Tag Archives: grain free

Foraged wild garlic soup

I’m not working on Monday’s at the moment and I wanted to do something fun with my kids today, and I wanted to cook with wild garlic. Yesterday a friend told me about a secret spot not far from home with a great big patch of wild garlic, so we, myself and my two little helpers, headed down there this morning to pick some.

Half of our haul being washed

Half of our haul being washed

It was a lovely sunny morning and we had a nice walk down there stopping off on the way for some coffee and hot chocolate from a local cafe. We headed down to a small wooded area really right in the middle of our town. Wild garlic grows in woodland areas, the sort of place you’d find bluebells. You have to be a little careful what you are picking because it does look quite similar to other members of the allium family like Lily of the Valley which is not edible, but in fact toxic. The easiest way to tell is to pick a leaf and rub between your fingers, there is a definate aroma of garlic there if it’s the right stuff! The garlic we picked was not in flower but you can also eat the flowers of wild garlic.

A typical field of wild garlic

A typical field of wild garlic

So today’s lunch is wild garlic soup. Now I know I’m mostly paleo but this has to be an exception and so I’ve got a lovely loaf of bread, local bakery too.

Just after blending

Just after blending

You need:
Two large handfuls of wild garlic leaves about 200 g
A few potatoes two large or several small I used some that had been hanging around in the back of the fridge for while
2 celery sticks
A bunch of spring onions
Glass of white wine
Chicken stock
Glug of olive oil
Few spoons creme fraiche (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Delicious!

Delicious!

Wash and chop the spring onion, celery and potatoes. Add a glug of olive oil to a large pan and heat, throw in the chopped veg and cook without colouring for a few minutes. Wash your wild garlic well in plenty of cold water and drain. Remove any tough stalks or roots. Add the white wine and  enough chicken stock to cover the vegetables to the pan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook until the potatoes are tender and then add in your wild garlic leaves. Allow them to wilt and cook in gently with the other ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes. Then blend using hand blender until you have a really nice smooth consistency. Stir in the creme fraiche or yoghurt, or omit if you want dairy free. Taste, adjust seasoning and serve with crusty fresh bread (or not!).

Banana pancakes, a breakfast revelation.

Quick share this morning of another super quick, tasty and incredibly easy breakfast a few friends have mentioned they enjoy.

pancake cooking

You need:
One banana
One egg
Dollop coconut oil

Mash you banana and beat in the egg. Heat a small pan and add a dollop of coconut oil, less than a teaspoon in enough. Scoop a scant quarter cup of the banana mix into the pan and fry until set then flip and cook until done. About 1 more minute.

Delicious protein rich breakfast and not a cereal in sight. Took the same time as toasting a slice of frozen bread, I did both together.

UPDATE: Following on from the comments, today I added a pinch of cinnamon a couple of drops of vanilla extract and a squeeze of honey, delicious and no toppings needed! Thanks for the ideas.

a cooked pancake ready to eat

A flash in the pan breakfast

When I tell people about Paleo eating one of the first things they usually ask is “but what do you eat for breakfast?”. Our current eating habits are so based around cereal products in the morning it’s often hard to image what you could eat that is quick and easy and doesn’t contain wheat, grains, sugar and milk whether it be toast and jam or cereal and milk. They also usually think it won’t fill you up.

I’ve pretty successfully ditched wheat based breakfast and there are a whole host of options out there. Anyway, I just thought I’d share this mornings’ quick and easy offering with you.

pan scramble

This took a grand total of 4 minutes to prepare, so no more “I don’t have time to cook” excuses, it takes at least that long to toast a piece of bread and spread it with butter and jam!

As always, if you are doing strict paleo just omit the cheese! I used raw unpasteurised Keen’s Cheddar as I have decided that unpasteurised cheese is healthy in small doses and it add’s great flavour.

½ an avocado peeled and chopped
2 or 3 slices of wafer thin sugar free, sulfite free organic (preferably) ham
1 egg
1 tbsp olive oil or ghee
small handful of raw cheese, grated
seasoning/herbs/spices

Heat a small frying pan and add the oil or ghee. Add in the avocado and mash up a bit which gets easier as it warms up. Add in the ham and toss until warm, then break the egg into the pan and scramble with a fork, mix in the cheese if using, season with salt, pepper, chillies to taste.

I ate mine from the pan, saves on washing up!

chilli mills

I like a bit of a chilli kick in the morning and on the Frome Artisan Market this weekend I bought some new seasonings from The Wiltshire Chilli Farm. I love to support local business and they had an amazing range of very tempting seasonings, sauces, dips and more. I chose these lovely grinders as I know we’ll use them often. They were £5 for the Lemon Chilli Pepper and £4 for the Chipotle Chilli Salt which I thought was a bargain as the grinder was included too. I just hope they start doing refills! They were delicious and added a nice spicy kick to my breakfast.

Tricolour “chips”

It’s Thursday night, Thursday is the new Friday don’t you know. I fancy a burger and chips, but, you know, we don’t do normal burger and chips here 😉

blue potatoes

In my root veg drawer I had some sweet potatoes, parsnips (fairly ordinary so far I hear you say!) and some Bleu Auvergne potatoes which are a marvellous little purple tuber. These 3 roots are tonights “chips”. I don’t fry them either. Just chop them chunky and roast in the oven. Sweet potatoes have lots of great nutrients in and colour variety is a great way to make sure you’re getting a healthy balanced diet.

Preheat your oven to 200°c. I used one large sweet potato, one chunky parsnips and a handful of blue potatoes, which made just enough for 2 adults. Peel them all and cut them into thick chips.ready for the oven Put a little olive oil in a roasting tin and throw in the roots then drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with some sea salt. I always used to use Maldon Sea Salt but recently I’ve been converted to Cornish Sea Salt its softer and finer, easier to crumble between your fingers.

