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Raw lamingtons

Lamingtons are almost an Australian institution and have long been associated with Australia Day. They come in all shapes and sizes from traditional slab cakes covered in chocolate and coconut to a lamington smoothie!?!

I gave this recipe “The Healthy Spin” and came up with something slightly alternative (truly – they are a far cry from the real thing but just as tasty!) and a little bit of a fun take on the traditional cousins.

Raw Lamingtons

No: Gluten / Grain / Dairy / Soy / Refined sugar.
Suits: Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Low carb option
Contains: Nuts
Serves 4-6.

Preparation Time 23 minutes + setting time
Cooking time 2 minutes
Makes approx. 12 lamingtons Ingredients
Total Preparation Time 25 minutes + setting time

You will need
Slice tin (approx. 30x20cm) lined with non-stick paper
Spatula

Ingredients
Base
40-60g maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
100g blanched almonds or macadamia nuts
100g raw cashew nuts
120g shredded coconut
70g coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
70g chia seeds

Filling
1 batch Strawberry Chia Jam

Coating
100g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Extra shredded coconut

Preparation 
1.       If using Erythritol or similar, mill with MC on / 10 secs / Speed 9. Scrape down. Otherwise skip this step.  
2.       Scrape down and mix ingredients with spatula, blend with MC on / 20 secs / Speed 8 or until mixture holds together when a small amount is squeezed in your hand.
3.       Divide the mixture in half. With damp hands, place half into lined tin and press down firmly.  It should be approx. ½-1cm in height when finished. Freeze for up to 20 mins or until firm.
4.       Remove base from tray, keeping it on the paper and place onto a chopping board.  Cut base in half (it doesn’t matter if you cut the length or width), set half aside. Spread enough Strawberry Chia Jam on one half to make a thick filling.  Spread evenly and place set aside half of the base on top.  Gently press down to secure in place without squeezing filling out. Place onto the paper and (using the paper), carefully pick up the completed lamington and place back into tray to hold in place.  Freeze for a further 20 minutes or until set together.
5.       Once set, prepare coating. Add dark chocolate to mixing bowl, mill for 10 sec/speed 9/MC on. Scrape down and melt with MC on / 2 mins / 60°C/ Speed 2.
6.       Pour chocolate into a bowl and extra shredded coconut into a separate bowl.
7.       Remove slice from freezer and cut into bite size lamingtons.  One at a time, coat with chocolate, then coconut.  Place each one onto tray and refrigerate until needed.  These can also be frozen. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving to allow to thaw slightly.

My tips
* You can also make this mixture into bliss balls.  Pipe small balls of Strawberry Chia Jam onto a tray lined with non-stick paper and freeze until firm.  Then wrap each jam ball in the base mixture and coat each bliss ball with chocolate and coconut.
* You can use any combination of the nuts mentioned. You may need to mill the mixture a little less if you use all macadamia and cashew nuts as they are softer.

Strawberry chia jam

Strawberry season signifies summer for me. The beautiful rich red colour, sweet smell and amazing flavour of a ripe berry makes me want to use them in as many ways as possible. Making jam is not only a great way to preserve them to use later but also a fabulous way to use up slightly over ripe fruit. This “healthy spin” on jam means it has less sugar and is bursting with strawberry flavour.

Strawberry chia jam

No: Gluten / Grain / Dairy / Soy / Refined sugar
Suits: Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Low carb option

You will need
Storage jar/container
Spatula

Ingredients
30g (2 tablespoons) chia seeds
250g fresh strawberries, washed and leaves removed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
25g maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)

Preparation 
1.       Add chia seeds to mixing bowl, mill with MC on / 30 secs / Speed 10. Scrape down. Add strawberries and vanilla, chop with MC on / 20 secs / Speed 4. Scrape down, cook with MC on / 7 mins / 100°C / Speed 2.
2.       Add maple syrup and mix with MC on / 10 secs / Speed 3 or until incorporated.
3.       Pour mixture into sterilised jar and store in fridge until needed. 

DOUBLING THIS RECIPE: You can double this recipe easily.  You may need to cook it for a minute longer to get the consistency you want.

