Mar 29, 2010

What a Weekend!!

Saturday morning marked the opening of an EXCITING NEW SPACE in Sydney - the first RAW cafe! My bestest-most-amazing-beautiful-friend Maya, is the brains and LOVE behind it all, I was there as the "hospitality guru" (my long standing background), barista, and helper. (check out her blog and other raw events in Sydney at

A steady day with loads of friends and interested newbies stopping by to try OH-MY-GOD AMAZING cakes (trust me when I say ther's no over-reaction there), sensational "Better Than Muesli", open sandwiches, GREEN SMOOTHIES, herbal teas, and organic coffee (obviously the only non-raw thing).
RAW @ Taste Organics will be open weekends now starting from April 9th (as it's closed for the Easter weekend), and I'll be back there from April 17th :) Can't wait!! Check out some of the cakes here...

Yep, that's RAW ICE CREAM alright!! Atop a CHOCOLATE BROWNIE! Um yeh... could it get any better??

Other than that I spent a fair bit of time doing yoga at home and cardio at my gym (self-confessed "borderline" gym junkie right here), had a fancy dress party to go too, and spent some time having FUN IN MY KITCHEN!! What's a weekend without food fun hey?!?!

Here's what i made...

Raw Pizza - sundried tomato sauce base, greens, capsicum, shrooms, grated pumpkin, chili flakes, coriander

Raw bruschetta on really good garlicky almond bread - go to bed alone after this :)

Little Chocolate Pudd's (coz "pudd" is so much cuter than "pudding" and these were in little espresso cups AND with little spoons - ooo munchkins)

"Shreks Swamp" - I can thank mum for that name.

This is my latest and GREATEST brekkie sensation I'm addicted too. Chocka-block-FULL of so many amazing foods that are super nutritious, it's like a complete meal! And you'll just have to take my word for it in that it tastes SENSATIONAL - despite what most of you are probably thinking.

I like to EAT my swamp out of a bowl, and be fully present to each and every soft, yummy, gooey, spoonful :)

However, it does look alot prettier in a tall glass...

... complete with red roses as backdrop :)

Can you guess what's in it?

Mar 26, 2010

Testicle Tree - and a Recipe

Did you know that the Aztec word for avocado was ahuacatl, which means "testicle tree"? Nope. Neither did I.

But I did know about the nutritional benefits of avocados and as I was able to get 2 organic avo's for $2 at Taste Organics the other day (of course walking out with 6 for $6), I've been indulging and thought I'd share some known (but sometimes forgotten) facts with you.

- Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable, and have the highest protein content of any fruit and contain more potassium than bananas.

- Avocados contain oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat (a GOOD FAT) that may help to lower cholesterol.

- One cup of avocado has 23% of the Daily Value for folate, a nutrient important for heart health. Folate is also very important for pregnant women. Just think; the shape of an avocado is the shape of a womans womb is it not? How long does it take for an avo to grow from seed to fruit? 9 months. How long does it take for a baby to grow? ... Interesting hey...

- Avocados have significant quantities of tocopherols - which most of you would know as - vitamin E. Whenever I hear "vitamin E" I automatically think "beautiful skin". So mush one up and apply it to your skin. Absolute baby soft skin bliss will soon follow :)

- Blissing out on some avo in your salad will greatly increase your body's ability to absorb the health-promoting carotenoids that vegetables provide.

Um.. haha ok... What the hell are carotenoids? Simply put; they're pigments. And they are largely responsible for the red, yellow, and orange color of fruits and vegetables, but are also found in many dark green vegetables. They are known to protect your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, provide a source of vitamin A (needed for clear skin), enhance the functioning of your immune system, and help your reproductive system to function properly.

Since carotenoids are lipophilic (literally, fat-loving, which means they are soluble in fat, not water), consuming carotenoid-rich foods (think carrots, apricots, mangoes, squash, and sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and collard greens, tomatoes, guava, and pink grapefruit) along with monounsaturated-fat-rich avocado might enhance their bioavailability.

But enough with the facts, here's my RECIPE!!

Silky Lemon Mousse

I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to name this creation as nothing sounded very appealing. So here we have "Silky Lemon Mousse" and you'll just have to take my word for it. It's quick. It's super easy. It tastes so good and it a guilt-free delicious, decadent, eye-candy of a dessert.

