Mental Salad

Well hello there! Its been sooooo long since my last post! My morning sickness has passed and it looks like I will live after all! So back into it then…
Mental Salad, I can’t remember how it got the name but I suspect it was because people thought it was mental to have Wedges in Salad. Don’t knock it ’til you try it! Its amazing!
Something quick and delicious that’s great for the whole family and perfect for these warmer nights, an old favourite!

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No quantities for this one, use what you have – leftovers refrigerated will make the best lunch!
You will need:
Baked, Seasoned Potato Wedges – Shop Bought or Homemade (I love the recipe from My Darling Lemon Thyme) or try Kumara Wedges if you’re Paleo or Low Carb
Salad – Think Shredded Carrots, Red Onion, Radish, Cabbage, Lettuce etc Perhaps some sunflower seeds or Dried Fruit
Seasoned Free Range Chicken Breast – Diced & Sauted
I season with Rock Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Smoked Paprika, Parsley, Oregano but just season with Flavours you love! The more flavour on the Chicken the better, if you can Chargrill or BBQ it even better!
A few spoonfuls of Cream Cheese, Yoghurt Labne or Cashew Nut Cheese
Balsamic Vinaigrette, Raspberry Vinegar or a Dressing of your Choice

In bowls arrange your Wedges, followed by plenty of your Salad. Top with the Diced Chicken and a few spoonfuls of your chosen Cheese. Finally drizzle generously with Balsamic Vinaigrette.
The heat from your Wedges will melt the Cream Cheese through your Salad as well as absorb up all the dressing that’s made its way to the bottom of your bowl. I love it!

Enjoy x

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Gluten Free Pasta Bake

Oh how there is something so good and comforting about Pasta!
Here’s a quick and easy Pasta Bake that is Gluten Free, filled with Chicken, Bacon and a Rich Creamy Sauce (plus a few Green Veges to balance it all out)
It’s a complete meal and great to make earlier in the day then bake later when you’re ready. Enjoy X

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You will need:
250gm Gluten Free Pasta – Spirals or Penne
2 Tbsp Butter or Ghee
1 Small Onion – Diced
2 Garlic Cloves – Crushed, Peeled Diced
1 Free Range Chicken Breast – Cubed
3 Rashers Free Farmed Bacon
1 Cup Milk (I use Raw Cows Milk)
1 Cup Grated Cheese
2 Free Range Eggs – Whisked
2 Tbsp Cream Cheese/Cottage Cheese/Sour Cream – Optional
2 Cubes Frozen Spinach (thawed) or a small bunch Baby Spinach
1/2 Cup Baby Peas
Rock Salt, Pepper, Parsley & Thyme
1/3 Cup of my Gluten Free ‘Breadcrumbs’ – Optional

First up just cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packet, drain and then into an oven dish it goes. In the Butter, Saute Onion, Garlic, Chicken, Bacon and any Herbs you’re using and cook until Chicken is no longer Pink and add it in with the Pasta – don’t turn off the frying pan yet though. In a jug mix together Milk, Cheese, Eggs, Salt & Pepper, and pour that into the hot pan and stir constantly, it’ll thicken in around 30 seconds. Pour the Sauce over your Pasta and mix in your Spinach and Peas, Top with extra Cheese and ‘Breadcrumbs’ if you wish. Bake at 180°c until Cheese has melted on top and Breadcrumbs are Golden.

Yum Yum Yum

Slowcooker Mexi Shredded Chicken

Hmm it would seem life has gotten away on me, its been a while since my last post! Mr Not-quite-2 is now Mr 2 and with that came a Birthday Party full of sugar! Back on the wagon now though and a week of wholesome meals awaits!

Something quick for in the Slowcooker tonight, delicious Smokey Spicy Chicken shredded in a rich Sauce. I throw together some Crunchy Corn Thins to go with it as dippers but you could wrap yours in a Lettuce Leaf or just eat it from a bowl with a fork!

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You will need:
2 Free Range Chicken Breasts
1 Tin Organic Tomatoes
1 Tin of either Refried Beans, Kidney Beans or Black Beans or make your own Refried Beans
3/4 of a small tin of Chipotle Salsa (I use La Morena Brand, its preservative free) or you could just add some Dried Chipotles or any Chillies you like. Alternatively you can leave this out if you’re not big on heat but you should up the Smoked Paprika to 1 Tbsp so you don’t miss out of the Smoked Flavour
1 Small Onion – Diced
3 Garlic Cloves – Crushed, Peeled, Diced
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
1/2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Dried Parsley
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes
Good Grind of Sea Salt and Pepper

So easy! Just throw your Chicken Breast into the Slowcooker. Mix remaining ingredients in a hug and then pour over your Chicken. Cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8. Once cooked use 2 Forks to shred your Chicken in the Slowcooker and give it a good mix.

