Posts

sun-dried tomatoes recipe paleo diet oven dehydrator how to

Recipe: Sun-dried tomatoes

Ok so my recipe isn’t strictly accurate, as my tomatoes are oven-dried rather than sun-dried – and my method doesn’t take 7 days, but the end result is the close enough. These are such a simple alternative to buying sun-dried tomatoes, and come with no preservatives or added nasties.

Use different colours and varieties of tomatoes and put these in a jar, to make a beautiful and practical gift.

Instead of basil, you can experiment with your favourite combinations. Try some other Italian herbs, garlic or even lemon for some variety. Capsicum (bell pepper) is also great dried out using this method and complements the sun-dried tomatoes perfectly.

Recipe: Sun dried tomatoes
Recipe type: Sides
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 250g tomatoes (I used regular cherry tomatoes, but have got some colourful varieties growing in my garden to try next time)
  • Splash of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 150C (300F)
  2. Slice the tomatoes in half, lengthways (it helps to keep them all evenly sized)
  3. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients, ensuring the tomato halves are evenly coated.
  4. Line a baking tray with grease-proof paper, and arrange the tomatoes evenly (it’s fine if some face up and some down)
  5. Bake for 2 – 3 hours, ensuring they don’t burn. You’ll want the tomatoes to retain a little moisture to ensure a nice texture.
  6. Store you sun-dried tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge.

WANT ME TO EMAIL YOU THIS RECIPE?

Enter your details and check your email!

Alternatively you can simply dry out the tomatoes in a dehydrator, if you have one.

I love sun-dried tomatoes as a simple stand alone, with goats cheese, avocado and pine nuts, but they’re also a great addition to lots of recipes. Try them in omelettes, on pizza, in chili or even as a secret ingredient in some homemade ketchup.

sun-dried tomatoes recipe paleo diet oven dehydrator how to

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.

WANT ME TO EMAIL YOU THIS RECIPE?

Enter your details and check your email!

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

Recipe Egg-y Tomatoes breakfast paleo network-min

Recipe: Egg-y Tomatoes

I know so many people find breakfast the hardest thing about eating a low-carb paleo diet. Well, if my 80 paleo breakfast ideas haven’t given you any ideas, here’s a recipe for you.

I love having eggs for breakfast as I find them so filling – and a great way to get a good amount of protein in, first thing in the morning. This recipes disguises the eggs with a homemade tomato puree and is super quick and easy. There really is no excuse not to start the day on a good breakfast, however busy you are.

This would go really well with some fresh salmon (make sure it’s wild and local), or some paleo sausages.

I’d love to hear what a typical breakfast looks like for you. Do you tend to have the same thing most mornings? Or perhaps you just have leftovers from the night before?

Recipe: Egg-y Tomatoes
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
A really quick and simple option for a paleo breakfast on a busy day.
Ingredients
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 45ml (3 tablespoons) EV olive oil
  • 6 free-range eggs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Blend the tomatoes in a bender and put to one side
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, before adding the blended tomatoes.
  3. Season to taste
  4. Stir the mixture whilst the excess liquid evaporates
  5. Once the mixture dries out, after about ten minutes, beat the eggs and stir into the tomatoes
  6. Keep stirring until the eggs are cooked through
  7. Serve & enjoy

WANT ME TO EMAIL YOU THIS RECIPE?

Enter your details and check your email!

Recipe Breakfast Tomato Eggs Low Carb Paleo Network Primal Diet-min

Why I buy canned tomatoes (and which brands to avoid) tinned-min

Why I buy canned tomatoes (and which brands to avoid)

I buy almost all of my produce fresh, but one of the few things I buy canned (shock horror!) is tomatoes.

Before I go any further – BPA

Let’s talk about BPA (Bisphenol-A). One of the main reasons put forward as to why you shouldn’t buy food like tomatoes in cans, is that there is a risk of BPA exposure. As tomatoes are acidic, there is a concern about chemicals leaching from the tin liners into the produce. Unfortunately, given the acidity of tomatoes, the main way to mitigate this risk would be to buy tomatoes in glass jars. It seems that no canned tomatoes are sold in BPA-free cans (though there is a problem with that too – as those types of cans may contain another risky chemical – BPS–Bisphenol S). Yet, I still buy canned tomatoes…

Canned tomatoes tinned BPA tomato paleo diet brands fresh-min

So why do I buy canned tomatoes?

Until I can harvest and preserve my own tomatoes (which is going to take a good few months), I’m going to be buying them canned.

