Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Year That Was...

Hello, hello friendly friends!!
A happy, happy New Year!! Can you believe it??
I almost want to say 'Where did 2015 go!?' and then I remember all of the utterly incredible things that happened last year and remember that 2015 was in fact a huge year filled with many many amazing memories!

But enough about everyday life- how about a little reminiscing on the year that was... food style?

Steph To Chef launched into it's second full year of existence in January 2015 with a BANG!

Well, with a post about food, running items and a love of white sweet potatoes (nothing new there) on the 1st Of January:

Things I've Been Loving On!
 January followed without a hitch with  delicious food creations and even more excitingly...

Spaghetti Squash!! In AUS!!
Spaghetti Squash! You see, AUS doesn't really sell spaghetti squash or even kabocha (nooooo!) all that often, so when one finds it... one buys ALL of it!

The earlier months to follow Jan saw the production of some of my most insightful and thought provoking posts, that got quite a few of you engaged in conversation too.

The Real-Life RD Has A Point
 I brought up such topics about not eating enough, this drive to be skinny.

Fad Diets- A Few Of My Favourites
And even created a post surrounding my uncertainty surrounding stevia:

Stevia- The Reason For My Skepticism

 March saw my highest number of posts with a whopping 27!! (Good job hard studying, time poor, senior school sutdent, Steph! ;P)

Through the months I seemed to become more accustomed to having to deal with cravings...

A Craving
 Anything from oats to veggies to potatoes... they just kept coming. And I just kept feeding the beast:)

In exercise terms, this year saw a drop in the crazy level of running I was doing:

How Competition Has Reignited the Running Bug
 As we delved into winter, big hearty bowls of food resulted... and I wasn't complaining:

WIAW #68 Just Another Manic Monday
 It was around this time that I was having a little blender trouble..

Thinking Out Loud- Blender Catastrophe

 And finally manned up and with basically all the money I had saved from my part- time job bought my very own VITAMIX!

Thinking Out Loud- The Vitamix Edition!!!!!

 Soon after, jetting off to Africa for my school's humanitarian trip to Tanzania!

There were a few more slightly controversial and definitely a little tougher posts (in the sense that they weren't my beloved fluffy, airy-fairy happy food posts) that seemed to get a lot of attention:

Ignoring Hunger- The Consequences


What followed this was a hectic time of finishing last minute assignments, crammed tests and end of year exams... which meant some of my more sane food creations became a little less normal..

Because Sometimes You Just Need Easy! 

Yes- that is cold pasta mixed with mashed avocado and hommus. Yes- it was delicious!

One, two, skip a few and suddenly we were in December, Christmas around the corner, more free time to create more meals and a few good posts that I thoroughly enjoyed writing!

Glazed Cinnamon Roll Oats

What We Need To STOP Saying

Which brings us all the way back to here. January 1st 2016. A new year, a fresh new start to really become someone you admire, to make a change in others lives and to challenge yourself to the point where you are joyously surprised with how capable you are!

I have no doubts 2016 is going to be a year to remember, so let's make it the best one YET!

Bye for now! :D

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

WIAW #85 Summer eats edition!!

Hello, hello friendly friends!

Happy Wednesday and more importantly... happy What I Ate Wednesday! A day when bloggers of the world unite to share and drool over a full day of eats and most likely become quite a bit hungry along the way!
Thanks as always to Peas and Crayons for creating this link and the various bloggers who host the link-ups!!

Now, onto the FOOOOD!

Breakfast: 7:30am
Breakfast was accompanied with the warm Summer sunshine and heat after quite a sweaty 45 minute run (trust me- it. was. hot!):
 Involving a lovely refreshing and hydrating creamy cherry smoothie (with some spinach and frozen zucchini added in there for extra veg and volume!) and some peanut butter granola on the side, because I'm a weirdo! ;P

May or may not have filled my smoothie jar up a little too much prior to sitting in the freezer to thicken for around 15 mins:
 Super refreshing, tasty and exactly what I needed to refuel after my run!

 Happy, happy days!
 P.S. The granola was still warm :)

Lunch: 12:30pm
I was a little peckish come lunch time so I chopped up half a white potato and half a medium white sweet potato, drizzled in olive oil and roasted in the oven for 40 mins at 180 degrees celsius.
 I also chopped up some raw veg sticks to dip into some mashed avocado with lime juice:
 And a HUUGEE bowl of popcorn on the side (and that wasn't even all of it!)

Snack: 3:50pm
Fruit was on the brain come afternoon and my beautifully ripe and gorgeously sweet watermelon was calling to me from the fridge..
 So I chopped some up, along with a small pink lady apple and a handful of red grapes:
 So good!
Dinner: 6:35pm
Dinner featured some quinoa pasta with sauteed veg (eggplant, mushrooms, onion, garlic, peas, spinach etc.) with some lentils, mixed beans, tinned tomatoes and nutritional yeast:

 Not the most appetising looking meal, but mighty tasty!!
 And totally hit the spot- was not hungry after this big bowl!!
 Then I was done for the day!

