Wednesday, January 30

Baked Fish with Olives

Simple, graceful , elegant - this meal was so quick to prepare and a riot of colour and taste.  We added some green beans and purple sprouting broccoli to the mix with a little melted butter on the top.  Perfect.


Ingredients

White fish (used frozen and cooked from frozen - five pieces in bag from ASDA)
Tomatoes (small and tasty selection)
Olives (various from deli counter)
Anchovies
Prawns
Thinly sliced red onion
Sea salt and
Cracked black pepper
Oil from olives and anchovies
Fresh limes



Method

Lay the fish in a dish

Add olives tomatoes and thinly sliced onion

Add salt and pepper and add oil from the anchovies and olives to cook

Place in the oven at 180 and cook for 20 - 25 mins

About 5 - 10 mins from the end, add the anchovies and prawns on top

Serve with slices of fresh lime and thick green vegetables






Tuesday, January 29

Soar!



"Don't be scared to fly alone
Find a path that is your own
Love will open every door
What are you waiting for..
Spread your wings and soar!"


This quote makes me think of our paleo life and the leap of faith we took in eating so different to those around us.  Every year had seen weight pile on for each of us, carrying four children took it's toll on my body, working full time, divorce and simply mothering these guys (much as I love 'em), drained me.  Diets came and went, yo-yoing back and forth, wilder and wilder gains and losses, culminating in a diet regime that did not require me to eat solid food for 200 days and I shed over 6 stone in body weight in 7 months.  Needless to say the weight re-bounded, doubled and broke me.  Those were very lonely years.

Although, let me tell you, rock bottom is a pretty solid foundation when we find it.

And then I fell in love with Michael and chance encounters brought us both to paleo and a time of choice: wanting to have strong, vibrant, vital bodies for each other and to enjoy the years ahead of us or wanting to consume junk food: sweets, belgian buns, chocolate bars, eclairs: we both knew that we were living but we were not alive and we wanted more.  We wanted to push our bodies back to the health and vitality we knew as our birthright and to do that we had to revise our diet.  Simple but never easy.  And so we went back to basics.

What we learned was the impact of the food we were eating on our bodies at every level: mental, emotional and physical.  Food was causing us to sink.  We were eating enormous quantities of carbohydrate (about average though on a western diet) and we were addicted always to wanting more, chasing the carbohydrate dragon.  We had to break the cycle and to do that we had to understand what was causing us to eat this way.  

That was three years ago. We lost the weight quickly and effortlessly through eating paleo and it stabilised and has been straightforward to maintain.  We never looked back.  We keep walking forward one step in front of the other and keep breathing.  At the end of the day that's all we can do.  And that's the knowledge we pass on so that others can remember their birthright and learn how to soar too.






Kate Oliver spent years struggling with her weight and ineffective weight loss solutions – until she discovered a remarkable evolution solution that helped her permanently lose 60lbs in eight months with no pills, potions, exercise or weight loss surgery. 

Monday, January 28

Braised Cabbage, Sprouts and Leftovers


Braised cabbage, sprout and leftovers: pretty much sums up the way we do paleo! Liver and pork casserole for tea yesterday and we were down on numbers, eldest girl child at party with friend (fancy dress, Alice in Wonderland, long story) but guess what? For the first time in a long time we have leftovers!  And this is the result: spicy, warming, emerald and wine coloured loveliness.

Ingredients

Left over pork and liver casserole, use bacon if none of the above
Brussel sprouts
Purple cabbage
Butter
Garlic
Chilli

Method

1. Thinly slice the purple cabbage: the thinner the better really as it goes extra soft and tasty

2. Sautee slowly in butter with the garlic and spices

3. Add the leftovers and sprouts

4. Cover and cook til ready to eat


Sunday, January 27

Food + Life


Apple and Blackberry Paleo Pie



This is how we finished off our Sunday roast dinner.  The pie crust is almond flour and is not a sweet taste but the fruit gives a lovely soft sweetness to the meal and we ate this with slices of rich butter sliding down the hot pastry.  All happy!

We used the same topping as we made on the chicken pot pie recipe.

This reminds me of another adventure we had with blackberries a couple of years ago when we started out our paleo journey with the kids!

What did you eat for Sunday dinner today?

Paleo or Bust!


Saturday, January 26

Le Bistro Pierre, Ilkley


Eating out…celebration and food, love it!  Last night we had something to celebrate.  A house sale, it’s done.  We are moving, finally, joyfully we get to find a new home.  

So we left the children at home and headed out into town.  Snow was falling gracefully, silently a delicate hush outside but closing the door on our rented home felt good with all those quiet plans finally calling us home. 

