Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Raw Chocolate Bounty Bars

When I made these a week or so ago, I posted a few pics of these on social media and had so many people ask for the recipe. 

So here it is. 

They are definitely a healthier option than any commercial chocolate bar.

I like to cut them up into bite size pieces and wrap them in foil. That way, they last a lot longer and I can take a small square to work to have with a cup of green tea after lunch.


Raw Chocolate Bounty Bars


ingredients
3 cups shredded coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
pinch sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
2-3 tbs maple syrup
1 cup (200ml) organic coconut milk

for choc topping
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup cacao powder
2-3 tbs maple syrup, rice malt syrup or raw honey
1 tbs cacao butter

method
Add all ingredients into a bowl( except for the coconut) and whisk until well combined.

Next, add coconut and stir through until all the pieces are well coated with the wet mixture.

Pour mixture into a lined lamington tray which has been greased with coconut oil or lined with baking paper.

Smooth the surface as best you can with a spatula or the back of a spoon and place in the freezer to set.

Meanwhile, make the chocolate topping by melting the coconut oil and cacao butter in a pot over a low heat. Add the sweetener and cacao powder and stir until combined. 

Remove from the heat and wait until it has cooled a little and started to thicken ( about 10 min). Then simply remove the tray containing the coconut mixture from the freezer and pour over the chocolate topping. Place back into the freezer for at least an hour ( or overnight). 



To slice into bars (or squares) simply remove from the freezer and leave on the bench for 5 minutes to make it easier to slice.

Wrap pieces in foil or store in an airtight container in the freezer.



If you follow a paleo lifestyle then you will know that these kinds of treats are to be consumed on special occasions only and are definitely not an everyday kind of food. Better yet, make them when you know you have a few people over and share them.

Enjoy in moderation.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lamb ragu, artichokes & saffron

This recipe is super easy and incredibly tasty. A while back Pete and I attended the Barilla Cooking School in Annandale, Sydney where we learnt to cook a few dishes from the region of Abruzzo. 

Abruzzo is located on Italy's Adriatic Coast where the cuisine is based on lamb and fish as well as local delicacies like saffron and garlic. 

This dish is traditionally served with pasta, but if you are following a paleo or primal lifestyle simply replace the pasta with some steamed greens or sweet potato mash or as a treat - some gluten free (non-corn based) pasta.

Speaking of lamb, did you know that the average Australian will eat 1,151 lamb roasts in their lifetime? 

Whilst I love a good lamb roast as much as the next person, there are so many different ways to cook with this delicious ingredient and this is definitely one recipe enjoy regularly at our house. 

Lamb also has more nutrients than chicken, pork, snapper and salmon – it's packed with iron, zinc, protein and omega-3.

Lamb Ragu, Artichokes & Saffron
recipe adapted from Casa Barilla's Cooking School 


ingredients
1 jar organic tomato passata
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped 
1 garlic clove, crushed
300g lamb meat ( leg or shoulder), diced
100ml red wine
1 bay leaf
1 sprig rosemary
2 globe artichokes, cleaned & sliced
100ml white wine
saffron
1 bunch parsley
salt & pepper for seasoning
40g salted hard ricotta ( optional)

method
In a large pot, cook garlic and onion in a little olive oil
Once golden, add the bay leaf and the lamb and brown slightly. Add a splash of red wine and allow to evaporate.

Add the tomato passata and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste.


Whilst this is bubbling away, saute the artichoke in olive oil and rosemary ( sprig in tact), then add white wine and saffron. Season to taste.

Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes, remove from heat and serve over your sweet potato mash ( or GF pasta) with greens on the side or a big side salad.

Garnish the lamb ragu with the artichokes and drizzle with some more olive oil.

Enjoy x

Check out other recipes and find out more about why We Love Our Lamb.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

THR1VE - PALEO & PRIMAL 'FAST' FOOD

I wanted to end the year by sharing something really exciting with you all. Paleo and primal 'fast food' is now available in some of our major cities and it's deeelicious.

