Category Archives: AIP compliant

Sex begins in the kitchen!

Did I get your attention? A number of years ago I read a relationship book with this title.  It actually wasn’t so much about how food is the way to a man’s heart, it was about how all the little things we do to help each other (like cleaning up the kitchen!) can go a long way towards increasing our desire (specially us chicks who might need a little lead time ;-)!) for intimacy.  Given this is a food blog though and not a marriage blog I’ll turn my attention to sharing a few recipes that you might like to consider for a romantic night in tomorrow night for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is not a day on our marriage calendar that is given massive attention, however we do usually buy each other a card.  I’d much rather a gift or flowers at a random time than on a ‘required’ day, but given this year the day falls on a Saturday, and we have no other social plans, we’re planning on cooking a nice dinner (probably a family dinner), putting the kids to bed, then having dessert and watching a movie together.  Then it will be a date night at home and the boys will learn a little about the importance of Mum & Dad having time for our relationship without them.

I haven’t decided exactly what to cook, but here are a few ideas I’ve got that you might be inspired to try too.

If you’re after a 3 course meal, why not try this roasted field mushroom with rocket, persian feta (omit for paleo), sun-dried tomatoes and roasted beetroot chips for an entree? Mushroom+Beetroot

Here are a couple of main course suggestions, depending on what kind of protein your after.  I really like this eye fillet with mushroom & crispy sweet potato.

eye fillet mushrooms sweet potato

If you’d rather some lamb (or are feeding the family), why not cook a butterflied leg of lamb.  butterfliedlamgfigglazecooked

If fish is more your thing grill some fresh salmon and serve it with a fabulous salad, like this rainbow noodley one:vegespaghettisalador this pretty peach & greens salad:pretty peach & green salador even some good old brussel sprouts!

brussel sprouts

The pinnacle of any Valentine’s Day dinner is surely the dessert! Here are a few of my favourite desserts that I think qualify as ‘romantic’ and  fit within the ‘paleo or paleo-ish treat’ category.

These lemon coconut tarts are even AIP friendly and if you have a heart shape mould are even more perfect!

Lemon coconut tarts

Sexy Choc- caramel tart:

choccarmelcoconuttart Raw choc-nut raspberry tarts with banana ice cream: 

photo(5)

chocolate coconut ganache

 

Here is a super easy paleo-ish dessert. Chocolate coconut ganache with fresh strawberries. Bring 1 cup coconut cream to a simmer with 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste, turn off and after 5 mins stir in 100g dark choc till combined. Pour into little dishes (or tart shell) and refrigerate until set. Serve with fresh strawberries.

 

 

Or if paleo is not your thing and you want, what I think is the prettiest of desserts, have a go at this Pretty Persian Rose Ice Cream.

Well, hopefully that’s got the romance building in the air/kitchen!  I’d love you to post/comment with your Valentine’s Day meal ideas or after the fact, let me know what you cooked.  You can always tag your photos with #whatannabelcooks and I’ll see what you’ve made.

♥  Annabel x

prawn stock

I have only really gotten into making stock in the last year or so but this is the first time I’ve made prawn stock.  Now I have to figure out what I’m going to do with it!  Any ideas? Please comment and let me know if you have some suggestions.  It was super easy to make although it did stink out the kitchen for the evening!

prawn stock

Prawn Stock

  • shells, heads etc from 500g green prawns
  • 1 onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 carrot
  • salt & pepper
  1. Dice vegetables.
  2. Place all ingredients in large saucepan or stock pot.  Fill with water until ingredients covered by a few cms.
  3. Bring to boil then simmer for an hour or so.
  4. Strain and allow stock to cool.
  5. Use stock as desired.  I poured mine into a  silicone muffin tray to freeze in useable (when I work out what for!) portions.

Enjoy!

And especially enjoy eating the prawns that came out of the shells.

prawn stock prawn stock

turkey meatballs and avocado salad

turkey meatballsLooking for a super easy family mid-week meal? This is a great one!

Turkey meatballs (AIP options)

  • 500g turkey mince
  • 1/2 brown onion finely chopped
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1 grated zucchini
  • 1 grated garlic clove
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1-2 Tbps coconut aminos (or tamari if not paleo/AIP)
  • 1 tsp Chinese a Five spice (omit for AIP)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 egg (omit for AIP – it will still hold together!)
  • oil for cooking (AIP – coconut oil, otherwise macadamia will do)
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  It’s best to use your hands and really squelch it all through.
  2. Roll into balls – these are about a heaped dessert spoons worth.  It is pretty sticky.  Place balls onto plate or into container you can store in the fridge.  It’s best to refrigerate for an hour or 2 before cooking.
  3. Turn on oven to 180C/350F.
  4. Heat oil in large fry pan (one you can also put in oven).  Carefully place meatballs in and sear/brown on each side well.  You do need to be careful when turning the meat balls as they can come apart easily.
  5. Transfer pan to the oven for about 15 mins.
  6. Serve with salad and dipping sauce.

Serves family of 5.

Dipping Sauce

 

  • 1 grated garlic clove
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut syrup (or maple syrup)
  • 1-2 Tbps coconut aminos (or tamari if not paleo/AIP)
  • 1 tsp Chinese a Five spice (omit for AIP)
  1. Mix together in a small bowl (you can also heat in small saucepan for a minute or 2).
  2. Serve with the meatballs.