We drove to Le Bistrot Pierre in Ilkley: french food, gentle lighting, relaxed atmosphere, friendly service and today free wine too: we arrive then happy and expectant.  Love eating out, we do it, often.  In fact our love of food has broadened and deepened as we evolve with paleo and trying something new, that’s what keeps life interesting!

Tonight we choose olives and also chorizo sausage (gently fried in honey) as appetisers and share a plate of delicately sliced beef with shavings of parmesan cheese and a scattering of green salad leaves.  The earthy colours on the plate enhance the strong meat flavour and the creamy parmesan is a subtle contrast with the light bright green salad leaves bringing everything back into line.  We drink deep burgundy coloured red wine and appreciate the blend of flavours with each mouthful.

For the main, we share a top quality home-made burger topped with melted brie and bacon and onion chutney with a side order of softly braised red cabbage.  As we eat, we watch the snowflakes falling past the window, watching empty streets normally teeming with traffic, quieten, closing.  Next we share boeuf au violette, chunky slices of beef in a warm thick gravy served with the same softly braised red cabbage and broccoli: the purples and greens bringing definition and depth to the dish.

Driving home, the snow falls soft and heavy on the ground.  At times the flakes come at the windscreen horizontal, fast and disorient us.  Driving up the by-pass our speed slows right down, crawling up the hill back to the children.

This morning we wake to more snow, to plans of a house move and to easy talk of sledging, breakfast and transport.  Where’s your favourite paleo eatery?  How do you like to celebrate?

Friday, January 25

Yam-a-lam-a-ding-dong




Yams….not a lot to say about these save that this morning I woke up and felt like I had been run over by a bus.  End of story.

I had not (been run over by a bus that is).  What I had done was to eat sliced yam (smothered in bacon and cheese) for the first time ever for tea and while I can see the possibilities in yams in terms of having a full belly and all, if you are starving and have no choice;  I do have a choice and that is to pass on by.

Keeping my carb consumption low to very low over the next 7 days to remind self how good it feels.  Living from that place is a lot easier that see-sawing up and down on a bag of carb frustrations!  But hey,  we are human too!  

And anyway who needs carbohydrates that dense when we eat delicious tasty fat!  No contest.

Every day brings something new to learn with and experiment.  Tell us, what have you found out  on your paleo journey?

Til next time

Thursday, January 24

Butternut Squash and Coconut Soup



Weirdly this tasted great with some mackerel in olive oil in my pack up for lunch.  It is very straightforward to make and warming and filling in this chilly winter weather.  Simple ingredients making a rich and satisfying soup.  Makes about 6 servings.

Ingredients

1 medium onion peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 medium-large butternut squash
1 litre cold water
1 chicken stock cube (gluten-free - try kallo)
400ml can of full fat coconut milk

Method

1.  Add some fat to your pan (coconut oil seems appropiate given the theme) and add the onion, garlic and spices.  Cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring regularly and until the onion is soft

2.  Peel the butternut squash (if you are feeling flush you can buy this ready peeled and chopped) cut in half length ways, scoop out the seeds and throw away.  Cut the squash into chunks.  Pour the water into the pan with the onion mixture and add the stock and the butternut squash

3.  Bring to the boil and reduce the heat to simmer for a further ten minutes, stirring occasionally and until the squash has gone soft.

4.  Take pan from heat and add the coconut milk.  Blend with a stick blender or similar.

5.  Return to the hob and warm through without boiling.  Add a little more water in a thinner consistency is preferred.  Serve with coriander or jalapeno peppers which seem to be cropping up a lot in our recipes at the moment (mainly because we found a jar of same in Tescos, preserved with no sugar or other nasties and now trying to find ingenius ways to use them up - er...any suggestions gratefully received )!

Wednesday, January 23

Paleo Fishcakes with Kale

This was an easy cook using fish from the frozen section at ASDA: yellow fish (smoked), salmon and a reduced piece of white fish (cod) mixed with sweet potatoes.  It was a quick cook too with ingredients thrown together and cooked within 30 minutes.  Serve with some toasted kale and a couple of jalapeno peppers and we're good to go.  Tasted a bit like samosas, (strangely)  Serve topped with cheese and some chips for the kids and kale (of course,take no prisoners)!.

Ingredients

1lb fish (mix and match as desired)
4 sweet potatoes cooked and mashed with a dab of butter
1 tbspn mustard
1 finely diced onion
2 eggs
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method

1.  Simple!

2.  Steam the fish

3.  Cook and mash the potatoes with a bit of butter

4.  Mix the ingredients together with the eggs and mustard and the fine dice onion (spring onions would be good here)

5.  Form into cakes and fry - ghee worked well giving a lovely glow and taste to the fish cake.

PS Ghee is now widely available in supermarkets especially in the stores with a large ethnic population near by - thank you Tescos, Canal Road Bradford!!

Paleo Chicken and Chorizo Hash

Technically, this is a dish for left overs but we don't seem to get that at home! If it's not nailed to the floor of the fridge, it will have gone by tea time.  I have a friend whose husband has partitioned the fridge so the children can't access"his" goodies (I give it six months tops), good training though  for student life and all (but he's 48).....!  This simple dish can be knocked up quickly after work from anything you can find that will enhance the basic flavour combo: chicken, bacon and garlic.  Tastes fantastic, kids loved it as a dish in itself.  We opted for fried liver and steamed sweet heart cabbage with butter and a spoonful of hash on the side.  There was plenty enough for all.

Ingredients

1/2lb of bacon diced (unsmoked)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 onion diced
1 sweet potato finely chopped
4 cupfuls of left over chicken (in reality we roasted five chicken thighs and chopped them up)
1/2 chorizo sausage (found at the back of the fridge)
3-4 handful of baby leaf spinach
splash of balsamic vinegar (optional)

Method

1.  Cook the bacon a frying pan

2.  As it starts to render up the fat add in the garlic, onion and finely diced sweet potato

3.  Cover and cook until onion is translucent and sweet potato is cooked through (10- 15 mins), remembering to add in the chorizo sausage part way through and inhale, deeply, man that smells good!

4.  Add in the cooked chicken and spinach and cook til spinach wilted and chicken warmed through

5.  Add a splash of balsamic vinegar to taste (if required) and serve

Tuesday, January 22

Paleo JT's

That is paleo jam tart.  An instant red hot favourite at the Oliver homestead, created on a whim by three wonderful paleo teenage kids who have taken some time to adapt to a life without junk food, ketchup and sweets but with whom sharing this lifestyle, this daily voyage of food discovery has become an adventure, a place where magic happens.  We did it and are doing it daily.  What are we doing that's so radical?  Eating real food!  That's all.  Read more about us here What is paleo?  And in the meantime...

Ingredients

Pie crust (left over from chicken pot pie recipe)

Filling

Raspberries (about 6 or 7)
Banana
Honey to taste

Method

Roll out the pie crust into a boat shape

Mash the filling ingredients together and place on top of the crust and cook at 180C for about 10 - 15 minutes

The kids of course watched this one like a hawk - there was never any danger of it burning!

We served it with a dollop of yoghurt (greek style)  - had we had cream we would have used that!

Warning - as with any jam tart - filling is very HOT!  Just the ticket after a hard day's building


Sunday, January 20

Chicken Pot Paleo Pie


Chicken Pot Pie - words that have been known to reduce my husband to tears (!)  We share below the best pot pie recipe we know.  We can't confirm that cavemen used to eat this dish what we can say is we are sure they would've if they could!  Still it is currently -5 outside and there's a blizzard coming in. Light the storm lamps and batten down the hatches and eat well.  This is as close to paleo pie as we can offer it being a bit of an oxymoron and all.  Serve with some fantastic leafy greens with butter and enjoy.

Ingredients

For the filling
  • 2-3 cups of shredded chicken (get a ready cooked one fr the store - no such thing as leftovers with the Olivers)!)
  • 2 cups of chicken stock (or water)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk (or other milk, or yogurt works too!)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of thyme, dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • add mushrooms, onions or whatever is to hand
  • dash of black pepper

For the crust top

  • 3 cups of ground almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs
Method

  1. Boil all the filling ingredients except for the coconut milk, in a saucepan or frying pan for about 10 minutes, or until the celery and carrots begin to soften.
  2. Remove 1 cup of chicken stock (the liquid in the mixture) and add the coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes or so
  3. Make the crust by combining all the ingredients in a food processor, or combine by hand.
  4. Add the filling to a  pie tin
  5. Take most of the pie topping and roll out between two sheets of baking paper, carefully lift and cover the pie filling
  6. Bake at 180C until the crust is browned (10 to 15 mins).
  7. Cool and enjoy.
PS What to do with the left over pie crust - those ingenius brains at the younger end of the family debated hotly for several minutes before coming up with the best solution possible for this paleo family...paleo JTs...recipe to follow

Why is there never enough?


Yesterday we considered leptin resistance.

