Sorry I’ve been MIA of late, I have been super busy with dance life and haven’t had much time to get into any blog posting. Terrible I know 🙁 Anyway, I had a bit of spare time today and was inspired to do a little vegan recipe post as I’ve pretty much been inhaling this on the daily recently. It’s delish, healthy, quick to whip up and is perfectly cooling in these hot, summery times! Having just got back from Bali I was loving a good old smoothie bowl for brekkie/brunch and this is how I’ve been recreating them at home.. Hope you enjoy!
All you need is:
a blender or anything that can blend frozen fruit (I use a Nutri-Bullet)
2 frozen bananas
cup of frozen berries of choice
1/2 cup soy milk or any dairy free milk (oat, almond, rice all work well too!)
1 Tbs of peanut butter
1 Tbs coconut sugar (can use maple syrup as alternative)
handful of spinach (optional if you want some greens in there!)
1 cup water
toppings of choice (nuts, goji berries, chopped fruit, coconut shreds)
Simply pop all the ingredients minus the toppings into your blender and blend that baby up! It should turn out to be quite thick and ice-creamy in texture 🙂 If its not blending too easily keep adding water but be careful not to add too much as it will water down the mixture and you will end up with a smoothie drink! I always have a batch of frozen nana’s in my freezer as they come in handy if I ever feel like a smoothie bowl or some Banana Nice Cream. They blend up really easily and create the perfect ice-cream texture. Once all blended pop it into a bowl and add your toppings! Today I went for some simple crushed nuts because I was absolutely starving but if you’re feeling artsy check out some of these smoothie bowls I’ve had for some decoration inspo <3 They were almost too pretty to eat… Almost 😉
So today I thought I’d share a little recipe that I made the other night because it was an absolute treat! Of course it was plant-based and vegan but that’s not to say you have to stick to the recipe 100%. The best thing about this recipe is that literally ANYTHING can be subbed in our out depending on what you are feeling. I made mine with chickpeas as my form of protein but you could easily switch that out for chicken, tuna or any other meat you fancy. This really allows you to play around with different flavours and be a little more adventurous! Whoever invented Buddha bowls is an absolute genius.
Buddha bowls are typically made from a combination of grains, vegetables, protein, nuts and seeds and are the absolute bomb because you can make up new concoctions every time. It’s a dish I know I can rely on when I don’t have too much time but I want something nourishing and tasty! The highlight of the buddha bowl from the other night though was definitely the coconut rice. I got this idea when I ordered coconut rice from a Thai joint the other week and once I tasted it, knew I had to recreate it at home! Is coconut rice something I’ve been missing out on for a while now?! No, don’t answer that question, I already know the answer 🙁 Either way, normal rice is really going to have a tough time competing against my boy coconut rice now because that stuff is soooo tasty. Sticky, creamy, coconutty.. It’s almost like a pudding *drools*. OK continuing! I used the rice as my base but I’ve seen a lot of other recipes using quinoa too. My stomach absolutely hates quinoa so I try to steer clear from that nasty stuff (no offence to anyone who loves it!!). On top of the rice I banged on a few different veggies; some cooked, some raw, a chickpea concoction, and topped it with pumpkin seeds, pepitas and a semi-homemade dressing. I say semi-homemade because I basically just used two pre-made dressings and mixed them together #chefextraordinaire! The finished product was so delish that Seewah (Steve, remind me to tell you the story) nearly ate two bowls worth! So much for thinking I had lunch covered for tomorrow.. HA! No chance.
Needless to say this recipe is healthy as … but because of the rice it makes it feel a little more hearty than just a regular salad for dinner. I tried to cut and chop the veggies differently to give the bowl more texture and don’t be afraid to go a little wild with the substitutions. I would have loved to have added a bit of avo in there but alas, I ate it all at lunch. Whoops! As these bowls are based on the principles of Chinese and Japanese ways of eating it’s best to try to have a little bit of lots of things rather than just stocking up on one food type (I’d have a whole bowl of rice and nothing else otherwise!). This way of eating is said to be great for lowering your risk of chronic diseases and reducing toxins in the body. Sounds good to me, so time to get creative!
