Baked Ratatouille Vegetables

Ratatouille Baked Veg

Ratatouille Baked Veg

Since going ‘Primal’ hubby and I have really been into our baked veg! So easy and tasty. This Ratatouille style concoction was fantastic with grilled lamb cutlets.

Simply toss in a pan some baby Japanese eggplant, sliced capsicum, red onion, sliced zucchini and a handful of cherry tomatoes with some olive oil, sea salt and herbs (I used thyme, rosemary and sage) and roast in a hot oven for approximately 1/2 an hour until done. Very yummy 🙂 if you can tolerate cheese then some feta goes really well crumbled over the top.

The best thing about leftover veggies is they make a healthy breakfast. I ate these witha boiled egg – bliss.

Cauliflower Curry direct from the Paleo Pantry

Well, I’m still working my way through my enormous cache of 98c cauliflowers and here is my latest creation – Cauliflower Curry. Although, I must admit I made it pretty mild so my kidlets would eat it up so perhaps I should call it ‘Cauliflower in a Savoury Coconut and Tomato Sauce’. Mild though it was, it was really, really tasty and the kids (a 2 and a 4 year old ) ate the whole lot which actually surprised me a little bit, there was a teensy amount of chilli in it after all!

I really do love one pot dishes. This one was particularly great as the only chopping involved the cauliflower and an onion. Everything else came from a spice jar, a can or the freezer – pretty easy indeed! Next time I might use actual garlic cloves and fresh ginger and chilli but this is what I was able to rummage up in the ‘paleo pantry’ and somehow it came together quite nicely 🙂 I also think some freshly chopped coriander at the end would really lift the dish – I didn’t have any and it was still fine.

INGREDIENTS

. 1 onion, finely diced
. 2 tbspn olive oil
. 2 tspn curry powder
. 1 tspn ground cumin
. 1 tspn ground coriander
. 2 tspn garlic powder
. 1/2 tspn ground ginger
. 1 tspn, sea salt
. Hot chilli flakes, to taste
. 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
. 270 ml can lite coconut cream
. 400 ml tomato passata / purée
. 1 1/2 cup frozen green peas
. Juice of one lime

METHOD

1. Heat olive oil in large fry pan and lightly sauté onion in the olive oil. When translucent add all the spices and fry for a few minutes. Add the cauliflower to the pan and stir well to coat the cauliflower with the onion spice mixture.
2. Add coconut cream and passata to pan and let simmer for 15 minutes
3. Add frozen peas and cook for a further 5 minutes
4. Squeeze a lime over the pan and serve immediately. Bon appetite!

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Paleo Microwave Cake in a Mug = Nom, Nom, Nom!

Today we had a little friend of my daughters around for a visit and I realised the cupboard was pretty bare. However, I did have the few ingredients on hand to whip up a very quick and really yummy paleo mug cake. This is a very easy treat to make with the kids as it involves mashing a banana, mixing in an egg and a tiny amount of almond flour, adding in a few flavourings and nuking it for a few secs. That’s it!

INGREDIENTS

. 1/2 – 1 banana (I used half an extremely large banana this time)
. 1 organic egg
. 1 tblspn almond meal
. dash of cinnamon
. 1/4 tspn vanilla
. 1/2 tbspn sultanas, optional
. 1/2 tbspn dark chocolate chips, optional

METHOD

1. Mash the banana really well in a larger bowl with a fork until it is very runny and smooth
2. Crack in the egg and beat well
3. Add almond meal, cinnamon, vanilla, sultanas and chocolate chips (if using) and combine well
4. Pour into a mug and microwave on High for 90 secs – 2 mins. When the batter is pulling away from the sides it will be done
5. Either enjoy straight from the mug or turn out and serve
6. My daughter and friend enjoyed a quarter of the cake each cut up into small pieces. I had my half with a hot mug of green tea and I must say it was very good 🙂

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Cheats Cauliflower Cheese

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Cauliflowers were 98c last week so I stocked up on a few and now have to come up with some interesting paleo / primal -ized recipes. I love cauliflower cheese – such a warming, comforting dish for winter. However, the roué for the white sauce is made with plain flour and obviously not grain free. I did try once to make a roue with arrowroot / tapioca starch however that would probably go down as my all time paleo ‘fail’ – it was like a weird stringy glue – not good, not good at all!

This time I have seriously simplified Cauliflower Cheese by blitzing up some cottage cheese and eggs and pouring it over the cauliflower. I love easy, few ingredient dishes – they are the best!

INGREDIENTS

. 1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets and steamed until just tender
. 3/4 cup of cottage cheese
. 2 free range eggs, organic if possible
. nutmeg, to sprinkle
. pepper
. salt, optional (the cottage cheese can be salty so use your discretion here)

METHOD

1. Place steamed cauliflower into ovenproof casserole dish
2. Blitz cottage cheese, eggs, salt and pepper in blender and pour over cauliflower
3. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg and place into oven at 200 dc for 25 – 30 minutes until lightly browned

This was a very easy and gluten free alternative to the standard cauliflower cheese. The kids absolutely yummed it down and I enjoyed it too. I must say though, not quite as good as the original with full fat cheese sauce but great for a gluten free, low carb and low fat alternative!

Paleo Bacon and Egg Breakfast Muffins – Updated!

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Looking for a way to impress your friends and family with delicious Paleo brunch / breakfast ideas? Well, you really cannot go past these super easy, super quick Bacon and Egg Muffins.