We looked at how a high sugar diet can trigger leptin resistance even if we’re only a touch overweight.  This is because sugar triggers a rapid rise in insulin levels which block signals of fullness reaching the brain.  Insulin spikes cause the kind of havoc that produces uncontrolled eating of high (poor quality) fat and high sugar food.  Often we call  that emotional eating.  Consider the above and allow for the possibility that sugar is causing the overeating not emotions..and now read on.

As insulin levels rise and as we eat more of that high sugar food, a vicious cycle begins to take hold.  Insulin levels rise higher and leptin resistance increases  knocking out the brains ability to judge satiety, fullness and send signal to dull the appetite and quieten mind.  High sugar diets cause over stimulated insulin production and what’s worse the more overweight we become, the more insulin resistant we become.  Leptin resistance then becomes more of a problem as body size increases.

So here’s the problem, the processed food we eat is riddled with sugar.  It's everywhere, even the meat in Marks and Spencer's is coated in sugar syrup (I know but check the packet ).  And low fat foods compensate for the lack of taste with...sugar (check it out: it might not be called sugar, it might say glucose or fructose or syrup of high fructose corn syrup or any other name but believe us, it's still sugar).  Eating this type of food stimulates the production of dopamine (the pleasure chemical) and whereas leptin is released when we begin to feel full quieting the release of dopamine without this trigger signal, we continue to crave for the high sugar food (the pleasure trip) and forget to stop eating. And please don't doubt the food industry knows the effect they are having.

It only takes three weeks or so for brain cells to become more tolerant of dopamine and guess what:  resistance builds creating a desire for more junk.  We start to eat more to feel then same level of high….hey presto, we are addicted.

In an ideal world, insulin will clear dopamine from the brain and dull the reward from high sugar food but not so if you are insulin resistant and so the dance goes on and that’s why, for some of us we can eat and eat and eat and still not feel full.  Scary huh?

Don't panic.  There are ways to change the cycle overeating and that's paleo but first up we have to consider why we want to change.

Roast Tomato, Pepper and Carrot Paleo Soup

Can eating soup help us tackle overeating?  This study suggests yes and our own experience in the Oliver family would endorse that as we are finding it a useful antidote to the relentless bitter cold we are experiencing up here in the Yorkshire Dales.  Soup feels like a good thing to eat and brings with it a delicious feeling of satiety and warmth.  Last night we cooked up this roast tomato and pepper soup.  Easy, tasty and filling we added some cooked chicken on the side (for adults) kids simply chucked it in the bowl, mixed and ate.  What's your favourite paleo soup recipe?

Ingredients

6 vine ripened tomatoes, cut into thick slices

3-4 carrots, cut lengthways

1 jalapeno pepper (in a jar - check what has been used to preserve it), sliced (found in Tescos)

Coconut oil to roast the veg in

1 onion, diced

3/4 tspn smoked paprika (try Tescos)

1/4 tspn ground cumin

3 cups chicken stock

Salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Swirl of coconut milk to garnish with avocado

Method

Lay the slices of tomato, carrot and pepper onto a baking tray

Add the coconut oil and roast at about 180C for about 45 + mins (til roasted - watch and see)

Fry the diced onion in a pan in some coconut oil or ghee

When translucent add the spices and roast vegetables

Add most of the chicken stock and bring to the boil

Simmer for ten minutes

Blend the ingredients with a stick blender adding some more stock if the consistency is too thick (personal preference only)

Swirl with coconut milk and garnish

Ready to serve

NOTE: There are other supermarkets that sell these ingredients - we seek to highlight availability in the UK!


Saturday, January 19

Sunny Winter Breakfast


Taken delivery this morning of new supply of Vitamin D.  Followed this good news up with a delicious colourful breakfast: bacon, egg, tin tomato, mushrooms and some home prepared salsa, happy Saturday!

Why We Eat Too Much


Why we eat too much.

Lack of will power?  Too much TV? Boredom? Problems?

Think again.  According to Dr Robert Lustig the urge to over eat is a hormonal issue triggered by eating too much sugar.

He points to the hunger hormone leptin and its role in our encdocrine system to  suppress appetite.  When we have had enough to eat our fat cells  release leptin which quietens the appetite by sending signals to the brain to tell us we are full.

The problem is sugar.  Our sweet tooth is interfering with the signals, interrupting the signal if you like which is no longer registering the fact in our brain that we are full.  We have become “leptin resistant.”.  We don’t hear the message, we don’t register the signal: no matter how much we eat, we still feel hungry.  Sugar is causing havoc.

What happens next?

