Sunday, 29 December 2013

Healthy Snacking: Garlic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas! I was very lucky- I got a new pantry, a butchers block and a juicer. 

I am so thankful for my new gifts, I am in love with them! Today I tried my first ever green juice-  I posted it to my Instagram (healthyindesign) and you can find the ingredients there. 

But today, after snacking on leftover Christmas foods for the past week I have been craving something with some nutritional value. As promised, my garlicky pumpkin seeds! 

Take 1/3 cup of pumpkin seeds, add a dash of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of minced garlic and a dash of sea salt and pepper. 
Stir to combine. 

Spread the seeds out on a greased baking tray. 

Roast at 180 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. 

Once roasted, let them cool on the tray before the snacking commences or if you can hold off for a while you can put them in an airtight container for a couple of days. 

They are crunchy, salty, garlicky and delicious! Try them, even if you've never had pumpkin seeds before. You'll love them! 

-Grace

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Balsamic Salad Stuffed Butternut

I have been a busy little bee lately! It is the holiday season and I feel like I've been going here, there and everywhere! My brother got married early this month and in honour of that I changed my hair colour to red, like his is.

I'm having Christmas lunch at my house with my boyfriend, our housemate, my parents, and our best friend. It'll be interesting but preparing for Christmas is no easy feat! I've been using my Christmas planner to get me through. (Get yours here )

In the meantime, I am of course trying to stay healthy and not fall into the junk food trap that often comes along with Christmas! The other day I bought a butternut pumpkin. I've seen so many stuffed butternut pumpkin recipes but I have just never been a big fan of what people stuff veges with so have never really tried to make one for myself. 
But then I had an idea. One of my fave salads from a Moroccan restaurant is a spinach and butternut pumpkin salad dressed with balsamic vinegar. And then I thought, what if I took out the middleman and just stuffed the salad right in the butternut? 

And that's how this was born. 

Balsamic Salad Stuffed Butternut Pumpkin

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. 

Cut squares into your butternut pumpkin, being careful not to pierce on through the other side. I didn't bother removing the seeds from my pumpkin but you can if you want. 

I spritzed a little oil on my pumpkin and rubbed it in garlic and oregano (dried, from my herb garden). 

Put in oven for 30-40 minutes. 

While this cooks, prepare your filling. 

I had spinach, tomato, red onion, feta cheese and sprinkled flax seed and a bit if Parmesan on the top. Then I drizzled on the balsamic dressing (balsamic vinegar mixed with a bit of oil). 

Once the pumpkin is done, simply add your filling and pile it on top! This was divine and even boyfriend approved!



I loved the pumpkin seeds, they were so flavourful and delicious. I scooped them out and grilled them for a bit longer until they were crisp and crunchy. It was amazing! I'm going to make some garlicky pumpkin seeds to snack on throughout the week! 

I hope you enjoy this too, let me know :)

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!

-Grace

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Fashion School: Neo Closure S/S 14

So I know I often don't post pictures of my work but I spent months on this three body collection inspired by art nouveau and 'Lolita' (the book/film) so I thought I would share it with you. Let me know what you think!




















 We actually had quite a few malfunctions on the day (of course!). We had an invisible zipper break, a few mishaps with hook and eyes, the usually beautiful lake had been drained and there were lots of people walking in and out of photos. I can't believe how inconsiderate people can be at times! But all in all I'm happy with the pictures and for once am proud of what I have achieved. 
Thanks for looking!
-Grace


Free Christmas Planner Printables!

Is everyone getting excited for Christmas? I didn't realise how close it was until I tried to organise a weekend to catch up with a friend, we're both incredibly busy until about the week before Christmas! Time will fly this year. That's why I need something to help keep me organised and keep my budget on track so I don't overspend like pretty much every year ever.

There are other planners you can download for a price, some are $20+!

So here's my option for free for personal use. All fonts were downloaded from here.
DOWNLOAD HERE




Here's mine, bound up and ready to go!


