Monday, 28 January 2013

Lemongrass Pork Winter Warmer

This one was borne out of the necessity to use the lemongrass that has been in the fridge for about a week. A simple, broth-y dish which will keep you warm on a cold evening. With an Asian twist.

You will need;

Thin strips of pork (1 kilo), free range is best
2 stalks of lemongrass, bashed and tied into knots
Half a bulb of garlic, crushed
1 or 2 cans of coconut milk
Shredded cabbage
Sliced pepper
Mange tout
Salt (or fish sauce) and pepper to taste

Sauté crushed garlic until aromatic. Stir in pork, cook until all pinkness is gone. Pour in coconut milk. In go the lemongrass stalks too. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the veggies, mix in, and cook for another 3-5 minutes (cabbage should still be green-ish). Season to taste.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Paleo Bread

(contributed by JBairam @jonskib -- thanks dude!)

This is a basic recipe for a low carbohydrate, gluten-free and dairy-free bread recipe. It can be eaten savoury as is or as I prefer, to be sweetened and lemony as a cake type treat.

I used a teacup size cup and I got a decent size loaf. It's the ratios that count rather than the amounts but the teacup will give you a small loaf tin sized loaf.

1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
1 1/4 Cups Almond Flour
1/4 Cup Ground Chia Seeds or Flaxseeds
5 Eggs
1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
A dash of water if required to loosen

For the sweet version add: 3/4 Tablespoons of Agave syrup / Honey and the zest of 1 small lemon.

Just a note on coconut flour: I ordered mine and it arrived as desiccated coconut, so I blitzed it in a food processor to get it fine enough to use. It really should be as close to flour as possible to avoid larger bits in the bread.

1. Blend all dry ingredients in bowl and all wet ingredients in separate bowl.
2. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
3. Pour into a 7.5 “x 3.5″ loaf pan and smooth the top.
4. Bake at 200°C for 35-40 minutes.
5. Let cool before slicing.

I find that this bread doesn't crumble and does toast well. Be careful not to put too much coconut in, as I think it changes the flavour. The sweet version is definitely my favourite, but the savoury is great, too. It works for sandwiches and makes great on-the-go food.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Curly Kale Crisps

Fancy a quick snack, this one is really, really easy.

You will need:

Kale leaves
Olive Oil
Smoked Paprika

1. Pre-heat oven at 170C fan.
2. Wash & remove stalks from the Kale so left only with bite sized leaves
3. Dry thoroughly
4. Drizzles with olive oil and mix well so the oil coats all the leaves
5. Sprinkle with smoked paprika and salt [or any other spices you fancy] ensuring spice is well distributed
6. Put in middle shelf of the oven for 12-15 mins
7. Kale should be slightly brown at the edges but not burnt


Paleo Fish Pie

O, the humble fish pie. Comforting, filling, and simply satisfying. On a cold winter’s night, it brings feelings of warmth and homeliness.

In this instance, the classic British dish was given a paleo twist. Still as hearty as the original, but just a tad healthier. :)

You will need:
1 kg sweet potato
1 kg skinless white fish (frozen is ok)
250 g smoked haddock/cod
1 can coconut milk (arroy brand is best, personally)
2 × 50g butter
3 pcs bay leaves
2 to 3 tbsps sweet potato flour
Salt and pepper, to taste

Wash the sweet potato and cook in the microwave for about 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until the flesh is soft. No need to peel as it is easy to cut through the skin and scrape off the flesh when cooked. When done, make a sweet potato mash with 50g butter, salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, heat the coconut milk plus half a can of water on the hob. Dunk the bay leaves in and season with salt and pepper.
When nearly simmering, place the fish in to gently poach for about 10 minutes. When this is done, take the fish out and just flake with a fork. Take away the bay leaves too. Set aside.
Make a rue by melting 50 g of butter in a separate pan then adding the sweet potato flour in. Mix until it forms into a paste consistency.
Transfer this paste into the cooking liquor, heat, and gently stir until just thickened (coating the back of a spoon). Ta da!! Bechamel sauce. Season to taste.
Place the flaked fish in an oven dish, pour the sauce over the fish, the spoon the mash on top.
Don’t flatten out the top. The uneven surface will create nice little burnt mash that tastes caramel-y.

Enjoy with your choice of veggies.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Paleo Parmigiana (Beef Aubergine Layers)

Parmigiana is a hearty Italian dish made with layers of fried aubergines, beef mince and parmesan cheese.  This paleo version does away with the cheese.  It does not lack in flavour though.  You’ll have to trust me on that. :D

The proportions I used made a big batch – freeze or eat for lunch the next day – perfect for lazy ladybirds and busy bees. I used:

800g mince beef
5 cloves of garlic, minced
3 dried bay leaves
2 star anise
5 big heaped tbsp of tomato puree / paste
Salt and pepper to taste
Bit of stock / water

3 large aubergines sliced (1 cm thickness)
Bit of salt
Olive oil

Note: you can salt the aubergine slices before proceeding, to extract moisture prior to frying.