I baked them in the oven for 40 minutes. Take them out about every 15 minutes and toss them using a fish slice or similar, this helps to prevent sticking to the tin. When they are soft all the way through and a little crispy on the outside, remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little more salt to taste.

hot plate

I cooked up a couple of homemade burgers to go with it, topped with Keens Cheddar and some spicy jalapeno relish, and some peri peri mayo on the side. Delicious, no grains and fills your right up, although, I suppose technically even blue potatoes is cheating a bit!

Grain Free Breakfast Pancakes

My family love pancakes for breakfast, not the big flat English kind but the fluffy American kind. It’s become a bit of a Saturday morning thing, we cook up a massive batch of pancakes and my parents come over and we have a family breakfast.

juicy berries

We like them with maple syrup, oodles of berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries) and streaky bacon or pancetta. Berries are really great paleo food, they taste great and they are not naturally high in sugar, more variety and more colours means more goodness too.

We try to buy bacon that has no added sugar and no strange chemical sounding preservatives, preferably organic, but it can be pretty tricky. Most places add sugar (which I found insane) and unless you can find someone who cures their own most bacon has nitrates and sulphites in it.

This recipe is in no way paleo, it has a sugar substitute and dairy in it. But you could play around and see what you get, I might have a go at paleo-fying it a bit more! That said, I think that the buttermilk/bicarb combination makes the best pancakes and they are grain (and therefore gluten) free so that to me is a pretty good compromise.

Also I like to use Ivy House Farm buttermilk, they are local, organic, pastured cows (they’ve just returned to the fields apparently!) and there is no other milk like it! See if you can find a great local dairy to supply you. The other thing I really like is none of their produce is homogeonised (so you still get the cream on top of the milk). It is much closer to it’s natural state and I like that. There are about 3 food miles to get it to my house.

Makes enough for 4

300ml buttermilk
1 egg
50g melted organic unsalted butter (grass fed) or 50ml olive oil (the mild kind)
85g finely ground almonds (almond flour)
40g tapioca flour
4g stevia*
3g bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
2g gluten free, cornstarch free baking powder
4g salt

*Stevia – this might sound like a ridiculously small amount of stevia but, you substitute for sugar on a 1/10 basis. Stevia is very light but reasonably bulky and 4g was certainly enough.

Edit: This is also really nice if you use half tapioca flour and half coconut flour and coconut flour contains lots of really good stuff!

Heat one or more frying pans or a flat griddle if you have one. Pop a plate in your oven and preheat to 100c, this is for the pancakes to keep warm while you cook them.

Combine all of your dry ingredients in a large bowl, give them a quick whisk.

Lightly beat the egg and add the buttermilk and melted butter or oil.

Pour your wet buttermilk mix into the dry mix and whisk well until smooth.

Using a 1/4 cup measure (60ml or two tbsp) pour a scant 1/4 cup into a hot dry pan. You do not need to oil your pans for this. In a large frying pan you might fit 2 pancakes but don’t try to squeeze too many in. I usually have 2 small and one large pan on the go to cook as quickly as possible.

pancakes cooking

As the pancakes sets and start to get air bubbles around the edge flip over using a fish slice (or other spatula), the pancakes should be a smooth golden brown (you can take a peek and check while you learn the signs). Cook for a few more second and adjust the heat of your pan accordingly so they don’t burn but cook reasonably quickly. When golden on the bottom, pop them onto the hot plate and keep in the oven until you are done.

Serve warm with maple syrup and whatever you like! Delicious.

Paleo friendly Pizza base

I love pizza, but, I do struggle to find pizza to eat at home that I really like. I’m not that keen on shop bought pizza, never seems to taste that great, and unless I am on a massive junk/gluten binge I’m not keen on Domino’s either.

My inspiration for this recipe came from Clean Eats in the Zoo but I modified it to suit me and also I found Shanti’s version to be very wet, but maybe I got the measurements wrong!

We topped it with a simple shop bought pasta sauce, although I did have some home made sauce in the freezer I decided not to defrost it as I had some sauce open, some grated mozzarella although you can exclude or use your preferred dairy free alternative, pepperoni slices and green and black olives.

It took about 30 minutes from start to table and was universally acclaimed as a success! It was even good cold in London at a demo the next day. I personally preferred it to any shop bought pizza I’ve ever tried.

Some of these recipes use ingredients that I have found expensive or hard to buy in large quantities needed in UK supermarkets or local stores. Where relevant I have included links to what I buy.

Preheat your oven to 220c

1 1/3 cups ground almonds (the finer the better)
2 cups tapioca flour
2 tsp gluten free (maize starch free) baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil (I used extra virgin)
2/3 cup water

Mix dry ingredients together. Make a well in the middle and add water and olive oil. Using a wooden spoon gently combine the wet and dry ingredients to form a soft dough.

base ready

Base after 10 minutes in the oven

Oil a large baking sheet liberally with olive oil using your hands and keep your hands well oiled. Turn the dough out onto the baking sheet and with well oiled hands press out to form an even base. I made mine rectangular and filled the baking sheet but you can make it round if you prefer. Re-oil your hands as needed to stop the dough sticking.

ready to eat

Put into the hot oven and bake for about 10 minutes. The base should be risen and light golden brown. Mine was slightly cracked too, that is ok.

Remove from the oven and add your toppings. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes or until the pizza is done, the cheese is bubbling if you are using cheese.

Enjoy!

Now with added pictures – tried again just to make sure it was still as good and it was another resounding success!