Lemon Ginger Chicken Thighs [Paleo, Primal. 21DSD friendly] by Alex Boake

Hi friends! Long time no see! Happy 2014! Hope everyone had a great holiday time. Just recently I came back from a two week trip to Japan, which was super fantastic. I saw so many cool things, it blew my mind. Also I ate many cool things! I'm thinking of putting together a little post about trying to eat 'Paleo-ish' in Japan, which is a challenge I'll tell you now. Look out for that sometime in the near future! I promised this recipe on my Facebook Page back about a month or two ago, but I was so busy I didn't have a chance to do an illustration. Well I'm back, babes! I put this together when I was doing my 21 Day Sugar Detox. I have to say, it's really simple, and really delicious.

Lemon Ginger Chicken Thighs

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 12 Chicken Thighs
  • 1/4 Cup Melted Butter
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos or Gluten-free Tamari Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 12 Average Parsnips and/or Carrots, peeled and halved

Directions Preheat oven to 350. In a large roasting pan with a lid, put the peeled Parsnips and Carrots on the bottom of the pan. On top, arrange the chicken thighs skin-up in a single layer.

In a small bowl, whisk together the warm melted Butter, the Lemon juice, Coconut Aminos/Tamari Sauce, minced Ginger, Garlic Powder and Pepper.  Pour this mixture evenly over the Chicken Thighs.

Cook covered for 60 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for 15 more minutes.. The Chicken is done when you cut into it and the juices run clear. Plate, served over the Parsnips. Enjoy!

 

Paleo-friendly Whipped Shortbreads [Gluten-free, Primal, Paleo-friendly] by Alex Boake

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone! I hope everyone has had a relaxing time, filled with family fun and get-togethers. For me, the best part of the season is the excuse to meet up with people who I don't normally have a chance to see through the rest of the year. All the delicious and traditional holiday recipes make the season tasty, and nostalgic.

Last year I didn't really make any Christmas cookies because I wasn't really into baking. However, this year I've been less strict about it, and I had a hankering for some of the recipes of my youth. Now, I wasn't about to go back and make them with wheat flour and refined white sugar, so I took one of them and translated the ingredients to make a more paleo-friendly treat. If you're on the stricter end of the spectrum, these are definitely not the thing for you, because they do have coconut sugar, arrowroot and potato flour. That being said, I think there's a place for some treats over the holidays, so there you have it!

These ended up pretty closely approximating the texture and taste of my family recipe, while omitting the gluten and cornstarch, so I count them as a success! My sister who blogs at Sweet Boake was kind enough to help me out with the styling and photography. Please Note: As tempting as warm cookies may be, make sure you allow them to cool on the pan before you try to eat them, or they will be very fragile and fall apart. If you like eating crumbs, then dive in.

Primal Whipped Shortbreads Makes 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 Lbs Salted Butter at Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup 'Coconut Icing Sugar'*
  • 1 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Potato Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Arrowroot Starch
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

*To make Coconut Icing Sugar, mix just under 1 cup of Coconut Sugar and 3 tsp Arrowroot Starch in a bowl. Put into a food processor, and process until quite fine.

Directions Preheat oven to 275. In a bowl, mix the butter and coconut icing sugar from low to high. Whip on high for 10 minutes until creamy and combined. Whip in the vanilla extract.

In another bowl, mix together the coconut flour, potato flour and arrowroot starch. Whip into the butter mixture a little bit at a time, scraping down the sides as needed. Make sure everything is fully combined with no dry bits.

Drop rounded tablespoon size blobs of the dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. You can fit 12 cookies per sheet, and they won't spread very much. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through the cook time.

Allow to cool on the sheets for at least 5 minutes before removing to kraft paper to cool completely before putting them away. These cookies are crumbly and are best enjoyed with a tall glass of milk of your persuasion, coffee or hot chocolate.

I hope to have more recipes to share once I return from my little vacation to Japan! Look out for photos from my trip on Instagram. I can pretty much promise you that there will be rice involved, but don't be too hard on me. Have a happy New Year everyone!

Society6 Free Shipping and Tote Bag Giveaway by Alex Boake

I recently got a few of my illustrations set up on Society6, mainly because of the awesome feature of being able to have designs on iPod cases, pillows and tote bags. This is pretty good timing, because until November 17th, if you follow any of the promo links in this post, you can get free shipping, and the items should arrive in time for the holiday season. Neat!

