Sunday, 16th June // Wobbling Along

So this past week I have had a friend from England come to stay (yay!). It was awesome but she brought with her loads of my favourite treats from the UK which I now can’t eat, eg. Bakewell tarts, chocolate mini eggs, golden syrup… So this week I was a little naughty and have indulged in ONLY ONE Bakewell, like six mini eggs but… several mug cakes with golden syrup. It says gluten free on the can so it’s not too bad right?! Aw man who am I kidding. At least apart from those treats, I’ve kept with the Primal lifestyle, even when eating out, which is ridiculously difficult in Japan due to rice and sugar being added to EVERYTHING.

I totally had forgotten how much I LOVE cherry Bakewells. For those who don’t know, they’re these little tarts with cherry jam on the bottom and almond cake on top, then topped with glace icing and a cherry. Basically they are heavenly. The Boy took the rest of the box to finish them for me because I would die otherwise, and then messaged me wondering if I could make a mug cake version of it. Immediately I tried. Not having access to organic jam or cherries in this country, I made do with almond butter goo on the bottom. Here’s the recipe. As with all mug cakes, cooking time will vary depending on your microwave.

Ingredients
For the goo:
1 1/2 tbsp organic cherry jam + 1/2 tbsp coconut flour + 1/2 tsp almond essence OR
1 tbsp almond butter + 1/2 tbsp coconut flour + 1/2 tbsp honey/maple syup/sweetener of choice + 1/2 tsp almond essence
For the cake:
1 egg
3 tbsp almond flour
1 tbsp coconut milk (or cream works fine too)
1 tsp almond essence
1 tbsp honey/maple syrup/sweetener of choice
Method
1. In a mug, mix together the ingredients for the goo until a smooth paste. Spread evenly on the base of the mug
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the ingredients for the cake until a smooth batter.
3. Pour on top of the goo and whack it in the microwave for up to 1min. Mine takes around 50 seconds in my mug; yours may take a little more or less depending on the mug.
4. ENJOY (but be careful, it’s super hot when it comes out the microwave)

 

Anyway, moving on from mug cakes… I need to get back on the wagon and start eating better. I’ve decided to start a Whole30 challenge to kickstart myself back into it after my week of indulgence. The lack of legumes and grains etc won’t be too hard since that’s Primal anyway, the sugar I need to work on anyway but shouldn’t be too hard; the lack of cheese…. what can I do about my morning omelette?! Thankfully there is always scrambled eggs, mug cakes (minus sugar of course, le sob), or leftovers from the night before… but I found a recipe for paleo porridge that I want to try. Since it’s not a substitute for grain foods, it’s Whole30 compliant so I can have it! That’s starting tomorrow so I will post a review about it when possible. Good luck to me!

I did some cooking for the week so I have several meals prepped for after work. Wednesday will be spent with The Boy who is making his favourite Thai noodle dish… with shirataki! I think I’ve finally won him over with the Primal lifestyle. FIST PUMP.

Lemon thyme chicken soup
– Primal-ified from this recipe

Baked lemon salmon
– serve with broccoli or spinach depending on how poor I am till payday

Spicy coconut chicken
– served with broccoli

Paleo porridge / Scrambled eggs / Leftovers
– breakfast options

Recipe Review! – Paleo Carrot Cake

So last Sunday you may have noticed on the menu that my breakfast list featured a carrot cake muffin recipe adapted for a loaf. It was meant to make muffins and so I had to adapt the cooking time but it turned out FABULOUS. Even the non-Paleo, cake-loving Boy loved it! If he approves of me ‘health food’ then it was a success. 

20140605-081034-29434914.jpgLike I said, the recipe timings were adapted for my oven and pan size to make it into a loaf. I think the eventual time was somewhere around 45mins. My loaf did not come out as dark brown and ‘cinnamon-y’ looking as the website showed but the taste was incredible and the loaf itself is almost cake-like; it’s so spongy and moist, even after 2 days in the fridge. I like to warm it slightly and have it with some almond butter smeared on too. It counterbalances the sweetness f the loaf and when it melts… Well, let’s just say I’m now drooling on my phone.

Recipe found here (thanks nummyformytummy!)



Taste: ★★★★★
Cost: ★★★☆☆
Simplicity: ★★★★★
Freezability: ★★★★★
Make it again? YES

Recipe Review! – Zingy Chicken

Firstly, I will apologise for the lack of photos. I got in from work after an 11 hour day and just… scarfed down dinner and a crap ton of lettuce/spinach/cabbage salad and am quickly typing this post up before going to pass out in bed. Le cry.

