Category Archives: Slow Cooking

1. Why Paleo?

paleo

1. Why Paleo?

I realised how closely linked my lifestyle is to the REAL Paleo when I attended the seminar 'The Paleo Way'. The way most interpret is a lot of meat and a lot of 'Paleo Treats' when really its 60-80 g protein and say no to treats (because to be honest if you are eating the correct way you may not even need to snack at all from hunger)

we're all 99.9% identical, we are the same as our ancestors (being hunter gatherers) and have the same things available-these are the principles we should live by- N.G

We have an abundance of real food available to us but in actual fact we consume so much processed, packaged, sugar and starch laden products that our guts are terribly inflamed. Our primal bodies were not made to consume these foods. 
One thing for sure that I can say is that I have no idea what our ancestors ate, but I know the things they didn't so you can work out from that statement right there what you should nourish your body with. But in saying that it's not that simple (or complicated). What is now happening to our real foods is not what was happening to them 3 million years ago. Our soils are depleted, our fruits are bred for sweetness, our vegetables are grown to gigantic proportions, they are not simple foods anymore (on a commercial front). Go to any supermarket and look at the potatoes, pumpkins, corn, zucchini(HUGE and lacking in nutrients) taste the fruits (once you get through the sprays and wax). Now go to a farm or market or find someone that grows their own and see theirs, taste theirs......DIFFERENCE!!! And you'll hate it because we have been bred to consume starch and sugars when in fact we weren't made to. Extreme? No! Informed? Yes!

Paleo touches on the 'Hunter, Gatherer' expression a lot. Now you don't need a bear skin outfit, a spear and to hunch over like you have the worlds worst scoliosis (thanks the uneducated, 'non-extremists' for painting that picture for the public) it's a simple concept that means to source your foods or grow it. To go that extra step for the health and wellbeing of your family and know where your food comes from and how. You may be thinking that you are doing just fine as you are as you eat pretty ok really and kudos if you do, but how much better will you be if you made small changes to your diet that incorporated more 'hunter, gatherer' 'Paleo' principles?! 

And that's No1 (6 pages of notes condensed)


Food for thought, I know....I'm still chewing down on the Paleo principles as I am still a little apprehensive and defensive when I talk about my family and how we eat as I believe that everyone is the biggest judge on everyone else's eating habits. I'd like to convey myself as not someone who 'judges' (unless you consumes take away and junk daily-then I'll be inclined to disagree sorry), I'd like to be someone who encourages others to THINK about their food choices and sources and to educate people on the benefits of making changes to their eating that can decrease illness, inflammation and improve energy, mental health, and overall wellbeing. 

Let me know if I am crossing the judgemental barrier into extremist as I would hate to be labeled an 'orthorexic'!

Happy Weekend to Everyone

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Bone Broths

LIVE LONGER, HEAL, FIGHT INFLAMMATION

 

Yes I’ve posted another Broth post. I had a request for a step by step broth recipe.
I used to use a recycled carcass from our roasts however I found that the broth not enough for me. It lacked something and I didn’t feel the same and it made a small amount. So I sourced pasture raised carcass’ and feet, necks and off cuts to try. I then discovered that this broth really was BONE BROTH and the nutrient properties far outweighed my previous broth attempts. The same with Beef. I was roasting bones not knowing what it was all about. I then looked into marrow bones, and knuckles and found the fat that came from the bones and the slow cooking process made the Beef so much more.
I still add my cooked bones to the pot but I make sure that I have some thick beef knuckles, marrow bones, large carcass’ and lots of bits and pieces to go in.

It’s a simple process, I put on my slow cooker and just leave it and come back in 48 hours. The bones are so brittle by then it’s amazing. I leave it to cool on the bench, pop it in the fridge and then portion or concentrate if it is hasn’t already gelatinized.

Chicken Bone Broth (in the slow cooker)

 

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Chicken Bone Broth

INGREDIENTS

2 Chicken Carcass’
Chicken feet, necks, wings (all the bits with joints)
2 Carrots chopped
1 Onion chopped (opt out if avoiding FODMAPS)
Any other Vegetables like Kale, Beans, Cabbage etc (the left overs that haven’t gone to compost or whats left in the fridge)
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar (this helps bring all the goodness out of the bones and into the broth)
2 tsp Himalayan Salt
Herbs of choice (bay leaf, oregano, thyme, basil)
Water to cover- 4-6 cups usually fits my cooker (filtered preferably)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Put everything in the slow cooker, set to low and leave for 24-48 hours (yes that long)
2. Strain the Broth and leave to cool. Scoop off fat and use to cook with (mmmmm roast veggies)

3. Depending on the collagen from the bones your broth can turn to jelly (this is good, very good)
4. Add Gelatine to make thick (beef gelatine is the best)
Portion into a range of jars, ice cube trays and freeze

 

*Alternatively you can concentrate the broth into a small more rich portion and add to filtered water. This will save on space in the freezer.

