I Sweet Potato Bake It Off, Bake it Off

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It’s funny isn’t it, the way we place so much pressure on ourselves to achieve and do big things in our lives so that we feel like we have contributed to the world. Except somehow we make it about other people and their expectations on us. We never take responsibility for our own expectations on ourselves. When in truth, the only person putting them there is you.

I have been doing a great deal of work this year on myself and exploring what it means to live authentically and without projecting my feelings and crap on to other people. It’s been a big journey which is no where near finished, but I feel I am making great progress. I have found that honesty to myself and to other people is the only way. Open communication and sharing my experiences with others has helped me form some of the closest relationships that I will ever have. I have also been able to witness other people break down their walls and cut through the bullshit to get to the core of what is holding them back in life. And for them to feel empowered to turn themselves around is truly awesome.

My work and life has become increasingly busier and busier over the last few months and whilst it is frickin’ exciting, it also gets completely chaotic. I feel like most of the time I am walking through a minefield ready to set off an IMED (Improvised Meltdown Explosive Device). It might be my 4 year old or my 2 year old that loses their shit… but to be honest, most of the time it’s me. I’m pretty good at it too.

Anyway, just recently I’ve been asking myself “what the heck am I doing all this stuff for?” “What difference am I actually making in my life and in others”. My friend sat me down with a medicinal cider and told me to stop that nonsense. It doesn’t matter how many people I reach or make a difference too, it’s the fact that I am trying to be a better person and most of all a mum to my two kids. The fact that I am leading them to live a healthy and fit lifestyle through teaching them about good choices, providing them with a safe environment to feel and be emotional. But most of all loving them. In saying that my 4 year old is sitting next to me farting like a sailor who just got let out of a submarine and can finally let go… not loving that.

Drop the body armour and let people in. Shake off those expectations and find out what makes you happy and enjoying life. Do that instead.

I made this sweet potato bake for a beautiful friend of mine whose hubby is a fly in fly out worker and she has a gorgeous new bubba. She inhaled it. Not even a leftover ;P But a happy Mum means a happy bub.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes sliced evenly and about 2-3 mm thick.
  • 1/4 brown onion finely sliced
  • 2-3 rashers of bacon diced
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup of coconut milk
  • garlic granules (about 2 tsps)
  • sea salt to season
  • Coconut oil to grease

Bake it 

  • Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  • Grease a pyrex dish/baking (about 30cm x 20cm) with some coconut oil.
  • Overlap and layer the bottom of the tray with some of the slices of sweet potato until all the bottom of the dish is covered.

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  • Sprinkle some of the onion out and then the bacon on the sweet potato.

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  • Season with some garlic granules and salt.
  • Then take about half of the coconut milk and drizzle that over the layer. You don’t want to drown the potato bake so be sparing on the coconut milk if it’s really runny. If it’s thicker just dollop some over the layer.

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  • Repeat the process again to make a second layer.
  • Place the dish in the oven for 1 hour. In the last 15-20 minutes cover the dish with aluminium foil so the top does not burn.

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Ta Da! Sweet Potato Bake! You could always continue the layering for a larger potato bake or make it in a larger dish. Just double the recipe 🙂

On the Run Paleo Mini Quiche

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Well another festive season has been and gone and so begins the chapter of a new year. Squee!!! How exciting!

But first… I need to grinch about something.

WARNING: This blog post may offend some people, but quite frankly I hope it does so it opens your eyes and mind to the reasons why people choose not to give their kids sugar / junk food.

Over the christmas holidays there are many tempting “treats” and “sweets” out there. Yes I do succumb to these things and a glass of wine or two, maybe even a cider over this period, I’m no saint. I try to stay well behaved and this year was my best year yet I feel!  I also try very hard to get my kids to stay away from lollies, sugar, cakes, desserts and things as these tend to be everywhere you look during christmas. I mean my kids are 1 and 3, they don’t need to have all that crap anyway!

But my question is, why is it people persecute parents for actively excluding “treats” and “sweets” from their children’s diet? Why is it so hard for them to refrain from force feeding my kids sugar? I’m not being mean by not giving my kids crap food. I am being a parent. I don’t want my children to be on a sugar high and have to endure the lows of a crash an hour later. I don’t like it when they are clutching their bellies screaming that it hurts when they have had too much dairy. It’s my choice to try and give them good food that doesn’t make them feel bad or act out of character. I’m not perfect and occasionally they will have stuff that isn’t great or paleo. But for goodness sake, respect that we as parents are trying to educate them on healthy choices and show them that you don’t need to have junk to enjoy food. There is absolutely no reason to go against a parents request and give the kids junk food.

