Thursday, 4 April 2013

Protein Power

Lately I've been trying to get that protein in, which has lead to deciding to bake protein cakes (I mean, who doesn't love cakes right?). I had a huge stack of brown bananas, and so I got out a cookbook, and decided to have a fiddle with the recipes to see what I could come up with. I made a batch of chocolate-cranberry protein muffins and a chocolate banana loaf cake (one of the NICEST cakes I've ever made....and grain and (pretty much) sugar free).

The recipe for the loaf cake as is:

175g ground almonds
2 eggs
Big dollop of honey
125g butter
4 mashed bananas
3 tablespoons of cocoa (I use green and blacks)
1 teaspoon each bicarb and baking powder
85% chocolate chopped into chunks.

Melt the butter and add the honey, eggs and bananas. Stir, then add everything else and give a good old mix until combined. Pour into a loaf tin and bake at 180 for around 40 minutes. That's it!

The muffins were taken from Nigellas 'Kitchen' and modified. Here is the recipe

3 mashed bananas
125ml oil (I used olive oil, coconut would be ace)
2 eggs
Big dollop honey
175g ground almonds
2 scoops of vanilla whey
3 tablespoons cocoa (Green and blacks)
1 teaspoon bicarb
I also added dried cranberries and a handful of chopped 85% dark choc chunks.

Scoop into muffin cases and bake at 200 for around 15 minutes. I use an ice cream scoop to put into cases, makes life easier :)

Ive also been enjoying more cauliflower rice with various things. It went delicious as faux 'cous cous' with these delicious meatballs (

And it always goes well with thai red curry

I also had a go at making an omelette recently that a friend cooked for a Halloween party I went to. It was a chilli and halloumi one, the recipe was also from Good Food ( I also added bacon to mine to make it a nice heart brunch, and used sweet potato as it was what I had in at the time. It was lovely, and I'd like to try it again with pumpkin (or squash).

Finally, an easy dessert. I LOVE pancakes, and finding non-grain flours to make them with is always a challenge, but almond pancakes, especially as a dessert, are amazing! I mix a couple of tablespoons of ground almonds with an egg and some lemon zest, and fry until golden. They're lovely served with yoghurt, though I've also soaked them in limoncello and used them to make the base for a trifle. Give them a go, they're bloody lovely.

Love life, love foods.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Getting back into the swing of things

So I haven't updated in a long time. Issues with losing a lot of data through google plus (for some reason) meat having to manually re-add all the pictures.

I'm still going strong with primal eating, I've transitioned from paleo to more of a primal diet, in that I've started to include more dairy. I eat a little rice and the occasional chickpea. Ive cooked some delicious things over the past few months. My recent (non-primal, but tasty nontheless) favourite discovery is gram flour pancakes.....just gram flour and water mixed to a light batter, theyre amazing with bacon, or some good cheddar and chorizo.

Ive experimented a little more with cauliflower rice recently, which Im a big fan of, its amazing fried up with garlic and some veg to make a semi pilaf (still not got the hang of pretty pictures)

My favourite primal bit of goodness is the coconut chocolate mousse from marks daily apple (recipe here

Other things I've made recently include turkey and halloumi skewers, Lamb with roast veg and red wine jus, lots of homemade burgers with baba ghanoush, and one of my new found favourites: Curry pie....a nice chicken and veg thick curry, topped with a lemony sweet potato mash and baked in the oven. Amazing. The recipe is from BBC Good Food. I swapped the regular potato for sweet, but either would be good :)

 A sweet snack.....banana slices topped with almond butter

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Something fishy afoot

So as far as I can see, this paleo thing is here for good. Ive never felt better, never eaten better, and never been stronger.

Ive eaten some delicious things this past couple of weeks. Theres been steak (as usual). This morning I had a nosebleed and my instant after thought was 'I should eat some steak to reboost my iron'. Like anyone needa an excuse for eating steak. Last time I made it I had it with roast veg, and it was delicious. And once every fortnight (or so) isnt too bad for a steak fix.

Ive also been experimenting a little more baking with paleo style ingredients. Its not something I do all the time, as eating cake everyday, even if it does count as paleo, is not a good idea for anyone. However, I decided to make some chocolate banana brownies. I played fast and loose with the ingredients, I didnt measure anything really, I just threw in around 100g ground almonds, 2 mashed bananas, 1 good squeeze of honey, some vanilla paste, 2 eggs, some 90% cocoa chocolate melted with a little coconut oil, and a tablespoon of green and blacks cocoa.
They were really sweet, and though I only ate one, everyone else seemed to really enjoy them. They were very rich and people were impressed at how tasty they were, despite the lack of sugar.