Coconut Rice Buddha Bowl: (serves 2)
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup uncooked sushi rice
1/4 large cucumber
6 cherry tomatoes
8 button mushrooms
1/2 can chickpeas
1 stick celery
1/4 green capsicum
handful of sunflower seed and pepita mix
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs hummus
1 tsp dijon mustard
garlic powder to taste
TO COOK THE RICE:
Rinse the rice and place into a small pot with coconut milk and roughly 1/4 cup of water
Cover and bring to the boil. Once boiling, lower to a simmer and keep covered to for 20 minutes, stirring regularly.
Once all liquid is absorbed set aside to cool with lid off
TO MAKE THE DRESSING:
Mix all the ingredients in a small cup and add enough water to reach the desired consistency. I prefer mine a little more watery than too thick for this recipe
TO MAKE THE SALAD:
Slice the mushrooms and sautée in a little olive oil
Peel the carrots into fine shreds
Julienne the cucumber
Slice the cherry tomatoes, celery and shallots
Dice the green capsicum small
Rinse the chickpeas and place into a mixing bowl and mash them up with a potato masher. Then add in the chopped capsicum and shallots and give it a good mix
Add the ingredients in a layering type system starting with the rice, then top with the salads. Sprinkle seeds onto and finish by drizzling over the dressing. Eat up!
As I’ve mentioned before on numerous occasions, I am a total sucker for trying out new products. The good news is that I don’t think I’m alone.. amiright!? I especially love giving all natural products a go because if a cruelty free, plant-based product can deliver the goods, I’m sold! For the past 2 months I’ve been trialling a couple of products from The Jojoba Company range as I’d heard so much about Jojoba (pronounce hoh-hoh-buh for those of you wondering!) and all the benefits it has on skin. When I found the range at a Chemist near my Dance Studio I knew it was time to bite the bullet and give some of their products a go and so I walked out of there with the Jojoba Bead Facial Cleanser and the 100% Natural Australian Jojoba Oil.
What on earth is Jojoba I hear you ask? No, you didn’t? Well I’ll tell ya anyway 😉 Jojoba oil comes from the Jojoba bean and is so beneficial for our skin because the oil is a very similiar consistency to that of the protective wax we create ourselves (sebum) that keeps our skin moisturised and silky smooth. Because of this similiar consistency it is able to penetrate deep into the skins layers where cell regeneration and synthesis occurs carrying other nutrients with it. It contains Vitamins A, D and E and other anti-oxidents and fatty acids which are also known for their skin healing and protective qualities. Jojoba is naturally antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and hypo-allergenic and works wonders on all skin types ranging from oily skin to baby skin. If you want to know any more about Jojoba and The Jojoba Company then click here.
The Jojoba Bead Facial Cleanser ($34.95) comes in a paste form containing naturally solidified jojoba beads which help to exfoliate any dry skin and leaves my skin feeling oh so smooth and clean. It also contains Vitamin C, aloe vera and Vitamin E which help to hydrate the skin and dissolve any impurities. See you later dryness! I’ve been using this product every morning and it really wakes my skin up and leaves me feeling rejuvenated and awake. You only need to use about a marble’s amount and you cleanse in circular motions around the face and neck and then rinse off with a warm muslin cloth or with some warm water. It’s suitable for all skin types and is completely safe and eco-friendly.. boom baby!
The highlight product for me though has to be the Jojoba Oil ($29.95 for 85ml). This stuff is like a little bottle of liquid gold. Having skin that’s normal to dry I feel like the oil has really helped to bring moisture to my skin, especially while I’ve been travelling and submitting my skin to extreme temperatures (-3 degrees to 38 degrees anyone?!). I only need one tiny pump and that will smooth all over my face and neck and I just rub any excess into my hands. Whilst it is an oil product, it doesn’t at all feel heavy and greasy on my skin and within about 5-10 minutes it’s completely soaked in. My skin drinks that stuff up!! Since using it though, I have altered my routine a little and try to cleanse and oil my face as soon as I wake up so that the product has time to soak in whilst I’m having my brekkie. That way it’s done its business before I go and hit my skin with makeup products 🙂 This oil is also suitable for all skin types so don’t be afraid if you have oily/combination skin!
