Chocolate Coconut Balls

Since I’m in the middle of marking madness, I found it necessary to make a chocolatey treat. This one happened to arrive in my Facebook news feed today, thanks to Wellness Mama. You should check out her blog for all sorts of goodies!

chocolate_coconut_balls

  • 5 oz shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2/3 cup melted coconut oil + 1 tbsp
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Mix coconut, 2/3 cup melted coconut oil, vanilla, and almond butter in a medium bowl.
  2. Place the bowl in the fridge until the mixture has firmed up enough to handle.
  3. Form the mixture in balls.
  4. Place the balls in the freezer until they harden completely.
  5. Once the balls have hardened, melt the chocolate with 1 tbsp coconut oil  in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.
  6. Dip the balls into the chocolate and put on a tray covered in baking paper. We used two forks to dip the balls and let them drip off before putting them on the tray.
  7. Put the balls into fridge or freezer until the chocolate sets.

You’ll probably want to store these in the fridge to keep the chocolate from melting.

And now I’d better get back to the marking!

Salade Niçoise

It’s salad weather here, so I thought I’d share some of our favourites.

Often our salads are a kitchen-sink affair, made with whatever vegetables we have in the fridge. But sometimes it’s nice to follow a recipe and have something a bit more distinctive.

Here’s our paleo ode to Salade Niçoise:

Salad Nicoise

lettuce (shredded) – we tend to use Romaine or Butter lettuce
asparagas or green beans (lightly steamed and cooled)
tomatoes (quartered)
olives (we prefer kalamata)
tuna (canned or fresh) – when we use fresh tuna, we pan fry it
eggs (hardboiled and quartered)

  1. Arrange in a bowl for each person.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Delicious!

Pistachio Pesto

Yesterday I went to Surrey Reads and Writes at the Surrey Central Library to attend a couple of writing workshops and listen to some authors reading from their books. The ferry sailing over to Vancouver was a little rough because of the strong wind and accompanying swells, but nothing like as bad as some of the trips I’ve had crossing Cook Strait in New Zealand. It was a fun day, hanging out with other writers, and just getting out and about to see the world instead of sitting at my desk all day.

When I got home, Patrick had cooked dinner already. What a treat! He’d decided to try a new recipe, lamb burgers with pistachio pesto, from our new favorite cookbook – Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals. We’d found a roll of minced NZ lamb at Fairway, so he pulled that out of the freezer to use in the burgers, and he roasted brussel sprouts and hazelnuts (another Mark Sisson recipe), steamed asparagus, and made this tasty pesto from pistachios and mint.

1 clove of garlic
1 c unsalted shelled pistachios
1/2 c olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 c fresh mint leaves
a pinch of salt

Blend everything together in a food processor.

Patrick suggests processing the nuts first before you add the other ingredients for a finer pesto.

Delicious! You should try it!

Pizza frittata

Once in a while, I get a hankering for pizza, topped with Italian sausages, fresh basil, tomatoes, and mushrooms. When I was a kid I loathed mushrooms. Just the smell of them cooking would send me out of the kitchen. But on pizza, they’re magical.

Since we’re not eating wheat, pizza has been off the menu; that is, until we discovered a recipe for Pizza Frittata in Mark Sisson’s Quick and Easy Meals. This book is filled with all sorts of yummy recipes, so you should seriously think about buying a copy.

This Pizza Frittata is so delicious, we’ve even shared it with non-paleo friends to rave reviews. You should try it too!

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2 Mild Italian sausages (definitely better with mild rather than hot, we’ve tried both!)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tomato, chopped
6 eggs, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
a sprinkle of grated Mozzarella (optional)

  1. Slice the sausages, and cook them with the mushrooms in a little olive oil in a cast iron fry pan.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook for just a minute, just enough to heat them through.
  3. Mix the oregano in with the beaten eggs, and then pour the eggs into the pan.
  4. Stir quickly to mix everything through.
  5. Sprinkle the basil and grated Mozzarella on top.
  6. Let the mixture cook until the eggs start to set on the bottom.
  7. Take the pan off the stove and place it under the grill (broiler) until the eggs are firm and the cheese is golden brown.

This makes two servings.

We’ve also made a Greek Pizza version, using ground beef, tomatoes, pitted olives, and crumbled feta, which was equally tasty.

Nut bars

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I’ve been promising this recipe for a while, so here it is. This is our new favourite treat!

2 c raw nuts (use a mix of nuts – walnuts, macadamias, almonds, sunflower seed, pumpkin seeds)
1/4 c unsweetened coconut
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c melted coconut oil (or butter)
1/4 c raw honey (or maple syrup)
2 eggs
1-2 tsp cinnamon

  1. Chop the nuts in a food processer – pulse until they are small chunks.
  2. Mix the chopped nuts and all the other ingredients in a large bowl until well mixed. The mixture will look shiny and quite runny.
  3. Place the mixture in a 9×9 inch baking dish lined with baking paper.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Cool completely before cutting into pieces. (I have been known to put it in the freezer to cool it more quickly!)
  6. Store in the fridge.

You will love these bars, so go and make a batch now!

Thanks George!