Snack

Olive & Rosemary Loaf

Sometimes you just need bread. Especially if you are making bone marrow, you need something to smear that gear on. Your finger just won’t cut it in that instance. I tried. Fail. Just burnt my finger. Don’t be a fool, make the bread. Save a finger.

This recipe is an adaptation of the amazing Brittany Angel. You can make a nut free version by swapping out the nut butter for something like sunflower seed butter or you could even use a couple of jars of Buttered Up and make a Gingerbread Bread or Chocolate Bread…. Obviously you would leave out the Rosemary & Olives because that would be WAAAYYYYYYY too much of a weird flavor combo but whatever floats your boat. Be a weirdo if you want.

5 eggs
1 3/4 cup nut butter (I used a mix of almond & sunflower seed)
2 tbs lemon juice
3/4 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup chopped & pitted olives

Instructions

Preheat oven to 170C and line a loaf pan with baking paper. Beat your eggs for 2-3 mins until they are light & fluffy. Add the nut butter, lemon juice, bicarb soda, salt & Rosemary. Mix for another 2-3 minutes on medium speed then stir through the olives. Pour the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. After 25mins of baking cover the loaf loosely with foil to stop the top from burning. Allow to cool on a wire rank, slice & smear with whatever delicious condiment you can find.

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Not Your Typical Smoothie-Day 2

Yesterday saw a new twist on the GOOD OLD GREEN SMOOTHIE. Today I have a red smoothie for you. $hit’s about to get real. Now this baby is going to freak you out but stay with me. I PROMISE you can’t taste the weird ingredient but you will have energy to BURN after downing this baby and its powerhouse of nutrients….Ok, so it’s got liver in it. Yeah I know. Liver’s gross. I thought so too until I started sneaking it into our food. I started with adding really small amounts grated into mince, then adding it to meat patties like Lamb & Quinoa Burgers. My behavior has escalated, I’m like a serial killer, only with liver. I have graduated to smoothies. It’s pretty hard core but let me sell it to you….

So you know Superfoods right? Goji berries, chia seeds, unicorn dust, whatever it will be next week? Well the REAL Superfoods are organ meats from healthy animals. They are packed with readily absorbable vitamins & minerals and could sucker punch acai berries into next week with their nutritional offering. Been giving your own liver a flogging during this silly season? Guess what the best thing to support your liver is? Liver!! Liver has almost 3 times the iron of red meat. Forget the Berocca, liver will give you back your B-B Bounce much more effectively due to the fact that it is LOADED with B-Vitamins. Not sold? Read more HERE.

So, how? Well I buy a grass fed beef or lamb liver from my butcher and chop it into palm-sized blocks and freeze separately it in ziplock bags. When I need it I pull out a block and grate it into whatever I need to. By grating it you don’t get any big chunks of liver in your food (or drink) and you don’t need to worry about that big hunk of liver going off in your fridge. Frozen liver is also much easier & more pleasant to handle than the fresh version. Try it. I dare you.

The Real Superfood Smoothie-serves 2

1 tbs grated liver
1 cup frozen berries
1 tbs honey/maple syrup/rice malt syrup (OPTIONAL)
1 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
1 cup coconut water (I use RawC)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pop it all in the blender & whizz until nice & smooth. Pretend you don’t know about the liver in it & drink that bad boy down.

Not Your Typical Smoothie

So it’s about eleventy-ten-million degrees in Brisbane right now (Yep that’s an actual temperature, a freaking hot one) and the perfect time to get the smoothies going. Smoothies can be a great way to jam in a load of nutrition quickly & easily & in this weather, a perfect way to cool down.

This week I am all about sneaking some weird & wonderful ingredients into my smoothies to get the most bang for my buck out of these refreshing drinks. If you have a cool concoction to contribute to the Smoothie Week concept by Williams-Sonoma tag me on Facebook or Instagram and #smoothieweek & #myfoodreligion so I can share it on!

