Thoroughly Nourished Finds.

Our internet has been non-existent at home (insert sad face) and for two people who live on the internet like Chris and I do, this has been tragic. We’ve actually had to watch free-to-air television (cue re-runs of M*A*S*H* and too many variations of COPS) and talk to each other, oh and get on with that unpacking thing…. So in the precious moments of data usage I allow myself on my phone every night (a girl has to have her Pinterest time y’all) these are the things that have caught my eye, heart, and imagination.

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And that’s all folks! What’s been capturing your interest on the interwebs lately?

Grilled Mushrooms and Zucchini with Avocado Basil Pesto and Millet

Grilled mushrooms and zucchini are tossed in bright basil pesto with an avocado twist and served over buttery millet in this light but substantial gluten free, vegetarian dinner that is sure to become a weeknight favourite.

Grilled Mushrooms and Zucchini with Avocado Basil Pesto and Millet | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comWhen you are surrounded by piles of unshelved books and mountains of unpacked boxes it’s tempting to ‘just have something quick’ so that you can get on with the insurmountable ‘to do’ list, and forget about sitting down to a real meal. The same thing happens on busy weeks when you aren’t moving house. But in those busy moments, when it is so easy to forget about treating our bodies well, we should take a deep breath and a few moments to focus on thoroughly nourishing ourselves. Half an hour of self care can recharge your batteries and give you the energy to face down that ‘to do’ list and defeat it. That was my story last night. Instead of opting for the quick option (cheese, avocado and rice crackers) I took an hour (including 30 minutes to fuss about with photos) to myself between gym time and unpacking time to make a real meal, the first in our new house, and then I powered through our walk in robe for the rest of the night. Now, let’s talk about what fuelled my fashion foray. Grilled Mushrooms and Zucchini with Avocado Basil Pesto and Millet | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comFirst, let’s talk about this pesto. This stuff is dangerously easy to eat straight from the jar. Or spread on any available edible surface. Luckily I managed to control myself and most of it ended up in dinner. I love this avocado-spiked pesto so much. It’s creamy, and smooth but still has signature basil pesto flavour. And it’s super easy to make! In the bowl of a small food processor you just whiz together avocado, almonds, lemon juice, basil leaves, salt and pepper and then stir in finely grated parmesan right at the end. How easy is that!

The pesto is the star of this dish and can save you from many a midweek dinner problem. Some more ideas for this creamy, lemony, basil-filled flavour bomb:

  • Use as the dressing for potato salad
  • Toss with cooked pasta for a super quick dinner
  • Spread it on toast at breakfast time
  • Slather it on buns with veggie burgers
  • Dip your sweet potato fries in it

So many uses for this easy to prepare, bright and moreish condiment!Grilled Mushrooms and Zucchini with Avocado Basil Pesto and Millet | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comIn my midweek offering this week my amazing sauce coats hearty grilled button mushrooms and zucchini with a side of buttery millet. As soon as these photos were taken you can bet I mushed everything around so that even the millet was coated in creamy avocado and basil pesto. I just wanted to maximise the amount of pesto in my face. As soon as summer comes I am planting my own basil crop just so I can have this pesto on tap at all times! No more midweek dinner dilemmas!Grilled Mushrooms and Zucchini with Avocado Basil Pesto and Millet | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Grilled Mushrooms and Zucchini with Avocado Basil Pesto and Millet

Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 3 | Time: 30 minutes

Veganise it: simply leave out the Parmesan cheese for a vegan dinner!

