November 28, 2011

Roast Beef, attempt #1

For a while now, I had been looking for a nice big chunk of meat that I could prepare in my oven. Why? Let's just say the buffets in Las Vegas back in August got me to appreciate the bigger cuts of meat.
However, cooking a big cut of meat has always scared me a little. After all, it would be a huge shame if I were to ruin it while cooking.. My first attempt at roasting a chicken had been liberating already, next up was cooking up some real meat.
Here's how I did it:

The best cut to find would be prime rib, but I was already more than happy to be able to get my hands on a 2kg piece of roast beef. 2 minutes waiting in line and 34 euros lighter (yes that's quite expensive, but those cuts of meat are hard to find over here), I walked out of the butcher shop, trying to think of ways to prepare it.
After some googling I found an easy recipe that stated that I should bake this for 20 minutes per pound, so I was going to put my roast in the oven for 80 minutes in total.

I preheated my oven to 240 degrees Celsius, then chopped up some carrots and onions and threw them in a roasting pan. I rubbed my roast with Penzey's BBQ 3000 and put it on top of the veggies. I also seasoned the veggies with some dried thyme and ground peppercorns. I then drizzled the whole pan with olive oil and stuck it into the oven. I immediately lowered the heat to 200 degrees Celsius.

After 40 minutes, I basted the roast (at first I didn't know what basting meant, but apparently it's simply scooping some of the meat's juices from the pan over the meat) and after another 40 minutes I took it out. The recipe said I had to let it sit for another 15 minutes or so, so I patiently waited before digging in.

Let me first say, that I really liked the meat. It was very tender, nice and pink on the inside, not overcooked, but you couldn't call it 'medium done' by any means either. (the recipe I followed told me it would be medium for this roasting time..) Plus, the BBQ 3000 alone wasn't enough.
So, next time, I'm going to add bulbs of garlic to the roasting pan, and fresh sprigs of thyme. And I'm going to roast it for 70 minutes in total for a cut the same size I used now. Perhaps a good idea would be to use my meat thermometer, which should give a better indication of the level of doneness. And I need to experiment by using my Dutch oven instead of my roasting pan, I think the Dutch oven would keep it even more moist.
Does anyone have any tips for making roast beef? I'd love to hear them!

November 12, 2011

Survivalrun and Banana pistachio bread

Wow, it's been quite a while since my last post, so I figured it's about time for another recipe! This is one I made last week, and it turned out pretty well. These days I'm into anything with banana...

Let me first tell you what I did yesterday; something completely new for me; a survivalrun! 10 km running and about 28 'obstacles' to tackle along the way. I was really nervous about it because I wasn't sure I could do it, but I ended up loving it. It was hard though and I'm really glad my bf helped me (he was my 'buddy' during the run) because I couldn't have done it on my own.
It took us almost 2 hours and 20 minutes to complete everything, but it actually felt much shorter. I do need to practice a whole lot more to be able to do one of these runs on my own in the future, but I'd definitely love to do one of these runs again!

Here's me doing a swing-over, bf helping me out a little. 
 Umm, yeah, our board flipped over, causing us to get completely soaked.. (I guess the water was around 10 degrees Celsius)
 But we did make it to the other side eventually!
Happy faces right after crossing the finish line :)
It's very different from CrossFit.. You do need a lot of strength, but being able to do some strict pull-ups won't get you there. There's so much more to it.
My next event will be an 'operator WOD' on December 4th. I did one of those back in July and loved it, so I'm already looking forward to this one.

Now, here's the recipe you've been waiting for!

Banana pistachio bread

- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 ripe bananas
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup shelled pistachios
- 1/2 cup raisins -> or cranberries??

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius and grease a loaf pan with some coconut oil.
2. In a bowl, combine almond flour, coconut and baking powder and set aside.
3. Add the bananas, eggs and coconut oil to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
4. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture until well-combined, then stir in the pistachios and raisins.
5. Scoop the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake for approx. 45-50 minutes until golden brown or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
6. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes, then carefully remove the loaf from the pan, cut it up (or eat it as is, I don't care) and enjoy!