Avocado Salad

  • 1-2 avocados (depending on how many you’re feeding), diced
  • 1/2 large red onion finely diced (or 1 small one)
  • juice of a lime
  • salt & pepper
  • baby english spinach leaves (or other greens)
  1. In a bowl mix avocado, onion, lime juice, salt & pepper.
  2. On the plate put a handful of greens.
  3. Scoop avocado ‘salsa’ onto the greens.  Yum.

 

brussel sprouts can be yummy! (yes it’s true!)

brussel sproutsThe only thing I grew up knowing that my Mum didn’t eat was brussel sprouts. I mean she ate everything else – lambs brains included, so I grew up thinking that brussel sprouts must be completely and utterly inedible, disgusting.  I have no recollection of ever having eaten them under the age of about 38.  I have no idea what ever possessed me to venture into the world of the unknown and attempt to cook (& potentially eat) a brussel sprout, but I’m glad I did.  I have discovered that it IS possible to actually eat brussel sprouts, and what’s more,  even enjoy them.  I’ll have to cook them for Mum now!

This is now my second favourite way to eat them… My favourite is at a fabulous Argentinian restaurant in Sydney called Porteno – it’s one of their signature dishes, and let’s just say, AMAZING.  Given I can’t eat at Porteno very often, eating brussel sprouts cooked in coconut oil and bacon is the next best way.  Let’s face it, there’s not much that doesn’t taste better with bacon!

Really yummy brussel sprouts

  • 500g brussel sprouts, halved or quartered
  • 2-3 rashers bacon, diced
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut oil (or butter is also good but not then paleo/AIP)
  • 1-2 tsp  stock concentrate (or stock cube)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Melt coconut oil in a fry pan.
  2. Lightly fry onion and garlic. Add in bacon. Fry for a few more minutes.
  3. Add in brussel sprouts.  Stir through stock.  Once the brussel sprouts are well tossed in all the bacon/oil goodness, you might want to add in a tablespoon or 2 of water to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Covering the pan for a few minutes will help to soften the brussel sprouts a bit faster.
  5. When they have softened (but not soggy!), season to taste and serve with your protein of choice!

ENJOY & see that brussel sprouts really can be yummy!

Serves 3-4 as a side dish

raw grated salad with orange dressing

raw grated salad with oranage dressingI remember a while ago I had a request to post more salad recipes.  I think now that Spring has sprung in sunny Brisbane, Australia, it feels much more like salad weather and so, I’m finding more salad inspiration again!  I do find that grated salads are a good way to eat a larger amount of vegetables and they are colourful too, which is visually appealing and they say it’s good to ‘eat the rainbow’ to get a variety of vitamins & goodness!

There are many variations to this salad depending on what’s in season/you have in your fridge.  A few toasted pepitas, sunflower seeds and/or chopped nuts would be nice on top too (unless you want the AIP version).

Raw grated salad with orange dressing

1 medium beetroot, peeled
1 large carrot, peeled
1 zucchini
1 apple
1-2 handfuls kale
1-2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
1 ruby grapefruit
1-2 avocados

Dressing
Juice 1/2 orange
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 Tsp mustard (leave out for AIP)
1 tsp apple cigar vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Grate beetroot, carrot, zucchini and apple.raw grated salad
2. Finely chop or blitz in a food processor, kale and spinach.
3. Mix all vegetables in large bowl.
4. Cut skin off grapefruit and dice, stir through salad mix.
5. Top with diced avocado and dressing.

For dressing:
In a small jar shake together all dressing ingredients, adjust to taste.

Serves 3-4

And if there is any left, eat the leftovers for lunch the next day, that’s what I did:

raw grated salad2

rhubarb, strawberry & lemon tart (AIP, paleo, gf, nf, eg, df)

I must say that it was how pretty this tart looked that made me want to make it! The second thing that intrigued me was that it was made with sweet potato flour.  If you follow my Facebook page you might remember the staged process it was to make the sweet potato flour! So after embarking on making the sweet potato flour, I had to use it up so I decided to make it as a ‘bonus’ for one of my recent cooking classes.

The recipe comes originally from AIP Lifestyle who have some great recipes, even if you’re not restricted by an AIP lifestyle! I added rhubarb and some pretty little dried rose petals to mine and served it with the ‘custard’ from the lemongrass & kaffir lime coconut icecream (ie just wasn’t churned in the ice-cream machine) but if dairy isn’t an issue it would be lovely (as are all tarts in my opinion) served with cream and ice-cream.

rhubard, strawberry & lemon tart

Continue reading rhubarb, strawberry & lemon tart (AIP, paleo, gf, nf, eg, df)

apple cinnamon energy balls (AIP, paleo, gf, df, nf, ef)

apple cinnamon energy ballsI was making a batch of protein balls for my husband to take to work and thought I’d have an experiment with some that don’t have nuts or protein powder (so really not protein balls at all!).  I think my tummy needs a little rest from nuts-every-day at the moment, so that was my motivation.  So here are my apple cinnamon energy balls – they taste quite light and fresh.

  • 200g fresh dates
  • 1&1/4 cups toasted shredded coconut (plus a little extra for decoration at the end)
  • 1 large granny smith apple, finely grated
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  1. Pit the dates and process in food processor/blender until finely chopped.
  2. Add rest of ingredients and process until mixed – can pulse if you like a chunkier texture. You may need to add a little more coconut if the mixture is too wet.
  3. Roll into balls and sprinkle with extra shredded coconut if you wish.
  4. Refrigerate or freeze.

Makes 10-12.  I keep mine in the freezer.