January 30, 2011

Coconut brownies

Coconut brownie

My last bake for the next couple of months.. So I made sure it's a good one!
I wanted to get rid of the chocolate I had left so I figured I'd make brownies; coconut brownies. Yum!
It's only got 6 ingredients and you've got yourself a wonderful dessert or Sunday treat.
They have a rich chocolate taste, with a crunchy coconut texture, while still a bit moist on the inside.

Tilapia stir-fry with prunes

Tilapia stirfry with prunes

Here's an easy recipe, it looks a little like my Chicken and parsnip stir-fry but I used different spices. Both versions are different, but taste equally well.
I've been doing a lot of reading about Paleo and primal diets this morning and I've learnt a lot. I figured out what I'm doing wrong so far: I haven't only gained weight, I've also gained a carb addiction, again..
So I should eat less carbs and I need some more protein as well.
Where am I loading up on carbs, I asked myself. For breakfast, I usually include a banana and an apple, those are pretty high in carbs. Some berries would be better. Or just save the fruit for another meal. Because when my breakfast is more or less digested, halfway through the morning (I hardly ever make it through to lunch), I tend to crave carbs, and eat an apple or something like that. The same thing happens in the afternoon, I get tired and get myself a piece of fruit.

January 29, 2011

Paleo food(ie) in Amsterdam

Eating Paleo in Amsterdam isn't that hard to do at all. There are lots of health food stores and fresh meat, fruit and veggies is widely available.
Today my mom and me went there to do some serious shopping (and we succeeded!) and besides that we bought quite a lot of food, Paleo food.

Easy Paleo Breakfast

Easy Paleo Breakfast

Here's an easy Paleo breakfast dish for everyone to enjoy. It's got lots of protein and it's a great way to use some leftover zucchini and a sausage from yesterday's dinner.
I used a sausage with calf meat, which tasted really good. I guess chipolata sausages, or plain beef sausages would be very good in this dish as well.
In a few hours I'll be off on a day trip to Amsterdam with my mom, mostly for shopping, but we're also going to check out if there are good Paleo eating options available. We'll also be going to the farmer's market ('Noordermarkt'), which is supposed to be pretty nice. Can't wait!
But first, I need to pack my bags and I also wanted to dye my hair again, which is going to take a while. So maybe it's a good thing after all that I woke up at 4am and couldn't sleep anymore at all... (I do hope I'll get a much better night sleep tonight..)

January 27, 2011

Pumpkin cookies

Pumpkin cookies

Seems like I ran out of inspiration when it comes to the pumpkin puree I had. I didn't have that much left anymore (only 3/4 cup) so I decided to make my own pumpkin cookie version; inspired by this recipe at Everydaypaleo.com.
I used some banana to sweeten my cookies instead of maple syrup.
They're easy to make, and it doesn't take much time either. They're absolutely delicious, and what I love about these is that they're nice and soft in the center. They make a great snack or could be part of a quick breakfast.

January 26, 2011

Omega beet salad

Omega beet salad

Because I didn't have a clue what I was going to eat tonight, I didn't put anything out of the freezer this morning. When I got home I still didn't know, but then I saw the beets in my fridge and figured I'd eat those. Grating them pretty much took care of a pink/purplish paintjob in my kitchen (luckily I got it off everything, except for my hands).
I also remembered having some canned fish in my pantry so that made an easy source of protein and healthy omega fats as well, the coconut oil I used also adds a little to the omega fat content of this dish.

January 25, 2011

Quick cauliflower and delicious spice mixes

Quick cauliflower

Yesterday I finally got the time to cycle all the way to another supermarket (in a nearby city) to get myself some new spices. I'd seen them somewhere else, but didn't think about buying them while I was there..

January 24, 2011

Chicken and parsnip stir-fry

Chicken parsnip stir-fry

Guess what? They had more parsnips at the market today! And finally some good looking coriander leaves too. I had been waiting for that for over a month already, so of course I bought a bunch.
Doesn anyone have any ideas on how to freeze coriander leaves? I don't have a clue how to do that..
Besides those I also got some big zucchinis (I want to make some new dishes with those, so if anyone has some ideas?), cauliflower, broccoli, lemons, avocados, apples, bananas, chicory, carrots and onions. At the supermarket I got myself lots of organic beef; chipolata sausages, beef strips, ground beef, and some chicken fillet and calf meat sausages. I've never eaten calf meat before, so I hope they'll be good! The only thing I forgot to buy is fish.. But I guess I'll get that another time this week.