I often find the fresh tomatoes sold don’t seem to be quite in season, and have been picked far too early. Use them as they are, and the flavour is completely lacking. Take them home and ripen them – and I almost always miss that sweet spot of ripeness and end up with a rotten mess. Tinned tomatoes are canned at the perfect moment and are always full of flavour.

Also – have you seen how much fresh tomatoes cost? At the time of writing this fresh tomatoes are $9.98 a kilo (for those reading from the US, that’s $4.53 a pound). No, not organic tomatoes, just regular tomatoes. That’s about $1.10 to $1.40 for one single tomato. Over a dollar for on tomato. That’s a lot of money. I hate that money has to come into it, but spending $10 on a few tomatoes to make a simple sauce is just not in my budget. I’d rather spend that money on meat.

Canned tomatoes are also peeled, which is a great convenience.

I use tomatoes as the base of so many of my recipes, so it’s handy to always have lots on hand – another reason I like to buy canned.

Yes, the BPA risk is a concern, but given this isn’t a significant part of my diet, this is a risk I feel justified in taking.

But what’s in the can?

What I am concerned with, is what is actually in the can. Have you seen some of the ingredients?

I just want tomatoes in my can of tomatoes. Too much to ask for? Fortunately, there are a few brands I’ve found that do just contain tomatoes…

My advice is to choose a brand that is just tomatoes (no seasoning or herbs – add your own) and check the ingredients carefully.

These are some of the ingredients in some popular brands I’ve found. Aside from Tomatoes, tomato juice and tomato puree, the brands I looked at also contained:

  • Firming Agent (509),
  • Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid (E330)
  • Calcium Chloride

Here are the brands to choose and avoid

I’ve highlighted the ones I would use in red. I’d rather give citric acid and the other additions a miss…

  • Annalisa Diced Tomatoes: 100% Certified Italian Tomatoes.
  • Annalisa: Peeled Tomatoes: Peeled tomatoes, tomato juice.
  • Ardmona Whole Tomatoes No Added Salt: Tomatoes (57% Min), Tomato Juice, Firming Agent (509), Food Acid (Citric Acid).
  • Bella Terra Organic Italian Whole Peeled Tomatoes: Selected Organic Italian Tomatoes In Organic Tomato Puree, Organic Basil
  • Capriccio Diced Italian Tomatoes: Diced Tomatoes (60%), Tomato Juice, Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid (E330)
  • Capriccio: Whole Peeled Tomatoes:   400g Tomatoes (60%), Tomato Juice, Acidity Regulator: (Citric Acid).
  • Cento Petite Diced Tomatoes: Fresh Red Ripe Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Salt, Calcium Chloride, Naturally Derived Citric Acid
  • Cento San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes: San Marzano Plum Peeled Tomatoes, San Marzano Puree, Basil Leaf, Naturally Derived Citric Acid, Salt
  • Cirio Chopped Tomatoes: Chopped Tomatoes 65%, Tomato Paste, Salt, Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid
  • Coles Diced Tomatoes: Tomatoes (60%), Tomato Juice, Food Acid (Citric Acid)
  • Coles Organic Diced Tomatoes: Organic Tomatoes (60%) ,Organic Tomato Juice (40%)
  • Coles Smart Buy Whole Peeled Tomatoes: Whole Peeled Tomatoes (60%),Tomato Juice,Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)
  • Cook Italian Peeled Plum Tomatoes: Italian Tomatoes (65%), Concentrated Italian Tomato Juice, Acidity Regulator: Citric Acid
  • Dell’Alpe Crushed Tomatoes: Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, Salt, Calcium Chloride, and Citric Acid.
  • Heinz Chopped Tomatoes: Tomatoes (65%), Tomato Juice (35%), Acidity Regulator – Citric Acid
  • La Valle Italian Peeled Tomatoes: Peeled Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, Basil Leaf, Salt, Citric Acid.
  • Muir Glen Canned Diced Tomatoes: Organic Tomatoes And Tomato Juice, Naturally Derived Citric Acid And Calcium Chloride.
  • Mutti Baby Roma Tomatoes: Date Tomatoes, Tomato Juice.
  • Napolina Chopped Tomatoes: Chopped Tomatoes (70%), Tomato Juice, Citric Acid
  • Parioli Chopped Tomatoes : Chopped Tomatoes (65%), Concentrated Tomato Juice, Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid)
  • Pomi Sauces Chopped Tomatoes: Tomatoes
  • Racconto Whole Peeled Tomatoes: Tomatoes, Tomato Juice, Salt, Calcium Chloride and Citric Acid.
  • Woolworths Homebrand Tomatoes Diced: Diced Tomatoes (65%), Tomato Juice, Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid).
  • Woolworths Select Tomatoes Diced: Australian Diced Tomatoes (52%), Tomato Puree, Firming Agent (509), Acidity Regulator (Citric Acid).

