Category Archives: sexy sides

Roasted beetroot & broccolini salad (GF, paleo option)

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Just in case you were begin to think that all I’ve been cooking lately is rocky road and sweet treats, here’s a savoury side salad perfect for any time of year but especially good for Christmas because of the colours! Great either warm or cold.  For a paleo or dairy free option, just omit the fetta, simple!  The beetroot tasted AMAZING roasted in coconut oil but you could also use macadamia oil.

  • 1-2 large beetroot, peeled and cut into segments
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • 2 Tbsp chopped pistachios
  • fetta to sprinkle (optional)
  1.  Toss the peeled and segmented beetroot in oil, spread on an oven tray covered in baking paper and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Roast in the oven at 190C/375F for about 40 mins until tender and starting to be a little bit crispy around the edges.  You may need to toss or turn once.
  3. If serving warm, wait until the beetroot is cooked then simmer the broccolini in water on the stove for a few mins until starting to soften but don’t overcook or it will lose it’s green-ness. If serving cold, you can pre-cook the broccolini just make sure you really cool it down quickly after cooking.
  4. Drain broccolini and rinse under cool water.
  5. To serve spread the broccolini on the platter, top with beetroot and sprinkle with fetta and pistachios.

Here it is without the fetta, ie the paleo/DF option:

roasted beetroot and broccolini salad

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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

char grilled pumpkin & pomegrante salad with yoghurt dressing

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
  1. Slice the pumpkin into slivers about 5mm thick.  Brush with olive oil.
  2. 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!).
  3. Remove and cool on cake airing tray.
  4. 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
  1.  Mix ingredients and dollop over the salad when serving.

Sweet potato and herb salad

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
English spinach
Shallots (chopped)

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.

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za’atar spiced labneh

IMG_1087 I think these little balls of yoghurty yumminess are perfect for Friday night drinks, broken up to spice up a green salad, or a perfect gift.  Now, go get a glass of wine, some crackers and snack away.

  • 500g greek yoghurt
  • za’atar spice mix
  • olive oil
  • thyme
  • salt & pepper
  1. To make the labne you scoop the yoghurt onto into a nut bag/onto a clean muslin cloth (or new rinsed chux will do). Pull up the corners to form a ball and tie a rubber band on the top. Suspend the bag over a jug by threading a wooden spoon through the rubber band and resting it across the mouth of the jug. Leave overnight (at least).  You can add the liquid that drips out to your green smoothie!
  2. Make balls from the labne, roll them in your hands then roll them in spice mix.
  3. Pour a little olive oil into the bottom of a jar, place a few balls in, more oil and repeat until the jar is full.  Stick a few thyme sprigs into the jar.

Enjoy.

zaater labneh cracker

pretty peach & greens salad

pretty peach & green saladThis just looked so pretty tonight, I couldn’t wait to eat it with my sweet potato hash & chicken sauteed with onion, bacon and chicken stock.

  • few handfuls of mixed rocket & english spinach
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup mint
  • 1 cup watercress.
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1/2 grated beetroot
  • 1 peach, chopped.
  1. Toss all the ingredients in a bowl.  You can sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top or nuts if you can eat them.