Salmon & sweet potato patties

GLUTEN-FREE | DAIRY-FREE | PESCETARIAN |NUT-FREE (optional) | 7 INGREDIENTS ONLY | mixing bowl & pan only

I’m all about making life easy, especially for families where it seems multiple meals are often made to address all family requirements. These salmon & sweet potato patties (better word?) are gluten-free, dairy-free, meat-free & can easily be nut-free. They use basic ingredients which I would bet you already have at home.

INGREDIENTS
400g sweet potato
1 medium salmon fillet
Juice & zest of half a lemon
1 tbspn chia seeds
1 organic egg

OPTIONAL

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped kale – it doesn’t add much taste, I add it to increase the nutritional value
  • 2 tablespoons thyme – I add herbs to everything but they can be omitted if you feel the taste is too strong for littlies
  • 1 tablespoon sumac – adds a nice citrusy taste (not as sour as lemon)

CRUST

1/4 cup quinoa flakes
1/4 cup almond meal

If you are nut-free, you can use all quinoa flakes. You could also use a standard breadcrumb if you’re not fussed about gluten. If you don’t have quinoa flakes, you could use all almond meal.

METHOD

1. Peel sweet potato, cut roughly into 4cm cubes & boil until soft
2. Mash sweet potato, it doesn’t have to be smooth
3. Pan-fry the salmon fillet, don’t worry if it’s not entirely cooked as it will be cooked again once in the patty
4. Throw the salmon fillet in with the sweet potato & again roughly mash (a fork will be fine)
5. If you’re using thyme &/or kale, you can just use some kitchen scissors & chop it straight into the mixing bowl.
6. Put in juice of half a lemon & zest – this can be omitted
7. Mix in chia seeds (this helps the mixture bind), then mix in the egg with a fork
8. In a separate bowl, pour in almond meal & quinoa flakes (or whatever ingredients you use for crust)
9. Using your hands, form the mixture into balls then coat in almond meal/quinoa flake mix
10. Put all the patties on a plate & throw in the fridge for at least 1 hour so they set. Any sooner & they may fall apart.
11. Pan-fry in preferred oil on a medium heat – they only need a minute or 2 on each side

MAKES 12 PATTIES – enough for 3 young children

Serving suggestion: mayonnaise or pesto or even better – mayonnaise mixed with pesto. I’ve popped up the recipes for both – just do a search 


I (have) Quit Sugar

Nearly 4 years ago, a friend told me about a new “diet” called “I Quit Sugar”. Pft, I thought, as if I could live without packets of sweets, jersey caramels & cake, especially with 2 young children draining my energy & working 3 days a week. But hey, I gave it a go & have never looked back. Granted my mouth may still water when I look at something, but then I remember I won’t enjoy it & I’ll feel crap afterwards. I happily say no to cake now & genuinely don’t feel I’m missing anything.

I’ve been an Ambassador for the program over a year now & it is still a thrill to see how much people’s lives are changed by the IQS 8WP.

I can genuinely tell you I LOVE the meals on the program. If you asked me to pick a favourite, I’d be hard pressed to choose between the Pad Thai, peanut butter & strawberry on toast, avo/feta/pea smash, turmeric haloumi bowl, zucchini & haloumi fritters, sweet potato/quinoa/kale/ginger. You get the idea.

The more you eat real foods & cook your own meals, the more confident you become in swapping ingredients & experimenting with tastes then you can either continue to use the recipes; or refine them based on your personal taste. I tend to substitute out all gluten & replace where required with gluten-free bread; zoodles in place of pasta.

I am thrilled to be able to give YOU $10 off if you sign up for the program, just click here

NOTE: I have never endorsed a product I don’t genuinely believe in. Having done over half a dozen of the IQS 8 Week Programs, trying the recipes, enjoying the meals & communicating with other people doing the program, I feel passionate about what a great way of life it is.

 

 

Naturopath visit

Yesterday I had my first Naturopath appointment. I was so excited about it (perhaps in part the promise of one hour child free….). I have been put on a 21 day tailored food plan.

It is NOT a diet.

It is a minimal elimination diet to see whether any improvement can be made to my skin which has in the last few months been getting progressively worse with a “rash” down both cheeks, to my chin, in almost a mirror image.

Please let me stress this is a personalized plan & not for other people to follow! I’m only writing about it to share my journey.

Fortunately in the last week I have been watching the “Fundamentals” lectures for Institution of Integrative Nutrition, which I will be commencing in 10 days….in one of the lectures the speaker emphasized not what you can’t have, but what you can have; aka “crowding out”.

