Paleo Rum Balls (excepting the rum)

In an effort to be semi good this holiday I am trying to go back to full primal and have just made these amazing rum balls I need to share. The kids thought they were better than the original and with no condensed milk or processed biscuits they really are amazing!

INGREDIENTS

– 1 cup almond meal
– 1 tbspn chia seed
– 12 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in water for one hour
– 1/3 cup cocoa
– 1/2 cup coconut (more to roll)
– 1 tbspn coconut oil
– 1/3 cup sultanas which I measured in the cup and then filled the space with rum and let soften for a few hours

I blended all ingredients together until a dough formed and then rolled in coconut. These are exceptional.
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Middle Eastern Inspired Lamb Meatballs with a Green Olive and Watermelon Salad

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This will probably be my last blog post for a while.

After 5 full-on yet wonderful years of full-time motherhood I am about to go back to work as a Japanese teacher! Thankfully I only have a 5 week contract, full-time at this stage so there will be an end in sight!! Reflecting back on the years I’ve had at home I am just so happy with my decision to be there for them in their formative years (and be in a position to afford to do so) and effectively be my own boss. REally, whilst you have the stress of tantrums and bad behaviour, sometimes long and boring days you are also able to make your own decisions and set your own schedule everyday without somebody else dictating what must be done, no sales targets (when I was in banking), no rude customers or students – just a lot of love and free time to spend with your children in their formative years. I have been BLESSED and I truely mean that. But all good things come to an end and I am also excited about returning to work, recreated as a language teacher. It will be a challenge and I’m defiantly anxious but I am ready and looking forward to it too. So wish me luck and I’ll see you in a few months most likely!

INGREDIENTS

LAMB MEATBALLS

. 500 g lamb mince
. 1 tbsn pine nuts, roughly chopped
. 3 tbsn pistachios, roughly chopped
. 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
. 1 small onion, very finely diced
. 1 tbsn sumac
. 1 tspn dried mint

WATERMELON SALAD

. Handful of mixed mesclun leaves
. Sliced watermelon
. Spicy green olives, thinly sliced
. Cucumber, diced
. Sliced green onions (scallions)
. “Moro” white wine Italian dressing

METHOD

1. Mix all ingredients together very well by hand and form into small patties.
2. Fry or grill in a little olive oil until golden and cooked.
3. Serve with a side of watermelon salad.

I did not put down measurements for the salad as it was literally a salad made on the fly with a handful of lettuce leaves, a few slices of watermelon, probably 4 thinly sliced green olives, a 1/4 of a cucumber and a splash of a pre-made White Italian salad dressing which contains only white wine vinegar, grape must and grape juice.

Please feel free to adjust the ingredients for the meatballs – had I had more pine nuts then a teensy amount left in the bottom of the packet I would have used them. The mixture of the nuts and apricots with the lamb and sumac was a winning combination – loved it!

It was actually a very easy and completely fantastic, gourmet dinner for a week night. Can I be honest and say after a really long day (I already made a few meals at midday for friends with bubs(and bad, bad backache I was contemplating getting a takeaway tonight – but after weighing the options, pizza, hamburgers, chicken and chips – just couldn’t bring myself to do it and dictated my ideas for the recipe to my darling man – thankfully he recreated what was in my head to perfection. Yum, what a great dinner! Thanks babe 🙂

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Red Flannel Hash

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This is the first time I have made the New England traditional Red Flannel Hash, named after the delightful and ingenious addition of cooked beetroot to the melee. Typically, hubby and I used to make a corned beef and white potato hash with the leftovers but this time I decided to paleofy the dish by replacing the potatoes with sweet potatoes. The result was simply outstanding, a wonderful combination of salty and sweet and it made enough leftovers for a yummy breakfast the following day, complete with fried egg. Happy days indeed.

INGREDIENTS

. 2 cups leftover corned beef, diced
. 1 small onion, very finely diced
. 1 medium sweet potato, boiled and cut into 1 cm dice (yields approx 2 cups, cooked)
. 1 1/2 cup cooked and diced beetroot (I used a packet of Love Beets 100% natural cooked beetroot – or approximately 4 small beets)
. 1 tbsn ghee
. salt, to taste

METHOD

1. Melt ghee in a heavy bottomed saucepan and then lightly fry onions until translucent.
2. Add remaining ingredients and stir well to mix. Push down with a wooden spoon / spatula and fry until mixture is well browned.
3. Turn over the mixture in clumps and cook until otherside is well browned also.
4. Serve with a poached egg, if desired.

This dish can’t be beat – so tasty and economical and healthy to boot! Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!!! I guess I’m just an old fashioned gal at heart 🙂

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Lamb Cutlets with a Marinated Zucchini and Cucumber Salad

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I love having our new barbie – summer days with some grilled meats and a light salad – it’s perfect paleo combination. Easy, healthy and delightful.

Whilst hubby was cooking some delicious lamb cutlets I whipped up a little salad of zucchini, cucumber, feta and herbs from our garden.

