With Christmas now a few days behind us, I have left the farm and made my way to the beach with my best friend. This is a tradition that I have done every year since I was born. And it’s the highlight of my Christmas break.
Before I left my parents place, I did the customary ‘produce shop’ aka pack as much fresh produce from the farm garden as possible without them noticing how much is gone. This year was rather successful, see above.
We also scored a large chunk of the leftover ham so all we needed to add was a few extra odds and ends from the actual supermarket such as eggs, cream etc. We also lashed out and grabbed some fresh banana prawns (from Australia) to add to our BBQ.
The trip takes approx. 2 hours, but it’s a beautiful drive that combines beach views and rough Australian bush scenery, throw in a mixed tap (literally, I borrowed my dads car and its still got a tape player!) and we’re off! see car below.
However, what I really wanted to share with you was how simple and healthy your next BBQ could be – and keep it Paleo without anyone second-guessing your food choices. Win-win really!
As the summer days are long and relaxed we were now wanting simple healthy and easy to prepare dinner, with equally easy clean up.
What we had:
- Sweet potato
- Red capsicum (bell pepper)
- Corn on the cob – still in its husk
- Prawns in shells
- Peels and thinly slice sweet potato to resemble ‘chips’.
- Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil on the hot plate and sprinkle some rosemary in the oil – this will fry down and the fragrance from the herb will cook in to the sweet potato.
- Put the corn on the grill element – keep on husks, this provides a perfect in-build wrapping to help stem cook the corn rather then burning the kernels on the direct heat
- Slice zucchini and capsicum and add to grill plate
- When sweet potato’s are nearly ready – they should have softened and have a slightly crispy surface- remove from direct heat.
- Throw the prawns on the hot plate. Add the mushrooms and haloumi now also.
- Cook prawns for approx. 2 mins on each side – they should change from being translucent white to bright pink and curl up – this happens when the heat contracts the protein and they tighten and curl.
- I like to leave my prawns on for a tiny bit longer – this lets the tail end of their shell go really crunchy and you can eat that part too. It’s also a great way to get glucosamine naturally from your diet, good for your joints and less waste! (in another post I’ll ask my dad to write about making your own sea-mineral mix from any marine waste for your garden – your veggies will love it)
When the prawns are nice and pink remove everything from the hot plates. Peel back the cornhusk and add a few knobs of butter.
Serve on a board in the center of the table for everyone to take what they want. You can dress with olive oil or a salsa verdi over the vegetables, but this time we just wanted it as is.
One of my most favorite meals, cooked in my most favorite place. What a perfect way to end 2012 with! Ps I added a sneaky glass of Australian Pino Gris – after all I am on holidays!
I always find it funny that its often the most simplest and basic meals become our hero dishes. I believe it’s the relaxed nature in which they are prepared, there is no stress, no fuss and no must have hard-to-find ingredients. Next time you’re stuck for food inspiration go and see what you already have in your fridge and pantry, let that shape how your next meal looks like. Creativity in cooking is half the fun!
I hope you think of this the next time your invited to a BBQ!
Organic, Sugar free, Whole-food Treat
I wanted to wish all of my followers a very Merry Christmas day. We are just getting our family feast together. The ham (that I flew from Sydney to Melbourne as carry on luggage) is currently in our oven dressed with homemade orange glaze and cinnamon spice.
The oysters are chilling on ice in the fridge while we light the BBQ for the prawns (shrimp) and scallops. Its a true Aussie Christmas fair at our place. We replace the classic cooked pudding for a ice-cream pudding – recipe too come! And I have just finished the classic Australian dessert; The Pavlova! Toped with berries i just picked from our garden. This is 70% paleo friendly – I’ll share this with you later.
The Pavlova has a mix of raspberries, silvan berries, young berries and blackberries.
Wishing you and your family a very merry, happy and healthy Christmas day
As I have mentioned I’ve come home for the holidays. And there is someone special I want to introduce to you….
This is a very lovely Jersey Cow called Moonya (pronounced Moo-nn-ya) She is approx 14 years old, has had approx. 10 calfs (the bull in the paddock next to where she lives keeps getting over the fence). She now lives out her days as a lawn mower and paddock mate to our horse.
We have a large vegetable garden and orchard on our property so she often scores the excess produce or clippings. The above is a pic of her eating apples from my hand. She is very tame and when called she trots over looking for food. A rather nice existence!
The out look from the top of the veggie patch. A well worn shovel
Just a short one today!
So you to can have your choc balls and eat them too..
These gems are like Powerball’s, full of protein and MCT (medium chain triglycerides) from the coconut oil, which is super great to help your body use fat as an energy source as it tells the body its ok to release fat and not store it. It’s also awesome for you immune system and great for you skin…
Perfect after a work out or night time snack before bed as there is no ‘instant sugar’ so you body will continue to burn fat over night. A much better option than smashing through a entire pack of chocolate Tim-Tams Mr. Hockaday! (reference to a friend who is slowly changing his eating habits and adapting to the paleo style extremely well!)