My tips
* Using black chia seeds will get a very firm jam consistency once set while white chia seeds don’t swell up quite as much and the jam will be a softer set.  I used white seeds.
* This will keep in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a month.
*  Use this as a filling in Raw Lamingtons.

Mango, ginger and lime chia pudding

 

Summer is here!  It seems that we’ve had lots of warm weather all over Australia recently.  I love this time of year because of the wonderful produce that is available to us all.  One of those special treats for me is mango.  I don’t eat a lot of them because of the sugar content, even though it is a natural sugar if I’m sticking to a keto way of life I tend to avoid it.  However, for those of us who just want to eat Healthy, there are many reasons why you should include this delicious fruit. Mango flesh is rich in pre-biotic dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, and poly-phenolic flavonoid antioxidant compounds.  It is an excellent source of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin B6.  Even better is that they taste great.

This recipe was given to me by my dear friend, Elisabeth Higgins.  Of course, I had to put my own “Healthy Spin” on it but thank her for her generosity in sharing.

Mango, Ginger & Lime Chia Pudding

No: Gluten / Grain / Dairy / Soy / Refined sugar.
Suits: Vegetarian, Vegan, Paleo, Low carb option
Contains: Nuts (optional)
Serves 4-6.

You will need
4-6 serving bowls/jars
Spatula

Ingredients
Pudding
20-30g (5-6cm piece) of peeled fresh ginger (more or less depending how much you like ginger
500-600g mango flesh (2 large or 3 smaller ripe mangos), diced
200g coconut cream
200g water
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of 2 limes
70g chia seeds

Decorations
Toasted coconut flakes
Pistachios or other nuts or seeds
Fresh fruit: diced mango, raspberries, blueberries

Preparation 
1.       Add ginger to the mixing bowl and chop with MC on / 5 secs / Speed 9.  Scrape down.  Repeat if necessary until finely chopped.
2.       Add mango, coconut cream, water, lime zest and lime juice.  Blend with MC on / 30 secs / Speed 8. Scrape down, blend again with MC on / 30 secs / Speed 8 or until very smooth.
3.       Add chia seeds and mix with MC on / 20 secs / Speed 3 or until incorporated.
4.       Pour mixture into serving bowls, leaving space from the top for your decorations.  Use clear bowls/jars for extra effect.
5.       Preferably chill overnight or at least for 4 hours in the fridge.
6.       Decorate just before serving.

DOUBLING THIS RECIPE: You can double this recipe easily.  You may need to assist the final mixing step by using the spatula through the hole in the mixing bowl lid to make sure everything is combined.

My tips
* Using black chia seeds will result in a firm pudding consistency once set while white chia seeds don’t swell up quite as much and the puddings will be a softer set.  I used 50/50 black and white seeds.  Either choice will not alter the flavour.
* Keep these covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. Great for preparing ahead as a “grab and go” meal.
* Use anything you like to garnish.
* You can substitute the coconut cream and the water for a total of 400g coconut milk.
* For a Low Carb option, substitute the mango for raspberries.
* You can use frozen fruit, just add it to the mixing bowl with the ginger in step 1 then continue with the recipe.

 

ease: 9.5/10.  Could it be any easier?!

total prep time: 15 minutes + chilling and decorating time
total: 15 minutes + chilling and decorating time

taste: 10/10 These were a hit for our “first week back” in the new year and will be for a while to come.

would I make it again:  Yes!!!!!  with different flavours and even my Low carb version. 

(paleo) Lemon curd

I have always said “when life gives you lemons……..make something you love to eat”. 🙂

There are many things that I love to make with lemons and one of my absolute favourites is lemon curd.  My pre-healthy life saw me make this recipe which (at the time) I absolutely loved.  For me it is about using something that is abundantly in season and at it’s most delicious to create something wonderful.

With this particular recipe, I love making mini tarts or just eating it out of the jar.  I hope you have some lemons to be able to make this soon.

