Tag Archives: colour

Lettuce wraps with savoury mince.

An easy and quick meal option that is sure to become a family favourite. Free of gluten, preservatives, colours and flavours, this Paleo high healthy fat meal will definately satisfy.

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A colourful and healthy meal.

This mince can accommodate a range of vegetables so it can easily be a way to use up left overs that you have in the fridge. I used capsicum as it adds a nice colour to the mince, plus sweet potato and celeriac for their lovely flavours. The lettuce used is Cos Lettuce as it has a nice flavour and shape which is easy to wrap around the food. I added cold pressed oil, avocado and grated carrot when plating up and this could vary depending on your tastes. I like to add lots of healthy fats to my meals and this is best done after the meal is cooked so the fats are in their healthiest state.

Ingredients: Mince

1 kg grass fed beef mince

1 brown onion-diced

1/4 celeriac-diced

1 small sweet potato-diced

1/2 small green capsicum-diced

1/2 small red capsicum-diced

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 1/2 cups home made stock (I used chicken stock as that is what l had just made but beef would be good)

1 tablespoon organic tomato paste

A few splashes of Coconut Amino Sauce

Seasoning: Pink rock salt, black pepper, dried cumin and dried cinnamon to suit your tastes. You could also add some chilli (fresh or dried) if you like it spicy.

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I used a pan that has a lid and l find this helps the mince and veggies to cook through. It also helps to keep it moist. 

Method:

Place the coconut oil into a medium heated pan and brown the mince. Add the chopped onion, celeriac and sweet potato. Place the lid on and let it all cook through. Add the stock in small portions while the mince is cooking. It will be absorbed and this is when to add more. Add the spices, tomato paste, coconut aminos and capsicum and let the whole mixture cook on a low heat. The whole cooking process takes about 30 minutes and a small taste test at this point will ensure that it is cooked and that you have the flavours right.

Serve the mince on lettuce leaves and top with any accompaniments that you like such as cold pressed oils and raw vegetables. This mince is very nice eaten cold the next day as the flavours develop.

The mince you use is very important and if you can purchase grass fed beef this will be the healthiest option for you. I have found a local wholesale butcher and this is the meat that l purchased today, most of which will go into the freezer.

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Beef ribs, Black Angus sausages, Beef roast, Eye fillet, Porterhouse steaks and mince (All grass fed). 

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Green smoothies: A masterpiece every time!

A few hashtags to describe a green smoothie!

#nutritious #fibre #filling #colourful #healthy #fun #vegetables #fruit #raw #vitamins #minerals #antioxidants #tastesamazing #healthychoice #green

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Filled with green goodness.

Mental and practical roadblocks people use to not have a green smoothie in their life.

It it scary to drink a green smoothie

I don’t want to drink vegetables, especially green ones

There are things in there l won’t like

I’ve never had a chia seed

I don’t have a blender

The ingredients are expensive

It will taste awful

I’d rather have a normal fruit smoothie

Do any of these sound familiar? They can all be overcome if you can think out side of your comfort zone. If you don’t have a blender they can be purchased very cheaply or you can borrow one, and if you grow your own green leafy vegetables that is another one crossed off the list.

Take the plunge and try a simple recipe for your first smoothie that is guaranteed to be delicious. You can even leave the chia seeds out.

Cos lettuce (fill up half the blender with this, but make sure it is well washed), one small banana, one navel orange, 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional), some fresh mint and enough plain coconut water to give a good consistency to drink or you can eat it with a spoon.

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Just pile all of the ingredients into the blender and process. Pour it into a glass and enjoy!

 

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An amazing colour with a wonderful sweet flavour.

A green smoothie is different to a green juice. A juice has most of the fibre removed and is much lighter to drink and digest. When l was very unwell last year l loved having a green juice as the nutrients were quickly and easily broken down and absorbed for use in the body, whereas a smoothie was too heavy for me and l just couldn’t digest them.

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A green juice made with the Cold Pressed juicer.

Part of the joy of drinking a green smoothie is that it is green!

A green smoothie can quickly turn a not so nice colour if you add certain ingredients to it such as raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. It could go a brown colour and will taste great, but won’t look so appetising.

Choosing your ingredients:

1. Start by picking your choice of greens. You can have just the one such as cos lettuce, kale, spinach or silverbeet or a mixture. Cos lettuce is so sweet and lovely and l love the smaller green spinach leaves.

