Recipe: Spicy Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

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Serves 6

1 large brown onion, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, whole
500g fresh Roma tomatoes, halved
2 red capsicums, deseeded and sliced
2 large red chillies, sliced
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ghee, melted
400g can tomatoes, diced
1 cup vegetables stock
2 cups coconut cream
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 190ºC.

2. Place onions, garlic, tomatoes, chilli, capsicum, cumin seeds, coriander and ghee on a large baking tray and gently mix together. Roast until soft and slightly golden; about 15 minutes.

3. Transfer to large saucepan along with crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add coconut cream and blend with stick blender.

4. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a side of toasted Paleo bread.

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Recipe: San Choy Bow

Recipe_SanChoyBow1

serves 6

1kg pork mince
1/4 cup water chestnuts, sliced
1/4 packet sweet potato noodles
1 tbl ghee
2 tbl coconut amino
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 spring onion, sliced
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp chinese five spice
1/2 bunch coriander chopped
salt and pepper
iceberg lettuce, cut into cups

In a large saucepan bring some water to the boil. Cook the sweet potato noodles in boiling water for 6 minutes or until tender, drain and set aside.

In a large frying pan, heat ghee over medium heat. Fry the pork mince, chestnuts, garlic, ginger and spring onions for 5 minutes or so or until the pork mince is browned. Add the spices, and coconut amino, cook for a further 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the coriander and the sweet potato noodles and stir well. Serve in lettuce cups.

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Meet the Team: Jackie from Paleo Cafe Brisbane – Paddington

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Jackie from Paleo Cafe Brisbane – Paddington

 

The Paddington Paleo Cafe store was one of the first franchises announced earlier this year, so we are very excited to be able to advise the tentative opening date of October 16. With just over a month to go, we had franchisee Jackie in Cairns this week in preparation of the grand opening.

When and why did you start living a Paleo lifestyle?
It was while I was in preparation for a fitness model competition in early 2012  that I came across the Paleo Lifestyle.  It just made sense to me and as I delved a little further into it, I found that it was extremely beneficial to the functioning of my body and also increased my energy levels.  It’s so fun being creative in the kitchen and sharing clean and tasty versions of dishes we already love with friends, family and facebook, allowing others to get an insight of the Paleo lifestyle and hopefully begin their own journey towards achieving optimal health and relinquishing the myth that there is a need to count calories.

What made you want to open your own Paleo Cafe?
After having discovered the Paleo lifestyle, I found that although I was able to prepare Paleo meals at home, it was impossible to eat out  without it being just plain meat and veg or salad without dressing.  I love food (who doesn’t?) so I was constantly scouring Brisbane food courts in the hope that ‘someone must have by now opened a pure paleo fast food’.  It was when I was on a very unexpected random trip to Cairns in April this year, that I came across Paleo Café on Grafton Street.  My first thought was “In Cairns? Of all places!”, my second thought was “Hell YEAH!”.  It was perfect timing as the opportunities of owning a franchise had been released only a few weeks earlier, so I took a pamphlet back to Brissy and everything just fell into place since then…we have not looked back!

What is your favourite quick & easy Paleo meal to cook at home?
SAVOURY PALEO CRACKERS!  Omgosh!  The recipe triples up as a quiche base, pizza base and crackers of course.  2.5 cups of Blanched Almond Meal, 1 egg, 1 egg white and get creative with the herbs and spices.  Make a dough, roll out, cut into desired shapes and bake in a 180 deg Cels oven for 20 mins…Voila!  Yum!
(Editor’s note: Jackie’s savoury crackers recipe has been a Paleo Cafe staff favourite since she posted it on the Paddington Facebook page!)

How do you like to keep fit?
I love all sorts of training that combines cardio and resistance.  Crossfit and tabata are fabulous as they provide the best of both worlds but I do like to also immerse myself into a relaxing yoga routine or go for a long jog with my head phones in.

What do you like to do in your down time?  I adore spending time with my family…I have two gorgeous children and an amazing husband.  Our downtime is usually spent out and about at the park, the beach, at a cafe or in our common room (lounge room) watching movies.

You can keep up to date with the latest news from Paleo Cafe Brisbane – Paddington on their Facebook page.

Meet the Team: Erica from Paleo Cafe Brisbane CBD

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Erica from Paleo Cafe Brisbane CBD.

Ever since our flagship Cairns store opened in 2012, we have had so much support and demand from South East Queensland so are very excited to have not one but three stores underway in the Brisbane region. This week we are introducing you to Erica from Paleo Cafe Brisbane CBD who has been in Cairns this week learning the ropes with the Head Office and original cafe team.

When and why did you start living a Paleo lifestye?
I started living the Paleo lifestyle about 2 years ago after I had been Crossfitting for about 6 months.  My oldest son, Ryan, who is a Crossfit coach in Sydney introduced me to the idea and I have probably been about 80/20 for the past 18 months.  The difference in my energy levels and general well being have been fantastic.  I love it!

What made you want to open your own Paleo Cafe?
I am passionate about my lifestyle choices and I want to share my experiences.  I want everyone to have access to great clean food and information to support their choices.  In the perfect world everyone would come back to eating this way just as Mother Nature intended.

What is your favourite quick and easy Paleo meal to make at home?
It is a Civilised Caveman recipe – Chocolate Expresso Pork Belly which I have with root vegetables and something green.

How do you like to keep fit?
I Crossfit 5 or 6 times a week.  I know, I am just a little addicted! Along with changing the way I eat, the introduction of Crossfit has had a dramatic effect on my life.  I am fitter and healthier now than I have ever been.  I also have a thing for obstacle courses, I have done 5 events this year…something about the mud.

What do you like to do in your downtime?
I like to watch movies and read.  I also love to cook and often spend Sunday afternoons just pottering around in the kitchen.
Paleo Cafe Brisbane CBD is scheduled to open in October/November 2013. We know there are quite a few Paleo Cafe fans who are extremely excited we’ll be right in the city, so make sure you like their Facebook Page to stay up to date with all the local news and specials.

Recipe: Paleo Anzac Biscuits

Recipe_AnzacBiscuits

Makes 18

2 cups almond meal
2 cups flaked almonds
2 cups flaked coconut
½ cup honey
½ cup coconut oil
1 tsp bicarb soda

Preheat oven to 160ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper.

Combine almond meal, flaked almonds and flaked coconut in a bowl and mix well. Place honey and coconut oil into small saucepan and heat slowly until melted. Add bicarb soda and stir well until dissolved. Pour honey liquid into dry ingredients and mix together until combined.

Place mixture onto a piece of baking paper and roll into a log shape, then put into freezer until hard. Once solid, slice into 1cm-thick rounds and position 2cm apart on baking tray.

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden. The biscuits will be very soft when they come out of the oven so leave to cool for five minutes (if you can wait that long!) before transferring biscuits to cooling rack to harden.

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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?

Recipe: Paleo Tomato Sauce

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175 g tomato paste
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ cup water
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp. honey
salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and stir until well combined. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Cool and keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

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