dairy-free

Blow Your Mind Peanut Butter Slice (primal. gluten free. dairy free)

Is it wrong to eat a whole slab of PB slice in one go? Asking for a friend. Obviously.

I’m not going to lie to you, if you are trying to lay off the treats right now this recipe is NOT for you. This gear is good. I mean mind-blowingly good. You won’t just eat one piece. I’d be impressed if you could eat less than 5 squares in a sitting. If I can give you a hot tip, which I can because it’s my blog, hide the finished product from yourself in the freezer. Behind the liver. Oh, you don’t have liver in your freezer? You should. That stuff has superpowers. Anyway, hide it, or you’ll see it when you open the fridge. Every time. And you’ll eat some. Every time. Then it will be gone in 12hrs. So I hear. My ‘friend’ told me.

Base
1/2 cup almonds (or nut/seed of your choice)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
15 fresh dates, seeds removed

Blend in a food processor until it comes together like a dough. Remove and press into a baking-paper lined tray. Set aside.

Filling
1/2 cup natural coconut milk yoghurt (or full fat coconut cream)
1/2 cup 100% peanut butter (or other type of nut/seed butter)
1/4 cup collagen hydrolysate (optional but amazing for skin, hair, nails & gut health)
Pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together well then pour over the base. Pop it in the freezer while you make the topping.

Topping
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (you could use ghee, cacao butter or butter instead)
2 tbs raw cacao
1/4 cup rice malt syrup/honey/coconut nectar

Mix all ingredients until smooth, pour over the slice and pop back in the freezer for 2 hrs to set. Slice. Devour. Try to stop at one piece. That’s a dare.

pb-slice1

Stuffed Potatoes (paleo. vegan. gluten free. dairy free)

Stuffing stuff is awesome. There’s not much you can’t stuff. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, capsicum, eggplant, zucchini, those big-arse mushrooms that are almost the size of a plate. You get where I’m going. You don’t want to stuff potatoes? No drama. Stuff something else. Just get stuffed. The other great part of getting stuffed is that you can stuff it with whatever you like! Asian style, Mexican, Indian flavours or just a leftover mash-up of whatever’s in your fridge leftover from the week. Mine’s a leftover mash up but you do whatever spins your tyres and make them as fancy as you please. I think some leftover taco mince, homemade guacamole etc would be epic.

4 small sweet potatoes (or 1 or 10- depends how many you’re feeding)
Olive oil to drizzle
Whatever you want to stuff your stuff with. I used-
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 red capsicum, diced
Big handful kale, shredded
Big handful red cabbage, shredded

Preheat your oven to 180C. Line a tray with baking paper. I don’t peel my sweet potatoes, I just wash them. Pop the sweet potatoes on the tray and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake for about an hour or until soft to touch. It could take up to 90 mins depending on the size of your potatoes but just whack ’em in and go and binge watch some Suits until they are ready. You don’t watch Suits? Take a good, hard look at yourself and make better life choices.

Take all the stuff you are going to stuff them with and sauté it in a frying pan until it’s about 3/4 cooked then remove.

Take your cooked sweet potatoes, cut them down the centre and use a spoon to push the filling to each side so you have a nice little galley in the middle for all the good bits. Stuff them choc-full with all the stuffing bits. Now would be a cracking time to sprinkle some cheese on top if you can handle it or even a good drizzle of homemade mayo. Whack them back in the oven on about 200C for 15 mins then dig in!

sw-boats2

Silly Season Survival 101

It’s the silly season. We all have approximately 2375 Christmas parties to attend. The general outcomes of those for me are a lack of sufficient sleep, I drop the ball with training & movement, the food choices are less than stellar and more than a few cheeky beverages are consumed. Because very hot. Must hydrate. Much booze. My hilarity also peaks and I become an amazing dancer….. I blame champagne entirely. I am generally not a big drinker so this time of year generally ends with me feeling like a toxic mess but oh the fun!

So, because for most of us these situations are unavoidable, I thought I’d do my best to help negate some of the negatives with a few strategies I’m going to use.