You'll need:

1 avocado (cut into chunks)
1 lemon (juice only)*
6 medjool dates (soaked)*
5 tbsp date water (that is the water you soaked your dates in)

BLEND until smooth and creamy! Set in the fridge to thicken a little until ready to serve - or if you cant wait, dig in straight away like I did! Dish it into pretty little dishes or bowls and garnish with a small date and some sliced lemon rind!


* Try lime juice in place of lemon for a tangy lime mousse.
* If you dont want to use dates or have none, try 1/4 cup agave syrup or even honey... or if you want something with less sugar, feel free to try Stevia or Yacon Syrup.

Mar 23, 2010

Vision and Purpose

"If we're not living with VISION we might as well be dead"

Last weekend I was at college for 3 days immersed in a "Vision and Purpose" module. And personally, I was EXCITED to get clear(er) on my own Vision and Purpose.
I had my packed lunch, pens and paper (tissues provided thank goodness), and BEAMED on in to see all my soul sisters for another weekend together.

We pondered questions on what we each feel Called to do, How we want to live, What matters to us most, What we ache for... and did visualisations to take us all deeper.

We looked at things we want to be Letting Go of and things we are now Letting Come.

So to back track a little... Not longer than a year ago, I remember writing down (on numerous occasions) everything I wanted more of in my life. I had loooong lists;

yoga, meditation, playing in my kitchen, reading personal development books, journalling, going away on retreats, etc etc etc (I could go on)... basically looking after MY AUTHENTIC SELF in all the ways I knew nourished me. Things that were good for me. Things that I enjoyed. Things that made me smile. And with that I suppose I always wanted to have a clear VISION for myself. Get back to the basics and the rest will fall into place.

Over the course of the weekend there was a subtle sort of CLUNK that made me realise I am infact living and walking my VISION right now! I'm living it everyday! I'm doing everything I used to wish I had more time to do;

I READ everyday - be it personal development, raw nutrition, health and wellbeing, or Italian romance fiction that whisks me off, up and away to the land I love oh so much. Sigh ;)
I go for a morning run, an aerobics class or do yoga everyday.
I always find the time to JOURNAL my thoughts, my feelings, and I LOVE this time to myself.
I'm STUDYING something that I really love.
I'm MEDITATING daily (still a work in progress at times).
And meeting new amazing exciting beautiful people!!
I'm no longer working full time hours at a job I only half-enjoy.
I have space and time to go away on Seva retreats and indulge in silence. Stillness.
I PLAY more and more in my kitchen making love to the creations of food.
I go to organic markets. I'm BLOGGING! I'm growing my nails - and painting them PINK!
I'm WORKING ON ME! I'm doing all the things I've wanted to be doing for so long. I'm HAPPY. I'm EXCITED. Full of energy and LIFE!!

I'm living with VISION. I'm living MY VISION. Everyday.
"VISION" doesn't have to be a "destination" to get too. Why can't we begin living WITH VISION from NOW?

My PURPOSE - It's why I'm here. It's what I'm here to do. When I'm on PURPOSE I'm on track. I feel it. My PURPOSE is to help others. My PURPOSE is to give and to educate. My PURPOSE is to live my VISION.

My MISSION is to continually CONNECT with this. DAILY. And to keep LIVING IT. To keep on PURPOSE; on track. To live with VISION, to live MY VISION and to live MY PURPOSE.

Three words of advice... FOLLOW YOUR BLISS :)

Mar 18, 2010

Kitchen Fun - and a Recipe!!


I was without my blender blade for a couple of weeks waiting for a super sharp replacement... so TODAY WAS BLISS getting back into it all and going BONKAS with fantabulous concoctions! I sometimes feel like a good witch in my kitchen with all my bowls, mixes, measurements and creations!

I couldn't contain myself there were so many favourites I wanted to make and so many new recipes!! I'm at college all weekend for an intensive so I also used the time to prep my meals to take along with me.

The sun was shining, Lady Gaga videos were blaring from my laptop (Lisa went last night and got some AMAZING footage) and I had a bunch of new ingredients to play with!!

First up, I made a quick batch of Co's Super Super Balls. So rich and chocolatey - hard to stop at one "taste test".

Then with my soaked sesame seeds whipped up some sesame seed milk.

Next up I made a BIG GREEN SALAD for my lunch tomorrow with carrot, cherry tomatoes, and spicy radish slices which is waiting til morning to be "dressed".

I threw loads of spinach, celery and 2 oranges into the blender for my green smoothie for tomorrow...

I then made moroccan-style tasty raw carrot soup for Saturday's lunch...