November 10, 2011

Paleo Chocolate pudding

After getting a request for a paleofied 'chocolate dessert' I started thinking what to make. I came up with a number of ideas, but the most obvious thing that came to my mind was chocolate pudding.
The easiest way to make this is by using avocado, which I had already tried a number of times, but it never really tasted the way I wanted it to. Since I'm pretty much stuck at home with my cold (my appetite has already returned by the way!), I figured this was the perfect opportunity to do a 'taste test': I made 2 versions of chocolate pudding and tried them both. (I made 1/2 portions so I wouldn't be completely stuffed and feeling nauseous afterwards..)

My biggest problem was finding the perfect way to sweeten it without ruining the chocolate taste. I made one version with banana, which wasn't that good as the banana kind of overruled the chocolate, and another one with dates, which was perfect!
Here's my final recipe:

Paleo Chocolate pudding (serves 1)
- 1 ripe avocado
- 50g (or 3 tbsp) coconut butter
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 5 dates, pitted (or 2-3 medjool dates)

1. Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed.
2. Scoop out the avocado flesh and combine it with the other ingredients in a food processor.
3. Process on high for approx. 1-2 minutes until smooth.
4. Serve with topping of your choice and enjoy!

Carb binging

First of all, I recommend everyone to read this article:

What if you already knew this? Good for you. And if this knowledge doesn't make you carb binge anymore, that's even better.
I, for once, didn't know exactly what happened to my body after a carb binge. I did experience all the symptoms that go with it: nausea, sweating, racing heartbeat. And yes, I knew that those were caused by eating more carbs than I was used to in a short amount of time. Still I didn't know the exact mechanism behind it, until I read the article mentioned above.

And I didn't find out what else it could cause until I ate quite the amount of carbs last Monday and now find myself all sniffy and shaky at home on the couch. All in all, under 30 minutes of eating something I shouldn't, has contributed to this:
- calling in sick at work (which I do not like to do..)
- having a cold (+ headache and tiredness and just a lousy feeling)
- having to cancel a few fun workouts I'd planned
- food not even tasting good anymore
So, was that tub of cashews worth it? Definitely not.
I hear people saying 'but it's just cashews' and 'weren't you on a Whole30?'. Yes, it's just cashews, but I don't digest those properly, and I was on a Whole30 but decided treating myself to (paleo) desserts isn't part of a Whole30 so I better quit and shouldn't start another one until I'm 100% motivated to stick to it.
For now, my goal is to eat when hungry. I'm not consuming any grains, dairy, soy or sugar/sweeteners anyway.

What's your experience with carb binging? Do you often have so-called 'cheat days'? Why do you have them and how do you feel afterwards?
I'd love to hear your opinion about them.

November 3, 2011

Whole30 day 11 & preparing for a survivalrun!

My exam is done. I'm not sure how I did yet (we'll know that in 6-8 weeks) but I was most certainly stressed out because I was nervous before the exam, and afterwards because the questions they asked sometimes just made no sense.
I guess I'm going to have to let it go now and wait for the results.

Now, on to the good stuff. I'm going to get (private!) rope-climbing lessons this weekend!! Awesome!! All to prepare for my very first survivalrun on November 20th. A 10km run, with at least 25 obstacles to conquer, most of which involve rope climbing / hanging / etc. I'm super thrilled I'm going to participate, it's going to be fun (and hard too) and since my race 'buddy' is really experienced when it comes to this kind of stuff, I will get expert advice, tips and tricks at any time during the race.
I'm already nervous as well.. Somehow, I'm convinced that as soon as I jump into a rope, I will slide right back down, not being able to climb any higher. I even dreamt about rope climbing last night..
I'll keep you posted on my progress (or lack thereof..)!

And here are my eats:
Breakfast: leftover bacon-wrapped chicken, and stir-fried kale with shii-take, onion and tomato.
Lunch: 2 burgers and some zucchini fritters (Easy on the go lunch, no cutlery needed! How Paleo..)
Dinner: leftover beef stew and broccoli, to which I added some tamarind paste (made it so much better!!) and topped with cilantro and desiccated coconut.

