Meal Plan 1st June - 7th June 2015

I didn't get around to trying the zucchini pizza bases last week, so I still have all the ingredients, so I am going to try again this week! Monday night pizzas here we come! The rest of the week we are going to enjoy vegetarian, chicken, venison, fish, and sausages meals. As you can see some of the recipes include dairy which is currently eliminated from my diet (Whole Life Challenge), which is fine, as I can just make changes to the recipes, and if you are eating dairy, then you can follow the recipes as is, easy peasy!
Click to enlarge...
Grocery items that are not included (because of my 'Whole Life Challenge', which is essentially eating a paleo diet): natural yogurt (350ml), sun-dried tomatoes (50g), ricotta cheese (150g), parmesan cheese (75g).
Recipes

Cauliflower & Zucchini pizza bases
This recipe is created by myself, inspired by primal-life (zucchini pizza) and BBC Good Food (cauliflower pizza)

Pizza base
1/2 head cauliflower
zucchini (courgettes)/4 cups grated zucchini(courgettes)
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup ground almonds (almond flour or almond meal)
1 tsp dried oregano
salt
& pepper


Toppings
tomato paste 4 bacon rashers (more if you wish)
1 chicken breast
Moroccan seasoning 
can of crushed pineapple (drained)
baby spinach leaves
cherry tomatoes
mushrooms
black olives
caramelised onion
(1-2 onion, 25g butter, 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped), 1 tsp coriander, 1 tsp cumin)


1 Heat oven to 200C. Cut the cauliflower florets off the stalk. Blitz the cauliflower in a food processor until finely chopped. Transfer all the cauliflower into a bowl, cover with cling film/gladwrap, and microwave on high for 5-6 minutes until softened. Tip onto a clean tea towel and leave to cool.
2 While the cauliflower cools, peel and grate the courgettes/zucchinis, place the zucchini into the food processor and quickly blitz. Tip onto a clean tea towel, scrunch up the tea towel and squeeze as much liquid out as you can, then transfer to a clean bowl. Once the cauliflower is cool enough to handle, squeeze as much liquid as you can out as well, following the same method as the zucchini. Place the cauliflower on top of the zucchini. Stir in the ground almonds, eggs, oregano, garlic, and a good seasoning of salt and pepper.
3 Line two 20cm pizza base trays (see photo below, it is not essential to use pizza base trays, but it does make it easier) with baking paper. Place half the cauliflower & zucchini mix into the centre of the trays, then using the back of a spoon, spread out the mixture evenly oven the tray. If you don't have pizza base trays, you can make the pizza bases by making two mounds with the cauliflower and zucchini mixture, then spread to form two pizza bases. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until beautifully golden brown.


Pizza base tray

Toppings: 4 Start with caramelising the onions, roughly chop the onion, place into a large frypan over a low to medium heat with the rest of the  ingredients and stir on regular occasions for around 30 minutes. Once cooked set aside.
5 Thinly slice the chicken breast, roughly coat in Moroccan seasoning and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. When there is 10 minutes to go place the bacon in the oven too, either beside or on top of the chicken.
6 Roughly chop the rest of the topping ingredients, (excluding the pineapple as already crushed).
7 Put tomato paste over both pizza bases; on one pizza, place caramelised onion, bacon & pineapple; on the other, Moroccan chicken, caramelised onions, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, black olives,
8 Bake in the oven at 200C for 12 - 15 minutes.

Notes: You can play around with the ingredients, use what you wish. Other nice toppings include, sundried tomatoes, roasted asparagus, pine nuts, cheeses, etc. I haven't put cheese on these pizzas because of my 'Whole Life Challenge' aka paleo eating, however, cheese, such as edam and feta, would be delicious if included!



Cauliflower & zucchini pizzas! 

Sri Lanken balti + cauliflower rice
New Zealand Healthy Food Guide. Yvonne Kerr (Editor). Healthy Life Media Ltd. Takapuna, Auckland. June 2015. Pg 71Gluten-free. No dairy. Vegetarian.

4 cups pumpkin or butternut squash, chopped into 2cm cubes
2 teaspoons oil
2 onions, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed
1 tablespoon ginger, pureed or finely chopped
2 teaspoons oil
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek powder
1 teaspoon clove powder
2 tablespoon honey or date puree
2 x 400g cans no-added-salt chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
450g tofu, frozen or defrosted  (I won't include as not 'allowed' on my Whole Life Challenge)
165ml (1 small can) coconut milk
Fresh coriander, roughly chopped, to garnish
2 cups cooked cauliflower rice (the recipe actually calls for brown rice)

1 Preheat oven to 180C. In a bowl mix the pumpkin and oil together. Put on to an oven tray and bake for around 15 minutes or until just getting soft.
2 In a pot or pan saute the onion, garlic and ginger in oil for around 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Add the spices and stir for around 30 seconds to activate the flavours.
3 Add the dates, tomatoes and tomato paste and heat until it is just bubbling.
4 Tear strips off block of tofu that has been frozen and defrosted. Add to the curry (If including). Add the cooked pumpkin and stir in the coconut milk. Garnish with coriander and serve on cauliflower.

Cauliflower rice
1 head cauliflower
1 red onion (grated)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
fresh coriander, roughly chopped (optional)
coconut oil (1 - 2 tbsp)

1 Chop off the cauliflower florets, place 1/3 - 1/2 of the cauliflower florets into the food processor, process cauliflower florets until very finely chopped. Transfer to a separate bowl. This will take either 2 or 3 batches. Continue until all the florets are chopped.
2 Heat coconut oil in a large fry pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add cauliflower. Cook, stirring regularly for 5 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender and light golden.
3 Stir in coriander, if using. Season well with salt and pepper.