(paleo) Lemon Curd
No: Gluten / Grain / Soy / Dairy / Nuts / Refined sugar
Makes approximately 2 cups

You will need
Spatula
Jar for storage
Zester

Ingredients
Zest of 2 organic lemons, approx. 1 Tbsp / 10g
3 large eggs, 150-160g when cracked into the mixing bowl
125g (½ cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
100g (3 Tbsp) honey
125g coconut oil OR ghee OR (1 stick/4 ozs) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Preparation
Place all ingredients into mixing bowl, cook with MC off/ 8 minutes / 90°C / Speed 3.

Pour into 2 hot washed/sterilised jars with twist-off lids and close immediately.  Cool completely before storing in the fridge.

My tips
* I used Meyer lemons which gave this a fantastic yellow colour.  *If you want a little more yellow colour you can add a pinch of turmeric to the mixing bowl when cooking the curd.  If you want to intensify the lemon flavour you can add 1 or 2 drops of pure lemon oil which you can purchase here. Add the oil after the curd is cooked and just stir it through.
* I used sterilised jars to ensure these would keep as long as possible. You can double, triple, even quadruple this recipe to make a large batch. Just extend the cooking time by 1½ – 3 minutes.
* I love to make mini tart cases and fill them with lemon curd for a quick dessert.
* This will keep in the fridge for several weeks (if you don’t eat it all).
* If you find the curd is spitting out the top during the cooking process you can sit the simmering basket on top of the lid.
* If you’d like to know more about the pure essential oils I use, please take a look here.

ease: 9.5/10.  Could it be any easier?!
total prep time: 10 minutes + chilling time
total cooking time: 8 minutes 

total: 18 minutes + chilling time

taste: 8.5/10 – This was a well balanced curd with a tangy lemon flavour.  The consistency was lovely and thick just like my traditional version.

would I make it again: Absolutely. When the season brings you lemons, make lemon curd! :)


(paleo) No-bake bars

I originally wanted to make something with an Anzac spin on it.  I thought of some kind of “Anzac Bar” so that they could be easily consumed with your favourite brew after attending a dawn service.  As I was making them I thought “don’t mess with the original”.  Sometimes traditions are just meant to stay the same.

The other problem is that these are simply too easy and delicious to only make once a year.  Great as a grab-and-go, pick-me-up or “fat bomb” style filler when you’re feeling peckish.

The hardest part is waiting for these to chill enough to be firm because you just want to eat them!

(paleo) No-bake bars
No: Gluten / Grain / Soy / Dairy / Eggs / Refined sugar
Makes approximately 12 – 14 mini bars

You will need
Spatula
Silicone bar mold or slice tray lined with non-stick baking paper

Ingredients
40g raw macadamia nuts or blanched almonds
130g blanched almonds
100g desiccated coconut
pinch finely ground salt
20g coconut oil, melted
30-50g honey (I used 30g) – For vegan option, use sweetener of choice

Optional additions (I did two different versions)
1 Tablespoon dried cranberries
1 Tablespoon slivered almonds
1 Tablespoon toasted shredded coconut

Preparation
Place 40g of nuts into mixing bowl, chop for 3 – 5 seconds / Speed 5, until nuts are roughly chopped.  Set aside.

Without washing mixing bowl, add blanched almonds and coconut and chop for 15 – 20 seconds / Speed 8, until mixture begins to come together.  Scrape around sides of bowl and add salt, coconut oil, honey and reserved chopped nuts.  Mix for 10-15 seconds / Reverse / Speed 4 or until mixture comes together.  Scrape mixture into molds or tray and press down firmly.  Top with your choice of optional additions then place into fridge for approximately 1 hour or until firm.

Remove from fridge, pop out of molds and wrap or simply eat them.  Store remaining bars in an air tight container in fridge until ready to use.