Serve in a bowl topped with Grated Cheese, Sour Cream, Avocado, Extra Chipotle Salsa the list goes on! Or wrap it up in a Lettuce Leaf as a Burrito, wrap it up in a Tortilla pour over some extra Chipotle Salsa and bake in the oven as Enchiladas, maybe next to some Cauiflower Rice…..

Cheese and Garlic Cauliflower Mash & the Best Grain Free “Breadcrumbs”

Man if you think you love Mashed Potatoes then you will LOVE Cauliflower Mash! I first made this recipe a couple of weeks ago and we were in such a hurry to devour it that there was no time to take a photo and post the recipe! Its a perfect sub with Bangers and Mash or alongside a Stew. Even if you think you don’t like Cauliflower you should give this a try!

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You will need:
1 small head of Cauliflower
1 heaped Tbsp Cream Cheese
1 heaped Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Grated Cheese
2 Cloves of Roasted Garlic or 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Sea Salt and Pepper
Parsley

Cook your Cauli any way you prefer – Boil, Steam, Bake. Drain and add back into the empty hot saucepan to steam away any moisture (obviously not if you have baked your Cauli)
Add into your food processor with remaining ingredients and blitz until smooth and creamy. Topped with some fresh chopped Parsley and enjoy! We had ours with some Crumbed Beef Schnitzel and Green Veg.

Here is my mix for the best Paleo “Breadcrumbs” Perfect for making Chicken Kiev’s or Other types of Stuffed and Crumbed Chicken Breasts, Coating Schnitzel, Coating a Fish Fillet or maybe making Homemade Chicken Nuggets!
Feel free to increase the amounts, just use a 2:1 ratio of Almond Meal to Ground Flaxseed
2 Tbsp Almond Meal
1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed (Linseed)
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
Sea Salt and Pepper
Fresh or Dried Herbs/Spices (optional) Perhaps Dill if you’re crumbing Fish, Smoked Paprika for homemade Chicken Nuggets

Tip it all onto a plate and mix it together to combine, then dip your Chicken or Other meat in a bowl of Beaten Egg, Shake of the excess and then finally Coat each side with the Crumbs. If I am crumbing Fish I just dip it in a bowl of Milk rather than Egg. I don’t know why. I just do!

Beef and Bacon Slow Cooker Stew

Another Winter evening, another Stew! Today was Mr 7s Rugby Finals and standing on the sideline in the rain made me even more happy I’d planned a hearty Beef Stew for dinner!

You can add any Veges you like. I went to add in my fav Baby Peas towards the end but I’d forgotten we had run out so I threw in some Spinach instead. Still pining for Baby Peas. No biggie.
You can also use whatever flour you like for the thickener, coconut flour or arrowroot if you’re Gluten Free or Paleo.
Perfect with some homemade Garlic Bread or Cheesy Cauliflower Mash

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You will need:
500gm Beef suitable for Stewing (Chuck, Blade, Braising Beef) – Diced
2Tbsp Flour – Coconut or Arrowroot for Gluten Free
1 Cup Beef Stock – preferably homemade
1 Onion – Diced
2 Carrots – Chopped thinly
6 Garlic Cloves – Crushed, Peeled, Diced
1 Celery Stalk – Chopped
Knob of Butter
Rosemary, Bay Leaf, Rock Salt & Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Organic Dijon Mustard
1/2 – 1 Tin Organic Tomatoes – Depending how Thick/Thin you like your Stew
3 Slices free farmed Bacon
Green Veges – Peas, Spinach, Beans…

First up turn on your Slowcooker (8 hours in low or 4 hours on high)
Coat your Diced Beef in the Flour and add to your SlowCooker along with the Cup of Beef Stock. Next Saute all your chopped Veges with the Butter, Salt, Pepper, Rosemary and Bay Leaf until fragrant. Transfer them to your Slowcooker along with the remaining ingredients. I like to quickly fry my Bacon until crispy before adding it for extra flavour. Give it a good mix and pop the lid on. Done. Man I love my Slowcooker! About 30 minutes before serving in go your green Veges and cook on High if not already .
I served mine with a nice dollop of Sour Cream and some Sharp Cheddar grated on top. Delicious X

Pea and Bacon Soup

Its been a busy few days in our household, so a quick and tasty dinner was on the menu. What is better than throwing a few things in the Slowcooker and by evening time you’ve got a delicious, nourishing meal awaiting you! This Pea and Bacon Soup might not be much to look at but it sure is tasty. And quick. And did I mention tasty?

