Sunday, 16 June 2019

Winter greens, mandarins, couscous and tofu

Stock powder
Olive oil
Winter greens/herbs
Seeds or nuts
Flavoured tofu

Make your couscous from the packet instructions for the water to couscous ratio. Add a teaspoon of dry stock powder and a small handful of currants. Once Cooked add a drizzle of olive oil.
Roughly chop your winter greens, I have used flat leaf parsley, rocket, and lettuce.
Fluff the couscous with a fork when it has finished cooking and set to the side to cool.
In a small dry pan *no oil* toast some seeds or nuts, I have used sunflower seeds until golden brown.
Then fry some flavoured tofu to warm through and make a slight crust on the outside , I have used a honey soy ginger tofu.
Mix the greens through the couscous and some feta. Segment your mandarins sprinkle these and the toasted nuts or seeds on top. Lastly place your tofu and a wedge of lime.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

What's for lunch?

This is what our family are having in our lunch boxes tomorrow.

The main event is a paleo chicken taco with a chilli lime mayo,
a kiwifruit, spaghetti squash fritters and apple slices with peanut butter.
The rest of our family also have a boiled egg but this guy ate his before it reached his lunchbox!

To make the PALEO CHICKEN TORTILLA WITH CHILLI LIME MAYO; I used the tortilla recipe from here, it was super easy and quick, then took chicken breast sliced it thinly and added a clean Moroccan seasoning (I use the Simon Gault one), give the chicken slices and spices a bit of a massage the pan fried in a bit of coconut oil.
The salad in the taco is finely sliced cabbage, grated red and purple carrot and some coriander leaves, I sprinkle this with a little rice wine vinegar.
The dressing is mayonnaise use what ever you have, a couple of tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, a tablespoon of lime juice and some finely sliced chilli.
To arrange, just let your tortilla cool, pat off excess oil, add a good handful of salad, top with some chicken and top with your chilli lime mayo.

To  make the SPAGHETTI SQUASH FRITTERS; take a couple of cups of cooked spaghetti squash (see here for cooking instructions), two eggs beaten, half a cup of tapioca flour, 1/4 cup of coconut flour (add your flours slowly as the final amount will depend on how wet your spaghetti squash is), a small tablespoon of arrowroot powder. Mix all this together, it should be kind of thick and you should be just able to pick it up with clean hands, roll into a ball then squash into a fritter shape. If not thick enough add a bit more tapioca flour, if too thick add a small amount of water.
Heat a pan with some oil to a medium heat and fry until nice and golden, once cooked place on a tea towel or paper towel and pat off any excess oil.

To make the APPLE SLICES WITH PEANUT BUTTER simply slice the apple into circles, remove the core, dip apple into a bowl with a tablespoon of lemon juice and a small amount of water (this stops the apple browning), spread with a clean peanut butter - there should only be peanuts and salt on the ingredient list, then place another slice of apple on top.

In the morning my husband will also make a CHOCOLATE SMOOTHIE with half a banana, a tablespoon of cocoa, two tablespoons of greek yogurt, a splash of vanilla extract, and half a cup of unsweetened almond milk for my son to have after hockey practice before school. The cocoa masks the banana going brown before it is eaten.
To make the smoothie more substantial, you can add 1/8 cup ground almonds or a scoop of protein powder, a tablespoon of chia seeds, or my husband likes rolled oats in his - he grinds these up in a coffee grinder to a fine powder.

Happy clean eating everyone
Jada xx

Spaghetti (Squash) and meatballs

We get our fruit and Vegetables delivered once a week from foodbox, we get a Big Bang box and love that we get a variety of in season local produce every week and it's super fresh. This week we received a spaghetti squash in or box, so it was time to experiment.

What you will need
spaghetti squash
2 cans of crushed tomatoes in juice
a red onion
2 cloves of garlic
500g beef mince
olive oil
fresh or dried mixed herbs
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

I had a quick look online and decided it was best to cut it in half and roast in the oven cut side down (after removing the seeds) covered in foil for 40 minutes, another post suggested adding water so it steams under the foil, so I did this. Mine wasn't properly cooked after 40 minutes but the sauce and meat balls were so I threw each half in the microwave for a further 3 minutes on high and then took out and covered in the foil again for another three minutes then was able to scrap out the spaghetti like noddle-ish flesh, I then drizzled it with olive oil and some salt and pepper.

