Apricot Chicken – Paleo style

I had my Japanese study tonight so wanted something easy for dinner, something requiring minimal chopping that could be chucked in the slow cooker without having to brown the meat or any other faffy measures 🙂 I never brown the meat before adding to the slow cooker. I’m sure it looks better but I am using the slow cooker for speed and convenience – not to impress! Lol.

Apricot chicken used to be an old standby, I mean, what could be easier than chicken, a packet of French onion soup and a tin of apricot nectar. Except of course all the nasties in the packet soup mix! This is my Paleo version, it’s a bit spicier than the original but it was really tasty nonetheless.

INGREDIENTS

. 750 g – 1 kg chicken breast, sliced
. 1 400 ml tin apricot nectar
. 1 400 ml tin apricot halves in juice (not syrup)
. 1 tbspn ground coriander
. 1 tbspn ground cumin
. 2 tbspn onion powder
. 1 tspn garlic powder
. 1 tspn ground cinnamon
. 1 tspn ground ginger
. salt and pepper, to taste
. 1 tspn arrowroot (or thickener of choice)
. sliced zucchini, optional

METHOD

1. Add chicken breast and spices to slow cooker and mix to cover chicken well
2. Add apricot nectar and set slow cooker to High for 3 hours
3. Add the tin of apricot halves with juice to the slow cooker along with the arrowroot that has been dissolved in a tablespoon of water and any veggies (if using). Cook for a further hour or until vegetables are tender

This was great served over a bed of cauliflower puree. I fed this paleo dinner to the 2 and 4 year old and there were no complaints – always a good sign!

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Raw Vegan Paleo Fruit ‘Truffles’

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You would think that vegan and paleo together would represent a giant oxymoron, but when it comes to quick, healthy and convenient snacks the two food ‘genres’ really complement each other. Any combination of fruit, nuts and seeds effortlessly blended together without any grains or added sugar, artificial flavourings or colourings – it has become my latest obsession!

INGREDIENTS

. 3/4 cup sultanas
. 1/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
. 2 tbspn almond butter *
. 1 tbspn crushed almonds
. Crushed almonds or coconut to roll balls in

METHOD

1. Place first four ingredients into food processor until mixture is finely processed and clumps together in a ball of ‘dough’
2. Roll small amount into a ball and dip into either crushed nuts or coconut.

That’s it! So, so simple. These are a great option if you are in a hurry and need a snack to feed friends. I made these today for a picnic in the beautiful forest and they all disappeared quite rapidly – a winning endorsement in my book. And what a gorgeous way to spend a public holiday then hanging with mates, playing frisbee and exploring creeks with the kids and enjoying good food. I love hanging with friends I’ve known for over half my life!

*. N.B. do not use peanuts or peanut butter in this recipe. Peanuts are a definite no no on the paleo diet. Peanuts are actually legumes, not nuts and not only does their production involve huge amounts of pesticides they also contain lectins and aflatoxin, a type of mould, that can irritate the gut and lead to allergies and autoimmune conditions etc. For further reading a useful source is Paleo Diet Lifestyle

Seriously Addictive Paleo “Muesli Bars”

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This week I decided to try my hand at making some paleo-fied muesli bars. I’ve had two huge bags of un-opened pepitas and sunflower seeds just begging to be transformed into something. And by chance, I also had quite a bit of dried fruit and other goodies to create a wholesome and tasty Paleo treat. This is actually quite a rare occurrence. I seem to always be running out of key and vital ingredients and I usually try to avoid the shops at ALL COSTS, on account of having two very highly spirited (read naughty) little children who delight in getting up to mischief! Bless them 🙂 Sometimes its just better to make do then brave the outing, if you know what I mean.

This muesli bar is extremely easy. Just throw the ingredients into the food processor, mix in the coconut and pepitas by hand and press into a tin. No cooking required! Hoooraaayyy!!!!! I first made this on Tuesday, by Wednesday it was gone, eaten up by the hungry hoards. I then made a batch yesterday as I was catching up with a friend. ALL GONE. So I have made yet ANOTHER batch this morning for a breakfast catch up with friends. What can I say, so easy and so tasty. Their popularity speaks for themselves. I will be making these little beauties again and again and again 🙂

INGREDIENTS

. 1/2 cup raw almonds
. 1/4 cup pitted dates
. 1/4 cup sultanas
. 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
. 2 tbspns chia seeds
. 1 – 2 tbspns honey
. 1/2 tspn vanilla
. 1/4 cup pepitas
. 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
. extra coconut, pepitas and sunflower seeds to garnish (optional)

METHOD

1. Blitz the first five ingredients in the food processor until very finely chopped
2. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons honey blitz again until the mixture clumps together in a kind of dough
3. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the coconut and pepitas by hand
4. Press into a loaf pan that has been lined with grease proof paper so the paper overhangs the side of the pan. Using the overhang of the paper helps avoid sticky hands!
5. Sprinkle with the seeds and coconut and press in again.
6. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and then lift out of tin with the greaseproof paper and cut into squares.
7. Keep un-eaten portion in the refrigerator – if you have any, that is …

Each time I have made these I varied the recipe slightly. For example, today I ran out of dates so I replaced these with dried apricots. Yesterday, I added some chopped apricots in at step 3 to add some more texture. Any dried fruit would work well. I’m keen to try some crystallised ginger next and also do one with some tahini paste instead of the honey. I’ll let you know how they turn out!

Lettuce Wrapped Hamburgers – they make it all worth while!

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I absolutely love home made hamburgers. They are a cheap and economical way to feed your family Paleo and they are a true comfort food to boot. Because the hamburger patty is so thick and juicy you don’t miss the bread at all. Especially if you have a few oven baked sweet potato fries on the side.

INGREDIENTS (for the beef burgers)

. 500 g grass fed beef mince
. 1 egg
. 1 medium onion, very finely diced
. 1 tspn garlic powder
. 1 tspn dried thyme (or any Italian herb combo)
. Large pinch salt and pepper

METHOD

1. Mix all ingredients together and divide mixture into four
2. Shape into patties and place on a plastic lined baking tray. Refrigerate for 30 min
3. Fry in a little olive oil until cooked to your liking
4. Place patty on top of lettuce leaf and layer your choice of salad ingredients and condiments and then cover with another large leaf. I used tomato, avocado, beetroot, mayonnaise and tomato sauce.

Oh and I melted some cheese onto my patty, my bad? I’m about to embark on a Whole 30 soon so I won’t be able to have those small indulgences for a while 🙂 Served alongside orange and white sweet potato chips baked in the oven, this was a really great dinner.