Supercharged Vegetarian Salad (and a note about food sustainability)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I’ve grown up in a family which eats a lot of meat. My dad especially loooves his meat. He always sources very nice free range meat and, benefitting from the fact that I still live at home, I am so lucky to have access to such good food beautifully prepared by him most evenings. As a matter of fact, my cousins live on a cattle farm in France which explains why my dad loves his red meat so much!

However, I am well aware of the fact that the world is currently undergoing a food sustainability crisis. I’ve actually done a bit of work for Oxfam as part of a university assignment which focused around this issue of food security. In a nutshell: first-world countries eat too much and source their food in an unsustainable manner by importing and exporting way too many products, wasting an unbelievable amount of food and unsustainably growing certain plants/fruits/veggies which has serious negative environmental impacts on the planet. We simply cannot keep going the way we are. If we do then soon enough there will be no food left and our environment will be a wreck (even more than it already is…)

So… I do try to moderate my consumption of meat because I know that if every person on the planet ate as much meat as my dad does then we would be in big trouble (no offence dad). Unfortunately, I am not vegetarian because I love my protein way too much and feel that my body struggles without it. Nevertheless, I have a small amount of animal protein only once a day and then have no animal protein at all once or twice a week. I know it’s not much but I feel that a small step is better than nothing. For both sustainable and health reasons I try to vary my animal protein intake, for example, mix it up between fish, red meat, poultry and crustaceans. I also pay attention to where I get my animal protein from and avoid getting food which I know is unsustainably sourced (yet I must admit that it’s not always that easy to find out these things).

I would highly recommend checking out Oxfam’s GROW campaign which provides heaps of ideas on how to eat in a more sustainable manner. Here’s the GROW method at a glance:

Screen shot 2015-02-12 at 4.11.27 PM

Anyway, here’s the recipe for a supercharged (as in super healthily charged) vegetarian salad:

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

P.s: this salad was made from left overs in my fridge – again, trying to minimise waste and eat more sustainably!

Ingredients:

  • Salad leaves (I used spinach and steamed kale but you could also use lettuce or rocket for example!).
  • Two poached eggs (method on how to easily make perfectly poached eggs can be found here).
  • Cherry tomatoes (cut up into small quarters).
  • Handful of cut up cucumber.
  • 1/4 of an avocado (thinly cut).
  • Sprinkle of goats cheese (feta, halloumi or ricotta could also work here).
  • Dressing: roughly 2 parts olive oil, 1 part apple cider vinegar, 1 part mustard.

Method:

  1. Cook your poached eggs (takes 3-4 minutes)
  2. While the eggs are cooking mix all your ingredients together in a bowl (don’t forget a bit of dressing).
  3. Add the poached eggs.

So easy! You can even prepare this salad in the morning and bring it to work for a very healthy and real tasty vegetarian meal. I find that this salad has a perfect mix of greens, healthy fat and flavour. If you’re lucky enough to have the day off like I did then enjoy eating this delish salad along with a very good book like ‘Eat, Pray and Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Note: Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar Book really inspires me and I often base my meals upon it (link to the I Quit Sugar blog here). Even though this book might sound like a silly ‘diet’ book it really isn’t anything like it. On the contrary, Sarah Wilson writes a lot about ways to minimise food waste as part of her overarching food sustainability vision and she discourages dieting, opting for simple well-balanced meals incorporating healthy fat, greens,protein and a small amount of carbs (and obviously, given the title of her book, avoiding sugar). I like the way she writes. I have one book of hers and it has an endless amount of yummy recipes which I love to play around with. Give it a try and you might find you like it too!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

With love,

Camille.

Advertisements

Downtown Kettle Town!

Attention tea-lovers. I have some fabulous news for you: it’s called Kettle Town.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Kettle Town is a newly established tea business based in Sydney. What I love the most about Kettle Town is their diversity. Have a look at their tea collection online and you will be stunned by the the range of flavours available to order. Whether you are a traditional black tea lover, or you enjoy sipping on a herbal tea, or maybe you are more found of a fresh iced-tea on a hot summer day (my personal favourite) – either way, Kettle Town has got you covered.

But it doesn’t stop here. What attracted me to this tea brand so much is the quality of their ingredients combined with their beautiful packaging. The tea can be ordered online which is super easy for busy people and who doesn’t love receiving a cute package in their letter box once in a while? I certainly do! The tea is also stocked in a few places around sydney.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Today I would like to focus on Kettle Town’s new iced-tea collection which particularly appeals to me because this is a cold brew range. I had the pleasure of trying the Eclectic Orange (orange, hibiscus, apple) and the Perfect Peach (oolong, peach, rose) flavours. Recipes containing suggestions of which fruit to add to each iced-tea are provided on Kettle Town’s website which is also really great!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Cold brew tea is ridiculously easy to make. All you need is to follow these simple steps:

  • Add 4 teaspoons of loose tea in one litre of chilled filtered water in a pitcher.
  • Steep overnight in fridge.
  • Strain tea from water the next morning and serve on ice cubes and with added fruits if desired.

