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Recipes by Juliet – Paleo Savoury Muffins

Though this blog is mostly about writing and books and self-empowerment, a writer’s gotta eat, and something I love almost as much as writing is cooking and baking (but mostly eating what I’ve cooked and baked). 😉

If you follow me on Facebook you might have seen my #JulietsBakingAdventures posts. If not, here are some of them…

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A lot of people ask me for the recipes, but the thing is… I’m what I like to call an “Intuitive Cook”. Translation: I make stuff up as I go along. And that sometimes means I don’t know how to replicate what I’ve made and have to get all “intuitive” again. I used to joke that if I published a cookbook it would be called The Intuitive Cook ~ DIY Recipes, and inside would be photos of the creations with each page blank except for the words: Here is what it should look like, figure it out yourself! 😉 But I’m changing my ways! I’ve started writing down my ingredients and steps, and today I will be sharing with you my PALEO SAVOURY MUFFINS. (Thanks Luke Hines for demanding encouraging me on Facebook to share the recipe!) 😉

But first…why paleo? 

I won’t go into detail in this post (it’s a whole book in itself), but Paleo principles form the majority of my eating regime and lifestyle. Before I became an author I worked as a naturopath and nutritionist with a health science degree in complementary medicine, and was privileged to hear Dr Loren Cordain speak about his paleo research at a conference in Australia several years ago. I was sold. And then chef Pete Evans started creating his own paleo recipes which helped bring the lifestyle into the mainstream. I’ve had great personal success with eating paleo (including 14kg weight loss and overcoming two medical conditions), and when understood and followed properly it makes perfect biological sense to me. Here I am with Pete and Luke at their Paleo Way tour in 2015…

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Now, RECIPE TIME!

savourymuffins

PALEO SAVOURY MUFFINS:

  • paleo
  • gluten free
  • dairy free
  • grain free
  • high fibre

*Why I like them: You can freeze them for a quick breakfast or meal on the go, eat cold or warm, add variations, and they are perfect for when I’m in the writing zone and don’t want to interrupt my muse 😉

The recipe below is the basic recipe, in that you can eat them plain, or add other ingredients for some variation depending on what you like. Although I’ve tried to be as specific as possible with quantities, I’m not so much when it comes to herbs and spices, so use what feels right.

INGREDIENTS:

Dry:

  • 1 & 1/4 cup of almond meal
  • 1/2 cup tapioca
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed
  • 2 tablespoons of psyllium husks (adds fibre)
  • 4 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder (or homemade paleo version)
  • 1-2 teaspoons xanthan gum (not essential but use it if you have it)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • sprinkle of pepper
  • sprinkle of garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, and a pinch of nutmeg
  • sesame seeds – add a good sprinkling (word of the day), however much you prefer, then save some to sprinkle on top of each muffin before baking.
  • small bunch of fresh chives, chopped (or use a couple tablespoons of dried)

Wet:

  • 5 organic free-range eggs
  • 3/4 cup almond milk (unsweetened & carrageenan-free, or homemade)
  • 1/4 cup oil (coconut or olive or macadamia depending on the flavour you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

 

WHAT TO DO:

*Preheat oven to 180 d/celsius

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl with a fork or whisk.
  2. Mix eggs and apple cider vinegar together briskly with a whisk until it becomes frothy. Then whisk in the almond milk and oil.
  3. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and combine well.
  4. Add variations* if desired, otherwise spoon chunky blobs of mixture into silicon muffin cases (will fit 12 regular sized muffins, or use a mini muffin pan for a bite-size party food option). Top with extra sesame seeds.
  5. Bake for around 25 minutes or until firm and golden on top.
  6. Serve warm as they are, or cut open and spread with a tiny bit of organic ghee if desired. Store in fridge or freeze leftovers.

*Variations:

  • Add cooked sweet potato, spinach, and a small handful of pine nuts
  • Add cooked chicken and herbs or paleo pesto
  • Add smoked salmon, dill, and a squeeze of lemon juice
  • Add sautéed chopped onion and organic nitrate-free bacon

Enjoy! 🙂

If you want to keep updated on my recipes (and of course my books and news), subscribe to the blog (I don’t post ‘too’ often), or follow me on Facebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe at my website

~ Juliet xo

 

FRIDAY FEAST with Juliet Madison

I’m visiting Cathryn Hein’s blog today with a quick, tasty, and healthy meal for those on a deadline or those who are just plain busy! 🙂

Are you feeling the Friday love, Feasters? I am. Not only to my beloved Sydney Swans, THE best looking AFL team in the comp, take on the Collywobbles tonight at the mighty MCG, Juliet_Madison300dpiI have a gorgeous new author on today. Humorous and heart-warming women’s fiction in the name of Juliet Madison’s game, and does she deliver!

