life love travel pork – without the life, love or travel bit

I’m loving being in the kitchen lately – even more so than usual! I am obsessed with my beautiful new kitchen with the waterfall island, oven and gas stovetop of my dreams, walk-in butlers pantry – oh I could do an entire blog post JUST on how much I love my kitchen!

But anyway, that’s not what this blog post is about. As promised, here are two recipes by request – both pork (but other meats can be substituted) both dinners, both delicious and both EASY (my number one requirement for dinner’s these days) I hope you enjoy them!

Yogurt spiced pork
Start this one the night before – it works best marinated for as long as possible 

yogurt spiced pork_lifelovetravelfood

What you’ll need…
2 x tsp tumeric
2 x tsp smoked paprika
1 x tsp chilli flakes (optional)
2 x tsp mixed herbs
pinch salt and pepper
4 x tbsp plain Greek yogurt
4 x pork steaks (lamb, beef or chicken would also work)

How it’s done…
Mix the spices and yogurt in a small bowl. Add to a large zip lock bag along with the pork and massage to evenly coat in the yogurt. Leave to marinate for as long as possible – overnight is ideal.

Preheat oven to 180°C and bake pork for 15mins or until cooked to your liking. Serve on top of brown rice and roasted veges; salad with chips or however you like!

Sticky ginger sesame pork meatballs
This one is based on a Donna Hay recipe, made a little bit easier/healthier!

 

ginger sesame pork meatballs_lifelovetravelfood

What you’ll need…
Meatballs
500g pork mince (chicken, lamb or beef would also work great!)
1/2 cup oats (or breadcrumbs)
2 x cloves garlic, crushed
2 x tbsp finely grated ginger
2 x tsp sesame seeds
2 x tsp sesame oil
2 x green onions, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
soba noodles, cooked, to serve
baby spinach, to serve

Sticky soy sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 x tsp sesame oil
1 x tbsp mirin
1/4 cup rice malt syrup

– – –

How it’s done…

Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Place the pork, oats, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, sesame oil, green onion and egg in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Place a large deep-sided roasted tray in the oven for 5 minutes or until hot. Roll tablespoonfuls of the pork mixture into balls and set aside. Pour the oil into the hot tray, add the meatballs and cook for 5 minutes.

To make the sticky soy sauce, place the soy, sesame oil, vinegar, miring and rice malt syrup in a small bowl and mix to combine.

*Note* If you’re making this for the whole family, you can set aside some of the meatballs and bake them separately, without the sticky soy sauce. Drizzle meatballs with a touch of olive oil and add a little bit of mozzarella to stop them going too dry

Remove the hot tray from the oven, add the soy mixture and carefully toss the meatballs. Cook for 15mins or until the sauce is sticky and the meatballs are golden. Serve the meatballs with spinach and noodles.

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I hope you enjoy these – please let me know if you make them! Tag me on instagram – I might work full-time but I’m still obsessed with insta @lifelovetravelfood

 

A healthy sweet treat for the whole family – strawberries and cream muffins

healthy strawberry and cream muffins_lifelovetravelfood

It’s no secret I’m a lazy baker. I prefer to cook savoury meals that I can kind of just throw together and add whatever I have to make it work. I don’t like having to be methodical and measure perfectly which you need to do when it comes to baking, unless you’re keen for a baking fail – been there, done that… more times than I care to admit.

I baked these muffins on the weekend cause I ‘need’ something yummy to take to work each day for that mid-morning snack (rice crackers just aren’t cutting it at the moment). I wanted to make them healthy so that H could eat them, but still have enough flavour and ‘non-hippy-ness’ that B would eat them too. Enter the below winning recipe – hooray!

The name is a bit of a lie… there’s no cream in them but ‘strawberries and yogurt muffins’ didn’t quite have the same ring to it. These can be adapted to suit all tastes – change up the fruit if strawberries aren’t your thing. Add in chocolate if you want them to be even more awesome. Make them into baby sized muffins for the little people in your life. They freeze beautifully too so make in bulk and enjoy!

Healthy strawberries and cream muffins
Makes 12 muffins or 24 mini muffins

healthy strawberry and cream muffins_lifelovetravelfood

What you’ll need…

2 x eggs (can substitute for chia gel if you need these to be egg-free)
3 x bananas
½ cup x natural greek yogurt
1 tsp x pure vanilla
2 tsp x cinnamon
1 cup x desiccated coconut
1/3 cup x coconut flour (can substitute for wholemeal plain flour)
1 cup x wholemeal spelt flour (can substitute for regular plain flour)
2 tbsp x psyllium husks (or LSA mix – both are optional, just leave out if you don’t have it)
1 tbsp x chia seeds (optional, leave out if you don’t have them)
1 tsp x bicarb soda
1 tsp x baking powder
1 cup x strawberries, quartered (substitute with your favourite berries – frozen is fine or a mixture of fruit and chocolate chips)

How it’s done…

Preheat oven to 180o. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin cases (no need to use muffin cases if you’re using silicon moulds).

