Category Archives: Dinner Parties
Sung Choi Bao is a classic Chinese starter that I love because it is so simple and delicious and super easy for a gluten and grain free meal. This recipe is my own paleo interpretation and has the added magic of my toasted spiced brazil nuts. They are like ‘sloppy-joes’ or sandwich wraps but with more nourishing deliciousness. In fact this recipe has become a weekly staple in my kitchen and is a great crowd pleaser for parties. It really is absolutely scrumptious. The best thing about eating Sung Choi Bao though is getting to use your hands! You can serve it as a starter already assembled but my favourite way to eat it is as a main meal with bowls of each layer on the table for everyone to assemble. Because let’s be honest, there really is something quite seductive about eating with your hands, don’t you think?
Serves 4-5 for a main course
750 g Chicken mince
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. of coconut oil for frying
1 carrot, finely diced
1 cob of corn, kernels removed (replace with 3/4 cup of green peas to make it Paleo) and blanched
4 shallots, finely sliced
2 handfuls of green beans, ends removed, blanched and chopped into small pieces.
a dash of fish sauce
1 cup of brazil nuts, chopped into small pieces
1/4 tsp. chilli powder
1/2 tsp. Chinese five spice powder
large pinch of Celtic sea salt
2 limes or lemons, 1 juiced and the other cut into wedges to serve ( lime is best but lemon will be work too)
iceberg or cos lettuce, leaves washed and removed.
1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in large frying pan and add the shallots. Fry on medium heat until soft then add chicken mince. Turn heat up and stir fry until chicken is cooked and going brown. Add all the vegetables and stir fry for 5 minutes or until they are cooked through. Add fish sauce and stir fry for 2 minutes. Take off the heat and finish with juice of 1/2 lime/lemon. Add more lime/lemon to taste if needed. Scoop mince into a serving dish.
2. Heat remaining oil in small frying pan. Add nuts and fry on medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring so they brown easily. Add chilli and five spice and stir to coat the nuts. Add salt and continue to cook until brown. Remove from heat and place in a small serving bowl.
3. Place lettuce leaves on a platter. Bring mince, nuts and lettuce to the table and tell everyone to get their hands in and make some! The way you eat it is scoop a small amount of the mince into a lettuce leaf and top with nuts. You can squeeze some extra lime/lemon on too if you like. Then just wrap it up in the lettuce and enjoy!
I am on day 1 of the 21 day sugar detox today so it is quite ironic that I am posting this recipe. However, I didn’t want to keep it from you any longer as it is a delicious dessert! This may be more suitable for the hot months so if you’re in the northern hemisphere this is for you but it is yummy enough to eat now, even if you’re in the rainy, grey and cold Sydney, Australia like me!
I made this dessert a few months ago because I wanted something sweet that was still full of goodness and vitality. I love a decadent dessert every now and then but I know I often regret it as most desserts are loaded with processed sugar, dairy and/or wheat, which leave me feeling bloated and irritable for a few days afterwards. It is great to be able have a treat that is decadent and delicious but still nourishes your body, which this dessert provides. It is truly heaven on a plate AND it is a 100% clean Paleo treat. No dairy, processed sugar, gluten or grains in this frozen rectangle of deliciousness!
For the mousse:
2 medium sized avocados, flesh removed
1/3 cup raw cacao + 3-4 tbsp. extra to taste
5 fresh medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp. natural vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut milk + a little extra if needed.
1 pinch of Celtic sea salt
For the strawberry compote:
1 punnet strawberries
2 tbsp. of water
1 tbsp. of maple syrup
1. Line a metal loaf tin with plastic wrap, using enough to have the plastic hanging over the edges (you will fold these over the top of the mouse latter).
2.Place avocados into a food processor and pulse to puree.
3. Add cacao, dates, vanilla, salt and maple syrup, 1/2 of the coconut milk and pulse on high to combine. Turn it off, taste it and look to see if it needs more coconut milk. Avocado size, your taste and climate all play a part in how much coconut milk is needed. You don’t want it to get too runny or be too thick and dry so use your own judgement if you feel you need more or less of it. You want it to by a light and fluffy mousse like consistency. If it needs more coconut milk, turn on the food processor again and while it is running pour in the remaining coconut milk and any extra if needed. If you like it sweeter adjust the sweetness with extra maple syrup.
