Food

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    VEGAN ICED DIRTY CHAI

    When Nespresso asked me if I would like to create a recipe using their new limited edition ice coffee capsules and aeroccino I of course jumped at the opportunity. Anything to do with coffee is always a yes from me.
    I wanted to create my version of the “ultimate ice coffee” so whilst thinking of what exactly that meant to me my thoughts drifted to all the delicious ice coffees I had as a teenager. They were filled with chocolate sauce and nothing but sugary goodness I mean badness, bad bad haha. Clearly I’m going to make a healthy guilt free version here. I also wanted to put a more sophisticated twist to my childhood ice coffee fantasy so immediately I thought of chai, my favourite flavour. So here it is for your pleasure always.
    Vegan iced dirty chai
     (Incase you didn’t know “dirty chai” is pretty much coffee and tea together)
    RECIPE
    3 medjool dates
     1 tablespoon of cacao
     2 tablespoons of maple
     2 Nespresso Leggero on Ice capsules
     2 chai tea, tea bags
     1 cup of almond milk
     ( Here is the link to my almond milk recipe, or you can use store bought but homemade is always the best)
     http://catwalkstocradles.com/vanilla-almond-mylk-recipe/
    You will also need
    – an ice tray
     – blender
     – Nespresso Coffee machine
     – Aeroccino Milk Frothing Machine
    – a nice big glass
    STEPS
     The night before ….
     1. Make a large cup of hot water and place your 2 teabags in and steep for 5-10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and throw away. Add the maple to your tea, stir and pop in the fridge to cool down. Once cool place in your ice tray overnight to make your “chai tea ice cubes”
     Depending on your taste buds you can add more or less maple. I find this to be the perfect amount though. Naughty but nice.
    CHOC/CARAMEL SAUCE
    1. Pre soak 3 medjool dates in a small cup of water. Use only enough water to cover the dates. Place in fridge for 2 hours ….. 2 hours later.
    2.  Place your soaked dates with the water they have been soaking in into your blender. Add the cacao and blend until smooth. This is your delish choc/caramel sauce to drizzle in your glass.
    1. Take a nice big glass and drizzle your choc caramel sauce into the glass. Try and get as much as you can around the sides although it doesn’t really stay there as much as real chocolate sauce does.
    2. Take 2 Leggero on Ice pods and make 2 espresso shots of coffee, place to the side
    3. Fill your Aeroccino Milk Frothing Machine with your almond milk and press the COLD button to create a cold frothed milk perfect for iced coffees
    4. Take your pre made chai ice cubes and fill your sauce covered glass with the cubes all the way to the top
    5. Add your frothed almond milk on top of the ice, leaving  just enough room to add your 2 shots of coffee
    6. Add your 2 shots of coffee on top of your milk and ice and your all done.
    This is such an awesome treat you can make for your friends on a summer afternoon. You could also add a shot of vodka if you wanted to make a cheeky choc chai cocktail.
    The great thing about this is the limited edition pods only cost $6.7hk each so your summer treat doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg!
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    BACK TO SCHOOL

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    This is a perfect back to school recipe that the whole family can enjoy. Mornings can be quite daunting for any family. Getting everyone feed and dressed and trying to make it to where you have to be in time. Not to mention the mess you have to clean post breakfast. This recipe is easy, filling, relatively tidy and most off all nutritious .
    I love to use freeze dried superfood powders in my morning smoothies as it reassures me that I have started my day with a powerful blend of fruits, vegetables and superfoods that will insure I have energy throughout the day. In addition to feeling less guilty about eating a huge lunch of Korean fried chicken ha ha. Also, for the kids you canfeel at ease that they have received vital nutrients to fuel their little bodies and brains. No junk just pure raw goodness to propel them into their day.