For instant tea:

  • Bring 250 ml water to boil.
  • Add 4 teaspoons of loose tea and steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain leaves from hot water, add a cup full of ice cubes with 500 ml cold water then serve.

My thoughts on Kettle Town’s Iced-Tea?

I love it. I love the fresh, delicate tea leaves and ingredients which are used. I love the smell and taste of the tea. I love the convenience of being able to order the tea online. And finally, I love the way the tea allows one to make a completely refined sugar-free drink which is very tasty, refreshing and healthy!

Eclectic Orange

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

This iced-tea is a light and tangy refreshing drink combining the eclectic flavours of orange, hibiscus and apple. Sipping on this cold drink is very refreshing and provides a beautiful alternative to unhealthy, sugary drinks. The iced-tea is best served with thin slices of lemon and orange along with a sprinkle of mint. I would suggest serving this tea around lunch time or for afternoon tea. Prepare a large jug as it is likely to be finished quickly!

Note: Kettle Town suggests adding a dash of good quality gin to this tea for entertainment. I haven’t had a chance to give it a try but that does sound very appealing!!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Perfect Peach

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Perfect Peach contains oolong leaves as well as hints of rose and apple. This blend has a stronger tea taste than Eclectic Orange which brings a very calm and soothing sensation. I enjoyed drinking this iced-tea with pieces of fresh pineapple and peach which added a bit of natural sweetness to the drink. I find this tea very tropical which left me feeling fresh and detoxed! You could try adding some passionfruit to lift the flavours even more and give it an extra boost of sweetness and tanginess!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I can’t wait to try more of Kettle Town’s tea range, that’s for sure…

Charlie Hebdo Where Do I Even Begin?

Jean-Jullien-Je-Suis-Charlie-illustration_dezeen

Now that the tension and media attention about France’s recent terrorism ordeal had gone down slightly I would like to share my thoughts regarding this issue which was, evidently given my background, very much close to my heart. I must state very clearly upfront that, although I am atheist and am rather anti-religion, I respect the fact that we live in a multicultural society and I have nothing against anybody who practices any religion. In particular, I respect the Muslim community and I do not affiliate the recent events with your religion and beliefs at all. On the contrary, I wish to console you for having to undergo what must be some particularly scary times for you. The only thing I do have a problem with is those people who drive negative extremist ideologies in the name of religion but I will come to that a bit later in my post.

Charlie Hebdo. Where do I even begin?

First off, I wish to send my deepest condolences those who have been affected by these attacks and to all the families and friends of the victims. Now, writing about this topic is proving much more difficult than I would have ever imagined. Why? Because this whole matter began by an attack on writers. An attack on freedom of expression. So yes, there is a strange feeling of anxiousness hovering over me as I am typing on my old laptop keyboard. But let me tell you. The more I write, the more this grey cloud is disappearing. Charlie Hebdo, you are an inspiration. I realise how grateful I am to live in a democratic country where I am allowed to share my opinions and views.

Charlie Hebdo represents the right to freely express ourselves, the right to laugh and be satirical. Yes, they had an opinion and more often than not distributed very grotesque cartoons. Yes, they offended certain people and schools of thoughts. But what is a world where we cannot share ideas and opinions? If we didn’t have people who had the courage to object to certain ideologies then how can the world ever evolve and become a better place?

FRANCE-ATTACKS-CHARLIE-HEBDO-MEDIA-FRONTPAGE

I’m not going to hide the fact that I felt slightly uneasy about Charlie Hebdo’s most recent cartoon cover which came out last Wednesday. I thought to myself ‘Ahhh is it kind of bad that they are representing the prophet again? That’s the main reason they were so cruelly attacked in the first place. Will it offend more people and stir up even more tension?’ Then my opinion shifted. I realised that, yes there is no doubt that drawing a cartoon representing the prophet is against the Muslim religion. However, just because some people who practice a religion are not allowed to draw their prophet doesn’t mean that everybody must obey to this rule. Just like some people are not allowed to eat pork for religious reasons yet it would be absurd to ban pork from every restaurant for example. You might think that’s it’s naive of me to say that. I know this is not just black and white. But at the end of the day, as much as I respect the fact that I might be making some uninformed judgment here, I do believe that just because certain religions impose certain rules it does not mean that if someone were to disobey that rule (whether they are practicing the religion or not) they should be physically or mentally attacked.

What do I take from all of this?

What I admire the most about France is its deep culture. French people are known for debates, we have constant debates whether it be between our political parties to debates during family dinners. This is what makes us special. This is why some of the most significant paradigm shifts have been driven by French philosophers.

