Is Quinoa Paleo network primal diet grain psuedo ancient-min

Is Quinoa Paleo?

So we know that grains aren’t Paleo, but what about the pseudo grains such as quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) chia seeds and buckwheat? Are they considered acceptable for a paleo diet? The answer is no, and here’s the reason why…

Pseudo grains are actually seeds, not grains, but are loaded with anti nutrients and carb heavy. If it looks and acts like a grain – it’s a grain! Quinoa seems to be a really fashionable “health food” at the moment – but do you really need it?

Just like other grains, quinoa contains anti nutrients like phytic acid, lectins and saponins – substances not tolerated well – and not good for gut health and permeability. Phytic acid binds to minerals preventing you from absorbing them – it can even leach minerals from your body for this purpose. Lectins and saponins are culperates in gut permeability which can lead to leaky gut.

Whilst properly preparing grains by soaking and sprouting can help to minimise the amounts of anti nutrients in the grains, it won’t get rid of them entirely.

Is Quinoa Paleo network primal diet grain psuedo ancient-min

Quinoa is popular because it’s high in protein, yet many paleo foods such as grass-fed meat and leafy green vegetables are actually far better sources of protein.

Before you can eat grains like quinoa, a lot of processes need to happen – which is why it is a “modern” food. Pseudo grains need to be ground, separated, roasted and rinsed. Would you do all that work yourself just to add in a small about of quinoa to you lunch?

Whilst some people may tolerate properly prepared grains,if you are in any doubt, it’s surely best to avoid them altogether. There are so many paleo friendly alternatives, such as cauliflower rice, zuchinni noodles or spaghetti squash.

Do you avoid all grains, or do you eat some in moderation? How do you prepare them? I’d love to hear what you think about pseudo grains like quinoa, in the comments below.

Paleo Diet Recipe Primal Carrot, Blood Orange and Ginger Soup-min

Recipe: Carrot, Blood Orange and Ginger Soup

Literally bursting with beta carotene and vitamin c, the ginger in this soup packs a real zing while the turmeric and coriander provide delicate and warming undertones. Enjoy it as an appetiser with friends, and make plenty extra to have for lunch the next day! Delicious topped with toasted, flaked almonds.

I’m sure this will work just as well with normal oranges, although I loved the colour the blood oranges provided!

Soup Ingredients:

  • 2 / 3 medium shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 – 8cm fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 750g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 whole blood oranges, peeled and separated into segments
  • 2 cups homemade vegetable stock
  • Pinch of salt

Soup How To:

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in your largest saucepan over a low heat. Gently simmer the shallots, garlic and ginger for 5 minutes.

Add the spices and 2 tbsp vegetable stock. Simmer gently for another couple of minutes, before adding the remaining stock, carrots and oranges.

Raise the heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 – 25 minutes, until the carrots are tender. Blitz well with an immersion blender until the soup is smooth. Season to taste and serve straight away.

Paleo Diet Recipe Primal Carrot, Blood Orange and Ginger Soup-min

Paleo Diet Primal Food Dehydrator Dry Excalibur-min

Have You Got A Dehydrator?

A dehydrator is a great way of adding some variety into your Paleo diet. There are loads of great dehydrators on the market, like the Excalibur – but you don’t have to buy a dedicated dehydrator, as you can dehydrate produce directly in your oven.

A dehydrator is an indispensable machine if you want to dry your own products. This enables you to keep food for longer and is especially great if you have just harvested a lot of fruit or veg – or have a lot of meat to use up. A dehydrator is versatile and suitable for different products. The machine works with hot air that is blasted through the food, has an adjustable temperature and is very efficient. In a climate like ours, where the humidity is high, a dehydrator can provide a solution.

With a dehydrator you can build up a supply of food that will keep for a long time – but without the added ingredients of shop bought equivalents. You will have the perfect instrument to make all the fresh products that are only available for short periods of time during the year, sustainable. It is also a lot better for your bank account as you can bulk buy fresh produce when it is in season, or on offer – and make it last for many months.

Paleo Diet Primal Food Dehydrator Dry Excalibur-min

Dehydrated food is great for people on the go, as the food doesn’t weigh very much, so is ideal to take hiking or camping.

You can put pretty much anything inside a dehydrator; vegetables, fruit, meat, herbs, nuts, whatever you like.

