Trip to Sydney + Australian Junior Athletics Championships

The long awaited post is finally here!! Okay let me fill you in a little…flashback to about two weeks ago… “By the way, I am heading off to the Australian Junior Athletics Championships (a.k.a Nationals) on Monday and wont be back for a week so I am unsure whether I will have any wifi to post anything. So look forward to a big post when I get back because I am super excited to visit all the trendy cafes in Sydney and blog about them, as well as compete, of course.” …. was the last paragraph in my most recent post, ‘Yogurt bowl with ‘the lot’. So for those of you who are interested in hearing about the endless amount of food I ate in a very short amount of time prepare yourself; you may get a food coma just looking at all the food!! Nevertheless, I had an amazing time in Sydney and I got to do lots of eating, a little sightseeing and some running too! I didn’t have the best races (no pb’s) but the weather was horrific – good old Sydney weather!! No joke, all day it would be sunny and nice but in the evening there would be a massive storm. Despite all this it was a great experience and I am very grateful for this opportunity. I got to race at Sydney Olympic Park (the same as last years nationals) and I even got my last name of my race bib, which was probably the highlight of the competition!! Haha

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From this to…

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….this

On the second day in Sydney I did some sight seeing at Bondi, of course. It wasn’t as great as I was expecting but come on, its Bondi so it’s definitely a must to see if you are ever in Sydney. Of course being me I had a very, VERY long list of all the restaurant/cafes I wanted to go to in Sydney and I forgot to take it with me to Bondi – good one Tanisha! At least I had the Good Food Guide with me so we chose a funky little café in North Bondi called The Hill Eatery to have lunch at. The set out of the café was very trendy as was the presentation of the dishes. My dad and I shared a berry smoothie that looked good but was pretty average, although I do have pretty high standards (my mum makes a pretty mean smoothie)! My dad had a beef burger with chips, which he said was nice and I had a poached chicken roll with coleslaw, which despite having potential, lacked a whole lot of flavour.

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Bondi Icebergs

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The interior of the Hill Eatery

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Dad’s burger

IMG_2455 IMG_2459 IMG_2462 My mum, being the foodie she is, was straight onto Urbanspoon telling us to go to Trio (which happened to be on my list that I forgot to bring) but we had already eaten so we were too full to have anything there. Nevertheless, we went there, took some photos and looked at the menu, which looked great.

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Outside Trio

IMG_2471 And despite our full tummies we still had to have dessert so the next stop in Bondi was the best ice cream store EVER, another must when in Sydney: Gelato Messina. I mean, who wouldn’t go there, after all it holds the title of having the best gelato in Australia!! There were so many quirky flavours to choose from but after much indecision I chose a scoop of the apple pie, which tasted exactly like apple pie and even had little bits of pastry(!!), and a scoop of one of the specials of the day, which was ricotta gelato mixed with pieces of hummingbird cake. Enter food coma. Dad had a scoop of the salted caramel with chocolate bits. Amazing!! I am so glad I went there because it is certainly a standout gelato shop among the extreme amounts that seem to be in Sydney. Has anyone else noticed that every suburb in Sydney seems to have at least 5 gelato shops on each street? What’s with that?! IMG_2469

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Some of the awesome ice cream cakes they make at Gelato Messina

On the top of the very long list of restaurants/cafes (only second to Gelato Messina) was most definitely The Grounds of Alexandria (GOA), especially after my mum and dad went there last year without me because I was sleeping in – how inconsiderate of them for not waking me up (haha)! So I finally got there this year and boy was I impressed. Amazing is an understatement. In the Sydney Good Food Guide I believe the review says something like, ‘The Grounds is getting so big that it needs its own postcode’, and my, oh my is that correct! That place is massive, and it even has its own gourmet store with 3kg tubs of Nutella. Among this it has a garden bar, a garden area with farm animals like Kevin Bacon the pig, a chicken, a Shetland pony and a sheep, an old telephone box converted into an atm, vintage hot dog and donut stands, and a stand of the most delicious looking tarts (and other mouthwatering baked goods) I ever did see, upon entering the café. I was literally in heaven! We need a place like this in Perth. Now.