All in all, a wonderfully delicious day filled with many good eats, delicious foods and a happy stomach!

Your turn:
What was the best thing you ate this fine Wednesday?
Favourite post sweat session food/ meal?
Pasta- tomato-y/ sauce-y/ creamy? I'm much more of a fan of tomato/ pesto/ other sauce based pastas... creamy ones just never really appealed/ appeal to me (unless of course it's creamy avocado pasta!)

That's it from me today folks, I hope you all have a lovely day, do something you love and eat something delicious!! Bye for now! :D

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Finally Full!!

Hello there friendly faces! Happy Monday to you all!!

Now, I may or may not have mentioned (I'm just kidding, I definitely have) that my current state of hunger is in the red extreme area on the hunger scale and has been that way for around a week now..
 I actually googled 'hunger scale' after I wrote the above sentence and a scale with a red area actually came up- Yes, I did in fact know it was a real thing all along ;P!!

 So yes, I have been HUNGRY!

Now, to combat hunger, one should eat, yes? Yes, well, lately I have found that my usual gigantosaurus meals actually don't keep me as satisfied as they used to. Which is quite odd as I was eating them during my long, long, long runs and nowadays I run every few days for much shorter distances!
I suppose I am doing more muscle building and toning stuff with Blogilates etc. But it still doesn't quieten my mind:

Brain- Maybe you're growing!?
Me- Shut up brain. Don't give me false hope!

Brain- Maybe you're not absorbing anything from your food and it's just going straight through you?
Me- Stop brain, you're just getting annoying. And you're wrong too...

Brain- Maybe a vegetarian diet just can't sustain your hunger bug?
Me- We are no longer friends brain.
 In all seriousness though, I have noticed my body changing- changing from the lean, sorta scrawny running frame, to a more filled out, muscular body and whilst this did scare me slightly terrify me at the beginning, I've now come to admire how strong and capable my body is both appearing and physically doing.
No, I do not look like her ^ but I 100% agree with the quote and message! :D
 I like the fact that my muscles are more defined (and not just my calves from running) I like that my arms have filled out and reveal strength, I like that my stomach isn't simply a plain section of skin, but has different dips and ridges and can do so much more than ever before! (Hello handstands!)

I like that life gives us different priorities and experiences changing as often as the seasons, and though I look back to last Summer when I was running 15+ kilometers at a time and would be utterly wrecked and exhausted (i.e. ready for bed) at around 4:00pm and have a little wave of nostalgia, I kind of like the new excitement that comes with a new chapter in my life and seeing how far I've come from a few years ago when I couldn't even walk around the block without collapsing on the lounge afterwards from utter exhaustion.

Ok- this post was not supposed to delve too deep into all that mentioned above... it was really about today's breakfast and how it actually managed to fill me up for the first time it what seems like forever (a week)!

It all started with a desire to consume this guy:

 The most perfectly ripe, big, sweet, juicy, honey gold mango that I bought at the supermarket yesterday:
 I knew he would feature in today's breakfast. And then I sort of knew I also needed something else. Because let's face it, a mango is not going to keep me satisfied for longer than 5 minutes!

Nope, I needed chocolate!
In the form of truffles of course!!
Very similar to this recipe (just rolled into balls and then placed in the freezer for 30 mins)

Truffles + mango...

 Super delicious and extremely filling brekky!!
 It was probably even more filling because I snacked on all the ingredients as I was making the above breakfast (scoop of greek yoghurt  here, spoon of PB there, taste test of unfrozen truffles... you know how it goes :)
 The truffles were so rich, fudge-y and decadent, and paired with the most beautifully sweet and juicy mango I've ever tasted... gah- too good!!
 So, yes, for the first time in a week I was finally satisfied after a meal and also extremely satisfied with utterly deliciousness of this brekky too! A must try people!!

I guess if I want you to take anything from this post (apart from the desire to make these truffles, of course) I want you to know that our bodies are ever changing marvels that change with the seasons, in everything in life- diet, exercise, growth... you name it! So, super super ridiculously hungry? Thank your lucky stars you have a healthy functioning metabolism that grants you precious hunger signals and honor those signals by feeding the machine that works so hard for you day-in day-out!

What about you?
What's your current state on the hungry scale?
Are you a more cardio or strength training person?
Mango fan? It would have to be one of my top 5 favourite fruits for sure!! (along with bananas, grapes, watermelon and rockmelon.)

That's it from me today folks (a little lengthier than expected!!), I hope you all have a fabulous day, do something you love, be with those you love and as always, eat something delicious! Bye for now! :D

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Glazed Cinnamon Roll Oats

Happy Sunday everyone!!