First up. I like love sleep. Not only can a lack of sleep make you feel generally crappy but it does funky stuff like affect our blood sugar control, messes with your hormones, increases inflammation and decreases our ability to deal with stress. Here’s some hot tips on how to help minimise those negative effects but I’ll be loading up on magnesium and trying to incorporate some of the 5 minute meditations from the Smiling Mind App.

Sometimes it’s hard to fit in your usual workout or training sessions when there is so many events to attend but even getting in 15 minutes can make the world of difference to your mood, food choices, digestion and detoxification. Our skin is our biggest detox organ so getting that sweat cranking will help get those boozy toxins out! I have been using some of the quick TABATA workouts from Intensity PT as well as these cool free 10 minute smash sessions from SOUND COACH on Spotify.

Eating out at these events is often more frequent than the meals we prepare ourselves over the Silly Season but ensuring that the meals we do prepare are nutrient dense and pack a nutritional punch can make a huge difference. I take good quality probiotics, eats loads of fermented foods like kraut, kombucha & kefir and drink plenty of water. You can find load of inspiration over on my INSTAGRAM but here’s a few crackers from some of my fave bloggers too.

DIY Vitamin Water from Pretty Wee Things

diy-vitamin-water-header

Liver Loving Salad from Ascension Kitchen

liver-loving-sprouted-forbidden-rice-salad-4

Refreshing Homemade Ginger Ale from A Gut Feeling

ginger_ale_06

Anti-Oxidant Smooothie from Brenda Janscheck

brenda-janschek-recipe-anti-oxidant-smoothie-feature

Now to help minimise the damage I also love to incorporate a few great hacks. I take magnesium before bed with loads of water,  I have some activated charcoal in water before I go out drinking (I use this one, discount code GBD599 if you want it) and I take some of these milk thistle tablets the following day to help support liver detoxification. Here’s a few hacks for you….

How to use activated charcoal from The Nourishing Hub

How to detox effectively from The Holistic Nutritionist

Make your own Magnesium Salts from Cut Out The Crap

AND How to avoid hangovers from Real Food Agenda

Chocolate Peanut Butter Tart

It’s been a while between blog posts and if I’m being honest, I feel like my kitchen mojo is a little flat right now. My creative cooking buzz is a little dull and I am feeling a bit ‘pulled all over the place’ with life in general. Sometimes that just happens right and instead of creating and blogging when Baby G goes to bed, I binge watch Banshee. Because avoidance is my strategy of choice right now. As the weather warms up though I am sure I will get inspired again and we’ll be hanging out here a lot more together. In the meantime. Chocolate & Peanut Butter.

Chocolate & peanut butter, it’s a marriage made in heaven and who doesn’t love a good tart?! I know you do. You could make this as mini-tarts using cupcake moulds if you fancied. I don’t fancy because that seems like a whole lot more effort than I can be bothered with but if mini-tarts are your thang, go hard.

250g raw cashews, soaked in a bowl of water for 2-4hrs
2 ripe bananas
4 tbs coconut oil
1/4 cup natural organic  peanut butter (or nut butter of your choice)
1/4 cup raw cacao
1/4-1/2 cup pure maple syrup/ rice malt syrup depending on your sweet preference

2 cups raw almonds

2 cups fresh pitted dates

Preheat your oven to 170C. Line or grease the bottom and sides of a spring form or tart tin.

Pulse the almonds & dates in the food processor until The come together like a rough dough. Press evenly into the base and sides of the tin and bake for about 15mins until just starting to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

While the base is cooling, add the drained cashews and banana to the food processor and blend until completely smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides a few times. Add the remaining ingredients (start with the minimal amount of maple syrup) and blend to combine. Taste and add extra sweetener if required. Pour into the cooled tart base and refrigerate for at least 4 hrs, overnight is best. Cut it. Serve it. Eat it.

