Product review: CO YO coconut yoghurt

CO YO, the wonderful company making coconut yoghurt available for those who can’t tolerate dairy (or choose not to have it), has been around for a while but has been recently trying to expand their reach. Their yoghurts are vegan and free of dairy, soy, gluten, lactose, and added sugar. They have quite a few varieties that come in tubs from 250g up to 1k.

CO YO

All flavours contain organic coconut milk (88% in the fruit varieties, 98% in the plain and chocolate), starch (tapioca, pectin), stevia and live vegan cultures including Lactobacillus casei, L. rhamnosus, L. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, Bif. bifidum, Bif. lactis, and S. Thermophilus. Note: I’m not quite sure why live bacteria qualify as vegan-friendly.

The fruited varieties (mango, passion fruit and mixed berries) are perfect to grab and eat out of the tub. The recommended serving size is 100g but if you’re pretty active you can easily polish one 250g tub in one sitting.

CO YO

We liked the chocolate yoghurt with frozen blueberries. The natural one is good by itself or pimped up. We enjoyed ours with Feed Me‘s grainless granola and thawed frozen mixed berries.

CO YO, Feed Me granola

CO YO with Feed Me granola and mixed berries

Here are a few more ideas to enjoy plain CO YO: spoon a dollop on a bowl of soup (borsch, for example) or hot chocolate (bonus: sprinkle with cinnamon!), serve alongside a slice of gluten-free cake, use instead of Greek yoghurt for tzatziki.

Keep your eyes peeled for a few recipes with CO YO.

Gaby @ lateraleating enjoyed a sample pack courtesy of CO YO.

CO YO Corporate Pty Ltd
52 Central Park Drive
Yandina, QLD 4561
www.coyo.com.au

Recipe: Triple mushroom soup

Three things happened: my naturopath suggested getting more mushrooms (particularly shiitakes) in my diet, I read this article entitled “Smart Fuel: Mushrooms” at Mark’s Daily Apple, and I found dried chanterelles and porcini powder at Dr Earth. As a result, this soup was born.

Mushrooms

Triple mushroom soup
Yield: 6 servings

Triple mushroom soup

Ingredients

  • 30 g dried chanterelles (or other dried mushrooms)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 400 g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 5 cups bone broth (I used beef but any kind will do)
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt (or regular sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon porcini powder
  • salt and pepper
  • butter, to serve

Directions

  1. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water until fully rehydrated. Drain and keep the soaking water.
  2. Heat ghee in a pot and sautée the fresh and rehydrated mushrooms, garlic and onion powder for 10 minutes.
  3. Add wine, reserved soaking water (be careful as there may be dirt at the bottom of the container), set heat to max and let reduce for about 10 minutes.
  4. Add broth, tarragon, thyme and celery salt, heat through and process with a stick or regular blender.
  5. Add a teaspoon of porcini powder, adjust seasoning and serve with butter.

Review: Rising Sun Workshop (Newtown)

We finally got to try Rising Sun Workshop, the ramen pop-up we were so afraid to see disappear. I had contacted them a long time ago asking if they had something gluten sensitive-friendly, and they said they have rice noodles on hand for weirdos like us.

In case you don’t know, the cafe/ramen bar coexists with a motorcycle workshop opposite the Camperdown Memorial Park (a.k.a. “the poo park”).

Rising Sun Workshop

Rising Sun Workshop

They do 3 broths: the darkness (shoyu tonkotsu or pork style broth), the light (chicken, bonito and 3x salt broth) and the monk (miso based broth). So few options but that means they do them well.

I had “the light” and tried “the darkness”, both broths were flavourful and rich, as opposed to over-the-top MSG but “flat”. The egg comes with the perfect yolk, the pork is fatty and tender, the shiitake had an unusual and delicious sweet-and-sour pickled flavour and the pieces of gari, green onions and seaweed were there to bring the soup to perfect balance. I know the noodles are a big deal for most people but for us they’re just a filler. Having said that, please note that even when you can order rice noodles as we did, the pork and eggs are marinated in shoyu (Japanese soy sauce) and there’s more shoyu in “the darkness” broth so this is not for you if you’re very sensitive to gluten.

The light

The light

The darkness

The darkness

But wait! There can be more! Check their Facebook page for announcement of special toppings that you can add to your ramen by mentioning a password. In the past there’s been roasted bone marrow and that night we skipped the kara-age chicken (because it was coated in “corn flour” made with wheat flour).

We also enjoyed green tea that came in a very cool old-school heavy metal pot.

Green tea

Green tea ($4)

Rising Sun Workshop
Cnr Mary & Lennox Streets
Newtown NSW 2042
www.risingsunworkshop.com/pop-up
On Facebook

Rising Sun Workshop on Urbanspoon

Injured

I got a back injury last Wednesday and am recovering very slowly. It happened during training but I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a sport-related injury; I think it could have happened any time. I’m not quite sure of the nature of my injury, but my chiro thinks it’s a disc tear. He hasn’t ordered any scans to save me the $$$ for an injury that seems to be mild (relatively speaking).

