Tuesday

The Happiness Initiative

Mountain bread wheat wraps with beetroot hummus, tuna & apple, tomato salsa, and lentil salad
My good friend and colleague, Alena, (hello, it's been a while since she's been mentioned here) and I have decided to follow our other healthier, fitter friends' footsteps towards clean eating. We're really into food, desserts, and cooking though, so we're going to take things one step at a time. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not going to go all health-freak on you and stop with my cakes completely. This is about making a sustainable lifestyle adjustment, it's not a crash diet, and I hope that it becomes something I can maintain for the rest of my life. I just enjoy food far too much to cut out a lot of it, so instead of a clean eating initiative, we have decided to call it The Happiness Initiative. 

What are the guidelines of THI, you wonder? Well, I'm glad you asked, buddy, cos here they are:
  1. Eat well prepared food made of the best ingredients
  2. Do something fun and artsy (check out the local music scene, paint a table, I dunno, anything!)
  3. If you're going to have dessert, bake a friggin cake and have a bite 
  4. Don't sweat the small stuff. Adopt our mantra: It's NACHO problem, you don't have to TACO bout it
  5. Wake up, and smile at yourself in the mirror even if you're hungover
  6. Oh yea, have a drink every now and then, but don't push it
  7. Let's get physical, physical, I wanna get physical (walk, ride a bike, swim, play tennis, have sex, tickle your siblings, dance to corny music) 
  8. Do at least 2 things you've never done, in 2 places you've never been in a year
  9. Treat yourself, have something to look forward to every month

Easy, right? lol this is by no means a list to follow, this is simply our list of how to be happy. I'm a strong believer that you don't chase happiness, you simply have to be happy, and so these are just a few things I do to make myself happy on a daily basis. 

For our first week of putting the THI into motion, we prepared a few dishes that we can store in the office fridge for our lunches and daytime snacks. Thank the stars for a good pantry, by the way. These recipes are SO easy, and takes about 15 minutes to prepare so it doesn't take anything to whip them up the night before and bring them in to work the next day. Hope you give them a shot! 

Beetroot Hummus

Tahini:
  • 5 cups sesame seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups of olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C, toast sesame seeds for 5-10 minutes (do not let it burn, a golden brown will suffice)
  2. Blend the tahini and olive oil until you achieve a pourable texture
Beetroot Hummus:
  • 1 16oz tin of chick peas
  • 1/4 cup liquid from the chick peas tin
  • 3-5 tbsp of lemon juice (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium sized beetroot, peeled and cooked

  1. First, peel and chop the beetroot into small 1cm and cook in a saucepan over a low heat. I just brushed the saucepan with olive oil. Cook until soft, so about 30 mins? lol sorry
  2. Blend all ingredients for 3-5 minutes on low speed until thoroughly mixed and the texture is smooth

Apple & Tuna salad
  • 1 can tuna flakes in water, no salt added
  • 1 Granny Smith green apple, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt flakes
Hello! Just mash it all up in a small bowl, you can eat it as it or use it as a filling for wraps and sandwiches

And a recipe contribution from Alena:

Tomato Salsa
  • 3 large tomatoes, remove pulp, chopped into cubes
  • Handful of coriander
  • Dried oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
Once again, just mix it all up in a bowl and chill in the fridge

Sorry for the radio silence lately, but so much has been happening and I simply haven't found the time to type up posts worthy of you readers. I'll try to get some time in this weekend, but between a concert on Saturday and fancy dinner cooking party on Sunday, I'm not sure when I'll be able to do it. But no worries, I am a miracle worker, I'll have a post up in a week.

Much love, be happy, and enjoy this amazing painting done for me by the lovely and talented Alena:

Alena is a very talented painter, and she's taking commissions now, so if you're interested in owning a piece of her art, drop her an email at alena.murang@gmail.com 

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