IMG_1539

 

Balsamic Pork Ribs with Cabbage & Apple

I’m not that into pork. Well except for bacon. Ok, and ham off the bone. Oh yeah, I love baby back ribs as well. Did I mention pork belly. How good is pork belly!  Soooo maybe I don’t mind a bit of pig in my life, I was mistaken. These are easy and delicious and the “cabbagey” (that’s definitely NOT a word) apple goodness underneath is awesome! You are going to LOVE it. If you want your ribs to really crackle up on top you might want to score them before you cook them, rub a bit of salt on them and then whack them under the grill for 10 mins after they are cooked.

salt & pepper to taste

1 tbs honey

1 tbs smoked paprika

1 tbs olive oil

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

1/4 red cabbage, shredded

1 lge green apple, cut into large cubes

3 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped

4 pork spare ribs

Preheat your oven to 160C. In a bowl mix the oil, paprika, honey, balsamic, garlic, salt & pepper. Add the ribs and mix well to coat then set aside. In a baking dish add the cabbage and apple, pop the ribs on top and drizzle over remaining marinade. Cover with foil and bake for 2hrs. Remove foil and increase temperature to 220C for 20 mins. Remove from oven and serve.

porkribs2

Loaded Slaw (paleo. vegetarian. probiotic)

Remember that dodgy-as coleslaw you get pre-packaged at the supermarket or from Red Rooster? You’re with me right? I mean it’s NOT good for you but damn that stuff tasted good back in the day and it had a really specific tang that made it taste totally different to homemade stuff (please no-one tell me what that ‘tang’ was, I’d feel better not knowing). Anyway, no matter how often I make coleslaw it doesn’t have that….. until now. It’s the kraut. It totally tangs it up. This is also ‘loaded’ because it is a total veggie-fest and if you use my fermented mayo & the kraut your guts are going to be in probiotic heaven. How good.

1/2 head cabbage, shredded (I used red but whatever spins your tyres)

1/2 head broccoli, grated

1 cup grated zucchini

1 cup cabbage kraut (or kraut of your choice, carrot would be awesome)

1 cup MAYO (or greek yoghurt if you do ok with dairy)

So it’s pretty complicated from here on in so listen closely. Oh you can’t hear me. Right. Read carefully…. You put it all in a bowl & mix it together well. You get that? Tough right. You’ve got this. Good job.

loaded slaw2

 

Almond & Maple Ice Cream (paleo. vegan. raw)

This day reminded me of Christmas Day, you know those days you feel like all you do is eat. Today I spent the day down the coast eating. I went out for breakfast, had coco whip in between & then an amazing seafood feast for lunch. I came home feeling full, sleepy & pretty sure that I was just going to by-pass dinner…. Thennnn I felt the urge to make ice cream, because there is always a separate stomach compartment for ice cream right? Well my stomach has that compartment, and one for sweet potato chips, I can put away A LOT of those things. So damn delicious. Anyone who tells you you can’t over-eat healthy food is a goddamn liar.

You can choose your own adventure with this ice cream a bit and swap the almond butter for a different type of nut butter. Cashew butter will give it a much more neutral flavour and something like peanut butter is going to give you a stronger flavour. Do what you want. Add in some of the optional extras, or don’t.

400ml coconut cream (full fat)
100ml water
3/4 cup almond butter                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           1/3- 1/2 cup maple syrup/ rice malt syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Plus a few extra tbs maple syrup to drizzle                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         1 vanilla pod, scraped (or 1 tsp extract)

Optional-                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Cacao nibs                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Shredded coconut                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Goji berries                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Dark chocolate                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Few shots of espresso

 

This can be done without an ice cream maker, it will just require a bit more patience and you’ll need to let it thaw a little before you try & scoop it out. I used an ice cream maker because it’s there so I might as well. So, grab all the ingredients (not the optional extras) and blend them together in your food processor or blender until smooth. Pour into your ice cream maker and let it do it’s thing. You can either eat it as soft serve straight from the ice cream maker or pop it in the freezer to set a little harder. If you are not using an ice cream maker, pour it into a container with a lid and freeze for 4-6 hours until scoopable. Top with any optional toppings. Enjoy.

