gluten-free

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.

Five Minutes with Pete Evans

As you all know I am passionate about creating a ‘Real Food Revolution’. Do what works for you but keep the food REAL. Some think ‘PALEO’ is extreme. You know what I think’s extreme? That weird packaged ‘food-like-product’ with 72 ingredients, none of which you know (biologically) or can pronounce, that you are comfortably shoving in your pie hole. That, my friend, is actually the real crazy $hit.

I think we all need to take responsibility for our own health and realise that if you don’t feel at the top of your game, have ailments plaguing you, digestive issues, skin problems, brain fog etc, it’s NOT because you have an *insert drug of choice* deficiency. Ever heard of a paracetamol deficiency? No? Me neither. Wise up peeps.

Those problems are far more to do with what you are feeding the cells of your body with every bite, with every cream, lotion or potion you slather on, the stress you expose it to, the sleep you don’t get, the movement you are not doing (or doing too much of). All of that matters but I truly believe it starts with food. Just JERF. Just Eat Real Food. It’s not a diet, it’s common freaking sense.

I was lucky enough to get along to The Paleo Way tour last year when Chef Pete Evans created quite the stir with his entourage of Paleo advocates. He has since launched a very successful TV series by the same name to help educate people about getting back to our primal roots and helping to make the lifestyle more accessible and understood by the masses… I was lucky enough to interview the man of the moment below.
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Enough of my ranting, here’s the interview. Enjoy.

Me: If you could bust 1 nutrition myth what would it be?

Pete: That Paleo is a DIET or a FAD. Paleo is so far from these types of things and if it’s a fad, then it’s the oldest fad diet in the world due to the fact that it’s been around for over three million years. This way of life is not at all restrictive – there is no counting calories or cutting down meals to the point that you’re constantly hungry and weight loss or weight stabilisation is actually just a bonus. The real goal with this way of life is to reclaim your health by eating the most natural foods available, straight from the source.

In short, scientific research shows that by consuming what our ancestors and modern-day hunter-gatherer tribes continue to consume today, we can take back control of our health and live a life of optimal wellness. Research has also shown these societies don’t tend to suffer from the modern chronic diseases that plague the developed world and for me that is powerful information that’s worth investigating.

Me: Who is one chef you’d love to cook with and why?

Pete: I was really honoured to be able to get the chance to cook with one of my favourite chefs Seamus Mullens, who owns restaurants in New York. Like me, Seamus overhauled his own life through healthy eating and now he’s inspiring others to do the same. He’s truly passionate about connecting people back with their natural food sources and creating a positive conversation about the future of food. We cooked together for my television show The Paleo Way and it was a real joy and a pleasure and I know we’ll be back on the tools together again in the future.

Me: You have been fortunate to meet so many amazing people on your ‘Paleo Way’ journey. Who has been the most influential?

Pete: By far, the most influential of all is nutritional therapist Nora Gedgaudas, who has become a very good friend and someone who I enjoy working with immensely. In many ways we are kindred spirits. It was Nic who introduced me to Nora’s book Primal Body, Primal Mind, a couple of years ago and what she wrote made so much sense to me. To say I was inspired is an understatement and in many ways it changed the way I looked at everything.

That’s why I got in touch with Nora about four years ago by sending an email saying how transformational her book had been for me. We eventually met in 2012 at our home in Sydney and that’s when Nora and I agreed that we wanted to find a way to somehow work together to help create positive change in others and in the way the public looks at food.

Nic and I have since spent time at Nora’s home in Portland, Oregon, where we filmed segments with her for The Paleo Way television series, which is currently screening in Australia. And I’m delighted she’ll be back in my homeland again this year for some of The Paleo Way’s nationwide tour. Over time, we’ve become a close-knit family – even though there is a significant distance between the places in which we live – and we are working on lots of other ways of collaborating. It’s going to be an exciting year!

Me: School canteens, hospitals & retirement homes are in dire need of a nutrition overhaul. How can we start to make that change on an individual level?