- 3 heaped tablespoons of Coconut oil or butter
- 3 tbs raw cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- ½ cup almond or flaxseed meal – or any other nuts/seeds ground or chopped up
- 3 tbs Chia seeds
- Stevia, honey or rice malt syrup to sweeten. If using honey/rice malt you only need about 1-2 tbs. (NB rice malt doesn’t contain any fructose so it won’t impact your blood sugar like honey will)
- You can add dried fruit i.e. cherries/goji berries if you want. Moulding the mix around a cherry would be nice.
- Optional; 1 scoop of green powder and/or protein powder. I find that if i use a raw protein powered it adds a nice sweetness.
- Adding a few drops of peppermint essence makes it a bit more christmassy!
Add all ingredients in together and mix well so all dry ingredients are coated with the oil – depending on the temp in your house the oil may need to be pre-melted to mix best.
The mixture should look like the classic ‘rum ball’ mix. If its too dry add more coconut oil. Roll in to a ball shape.
Top with a few large coconut shavings or macadamia nuts (see above)
Set in fridge or freezer. (love the retro plate)
If you time poor, I often just press the mix into a ice cube tray. Pop the tray into the freezer for 15min. They should just pop out into perfect cube shapes!
I wrap them in cling wrap and store them in the freezer, that way i have a easy on the go snack that will defrost by morning tea time. Please note that coconut oil melts easily and in warmer weather they can lose their solid shape.
They are like Powerball’s, full of protein and MCT (medium chain triglycerides) from the coconut oil, which is super great to help your body use fat as an energy source as it tells the body its ok to release fat and not store it. It’s also awesome for you immune system and great for you skin…
Perfect after a work out or night time snack before bed as there is no ‘instant sugar’ so you body will continue to burn fat over night rather than carbs.
I’ve been making these in big batches so I can bring them to various christmas parties and dinners to have after the meal. That way I enjoy something ‘sweet’ and not feel like I’m missing out. And I find that the other guests really enjoy them and always end up asking after the recipe… so my friends here you go!
Brighton Beach Bathing Boxes
A few of you know that I moved interstate to Sydney (Australia) earlier this year for a opportunity to advance my career. I’m going home for the holidays and I just realised its been over 5 months since I’ve been back
I officially call Melbourne, Australia home. If you have ever been to Melbourne you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say its possibly the most diverse and inspiring city in the world and if you haven’t, then please I employ you to make a stop if you ever visit Australia. Sydney is often the only capitol city that travels visit, and while it is extraordinarily beautiful, Melbourne has a internal vibe that makes you feel like you’ve found a bit of real magic. Melbourne is Australia’s nod to our European settlers; ergo it’s the foodie mecca of Australia. The town itself is based on a square grid which means it incredibly easy to get around, it just makes sense. However, if you look beyond its main streets you’ll discover Melbourne’s true under-belly; its hidden lane ways. Degraves st, Flinders Lane and Block Place, to name a few are the hidden gems beneath its modern city exterior. This is where I feel its soul lies.
While this post isn’t exactly about ‘whole-foods’ it’s more about food and its energetics, which I feel is equally important. While walking down these lane ways I feel how the city used to run, the stores that first opened and the people who would occupy the spaces. These lane ways hold a rich history that lay the foundations of how Melbournians view foods and their expectation around it. We don’t expect a fancy spread but we do want it quick, affordable, tasty and with a bit of old Melbourne vibe.
Head to Degraves st from noon onwards and find it filled with the big suits perched on milk crates, sitting outside a soup stand with their bread roll balancing on one knee and their iPad on the other. For just a brief moment their busy corporate life stalls while they slurp the home made soup or bite into the crusty exterior of a Panini filled with prosciutto, rocket and melted mozzarella.
Walk in to the beautiful Block Arcade and be transported back to the 1920s of glamour and style. Find your grandmother with her friends remembering a time and tradition gone by of high tea at Hopetoun Tea Rooms. Enjoy a cup of early grey tea out of fine china and take the time to pause in the mid afternoon for the simple pleasure of socialising. It’s as nourishing for the body as any meditation.
In the evening when the workers are leaving the streets come alive with the bars and restaurants forcing the city to walk to a different beat.. There are hidden roof top bars such as Madam Brussels with its cheeky Alice in Wonderland theme. Or head up to Cookie Roof Top Cinema to catch classic movie in the evening summer breeze surrounded by the twinkling lights from the nearby high-risers. Then afterwards walk down a few levels to Cookie Bar for a classic Martini (or mineral water) before you take the tram back to your destination.
Melbourne is one of the most civilised cities around. The above is just a snippet of what I think makes this city amazing.