While the squash was cooking, I took a 500g packet of beef mince and added some salt and pepper and mooshed it in with my super clean hands, then broke off small pieces, rolled them into balls and fried them in a pan with some olive oil until cooked through and nice and golden.
Once the meatballs were cooked I removed them from the pan, then fried off a sliced up red onion and two garlic cloves in the oil left over from the meat balls.
Once the onion and garlic were soft and cooked through I drained off the excess oil and added the meatballs back to the pan, sprinkled with dried herbs and added two cans of crushed tomatoes in juice, I added a good splash of balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the sauce down until its thick and tasty.

Once the spaghetti squash is ready, pour your sauce and meat balls over the top, serve and enjoy.

Jada xx

Another diet?

There's been such a huge buzz about diet in my circle paleo, high fat low carb, vegetarian, 5:2 etc etc.
 It's all really confusing for the general public, what should you eat, what shouldn't you eat?
I'm pretty lucky to have a real foodie upbringing, Mum that doesn't like takeaways and was brought up to eat my fruit and veggies, we ate meat but my sister is a vegetarian. My Mum cooks great looking, great tasting food and most of it is really healthy. My Grandma loved to cook, often more meat and three vege, but she baked oh how she baked! There was always cakes and cookies, I don't remember there ever being any packaged food at Grandma's house and I went there most days of my childhood. Grandma's vege soup was so delicious and was a welcome treat on a cold afternoon in winter. One of my friends left school and went on to train as a chef, we used to make choux pastry and make chocolate ├ęclairs for our afternoon tea and cook three course meals with out thinking about it when we were in our mid teens, she then travelled the world and come back and trained as a naturopath, this is where my 'healthy food vs not so healthy food' education began.
I have found my body isn't a huge fan of processed food but it has taken a long time and a couple of kids for me to really start to think this through, and to see how lucky I am to have this education and upbringing.
Just recently I have felt a bit blurgh and realised I haven't been listening to my body again, so time to clean up my eating. Over the next wee while I will try and post some of the meals I have made and how I have made them.

Wishing you all love and light in your life
Jada xx

A special occasion at my Mum and Dad's

Food food and more food

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

D.I.Y. Peg Bag

Here's a simple D.I.Y. to put a little smile on your face when you are hanging out the washing. 

Gather the items you will need:
- a gorgeous tea towel
- a wire coat hanger 
- a 3cm length of Velcro
- your sewing machine
- sewing scissors
- some thread
- ribbon and a hot glue gun if you want to cover the wire coat hanger.

If you have a tag or label on your tea towel you like unpick this, you will use it later to cover the Velcro stitching.

Firstly fold the top of your tea towel down 12cm  on the 'long side', then fold the bottom up and overlap 3cm.

I'm holding this up so you can see what I mean by folding the bottom up and over lapping, I forgot to photograph this so I used another tea towel to show this... oops!

Then stitch up both sides

Flip in the right way and it should look like this.

Now find the middle of your peg bag along the top edge (fold it in half) I have marked it with a pin then snip a small hole.

Now zigzag stitch around this little hole as you would a button hole.

The settings I used were 1/4 for my stitch length and 3 for the width and stitched a square around the hole

Next cover the hook and stem of the wire coat hanger with the ribbon of your choice with hot glue.

Now sew a 3cm length of Velcro in the centre of the opening you would put the pegs in so they match up and will keep your bag closed if it gets bumped or if it's out on a windy day.

This is where I stitched my label over the top of the Velcro so the stitching is unseen. See the first picture at the very top.

Now bend your coat hanger to a squarish shape

Now insert the coat hanger hook through the small hole you made in your peg bag and arrange the hanger to sit in nicely, you may need to bend the hanger some more until it fits nicely.

Fill with pegs and you are ready to go! While you are hanging out or bringing the washing in leave the Velcro open, when you have finished do the Velcro up so a gust of wind or a bump of the bag doesn't send your pegs flying across the ground.

Happy D.I.Y.-ing, Jada xx

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Beautiful Beef Sliders

Hey guys!

Tonight I thought I'd share the recipe we had for dinner tonight.

We used little Chibata buns by a NZ bakery called loaf, we heated them in the oven for 8 minutes, just before serving.

For the beef patties
Firstly make sure you have super clean hands.
500g Beef mince
1 slice of bread made into bread crumbs
1 egg
A teaspoon of dried herbs (or 2 tablespoons of fresh)
1 onion finely chopped
1 clove of garlic crushed
Salt and pepper
Now it's time to get dirty! Mush everything together with your fingers, then split into fours equal portions and make each portion into 3 burger patties (12 total) When you firm your patties make them into a ball then moosh into a ball then flatten (tip; for even cooking make your patties thinner in the middle and wider on the edges like a UFO).
I cooked these in a pan with coconut oil for about 5 minutes on each side.

