Foodie Friday: Jasmine Davis
Jasmine Davis, aka Jazzie Fizzle, is the beauty behind the foodie/positivity/DIY-y blog Fizzle Out. She is also a Gold Coast-dwelling medical student, with a penchant for vintage shopping, whipping up awesome vegetarian meals, and daydreaming.
Meet Jasmine …
What was the catalyst that turned you into a healthy foodie?
As a teenager and young adult I went through a phase of ‘unhealthy vegetarianism’ – surviving mostly on hot chips, bread, cereal and pasta, with an occasional salad thrown in for good measure.
After moving out of home and fending for myself, I discovered a love for cooking, but it was really upon starting medical school that I became interested in the role that diet plays with respect to health and disease.
Over the past few years I have been gradually working on improving our food choices and I hope to set an example of how a healthy diet can help to maintain optimal levels of health and wellbeing.
What are your non-negotiables when it comes to your diet?
For me, a nutritious and filling breakfast is crucial for making it through the day – so I choose to make my own sugar free muesli or cook up some porridge to start my mornings. I find that these two options can be stacked with fruit, young coconut or natural yoghurt and topped off with some sprinkled goodies like chia seeds or toasted nuts – healthy and delicious.
I like to consider where my food comes from, so prefer to shop from farmer’s markets where possible. I also refuse to eat eggs that are not free-range (one day I would love to have my own chickens so I can guarantee that they are treated well!)
If you were trying to convert someone to your dietary philosophy, what would you make for them?
I love cooking for avid meat eaters and making meals where they say, “Wow, vegetarian food is delicious, I can’t believe there isn’t meat in that!”
Usually this involves making a healthier version of a classic dish, such as; lasagne stacked with spinach and roasted veggies, Shepard’s pie using lentils or a Mexican feast made with kidney or black beans and rice.
How do you stay healthy while travelling?
Holidays usually bring with it a chance to splurge on, and experiment with new foods. I generally forget about my healthy eating guidelines and indulge in all the ‘naughty things’ that I would generally avoid – but it usually isn’t long before I am craving something fresh and healthy. When we travelled through Europe a huge part of our research went into discovering vegetarian restaurants. We had a lot of fun exploring far corners of old, lost cities searching for good food; sometimes we would find out that the guidebooks or websites had led us astray, but often we indulged in some of the best meals we have ever eaten.
A good tip that most vegetarians would be aware of has to do with being cuisine conscious while travelling. Hare Krishna restaurants always have excellent veggo options (and there is one in almost every city) and Indian food usually has plenty of veg-friendly meals on the menu too. We also found that paying a little more to stay in self-contained apartments or hostels with a shared kitchen was a great way to occasionally self-cater, even if it only allowed you to start the day with a healthy breakfast and have a place to keep healthy snacks!
What are your go-to meals and snacks when you are super busy?
I try to be organised and plan for weekday snacks on the weekend (though the key word in that sentence is ‘try’). I frequently whip up a batch of quinoa patties that can be had on their own or in a healthy wrap for example, or make some hummus to go with carrot sticks or falafel. For a quick snack I usually grab a handful of Brazil nuts on the run, or if I have a little more time, the trusty avocado-tomato-cracker combo never lets me down.
We also make a lot of large batches of curries and soups, especially in winter. We even had to buy a larger saucepan just recently to accommodate our veggie-packed soups. So that we don’t get sick of eating the same meal all week, we fill our freezer with left-overs of soup and curry – these also make for easy meals when we find ourselves too busy to cook over the next following few weeks.
Juices or smoothies: Which do you prefer? What’s your favourite combination?
We recently purchased our first juicer, so I would have to say that I am on a bit of a juice craze at the moment. It’s also a little too cold for a classic smoothie at the moment, but our juicer performs dual functions and can also make fruit smoothies, so I will have to let you know in a few months if I’m still a juice-girl.
In saying that, I have been avoiding fruit juice while on the quest to reduce my sugar intake, so our morning juice is usually based on a combination of celery, carrots, beetroot and cucumber, red capsicum, ginger and Cos lettuce (depending on what is in the fridge).
What’s the biggest nutrition misconception you are always having to clear up for people?
The latest epiphany that I personally have had since following Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar program is that full fat is not the enemy. For so many years I have purchased the low fat version of foods like yoghurt, without considering the sugar content. Now that I have made the switch too full-fat alternatives, I have realised how much the fat fills me up and satisfies my hunger!
Recently, I have been trying to educate friends and family, encouraging them to check out the ingredients list and reading the entire label on the foods they consume (or even better, eating foods without a label) rather than thinking that ‘low fat’ is inherently healthier.
If you could prepare a meal for anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and what would you make?
As cliché as it sounds, if I could prepare a meal for anyone, I would love to cook a meal for my family. This would give me a chance to see my little brother who has spent the last few years gallivanting across the globe, and I’m sure the table would be full of laughter and stories of adventure. My parents have recently made the switch to a mostly raw vegan diet, and my brother is also vegan, so I would consult some of my favourite food blogs for an assortment of recipes to make a vegan feast.
Most likely, it would include some kind of curry or dahl, such as the Four Corners Lentil Soup by My New Roots – such a favourite of mine, and really easy to make!
What does being a Wellness Warrior mean to you?
In my opinion, being a wellness warrior means following your own path and finding what works for you and your body. It’s about working out what you feel comfortable with so that you can live the healthiest and happiest life possible. It means sharing ideas and inspiring others without forcing your opinions on them; gathering knowledge and experiences so that you have the ability to make educated choices about the way you choose to live.
A Recipe From Jasmine:
Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup
What you’ll need:
12 (about 1.2kg) Roma tomatoes – I only make this soup if I can find delicious looking bright red tomatoes from the farmer’s markets
Olive oil to drizzle
12 cherry tomatoes (or more if you prefer)
2 tbs organic butter or olive oil
2 each of onions, carrots, celery stalks and garlic cloves, diced
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tbs sundried tomato paste (if you can’t find this, just add chopped sundried tomatoes)
1 bay leaf
1 basil sprig, plus extra leaves to garnish
1L (4 cups) vegetable stock
What to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Halve the tomatoes and set them cut side up in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for around 30 min or until softened.
2. In the meantime, add butter or olive oil to a large based saucepan over a low to medium heat. Add the carrots, onions, celery and garlic and stir occasionally until softened (do not allow to brown – around 2-3 min).
3. Add tinned tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, bay leaf, basil and vegetable stock. When they have cooked, add roasted Roma tomatoes and any cooking juices (leave the oven on).
4. Bring to the boil and then simmer on low heat for at least 20 min, until all vegetables have softened.
5. Meanwhile, place cherry tomatoes in a tray, drizzle with olive oil and put in the oven for ~10 min or until softened and slightly browned. Set aside to serve atop the soup.
6. Allow the soup to cool slightly and then blitz (if you have a stick mixer that would be ideal, otherwise do it in batches in the blender).
7. Now here is the trick that is a bit of a pain but makes this soup so smooth and fabulous – pass the soup through a sieve into another pan, pushing through as much tomato pulp as possible while straining out the seeds and skins. It does take a while but it is worth a bit of elbow grease now – you will appreciate it later.
(Note – I have been lazy and not bothered to strain this soup and it still tastes good, you just get little bits of tomato skin in amongst the soup. It really depends on your personal preference if it is worth the effort to you)
8. Season with salt and pepper and serve topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and basil leaves, with shaved parmesan if you wish.
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