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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Rich Dark Choc and Goji Berry Cupcakes – Gluten, Wheat & Refined Sugar Free

Another sweet recipe! This one is super simple – its all done in the Food Processor although mixing by hand would work just as well.
I found that these ones have risen a bit better than the Gluten Free Banana & Dark Choc Muffins. Husbean thought they tasted delicious so they must be a winner. Perfect if you need a Chocolate Fix that’s full of wholesome ingredients with no nasties! Sure to be a hit in the school lunchbox and they look pretty tasty too X

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You will need:
70gm Butter – Softened
1/4 Cup Coconut Sugar
1/8 Cup Local Organic Honey
1 Large Free Range Egg
1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste or Ground Vanilla Beans
1/2 Cup Dark Cocoa or Cacao Powder
1/2 Cup Milk – I use Raw Cows Milk
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/3 Cup Almond Meal
1/3 Cup Coconut Flour
1/2 Cup Dried Goji Berries

To make 8 Mini Cupcakes first Cream your Butter, Coconut Sugar and Honey in your Food Processor until Pale and Creamy. Next add your Egg and Vanilla and whizz to combine. Now add the Cocoa, Milk, Baking Soda, Almond Meal and Coconut Flour and Process until well combined and resembling Cake Batter. Finally Mix in the Goji Berries with a Spoon, if you process them they might get chopped up!
Fill Mini Muffin Pans with the batter right to the top and level with a knife. Bake at 180°c for 15 minutes and then leave to cool in the tray before turning out onto a wire rack.

If you try my recipes do let me know how they turn out, I would love to see some pictures too!

Enjoy X

Best Gluten Free Banana Muffins

Today I decided a Banana Cake recipe might be a good one to try change to Gluten Free aaaand its a success! These Banana and Choc Chip Muffins are wholesome, delicious and moist and light in the middle, yum!
Gluten Free & Refined Sugar Free, they are tasty and kind on your tum too X

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You will need:
125gm Butter – Softened
1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar
1/4 Cup Local Organic Honey
2 Free Range Eggs
1 tsp Organic Vanilla Bean Paste
2 Bananas – Mashed
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Cup Milk – Warmed
3/4 Cup Coconut Flour
3/4 Cup Almond Meal
1 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder
1/3 Cup Sugarfree Dark Chocolate, Chopped – Optional

First up Cream your Butter, Sugar and Honey together until Pale and Creamy. Next add Eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then mix in the Vanilla and Bananas.
Dissolve the Baking Soda in the Milk and mix into the other ingredients.  Finally add in both the Flours and Chocolate, if using, and mix together gently. Divide mixture into Mini Muffin Moulds, completely fold the Moulds and then smooth the tops. Bake at 180°c for 15 minutes. Leave Muffins in the Moulds while cooling but place on a wire rack.

You could also cook this as one Cake, cooking for 45 minutes in a loaf or round cake tin.
Enjoy!

Crunchy Corn Thins

Here is another good one for in the Lunch Box! These Crunchy Corn Thins would be great with a Dip and I suspect even better with Hummus. I make up a batch to dip into our Mexican meals in place of Corn Chips for a change, they take about 30 Seconds to prep and then just pop them in your oven.

Alone and unseasoned they would be quite bland (but a good spoon for Dip!) so the seasonings you add really do make them. When I’m making them as a Corn Chip Sub I usually just add Garlic Powder and Sea Salt but you could add any number of herbs, spices or maybe some chili flakes!

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All you need is…
1 Cup Cornmeal Flour
2/3 Cup Hot Water
A Good Grinding of Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
Olive Oil
Or how about
Garlic & Smoked Paprika
Parmesan
Mixed Herbs

In a mixing bowl add your Cornmeal Flour and Seasonings. Next add your Hot Water and mix to combine. Sandwich half your Mixture between two pieces of Baking Paper and Roll out with a Rolling Pin until very thin. Score with a knife into strips or triangles (or use an cookie cutter) Take off the top layer of baking paper and season the top with extra Salt and drizzle with Olive Oil.  Bake at 210°c for 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown, flip and continue baking for another 2 minutes.

Done! They go great with my Mexi Shredded Chicken just in case you were wondering…

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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!

Spinach and Parsley Pesto

Here I was all set to do some kind of Mexican Chicken in the Slowcooker for dinner (have I mentioned that I love my Slowcooker?)
But as I was searching for different ideas I came across some Stuffed Chicken Breast recipes. Dang, now I feel like that instead…

I only have Parsley out in the garden at the moment but wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a Parsley Pesto or not so I thought I’d grab some Spinach out of the freezer and throw that in too. The result is delicious and I am hanging out for my Pesto Stuffed Chicken for dinner!
Not too bad for a recipe born out of what I had on hand!

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Feel free to sub for what you have on hand/You will need:

A Small Handful of Fresh Parsley – or sub with Basil or try Mint
3 Small Handfuls of Spinach – if using frozen, thaw and squeeze out the excess liquid
A small handful of Almonds – or sub with Walnuts or Cashews
Zest and Juice of half a Lemon
3 Garlic Cloves – Peeled
A small handful or Sharp Cheddar – or sub for Parmesan
Generous amount of Rock Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil

Add all your ingredients except for the Olive Oil into your food processor and blitz until mixture turns into a thick paste. Next add in your Olive Oil while your food processor is running, add as much or little as you like depending on the desired consistency – you may want to add a lot if you are wanting a Pesto Sauce for Pasta or you may want to only add a little if you are wanting it for a Dip.

Great over Pasta, Stuffed into a Chicken Breast or Mr 2 was devouring it on Rice Crackers!

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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.

Paleo Savoury Cheese Muffins

Another Sunday, another weeks worth of baking to produce! As we have just run out of Local Honey and Coconut Sugar I needed something savoury to bake for Husbean’s lunch box. Enter Savoury Cheese Muffins, packed with Veges and a Cream Cheese centre!
Grain & Gluten Free, Sugar Free – these quick and tasty muffins are delicious served hot or cold X

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For 10 Savoury mini muffins you will need:
1/2 Celery Stalk – Finely Chopped
1/2 Onion – Finely Chopped
1/2 Carrot – Finely Grated
3 Garlic Cloves – Crushed, Peeled, Diced
2 Tbsp Finely Grated Cheese
Chopped Parsley
1 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1 1/2 Tbsp Almond Meal
1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed (Linseed)
Himalayan Salt and Pepper to taste
4 Free Range Eggs – Beaten
10 tsp Cream Cheese

Quite simply add your Veges, Grated Cheese, Parsley and a generous amount of Himalayan Salt and Pepper into a bowl. Next add your Coconut Flour, Almond Meal and Ground Flaxseed and stir well to combine. Finally add your eggs and whisk it all together.
Pop a Tablespoon of the Muffin Mixture into a Muffin Mould, followed by a teaspoon of Cream Cheese and then another Tablespoon of Muffin Mixture to cover the Cream Cheese. Repeat with the rest of the Muffin Moulds and then bake at 180°c for 15 minutes. You must try one hot out of the oven, then pop the rest onto a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy!