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Eat Me Skinny Kohlrabi Soup

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This is diet-changing stuff. I’ve asked myself how something so creamy and yummy can also be so healthy and light. Oh, but it can. It’s called Kohlrabi.

Kohlrabi

Like most vegetables, kohlrabi is healthy and nutritious. This one is particularly rich in Vitamin C, though. Just a hundred-gram serving gives you all your daily Vitamin C requirement. And, my goodness, it is so low in calories it is almost criminal. It has the creaminess of potatoes but it has just one third of the calories.

One kilogram of raw kohlrabi has only 270 calories. To put this into perspective, that’s less than a calorie count of 100 grams of bread. Amazing, isn’t it?

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Geeky science fact: Kohlrabi is actually man-made. Along with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and Brussels sprouts, it was created by artificial selection from the wild mustard plant (brassica oleracea).  Artificial selection of a plant means the intentional selection of certain traits you like from the plant, so for example:

  1. Brocolli resulted from the suppression of flower development.
  2. Kale was the outcome from the enlargement of leaves
  3. Cauliflower came from sterile flowers
  4. Cabbage arose from suppression of the internode’s length (the bit of the plant stem between the nodes); and
  5. Kohlrabi was the result of enhancement of the lateral meristem (part of the plant cells involved in lateral/sideways growth)

Thankfully, contrary to artificial selection and cultivation, cooking Kohlrabi is not a complicated undertaking. Here’s as perfectly basic, easy-to-make soup with a great clean flavour which you can tweak to your heart’s content – wants spice, add cayenne; dreaming of Italy, add bay leaves and rosemary; or like it exotic, add cumin powder, you get the gist.

Eat Me Skinny Kohlrabi Soup
Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A creamy, comforting soup, without the calories. Great to have warm or chilled.
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 1/2 cups almond milk
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Vegan parmesan (I use
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil in a large pan. Add onions and cook gently until soft, about 10 minutes. Add kohlrabi and cook for 3 minutes.
  2. Add vegetable stock, and almond milk to pan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes or until kohlrabi is tender. Let cool for a few minutes.
  3. Using an immersion blender, bench top blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve in heated bowls with freshly cracked pepper and a generous sprinkle of vegan parmesan.
Notes
Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free

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Steel-Cut Oat Power Porridge With Goji and Cranberries

Happy New Year Everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful New Year celebration.

For my first post I thought I’d cover something I’m very passionate about — Breakfast. Up until about 5 to 6 years ago I used to skip breakfast. I felt like I had no time for breakfast and I’d rather sleep in for a few more minutes rather than getting up to get myself some breakfast. My breakfast was usually a cup of coffee at work and I did this for probably about 7 years on and off until one morning, I woke up with a really sharp pain in my stomach. It was so bad I really thought I was going to die. I went to visit the doctor as soon as the pain dissipated and later was diagnosed with chronic gastritis and prescribed with some medication. I was also told to not skip a breakfast in the morning as it can result in an excessive burden on the gastrointestinal tract and cause gastritis, indigestion and other gastric diseases. Best advice I have ever received. Since then, I always make sure I have breakfast, no matter how busy I am in the morning.

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Did you know that 65% of Australian adults skip breakfast, with 41% skipping at least twice a week? At least that was the result of a recent study, which also revealed that almost one million Australian adults skip breakfast because they are dieting or watching their weight. And that’s not the end of the bad news: As many as a third of Australians would rather start their day tweeting or facebooking instead of eating breakfast.[1]

Seriously?

I don’t know when it became trendy to skip breakfast. I personally think that having breakfast is a really important part of my health and so I started to do some research into this topic. I’m very pleased with what I have found thought none of them were a surprise to me: Those who consumed breakfast had a healthier lifestyle, generally speaking, than others who don’t. Having regular breakfasts also helps people lose weight – and keep it off.[2] [3]

So I want to share a really good wholesome and healthy breakfast which I hope will make you want to invest the time making and eating it. Like a bowl of creamy steel cut oats porridge.

Steelcut oats power porridge

Yes! I can have this everyday.

Warm, creamy and comforting. It is also nutritious and full of antioxidants, fibre, vitamins and minerals. You will love this.

Steel-cut oat is the second most unprocessed form of oats. They are whole oat groats which have been chopped into pieces.  Steel-cut oats take longer to cook than instant, ground, or rolled oats, but I think they have more flavour than rolled oats. They’re nuttier and they are chewier. They take about 20–30 minutes to cook but you can pre-cook and then soak them the night before to make an almost instant porridge the next morning (check out Step 7 in the recipe instruction).