Anyway, first meal of the week (that was actually cooked yesterday and stuck in the fridge to reheat today) was Paleo in Comparison‘s Zingy Chicken! I had to modify this recipe a little since I didn’t have balsamic vinegar, and instead replaced it with the same amount of what I assume is white vinegar*. I also halved the recipe since I only had tiny chicken wings. When I first made the sauce, it did not look like how I thought it was supposed to; the recipe says that it should be thick but mine was very watery. Not sure if this was to do with the change in vinegar or not but I think maybe there was too much vinegar in the first place. Anyway, I went ahead, thinking it might thicken up in the oven (it didn’t) and guesstimated the cooking time at around 20mins – like I said, small chicken wings – and basted every 7-8mins or so.

The result was a very juicy chicken wing, even after reheating in the microwave the day after, and the sauce was VERY zingy, so it lived up to the name! My chicken didn’t come out anything like the photo shown – mine was much redder due to the lack of balsamic vinegar, and the sauce was not thick at all. But still, very enjoyable and very simple meal to make! Perfect with a quick salad on a warm spring-summer evening. I’ve found cooked chicken to become tough when frozen and thawed out but in the oven, this dish might work well due to the acidity of the vinegar. You can use any chicken wings (organic is obviously more expensive) for this so in Japan, this was a cheap meal for me. Balsamic vinegar that is paleo-okay is kind of expensive for me, hence the change in vinegar, but the taste of the sauce would probably be richer with it.

Taste: ★★★★☆
Cost: ★★★★☆
Simplicity: ★★★★★
Freezability: ★★★☆☆
Make it again? YES

*I don’t read Japanese well at all so I assume it’s white vinegar. Looks like white vinegar.

Sunday, 21st May // Mug cake disasters and hot weather

It was hot today. Like so hot. Like Japanese summer is coming. Dun dun dun! Me and The Boy had a lazy Sunday morning (the best kind of morning, especially when one works Mon – Sat…) and finally managed to roll out of bed to cook breakfast at around 11am. Amazing. Sure beats those 6am starts, shoveling omelet and coffee in my mouth whilst trying to do my hair at the same time.

On the menu today was leftover banana Paleo pancakes and herby scrambled eggs. Boy was in charge of the eggs and I did the pancakes. The batter was actually leftovers from Saturday morning and wow. I seriously think it’s better the day after. The scrambled eggs had some sneaky cheese in but made it oh-so-creamy so we didn’t mind. Top it off with coffee, eating in front of the open sliding doors in the sunshine and you can’t really complain. Followed by yoga and I was feeling fabulous.

Sundays are my only day off, as mentioned before, so I like to do things around the house. You know, that fun stuff like cleaning, reorganising, neatening things. Yeah, that stuff. I also decided to take a leaf out of nummyformytummy‘s book and make all my meals ahead of time for the next week. Since I’m starting at my new school on Monday, I’m going to be very busy and very tired this first week so I am not going to be in the mood to cook. Precooking everything and just freezing it means I take all the guesswork out of what I should do for dinner AND means I can save money! Which, in Japan, where meat prices are through the roof, is fantastic for a Paleo follower!! I have written up a menu for what to eat every day but I know me and I know that while my piece of paper will say “Tuesday: Chicken Masala”, I will feel like eating spaghetti bolognese. Having a bunch of different meals frozen all ready to go, that can be served with a quick salad, or wilted spinach, or broccoli (the cheapest veg I can afford in this country sob sob no spaghetti squash for me) is handy for my spontaneousness (spontaneity?).

Now I mentioned mug cakes in the title. I was craving some dessert after dinner today – zingy chicken wings and a simple lettuce salad with olive oil – but had no eggs leftover from my day of baking. A quick Google for Paleo mug cakes sans egg proved fruitless so I attempted to adapt an SAD recipe. It didn’t work but was nice and gooey so I ate it. But it just wasn’t satisfying to leave it there so what did I do? Tried again. The previous recipe had far too much better and wasn’t really cakey enough. So I added some coconut flour to soak up the liquid and add some cakeyness. It ended up being a stodgy mess. Still, I ate it. And now I feel too full to move. Learn from this folks, there is such a thing as too much mug cake of a good thing.

Anyway moving on, here is the list of meals made today (recipes linked):

Spaghetti Bolognese
– to be served with broccoli, cauliflower (if cheap) or a simple salad

Chicken Masala
– to be served with broccoli

Zingy chicken wings
– to be served with a salad

Crab and salmon fish cakes
– to be served with a salad

Spice muffins / Carrot Breakfast Loaf (edited cupcake recipe to make a loaf)

girlmeetspaleo

forget the grains, pass the bacon

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