We've had some beautiful weather lately, which has made it ideal salad eating time. Last week I ate lunch outside every day, which is my favourite place to eat lunch. Ive had pretty much the same thing everyday....salad with chicken and guacamole.

Even having to eat it inside today, it was wonderful.

On Friday I made fish in a puttanesca style sauce. I got hold of some plaice (I really wanted more coley, but the market was closed by the time I got home) and made a sauce using tomatos, garlic, anchovies, olives and capers. It was really yummy. I served it with some sliced fried potato.

On Saturday we went out for dinner to Tonic. Tonic is one of my favourite restaurants in Nottingham ( Though I'd decided to have Saturday designated as my non-paleo day if I wanted one, I havent really indulged much so far. This week I had a dairy dessert, otherwise Ive stayed pretty on track.
The food there is always amazing, its one of those menus where you want to eat everything. To start I had mackeral fillet and my partner had the scallops with black pudding. Both were great, and it was nice to have mackeral in a restaurant, as I havent seen it many places.
For main my partner had pork with butternut squash. The pork was cooked perfectly, and was so juicy. The different types of squash with it were also delightful.
I had lamb rump with garlic mash and spinach. It was heavenly, the lamb was so pink and the mash was smooth and creamy. It was amazing. For dessert I had tonka bean brulee with blueberry and lavender  compote. It was seriously good. Creme brulee is my favourite dessert, and it certainly hit the spot. Overall the meal was lovely, the staff were excellent as ever, and the food was presented beautifully. Apparently the've had a recent change in the chef and I have to say, they've maintained standards, it was fab.

Until next time....

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

ReHashing things

Since starting to eat paleo, egg and potato hash has quickly become my favourite weekend brunch. Ive been experimenting with different ways, as has my partner, who thoughtfully found a breakfast on nomnompaleo to make for me a couple of weeks ago. I usually grate up some sweet potato, fry it off, add whatever meat or fish and veg, maybe some chilli, some tomato and then crack in the eggs and scramble it all up or fry/poach and pop them on top. The two below were particularly good. The one my partner made was with smoked salmon, and the other was chorizo and spinach.

Not the neatest bowl of food, but really yummy.

Ive made a variety of different things lately, Theres been Tuna steak, homemade guacamole (avocado, chilli, garlic and lime juice, sometimes tomato) and roasted veg.

Tuna steak in thai red curry with roasted squash and other summer veg

Baked sweet potato with turkey salad or, my favourite, prawn and veg stew (garlic, chilli and onions fried, add any veg you want, I added courgettes, brocoli, mushrooms and peppers, then add tomatos, YUM!)

On Sunday I made a roast dinner. I roasted parsnip and carrots in honey and made sweet potato mash. Cooked green beans and wrapped them in proscuitto and then sealed the pork fillet, added apples and water to the pan, and threw it in the oven for 10 minutes. The pork was cooked beautifully, and the apples made a lovely sweet-ish sauce.

With healthy food this good, who needs anything else.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Plenty of Mussel

This Friday I cooked up another paleo style dinner for my partner. He's enjoying the food I make, and as I have still made him dessert there have been no complaints so far. We started Friday evening with some mussels. I used a John Torode recipe from BBC , but I omitted the tomato and palm sugar, and added some creamed coconut to make a creamy sauce. They were amazing, really delicious and fresh.

For the main I made chicken in a sundried tomato sauce. I pan fried the chicken, then added it to a casserole dish with some sweet potato and baked it. I used the pan the chicken was cooked in to fry some sundried tomatos, then added chicken stock, thyme and the leftover sauce from the mussels. It made a really rich, creamy savoury sauce, and I served it up with some spinach on the side.

Dessert was a chocolate frangipane style pot. I cut up some cherries, and popped them in the bottom of ramekins, then mixed high quality cocoa, ground almonds, an egg and some vanilla paste into a thick batter and spooned it on top. I baked them in the oven for 15 mins at 180c. They were soooooo rich! A really rich dessert treat. The picture looks like a little pot of dirt, but trust me, it tasted lovely.

