Zucchini Pesto Muffins

Sunday, October 28, 2012

This awesome recipe was sent in by one of my readers Megan Roberts who is a fantastic cook, she has even worked out how much they will cost you! Thank you so much Megan, you are a legend!!!

Zucchini Pesto Muffins

  • 6 free range eggs
  • 90gms cream cheese, softened
  • 40gms pesto (a large tablespoons worth)
  • 1 large tomato, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 2 decent sized zucchini (150gm each), grated and moisture squezzed out
Mix all these together, I whisked the eggs, cream cheese and pesto together so there were well combined, then added the veggies.
  • 20gms coconut flour
  • 20gms almond meal
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • a good pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper
Sift all these together and then mix the wet and dry together, spoon into large texa muffin cups (I use silicon ones) bake at 180C degrees for approx 40 minutes, I checked mine at 20 minutes, then 30, then took them out at 40 minutes when they were starting to go golden brown.

I cost these out on my spreadsheet and for 6 muffins it was NZD $11.80, $3.00 for the free range eggs (at 50c each), $3.00 for the zucchini and $1.40 for the tomato - these two things will get cheaper as the weather gets warmer.

Creamy Feta Chicken with Zucchini Noodles

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

First off thank you to one of my readers Megan Roberts for reminding me how good zucchini "pasta" can be! I have made zucchini strips a while back http://primaljourney.blogspot.co.nz/2009/11/i-think-its-about-time-i-posted.html and http://primaljourney.blogspot.co.nz/2011/06/its-been-crap-week.html but I don't do it much because slicing it super thin with a knife is pretty time consuming, so I got a julienne peeler and viola it's easy peasy!

This is one of my favourite concoctions:


Serves 2:

  • 1 large breast of chicken chopped up into bite sized pieces
  • 4 strips of streaky bacon chopped up
  • 5-6 pieces of Dutch salami chopped into strips
  • 5-6 large sundried tomatoes chopped up
  • 75gms Creamy feta (more or less depending on your taste preference)
  • Handful of frozen or fresh spinach
  • 200-250mls Cream
  • 2-3 zucchinis julienned mixed with 1 Tbsp Basil Pesto
  • Knob of butter
  • Garnish: Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese and Salt & Pepper


Fry the bacon, once browned put aside, fry the chicken using the bacon drippings.  Once the chicken is almost cooked throw back in the bacon, salami, sundried tomatoes, spinach and the cream, start to reduce the sauce by just simmering for a few minutes on a low heat, then add your feta for the last remaining minutes.  Take off the heat and put aside.

In a separate non stick frying pan melt a knob of butter and flash fry the zucchini and pesto mixture, you don't want to do it for long otherwise your zucchini will go mushy, add the noodles to the creamy chicken and serve immediately, grate some fresh parmesan on top and some freshly cracked pepper and salt.

Warning: Super rich!!!

Pratty's Feel Good Teas

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yesterday I started googling to find a fusion teapot for fruit tea and came across Pratty's Feel Good Teas, I ended up ordering the teapot, 2 tins of tea and 3 free samples and it arrived this morning, talk about excellent fast service :-)

I was pretty stoked to find an amazing online store like this in New Zealand, such a great looking website offering awesome well priced products, the range of teas is pretty mind blowing and some very cool creative names like Steamy Pina Colada, Lime with Envy, Jim Jam'n Pear, Bundle of Joy and Nutty Apple crumble just to name a few.  I love her story also, goes to show if you have a huge passion for something you can turn it into a successful business!

Just to let you know that I am in no way affiliated with Pratty's teas nor have I ever tried this tea before but I just had to share with you guys because the fruit teas that I've just sampled this morning are pretty amazing!

