The Shrinking Hubby has moved to a new home!

I am  excited to announce that after nearly 2 years of blogging at WordPress, The Shrinking Hubby has moved to a new home!  My new website can be found at http://www.theshrinkinghubby.com.  Please head over and sign up to be kept up to date with my newest recipes, articles, promotions and lots of exciting ventures to come 🙂

If you follow this blog through your word-press account,you won’t be automatically transferred to the new site, so can you please head over and actively sign up to subscribe!

I am really looking forward to creating bigger and better things with my website and I hope you will be a part of it too!

Don’t forget to stay in touch via facebook – www.facebook.com/theshrinkinghubby and instagram @theshrinkinghubby too!

I hope to continue to motivate you in good health and happiness.

Alix from The Shrinking Hubby

Alix from The Shrinking Hubby

All the best,

Alix

 


The Shrinking Hubby’s Almond Meal Pancakes (And How To Find A Little More Time In Your Day)

We all know that being a Mum is not easy !  I put a few feelers out there amongst some of the mums I know and on my Facebook page to ask what they find hardest about motherhood, and resoundingly the biggest challenge for most busy mums is definitely lack of time.  At whatever stage you are with your parenting – be it babies and toddlers or school-aged kids, life seems to get busier and busier as time goes on.  What often happens unfortunately, is that we tend to put ourselves last in the pecking order.  In honour of Mothers Day in Australia next weekend and for all the busy mums out there, I thought I would share some of my favourite tips for making some more time in your day.  I hope that you manage to spend some of this extra time on yourselves!  I am also sharing a new yummy pancake recipe so that your loved ones (or even you!) can spoil yourself with a delicious, healthy and comforting breakfast next Sunday.  They are Thermomix friendly but you could use a food processor or blender just as easily.  Don’t you think they would be yummy to have in bed with a cup of tea and the Sunday papers next weekend?  Hint .. hint ..!

Here are just some of my suggestions to increase some time for yourself during your busy day:

  1. Prioritise! Decide what really matters to you and organise yourself so that you can make time to fit those things in.
  2. Get up an hour earlier and factor some time for yourself– walk, run or even meditate.  If you find it hard to get motivated for morning exercise, make sure you have a plan so you know exactly what to do when your alarm goes off.  Set your clothes out the night before, fill up your drink bottle and put it next to your keys.  Download some music to make your walk/run more interesting.  Make a commitment by writing it in your diary or organise to meet up with a friend so you will be more motivated to go.
  3. Go to bed an hour earlier.  The best time to get your important sleep is before midnight and everything is so much better when you are well rested (plus if you have an early night it makes it easier to wake up the next morning!)
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask those close to you for help if you are struggling!  If you need a little time-out, your partner could watch the kids for so you can go for a walk or have a relaxing bath.
  5. Be clever in the kitchen – pack school lunches the night before, when you buy fruit chop it and pack it up straight away so it’s easy to grab in a hurry, freeze sandwiches in bulk, make more at dinner and freeze half/ or have for lunch the next day.  Do big cook ups on the weekend so you don’t have to worry about it during the week.  Cook batches of chicken, hard boiled eggs, quinoa, rice etc and keep on hand in the fridge so you can quickly pull together healthy meals.  There are some great gadgets out there that are designed to make your life easier in the kitchen.  The Thermomix (or thermo-type appliances) or a slow cooker can really save time.  Try my Slow Cooker Lamb Shanks, my Chicken and Eggplant Bake or Greek Inspired Shepherds Pie which are all easy to make double of and all freeze beautifully.

At the end of the day we should be grateful that our lives are so full – those little people might be hard work – but they are more precious than anything!  Happy Mothers Day!

The Shrinking Hubby’s Almond Meal Pancakes

– Serves 4 –

What you will need:

  • 1 1/2 cups Almond Meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons aluminium free baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 organic free range eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Organic butter or coconut oil for cooking
  • Fruit, yoghurt and/or organic maple syrup or honey to serve

How to pull it together:

Put all the ingredients in your Thermomix or food processor and blitz for about 30 seconds speed 9/10 until well blended and of a consistency you are happy with.  You may wish to experiment with the amount of water you use depending on how thick you like your batter.

Heat a large frying pan, add a dollop of butter (or coconut oil) and let it melt.  Spoon out the batter (I did 3 small pancakes at a time).  Watch carefully and when nicely browned, flip and cook the other side until ready.

