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Fig Jam

Posted by on 3 Mar 2013 in Recipes, Sides, Treats & Desserts | 16 comments

Fig Jam

I have been having a serious love affair with figs. They are my kryptonite and I keep telling my husband not to buy them anymore….but then, of course, I am secretly happy when he brings them home anyway. Most of the time I just eat dried figs right out of the bag and I haven’t done much cooking with them. I did use them in these delicious bite-sized turnovers, but that’s it. If you’ve never tried dried figs, you don’t know what you’re missing. They may look like shriveled up old man testicles, but they are truly delicious.

Ugly, but delicious!

Do you watch Top Chef? Julie turned me on to it, and now I’m addicted. All of the chefs create amazing food that is so creative and fancypants. And the drama!! Oh my! Every episode seems to have a healthy dose of back stabbing and throwing each other under the bus. Anyway….one of the chefs used fig jam in something and it got me thinking. I’m loving figs, so of course I decided that I MUST make fig jam and find things to use it in. I’ve got a few ideas, so you can expect to see a recipe or two coming up that incorporates fig jam.

Fig Jam Ingredients

  • 15 dried figs, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

What to do

This recipe is dead easy and takes no time at all. (You could also try changing it up and adding other spices like cinnamon or ginger)

  1. Dice up the dried figs and toss them in a sauce pan.

    Chopped dried figs

  2. Add in all of your other ingredients, stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

    Boil, then simmer

  3. Turn down the heat after it starts to bubble and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Dump into a food processor and whiz until smooth.

    Just needs a quick whiz

This stuff is really, really good. I had to make up a quick batch of biscuits to try it out on (I used the same recipe that I used for Egg and Bacon McMuffins).

Wow, was this ever tasty…

Made this jar plus half of another jar


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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Posted by on 22 Feb 2013 in Recipes, Sides | 6 comments

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The only way I ever used to cook vegetables in my pre-paleo fat-phobic days, was to steam them or boil them. It’s no wonder vegetables weren’t one of my favorite things. Now, I roast my veggies most of the time and it has made a world of difference.

Brussels sprouts are one of my favorites, and we seem to eat them nearly every week. I’ll be sad when summer comes and they are no longer available in the stores here.

Fun Facts

  • According to a 2002 survey, Brussels sprouts are the most hated vegetable in Britain.
  •  They get their name from the fact that they were widely cultivated around Brussels, Belgium during the 16th century.
  • They are part of the Brassica family of vegetables, which also includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, and collard greens.
  • Like broccoli and some other members of the Brassica family, Brussels sprouts contain something called sinigrin, a glucosinate that may prevent colon cancer according to research.
  • One cup of Brussels sprouts contains 1,122 IU of Vitamin A.
  • 1/2 cup contains 80% of the RDA of Vitamin C.


  • Brussels sprouts
  • oil of choice
  • sea salt

What to do

  • Peel of any discolored outer leaves and then slice off any brown stalk at the bottom and cut your sprouts in half.

    The prep work

  • Toss with oil of choice (we usually use coconut oil or olive oil) and spread out on a baking sheet with the cut side facing down.
  • Sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Place in a preheated 200 C (400 F) oven and roast for 20-30 minutes.

    Ready for the oven

  • Options: add in some crumbled bacon


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Green Chicken Salad

Posted by on 16 Feb 2013 in Poultry, Recipes, Salads, Sides | 5 comments

Green Chicken Salad

I usually cook enough at dinner to have left overs to take to work the next day. Last night we made our paleo pizza and, ummm…there were no left overs. Good thing I am on vacation this week and can cook up a quick and delicious lunch. This was so good that I’ll be making it more often.


Just a few ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 of an avocado
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of mayo or full fat plain Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste

What to do

  1. Brown and cook your chicken breasts.

    Cooked chicken breast

  2. Chop your spring onions.
  3. Shred your cooked chicken with a fork.

    Shred the chicken

  4. Put the shredded chicken and onions in a bowl.
  5. Scoop out your avocado into the bowl.

    I love avocado

  6. Add your mayo or yogurt.
  7. Mash it all together with a fork.

    Mash it all together in a bowl

  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Chill and serve over lettuce.

    Lunch is served!

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Broiled Pink Grapefruit

Posted by on 2 Feb 2013 in Breakfast, Recipes, Sides, Snacks | 2 comments

Broiled Pink Grapefruit

I love grapefruit, but somehow I always forget about it and don’t buy it often enough. Generally, I just peel it and eat it like an orange. Today I decided to try something different. It turned out delicious so I thought I’d share it with you.


