Turkey Tacos

Turkey Tacos
... and breathe.

Friday night! We made it! Another week down and a great weekend beckons.

Let's let our hair down, have a drink and enjoy a really good meal - something quick, easy and nutritious.

On a Friday, we like something spicy. I happen to have some turkey breast in, some chicken breast, some peppers, an onion, chillies ... you're thinking what I'm thinking, right? Accompanied with marjoram, dried oregano, paprika and black pepper, we'll have our taco fillings.

Backup? Slice the meat into strips, slice the peppers into strips, slice the onion, de-seed the chillies and chop into small strips. Brown off the meat, add the onions, chillies and cook through, adding the peppers in last to warm through and just hold some texture.

Meanwhile, some accompaniments ...

Pico de Gallo - Cucumber, tomato, radish, spring onions and olives. Chop up.
Holy Guacamole - Avocado, lime juice and salt. Blend well, then blend some more.
Tacos - We also need tacos! Gem lettuce. Easy!
Beauty! 5 minutes of chopping, 10 minutes of cooking, little more chopping while that's going on and you're done ... dinner in 15 minutes.

Drinks? Tequila beforehand, red wine with.


Mid-Week Bolognese

Just to prove you don't need four hours of simmering and all the other guff that Italianistas seem to advocate in order to elevate what is essentially ordinary to the level that it is ...

You'll need minced beef, onion, garlic, Worcestershire Sauce, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, dried oregano, mushrooms, carrots, beef stock, sea salt and black pepper, and pasta.

Your pasta can be any veg spiralized or julienne grated, perhaps something gluten-free which is what I'm doing tonight with Mama brand Instant Rice Noodles.

Take a large skillet and brown off your minced beef - no fat needed, just enjoy the fat that is already minced into the meat. If you bought extra-lean, well, shame on you; drop in a good blob of dripping to get it moving. Give it a damn good splash of Worcestershire Sauce.

While the meat is browning, chop up an onion, peel and slice some garlic, quarter some mushrooms and dice up a carrot. Bolognese seems to enjoy a lot of garlic, so for a pound of meat (for two), give it four or five cloves.

One the meat is browned, soak up all the lovely juices with the mushrooms, add the chopped onion and sliced garlic, stir through, add the carrots and cook on for another couple of minutes. If the spirit takes you, add a generous glass of red wine.

Pour in a carton of chopped tomatoes, a good squirt of tomato purée, some sea salt, black pepper and pour in a good pint of beef stock. Sprinkle the dried herbs over - I don't measure, just sprinkle over.

On a medium to high heat, cook on, topping up with water as necessary. Cook it for at least half an hour, or until your minced beef is not chewy. A good hint here is to cook through well at the beginning.

Once the Bolognese is reduced, cook your noodles. Mine just need 60 seconds with boiling water poured over.

Serve out, noodles down, Bolognese over; none of that proper Italian stirring the pasta into the pan, this is the British method. We don't do it wrong, we just do it our way. Fresh herbs, if you like; parsley, in my case.

So, reasonably quick mid-week meal.

If you added wine to the Bolognese, enjoy a glass with your meal. If you're just opening a bottle to enjoy with the meal, shame on you for not opening it earlier and pouring a good slug into the dish.

However you do it, remember, it's simple, quick, rules are there to be broken, but do enjoy it afterwards, slurping it down hungrily, noisily and with a huge smile on your face!

Spag Bol!


Hash Cakes

Nah! Not that kind of hash ...

Hash Cakes

Leftover Corned Beef Hash from Monday.

Corned Beef Hash

Corned Beef (Can), Onion, Garlic, Chillies, Squash, Beetroot, Chopped Tomatoes, Tomato Purée, Chicken Stock, Black Pepper & Fresh Coriander.

Dice, cook, eat, enjoy and put leftovers in the fridge.

Corned Beef Hash Cakes

Place the leftover Corned Beef Hash in a large bowl and crush all the lumps with a fork. Crush, you don't want a sloppy purée. Sprinkle in some grated cheese and some tapioca starch to bind.

Form into cakes, or patties if that is more your parlance, and fry off in a large skillet with your favourite paleo fat. All together now, "goose fat, for me". Three to five minutes each side will do admirably.

Fun with a little salad for a light meal, but if you want something more, cook something more ...

Sea Bass

I went with a Sea Bass fillet.

Thin, from the tail end, cheap and takes no time to cook, just put a few slashes in the skin side so it doesn't curl up when cooked.

Melt some butter in a skillet and place the fish fillets in skin side down for maybe three minutes. Switch the heat off and flip the fellows over, allowing the soft flesh to gently cook in the residual heat.

You've been plating up while this has been cooking, right?


It looked a bit lacking, somehow ...

