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A vegan hosts the Oscars: Ellen DeGeneres, Celebrities, Catering and the Food Revolution

Posted by on March 03,2014 in Health benefits of foods | 0 comments

Ok, who watched the Oscars live today?! I certainly did. I couldn’t help myself. I have a thing for the pretty dresses and the grandiose glitz. It puts me in a good mood. As does Ellen DeGeneres, who as well as cracking me up, slipped in a little food revolution at the Awards with her gluten-free, cheese-free vegan pizza :) It was subtle I know, but it reminded me of Ellen being a vegan and got me thinking about celebrities driving food trends.

 

 

“Food Inc is a Disney movie compared to Earthlings” – Ellen DeGeneres. Haha, wow so true.

Celebrities are often known for their fad diets and body-busting post-baby work-outs, but there is also an ever-increasing trend of food-conscious, cruelty- free celebrities touting the importance of balance, organics, local food and vegetarianism. I just read that the menu for Oscars After-Party created by Wolfgang Puck will include, alongside mac ‘n’ cheese and lobster, vegan taro root tacos, white bean quinoa cakes, a vegan salad and for dessert gluten-free, vegan cupcakes (although I bet they’re not Guilt-Free, refined sugar-free, we’ll get there one day!!)


This reminded me of a conversation I had with some friends last week about how much easier it is becoming to be a vegetarian. Very rarely did any of us recall being chastised for the lack of meat on our plate for the last 3-4 years and I think we have vegans, and celebrity vegans to thank for that (thanks Ellen!).  I love that weddings, event and aeroplanes can cater vegan, gluten-free food for me the majority of the time! I think this is incredible because it makes it easier for those who would feel more comfortable as a vegetarian or vegan to take that leap (of course it’s fine if that’s not you!).

 

Also, on this Oscar day, I must say, it’s nice to be able to feel positively towards people in the limelight for a change, when so often the media is using them to stir up terrible body image expectations and to make us all feel inadequate in the process. There is a silver lining in the cloud of ‘nothing tastes better than skinny feels’ (grrr I can’t stand that quote!!!) and that is that some people are turning it into a quest for healthfulness rather than just trying to be skinny. I love that pop culture has come so far in recent years! It is a joy to sit in my living room watching a talented woman dressed in a suit who is married to another talented woman and powered by only by plant foods, host one of the biggest events of the year in the USA.

 

I don’t plan on making a habit of talking about vegetarianism on Guilt-Free Food Guide, because I don’t believe in pushing my food beliefs on anyone else. Like Ellen, I watched Earthlings and realised veganism is the where I need to go now, I’m leaning into it after 6 years of vegetarianism.  It’s my personal choice and I have full respect for your personal choices. GFFG is a space of healthy food, whatever that means for all of you and if your body loves animal products, ok. The one thing I would say is buy local, know your farmer and make sure you know what the life of the animal you are eating was like. It’s simple really and respectful. And, maybe next time you have a celebration, join the trend (if you haven’t already) by making sure there’s something lovely for everyone to eat!

If you watched the Academy Awards, I hope you had as much fun as I did! Not the best use of my time on a Monday morning possibly, but it’s all good :)

Over and out,

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Homemade Soda: Raspberry Pop Recipe

Posted by on February 18,2014 in Nutrition Tips, Recipes | 0 comments

Soda pop is one of those habits that can be really hard to break. If you are addicted to carbonated drinks – which so many people are! – whether they are diet or not, energy drink or not, flavoured mineral water or full-sugar coke, they have GOT to go if you want to live a long healthy life! Sure cutting down to once every couple of months is great, but what do you do the rest of the time when you’re craving your usual sugar water? I’ve put together a couple of alternatives for the fizzy pop guzzlers out there that I think are pretty dang good. I make them all the time and the alterations to these recipes are endless. Try these, then try strawberry, or blueberry, lemon and lime, or orange and passionfruit. Just use whole fresh or frozen fruit, steer clear of bottled or packaged juices and you’ll be fine. Check out my Lemon-Mint Soda Recipe as well.

Enjoy!

Love and bubbles,

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Homemade Raspberry Soda Pop I Refined Sugar-Free

 

A sweet, tart alternative to red colouring filled raspberry soda! It’s much better, and much better for you.

Ingredients

 

1/2 cup frozen raspberries you can use fresh, just add some extra ice

2 drops liquid stevia

lime juiced

400 ml sparkling mineral water or soda water

1/2 cup water

ice to serve

Method

1. Blend the raspberries, lime juice, stevia and 1/2 cup of water for 1 minute.
2. Put ice in two tall glasses and divide the raspberry mixture between them
3. Slowly pour the sparkling mineral water into the glasses, alternating glasses. It has a tendency to overflow!
Best served with a salty meal or snack like hummus and vegetable sticks or taco salad.