    BACK TO SCHOOL SUPER SMOOTHIE

    1 frozen banana
    1 tablespoon of organic chia seeds
    A small bunch of organic spinach
    1 teaspoon of honey
    1 tablespoon of almond butter
    1 serving a chocolate superfood powder
    1 tablespoon of gluten free oats
    1 – 1 1/2 cups of chocolate hazelnut milk

    Place all ingredients into a powerful blender and blend until well combined.

    Enjoy,

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    RAW BANANA CREAM PIE

    November 18th 2015, by Cara G Mcilroy in Food

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    INGREDIENTS

    FILLING

    1 Cup of fresh coconut flesh

    1 banana

    1 tablespoon of organic coconut cream powder

    1 teaspoon organic vanilla bean powder

    1 table spoon of coconut flower sugar

    1/2 teaspoon of organic cinnamon

    20 drops of banana medicine flower

    BASE

    2/3 cup of organic almond flour

    1/2 cup of organic almonds

    5 organic medjool dates

    1 tablespoon of organic cacao butter

    2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil

    TOPPING

    1 banana

    1 tablespoon of  cacao nibs

    2-3 cinnamon sticks

    cinnamon

    DIRECTIONS

    1 .Place all ” Filling ” ingredients into a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are completely combined. Should take around 3 mins max.  Place mixture to the side. Wash your food processor so you can prepare your base.

    2.  Place all ” Base ” ingredients into a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are well combined. Should take around 1 mins max. you want this mixture to still be chunky for texture.

    3.  Lightly oil a pie/tart tray with coconut oil.  I like to use a tray that has a removable centre.  Much easier when you want to remove your tart or pie.

    4. Take your base mixture and firmly press it into your pie/tart tray. Make sure you press it firmly into the tray so it doesn’t crumble later when you try to remove it.

    5. Take your filling mixture and spoon into your your base and smooth out evenly.

    Your pie is almost done now …

    6. Place your pie in the fridge for 30 mins to set.

    7. Remove pie from the fridge and garnish with your ” Topping ” ingredients.

    Now your Raw banana cream pie is ready to impress!

    Delicious served with nice-cream or ice cream and a cup of tea of course.

    Happy Autumn,

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    RAW MATCHA TRUFFLES

     

    November 12th 2015, by Cara G Mcilroy in Food

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    INGREDIENTS

    FILLING

    1 Cup of dehydrated coconut
    3 table spoons of raw organic cacao butter
    3 table spoons of organic coconut milk powder
    1 heaped teaspoon of organic matcha powder
    3 tablespoons of raw coconut nectar

    RAW CHOCOLATE COATING

    1 cup of raw organic cacao paste
    1 tablespoon of raw organic coconut oil
    1/2 a cup of dehydrated cane juice

    MATCHA TOP LAYER 

    1 table spoon of raw coconut milk powder
    1/4 teaspoon of matcha powder

    DIRECTIONS

    1 .Place all “Filling” ingredients into a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are completely combined. Should take around 3 mins max

    2. Take 1 heaped tablespoon of filling mixture and roll into a tight ball in the palm of your hand.

    3. Once you have made all your mixture into balls place them in the freezer.

    Now it’s time to make the raw chocolate coating.

    4. Take a pot and fill with water around 1/2 way from the bottom. Take a thick glass bowl that fits snug on the top of your pot. You don’t want your glass bowl to touch the water or the bottom of your pot. This method of melting chocolate is called double boil. Check out this informative clip if your confused. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2UGOZMd9qM

    Place your cocao paste and coconut oil into your glass bowl and once melted add the dehydrated cane juice and stir.  Your chocolate coating is ready when all ingredients are completely combined and in a warm liquid state.  NOTE: The dehydrated cane juice will never dissolve completely.  This is why I love it! Adds a nice crunchy texture.

    5. Take your balls from the freezer and roll them around in your chocolate, once completely covered place back into the freezer for 2 mins and repeat 3-4 times for a nice thick coat.
    When you are satisfied with your chocolate coating keep them out on the bench.

    6. Place your matcha top layer ingredients on a plate and mix together. This will create a lovely light green dust for you to roll your truffles in and then you all done!

