Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Back in the kitchen, and a winner...

Something Mr E and I agree on is that good health and a strong immune system reflect what is served in your kitchen.
Even though we both got 'taken down' with this nasty flu, we actually handled it better than we would have a couple of years ago. Living a healthier life and being very conscious of what we 'feed' our bodies got us through this illness with no medication at all, apart from a few ibuprofen when I had a migraine.
He bounced back quicker than me because he rested his body more than I did, but as any housewife/mother will tell you, that's fairly normal. I run on adrenalin - big time! That's why I came crashing down so hard in March after my trip to Melbourne, and I still hadn't slowed down enough to fully recover when I succumbed to the flu a couple of weeks ago.
Big lesson for me to learn - and also a reminder that I'm 55 now, and not 35, and therefore need to take that little extra care with any form of recovery and rest.

So I truly rested yesterday. I listened to all your advice and put my feet up and watched movies while I stitched. 
I never tire of "How To Make An American Quilt" and as the credits rolled at the end of the DVD I felt so inspired to design a certain quilt that has been roaming along like a gathering tumbleweed in my mind for years, but has never seen the light of day in my sketchbook. It was nice to not have anything to distract me from bringing this idea to paper, and it may take years to stitch, but at least it's an idea on paper now and one step closer to life.

Today I have been back in my kitchen - yay!!
Mr E has been away for three days and will be home again tomorrow night, so I wanted to return to my daily routine of nourishing food preparation before he gets back. After giving the kitchen and fridge a good scrub out, I went shopping for fresh produce, and then set to work.

First on my menu plan was to make some rhubarb and strawberries for pouring over chai pudding...

Just chop a large bunch of rhubarb and two cups of strawberries...

...and add them to a saucepan with a tablespoon of water, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and 2 tablespoons of rice malt syrup (you might choose sugar, honey or agave)
Simmer for 30 minutes. Yum.

Serve with Chia Pudding.
In a jar, shake together - 1 cup of coconut milk / 1/4 cup chia seeds / 2 teaspoons of raw honey.

Leave the pudding in the jar on your bench for about 30 minutes, giving it a good shake every 5-10 minutes. This prevents the chia from clumping as it absorbs the coconut milk. Pour into a bowl...

...and pop it in the fridge until you're ready to serve. This makes a beautiful dessert, but can also be served with fresh fruit for breakfast.

Next, I needed to make my adrenalin booster, the Singing Canary!
(adapted from Trim Healthy Mama)

In a high speed blender add two diced lemons (skin included), and 3 cups of filtered water. Blend for about 3-4 minutes. Strain the lemon water through a piece of muslin, squeezing out as much of the juice as you can from the pulp. 
Return the lemon water to the blender, and add:

/ a good pinch of celtic sea salt / stevia sweetener (according to taste) / 2 teaspoons organic coconut oil / 1 teaspoon non-irradiated tumeric powder / 4g vitamin C powder / 3 splashes vanilla extract (not vanilla essence) / 2 teaspoons whey protein powder (non-sweetened) /

Blend the lot. Fill a jug half way with ice cubes, and pour the Singing Canary over the top. Drink throughout the day. 

Do you like my glass? I call it the Pride & Prejudice glass because I always imagine it's Mr Darcey and Mr Bingley out shooting with their hounds.

Next on my menu plan was Cashew & Orange Cream. I will have this served over fruit and oats for breakfast tomorrow.

Zest the rind of one orange, and combine it with one cup of raw cashews in a high speed blender ( we use the Nutribullet)...

Blend until the nuts and orange zest start to clump like butter. Add the juice of 3 oranges...

Blend again until you have the consistency of thickened cream...

Stir through 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract...and lick the spoon, You won't want to waste a single bit.

My final job today was to prepare the Kale for tomorrow's green smoothie. I love Kale, and it's an amazing super-food!

One thing I have recently learned through both Mr E and I having the auto-immune disease Hashimoto's  is that even though many experts warn against eating goitrogens (cabbage, broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts etc) because they can depress the thyroid function even more than it already is with these conditions, it is only for those whose under-active thyroid condition or Hashimoto's Disease is caused by iodine deficiency, as goitrogens interfere with iodine absorption in the body.
This is not the case with Mr E and I so we can enjoy Kale in our green smoothies each day.

I'll add these recipes to my Recipes Page (here) in case you ever want to source them for your own use. 
Give them a go...honest, they are all yummy.


The winner of Dawn Hay's PRESTON BAG pattern is Diann from New Jersey!
Congratulations Diann, I'll be emailing you soon for your home address and then this gorgeous bag pattern will be winging it's way from Australia to you.

If you would like to make Dawn's bag, just pop over here to her shop. It's available as an instant pdf download, or you can email her via her blog here for a paper pattern.

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday!


Sew Useful Designs said...

Wow sweetie, thank you for the inspiration... I want to stay at your house and learn with you!!! Yummy, you're so inspiring!!!

KimM said...

WOW! The fresh fruit and other pics look sooooo inviting! And congratulations to the winner of your give away - lucky girl she is!

Christina said...

Glad you are feeling better and rested. With all the running and everything else we do on a daily basis, you have to take a day once in awhile and just do nothing. WTG on designing your quilt. Looks like you had a great time in the kitchen. Congrats to the winner!

Farm Quilter said...

Next time I am Down Under, I need to come visit you for some lessons in the kitchen!! I only deal with my husband having Type 2 diabetes which he controls with diet and exercise...and my gluten issues and allergies :( I need to start juicing and stop drinking tea all day!! You are such a good influence :)

Lorrie said...

Congrats to Diane. Your food preparation looks yummy.

Tammy said...

Congratulations Diann !!! Thank you for the chance to enter your lovely giveaway Jenny. Glad to hear and see you are up and about and in the kitchen again....

Anonymous said...

Your food looks so yummy Jenny, would make any tummy feel good. My daughter and I have talked about the Nutribullet so thank you for mentioning using one. It is so heavily advertised only available through tv and much more expensive than most regular blenders and similar appliances etc but there does not seem to be anything of similar action that works equally or as versatile to compare. The other thing is it is about half the price in US. If it is as good as advertisers say probably worth the purchase to be able to process all those foods and retain nutrition. I received a book I had ordered today, Changing Habits Changing Lives Cookbook, lots of yummy healthy recipes, there are many healthy options and ingredients available these days, this book converts many longtime recipes to healthier versions. Thank you for sharing your favourite recipes and cheers to good health, Hope your reorganised creative spaces working well for you and your lovely fabrics. Have a great rest of week.
Judithann :-)

Diann said...

I'm so excited to have won the bag pattern. Can't wait until it arrives so I can pick out some fabric to make it. Thanks once again.