I believe that it is important to be comfortable at using many different styles of cooking when preparing meat or fish. If you can master everything from grilling, baking, steaming and poaching then there is so much more that you can do in the kitchen.
Poaching chicken may sound tricky but here is a little write up that will show you exactly how easy it is.
This is what I do:
- Put a kettle with water on the stove and add whatever other spices you wish to make a stock. Today I used lemon, bay leaves, chilli flakes, fresh chilli, sage, coriander, thyme, salt & pepper.
- Bring the stock to boil and then add the chicken breast fillets.
- Bring the stock to boil again – then remove it off the hot stove.
- Leave the chicken in the water for 30 min (might need a little longer for large chicken breasts).
- Take the chicken from the stock, make sure it is cooked through, then serve and eat.
It can be really surprising to see how quickly we go through groceries in out house. Scott and I did large food-shopping on Saturday morning and yet today (Tuesday), the fridge was pretty much empty. We eat a lot I guess.
Even through there wasn’t that much to choose from I was pretty happy with this salad that I managed to whip up. This recipe needs sharing.
What I used:
- 1/2 red capsicum,
- 1/2 red onion,
- Some fresh leek,
- 10 mushrooms (chopped up in quarters),
- 1 cup white quinoa (when uncooked),
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves,
- Handful fresh walnuts.
- Boil the quinoa. 1 part quinoa to 2 parts water (It’ll say 1 to 3 parts on the package but I find that this turns it into quinoa porridge. Remember that the seeds keep cooking even after the water has disappeared since it is still warm). Cook the quinoa ‘al dente’ and don’t forget to add some salt to the water as well.
- Heat up a non-stick frying pan and add 1-2 tbsp coconut oil.
- Add the capsicum, onion, leek and mushrooms and fry on medium heat – add some seasoning here as well.
- When the quinoa is done, add the capsicum and leek etc. that now would have a nice consistency.
- Let it cool down slightly – then turn in the spinach leaves and the walnuts and season with salt and pepper.
Hands up everyone who likes a good potato gratin. I bet that would be most of you, however when we then think about all the ingredients that go into making that grain it makes us want it… not so much. If that sounds anything like you then listen up – here’s a recipe that you should try. This Paleo-friendly version consists of healthier, more nutritious ingredients than the typical traditional recipe and it is very easy to make.
- Sweet potato (kumera) – How much? Well, it depends on the size dish that you will use in the oven. I sliced up 3 large sweet potatoes, just to be safe.
- Pumpkin – 1/2 butternut squash or 1/4 pumpkin should be enough. You need 1.5 cup pumpkin puree.
- 1 Red onion.
- 1 Brown onion.
- 4-5 cloves of garlic.
- Coconut milk – 4.5 cups.
- Coconut oil.
- 3 tbsp almond meal.
This is what I did:
- Begin with chopping up the pumpkin to roast it and make pumpkin mash. Roast it on baking paper with some coconut oil at about 175°.
- Begin peeling the kumera and slicing it into thin rounds. A mandolin can help you do this but please be careful. There is a reason that I keep band-aids and the mandolin in the same cupboard.
- Slice up both the red and the brown onion.
- Now you can begin to layer the dish – one layer kumera, one layer onion (sparingly). I ended up having about 4 layers of sweet potato.
- Once that’s done you can start making the sauce.
- Heat up 2 tbsp coconut oil in a sauce pan and mix with 3 tbsp of almond meal.
- Add the coconut milk into the pan (on medium heat) and stir for about 5 minutes.
- Here you add all your spices. I used sage, thyme, salt & pepper and a touch of oregano.
- Continue to let the sauce simmer whilst you finish making the pumpkin mash (that has been in the oven). Add garlic to the pumpkin mixture that should have a fairly lose consistency.
- Now add the pumpkin mash (1.5 cup) into the coconut sauce. This should thicken it up quite significantly.
- Taste the sauce and don’t be afraid to add more spices at this stage.
- Once you’re happy with the flavours – pour the mixture into the oven dish and the sweet potato. Make sure that it covers the top layer of kumera.
- The gratin now needs to bake in the oven at 200• for about 40 min. Remember to check it at 30 min and every 5 minutes after that. You want the kumera to be ‘just’ cooked and not too mushy.
- Once it is done, take it out of the oven, let it cool down slightly and serve!
You must think I eat chocolate with every meal. I don’t. However, I do sneak it into a lot of dishes that many people probably wouldn’t. It wasn’t until my boyfriend mentioned it a few days back that I realized that I often mix together flavours that seem a little left of centre. Some of you may not think its a big deal whereas some of you will think that blends such as chicken with banana or mince with chocolate seems rather odd.
A couple of nights ago we cooked up a storm at home and made a Chilli Con Carne which would have been enough to feed half an army or fill up our whole freezer. We’ve now had to eat the same dinner for 4 nights in a row so chances are that there will be a good couple of months before I make another batch that size..
These are the ingredients I used:
- Coconut oil (for the pan)
- 1 brown onion
- 1 red onion
- 2 fresh chillies
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 red capsicum
- 1 eggplant
- Some shallots
- 1 kg grass-fed minced beef
- 6-8 fresh tomatoes (depending on size)
- 3 tbsp sour cream (if you are OK with dairy)
- 1/2 block 85% raw organic chocolate
- Heat up a large nonstick pan and add some coconut oil.
- Add chopped up onion, chilli, garlic, capsicum, eggplant and shallots and fry off until its got a nice consistency and smell.
- Boil up a kettle with water and put the fresh tomatoes in. Once they have been in the boiling water for a minute take them out and let them cool down. Once they are not too hot to handle, remove the skin and chop them up roughly.
- Add the mince to the garlic and onion mix and brown it off until it is almost cooked through completely (don’t let it go dry).
- Now add the chopped up tomatoes, the spices, salt&pepper, and some water. Let it simmer for about 5-10 minutes on low heat then add the sour cream and the chocolate and a little more water in case it looks dry. Taste and add more seasoning if needed. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so.
Don’t let the simplicity of this dessert put you off. It almost feels a little too easy to dedicate a whole blogpost to however if you haven’t tried it before it’s worth while because this is deliciousness would have most nutritionists doing backflips.
First of all – you should always have frozen berries at home. They are a great option for adding into smoothies, breakfasts, drinks, cakes, salads, desserts – pretty much anything as they’re a great way to bring life into a dish. Not only are they tasty they’re also cheap as chips compared to their fresh buddies and contain almost just as many nutrients. If the nutritional value of frozen berries interests you, read more about it here.
Anyway, back to the recipe. This is what I do:
- Pour about 1/2-1 cup of frozen berries into a bowl (blueberries or raspberries are my favourite).
- Add about 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil (melted coconut butter) and wait for it to harden up. This takes at least a minute so be patient – otherwise it won’t be crunchy enough.
- Add some crushed nuts, a touch of honey or maple syrup and you’re good to go.
- Serve in front of movie or after dinner. This is a great alternative to ice cream or other sugary sweets.
Sick of drinking your usual plain sparkling water? Well, no need for that anymore. If you are anything like me you like your drinks to be icy cold, large, fresh and tasty.
If you throw fresh fruit and berries in your glass your usual drink turns in to a colorful sparkling masterpiece! Simple and delicious.
Anything goes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, dragon-fruit, kiwi-fruit, apple or pear, cucumber, zucchini, passionfruit, mint leaves, usual lemon or lime slices – let your imagination flow!