Paleo Chocolate YoGo!

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OMG These Coconut Chocolate YoGo custards are so addictive! I made them when we had friends over for dinner and they were a hit. I had plenty left over for several days of desserts and even the kids loved them.

Ingredients

2 cans coconut milk – full fat
4 eggs
200g block 70% dark chocolate broken into pieces
2 Tbs Vanilla extract
4 Tbs Maple Syrup or Honey

Method

Boil some water in a pot and reduce to a low simmer. Place heatproof (metal or glass) bowl over the saucepan in double boiler fashion and pour the coconut milk, vanilla, chocolate and honey/maple syrup into the bowl and heat until hot but don’t bring to the boil. Stir well until chocolate has completely melted and combined.

Whisk eggs in a separate bowl. Add one ladle of now hot milk to the eggs while whisking vigorously, continue slowly until a good quantity is combined. Then add the egg mixture into the coconut mixture in the double boiler. Mix for a couple of minutes to form a thick custard. Make sure it doesn’t get too hot. When custard is ready, put into ramekins and place in the fridge to cool down, then when cool, serve with fresh strawberries, chocolate or just by itself.

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BBQ pulled pork – slowcooker meal

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This is my version of our BBQ pulled pork, which is an easy meal to put together for the slowcooker. I serve this dish with a fresh salad. This one was a cabbage and apple salad with salt pepper, olive oil and apple cider vinegar as a light dressing.

All purpose spice rub

Below measurements in approx descriptions as well, in case you want to quickly sprinkle rub from spice jars on hand.

Salt – heaps (1 tbs)
Paprika – heaps (2 tbs)
Pepper – generous (1tbs)
Oregano – generous (2 tbs)
Thyme – generous (2 tbs)
Cayenne Pepper – light (1 tsp)

Make a big batch of this spice rub and you can use it for several different dishes. Put your pork into a freezer bag, sprinkle a generous amount of the spice rub into the bag (approx 2 Tbs), and shake making sure it gets into the pork really well. Leave in the fridge to marinate overnight and put into the slowcooker in the morning, or place in the freezer the next day for a meal later in the week.

In the slowcooker place:

2kg pork shoulder with spice rub
1/8 cup grand marnier (or other orange liqueur)
1/8 cup chicken stock

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Take out of the slowcooker and shred. Serve with smokey BBQ sauce.

Smokey BBQ sauce

4 diced tomatoes or 1/2 jar of passata
1 diced onion
8 tbs tomato paste
5 garlic cloves
2 tbs spicy Dijon mustard
2 tbs smoked paprika
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tsp liquid smoke ( optional, gives a more smokey flavour )
1 tbs paleo tomato sauce/ketchup (or similar)
1 tsp chilli powder ( add more if desired)
2 cups beef or chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 can crushed pineapple in juice

Simmer all ingredients in a medium saucepan for at least 30min at a low simmer, then use an immersion blender to purée.

Simple Slowcooker Beef Stew

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I made this easy slowcooker meal for today’s dinner, and with a few tips it was to quick to organise.

Ingredients

1kg chopped chuck steak
250g mushrooms chopped
3 small sweet potatoes chopped chunky
3 carrots chopped chunky
1 cup chicken stock / bone broth
2 tins tomatoes
1 Tbs Paprika
1 tsp garlic
Salt and pepper
A few sprigs fresh thyme – stems removed (use 1 tsp dried thyme if you don’t have fresh)

Place all ingredients into your slowcooker. I had the beef already diced and frozen from the week before, which I had taken out of the freezer the night before. This way half the prep is done already. I chopped all other ingredients into the slowcooker with the meat and added all the spices. Place the slowcooker on Low for 6-8 hours (mine cooks really hot so I use a 24hr timer to make sure it doesn’t overcook)

Tips
  • Pre cut all slowcooker meat ahead of time and freeze in freezer bag for easy slowcooker meal options later in the week or for a few weeks later!
  • Put all ingredients into slowcooker the night before while you’re making another meal and put the insert into the fridge for the next day.
  • Prepare all ingredients for your slowcooker meal on the weekend for an easy option so there is no prep to be done during the week.
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    No Cook – Paleo Tomato Sauce

    Tomato Sauce or “Ketchup” is a staple in many recipes and a pain to make sometimes, when I am low on time. I am all for cooking a sauce when required – many require cooking out the sauce, most with onion, and are mostly too chunky to store in a squeeze bottle, unless strained first. So when short on time or if you just want a simple sauce to keep on hand, look no further!

    This one is very simple, easy and takes 30sec to put together, provided you have all the ingredients, which are mainly staples in my house.tomato-sauce

    Ingredients
    • 500g jar tomato paste
    • 7 Tbs apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
    • 2 tsp honey or coconut nectar (optional)
    • 1 cup water (you can add more for your desired consistency)
    • 1 tsp mustard powder
    • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp chilli
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp salt

    Stir all ingredients together until well combined and put into your favourite squeeze bottle. Keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Always date your sauces so you know when to check them out. If it has mould, throw it out – duh! Luckily it only takes seconds to make. Yay!squeeze-bottle

    Coconut Chicken Nuggets or Rissoles – you decide!

