Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Spring salad: Grated beetroot and apple

October 11, 2011

This is a colourful and flavourful salad right in time for the warmer days ahead and, like everything else I tend to make, easy! Plenty of antioxidants, healthy fats and flavour are to be had with this salad which tastes super fresh.

Just be careful of getting beetroot stains all over you when making it – though, for the ladies, beetroot makes for a great blush.

Ingredients

1 large raw beetroot, peeled and grated
1 large apples, peeled and grated (go for a sweeter variety rather than a tart one)
1 orange, juiced
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup walnuts, either whole or roughly chopped

Method

Combine all ingredients in a bowl! That’s it 🙂

Beetroot and apple salad

Beetroot and apple salad

 

Condiments: The best down home ketchup yer ever gawna taste!

July 27, 2011

Ketchup is surely one of life’s greatest pleasures. But, you’ve never tasted ketchup ’til you’ve tried this one. It’s honest to god the bees knees. Make it and you’ll never douse your hot chips with Heinz ever again. This is another Mark Sisson recipe that I’ve adapted slightly, using less apple cider vinegar than the original recipe calls for. It does still need that vinegar though, to give it a real bite.

Condiments are well worth time investing in, because they help jazz up lots of different meals even when you’ve got no motivation to make anything special.  Depending on the ingredients, they can also last quite a while in the fridge – the apple cider vinegar in this ketchup means it will keep for weeks.

Ingredients

280g of tomato paste (usually 1 can or 2 small tubs)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
3 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
3 tbsp white onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp black pepper

Ketchup ingredients

Ketchup ingredients

Method

Mix all ingredients in a food processor or with a hand blender until smooth. Add a bit of water if too thick. Store in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator. Easy!

Paleo tomato ketchup

Paleo tomato ketchup

Paleo coconut flour pancakes

July 22, 2011

As I’ve written before, eating Paleo does not mean going without your favourite treats. Pancakes are really easy to make in a Paleo style, using either almond flour or coconut flour. But you still have to perfect your pancake flipping technique – there ain’t no short cuts in that regard! On that front, I’ve got a long way to go.

This recipe is from Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Cookbook which, admittedly, I have neglected for a while, possibly because the book design isn’t quite as sparky as others I’ve got. But the recipes really are great with such variety, so I really have no excuse.

Here’s the lowdown on making these easy, delicious and healthy pancakes…surely an oymoron?

Makes 5 large pancakes or 10 small.

Ingredients

3 eggs
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 tsp natural vanilla extract
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
t tsp baking soda
1/2 cup water

Method

Whisk together eggs, oil. coconut milk and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients and then add the wet ingredients, stirring until smooth. Add the water to thin the batter out until you’ve reached the desired consistency.

In a well oiled pan, cook pancakes until browned on both sides (about 3 minutes on each side).

Serve with your choice of garnishes – berries, nuts, coconut milk, cinnamon…it’s up to you!

Coconut pancakes with berries

Coconut pancakes with berries

Winter dinners: Braised chicken with ginger and star anise

July 20, 2011

Winter seems to have suddenly ramped up here in Oz, stirring an unmistakeable desire to create tasty comfort food. This dish delivers on that front and is super easy to put together. It also makes for some great leftovers to save coming up with something for lunch (or dinner as the case may be).

Chicken thighs are  a fattier cut of chicken, however they are well suited to a slow cooked dish and tastier than breast meat. Remember, don’t be afraid of animal fats in your cooking – this is how we create hormones, get flavour from meat and go away from a meal genuinely satisfied.

I think a lot of people may read this post and think “I make this sort of thing all the time, so this is Paleo?!” and the answer is a resounding “YES!” Believe it or not, a lot of meals ARE paleo-friendly. I hope that goes some way to assuring people that Paleo isn’t really all that hard if you plan ahead. A lot of your favouite dishes may already be Paleo-friendly, or may just need a minor tweak here and there.

I should note here for the Paleo purists that I do eat a little white rice – the reason being that it’s low in the phytates we avoid in grains (much lower than brown rice) and I really believe I would do my head in if I tried to avoid it. Especially eating out socially. I only eat it at night though when I eat most of my carbs. This also helps my blood sugar stay nice and happy during the daytime.

Ingredients

1 kg boneless and skinless chicken thighs
1 tsp sichuan peppercorns*
3 x 2cm piece fresh ginger, shredded
2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
80mL chinese rice wine or sherry
60mL tamari** (or coconut aminos if you can source them)
1 tbsp honey
1 star anise
3 spring onions, thinly sliced diagonally

Method

Cut each thigh in half. Put the chicken pieces, peppercorns, ginger, garlic rice wine/sherry, honey and star anise in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 2 hours, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with spring onions and serve with steamed white rice and a vegetable side dish.

Serves 4.

Braised chicken with ginger and star anise

Braised chicken with ginger and star anise

*Sichuan peppercorns are available at many Asian grocery stores.It’s well worth seeking them out to create some heat in the dish.

**Tamari is a better choice than soy sauce as it’s gluten free, however it still has soy in it. Some Paleo cooks use coconut aminos instead – I have bought these from iHerb, but they’re not quite the same. I think a little tamari, maybe mixed with the coconut aminos is acceptable, unless of course you have an issue with soy (it is known to be one of the biggest food intolerances around)

Rosemary and hazelnut cookies!