Steel Cut Oat Power Porridge With Goji and Cranberries
Recipe Type: Gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Thick and creamy bowl of nutrients, antioxidant and happiness
Ingredients
  • Power Porridge
  • 1 cup of gluten-free steel cut oats
  • 3 cup of water
  • 1 cup of your favourite nut milk (I use a mixture of almond and macadamia milk)
  • 2 Medjool dates, pit removed, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon of goji berries
  • 2 tablespoon of cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
  • Topping Mix (optional)
  • 2 tablespoon of goji berries (soaked in water for 5 minutes if they are hard)
  • 2 tablespoon of desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoon of nut and seed mix
Instructions
  1. Pour water and nut milk into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil over high heat.
  2. Add oats into the pan. Add a pinch of salt, and stir.
  3. Return the water to a boil. This should only take a few seconds. Keep an eye on the pan as it can sometimes foam up and spill out. Take the pan out of the heat when you notice that the water is about to boil over.
  4. Reduce heat to lowest setting and bring the oats to a gentle simmer. You should see steam coming off with a bubble or two every few seconds.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients (dates, goji berries, cinnamon and chia seeds)
  6. Simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (every 5-10 minutes or so) and scraping the bottom of the pan.
  7. Cook until the oats are tender and creamy. Longer cooking makes thicker oatmeal. Option: If you want to soak your oats, this is the time to do it. Take of the heat, cover the pot and let it sit overnight, 8-12 hours. To serve soaked oats, just stir the oatmeal to recombine the oats with any residual liquid and heat over medium for 1-2 minute until the oatmeal is heated through.
  8. Serve immediately with a few tablespoon of the topping mix.
Notes
Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, grain-free

You can also let the oats cool and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. The oats will thicken in the fridge but you can just stir some nut milk or water into them to loosen them when reheating.

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Cheers to the New Year and a good wholesome breakfast!

Keren

References:

[1] ABCMF Study, 2013, Galaxy Research. A representative sample of 1001 Australians aged 18-64 years. Conducted October 2013.

[2] International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 1998, Vol. 49, No. 5 : Pages 397-40 – Breakfast and mental health Andrew P. Smith

[3] 2002 North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) – Long-Term Weight Loss and Breakfast in Subjects in the National Weight Control Registry.

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Crunchy Kale Salad with Everyday Miso and Tahini Dressing

crunchy kale with miso tahini dressing

 

I used to be one of those people who would often say, ‘I don’t have time for this or that’. I think it’s a lame excuse and I’m now consciously trying not to say those words. We all get the same 24 hours every day and we all spend it as we wish. It’s all about priorities and trade-offs.   There’s this famous quote which rings true in many of my situations: “If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you’ll find an excuse.”

Now, making your own lunch often fall in the grey zone between being important/not being important. But when it only takes less than 20 minutes to make… there really is no excuse, is there?

I’ve been making this quick toss salad for a few months now, slightly differently every time depending on what I have in the fridge, but it is super easy and so quick to make that there really is no excuse for me to go and spend 30 minutes (and a few extra dollars) getting take away for lunch, other than pure laziness on my part, which was what I almost succumbed to last Sunday. But I didn’t. I made the salad, ate it and felt great. I even went on to prepare a few more for lunch this week to save some time washing up. And, yes, in case you’re wondering, they keep fresh for a few days in the fridge because I keep the dressing in a separate container.

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The Everyday Miso and Tahini Dressing is something I’ve created to make eating raw vegetables so much more pleasant and enjoyable. It is inspired from my last trip to Japan where I had some of the most delicious salads, simply prepared and drizzled with lots of creamy sesame dressings. It’s full of umami taste (a fifth element of taste of which can be describe as a “pleasant savory taste”). It also serves well as a dip for celery sticks and carrots. It’s so simple to make and consist of 3 ingredients.

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Vegan Halloween Edition- Roasted Brain

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Halloween. The second highest grossing commercial holiday after Christmas. What should I say, some people are for it, others are against it. As for me, my last Halloween dress up party was years ago so no spooky costume for me this year. I’m not really into gory stuff so the whole spooky halloween theme doesn’t really appeal to me.  I do however, love pumpkin and themed food so I love the creativity aspect of this event. I remember my last proper Hallooween brunch at Mr.G which was pretty weird and spooky with animal blood, hearts, ants, and other strange stuff. Reading the post again I can’t believe how much I’ve changed, being vegan and all. Eating animal body parts is now history for me. But as is the case with anything, it’s just good to reflect on the past, to see how far we’ve come.

