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Whole30 compliant

Shakshuka with tahini and olives

This is the most wonderful brunch or lunch, oozing with flavor and goodness.

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Serves 2 – 4 (but can easily be augmented)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 large organic, pasture-raised eggs
3 medium tomatoes – roughly chopped
1/2 medium onion-diced
5 cloves garlic-roughly chopped
2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1&1/4 tsp harissa
1 handful green olives – pitted and roughly chopped for garnish
salt and pepper to taste

For the tahini mixture;
2 tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic-finely grated
2 tbsp lemon juice
Approx 1/4 cup water
pinch of sea salt

In a bowl, whisk together the tahini, garlic and lemon juice. The mixture will be clumpy. Keep whisking and slowly add 1 tbsp water at a time until the tahini loosens and can loosely coat the back of a spoon. Season with a pinch of salt- set aside

Heat a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add the oil, onions and garlic. Season with a pinch of salt and sauté for 10 to 15 minutes until soft.
Season the onion mixture with the smoked paprika and sauté for 60 seconds- stir constantly to prevent burning.

Add the tomatoes and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir, lower the heat to medium low and cover with a lid. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the Harissa.
NOTE- If the tomato mixture dries out during the cooking, add 1-2 tbsp water.

Remove the lid and crack the eggs into the sauce one at a time.
TIP- Use a spatula to create a small “well” in the sauce and add the egg into the well so that the eggs cook in the sauce rather than over the top of it.

Cover with a lid and cook until the whites have hardened but the yolks are runny; approx 6 to 8 minutes.
For firmer yolks, cook for a bit longer.
Remove from the heat, drizzle with the tahini and garnish with the olives

 

Carrot cake smoothie

I happen to be married to someone who adores carrot cake, so when I found this recipe recently, there was no way I wasn’t going to include it. I mean, a healthy smoothie tasting like carrot cake??

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1 cup carrots, peeled and then grated (if you have a high powered blender like a Vitamix, you could probably just roughly chop them)
1 organic banana, frozen
1 1/2 cups coconut/almond milk(or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for two hours (or 1/4 cup homemade cashew nut butter)
1 tsp good vanilla extract
1 good sized Medjool date
1 tbsp organic raw shelled hemp seeds, or protein powder.
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger or 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Optional – instead of the hemp seeds, for additional nutritional support, you could also opt for a scoop of Protein Powder, either the Vanilla Chai or straight Vanilla would be great.

Directions: Add all of the ingredients to your high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Top with a little cinnamon and a pinch of grated carrots. Enjoy immediately.

Coconut creamed spinach

This is a terrific recipe from the blog, “Pure Wow”. Coconut milk replaces the cream in this gorgeous, silky spinach dish and the fresh ginger and dash of curry powder make it more fragrant.
I served it with “Rosemary rack of lamb” from The Barefoot Contessa’s book “Make it ahead”.
This is a delicious side dish to lamb, chicken or beef.

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INGREDIENTS
2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion–peeled, halved and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
One ½-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
8 cups fresh spinach, rinsed and dry
1 cup coconut milk

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp curry powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
Kosher salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.

Add the spinach a few handfuls at a time, stirring until it wilts before adding more. Continue until all the spinach is added.

Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the mixture thickens, about four to five minutes.
Mix together the cayenne pepper, curry powder, smoked paprika and salt in a small bowl and start by seasoning the dish with half of it, stirring to combine. Taste, and if you would like more heat and spices, add some more.
I only used 1/2 of mine

Easy Dijon salmon

This is great for a party and can be doubled or trebled easily. It’s so simple to prepare and is so tasty!

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1 1/4lbs salmon fillet, preferably wild
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp soy sauce (or if following the Whole 30, use Coconut Aminos)
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger powder

Line a baking dish with aluminum foil.Coat the foil with cooking spray unless it’s non stick foil. Place the salmon on the foil. Mix the mustard through the ginger powder in a small bowl. Pour the marinade over the salmon and refrigerate the salmon for 30 mins.

Preheat the oven to 375 F and bake the salmon for 20 -25 mins or until just cooked through and flakes easily

Coconut-braised chicken quarters with chorizo and potatoes

This is a beauty! I just love cooking with chicken quarters as they are so moist and flavorsome and with the addition of fresh ginger and crushed coffee beans in the gremalata, it’s definitely in a category of it’s own! Also the recipe is easy to judge for people as 1 good sized chicken quarter is enough per (normal) person!
The beauty of this recipe is that it is also a Whole30 recipe with the substitutions of olive oil instead on canola oil and ghee instead of butter.

Serves up 4 generously or 6 normally!

2 tbsp canola or olive oil
6 good sized whole chicken legs
Pepper
1/2lb fresh Mexican-style chorizo, but I have been known to use Spanish chorizo chopped small
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
1 dried chili de arbol, broken in half
3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1lb baking or Yukon Gold potatoes peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces lengthwise
2 tbsp fresh lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
1 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee

Gremalata

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra sprigs
7 coffee beans, finely crushed (1/2 tsp)
2 tsp finely grated lime zest

Preheat the oven to 425 F
In a large enameled or cast-iron braising dish, heat the oil. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper.
Working in 2 batches, brown the chicken over moderate heat, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes per side.
Transfer the chicken to a large plate
Add the chorizo and onion to the pan and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until the onion is translucent, about 5 to 10 mins
Stir in the ginger, garlic and chili and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute
Add the coconut milk, potatoes and chicken to the pan and bring to a simmer.
Cover and braise in the oven for about 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through.
Stir in the lime juice and butter and season with salt.

