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.

When Not Everyone Is Paleo

ImageIt can be hard to make lifestyle changes stick at the best of times. It can be even harder if not everyone in your household joins you in your quest.

We recently asked our Facebook community if everyone in their house was making the same lifestyle choices and got mixed results. Those who were going it alone lamented how difficult it can be.

We’ve prepared a few tips to help keep you on track if you’re also catering for other tastes and preferences in your weekly meal plan (and budget!).

Talk About It With The Household
Whether you are looking to address dietary/medical concerns (make sure you also talk to your doctor or health practitioner about those!), lose weight or improve general well being talking to your household before you embark on the change can make for an easier transition period. It also lets you establish “how far” others are willing to go so that there are no surprises come meal time. Make sure you tell them what you will be eating instead of just rattling off what you won’t.

Plan Your Meals
It is so much easier to stay on track if you plan your meals ahead of time. It also lets you make preparations for known pressure points throughout the week and can help to keep the food budget in check.

Modify Your Existing Menu
Obviously if you’re currently eating takeaway every night or relying on processed convenience foods, this may be a little trickier but sometimes tweaking what you’re already eating is a good place to start.

Sub Your Sides
If you’re catering for people with various tastes and/or requirements, keeping the “core” part of the meal “everyone friendly” will make life much easier. Grilled/roast meats and salad/vegetables are a great fall back option with limitless options that will satisfy nearly everyone. Other things which are really easy to make and cater for everyone include stir fries and curries (you can buy sweet potato noodles and other specialty items or simply serve the regular rice/noodles on the side and have yours with extra veggies); tacos (you can serve them in lettuce cups which is often popular amongst everyone, or just put the shells/wraps/cheese on the side for anyone who still wants them); pastas (the sweet potato noodles taste great with your favourite clean pasta sauce or again, just serve yours with extra vegetables) and burgers (serve yours in lettuce leaves, as a salad or between some grilled eggplant or with a large mushroom). There are some fantastic recipes online (including here on this blog!) to help you make Paleo friendly, clean versions of your favourite sauces and marinades that taste so good nobody will know they are healthy, Paleo options unless you tell them!

Keep It Simple
There are so many great Paleo recipes online, including some “Paleo Hacks” to help you make some of your favourite things “Paleo Friendly” including baked goods, breads, tortillas and more. These can be great for a treat or if you have extra time, but can sometimes be fiddly or a bit hit and miss to attempt mid week. You don’t have to make them to be living a Paleo lifestyle and keep your meals on track.

Freezer Meals
If you are going to be in a situation where separate food is necessary some of the time, it can help to have a supply of premade options in the freezer to make sure you’re not making two dishes a meal. Most of the options in the “sub the sides” freeze well (just add fresh salad/vegetables when you thaw & reheat), quiche/frittatas are perfect for making in bulk and freezing for quick, easy, healthy breakfast options and ziploc bags are the perfect size to freeze single serve packs of grilled and seasoned lunch meats to take to work each day with salad/vegetables.

It’s Not Just About Food
The Paleo Lifestyle goes well beyond the food we eat. It also encompasses making sure you get plenty of sleep, keep active and make time for the things in life you enjoy – and these are all things that everyone will benefit from taking part in!

Does everyone in your household follow the same lifestyle choices? If not, how do you manage?