Now don’t get me wrong, I do still love my Dr Hauschka products as they are just SO luxurious and lovely but they do have a little more of a hefty price tag than the products from The Jojoba Company. I also love the simplicity of putting one ingredient onto my skin and having that ingredient be so similiar to the sebum my skin already naturally produces. In the past couple of months I haven’t had any breakouts, no dry skin, no patchiness and it has helped with dryness that I used to experience under my eyes too. I have loved the effect on my skin so much that I am definitely going to try some of their other products.. I’m looking at you Hydrating Face Mask! So if you’re looking to try something all natural and 100% Australian that works a treat on the skin then I would definitely recommend giving the Jojoba Oil a go and try it for yourself!
Every gal loves trying new products, right? Whether it’s something that has been recommended to them, something they’ve seen advertised (guilty) or just something they have happily stumbled upon, finding a holy grail product is like finding hidden treasure! I’ve had many-a experience with different products, as I’m sure we all have, but today I wanted to focus on a few that have been tickling my fancy the past couple of months. Some are old favourites that I’ve revisited and thought “where have you beeeeen?” and others are new to the block but have still left me thinking the same thing!!
DR HAUSCHKA ROSE DAY CREAM:
This little baby has been in my life a few times before. A few of you may remember in my last skincare post here that I mentioned I have a slight penchant for chopping and changing when it comes to skincare. One brand I know that I can rely on though is Dr Hauschka. I first tried their products back in 2014 and it was definitely love at first application. I bought the little face kit which
contains all their cult products in miniature form so that you can test each cream and see which your skin prefers. The brand is all natural and organic and my skin absolutely loves the stuff. I’m only mentioning one of their products today but that’s only because I feel this day cream is worth a special mention.
The Rose Day Cream is one of my all time faves. The smell, the texture, but mostly the amazing effect it instantly has on my face! Recommended for normal, dry and sensitive skin the texture is rich and luxurious and calms down any unwanted redness. This stuff is so great for me as I am normal/dry but I suggest if you are prone to oilyness this guy might just ramp that up for you so maybe try the tester size first just to be sure. Each tube contains 30 organic roses, vitamin C, wild rose hip, shea butter, avocado oil, extracts of marshmellow plus many more amazing all natural ingredients. You only need a small amount, warm it up between your hands and then press lightly onto the skin. It leaves me glowy and moisturised, calms down some of my unwanted redness (thanks pale skin!) and as an added bonus, my face smells like a field of roses! Definitely worth a try 🙂 You can buy Dr. Hauschka at all Myer stores or if you live in Sydney I buy mine from Dr. Earth located in Newtown.
ESTEE LAUDER ADVANCED NIGHT REPAIR:
This next product had been something I had been wanting for a while and I guess you could say is a bit of a cult product. It is advertised eeeeeverywhere, so naturally I had high expectations. Luckily enough I was not disappointed 🙂 Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair is like liquid-y gold for the face and I’ve become a little obsessed by it. I’ve never used much in the way of night skin care before but something of late has made me realise I’m not getting any younger and I need to preserve the skin I have! Those 9 hours mustn’t go to waste! So I bought this Duty Free on my way to Hong Kong. Its promoted to reduce the look of all key signs of ageing and what I’ve already noticed (after about 4 weeks) is that my skin feels more hydrated, brighter and smoother #yeahbaby! I know it’s slightly dear but you will only need to use 2-3 drops every night so the longevity is great and plus you will wake up with the skin of a baby’s bum! On your face! That sounded better in my head…
BECCA UNDER EYE BRIGHTENING CORRECTOR:
Lastly, is a makeup product I have been using EVERY DAMN DAY since purchasing it. I’ve even used it with my competition makeup it’s that dang good. The Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector. As you have probably noticed I have quite pale skin, couple this with working late hours at the dance studio and you have yourself some pretty attractive under eye circles. I’ve tried all sorts of concealers and what not to try to cover those dark circles but I just find that because the under eye area is so delicate, thick products tend to get too cakey and flakey #poet. So, I was a bit too excited to try this product after I spotted it at Sephora about a month or so ago. It’s pale pink in colour and extremely rich and creamy so you don’t need to use a lot. I pop it on with a brush in a small triangle under my eye and then tap it in with my ring finger to make sure its nice and blended. There you can either leave as is, but I like to then place a small amount of concealer on top to set it and tone down some of the pinky-ness (not too much though!) Becca is a popular Australian brand with some beautiful products which you can either shop online or in Sephora.