So this year I’m doing a much much kinder Halloween :) Still somewhat spooky but definitely not as scary and weird.

Alright, let’s get into this recipe. It looks like brain, it’s vegan, gluten-free, paleo and it’s easy to prepare. It’s also healthy, tasty and certainly Instagram-worthy. If it doesn’t look impressive on camera, then what’s the point, right?

And right now you’re probably wondering how to create a vegan brain, eh? Well, it’s easy! It’s already out there.

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Fennel Orange Strawberry Salad (vegan, paleo and gluten-free)

Wow! Where did the time go? I left the country for three and a half weeks and I came back to this Awesome. Weather. Spring has sprung!

One of the things I love about spring is the diverse range of fruits and vegetables available in this season: the berries, the citrus fruits, peas, cauliflowers, broccoli, asparagus, all the things I love to eat! Strawberries are cheap as chips and, oh my goodness, fennel is here! And I love fennel.

Strawberry and Orange Fennel Salad-3

Let’s be honest here, fennel and I weren’t friends until a couple years ago when I discovered that it’s actually a vegetable and not a weird-looking giant onion. It actually tastes really nice: it’s slightly sweet with anise-like flavour. You may need to get used to its flavour at first but if it is combined with the right ingredients, you can render its taste mild and delicate. I love eating it raw as it has the most irresistible crispy crunch similar to that of celery. It stays crunchy for a long time after it’s sliced or cut, making it a perfect ingredient for salads, and in fact, I think fennel salad tastes even better the next day.

 

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Chat Thai Fried Sweet Potato Balls (vegan and gluten-free)

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Thai Fried Sweet Potato Balls (also known as Khanom Kai Nok Kra Ta) are one of my favourite Thai snacks. I first had them when dining at Chat Thai – a Thai restaurant in the City which serves great authentic Thai food and sweets. From then on, I have been madly in love with these addictive and delicious Thai street snacks.

They taste mildly sweet, slightly crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. Perfect for afternoon snack or footy night!

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Sweet Potato and Date Bites (flourless, sugar-free, and vegan)

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Recently I experimented with flour-free, refined sugar-free baking.  Now that I’m pretty comfortable baking without eggs and dairy, I thought why not push the boundaries. I mean surely you can remove eggs, milk, butter, flour, and sugar and still make good muffins right?

And so I put on my apron and started throwing things in the bowl. I didn’t come out with muffins, but I came out with something which is equally delicious and dare I say it, even more morish. Behold these bite-size muffins which are mildly sweet, chewy and every little bit is delicious. They are completely flourless, egg-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free. You’ll be surprised at how easy they are to make.

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Smokey Tempeh Fingers!

I like to experiment. I used to do it everyday, back when I was working as a Microbiologist. It was quite fun until I found myself doing the same thing over and over and over again…

Now I experiment in my kitchen and it’s heaps more fun. Especially when the outcome is edible.

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Why Brussels Sprouts Are Good, Bitter and The Best Way To Cook them

Honestly, I used to hate Brussels sprouts. Yes I know. Hate is a strong word.

But it wasn’t because my mum used to force feed me with it when I was a child, I mean, we didn’t have Brussels sprouts back home. In fact my first taste of Brussels sprouts vegetarian was here in Sydney, when I was in my early twenties (feels like a long time ago).

Anyway, somewhere, sometime ago, I had it.

It was a bad tasting experience. The dish was bitter and awful. I didn’t like it at all. Since then, I never dared to order Brussels sprouts again. Let alone try to cook it at home.

But a few years ago I gave Brussels sprout a second try at Porteno. I ordered the Crispy fried Brussels sprouts with lentil and mint which was highly recommended by the wait staff. I was skeptical.

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It turned out to be amazing.

It was deliciously crispy, fresh and bursting with flavours. It wasn’t bitter at all. It changed my whole perception of Brussels sprouts.

Fast track to today, I am now a Brussels sprouts convert. I found the best way to cook Brussels sprout, reduce the bitterness and increase the awesomeness of this highly nutritious (and often misunderstood) vegetable.

Before I go on about cooking, please indulge me in taking a closer look at this vegetable and its amazing properties.

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Why Brussels Sprouts Is Good For You

Brussels sprout is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning it shares the same family as cauliflower, cabbage, or broccoli (Brassicaceae).