As I get ready to return to work next week after being on maternity leave, I am excited to know that I will be able to source fresh quality paleo-friendly meals when I do. 

Juggling family responsibilities and returning to work is going to be challenging. In an ideal world we would all like to think we can manage to plan and pack meals ahead of time but sometimes it just doesn't turn out that way. I know there will be days when I tear out of the house without a skerrick of food and I'm confident knowing that the team at THR1VE are able to provide delicious fresh paleo friendly foods and drinks that will help me maintain my healthy lifestyle.


THR1VE is a revolutionary fast casual dining brand, inspired by the scientifically validated primal and paleo dietary protocols. The menu is chef designed and nutritionist approved, based on fresh and seasonal ingredients, high in quality protein and healthy fats, always gluten free, and with no added sugar. 

It also just happens to be delicious, service is fast and friendly, and priced to compete with the major fast casual brands. 

The THR1VE concept is the brainchild of Sydney entrepreneur Josh Sparks. After completing a law degree at QUT, Josh enjoyed a successful international career building high growth lifestyle brands. Josh was the first CEO of Australian fashion brand sass & bide, before moving to the US as the CEO of Thom Browne New York, and then as a Managing Director of Urban Outfitters in Philadelphia.

Josh returned home committed to launching a world class healthy fast food brand in Australia, combining his personal passion for transformative health, with his business expertise in creating brands and building businesses. 

I recently caught up with Josh for a chat and found him to be extremely passionate about the primal and paleo lifestyle. His enthusiasm was infectious. We chatted about the concept of THR1VE, the food, the increased ( and often misguided) media attention surrounding this lifestyle and numerous stories about how this way of eating has helped heal SO many people including his father who had previously suffered from ill health. 

Sydney Westfield - Photo: THR1VE

With stores in Sydney (2), Canberra & Melbourne, Josh recently opened his fifth THR1VE outlet in Brisbane. Plans are in place to continue national expansion through 2015. 

THR1VE BOWL - Southern Grass Fed Beef

Primal: Southern grass fed beef w/ home made paleo slaw, Baby spinach & Ranch dressing

With a huge selection of food items and beverages on offer, my favourites so far include the Iceman Coffee ( Long black, MCT's, whey protein and ice) and the THR1VE bowls where you can choose your choice of protein, two bases which include sweet potato & cauliflower mash, baby spinach or leafy greens and you can add sides which include things like avocado, mango salsa or a boiled egg. 

Genius!

Here are some of the breakfast options which I can't wait to check out:

THR1VE Paleo Pancakes 


Dutch mini’s made with coconut & almond flour & free range eggs.
Served with cinnamon & organic honey 

THR1VE Berry Plus Smoothie 

 

Mixed Berries, coconut butter, acai, vanilla bean & organic honey. 

THR1VE Homemade Granola


Coconut, cacao & Superfoods baked with organic honey and served with fresh daily Almond Milk.


In addition, the team at THR1VE are so passionate about the scientifically proven benefits of the primal & paleo lifestyle that they are hosting the first Australian Primal/Paleo Symposium in Sydney in March 2015. 


The symposium will feature leading global experts on Paleo Primal and Ancestral Health including Mark Sisson from Marks Daily Apple and my favourite Clean Living duo Luke & Scott. Discussions will include nutrition, exercise, medicine and lifestyle. 

Josh Sparks & Mark Sisson - Photo: THR1VE
The event is a must for anyone who is passionate about health and determined to take control of their journey to better health and wellness and are committed to optimising their energy,strength,conditioning and body composition.

When: 13-15 March 2015
Where: Manly, Sydney 
Tickets and Info here


Find out more about THR1VE by visiting their website here



Monday, December 22, 2014

Raw Gingerbread Bites

Here's a quick Christmas recipe to help you through the festive season in a healthy, raw kinda way. 

