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In the spirit of the holidays, here is another quick little holiday treat recipe that comes together in no time. Loaded with coconut, these macaroons are full of paleo goodness.

For and added twist if you’re feeling adventurous, once the macaroons have cooled, dip the top of each one into some melted 85% organic dark chocolate for a truly decadent treat.

Enjoy and all the best to you and your loved ones this holiday season.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup coconut ribbons (or 1 more cup shredded coconut if you can’t find ribbons)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp celtic salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • In large bowl beat egg whites until stiff peaks form
  • Add salt, vanilla and maple syrup and stir until just combined
  • Stir in coconut
  • Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls on parchment line baking sheet
  • The mixture may fall apart slightly so using your finger tips, press the mixture back together into tight little mounds, creating a slight peak at the top if you can
  • Bake in preheated 325 oven for 15 minutes or until lightly browned
  • Remove and cool on wire rack
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This year in B.C. we had the largest sockeye salmon run in nearly 100 years which meant that the fresh stuff was being sold everywhere.  I think I even saw someone selling whole fish right out of the trunk of their car!! 

While the salmon run has long since passed, there is still an abundance of frozen sockeye available at most local markets.  As the fish was pretty much frozen right off the boat, the previously frozen variety is just as tasty as the fresh stuff was.   

Cooking this recipe for a few friends, I opted to cook a larger piece of salmon fillet and then portion it off after cooking.  As salmon can be quite rich tasting, to lighten it up, I dressed the fillet with fresh dill and lemon before baking it in the oven.  Rounding out this awesome paleo dish was a generous portion of cauliflower rice and kale.  

For the Salmon

  • Ingredients
  • 1 – 1.5 lbs sockeye salmon fillet (any kind of salmon will work)
  • Fresh dill to taste
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Wash and dry salmon fillet and place skin side down on parchment lined baking sheet.  Season with pepper
  3. Wash and dry fresh dill, remove tougher parts of dill stem and generously place dill on top of salmon (I love dill so was pretty generous here) 
  4. Squeeze juice from one half of the lemon over the salmon
  5. Slice remaining half lemon into thin slices and lay these over the salmon
  6. Bake in preheated 375 oven for 12-15 minutes until fish is cooked through

For the Cauliflower Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, green leaves removed, washed and cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup each finely chopped celery, carrot and onion
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and torn into small pieces
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (or more as required)
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat
  2. Add celery, carrot and onion and saute for a few minutes until translucent
  3. While veggies are cooking, in food processor add cauliflower in batches and process until it is a rice like consistency
  4. Add “riced” cauliflower to veggies in fry pan and stir to combine
  5. Add chicken stock, season with pepper and cover with lid
  6. Simmer over medium-low heat stirring occasionally until tender ~ 20 minutes, adding more chicken stock if pan starts to become too dry
  7. Once cauliflower is tender, add kale and cover until kale is wilted and tender, stirring occasionally
  8. Serve Salmon over a heaping spoonful of cauliflower rice – Enjoy!!

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With the days getting shorter and the temperatures falling, I find myself craving warm hearty meals once again.  Being the kid of a British mum, Shepherd’s Pie was a fairly regular weeknight winter meal at our dinner table.   It was one of our favorite dishes and seldom were there any leftovers.  We would even fight over who got the crispy potato pieces left on the sides of the empty dish!

This recipe is my take on this classic favorite where I’ve switch out many of the traditional ingredients to create a much healthier paleo friendly meal that will definitely have you coming back for seconds.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs lean ground beef or ground bison
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup beef stock, or more if required
  • 1 bunch of black kale (or any kind of kale), washed, thick part of stems removed and torn into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 tsp each red pepper flakes, thyme and fennel seed
  • 1 tsp each dried rosemary and parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In large saucepan over medium high heat, heat coconut oil
  3. Add carrot, celery, onion and red pepper and saute for a couple of minutes until soften slightly
  4. Add mushrooms and saute until being to sweat ~ 5 minutes
  5. Add ground meat and cook until browned ~ 7-10 minutes, stirring frequently
  6. Add spices and beef stock, cover and simmer over low heat for ~ 20 minutes
  7. Add kale, stir to combine and cover and continue cooking until kale is tender
  8. Using a slotted spoon so not to transfer any remaining fluid, transfer meat mixture to oven proof casserole dish
  9. Top with Mashed Cauliflower (see recipe below), spreading evenly to all sides to completely cover the meat mixture .  Then, using a fork, lightly drag it across the cauliflower mixture to create lines (this will help with browning)
  10. Bake in 350 degree oven for 25 minutes until heated through
  11. Turn broiler on for last 5 minutes of cooking time (or more if required) to create a lightly browned top 
  12. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving

Mashed Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Steam cauliflower until very tender
  2. Transfer to food processor and puree until mashed consistency
  3. Add coconut milk and season with salt & pepper and puree until combined

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I have to admit that at first, the idea of cooking a whole chicken to feed just myself  seemed just a little bit excessive.  However craving a good old-fashioned Sunday Dinner like my Mum makes,  and knowing that it would give me lots of leftovers for the week, I decided why not give it a whirl.  The great thing about this one is it takes just minutes to prep the chicken and then you just let the oven do all the work.  All it takes is a few simple ingredients placed inside the cavity of the chicken to give you a wonderfully tender, moist and flavourful meal. 

Ingredients

  • 1 small roasting chicken
  • 1 lemon, washed and cut in half
  • 10 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
  • Freshly ground salt & pepper
  • Olive oil

Let’s get cooking: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. If the chicken has been tied, remove the string and also ensure you remove the bag of giblets inside the cavity if they came with your chicken
  3. Rinse chicken in cold water, both inside and out, dry thoroughly as this will make sure the skin crisps up.
  4. Season the chicken cavity with salt & pepper
  5. Layer the thyme, garlic and lemon halves inside the chicken cavity
  6. Place on roasting rack, breast side up.   No need to tie it back up as it will cook faster spread eagle style!
  7. Rub skin all over with olive oil – I used about 1/2 tbsp
  8. Place in oven and roast at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.  The time will depend on the size of your chicken.  Best way to check is to make sure the chicken registers 165 degrees when tested with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.
  9. Once cooked, remove from oven and tent with foil for 10-15 minutes. 

Note:  I used thyme for this one, but any spices will do so don’t be afraid to experiment.  Rosemary, sage, shallots would be great as well.

Stuck on what to do with the leftovers – Why not whip up a batch of Chicken and Kelp Noodle Soup.  Using cooked chicken will save you about 10 minutes cooking time.

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Primal Nut Balls

In looking for a portable snack with a touch of sweetness to take with me on outdoor adventures that would also be easy to eat in sub zero temperatures, I came up with this little number.  Dried fruit can be especially high in natural sugars so to help reduce this slightly, I’ve used organic apples slices and prunes, while still using a few dates to help the mixture bind together.  A touch of maple syrup, while not technically primal, and a bit of cinnamon help add a nice flavour to this nutty little treat. 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dried natural organic apples roughly chopped
  • 5 mejoul dates – pitted and roughly chopped
  • 10 pitted prunes – roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened unsulphured coconut
  • 2 tbsp flax seed
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp Ceylon cinnamon, or more to taste

Let’s get cooking:

  1. In food processor coarsely chop nuts.
  2. Add coconut, flax and cinnamon to food processor and pulse a few times until fairly fine, but still some remaining chunks of nut, remove and reserve to bowl.  
  3. Add fruit to food processor and chop until fine
  4. Add fruit to nut mixture and begin working the mixture together with your hands until mixture begins to come together
  5. Drizzle with maple syrup and continue kneading until mixture comes together into one large ball
  6. Using hands, form mixture into individual 1 inch balls, set aside and continue with remaining mixture
  7. Place in refrigerator to cool and set. 
  8. Balls can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator for a few weeks, but I doubt they’ll last that long!

Note: 

  1. If the apples are quite dry, soak for ~ 10 minutes in warm water, drain and then add to food processor
  2. For a time saver, the mixture can also be pressed into a parchment lined pan, cooled in refrigerator then cut into bars

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