Let me know if you have been or if you are planning on going, I’d love to provide you with a few recommendations for dinner, markets and getaways.
Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post I’ll be going home for the holidays, back to the ‘farm’ which I’m so excited about. I’ll be sharing lots of photos and some video clips of what fresh produce we have growing there and how we prepare and preserve it over the next two weeks.
Last day of work for me today and I’ll be seeing you once more before Christmas day!
Lots of festive love
This is the time of year where I seem forget all my nutrition and health learning’s and declare ‘all bets are off’. I give myself ‘permission’ to just go for it. Chips, cake, chocolate, drinks, cheese.. well you get the picture. And the funny thing is I’m not sure why I do this. I mean what do I really get out of it? I know its Christmas time, but does that make it OK to pig out?
For me, this year has been one of really getting to know me and my internal workings aka what I eat and does it make me feel awesome or crap-ola. What I’ve discovered is that eating certain food for the sake of a holiday or tradition is kinda weird. My body has no idea about the meaning of Christmas, all it experiences is a onslaught of sugar. Going forth with full abandon makes me feel, well, crap, akin to the stuffed turkey perhaps. I had a mini preview this weekend at a casual Christmas party and it was like a little reminder to be mind-full of my food choices in the next few weeks.
I thought I’d share some of my tips I’ll be adopting to help me sail effortlessly though the indulgent time of year so we can come out a little less plump on the other side!
I actually encourage you to eat on Christmas day. Feeling deprived is not what this day is about there are plenty of foods that are suited to a lower sugar way of eating. The only thing I really want you to be aware of is listen to your body. Know when you are done i.e. full and really more would just make you more uncomfortable and sleepy – its NOT the turkey that does this, it’s the carbs!
If you keep this first ‘rule’ in mind while you are enjoying Christmas day meals you’ll be A-ok.
Pre-dinner snacks – read my other post on Paleo suggestion for Christmas parties here https://thewholefoodtruth.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/how-to-go-paleo-at-pre-christmas-parties-2/” Stick to the cheese and raw nuts for snacks.
Secondly the Christmas Feast meal is actually a paleo’s dream meal. We worship the meat on this day; think massive baked turkey, leg of ham, roll of crispy skin pork, green beans and carrots. Need I say more.
At my Christmas table we also will have roasted potatoes. I’ve never really been a fan of the potato, but I’m mad for its cousin the sweet potato (yam) so I’ll just chop one up and add it to the baking tray with some coconut oil and rosemary. Too easy.
Another Christmas staple is the cranberry sauce and gravy. I’d simply avoid the cranberry stuff, it’s basically jam i.e. full of sugar, my opinion is it’s just not worth it. 1 dollop of that with your turkey is approx 2-3 teaspoons of sugar = 15grams upwards of refined carbs and then add in the dried cranberries on top of that. Go with the gravy. It should be made using the juices and fat that has been cooked out of the meats – sometime people add a bit of flour to thicken. If you’re at home maybe you could offer to make the gravy? Add a tablespoon of butter and whisk it in well, it should all come together and be silky smooth without the need to add flour. If you like it a bit thicker ½ a teaspoon of coconut flour will work wonders. Note; coconut flour will absorb approx 4 times the liquid of regular flour so add tiny amounts then mix.
Christmas Pudding: There really is no way around this one. By this stage you will no doubt be feeling the effects of a large meal. Listen to this. If you just live for Christmas pudding then I would say have some. But request a small slice – after all you’re kinda full enough by now right? Add a spoonful of cream if you wish and enjoy it. The amount of sugar in a small slice when mixed with the fat and protein from a meal like this will have little effect on your blood sugar and thus insulin release should be minimal. But this is not a licence to go nuts.
The biggest message I want to communicate is that its your choice. I’m here to give advice and help break-down some food and health myths, I’m not here to tell you what you can and can’t have on Christmas day. However, I do hope that this post will inspire you to practice mindful eating and begin listening to your body. Be aware of the changes in how you feel, think and respond after certain foods. There is no perfect ‘diet’, I actually hate that word. In food and wellness there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. You body will tell you what fits you. Its like that particular brand of jeans that seems to be cut just for your shape – Its just works.
In 2013 I will be setting up a food learning program to help you get more aware of your body and how it responds to food, lifestyle and environment. It will be completely free for everyone who wants to be brave enough to go on their own journey and get back in touch with their own tempo. Follow me at either this blog or Facebook at The Wholefood Truth as I’ll be setting up and sending out your first ‘body-work’ aka homework, to begin your own adventure in becoming more aware and re-connected with your body. Updates will all be conducted via FB.
I’m really excited to be sharing this with you. Love to hear any comments or feedback or suggestion on what you think trips up your health or where you feel you get ‘stuck’.
First ‘bodywork’ will commence in Jan 2013! Stay tuned.
Ps – the picture is a semi-Paleo friendly treat. Recipe will be posted this week.