  • grapefruit (1/2 per person)
  • maple syrup (1 teaspoon per half)
  • cinnamon
  • powdered ginger

What to do

  1. Cut your grapefruit in half.

    Cut in half

  2. Section your grapefruit with a sharp knife. Do this by cutting around the grapefruit between the peel and the flesh and also cut between each individual section. This just makes it easier to eat the grapefruit after it’s cooked.
  3. Pour 1 teaspoon of maple syrup over each half. You could also use honey. If you are doing a Whole30, you could just skip this part.
  4. Sprinkle with a dusting of cinnamon and ginger.

    Ready for the oven

  5. Place on a baking sheet in a pre-heated 200 C oven for 15 minutes.
  6. After 15 minutes, move your oven rack up to the top notch and turn your oven to broil. Broil for 5 minutes or until the grapefruits starts to brown.

    Brown and bubbly

  7. Serve hot out of the oven and enjoy!

    So delicious

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Sweet Potato Fries

Posted by on 31 Jan 2013 in Recipes, Sides, Snacks | 27 comments

Sweet Potato Fries

Surprisingly enough, french fries have never been a real trigger food for me. Don’t get me wrong, I do like them….I just don’t dream about them in the same way I dream about cookies. I don’t think I ever really cared one way or another about sweet potatoes until I started eating paleo. Now, of course, I love them. I’ll eat them no matter how they’re cooked.

Have you read Sweet Potato Power? It’s a quick read and has some terrific sweet potato recipes in it. It’s also loaded with fun and interesting facts about sweet potatoes. Here’s just a few of the things I learned about sweet potatoes:

  1. Sweet potatoes have more than 100% of the daily requirement for vitamin A.
  2. They contain high amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect our bodies from free radicals.
  3. Sweet poatoes have more fiber per serving than oatmeal.
  4. They are the best source for bioavailable (absorbable) beta-carotene.
  5. The Center for Science in Public Interest has ranked the sweet potato number one in nutrition (ahead of spinach and broccoli).

But, best of all, they taste like dessert!

Nutrition powerhouse

So, I wanted some fries, but I didn’t want soggy, limp fries. I wanted them to turn out crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Probably pretty easy to get that kind of result if you have a deep fry machine, but I don’t. In restaurants, not only do they use a deep fryer, they also often dip their fries in flour. I thought I’d try some arrowroot powder instead of flour to see if I could get that extra crispy outside to my fries. It worked…and they were delicious. Maybe I’ll start dreaming about fries after all !!


  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2-3 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 2-3 Tablespoons oil of choice (olive oil or coconut oil)
  • salt to taste

What to do

  1. Peel your sweet potatoes and slice them into sticks.

    cut into sticks

  2. Soak in a bowl of cold water for an hour.
  3. Remove from water, drain in a colander and pat dry with a paper towel.
  4. Put your arrowroot powder into a zip lock bag and throw the potatoes in.
  5. Seal the bag and shake away until all of the potatoes are coated.

    shake, shake

  6. Lay your potatoes out on a parchment lined baking sheet. This is very important!! I did not line my baking sheet and the fries stuck 🙁
  7. Drizzle coated fries with oil and toss to coat with your hands.
  8. Spread the oil coated fries out on your baking sheet so that they aren’t touching.

    Line your baking sheet

  9. Bake in a 220 C oven for 20 minutes.


  10. Remove from oven and turn them over with a spatula. Return to oven and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until crispy and golden.

    crispy and delicious


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Amazing Eggplant

Posted by on 7 Jan 2013 in Recipes, Sides | 13 comments

Amazing Eggplant

We went on a trip to Greece in October and ate some fabulous eggplant while we were there. We said, at the time, that we would really have to remember it so that we could try to re-create it when we got home. Well, we finally got around to it and it’s just as amazing as we remembered. It’s so good, in fact, that we’ve eaten it twice in the last week.

Not only is eggplant creamy, melt-in-your-mouth delicious; it’s also full of stuff that’s good for you. It is a good source of Vitamin K, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium and Manganese, and a very good source of dietary fiber.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 eggplants
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • feta cheese (optional-we did two with, two without)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons pine nuts (optional)

What to do

  1. Peel your whole eggplants with a vegetable peeler. Leave the cute little tops on.
  2. Cut your eggplants in half length wise after peeling and lay them cut side down on some paper towels. Sprinkle them with salt and let sit for about 20 minutes. Sprinkling pieces of eggplant with salt draws any bitter juices to the surface in beads of moisture. Then they can simply be blotted away with a paper towel.

