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!

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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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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 šŸ™‚

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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 – jalapeƱo 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 jalapeƱo peppers, sliced (adjust according to taste)
. 1 – 2 tbsp reserved vinegar from jalapeƱo 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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Kiwi Fruit Chews

Today is the labour day public holiday in Queensland and it is 36*C even though it is only the 2nd month of spring! I am so scared about the scorcher summer is shaping up to be. So here I am holed up in the house with the air con blaring as even the deck is unbearable. I should be rifling through my endless piles of paperwork to get my tax sorted but instead I’m procrastinating with another blog post. I’ve been rather quiet of late on account of the kindy two week spring holiday – when I have two kids at home I just cannot manage to get anything done apart from play dough, painting and craft that is. Huh!

I have been doing a lot of dehydrating lately as I find the easiest way to ‘cheat’ on the primal / paleo diet is when you are hungry and there are no paleo approved snacks in the house. I have an awful sweet tooth so the plan was to turn a basket-full of kiwi fruit into a chewy fruit lolly and they really worked. Nice and sweet and tangy with a chewy texture.

INGREDIENTS

. ripe kiwi fruit

METHOD

Simply peel the kiwi fruit and slice each fruit into about 10 or so rounds. Pop into the dehydrator for 6 hours at 60 *C. I kept mine refrigerated given the heat and I’m not sure how long they would keep as they are only partially dehydrated. They didn’t last long as the kids ate them all up within a few days šŸ™‚

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