food glorious food

this is what i’ve been cooking lately



roast chicken & veggies for a dinner with friends


lamb shanks for the cold winter nights


paleo big brekkie


mussels en provence


mid-week paleo chicken fajitas


weekend steak, scrambled eggs & veggies


buffalo wings with blue cheese sauce for footy night


chicken & date tagine

flourless, sugarless chocolate cake

🍒🍎🍌🌽🍆🍠🍕🍔🍗🍪

have you been cooking up a storm? what’s been on your plate of late?

whole30 | two weeks down

Jay and I are doing the Whole30 program.

What is Whole30 you might be asking?

It’s a revolutionary way to change your life; you’re health, your emotional attachment to food and your relationship to your body and exercise.
You can read all about it [here]

Basically we are doing away with alcohol, sugar, grains, legumes, dairy and healthy-treats (referred to as Sex With Your Pants On) for a full 30 days!
But don’t focus on what is being avoided, focus on the positive; whole food, healthy – as close to nature as possible – food, detechnofying (is this actually a word?!?) and simple movement for a month.

It’s been a little challenging. The no alcohol is what’s really got me. I usually have a glass of wine or a martini every night. And not snacking between meals has been challenging (snacking avoidance is also about temperance) although I’ve still been having at least one snack a day, like late-afternoon I have some beef jerky or a handful of nuts.
I’ve also gotten a little sick, Jay calls it the “carb flu” but Whole30 says its not unusual to get a little sick as your body is trying to rid itself from all the toxins in the first week or so, the immune system is a little overloaded. So days 7-11 I struggled with an ear and sinus infection which was not fun.

Today is Day 14. And you should see my skin and eyes; clear and sparkling! I’ve always had pretty good skin, but I can really see a difference. And my clothes feel a little looser. I am enjoying the food; eating naturally but all the cooking is pretty intensive! Last night was the first time we ate out since starting to program; we went to Mumu Grill which specialises in grass-fed beef & free-range pork/chicken. It was weird not having a glass of wine with the meal (especially on a Saturday night) but we made great food choices and left feeling satiated, not bursting at the seams and with dessert, wine & the other extras, dinner was so cheap!

Here’s a few pics of our food over the past week:

homemade paleo muesli
homemade paleo muesli

made with no grains; just seeds, nuts & coconut. I have this with coconut milk or homemade almond milk.

brekkie; bubble & squeak with poached egg
brekkie; bubble & squeak with poached egg

a great way to use left over veggies; bubble & squeak fry-up topped with a poachie

breakkie; scrambled eggs with hamburger beef pattie & kale salad
breakkie; scrambled eggs with hamburger beef pattie & kale salad

grassfed beef patties with scrambled eggs and a kale & tomato salad

lunch; mince fry-up & salad
lunch; mince fry-up & salad

super quick to prepare; grassfed beef mince & onion with a salad of kale, tomato, jicama & blanched broccoli

coconut chicken 'nuggets' with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad
coconut chicken ‘nuggets’ with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad

so yum! chicken nuggets made with freerange organic chicken mince, Thai spices & rolled in coconut then shallow fried, served with sweet potato sticks & waldorf salad (without the blue cheese and made with paleo mayo)

dinner; mushroom burger with sweet potato wedges
dinner; mushroom burger with sweet potato wedges

mushroom bun, grassfed beef pattie, salad & paleo mayo served with sweet potato wedges

steak, sweet potato & zucchini grilled on the bbq with salad
steak, sweet potato & zucchini grilled on the bbq with salad

grassfed scotch fillet barbecued with sweet potato & zucchini and served with a quick salad of blanched broccolini, green beans, pepitas & cranberries

meatloaf muffins & zoodles
meatloaf muffins & zoodles

grassfed beef mince with chopped veggies & herbs to make a ‘meatloaf muffin’ served with zucchini noodles and homemade basil pesto

the adventures of melly; sans sugar

A year ago, if someone had suggested that I “quit sugar” I would have literally dropped to the floor and rolled around laughing. Me, the eat-a-full-bag-of-gummy-bears-maybe-two-in-one-sitting, quit sugar? Yeah right! But after reading Sweet Poison and being kinda obsessed with Sarah Wilson’s blog and books and instagram for a while, I thought it made complete sense to join her I Quit Sugar (#IQS) 8 week program (#IQS8WP) when it came on offer. When I say sugar I mean fructose. The evil stuff that effects and is processed bio-chemically the same in your body whether its from a can of Coke, a handful of peanut M&Ms or from fruit.

So, how’s it going? you might ask….

Week 1

Piece of cake, well not literally of course, is what I thought when I read the weekly newsletter that included all the details for the first week ahead; meal plan, shopping list and big Sunday cook-up. It actually was really enjoyable to have someone else plan out the week’s meals and they were damn good! I can’t begin to describe how delicious the Paleo Inside-Out Bread is. The Sunday Cook-Up was fun! So much food that I had to set up guard to save Jay eating it all! And the aromas wafting out of my kitchen…think whole roasted chicken, pumpkin & sweet potato puree, 2 loaves of paleo bread and paleo muesli.