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You will get around 7 servings with this recipe, all the leftovers!
You will need:
500gm packet green or yellow Split Peas – well rinsed
6 Cups Chicken Stock – preferably homemade
2 Celery Stalks – Chopped
2 Onions – Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves – Crushed, Peeled, Diced
2 Potatoes or Kumara – cubed
5 Slices Free Farmed Bacon – Diced and Sauteed until Crisp
1 Bouquet Garni
3 Tbsp Sour Cream
Sharp Cheddar Cheese

First up rinse those Split Peas and drain them well. Add them to your Slowcooker along will all the chopped Veges and Stock.
Next Sauté your Bacon in some butter until crispy and add this to your Slowcooker – (alternatively you can skip this step and add your uncooked diced Bacon straight into your Slowcooker if you want it to be a true 1 pot dinner) Season with a generous amount of Pepper and a small amount of Salt (as the Bacon will already be adding a salty element to the Soup) and drop your Bouquet Garni on top and cook on High for 4 hours.
After 4 hours you can either Mash with a Potato Masher for a chunky, rustic soup or use a Stick Blender to puree completely. Stir through the Sour Cream and top with some Sharp Cheddar.

If you prefer, you can use a Bacon Hock instead of Diced Bacon, lifting the bone out at the end, removing the meat to add back to the Soup. Making the Soup this way has amazing flavour! However I tend to opt for Diced Bacon so I can do all the prep during the day and all thats left to do in the evening is serve it.

Pork, Apple and Sage Stew

Phew 2 recipes in 1 day!
Its a very cold evening here under the mountains. I can’t think of anything more comforting to eat than a big bowl of stew and the leftovers make a great lunch for Husbean!
The Apples cook down into an almost Applesauce thats perfect with the tender slow cooked Pork and Sage.

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For a Slowcooker full of delicious comforting stew you will need…
350gm FreeFarmed Pork – Diced
1 Tbsp Coconut Flour (or whichever flour you prefer)
1 Good Knob of Butter
1 Celery Stalk – roughly chopped
1 Carrot – roughly chopped
1 Apple – Diced with Skin On
1 Small Onion Diced
3 Cloves Garlic – Crushed, Peeled & Chopped
2 Tbsp Dried Sage
1 400gm Tin of Tomatoes
1 Cup Homemade Chicken Stock
1 Heaped Tbsp Sour Cream or Cream

Firstly turn your Slowcooker on, then chop your Pork into strips and coat in Coconut Flour. Add Pork to your Slowcooker. Next you want to melt your Butter in a pan over medium heat and add the Celery, Carrot, Apple, Onion, Garlic and Sage. Cook while stirring until fragrant, then add to your Slowcooker along with the Tomatoes and Chicken Stock and season generously with Rock Salt and Black Pepper. Cook away on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours. Before serving you can give the Stew a light mash if your Apple is still in cubes despite being well cooked! (The Skin cooks until its incredibly soft yet still holds the Apple together) Stir through the Sour Cream if using and enjoy!

Winner Winner Taco Dinner!

Our household is a bit under the weather at the moment, so after some warming nourishing soup last night something a bit spicy and tangy was needed for tonights dinner. What better than a platter where everyone can assemble their own combo and then pick it up and eat!

Shredded Pork Tacos with Homemade Corn Tortillas and Cashew Nut Cream + Extras

And its all gluten free, refined sugar free and if you just stick with Cashew Nut Cream with no grated cheese, Dairy Free!

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First up for the Shredded Pork you will need:
1KG Pork Loin Roast – FreeFarmed (This will give you enough to freeze half of the end mixture, or you could use 500gm of Stewing Pork)
1 Tin of Organic Tomatoes
2 Garlic Cloves – Crushed/Peeled/Diced
1Tbsp Minced Chili or 1 fresh Red Chili or 1tsp Chili Powder
1Tbsp Dried Coriander or Half a bunch of Fresh Coriander Chopped
1Tbsp Cumin
1tsp Ground Coriander
1tsp Dried Parsley
1tsp Smoked Paprika
1tsp White Pepper
A few good grinds of salt, do as many grinds as you normally would then add an extra 2 grinds
1/2Tbsp Organic Honey (Optional)

Trim the Pork of its Rind (You could freeze this to do extra crackling for your next Sunday Roast!) and put in your slow cooker and pour over the tomatoes. Add the remaining ingredients except Honey and mix to combine. Make sure to cover the Pork with tomatoes so it doesn’t dry out.
Cook on high for 4-5 hours. After this it should be able to be completely shredded with 2 forks. Then add the honey if you’re using it and give it all a good mix. Then put your slow cooker on Low or Keep Warm while you prepare the other ingredients. That way the pork will have a chance to absorb all the sauce and thicken up.

Why add honey?
Adding Honey is totally optional but it is common practice to add a sweet component when using tinned tomatoes to counteract their sometimes acidic taste. It is also interesting to note that in the most popular brand of Taco seasoning available at the supermarket, the 2nd main ingredient is Sugar making up almost 50% of the sachet.