So, I quickly chopped up some Sharon Fruit, chillies and fresh coriander. Squeeze of lime and voilà! Perfect little salsa for the fish.

Sharon Fruit

You might know then as Persimmon. Also called 'Sharon Fruit' after the Sharon Plain in Israel, these fruits can be eaten when firm, or ripened through to soft. While firm, they're a bit like tomatoes to deal with and a texture like mango when cubed up.

Nutritionally, persimmons have good amounts of dietary fibre, sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and manganese, and reasonable amounts of copper and zinc. Moreover, persimmon contain an interesting complex of phytochemicals and acids, including betulinic acid, which are know to be anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-cancer agents.

... they taste good, too.


Herring Fillets

... because they look so beautiful!

Take the fish, wash it, make a slit from under his mouth down to the exit from his digestive tract and remove the guys, reserving the roe if you're so inclined.

Wash out the cavity and then remove the fillets by pushing a sharp thin knife in turn behind his head, turn the knife and run it down the backbone. Repeat on the other side.

Clean up the fillets by removing the flesh that was around the gut cavity and if you're really squeamish of bones, run a v-shaped groove down the centre of each fillet. There will still be a few hairline bones, but these are perfectly palatable.

Make a few slashes on the skin side and fry in butter, skin side down - the slashes will prevent the fillets from curling up. Switch the heat off and flip the fillets over, cooking the soft flesh in the residual heat.

Meanwhile, make up your accompaniment ...
  • Scrambled eggs.
  • Mustard sauce and serve with a leafy green salad.
  • Yoghurt and horseradish sauce with shredded red cabbage.
  • Capers, lemon juice and mixed olives.
Your call ...


Burns' Supper

Burns' Supper
Haggis, Mashed Swede, Red Cabbage & Brussels Sprouts.

Burns' Night ... a decent excuse to eat haggis, if ever I heard one.

Smoked Salmon & Poached Egg Crumpets

I thought we'd have a treat ...

If you're going to treat yourself to something a little out of the ordinary, you can still do that with the same high standards that you apply normally. Quality wine, good chocolate, and the same applies for substitutions of bread and pasta - rice flour and potato starch are perfectly good, if not actually better than wheat.

We had some crumpets.

I spotted them in the Free From section at the supermarket and thought why not?

Grilled, good slab of butter, a piece of smoked salmon, poached egg and a sprinkle of Icelandic ash salt and some black pepper. Gorgeous!

Smoked Salmon & Poached Egg Crumpets


Sausage & Lentil Casserole

Sausage & Lentil Casserole
Caution! Lentils Ahead!

You know what? I don't at all mind lentils. I know they're not paleo, not even by a long stretch of imagination even for the most lenient of paleo revisionists, but who cares?

What they are is a good pack of protein, good micros and, as our man at Free the Animal will tell us, a useful source of resistant starch. The bad? Anti-nutrients! Which are largely neutered by the soaking and cooking process.

Not ideal, but certainly not all bad ... and if you like them, a perfectly good deviation for a quick meal.

Casserole: French for "saucepan", a deep dish which is both committed to the oven and presented at the table for serving.

I went with the following:
  • Turkey Sausages & Smoked Bacon
  • Onion, Garlic & Chilli
  • Potato
  • Mushrooms
  • Green Lentils (Canned)
  • Tomato Purée
  • Dried Marjoram, Black Pepper & Sea Salt
  • Fresh Parsley
Take a large oven-proof pan and melt some of your favourite paleo fat (yes, goose fat, for me) and fry off your sausages. I went with turkey sausages.

Toss in some shredded smoked bacon, chopped onion, garlic and chilli. Fry off until softened.

Add in cubed potatoes and fry on to start to cook through.

In with the mushrooms, sliced, quartered or chopped, to mop up the surplus fat.

Tip in the can of lentils, water and all.

Finally, a good squirt of tomato purée, dried marjoram, black pepper and sea salt.

Settle into the oven for about half an hour to cook through and reduce, and you're done.

Remove from the oven, stirring in some fresh parsley and serve at the table with something green - tenderstem broccoli, here, Savoy Cabbage would do equally well.


Cod & Chubes

Cod & Chubes
Chubes? Like chips (British, so "fries", "frites" or whatever you call them) but cubes ... so, Chubes.

Cod? You know, the fish ...

Mid-week and needing something quick, easy and nutritious - cod, chips and pan-fried vegetables.

Three skillets ...

First, Vegetables: cabbage, spinach, asparagus and some bacon for fat and salt.

Second, Potatoes: simply peel, cube, par-boiled for about 5 minutes and fry off in goose fat until cooked through and crispy.

Third, Cod: pan-fried in butter. Five minutes on the presentation side, flip, heat off and let it sit for a few minutes.

