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Supermarket Minefields: How To Shop Smart

By | Articles, Articles and Tips, FOOD & RECIPES, HEALTH & NUTRITION, Healthy Living | No Comments

by: Cyndi O’Meara

Shopping for food can be a minefield in this day and age, with lots of conflicting information about nutrition on offer. Making poor choices in the supermarket aisle can often lead to poor health. By shopping smart and changing a few small habits, you can navigate the aisles stress-free and ensure you’re doing the very best for your health.

Take the stress out of the weekly shop by following my tips for hitting the aisles:

1.     Ignore Nutrition Information Bars on Packaging

You should never focus on the nutrition facts that are now on the side of food packaging. It is unrepresentative, confusing and misleading. It baffles me how people rely on this for nutritional guidance instead of actually looking at the ingredients. More often than not portion sizes are misrepresented, calories are the main focus and there is no emphasis on the nutritional benefits. Just because something is low in calories does not mean it is not laced with additives, preservatives and chemical ingredients, which leads me to my next point…

2.     Always check the ingredients

With clever marketing and packaging everything can look healthy. You will never know what in a product without reading the ingredients so take the time to do this. There are lots of jargon terms used for ingredients but being a conscientious shopper means knowing what to avoid – if it sounds like it was created in a lab, it probably was – use common sense! I keep a list of particularly bad additives on the back of my business cards to raise smart shopping awareness.

3.     Try support Organic

Organic food has been around for a long time now, we all know the basics and understand that it’s something we should be doing but many remain unconvinced. I love organic food and really feel the benefits but I understand that in today’s economy it’s not realistic to suggest that everyone buys organic everything. I urge you to buy organic when are where you can, this will benefit your health and support organic farming in Australia. There are several products that retain pesticides more than others so I’d recommend buying these organic if you can: apples, celery, strawberries, grapes, spinach and lettuce to name a few.

4.     Buy Fresh, Buy Local

You’ll not regret sourcing fresh food locally; it’s delicious, better for you and means you’re supporting the local community. Try finding a farmer’s market nearby and get to know your local butcher and greengrocer – it’s so worth the effort. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, find out where the food has come from, has it been sprayed with pesticides, what’s in season… You’ll start to feel better, you’ll save money and will never want to venture back to the chain supermarkets.

Use common sense, avoid special offers and deals and opt for real foods and you won’t go wrong. Feeding yourself and your family with beautiful, natural food will pay you dividends when it comes to your lifestyle, health and happiness!

 

About the author

Cyndi O'Meara - BioCyndi is a nutritionist and founder of Changing Habits – a health and nutrition education company that have gone from strength to strength since Cyndi wrote her bestselling book ‘Changing Habits, Changing Lives’ in 1997. Cyndi now writes diet protocols, cook books, does national tours, has a line of products and is prolific in the media as an expert on all things health.

Thai-inspired Beef and Melon Salad

By | Beef, FOOD & RECIPES | No Comments

INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs grass-fed round steak

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper juice of 2 limes

3 tbsp fish sauce (we use the lowest sodium one we can find)

2 tsp raw local honey

3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 medium melon (cantaloupe happens to be what we had), seeded and sliced into “match- sticks” about 1-1/2″ long

1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-1/2″ long match- sticks

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-1/2″ long matchsticks

8 cups baby spinach

1/2 red onion, slivered

1/2 cup fresh cilantro  leaves, roughly chopped

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

HOW TO PREPARE:

  1. Heat the grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees).
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the steaks with the salt and pepper, then grill to achieve medium-rare (about 8 minutes per side on indirect heat). Transfer to a cutting board when done grilling and let rest for at least five minutes.
  3. While the steaks are grilling, you can work on getting the melon, peppers, onion, cilantro,
  4. and mint all cut up and added to an extra-large mixing bowl.
  5. Combine the lime juice, fish sauce, honey, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a small prep bowl. Whisk with a fork to mix and make sure the hon- ey is fully dissolved. Set aside.
  6. Using a sharp knife, slice the now-rested steaks across the grain at a slight angle (from top to bottom) into roughly 1/8″ thick slices (that’s pretty thin)
  7. If your steaks are huge, you can also cut them in half lengthwise to keep the pieces of steak down to about 2″ or so long.
  8. Add the steak to the mixing bowl.
  9. Give the dressing another stir, then pour over the top and toss everything to mix well.
  10. Let sit for a few minutes, then toss one more time.
  11. Serve.

