Thursday, 31 January 2013

Pork with pineapple salsa

I found some interesting recipes in the free Asda magazine, using pineapple.  It is unfortunate that they all seem to have sugar as well, which seems silly when pineapple is quite sweet anyway.

This one is using pork fillet or loin steaks; I replaced the sugar with honey for the marinade.

100ml pineapple juice
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp cider vinegar
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
600g pork fillets/loin steaks
300g pineapple, fresh or tinned, cut into small pieces
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
3 spring onions, chopped finely
2 tbsp fresh coriander

Put pineapple juice, honey, vinegar, 1tbsp lime juice and oil in a bag. 
Add pork and toss to coat.
Leave to marinade for 2-3 hours, turning occasionally.
Mix pineapple, chilli, spring onions, 2 tbsp lime juice and coriander to make a salsa, and chill.
Preheat grill.
Take pork from marinade and grill, turning regularly.  Destroy marinade.

Serve with sweet potato mash and vegetables.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Fish cakes

We have tried different fish cake recipes that don't contain the usual bulking from potatoes, but to be honest they all seem to be missing something.  On the whole they all seem to be dry.

Today we used the Crab cakes (using tinned salmon) from Everyday Paleo, but did not follow the recipe completely, as to make this dish would need a dozen eggs to make them for the four of us, as well as the tinned salmon, which does not makes them a sensible price.

I made up the fish cakes as the recipe says, but used a packet of hollandaise sauce - I'm not entirely happy about this, but I have to be realistic when I have to balance time against what my family are prepared to eat.  They haven't chosen to eat paleo, and forcing them is not likely to make them what to do it.

I will continue looking for a moister mixture.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Slow cooker beef stew

To make the best use of a weekend, we like to use the slow cooker.  Chopping vegetables at the same time as breakfast, means that there is only one lot of clearing away.

Today we had a tasty beef stew from Denim and Dots.  Adding mashed sweet potatoes and an extra vegetable took only 10 minutes, so it was quick to get everyone to the table to eat.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Low carb pizza = Meatza

We used to have pizza occasionally before, but my husband was not really keen.  Having meatza means we can make something is reasonably acceptable for everyone.

There are various recipes for meatza on the internet, but from a bit of experimenting we have worked out a good method. Ours is roughly based on one from Wellnessmama

The meat mixture needs to be cooked in a hot oven for about 12 minutes in a tray with sides.
It needs a hot tomato/vegetable sauce that is well cooked and thick, as it is only in the oven for the few minutes to melt the cheese. 

Edit: The blog this originally came from is no longer available, so I will try and load my recipe

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Not-stuffed mushrooms

Although we quite like the idea of Stuffed mushrooms from Everyday Paleo, we knew that realistically it wasn't going to happen!  It had been suggested that you can just add all the mushrooms to the meat mixture to make burgers, and we have done this before.  But after the enthusiasm of the mushrooms with the pork burgers, I thought this may be worth trying.
So, I prepared the meat mixure as the recipe says (with the exception of the sausage), up to point of making burgers, when I made a giant 'tray bake' of meat mixture, as the mixture was not going to fit on one tray as burgers.  Then I chopped the mushroom tops with onion and fried them off as a topping.
Served with vegetables, it makes a filling meal.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Coconut turkey stew

This recipe seems to have come from an e-book from Mark's Daily Apple, but I don't seem to be able find the link again!  It is quite simple and can be made from things that you could have in your freezer or cupboard.

Coconut turkey stew

500g turkey mince
1 onion, chopped
400g frozen spinach, defrosted and finely chopped
200ml coconut milk
salt and pepper

  1. Brown the turkey in some lard or coconut oil, and place in a bowl.
  2. Using the same frying pan, melt a little butter and lard, and fry the onion until slightly soft. 
  3. Add the spinach and fry until wilted. ( With frozen spinach, I just wait for it to warm through.)
  4. Return the turkey and stir well.
  5. Reduce the heat and add the coconut milk.  Mix well.  Add salt and pepper.
  6. Ensure all is warmed through completely.

It will need an additional vegetable to serve.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Caramel apple pork chops

There are times when you can get good deals on pork chops or loin steaks,  They are worth buying and putting in the freezer for meals when you don't want to spend a long time preparing a dish.  Just put them out to defrost in the morning, or even the night before in the fridge.

