Product Review

MATCHA MADNESS! Kiss Me Organics Product Review and Recipe Round-up by Alex Boake

Matcha Madness - Product Review and Recipe Round-upI was recently contacted by Kiss Me Organics about the possibility of me sampling and reviewing their Organic Matcha. Being a lover of all things Matcha and Green Tea related, I of course responded with a hearty "Yes please!!" Exclusive to Amazon, their Matcha shipped extremely quickly, and I had it on my doorstep and into my kitchen in no time flat. Soon, I was in matcha heaven! Of course, the first thing I made was a matcha latte. Their product whisks up smoothly when combined with hot water, and has a pleasant balanced taste. Not overly bitter or grassy, when combined with foamed milk and a little honey, it's perfection! 81gVTqa+oRL._SL1500_

Of course, I couldn't stop there. Next on the list was matcha ice cream. Like I said, matcha addict over here! With this Organic Matcha I was able to use my own ingredients and ice cream maker at home and match a matcha ice cream like you've never experienced before. Plus, you have the ability to control the ingredients and even create a 100% organic ice cream, if you so desire. When you indulge, you might as well go for the best!

When you make a purchase, they also send you a free e-book with 50+ recipes, all using matcha. Including such savory options as matcha curry, believe it or not! With one package lasting you 6 weeks (that would be if you were using it every day), and the high quality of the product, you've definitely got value for your money. I'd highly recommend Kiss Me Organics Matcha to any matcha fan.

While we're on the topic of Matcha, I decided to throw together a MATCHA MADNESS Recipe Roundup! Clearly I can't get enough.

If matcha being delicious weren't reason enough to consume it, Whole New Mom talks about the 7 Health Benefits of Green Tea and Grass Fed Girl has a whopping 9 Benefits of Matcha Green Tea!

First up let's go for the Paleo spin on the classic.

How-to-Make-the-Perfect-Matcha-Pinterest-736x981Yes, you too can easily make the Perfect Cup of Matcha, with this guide by Popular Paleo.

cinnamon eats matcha lattePersonally though, where I am now is very hot, so next we have Cinnamon Eats' Paleo Iced Matcha Latte, perfect for hot summer days.

matcha Popsicle

If you're still not cooled down yet, why not make these Creamy Matcha Strawberry Popsicles? Also from Cinnamon Eats!

Now onto some cookies...

south beach primal matcha whoopie piesHow about some Matcha Whoopie Pies, courtesy of South Beach Primal?

Green-Tea-CookiesOr, Paleo Matcha Green Tea Cookies, created by The Urban Eco Life!

cereal-901x1024Now this is a creative way to work more matcha into your breakfast with Paleo Kitchen Lab's Chia Super Cereal with Matcha and Carob.

matcha-lime-mousseTo finish up, here's one more, a guest post for Cinnamon Eats, created by Natural Kitchen Adventures. Matcha Lime Mousse. This sounds divine. I could dive into a vat of this right now!

I hope you've enjoyed this brief trip to Matcha Heaven! Actually, before I put together this review and roundup, I had no idea there were so many possibilities...but I have to say I have quite a lot of my Kiss Me Organics Matcha left, and a WHOLE lot of options! Until next time, friends, take care.

Primal Palate's Grain-free Fudgy Brownies [5 Chili Bullet Variation] by Alex Boake

Part of my payment for doing the Valentine's Day illustration for ChocoSol was actually dispensed in chocolate bars (and coffee). I know, it's a hard life!! One of my favourite flavours that they hand craft is the spicy 5 Chili Bullet. They used ethically sourced cacao beans grown in forest gardens, and the chilis are grown locally in Toronto. Cacao, Raw sugar, Cacao Butter, 5 Types of Chilis, Allspice, Achiote and Sea Salt. As you can see, it's a simple ingredient list with no lecithins or emulsifiers to be found. Nice! The chilis they use pack a bit of a punch, too!

Since I had a surplus of chocolate going on, I decided that a little baking was in order. Fortunately for me, Primal Palate did all the hard work here with their recently released Grain-free Fudgy Brownie recipe, which you can see on their totally amazing new website. Go check that out if you have an extra minute today to be wowed.

I substituted this spicy Chocosol bar into the recipe to give it a bit of a twist. They're rich and delicious with chewy edges, just like I love in my brownies. My version features some extra after-burn.

Primal Palate's Grain-free Fudgy Brownies [5 Chili Bullet Variation] Adapted from PrimalPalate.com Ingredients

  • 1 5oz 5 Chili Bullet Chocolate Bar
  • 1 oz High Quality Dark Chocolate
  • 8 oz Butter, Unsalted, or Palm Shortening
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Eggs, large
  • 1/2 cup Almond Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 cup Coconut Sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 glass baking dish and line with parchment paper so you can easily remove the brownies after baking.

Cut the Butter into cubes and break the Chocolate bar into pieces. Melt the Chocolate and Butter over medium low heat, stirring frequently. Add the Coconut Sugar and Vanilla to the melted mixture and stir until there are no unmelted chunks.

Remove the mixture from the heat, and allow to cool slightly. In another bowl, blend the Eggs, Almond Flour, Baking Powder and Salt together. When the Chocolate mix is cool, fully combine with the flour mixture until uniform.

