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Tag Archives: whole-foods

Butternut Squash Hummus

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There is no denying that I sometimes really miss hummus! It used to be my go-to snack with carrot sticks. I must admit that while I was in Israel recently, I had some falafel and hummus! Shhh, don’t tell the Paleo police! My gut, however, really doesn’t miss pulses and did not feel so clever after my indulgence. I decided I needed to come up with a Paleo-friendly hummus recipe. This is so simple to make and really delicious. The sweetness of the butternut squash contrasts nicely with the tahini.

Butternut Squash Hummus
Ingredients:

1 butternut squash, deseeded, roasted, cooled and skinned
1 clove of garlic
Juice of half to one lemon (add to taste)
3 dessert spoons tahini
Salt
1 dessert spoon EVOO

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Whizz until fully mixed and smooth.
That’s all there is to it!

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Paleo Christmas Pudding

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Happy New Year!!!
I hope you all had a good Holiday season and that 2014 is treating you well so far.
I had a lovely Christmas, staying in a house in the country and cooking Christmas lunch in an aga – a very different experience indeed! I have to say, the slow-roasted turkey that my sister and I created (15 hours in the aga) was amazing! Tender and delicious!

Anyway, I know that I’m a bit late with this post (I should really have posted this before Christmas, but you know how busy a time it is). Now you have it well in advance for next year!

Before I went grain-free, I always loved the flavour of Christmas pudding, but I must say I found it terribly stodgy and ridiculously filling/bloating (maybe that was partly to do with the fact that it always came at the end of Christmas lunch during which I had stuffed my face!). This Christmas pudding however has all the delicious, boozy, fruity, spicy flavour of a traditional Christmas pud, but a lighter texture. I can honestly say, I much prefer this version to the original and I have even converted a few people who never used to like Christmas pud! If you don’t like a lot of booze, you can certainly lessen the quantities (or omit it altogether).

Paleo Christmas Pudding (makes 1 medium and 1 small pudding)

Ingredients:
7 dates
200g prunes
100g raisins
100g sultanas
1/3 cup dark rum
1/3 cup brandy (plus extra for igniting the pudding before serving)
1 large carrot, grated
1 apple, finely chopped
5 eggs, beaten
150g grass-fed butter (or ghee), frozen and grated
Juice of 1 orange
Zest of half an orange
1 tsp vanilla
150g ground almonds
2 tbsp coconut flour
3 & 1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Put the raisins and sultanas in a bowl, cover with the booze and leave to soak for a few hours or overnight.
Place the prunes and dates in a jug, cover with boiling water and microwave for a minute or two until the water is boiling and the fruit is soft. Drain off the water.
Purée the prunes and dates in a food processor and leave to cool.
In a large bowl, mix the eggs, puréed prunes and dates, spices, vanilla, zest, orange juice, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Add in the flours.
Next stir in the grated carrot and chopped apple, along with the boozy dried fruit (including the booze!)
Finally, grate the frozen butter and add into the mixture.
Grease your pudding basins and set up your steamer(s) or slow cooker.
Steam (or slow cook) your puddings for around 4-6 hours.
Leave to cool and then refrigerate for up to a week and a half until Christmas Day, or when needed.
Before serving, steam the pudding for a couple of hours.
Turn out onto a plate and decorate with holly if you like.
Pour a tablespoon or two of brandy into a metal ladle and heat over a burner until warm.
Ignite the brandy and pour flaming liquid over the pudding. Keep spooning it up and pouring it over the pudding to keep the flames going while you wow your guests or family! Be careful not to burn yourself or set fire to your house in the process!
Serve with homemade brandy butter, brandy cream or regular heavy cream (if you are Primal), or whipped coconut cream for a truly decadent but delicious Holiday treat!

Oriental Glazed Roast Duck

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I’m not even going to bother apologising for the length of time since my last post. Things have been a bit crazy – there was a death in the family so I had to travel to the US for the funeral. Since I have been back, I have been doing stuff to get myself organised for my Autumn of working on a cruise ship! So just to warn you now, I won’t be doing much cooking between now and December so I won’t be posting many recipes. Sorry! Instead I shall be sunning myself on the ship and sightseeing around the Mediterranean by day and dancing by night!

We had a friend from Canada staying with us for the weekend, so I decided to buy a whole duck to cook for dinner tonight. It always amazes me how much fat comes out of duck! I now have two large containers full of duck fat in the fridge and a carcass in the crock-pot making stock as you read this.

Oriental Glazed Roast Duck (serves 4-5 people generously)

For the glaze:
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2″ piece ginger, grated
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1//8 cup sesame oil
1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice powder
1 tbsp honey
Zest of 1 orange (reserve the orange for later)

1 whole duck
2 cloves garlic, halved
1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice
1/4 tsp salt
5 carrots, thickly sliced
3 red onions, halved

Preheat the oven to 200C
Whisk together the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl.
Bring the duck up to room temperature.
Place sliced carrots and onions in the bottom of a large roasting tin.
Remove any giblets from the duck’s cavity.
Sprinkle 1 tsp of Chinese 5 Spice inside the duck, then put the garlic and the orange inside.
Close up the cavity with toothpicks or skewers, then prick all over with a skewer.
Cover the duck on both sides with the glaze.
Place on top of the veg in the roasting tin.
Sprinkle with a little salt.
Place in the oven for 30mins.
After 30 mins, turn the heat down to 170 C, remove duck from the oven and baste with fat and glaze.
Return to oven for 1 hour (or longer if you have a really big bird), basting it occasionally.
When it’s time is up, remove the duck from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 mins before serving with the delicious caramelised vegetables.