I know this because I’ve read her wonderful short story, Sisters At Heart. But Juliet now has a full length novel out, and if the raves from my writing buddies and multiple Goodreads 5 star ratings are anything to go by, it’s a beauty.

Take a look at Fast Forward, a romantic comedy with a time twist.

 

FAST FORWARD

 

FASTFORWARD-JulietMadisonAspiring supermodel, Kelli Crawford seems destined to marry her hotshot boyfriend, but on her twenty-fifth birthday she wakes in the future as a fifty-year-old suburban housewife married to the now…

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Sunday Lunch with… Margareta Osborn

Today I’d like to welcome Margareta Osborn to Sunday Lunch. Margareta writes Australian rural fiction, and her debut novel, BELLA’S RUN, was released this year.

1. Can you tell us about a happy memory from your life that revolved around food?

Throughout my childhood and teenage years, mum would serve a roast lunch every Sunday and you were expected to be there. As kids (there are three of us and I’m the middle ‘problem’ child) we’d go to Mass either the previous night or Sunday morning. Come 10.30am, Mum would crank up the oven, the vegies would be organised and then boiled to within an inch of their wilted lives. The roast was invariably beef, seeing my parents were dairy farmers and ran a few head of beef cattle as well. Lunch would be ready by 1pm, the boxing would be on the telly (have no idea why because none of us had the slightest interest in it), Dad would make us all a lime spider; he’d have a shandy. (It was the only time, as a child, I ever saw him drink alcohol.) We’d all sit around the table and eat, talk, argue, laugh, yell (that was me – ‘Mum, it’s MY turn to talk!’) and generally be rowdy. Now I look back, I realise just how special that was.

Another time, I was relief station cook for the weekend on a property in outback-western Queensland. I decided I’d give the stockmen a treat and make a pavlova. If you’ve read my book BELLA’S RUN, a snippet of this experience was included in the first chapter. Beating sixteen egg whites to froth in one mix master bowl can cause all sorts of problems. Let’s just say the clean up afterwards ensured a mate and I needed to drive the hour to town to find a drink (and to pickup two bottles of fresh cream and some punnets of strawberries to decorate the pav). The pavlova was sublime albeit a tad weird looking. My mate and I, well, we kind-of rolled home.

2. Do you have any food-related rituals or routines in your household, such as a specific meal for certain days of the week?

We sit down to tea together as a family. It is a given and not negotiable. There is a spare chair at our table at all times for anyone who happens to call in. (It’s got the honorary name of ‘Graeme’s Chair’ after our uncle who is a regular.) Visitors are served up a plate of tea too, as I usually cook enough to feed multitudes. (And do you notice I say tea? Should I say ‘dinner’? Dinner when I was a child was lunch. It’s a bit confusing, isn’t it!)

We rarely have take-away. An easy meal tea (eg. on a weekend) is usually something like a spaghetti casserole (refer BELLA’S RUN again), homemade hamburgers, quiche or a sausage in bread (with salad or creamy potato bake).

I also have a food ritual with one of my best friends. When both of us are having a difficult few weeks we catch up for lunch at either’s home. Menu: Heinz tomato soup made with hot milk (not water), crusty fresh bread, a can of cola and chocolate.

Dreadful on the waist. Fabulous for the spirit.

3. What is your favourite…

Drink: Bailey’s Irish Cream and Butterscotch Snaps…ice-cold glass of sparkling Moscato … Lemon Squash made with lemon cordial and freezing lemonade… shall I go on?

Indulgence: Arnotts chocolate mint biscuits.

Meal: Roast with rich gravy, crispy potatoes & vegies, apple pie with cream or my grandmother’s steamed jam pudding.

4. What’s the most revolting thing you’ve ever eaten?

Peas. Even the thought makes me turn ‘green’. Mum used to make me eat them and if I didn’t I’d be locked in the bathroom until I did. I learnt very quickly peas fit down the bath plughole if you push, until the day I was caught. I was hauled out of the bathroom and Mum stood over me with the threat of a spanking to make me eat them. I vomited everywhere. From then on I was never made to eat another pea. Mission accomplished 🙂

5. If you have children, have you discovered any ingenious ways to hide vegetables in meals?

The bamix. A wonderful invention. ‘Vegies? You’ve got to be kidding me. Does it look like there are vegies in that beautiful pie/casserole?!’. Although, in saying this, my nine year old can pick the slightest hint of yellow (sweet corn), red (capsicum) or white/clear (onion) discrepancy in any food placed before him from three feet away, regardless of the food processor. *Sigh*

P.S. I NEVER serve peas to my kids.

6. Is eating out at cafes and restaurants a regular part of your life? Do you have any favourite places you’d like to mention?

Eat out? What’s that? So rare an occurrence around here it’s nearly extinct.

The closest thing to a café/restaurant we usually get is my husband cooking us a camp oven roast over a fire. And I’ll have to say it would rival any five star restaurant meal. He’s an extremely good camp cook. Which is why, if there is a camp oven roast on offer, you will usually find me tramping around the bush a w-ayyyyy over some hill looking for brumbies and my husband, a beer in one hand, a shovel in the other (for moving around the hot coals) cooking tea. I love that man 🙂

Building up the fire to get hot coals for the camp oven:

7. Do you eat while you write? Are there any particular foods or drinks you always have on hand while writing?

M & M’s. My downfall. I started with the chocolate ones and then moved onto the crispy ones. They help me out when the muse goes to lunch.

8. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would you choose?

My mum.

We lost her fourteen years ago and damn it all I am crying as I write this.

When she died I was still in that young ‘it’s all about me’ phase of my life. I just wish I could have known her as a person – a friend – as well as a mother. I look around at girlfriends and women at the school where my children go, and how their mother’s are a huge part of their and their kid’s lives. How I wish we had that. But life goes on and you can’t change what God decrees.

9. Which one of the following types of cooks are you?

  • Cooking? What’s that?
  • I cook only when I absolutely have to
  • I’m an average cook, and stick to my regular meals
  • I like to experiment with new recipes regularly, or create my own
  • Next season of MasterChef – lookout!

I LOVE to cook, but I am none of the above. I do what my grandmother fostered in me, that old fashioned thing called ‘baking’. My children think their throats are cut, if they haven’t got homemade biscuits, cakes or slices in the cupboard/fridge for smoko/lunch/or ‘afters’. And then there are the friends at school whom I have to send a piece of jelly slice or ANZAC bickie coated in milk chocolate for as well. My oldest son reckoned he could have made a fortune selling his play lunch everyday.

I do like to experiment with meal cooking but only so much. If you want a good, old fashioned, hearty country meal visit my place. If you want a newfangled ooh la la dish that people like me can’t pronounce, I suggest you visit someone else.

10. Do you have a favourite recipe you’d like to share?

Oh golly. Which one is the question?!

Raspberry Jelly Slice (a yummy one)

Base

1 pkt Arnotts Milk Arrowroot biscuits (they tend to crush finer than the traditional Marie Biscuits)

250 gms butter (melted)

Middle

1 can Condensed Milk

4 teaspoons of gelatine dissolved in ½ cup of boiling water

Juice of two lemons

Topping

Raspberry Jelly made with 1 cup boiling water and ½ cup cool water. Note: Add 1 dessertspoon of gelatine to the jelly crystals BEFORE adding water. This makes the jelly firmer and stops it from sliding off the slice when you serve.

Method:

Make up jelly as described above and place in fridge to cool but not set. (ie. Don’t forget the jelly like I do sometimes!)

Crush biscuits using a bamix, food processor or put into plastic bag and smash with rolling pin. (Or you could do what one of my best mates does and bag up biscuits really well and run over with your four-wheel-drive 🙂 ) Tip crushed biscuits into a bowl.

Pour melted butter into biscuits. Mix until combined. Pour into slice tray and press down firmly. Place in fridge for five minutes or so to set.

Pour condensed milk into bowl. Add boiling water (with dissolved gelatine as described above) and stir. Add lemon juice. Stir some more until mixture thickens. Take biscuit base from fridge and pour milk mixture into tray. Spread until milk mixture is level. Place back in fridge to set.

Once milk mixture is set, pour jelly onto top of slice. I find it easier to leave slice tray in fridge as I pour the jelly on. This means a lot less mess if you happen to spill it 😉  Leave slice in fridge until jelly is set.

Enjoy!

Thanks for being on the blog, Margareta, it was an absolute pleasure! Oh, and happy Mother’s day to you and all the mothers out there!

Find out more about Margareta at her website.

Remember, you could win prizes by leaving a comment below! Just make sure you also subscribe to the blog to be eligible 🙂

Sunday Lunch with… Rebecca Raisin

Today I’d like to welcome writer Rebecca Raisin to the new blog segment, Sunday Lunch!

 

1. Hi Rebecca, can you tell us about a happy memory from your life that revolved around food?

We’re serious foodies. A couple of years ago we decided to hold our own family Master chef. We picked a cuisine from a country of the host’s choice each month. Each couple had to prepare two dishes which were scored on taste, complexity and presentation. The competition was fierce as everyone vied for the coveted ‘Plat de jour’ perpetual trophy (see photo below). We decorated the tables, and even dressed in theme. There was a sea of colours at the Mexican Master chef, with everyone wearing sombreros, ponchos and fake moustaches. These long languid lunches began to seep slowly into the night, as we watched the kids play, only stopping occasionally to try the next dish. Word filtered down to friends about these all day feasts, and they’d call asking to be included in the next cook-off. It was an enjoyable summer of great food and trying something new, whether you were the one cooking it or tasting it for the first time. We really should start the culinary competition again…

2. Do you have any food-related rituals or routines in your household, such as a specific meal for certain days of the week?