Serve as you like – Some suggestions are:  fruit, organic maple syrup, raw honey, almond butter, a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dollop of greek yoghurt.

Enjoy X

The Shrinking Hubby's Almond Meal Pancakes

The Shrinking Hubby’s Almond Meal Pancakes


The Shrinking Hubby’s Hearty Vegetable Soup

This has got to be one of the healthiest recipes I have ever created!  It is SO full of exceptional nutrients and as a bonus wonderful flavours.  I love making this at least once a week.

I have been making this in my Thermomix – however I have included instructions if you don’t have a Thermomix below.

The vegetables I’ve listed below are the ones I usually use however feel free to use whatever you have on hand or prefer to use.  Think broccoli, silverbeet, cabbage.  The asparagus is a fantastic way to help out with bloating due to water retention.  I love including asparagus in this soup!

The Shrinking Hubby’s Hearty Vegetable Soup

What you will need:

  • A knob of ginger (as big as you dare – it can be quite spicy!)
  • A knob of fresh Turmeric
  • A red chilli (if you like it hot)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (or 1-2 teaspoons good quality minced garlic)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • About a cup of diced pumpkin (or sweet potato)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1/4 head of cauliflower
  • 1-2 Tablespooons Thermomix Vegetable Stock or good quality vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or ghee)
  • Olive Oil (or coconut oil)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cayenne pepper for serving

How to pull it together:

If using a Thermomix:

Place garlic, turmeric, ginger and chilli into the mixing bowl and mix speed 7 for about 5 seconds or until evenly chopped.  Scrape down bowl.  Peel and quarter a brown onion and add to the mixture.  Chop speed 5 for 3 seconds.  Scrape down bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon good quality organic butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  (you can substitute ghee or coconut oil here too).  Cook 100 degrees, speed 2-3 for 3 minutes.

Add the rest of the vegetables.  Chop speed 7 for 5 seconds or until roughly evenly chopped.

Add about 300 grams of water (or enough to cover the vegetables) and the vegetable stock (or add about 300 grams pre-cooked vegetable or chicken or beef stock).

Cook for 20 minutes, 100 degrees, speed 1.  When cooked, blitz speed 10 for 1 minute.

Season with sea salt and cracked pepper and serve with a sprinkling of Cayenne Pepper.

Without a Thermomix

Blitz garlic, turmeric, ginger, chilli and onion in a food processor (or finely chop if you don’t have a processor).  Heat a large stock pot and add butter and olive oil (or ghee, or coconut oil if you prefer).  Add the garlic mixture to the pan, season with some sea salt (to stop it burning) and stir for a few minutes until softened and fragrant.

Add the chopped vegetables (whatever you are using) and toss until well combined. ( you could even blitz in your food processor if you wish before adding to the pan)

Cover with water or stock, bring to a boil and simmer 30- 40 minutes until well cooked.

Using either a hand held blender or your food processor, blend the soup until well pureed.

Season with sea salt and cracked pepper and serve with a sprinkling of Cayenne Pepper.

The Shrinking Hubby's Hearty Vegetable Soup

The Shrinking Hubby’s Hearty Vegetable Soup

 

Enjoy!


Lamb, Roast Vegetable and Pesto Salad

Lamb, Roast Vegetable and Pesto Salad

serves 4 (as a main)

This is such a tasty meal!  If you don’t want to use meat it is delicious without the lamb as a vegetarian main meal or zesty side dish.

What you will need:

  • 500 grams (1.5 pounds) diced lamb marinated for as long as possible (ideally overnight but 1-2 hours is fine) in the marinade listed below
  • 1 eggplant (aubergine) diced
  • 1 zucchini (courgette) diced
  • 1 punnet (150 grams or 5 ounces) button mushrooms halved
  • ¼ jap pumpkin (about 1 ½ cups) diced
  • Olive oil for roasting
  • Extra freshly squeezed lemon juice for serving (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pesto (see recipe below or you can find it on my website here.)  It’s worth making your own – this has a delicious kick of lemon that goes beautifully with this salad.
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Feta Cheese (optional)

For the Lamb Marinade

Shake or whisk the following ingredients together:

  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1 garlic clove (or 1 teaspoon good quality minced garlic)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

How to pull it together:

Toss the eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin and mushrooms in a little olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes or until well cooked to your liking.