My activity levels have dropped to a minimum because I can’t walk a lot. It hurts to sit, so I’ve been skipping lectures and work, and meditating on a stool instead of a cushion. It hurts to sleep (especially getting in bed, changing position and getting out of bed) but that’s something I can’t skip. Needless to say, I’m getting fat. I’ve been wearing track pants so I’m not sure of the magnitude but I’m guessing I won’t fit into my work pants the day after tomorrow.

I’m less hungry and therefore trying to eat less but it’s hard when you really like food. Gaining weight is annoying and difficult to reverse for people like me but what really frustrates me is not being able to be active.

Review: Stir Crazy (Erskineville)

Eating Thai around Newtown doesn’t sound particularly glamorous, but that’s what we do once in a while. In this opportunity we moved away from King Street and landed on Stir Crazy. I had read some poor reviews but was not too fussed about meeting expectations. Once inside, I must say I liked the place a lot.

Stir Crazy

Stir Crazy

Stir Crazy

From the specials menu we ordered the Peking duck stir fry (stir fried roast duck fillet with hoisin Pecking duck sauce, shallot, broccoli and carrot). It is normally served with roti bread but we asked for no bread and had a serve of coconut rice instead, for extra $3. The duck was salty (I was expecting sweet but cannot complain) and tasty, and while now I think would have been great wrapped in lettuce, that night I really enjoyed eating it with the fragrant coconut rice.

Peking duck stir fry

Peking duck stir fry ($17.90), coconut rice ($3)

Our second dish was Moo yang (grilled pork served with mixed salad and spicy dressing), which was sweet (I was expecting salty this time…) and came with plain white rice. Nice but I liked the duck better.

Moo yang

Moo yang ($12.90)

We didn’t need dessert but the coconut rice had set me in the mood for more. I considered a second serve as dessert but that would have been weird. Alvaro is always keen on sticky rice; they didn’t have any with mango that night but offered us the version with Thai custard. Nice dessert. Sugar coma.

Sticky rice with Thai custard

Sticky rice with Thai custard ($4.90)

Stir Crazy
128 Erskineville Road
Erskineville NSW 2043
(02) 9519 0044
www.stircrazythai.com.au

Stir Crazy Thai on Urbanspoon

Product review: Cave Foods Mammooth bar

Although I’m not very keen on caveman references in paleo-friendly foods, and do believe homemade food and not packaged foods should make the bulk of our diet, I do appreciate the convenience of portable crap-free edible products.

Thanks to the increasing popularity of Crossfit and paleo/primal approaches to eating, several companies have created more natural alternatives of protein bars. Cave Foods is one of the such companies, and their product is called Mammooth bar.

I grabbed a vanilla bar at Paleo Cafe (they didn’t have chocolate – bummer!) for $5. It comes wrapped in butcher’s paper secured by a sticker that reads: “No: gluten, added sugar, artificial flavouring or preservatives.” At the back you can find the ingredients list: natural whey protein powder, organic almond meal, raw organic cacao butter, raw organic honey, organic dates, organic dried bananas, raw organic vanilla powder. Inside the wrapping paper, the bar sits in an tight and easy to tear plastic wrap.

Cave Foods Mamooth bar

Cave Foods Mamooth bar

Cave Foods Mamooth bar

I had half the bar post-workout (shared with Alvaro). I don’t use whey protein regularly any more because it can mess with my digestion and/or respiratory system but the small amount in half a bar didn’t bother me. The bar has the distinct milky taste of whey protein shakes, and was unexpectedly sour, but not in a bad way. Vanilla is not normally my preferred flavour unless I’m mixing it with something else. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for an opportunity to try the chocolate version.

Cave Foods
5 Allens Pde
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
www.cavefoods.com
On Facebook

Recipe: Arroz con pato (Peruvian duck with rice)

Yes, rice. Not cauliflower rice, but real rice. Although I consider white rice a relatively safe starch, I don’t eat it very often because it can stuff up my digestion and make me chubby. After 3+ years of not cooking rice, Alvaro asked me to make arroz con pato (literally “duck with rice”) for his birthday.

Arroz con pato (Peruvian duck with rice)
Yield: 6 servings

Arroz con pato

Ingredients

  • 6 duck marylands
  • 175 ml gluten-free beer
  • 175 ml plain kombucha or chicha de jora
  • 1 teaspoon fat (duck fat recommended)
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ají amarillo (yellow chilli powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 25 g pumpkin, grated
  • 1/2 litre chicken broth
  • 500 g medium-grain white rice
  • 75 g pumpkin, diced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 red capsicum
  • salt and pepper
  • salsa criolla, to serve