Combine all ingredients (except the strawberries) in a food processor (or you can mix by hand) and mix until just combined (TMX speed 3.5, 30 sec). Fold through the strawberries (TMX reverse, speed 3, 20sec).

Pour into muffin moulds and bake for 35mins or until a skewer comes out clean (for the mini muffins, bake for around 20 minutes).

YUM! These muffins store best in the fridge – just warm in the microwave for a few seconds and enjoy.

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I hope you enjoy these! Let me know if you bake them for you or your little people and tag me on instagram @lifelovetravelfoood #lifelovetravelfood !

Love Dan xx

Baby breakfast time – banana and berry oatmeal slice

Ok so that was a bit of a blog fail! I was just playing around with my blog (which has been neglected for so very, very long!) and published a ‘new’ blog post that was pretty much a blank page. Whoopsies! I’ve just quickly added my recipe below and updated it so hopefully not too many people saw my faux pas (even if everyone who gets my blogs via email will see it! Ah well, you live and learn!)

Ok! Recipe time!

I am deep in mummy meal prep mode as I have recently gone back to work (yeah… I should REALLY update my blog cause since my last post I’ve not only finished maternity leave, but I’ve resigned from my previous job, moved interstate and started a new job! Just been a touch busy!) Today I spent much of the morning getting ready for next week so I’m not too frantic and frazzled at the end of each working day.

I wanted to make a new breakfast recipe for H and now it’s coming into Summer (how it is this fricken hot and it’s NOT EVEN SUMMER YET?!) and it’s a bit too hot to give him porridge every morning. I’m also loving finger foods that he can feed himself so was wracking my brain for recipes to make.

This is one I got from a friend, V, and she asked me if I could make it healthier than the original. I did that (and shared the recipe here!) and really enjoyed having it for breakfast myself but it still contained sugar and other things I wasn’t so keen on H having so I edited it again.

The result was great! It was SUPER easy (key for me these days!) baked really well, stayed together (I’ve had more than my fair share of baking fails recently!) it’s healthy and tastes yum! I can’t wait for him to try it this week!

* * *

Banana and berry oatmeal slice
Makes 12 slices
This is a baby friendly recipe (8months +) but is also adult friendly!

Banana and blueberry oatmeal slice_lifelovetravelfood

What you’ll need…

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups water (or 1 cup whole milk, 1/4 cup water)
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup berries of your choice (frozen is fine)

How it’s done…

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees and line a rectangular baking tin with baking paper.

In a large bowl, add the oats, cinnamon, baking powder, wholemeal flour and coconut – mix to combine. In a jug, add water, yogurt, coconut oil, eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine. Pour the liquid mix into the dry mix and stir to combine. Stir through the banana and berries then pour into your prepared baking tray.

Bake for 30-35 mins or until golden and baked through. Once baked, cool in the tin then slice into pieces and freeze for bub. Delicious!!

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As always, I’d love to hear from you if you try any of my recipes! Drop me a note below or better yet, over on instagram @lifelovetravelfood cause the addiction is still going strong!

Dan xx

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You need this recipe in your life… three ingredient chocolate mousse

I get a serious buzz when someone asks me for one of my recipes. Even when my Mum or sister asks me to send them one, I get quite excited – I know, I need to get out more. But this super simple, easy, three ingredient, QUICK chocolate mousse I put up on instagram the other night attracted a lot of attention and so to all you lovely girls who requested it, this one’s for you – thanks for showing me some love! And please keep it coming!

Lately my cooking has come down to what’s left in the freezer and what can I use up in our pantry so we don’t have to a) give it away b) throw it away or c) cart it across the other side of the country because I’m a huge food hoarder who buys in epic proportions when my favourite brands come on special. So this is where this recipe comes in. When looking through my pantry, I realised I had no less than ten tins of coconut cream. Oh the shame!! So I immediately started thinking of ways to use it up because if I’d told B we needed to take all ten tins with us, I think he’d divorce me. It’s also no secret I’m struggling with a bit of a sugar addiction at the moment so I’m trying to find ways to curb these cravings without reaching for that damn chocolate box which is NEVER empty.

This three ingredient healthy chocolate mousse can be whipped up in an ad break – it’s SO simple! I hope you love it and please do tag me on instagram if you try it – @lifelovetravelfood #lifelovetravelfood

* * *

Healthy chocolate mousse
Makes four – six serves (depending on how big you like your servings!)

Healthy chocolate mousse_lifelovetravelfood

Super important note. You need to put your coconut cream in the fridge the night before or for at least 8hrs before you make this. Yes it’s quick to make, but you need to do this step first otherwise it won’t work!