I don’t understand what people think they are giving children when they give them blue or red lollies, bowls of ice cream and cake and chocolates before nap time. You are not giving them a treat, you are giving them a ticking time bomb of crazy behaviour, upset tummies and no nutritional benefit at all. So if I say “no” to giving my kids something, please respect that I am doing it out of love for my child and their health. If you want to show them love through food, give them nutritional food that will help them to grow into healthy human beings. Better yet just give them hugs and kisses and show your love that way.

Moving On…

New Years always holds that air of new beginnings and fresh starts. I haven’t made any resolutions this year as I tend to only break them. BUT, I will be setting some personal and training goals and hope to work towards achieving them by the end of 2015. For many people, new years is also a time to reflect on where things went wrong for last years resolutions. I know several people who have vowed to become more organised and prepared with their nutrition so that they don’t resort to grabbing something unhealthy when they are in a rush.

My friend K-star who trains with me at CrossFit Iron Lion, is a beautiful, generous, kind person who is ALWAYS running to and from events, work and family. She literally sometimes runs, not kidding. Good thing she loves to run!

K-Star made these mini quiches for our athletes for a CrossFit competition late last year. They were such a convenient, fully loaded, nutritious snack that travelled well. I thought, what a bloody good idea K-Star! She won’t mind that I share the recipe for everyone to use! Right? :p

What You Need

  • Roasted Sweet Potato (I always roast several on my prep day for the week but you can find out how to do it in the Stuffed Sweet Tats recipe)
  • 8-10 eggs
  • Chopped bacon that has been semi cooked
  • Diced red onion also sauteed slightly
  • Baby spinach chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt

What You Do

  • Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • Line a muffin tray with paper muffin cases (fancy ones – see picture)
  • Press a spoonful of roast sweet potato into the bottom of each muffin case
  • Lightly cook your bacon and sauté your onion
  • Place the bacon and onion on top of the sweet potato in the muffin cases
  • Place the chopped spinach on top of the bacon and onion
  • Put your eggs in a blender with the pinch of salt and blend for 15 – 20 seconds
  • Pour the egg mixture evenly into each muffin case. Don’t over fill!
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until egg is cooked.

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Makes 12 mini quiches

You can virtually add any ingredients to the quiches like leftover shredded chicken, smoked salmon, mushrooms, asparagus or broccoli. There is no limit to the combinations.

 

 

Maple Bacon Turkey Burgers

Hey! So I’ve discovered ghee. Yes I know it’s been around for yonks but I made my own the other day and to say it was amazing is very understated. I LOVE THE SMELL OF MELTING BUTTER!!! And I can’t stop cooking with it. I’m converted. Get into some ghee peeps, you’ll love it.

Life is getting hectic towards the end of the year and things are rapidly changing but you know what hasn’t changed? My love of simple meals that I can make a ton of and use for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My kids love these and I’m not just saying that. Although I do tell my son that this is what T-rex would have eaten because otherwise he turns his nose up at it before I have even put them on his plate! Apparently at 3 you can be fussy. Who knew.

Making a variation of a burger is what we do best. It means that we can buy good quality mince and create wonderful flavours that will please any taste buds. This is one that I discovered because I had a large amount of turkey mince in my freezer (it was on special!) and bacon should always be used. The maple was a bonus.

I encourage each and everyone one of you cooks to experiment with your burger patties, rissoles and meatballs. Don’t be afraid to combine flavours using spices and herbs. Always season them with salt and don’t overwork your meat because they will dry out. And another thing, you don’t need bread crumbs or an egg necessarily to make the meat stay together. If you add salt and work the meat just right the patties will be perfect!

Gobble Gobble! (that’s a turkey reference)

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Ingredients

  • 500g Turkey Mince
  • 1/4 red onion minced / chopped super fine
  • 2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp of thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp of ground sage
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt
  • 2 – 3 rashers of bacon diced
  • 1 tsp of olive oil, coconut oil, ghee
  • 2 tsp of maple syrup

Makin’ your Bacon Turkey Burgers

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Combine mince, onion, spices and seasonings in a bowl. Mix with your hands to combine well and set aside.

In a fry pan over medium to high heat, melt the oil and then add the bacon. Fry the bacon until slightly brown and then and the maple syrup. Fry for a minute or two. Then remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Add bacon to turkey mince and mix in well.

Take a small handful or palm size of mince and form into a patty. Place on the lined baking tray.

Once all patties have been placed on to the tray, place the tray in the pre-heated oven and cook for 15- minutes. Rest for a few minutes before serving.

Serve with salad and sweet potato fries and guacamole.

