Sunday, 28 June 2015

Vietnamese Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup

Bitter melon is an acquired taste and is exactly as it is named - bitter! But it is full of beneficial properties so it's worth trying to add some in. My mum served bitter melon on a regular basis while I was at home and I didn't particularly like it growing up but at some point it switched and I now crave bitter melon especially when I'm feeling run down. It might be all in the mind because I know of the amazing benefits of bitter melon or maybe it is because I do feel really good after eating it. Either way, I think everyone should give it a few goes if it's your first time trying bitter melon or if you already enjoy this amazing bitter gourd, you'll love this warming traditional Vietnamese stuffed bitter melon recipe.

Bitter Melon Soup
Vietnamese Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup

Friday, 19 June 2015

5 Incredible Uses for Banana Peels that really work!

I was at my friends house and attacked by mosquitos as it was approaching dusk (and coming into the wet season). I had 2 bites that became large welts on my face due to my sensitive skin, several on my legs and was incredibly itchy and uncomfortable. I don't like using insect bite creams so I was desperate to find some relief. I recalled reading somewhere that rubbing the inside of a banana peel worked. I was so lucky to find one last overly ripe banana on my friends kitchen bench and ripped a piece of the peel off and applied it to my bites holding it for about 1 minute per bite. I couldn't believe it worked! after about 10 minutes the crazy itchy feeling disappeared (although the welts were still there), the relief was incredible. I really had to share this experience!

banana peel uses
5 Incredible Uses for Banana Peels that really work

Monday, 15 June 2015

Asparagus and Egg Soup with Bone Broth

This asparagus and egg soup recipe reminds me of my mums crab and asparagus soup less the crab. It's light and delicate with the soft broken egg running through the soup. Using bone broth as the base, it makes a wonderfully simple and nutritious meal or starter.

loveurbelly Asparagus and Egg Soup with Bone Broth
Asparagus and Egg Soup with Bone Broth

Friday, 12 June 2015

Simple Fermented Kim Chi for Beginners

Kim Chi is a traditional Korean side dish, naturally fermented with garlic, chill, chinese cabbage (aka wombok or napa cabbage) and various vegetables. It is full of probiotics and rich in vitamins. The nutrients in the vegetables become much easier for the body to absorb as the vegetables are pre-digested by the good bacteria naturally present. Some of the vitamin content can be increased up to 300 times compared to eating the vegetables raw. Fermented foods are wonderful for the body and this simple fermented kim chi is really tasted and not too strong for beginners.

Simple Fermented Kim Chi for Beginners
Simple Fermented Kim Chi for Beginners

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

2 Ingredient Anti-Aging Facial Mask

One of the great things about going paleo for me is no longer having the need to buy expensive commercial beauty products. Becoming aware that the skin is the largest organ in the human body which also has the ability to absorb toxins and chemicals I cannot go back to using lotions and creams with a huge list of unpronounceable chemicals. I now use single oils like coconut, olive, jojoba and rose hip oil instead of expensive lotions and make a lot of my own body wash, face scrubs and masks like this 2 ingredient anti-aging facial mask which consists of bananas and avocado's.

2 Ingredient Anti-Aging Facial Mask
Add caption2 Ingredient Anti-Aging Facial Mask

Monday, 8 June 2015

Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Ribs

Vietnamese lemongrass pork ribs have always been one of my favourite dishes growing up. Traditionally this dish would be quite sweet, coming from the south where sugar is added to practically everything including savoury dishes and even salads. This recipe is a paleo friendly version and approved by my mum. That says a lot ;)

Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Ribs
Vietnamese Lemongrass Pork Ribs

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Vietnamese Pomelo Salad

Pomelo's are a type of citrus fruit, quite like a giant grapefruit but very sweet and juicy without the bitter sourness. They grow in abundance in tropical regions and are very popular here in Vietnam. You can pick them up in most asian grocers or markets and I know they can be found back home in Australia. They have a very thick rind and pith that you need to peel off completely before you get to the sweet juicy flesh. This Vietnamese Pomelo Salad is light and refreshing and works well as a starter or side to an asian inspired meal.

Vietnamese Pomelo Salad
Vietnamese Pomelo Salad

Friday, 5 June 2015

Ginger, Turmeric & Egg Soup - A great way to serve bone broth

If you are already making your own bone broth, this is a great way to serve it up to keep things interesting as you are probably drinking it everyday and if you are new to bone broth, you can check out my three ways to make bone broth here - 2 day chicken bone broth, pressure cooker bone broth or slow cooker bone broth. I always make my bone broths plain, with no salt and no vegetables so that I can freely flavour it when I am ready to serve it up or use it in any type of cooking. This ginger and turmeric soup makes a cheap, quick and filling lunch combining the anti-inflammatory properties of fresh turmeric and the gut healing properties of bone broth.

Ginger and Turmeric Soup - A great way to serve bone broth
Ginger and Turmeric Soup with a bone broth base

How To Make Bone Broth 3 Ways - Stove Top, Pressure Cooker and Slow Cooker

Every week while growing up in my mum's house there was always a pot of beef, chicken, pork or a mixture of bones simmering on the stove. The broth would turn into this gelatinous goop in the fridge that I thought was disgusting. This gelatinous goop once warmed up, turned into an amazing base for our noodle soups full of gut healing, immune boosting nutrients. Little did I know how nutritious this bone broth soup was and that I would be making it each week for my family.

