Roasted Butternut Squash, Bacon and Rosemary with Zucchini “Noodles”

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This is an old dish of mine I used to make back in the day when we still ate pasta. It’s actually a recipe I pinched from my mum and the whole family absolutely loves it. It’s incredibly easy to make, simply roasting some bacon and pumpkin together, stirring in additionaly flavourings like lemon and chili at the end and tossing through cooked pasta – or in this case zucchini noodles.

INGREDIENTS (for two people)

. 1/2 butternut squash, cut into 1.5cm dice
. 200 g bacon, diced
. 2 sprigs rosemary, finely diced
. olive oil
. 1/2 lemon, juiced
. Zest of lemon
. 1 small red chilli, very finely diced
. toasted pine nuts to serve, optional
. 2 small zucchinis, julienned

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 200 *C. In a large roasting pan drizzle pumpkin and bacon with a little olive oil to thinly coat and sprinkle over rosemary. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes until the pumpkin is lovely and soft and the bacon crispy. Stir mixture a few times during cooking.
2. Cook zucchini in a microwave bowl on high for 2 minutes until nicely tender.
2. Once pumpkin mixture is ready, toss in zest and lemon juice, chilli and zucchini and mix well to combine flavours.
4. Serve with pine nuts scattered over top.

This is a really filling and nourishing meal and tastes wonderful with the zucchini noodles. If you can handle dairy, a light sprinkle of parmesan over the top would really complete the meal.

Sweet potato bake

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The other day I made a delicious primal sweet potato bake made with cream and cheese. Whilst it was amazing I was keen to try a fully paleo potato bake that would deliver a similar level of comfort. This one turned out pretty well πŸ˜„

INGREDIENTS

. 1 large sweet potato, sliced into thin rounds
. 1/2 white onion, sliced
. 1 cup coconut milk
. 1/2 tspn garlic powder
. 1/2 tspn curry powder, more if you like it spicy
. sea salt
. Oil of choice to grease pan

METHOD

1. Grease a 20 cm x 20 cm ovenproof dish with oil. Peel and thinly slice sweet potatoes and onion.
2. Mix coconut milk, garlic and curry powder until well combined.
3. Add a layer of sweet potatoes and then top with the sliced onions and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over approximately 1/3 cup of the coconut mixture and then add final layer of the sweet potatoes. Top with remaining sauce.
4. Bake for 1 hour in a hot oven at 200*C. Check during cooking to ensure potato bake does not burn. Cover with foil tent in later stages of cooking, if necessary.

We ate this potato bake with my Thai Chicken Meatballs (recipe here) and a simple green salad. It was good!

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Easiest Paleo Banana Bread Ever!

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I’ve just made a delicious and super easy banana bread from Comfy Belly with the kids as a fun weekend activity. It was incredibly simple to make and had only a few ingredients, mainly bananas, eggs, coconut flour and honey. I just threw all the ingredients into the food processor and then straight into the oven. 50 min later we had a deliciously sweet treat to enjoy. Happy days πŸ™‚

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Tomato and Olive Chicken Drumstick Casserole

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I have been trying for a week to finish this blog post off. I managed a few precious minutes last week whilst the kids were frolicking in the toddler pool to get it done, only for the whole system to crash on me, so I wrote it again and for the second time it crashed and to add insult to injury sent out some half baked post to my lovely followers! Very frustrating indeed! It’s Sunday lunchtime and the kids are again in the pool as it is a scorcher of a day and I’m sitting upstairs in quiet solitude making the effort to record this recipe down as it really is worth it – a nice, tasty, easy and economical paleo meal – always great for a stay at home mum on a budget πŸ™‚ So hear goes, third attempt!

INGREDIENTS

. 2 kg chicken drumsticks, organic preferably
. 1 large onion, cut in half then thinly sliced
. 1 1/2 capsicums, diced
. 2/3 cup green olives
. 400 g tin diced tomatoes
. 700 ml tomato passata (sugo)
. 2 large zucchini, halved and sliced
. 1 tspn smoked paprika
. 1 tspn salt
. pepper
. Olive oil

METHOD

1. In a large, stove top casserole dish brown the drumsticks in batches until nicely golden, remove and set aside.
2. Add the sliced onion and capsicum and lightly fry for 5 minutes. Add in salt and paprika and stir to mix well.
3. Return chicken to pan with olives, tomatoes and passata, bring to boil, lower and simmer covered for 50 – 60 minutes until the chicken is very tender and sauce thick and rich.
4. In the last 10 minutes of cooking put in the zucchini slices and simmer until nicely tender.

We served this with ‘Slendier Rice’ which is a pretend rice made with purified water, konjac flour and calcium hydroxide to strengthen the structure of the ‘rice’ while processing. Konjac is a mountain vegetable from Japan which is a gluten free, low carb, low calorie and high fibre vegetable. You can also buy noodles made from konjac flour and whilst they don’t taste like rice or noodles by themselves, eaten with a nice saucy stew, you can be fooled into thinking it is the original. And at 10 calories per 100 g serving, what is not to like? As usual, when I look to these quazi-paleo foods I consult primal guru Mark Sisson and he is quite happy with them eaten occasionally – good enough for me!

Time to get back in the pool!

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Super Satisfying Pork Chops with apple, red onion and rosemary

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I just baked these pork chops in the oven for an hour on a bed of onion, apple and rosemary and I have to say, why have I never baked a pork chop before? Usually paleo dinners for hubby and I are a piece of meat (beef, pork, lamb or chicken) grilled, roasted or barbecued and three veg. Simple, quick, retro, healthy, easy. Straight from my childhood to the dinner table.

