Category: Kale

Paleo Diary – Part 1

Dear Paleo Diary,

As a group we decided that our December book club option would be “healthy”.  We had three options to choose from – a gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free dessert book – yeah I know…why bother right?  The second was tempting.  It was a book espousing the benefits of the alkaline diet.  I was utterly sold on the health benefits then I read that the book was endorsed by Victoria Beckham.  I refuse to take recipe endorsements from someone who looks like they haven’t eaten in the last 15 years, so, the only choice for me this time round was

 Plus, I have a teeny tiny secret crush on Pete…just try take a deep look into those baby blue eyes and tell me I’m wrong.  Bad move.  You would have had a much better chance to point out that the mouthwateringly super delicious kebab he’s holding is made from beef heart.  Yecchhh…

Come back Posh Spice, all is forgiven.

Then again, he has lovely white teeth too.

So, via a process of reasoning that was basically…I’d rather eat the pages of the book..posh spice…you’re hot…I’m going paleo.  And in the words of those modern-day philosophers George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley

If you’re gonna do it, do it right”

I’m doing this all the way.  Two weeks of paleo meals should be enough for me to judge the book and the diet.  And you know paleo should be easy,  it’s meat and veggies right?.  Which is pretty much what I already eat.  This is going to be great!!!!  I can’t wait…

One Week Ago

Dear Paleo Diary,

You don’t mind of I call you Pete do you?  It makes feel like I’m actually talking to you.  Ok, now I don’t want to sound like some whiny little bitch right from the start but I thought this was supposed to be meat and veggies.

So how come I have just spent a small  fortune buy a ton of stuff, some of which I had never ever heard of? 

  • Buckwheat
  • Linseeds
  • Slippery Elm Powder
  • Chia Seeds
  • Maca Powder
  • Pau D’arco  Capsules
  • Goji Berries
  • Cacao Powder

They refused to sell me the magnesium chloride I needed for the cashew turmeric spread.  They said they sell it as bath salts and they could not condone me eating it.

WTF Pete?  Seriously. What? The? Fuck?

And for the love of hopscotching Jesus:

  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pepitas
  • Sunflower Seeds

Do you have any idea how much all that is going to cost? And that’s just for the muesli. 

If I turn over the next page and you tell me I also need to buy quinoa, I’m going to find you and punch you right in your pearlywhite teeth. 

Twice.

Once for the quinoa.  Once for calling your daughter Chilli.  Can we all just get over the foodie people naming their children after ingredients?  They’re children.  Not recipe inspirations.

Bastard.

 Saturday.

Dear Pete,

My shopping bill for the week is DOUBLE what is normally is.  But my seeds and nuts are soaking for my muesli and crackers. 

Paleo Seed Cracker Mixture Post Soaking
Paleo Seed Cracker Mixture Post Soaking

I’m on top of this. 

I did buy another book on Paleo because I found your breakfast and work lunch options a little limited.  Also, I looked into making some of your cultured or fermented vegetables.  They take a minimum of two weeks to ferment so that’s not happening.  I have some kimchi in my fridge.  That will have to do. 

Getting worried.  How will I survive without my basic food groups – cheese, chocolate and chickpeas?  What about booze?  Is that Paleo?  Surely those cavemen were fermenting something?  And now we come to one of the problems I am having with this Paleo diet thing. Everyone seems to have their own idea of what is and isn’t allowed.

A couple of sites I looked at were kind of ambivalent about alcohol.  They were a little bit like…well, you really shouldn’t but if you feel you must then some choices are more Paleo than others.  Other sites?  Absolutely forbid it.  Vis a Vis:

Maybe, yeah, alright then, you’re going to do it anyway aren’t you?

The site I probably won’t revisit:

 Same with bacon. 

Really, annoyingly same with the buckwheat which is now soaking for my crackers and muesli….

Bastard.

Sunday

Pete, you gobshite,

I already hate this.  And it’s only Day One. Woke up dying for a cup of coffee. 

Coffee is another one of those yes / no  / maybe items on Paleo. 

I had bought almond milk for my muesli so I was good for the dairy. 

Turns out coffee with almond milk and no sugar sucks.  Bye bye coffee, it was fun knowing you. 

I put my crackers in the oven, where they needed to cook for 6-8 hours and tootled off to Body Balance class.  BTW – they looked disgusting.  Overnight they had gone all gelatinous and gloopy. See the photo above. 

Back from Body Balance and quite hungry.  However, my crackers still have another seven hours to cook and don’t get me started on the muesli. 

Breakfast

  • A slice of ham
  • Half an avocado
  • A peach.