Sri Lanken balti + cauliflower rice

Chicken moussaka
New Zealand Healthy Food Guide. Yvonne Kerr (Editor). Healthy Life Media Ltd. Takapuna, Auckland. June 2015. Pg 102
Serves 4

oil spray
2 medium-sized potatoes (I will use kumara)
500g lean chicken mince
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
50g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon Tuscan seasoning
400g can chopped tomatoes
1 cup diced courgettes
1 cup diced mushrooms
150g ricotta cheese
150 natural yogurt
75g parmesan cheese
1 eggplant, sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 Lightly spray a large ovenproof dish with oil. Preheat oven to 190C. Cook potatoes for 10 minutes in boiling water. Drain and set aside.
2 Meanwhile, spray a non-stick pan with oil and cook mince with garlic and onion for 4-5 minutes or until evenly browned. Add sun-dried tomatoes and Tuscan seasoning with tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups water, courgettes and mushrooms. Cook for 8-10 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, mix ricotta with yogurt and parmesan.
4 Layer mince in dish with eggplant and potatoes to have 3 layers, finishing with egg plant and potato. Spread over cheese mix and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Wild venison casserole
Real Fresh Gluten-Free. Anna & Roger Wilde. New Hollands Publishers (NZ) Ltd. Auckland, New Zealand. 2009. Pg 104

2 tablespoons olive oil
500g wild venison, diced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 medium leek, washed well and chopped
4-6 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 cup white wine (I will use bone broth or stock)
3 carrots, chopped chunky
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon curry powder or 1-2 teaspoons curry paste
440g can chopped tomatoes


1 Preheat oven to 130C. Put 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-based frying pan and saute venison until browned. Transfer to a casserole dish.
2 Return pan to the heat and add another tablespoon of oil. Saute onions until starting to soften. Add leek and garlic and continue to cook for a few more minutes.
3 Add wine, bring to a boil and reduce slightly. Remove from heat and transfer vegetables and liquid to the casserole dish.
4 Add the chopped carrot, sea salt, curry powder or paste, and tomatoes to the casserole dish. Mix all ingredients together. Cover casserole dish with a heavy lid.
5 Cook for 3-4 hours, until the meat is tender. Check every hour or so that there is still sufficient liquid. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes and steamed green beans.




Smoked fish frittata
Real Fresh Gluten-Free. Anna & Roger Wilde. New Hollands Publishers (NZ) Ltd. Auckland, New Zealand. 2009. Pg 100. 

small bunch silverbeet (400g), washed well (I'm thinking of using baby spinach)
8 organic free-range eggs
200ml yogurt  (Instead of yogurt I will use almond milk, I will update this recipe with the amount I used afterwards)
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon sea salt
black pepper
3 medium-sized carrots (400g), grated
200g smoked fish, skin removed
1/2 red capsicum, deseeded and cut into strips (optional)

1 Preheat oven to 160C. Line with baking paper or lightly oil s 20 x 30cm baking dish.
2 Cut silverbeet steams and leaves into 2cm strips. Place in a saucepan with about 1 cm of water. Cook over high heat for several minutes until silverbeet leaves have wilted. Drain and leave to cool.
3 Place eggs, yogurt, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to combine.
4 Press grated carrot into prepared baking dish. Pour some egg mixture over carrot and press down through carrot. Add silverbeet in an even layer. Pour rest of egg mixture evenly over top of silverbeet.
5 Break smoked fish into small pieces and scatter over the top. Push fish down into egg mix a little. Arrange sliced capsicum on top if desired.
6 Bake for about 30-40 minutes until completely cooked. Check by giving the centre of the frittata a little press with your finger. The top will feel firm and appear lightly puffed when it is ready. Leave to cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Mexican beans with sausages
The Australian Women's Weekly Smart Food. Edited by Susan Tomnay (Editorial director). ACP Magazines. 2009. Pg 99

1 cup (200g) dried kidney beans
800g beef sausages, chopped coarsely
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large brown onion (200g), chopped coarsely
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 large red capsicum (350g), chopped coarsely
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh oregano

Notes: I will use a can of kidney beans, as I already have some in the cupboard. This will save time as I will skip step 1. 

1 Place beans in medium bowl, cover with cold water; stand overnight, drain. Rinse under cold water; drain. Place beans in medium saucepan of boiling water; return to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 30 minutes or until beans are almost tender. Drain.
2 Cook sausages, in batches, in oiled large deep saucepan until browned; drain on absorbent paper.
3 Heat oil in same pan; cook onion, garlic and capsicum, stirring, until onion softens. Add cumin, paprika and chilli; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add beans and undrained tomatoes; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, about 1 hour or until beans are tender.
Return sausages to pan; simmer, covered, about 10 minutes or until sausages are cooked through. Remove from heat; stir in oregano. Serve with tortillas, if you like.


Reviewing the week...

These cauliflower & zucchini pizzas were amazing!! I have made cauliflower pizza before, but with the zucchini added into this, it adds another dimension to it, which is sooo good!! There is a lot of prep to this meal, be prepared... The toppings were great, even with no cheese, I promise!

Sri Lanken Balti; this was a very simple vegetarian dish, with pumpkin the main component of the dish. If you love pumpkin live I do, you will love this meal! I also served it with cauliflower rice and fresh coriander. This is a great meal for during the week, as it is really quick and easy. My partner asked where the meat was... so I told him there was bacon in it... half way through eating it, he said "there isn't any bacon ay, I'm still trying to find some"... hahaha sorry!


The wild venison casserole was another tasty meal = success! Instead of cooking it in the oven, I cooked this is the slow cooker. I simply browned the meat in the griddle first, place the meat into the slow cooker, fried the onion, leek and garlic for a few minutes on the griddle, transferred it to the slow cooker with the meat. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.

Unfortunately, I managed to get a vomiting bug, so I missed a few nights worth of meals. Come Saturday night, I had forgotten to take the smoked marlin out of the freezer to make the fish frittata, instead I made kumara hashies and served it with a fried egg and bacon. Delicious!!  



Kumara hashies, fried egg & bacon

I hope you enjoyed this week! As always if you have any questions or comments, you are welcome to contact me, through facebook www.facebook.com/atapinch or email atapinchmealplans@gmail.com. Thanks,




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Meal Plan 25th - 31st May 2015

This week, is week four of the 'Whole Life Challenge'. The reason why it is called 'whole life challenge' is because it doesn't just focus on one aspect of your daily life, i.e. nutrition or exercise. The Whole Life Challenge focuses on 7 fundamental daily habits, that are the framework to creating a healthier lifestyle. The seven daily habits are nutrition, exercise, mobility, supplementation, hydration, lifestyle practice and reflection. For example, this week's lifestyle practice is encouraging participants to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Love it! I better tell my children about this one!