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The Garden Bar

IMG_2844IMG_2848 IMG_2812IMG_2819 IMG_2822IMG_2835 At GOA I ordered the breaky burger which consisted of a brioche bun (are they the ‘in thing’ at the moment or what?!), a fried egg, bacon, avocado and aioli/mayonnaise (I cant remember which one it was), alongside some polenta fries. It was my first time trying polenta fires and can I just say they were so yum. They tasted kind of cheesy and were very toothsome. Dad ordered a burger (of course) with chips. I can’t exactly remember what was in it but he said it was really good. So overall, GOA was a success and is definitely on my list to return to. Plus the service was so good; our meals came within 15 minutes of ordering them, at the most. IMG_2831 IMG_2828 After visiting GOA we had to go to Bourke Street Bakery on the orders of my mum who insisted we go there and buy the raspberry and chocolate muffin because she always makes their recipe and is always being told how good hers is. So we got there and were lucky enough to score the last muffin, which tasted exactly the same as my mums by the way (which is very good btw). All the breads and baked goods looked finger-licking good but unfortunately we were way too full to buy anything. IMG_2867 IMG_2870Whilst in Sydney I also visited Taronga Zoo. It is not somewhere I would normally choose to go to but it was actually really good and had, quite possibly the best view a zoo could have.

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The entrance to Taronga Zoo

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The view from the amphitheatre at the zoo

After visiting the zoo I was lucky enough to go to the Sydney Opera House Kitchen restaurant for dinner. I was a bit apprehensive at first considering it only has a rating of 56% on Urbanspoon (and I rely on Urbanspoon A LOT) but it actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Obviously you would go there for the amazing views it has because it is about as close as you can get to the water from the Opera House and is overlooking the Harbour Bridge. We were even lucky enough to be in town when the cruise ships Queen Mary 2 and Queen Victoria were in harbour so we had full-frontal views of them too. IMG_2770 I ordered the ‘Jungle Curry’, which consisted of free range chicken, lemongrass, coriander, line, coconut milk, Chinese beans, thai basil served with steamed rice. It was a nice dish with a lot of potential but it definitely wasn’t restaurant worthy. My mum’s curry is probably just as good, if not better. IMG_2787 On my last day in Sydney I enjoyed a relaxing day around the Northern beaches. For a late breaky we stayed local and walked down to Barefoot Coffee Traders, and enjoyed some delicious salted caramel waffles with a hot chocolate. The waffle itself was absolutely perfect, it was so light and fluffy and the salted caramel was to die for, but there was probably just a tad too much for my liking. My hot chocolate was great too as it was made with real Belgian chocolate not that silly powder stuff that is only acceptable at home. Although the shop is literally only a hole in the wall with a half-a-dozen seats it is well worth the visit. IMG_4093IMG_4090 For lunch we had a quick stop off in Dee Why where we visited a little Italian deli to grab our lunch. At Livoti’s we got some wholesome focaccia sandwiches filled with fresh Italian ingredients such as pesto, bocconcini, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado and salad leaves. It may not look or sound like much but it was so nice and delicious, and was a perfect way to round off our last day in Sydney. IMG_2881

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Lunch with a view

Before I left Sydney though I had to pick up some goodies from Harris Farmers Market of coconut yogurt, Byron Bay macadamia muesli in the fig and pear flavour, and Brookfarm cranberry macadamia muesli, because I had been dying to try them ever since I fist heard about them. I can’t seem to find those particular muesli’s in WA so then was the perfect time to get them whilst I had the chance. This was also my first time trying coconut yogurt and I was very impressed!! I could have bought the whole store of I wanted to but I had to restrain myself, otherwise we wouldn’t have any space left in our suitcases. IMG_2799 So, as you may have guessed I had an absolute ball in Sydney and am very glad I got the opportunity to do so. I may not have gone to all the cafes I wanted to or got any pb’s but I still enjoyed and that’s what matters in the end. Bye for now, Tanisha xx

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Yogurt Bowl with ‘the lot’

Just a quick post for today but this breakfast/snack/dessert meal (whatever excuse you’ve got up your sleeve to eat it really) is definitely worth the effort!IMG_2307

I may or may not have died and gone to heaven….

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Excuse me please as I relish in the delightfulness of this creation….