Halfway through the afternoon I ate a giant apple and a small container of macadamia nuts. (yup, I snacked because I was stressed, not because I was hungry.. It's a good thing I don't have an exam every single day)

November 2, 2011

Whole30 day 10

Finally.. I'm done studying for the day! I started this morning around 8 AM, and finished at 8 PM. Don't get me wrong, I haven't been studying for 12 hours straight (my attention span is way too short to do that) but it still felt like a really long time. My exam is tomorrow, and I hope they'll ask me to do lots of calculations (which is what I'm better at). I hoped exactly the same last time, and guess how many questions were in there that involved calculating? Yup, none...
We'll see what happens, at least I did my best!

The good thing about being finished and having a couple of hours before heading to bed is that, right after posting this, I'm going to send out a few emails, and then.. I'm going to browse my brand new cookbook: Make It Paleo!!
It arrived in the mail today and I'm super excited about it! I already looked at some of the pictures in it (while enthusiastically telling my mom about it on the phone) and it looks great. Can't wait to start cooking from it! It's a shame my meals for Thursday and Friday are pretty much done already, but that leaves me more than enough time to start planning my meals for the upcoming week.

In the mean time, I also managed to go for a workout this afternoon (well, it actually was a priority, but let's pretend I was all about studying today). Here's what I did:
3x5 bench press
6 rounds of: max plyo push ups (using bumperplates), and 20m sprint.

I'd never done plyo push ups before (thanks to youtube, I now know how to do them), but they were fun! And hard.. Really hard. I'm already looking forward to Friday's workout!
First I have an exam to tackle though..

I also took the time to make a few nice meals today (after all, my brain needs food too), I absolutely loved my lunch (thank god for leftovers, going to enjoy those tomorrow!!) and I dinner was really tasty as well. I made a Huge batch of beef stew; including 1,5kg of beef.. That'll easily make 8 servings. I ate one serving today, put one in the fridge for tomorrow, and put the other 6 in my freezer to enjoy at a later time.
Here are today's eats:
Breakfast: the last bits of horse stew (which was nice at first, but by now I'm kinda done with it..) with some  extra spinach and carrot.
Lunch: broccoli and bacon-wrapped chicken, filled with home-made pesto. (sooo yummy!!)
Dinner: Asian-spiced beef stew (with creamed coconut, lemongrass and lots of spices) and some more broccoli.

November 1, 2011

Whole30 day 9

I didn't eat any eggs today! Wow! That's been a really, really long time..
And guess what happened? I don't seem to be satisfied by food as much as compared to when I do eat eggs. While I didn't eat less protein than usual, I did eat a little less fat and that's probably why I still feel like I could eat another meal (shortly after finishing dinner).

Has anyone ever visited the BBC Good Food website? There are so many amazing recipes on there, and most of them can easily be made Paleo-style. I used to buy their magazine every now and then, but since I'm on a budget and the price of 1 magazine (in euros) can feed me for a day, I'd rather choose the food. And instead, I occasionally browse their website for recipes. Works great!

Here are today's meals (it didn't take much inspiration to create these, but I liked them anyway):
Breakfast: thawed horse stew to which I added some pumpkin and kale while heating it.
Lunch: spinach salad with chicken.
Dinner: cabbage and beef burgers

October 31, 2011

Whole30 day 8

What a shame the clock was turned 1 hour back last weekend.. It gets dark really soon now, so the days feel much shorter than they actually are. Soon, I won't seen any actual daylight when I'm outside on workdays. I guess I'm just going to have to get used to it until Spring, when the clock is turned an hour forward again.

My workout went pretty well this afternoon! Double unders were a little easier, and I found out my New Balance Vibrams are awesome for sprints.
Ring dips were hard though! This was the second time I did those, and I needed a rubber band for assistance, but I managed to do 6 rounds of 5 power cleans + 5 ring dips, in 8 minutes. I didn't really feel that tired, but my arms sure did!

