Month: August 2014

Thai Curry and Homemade Paste

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I’ve struggled with a name for this curry paste, so I’m just going generic “Thai Curry “. Its the colour of a yellow curry, with flavours of a green curry and a laksa mixed in. Ive kept the paste very mild in the heat department, so if you like it hot,  double the chilli’s or use a couple of birds eyes. I use this paste for fish cakes, roast chicken, chicken meatballs, pork and quinoa patties and soups. The paste will last 3 weeks in the fridge and 2-3 months in the freezer.


Thai Curry Paste

( makes about 1 cup )


Ingredients

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 teaspoons shrimp paste

12 dried long red chillies, soaked in boiling water for 30 mins or fresh, roughly chopped

5 cm piece of galangal, peeled and roughly chopped*

300g asian shallots or golden shallots

2 tablespoons oil

4 lemongrass stems, white part only, smashed and chopped*

12 small garlic cloves, roughly chopped

100 g coriander , roots and leaves, roughly chopped*

6 kaffir lime leaves, chopped*

zest of 1 lime*

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground tumeric

1 teaspoon paprika


 Method
  1. Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds over medium heat, shaking the pan constantly, 2-3 minutes.Place the toasted spices and peppercorns into a mortar and pestle, pound until finely broken down.
  2. Wrap the shrimp paste in a small piece of foil and place under the grill, about 3 mins, turning twice. You will be able to smell it.
  3. Place ground spices, shrimp paste and chopped chilli’s into a food processor , pulse a couple if times. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until a paste forms. You will need to scrape down the sides every 30 secs.
  4. Store in jars with a layer of oil on top.

* I buy all these ingredients in bulk or when on special and store them in my freezer.


Thai Curry

( serves 4-6 )


Ingredients

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 onion, sliced

2 to 3 tablespoons of homemade curry paste

500 g chicken breast or thigh, chopped

400 ml coconut cream or milk

500 ml chicken stock or water

6 kaffir lime leaves, left whole

200 to 300 g vegetables of choice

15 g thai basil, roughly torn

2 tablespoons fish sauce

Juice of 1 lime

1 to 2 tablespoons of soft brown sugar

Garnish with roasted peanuts, shredded kaffir lime, thai basil and sliced fresh chilli

Brown Rice to serve


 Method
  1. Place a large wok over medium heat and fry off the onion in the peanut oil until translucent, add the curry paste and continue cooking until fragrant.
  2. Pour in coconut cream/milk, stock and kaffir lime leaves, increase heat and bring to the boil, reduce heat to med, add chicken and vegetables and summer until cooked.
  3. Lastly add basil, fish sauce, lime juice and sugar, adjust to suit taste.
  4. Serve with brown rice and garnishes.

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Protein Bliss Balls

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Now I know there is a thousand  Bliss Ball recipes out there, now there is a thousand and one – ha! These little beauties are very high in protein, high in good fats and  low in refined sugar. They are adaptable with any nuts, seeds or dried fruits, just substitute the same quantities. You don’t even have to roll into balls, just press into a lined baking tray and place in the freezer, slice once frozen. They will last 2 weeks in the fridge and 2 months in the freezer.


Protein Bliss Balls

30 balls


Ingredients

300 g pitted dates

80 g roasted walnuts/cashews or Brazil nuts

100 g roasted almonds

2 tablespoons linseeds, chia, sunflower and pepita

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoon tahini or peanut butter

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

3 tablespoons protein powder (whey protein isolate-plain)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Desiccated coconut to roll

 


  1.  Blitz the dates until crumbly, add nuts and seeds, blitz until mixed thoroughly.
  2. Melt coconut, honey and tahini or peanut butter in microwave, pour into mixture, pulse to combine. Add raw cacao, protein powder and vanilla. Blitz until the mixture starts to come together.Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and cover with desiccated coconut, store in fridge or freezer.

Banana Peanut Butter Bread

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Can this bread get any better- healthy, gluten free, paleo ( if using almond butter), dairy free, refined sugar free and with the added  yumminess of peanut butter, banana, pecans and honey!

It can be made in a  mini muffin, loaf or cake tin. I recommend storing it in the freezer, only so you don’t consume the whole loaf in one day – hehe.