I use a thermomix for my smoothies because it’s the only blender I have but I would definitely recommend using a high power blender for both of these babies, it’s not a ‘smooth-ie’ if it’s chunky is it? You can find some other good blenders HERE, I haven’t tried them though. I also like to freeze all my smoothie ingredients so that it’s nice & cold like a slushie but I also find that freezing things that are a bit fibrous like celery & leafy greens can help break down the fibers and makes for a nice smooth drink. I always add some sort of fat to my smoothies to make sure that I am absorbing all the goodness from the fat-soluble vitamins in the veggies. I use either avocado, coconut milk, coconut oil, macadamia oil or nut butter. I also love to add some Gelatin to my smoothies. Gelatin is essentially for building healthy skin, hair, nails and adds some protein to the drink. Forget Botox and wrinkle creams, get good quality gelatin in your life!

My first recipe for you is a green smoothie with a random zucchini thrown in. That’s right zucchini. You can sneak zucchini into any smoothie you like really & if you want to be super stealth (for peeps that don’t like the ‘green stuff’) you can peel it first & they’ll never know. You can sub in or out any of these ingredients you don’t like. Not big on mango? Add banana or pear instead. Hate ginger? Leave it out or add mint instead. It’s totally a ‘choose your own adventure’ kinda deal. I’ll have another weird concoction for you tomorrow.

Not Your Average Green Smoothie- serves 3-4

1 zucchini, chopped roughly
Handful of spinach/kale/chard
1/2 cucumber, chopped roughly
1/2 tbs grated fresh ginger
1 mango, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
500ml coconut water (I use RawC) or water
1/2 avocado

Pop everything into your blender with 1/2 the coconut water & blend for 1 minute. Add the remaining coconut water and blend until smooth. Drink up.

Gingerbread Truffles

‘Tiz the season & all that jazz so get some balls in your life. Christmassy ones. You can make these without my extra special BUTTERED UP (obviously they will be a little less delicious) but you will need to add some gingerbread spices if you want these to taste ‘gingerbready’. Yep that’s a word. Save yourself the effort and just go to Primal Pantry (Teneriffe, Nundah or Toowoomba) and get your mits on a few jars. These are a great Christmas treat or other time treat if you are tired of plain old date or chocolate balls. Go get yourself Merry.

1 jar Buttered Up Gingerbread (or 190g other nut/nut free butter)
1 jar Buttered Up Nothing But Coconut (or 190g coconut butter)
10 fresh dates
1/4 cup cacao nibs (optional)
1/2 cup coconut (shredded or dessicated)
2 tbs coconut oil

Blend everything except the cacao nibs until a smooth dough forms. Add the nibs, pulse a few times to combine. Roll into balls. Place in mouth. Chew. These will store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for probably a few months if you don’t eat them all first.

Nut Free No Bake Fig & Quinoa Bars

That title is WAAAYYYY too long but at least you know what your are signing up for right?! You can add nuts to this in place of the seeds and you could bake it if that tickled your fancy….. Then they would just be ‘Fig & Quinoa Bars’, much more succinct to say but a little more work to actually do. I’m not into that, and I’m impatient to eat this stuff. Baking creates timeframes that I just don’t dig today so ‘no bake’ it is.

So, I’m BAAAACCCCKKK! Baby Grace is now 10 days old and is a super cool little human but I thought it was time to stop the #babyspam and give you some food back….. Well after this last little bit of spam because she is bloody cute.

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Isn’t she just squishable!!

Ok, so back to food. This recipe contains quinoa (as do some of my others in the archives) so it’s not strictly ‘paleo’…. GASP! Send the paleo police round, I am sure I can convert them with this deliciousness anyway and seriously, a bit of quinoa here & there isn’t what is causing the global obesity, diabetes and heart disease epidemic we are fighting is it? Substitute it for something else if it offends you or you don’t tolerate it.