Here's what I ate today:
Breakfast: 3 eggs with onion, endive and apple.

Lunch: Spinach salad with tomato, carrot, walnuts, desiccated coconut and olive oil, and a grilled tilapia fillet.

Dinner: Sauteed leek, carrot, pepper and salmon in a tomato sauce with dried herbs and topped with fresh cilantro.

Whole30 day 7

Yesterday was day 7, which means, 1 week down, 3 1/2 to go. Time flies!
I thought I wasn't that sore from Friday's workout, but yesterday I really felt it. This was actually the first time I had sore muscles in my hands! Probably from holding that sledge hammer..
I already feel much better today, so it's time for another workout in a few hours;
8x40m sprint
and an 8 minute AMRAP of:
5 power cleans
5 ring dips
I'm not sure about the power clean weight I'm going to use yet.. I'll just try what feels good before I start with the amrap.

Before I head to the supermarket to stock up on groceries, I'll show you yesterday's meals:
Breakfast: steak tartar with kale, onion and tomato fritatta
Lunch: coconut braised tilapia
Dinner: chicken breast with stir-fried kale with tomato, onions and bacon

I also snacked on slightly too many nuts in the evening.. I don't know why, I guess old habits die hard.

October 30, 2011

Whole30 day 6

Day 6 of my Whole30!
I'm still doing pretty well, despite a major carb crash in the morning. (read: trembling hands, dizziness, sweating...) Luckily some water and a good meal made all of that go away.
I only have 2 pictures to share with you, because I forgot to take a food picture of the dinner I prepared.. People were coming over and I was pretty stressed out so I forgot.
First, here are my breakfast and lunch:
Breakfast: sauteed onion, tomato, carrot and 1/2 apple, topped with an egg (I attempted to make 'eggs in a nest' but couldn't find the pan's lid so my egg was slightly undercooked. Tasted good anyway)
And I also had some tasty beef with it.

Lunch: steak tartar with carrot fritters (carrot, egg, sesame seeds, Italian herbs and some arrowroot) and crispy bacon pieces with kale and tomato (sauteed in bacon fat).

Between lunch and dinner I snacked on just a few walnuts because I was crazy hungry..
Next up was dinner. It took me over an hour to prepare and cook everything, but it was well worth it, especially the good time we had.
I roasted pumpkin slices in the oven (with black pepper and cinnamon), stir-fried zucchini noodles in some coconut oil, and the 'main' dish was meatballs in a thick tomato sauce with onions, bell pepper and lots of Italian herbs. I was quite happy with how everything turned out!
For dessert, I made an apple-blueberry crumble, which was really yummy. Not exactly 100% Whole30 approved, but most certainly didn't contain any ingredients that would cause  insulin spikes.

Coconut Braised Tilapia

Here's another recipe with tilapia. It had been such a long time since I cooked anything with tilapia (I mostly eat salmon these days) and thought it was about time to eat some white fish again. I also found some pumpkin seeds and decided to pan roast them and top my fish with them, that actually turned out really well! If you don't feel like roasting pumpkin seeds, feel free to use some cashews for garnish, that'll make a nice combination as well.
I ate this as a simple lunch, but you could serve it with some more veggies to turn it into a bigger meal. Just be creative!

Coconut Braised Tilapia (serves 2)
- 2 tilapia fillets
- 2 onions, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup thick coconut milk
- 3 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp curry powder
- ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp coconut oil

1. Heat coconut oil in a skillet and fry onions until slightly translucent.
2. Add chopped zucchini and fry for about a minute, then add in the coconut milk, lemon juice, curry powder and black pepper.
3. Bring to a boil and let the tilapia fillets carefully slide in.
4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for approx. 3 minutes, then carefully flip the fish so the fillets stay intact.
5. Simmer for another 3-4 minutes until the fish is cooked and the sauce has thickened.
6. While the fish is simmering, put a frying pan over medium heat and roast the pumpkin seeds until slightly popped and browned. Keep moving the seeds in the pan around to make sure they don't burn.
7. Carefully transfer each tilapia fillet to a plate and top with the coconut sauce and vegetables.
8. Top with chopped parsley and pumpkin seeds, serve and enjoy!