January 23, 2011

Apple omelet recipe, and a new frying pan!

Apple omelet

When you're not at home for breakfast and the people you're staying aren't Paleo, it sometimes is hard to make something that suits your diet. Most people have something that involves lots of grains for breakfast, and when the groceries still need to be done you have yo get creative in order to stick to your diet.
Below, there's an easy recipe to make with ingredients most people have at home, I used apples and eggs, and some cinnamon. This is an ideal breakfast recipe for people who want to get started on a Paleo diet as well. It's still sweet because of the apple, but has a lot of protein because of the eggs and by far not as much carbs as the usual sandwich, muffin or bagel.

When I got home today I found a few bags with vegetables (winter carrots, leeks and beets, yum!) in my hallway and when I went up the stairs to my living room there was a large bag from a cookware store waiting for me! Without me knowing, my parents had visited (unfortunately I wasn't home...) and left me all those things.
In the bag was some tea, trail mix and.. a brand new frying pan!! The most luxurious frying pan I've ever seen, I must say.. I totally love it!
I used to buy a new frying pan every 4 months or so, because the nonstick layer kept getting nasty, greasy spots on it. Even while I cleaned my pan right after cooking every single time! Besides, I'd heard those nonstick layers are poisonous when they're damaged and even when they're intact you might still get small amounts of it in your system. Not something I was keen on getting..
The pan is from the WOLL Induction line. It's pretty heavy and looks very, very durable. It has a titanium coating, which doesn't involve health risks. You can even remove the handle, so you can put it in the oven. How easy is that? I can't wait to start cooking with it really soon! Thank you mom and dad!!

Apple omelet (serves 1)
- 1 small apple, grated or finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp vegetable oil

1. Put the chopped or grated apple in a bowl. Add the eggs and cinnamon and stir until well combined.
2. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and pour in the apple mixture.
3. Reduce heat to medium and fry the omelet for a few minutes until the top is set and the bottom is browned.
4. Flip the omelet and fry the other side for another couple of minutes until the other side has browned as well. Serve warm.

January 20, 2011

Spicy fish cakes

Spicy fish cakes

I made myself some fish cakes today. It had been a while since I made those and I really felt like eating them again. They're pretty quick and easy to make, and they go really well with just about any vegetable.
Today I served them with some of my leftover broccoli garlic soup (without the chicken), but tomorrow I'm probably going to have them with a salad for lunch at work.
Instead of salmon you could use other types of fish too; tilapia, panga, trout or even mackerel. Just what you prefer, but they're delicious anyhow.

Spicy fish cakes (serves 2)
- 250g of salmon fillet, diced
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 2 tsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse together until well combined.
2. Heat coconut oil in a frying pan and drop in large tablespoons of the mixture, flatten them equally with the back of a spoon. You can make 5-6 fish cakes this way.
3. Reduce heat to medium and flip the fish cakes when the bottoms are browned (this only takes a few minutes).
4. After another few minutes, when the other side of the cakes has browned as well, remove cakes from pan and serve them immediately.

They taste great with a salad or a quick vegetable stir-fry. If you don't like your food to be too spicy, only use 1 tsp of Thai red curry paste, instead of 2.

January 19, 2011

Broccoli garlic chicken soup

Broccoli garlic chicken soup

It's been a -long- while since I last made soup. I'm not exactly a soupy kind of person, but I felt like it today. So I made broccoli chicken soup and added a lot of garlic. I liked the taste, but because I didn't add any salt it takes some getting used to.
Therefore I'd recommend trying it the way it is first, and add some salt to your taste if you want to. That will make quite the difference.
But since Paleo means not adding salt to dishes, I don't even have salt at home.. It didn't even come to my mind that this dish might need some salt!
Anyway, here's the recipe so you can judge for yourself. What do you think; salt or no salt?