The recent atrocities have not only shaken France but the whole planet. However, somehow these events were also very significant. They gave French people the opportunity to feel and demonstrate a great deal of mobilisation and unity. Together, we are stronger than the desire to activate fear and violence.

What next?

je suis charlie

Sadly, there is without a doubt a growing terrorism movement. However, the people who believe in such ideology will never win. How do we stop them? I do not have the answer. All I can say is we must erase those extremist negative ideologies from a large number of people. They need to realise that no religion would applaud committing an act of terrorism. On the contrary, their barbaric actions reflect extremely poorly on the religion they claim to be driven by. We need to target the people who brainwash disadvantaged ones and install within them dangerous attitudes and behaviours. Most importantly, we need to stand strong and not be afraid to speak out against extremists. Newspapers like Charlie Hebdo have a very significant role to play in communicating a warning message to the world.

I could go on an on about this issue which fascinates me but I understand that you have better things to do then to read my blog for hours so I’ll try to keep it short.

To the victims of the attacks, I send my deepest condolences. You will be remembered forever. You have not suffered for nothing, Your courage and opinion has been spread across the world and has be heard. Rest in peace.

The Gift of Loving

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset

I am finally on summer vacation!! Hoorayyy! Not only does that mean more sunshine, it also means more time for blogging :) Yes, I must admit that Uni really did creep up on me last semester so I gave my blog a bit of a break but now I am back on!

So today I would like to write about ‘the gift of loving’. So… what do I mean by that?

Well, you see, the past few weeks have been very busy for my family and I. While end of semester exams completely drowned me with uni work, my parents have been incredibly occupied with their respective businesses. Everyone goes through really busy periods like these. Times where we have so much on that we can start to feel a bit lost and overwhelmed. We become so busy that we are afraid to stop working on what it is we are trying to achieve because we feel guilty for taking ‘time off’.

This is where things can go wrong (and this is where my blog post comes in).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

I have come to understand that it is precisely during these busy times that we need to take a moment to reflect and breathe. It is actually crucial for us to do that and, in my opinion, it is the key to success. Don’t get me wrong here, I am NOT a professional in that domain, I am actually very much a learner still. Nevertheless, I can talk from my experiences and I’d love to share some of my sentiments with you. Everyone is different and I cannot prescribe the perfect ‘breather’ solution to remedy the risk of overloading during busy times, however, I can provide some ideas.

For example, I like to take a moment to simply think about what I am grateful for. I do that on the bus, when I wake up, before going to sleep or whenever I get a moment to myself. I acknowledge all the simple little things that make me happy. This is something I learnt from a yoga class. I often reflect upon the way I am grateful for being in good health, for having a loving and caring family, for the place I live in, for the opportunity I have been given to study, etc. During difficult times it is easy to forget about all the things we are actually very grateful for. Simply reminding ourselves about them can go a long way.

I also like to take about 15 minutes to do a few stretches to relieve tension in my muscles which often intensify as a result of stress. I enjoy going for a walk or even a nice jog with my dog. I like turning off my computer and phone and just reading my book. There are so many little things like these which can give our mind a bit of a breather.

When I talk about to the ‘gift of loving’ I refer to the gift each one of us has, that is the ability to love. Love each other, love sensations that happen to us, love things that we see, love concepts and ideas, etc. I love giving small little gifts to the people I love. The other day I gave my parents a little desert each from a beautiful patisserie called Pattison’s. I felt that they needed some time to relax and enjoy a little treat as a reward for all the hard work they had put in the past few weeks. They were thrilled by the deserts and watching them happily talk about something other than work while tasting some beautiful chocolate mousse reminded me yet again that, yes, small things can certainly go a long way.

Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

So there you go, I encourage you to be grateful for the gift that each one of us has, that is simply, the ability to love. I encourage you to make use of such gift especially during the most busy times we all encounter because guess what? Once we do, everything seems a lot lighter and much more achievable.

Choco Porridge

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

These photos don’t do this dish justice. It is the easiest thing to whip out yet the hardest thing to say goodbye to. Be prepared to engulf your bowl of choco porridge in less than 2 minutes (it’s that yummy). 

I actually made this breakie yesterday and my sister who was watching me prepare it told me I should take a photo of it and upload the recipe onto my blog because it looked tasty. So I followed her wise advice and now I am very happy I have because I am delighted to share this successful recipe with you all. I had such a good and productive Monday starting with the best training session early in the morning quickly followed by this fantastic breakfast which may have been an influential factor helping me pass my full drivers license test (hurray)! Let’s hope that if you try this at home your day will unravel as well as mine did!

