Food, Fun and Face!

Welcome to my blog! I'm starting this blog to add some spice to some of your kitchens! I follow a primal lifestyle which basically means I eat a whole bunch of vegetables, good meats, some fruit, nuts and seeds and a little dairy. I avoid eating all grains and try not to eat processed food and limit the amount of sugar I throw down my throat. Basically the name of the game is to eat REAL FOOD. Sounds simple right? But sometimes people find it hard to start to eat this way. So this blog is here to help you (and me) throw together some awesome tasty food . So please stay a while and get your creative kitchen juices flowing again!!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

I used to love eating Italian food. Since going Primal I don't really get to eat it anymore because of all the pasta etc.

But, I still eat all the good meaty bits like meatballs that the Italians have to offer.

This is a recipe that you could have traditionally eaten with pasta but here I just eat the meatballs on their own accompanied with a salad.

Once again this dish was really easy to make and came out tasting awesome!

Ingredients:

Around 900g Beef Mince
1x Basic Tomato Sauce Recipe (from previous post)
1 heaped tsp Ground Almonds
1 clove garlic
1 onion
1 TBSP Dijon Mustard
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 heaped tsp Cumin Seeds
1 Egg Yolk
1 TBSP dried Oregano
1TBSP Fresh Rosemary
Big Handful Fresh Basil
1 Mozzarella Ball
Some Grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper


First thing is to put a small frying pan on a medium heat and add a couple of swigs of the olive oil to it.

Also at this point turn on your oven to 200°C for use later on.

Finely chop the onion and garlic and add to pan. Fry for a few minutes then add the Dijon mustard.

Stir for a bit then remove from heat and put the onion mixture in the mixing bowl you will use to make up your meatball mixture.


Then to the mixing bowl add your mince, ground almonds, oregano, egg yolk, chopped fresh rosemary and salt and pepper.

In a pestle and mortar smash the cumin seeds up then add them to the mixing bowl also.



With your lovely clean hands now get right in there and mix everything all together. Don't be shy people. Mix away.

Then make meatballs out of the mince mixture and  put on a plate. You can put these in the fridge for up to a day or you can cook them now.


Now you want to use a casserole type dish that can go in the oven or a frying pan that can go in the oven for the cooking of the balls.

Put your pan on a high heat on the stove top and get it really hot. Then add a couple of swigs of the olive oil then drop in your meatballs.



You want to fry them until they get some colour all over them so turn them as needed.

Then add the Tomato Sauce to the meatballs and mix. Add lots of torn up fresh basil and then tear all over your Mozzarella and some grated Parmesan.


Then place your pan straight into the oven and cook for 15-20 mins until the cheese is golden brown.

I took a pic of it in the oven because it looked sooo good!


So after about 20 minutes I pulled my one out and it came out looking like this:


I ate the meatballs along with a green salad which had a lemon juice and olive oil dressing.


DELISH!

Basic Tomato Sauce

Now this isn't a recipe for a tomato sauce that you can put on your hot chups. (I'll post up a recipe for a really good primal ketchup soon.)

It's a recipe for a sauce that you can use with any kind of dish that requires a bit of a tomato sauce as the base.

I used this particular one to go with some meatballs which I'll put the recipe up for next.

Really tasty and easy to make.

Ingredients:

3x 400g Cans Whole Peeled Tomatoes
Handful of fresh Basil
Handful of fresh Marjoram (optional)
1x Clove Garlic
Olive Oil
2 tsp Dried Oregano


Put a frying pan on a high heat.

Finely chop up the garlic clove.

Add a couple of swigs of oil to the pan then add the garlic.



Don't let the garlic burn and after a couple of minutes add the cans of tomatoes and the oregano.

Now this next bit is important: DO NOT break up the whole tomatoes. Gently mix the oregano in to the tomato mixture trying very carefully not to break up the tomatoes and let the pips out. This will make the sauce bitter in the end if you do. If you leave the tomatoes whole then the sauce will come out nice and sweet.


Turn the heat right down and let the sauce simmer gently away for an hour.

After an hour add the basil and if you have it the marjoram all chopped up to the sauce.

Season with salt and pepper to taste and give it a stir. Now you can break up the tomatoes.


The sauce is good to go now. You can store it in the fridge for a few days or freeze it until you need it.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Ribs!

