Saturday, December 31, 2011

Beetroot Salad

• 4 good-sized beetroots, lovely
different colours if possible, scrubbed, peeled and cut into fine matchsticks
• 3 ripe pears (or you could use apples), peeled, cored and cut into matchsticks
• 1 x lemon oil dressing see below recipe
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 200g/7oz feta cheese
• a small bunch of fresh mint, smallest leaves picked optional: a large handful of sunflower seeds

Recipe from Jamie Oliver

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mushroom & Asparagus Fritatta

1 Bunch of Asparagus
2 Large portabella mushrooms
6 Eggs
Olive oil
Pine nuts

I rarely measure anything I cook, but I'll try to let you know what I did because it was delicious!

Add olive oil and heat non stick over proof pan, slice asparagus & mushroom and toss in pan, cook throughly adding basil and pine nuts. Scramble all 6 eggs and pour evenly over veggies. Then Grill in oven for about 10 min or less. Keep an eye on it, it cooks quickly. Serve with sliced avocado. Great for leftovers or make it the night before and heat it up for a quick breakfast.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Riced Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed

1. Cut your cauliflower had into small chunks.
2. Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to boil.
3. Reduce heat to medium heat and cover, allowing to cook for 20 minutes or so until the cauliflower is very tender and easily mashed with a fork.
4. Drain liquid but save and use if you need to add more moisture.
5. Mash with a fork, add more liquid if you need to, for smooth whipped potato consistency, you can blend in a food processor. Salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Scalloped Kumara

Here is my take on Scalloped potatoes:

3 medium orange kumara
100grams of feta
2 slices of streaky bacon
2 tablespoons of butter

Grease bottom of 9x9" baking dish with coconut oil or butter. Then peel and thinly slice kumara. Layer in baking dish, top each layer with a bit of feta, salt and pepper. Set oven to 160C. Once you have layered all the kumara, melt the 2 tbls of butter and pour evenly over kumara, cover with foil and bake for 30-40 minutes. Let cool and top with crumbled crispy bacon.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Coconut Pancakes

From The Primal Blueprint Cookbook:

3 eggs
3 tbls melted butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tbls coconut milk
1/2 tsp Honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut flour (sifted)
1 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/2 cup of water

Optional additions: flaked coconut, berries, nuts, cinnamon, bananas etc.

Servings: 5 Large or 10 small

Whisk together eggs, oil, coconut milk, honey and vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together dry ingredients then add the wet ingredients, stirring until smooth. Add the water to thin the batter out until it reaches you desired consistency. In a well oiled pan (I used coconut oil) or griddle, cook pancakes until browned on both sides (about 3 minutes each). Smaller pancakes are easier to flip than larger ones, since the pancakes will fall apart if they are too big.

I made the little ones, then buttered then and added eggs and bacon on top. Very filling and you can count them as your fat intake.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Figs

You'll need fresh figs and streaky bacon.

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 160c

Step 2: Cut each bacon strip in half.

Step 3: Wrap a piece of the cut bacon around each fig and place seam down on a baking sheet.

Step 4: Bake in your pre-heated oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Make sure you baste the figs half way through the cooking time with the bacon grease.

Let them cool for a few minutes before you chow down because the inside of each little fig treasure will be like searing hot molten lava.

Drizzle them with a little bit of balsamic reduction. Directions for how to make a balsamic reduction can be found here under the Prosciutto Wrapped Pear recipe.

Thanks Sarah!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Burgers and Fries

Burgers and fries are one of my fav meals. Grass fed barbecued beef burger topped with guacamole and wrapped in a huge lettuce leaf. The best part is you don't even need to turn on the oven; the sweet potatoes are great on the grill too.

Beef Burgers
1 pound (preferably grass fed beef)

For the fries use orange kumara: Toss wedges of sweet potato in olive oil and salt and pepper. Grill for approximately 20 minutes so put them on first.

Top your burger with guacamole or tomato and bacon and wrap in a big green Lettuce leaf.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Why we don't eat Grains by Whole9

The Grain Manifesto

We’re continuing our “manifesto” series (refer back to dairy and peanuts for earlier offerings) with the one topic most likely to spur controversy – grains. Our Whole30 program doesn’t include grains of any kind – no breads, cereals, pasta, rice, not even fake grains like quinoa or gluten-free substitutes. We’re about to tell you why. (Note, we are well aware that this information may run counter to everything you’ve ever been told by your parents, doctors, personal trainers, government agencies and TV advertisements. For that, however, we make no apologies… because all the people who have been selling you Whole Grains for Health all these years have been just. Plain. Wrong. We understand if this makes you kind of angry. It makes us angry too.. but that’s a topic for another post.)

