WHAT A WEEK!!

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So the week started off magically, we were lucky enough to hear Joel And Daniel Salatin give a talk on sustainable living and life at polyface farms. Right here in lovely Bendigo, finally a true celebrity in our midst! If you haven’t seen Food Inc, you must run and watch it NOW! Like NOW! Thats when i first became familiar with the Salatins.

For me, my dream is to be as sustainable as possible, have our own animals for the slaughter and really explore and embrace the culinary arts (or kicking it old school one might say). So preserving, pickling, jams etc etc. Of course living as organic as possible. A few acres, lush gardens, chickens, goats, cows, rabbits, horses, well actually the whole hog! And ideally we’d love to have some accommodation for people to come and hang and have, i guess, a bit of a health retreat, eating from the land, cooking lessons and relaxation out of the big smoke. One of my many pipe dreams (which i reckon this one will come true!). So the 2 hours of listening to the Salatins speak was unreal, i actually screamed out amen at one stage (what a geek). My beloved hubby was lucky enough to get a one on one interview with him, i’ll chuck that up on the blog later in the week. It sometimes seems as if there’s not many people one can resonate with, and those hours i felt so connected to a room full of strangers, hanging off the words of a lovely farmer from Virginia America! Oh it was a lovely way to start the week. But that has been the only highlight, the rest of the week has been an absolute fail when it comes to being paleo…

I usually don’t allow the cravings to win, but this week, they did ūüė¶ I had a sandwich, holy crap it doesn’t sound bad, but far out, the pain that followed, and then i had a ice-cream, i was like a crack addict shooting up in a dirty alley, there was just no stopping me! Usually when i am naughty, i try to keep it gluten free, so i don’t feel like total rubbish, and i had cake (that was gluten free) Its been a stressful week. I had recently quit my job, after working my butt off, i was wrung out and tired. I had been managing a busy cafe in our hometown, when i left, my “wifey” took over. And its taken its toll on her, so i’ve gone back a couple of days a week to act as i a consultant i guess you could say. And with that i’ve had to be a c%$t, and get staff back on track. I can feel my shoulders up near my ears, and that hole that can only be filled by binge eating!! It’s embarrassing typing this and sharing how i failed myself, no body really talks about the lows and the guilt that follows. And each night i’d go to bed in pain, telling myself tomorrow ¬†is a new day. And that it is! So i’ve been shit for a few days, i may even be shit tomorrow, but i know, that this is not a lifestyle i’ll fall back into again. Its too painful! But hell, sometimes that NO DON’T EAT IT is just a quiet whisper in the back of my head, i need to turn the volume up on that guy. But the best thing about messing up is, i know i messed up! And i can turn it around and feel fabulous again. So heres to a week of fixing my leaky gut, a week of listening to that voice screaming to keep clean, and heres to not allowing stress to take over! So i’ve learnt ¬†valuable lesson i reckon!

Fruity thermomix sorbet

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So its been a super hot summer in Bendigo, we’re suffering! I love summer, but prefer winter. The best way to cool down is with this delish fruity sorbet. And it took like 5 mins including prep time to make.

100 grams mixed fruit (i used figs, kiwi and strawberries)

200 grams of ice

splash of maple syrup.

Chuck it all in Edna (thermomix) slowly turn the speed up to speed ten and i constantly stirred with the spatula and 15 secs later. ta da! A dessert with no crap! All natural. Nut free, gluten free, refined sugar free, vegan summer cool down. It was delightful! And that made enough for hubby and i with extra that i turned into icey poles for another night.

