Today was a chocolate day. It is cold, rainy & miserable & all I wanted to cook was slow cooked stuff & chocolate…. So I did. I slow cooked lamb shanks, chicken thighs and a big pot of beef mince with delicious stuff in it…..Then I made a total mess with chocolate. It was up my arms, on my face, all over the bench and I spilt a heap on a tea towel too. I was tempted to lick it off but I am pretty sure that same tea towel had been used to clean up the beef mince juice that had leaked on the bench. Gross. I totally licked it off my arms though. Don’t judge me or I will un-share this recipe with you. Then you’ll be sorry. These little gems are definitely coming to our Xmas festivities. They are almost like a Fantale but the caramel is softer and won’t break your teeth. You must think sometimes that I have ADHD. Well I don’t. Oh look a butterfly. (more…)
I am lucky I have smart friends, I’m not sure where I would be without smart people giving me ideas. This idea of a Christmas post came from my beautiful friend Jac….. I think she just wanted me to tell her what should be on her Xmas table so I thought I’d help you all out with some ideas. I made loads of fabulous things last Xmas like Apricot & Pistachio Balls, Paleo-ish Rum Balls, Gingerbread and loads more but I don’t have time this year before Xmas to create, write recipes & take photos of all the things that will be on our Christmas menu. I thought instead I would share with you some great recipes from some of my favorite bloggers to help keep your festive season tasty without the guilt. Here goes…
Maple Roasted Butternut Squash
Cauliflower Fried Rice
Quinoa Apple & Kale Salad
Raw Pad Thai
Warm Roasted Fennel Salad with Orange & Mint
Roasted Baby Carrots with Pomegranate, Pistachios & Hummus
Green Bean Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing
So there’s a heap of things to get you started & I am sure that you will find loads more on those blogs too. Remember, the supermarket will only be closed for 1-2 days over the Christmas break, there is no need to eat like you are about to enter a famine.
That time of year is rapidly approaching where we all tend to get a little too jolly which often finds us on January 1st searching for a crash diet, miracle detox or New Years resolution pretty similar to every year that has gone before…. That we ever actually followed through with. Let’s make this year different.
In case you hadn’t seen it yet, my “One Kitchen At A Time” (OKAAT) project is underway and I am so excited to be able to get into people’s kitchen’s & help them make some changes for the health of themselves & their loved ones. Christmas time is an awesome opportunity to share amazing, delicious & HEALTHY food with your family & friends & show them that healthy food doesn’t need to taste like lawn clippings. Who is with me?!
I don’t know if you have tried it yet but I am OBSESSED with the FISH TACO at Primal Pantry. It is to die for. Go there, eat it, thank me later. Anyway, the salmon fillet in that is coconut crusted. Freaking heaven. It’s a mouth party & all your tastebuds are invited. Of course I though I had best get coconut-crusting my own fish at home. This is an awesome alternative to a regular fish batter & you could substitute the shredded coconut for almond meal if you wanted to as well. Go on, treat your mouth.
Salt is something that everyone has an opinion on. I personally don’t use it all the time but I am not judging you if you love the stuff. If I do use it, I use Himalayan pink crystal salt to ensure that I am getting the most nutrients. Trav has some interesting facts on common table salt in his blog about nutrition, you can read it HERE.
So many oils to choose from….Which ones are the healthiest? Which ones are best to cook with? Which ones are best to use as dressings? Why do I use a particular oil? So many questions…
Well let’s start with a bit of a crash course on the different oils that I like to use. In my pantry (and fridge) there is sesame oil, extra virgin coconut oil, macadamia oil, cold pressed flaxseed oil, ghee, organic butter and extra virgin olive oil. So when, why and what the?!
