Mon’s Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled eggs are my quick go to breakfast.  I have them often during the week and even sometimes for lunch if I’ve only had a light breakfast.  They are not just any old scrambled eggs.  They are a complete meal.

So what is in my scrambled eggs you may ask?  Well I will tell you below.  These eggs are dairy free too and suitable for a dairy free, paleo, primal, nut free, gluten free diet.

 

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Mon’s Scrambled Eggs

3 Eggs (I always use organic free range)
3 Scallions or Shallots Sliced (or shallots we call them in Australia)(you could also use a leek or half a brown or red onion)
2 handfuls of English Spinach (again, use what you have, so if you have silver beet or frozen spinach, use what you have)
Pinch of Garlic Powder
Pinch of Tumeric Powder
Pinch of Himalayan Rock Salt
Sesame seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds (or pepitas as they can be called, same thing, activated is best)
Linseeds (or flaxseeds as they are also known as).
Sprouts (I use any combination of radish, kale, broccoli, sunflower)
Coconut Oil

Heat pan and add some coconut oil (about one to two tablespoons).   Add sliced scallions.  You can slice these in which ever way you prefer.  If you like them large or small, it’s up to your taste.

Break eggs into a bowl and add some garlic powder, turmeric and a little salt (you can always add more later if not salty enough for your palate, but you can’t remove) and beat with a fork until whites and yolks are mixed together and set aside.

Once scallions have softened, add the spinach and wilt.  Do not have pan too hot, turn down if necessary to low.

Pour eggs into pan and keep mixing until cooked to your liking.  I use a silicone spatula and pull the eggs in from the side, into the middle as they begin to cook.  However you stir your scrambled eggs, remember to not leave them, continue to take the cooked egg off the bottom of the pan so that the uncooked eggs can move to the bottom of the pan and cook.  If you do not move scrambled eggs you will have an omelette (or a frittata).  Some people prefer their soft and some people prefer them really hard and well cooked.  This is a personal preference.  Remember that the eggs will continue to cook a little once removed from the pan.

Put scrambled eggs on to a plate or into a bowl.  On top, sprinkle some seeds and some sprouts if you have them.

** For those who are not dairy free, some parmesan cheese would also be delicious, either sprinkled on top with the seeds or even added to scrambled egg with the garlic and tumeric.

Can be served with half an avocado, some bacon, some sauerkraut, some toast if not Paleo.   But even on their own, they are a quick, easy, healthy go to breakfast.  Even my teenage son loves these in the morning.

 

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Restaurant Review – Caffe Republic – Benowa

This has to be one of my favourite cafes on the Gold Coast.   Caffe Republic is located at Bromberg Plaza at Benowa.

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With an all day breakfast menu and lunch menu there is something for everyone.  There are symbols beside meals for Paleo, Gluten Free and dairy free, so this is a great cafe for those with different dietary requirements.  The food is really good quality, some organic too.  They make their own sauerkraut which is really delicious (wish they bottled it).  They have grain free bread which they make themselves and is so good (shame they don’t sell it in loaves, they would have queues of people lining up daily).  They are very tolerant of meal changes.  I am one of those nightmare customers who never seem to order a meal as it is on the menu.  So I always change one or two things around or order sides and it has never been a problem here.

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Wether its just for a muffin, for a coffee or a tea or a meal, it’s all good at Caffe Republic.  I have not had a coffee from here before, but there always seems to be people waiting for a take away coffee so it must be good.  I have had green tea and I will say that it’s my least favourite thing about the restaurant, it’s not a great green tea so am not sure about their other teas.  But I don’t go there for the tea, I go for the food.

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Snake Oil Kombucha on tap

One thing I love at Caffe Republic is the Kombucha on tap.  The flavours change, my favourite was apple pie, but I’ve tried the chai, lemon and ginger, goji berry to name a few.  It is by Snake Oil Kombucha.  There are always two flavours available at a time.   You can get it to take away too.