October 29, 2011

Whole30 day 5

Sorry! I'm a day late posting this, but I was kinda busy last night (workout, having fun, etc) so I'm posting it now. Will keep it short though, as I have dinner preps to make! (and a b-day to attend, and much more)
I hope everyone is having as much of a fun weekend as I am!

Yesterday's workout at Breda Strength and Conditioning was fun, nice people, nice WOD, I had a great time!
This is what we did:
Triple tabata:
- sledge hammers
- burpees
- sledge hammers
Sounds easy, but it was pretty intense! (and fun!) I even got hungry afterwards..

Yesterday's meals (lots of leftovers)
Breakfast: diced chicken and 2 egg scramble with spinach, oven roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

Lunch: salmon and sauteed spinach with oven roasted cauliflower.

Dinner: leftover hamburgers with oven roasted cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.

PWO snack: 2 scrambled eggs with some coconut milk, 1/2 apple, some walnuts and lots of cinnamon.

October 27, 2011

Whole30 day 4

Almost weekend.. That's what I've been telling myself today.
Not that things at work are so bad (guess what, work is much more fun when you have energy!) I'm simply looking forward to my weekend. I won't be at home, but I'm sure I'll be able to confiscate a laptop for a short while to blog about my meals.

Over the next 2 weekends, I'll be cooking for some people, and I also want to make them some sort of dessert. So, there are 2 options: I make dessert and don't have any myself, or I create a more or less Whole30 approved dessert (in other words: fruit sweetened) so I can have some too. (guess what, the last option is my favourite) I'd love to make some ice-cream, but my ice-cream maker sucks and refuses to process anything with coconut milk, so that's not an option.

I browsed my recipes and found a few options:

Chocolate avocado pudding
Pumpkin Pie (which I would top with some pecans)
Strawberry banana cheesecake (can probably be made with other fruit than strawberries as well)
Morning Glory Muffins from Paleo Comfort Foods
Peach Crisp from Elana's Pantry (without the agave)

Now, one of my weakest points is choosing. Especially when it comes to food. I simply like all of it. So I ask you for advice!
What to make for dessert??
Or does anyone have any other recipe options that will blow me away and will make choosing much easier all of a sudden? I would definitely appreciate suggestions!
Please leave me a comment :-)

Here's what I ate today:
Breakfast: fritatta with chicken, spring onions and chives, and oven roasted Brussels sprouts.

Lunch: Spinach salad with carrot, raw broccoli stems and grilled salmon.

Dinner: beef stew with slightly charred cauliflower, which I seasoned with some garam masala.

October 26, 2011

Whole30 day 3

I believe the carb withdrawal symptoms are already starting to appear.. Brain-fog, sweating, minor headache.. I hope that's all, and that it'll be over soon. Luckily those symptoms didn't come with cravings! Probably because I eat enough protein and fat with every meal. It's nice to feel like I'm doing something right for my body.
Since my dinner gave me lots of energy again, I went to the gym for another workout:

3x5 overhead squat (30kg)
and 3 rounds of:
100m sprint
25 medball ground to overhead (8kg, they didn't have heavier ones)

Things went quite well, except for the squats.. While I didn't feel weak or anything, and cleaning and pressing the 30kg didn't feel hard, I had difficulty finding my balance. Since you kinda need a proper balance while doing OHS, this went wrong twice. Oops..
I fell on my butt (yes, twice). And yes, everyone stared at me, twice.

Ah well, I do feel like I had a good workout! That's what it's all about.
Now, let's get on with the food part of the day:

Breakfast: 2-egg and salmon fritatta with leftover roasted broccoli and 1/2 avocado

Lunch: Spinach salad with tomato, carrot, avocado and five-spice chicken, drizzled with olive oil

Dinner: leftover burgers and curried cabbage

October 25, 2011

Whole30 day 2

Today, I told some people I eat as much protein from meat/fish/eggs as 500g worth of beef, every day. You should've seen the look on their faces!! Hilarious!
No, I'm not bragging about my diet to everyone who wants to hear. Although I do have the tendency to get overly enthusiastic as soon as I start talking about it, I'm not acting like a sales person who's about to get a raise when he sells just 1 more product. Or at least I try not to. The last thing I'd want is to annoy people with my diet.
Still, I couldn't resist stating this fact and it was so funny to see their reaction!

