Friday, 6 November 2015

TWO YEARS LATER and a recipe...

It's been two years since I wrote and shared anything on my old healthy-living-cooking blog.
Many times over this Year of Gentle Domesticity I've wanted to revisit, re-read, and take inspiration from the 50+ blog posts and walk back through those three and half years to remind myself of all the good I'd learned along the way, and also to update on what I've learned and applied in the past two years. 

Recently I deleted that old blog, but not before transferring all those blog posts over here, to my new healthy-living-kitchen-lovin-cooking blog.

 So let me say WELCOME because it's a privilege to have you visit "Cooked Simply, With Love"!

My plan is to post here once or twice a week (all food and health related) in between my main gig at Elefantz - which if you don't know is my design website & blog, 'cause when I'm not cooking and homemaking I'm a stitchery (embroidery) designer. 

Health background...

My hubby and I both have the auto-immune disease Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and find we are increasingly unable to tolerate wheat so I'm gradually re-inventing some old recipes my family love into versions that are wheat-free and more nutrient dense.

I've been a chronic migraine recipient since I was in at least 6th grade but with regular tracking over many years have narrowed down my food triggers (which I can manage) as well as weather and light triggers (which have a life of their own). My food and health choices play a massive part in helping me steer clear of many migraines that would otherwise swamp my life.
I can always tell when I've slipped off the health wagon because migraines knock on my head with back-to-back regularity - and that's what happened recently so it was a good nudge to begin blogging about health again and living it day by day.

I'm overweight by 18kgs (40 pounds) and on a gal who's just 154cm (5'1") that ain't nice.
And I'm not just talking about aesthetics. I'm talking about inside my skin!
My vital organs are crowded within visceral fat that can do serious damage to my health tomorrow, next month or next year. 
I've declared war on that fat for my health's sake and for my family's sake.
I don't want my family suffering with grief due to my premature death from heart attack, stroke or other medical issues which could have been avoided if I'd had the self control to watch what I ate, and more importantly for me, how MUCH I ate.

 Exercise is another area that needs my attention. We live in the tropics of North Queensland, Australia, and it's HOT. It's hot and HUMID. Exercising outside is unpleasant for 8 months of the year unless you go walking late at night or well before the sun comes up and whilst that used to fit into my husband's schedule last year it doesn't now, and I sure ain't walking alone in the dark. 
A gym is out of the question due to finances, but I did find an old video on Ebay last week of an exercise program I did daily back in 2001-2 which gave me great results so I've dusted off the VHS player ready to begin when the postman delivers it.
 Fortunately we have air conditioning and I work from home, so all I need do is schedule an exercise break each morning after hubby leaves for work. It's important that I make this a ritual five mornings a week so I'm not distracted by work - a downside of working from home is that there is always something to do right before your eyes and distractions are everywhere.

Dietary preferences...

Healthy food. 

As close to nature as God made it.
(yep, I'm a Christian who LOVES the Lord and His life giving truths)

I dabble with recipes that are found in the paleo, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, raw foodie, sugar-free, nourishing traditions & trim healthy mama lifestyles - working with the aspects which are best for our (mine and hubby's) individual requirements because each of us are so unique.

 I think you're getting my big picture by now?
Let me kick start Cooked Simple, With Love with a recipe that's just been posted on my Elefantz blog.
This is a wheat-free slice which will keep well in the fridge for a week.
I made it on Monday and have only had two small pieces since then, but it's really nice. I'm just exercising self control and reminding myself it's an occasional treat, not an everyday staple.
In fact, I'm going to freeze the rest. 

We have a NutriBullet and apart from making delicious smoothies and nutri-blasts, it also mills grain or nuts and seeds to flour. 
For this recipe you'll need oat flour (which you can purchase at the health food store) but if you have the right kitchen appliance why not make it yourself? 
 I mill a few cups of non-contaminated gluten-free oats at a time and after using what I need for a recipe the rest is stored in the freezer for my next baking day...

 MATRIMONY SLICE (wheat-free)

3/4 cup milled rolled oats, or purchased oat flour
3/4 cup almond meal (almond flour)
1/4 cup rolled oats
grated zest of one lemon
1 cup dessicated coconut
75g melted butter
75g coconut oil
1/2 cup rapadura sugar
1/4 cup raw honey
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1 heaped teaspoon aluminium-free/gluten-free baking powder
1/2 cup jam (100% fruit, no added sugar)
almond flakes

 Preheat oven to 180C (375F)
Grease and line a slice tray.

In a large bowl mix together the oat flour, almond meal, rolled oats, lemon zest, coconut, sugar, spice and baking powder.
In a large jug gently stir the melted butter, coconut oil, honey and egg until blended.
Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix well.
Press a little over half of the mix into the base of your slice tray.
Spread the jam across the top (if you warm the jam a little in your microwave it spreads very easily).
Crumble the rest of your slice mix over the jam.
Scatter the almond flakes across the top.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.
The top should be risen and golden brown. 

When cool, cut into 16 slices and store in your fridge.

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