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The meals always look they have been designed for a photo shoot.  Yes we do eat with our eyes and your eyes won’t be disappointed with a meal here.  Taste is important too and as yet, I’ve not had a bad meal here.  I am addicted to their pulled pork!  YUM!  I highly recommend it.  Their homemade sauerkraut is also so delicious.

The service has always been good, meals come out quickly, drinks come out quickly.  It is not a cheap cafe, don’t go thinking your meal will be a budget one, but you get what you pay for.  The quality of the food is top notch and if you want good quality food, then you have to expect to pay a little more than a cafe which uses inferior quality ingredients.

I can highly recommend Caffe Republic.  If eating healthy, high quality food is important to you then this is the place to go.  I will certainly be back again (and again, and again).

Caffe Republic – Bronberg Plaza 150 Slatyer Ave – www.cafferepublic.com

Mon’s Banana Bread

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This is a nut free, dairy free, gluten free, Paleo recipe.  The flax flour will make this a dark bread.  My bread is all organic.

130 grams coconut flour
20 grams flax flour
7 eggs
2 teaspoons bicarb soda (baking soda)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
4 bananas (large or 5 small)
4 tablespoons raw honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
1/2 cup Organic Blueberries (frozen or fresh)(one cup if mixing through batter)

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Place bananas in thermomix and mix on  Speed 4 for 3-4 seconds.
Then add remaining ingredients, and mix for 8-10 seconds on speed 4.
If adding blueberries to the batter, fold them through now by hand.
Pour into a lined rectangle baking tin.
Sprinkle blueberries over the top and push into batter slightly. (can be mixed into the batter too).
Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes, then cover bread with baking paper and then foil.  Bake for a further 45 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and brush top with maple syrup.

 

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Once mixed, place in lined baking pan and sprinkle with blueberries

 

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Bake open for 20 minutes, until top starts to brown.

 

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After baking for 20 minutes, cover with baking paper lined foil, to protect the top from burning.

I wish there was a smell application to add to this blog right now as the banana bread baking away in the oven smells absolutely divine!

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Fresh out of the oven….. Now to brush over some maple syrup

Once cooled I slice this into portion sizes and freeze in individual portions.  My son takes this to school in his lunch box.  I take it out frozen, put it in the box frozen and it’s thawed by morning tea or lunchtime.  It’s nice in the mornings toasted, or under the grill or even in a pan.

 

Enjoy!

Restaurant Review – Paradox Coffee Roasters – Surfers Paradise

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This is a reasonably new cafe in Surfers Paradise.  It’s in a building called The 4217, in Beach Road, Surfers Paradise.

The decor is fantastic, it has a really hip vibe to the cafe.  I have been here a few times now and have not had a bad meal.  The service can be a bit hit and miss.  Its great most of the time, but there has been the odd occasion where coffees have taken quite a while, but not enough to stop me going back.

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I do love my coffee, but haven’t had one in years but the friends I went with said it was some of the best coffee they have had on the Gold Coast!  So if you are a coffee drinker, try Paradox.

From my observation, they seem to have a big take away coffee business, there always seem to be a lot of people ordering and waiting for this coffees at the counter.  I didn’t try any but they have a cabinet at the counter filled with cakes and yummy slices.  They look amazing!  One day I will go back and try some.

 

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There is an all day menu, all day breakfast, all day lunch.  You have to love that.  I am one who often likes to have breakfast for lunch or a lunch type meal for breakfast, it all depends on what I feel like.  Who says you must have eggs and bacon for breakfast, why can’t that be a lunch or dinner meal?  So many cafes and restaurants seem to think so.  Fortunately this is not one of them.

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I had the garden patch.  It was absolutely delicious.  Poached eggs were soft and perfectly cooked.  The bacon was crispy and the basil drizzle over the top added a delicious flavour.  Everybody I went with had a great meal, everybody enjoyed their meal.

I recommend giving Paradox Coffee Roasters a try, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Stock or Broth

Something that I always have in my fridge and freezer is home made stock, mainly chicken.  I make a big pot of it, cook it on the stove for 24 hours and there I have this rich, full of flavour pot of goodness.