At the moment I'm trying to break my dependence on decaf coffee and too much dark chocolate as most of you know I eat a lot! So I've decided to do a wee challenge and only have 2 squares of 85% Lindt and only 1 decaf Nespresso with cream & sugar per day! I have been having about 3 coffees and up to 100gms of choc a day, suffice to say its gotten a little out of hand. So the reason I've chosen to replace that habit with fruit teas is because they are much lower in carbs and calories plus the fruit teas have no caffeine! They taste so fresh and healthy too :-)

See the pics below for a little sample of what she has or visit the online store for her full range which has every kind of tea you could imagine.  http://www.prattys.co.nz/

Rosemary & Garlic Mashed Cauliflower "Potatoes"

Monday, October 22, 2012


  • 1/2 head cauliflower cut into small pieces
  • 1-2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 2 cloves of roasted garlic
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1-2 Tablespoons butter
  • Freshly ground salt and pepper


Boil your cauliflower in a pot for approx 6 minutes, once cooked then drain well but do not cool, pop the cooked cauliflower on lots of paper towels and more on top, pat dry as much as possible, I actually do this like 2-3 times to get all the liquid out of the cauliflower which is why my mash looks so "dry" like real mashed potato.  You can also use a salad spinner to get a lot of the water out, the more you can get the water out the more your mash will be creamy and smooth.

In a bowl add the remaining ingredients and the cauliflower, use a stick blender to puree until almost smooth, serve with extra butter!
Honestly this is a pretty amazing "mashed potato", I served it to M who as you know is my worst critic and he said he enjoyed it more than mashed potato so that says a lot! You must try this now, you won't believe how good cauliflower can taste!  This is the perfect topping for a shepherds Pie - Lynda from A Change of Life adds an egg to hers to make it more potato like.


The way I make gravy is I buy a stock called essential cuisine http://shop.countdown.co.nz/Shop/ProductDetails?stockcode=725331&name=essential-cuisine-beef-stock-liquid 
This is actually a bone broth reduction (you can make your own), once you've made your own you can understand why this cost of this is pretty high!

So I pop some stock in a pan, add things like dijon mustard, smoked paprika, a little bit of curry powder, a dash of coconut aminos or tamari, salt and pepper to taste.  

I use 1 Tablespoon of Tapioca starch/flour and dissolve in tiny bit of cold water as you would with cornflour.
Add the starch mixture to your beef stock and flavourings and "slowly" heat through, you cannot rush this or it will get too hot and thin out to the point you cannot thicken it again, patience is a must.  As it heats it will gradually thicken.  This makes beautiful gluten free gravy and no weird aftertastes or anything like with some of the other thickeners out there.

Toasted coconut & almond chocolate

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


200gms 85% Lindt
100gms 70% Old Gold
(you can use any brand, I just try and keep the percentages high so that it's richer and I eat less ;))
150gms Butter or Coconut Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
100gms Sliced Almonds
100gms Coconut chips

Prep work: Preheat your oven to grill 200C, Line a dish with parchment paper.


Melt your butter or coconut oil, once melted then take off the heat and add in the chocolate, this will ensure you don't cook the chocolate and then you will have a melt in your mouth consistency. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Put your almonds onto a baking sheet and place under the grill to toast, watch it very carefully as they will burn, check constantly and turn to ensure most of the almonds get toasted.  Do not burn or it will ruin the chocolate.  Next do the coconut, you need to watch the coconut even more or you will burn it, coconut has a very high fat content and will toast much faster than the almonds.  This will get your house smelling amazing too I might add! This can also be done in a non stick frying pan but I find it is easier to mess it up plus you don't always get an even toasting.

Add your toasted almond & coconut to the chocolate mixture and then pour into your lined dish, pop in the fridge for several hours and then cut when it's nearly set, place back in the fridge and then break it up and put into a container and store in the fridge. 

Eye Fillet with Blue Cheese Butter & Creamy Mushrooms

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Eye Fillet

I buy my eye fillet in a log. Cut a large slab of meat from the log approx 5cms thick, season well on both sides with salt & cracked pepper.

Preheat your oven to 160C fan bake, then heat your grill, cast iron pan or skillet nice and hot, sear on each side so every side is browned, place in the oven for your desired time depending on how you like your steak done and how thick your steak is. Check this link out about how to do that:

The most important aspect of cooking steak is not to overlook it and resting it for long enough. You need to rest your steak for a minimum of 5 minutes, 10 is even better, it allows all the blood to drain away and when you go to serve the steak its not leaking blood all over the plate.

Some people think they need to overcook their steak so it's not bloody in the middle, the key is resting it and what you once thought about never eating rare steak could be a thing of the past. I only eat my steak rare and its not bleeding, it's tender and melts in your mouth!

