Tasty tempting treats

As christmas is approaching i may start thinking of stocking my snack cupboard with a few treats i wont feel so guilty diving into.

So many people find that christmas plays havoc on their waist line and if you are new to the whole “DIET” lark it is dreadful to be surrounded by all your favourite foods, watching everyone scoff their face while you sit down to your plate full of salad!

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I have decided to delve into the wonderful world of google to give me some inspiration for some tasty snacks so i don’t feel so left out this holiday season!

Here are a few of the best i have found over the last few days which i am going to try out!

Why don’t you have a go yourself?!

This recipe i found on http://atastylovestory.com (paleo, vegan, low-carb and raw food recipes!)

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Energy bars for everyone
Makes 16 bars

Almond & coconut layer
200 g almonds
200 g desiccated coconut flour
2 very ripe bananas
1 tsp ground vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp organic virgin coconut, melted

Chocolate layer
100 g dark chocolate (70 %)
1 small or 1/2 big avocado
2 Tbsp Sukrin, coconut sugar, stevia or sweetener of your choice (I used sukrin gold)
1 tsp organic extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp ground vanilla

Raw & vegan chocolate layer (alternative chocolate layer)
4 Tbsp organic virgin coconut oil, melted
4 Tbsp high quality cocoa powder
8 big soft pitted dates
1/2 tsp ground vanilla

Directions
For this recipe you need to use a food processor or very good blender. Blend the coconut flour until it becomes almost ground. Then add the almond and blend until you have a mix almond and coconut flour. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, salt, banana and blend until you have a firm and mixed dough.
Find a square baking pan, box or whatever you have on hands. Line it with a piece of parchment paper. Now use your hand to even out the dough, it should be plain and have a thickness around 2 cm (0,75 inch). Place it in the fridge.

Original chocolate layer: Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler. Blend the avocado, sugar and vanilla until it has a very smooth texture. Add the chocolate and pulse until just combined. Remove the dough from the fridge and add the chocolate in a plain layer and place it back in the fridge to set for at least 30 min.

Raw and vegan chocolate layer: Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a smooth chocolate paste. Add more cocoa if you want a deeper flavour and darker colour. Remove the dough from the fridge and add the chocolate in a plain layer and place it back in the fridge to set for at least

Cut the ‘cake’ into 16 bars. Keep them in an airtight box in the fridge for up to a week. Wrap some of them in paper and bring them to your workout, as a afternoon snack or on long walks. You’ll get a tasty and healthy energy load without any blood sugar rush.

Heres another fab recipe this time from http://www.paleogrubs.com

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Gluten free energy bars

Ingredients
1 cup almonds
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup pitted dates
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips
Instructions
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times to break everything up. Then blend continuously until the ingredients have broken down and start to clump together into a ball.
Using a spatula to scrape down the sides, turn out the mixture onto a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. Press into an even square and chill, wrapped, for at least an hour. Cut into desired size of bars, wrapping each bar in plastic wrap to store in the fridge.
Notes
Servings: 8 bars
Difficulty: Easy

and another here from http://livinghealthywithchocolate.com

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Cookie Dough Bites (Paleo, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free, Low Carb)

Ingredients
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1½ tablespoons coconut milk
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ tablespoon + ½ teaspoon raw honey
¾ cup almond flour
3 tablespoons chocolate chips, plus more for drizzling
Instructions
whisk together the coconut oil, coconut milk, vanilla and honey
using a rubber spatula, gently mix in the almond flour until ingredients are combined. Be careful not to over mix or the batter will become oily.
fold in the chocolate chips and refrigerate the dough for about 30 minutes
roll chilled dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper
melt chocolate chips in a double boiler over simmering water
drizzle chocolate over each cookie dough bite
Recipe make 10 cookie dough bites. Store in the refrigerator.

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The essence of baking….

You may have noticed that most baking, whether Paleo or non-Paleo, tends to include vanilla essence.

I love vanilla essence and probably don’t use it particularly sparingly and as a lot of you already know its not exactly a cheap ingredient to be filling your cupboard with!

But here’s news for all you vanilla essence lovers! You can actually make your own! With two ingredients!!

How?

One bottle of vodka ( any price range! Don’t think it matters), 6-8 vanilla pods.

Unscrew vodka bottle, either decant into a prettier bottle (especially good idea if for a present) or if for your own use then use the bottle you have…. Shove in all the vanilla pods.

Replace lid, store for 2-3 months and presto! Vanilla essence.

Just keep topping up the vodka as you use it.

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OMG I’m back……

Well, hello there!

I’m so sorry i have been away from you all for so long, i have had the joys of school holidays, jetting over to the USA for my first ever visit, over to England to visit family and friends, then back to Switzerland to settle back into the school routine…….and now its nearly Christmas, where have the months gone?!

So here is the big question…..have i been keeping up the diet and lifestyle change?

Why yes i have! For once in my life i’m managing to stick to something!

My weight has now hit 64.9kg so i am pretty happy with that, its not bad going losing 15-20kg since May!