So my food plan includes/excludes the following:

1. No gluten

2. No dairy – this is a tough one for me as I eat a LOT OF CHEESE (ahem, did eat…)

3. No corn thins – I was eating a lot of these as I thought they were a ‘healthy’ type of cracker, & a vehicle for aforementioned cheese

4. Eggs must be “open pasture” which is a sh*tload better than the murky term free-range.

5. Eat 2 eggs or sustainable seafood on alternate days

6. “Dirty dozen” must be organic

7. No peanut butter
Friday 3 July – I had my appointment in the morning, so the plan started from lunch time.

SHOPPING

So far I’ve done 2 shopping trips. Thankfully I already had a lot of the products at home.

Thomas Dux: Meredith Sheep’s milk yoghurt (only ‘dairy’ I can have) & fresh prawns.

Orange Grove Markets: ACO cabbage, ACO rainbow chard, ACO cucumbers, ACO Country Range Farmers eggs, ACO turmeric, ACO ginger, ACO parsley.

*ACO = Australian Certified Organic
DINNER 1

Prawns cooked in ginger, turmeric & olive oil 

Rice noodles

Coriander

Sesame oil

Turmeric
DAY 2

Almond milk latte
BREAKFAST DAY 2

First day of taking the herb tonic from Ovvio – to me it tasted like a strong alcoholic shot, with no warm & fuzzy feeling afterwards.

Organic coconut milk

Banana

Avocado x 1

Organic baby spinach

Heilala vanilla powder

Topped with organic strawberries & black chia seeds
SNACK

1 x certified organic pink lady apple

Water 

 Hockey match so unfortunately no opportunity for lunch

POST MATCH SNACK

1 x large certified organic purple carrot

6 certified organic strawberries
DINNER

**herb tonic

Home made quiche – I loosely followed a recipe: crust made from buckwheat flour, almond meal, coconut flour, butter & egg. Filling: roast sweet potato, 3 certified organic eggs, parsley, rainbow chard & baby spinach.

2 cups Qi white & fruity organic tea

1 cup warm water with freshly squeezed lemon

1 Clipper organic green chai tea

DESSERT

Home made vegan chocolate with coconut oil, coconut butter, cacao, stevia & hulled tahini (only unhulled is on the banned list!)

SKINCARE

Body/legs: almond oil, which I have added lavender oil to.

Face: Sukin Rosehip oil

Stretch marks: Plunkett’s Vitamin E oil (first time using this)
   
  

    
  
 

Sweet potato, tuna & quinoa fritters

these fritters can work in any way, shape or form with tweaks to my recipe:

1 large sweet potato, mashed

1 tin tuna (vego friends omit if you want in on this recipe), oil drained 

1/4 cup broccolini & cauliflower (total)

1/4 cup quinoa

2 eggs

1 tbspn chia seeds (similar effect to the eggs, it helps bind)

1/4 cup flour of choice – wholemeal, spelt, almond meal. Whatever floats your boat. Just remember if you only have coconut flour that it absorbs a LOT more moisture so only use about 1 tablespoon

OPTIONAL: grated cheese. Sometimes this works wonders for picky children. 1/4 cup should suffice.

Mayonnaise – it sounds indulgent & perhaps a little crazy but add a tablespoon of Mayo, it adds a bit of saltiness to the fritters.

Chilli – I add chilli powder to everything, add to your personal tastes.

Herbs – I had a lack of herbs today but highly recommend if they are for “grown ups” chopping some parsley to throw in the mix.

METHOD

1. Cut the sweet potato into approx 4cm cubes. Boil about 20 mins, until a knife easily goes through it. Drain off water, mash back in the pot you cooked it in to minimise the clean up. 

2. While the mash is cooling, chop broccolini & cauliflower – if your child is “anti-green”, just use the cauliflower & you won’t even notice it. Steam 4 minutes or boil for 2 minutes.

3. Once sweet potato is cooked, whisk eggs for 10 seconds in a mixing bowl. Pour in sweet potato & stir well. Add in chia seeds & stir again. Add tuna & roughly mash with a fork. Throw in cauliflower/broccoli & quinoa then mix again. Add the flour last, try not to overstir 

4. Heat a frying pan with a decent cover of olive oil on the base. When you can see the oil starting to ripple, spoon in the first fritter. If it starts frying around the edge immediately, it’s hot enough so spoon in a couple more. Flip as required – stoves are too individual to give a time.

5. Remove from the pan & pop on a piece of paper towel to absorb excess oil. If the first ones are coming apart, add a little more flour to the mix.