    I guarantee you they won’t be around for more then a couple of days. I ate all mine in 3 days. However if you do decide to store them for longer they can be kept in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or the freezer for 1 month.  ………YUM

    Domo arigato.

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    ORGANIC TURMERIC MINI QUICHES

    October 12th  2015, by Cara G Mcilroy in Food

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    INGREDIENTS

    -6 organic free range eggs

    -1/2 cup of milk

    -1 large handful of fresh organic spinach finely chopped

    -8-10 finely chopped cherry tomatoes

    -1/4 teaspoon turmeric

    -1/2 teaspoon of organic dried basil

    -1/4 f a cup of grated parmesan cheese

    EXTRAS

    Baking paper

    Large muffin baking tray with 6 cups

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees

    2. Beat eggs with a fork.

    3. Add milk to your beaten egg mixture and beat again until light and fluffy.

    4. Add turmeric and basil and beat again, just enough to mix into the egg mixture.

    5. Add spinach, tomatoes and parmesan cheese ( leave some 2 tablespoons of cheese to the side ) . Mix until all ingredients are well combined.

    6. Very lightly oil muffin tray

    7. Cut baking paper into squares to fit into your muffin tray cups, and place into the tray. Molding the paper to the shape of the tray.

    8. Place mixture into the tray evenly distributing mixture between the cups.

    9. Place in oven for 12-14mins.

    Your quiches are ready when you can press firmly on them and they spring back.

    These are perfect for breakfast on the go. Or even for lunch or dinner accompanied with a side salad and some sweet chilli sauce.

    Enjoy,

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    NATURALLY BETTER BOX

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    As you all know I’m a huge fan of all things natural. So naturally (no pun intended) I have fallen in love with this new hong Kong based start up, the Naturally Better Box.

    The idea is that you sign up to a month subscription and each month you receive a beautiful box filled with cruelty free, toxic free, and environmentally friendly products are sent directly to your doorstep.

    The girls at the NBB search the globe for the best products available and only share with us the ones the believe in, trust and love. The beauty of this is that all the goodies have been tried and tested by two women who are passionate about all things natural.

    Unlike other subscriptions you receive full sized products. In my opinion this is much better than samples as you get the full experience and can better judge if you really love the products. If you do fall for  certain lip balm, cleaning product or yummy tea, just jump online to their e-shop and purchase more. It’s that easy…. Then all you need to do is sit back and wait until the next month to be introduced to more delectable NBB goodies.

    Each box is filled with six full sized items.  These are my top six picks.

    The Pure Candle and Coal & Canary Candle

    Candles are a must in our house hold.  They are perfect for a romantic evening or simply to make the house smell amazing. They also look super cool.  These candles smell divine and burn clear of soot, chemicals and smoke so you can breath easy, sit back, and enjoy the ambience.

    Matcha Maiden-100% pure organic green tea powder and Pranayum-masala chai tea

    As you can see I clearly have a love for candles and tea. Chai always reminds me of home (Australia).  Relaxing and sipping a chai latte is one of my favorite things to do right off the plane. It’s so yummy and Hong Kong has yet to master the art of making Chai like Australia. This is why I love to have it on hand at home so I can make it myself.  Green tea is for sure one of my favorite flavors. So much that I created a super yummy smoothie for you guys to try using Matcha Maiden tea.

    Wotnot-facial wipes

    Perfect to have in your bag for many reasons. For me I hate to wear make-up but unfortunately it is unavoidable in my line of work. These wipes are the perfect natural solution for me to clean my face of make-up right after a shoot or on the go. They are great to clean the kids faces and sticky fingers after a messy brunch date. And you can rest assured your not rubbing nasty chemicals on their delicate little faces. They are also biodegradable.

    Resparkel kit

    Cleaning products are so scary to me. Specially since having first a dog, then children.  I’ll be honest allot of meals are eaten off the floor these days so cleaning products thats have no nasty chemicals, but work are so important.