Warning: For most products, the temperature should not be higher than 50c (120F) degrees.

Drying meat

Jerky is a great Paleo snack, packed with protein and fat. You can dehydrate any type of meat, either on it’s own or using herbs and spices to add some extra flavor. Biltong and boerewors are popular dehydrated meats in South Africa, which you can make yourself, it your dehydrator. Whilst you can buy jerky, it’s likely to have lots of preservatives – and unlikely to be made from grass-fed high quality meats.

Drying fruit

Try drying your own raisins or dried prunes and apples – or whatever fruit you have an abundance of in the garden. You can also make fruit leather by drying out puréed fruit. Whilst dehydrating fruit concentrates the sugar levels, they can certainly still be enjoyed as an occasional treat.

Drying herbs

A dehydrator is perfect for drying out herbs – great to prevent wastage. If you live somewhere hot & dry, you can dry herbs the traditional way, hung on string, and left out in the sunshine. Collecting the herbs is a fun activity itself, and the prospect of preserving them while maintaining colour and taste, makes it even more rewarding. Nothing is as good as a jar of your own cultured and dried coriander or hot chili peppers, to spice up your dishes for a whole year.

Dehydrating Vegetables

Vegetables are perfect for a dehydrator. Trying making vegetable chips, using kale, carrots or very thinly sliced sweet potatoes. Tomatoes also work really well in a dehydrator, and can be added to recipes for months to come.

How long does the food need to be in the dehydrator?

It totally depends on the amount of moisture inside the product. It can even vary between two items of the same product. Also the size makes a big difference in how long it will take to dry out the food. It’s really important not to cut short the during time, as any left over moisture can result in mould and rotten food. Almost all products need to be dried more than 24 hours, but you should research & experiment further for everything you attempt to dry out.

After drying to products, keep them in airtight pots or bags. Lockable glass pots or mason jars look great as decorations in the kitchen, filled with colourful dried fruit and vegetables.

Have you got a dehydrator, or do you dehydrate things in your oven? I’d love to hear what you do with yours, in the comments below!

paleo diet recipe quick easy coronation chicken creamy primal-min

Recipe: Quick and Easy Coronation Chicken

Countless times I have made a delicious roast dinner for friends, only to realise at the end that I’ve bought a chicken way too big for us to eat! Sometimes I get stuck with what to do with the leftovers, but this recipe for Paleo friendly Coronation Chicken is always a fail-safe option. It’s all the flavour of Coronation Chicken, minus the dairy, minus the sugar, minus the preservatives… just as it should be!

The best thing about this recipe is that it is easily adapted depending on how much leftover meat you have. When I shredded it, I had roughly 2 cups of chicken available. Feel free to adapt as you wish!

Coronation Chicken Ingredients:

  • 200g shredded roast chicken
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Juice ½ lime
  • ½ can thick coconut milk
  • Small handful flaked almonds
  • Small handful coconut shavings
  • Small handful sultanas
  • Small handful unsulphured dried apricots, finely chopped

Coronation Chicken How To:

In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil to a medium – low heat. Add the shallot and cook for 2 – 3 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, and cook for another 2.

Squeeze in the lime juice and stir in the spices. Leave to simmer gently for 2 – 3 minutes, adding extra coconut oil if necessary.

Add the coconut milk and honey, stir well, and simmer very gently for around 5 minutes.

Toss in the flaked almonds, coconut shavings and dried fruit. Pour over the shredded chicken and coat well. Enjoy straight away or leave in the fridge to cool before enjoying as part of a salad.

paleo diet recipe quick easy coronation chicken creamy primal-min

Recipe paleo hummus houmous chick peas legume free-min

Recipe: Paleo Hummus

Hummus (or houmous, if you prefer) used to be one of my go-to dips before I went paleo. With the main ingredient being mashed chickpeas – yep there’s no doubting that they’re legumes* – it’s most definitely not on the paleo menu. Which is a shame because this Middle Eastern sauce is great as an appetizer or a dip for raw veggies.

Besides, even if it were paleo – have you checked out the ingredients recently? These are the ingredients of two of the popular brands of hommus sold in my local Coles supermarket:

Savion Dairy Hommus Dip

Ingredients: Chickpeas (47%), Sesame Seed Paste (23%), Canola Oil (Antioxidant 320), Lemon Juice (Preservative 202), Water, Salt (Anti-Caking Agent 554), Food Acid (330).

