Fennel Orange Millet Salad

Fennel orange milletWhen I was in 20s, wanting to lose weight and look like a model, my focus was all about protein in my diet. I tried a high protein – low carb diet, having eggs or chicken breast x2-3 times a day and avoiding rice or any kinds of carbohydrates. I developed a fear of eating carbs as if they do any harm to my body and didn’t understand a proper nutrition. I had mood swings, frustration, obsession, indigestion and constipation. Bad bad bad…As I’ve been overcoming my bad eating habits and eating healthy again, my diet is now more based on vegetables, whole grains and a minimal amount of animal protein. And somehow it is easier for me to control my cravings and feel good. Why? We need carbs to survive, generate energy and have optimal body and brain function. It is so so important! We need both simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbs found in fruits, coconut water, maple syrup and honey release energy more readily in our body, great for sports. Complex carbohydrates found in whole grains contain vital vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre and release slow energy. The ones we want to avoid is refined sugar and hidden sugar in processed food.

So what whole grains? brown rice, wild rice, oats, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, lentils.. I’m excited just listing all these beautiful names. They all have different texture and flavour, great for making salads, sides, desserts or even mains. They are high in protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre. How to incorporate in your meals? Here is an example.

Breakfast: baked oats, overnight oats or oat porridge, pancakes, whole grain granola, breakfast muffins,
Lunch: quinoa salad, millet salad, buckwheat soup, wild rice salad, carrot salad, healthy wrap
Dinner: pea soup, cauliflower rice, tabbouleh, lentil burger, burrito bowl, baked sweet potato
Dessert: wild rice pudding, power balls, raw brownie, raw banana cheese cake

Move onto the recipe. A classic combination of fennel and orange in warm toasted millet. What not to love? Crunchy and licorice taste of raw fennel is so refreshing. This amazing fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and dietary fibre. It is also one of the best antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods on the planet. Another good news is great for the digestive system, calming flatulence, bloating, indigestion and IBS. If you don’t like chewing on raw fennel, use roasted or braised fennel in this salad for a caramelised mellow flavour. Enjoy x
Fennel millet salad

Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate, potassium and dietary fiver. With only 27 calories per cup (and zero cholesterol) fennel is one of the best antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods on the plane – See more at: http://www.naturalhealth365.com/tag/fennel-health-benefits#sthash.6WjY3ucJ.dpufIngredients (serves 2)100g millet, soaked1 tbsp coconut oil

100g millet, soaked
100g water to cook millet
1 large orange
1 cup of thinly sliced fennel
1 block of feta cheese
1 tbsp e.v.o.o
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Drain soaked millet. Heat coconut oil in a pot over medium heat and toast millet until lightly brown and fragrant. Add an equal amount of water and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes or until water is all absorbed. Remove from the heat, let it sit with a lid on for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Put the millet, thinly sliced or shaved fennel and chopped the orange in a bowl. Gently toss together with a dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with crumbled feta cheese. Serve either warm or cold. It is great just as it is or serve with grilled chicken or fish.

GF Zucchini Quinoa Bread

zucchini quinoa loafI had a little experiment in my kitchen today using cooked quinoa. I love making savoury breakfast loaf with grated veggies like zucchini, carrot, beet and parsnip. I have to admit I eat the whole loaf everyday – my addiction, I know! This time I added cooked quinoa in this zucchini loaf and am so happy with the results. Quinoa is high in protein with all 8 essential amino acids, rich in fibre and low GI. Not only these health benefits, it makes bread light and super moist without adding nasty butter or oil. Hallelujah! This loaf doesn’t contain any sweetener and in fact has quite plain flavour. So you can top up with your favorite spread like nut butter, tahini, goat cheese, avocado or banana.
zucchini quinoa breadIngredients

1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup grated zucchini
2 eggs
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp fennel seeds
a pinch of salt
sesame seeds for a sprinkle on top

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients including spices. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs and add in grated zucchini, cooked quinoa and melted coconut oil. Combine dry and wet ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a spatula. Pour the mixture into a prepared loaf tin and bake in the preheated oven (180) for 40 minutes or until cooked. Allow to cool before slicing.

Farmer’s Market Salad

kipflerpotato Despite the gloomy and bleak winter weather, salads for me make a way-to-go meal. Raw green salad is crunchy and light perfect with a light zingy dressing. Then on the other end of spectrum, cooked beans or roasted root veggies packed with spices and herbs are great as served warm on chilly days.

