Oven-baked Thai Paleo Chicken Meatballs

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I love meatballs and these delightful chicken bites are an absolute winner. The best part of this recipe is that the meatballs are baked in the oven, not fried, so they are light on oil but also kitchen time. I love set and forget type meals. Yum!

INGREDIENTS

. 500 g chicken mince, organic if possible
. 1/4 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
. 1/4 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves, loosely packed
. 2 spring onions, chopped finely
. 1 tbspn wheat free tamari or coconut aminos
. 1 tbspn fish sauce
. 1 tbspn lime juice
. 1 tspn garlic powder
. 1/4 cup coconut cream
. 2 tspn coconut flour
. Fresh red chili, add to taste, optional
. Olive oil

METHOD

1. Grease a 24 mini-muffin tray with olive oil, preheat oven to 200 *C and finely chop herbs
2. Mix all ingredients together well by hand and using a tablespoon scoop out rounded measures into the tray. The mixture is meant to be quite sloppy.
3. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown and cooked through. Take out immediately and drain on paper towel .

I served these with a simple green salad and purposely left out the chilli so my young-uns would eat them. They would have been fantastic with a bit of extra kick but I figured a side of chilli sauce for the grown ups would be fine:)

Tangy Green Pea Guacamole

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I love eating dips and vegetables for lunch and I’ve been wanting to make this dip for ages however, as is always the way, I was missing a key ingredient – jalapeño peppers – and do you think I could ever remember to buy them at the shops! Now I have the precious jar in my fridge I will be making this dip regularly over the summer as it is just so easy and can be make largely from the freezer / pantry. It does require some lovely fresh coriander which I now have growing in my herb garden.

INGREDIENTS

. 500 g packet frozen baby green peas
. 1/3 cup fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
. 1/4 red onion, roughly chopped
. 1 – 2 tbsp jalapeño peppers, sliced (adjust according to taste)
. 1 – 2 tbsp reserved vinegar from jalapeño jar
. juice of half a lemon
. 1/2 tsp ground cumin
. large pinch of salt
. 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil

METHOD

1. Put peas into a sieve and run over cold water to partially deforst peas.
2. Next, add first 8 ingredients to your food processor and combine well.
3. Add olive oil, a tablespoon at a time until you have reached desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and serve.

I served this dip up for lunch with my kids and it was very tasty and refreshing. Whilst there is some conjecture in the paleo world as to whether green peas are actually ‘paleo’, considering they are in truth a legume and not a vegetable, I’m just so happy (and relieved) when the kids tuck into their veggies without any bribes, or threats! They actually prefer their veggies raw so serving them accompanied with a tasty dip is perfect. And besides, primal guru, Mark Sisson considers that because they are picked fresh and have a fantastic nutritional profile they are fine. For more reading go to Mark’s Daily Apple website. And most importantly, enjoy!

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Peach Paleo Danish

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Here is a delightful Peach Danish that I used to make before going primal. A little while ago I attempted to ‘paleoize’ it by converting the SR Flour component to almond flour. It sucked. Splodgy, wet, squidgy – not nice. My in-laws, whom I made it for, were very nice and ate some though!

So next time I vowed to make it with coconut flour, as anybody who has ever cooked with the stuff knows just how well it soaks up the liquid. It’s kind of a miracle substance, really very strange to work with. I did my research and armed myself with a coconut flour conversion chart which I pinched from
Salted Paleo and I am so happy to report that the Danish turned out beautifully.

INGREDIENTS

. 1/2 cup coconut flour
. 1 tsp baking powder (aluminium and gluten-free)
. 1/4 cup honey
. 75 g grass-fed butter, melted and cooled
. 5 eggs
. 1/4 tspn almond essence
. 825 g peach slices in fruit juice with no added sugar (do not choose ones in syrup), reserve liquid
. toasted, slivered almonds, optional

METHOD

1. Pre-heat oven to 180*C and grease a 16 x 16 cm square pan well with butter (or oil)
2. Mix honey, butter, eggs and almond essence together in a small bowl
3. Add to coconut flour and baking powder and mix well. If the batter is dry add some reserved peach juice. I used 6 tspn here but be careful as the peach slices add moisture to cake.
4. Roughly chop peach slices and add half to mixture, stir carefully to combine
5. Spread out in pan and distribute remaining peach pieces evenly, gently pressing into batter. Sprinkle over slivered almonds, if using
6. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until slightly brown on top

This time I did not have any slivered almonds to sprinkle over the dish unfortunately and I must say they really make the dish taste like an authentic ‘danish pastry’. I did miss them but it still tasted fantastic as is. In the old days I used to glaze this with a thin lemon icing which of course was amazing, but you really don’t need it.

I made this ‘danish pastry’ for my littlies whom I promised a picnic under our gorgeous, blooming, purple jacaranda tree in the backyard. All the crazy hassle with fighting and screaming and cranky little kids was worth it in the end when we could sit on our blanket, stare up at the sky, listen to nature, eat something yummy and have flowers fall on our head at the same time. It ended up being a pretty special morning.

Bon Appeit!