Meanwhile make the gremalata.
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
Spoon the braised chicken and potatoes into shallow bowls.
Garnish with the gremalata and cilantro sprigs and serve with lime wedges

Make ahead
The braised chicken can be refrigerated overnight. Reheat gently.

Baked porcini mushrooms and potatoes

Rich, earthy, woody and fabulous to have with roasted or grilled meats and a salad. This recipe is from the River Cafe in London.

Serves 6

5oz dried porcini mushrooms. (See below for soaking instructions)
3lbs medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
5 oz Ghee, clarified butter or butter
6 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked from the stalks and washed

Preheat the oven to 400F

Cut the potatoes in half lengthways and into quarters lengthways if they are too big. Wash and pat dry.
Soak the porcini mushrooms in 2 pints (1 liter) boiled water for 20 minutes, then strain, retaining the liquid.
Strain the liquid through a fine sieve. Rinse the porcini mushrooms under running cold water to get rid of any remaining grit. Dry well on paper towels.

In a thick-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter/ghee over medium/low. When the butter starts to foam, add the garlic and soften for a minute of two before adding the porcini.
Cook, stirring to prevent sticking, for a few minutes before adding the strained porcini liquid.
There will be a lot of liquid, which needs to reduce and thicken for about 7-8 mins.

Now add the potatoes. Coat them in the juices the gently stir and cook for around 15 to 20 minutes.
The potatoes should begin to take on the color of the porcini juices.

Remove the pan and tip everything into roasting trays.
Season with salt, pepper and the fresh thyme, stir gently and bake for another 30 mins.

Test the potatoes with a skewer to make sure they are tender.

Romesco Sauce

This flavorsome Spanish sauce (or dip) is tremendously versatile. It’s wonderful served with boiled baby potatoes served warm or at room temp, that you dip into the sauce and eat. It’s great with grilled prawns or chicken too.
Whole 30 compliant, vegan, non dairy and grain free, it’s a winner. It also lasts for up to 1 week in the fridge and the whole thing is done in the food processor.

 

MAKES 3 CUPS

1 x 16oz jar of roasted bell peppers
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted lightly
1/3 cup tomato purée
4 heaped tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 tbsp Sherry vinegar
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pulse the first 8 ingredients in a food processor until very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the oil; process until smooth.
Season with salt and pepper.

DO AHEAD: Romesco can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

Seared scallops with roasted cauliflower and olive puree

This is a dish from the “Brooklyn Rustic” recipe book and is the perfect combination with scallops without overpowering them.

Serves 4

2 head cauliflower,cut into 1 inch florets
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Fine sea salt
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
2 tbsp avocado or coconut oil
1 1/2 lbs jumbo scallops (about 12 to 16)
freshly ground black pepper
4 oz young pea shoots

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl.
Pour the cauliflower into a preheated pan inn an even layer and roast until golden, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through roasting.

In a blender, puree the olives, vegetable stock, lemon juice, and half the basil until smooth, about 2 minutes

Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Cooking in batches, if necessary, add the scallops to the skillet, leaving at least 1 1/2 inches between each scallop. Sear until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Scatter the pea shoots on a serving platter. Sprinkle the roasted cauliflower over the pea shoots, then lay the scallops on top.
Drizzle the olive puree over everything and finish with a sprinkle of lemon zest, the remaining basil and a drizzle of olive oil

Roasted cauliflower with olives, currants and tahini dressing

This is a really tasty and well balanced recipe with a lot of interesting flavors going on. It’s terrific for those on the Whole 30 program, as my husband and I are and is fairly simple to put together.

Serves 4

1 large cauliflower (about 3lbs), trimmed and cut into florets
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Tahini Dressing
1/4 cup tahini
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp fine sea salt
2 tbsp water, plus more as needed

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt to taste. Arrange the cauliflower florets in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes, turning once, until the edges are brown and caramelized.

While the cauliflower roasts, make the dressing. Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt until smooth and creamy. Add the water and whisk until combined. The sauce will be thick. Add more water to thin it slightly if you like. It will continue to thicken as it sits.

Keep aside some of the olives, currants and parsley (or add a little more) so you can decorate the top of the salad after tossing it in the dressing.
Toss the warm cauliflower with most of the dressing. Add most of the currants, olives, and parsley and toss to combine. Taste and add more dressing or salt, if desired.
Decorate with remaining olives currants and parsley

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Crispy potato, olive and caper bake

This is such a lovely mixture of flavors and again, really not difficult to make.
Paired with some grilled meat or poultry, you have a pretty gorgeous meal

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2lbs Jersey Royal or Baby Yukon potatoes
A handful small capers
2 x handfuls pitted black olives (Please, not those awful canned ones!)
1 tbsp thyme leaves
A medium bunch rosemary, broken into sprigs
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Heat oven to 450 F
Boil the potatoes until the softer side of cooked, about 12 mins.
Drain, slice in half, then tip into a bowl. Tip the capers, olives and herbs on top of the potatoes then add most of the oil and a some seasoning.
Stir together, lightly crushing the potatoes.
Line a medium Swiss roll-type tin with baking parchment, leaving some hanging over the sides.
Tip the potatoes into the tin and flatten down. Mix the vinegar and remaining oil, drizzle over the potatoes, then bake for 40 mins until golden.

Enjoy!