The instructions were to gently & gradually wean myself from the sweet stuff; ditch sugar in my coffee (1 point for Melly; I dont take sugar in my coffee), eat a piece of whole fruit instead of drinking a glass of juice (1 point for Melly; I generally dont drink fruit juice unless Jay’s BFF comes to stay in which case I buy almost every version of expensive juice under the sun because that’s our Husbands-BFF-and-wife thing) and opt for whole-fat dairy instead of skim because manufacturers add sugar to low-fat dairy to create the same full-fat flavour. I know. Bastards! (0 points for Melly but ditching the skim I would go!).

my rendition of Sarah Wilson's Paleo Inside Out Bread YUUUUUM!
my rendition of Sarah Wilson’s Paleo Inside Out Bread YUUUUUM!

Week 2

This is where it got interesting. (1) No fruit for 4 weeks! To baseline our no-sugar-bodies so that we can reintroduce later. (2) Make better alcohol choices ie: a glass of red instead of my precious sparkling (WTF?!) and strictly no fizzy drink mixers like Coke or Lemonade (no issue there, yuck!) or dessert wine, which actually was harder to ignore than I expected as I went out to dinner with friends and they all shared a really nice, expensive bottle of champers AND dessert wine. Dammit.

But my face looked thinner and I felt less bloated. And the paleo muesli….oh the paleo muesli…..

beautiful little clusters of deliciousness; paleo muesli
beautiful little clusters of deliciousness; paleo muesli

Week 3

Okay. So I might have had a little slip. Maybe a big slip. My darling best male friends, King & Dobbo, have been feeling a little stressed about our upcoming separation from them (you’d think we were moving countries and not just a little apartment move 15 minutes away), so they’ve been saturating themselves in our company. We had a Friday night out dancing (champagne), Saturday dinner out (more champagne and I may have had a scoop of icecream floating in a shot of Frangelico),  mid-week dinner at their place to help them choose a feature wall paint colour (yet more champagne, this time a fancy bottle of Perrier-Jouët that they had been saving to give me on my birthday in October) and then breakfast on Sunday which was more like brunch which involved a brioche beef burger. Grains AND sugar. Save me Jebus.

my fave men; Dobbo, Jay & King
my fave men; Dobbo, Jay & King

That gets us to Week 4…

Today, quite literally, I would murder my own grandmother for a giant gummy python. Let’s put it down to me coming off an epic crash from last week and the fact that week 4 includes a 5-day detox from all that is good in the world ie: no fruit, coffee, alcohol, grains, and did I mention no coffee??? Did I also mention that today is Day 1 of Week 4? Did I mention no coffee or alcohol? Oh, how will I survive…

On the upside, this is what I had for breakfast – jealous?

paleo bread with avocado & feta smash and a poachie
paleo bread with avocado & feta smash and a poachie

So, this week, amongst the stress of packing, moving, going to my night course and preparing for some upcoming weekend project changes, I will be getting back on track. No grains (yay for Happy Paleo Melly!), no caffeine, no fructose & no debauchery of any kind.

Hope you have a great week too!

my delightful IQS book
my delightful IQS book

 

 

zucchini linguine, basil pesto & spinach

I’m sharing a really special secret with you. This salad is my Absolute Fave!

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Because my husband’s motto is ‘it’s not a meal unless there’s meat in it’ I usually make this when I’m alone or as a side dish for dinner.

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Ingredients:
serves one
– 1 zucchini, made into vegetable “linguine” (using a vegetable slicer like a Spirooli aka Chef Avenue 3-in1 Vegetable Slicer)
– 1 tbsp basil pesto
– 1 tbsp pinenuts or sliver almonds, toasted
– handful baby spinach
– 2 tbsp grated pecorino or parmesan

Method:
Mix all ingredients; zucchini “linguine”, basil pesto, toasted nuts & baby spinach together in a large bowl. Top with grated pecorino and serve!

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perfect paleo pancakes | recipe

I do allow some dairy in my paleo diet, so with that in mind, here is the yummiest grain-free pancake recipe for your sweet weekend breakfast!

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Ingredients
serves 2
– 2 organic eggs, lightly beaten
– 225g ricotta
– 1 tsp vanilla essence
– 1 orange
– 1 tbs coconut flour
– coconut oil for frying

Blueberry sauce
– 1 punnet blueberries (fresh or frozen)
– the juice from the orange above
– 1 tbs agave syrup or honey

(1) combine the beaten eggs, ricotta & vanilla essence in a large mixing bowl. Stir through the zest of the orange. Add the coconut flour & mix well.
(2) allow the batter to rest for 5 minutes.
(3) in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine blueberries with juice of the orange & agave syrup, cover & bring to the boil. Turn down heat and summer uncovered until fragrant & sauce thickens to a syrup. Cover and set aside.
(4) fry spoonfuls of the pancake mix in a pan with a tbs of coconut oil over gentle heat until golden on both sides. Cook the pancakes in batches and keep warm in the oven.
(5) divide the pancakes among two plates, top with blueberry sauce & serve with yoghurt & sliced banana if desired.
(6) EAT!