For the omnivores: toss in some grilled chicken with your mushrooms!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dry millet
  • 1 1/2 cups salt reduced vegetable stock (or water)
  • 3 cups button mushrooms, halved
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped into half moons

For the Avocado Basil Pesto

  • 1 small ripe avocado
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons whole almonds
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup (packed) basil leaves
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

  1. Rinse millet thoroughly in water and drain well. Place in a medium size saucepan with the vegetable stock and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. When millet reaches boiling point, reduce heat to a simmer and cover the saucepan with a lid. Cook without stirring for 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Remove the millet from the heat and stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.
  2. While the millet is boiling, make the pesto sauce. In the bowl of a small food processor combine avocado flesh, garlic, almonds, lemon juice, and basil leaves. Puree until smooth. The thickness should be similar to mayonnaise. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water if required. Stir in grated parmesan, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. On a medium non-stick grill pan (or non-stick frying pan) saute mushrooms and zucchini until cooked but still firm. This should take about 5 minutes. Stir frequently.
  4. Once the vegetables are cooked toss the pesto through the vegetables.
  5. Divide millet between plates and top with pesto coated vegetables. Enjoy!

Grilled Mushrooms and Zucchini with Avocado Basil Pesto and Millet | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Thirty

We are officially moved in! Thanks to the hard work of family and some friends all our furniture, a library of books, our kitchen, and plethora of technological bits and pieces are now in our very own home.

Our very own home. I kept saying those words over and over again yesterday. I feel like I have to pinch myself to see if I’m in a dream. If I am, I don’t want to wake up.

This week, instead of going day by day through my Gratitude List, I want to share with you a list of things that I was grateful for in our new home.flowers on the table

 

  • First of all I am so grateful to our family and friends for helping us to move in on Saturday. Chris’s Dad came down from Toowoomba to help us, my Mum and Dad were absolute packing/dismantling/unpacking/reassembling rock stars, my sister came to help (she is small but mighty), and two of Chris’s oldest friends came to help with all the heavy lifting and loading. I am so grateful for all of them giving up part of their weekend to help us.
  • I am grateful that I get to share a home with my soulmate and best friend and every day is like a party when the two of us are together. Hard times there may be, but happiness and laughter, affection and love abound too. I am grateful for Chris and that we are having this grand adventure called life, together.
  • I am grateful that we are closer to my family again. I loved living in our house by the bay, but our new home is only twenty minutes from my parents and my sister and her husband, which makes me incredibly happy.
  • I am grateful that we live in such a diverse part of Brisbane! Our new area has so many interesting food spots, parks, and entertainment options to explore. Last night we stumbled across some cute little Korean cafes, an interesting Korean barbecue spot, and a Korean supermarket about a kilometer from our house! So many tasty adventures to be had!
  • I am grateful for this place. This place that is ours. Just Chris and me. Our safe spot, our own castle. Our home.

The last two mornings I have woken up in our new bedroom feeling like someone has just given me the most awesome Christmas present ever. My gratitude for this place runs all the way to the roots of my soul.

Dorothy said it best: there’s no place like home.

 

Celeriac, Parsnip, and Greens Soup with Quinoa, Feta and Chilli | Gluten Free | Vegetarian

A bright midwinter vegetarian soup filled with gnarly root vegetables, fresh greens, and herbs, and topped with a simple spicy quinoa garnish. This soup makes the most of deep winter greens and hardy winter vegetables. Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comI’m a greens-loving girl. I love big bowls of crunchy freshness, smoothies packed with spinach, and I’ve been known to snack on broccoli stems while making dinner. (It’s okay Mum I’m still eating cookies too.) In the middle of a biting winter night though, there is nothing more soothing than a big bowl of thick, flavoursome soup and this one comes packed with the goodness of greens too!Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup 1Celeriac is the ugly duckling of the vegetable world. It looks nubbly and knotted and really rather ugly. But just like that aesthetically challenged duck, when celeriac comes into its own it brings a singular beauty to the world, or your dinner table in this case. Celeriac tastes like the halfway point between celery and potato. Creamy, with a bit of a bite. You can roast it, mash it, or you can make delicious and hearty Celeriac, Parsnip, and Greens Soup with it. Celeriac is joined by the ultimate greens: kale and broccoli. Say hello to a boost of iron, vitamins A, C, and E, folate, and calcium! Bye bye winter colds!

