Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Halloween Treaties

Trick or Treat?

As a child, I was always mortified when some mean old bitty would choose the former and I would find myself empty handed and drenched in water. Does Ms. Pennyweather from 666 Pure Evil Lane not understand that depriving a child her treats is like depriving an alcoholic a drink? 

Please do not follow Ms Pennyweather’s example, arm yourself. Shower those children in pellets of sweet delights, have them squealing like the little piglets that they are, with their gums peeling from their teeth in gleeful terror. Reward them with slithering eyeball jellies as their futility of escape becomes ever more obvious.  Always apply the 'one-for-you, one-for-me' rule.

I know it can get stressful trying to adhere to a diet or eating plan when everyone around you has ready-made options. However, there is no need to descend into the trickery of store bought artificial sugar bombs, stick to your guns and get creative! 

I’ve made Orange Basket Cases, Marzipan Finger Food, Bitter Sweet Gummies and with the leftover marzipan and some beetroot juice I made a whole bunch of body parts, modeled from my own face (finally, I reveal the reason I do not include myself in pictures).

Prepare for the hoards of Hallows Eve with treats that will not only satiate the salivating tongues of greedy youth, but will also fuel their little bodies for a night of sacrificial devouring and moon howling. And of course, everything is gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free and safe on the SCD and Paleo diet.

Orange Basket Cases

Grab as many oranges as you desire and draw any type of face or design. Trace your sharp knife around the outline of the biro, making sure to only cut shallow. Cut the top of the head off, and dig out the entrails, first by loosening with a knife and then spooning out the rest, putting aside for the filling. Mix the gutted orange bits with any type of fruit you want and refill the heads. Serve with a dollop of our coconut milk yoghurt or SCD yogurt.




Bitter Sweet Jellies

2 cups fresh watermelon juice
6 tbsp gelatin
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup of raw honey
blueberries (as iris)

Strain the watermelon through a fine mesh strainer, discarding the pulp.

Skim the small amount of white foam from the top of the watermelon juice and discard.

Divide the juice: add half to a small saucepan and the other half to a bowl.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the juice in the bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes so that it dissolves into the juice. It will swell and become quite thick.

Warm the other half of the watermelon juice in the saucepan, but do not bring to a simmer or boil.

Take from the heat and blend with the gelatin until smooth.

Pour into molds and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

To remove the jellies, dip the underside of your mold into some hot water for a few seconds, then with a warmed knife loosen the jellies from the sides of the molds.

These can be stored at room temperature but are better kept in the refrigerator.

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Marzipan

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup honey
4 cups almond flour/meal
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp beetroot juice (for body parts)
flaked almonds for fingernails

Pour your honey into a saucepan and bring to a simmer on low.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove pot from heat, leaving the element on the stove on.

Fill a large flat dish with cold water, adding ice cubes if you wish.

Place the pot in the cold water. Add honey and stir for 3-4 minutes until thick and creamy.

Add the egg whites and almond flour/meal, place back on heat and stir for 2-3 minutes until thick.

Pour into electric food processor and mix on low for about 20-30 minutes, or until it cools to room temperature.

Place in a sealed container and refrigerate overnight (minimum 8 hours).

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Chicken Burgers


I'm a massive fan of burgers, from the way they look, taste and feel to the simple delight of eating them with your hands. Although I do love the traditional beef/lamb version, I've been trying to find lighter options, that don't require a recliner and breathing aid post consumption. 

Instead of the usual bread crumbs using macadamia and cashew nuts can only be seen as an A plus move. Not only do I feel light as a feather, (eliminating the heavy meat and bread) but the nuttiness provides a flavour and texture as perfect as the report card these little chicks bring home to me. 

Don't get me wrong, I think there is nothing finer than passing out from a food coma, but the impending doom of guilt and un-comfortability is sometimes too much. Sometimes I feel guilty for my food, poor little things squashed in there carving exorcist-ial cries of help into my abdomen. From time to time, keep it light, your body will thank you.

These patties are my friends, they can also be your friends, and your friends' friends, and their friends. You can use them as a sandwich filling, or eat them as is; you can have them hot, or have them cold, eat them at home, or chuck them in a container to eat under the trees, lay them flat, or keep them rotund as finger food. Whatever you do and however you do it, I highly recommend a generous serving of our Dijonnaise or Sweet Chili Sauce by your side. 

Makes 8

50 g (½ cup) macadamia nuts
-  roughly chopped
100 g (¾ cup) cashews
500 g (1 lb) chicken mince
2 cloves garlic – minced
2 shallots – chopped
1 small handful coriander – chopped
grated lemon rind from 2 lemons
3 egg whites
salt and pepper
  1. Place macadamia nuts and cashews into a food processor and process until roughly chopped.
  2. Combine with the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly by hand.
  3. Moisten hands and form the mixture into eight balls. 
  4. Coat a large skillet with oil and press chicken burgers into patties. 
  5. Fry them for 4 minutes on each side with the lid on the frying pan or until they are cooked through.
  6. Serve hot or cold with our Dijonnaise or Sweet Chilli Sauce.

