This Spiced Beef Cheeks recipe could not be any easier – sprinkle on the spices and slow cook for 8 hours. The beef cheeks release their own juices to make a rich sauce subtly spiced with the flavours of Morocco. The meat ends up so deliciously succulent.
If you haven’t tried Beef Cheeks, then this is the best way to do so. Ask your local butcher for them. I can’t believe I have been missing out on this moist and succulent cut of meat until this year.
These Beef Cheeks can be served over mashed, sweet potato, pumpkin, or potatoes, or this Soft Polenta recipe courtesy of Australian celebrity cook, Maggie Beer.
This Beef Cheeks recipe is adapted from a recipe by Vered Deleeuw. See the original recipe here.
This super easy Fish in Coconut, Lime and Coriander Sauce is mild yet flavoursome. Most of the ingredients are blended into a liquid in which the fish is then poached. So Easy!!
Even if you don’t like coriander, it is worth a try. Or you can try my Fish in White Wine and Mustard Cream Sauce.
Jalapeno Pesto takes normal pesto to the next level by adding a bit of heat. Don’t like heat? Then simply leave out the jalapeno! What more can I say?
This tasty but not-too-hot version of Chilli con Carne couldn’t be easier and is pretty much foolproof. This Tex-Mex dish has been around since I was young and is still a favourite in many households.
It took me a while to decide whether to be true to Chilli con Carne’s North American origins and use the spelling”Chili” or stick to my Australian roots and spell it “Chilli”. I decided to be consistent with the Australian spelling throughout the rest of my website so “Chilli” it is!
Using lean minced/ground beef prevents too much oil from floating on the top of the finished product.
Bottled tomato passata is found in the supermarket aisle near the pasta sauce. I use passata instead of the usual canned diced tomatoes because I prefer to use foods from glass rather than cans. I haven’t yet seen bottled kidney beans. They would also be hard to find and I want cooking to be easy.
The ground chilli powder is ground dried chillis and not the chilli, sugar, etc. mix also known as “chilli powder”. If you are worried about the amount of heat, then substitute the ground chilli powder with dried chilli flakes.
Canned diced tomatoes can be easily substituted for the passata. The cans here are 400 g so two cans would work.
The cooking time for the Chilli con Carne will depend on your consistency preference. Some like it more liquid to serve over rice, whereas I like to cook it for the full 40 minutes so that I can easily eat it on its own with a fork. It is also great served over a baked potato.
This easy-to-make kimchi will provide your gut with some beneficial natural probiotics. Kimchi will add extra flavour and goodness to any meal, especially stir-fries, eggs, and even toasted cheese sandwiches.
Kimchi is like spicy sauerkraut and is as common in Korea as sauerkraut is in Germany. I have been a fan of sauerkraut ever since my extended stay in Tuebingen, Germany in 1985.
Despite this love for sauerkraut, I had never been brave enough to try Kimchi – only because I thought it would be too fiery hot. That is until I saw an easy Kimchi recipe on the website of Changing Habits and figured I could make my own. This way I could have some control over the level of spiciness.
This was the first fermentation I had ever attempted. I was totally surprised at how easy it was. Like a lot of others, I was a little worried about accidentally creating some unknown biohazard. I read that in order to avoid this, a necessary first step is to start with clean equipment and sterilised storage jars. The good bacteria produced by the fermentation process will actually fight any minor bad bacteria in the jar or in the gut. However, do discard the kimchi if you see mold on the surface or smell or taste anything that is not a clean sour taste.
If you are following a Keto diet and use Kimchi only as a condiment, then this small amount of carrot is allowed.
Ferments are not recommended for a Low FODMAP diet.
Some people, especially children, who are not used to eating a diet rich in probiotics may, at first, find fermented foods difficult to digest. Some even have to start with as little as half a teaspoon or less and build up from there. If there is a consistent problem with digesting fermented food, then please seek medical advice to discover the reason why.