Todays we had Caramel apple pork chops from Cavemanstrong.  I would guess I spent more time preparing the vegetables than the meat.  We just grilled the pork, and cooked the apple slices in the frying pan.  I would guess that it takes about 10 minutes to cook the apple slices and a little longer to thicken the sauce (we don't bother!)

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Monday, 21 January 2013

Birthdays, snow and fish

I have found that birthdays and snow - both being cold and being restricted to how far you can go - lead to eating things that you shouldn't.  Whether it's the chocolates bought for birthdays, the cake made to pass the time when the children can't go out or the whole 'being kept at home, so I'll raid the cupboards', it has not been a good time for avoiding the bad things.  The one benefit has been that, once they've gone, they are not likely to be replaced.  Although I do still find it hard not to buy 'goodies' for the children when they are on special offer.  I know that it is unlikely they would choose to stick to a paleo diet when I am not feeding them, but I don't want to bend my principles too much!

However, today we had a fish dish that is fairly simple and because it is finished in the oven, the kitchen can be cleaned up as it's cooking.

Fish with Chilli

15g butter
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 chilli pepper, very finely chopped
1 kg fish fillets, defrosted if frozen
1-2 large carrots, peeled, diced and lightly steamed
1-2 courgettes, diced (peeled if prefered) and lightly steamed
115g fresh or frozen peas, lightly steamed
30g butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Melt the butter and saute the onions until transparent.  Add the garlic, cumin seeds and chilli pepper and saute briefly.  Remove from heat.
  3. Cut the fish fillets into cubes and mix with the onion mixure in an ovenproof dish.
  4. Arrange little mounds of carrrots, courgettes and peas around the dish, add 2 tbsp water, dot with butter and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the fish is cooked and everything is piping hot.

It looks good in the dish

Not quite so good on the plate!
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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Chicken and not-noodles

Today we were meant to be going to a 'bring and share' birthday lunch, where each family brings a savoury plate and a dessert.  However, due to the snowy weather we abandoned this, as most of us would have had a long journey on snowy or icy roads.

Instead, I tried a new recipe I had found on Pinterest, Chicken and noodles from The Pioneer Woman.  The suggestion was that to paleo it, use grated courgettes instead of the noodles, and use arrowroot to thicken it instead of flour. 

The recipe is not hard, although it takes some time to boil the chicken and the bones.  However, we found there was far too much liquid, although it tasted fine.  The next time, after making the bone broth, I would think it would be best to take half of the stock out of the pan for another meal, and then follow the recipe as followed.  This would make a thicker stew-like dish instead of a soup.

As you can see, it madea large amount - that's a 5 litre pan!


Saturday, 19 January 2013

Curried fish chowder with paleo croutons

We tend to eat fish a couple of times a week, but the limitation on making this fish stew is I have only found one place in Swindon that I can buy plantains.  In fact, when I asked in Sainsbury's, you would have thought that I was asking for ostrich or octopus (actually, I think you can buy that there).  Anyway, it seems that only the large Asda stores stock plantain.

My only concern of eating Curried fish chowder is the shortage of vegetables, so you may want to serve it with a salad or fruit.  We had previously had a large pot of vegetable soup, so I felt it balanced out over the day.  It is quite quick as long as you remember to thaw the fish.  I buy big one kilo bags of pollack, which are just right for this.  I start frying the crou-tains at the same time as I put the fish in the pot, and it all seems to come together.

[Edit - I now shred cabbage, cook quickly in the microwave and add to the chowder to add extra vegetable]

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Easy Butternut Squash Soup

We had snow yesterday, and the boys had a 'snow day', so no school.  It seemed a good idea to make some hot soup for lunch.  Butternut squash soup is very tasty, and made this way is very simple.

I will load up a sequence of how to make the soup, once I have some photos of each step.  My computer does not have a memory card reader, so I have to wait for them to be moved over from another machine.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Stuffed peppers

This came from a recipe intended to be cooked in a slowcooker, so we have changed it a certain amount.
The portion sizes, we have found are about right, but you could just as easily use a whole pepper per person.

