18 Ways to Get More Veggies in your Diet paleo primal vegetables-min

18 Ways to Get More Veggies in your Diet

With most things in life, the key is ‘everything in moderation.’ Not that this means you can eat pizza in moderation, but you get my point. One thing that certainly shouldn’t be moderated however is your intake of delicious, fresh veggies. We could all benefit from upping our vegetable intake, and certainly shouldn’t be aiming for the paltry ‘5 portions a day’ recommended by so called ‘experts.’ If you’re running out of ways to boost your veggie intake, why not give some of these ideas a try?

18 Ways to Get More Veggies in your Diet paleo primal vegetables-min

 

Use them in:

Hide them in:

  • Sauces – like this romesco sauce or as a base to a Paleo pizza
  • Baked goods, like these sweet potato and chocolate chip muffins
  • Omelettes – try a spinach and red pepper omelette for a delicious breakfast
  • Dips – why not try replacing the basil with spinach or kale in pesto?
  • Curries – Why not throw some sweet potato, squash, courgette or mushrooms into your curry?
  • Stews / Casseroles – You can ever add some extra veggies like onions, parsnips and carrots and blend them up to make a delicious fresh sauce

Make Paleo Alternatives:

  • Make Paleo Tortillas with Lettuce Wraps
  • Make Paleo Noodles with Courgettes – you may need a spiralizer!
  • Make Paleo Spaghetti with a Spaghetti Squash
  • Make Paleo Rice with Cauliflower

Eat lots of salad!

  • Making your own salad is a great way to consume loads of fresh, colourful veggies in one sitting. You can throw together all sorts of leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, avocado – just about anything really!

Snack on them raw

  • Carrots, Cucumber, Celery and Peppers make excellent nibbles at snack time. Spread them with a little almond butter for a little indulgence if you like!

Make a vegetable based broth

  • This is an excellent way to use up all your leftover vegetables – simply throw them all into a pot and cook very gently for a delicious broth!

Go to your farmers market

  • A trip to your local farmers market can make you see vegetables in a whole new light. The colours, shapes and sizes of the produce on offer will be outstanding, and might just reignite your passion for vegetables. An otherwise boring tomato or bunch of kale will probably look much more fun here – so stock up at your local farmers market, and aim to walk away with at least one new vegetable.

How do you get extra veggies in your diet? Are there any ideas I have missed?

Tandoori Spiced Rack of Lamb with Mint and Coriander Relish paleo recipe-min

Recipe: Tandoori Spiced Rack of Lamb with Mint and Coriander Relish

A rack of lamb feels like a very special cut of meat; especially when it is seasoned with love and care. I often find myself devouring a whole rack in one sitting – but choose an 8 bone rack, and you should have plenty for two. This recipe tastes like it has come straight out of a tandoor oven; just don’t tell your friends how easy it is to make in a conventional one!

Recipe: Tandoori Spiced Rack of Lamb with Mint and Coriander Relish
 
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • Rack of Lamb Ingredients:
  • 1 x 8 bone rack of lamb
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 5 cm knob ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • Zest and juice 1 lime
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 100ml full fat, unpasteurised yoghurt*
  • 2 onions, sliced into wedges
  • For the relish:
  • 1 handful fresh mint
  • 1 handful fresh coriander
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 2.5cm fresh ginger
  • ½ clove garlic
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Zest and juice 1 lime
  • 2 tbsp apple juice
  • *for a dairy free option, use one can of coconut milk. Chill the coconut milk in the fridge overnight, then spoon out the thick coconut ‘cream’ to use in place of yoghurt.
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, whizz together all of the ingredients apart from the lamb, yoghurt and onions to make a paste. Stir into the yoghurt, and then rub the marinade all over the lamb. Leave to marinade for 24 hours.
  2. Preheat your oven to 190C / 375F. Line a roasting dish with foil, and arrange the onion slices at the bottom. Rest the rack of lamb on top of the onions.
  3. Roast the lamb for approximately 30 minutes for medium rare.
  4. Meanwhile, make the chutney by blitzing all the ingredients together in a food processor. Serve alongside the lamb and a salad of your choice.