The choice of chillis will determine the heat intensity of the Kimchi. Traditional Kimchi uses gochugaru, a Korean chilli powder. Gochugaru is a milder version of red chilli flakes because it does not include the seeds and membrane of the chilli. The seeds and membrane are where most of the heat is. I prefer using fresh ingredients when I can, so I chose the mild red chillis that I often use and can easily buy at my local fruit and vegetable shop. To help you decide which chillis to use, click here for a guide to some of the types of chillis, what they are best used for, and what their heat factor is.
If you prefer to use the tamari sauce and not the fish sauce, choose an organic variety such as Pure Harvest. This will avoid GMO soybeans that have been sprayed with glyphosate (the active ingredient in zero and roundup).
Pegans (Paleo plus Vegan) can use coconut aminos instead of fish sauce or tamari sauce.
As mentioned before, start with squeaky clean hands, utensils, and sterilised jars. Click here for three different ways to sterilise the jars before filling them with the Kimchi.
Once the Kimchi is fermenting, some recipes suggest opening the lid daily. The fermentation process produces gas bubbles and opening the lid allows these bubbles to escape and prevent any unwanted explosions of trapped gas. I didn’t open the lids and had no problem, but figured I should warn you of the possibility.
When the Kimchi has reached a level of sourness that is to your liking, store it in the refrigerator with the lid sealed. It will continue to ferment but at a much slower rate.
Forget packet or bottled Madras spice mixes! Cook this well-known Madras Curry from scratch! It is made more simple for you by using the same measure for most of the spices.
This may look like a long list of spices, however, once you start cooking from scratch you will find that your spice collection will naturally increase. I use these spices over and over. See the recipe for my Super Easy Slow Cooker Moroccan Beef.
Skirt or chuck steaks are cuts of meat suitable for stewing. Stewing requires a long, slow, moist method of cooking in order to break down the muscles fibres of these cheaper cuts of meat. Each country has its own unique names for stewing cuts of meat. If you can’t find “chuck” or “skirt” then look for “flank”, “blade”, or “round”. These are all suitable for the stewing method used in this Madras Beef Curry recipe.
If you use Stock or Broth powder to add more flavour, for the sake of the health of you and your family, avoid the stock cubes that have MSG disguised as “yeast extract”. I use a premium powdered bone broth from Broth of Life.
Tomato Passata is a bottled tomato puree. I always have a bottle or two on hand to add extra nutrition and flavour to a number of dishes such as my Italian Zucchini Boats. Passata is also my secret ingredient for making more flavourful and moist taco meat.
In order to cater for different pots and stovetops, I have been generous with the amount of liquid used. If you like curry with a thicker consistency, simply remove the lid after an hour of cooking. Keep checking that it doesn’t get too thick.
I really enjoy a good hearty frittata, especially for Sunday brunch. A frittata is basically a quiche without a base. This keto-friendly frittata uses keto allowed vegetables, bacon and fresh cream, however, you can customise it for your own taste preferences.
For non-keto, a frittata is still a good way to use up any sad vegetables in the refrigerator. I’ll often add grated sweet potato and put grated parmesan cheese on top.
If you prefer a vegetarian diet, then the bacon can be left out without sacrificing the flavour.
Another Keto and Vegetarian breakfast or brunch dish is my Shakshuka Poached Eggs.
An ovenproof frypan makes the job more convenient but if you don’t have one, transfer the frypan cooked ingredients to your usual baking tray. Due to the loss of the residual heat of the frypan, it may take a little longer for the frittata to cook.
This Coriander Salmon with Coconut-Tomato Salsa recipe and photo are courtesy of Mark Hyman, MD. It is from his book “Food: What the Heck Should I Cook?”
Dr. Hyman believes that “we all deserve vibrant health and happiness – and that we can get there using the real power of food”.
This is a complete meal of salmon, salsa, and vegetables! You can view more of Dr. Hyman’s recipes here!