This soup is so easy. I made it on a Monday night and enjoyed a boost of greens at lunchtime all week long. While you are sipping on a hard-earned cup of tea and massaging high-heel tortured feet (or sipping diet coke and wearing sweaty gym clothes like I was) you peel and chop a few parsnips, some onion, a large celeriac and a few cloves of garlic. Then pop the whole lot into some vegetable stock with a few large tablespoonfuls of herbs and let it bubble away while you relax for thirty minutes. Add some roughly chopped kale and a head of broccoli and you are just a puree away from hearty green heaven.  Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comThis soup is made extra hearty and filling by the addition of a dollop of spicy quinoa. While the soup bubbled away I boiled up some quinoa, and then let it cool to room temperature before tossing through some flavoursome extra virgin olive oil, chilli flakes and crumbled feta cheese. Every mouthful is a slurp of creamy, green, herby soup accompanied by the hearty chew of quinoa, salty feta, and a slight bite of chilli. Simple but perfect. Just what a midweek dinner should be. Serve up Celeriac, Parsnip, and Greens Soup with Quinoa, Feta and Chilli for dinner tonight!Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Celeriac, Parsnip, and Greens Soup with Quinoa, Feta and Chilli

Vegetarian | Vegan adaptation: replace feta with chopped black olives | Gluten Free | Serves 4

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to a month. Reheat on the stove over a gentle heat.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1 large celeriac
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups (1 litre) low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1 bunch of kale

For the quinoa

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 60 grams feta, crumbled (or olives for vegan option)
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

Method

  1. Peel and dice onion into medium chunks.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat and add onion. Sauté until tender.
  3. Peel and crush cloves of garlic and add to onion.
  4. Peel and dice parsnips and celeriac into large chunks. Add to pot and sauté a few minutes until the edges of the vegetables begin to soften.
  5. Add dried herbs and pepper and stir to coat vegetables in herbs.
  6. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once the pot is boiling, reduce the heat to very low and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer for thirty minutes or until vegetables are very soft.
  7. While soup is cooking prepare the quinoa. Place rinsed quinoa into a medium sauce pan and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes without stirring then remove from the heat and stand for five minutes. Then stir in salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Allow to sit until serving.
  8. Once the soup has been cooking for thirty minutes roughly chop the kale and broccoli (including stem) and add to the pot. Cook for a further ten minutes then remove from the heat.
  9. Use an immersion blender to blend soup until smooth. Place over a low heat to keep warm.
  10. Stir crumbled feta into quinoa.
  11. Ladle soup into bowls and top with quinoa mixture.

Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Twenty-Nine

And so the last week in our cottage by the bay begins! From next week on Thoroughly Nourished Life will be coming to you from a brand new kitchen! I can’t wait to see what new adventures we have together. I’m looking forward to having a space where all of our friends can gather and I can feed people once again. And so, here is a reflection of all we had to be grateful for this week in my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Twenty-Nine:

Monday: This afternoon I went for a big run after work and then got home to my poor sweetheart who had been in the dentist’s chair all afternoon having some pretty major work done. Then I made a big pot of soup while he napped and we enjoyed watching some Barefoot Contessa re-runs. I was grateful to a enjoy extra snuggles because of his sore mouth. wk 29 soup prepTuesday: Today I was contacted by the ever-lovely Bianca at Yum. Gluten Free Magazine to contribute to their upcoming August issue! I’ve got three recipes ready, and one is completely new and over the top, so keep an eye out for their next issue. I am so grateful that I have been able to work with Bianca and the Yum. team this year – they keep me thinking of new recipes that their readers would like and I get to share yummy gluten free food with even more people.

Wednesday:  Today I was grateful for a pause at the end of the day. I got home, put on a yoga video and namaste’d the stress right out of my body. I’m really enjoying trying to incorporate some more yoga into my life. I feel so calm afterwards!wk 29 cupcakesThursday: This afternoon we collected the keys to our house and it officially became ours! Thank you all so much for your support as we have been going through this process. I am so grateful that we now have our own little cottage and I can’t wait for all the new adventures and memories to begin! Tonight I went back to my Mum and Dad’s house to do some more packing and spend the last night in my room. I am grateful for all the support and help my parents have given us while we have been going through building our home.wk 29 keys to our houseFriday: This morning Mum and I shared a pot of tea after my run and before I headed off to work and I was grateful to start the day with puppy snuggles with Molly before a busy day. I was grateful to come home for some yoga practice and then enjoy sushi for dinner while Chris and I watched Deadliest Catch. Wild times.