Quick Tartare Sauce: Heinz Mayonnaise, gherkins, capers, lemon juice, black pepper and sea salt.

Simple as ...


Sino-Cymric Shredded Lamb

Probably about as bonkers as it can get, but how about a sort of Sino-Cymric dish for dinner?

Sino-Cymric? Hell, yeah, Japanese Welsh Fusion! It's so out there it can't possibly have been done ...

The Welsh: Lamb. Shoulder of, boned and rolled around a fascine of sage, thyme and rosemary.

The Japanese: Wasabi, Yuzu, Rice Vinegar & Chillies.

On purpose? Well, no. We'd been out for the day, got back about six without enough time to cook this joint, but I have a cunning plan ...

To do this, get hold of the following:
  • Lamb joint - boned, rolled and stuffed with herbs
  • Garlic & Lemon
  • Yuzu, Rice Vinegar & Chillies
  • Potato, Butter & Wasabi
  • Vegetables - Sprouts, Carrots & Peas

Place your joint on an oven-proof plate, garlic bulbs alongside, lemon wedges, too. Salt over.

Cover with kitchen foil and commit to the oven at 180C (350F?) for a good hour and a half.

The lamb will now be technically cooked, but pretty tough. It really wants another couple of hours at a lower temperature to soften up, but we didn't have the time ...

So, out it comes, allow to just cool off and now get in there with your hands, peeling off all the sinews and membrane.

Shred with the fibres and you'll have a pile of meat.

Lamb like this is still very fatty and can be overfacing unless paired with sharp and spiky flavours. We'll be doing a Wasabi Mash, but let's cut through the meat itself.

In a skillet, load in the meat and pour over some rice wine vinegar and some yuzu juice. Chillies, too. Gently heat through while you prepare your vegetables and top up with a little water here and there.

The meat will soften and take on all these flavours.

Wasabi Mash

Boil some white potatoes.

When soft, mash with generous amounts of butter and mash in some wasabi to taste.


Steam 'em alongside the mash.


Put the lot together onto a plate, mash in the middle, mound the meat up on top and vegetables around the side.

Pulling the meat down through the mash and catching some of the sweet vegetables, gorgeous! Loved it!

Do again? Probably not, largely because I never do the same thing twice, but elements will make it into future dishes.

Smoked Mackerel Savoury Rice

Breakfast ...

What a fantastic day! Mid-winter, the sun is shining, it's bright, great visibility and a crisp in the air. What a day to get out there and enjoy sun, views and a damn good walk in the hills.

Best get prepared, eh?

Smoked Mackerel Savoury Rice

I love smoked mackerel. I love mackerel, but smoked, it's cheap, smells great, tastes great and is one hell of a good punch of protein and fat dropped into any lunchtime salad. Today, I'm going to warm it up and enjoy it for my breakfast.

I've also had some bags of par-boiled rice in the freezer for some time, intended for taking to work and nuking at lunchtime. I gather from our man at Free the Animal that this method increases the resistant starch within rice - a good thing, apparently.

Let's put the two together ...

So, in a large skillet, I melted some goat butter, softened some chopped onion, celery and garlic, added in some ginger and chilli, then some turmeric, ground coriander and asafoetida, next some chopped bell peppers, some sweetcorn and peas.

Water, finish off the cooking process and drop in flaked smoked mackerel at the end, folding in.

Serve with some leaves and a boiled egg ... not pictured, since I forgot it, so ate it afterwards. I guess I made a kind of Kedgeree.

Now, to the hills!


Venison Chilli [Variation]

Friday night, again, and Chilli Night!

Having enjoyed Vension Chilli so much a couple of weeks ago, I happened upon a good deal for diced venison in the supermarket and fancied a repeat.

With a twist ...

Venison Chilli

Once again, the ingredients you'll need are:
  • Venison & Smoked Bacon
  • Mushrooms
  • Coconut Oil
  • Onion, Garlic & Chilli
  • Cocoa Powder, Ground Coriander & Paprika
  • Worcestershire Sauce, Chipotle Paste & Beef Stock
  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Oregano & Marjoram
  • Black Pepper & Smoked Sea Salt
Tonight's deviation:
  • Guinness
Melt some coconut oil in a heavy based skillet, browning off the meat and dropping in a bunch of sliced mushrooms to soak up all the good fat.

Now, empty the cupboards!

Ground coriander, paprika, cocoa powder, black pepper, smoked sea salt ... just bung a load in! Sprinkle over the herbs and then a good splosh of Worcestershire Sauce and some Chipotle Paste (I used some Discovery brand which has no offensive ingredients, just chipotle, tomato vinegar and salt).

Pour in some Guinness. For two people and about a pound of meat, I used half a can of Draught Guinness.

