Recipe: Paleo Chicken Schnitzel

Chicken Schnitzel is pretty much the national dish of Australia (perhaps after pie?), which is funny, because if you ask for chicken schnitzel in the UK people think you’ve come straight from the 1970’s.

The only problem with chicken schnitzel is the ingredients. This is what’s in a fairly standard one I saw in the supermarket:

Chicken (52%), Water, Buckwheat Flour, Wheat Flour, Thickener (1404, 415, 1442), Salt, Dehydrated Vegetables (Onion, Garlic), Herbs (Parsley, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage), Spices (Pepper), Wheat Gluten, Yeast, Egg Albumen, Sugar, Colours (150a, 100, 160c, 160b), Dextrose (Tapioca, Maize), Mineral Salts (450, 500), Canola Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Soy Protein, Thickener (1404), Yeast, Vinegar, Iodised Salt, Soy Flour, Emulsifiers (411, 481, 472E), Vitamin (Thiamin, Folate), Vegetable Gum (412), Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein, Wheat Cereal, Flavour Enhancer (635)

Quite alarming when the chicken element in your chicken is barely 50%, don’t you think? Also “chicken” doesn’t really tell you too much, I think we can assume if it doesn’t say free-range, it’s almost certainly not the type of chicken I’d choose to buy. So you know what this means? Yes – it means a paleo chicken schnitzel recipe is called for!

Recipe: Paleo Chicken Schnitzel
Recipe type: Poultry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 2 free-range chicken breasts
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 230C (450F) if you’re going to oven bake rather than fry
  2. Slice the chicken in half width-ways, creating two thin pieces and pound with a rolling pin (or, if you have a better equipped kitchen than me, a meat tenderiser) until it’s super thin. If you don’t want raw chicken flying around your kitchen, you can wrap it in gladwrap/ cling film for this step. You can keep whole and have proper schnitzels, or slice into strips like I did.
  3. Put the Tapioca flour (or you can use arrowroot flour if you don’t have tapioca) in a bowl, and the egg in a separate bowl. Tip – fill up the Tapioca bowl as you use it to avoid waste.
  4. In another bowl, mic together the almond meal, coconut flour, seasoning and herbs/ spices. I tend to do this in small batches too, to avoid being left with an eggy mess of excess crumb mixture I’ll have to throw away.
  5. Now for the fun part. Dip the chicken pieces in each bowl, turn by turn: start with the tapioca layer, then the egg layer and end with the crumb mixture. Maybe it’s just me, but I find this turns into a huge mess, so small batches of the dry bowls will help here.
  6. You now have a choice and whilst most people will choose to fry, I find I get far better results oven baking. The crumb is evenly golden with the inside cooked but tender. But give both a try and see what works for you.
  7. If you’re oven baking, arrange on a baking tray and cook for about 20 minutes. I always cut into the chicken in a couple of the thickest places to ensure there are no pink bits left. If you’re going to fry about 8-10 minutes in a hot pan in some coconut oil should do the trick – just make sure you turn them a couple of times.

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Australian not healthy star ratings system paleo network-min

Have you seen who’s behind the (not so) Healthy Star Ratings system?

I saw a TV commercial recently for Uncle Toby’s Oat sachets and the main focus of the advert was how amazingly healthy they are. Apparently these Oats achieve a “4 healthy star rating” – and the higher the star rating, the healthier the product. So they say. Whilst I don’t want to pick on oats specifically, as I think they’re probably one of the not-as-bad-as-the-other-cereals out there, it really highlights how dangerously misleading these Healthy Star Ratings are. Initially I thought the Healthy Rating System was just based on old, outdated (incorrect) advice, but when I saw who was involved in it’s creation, it took a far more sinister turn.

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What are Healthy Star Ratings?

This is an Australian initiative, and it’s jointly funded by the Australian, state and territory governments, and developed in partnership with industry and public health and consumer groups.

I took a further look into these groups, who have jointly developed these ratings, and they include the Australian Beverages Council, and the Australian Food and Grocery Council.