From the site: "Our quality crafted Tote Bags are hand sewn in America using durable, yet lightweight, poly poplin fabric. All seams and stress points are double stitched for durability. They are washable, feature original artwork on both sides and a sturdy 1" wide cotton webbing strap for comfortably carrying over your shoulder."

Check out all the bag designs I have here!

In honour of my shop opening, I'm giving away one tote bag to one lucky person. Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below! Contest closes 11/15/2013 at 12:00 AM. Good luck! a Rafflecopter giveaway

21 Day Sugar Detox Book Review and 21DSD Spiced Apple Muffins with Bacon [Paleo, Primal, Gluten-free] by Alex Boake

Currently I'm just over 2 weeks into my very first 'official' 21 Day Sugar Detox, following Diane Sanfilippo's Level 2 version of the program. With her new book as my guide, as well as handy recipe resource, things have been actually going quite smoothly. If I ever have a basic question about what I can or can't eat on the program, I can just flip through the book and find out in seconds. Stumped about what to make for dinner? There's a recipe index...with pictures! Honestly, I'm not sure why all indexes aren't made this way. Diane's really leveled up her photography game with this new baby. You'll be drooling over everything! The book is laid out beautifully. All the information is clear and easy to access so there's never any difficulty finding the information you need. The intro section gives you just enough science to make you believe in what you're going to do for the next 3 weeks, without bogging you down with too much technical stuff. Then, there's meal plans to follow each level of the program. The last half of the book is recipes, which are all adaptable to any level of the program, including modifications for athletes, autoimmune conditions and pescetarians. You could do the whole thing without needing any other resources than this one book (plus ingredients for cooking), and you'd never be bored with what you're eating, there's so much variety! So far my favourite recipe from the book is the Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs. It comes together in minutes, doesn't take long to cook, and creates the most extremely moist and flavourful meal.

I've got one week left to go, and considering that at one point I did a 400 day sugar detox (please don't do this), I think I can tough it out for one more week! Right now the permitted daily green apple and squash taste MAGICAL! It's really quite something. If you're interested in trying it yourself, I wholeheartedly recommend using this book as a guide.

Of course, even though the book has everything you could want, including some not-sweet treats, I did have to venture to make my own recipe. I was inspired by a post from Emma's Paleo, and I decided to adapt it into a little something of my own; Spiced Apple Muffins with Bacon!

If you're not on the detox you will still be able to enjoy these, they just won't seem as sweet as they do to me!

Liz Wolfe Rocks! Cave Girl Eats Illustrations by Alex Boake

I have a lot of really great clients, and I feel super lucky to be able to get to know people through social media, and that people think of little old me when they need some sort of illustration done. One of my extremely cool clients is Liz Wolfe, who is the super funny gal behind the website Cave Girl Eats! I've been lucky enough to do a number of illustrations for Liz, which started way back with the temporary cover I did for her upcoming book, Modern Cave Girl.

Personally, I think I've gotten much better at drawing her cave girl persona, but the above image is at least a year and a half old at this point.

Most of these illustrations were for advertisements for various bundles, which are now over, so I've removed the type as it's no longer relevant. Hope you enjoy this look at some of the work I've done for Liz!

If you're familiar with Liz, you obviously know that she does a fantastic podcast over at Balanced Bites! If you somehow haven't heard it yet, definitely take the time to check it out.

Skin troubles? Look no further than the Skintervention Guide!

I also can't forget to mention the cool series of shirts I designed under her direction, the Real Food Love apparel! Check our her store to see all the designs and perhaps purchase some?!

Recently Liz has begun her homesteading adventures, and you can follow her on Facebook or Instagram to get the latest scoop on what animal is eating whose poop, and what her adorable goats are climbing on.

 Here's a funky chicken to see you off. Until next time!

Fermented: A Four Season Approach to Paleo Probiotic Foods [Book Review] by Alex Boake

Fermented is the recently-released book by Jill Ciciarelli, who runs the blog First Comes Health. It is an all encompassing guide on how to ferment different foods, all through the year. It shows you how you can preserve the bounty of each season, and the methods she presents actually enhance the foods as well, turning them into probiotic powerhouses! The book is cleanly laid out with vibrant photography by Bill Staley. Shot against white backdrops with perfect colour balance, it shows you how pretty pickles, kimchee, kombucha--and whatever other fermented foods you might imagine--can be. There are no frills or extra props to be found in the styling, but it's a presentation that really works for this subject matter.