There are three levels in which you can participate in, I chose the 'performance' level, as I wanted to challenge myself. We are then given access on their website to the foods that are compliant and ones that are not. It is essentially a paleo diet, however, I did notice that some legumes are compliant, which I was under the assumption that legumes were not included on a paleo diet?? I wanted to include this information on my blog, as some of you may be following a strict paleo diet and wondering why I have chickpeas in one of the recipe this week... This is because it is on the compliant list for me, so I am going to enjoy! If you are limiting legumes from you diet, you can omit the chickpeas from the recipe. Soybeans and edamame are on the non-compliant food list for us. 

I hope that gives you more information in regards to what this Whole Life Challenge entails. If you want more information you can check out their website which is www.wholelifechallenge.com or if you have any questions or queries you are welcome to contact me! 

And now... This week's meal plan and associated grocery list for you... 

...Click to enlarge...

Few notes about the grocery list...
  • I have excluded jalapenos from the quiche. 
  • I have added a can of diced tomatoes, instead of using tomato sauce in the marinara sauce. 
  • There is a lot of fresh parsely required in the recipes, I would buy a bunch. 
  • Four of the nine brown onions are used in the pizza recipe, as I want to make carmalised onions.
Recipes

Braised chicken with chickpeas, lemon and garlic

The Australian Women's Weekly super diet. Edited by Susan Tomnay (Editor-in-chief). Published by ACP Books. Sydney, Australia. 2010. Pg 88 


prep + cook time 1 hour 15 minutes serves 4 nutritional count per serving 22.4g total fat (5.6 saturated fat); 2378 (569 cal); 24.7 carbohydrate; 63.5g protein; 8.4g fibre

1 tablespoon olive oil 

2 medium brown onions (300g), sliced thickly
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
3 cloves garlic, crushed
8 chicken thigh cutlets, skin removed (1.6kg)
3 cups (750ml) salt-reduced chicken stock  (I plan to use bone broth)

1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice
2 fresh chillies, halved lengthways
2 x 400g can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

1 Heat oil in large saucepan; cook onion stirring, until softened. Add paprika, garlic and chicken; stir to coat chicken in onion mixture.
2 Add stock, juice, chilli, chickpeas and mustard to pan; bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Uncover; simmer about 30 minutes or until chicken in tender.
3 Serve sprinkled with parsley and rind.

Braised chicken, with lentils (meant to be chickpeas), lemon & garlic


(Crock pot paleo) Italian Meatballs in Marinara Sauce
http://paleonewbie.com/crock-pot-paleo-italian-meatballs-in-marinara-sauce/

Italian meatballs in marinara sauce

Crustless veggie quiche
http://www.willowandthyme.com/2015/01/30/recipe-vegan-crustless-veggie-quiche/

Crustless veggie quicke

Steak, kumara chips & garlic green beans


Steak

2 - 3 pieces of beef steak
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Kumara chips

3 kumara
olive oil
(or coconut oil)
salt & pepper
curry powder


Garlic green beans

250g green beans
2-3 garlic cloves (finely chopped or crushed)
1 tbsp butter

1
Take your steaks out of the fridge, to bring them to room temperature while you prepare the kumara chips.
2 Peel and chop the kumara into good sized chips or wedges. Toss the kumara in olive oil (or coconut oil) and curry powder. Place evenly on a lined baking tray, and bake for 20 minutes at 200C.
3 Place a griddle over a medium/high heat. Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides, then rub the olive oil over the steak (not the pan). Place the steaks into the griddle and cook for 3-4 minutes each side for medium-rare/medium steaks. Let the steaks rest for around 5 minutes.
4 Trim off the ends of the beans and place into a pot filled with boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes. Put another fry pan on the stove top and fry the butter and garlic for 2 minutes, then add the drained beans to the fry pan, fry for 2 minutes.



Pizzas

For the pizza base I am going to use zucchini this time, quite excited about this!
http://primal-life.co.nz/blogs/recipes/17091832-grain-free-zucchini-pizza-base

There are a range of toppings to choose from on the link above, I think I might try three of them, and keep the leftovers for lunch the next day or dinner again. I like the look of the bacon & pineapple, tandoori chicken, & pepperoni. I love having baby spinach on my pizzas, plus its extra veggies for the kids, so I will include that as well !


Slow-roasted dukkah lamb shoulder

Canvas Magazine. 16th May 2015
Serves 4-6. 

1/4 cup rosemary leaves, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup store brought dukkah, plus extra to serve
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 x 1.6kg lamb shoulder
3/4 cup water

200g truss cherry tomatoes
Baby spinach leaves
 and lemon wedges, to serve


Preheat oven to 180C. Place the rosemary, garlic, oil, dukkah, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine. 

2 Place the lamb in a deep-sided oven tray and rub with dukkah mixture. Add the water, cover with aluminium foil and roast for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the foil and roast for a further 40 minutes. Add the tomatoes to the tray and roast for 8-10 minutes or until golden and tender. 
3 Slice the lamb and serve with the tomatoes, spinach leaves, lemon wedges and extra dukkah. 

Note: If you are not following a paleo diet, this is recommended to be serve with plain greek-style yogurt, enjoy the yogurt if you want!! 

Slow roasted dukkah lamb shoulder

Reviewing the week...

First meal of the week was the braised chicken with chickpeas, lemon and garlic. There was a little change right from the start, I went to get the chickpeas out of the pantry, only to find there was none. I substituted lentils for chickpeas instead. It still tasted great, thank goodness! I also served the chicken with some cauliflower rice, which I cooked with half an red onion (grated), and two garlic cloves.

We have a new family favourite now... Italian meatballs in marinara sauce. This was really delicious, the kids just kept on eating, once they had finished theirs they descended on their dads like seagulls! This meal is made in the slow cooker/crockpot, so it really couldn't get any easier! There are a few changes I would suggest: Use 1 whole onion in the meatball mixture, and make sure you grate this - this will lessen the possibility of your meatballs falling apart. I would only use on egg in the meatballs, instead of 2 as the recipe calls for. I used six garlic cloves altogether (3 in the meatballs and 3 in the sauce). In the sauce, I used 2 cans of diced tomatoes and 1 can of whole tomatoes. Along with the parsley I added coriander as well. This was a great winters meal!! Even though its not officially winter here yet, but it certainly feels like it!!