These raw gingerbread inspired balls are a great healthy alternative to gingerbread cookies and are packed full of good fats, nutrients, fibre and spice.

Raw Gingerbread Bites
Makes 12


ingredients
2 cups of your favourite raw nuts ( I used 1 cup macadamias & 1 cup walnuts)
6 fresh dates, pitted
1 tbs maple syrup ( raw honey or rice malt syrup works also)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fresh nutmeg grated ( powdered is fine)
1 inch knob of ginger ( peeled and grated)
pinch sea salt

method
using a food processor combine nuts and pulse until they resemble a fine crumb. Next, add the dates, ginger, maple syrup, spices and salt and whiz until combined and the mixture starts to come together.

Using your hands roll the dough into balls (using a heaped teaspoon full as a guide) and place on baking paper in a sealed container in the fridge. 

These also keep well in the freezer.



Have a wonderful Christmas with your friends and family. 

Stay safe x


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Celebrate w/ Superior Gold Salmon

The last 12 months would have to have been the quickest I have ever experienced. No doubt, largely due to the fact that we had our first child a little over a year ago. You only have to ask any parent and they will agree that once you start having kids the years speed up. 

So here we are again, about to celebrate Christmas and reflect on the year that was 2014. This year we have decided to go with a seafood themed menu rather than spend too much time prepping in a steamy kitchen. 

Australian Summers are too humid for my liking and I really don't fancy being a hot sticky mess as a result of spending too much time in a hot kitchen with the oven blaring and several pots bubbling away. 


So this year I have come up with some perfect paleo friendly Summer Christmas and NYE menu ideas inspired by premium Tasmanian Superior Gold Smoked Salmon.




Smoked Salmon Bites
makes about 24 pieces


These primal friendly smoked salmon bites provide the perfect starter to any celebration. SO simple to prepare, they taste amazing and look impressive. 


The Connoisseur Cuts as the name suggests is pre-cut into small flaked pieces which make it the perfect choice when time is at a premium. The salmon itself has a lovely flavour after having been slow cured and double smoked over Beechwood.

ingredients
100g pack of Superior Gold Connoisseur Cuts Smoked Salmon
6 medium radishes sliced into thin discs
1/2 cup full fat sour cream or greek yogurt ( if paleo you can omit this)
A handful of fresh seasonal herbs of your choice ( dill, basil or parsley work best)



method
Top each radish disc with salmon, a dollop of the sour cream or greek yogurt and some fresh herbs.




Smoked Salmon w/ Apple,Mint & Fennel Salad
Serves 4

This salad is divine and perfect for our warmer months. Best of all it is fresh, super quick, easy to prepare and paleo friendly. The combination of flavours really works and the sweetness of the apple and mint combines well with the crunch of the fennel and the silky texture of the fresh smoked salmon.

Photo source: Superior Smoked Salmon 

Why not continue the Tasmanian theme and enjoy a bottle of bubbles from the same region. I can highly recommend this bottle of Arras.


Do it with style

To get you in the mood for celebrating, this year the talented Georgie Kay from Gorgeous shares with us her favourite tips for the perfect celebration.

Keep it simple, less is more.
Try to resist the urge to ‘theme’ your occasion, and never underestimate the impact of simplicity. Choose a colour and run with it, for New Years Eve we suggest a touch of gold.

You cannot do a party without fresh flowers.
Use one flower variety per vase and then cluster your vases by hue. Look at vessels you already have around your home that could be used as a vase. Items like your grandma’s teapot or a water jug can make for a beautiful display.

Things don’t have to match.
Your party will tell a story if there is an eclectic feel to the styling. Using different chairs or mismatched crockery and cutlery adds layers of texture to your table. You can find beautiful, unique pieces at warehouse sales!