Who braved the Boxing Day sales yesterday? I must admit, after trying- and quite epic-ly failing- to manoeuver my way through the ridiculous crowds through the central areas and then the extremely smaller, one person wide walkway shops, I was more than ready to come home and just be all by myself for a little while!
 Any who, I'm all better now and back to my old self.. which means one thing:
 Back to loving on ALL the food!!

On this brilliant Sunday I thought I would share with you today's stellar breakfast, also referred to as a glazed cinnamon roll in oat form!
 This breakfast (/ lunch/ dinner/ snack of any time of the day because it tastes so gosh darn good!) is ridiculously simple and requires only a handful of good-for-your-body ingredients to have you singing and dancing throughout your entire day :)
 To make a bowl of your very own all you'll need is:

3/4 cup rolled oats
1 banana, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (plus extra to dust on top)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup water
Optional- sprinkle chia seeds
Any topping you would like- to make the traditional cinnamon glazed roll, I would recommend using coconut butter

 Then, all you need to do is:

1. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir to combine
2. Place the saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, stirring occasionally and continue to stir every now and then until all the liquid is absorbed and the oats are thick and fluffy :)
3. Place a little coconut butter in the bottom of your bowl, pour half the oats on top, a little more coconut butter, the rest of the oats and coconut butter to top!
4. Dust with a little extra cinnamon and enjoy!
 Sweet, creamy, cinnamon-y, delicious!! Filled with the filling fiber and wholegrain goodness of rolled oats, the healing benefits of cinnamon, all of banana's goodness and coconut butter- I mean come on!
A glazed cinnamon roll in a bowl. Healthy too. And ridiculously yummy. You know you have to give this one a try!

Your turn:
Favourite type of scroll/ roll? I must admit I am a fan of a good cheesymite scroll!
Cinnamon? Yay/ nay?
Favourite way to use cinnamon?

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday, relax, enjoy a break (unless of course you're working.. like me! ;) and as always- EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS!! Bye for now! :D

Friday, 25 December 2015

After the Christmas Indulgence Recipe!

Hello, hello friendly friends!!
How was your christmas?! Was it fabulous, filled with fabulous friends, family, loved ones and... food??
Mine sure was!

Like all those weightloss magazines and websites, I'm here today with a recipe to make after indulging in all of your favourite foods at christmas... although my reasons are a little different. See, if you're anything like me, you may have a little bit of a sensitive stomach to certain foods and don't feel 10/10 after consuming such foods.
I was in charge of baking a delicious dessert for Christmas so I whipped up a lemon meringue pie :)

My list includes wheat, lots of dairy and a stack of sugar.

My Christmas lunch included quite a bit of bread, cheese and some sweet stuff. So you can imagine that when dinner time rolled around, I wasn't all that keen to indulge again. Instead I went with something a little easier on the tummy.

Unlike those weightless articles about cutting calories around Christmas and eating nothing but lettuce for all your other meals surrounding either Chrissy brekky, or lunch, or dinner, my recipe is filling, nutritious and delicious, it's just a little easier on the stomach for digestion! Because you know that I was still starving when dinner time rolls round (no matter what day it is).

This is my Everything-but-the-kitchen-sink Moroccan Spiced Veggie Quinoa Soup!

1/3 cup quinoa
1/3 cup dried lentils/ other dried beans as well (I think I had some cannellini beans in there as well?)
1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup chopped eggplant
handful sweet corn
strip of red capsicum, chopped
strip green capsicum chopped
1/4 red chilli, finely diced
1/4 tinned no-added-salt tomatoes
a few big dashes of harrisa powder
1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon dried, mixed herbs
2 cups water (more if needed)

1. Place all the chopped veggies, dried quinoa, lentils and beans and herbs and spices into a medium saucepan and add the water. Stir.
2. Place over medium heat, bring to the boil and then lower heat to simmer for 15 minutes.
3. After 15 minutes remove lid, add extra water if needed and simmer for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Leave to cool slightly and then transfer to a bowl and enjoy!!

Filling, tasty, perfect!

When breakfast the next morning rolled round, I was back to my usually dessert-for-breakfast loves:
Crunchy PB mixed with raw cacao powder...
Spread on wholemeal spelt bread, topped with banana, more chocolate-y spread bread and toasted in a sandwich press!! YUM!

Chocolate banana and PB toasted sandwich with a side of blueberry fro-yo (frozen blueberries plus 3 big scoops of greek yoghurt whizzed up until smooth!)

Happy, happy days :)
Nothing beats warm, gooey chocolate for breakfast!

That's some of the yummies I've been eating this holiday season (ooh, forgot to mention my delicious sushi and seaweed salad during our lunch break at the crazy Boxing Day sales!!) now I'm interested as to what all you guys have been nom-ing on! Let me know in the comments!! Until next time- EAT SOMETHING DELICIOUS! Bye for now!! :D

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