Pete: Get into the kitchen, choose a recipe you love, get on the tools and go wild! It’s all about connecting with your ingredients and taking a keen interest in where your food comes from. But most of all it’s about having the power to create food that tastes great and is good for you.

Creating your own dishes in the kitchen helps spark a relationship with food and appreciation for it and that understanding is the first step towards successfully being able to make healthier, more informed choices.

I also can’t recommend enough the power of getting kids into the kitchen and making each and every meal a bit of a celebration. It’s also things like being conscious about the food choices you make and listening to the scientific research and the influential people around the world and what they are discovering about how healthy eating lifestyles, such as Paleo, can have a massive impact on someone’s health and longevity. Remember, knowledge is power.

Me: What is your go-to 5min meal that anyone could whip up at home faster than they could order take-away?

Pete: I don’t think you can go past a chicken salad by throwing together some leftover roast chicken, some leafy greens, a handful of your favourite toasted nuts and taking a few minutes to whiz up a green goddess dressing made with a base of avocado, coconut milk and lemon juice.

Me: Let’s talk real food on a budget. If you only have $10 what items would you buy to create a meal?

Pete: I’d probably opt for a salmon and vege miso with some sliced mushrooms. It’s packed full of antioxidants and minerals, plus it’s great brain food.

If you are interested in learning more about real food cooking and getting some hot tips from Pete you can book a spot at his upcoming ‘Learn to cook the Paleo Way’ tour HERE.

Turmeric Lamb & Quinoa Burgers

So this festive business is wearing thin and I have just about eaten my years supply of ham, turkey and more ham. We have been rehashing those things for the past 3 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner in all different ways and I am tapping out. #nomoreham These bad boys are ham-free, super easy to whip up and even easier to eat. Wondering what’s for dinner tonight. These burgers, that’s what. Just do it. Nike says.

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
2 tsp ground turmeric
500g lamb mince (beef would be fine too)
2 eggs
1 tbs fresh chopped rosemary
1 tbs fresh chopped mint
Good whack of sea salt & pepper (obviously they are very exact
measurements)
Coconut oil/butter/ghee/macadamia oil for cooking
Tomato or BBQ Sauce for serving

Soak your quinoa for at least 30mins (but up to 4 hrs) then give it a really good rinse. Pop it in a saucepan with the 2 cups of water, turmeric & some salt & pepper & bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once it comes to the boil, reduce to a simmer, pop the lid on and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15mins or until it’s ready. Then remove from the heat.

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Chop your mint & rosemary and add them to a big bowl with the mince and the eggs and mix well to combine. Once the quinoa is cool enough to touch add it to the mince mix, combine well then form into burger sized patties.

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Heat your oil in a large frypan over a medium heat & cook those bad boys. Makes about 10 patties. I froze half of mine raw so that I have a quick go-to meal ready when I can’t be ar$ed preparing dinner.

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.

White Christmas Cheesecake

I’m dreaming of some White Christmas,
Just like the one used to eat.
Without the toxic copha,
Or processed sugars,
Or nasty, weird ingredients…..

I hope you sang that to the tune of ‘I’m dreaming of a White Christmas’? I feel like my lyrics need some work but I am too excited about this deliciousness to be bothered really. I had a couple of attempts at perfecting this recipe as the first few were good but didn’t taste like the White Christmas I remember. I feel like I nailed it with this one so you are welcome. You can get your mits on my WHITE XMAS recipe over at Gourmand and Gourmet, it’s delicious too.

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the innards (sounds gruesome) of this freaking amazing cheesecake because I made it for a party and I thought it may be frowned upon to take a cake that had already been cut into…. And probably that slice eaten…. I am sure the excuse ‘but I had to instagram it’ would not fly.