Stuffed peppers

2 large peppers
750g pork mince
half a cauliflower
2 onions
2 carrots
2 tsps garlic, crushed or chopped
3 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp dried mixed herbs
400g tin of chopped tomatoes

Put the cauliflower, carrot and one onion through the food processor until you have a crumb-like mixture.
Using a LARGE bowl, mix together these vegetables with 1 tsp garlic, 2 tbsp mixed herbs, the tomato puree and the minced pork.
Cut the peppers in half lengthways, so you make 4 'boats'.
Pack the meat mixture into the peppers.  Any left can be made into meatballs or patties.
Place the peppers (and meatballs) into a cooking dish that is a snug fit, so they hold each other up.
Cook at 190C for one hour.
While the peppers are cooking, prepare the tomato sauce.
Into a small pan, put the tin of tomatoes, 1 tsp garlic, one onion and 2 tsp mixed herbs.
Cook gently for about 20 minutes, so it is slightly thick.
Serve one pepper boat, with quarter of any meatballs, with tomato sauce.

In the dish
and with tomato sauce
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Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Teriyaki chicken with cauli-rice pilaff

This is a simple way of serving chicken, although some people would consider that it isn't strict paleo - it certainly isn't suitable for whole30

Teriyaki chicken is made with a marinade.  A marinade needs to have vinegar and oil in it, and ideally to 'soak' into the meat for several hours.  If you are organised, you can mix up the marinade, bag the meat up with it and freeze it in advance.  It can then be marinading, while it defrosted.

Teriyaki Chicken

600-800g boneless skinless chicken pieces, cut into bite size chunks
1 clove of garlic, chopped or crushed
4 tbsp honey
150ml soy sauce
4 tbsp water
1.5 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp olive oil
3-4 tbsp vinegar or white wine

Combine the marinade ingredients.  If you are going to freeze/chill this, place in a ziplock bag with the chicken.  If you are going to cook the chicken within the next few hours, you could put it into the cooking dish, if you have space to chill it while it soaks.

To cook:  Thaw if frozen.  Cook in oven at 180 C for 40-45 minutes; 30 minutes covered and then 10-15 uncovered.  Ensure the chicken chunks are cooked.  Use the marinade as a sauce over the cauli-rice.

Cauli-rice pilaf

I don't know where I got my recipe for cauli-rice pilaf, as I don't seem to find it again.  When I find it, I am happy to credit that source.

1 head of cauliflower, pulsed in food processor until rice-like
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp lard
2 carrots, grated
3 salad onions, sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed or chopped
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp vegetable boullion
100g mushrooms, diced

Melt oils and add carrots, onions and garlic.  Saute until fragrant, about 3 minutes. 
Add mushrooms and cook 2-3 minutes.
Add cauli-rice, then boullion.  Stir to combine.  Add 2 tbsp of water to prevent it burning onto the pan.
Cook gently for about 5 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
Very filling

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Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Pork burgers

Tonight's dinner was Pork burgers from Everyday Paleo.  As I don't have fresh basil, I just used a large amount of dried mixed herbs.  We aren't keen on mayo, so just missed that bit.

My son was very keen about the mushrooms and anything that encourages vegetables is good.  I have also discovered that leaving a bowl of chopped raw carrot sticks on the counter helps him to up his veggie portions, as he would prefer sweets and chocolates.

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Monday, 14 January 2013

Cheesy fish fillets

A simple fish dish that is quick to prepare.

This is best done using the fish fillets that come frozen in a box.  Unfortunately, they come with six in a box, and we need eight, so we have to buy two boxes.

This will serve four people, although you need to be generous with the veggies as fish is not hugely filling.

8 x 100g fish fillets - defrosted
sea salt
lemon juice
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp dried sage
sliced or grated cheese (use real cheese not those horrible processed slices)

Preheat the oven to 180C, 350F
Sprinkle fish with salt and lemon juice, and place in a buttered dish that just accommodates them.
Sprinkle with onion and sage and bake for 10 minutes.
Place cheese over fish, dot with butter and bake for another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and the fish flakes easily.

