In My Kitchen – February 2016

I’d love to introduce you to these new products that are In My Kitchen for February 2016. This is a food challenge coordinated by the intriguingly titled food blog The Orgasmic Chef.

imk-buckinis

First up is raw organic activated Buckinis made by one of my favourite companies Loving Earth. It contains buckwheat, nuts, berries, superfoods and other ingredients for a healthy breakfast.  The good thing is that it is gluten-free and grain-free. Buckwheat is not wheat but actually the seed of a fruit. The berry and cacao version is delicious and I can’t wait to try the other flavours.

imk-spearmint-tea

Another one of my favourite companies is Planet Organic with their range of organic herbal teas. Spearmint is nice with some raw unprocessed honey. I’m keen to try their cinnamon tea next which is good for balance blood sugar levels.

imk-chocolate-counter

Last up on my list of new products is The Chocolate Counter‘s Chocolate Brownie Crunch. It’s so delicious I’ll admit I ate the bar in one sitting. Surprisingly it’s lactose and gluten free with no added sugar. It’s sweetened by monk fruit juice.

Thanks to The Orgasmic Chef for organising this online monthly event. 

 

 

 

Review: Gold Coast Food and Wine Expo

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Ilias the Greek

We spent a pleasant morning at the Gold Coast Food and Wine Expo. It was great to see so many new brands that I haven’t come across before and there was a good variety of food, wine and travel on offer. There were just under 150 exhibitors.

The expo featured many well-known food celebrities such as Ben Milbourne, Georgia Barnes, Jessie Spiby, Carly and Tresne (all from Masterchef or My Kitchen Rules).

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The 3 Bees Raw Honey

There were also a small number of food trucks, so you could have had lunch at the venue. These included Japanese pizza, Thunder Burgers, Greek, Mobile Mocktails and tempting plates of fresh oysters.

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Oysters

There was amazing truffles and Italian pasta, rice and tomato sauces at the Benfatti Fine Italian Foods. I wish that I wasn’t taking photos and could have purchased some of their tempting products.

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LamHam

I loved trying the LamHam by Silverwood Organics. It’s an artisan product which is cured and naturally woodsmoked using beechwood and fresh rosemary. Delicious.

There was plenty of red, white and rose wine options to try and you could purchase tasting glasses there.

The Really Stuffed Olive Co
The Really Stuffed Olive Co

Adults tickets cost $22 and you can park under the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre for a tenner. I would like to see more stalls at future expos but the crowds were more than bearable.

The Gold Coast Food & Wine Expo was held over three days at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre at Broadbeach.

Thank you to the Gold Coast Food and Wine Expo for providing two free tickets for us to attend. 

Product Review: Naturally Nood bars

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Naturally Nood bars

I am currently on the hunt for a good convenient healthy snack bar.

Naturally Nood bars are produced by the well-known Australian company Sanitarium.

I packed them in my lunchbox to have for a morning and afternoon snack. The reality is I ate them both at the same time because I was so hungry and they were too delicious!

The first one I tried was called Cocoa Lamington and it contained all natural ingredients like dates, cashews, coconut, raisins, and cocoa. It was all chocolate to me.

The second one was just as yummy and called  Cocoa-Orange-Tango. It was packed with ingredients such as cashews, dates, orange juice, cocoa, apple juice, apple fibre, and vegetable oil.

The good points about these bars are that they contain zero added sugar, they aren’t baked and there are no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

I bought mine from the local supermarket so they are easy to find. They contain a little under 20 carbs.

Just be a little careful of the hard nuts and eat mindfully. If you read the fine print you’ll discover they are made in Thailand.

Enjoy in moderation, as they like to say.

 

Product Review: Paleo Crunch bar

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Paleo Crunch Raw Cacao bar

My local greengrocer stocks these new Paleo Crunch bars on their counter. They are made in the Czech Republic for a Swedish company. I bought one to try for under a fiver.

They contain 100 per cent raw organic dates, cacao, almonds, cashew, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, vanilla and Himalayan salt. The good thing is they are gluten-free and a healthier alternative to chocolate bars.

 

 

Product Review: VOSS still water

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VOSS still water (watercolour pencil) by Emma Crameri

In an effort drink something a little more healthy than soft drinks and juices, I wanted to try VOSS water. It comes in a heavy glass bottle in two different sizes. I found it originally at the health food shop and then saw it stocked in Woolworth’s. As we had the car and could carry it home we decided to give it a try.

The still water is made up of Sodium 6, Calcium  5, Magnesium 1, Chloride 12, Fluoride 0.1 and Sulfate 5. The sparkling water is made up of Sodium 90, Calcium 5, Magnesium 1, Chloride 12, Fluoride 0.1 and Sulfate  5.

I love the taste of VOSS water. It is even better infused with slices of fruit. Why not give this artisan water from Norway a try.

 

Review: Schkinny Maninny

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I was able to try Schkinny Maninny over two days and I would recommend starting on the weekend. If you have always wanted to try a juice cleanse then this might appeal to you.