The muesli is a hot mess.  Pete, you say to dry the soaked nuts and seeds with paper towel or a dish cloth.  Problem is, the chia has gone all to jelly and sticks to everything Eventually I decide to put the nuts in the oven with the crackers to dry them out, 

Lunch

  • A slice of ham
  • Half an avocado
  • A handful of almonds.

3:00pm

The crackers are done and they are awesome.  The muesli ingredients are still wet.  Decision time.  I can cook some Paleo muffins from the other book so I will have something for breakfast  tomorrow.

Paleo Seed Crackers2
Paleo Seed Crackers2

But then the nuts will need to come out of the oven because they need to cook at 50º.  And the muffins need to cook at a normal temperature.

4:00pm

Nuts out, muffins in. If sounds like some vague sexual innuendo so be it. I’m too hungry to care.

5:00pm.

The muffins are good.  Well they would have been, if I could have tasted them.  I ate the first one so quickly I burnt all my taste buds off. 

Breakfast Muffins
Breakfast Muffins

5:30pm

Have started making the Lamb Harira which will be my lunch for the next few days. Quelle surprise the buckwheat needs to soak overnight and the soup needs to cook for four hours.

NOT. FUCKING. HAPPENING.

The buckwheat is going to soak for considerably less than that.  At which time it will be added to the soup.  According to some websites I shouldn’t even be eating it anyway.  The only reason I’m even bothering with it is that I had to buy it specially so there is no way I’m not using it. 

10:00pm

The harira is ready.  It’s a bit more like a stew than a soup, I think the buckwheat sucked up some of the liquid. Tastes pretty damn good though.  Mind you, a wet paper bag would taste good about now.

11:00pm

The m****er f***king muesli is still not dry. 

I’m fed up and I’m going to bed.

Best thing I’ve eaten all day was the muffins.  And they came from the other book. 

Breakfast Muffins 3
Breakfast Muffins 3

Bastard.  I hate you.  And your baby blue eyes.

 PS. They say one the side effects of the Paleo diet is a certain crankiness.  Thank goodness I haven’t experienced anything like that and I am still my sweet and sunny self.

Have a fabulous week.  And eat some cheese and hummus for me!!!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Paleo Breakfast Muffins
Yields 12
Paleo friendly breakfast muffins, bake ahead and take into the office all week
Write a review
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Ingredients
  1. 5 slices bacon
  2. 2 tbsp bacon fat or coconut oil
  3. 1/2 onion finely chopped
  4. 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  5. 4 leaves kale (could use Swiss Chard or spinach), finely chopped
  6. 8 eggs
  7. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  8. 2 tbsp (16g) coconut flour
  9. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  10. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Cut the bacon into slices and fry until crispy. Set aside.
  3. Grease a 12 muffin tin with 1 tbsp of coconut oil or bacon fat from the fried bacon.
  4. Saute the onion and garlic until soft in the rest of the coconut oil.
  5. Then add the kale and cook until just wilted.
  6. Remove from the heat.
  7. Place the coconut flour in a large bowl. Whisk in the coconut milk little by little then the eggs.
  8. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
  9. Pour the batter into the muffin tin and bake until the centres are set.
  10. Remove from the oven and cool.
  11. Store in the fridge.
Notes
  1. The original recipe contained the rind and juice of a lemon. I love lemon but did not like it in this. Feel free to add if you want.
Adapted from Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts On The Go - Diana Rodgers
Adapted from Paleo Lunches and Breakfasts On The Go - Diana Rodgers
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Two Weeks Ago

Fab Party Food, An Amazing Bloody Mary (and some spontaneous dancing round the kitchen)

A few weeks ago I,  was chosen to be one of the brand ambassadors for The Spice Peddlers, a great shop in Sydney selling a fabulous range of herbs and spices!

Each month, they will send me a different spice or spice blend and I can play with it as much as I want.

Happy days people, happy, happy days.

I can’t tell you how excited this made me.  Well,  I can’t tell you…but I can can show you.

There may have been a bit of spontaneous dancing round the kitchen.

I may have done a little bit of this…Dance Move 1 Followed by a bit of this… Dance Move 2

I drew the line here.

It seemed a little bit too Monty Python Ministry of Silly Walks…

But I was right back into the groove with this…

Dance Move 4

That’s how excited I was.

Then I got my first blend and…the fear kicked in.  What if it was terrible?  What if I was totally uninspired?  What if what I made turned out  awful?  What if  the sky fell on my head?  You know the usual nonsense panicky “I’m not worthy” that plagues the best of us at times….

Smoked Salmon Fritatta, Kale and Onion Pie, Best Bloody Mary Ever!
Smoked Salmon Fritatta, Kale and Onion Pie, Best Bloody Mary Ever!