The instructions are easy to follow, and she shows you different ways you can make the process foolproof. Even those with the so-called 'black thumb' will succeed with this book! Believe, me, I know. I've failed at fermentation so many times, that I was almost scared to make something from this book. That being the case, I picked something basic: pickles! Making the brine was easy, and preparing my cucumbers was a snap. Being nervous, I used an air lock, which I highly suggest if you're not one to monitor your projects daily. In about two weeks I had finally succeeded in making pickles! They had great crunch and a lovely flavour...just like real pickles!

With that accomplishment, and this book, I feel prepared to tackle other fermentation projects in the future. I highly recommend it for anyone who feels intimidated by the process, and wants clear step-by-step instructions. Additionally, it's a beautiful book that deserves a spot on your cookbook shelf!

Order your copy now!

Greek Salad [Primal and Gluten-free] by Alex Boake

Last winter I had the incredible experience of traveling to Greece. We stayed mainly in Athens and made day trips out to different locations, such as Delphi and Olympus. Our guide Betty was fantastic and animated, with a wealth of knowledge about each and every destination. She also made sure we had access to excellent family-owned restaurants, and helped me to navigate menus so that I could eat safely without fear of gluten. One of our staples, other than Tzatziki, was the Greek Salad. Always with fresh and tasty ingredients, we had one with almost every meal--even breakfast! Whereas in North America, Greek Salad typically contains lettuce, in Greece you will never find lettuce in your salad, except maybe if you are in a very touristy area. This recipe is flexible, and can be adjusted based on your preferences. If you don't like raw onions or peppers, just leave them out! If you don't like olives, you're probably crazy, but you can omit them! Don't do dairy? Leave out the feta! You can just use good quality olive oil and lemon for the dressing, but I've also included a more elaborate dressing as well.

Greek Salad Lots of Fresh Tomatoes, cut into chunks Lots of Cucumbers, cut into chunks Some Red Onion, thinly sliced Some Green Pepper, thinly sliced Handful of Kalamata Olives, pitted or un-pitted (just warn people!)  Wedge of Feta Cheese (try to source good quality Greek or Bulgarian sheep's milk Feta) Dried Oregano, to sprinkle on top

Dressing 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 tsp Garlic, crushed 1 tsp Fresh Oregano, minced 1 tsp Dried Basil 1/2 tsp Black Pepper 1/2 tsp Sea Salt 1 tsp Dijon Mustard 2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice 1/2 Cup Red Wine Vinegar

Add ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake vigorously to combine. Pour over chopped vegetables and toss to combine. Cut feta into chunks and add to the salad, or cut a slice for each person and add one to each individual serving.

 

The Paleo Chocolate Lover's Cookbook Reviewed by Alex Boake

Let me begin by saying that I am a massive chocoholic. With that in mind, you can picture how excited I was when I opened up the package containing this lovely book by Kelly, who writes the blog, The Spunky Coconut. To be honest, I've been reading her blog since I first switched over to Paleo, and have always marveled at her delicious and allergen sensitive treats. This book takes all that deliciousness and wraps it up in one beautifully-designed-and-photographed package. Also, it really doesn't hurt that every single recipe, from brownies, to truffles, to chili...contains chocolate! The second taskafter drooling over all the chocolaty choiceswas to hand the book over to my sister, Sweet Boake, and have her narrow down the short list of recipes to test. As much as I love chocolate, I just can't handle having too much on hand! We decided to go with the Macadamia Nut Brownies. Kelly mentions you can substitute any nut butter for the macadamia cashew butter from the recipe, which was good, since I couldn't find any and didn't want to hit too many stores. We ended up using almond hazelnut butter, and it made just as delicious and delightful brownies as the original option, I imagine!

Check out Sweet Boake for her review, and more pictures!

There's also a great section in the front all about buying sustainable and fair-trade chocolate, which is a must, as there are a lot of problems in the chocolate industry in regards to unethical labour. When you purchase low quality chocolate, you're supporting sub-par cacao harvesting conditions, that's not right! You want to feel good about the work that goes into your ingredients!

I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves chocolate, and enjoys occasional grain-free treats in their life. There's a small section at the back that has more savory and main course dishes, which is a great bonus, but I wouldn't recommend the book to someone who never does any baking or who avoids 'Paleo treats'. Definitely would be a fantastic gift for any aspiring baker in your family!

It's currently available for pre-order, and will be released on October 1st.