Meanwhile chop up an onion, garlic and chillies, and blend together. Pour into the skillet and cook through.

Gently blend some chopped tomatoes, too. Pour these into the skillet and stir through, adding some beef stock.

Lower the heat and give it a couple of hours, topping up with water as necessary.

Tonight, served in rustic bowls, salad alongside and a ramekin of guacamole, this was a seriously gorgeous meal! Yoghurt crowning the chilli, perfect.

The Guinness added so much. Next time, I'll use a bottle of Foreign Extra ...

It struck me that this dish was very French. As I was cooking it, I thought to myself how French in style it was - maybe because it was me cooking, and French cuisine has had a big impact, maybe because it was actually just how many good, honest, rustic French dishes come about.

I don't know, but I'm marking up this method as "fusion".



Turkey Stew & Oopsie Rolls

Turkey Stew
Mid-week and I have things I want to get on with, so home, bung a few things in a pan, set it off cooking and get about my business ... I can finish it off later.

So, Turkey Stew - brown off diced turkey in goose fat, add onion and garlic, then potato, carrot, pour in chicken stock and sprinkle over some sage and marjoram.

Lid on and let it gently simmer for a couple of hours ...

Ready to eat?

The stew will be nicely reduced, so add some peas to the stew, stir in some arrowroot or manioc flour which does not clump if you sieve it into the stew.

Boil or steam some greens. I went with some Brussels Sprouts.

Stew is no more complicated than this and a really good, nutritious and seriously tasty meal can be made with absolute minimal effort or expertise.

We had Oopsie Rolls with ours ...

Oopsie Rolls

Oopsie Rolls? I put the question mark there since I'd not heard of them before, but they seem to be well known across the internet so I wonder if it's one of those regional things.

Oopsie Rolls are a low-carb bread alternative. Now, I am not enormously in favour of mimicing modern foods with paleo-friendly ingredients, but some things really are better - spiralized vegetable spaghetti, for instance.

I have no point of reference for whether I got these right or wrong, but we enjoyed them and I can certainly see how they'd hold their own for something like burgers or cooled off and a convenient sandwich made for lunch the following day.

Anyway, let's make 'em!

Oven on, 180C (350F?) and get a greaseproof tray. I don't have one, so the grill pan will have to do with a sheet of baking parchment.

Ingredients are: Cream Cheese (100g), Eggs (3), Baking Powder (1 tsp) and Salt (pinch).

Separate the eggs, whisk the whites until firm in one bowl and in another, combine the yolks, cream cheese, salt and baking powder. Fold the mixture into the whites and spoon out onto your tray. This will make 6-8 and don't worry if they touch each other - once cooked, they can be cut apart.

Into the oven for 25-30 minutes until brown and hardened a little. If it's your first go with these, you'll have to feel your way - this was my first go and this worked out for me.


Cod, Cabbage, Beetroot & Sharon Fruit [Adventitious Tuesday]

Fencing night! We need something quick, light, satiating and wholesome ...

I have a fridge full of fish, vegetables, the odd item of fruit and berries, but I'm stuck for inspiration so called the Mrs to pick a fish and three other items.

I was presented with:
  • Cod
  • Mini-Cabbages
  • Beetroot
  • Sharon Fruit
... and so, we had a meal of Cod, Cabbage, Beetroot & Sharon Fruit.

Cod, Cabbage, Beetroot & Sharon Fruit

Looking at the ingredients, I wanted to make the very best of them, enjoying their very essence, so decided upon raw beetroot (no need to cook 'em, eh?) yet just warm through the Sharon fruit.

Beetroot, we know is rich in anti-oxidants, has a great complex of micro-nutrients and is known for it's heart-healthy benefits. Sharon fruit is very much the same with a great complex of micro-nutrients and research is finding just how good it is at protecting against heart disease.

Great! So, we have a couple of really good things to eat there which are so full of flavour, texture and will really enhance the enjoyment of the dish.

Keeping it simple, I just diced them up, warmed the Sharon fruit through in a dry pan and folded in some coriander leaves.

Mini-Cabbages were simply chopped in half and steamed for maybe eight minutes while the fish gently fried through in a skillet with some butter. Quick baste here and there, and we're done ...

Cabbage halves at either side of the plate, beetroot and Sharon fruit salsa in the middle, fish loaded up on top and a little bowl of sauce alongside - a quick afterthought: Discovery Chipotle Paste, Heinz Tomato Ketchup, squeeze of lemon juice and splash of Worcestershire Sauce. It's a condiment - relax. In fact, the only "non-paleo" ingredient is sugar in the ketchup.

While not especially imaginative, this was a quick meal made up from a random selection of ingredients which came together really well and gave us a thoroughly good meal, proof that simply taking real food and putting it together works - it need not get any more complicated.