    These are a regular at my house. Make them big and they are rissoles. Make them tiny and they are chicken nuggets! They are really easy to put together. See tip below.

    Ingredients:

    1kg ground chicken
    2 eggs
    2 tsp onion powder*
    2 tsp garlic powder*
    2 Tbs coconut flour (for chicken mix)
    Salt & Pepper
    1/4 cup coconut flour (will give a sweeter flavour) or sunflour (ground sunflower seeds – for coconut mix)
    1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    coconut oil for frypan

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
    In a bowl combine coconut flour, coconut and salt & pepper. Mix to combine.

    In a separate bowl, combine the ground chicken, coconut flour, onion powder, garlic powder, eggs and a decent amount of salt & pepper, and mix really well.

    Take a small handful of chicken mixture (1 Tbs of mixture for nuggets) and roll into a ball, coat with the coconut mixture and press down slightly to get the rissole/nugget shape. Repeat with the remaining chicken, so you have a good amount of rissoles.

    In small batches place rissoles into a medium hot frypan with coconut oil and cook on each side for about 2 to 4 minutes. They should look a light golden brown. If they start to turn any darker just take them out into a nearby baking tray, ready for the oven. As all batches are cooked, transfer them to your baking tray and when all done, cover with alfoil and place in oven for approx 10 minutes on 180 degrees C, to allow the chicken to cook through.

    Serve with my Asian cabbage salad
    Asian cabbage salad or my White Cabbage Salad

    **Tip –

    If you have a mix master, chuck everything from the “chicken mixture” Bowl in there before you need to roll the rissoles. It will save your hands trying to mix together all the cold ingredients.
    * If you can’t have onion or garlic due to fructose malabsorption – substitute with some Italian herbs for a slightly different but still mild flavour.

    Banana Cake Pops

    So I bought a Cake Pop maker from Aldi, with no idea if it would work with Paleo baking, giving that our baking doesn’t tend to rise as much as gluten or even gluten free baking. I know the sprinkles I used for decorating aren’t paleo, but this is a special treat, and next time I might decorate with shredded coconut instead!

    So I decided to try my normal Banana Bread recipe with the coconut flour base, to see if it would work, and if not, it wouldn’t be a loss, because I would just make Banana bread! However it worked well, with a few adjustments.

    1. It is better to let the batter rest and thicken so you can slightly overfill the bottom half (so that when the top comes down it does rise slightly but there is enough filling for the cake pop maker to work properly)

    2. Grease the cake pop maker really well on top and bottom, each time you do a batch.

    3. Put cake mix into the maker before you turn on to preheat, and let the cake pop maker cool down properly before the next batch, as it can burn if it’s already hot before it starts cooking. (It may be different for other recipes, but that it what I found)

    Ingredients
    • 2 ripe bananas
    • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
    • 1/4 Coconut flakes (optional sub with fruit or nuts if you want)
    • 5 eggs
    • 1 Tbs maple syrup
    • 2/3 cup coconut flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 Tbs nutmeg
    Cake Pop decorating
    • 200g 70% dark chocolate
    • sprinkles of choice or shredded coconut
    Quick method

    Place all wet ingredients into a blender / food processor and mix well. Put all dry ingredients into a bowl, sifting the coconut flour, then add the wet ingredients into the bowl stirring really well to combine.

    Wait for the mixture to get nice and thick for easy spooning into the Cake Pop Maker. Grease the maker on both sides with coconut oil (I used a spray) – don’t be shy, make sure it’s greased really well. (Especially the bottom) Use a teaspoon to put the mixture into each hole of the bottom half so that it is slightly heaped in the centre. One heaped teaspoon is enough. Turn the cake pop maker on and put the lid down. It only takes about one minute to come to temperature. Start your timer as soon as you turn it on and check at 4-5 min, checking every 30sec after if not done. You should be able to lift out gently with a plastic spoon to remove.

    When completely cool, melt your dark chocolate. If using a microwave, heat at 15sec intervals and stir frequently, to avoid burning. Put a skewer into a cake pop and coat in the dark chocolate. Use sprinkles or shredded coconut to decorate.

    Ivan’s Croatian White Cabbage Salad

    Ivan, my mums amazing partner, introduced me to this salad, and ever since I have been addicted! It is so fresh, light refreshing and tangy that I use it as an accompaniment to so many meals, BBQ’s and lunches!

    Ingredients
    • 1/2 head cabbage sliced finely (use a whole cabbage for a large salad)
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1/2 cup coconut vinegar (apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar)
    • Salt and pepper

    Put finely sliced cabbage, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper into a salad bowl and adjust flavours to your taste. You can use your hands to work the salad through and release some of the cabbage flavours. There should be enough dressing to leave a small amount (about 1/3 or more) of liquid in the bottom of the bowl when you stir it around. It should have a balance of all ingredients and the vinegar in the salad is perfect to cut through a heavier meal. Marinate for 30min and then serve with your favourite meat dish – great with sausages or lamb, essential for BBQ’s or just any meal that needs a fresh salad on the side.

    Crispy Moroccan Chicken Drumettes

    We used to make the most amazing Moroccan chicken strips with rice and a salad salsa. Normally with spelt or Gluten free flour. Since going full Paleo, I have tried combinations of almond flour and coconut flour to get similar results, however nothing ever came really close. Finally I have found a solution that works for a super yummy crispy coated chicken treat! Yes, I do mean treat. Even though this is amazing, I still would not cook like this every single night, but it is so great to have these things available for when you are wanting a great meal that brings back yummy food memories!