There are a few foods that I love to eat a lot of. And I think I'll be safe to put ribs into this category.

So this is the first of many posts to come on many ways to cook ribs!

The cool thing about ribs is that you can change the spices you use every time and experiment to get them tasting the way you like them.

There are heaps of ideas out there on ways to cook ribs.

Hopefully the way I've done them below will be really easy for everyone to do. All you need is an oven...

Ingredients:

Pork Ribs (Any cut but for this recipe I use American Cut)
1/8 tsp Chili Powder
Heaped tsp Thyme
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Mustard Seeds
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Ground Coriander
Heaped tsp Ground Cumin
Tinfoil

Take all your dried spices and mix them together in a small bowl.


Take your Ribs and put them in a bowl and then cover them with the spice mixture.

Really get your hands in there and rub the spices into the meat.


At this point if you like you can cover with glad wrap and leave in the fridge overnight ready for the next day.

Or if you can't wait then you can just go straight into cooking them.

Turn the oven on to 200°C.

In the bottom of a roasting tray line with some of the tin foil.

Place your ribs in the the middle of the foil and then cover tightly all around the ribs with the foil. Use extra foil if needed to make the ribs nice and cosy in there.


Place in the oven and leave them there for 2 hours.

After 2 hours is up take the tray out of the oven and take the ribs out of the foil and place them back in the tray.

Place the tray back in the oven for 30 mins more and this will brown and crisp up the ribs nicely.

They should now be ready to eat and should look something like this:

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Chicken with Eggplant

Each year when I went to Turkey growing up this is the dish that I would always end up eating first.

When we got to Turkey we would be really jet lagged and have to sleep straight away and I would always wake up to the smell of this dish filling the apartment in Istanbul.

Dad would have been cooking this for us to eat when we woke up. Little did he know it was primal!

It's again a one pot wonder and easy to make.

It takes about half an hour to prepare and about an hour to cook.

Ingredients:

1 Whole Chicken
3 Eggplants
3 Large Vine Tomatoes
3 Small Onions
5-6 Garlic Cloves
2 Sweet Peppers or Capsicum
3 Courgettes
Dried Thyme
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Deep Dish Frying Pan with Lid


First thing is about half an hour before you are ready to start to prepare the meal you want to slice up the eggplant and salt it.

So slice the eggplant into roughly 1cm thick slices.

Arrange the slices of eggplant in a big bowl and at each layer salt the heck out of them.

Put to one side and leave for half an hour. This will draw out a blackish liquid from the eggplant and make it taste far nicer at the end.


Next step is to take your whole chicken and break it down into pieces. All you need is a big ass sharp knife to make the job easier. I always use a whole chook but if you want to you can just use chicken pieces such as legs.

I've take pictures of the step by steps you should take to break down the chicken so hopefully it is easy to replicate.

First you want to take the legs of the chicken off. Basically pull the leg away from the body of the chicken and cut around where the thigh meets the body.


Then cut the wings off where they meet the body.


Then you want to separate the carcass of the chicken from the breast side of the chicken. You can do that by just cutting right down the middle of the chicken. You may have to move the knife around a bit and cut some tricky bits but persevere.


Once you have the breast side of the chicken on its own place the chook breast side down on the board and cut through the middle of the breast separating into two. Start in the middle and work out both ways to make it easier.


And there you have all of your chicken pieces ready for the dish!


I didn't use the carcass part for the dish because my frying pan wasn't big enough to hold it but you can keep it for a homemade chicken stock.

Next is to take your deep dish frying pan and cover the base of it with lots of the olive oil.

Then slice up the onion and cover the base in one layer.


Then slice up the Tomato and cover the onion in one layer.


Then slice up the garlic and sweet peppers and courgettes and layer each on top next.


Take the eggplant now and under a cold running tap wash off the salt and squeeze it really hard to get rid of most of the water. Then layer it next onto the veggies.


Next place the chicken pieces over the eggplant. Generously sprinkle the dried thyme all over and season well with salt and pepper.


Place the pan on a high heat for 15 mins then put a lid on and turn the heat right down and let it simmer for at least 45 mins.


Keep an eye on it as there will be a lot of liquid that comes out of this one. Mine always simmers over and drops a bit of juice on the oven top. If that starts to happen you can take the lid and with it still on the pan just move it off to one side so you can let more of the steam escape but you don't want to fully remove the lid.