2 Day Chicken Bone Broth
2 Day Chicken Bone Broth

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Virgin Pina Colada Kombucha Tea recipe

A few days ago I posted a Pineapple Kombucha tea recipe (you can see it here) which turned out amazing, super fizzy and fragrant. I had dreamed up this virgin pina colada kombucha tea recipe and couldn't wait to put it altogether. The combination is so lovely and refreshing, using fresh pineapples, fresh coconut cream, pineapple kombucha tea, ice and a dash of honey, it is missing the rum but there are no rules here so feel free to add a dash if needed :)

Virgin Pina Colada Kombucha Tea recipe
Virgin Pina Colada Kombucha Tea recipe

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Pressure Cooker Honey Shredded Beef

I was always afraid of the pressure cooker and didn't start using one until I started my paleo journey a few years ago. It seemed like a must have, so I decided to get an all in one pressure / slow cooker where you can sear or sauté in the same pot which saves a lot of cleaning (I bought this one here). I learnt so much from one of my favourite paleo masters Nom Nom Paleo (you can take a look at her cookbook here). After gaining some confidence, I played around with various recipes and now I have my pressure cooker honey shredded beef recipe as a favourite in the house.

loveurbelly Pressure Cooker Honey Shredded Beef
Pressure Cooker Honey Shredded Beef
This fall apart pressure cooker honey shredded beef dish can be served so many ways and I always cook enough for leftovers. We have them in lettuce wraps topped with fermented veggies and avocado, served on it's own with a side of salad and veggies or in my nori wrap and roll platter (get the recipe here). I haven't regretted my pressure cooker purchase at all!

Pressure Cooker Honey Shredded Beef

Prep Time: 2.5 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour 15mins

You will need:
  • 1kg (2 pounds) stewing beef (like chuck, brisket etc)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup coconut water (the clear liquid not milk)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (I use this one here)
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce (I use red boat brand, you can find it here)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4-6 ripe tomatoes (I no longer use tinned tomatoes so I make my own, if you wish for convenience you can use 1 cup of diced tomatoes)
  • 1.5 tbsp raw honey (optional)

  • If using fresh tomatoes, preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius (392 degrees fahrenheit) - skip this step if using tinned/glass jar tomatoes
  • cut the beef into large chunks and season with salt and pepper
  • cover and return to fridge for at least 2 hours for best results or leave overnight if you are super prepared (I have skipped this when I'm desperate and in a hurry)
  • the oven should be warm now, place the tomatoes on a tray and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until the tomato skins split, remove and allow to cool
  • prepare the sauce ingredients by dicing the onions and mincing the garlic, place in a bowl
  • measure out the coconut water, apple cider vinegar, fish sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne pepper and add to the bowl (do not add the tomatoes or honey yet)
  • set aside
  • once the 2 hours has passed, remove the beef from the fridge
  • set the multi function cooker to saute/sear mode for 20 mins (or sear on the stove top if you do not have this function)
  • add the coconut or avocado oil and brown the beef (I do this in two batches)
  • stop the sauté function and change to pressure cook function
  • add all the beef and marinade ingredients (except tomatoes and honey)
Pressure Cooker Honey Shredded Beef
Sear the beef and add all the ingredients except tomato & honey
  • ensure the setting is on high, then set the timer for 45 minutes
  • allow time for the pressure cooker to release gradually after the cooking is done
  • remove the beef into a glass or ceramic dish leaving the liquids behind, cover and set aside
  • peel the skin off the tomatoes and squeeze the seeds out, you should have about 1 cup of tomato flesh
Pressure Cooker Honey Shredded Beef
Peel the tomatoes and squeeze out the seeds
  • add the tomatoes and 1.5 tbsp raw honey to the cooker
  • set to saute function for 30 minutes
  • for the first 20 minutes stir with a wooden spoon every 5 minutes or so, during the last 10 minutes keep stirring more frequently
  • at the end of 30 minutes the liquids should have thickened into a nice tasty sauce
  • pour over the beef and shred with a fork and mix evenly
  • serve immediately or store in the fridge and reheat in the pan when needed
loveurbelly Pressure Cooker Honey Shredded Beef
Pressure Cooker Honey Shredded Beef
Hope you enjoyed the recipe :)

May xx

Monday, 1 June 2015

Pineapple Kombucha Tea Recipe

I'm so lucky living in a tropical environment with all the amazing fresh fruit. The pineapples are plentiful, incredibly sweet and cheap. I had extra pineapple left over from our fruit platter and it was bottling day for my kombucha so I decided to throw some in. After one day, the pineapple Kombucha tea was so fizzy and the pineapple smell was incredible. 

loveurbelly Pineapple Kombucha Tea Recipe
Pineapple Kombucha Tea Recipe

Zoodles with Capers

I had some left over zucchini in the fridge from making my zoodles in truffle oil (recipe here) and needed a quick lunch before rushing out. This literally took five minutes to make. I have a spiraliser but you can easily create the same with a mandolin (the strands just won't be as long and pretty). 

loveurbelly Zoodles with Capers and Basil
Zoodles with Capers and Basil