When the veggies have about 10 minutes to go (i.e. after about 30 minutes) start cooking the lamb until browned.  (you can either pan-fry or barbeque the lamb).  It is best to do this in batches so it doesn’t stew in the marinade.  When ready, toss with the roasted veggies and add a couple of tablespoons pesto and stir through.

Serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves and top with some chopped feta cheese (if using)

If you like you can add an extra squeeze of lemon before serving.

The Shrinking Hubby's Pesto, Lamb and Veggie Salad

The Shrinking Hubby’s Pesto, Lamb and Veggie Salad

The Shrinking Hubby’s Pesto

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts dry roasted (you can do this in the oven on some baking paper or in a non-oiled pan on the stove – keep an eye on them – they can burn quickly!)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 small garlic cloves (or 2 teaspoons good quality organic minced garlic)
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

How to pull it together:

Place the pine nuts, basil, lemon juice, garlic, Parmesan, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped.  Gradually add the olive oil while the motor is running in a thin stream until well combined.

If using a Thermomix:

Put an approximately  65 gram (2 ounce) chunk of Parmesan into the mixing bowl and blitz, speed 10 for about 8 seconds or until evenly grated.

Add the basil, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix speed 6 for about 3 seconds or until it reaches your preferred consistency.

You will end up with a deliciously chunky pesto.

The Shrinking Hubby's Pesto

The Shrinking Hubby’s Pesto

Enjoy!


Pasta-free Spaghetti Bolognese, Zucchini Noodles and Caper and Avocado Salsa

One of the things I would like to achieve this year  is a happy balance when it comes to dinner time.   Of course some nights it is too hard to sit down as a family with work commitments, extra curricular activities (ours and theirs) and life in general.  However by by feeding the kids early and then cooking a separate meal for Andrew and I,  I feel that  a) we are missing out on connecting with our kids and b) I am working twice as hard as I need to!   The problem is that Andrew and I really haven’t been eating the same food as our kids.  We love our vegetables and chili and sophisticated flavours and as a rule tend to avoid starchy carbohydrates at night.  They love their simple food such as gluten free pasta, potato and rice. They are also super fussy and likely to turn their noses up at most meals I put in front of them which makes it very frustrating.   So I have decided to create a new section on this website dedicated to family friendly meals that can be adapted to please mum and dads and the kids without too much angst.

First off the rank is my Bolognese (or Bolognaise if that’s the way you spell it!).  I made this sauce the other night (see the recipe below).  I don’t like cooking bolognese in my Thermomix but I find the Thermomix is brilliant for chopping the onions and garlic and getting the vegetables to the exact consistency that I like.  I have noted where I used my Thermomix below.

For the children I serve it on top of gluten free pasta with a sprinkling of lactose free cheese (my 5 year old is lactose intolerant).  My 8 year old however tried Parmesan for the first time the other night (not being put off by the smell) and loved it – an excellent surprise!  They say persistence is the key (sigh) …

I served ours on a bed of zucchini noodles (see how I make my zucchini noodles below).  I didn’t even heat the noodles, I just topped with the hot sauce and then with an avocado and caper salsa (see below).

The Shrinking Hubby’s Bolognese

This makes an enormous batch of bolognese sauce.  Enough to feed a family for a good 3-4 nights.  I freeze some in family sized portions and some in ice cube trays for a quick mid-week kids dinner on the fly.  Don’t be alarmed if it seems like it will be too watery, it thickens up beautifully over the cooking time.

What you will need:

  • 1 Kg grass-fed beef mince
  • 1-2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or  teaspoons of good quality organic minced garlic – I like the Spiral brand)
  • 1 largish brown onion
  • 2-3 cups vegetables – whatever you have in the fridge really.  I like to use carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli and mushrooms depending on what I have.
  • 2 bottles of organic passata sauce (I use 690 gram jars or about 25 ounces).  *Passata is a tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • Dried herbs e.g Italian herb mix (there are many available), paprika, dried oregano
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

1.  Chop the onions and garlic (if using a Thermomix throw onion and garlic in and blitz for 3 seconds speed 5).

2. Finely chop the vegetables, or place the vegetables in a food processor and blitz until chopped to your liking.  (if using a Thermomix throw veggies in and chop for 5-8 seconds speed 5-6 depending on how finely you like them chopped.