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Easy Peasy Paleo Beef and Veggie Casserole

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I used to make this recipe all the time back in the day when we ate more processed food at home. It is so easy and a great meal to feed the kids because there are a lot of veggies that have mushed down in the gravy so it is more appealing to their picky palates. Frozen veg is uninspiring at the best of times but for a quick, no cut meal (even my meat was pre-cut) it can’t be beat!

All that is required is some stewing beef, frozen veg, water and in the old days, a packet of french onion soup – which I have a handy paleo-approved replacement recipe for!

INGREDIENTS

. 500 g stewing beef, cut into strips
. 2 cups frozen vegetables, organic preferably
. 1 cup water
. 1 portion dry French Onion Soup Mix *

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 160 *C
2. Place beef in casserole dish, sprinkle over soup mix until beef is well covered. Add in vegetables and water and bake covered for 1 1/2 hours and then uncovered for 30 mins. Check to see if more water is required during the cooking time so you have a nice gravy for the stew.

This time I used 1 cup of stock and left out the stock powder in the Onion Soup Mix. My frozen veggies were a mix of carrots, beans, peas, broccoli and cauliflower. Served up with a mashed root vegetable, or rice if you eat it, I guarantee it will be a tasty and easy dish. It’s not the prettiest of dishes but it sure is tasty 🙂

* FRENCH ONION SOUP

. 2 tbspn dried onion flakes
. 4 tspn stock powder (choose carefully to avoid ones with nasty ingredients)
. 1 tspn onion powder
. 1 tspn garlic powder
. 1/8 tspn celery salt

Sardines in a salad? Who would have thought!

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Today I made up a delicious salad purely by accident by using the last remaining ingredients in the house. We’ve just come back from a relaxing mini-break with the fam at Rainbow Beach, the most beautiful, casually relaxed and ‘old school’ beach village and the cupboard was bare.

Thankfully I had a bag of mixed salad leaves, four cherry tomatoes (that’s right, 4!), a tiny little bit left of an old cucumber, some marinated feta in oil and a tin of sardines in tomato sauce. I simply threw these few ingredients together and the result was surprising fantastic. I think a little red onion would have finished the dish perfectly. For a full paleo version simply omit the feta, but it really did add a delicious saltiness to the dish and contrasted beautifully to the sweet tomato sauce of the sardines.

This salad needed no dressing on account of the tomato sauce from the tin of sardines. I buy the John West sardines and I always buy them in tomato sauce, not oil. The oil ones are usually made from cotton seed oil or some other overly-processed, bleached industrial oil that is guarateed to negate the fantastic Omega-3 benefits from the fish. Importantly, the ingredients in the John West one only contain Sardines, water, tomato paste, salt, vinegar and Xanthum gum.

Xanthum gum is a thickener and when added to water becomes more viscous. Doing some very basic web based research it seems that Xanthum gum is definitely not paleo as it is a laboratory made polysaccharide made from fermenting corn sugar and a bacteria. Xanthum gum is used a lot in gluten free baking as it gives a smooth consistency. It is however the same bacteria that leaves spots on broccoli. Mmmm, sounds tasty! Because it comes from a non-paleo source, aka the corn sugar, it is frowned upon in Paleo circles. However, used in such a small quantity I’m ok with it. It can be really hard to buy fresh fish at affordable prices in Australia, much less more exotic fresh fish like sardines, so from a tin really is my only option, and these are delicious 🙂 I’m not going to worry and just chow down these delicious fishies!

Paleo – ish Ginger Sesame Bliss Balls

I love having the sort of kind and wonderful friends who go out of their way to accommodate one’s dietary intolerances and make delicious paleo approved treats for me. Even though I follow the Primal Lifestyle developed by Mark Sisson and therefore I am allowed the occasional treat (80/20 Rule)such as a slice of birthday cake or a few chips with my dip, whenever I do indulge in the odd piece of wheat-infused food I bloat up ridiculously like a balloon so do try to avoid it. The reason I call these ‘Paleo-ish’ is because they contain preserved ginger. Whilst it is not the completely laden with sugar kind, naked ginger is still made with some sugar so it is a bit of a treat. Given this recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of it I’m completely ok with yumming these little morsels down!

My wonderful friend Sarah recently created and shared these gorgeous Paleoish Bliss Balls for me on a play date with our kids. They were so gorgeous I got the recipe, which I then lost, which is typical of my constant brain fogged state, so I recreated them here as close as I could and they turned out great. The secret is to toast the sesame seeds before making as this gives a very rich and appealing flavour to the snack, yummy!

INGREDIENTS

. 1 cup raw almonds
. 1/2 cup pitted dried dates
. 1/2 cup sultanas
. 1/2 cup ‘naked’ uncrystallised ginger
. 50 g sesame seeds, dry roasted in a fry pan

METHOD

1. Blitz first four ingredients in food processor until well combined but still a little chunky.
2. Place mixture into bowl and add in cooled toasted sesame seeds. Mix well by hand and then form into small balls. This is a very rich treat on account of the toasted sesame seeds so you don’t want to make them too large. You do not need to roll these balls in anything like coconut etc as the sesame seeds will to hold them together.

These are a delightful, sweet and filling treat. I’ve eaten one or two for brekkie when I’ve only wanted something light and they are great with a cuppa for morning tea too.

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