I don’t plan any meals. We usually have an idea for a special dish on the weekend, something complicated or time consuming that we’ll try, but during the week anything goes. I’m a big fan of slow cooking. I like to prepare the meal early, put it in the oven and forget about it! I love winter for this very reason, and enjoy making Coq a vin and Beef bourguignon. Possibly I was French in a past life!

3. What is your favourite…

Drink: White wine, preferably from the Marlborough wine region

Indulgence: Dark chocolate

Meal: Peking duck

 

4. What’s the most revolting thing you’ve ever eaten?

We cooked a whole pink snapper, stuffed with herbs and butter on Christmas day, and somehow the conversation turned to the eye being a delicacy. I’m usually not adventurous with bizarre food, but I thought I’d try the eye, just in case I was missing out on something truly wonderful. It wasn’t wonderful, and in the end, I couldn’t do it, I had to spit it out in disgust! That was the first and last time I’ll try something ‘exotic’ no matter how many people rave about it!

5. Have you discovered any ingenious ways to hide vegetables in meals for children?

My twins are notoriously bad with vegetables. When they were younger I made frozen yoghurt ice creams and swirled pureed sweet potato and carrot through. Now we bake together and I try and make it a game; when we bake cupcakes I’ll grate carrot into the mix so we can have ‘orange’ cupcakes. Still….they seem to be on to me, and I have to think of other ways to hide them.

6. Is eating out at cafes and restaurants a regular part of your life? Do you have any favourite places you’d like to mention?

We don’t go out as much as we did pre-children, so when we do now we really look forward to it, and appreciate it more. We live in the Swan Valley in Western Australia and are spoilt for choice with all the wineries and restaurants here. My favourite is Sandalford wines. Their menu changes with the season and the food is magnificent, and the wine is great.

7. Do you eat while you write? Are there any particular foods or drinks you always have on hand while writing?

It depends what stage I’m up to in the story I’m writing. I was fumbling around with an outline last week, and found it tedious; I figured maybe a visit to patisserie would help. I hope this doesn’t become a habit!

 

8. If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would you choose?

Joanne Harris, author of Chocolate. I love her magical style of writing. I’ve read all of her books and think she is wonderful. The way she entwines food and cooking into her stories, each so different, but beautifully written, inspires me. I like writing about cooking and everything it entails. You can explore so many paths with evocative scents, and memories that food brings into all of our lives, even if you don’t realise it. The comfort of it, the taste of it, what it reminds you of, the list is endless.

9. Which one of the following types of cooks are you?

  • Cooking? What’s that?
  • I cook only when I absolutely have to
  • I’m an average cook, and stick to my regular meals
  • I like to experiment with new recipes regularly, or create my own
  • Next season of MasterChef – lookout!

I like to experiment with new recipes regularly, or create my own.

 

10. Do you have a favourite recipe you’d like to share?

Baked Chicken and chorizo. A Donna Hay recipe. I’ve used her exact ingredients, but I cook it a little differently.

I love this as an easy tasty meal if you’re having friends over and want to mingle instead of being stuck in the kitchen. Again, it’s my idea of a perfect meal, throw it all together and put it in the oven.

 

1.6 kg chicken pieces

2 chorizo cut into thick chunks

¾ cup of green olives

250 gram cherry tomatoes

8 sprigs oregano

1 lemon cut into wedges

12 garlic cloves whole, skin on

Paprika

Salt and Pepper

Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees. (The Donna Hay recipe is 220 degrees for 30-35 minutes, but I cook it on a lower temperature for longer)

Place the chicken, chorizo, olives, tomatoes, lemon wedges, garlic cloves, into a tray. Drizzle with oil, salt and pepper, add oregano, and shake paprika over the chicken. Place into the oven. Turn the chicken after 30 minutes. Leave for thirty minutes, then turn so the skin side is up, turn the oven up to 220 and wait for another 15 minutes to crisp up.

I find by cooking it on a lower temperature for longer the chicken falls of the bone, and is just so tasty for something so simple. Serve with salad.

 

~ About Rebecca:

I’m a mum of twin boys, who are nearly four. I’ve been writing for two years now, and am working on editing and rewriting my first novel, Mexican Kimono. I love writing short stories and have been published in various anthologies around Australia. Like any mum, I’m juggling finding time to write amidst everything else in my life, but the beauty is you can still think of your writing when you’re busy with other things. I have post it notes all over the place, with ideas, and hope one day to be a little more organised!

Find out more about Rebecca online here.

Thanks for being on the blog, Rebecca. It was a pleasure! 🙂

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