    Obviously we put fresh corn in the salsa, (not paleo), but the kids love the fresh corn and we had run out of cucumber so it was the next best thing!

    Ingredients

    20 chicken drumettes (small chicken drumsticks)
    3/4 cup arrowroot flour
    1 Tbs Moroccan spice mix (there are several out there that are are great with no added nasties)**
    1 Tbs Chicken spice mix (paprika, cumin, marjoram, salt, pepper or similar)**
    2-3 Tbs coconut oil or butter/ghee (tastes great with a blend of coconut oil & ghee)

    Salsa

    1 fresh corn cob – cut (substitute with cucumber for paleo)
    1 capsicum diced
    2 tomatoes diced
    1/2 cup coriander chopped

    Cauliflower Rice

    1 head cauliflower – pulsed in a blender to rice consistency
    2 Tbs coconut oil
    1 onion diced (optional if fructose intolerant)
    Salt & Pepper

    Method

    Put flour and spices into a large freezer bag and shake to blend. Add the spices – you can tell it’s right when you can smell the spices in with the flour and it gives off a strong flavour. We used a blend of chicken and Moroccan flavour because of the kids but you can go all Moroccan spice for a hotter flavour!

    Put the chicken pieces into the bag with the spices and flour and coat by shaking in the bag. Heat the oil in a hot frypan and fry the chicken in batches for approx 2min per side until golden. Place into a baking tray on a rack and place in a 200 C oven for 15min until cooked.

    For cauliflower rice, pan fry oil, onion and pulsed cauliflower until cooked to a rice like consistency. Assemble the salsa in a bowl. Serve together on a plate and enjoy the yummy crispy Moroccan flavours!

    ** there are some natural spice blends that you can find around that don’t have rice flour or sugar in them as additives. My fave, is Screaming Seeds brand, but there are plenty of others too, and you can also make your own blends!

    Slowcooker Beef Silverside

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    The orange and maple syrup in this recipe seems to cut through some of the saltiness of the beef, but I have had it without those two things as well and also loved it, so it is optional, but if you have them on hand, give it a go! If you don’t want to use the oranges just fill up the slowcooker with more water. The white sauce I make is nut free, and is based with coconut cream, so it does have a coconut flavour to it. We don’t mind that, but if you want to, test out some different brands to find the best flavour for a less strong coconut flavour. You can also add extra mustard for a richer sauce. I used white potato here because we ran out of sweet potato, but make sure when you are using sweet potato to cut the pieces quite large.

    In Slowcooker
  • 1.5 – 2kg beef silverside
  • Enough cloves to randomly spike the outside of an onion
  • 1 onion
  • 2 star anise (optional – to go with oranges)
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup or honey (you will not taste this)
  • 3-4 potatoes cut in half
  • 4 carrots cut into large pieces
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 oranges
  • Method

    Arrange vegetables around the beef in the slowccoker. Add vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves, star anise and maple syrup into the slowcooker and squeeze juice from the oranges inside and place oranges on top. Cover with water and cook on low for approx 6hrs. Once cooked, rest for 10min (take away from direct heat of slowcooker and cover lightly with alfoil) to rest before cutting into slices.

    White Sauce
  • 2 Tbs Butter (or coconut oil/ghee)
  • Small Can of coconut cream (approx 270ml)
  • 2 Tbs Dijon or whole grain mustard (or horseradish)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • Method

    Heat butter/oil & coconut cream together for a couple of minutes on a medium heat. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the parsley and simmer all until it thickens (approx 5-10min) then add parsley and serve with meat and veg from the slowcooker!

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    My Favourite Paleo Banana Breads/Cakes

    Featured

    I think Banana Bread is one of those things that you play around with a recipe so much, it really becomes a wonderful staple, where all the tweaking you do with each recipe just makes it better and better. We’ve been having mainly Banana Bread without nuts so the kids can take some to school.

    We don’t do as many treats as we used to, but I love having something that I can have in the house that will be a healthy alternative for the kids and my hubby freakin’ loves the stuff.

    banana-bread

    I have two Banana Bread recipes which I have made so many times it’s ridiculous, and it also depends on the amount of bananas you have at your disposal. One is nut free, and the other is not, so if I want it for school snacks, I normally bake the nut free version.

    My Favourite Nut-Free Banana Bread

     

    Ingredients
    • 2 ripe bananas
    • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
    • 1/4 Coconut flakes (optional- sub with fruit or nuts if you want)
    • 5 eggs
    • 1 Tbs maple syrup
    • 2/3 cup coconut flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 Tbs nutmeg

    I sift all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Put the bananas, plus all the wet ingredients (except for the oil – add that in at the end) into a food processor and blend together. (alternatively you can mash and mix by hand if you don’t have one – but seriously, it saves time!) Mix wet and dry together, add the melted coconut oil and put into greased cake tins or glass baking dish or whatever shape you are aiming for. Put in a 180° C oven to cook for approx 20-40min.