-Grace

Monday, 28 October 2013

Halloween Time! "Pickled Eyeballs" Jelly Shots


As I often tell everyone, Halloween is definitely my holiday. I love scary movies, ghost stories, skulls, jack'o lanterns, and Tim Burton films. I have been spending my free time lately doing some costume design for 2 projects- one was a short film called 'M is for Mutant' and one was the promo for Monster Fest, a festival held in Melbourne dedicated to horror movies- new, old, Australian, International- just all good horror films. You can watch it here:


And buy tickets here

As I was saying, I love horror AND Tim Burton films. They're just so left-of-centre and take me back to my childhood. So this year, as part of Byron and my annual Halloween party, we made the theme 'Tim Burton'. Byron went as Batman, later transforming into the joker when someone else showed up as Batman (he couldn't have that!) and I went as Zero, Jack Skellington's ghost dog from 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'. 



I made a Frankenweenie cake, the recipe is from Sprinklebakes. It was a big hit, even though I'm not too adept at cake making, it was the first time I used rolled fondant, I couldn't find half the ingredients and I don't own a rolling pin!


Also, I'd already had a couple of my 'pickled eyeballs' aka green jelly shots! These were such a big hit and I would make them again in a heart beat, they were so easy! I also made red jelly ones that were a bit more potent (don't get me wrong, the green ones are plenty potent too!) To do this, just replace a little bit more of the cold water with vodka. All together I made 60 jelly shots. 




'Pickled Eyeballs' Alcoholic Jelly Shots

It should me noted that these can be made without alcohol, just replace the vodka with extra cold water.

Makes about 30 jelly shots

You'll need:
  • plastic shot cups
  • 1 2g pack of Green jelly 
  • eyeball lollies
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup of vodka* (for non-alcoholic replace with cold water)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
*Can be substituted with different alcohol

Prep ahead and make sure your vodka AND cold water are in the fridge together to ensure they are both the same temperature.

Line a baking tray with baking paper to keep everything neat. Also make sure you clear space in the fridge for the jelly! 

Follow your jelly packet's instructions for making jelly, until the cold water part.
This is usually- stir 1 cup of boiling water with jelly crystals until dissolved. 

Now add the cold water, stirring, followed by the vodka. Carefully pour the jelly into the shot glasses until they are 2/3 full. I made my jelly in a jug so that this was easier. 

Depending on the size of your eyeball lollies, you can either put them in now, which is what I did, as they will hold their place even without the jelly set. Otherwise, wait until the jelly has firmed up a little bit but not too much so you can gently slip in the eyeballs.

Leave to set for 4 hours or overnight. 






-Grace


Friday, 4 October 2013

Friday Feature: Homemade Ketchup from SkinnyTaste

This recipe is from SkinnyTaste.com and you can find it here


What a day! It's my last week of holidays, I have to return to all the torture of uni on Monday and wouldn't you know, I don't have half my work done! Typical... I found better ways to spend my days, obviously! I thought I could push it off until the weekend but I now have a trial at a store in the city tomorrow and a dress rehearsal for an upcoming short film on Sunday. How will I get everything done??

One thing I have decided is that I am going to have a damn fine tasty meal before the week is out and this... oh boy.... this is just the PERFECT accompaniment to what I have planned (fish and chips!).
As a kid, I loved tomato sauce. As an adult, I also love it. Buuuuut I don't love all the added preservatives and sodium that often comes with store bought sauce. Enter homemade tomato sauce (or ketchup for my international readers)! When I first tried this recipe I was so, so excited and continuously poured some sauce out on my finger and was so amazed at how it tasted exactly like the store-bought variety. It passed the boyfriend test too, it just tastes exactly the same!! And it was so incredibly easy to make, I will never buy store bought tomato sauce again!





On with the recipe:

Ingredients:



  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup honey (or agave)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
Method:

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk until smooth.