Since my first ribs experience at Ribs & Rumps a few months back, I have developed quite a taste for these little morsels. That night was a first of a few things. I ordered my first steak…. Yep, EVER. Up until about 6 months ago I didn’t eat red meat. I had to consult the entire table about what type of steak I might like, how would I have it cooked, sauce or no sauce? I must have been super annoying. Anyway, someone else on the table ordered ribs & was nice enough to share (way nicer than me, if I had a plate of ribs, I totally would not share. Joey doesn’t share food! Remember that? Friends? No? Whatever). So that night I ordered my first steak & tried my first ribs & I have not looked back. Today I even cooked my first steak myself for lunch. I still have a bit of a freak out with red meat because I am not that confident cooking it. I stood staring at the steaks at the butcher for about 20mins trying to work out which sort to buy. In the end I did ‘eanie meanie, miney, mo’, because that is how I make all the difficult decisions in my life, don’t judge me, it has served me well to date. Anyway, I have just realized that this is probably a pretty rubbish story by now so I’ll wrap it up. I cooked the steak, it was good, not as good as my dad’s steak but edible. Make these ribs, they are delicious & I promise I won’t bore you with any more cr@p steak stories….well, I might.
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns, ground
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
2 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs honey/ maple syrup (OPTIONAL)
1/2 cup coconut aminos (soy sauce or tamari can be substituted)
1 tsp fish sauce
8 pork spare ribs
In a big bowl or tray mix all the ingredients except the pork together well. Add the pork to the marinade & toss to coat. Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Pop the ribs (no marinade) in an oven tray on 150C for about an hour then crank up the heat to 200C for about 15-20mins to crisp up the outside. Optional- With the leftover marinade, add to a small saucepan with 1/2 cup chicken stock and simmer over a low heat to reduce to a nice thick sauce that can be drizzled over the ribs once they are cooked. We served ours on a big bed of wilted greens. Now get those fingers dirty & dig in.
Now I know it’s getting warmer but that is no need to relegate your slow cooker to storage just yet! Whilst it might not be stew or casserole weather, slow cooked or shredded meat is an amazing accompaniment to a fabulous salad too.
This delicious pork concoction is what we used to fill our amazing COCONUT CREPES but it would be amazing however you chose to eat it. It has very few ingredients & as it is a slow cooker/crockpot recipe it requires very little work on your behalf.
1tsp ground cumin
4 dried red chilli (you can use fresh but maybe just 2), roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, roughly chopped
1-2L of stock or water
Pork- leg or shoulder
Pinch salt & pepper
1 cup coconut cream
1 tsp cumin
Rub the pork with the cumin, cinnamon, salt & pepper & pop it in the slow cooker (crockpot) on top of the chopped onions. Add the garlic & chilli & pour over the stock (or water) to come about 2cm from the top of the pork. Cover & let the slow cooker do it’s thing on low for 6-8 hrs. If you are doing this in the oven in a crockpot I would go with 120C for 6-8hrs. Remove from the liquid and use a fork to shred the meat. It should all fall apart easily. I then popped the meat in a baking dish, poured over 1/2 cup of the liquid from the crockpot, 1 cup coconut cream and sprinkled with another teaspoon cumin, give it a good stir and popped in in the oven on 180C for about 20 mins before serving. That last bit it completely optional. We then used it as filling for the crepes.
My mum made some delicious crepes with pulled pork for my birthday so I thought I’d have a crack at my own. I didn’t want to use too much arrowroot starch but coconut flour can be a total bit$h to cook with without it. I tried a couple at the start without the arrowroot starch, hot tip…. Just don’t. They were a disaster. Trav still ate them but they were not crepe-like, they were a pile of broken bits. Much like my ego was starting to become.
These can be used like a tortilla and I totally intend to crack them out for a Mexican fiesta feast one night. I think they would work brilliantly as chicken enchiladas or quesadillas. You could also make them a sweet crepe and shove all sorts of fab poached fruit inside.
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp garam marsala (optional- you can omit completely or replace with cinnamon for a sweet crepe)
Salt & pepper
2 cups Coconut milk (or milk if your choice)
2 tbs Arrowroot starch (cornflour would work too, some flavorless whey might work too, I haven’t tried, let me know if you do)
Makes about 15 crepes
Pop everything into the food processor & blend until smooth. Heat a small frypan & add a dash of coconut oil. Pour in the crepe batter & swirl it around the pan to form a thin, even layer. Now the trick to being able to flip these suckers without them ending up as a pile of scramble is to let them cook almost all the way through before you attempt the flip. They should be browning around the edges, then you can flip them and cook briefly on the other side. We filled these lovely morsels with some pulled pork & salad but they would be pretty devine filled with berries & yoghurt drizzled with chocolate sauce…. Just sayin.