    Remember with this type of cake, as with all Paleo (non-grain) cakes, in my oven they always take ages to cook, so check frequently and turn if necessary, and place on a lower temperature, if you know it will get too hot. I know others who have theirs done in 20min. (Well I hate you. My oven sucks and it takes about an hour for mine to cook, but it’s awesome in the end. Just saying.)

    My Other Favourite Banana Bread (with nuts)

    This Banana Bread was adapted from the recipe from the Paleo Mum page on the Charge Crossfit website. This Banana Bread is really earthy and nutty and super moist. Find her recipe here

    Ingredients
    • 1 cup almond flour
    • 1/3 cup coconut flour
    • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
    • 2 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 Tbs nutmeg
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 2/3 cup chopped nuts (I like macadamia or pecan)
    • 4 really ripe bananas
    • 2 tbs honey
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract

    Method

    Preheat oven to 180° C. Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

    In a food processor or blender, add the mashed bananas, eggs, honey, and vanilla and mix well. Otherwise place into a bowl and mash and mix really well.

    Stir all wet and dry ingredients together until combined.

    Fill greased muffin trays, loaf pans about 3/4 full. Bake muffins for approx 25 minutes and loaves for 30 minutes, or until you press down onto cake gently and it feels slightly firm and springs back at your touch. (longer in my oven)

    Slow Cooker / Crockpot Tips

    There are a few things that make cooking with a Slow Cooker / Crockpot easy. I have a few things I have found to be really helpful in preparing for my slow cooked meals.

    • Use a 24hr Power point timer – essential for organising the times you want it to turn on so your meal is ready for when you need it. This allows you to cook meals with a shorter time frame and not over cook your meal. Yes you can over-cook, and even after it’s turned off it will continue to cook with residual heat, so its a great idea to have a timer.
      24hr powerpoint timer

      This is what mine looks like, but you can get digital timers too.

    • Meal planning is essential for me. On the weekend, you can fry off your meat and put all your ingredients into a freezer bag or container so you meal is ready in the fridge or in the freezer for a quick weekday meal you can access easily.
    • If you haven’t prepared your meal on the weekend, I often prepare the night before while I am making dinner, place everything in the slow cooker insert and put into fridge for a quick removal in the morning. If you don’t have room for the crock pot insert in your fridge, put everything into a container, freezer bag or bowl for easier access.
    I placed all ingredients into the insert of the slowcooker, put the lid on and placed into the fridge

    I placed all ingredients into the insert of the slowcooker, put the lid on and placed into the fridge

    • Marinating meat for a slow cooker dish later in the week, and putting in bag/container of choice to go in the fridge (for recipes in the next 2 days) or the freezer for any day in the future. Just bring it out of the freezer the day before and put into the fridge for your meal the next day.

    Our Bunless Burgers

    Bunless Burgers can be done a million different ways. The great thing about them is you can let your imagination run wild and have all your favourite toppings/burger filling that you’ve ever loved (within reason) and put it all together for a really quick weekday meal. You can get burgers already made, and you can get a lot of good quality gluten free burgers these days, however it’s not too hard to smash together a few home-made burgers to make sure you know what’s in them! Here’s how we make ours. (My 5yr old helped me make these)

    Ingredients
    • 500g ground beef or pork
    • 1 Tbs Italian herbs or another spice blend like Moroccan
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • salt and pepper
    • 1 egg
    • 1 Tbs coconut flour
    • 1/2 diced onion (optional)
    Method

    Mix all ingredients together and roll into burger patties. Fry off in your frypan on either side until brown and cooked to your preference. Fry of your bacon and some fried eggs if desired. Serve with your favourite fillings to go on the side. Here are some of the things you can have with your burgers:

    • Fried onion
    • Fried Eggs
    • Avocado
    • Natural tomato relish
    • Pickles
    • Bacon
    • Sliced fresh tomato
    • Dijon mustard (we use instead of cheese)
    • Pineapple
    • Grilled eggplant
    • Roasted Capsicum
    • Beetroot
    • Lettuce
    • Sauerkraut
    • And many other things

     

     

    Want a Paleo Mum?

    Do you want a Paleo Mum?  YEAH, you do!

    wodfest chix v dudes 1

    Pic from a “WODfest” BBQ – Chicks vs Dudes – at Charge Crossfit

    Well luckily Ash at Charge Crossfit will let you borrow his mum! Head on over to her page, Paleo Mum on the Charge Crossfit website and you will see her Paleo verified recipes. The recipes are added every week or so, and she is an expert on finding recipes that are awesome and taste amazing, with proper Paleo ingredients, that Paleo Mum and I test out on willing Charge members at the monthly Crossfit BBQ! With trainers Ash and Kerry, it is always a really fun day!

    Slow Cooked Honey Mustard Chicken

    Who loves easy meals – I do! The slow cooker is my Fav thing for easy meals during the week. When using a Slow Cooker/ Crockpot, cooking / browning the meat first is optional, however, it gives a nicer colour to the dish and renders off the fat from the meat, giving the end dish a less oily consistancy. Either way is is yummy and a time saver. See my note below for extra tips and tricks.