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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Lamb Cutlets & MInted Smashed Peas


See that knife and fork to the side? Forget them, don't use them. Tie back your hair, roll up your sleeves, firmly grasp the handle of the cutlet, and sink your teeth into the tender scallop of flesh, allowing (of course) for all the juices to dribble down both chin and fingers. If you have a beard, shave it. Not even years of torturous hair growing only to look like a pubescent Keanu Reeves is worth having to eat these cutlets delicately. 

Grab a spoon (if you haven't already completely abandoned civility) and smash some of that Pea Smash atop your cutlet. Think-a biscuit and cheese. Think-there's no bloody way even a fern gully fairy is going to leave the slightest green skid mark on a plate. Eliminate the plate and bring on the mint sauce. As if it wasn't heavenly enough, dribble some home-made mint sauce over the lot and devour it before the whole thing becomes too overwhelming and you have to go lie down.

Why have I smashed the peas? Cos their slippery little bloated bellied bodies running all over my plate feed into my fear of abandonment. Plus their manageability factor goes through the roof, keeping your dinner table war zone-free (peas are the perfect ammunition for a catapult-spoon).

Mint and peas go together like a fine wine and a beautiful human. They exist in perfect harmony, and will forevermore be the perfect addition to leave you feeling fresh and sweet after such a carnal affair. 

Lamb Cutlets

Serves 4

1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
12 lamb cutlets

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan until very hot.
  2. Sprinkle in the salt.
  3. Cook lamb cutlets for about 4 minutes on each side for medium and a little longer if you want them well done.
Minted Smashed Peas

Serves 4

1 Tbs olive oil
3 shallots – trimmed and chopped
250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
450 g (3 cups) frozen baby peas
1 tsp honey
1⁄4 cup fresh mint – chopped
75 g (1⁄3 cup) parmesan cheese – grated 
salt and pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium size frying pan.
  2. Add the shallots and sauté until tender. Set aside.
  3. Heat chicken stock in a small pot until boiling. 
  4. Add the peas, honey, and mint.
  5. Cover and cook until peas are tender for about 4 – 5 minutes.
  6. Drain and reserve 1⁄3 cup of the liquid.
  7. Return pea mixture to pan, adding the reserved liquid, and combine with the fried shallots.
  8. Simmer for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  9. Remove from heat and roughly mash using a potato masher.
  10. Stir in the parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
Mint Sauce

Makes 1 cup

110 g (1 1⁄4 cup) fresh mint
250 ml (1 cup) white vinegar
6 Tbs honey
3 Tbs fresh lemon grass – finely minced
  1. Place 1 cup of the mint in a food processor, reserving the leftover 1⁄4 cup mint for later. 
  2. Add the vinegar and process until pureed. 
  3. Scrape into a small saucepan and add the honey and lemon grass.
  4. Cook and stir over medium heat until the honey has dissolved.
  5. Reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes.
  6. Strain the sauce into a small serving bowl and let cool.
  7. Chop the remaining mint and mix into the strained sauce.

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Cashew & Coconut Milk Yogurt


The coconut palm is often referred to as "the tree of life", as almost every element of this paradisiac drupe can be used in one way or another. It is no secret I am a die hard fan of the fruit (it is in fact not a nut, as commonly assumed), and find it not only a worthy substitute for dairy, but a sure rival of the Royal Guard in it's propensity to stand it's own as a confident cream. Not to mention the never ending list of health benefits it will throw at your face to boost supple skin(antioxidants), seep into your immune system(lauric acid, great antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial qualities), flow through your digestive tract (great for acid reflux and stomach ulcers), and a great source of Iron (to help you travel through the depths of Mordor when Elven Steele is not on hand).

As they say behind every coconut is an even better cashew. No, no I'm sure that's how it goes...Anyway, semantics aside, the cashews are a real treat when mixed with the coconut. They are a go-to for cream-like substances, and have a sweet nutty flavour that compliment both sweet and savoury. The essential good fats and oils in cashews are also great for your heart, skin and bones. 

This Yogurt is pretty spot on when it comes to flavour, it's cold, it's creamy, it's got a slight tang. The vanilla bean punctuates the flavours nicely to create a sweeter option without having to add any sweeteners. This yogurt is the real primordial ooze to an array of dishes, I highly recommend partnering it with our Apple Granola/Muesli, our Chicken Tagine (omitting the vanilla essence), or a beautiful bowl of fresh fruit.


