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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Thick end of pork with coffee-based barbecue sauce

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I was asked recently what my signature dish is and chose this recipe which uses the thick end, or ribs attached belly joint of pork. You don’t often see this wonderful cut in the supermarket but any decent butcher will have it, and it’s reasonably priced at around £6 per kilo.

Another way to get your hands on rarer cuts is to animal share with friends. This is my favourite way to buy meat, and in our house we regularly buy a quarter of a pig from our local farm shop. They do all the messy work, and it comes to us neatly bagged and clearly labelled ‘thick end’ ‘chops’ ‘leg’ etc. It’s a sight to behold on delivery day and the savings to be had are huge!

This dish couldn’t be simpler to prepare and always provides a suitable amount of wow factor when guests come over. I like to place the meat in the centre of the table and let everyone carve off their own portion, caveman style. Served with a jug of my barbecue sauce (recipe below), some homemade coleslaw and a big bowl of seasonal root veg fries I’ve not had a complaint yet.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours (plus 30 mins resting)
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:
2-2.5kg thick end of pork
Tbsp freshly ground sea salt
250ml water 

Method:
– preheat the oven to 200C fan assisted/220C non-fan/Gas Mark 7

– pour the water onto the bottom of large non-stick baking tray and place the pork on top (this will help to ensure the pan doesn’t burn)

– slash the skin several times each way making a criss-cross pattern and cover with the sea salt, this will make your crackling super crispy

– roast for 30 mins then reduce the heat to 150C fan assisted/160C non-fan/Gas Mark 2 and continue cooking for three hours. Check each hour and top up the water if needs be

– allow to rest for 30 mins before serving

Coffee barbecue sauce

Although it sounds unconventional, this bbq sauce really is fab. The coffee gives such a smoky depth of flavour you’ll want to pour it over everything. This recipe is very easy to make, completely natural and doesn’t contain tons of added refined sugar. Why not give it a go and use in place of ketchup?

Ingredients:
Tin of tomatoes
180ml freshly brewed coffee
60ml tamari
60ml honey
60ml Dijon mustard

Method:
– either whisk or blend together all the ingredients until smooth

– pour into a saucepan, bring to the boil then simmer over a low heat for 20-30 mins until the sauce has reduced to half

– serve immediately

TIP: store leftovers in the fridge, this sauce will keep happily for a month

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Choc coffee flavoured liqueur

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My husband and I met and bonded over White Russians. We drank them daily in the throws of our courtship, whilst travelling around Asia. Oh my that does sound romantic 😉 Nine years, two kids and a dairy intolerance later, and unsurprisingly not many White Russians have been consumed! As a Christmas treat I made this coffee liqueur and we drank it with goats milk, tasted like an adult milkshake – divine.

Ingredients (for 750ml):
350ml vodka
500ml cold water
250g dark muscovado sugar
70g instant coffee
35g cocoa
2 tbsp vanilla extract

Method:
– bring the water and sugar to the boil, stir in the cocoa and coffee, reduce the heat and simmer gently for ten mins

– remove from the heat and allow to cool down

– stir in the vodka and vanilla and mix well with a small whisk

– pour into a sterilised bottle and store somewhere warm for a few weeks for the flavours to develop

– serve as is over ice or with full fat milk or cream for a delish boozy chocolatey coffee flavoured milkshake

 

Smoky, slow roasted leg of pork

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We bought another quarter of a pig last week, and served up this super succulent slow roasted leg for my in-laws Sat lunchtime. I’ve adapted a barbecue sauce recipe over time, which was used as the marinade, and oh my goodness it was delicious. Everyone had seconds…and thirds… always a great compliment for any cook!

Ingredients:
2.5-3kg bone-in leg of pork
Tbsp olive oil
Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Tin of tomatoes
180ml freshly brewed coffee (double espresso & hot water)
60ml tamari
60ml black treacle
60ml dijon mustard

Method:
– preheat the oven to 200C/410F

– combine the tomatoes, coffee, tamari, treacle & mustard and set to one side

– place the pork on a large non-stick baking tray, make several deep cuts into the skin across both directions so you have a criss cross

– rub the olive oil and balsamic all over the skin, place in the oven and roast for 30 mins

– turn the oven down to 150C/320F and take the meat out

– pour the marinade all over, put the tray back into the oven and roast for three hours

– check the meat hourly to ensure nothing is burning, add a drop of water to the bottom of the pan if necessary

– remove the meat after three hours and along with all juices from the pan, place into a large lidded pot

– allow to rest in the pot with the lid on for at least an hour, which will create a fab gravy

– serve with green veg and roasted roots

 

Breakfast – Bulletproof coffee

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The concept of putting butter in my coffee sounded crazy three months ago, but now I am positively addicted. For the past few weeks I’ve started every morning with a bp coffee, and it generally keeps me going until lunchtime. If I get peckish in between a handful of nuts usually does the trick. Here’s how I make mine:

Brew a double espresso, and put it into the blender along with 225ml of recently boiled water, a large knob of butter (around 15g) and a heaped teaspoon of coconut oil. Whizz it all together and every day be amazed that it tastes better than any latte I’ve ever bought.