    Ingredients
    • 1 Tbs coconut oil
    • 8 skinless chicken thighs
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 2 parsnips, cut into sticks
    • 3 carrots, cut into sticks
    • 1 cup chicken stock
    • 4 Tbs wholegrain mustard
    • 2 Tbs honey
    • small handful thyme sprigs
    • flat-leaf parsley, chopped to serve
    • salt and pepper
    Method

    Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown until golden, then remove to a plate. You don’t want to cook the chicken for too long if you are going to be using the slow cooker. Cook the onion in the same fry pan for 2 mins until softened, mainly just to lift the chicken goodness from the fry pan. If you don’t want to fry the onion, that’s ok. You can de-glaze the pan with the stock instead and just put the onion into the slow cooker as is.

    If using a Slow Cooker

    Place the parsnips and carrots into your slowcooker and add the thighs and the onions. Mix the stock with the mustard and honey, then pour in. Scatter over the thyme, and cook on low for 4hrs or on high for 2hrs. (If you put the all ingredients into the slow cooker raw, cook on low for 6hrs or high for 3hrs.) Serve with chopped parsley and green veg of choice, if desired. I didn’t – it was a meal in itself!

    If using a Casserole Dish

    Place the thighs and the onions to your casserole dish and add the parsnips and carrots. Mix the stock with the mustard and honey, then pour in. Scatter over the thyme, then bring to a simmer. Cover, then cook for 30 mins on stove top or 1hr in a 180 C Oven, until the chicken is tender.

    Note:
    • If using a slow cooker, I like to fry off the meat and onion the night before, put everything into the slow cooker dish, put the lid on and place into the fridge for the next day. Then all you need to do is put it on in the morning.
    • I have my slow cooker on a 24hr power point timer so I can set it to start cooking later and be finished near to when I get home. This is such a great thing to have so you don’t over cook your dish. Yes, you can over cook meals in the slow cooker!
    • A great Weekend prep idea is to brown your meat, then put all ingredients for your slow cooker meal into a freezer bag or container to go in the freezer. You now have your quick meal ready to take out of the freezer for later in the week.

    Protein after my WOD

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    After the gym, protein is good! This is something that took 2mins to prep and cook and that is excellent. I am not really one to have breakfast, I normally have early lunch and I don’t really like any of the replacement breakfast recipes you often see for paleo. In my opinion, eggs are great for a quick smash together of goodness. Here’s what I made.

    4 eggs (whisked with a fork)
    Coconut oil
    2 thick slices of leg ham chopped (or bacon)
    1/2 red onion
    Salt & pepper
    Dill (optional)

    I fried off the ham & onion for a few secs with the oil then added the eggs. 30secs later I was eating!

    Caramel Apple Tea Cake

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    This is one of my favourite cakes to make for the kids. The caramel layer is entirely optional, and I would not do it every time I make this cake, because of the extra time/work involved, but it’s a really yummy cake, and stores really well in the fridge for treats throughout the week or in the lunchbox.

    Find the original caramel recipe here posted on Civilized Caveman Cooking by guest author Lauren from Empowered Sustenance

    Ingredients

    1/2 cup coconut flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    5 eggs
    1/4 cup coconut oil & 1/4 cup butter or ghee (or 1/2 cup coconut oil)
    1/4 cup raw honey
    1 tsp vanilla
    2 apples diced

    Caramel for Cake

    5 Cups apple juice – fresh squeezed or store bought fresh cloudy (do not use apple juice from concentrate. It is too strong in flavour and will not work)
    2-3 Tbs butter, ghee or coconut oil

    Simmer apple juice until it thickens into a toffee like consistency (can take 30min- 1hr) watch it after 30min at intervals to make sure it doesn’t burn. Then add your oil/butter to emulsify and thicken into the caramel. There is a point where it starts to get thicker. Be careful not to add the emulsifying agent in before it gets to the thickness you want, you won’t be able to thicken back up later easily.

    Method for cake

    Mix the oil/butter and honey, add one egg at a time until blended. Add the vanilla and the chopped apple. Combine the coconut flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients until fluffy and well blended.

    Pour the cake mix into a greased cake tin. Bake at 170 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

    Cool completely, then remove from the pan and cut in half lengthways, to smear the caramel layer in the middle. Another option is to do two thinner cakes, to create the halves, instead of having to cut the cake.

    Note:

    With my oven I cook at a lower temp for longer. (150 degrees for up to an hour, turning regularly for an even colour – due to my annoying oven.) A foolproof check for all gluten free baking is that it’s ready as soon as the top has an almost firm crust when touched and doesn’t give way when pressed with down onto the surface with your finger.

    Maple Thyme Chicken Tenders

    This dish is so yummy, great for finger food, party food, or just have it for dinner. You will totally be licking your fingers with this one!

    We made this one for the BBQ at Charge Crossfit for their in-house Charge like a Bull comp, which was awesome fun and these are definitely a crowd pleaser!

    Ingredients
    • 1 kg chicken tenderloins (or 4 chicken breasts cut into strips)
    • lots of middle bacon (the streaky part & easy to wrap is best)
    • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
    • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard (real Dijon is quite spicy which is perfect)
    • 1 Tbs fresh thyme
    • 1 Tbs smoked paprika
    • Juice from half a lemon
    • zest of 1 lemon
    •  salt & pepper
    Method

    Wrap each piece of chicken with a piece of bacon. Use toothpicks to hold them together. Place the chicken wrapped bacon on a baking tray to go in the oven or under the grill.