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This is possibly the closest thing to perfection you’re gonna get, well, in my eyes anyway! It isn’t just any yogurt bowl, it is THE BEST (no doubt) thing I have ever eaten in my lifetime.

No words will ever live up to how good this is. Okay sorry, I’m starting to ramble on a bit now. I should really get to the point….haha

It may be simple but I have managed to find a way to incorporate the top 6 (or at least top 10) of my favourite foods into one. I no longer have to stand in the cupboard eating spoonfuls of peanut butter after breakfast or dessert because now I can incorporate it into my meals! As I mentioned in the ‘About’ section of my blog I am a self-confessed peanut butter and muesli addict so this is pretty much my idea of perfection, but here me out guys!

So this is possibly the easiest recipe I will ever put on this blog, heck, it doesn’t really need a recipe, all I did was chuck a few things into a bowl and, whalla! But for the sake of those of you who aren’t visual learners I’m hoping you’re a linguistic learner (you learn by reading) as I’ve kindly provided you with a very basic recipe. I apologise in advance if the quantities aren’t correct because I didn’t really measure anything, as I said before, I just chucked a few things in a bowl (a pretty one at that), and Bob’s your uncle!!IMG_2302

Recipe

Yogurt and Muesli bowl with ‘the lot’

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup yogurt (Greek Style or vanilla/plain)
  • A handful of toasted muesli
  • 1 banana
  • 1 massive tablespoon of peanut butter
  • A few squares of dark chocolate*
  • Toasted coconut chips, to garnish

Method:

  1. Chop the banana and chocolate.
  2. Place everything in a bowl and garnish with coconut chips. That’s all!

Notes:

Remember to use natural peanut butter. It would be even better melted…aahhhhh!

*I used 2 very large squares of Lindt Caramel dark chocolate and it is amazing

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Mmmmm just look at that peanut butter!

I used my own homemade muesli for this but I would recommend just using your favourite muesli brand if you don’t have the time to make your own.

This was the perfect way to satisfy my chocolate cravings as I have been feeling very chocolatey lately. I would recommend it to everyone who feels in need of a little love. No matter what time of the day it is a great way to indulge yourself, whilst also getting some added nutritional benefits at the same time.IMG_2303

By the way, I am heading off to the Australian Junior Athletics Championships (a.k.a Nationals) on Monday and wont be back for a week so I am unsure whether I will have any wifi to post anything. So look forward to a big post when I get back because I am super excited to visit all the trendy cafes in Sydney and blog about them, as well as compete, of course.

Tanisha xx

Flavoursome Fig and Freekeh Salad

Is it just me or are nearly all the savoury items on this blog, salads? Whoops!

Side note: this salad is FREEKEHshly good (pun intended)!!

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Fig and Freekeh Salad

Serves 4

  • 1 cup freekeh, rinsed, drained
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs pomegranate molasses
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbs zaatat
  • ½ bunch each mint and flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
  • 2 eschalots, thinly sliced (or 1 small red onion)
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate (or a handful of craisons)
  • ¼ cup currants
  • 100g feta, crumbled
  • 6 figs, quatered
  1. Place the freekeh and 1.5 L (6 cups) water in a pan over medium-heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, then cover and cook for 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, whisk 2 tbs oil, honey, pomegranate molasses and lemon juice in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add lemon zest, 2 tsp zaatar, herbs, eschalot, pomegranate seeds, currants and remaining 1 tbs oil to freekeh, and stir to combine. Transfer to a large serving platter and top with feta and figs.
  4. Drizzle dressing over salad, then sprinkle with remaining 2 tsp zaatar to serve

Source: Delicious Magazine February 2015

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Side-Side note: Just because I said this salad is “FREEKEHshly good” does not mean you can only have it at Halloween once a year.

Sometimes I really wish you could get emojis here because I feel that you guys would understand me a whole better if they did have them. Oh well, I guess you’ll just have to try and interpret my bad use of pun for the time being!!