Chopped Veggies ready for The Shrinking Hubby's Bolognese Sauce

Chopped Veggies ready for The Shrinking Hubby’s Bolognese Sauce

How to pull it together:

Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot.  When oil is hot add the onions and garlic and a generous sprinkle of sea salt, turn down the heat and saute for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.   When onion is well cooked, add the meat and cook until browned.  When meat is cooked, add the vegetables and 1/2 cup of red wine (if using), 1/2 cup red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup tomato paste.  Stir through until well combined.

Add both bottles of passata.  Fill the empty bottles with water and add both bottles of water at the same time (it will seem like a lot of sauce but will reduce during the cooking time).  Add a generous amount of herbs (italian herb mix, paprika, dried oregano) and 2-3 bay leaves).  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour covered.  Stir from time to time adding salt to taste if required.

You can serve with pasta or zucchini noodles topped with fresh parmesan.

The Shrinking Hubby's Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles

The Shrinking Hubby’s Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles

How to prepare your Zucchini Noodles

What you will need:

  • 3 zucchinis/courgettes per person
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • a vegetable spiraliser

Create the zucchini noodles using a vegetable spiraliser.  Place noodles in a colander, sprinkle liberally with good quality sea salt and drizzle with a splash of olive oil.  Toss and let sit for about 30 minutes.  You will find a lot of liquid leaves the noodles which means that they can shrink quite a bit.  

I have tried many spiralisers to make vegetable ‘noodles’ and the GEFU Spiral Slicer Spiral Fix is by far the easiest and most effective I’ve used.  I purchased mine from Sarah at The Raw Food Mum.  She has a wonderful online store and is generously giving my readers a 10% discount on her spiralisers – just use the code SHRINKINGHUBBY at checkout.  The link to her on-line store is here.

If you like the idea of Zucchini noodles and want more inspiration I have used Zucchini noodles previously with the delicious Dina’s Tomato Sauce here and my Salmon with Pesto Zucchini Noodles here.

Zucchini 'Noodles'

Zucchini ‘Noodles’

Caper, Avocado and Tomato Salsa (serves 2)

Combine in a small bowl 1 tablespoon salted baby capers (well rinsed), 1/2 avocado diced, 1/4 cucumber diced, 1/2 tomato diced.  Toss with juice of 1 lime, sea salt and pepper.

The Shrinking Hubby's Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles topped with Caper and Avocado Salsa

The Shrinking Hubby’s Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles topped with Caper and Avocado Salsa


Vitamineral Green – My Favourite Greens Supplement AND GIVEAWAY!

I have mentioned on here a few times how much I love drinking my daily green juice.  The benefits of daily juicing are such that if I go even a few days without my green juice I notice that I start feeling a bit blah.  I have written about daily juicing and shared some tips and recipes  here.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you might have noticed that I have posted a few times about a greens supplement that I use called Vitamineral Green.  It is a wonderful product which adds even more oomph to my green juice and in the 9 months that I have been taking it I have really noticed a positive impact on my general well being.  I suffered a nasty calf injury last June and I believe that my recovery which has been so effective is in part due to the nutrients that this supplement enables my body to take on a daily basis.

For more information on this and the many other wonderful products available through Balanced Living check out Balanced Living Oz’s website here.  If you email Balanced Living Oz (info@balancedlivingoz.com) to order and mention ‘The Shrinking Hubby’ you will receive free shipping for the month of February.  (You can order directly through their website but to qualify for the free shipping you need to email directly.)   If you don’t live in Australia you can email Balanced Living Oz to find out how to contact your local supplier.  I am excited to announce that I will be giving away 2 X 300 gram bottles of Vitamineral Green!  For information on how to enter see the bottom of this article.

I have asked Danae McDonald, who is the sole distributor in Australia of Vitamineral Green,  to share why she loves this product.

Why take Vitamineral Green

By Danae McDonald

About 10 years ago a Naturopath said to me… with our busy lives and hectic schedules, sometimes it is hard to eat a well rounded nutritional diet. Even with the soil depletion we are not able to gain all the nutrients our body requires.

She said “Danae… if you take nothing else just take Vitamineral Green every day” so I have been taking this amazing supplement for over 10 years and now my 2 boys also love their ‘green juice’ every day. It is an amazing product that not only makes you feel great but also prevents illness in my view. It contains over 30 nutrients from the land, waters and oceans. I love and feel so passionate about the product Balanced Living has been given the exclusive distribution rights for Healthforce Nutritionals in Australia.