 

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Hashtag #breakfastmuffin

It’s getting colder in our part of the world, and by cold I mean, we can no longer wear thongs on our feet and short shorts without getting goosebumps. But whatever, we love the 3 weeks out of 52 each year where we can wear a hoodie, trackies and a beanie. Don’t forget the ugg boots too. Around this time of year I get inherently lazy with most things and I would rather be sitting out by the beach in the gorgeous winter sun reading, falling asleep accidentally hitting myself in the head with my kindle and inadvertently saving myself from drowning in my own drool.  Sounds like heaven to me!

This little ray of sunshine is a quick and easy recipe to make something that you can grab on the go or sit down and eat like proper human beings. Also great one for the kids too.

This is a ‘hash’ breakfast muffin… not that kind of hash.

Hash Ingedients

  • 2 stems of kale – leaves removed and finely chopped or processed
  • 1/2 cup of grated sweet potato
  • 1/2 a small red onion diced
  • 3/4 cup bacon diced.
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt to season

Muffin Ingredients

  • 8-10 eggs whisked (I used 12 and had egg mix leftover so make a judgement call when filling your muffin cases)

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line your muffin tray with silicon muffin cases.

Whisk your eggs in a jug or bowl that can be used to pour easily. Set aside.

Heat a fry pan on a medium heat and put your olive oil in there. Add the onions and sautee until soft. Then add the sweet potato. Cook the sweet potato until just soft and then add the kale and garlic granules. Sautee until Kale has softened and season with salt and pepper.

Remove sweet potato hash from the pan and set aside to cool slightly.

Then cook the bacon until just turning brown in the same pan. Put in the same bowl as the hash mix together and let cool.

Fill the muffin cases about 1/2 way to the top with egg mix. Then spoon in a heaped tablespoon of the hash mix into each muffin case. If you have any leftover egg mix top up the muffins.

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Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. They will rise but once cooled will sink again.

These are da bomb and are so yummy. My son refused to eat anything else but these muffins for dinner… not bad eh?

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That’s a wrap!

Breakfast on the go when you’re paleo can often be tricky as cooking bacon and eggs and then trying to eat in the car on the way to the box can be a tad messy! I happened across this breakfast wrap purely by accident when I was making my usual scrambled eggs and bacon with a side of avocado. I may have been sidetracked and forgotten about my eggs and scrambling them. I ended up with a pan sized egg pancake.
Never to turn away from a challenge (ha!) I discovered I could still use this pancake thing to wrap my deliciously cooked bacon and my perfectly ripe avocado up and shovel it in my mouth. Voila! Breakfast wrap!

  • 2-3 eggs (more if you like but you’ll need a bigger fry pan)
  • 1-2 cooked bacon rashers
  • 1/4 to 1/2 an avocado
  • Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork until nice and creamy. Pour eggs into a small to medium fry pan (make sure it’s a good non-stick one) and place on low to medium heat. Walk away for 5-7 minutes, yep just walk away!

    When egg wrap is cooked and seems fairly solid, slide off pan onto a plate. Assemble bacon and chopped avo or avo spread and fold the wrap over the contents. It’s that simple!

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    Baking Your Bacon

    Crispy bacon is the best thing in the world. Paired with perfect eggs makes for an excellent start to the day. I bet you’re still cooking your bacon in a fry pan though, am I right? Unevenly cooked bacon with some crispy bits, some under cooked bits and that chewiness that just seems to make eating bacon a messy affair is downright disappointing. Well I have perfected the art of crispy bacon and have actually managed to teach my husband something new (he was a big fry pan believer). Now if you prefer soggy bacon then please don’t try this. The key to crispy bacon is all in the even cooking and of course letting the bacon use its own beautiful fat to cook in. My tip is to forget the pan and start using the grill. Also the better quality bacon the better tasting and crispness (we get ours from our local butcher who has organic, no added yuckies bacon)

    1. Preheat your oven grill to 180 degrees celsius

    2. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil

    3. Lay the strips of bacon flat on the tray, careful not to overload the tray with bacon

    4. Place the bacon filled tray under the grill for anywhere between 15-20 minutes (depending on the ferocity of your grill)

    We like crispy bacon where the rind has turned into crackling pretty much. If you don’t like the rind crunchy go closer to 12-15 minutes. Be mindful of your bacon and set a timer so you don’t forget about it and grill it into charcoal.

    5. Once the bacon has been cooked you can dab it with paper towel to get rid of the excess fat. VOILA! Crispy bacon.

    TIP: If you like you can use the excess bacon fat in the tray to cook your scrambled eggs in or mushrooms with some onions and herbs. YUMMO!

    Crispy Bacon is great as a side with eggs but you can add it to soooooooo many things. Once you go bacon you won’t go back.

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