a little salt if needed to your desired liking.

YUM!! 🙂

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This next salad is so yummy. It’s been so hot and humid here lately. I got home one day from work this week and just had to have something really light and fresh. So this creation came alive. It would be a perfect addition to your festive season parties and it’s SO EASY! BUT best of all, it’s low fat, raw (nutrient dense), and delicious.

Watermelon Summer Salad

Watermelon Summer Salad

Serves 2

Salad ingredients:

* 1 cup Watermelon, thinly sliced into 2cm squares

* 3/4 cup Basil leaves, shredded or chiffonade

* 1 Witlof, shredded

* 150g Baby Spinach leaves

* Drizzle Cold Pressed EVOO

* 1/2 Avocado, thinly sliced

* Salt & Pepper

Sour Kream Mayo Dressing:

* 1 heaped cup raw Cashews

* 1 large Garlic clove, crushed

* 1 & 1/2 tbsp Lime juice

* 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes

* 1/2 tsp Pink Crystal Salt

* 1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper

* 1/4 cup filtered Water, if needed

Place nuts, garlic, and salt into blender and combine until it looks like a powder, or breadcrumb (depending on your blender quality). Then add the lime juice, pepper, nutritional yeast, and half of the water. Blend until it becomes a smooth paste, adding more water if required to create a runny mayo type consistency. It tends to thicken up a little in the blender after sitting for a couple of minutes anyway.

Assembly:

Arrange the Spinach leaves on a serving plate, or two dinner plates. Layer the Watermelon on top, then shredded Witlof, and Basil on the very top. Swirl the Cashew dressing generously over the layered ingredients. Place the Avocado in the centre, and spread the slices apart at the larger end (dividing in two, if serving on two plates). Season the top with a little Salt and lots of Black Pepper. Drizzle with Olive Oil, and serve!

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Onto DESSERT!

These two creations are inspired by an amazing lady who is a friend of mine, and also a client. Hana from STROM Spirits, these are for you – and the rest of you of course :). Both very easy, with great doses of antioxidants. Try one of these with your mid-morning, or afternoon, coffee and tea break instead of the usual naughty treat.

These balls I made with Hana in mind when she came to visit back in September, and she adored them.  They’re nutrient dense and full of Superfoods, but great for a snack to pick you up in a busy lifestyle when you’re on the go.

Choc-Nut Superfood Balls

Choc-Nut Superfood Balls

Makes 10 Balls

* 1/2 cup Raw Almonds

* 1/2 cup Raw Walnuts

~ Pulse in a blender until finely chopped

* 1 tbsp Lucuma Powder

* 1 tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

* 1 tsp Bluegreen Algae/ Spirulina

* 1 tsp Cinnamon

* 1 tbsp Coconut Nectar (light)

* 4 dried Figs, chopped

* 1/4 cup dried Currants

* 3 tbsp Filtered Water, as needed

~ Pulse the remaining ingredients in the blender until only just combined. You may need to push down the sides with a spatula to help it along. Only using the water as you need it though. Roll into balls with a 3-4cm sized diameter, using 1 tbsp at a time.
A tip here, is to have moistened hands. The mixture tends to not stick to your palms as much, and makes a nicer final product.

* Can roll them in Cacao nibs at the end, or Shredded Coconut for variations.
* Will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge, or longer in the freezer.

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Check out http://www.stromspirits.com. I’m currently the face of their ‘Definitely Real’ campaign, and also LOVE Strom. Can’t recommend enough getting yourself a bottle, and making some Stromtails this party season. I most definitely will be! Personally I’m going to attempt a classy Strom punch these holidays. It’s the secret ingredient in your bar, and cocktails, you didn’t know was missing until now. I guarantee it’s nothing like anything you can find on the market today. Plus your friends will think you’ve gone terribly upperclass.

You need to try this absolutely simple chocolate recipe using Strom. It’s a take on the classic Rum & Raisin chocolate. Set them in the freezer, or just use as a chocolate sauce on your favourite fruits, or ice confection!!

Raw STROM & Raisin Chocolates

STROM & Raisin Raw Chocolates

Makes 12

* 3-4 tbsp STROM, or more if you dare 🙂

* 1/4 Cup Raisins

* 1/3 Cup Cacao Butter

* 3 tbsp Coconut Oil/ Butter

* 4 tbsp Coconut Nectar (light)

* 1/2 Vanilla Bean/ Vanilla Extract

* 5 or so heaped tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

* 1/2 tsp Bluegreen Algae/ Spirulina (adds another dimension! Trust me!)

Place the Raisins in a small bowl or cup, with the Strom, and leave to soak for at the very least 10 minutes.
Melt the Cacao butter in a simple Bain-marie set up with two small bowls or cups and hot water from the kettle.
Make sure not to get any water in with the butter though.

Using a plastic egg tray (dozen), used for the fridge, put a mini silicone cup in each hole. Set aside.

Once the butter is completely melted and warm, add to a small – medium sized mixing bowl – you’ll need to act quickly from here before it cools too much.
Add the coconut oil (liquid), agave, vanilla, STROM & Raisin mix, and algae, all at once and mix well.
Lastly, add the cacao powder, stirring really well, making sure it’s all combined nicely – no bubbles of cacao powder.

Using a dessertspoon, carefully but quickly spoon mixture into each silicone cup in tray. With care, pick up whole tray and gently tap it on the table to even out the levels.

Optional: I placed a Chocolate covered Golden Berry on top of each one, just for presentation. You can use a Cacao nib on each if you can’t find these, a raisin, or something else to your liking.

Place whole tray flat in freezer for about an hour to set. Once set, take the chocolates out of the cups and either serve or layer in a container for the fridge. It helps with storage in the container to divide the layers of chocolate with baking paper (cut to size).

I know you’ll enjoy these. I’ll be indulging in these over my Christmas festivities, and really looking forward to it.

* You can make variations on the basic recipe of Cacao Butter/ Coconut Oil, Coconut Nectar, Vanilla, Cacao, Bluegreen Algae.
Try using some Organic Coffee, or Orange zest – you won’t regret it.

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I hope that these help get you thinking about what to make in the kitchen. I know it’s blogs like these that help me get inspired.

Stay focused and true to yourself. Enjoy the rest of your 2010, whatever it may bring you.

Don’t feel too guilty about indulging a little this festive season, try your best not to over do it, it is only once a year!

Happy holiday season!!

Looking forward to networking with you all very soon.