paleo

Tahini Balls

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Just recently I stumbled across an article about the benefits of eating ground sesame seeds. The health benefits of these little seeds are phenomenal. I won’t bore you with all the technical jargon, but here are a few reasons they should be a staple in your everyday diet.

If you are using Tahini, make sure it is unhulled Tahini, that way the nutrients remain intact as the seeds haven’t been stripped. The list of vitamins and antioxidants they contain goes on forever, vitamin B being the main one. Its a great source of calcium for dairy free options and is gluten free, the protein amount is 20% complete, being more than soya beans, sunflower seeds and most  nuts. It is high in  calories , but because it has a high alkaline content, means the calories are absorbed and digested quicker. You only need 1 tablespoon of this super paste a day for it to make a difference to your overall health and well being!


Tahini Balls


Ingredients

400g dates

1/2 cup unhulled tahini

1/2 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3 tablespoons raw cacao

3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste


Method

  1. Place all ingredients into a high powered processor and blend until the mixture starts to  clump together, about 5-10 mins. If its not processed for long enough the oils wont release out of the nuts and the mixture will  crumble when trying to roll into balls.
  2. Roll the mixture into balls and cover with sesame seeds if you wish. Alternatively you can press it into a prepared baking tray and freeze, then later cut into desired size.
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Notes

They will last up to a  month in the fridge and a couple of months in the freezer.

Unhulled Tahini is very strong, so test the mixture as you go to ensure the balance is right for you.

Makes about 40-50 balls, I like to make them small so I can have a couple a day.

 

 

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Coconut Banana Muffins

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One of the easiest, healthiest muffin you will ever make! These Coconut Banana Muffins were mainly invented for daycare, as they are allergy friendly . Using coconut flour as the main ingredient, bananas and honey for the sweetness.

The nutritional benefits from these muffins are amazing, not only being gluten and dairy free, they are low in carbohydrates, high in fibre to help you feel fuller for longer and the fat content of coconut flour is known to give you instant energy and can boost your metabolism.

They can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for a month or so.


Coconut Banana Muffins

Makes 12


Ingredients

Dry

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup of desiccated coconut

pinch of cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder and bi carb soda

Wet

5 eggs

2 large bananas, mashed

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup honey or to taste


Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 160c. Prepare a 12 capacity cupcake/muffin tin with cases ( they do stick to the cases a little) or grease with some coconut oil.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients together, whisk wet ingredients together, then combine the two and whisk until fairly smooth.
  3. Pour into prepared tray and bake for 20-25 min, all depends on your oven. They are ready when golden on top and spring back when touched. Cool in pan for 5 min and then place onto a wire rack.

 

 

 

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.

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 .

Thai Quinoa Salad with Chilli Lime Prawns

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Quinoa crazy at the moment. This little grain is the superfood of superfood. It is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids, has twice as much fibre as most other grains, high in iron, rich in magnesium, high content of manganese (which is an antioxidant), high in Riboflavin (B2) and the obvious Paleo, gluten free, low fat and low carb.
Inspired by Asian flavours, I wanted to create a salad with the sweet, sour, salty balance. My best friend did not have faith in me that these flavours would work well with Quinoa, I proved her wrong – HA! This dish can be made a couple of days ahead, would be great for a bbq lunch or just a simple starter. 

Thai Quinoa Salad with Chilli Lime Prawns


Ingredients
3/4 cup quinoa (cooked per packet instructions)
1 med carrot , julienned and diced or grated
1 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed and finely diced
1 small capsicum, finely diced
1 small asian shallot
Dressing
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
2 to 3 tablespoon of palm sugar
1 small chilli, finely chopped , de-seed to reduce heat
Chilli Lime Prawns
1 kg fresh prawns, deveined and heads removed, threaded onto a skewer if you like
Juice of 2 limes
6 cloves of garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
2 large chilli sliced, 3 if you like it hot
4 tbsp oil

 Method
  1. Cook quinoa per packet instructions. I always cook mine in chicken stock, adds more flavour.
  2. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Set aside.
  3. For the salad, place the quinoa and salad ingredients in a large bowl, toss, add the dressing. Place in the fridge. Salad can be made a couple of days ahead.
  4. Combine the prawns and marinade, place in fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
  5. To cook prawns, heat a oiled frypan or bbq and cook until golden. They wont take very long, as they have been tenderising in the lime juice.
  6. To serve, place quinoa salad on a plate, top with the prawns, thai basil, kaffir lime leaves (finely chopped) and a lime wedge.