And just who makes up these bodies?

Members of the Australian Beverages Council include:

  • Coca-Cola Amatil Pty Ltd
  • Coca-Cola South Pacific
  • Heinz Australia P/L
  • PepsiCo Australia Holdings Pty Ltd
  • Red Bull Australia Pty Ltd
  • Tropico Fruits Pty Ltd

Among many others… (Surely we’re not going to ever see health ratings on Red Bull?)

The Australian Food and Grocery Council has on its board:

  • Clive Stiff who is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Unilever Australia & NZ – their brands include Bertolli, Streets Ice Cream and my favourite Flora pro-activ
  • Trevor Clayton who is Chief Executive Officer for Nestle Australia Ltd
  • Andrew Towle who is Managing Director for Kellogg (Australia) Pty Ltd
  • Darren O’Brien who is Managing Director for Mondelez Foods Australia (better known as Kraft Foods and Cadbury)
  • Michael Ryan who is General Manager of Mars Chocolate, and
  • Peter West, Managing Director of Lion Dairy & Drinks

So the very companies who produce packaged, processed convenience food have very helpfully come up with a healthy star rating system? And we’re supposed to use this to tell us what is healthy food we should be eating lots of?

How to get a high star rating?

No surprisingly the star system is based on the old beliefs that whole grains are good for us, and fat to be avoided. Products receiving above 4 stars will include whole-grain foods, low-fat milk and reduced fat cheese, and extra lite (urgh I hate that word, theirs, not mine) spreads.

And how to get a low rating?

Products getting below 1 star include those that are full fat, regular fat yoghurt, high saturated fat cheese, salted butter, coconut oil (yes, they expressly list coconut oil on the less healthy foods list) and of course, untrimmed meats. So we can pretty much assume if it’s a natural, unprocessed, paleo food, it won’t get a high healthy star rating.

So I’ve come up with a new system to help you use the star rating system to identify healthy foods:

If it has a healthy star rating, avoid it tweet this quote

What’s your opinion on the Healthy Star Rating system?

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Paleo food shopping in Coles

Don’t judge me – sometimes I buy my paleo food from Coles, my local grocery store. I live near a great greengrocer, butcher and an Aldi – and have a twice monthly farmers market a few suburbs away – but sometimes time and budget make paleo shopping in Coles the best option.

buying paleo in coles woolworths

So can you buy paleo in Coles?

A few years ago Coles lacked so many paleo staples – but now I see more and more paleo friendly lines appearing by the week. The fat-is-good-for-you and it-matters-where-your-meat-comes-from messages seem to finally be going mainstream.

This week I saw a whole new line in grass-fed beef at my local coles – so thought it’s a good time to assess the store for their paleoness.

I’m not going to go into fresh produce too much, but they do have a range of organic fruit and veggies.

Meat

This is the new range of grass-fed meat I found, Graze. It’s also hormone free and comes from 180 NSW and Victoria cattle farms. So far they have porterhouse, scotch fillet, rib-eye, eye fillet, rump, schnitzel, lean mince, roasts, stir fry, casserole and ribs. So if you buy from Coles – support this range – we want more of it!

Graze Grass-fed beef meat Paleo Coles Supermarket shopping list primal

In terms of chicken, Coles offer the Inglewood Farms brand of organic chicken. I always get a whole chicken ($11.90 a kilo) instead of chicken breasts ($31.40 a kilo) – you literally get the rest of the bird free that way – and who doesn’t love a roast chicken?

How about kangaroo? One of the great things about kangaroo is that they aren’t farmed – so you know you’re getting naturally reared meat. Buy the plain steaks though, and avoid the pre-marinated or processed kangaroo products.

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Eggs

Eggs are easy as most people seem to be on-board with free-range eggs now. Unfortunately Coles don’t offer Omega-3 enriched eggs (get these from Woolworths). And my other gripe is that eggs aren’t stamped in Australia.

