Creamy tahini roasted veggies - to her core

Today’s recipe comes via a lovely little cookbook I received recently titled ‘Veganish‘ by Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose.

Veganish

What first struck me about this vegan cookbook was that it was actually written by a meat-eater. After following a Vegan/vegetarian diet for 20 years, Mielle started to include nutrient-dense meant products such as bone broths and organ meats after her 2 year old daughter was diagnosed with tooth decay caused by nutritional deficiency.  Mielle’s internal dilemma over whether or not meat and animal products really should be included in her own diet is evident throughout – she calls herself a ‘reluctant omnivore’ – and argues very persuasively for those who are staunchly for or against eating meat to fairly consider the opposing arguments. She ascertains throughout that whichever diet you choose, “pure and natural goods” should prevail with a strong emphasis on fresh vegetables, something I strongly agree with myself.

Though the book is filled with recipes, Mielle argues that she wants to inspire people to reach their “own potential as a confident, initiative, and skilled cook” and that she would love to see the cookbook on the nightstand rather than in the kitchen. And it easily could – Veganish is packed full of useful tips not just about ingredients and cooking techniques, but also about food labels and particularly those such as “organic”, “free range” and “grass fed” and what they really mean. The recipes throughout are simple to follow and cover all bases from Macadamia Coconut Porridge for breakfast to Miso Glazed Japanese Eggplant for dinner, and from Parsley-almond pesto to sauerkraut and kimchi. It includes a section on homemade vegan cheeses, milks and other dairy alternatives; and how to make the perfect salad dressing. At the end of the book is a useful resources section, as well as an in depth glossary.

VEGANISH creamy tahini roast vegetables - to her core

VEGANISH Roasted veggies with creamy tahini - to her core

If there is one criticism I would have of Veganish, it would be the lack of pictures – I’ve very visual when it comes to food and love to look at beautiful pictures to inspire me. But what the book lacks in pictures, it makes up for with descriptions and instructions, and though you can’t see the dishes, it’s easy to imagine how they would taste.

Mielle’s writing is honest and informative and this book takes things back to basics with a focus on real, plant-based wholefoods. Her recipes are easily adaptable and though completely vegan, this book would fit perfectly into the library of any meat-eaters looking for a little inspiration and knowledge on how to include more plant-based foods and recipes into their diet.

Veganish is packed full of gentle wisdom, useful tips and delicious recipes and I have no doubt it’s something that I will refer to again and again.

Roasted sweet potato and beetroot creamy tahini - to her core

The publishers of Veganish have kindly offered a free copy of the cookbook to a to her core reader. For a chance to win, just leave a comment below – I’d love to hear why you’d like to eat more “Veganish“. The winner will be drawn at random in a weeks time (9pm AEST, 1st December).

Creamy tahini roasted veggies + a giveaway

Recipe source: 'Veganish' by Mielle Chenier-Cowan Rose

Ingredients

  • Roasted veggies
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 medium beets
  • 2 small carrots
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 spring fresh rosemary, minced
  • Creamy tahini dressing
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp tamari
  • 2 - 4 Tbsp water, to achieve a pourable consistency

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 220 C || 425 F
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Combine the veggies with the oil, garlic, lemon slices and rosemary and toss to coat in a line baking tray.
  4. Roast until soft, around 50 minutes. Remove from oven, stir through the sauce, and return to oven for 3 - 5 more minutes to allow the sauce to dry out a bit and get a little sticky.
http://tohercore.com/creamy-tahini-roasted-veggies/

Disclaimer: Whilst I received a free copy of ‘Veganish’ to review, all thoughts and opinions within this post are my own.

Bondi savoury breakfast bowl - to her core

This past weekend I had one of my oldest and dearest friends come and visit from London. The last time I saw her was when I visited her a little over two years ago, and it was hard saying goodbye when we dropped her off at the airport not knowing the next time we would see one another. We are both a little slack at keeping in contact. I like to jokingly blame her – she’s not a social media fan at all which I use as an excuse, but admittedly I’m sure I could make more of an effort on my part.

I also went along to an amazing wedding of two friends which was gorgeously put together, with beautiful styling and fresh, delicious food – plus a fun rockabilly band that we danced away the night to. So today was a bit rough coming out of a fun three-day weekend and going back to a busy day at work!

Bondi breakfast bowl - tohercore

Bondi breakfast bowl -- to her core

But – onto this recipe. This savoury breakfast bowl is based on a delicious breakfast I had on holiday in Bondi a few weeks back. I wanted to recreate it for here, not only because it’s delicious and healthy, but also because it’s a great example of how adding a few simple flavours to standard ingredients like quinoa and sweet potato can completely transform a dish.

I often roast a few veggies and cook up a big batch of quinoa or other seed/wholegrain at the start of the week that I can quickly chuck into salads, turn into a stirfry or add to a soup. This is another great way to use those standard ingredients, and you could easily substitute other ingredients here, such as roasted pumpkin or cauliflower for the sweet potato or brown rice, freekah or buckwheat for the quinoa.

Though there are a few different components to this dish which may intially seem like a bit of an effort to pull together for breakfast, the main components can be prepared in advance in bulk to last you for breakfasts for the whole week. So that you don’t get bored of eating the same thing, try to add in something different each day – sub out the tofu for tempeh or a crispy egg, mix some fresh herbs through the quinoa, or mash other leftover veggies through the sweet potato miso mix.