For this simply;
1. Place Broth in a pot on stove and bring to a simmer.
2. Reduce the broth by two thirds and leave to cool
3. This broth will be darker, richer and stronger in flavour
4. Refrigerate and the broth SHOULD gelatinise
5. Portion into ice cube trays and freeze or measure portions and freeze in freezer suitable pouches.

Beef Bone Broth (two steps)

 

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Store in jars and freeze so you know the portion size

INGREDIENTS

1kg of Beef Bones (a selection of marrow, knuckles, feet, ribs)
2 Carrots
1 Onion (opt out if avoiding FODMAPS)
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Salt
Herbs (parsley, oregano, thyme)
Any other vegetables needing to be used (kale, beans, cabbage, zucchini etc)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Roast the bones for 3 hours at 180c
2. Transfer to slow cooker
3. Add a little water to the roasting pan and mix in with fat that has come from roasting bones then pour into pot to slow cook with bones
4. Just as above add desired vegetables, herbs, Apple Cider Vinegar, and Water
5. Cook on Low for 24-48 hours and strain, cool and jar up!

*Concentrate as above method suggests.

Fun information on broth that will hopefully encourage you to cook some and consume this week.
  • We freeze ours in recycled jars of different sizes. We have a cup with our meals as a drink, we make soups, gravies, stews, casseroles; anything we can.
  • I add it to stir-frys, vegetables, steak, mushrooms, dressings, anything that calls for water ADD IT.
  • My daughter loves a cup of broth with her lunch and before bed at night.
  • When we feel a little under the weather we up our intake. It’s fabulous for the immune system.
  • The collagen has anti-aging properties which is great for skin, you will feel amazing and nourished and younger. Ha
  • It’s heart warming so if you suffer from poor circulation it will boost your blood flow.
  • It’s especially important for women as the nutrients support hormone structure and keep us balanced.
  • It’s helped my digestive system so much
  • If I eat out and am not 100% confident on ingredients I have broth as soon as I’m home
  • I up my broth intake when injured to help inflammation
  • It is a great hangover cure (really I recommend it)
  • It is natural, full of real foods, made by you for you

    Over all it’s an important daily liquid for life, it has replaced medication in our house.

 

Slow cooker- Roast Lamb 3 ways

To be honest I never believed in just putting a piece of meat in the slow cooker and leaving it for 8 hours and trusting that it would be cooked and delicious come dinner time. Well after hearing a lot of people doing it I thought, what the hell lets give it a go with a Lamb.

Slow Cooker Roast Lamb

INGREDIENTS
1.5kg of Lamb Shoulder or Leg
3 sprigs of rosemary
2 cloves of garlic smashed (optional)
bunch of oregano
1 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Set slow cooker up
2. Add herbs (and garlic) to bottom
3. Place lamb on top, season with salt
4. Turn on slow cooker and leave (literally)

At the end of time (sounds so dramatic) the slow cooking will create pan juices and your meat will be cooked. WOW WOW WOW!

Take out, rest for 10 minutes and slice and eat or CREATE a meal……..

Greek Lamb Gyro’s/ Souvlaki/ Kebab

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Lamb Gyro

1. Take Lamb and shred thinly as possible
2. Mix batches with Olive Oil and Mint (or a mint pesto of 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, bunch mint, 2 Tbsp Olive Oil.
3. Add to grainfree flatbread with grainfree tabbouleh and coconut kefir or yoghurt tzatziki

Left overs???

Twice Cooked Lamb Ragu

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Slow Cooked Lamb Ragu

 

1. Add left over lamb back to slowcooker (with the pan juices so keep these in a bowl)
2. Add;

1 Carrot sliced
1 Zucchini sliced
1/2 Eggplant
1/2 Cup chopped mushrooms
300ml bone broth or water
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
A few sprigs of oregano and parsley

3. Set to cook at desired level
Serve with mash sweet potato or steamed vegetables.

 

It is really possible to be organised in an unorganised week. Two things to always remember when eating a real wholefoods nutritious diet:

1. Always cook enough for leftovers (vegetables, meats, fats)
2. Think about three ways you can use one meat or vegetable (if it fits into three, it’s a fridge staple)

 

 

 

Grainfree Flatbread (failsafe)

Why is it that you try to make a recipe over and over and either don’t like the taste or fail at it being anywhere near the picture you see?! Well it happens to me a lot! I’ve committed to now just creating my own versions on gut instinct and they work (always after the meal I needed them for ha).

Every week I search ‘grainfee wraps’, I look up alternatives to coconut and nut flours, tapioca, masa harina in hope to find something that works for me and that is easy to make and quick.

Following on from our obsession with buckwheat (which I’m waiting to bite me in the bum….literally TMI I know) I thought let’s wing it and try this little fella out. So I ground my sprouted buckwheat, kind of measured ingredients and ended up with flat bread in less than 10 minutes. My daughter said that they tasted like ‘real bread’ and ‘pancakes’- bless a three year old’s mind hey. They were perfect with our slow cooked lamb shoulder I had cooking away and raw grainfree Tabbouleh, coconut kefir tzatziki and fresh salad.