Primal Ramen Soup (Serves : 4 bowls)

By | FOOD & RECIPES, Pork | No Comments

 

post mar 27 a

MAIN INGREDIENTS:

8 cups ramen broth (see below) (1.9 liters)

2 pounds roasted pork butt, sliced thinly (see below) (907 g)

1 bunch sautéed collard greens (see below)

3 zucchini, cut into very thin, noodle-like strips

4 hard boiled or poached eggs

2 sheets of nori, 2 cut into strips

A handful of finely chopped scallions

 

Instructions for Putting Together Bowls of Ramen:

Before serving the ramen, gently reheat the broth on the stove.

Add the zucchini “noodles’ and simmer for five minutes.

Pour equal amounts of broth and zucchini into 4 bowls, then add slices of roasted pork, a spoonful of collard greens, an egg, strips of nori and a sprinkle of scallions.

 

Ramen Broth Ingredients:

2 pieces of kombu

3 quarts water (3 liters)

2 ounces dry shiitake mushrooms, rinsed (57 g)

2 pounds of chicken legs, necks and/or backs (907 g)

2 to 3 pounds smoked ham shanks or hocks (907g to 1.4 kg)

1/2 bunch of scallions, cut in half

1 onion, peeled and cut into fourths

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

 

post mar 27 c

Ramen Broth Instructions:

  1. Combine the kombu with the water in a large stock pot. Bring the water to a simmer then turn off the heat and let the kombu steep for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the kombu and discard. Add the shiitake mushrooms. Turn the heat up to high and bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat down so the water stays at a simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pot with a slotted spoon and discard.
  3. Add the chicken and pork shanks to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Skim off any foam that gathers on the top. Simmer uncovered for 1 hour, or until the chicken meat pulls easily off the bone.
  4. Remove the chicken (save for another meal) and add the scallions, onions, and carrots and simmer with the shanks for another hour. Replenish the water as needed to keep the meat covered.
  5. Strain the vegetables and shanks from the broth. Discard or eat the veggies and save the meat from the shanks for another meal. Strain the broth again through cheesecloth if you want really clear broth.
  6. This broth can be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated.

 

Roasted Pork Ingredients:

2 to 3 pounds pork shoulder or butt (907g to 1.4 kg)

2 teaspoons kosher salt (10 ml)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper 2.5 ml)

Roasted Pork Instructions:

  1. Bring the roast to room temperature and rub it down with the salt and pepper mixture.
  2. Preheat the oven to 250 ºF (121 ºC).
  3. Put the roast in a roasting pan that fits it snugly and roast until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily, about 4 to 6 hours, uncovered, basting every hour or so with juices and fat that accumulate in the pan.
  4. Take it out of the oven and let cool completely before slicing.
  5. You’ll have more than enough pork for the ramen.
  6. Save leftovers for another meal or freeze it for later.

 

Collard Greens Ingredients:

1 bunch collard greens
1 piece of uncooked bacon
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar (5 ml)

Collard Greens Instructions:

  1. Remove the leaves from the center rib and stem. Coarsely chop the washed leaves.
  2. In a wide skillet (that has a lid) over medium-high heat, add the piece of bacon.
  3. When it is halfway cooked and has released some fat, add the collards to the skillet.
  4. Mix well so the leaves are coated in fat. Let the leaves wilt a little then add the sherry vinegar and a 1/2 cup (118 ml) of water.
  5. Put a lid on the skillet and simmer over medium-low for 10 to15 minutes or so until tender.
  6. Alternately, the greens can simply be sautéed in olive oil instead of bacon.