Fats

Coconut oil used to be a foreign concept to the big supermarkets. Now Coles offer two Melrose Organic jars ($8.75 or $11.72 for 300ml – good for an emergency) and also the Prochef coconut oil spray I wrote about before.

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Coles also sell a jar of Naturals by Melrose Almond Butter Spread ($8.03 for 250g) or Cashew Spread Butter ($8.42).

Luckily olive oil has always been abundant. There are loads of brands. Which is your favourite?

If you’re looking for more animal fats, you can also get a rendered duck fat from Coles.

Rendered duck fat animal Paleo Coles Supermarket shopping list primal

Canned paleo

A few brands of coconut milk are available including TCC, Trident and Ayam. I always buy Ayam as it has the best ingredients. Also, never buy the light versions (you can always add water yourself).

The other tinned ingredient I buy is tomatoes (here’s why). There are loads available, but I find a brand like Mutti has the best ingredients.

Canned tinner diced chopped whole tomatoes Paleo Coles Supermarket shopping list primal

Paleo baking

You’ll find several brands of almond meal/ almond flour including Freshlife and the Lucky brand, but with prices upwards of $22 a kilo, they aren’t cheap. Bob’s Red Mill organic coconut flour is available as about $26 a kilo too.

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Other things in Coles

You can also find Melrose Apple Cider Vinegar (see what you can do with it here) and several types of Pink Himalayan Salt

If you’re looking for a bread alternative, you’ll be please to find nori seaweed wraps.

Nori sushi rolls wraps sheet Paleo Coles Supermarket shopping list primal

So over to you – what paleo friendly items have you found in Coles that we should know about? Which of the big supermarkets do you think is the most paleo friendly?

Low carb down under paleo primal seminar conference event australia

Low Carb Down Under – Sydney

Saturday was the Sydney leg of the Low Carb Down Under seminar series, that has been touring Australia.

What a fantastic day it was! There were twelve speakers from diverse backgrounds covering a range of topics. I was honoured to be one of the speakers and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Almost 300 people attended the event and everyone seemed really keen to learn and soak up the atmosphere. There seemed to be a significant number of medical and healthcare providers in the audience, which is a great sign that the message is being spread to the right people.

So, here is my brief summary of the day.

Dr Ron Ehrlich—“Lessons from the Past”

Dr Ron Ehrlich is a holistic Sydney dentist who started the day with a great overview of where we are – and where we’ve come from. I found it interesting to hear Ron talking about how he looks for underlying causes – rather than treating symptoms, which seems to be the typical modern method.

Dr Simon Thornley—“Has Dietary Research Helped Us With Our Food Choices

New Zealand Public Health Physician Dr Simon Thornley has written a paper on sugar with Dr Rod Taylor and Dr Ken Sikaris (“Sugar restriction: the evidence for a drug-free intervention to reduce cardiovascular disease risk”). Simon is an academic who has conducted extensive research on sugar, scientifically coming to many of the same conclusions as those of us in the paleo community.
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Jimmy Moore—Update on low carb around the world

An update on the remarkable progress Jimmy is making with his N=1 experiment on Nutritional Ketotis. Interestingly a number of people I spoke to in the audience are conducting similar experiments of their own. It’s going to be extremely interesting to examine how this has gone in a few months time.

David Gillespie—“Sweet Poison and Big Fat Lies”

Author and Lawyer David Gillespie took us through his extensive sugar research – and findings. Many people in Australia were first introduced to the concept of giving up sugar through David’s books, so it was great to hear from him.

Sarah Wilson—“I Quit Sugar”

Sarah is the journalist who wrote the popular I Quit Sugar program. I was very interesting to hear her speak about her poor health, and how quitting sugar changed things for her.

I Quit Sugar Ebook

Costa Georgiadis—“Product Not Produce”

Costa has the most incredible energy! He bought along soil and compost and demonstrated to us the importance of understanding exactly where your food comes from.

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Christine Cronau—”The Fat Revolution!”

Christine is author of the Fat Revolution. Her talk clearly spelt out exactly why we need to have fat in our diets and must not be scared of it.