Crustless veggie quiche, somehow I didn't notice that this was a vegan quiche, that was made without eggs, using tofu and other ingredients instead. It quotes, 'not like your traditional quiche, which is egg laden'; sorry, but I want egg laden! Hence why a few changes were made... I excluded the tofu and used 5 eggs, 1/2 cup of almond milk and red onion (instead of yellow onion). If I wasn't eating 'paleo' at the moment, I would have included feta in this recipe, as it would have been delicious! However, it still was a divine tasting quiche! I served the quiche with roasted green beans and guacamole as well; the green beans were simply roasted in the oven at 200C for 25 minutes, in a little butter and two finely chopped garlic cloves.

Now... this is where my week went a little awol. My partner ended up going away for the night on Thursday, so I knew I could get away without cooking steak for me and the kids ;) I was freezing cold! Winterless north, yeah right!! Soooo I made pumpkin soup, paleo styles. This was amazing! I also did it in the slow cooker, I cooked it on high for 1 hour and a half, then on low for another hour an a half (while I went for a walk with the kids). Apples with the pumpkin was a great compliment. This is a recipe for you to try!

Friday night... leftovers! There was lots of soup leftover, so that was easy!

Saturday night, finally we are back in the game, I cooked the dukkah roasted lamb. This was amazing!! The photo does not do it justice, I need to learn how to take better photos of roasts... Dukkah is one of my favourite spices, so really this meal  couldn't of been any better for me.

I hope you enjoyed this week! 
As always if you have any questions or comments, you are welcome to contact me, through facebook www.facebook.com/atapinch or email atapinchmealplans@gmail.com. Thanks,



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Meal Plan 18th - 24th May 2015

A eclectic array of meals we are having this week, with venison, duck, lamb chops, beef steaks, chicken breast and a vegetarian meal thrown in the mix! I will be honest, I am not sure about this duck meal, but my partner wants to eat it, so I may as well give it a go! Think I may have a back up prepared just in case ;)

Meal Plan 18th - 24th May 2015... Click to enlarge
Recipes

Pesto chicken, zucchini noodles & garlic green beans

This is a repeat, from a the 16th-20th February Meal Plan. Unfortunately, I didn't measure out the quantities when I made the pesto; I just placed all the ingredients into my food processor and went with what I created. This time I will get the quantities I promise!

Pesto 
large handful baby spinach
3 small sprigs basil
small bunch coriander
1/3 cup almonds
1/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup pinenuts
5 garlic cloves (I ended up using 9, but I looove garlic!)
2 tbsp olive oil
chicken breasts
250g green beans
1 tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 zucchini

1
Preheat the oven to 200C. Place all the ingredients for the pesto into a food processor and blitz for around 30 seconds, until you have a pesto like consistency. As stated above, unfortunately, last time  I chucked all the pesto ingredients into the food processor without thinking about the quantities, Then place a good amount of the pesto mixture on top of the chicken breasts. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.


Pesto ingredients

Chop the ends of the beans off, place in boiling water for two minutes (keep the boiling water as I used this for the zucchini noodles). Heat butter and 3 cloves of garlic in a frypan for 30 seconds, add beans to the frypan. Cook for up to 5 minutes, once the beans are warmed through.
3 To make the zucchini noodles, use a normal peeler (I still haven't brought a julienne peeler!) and create 'noodles', don't peel the seeds. Once peeled, placed them in boiling water for one minute, drain, and stir through some pesto, if you have some left over.

Pesto chicken, zucchini noodles & garlic green beans

Steak, kumara pompoms & salad

Steak
2 - 3 pieces of beef steak
1 tbsp olive oil

salt & pepper

Kumara pom poms
3 kumara
1/2 red onion, grated
salt & pepper
sprinkle of coconut flour

Simple salad
1 - 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
1/2 red capsicum
1/2 red onion
1/4 cucumber
1 carrot, grated

1 Take your steaks out of the fridge, to bring them to room temperature while you prepare the kumara pompoms.
Peel and chop the kumara into good sized chunks, boil on the stove top until soft (when you can put a knife into them easily). Drain and mash the kumara. Tip kumara into another bowl to let it cool. Once cooled, add the grated red onion, seasoning of salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of coconut flour (to help hold the mixture together). Roll the kumara into pom poms. Place them onto a lined baking tray, and bake for 30 minutes at 200C, turn at 20 minutes. 
3 Place a griddle over a medium/high heat.  Season the steak with salt and pepper on both sides, then rub the olive oil over the steak (not the pan). Place the steaks into the griddle and cook for 3-4 minutes each side for medium-rare/medium steaks. Let the steaks rest for around 5 minutes.
4 Place all salad ingredients into a bowl and roughly mix up. I don't add a dressing to mine, but you could pour some olive oil over top, or another dressing that you like!


Steak, kumara pompoms & salad

Slow cooked duck served with pumpkin & steamed greens

Not sure how this is going to go... but I am making this recipe up... with some inspiration from 
http://www.radionz.co.nz/collections/recipes/slow-cooked-duck-with-wild-thyme

1 whole duck

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 rashers bacon
6garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups bone broth
400g can tomatoes
2 Tbsp fresh thyme
bay leaves
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
500g pumpkin
steamed green
beans/broccoli/peas (whatever you feel like!)

1 Place a large frypan on a stovetop over a medium high heat. Brown the duck on all sides in a little oil. Transfer the duck to the slow cooker.
2 Add the onions, garlic, carrots, bacon and celery to the frypan and saute until they begin to soften. Add the bone broth and simmer for two minutes. Turn off the heat and stir through the tomatoes, herbs and seasonings. Pour over the duck.
3 Cook the duck in the slow cooker for 6-7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high. 
Serve with roasted pumpkin and steamed greens. 

Slow cooked duck

Basic tarka dhal

http://www.jamieoliver.com/news-and-features/features/lentils-and-basic-tarka-dhal-recipe/#FvV9tRtrwwTYC6lu.97 

Sorry the photo does not do this meal justice!! 

Basic tarka dhal

Venison burgers (burger buns are made with eggs!) 

How to make your 'burger buns'... I love this!! Saw it on a Facebook post, soo cool!! 1 egg makes two 1/2 burger buns - so 1 egg needed per burger.

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 180C. Separate the yolks and whites from 2 eggs, whisk whites to firm peaks, fold through yolks, spoon onto baking paper lined tray and bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 180C.

Burger buns (Made with just eggs!)

Venison patties
http://cuisine.co.nz/cuisine.nsf/recipes/new-zealand-venison-burgers-with-tomato-chilli-jam

In the burgers, I will put baby spinach and sliced tomatoes, on top of the venison patty.

The burgers will be served with kumara chips.