Rant time

So with clean eating, we all have to start somewhere right? And before we ate clean or “paleo” a lot of us were eating what was deemed “healthy”, so your wholegrain breads, cashew nuts, legumes etc etc etc. Im sometimes embarrassed to say we’re “paleo” because it comes with a bit of a stigma or “mob mentality” attitude. It seems a lot of “paleo” lifestyle enthusiasts have a “holier than thou” attitude towards the way other people eat, and i find myself doing it sometimes. Judging whats in another persons trolley, oh my god, they’re buying muesli, don’t they know how bad that is?! And the simple answer to that, is no, people don’t necessary realise that their diets are killing them and their children (i.e. leading to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, mental health issues (in some cases, not all), dental issues etc etc). But at the end of the day, who gives a shit about how another person is living, thats their choice. I know its hard with family and friends, especially when there is so much research and proof out there about how the SAD diet is affecting us. But we also need to take in to consideration how addictive some foods are. I have read hundreds of papers, tons of books and i’m married to an Paleo Osteopath, i know how bad these foods are, doesn’t mean i don’t want to taste them, that i don’t enjoy them. Because i do! But my body doesn’t. The mind is the most powerful muscle in the body, so she’s a hard one to trick, or to get her to forget how “the bad food tastes”. I think we can quietly educate people without shoving it down their throats, and try not to judge someones else’s choices towards food. Because those people haven’t immersed themselves into our “lifestyle” they don’t know the ins and outs of good nutrition. All we can do is have like a pay it forward type attitude. Do some paleo baking give it to a friend to try, have some extra eggs from your yard? Same thing, pay it forward. Its the little things like that are the best form of education. Educate don’t discriminate. End rant.

Saturday = BAKING DAY!

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So i’ve got my bake on today. We’ve got a friend staying from the big smoke, and his girlfriend is lactose intolerant, so I’m baking some paleo treats for him to take home to her. I’ve whipped up a paleo bread, my carrot and cranberry cake, and lastly for the hubby and myself some macadamia, raw chocolate and cranberry cookies. The cookies are in the oven now, and its a bit of mmm wonder if this and this will work, so i followed no recipe and basically chucked stuff in the thermomix. I started off turning some macadamias into a flour, but turned my back for a split second then we had macadamia butter! So i then added some shredded coconut, coconut flour, some organic grass fed butter, a block of loving earth raw chocolate, egg and egg yolk, baking soda and cranberries. They’re currently in the oven, so we’ll see if that random chuck this in chuck that in, works! The mixture tastes amazing, but eek i don’t know if there will be success. We’ll soon see. I have a feeling they’ll be more like little cake bites, rather than cookies. I’ll keep ya posted!

Green Smoothies… And what i think

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So i’m pretty much an all or nothing girl, when it comes to Paleo eating i become addicted to certain meals/snacks for a few days, sometimes a few weeks and then blergh I’m off them. I’ve gone thru the green smoothie stage probably about 3 times over the last year and half. But we had a shitty old blender, so my smoothies was more like a chunky. There’s nothing worse than gagging on big bits of spinach at 6am. The flavour was never offensive just not a smooth ride down the gullet, which is a bit of a turn off for me. I tried to persevere for health reasons, because i’d feel amazing for the whole day, it was like shooting up pure collard greens, i was all zingy and wide eyed! And i’d last a few days in a row of my “chunkys” before giving up.

But now we have our Edna (thermomix) and she can blitz the crap outta anything! So my smoothies are smooth again! So the last few days i’ve been mixing up what ever is in our vege basket in the fridge. Now I’m not going to rave about “oh my god, they taste sooooooo AMAZING, because they don’t. They’re not gross either, but just enjoyable, and the feeling of well being that follows beats any high EVER! And they’re so filling as well. No two days are the same recipe. I think todays was my favourite.

1 carrot

1/2 cucumber

1/2 orange

1 lemon

2 huge handfuls of rocket

400mls Water

handful of ice cubes.

I blitz all the veges and fruit on speed 8 for 30 secs, then add ice cubes and water on speed 4 for 2 mins. It comes out so creamy and the rocket gives it a peppery taste. I think it would have been perfect with some fresh mint. But otherwise it was A.OK!

My skin and stomach are screaming THANKS LADY!! YOU’RE MAKING ME FEEL DELIGHTFUL!