2. What liquid are you going to have in your juice? I would advise either plain coconut water or filtered water.

3. Choose the fruit you are going to add. This could be banana, apple, peach, apricot, pear, mango, pineapple, orange and mandarin as examples. Citrus is wonderful as it will help your body absorb the iron from the greens.

4. Add a few interesting things to your smoothie. Limes and lemon’s with the skin on will give the smoothie a kick, while fresh ginger and herbs such as parsley and mint will help to enhance the flavour.

5. Add additional nutrients such as chia seeds, green powders or nuts.

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This smoothie has lots of greens, a few strawberries, chia seeds, activated almonds, orange and filtered water.

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This was such a filling smoothie and there are speckles of red through it from the strawberries.

A way to combine a green smoothie with a more colourful ingredients and still have it looking good is to have some fun putting it together as in the one below. Both the green and pink sections tasted wonderful, but when mixed together were a not so nice brown colour.

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A green smoothie with a dash of colour!

The green section is cos lettuce, banana, green apple and coconut water. The pink layer is strawberries, blueberries, acai berry powder, chia seeds, banana and coconut water. I make the green part first and pour it into two glasses and wash the blender, then make the pink part. The decorative pointy bits l do with a stainless steel straw and it looks nice to drink!

A smoothie can easily be a meal if you add in good sources of protein such as chia seeds and nuts. I drink them slowly as it is a lot of liquid going into the stomach all at once and adding the nuts and chia seeds make it a bit heavier and thicker as well as slowing down the digestion of the sugars in the drink. Sometimes l have a handful of nuts with the smoothie if it has a lot of fruit in it and this balances out the snack.

The best way to get started on your smoothie adventure is to fill up your fridge with lots of healthy fresh food. Here is a quick snapshot of my fridge as it looks most of the time.

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I really need a bigger fridge!

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Golden rissoles with a colourful mash

A healthy twist on some old favourites in a recipe which is gluten, dairy and processed sugar-free. There are so many wonderful ingredients in this meal and the cooking methods of almost dry baking and steaming are very healthy and help to retain the nutrients in the food. I have used quinoa flakes in this recipe and if you are a strict Paleo follower you can leave them out, but l don’t mind having them now and again.

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There is so much goodness in this meal.

These golden rissoles were so crunchy and delicious. I made them early in the day and had them ready on the tray so that when dinner time came l just had to place them in the oven and steam the vegetables for the mash. I didn’t coat the rissoles in anything such as a flour before baking as is normally the custom and just drizzled a tiny amount of olive oil on them. They turned the most beautiful golden colour when cooked and had a delightful flavour from the spices, herbs, nuts, seeds and vegetables. The mixed vegetable mash is a new favourite of mine and had some crunch from the addition of pumpkin seeds and a lovely spicy taste as well.

Golden rissoles:

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The processed mixture should look like this. It sticks together well, but isn’t overly wet or dry.

Feel free to add or delete any ingredients that you don’t have as rissoles are very flexible in what can be used in the mix. You can also make them spicier or use more meat than l have depending on your tastes. This particular mixture was amazing in that it stuck together, and when cooking, the rissoles held their shape and didn’t split in half or have bits breaking off which is often the case with rissoles, especially ones that don’t have a lot of meat in them. The spices used in this recipe are all the dry ground versions and try to use organic versions if you have them. I also used activated almonds which are quite moist, and if you use raw almonds you may need to add another egg to compensate.

Place the following into the food processor (this mixture made 12 rissoles)

1 washed and roughly chopped free range chicken breast

1/4 teaspoon organic curry powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon ginger

A pinch of paprika

1/4 teaspoon pink rock salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 finely grated carrots

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley

1/4 cup quinoa flakes

1 tablespoon black chia seeds

2 free range eggs

2 spring onions roughly chopped (I don’t use the white parts)

1 cup of activated almonds.

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The mixture was just sticky on my hands, but l was able to roll each rissole easily.

Once the mixture is processed, form into small balls using your hands and flatten slightly as you place them on a tray lined with baking paper.

Drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil onto each rissole and cover the whole tray with Aluminium foil. I let mine set in the fridge for a few hours and this may have contributed to them staying in shape so well. Place in a pre-heated 200 degree celsius oven until the tops look golden, then turn over and give them a few more minutes.

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These will be amazing cold the next day.