Directions

  1. Marinate the marylands in a large ziplock bag with the beer and kombucha overnight.
  2. Drain the marylands and keep the marinade.
  3. Heat the fat in a large pot, brown the marylands in batches and set aside.
  4. The marylands will release a lot of fat (sweet!). If the amount makes you gag, get rid of some. Otherwise, set the temperature to low and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 10 minutes, add the chilli and cumin and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. While the aderezo cooks, chop the stalks and leaves of the coriander, and blend with just enough broth to make a paste.
  6. Add the coriander paste and grated pumpkin to the pot, cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the marylands, marinade and rest of the broth, cover pot and cook for 1 1/5 hours.
  8. In the meantime, roast the capsicum directly on the open fire of your stove or grill, or in a hot oven (210+ degrees), turning it periodically until the skin is completely black. Carefully remove the skin, stem and seeds and cut the flesh in strips. Reserve.
  9. When the marylands are cooked, remove from the pot and keep warm.
  10. Add rice to the pot, cook for 20 minutes.
  11. Add diced pumpkin, cook for another 10 minutes.
  12. Cook the peas in boiling water with salt (don’t overcook them, you want them bright green).
  13. Season rice with salt and pepper, serve topped with peas and capsicum, with duck and salsa criolla on the side.

Ketosis and athletic performance

The Sydney Morning Herald published an article on this topic last week (you can find it here). In it they describe how endurance athlete Tim Reed adopted a mostly ketogenic diet and the impact it has had on his performance. They also present work by professors Tim Noakes and Grant Schofield who are very well-known in the low carb high fat community.

Anyway, the article is pretty decent, except that they show a picture of a breakfast entitled “full fat: slow burn food?”. The plate contains potato chips, half a roasted tomato, 3 strips of roasted capsicum, baked beans, a sausage and a slice of toast topped with a fried egg. It looks very carb-loaded to me! I ran a search in MyFitnessPal.com and lo and behold, here’s the rough composition of the meal:

Food Portion size Fat Carbs Protein
Fast foods – Potato, french fried in vegetable oil (Generic) 1 small 16.0 34.0 4.0
Beans – Baked, canned, plain or vegetarian (Generic) 1/2 cup 0.0 27.0 6.0
Sausage – Beef, fresh, cooked (Generic) 50 g 14.0 0.0 9.0
Roasted Roma Tomatoes (Eurest) 1/4 cup 1.0 2.0 0.0
Pepper Red Roasted (Parkhurst) 1 Oz 0.0 1.5 0.0
Bread – White, toasted 1 slice 1.0 12.0 2.0
Eggs – Fried (whole egg) (Generic) 1 large 7.0 0.4 6.3
Total 39.0 76.9 27.6

Moral of the story: if you feel inspired by Tim Reed’s story give ketosis a shot but don’t think a breakfast like that will take you there.

If you want to learn more about ketosis and athletic performance check out Ben Greenfield and Dr Peter Attia‘s work.

Review: Kitchen Green (Eveleigh Markets, Darlington)

Kitchen Green

Thanks to my sis for letting me know there was a stall selling gluten-free yumminess at Eveleigh markets. Yes, everything at Kitchen Green is gluten-free and they also have dairy-free, egg-free, vegan and raw options (watch out for soy, though).

Kitchen Green

Kitchen Green

Kitchen Green

Kitchen Green: Muffins

My first purchase was back in Easter, when they were selling amazing hot cross buns. Later on, I’ve tried a couple of their veggie soups with gluten free toast ($7), a brunch tart ($5.5) with kale, pumpkin and feta cheese, a savoury mini muffin with pumpkin, the brekkie banana, prune, coconut & chia loaf ($4) (you can add roasted macadamia butter for an extra dollar), the roasted sweet potato, prune, walnut & chocolate brownie ($4.5) and one of their green smoothies ($7) with kale, english spinach, banana, mandarin, lemon, mint, ginger, tumeric & coconut water.

Kitchen Green: Soup pot

Kitchen Green: cauliflower and leek soup with gluten-free muffin toast

Cauliflower and leek soup with gluten-free muffin toast ($7)

Everything I’ve had there has been tasty and IMO worth the extra bucks (although some of their sweets, like the brownies are a bit too sweet for me).

Kitchen Green: Porridge pot

Kitchen Green: Brownies and smoothie sign

Kitchen Green
Eveleigh Markets
245 Wilson St
Eveleigh NSW 2015
02 9699 2337
0417 442 095
info@kitchengreen.com.au
On Facebook

Recipe: Supercharged hot chocolate, two ways

It’s still winter! I don’t know about you but when it’s cold I don’t fancy a smoothie, but a hot chocolate. I wouldn’t have one at a regular cafe because of the dairy and sugar content, so I make my own in my trusty Klean Kanteen insulated flask. It’s pretty filling thanks to the fat content, so it can easily replace breakfast.

Supercharged hot chocolate, two ways
Yield: 1 serving

Hot chocolate

Ingredients

Maca version:

  • 2 teaspoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon MCT oil
  • 2 teaspoons maca powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • optional: 1 tablespoon collagen hydrolysate
  • 1 cup hot water

“Bulletproof” version:

  • 2 teaspoons raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon MCT oil
  • 1 tablespoon grass-fed butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 1/4 cup hot water

Directions

  1. Choose a version and mix all ingredients in flask (shake well) or in a blender (be careful with the hot water!).