Tandoori Spiced Rack of Lamb with Mint and Coriander Relish paleo recipe-min

Get Well Soon Chicken Soup paleo recipe-min

Recipe: Get Well Soon Chicken Soup

Feeling a bit crummy? Chances are, you find yourself feeling under the weather much less than you ever did before you started eating Paleo – but on those rare days that you do, nothing says ‘get well soon’ like a steaming hot bowl of chicken soup. It’s the ultimate comfort food, and boiling the whole bird means it is chocked full of vitamins, minerals, and of course – gelatin. Even if you’re not ill, I highly recommend you make some of this!

Recipe: Get Well Soon Chicken Soup
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Soups
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 x 1.5kg chicken
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel, roughly chopped
  • 6 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Few sprigs fresh thyme
  • Few sprigs fresh rosemary
  • A large handful fresh parsley
  • Sea salt and black pepper
Instructions
  1. Wash your chicken, before putting it into your biggest stock pot. Fill the pot with cold water, just enough to cover the bird, before adding the red wine vinegar. Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for 45 minutes. Skim the froth from the top, before removing the chicken.
  2. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred all the meat from the bird using a fork. It may not be completely cooked through yet – this is perfectly normal.
  3. Return the chicken carcass to the stock pot, and add the onions, fennel, carrots, garlic and herbs (except the parsley). Return to the heat, cover and simmer for another couple of hours.
  4. minutes before serving, return the shredded chicken back to the soup. When fully cooked through, serve in soup bowls garnished with the fresh parsley.

What’s the secret to your favourite chicken soup recipe? Is it a dish you often make?

Get Well Soon Chicken Soup paleo recipe-min

paleo recipes sweet potatoes potato yams ideas

Cooking paleo with sweet potatoes

Before I went paleo I ate a lot of white potatoes. Now, I eat

Paleo asthma switch on allergies anaphylaxis hives allergic reactions salycilates

Does Asthma switch on allergies?

A year or so after developing asthma out of the blue, something strange started to happen to my skin.

At completely random intervals, I started to notice my skin would be covered in small red hives. I changed washing powder, re-washed everything and it made no difference. I wondered if it was what I was eating, so I made myself eat lots of healthy raw veggies. I loved tomatoes, so they tended to be the main thing I’d eat more of to get rid of these bizarre hives. But oddly, they’d get worse. The hives got bigger and bigger and I was completely covered, head to toe in huge angry red hives.

I remember one day I had a terrible hangover, and as well as the headache, woke up with the worse hives I’d ever had competing for space on my skin. I’d drunk wine plenty of times before – what could possibly be causing this? The hives would gradually reduce and either disappear for a while, or suddenly and inexplicably get large and angry again.

Paleo asthma switch on allergies anaphylaxis hives allergic reactions salycilates

Around this time I had a bit of a headache and reached for some ibuprofen. I hadn’t taken it for a while, but it had always been really effective. Pretty much straight after my eyes got really really itchy. I looked in the mirror to see my eyelids had swollen up – I looked like I’d been in a fight! I went to an out of hours medical centre and was given anti-histamine, and it didn’t take long for the swelling to go down. I was told that I must avoid Non-Steroid Anti Inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s) such as aspirin and ibuprofen and that the reaction is likely to get worse with each anaphylactic incident. Great.

It was easy to avoid aspirin and ibuprofen, but the hives kept randomly appearing, so I was referred to an allergy specialist. It was quickly confirmed that Salicylates were causing the hives. I was shown two lists of food, one contained ALL of my favourite foods like tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum, zucchini and watercress. I estimated about 80% of my diet was on the first list she showed me. The second list, wasn’t food I especially cared for. As you can probably guess, the first list was food high in salicylates. The doctor explained salicylate tolerance as being like a bucket. You can have these foods, but one your tolerance bucket is full, you’ll have a reaction. Keep the bucket low and you can enjoy them in moderation. I now rarely eat these foods and thankfully haven’t had any serious hive episodes since. When I notice red marks starting to appear on my skin, I’m really careful to completely avoid foods even containing moderate levels of salicylates, and I find my skin clears up.

Fortunately with the anaphylaxis, it’s easy to avoid and I’ve only had one (all be it very serious) anaphylactic incident since – an experience I don’t intend to repeat.

I’ve read a lot about asthma and allergies happening at the same time (for example an allergic reaction causing asthma symptoms), but anecdotally I think once you become susceptible to asthma, you turn on the switch to allergy susceptibility. I’d love to hear your experience of asthma and allergies. Do you have asthma and allergies? Did they both start happening at a similar time in your life?