RAW POLENTA for Sunday's lunch...

Then I made another batch of treats I like to call POWER BALLS.

Here's the secret recipe;

1 1/4 cups almonds (soaked and rehydrated if you can)
8-10 medjool dates (soaked to soften)
1/3 shredded coconut
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 pumpkin seeds
1/4 carob powder (or cacao but carob is SO much tastier int his recipe)
1 tbsp dark agave (or 2 tbsp honey, rice syrup..)
2 heaped tbsp tahini
1/4 - 1/2 cup water (or juice if you want it sweeter or a different flavour, but make it proper juice please - no sugar packed artificial crap)

Place almonds in a big food processor and WHIZ it up til roughly ground.

Add the dates, coconut, seeds, and carob, WHIZZING again til combined.

Add the agave and tahini, WHIZ again.

Then slowly pour the water in whilst the mix is still WHIZZING until it forms a sticky, ooey, gooey, yummy ball.

Then get spoonfulls and roll them into balls, rolling in extra coconut (or something else if you prefer) and let them firm up in the fridge... unless you're like me and cant wait, eat one (or two) and firm up the rest ;)

They'll keep in the fridge for at least a month in a sealed container - longer in the freezer - if they last that long at all!

Mar 15, 2010

Selfless Service

SEVA - the Sanskrit name for selfless service. And it's what I've been doing the past week away on retreat.

I look off Tuesday afternoon and headed for Mangrove Mountain; a quiet country area amongst bush land on a tidal river.

Only 90minutes out of Sydney, Satyananda Yoga Centre was where I was to spend the next 6 days. I have visited and spent time up at the ashram before and I love the community lifestyle there that I try to get back as often as I can.

Not really catering for raw vegans, it's almost like a detox week that I have to mentally prepare myself for. I eat loads of FRUIT for brekkie, morning tea and afternoon tea, and loads of GREENS for lunch and dinner.

Sounds kinda like home I suppose but it's stripped right back to basics. A good time to reasses where my eating is at.

Oh, and I can't forget the never-ending cups of herbal tea I indulge in :) green tea, dandilion tea, peppermint, lime leaf, cammomile, lemongrass, lemon verbena, the list goes on...

Each day begins with a 6am yoga class incorporating asanas, pranayma and meditation. Then breakfast is at 7am whilst MAUNA is observed - meaning silence! I love this. It's my quiet time with my tea and my journal. I LOVE to sit in the corner and just observe. Watch people getting their breakfast and sipping their tea. Gazing out the window or awkwardly at each other if they find the silence uncomfortable. The peacefulness of silence is so beautiful whilst the gentle clatter of spoons in bowls or the shuffle of feet across the floor is all that's audible - that and the birds waking up outside.

My week was full of karma yoga, mowing lawns in the rain, raking leaves, prepping meals, doing dishes, donning the overalls and gumboots to rip out lontana in the bush with the girls (SO gratifying!!), cutting down bamboo, sweeping paths in the sunshine...

Eating fresh fruit, doing yoga nidra daily, meditation and asanas, kirtan, havan, group discussions, laughing, loving, communicating, observing, engaging... It is tough work at times and long days but it is so rewarding to be of service and amongst such a beautiful part of New South Wales.

And at the end of the week my friend Linden who currently lives there so kindly presented me with a small figurine of GANESH - the Hindu elephant God - as a gift. Ganesh is my favourite God. I was so so touched by his thoughtfulness. I love it :)

Mar 9, 2010


I leave to go on retreat for a week today so thought I'd put up a quick post to let you all know, and give you a delicious recipe to try at home.

I call it my BANANA BOWL - and each day it varies slightly. It's my brekkie of champions and I eagerly jump out of bed each day to go for my morning run and refuel with this afterwards.

Today I used 3 regular bananas and 3 frozen bananas for an extra creamy freezy yummy consistency - perfect after a warm sunny run this morning.

(Depending on the size of my delectable organic bananas, I can use anywhere between 5 and 8 bananas for my BANANA BOWL).

To that I added a few ice cubes, a little water and then 1 tsp lucuma podwer, 1 tsp maca powder, and 2 tsp carob powder.


cacao powder instead of carob, mesquite powder, sweeteners if you like such as agave, raw honey, yacon syrup... or if you've only got bananas go with that!