What i’ve learnt this week thus far

So i think this may be the week that the kitchen and i disagree, i’ve been so inspired and wanting to get my “cook” on. I’ve been having brain waves of “oh my god, that would totally work if i paleofye it” and to be honest i’ve had more failures than successes this week. Makes me so peeved! My gnocchi was ok, but as the idea popped into my head, i was like “oh yeah, this is going to be the shit” it wasn’t shit, and it defiantly wasn’t “the shit”, my carrot and cranberry carrot rocked, it was so so delish, but i learnt from that cake, that almonds really truly make me sick.

I kinda always knew in the back of my head (and stomach) that they just weren’t right for my body. I think at the moment its causing more pain the usual (this may or may not be an excuse), after a loose couple of weeks in America and Jamaica. I mean i was mostly healthy but still indulged, and a week later I’m really paying the price. I woke up this morning with chronic belly pain and a bad case of the number 2s, and a sense, of “you’ve got to be shitting me, another thing i can’t eat” I know its childish to act that way, but i was really upset!

So there goes all my almond meal recipes that i’ve adapted, i now have to work with coconut flour or macadamia (the superior nuts my husband calls them) and go thru the trial and error stage again. FFS! First world problem i know. Lucky I’m only working part time atm, so i can spend more time in the kitchen, to adapt my adapted recipes!

I really love how in tune i am with my body now, i never use to know what was going on, i’d just put up with the pain because i thought it was “normal”. So i guess, its over between us almonds, i’ll always remember the good times, but if i was honest, there were really more bad than good. So i’ll still acknowledge you in the streets, drool over an orange almond cake, but you have to know we’re really truly over. I hope you can find someone that loves you as much as i DID.

 

Yours sincerely no more leaky gut.

Paleo Pumpkin Gnocchi

Over the last 2 days i’ve been creating a recipe for paleo gnocchi. This is not a recipe to attempt after a busy day at work! Its a 2 day process. I always loved gnocchi, and just tried to forget about it whilst i’ve been paleo, there were a few recipes out there, but none appealed, so i thought it was time to create my own. I’ve been trying to cut back on my almond intake, every now and again it causes bloating (i.e. my leaky gut flares up) i made a carrot cake yesterday and felt heavy for the rest of the day. Im assuming my guts are still recovering from my abuse in America!

So here we go!

INGREDIENTS

*500gm diced pumpkin

*tablespoon of coconut oil

*pinch of sea salt

*pinch of nutmeg

*2 x egg yolk

*3 tablespoons raw milk (dairy is fine with us as long as its raw and organic, substitute coconut milk if lactose intolerant)

*70grams coconut flour

STEP 1

Roast 500 grams of pumpkin in a shallow tray, tossed in sea salt and coconut oil. In a preheated oven at 170 degrees celsius on fan force roast for 25 mins or until smooshy and browned. Let cool

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STEP 2

Add cooled cooked pumpkin, pinch of sea salt, pinch of nutmeg, 2 egg yolks, coconut flour and raw milk to the thermomix, on the closed lid setting and knead for 45 seconds (you could use a food processor, the thermy is just faster and I’m addicted to it!!). It looks more like breadcrumbs than a dough. Take out the mixture and on a board dusted in coconut flour work into a ball. Its a bit crumbly, so work it lightly. Once you have a ball, wrap in glad wrap and leave in the fridge over night.

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STEP 3

The next day ( i left for 24hrs) leave the mixture on the bench for about 5 or so mins, so its not so cold. Now this is where its a bit different than usual gnocchi. Get balls of the dough (only big enough to get 2 pieces from it) and work each piece individually. This is a freaking long process, but it has to be worked throughly. It took me about 15 mins to roll and shape the paleo gnocchi, hard because there’s no gluten holding it together!! But it does hold together.