62 sneaky ingredients mislead sugar alternative names labelling

62 sneaky ingredients out to mislead you

It’s common knowledge that sugar is to be avoided, but if only it were that simple. Did you now there are at least 62 words food manufacturers can use, instead of simply saying sugar?

Many of the words on the list, such as Golden syrup and HFCS may be obvious no-no’s, but what about less common words, such as Ethyl maltol and Panocha. Would you immediately know that these ingredients were essentially sugar?

Agave nectar
Barbados sugar
Barley malt/ Barley malt syrup
Beet sugar
Brown sugar
Buttered syrup
Cane juice/ Cane juice crystals
Cane sugar
Caramel
Carob syrup
Castor sugar
Coconut palm sugar/ Coconut sugar
Confectioner’s sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup/ Corn syrup solids

62 sneaky ingredients mislead sugar alternative names labelling
Date sugar
Dehydrated cane juice
Demerara sugar
Dextrin
Dextrose
Diastatic malt
Diatase
Ethyl maltol
Evaporated cane juice
Free Flowing Brown Sugars
Fructose
Fruit juice/ Fruit juice concentrate
Galactose
Glucose/ Glucose solids
Golden sugar
Golden syrup
Grape sugar
HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup)
Honey
Icing sugar
Invert sugar
Lactose
Malt/ Malt syrup
Maltodextrin
Maltol
Maltose
Mannitol
Mannose
Maple syrup
Molasses
Muscovado
Palm sugar
Panocha
Powdered sugar
Raw sugar
Refiner’s syrup
Rice syrup
Saccharose
Sorbitol
Sorghum Syrup
Sucrose
Sugar (granulated)
Sweet Sorghum
Syrup
Treacle
Turbinado sugar
Yellow sugar

Whilst clearly it’s best to go for natural foods that don’t need labels, I can’t ever imagine a day where packaged foods aren’t commonplace. So surely those who buy them should be armed with full, honest information about the contents of these products, so they can make an informed decision?

It’s a shame manufacturers are allowed to be so misleading. Wouldn’t it be simpler if they perhaps had to use the word sugar, and follow that with the specific type of sugar? I can imagine many time-poor households trying to make good food choices – despite their best intentions, they can easily end up buying sugar laden foods.

Sugar can be a really confusing topic, especially when even healthy blogs use natural sugars in recipes (I put my hands up to this too, though in my recipes the natural sugar tends to be an optional addition). But are natural sugars actually any better for you – I’ve written the definitive guide to paleo sweeteners to help clear this up.

What’s your take on these sneaky misleading alternative words for sugar?

paleo_recipe_7_minute salmon poached_perfect

Recipe: 7 Minute Salmon

Salmon is great in so many things – recently I’ve been having a lot of salmon salads. I’ve tried lots of different ways of cooking it, but I think I’ve got the perfect method – and best of all, it takes just 7 minutes on the stove. I find this method far more consistant than frying or baking, as it always turns out well. This poaching technique is quick and cooks the fish through, but it remains tender. I tend to make up more than I need, as it’s fine to keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, making for a quick lunch option.

I’m quite careful about the fish I get and avoid farmed fish. Look out for wild fish where you can.

Recipe: 7 Minute Salmon
Recipe type: Fish & Seafood
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 4 wild salmon fillets
  • 3 spring onions, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • Squeeze of fresh lime
  • Sea salt
Instructions
  1. In a pan just big enough to accommodate the fish, arrange the fillets so they don’t overlap, and cover with cold water until they are immersed.
  2. Add the spring onions, peppercorns and lime, then the sea salt.
  3. Bring the water to the boil and as soon as it starts to boil, turn the fillets over and remove the pan from the heat. Leave the pan to stand for 7 minutes.
  4. After 7 minutes, take the salmon out of the pan and leave to cool completely. Once the salmon is cool it will be cooked to perfection.

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How do you cook Salmon (and other fish?) I’d love to hear your tips in the comments below.

Did my address where I lived cause my asthma paleo

Did my address give me asthma?