I still do my hula hooping every other day, i haven’t mastered any tricks, but the main thing is i enjoy it!

In other news i have hit the stage where i have been treating myself once a week to something ‘naughty’, usually when my husband and i go out for our ‘date nights’ but the last three weeks i decided to see what would happen if i ate ‘normally’ again.

By normally i mean, bread, pasta, the very odd cake if i was out for a coffee with friends etc. i didn’t want to return to my old diet, i just wanted to see its impact, if any.

And the result?! Well, it was horrific as far as i was concerned. I lost all energy, felt really lathargic, grumpy, i was suffering horrid headaches, feeling forgetful, dizzy and just all over the place.

Who knew diet would have such an impact on how i was feeling and so rapidly?

Trying this diet was always an experiment after being told that i was a likely sufferer of Adult ADHD and there being other ‘medical conditions’ within my family, i thought i should do something to see if i could improve how i felt and how to look after a healthier, happier me.

I was so pleased that once i began the diet i noticed a significant change in my behaviour, energy levels and general being. I felt that maybe a lot of my issues (tiredness and foggyness) were just down to my weight issues but it looks like what i eat obviously effects me more than just controlling my weight.

So its back to avoiding the pasta and bread and other gluten filled goodies.

Will i miss it? – Most probably
Will i totally stick to the diet now? – well, i may just treat myself every other week to a cake with my cup of coffee as my ‘treat’ but i wont be regularly testing out my reaction to ‘normal’ foods again in a hurry!

Has anyone else changed their diet and then tried their old diet and noticed the negative effects it seemingly has on their mind and body?!

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A few of my favourite things…

Hello to all.

The sun is shining down upon us in ye olde Zurich today, summer is finally here!
Unfortunately its not just warm, its scorching hot, which is fine if you are on a beach or on holiday somewhere, its not really particularly nice for those bodding about getting on with their every day business.

I know, i know, one minute we all complain it is too cold and the next its too hot….well, i’m British and we like to talk about the weather!!!

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But anyways, todays blog isn’t about ‘Weather’, i’ve decided to share a few more recipes with ya’ll out there!
Ok, they may not be my favourite recipes but they are nice recipes, paleo and low carbalishious!
AND….the first is one of my OWN concoctions, a bit of a throw it in as you go along dish, so excuse the lack of exact measurements!

Paleo Pork, Apple and Cider Casserole

4 pork chops cut into cubes
2 Apples, cubed
3 carrots, sliced
1 onion thinly sliced
1 small Celeriac cut into batons
2 Sweet Potatoes cut into batons
1 Tin of Tomatoes
100mls of chicken Stock
Mixed Herbs
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 bottle of Bulmers Apple Cider.

Now here is the tricky part……shove it all in the slow cooker for 6 hours or so and done.
( minimum fuss food!)

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Paleo Chicken Curry

4 organic chicken breast
4 slices of bacon (nitrate free)
Medium pack of prawns
5 carrots (peeled and chopped)
1 head of cauliflower (chopped)
2 cups of cubed sweet potatoes.
1 med. sweet onion(sliced)
2-3 garlic gloves (minced)
2 tbsp of ginger (minced)
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp curry
1 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
Garnish with shredded unsweetened coconut.
Instructions
Fry bacon until crisp and dice.
In a separate frying pan, fry onions, garlic, and ginger in coconut oil untill onions are translucent, 5-8 mins on med-high. Add spices, stir, then add coconut milk and bring to a light boil for 2-5 m ins. Remove from heat and set aside.
Pre heat oven at 375
Cube chicken and place in an oven safe casserole dish, peel, add prawns to casserole dish. Add all vegetables and spread evenly. Pour sauce over everything, sprinkle bacon over everything and bake for 40-50 mins. Remove halfway to stir.

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(adapted from the recipes on http://cavemanstrong.com/2011/02/paleo-curry-chicken/ as i had no shrimp and had more guests to feed so doubled the chicken!)

Paleo Chilli – Kiddy Approved!

1 zucchini
handful of carrots
1 acorn squash
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1 mason jar homemade chicken stock or beef stock
2 lbs ground beef
salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, chili powder

Warm up the squash and carrots any which way you like. If you are not opposed to microwaving, it will take a fraction of the time you spend doing it otherwise. Scoop the squash out of the skin. Dice all vegetables into bite sized pieces and toss them into a hot pan with some bacon grease or butter or coconut oil.

Add the canned tomatoes, and cook everything for a few more minutes. Now add everything to a food processor or blender, and process everything until it’s a thick veggie sauce/soup.

Brown the ground beef thoroughly and season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

Add all ingredients into a slow cooker, pour in the chicken or beef stock, and season as you like. Not all kids are into cumin, so you could leave that out. You’ll know your kids best. As I said before, none of the kids were aware of all the great stuff in this chili (although I did tell my own kids later and they thought that was awesome!).

You’ll want to cook your chili in the slow cooker on LOW for about 3 to 5 hours.

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(With Thanks to http://fastpaleo.com/kid-friendly-and-approved-chili/ and the kids really did enjoy this!)