Blue Cheese Butter

This is very simple, mix equal parts of blue cheese and butter, soften them at room temperature for a couple of hours and combine well, once mixed together thoroughly you take a piece of glad wrap/cling film and put all the mixture on top, roll the butter using the glad wrap and roll it like a lolly so it's nice and tight and twist at the ends, pop in the fridge for several hours or the freezer if you are short on time, once set remove from the wrap and slice big chunks to put on your perfect steak :)

Creamy mushrooms

I use about 20ish button mushrooms for 2-3 people, they shrivel a whole lot!
1/2 Red Onion or use Shallots
2-3 cloves Garlic
1/2-3/4 cup Cream
Salt & Pepper

Slice up your button mushrooms and put aside.

Chop up 1/2 red onion and sauté in plenty of butter, do not crispy them! just make them nice and tender on a low heat for about 6-8 minutes approx. Grate in 3 cloves of garlic and just quickly mix through cooking for another minute, then add the mushrooms and lots more butter, they will take a good 10 minutes to cook so they are tender and almost caramelised. Add your salt and cracked pepper and about 1/2-3/4 cup cream, let it reduce for several minutes. Serve over steak or as a side dish.

I generally don't measure a lot of my food so I'm just giving you approximate measures and times, when you cook it's not an exact science so tweaking here and there is absolutely fine and its pretty much how most of my meals come together, get creative!

Primal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Primal Chocolate chip cookies

Makes 24 (half recipe for just 12)

1 3/4 cup Blanched Ground Almonds
1 3/4 cup Natural Ground Almonds
1/2 cup Butter
1/4 cup Honey
1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
3/4 cup 70% Cadbury Old Gold
3/4 cup 85% Green & Blacks
2 tsps Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Baking Soda

Preheat your oven to 175C Bake and line your oven tray with parchment paper.
If you can find dark chocolate chips then go ahead and use them but I just use the blocks and chop up the chocolate into chunks.

Melt your butter and honey together and add the vanilla.

In another bowl mix your Ground Almonds, Coconut Sugar and Baking Soda together, once all combined pour in your butter/honey mixture and mix well, then add the chopped up chocolate at the end.

Use a spoon to dig out mixture and then squish them in your hands to form a rough ball and press them firmly on the paper, 12 should fit on one baking tray.

Bake for 8 minutes if you want them to be a little crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle or you can just bake them for 6 minutes if you prefer a softer chewier cookie.  Personally I like the chewy and crunchy on the outside.
Let them cool for at least 10 minutes otherwise you will break them, then you can either devour them or store them in an airtight container, they will keep for a week if you can keep them around that long ;)

I like to include some natural ground almonds as it gives them a nuttier flavor.  You could use all blanched almond flour for a less nutty tasting cookie.  I've used two different sweeteners because I find too much honey tends to overpower the cookie but I still like the flavor that honey adds, the addition of the coconut sugar helps to balance it.  Then I use half 70% and half 85% chocolate just for the diversity in richness.

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do ;)

Thai Salad & Lemon Pepper Fish with Wasabi Mayo

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Thai Salad

Lebanese Cucumbers
Roasted red peppers
Cherry tomatoes
Snow Pea Sprouts
Fresh Coriander
Cos Lettuce

1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Tamari
1 Tbsp Lemon or Lime Juice
2 tsps Rice Wine Vinegar
2 tsps Sweet Chilli Sauce (or de-seeded chilli & honey)

Lemon Pepper Fish

1 egg whisked
1 cup Ground Almonds
1 1/2 Tbsps of Lemon Pepper
Dash of salt

Combine almonds, lemon pepper & salt
Dip fish into egg and then coat in almond flour mixture, quickly fry in a non stick frying pan with loads of butter!

Homemade Mayonnaise

2 small egg yolds (or 1 large)
Fresh juice of one small lemon or a capful of wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Extra light Olive Oil

Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, salt & pepper in a medium bowl. Use egg beaters as its easier, beat for about 30 seconds, start to add the oil very very slowly while beating constantly, the first part is vital or it won’t emulsify properly. It will start to thicken and the more oil you add the thicker it will become, you need about ¾ cup of oil, once you’ve done the first part then you can pour the oil in a steady stream. Once thickened add 1 Tbsp Boiling hot water, cover and keep chilled, will keep for 1 week.

