Two moms. Five daughters. Opposite ends of the globe.

Two moms. Five daughters. A friendship that spans opposite ends of the globe.

We have been best friends for ages with a shared love for good food. A desire of good health for ourselves and our families have lead us to exploring the paleo lifestyle together. Enjoy our adventure!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Scotch Eggs

I have no idea what reminded me of these. I had one a dozen or so years ago when I was in England... But WOW-- how perfect for paleo? Well, minus the breadcrumb crust. So, in my experimentation I fried them without any coating, and then the last few I did roll in egg then some gluten-free crumbs. I liked the crumb coating, and considering a few tablespoons of gluten free crumbs was it for the day it was well within the 80/10 guideline I try to follow. I also tried deep frying only, versus a few minutes of deep frying followed by about 8-10 minutes in a medium oven. These could easily be baked in oven without any deep-frying, or made into a meat loaf... but having the meaty grenade shape is fun and makes them super easy to grab on the go or stuff in your lunch bag. They're good hot with a salad, or just as good -if not better- cold the net day.

Scotch Eggs

6 boiled eggs, peeled and set aside.

1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
(any and/or all of the following)
1 or more fresh chili pepper - with or without seeds, your choice.
1/2 red pepper... (I did this for the kids, then added the hot chili and spices after I made theirs.)
fresh or dried herbs... at least 2-3 Tablespoons total fresh, or at least 2-3 teaspoons total of dried. I used dried sage, mixed italian herb blend, red pepper flakes, and cayenne.
1 raw egg
1 pound ground meat--- beef or pork (or emu, lamb, deer...doesn't really matter.)

**even easier - do you have a paleo sausage you love? Use a pound of that - or any sausage recipe you like**

1. Peel the onion and garlic and toss in the food processor with the S&P, and herbs and spices. Whirl until the onion and garlic are pretty small chunks...
2. Add the ground meat and egg and process until pretty smooth - this makes it easier to form around the egg and it stays together in the deep fryer.

3. Divide the mixture into 6 portions. (approx 1/2 cup each.)

4. Flatten one portion of meat out in your hand, and place 1 hard boiled egg in the middle...carefully form the meat around the egg making sure to seal all seams. Set aside and repeat with the next 5 eggs.

If you like - at this point you can either dust them with some gluten free flour, or roll in a beaten egg followed by anything you've used for a paleo breading . (almond meal, ground pork rinds) Or not!

5. Heat oil in a deep fryer and deep fry one at a time approx 5-6 minutes. OR Fry them like meatballs in a shallow pan until browned completely all around and pop them in a medium oven for 10 minutes or so to finish... or really, any way you'd like to cook them works. You may have to experiment. The first one I deep fried with no coating for 8-9 minutes. Recipes I found on the web said to deep fry them for 10 minutes but that was too long, and the oil was about 325 - 350F. The best ones I made were deep fried for about 2 minutes @ 350F, then finished in a 350 oven for not quite 10 minutes...and they were even better for breakfast the next day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tangy Mango Chutney

In my opinion, no Indian meal is complete without chutney. Thank goodness chutney is not always the uber sugary type presumably made popular by Major Grey in the 19th century. Chutney is similar to "curry" in that it's a generic word used in South Asian cuisine. Chutney is simply a condiment, usually classified as either sweet or hot (and often both) that contains any combination of fruit, vegetable, and spice.

Two of my favorite chutneys are savory and spicy and super simple to make. Hari Chutney is made primarily with cilantro, mint, and hot chilies. It is fiery hot and tastes divine over any kind of tandoori meat. Coconut Chutney is served with breakfast in South India and is made primarily with coconut, tamarind, and chilies.

Saying that, I do love a tangy and slightly sweet chutney as well. My favorite "sweet" chutneys are Tomato Chutney and the ever popular Mango Chutney. Usually made with vinegar and loads of sugar (or HFCS in store bought varieties), I've always sweetened my homemade chutneys with dates instead. Guess I was working on this paleo lifestyle long before I even knew what it was!

  • 8 ounces dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups rice vinegar, unsweetened
  • 2 pounds fresh mango, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup currants or raisins, unsweetened (I prefer currants)
  • 2-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced or grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 T mustard seeds

  1. Add all ingredients into a sauce pan and mix well.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir ocassionally.
  4. Serve warm.
Note: I believe chutneys are supposed to last several months if stored in an air-tight jar and refrigerated. I have to say mine never last longer than a day or two...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Naked Momos

I'm amazed that the smell and taste of a simple dumpling can so quickly transport me to my favorite part of the world. Lounging and people watching from a rooftop cafe in Thamel, having a late lunch after the long walk up to Swayambhunath, the monkey temple. Crowded into a tiny restaurant in Shigatse, unable to avoid the generous servings of yak butter tea. Warming up with a tall glass on chhaang on a cool evening along the Annapurna circuit.