Long before I moved to Australia, I lived in an idyllic rural village in the South West of England, with open views of fields for miles around in each direction. The houses were beautiful cottages made of Cotswold stone, with roses in the gardens – and looked exactly as they would have a hundred years before. The local teenagers hung out by the park on horse-back, and the two big houses hosted annual Summer Supper parties exactly as they had for generations. My elderly neighbour lived in the cottage his mother had been born in.

The village had a quaint old pub, a church, a nursery school, a post box and a play park. On the corner was a farm you could let yourself into, leave a couple of pounds in the honesty box, and help yourself to freshly laid eggs. The nearest shop was about six miles away, which was the closest option for even a pint of milk or load of bread (this was long before I’d ever even heard the word paleo). With miles of public rights of way, it was right in the middle of nature. And unfortunately a great big motorway.

Did my address where I lived cause my asthma paleo

The huge motorway was the main route from London to Wales and dissected the village in two. In the time I lived there, there was only one brief occasion when the constant rumbling of cars and heavy goods vehicles stopped – just for an hour or so. On this one afternoon, the entire motorway was closed after a serious accident. Rather than being blissful, the silence was eerie. Day in, day out, no matter how ungodly the hour, the roar of the motorway never ended. Along with the noise, the motorway covered the windows and walls of my should-have-been-yellow house, with a thick layer of dirt.

On hot days (rare in the UK), the better option was to be uncomfortably hot, rather than sleep with the windows open.

The fields that surrounded the village grew all sorts of different produce and it was fascinating to see a fallow field transform to a field of wheat in a matter of weeks – all from my kitchen window. Every so often I’d see the farm machinery spraying the fields, which would fill the air with a heavy, unpleasant smell for a couple of days. The type of smell you can taste, long before you get close to it.

Half way down of one of the bridal paths, right next to the stream, was a huge steaming pile of (what I eventually learnt to be) human manure. I saw some of the best tomato plants I’ve ever seen growing up from that pile. The smell was one of the most unpleasant I’ve ever encountered, as made clear by my Labrador on her twice daily walks, who would do everything she could to drag me closer so she could have a good roll around in it (fortunately I was onto her and she never got to indulge in her penchant for excrement). Just when the pile looked like it couldn’t get any bigger, it would all but disappear, and I’d notice the smell had moved to the nearby fields, full of produce.

After living this healthy rural lifestyle for a year or two, I had a cold that just never went away. Or rather the cough never went away. No matter how much I’d cough, it would never quite resolve the need for the coughing. Eventually I went to the local-ish doctor (across the motorway, in the neighbouring village) expecting to be given some medication to clear up my cough. Without even getting so far as to see the doctor, a nurse heard my wheezing and coughing and instantly diagnosed asthma. Which I hadn’t realised you could develop, totally out of the blue, at the ripe old age of 23.

With the help of modern medicine, the coughing stopped, and it was manageable*

But I’ve always wondered, did where I live cause me to develop asthma?

If you developed asthma as an adult, what do you think caused it? I’d love to hear, in the comments below.


 

* Several years later (long after I’d left the village) my asthma was instantly cured as a side effect of life-saving treatment I received in a completely unrelated incident.

http://tinyurl.com/OzBundle

The Ultimate Australian Wellness Bundle

Finally – an all Australian ebook bundle! (I’m a bit late to share this with you, as it’s only available until OCT 16th)

The Ultimate Australian Wellness Bundle contains 35+ eBooks (worth over $450) from 30 of Australia’s top healthy living experts and it can be yours for just $44.95!

If you aren’t familiar with eBook bundles, they typically include a variety of eBooks from authors and bloggers in a particular niche, such as health and wellness.
They are sold at a discounted price for a limited time only. It’s a way for all of the contributors to get lots of exposure and to gain new readers, and an opportunity for our readers to get access to resources and eBooks they wouldn’t have seen or read before, or that they wouldn’t be able to afford if bought separately.

This is the very first bundle to focus on exclusively Australian made resources! That doesn’t mean it’s only for Aussies. My international readers will find ALL of the eBooks highly valuable and relevant as well.

The eBooks and authors in this bundle have been carefully selected to provide the best quality material in one package – from paleo, raw and vegetarian whole food recipes and detox meal plans to tips and plans on how to reduce stress, tone up, sleep better and find balance and clarity in your life. Get some of that world-famous Aussie wellness spirit in your life!