These products are in a league of their own… far more nutrient dense and superior to any other product currently available on our shelves. I challenge you to look at what you are currently using as your ‘green powder’ and check for the ingredients that you are paying for but are not actually the expensive greens eg “fillers… like pea protein isolate, flax seed powder, rice bran powder, lecithin, fruits, maca etc….” not bad but certainly NOT green.

Vitamineral Green contains no synthetic or isolated nutrients (ie not excreted as expensive yellow urine) it is 100% Raw, 100% Organic, 100% Vegan, 100% Gluten free with 100% Nutrient protection (Amber glass jar to prevent from outgassing of harmful plastic containers, a unique nutrient lock metal lid and an oxygen absorber).  Importantly it contains no artificial sweeteners.

Essentially it is “Natures Multivitamin” perfectly balanced nutrition packed with vitamins, minerals, trace elements and healing phytonutrients.

“Green foods are perhaps the most healing foods on the planet, and the single most important addition to a diet you can make”

Getting ready to make some green juice with my Vitamineral green

Getting ready to make some green juice with my Vitamineral green

Vitamineral Green Giveaway!

We are very fortunate to have 2 X 300 gram bottles of Vitamineral Green (worth $69.95 each) to give away to my followers.  I am going to give one away through my website and one through my Facebook page.  All you need to do is comment below ‘I’d love to win!’ and I will randomly choose one entry.  To increase your chance of winning make sure you head over to my Facebook page and like and comment on the competition photo there too (it is pinned to the top)!  Hurry – all entries must be in by midnight Friday 28th February – I will select the winner on Saturday 1st March.

I want to point out that I am not affiliated with this product, nor am I making any commission on any sales.  I just like to share what works for me and this product really does.  


Grain-free, Sugar-free Coconut Granola

This recipe is inspired by the Coconutty Granola from Sarah Wilson’s ‘I Quit Sugar’ program.  I’ve made a couple of changes to suit my tastes but it’s really pretty flexible.  I’ve converted it to suit my Thermomix but you can easily make it without.  I have included both versions below.

Grain-free, Sugar-free Coconut Granola

What you will need:

  • 3 cups coconut flakes
  • 2 cups of mixed nuts and seeds (think almonds, cashews, walnuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, pecans etc).  I used a handful each of whatever I had in the pantry.
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons rice-malt syrup.  (You could also use 1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey if you don’t have rice-malt syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
  • a generous pinch of sea salt

How to pull it together: (Thermomix version)

Preheat your oven to 120 degrees Celsius (250 degrees Fahrenheit)

Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Put the coconut flakes into a large bowl.  Set aside.

In the bowl of your Thermomix add the nuts, rice malt syrup (or sweetener), chia seeds, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt.  Put dial to ‘closed lid’ position and press turbo for a second, 2-3 times (until the texture is to your liking).

Add the nut mix to the coconut flakes in a bowl and stir so it’s well combined.

Lay out the granola mixture on the baking tray – spread it evenly.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  After about 10 minutes give it a good toss.  You’ll need to keep an eye on it – check at 15 minutes, you might need to go 25 minutes to get the colour and crispiness.

Remove from the oven and cool.  Serve with your choice of milk, or natural yoghurt and fruit if desired.  I love eating mine with natural yoghurt, prunes and strawberries.

Enjoy!

Granola ready for the oven

Granola ready for the oven

How to pull it together (without a Thermomix):

Preheat your oven to 120 degrees Celsius (250 degrees Fahrenheit)

Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Put the coconut flakes into a large bowl.

Roughly chop the nuts and seeds and mix into the coconut flakes.  Add the rice malt syrup (or sweetener), chia seeds, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt and combine well.

Lay out the granola mixture on the baking tray – spread it evenly.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  After about 10 minutes give it a good toss.  You’ll need to keep an eye on it – check at 15 minutes, you might need to go 25 minutes to get the colour and crispiness.  

Remove from the oven and cool.  Serve with your choice of milk, or natural yoghurt and fruit if desired.  I love eating mine with natural yoghurt, prunes and strawberries.

Enjoy!

Grain-free, Sugar-free Granola

Grain-free, Sugar-free Granola


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