Today we had an unusually quiet Saturday, no catch ups or plans, (or chores, read couldn’t be bothered!) so I had time to prepare a delicious meal that requires an hour baked in the oven. The prep is so insanely easy it’s worth being better organised to create this tasty dish😊

INGREDIENTS (enough for two people)

. 2 pork chops, bone in
. 1 red apple, skin on, thinly sliced
. 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
. 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
. Olive oil

METHOD

1. Preheat oven to 200*C. In a hot fry pan brown chops in a little oil for a few minutes, each side until nicely browned.
2. Arrange apple, onion and rosemary in a small baking pan. Drizzle over a small amount of olive oil and toss well by hand. Be sparing with the oil as the chops will be oily.
3. Place browned chops on top of apple mixture, cover pan with alfoil and bake for 45 minutes.
4. After 45 minutes, check for moisture and if still quite wet bake uncovered for 15 minutes until a nice, thick apple mixture is left.
5. Eat!

My hubby ABSOLUTELY loved this dish. I guess what’s not to like about pork chops? MMMmmm! Bon Apetit!

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A Primal Sweet Potato Bake – Absolute Heaven

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It’s been a little while since I wrote on this blog. Things have been kinda hectic lately with prep interviews and mornings for my little guy at his school for next year (how is he 5 already???), social visits and job applications to do, along with just the usual stuff. I always say I’m a Stay At Home Mum but I really do not stay home much at all:) Crazy days. But good ones, awesome infact. What a wonderful world we have been given and how better to enjoy it with good food. I made an utterly delightful sweet potato bake tonight that I just had to write down – this one is a keeper. It was just so satisfying and delicious. I made this with purple-skinned, white fleshed sweet potatoes but they would be absolutely great with the ordinary orange variety as well.

INGREDIENTS

. 2 small sweet potatoes
. 1/2 onion
. Grated cheese
. 1/2 cup sour cream
. 1/3 cup milk
. Salt and pepper
. Olive oil

METHOD

1. Grease a 20 cm x 20 cm ovenproof dish with olive oil. Peel and thinly slice sweet potatoes and onion.
2. Add a layer of sweet potatoes and then top with the sliced onions. Add another layer of the sweet potatoes and top with grated cheese. (I used approximately 1/2 cup). Season each layer well with salt and pepper.
3. Whisk sour cream and milk together and spoon over the top. It will not cover the entire dish.
4. Bake for 1 hour in a hot oven at 200*C.

This was a lovely sweet and savoury dish. It was very comforting but light on the cream so not too bad, in my opinion anyway πŸ™‚ Its a recipe that’s definitely on the fringe of primal with the cheese
and cream. Mark’s Daily Apple has some good information on whether dairy is primal or not. Meanwhile I will just have to cut back as I will never fully be able to give up my milk and cheese! However, I have already decided that next time I make this I will make a full paleo version with coconut cream and curry spicings instead of the cheese and milk. I can’t wait, it’s going to be great!

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Primal Moussaka

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I remember back when I was a kid that lamb was cheap. The usual Sunday roast was a leg of lamb studded with garlic and rosemary accompanied by a lovely mint sauce and there were always lamb chops or cutlets on the menu. Not anymore. I read somewhere recently that Australia is now the most expensive country in the world and with the humble chop being around $22 /kg at the local supermarket and a cutlet at $30 /kg or over its no wonder we never bloody eat it. Thank goodness you can still get lamb mince at $10/kg so I have been making lamb koftas and moussaka to satisfy my lamb cravings!

INGREDIENTS

. 500g lamb mince
. 1 brown onion, finely diced
. Olive oil
. 1 tspn garlic powder
. 1/2 tspn cinnamon
. 1/2 tspn allspice
. Large pinch sea salt
. 1 tbsp tomato paste
. 400 ml tin diced tomatoes
. 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
. 1 large eggplant, sliced into .5cm rounds

TOPPING

. 2/3 cup Greek yogurt
. 1 egg, beaten
. 50 g goats cheese, crumbled
. Parmesan cheese, to grate over top

METHOD

1. SautΓ© onion in olive oil until soft and translucent. Add lamb and cook until browned, stirring frequently. Drain lamb mixture of excess oil in a sieve and return to fry pan.
2. Sprinkle over garlic powder and mix in tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and then add half a tin full of water to the pan. Add spices and season to taste.
3. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a rich, thick sauce. Add in parsley and turn off pan.
4. Meanwhile, brush eggplant slices with olive oil and grill in a very hot oven for 5 min per side.
5. To assemble oil a 20cm x 20cm dish and spoon in approximately 1/4 of the meat sauce.
6. Layer over half of the eggplant slices and then top with half of the remaining meat sauce. Repeat.
7. Beat the egg with the yogurt and goats cheese and pour over the top. Grate over the Parmesan cheese and bake in a very hot oven at 200*C for 30 – 40 min until golden and bubbling.

This was outstanding with a simple green salad.

I made this dish the other day for friends but made one version with just the goats cheese sprinkled over and not with the Greek yogurt as my lovely friend is avoiding cows milk for the present. Even with a little scattering of soft goats cheese over the top I found the dish very satisfying. And I got to use the fresh parsley from my herb garden which is always a thrill. Ah, it’s the simple things hey?

This is the first time I’ve recorded my moussaka recipe down so I’m excited that I won’t have to rack my brain and improvise next time! Woo hoo!

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