Recipe sharing is a beautiful thing. So is sharing ideas with like-minded people. And that is why I’ve decided to start chatting with healthy foodies in the community to bring more delicious recipes together in the one place.
How did I come to know Perth foodie Andy from Create To Eat? My best friend went overseas and met her in Europe. She knew instantly we’d like the same things. I got my Instagram stalk on and found that Andy is sharing some seriously delicious healthy recipes on her account. An email to Andy later and here we are.
Here’s my chat with Andy, plus a tasty recipe you can make at home very easily.
Can you tell me how your Instagram Create to Eat (create_to_eat) started? What drove you to healthy eating and sharing it with those around you?
I found growing up that I was constantly sick – despite loving school, I had almost one day at home every week. I was fraught with environmental allergies. I just assumed I had a compromised immune system, in fact, doctors diagnosed me with an ‘immune deficiency’. This not only made it difficult to get on with my life, but also difficult to really get into an exercise or fitness regime.
Whilst I haven’t really had issues with my weight, in 2013 I returned home to Australia after 7 months living abroad in the US a total of 9 kilos heavier. For 6 months I went back to living what I deemed ‘healthy’ and lost some of the weight but not all. I was still constantly sick and a few months after returning home had my tonsils removed. Shortly after that I fell ill with salmonella poisoning after eating out at a restaurant and was probably the sickest I have ever been. When I was recovering, I found my body rejected certain foods (eg. dairy products) and decided it was time to do something about it. So I started switching to a plant based diet.
Not wanting to bombard my friends with photos of all the food I was making, I decided to start up my Instagram @create_to_eat where I posted recipes and started connecting with other like-minded people. I have no doubt this was the best way to keep me motivated and inspired and I found a huge amount of enjoyment in being creative with food. It’s been about 16 months now and I am so humbled when I get positive feedback from my followers. It’s such a great community to be a part of.
I can without a doubt say switching to plant based was the best decision I have ever made! For the first time in my life I had energy every day; I was able to stick to a fitness regime and found myself loving my workouts and best of all – I didn’t get ill (not even with a cold) for over a year! The power of eating wholefoods is incredible. Oh, and the rest of the weight fell off. Now, I’m in the best shape of my life, my skin is generally clear, my allergies are under control most of the time, and I’m loving food more than ever.
What foods have you come to be able to reintroduce and what do you still need to avoid?
I don’t eat any dairy, still – I’m not sure if it would agree with my body but after doing research I’ve decided it’s not something I want to introduce into my diet again. Of course, I have days where I don’t eat as healthily – when I’m eating out, or hungover, so I’m not as strict with my eating as I used to be, but I also find that my pantry and fridge now reflect my lifestyle and it’s no longer any kind of challenge for me to eat this way.
What is your favourite go-to recipe for a healthy dinner?
I can’t go past a soba noodle stir-fry. I love Asian and Mexican food so often my dinners will be one of these cuisines. When I’m running short on time I love a good seasonal stir-fry – in summer I sauté chili and onion, then add broccoli, snow peas, capsicum, and mushroom with some soba noodles, and garnish it with sesame seeds.
What are three ingredients you can’t live without?
Buckwheat, bananas, and spinach!
What are your favourite healthy food spots in Perth that you’d recommend people visit?
I’d highly recommend people check out The Juicy Beetroot Cafe, Solomon’s Café, and The Ingredient Tree!
Andy from Create To Eat has kindly shared one of her new recipes with us. Take a look.
Sprouted Gingerbread Buckwheat Granola
2 cups sprouted buckwheat
1 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup activated sunflower seeds
1/2 cup roughly chopped almonds
1/4 cup chia seeds
4 medjool dates
4 tablespoons coconut oil (I used Coconut Magic)
1 tablespoon almond milk
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon Coconut Magic coconut flower nectar (or other sweetener – maple or honey)
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients together. In a blender or food processor add the wet ingredients and blend to make a paste. Mix the paste into the dry ingredients until it is fully coated. Transfer to a large baking tray lined with paper and flatten with a spatula. Pop in the oven at 160 degrees for about 40 minutes – check it every 10 minutes and stir to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Take out of the oven and allow to cool. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container.
Serve with fresh fruit and coconut yoghurt!
I’ll be sharing one more recipe from Andy in the coming weeks, so check back for something a little more treat based soon.