Eat immediately – great with a fresh green salad  

 

Brown rice puttanesca

Puttanesca is one of my most favourite sauces but I don’t like pasta….so I make it with brown rice. This also make it gluten free

Ingredients
1 cup brown rice
1 small tin tuna
1 tablespoon capers
2 anchovies
2 tablespoons kalamata olives, chopped (I only had green olives on this occasion but kalamata work better)
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
1/3 cup Tuscan cabbage, torn in small pieces
Chilli, to your taste
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2-3/4 cup Tomato based sauce (read ingredients carefully – a lot contain sugar)
1/4 cup grana padano, finely grated (I used a zester)

Method
1. Cook brown rice
2. Once drained, pour brown rice back in the pot & throw in all remaining ingredients except grana padano – stir until everything well blended & the parsley has softened slightly (otherwise the taste is too strong)
3. Top w grana padano & serve immediately

DIETARY
Pescetarian
IQS
Gluten-free

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Rice paper rolls

I had always looked at photos of rice paper rolls & thought wow, they look amazing but well out of my reach in terms of difficulty! I bought the rice paper & soon after my brother told me he had just made some & that they were easy to make which gave me the motivation to do it. Very pleased I did!

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INGREDIENTS

Such a personal thing but here’s what I added (if my friend Georgia was eating them I would omit coriander)

250g pack       rice noodles
1 pack             rice paper rolls (can buy in most big supermarkets)
4                      baby peppers / capsicums – any colour, I like red, yellow & orange
6                      snow peas, sliced thinly on an angle
1 cup               lettuce
2 cups            mint & coriander torn up
1 large             carrot, grated (I only buy organic carrots now – they taste so much sweeter)
200g                 salmon, skinless & boneless, cut into small thin strips (just omit for a vegan RPR)
1 tablespoon      soy sauce (gluten free if you want the meal to be GF)
1 tablespoon      sesame oil
½ small               red chilli, chopped
1 tspn                 ginger, grated

METHOD

  1. thinly slice the salmon fillet
  2. put the sliced salmon fillet in a bowl, then add soy, sesame oil, ginger & chilli, cover with glad wrap (or cling film for my English family), then pop in the fridge for 20 minutes
  3. do your prep now – cut up peppers, snow peas, lettuce, herbs & grate the carrot.
  4. Cook rice noodles as per the instructions on the packet
  5. Allow noodles to cool
  6. Pan-fry the salmon – you should get some pretty good smells now, try not to eat all the salmon straight away!
  7. Get ready for rice paper rolling! There are always instructions on the packet but you will get the hang of doing it pretty quickly. Fun to do with a friend or with kids if you’re game & don’t mind noodles hanging off every surface in your kitchen (speaking from experience)

I found these rice paper rolls incredibly fresh but also filling. You could really add any ingredients you want into them & they really are good fun to make. Cooking & preparing meals shouldn’t be a chore.

DIETARY: gluten free, dairy free, vegan if you omit the salmon, pescetarian, sugar free

who is alice gruzman?

I was born & have lived most of my life in Sydney, Australia. I am a Mum of a 2.5 year old & 4 year old boy. I am a part-time working Mum & love my job. I play hockey all year round & have done for almost 20 years. Running to & from work is how I get most of my exercise at the moment.

I have been pescetarian for almost 16 years. I never liked red meat much & then was totally put off chicken after watching a video in biology class about farmed chickens; & seeing some not so great looking chickens on a family holiday to Africa. I love seafood & cheese & it’s unlikely I would ever go vegan. I have an absolute passion for food & how it can affect us, both mentally & physically.

Since May 2013 I have not used sugar in my baking – it has been predominately maple syrup, dates or brown rice syrup. I am a firm believer in trying things healthier alternatives, especially with 2 small boys in the house who I’ve been dealt the privilege of bringing up the best way I can.

I have never allowed my children to have chocolate, sweet biscuits, cake, crisps, junk food (they have never stepped foot in a McDonald’s or any other fast food chain) & sweets. My 2 year old loves green smoothies, broccoli & cucumber sushi; & 4 year old is obsessed with dates, sweet potato, bananas & cucumbers.

I am passionate about the environment & the impact we make on it. At home we grow chilli, mint, parsley, rocket, strawberries, tomatoes, spinach & basil. Im hoping once my green thumb grows, we will be able to grow more & reduce our carbon imprint by only needing to ‘transport’ food from the garden straight into the kitchen (or even straight into our mouths).

My dream career would be as a nutritionist – to educate & empower people to make smarter decisions about their diet. A lovely friend of mine is a Paediatric Registrar at Westmead & I am constantly gobsmacked by her stories. If only I could get my hands on groups of people every week, show them how quick & easy it is to prepare healthy meals, but also how much better it tastes & how amazing it makes you feel.

I believe exercise is a vital part of our lives. Without it, we can never really be “healthy”, even if we eat well.

My recipes tend to be a mix of vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, some paleo & all IQS refined sugar free.

All photos are my own (unless otherwise stated) – please don’t distribute without my express consent. You’ve been warned.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. I credit other blogs, instagram accounts & Chefs in general when I try one of their recipes (credit where it’s due) & expect the same in return.

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