It’s All About That Base, ‘Bout That Base Base Dressing

If there is one thing I have learnt over the last few weeks, it’s that no one person has their “sh*t” together. And by that I mean, everyone has a story to which they usually try and hide from the outside world because they feel embarrassed, ashamed or just plain silly. But let me tell you, you are not alone there buddy! The more I talk about the stuff I go through or have been through, the more I find that people have the same issues or experiences. Talking about things releases the crap that we hold on to. It gives us a chance to “let it go”. And quite frankly there are a lot of people who need to let things go! SO, the upshot of all this is, be brave and have a chat to someone, you will probably have more in common than you think ūüėČ

At the moment at CrossFit Iron Lion we are doing the Whole 30 again and I had the opportunity to host a Whole 30 cooking demo night. Very ambitious of me. Anyhoo I had more than 1 person turn up which was awesome! I showed the peeps how to do paleo mayo, some turkey meatballs with zoodles and a new dressing… (cue recipe)

But just quickly I have to thank one of the gym lady’s mumma for this recipe, thanks mumma K Star! xx

Base Dressing

the base dressing has a 2:1 ratio

  • 2 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos

Combine ingredients in a jar, put the lid on (essential step), and shake until combined.

This makes enough to drizzle over meatballs and zoodles or a salad.

I have come up with a recipe for a meat marinade using this base dressing. So versatile and easy all you need is the ingredients and a protein shake container! Check out the marinade here!

All Kinds of Meat Marinade

This recipe is based on a base dressing that one of my gym friend’s mum came up with. It is so versatile you can change up the flavours to anything you like. It also works on all kinds of meat. I have used it on chicken breasts and steaks. You could even use it as a fancy salad dressing.

Marinade Ingredients 

  • 1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup of Coconut Aminos
  • 1 heaped tsp of finely chopped basil
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • zest of 1 orange

Place all ingredients in a protein shake container with one of those spiral ball thingies in it. Close the lid tightly and shake vigorously until all ingredients combined.

How to Cook Using the Marinade

Place meet in a large ziplock bag or airtight container. Pour marinade over the meat, ensure the meat is covered evenly and seal the bag/container. Let it marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours if possible.

If you are cooking chicken breast, pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and place the marinaded chicken breast into a baking dish.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until marinade is browning and getting nice and sticky!

German “Potato” Salad

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How do you feel about goats cheese? I wasn’t super keen but I’ve recently discovered some local pasteurised goat’s cheese or Ch√®vre and I think I feel good about it. I have made a couple of dishes¬†with it and actually… I’m not upset about it at all. They were quite tasty outcomes. Maybe I’ll share the recipes with you sometime if you’re keen.

I went to a local Paleo meet up group workshop just the other weekend. It’s great to have groups and events about paleo in our local area. For us Aussies it can be hard to source paleo products or information that is relative to our part of the world. But with the help of a few celebrity chefs/cooks and a lot of social media and regular media coverage, paleo is becoming more and more “accessible” in Australia. Anyhoo this workshop I went to was about how to make some paleo sweet treats. I learnt how to make jelly which is awesome because my 3 year old wants a spiderman birthday party and I can now add jelly and lollies to the party food list…. maybe even jelly shots for the adults. It’s totes paleo.

So this recipe stems from a dish that my “brova from anova mova” (or brother from another mother/brother in law) is ALWAYS asked to make for family BBQ’s. I’m not sure if it’s because people really like it or if it’s because they don’t want him to burn the meat on the BBQ… haha just kidding, not really he is a Pom who has German heritage… #uselessfacts

I have simply paleofied the dish.

You will be required to make paleo mayonnaise for this salad which is SUPER easy if you have an immersion blender or a stick blender and a tall jar with a FLAT base. Here is a link on how to make the quickest and most delicious mayo EVER! This is just a video demo of the process. I did try and make my own video but I only had two hands and the kids were yelling in the background and it was B Grade movie stuff at best. I will post my quantities and ingredients below. Just watch the video so you know what I am talking about when I say “make a paleo mayo using an immersion blender or stick blender…”

Ok so here is what I put into my mayo

Paleo Mayo Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup of light tasting olive oil (you can buy this in supermarkets)
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard (get a brand that has no added sugar or nasties)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice/apple cider vinegar

Put all ingredients into the jar and blend as per video.