Broccoli garlic chicken soup (serves 4)
- 1 large head of broccoli
- 1 onion
- 2 leeks
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 500g chicken fillet
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Bring 1.5l (6 cups) of water to a boil and add chicken fillet.
2. Boil for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
3. In the mean time, cut the broccoli and leeks into smaller pieces. Chop the onion and garlic cloves as well.
4. Heat the coconut oil in a large pan and sautee the onion and garlic, until they start getting soft.
5. Add broccoli and leeks and sautee for approx. 5 minutes.
6. When the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken and add the cooking water to the vegetables in the pan. Bring to a boil.
7. Boil for 10 - 15 minutes, until broccoli is soft. In the mean time, shred the chicken into smaller pieces.
8. When the vegetables are soft, puree the soup in a food processor or with a hand blender until smooth.
9. Divide the soup over 4 bowls and serve with shredded chicken. Enjoy while hot!

January 18, 2011

Parsnip pancakes

Parsnip pancakes

Here's my first attempt using my parsnip banana puree; Pancakes!
They make a great breakfast when still hot, or you can enjoy them as a cold snack. They taste great either way.

Parsnip pancakes (makes 10 pancakes)
- 1 cup parsnip banana puree
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- 2 tsp coconut oil

1. Mix the parsnip puree with the eggs, cinnamon and coconut flour until well combined.
2. Heat 1/2 tsp coconut oil in a frying pan and drop a heaping tablespoon of the parsnip mixture in, slightly flatten it with the back of your spoon.
3. Fry over low heat for about a minute, until the bottom has browned, then carefully turn the pancake with a spatula.
4. After another minute, transfer pancake to a plate. You can fry up to 3 pancakes at a time this way.
5. Repeat process until you've used up all the batter.

Serve hot or cold and enjoy!

January 17, 2011

Celeriac beef stew

Celeriac beef stew

Here's another stew recipe. I had some beef strips in my freezer and wanted to make something good with them. Normally they always end up being too tough when I just stir-fry them, so a stew was a much better option for me.
Luckily Monday is my day off, so I've got lots of time for cooking. While this was simmering I also made some lemon avocado mousse and parsnip banana puree. It also was a nice way of using my celeriac, besides of pureeing it like I did last time.
The stew tastes great, especially when served with a green salad.

Celeriac beef stew (serves 2-3)
- 1 celeriac, peeled and diced
- 300g beef strips
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 3 tbsp almond meal
- 1 tbsp dried green herbs (coriander, parsley, etc)
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan or Dutch oven.
2. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger until the onion is soft. Don't let them burn.
3. Add the celeriac, fry everything for about a minute and add beef and almond flour.
4. Fry for another minute, then add herbs and spices, mix well.
5. Add 400ml water and bring to a boil, cover the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2.5 hours.
6. Remove the lid from the pan and simmer for another 20-30 minutes, until most of the fluids have evaporated and the stew is as thick as you want it to be.

Serve with a green salad and enjoy!

Parsnip banana puree

Parsnip banana puree

Yum, I've found another great way to use parsnip!
At the market, I couldn't resist buying another 1kg bag of parsnips. I also got some bananas, but when I got home, over half of them had soft spots from the transport.. Last time I made parsnip puree with apple, so I figured I might as well make it with banana. This way it tastes even better!
I'm not sure yet how I'm going to use the puree. Eating it just like that is the easiest and most tempting option right now, but I'm going to see what I can make with it. Maybe I'll turn some of it into pancakes tomorrow morning, to have for breakfast.
If you'd add some chopped walnuts and blueberries, it would make a great dessert too.
In the mean time, here's the recipe to make the basic puree, so everyone can figure out their own way to use it.

Parsnip banana puree
- 5 parsnips
- 2 ripe bananas

1. Wash the parsnips, chop off the top and bottom and cut them into equal pieces.
2. Steam the parsnips for 8-10 minutes, until fork tender.
3. Process the parsnips with the bananas in a food processor until you've got a smooth and creamy puree.

Serve on the side, on top of an oven dish or any way you like.
Adding some cinnamon or vanilla will probably make this taste even better!