INGREDIENTS (more than enough for 2 people)

. 1 large zucchini
. 1/2 small cucumber
. feta, crumbled
. pine nuts, toasted
. capers
. 1 tbsp mint, shredded
. 1 tbsn parsley, chopped
. 2 tbsn olive oil
. 1 tbsn lemon juice
. sea salt

METHOD

1. Mix together oil, lemon juice, a large pinch of salt and herbs in a jar. Add in a spoonful of the vinegar the capers have come from if you prefer a tangier dressing – yum 🙂 Shake well and set aside.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, finely peel long ribbons of zucchini into a bowl. Slice the cucumber very finely into rounds and add to mix. Toss over feta, pine nuts and capers, as much or as little as you like and then dress with the prepared salad dressing.
3. Serve immediately with your choice of grilled meat.

This was a very simple salad that added a little ‘gourmet’ factor to our dinner. It went very well with perfectly grilled lamb chops. I just wish I had made more! Yum!!!!

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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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Paleo Veggie Curry

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My lovely, mainly vegetarian friend recently had a little bub and I’ve been thinking up recipes that are both paleo and vegetarian friendly that I can double up and split between us. This is an amazing curry I adapted to ‘paleofy’ from an old recipe* that was chock full of interesting vegetables in a really savoury curry sauce. The ingredient list looks insane but don’t be put off by the length, most of the ingredients for the sauce can be found in your pantry, provided you have a tin of coconut milk and ground almonds – which most people following a paleo diet surely would 🙂

INGREDIENTS

. 1 medium sweet potato, peeled diced into 1.5 cm cubes
. 1 small swede, peeled and diced into 1.4 cm cubes
. 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
. 1 large onion, sliced
. 4 tbs ghee
. 2 tsp garlic powder
. 1/2 tbs minced ginger
. 1 large green chilli, finely choped
. 1 tbsp paprika
. 2 tsp ground coriander
. 1 tbs medium curry powder
. 400 ml vegetable or chicken stock
. 400 ml can diced tomatoes
. 1 medium eggplant, diced into 1.5 cm cubes
. 1 large zucchini
. 1/4 cauliflower, cut into florets
. 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced in half
. 1 tbs arrowroot (tapioca)
. 2/3 cup coconut milk
. 2 tbs almond meal
. coriander and yogurt to serve, optional

METHOD

1. Melt ghee in a heavy based pan and saut̩ sweet potato, swede, carrots and onion lightly for 4 Р5 minutes.
2. Add in the garlic powder, minced ginger, chilli and spices and stir for 1 minute.
3. Next, add in the cauliflower, eggplant and mushrooms along with the stock and tomatoes.
4. Simmer for 20 minutes and then add in the zucchini, cooking for a further 10 minutes or until tender.
5. Blend the coconut milk with the arrowroot and add to the pan together with the ground almonds. Stir well and allow sauce to thicken slightly. Check for seasonings and serve immediately.

This made an absolutely huge amount of curry – in the end I had 3 x 1 L take away containers – so yummy and I really do believe it is the addition of the ground almonds at the end that give it an unctuous, velvety texture. Mmm.

* Recipe adapted from ‘The Complete Book of Indian Cooking’, Parragon, 1996.

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Minted Garam Masala Spiced Lamb Koftas

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The main reason I love keeping this blog is because I can record my recipes down for easy reference later on. I’ve made lamb koftas so many times but I am always racking my brains what I put in them the last time! I have also made them very successfully with a pre-mixed greek seasoning as well as ones with sumac, pine nuts and mint. These ones were deliciously spiced with garam masala and mint from the garden and tasted just fantastic.

INGREDIENTS

. 500 g lamb mince
. 1 large onion
. 1 tbsp garam masala
. 1 tspn garlic powder
. 2 tbsn mint, finely chopped
. 1 tbsn lemon juice
. olive oil

METHOD

1. Grate half the onion and chop the remaining half very finely.
2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well by hand.
3. Form into 8 even sized patties, place on tray and chill in fridge for 30 mins.
4. Fry in a little olive oil until browned on all sides and cooked through.

I was going to serve this with a yummy mint and cucumber raita but unfortunately the yogurt was not tasting too fresh. Nevermind, they were lovely on their own with a somewhat random mix of fresh salad ingredients – tomatoes, coleslaw and some yummy beetroot with marinated persian feta and mint.

I was so happy to come accross a new, completely paleo product “Love Beets” Beetroot – simply vacuum packed, cooked beetroot – no added anything! This is an enormous relief to me as the other day I was checking out the ingredients on the back of the tin of beetroot in the supermarket and lo and behold, it now contains High Fructose Corn Syrup – an Australian made tinned beetroot – I hadn’t realised we had gone down that Yankee route yet of adding that hideous stuff to everything and I had basically resigned myself to not eating beetroot anymore. Hooray for “Love Beets”! Cos, lets face it, I do not have time to prepare and cook my own beetroot 🙂

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