Bowls of broth are so good for you.  They are really good for gut health, great for healing the gut, its anti inflammatory, great for the skin (call it liquid Botox), hair, nails.  If you are unwell, have a cold, the flu, a tummy bug, have a mug of broth.

Into my pot I add about 3 chicken breast frames, organic preferably, about 6-8 wings and about half a dozen chicken feet, I will sometimes add some legs too.  Yes, I did say chicken feet.  I find them to be a little freaky.  Actually it took me a while before I could even buy them, let alone add them to my stock.  But after a while I just decided to do it and they make a big difference to the stock, a rich flavour.   Once the vegetables are in and the lid on, you don’t even see them.  Once I have added all of my bones to the stock I cover the bones with Apple Cider Vinegar, fill the pot with water and let it rest for an hour.  This helps draw all of the goodness from the bones.


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Once the bones, water and apple cider vinegar have rested, I add the vegetables.  Whatever you have if fine.  I add carrot, leek, celery (including the leaves), brown onion, garlic, black peppercorns and parsley.

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I then pop the lid on and boil away.  Once it reaches the boil I will remove any bubbles/foam that forms on the top.  Sometimes there is hardly any, sometimes there is a little more.  Then I just let it simmer away for 24 hours.  Once it’s done, I remove it from the pot and strain the liquid through a very fine strainer.

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You can see what a divine rich colour the stock is.  So full of flavour.  Once the stock has cooled a little I put it in fridge over night. All of the fat then rises to the top and sets hard.  This forms an airtight seal over the stock and will keep it fresh for longer, but it doesn’t last that long in our household.  I scrape all of that fat off and put it into a separate container.  You can do this and use it for cooking or you can just throw it away.

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The broth/stock can then be put in individual containers and frozen if you are not going to use it in about 5 days.    I always have some in the freezer for a quick easy meal.  I will remove an individual container and it starts to thaw quite quickly, enough to tip it into a saucepan.
Sometimes I’ll just have it in a mug, as a drink, with some salt, garlic powder, turmeric and coconut oil added for extra flavour.  For breakfast I will add an egg to the broth, maybe some shallots, some spinach, some salt, garlic powder, some turmeric and some lemon or coconut oil.  If I am making a light dinner, I will add some diced chicken breast, and most of the other items above, sometimes some cabbage, carrot, kale, whatever I have in the fridge that may make my broth tasty.

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Give some broth/stock making a go.  You won’t ever buy store bought broth/stock again!  If your broth turns to jelly when it’s been in the fridge… you have succeed in the ultimate result.  It’s quite hard to achieve a jelly result with chicken stock.  Just use it in cooking or add it to the pot and it will turn back into a liquid as it heats up.

Mon’s Kitchen Essentials

Having your pantry stocked with essentials is an important thing with cooking.  If you are wanting to move away from processed foods, jars of sauces, sachet or packet of premixed sauces.  Like people buying a bottle of pasta sauce, it’s full of sugar and who knows what else and if you have bottles of passata (tomato puree, with no additives at all) or fresh tomatoes and herbs and spices in your pantry or fridge, you can whip up your own pasta sauce so quickly, with flavours that you and your family love in minutes and you know exactly what’s in it and no hidden ingredients.

If you are wanting to move away from processed foods you need to have things on hand in your fridge and freezer so that you can whip something up without having to head out to the shops at the last-minute.  There will be appliances which will make life easier, which will make it easier to make your own sauces, yoghurts, snacks.

So… I’m going to do a series of posts about essentials, my essentials, things I recommend having in your pantry, things that I can’t do without and that I alway have on hand.   Things you should have always have in your fridge and freezer and then at any time, you are able to whip up a healthy nutritious meal or if people drop over, you can whip up some nibbles for them at any time.  Things that are handy to have in your drawer (utensils) or appliance cupboard.

I’ll do a posts about spices, about nuts and seeds, about essential kitchen appliances and gadgets and other essentials to stock your pantry to have on hand and much more.

So stay tuned.   Mon’s Paleo Essentials will be coming soon.