almond espresso ice cream 1

Fermented Probiotic Mayo (paleo. vegetarian)

How good is real mayo! Remember when we were all so scared of fat and we bought that awful fat-free mayo!? If there was no fat in it, what on earth was in it?? Let’s be honest, mayo is pretty much fat & protein. That’s it. So what was in that other stuff? Actually, I don’t even want to know…. Geeze I have eaten some rubbish ‘food-like-products’, especially fat-free stuff. All the fat-free things. Ah well, when you know better you can do better. You can read more about why I love fat now if you want. Or don’t. Whatever spins your tyres. This mayo is delicious, loaded with gut-healthy probiotics and lots of healthy fat, you don’t need to ferment it but it’s what gives this mayo it’s super powers so give it a crack.

2 large eggs
2 tbs apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Good pinch salt
1 1/2 cups macadamia oil
2 tbs kraut juice (from a jar of kraut you already have, doesn’t really matter what flavour or the contents of 2 probiotic capsules)

Ok there’s a few ways this can go down. You’ll need either an imersion blender, a high speed blender like a thermomix or vitamix or a food processor that has a small bowl attachment. Choose your weapon. Whatever you are using, add your eggs, ACV & salt to the bowl and give it a good blitz for about a minute to combine. Now turn your blender on (I put my thermie on speed 6 which is about 1/2 way on the speed dial) and slowly drizzle in your oil, the drizzling should take you about 3 minutes, if you are not sure how fast to drizzle, go slower. You may need to scrape down the sides occasionally. You should now have a nice thick, light yellow mayo. Have a taste, if it needs more salt, add another pinch. Now add your kraut juice and blend gently to just combine. Pour into clean jars, pop the lid on then either wrap them in a couple of tea towels and pop them in a cooler bag somewhere nice and warm for 24 hrs. In Summer the bench might be fine, in Winter I’d pop a hot water bottle. You can also wrap them in some tea towels and pop them in your slow cooker on the ‘keep warm’ setting. Or, you can pop them in your oven with just the light on for 24hrs. So, choose your own adventure. I had some broth in my slow cooker already so I popped mine, wrapped in tea towels, in a cooler bag & sat it on top of the lid of my slow cooker. Because resourceful.

Monkey Chicken (paleo. clean eating)

I’m calling this monkey chicken because it is actually that basic a monkey could do it. It’s fast, easy, delicious and can’t even really be called a ‘recipe’ so I am VERY loosely using that term to describe what I am about to tell you.

This was one of the food prep ideas I demonstrated to the crew down at CROSSFIT BABES & CHASE CONDITIONING a few weeks ago to kick off their 8 week challenge. It’s a great base to batch cook a heap of chicken with a fairly neutral favour that you can then freeze in portions if you want to. When you reheat it you can jazz it up by adding different spices, herbs, curry paste, flavours etc so that you don’t feel like you are eating the same ting over and over. Alternatively, you can just leave it as it is and have it with different sides like in lettuce boats, rice paper wraps, sushi, with roast veggies, tossed through a salad etc. If you want to add some extra flavour to the base recipe, some chilli, lemongrass & kaffir lime is always a winning combo and it looks pretty too.

You can pretty much do the same thing with a boneless leg of pork or lamb shoulder too. When I am batch cooking like this I always try and go with the concept of economy of effort, if you are going to do 1kg of chicken thighs, might as well do 2kg so you can freeze some or have leftovers. Learn to batch cook like a bad-arse and your life just got a whole lot easier. You’re welcome.

2kg chicken thighs

400ml coconut cream (full fat & look for one that just has coconut and water as the ingredients)

Good pinch of salt & pepper

So that’s it. Seriously. You whack all that in the slow cooker. Turn it on low. Walk away for 6-8hrs. Come back, shred it all up with a couple of forks and Bob’s your uncle… Or perhaps he’s not. He’s not mine.