    The NBB has so many other fantastic products in their online store.  If your at all thinking of how to add more natural and organic products to your home and life they are worth checking out.

    www.naturallybetterbox.com

    Lets make our lives more green,

    love,

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    Coconut Matcha Smoothie

    INGREDIENTS

    -1 cup of organic almond milk

     -1 teaspoon of Matcha Maiden-100% organic green tea powder

    -1 frozen banana

    -1 tablespoon of raw honey

    -2 1/2 tablespoons dehydrated coconut (1/2 tablespoon set aside for topping)

    -5 cubes of ices

    -1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds for topping

    Blend banana, almond milk, honey, coconut, ice, matcha and pour into a glass jar. Top with chia seeds, coconut and drizzle with honey.

    Perfect afternoon pick me up that is delicious and packed full of antioxidants!

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    RASPBERRY CHOC NICECREAM POP

    August 3rd 2015, by Cara G Mcilroy in Food

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    INGREDIENTS

    – 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries

    – 165 ml of Thai coconut milk

    – 1 over ripe banana

    – 1/2 cup cacao paste

    – 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean

    – 1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil

    – 1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut flower sugar

    – a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt

    DIRECTIONS

    1. In a blender combine the raspberries, Thai coconut milk and over-ripe banana and blend until smooth.

    2. Place combined mixture into a popsicle mould ( these usually make 4 ). Leave the mould in the freezer until the mixture is frozen. Now it’s time to make the chocolate.

    3. Take a pot and fill with water around 1/2 way from the bottom.  Take a thick glass bowl that fits snug on the top of your pot. You don’t want your glass bowl to touch the water or the bottom of your pot. This method of melting chocolate is called double boil. Check out this informative clip if your confused. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2UGOZMd9qM

    4. Place the coconut oil and cacao paste into the glass bowl. Turn the heat onto low. Stir frequently until oil and cacao paste have completely melted.

    5.  Now add your coconut flower sugar and vanilla bean powder into the melted mixture. Stir until all the coconut flower sugar granules have melted.  Turn off the heat. Your chocolate is now ready!

     10. Take your frozen popsicles out of the freezer. Hold the stick and dip them into your melted chocolate.  You can dip them half way or all the way the choice is yours.  Double dipping is highly recommended.

    11. Place the popsicles on a small tray and pop them back into freezer.  Once the chocolate is frozen your raspberry choc nicecream pops are ready. Yum Yum.

    Enjoy,

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    OUR BABY SHOWER #2

    July 30th 2015, by Cara G Mcilroy in Family & Food


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    After the amazing job they did helping me to style my wedding and my first baby shower, my fave stylists iDecorate were the obvious choice to help me with the shower for Baby #2.

    The central focus for the party was of course the food table. iDecorate used a soft pastel colour palette of turquoise, grey, baby pink and blue with pops of gold thrown in for good measure.

    Five giant white balloons lined the back of the table, with a two meter long paper tassel garland. The large balloons on each end featured extra long gold tassel garlands to frame the table.

    Guests sipped on Genie Juicery  juices and smoothies , pink lemonade and my special home-made sangria, served in iDecorate vintage inspired crystal decanter and glassware. We served a light assortment for a Sunday afternoon tea –finger sandwiches with tuna spread and cucumber and tomato, vegetables sticks with hommus and guacamole, mini sausage rolls with tomato sauce (an Australian favourite) and of course my yummy raw bounty bars.

    Ms B’s Cakery surprised me with the most delicious cakes made by the amazing Ms. Bonnae Gokson. We devoured the new ‘Gender Reveal’ cake, which of course was pink to mark “It’s a Girl!” The cake is a cherry & vanilla marbled chiffon cake with white chocolate crisps smothered with fresh cream. Gender reveal cakes are very popular in the United States and Ms B’s Cakery are the first one to bring it to Hong Kong.