Fruity BBQ Sauce/ Marinade

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I was watching Raymond Blanc the other day. He has a show on tv at the moment about how to cook well, but it is full of really great tips and tricks to make your food turn out amazing. If you don’t know who he is, google him (he is a Michelin starred French chef who has restaurants in the UK).
This particular episode was about meat and barbecuing it. He made a marinade for a pork chop using kiwi, papaya, pineapple and mango and explained that the enzymes in the fruit help to break down the sinews in the meat and thus tenderising it. He showed 2 pork chops, one of which had been marinated in this fruity concoction and the other hadn’t. The difference in the rigidity of the two cuts of meat was truly amazing (well, for someone who’s a food geek like me!). He then used the remaining fruit marinade to make a BBQ sauce (brimming with non Paleo ingredients, as is his way), which he then basted on the chop as he grilled it.
Anyway, when my man and I were invited to a BBQ last weekend, I decided to put Monsieur Blanc’s principles into action on some baby back ribs!
Sadly, I have recently developed an allergy to pineapple, so I couldn’t include it in my marinade, however I did use kiwi, papaya and mango. Not only was the sauce delicious on its own, but as a marinade, worked a charm on the ribs, delivering tender meat and sweet and smokey flavours.

Fruity BBQ Sauce/ Marinade
(makes around 2 cups, at a guess – I didn’t measure the yield if I’m honest, just stuck it straight on the ribs!)
Ingredients:

Flesh of 1 papaya
2 kiwis, peeled
1 cup cubed mango
150g tomato paste
3 tbsp liquid smoke
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp (Paleo friendly) hot sauce
1 tsp chipotle paste
1/2 tsp black pepper

Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth.
That’s it!
Use as a condiment or a marinade or both!

Key Lime Pie

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It’s been ages again since I last posted a recipe. I don’t know where the time is going! I guess it’s partly work, weather and lack of time that has prevented me being experimental in the kitchen.

A few weeks ago I made this delicious key lime pie and just haven’t got around to posting the recipe yet, so here it is…

Key Lime Pie (makes a 24cm pie)
Ingredients:
For the base
1 1/2 cups dessicated coconut
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 170C
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
Press into the bottom and up the sides of a pie dish.
Bake in oven for 10 mins until it begins to turn golden. Remove and allow to cool completely.

For the filling
12 medjool dates
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Zest and juice of 10 limes
200g coconut cream concentrate
3 large ripe avocados
1 tbsp runny honey

Boil the dates in water until very soft. Discard water.
Whilst dates are still hot, add coconut cream concentrate a d allow to melt.
Put into a food processor along with all remaining filling ingredients and blitz until it forms a smooth paste.
Fill pie shell with filling and place in fridge to chill and set for at least 1 hour.
Try not to eat the whole pie in one sitting (unless you are sharing it with many people!)

Minty Lamb Kebabs

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The weather has been freakishly hot here in the UK. So much so that I haven’t really felt like cooking at all. Most of my meals have been salads and things that require very little time spent in a hot kitchen with the oven on! Hence why it’s been so long since I posted! I did however find the time/ inclination to make this very easy lamb kebab dish over the weekend. It would have been delicious cooked outdoors over charcoal, but it was still very tasty cooked in the oven.

Minty Lamb Kebabs (serves 2)

Ingredients:
2 lamb leg steaks (about 150g each), cut into cubes
2 cups mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
3 tbsp EVOO
2 red onions, cut into chunks
1 red pepper, large diced

Prepare the marinade. Dump the lamb into a ziplock bag along with the garlic, mint, EVOO, salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Massage the bag so that all the lamb gets coated.
Leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight if possible.
Preheat oven to 180 C or fire up your grill/BBQ .
Thread lamb cubes alternating with the veggies onto skewers.
Bake in oven for 20-25 mins.
Serve with a mixed leaf salad.

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Blondies

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The weather is so amazing here in London. We are having a heat wave with absolutely clear blue skies and 30C temperatures. It actually feels like summer!

We went to garden party on Saturday. Lots of bubbly, swinging in hammocks, dancing like maniacs and drunken yoga! I made these delicious sweet potato and coconut based Blondies to take along (and persuade my friends that grain-free is the way forward!) Everyone loved them and they all disappeared very rapidly!

Raspberry Dark Chocolate Blondies (makes 16)

Ingredients:
4 sweet potatoes
12 medjool dates
1/2 tsp salt
200g coconut cream concentrate
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut flour
4 eggs
100g dark chocolate chips
200g frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 170C
Roast sweet potatoes for an hour. When cool remove skins and place the flesh in bowl.
Cover dates with boiling water and microwave on full power for 2 minutes. Drain off water.
Add coconut cream concentrate to hot dates and allow to melt.
Add into bowl with sweet potato and blend using a stick blender.
Add salt, coconut flour, cinnamon, vanilla, and then eggs.
Stir well, then add in dark chocolate chips and finally frozen raspberries.
Pour batter into a prepared brownie tin.
Bake in the oven at 170C for 40 mins.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan completely.
Remove from pan and cut into squares.
Enjoy!