What you’ll need…

  • 2 x tins coconut cream, left in the fridge overnight or for at least 8hrs (I only use Ayam brand as it’s the only one I’ve found that is all natural)
  • 2 x tablespoons raw cacao powder (or pure cocoa)
  • 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup (more if you prefer it sweeter. You can also use honey or maple syrup)
  • optional – 1 tsp pure vanilla – I’ve put this as optional cause otherwise the title of my blog is a lie and this makes it four ingredient chocolate mousse! I only added it in because I have a huge bottle of vanilla I need to use up! The mousse still tastes amazing without adding this.

How it’s done…

REMEMBER, your coconut cream MUST be chilled in the fridge for this recipe to work.

Scoop out the thick part of the coconut cream into a bowl, leaving the watery part behind. Don’t throw away the watery-juicey stuff, put it in your morning porridge or smoothie! Add the cacao, syrup and vanilla (if using) and whisk together until smooth and fully combined. You can use a blender if you like but another reason I love this recipe so much is there’s hardly any washing up! A whisk is much easier to wash up than a whole blender!

And that’s it! Super delicious and ridiculously yummy. I top mine with some frozen berries but that’s probably so it looks nicer on instagram.

ENJOY!

Dan xx

* * *

PS. I realise I have posted a similar recipe a while back – I’m planning on fixing up my blog so you can search for recipes and have a page dedicated to my recipes so you’re not always inundated with food emails… but I haven’t quite worked out how to do that just yet! Sorry!!

Sharing my current pancake obsession with the world

I am quite annoying. I go through phases of absolutely LOVING something and then one day, the obsession passes and I’m looking for the next thing to fall in love with. I know my darling husband is nodding in agreement to this statement as he is often the one who points out when I’m going through a new obsession as I tend to be rather oblivious.

A few examples spring to mind. Like Chinese cooking – I watched Chinese cooking shows, bought a wok, steam baskets, cookbook, and all the ingredients… it lasted a good few months and then I was done. Can’t really remember the last time I opened my once much-loved Chinese cookbook. The gym – I went every day one week, fully expecting this obsession to last forever. I went to classes on the weekend, bought all the gear… aaaaand I think the last time I went was when I was six months pregnant.

I blame all this on the fact that I’m an Aquarian. I don’t really follow star signs, but apparently Librans (B’s star sign) and Aquarians are the perfect match so I like to believe this one. Aquarians are also apparently quite flippant in that they get so focussed on one thing and then lose interest and move on to something else. Yep, that’s SO me! So when you think about it, it’s really not my fault, it’s my star signs fault.

And so onto my latest obsession which is food related. Pancakes. I have eaten them for breakfast five of the last seven days and I’m already thinking about having them again tomorrow. I’m also quite proud of the fact that I made this recipe up myself, it’s healthy and they’re VERY quick to make. They take just 15 minutes from start to plate and are kid-friendly too. You can make them the night before and just re-heat in the morning if you want to take them to work or if you’d rather spend those 15 minutes sleeping in rather than cooking.

So here’s my recipe for super quick, easy, healthy and delicious pancakes. I hope you love them and if you make them, I’d love to see your snaps on instagram so I can feel better about not being the only one currently obsessed with pancakes.

Healthy cacao and maple pancakes
Serves one – makes around 6-8 small pancakes

Healthy pancakes_lifelovetravelfood

What you’ll need…

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup almond meal (or flour – go for wholemeal if you can)
  • 1 tsp brewers yeast (this one is for the breastfeeding Mummas to help boost your milk supply – just leave it out if you don’t have any)
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder (or substitute with pure cocoa powder)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • butter/oil for cooking

How it’s done…

Place everything in a blender and blitz until smooth – I use my stick blender. If it’s too thick, add a touch more milk.

Heat butter/oil in a frypan over a medium heat. Once the pan is nice and hot, pour in your mixture. Don’t make them too big as they’ll be too hard to flip. Once they start to bubble on top (around two minutes) flip and cook for another two minutes.

And that’s it! Serve topped with whatever you like. I’ve tested mine with combos of Greek yogurt, berries, granola, maple, nut butter, banana or cacao nibs. Delicious!

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For more pancake pics, and everything else I’m obsessed with, check me out on instagram (another obsession of mine) – @lifelovetravelfood

Dan xx

A foodie post – coconut cacao cookies

healthy lactation cookies_lifelovetravelfood

I admit it… I have become somewhat obsessed with baking since being on maternity leave. I’ve always liked baking but now I love it and will take any excuse make something sweet. I have also become obsessed with having cake or sweet treats and am using the excuse that it’s ok because I’m breastfeeding to my advantage. But, having said that, I still don’t love having all that refined sugar and artificial stuff in my food so I’m all about finding healthy baking recipes to try.