Momos are little meat and veg dumplings found in abundance at restaurants in Nepal and Tibet. They are made with a variety of minced meat spiced up onion, garlic, ginger, and cilantro. They can be steamed or fried and usually contain a little cabbage and yak cheese. And they are always served with the most tasty of dipping sauces ranging from tomato based to soy based to super spicy chile based!

The first time I made momos, nearly fifteen years ago, I had just returned home from my first adventure to the Himalayas and I was excited to show off my new cuisine ideas to friends. Total disaster! Don't get me wrong. I made a great filling, but the homemade dumpling skins sucked (I never did cook well with flour... perhaps it was a sign). Over the years and especially after subsequent trips there, my cravings returned and I tried again and again. But always stumbling over those #$%& wrappers... until now!

Serves 4

Momo Ingredients:
  • 1-2 green chilies, finely diced
  • 2-3-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 4 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 T coconut aminos
  • 2 T oil (I prefer sesame or coconut)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2-2 pounds ground pork or turkey

Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 tsp green chilies, finely diced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 T cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 T lemon juice

  1. Mix all dipping sauce ingredients in a glass bowl and let sit while you prepare the momos.
  2. Mix all momo ingredients.
  3. Form meat mixture into small discs or larger patties.
  4. Heat some cooking oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  5. Fry momos in batches, cooking 3-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
  6. Serve over shredded cabbage, carrots, and cucumbers with dipping sauce.

Note: Frying an entire batch of small disc shaped momos seems to take forever. This is my favorite way to prepare momos, but since I'm usually short of time, I often opt for larger "momo patties" (fewer = quicker). A couple nights ago, I was in a particularly lazy mood when my momo craving occurred. The resulting "lazy mom momo" was received by my family just as well as any other form of momo and took about half the time! Instead of forming any shapes at all, I dumped the entire mixture into the pan and fried it up like I would taco meat. I normally prefer ground pork, but this was just as delicious with turkey!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Laksa Lemak

Curry laksa is a spicy, coconut-curry-noodle soup from Malaysia and one our favorite weekend lunches. Lemak refers specifically to the addition of coconut milk, one of my favorite ingredients to create a rich, creamy, dish. Many traditional preparations of this dish call for tofu and mixed seafood, but I prefer a simpler style made with ground turkey, leftover roasted chicken, or even meatless. I paleo-ize the dish by using kelp noodles instead of vermicelli or rice noodles and also add cut, fresh vegetables; it's a great way to get rid of veggies in the fridge.

Serves 4

Note that many recipes exist for homemade rempah (laksa paste). I have also seen pre-packaged laksa paste, but have yet to find a paleo-friendly brand available locally. Since I always have Thai curry paste on-hand, I use that as the spice mixture for my laksa. Not authentic, but good enough.

  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 "scoop" red or panang curry paste (start with 2-3 tsp)
  • 1-2 cans coconut milk
  • 4 cups chicken broth (rich, homemade broth is the best)
  • 1 package kelp noodles, rinsed and drained 
  • 1-2 T fish sauce
  • 1-2 tsp lime juice
  • chilies or sambal oelek for more kick (optional)
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced diagonally
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut, if necessary
  • 2-3 T fresh basil or cilantro, chopped (optional)

  1. Heat oil in a wok or pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add ground turkey and fry until cooked through. If using leftover chicken, add it to the pan and continue to the next step.
  3. Add curry paste and mix well to distribute throughout the meat.
  4. Add the coconut milk. I usually begin by adding one can of coconut milk. After everything else has been added, I test taste to see if I want to add more. I usually end up using half of the second can.
  5. Add the chicken broth, kelp noodles, fish sauce, lime juice, and chilies, if using. Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Test taste and if necessary, adjust the flavor with more curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, lime juice, and/or chilies. I like to get the coconut gravy tasting "perfect" before moving the next step.
  7. Add the vegetables and simmer until they reach a desired doneness.
  8. Stir in cilantro, if using.
  9. Serve immediately.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pork Roast

I'm not going to pretend that this recipe is so different from my Oxtail Stew. But a busy work schedule combined with lots of fresh snow in the mountains has my slow-cooker working overtime! When I arrive home from work tired and chilled, the smell of slow-cooked roast meets me at the door and instantly perks me up. Roasts are warming and filling and make fantastic leftovers for packed school lunches!

Serves 4

  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds pork (I used a shoulder roast)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 turnip, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne (for a little kick)

  1. Heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Brown the pork on all sides. Place it in the slow cooker.
  3. Season the pork with salt and pepper, and cayenne, if using.
  4. Fry the garlic until fragrant.
  5. Add vegetables to the pan and fry for 3-5 minutes until they begin to brown.
  6. Add just enough chicken broth so you can easily scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan.
  7. Pour chicken broth into the slow cooker.
  8. Add vegetable mixture to the slow cooker. Do not stir.
  9. Top the slow cooked contents with chopped bacon.
  10. Secure the lid and cook for 7-8 hours on Low.