3 -4 kumara
olive oil 

salt & pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 200C. Peel and chop the kumara into wedges. Toss the kumara wedges with olive oil and salt and pepper, in a bowl. Place the kumara wedges onto a lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Until they are nice and crispy. 



Burgers & kumara chips
Lamb chops with mashed cauliflower & roasted green beans

Lamb chops
http://www.primalpalate.com/paleo-blog/pan-seared-lamb-chops-with-rosemary-and-garlic/

Mashed cauliflower
http://www.primalpalate.com/paleo-r

ecipe/basic-mashed-cauliflower/

Roasted green beans
500g green beans
2 Tbsp olive oil 

salt & pepper

1 Preheat oven to 200C. Chop the end off the beans. Place the beans in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place the beans evenly on a lined baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Gently 'stir' once, half way through cooking.

Reviewing the week... 


Pesto chicken, with zucchini noodles and garlic green beans is currently one of my favourite meals! It is so easy to prepare and cook, but tastes great!

Tuesday night, we had steak with kumara pom poms and a simple salad. I will be really honest with you, steak is not one of my favourite pieces of meat to eat, I would much rather eat chicken, however, I do try to eat it! I managed to get through about half of the steak and then passed it on to my toddler! The pom poms were delicious, and tasted great with the fresh salad. I also made some for the kids and my partner to enjoy, I added parmesan cheese and wholegrain bread crumbs, that went down a treat.

I forgot to get the duck out of the freezer on Tuesday night, so for Wednesday night dinner we ended up enjoying my first tarka dhal. This was amazing!! So good, and I loved the spice. I served it with cauliflower rice, which was simply cooked with two garlic cloves and one grated red onion for a couple minutes over a medium high heat. Steamed green beans were also served on the side. I highly recommend this meal!! It really didn't photograph well, but tasted amazing!

Slow cooked duck!! Oh yeah, this was actually delicious, and I am not lying! This is the first duck meal that I have enjoyed; I was very apprehensive eating the first mouthful, but I was pleasantly surprised. My kids absolutely loved this meal, my 3 year old couldnt get enough, even nibbled on one of the legs/drumsticks (is it called a drumstick when its a duck not a chicken?! haha). He was so excited to take a duck sandwich to kindy the next day, he told me his friends didn't beliebe him that he was eating duck.

Burger buns made with just eggs, this is fantastic! I am totally sold on this!! Even if you are eating bread, but found yourself wanting burgers one night with no burger buns, if you have eggs in the cupboard, then  you are sorted! No need to rush out and buy burgers at all. Make sure when you beat the eggs that they are bet till stiff peaks form, this will ensure that the burger buns hold there shape and don't fall apart in your hands.
We didn't have venison burgers, it ended up been beef, because that's the mince my partner took out of the freezer. I used the same recipe for the patties that was planned, which was a bad idea - didn't work with beef! I won't do that again...

After a busy afternoon at a friends house with the kiddies, I quickly whipped up the boys some baked beans on toast, sprinkled with cheese. Once they were in bed, I cooked, thyme chicken, with kumara and carrot chips.
Recipe: Cut the chicken breast into pieces, then cover with a little marinade, made from olive oil, salt, papper, and fresh thyme; place on a lined baking tray. Carrot and kumara chips, tossed in olive oil and curry powder. Bake the veggies for 10 minutes at 200C, then put the chicken into the oven and bake the chicken and veggies for 20 minutes at 200C.
This was simple yet delicious! I especially loved the kumara and carrot chips, this was the first time I have had them sprinkled with curry powder, sooo good!!

Sunday night, the planned meal was lamb chops with mashed cauliflower and green beans. There was a little change, we still had lamb chops, instead I sprinkled them with moroccan spice. I made kumara chips sprinkled with curry powder (I'm obsessed now!), along with roasted green beans. My three year old absolutely loved the roasted green beans, he kept stealing mine! I also cooked extra kumara chips to be prepared for lunches tomorrow!

As always if you have any questions or comments, you are welcome to contact me, through facebook www.facebook.com/atapinch or email atapinchmealplans@gmail.com. Thanks 




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Meal Plan 11th - 17th May 2015

This week, is week two of my 'Whole Life Challenge', which essentially is eating 'paleo'. The first week's lifestyle challenge was eating veggies at every meal, so for breaky, I swapped from my much loved chia seed puddings, to smoothies with kale or baby spinach (along with almond milk, water, 180 protein powder, 1/2 avocado, and a few frozen berries). For lunch, it was easy if there was leftovers from the night before! If there wasn't I would usually munch on some celery, along with other snacks. Have found dinners to be easy, I guess because I am meal planning!

I have six meals for you this week, I am going to drop one, as there is usually one night that doesn't quite go to plan, or an unexpected dinner date is arranged. 


So this week my family is having... 


Click to enlarge...


Please note with my grocery list there are a few changes... I have used bacon instead of pancetta (as a recipe already called for bacon so instead of buying both will just stick with bacon). I am not including natural yogurt and wholewheat wraps (from one of the meals as I am not eating this at the moment). I have excluded the 'baked beans' from Jamie Olivers 'Lamb meatballs & chop salad) as there are many ingredient I am excluding. I am using kumara instead of potato (if the recipe calls for a white potato). A lot of the recipes call for kale, I will swap kale for baby spinach on some of the recipes, as I love baby spinach, and it is cheaper than kale. I have excluded balsamic vinegar. Also, please not in the grocery list it looks like I request 'white wine' - but that reads 'white wine vinegar'.


Recipes
Creamy paleo chicken skillet

http://paleogrubs.com/skillet-chicken-recipe

Cajun steak & collard greens
Jamie Oliver. Jamie's 15 Minute Meals. Published by Penguin Group, London, England. 2012. Pg84.