    Peeled and salted

  3. After 20 minutes, blot them dry and rub all over with olive oil.
  4. Place your oiled eggplants cut side down on a baking sheet and place in a pre-heated 180 C /350 F oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Chop your sun dried tomatoes and garlic while the eggplant is in the oven.

    Sun-dried tomatoes and garlic

  6. After 30 minutes, remove from the oven and flip them over with a spatula.
  7. Now mash them down a bit with a fork.
  8. Sprinkle your eggplants with the tomatoes, garlic, cheese and pine nuts and drizzle with olive oil.

    Ready to go back in the oven

  9. Return to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

    Amazing Eggplant!

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Paleo Cranberry-Orange Relish

Posted by on 29 Dec 2012 in Recipes, Sides | Comments Off on Paleo Cranberry-Orange Relish

Paleo Cranberry-Orange Relish

I can’t believe I used to eat cranberry sauce out of a can when this homemade stuff tastes so much better and is so easy to make. We’ve actually been making this for years because I’ve never found cranberry sauce in a can here in Switzerland. Pre-paleo, we used to use a whole cup of white refined sugar!

It’s perfect as a tart relish to accompany any kind of meat, so don’t go thinking you have to wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas to enjoy it. Cranberries are not always available here, but they do start showing up in my local stores around November. I always buy several bags and freeze them. Fresh cranberries are a great addition to muffins and scones.

So easy to make


  • 500 grams of fresh cranberries

    Fresh cranberries

  • 1 cup of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon honey (or more if you like it sweeter)
  • Optional: orange zest from one orange

What to do

  1. Put your cranberries and juice (and zest) in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, stirring as you go
  2. After a few minutes, your cranberries will start to pop open, continue stirring
  3. Once your berries have popped, stir in the honey and allow to cool. It should be quite thick at this point
  4. Cool and serve

    Tart and delicious


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Paleo Herb Crackers

Posted by on 3 Dec 2012 in Appetizers, Recipes, Sides | 8 comments

Paleo Herb Crackers

I got this recipe from Julie and she’s not sure where exactly she got it from, so we can’t give you proper credit if it happens to be your recipe. Let us know in the comments if you know who or where it came from.  (*Update* One of our readers says the original recipe came from Multiply Delicious–great site…be sure to check it out). I’ve experimented with quite a few cracker recipes and this is by far the best one I’ve tried. I made these the other day to go with a hot spinach and artichoke dip. I had to make a double recipe because I was taking them to a party and ate too many of the first batch. If you have self control issues like I do, you might not want to make them at all.

Best crackers


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of your favorite spices (I used a mix of oregano, sage and garlic and Julie has used a pizza seasoning and rosemary blend)
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp coconut oil melted

How to do it

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C)
  2. Combine dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl and set aside
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients
  4. Pour wet ingredients into your bowl of dry ingredients and mix well
  5. Place your dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll out to an even thickness of about 1/8 inch
  6. Transfer parchment to a baking sheet and remove the top piece of parchment
  7. Use a pizza cutter (or sharp knife) to cut the sheet of dough into cracker size pieces/squares
  8. Bake for 10 minutes then turn off your oven and let crackers sit inside oven for an additional 10 minutes

    Great for dipping

    I shared this over at Gluten Free Mondays




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Sweet Potato Gratin

Posted by on 2 Dec 2012 in Recipes, Sides | 7 comments

Sweet Potato Gratin

I used to make a regular potato gratin that was just simply wonderful…and full of MSG and god only knows what else. The secret ingredient was aromat. For those of you who don’t live in Switzerland, aromat is a flavor enhancer that the Swiss put on everything. A Swiss table is just not complete without it. We were planning a special dinner party in a Swiss forest hut and I really wanted to make a comfort dish like potato gratin to go with the roast leg of lamb we would be having. Clearly, I would be making this new version with sweet potatoes because I have fallen in love with them since going paleo. I found a dairy free paleo version here, but decided that I wanted to stick with using good old full-fat cream. We are, after all, Swiss Paleo so some use of dairy (and chocolate) is going to happen. Paleo police should look the other way.You can read Mark Sisson’s take on dairy here.

