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: 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.

Meet the Team: Greg Sawyer from Paleo Cafe Bondi Junction

Chef and MKR judge Pete Evans with Jai Hobbs, Greg Sawyer and the Paleo Cafe Cairns team.

Chef and MKR judge Pete Evans with Jai Hobbs, Greg Sawyer and the Paleo Cafe Cairns team.

Paleo Cafe  – Sydney Bondi Junction was one of the first franchises to be announced and plans are well underway for the grand opening in October 2014. Bondi Junction franchisee Greg Sawyer was in Cairns this week to learn the ropes and we sat him down to ask a couple of questions to help you get to know him better.

When and why did you start living the Paleo lifestyle?
I started living a Paleo lifestyle mid 2012 upon returning to Australia from working overseas in areas where fresh nutritious food was very hard to come by. I felt amazing within a week and haven’t looked back since.

What made you want to open your own Paleo Cafe?
Owning my own business has been a dream of mine for many years. I found out about Paleo Cafe on Facebook through my crossfit coach Chad Mackay. A few months later I saw that Paleo Cafe was franchising, and was speaking to Jai and Marlies about Bondi Junction the very next day.

What is your favourite quick & easy Paleo meal to cook at home?
Grilled spiced chicken, mashed sweet potato with coconut oil, avocado and steamed veggies. I’m a big eater and this meal fills me to the brim, and only takes about 15min to cook.

How do you like to keep fit?
Crossfit.

What do you like to do in your down time?

I love the ocean, the snow, nature, sun and adrenalin so I’ll be doing any combination of them in my free time.

We’re sure that our NSW fans are looking forward to getting to know Greg and his team at Paleo Cafe Sydney (Bondi Junction) and eagerly counting down until they open. To stay up to date with their latest developments and local news, make sure you like their Facebook Page.

The People of Paleo Cafe: Chelsea’s Weight Loss Journey

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Chelsea recently joined the marketing team at Paleo Cafe and shares how changing her lifestyle helped her shed 50kg over the past eighteen months.

Next weekend, I’m taking part in the Tough Mudder Challenge on the Sunshine Coast. I’m part nervous, part excited and part just glad I am at a stage where I can even consider such a feat. Two years ago, I weighed 146kg. It’s a figure I’m not proud of, and I’m only comfortable sharing it now that it is so far behind me. The photo on the left is what “shocked” me into taking action to improve my health – I’d been overweight for most of my adult life. Over the years I made various attempts to lose weight – tried the latest diet fads, counting calories or exercising but didn’t stick at anything long enough to make a difference. I tended to lose and gain the same 10-15kg over and over. 146kg was a new high though – mid 2011 my doctor weighed me during a routine script renewal appointment and I was shocked. I knew I had put on weight, but assumed it was about 5kg. A couple of weeks later, that “before” photo was taken and I really saw how much I had ballooned.

I had previously enjoyed particular classes at the gym so looked at all the timetables and picked a gym that offered them regularly in slots I could go to and for the first time in my life, started exercising regularly. By the end of 2011, I was going to the gym 3 – 5 times a week, every week. It was progress, but the scales hadn’t shifted much and I knew it was my food.

In February 2012, I signed up to a Twelve Week Challenge at the gym with my workout buddy. One of the conditions of the challenge was that we went to personal training sessions and followed the meal plan that our trainer set for us.

That is where it all started for me. I’ll admit when I looked at the food guidelines there was no way I could stick to it for twelve hours, let alone twelve weeks. When I asked my trainer what I should do if I felt like snacking at night time, he suggested to go to bed. I was scared and out of my comfort zone but managed to push through.

“Clean Eating”, “Paleo”, “No Sugar”  and all these other words and phrases had been popping up on the health & fitness blogs and pages I had started following. When I had originally looked at the types of foods I could eat, it looked boring and limited. Eggs. Meats and fish. Vegetables. Fruit. Nuts. After I did a little research and reading I realised how limitless what I could eat really was.

I really think that is why it “clicked” for me this time. I always found calorie counting and label reading to be tedious and confusing – I’d spend hours in the aisles of the supermarket trying to compare and struggling to reconcile which was the better choice. Now most of my food doesn’t have labels.

When I tell people what I do I tend to describe it as “Clean(ish) Eating” because I am not 100% strict 100% of the time. I have however found a good, healthy balance that works for me that is based around eating fresh, healthy food.

I am down 51.5kg in total and hoping to lose another 10-15kg to reach my “goal” but to be honest, these days my goals are more about pushing myself to do and achieve things rather than reach a magic number. It started with being able to do push ups on my toes and learn how to skip (I am coordination challenged) and is now “complete the Tough Mudder Obstacle Course”.  I find that feeling of actually being able to do something that once seemed to be impossible to be so much more rewarding than scale watching and the reality is, if you eat good food and exercise, the weight takes care of itself anyway.

I’ll be sharing some of those goals and my progress towards achieving them on this blog from time to time and look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Recipe: Beef Rendang Curry by Paleo Cafe

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Recipe: Beef Rendang Curry by Paleo Cafe

80ml      olive oil
30g         shredded coconut
140ml    coconut Amino
1 x          cinnamon stick
2 x          kaffir lime leaves
1 stick    lemon grass
50g         shrimp paste
400g       tin of chopped tomato
60g         tomato paste
30g         coconut sugar
80g         mild curry powder
30g         minced garlic
30g         minced ginger
1  x         sliced onion
1kg         diced beef

Fry off sliced onions, minced garlic, minced ginger, shrimp paste, shredded coconut, sticks of lemon grass and curry powder in the oil until the onions are cooked down. Add beef and brown on all sides.

Add remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer until the meat is tender (40-60 minutes). Serve with cauliflower rice.

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