As most of you know, I’d choose sweet potato over pumpkin, but I was given a huge fresh pumpkin from my parent’s-in-law’s farm on the Easter weekend, so when asked to bring a side dish to a friend’s place for dinner, it seemed like the obvious solution. The pomegranates add a pop of colour. I also dolloped a yoghurt dressing over it just before serving (although this does make it non-paleo & AIP).
1/4 large pumpkin (about 1 kg)
seeds of 1 pomegranate
greens to serve
olive oil for char grilling
Slice the pumpkin into slivers about 5mm thick. Brush with olive oil.
Char grill on hot plate or BBQ until tender but not mushy (actually the first batch I did in the oven and they turned to mush…. then into soup!).
Remove and cool on cake airing tray.
When cooler layer greens and pumpkin on serving tray and sprinkle with pomegranates.
Can be served warm or cold.
Yoghurt dressing (not AIP or paleo)
1 cup greek yoghurt
1 clove garlic grated
juice of a lemon
salt & pepper
Mix ingredients and dollop over the salad when serving.
Given you all know how much I love sweet potato, here is another way to have it! I made this salad a month or so ago to take to dinner at a friends, place and I make variations of it all the time. I really liked the mixed herbs I used for the dinner party (Thai basil, basil mint & coriander) but sometimes I do it with just English spinach leaves. It’s the kind of salad that’s keeps well and can be eaten hot or cold.
* Adjust quantities depending on how big a salad you’d like Salad
Sweet potatoes (at least 2)
2 Tbs coconut oil
Mixed herbs eg basil, mint, coriander
Chop sweet potato into desired shapes, toss in coconut oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast in oven at 180C/350F for about 30-40mins. Cool slightly.
Toss with the rest of the salad ingredients.
Dressing – you can use any dressing you like. This is a pretty common one for me:
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs caramelised balsamic (omit for AIP)
Good squeeze fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove grated
Salt & pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients in a jar, shake well and pour over salad immediately.
I have realised that lately I haven’t been drinking enough water. Sometimes I do well and drink a lot and other times it’s a bit boring. There are lots of interesting ways to make your water more interesting, but here’s one. The cucumber has good detox effect, so what a great way to start your day/week than with some detox water. Better still fill a jug with it and sip on it all day.
Just put slices of lemon, cucumber and a few mint leaves in your water and drink away!
We just finished this sensational dinner and so I just had to share it with you all! Eye fillet steak cooked to perfection by my hubby, topped with mushrooms (they are hiding a bit in this photo) and sweet potato spiral crisps. It was served with a simple green salad on the side. The crunch of the sweet potato makes this a complete winner for either an ‘above average’ mid week dinner, or a great meal for entertaining!
Here is one of those meals that can easily be whipped up for a mid-week meal, but feels a bit more special. The challenge I’m finding on the auto-immune protocol (elimination diet) is variety. When a number of usual go-to ingredients are no longer go-to, it is a bit challenging! I have to say though, it is forcing me to be a bit more creative, and I am feeling better and even lost a few kg so that’s great.
The other day, I had a chicken de-boned and rolled by my butcher and he gave me (well I’m sure I paid for it!) the carcass. Out with the slow cooker again! Chicken stock is such a staple in my house, I have the concentrate in the fridge constantly (will post that recipe soon too). I use the liquid for poaching, soups, marinades etc. It’s just one of those ‘all in and leave it’ recipes.
1 chicken carcass or 1 kg chicken necks
1 onion, roughly chopped
1-2 carrots chopped
1 celery stick chopped
handful sliced mushrooms
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
bunch of herbs (I used parsley & thyme)
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp peppercorns (omit for AIP).
Put the chicken carcass in the slow cooker, cover with water.
Toss in the vegetables & herbs.
Cook on low for 6-8hrs.
Let it cool, remove the carcass and any big chunks of vegetables/herbs.
Strain the rest into a large jar/container. Store in the fridge for up to about a week (or even better, use it for a soup whilst it’s still hot!)
I have been asked a few times about some of the ingredients I use in a lot of my cooking – so here are the ones I usually use:
Coconut oil – coconut oil is a very healthy oil. For an excellent article on why coconut oil, see Irena Macri’s article. I usually buy the Nuigini one as it doesn’t have a really strong flavour and I like the jar it comes in (I am a packaging girl!). Depending on the weather it can either be solid or liquid at room temperature (in summer liquid and winter solid, in Brisbane anyway). It isn’t cheap but I did read that you should spend your money on the best quality fat you can. To give you an idea, I pay AUD$30 for the 1L jar and it lasts me 1-2 months.
Coconut aminos – they are basically a gluten free non-soy alternative to soy sauce. I use a lot in asian cooking or in marinades. I have these 2 different ones – the one on the left I get from my local organic markets and the one on the right is more easily available in most health food stores. I have just noticed with the Nuilife one though that one of the ingredients is birds eye chilli, so that won’t be AIP so check the different brews! They each cost my roughly AUD$10 a bottle
Buckini’s – I have blogged about these little ones before. Basically they are a fruit but for my they work as a ‘nut’ due to the crunch. You can sprinkle on poached fruit, on a salad, put them in your smoothies etc. Here is a picture of the brand I buy – Loving Earth. This particular one is the caramelized one, but if you buy the plain one it has no sugars 😉 For the plain 500g bag I pay about AUD$12.
If there are any other ingredients you’re not sure about, just let me know.
I don’t get any benefit for plugging these brands other than knowing I might have helped you out in your quest!
I not sure if I’m quite ready for Nigella to move over, but it was a little bit fun putting together this video for my friend Christine who wanted to come over to my place to learn how to roast sweet potatoes in coconut oil but couldn’t as one of her kids were sick. I said, “I should just video it and send it to you”, and so the seed was planted.
This is a pretty basic video – filmed and edited in iMovie by my 10 year old on my iPad. It’s probably a little bit long for what it is, but I hope you enjoy it!
If you’ve been following on Facebook, you’ll know that I was spoilt with an ice-cream maker for Christmas (a fancy one with in-built compressor so half the freezer isn’t taken up with the frozen bowl). Very spoilt! The first attempt was a DIVINE nutella gelato, but now that Christmas is over and the healthy eating starts to creep back in, I have made this mango coconut ice-cream. It’s dairy free, gluten free, paleo and even AIP compliant!
Let’s be real, it’s not nutella gelato BUT for the cold creamy ice-creamy sensation, it’s pretty good and uber simple with just 3 ingredients.
flesh of 3 mangos
1 large can coconut cream (mine was 560ml)
2 Tbsp honey
Blitz the mangos in a blender, add coconut cream and honey and blend until combined.
Place in the fridge for 4 hours or over night if possible.
Churn in an ice-cream maker for 30-40 minutes.
Eat immediately for the best creamy consistency.
If you want to store it for another day, put into a container (or little ones for portion control). You will need to take it out of the freezer for at least 20 mins before you want to eat it as it gets very hard.