January 16, 2011

Lemon cauliflower rice with curry chicken

Lemon cauliflower rice and curry chicken

While thinking about what to do with the cauliflower and lemon I had left over, I figured I might as well combine them into one dish. It turned out tasting really well! And even better, it was done pretty quickly. The whole dish, including cutting the chicken and veggies, took me only about half an hour to make.
It's quite different from my cauliflower risotto, because I used less coconut milk (making it less creamy) and of course different spices. To be honest, I think this version is even better and I'm definitely going to make it again.
Tomorrow it's market day again, I wonder what they'll have to offer this time. I'm hoping for more parsnips.. And some good coriander too.

Lemon cauliflower rice with curry chicken (serves 2)
- 300g chicken fillet, cubed
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 heaping tsp curry powder
- 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 leek, chopped
- 1 winter carrot, grated
- 1 apple, grated
- 1 handful of raisins
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 tsp coconut oil

1. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor until you've got a grain-like texture.
2. Heat 1 tsp coconut oil in a frying pan and fry the onion until soft.
3. Add the chicken and fry until browned. Add curry powder and fry until chicken is covered with it. Reduce heat to low and add 1/4 cup of water. Fry for a few more minutes until cooked.
4. In the mean time, heat the remaining tsp of coconut oil in a wok or frying pan and stir-fry the cauliflower, leek, carrot and apple for a minute or so.
5. Add raisins and coconut milk and stir-fry for a few more minutes, until the leek is soft.
6. During the last minute, add coriander leaves, lemon zest and juice and stir well.
7. Serve the lemon cauliflower rice with the curry chicken on top while still hot. Enjoy!

Chocolate coffee cups

Chocolate coffee cups

Every now and then most people will feel like having a comforting dessert on a lazy, rainy Sunday. Well, today is a lazy, rainy Sunday for me. It isn't raining yet, but it looks as if it can start any moment now.
I had already been planning to adapt a recipe for 'chocolate coffee cups' from one of my cookbooks, as the recipe used milk, cream and sugar.
My version isn't completely guilt free (each serving contains a pretty large amount of chocolate) but it does cut out the dairy and added sugar, so it won't spike your blood sugar as much. The recipe also said this makes 4 servings, but I could barely fill 2 small coffee cups out of it; and since I'm not exactly the type of person who likes small portions, I only made 2 servings. (I didn't need more anyway)
They taste absolutely amazing!
If you want to make these more kid-friendly, I suggest adding 2 tablespoons of agave syrup to reduce the bitterness.

Chocolate coffee cups (serves 2)
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 tsp arrowroot
- 1/4 cup strong black coffee, freshly brewed
- 100g dark chocolate (containing at least 70% cocoa solids)

1. Take 1 tbsp of the coconut milk and dissolve the arrowroot in it, in a small bowl.
2. Bring the rest of the coconut milk to a boil in a small saucepan.
3. When boiling, add arrowroot paste and stir vigorously for about a minute so there won't be any lumps.
4. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the coffee and chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has completely melted and a thick, smooth mass has formed.
5. Divide the mixture over 2 small cups and put in the fridge for at least an hour, until set.
Serve with a small spoon and take your time to enjoy every single bite. Yum!

January 14, 2011

Parsnip cake

Parsnip cake 1

It worked! My Magimix grates parsnips so easily! And I'm glad it did because it saves me so much work.. (and painful arms..)
I bought 1kg of parsnips at the market last Monday so I had to figure our a way to use them. Since my parsnip cookies turned out so well last time, I figured I might use them in a cake as well. So instead of a carrot cake, I made a parsnip cake.
It's completely fruit sweetened, by using bananas and raisins, so it's not as sweet as the usual carrot cake. It tastes great though! I absolutely love it! (and I might just keep the whole thing for myself to enjoy ^^)
For a little variation, you could also add some chopped walnuts to the batter.

Parsnip cake 2

Parsnip cake (serves 8)
- 4 ripe bananas
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 2 1/2 cup shredded parsnip (2-3 parsnips)
- 1 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius and grease a round 9 inch springform pan (or cake pan) with some oil.
2. In a food processor, blend bananas, eggs and coconut oil into a smooth puree.
3. Add almond flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and process for 10-15 seconds until you've reached a smooth consistency.
4. Stir in shredded parsnip and raisins until well combined.
5. Scoop the batter into the prepared springform pan and bake in the middle of the oven for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
6. Cool for about an hour and serve.

