Posts

Paleo Diet Primal Recipe Sri Lankan King Prawn Curry-min

Recipe: Sri Lankan King Prawn Curry

Sri Lanka has been a major trade network in South Asia for hundreds of years; in fact, traders have come to this beautiful island since ancient times and exchanged a whole range of exotic spices. Understandably, Sri Lankan cuisine is a distinct fusion of flavours from influences all around the world. The food is generally very hot, and uses a range of native spices to create delightfully fragrant and somewhat enchanting recipes. As you would expect from an island, seafood is abundant, which is the reason fish curries – like this King Prawn curry – are one of Sri Lanka’s many specialities.

I’ve used courgettes/ zucchini in this recipe, but feel free to throw in any vegetables you have available. Serve with a light salad, or cauliflower rice for something more substantial.

King Prawn Curry Ingredients:

  • 500g raw tiger prawns, shells off
  • 2 large courgettes/ zucchini, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 3 birds eye chillis (for a medium-hot curry), chopped and deseeded
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp fenugreek powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • ½ tsp cardamom pods, crushed
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 curry leaves
  • 3 pandan leaves
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4cm fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 x 400ml can coconut milk
  • Juice 2 limes
  • Small handful fresh coriander, to serve

King Prawn Curry How To:

Heat a little coconut oil in a large, heavy based pan. Rinse the tiger prawns, then toss in the juice of 1 of the limes. Season with a little black pepper, then sauté for 4 – 5 minutes until coloured. Set aside.

Heat the remaining coconut oil in the large pan over a medium heat. Fry the red onions for 2 – 3 minutes until softened, then add the garlic, chilli and ginger, and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. Toss in all of the ground spices, stir and simmer gently for a final 2 – 3 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and about 200ml water to the onions and spices. Stir in a little salt and pepper, then add the king prawns and courgette slices. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the curry from the heat, then stir in the fresh coriander and remaining lime juice to serve.

Paleo Diet Primal Recipe Sri Lankan King Prawn Curry-min

 

Mango and Coconut Chicken Curry paleo dinner recipe lunch-min

Recipe: Mango and Coconut Chicken Curry

A great choice if you’re not the biggest fan of spicy curries, this Asian inspired curry is delightfully creamy and fruity in equal measure. Enjoy the health giving, anti-inflammatory properties of Ginger and Turmeric as an added bonus and the great combination of mango and coconut.

I’ve made this one with a whole, medium roast chicken, simply because I had one spare in the fridge. I enjoy the contrast between the white and the dark meat in this curry, and they are definitely more cost effective to buy whole. If you’d rather though, feel free to substitute with the same amount of breast / thigh meat.

Mango and Coconut Chicken Curry Ingredients:

  • 1 medium free range chicken, roasted and left to cool
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 and ½ large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Small handful fresh coriander
  • 100g fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 large, ripe mangoes
  • 1 x 400ml can coconut milk
  • 400ml home made chicken stock

Mango and Coconut Chicken Curry How To:

Heat a large, heavy based pan to a low heat. Lightly toast the cumin and nigella seeds for around a minute, until aromatic. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Add the coconut oil to the pan and turn the heat up to medium. Add one of the onions, keeping the other half to one side. Cook for around 5 minutes, until soft.

Meanwhile, add the toasted spices to the food processor along with the remaining onion, olive oil, curry powder, turmeric, garlic, coriander, ginger, and the flesh from one of the mangoes. Whizz together to form a paste.

Add the curry paste to the pan and gently simmer for 3 – 4 minutes to really release the flavours.

Meanwhile, shred the meat from the roast chicken, using as much as you can from all of the bird.

Pour the coconut milk and chicken stock into the pan, and then add the chicken. Stir well, and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

A couple of minutes before serving, dice the remaining mango and add to the pan. Stir well, and serve garnished with fresh coriander.

Mango and Coconut Chicken Curry paleo dinner recipe lunch-min

Paleo Diet Indonesia Bali Lombok Java how to eating where healthy suggestions ideas-min

Keeping It Paleo Whilst Travelling – Indonesia

I had intentions of being 100%, strict Paleo on my recent trip to Indonesia. However, it’s all very well deciding that in advance, but when I actually arrived in Indonesia, things didn’t go quite to plan…

As I was travelling to lots of different, rural places in Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands, food options could be quite limited. Most of the places I stayed offered breakfast options of things like pancakes (with banana or pineapple and topped with honey), fresh fruit (mango, papaya, pineapple and other tropical fruits) and toast and a boiled egg.