Saturday: Today I started out with a big walk along the water and headed to Mum and Dad’s for some more packing….so…many…books…. Jess came to visit and brought lunch (one of the key features of an excellent sister) and Jess, Mum, and I headed to the house so Jess could see it for the first time. Chris and I even picked out curtains! I don’t even know this domesticated version of myself… Grateful to visit with my whole family – I’m getting out excited for moving day!wk 29 medibankSunday: Chris and I had a major sleep in this morning…like, 10am… I was grateful for the chance to just sleep and snuggle and talk about the house. This afternoon I went for a great 11km slow run along the water and I was grateful to come back home and enjoy the wind down with Chris before Moving Week begins!

Also this week:

Okay my dear readers, what are you grateful for this week? What have you got cooking in your kitchen?

Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free

Buttery gluten free cupcakes filled with sweet-tart passionfruit curd and topped with creamy white chocolate frosting. My passionfruit curd cupcakes with white chocolate frosting bring a ray of sunshine to any day that needs just a little sweet treat.Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI am crazy about cupcakes, just in case you couldn’t tell. In a world of hearty soups and grain-filled salads, they are the perfect (couple of) bite-size treat. And the cake : frosting ratio is far more favourable for a frosting fiend like me. A few weeks ago at the markets I spotted some beautiful winter passionfruit and I needed, needed I tell you, to do something more with them than just drizzle their sunshine-coloured innards over some thick Greek yoghurt for breakfast. Cupcakes were the perfect solution.Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI whipped up a batch of buttery, gluten free cupcakes, hollowed out the insides and then got to work making passionfruit curd. If you are apprehensive about making fruit curd, or have had a bad experience in the past, don’t worry. This curd is super easy to make. In fact, this was the first time I had ever made fruit curd so I was scared too! But this technique is easy to master, and once you do, the world of fruit curds is open to you! The three things that are important to remember when making curd are:

  1. have everything in place and measured before you start
  2. keep stirring, stirring, stirring
  3. pay attention to thickness and remove it from the heat when it resembles a thick custard

Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWhen the curd was cooled it was oh so perfectly sweet but tart and smooth and buttery, and nestled eagerly inside the cupcake hollows. To conceal this tart buttery treat I whipped up a batch of easy white chocolate buttercream and finished the cupcake with swirls of frosting. Chris and I both love this buttercream, and there may have been some post-frosting bowl licking done…Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSitting on their platter these cupcakes look very unassuming, but once you bite into a tiny treat you are rewarded with the surprise of passionfruit curd paired with the sweet white chocolate buttercream. I took these to work on Monday and they were by far the most popular flavour on display that day – and until I told someone they were gluten free, no one could tell!

Whipping up my favourite treats in gluten free form is one of the best results any kitchen experiment could have. So enjoy some experimenting in your kitchen! Get to making some gluten free passionfruit curd cupcakes with white chocolate buttercream for your nearest and dearest. Let me know if you do! Just tag your creations #nourishedlifecupcakes or @achatwin and let me know how your kitchen experiments are going! Remember, the sweetest part of making cupcakes is sharing with the ones you love!Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream

Note: make the curd first so that it has time to cool while you bake the cupcakes. This recipe will make extra passionfruit curd, which will keep in a well-sealed jar or container in the fridge for up to a week. It is rather enjoyable spread on toast, or swirled into yoghurt as a healthy dessert!

