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Chicken Sung Choi Bao

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?

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Recipe

Serves 4-5 for a main course

Ingredients

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.

Method

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!

Coco-Berry Power Smoothie

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Do you like smoothies? I love them because they are a quick and delicious way to eat a nutritious breakfast. However you are much better off making them at home as the smoothies you buy from certain chains use sorbet and fat-free yoghurt that are full of sugar and most likely preservatives too.

Making smoothies at home is quick and easy and the ingredients are fresh, which is always the best! You are really only limited by your imagination and bravery for how many variations you can create. For some of you this recipe may require a bit of the latter as it does have raw eggs in it. Now I am not a fan of that ‘eggy’ taste (I don’t even like runny eggs) so I too needed some bravery to try this for the first time but you can’t really taste the egg and now I am hooked. The protein and fats from adding eggs and coconut oil keep you full for much longer than a regular fruit or green smoothie. If you are unsure start with 1 egg and progress to 2 when you’re ready. The reason I put raw eggs and coconut oil in it is because, as my trainer has advised me, it provides the perfect combination of protein and good fats that will be quickly digested to aid muscle recovery and help you power on through your morning. To reap these benefits though you need to drink it within 30 minutes of finishing your workout so prepare it at home and take it with you if you live or work far from your gym. Happy blending and let me know how you go with the additions of eggs! Or if you have your own variations I would love to know about it!

Recipe

Serving: 1 1/2 – 2 tall glasses depending on how much liquid is in your coconut.

IngredientsIMG_2070

2 eggs

1 young coconut, opened

1/3 cup frozen blueberries

1/3 cup frozen raspberries

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp ground linseed meal (also known as ground flax-seed)

Equipment

1 blender (high-speed is best)

1 tall glass for serving

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Method

1. Pour coconut water into blender

2.Scoop out 1/2 of the coconut flesh into the blender and add every other ingredient

3. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes or until all ingredients as blended well and smooth.

4. Pour into a tall glass and serve.

Variations
You can also add 1 tbsp of raw cacao or try 3/4 frozen banana and 1large handful of lightly sautéed english spinach
.

Paleo Chocolate Cake

IMG_2633These little cakes are absolutely divine! Being paleo means they are sugar, dairy and grain free so they are also a relatively healthy treat. The ganache` icing is not quite paleo but there is no sugar or dairy added, just what is in the chocolate. The icing compliments the cake so well, I could not use a different one!I cooked this with kids, so it is super simple. They ate it all up too, which means it must also be delicious, as we all know kids can be the toughest and most honest critics. Their parents loved it too making it a winner all round!

You can cut the cake into little baby cakes like I did or if your cooking it for a birthday you might like to keep it as a whole cake.

Recipe adapted from my favourite blogs paleospirit.com and live right be healthy.

Since writing this recipe I have created a vegan and paleo version of the ganache`. You can get the recipe here.

Recipe

Serves 10 small slices.

1/3 cup coconut flour, plus 1-2 tbsp extra if needed

1/4 cup good quality cacao powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp celtic sea salt

3 eggs

1/4 cup coconut oil

Butter or oil for greasing cake tin

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup water

1 batch of sweet potato chocolate ganache`

1 punnet of strawberries, thinly sliced into rounds.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl: coconut flour, cacao powder, baking soda, salt. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with electric beater until pale, light and very fluffy. Try to make them as fluffy as possibly as this will create a light and moist cake but keep an eye on them as you don’t want to them either.

4. Add the oil, maple syrup, water and vanilla extract into the egg and continue to whisk until combined.

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5. Gradually pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir in gently to combine with a wooden or metal spoon. The batter should not be too runny but still fluffy and thick. You want it to be a batter that can pour out with the help of a spoon and scraper. If it is too runny add a tablespoon of coconut flour and if it is too thick add some more water, 1 tbsp at a time.

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6. Pour batter into prepared cake tin and spread it out evenly.

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes in a fan forced oven/20-25 min in a conventional or gas oven or until a skewer come sout clean.

8. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes and then on a wire rack until room temperature.

9. Cover cake with ganache`.

IMG_262010. Cut the edges off each side to make the cake even.

3. Top with strawberries.

4. Cut into small squares or serve as a whole cake with a bowl of creamy coconut ice cream to dollop next to each slice.

5. Enjoy!

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Banana Berry Crunch Icream

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Ice cream is one of my favourite desserts that I often miss. However, it is loaded with sugar and can come with many other man-made ingredients, like gums and preservatives. I know some fruits are great to freeze and whiz up into a sorbet like consistency (Mango, banana, berries, grapes, peaches, plums or nectarines are great fruits to use), so today I combined frozen banana, frozen blueberries and maple roasted pecans and walnuts. This recipe is all natural and plant-based, so great for vegans or those on a paleo, dairy or grain free diet but I can guarantee those on a mainstream diet will like it too. The banana creates a creamy like consistency very close to gelato. Isn’t it great the little goodies mother nature provides us? Oh and by the way it was absolutely delicious!

Recipe

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 frozen banana, roughly chopped

1/3 cup frozen blueberries

1 small handful of roasted/activated nuts of your choice.

Method

1. Place banana in the blender and blend  for about 30 sec. or until just forms a paste. You don’t want to blend it for too long as it will start to melt.

2. Add blueberries and pulse for 5 seconds so only lightly combined with the banana and some blueberries remain whole.

3. Spoon in a bowl and top with nuts. Maple roasted nuts work really well. Serve immediately.

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