My tips
* Flavour these with an essential oil of your choice.  Just add 1 drop.
* You can double, triple, even quadruple this recipe to make a large batch.  If you don’t have molds, just line a baking tray or tin and press the mixture into that then top it with what whatever you like.
* If your coconut oil is hard, you can carefully run the jar under hot water for a minute or two until it is slightly melted.
*These will keep in the fridge for several weeks (if you don’t eat them all).
* If you want to chill them quickly you can put them into the freezer for 15 – 30 minutes or until firm.
* If you’d like to know more about the pure essential oils I use, please take a look here.

ease: 9.5/10.  Could it be any easier?!
total prep time: 10 minutes + chilling time
total cooking time: 0 minutes 

total: 10 minutes + chilling time

taste: 10/10 Even my not-quite-paleo man LOVED these and coconut is not his favourite food!

would I make it again:  Ummmm, I already have because the first batch is all gone 🙂

(paleo) Super simple chocolate

Chocolate has always been one of my favourite things.  However, over the years my tastes have changed slightly and more recently I have turned to the “dark side”, preferring nothing less than 70% cacao.  That being said, I developed this recipe with others in mind also.

I have always loved giving edible gifts as that is how I show my affection for people.  I tend to make something with a lot of love and hope that shows in the gifts that I give.  These are so simple and quick to make with only a few ingredients you can whip them up at the last minute to take as a hostess gift, as a present or even for an after-dinner treat.

Make these for yourself or someone you love.  Just do yourself a favour and find an excuse to make these soon!

(paleo) Super simple chocolate
No: Gluten / Grain / Soy / Nuts / Dairy / Eggs / Refined sugar
Makes approximately 24 mini chocolates

You will need
Spatula
2 x 12-hole silicone chocolate mold

Ingredients
60g raw cacao powder
120g coconut oil
60-100g honey (I used 60g)

Optional additions (I did two different versions)
1 Tablespoon dried cranberries
1 Tablespoon slivered almonds

1-2 drops pure peppermint essential oil (for half the mixture)

Preparation
Place cacao powder, coconut oil and honey into mixing bowl, melt for 2 minutes / 70°C / Speed 2.  Meanwhile, divide the cranberries and almonds evenly between 12 of the molds.  Once mixture is melted and combined, pour approximately half on top of cranberries and almonds to fill each mold.  Use spatula to press mixture in if necessary and smooth top.

With the remaining half, add peppermint oil to mixing bowl and mix for 5 seconds / Speed 2.  Divide the mixture evenly between remaining 12 molds.

Place the molds onto a tray and tap the tray gently on the bench several times to ensure that any air bubbles are forced out.  Smooth any chocolate that may have been disrupted and place tray into fridge for approximately 1 hour or until firm.

Remove from fridge, pop out of molds and gift wrap or eat.  Store remaining chocolates in an air tight container in fridge until ready to use.

My tips
* Flavour these with whatever you like.  Orange essential oil would be lovely also.
* You can double, triple, even quadruple this recipe to make a large batch.  If you don’t have molds, just line a baking tray or tin and pour the mixture into that then top it with what whatever you like.
*These will keep in the fridge for several weeks (if you don’t eat them all)
* If you want to chill them quickly you can put them into the freezer for 15 – 30 minutes or until firm.
* If you’d like to know more about the pure essential oils I use, please take a look here.

ease: 9.5/10.  Could it be any easier?!
total prep time: 8 minutes + chilling time
total cooking time: 2 minutes 

total: 10 minutes + chilling time

taste: 10/10 I know this isn’t “real” chocolate, BUT it is better for you, super easy to make and delicious.  I hope you make it for yourself.

would I make it again:  Yes!!!!!  As much as possible.

(paleo) Easy profiteroles

Developing recipes can often be a challenging experience, especially when you are trying to create things that are free of grains, gluten, dairy, refined sugar and on occasion eggs and nuts.  With a list like that even I think – what else is there? However, there is so much we can do with a few basic alternatives.

This is one recipe that I’ve wanted to convert for a little while.   I’ve always loved profiteroles, in fact I think they used to be my favourite dessert.  Many years ago I was fortunate enough to be in a lovely restaurant in Paris experiencing all things French.  The perfect end to a wonderful meal was profiteroles with warm chocolate sauce.  I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.  Crunchy pastry, silky smooth vanilla infused crème centre topped with warm, bitter dark chocolate sauce.  Could anything be better!?!

Recreating something like that is hard enough without restricting the ingredients we can use but I’m really happy with all the individual parts of this dish as well as the end result when they are all combined.