Gluten Free | Makes 15 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the passionfruit curd

  • 1/3 cup passionfruit pulp
  • 75 grams caster sugar
  • 60 grams butter, softened
  • 2 egg yolks

For the cupcakes

  • 70 grams brown rice flour
  • 60 grams sorghum flour
  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 80 grams butter, softened
  • 150 grams caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek/natural yoghurt

For the frosting

  • 100 grams white chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 125 grams softened butter
  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line two 12-hole cupcake tins with papers for 15 cupcakes.
  2. Make the curd first. Whisk together all ingredients in a small, heavy-based sauce pan. Set over low heat, and cook while constantly stirring, for about 10-15 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken. The curd will resemble a thick custard at this point. Remove immediately from the heat and pour into a clean jar or container. Refrigerate for an hour, or until cooled and set.
  3. Now, to make the cupcakes. In a medium bowl whisk together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, white rice flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. In the bowl of standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions.
  6. Add vanilla extract and beat in.
  7. Add flour in two parts alternating with the yoghurt. After each addition mix until just combined.
  8. Spoon batter into cupcake liners fill only two-thirds of the way to avoid spill-over.
  9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
  10. Remove cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool before decorating and frosting.
  11. Once cupcakes are cooled use the small end of a piping tip or a very sharp knife to cut a small (~1cm diameter and 1cm deep) cone from the top of the cupcakes. Spoon about a ½ teaspoon passionfruit into each cupcake.
  12. To make the frosting place the butter in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) and beat until light in colour and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  13. Add melted and cooled white chocolate, icing sugar, vanilla extract, and milk and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  14. Fit a piping bag with your choice of decorating tip, spoon frosting into bag and frost the top of the cupcakes.

Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Passionfruit Curd Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Twenty-Eight

This weekend was full of house excitement and cupcake baking experiments. I spent most of yesterday in my lab coat apron conducting experiments baking batches and batches of cupcakes while the wind howled outside. So I am taking a few minutes early on Monday morning to reflect on the past week and all there was to be grateful for. Here is my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Twenty-Eight.wk 28 orchidsMonday: I usually practice the mantra ‘never skip a Monday’ at the gym, but tonight I just needed to rest after last weekend’s 12km run and 10km walk. I relished just lying in bed after work and scrolling through Instagram and I was grateful to just take a few moments for myself.

Tuesday: Tonight I stopped at the gym on the way home from work. I was grateful for a silly thing really: the inbuilt solitaire game on the treadmill. It seems such a small thing, but tonight I needed something to occupy my mind as I made it through my 8km run.wk 28 bookWednesday: Chris and I are not ‘sport people’. But every year we watch the three games that make up the State of Origin and pretend to be football people. Tonight we had so much fun camped in front of the TV watching the game and eating mashed potato for dinner and cheering on our state team! And then we won! I was grateful for a night in our little cosy house watching a great game and cheering alongside Chris.

Thursday: Tonight I made it home from work before the sunset, which means the days are slowly, slowly getting longer again! I celebrated with a long walk along the waterfront while the sun set. I have been grateful for my time by the bay, and I was grateful for this way to wind down on a Thursday night.wk 28 sunset runFriday: Today I received a lovely surprise in the mail – printed copies of the Medibank Warm-Up recipe book I contributed to! It was such a delight to see my name in print, and to see my recipes professionally styled and photographed. I was grateful to have the opportunity to collaborate on this book, and to see my name on the printed page!wk 28 breakfastSaturday: Today was great from start to finish. I got up early and smashed out an 11km run before Chris and I joined Mum and Dad to inspect our house! This is the first time we have actually seen inside, and I was grateful for the chance to acquaint ourselves with our new home, and to notice some of the little things that will really make it ours. Afterwards we debriefed at the café that is just down the road from my house! I have always hoped to have a little corner spot, and this one serves great food (including lots of gluten free options) and beautiful coffee. I am so grateful that this dream of our own home is coming true. Chris and I speedily purchased some other furniture (we are get in, get it done, and get out people) and even survived a trip to IKEA (#relationshipstatusachieved). We wound down the evening with a Liam Neeson flick and far too much chocolate.Chris and Amy houseSunday: Today my walk was windy and cold! I was grateful to pause for a moment and stare out across the water and have a chat to Mum on the phone. Sometimes you need a heart to heart with your mum, and I am grateful I have mine just a phone call away. The rest of the day was spent experimenting with new gluten free cupcake recipes and then Chris and I curled up to watch Frozen Planet. Have you seen this documentary? Outstanding. I was grateful for a slow end to the day.