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Here is a little taste of what’s inside:

  • Learn how to heal your gut with an informative, uncomplicated and achievable gut healing protocol from one of Australia’s favourite holistic nutritionists and whole food chefs Lee Holmes (Heal Your Gut).
  • Try 25 new, nutritionally balanced whole food breakfast recipes, which come with stunning pictures and detailed instructions and variations, from an experienced naturopath Georgia Harding ND (Rise & Shine – A Well Nourished Breakfast)
  • Learn about a revolutionary approach to running from two of Australia’s leading movement experts – Dr. Brett Hill and ultra-marathoner Kim Morrison – and fall in love with barefoot running, without the injuries. (The Barefoot Athlete).
  • Get 95+ yummy and healthy lunch box recipes and snack ideas suitable to many dietary requirements from healthy family specialists Stacy Clare and Cass Michelin (A Healthy Lunchbox & Whole Food Snacks eBooks)
  • Learn how to make raw cheesecakes with Jules Galloway (Desserts Raw & Simple), grain, gluten and refined sugar free chocolate hummingbird cake with Alice Nichols (Sweet), or a vegan triple coconut sorbet with Adele McConnel (Sweet Essentials)
  • Get tips and guidance on how to deal with change and stress in order to live a blissfully effortless and more mindful life with Tom Cronin (Path To Peace)
  • Find the best substitutes to eggs, nuts, and refined sugar with Jordanna Levin (A Stress Free Guide To Allergies & Intolerances); and learn how to make dairy free milks, ice cream, cheese and butters with Lauren Glucina (Dairy Alternatives)
  • And that’s just some of the things you will get out of this bundle.

Get all 35+ eBooks (valued over $450) for only $44.95 AUD! But hurry, it’s only on sale until Oct 16th.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BUNDLE HERE

Stuffed Capsicum paleo diet recipe bell peppers dinner lunch chicken-min

Recipe: Stuffed Capsicum

I usually only use green capsicum as they’re half the price of their red and yellow cousins, but when they were on offer this week, I thought it was high time to cook something capsicumy. What better than the classic stuffed capsicum? I’d usually make this with minced beef, but I fancied a change, so thought I’d give it a try with shredded chicken instead.

I always used to cut the tops of the capsicum, stuff them, put the lid back on, then cook them standing up. However, it’s not easy to find ones that will remain standing up and also I think they’re harder to eat and not so attractive on the plate this way. I served mine sliced in half lengthways and retained the stalk party to stop the stuffing falling out, and partly because it looks good! Unfortunately cutting them for this dish means I can’t use my genius capsicum cutting technique.

I used mushrooms, carrots and a zucchini for the stuffing, but this is a great way to use up whatever vegetables you happen to have.

Hint: Take care choosing your capsicums! You’ll find the ones with 4 points at the base will sit far better in the oven than those with 3 points.

I was left with loads of stuffing left over, so froze this in individual portions and will enjoy them for many lunches to come!

Recipe: Stuffed Capsicum
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This is a great winter dish served with cauliflower rice - or a simple salad.
Ingredients
  • 3 colourful capsicums (bell peppers)
  • Dash of coconut oil
  • 2 brown onions, diced into small pieces
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bottle of pasata
  • 1 zucchini diced into small pieces
  • 6 mushrooms, diced into small pieces
  • 2 carrots, diced into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • Cooked shredded chicken
Instructions
  1. Cut the capsicums lengthways, ensuring the two halves will sit nicely, before making the cut. Deseed the capsicum and trim the insides and bottom of the stalk ensuring there is lots of room for them to be filled. Put the halves empty side up on a baking tray.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 175C
  3. Fry the onions in the coconut oil over a medium heat, until the soften.
  4. Add in the tomatoes and pasata, then stir in the veggies
  5. Allow the mixture to simmer for 20-30 minutes, then add the herbs, spices and seasoning.
  6. Add in the chicken to heat up, and once the carrots have softened remove the pan from the heat.
  7. Spoon the mixture into the capsicum halves and push down with the back of a spoon, ensuring they are completely filled.
  8. Put the stuffed capsicums in the oven and cook until the capsicum has softened to your liking, ensuring they don’t burn! I should just take a few minutes.

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Stuffed Capsicum paleo diet recipe bell peppers dinner lunch chicken-min