Alright, on to the point of this post: showing you what I ate on my 2nd day of this Whole30.

Breakfast: leftover salmon and a 2-egg fritatta with broccoli stems and a small avocado, topped with cilantro.

Lunch: Leftover curried veggies from last night and a chicken breast, seasoned with five-spice.
Around 4pm I got really hungry, so I snacked on a hard boiled egg and a tomato.

Dinner: oven roasted broccoli and 2 home-made burgers (with onion, cilantro and lots of spices)

October 24, 2011

A new start, a new Whole30

Today is a good day!

Why? Well, a lot of things happened: my laptop crashed last night (it refused to start) and I got it to work again this morning (with some help), as soon as I heard it make its trusted Windows *pling* sound, I was happy, and even more so when my desktop actually showed up. I only lost 1 important file in the process; my holiday photo book I made last week, but luckily, that's replacable by making a new one. I still need a new laptop though, don't want this to happen again, after all, my loyal companion has already celebrated its 5th anniversary this year. That's at least 80 in human years!

Next, I went to the gym (yes, I had the energy to go to the gym this morning!) for the first day of my new workout routine. I'm going to do a CrossFit WOD 3 times a week; with at least 1 rest day in between. That's it. Nothing else, unless my energy levels go through the roof all of a sudden, which isn't likely to happen.
I started out with some stretching, foam rolling and double under practice.
Then I did this:
5 rounds:
2 min. AMRAP of:
- 4 power cleans @25kg
- max rep 10kg plate slam
1 min. rest

And I ended with some more stretching and doing a few pull ups to see if I could still do those.
- I can still do pull ups after 2 1/2 week of rest
- my Rogue speed rope is awesome (double unders are easier now, but they still require more practice)

Oh, and I started a Whole30. I hear people thinking; didn't you do that 2 weeks ago? Yes, but I gave up after 4 days, and figured today would be a perfect day to start as the Official Whole30 Version 5.0 starts today.
Since I experienced quite some health problems over the last month, I decided I'm tired of being tired and I need to take the best care of my body as I can. A Whole30 seemed like the best way to start. And in order to stick with my plan, I'm going to take lots of food pix again and will show them to you all with a daily blogpost.
What am I hoping to achieve with this Whole30? Stable energy levels throughout the day (and more of it), less cravings and the ability to see food as fuel, not so much something I mentally need. And it would be awesome if I'd be able to fit into my favourite pair of jeans again :)

What did I eat today?
I wasn't hungry at all this morning (snacked on nuts last night, my gut didn't like it) so I only had a PWO meal of a double-egg fritatta.

I sauteed a red onion and some wild spinach, added 2 chopped hard boiled eggs, chives, ground black pepper, and poured over 2 whisked eggs to turn it into a fritatta. Topped with some tomato slices, it made a good meal with lots of protein.
By the way, adding hard boiled eggs to a fritatta is really tasty!!

During the afternoon I scooped out a small avocado, and for dinner I had some grilled salmon with lemony curry vegetables and cilantro.

Since I'm mentioning stuff that made today a good day, I might as well add some more: I discovered why women like to combine Uggs and sweatpants. You can tell me it looks horrible as often as you like, I won't care, since that's the most comfortable combination ever!
I also discovered my love for the TV series Hart of Dixie. I've been lying on my couch all evening, watching 4 episodes straight and sipping green tea. I'm so enjoying my day off!
I hope everyone had as much of a good day as I did :)