Brussels Sprouts Contain Anti-Cancer Properties

Cruciferous vegetables contain high sulfur compounds, including sulforaphane, which has powerful anti-cancer properties. It not only helps neutralise and eliminate damaging free radicals, but it is also able to activate the tumor-suppressor genes in cells which are turning cancerous, stopping the cancer cell from growing.

Bitter = Stress

Interestingly enough, the more stressed the plant is, the more sulforaphane is produced. When the weather is too hot or too dry, or when they’re getting chewed on by insects or infected by virus, bacteria or fungi, they produce more of these compounds to survive the unfavourable condition.

So, stressed sprouts are more likely to be bitter, as well as the ones harvested when they are too mature.

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How To Make Brussels Sprouts Less Bitter

Two words; Short and Sweet. Pick them young, cook them quickly and store them for a minimum amount of time. Stressed out sprouts mean bitter sprouts so keep them cold, keep the storage time short and don’t cook them for too long. Easy right?

Best Way To Cook Brussels Sprouts

It should probably read “The Tastiest Way to Eat Brussels Sprouts”

Stir frying – hands down – is the simplest, quickest, best way to cook Brussels sprouts without making it taste like ass. It’s true.

15 minutes to prep, 5-7 minutes to cook, 20 minutes from fridge to table. Take that Jamie!

Crunchy Brussels Sprouts with Ginger and Mushroom
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Justonemorespoon
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
A quick and easy recipe to a delicious tasting Brussels Sprouts. This recipe guarantees to give you crunchy and tasty sprouts while preserving all the beneficial anti-cancer properties of the sprouts through rapid cooking method. Free-radicals be gone!
Ingredients
  • 4 Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 1 big handful of snow peas, string removed
  • 1/2 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 chilli, chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy mushroom sauce
  • 1 large brown mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp chia seed to sprinkle
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 cm ginger
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to season
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil in wok on high heat.
  2. Fry garlic and ginger until fragrant (about 1 minute).
  3. Add all chopped veggies except mushroom. Stir.
  4. Add mushroom sauce and water into the wok.
  5. Stir fry until all the veggies are nice and soft (about 5 minutes).
  6. Add sliced mushroom and mix through (the residual heat will cook the mushroom).
  7. Serve immediately with some brown or white rice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram and tag me on the picture.

 

Keren x

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Curry Chickpea and Red Lentil Soup

Hi, my name is Keren and I am a soup addict.

Especially around this time of the year.

And by the way, I like my soup thick, rich and creamy. Bonus points if it’s healthy.

But most importantly, it needs to be thick. If I can drink it, then it is not thick enough.

Do I sound like a soup Nazi?

Curry Chickpeas Lentil Soup

I must say I was very proud of myself when I made this soup. This is the ultimate winter soup. It is easy to whip up and there’s not much to clean up as you’re just throwing everything into one pot… cook, blend, serve. Easy done.

This soup ticks all the boxes. Deliciously thick, rich, creamy and full of nutrients. It is high in protein, fiber, complex carbohydrate and very low in fat.  It contains chickpeas and lentils which are two of the best sources of vegetable proteins. It is mildly spiced with cumin seed and curry powder which contain antiflu, anti-inflamatory and antibacterial properties that help boost the immune system, detox the liver, and aid with digestion.

Soup doesn’t get any better than this.

So…

Are you hungry??

Cold?

In need of some hearty, protein-packed, nutrient-rich, delicious, creamy and thick soup?

Make this now.

Curry Chickpeas Lentil Soup

Curry Chickpea and Red Lentil Soup
Author: Keren
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
The Ultimate Winter Soup. Rich, creamy and hearty soup that is easy to make, full of nutrients, high in protein and low in fat. Best. Ever.
Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 cup red split lentils
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1 can tomatoes, whole or chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked chickpeas (about 1 1/2 can cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional, use if you like your soup with a bit of a heat)
  • 1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped (leave some to serve)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Non-dairy yogurt to serve (optional)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Fry the cumin seeds for about a minute or until they start to ‘pop’ and release their aromas.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, curry powder and chilli flakes (optional) and cook for 5 mins.
  4. Stir in the lentils, vegetable stock and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 mins until the lentils have softened.
  5. Add chickpeas and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Blend the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until it is smooth.
  7. Reheat gently. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Stir in the coriander. Serve with a scoop of yogurt and coriander leaves.

So, tell me, do you have a favourite winter soup?