Saturday I attempted to make coconut flour pancakes, which just went awfully wrong, that flour is not designed for pancake making. For dinner we went to Jamie Olivers Italian. As it was my 'free day' I had a bit of non-paleo food. We shared arancini (fried risotto balls) and some fried squid to start. For my main I had a sea bream in tomato, capers and olives, which was amazing, and for dessert I had the richest, gooiest chocolate pot. Im still not eating very much grain on my cheat meals, as Ive been feeling so good it seems a shame to spoil it.

Sunday brunch I made a menemen style eggs and chorizo hash. I fried cubes of sweet potato and chorizo and onions, then added some tomatos, cracked some eggs on top and threw it in the oven. It was wonderful. Full of spicy depth and was filling too. Ill definitely be making that again.

So, another weekend done, and more yummy food eaten. I'll post more paleo recipes as I try them :)

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Captain Cavewoman (sort of)

Hi folks, so this is my second week of eating paleo (or 'clean', whatever you want to call it). The only grain I have had in almost a fortnight was two tablespoons of rice and some prawn crackers on my 'off day' when we went to a thai restaurant.

On Friday I decided to cook a paleo style dinner for my partner. I made roasted squash, chorizo, asparagus, coley and prawns, followed by mini frangipane bites and coconut ice cream.
The roast fish was amazing, so much flavour, and so cheap! Two huge pieces for £2.50 from my local market, what a bargain. I just chucked it all in the oven and et voila, as Raymond Blanc would say. It was wonderful.

The frangipane bites were the easiest thing ever, I put some ground almonds in a bowl and mixed in a teaspoon of unrefined brown sugar, some vanilla, one egg and some blueberries, then baked. The coconot ice cream was pretty easy too, though I think I may have scrambled it slightly. Again, a pinch of brown sugar, vanilla, eggs and coconut milk made into custard, then put in the freezer and stirred every half hour. I found it FAR too rich, but my partner loved it, so I'll chalk it up as a success.

Saturday I made a sweet potato rosti with Jimmy's free range sausages and poached eggs. The sausages were really good, and I appreciate any that are gluten and crap free. We went out for Thai saturday night, which was delicious, and even though I'd pegged Saturday as my 'eat what you like' day, I didnt really feel the need to consume large amounts of grain or dairy.
Ive eaten a lot better since I started making an effort to eat unprocessed foods. Plenty of nice lean mean, fish, vegetables, nuts, eggs, etc. Ive been making amazing ratatouille style stews and adding chicken or pork, having delicious slads with baked sweet potatoes and fruit with almond butter. I even made some paleo-style muffins (I got the recipe from here... I switched a couple of things, I swapped the quantities of flour, as I ran our of ground almonds, and used olive oil. I think the coconut flour made it all a bit dry, so I added another egg and loosened it up with almond milk, and threw some ground flaxseed through. They were AMAZING. I did not expect them to be so sweet and delicious, but they were really good. Next time I may add some protein powder for extra power :). All in all, I think I could (and am) get used to this.

I am certainly enjoying myself, and am full of energy :D

Monday, 18 June 2012

Weekend Cleaning (food too!)

So this past week Ive been reading a lot about the Paleolithic diet, and on Friday decided to give it a go. I was going to wait until Monday, but I figured seeing as I did my weekend food shop I may aswell start straight away. My partner was on holiday this weekend, so as well as having time to do all my housework II had lots of time to peruse the market and cook lots of healthy food.

For anyone unsure of what Paleo is there are loads of sources online, but its basically cutting grains, legumes, dairy and all processed food. It may seen quite drastic, but so far its been fine.

On Friday I made chicken salad with hot guacamole and roasted sweet potato (theres a LOT of roasted sweet potato going to be mentioned).

I had omelette for breakfast both Saturday and Sunday, with herby green beans and ham.

I also bought ALL the vegetables, some cocnut flour, ground flaxseed and OH MY GOODNESS Almond butter! Where has it been all my life, its absolutely delicious!

I had a friend over for dinner on Saturday, so I made the Yottam Ottolenghi salmon curry, with sweet potato and curried cauliflower. The cauli was amazing, I just boiled it for a few mins, and then drained most of the water, added curry powder and a teaspoon on creamed coconut and cooked it down. It was so nice, I had the leftovers on a salad the next day.

Last night I went all out and made burgers (lean minced beef, seasoning) with roast sweet potato chips and hot salsa.

Who says healthy eating has to be boring!!