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Nose to Tail Slow Cooker Beef Rendang


I love trying out different cuts of meat from my butcher. I popped in around midday in Saturday, hoping to pick up some beef short ribs as I really fancied making something rich in collagen and full of the goodness of grass-fed beef bones. They had already sold out of short ribs, so I decided to go with oxtail instead. Then something else caught my eye – beef cheek! I’ve had it before in restaurants, but never tried cooking it myself. I bought one with the idea in my mind of ‘beefing up’ (pardon the pun) my oxtail dish.

I wasn’t exactly sure what on earth I was going to make with these random cow parts, so I had a flip through some of my favourite recipe books to get ideas. Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey piqued my interest as I already had some bits and pieces from the Thai supermarket lurking in the fridge. I decided I would make my own take on his Beef Rendang recipe (a Malaysian curry).

Nose to Tail Slow Cooker Beef Rendang (serves 3)

For the spice paste:
60g desiccated coconut, toasted in a dry wok
6 dried birds eye chillies
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
6 cloves garlic
4 shallots (small)
4 red chillies, deseeded

For the beef:
1 tbsp coconut oil
6 kafir lime leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, slit down the middle
160ml coconut cream
1 large cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 tbsp tamarind paste mixed in 120ml boiling water
15 drops stevia liquid
1 beef cheek cut into chunks
3 large pieces oxtail
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Make spice paste by placing all ingredients into a food processor and blitzing until it forms a thick goo.
Melt coconut oil in a large pan or wok.
Add oxtail sand beef cheek and sear on all sides.
Add in the spice paste and fry for 1 min.
Add in remaining ingredients (except cilantro) and mix well.
Transfer to slow cooker and leave to cook for 4-6 hrs on high.
Just before serving, stir in cilantro leaves and sprinkle a few on top to make it look pretty!

I served this with mashed swede and rainbow chard sautéed in coconut oil, as that is what I had in the fridge. This would be great served with cauliflower ‘rice’.


Pork Pad Ka Pao (Stir-fried spicy pork with Thai Holy Basil)


Yes people, more Southeast Asian food! I absolutely fell in love with this dish on my travels. It contains savoury, sweet and umami all in one dish. I knew when I was eating it that it was not Paleo, but I was convinced that I would be able to make a Paleo version which tasted just as good. I actually surprised myself! It was absolutely delicious! I did some googling of traditional Pad Ka Pao recipes. I really liked the one I found on (an amazing Thai food blog), and decided to use it as my base to tinker with for a Paleo version. If you can get to an Asian supermarket, it is definitely worth investing in some Thai Holy Basil. The dish won’t taste the same if you use Italian or Greek basil, although that will have to suffice if you can’t get hold of Thai basil, which has an almost aniseed taste. If you don’t have coconut sugar, you could substitute honey in its place. I served this dish with some asparagus, zucchini and carrots stir-fried with shallots, garlic, ginger and coconut aminos.

Pork Pad Ka Pao (Thai Stir-Fried Spicy Pork with Holy Basil)
Serves 3

Ingredients :
500g minced pork
3 eggs
7 cloves garlic, minced
3 chillies, sliced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp coconut aminos
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp coconut sugar
1 cup Thai Holy Basil leaves

Melt the coconut oil in a wok or large frying pan.
Crack 1 egg into the oil and fry until crispy on the bottom and the white is no longer translucent.
Remove the egg and set aside on a plate.
Repeat the process with the other eggs. Cover and keep warm (or reheat just before serving)
If there isn’t much oil left in the wok by this point, add a little more.
Add the shallots, garlic and chillies. Stir-fry for a minute to soften.
Add the pork mince and fry on a high heat until any liquid from the meat has evaporated and the mince starts browning.
Add the fish sauce, coconut aminos and coconut sugar. Stir through the pork mixture to make sure everything is well coated. If it seems very dry, add a little water.
Add the basil and stir through to wilt it slightly.
Serve with the fried egg on top of the pile of meat and some stir- fried veggies on the side.

My favourite breakfast – quick and easy Huevos Rancheros


Today is day 6 of my 21 Day Sugar Detox (written by Diane Sanfilipo, for those of you interested who have never heard of it). So far so good. I’m not really craving sweet things too much, however tonight is going to be the real test! It’s Saturday and I’m going out with my boyfriend and some friends, but I am not allowed to drink alcohol (at all!) This is going to be a real challenge. I’m not an alcoholic by any means, but I do enjoy a drink (or two) in a social setting. However, I am determined to prove to myself that I can go for three weeks without it!

It’s a beautiful sunny morning in West London – perfect weather for training a client outdoors. I decided this morning was the morning for some Mexican flavours for breakfast. One of my boyfriend and my favourite breakfast/brunch dishes is Huevos Rancheros. I always find the kick from the chillies first thing in the morning gives me a spring in my step for the rest of the day. I used to make this dish with black beans or refried beans on whole wheat tortillas before adopting a Primal way of eating. To be honest, I don’t miss either the beans or the tortilla as both are the least flavourful part of the dish anyway. This morning I served it with sliced avocado as I was in a hurry to get to my session, however if you have more time, feel free to make the avocado into guacamole (I posted a recipe for this previously with the Mexican spiced Tuna).

Quick and Easy Huevos Rancheros (serves 2)

1 red onion, chopped
1 yellow (or whatever colour you have on hand) bell pepper, diced
A glug of EVOO
4 eggs
1 tsp cumin powder
1 whole chipotle chilli, chopped or pulverised in a food processor
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 large bunch coriander/cilantro, leaves and stalks finely chopped
1 avocado
1/2 lime, cut in two
Sea salt

Sauté the onion in a frying pan in the oil until slightly translucent.
Add the pepper and continue to sauté until it begins to soften.
Add the cumin and chipotle, stir to mix.
Add the tomatoes and season with sea salt.
Leave to simmer while you chop the cilantro.
Add the cilantro and mix well.
Crack the eggs onto the top of the tomato sauce, and cover the pan to help the eggs cook.
I like my egg yolks soft, so I left them to cook for around 4 mins. The yolks were still sticky and slightly runny in the very centre. Cook longer if you want completely solid yolks.
Serve with the sliced avocado, and a squeeze of lime juice.