Ask The Chefs

Chefs

We recently asked our Facebook Community if there were any burning cooking questions they wanted to put to our team of chefs. We’ve compiled the questions and answers for you below.

  1. What type of oil do you cook with?
    It depends on the recipe but generally ghee, coconut oil or olive oil (particularly for sauces and dressings).
  2. Do you have the macros for your menu?
    No sorry, we don’t. However we can provide additional information about the ingredients and quantities in our menu items to help you in making your decision if you like.
  3. Where do you buy your produce from?
    We source our produce and fresh ingredients from a Jervoise organic meats, eggs from Meggles Farm and other produce from industry wholesalers and local suppliers. For retail options in the Cairns area, we recommend/suggest:
    Neil’s Organics in the city (cnr James & Mcleod Streets)
    http://www.neilsorganics.com.au/
    Real Food Network in the city
    http://www.realfoodnetwork.com.au/
    Jonsson’s Farmers Market at Stratford
    http://www.jonssonsfarmmarket.com.au/There is also some local (Tablelands) meat available at the Mungali Stall in Rusty’s.
  4. How do you make sweet potato noodles?
    The sweet potato noodles are a product we sell, not something made in store. They are available to purchase next time you’re in or via mail order.
  5. What sweeteners do you use?
    It depends on the recipe but usually we use honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar.
  6. Will you post the doughnut recipe?
    Maybe for a future recipe of the week!
  7. How do you thicken sauces/gravy?
    To thicken sauces and gravy, we generally reduce them down to the desired consistency.
  8. Is it ok to use lard instead of coconut oil in cooking and are the supermarket brands ok?
    Yes you can switch to lard or ghee instead and most of the brands in the supermarket are fine to use but we do recommend reading the labels.
  9. How is ghee dairy free?
    It’s not that ghee/clarified butter are dairy free, it’s that the components that make dairy an unhealthy food choice are removed in the process to make them. You can read more information about where dairy does (or doesn’t) fit in the Paleo lifestyle on the Whole 9 and Paleo Diet Lifestyle websites.
  10. Which gluten free breads and pastas do you recommend?
    Paleo Café make and sell a Paleo bread in house, and also stock sweet potato noodles (which are made of sweet potato starch & water). Beyond that, it can be difficult to find retail products that are both Paleo friendly/compliant and gluten free. If gluten free is your primary objective we suggest reading Yum. which is a new digital gluten free living magazine.   
  11. Do you have any tasty ways to eat liver?
    Chef Liam’s tip for cooking with liver is to keep it nice and moist and be careful not to overcook it. The H Blog has a delicious sounding and well reviewed Best Ever Beef Liver recipe that we think would be great to try.

Recipe: Chicken, Pineapple & Coconut Soup

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(8 to 10 serves, stores in the fridge for up to 6 days or in the freezer for 3 months)

1 whole Chicken (size 12-14)
2 ½ Ltrs water
4 Bay leaves
6 Peppercorns
4 Cardamon pods
2 Star Anise
1 Onion (peeled and chopped roughly)
1 Lge Carrot (chopped roughly)
1 Stk Celery
1 Stk Lemongrass
50 gm Ginger
4 cloves Garlic
1 Onion (finely chopped)
1 Tbl Coconut oil
500ml Coconut cream or milk
1 bunch of Asian Vegetable like Pak choy (washed and chopped)
400 gm fresh pineapple pieces (or 50 gm per person)
Salt and pepper to taste
Spring onion or fresh coriander (for garnish)

  1. In a large pot, place chicken, water, bay leaves, peppercorns, cardamom pods, Star Anise, roughly chopped onion, carrot, celery and top half of lemon grass stalk (reserve white part for later). Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 ½ hours.
  2. Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Strain the rest of the stock through a sieve and set aside.
  3. When chicken has cooled, pull apart and pick meat off the bones in shreds.
  4. Grate ginger, garlic and lemon grass, preferably with a micro-plane and saute with additional finely chopped onion in the coconut oil.
  5. Add chicken stock and coconut milk and heat slowly. Do not bring to the boil as coconut milk may split or curdle. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  6. In serving bowls, place chicken shreds, pineapple and pak choy and ladle hot broth over ingredients.
  7. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately.

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Recipe: Thai Green Chicken Curry

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Serves 4-6

1 kg Chicken thigh (Diced into bite size pieces)
1 Tbl ground coriander
1 Tbl ground cumin
1 Tbl Tumeric
1 Stalk lemon grass
1 small red onion
½ tsp ground white pepper
1 clove garlic
1 red chilli( more if you like it hot)
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp coconut oil
2 tbl fish sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves
½ tsp shrimp paste
a few sprigs of basil
1 cup coconut milk
¾ cup water

Toast ground cumin and coriander in a small dry frying pan until fragrant over a low heat.

Roughly chop onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, basil and lemongrass (white part only) Add to the bowl of a food processor along with the ground cumin and coriander, white pepper, shrimp paste and fish sauce and blend for several minutes until the mixture forms a thick, smooth paste.

In a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the coconut oil and brown the chicken thigh, add the curry paste and continue cooking over a moderate heat, stirring frequently until fragrant. Add the coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves and water. Simmer for 20 minutes or until thickened slightly and chicken is cooked through. Season to taste and serve with cauliflower rice, Paleo flatbread or seasonal green vegetables.