Dr Rod Tayler—“Doctors, Health, Weight and Carbohydrates”

Anesthesiologist and giveupsugar.com founder Rod Taylor explained how damaging sugar is – and just how much of a problem it is.

Aaron McKenzie from Origin of Energy—”Combining Fitness and Nutrition”

Aaron spoke about fitness, from an evolutionary perspective

Suzanne Crawt – Paleo in Australia

My talk started with my story explaining how I found Paleo and the huge difference it made to me. I then spoke about the growing, thriving Paleo community in Australia and how people can get involved.
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Rob Blomfield—”A farmer’s  journey to primal health”

Rob is an Australian farmer who, on finding this lifestyle, made remarkable health improvements. It was great to hear from someone with an insider knowledge on farming.

Vicki Poulter – “Why grass fed animal foods are good for the planet”

Vicki, from Nourishing Australia, gave a wonderful talk in linking the land, animals, soil and our food. This really made clear the importance of eating good quality grass-fed meat.

We finished with a panel question and answer section. With so many diverse speakers, a great wealth of questions were answered.

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The whole event was filmed, so hopefully those of you who missed out will be able to watch the talks soon.

It was wonderful to meet so many people interested in, and concerned about their health. It’s clear that the message is spreading and increasing numbers of people are finding out about this lifestyle. I wonder how many people will attend the next seminar series?

The seminar was in Adelaide last night and has one more date left. The final conference is in Brisbane this Saturday. There is still time (just) to buy your ticket at the Low Carb Down Under site. I’m heading to Brisbane this weekend, so if you’re there please come and say hi!

Have you been to one of the seminars this year? What was your highlight – and who would you like to hear speak next time?

Low carb down under paleo primal seminar conference event australia

Low Carb Down Under – It’s Started!

I’ve just got back from an amazing weekend in Melbourne, where the Low Carb Down Under series started on Saturday.

What an amazing day! I’ve listened to Jimmy Moore’s podcasts for a long time, but to meet him and watch him present is such a different experience. He was a great, inspirational speaker – and despite such a fantastic turnout, he made sure everyone who wanted to speak to him got the chance.

I’ve been following Jimmy Moore’s N=1 Nutritional Ketosis experiment on his blog with great interest, so to hear him talk about this – and take his readings in front of us on stage – was super interesting. It’s quite remarkable how much slimmer Jimmy looked yesterday, even just since the last photo he posted on his blog.

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David Gillespie is another great speaker – and the man responsible for leading a lot of people away from sugar; a journey which often leads to a Paleo diet and lifestyle.

I often find conferences like this can be one extreme or the other – either no science at all – or far too sciencey. The talks at Melbourne yesterday really did tick all the boxes.

We heard from Doctors and Scientists; Dr Rod Tayer, Dr Ken Sikaris (this man really needs a blog!), Steven Hamley, explaining why Paleo works (and conventional wisdom doesn’t). We heard from local Melbournites Crystal Fieldhouse, Ivy Thompson & Jo Fitton sharing how they “do” Paleo locally. Crossfit coach Dr George Iacono spoke about crossfit and fitness. Christine Cronau explained how our diets went wrong and spoke about how we should eat. Natalie Kringoudis, is a fertility expert who gave an amazing talk – we even heard from a chef, Mick Reade demonstrating how versatile a Paleo diet can be.

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I’m not going to talk too much about the talks until the seminar series is over – because I want YOU to go to one of the remaining dates and soak up the knowledge for yourself!

Even if you don’t live near the remaining venues, consider coming anyway – you will get so much value from the day.

Byron Bay – Wednesday 21st November

Sydney – Saturday 24th November

Brisbane – Saturday 1st December

Adelaide – Tuesday 27th November

I’ve had a lot of comments asking about Darwin and Perth not being part of the tour . If we can get enough people interested, we will make sure they’re included in the next round of Paleo events – just make sure you’ve joined your local Paleo Meetup group so we know you’re interested (there is now a meetup for every state)

I’m excited to be speaking at the Sydney date next week – and will be attending the remaining dates – I hope to see at one of the events.