 

A Day On Our Plate (paleo. primal. clean eating)

Righto team, you asked for it and you asked nicely so here it is. It’s likely as boring and lack-lustre as you imagined but just in case you were not 100% convinced, I present to you a day on our plate. This is the rundown on what Baby G & I ate one day. It’s a pretty standard day, sometimes we eat a little more, sometimes she throws everything at me/on the floor (she’s fickle like that) and so it happens that we eat a little less.

toddler-meme

Baby G is now 20months. She’s like any kid, some days she loves something, the next she looks at you like you are actually trying to kill her by feeding her EXACTLY THE SAME THING. In case you hadn’t realized, kids can be total jerks. It’s not your fault, it’s not the food, it’s their lot in life. I used to panic if she didn’t want to eat and would cook 1/2 dozen different things to see if she wanted them instead, I now believe that kids are pretty intuitive eaters, if they are hungry, they’ll eat and they tend not to starve themselves….. The thighs on this kid could sustain her for quite a period anyway 🙂 My fall back position is coconut oil. Always coconut oil. She will eat that biz off a spoon any time she doesn’t want actual food so she gets a couple of teaspoons of it if she’s on hunger strike and we call it done.

coconut oil solves problems

I have taken all these photos with my phone so they do not look as pretty as if I had used my DSLR. I have tried to make the food look semi-presentable but let’s be honest, it’s generally slapped on a plate with very little care taken so don’t let that fool you.

BREAKFAST

It’s pretty much the same most days. Some days we make the SNEAKY VEGGIE CHIA PUDDINGS from my eBook just to mix things up. I have a cup of coconut milk coffee with GREAT LAKES COLLAGEN from iHerb in it to support my gut, joints and skin health, plus it’s cheaper than Botox. Baby G has some broth or some really weak green tea.

This mash-up scramble was leftover roasted veggies (zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms) with 4 eggs cracked on top and scrambled together. G and I shared it and 1/2 an avocado on the side. We probably eat about half of that each. Sometimes she eats more, other days less.

breakfast-scramble

LUNCH

It’s pretty much leftovers 90% of the time. Leftover slow-cooked meat, leftover steamed or roasted veggies or salad. Paleo sausages from Northey St markets or the Cleavers ones from Woolies are always a hit too. This plate of dog-food looking stuff was some cauliflower, spinach & cabbage (all pre-chopped in the fridge ready to go) cooked in broth. I dumped that in a bowl then reheated some slow cooked lamb from the night before in the same pan. Whole situation probably took 15mins max which was the perfect amount of time to have a Wiggles dance-off with Baby G while that was cooking. The kid slays me. The enthusiasm that she throws into The Propeller song is second to none.

lunch-lamb

DINNER

Mostly dinner is anything I have made for the blog….. Well maybe not cake….. Ok well I might eat cake, G has real food. I often cook huge trays of roast veggies to last a few days. We eat them as they are, in salads, or as snacks. They are a super easy go-to. This plate was just some mixed greens, cucumber & capsicum because it was the end of the week and there wasn’t much else left. 1/4 avo, some carrot kraut, grilled salmon drizzled ok slathered in some fermented cashew cheese.  Grace had the same, minus the leaves (not into them right now) & cashew cheese and with some steamed broccoli drizzled in ghee.

dinner-salmon

SNACKS

I tend not to really snack as I find I don’t get hungry between meals very often. I do find myself eating G’s half-eaten apples etc if they get abandoned in favour of her eating some dirt or rocks. Because food critic. If I am hungry or feel like I just need some extra fuel I generally make a smoothie. There are loads of my recipes on the blog and on my Instagram.

G snacks on fruit, chia puddings, sweet potato chips & smoothies. Some days she’s into snacks other days she’s not. She loves kraut, olives and kombucha. She’d live on strawberries if that was a thing. She’s pretty into soup at the moment too which is kinda weird but an easy way to jam 17 different veggies into one dish.

So there you go. Riveting I’m sure. It’s not fancy, leftovers get rehashed into multiple meals and I use my slow cooker to batch cook like a bad-ar$e and freeze stuff for later.

toddlers