Moules & Frites

What a great day fencing! Two competitions, third place in one and last 16 in the other.

Home, I want to eat something quick, awesome and relax into the evening ...

It's Moules & Frites.

Practically an institution in Belgium where there are a number of set recipes: Moules Marinière, Moules Parquées, Moules à l'Ail and so on, then the range of Chef's Signature pots of mussels.

I have my own favourite, which is a blend of Moules Marinière and Moules à la Crème: butter, onion, fennel, garlic, parsley, white wine and cream.

Frites should be Skinny Chips, or fries, par-boiled to fluff up a little and fried off in duck fat for that authentic Belgian flavour. I love goose fat, as you know, and that will be my fat of choice.


Take a couple of potatoes, peel and cut into fries. Skinny Chips, for us Brits. Par-boil for three to five minutes, drain and allow to cool a little.

Don't "do" white potatoes? Well, pretty much any root will do the trick. For lower carb, leave 'em out and enjoy some greenage alongside - tenderstem broccoli would be ideal.


Take your mussels, wash them and discard any that are not closed.

Remove the beards and set aside.

Prepare your mise en place - getting all the ingredients cut and ready on a board: onion, fennel, garlic, parsley, white wine and cream. I tend not to drink white wine and didn't have a complimentary one in, so use Noilly Prat; posh Vermouth.

Don't "do" wine? Well, water will do just fine. It'll just be a bit bland, but you will get the real taste of the mussels as is, not enhanced.


You need a skillet and a lidded pan.

In the skillet melt some of your favourite paleo fat - goose fat, for me - and drop the frites in. Keep the heat on medium. Too low and they won't crisp, too high and they'll burn; along with the fat.

Turn frequently.

In the lidded pan, drop in a generous slab of your favourite butter. Bathe the onion and the fennel in it, dropping in the garlic, and as the heat rises, give the pan a generous slosh of wine (or Vermouth), pour in the mussels and get the lid on fast.

The mussels will cook through in the steam from the wine, taking on all those lovely flavours.

Give the pan a shake and toss in chopped parsley. Shake again. After a few minutes, the mussels will be cooked through - they will have opened and they'll be warm.

Remove the mussels into a bowl and remove any which have not opened.

Pour some cream into the juices in the pan. Raise the heat and reduce.

Don't "do" cream? Whisk in butter and reduce. Don't "do" butter? Well, just reduce to concentrate the flavours.


Once reduced, pour over the mussels, add a grind of freshly milled black pepper (no sea salt, since the flavour is delicate and already salty enough) and some more chopped parsley.

The sweetness of the mussels will be enhanced by the Vermouth, onion, fennel and garlic with the cream laying down a velvet backdrop, parsley just perfuming through.

Serve the frites alongside.


Dig in and enjoy, scooping out the mussels with half of the shell, slurping down the gorgeous sauce and mopping up with frites.


Absolutely gorgeous and a great end to a fantastic day! Now, to melt into a hot bath with a favourite single malt ...


Chicken Kebabs

Chicken Kebabs
Saturday night ... and I'm up for some junk food!

Good job I dropped some chunks of chicken breast into a yoghurt marinade last night, then, wasn't it?

Tonight, we're enjoying simple chicken kebabs over a slaw, in you like, of grated beetroot and parsley.

So, maybe a day before, although a mere couple of hours should be the bare minimum, drop some chunks of chicken breasts into a yoghurt marinade of yoghurt, lemon juice, turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, fenugreek, asafoetida, black pepper and sea salt.

Let it marinade ... the yoghurt should be good, natural, probiotic yoghurt. I went with sheep yoghurt.

24 hours later ... make up some kebabs with the chicken, mushrooms, bell pepper and red & white onions.

Push then under or on the grill for about 15-20 minutes, until cooked, and meanwhile make up something to go with it: a simple slaw of grated beetroot, for us.

Chicken Kebabs

Liver, Onion, Bacon & Mushroom Salad with Waffle Crisps

Liver, Onion, Bacon & Mushroom Salad with Waffle Crisps
Breakfast ... and just starting to get back to normality after the Christmas break and a first week back at work.

I've been shopping, so we have a fresh haul of food in and what better than a hearty breakfast to start the weekend?

Liver, bacon, onion, mushrooms and tomato over a leafy salad with pickled chillies, paprika, black pepper and Icelandic ash salt.

There's a waffle in there, too! Bird's Eye brand.

Potato waffles are pretty much just starch, in fact, the ingredients list as: Potato, Vegetable Oil, Potato Granules, Potato Starch, White Pepper, Salt & Stabiliser (E464).

So, pretty much all potato, no sugar, which is rare for processed foods and the role of E464 prevents the potato from being saturated with vegetable oil.  In fact, the vegetable oil is probably the only "bad" thing in there ...

