Slow-cooked Paleo Cuban Pork

In an effort to be both more frugal and adventurous in my cooking I have been searching for ways to cook a pork shoulder. At $7 kg, it is just such great value for money. This recipe from Bellyfull hit the spot! Slow Cooked Cuban Pork

I made this slow cooked pork yesterday and served in with a tomato, corn, black bean, lime and coriander salsa as well as rice and avocado.

Tonight we roasted some sweet potato and served it up simply with diced tomato with coriander and lime.

This would be great for a crowd.

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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!

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 🙂

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Another delicious Baked Veg combination

One of the main reasons I keep this blog is to record my tasty paleo dinner creations as I know that being a busy mum I will forget what I did in next to no time!

Last night hubby and I threw together a yummy Greek-inspired veggie bake which was so easy and satisfying.

We simply sliced a capsicum, zucchini, red onion, sweet potato and put into a tray with a whole punnet of cherry tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and liberally sprinkled with Greek seasoning – a concoction of salt, garlic and onion powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and oregano. Baked in an extremely hot oven (220*C) for half an hour. The cherry tomatoes break down to give a lovely, sweet and juicy element to the dish. This was perfect served with grilled meat.

And now I have written it down I will remember for next time 😜

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Gorgeous Salt and Olive Oil Paleo Kale Chips

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I’m really into my dehydrator right now in an effort to make savoury paleo snacks, like these gorgeous dehydrated zucchini chips.This time I bought a lovely bunch of kale, tossed the leaves in in olive oil and salt and whacked it in the dehydrator for 5 hours. The result was a delectably crunchy and salty ‘chip’ that my littlies could not get enough of. I have chanced upon an ingenious way to get them to eat their greens and I couldn’t be happier 🙂

INGREDIENTS

. 1 bunch kale
. 1 – 2 tbspn olive oil
. 1/4 tspn salt

METHOD

1. Tear leaves from ribs into chip sized pieces, wash kale and allow to dry thoroughly
2. In a large bowl toss kale with olive oil and salt (my 4 year old LOVED doing this)
3. Place leaves onto trays taking care not to overcrowd
4. Dehydrate at 65*C for 1 hour, then turning down to 45*C for 4 hours or until crisp
5. Devour!

Paleo Microwave Cake in a Mug = Nom, Nom, Nom!

Today we had a little friend of my daughters around for a visit and I realised the cupboard was pretty bare. However, I did have the few ingredients on hand to whip up a very quick and really yummy paleo mug cake. This is a very easy treat to make with the kids as it involves mashing a banana, mixing in an egg and a tiny amount of almond flour, adding in a few flavourings and nuking it for a few secs. That’s it!

INGREDIENTS

. 1/2 – 1 banana (I used half an extremely large banana this time)
. 1 organic egg
. 1 tblspn almond meal
. dash of cinnamon
. 1/4 tspn vanilla
. 1/2 tbspn sultanas, optional
. 1/2 tbspn dark chocolate chips, optional

METHOD

1. Mash the banana really well in a larger bowl with a fork until it is very runny and smooth
2. Crack in the egg and beat well
3. Add almond meal, cinnamon, vanilla, sultanas and chocolate chips (if using) and combine well
4. Pour into a mug and microwave on High for 90 secs – 2 mins. When the batter is pulling away from the sides it will be done
5. Either enjoy straight from the mug or turn out and serve
6. My daughter and friend enjoyed a quarter of the cake each cut up into small pieces. I had my half with a hot mug of green tea and I must say it was very good 🙂

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Cheats Cauliflower Cheese

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Cauliflowers were 98c last week so I stocked up on a few and now have to come up with some interesting paleo / primal -ized recipes. I love cauliflower cheese – such a warming, comforting dish for winter. However, the roué for the white sauce is made with plain flour and obviously not grain free. I did try once to make a roue with arrowroot / tapioca starch however that would probably go down as my all time paleo ‘fail’ – it was like a weird stringy glue – not good, not good at all!

This time I have seriously simplified Cauliflower Cheese by blitzing up some cottage cheese and eggs and pouring it over the cauliflower. I love easy, few ingredient dishes – they are the best!

INGREDIENTS

. 1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets and steamed until just tender
. 3/4 cup of cottage cheese
. 2 free range eggs, organic if possible
. nutmeg, to sprinkle
. pepper
. salt, optional (the cottage cheese can be salty so use your discretion here)

METHOD

1. Place steamed cauliflower into ovenproof casserole dish
2. Blitz cottage cheese, eggs, salt and pepper in blender and pour over cauliflower
3. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg and place into oven at 200 dc for 25 – 30 minutes until lightly browned

This was a very easy and gluten free alternative to the standard cauliflower cheese. The kids absolutely yummed it down and I enjoyed it too. I must say though, not quite as good as the original with full fat cheese sauce but great for a gluten free, low carb and low fat alternative!