The Cashew Nut Cream recipe is from Petite Kitchen, although I have omitted the vinegar this time and added Lime Juice instead of Lemon as I was quartering Limes anyway and I think it just ties it all in together.

Homemade Corn Tortillas
All you need for these is…
1Cup Ground Cornmeal Flour – I use Healtheries Ground Cornmeal Flour
3/4Cup Hot Water – approximately
1tsp Salt

In a bowl, slowly mix in your hot water with the Cornmeal Flour and salt using a rubber spatula or similar. Give it a quick knead with your hands – it shouldn’t stick to your hands or the bowl, if it does you may need to add more Cornmeal or if it is crumbly you may need to add more water.
Cover and leave somewhere warm for 30 minutes, I left mine by the fire…

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After 30 minutes divide into 6 smaller portions and roll each into a ball…

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Then take one ball and place it on a piece of baking paper. Cover with another piece of baking paper, squash  down with your hand and then roll out with a rolling pin…

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Finally peel the top layer of baking paper off and invert dough into a very lightly oiled pan that is on medium/high heat. Fry for a minute or 2 until edges begin to brown then flip and fry on other side for 30 seconds or so. Stack cooked tortillas on a plate covered with a damp cloth – This will steam them while you are cooking the remainder, making them more pliable.

Now for the extras:
We added Tinned Organic Black Beans, Grated Cheese, Sliced Red Onion, Red Capsicum, Carrot, Green Cabbage (I would have preferred Red but our lovely small town supermarket was out of Red Cabbage Halves) and a squeeze of Lime over it all is essential!! Followed by a drizzle of Cashew Nut Cream. You could also add some sliced Avocado, Tomato Salsa, Jalapeños or y’know whatever you like!

Hope you enjoy!!

Children love Nachos!

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Mmm Nachos, this is Mr 7s favourite meal! Another quick throw together for the weekend. Feel free to sub the Pork for Chicken or Beef or an extra variety of beans if you want to make it vegetarian. 

You will need:

1 Onion – finally diced, 2 Garlic Cloves – peeled and sliced, 1 Free Range Pork Fillet approx 500gm – cut into small cubes, 1Tbsp Cumin, 1tsp Ground Coriander, 1tsp Chilli Powder, 1Tbsp dried oregano, 1Tbsp dried parsley, 1 Green Capsicum – diced, 1 tin of Organic Black Beans, 1 tin of Organic Tomatoes. Extras – Plain Corn Chips (In NZ there are a couple of different brands of organic corn chips including the Blue Rounds! I used plain, the ingredients were: corn, oil, salt) Sour Cream, Grated Cheese, Avocado , Jalapeños, Chopped Lettuce…

First up sweat your onions and garlic in an oiled pan along with all the herbs, spices and a nice big crack of salt and pepper. When they are softened but not fully cooked add in the Pork and stir to combine with the spiced onions. At this point you can add your capsicum, drained and rinsed beans and your tomatoes. Its now that you can add some Jalapeños if thats your thing! Cook on high until bubbling, give it a couple of stirs and then turn down to a simmer until thickened. 

Serve with any extras or maybe just a salad. You could also use this mix for tacos, enchiladas, lettuce cups or y’know, Nachos!

PS. Sorry my photos are always poor quality, to be honest I’m just so eager to eat, rather than trying to take a nice photo of something that smells so goood ha!
X

Leftovers Pasta

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So let me guess… Your eyes were bigger than your belly, you made more soup than you could eat and now you’re swimming in leftovers?
I understand
This is a super quick and delicious pasta recipe, great to throw together at the end of a long day.

You will need:
Leftover Slow Cooker Thai Pumpkin Soup – fresh or frozen around 3/4 Cup
Around 2Tbsp leftover Cashew Nut Cheese – Optional
Around 4Tbsp Sour Cream/Natural Yoghurt – to thin out your leftover soup
1/2 Cup of Grated Cheese
1/2 Brown Onion – Diced
2 Cups of Wholemeal Macaroni Elbows
1/2 Free Range Chicken Breast, Sliced – Optional

First things first…
Add your pasta to a pot of boiling salted water with a little olive oil and cook until al dente. In a cast iron pan or similar add a knob of butter and sweat your onions until softened, then add your Chicken (if using) and cook until, well y’know, cooked!
While this is happening mix the soup, cashew nut cheese, grated cheese and sour cream in a jug, season well and add to the pan of onions and chicken. Stir to combine and leave until heated through. By now your pasta should be ready, drain all but a little of the cooking water. Add that into the pan of pumpkiny-cheesy-goodness, mix it all together and enjoy
Because of the pumpkin soup the colour will resemble american Mac n cheese, but you can be happy chowing this down with the knowledge its full of pumpkin and carrot, you can always add a salad on the side too x