Organic Week 2013 by Alex Boake

Alex_Boake_Clean141.jpg

It's Organic Week in Canada! It's the perfect opportunity to find a local event and educate yourself about the benefits of buying organic produce and products. Generally, I try to buy mostly organic produce, especially on things where I'm going to eat the skin, however sometimes the budget just doesn't allow for buying everything organic. In that scenario, you just have to do the best you can...and follow the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fourteen! Yes, I know it's Clean Fifteen technically, but Sweet Corn is on that list and due to GMO concerns, I believe only organic corn should be consumed, if any. Last year I did up some illustrations to give a visual representation of these lists, but I never posted them on my blog. To remedy that fact, here they are!

 If you're in Canada, make sure you check out the Organic Week website to see if there's an event near you.

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.

 

Couve a Mineira (Brazilian Collard Greens) by Alex Boake

Last month between Otakon and The Ancestral Health Symposium, I had the lucky chance to stay with Russ and his family for a few days, and we were able to cook up a few collaborative dishes while I was there visiting. You're probably already familiar with his awesome recipes from over on his blog, The Domestic Man. We paired this along with some meat courtesy of US Wellness Meats who were kind enough to ship some samples in time for my visit. You're going to have to wait on that; we're going to give you the details on that later. For now...the greens! Check out Russ' post for the awesome photos and the historical background of this traditional Brazilian dish, Couve a Mineira.

 Keep your eye out for more collaborations between us in the future! Of course, if for some reason you're not following Russ already, check out The Domestic Man on Facebook and Twitter so you don't miss his recipes.

Beyond Bacon Book Review by Alex Boake

For a lot of people pork falls into two categories: Torturous dry pork chops and delicious crispy bacon. However, pork is so much more than that, as Stacy and Matt show in their wonderful new book, Beyond Bacon. It takes the focus off of one part of the animal and shows you how to take each and every part, cook it properly and make it delightful! You can learn how to render your own lard, make porchetta, cure bacon, smoke pork belly, break down a head for head cheese and even make brownies, biscotti and ice cream. Holy pig!

There was much anticipation surrounding the release of this book, and I have to say it's very justified. Beyond Bacon is a complete package looks-wise; from the lovely design work, including the hand-rendered chalk typography and illustrated cover by CJ Hughes, to the yummy food styling (seriously, they make head cheese look DAMN GOOD!), captured by the lovely photography of Aimee Buxton. However, it's not just about looks here: Stacy and Matt walk you through everything you need to know to order your own pastured hog! How to pick the right parts and decipher a cut sheet are essential tools that are included in this book. They show you how to talk the talk and walk the walk in the land of pastured pork goodness. This book could successfully change peoples' perception of pork for the better!

I was overwhelmed by the number of recipes I wanted to try, and managed to select a few to start with. Rendering my own lard was super simple when following the instructions in the book. The Bacon Salted Caramel Sauce was a hit with my family, when drizzled over ice cream-topped 'The Best Brownies'! Plus, I know I'll never again have to suffer a dry pork chop after learning the foolproof cooking technique as described in Stacy and Matt's excellent cookbook.

This delicious photo is courtesy of my sister who blogs over at Sweet Boake, and is an expert at baking and food photography!

Even if you're not interested in ordering a whole pig, this book could still be for you! There's plenty of chops, belly and bacon to tide over less adventurous eaters, PLUS a robust treats section. Hey, once you're hooked on the basics, who knows if you'll be wanting to check out the more adventurous bits pretty soon...hey, it can't be that offal! ; )

In short; if you like pork, and you like cookbooks that are well-designed and thoughtful, you should DEFINITELY order this book!

Dark Chocolate Roast Garlic Primal Ice Cream by Alex Boake

The other day I was at the Dufferin Grove Farmer's Market in Toronto and I was looking at the table with all the pamphlets for local events when one just so happened to catch my eye. It was for the Toronto Garlic Festival, and it was printed up with 6 different recipes to promote Garlic consumption. The recipe that really stood out for me was the one about an ice cream with dark chocolate and...roasted garlic? Hey, I mean, I'm a fan of both of those ingredients, so out of sheer curiosity, I decided to make it, with some modifications to make it Primal-friendly. I also enlisted my sister, who blogs at Sweet Boake, to help me out! It came together very easily, and after processing it in the ice cream maker and freezing it, the time for the taste test was nigh. Well, let's say that it passed the test! The garlic flavour complimented the sweetness and richness of the dark chocolate, and wasn't overpowering at all. Definitely try this out if you're a garlic fan! I'm calling this the Anti-Count Chocula Ice Cream, for all your stealthy vampire-slaying needs!

I'm trying out a more painterly style in my illustration these days, let me know what you think!