Making the vegetable mash:

While the rissoles were in the oven cooking l steamed the vegetables for the mash. Into the steamer l placed roughly diced sweet potato (1 medium), beetroot (1/2 of one large or a whole small one) and carrots (2 medium carrots). Steam the vegetables until just done to preserve nutrients and them place into the food processor with a cup of activated pumpkin seeds, pink rock salt, black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon organic cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon organic curry powder (or similar). Process until it all looks blended but not smooth as this is a rustic mash with lots of texture.

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I served the meal with steamed brussel sprouts but you could have any vegetable on the side. The green is a nice contrast to the colours in the mash though.

This is a lovely family meal and l love it when there are left overs for the next day. I used to always think a mash had to be potato and then on the Paleo diet l switched to sweet potato mash, and now l just think the possibilities are endless and that l can have a rainbow of vegetable mash!

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Eat a fresh rainbow everyday!

Better than medication

Let nutrition be the focus of our eating habits.

There are so many ways to add colour to your meals, but the best way is to include a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables in your daily diet. The health benefits of eating a diet filled with a rainbow of colours is well known, but as l have tried to incorporate more vegetables into every meal, l have discovered the joy of eating food that is a range of bright colours. Not only are the range of flavours so amazing, but eating fresh colourful food is exciting, motivating and makes me feel happy.

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A green pancake for breakfast. Paleo recipe, gluten, dairy and sugar free filled with loads of parsley, bok choy, spinach and kale. Topped with activated almonds, organic coconut flakes and organic maple syrup. Served with fresh avocado and a daily magnesium drink.

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Breakfast pancake topped with fresh fruit, activated walnuts, coconut flakes and organic maple syrup.

A food as Medicine approach underpins my nutritional motivation, and everything l eat has a purpose and a high nutritional value. Eating a rainbow of fresh, healthy food will ensure you are consuming healthy vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and fibre that will help you on your wellness journey.

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Lunch: A beautiful fresh raw salad.

If your daily rainbow consists of peas, carrots and corn then it is time for a change. Our taste buds can get a bit lazy and are a victim of our comfort zone just like the rest of our habits are. Trying new foods can be challenging and it can take a number of goes at eating a food, or preparing it in a variety of ways before we become accustomed to its taste, texture and how it feels in our mouth when eating. There is also the challenge of learning how to prepare new foods, but if you add one in at a time then it can be exciting and an adventure.

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Lunch: Spiced beetroot & vegetable cauliflower rice, with tuna, avocado, tomato and seeds.

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Lunch: Poached free range eggs & bacon with fresh avocado and carrot strips.

The first step after deciding you want more colour in your food is to buy a selection so it is available for you when preparing meals. If you need guidance, use a recipe that appeals to you as a starting point. I have found Instagram to be an amazing source of inspiration as l can visually see what other people are cooking and eating which helps my motivation to try new foods.

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Cold pressed green juice made from bok choy, celery, green apple, lime and ginger.

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Amazing red juice of beetroot, celery, pear, carrot & fresh ginger.

Take ownership of your food intake and start experimenting with new ingredients. It can be fun and rewarding to sit down to a meal that you have lovingly prepared for yourself and family, especially if it has an array of lovely stimulating colours that gets the family talking about what you have made.

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Dinner: Baked fish on a bed of beetroot noodles with a vegetable stir fry.

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Dessert: Banana, apple & mandarin ice-cream made with the cold pressed juicer and an avocado based chocolate mousse.

I try to make my meals interesting, flavoursome, paleo friendly and highly nutritious. It takes planning, thought, time, motivation and a strong commitment to staying on track when life inevitably throws a few challenges into the mix. I live in a busy household with a husband and three children who are mostly non-paleo. This is a major challenge for me and l am educating them, but this nutritional and lifestyle path that l am following is not without its challenges.

Top tips:

  • Take an interest in what you are eating. Help with the shopping and cooking and plan your meals.
  • Be prepared. Have a plentiful supply of fresh fruit and vegetables in the house.
  • Try to incorporate colour into every meal, ideally by using mostly vegetables and some fruit with a focus on raw or lightly cooked where possible.
  • Have a positive attitude to trying something new and do some research by looking at magazines, online or speak to a friend who inspires you. Better still, study Nutrition as l have done!
  • Take it slowly. Change is difficult and our old habits are comfortable and easy to fall back into when a challenge comes our way. Slowly form new habits and incorporate them into your daily life.
  • Have fun with it! Go to local markets and explore. Experiment in the kitchen with the fresh ingredients.
  • Have a good attitude. See it as a diet of abundance rather than a diet of deprivation.
  • Think of your short and long term goals and make every bite you take a nutritious one.
  • Eat because you are hungry! Cut out the emotional, social, bored or habitual eating.