I served this one with my tomato, cucumber and red onion salad. Was delish!!

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Best Bunless Burgers!

I got a little inspiration the other day hearing about how Daz had a burger in the states where the meat pattie was half mince and half ground bacon. So I thought why not try to make something similar with my own twists on it.

It turned out to be really simple and came out tasting great.

As you know on the primal lifestyle we don't eat bread so you have to use any sturdy lettuce leaf for the base and top of the burger. In this one I used a couple of small cos lettuce leaves for the bottom and top. Worked out great.

Ingredients:

300-400g of Mince
3 slices of Free Range Bacon
Lettuce Leaves
1 Red Onion
1 Tomato
Half an Avocado
2 Portabello Mushrooms
Brie Cheese (Optional)
Mustard
1tsp Paprika
1tsp Cumin
1Tbsp Tomato Paste
Salt and Pepper


First thing to do is to roughly chop up the slices of bacon and then whiz them in a food processor until it's all ground up in to bacon mince.


In a bowl mix up your mince with the bacon then add the paprika and cumin. Add the tomato paste and some salt and pepper.

Get your hands dirty now and give it a really good mix. Once mixed, make burger patties out of the mince mixture. Try not to make them too thick.


Put a frying pan on a medium heat and place a few patties in and start cooking. You could use a BBQ instead if you so desire.

While they are cooking turn on your grill in the oven to a high heat.

Place your mushrooms on an oven tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and salt and pepper then place under the grill.


While the patties and mushrooms are cooking you can prepare your burger inside bits.

Slice up the red onion, tomato, avocado and brie.

Wash your lettuce leaves and arrange a couple together on a plate. This will form the base of the burger so make sure it's sturdy.


Keep an eye on the patties and mushrooms and turn when they need it.

When the mushrooms are almost done place a couple of small slices of brie on each one and put back under the grill.


When the burger patties are done take them out of the pan and place on top of your lettuce leaf bases.


Now you can start building your burger.

You can layer it up any way you like but this is what I did. I put a little mustard on the pattie then placed a couple of slices of red onion on that, then took the mushroom with the melted brie on top and put that on next.

I just have to say I was getting a little excited at the prospect of getting to eat this at this point...

Then I placed the tomato and avocado on next. Make sure you season with a little salt and pepper and then place the remaining lettuce leaves on top.



Now this got pretty messy while I was eating it. You can use a knife and fork if you like but if you have sturdy enough lettuce leaves the burger will hold together. Just.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Jambalaya!

This one is another one pot wonder. Really easy to prepare and quick to make.

It's straight out of Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint cookbook but with my own twists on it.

The sausage that I used this particular time were Malaysian satay gluten free numbers from The Pork Mart in greenlane. They are next to the car wash place by the round-a-bout. They have some awesome good quality meat in there and are not too expensive.

If you want to make this one really spicy then add some fresh chili at the beginning of the cooking process!

Ingredients:

3-4 Gluten Free Sausages (any kind)
2 Big Handfuls of Prawns
1 Onion
2 Sweet Peppers
2 Garlic Cloves
1tsp Paprika
1tsp Oregano
1tsp Thyme
1tsp Salt
1/8tsp Cayenne pepper
2 Cans Crushed Tomatoes
2 Cups Chicken Stock
1/2 Head Cauliflower
Chopped Spring Onion for garnish (optional)


Get a big stockpot and put on a high heat.

Slice up the sausage into pieces and add to the pot. While that's frying off chop up your onion, garlic and peppers.

You can add a little olive oil to the pot if you feel it needs it.

Throw in the onion, pepper and garlic and give it a good stir.



When you can start to smell the onion cooking add the paprika, oregano, thyme and salt.

Then add the 2 cans of tomatoes and 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to the boil.

Turn the heat down and with a lid on let it simmer for 10 mins.



While that simmers away cut up your cauliflower and then blitz it in a food processor until it comes out in the consistency of rice.


After the 10 mins of simmering is up add the whizzed up cauliflower to the pot and simmer for a further 10 mins. Then add the prawns and cook until they are pink. Only takes a few minutes more.

Then it's done!


Garnish with some chopped up spring onion if you so desire! Too easy.