This recipe is adapted from Teresa Cutter @teresacutter_healthychef

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the deliciousness!

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the aftermath!

tightening the reins

Remember my New Years Resolution? Well it’s now March and I’m finding general life & eating fairly easy with the paleo way, however, I have noticed a few too many paleo treats creeping in and portion sizes creeping up, so I’m reading and listening to podcasts to realign myself. I have also let my regular intense exercise regime slip; mostly due to my ankle injury flaring up a bit but also because I’ve just been a little slack.

Time to tighten the reins!!!

PB21_Infographic_FINAL

paleo banana + coconut bread

IMG_20140101_113719 So my New Years Resolution Revolution is going really well!
I have been 100% paleo for 22 days and counting!

I wanted to share with you my new fave sweet treat recipe which I discovered on Aussie TV chef personality & nutritionist Teresa Cutter’s website
The Healthy Chef.

It’s great for morning or afternoon tea but I especially love a slice for breakfast!

Original Publication HERE

Banana + Coconut Bread

IMG_20140119_193843Makes 1 loaf
Serves 12

  • 400 g (14  oz) ripe banana
  • 6 free range / organic eggs
  • 4 fresh pitted dates (see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/  1/4 cup)  macadamia nut oil, coconut oil or cold pressed olive oil
  • half teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 70 g ( 1/2  cup/ 2  1/2   oz) ) coconut flour
  • 20 g (1/4 cup / 1  oz) chia seed (see notes)

Preheat your oven to 150 C. (fan forced) 170 C ( no fan)
Combine banana, dates, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs and baking powder into a blender or food processor and blend until creamy and combined  – alternatively you can do this by hand in a large bowl.
Add the coconut flour and chia seeds and mix through.
Rest for 10 minutes to allow the chia and coconut flour to expand.
Lightly oil one loaf tin and then line with baking paper –  The size I used was: 10 1/2 cm wide and 26 cm long.
Spoon batter into the tin – at this stage you can decorate the bread with flaked coconut of sliced banana before baking.
Bake for  50 – 55  minutes ( a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry).
Cover the top with foil if over-browning.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf.
Makes 1 loaf serves 12.
keeps in the fridge covered for up to 1 week. (freezes well too)

All words from The Healthy Chef. Picture my own.

 

swedish meatloaf | paleo recipe of the week

Recently I bought the most awesome book;
Primal Cravings
by husband wife crossfit duo Megan & Brandon Keatley.
It’s endorsed by Mark Sisson, one of the godfathers of the modern paleo movement, so you know it’s going to be great!

primal

Last night I created my first recipe from it’s pages…the only issue is that all the recipe measurements are in Imperial metrics, so I have to convert each ingredient to metric. I think I’m going to be writing all over my book!

Swedish Meatloaf

Swedish Meatloaf
Swedish Meatloaf

Ingredients

For the meatloaf

  • 1 pound ground pork (aka 500g pork mince)
  • 1 pound ground beef (aka 500g beef mince)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, grated (aka 1/2 large brown onion)
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the sweet & sour cherry jam

  • 12 ounce bag frozen cherries (aka 500g bag of frozen cherries)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350°F (aka 175-180°C).

Place all of the meatloaf ingredients in a large bowl and using your handy-dandy hands, mix to combine thoroughly.

Shape the mixture into a loaf and plop it into a standard loaf pan.

Bake until cooked through, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile, combine the jam ingredients into a small sauce pot. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the liquids have reduced by about a third. Use a fork or potato masher to smash up the cherries.

Serve the meatloaf topped with the cherry jam.

I served mine with cauliflower mash and roasted brussel sprouts & more cauliflower.
I served mine with cauliflower mash and roasted brussel sprouts & more cauliflower.

Recipe from Primal Cravings cook book.

kale & walnut pesto | paleo recipe of the week

kalewalnutpesto

People are always asking me what I do with kale. 

I primarily use it to make green smoothies, as a side veggie for dinner (think sauteed kale & mushrooms) or in my scrambled eggs/omelette for brekkie.

But I’ve found a new use! Kale & Walnut Pesto; totally paleo friendly and great with grilled/steamed fish or chicken. Yum!!! Adapted from a recipe found [here]

Kale & Walnut Pesto

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup plain/raw, roughly chopped walnuts (or nuts of your choice like blanched almonds or macadamias)
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • about 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup grated sheep or goats hard cheese (or Parmesan cheese for those not inclined to the sheep or goat variety)
  • ½ – 1 cup extra virgin olive oil or macadamia nut oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Method:

Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add nuts and stir constantly (or gently shake pan) until toasted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let the nuts cool.

Pulse garlic clove in food processor until it is chopped finely, about 30 seconds. Add kale, toasted nuts & cheese and pulse until chopped. You may have to stop the food processor, open the top, and push the kale down toward the blades.

With the food processor running on low, add olive oil in a steady stream until you get the consistency you want. I used just over 1/2 a cup of macadamia oil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper (about 1½ teaspoons salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper).

Enjoy!