Serves 4

Greens
2 rashers of smoked pancetta (I am going to use bacon)
olive oil
1 big bunch of mixed fresh herbs, such as bay, thyme and rosemary
1 carrot
4 spring onion
½ bunch of radishes
200g curly kale
1 chicken stock cube

Steak
2 x 250g sirloin steaks, fat removed
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 tsp dried thyme

Chilli Vinegar
1 fresh chilli
1 bottle white wine vinegar

Before you start it is recommended (in order to complete in 15 minutes) that the ingredients are out, kettle boiled, oven at full whack 240°C, large lidded pan at medium-high heat, large fry pan high heat.
2 Slice the pancetta, put it into the lidded pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, then pick in the herb leaves. Trim, finely slice and add the carrot, spring onions and radishes, stirring regularly. Drain and rinse the beans and put into the medium frying pan with 2 tablespoons of oil to fry and crisp up.
3 Slice the kale (if needed) and add to the lidded pan, crumble in the stock cube and pour over 300ml of boiling water, then put the lid on.
4 Rub the steaks with salt, pepper, paprika and thyme. Put them into the really hot large fry pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, turning every minute until cooked to your liking. Slice the chilli and add to the bottle of vinegar with a couple of bay leaves, if you have them (it will keep for months), then add a drizzle to the greens before serving. Carve the steaks on a board at the table and serve with the beans, greens and a splodge of mustard.

(please note I did not include the smoky baked beans in this recipe because of the 'paleo' diet I am on for 8 weeks, if you want to include you could google it, as it is available online)


Lamb meatballs & chop salad
Jamie Oliver. Jamie's 15 Minute Meals. Published by Penguin Group, London, England. 2012. Pg 104.

Ingredients out • Kettle boiled • Large frying pan, medium heat • Large lidded pan, medium-high heat

Meatballs
400g lean lamb mince
1 heaped tsp garam masala
olive oil
1 pinch of saffron
1/2–1 fresh red chilli
2 spring onions
1/2 a bunch of fresh coriander
2 cloves of garlic
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
350g passata

Salad
1/2 a cucumber
2 little gem lettuces
1 bunch of radishes
2 ripe tomatoes
tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon

To serve
1 heaped tsp harissa (I'm not including)
4 heaped tbsp fat-free natural yoghurt (I'm not including)
8 small wholewheat tortillas (I'm not including)
1 orange

1 Mix the mince in a bowl with salt, pepper and the garam masala. Divide into 4, then roll each piece into 4 balls with wet hands, placing them in the frying pan as you roll them and adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss regularly until dark golden all over. Put the saffron into a cup, just cover with boiling water and leave to soak.
2 Finely slice the chilli, trimmed spring onions and coriander stalks (reserving the leaves), put them into the large pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then squash in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher. Fry for 40 seconds, then add the saffron and its soaking water, the drained chickpeas andthe passata, cover and bring to the boil. In a small dish, swirl the harissa through the yoghurt.
3 Roughly chop and mix all the salad veg for the salad on a board. Add the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice, then season to taste. Loosen the sauce with a splash of water if needed, then pour into the meatball pan and season to taste. Microwave (800W) the tortillas for 45 seconds. Serve it all with orange wedges and a scattering of coriander leaves.


Pan-fried fish with poached eggs on potato rosti 
I just realised this recipe serves ONE! (So the ingredients I have included on my grocery list, is only for one, bummer! So I will either make this meal to serve 3 or 4) 

New Zealand Healthy Food Guide. Edited by Niki Bezzant (Editor-in-chief). Published by Healthy Life Media. Auckland, New Zealand. May 2015. Pg 81. 

Rosti
1 flourly potato, grated
1 small carrot
2 spring onions, finely chopped
sprinkling of Tuscan seasoning
oil spray

Poached egg and fish
1 very fresh egg
dash white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
120g white fish fillet, such as tarakihi
1 11/2 cups kale
4 cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
parsley to serve

1 Once the potato is grated, wrap in a clean tea towel and squeeze out any excess moisture. Mix rosti ingredients together with Tuscan seasoning.
2 Heat a pan with oil spray. Add rosti mix once the pan is hot. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove and keep warm. 
3 Put egg on to poach and add a dash of vinegar to a pan of steadily simmering water. Break the egg into a cup. Create a gentle whirlpool in the water to help the egg white wrap around the yolk. Slowly tip egg into water, white first. Leave to cook for 3 minutes. 
4 Meanwhile, re-spray pan with oil. Add fish and cook until tender, turning once. Add kale with tomatoes, vinegar and a tablespoon of water. Cook for a few minutes until the leaves are just wilted. Remove egg with a slotted spoon. 
5 Place rosti on a serving plate with the kale and tomatoes. Top with the fish and poach egg. Serve with fresh chopped parsley.


[Paleo] Nachos

http://paleogrubs.com/nacho-recipe


Chicken quinoa bites, mashed kumara, kale chips & aioli

This is something I am going to make up on the night... I'm thinking of making some chicken and quinoa 'poppers' (a.k.a bites, meatballs etc, using chicken breast, cooked & cooled quinoa, egg, herbs) serve them with some mashed kumara (made with some butter, salt and pepper), kale chips (found this great link: http://ohsheglows.com/2014/03/12/6-tips-for-flawless-kale-chips-all-dressed-kale-chips-recipe/), and I have wanted to make my own aioli for sooo long... I found these two recipes... will pick one of them! (http://paleoporn.net/spicy-garlic-aioli/ OR http://paleomg.com/?s=carrot+fried+with+garlic+aioli&x=0&y=0)



Reviewing the week...

I will try make this short this week; two really nice meals! The creamy paleo chicken skillet and the paleo nachos. Soo good! No changes to either of these meals. The lamb meatballs dish was also good, I served it with kumara chips as well as the salad. I had a lot of sauce that was wasted, next time I would make the meatballs smaller.

This week, I think may be the first week that I had a meal that was particularly unappetising! It was meant to be cajun steak with collard greens, a Jamie Oliver recipe, however, we were gifted some tuna from my parents, so I went ahead with trying to cook that! I used a Jamie Oliver recipe http://www.jamieoliver.com/videos/how-to-cook-tuna-steak-jamie-oliver/ I think I didn't like this meal because the tuna was too raw for me, so just a personal preference thing! My 1 year old ate it up like it was freshly sliced bread! So at least someone ate dinner. The side salad that went with this dish, was unattractive and unpalatable!  I do not recommend this recipe for the greens.

Thursday night was fish night again, we still had another fillet of tuna to eat, but we weren't ready to try it again, so I made a really simple but very scrumptious meal! I made a quick coating for the chicken: 
1/2 cup almond meal, 1tsp salt, 1/2tsp black pepper, 1tsp paprika, 1tsp oregano, 1tsp garlic powder, 1tsp cayenne pepper. Cut the chicken breast into pieces, lightly beat one egg and coat the chicken pieces in the egg. Then cover the chicken in the coating. Bake the chicken at 200C for 20 minutes. I served it with kumara chips (sprinkled with moroccan seasoning), and steamed green beans. The chicken was very spicy, which I loved, but if you were serving it to your kids, or someone that doesn't like spice, I wouldn't include the cayenne pepper. We only had one chicken breast defrosted, so if you have more chicken, use 1 cup of almond meal for the coating mixture.
Recipe inspired by http://www.everydaymaven.com/2013/paleo-oven-fried-chicken/

I hope you enjoyed this week!

