A Beautiful Baby Shower

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On Sunday I hosted a wonderful baby shower for my radiant twin sister who was expecting twin baby boys. The event was held at a charming little cafe in East Brisbane, Egg Bistro. We were treated to an amazing three course lunch, and better still, I was able to ensure one of the main course choices was paleo-friendly, being a delicious salad of Smoked salmon with poached egg on a bed of iceberg lettuce, tomato, avocado and radish accompanied by a homemade shellfish mayo and Bloody Mary jelly! Simply amazing.

Better still, my sister who was 35 weeks pregnant was able to make the occasion. The very next day she gave birth to two beautiful baby boys. And on our birthday too! Mum now has two sets of twins born on April 7 – her daughters and grandsons. What are the chances? A very happy day indeed 🙂

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No bread for lunch? No worries.

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When we went primal hubby and I were concerned with what to eat for lunch, you know, since bread is clearly off the menu. Over the year and a bit we have been doing the primal thing we have improvised with lettuce sandwiches, soups, salads etc. and one of my favourite things to do is to eat a healthy dip and assorted medley of vegetables – it honestly does not get easier.

Today was a scorcher – 41*C which is pretty much unprecedented – the last time it was this hot in Brisbane my lovely man and I were flying back from our honeymoon in New Zealand where it actually snowed so I’ve never experienced this kind of heat before. That was almost 10 years ago. Thank God for Air-con is all I can say!!! In this kind of heat who honestly wants a sandwich or soup? This mixed dip platter was awesome for lunch and the 3 and 5 year old hoed into it which is always a bonus!

On today’s menu we had a primal tzaziki yogurt and cucumber dip, veggie sticks, left over roast chicken chunks and cherries and lychees. Outstanding!

Summery Smoked Salmon Cocktail

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This Christmas I decided to make the perfect paleo starter with this gorgeous little dish that pays homage to the classic prawn cocktail, but in a 100% healthy way!

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

. 100 g top quality smoked salmon, or more if you like!
. 2 mangoes, peeled and diced
. 1 large red chilli, finely chopped
. Splash Tabasco, optional
. 2 ripe avocadoes, peeled and diced
. 1 tbsp garlic chives, finely chopped
. 2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
. 1 tbsp lemon juice
. Sea salt
. Lemon wedges, to serve

METHOD

1. Mix the avocado, coriander, chives, lemon juice and sea salt together. Place in the bottom of serving glass.
2. Next, mix mango, chilli and a dash of Tabasco to taste and place on top of avocado mixture.
3. Top with bite size pieces of smoked salmon and garnish with a wedge of lemon.

For such a simple starter this dish really does impress. A perfect summery blend of seafood, avocado and mango with a hint of chilli – amazing!

Cherry Tomato, Basil and Feta Muffins for lunch

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Today my hubby and I finally went out and bought a new BBQ. This time last year we left our old one with it’s woefully rusted out plates on the curb for the annual council pick up day and the kids and I farewelled it as it was being crumpled up in the back of the rubbish truck. Ever since then we have been making do without – it’s been a struggle to entertain, that’s for sure. It’s taken us a while to decide on a replacement as we only have a small deck and we have now decided on a Weber Q – I can’t wait to begin barbecuing and roasting up some delicious paleo dinners – oh hang on, I can’t wait for hubby to do that! Yippe!

Anyway, whilst we were at the BBQ shop I took my kids outside to wait as they were getting pretty bored and we chanced upon a tomato plant growing in the carpark – what a great activity to fill up two plastic cups full of the most gorgeous, ripe, darling, teensy weensy little cherry tomatoes. I promptly brought them home, picked some basil from the garden and whipped up these yummy Cherry Tomato, Basil and Feta Muffins for lunch. Considering I have basically no food in the house ‘foraging’ these tomatoes proved to be very handy indeed! Hey, it’s what Grok would do!!!

INGREDIENTS

. 4 eggs
. 1/4 cup olive oil
. 1/2 cup warm water
. 1/2 tspn garlic powder
. cracked pepper
. 1/2 cup coconut flour
. 1 tsp baking powder
. 3/4 cup basil leaves, loosely packed and then roughly chopped.
. 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
. 50 – 100 g goats feta, crumbled
. extra cherry tomatoes, to decorate

METHOD

1. Whisk together eggs, olive oil, water, garlic powder and pepper. Add in coconut flour and baking powder and stir well to combine.
2. Gently fold through basil leaves, cherry tomatoes and feta. Decorate muffins with cherry tomato halves, if using.
3. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes in a hot oven at 200 *C, until cooked.

I accidentally left out the baking powder for these muffins and they still worked out well so I was very, very relieved. I am looking forward to an easy brekkie tomorrow. Yum.

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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:)

A Delightful Paleo and Broccolini Tuna Salad

I’m getting back into the salads now spring is here. 10 days in and apparently it will be 32*c tomorrow – what on earth? I’m feeling apprehensive about the coming summer. Perhaps it’s time to move south to Tasmania (or possibly Antartica)!!!!!!!!

I made this salad in under 10 minutes and it was deliciously refreshing. It was a great way to use up the left over steamed broccolini I had from last night’s Beef and Pineapple Casserole .

INGREDIENTS (for two serves)

. mixed mesculin leaves
. tomato slices
. black olives
. cucumber slices
. broccolini, lightly steamed and cooled
. small tin tuna, in spring water
. 1 tbspn mayonnaise
. 1 small gherkin, finely diced

METHOD

1. Drain tuna and mix together with mayonnaise and sliced gherkin
2 Assemble salad ingredients on plate and top with tuna mixture

Eating a salad like this from a plate gives me fond memories of all the delicious salads I ate on summer holiday in France. Sitting on the deck, enjoying the breeze and eating the salad with a nice cold glass of water. Simple pleasures. Bon Appetit!

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Lovely Summery Paleo Zucchini and Mint Soup

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I’ve just realised that I have been writing this blog for six months now. I am firstly utterly astounded by how time is rushing by me, I can’t quite believe it’s been that long. Secondly, I am rather amazed that I have kept at this little pursuit for so long! Writing this blog has been a great motivator for me as well as a place to record and write down all my little cooking ideas. I often refer back to particular recipes I use over and over again, particularly my MEATZA recipe, yum yum!!

Anyhow, the other day I made zucchini chips that were a great success after buying a whole bucket of zucchini for $1.99. I still had loads left and whipped up this great little soup for lunch. The best part was harvesting the mint I have somehow managed to not yet kill in my little herb garden. I was feeling pretty pleased with my self 🙂

INGREDIENTS

. 1 kg zucchini, chopped
. 1 large onion, finely diced
. 700 ml good quality chicken stock
. 1 tspn garlic powder
. 1 tspn ghee (or cooking fat of choice)
. salt and pepper to taste
. chopped mint to garnish
. natural yogurt, optional (omit for full paleo version)

METHOD

1. Melt ghee in fry pan and sauté onions until translucent
2. Add zucchini, sprinkle over garlic powder and stir to combine
3. Pour over stock and bring to boil
4. Once boiling simmer 7 mins or until zucchinis are just tender
5. Allow soup to cool before blitzing in food processor
6. Return to pan to heat and then serve with chopped mint and a dollop of natural yogurt, if desired

This soup made a thoroughly enjoyable lunch. Bon appetite!