1. Brown the meat in a pan. Make sure to really break the mince pieces.  I do this until the meat is browned well and frying in its own fat.  This deepens the beef flavour.
2. Make space in the pan and fry the garlic in the rendered fat until fragrant and a tad brown. Mix.
3. In go the bay leaves, star anise, tomato puree, and maybe a cup of stock or water. Season.  Add some chilli or cayenne pepper if you prefer.
4. Leave to simmer for about 30 minutes.

5. Pat the aubergine slices dry. Sprinkle with olive oil.
6. Cook them in a hot frying pan or a griddle pan until soft or a little bit charred on both sides.  Add some more oil if needed.

7. Once done, spoon some meat at the bottom of a baking dish, cooked aubergine next. Layer and end with aubergines on top.
8. Sprinkle with olive oil (I used basil-infused oil) on top and grill on high for about 5 minutes.
9. Serve and enjoy.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Cumin and Garlic Tenderloin of Pork

This cut of pork is very lean and I have always been a bit apprehensive in using it. Some pork cuts are easy to dry out, resulting to rubbery textures.

I took the challenge anyway, and the gamble paid off.  Together with its perennial partner, the humble apple, it is a surprisingly quick-fix dinner idea.

For this I used:

2 tenderloins of pork, cut in halves
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds (ground is ok)
1 tsp Schezuan peppercorns (normal black peppercorns ok too)
Olive oil

4 medium sized apples (I used Cox. Braeburn is good too.)
Bit of butter

1. Make incisions in the loin and insert garlic in. Oil up.
2. Ground cumin and peppercorns with a bit of salt.  Sprinkle onto meat and rub in.
3. Sear in pan over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 200C.
3. Transfer meat to oven dish and cook for 10-12 minutes.
4. Take out meat and rest for another 10 minutes.

5. While the meat is cooking, peel and core the apples and slice to slivers. Transfer into the pan used for searing the pork. Add a bit of oil and butter until they colour slightly.
6. Add stock (or just plain water) and simmer until pork is ready.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Slice meat and serve with apple slices and veggies of your choice.

Note, this will result to slightly pink pork.  If you prefer your meat well-done, increase the oven time to about 15 minutes.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Morning Power Smoothie

Some mornings you just don’t have time for a sit down breakfast, you need something quick to consume on the go.

Step forward Morning Power Smoothie; a blend of fresh veg, fruit and coconut milk for a nutrition rich early morning hit.

You will need;

2 x generous handfuls of Kale
2 x generous handfuls of Spinach
2 x Kiwi
Half a punnet of either Blueberries, Raspberries or Strawberries [or a mixture of all three]
1 x can of high quality organic Coconut Milk
A little honey [optional]
1 x spoonful of Almond Butter [for increased protein]

We also added 1 x scoop of Greens Powder from Genetic Supplements. This is a mix 32 organic ingredients to help the body detoxify, nourish and maintain the correct pH balance [completely optional]

Blitz all your ingredients in a mixer / food processor, serve and enjoy

Tip: You may find it easier to add the ingredients in stages. We usually blitz the Kale and Spinach first then add the rest of the ingredients.

[makes 2 smoothies]

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Cajun Chicken Nuggets

This is an easy and quick accompaniment to your veggies.  Easy to prepare.  Make a batch over the weekend and consume throughout the week.

For the cajun rub, mix equal amounts of:

  • ground cumin
  • paprika powder (smoked variety is good too)
  • cayenne pepper
  • dried oregano

If you have a mortar and pestle, grind them all with a pinch of salt and a few peppercorns. Mix in enough olive oil to make a paste.  The oil helps the elements stick to the meat for more flavour!

Now, add the paste to your nuggets of chicken (thighs and breast work best).  Ensure enough coverage for maximum flavour.  Marinate overnight. Pan-fry in the morning for about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your nuggets.

I have mine for breakfast with slices of avocado - protein and good fats - BOOM!

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Paleo Ginger Chocolate Cookies

For those with sweet tooth, fear not! Eating Paleo does not mean eliminating all the treats. It takes a little bit of time; you have to make your own. But they are worth it.

Make a big batch of these Paleo cookies to take to work and avoid the menace of Cadbury streets and roses.

You'll need:

1 cup chopped dates
200g ground almonds (use 300g if not using sweet potato powder)
1/2 cup sweet potato powder
2 tbsp ginger powder
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/3 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
50g butter (still cold)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla (extract with seeds)
40g chopped 85% dark chocolate bar

Heat oven to 175°C.

Blitz the dates in a food processor until almost finely chopped. Add and blend all the dry ingredients except the chopped chocolate.

Next add the butter, egg and vanilla. It will only take about 10 seconds for the mixture to clump up. Stop and transfer to a bowl. Mix in the chocolate and fold using a spatula.

Scoop out 1 tbsp balls of dough out and flatten. This recipe makes about 18 cookies.

Bake for no more than 10 minutes, slightly less if using a fan oven. Once done, let cod outside oven before indulging.

Dunk into black coffee for your morning fix!!