Make this for yourself or someone you love.  Just do yourself a favour and find an excuse to make these soon!

(paleo) Profiteroles filled with vanilla crème patisserie drizzled with chocolate sauce (recipe by Fiona at Food 4 Thought).
No: Gluten / Grain / Soy / Nuts / Dairy
Contains: Eggs
Makes 24 mini profiteroles

You will need
Oven
Spatula
Medium glass bowl
24-hole mini muffin tray, greased with coconut oil
Small serving jug
Cling wrap or similar
Cooling rack

Crème patisserie (pastry cream) – makes approximately 2 cups
Ingredients
400g coconut milk
60-80g maple syrup
2 egg yolks
20-25g tapioca flour
Seeds of 1 vanilla pod OR 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation
Place all ingredients into mixing bowl, cook for 7 minutes / 90°C / Speed 4.  Transfer into a bowl, place plastic wrap directly on surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming, and allow to cool.  Once bowl is cool to touch place into refrigerator to cool completely and thicken.

Make pastry rolls.

My tips
*You can store the remaining pastry cream in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

(Cheats) Pastry roll (makes 24 mini muffin size)
Ingredients
160g coconut milk
60g coconut oil
1 egg
170g arrowroot flour
1 teaspoon honey

Preparation
Preheat oven to 200°C (fan-forced).  Grease 24-hole mini muffin tray with coconut oil.  Set aside for filling later.

Place all ingredients into mixing bowl, mix for 25 seconds / Speed 7.  Scrape around sides of mixing bowl and mix for 5 seconds / Speed 7.

Fill each mini muffin mould three-quarters full with batter.  Bake for 16 – 19 minutes (200°C fan-forced), or until puffy and lightly golden brown.

Remove from oven and carefully remove tray onto a cooling rack.  Once cool enough to handle, use a skewer to pierce the base of the roll to allow any remaining steam to escape.  This will keep them crisper as they cool.  Set aside to cool completely before filling.

My tips
*These are best consumed on the day they are made, however you can store the remaining rolls in a container for up to 2 days.

Chocolate sauce – makes approximately 1 cup – *Make this close to serving
Ingredients
50g dairy free 100% chocolate pieces
20g raw cacao powder
50g maple syrup or honey
150g coconut milk
Pinch of fine salt

Preparation
Place chocolate into mixing bowl and melt for 2 minutes / 70°C/ Speed soft.

Add remaining ingredients and mix for 15 seconds / Speed 3.  Scrape around sides of mixing bowl and heat for 1 minutes / 70°C/ Speed soft. Scrape into jug or serving dish.  Serve warm.

My tips
*This sauce will store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.  You will need to heat it gently to serve as it will firm up in the refrigerator.

 

ASSEMBLY

If you haven’t already made the chocolate sauce do so now.

Remove crème patisserie from refrigerator and remove plastic wrap.  You have two options of filling the pastry rolls.  You can lay each one on their side and cut them so you have a top and bottom, like a bun OR you can make the hole in the bottom slightly bigger and spoon or pipe the mixture into the base of each roll.  Fill as many rolls as you would like to serve.

Place rolls on a serving plate and top with warm chocolate sauce.

ease: 8.5/10.  A few elements but nothing too challenging.
total prep time: 45 minutes + cooling time
total cooking time: 30 minutes 

total: 1 hours 15 minutes + cooling time

taste: 10/10 I know these are not “the real thing” but oh my goodness they are pretty special.  I hope you enjoy these as much as our house did.

would I make it again:  For special occasions, absolutely.  I couldn’t make them more often as they would disappear too quickly.

 

(LCHF) Meringue stack

I have been trying to make any sort of Paleoish meringue/pavlova for a few weeks now. I think I have used at least three dozen egg whites (and made LOTS of mayonnaise with the yolks) and I finally think I’ve cracked it.

Although these aren’t as thick as a normal pav, they have that crunchy exterior and soft gooey interior.  When I was making them it felt like I was making real meringue.  I was sooooo excited.