Homemade Chocolate-Covered Coconut Bars

Posted by on February 17,2014 in Health benefits of foods | 0 comments

 

 

Guilt-Free Chocolate Coconut bars!  What more could a girl want? I love this recipe. These are made with 6 natural ingredients rather than the mammoth 14 INGREDIENTS they squeeze into Bounty bars from the store. They are dairy, gluten, soy and nut free too which the commercial ones are definitely not (somehow they have put peanuts in a coconut bar??)! 

I hope you like them as much as I do… 

Love and chocolate,

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healthy bounty bars chocolate covered coconut recipe

 

Ingredients

 

250ml of organic coconut cream
1 cup of organic desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons of virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of maple syrup or agave syrup
Chocolate to coat- I use raw chocolate, from the Guilt-Free Chocolate Guide which is super healthy and easy to make (3 ingredients!). Register above to get a copy. Or you can use any favourite chocolate melted. Dark is best, because it’s strong and better for you. 

 

Method

 

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut cream and oil on a very low temperature. Add the syrup and stir until the oil and syrup are integrated with the cream. Then stir in the vanilla extract.
  2. Remove the pan from the stove. Put the desiccated coconut in a bowl and slowly pour the cream mixture in, stirring as you go. Don’t put it all in at once. Give the coconut time to absorb the cream and make sure you’re left with a doughy consistency, not a watery one. If you need to, add some more desiccated coconut.
  3. Prepare a tin or container by greasing it and lining it with paper. Pour the mixture in evenly, at least 3cm deep.
  4. Cover it with foil or a lid and put it in the freezer to set for an hour.
  5. Check it after an hour and if it is firm, remove it from the container and cut it into bars or squares, whatever you like! Put the cut pieces back in the freezer to set for half an hour (overnight is fine too).
  6. Finally, make your chocolate, or melt store-bought chocolate in a small deep bowl. One by one, drop your frozen coconut bars into the middle of the bowl and turn them over on to each side. When coated, lift them out with a fork.
  7. Place them on a tray lined with baking paper and put them in the fridge to set!
  8. They won’t take long to set, but depending on how frozen your coconut is, you might want to give them 15 minutes at least to soften. These are so delicious, they didn’t last a day at our place! I hope you love them! Let me know how you go on the facebook page, you can send me messages too if you have questions. Enjoy! :)

Head to the free recipes page, for more healthy dessert ideas!

Guilt-Free, Gluten-Free Pizza: Quick and Easy Buckwheat & Chia Seed Pizza Base

Posted by on February 17,2014 in Recipes | 0 comments

 

This quick and easy pizza base is perfect for vegans, vegetarians, paleo eaters and everyone else who wants a healthy, nutritious alternative to an everyday white flour based pizza. And the best bit? It’s delicious!

 

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Chia seeds boast a wonderful nutritional load of omega 3 and omega 6 as well as being a good source of protein and calcium. You can vary the seeds you add to this recipes, only add the ones you like :) Sunflower seeds give you magnesium, potassium and zinc. Pumpkin seeds are a wonderful source of manganese, zinc and calcium. You could also add pine nuts, hemp seeds, sesame or poppy seeds. It’s up to you!

 

Top with goat’s cheese, pesto and pumpkin. Or vegan cheese, tomato paste with roasted garlic, sweet potato and red peppers. Your options and endless! Mine in the picture has red peppers/capsicum, goat’s fetta, homemade basil pesto and fresh spring onions after cooking. The above pizza is half of the base recipe.

 

What I like the most about this recipe is that it adds a nutty flavour to your pizza, and that it is so fast and mess free! Being gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan, yeast-free, grain-free and egg-free (phew! that’s a lot of frees) means that you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who can’t eat it.  Which makes it perfect for dinner parties!! And who doesn’t like pizza?

 

Ok here’s the how-to…

 

INGREDIENTS:

Base:

1/2 cup of Chia Seeds

1/3 cup of buckwheat flour

1 1/2 cups of water

3 tablespoons of chopped seeds of your choice (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, poppy)

1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt

1 teaspoon of dried basil or oregano

Toppings:

Up to you! See above for ideas

 

METHOD:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C  (350°F) and line a large baking tray with baking paper

2. Combine all pizza base ingredients in a bowl. Stir through and leave to sit for 5 minutes. The chia seeds will expand and bind the mixture.

3. Spread the mixture on to your baking tray in a square or circle, up to you! (I like square pizzas :) ) or you can split it into two smaller pizzas comfortably.

4. Bake in the oven with NO TOPPING for approximately 30 minutes. Remove when the centre is firm.

5. Add topping and return to oven for 10 – 15 minutes (depends on topping chosen. Watch it after 10)

 

Perfect for a last minute dinner party and so much easier than waiting for dough to rise, this pizza is a great addition to your weekly meals. It’s also delicious cold and travels well for a leftovers lunch! Bon appétit Guilt-Free Foodies!

 

Love and pizza,

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