My initial approach was to order breakfast from the lunch menu – paying extra to get fish and vegetables, or eggs with a side of chicken and veg. This took quite some explaining and was met with some very baffled expressions. Unfortunately, after a few days I was struck down with the dreaded “Bali Belly” (if you don’t know, I’m sure you can guess!). It then occurred to me I was going against my first rule of travelling:

Eat what the locals eat!

Indonesia-Paleo-Diet-Markets-680x450

I’ve travelled all around Asia following this rule and have never been ill. I’ve always noticed that the tourists who don’t try local food, but order Western dishes are usually the ones to fall ill. I guess because Western food that is rarely ordered, so it doesn’t have such a quick turnaround. So, I prioritised “eating local food” above “eating Paleo”. In practice, this mainly meant including rice, as this is such a staple in Indonesia (and Asia generally). I also started to eat a lot of fruit – where as usually I only have one or two pieces a week.

Fortunately the food in Indonesia has a few important differences from a lot of Western food. Everywhere I went, the food was local. I had fish a few times, sitting by the lake or overlooking the sea that the fish came from. The rice came from the rice paddies next door. The eggs, from the hens that were roaming around next to where I ate. I was also very impressed to find that most food is cooked in coconut oil; but not shop bough coconut oil – home made coconut oil!

Paleo Diet Indonesia Bali Lombok Java how to eating where healthy suggestions ideas-min

My Favourite Indonesian Paleo-ish Dishes

A great Indonesian dish that I had often was Satay. This is meat skewers, cooked over coals and flavoured with local herbs and spices and served in peanut sauce. So whilst the peanut (legume) sauce is not Paleo, the principles of the dish clearly are.

Soy is also quite strongly featured, as tofu or tempe – and whilst it is traditionally prepared (certainly not processed), it was easy for me to steer clear of it.

Despite the rice, I had Nasi Goreng (fried rice), several times, leaving the prawn crackers uneaten. Another popular local dish I enjoyed was Gado-gado, which literally means a mix. It contains lots of local vegetables and a peanut sauce with some delicate herbs and spices. I found quite a few dishes, such as Opor ayam, that were along the lines of a chicken curry – in coconut milk – a great Paleo option.

Whenever fish was offered, I found that a great option, as the whole fish was served, and they were locally caught instead of farmed and imported. Pepes Ikan is a great fish dish cooked in a banana leaf.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to try different fruit, that isn’t so readily available at home. Rambutans are a little like Lycees and were grown almost everywhere. I also tried jack fruit, snake fruit and fresh papaya.

So, my strategy of eating like a local worked well from a short-term health perspective in that I avoided food poisoning. But I found the change of diet hard going. On my Paleo diet, I can go for a long time before I get hungry, as my blood sugar levels remain stable. When I started to introduce so many (relatively) carbohydrates, I found that I would become extremely hungry and shaky – and have to eat every few hours – a clear indication of a drop in blood sugar levels. As much as I enjoyed trying so many local foods, it was good to return to my normal World, where I’m fortunate enough to be able to eat what I want to eat based on Paleo, rather than what is available.

What is your approach to nutrition when you’re travelling? Do you keep it Paleo? Have you been to Indonesia? Please share in the comments below!

Paleo seaweed-min

Seaweed

I love looking around my local Asian supermarket.  I found a whole section of seaweed and seaweed related products (though the products seem to contain lots of ingredients that are far removed from Paleo).  Seaweed is something I’ve never had at home before – and certainly haven’t cooked with – and I’m curious to try.

Seaweed paleo-min
Seaweed is supposed to be a great source of iodine that is otherwise hard to obtain through diet, but which plays a crucial role in the thyroid.  It contains lots of different health promoting minerals.

I’ve been looking into what I can do with different types of Seaweed.  Apparently dulse granules can be sprinkled on many foods and nori can be used to make paleo wraps!  Kelp is supposed to be good as a snack on its own.

Next time I venture near the Asian grocery store, I’m definitely going to buy some!

Have you incorporated Seaweed into your diet?  What is a good type and dish to start experimenting with?  I’d be very interested to hear your seaweed comments, below!

Paleo seaweed-min