So first things first.  Which for me was to open up the pack, lick my finger, dip it in and have a taste.

Yeah, I know…

I’m classy.

So much for the first unfounded fear.  The team at the Spice Peddlers had sent me a container of their Middle Harbour Seasoning. This is a blend of sea salt, lime leaves, lime zest, Tasmanian Pepper, black pepper, green peppercorns, lemon myrtle, dill, chervil and green and white onion.

Otherwise known as delicious!  It’s tangy from the lime, zingy from the pepper, punchy from the salt with a very slight herby, aniseedy undertone.  So good.  So, so good.

This would be perfect just spinkled on pita bread which is then toasted in the oven until crispy to have with dips and a lovely crisp cold glass of white wine on a hot summer day.  And you know what?  I’ll be doing that very soon.

Cooking With The Spice Peddler's Middle Harbour Seasoning
Cooking With The Spice Peddler’s Middle Harbour Seasoning

However, for the purpose of experimentation I wanted to get a bit more fancy.

We are heading into party season and I wanted to experiment with  some new fingerfood dishes…have I ever mentioned how much I love fingerfood?   There is something magical for me in a party pie, a mini burger, a bite-sized pizza, a canape….you get my drift.

I was once waxing lyrical to a friend about how if I owned a restaurant it would only serve small bits of food and wasn’t it crazy that no one had ever thought of that before?

She gave me a look.  You know. That look. “They’re called tapas bars” she said in a voice that suggested she was speaking to the mentally incompetent.

Yeah but…

No but…

My idea is to have cocktails and fingerfood and it would only be open for the cocktail hour…

Ok…never mind…it’s a tapas bar.

Damn those Spanish and their eerily prescient good food ideas.

Let’s quickly move on and talk about some of my better ideas…like this:

Smoked Salmon and Herb Frittata

Makes 16 mini frittatas

8 eggs 400ml cream

500ml milk

4 spring onions

200g smoked salmon, chopped

2 tsp Middle Harbour Seasoning

1 tsp chopped tarragon

1 tsp chopped chervil

1 tsp chopped chives

1/4 cup grated parmesan

 

Preheat oven to 150º.

Whisk together the eggs, cream and milk.

Add the spring onions, salmon, spice mix and herbs and parmesan.

If not using the spice blend, season with salt & pepper and increase herbs to 1 tbsp each.

Pour into greased muffin trays and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until base and sides are set. Serve sprinkled with additional chives.

Smoked Salmon Fritatta
Smoked Salmon Fritatta

Next up, I made this Serious Eats recipe for

Kale and Onion Pie

Except again, I subbed in the Spice Peddler Middle Harbour Seasoning for half of the herbs and I also sprinkled a little bit of the mix on the top of the pastry before cooking.

The mixture for this is delicious.  However, when I make this next time, instead of the “pastry” mix in the Serious Eats recipe I would use a really light crispy buttery shortcrust pastry or even a filo.

Kale and Onion Pie
Kale and Onion Pie

As soon as I tasted the Middle Harbour Mix I knew I wanted to make  cocktail with it..and what else would go with a lemony, peppery zingy herb mix than a Bloody Mary?

Can i just digress for a moment to talk about how much I love a Bloody Mary?  I love a Bloody Mary the way Don Draper loves a Manahattan. To me they are the height of sophistication. In my mind, enjoying a Bloody Mary is like enjoying oysters…when you can do it, you know you’re a grown up.  Even more so if you can down one before noon!

I’m also a big fan of drinking my vitamins and all that tomato juice, has to be good for you!

This recipe is probably the best one I have tried.  I think it’s the splash of sherry which adds a teeny bit of sweetness into the mix that does it – and I used the Spice Peddler Middle Harbour instead of the celery salt and also to rim the glass.

Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary

OMG, this was sooooo good, it set off another bout of dancing…

Bloody Mary

200ml tomato juice

1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

1 tsp Spice Peddler Middle Harbour Seasoning or Celery Salt

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

6 drops Tabasco sauce

30ml Vodka

Splash  of cream sherry

Stir Ingredients in a mixing glass with ice, strain and serve!

Barbie Allen Dance/Exercise
Barbie Allen Dance/Exercise

I’m going to be spending my week perfecting my moves from my new favourite possession – the Barbie Allen Dance/Exercise Book.

She has an entire routine for Xanadu which I may share as a special Christmas Present for all of you…hell, if I get full enough of some Christmas spirit (we here at RFFMT are quite fond of a little bit o’ Hendricks for the holidays)  I may even dance it for you!

Have a fabulous week whatever you do… Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

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