Paleo and a Nut Allergy

For some time I was under the impression that living a Paleo life would be too difficult if you had a nut allergy.  What a shame it took me so long to realise that this was not the case.  Having had a nut allergy for about 40 years (I think that may give my age away… eeeek) I have been substituting nuts for all of my life but thought there were a lot of nuts in Paleo.  But it’s nothing that can’t be substituted for something else.

It’s all about converting.  If a recipe calls for almond flour (almond meal) you can replace it with coconut flour, flax meal (or flax flour) or tapioca flour.  They are the main ones that I substitute for.  If a recipe calls for nuts, then I add either sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or sometimes coconut, depending on the recipe.  If something calls for macadamia nut oil, I use avocado oil.  It’s really been quite simple.

Almond Flour – replace with coconut flour (usually less as it’s much more absorbent), flax meal or tapioca flour.  There is also banana flour which I am yet to try.  Tapioca is good for thickening sauces or gravies.  You could also use sunflower or pumpkin or flax/lin seeds and blitz them in a blender or thermomix to make a meal.


Nuts – in a recipe or a salad, you can use sunflower or pumpkin seeds or flaxseeds (otherwise knows as linseeds).  These can either be whole, or you can put them in your blender or thermomix and pulverise them to make a meal.  Coconut is also an option in replacing chopped nuts in baking or even on a salad.

 

Some things will just have to be left from a recipe.  Like making cashew cheese.  That’s just not something to make, so another recipe or menu item will be in order.

It is absolutely positive to live a Paleo lifestyle with a nut allergy and adapt meals and recipes and not miss out on any nutrition.

 

I am happy to help with any questions,  if your child has a nut allergy and you are wanting to cook safely for them or if you have a friend or a friends child coming over with a nut allergy.  Ask away.  I will do my best to help with any substitution ideas, help with conversions.

 

Restaurant Review – Paleo Cafe – Burleigh Heads

I realise this is not from my kitchen but it is from someone else’s kitchen…. The Paleo Cafe‘s Kitchen at Burleigh Heads on the Gold Coast.

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It was my first visit to the Paleo Cafe, I guess you could call me a Paleo Cafe virgin.  I had heard so much about it from many different people, both friends and on Facebook in different groups so I really wanted to go and have a meal.

So I two of my lovely friends and I arranged to meet for brunch.  We were long overdue for a catchup and decided that Burleigh Heads it was.  Such a pretty area, beautiful big trees, stunning.  Parking was a breeze, there was plenty of parking around Park Avenue and after I had found a park on the street but it was not free, only paid parking on the street in that area.  I did notice a sign to say there was free parking available at the back of Paleo Cafe but it was too late.  Next time I will know the free parking is available.

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It’s a pretty spot to sit and have coffee or lunch and the menu is quite extensive.  A lot of Paleo fare available and we were choosing from the breakfast menu.  Even if someone you were joining wasn’t following a Paleo way of life, there is still plenty for them and anybody would enjoy the menu, not just those on a Paleo diet.

 

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You order and pay at the counter and then the meals and drinks are brought to the table.  I order the Bacon and Eggs with a side of avocado.  I have a nut allergy so was going to have the bread taken off my order as I thought it may be made with almond or a nut meal, but fortunately the bread was made with linseeds (or flaxseeds if you prefer to call them that) so it was perfectly fine for someone with a nut allergy.  I was really impressed that they had a sheet at the register where they were able to check the ingredients easily to see that it was nut free.  It wasn’t just for the bread, I only had a glance but could see many other items on the list and the ingredients, so for anybody with an allergy or intolerance, you would find it easy and very accommodating for your needs.

Our meals arrived in reasonable time.   My bacon and eggs was delicious, I had ordered poached eggs, you could choose your style of eggs.  It came with crispy bacon, sweet potato hash brown, spinach, eggs, linseed toast and my side of avocado.

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Bacon and Eggs with spinach, sweet potato hash, linseed toast and a side of avocado

 

One of my friends had the same as I and my other friend had eggs benedict (it also had the linseed bread).  Looked so good that I’m going to have that next time.