We eat.  A lot.  The brain sends out the message for food craving high fat, high sugar food because these give energy fast and have that other powerful pay back : all energy is conserved because all that overeating will keep you sat on the couch.  Sound familiar?  Indeed the food cravings become even more intense (and impossible to resist) because the hormone leptin is supposed to quieten the feeling of pleasure and euphoria we get with certain food by suppressing the release of the feel good brain chemical dopamine.

If we are leptin resistant, it doesn't happen.  And the cravings continue on and on and on deep into the night. And this, says the Professor is why we find it so difficult to resist.

What causes leptin resistance?  Too much sugar in the diet, says Professor Lustig.  He states that high sugar diets spike hormone response specifically insulin.  This is needed to clear the sugar out of the blood and to transport the excess energy out of the blood stream into storage as…..fat.  Repeated insulin spikes over time cause insulin resistance (diabetes 2) and Professor Lusting states that insulin resistance triggers leptin resistance.

Is it all over?

No.  Professor Lustig has discovered that by reducing insulin levels it is possible to improve the leptin signalling, quieten the food cravings, quieten the overeating and cause weight loss.

Leptin resistance then and reducing overconsumption of sugar become  the key to reversing the obesity epidemic and achieving lasting weight loss.  This is why we advocate eating a paleo diet: no sugar, grain-free no unexpected insulin spikes, eating becomes manageable and back in balance, life becomes open again and free from the ravages of junk food, we can start living at capacity and where does that take us?

Next time we will consider why one biscuit is never enough and how sweet food always leaves you wanting more.

Friday, January 18

Beefy Comfy Stew

Warming, hearty, easy and ready when we walk in from work: happy cave mum talk!

Ingredients

2lb cubed casserole meat

1 large onion

Ginger, olives and chilli salt (warming, heat based flavours)

Beef stock

Splash of balsamic vinegar to taste

Method

Slow cooker beauty - find it and dust it down...so perfect for winter teas!

Layer the bottom of the slow cooker with onions, sliced thin

Cover with the cubed meat

Mix in the spice of choice

Add some beef stock diluted with boiling water (don't need much - 2 to 3 Tbspns)

Slosh in some vinegar

Fire up the slow cooker on low, replace the lid and leave for 6 - 8 hours

Dark picture on this dark winter night - come on snow, bring it on!!

Thursday, January 17

Bohemian Rhapsody in Squash

Gorgeous!  Filling, warming, spicy in a vaguely Moroccan way, a bohemian rhapsody of heat and satiety, this cave girl is v happy today (even with temperature stuck on minus 5 ) ;) Cooked this dish easily after work and there was enough here to feed all five of us although we added some green leafy veg for those chasing weight loss in favour of the squash casing.


Ingredients

1 organic (!) butternut squash

1 lb beef mince

6 rashers of bacon

1 stick celery

2 onions

3 tablespoons of cinnamon

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (optional for topping)

Method

Wash skin and cut squash in half and scoop out seeds.

Place each half face down in 1/2 inch of hot water in a large pyrex dish

Cook for 30 minutes at 180

Meanwhile in a large frying pan, cook the bacon til nice and crisp

Remove from pan and place to one side keeping the fat in the pan.

Fry up the diced onion and celery stick  in the bacon fat, add the mince and the cinnamon and cook til brown

Remove the cooked squash from the oven and when cool- ish, scoop out the warm squash til about 1/4 inch of casing left (er..sufficient to stuff and hold its shape)

Add the brown mince mixture to the bacon and the squash scooped out bit and mix together

Fill each casing and return to oven with some cheese on top if wanted and whilst you fry a little extra onion in the balsamic vinegar and left over mince mixture juices and fat, to give extra taste.

Remove from oven and top with onion and serve.

PS Enjoy!





Wednesday, January 16

Escaping the Diet Trap


What follows will be achingly familiar to any woman trapped in the cycle of yo-yo dieting.  We re-print an (anonymous) thread following the conversation of a woman determined to lose weight:  six brief comments from among million published on forums for mums….

"The new diet recipe book arrived today and I swear I was dreaming about some of the puddings (have a sweet tooth). And some I can make for phase 2 - yipee!!! Only day 2 and it is not as easy I thought because I cant have the choc biscuits to dunk in my tea I want them more than ever now both biscuits and tea with milk!!! Still feel rough!! Will be going to bed early again to avoid TEMPTATION!!!"

Later

"I'm ashamed to say I have failed ladies!!! I'm upset with myself!! Have had a hard day with ex and things just got too much with me feeling ill etc I had some chocolate and a cup of tea!!

I feel like an idiot!!!"

