Oat & Raisin Cookies

I have a bit of a cookie problem. I don’t eat them very often, but when I want them, I want them for a few days in a row – we’ll call this weird phenomenon ‘cookie-season.’ Therefore, its generally a good plan to make a whole batch and store them somewhere safe for emergency use during ‘cookie season’ and in case anyone else has a hankering for cookies – which most people do when they realise there are cookies on offer. I’ve been experimenting to try and come up with different ‘Paleo’ cookies, protein based cookies and oat based cookies recently – so this was just another in a line of experimental recipes. They came out quite well and I rather like how light they are. I think next time I might treat myself and try a choc chip version with some really nice dark chocolate bits. I guess you could add nuts and seeds or other fruit to this if you wanted to.

cOOKIES

Oat & Raisin Wheat & Dairy free cookies (also free from refined sugar!)

Makes 14 Cookies

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup ground almond
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (you can use agave or honey)
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Heat oven to 180 degrees C

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper / baking parchment; mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, spoon onto baking parchment and flatten into cookie shape. the thicker each one is the more moist and squishy the cookie, if you prefer them crispy, make them thin! leave a good centimetre between each cookie as they tend to spread when they cook.

Nutritional Info:

KCals: 76
Carbs: 8
Fat: 4
Protein: 3
Sodium: 22
Sugar: 5

 

Day 6 – the day of the Pie

I basically only ate pie today, but it was goooood pie. I had 2 boiled eggs and half an avocado for brunch; a severe loss of appetite restricted me to protein and healthy fat snacks. I finally got the hunger later in the day; I had taken some left over beef ragu (bolognese) out of the freezer earlier that morning, planning to make a paleo lasagne with it, only to figure out I had less bolognese than I originally thought, and not enough courgette for “lasagne” sheets to be made. Time to improvise.  It took a little thought, and a lot of improvising, but I got there in the end.

Tricolore Paleo Pie

  • Beef Bolognese (250g beef mince, 2 garlic cloves, 1 onion, 1/2 tin chopped tomato, 1 cup home made beef stock)
  • 2 cups of kale
  • one large courgette
  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tin coconut milk
  • olive oil

~Whole6

This is a very simple pie indeed, colourful and super light and tasty. First, heat oven to 180 degrees C. Using a small to medium sized shallow lasagne dish, pour the bolognese into the dish and spread to give an even covering. Next, cut the large stalk off the cauliflower and discard, put the rest in a food processor and blend till extremely finely chopped (think couscous sized). Place all the cauliflower in a pot and fill with just enough water to be level with cauliflower, cover and simmer on low heat for 15 mins.In the mean time, finely chop the kale and courgette and fry gently on a medium heat for 10 minutes in olive oil.

Take both the pan of veg and pot of cauliflower off the heat. Drain cauliflower of water, open the tin of coconut milk and add only the thick white coconut milk from the top of the tin to the cauliflower, place on low to medium heat and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Beat 2 eggs in separate bowl; take the cauliflower off the heat and stir the egg into it until thoroughly mixed.

Spread the green vegetables over the mince evenly. Gently pour the cauliflower mix over the top of this and spread evenly ensuring to get into the corners. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Cut into portions and devour immediately. Careful, it may be hot.

So, that was pretty much all I ate yesterday, except maybe a date and nut ball for dessert. 🙂

Whole 30 – Day 1&2 (AGAIN)

Following my failure to comply, or even try; I must now begin anew. Day 10… or as it is now called, day 1 – take 2. I was up at sparrow fart (roughly 3am) writing nonsense, responding to a backlog of emails and feeling rather pleased with myself and all that I had accomplished by sunrise at 6am. I ran a 10.9km run and arrived back feeling hangover free and full of energy; having had only 4 hours sleep, this surprised even me. Nevertheless, Sunday went smoothly. My Sunday brunch of Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Spinach, Avocado and Tomato was enough to make me realise that I should start appreciating the things I CAN have, and stop worrying about the list of foods I cannot have during the Whole 30. This realisation was compounded by the following meal that day of Roast Chicken accompanied by a Roast Vegetable spread of carrot, sweet potato, parsnip and broccoli. A toast then, to the finer foods in life; particularly that old classic, the simple Sunday roast.