Mar 8, 2010

The Tree Of Life

COCONUT OIL is a staple ingredient in my pantry and one that I still tend to shop around for. These days there are so many differnt types, brands and varieties available it makes for a lengthy shopping trip around Sydney on a sunny Monday :)
I've bought and tried numerous brands before and today I bought another one to try;

Banaban Extra Virgin Coconut Oil.

It's 100% raw and extracted from fresh organically grown wild Fiji coconuts with the least amount of processing so that the natural vitamins, antioxidants and fresh coconut "essence" are retained. It cost me about $16 which is pretty good considering prices can vary considerably!

Coconut oil has been described as "the healthiest oil on earth." Once mistakenly believed to be unhealthy because of its high saturated fat content, it is now known that the fat in coconut oil is a unique and different from most all other fats and possesses many health giving properties. It is now gaining long overdue recognition as a nutritious health food.

Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is classified as a "functional food" because it provides many health benefits beyond its nutritional content.

These include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.

There is a more comprehensive list of what coconut oil can help with, at Bruce Fife’s site, The Coconut Research Center.

How do I use it?

As a moisturiser! Everyday. Top to toe, I cant finish my day without it - and I smell like a tropical sunny holiday :)
I use it in raw sweets like my Fruitty Nutty Carob Bark.
Jazz up salads with something different (great with curry powders) or drizzle it over vegies.

How do you use coconut oil?

Mar 1, 2010

Create Love In The Kitchen

I've been in the kitchen alot in recent weeks HAVING A BALL trying new recipes, creating my own, making huge salads, dips, sweets and even brekkie cereal. Playing with it all gives me my time to get cREatiVE, centre myself, ESCAPE, eXpLoRe, muCK around, and most importantly HAVE FUN! Here's a bunch of my Art Works, and one amazing recipe for you to try.

Sunflower Seed Pate with crudites

1 cup soaked sunflower seeds (at least 4hrs soaking time)
1 small red chilli
1 clove of garlic
3 tbs fresh lime juice
Less than 1/4 red onion - that's all I had and it worked really well
1/2 cup coriander

Blend really well until smooth (my blender blade is in need of replacement so this time my pate had a little more texture to it). AMAZING!!!

Italian pizza topped with spinach, tomatoes, sweet juicy corn, olives (not raw), mushies, zucchini spread and tomato salsa. Buonappetito!

Banana Sundae - banana sorbet, banana/maca/cacao sorbet, choc-coconut fudge and crunchy walnuts. Drool!

Apple Granola - almonds, sunflower seeds, buckwheat, apples, dates, goji berries, coconut, maple syrup (not 100% raw but I was out of agave syrup), and cinnamon...

ready to eat... minus the milk...

A different granola recipe I wanted to try - buckwheat, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, dates, apple, cinnamon, sultanas...

... after dehydrating and ready to eat!! Crunchy bite sized morsels of goodness!!

Dessert at Dads one night - nectarines, strawberries, blueberries, mango, watermelon, grapes, pineapple, passionfruit... I ate 90% of the platter I think!

Easy lunch one rainy day; raw guac, tomato curry salsa, zucchini homo, and a cheesey-red-capsicum-chia-chilli dressing/salsa/sauce with my bok choy

My Mexican Inspired Salad - greens, red capsicum, corn, coriander, avocado, lime juice, chilli flakes

Co's Super Super Balls - I call them this as my nick name has been C-o for a few years now and these babies are PACKED FULL of super super goodness!! I mixed ground raw organic goji berries, ground sunflower seeds, raw organic cacao, raw organic coconut oil, chia seeds, coconut, vanilla bean, lucuma and water and they went down a treat!

Asian Kelp Noodle "Stir Fry" - capsicum, carrot, greens, kelp and a marinade of which I cant remember... lemon or lime, sesame oil, maybe garlic? maybe tamari? most probably some chilli...
If you've never had or heard of kelp before - you're in for a real treat! Kelp noodles are simply raw kelp and water, in the form of a soft noodle. RAW NOODLES? You bet! They are low in carbs and calories, contain NO fat or gluten! They have a really neutral flavour which makes them easy to work into any dish - soup, salad, un-stir fry, or as pasta with any sauce or topping, and are always in my pantry!

Raw crackers with zucchini hommous

Asian Greens with mushies and sesame - marinated in a mix of tamari, organic cold pressed sesame oil, lemon, and a touch of miso

Fruitty Nutty Carob Bark
- so hard to stop at one piece

Salad with spaghetti veg and pepitas - leafy greens, carrot, corn, mushies, avo