Desserts with benefits: Greek Yoghurt

Published January 14, 2015 by itsachunglife
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Clockwise from top: Flake, Banana in a Breeze, Cherry Ripe, Berryme This

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Cherry Ripe Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:

1 C greek yoghurt
2.5 t cocoa powder
1 t honey
coconut, fresh  or desiccated (optional)

Topping: Cherries or similar fruit

Mix all together reserving fruit for last to garnish on top.

 

 

 

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Banana in a Breeze

Ingredients:
1 C Greek yoghurt
1 ripe Banana
1/2 t Honey

Topping: 2 T Banana chips and walnuts

Combine all and top with banana chips and walnuts

 

 

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Peanut butter cup

Ingredients:

1 C greek yoghurt, 1 T peanut butter, 1 t honey, 1/4 t vanilla extract
Toppings: Homemade chocolate fudge and shortbread biscuit pieces, or Chocolate Flake

Hello and Happy 2015 !!!!

My on-going health goal is to cut back on sugar and I think with these little beauty’s I can finally substitute my daily ice cream for something still creamy and dairy-dessert-like but more nutritious.  High protein, low fat, calcium and sweetness I can add to my own liking.  #Win

Get the creative juices flowing and you can have a variety of these one for each day of the week :p

Now onto something equally as exciting as guilt-free dessert.

So you know Chriselle?! Well she friggin LIKED my greek yoghurt on Instagram!!! Talk about #InspiredbyChriselle!!!  Not only did she inspire me with her love of greek yoghurts, but her LIKE has given me the ultimate blogspiration for the first post this year! There is absolutely nothing more blog-spiriational then Chriselle Lim – style and fashion blogger giving her gurl a LIKE!!  #fangirling

Ultimate fangirl screenshots below ❤

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Banana in a Breeze, Cherry Ripe, Peanut butter kiss

One pan wonder: Mexican inspired Quinoa

Published October 11, 2014 by itsachunglife

I love this dish with a passion!

This was my Friday after work quick whip up dinner, and come next morning this fab dish is still on my mind and i’ve been thinking about eating the leftovers since before breakfast.  And just so you know I held back until lunch to devour it and yes it is just as delicious second time round.  Fair to say it’s earnt it’s place!IMG_20141011_141029

Serves 3-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 hot chli, finely chopped
  • 1 C quinoa
  • 1 C stock
  • 1 can beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 C corn kernels
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh coriander leaves
INSTRUCTIONS

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Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and chili, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in quinoa, liquid stock, beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder smoked paprika and cumin.   Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until quinoa is cooked through, about 35 minutes.  Stir in avocado, lime juice and coriander. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Damn Delcious

Mushroom Risotto

Published September 20, 2014 by itsachunglife

Comfort food made from scratch, to be enjoyed with a glass of wine. Tips below. x

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Serves 4.

Ingredients:

1L salt-reduced vegetable stock
2T olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1.5C arborio rice
1/2C dry white wine
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
40g butter
500g Portabella mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2T chopped flat-leaf parsley
1C finely grated parmesan

1. Heat the stock and 1 C water in a medium saucepan over high heat until almost boiling.  Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

2. Heat 1 T oil in a large saucepan over med-high heat.  Cook the onion, stirring for 5 mins or until tender.  Stir in the rice until well coated.  Stir in the wine and cook for 1 min or until wine has evaporated.  Add 1 ladleful of stock mixture and gently stir until stock is absorbed.  Repeat with the remaining stock mixture until the rice is tender with just a slight bite.

3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over med-high heat. Cook the garlic, stirring for 3-4 mins or until golden and crisp.  Transfer to a plate.  Increase heat to high.  Cook the mushrooms in butter, in batches stirring for 5 mins or until golden and tender.  Transfer to another plate.  Return 1/4 of the mushrooms to the pan.  Add the garlic and parsley, season and toss to combine.  Reserve to garnish the risotto.

4. Stir the plain mushrooms and parmesan into the risotto.  Set aside, covered for 2 mins to melt.  Divide among plates and top with reserved garlic mushrooms.  Season with pepper.

Tips:
The recipe is not joking when it states ‘salt reduced stock’.  I have now learnt that this is a must!
Go hard on the parsley!  Mushroom risotto’s can be a bit bland, and I think parsley throughout is required to bring it to life and also add vibrancy.

Enjoy 🙂

My hero

Published September 7, 2014 by itsachunglife

2014 one of the most challenging years to date.  It’s not over yet, but it’s only now I can reflect on it on a daily basis.  It was hard to see such a strong man broken it really changed me, knocked me down. He’d never let the family see this side of him before, and seeing him laying there on the bed helpless and heading in for a 12+ hour surgery with a heart condition too.  That scared and worried me beyond belief but I had to put on that brave face as I kept reminding myself the worst is yet to come.  I felt like  I had to keep it together for the whole family.

