Monday, 27 April 2015

Turkey and Cavolo Nero Cabbage Meatballs

I love meatballs. 

They're cheap to make, you can play around with lots of flavours, and you can eat them hot or cold, at home, or on the go. 

I got hold of a load of dark Cavolo Nero cabbage the other day, and I thought I'd serve them alongside some turkey meatballs that I was planning to make. 

Actually, I thought - scrap that, let's chop them up, stick them INSIDE the meatballs and tell the children that it's herbs. 

GREAT idea. 

"What's this, Mum, in the meatballs?"

"It's cabbage. It's called Cavolo Nero cabbage." 


"Mmm. Nice."

And so that was it. 

I love the earthy flavour that the cabbage gives to the meatballs and you're getting an extra bit of veggie in there that you don't really expect. I also love the colour they give. The girls ate theirs with some tomato sauce and gluten-free pasta but we ate ours with fried courgette strips. 

Turkey and Cavolo Nero Cabbage Meatballs 
(AIP, Gluten Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Nightshade-Free, Paleo, Primal)
Serves 4
400g turkey mince (I used breast meat here because it's all I could get, but thigh would be good too)
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
3 Cavolo Nero leaves, the central tough stalk removed and the leaves chopped fairly finely
a pinch of salt
coconut oil, for frying

First, empty the mince into a mixing bowl. Add the chopped garlic and the chopped Cavolo Nero leaves and the pinch of salt and mix well, but don't over-mix. 

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a largeish frying pan and, forming the mince mixture into small meatballs, drop them gently into the pan. You might need to do this in batches, if you have a smaller pan - don't overcrowd them or you might find that they steam cook rather than fry and turn golden. 

I brown the meatballs, turning them on all sides and cooking for around 5-10 minutes and then finish them off in the oven, at gas mark 6/200ºC/400ºF for another 10-15 minutes, until fully cooked through. This way, you've got the hob free for your veggies or side dishes that you're going to serve them with. 

They're also lovely hot or cold - keep a batch in the fridge and take them out on a picnic now the weather's getting warmer.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Sweet Potato Hash Browns with Bacon and Egg

Mmmm... breakfast.  

Looks lush, yes? 

The good news is that, despite appearances, this recipe is AIP-compliant (just leave the egg out if you're eating AIP - the rest is fine) - it's also paleo, primal, gluten and nut free. 

So how did it come about? Well, remember my Sweet Potato Shoestring Fries recipe? Well one day I decided to eat them with bacon and a runny fried egg. It worked so well, I had to tell you all about it. 

So here goes. 

Sweet Potato Hash Browns with Bacon and Egg
Serves 2
1 tbsp mild, flavourless coconut oil or duck fat
1 medium-sized white sweet potato (I used Sweetbok potatoes from Ocado)
pinch of salt
4 rashers of streaky bacon
2 eggs
handful of spinach of other greens, to serve.

First, peel the sweet potato and then run a julienne peeler along it, or just cut it up into tiny strips. 

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and dump in the sweet potato strips, stir-frying on a medium heat. they'll start to soften and turn golden and crispy in about 5-6 minutes. Stir them occasionally so they brown on evenly. They might even crispen up and stick together a bit. This is good. Season with a little pinch of salt. Go easy. You're adding bacon, which is often quite salty enough.

Next, grill the bacon until crisp and cooked through, turning once. 

Push the now-cooked sweet potato strips over to one side of the pan and fry the eggs. 

Serve the sweet potato hash browns with the cooked bacon and the egg on top. I usually wash a couple of handfuls of spinach and quickly wilt them in the pan I cooked the hash browns in. The leaves wilt in seconds and I serve that alongside. 

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Mickey Trescott Has An Answer To Your AIP Batch Cooking Needs And It's Awesome

So... I'm a little bit late to the party with this one, but OH MY GOODNESS look at this.

Mickey Trescott, blogger at Autoimmune Paleo, and author of the Autoimmune Paleo Cookbook has put together something that's so useful for anyone on AIP, whether you've just started or if you've been doing it ages. She's set up AIP Batch Cook, which is a programme designed to take some of the stress (and much of the Googling - trust me, I've been there) out of batch cooking on the autoimmune protocol. 

Each session of AIP Batch Cook includes a programme guide, a one-week meal plan for breakfast lunch and dinner (obviously all AIP-compliant), two instructional videos, shopping lists, chop lists and tool lists - for everything you need to prepare before you start cooking - and also video tutorials on how to make bone broth, render your own cooking fat and making kombucha. You also get digital versions of every recipe that you cook to keep and refer to later, so you can do it all over again. 

In the videos, you cook with Mickey in real time, so it's like having her there in the kitchen with you. 

But why is batch cooking important, I hear you ask. 

The thing is, because of all the cooking from scratch you do on the paleo or autoimmune protocol diets, to keep some of your sanity and get yourself out of the kitchen once in a while it's a good idea to prepare a lot of the foods you're going to be making in the week, in advance. Some weeks I skip this, and I really do see the difference - just the few minutes every meal that you don't need to spend chopping and can just reheat something you already made, or even just throwing some ready-prepped veg into a pan makes a big difference to your time in the week. 

More good news? Membership to Mickey's AIP Batch Cook programme is on a special launch sale until 30th April.

Do go check it out.

*This post contains some affiliate links. What this means is that if you click on the link in the post and decide to make a purchase, I make a small commission on that sale. It doesn't cost you a penny more than it would normally, and it helps me keep the blog going. Check out my 'affiliate' section for more details. 


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