January 13, 2011

Cauliflower and salmon risotto

Cauliflower salmon risotto

When I saw fresh heads of cauliflower at the market, I immediately thought of making this dish. The first time I made it was over a year ago and ever since it's a favourite to enjoy year round. It's kind of my 'feelgood dish'. (or one of them at least)
'Graining' the cauliflower used to be huge time-consuming crime for me, because I did that in my blender.. So today I tried it with my Magimix, and.. Wow! It was done within 30 seconds and nothing got messy. I love my Magimix!!
The next thing I'm going to use it for is grating parsnips. Let's hope that's just as easy!

Cauliflower and salmon risotto (serves 2)
- 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into smaller florets
- 2 salmon fillets, cubed
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 winter carrot, grated
- 1 apple, in small cubes
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 handful of raisins
- 2 tbsp fresh Italian herbs, chopped
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Pulse cauliflower florets in a food processor until you've got a grain-like texture.
2. Heat coconut oil in a wok or frying pan and stir-fry the salmon cubes until browned.
3. Add spring onions and shallot and stir fry until soft.
4. Add carrot, cauliflower and apple, stir-fry for a minute or so and add coconut milk.
5. Keep stir-frying until you've reached a thick and creamy texture. Reduce heat.
6. Stir in raisins, Italian herbs and pepper and heat for another minute.

Serve hot and enjoy!
Serving options: tastes great with almond slivers and/or dry roasted pine nuts on top.

If you've got some leftovers, this is an easy dish to keep in the freezer, or you could enjoy it cold for breakfast or lunch the next day. (I've tried it, and it works!)

January 11, 2011

Pumpkin beef burgers

Pumpkin beef burgers

I discovered something interesting today! At work, I had to learn the effects of physical exercise on the diffusion capacity of the lungs. Therefore I had to run for 10 minutes on the treadmill. The colleague who helped me liked making it hard, by increasing the speed and she even made me climb a hill on it! So I was a little sweaty afterwards..
Anyway, as soon as those 10 minutes were over, I ran off and tested my diffusion capacity; it was really efficient! Much better than usual.
Now the really interesting part starts: I haven't been tired all day!
Normally I feel a little worn-out after work, but today it seems as if I can do everything super efficiently. My concentration hasn't started to fail me yet and I'm bursting with energy. Wow!
So even though I always cycle to work (5km), a short run in which I reach my maximum heart rate, seems to be so much more efficient to keep me energized all day long. I wish I could do it every day!

Of course, there's a recipe too! I made these pumpkin beef burgers tonight, they were really good and easy to make. Normally hamburgers tend to get a little dry, but by using pumpkin they stayed nice and moist inside. The flavour was really good too, and I'm definitely going to make these much more often!
I served them with a quick curry made out of spring onion, carrot, parsnip and savoy cabbage.

Pumpkin beef burgers (serves 2)
- 250g steak tartare (approx. 2 pieces)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 spring onions, chopped
- 1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
- freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. In a bowl, mash steak tartare with the pumpkin puree, using a fork, until you've reached a smooth consistency.
3. Add garlic, spring onions, ginger, pepper, cumin, coriander, coconut flour and coriander leaves and mix until well combined.
4. Make 8 burgers by dropping heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking tray and flattening them.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until browned. Enjoy!

In my recipe I used a fork to combine everything, but you can just as well use a food processor to do the job.
Serve these burgers with a salad or stir-fried or oven roasted veggies, they go really well with pretty much everything.

Daikon turkey salad

Daikon turkey salad

Here's an easy salad recipe for everyone to make. It's a great way to use some leftover turkey!
I was a little wary of using daikon in a salad, because I'm not a big fan of radishes, but after making those daikon fritters last month I realised they actually taste really good and wanted to try them raw.
I hope you all will enjoy this daikon turkey salad as much as I did.