Do you use canned tomatoes – or is the BPA risk a concern for you? Which is your go to brand? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Chermoula Chicken Legs with Cumin Roasted Beets and Tomatoes paleo recipe-min

Recipe: Chermoula Chicken Legs with Cumin Roasted Beets and Tomatoes

Chermoula is a North African flavour blend traditionally used for fish, but it’s zingy and fragrant flavours mean it is also the perfect accompaniment for roast chicken. My chicken recipes are always popular, so I thought I’d create a chicken version. Both the chicken and the vegetables rely on the cumin, which makes this dish wonderfully earthy and aromatic. The chicken is best if marinated overnight, but it’s not essential.

Recipe: Chermoula Chicken Legs with Cumin Roasted Beets and Tomatoes
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 2 large chicken legs
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ small white onion
  • 1 large handful coriander
  • 1 large handful parsley
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 medium beets, chopped into quarters
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice half lemon
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 – 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
Instructions
  1. Lightly toast the cumin seeds until fragrant. Grind them in a food processor, before adding the garlic, onion, coriander, parsley, lemon, pepper and paprika. Spoon the marinade (chermoula) over the chicken and massage it in. Leave to marinade for as long as you can – preferably overnight, but a couple of hours will do.
  2. When you’re ready to cook, heat the oven to 180C / 375F. Transfer the marinated chicken to a foil lined roasting dish, and cook for 45 to 50 minutes, basting once or twice.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the beets and onion in a roasting dish. Toss in the olive oil and lemon juice, and sprinkle over the cumin seeds, salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, before adding the tomatoes for the final 10. Serve alongside the chicken.

Have you tried many North African recipes, like this Chermoula? I’d love to hear how you got on, and which are your favourite flavours!

Chermoula Chicken Legs with Cumin Roasted Beets and Tomatoes paleo recipe-min

Paleo recipe simple salsa-min

Simple Salsa

What to do when you have too many tomatoes? Make salsa of course! Salsa is a great dip and I often serve it with my home-made burgers. This recipe plays it safe, but for an extra kick, add some finely chopped fresh chilli to the mixture!

Simple Salsa
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauces & Condiments
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • Handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 red onion, diced finely
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, diced
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. It couldn't get much simpler - mix the ingredients together & season to taste. I immediately transfer into a jar that I can serve from.
  2. The jar should last for a few days in the fridge, make sure it's air tight.

How do you make salsa? I’d love to hear your secret ingredients and tips!

Paleo recipe simple salsa-min

Paleo recipe Shredded Chicken with Courgette Ribbons, Kalamata Olives, Sundried Tomatoes and Lemon dinner lunch-min

Recipe: Shredded Chicken with Courgette Ribbons, Kalamata Olives, Sundried Tomatoes and Lemon

There are plenty of reasons I love this recipe, but there are two that stand out way above the rest. Firstly, it’s ready in under 5 minutes, and secondly, it looks like it’s taken you all day! It’s perfect for summer BBQs where you’d much rather be spending your time with friends and family rather than in the kitchen peeling more vegetables or prepping more salad. The contrast in colours and shapes on the table make it a visually stunning dish – and it’s super tasty too!

Serves 4

Shredded Chicken Ingredients:

  • ½ medium chicken, pre roasted and cooled
  • 4 large zuchini/ courgettes
  • A large handful Kalamata (or any other meaty black olives), roughly chopped
  • 6 – 8 Sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Juice and zest 2 lemons
  • A good splash olive oil
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • A small handful fresh basil, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Shredded Chicken How To:

1)    Using a fork, finely shred half of the chicken, leaving the other half to snack on later! Set aside.

2)    Using a vegetable peeler, ribbon the courgettes lengthways. Work your way around the vegetable and into the middle, to create elegant spirals. Transfer to a large salad bowl and combine with the chicken. Mix in the olives and sundried tomatoes.

3)    Sprinkle the lemon zest over the salad before squeezing over the juice. Combine the olive oil with the raw honey (to cut the acidity of the lemons and the olives) before drizzling over the salad. Toss well, before adding your chopped herbs and seasoning to taste.

