Paleo Caramely Chocolatey Fudgy Thing

choc fudge slice

Inspiration for this recipe came very heavily from something I found on line and I would love to be able to credit where I found it, but I can’t remember!  I have made my own amends, but thank you to whoever pioneered the original recipe 🙂

INGREDIENTS

Caramely Fudgy Layer

1 C cashews, soaked overnight in the fridge in cold water or in hot water for 10 minutes

6 soft, squidgey Medjool dates, pitted

2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp raw cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla extract or essence

Pinch of salt

4 Tbsp almond meal

Chocolatey layer

¼ C coconut oil

2 Tbsp. cacao powder

1 Tbsp. real pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Place cashews, dates, coconut oil, raw cacao, vanilla and salt in a food processor fitted with a ‘S’ blade. Process for 3-4 minutes, scraping the sides as you go along, until the mixture is smooth and sticky

Scoop the fudge mixture out into a square or rectangular tin lined with baking paper recommend you do the sides as well as the bottom. Flatten and smooth the top with a spatula and place the tin in the fridge while you make the chocolate layer.

To make the chocolate layer, gently warm the coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut milk, cacao powder and vanilla in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of warm water until the coconut oil softens and you can whisk the ingredients together in a smooth chocolatey cream.

Take the tin out of the fridge and spread the chocolate over the top of the fudge, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Put back in the fridge for 2-3 hours to firm up and then away you go!

Asian Style Kelp Noodle Salad

kelp salad

Hubby Bear and I had our honeymoon in Thailand and while there were some not so good bits (getting a tummy bug chiefly among them…) we did enjoy some wonderful food, including some amazing salads.

This is my attempt to recreate something similar here in the rather less tropical paradise of NZ.  Now we’re not so big on chilli, but if you are, they were definitely keen on the chilli in Thailand so go ahead and throw some in!!

INGREDIENTS

Salad

1 Cup sliced asparagus (I like mine raw, but you could steam a little if you wanted to)

1 red pepper, sliced (I really love the long, sweet red kind)

1 large handful snow peas or sugar snap peas

1 pack kelp noodles (I get these from IE Produce)

Toasted cashews, for sprinkling

Dressing

2 Tablespoons extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil

2 Tablespoons coconut aminos

1 Tablespoon of honey

1 teaspoon of sesame oil

Juice from half a lime

Teaspoon of grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon of salt

DIRECTIONS

Rinse kelp noodles and submerge them in water while you prep the rest of the salad.

To make the dressing, combine everything in a blender or even just a bowl and mix till well combined.

Drain the noodles thoroughly and then place in a large bowl to assemble the salad.  I find I need to gently tease the noodles out as they tend to clump together quite a bit.  Throw the veges in with the noodles, drizzle everything with the dressing and toss to coat and evenly distribute all the bits and pieces.  Top with cashew pieces for a bit of crunch and enjoy!

Tonight we’re having this with grilled salmon and steamed broccoli 🙂

Paleo Parsley Pesto

pesto

Now hubby bear and I both loved traditional pesto back in the pre-paleo days, but basil has such a short season where we live and it hard to grow even at the best of times and then we went Paleo and parmesan went off the menu.  Pesto just seemed to fall into the far too hard basket… but then I found a recipe for Pesto in Tammy Credicott’s Make Ahead Paleo based on parsley, woohoo!  I modified it quite a bit as the bear family doesn’t do coriander (cilantro) or jalapenos and I didn’t have any macadamias, but oh my, it ticked the boxes alright!  We had it over grilled lamb chops and salad and I think this it’s going to become an absolute staple in our house now.

Since starting to write this blog I’ve become aware just how much I rely on my food processor and my stick blender, what would my great grandmother say?!  From the photos I’ve seen of her she would have gazed balefully at me and exhorted me to “roll up yon sleeves and put a bit of backbone into it lassie!”

Oh dear, I’m definitely a child of our modern era, though having said that I usually have 20 – 30 minutes from when I get home to when baby bear and hubby bear expect to have something tasty to sit down and consume, so anything I can do to help myself deliver is just plain smart I reckon 😉

INGREDIENTS

½ Cup roasted cashews

1 Cup firmly packed with flat leaf parsley

2 cloves of garlic

¼ Cup of cider vinegar

¾ Cup of extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

Optional: I used an extra Tablespoon of water to thin it down, but if you like it to be thick leave it out.

DIRECTIONS

Put everything into the base of your stick blender or bowl of your food processor and blitz, blitz, blitz!  Once everything is smooth, check the consistency and add the water if you feel it needs it.

Store in a glass jar in the fridge for 3 – 5 days.

Raw Raspberry Faux Cheesecake

raw raspberry cheesecake

INGREDIENTS

Base
1 Cup of walnuts
1 Cup of ground almonds
5 medjool dates, pitted
Filling
3 cups raw cashews, soaked in the fridge overnight in enough filtered water to completely cover
1 Cup of frozen raspberries
3/4 Cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 Cup water
1/4 Cup coconut sugar
5 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
Pinch himalayan salt

DIRECTIONS

You can either make this as one big one in a springform cake pan or you can make mini cheesecakes in a muffin tray.