I’ll be honest, Wild Caught Salmon is now hard to find and very expensive if you do. An alternative would be to use another wild-caught fish.
Why wild-caught? Here is one doctor’s view on why we should avoid farmed fish.
Millen Farm gave me the challenge of developing a recipe for their crop of jalapeños. As I had never eaten a jalapeño, this challenge had me definitely outside of my comfort zone. I had assumed jalapeños were too spicy for my palate.
When I went to buy some, I saw a woman grabbing about a dozen. I had to ask her what she was about to make. “Jalapeño Poppers” was her reply. I had never heard of them but her description had me curious.
After a bit of research, I discovered that Jalapeño Poppers are a popular party appetizer in the USA. Fresh Jalapeños are filled with a herbed and spiced cheesy mixture, topped with crumbs, and then usually deep-fried. I never deep-fry anything, so I concentrated on developing my own baked version.
I was so very surprised at how delicious they were. Yes spicy, but tasty without being too hot. My beloved was also totally impressed.
Make up a batch for the next barbeque or the next time a crowd is sitting down to watch a sporting match on television. I hope you find these Baked Jalapeño Poppers as hard to resist as we did, especially when served with homemade Aioli!
I try to give ingredient options in all of my recipes so that they can be adjusted according to dietary preferences.
For these Poppers to be grain-free choose the nut option, and for nut-free, choose the breadcrumbs (gluten-free if necessary). If you follow a vegetarian diet, these poppers will still taste good with the bacon left out.
Oven Fried Chicken is so much healthier and more convenient than deep fried. In order to make the coating even tastier, this particular oven fried chicken recipe has the addition of parmesan cheese. I’m sure it will become a favourite for dinner or eaten cold at a picnic!
If you are looking for a dairy-free version of crumbed chicken, try the Paleo Chicken Cutlets.
I have been as confused, as I’m sure you have been, about what oils to use for cooking at different temperatures. At one stage, we were told not to cook with extra virgin olive oil, yet the chefs on cooking shows were still using it with abandon.
After hours of research about smoke points and extra virgin oils (the only ones I use), I have come to the conclusion that I can very safely use extra virgin olive and/or coconut oil for pan-frying and baking. However, I ensure I don’t go over a medium heat (halfway) on the stovetop, or over a moderate oven (175 degrees C or 350 degrees F) in the oven. I never deep fry food so I don’t have to worry about what to use there.
I mostly use olive oil as it is the cheapest but also use coconut oil when I prefer that flavour. Having said that, I have discovered a wonderful non-aerosol avocado oil sold in the Australian supermarket Woolworths. Though, drizzling the oil over the chicken works well too.
The more I learn about the way our food is manufactured by big companies, the more I am trying to buy organic. I want my eggs and meat from happy chickens that were free to roam and feed in a field, not cooped up in a small space. Hence, I keep my eye out for specials on organic products. Also, I now do most of my fresh food shopping at Farmer’s Markets. It may not be all organic but at least I feel better buying directly from a local farm.
I also don’t want to buy the meat or eggs from chickens that have been fed GMO corn. Do you know that one of the main reasons that most corn is genetically modified is to make it resistant to the herbicide glyphosate (think zero and roundup)? This herbicide is said to kill our beneficial gut bacteria and cause developmental and reproductive issues. If you are interested, you can read a short WebMD article about “Herbicides and Your Health” here.
This bone broth recipe, courtesy of Sherwood Rd Organic Meats. makes it easy to make your own nutritious and healing bone broth instead of relying on the pre-packaged stocks and powders that are full of unnecessary additives.
Knuckles or marrow bones are recommended as the best to use for making this broth.
I actually cooked mine in a slow cooker. I left it cooking for 24 hours in order to extract as much goodness from the bones as possible. I now have 2-cup containers in my freezer ready for any recipe that asks for beef stock or broth like my Super Easy Slow Cooker Moroccan Beef or my Gluten Free Swedish Meatballs.