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Recipe: Creamy Coconut & Lemongrass Poached Chicken with Cauliflower Rice & Pak Choy

Creamy Coconut & Lemongrass Poached Chicken

4 x 200-250gm Chicken breast|
1 x 400ml Coconut milk or cream
4 cloves garlic (peeled & crushed)
1 Tbl fresh ginger (roughly chopped)
1-2 fresh Chillies (optional)
3-4 Kaffir lime leaves
1 Tbl Coconut Amino
1 Tbl Sea Salt flakes
1 Stalk Lemongrass
2 Coriander roots (thoroughly washed)

400gm Cauliflower
1 small Onion
1 Tbl Olive oil

2  bunches Pak choy (or Asian Veg)
1 Spring onion (sliced for garnish)

Method

  1. In a pot, place chicken breast, coconut milk, garlic, ginger, chillies, Kaffir lime leaves, salt and Amino. With a meat tenderizer or heavy pan, bash the coriander roots and lemongrass to release the flavours, but leave whole. Add to pot and add enough water to cover the chicken breasts (about a cup).
  2. Place on a moderate heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes.
  3. In a food processor, blitz onion & cauliflower until cauliflower becomes about the size of rice. Saute cauliflower and onion in olive oil for 2-3 minutes, so that cauliflower is heated through but still a bit crunchy. Set aside and keep warm.
  4. Cut pak choy length-ways and wash well.
  5. After chicken has cooked for 15 minutes, add the pak choy and cook for further 2-3 minutes.
  6. To serve, slice chicken in half to make sure chicken has cooked through. If the chicken is still opaque, remove the pak choy and placed the sliced chicken back into poaching liquid for 2-3 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Place on warm cauliflower rice with the pak choy. Remove lemongrass and coriander roots from liquid and ladle sauce over chicken and pak choy.
  7. Garnish with sliced spring onion and serve immediately.

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Meet the Team: Meghann and Andrew from Paleo Cafe Mornington Penisula

The Paleo Cafe Franchise Family is continuing to expand and we love that our team is made up of people equally as passionate about Paleo and healthy living as we are. This week, meet Meghann and Andrew who are launching the first Victorian Paleo Cafe in Mornington Peninsula later this year.

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When and why did you start living a Paleo lifestyle?
We started living a paleo lifestyle in January of 2011.  Andrew has been gluten free for nearly 20 years and our first son had just been diagnosed with sensitivities to gluten, dairy, soy, legumes and eggs.  With so many things off the list, I had no idea what to cook! At the time, I was playing roller derby and read a book by Melissa Joulwan (author of Well Fed). I checked out her blog, heard about dino-chow, heavy lifting and the Whole30 and thought “Why not?”  We started out first Whole30 on January 17 and never looked back! It has seriously changed our lives in so many ways.

What made you want to own a Paleo Café?
Andrew has over 20 years experience as a chef and we are both passionate about Paleo and good food. It just made sense to take the leap and start doing something that we believe in as a career.  The Mornington Peninsula has an incredibly vibrant health and fitness community and we can’t wait to be a part of that on a daily basis.  It also gives us a chance to create  a lifestyle we love and lets us spend time with our two boys, Elliot (age 4) and Louie (14 months).

What is your favourite quick & easy Paleo meal to cook at home?
My Stupid Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork with sweet potato fries and guacamole.  It’s good every, single time and nearly impossible to mess up!

How do you like to keep fit?
Playing with our kids, climbing trees, running, surfing, stand up paddle boarding and yoga.  A little bit of everything so we can squeeze it in whenever we can and don’t get bored!

What do you like to do in your down time?
We love spending time together as a family, playing in the kitchen and creating new meals and heading to the beach.  I (Meghann) also love geeking out on the latest nutritional studies and then wowing all my family and friends with my newfound knowledge. Unfortunately, they’re not always as enthusiastic as me (though some are- Hi Andrew, Ivy and Crystal!)

We know our Victorian fans can’t wait for Meghann and Andrew to open on Mornington Peninsula – you can stay up to date with their local news and updates on their Facebook Page in the meantime.

Recipe: Coconut & Pistachio Crusted King Salmon

Recipe_Salmon

served w/celeriac remoulade, sweet potato chips & steamed greens  

Ingredients

4 x 200gm King Salmon fillets
50gm pistachios (roasted and crushed)
80gm coconut crunch
1Tablespoon lemon pepper

1 bunch Bok choy
200gm green beans
200gm broccoli
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
Salt & pepper

1 Kg Sweet potato (peeled and cut into chips, 1cm thick)
Salt & pepper

 

Remoulade:
200gm celeriac (cut into julienne or grated)
150gm apple (cut into julienne or grated)
½ Cup mayonnaise
1 Clove garlic (finely chopped)
1 Tablespoon parsley (finely chopped)
4 Lemon wedges for garnish

Method

  1. Mix coconut crunch, crushed nuts and lemon pepper and place over fish to form a nice even layer (about 4mm thick)
  2. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180 deg C for 15-20 mins on the bottom shelf. If the crust starts to colour, place foil over fish and continue baking.
  3. Place Chips on tray and season well with salt and pepper and bake in oven at the same time as the fish on the top shelf
  4. Clean and prepare green vegetables for stir frying
  5. Combine all Remoulade ingredients and season if necessary
  6. When a skewer goes through the fish with no resistance, it is ready. Turn oven down to low, 100 deg C and heat oil in a pan. Stir fry all the green vegetables together, adding a little bit of water and cover with a lid to steam the vegetables through.
  7. Serve all green vegetables, chips then fish on top
  8. Garnish with Remoulade and lemon wedge

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