Why We Don’t Eat Grains

A. Grains provoke an inflammatory response in the gut

Lectins are specialized proteins found in many plants and foods, but are found in high concentration in grains (particularly wheat), legumes (particularly soy), and dairy. The most commonly referenced grain lectin is called “gluten”, but there are many others which are found even in pseudo-grains like quinoa. Lectins serve many biological functions in animals, but foods with high concentrations of lectins are harmful even if consumed in moderate amounts.

Lectins are hardy proteins that do not break down easily, and are resistant to stomach acid and digestive enzymes. They migrate through your digestive tract largely intact, and disrupt the intestinal membrane, damaging cells and initiating a cascade of events leading to eventual cell death. (Translation: lectins destroy the cells that line your intestines, leading to small “microperforations” or tiny holes in your intestinal lining.) These holes allow intact or nearly intact proteins, bacteria and other foreign substances to cross into the bloodstream – where theydo not belong. As the immune system notices foreign substances in the body, it responds and attacks. The immune response can manifest in an unlimited number of conditions (not just in the digestive tract!) commonly referred to as “auto-immune” in nature.

It’s important to note that these cautions are not just critical for those with a diagnosed Celiac condition. These negative downstream effects happen to everyone who eats grains, to various degrees.

B. Grains spike insulin levels

Grains pack a whopping amount of carbohydrates in a very small package. As most grains are also heavily processed (yes, even whole grains) they are broken down into blood sugar (glucose) in your body very quickly. A high amount of ingested carbohydrate broken down very fast leads to a spike in blood sugar. The body, demanding homeostasis, then releases a massive dose of a hormone called insulin to pull blood sugar levels back down. This is often referred to as an “insulin spike”.

When too much blood sugar is present in the system, your body quickly runs out of places to store it as useful energy, and will store any excess as body fat. In addition, when too much insulin is present in the system, the cells in your body become desensitized to the hormonal “message” insulin is trying to send. Since the message isn’t getting through, your pancreas is prompted to release even more insulin when your body doesn’t need it. Finally, chronically high insulin levels lead to a condition in which your body has trouble releasing the energy already stored in your cells. This is a bad place to be. If (via a diet high in carbohydrates) this pattern continues, insulin levels continue to rise, fat stores continue to grow and the body becomes completely incapable of responding to its own directions.

C. Grains have an acidifying effect on the body

A net acid-producing diet promotes bone de-mineralization (i.e. osteopenia and osteoporosis), and systemic inflammation. Grains are one of the highest acid-producing food groups. By replacing grains and grain-containing processed foods with plenty of green vegetables and fruits, the body comes back into acid/base balance (and a more positive calcium balance). Recent research out of Tufts University has also shown that a more alkaline diet preserves muscle mass. We like muscle mass.

D. Grains are “empty calories”

All grains – things like oatmeal, pasta, breads and cereals – have two things in common. They are calorically dense, and nutritionally meager. A small portion of grains packs a whopping amount of calories, almost all in the form of carbohydrates. All those calories, however, contain a miserly amount of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (also calledphytochemicals). Compare the calories, carbohydrates and vitamin profile of two large slices of whole grain bread (100 grams) to one cup of chopped, cooked broccoli (184 grams – nearly twice the mass). (Nutritional stats from

Note that we’re not saying there is nothing good to be found in grains. They do contain vitamins and minerals in various proportions and amounts. But the serious down sides of grains far outweigh any potential health benefits. Bottom line – there is NOTHING found in grains that you can’t get from a better source with NO down sides (like vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds).

Find more Information on the Whole 9 website.

Monday, August 29, 2011


So I had a member ask me what she was doing wrong with her diet this morning, and as she was telling me her daily 'foods' I interrupted and asked, "Where is your protein and fat?" The reply was, um protein bars and "fat?"

Truth is, we usually know what we're doing wrong in our diet. Too much sugar, not enough protein, eating processed pre packaged food, alcohol, wheat, grains, legumes etc. You see, you cannot out train a bad diet. Trust me, I have experimented with this for quite some time.

It's taken us a few years of playing with Paleo/Primal eating. Now its easy, eat real food and if you go a bit off track, make sure your choices have minimal consequences.

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and NO sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.

If you'd like to learn more about Paleo/Primal eating, we have books to loan out to members. Check one out of the MaD Library today.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Shrimp Cobb Salad

4 Slices of streaky bacon
500 grams of Shrimp/prawns peeled and deveined
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt, divided
2 1/2 tbls fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tbls olive oil
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 package of cos or romaine lettuce
2 cups of Cherry tomatoes quartered
1 cup shredded carrots (about 2)
1 ripe peeled avocado cut into 8 wedges

1. Cook bacon in a larger nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and cut in half crosswise. Use the same pan for prawns. Sprinkle shrimp with paprika and pepper. Add a drizzle of olive oil to pan add prawns once pan is warm. cook 2 minutes on each side until done. Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp salt, toss to coat.

2. While the prawns cook, combine remaining 1/8 tsp salt, juice, oil and mustard in a large bowl and mix. Add lettuce and toss to coat.