Pour the batter into the greased and parchment lined 8x8 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan then remove to a wire rack. Wait for them to cool a bit before flipping to remove the parchment paper. Slice and enjoy warm, or cool completely and store in a tin for later.

If you can't get your hands on some spicy chocolate, add a few shakes of chili flakes to the plain recipe!

Picanha (Brazilian Roasted Rump Cap / Top Sirloin) featuring US Wellness Meats Beef by Alex Boake

A few months ago I received an email from the awesome people over at US Wellness Meats commenting on how they enjoyed my illustrated recipes, and how they'd really love to send me some samples to cook with. Unfortunately, since I live in Canada, they couldn't ship to me at home. Luckily for me, I was coming down to the States and crashing with Russ and his wonderful family for a few days. US Wellness was kind enough to time the shipment perfectly so that we could work on some collaborative recipes! This basic and delicious recipe was Russ' plan. It was my first time tasting their Grass-fed Beef, so we chose something that would showcase the flavour of the product. There are no sauces or spices getting in the way, just the salt and the beautiful cut of beef. Definitely especially good with US Wellness' awesome Grass-fed Top Sirloin steak! This Brazilian BBQ staple we served along with last week's post, Couve a Mineira, aka Brazilian Collard Greens.

Be sure to check out The Domestic Man for Russ' version, which includes some tasty photos and more historical facts on this dish.

Picanha (Brazilian Roasted Rump Cap / Top Sirloin)

Ingredients

  • 2 top sirloins (~1.5 lbs each) or one rump cap (~3 lbs) |
  • 2 Tbsp extra coarse sea salt (or rock salt)
  • Sausages for grilling

Directions

As Russ explains, the Sausages are are used to season the grill before adding the Picanha. When it comes to choosing salt, look for the chunkiest salt you can find, as it makes it easier for the salty crust to form when cooking on the grill.

You can be badass like Russ and grill your Picanha over an open fire, or you can grill this on a plain charcoal grill or a gas grill on high heat. Either way, prep your grill and get it hot.

Let the top sirloin sit at room temperature for twenty minutes, then slice diagonally into four thick, long chunks. Try to get one big piece of fat in each of the sliced chunks, to maximize flavour. Curl the chunks and skewer with some sturdy metal skewers. Season generously with the sea salt on each side.

When the grill is nice and hot, place the sausages on the grill directly over the fire for a couple minutes to sear them, then move them to the edge of the grill to continue cooking. If you’re using fully-cooked sausages or raw sausages, the cook time will change. Either way it should take about 10-15 mins to cook them.

Then, move the sausages to the side of the grill. Take the main event, your expertly skewered beef, and place it directly over the hot part of the fire or grill, and roast for about four minutes per side. Watch out for flare-ups, but since we’re looking for a nice salty crust on each side of the meat, just keep them under control. Cook to your liking, testing for done-ness as you go. Remove from the heat, and slice to serve, along with greens and even cheese buns, if you're feeling ambitious!

Thanks to US Wellness Meats for letting me try out their awesome beef! Look for a couple more recipes featuring their products in the future. Shout out to Russ for cooking along with me, and if for some reason you’re not following him already, check out The Domestic Man on Facebook and Twitter so you don’t miss his recipes.

 

Product Review: Caveman Cookies by Alex Boake

Those of you who follow me over on my Facebook Page know that I'm always cruising for cool packaging and food design. I post the best of what I find so I can share the awesomeness with you! Not everything is Real Food friendly, but if the design is great, then I post it anyway. I don't discriminate when I am just ogling the packaging. Now, the other day I stumbled upon a product that had wicked packaging AND friendly ingredients. It was a little company that was producing what they call Caveman Cookies, which are gluten-free and made from all natural ingredients. When I found out that they shipped to Canada, I decided I'd try them out and do a review.  Their mascot is super cute, too! I'm not sure what his bottom half actually looks like, but he's pretty fuzzy up top, so I just connected the dots. ; P

They have four flavours: Original, Tropical, Rainforest and Alpine. Original is made with honey, almond flour, walnuts, raisins, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Tropical is made with almond flour, honey, unsulfured coconut, macadamia nuts, and ginger. Rainforest is made with honey, almond meal, brazil nut meal, chopped almonds, dried cherries, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Alpine is made from honey, hazelnut flour, almond flour, and carob.

I was surprised that each cookie comes individually wrapped, but it does make it really convenient to grab and go, or toss one into a lunch for a snack. They are chewy cookies, and they are quite sweet. I suspect that some might find them overly sweet, but they are small enough that it's not overwhelming at all. The chew that I mentioned is great, and overall they have an interesting texture. My top flavour picks are the Alpine and the Original. I wasn't a huge fan of Rainforest, the balance of the flavours was off for me. Tropical was solid, but I wouldn't pick it first if offered a selection.

Overall I found the Caveman Cookies to be a very tasty treat! I could see them being a great supplement for kid lunches, for busy parents who don't have time to bake all the time, and might need something in a pinch. The individual wrapping makes them seem like a 'regular snack' as well, although the ingredients are anything but your average off-the-shelf junk. I'd definitely recommend both the Alpine and the Original!

They just so happen to be having a Valentine's sale on right now! Save 20% on your order with the code "Valentine". Check 'em out!