    I had dreamt of a beautifully relaxed, yummy day where I could catch up with all my friends before I go on lock-down again but that wasn’t to be. So many of my friends now have babies of their own and I have made so many new friends with kids since having India. My quiet little shower turned into an all-out baby rave, with kids taking over the living room singing ‘Let It Go’ and ‘Shake It Off ‘ at the tops of their lungs. Wow how life has changed, but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

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    GET THE LOOK FOR LESS : You can DIY my baby shower. All products in these photos are sold on iDecorateshop.com including the tassels, bunting, balloons, cake platters and glassware – all you have to do is buy it, get it delivered and get your hubby (hehe) to put it together.

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    GRANOLA

    July 27th 2015, by Cara G Mcilroy in Food

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    INGREDIENTS

    – 3 green apples

    – 3 cups of oats

    – 1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

    – 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

    – 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds

    – 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds

    – 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts

    – 2 tablespoons of chia seeds

    – 4/3 tablespoons of coconut flower nectar

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. 

    2. Take your apples. Core, peel and cut into quarters.

    3. Fill a medium-sized pot half full with water and add the apples. Bring to boil.

    4. Once boiling lower the temperature and maintain a low simmer for 15- 20 minutes or until the apples are soft.

    5. Remove the pot from the heat.  Drain the apples and let them cool.

    6.  Once the apples have cooled pop them into a blender with your coconut flower nectar. Blend until smooth.  This is your apple sauce.

    7. In a large bowl add your oats, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix together.

    8. Then add your pumpkin seeds,  sunflower seeds, crushed walnuts and chia seeds and mix well.

    9. Now add your applesauce to the above dry mixture and mix together thoroughly. If you like your granola sweet now is the time to add some extra sweetener.

    10. Grease a baking tray with coconut oil and spread the granola mixture evenly onto the tray. 

    11. Bake for 20 minutes.  Stir and continue baking for around another 5 to 15 minutes more or until the granola is very light golden brown colour. Keep an eye on it, it can change from light brown to burnt very quickly.

    12. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  The granola will harden and become crunchy as it cools. Once cool your granola is ready!

    Keep your granola in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy with your favorite milk, honey and fresh fruits for a healthy start to your day.

    Enjoy,

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    RAW BOUNTY BAR

    July 13th 2015, by Cara G Mcilroy in Food

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    INGREDIENTS

    The filling:

    – 2 cups of raw organic coconut flakes

    – 1/2 cup of raw organic maple syrup

    – 1 teaspoon of natural vanilla essence

    – 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean

    The chocolate coating:

    – 1/2 cup cacao paste

    – 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean

    – 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil

    – 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut flower sugar

    – a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt

    * You will need a food processor or good blender for this recipe

    DIRECTIONS

    1. Place all of the filling ingredients into your food processor and pulse until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.

    2. Take a tablespoon of the filling and shape it into a rectangle with your hands.

    3. Place the rectangles onto a tray and leave in the freezer until frozen. Now its time to make the chocolate.

    4. Take a pot and fill with water around 1/2 way from the bottom.  Take a thick glass bowl that fits snug on the top of your pot. You don’t want your glass bowl to touch the water or the bottom of your pot. This method of melting chocolate is called double boil. Check out this informative clip if your confused. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2UGOZMd9qM

    5. Place the coconut oil and cacao paste into the glass bowl. Turn the heat onto low. Stir frequently until oil and cacao paste have completely melted.

    6.  Now add your coconut flower sugar and vanilla bean powder into the melted mixture. Stir until all the coconut flower sugar granules have melted.  Turn off the heat. Your chocolate is now ready!

    7. Take your now frozen coconut filling rectangles out of the freezer, dip each piece into the chocolate sauce and placed on a tray.

    8. Pop your bounty bars back into the freezer until the chocolate has hardened. To get a thicker coating of chocolate, dip the raw bounty bars a second time and freeze again. Then your done.

    WARNING! If you are like me and love chocolate I suggest doubling this recipe.  These are super addictive and don’t last long in my fridge at all.

    Enjoy,

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