    Mix together the maple syrup, mustard, paprika, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper in a small bowl. If you have time, leave the marinade to infuse for half an hour to get the best thyme flavour through the mix.

    Use a pastry brush or similar to coat the tops of the bacon wrapped chicken with the glaze. If you don’t have a pastry brush, you can use left over fresh Thyme sprigs as a makeshift brush.

    Oven Method

    Bake in a the oven at 180° C for about 10-12 minutes then turning the chicken over, brush the remaining glaze on the other side and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

    Grill method

    If your oven sucks, like mine does, put the them under the grill (or use your BBQ) and grill either side until cooked. I did about 8min per side.

    I made this one for dinner last night and served it with my Roast Cauliflower Salad.

    Roast Caulifower Salad

    This is a great side dish, or something great to have at a BBQ or dinner party.

    Ingredients
    • 1-2 whole cauliflower cut into florets
    • 1/2 bunch of diced flat leaf parsley
    • coconut oil
    • Juice of half a lemon
    • spices (I used screaming seeds Outback Blend but if you don’t have that I will list similar spices below)
    • If you don’t have Outback Blend – cumin, coriander, garlic, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon,salt cayenne pepper,mint, celery salt (I would just use a couple of these if you have on hand and mix in a separate bowl first and sprinkle on later.
    Method

    Place cauliflower and coconut oil into a deep fry pan or similar that you have a lid for. (Alternatively you can roast in the oven with the coconut oil.) Fry off on a medium heat until it starts to get some colour, place lid on, lower the temperature and stir occasionally until cooked.

    When nearly done, add the spices and cook for a few minutes, then add the lemon juice and chopped parsley to finish.

    Margaritas

    I love girls night – and Margaritas! My girlfriend Rach and I both enjoy clean eating and have come up with a great recipe for a yummy Margarita cocktail and we love a good girls night! Here is our version.

    Our Sweeter Version
    • 45ml tequila
    • 30ml cointreau
    • 15ml lime juice
    • 7.5ml organic coconut nectar
    More Traditional
    • 45ml tequila
    • 15ml cointreau
    • 30ml lime juice

    We use a cocktail shaker with ice and salt the rim of the glass with a fine grain macrobiotic sea salt, and chill the glasses in the freezer first.

    Cheers!

    Chocolate Protein Balls

    protein-choc-treatsMy husband is a chef, but I still pack his lunch for him most days. The other chefs thought it was funny until they tried the food! Sometimes they even ask for the recipes. Anyway, he really loves having some sort of treat in with his lunch (although, as with most treats, it’s not an everyday thing!) and when I came across this recipe from Superfood Kitchen, it became a favourite! You can find her recipe here, and it’s a winner if you have protein powder on hand! I don’t roll mine into balls. I press them into small chocolate moulds or small ice-cube trays, and pop them in the freezer for 5min, then pop them out into a container in batches, as my friend Rachel does when she’s making treats. Mik only takes a couple with him to work and they are great for a little treat.

    This is how I make them.

    Ingredients
    • 1 cup protein powder
    • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup raw organic cacao power
    • 1 Tbs cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut or coconut flakes
    • 40 dates (if dried) or 20 if fresh
    • coconut flakes for rolling
    Method

    Combine the dates and melted coconut oil in food processor or blender until well combined, then add the protein powder, coconut and cacao powder. Mix all together – it should look like a thick paste. You can either roll these into balls with the coconut flakes, or as I do, sprinkle coconut into chocolate moulds or a small ice-cube tray, press in some mixture, then press more coconut flakes on the top. Put the mould into the freezer for 5min, then pop them out into your container to store. It makes as least 20 or 40 depending on how big you do them.

    Coconut Chicken Strips

    Everyone knows honey and mustard is awesome. Add coconut and chicken and you have super yummy chicken strips that are easy to make.

     
    Ingredients
    • 1/2 cup mustard (I used a combo of dijon and a bit of french mustard)
    • 2 Tbs honey
    • 1-2 cups Coconut flakes
    • 8 chicken thighs
    • Salt and pepper
    • coconut oil (for frying)
    Method

    Preheat Oven to 180 degrees.
    Cut chicken thighs into strips. Mix mustard, honey and salt and pepper together in a bowl easy to cover the chicken strips. A shallow longer dish is easier. You will need two bowls/containers – one for the mustard mix and one for the coconut to cover the chicken after it’s dipped in the mustard mix.

    Cover chicken in mustard mixture (it just needs a thin coating) then roll into coconut.

    Fry coconut covered strips in coconut oil in batches, (be careful – it’s delicate!) on medium heat for a few minutes on either side until just golden. Transfer to a baking tray with a rack, and lay all the chicken strips onto the rack and place into the oven. Bake for approx 15min or until cooked.

    I served it with bacon brussel sprouts, roast potatoes & sweet potatoes. I must note here that the combo of roast sweet potatoes with these chicken strips are a winner, and the kids came back for more! That’s why you can’t see many sweet potatoes in the picture!

    Note:

    Perfect to make extra for nut-free lunch-box additions that the kids will love.

