Tag Archives: Healthy

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

6 Nov

I love peanut butter, do you? Peanut butter works well in so many different flavour combinations, peanut butter and chocolate, peanut butter and white chocolate, peanut butter and oreos, peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and pretzels, peanut butter and banana, as you can see, I could go on all day with this, so I’ll stop there. If you’re a big peanut butter lover like I am, give this smoothie a try.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

1/2 banana

1 cup milk

1/2 tblsp chia seeds

1 tsp sweetener

1 tblsp peanut butter

Blend all the ingredients together and enjoy. This is a great snack to keep you going in between meals or bulk it up with some oats and protein powder for a fulfilling meal.

peanut butter smoothie

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Overnight Oats

28 Oct

I’m not sure many of you have heard of this before, but it is a must try. I have been obsessed with it since the first time I made it a few weeks ago and have it for breakfast nearly everyday. It’s easy and delicious and especially good for summer, since it involves no cooking. Yes, you read right ‘no cooking’!!! Try the basic recipe below, I’ll be putting up some variations in the coming weeks.

Overnight oats

Basic overnight oats

1/3 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup milk

1/2 tblsp chia seeds*

1-2 tsp honey or other sweetener (adjust to your sweetness tastes)

*chia seeds can be found in health food shops, it is an ancient seed that’s full of protein and omega 3 and 6, it also helps you stay fuller for longer

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and put it in the fridge overnight. Top with yoghurt, fresh fruit or nuts and enjoy! This recipe is that simple, the oats soak up all the liquid and are soft and perfect in the morning. Be warned though, it doesn’t look like much, but it can be really filling. Overnight oats, a breakfast 12 hours in the making.

Honey and Macadamia Crumble Cheesecakes

25 Jan

I’m a little late of the mark, I know, but I just had to get an Australia Day dessert in before the day was over. I wanted to steer clear of the stock standard lamingtons and pavlovas and do something different. These are macadamia crumble mini cheesecakes, using Australian honey and macadamias.

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In keeping with my blog resolutions for this year of creating more healthy desserts, this one uses light cream cheese, is wheat free (possibly gluten free, oats is a questionable ingredient when it comes to gluten) and sugar free as well. Trust me though, you won’t miss any of those ingredients in this dessert. The crumble almost tastes like ANZAC cookies, how much more Australian can you get?

Honey and Macadamia Crumble Cheescakes
(makes 8 mini cheesecakes)

Macadamia Crumble

1/4 cup oats

1/4 cup coconut

1/4 cup macadamias (lightly chopped)

2 tblsp honey

Cheesecake filling

250g light cream cheese

4 tblsp honey

To make the crumble, combine all the dry ingredients with honey. Toast the mixture in a pan until lightly golden, set aside. Same goes for the cheesecake filling, just combine the cream cheese with the honey and mix well.

To assemble the dessert, pour half a tablespoon of crumble into little bowls, spoon or pipe cheesecake mixture and top with more crumble. It’s that simple, no need to turn the oven on, no special equipment, and the best part, you can do it all in 15 minutes.

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Happy Australia Day! I know what we’ll be having for dessert, what about you?

Spice up your dates!

21 Jul

Ramadhaan has dawned upon us once again. Dates are out in full force, from fruit shops, to grocery stores and even the local supermarket chain. Dates are very nutritious, full of fibre and great to stave off hunger pangs, no wonder it’s the perfect food to break fast with. The best part is that this wonderful treat is not only good for you, it tastes good and most importantly it’s Sunnah!

We go through a lot of dates during Ramadhaan, so I’ve come up with some date recipes to spice things up a little. There’s no doubt that dates taste great just by themselves, but if you do want to try something a little different, are having guests over or even need a treat outside of Ramadhaan, give these a go.

Pistachio Cashew Dates

Split date on 1 side and remove pit. Crush pistachio and cashews. You’ll need 1 tsp of nuts per date. Fill dates with crushed nuts.

Coconut Almond Dates

This is an old classic. Split date on 1 side and remove pit. Fill 1 almond in each date. Heat butter on stove, throw in coconut, again you’ll need approximately 1 tsp per date. Roll dates in heated butter and coconut mixture.

Cream Cheese Walnut Dates



Split date on 1 side and remove pit. Fill each date with approx. 1/2 tsp cream cheese and 1 walnut which you can crush by hand. This is my personal favourite, it’s a recipe given to me by a friend. Thanks Christina!

Give these a try sometime, great during Ramadhaan or any time really. Ramadhaan Mubarak to everyone out there, hope you all have a blessed month.

India: An Experience, A Wedding, Paneer

13 Jul

Just over six months ago we embarked on a journey to the subcontinent. My husband, son and I left in late December to make a few stops along the way. Phuket and Kuala Lumpur were on the cards before getting to India, a country neither of us had been to, despite our Indian heritage. This was not a holiday by any means, our sole purpose was to attend the wedding of Abdullah’s sister (my wonderful sister in law), Aasiya. What we never expected was to leave feeling humbled, grateful and renewed.