Makes 2 cups

1 cup of raw cashews – soaked for 2 hours
1 cup of coconut milk
3 Tbs natural yogurt/or the recommended amount of non-dairy yogurt culture
1 vanilla bean – for sweet yogurt
  1. Drain the soaked cashews and blend with the coconut milk in a high speed blender.
  2. Place the mixture into a heavy bottomed sauce pan and bring to  80°C/180°F.
  3. Keep stirring the milk whilst heating.
  4. Then let the milk cool down to around 115°F/45°C.
  5. Add the 3 tablespoons of yogurt or the appropriate amount of yogurt starter.
  6. Incubate for 8 hours at around 110°F/43°C in a clean oven proof jar and then place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours to set.


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Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Moroccan Chicken Tagine


Every now and then I go through periods in my life where I want every single thing I put in my mouth to be sweet. I even want the savoury to be sweet. This, my friends, is a fine remedy for what I call the "swavoury" tooth. I have always been a fan of apricot chicken curries, sweet sauces and soups, and find that chicken is the perfect addition to this orchard of fruity delights. 

The cinnamon will coat your halls in a spicy allure, pied piper-ing hungry bellies straight into your hands. However this is not to be confused with a Christmas pudding, the tumeric and black pepper are your passport to exploring the breadth and depth of these beautiful fruit flavours. The chicken is moist and juicy, providing the perfect springboard for the acrobatic accolades of these nourishing ingredients. 

Now that I have woven my rich tapestry of tagine tooting, I would like to give a deep bow to the lima bean for gracing humanity with a taste not too dissimilar to that of butter. So much so, that in some countries they have been dubbed the butter bean. Process the hell out of these bad boys and you will get a mash creamier than if Hilda were churning butter through lace in the clouds. I have fed this mash to an array of family and friends not on the SCD, gluten-free or dairy-free diet, and there is a general consensus of its superiority over the good-for-nothing (excepting vodka) potato.

Serves 4

Olive oil
240 g (2 cups) onions - chopped
1.5 kg (3 lb) chicken thighs – cut into large chunks
2 cinnamon sticks
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper
500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
100 g  ( cup) dried apricots
100 g ( cup) dried prunes
85 g (¼ cup) honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ Tbs almond flour
50 g (½ cup) slivered almonds

  1. In a saucepan, heat a small amount of oil and sauté the onions until soft and then add into a large pot.
  2. Add the chicken with the cinnamon sticks, turmeric, and black pepper and pour in chicken stock.
  3. Cover with the lid and cook for 2½ hours on low-medium.
  4. Add the dried apricots, prunes, honey, cinnamon, and almond flour and stir until well combined. Cover with the lid and cook for another hour.
  5. In a dry pan, toast the slivered almonds. Serve the Tagine decorated with the toasted almonds.
  6. This dish can be served with our lima bean mash, cauliflower rice or pumpkin and cauliflower mash. A little bit of scd yogurt on the side is also delicious.

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Honey (Apple) Cake


Oy! So today marks the first day of Rosh Hashanah, which is the Jewish New Year. So the vibe is to eat lots of delicious sweet things, in order to set yourself up for a sweet year ahead. I mean, I guess if I have to...

The traditional sweet foods to eat on this day are apples and honey, usually with the former dipped or soaked in the later. With this in mind, I have re-invented the salivation inducing honey cake. I've always loved traditional treats, but it is close to impossible to find gluten free versions. And a Jewish feast without the sweet breads and cakes is like a Fabio without the muscles - no thanks. 

This cake is so moist I had to check I didn't double the measurement of honey. It's a proud cake that sits in a pool of it's own 'don't-mind-if-I-do's, this is an invisible pool of course, (kind of like the one you pretend to be swimming laps in to get bikini-ready)with not a shred of sog. I have drizzled this mouth watering madness in a creamy lemon icing, to really help all the Shiksa's out there stand out in the crowd.

Shepen Naches! (Enjoy!)

Serves 8

Cake 

4 green apples – peeled, cored and grated
6 large eggs
1 cup honey
½ cup coconut cream
1 ¼ cup grapeseed/conola oil
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla
5 cups almond meal
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
dash ground cloves
¾ tsp salt
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C/300°F
  2. Peel, core and grate your apples and set aside.
  3. In a bowl combine your eggs with the honey, coconut cream, oil and vanilla essence and whisk until frothy.
  4. In another bowl combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Then combine with the wet ingredients and mix well.
  5. Then add the grated apple and mix well.
  6. Grease a nine inch bunt baking pan and pour in the dough.
  7. Bake for 60 minutes or until the sides of the cake pull away from the pan and the bottom is evenly browned.

Icing 

2 egg yolks
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs honey
2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup cacao butter (chopped up)
  1. Place a heatproof bowl over the top of a pot containing a little water. Heat until boiling and then turn down to simmer.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks with the lemon juice, honey and vanilla essence until it starts to thicken then add the cacao butter a little at a time.
  3. It will take about 5 minutes for the whole of the cacao butter to be dissolved with the egg mixture and it will thicken quite a bit.
  4. Then let the icing cool to room temperature before applying to the tops of the cooled down cupcakes.



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