German “Potato” Salad Ingredients

  • 1 super large sweet potato or 2 medium
  • 3 hard boiled eggs cut into chunks
  • 1/4 red onion finely chopped
  • 2-3 large gherkins (get a brand that has no added nasties or sugars) chopped into small pieces
  • 2 rashers of bacon baked/cooked and chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup paleo mayo

Here’s how you do it

  • Peel and chop your sweet potato into nice even pieces.
  • Place in a saucepan and fill¬†with¬†room temperature¬†water until just covered. Place onto stove top and bring to the boil.
  • Cook your bacon. You can do it in the oven or in a pan I don’t care as long as it’s cooked and a little bit crispy.
  • The sweet potato will be cooked when you stick a knife in and the potato feels just tender. Once it has reached this stage, remove from the stove top and drain the water.
  • Whilst the sweet potato is cooking you can also make your mayonnaise and hard boiled eggs if you do not have some already in the fridge.
  • Place the sweet potato in a large bowl and add the other ingredients. Mix with a large spoon or salad servers.
  • Season with salt and pepper.

This is best served a little bit warm but is also incredible served after being kept in the fridge.

Take this to a BBQ or make it as a staple for your weekly meal prep. Either way you won’t be disappointed.

Roasted Cinnamon Almond Butter

It’s happened. I’ve reached that age where I look back and think to myself, how and why did I do the things I used to do?!? I think this feeling of “ugh” stems from receiving text messages from friends (sans children) at 4am on New Years Day saying they had an awesome time camping at a 3 day music festival in the middle of stinking hot Aussie summer with no sleep and some wicked hangovers. I immediately felt sympathetically hungover and thought… “at what point does that sound like a good time?” I love my friends but, they’re crazy!

See, now I’m old. A good time for me is going to bed early, sleeping 8 hours straight through without having to get up at 2am in the morning to change my toddler’s bed sheets or soothe a crying 1 year old. ¬†I consider a sleep in 6am and a good day when everyone eats well and sleeps well without any tantrums or injuries.

Some may think that having kids ruins your lifestyle, but to me it seems that having children has only made me prioritise what is important to me. It’s not important for me to go out every weekend, drink and then sleep through the next day. It’s not as important to me to see a certain band, movie or go shopping for the latest clothes. What’s important is the little things. I like having breakfast together on the weekends with my family. Going to the beach and making good use of our beautiful surroundings. Having a nap with the kids after lunch or seeing them play with the dog in the backyard. Those things seem to be the highlights of my life now. Yeah yeah I know… boring.

Don’t get me wrong! A night / day off every now and then is fabulous and I will never pass up that opportunity to dress in nice clothes and talk to adults… uninterrupted… without food being mushed into my¬†face by little hands. But I’m quite happy to embrace the ebb and flow of growing older and watching my amazing little human beings flourish and grow.

However, that being said, when people always ask “are you having a third child?” and my response is,¬†“oh heck no!” … at least not until I get some sleep, a bigger house and a new car at least (hint, hint hubby!) Actually throw in a couple of holidays as well :p

Anyhoo, I refuse to pay nearly $20 for a jar of almond butter. I love almond butter. Firstly, because it has the word butter in it (drool) and secondly because it’s really delicious to eat out of the jar with a spoon pre-workout. AND it’s bloody easy to make! Is that not like the trifecta of eating?

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What you need to make it

  • 1 to 2 packets of dry roasted almonds
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of cinnamon

Yep. That’s it.

How to butter your nuts 

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • Get a nice big oven tray and spread the almonds evenly over the oven tray.

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  • Roast for 5 – 10 minutes (depends on how powerful your oven is) shaking¬†the nuts around on the tray every few minutes to make sure they don’t burn.
  • Once slightly roasted let them cool for a couple of minutes and then place in your food processor.
  • Add the cinnamon when the nuts just begin to reach the paste stage. Process some more.

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  • Process the almonds until they reach the consistency of a paste/spread.
  • It will take probably 15 minutes or so to get to the paste stage. ¬†I tend to turn off my processor every few minutes to give it a rest.

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  • The ¬†almonds will go through several stages before reaching the¬†the last stage. Persevere as it is totally worth it.
  • Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. Mine NEVER lasts that long ūüôā

Enjoy by itself with a spoon and the jar, on some apple slices, add a dollop to your smoothie. It can be used to make satay sauces, cookies, cakes and brownies. The uses for almond butter are endless!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R & R Sauce

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So my niece just turned 13 and quite frankly it scares the poop out of me. I mean, these days 13 is really the new 21. What with the technology, the clothes, the ¬†social media out there… whatever happened to playing with barbies and my little ponies or even just playing outside? Ugh I am so old! At least they still lust over boy bands… right?

It got me thinking about that time of life for me and I don’t envy her age at all. I like where I am now. It’s busy and it’s crazy, ¬†I’m crazy. But I know now who I am (which by the way continues to evolve and change). But dang, life can be good when you follow your heart and listen to your soul.

On a slightly less deep and meaningful note, any of you watch The Walking Dead? Well we do, it’s about the only thing we watch at the moment. I just wonder though, these people must be a little tired and hungry? Needing a shower maybe? New shoes? Underwear ¬†change? Lord help me in an apocalypse, I get really hangry.