So before anyone judges me, I know the Paleo lifestyle is not about making sweet things compliant enough to eat and I actually don’t eat many sweet things at all, it was more the challenge of being able to make this so that it was similar to what used to do.  This recipe isn’t completely Paleo compliant because it uses Xylitol.  If you want to try something else, this pavlova wreath recipe uses maple syrup.

If you give this a try I truly hope you enjoy it.

Meringue stack with strawberry sauce (recipe by Fiona at Food 4 Thought).
No: Gluten / Grain / Soy / Nuts
Contains: Eggs / Dairy (optional)
Makes 2 x 20cm discs.

You will need
Oven
Spatula
Butterfly whisk
2 x baking tray lined with non-stick paper
20cm ring to mark a pattern on the paper
Cooling rack

Meringue
Ingredients
150g xylitol (from Birch trees)
200g egg white (approx. 6 eggs)
1 pinch cream of tartar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
3 teaspoons tapioca flour (see Tips for LCHF option)

Preparation
Preheat oven to 120°C.  Line 2 large baking trays (40 x 35 cm) with baking paper.  Trace 2 circles (approx. 20 cm) on the underside of each piece of baking paper, then set baking trays aside.

Place xylitol into mixing bowl and mill 15 seconds / Speed 9.  Transfer into a bowl and set aside.  Thoroughly clean and dry mixing bowl.

Insert butterfly whisk.  Place egg whites and cream of tartar into mixing bowl and whip for 3 minutes / 50°C / Speed 4 / MC off.

With butterfly whisk still in place, mix 3 minutes / Speed 4 / MC off, slowly adding reserved xylitol through hole in mixing bowl lid 1 spoon at a time until well combined.

Mix the lemon juice and honey together in a small bowl until combined.  With butterfly whisk still in place, mix 1 ½ minutes / Speed 4 / MC off, adding lemon/honey, then tapioca flour through hole in mixing bowl lid until combined.

Spoon mixture into traced circle guides to form discs approx. 2-3 cm thick. Bake for 1 ½ hours (120°C).

*While Meringue are baking, make Strawberry sauce if you like.

Turn oven off and leave meringue discs to cool completely in the oven with the oven door slightly open (with a wooden spoon or similar to hold it in place), leave approx. 3 hours or overnight.  Clean and dry mixing bowl and butterfly whisk.  Once cooked, remove from oven and place onto cooling rack, leave for a few hours to dry out as much as possible (I left mine uncovered for another day).

Strawberry sauce
Ingredients
250g fresh strawberries, washed and green tops removed
3 teaspoons honey (or 40g xylitol)
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preparation
Place all ingredients into mixing bowl.  Cook for 3 minutes / 90°C / Speed 3.  Then mix for 10 seconds / Speed 5.  Transfer into a bowl and set aside.  Thoroughly clean and dry mixing bowl.  See below regarding assembly.

 

 

ASSEMBLY
To serve
– Cream/Coconut cream – I would use approx. 500g of cream to top these discs.  For whipped coconut cream, use 2 cans chilled overnight and follow a whipped coconut cream recipe for instructions.
– Fresh berries or fruit of choice

To assemble meringue stack, place 1 of the discs onto a serving platter. Top disc with half of the whipped cream of choice, then decorate with fresh mixed berries and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of the strawberry sauce.  Place remaining meringue disc on top, then repeat layering with remaining cream, fresh berries and 1-2 tablespoons of the coulis.  Serve immediately.

My tips
*Before I start this recipe, I do a lemon or vinegar wash on my bowl.  This video explains how and why you should do so.
*It is important that you start this recipe at least a day before you want to assemble it so that the discs have time to dry out properly.
*Use any fruit toppings that you like.
*This is best eaten on the day of assembly.
*For LCHF – You could substitute the tapioca flour for xantham gum.  I would try ½ – 1 teaspoon.  I haven’t tried this so can’t guarantee it will work.

ease: 7.5/10.  Just a few steps.
prep time: 50 minutes + cooling time
cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes 

total: 2 hours 20 minutes + cooling time

taste: 9/10 Not quite as good as I remember the “real thing” but a great dish in its own right.

would I make it again:  For special occasions, absolutlely. 

