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Tag Archives: whole-food

Nose to Tail Slow Cooker Beef Rendang

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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)
Ingredients:

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’.

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Breakfast of Champions!

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I know that really and truly I should have posted this on Friday night so that you could try this for brunch over the weekend, but life has just been a little too hectic recently to be that organised with my blog (the blog really has fallen by the wayside a little recently!) Anyway, now you have it well in advance of next weekend, which we all know is a special weekend! Yes, it’s Valentines, so no doubt you will all be serving your loved one a scrumptious breakfast in bed. Now you have your breakfast in bed recipe all ready to go!

I called this dish “Breakfast of Champions” because breakfasts don’t really get much better than this in terms of taste and nutrition! Organic free range eggs, smoked wild Alaskan salmon and creamy kale! It’s all in there. Just think of how your body loves taking in all that great stuff like omega 3, great quality protein, and the calcium, iron and magnesium from the kale.

Believe it or not, this was also the first time I have ever made poached eggs in the old school way, as I was always slightly afraid of ruining them. It was easy and after testing the way with the first one, which wasn’t as attractive as it could have been, they came out perfect!

Breakfast of Champions (Creamy Kale with Smoked Salmon and Poached Eggs) Serves 2

3-4 cups chopped kale, hard ribs removed
2-4 slices wild smoked salmon
4 eggs
1 tbsp cream cheese (optional)
1/2 tbsp butter
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Poach the kale in the chicken stock until tender (about 5 mins). Once cooked, drain remaining liquid. Add butter and cream cheese if using and stir until fully melted and incorporated. Cover and keep warm while you concentrate on poaching the eggs.

Poach eggs according to your preferred method. I used a large saucepan with about an inch of water in the bottom. Bring the water up to a rolling boil and add the vinegar. Crack the egg into a ramekin. Stir the water to create a vortex and then gently tip the egg in while the water is still swirling (but you are no longer stirring it). Turn the heat down a little so you can observe the egg’s progress. Allow to poach for around 3 mins (or longer if you prefer it a little less runny). Carefully remove egg from water with a slotted spoon. Cook each egg separately to avoid disaster!

Once all your eggs are poached, layer kale, then smoked salmon and finally the eggs on a plate. Season with Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Lamb Biryani

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This horrible weather just makes me want to stay at home and eat comfort food! Last night I had a real hankering for Indian food with it’s rich comforting flavours. Luckily I had some organic lamb leg steaks in the fridge, and half an enormous cauliflower. I was struck with a great idea – lamb biryani using cauliflower instead of rice. I also threw a bit of kale in there for some extra greenery, fibre and nutrients. I also happened to have half a can of coconut milk left over from something else, so in that went too! The resulting dish was exactly what I was after! Tasty, satisfying, easy and pretty quick.

Lamb Biryani (serves 2)
Ingredients:
2 lamb leg steaks, trimmed of excess fat and cut into cubes
1/2 large cauliflower, finely chopped
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1″ piece ginger, finely chopped
6-8 large kale leaves, tough stems removed and leaves chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 can coconut milk
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
Sea salt

Melt the coconut oil in a large pan and once really hot, add the lamb and sear. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.
Add the onion to the remaining fat in the pan. Sauté until soft.
Add the ginger and garlic and stir fry until fragrant.
Add the vegetables, lamb and spices and salt to taste and stir well so that everything is mixed and coated with spice.
Add the coconut milk.
Cover and simmer for 10-15 mins until the cauliflower is well cooked, but not mushy.
Remove the lid, break the cauliflower up with a spoon so that it resembles rice grains.
If there is quite a lot of liquid in the pan, turn the heat up and reduce until the dish is fairly dry.
Just before serving, stir in chopped coriander/ cilantro leaves.

Delicious Duck!

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I’ve had such a nice time spending the week with my parents at their house. It’s just a shame the circumstances weren’t better. However my mum is recovering well from her surgery. I like to think that me being at home and cooking up a storm so that she has delicious, nutritious food at every meal will help to speed up her recovery.