Don’t be fooled by it being healthy, it is high in fat, good fats that is…


Banana Peanut Butter Bread


Ingredients

Wet

3 large bananas, mashed

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

3 eggs

1/2 cup peanut butter or any nut butter

Dry

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bi carb soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt (omit the salt if using peanut butter)

Crumble

4 tablespoons coconut oil

1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar*

2 tablespoons almond meal

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped or any nut you prefer


Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175c. Prepare your tin with oil and baking paper.
  2. Combine all wet ingredients together in a large bowl and lightly whisk.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir, pour into prepared tin.
  4. Mix crumble ingredients in a small bowl using your hands, sprinkle over the top of the cake batter. Cook in oven for 40-50 minutes (that’s for a loaf tin) for muffins, check after 15 minutes, then every 5 minutes till done. You can usually smell the cake when its close to being ready. Leave in the tin to cool, then gently lift out using the paper, its really soft and moist.

* Coconut sugar can be found in the sugar section of your local supermarket or at health food stores.

This recipe was adapted from Paleomg.com .

Spice Rubbed Pork Loin and Brown Rice Quinoa mix with Apple Mint Salsa

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I love cooking with pork loin, it is low in fat, high in protein and provides a rich source of B vitamins and selenium.  Serve it up with some brown rice/quinoa mix and some roast vegetables, and you have a well-balanced, healthy meal. It’s gluten free and can be made paleo.  This recipe is quick and easy to prepare – and even easier to cook. The spiciness of the pork balances so well with the tangy apple mint salsa. You can add the spices to the pork the day before and also make the Apple Mint Salsa.  The pork works well with roast carrot, pumpkin or sweet potato and a nice dollop of greek yoghurt!  It can be eaten hot or cold.


Spice Rubbed Pork Loin and Brown Rice Quinoa mix with Apple Mint Salsa


Ingredients

Spice Rub

1/2 teaspoon cummin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

5 cloves, ground in a mortar and pestle

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground in a mortar and pestle

400-600g pork loin fillet, halved

Apple Mint Salsa*

1/2 cup mint leaves, finely chopped

2 green apples, peeled and finely diced

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

 

1 cup dry brown rice quinoa mix, cooked in chicken stock

roasted carrot, pumpkin or sweet potato

1/4 cup greek yoghurt


Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 180c, fan forced. Roast your choice of vegetable to serve.
  2. Combine all the spices in a freezer bag with salt and pepper, place in the pork and shake the bag. Set aside until ready to cook.
  3. Place all the apple mint salsa ingredients in a container and place in the fridge to infuse.
  4. To cook the pork, place an oven proof fry pan over high heat and seal the pork loin till nice and caramelized, 3-5 minutes. Then place in the oven for 12-15 minutes, depending if you like it medium or well done. Remember it will continue cooking whilst resting. Once cooked to your liking set aside under some foil and rest for 10 minutes whilst you prepare your salad.
  5. Re-heat the quinoa if prepared earlier, add a squeeze of lemon juice and a dash of oil, place on plates, top with roasted vegetables. Carve your rested pork, fan over the quinoa and vegetables, top with apple mint salsa and a dollop of greek yoghurt.

*recipe from Donna Hay Cookbook.

 

Marinated Lamb Skewers with Haloumi and Grape Tomatoes

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On a bit of a Tapas roll this weekend, creating and making some awesome finger food. A lot of my creations come from what I’ve got in the fridge – lamb, haloumi, grape tomatoes and greek yoghurt!

Just marinate the lamb overnight in rosemary, garlic, lemon juice and rice bran oil, prepare the tomato and haloumi, thread all the ingredients onto the skewers and place in fridge until ready to cook.

Cook on the  BBQ or just pan fry till golden and delicious!


Marinated Lamb Skewers with Haloumi and Grape Tomatoes


Ingredients

400-500g lamb leg steak, diced into 2 cm pieces

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped or 1/2 tablespoon of dried rosemary

4 garlic cloves, smashed with a back of a knife and roughly chopped

juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoon rice bran oil, olive oil or grapeseed oil

180g Haloumi, sliced then cut into squares

1 punnet of grape or cherry tomatoes halved

bamboo skewers, short or long

Yoghurt Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup greek yoghurt

1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano or 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped oregano

1 garlic clove, cruched

dash of lemon juice and salt & pepper


Method

  1. Combine the lamb, rosemary, garlic, lemon juice and oil in a container, season and marinate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Make the dipping sauce ahead of time to enable the flavours to be absorbed. Whisk all dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, place in fridge till ready to use. Will last 3-4 days.
  3. To assemble the skewers, thread the haloumi on very slowly, (turning the skewer as you go, learn’t the hard way and mine kept breaking) then a piece of lamb, more haloumi, half a tomato, lamb, haloumi and tomato.
  4. Repeat this process until all ingredients are used, cook immediately on a fry pan/bbq or place in fridge till ready.
  5. Serve with dipping sauce as finger food or as a meal with  flatbread and salad.