Also this week:

Apple, Pear and Almond Crumble | Gluten Free

Long winter evenings call for cosy desserts. Grab a bowl of my gluten free Apple, Pear and Almond Crumble and snuggle up somewhere comfy for the long night ahead. Winter is here, and the forecast is sweet. Apple, Pear, and Almond Crumble | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI love fruit crumbles, especially in winter. Seasonal fruit roasted in its own juices and a touch of spice until the pieces melt into sweetness, and on top a crispy-edged, biscuit-like topping featuring crunchy roasted almonds and warming almond meal. I love the double almond flavour hit in this crumble topping!

Almonds have secret super powers too that boost the healthy aspect of this crumble! Almonds are super healthy for your heart, with high levels of monounsaturated fats (the good kind of fat), and very high levels of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is important for protecting your heart and blood vessels, and improves skin quality. I love eating almonds as an easy snack, or using them as a topping on my favourite salads. Apple, Pear, and Almond Crumble | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis crumble starts with a base of pears and apples mixed with cinnamon, cardamom, a hint of vanilla and a touch of brown sugar. You tumble the spiced fruit into a baking dish and then whip up the crumble topping. I used quinoa flakes, almond meal, brown sugar, and more cinnamon and cardamom. Quinoa flakes replace the traditional oats to ensure this crumble is entirely gluten free, but all the other classic elements are here: brown sugar, spice, and a touch of butter. This is the simplest crumble topping, but it bakes up into an almost cookie-like crust atop the bubbling, sweet spiced fruit. Mmmm. Crispy cookie crumble…..Apple, Pear, and Almond Crumble | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeCrumbles are the cosiest of winter desserts, and this one is healthy enough to pass for breakfast too. For dessert I topped it with vanilla ice cream which melted down amongst the stewed fruit and mingled with the thickened spiced fruit juices. For breakfast the next morning I topped leftovers with a generous dollop of thick Greek yoghurt. It was enough to fuel me through a day of shopping for a microwave, towels, and frying pans for the new house. Shopping is much more pleasant when you have a belly full of Apple, Pear and Almond Crumble.

There is really nothing complicated about making a crumble, and they are perfect for a family dinner dessert, or even a dinner party. Everyone loves a warm bowl of apple crumble topped with a spoon of cool creamy vanilla ice cream. If you are searching for a cosy winter treat for your family, you can’t go wrong with warm fruit and crispy cookie topping. This Apple, Pear and Almond Crumble ticks all of my boxes for winter dessert: easy to make, filled with spice, hearty, and soul-warming. Trust me, this crumble is sure to become a family favourite in your house too. Apple, Pear, and Almond Crumble | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Apple, Pear, and Almond Crumble

Gluten Free | Serves 6-8 | Leftovers keep up to two days in the refrigerator, covered tightly with plastic wrap

Ingredients

For the fruit

  • 2 large pears
  • 3 large apples
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (ensure this is gluten free)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the crumble topping

  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 cup butter (60 grams), melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup almonds, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and get an 8 x 6 (around 8 cup) casserole or baking dish ready.
  2. Core and chop fruit into a large dice. I kept the skin on mine for extra fibre and flavour.
  3. Place fruit into a large saucepan along with brown sugar, cornflour, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir to ensure the fruit is coated in the cornflour mixture.
  4. Add vanilla and lemon juice and place over a low heat. Stir constantly until the sugar is melted and the juices have thickened slightly.
  5. Tumble fruit mixture and all the juices into the prepared casserole dish and allow to cool while you prepare the crumble topping.
  6. Whisk together quinoa flakes, almond meal, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir in melted butter and egg until the crumble comes together.
  7. Crumble topping over fruit and then top with chopped almonds.
  8. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the topping is golden and the fruit feels soft when probed with a metal skewer.
  9. Remove crumble from the oven, allow to stand for 10 minutes and then serve topped with ice cream or Greek yoghurt, if desired.