... but let's just read a little more about E464.

From Wikipedia: "Use in whole grain breads Agricultural Research Service scientists are investigating using the plant-derived HPMC as a substitute for gluten in making all oat and other grain breads. Gluten, which is present in wheat, rye and barley is absent (or present only in trace quantities) in oat and other grains. Like gluten, HPMC can trap air bubbles formed by the yeast in bread dough, causing the bread to rise. Although it has not been widely studied, it is predicted that whole grain breads made with HPMC will have cholesterol-lowering effects."

Okay, so a gluten alternative ... akin to xanthan gum, or other such stabilisers?

I'm waffling on a bit here, but wanted to investigate these fully. Processed food? Yes, but "sometimes it is better to eat the wrong food with the right attitude than the other way around" Chris Kressler.

I'm not making excuses and certainly not trying to squeeze this in as "paleo" in the way that you see "Paleo Cookies" and so on. The paleo template is large enough an hegemony for each person to take as far as the want to, personally.

If this is a step too far ... don't! Leave it off the plate, but if you want some potato in there, simply slices of sautéed potato will do perfectly.

Let's get cooking ...

Grill the waffle. It wants to become crispy.

In a large skillet, fry off the bacon and once cooked through, toss in some shredded onion and cook through.

Pull to the side of the skillet while you soften some butter in the cleared space and fry off pieces of liver.

While one side is frying, pop a few mushrooms in cap side down. These will cook through and soften.

Retrieve the mushrooms, slicing into quarters and return to the pan on top of the onion and bacon mound. Flip the liver and cook on with half a tomato, fleshy side down also just taking on a little colour and warming through.

Retrieve the tomato, quarter and return to the skillet, folding all the food together.

Serve out over a handful of salad leaves, pepped up with a little black pepper, paprika and Icelandic ash salt (sea salt will do fine); cut the waffle through the middle to make two thin waffles, then corner to corner giving four crisps. Push into the dish.

Brown Sauce over, you've got breakfast. Gorgeous!

Liver, Onion, Bacon & Mushroom Salad with Waffle Crisps


Turkey & Prawn Laab [Quickest Ever!]

Turkey & Prawn Laab
I love Laab ...

From my first go to revisiting just that, I've made up Laab a number of times, but this is my quickest yet.

End of the week, home, the pressures of work dropped and ready to enjoy a great evening and weekend ahead, we need quick food.

Here's how:

  • Meat - Minced turkey or pork (for speed), prawns, perhaps white fish
  • Flavours - Fish sauce, spices, black pepper, chillies, lime or lemon
  • Vegetables - Anything, diced or sliced
  • Fat - Coconut oil
In a skillet, warm the fat, fry off the meat, add the prawns, add your flavours and add your vegetables.

I don't think there are many rules, just put some minced meat, flavours and vegetables into a pan, cook through and eat. Little prep, quick frying and get stuck in as fast as you can ...

Cucumber RaitaCucumber Raita

I went with spring onions, green beans and bell peppers, all thinly sliced across the bias, turkey mince, prawns, fish sauce, ground coriander, chillies, black pepper and lime juice.

Alongside, I made a nice cucumber raita for alongside and served with lettuce leaves.


Salmon Stir Fry

Stir Fry ... easy as, for when you're lacking imagination or ingredients for something that makes sense.

Tonight, we enjoyed salmon, leek, asparagus, green beans and red cabbage, spiced up with ginger, garlic and chillies, ground coriander, black pepper and a chilli sauce over.

The sauce was made from Maggi Chilli Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Tomato Ketchup and lemon juice. Shredded ginger, too.

That's the sauce, which can be made up in advance ...

The fish needs frying or poaching. We love poached salmon, so it got poached, simply in water for around 10 minutes, retrieved, dried off and flaked.

With the fish set aside, the vegetables simply need shredding and frying through in coconut oil. Add any additional flavours and drop the fish in at the end.

Serve out, sauce over, perhaps a fried egg alongside, maybe a thin omelette shredded and tossed over?

Sprinkle some seeds on top - I have a jar of mixed pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and linseed.

Dinner, sorted!


Fish & Chips

Fencing night ...

I need a quick, easy meal, earlier on and so tonight, we like to have Fish & Chips from our local Chippy.

Fish & Chips are an institution in Britain and not at all the junk food you might think, so long as a few observations are made.

First, and probably most important, is the batter. Batter is made from milk and flour. Wheat flour. We absolutely know how bad for us wheat flour is, but this is a one-off, so it's alright, right? No! Actually, this is quite a regular one-off, so caution is needed, especially for folks who show an intolerance to wheat.

Interestingly, batter was originally intended to be discarded. Batter protects the fish from the intense heat of the fat and should be cracked open, the fish eaten and the batter ignored. That's how we do it.