But visiting my home town this week and seeing how well dad is doing, I can’t help but soak up his bright and lively attitude towards life.  This has given me the reality check I needed to put everything into perspective.  Any other  issues I have are a mere blip compared to what he’s had to experience.  To witness his drive and motivation to rebuild his strength, and live a healthier life has really enriched my positivity bank.  Then there’s the softer side of you which you have let us into, this is hands down the best thing that has happened this year!  It has really brought our family closer.

Life doesn’t seem fair at times, and bottom line is it’s really the attitude you choose to take to pull through it that counts.  There is always something positive to take out of any experience.  Embrace and find the light in the situation, or ignore and it will eventually fester over and consume you.

 

Happy Fathers Day Dad i’m so happy that you are moving forward, you have lit the way for me to get back to being the joyful girl full of laughter once again.

Shine on!

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Macadamias

Published August 27, 2014 by itsachunglife

 

 

This is what I like to call one of those transition meals…..like you know,  when you have those weeks that are jam packed full of dinners and drinks with fraaands followed by more food and dranks with fraanns and before you know it, you haven’t seen friend veggie in days!

Behold this little tasty green dish to ease that vege back into your life.  

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Ingredients:
1/4C macadamias
1T olive oil
100g bacon, chopped
500g brussels sprouts
10g butter

1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat and cook macadamias for 2-3 mins or until toasted. Chop.

2. Heat oil in a large frying pan over a med-high heat. Cook bacon, stirring for 3 mins or until well browned.  Transfer to a    plate.

3. Cook brussels spouts in the pan, stirring for 4 mins or until starting to brown. Add 1/3 C water. Cover and reduce heat to    med. Cook for 4 mins or until brussels sprouts are just tender.

4. Add butter and toss until melted. Toss through bacon and macadamia and season.

Enjoy x

Salsa On

Published July 31, 2014 by itsachunglife

I would like to start this post by thanking a certain friend who I appreciate so much for just getting me out of the house for a catch up and a drink.  This is exactly what I needed to remind myself there are positive vibes out there no matter the situation.   Parts of my life which are not ideal right now shouldn’t be casting darkness over invaluable things such as nurturing  the friendships that count, and the progress made on that  self-improvement/self-awareness bandwagon.

So she took me to Cloudland, it’s not Cloud 9 but it comes pretty close on Salsa night Thursdays.  The décor looks luxuriously sophisticated.  There are private booths surrounded by overhanging plants; there’s a waterfall,  and if you look closely butterflies are encased in some of the furnishings.  The crowd polishes up well too, and an extra bonus are the $10 mojito’s and margaritas!

Now back to the crowd, the suited up crowd to be exact and even on the weekends it’d be rare to find the jeans/tshirt attire in there which is what I love about it.  So much that it is starting to be my regular Thursday spot.  I like to use this time as a mid-week catch up with the girlfriends over a few drinks, then we mingle into the d- floor while the white trouser and matching hat man demonstrates the basic salsa moves on stage for about half an hour before moving onto more tricky moves.  For the most part it’s pretty fun I get lost in the moment and feel like I’m in a dance group or something HEEEY!   Hands down one of the best ways to unwind midweek….until someone stands on your foot with their stiletto heel!  OMG so painful I’m still feeling it 2 or 3 weeks later!  But who am I to complain when I too am guilty of doing this.

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Sew Easy – DIY Cushion Covers

Published July 2, 2014 by itsachunglife

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Oh hey, so I’ve been on the lookout for fresh, fun and vibrant cushion covers for a while and pretty much there are none out there!  I mean none that cost less than $10, and the $10 ones are uggs as!  Then I was thinking if only I neeeeddd a SEWING MACHINE!!!!

I mean how complicated can sewing  be right, it’s just sewing in a straight line.   As for previous experience well I’ve sewn for a term at school when I was 11, and my mum well she’s a Machinist so should count for something haha.

So I ended up getting a  good deal on a  Singer off a mate who was moving to the U.S,  and from there on to justify the purchase I attempted to make these covers.  Home sewn things aren’t necessarily cheaper than store brought but it’s that feeling you get after you’ve created something one of a kind, and half decent looking which sparked my excitement.

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I brought material from one of my new fave shops of 2014 – Spotlight.  My lover chose the colour and I chose the patterns, and yes we did buy Minky Polar and it is so toasty and warm against my face  😀

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AND the sewing session began…..

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I”m not going to give full blown  instructions on how I did it all because if like me , you Google it you’ll  find plenty.

But the sites I found most useful were:

http://www.makeit-loveit.com/2013/02/zippered-pillow-cover.html

http://liagriffith.com/easy-diy-zipper-pillow-covers/

 

My one tip would be to hand-stitch the baste seam for the zipper, because in my experience it’s a bitch to unpick seams sewn by the machine.

VOILÀ

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 And this is my cushion family: 3 by me, and 2 by BigW

 

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Next up Knitting! xo

 

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