One of the things that has shocked me so much about this whole experience of going to the hospital with her, is the number of very overweight (or dare I say obese) people who work in the healthcare sector! We are definitely dealing with an obesity epidemic in this country. It is very upsetting to see people working in healthcare who are eating in a way that is likely to make them sick in the future. Something desperately needs to be done to educate people about the dangers of eating a bad diet high in carbohydrates and highly processed ‘Franken-foods’. I feel like I want to help educate people about eating healthily on a large scale, but I’m not quite sure how. I guess for now I’ll have to settle for helping people through my blog and personal training business. Helping a few people at a time is better than not helping anyone at all.

I made this delicious duck and accompaniments the other night. The sauce was a little time consuming, but worth the effort.

Duck with a Red Wine and Orange Sauce with Celeriac Dauphinoise (serves 4)
Ingredients:

For the Dauphinoise
1 celeriac, peeled and thinly sliced
150 ml single cream
200 ml whole milk
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and pepper

Combine the milk and cream with the nutmeg, garlic and some seasoning in a saucepan. Bring almost to the boil.
Arrange the celeriac in an ovenproof dish.
Pour the cream mixture over.
Sprinkle the cheese on top.
Bake in oven for 1 hour at 180C

For the Duck and Sauce
4 duck breasts, skin cut in a diamond pattern
1 clove garlic
1 small carrot, sliced
1/4 leek, sliced,
1 stalk celery, sliced
Knob of butter
100ml red wine
75 ml red wine vinegar
Splash of balsamic vinegar
Pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
500 ml chicken stock
Juice and zest of 1/2 an orange

Melt the butter in a small pan.
Add all the vegetables and cook until slightly browned.
Add the liquid and the herbs. Bring to the boil then turn down heat a little and allow to reduce.
Season the duck breasts with salt and pepper. Place in the oven, skin side up for 30-40 mins depending on how done you like it.
When the sauce has reduced by at least half, add the orange juice and zest. Allow to reduce further until it reaches the consistency of single cream. Strain the sauce through a sieve and discard the vegetables and herbs, putting the liquid back into the saucepan over a low heat to keep warm.
When the duck is cooked to your liking, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 mins before serving.
Spoon a couple of dessert spoons full of the duck fat and juice from the dish and add to the sauce.
Serve the duck with a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce over it along with the celeriac Dauphinoise and a steamed green vegetable.

Stuffed Thighs! (Chicken, of course!)

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Just when I thought Spring had sprung, it’s gone absolutely freezing again! Luckily I’m off work this week, which means no bootcamp outside, luckily. Hopefully by next week when I’m back teaching, it will have warmed up again.

I had a disastrous day on Tuesday. My mum was due to be discharged from hospital following her surgery, but not until after lunch. So, I ate in the hospital ‘restaurant’. I chose foods which I thought were likely to be Paleo (butternut squash soup and lamb and red pepper casserole with veg on the side). Sadly, there was something in the food which did not agree with me at all. I had the most horrendous blood sugar crash, thumping headache, indigestion and general spaced out feeling. I have not suffered with symptoms like this since I started eating a Primal diet (unsurprisingly). It lasted pretty much the rest of the day. Luckily by the following day I felt back to normal. It really made me realise that there is no way I would ever go back to eating a ‘standard diet’. Why eat stuff that makes you feel bad when you can eat stuff that makes you feel great!

This was a great weekend lunch dish. Tasty, satisfying and ticked all the ‘comfort food’ boxes.

Ham and Blue Cheese Stuffed Chicken Thighs (serves 3)
Ingredients:

6 boneless chicken thighs
3 slices smoked ham (cut in half)
6 slices blue Brie
6 slices Stilton or other strong blue cheese
2 tbsp coconut flour
Sea salt & pepper for seasoning

Preheat oven to 180C
Put coconut flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper.
Season the flesh side of the chicken thighs with a little salt and pepper, then dredge the skin side only in the seasoned coconut flour.
Lay half a slice of ham followed by one slice of each cheese in the middle of each butterflied thigh.
Fold in half and secure with a toothpick at either end.
Bake in the oven at 180C for 45 mins.
Serve with some steamed veg and some kind of root veg if you like.

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