375g dried figs, soaked in boiling water for 15 mins, then drained
250g coconut oil (or butter or ghee)
125g pumpkin seeds
125g sunflower seeds
150g quinoa flakes
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup/ rice malt syrup/ coconut nectar)
1/4 cup tahini (or nut butter of your choice)

Melt together the coconut oil, honey & tahini. Once melted transfer to a food processor with the soaked figs & blend until a smooth paste forms. Add remaining ingredients and process until just combined (you can do that by hand if you like). Transfer the mix into a baking paper lined tray (I used a large rectangular slice tin), press down evenly and pop it in the fridge for a few hours to set before slicing into bars or squares. This freezes really well and is a great option for school lunch boxes or a sweet treat when the mood strikes you.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

I love cauliflower, even though it does smell like fart sometimes…..My research tells me that fart-smell of cooked cauliflower is actually due to the sulfur containing compounds in it that are exacerbated by cooking. The good news is, that even though it might be a bit on-the-nose, cauliflower & other cruciferous veggies are powerhouses of nutrients and brilliant for supporting detoxification of our body. You will be pleased to know that this recipe didn’t result in a stink-filled kitchen. Boom. Go make it.

1 tsp turmeric powder
Good pinch of salt
& cracked pepper
1/2 tsp garam marsala
1 cup coconut yoghurt (or full fat natural yoghurt)
Head cauliflower, stalk trimmed & leaves removed

Preheat the oven to 180C. In a bowl mix all ingredients except the cauliflower to combine well. Using your hands (or some sort of implement if you are feeling fancy), rub the yoghurt mix over the cauliflower to completely coat it. Place on a baking paper lined tray or in an oven dish & bake for 30-40mins until cooked through. It will depend on the size of your cauliflower how long this takes, it could take an hour. Pop a knife in the middle of it to test if it is ready, it should feel like a ‘ripe pear’ in terms of firmness.

Choc Gingerbread Fudge

This is stupid easy. Like even a total kitchen muppet can nail this recipe. It only has 4 ingredients, you can substitute the Buttered Up for some other nut or nut-free butters of your choice. Obviously it won’t be as awesome as my Buttered Up version but you do what you need to to get this fudge in your mouth.

1 jar Buttered Up No-Nuts Gingerbread Flavor (190g)
1 jar Buttered Up Chocolate Cake Batter Flavor (190g)
16 fresh dates, pitted
4 tbs coconut oil

Add the Gingerbread Flavor to the food processor with 8 of the pitted fresh dates and 2 tbs coconut oil and blend until a smooth paste forms. Press this into a small baking paper lined tray (I used a mini loaf tin) and press down to an even layer. Pop this in the freezer to start to set. Add the Chocolate Cake Batter flavor to the food processor with the remaining dates & coconut oil & blend again to a smooth paste. Press this on top of the Gingerbread layer to form your second smooth layer then pop it in the fridge to set for a few hours. Once set, I drizzled mine with a bit of Buttered Up melted Nothing But Coconut butter because I can, and it’s delicious. You can leave that bit out or drizzle with some melted dark chocolate. Slice into squares and store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer.

Turmeric Tea

Wait! Wait! Before you run away! I promise it is waaaaayyyy more delicious than it sounds and, not only that, this gear is a real SUPERFOOD… Or SUPER DRINK I guess. The first time I gave this a crack I went way too overboard with the turmeric & the coconut milk….. It was kind of like a curry-cup-a-soup……. And not in a good way. This version is good! It’s creamy, and spicy & just the right amount of sweet. It is brilliant to help support gentle liver detoxification, settle an upset tummy and is a super powerful anti-inflammatory.

Turmeric has been shown to help with everything from diabetes, altzheimers, boost the immune system, improve skin, reduce cholesterol, decrease inflammation, improve liver function and even help prevent cancer. Seriously, if turmeric could just make me dinner it would really be the ultimate partner! You can read more about how freaking awesome turmeric is HERE. Give this a whirl, if you hate it I’ll never tell you to make it again.

By consuming healthy fats (coconut milk & ghee) with turmeric you increase it’s absorption, and, the addition of pepper to turmeric increases your bodies ability to absorb it’s amazing goodness by up to 2000%! Yowsers! Don’t scrimp on that pinch of black pepper people!