Kellie Foster from The Kitchn, asserts that “bone broth can be used for any type of cooking, just like you’d use stock or traditional broth, although it’s also wonderful for sipping warm”. See her article here if you want to know the difference between broth, stock, and bone broth. To summarize, bone broth is cooked the longest and is the most nutritious.
This Eggplant and Tahini Dip is delicious paleo and keto-approved hummus that uses eggplant instead of chickpeas. You can also find a Pumpkin Hummus recipe here.
The recipe can also be Low FODMAP if you use garlic-infused oil and don’t eat more than one tablespoon of tahini in one day, which equates to a third of the whole amount of dip. This would be a lot, no matter how delicious it is.
If you don’t have an oven grill to char the eggplant skins, then use a barbeque grill.
Do you want a spaghetti sauce recipe but without pasta as the base? Then these Italian Zucchini Boats are just the answer.
Zucchini is used as a “boat” to hold the pasta sauce. They are then topped with freshly grated Mozzarella cheese that melts and browns in the oven. Yum!
This recipe was inspired by the girls at Easy Budget Recipes. I saw the recipe on their Instagram feed and thought it was a great way to use zucchini.
Passata is sold in tall bottles rather than in tins. It is an uncooked tomato puree devoid of any additives – just 100% tomatoes. Some have citric acid added but I avoid those brands. It is very smooth because the tomato skins and seeds have been strained away.
A prepackaged Dried Italian Herbs mix can be substituted with 1 teaspoon in total of your favourite mix of any or all of the following dried herbs – oregano, rosemary, parsley, thyme, basil, and sage. Of course, you can add more to suit your taste.
Note that “Italian Herbs” is different from “Italian Seasoning”. You can use it as a substitute however you may have to cut back on the other seasonings – salt, garlic, etc.
Mozzarella Cheese seems to come in many forms. In Italy, I discovered that mozzarella is more soft and white, and traditionally made from buffalo milk; what we call fresh mozzarella or the smaller bocconcini here in Australia. It was definitely not found pre-shredded in a zip lock packet.
For this recipe, I grate the Mozzarella from a firmer more yellow Mozzarella block, ball or “pear” because it:
The lemon and herbs help this Marinated Roasted Eggplant go so well in an Italian panino (sandwich), or as a side dish for a picnic lunch. One of my friends, who usually doesn’t like eggplant, likes it heated up as a side dish with Roast Chicken.
This recipe is the first of the year for Millen Farm, where I am now volunteering as the recipe developer for the beautiful organic foods in season.
Globe eggplants are usually big, black, and bulbous like a light globe. They should be firm and shiny with a green, not shrivelled, stem.
Lemon juice can be substituted with Apple Cider vinegar for a stronger pickled flavour.
Thyme can be replaced with oregano leaves.
I have used mild green chillies, however, the choice is yours as to whether you prefer it hotter. Red chillies give a pleasing colour contrast.
Instead of roasting in the oven the eggplant can also be pan-fried on the stovetop or barbequed on a grill. In fact, the grill lines make this a more attractive dish.
Seed Crackers are now popular for those who are trying to avoid grains. These are also dairy, egg, and nut free.
This easy recipe is courtesy of the delightful Candice Bauer. Candice, and her equally delightful husband Matt, have a natural skincare company BARE by Bauer, so it makes sense that she cooks real, whole food that will also nourish the skin from the inside out.
These crackers are flavoured with rosemary and smoked paprika, however, you can easily substitute these with your favourite herbs or spices. Turmeric works really well.
If you want to use a rolling pin instead of pressing the mixture into the tray, you may find your rolling pin too big to avoid the tray’s edges. If this is the case, then use a glass jar as a rolling pin.
Instead of scoring the mixture into squares or triangles, Candice likes to make it even easier by simply breaking the cooked mixture into rustic looking pieces.
The crackers are left in the oven to cool in order to help them dry out a little more.
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