This particular salad was born just after I’ve been to the farmer’s markets. I just threw together all the fresh ingredients I got from the markets and here we have a roasted kipfler potato salad. The kipfler potatoes look like big fat fingers. They are originally from Germany and perfect for boiled or roasted potato salad. They are a great source of complex carbs as well as other nutrients including fibre, vitamin C, potassium, thiamin, manganese and copper. Make sure you are leaving the skin on where much of the potatoes nutritional value is. This salad is a combination of oven-roasted potatoes and zucchini, blanched yellow beans and chopped raw silverbeet dressed with light mustard dressing. It is super simple to prepare and I bet it will be perfect for a classic BBQ staple, too.
potatosaladIngredients (serves 2-4)

3-4 kipfler potatoes
1 medium size zucchini
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to season
1 cup of yellow beans
2 large silverbeets
30g Parmesan cheese

Mustard dressing
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp raw honey
pepper to taste

Place cleaned potatoes and chopped zucchini in a baking dish. Season and dress with olive oil. Bake in the preheated oven (180) for 15-20 minutes until cooked. In the mean time, blanch the beans and chop the silverbeets. Put all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. To assemble the salad, cooked potatoes, zucchini, beans and silverbeets in a large mixing bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Check seasoning and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with shaved Parmesan on top. It is great as a side dish or as a main either served warm or cold.


Chickpea Pear Salad

pear chickpea saladDon’t you love the meals that can be thrown together with seasonal bits and pantry stock and also makes you feel healthier and happier. I get stumped on what to cook every single day that is easy to prepare but super nourishing. This salad is exactly like that – easy everyday salad. Good crunchy pear mixed with greens and creamy chickpeas. The dressing I used here is really basic mustard-ey, sweet and sour taste that embraces all the ingredients and lighten up a little bit.


1 cup of chickpeas, soaked overnight
1/2 cup beetroot, grated
1 pear, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup of baby spinach
1 cup of cos lettuce, chopped
30g crumbled feta cheese
handful of walnuts, crushed


1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup or honey
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

To make a dressing, mix all dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning. Place in the fridge until using. Rinse the soaked chickpeas and cover with cold water in a pot. Bring it up to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until cooked. In the mean time, prepare veggies and place in a large mixing bowl. When chickpeas are cooked, drain and transfer into a mixing bowl. Pour about half of the dressing over salad and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving plate, drizzle with more dressing and sprinkle crushed walnuts on top.

Healthy Banana Peanut Butter Fudge

peanut butter fudgeThere is only one thing I can think of after a stressful day at work. Sweets! fudge, bliss ball, brownie, ice cream.. You name it, my body just calls for sugar. Though you don’t want to go overboard and sit with a dinner spoon and a tub of ice cream because you will end up feeling horrible and guilty afterwards. I try to make healthy snacks and keep in the freezer all the time, which not only helps me with cravings but also makes me feel totally repleted. Fudge is on the menu today 🙂

The first fudge I’ve ever had was back in Margaret river, WA. I walked into a fudge/ sweet shop and they offered a bite size for tasting. OMG it was sickeningly sweet and my stomach couldn’t handle it. I was expecting more like Korean fudge, which is normally made of chest nuts or adzuki beans that are natural ingredients and not-so-sweet. Anyway sadly, I never had any fudge since that experience. I wanted to make a simple and healthy fudge at home. You know making raw desserts can take time from soaking nuts and all that. But this  freezer fudge is not only super quick and easy to make but also decadent and devine.

Only one thing I want to point out is that you need to use a good quality peanut butter. If you are buying at the shops, read the labels before you put it in your basket. Ingredients should be organic peanuts, no added sugar, salt or oil. Alternatively, you can make your own healthy peanut butter using a high speed blender. On another note, the star of this fudge is peanut butter. However, you can simply replace it with other nut butters if you have peanut allergy. Who needs ice cream in hot summer days when you have this beautiful frozen fudge?
peanut butter fudge1Ingredients


1 tbsp flaxmeal
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dates
1 tsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
a pinch of salt
a bit of water

Put all ingredients in a food processor and blend until it comes together. Add a bit of water if the mixture is too dry. Pour the mixture into a prepared tin lined with a cling film or baking paper. Press firmly and evenly and place in freezer while making filling.


1/2 cup organic peanut butter
1 large ripe banana
2 tbsp coconut butter or coconut oil
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp maca powder (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
a pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour the mixture onto the base and spread evenly with a spatula. Place in the freezer at least 4-5 hours or overnight until set. Cut into little bite sizes and keep in the freezer.