A paleo engagement party is definitely do-able!

Clint and I had our engagement party in January this year after he proposed to me just before Christmas. The party was a picnic and games afternoon at the beautiful Maroochy Bushland Botanic Gardens. We had about 40 people join us for an afternoon of frisbee, slacklining, bocci and quoits. Plus, a whole lotta delicious and healthy foods made mostly by my mum and I, as well as some suitable food kindly provided by the in-laws.

I had so many compliments on how good the food tasted and many requests for recipes so I thought I’d better blog about it so all the recipes are in one place for everyone to use and enjoy! (By the way, this is a post from our old blog!

Most of the food was paleo/primal, it was all gluten-free and all yum!

Here’s a rundown on what we created…

 

Smoky Tomato Dipping Sauce

Smokey BBQ Sauce

Original recipe here

My variation: I tasted the mixture while following the recipe and noticed it still tasted like tomato paste even with the paprika and mustard powders added. So I added another 2 tsp paprika, plus 1 tsp turmeric powder. This made it not taste like tomato paste anymore and gave it more of a smokey BBQ taste.

Also, I decided to place the mixture in the blender and give it a whiz to make it really smooth instead of being full of onion and garlic bits.

The photo is the sauce with my brekkie of mince, eggs and fetta! I’d forgotten to take photos of food on the day of the party so if I had leftovers I took photos then!!

 

Chicken Liver Pate

Chicken Liver Pate

Original recipe here

My variation: I pretty much followed that recipe but I added olive oil instead of rendered chicken fat.

This pate is a winner with anyone who tries it who’s always enjoyed store-bought varieties. But this one is so much healthier!

 

Beetroot Tapenade

Beetroot tepenade
This was my own creation. It was meant to be a smooth and creamy roast beetroot and fetta dip but mum and I almost completely burned and shrivelled the beetroot while in the oven, so when I tried to blend it to a smooth consistency it just didn’t happen and ended up a little chunky. I thought people would hate it but this was the recipe I had the most requests for! Amazing!

Recipe:

1. Peel and chop 3-4 large beetroots
2. Bake in oven with a drizzle of coconut oil, on 180 for… well I don’t know how long because mine was in a tad too long. Maybe go for 20min then check on it!
3. Once cooked, place in a food processor with about 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp sheep or goat fetta, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper and blend until it’s about this consistency.

Tip: If you cook your beetroot a little too long and it blackens on the edges, that’s GREAT because that’s what I did and it tasted great! Just be sure to add a bit of stevia to the food processor… that’s my secret ingredient!!

 

Pumpkin Dip

I didn’t get a photo of this creation by my mother-in-law Marian but I had asked her to do a simple dip of roast pumpkin (she used 1kg), olive oil, herbs of choice and salt and pepper. The end result had a pumpkin soup taste about it but it was nice and thick. And very tasty!

 
Raw Chia Sesame Crackers

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Another of my own creations and something I alter every single time I make them!

Basic recipe:

1. In a large bowl add 1 cup chia seeds and 1/2 cup sesame seeds
2. Add 2-3 cups of water, mix well and let sit for an hour or so. The water will absorb into the seeds and the mix will thicken. You can add more water if it’s too thick and you can’t stir a spoon in it easily
3. Add whatever herbs and spices you like. This time round I added dulce flakes, fresh parsley and thyme leaves, all spice powder and lots of salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly so all ingredients are well combined
4. Spread mixture onto baking paper in your dehydrator (purchase one here).
The thickness needs to be about 2-3mm, if it’s too thin the crackers will break too easily when they’re dry.
5. Depending on your dehydrator your drying setting and time-frame may differ, but generally it works to leave on medium setting overnight.
6. When crackers are completely dry, take them out, break them apart and serve!

You can also add minced onion, garlic, veggies etc. The variations are endless!