3. Arrange about 1 1/2 cups lettuce mixture to each of 4 plates. Top each serving with about 6 prawns, 1/2 cup tomato, 1/4 cup carrot, 2 wedges of avocado wedges and 2 bacon pieces.

Personally, I'd use way more bacon ;) Recipe is a variation on one from 'Cooking Light' I just took out the corn.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Crab Cakes

From Everyday Paleo

Everyday Paleo Crab Cakes

1 pound crab meat (canned is fine)

2 tablespoons finely diced red onion

2 tablespoons paleo mayo (not the red pepper mayo but just the plain mayo)

1 teaspoon crushed garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1/8 teaspoon of chipotle powder

1 egg

2 tablespoons coconut flour (or enough to make the mixture stick together)

2-4 tablespoons coconut oil

Shredded green cabbage for garnish

Lemon wedges for garnish

If using the canned crab, make sure to crumble the crab with your hands into a large mixing bowl and pick out any shells you might find. Mix the crab with the onion, mayo, garlic, sea salt, pepper, chipotle, egg and coconut flour. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat for 1 minute or until hot enough that a sprinkle of water in the pan makes the oil sizzle. Form the crab cake mixture into palm size patties and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until they are golden brown. Makes aproximately 10 crab cakes. Serve on top of the shredded green cabbage with lemon wedges and topped with my red pepper mayo if desired.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Boneless pork chops

Growing up with 'shake n bake' pork chops that were cooked to death for fear my mother would kill us with trichinosis, I found it a challenge to cook juicy boneless pork. Last night was most definitely a success.

Freedom farm boneless pork, rosemary, salt pepper, and butter.

I just melted butter in a cast iron skillet, and pan fried in seasoning, then when they were almost completely cooked, I removed them from the heat and let them rest. Perfect!

Served with roast pumpkin and spinach salad.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Fish Cakes and Kumara & Parsnip Chips

Fish Cakes: from my friend Vee


garlic cloves - the more the merrier to keep the vampires away

1/2 lg onion quartered

4 eggs

about 1lb raw chopped tender white fish fillet (I used grenadier. Sole, snapper, tarakihi, or other can be easily substituted)

1 cup almond flour

a touch of tarragon

A few leaves of fresh basil (or a tsp or so of dried)

Cajun seasoning

coconut oil (to cook in)


Pulse garlic, onions in a food processor

Add eggs and process enough to blend

Add fish chunks and process to blend fish well

Pour into bowl and mix in almond flour. See picture for consistency.

Form batter into cakes and fry in coconut oil on medium heat until browned, flipping once.

Drain finished cakes on paper towel.

I served with homemade garlic mayo.

Kumara and parsnips:

Use vegetable peeler to get thin slices, coat in olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat a pan and cook in rendered duck fat for best flavor. flip once and cook til crunchy. Drain on paper towel. Good hot or cold. Don't overload the pan or they will be mushy.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Venison, Kumara and Salad

Matt's Birthday gift from his mum was organic meat. So many choices!
He selected some sausages, venison and 500 grams of rendered duck fat.

Barbecued Venison

1 x 1kg Venison Denver Leg cut into pieces about 4-5cm thick


1Tbsp finely chopped fresh Rosemary

Maldon sea Salt

Freshly ground pepper

To prepare meat butterfly Denver leg if needed. Sprinkle with Rosemary, Salt and Pepper. Marinate in the fridge for 1-4 hours. Preheat and oil the BBQ grill, cook meat for 3-4 minutes over high heat on each side, or until medium rare, rest for 10 minutes off the heat in a warm place.

Serves 5-6

Kumara (sweet potato) diced & cooked in rendered duck fat. Salt, pepper and a bit of rosemary. We served with side salad.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Preparing for the Week

Here is a post from Robb Wolf on how to prep a weeks worth of meals in advance. Although they mention some bulk stores, I find Moore Wilsons in Wellington to have some great meat choices. They carry Freedom Farm brands, gluten free sausages, fresh seafood and lots of produce. Check it out. No Excuses.

Act like a paleo boyscout and "Be Prepared"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sloppy Joe's

From our friends at Performance Menu

Here is a spicy cocoa version of an old favorite. Since we will not be serving this over the traditional hamburger bun, you have several options. I like to make a bed of romaine lettuce and tomato slices, but there are many possibilities: eggplant, squash, nut patties, you name it.

30 minutes

· 1kg ground turkey or beef (preferably prime grass-fed)
· 1 cup chopped onion
· 1 cup tomato puree
· 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
· 1 Tbsp chili powder
· ½ tsp yellow mustard powder
· 1 ½ tsp ground black pepper

Cook meat and onion in a large skillet on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the meat is browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients and heat for another 10 to 15 minutes. Serve over vegetables of your choice. Makes 4 servings.