 

Credit:

Recipe and Photo from: Mark’s Daily Apple

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-paleo-ramen-soup/

Crispy and Creamy Avocado Fries

By | FOOD & RECIPES, Fruits and Vegetables | No Comments

INGREDIENTS:

post mar 26

 

For every 1 avocado, you’ll need:

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (2.5 ml)

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (1.2 ml)

1/2 teaspoon chili powder (2.5 ml)

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (30 g)

1/4 cup or so coconut flour (30 g)

1 egg, whisked

Coconut oil for frying

 

 

HOW TO PREPARE:

  1. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Slice the avocado into 8 wedges and remove the peel.
  2. Sprinkle the wedges with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, making sure to lightly coat all sides.
  3. In a food processor, blend the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, cumin and chili powder with the coconut flakes until the coconut flakes are finely chopped.
  4. Near the stove set up an assembly line of 3 bowls, 1 for egg, 1 for coconut flour and 1 for the coconut flakes.
  5. Coat each wedge of avocado in egg, coconut flour, back into the egg and then coconut flakes.
  6. Heat a thin layer of coconut oil in a deep pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the coconut wedges.
  7. Fry for about 1 minute or less on the first side, or until nicely browned.
  8. Use a fork (or the combination of a fork and spoon) to turn the wedges as they brown until all sides are crispy. If the oil starts to smoke, turn down the heat.
  9. Serve avocado fries immediately with hot sauce or mayo spiked with hot sauce.

Credit:

Recipe and Photo from: Mark’s Daily Apple

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/crispy-and-creamy-avocado-fries/

5 Primal Meals in Just 35 Minutes

By | Beef, featured : magazine, Fish and Seafood, FOOD & RECIPES, Sides | Soup | Salad | Dessert | Snacks | No Comments

*** Provided below are cooking instructions for preparing all five recipes at once. ***

INGREDIENTS:

Steak with Creamed Spinach

8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak)(227 g)

8 ounces frozen chopped spinach (227 g)

1 can coconut milk (13.5 ounces/400 ml)

1 bell pepper (red, yellow or orange)

1 lime olive oil salt

Steak Salad

8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227 g)

1 bell pepper

4 to 6 ounces of salad greens (enough for 2 individual salads) (113 to 170 g)

powdered cumin chili powder

1 lime

olive oil

salt

1 avocado

Steak Stir-Fry

8 ounces boneless beef (tenderloin, sirloin, flank steak, strip steak) (227 g)

1 bell pepper (red, yellow or orange)

1 head of broccoli

olive oil

salt

pepper

coconut aminos or tamari

Salmon Salad

2 salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces and about 1 inch thick) skinned (113 to 170 g and 2.5 cm)

1 large cucumber or several small Persian cucumbers sliced into rounds

4 to 6 ounces of salad greens (enough for 2 individual salads) (113 to 170 g)

1 lime

olive oil

salt

1 avocado

Salmon Frittata

2 salmon fillets (4 to 6 ounces and about 1 inch thick), skinned (113 to 170 g and 2.5 cm)

1 bell pepper

8 ounces frozen chopped spinach (227 g)

6 eggs

salt

pepper

dried dill

olive oil

 

TOOLS YOU’LL NEED:

3 rimmed baking pans

1 or two cutting boards

Sharp knives for cutting veggies and raw beef

12-inch or larger skillet (30 cm)

10-inch oven-proof skillet (to make a frittata) (25 cm)

8-inch or larger pot (20 cm)

 