Once it boils, reduce to a simmer. The recipe said for 20 minutes but I found that it spattered a lot, even on my smallest flame, so I moved it so that the flame only touched a little bit of the pan so it wasn't so exposive. Continue to stir it every now and then. Remove from heat and keep covered until cool. 


Then you can store it in a container in the fridge- mine has kept for 2 weeks thus far but I've read that it will keep for even longer. I put mine in an old sauce bottle I had and everyone is none the wiser heh heh heh. 

There you have it, my first Friday Feature. Thank you to SkinnyTaste for the recipe, check out her blog for more amazing recipes. 

-Grace



Sunday, 29 September 2013

Baked Sweet Potato Wedges

Hello there!

Well I am a girl who keeps her promises. It may take me a while to fulfil them but you'd better believe I will! So, as promised, my BAKED SWEET POTATO WEDGES recipe is here at last.





Serves 2 mains or 4 sides

Prep Time- 5-10 minutes with 20-30 minutes of soaking time
Cooking Time- 20-30 minutes

Ingredients
-decent sized sweet potato (or two smaller ones)
-olive oil spray
-steak seasoning
-paprika
-garlic powder
(These three can be swapped for other spices, such as Mexican seasoning, Cajun seasoning etc etc- just watch your heat levels!)

Optional:
-light tasty/mozzarella cheese
-plain Greek yoghurt or sour cream
-sweet chilli sauce

Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius.

Cut up your sweet potato into wedge-sized pieces (size depends on how much you like the sweet potato's natural flavour- if not much, cut smaller) I don't believe in microwaving the potatoes to soften them up, and for this recipe please don't! Please don't use a paring knife to cut the sweet potato, use a chef's knife or other large knife. It may be daunting but you have proper control over a large knife that you just can't have with a paring knife. I'm thinking of doing a post on proper knife skills one day... Maybe even a video...

Once you have cut the sweet potatoes, place the wedges into a bowl of warm/hot water and leave for 20-30 minutes. Pat dry.

Grease a tray or wire rack with oil.
Now, you can choose to either place your spices in a bowl, spray your wedges with oil and swish them around or you can do what I do and place the wedges on the tray, spritz with oil (to control my oil spray, I don't hold down continuously, I just go *spritz-spritz-spritz*), add the seasoning to one side of the wedges and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Then remove the tray, flip the wedges and repeat. I find that this way gives me better control over the spice-to-wedge ratio. With the other method, oftentimes one side will come out with no spice. Nobody likes no-spice side!

To check if your wedges are done, use a fork to gently see if the insides are a nice firm- not too hard, not too soft. You want to still be able to pick them up and dip them but don't want them tasting all raw-potato-ey.

You can either choose to add cheese over the top of the wedges now or what I usually do is put them in a bowl and top with a little bit of cheese (because cheese is my weakness and otherwise I might be a bit too heavy-handed) and then microwave them until the cheese is melted. This method makes the wedges ultra-hot though so they need about ten minutes of cool-down time (which I hardly adhere to, my poor burnt mouth will attest to).

Top with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and some sweet chilli sauce.


Hmm.... my tummy just rumbled....


Please let me know what you think!


And hey, to those who follow my blog, I will soon be starting "Friday Features" where I feature a tried and tested recipe to share with you guys! Hey, someone has to do all the hard, delicious work and really, I don't mind!!

-Grace



Monday, 19 August 2013

Using Pinterest For A Healthy Lifestyle (And the best health & fitness boards to follow)

Using Pinterest For A Healthy Lifestyle 

(And the best health & fitness boards to follow)

I'm a Pinterest addict. People say it's just for brides and stay-at-home mums, well I scoff at that. I use it for design inspiration, planning my future home and of course, for healthy eating. I meal plan like crazy, it's the only way to be healthy every day. You need to know what you've got planned for lunch, otherwise you might just grab the not-so-healthy but super convenient fast food. 