Apple, Pear, and Almond Crumble | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis post was inspired by my new-found friends at Nuts.com . We were  talking about how much we love almonds, and how they can help to boost your health – Nuts.com even has a “health benefits of almonds project” on right now! We want everyone to be as excited about almonds as we are! As you can tell, I am nuts for almonds, and Nuts.com have a great range of almonds and almond products (I’m especially looking forward to some of their dark chocolate coated almonds for a quick dessert option). Please note: I was not compensated for this post by Nuts.com at all. I am merely speaking about my love of almonds and sharing my discovery of this new website with all of you!

Thai Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles | Vegan | Gluten Free

Spicy chickpeas in creamy red curry and coconut sauce top healthy sweet potato noodles for an easy, healthy dinner that’s ready in less time than it takes to wait for delivery!Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifePut down that takeaway menu! Let’s make a healthy dinner to start the week. This dinner is filled with classic Thai food flavours updated with a healthy nourished life twist. You can have all those savoury, spicy, sweet flavours you crave in this lighter, updated version of red curry with noodles. I love Thai flavours. There are so many layers of spices, herbs, and fresh ingredients that come together to create truly crave-worthy food.

Eating Thai food at a restaurant can be challenging for people who need to eat gluten free though because you are never quite sure of what sauces the kitchen is using, although I am lucky that Chris and I have found one or two spots near us that are gluten-free aware. And, let’s face it, eating Thai food at a restaurant also means I am going to order a big dish of white rice (yes, sir, that is all just for me) and perhaps an adult beverage or two. Not really the vibe I want to start my Monday night with. And takeaway food always comes in way too big containers that are somehow mysteriously empty by the time I’ve finished an episode of True Detective…Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMost of the time, for the sake of our health, wallet, and my skinny jeans, I would rather cook at home. Our fridge is always loaded with fresh vegetables and with a few other store cupboard ingredients you can whip up easy, healthy Thai inspired food at home in less time than it would take for the delivery man to find your house and for you to find PJs you are comfortable answering the door in. This red curry chickpea dish is ready in under twenty minutes! How’s that for fast food!
Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe most important thing about making healthy food taste delicious is layering flavours. When your tastebuds are happy and satisfied you truly feel like you have eaten a meal, not some shadow of a dish with the label healthy slapped on it (I’m looking at you tasteless restaurant garden salad). In this dish we start with a flavour base of finely diced red onion, capsicum, and garlic. We add a healthy dose of red curry paste, canned chickpeas, light coconut milk, and a squeeze of lime. So many flavours that meld together! While our curry stays warm we shred some sweet potatoes with a julienne peeler (you could use a fancy spiralizer or a mandoline slicer instead) then quickly fry them off with cumin and a few chilli flakes for extra heat!

With the scent of red curry and coconut mixed with fresh, floral coriander leaves you will feel like you have been transported to your favourite Thai spot. But here, you can wear PJs and watch Game of Thrones in bed. You know, like some of us do….Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

 

Thai Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 2 (easily multiplied) | Leftovers keep nicely for a day or two in the refrigerator

Note about heat: adjust the amount of red curry paste used for less heat if you are sensitive, or if you are serving this to kids. You can also leave out the chili flakes from the noodles to reduce the heat.