Nicci xx
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Meal Plan 4th - 10th May 2015

IThis is officially week four of my clean eating challenge... and I only just realised I didn't actually explain to everyone what 'clean eating' is (well the one that we have being told about), as I understand there and many different forms/styles of 'clean eating', and the individual may have different foods they say 'yes' to and others they say 'no'. So... the clean eating we have being introduced to is quite simple, as explained by this poster/photo that was given to us at the information evening. 

Essentially, it is all about eating a lot of vegetables!! And essential/good fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, oil etc. Do not go out and buy 'light' foods like light yogurt, light cream, light milk etc etc. That's just a very quick overview of it. If you would like more detail you are welcome to contact me!

And something else I have just signed up to.... (I was really looking forward to a coffee and chocolate, but I have to wait another 8 weeks!) the "Whole Life Challenge". I have a lovely friend who owns and runs one of the Crossfit gyms in Auckland, who put me on to this, so really, I blame her! But its probably a good idea, may as well keep going, there are three different 'levels' which you can participate in, I have decided to go for the 'strict' one... How, I am going to live without natural yogurt for 8 weeks, I don't know! However, I am sure participating in this challenge will ensure I don't get that 'winter coat' ;) 
Here is the link to the website if you would like more information, you are welcome to join me! https://www.wholelifechallenge.com/ 

After this week, I will either go back to five days a week meal planning, as seven days is a bit too rigid... and can lead to wasted food, so I will either drop it down to five or six planned meals a week, and have a wing-it day, which I will ensure is still eating healthy and obeying the rules of the "whole life challenge". 


Here is this week's meal plan.... Another week of an array of recipes... Two have come over from the previous weeks meal plan, had a rather crazy week last week (check out the review from last week). I am going to try cauliflower fried rice, which I am sure is going to be nice! I am using a cauliflower crust pizza recipe I have used before, so I know it is going to be nice! And I have very different chicken and beef meals. 

(And yes, I am playing around with the presentation of my meal plans)




Recipes

Chicken schnitzel, pumpkin & steamed greens
Healthy Food Guide, May 2015. Pg 76


800g pumpkin, deseeded, cut in thin wedges
oil spray
3/4 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
500g skinless chicken breast fillets
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons trim milk
2 bunches steamed broccolini, to serve
200g steamed snow peas, to serve

1 Preheat oven to 200C. Line two large baking trays with baking paper. Place pumpkin on 1 prepared tray and spray lightly with oil. Roast for 40 minutes, turning halfway through or until golden and tender.
2 Meanwhile, place oats and pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Process until finely chopped. Transfer to a shallow bowl and add parmesan, chives and lemon zest. Stir to combine. Place flour in a second shallow bowl and egg and milk in a third.
3 Cut each chicken breast through the middle horizontally to give 4 thin fillets. Dust each fillet in flour, then dip in beaten egg and finally press into oat micture to coat fillet evenly. Place on prepared tray and repeat with remaining chicken. Cover and refrigatrea for 20 minutes.
4 Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and spray both chicken sides with oil. Cook fillets for 3 minutes each side, or until golden and cooked through.
5 Serve chicken with roasted pumpkin and steamed greens.

~There is rolled oats and flour in this recipe that I am not going to include because of my 'clean eating' challenge. I will make my own crumb out of pumpkin seeds, almond meal and parmesan.

Chicken schnitzel, pumpkin & steamed greens

Roast beef & veggies 


http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/beef-recipes/perfect-roast-beef/

The prefect roast beef


Cauliflower ‘fried rice’

Serves Prep & cook time 30 minutes
Nutritional Count: 11.6 total fat (7.6 saturated fat); 885 Kj (211 cal); 8.1g carbohydrate; 11.6g protein; 10g fibre

½ medium cauliflower, florets coarsely chopped, stems discarded
1 ½ tablespoons virgin coconut oil
free-range eggs, beaten lightly
½ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
1 large carrot, halved lengthways, sliced thinly on the diagonal
1 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges
300g broccolini, halved crossways
¼ cup (60ml) water
cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
spring onions, sliced thinly
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 fresh long red chili, sliced thinly

Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until cut into rice-sized pieces. Steam or microwave for 6 minutes or until just tender; season to taste.
Meanwhile, heat a large wok on high heat; Add 1 teaspoon of the oil; swirl wok to coat with oil. Add eggs; swirl wok to form a thin omelette. Cook until the omelette is just set; transfer to a clean chopping board. Roll omelette tightly; cut into thin strips.
Add half the remaining oil to wok. Stir-fry cauliflower and five-spice powder for 2 minutes or until browned lightly; transfer to a plate.
Heat remaining oil in wok; stir-fry carrot and red onion for 4 minutes or until just tender. Add broccolini and the water; stir fry for 2 minutes or until just tender. Add garlic, ginger and half the spring onions; stir-fry until fragrant. Add cauliflower and sesame oil; stir-fry for 1 minute or until heated through. Season to taste.
Serve Cauliflower ‘fried rice’ immediately, topped with omelette strips, chilli and the remaining spring onions.
Not suitable to freeze. Cauliflower suitable to microwave.


Cauliflower fried rice

Steak with nutty kale
Healthy Food Guide Recipes Collection. 5pm Panic. Edited by Nikki Bezzant (editor). Healthy Life Media Ltd. Auckland, New Zealand. March 2015. Pg 84

Oil spray400g pumpkin, cut in chunks
4 parsnips, cut in long strips
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons macadamia oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 bunch (about 250g) kale, stalks removed, roughly chopped
4 x lamb leg steaks (450g)

1 Preheat oven to 200C. Spray a baking tray with oil and spread out pumpkin and parnsips. Roast for about 20 minutes until tender.
2 In a dry pan, toast pine nuts over a medium heat until golden. Remove from pan and set aside. Add half the oil to pan. Add onion and cook until soft and brown. Add kale and cook for 3-4minutes, until tender. Stir pine nuts through mixture. Set aside and keep warm. Turn up heat and return pan to stove top.
3 Rub remaining oil over steaks and cook each side for about 2 minutes until medium-rare.
4 Serve steaks with kale mixture and roasted vegetables.
Steak with nutty kale

Cauliflower Crust Pizza
http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/cauliflower-crust-pizza


Notes from previously using this recipe: 
To make sure your crust does not fall apart, make sure you really wring it properly when you are getting all the water out of it. Also, if you following the recipe, which makes the tomato sauce, ensure that this becomes quite thick, if this is watery it will soak into the base and in turn the base will become crumbly. I also baked my bases for longer than stated in the recipe, it was at least another 10 minutes.

