Thursday, October 15, 2009

Lamb & Tomato Onion Surprise

My boyfriend made this one up for me. It's a Zoned version of a meal he made me way back when we first started dating. That version had a few other things though, wine, sugar, all sorts of non Paleo evils. Obviously it made a good impression!

Lamb & Tomato Onion Surprise
Zone: 3 Blocks (option for 4 blocks)
120g onion (2C)
240g tomato (1C)
90g cooked lamb (3P) - start with around 130g uncooked weight and weigh after it's cooked
1 tsp olive oil (3F)
olive oil spray (negligible F)
2 - 3 cloves garlic
*1 chopped chilli if you like it spicy
4 Block Extras
170g cauliflower  (1C)
30g extra cooked lamb (about 45g uncooked)
  • Chop onion, garlic and tomato very small (and cauliflower if 4 block meal)
  • Heat olive oil in frypan & add in garlic and onion
  • Cook onion on a low heat for AGES (10 - 15 mins). You want it to go very very soft and caramelly, it will reduce in size a lot.
  • If 4 block meal - put cauliflower in microwave for 4 minutes
  • Spray pan with olive oil & cook lamb on medium heat, 4 - 6 minutes each side
  • When onion is caramelly, add the tomato. 
  • Add the extras - salt and pepper, cauliflower if 4 block meal, and chilli if you want it spicey.
  • When lamb is done, weigh lamb and cut into slices
  • Serve with tomato onion surprise on the side

Spanish Scrambled Eggs & Fruit (Scale Free Recipe)

My Spanish Scrambled Eggs are the only recipe where I don't use scales! My dad owns a cafe a block from my house, so I used to go there in the morning to visit him and cook up my breakfast in the kitchen at the same time. He always sends me on my way with a bag of freshly made Sicilian Doughnuts (that I give to my work mates, they're not Paleo or Zone!).

One thing I've been confused about this whole time I've been on the Zone Diet and Paleo Zone are egg yolks - are they good, or bad? I used to just eat the whole egg as is, then I started eating just one yolk per meal and had the rest of the blocks in egg whites, then for some reason I cut them out completely. The yolks do contain fat (about 2 blocks fat per yolk, I never count it though) but they also have all the nutrients in an egg. Either way I can't have them  now and apparenlty it was the egg whites that hurt me in the end - they're "binding" and therefore harder to digest. If you don't like egg yolks, just use two egg whites per egg in the recipe below.

Spanish Scrambled Eggs
Zone: 3 blocks
1/4 large brown onion (use 1/2 if the onion is small) (1/4C)
1/2 tomato (1/4C)
3-4 mushrooms (1/4C)
2 eggs 1 egg white (2.5P)
30g ham (off the bone if you can) (1/2P)
1 tsp olive oil (3F)
salt, pepper
italian herbs
1 apple or 1 pear or 16 cherries or 240g strawberries (2C)

  • cut up the fruit and put to the side
  • crack eggs into a bowl and mix well
  • cut up the onion, tomato, mushrooms into small pieces and add to the bowl
  • cut up the ham and add to the bowl
  • mix everything well, add salt & pepper if you like
  • get a frypan on a medium heat, add oil
  • when oil is hot pour everything in and cook on a low - med heat 
  • cook for at least 5 -7 minutes. The egg will be done first but as long as the heat is low it will cook out the onions so they won't be crunch.
  • serve on a plate, add italian herbs if you like, and mix (can have with or without this, both are yum)
  • eat fruit as dessert, add some cinnamon to the apple for something different.
* If the onion is too crunchy cooking this way it just needs to be cooked longer. If you prefer to cook it separately, just put the onion in first with the oil and cook  until it starts to go translucent, then add the other vegies and cook until the mushroom starts to welt, then add the eggs and ham. This way just takes a bit longer...

Microwave Broccoli Bean Scramble

When I first heard that you could do scrambled eggs in the microwave I was surprised, I didn't think it would work. I tried and it did. The reason I kept doing this, rather than just scrambling in the frypan was because I was told that olive oil is much better for you before it is cooked. Plus this way I don't have to clean the frypan!

The only non-Paleo food that I'm alowed to eat is probiotic yoghurt, I think because it helps to repair the damage done by my medication. I like Vaalia light Vanilla (aka block in a box, because it is exactly one complete block) and I have it with either 120g strawberries (1C) or 100g raspberries (1C). That just leaves some protein to make up, and there comes in the scramble.

To make this a 3 block meal I need to add 2P, 1C and 2F.

Vaalia light (1C, 1P, 1F)
100g raspberries / 120g strawberries (1C)

70g brocolli (1/2C)
2 eggs (or 1 egg & 2 egg whites, or 4 egg whites if you really don't want yolk) (2P)
65g green beans, chopped into pea sized chunks (1/2C)
2/3 tsp olive oil (I use one with garlic already in it) (2F)
Italian herbs
  • chop up brocolli and green beans.
  • microwave in covered bowl for 2 mins to soften
  • add eggs and mix very well
  • add 3 tbs of water and continue to mix
  • microwave for 1 minute
  • mix, the outside will be cooked so mix it in to the middle
  • microwave for another minute and mix
  • if it looks nearly done just microwave for 30 seconds, if not go another minute (this last bit makes it really fluffy)
  • add olive oil and italian herbs (salt and pepper too if you want) and serve

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quick 2 Block Chicken Avo Salad

I've been having this salad a lot lately. Really I hate salads, I much prefer cooked vegies and after I gave up chickpeas I didn't really know what to have. Lately I've started eating them again after I read how much better raw food is over cooked food (makes sense, but it was a good reminder).