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Paleo Eggs Benedict with linseed toast

 

My one complaint is that I really would have loved a cup of tea.  I drink green tea and they only had flavoured green tea, not a plain one, which is something that is not liked by everybody, particularly if you are a green tea drinker, you prefer it natural, not flavoured.

Another thing I liked was the cafe also had a little shop.  They have a range of great recipe books and resource books to do with the Paleo way of life.   They were all reasonably priced too and I did indulge in a book purchase.   There is also a section with grocery items, Paleo cereals, wraps, and many other food items.  There is also a fridge with some pre-made meals which I will go back and try one day, along with other cold items like sauerkraut.

The staff were all lovely and friendly.  So many places you go to these days, the staff are rude and unfriendly, you often feel like you are interrupting their day but not here.   But even asking about the nuts due to my allergy… no problems, I was helped in a friendly manner and it didn’t feel like I was causing an inconvenience.

Overall we all thoroughly enjoyed our meals and I will go back.

 

Thanks Paleo Cafe Burleigh Heads 

Buying Organic and the Dirty Dozen

I have been buying organic fruit, vegetables, meat for many years now.  I find them to be a lot more full of flavour and it’s been a health conscious decision to avoid pesticides as much as possible.

Today I came across a video of a little girl trying to grow a sweet potato which I wanted to share.  I am actually going to give this a go myself, with an organic sweet potato and see how long it takes to sprout.

There is a list of organic fruit and vegetables to buy if you want to start buying organic.  It’s called the dirty dozen.  They are the ones which are affected most by pesticides.  Washing sadly does not get rid of the chemicals, it will remove some.  But produce is sprayed throughout the growing process, so they are full of them, not just on the surface.

So if you cannot afford to buy all organic produce or don’t have a big range available to you, but would like to start with a few things.  Start with these which are the highest in pesticide for non organic…

Apples, Peaches, Nectarines, Berries (very important, never buy non organic berries) (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), grapes, celery, spinach (lettuce, kale, collard greens), capsicum (peppers), cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, pears.

Those lowest in pesticides are Onions, corn, pineapples, avocados, asparagus, peas, mangos, eggplant, rockmelon, kiwi, watermelon, grapefruit, mushrooms

Have a look at the video, very interesting.

Scotch Eggs

This is an oldie but a goodie.  It is something that we used to have as kids.  I remember my mother serving these up for my brother and I for dinner with some veggies and tomato sauce (ketchup).  Our version growing up were coated with bread crumbs. As these are a grain free version, there will not be any bread crumbs used.

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Today I decided to recreate the scotch eggs from my past for my son to try for dinner.  They were a great hit.

Fantastic for breakfast, lunch or dinner, great for school lunch boxes, to take to work, even as an afternoon snack.  Serve them with some homemade ketchup or BBQ sauce.  YUM!

I have used beef, but you could use any mince (ground) meat… Pork, beef, chicken, veal or you could use a combination of beef and pork.  It’s entirely up to you.

 

Mon’s Scotch Eggs

6 eggs
500 grams of organic beef mince meat (ground beef)(or another ground meat of your choice)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried herbs (or a handful of fresh herbs, whatever you have, parsley, basil, oregano, thyme)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

Boil eggs for 4 minutes and then drain and sit in cold water.  Once cool, peel the eggs and with a clean tea towel or paper towel, pat them dry.

In a bowl, mix ground meat and the herbs and spices together.

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Split meat into 6 portions.  Flatten out the meat into an even round shape and place egg on top.  Wrap meat around egg, then with your hand slowly move the meat around the egg, so that it is completely covered.

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Place in a baking pan and drizzle with some coconut oil.

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Place in a moderate 180 degree celsius oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Serve with tomato or BBQ sauce and a salad or vegetables or some cauliflower and broccoli rice.

I am a big believer in cook with what you have.  So if you don’t have any of those spices then just leave them out.  If you have other spices that you like to use, curry powder, paprika, cajan spice, you can flavour them with any flavours you like.

 

Enjoy.