Note about meat: For my omnivorous friends, this also works well with chicken breast. Your cooking time may be a little longer as you need to ensure the chicken is cooked all the way through. I recommend dicing into 2cm cubes if using chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 large red capsicum
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 heaped tablespoon red curry paste (adjust to taste – see note)
  • 400 gram can chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Sprinkle of chili flakes (see note)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Fresh coriander leaves to serve

Method

  1. Peel and finely chop onion and finely dice capsicum.
  2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, capsicum, and garlic and fry until onion is translucent.
  3. Add red curry paste and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring. Add chickpeas and stir to coat completely in curry paste. Pour in coconut milk and stir to combine. Reduce to heat to it’s lowest setting and allow to simmer.
  4. Peel sweet potato and shred into long thin strips using a julienne peeler.
  5. Heat remaining olive oil in a small frying pan. Add shredded sweet potato, cumin and chili flakes and cook, stirring until sweet potato is softened.
  6. Place sweet potato noodles into bowls. Stir lime juice into chickpea mixture and then divide between bowls.
  7. Sprinkle over coriander leaves to serve.

Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 – Week Twenty-Seven

This week has been full of blessings: a new life brought into the world, a good meeting at work, yoga, big runs, and lots of time with friends and family. Life is about to change in a big way with our new house, and I am waiting on the edge of this new adventure with excitement for the blessings ahead. I am grateful for the life Chris and I are building together. Now for my Nourished Life Gratitude List 2015 Week Twenty-Seven:wk 27 leavesMonday: Today one of my close school friends, Michelle, gave birth to her first child, a beautiful little girl named Belle. Congratulations Michelle and Mani, and welcome to the world beautiful little Belle. I am so grateful that everything went smoothly, and grateful that our ‘family’ can welcome another wonderful spirit to its folds.wk 27 bookTuesday:  A few months ago I talked about how much I learned from Gretchen Rubin’s first book ‘The  Happiness Project‘ and I have just started her latest book ‘Better Than Before‘. I am really enjoying the science behind her suggestions for habit creation and the personal stories she shows along the way. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn about how to make my life better and improve the energy I can give to the people around me.

Wednesday: Today I was not at my best. I had some stress in my belly and I couldn’t figure out what it was about. I am grateful to Chris for hugging me and putting up with my stress storm. I am also grateful that I could just chill out in our lounge room, do some yoga, and just wind down and get my soul back in order.wk 27 bowl of dinnerThursday: Today we had a big meeting at work. Usually I get really stressed but today I was working with some of my favourite guys and although we did get serious work done, we had some fun along the way. I was grateful for a serious, but light-hearted full-on day of getting stuff done.

Friday: Tonight after work I had dinner with two of my oldest and best friends. Caroline, Josie, and I had a girls’ night dinner and spent the whole evening talking about everything happening around us at the moment. Caroline made delicious individual moussaka for dinner (seriously, so good) and Josie brought wine, and after dinner we dug into a gluten free version of Joy’s classic lemon bars. I was grateful to catch up with Josie and Caroline and to nourish my soul with their company. wk 27 dinnerSaturday: This morning I met up with Mum and Jess for breakfast at the markets. We enjoyed thick slices of orange hazelnut bread and cappuccinos for breakfast and filled our market bags with colourful midwinter produce. I was grateful to get back to the markets and stock up on healthy body food for the week. After the markets I headed to the gym for a nice long run. I set my mind and managed to accomplish my 12km goal! This is probably my favourite long weekend run distance and I was grateful that I made it happen. Tonight Chris and I joined Mum, Dad and Jess (Trent was at the football) to have a great family dinner (mushroom risotto for the win) and watch Minions! These little dudes (?) are so fun and they have become a common love for everyone in my family; plus, the cutest one’s name is Bob – the same as my Dad :) I was grateful for a laughter-filled night of family fun. It’s the simple, non-complicated fun that nourishes the base part of our soul the most in this complicated world.wk 27 artichokesSunday: We only have a few weeks left in our bay cottage and so I made sure to head out for a long walk by the water this morning. I soaked up some rays and then Chris and I headed out to get more things for our house! We finally found our dining room table, which made me so grateful because I know we are going to make some great memories with our friends and family around our new table. wk 27 walk

Also this week:

  • I made a cake to celebrate….having some cake!
  • Let’s run, let’s earn points, and let’s reward ourselves with this new service!
  • Tacos aren’t just for Tuesdays – they can be quick and healthy food all week long – try my latest chickpea filled favourite!