Second, fats. So many Chippies now use so-called healthy fats which have poor resistance to oxidisation when heated. Luckily, our local uses beef dripping and only beef dripping, proudly displaying this behind the counter.

Dripping is traditional, and it's great to see that here in the north, particularly, this tradition is being upheld.

So, we have good fat, some slow-releasing carbs to fuel the evening's activity and a great pack of protein. It's a good meal by any standard. You know what? I'm going to have a can of D&B with it!

Best of all ...

Our local bags up all the fish scraps, tail-ends and so on to see at cat food. Three bags for a quid! Each bag over a pound in weight. Our kitten absolutely loves it! I say kitten, he is, he's just over nine months old, but just shy of 10 pounds and measured half an inch short of three feet!

He gives us a sound reminder to Eat Like a Predator.

Right! Off to go stab some friends ...


Cod & Parsley Sauce

Classic British, simple and homely.

Cod & Parsley Sauce is a really quick meal to put together, especially if you're simply re-heating leftover vegetables, but here goes ...

For the sauce, you'll need raw or A2 cow milk, cream, onion, parsley, white pepper and sea salt; cod, naturally; vegetables.

Gently simmer a roughly chopped onion in milk for a few minutes, drain off and return the milk to the pan. You could have poached your fish in the liquor, but I fancied fried tonight. Raise the heat and reduce, adding in double cream to help thicken and a good handul of curly parsley.

Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables.

Finally, in a heavy based skillet, soften some butter and fry off your cod steaks. They'll take maybe five minutes each side and once flipped, lower the heat.

Put it all together on a plate and you've got dinner sorted. Eat, enjoy, go about your evening.


Anathema to the paleo lifestyle?

Not necessarily! It's about sourcing the right kind of dairy ...

Lactose intolerance aside, there is the secondary issue of A1 beta casein; a protein which has been implicated as a potential factor in diabetes mellitus, ischaemic heart disease and also as a modifier of behavioural symptoms associated with some neurological conditions such as autism.

You will find that most of the cow milk that you encounter will be A1 type, from Fresian and Holsten breeds representing the majority of milk cows in Europe, the US and Australia. A2 type milk can readily be had from other species:  sheep, goat, reindeer, buffalo; but there is hope for cow milk: Guernsey and Jersey breeds carry a very high incidence of A2 type milk.

For real world eating, fermented and fatty dairy is safest from cow milk. My sauce was made from Jersey milk and double cream, which is something like 50% fat; 48%, apparently.

That said, do consider dairy sources other than cow ...

Goat milk, for instance, has a number of advantages over cow milk: lacking in agglutinin, naturally homogenised, greater concentration of digestive-friendly medium chain triglycerides, significantly lower levels of allergenic S1 alpha casein proteins and higher in all manner of vitamins and minerals including B2, B6 and A, niacin, calcium and protein.

Moreover, rather than minimising the negatives by sourcing the best cow dairy, goat dairy can be considered to be actually positive, even healing for all manner of digestive disorders and thereafter promoting healthy digestion. Sheep dairy is practically identical to goat so sheep products should also be considered, along with buffalo. Mozzarella, anyone?

... an interesting aside.


Deep! Deep! Cheesecake

I'm known for my cheesecakes and when there's a party, I make a cheesecake. Tonight, we're hosting but it doesn't matter. I'll make a cheesecake ...


The cake needs time to set, so prepare the day before and dress on the day.

You'll need:
  • Cream Cheese
  • Double Cream
  • Vanilla Paste
  • Honey
  • Biscuits - gluten-free if you like
  • Coconut Oil
First, the base - break up a bunch of biscuits. I used straight-up Digestive biscuits. Yes, wheat, but big deal! This is a party and a bunch of non-primals will be along so ... what does it matter? Once. Okay, twice a year. Big deal!

Use gluten-free if you like, or make up some almond and coconut flour base. Your call ... 

Either way, set it with coconut oil and stir together to ensure everything has been coated with the oil.

Now, your mould. I use a large 10" wide cake tin with one of those clips on so you can easily remove the sides. Press the biscuit mixture into the mould and press again, getting it nice and tight. Pop it in the fridge and the cold will do its magic, solidifying the base.

Next, the cheese - Using twice the amount of cream cheese to double cream, whisk together with some vanilla paste and honey. How much? Well, for this 10" I used two 300g tubs of cream cheese and a 300ml carton of double cream. Double cream? Heavy cream will do - it's not quite as fatty as British double cream, but it will do fine. Vanilla paste? Enough. Honey? Sufficient.

Cream cheese should be single ingredient. Cream cheese is made from milk, so that's what you should see on the ingredients, if they're listed at all. Philadelphia? Puke! I know I've got Digestive biscuits in the base, but the cheese is the star ... get it right!