    Paleo Chicken Celestine

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    This is yummy…

    I think there are a few versions of Chicken Celestine. The one I know, and used to cook regularly, is coated in flour, fried in butter and the sauce has apple, cream and grand marnier.

    Since we have been Paleo we haven’t had this dish. I think it’s been around 2 years now, so I decided to convert it. Because of the liqueur and the rich sauce, obviously this is a comfort treat food, and not something I would make every week, certainly more of a special occasion dish for us. I have to say, it turned out really similar to how I remember!

    Ingredients
    • 2 Tbs coconut oil (or butter/ghee)
    • 6-8 chicken thighs, cut into large pieces
    • 400g can coconut cream
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1/2 cup chicken stock
    • 1-2 Tbs grand marnier
    • 1/2 cup flaked almonds (optional – if you can’t have nuts you could roast coconut flakes for texture)
    • 4 granny smith apples, peeled & diced

    Fry the chicken pieces in the coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on all sides until golden, in batches, and remove from pan when cooked. Do not clean your pan. Use the oily, chicken goodness in that pan to fry off your apple and add the stock in. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then add in the coconut cream and Grand Marnier. Adjust flavours to taste. Simmer the sauce for a couple of minutes on low to medium heat. Do not let it boil, you don’t want the coconut cream to separate. Roast your almonds or coconut flakes in a dry pan for a couple of minutes until lightly toasted.

    You can put the chicken back in the pan with the sauce to warm up or just ladle hot sauce over the chicken.

    Serve the apple cream sauce over your chicken and sprinkle the almonds/coconut flakes over the top, along with veggies of choice.

    Note:

    Good quality cans of coconut cream can be completely solid in colder weather, this is great, because we want that part to substitute the heavy cream. You can store a can of coconut cream in the fridge for this reason, for when you need the solid coconut cream for a recipe.

    Delightful Dill Dip

    Creamy Dip – perfect for veggie sticks or other crackers of choice. Also a good dip to have in kids lunch-boxes with veggie sticks.

    Ingredients
    • 400g can coconut cream*
    • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
    • 4 Tbs Dill
    • 2 tsp garlic or garlic powder
    Method

    Mix all ingredients together. (add the Dill at the end) You can whisk or blend the coconut cream first if you like it really smooth (*see note below)

    You can play around with the ratio’s, but I prefer more coconut cream than Mayo, then add the Dill. I like to keep the cream cold so it is thicker, so make sure you leave it in the fridge for at least 30min before you serve. The flavour develops much better that way too.

    Serve with veggie sticks or other dipping device of choice! This is a double mixture, so you can halve it for less dip.

    * Note:

    A good quality full fat coconut cream will have much more of the solid coconut cream and will be better to use in a dip. Do not use Lite Coconut Cream! It will never thicken. A good tip to find out, is to put the can in the fridge and see how much solidifies, and how much coconut water is left at the bottom. The solid coconut cream at the bottom is the only part I use in my dips, so the dip isn’t too runny. Go to a Asian supermarket for a better quality coconut cream.

    Meatza – Our Paleo Pizza

    We love Meatza. We got onto Meatza through our friend Hagen – a Caveman from way back! The kids get to make one and we have a more spicy one for ourselves. The great thing about any paleo pizza is you can add anything you like, and it’s even better because there’s extra meat! That’s right – meat on the bottom and lots of stuff on the top! Most of the time, the kids don’t even mind having no cheese. We use shredded ham as cheese – we call it “cheese ham”. So this is our version of Paleo Pizza!

    Base
    • 1 kg beef mince ( you can use pork as well)
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 T coconut flour
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 medium onion diced finely
    •  2 tsp Italian spices (you can use any other spice combo)
    • 1 Tbs Greek Seasoning –screaming seeds*
    • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
    • Salt and pepper

    Mix all ingredients into a large bowl and mix in well with your hands (if you hate having yucky mince fingers, put some gloves on – me, I like to get mucky).

    Separate into two balls, line two baking sheets/trays with baking paper, then press each ball of mixture into a thin layer onto each tray. It can be super thin, you want the toppings to be the star. Put into a pre-heated 180 degree oven for 10min until just cooked. Take them out and drain any extra juices (reserve if desired)

    Cover your bases with tomato paste or tomato purée. Add any toppings you would like. I have included toppings below that we use and some others you could use. Put the Meatza along with all toppings under the grill for about 10min. Done!

    Toppings
    • Mushrooms
    • Capsicum
    • Olives
    • Onion slices
    • Salami
    • Ham
    • Bacon
    • Pineapple
    • Zucchini
    • Sweet potato (precooked)
    • Anything else you can think of…

    We have Meatza regularly about once a fortnight. I am pretty quick with it now, getting the bases done in about 15min and all done in 25min tops! So it can be done on a weeknight if needed. The whole family loves this as lunch the next day so sometimes I make 3 trays worth.

    * Note:  I love Screaming Seeds spices, my go-to for really yummy interesting spices with no fillers or nasties in sight. The Greek seasoning is similar to Italian spices, so you can just add more of that if you don’t happen to have the Greek season.