 

Lemon Thyme Meatballs

Lemon Lamb Meatballs

Original recipe here

Clint’s mum made these for the picnic and I think she stuck to the recipe. They’re so easy to make, simple ingredients and a delicious flavour 🙂

We also had a couple varieties of grain-free sausages from Yandina Butchery – chicken, pine nut and spinach, as well as beef, oregano and garlic. No flours are used!

 

Choc Brownies

Brownies

Original recipe here

My variation: The recipe calls for quite a bit of honey or maple syrup – I use raw honey and I found using less is fine. 1/2 cup max in my opinion still ends up tasting terrific.

Also when I made this the first time for Clint’s birthday in December 2013, the amount you end up with after baking doesn’t look like it’d feed 16 people as suggested in the recipe, and as you can see from the photo above mine don’t look quite as high as the ones in the link. Sometimes I wonder where people get their serving quantity from because the recipes don’t often make as much as large a quantity as stated. Which is the case with thsi recipe. If you’re feeding 5+ hungry people I’d make double! For the engagement party I made a double batch and cut into bite-size squares so most people would get a try.

As for the chocolate chips, we don’t seem to have the same brands as the American recipes suggest but you can find dairy-free chocolate at health food stores, and depending on what other ingredients you want to avoid, even in the supermarket. Sweet William is dairy-free but contains other nasties many paleo-followers would definitely avoid. It just depends on your preferences and also your budget! Shop around. But if you don’t find any you’re happy with, just use a bit of extra cocoa powder instead 🙂

 

Juice Jellies

Lollies
On the day I served up orange juice jelly lollies but you can use ANY juice or fruit pulp you like. It’s just grass-fed gelatin dissolved in hot water/juice and some stevia or other sweetener (raw honey, maple syrup etc) added in. Then set in the fridge. Easy peasy!

The photo above is frozen organic raspberries simmered then strained to remove the seeds. The measurement I find works best is 1 cup liquid to 2 tbsp gelatin. Any more gelatin and the lollies will become rock hard and unedible.

The orange ‘jellies’ (not ‘lollies’ because I didn’t add enough gelatin so they were a bit softer than I’d have liked!) were a HUGE hit on the day! The kids were eating gluten-free lollies but they all liked my jellies as well, and the adults all commented on how good they were!

If you’d like to join our Great Lakes Gelatin Co-Op to get your hands on the best quality gelatin powder, click here

 

Honey Coconut Macaroons

Coconut-Macaroons-5-Gluten-Free-Paleo_thumb
Original recipe here

My variation: I left out the lemon and just used shredded coconut, raw honey, egg whites, salt and vanilla. I would use dessicated coconut next time though, but the shredded still tasted really good.

I didn’t get a photo of my macaroons because they were snapped up pretty quickly on the day! But they looked almost exactly the same as the photo above.

I’m definitely making these again – they’re super easy to make, not too sweet and actually quite filling!

 

Sweet Potato, Chicken and Honey Bites

No photo sorry and these were totally my own creation. All I did was…
Peeled and chopped sweet potato, into about 20c piece size
Baked with coconut oil and raw honey until cooked through
Did the same with chicken breast
Then placed a piece of sweet potato and a piece of chicken on a toothpick

Easy!!!

I hope you find some of these recipes useful and they give you some inspiration in the kitchen, especially for parties! It’s a great feeling to be able to provide healthy foods – the kinda foods we eat 95% of the time and are passionate about – to friends and family and they actually enjoy them!

Please feel free to share this post with friends so they too can make delicious and healthy party foods. And please let me know of any paleo/primal party food recipes you love to use! I’d really appreciate it 🙂

Take care,
Aimee

 

 5 things I’m grateful for today:

1. Being engaged to Clint!

2. A fun morning at the Kawana markets then hanging out with a friend and her gorgeouos boys

3. Gardening today and finding the first berries appearing from the newest strawberry plants

4. Sunny winter days

5. Natural remedies for illness and injury

Controversial: Give Up on Exercise!

For many people the word “exercise” conjures up images of spending hours at the gym sweating, endless repetitions of crunches, sharing exercise equipment with the other sweaty people before you, and just all-round general discomfort.