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Sunday, 13 January 2013

Bacon wrapped meatloaf

Tonight's dinner was Bacon wrapped meatloaf from Mrs Paleo.  At least, that was what it started as.
However as we only had beef mince and we didn't need to feed a huge number of people, we halved the ingredients, and just used 800g of beef  mince.  As I don't add the tomato sauce to the meatloaf mixture, it doesn't need the almond flour either.  Just cook the meatloaf for about 50-55 minutes.
The sauce benefits from cooking gently for 30 minutes.  Serve with vegetables.

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Saturday, 12 January 2013

Coconut Curry Pork

Tonight we had coconut curry pork from Kelly's Paleo Challenge- an ideal meal for a weekend, as you can put it into the slowcooker after breakfast and only have to come back in time to prepare some vegetables.

This time we just used a one kilo piece of pork sholuder from Aldi, but in the past we have had large joints from Tesco.  With a large joint, I double the sauce but when bagging it up after cooking,  I keep the meat and sauce seperate.  I shred the pork after cooking, and any meat left after the meal is either frozen in meal size bags, or kept for salads.

[Edit - the original blog that this recipe came from has been taken down, so I will try to load my recipe here]

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Now that the Christmas chocolates and cakes have all been finished, it seems a good idea to get back on track.  I had read about a 30 day challenge and wondered how it worked.

On the whole30 program, you go 30 days with
  • no sugar
  • no alcohol or tobacco
  • no legumes
  • no grain
  • no dairy
  • no white potatoes
and no Paleo-ifying desserts, so no baked goods.

Now much of this isn't a challenge.  I only use honey in baked goods, so with no baked goods that would go.  We rarely have alcohol in the house and have got rid of any beans.  I haven't eaten bread for about six months, with the exception of a sandwich at Toronto airport when we were stranded there for several hours. I admit that I do have cake at our church coffee morning, normally two little fairy cakes each week, and we did have gingerbread men for Christmas.  Dairy could be a small problem, as we use a fair amount of butter to cook with, and I haven't found a sensible size tub of ghee yet. We do have a small amount of cheese and cream, but with a little preparation we could drop that.

All of this would be possible if you didn't eat out of the home, and you were in control of the menu.  One blogger did admit that it was hard to do if you ate out, as you couldn't know if dairy or sugar had been included in your meal.  However in the next three weeks, we have a 'bring and share' lunch celebrating several birthdays and then a weekend away with our Scout and Guide friends - a full catered weekend run on a budget with full stodgy menu and a chinese takeaway on Saturday night. 
Maybe when these are over, I could plan a month on a strict de-tox menu.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Meatloaf and Hungarian sauce

Meatloaf is a simple meal - mix it up and pop it into the oven.  We serve a curried meat loaf with a Hungarian sauce.  With 700g of minced beef, a tablespoon of curry powder doesn't over power the taste.

I'm not sure what makes a simple tomato sauce a Hungarian sauce.  This one has the usual tomato, onion and peppers, add a small chilli (or a spoonful of easy chilli), with a teaspoon of paprika, teaspoon of curry powder and a tablespoon of mixed herbs.  Cook it gently, so it thickens but doesn't stick to the pan.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Paleo chilli

We went to Ikea today.  The breakfast is quite an acceptable choice.  There is bacon, egg, tomato - good; sausage OKish; beans and hash browns - not so good. There was also the option of having a portion of mushrooms for 25p.  In fact, because they have just put up the price of the set meal from 99p to £1.50, for a couple of weeks the 6 piece breakfast is free on a Family card, so we only paid for the mushrooms!

Unfortunately, it was hard to find a suitable lunch.  Salmon and spinach lasagne, fish and chips, and mushroom pancakes were some of the options.  We decided the the meatballs were probably a semi-safe choice.  Having refused the potato with them, we had the side order of peas included in the price, and there were certainly plenty of meatballs.

Dinner tonight was Spicy pineapple chilli from Civilised Caveman. We have had to 'anglicise' this, as I don't know if we can buy fire roasted tomatoes, but I just replace them with another tin of tomatoes.  You can cook it in the slow cooker as well. The first time we had this, the spice level was fine, but the last time my son complained on facebook that I was trying to kill him as it was so spicy.  I can only assume that the first time the chilli was from a spice jar from the supermarket, and since then we have being using a 'bulk bag' which is stronger.  I reduced the chilli by half again, but he still only ate about a quarter.  Try again next time!