Add wasabi paste to the mayo to made wasabi mayonnaise, adjust amount to your preference, I generally use 1 tsp to about 5 Tbsps Mayo.

Add 1-2 garlic cloves to make Aioli

Satay Chicken Stirfry

Satay Chicken Stirfry

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2x2 cm piece fresh ginger peeled & grated
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • Large bunch of fresh coriander
  • 3 Tablespoons of crunchy or smooth peanut butter (you could try using almond or cashew butter)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Gluten free Soy Sauce or Tamari
  • 1 de-seeded red chilli
  • 1/2 -1 cup coconut cream
  • (optional: a little honey added at the end for sweetness)
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Red Onion
  • Cashews
  • Veggies


Combine the satay ingredients in a food processor and whizz until a thick paste is formed.

Chop up 1 red onion and fry in a mixture of sesame oil & butter, once nearly done add cashews, sauté for about 3 minutes and then put aside.

Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips and quickly fry in remaining oil/butter without cooking all the way through, add veggies eg. Capsicum, zucchini, green beans, broccoli and pineapple, add the satay sauce and extra coconut cream if it needs it then add the cooked onion and cashews, cook for approximately 10 minutes and serve on cauliflower rice or white rice (if your not trying to lose weight)
I don't eat this too often because of the peanuts, it's not strictly primal because of the peanut butter, you could try substituting with almond or cashew butter, I'm yet to try that as an option....

Rum & Raisin Truffle Chocolate

This chocolate is ultra rich and very decadent, you could almost get drunk from it ;) it has a truffle like texture and I promise it will take care of any sweet cravings you have! If you don't like super rich dark chocolate then use all 70% and add some form of sweetener.

  • 2 x 100gm blocks 85% Lindt
  • 1 x 100gm block 70% espresso chocolate (or just use normal and add a shot of coffee if you like it, won't matter to leave it out)
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 cup Appleton Estate Rum
  • 1 cup Raisins

Melt the coconut oil, once melted take off heat and add chocolate and let it melt, if needed pop back on heat but not on high or the chocolate won't melt in your mouth once it's set!

Add the rum (less if you don't want it so rich), mix well and then add raisins.

Line a tray with baking paper, pour in mixture and refrigerate for several hours, remove and cut into pieces!

Tip: the way it tastes in the pot is the way it tastes once set so adjust ingredients while you can!

Days 20 & 21 Primal Challenge 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Day 20
10am: Fluffy omelet made with 2 eggs, filled with red onion, bacon and cheese
1pm: Decaf Nespresso, 2 pieces Cashew & Almond Dark Chocolate
4pm: 3 crackers with Camembert, small slice primal chocolate cake
7pm: Pork Belly with Crackling & applesauce, broccoli, beans and cream based cheese sauce

Pretty good day of food! Felt a little cravey for sweets and had a little primal cake. Pork belly was amazing and it's a sure fire way to get my eating on the straight and narrow for the week. Last day of challenge tomorrow, hopefully I can end on a great day of food!

Day 21
9.30am 2 egg omelet made with cream, filled with tomato, fresh basil and Egmont cheese, decaf nespresso, piece 85% Lindt
12pm Decaf Nespresso
3pm Almond & Flax cracker with Camembert, 2 pieces cashew & almond dark chocolate
6.30pm Eye fillet with pepper sauce and pumpkin mash with cream cheese, broccoli & beans, handful of raspberries

I managed to do my first lot of exercise today since my back injury. Physio didn't seem to help me so instead my Pilates instructor suggested aqua jogging, I feel pretty lame doing it and it's frustrating not being able to lift weights and do Pilates like I normally can but I need to remind myself that it's small steps to get through this injury. My eating was good today and feeling much better without the cravings, they always surface when I indulge but luckily if I get straight into things like pork belly I manage to deal with the cravings much more easily!

Today was the official last day on the 21 day challenge. What did it achieve? Well it made me much more aware of how many little non primal indulgences had slipped back into my diet without me being super conscious about it, although I had a few little slips it was a nice reminder that this journey is always going to be a lifetime challenge, it's never going to be super easy but most of the time it feels so natural to eat well and therefore I know I'll never eat any other way. There's been no amazing epiphanies but I'm happy with how I have done.  How did any of you do on your challenge?

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