Bondi breakfast bowl - to her core

Bondi breakfast bowl

Bondi breakfast bowl

Ingredients

  • Quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small handful chopped greens
  • 1 Tbsp coconut cream
  • 1/2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 Tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • Sweet potato
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste
  • Tofu/Tempeh
  • Avocado
  • Sauerkraut
  • Micro sprouts to garnish
  • Savoury seed granola

Instructions

  1. To make the quinoa, combine the coconut cream, tahini, tamari, sesame oil and coconut sugar in a small bowl and mixed until smooth. Stir through the cooked and cooled quinoa, and then mix through the greens.
  2. To make the sweet potato, peel and roughly chop and then roast in a hot (220 C) oven around 40 minutes, turning once. Remove from oven and allow to cool a little, and then add sweet potato to a bowl, add miso, and mash all ingredients together with a fork.
  3. To make the tofu/heat, heat a pan over medium to high heat. Add a little oil (I use coconut) and then add to tofu and fry a minute or two on each side until golden brown.
  4. To assemble bowl, add each component separately to the bowl, then top with sprouts and savoury granola.
http://tohercore.com/bondi-breakfast-bowl/

In keeping with our current theme of exercise and increasing fitness as part of the Shaping up for summer – the Healthy way series, we’re having a chat with Krista Stryker who runs the incredibly successful and inspiring blog 12 Minute Athlete. Krista is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to exercise and fitness, and her blog features an abundance of exercise routines, videos and tips for the beginner to the novice.  I signed up for Krista’s newsletters a few years back and more than a few times her emails have arrived at just the right time for me, giving me the extra motivation I needed to get myself to the gym when I’d already resigned myself to going straight home from work as I “didn’t really feel like exercising”. Asides from her uncanny knack of perfectly timing her newsletters, she’s also got some great knowledge and advice on the best ways to get the most out of your workouts. So without further ado, lets say hi to Krista!

Kryster Stryker - to her core
One of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to exercise is finding the time to fit it in among all their other commitments. What is the most effective way to exercise when you are time-poor?There’s no question that finding the time is one of the biggest excuses most people make for not working out. And that makes sense if you’re trying to go to the gym for an hour or more at a time—which is why I love high intensity interval training (HIIT) so much.Basically, HIIT is any sort of training where you alternate between periods of really intense training and rest for a really efficient, fast paced workout. Not only does HIIT allow you to get much more done in way less time than traditional moderate paced workouts do, you’ll also actually get in shape faster working out this way. Plus, since HIIT workouts will take you no more than 10 or 20 minutes to complete, you can always find time to fit them in your day, no matter how busy you are.Another challenge for some people is that they haven’t exercised much in the past and aren’t sure where to start. What would you suggest?

Starting a new workout habit can be very intimidating for people—but you have to realize that starting is the hardest part (it gets better from there, really!). If you haven’t exercised vigorously for a while, don’t try to do too much at first. You can start out by just adding more activity to your life—go on an easy bike ride, take a long walk with your dog, go for a hike on the weekend. Then, when you’re feeling up to it, try doing a HIIT workout two to three times a week to begin with. This is plenty for beginners, and much more than that will leave you feeling burnt out and too sore to accomplish much else.

Also, you should be aware that it these style of workouts will be hard at first, and may even feel close to impossible. That’s completely normal. Simply work as hard as you can, be consistent, and you will start to improve before you know it.

Ideally, how much should we be exercising per week to build up fitness, and then to sustain it?

This is a bit of a tough question, because it will be different for everybody and your own individual goals. For people looking to get in fairly good shape, gain strength, and lose some weight or extra body fat, anywhere from three to four times a week is probably ideal. Two is minimum, and one is not enough to help your body make changes. For those people looking to train for a sport or get in shape even faster, five or six days a week of HIIT training is a good amount of days to aim for. Always remember to take at least one day off a week of intense training to give your body time to rest and recover.If you’re simply looking to maintain your current level of fitness and aren’t really concerned about gaining new skills, two to three days is plenty as long as you keep your nutrition in check. However, once you start to make exercise a part of your lifestyle, you’ll probably actually want to work out more often because of how it makes you feel.

Kryster Stryker 1 - to her core

Do you have any tips on how to stay motivated and stick to an exercise regime?

The biggest piece of advice I give to my readers and clients to help them stay motivated (especially when they’re first starting out) is to simply commit to working out consistently for 30 days to start. The reason for that is that 30 days is enough time to create a new habit, and any less will just leave you feeling discouraged and like you’re not making any progress.Plus, after a month of consistent workouts, not only will you definitely feel the difference (more energy, stronger, less fatigue, etc.), you’ll probably start to see the difference in your body as well—and that is usually enough of a motivator for people to help them stick with it even longer (and hopefully create a lifelong habit of it).

Another thing I highly recommend to people trying to establish a new fitness habit is to keep track of your progress in either some sort of written journal or online workout log. At a minimum, you should keep track of how often you worked out, progress made in your workouts and any measurements you care about uch as your weight, body fat percentage, and your waist size. Then, when you need a little boost of motivation, all you have to do is go back and look through your old workouts to know that all your hard work is paying off.

Lastly, could you share with us your favorite workout that can be done in a short amount of time with little or no equipment?

I have lots of favorites, but here’s one that you can do with no equipment at all that will get your heart pumping, sweat pouring and muscles burning in just 12 minutes. You’ll need an interval timer to do it, then you’ll set your timer to 18 rounds of 10 second and 30 second intervals. You’ll be resting on the 10 second intervals, then working as hard as you possibly can on the 30 second ones. Don’t hold back! Intensity is key with HIIT workouts. You’ll end up going through the following circuit three times:

1. Burpees
2. Air squats
3. High knees
4. Reptile push ups
5. Jump lunges
6. Pike plank jumps
You can find short video demonstrations of each of the exercises over at Krista’s blog, as well as tons of other examples of HIIT workouts – be sure to check out Krista’s 12 Minute Athlete HIIT workouts app too!