Yumi’s Traditional Hommus Dip

IngredientsChick Peas 45%, Water, Vegetable Oil, Sesame Seed Paste, Vinegar, Salt, Garlic, Citric Acid, Preservative (202, 211), Acidity Regulator (575).

Canola oil, vegetable oil and all of those additives and preservatives – no thanks.

Recipe paleo hummus houmous chick peas legume free-min

So what are the options for making a paleo hommus?

Well I’ve tried with both zucchini and cauliflower – and I like the zucchini best. And it’s great with kale chips.

Recipe: Paleo Hummus
Recipe type: Sides
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Hummus (or houmous, if you prefer) used to be one of my go-to dips before I went paleo. This recipe takes out the chickpeas (no legumes here!) and uses paleo alternatives to make this delicious hummus!
Ingredients
  • 3 small zucchini’s, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 50ml (3 tablespoons) Tahini
  • 30ml (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Paprika or cut chives, to serve
Instructions
  1. Put the zucchini and lemon in your food processor and blend
  2. Add the tahini, olive oil, cumin, seasoning and garlic. Blend until smooth
  3. Put in the fridge for half an hour or so before serving
  4. Top with paprika or chopped chives, to serve

WANT ME TO EMAIL YOU THIS RECIPE?

Enter your details and check your email!

*And what’s so wrong with legumes I hear you say? Well legumes contain phytates and lectins which are to be avoided as they inhibit nutrient absorption and cause inflammation.

101 (more!) paleo snack ideas recipes diet suggestions inspiration primal-min

101 (more!) paleo snack ideas

After the popularity of my previous post on paleo snack ideas, I’ve put together a new, extended list of snack ideas.




After my last list, I got a lot of people telling me “DAIRY IS NOT PALEO” (yep, I think they were shouting), so just to clear it up, some of the snack ideas listed below do have dairy options. I’m not in the paleo police, so if you tolerate dairy and take more of a lacto-paleo approach (and can find a good quality source) – go for it. If you fair better dairy free, avoid it!

The list below has a good range of snacks suitable for work (where there often aren’t good facilities for keeping things cool or warming them up), travel, children as well as snack ideas that are quick enough for you to grab and go.

101 (more!) paleo snack ideas recipes diet suggestions inspiration primal-min

I’d love to hear your feedback – – what’s your go to paleo snack? Or do you find you don’t need to snack so often any more?

