Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Paleo Flaxseed Penne with Beef Ragu

A rich, tasty Bolognese-style sauce served with Nomad's paleo pasta, made with flaxseeds. Totally gluten free and paleo. 

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you decide to click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, that helps me keep the blog running. Thank you for your support.

There's something I thought I'd never see. 

A Paleo Pasta Spag Bol kind of a dish - with actual pasta and not zoodles. 

Take a look.

paleo spaghetti bolognese flaxseed pasta

The pasta is the Superseed Flaxseed Penne that is available on the Nomad website. It's paleo, gluten free and soy free, too. And my kids had no frickin' idea that this wasn't regular, gluten-free pasta and was in fact packed with super healthy, anti-inflammatory flaxseeds. They even ate seconds. YASSSS. 

Flaxseed pasta paleo with tomato sauce and beef

The sauce is rich, with flavours of the beef of course, along with smoky pancetta, sweet tomato and fresh basil. The flaxseed pasta is dark, and looks like it's going to taste really wholemeal-like, but really doesn't. It tastes a little nutty, but then I think the best things are. You're going to love it. 

Paleo Flaxseed Penne with Beef Ragu
Serves 4-6
100g smoked pancetta chunks
400g beef mince
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small onion, peeled and chopped fairly finely
400g can chopped tomatoes
200g passata
pinch of salt
fresh basil, to serve

First, heat a large frying pan and drop in the pancetta. Sizzle the pancetta and stir-fry, until some of the fat is released and the pancetta is slightly golden. Tip in the beef. Break it up as you stir-fry, and keep going until the beef is well browned. Tip out any of the excess fat, if there's any, left in the pan, or the sauce will be too greasy. 

Put the pan back on the heat and finely grate the garlic into it, and add the chopped onion. Stir and sizzle for a few minutes until it smells aromatic, and then tip in the can of chopped tomatoes and the passata. Season with a good pinch of salt and turn down the heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. 

While the sauce is cooking, get on and make the pasta. Heat a pan of water with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Tip in the packet of pasta, stir once, carefully, and leave to boil gently for 5 minutes. Test a piece of pasta - it should be firm but tender. Drain, and serve on warmed plates with the bolognese sauce. 

Dinner done. 

Have you made this recipe? If so, share it with me on Instagram @joromerofood - I'd love to see! 

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Monday, 17 September 2018

Review of Low Tox Life by Alexx Stuart

A look at a book that gives us tips on how we can live a life that's lower in harsh chemicals, stress and waste. Come have a read. 

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you decide to make a purchase and click on a link, I may receive, at no extra cost to you, a small commission which goes towards helping me to keep the blog going. Thank you for your support. 

You know how I feel about plastic. And chemicals in makeup. And perfectly-shaped fruits buffed and polished with wax. 

And, so I discover, so does educator and activist Alexx Stuart. 

She has written a handbook, called Low Tox Life, that helps you adapt to a healthier, planet-friendly life. I'm all about this, so I couldn't wait to have a look at a copy, which was kindly sent over for me to have a read. 

Copy of Low Tox Life book with lemon and lime

First off, the book is chunky, at over 260 pages. And straight away, I knew I'd love it. 

The layout is modern, intuitive (so you can find what you're looking for quickly) and beautifully designed. It has four main areas, including Body, Home, Food and Mind. Each one has lots of ideas on ways you can reduce your toxic load, individually and as a family. 

It's educational, too. Did you know there are hormone disrupting chemicals in our cosmetics? Or that the formaldehyde in our nail polish is often labelled as something else entirely - formalin? And, as a migraine sufferer, I can totally tell you that something's going on in perfumes and so-called 'air fresheners', too, because I can be fine when I enter a department store, but walk me through the perfume section and I'll emerge at the opposite end mumbling, with double vision and a weird ache in the base of my brain. 

The good news is that you can do an awful lot that's home made, more than I actually thought you could before I picked up this book. I've already cleaned out my husband's thermal coffee flask with bicarbonate of soda - worked a treat! - and I'm making home-made shimmery lip balm for the kids. There are recipes in the book for home-made, natural home fragrances and household cleaners. I've ditched my furniture polish, too. Yes, I'm sick (probably literally) of the fragrances and gases that escape when we use commercial products, but I'm also happier because using natural products is cheaper and I'm feeling good about supporting the planet. 

