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Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

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I am absolutely nuts about coconut (pun intended)! A few weeks ago we went for brunch at some friends of ours’ house. Since I’m such a fussy eater compared to most people, I thought it only polite that I take a dessert that we could all enjoy. That meant that it had to (obviously) be Paleo/Primal for me and suitable for not one but two nut allergy sufferers! I was flipping through “Make it Paleo” by Staley and Mason and came across a delicious sounding recipe for coconut cake. I tweaked it a little and my coconut cupcake recipe was born! These cupcakes were so moist and delicious and quite light for a grain free cake. I might even go so far as to say they were in the the top 5 cupcakes I have ever made! Yes even out of all the cupcakes I ever made before going Paleo/Primal! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did (I think I’m still trying to shift the damage they did to my waistline!)

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting (makes 13-14)
Ingredients
Cupcakes:
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup grass fed butter (substitute the same amount of coconut oil for a dairy free cake)
8 eggs
1 cup dedicated coconut
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
120 ml coconut cream
1 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 170 C
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Gradually add in all wet ingredients to form a thick batter.
Line a cupcake tin with individual liners.
Fill 3/4 full with batter.
Bake in oven for 20-22 mins until lightly golden and pass the toothpick test.
Leave to cool in tin for 10 mins.
Remove to a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting

Frosting:
400g cream cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup maple syrup
40ml coconut cream
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer.
Gradually add in maple syrup, then vanilla and coconut cream.
Mix in desiccated coconut, and lastly the melted coconut oil (this will help to make the frosting set a little as it cools.
Cover each cupcake with frosting and place in the fridge to set slightly.

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Harissa Lamb Meatballs with Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Sauce

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Today was the micro pig party for my niece! 2 small pigs basically snuffled their way around my sister’s garden on leashes whilst the kids brushed them and fed them carrots. Just an hour earlier, I had stuffed my face with a porchetta roast and loved every bite of it! I guess years of vegetarianism end up causing a reverse reaction – I am now obsessed with eating meat! The porchetta recipe will be uploaded soon, but I felt it was insensitive to put it up today along with a picture of one of the pigs! Instead I have decided to share yet another meatball recipe with you. Lamb with Harissa in a Moroccan spiced veggie sauce. When you buy your Harissa, check the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain any dodgey ingredients (non-Paleo vegetable oils, sugars, additives etc).

Harissa Lamb Meatballs in Moroccan Spiced Veggie Sauce (serves 3)
Ingredients:

For meatballs
500g lamb mince
1 onion, finely chopped
A few sprigs fresh mint, leaves chopped
1 tbsp Harissa paste
Himalayan salt

For sauce
3 courgettes, large diced
2 peppers, large diced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp Harissa paste
1 can tomatoes
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
Himalayan salt.

Mix the meatball ingredients together in a bowl.
Form into balls with your hands.
Fry in a deep saucepan or work until browned on all sides and some of the fat has rendered out.
Pour off most of the fat.
Add the veggies and sauté until they begin to tenderise.
Add the spices, Harissa, tomatoes, salt and balsamic vinegar.
Allow the dish to simmer for at least half an hour until the meatballs are cooked and the vegetables are tender.
Serve on cauliflower ‘rice’ with a dollop of full fat Greek yogurt if you like.

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Micro pig at the party today.

Crustless Caramel Cheesecake

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Today was not a good day. It was spent taking my mum back into hospital for another operation. Happily the operation went well and she is fine, relaxing in bed and being doted on by great nurses. Better still she will be coming home tomorrow morning.

I am back on the straight and narrow (read attempt to lose a few pounds) after my cheat week! Yes, a whole week of eating leftover brownies, cakes and various other goodies which are forbidden when trying to shift extra body fat. At least everything was Paleo/Primal so I don’t feel too guilty about my indulgences! I am in the process of organising a holiday in May which means bikini, therefore a few pounds need to go!

This crustless cheesecake was delicious but will now be off the menu for the foreseeable future (except maybe on cheat days!)

Crustless Caramel Cheesecake
Ingredients:

2x 250 packets cream cheese at room temperature
9 medjool dates, boiled until soft in a little water
2 eggs
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 150C
Blitz all ingredients in a food processor.
Pour batter into a prepared pie dish or cake pan.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour or until set and lightly browned on the top.
Stuff into your face and enjoy!