#Whole1

Day 2: I have never been a big fan of Mondays, and I don’t think I’m alone in saying that. Best cure for a Monday morning is a GREEN SMOOTHIE 🙂 and then some healthy eats; Ham, Egg, Mushroom and Avocado which I made very short work of. Lunch was a bit of a random prawn and veg salad, nothing too exciting but enough to lift the spirits and keep me going.

Monday night was pretty spectacular as far as Mondays go, I set off early from work to Kings Cross for a Guardian Masterclass with the one and only Jay Rayner – food critic extraordinaire and sometimes TV personality who ponces about on Masterchef occasionally. Funny guy, but more than that, the man is eloquent and engaging; he has a superior command of the English language which can only come from so many years of writing. His writing, as we know, is brilliant; I just never thought of him as a speaker. I felt the need to share this simply because I was somewhat taken aback by just how wonderful he is to listen to. The man is an excellent teacher and has the ability to make you feel smarter simply by being in the same room; the mark of a truly intelligent person. I will say this; perhaps I am not destined to be a journalist or reporter, but I did learn a lot and for that I am truly grateful. I take heed of the wise words and will be using the lessons learnt to my advantage in future writing endeavours.

I treated myself to braised beef cheeks and roasted root vegetables at Corrigans of Mayfair for dinner and then promptly went home to sleep. No, I didnt take any pictures of my dinner, and no, I’m not going to bore you with the details. It was fabulous, it always is at Corrigans.

#Whole30 Days 7&8

Day 7 started well; the usual Green Smoothie followed by a hearty breakfast. I’ve been trying to work out ways in which to get more carbs into my daily diet, especially in the morning because I feel like I really need the fuel, especially if I am training. I’m also trying to have fruit which has a lower Glycemic index and is a more slow releasing sugar to try and avoid the inevitable sugar spikes. This morning’s smoothie consisted, therefore, of apples, unripe banana (the greener the banana, the lower the sugar content), pear, kale, cucumber, spinach and celery.

The glycemic index (GI) of bananas varies depending upon how ripe the bananas are. This is because a lot of the carbohydrate in green bananas is in the form of a kind of resistant starch which we lack the enzyme to digest. As the fruit ripens, the starch is converted into readily available sugars. 

#Whole30-7

Breakfast included Sweet potato, cut into thin rounds and fried in coconut oil, served with spinach, mushroom, avocado and scrambled eggs – not sure about the sweet potato but it did fill a gap and the carbs were pretty good, although I think next time maybe a mash would be better; with cinnamon. Having eaten breakfast at silly-o’clock I decided that lunch needed to something more substantial than salad; chilli and tomato roasted chicken thighs with broccoli and spinach. Nom. Dinner was a bit of a hash, I went out so it was once again difficult trying to find something I could eat; difficult, but not impossible. I ended up with a rather delicious meal of slow roasted pulled pork on a bed of salad leaves with pickled red onion which was absolutely amazing. If you are ever in the Brixton market area I seriously suggest heading to Bukowski Grill for a mean burger or pulled pork – with or without the bun. 🙂

Paying such close attention to my diet has also made me realise that my body craves sugar when I am tired, and often when I am stressed too. I ate an entire packet of Medjool Dates… quick slap of the wrist required here! For some unfathomable reason I felt my willpower waning today, I don’t know why.

#Whole30-8

Day 8 (INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY) was a pretty straightforward Friday; I didn’t quite manage breakfast so instead I wolfed down a fruit salad and 2 boiled eggs out of the simple need for fuel. I knew I was going to be making a pretty mean lunch since it was FISH PIE FRIDAY and I was trying hard to think of ways in which to keep the fish pie Whole30 friendly. It started with a morning walk through Brixton Market to see the Fishy, followed by some serious cooking later in the day. It was delicious; so delicious in fact, that I managed to eat 2 ridiculously large portions. Happy tummy. See full recipe below.

