Really Week 7 - ha, fancy that!
Started the week with another cooking day - this Monday thing is working well for me! Used up last weeks' leftovers of salmon, rice & veges and used them in a creamy rice casserole. Started with a bechamel sauce and then added leftovers and heated thru before putting in a casserole dish topped with grated cheese. Baked in oven till cheese golden for tea and all the kids enjoyed it. I only had a little & filled up on my quinoa salad - this has to be my fave quinoa recipe so far and will make this again and again. It came from Georgina (who works at Wrays Organics), whose boss cooked it for them at a work get-together.
Quinoa salad with cranberries & macadamias
Heat 1 1/4 cup of chicken stock in saucepan, then add 1 cup quinoa & simmer gently till cooked. Just before ready add 1/2 cup of dried cranberries (I get organic ones sweetened with apple juice) for last few mins to soften and lend their sweetness to quinoa. Meanwhile toast 1/2 cup of chopped macadamia nuts in oven and chop roughly a big handful of parsley. Mix into quinoa and squeeze over some lemon juice. Eat warm or cold.
Yum, I wish there was more now! Also soaked all my nuts, seeds & fruits for another granola (recipe on Day 3 Blog) - this time using the cranberries instead of raisins, adding dates & apricots, and using some walnuts as well as almonds and macadamias. I didn't add the peanut butter or any agave this time as I knew it would be sweet enough with the dates, and I did add coconut but you wouldn't know it. Not as happy with this batch - still not that crunchy, but has made a massive glass jar full so will enjoy it as best I can.
And then there was the mango mousse. Not entirely happy with this recipe - my M-I-L has gone away so had to search the internet for something close enough, but wasn't too happy with how it turned out - didn't set very well and I think it tasted a bit too eggy still. However, the taste of mango and lime is very delicious. Kids weren't impressed but served some up for Luke & I with some orange slices and was a nice light dessert. Put the rest in the freezer and will see if I can get away with using it as an icecream!
Was burgers for tea on Tues night - I find that the kids really love this and it makes me happy that they eat so much salad with it. I make small patties for me to have between my lettuce leaves and it keeps me very happy as well. The raw food is a pretty big deal and I must make more of an effort to make it a focus in our meals. If I have a soup, I have to put a lot of raw salad in it (which I do enjoy) - bean & sunflower sprouts, grated carrot, & herbs. And make sure there is plenty of fruit salad available at breaky and a big raw salad at night.
The Soup of the Week was Sweet Potato Soup: fry off one chopped onion and 1 tsp of ground coriander in 1 tbsp sunflower oil. Add chopped 700g sweet potato (I used orange & white kumara) and brown off a bit before addding 3 cups of vege stock and simmering till soft about 15 - 20 mins). Blend or puree till smooth. Now this is quite a plain soup (if I did it again I would add a bit more garlic or other curry spices to amp it up a bit) but this being one of KG's recipes, it comes with a salad to eat on top! Some baby spinach leaves, chopped chilli, toasted sesame seeds, splash of sesame oil & soy sauce - really freshens up the soup and I reckon you could do alot of experimenting with the type of salad you put with it. I love rocket, grated carrot & sprouts - nice and peppery and crunchy!
This soup worked well for me on kids' pasta night again. And on Stir fry night I used a delicious Chicken Basil Curry recipe. It was really easy and you can do all the prep for it in the morning when you are lost less rushed.
1/2 tsp each of ground cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder, salt & pepper
1/4 tsp each of cloves, turmeric
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lge red onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic minced
1 small red caps sliced
1 small zuchini sliced
1 can light coconut milk
1 tbsp ginger grated
5 tbsp fresh basil snipped
Mix dry spices altogether in a bowl, place in chicken and coat well with spices. Cover bowl and put in fridge for at least 30 mins or leave overnight. Heat oil in pan and saute onion, garlic, & veges till soft. Remove veges, add chicken and brown. Return veges to pan and add coconut milk and ginger and simmer till chicken cooked. Add fresh basil just before serving.
I served this over brown rice for the rest of the family but I really enjoyed mine over sunflower sprouts (wish I'd had some bean sprouts too - yum). It was a delish and easy curry and better than using a paste where you're not sure what's in it. And coconut is such a great anti-bacterial food, esp good to use when everyone has colds. I have started adding a tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil to our smoothees too.
During the week I went to a Phillip Day seminar where he talked about food being the medicine to help us heal our bodies. I must include his metabolic checklist to help optimise our health as much as possible:
* loads of water and 1/2 tsp of good Himalayan or Celtic salt a day (NOT table salt as it is so processed that its been stripped of any nutrients and is regarded by the body as a poison because it cannot be broken down & used by our body)
* Diet (recommended 60% raw, 80% Plant based organic)
* Supplements (esp Vit C & Vit D)
* Exercise (rec 40 - 60 mins/day - quickest way to get oxygen in your body to help healing)
* Stress m'ment
* Detox (when you stop putting the junk in, it will start coming out)
Lots to work on there!
The other thing I found very interesting was finding out about our body's natural digestive cycles (from "food for thought" by PD):
Noon - 8 pm Appropriation of food (eating and digesting) - this is when we need to eat, our body craves nourishment during this time but it is important to only eat when your body is hungry.
8 pm - 4 am Assimilation of food (absorption and use) - this is when the body is resting and the digestive system cranks into gear and can do its thing with minimum of interruption. Because we are usually horizontal during this time it is important to finish eating 3 hours before bed so that your food will have already have left the stomach and is not fighting against gravity and causing all sorts of reflux and fermenting.
4am - Noon Elimination (excretion of waste products) - your body has sorted through the food it has processed and satisfactorily metabolised it into constituent nutrients for further use, while the rest has been rejected and needs to be eliminated. This stage is the most thwarted as it is almost always being sabotaged by us unwittingly eating big, badly combined breakfasts preventing the body from the necessary function of getting waste out of the body.
Apparently the rule for this Elimination period is, if you can't fast it, only eat fruit as it is the quickest and easiest to digest (in the intestinal tract not the stomach), without disturbing the processes going on.
When I read this it blew me away because it goes against everything we are taught about having a good big breaky to start off the day. But, to me, it makes so much more sense, and I believe is so much easier to do. Because I am so busy in the morning, I am easily distracted from eating and it is so much more sensible to focus on snacking on fruit (only if you need to) than trying to fit in a big meal. To me, I would be much happier trying to have a big lunch instead! So, I will definately give this a go - I know it won't always work but I am happy to see what happens.
A few rules for this "perfect food" raw fruit: Only eat it on an empty stomach and 1/2 hr before any other food, otherwise it can get held up in the stomach and ends up fermenting and putrefying and causing all manner of problems from being "stuck"; never combine fruit with any other foods; and never end a meal with fruit (which is what I always did with my kids for dessert, now I have to get it the other way round!).
Well, on those amazing revelations I will leave you all, so you can digest all the info, hopefully to the benefit and not the detriment of your body!