Daikon turkey salad (serves 1)
- 1/3 daikon, grated into julienne strips
- 1 small winter carrot, grated into julienne strips
- 150g turkey fillet, cooked
- 1 handful of raisins
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley and coriander, chopped (dried works too)
- 1 tsp extra vierge olive oil
- 1 tsp coconut milk
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp agave syrup

1. Add grated daikon and carrot to a plate or bowl and mix.
2. Shred turkey with a fork into thin strips and add to vegetables.
3. Add raisins, sesame seeds and herbs and mix.
4. In a small bowl, combine oil, coconut milk, lemon juice and agave, mix well and pour over vegetables. Mix well and serve.

Instead of the turkey you can also use mackerel if you're looking for a fishy salad.

January 10, 2011

Curried savoy cabbage and celeriac mash

Curried savoy cabbage and celeriac mash

It's been a while since my last recipe, but I haven't been around during the weekend.
This morning my fridge was more or less emtpy, except for 1/2 celeriac from last week. (I put it in a plastic seal-bag and it kept really well)
So I went to the market and brought home a giant bag filled with veggies, yum! I couldn't resist weighing the bag when I got home: 11.4kg of veggies! That's quite a lot for just 1 person.. I guess I'll be freezing a lot of my cooking this week.
Of course I used my celeriac first today, and combined it with some savoy cabbage to make a mash out of it. It tasted great, especially with some raisins and walnuts.
I served it with an oven-baked Tilapia fillet, sprinkled with some lemon juice and saltless fish spices. Of course you can serve it with some chicken, turkey, beef or other lean meat as well.

Curried savoy cabbage and celeriac mash (serves 2)
- 1/2 savoy cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 celeriac, peeled and cubed
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 handful of raisins
- 1 handful of walnuts, chopped
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Steam celeriac cubes for 7-8 minutes until fork tender and puree.
2. Add curry powder and lemon juice, stir well.
3. Heat coconut oil in a wok or frying pan and stir-fry the onion until soft, add cabbage and stir-fry over high heat for approx. 5 minutes until wilted.
4. Reduce heat to low and add raisins and celeriac puree. Stir until well-combined.
5. Serve with chopped walnuts on top.

January 6, 2011

Celeriac cookies

Celeriac cookies

In my last post I mentioned I didn't know what to do with my leftover celeriac puree. Today I tried making cookies with it, and they tasted really good!
After all, celeriac tastes a little like parsnip (which made very good cookies) and it's a root vegetable, so it purees well. The cookies just have a slight celeriac taste, but much less bitter because of the banana.
I didn't add any walnuts to them, simply because I was tired and didn't feel like cracking all those nuts again. They would make a good addition though!
These cookies work really well when you have them as dessert or a snack and you could even make them part of your breakfast. It's an easy way to use leftover puree too!

Celeriac cookies (makes 10 cookies)
- 1/4 celeriac, peeled and cubed
- 1 large, very ripe banana
- 2 tbsp agave syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp gingerbread spices
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Steam celeriac cubes for approx. 6-8 minutes until fork tender.
3. Puree celeriac and banana until smooth.
4. Add agave and eggs, stir well.
5. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, baking powder and spices.
6. Add celeriac mixture and optional walnuts to the bowl and stir until well-combined.
7. Drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture on the baking tray and slightly flatten with the back of a spoon to form a cookie.
8. Bake for approx. 45 minutes until golden brown.
Let cool for about half an hour and enjoy!

January 4, 2011

Curried tilapia with celeriac puree and broccoli

Celeriac puree, curry tilapia and broccoli

Here's what I had for dinner tonight. I thought I'd cooked with most root vegetables by now, until I went to the supermarket and saw celeriac!
Somehow, this veggie scares me a little. It looks macabre, with all those 'tentacles' on the bottom. Cutting them off felt like slaughtering some kind of monster! It looks like it used to be able to walk (or swim..) and as if it's asleep or something like that.
It's just my fantasy messing with my mind, because this veggie tastes pretty good. (and it didn't move, nor bleed)

Today was my first time cooking with it. I combined it with curry tilapia (from the oven) and a broccoli stir-fry.
All I need to do now is figure out what to do with my leftover celeriac puree. Maybe I can make cookies out of it too? I'm not sure yet..