Here’s What You Need (serves 8-10)

  • 7-8 sweet potatoes
  • 800 ml (27 oz) full fat cream from grass fed cows
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 75 grams grated Parmesan cheese

How to do it

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 185 C (365 F)
  2. Peel your potatoes and slice them to 1/4 inch thickness with a mandolin or food processor

    Lots of peeling going on

    I love my food processor

  3. Put your cream, cheese and spices in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer until it starts to thicken
  4. Grease your casserole dish with some ghee or coconut oil
  5. Start by covering the bottom of your dish with a layer of potatoes
  6. Spoon on some of your cream mixture over the potatoes

    Adding the cream

  7. Add another layer of potatoes and then cover with cream and continue until you’re out of potatoes

    Ready for the oven

  8. Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. It should be bubbly and golden on top

    Hot from the oven

The Verdict

It turned out perfect. It was a huge hit and enjoyed by all. Susan declared it the best casserole she’d ever had. The only down side was that we ate it all and there were no left overs for the next day.

We ate the whole thing



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Kale: Make room on your plate Popeye, it’s the new spinach!

Posted by on 23 Oct 2012 in FAQ, Health, Ingredients, Recipes, Sides | 15 comments

Kale: Make room on your plate Popeye, it’s the new spinach!


If you’ve spent anytime in the paleo blogosphere at all, you’ll know that paleo eaters everywhere seem to be eating their body weight in kale these days. They are eating it raw, cooking it every which way, putting it in smoothies and in L.A., they are even massaging it! So, what’s so great about kale you might ask? Well, for starters, have a look at kale’s nutritional profile:





A nutritional profile like that makes kale one of the healthiest vegetables out there. Leafy green kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dinosaur varieties (now, if dinosaur variety isn’t paleo sounding, I don’t know what is!). It belongs to the Brassica family that includes cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.

1. Antioxidants

Carotenoids and flavonoids (there are 45 flavonoids in kale!) are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.

2. Anti-inflammatory

Vitamin K and Omega-3: Vitamin K and Omega-3 play key roles in reducing inflammation in the body by regulating the inflammatory processes.

3. Anti-Cancer

Glucosinolates:  Kale, along with the rest of the members of the Brassica family (such as cabbage and broccoli), contains a number of these anti-cancer chemicals. These groups of glucosinolates and their derived isothiocyantes block the growth of certain types of cancer cells, boost DNA repair and help cells to detox!

Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.

And if all those big sciency sounding compounds just confused you, here is a great infographic from Nutribullet:


Now that I’ve convinced you that you, too, should be eating kale, I bet you’re wondering where to get it and how to cook it. Kale is available year round in North America in pretty much every grocery store. It even comes pre-washed and chopped. And it’s not just the North Americans that love kale. It’s Northern Germany’s most popular vegetable. They even have a Kale Academy that teaches a unique virtual course on kale. Yes, I’m serious. They have graduated over 6.000 students!

Sadly, we are not so lucky here in Switzerland. Kale (Federkohl in German) is only available for a few weeks in the Fall. I have never seen it at Migros but I have found it at some of the larger Coops sometimes. I have also found it at the Viaduct Markthalle and Globus down in Zurich. You can also order it on-line for home delivery from Querbeet. Querbeet is the Swiss version of what Americans know as a CSA. You might get lucky and find it at a farmer’s market. I had my husband driving all over the place last year to keep me stocked up on kale.

Well, hold on to your socks. You don’t have to spend 30 minutes in the car just to get your kale fix. A few weekends ago, we hit the jackpot at the garden center. They had huge purple and green kale plants for 8.50 each. I bought one of each and am now growing kale in pots. I should be able to harvest my kale all the way through until March. It is winter hardy and actually gets better tasting after each frost. If you would like to read up on how to grow kale at home, have a look at this site.

My very own kale plants

Okay, now that you can grow kale at home, what are you going to do with it all? I like to saute it the same way that I do with Swiss chard or spinach. It’s great cooked up with minced garlic and then a splash of lemon juice at the end. I also like to throw kale into my scrambled eggs. Michelle over at nomnompaleo has a great recipe for stir fried kale with bacon. However, my very favorite thing to make with kale is kale chips. Craving potato chips or popcorn? Try kale chips. Seriously. Jaden over at SteamyKitchen has some great tips on how to make them here. You can even get creative with your kale chips and try sprinkling different spices on them (chili pepper, cinnamon, chili lime, smoked paprika, garlic, curry powder etc…).

Do you have a favorite way to make kale? Do you have experience growing it at home? Let us know in the comments!! Now, go eat your kale. It’s good for you.




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