These are a great wrap for kids lunches too considering we are all heading back to school, kinder and care next week.

Grainfree Flat Bread

flatbread

PREPARATION TIME              TOTAL TIME
20 MINUTES                    25-30 MINUTES
makes 6 dinner plate sized wraps

INGREDIENTS

500g buckwheat flour plus extra for rolling and dusting (we soak and activate our buckwheat kernels and then grind to a flour but store bought buckwheat flour is fine)
370ml warm water
3 Tbsp of coconut oil
1 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine flour and salt in a bowl
2. Mix water and oil together
3. Make a well in centre and add water and oil gradually while mixing
4. The mixture will slowly come together to form a dough
5. Leave sit for 5-10
6. Divide the dough into six pieces. Take one piece, shape into a flat disc and place between two sheets of flour dusted baking paper. Carefully roll out the dough into a round pita shape until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.
7. Stab the dough with a fork a few times and dust lightly with extra flour
8. Heat up your cast iron pan and brush with coconut oil (not a lot of oil just a light brushing to season). Cook the pita for a few mins on one side until puffy and repeat on the other side. A good sign is the signature brown spots forming.
9. Fill them up with your desired meat and vegetables and serve immediately.
10. Pop them in fridge wrapped in foil and use for other inventions can be reheated the next day in the oven. They keep for up to 5 days, you just need to re-heat in pan or oven for a few minutes to get flexibility back.

Alternate uses……

Pancakes
Brush both sides of cold wraps with ghee or butter and pop in a warm pan to re-heat.
Chop up a selection of fruits (banana, blueberries, strawberries) to pop on to wraps.
Re-heat wraps in pan and top with fruits, maple syrup and coconut cream

Pita Chips
Cut cold wraps into wedges
Heat Coconut oil in pan and fry on medium heat for 3 minutes each side.
Sprinkle salt on finished chips
Serve with dips

Tacos
Reheat in foil in the oven for 5 minutes at 180
fill with meat, salad and salsa

Other variations: Soup dippers, croutons, sandwich wraps, toast, soldiers for eggs, french toast, tortilla’s.

Flavouring variations (add these to the dough before rolling):
Indian – 1/4 tsp cardamom pods and 1/4 tsp ground cumin
Asian – 1/4 cup chopped coriander
Mexican – 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
Sweet – 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup (opt)
Italian – 1/4 tsp basil, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 thyme
Greek – 1 tsp za’atar or some fresh mint
Fish – 1/4 tsp dried dill or 1/4 cup fresh dill
Cheesey – 1 Tbsp of Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Let me know your creations, I would love to add to my list.

 

*side not on buckwheat- it does have a higher carbohydrate count than almond and coconut. It is filling and is great in moderation as is all real food. Please eat for your body and listen to the signs of your gut and digestive system

 

Asian Style Pork Belly

Asian Style Pork Belly

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INGREDIENTS

A decent cut of pork belly (mine was about 600g for our little fam)
1 Tbsp Tamari or Coconut Aminos
2 Tbsp Water
1 tsp Chinese five spice
2  crushed cloves of garlic (optional)
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

INSTRUCTIONS

1.Score skin in a diagonal pattern
2. Marinate meat only part of the belly (keep the skin as dry as you can) in a baking dish of the water, tamari/aminos and spice (garlic if using)for at least 2 hours.
3. Rub Salt and coconut oil into skin

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Pork Belly before crisping the skin

Oven 
1. Line another baking dish with foil. This is going to get sticky and messy in the oven so you’ll be thankful you followed this step.
2. Slowly cook you pork belly in the oven at 120c degrees for 4-6 hours, watching it until it begins to tenderise.
3. Once tender take it out of the oven and spoon some of the mixture onto the skin.

4. Place it back into the oven and crank it full for 5-10 minutes (mine took 15 minutes of close watching but my oven is 100 years old).

WATCH IT CLOSELY PLEASE OR YOU’LL LOSE YOUR CRACKLE

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Pork Belly after crisping

5. Tap the top, it should start to sound ‘hard’.  Take it out at this stage and let rest for 10 minutes.

Slow Cooker (Yep I know, it gets easier)
1. In the bottom of the slow cooker, pour the brine up until the point which you can place the pork belly in without the mixture touching the fat
2. Slow cook for 4-6 hours, or longer if on low. No worries on burning here. In fact it’s only going to get moist as all hell and be amazing.
3. Follow Directions from Oven Method steps 3-6 in a baking dish for the broil/crackling steps.

 

Slice and serve with some **asian greens, kelp noodles, zoodles and tahini ginger dressing

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Greens tossed and dressed

**Steam a mix of broccolini, bok choy, choy sum or any other asian green on a boiling pot for five minutes.
Meanwhile soak kelp noodles in a boil of hot water

Dressing
In a jar mix 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1 tbsp tahini, 1 tsp fresh ginger, 1 chilli diced, squeeze of 1/2 lemon (or tsp Apple Cider Vinegar)
Shake in jar until tahini breaks down
Drain noodles, combine with veggies, pour over dressing

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