(paleo/LCHF) Spiced lamb burgers

Lamb has always been one of my favourite sources of protein.  In fact it was the first meat I ate when I broke out of my 15 years of  vegetarianism!

For as long as I can remember it ahs almost been traditional to have some form of lamb as part of Australia day celebrations.  This year I wanted something simple, that I could make ahead and not worry about while I had guests.  So these little burgers are the perfect solution.  Easy to make, make them the day before, loaded with flavour and served with your favourite burger bun, what could be better?   My suggestion is to make up several batches of these and pop them in the freezer so you have them on hand, they are already a staple in our repertoire.  If your house is anything like mine when you have guests for a BBQ, the men cook the BBQ and ladies generally do salad (and everything else!)  These can be cooked on the BBQ, salad and cauliflower rolls can be made earlier, which means you get to sit with a cool drink and chat.  I hope you enjoy it all!

(paleo/LCHF) Spiced lamb burgers (recipe by Fiona at Food 4 Thought).
No: Gluten / Grain / Dairy / Soy / Nuts
Contains: Eggs
Makes 6 burgers.

You will need
Frying pan/BBQ/Oven
Spatula
Egg flip or similar
Dinner plate
Coconut oil, ghee or lard for shallow frying
Cooling rack

Ingredients
1 clove garlic, peeled
150g brown onion, chopped into pieces
100g carrot, chopped into pieces
20g (1 Tablespoon) coconut/olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ – 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
300g lamb rump steak, trimmed of fat and sinew, cut into 3-4cm chunks OR 300g minced lamb
1 tablespoon vegetable stock concentrate OR 1 teaspoon finely ground salt
1 egg
To serve – toppings pf your choice.

Preparation

*If making cauliflower buns, start this recipe and you can make the burgers while the buns are in the oven.

Place garlic into mixing bowl and chop for 5 – 10 seconds / Speed 6.  Add onion and carrots and chop for 5 seconds / Speed 5.  Scrape around sides of mixing bowl, add olive oil and cook for 5 minutes / 100°C / Soft speed / MC off. Add cumin, coriander and chilli flakes, cook 2 minutes / 100°C / Soft speed / MC off.  Pour mixture onto a dinner plate and spread out thinly, set aside to cool.

If you are using minced lamb skip this step.  Without rinsing mixing bowl, add chunks of rump and mince on for 2 – 5 seconds / Reverse / Speed 7.

Add cooled vegetable mixture, stock and egg.  Mix for 30 seconds / Reverse / Speed 4.  You should have a paste consistency.  If not, mix for longer as this is what will help hold the burgers together during cooking.  Remove mixture from bowl and set aside.

If cooking immediately, place a large frypan over medium heat OR BBQ hot plate OR pre-heat oven to 180°C.  Moisten hands with cold water and divide mixture into six equal portions.  Shape into burger patties, cook immediately OR place on a lined tray, cover and refrigerate until required. See tips for freezing.

For frypan or BBQ, I cooked these for 2-3 minutes per side.  I baked them in the oven for 20 minutes.

Serve with toppings of your choice.  If you have any left over, store in an air tight container in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze.

DOUBLING THIS RECIPE: You can double this recipe easily.  You may need to assist the final mixing step by using the spatula through the hole in the mixing bowl lid to make sure you get the right consistency before shaping the burgers.

My tips
* These burgers are very moist because they have no flour or breadcrumbs added to them.  You need to make sure you have a paste consistency after you have mixed everything together before shaping them.  This helps them hold together during cooking.
* I chop my meat on reverse because I like the texture I end up with.
* Change the flavour by substituting other herbs and spices to the mix.  Ras el hanout or garam marsala would be lovely.  Make it your own.
* Shaping – I made these slightly larger than the buns as they will shrink slightly during the cooking process.
* If you are not using these immediately, once shaped place on a lined baking tray and freeze them. Then place non-stick paper in between the burgers, stack and freeze for as long as your freezer instructs.
* You could substitute the lamb with beef or chicken if preferred.
* To reheat these I used an air fryer. 180°C for 4 minutes was perfect.
* Add any burger toppings that you like.

ease: 9/10.  Just a little bit of shaping required.
prep time: 15 minutes  
cooking time: 20 minutes 

total: 35 minutes 

taste: 10/10 These are great. No fillers, no extras, just pure flavour.  Yum, yum, yum.

would I make it again:  They are already a staple, especially in summer.  