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Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Tesco delivery

We had a Tesco delivery today - he arrived early and I had to sign for it before he even brought it all in, as their electric gagnets weren't working.

We then discovered that we had not been credited for any of our 'multi-buys'.  I only bought 2 cauliflowers because it was on special offer, as I wouldn't normally use two before Thursday (when I will shop at Aldi), along with 2 big packets of pork mince and some other salad things.  Yet again we had to phone their helpline to get a refund, £6 from a £60 order. 

These days I only order from Tesco when I have a voucher, and get them to deliver the heavy things and meat on special offer, as they have certainly lost their way in serving the customer.  Too much of the time, they sell what they what to sell, rather than what the customer wants to buy.  Time to start seriously looking at alternatives.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Getting healthy?

It was good to get the boys back to school.  I find that during the holidays there is a lot more buying food and eating.  Even if what is in the house is 'healthy', there is generally more of it - more choice of baking, different nuts and snacks.  So you eat more because it is there.  Good to get back to the boring stuff!

You can tell that it is January and all the newspapers and magazines are full of articles to make us healthier after Christmas - lose weight, get fit etc.  The Daily Express had three pages about primal living today, page 1, page 2 and page 3.  This is really unusual as primal/paleo living seems to unknown here in the UK.  Often the only options are all day breakfast or a boring salad.

I did find a new 'health food' shop today on Malmesbury High Street called Wild Foods.  It seems to carry a good variety of natural foods including coconut flour and nut butters.

Tonight's dinner was a paleo Fish Pie;  it wasn't a great success and I think that before next month an alternative recipe is needed.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Emergency plans!

Sunday 6th January 2013

We were meant to have paleo chilli tonight, but when I went to make it, I discovered that the beef mince had been put into the freezer rather than the fridge.  As we don't eat processed food, we don't have things that we can just cook from frozen, so it was a case of using what we had.

We went for Chicken Pot Pie, without the 'pie' from MrsPaleo.  We buy bags of frozen pre-cooked chicken pieces from Aldi, as this is what my son has in his lunch box.  It has minimal additives, unlike the chilled chicken.  I found that 300g was about the right amount for the pie, and this is much cheaper than buying a whole chicken (and much less messy).  We have not had great success with the 'pastry' topping, so have decided that it is better to do without.

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Saturday, 5 January 2013

Pasta and bean soup - without the beans and pasta!

Saturday 5th January 2013

I used to make a Pasta and Bean soup.  It had lots of veggies in it, and was good and filling.  The recipe originally came from a book called 'Lunchboxes' by Jennifer Joyce, but we now have to amend it as we don't eat pasta or beans.

Tomato and vegetable soup
150g bacon lardons
1 large onion, diced
3 celery sticks, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp mixed herbs
500ml chicken stock
700ml passata

Fry off the lardons and remove from the pan.
Add onion, celery, carrots, garlic and herbs with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and saute for about 10 minutes, until the onions is translucent.
Add lardons, stock and passata, bring to the boil and then turn down and simmer for 30 minutes.
Pulse chop the soup in either a food processor or hand held processor - you want a chunky soup that has a consistant feel.
This serves 4 generous servings.

I served this the celeriac bread from Liesel at Home.  I cut the bread into individual servings and freeze it pre-sliced.  It needs to be toasted to serve, as it is has a moist consistancy otherwise.

Friday, 4 January 2013

What do you do with leftovers?

Friday 4th January 2013

Someone did say that you should cook what you like as you will be left with the leftovers.  That's fine until other people bring things into your house that you wouldn't buy to start with!  When the family came on Tuesday, we had said that we had everything that we needed and they didn't need to bring anything, although if they wanted wine they should bring that (as everyone was driving home that night, that was not really practical).

So how come we have been left with a box of 12 mince pies, a large box of biscuits and half a lemon cheesecake?  We delivered the biscuits to the village coffee morning and we hope to give the mince pies to a neighbour with a teenager who eats anything.

Tonight's dinner was a quick meal to accommodate my husband having to leave by 6.30pm for a meeting - tuna, sweet potatoes and veggies.  Aldi sell bags of frozen tuna in individual portion bags, although they are quite small and we tend to go for one and a half each. 