Anyway, so my mum (hi mum!) has had a prescription to Delicious Magazine (those of you who live in Australia may be aware of it) since it first started probably 12 or 13 years ago so whenever she has finished reading her monthly magazine I will always be waiting to have a read through the juicy pages of this amazing magazine. It’s not the usual magazine you would be expecting the average teenage girl to be reading in her spare time but boy does it not disappoint!! So, last month as I was flicking through mouth-watering pages of the magazine trying to source some inspiration for dinner when I came across this salad, and it couldn’t have worked out better; we had just gotten some fresh figs from a neighbour up the road and we have been itching for ways to use the freekeh in our pantry.

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The lowdown:

Freekeh is yet another one of the latest super food grains that has been gracing us with its presence a lot lately, with good reason too!

This grain is originally derived from wheat but is harvested when the crop is under-ripe and green, then roasted and dried before processing. In terms of nutrition this grain is very similar to quinoa yet has twice the amount of fibre helping with satiety.

Freekeh can be substituted for most grains such as rice, quinoa or pasta to make a nutritional dish for dinner or oats for a filling breakfast.

“Freekeh contains more protein, vitamins and minerals than mature whole wheat and most other grains, it’s high in fiber, low in starch and fat and it’s even a source of beneficial prebiotics, promoting the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive system.”
References:

http://myvega.com/vega-life/vega-blog/the-new-kids-supergrains-on-the-block-freekeh-and-teff/

http://triathlon.competitor.com/2012/12/nutrition/two-superstar-foods-youve-never-tried_45281

The Best Basic Pancake Recipe

IMG_2265Dress them up, dress them down, have them healthy, have them all year-round!

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Recipe

Basic Pancake Recipe

Serves 3

Ingredients:

1½ cup wholemeal flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

½ cup Greek style yogurt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

¾ cup whole milk

 To serve (optional):

Maple syrup

Greek style yogurt

Banana

Blueberries

Figs

 

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another, smaller bowl whisk the egg, yogurt and milk.
  2. Combine the yogurt mixture with the flour mixture with a wooden spoon. Mix lightly and do not overwork it.
  3. Heat a frypan with coconut oil or butter on low. Pour 2 Tbs of the mixture at a time onto the pan and cook until bubbles appear on the surface, or until golden brown. Flip to brown other side.

 

Notes:

If you have the luxury of time you can leave the mix to rest for a little while. This will ensure that the pancakes are light and fluffy.

To change things up a bit you could add fruit to the mixture, like berries or banana.

 

Source: Chobani – Perfect Pancakes

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I may not be one of those die-hard pancake fans but these are pretty damn good. If you are unsure of what a “die-hard pancake fan” is let me enlighten you on the subject. Take my sister for example, her excuse for not going to swimming training in the morning once was because she wanted to make pancakes for breakfast because it was Shrove Tuesday (a.k.a World Pancake Day)!! Great excuse, I know, but guess what? It worked!

Maybe the reason why I’m not one of those people though is exactly that; they take too long to make! Now I’m not talking about any old pancake. When I make pancakes (which isn’t very often) I like them to be super fancy with tens of thousands of sauces and garnishes so they take 5 hours to make + 2 to present, and that doesn’t go all to well with my growling stomach and low patience tolerance in the morning.

Does anyone else suffer from extreme hunger when they wake up?? When I wake up in the morning I feel like I haven’t eaten in 10 days and if I don’t have something to eat within an hour at the very least I might as well shrivel up into a little ball (haha).

Whenever we go out for breakfast it is always at some ungodly hour of, say 9:00 am (a.k.a a very reasonable time) so I find it incredibly difficult to manage without eating something beforehand. Don’t, get me wrong; I am normally the one who actually wants to go out for breakfast, after all breakfast is most definitely my favourite meal of the day.

Anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, you may have noticed that these are not super fancy pancakes so they do not take hours to make, minutes at the least. You can even make the batter the night before if you’re like me and can’t be bothered sparing a few minutes to make them in the morning. They taste just as good as well so who really cares how fancy they’re not?!

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The lowdown:

These pancakes are super luscious; they’re light and fluffy and are so versatile. You could have them simple and healthy (as I did) or you could dress them up with salted caramel, grilled banana and ice cream, it’s up to you.

These pancakes are also a very balanced breakfast option containing protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, calcium and an abundance of fibre and minerals, depending how you choose to garnish them. Which is why they would make a great pre-training or competition breakfast if you have a little bit of extra time on your hands.