And there aren't just recipes. There's advice in here about how to waste less food (we made the Buy-Nothing-New-Curry from the book - it was lush), and how to buy your clothes a bit more sustainably. There are tips about rest and relaxation, buying organic and reducing plastic in every way in our lives. Plastic doesn't really break down completely, so it scares me a bit the abundance to which we've been using it for the past few decades. 

Buy Nothing New Curry from the book Low Tox Life on a white background served with rice
The Buy Nothing New Curry, from Low Tox Life

The book is written in a humurous, down to earth way - as if a friend was leaving you a note. It's sharp and to the point - no waffling. I love it. I'm going to be dipping into this more often and I'll be sharing my home-made cleaning, cosmetic and household products on Instagram. Stay tuned! 

To grab your own copy of Low Tox Life, visit your nearest book shop or have a look here on Amazon

Have you read the book? Do you make your own natural products at home? Does plastic freak you out, too? Let me know in the comments below. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Paleo Pasta with Chicken, Pesto, Prosciutto and Roasted Tomatoes

A recipe for paleo pasta - ultimate comfort food! Fresh, tasty and full of healthy ingredients.

This post contains some affiliate links. This means that if you decide to click on the link and make a purchase, I may, at no extra cost to you, receive a small commission that goes back into helping me keep the blog running. Thanks for your support. 

Paleo pasta. 

I've talked about it before, when I cooked pasta that was made from sesame seed flour with a lovely lemon pea pesto. Well now, I've got my hands on more paleo pastas. 

This one is made from just a few ingredients: green banana flour, sesame seed flour, tapioca and egg. 

That's it. 

The pasta has an earthy flavour and a slightly wholemeal-like texture. It's firm and it handles well once cooked. We finished off the rest of it in a pasta salad the next day, drizzled with a little olive oil and tossed with various fridge leftovers. 

Paleo pasta with chicken, pesto, prosciutto and roasted tomatoes

Go along to Nomad Health to grab some of this pasta for yourself - or you can try some of the other types - pastas using flaxseed, sesame seed flour, millet (that one's not strictly paleo though) or pumpkin, among other things. All the pastas are free of gluten, grains, GMOs, corn, rice and soya. 

Paleo pasta with chicken, pesto, prosciutto and roasted tomatoes

Paleo Pasta with Chicken, Pesto, Prosciutto and Roasted Tomatoes
Serves 4-6
15-20 cherry tomatoes, on the vine if possible
olive oil
pinch of sea salt
30g bunch of fresh basil
1 heaped teaspoon finely grated Parmesan
1 peeled garlic clove
2 tbsp pine nuts
good glug of extra virgin olive oil
6 slices Prosciutto
A few handfuls of leftover, cooked and cooled chicken 

First, heat your oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6. Get out a shallow baking tray or dish and arrange the tomatoes over it. Drizzle over a little olive oil and sprinkle over a pinch of salt. Give the tomatoes a shake to coat, and slide into the oven to roast while you make the pasta. 

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Tip in the pasta, along with a pinch of salt, and stir once. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, and then drain, being careful not to toss the pasta around too much so you don't break it up. 

To make the pesto, place the basil, Parmesan, garlic clove and pine nuts into a food processor and trickle in around 3-4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Blitz, adding a little more olive oil as you go, to make a loose pesto sauce. Check on the tomatoes. They should be golden and sizzling by now. Turn off the heat and transfer the dish to a trivet to cool slightly. 

Finally, make the Prosciutto. Drizzle a little more regular olive oil into a frying pan on a medium heat, and lay in the Prosciutto slices, being careful not to overlap them. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side and then turn over. Transfer each slice onto a plate. 

Assemble the whole dish together. Stir half of the pesto into the pasta and then divide between warmed bowls or plates. Drizzle the remaining pasta over the top of the plates, to add colour. Break up the Prosciutto and scatter over the pasta, along with the cooked chicken and place a few cherry tomatoes over the top. Serve straight away. 

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Made this recipe? I'd love to see it! Tag me in on Instagram on @joromerofood!