HOW TO PREPARE:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 ºF (232 ºC).
  2. Take the frozen spinach out of the freezer and the meat and salmon out of the refrigerator.
  3. Thinly slice bell peppers and place in a rimmed baking pan.
  4. Cut broccoli into small florets and place in a rimmed baking pan.
  5. Toss both the peppers and broccoli liberally with olive oil.
  6. Put both pans in the oven.
  7. Season the salmon lightly with salt and pepper. Place in a baking pan and put in the oven. Set a timer for 12 minutes; this is a reminder to take the salmon out. When you take the salmon out, leave the veggie in the oven.
  8. Once the salmon is in the oven, slice the cucumber and set aside.
  9. Juice the limes into a small bowl and set aside.
  10. To make lime salad dressing, whisk together 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of lime juice, 1/2 cup (125 ml) of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) of salt. Set aside. (Don’t discard remaining lime juice.)
  11. Slice the beef very thinly into 1 to 2 inch long (25 to 50 cm) slices. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  12. Check the salmon – is it done?
  13. Set a 12-inch skillet (30 cm) and an 8-inch pot (20 cm) over medium-high heat. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to each. When the oil is hot, add 2/3 of the sliced meat to the 12-inch skillet and the rest to the 8-inch pot.
  14. Cook the meat, stirring only once or twice, until it’s cooked through to medium-rare, about 3 minutes.
  15. Turn the heat off under the 12-inch skillet.
  16. To the 8-inch pot with meat, add half the frozen spinach and the can of coconut milk. Bring to a boil for five minutes then turn off the heat under the pot.
  17. Take the broccoli and red peppers out of the oven. Turn the oven off and turn on the broiler.
  18. Use a fork to flake two of the salmon fillets into small pieces.
  19. Whisk the eggs together really well in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt, pepper and dried dill.
  20. Warm a few tablespoons of olive oil in a 10-inch skillet (25 cm) over high heat.
  21. Add the remaining frozen spinach and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes (there should be very little or no liquid in the pan).
  22. Add the flaked salmon. Stir well then pour in the eggs and stir once to evenly spread the egg around.
  23. While the eggs begin to set, place a few red pepper slices on top. Put the skillet in the oven. Cook the frittata under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes until the egg sets and is firm.

 

Credit:

Recipe and Photo from: Mark’s Daily Apple

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/5-primal-meals-in-just-35-minutes/

Sweet Potato Sloppy Joes

By | Beef, FOOD & RECIPES, Fruits and Vegetables, Sides | Soup | Salad | Dessert | Snacks | No Comments

INGREDIENTS:

4 pre-baked sweet potatoes

1 1/2 lbs of grass-fed ground beef

1/2 onion, chopped small

1/2 green pepper, chopped small

1/2 red pepper, chopped small

1/4 cup of celery, chopped small

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tbs of chili powder

1 tsp of cumin

2 tbs of coconut sugar or honey

(1) 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, with liquids

(1) 6 oz can of tomato paste

HOW TO PREPARE:

  1. Saute the onions, garlic, celery together in a skillet until onions are tender
  2. Add and brown the ground beef in the same skillet
  3. Next add the spices, coconut sugar (or honey), and bell peppers to the skillet
  4. Pour in the can of diced tomatoes with liquids and the tomato paste
  5. Simmer all together on low for about 15 minutes
  6. Finish with salt and pepper to taste
  7. Cut sweet potatoes in half and scoop out a portion to form a little bowl and fill with sloppy joe mixture-or- slice up each sweet potato into wedges and pour sloppy joe mixture over
  8. Serve hot and enjoy!

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CREDITS:

Recipe and Photo from: Paleo Newbie

http://www.paleonewbie.com/recipe-entree/paleo-sweet-potato-sloppy-joes/

Asian Orange Chicken Recipe

By | featured : magazine, FOOD & RECIPES, Poultry | No Comments

INGREDIENTS:

 Marinade Ingredients:

2 tbs tamari

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 tsp sesame oil

 Chicken and Sauce Ingredients:

1 cup water

5-7 chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts – skin on

1/2 cup fresh-squeezed juice from oranges

1/4 cup raw honey

2 tbs tamari

1/3 c. rice vinegar

1 tbs orange zest

1/2 tsp grated ginger

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tbs arrow root powder whisked with a little water (just enough to make a slurry

HOW TO PREPARE:

  1. Make your maridnade with the 2 tbs tamari, 1 tsp grated ginger and 1 tsp sesame oil
  2. Season your chicken with salt and pepper
  3. Put the marinade in a large ziplock bag, add the chicken, coat well
  4. Marinade chicken 30 minutes in the refrigerator (or longer if you prefer)
  5. Next pan fry chicken pieces skin side down with 2-3 tbs of olive oil over medium- to medium-high heat until browned.  About 7-10 min
  6. Once browned, place chicken on a roasting rack or cookie sheet in the oven for about 30 min at 350.
  7. Check to make sure the chicken is cooked through thoroughly before removing from oven
  8. Let the chicken rest while you make your orange sauce
  9. In a frying pan over medium- to medium-high heat, combine water, orange juice, honey, rice vinegar, tamari, orange zest, ginger, red pepper flakes, and garlic
  10. Whisk in the pan, stirring frequently
  11. Bring sauce to a boil
  12. Whisk in arrow root mixture.
  13. Sauce should start to thicken. If it doesn’t, add a little more arrow root
  14. Reduce heat to simmer. The sauce should thicken even more as it cools
  15. Pour the orange sauce over the chicken
  16. Garnish with orange slices, sesame seeds or whatever you would like

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CREDITS:

Recipe and Photo from: Paleo Newbie

http://www.paleonewbie.com/recipe-entree/paleo-asian-orange-chicken/

Breakfast Burritos

By | featured : magazine, FOOD & RECIPES, Sides | Soup | Salad | Dessert | Snacks | No Comments

 INGREDIENTS:

6 eggs whisked (about 2 eggs per burrito)

2-3 apple chicken sausages, (sliced small)

1 cup of mixed color bell peppers, (diced small)

1/3 cup of (diced onion)

1 pre-baked sweet potato – diced small (you can use an uncooked sweet potato, but it will take longer to fry them up.)

Paleo Wraps – available online from Julian Bakery(http://www.julianbakery.com)

***If this is not available then you may refer to this as an alternative: http://www.paleonewbie.com/paleo-gluten-free-tortillas-recipe/

 

HOW TO PREPARE:

  1. In a frying pan with a little coconut oil, sauté bell peppers and onions on medium heat until tender
  2. Add sausage and pre-cooked sweet potato until warmed through, and the sausage is browned
  3. Season to taste.
  4. Set aside cooked veggies
  5. Scramble the eggs
  6. Add the eggs to whatever amount of hash you would like
  7. Wrap and eat up!

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CREDITS:

Recipe and Photo from: Paleo Newbie

http://www.paleonewbie.com/recipe-breakfast/paleo-breakfast-burritos-recipe/

Crabcakes with Lemon Aioli Sauce

By | featured : magazine, Fish and Seafood, FOOD & RECIPES | No Comments

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb of fresh or canned crab meat

1 egg, whisked

1/3 cup of almond flour

1/3 cup of green onions, finely chopped

1/3 cup of red bell peppers, finely chopped

2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tsp of Old Bay seasoning

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup of Lemon Aioli Sauce

coconut oil (for frying the crabcakes)

 HOW TO PREPARE:

  1. In a large bowl, combine all the above ingredients together (you can use hands to mix)
  2. Shape into patties (either small for appetizers, or larger for a main dish)
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of coconut oil to fry the crabcakes
  4. Place crabcakes in pan and fry for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until surface is a golden brown

Tip: Don’t flip patties too soon because they may fall apart
       Serve hot topped with fresh lemon aioli sauce

 

TO MAKE LEMON AIOLI SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 egg

1/4 tsp garlic

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 tbs fresh-squeezed lemon juice

HOW TO PREPARE:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and churn until emulsified
  2. Tip: Make ahead of time and refrigerate the day before or the morning before serving to thicken.
  3. Keep refrigerated! Discard any unused sauce after 2-3 days

 

post mar 10 aioli sauce

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CREDIT:

Recipe and Photo from: Paleo Newbie

http://www.paleonewbie.com/paleo-crabcakes-with-lemon-aioli-sauce/