Then

"Feel positive and motivated today!! And yes still guilty and ashamed that I let myself down!! But today is a new day luckily it was only day 2 so here I go again!! I need to focus on why I want to do this and I'm going to look good - slim and toned (still doing my ea active) to P*ss off my ex who has underminded (sic) my confidence and self-esteem whilst doing this diet with his comments!!! Shouldn't let him get to me but after a horrendous 2 years I'm still vulnerable!!

Wish me luck AGAIN!!"

Later that evening  

"Should also say I'm doing this for me as I for once need to feel good about myself as somewhere along the line I lost that!!!"

The line went quiet for some time after that and then in response to another post:

"I'm also starting again Monday as I need to buy some more food in!! Going to do this time especially as I have a goal!!"

The last comment read

"Well it's Day 2 and I'm getting there though the rough feeling is coming back makes me feel sooooo tired!!!! Like I have no energy and a bit dizzy!!! But I'm going to do it as I failed once   and I want to do this!!!!

How is everyone else doing???"

After that the thread ended.

Horribly familiar isn't it?

Like some insane definition of Hell repeating the same thing over and over (in this case, crash dieting) and hoping to realise a different outcome which never happens.  Why doesn't the result change?   Because the dieting advice is fundamentally flawed: most diets teach that you can be lean but only if you are hungry and miserable, that a calorie is a calorie and energy in equals, energy out.  Not Paleo.

It is easy to say we want change and we want to lose the weight but without commitment and specifically without the possibility of still believing change is possible, it's not going to happen!

So what can we do? Is it still possible to lose the weight and make a dietary change for good?  Can we? Even after all this time?  Even after all these beginnings?  Hell, YES!

Play around with that thought.  Feel into it.  What's happening around that?  Make a note, log the response and continue to follow this blog!  There's work to be done and more suggestions to follow!



Monday, January 14

Moroccan Pork

Isn't January difficult?

Long cold nights, short days, post Christmas credit card bills, the in-built post Christmas desire to retire to a cave and sleep..and then into this mix we throw a sugar detox!  I'm trusting that February is only just around the corner and those long days are coming round again and woo-hoo, all this will pass.

And til then, here's an easy Paleo tea which passes the "cook me quickly" taste test for those returning from work with a bunch of hungry mouths to feed up in a hurry....

Ingredients

6 pork chops
2-4 tbspn cooking fat
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup of chicken stock

For Moroccan Sauce

1 onion (diced)
2/3 cup of chicken stock
1 tspn cumin
1/2 tspn cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut milk

Method

Heat the oil and fry the pork gently on either side for three to four minutes in the hot fat.

Remove the pork and add the garlic and stock scraping the bits off the bottom pan as you go

Add the remaining stock, cumin and cinnamon.

Add the onion and fry lightly until soft (about 3 - 4 minutes)

Add the coconut milk to the pan bring to the boil

Simmer over low heat until slightly thickened (2 -3 minutes)

Return meat to pan and serve.

For this, our main meal of the day we added left over belly pork, cabbage and a few sweet potato rounds which had been fried in coconut oil - chips!

Birthday!



Chocolate Cake. I know, I know but we can't have a 16th birthday without cake - it's tradition!  Try this one: gluten free, dairy-free not quite Paleo but fits nicely in there with that Pareto Principle - taste's great too!

Ingredients

1 cup of dark chocolate drops (or use a bar 6oz) - 80% +
1/2 cup of coconut milk
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups of almond flour
1/2 tspn celtic sea salt
1/2 tspn bicarbonate of soda
white chocolate to decorate

Method

1. Melt dark chocolate chips and coconut milk in a saucepan over a low heat

2. Remove from heat when both completely melded together

3. Stir eggs into saucepan containing chocolate milk mixture

4. Stir in almond flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda

5. Grease or line a baking dish

6. Pour batter into baking dish and decorate

7. Bake a 180C for 20-25 mins

8.  Cool and serve

9.  Enjoy

Happy Birthday Poppy !




Saturday, January 12

Safe Harbour


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover. " 

 Mark Twain

Friday, January 11

Dear Goat, You Had Me at Hello!


Goat - mixed reviews around the Oliver table!

Would we eat it again?  Probably not.

But then we are all total suckers for a sob story.

It started like this.  A rainy day in Harrogate, hurrying together past the butcher's shop window, we both saw a chalk advert on the blackboards outside.  Goat, local, delicious!

Huddling together we pushed in through the door and asked the butcher if he had goat’s legs, choking back the pre-adolescent rush of silly giggles.

He had a sense of humour though (must have for the price we eventually ended up paying….read on) and there then followed this long discussion regarding the goat industry as a whole, culminating in the startlingly raw fact that male baby goats are whacked over the head when born because they are of no use.  An enterprising farm lad had rescued the boy goats and reared them for nine months to give them a go at life, he said and so, we were sold and yes, they had me at hello!