Ingredients:

For the porridge itself:

  • 1/4 cup of quinoa flakes 
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup of milk
  • 1 teaspoon of cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon of honey/maple syrup/rice malt

(Note that if you don’t have quinoa flakes then stick to just using rolled oats – 1/3 to 1/2 cup all up is a good serving size for one person I find)

Toppings (this is just an idea – use anything you have at hands!):

  • 1 or 2 large strawberries
  • 1/4 of a banana
  • Small handful of blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon of LSA

Method:

  • Combine all of the porridge ingredients together in a saucepan and stir to combine. Gently heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally and cook until milk is absorbed and the porridge reaches a thick and creamy texture (this should take approximately 4 minutes). 
  • Once the porridge has cooled down slightly, add your toppings and voila :)

So easy isn’t it?! Don’t forget to play around with different toppings like chia seeds, almond flakes, mixed nuts, desiccated coconut, mixed berries, etc.

This breakfast is best enjoyed along side of a nice cup of tea or a banana smoothie if you’re feeling like a larger breakfast!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Lots of love,

xxxx

Music That Makes You Smile

Go on, press play on the YouTube link above and listen to the song while reading this post. I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I do!

Picture this: it’s Monday morning, you’ve just hopped on the bus bringing you to work or uni. You’re feeling pretty grim as you would much rather be in your bed enjoying a few extra hours of sleep right now but, unfortunately, you must face the busy week ahead. You decide to plug in your earphones, press shuffle and then ‘Jubel – Radio Edit‘ by Klingade comes on.

As the music starts you take a long breath, look around and observe the people around you. Listening to this song somehow makes you feel like you are in your own little bubble even though the bus is crowded and there is a lot of movement surrounding you. Soon enough, an uplifting saxophone melody comes on and you cannot help but pull a cheeky smile. A voice then sings ‘take me’… And off you go, you are now day-dreaming, reminiscing on happy moments from the weekend.

I cannot put my finger to what attracts me to this song in particular. Maybe it has to do with the fact that it is produced by Klingade, a French deep house duo. Or maybe it has to do with the prominent use of saxophone in this song which carries a fabulous charisma.

Either way, when I listen to ‘Jubel’ I get transported back to fun times that I have experienced recently. In particular, I think about one person who means a lot to me at the moment and who makes me smile a lot. I just love how one song can make you feel so good by simply listening to it!

It’s unbelievable to think about how much music can affect your mood. After listening to this song I always feel excited and ready to move. There are a few other songs which have the same affect on me. Here’s a list of some of them (be warned, there are some very corny songs in there – just embrace it!):

– Jubel – Radio Edit by Klingade

– A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay

– You Make Me by Avicii

– Elevate by St. Lucia

– Hey Ya! – Radio Mix/Club Mix by Outcast

– Yellow Brick Road by Angus and Julia Stone

– Young Blood by The Naked And Famous

– Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey

– DNA by Empire of the Sun

Let Overnight Oats Work Their Magic!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI’ve recently discovered the beauty of overnight oats: there comes my solution to having a yummy breakie even on days when I don’t have time to prepare anything in the morning!

This excellent breakfast is fantastic as it takes hardly any time to prepare and can be picked up from the fridge on your way out and eaten on the go if required.

I’ve played around with different recipes of overnight/soaked oats in the past but ended up crafting my own recipe using ingredients I had at home which I am very, very happy with! I actually prepared this breakfast in take-away compartments for my parents the other day and was curious/anxious to hear about how they liked it (expecting very average feedback). To my surprise, they both messaged me saying they loved it! My dad even said that it had made his day so that was a very big compliment! The fact that my parents enjoyed it was a good test to check whether my recipe was yummy enough for people who don’t usually eat oats/soaked muesli :) SUCCESS!

In my recipe I used Brookfarm’s Porrij Oats (like in my Creamy Porridge Topped with Banana Chocolate Sauce recipe) which were very yummy but, again, don’t worry if you just have normal rolled oats at home (they will be perfect as well). I also had some quinoa flakes so used some of them but you could just do without if you don’t have them at home and just add a bit more oats instead. Feel free to tweak my recipe as you like it: add different types of nuts/oats and play around with different toppings (you can also use almond/soy milk if you prefer)!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup of mixed oats (or normal oats)
  • 1 tbsp quinoa flakes
  • 1 tbs almond flakes
  • 1 tbs desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 1/4 apple cut into very fine pieces (you can use the rest of the apple as topping once the soaked muesli is ready the next morning)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (very yummy I guarantee  – adds so much flavour)
  • milk

Method:

  • Pour all the ingredients together (except the milk) in a container of your choice 
  • Mix well
  • Add just enough milk to cover all the ingredients
  • Close with a lid and place in the fridge to set over night
  • In the morning, add toppings of your choice like apple slices, almond or coconut flakes, banana, etc. 

So there you go, as promised in my last post, you now have the recipe for a perfect post-workout breakfast!

P.s: This recipe is great on-the-go but can also be perfectly enjoyed in bed with a good book :)

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset