Maltese rabbit stew

In Flanders, rabbit is cooked slowly in beer with dried prunes added towards the end, to make a lovely stew full of flavour. It is a festive dish that we often have on Christmas eve or on Sundays with family.

Since going grain free, beer is no longer an option. Wine is a good substitute but we would normally go for red wine. This recipe however, calls for a more southern flavour that pairs well with celery, olives and capers. White wine!

Apparently, this way of cooking rabbit is in vogue on the island of Malta. You need only a few ingredients and an hour or so of cooking time. I bought – or rather Gert bought – a big rabbit, so the dish lasted us two days.

I used one big pot for the rabbit, and another for the vegetables. They were combined for stewing with the wine in both pots later on.

It tastes even better the next day.

Chop onions, carrots, leek and celery.

Chop onions, carrots, leek and celery.

Rabbit, celery and olive oil

Rabbit, celery and olive oil

Apple cider vinegar, bay leaf, capers and rabbit liver

Apple cider vinegar, bay leaf, capers and rabbit liver

Fry onions first, then add leek, celery and carrots, and finally garlic, capers and bay leaf. Season well.

Fry onions first, then add leek, celery and carrots, and finally garlic, capers and bay leaf. Season well.

Brown rabbit on all sides.

Brown rabbit on all sides.

Simmer rabbit with vegetables and bay leaf in white wine.

Simmer rabbit with vegetables and bay leaf in white wine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 big rabbit, in pieces. I used the liver as well.
  • a few stalks of celery and a few stalks of leek, chopped.
  • 4 carrots, chopped.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced.
  • 1 big onion or two small ones.
  • olives and/or capers!
  • bay leaf (and fresh rosemary if you have it, I didn’t).
  • 1 bottle of white wine
  • A few spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar.

Preparation:

  • Prepare your vegetables. Chop garlic, onion, celery and carrots.
  • Brown the rabbit pieces on all sides in olive oil. Go slow but brown them thoroughly. Season well with salt and black pepper.
  • When they are browned, throw in a few spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar and let it rest a little.
  • In another pot, fry onions in olive oil until they are translucent. Add carrots, leek, celery and garlic and let simmer for ten minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper. Towards the end, add the olives and / or the capers and the bay leaf and rosemary.
  • Arrange your rabbit pieces and vegetables together, pour the white wine over it until your stew is half submerged.
  • Cook for an hour or longer, on low heat and under the lid. When the meat falls of the bones, your dish is ready to serve.

It tastes even better the next day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Baked apples with Greek yoghurt

Another quick “look what I had for breakfast” post.

I would never have apple pie with ice cream for breakfast, but I feel like I had just that this morning.

The simple combination of warm, baked apples – with a little cinnamon – and cool, creamy greek yoghurt almost matches the taste.

Imagine having a treat like this for breakfast, with no unhealthy ingredients whatsoever! I added some chia seeds as well.

I read about this great combo on a Pascale Naessens group on Facebook, and I’m sure it will become one of my staple breakfasts.

Soba noodles with celery and oyster mushrooms

I hardly ever crave traditional wheat pasta anymore, I actually feel bloated just thinking about it. That’s why I’m happy to try alternatives like these soba noodles that I found in our local Bioplanet supermarket.

Soba noodles are made from buckwheat. Buckwheat is gluten free and not a grain but technically a seed. This makes it a healthier choice, or a soft paleo pasta alternative!

I picked up this great vegetarian recipe in one of Pascale Naessens‘ books. She uses shitake mushrooms, I used oyster mushrooms and regular white mushrooms.

I found the garlic and the walnut oil to be essential, since they complement the nutty flavor of the buckwheat noodles very nicely and give the dish a rich taste. But of course you could substitute with another nut oil or a nice olive oil.

What I used:

  • Soba noodles
  • Garlic, 2 cloves, minced
  • Celery, a few stalks, chopped
  • Oyster mushrooms and regular mushrooms, in bite sized pieces
  • ( shitakes if you have them! )
  • Walnut oil and / or olive oil

Recipe:

  • Heat olive oil in a skillet and fry the celery, stirring often so as not to burn them.
  • Add the garlic and brown celery and garlic over low heat.
  • Add the mushrooms and continue to simmer until they are soft and shiny.
  • Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Cook soba noodles in a large pot with boiling water and salt.
  • Stir and drain gently.
  • Add the noodles to the celery and mushrooms and mix gently.
  • Drizzle with walnut oil and / or olive oil, and garnish with parsley or cilantro.

Although Gert usually doesn’t like the taste of buckwheat (eg in breads, crackers or pancakes), this combination of garlic, mushrooms and nutty flavors went down very well.┬áHe didn’t even comment on the absence of meat.. That’s a big success in my book!

Mushrooms, garlic and noodles mise-en-place

Mushrooms, garlic and noodles mise-en-place

Celery frying in garlic

Celery frying in garlic

Stirring in oyster and regular mushrooms

Stirring in oyster and regular mushrooms

Cooked soba noodles needing oil and toppings

Cooked soba noodles needing oil and toppings

Soba noodles with celery, garlic and mushrooms.

Soba noodles with celery, garlic and mushrooms.

 

Plaice with asparagus and salmon eggs

Very quick, surprisingly cheap and fingerlickin’ good, that’s how I want my everyday soft paleo dinners to be. Made from scratch with a few simple ingredients. And healthy to boot!

This dish fits the bill. It’s so easy and fast to whip up, no recipe needed! All you need for two are two small plaice, asparagus and butter. The salmon eggs are of course totally optional. It would work well with capers or nothing at all as well.

I bought the plaice whole, and cleaned and trimmed them myself. But you could easily buy them prepared to save time.

I adore white asparagus, a real delicacy and wonderful steamed or cooked, and served with melted butter and crumbled hard boiled eggs (hey, it’s the perfect ketogenic dish!). But they are not in season. Hence the green asparagus. The convenient part is that green ones do not need to be peeled and are still delicious.

Salmon eggs add some colour, saltiness and crunch to the dish, but also iodine, vitamin D and omega 3. I found them in our small Match supermarket, in a little container with no preservatives or additives bar salt. Nice!

I used :

  • Grass-fed butter.
  • 1 plaice per person.
  • As many asparagus (asparagi?) as you can stomach.
  • Salmon eggs.

“Recipe”:

Cook the asparagus in boiling water with salt. This takes around 15 minutes. You need the asparagus to be tender yet still crisp. Although some people enjoy them when they are very tender. Adjust for taste. When they are done, season them with a dollop of butter, salt and pepper.

Yes, by all means get your butter out for both the asparagus and the plaice. As the saying goes here: “fish needs to swim”. Brown the butter in a skillet over high heat and add the plaice. Flip them over after around 5 minutes of frying, fry the other side for about 2 minutes and they are done.

Arrange on a plate, garnish with salmon eggs and enjoy!

Easy chicken in red curry

Children usually love chicken. When it is cooked the way they are used to, i.e. Plain. How to get them to eat chicken prepared in unfamiliar ways is always a challenge. I do know that Zoe, Ella and Kato are not averse to coconut milk, and they like vegetables when they are recognizable.

So on Monday, I made them a dish with chicken and precut wok vegetables, with some very recognizable chunks of broccoli thrown into the mix, baked in red curry and simmered in coconut milk. I served the chicken curry with rice noodles and hoped for the best.

What I used:

  • Rice noodles.
  • Precut wok vegetables like broccoli, carrots, red and green peppers, bamboo shoots, corn, onion rings, sugar snaps…. Around 800 grams.
  • Chicken, around 1 kilo.
  • Red curry, a small jar.
  • 2 cans of coconut milk, 600 ml.

What I did:

I cut the chicken into smaller pieces, long strips actually, and submerged them in a pot of boiling water. While the chicken was cooking, I separated the more chunky vegetables (mainly peppers, broccoli and onion rings) from the bits that needed less cooking time, like bamboo shoots, and fried them in olive oil and two spoonfuls of the red curry paste.

After frying the bigger chunks of vegetables for a while, the chicken was ready to be added to the pan. Next to go in: the cocononut milk and the rest of the vegetables (bamboo shoots, corn, sugar snaps, carrot strips…). Simmer for a while… And it’s done.

The children liked it and ate quite a lot of it, I’m happy to report.

Cut the chicken into long strips of meat

Cut the chicken into long strips of meat

Separated vegetables

Separate vegetables according to cooking time needed

Broccoli and consorts frying in red curry

Broccoli and consorts frying in red curry

Carrots, corn and bamboo shoots

Carrots, corn and bamboo shoots go in with the cooked chicken

Red chicken curry in a glass serving bowl

Red chicken curry in a glass serving bowl, ready!

The finished article

The finished article with plain rice noodles

After dinner hip hop moves

After dinner hip hop moves

Paleo bolognese

Spaghetti, or any pasta, is off limits for celiacs like Gert. Of course, there is gluten free spaghetti. Most of these are made with rice or corn meal. Not our cup of tea either because these are not paleo.

Enter courgetti. Long strips of zucchini, baked in garlic and olive oil and topped with the sauce of your liking. Much healthier, and really, much more flavourful.

Because my time was very limited – we were really really hungry – I didn’t bother making zucchini strips. I just shredded all the available veggies is my food processor.

It is a really simple dish that goes down well as comfort food on a cold evening. It has loads of vegetables. We even had leftovers for lunch the next day.

What I used:

  • 3 zucchini’s
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 kilo mushrooms
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2 kilo passata
  • 80 grams tomato paste
  • A glass of red wine
  • 1/2 kilo minced meat (I used pure beef)
  • shredded cheese (I used two types, parmesan and goat’s cheese)

What I did:

  • Shred all the vegetables in a food processor or chop them finely
  • Fry the minced meat in olive oil and garlic until browned
  • Add red wine and wait until it is evaporated
  • Add the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, stir until they are soft.
  • Add the passata and tomato paste.
  • Simmer over low heat until you are satisfied with the taste and consistency.
  • Top with shredded cheese to your liking.

That’s all. It looks the same on a plate, so no extra pictures!

Two soft paleo breakfasts

A quick post to show you what I had for breakfast this week, besides the usual suspects of bacon and eggs.

The first is a big bowl of ripe mango, greek yoghurt, red berries and sunflower seeds. Just throw together and enjoy with a big mug of coffee.

Mango, berries, full fat yoghurt and sunflower seeds

Mango, berries, full fat yoghurt and sunflower seeds

The second one is a banana pancake, made by mixing together an egg, a banana, a pinch of salt and a cup of almond flower in the blender.

It bakes beautifully but can fall apart as it did on the picture. Just have a little more patience than I had :).

The second one I made, and which I saved for my lovely partner Gert, who has a bit of a grumpy morning temper now and again, held up really well. He went off to work a happy man.

Top with cream, berries and seeds for a great, satisfying breakfast that is sweet enough. No sugar needed, I swear.

Banana pancake with berries, cream and sunflower seeds

Banana pancake with berries, cream and sunflower seeds

Without the toppings

Without the toppings