I have to admit, being a food blogger is awesome! Being invited to some of Sydney’s newest cafes to try out their favourite dishes, experimenting with food photography, and of course eating all the time – what could be better?
Well, it does have its downfalls. I love food and I love eating, but Sydney’s food trends tend to revolve around freak shakes, and burgers, and doughnuts – but rarely clean, wholesome food. So maintaining a balanced diet can be so difficult. Lately I have been experimenting with healthier food options, food that is for one tasty, but also nourishing. So, I thought I would share one of my favourite smoothie bowl recipes with you.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Smoothie Bowl
You will need
For the muesli
- 1 cup oats
- 1/3 cup puffed rice
- 2 Tbsp desiccated coconut
- 2 tsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
For the smoothie
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup rice milk
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp peanut butter
- 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
- 5 cubes of ice
- Mix all the dry ingredients for the muesli together, then add the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
- Add a thin layer to a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes at 180 degrees celsius, or until golden.
- leave to cool while you make the smoothie.
- For the Smoothie, add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add to a bowl and decorate with muesli and whatever else you wish. I added melted sugar-free chocolate, banana, mango and some goji berries.
- Enjoy the guilt free goodness!
You know those days that you just have no idea what you could possibly cook for dinner? Those days where you are sick of every dish that you cook up regularly, and just want something a bit exciting? Well this was one of those days. I opened the fridge, saw nothing interesting other than a bag of mushrooms, then continued on with my day, with the thought lingering as to what I could cook. On my daily walk, an idea popped into my head, ‘pie!’ I thought, ‘a nice crusty homemade pie would be delicious!’ Then the image of the lonely bag of mushrooms popped up and I immediately had a dish in mind! Chicken and mushroom pie…
If you love classy fine dining restaurants, quality service, big shopping centres filled with top designer boutiques, well, Cabramatta is just not the place for you. Travel 30 km south west of Sydney city and you’ll drive straight into the heart of Vietnam. Cabramatta has one main street, John st, in which majority of the restaurants, fruit markets and Vietnamese clothing shops are packed into. The main street branches out into tiny alleyways packed with people, and so reminiscent of the Binh Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City.
Ful or broad beans have become somewhat of a delicacy in the Arab world. No mezza is complete without a plate of mushed up broad beans stuck alongside a tower of flat flatbread. This steaming batch of Ful offered a warming aroma that drew me closer. Each restaurant in the Old city of Jerusalem competed for the best plate of starchy goodness, presenting their dip on small plates with crownings of olive oil and parsley. It’s shocking that such a simple, ‘peasant’ side dish could gain the respect of millions of Arab ‘followers’ – but I must say it has also captured my heart, this dish is a must try!
2 cups boiled and pealed broad beans
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin – optional
parsley, finely chopped for the garnish
Mash the broad beans. Add all the ingredients and mix. Serve on small plates with the ful spread into a thin layer. Drizzle with olive oil and crown with parsley.
Walking into great big Arabic Patisseries as a child was akin to walking into a toys ‘r’ us store. I would run down the long isle of pastries with a selfish grin on my face, wondering what I would choose. But it was the humble short-bread that never failed to please. The firm sugary biscuit would melt as it touched my lips. It was a family fave! But what was even better was when Mum made a batch of her own at home. Eating searing hot shortbread still to this day has to be one of life’s greatest pleasures!
Mum’s Middle Eastern Shortbread:
1 cup Samneh (margarine and butter boiled, with the foam skimmed off the top; basically clarified butter but normal butter will work too)
1 cup Pure Icing Sugar
2 cup plain flour
Pine nuts or Pistachio nuts to garnish
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and shape into round crescents.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then bake in a 170 degree oven for 10 minutes. Leave to cool before serving (But I never do, its better searing hot!)
Although Arabic food is not the most glamorous of foods, I hold the opinion that the Arab cuisine has some of the tastiest dishes in the world. Arabs are renowned for their robust, hearty rice dishes packed with nuts, cumin, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamon, and the list goes on. Flavour is definitely not lacking, even in their traditional peasant food! This feast was one of my favourites! We were travelling around Amman, Jordan in the midst of a rainy winter visiting family. After a long day we settled at my mum’s cousin Sami’s house for a classic Jordanian dinner; Arabic style rice topped with chicken, nuts, peas and carrot, a simple salad, big bowls of plain yogurt and a two huge platters of Kibbeh. It was a feast that I will never forget.