Liquid breakfast for me and the boy

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When hubby and I first went Paleo two and a half years ago, we got really into bulletproof coffee. It entails chucking a black Americano into the whizzer, along with a big knob of unsalted butter and a dash of coconut oil. Sounds a bit weird but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Trust me, this drink is better than any skinny latte Starbucks could whip you up. I drank them daily for months and loved the kick start to my morning. The combination of caffeine and good fats not only tastes amazing, but is magical for getting the metabolism going. This drink satisfies me until lunchtime.

Around Xmas 2012 I knew I’d developed new food intolerances, so went to see our allergy nurse a few days before new years. She delivered a huge blow: I’d need to exclude coffee, cocoa, cashew nuts and butter. I didn’t know about the wonders of ghee back then, which is butter that has been clarified and the milk proteins removed. What would I do without my caffeine crutch; my chocolate pick me ups and my favourite nuts?!

I was super strict with my elimination diet for a couple of months, at which point I was able to start reintroducing the problem foods. Then I had to be careful not to overdo them. Shortly after this I became intolerant of a handful of other things, and had to do another diet. This is why I’m on GAPS – elimination diets are boring and annoying in equal measure. Hopefully once my gut lining is healed and my good gut bacteria is winning against the bad, food intolerance will become a thing of the past!

So anyhoooo, on with the recipes for mine and baby boy’s current breakfast of choice!

Bulletproof Coffee
Make yourself a black coffee, then pour it into your blender. Add 30g of unsalted butter or 2 tbsp of home made ghee and a tbsp of coconut oil. Feel free to add a dash of honey if you need some sweetness. A little drop of vanilla is also fab. Whiz on high for a few seconds and voila – the perfect coffee (in my humble opinion anyway!)

Carrot Juice
Baby boy is doing well with his weaning. For his breakfast every morning, he’s been having carrot juice which he absolutely loves! Yesterday’s concoction was half a carrot, a slice of apple, half an apricot and a few shreds of cabbage. We don’t have a juicer so the way I make this is by chucking all ingredients into the blender, covering with about 50ml of water and whizzing on high until fully combined. I then pass it through a fine mesh sieve and am left with juice that looks like the photo above.

 

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Grated carrot & beetroot salad

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On the run up to my little girls birthday party (which was only a few weeks ago but feels like a lifetime) we had some beautiful golden beetroot in our VegBag. I’d never even heard of it before last year, but am thrilled each time it appears now and can’t get enough of it!

It’s very beetrooty on the surface but golden yellow in colour once peeled, very sweet and doesn’t get you nearly as messy when preparing it as the traditional stuff does. Since starting to use beetroot as a salad base last winter, I’ve become very partial to this dish and it was a great success as side for the chicken drumsticks and sausages at the party. I made a mountain as you can see in the photo and it was all gone within half an hour.

All you need to do is grate equal amounts of raw, peeled beetroot and raw, peeled carrot (I did about a kilo of each), then add a big sprinkling of mixed seeds and dress with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste. Completely delicious for any occasion. And if you can’t get hold of the golden variety, red beets work just as well.

If you have a grating function on a kitchen gadget use it! I was grating by hand for months before having a brainwave and throwing everything into my Vitamix. Now this dish literally takes seconds to create.

 

Warming Winter Salad

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I can’t take credit for the basis of this salad – a dear friend put me on to it and I’m so pleased she did. I love the idea of mostly only eating seasonal ingredients, and here in the UK carrot and beetroot can be found everywhere. It’s a bit more time consuming than opening a bag of mixed leaves, but so worth it and very filling. Although a seemingly strange addition to this salad, the pear is definitely my ‘secret ingredient’ adding just the right amount of sweetness without over powering. Here’s what I’ve been eating daily for the past few weeks.

Ingredients (for one):
Large carrot
Med sized bulb of beetroot
Med sized pear
Large tomato
2 inch chunk of cucumber
2 mushrooms
Few florets of cooked broccoli
1 inch chunk of choriz0 (I cannot get enough of this)
Tin of mackerel (I love this)
Tbsp mayonnaise
Tbsp mixed seeds
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Tbsp good balsamic vinegar (I love this)

Method:
– peel and grate the carrot, beetroot and pear, dress with the oil and vinegar and mix well. Place at the bottom of a large bowl

– in a small bowl mix together the mackerel, mayo and seeds. Put to one side

– chop up all your other ingredients to taste (I like my bits quite small, hubby likes massive chunks, everyone’s different). Scatter on top of your grated veg

– place the mackerel on the top and lunch is served

**this salad can easily be adapted to whatever you’ve got kicking around in your fridge. For example instead of using mackerel just chuck in a handful of chopped leftover meat from last nights dinner. If you want to go veggie, roast up some parsnips and courgette in olive oil, salt & pepper and mix that up with a spoon of mayo for your topping. The options are endless…

 

 

Super fast meal for one little person

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I get really upset when I hear people say they ‘don’t have time to cook’ and give their kids processed food. This healthy, nutritious, tasty meal took about two mins to prepare and five to cook. Are you really telling me you can’t find seven minutes for your most precious asset?!

Ingredients:
– whatever veg you have in your fridge! I used half a carrot, a tomato, two small mushrooms, half a courgette, 3 florets of broccoli and a handful of frozen peas
– one inch piece of chorizo, a cooked sausage would also work well or any other left over meat you have lurking in the fridge
– tsp olive oil, cooking fat or butter

Method:
– peel (if necessary) and chop your veg really small

– melt the fat in a small pan over a med heat and add the veg

– turn the heat to med/low and cook with the lid on for 4 mins

– chop the chorizo/meat up into bite sized chunks and add to the pan, cook for a minute with the lid off

– serve immediately (tip: if you add the frozen peas once everything else is cooked it should cool it down enough to eat pretty much straight away)

 

Homeslaw

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Now that I’ve mastered the art of making fresh mayo, true home made coleslaw is never far away. This wonderful side dish takes less than five minutes to rustle up and is always a crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:
3 carrots
Small red onion
250g white cabbage
100ml mayonnaise
Juice of half a lemon

Method:
– top and tail and peel the carrots, then grate them up and place in a large bowl

– peel and finely slice the onion and add to the carrot

– wash the cabbage and slice finely, then add to the bowl

– give the veg a good mix and squeeze the lemon juice over it

– add the mayonnaise, and mix well