    Kids Lunchbox Ideas

    kids-lunches

    It really is hard to think about what to put in the lunch-box at the best of times, let alone when you want your kids to eat healthy food. There are lots of ideas out there, however it is hard to think of new ideas all the time, especially when you want preparation to be quick and easy. Sometimes we get away with left overs like pieces of chicken, with veggies sticks and fruit. I am just going to add images and lunchbox ideas to randomly as I go, just to show some ideas of what we are doing.

    The image above has:
    • meatballs and low sugar tomato dipping sauce
    • carrot and cucumber “crackers” with salami
    • strawberries
    • and my Jaffa Muffins (I normally bake something nut free to on Sunday to put in their lunches through the week)

    Geo’s Asian Salad

    I love asian flavours and tend to season a lot of our meat with asian spices so what better to go with that than an asian cabbage salad.

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    Asian Salad
    • 1/4 red cabbage (optional – just for colour)
    • 1/4 white cabbage finely sliced or wombok cabbage
    • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into thin matchsticks ( or use a grater or Julienne slicer)
    • 1/2 cup fresh Vietnamese mint leaves or normal mint!
    • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves
    • 1 cup sliced snow peas
    Dressing
    • 60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lime juice (1 lime)
    • 1 tsp organic pure maple syrup or other similar sweetener (optional)
    • 2 T fish sauce
    • 2 T rice wine vinegar
    • 4 green shallots, ends trimmed, thinly sliced (optional)
    • 1-2 fresh red birdseye chilli, de-seeded, finely chopped (depending on desired heat)
    • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or 1 tsp garlic powder
    Method

    Dice, chop and julienne (or however you prefer) all the salad ingredients into a large salad bowl. Do not dress the salad. This will keep for up to a week in the fridge if covered in the fridge. Dress the salad on the plate instead.

    For the dressing, juice the lime, finely dice all other ingredients and pour into a salad dressing container you will serve with and/or you can keep in the fridge for later. Serve with my lime asian meatballs.

    TIP: If you make double the dressing you should have enough for later in the week when you want more salad.

    Paleo Lemongrass & Kaffir Lime Meatballs

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    lime-meatballsMy signature dish

    This idea came to me as I was experimenting with asian meatballs. Asian is my favorite food and I love playing with the flavours! These meatballs are crazy yummy, just try them. This is a double mixture, but you will need it, trust me.

    • 1kg pork or chicken mince
    • 8 approx kaffir lime leaves
    • 2 stick lemongrass finely diced (white part)
    • 2 T sesame oil
    • 2 T fish sauce
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 T coconut flour
    • 2 tsp garlic powder
    • salt and pepper (at least 1 tsp of each)

    Blend lemongrass & lime leaves with the fish sauce and sesame oil, or if you don’t have a blender, finely dice and mix. (Or mortar and pestle) If chopping finely, try bashing the lemongrass first (I use my cocktail muddler) and I roll the Lime leaves before chopping for a finer dice.
    Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and roll them into balls on some baking paper.  Fry the meatballs in a hot pan with coconut oil until just golden then pop in a 180° C oven for 5-10min to finish off. Times will vary between ovens. Serve with veg of choice, or see my Asian cabbage salad.

    Note: If short on time, I just spoon bits of mixture into a hot pan to fry up with coconut oil, not as pretty, but still tastes good!

    Back to Basics – Slowcooker Bone Broth

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    Bone Broth or Real Stock is essential when making a soup that has amazing flavour and has all the health benefits you need when you are sick or just feeling run down. Most of the time though, it’s just great to have a batch of pre-made bone broth to drink daily to make you feel great. It’s so easy, especially if you have a slow cooker (love!)

    I normally make a big batch every couple of weeks and freeze in small bowls to have on hand when you need it.

    Chicken Broth
    • 2 kg chicken bones (or a few carcasses from roast chickens, or 2kg chicken necks)
    Beef Broth
    • 2 kg beef bones
    Rest of Ingredients
    • 3 carrots, chopped chunky
    • 3 long celery stalks, chopped chunky
    • 2 medium onions, chopped chunky
    • 1 leek, chopped chunky
    • 6-8 garlic cloves
    • 5 bay leaves
    • handful thyme sprigs
    • bunch parsley stems
    • Sea salt and pepper (to season bones)
    • 1Tbs whole peppercorns
    • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
    • water

    If the bones have already been roasted before (I will put all bones from roasts into freezer bags for times like this) then that’s great, but if not, pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C, season the bones with salt pepper and brown them up! No need to turn them, just get them to golden brown. Doesn’t take too long, and it will mean a lot in flavour later.

    Put all the veggies in the bottom of your slow cooker, then add your browned bones, then any other ingredients. Top up with water so it covers everything nicely. Tap water is fine but if you want it to start cooking straight away, put in water from your kettle so its nice and hot. If you cooked the bones in the oven, put some hot water in the baking dish to get all the browned juices and crispy bit on the bottom and add that into your slow cooker too. Put it on for 8-10 hours on low or 5 hours on high.

    Strain all the liquid into a bowl, and discard the bones and veggies. Make sure there is a bowl in the sink! Many people have lost hours of work because they have strained the broth straight down the drain by mistake!

    You now have great bone broth you can use any way you want. I cool mine in the fridge, in the larger bowl first (it is normally the consistency of jelly once cold), and then separate into smaller glass bowls to store in the freezer, however they don’t normally last that long.