Moroccan chicken with chickpea dip and grilled carrot salad
Healthy Food Guide Recipes Collection. 5pm Panic. Edited by Nikki Bezzant (editor). Healthy Life Media Ltd. Auckland, New Zealand. March 2015. Pg 48


2 x 400g cans chickpeas in spring water, drained, rinsed
½ cup fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons cumin
12 chicken tenderloins (about 500g raw weight)
Oil spray
3 small carrots, peeled in ribbons
300g green beans, halved lengthways
2 cups baby rocket

1 To make chickpea dip, place chickpeas, 1/3 cup of the lemon juice and garlic in the food processor. Blend until mixture is almost smooth. Gradually add 1.4 cup water until dip is smooth.
2 Sprinkle seasoning on both sides of chicken. Spray a large grill pan with oil and set over a high heat. Grill chicken, adding carrots for last 2 minutes, for 5 -7 minutes or until cooked through and carrot is tender.
3 Meanwhile, bring a medium-sized saucepan of water to the boil. Cook beans for 1 minuted or until just tender. Refresh beans in cold water the drain.
4 Place carrots, beans and rocket in a large bowl. Add remaining lemon juice and toss lightly.
5 Serve chicken with grilled carrot salad and chickpea dip.


Beef steak and veggies2 or 3 pieces of beef steak
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
500g green veggies (broccoli, green beans or peas)


1 Half an hour before cooking, take your steak out of the fridge, as this will bring it to room temperature.
2 Heat a fry pan to a medium/high heat. rub the olive oil onto the steaks. Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Place into the frypan for 3 to 4 minutes each side for medium-rare/medium.
3 Let the steak rest for at 5 minutes.
4 Place green veggies into the microwave, and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring once. 



Reviewing the week

Monday nights, 'chicken schnitzel, pumpkin & steamed greens'. This was a simple yet delicious meal! A great nutritious meal to have after two games of netball, I was soo hungry! I adapted the recipe a bit... As I am not grains or cheese now, I made the crumb with 1/2 cup almond meal, 1/2 cup cashews, grated rind from one lemon, 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds and 2 tablespoons of finely chopped chives - all whizzed in the food processor. I also didn't put flour underneath the crumb, just dipped the chicken in egg, then into the crumb. I baked not fried the chicken, 20 minutes in the oven at 200C. I did forget to cook this with the broccoli too!

Roast beef with veggies on a Tuesday night, what a lucky partner I have! haha. I added roughly chopped pumpkin, potato and kumara when the roast had 45minutes of cooking time left. Once the roast was cooked, I rested it for the required 15minutes; in this time I put the veggies back into the oven on maximum heat (which is 240C on my oven) for the 15 minutes, stirring/flipping at 10minutes. I also served the roast with steamed green veggies.

Cauliflower fried 'rice'!!!! Ohh emm geeee! What a ridiculously moreish meal! I loved the bright colours in this, from the broccoli, carrots and egg. This meal has such a freshness to it, like when you know it's a nice home cooked meal, not the store brought version. I also added three rashers of bacon to this, which I roughly chopped, and fried at the same time as cooking the fried rice. I stirred the bacon through at the end. Another amazing paleo meal that you should try! Is it bad that I secretly hoped my partner wouldn't like this so there would b heaps of leftovers ;)

Thursday night... steak with nutty kale from The Healthy Food Guide.  I used beef rump steak instead of lamb steaks, as that's what we had in the freezer; also used baby spinach, as I used most of the kale in my smoothies this week. The baby spinach/kale salad was delicious, and together with the pumpkin was soo good. Not sure about the parsnips, wouldn't bother with them next time. I also made us a nice dessert tonight... paleo friendly... consisting of coconut cream (1/4 cup), pineapple (1/2 cup), frozen blueberries (1/2 cup), cocoa (heaped tablespoon). Blitz in the food processor for 10-20 seconds. To serve, sprinkle a few blueberries on top.

Friday night pizzas!!!  Homemade cauliflower crust pizza with homemade tomato sauce, grilled eggplant and red onion, crisped bacon, few leaves of basil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on one of them (for the family members not doing the whole life challenge!). I love cauliflower crust pizzas! I get the tomato sauce cooking first so it simmers for around 30minutes, and use four garlic bulbs instead of one. I make two thin crust pizzas with this recipe instead of one large base (as the recipe calls for), this ensures the pizza doesn't crumble/fall apart. I also added two pieces of bacon roughly chopped, and quickly fried.

Saturday... We ended up having friends around for dinner, so I cooked a rolled pork, lots of roast veggies (kumara, potato, red onion, white onion, carrots, celery), baked green apples & a friend brought over a kumara salad (one of my fav's!). http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/7705/roast+loin+of+pork+with+crispy+crackling+and+roasted+apples I thought the baked apples was a great idea instead of serving it with apple sauce, something different, that was still delicious!
I also used this as a great excuse to make 'beetroot chocolate mudcake', which was really nice! I can see how it was though... there is still a lot of sweetness in it... the dried fruit... the maple syrup... I used Dr Libby's recipe, click on the link above. 

I didnt have any dates, so I used 8 apricots instead, I also didnt have currants, so used raisins. I didn't buy cacao butter, just used normal butter, that I didn't melt first - just softened, and mixed it in the food processor for at least 2 minutes once mixing with the other ingredients, to get it thick and creamy. My three year old wanted the sprinkles on top, very cute! How could I say no to him!  This is not paleo friendly (has maple syrup and dried fruit in it), but it is clean eating :)  Some of our friends had it with cream too.

I hope you enjoyed this week!!
 


If you have any questions, you are welcome to private message me through my facebook page www.facebook.com/atapinch, post to my facebook page, or email me atapinchmealplans@gmail.com
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