I follow "Pinners" who post healthy recipes and fitness tips and during the week, I collect them on my own "Healthy Recipes" board which I then refer to when I'm meal planning on the weekend. I've tried so many different healthy recipes because of Pinterest and so many of them are delicious and eye-opening. 


So I have compiled a list of which Pinners I follow for healthy eating recipes and advice and now I'm going to share it with you!

1. My Plate http://pinterest.com/MyPlateRecipes/

My Plate is an American government-organised website whose aim is to educate the population about nutrition. 

"MyPlate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image—a place setting for a meal. Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl. To learn more about building a healthy plate, select a food group below."


I mainly love them because they organise EVERYTHING. There's fruit boards, there's protein boards, there's breakfast boards and even a desserts board. And they constantly remind you of their plate logo which shows what a balanced diet looks like. 

2. Popsugar Fitness http://pinterest.com/POPSUGARFitness/


Popsugar use their Pinterest to post fitness inspiration, workout videos as well as healthy recipes. One of their workout videos has gone absolutely viral over Pinterest, and it's a good one! They also post fitness challenges and have plenty of inspiration to keep you motivated for good!

3. Undressed Skeleton http://pinterest.com/taralynnmcnitt/


What I love about Taralynn McNitt is that her Pinterest boards are fun. She doesn't have a "brand" Pinterest, she uses it for herself too. She repins recipes from her blog on Tumblr which are always brightly labelled. And I swear, does she have a knack for salads. Never again will you see a boring salad on her boards. 


4. SkinnyTaste http://pinterest.com/skinnytaste/



With over 50 boards of delicious, healthy recipes, Skinny Taste is one of my all time favourites. They reinvent classic dishes to make them lighter and have healthy recipes for EVERY occasion. They're so well organised ensuring yummy, healthy recipes are simple to find. 

5. Whole Foods http://pinterest.com/wholefoods/


Whole Foods is a grocery store in America that encourages healthy eating, thoughtful shopping, caring about the environment as well as local communities. And they post delicious recipes (I've tried their brown rice risotto and loved it SO much). But they don't take themselves too seriously, they also post a lot of fun things with inspirational names for their boards like "You're beautiful", "Mum rocks!" and "#Healthyeah!". The photography of their own images is also beautiful, which works well for a site all about collecting images!

6. Chobani http://pinterest.com/chobani/


Chances are, if you're reading this blog, you know how much I love Chobani. So of course I follow them on Pinterest, where they post healthy recipes that use Chobani and showcase their fans recipes! All mixed in with a bit of humour too. 


7. Best Health Magazine http://pinterest.com/besthealthmag/



Best Health Magazine are great for recipes, diets, as well as information about nutrition, fitness and wellbeing. They also post workouts and inspiration. 

8. Eating Well Magazine http://pinterest.com/eatingwell/



Eating Well Magazine post healthy recipes of every kind including lighter cheat meals and My Plate recipes. Their boards are well organised and the recipes all look mouth-watering thanks to the excellent photography. 

9. Shape Magazine http://pinterest.com/shapemagazine/



Shape Magazine pins workouts, recipes, inspiration as well as information on health and fitness. They also have fashion and beauty boards as well as a "Hot fitness guys" board, just to keep the ladies entertained while looking around for healthy recipes!

10. Easy Lunchboxes http://pinterest.com/easylunchboxes/





Last but not least we have Easy Lunchboxes. Where would Pinterest be without Bento inspiration?? Easy Lunchboxes post a lot of recipes geared towards kids, but hey, sometimes I want fruit that has a love heart scored into it. Good looking lunches aways make you feel better after a long morning and this is THE place for lunchbox inspiration. 


So there you have it, 10 health and fitness Pinners you can find on Pinterest. Replace all the images if sinful sweets with images of luscious, nutritious food!
You can also follow my own Pinterests:

Some other Pinners you may like to follow:

The Biggest Loser Au- http://pinterest.com/biggestloserau/



What Pinners do you guys follow? 



-Grace
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