Having reduced us both to tears we didn’t blanch once as we parted with the best part of £20 for a leg joint (ouch)!

This then is the problem.  Having been sold on the idea that it would taste like a leg of lamb – also hideously expensive in the UK – we thought we were onto a winter winner.

Trouble is.  It doesn’t taste like lamb.  We cooked it long and slow as instructed but it really isn’t that great a taste.  Sort of dark and fatless and a bit stringy.  Lean..mmmm...definitely not what gets this cave girls going!

For this to catch on in the local market they are going to have to drop the price.   A lot.

Verdict: save your money or find a cheaper supply ;)

Wednesday, January 9

Paleo Chicken and Gravy

Here we go, a very adaptable easy meal. This one's for all those chicken and gravy meals we had as children.  I was looking to re-create that taste and texture, that fullness and warmth, paleo-style but using my slow-cooker (crock pot).  At tea, our youngest son Rob said "don't change a thing, Mum it's perfect...."

And yes before you ask, that felt good!



Ingredients

5 pieces of chicken
Coconut oil
Warm spices of your choice (ginger, zatar (a spice blend from Tesco), chilli salt, feel free to add what works for you)
1 large onion
Chicken stock (approx 1 pint)
1 slow cooker

Method

1.  Fry the chicken on both sides in the coconut oil to brown

2.  Add spices to the mix and cook for about five minutes

3.  Chop the onion into pieces and lay on bottom of slow cooker

4.  Add a few more spices of choice to flavour, place the contents of the frying pan on top of the onion

5.  Cover and cook on low until you come back in from work

6.  Carefully remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon and keep to one side.  Blend the sauce with a stick blender or in the liquidizer to make the gravy.  Add some arrowroot if a slightly thicker consistency is required.  Return the chicken to the pot, ready to serve.

Note: We fried a few left over bits of bacon to top it off and served with broccoli and left over celeriac mash.  The boys had a jacket potato each with butter, microwaved (but don't tell those cavemen)!!




Mother's Little Paleo Helper



Back by popular demand!  Bread.  Well grain-free gluten free bread (best ever) paleo bread.  How do we use this?  Its a Godsend for the kids, for pack-ups and the like at school and this time has provoked interest among school friends along the lines of "how can you make bread without grains."  Love it, planting "seeds" (forgive pun) of change in growing minds.....

For those of us wanting fat loss, eat sparingly but as ever enjoy when and where wanted along the lines of an 80/20 rule which we find, tends to work very favourable with most things in life

Tuesday, January 8

Paleo Truth v Diet Myth


Diet Myth: A low fat diet will make you "feel better...and increase your joy of living"

Paleo Truth: "Low fat diets are associated with increased rates of depression, psychological problems, fatigue, violence and suicide"  Lancet Journal 3/2/92 (v 339)

From: "Nourishing Traditions" Sally Fallon, Weston A Price Foundation

Read it and apply to life.  Conclusions?

Bruce Lee wrote this Striking Thought: "Knowing is not enough, we must apply.  Willing is not enough, we must do."

When we want change, action must follow.

Monday, January 7

Warming Winter Paleo Stew

This is a slow cooker meal, the beauty of which is that we can feed the family quickly and well coming in from school/work.  We added some spring greens with butter and brussel sprouts and cooked some chips in coconut oil to supplement the kids tea!  Easy Paleo.

Ingredients

2lbs stewing steak
2 onions
spices of your choice: cumin, chilli salt, ginger all the warming combinations
Beef stock (about half a pint)
Dash of Balsamic Vinegar (to taste)

Method

Slice the onions quite thickly

Place in bottom of slow cooker

Place the meat on top and add the spices.

Add the stock and the balsamic vinegar

Place lid on tightly

Turn to low and leave for 6 - 8 hours

Add green vegetables of choice

For an alternative winter stew try our website option on the recipe page:
Paleo Works official recipes.

Sunday, January 6

Paleo Chilli Saves the Day

Crazy Saturday afternoon with a house full of hungry teenagers.  This helped.  If in doubt, try a vat of paleo chilli.  We find it will satisfy even the most hungry of appetites!

Ingredients 

2lbs mince (beef)
2 large chicken breasts
2 tbsp cooking oil (coconut oil, lard, ghee)
2 tbsp chilli powder
2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp sea salt (chilli flavour (try tescos)!
2 big cans of chopped tomatoes

Method

Fry the mince and onions (chopped) and add chunks of chicken breast to cook with the mixture

Add in the rest of the ingredients when the mince has browned.

Bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer gently for about an hour.

Course our teenage experiences don't always turn out like that.  Remember our teenage party?

Saturday, January 5

Paleo Breakfast



My boys are heading off to football training..it's a grey damp morning in West Yorkshire, lots of layers required !  And here's breakfast.  Simple nutritious - this is going to give each of them sustained energy through out the morning.  Bacon, fried in coconut oil, mixed into boiled eggs and mashed with butter.  Try it and tell us what you think...meanwhile, I can hear it now calling me back.."Mum where are my football socks"  Oh boy, deep breathe ;)

For other meal ideas see the official Paleo Works recipe pages

Friday, January 4

The Greedy Girl's Diet


Can’t let this one pass by unnoticed!

Here’s another celebrity dieter fallen off the wagon of conventional diets who tells us all what we already know. 

“Presenter Nadia Sawalha has admitted that keeping all of the weight off has been a struggle and has now evened out to a more “womanly” size 12”  The 48 year old told Closer magazine that she is the happiest she’s ever been with her shape as she found maintaining her size 8-10 figure nearly impossible.”

It transpires that having sold a DVD and fitness video confirming that conventional dietary wisdom is the way forward, it appears it is not.  Oh and there is another dietary advice book in the pipeline from Nadia rather horribly entitled the “Greedy Girl’s Diet”.

As Nadia helpful advises “I have tried every diet known to man and, each time I lost weight, I piled it straight back on again.  When I started the Atkins diet I started dreaming my duvet was naan bread”

Er…....more dodgy diet advice anyone?  Nadia what makes this new weight loss regime successful on a long term basis?  Have you eaten it for the long term?  Can you prove it is sustainable? 

The paleo diet is different.  For a start it is based on 2.5 million years of evolution and with that kind of scientific data behind us anything is possible. Head to our "what is paleo" page for more information.

But for now,  here it is, a passionate plea from all at paleo works:  if you are looking for long term sustainable weight loss head for the diet we were born to eat; caveman, paleo, paleolithic, archevore, ancestral health: call it what you like Paleo Works!

Paleo Mexican Chicken


Mexican Chicken

Ingredients
2 lbs boneless chicken breast cut into 1" strips
salt and pepper
2 – 4 tbsp cooking fat
2 cloves garlic crushed
½ cup chicken stock


Seasoning
¼ cup lime juice
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2/3 cup chicken stock
½ cup diced chillis
½ cup coriander (fresh)
1 tbsp ghee


Method
Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and pepper

Heat fat on high about two mins

Add chicken reduce heat to medium high

Cook on one side for about 2 – 3 minutes then turn and brown the other side for similar time

Remove chicken from pan.

Deglaze the pan with the lime juice, chilli powder and cumin (making sure to scrape the bits off the bottom of the pan to heighten the taste)

Add the stock and chillis

Return chicken to pan and boil until liquid is reduced by approximately50% (about 10 mins)

Remove pan from heat and stir in the ghee





Tuesday, January 1

A Formula for Paleo Success


Millions of New Years Resolutions will be made today only to be broken by next week!  How do us humans manage to effect lasting change and can you really change your life?

For once, these words stopped me in my tracks making perfect, clear sense.  When we are looking to change our eating habits 

"focus on what's in your control rather than the things that aren't.  If you tend to your own garden, the other stuff will come."

that is

"If you tend to your own garden, the other stuff will come"

and in context (from the conversation between Irma Kurtz (IK) and Jules Evans (JE) philosopher)

JE: One thing that can be useful when you're trying to change a habit is thinking more intelligently about control. So people in Alcoholics Anonymous remind themselves about what's in their control and what isn't. If you have a resolution, think of it as intrinsic rather than external. So resolve to make more of an effort to go on dates instead of saying, I'm going to find love. Because that's external, it's out of your control.
IK: Well, the inner goal is because you're in search of the outer goal. You're making an effort to go on dates because you're in search of love.
JE: But it's useful to focus on what's in your control rather than the things that aren't. If you tend to your own garden, the other stuff will come.

There are practical things we can do, practical action we can take to make change.  To tackle unhelpful eating habits take practical steps "to tend your own garden": clear out the junk food at home (give to neighbours, charity, homeless), buy in only the food that will help change occur, shake up our routines (walk to work, to school, carry big grocery bags to the car) and then "the other stuff will come". 

Be patient and let what will unfurl, like the most exquisite bloom in the forest.  Just remember "to tend to your own garden and the other stuff will come"

There is a great community out here that has found lasting and profound change through eating a paleo diet.  

Resolve to join us and make that change and make 2013 your best year yet!