Makes 2 cups

2 heaped tsp fresh grated turmeric
1 heaped tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tsp honey
Pinch black pepper
1 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
2 cups boiling water
2 tbs gelatin (optional) – I use THIS BRAND from iHerb and you can get $10 off your first order with the code GBD599

Add the ginger, turmeric, pepper, cinnamon and honey to a pot and add the boiling water. Allow to steep for about 5mins. Add remaining ingredients & bring to the boil while whisking to make it creamy & frothy! You could also use a stick mixer to get it nice & frothy. I do mine in the thermomix. Once it’s hot enough you can strain it through a tea strainer into your mugs. I have also made a BULLETPROOF version by omitting the coconut milk & adding 2 tbs ghee and 2 tbs of coconut oil plus an extra cup of boiling water and blending until frothy & creamy. It is delicious too! Enjoy.

Banana Gingerbread Muffins

Who loves muffins?! I do!!! For some reason it seems more appropriate to me to eat 6 muffins in one sitting than it would to eat half an actual cake. Eating half the cake would make me a pig…. But 6 muffins…. I feel like that is acceptable. Who’s with me?

I made these tasty morsels using some Buttered Up that you can get your hands on from the Lorna Jane Nourish Bar at Gasworks or from Primal Pantry. You can substitute for another type of nut or seed butter but you will need to add some ‘gingerbread spices’ to get the same outcome- I am sure google can help you out with that. These are ‘nut-free’ so could be a great addition to school lunches, or grown up lunches.

3 ripe bananas
3 eggs
3 heaped tbs Buttered Up No-Nuts Gingerbread Butter
2 tbs coconut oil (or ghee, butter or macadamia oil)
1/4 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 cup coconut flour (or 1 cup of almond meal or other nut flour)
Pinch salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 200C. Add all ingredients except coconut flour to the food processor & blend until smooth. Add coconut flour & blend quickly until just combined. Spoon into greased cupcake or muffin tins and bake for 30mins. Makes about 14 cupcake-sized muffins.IMG_2795.JPG

Chicken Liver Parfait

Since going to Dinner By Heston when we were in London I have not been able to stop thinking about the dish I had for entree which was his infamous ‘meat fruit’ which comes out looking like a mandarin on a board but is actually the most devine chicken liver & foie gras parfait in the world. That’s right. In. The. World.

This recipe was a Heston Blumenthal recipe I found HERE. I’m not going to write it out again because, well I am lazy & I am pretty sure you know how to click a link. I merged it with THIS Jamie Oliver recipe to end up with this awesome tasting remix.

A few things I changed… I soaked the liver in coconut milk, not milk, and I used ghee instead of butter. You could substitute the different types of alcohol for just one but my mum had all of them in her pantry so I used them all.

100g shallots, peeled and finely diced
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 bunch thyme (6-8 sprigs), tied
150ml dry Madeira
150ml ruby port
75ml white port
50ml brandy
400g chicken livers
1½ tsp sea salt
4 eggs
400g ghee

Place the shallots, garlic, thyme, Madeira, ruby port, white port and brandy in a bowl. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 24 hours….. I am impatient and I left it about 4 hrs. Place the livers in a bowl of coconut milk, cover and leave in the fridge overnight to reduce the bitterness.

The following day, bring the marinated shallot mixture to the boil, then reduce it until there is no liquid left; do not let it catch or burn. Remove the thyme sprigs & remove the shallot mix & set aside. Drain the milk off the livers, rinse & pat them dry with some paper towel.

Heat a little extra ghee the same frying pan. Throw in the livers and cook the for a couple of minutes on each side, until lightly coloured but still a little pink in the middle – if you overcook them they will lose their smooth texture and become grainy.

Take the livers off the heat and tip them into a food processor with the cooked shallots mix? Blitz until you have a smooth purée. Add the rest of the softened butter and continue to blitz, then season well. Add the eggs & blend again. Transfer the mixture to some serving bowls and cover with a few spoonfuls of melted ghee to seal.

Place in the fridge overnight to set then dig in! These should keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge while sealed with the ghee but we knocked them over much quicker than that.

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