  1. A can of (high quality) tuna
  2. Make your own beef  jerky
  3. A bag of nuts and seeds
  4. A couple of squares of super dark high quality chocolate
  5. Make your own cherry ripe bars
  6. Coconut flesh in a bag (dehydrate it to make it last longer!)
  7. Keep a small jar of coconut oil or coconut manna to hand – and a spoon!
  8. Cheese cubes served with cut apple
  9. Use a melon baller to prepare spheres of fruit – and serve in cream (dairy or coconut)
  10. Roll up avocado, radish, cress & asparagus in ham wraps
  11. Coat chicken with an egg and almond flour mix to create Paleo chicken nuggets
  12. Melon & ham slices
  13. Simple – avocado slices
  14. Pre-boiled, peeled hard boiled eggs
  15. A jar of olives
  16. A tin of coconut milk served over fresh berries
  17. Your favourite fruit
  18. A coconut
  19. Make your own pork scratching (AKA pork rinds or crackling)
  20. Have you tried coconut yoghurt yet?!
  21. A bag of your favourite nuts (activate them, then season them)
  22. How about spicy almonds?
  23. Seaweed is a good option that stores well
  24. Coconut flakes
  25. A berry and coconut mix
  26. Dry some berries and fruit
  27. Last night’s meatballs 
  28. Pigs in blankets
  29. Almonds, pecans and berries served in coconut milk
  30. No-Oatmeal
  31. Full fat plain Greek yoghurt (if you do dairy)
  32. Salmon
  33. Smoked meat and salami
  34. A selection of cheeses
  35. Almond Butter
  36. A sealed packet of nuts and seeds
  37. A jar of pickles (make sure it isn’t full of sugar)
  38. Home made egg muffins
  39. Make your own Paté
  40. A tin of sardines
  41. Oysters
  42. Simple – cut up some leftover meat and veg
  43. Devilled eggs
  44. Precooked bacon pieces
  45. Dehydrated banana slices
  46. Kale chips
  47. Diced Steamed chicken and avocado
  48. Leftover meat and mayo 
  49. Paleo sushi with nori, veg, avo and fish
  50. Mini omelettes
  51. Veg sticks and nut butter
  52. Salmon and tuna on sliced cucumber
  53. Carrot sticks with a home made spicy salsa
  54. Capsicum (Bell Pepper) strips with a guacamole dip
  55. Make sandwiches with bacon “bread” and an avo filling
  56. Ham, tomatoes and fresh basil
  57. Left over roast veggies with a ranch sauce
  58. Home made sauerkraut
  59. Ever tried chocolate covered bacon bites?Coat almonds and coconut flakes in chocolate
  60. Dip fresh berries in chocolate
  61. For a special treat paleo cookies
  62. Frozen grapes
  63. Frozen banana slices mixed with fresh cream
  64. Baked pears with coconut cream and a dash of cinnamon
  65. A flask/ thermos of bone broth
  66. Soup
  67. A bottle of a freshly made green smoothie
  68. Zucchini Chips
  69. Spicy pumpkin seeds
  70. Homemade fruit leather
  71. Sweet potato, coconut oil fries
  72. Stuffed mini bell peppers (capsicum)
  73.  sliced peaches & cottage cheese
  74. Baba Ghanoush with vegetable sticks
  75. Ginger sesame Chicken wings
  76. Monkfish & sweet potato skewers
  77. Sweet potato & chocolate chip muffins
  78. Refilled sweet potatoes 
  79. Spicy nuts 
  80. Maple & cayenne roasted almonds
  81. Celery sticks and pesto 
  82. Spicy coconut king prawns
  83. Crunchy cashew fish sticks
  84. Indian Eggs 
  85. Kimchi
  86. Mini Paleo Pizza’s
  87. Sliced deli meat
  88. Chicken drumsticks
  89. Coconut Milk Kefir
  90. Plantain chips
  91. Roasted Chestnuts
  92. Cauliflower Popcorn – who needs that other stuff when you can make this?!
  93. Collard wraps – put your favourite veggies and leftover meat in a collard leaf and wrap!
  94. Coleslaw
  95. Prosciutto wrapped asparagus
  96. Pickled Gherkins
  97. A glass of (unsweetened)Almond Milk
  98. Prawns with Paleo Cocktail Sauce
  99. Carrot sticks with Paleo Hummus
  100. Strawberry & coconut ice cream
  101. Raw Chocolate Maple and Pecan Fudge

What’s your go-to paleo snack? Share in the comments below!

Recipe Lemony Broccoli paleo network-min

Recipe: Lemony Broccoli

If you’re trying to get more greens into your diet (and you should be!) you might as well make sure they taste amazing. I have a lot of broccoli and find it can get a bit samey, so I came up with this recipe to give it a bit of a kick. You can give it an even bigger kick by increasing the amount of chilli you add!

Recipe Lemony Broccoli paleo network-min

Recipe: Lemony Broccoli
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This is a great side dish to make an ingredient that's often not popular, the star of the show!
Ingredients
  • A clove of garlic
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoons freshly diced chilli (increase for more of a kick!)
  • 1 lemon, juice & zest
  • 150ml (5 floz) hot water
  • 1 handful fresh broccoli
  • Pinch flaked almonds
Instructions
  1. Peel & grind up the garlic and salt using a food processor (or pestle & mortar). Add in a dash of the olive oil and stir the mixture.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a pan and add in the rest of the olive oil and the chilli. Heat over a medium heat and stir until it starts to simmer. Add in the lemon juice and water as necessary to stop it sticking to the pan. Keep the mixture warm over a medium heat.
  3. Steam the broccoli for three minutes until tender.
  4. Dry fry the almonds in a pan until they turn golden.
  5. Combine the broccoli, sauce & lemon zest and top with the almonds.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Paleo Lunch Box – Prawn, Mango and Spicy Guacamole Collard Wraps recipe-min

Recipe – Paleo Lunch Box – Prawn, Mango and Spicy Guacamole Collard Wraps

If I’m on a day trip and taking a packed lunch, one of my ‘go to’ foods is a Paleo friendly wrap. These ones are collard wraps – which ideally lend themselves to the purpose. Seriously, who needs bread with options like this? They’re easy to make, super portable, and you just can’t beat the combination of flavours and textures that they bring.