If you haven’t booked your ticket, do it now before it’s too late!

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Paleo Meetup Groups – Have You Joined Yet?

Exciting news! There are now Paleo meet-up groups in every state in Australia! Wherever you live, you can now meet up with local people who eat the same way as you do.

The meet-up groups arrange local dinners, barbecues, picnics, talks – you can even suggest a meetup of your own to the group.

Meetups are a great way of meeting people and finding out about Paleo restaurants and suppliers in your area, so if you haven’t already – join your local Paleo Meetup!

There don’t seem to be any New Zealand Paleo meetup groups yet – why don’t you start one? If you’re in the US, Canada or the UK there are lots of Paleo meetup groups, so find your nearest and join up – it’s free!

Paleo Meetup Groups Events Australia

With the exception of Sydney, Perth and Melbourne most of these groups are very new – so spread the word and help to increase the membership! If you live in Darwin, Canberra or Hobart there is also the opportunity to become a co-organiser.

Here are the Australian Paleo Meetup groups

NSW/ Sydney
Victoria/ Melbourne
WA/ Perth
SA/ Adelaide
Queensland/ Brisbane
NT/ Darwin
ACT/ Canberra
Tasmania/ Hobart

So sign up (it’s free) get involved!

Have you been to a local Paleo meetup event yet?

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All New Paleo Guide To Australia

Just a heads up that I’ve just updated the free Paleo Guide to Australia (and New Zealand) ebook. The current version now stands at 32 pages full of Paleo information – specific to where you are.

Following on from your suggestions, I’ve added more listings of Paleo suppliers in each state of Australia and New Zealand (farmers markets, grass-fed meat suppliers, fruit and vegetable suppliers, organic produce, fish mongers and fitness centres). I’ve also added a whole new section of Paleo Resources.

If you’ve already subscribed to my newsletter, just visit the same link to get your updated version. If you’ve not signed up yet, just subscribe using the link below to get your free copy!

I want to keep the Paleo Guide to Australia & New Zealand up to date with the best local Paleo places and stockists throughout Australia and New Zealand. If I’ve missed anywhere that you know about, please let me know and I’ll make sure I add it to the next edition.

I’d also like to add in restaurants that do Paleo food – so let me know of any suggestions that you have in your local area.

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Melbourne Paleo

Welcome to those who’ve found the site through the article in this weekends “The Age” newspaper.

It’s great to see Paleo getting more and more publicity and for more people to consider removing the grains and changing their diets.

If you’re interested in finding out about Paleo there’s lots of information on the site and a free guide to Paleo Australia ebook you can download now, sign up to my newsletter on the right to get your free guide.

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The Paleo Weekend – New Tickets Released!

Note: This is an old post – the next weekend has not yet been finalised, but please sign up to my newsletter if you are interested in the next event!

With just over three weeks left until Australia’s first Paleo Weekend, I’m delighted to announce two new tickets

Choose to come to Cockatoo Island for either the Saturday sessions for $145, the Sunday sessions for just $95 – or both days for $195!

These tickets are for the sessions only – but upgrades are available including all Paleo meals and overnight accommodation on the island!

Saturdays Paleo Lectures will include:

Jamie Scott,
Dr Anastasia Boulais,
Julianna Taylor and
Dr. Ron Ehrlich
Fitness techniques, and
Max DeLacy on barefoot running

 

Sundays Paleo Lectures will include:

Monica Moore’s early morning yoga,
Kevin Bees on peak performance and achieving goals
Fitness techniques
Paleo Cooking demonstration, and
The role & impact of Agriculture and Farming
 

Numbers are strictly limited, so secure your place today

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Best Australian Blogs 2012 Competition

I’ve very excited to be a nominee in the Best Australian Blogs 2012 competition! I seem to be the only Paleo/ Primal blog in the competition, so it would be great to get into the final, so more people find out what this Paleo thing is all about!

If you feel inclined to vote, I’m on the fifth page as “The Paleo Network” and I’d love your support!

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