While they are cooking make up your slaw.
Finely cut Savoy cabbage, grate a carrot, throw in a few chopped roasted cashew nuts and a tablespoon or two of Bestfoods Mayonaise.
Slice up some avocado and some Brie cheese (we used the Whitestone Cheese Co's Mt Domet Double cream

Once everything is ready; cut the buns in half, put the avo on first then the slaw, then the burger, cheese and the bun top. Eat asap!
They are delish!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Learning how to Learn

Hi Folks,
Yip I've disappeared again SORRY!
Lately I have spent the last month or so Learning how to Learn.
I was having a browse through Coursera a few months back wondering what I could do to extend myself. I stumbled upon the perfect course for me, it has been brilliant! I have learned strategies to help myself, my own children and the children I work with that school: I am envisaging this short 4 week course will have a huge impact on all our lives. If this sounds huge, I believe it is - have a read of the course outline and watch the video.

Anyway today I am posting my final assignment here as a back up and hopefully it may help you or your kids learn a bit about learning.
This assignment is a transcription of a speech I have written for my oldest son and his friends who are starting their second year of high school, it is pitched at 13 - 14 year old teenage boys but it has plenty of tips for people of all age groups.


Okay so this is your second year at high school, your first year sitting ‘real’ exams didn’t go so well.
I have some tips for you!
The first big tip is preparation.
Did you spend last year cruising through class and then freaking out a few days before mid year and end of year exams?
Did you cram and study your butt off, staying up all hours of the night, reading and rereading everything you had learned all year until you felt your brain ache?
Well Mate you are going about it the wrong way!
The best and easiest way to pass those exams is to practice little…. Yes I said little! But there’s a catch (there’s always a catch huh?) Practice little but practice often.
When you tackle a new subject or idea at school, try and remember what it was and how it worked on your way home from school. Mentally run through your day, what did you do in each lesson? What new ideas did you come across? What things did you struggle with? Find these holes, the concepts and the things you are struggling with. Give yourself a break and some time to let these ideas consolidate in your mind, you may have afternoon tea then head off to sports practice or hang out with your mates. A bit later have another look at your books and notes, try and work out the problem. Close your book and quiz yourself again.
Recalling information and quizzing yourself is the fastest way to learn. Only give each problem a short amount of time, say 25 minutes no longer, don’t get frustrated.
Also finding other sources of information on your subject helps consolidate your learning.
For example in science if you are learning about astronomy; visit the local observatory or look one up online, print out this month’s starcharts and lie out on the grass with Mum or Dad and explain what you have learned and try to find the planets and star constellations off the chart. Visiting your local library, look at other books on your new subject; take them home if they are interesting. Have a look online at websites and youtube (make sure they are reputable sources) to find out more information on your new topic.
So what I am saying to you is really get to know your subjects during the year so when it comes to exam time you are not still trying to understand concepts and ideas. When you are studying you are just giving yourself a quick reminder of what you already know. An “Ah ha! I remember this” moment.
During the year if you are trying to understand an idea or concept, ask questions, get hands on with the problem, talk the concept over with classmates, your teacher or Mum and Dad, is there someone else that can help you? A study group? Spend some time trying to “nut out” the problem then step back and do something fun, move on to something else, have a rest or sleep on it, then come back and revisit it. This often gives you time to subconsciously work on the problem. If you are still struggling go and ask for help again, repeat until you “get it”.

Tip number 2 SLEEP!
Yes you heard me, sleep! You can do the perfect preparation all year, have a great study schedule, you can do anything for an exam but if you are sleep deprived your brain can not function to the best of its ability.
Sleep is super important; it is when your brain processes what you have done that day. It stores away important thoughts to long term memory like how that math equation works or what’s the name of the cute new girl in your class and wipes clean thoughts you don’t need any more like what colour the fluff was you removed from your belly button this morning.
During the day when you are working, your brain cells swell up and release toxins (all the bad stuff they don’t need anymore). While you sleep your brain cells relax and shrink back down, allowing the fluid in your brain to wash these nasty toxins away. If you don’t have enough sleep it’s like you’ve had a couple of bottles of beer, you don’t need that before you sit your exam. So give your brain a rest catch some zzzz’s!
Tip number 3
Exam week is approaching HELP! What do I do?
The first thing is don’t panic!
You know those feelings you have inside? The “this is too hard!”, “I can’t possibly pass this”, “I’m not smart enough” All these feelings are completely normal, you are not alone, chances are even the smart guy that sits in the front of your math class is feeling the same thing. These thoughts are so common they even have a name “The Imposter Syndrome”. All this negative self-talk is completely normal. I want you to tell yourself this is normal, you do deserve to be there and you will perform to the best of your ability that day. Tell these imposter thoughts to bugger off!
Taking a few deep breaths is also a great way to calm down, breathe deeply until you feel your stomach rise then breath out calmly and fully, practise this and use it in your exams when you feel that nervous tension building up, it send signals to your brain to chill out and relax.
Now when you get those negative “Imposter” thoughts I want you to lie to yourself. Ah ha, lie…. Tell porkies… fib whatever you call it, do it LIE! When you are feeling nervous tell yourself you are excited, tell yourself you are so freakin excited about how you are going to do such an awesome job on this exam that you are having trouble containing just how amazing you truly are! Lie, Lie, Lie don’t let that stupid imposter voice speak to you, you are awesome! Change the thought pattern from nerves to excitement.
So now we know:
We are prepared
We’ve had a good night’s sleep
We are not freaking out
We’ve blocked out the imposter and using positive self-talk
We are deep breathing to relax