The ‘wrap’ itself is just a vehicle to allow you to get the good stuff into your belly, so it doesn’t need to be a health hazard. If anything, swapping a SAD tortilla wrap for a rolled up lettuce or collard leaf improves the flavour and the texture (not to mention the healthiness) of your meal.

 In this recipe, you have savoury, sweet, creamy and spicy all in one neat little package. Enjoy!

Recipe - Paleo Lunch Box – Prawn, Mango and Spicy Guacamole Collard Wraps
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 300g cooked and peeled prawns
  • 1 large, ripe mango, diced
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Zest and juice 1 lime
  • 6 spring onions
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 x large collard leaves
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, toss together the prawns, mango, tomatoes and grated carrot.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash the avocados with the lime, spring onions, chilli and garlic.
  3. Lay the collard leaves out flat on a chopping board. Divide the prawn filling between the four, before slapping on a spoonful of the guacamole on each. Roll the collards up to make wraps, and hold them together by poking in a cocktail stick.

Do you often make paleo friendly wraps for lunch? What is your favourite medium to use for the wraps? Cabbage? Seaweed? Lettuce? Or something else? I’d love to hear!

Paleo Lunch Box – Prawn, Mango and Spicy Guacamole Collard Wraps recipe-min

7 Ways to Make Your Desk Job Healthier office work cubicle paleo diet-min

7 Ways to Make Your Desk Job Healthier

In an ideal world, none of us would have jobs in offices or at desks, and we’d all have the day free to roam the land, walking miles to hunt for tonight’s dinner or digging in the vegetable garden. Sadly, real life isn’t that simple – and many of us rely on the jobs we have to provide ourselves with good quality, healthy foods to put on the table of an evening.

We know the health impacts long periods of sitting at a desk can bring about, so here are seven things you can do to make this kind of work healthier.

1.       Take a movement break every hour

If your job forces you to sit still for most of the day, it’s important you take the time to move as often as you can. Try and schedule a five minute ‘movement break’ every hour, where you go for a walk and stretch. This will help to counteract the negative impact on your posture and muscle alignment of long periods of sitting down.

7 Ways to Make Your Desk Job Healthier office work cubicle paleo diet-min

2.       Walk to work

If you’re lucky enough to live within a reasonable distance to your workplace, why not walk (or even better, run) there once or twice a week?

3.       Take the stairs

Simple things like taking the stairs instead of the lift can make a real difference, especially if your office is located on a high floor. If you can, why not incorporate some stair sprints into your breaks?

4.       Take lunch outside

Whenever the weather allows, take yourself outside for some fresh air in your lunch break. It will give you a much needed break from technology and artificial light, as well as give you a real boost of vitamin D.

5.       Get a light filter

If you’re concerned about the levels of blue light you’re taking in by staring at a computer, why not try a blue light filter for your screen?

6.       Stand up / treadmill desks

Your boss may take some convincing on this one, but why not recommend standing / treadmill desks for the workplace?

7.       Grounding mats

Grounding, or earthing, mats are brilliant if you want to get more connected with the earth. They slip under your desk easily – read more about them here

There we have it – seven simple ways to make your desk job much healthier. Have I missed anything? If you work in an office, what steps do you take to make it a healthier environment?

Paleo Diet Recipe Primal Herby Almond Nut Pâté-min

Recipe: Herby Almond Pâté

Almonds really do have to be one of the most versatile foods in the world, and are life savers for those following a Paleo diet. Whether you use them for Paleo baking as a replacement for flour, or enjoy as a dip for veggies, you may be surprised to know they make a delicious Almond Pâté! Great as a dip for crudités or just on its own as an appetiser.

Herby Almond Pâté Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 40ml apple cider vinegar (or 20ml cider vinegar + 20ml lemon juice)
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp raw honey (optional)
  • Good pinch sea salt

Herby Almond Pâté How To:

Drain and rinse the almonds.

Add to the food processor along with all the other ingredients. Blitz until combined – around 30 seconds was plenty for me.

The flavours combined perfectly, but there was still a nice crunch to the Pâté. You could blend for longer if you would prefer it smoother!

Paleo Diet Recipe Primal Herby Almond Nut Pâté-min