Moving on! This sauce came about because I had no canned tomatoes (not a very good doomsday prepper am I?) but I had too many tomatoes and some capsicums in the fridge. I based the flavour on a dip we used to have which was roasted capsicum and cashew. This turned out to be one of the easiest things I have made to date. I called it R & R because it’s roasted and red, but really I just want to go away to¬†an island without little people for a bit of a holiday ūüėČ Dreaming!

Ingredients

  • 1 kg of roma tomatoes. Doesn’t matter if they are over ripe.
  • 2 large-ish red capsicums
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or garlic granules
  • 1/4 cup of roasted but unsalted cashews

R & R ing

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • Cut tomatoes into quarters and lay skin down on baking tray
  • Cut red capsicum into strips and place on the baking tray with tomatoes skin down.
  • Drizzle tomatoes and capsicum with olive oil
  • Sprinkle with salt and garlic
  • Massage so that all capsicum and tomatoes are evenly coated.
  • Roast for 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool slightly
  • Place in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Add cashews and blend for 1 more minute.

You can use this sauce with meatballs. Add it to your bolognese. I made baked chicken breast with garlic, olive oil and salt then baked in an oven for 20 minutes and poured the sauce on in the last 5 minutes of baking. You could also pour this over zoodles and add a protein like chicken or lamb! Very versatile and extremely delicious and easy to make.

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Sunday Roast Turkey Burger

“Pearler” – excellent, pleasing,¬†something impressive¬†

I’ve come up with a few of these lately, for example;

If you’re only competing against yourself, you never lose.

Let’s not think of it as a mistake, but more a lesson learnt. (I learnt a great deal of lessons lately, some which I will never forget)

And this…

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A sunday roast turkey burger. Basically a roast turkey in burger form with sweet potato chips and roast asparagus. Oh and gravy. What more could you possibly want?

Ingredients

Burger

  • 500g of good quality turkey mince
  • 1/2 red onion finely diced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp of lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp of dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp of sage
  • 1 tsp of celery salt (optional)
  • sea salt and pepper to season

Sweet Potato Chips 

  • ¬†1 or 2 sweet potatoes (depending on how many chips you want)
  • olive oil to drizzle/coconut oil
  • dried rosemary to sprinkle
  • sea salt

Asparagus

  • 2 bunches of asparagus spears
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • 1 tsp of garlic granules

Gravy

  • 1/2 – 1 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 tsp heaped of arrowroot powder

 The Prep

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Peel your sweet potatoes and cut in half width ways, and then into 1/2 cm slices. Then cut into even sized sticks.

Put them into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil or coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix well, then place chips on a lightly oiled baking tray with good space between.

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Then get your asparagus spears and remove the woody end. Lay them out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic granules. Rub in the oil and garlic granules with your hands so the spears are covered. Put to one side.

Mix together the chicken stock and arrowroot powder. Set aside.

Place all of the burger ingredients into a bowl and mix well with your hands.

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Grab about an ice cream scoop size of meat mixture and form into a burger shape with your hands. Place on a plate ready to go out to the BBQ or put on a baking tray lined with baking paper to cook in the oven.

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Now here comes the tricky part… timing. As always with a roast it’s down to timing. So, firstly the chips need 10 – 15 minutes of baking but need to be turned in the middle. The asparagus need about 15 minutes as do the patties. If you can fit all in your oven at once do so and then at 7.5 minutes take your chips out, turn them and put them back in for the remainder of the time. Keep an eye on your chips and make sure they don’t burn too much. Although I do like a bit of burnt/crunch!

If you can’t fit them all in the oven at once you can cook your burgers on the BBQ¬†or in a pan on the stove top.

Last thing to do is to make the gravy using the meat drippings and asparagus and sweet potato drippings. In a pan over the stove top (on a low to medium heat), scrape all the leftovers from the asparagus, burgers and sweet potato chips into the pan. Add the stock and arrowroot flour mix. Stir constantly until the gravy thickens. Pour into a jug.

Ta da! Roast turkey burgers with veggies and chips for an easy and different take on a sunday roast!

BBQ… You Saucey Minx!

My second favourite condiment after the beloved mayo is BBQ sauce. Love it could, marry it, and have it’s BBQ sauce babies. Just saying. This is a really good sauce to mix through your pulled pork or some savoury mince and avocado. If you’re giving some ribs a go this would be finger licking delicious on some ribs… ribbit.

Sauce
1 cup organic crushed tomato
1/2 cup honey/maple syrup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp organic tomato paste
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 teaspoon fish sauce
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp allspice powder
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1 clove of garlic minced

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and set over medium to high heat and whisk to combine.
Bring to boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the sauce has reduced by half.
Bring to room temperature before storing in fridge for later use.
If you don’t want lumpy sauce just whizz it up in the blender or use a stick blender to smooth it out a bit.

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