Whole30 Friendly, Friday Fish Pie:

  • 1 medium salmon fillet
  • 1 medium cod fillet (or other white fish)
  • 1 medium smoked haddock fillet
  • about 175-200g of prawns
  • 1 whole squid (about 15cm long)
  • 5 small – medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 1 packet of chopped spring greens or kale
  • 1 small packet of spinach
  • tenderstem broccoli
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • olive oil

#Whole30-9

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C, Gas Mark 6. Peel sweet potato and chop into large cubes and place in a pot of salted water. Bring the water to the boil and cook for 15 minutes or until you can easily slide a knife into the soft flesh. While this is boiling, lightly fry the garlic and then add the greens and fry gently for 10 minutes on low heat. Take the sweet potato off the heat; drain, cover and leave to one side. Add tinned tomato to the greens and stir gently, turning the heat up to medium. until it comes to a gentle simmer and then turn the heat down again. Chop the fish fillets into chunks and gentle fry on medium heat in olive oil for 5 minutes, remove from heat and put to one side. Open the coconut milk and remove 1/4 cup of the liquid from the bottom of the tin and add pour over the sweet potato. Add the rest of the tin of coconut milk, along with the broccoli and spinach, to the kale and tomato; simmer for a further 5 minutes before removing from heat. Gently stir all fish into the mixture and then pour into the pie dish (you will need a large ceramic lasagne dish for this). Now take the sweet potato, add a sprinkle (or more) of cumin and mash until it’s as smooth as you want it and then spread it evenly over the top of the dish, making sure you cover the edges and corners. Place the dish in the oven and turn down to 180, Gas mark 5, bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until the top is a little brown.

Someone else cooked me dinner, which was strange since I had to explain the long list of things which I would be unable to eat, and I then had to monitor the cooking process so that nothing illegal was secretly sneaked into the meal. We ate steak (lots of steak) which was flavoured with mixed spices, chilli, lime, garlic and olive oil and served with spring onion and bean sprouts. The meat was fantastic and perfectly cooked but the lack of green vegetables saddened me slightly. I then ate more dates. FAIL! Note to self, no more dates.

#Whole30 Day 5&6

So far all is well in my #Whole30 world. Training is being amped up a little and the healthy eating is making me feel more energetic. I am hungrier and I’m eating more often, which can’t be a bad thing since I love food; I just hope I don’t turn into some food crazed monster on a permanent mission for protein! I am enjoying experimenting with my cooking and keeping everything as clean and lean as possible; it is not as challenging as I first thought and I’m enjoying the light freshness of everything. So Day 5 morning started with 1km run, 10 hill sprints, and a short WOD (10 press ups, 15 tricep dips, 20 leg raises, 30 squats, 40 lunges and 50 calf raises) plus a short 40 lengths of the pool! Then came breakfast, starting with the Green Slushy – my new Green Smoothie recipe which has made me EXTREMELY happy, and because it is making me so happy, I thought it was only fair that I share it with you all!

Green Slushy

  • 1/2 fresh Mango cut into cubes
  • 1 cup frozen yellow sweet melon, cubed
  • 1 cup frozen watermelon, cubed
  • 2 cups of Kale
  • 1 Avocado
  • 6 basil leaves
  • 1 to 2 cups of water, as desired (add 1/2 cup at a time)

Blend ALL the above ingredients until smooth and add the water slowly until it’s the consistency you want! For easy frozen fruit, freeze cubes in 1 cup portions for easy use.

#Whole30-5

Following this I decided to indulge in a proper breakfast frittata of courgette, bell peppers, mushroom and smoked haddock. Lunch was a bit of a rushed job and comprised only 1 smoked haddock fillet and 1 avocado, while pears and fresh pineapple snack throughout the afternoon kept me going till dinner. Dinner was a beef fillet served with a few stir fried veg – mushroom, courgette, peppers, leeks, tender stem broccoli and coriander with a dash of lime juice. Fresh whole foods and deliciousness; things that will make any tummy happy.