Curried tilapia (serves 2)
- 2 tilapia fillets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp curry powder

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
2. Put the tilapia fillets in an oven dish (don't let them overlap), add the other ingredients and massage them in with your hands. Make sure the fillets are fully covered with curry.
3. Bake for 12-15 minutes (depending on the thickness of your fillets) until cooked.

In the mean time prepare your celeriac puree. I decided not to add any spices to the puree because it has a strong flavour in itself and you should combine it with the curried fish and broccoli.

Celeriac puree (serves 2)
1. Peel 1/2 of a celeriac and cut it into small cubes.
2. Boil some water in a steamer and steam the celeriac cubes for approx. 7-8 minutes, until fork tender.
3. Puree with a hand blender or in a food processor.

While the celeriac is steaming, you can start on your broccoli stir-fry.

Broccoli stir-fry (serves 2)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp coconut oil

1. Heat coconut oil in a wok or frying pan and stir-fry onion, garlic and ginger until the onion starts getting soft.
2. Add broccoli, stir-fry for a minute and add approx. 100ml water. Keep stir-frying.
3. Add raisins and spices and stir-fry until the broccoli is tender.

By now, your fish should be done and the celeriac pureed.
Divide everything over 2 plates and enjoy!

Layered lunch salad

Layered lunch salad

Eating Paleo at work might be a bigger challenge to people who are new to this diet. After all, it's so easy to grab a sandwich for lunch. But when you're eating Paleo, making yourself a sandwich isn't the obvious choice anymore. Of course you could bake your own bread, out of almond paste and almond flour (Elana has some wonderful almond loaf or cracker recipes), it's expensive however, and eating too many nuts in a day isn't that good for you either. (nuts are healthy and very tasty, don't get me wrong, but you want to add them to meals, not make a meal out of them)
For lunch, I usually make myself a salad or take some cold leftovers from last night's dinner with me. Today I made this colourful salad and thought it might be a good idea to share my lunch with everyone.
The salad took me less than 10 minutes to prepare and I always take some snacks with me too; usually an apple and today I also had a 'protein bar' made out of nuts, seeds and dried fruits (dairy- and grain free). Delicious, and this gets me through the day pretty well!

Layered lunch salad (serves 1)
- 1 chicory
- 2 cm thick piece of red cabbage
- 1 winter carrot
- handful trail mix (nuts, seeds and dried fruits)
- 1 small can of grilled mackerel, drained
- 1 tbsp extra vierge olive oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice (lemon works fine too)
- 1 tbsp dried herbs of your choice (coriander leaves, parsley, etc)

1. Cut chicory in quarters, discard the hard inner part, and chop the leaves. Put in a plastic container with lid or lunch box.
2. Chop red cabbage and winter carrot. Add to container.
3. Add dried herbs, trail mix and mackerel.
4. Combine olive oil and lime juice in a small bowl and sprinkle over the salad.
5. Cool until lunchtime, give the container a good shake until everything's combined (or just mix it with a fork, shaking might make you look a little weird) and enjoy!

January 2, 2011

Coffee apple cake

Coffee apple cake

Happy New Year everyone!!
I hope all of you have had a wonderful New Year's Eve and I wish everyone the best for 2011. Let's hope it'll be a good year!

For everyone who didn't start with a traditional weight loss diet as of yesterday, here's a tasty piece of cake you can make to give your new year a good start.
It's my adapted version of Elana's Honey Cake, which is also really good, although a little too sweet to my taste.
The best thing about this recipe is that it never ever fails! It's totally fool proof and tastes good every single time you make it. Even people who think everything that doesn't include grains, dairy and sugar is unedible like it a lot.
In case you have any leftovers (which is unlikely, to be honest), you can always freeze it to enjoy at a later moment.

Coffee apple cake (serves 6-8)
- 2 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cookie spices (or a mixture of ground cloves, nutmeg and ginger)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup strong black coffee
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
- 1/2 cup mixed nuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius and grease a brownie tin or tart pan.
2. In a bowl, mix almond flour, baking powder and spices. Add eggs, coffee, agave and coconut oil and mix until well-combined and a smooth batter has formed.
3. Stir in apple, nuts and raisins, and pour the batter into the prepared baking tin.
4. Bake for approx. 35 minutes until golden brown.
5. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and enjoy!