A handmade touch will personalise any occasion.
Simple DIY touches, like handwritten place cards, add individuality and warmth to your table. They are also cheap, easy and fun to make.  Similarly, a hand painted herringbone or spotty paper tablecloth will add personality to your occasion and could be an activity to share with your family. 

Surprise and delight your guests.
Don’t limit your imagination. Perhaps you could serve food on an unexpected object like a colourful tile, or transform your garden by hanging fabric from tree branches. For a New Years Eve party, an unexpected take home gift of a recovery breakfast recipe. 

I absolutely love fresh crunchy asparagus when paired with smoked salmon. For the perfect seasonal paleo inspired smoked salmon breakfast I can highly recommend this recipe of Boiled Eggs with Smoked Salmon Wrapped Asparagus.  

The perfect breakfast - wholesome,tasty and easy to prepare - Photo: SGSS



How will you celebrate Christmas and NYE this year?

Follow me on Instagram for more smoked salmon recipe ideas.


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Monday, December 8, 2014

Paleo Summer Mushroom Salad

In the lead up to the Christmas rush, who wants to spend endless hours in a hot kitchen preparing meals? Definitely not me. Besides, Summer is best celebrated by enjoying meals that are light, easy and quick to prepare. 

Eating fresh,wholesome foods is an important part of living a paleo lifestyle and we include mushrooms in our meals several times a week as they are a powerhouse of nutrition. Full of natural Vitamin D, mushrooms also contain selenium and ergothionene - antioxidants that play a role in supporting our immunity. 


Incredibly satisfying, research shows that those of us that eat mushrooms tend to eat less throughout the day when compared to people who don't eat mushrooms. They have also been shown to lower the risk of breast cancer in women and further research suggests that they may have a role in reducing the incidence of other hormonal cancers like prostate cancer. 

This salad has so many delicious ingredients and it is absolutely brimming with nutrition and goodness. The perfect balance of greens, mushrooms paired with bacon and eschalots, a little sweet potato, and good fats from walnuts make this the perfect meal. One of the great things about this salad is that the first 2 steps can be done the day before if you prefer, but are still quick and easy enough to be done on the same day if you so choose.

Really simple to make, this salad will make the perfect addition to your Summer recipes. And whilst I would love to say it makes the perfect accompaniment to a meal - Pete and I found ourselves devouring the whole salad as a main one night - It was honestly that good.

Paleo Summer Mushroom Salad
An original recipe by The Food Mentalist


ingredients
salad:
5 cups mixed seasonal salad greens of your choice ( we used a mix of kale and baby tuscan kale)
350g button mushrooms (quartered)
300g sweet potato (peeled)
1 lebanese cucumber 
2 eschalots ( finely sliced)
2 rashers of middle bacon (rind removed and cut into 2cm size pieces)
1 cup raw walnut pieces* 
cracked pepper
1 tbs butter or coconut oil
Olive oil ( to bake sweet potato)

dressing:
3 tbs olive oil
3 tbs apple cider vinegar
cracked pepper


method
1. preheat oven to 180'C and slice sweet potato into 1/2cm rounds. Place on a sheet of baking paper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for about 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad. 

*About 5 minutes before you take the sweet potato out of the oven - add the nuts to the same tray and allow them to roast lightly (optional).

2. Heat a little butter or coconut oil in a fry pan and add mushrooms, eschalots and bacon pieces. Add some cracked pepper and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat until the bacon is cooked and the mushrooms have soaked up all the delicious flavours in the pan. Once cooked, set aside to cool.


Next, place washed salad greens in a large bowl with the sliced cucumber and add the remaining ingredients. Drizzle with apple cider vinegar and olive oil and a generous amount of cracked pepper. Toss well to combine.

Serve as a side salad or a complete meal with a lovely glass of fresh mineral water with lemon or a glass of crisp white wine or cider.

Happy Summer!

Enjoy x



For more recipes, mushroom facts and information head to the Australian Mushroom Growers Association @ www.powerofmushrooms.com.au


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