Day 6 was perhaps a little unimaginative on my part – more of the same. Green Smoothie: Pineapple, watermelon, pear, kale, cucumber and coconut water. Breakfast was Bacon, Haddock, Avo and Scrambled Eggs. Lunch was a super quick warm salmon salad; celery, spinach, green beans and artichoke hearts topped with a quick grilled salmon fillet. Simple perhaps, but still utterly delicious and completely satisfying. Dinner was basically salmon, lots and lots and lots of raw salmon. It was like an extreme sashimi eatathon; I think I devoured 4 portions (of 6 pieces each) of Salmon sashimi, followed by a seaweed salad and some steamed asapargus with grilled prawns in lemon juice. Trying to ask the chef in a Japanese restaurant to ‘hold the soy sauce’ was tricky, but in the end I definitely succeeded in having the cleanest Japanese meal of my life, and it felt pretty good too!

#Whole30-6

I’ve never experienced pure, unadulterated hunger on such a regular basis as I am at the moment; I can really feel the hunger pangs when I’ve been without a solid meal for a few hours, this is in part due to my new training regime but also largely down to the lack of heavy processed food and simple carbohydrates. My body is able to work through the protein and veg very quickly and when it’s all gone my body lets me know, in a very big way! I love the fact that I can eat more without having to feel guilty about it. This is the single biggest change which I am most happy about; long may the #Whole30 Hunger continue!

 

Dalston Street Feast and THE RIB MAN

When it comes to ribs, there is always a great debate about how to cook them, where to buy them, what restaurants make the best ribs and why. Well there are ribs, and then there are the Rib Man’s ribs. I’d been avidly following the twitter account of @theribman whilst I was away in Cape Town and as soon as I arrived back in London I decided it was time to pay him a visit at the new Dalston Street Feast market (open on a Friday night) – although you can find him at Kings Cross on a Thursday and Brick Lane on a Sunday, or here on his very own website. This man is ‘The Real Deal’, his ribs are as good as they get; Mark does all the prep work and cooking himself and you can see he truly loves what he does and cares about the food he makes, where it comes from and how it’s prepared, cooked and served; be it the plain and simple rack, or stripped off the bone and piled high on one of his famous ‘rib rolls,’ topped off with lashings of his home made hot sauce. Simplicity is the key, and love – a lot of love.

When it comes to ribs this man can’t be beat – and his hot sauce is something you will definitely want to write home about – they say food made with love tastes better and there’s no denying that this man truly loves what he does. Each and every rack of ribs is carefully marinated by hand and lovingly slow-cooked to absolute perfection before being served to his adoring fans (customers).

Back to the hot sauce; I am a chili lover through and through, I was raised in South Africa and due to the huge influence of the Portuguese cuisine from our neighbors in Mozambique, we get some of the best peri-peri (chili) sauces in the world and Peri-Peri Chicken is a staple meal in any South African’s diet (just look at the guys who started Nando’s). As I mentioned before, the Rib Man makes his own signature hot sauce; there are varying degrees of WOW when it comes to heat in these magically hand crafted bottles of chili sauce and not only that, they are also made-to-order so they taste fresh and there is limited supply at the markets so order online (here) to guarantee you get what want. The signature ‘Holy-Fuck’ sauce is pretty hot, but there’s ‘Christ-On-A-Bike’ which gets the taste buds really tingling, and then there is the ‘Holy-Mother-Of-God’ hot sauce, which comes with this warning: The absolute hottest of my sauces to date! Do not buy this if you have a weak heart or are worried about your eyesight! 

All sauces are made with scotch bonnet chili peppers and – the hottest of the hot – and I would recommend approaching with extreme caution. If, like me, you LOVE chili, then please do yourself a massive favour and get yourself some of this amazing sauce!

THE RIB MAN | KINGS CROSS EVERY THURSDAY http://www.eat.st/kings-cross | STREET FEAST LONDON FRIDAY NIGHTS http://www.streetfeastlondon.com/#!home/mainPage | BRICK LANE EVERY SUNDAY  http://www.theribman.co.uk/directions.php