Paleo recipe Shredded Chicken with Courgette Ribbons, Kalamata Olives, Sundried Tomatoes and Lemon dinner lunch-min

Spicy Tomato Pigs Trotters paleo recipe offal dinner ideas-min

Recipe: Spicy Tomato Pigs Trotters

On my quest to cook with more offal, the thought of doing something with pigs trotters filled me with dread. I’d always seen them sitting, forlorn and lonesome in the far corner of my butcher’s counter whilst crowds flocked towards the chicken breasts and fillet steaks. However lonely they may have looked, I never had the bravery to give them any sort of interest (maybe it was the nails!) – until the other day, that is. After cooking them slowly, the meat came out super tender, and I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Pigs Trotters Ingredients:

  • 4 large pigs trotters
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 x 400ml cans chopped tomatoes
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • Large handful fresh basil, torn, to serve

Pigs Trotters How To:

Score the skin on the trotters, and season well with sea salt and plenty of black pepper.

Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan to a high heat. Brown the trotters by frying them in the oil for a couple of minutes. Remove and set aside.

Lower the heat to medium, then add the onion. Soften for 5 minutes, then add the chilli, garlic and oregano. Fry for another minute or so, then add the two cans of chopped tomatoes. Stir well, then add the trotters back to the pan. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for an hour and a half. Stir every now and then and top up with a little extra water if needed.

20 minutes before serving, add the chopped carrots then cover again. Serve garnished with the fresh basil.

Have you tried cooking with pigs trotters – or another type of offal? I’d love to hear what you did with it in the comments below.

Spicy Tomato Pigs Trotters paleo recipe offal dinner ideas-min

Paleo Diet Recipe Primal Sautéed Vine Tomatoes and French Beans-min

Recipe: Sautéed Vine Tomatoes and French Beans

So, whilst green beans and French beans are technically legumes, they are more pod than bean and contain less phytic acid and lectins than other legumes. So on that basis, if they’re local, fresh and in season, many people choose to enjoy them on a Paleo diet. What do you think about beans?

This is a wonderfully summery side dish, the crunch of the French beans works wonderfully with the juicy, full bodied tomato.

Sautéed Vine Tomatoes and French Beans Ingredients:

  • 500g French beans, tails removed
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 large vine tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Sautéed Vine Tomatoes and French Beans How To:

1)     Boil some water in a pan, then add the French beans and simmer for two minutes. Drain, then rinse the beans under cold water.

2)     Heat a little olive oil in a non stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallots and garlic, and sauté for 2 minutes until slightly softened and golden. Add the French beans to the pan, coating well with the existing contents. Sauté for a further minute or so to heat through.

3)     30 seconds or so before you are due to serve, add the chopped tomatoes so as just to heat them through but not damage the texture. Season with the salt, pepper and parsley, then serve.

Paleo Diet Recipe Primal Sautéed Vine Tomatoes and French Beans-min

Slow Roast Pork with Orange, Sundried Tomatoes and Bay Leaves paleo recipe dinner Sunday lunch primal-min

Recipe: Slow Roast Pork with Orange, Sundried Tomatoes and Bay Leaves

This slow roast pork dish is oh so comforting. Enjoy it as a treat for the whole family every once in a while.

I experimented a little when making this recipe, and browned my pork in the sundried tomato oil rather than normal olive oil. The result was a meat of incredible flavour, and I’m definitely going to cook in ‘infused’ olive oils more often. I’m also going to start making my own, so watch this space!

Slow Roast Pork Ingredients:

  • 750g lean pork shoulder, diced into cubes
  • 400g shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 250ml organic red wine
  • 1 x 400ml can chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml homemade chicken stock / water
  • 2 red peppers (capsicum), deseeded and cut into wedges
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Zest and juice of one orange
  • 100g sundried tomatoes, plus extra oil
  • 50g black olives, pitted
  • 500g peeled sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • A few sprigs of thyme

Slow Roast Pork How To:

Preheat the oven to 150C / 300F / Gas mark 2.

In a pan, heat 1 tbsp of the sundried tomato oil to a high heat. Season the cubes of pork, then fry in 2 separate batches for a couple of minutes until coloured. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

Heat another tbsp of the oil, and lightly sauté the shallots, garlic, sundried tomatoes and half of the fresh thyme for 5 minutes. Pour the oil over the pork, and toss well to combine.

Combine the red wine, orange and bay leaves in a large, hob-safe casserole dish. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Return the meat to the dish.

Add the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, peppers, olives, sweet potatoes and the remaining thyme. Stir well, and cover with a lid. Leave to cook in the oven for 2 ½ – 3 hours, or until the pork is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Spoon off any excess fat before serving (save it to cook with later!)

Slow Roast Pork with Orange, Sundried Tomatoes and Bay Leaves paleo recipe dinner Sunday lunch primal-min