Base
2 cups almonds
2 cups fresh dates
3 tbs coconut oil

Filling
3 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 4hrs then drained
250ml full fat coconut cream (I use the Ayam brand)
3/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 – 3/4 cup rice malt syrup/maple syrup/honey (depending on how sweet you want it)
1/2 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 cup goji berries
1/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots (sulphur free)
1/2 cup lightly toasted nuts (I used a mix of macadamias & pistachios)
1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
Optional- White Christmas for topping

For the base, blend all ingredients in the food processor until it all comes together like a dough. You can leave it as chunky, or make it as smooth as you like. Press into the base of a springform tin and pop it in the freezer to set while you make the filling.

For the filling, blend the cashews, coconut oil, coconut cream, vanilla & rice malt syrup until you get a really smooth mixture. Stir through all the remaining ingredients. Pour over the base, top with some crumbled White Xmas (optional) and pop back in the freezer to set. Remove from freezer 15mins before serving to allow to soften, slice, then serve. Stand back and watch people’s minds be blown.

Choc Chip Caramel Cookie Sandwiches

I feel like caramel & chocolate is a marriage made in heaven. Only thing that would be better is SALTED caramel & chocolate which you could totally do. Remember when I made the Caramel Topping? Well if that didn’t blow your mind, these cookies will. This makes about a dozen cookies which is really only 6 cookie sandwiches so it wouldn’t be that bad if you ate them all. I wouldn’t judge you, some would, not me. You don’t have to make the caramel if you don’t want to/ can’t be ar$ed/ don’t like caramel (weirdo alert), but it really does complete them. Just like in Jerry Maguire.

Wet stuff-
¼ cup ghee or butter at room temp (you could try with coconut oil too but I haven’t yet)
¼ cup coconut sugar
2 tbs maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar or rice malt syrup
1 large egg at room temperature

Dry stuff-
1 tsp vanilla powder
1½ cups pumpkin seed meal (you could use almond meal, hazelnut meal or another type of nut flour)
2 tbs coconut flour
½ tsp bicarb soda
½ tsp sea salt
1/2 cup dark choc chips

CARAMEL

Preheat your oven to 170C and line a baking tray with baking paper. In your food processor (or using some beaters) blend the wet ingredients until they are creamy and well mixed. Add the dry ingredients (except the choc chips) and combine completely, scraping down the sides as required. Stir through the choc chips by hand so they don’t get all mashed up by the food processor. Pop the mix in the fridge for about half an hour to make the dough easier to work with. You can make the CARAMEL while that is happening if using it. Once the dough is less sticky, roll it into balls and flatten out slightly on the baking tray, be aware these cookies will spread a bit so don’t put them too close together. Pop them in the oven for about 15mins or until starting to brown on the edges. Allow to cool for about 20mins on the tray before transferring to a wire rack. Once cool, smear some caramel on a cookie, add another as a lid, take a nice big bite and experience the bliss. The only thing that could make them any better would be an extra layer of homemade ice cream in the cookie sandwich. Ooooh yeah!

Caramel Topping

There are no words…. Well maybe ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’. Yep. It’s that good, and easy. I mean 3 ingredients, there are no excuses for not making this. They’re not even weird ingredients like ‘mesquite powder’ or ‘saffron threads’ (seriously, what’s with saffron? That gear is like $3million an ounce. Not even joking. It’s not like it’s unicorn dust!). Anyway, that was a tangent, these are simple, easy to find ingredients. Your supermarket will have them, it’s not too late. Go now.

I used this as a warm topping for some homemade ice cream but it would also be a great filling for caramel tarts, caramel slice, as a cake icing, adding to some protein balls, straight from the jar or anything else splendidly caramel you can think of. If you think of other cool caramel uses be sure to share them in the comments below. No-one likes a selfish-Sally. Nothing against the Sally’s of the world.

15 fresh dates, pits removed
100g coconut oil/ghee or butter (I used ghee)
2 cups full fat coconut milk

Blend everything in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth. Transfer to a small pot and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 mins. You can add extra coconut milk if you want a thinner sauce, keep in mind it will thicken up in the fridge. Use as a caramel topping on anything you fancy. Your finger? I wouldn’t judge.

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.