What else can we do to prepare for exams?
Ask yourself a few questions
-          Did you seriously try to understand all of the course material?
-          Did you talk it over with classmates, Mum and Dad or the next-door neighbour?
-          Did you actively participate in class? Ask questions, do homework, test theories?
-          Did you question things you didn’t understand and work through the problems?
-          Did your teacher give you a study guide? Use it! Is there a review class? Attend it!
-          Is there anything you still don’t understand? Ask for help.
-          Can you explain these concepts or teach someone else how to do this equation?
Don’t forget a good nights sleep is the most important thing you can do the day before.
Now it’s the day, exam time!
Once you get into your exam continue the positive self-talk and the deep breathing, you are in control and will do your best.
When you receive your test paper take the time to have a quick read through so you understand what is expected of you, this is really important.
My next piece of advice may sound strange but hear me out!
Start on the hard questions! Yip, you heard me, start working on the hardest question first do what you can, when you get stuck move on to something easy. When you are working on the easy question in the back of your mind somewhere your brain will be subconsciously working on the hard one. Alternate the hard and the easy questions to give your brain a break every now and again. If you are feeling overwhelmed take a minute to look down, take a few deep breaths and try and look at your paper with a new perspective. But remember when you get stuck you must move on, don’t be a zombie bashing your head against a brick wall, that hurts! Just move on, do something else and revisit that question later. Often we find a bit of time can help resolve issues; many people have left an exam and thought “Ah, that’s right, that’s the answer!” Starting with these harder questions give you time to have these “Ah ha” moment s during the exam not the minute you walk out the door!
When you have multi choice questions cover the answers and try to work out the solution without seeing all the options as they can confuse you, trust your instinct and take the answer closest to your thought.
Finally once you have completed the exam, read back over it. Start from somewhere near the back and work toward the front so you are reading the questions in a different sequence. Did you miss anything? Or misunderstand any of the questions? Read through with a critical eye, did you fully answer every question?
You are finished! You have left the exam room. Move on, let it go; do not spend the rest of the day obsessing over it. Relax – go and give yourself a reward, a hot chocolate from the school canteen, if you can leave school go and hang out with your mates, catch a movie, reward yourself for doing the best you could!
Now my final tip is to exercise.
Do what you like doing, play ball, go for a run, hit the beach go for a swim, surf, Whatever you like, do it!
Funny things happen when you exercise, your body switches out of conscious thought and into a relaxed mode of thought called the diffuse mode so without even thinking about problems your brain is secretly trying to ‘nut’ them out without you knowing, leading to more “ah ha” moments. The other amazing thing that goes on in that brain of yours is that it starts producing new neurons, these neurons are used to grasp new ideas therefore make you brainier. Also you know how exercise makes your body stay fit and healthy and can extend your life expectancy? Well unless you are doing parkour on the rooftops of New York City! That could possibly have a detrimental effect if you didn’t quite make that last jump…. Anyway exercise extends the life of your neurons. Neurons are the little things in your brain that link together for an idea or an action. So physical activity can help make your brain brilliant.  Next time you are feeling frazzled; go for a run, a walk or play a game of ball.
Thanks to all of you for listening to my tips for learning, my final assignment for Learning how to Learn.

Good luck and enjoy your bright future.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Dr Barbara Oakley and Dr Terrence Senjowski and their raft of interesting and insightful interviewees for sharing their knowledge with this Mum of boys who works part time with kids that are often struggling to learn. This course has opened my eyes to a new future for myself, my awesome boys and the gorgeous kids I work with. I hope I have made you proud!

With love Jada xx