So if I have managed to tempt you with the idea of some of these products, please let me know! What are some of your all time favourites?
A dancer’s clock is not like most. We go to bed late and wake up late-er. Usually, I’m in the studio for 10 – 11am and then finish around the same time in the pm. That’s not to say I don’t get a few hours free here and there but it’s still a loooong day for the body. Because of this schedule I’m not really a morning person. You will definitely not see me running the streets at the crack of dawn showing Rocky Balboa how it’s really done. No, I will be asleep until my 3rd alarm goes off meaning I have 45 minutes to get my ass into gear!
This love of sleep/sleeping in means that I need a nutritious brekky that I can whip up like lightning. At the mo, I’m eating a plant-based diet. (Yes, I’m Vegan.. wanna know more about it? Comment below!) This means that I need to get in a lot of nutritious foods and calories so that I don’t burn out before lunchtime and get #hangry. My favourite way of doing this of late is with my trusty little blender. Hello morning smoothie!
Now, don’t be alarmed by the sheer size of this smoothie. I’ve been downing one of these a day for about 4 months now (when I’m not travelling of course.. no gargantuan smoothies at the buffet brekky) and if anything I feel it has made me leaner. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe giving my whole diet a re-haul has helped but I’ve tried other vegan breakfast options and none leave me feeling as satisfied and energized as this smoothie.And as an added bonus, it tastes like frothy, dreamy, amazing-ness. My mum (non-vegan) tried it and she said it was so good it made her want to turn plant-based.. that’s a big deal if you don’t know my mum!
Ok so let’s get to it, my smoothie usually includes the following:
3 or 4 bananas. Make sure they are as ripe as possible, the more spots the better. Nobody likes a hard, green, sour banana.. except maybe a really hungry monkey.
1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries.
6 or 7 dates. Don’t ask why such a random number! I started with 10 dates and gradually lowered it til I found the amount I liked 🙂
1/2 cup Almond milk or any other dairy free alternative I have. I like Unsweetened Vanilla Almond milk from Almond Breeze!
handful of spinach
1 big cup of water.. very accurate I know. Usually I just pour water in and stop pouring when it gets to the top of all the fruit..
sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
coconut sugar to taste (optional)
I add coconut sugar because uhh.. it’s not sweet enough already with all them bananas and dates, obviously! Ha ha! No but seriously, it adds a caramel-y flavour that I love and just brings out the other flavours so much more. But, if you don’t want to add more sugar but still want a little hit of flavour you could always add vanilla essence instead.
Blend that bad boy up! I always keep the base ingredients the same but sometimes mix up the amounts if I decide to add extra/different fruits (dried cherries are the BOMB.com) Also, if I feel like it I sometimes add a tablespoon of Peanut Butter. I say ‘sometimes’ because Peanut Butter is my weakness so I try not to eat it everyday because once the lid is off I literally have no stop button! The smoothie is a little calorific but I don’t count calories to keep them low, I count them to make sure I’m getting enough. Especially since becoming vegan, I aim for around 2500-3000 cals a day. This way I have an abundance of energy for dancing and teaching and I lower my risk of injury.
So even if you don’t eat a plant-based diet give this smoothie a go and try to start your morning with fresh fruit and veg 🙂 It will leave your tummy feeling happy and will wake you up better than a cup of coffee (this is coming from a die-hard coffee lover btw). Enjoy!