Simply crisp up some bacon in a muffin tray, crack in an egg, season with salt and pepper and perhaps a sprinkle of cheese and bake for 18 – 20 minutes in the oven and you are done! We have made these quite a few times when we have guests over because they are a set and forget type dish yet they never fail to impress. I just love how easy and delicious they are! You can find any number of recipes for these muffins floating around the internet. Hubby and I have perfected ours by using baking paper to prevent a messy clean up from eggs stuck to the bottom of the tray, using the eye of the bacon rather than the whole rasher which makes a neater muffin ‘cup’ and generously seasoning the muffins with salt and pepper. Lining the tray with baking paper also means no oil is required – bonus! Yum!!!

INGREDIENTS (for one muffin)

. one large rindless eye bacon
. one free range, organic egg
. salt and pepper
. grated cheese to top, optional

METHOD

1. Cut out a square of baking paper large enough to cover muffin cup
2. Place the bacon on top of the baking paper in the tray, it may be necessary to trim the bacon if there is overhang. Place the trimmmed bacon around the top of the tin to create a ‘perfect muffin case’.
3. Pop the tray into the oven at 180 dc for 5 minutes to crisp the bacon
4. Remove and crack in an egg, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with cheese, if using
5. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until done to your liking

I didn’t manage to get a photo of the end product as I was too busy tucking in. They are really delish!

UPDATE

…….. Well, I just made these again and this time I added a thin slice of tomato on top of the bacon – oh my goodness, I’m a genius! Classic eggs, bacon and tomato breakfast in a handy muffin sized portion. Yummo! And I even got a photo this time 🙂

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A Super Quick and Tasty Rich Tomato, Bacon and Zucchini Soup

I just made dinner in 20 minutes! It’s been a busy weekend with family BBQs, Toddler church to organise and great Aunts to visit and after a biggish lunch today I wasn’t feeling like a full meal. But I did have a large pack of bacon in the fridge. Mmmm, should I have brinner for tea? You know, breakfast for dinner – but no, already had bacon and eggs for brekkie. A quick look in the crisper revealing a few slightly oldish zucchini languishing in the draw and a Tasty Bacon, Tomato and Zucchini Soup was born!

Hubby thinks this is the best soup I have ever made. However, he has always, always loved tomato soup and secondly you can’t believe a word he says because he still thinks that his 38 year old wife and mother of two littlies (read constantly frazzled and tired ALL the time) is somehow more beautiful than Elle McPherson. Pfffftt! Bless him 🙂

INGREDIENTS

. 1 onion, finely diced
. 1 large carrot, diced
. 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
. Olive Oil
. 1/2 tsp dried thyme
. 700 ml jar Tomato Passata / Sugo (tomato puree)
. 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
. 3 small zucchini diced
. 6 bacon eyes, diced

METHOD

1. Lightly sauté onion, garlic and carrot in olive oil until onion is translucent and tender
2. Transfer mixture to saucepan, add herbs, passata and stock and bring to boil for 5 min
3. Add zucchini and boil for 6 minutes, season well with salt and pepper
4. Meanwhile, fry bacon in remaining oil in frypan until crisp
5. Serve soup and top with the bacon

This soup was soooo easy. Using passata instead of two tins of chopped tomatoes eliminated the step of pureeing the soup and made preparation time super quick. If you like your veggies a bit softer, simply cook for longer. Yum, Yum, Yum!!!!!

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And here is a picture of my bowl of soup – I couldn’t wait for it to cool down and tuck in so it’s a bit ‘steamy’!!!

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Paleo Okonomiyaki – Japanese Pizza for Dinner!

I love Japanese food. I love the sashimi, the salty pickles, the grilled meats, the sushi and rice balls, the simple, almost understated tastes and textures. When I was 21 I had the supreme fortune to be able to travel to Japan and live in Tokyo for 2 years, teaching English at a high school. It was a fabulous experience. The work was not very demanding and once or twice a week after work I went into town to a language school. After the hour class my friends and I would venture into an “Izakaya”, a local drinking/eating establishment frequented by workers finishing their shifts and looking for a bite and a drink and it was here that I was really able and to get to know the more common Japanese foods that are not as well known internationally (but should be!) – Okonomiyaki being one of them.

Okonomiyaki is often referred to as ‘Japanese Pizza’ and is a savoury cabbage-based pancake usually grilled on a communal open griddle pan and served with a variety of condiments, such as mustard, BBQ sauce, bonito flakes (dried fish flakes), kewpi mayonnaise and nori. The name literally translates to ‘As you like it’ with endless variations. This is my paleo version and it came really close to the pancakes I used to make on wheat flour. It was fantastic!

INGREDIENTS (enough to make two large pancakes)

. 4 eggs
. 3 tbspn coconut flour
. 5 tbspn water
. salt
. 1 carrot, grated
. 2 cups shredded cabbage
. 1/2 onion, very finely diced
. 3 bacon rashes, rind removed and sliced in three
. Olive oil to coat pan
. Condiments of choice – I used mustard, BBQ sauce, a little mayo and some Japanese pickled ginger.

METHOD

1. Create a smooth, runny batter by whisking first 4 ingredients together in a large bowl
2. Add vegies to batter and mix well to ensure an even coat (it will not resemble a normal batter at this stage, rather the cabbage will only just be coated with the eggy mixture)
3. Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat and add half the bacon
4. When underside of bacon is crisp turn over and then top with half of the batter mix
5. Cook for approximately 8 minutes, until you can notice the batter on the top is starting to set
6. Using a large dinner plate flip over the pancake and cook the other side until done
7. Top with your choice of condiments and tuck in!

We have two frypans going at once so we can enjoy this delicious, simple meal together. This was my first attempt at ‘paleofying’ Okonomiyaki and I was very happy with the result. Next time I may reduce the coconut flour down to 2 tablespoons and make sure I have in the pantry some bonito flakes which make the Okonomiyaki taste really authentic! Overall a delicious meal and I can’t wait to make it again 🙂

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