Follow these tips and you will be on the road to a healthier you!

If you have enjoyed this post please share it with a friend. I post daily on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with pictures of the food l prepare and eat, as well as a few wellness tips and healthy resources. Thank you Carolyn

Having fun with your smoothies!

I have been experimenting with my smoothies lately and it has been great fun. I am alternating the smoothies with juices and love how the flavours change with the addition of a different ingredient and am amazed at the colours that can be produced from using fruits such as berries or vegetables like Bok Choy. I like to use the fruits and vegetables which are in season and l only add filtered water to my smoothies as l don’t drink any kind of milk.

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Colourful, delicious and nutritious.

I have been layering my smoothies to make them look more attractive and experimenting with different ingredient combinations. The smoothie above has three layers that l mixed around with the straw. The red layer is frozen raspberries and water, the green layer is cos lettuce, pineapple, green apple, banana, black chia seeds and water. The yellow layer is cantelope and mandarin. All of the layers were really nice.

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Love the colour!

The ingredients in this one are spinach, cos lettuce, pineapple, banana, green apple, black chia seeds, mint and filtered water.

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A fun looking smoothie!

This smoothie needed to be mixed to drink, but the layers added some fun to it. The green layer is cos lettuce, spinach, mint, green apple and water, while the yellow layer is mandarin, black chia seeds and water.

An interesting smoothie!

I love the layers!

This smoothie was so much fun to make and l had to mix this one to drink it also. The green layer is cos lettuce, green apple, mint and water. The yellow layer is orange, banana, chia seeds and water, and the top layer is cherries, raspberries and water.

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Both the colours had an amazing flavour.

I made this smoothie today and it was a joy to drink as both of the colour combinations had a divine flavour. The green half is cos lettuce, green apple, parsley, banana and water. The red half is blueberries, blackberries, pineapple, black chia seeds and water.

Have some fun with your smoothies and experiment with different flavours. Add in fresh ginger, herbs from the garden, lemons and limes. They are filled with so many nutrients and lots of fibre. Try to have a mix of green vegetables and fruit so the sugar load isn’t so great and just one glass is a good amount. Enjoy!

I am on Instagram at holistic_paleo and Twitter at Holistic Paleo@carolynlgray

Morning pancakes- Paleo (dairy, sugar and gluten free)

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Berries galore!

I really enjoy my morning pancake and make a new batch every few days. I have a base recipe that l add different ingredients to including frozen berries, sweet potato, carrot, pumpkin, apple and cinnamon. I usually top them with activated walnuts and maple syrup.

Base Recipe:

1 cup organic coconut flour

1 cup organic buckwheat flour

1/2 cup organic quinoa flakes

1 tablespoon black chia seeds

4 free range eggs

Flaked almonds (optional depending on what else you are adding)

Lots of filtered water (The quinoa flakes and chia seeds will soak up the water so you will need to make it a bit too moist to start with and let it sit)

To this basic mix you can make:

Berry pancakes by adding blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries as examples. You could have just one type of berry or a mix. You can blend this up to make a really colourful pancake or use whole berries. You can also keep the mix plain and add the berries to the pancake when in the pan which will stop the colour bleeding into the mix and keep the berries fresh. Frozen berries are good for this purpose.

Apple & cinnamon pancakes by adding one or two green apples with a good teaspoon of cinnamon.

Sweet Potato by grating a medium sweet potato into the mix

Carrot & Pumpkin by grating some of each of these into the mix.

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Apple & cinnamon!

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Grated carrot, sweet potato or pumpkin is a delightful addition to the mix.

If the mixture is quite firm you can make a ball in your hand and then flatten it and place in the pan. If it is moist then use a spoon and shape it into a neat circle in the pan. I use olive oil to cook my pancakes and have a tub of activated walnuts in the fridge. In the morning l just take the pre-prepared mix out of the fridge, cook it up and add my toppings within a few minutes. I try not to run out of mix in the mornings and make it the night before. Eating a pancake without gluten, sugar or dairy does take some getting used to but our taste buds adapt very quickly and l find these pancakes very satisfying and filling.

If you have enjoyed this post please share with a friend. I share daily recipes and wellness tips on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and would love you to follow me on these media. Thanks  Carolyn