Well guess what? It doesn’t have to be like that.

It might be hard for you to fathom but crunches are NOT an essential exercise! Yep, you read that right.. a qualified Personal Trainer actually saying that crunches aren’t required!

All we need is our body and the natural world outside of gyms in order to be fit and healthy. What’s even better is that nature is completely free – there’s no joining fee or fortnightly direct debits!

Since you’re probably totally new to this way of thinking and moving, here are some suggestions of fun and functional movements you can perform outdoors…

1. The Lava Game

This is an oldie but a goodie! For those who don’t remember how to play this, the rules are simple…

The ground is lava! By using equipment and items nearby you have to navigate from point A to point B without touching the ground or you’ll simply burn up.

This game is great to play in a place where you have obstacles such as a playground or rocks to play on. The main benefit of this exercise besides needing to think is ‘mindful movement’ for the whole body.

What do I mean by mindful movement? Mindful movement is movement that requires you to think about it. Walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike for example is not mindful movement.

You also get the benefit of explosive movement as you jump from obstacle to obstacle, as well as flexibility as you duck, weave and move.

2. Tiggy

This game requires more than one person to participate, although I must admit it would look pretty funny trying to play this alone!

Once you have more than one person ready to play, start with 1 person being “it”. This person has to tag someone else in order to no longer become “it”. Then just keep going!

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It’s a very simple concept but great cardiovascular interval training is a great workout. The reason for this is because you are constantly on the move. Sprints thrown in when someone tries to tag you adds to the overall benefit and fun!

3. Quadrapedal Movements

Do you want abs of steel but hate the thought of doing crunches? Then try some quadrupedal movements in your play time!

Crawling on all fours, monkey walks and ape walks will get every muscle in your body working hard as you transform back to our early evolutionary roots.

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Start with crawling on hands and knees. Yes, babies do this, but give it a go, I bet you find it really awkward? Because you haven’t done it in a long time, yet it should be a basic human movement skill, all throughout life. Practice until you feel coordinated then move onto hands and feet…

Picture1

This is much trickier and you’ll feel your abs and quite a few other muscles working hard. It’s a terrific movement to do.

4. Remove One Limb

Choose one of your limbs – a leg or an arm – and play around with moving through a variety of obstacles without the actual use of that limb. For example, place one arm behind your back and attempt to climb a ladder at the playground.

This is another mindful activity because it requires you to think about how to move without using a vital body part.

5. Partner Object Carry

Pick an object that both you and your partner are capable of carrying, such as a rock, a sandbag, a small child etc and set start and end points.

Work together to move your heavy object from point A to point B. Pass the object to each other while each person takes turns to move forward or ahead. This game works really well at a children’s playground or in and around a rocky creek.

This exercise utilizes strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and mindfulness to achieve an objective.

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6. Chase the Waves

Next time you’re walking along the beach make a game of chasing the waves. It’s fun and incredibly effective!

As a wave heads back towards the ocean, sprint towards it as far as you dare. Then when it turns to come in again, sprint back so you don’t get wet. Repeat and after a few rounds you’ll see why it’s great for fitness!

If you’re keen and quick try do some push ups in between each wave! This adds a whole new element to the game.

Chase waves 2

Chase waves
“you can’t catch me waves!”

So as you can see… playing is only limited by your imagination. There are so many fun movements you can create. The options are endless.

Here’s another gem… try adding some jumping and climbing!

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Now that I’ve given you these 6 awesome ideas to stop exercising and start playing I’d love to hear some of your suggestions and experiences. Leave a comment below with ideas you have or games you’ve played and enjoyed.

If you’re feeling self-conscious, unsure, unconfident or would like other people to play with then feel free to join in on the free Primal Play Days we hold every couple of months at Point Cartwright – stay tuned for info on our Facebook page

One more thing… stop reading and go play!!

Thanks

Clint

Primal Fitness Coach | Visit our website: Primal Influence | Follow us on socials: Facebook + Instagram

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