I am really excited about this post because I finally created my own successful baking recipe! I am notorious for cutting corners in the kitchen – substituting this for that, not measuring and often skipping steps. For savoury dishes, this usually works fine but for baking, not so much. Let’s just say I’ve had a LOT of baking fails in the kitchen!

One month into life as a new Mum, I wanted to make my own healthy lactation cookies but couldn’t find a good recipe. All of them contained regular flour or LOTS of sugar so I decided to test out my own. I found a great recipe to use as a base and then went about substituting some of the ingredients and adding in others to make a healthier recipe.

So at first glance and the fact that these cookies have the word ‘lactation’ in the title means they might not appeal to everyone but stay with me! You can make them regular cookies as I’ve given some further substitutions so these can be eaten by anyone. But first and foremost, for any breastfeeding Mum’s out there, get these in your oven – they’re delicious!

Brewers yeast is the essential ingredient for making these lactation cookies and helping with milk supply but even with the brewers yeast, they are perfectly safe for anyone to eat, including Dad’s and little people. If you’re not breastfeeding and just want to make yummy cookies, just remove the brewers yeast! Important note… brewers yeast cannot be substituted by any other type of yeast!

 Healthy coconut and cacao lactation cookies

 

healthy lactation cookies_lifelovetravelfoodMakes 24 cookies

What you’ll need…

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoons flaxseed meal (ground flaxseeds)
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar (substitute for brown sugar if you don’t have coconut sugar)
  • 1 tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 1 tbsp hazelnut coconut cacao spread  Pure Harvest brand (you can substitute for peanut butter or your favourite nut butter)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tbsp gluten free flour (if leaving out the brewers yeast, add two tablespoons of flour to your mixture. You can also substitute with regular flour if you don’t need your recipe to be gluten free)
  • 2 tablespoons brewers yeast (I found mine at a health food shop)
  • ½ teaspoon bicarb soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup raw cacao nibs (substitute with choc chips if you can’t find cacao nibs or you’ve got a real sweet tooth!
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut

How it’s done…

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. In a small bowl, stir together the water and flaxseed meal, set aside.

In an electric mixer, mix together the coconut oil, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup and hazelnut spread until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Stir in the flaxseed mixture.

In a medium bowl, mix the almond meal, flour, yeast, bicarb soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until just combined.

Add the dry mixture to the electric mixer and mix on low speed until just combined. Pour batter into the medium bowl and fold through the oats, cacao nibs and shredded coconut.

Roll mixture into balls and press onto a tray lined with baking paper. Cook for 8-10minutes or until golden brown.

– – –

Yum! Whether you make them as lactation cookies, healthy cookies or regular cookies with some of the naughty substitutions, I hope you give them a go and love them as much as I do. Oh and if you ask me, making the healthy version TOTALLY gives you an excuse to have a (virtually) guilt-free sweet treat!

Love Dan x

A recipe by request – healthy strawberry baked oatmeal slice

So… I posted two days ago saying I probably wouldn’t blog again until after Keggy joins this world and here I am writing again! Sorry for a bit of a blog overload!

This post is purely about food! It’s no secret I love food and it’s also pretty widely known I post much of what I eat on instagram. Yep, I’m one of ‘those’ people.

As I go into my last week of work, I wanted to make sure I had my breakfasts sorted and have one less thing to think about as I try to wrap up an entire year into a few pages of handover notes. My best friend V gave me this recipe and said she wasn’t sure if I’d make it because it wasn’t overly healthy but maybe I could hippy-fy it. I did just that and sent it back to her to try (as she’d obviously tried the original) and she told me how much she loved it and has since sent it back to her friends at work who all used to love the original. Hooray for healthy and delicious!

This recipe can be made gluten free (as long as your oats are gluten free) sugar free and dairy free. So here it is – healthy strawberry baked oatmeal slice – hope you love it! Tag me on instagram if you make it!

* * *

Healthy strawberry baked oatmeal slice

Makes six serves

Healthy strawberry baked oatmeal slice_lifelovetravelfood

What you’ll need…
* 2 cups rolled oats (not porridge oats)
* 1/4 rice malt syrup
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
* 1 large egg
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
* 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil OR melted butter, cooled
* 3/4 cup strawberries, chopped (about 6 large or 10 medium to small)

– – –

  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius. Spray a square baking dish with oil and line with baking paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine the oats, syrup, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix well. Add the milk, egg, vanilla and water and mix into the oats.
  • Add the banana, coconut oil (or butter) and stir to combine. Gently stir through the strawberries.
  • Pour the batter into the lined tin and bake for 30 – 35minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the top is set.
  • Allow to cool completely in the tin.

To serve, slice into six large pieces and warm through slightly with some almond milk (or your milk of choice).

Healthy strawberry baked oatmeal slice_lifelovetravelfood

Yum!

Dan x