July 10, 2011

To balance my last post about the joys of organ meats, here is a more “girly” post on subtly sweet cookies. Mmm, mmm! This is easily one of my favourite Paleo things to make, even if I spent a whole half hour chopping hazelnuts last time I made them. What I love about these is that the almond flour (aka almond meal) has its own natural sweetness that wheat flour doesn’t, plus they are high in protein and good fats. At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, these are far better than any store bought cookie.

As always with Elana Amsterdam recipes, I substitute out the Agave nectar and grapeseed oil for maple syrup/rice syrup and coconut oil respectively. Paleo purists may have an issue with maple syrup and rice syrup but I prefer the maple to honey and after researching, I found that rice syrup is probably preferable to anything else considering my hypoglycemia issues. I do eat a little white rice from time to time, although it is a grain and therefore forbidden on strict Paleo, it is one allowance I make so as not to send myself insane, especially when eating out and options are limited. I also had to add an egg as the mix doesn’t bind all that well. But, one very important thing is to give the dough enough time in the freezer to set well – this makes cutting the dough in to cookies easier as they break less.

Without further ado, here is the recipe along with some photos to tempt you to give them a try.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup of hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 med-large egg
3 tbsp rice syrup or maple syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Method

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, hazelnuts and rosemary. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, coconut oil, vanilla and syrup. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined.

Cookie ingredients

Cookie ingredients

Place the dough in a horizontal line along cling wrap (use enough cling wrap so as to be able to then cover the dough as a roll). Roll the dough in the cling wrap, tie up the ends like candy wrappers and shape into a large log about 4cm in diameter. You may need to squish the sides of the log to ensure it is wide enough and that there are no cracks in the dough.

Cookie dough prepped for rolling

Cookie dough prepped for rolling

Place on a baking tray in the freezer for an hour or until very firm  but not frozen (may take an hour and a half).

Cookie dough rolled up like candy

Cookie dough rolled up like candy

Remove the log from the freezer and preheat the oven to 350 fareinheit (180 celsius or 160 in a fan forced oven). Don’t worry that the log is not perfectly round! If it is firm enough, remove the cling wrap and use a sharp, wet knife to cut 1cm thick slices. Transfer the slices to lined baking trays leaving 2cm between each cookie.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until brown around the edges and relatively firm. Let the cookies cool on the baking trays for 30 minutes, then serve. These cookies go really well with a nice herbal tea such as Tulsi Rose tea (my current fave herbal tea). Ensure to store in an airtight container.

Cookies served with Tulsi rose tea

Cookies served with Tulsi rose tea

Beef jerky

February 22, 2011

I had been intending to make some beef jerky as snack-food-on-the-go for ages but found it hard to get organised. I bought an Ezi food dehydrator about two years ago and had only used it for drying fruits (pears, bananas, nectarines) but it can be used for so much more. I should point out here that if you don’t have a dehydrator, an oven can be used to make the jerky (though you won’t get the same cost effectiveness, as the dehydrator is really energy efficient). Just ask Uncle Google for the instructions rather than using the below.

In the end, it was really simple. The book that came with the dehydrator has really straightforward instructions about what type of meats are suitable and how to get the meat cut (cross-wise against the grain and 1cm thick). So, armed with that information, 1kg of topside beef was purchased and prepared initially by the butcher.

Then it was time for a little more prep at home involving me, a mallet, cutting board and a LOT of elbow grease. BANG, BANG, BANG as Mark Ronson would sing. So, I had softened the meat, trimmed the small amount of fat on the meat and then cut it into strips about 1-2cm wide.

After that, I prepared the marinade as per the recipe provided in the book (with a little tweaking):

  • 4tbs tamari sauce
  • 4tbs Worcestorshire sauce*
  • 1tbs tomato sauce**
  • 1/4tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp good fine sea salt
  • 1tbs grated ginger
  • 1tbs curry powder***

The beef was marinaded for about 36 hours in the fridge in a covered glass bowl.

The next step was to place it in the dehydrator:

Beef jerky

Beef jerky in the dehydrator

I checked the jerky after about 6 1/2 hours and most of it was done. I left the thicker pieces for another hour. It ‘s important with dehydrating to ensure that there is no moisture left at all, otherwise it will not keep.

Verdict: Delicious! Admittedly very chewy indeed but really tasty and a great snack to take out.

Beef jerky - the final result

The finished beef jerky

I don’t know why, but when I mentioned beef jerky to people, they had some interesting reactions: “yuk”, “ewww” were just some of them. I don’t really understand that except to assume that people have only ever had bad beef jerky (processed stuff) or don’t like raw beef. Well, if people realised that proscuitto is really not that different, they may change their tune a bit.

Storage: Best stored in a tight glass container in the fridge or freezer. Keeps for 4 weeks.

What’s next?

I’d love to experiment with different marinades and meats, such as game meats. Just need to source a decent butcher first. I also need to hit up some South Africans for their biltong recipes!

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* This should be removed from the mix as it’s not Paleo-friendly, however I made the jerky right before I started on the diet. Need to find a replacement, maybe  a little tabasco sauce (not sure that is Paleo friendly but will look into it)

** I need to source a Paleo-friendly tomato sauce, just one without sugar and icky preservatives should be fine

** Important to get a Paleo-friendly curry powder with spices only and no nasties added