(paleo/LCHF) Cauliflower buns/rolls

I’ve never been a big bread eater.  I remember as a child the only thing I really liked was plain white bread with vegemite and grated cheese and even that was only when I was quite young.  As I grew older and my palate developed it wasn’t something I gravitated to. So following a paleo lifestyle didn’t really present me with a “no bread” challenge.  However, when I want to have a burger, I like to pick it up and feel like I’m eating a burger.

I have always loved cauliflower and more recently I feel that I have become somewhat obsessed.  I want to try it as many ways as I can and I’m starting to realise just how versatile this inconspicuous little vegetable is.

These are something that I’ve wanted to “play with” for a little while now.  You can use the recipe (minus the garlic and rosemary) as a base and create your own flavours.  Add your favourite burger and enjoy.

(paleo/LCHF) Cauliflower buns/rolls (recipe by Fiona at Food 4 Thought). 
No: Gluten / Grain / Dairy / Soy / Nuts
Contains: Eggs
Makes 6-8 complete buns/rolls.

You will need
Oven
Spatula
Egg flip or similar
Glass bowl
2 x baking tray lined with non-stick paper
9-10cm round cookie cutter or similar
Cooling rack

Ingredients
1 sprig (approx. 20cm in length) fresh rosemary, leaves only OR 1 tsp dried rosemary
1 clove garlic, peeled
400g cauliflower florets, chopped into bite-sized pieces
½ teaspoon fine salt
2 Tablespoons (30g) coconut flour
2 eggs
1 ½ – 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
Poppy/sesame seeds, to sprinkle on top (optional)

Preparation

Pre-heat oven to 180°C and prepare baking trays.

Place rosemary leaves into mixing bowl and mill for 1 minute / Speed 10 (If using dried rosemary, skip this step).  Add garlic and chop for 5 seconds / Speed 6.  Add cauliflower and chop for 4 – 6 seconds / Speed 5.  This should be a rice texture.

Scrape around sides of mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix for 20 seconds / Reverse / Speed 4.  Scrape mixture into a separate bowl.

Place cookie cutter onto lined baking tray.  Take approx. 80g (1/3 cup packed) of mixture and pour into cutter.  Using hands or back of a spoon, press the mixture firmly into shape.  Complete with remaining mixture.  See tips for shaping. Sprinkle half with seeds if you wish.

Place buns in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then turn over and bake for further 10 minutes or until golden and firm to touch.

*While buns are baking, make these burgers if you like.

Once cooked, remove from oven and place onto cooling rack, cool enough to handle and serve. To store, cool completely and store in an air tight container for up to 2 days.

When you want to use them, you can reheat them in a 180°C for 5 – 7 minutes or crisp them under the grill.

My tips
*Substitute any other dried herb if you don’t have rosemary.
*Shaping – Make sure the mixture is pressed in firmly.  To make the “bun tops”, once pressed into shape remove cutter then gentle press edges down so they are slightly thinner than centre and have a tapered appearance. 
*Add any burger and toppings that you like.
*We didn’t have any left over to check how they freeze but I think they would freeze quite well.
*To reheat these I used an air fryer. 180°C for 4 minutes was perfect
*For LCHF – You could add a couple of tablespoons of cheese in place of the nutritional yeast and some ham if you like.
*Rosemary – I find when using fresh rosemary (and a small amount) just removed from the stem, it is difficult to cut in the Thermomix.  I suggest you either take the leaves off the stalk and sit them on the bench uncovered overnight to dry out a little or put them on a lined tray and bake in oven for a few minutes to do the same.  

ease: 9/10.  Just a little bit of shaping required.
prep time: 20 minutes  
cooking time: 30 minutes 

total: 50 minutes 

taste: 9.5/10 These are great. They stand up like a “normal” bun.

would I make it again:  Oh yes.