4. Pour the mousse into the lined loaf tin and smooth the top down then cover with the excess plastic from the edges to make it an even shape.
5. Place in the freezer for 4 hours or until frozen. Over night is best.
6. Just before serving, place all the ingredients for the strawberries into a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer on low heat. If liquid evaporates add another tbsp. of water. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes until strawberries heated through and you have some syrup at the bottom of the saucepan. Set aside while you prepare the frozen mousse.
7. Take the parfait out of the freezer and turn out of the tin. You may need to pour some warm water on the bottom of the tin to help it come out. Remove the plastic and working quickly slice the frozen mousse into 2 centimetre sized slices. Place one slice per plate and serve topped with strawberry compote and a drizzle of the compote syrup.
This is a delicious combination of prawns, roasted capsicum, coriander and lime. Ceviche` usually uses raw seafood that is cured in citrus juice. However for this recipe I have used cooked prawns. Enjoy as is in a bowl or with some crisp lettuce cups to scoop it up in. You can also serve as some delicious nibbles for a party by spooning the mixture into small lettuce cups and serving on a platter with small wedges of lime. I call these prawn tacos! For those eating grains a mix of wild and brown rice goes nicely with it too.
1 kg cooked, peeled and deveined prawns (shrimp)
1 red bell pepper/capsicum
1 orange bell pepper/capsicum
1 yellow bell pepper/capsicum
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp jalapeno slices, finely chopped
1 Lebanese or continental cucumber, seeds removed and diced
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 2 limes
1 shallot, finely diced
1/2 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves and stem finely chopped, plus 2 extra tbsp of chopped leaves to serve.
4 tbsp of roasted macadamias, roughly chopped
Cos lettuce leaves removed and washed
1 cup mix of cooked brown rice and wild rice
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Place capsicums (peppers) on a baking tray and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, making sure they are covered. Place in oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the skin starts to bubble and comes away easily from the flesh.
2.Meanwhile chop prawns into 1/4 inch pieces and place in a large bowl.
3. When the capsicums (peppers) are ready remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Peel all the skin off, and remove the seeds. You can discard these. Chop the flesh into a small dice and add to the chopped prawns along with the cucumber and jalapenos.
4. For the dressing, combine the oil, coriander, shallot and lime juice in a jar and shake well to combine. Pour over the prawn and capsicum mixture. Mix the mixture with your hands to cover everything in the dressing and adjust the dressing as needed. Use your own judgement. You might want more lime juice or coriander. You shouldn’t need any salt as the prawns will have quite a bit in them and there is a lot of flavour from the jalapenos, lime and coriander. But if you feel you do, add it!
5. Chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. Before serving sprinkle over macadamias and some extra chopped coriander. Serve as is or with lettuce cups. If you are using rice, mix it into the ceviche` before serving.
These truffles use the sweet potato chocolate ganache` in my previous recipe, with a few little changes to the ingredients. They make a great addition to any afternoon tea platter or a little after dinner sweetie. Wrap them up in a little foil and they are also a good pick-me-up to take to work! I am working on a paleo friendly version. I will keep you posted on my progress! In the meantime enjoy this version. Which may be a cheat but are super delicious for a little treat!
You can now find the recipe for the paleo and vegan version here.
1 cup sweet potato mashed (see method in sweet potato chocolate ganache` recipe)
200 g chocolate
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
Cacao and desiccated coconut for rolling the truffle balls in.
1. Gently melt chocolate in a metal or glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. You don’t want the water to be touching the bowl so put in about 1 inch of water. Set aside, once melted.
3. Add chocolate, maple syrup, honey, vanilla and coconut oil. Blend until combined.
4. Leave to cool, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick enough to roll into balls.
6. Roll the ganache` into small bite sized balls.
7. Roll the balls in coconut or cacao.
8. Store in fridge for at least 2 hours. Serve straight from the fridge.