Whisk together until it's as firm as possible and spoon into the mould over the now chilled base.

Commit to the fridge overnight and before serving, dress with berries. I went with a sort of Union Flag design for a bit of fun.

So, backing up a little ...

If you want to make these smaller in, say, Chef's forming rings, do so! You can leave the base out and just enjoy the cake - that's what it's all about. We enjoy this regularly.


Venison Chilli

Friday Night!

Chilli Night! How about something a little bit different?

Venison Chilli

Vension Chilli!

I had some diced venison in and thought, "why not?".

If you want to try this, you'll need:
  • Venison
  • Mushrooms
  • Coconut Oil
  • Onion, Garlic & Chilli
  • Cocoa Powder, Ground Coriander & Paprika
  • Worcestershire Sauce, Chipotle Paste & Beef Stock
  • Chopped Tomatoes
  • Oregano & Marjoram
  • Black Pepper & Smoked Sea Salt
Melt some coconut oil in a heavy based skillet, browning off the meat and dropping in a bunch of sliced mushrooms to soak up all the good fat.

Now, empty the cupboards!

Ground coriander, paprika, cocoa powder, black pepper, smoked sea salt ... just bung a load in! Sprinkle over the herbs and then a good splosh of Worcestershire Sauce and some Chipotle Paste (I used some Discovery brand which has no offensive ingredients, just chipotle, tomato vinegar and salt).

Meanwhile chop up an onion, garlic and chillies, and blend together. Pour into the skillet and cook through.

Gently blend some chopped tomatoes, too. Pour these into the skillet and stir through, adding some beef stock.

Lower the heat and give it a couple of hours, topping up with water as necessary.

Serve up with some rice or potatoes, perhaps tortilla, perhaps not ... some grated cheese, perhaps, shredded lettuce and most definitely Holy Guacamole.

Deep flavoured, sumptuous and seriously smoky! Definitely a do again ...


Cod Roe Kedgeree

Happy New Year!

Another year ... another year of living in the ice age, eating ancestrally, engaging in useful and positive activity, and generally just messing about ... it's called life.

So, first meal ...

After the celebrations last night, I'm in need of something good to kickstart the day, get out there and enjoy a day off work out in the hills.


Faux-Indian, from the days of the Raj, Kedgeree is a rice dish, spiced up and served with smoked haddock and boiled eggs.

I don't have any smoked haddock today, but I do have cod roes ... so, why not?

Cod Roe Kedgeree

  • Rice
  • Eggs
  • Coconut Oil
  • Leek, Garlic & Chilli
  • Ground Coriander, Ground Cumin, Haldi Powder, Paprika, Fenugreek & Asafoetida
  • Black Pepper & Indian Black Salt
Boiled Eggs

Boil your eggs.

Ten minutes is fine, cool under running cold water, peel and set aside.


Boil your rice.

Drain, fluff up and set aside.


Put it together ...

In a heavy based skillet, melt some coconut oil.

Tip in the rice and just fry it through quickly before adding in your spice mix. Just pour some in. If you really really want to weight and measure and all that yawn, you probably want a teaspoon of each per person portion of rice.

Toss in shredded leek, de-seeded and chopped chillies, chopped garlic, good pinch of Indian Black Salt and some black pepper.

Stir together ...

... and fold in the cod roes, allowing to cook through until warm.

Serve out ...

... scattering quartered boiled eggs over.

Gorgeous! Now, to the hills!!!

Happy New Year!

While a new dawn fades ...

I had a half-cooked post around resolutions, lifestyle changes, dry January and all that, but J over at gnolls.org said is so much more elegantly: Will You Go On A Diet, or Will You Change Your Life?

That, and walk more.

I have no resolutions to make, only to carry on what I am doing and to that end I'll carry on posting here, but you will see a huge simplicity.

What we eat will go through cycles of really simple, easy food which might look very uninteresting, but I'll post it anyway - it might spark some interest, be the point of inception for a phase of interest and so a more interesting post might arise out of it.

Mundane? Actually, no. Just run of the mill ...

Once again, I'll reiterate that this is my food blog; what I eat. Ancestral in focus, I'm not dogmatic - paleo, paleo+, primal, whatever the label, it's not a religion. In fact, I'm quite relaxed and hopefully you'll see that 80/20 split and not just focus on "that's not paleo".

But, if you're looking for recipes, you'll be disappointed. Here's why I don't "do" recipes. Ancestral eating is not about following recipes, but simply putting real food together, eating, enjoying and living.

Let ingredients be your inspiration, your mantra being "take real foods and put them together"

Let nature be your personal shopper, your mantra being "eat local, seasonal and organic"

Happy New Year! Have a great one ...