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STEP 4

we attempted to cook it the boiling method, i tried a few pieces and it disintegrated and tasted foul! Im guessing because there was no gluten, hence the reason of disintegrating! I may try tapioca flour next.  So we decided to bake it instead. With a garlic, bacon, sage and cream sauce. We made the sage etc sauce on the stove top. Heated the  oven at 170degrees celsius for about 15 mins.

STEP 5

We decided to go with a bacon with burnt butter and sage sauce. Our bacon is from a local free range butcher.

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So we’ve just finished dinner, and while it wasn’t the best food I’ve ever eaten, it wasn’t offensive either! I’ll try and tweak this again in a couple of weeks. But it was good, and we did finish our bowls! I am a bit bummed it wasn’t AMAZEMENT! But hell it was pretty good!

Do you eat food? These guys have something worth listening to…

Everyone should make a conscious effort to check this out. It’ll change your view and outlook on food.

The unofficial guide to Bendigo

Joel Salatin Bendigo

Have you seen Food Inc.? Continue the conversation right here in Bendigo.

Hosted by Bendigo’s own Darren Doherty, Joel Salatin and his son Daniel, from Polyface Farms, talk everything about farming, food production and keeping it local.

7:30pm, Monday 25 February, 2013
Strathdale Community Centre
Crook Street, Strathdale

$20 per person (under 16 free). Book here.

More reading: Food Inc. ‚Äď why it‚Äôs so relevant for Australian audiences click here.

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Paleo Carrot and Cranberry Cake

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I found a delish carrot cake recipe on Thermomix Recipe page. Its sound delightful, but i can never follow a recipe without making a few tweaks! The carrots i used were from the Bendigo Farmers Market, they were so so sweet, maybe the best carrots i’ve ever had. The original recipe is here. And this is my rendition. She may not look pretty but she tastes superb. If you don’t have a thermomix, you’ll be able to make this in a food processor, just use almond meal instead of raw almonds, and grate the carrots first.

300 grams raw almonds

4 large carrots cut in inch blocks

4 eggs

an inch of vanilla bean

2 tsp cinnamon ground

1/2 tsp nutmeg

60 grams avocado oil

60 grams maple syrup

2 tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

90 grams cranberries

Preparation

1.

Preheat oven to 160C.

2. ¬†Place¬†almonds in mixing bowl and mill 10 sec/speed 9¬†or until milled ‚Äď if you are in tune with your Thermomix you can hear when most milling, chopping, grating is done).

3. ¬†Add carrots and grate 5 sec/speed 6 ‚Äď it will mix with the almond meal.¬† Scrape down the sides.

4.  Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, oil and maple syrup and mix 15 sec/speed 5.

5.  Add baking powder and combine 5 sec/speed 5.

6.  Add cranberries and mix on Reverse 5 sec/speed 4.

7.  Pour into a prepared 20 centimetre baking tin and bake for one hour  or until cooked through.

8.   Remove from oven and cool completely in the tin, then turn out.

9. No need to ice! i just ate with a spread of butter.

My paleo chocolate

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My paleo chocolate

I’ve been making this chocolate for about 6 mths now, it just hangs in the freezer when hubby and i have a sweet tooth craving. There is no added sugar in it, all natural. And i love it! So it’s time i share the super easy recipe.

With todays batch i used Edna (thermomix)

INSTRUCTIONS
Step 1
Grate 250 grams of cacao butter 5-10 seconds on speed 8. Then Melt 3 mins at 50 degrees celcius. Then add about 1/4 cup of cacao powder

STEP 2
Whilst the cacao butter is melting, chop a handful of cranberries, handful almonds, handful dried apricots, small handful of pistachios and a small chilli.

STEP 3
Combine the melted “chocolate” and the nuts/fruit. Then pour onto a baking tray covered in baking paper. The chocolate won’t be as thick as other chocolate, so its thin with delicious chunky bits! I now leave the tray in the freezer and just break bits off when I’m having sugar craving. But its sugar free!