Place the walnuts, ground almonds and medjool dates in your food processor fitted with an ‘S’ blade and process until smooth.  Press into the base of your cake pan or muffin tray and place in the fridge to set.

To make the filling blend the drained cashews, raspberries, lemon juice, water, coconut sugar, dates, melted coconut oil, vanilla essence and salt until completely creamy and smooth.  I can’t achieve this consistency in my food processor with the cashews (I clearly need to get a more powerful one!), so what I do is blitz the cashews, water and lemon juice into a cream with my stick blender and then add to the food processor with the remaining ingredients and process together.  Pour the mixture onto the crust and smooth out with a spatula.

Place back into the fridge to set.  If you’re making this in raspberry season it would be divine with some fresh raspberries roughly crushed over the top, but I’m not in fresh raspberry season just yet unfortunately, so we’ll all just have to imagine that bit!

Paleo Raw Carrot Bars with Lemon Cashew Cream

CARROT BARS

I like the idea of raw food, but other than salads, it all seems a bit hard.  This however is a doddle to make and really delicious.  You do need to begin it preferably the night before, but don’t let that put you off.  There’s nothing more strenuous involved than covering some nuts in water and leaving them in the fridge.  I find I leave things in the fridge most nights (my phone, baby bear’s toothbrush etc.) so I felt like I was fulfilling my destiny making this 😉

INGREDIENTS

Carrot Bars

1 Cup roughly chopped carrots

2 Cups of walnuts

½ Cup raisins

½ Cup medjool dates (make sure the pits are removed)

½ Cup desiccated coconut or as I did, Banaban Coconut Crunch

1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds

2 Tablespoons liquid honey (go for one with a fairly mild flavour)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Lemon Cashew Cream

1 ½ Cups of cashews soaked overnight in filtered water and then well drained

Finely grated zest & juice from a lemon (preferably organic as you’re going to be eating the skin)

¼ Cup coconut oil, melted

2 Tablespoons liquid honey, again mild flavour

2 Tablespoons almond or coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Place the carrots into the bowl of your food processor fitted with an ‘S’ blade.  Process them until they’re in small chunks, you don’t want them to become mush.

Add in the walnuts, dates, raisings, coconut, sunflower seeds, honey, vanilla extract and spices and process until the mixture starts balling together.

Tip into a rectangular baking dish lined with baking paper and press down to bring it together.  Place in the fridge while you make the cashew cream.

You could make the cashew cream in your food processor, but I find I get a better result (smoother and creamier) when I use my stick (immersion) blender.  Whichever one you’re going with place all the ingredients in and blitz away until the mixture is as smooth and creamy as you can get.

Remove the bar mixture from the fridge and top with the cream.  Return to the fridge and chill for at least 2 hours to set.

This is a bit more robust than some of the raw/paleo slices I’ve made in that it can last outside of the fridge for a little while, but it’s really best chilled.

Enjoy!

Paleo Pumpkin Butter Chicken

chicken curry

One of our favourite takeaways pre-Paleo days was an Indian curry, but I think this version is a great replacement.  Plus it ends up being almost as quick as I pre-make my curry paste in bulk and freeze it portioned off in jars, so all I need to do is pull a jar out of the freezer the night before and voila ready to go!  Just like a bought one, but better and cheaper!

Don’t be put off by the quantity of ingredients. My recommendation is to seek out your local Indian grocer (they usually have bulk bins of spices) and stock up.  You don’t need to outlay any money to store them either, I wash used glass jars and store all my spices in them in the pantry and my paste mixes in them in the freezer.

INGREDIENTS (makes four serves)

Curry Paste

½ a brown onion

1 large clove of garlic

1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon turmeric (great anti-inflammatory)

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon curry powder – I get mine from an Indian grocer, spices only, no fillers

Chili powder – add as you enjoy, we like things pretty mild, so only go with a ¼ of a teaspoon

1 teaspoon of salt

1 pottle of tomato paste

Curry

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

1 double chicken breast, skin off and chopped into chunks

1 can of coconut milk (I like the TCC brand)

1 bunch of kale or silverbeet, shredded

1 Cup of button mushrooms, sliced

To Serve

1 Cup of roasted cashews

1 quantity of spiced roast pumpkin (see recipe in archive)

DIRECTIONS

To make the curry paste, add all the ingredients to your food processor or cup of your stick blender and blitz until pastey.

Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy based pot (with lid) and gently fry the curry paste for around 10 minutes (this is sautéing the onion and garlic and lightly toasting the spices to release their fragrance).  Then add in all the remaining curry ingredients except for the kale and simmer gently for half an hour, then remove the lid and continue to simmer for another half an hour to ensure the sauce reduces.  Add the kale 10 mins before you’re ready to serve so that it just wilts down and doesn’t become stewed.

To serve, spoon the curry over some of your roasted pumpkin and sprinkle over some of the roasted cashews, delish.  I personally don’t like fresh coriander, but people who do, assure me that some of that sprinkled over at this stage is pretty fine as well.