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The freshly squeezed juices, soup and salad arrived in a small esky. They were all packaged in plastic, so you can rinse them and recycle. The only real cooking I had to do was reheating through the soup.

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You are able to specify your dietary requirements when you order. I liked most of the juices, but thought the soup needed more seasoning. I would have liked the juices to be full of green vegetables, but the fruit based ones were yummy because of the fructose content.

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If you can afford the cost, I would recommend trying it once every few months when you are on holidays and relaxed.

Schkinny Maninny Nutritional Juice Cleanse
Schkinny Maninny Nutritional Juice Cleanse

Schkinny Maninny is available in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

 

Taste test: Spiral’s sugo

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Spiral Foods has an exciting range of Mediterranean inspired sugos. They come in three flavours: Basil and garlic, Primavera Sugo and Arrabbiata Sugo.

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We tried the sugo successfully tossed through pasta, and added to a lamb casserole and also in a chicken caccitatore. You could also use the sugo instead of tin of tomatoes in a recipe.

The best thing about these sugos are that they are certified gluten-free and sugar free. What I really like about these products is there’s only natural real ingredients listed on the bottle, and there are no strange unpronounceable nasties.

All three sugos are a delicious combination of flavours and would be a handy addition to your kitchen.

Available from the Spiral Foods website.

Thank you Spiral Foods for allowing me to trial these products. 

Restaurant review: Primal Pantry

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To celebrate Matt being on holidays we thought we enjoy a nice lunch out. If you are following a paleo diet your options are somewhat limited in Brisbane, but we decided to try the Primal Pantry. The Primal Pantry serves only organic produce, 100 percent grass fed meat, no refined sugar, no grains, no processed oils and limited dairy. It is the ideal place to go if you have allergies or food intolerances.

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For entre we shared succulent Crispy Chicken Wings with prosciutto wrapped scallops and creamy cauliflower puree.

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For a main I tried the Confit Duck on seeded bread, with superfood watercress and caramelized orange.

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Matt had the Mexican Beef Cheeks with crisp tortilla and cucumber salsa. I tasted some and we both thought this was the highlight of the meal.

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We also ordered sweet potato fries with aioli sauce and roast vegetables as a side.

We agreed it was a nice place to have lunch and that we’d be back sometime soon, perhaps to try their tempting breakfast menu next time.

Primal Pantry
Corner Florence and Macquarie Streets
Teneriffe, Brisbane QLD 4005
 Primal Pantry on Urbanspoon

Taste test: Spiral’s dip and toss oils

spiral-oils

Spiral Foods has an exciting range of Mediterranean inspired dip and toss oils, made from 100% extra virgin olive oil. They come in three flavours:

  • sundried tomato and basil which was great in a greek salad (below)
  • rosemary and roasted garlic which was a perfect match for cold lamb and roasted vegetables salad
  • and basil and Parmesan which turned a simple potato salad into something special.

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You could also use the oils for dipping bread in, or tossing through pasta for a quick and easy dinner. The best thing about these oils are that they are certified gluten-free and sugar free. What I really like about these products is there’s only natural real ingredients listed on the bottle, and there are no strange unpronounceable nasties.

All three flavours are balanced well and would make a delicious addition to your kitchen. They come in an attractive slim bottle, and would make a nice gift idea paired with packet of fancy pasta.

Available from the Spiral Foods website.

Thank you Spiral Foods for allowing me to trial these products. 

Restaurant Review: The Paleo Café Brisbane

paleo-cafe

The Paleo Café is located on the corner of Market and Mary St, and has both indoor and outdoor seating. I have also been to the Paddington café where there is only indoor seating and no bookings allowed. They are both popular places so you’ll need to arrive early to get a seat.

The paleo diet encourages followers to eat like cavemen – consuming lots of meats, eggs, nuts, seeds and berries, while eliminating sugar, grains, legumes and dairy. So one great thing about this chain of cafes is that it is the perfect place to eat for people with celiac disease or food intolerances.

The first time we visited for breakfast, where I had eggs and avocado on toast. I was keen to try the grain free bread, which turned out to be the perfect addition. I also tried the bulletproof coffee, but it wasn’t for me. I like their regular cappuccino which you can have on coconut or almond milk.

For my birthday we went again to the Paleo Café and just about all of us ordered the lamb burger, which is a tender lamb patty on linseed focaccia with mint aioli, rocket, tomato, onion, avocado and gherkin topped with beetroot relish and served with sweet potato chips and more aioli. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meals and the chips were the highlight.

For work lunches I have regularly been having the Mediterranean Vegetable Salad, which is a generous mix of roasted eggplant, olives, onion and greens, topped with a moreish salad dressing. You have the option of adding some protein, with chicken, prawns, salmon or kangaroo, but I like to have it plain. Sometimes I treat myself to dessert, but these are really rich, so it’s best to share with a friend.

Highly recommended for a lunch date with friends or family.

Paleo Café
The Paleo Café chain has five cafes in Cairns, Paddington in Brisbane, Brisbane CBD, Bondi Junction in Sydney and the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Paleo Cafe on Urbanspoon