Sweet potatoes are good as wedges, and they can cook at the same time as the tuna.  We have found that the easiest way to prepare them is to put the oil and mixed herbs into a plastic bag, add the chopped sweet potatoes, toss around and then pour into a baking tray.  [500g sweet potatoes, 4 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp mixed herbs]  Cook for 20 minutes at 180 C.

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Thursday, 3 January 2013

Comfort food for winter

Thursday 3rd January 2013

We have found that Aldi sells a 800g pack of minced beef that still contains a reasonable amount of fat - a lot of the supermarkets have taken most of the fat out, so you need to add fat when cooking to prevent it sticking, which seems rather pointless.  Cauliflowers have been smaller this year due to the wet weather, but you need about 600g of raw cauliflower for the mash; you probably could use frozen cauliflower for this.

We had shepherd's pie from Mark's Daily Apple's Primal cook book, which uses cauli-mash as the topping.  There are various vegetables in the mince mixture - carrots, peas and green beans.  We use fresh carrots cut into small pieces and snap the green beans into shorter pieces while they are still frozen.  You could always use whatever veggies you had, and the mash could also been made from celery, celeriac or parsnips. 

This recipe is good as there is 30 minutes while it is in the oven that you can go away and do something else.  Easy and tasty, even for novice cooks - and they get to play with the food processor!

Slow cooker chicken in a quick cooker!

As we didn't know whether my sister-in-law would be staying over after the family celebrations, we had a planned a chicken casserole for 6 that could be cooked in the slowcooker.  A few weeks ago, Lidl had a promotion on large packets of meat, and I had got a pork joint, a beef joint and 1 kilo packet of chicken breasts.  However, as the slowcooker had been used for sweet potatoes and not washed, this didn't happen.  It got to 5.30pm and we still hadn't started dinner.

As we had all the ingredients for the chicken casserole ready, it was best to make it, but obviously it needed some changes for the oven rather than the slowcooker.

It was honey, apricot and raisin chicken, which has allspice in which made the chicken black and slightly spicy on the outside.  I added about three times the suggested water and chopped the chicken into chunks, so it cooked in about 45 minutes.  We also didn't use the cornflour as that seemed unnecessary.

Very tasty and we will try it again, next time in the slowcooker.

Honey Apricot and Raisin Chicken
Serves 6

6 (6-oz.) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 teaspoons ground allspice
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

In a large zipper-topped plastic bag, combine chicken with allspice, garlic, salt and pepper; seal bag and shake well to coat chicken. Place chicken in a crock cooker; add onion, apricots and raisins. In a small bowl, whisk together honey, vinegar and broth; add to the crock cooker. Cover and cook on
LOW for 6 to 8 hours or until chicken is tender and cooked through. In a cup, combine cornstarch and water; stir into crock cooker. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Feeding visitors!

Tuesday 1 January 2013

We start our food diary on a challenging day with a houseful of guests!

We have been following a primal/paleo diet since the summer, which has mainly meant reducing the amount of sugar that the boys eat and ensuring that we all eat a paleo/primal meal together in the evening.

My husband's family get together  for New Year, sometimes just for the day if New Year is mid week and sometimes for longer, if New Year falls on the weekend.   This year various members of the family had to work both New Year's Eve and 2nd January, we could only meet up for the day.  As they are spread between Kent and Devon, our house was felt to be half way.

Traditionally we would have gone out for a meal, but as it is 14 miles to a suitable restaurant, that would have taken out a lot of time from a short day, so we decided that it would be better to feed everyone here.  This meant that we could 'control' what was offered and worked out the easiest way to prepare it.

We choose to have pork cooked in the slow cooker - honey, ginger, apple shredded pork as this could be cooked overnight honey, ginger, apple, shredded pork and sweet potatoes as suggested by Sarah from Everyday Paleo

We had to choose puddings that would be acceptable for both us, as well as our visitors that would normally eat a large amount of sugar.  So we choose chocolate mousse from Everyday Paleo  and apple crumble using tinned apple from Liesel at Home

I think that on the whole our visitors did enjoy the meal.  The mousse was quite rich, and the crumble had a texture that was unusual to those were use to a flour/oat mixture.  The one who was not impressed was our nephew who only seemed to eat white bread (brought specially) and tomato ketchup!