India is an amazing place with amazing people and beautiful sights. One of the most enjoyable parts of our trip was definitely the wedding and the functions that preceded it. And coming a close second was the food, there is honestly nothing like Indian food, so intricate in flavour and colour. My favourite dish in India was anything that had paneer (an Indian cheese, looks like a block of fetta, texture and taste of cottage cheese).

It’s something I always order in an Indian restaurant here and usually cook with the frozen bags at home. As in India has a high population of vegetarians, paneer is extremely popular, and depsite having over 20 paneer dishes while in India, not one of them was the same, there was paneer in different types of curries, paneer with marinates that were grilled, paneer balls, crumbed paneer, paneer stuffed in chillies and vegies, and too many more to mention. Even after all that, I wasn’t sick of the paneer, and forunately for me, on my last day in India I watched an Indian chef on TV make paneer from scratch, I couldn’t believe how easy it was.

Since our trip, I have made paneer countless times, and there’s nothing like the fresh stuff, I’ll never go back to frozen again. I will be doing a recipe on how to make paneer from scratch sometime in the near future. For now, here’s a recipe using paneer.

Paneer Malai** Tikka

500g paneer
1/2 bunch corriander
3/4 tsp salt1 tsp ground cumin
1 whole green chilli
1 tblsp lemon juice
1/2 cup cream (**malai is an Indian term for cream)
Cut the paneer into cubes and set aside in a bowl. Grind all ingredients except for cream in a blender, once blended into a paste mix in cream. Pour over paneer and leave to marinate. Cook off on a medium to high heat in a about 1 tblsp oil. Serve with naan bread.

Variation: This recipe works well with chicken, just substitute the 500g paneer with 500g chicken pieces.

India is a definite must see and it’s a place I’m sure we’ll be visiting again. For now, enjoy some photos from our trip.

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Try out this paneer malai tikka recipe, great with chicken as well. Oh and Happy 6 month Anniversary Aasiya and Salim!

Pumpkin, caramelised onion and fetta pizza

14 May

As winter rolls around here in Australia, pumpkin is slowly creeping into the fruit and veg shops, and am I glad for that. I adore pumpkin, one of those great ingredients that you can use in sweet or savoury dishes. A little while ago, my husband took me out to lunch and we had this middle eastern inspired pumpkin pizza/pide. It was pumpkin, pomegranate molasses and fetta topped with rocket leaves. It inspired me to create this pizza.

It’s pumpkin, fetta and caramelised onion topped with fresh baby spinach leaves.  All this on a quick and easy no yeast pizza dough.

Pumpkin Pizza 

2 cups cleaned and cubed pumpkin
1 large brown onion
1 tsp sugar
100 grams fetta
1 cup baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tsp garlic
Some oil for roasting the pumpkin and cooking the onions

Dough

1 1/2 cups self raising flour
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1/2 cup Greek yogurt

Pre heat oven to 180c. Cut and cube your pumpkin to about 1.5 cm squares. Put in an oven safe dish, drizzle with oil and cover with foil (bit of a rhyme happening there) place in oven (even if it hasn’t heated yet, no big deal). Slice onions and place in pan with some oil, sprinkle over sugar, cook on a medium to high heat.

To make dough

Place flour in a bowl with salt and make a well in the middle. Crack egg into measuring cup or jug, add oil till the cup is filled to half, then add yogurt till the cup is full, give it a slight mix with a fork and pour into well, use a fork to slowly work the wet ingredients into the dry. Once dough has formed remove it from the bowl and knead it till it feels smooth, a little flour may be needed to prevent sticking to your counter top. Roll out dough to desired size and place in oven.

At this point check the pumpkin and onions, once they’re ready remove the dough (it doesn’t matter if the dough isn’t cooked yet, it will be going back in the oven). Put the tomato paste and garlic on the dough and spread. Spread on pumpkin, onion and fetta, place in oven until cooked, approx 5 minutes. Scatter spinach leaves on top, slice and serve.

A great weekend lunch, this pumpkin pizza is one to share!

Grab a date…

10 Aug

… not a dinner date. A medjool date, or whatever type you like really!

It is a sunnah of our Prophet (pbuh) to break your fast with dates and water. “If one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates. If dates are not available, then with water, for water is purifying.” [Ahmad]

I know we all would have stocked up on dates before the start of Ramadhaan so if you’re looking for some new ways to use your dates here’s one, date filled with nuts, you could almost call it a date baklava.

Nut filled dates

Ingredients

6 tsp nuts of your choice (I used cashews and pistachios)

12 dates ( I used medjool)

Note: the ratio is approximately 1 tsp of nuts to 2 dates

Method

Slice dates on one end and remove pit. Grind nuts in food processor or grinder. Fill each date with a teaspoon of ground nuts and serve.

A perfect ifthaar treat at home or for guests!

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