October 21, 2011

Italian burgers

This one's for my mom! A recipe for Italian burgers.
I must admit that I still like her Moroccan spiced burgers best of all, but I'm quite satisfied with how these came out. The best thing about burgers is that you can add so many different spice combinations with them, and they always end up tasting great. Oh and they're super easy to make, plus they're hard to mess up, they'll taste better than supermarket-bought burgers anyhow. Every single time.
I guess I've made it clear enough how much I like burgers now, so here's the recipe:

Italian burgers (serves 3)
- 500g ground beef
- 70g tomato puree (approx. 1/4 cup)
- 1 egg
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp dried rosemary
- 2 tbsp coconut oil

1. Throw all ingredients, except for the coconut oil, together in a large bowl and start kneading the mixture with your hands, until well-combined and can be shaped into a ball.
2. Divide the mixture into 6 equal pieces, roll them into balls and press them flat to form burgers. Put the burgers on a plate.
3. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan and fry your burgers over medium heat for approx. 3-4 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through, or a 2-3 minutes when you prefer your burgers pinkish on the inside.
4. Serve with veggies of your choice and enjoy!

October 20, 2011

Apple / pear clafoutis

It's time for a 2-in-1 recipe today!
All because of some experimenting I did over the weekend. On Sunday, I felt like having a snack, browsed around the kitchen and found a few ingredients. Next, I surfed the web for a recipe, found something that contained lots of agave but still sounded good and decided to make it: pear clafoutis.
The only ingredient I didn't have was agave itself though. Since I'm not a huge fan of very sweet cakes and such anymore, I decided to drop the agave from the recipe and tried to make it work.
My clafoutis turned out quite well, although the only problem was that it was slightly undersweetened. (is that a word?) The day after, I visited my mom and told her about my clafoutis that wasn't sweet enough. And before I knew it I was making another clafoutis, this time with apples, made some changes to the batter ingredients and it worked out really well!

So, if you're looking for a dessert that's super easy to make and doesn't fill you up to the brim, you could try making this clafoutis. It doesn't matter if you use apples or pears, use whatever suits your fancy.

Apple / pear clafoutis (serves 2)

- 2 medium apples / 2 pears
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp vanilla marrow (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted over low heat
- 3 eggs
- 6 tbsp coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees Celsius.
2. Wash the fruit, remove the core (you can leave the skin on) and slice into thin slices.
3. In a bowl, combine almond flour, desiccated coconut, cinnamon and vanilla, and stir to mix.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, eggs and coconut milk.
5. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, until a smooth batter forms.
6. Divide the fruit slices over 2 small baking pans and pour the batter on top, dividing it equally.
7. Bake for 35-40 minutes until set and golden brown. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving. (or risk some serious blisters in your mouth by caving right in, like I did..)


October 13, 2011

Spinach salad with bacon

Finally, my Blackberry services *seem* to be working again, which means I can upload my food pictures again. What about bluetooth, you may ask, I tried it, and it took my phone much longer than I had patience for, so I decided to just wait for the RIM services to work again.

Enough about phones, last weekend I made this spinach salad and my food tester and me both loved it! How do you make something simple taste good? Add bacon.
Yes, it's that simple.

Now the downside of this, is that I shouldn't be eating too much bacon despite feeling like this could end up in a bacon addiction (darn, I'm intolerant to pork..), and I know there are so many more bacon-addicts out there!
If this sounds familiar, try this recipe for a new way to include bacon in your diet (although you've probably thought of this yourself already), and if you're not too keen on bacon; try this recipe and you may just find yourself to be a bacon addict soon.

Spinach salad with bacon (serves 2-3)
- 3 handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup of roasted pumpkin pieces (just bake a medium pumpkin for 1 hour at 200 degrees Celsius, allow to cool, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and chop it up, no need to peel it!)
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 10 strips of thinly sliced bacon strips

1. Put a frying pan over medium heat and fry the bacon strips until crisp, turning them after approx. 2 minutes. Don't let them burn! Transfer to a plate and allow to cool for a few minutes.
2. In the mean time, gather and chop up the other ingredients and combine everything in a large bowl.
3. Toss to mix, then take your bacon and crumble it over the salad.
4. Serve, and enjoy!