Let me know what you think of the recipes if you get to try them out yourself!

In the mood for food?

I realised yesterday that i have only posted one recipe type blog on here, and so thought it would probably be a good idea to share with you a few of my favourites!

A few friends have been asking me ‘what do you eat then if you don’t have cereal, bread, pasta, potatoes or rice?’. It does sound daunting to cut out all of these and i can understand the confusion of ‘whats left to eat?’ . Being someone who ate a very carb heavy diet before hand i did wonder how i would cope myself!

And much to the delight to some of you i’m sure, i don’t just live off fruit and leafy salads! I’m not a rabbit!

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One recipe which is a sure fire hit in my household, even with the kids is so simple! It’s more of a lunchtime recipe really and if you aren’t totally mean and still letting your family have some carby foods then its great with fresh bread!

Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Soup

2 large sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped into small cubes)
2 red bell peppers, ( cut into small chunks)
1medium onion ( chopped)
2 large garlic cloves (crushed)
200ml coconut milk
Half a glass of wine
Half teaspoon salt

Boil up the sweet potato, peppers, onion and garlic in a pan of water for 25 mins.
Remove the water into a separate pan ( can use it to water down the soup to taste)
Add in the wine, coconut milk and salt and puree the mix either in a food processor or a hand blender.
Some people like a thick soup, some prefer thinner so add the ‘old’ water from earlier to make soup to your liking.
Done, quick and very tasty.
As serving, add pepper to taste!

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Plantain & Sweet Potato Curry

1 large onion
4 garlic gloves
1 inch of ginger
1 Plantain
2 small/Medium sized Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sized Florets from a Cauliflower
3 Bay Leaves
8 Cardamon Pods
8 Cloves
Half teaspoon of Cumin Seeds
Half teaspoon of Ground cinnamon
Half teaspoon of Ground Coriander
Half teaspoon of Turmeric
1/2 Glass of Wine
400ml Coconut Milk
Olive Oil
1Tin of Tomatoes

Put the oil, cardamon, bay leaves, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, turmeric in a pan and heat up to release the flavours, be careful not to burn them! You just want to heat them!
Chop your onion and put in a blender with your peeled garlic cloves and peeled ginger, blend into a paste.
Add paste to the spices and cook for a few minutes, add in the wine and cook for about 5 mins with regular stiring.
Cut your plantain into thin slices, cube (1cm)your peeled sweet potatoes and chop your cauliflower florets into small pieces.
Throw them into the pan with everything else and stir well, add in 200mls of water and cook for 10 minutes.
Add in the coconut milk and tomatoes and leave the curry to simmer for an hour with stirring every now and again!
This curry is quite a sweet curry, and I’m sure you can add chillies, i chose not to as i don’t like ‘Hot’ food! You could even use spinach instead of cauliflower?
I don’t serve mine with rice, i think its enough of a dish itself, for my family i serve it along side a grilled chicken breast.
Enjoy!

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Food glorious food….

Today i’m having a hungry day….

My inner Oliver is screaming for more but ( luckily for me) my will power (Mr.Bumble) is having none of it!

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“Food, glorious food!
What wouldn’t we give for
That extra bit more —
That’s all that we live for
Why should we be fated to
Do nothing but brood
On food,
Magical food,
Wonderful food,
Marvellous food,
Fabulous food,”

Yes, yes….ok, i know i’m not a starving orphaned boy, being given nothing but gruel to eat!
But today has been the first day i have craved carbs…

Chips…..bread….lasagne….pasta….

I am guessing that my body has finally noticed the lack of extra carbs fuelling me!

Now a lot of the websites i have been looking at for inspiration have been raving about cauliflower mash being a great alternative to mash potato….may i be honest here and inform you, its not, its mashed cauliflower!

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My family were less than impressed, my three madams pointing out it tasted funny and who then refused to eat anymore and a husband who smiled encouragingly at me but asked me to save my new diet experiments for during the week when he works away….needless to say we wont be having that again! As for cauliflower rice which we are yet to try, i think that will be something i try by myself!

At least tonights dinner of ‘left over pork roast frittatas’ went down a lot better…. Cauliflower, onion, mushroom, carrot, sweet potato and pork diced, fried up in a little olive oil with garlic. Put into an oven proof dish and pour over a few whisked eggs…10 minutes later, done! To keep the kiddies extra happy obviously serve with ketchup!

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So today i have been looking up another recipe to try and replace one of the other foods i have missed! Here is what i have found ….

Every saturday morning, my middle madam requests we make pancakes for breakfast! Now, pancakes being made with flour are obviously going to be packed full of carbs, so for the last two weekends i have had to miss out on our weekly family treat.
Today i discovered the joy of Almond flour! The carb count for almond flour is significantly less than the usual standard flour! I have found that the carb count per 100g is as follows….

Wheat flour, whole grain__72.57
Almond flour____________19.74
Soy flour_______________30.38

So is it acceptable to try this an alternative or is it classed as cheating on my diet?! Let me now your thoughts!