My dad has a cafe a block from my house, so I get a lot of my groceries there. He has the yummiest shredded chicken for his baguettes so I steal a heap of it and use it throughout the week.

Chicken Avocado Salad
Zone: 2 blocks
60g chicken (poached and shredded) (2P)
20g avocado (2F)
47g carrot (1/2C)
125g cucumber (1/2C)
40g sweet corn (1/2C)
115g cherry tomatoes (1/2C)

* To make it a 3 block meal just add another 30g chicken, 10g avo or 13 pinenuts, double the sweet corn and carrot. Or instead of doubling those vegies you could throw in half a block of capsicum (75g) and red onion (45g).
  • Chop vegies and avocado
  • Mix & serve
  • Can add salt & pepper to taste, and vinegar or lemon for flavour.

Easy Chicken Stew

It has been REALLY cold, windy and rainy in Melbourne lately. I used to make stews with potato and lamb, but since that is recently dead to me I made a new version which I actually think is even better. You can of course use lamb instead of chicken, I think that would work really well too.

I made a huge batch of this in a big pot, and then sectioned it up into containers so I could take it to work for lunch.

Note: C = Carbs, P = Protein, F = Fat. So 1C is 1 block of carbs (9g), 1P is 1 block of Protein (7g), 1F is one block of fat (1.5g). 

Easy Chicken Stew
Zone: 15 blocks (5 x 3 block meals)
700g passata (pureed tomatoes) (7C) - check the ingredients say 100% tomatoes, most have additives
350g turnip (2.5 C)
115g tomato (1/2C)
132g celery (1/2C)
138g mushrooms (1/2C)
94g carrot (1C)
405g zucchini (1.5C)
120g onion (1.5C)
450g chicken (15P)
5 tsp/25ml olive oil (15F) - this is about 2 australian tablespoons
few cloves garlic (I use 3 or 4, but I love garlic)
Rosemary, italian herbs, salt, pepper

  • Cut everything into small pieces, about 1.5cm cubes as a guide.
  • Cook garlic and onion in olive oil on a medium heat until onion starts to go see through
  • Add chicken and cook on a medium heat until sides turn white (does need to be cooked all the way through).
  • Add vegetables and passata and add water so that it just covers the vegies (doesn't matter if a few vegies are sticking out, these will condense as stew cooks).
  • Bring to the boil with the lid  on, then simmer for an hour, stirring every 15 minutes
  • After 1 hour take lid off and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally. Do this until mixture gets really thick, it should take between 1 - 2 hours. You can add salt, pepper and a bit of rosemary or italian herbs for taste.
  • Portion out and store/serve.

Oven Baked Salmon with Caul-Rice

Yay, time for my first recipe! I cooked this for the first time last week and it was so good I made it again last night for my boyfriend. He doesn't Paleo or Zone (he tried for about a week but couldn't give up the wine) but he loved it just the same.

Note: C = Carbs, P = Protein, F = Fat. So 1C is 1 block of carbs (9g), 1P is 1 block of Protein (7g), 1F is one block of fat (1.5g).

Oven Baked Salmon with Caul-Rice
Zone: 3 blocks
135g salmon (3P) - this is about one fillet
47g carrot (1/2 C)
64g green beans (1/2C)
45g onion (1/2C)
255g cauiflower (1.5C)
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
1tsp oliv oil (3F)
Vegeta (for flavour, not Paleo!)

*The first time I made this as a 2 block meal, I just cut out the onion and 1/2 block caul (85g) and took 45g off the salmon and saved it for my salad the next day.
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Chop cauliflower quite small, put in a microwave safe bowl, cover and put on high for 3 mins
  • Chop up the carrot and beans into "pea" sized chunks, put in another bowl and microwave for 2 or 3 mins to soften
  • Put foil on an oven tray, spray with olive oil, place salmon (can put a bit of salt & pepper on for taste) and put in oven. Set timer for 14 mins
  • Mash up the cauliflower with a potato masher until it is a similar consistency to rice
  • Heat oil in pan and cook onion and garlic for a few mins until the onion starts to go see-through
  • Add carrot and beans and cook until you have 4 mins to go on the salmon
  • Add in the mashed cauliflower. Add the cummin, and some salt and pepper for taste if you want. I like to add a teaspoon of Vegeta for flavour but that's not strictly Paleo!
  • Cook and stir, when salmon is done - serve.

Getting Started - Zone Block Weight Measurements

All Zone Block measurements seem to be in cup measurements, and when I'm dieting I like to know that I'm doing it fairly accurately which is why I like to weigh everything. Before that I was worrying about whether I was eating too much brocolli if I chopped it up smaller since more would fit in the cup, and how much difference the size of the carrot would make, I  know - quite silly.

So I looked everything up on, worked out the blocks and wrote it all down on two bits of pink post it notes that live next to my scales.

Meats and fish are easy, deli meat (always use premium!) and fish is roughly 45g per block, meat and tuna is roughly 30g per block. Below are the list of vegie measurements that I use. However as a rule, if it comes in a tin/packet (tuna, sweet corn) go with the measurement on that. Also check the ingredients - lots of that stuff has added salt, sugar or oil.

Alignment is a little off, I'll fix it up later. I have this all in a word doc somewhere so will post a link soon!

1 Block (g)
Green Beans
Sweet Corn
1 Block (g)
Non Paleo
Snow Peas
1 Block (g)
1.5 nuts
3 nuts
13 nuts
1 nut

Some of these vegetables contain protein as well (mushrooms, green beans). I don't count it because vegetable protein is an incomplete protein and is a very poor source compared to meat. Since it doesn't matter if you go over on protein blocks (it doesn't break down to fat OR increase insulin), it doesn't hurt either way. Plus it makes it all way easier to work out a recipe.