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!!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Palos Ranchos

It's nearing the end of week 2 of the Spring Clean Challenge at CFNZ and our flat is in full swing of clean eating.

The first week we had a minor blowout of the budget which I'll post up a vid about soon. But this week we have been able to come well under budget.

What I'm learning more and more is that leftovers go a long way.

We were in the kitchen this morning and were going to make some sort of an egg scramble thingy with some left over roast pork from last night when it came to me: Palos Ranchos!

This is my spin on the Mexican dish Huevos rancheros.

It's super simple to make and tastes awesome.

Basically you can throw in any leftovers and veggies you have lying around. There is never a strict ingredients list! Just make sure you get some spices in there to jazz it up.

Ingredients:

Leftover meat or bacon
1x medium Onion
Some silver beet or spinach
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp crushed Coriander Seeds
2x Tins crushed Tomatoes
Eggs
Butter
Salt and Pepper


Put a pan on high heat and drop a couple of knobs of butter into it.

Slice up your onion and drop into pan.

Cut up your leftover meat or bacon and add to the pan.



Let that fry away. Season with salt and pepper.

Add your dried spices and crush up the coriander seeds and then add to the pan also.




Give it all a really good stir.

Slice up your silver beet or spinach and then after a couple of minutes add that to the pan.




Give it all a good stir and let it fry for a few minutes.

Then add 2 cans of crushed tomatoes to the mix. For those on a budget we are using Pam's tinned toms as they are only 99 cents a can from Pak n Save.




Give that as good stir and turn the heat down to a medium heat and let the mixture come up to a good simmer.

Then crack your eggs over the top of the mixture in different spots on the pan.




Put a lid on the mixture and let it simmer away for about 5 mins. Depending on how you like your eggs done you can leave it on the stove for longer or less. You choose!


Enjoy.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Primal Shepard's Pie

The spring clean challenge is now under way and hopefully all of you who are taking part in it are making some good food choices and cooking up a storm!

For the most part people seem to be able to get a handle on cooking something for breakfast and getting a good meal at dinner time. But sometimes we all struggle with what to eat for lunch.

It's really hard to find a good clean meal out there if you haven't prepared something earlier.

So the key is preparation! On the Sunday before the challenge kicked off we took the time to make a primal shepard's pie. This has been our lunches for the first part of the week.

It didn't take long to cook and it has paid off in the form of us not being cut short at work and having to resort to buying crappy food wherever we may be.

Seeing as we are doing this challenge on a budget here's what the cost of the pie was about $26

We got 8 good sized lunches out of the pie. Not bad food economy!

Ingredients:

1kg Beef Mince
Half bag of frozen veggies
2 Cans diced tomatoes
1x Cauliflower
3 Small Onions
2x Eggplants
Smoked Paprika
Dried Thyme
Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper
Couple of knobs of butter
Olive Oil



First thing to do is turn the oven on to 200°C.

In a pot put a couple of inches of water and then cut the cauliflower up and add to the pot. Turn on to a high heat and put a lid on.

We are going to steam the cauli until its soft and then whizz it up to make the "potato" top to our pie.


Put a good deep dish frying pan on a high heat and add a couple of glugs of olive oil.

Slice up the onion and add to the frying pan.



While the onion is frying away you can slice one of your eggplant up into circles.



Grab a large baking tray/dish that has some depth to it.

Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of the baking tray and then put a layer of the eggplant down.




OK back to the frying pan. Add all of your mince and break it up and stir it round.

Then season with salt and pepper and add about a Tbsp of the paprika, thyme and oregano.

Stir and mix it all up.




Once that's all mixed in and the mince has browned add half a bag of mixed frozen veggies.




Give that a good stir then add the two cans of tinned tomatoes.


Give that all a good stir and let it simmer away.



By this stage the cauliflower should almost be done.

Take the lid of the cauliflower and stick a knife into the florets of cauli. If the knife goes in easily then they are done. It may take some time for the cauli to get to this point so just be patient and let the meat mixture simmer away while the cauli steams.

Once the Cauliflower is ready drain off the water (keep the cauli in the pot you have just steamed it in) and then add a couple of knobs of butter and season with some salt and pepper.



Then get a stick blender and whizz it up into a mash. If you don't have a stick blender then pop it all into a food processor and use that to blend it up.

If you don't have either of those good luck using a fork...



Next thing to do is to pour out your mince mixture into your tray all over the eggplant base.



Then cut up the other eggplant and layer that all over the top of the mince.



Then pour out the Cauliflower mash all over the top and smooth it out nice and evenly.

















Season the top of the pie with salt and pepper then pop it in the oven for an hour.

Should come out looking something like this:




Once the pie cooled we just stored it in the fridge as it was in the tray but if you have lunch boxes you can divide the pie up into the lunch boxes and store it that way. If you are only cooking for 1 or 2 people then you can put your lunch boxes in the freezer and the pie will keep for longer.

This pie is super simple and amazingly tasty.

Enjoy!








Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Spring Clean Shopping List: Week 1

So I thought since we are trying to buy all this amazing good food on a budget that I would post up here our shopping lists for each week.

I've done a lot of driving around to different veggie stores and supermarkets over the last couple of months to find the best deals on meat and veg.

I'm all for supporting local establishments like butchers. Especially if they are well priced and have good quality meat.

The guys at Saint Johns Butchery are awesome. Their address is 113 Felton Matthew Ave, St Johns.

They always have amazing cuts of meat and are always doing specials that match what you could get at supermarkets or other cheap butchers.

Here's what out meat bill looked like for the week. Remember that this will feed four hungry mouths for the week.



Try to buy meat that is cheap at the time. Lamb at the moment is ridiculously cheap and roasting them up for dinner with veg makes the leftovers a great lunch for the next day.

Here's the food bill from Pak'n Save:


Pak'n Save really is cheaper than the other supermarket chains. Overall they seem to be just that little bit less expensive than other places.

I've found that they also do some really good deals on veggies. Better than some of those stand alone veggie stores dotted around the place. We went in there on this shop and pretty much just bought what was on special (and therefore in season!).

If you know of any other veggie stores around Auckland that are better priced please post to comments below!!

So the combined supermarket and butcher shop came to $268.4 for 4 us for the week. That comes in under our budget of $300 a week for the four people. With the leftover money we have each week we will put aside and see how much we can save over the course of the challenge!










Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Spring Clean Challenge!

At the gym we have kicked off on the annual spring clean challenge.

For roughly 8 weeks we will all be trying to eat as cleanly as possible while adhering to a paleo/primal nutrition plan. And of course getting into the gym and training our butts off!

For this years challenge Kristy and I have decided that we will be keeping to a tight-ish budget for our food and drink bill each week.

After a little bit of research online about what the average income in NZ is and what would be the lowest average incomes in NZ, we decided to set the task of only spending $75 a week per person on food and drink.

This equates to just under $11 a day per person. Doesn't sound like much but we are hoping to show that it is more than enough. Too many times people say to me "It's far too expensive to eat healthily and to eat the way that you do". After this challenge we will try to prove all the nay sayers wrong!

Below is a quick video showing the food that we bought for the first week. Seeing as there are four of us at the flat, everyone has agreed to the $75 limit a week. So for four people for the week we have $300 to spend on food.



 



So stay tuned for some new recipes and a few videos to show you all the awesome things you can make on a budget!