Dark Chocolate Roast Garlic Primal Ice Cream Makes 6+ servings

  • 100 g Organic Dark Chocolate, chopped
  • 3 cups Organic 10% Cream
  • 6 Organic Egg Yolks
  • 5 tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 4 Cloves Roast Garlic, mashed

Wrap one head of garlic in tinfoil with some olive oil. Place in your toaster oven at 400 degrees and bake for 40 minutes. Place chopped chocolate and 1 cup of the cream in a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk until chocolate has melted. Add the remaining cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from heat.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk egg yolks until pale yellow. If your coconut sugar is clumpy or coarse, pulse in a food processor first to refine it. Add the sugar to the eggs and whisk until incorporated.

Slowly add 1/3 of the cream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. This is to temper the eggs. Pour the rest of the cream slowly into the egg mixture, whisk to combine. Then pour back into the saucepan and place over low heat, stirring occasionally until it thickens slightly, at which point it should reach 175 degrees F. Add the 4 cloves of garlic. Pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool. Refrigerate for 8 hours or more.

Pour into an ice cream maker and process for 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately for a soft-serve consistency, or place in an air tight container and freeze. Enjoy!

You can use the leftover garlic to make my Whipped Cauliflower with Roast Garlic, and I suspect that you could make this Dairy-free if you substituted light Coconut Milk for the cream.

Be sure to check out my sister's post for her AWESOME pictures!

Peter's Strictly Paleo...ish Thai Shrimp Soup (Paleo, Primal, Gluten-free) by Alex Boake

The latest swap comes from another friend Paleo friend who I met mostly through Twitter. Though, perhaps it would be more accurate to call Peter a Paleo..ish friend, because he blogs over at Strictly Paleo...ish!; which is a mindset I can get behind. Though most of my friends are 'international' because I'm Canadian, and everyone seems to be from the United States, Peter hails all the way from Sweden! He comments in his profile that English is not his first language, but you've never know from his eloquent and thoughtful blog posts and clear recipe instructions. A very kind and supportive guy who always has a nice Tweet for everyone, he also has some very cool and tasty recipes. We were in Thailand for my last recipe trade, and we haven't left yet! When choosing this time I was thinking that I wanted to do one of my more classic illustrations rather than a step-by-step, so I specifically wanted something that had ingredients would look beautiful when composed. Then I spotted the Thai Style Shrimp Soup. Not only does it have fresh and colourful ingredients, it's also something I never fail to order when I go out for Thai food. Making it at home couldn't have been easier, and Peter's version had all the authentic flavours.

Thai Style Shrimp Soup Serves 6 as a main course

  • 4 Cups (1L) unsalted Chicken Broth (preferably homemade)
  • 2 Cans Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 Cups (350g) white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Cups (500g) cooked Shrimp tails, peeled
  • 3 Chinese Eggplants, 1/2 inch sliced
  • 3 Lemongrass stalks
  • 3 tbsp minced Ginger
  • Finely grated zest from 3 Limes
  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh Thai Basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 Bird's Eye Chilis, de-seeded and finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350. Roast eggplant until softened, and set aside. While they are roasting,  peel and cook the Shrimp in a bit of coconut oil if you're not using pre-cooked peeled shrimp.

In a large pot, heat up the coconut oil to medium-high. Crush the lemongrass stalks and let cook in the coconut oil for 5 minutes to infuse the oils with flavour.

Toss in the lime zest and then add the chicken stock. Add 1 tbsp of fish sauce, the minced ginger and the minced garlic, then bring the mixture to a gentle boil.

Let simmer for 10 minutes, then strain out the lemongrass stocks and any large chunks of ginger. After add the coconut milk, and bring up the heat again.

Add the sliced mushrooms, eggplant and green onions, giving them a bit of time to heat up. Stir in the rest of the fish sauce and the lime juice.

Add the shrimp, then remove the pot from the heat and let stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

Serve in bowls, sprinkled with sliced chili to taste and a generous amount of chopped Thai basil.

Check out Peter's version of this recipe over here on his site, as well as his lovely photograph that inspired me to do my illustration. He's also posting his version of one of my recipes over on his blog today, which you should definitely check out as well! Like I mentioned, he's also a great Twitterer, so check him out there too.

Hope you've enjoyed the latest installment of my recipe trade series. The next one coming up will be an adapted traditional recipe from my Greek travels. See you soon!

Kind Organics Unquestionably Raw Chocolate Labels by Alex Boake

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm now a member of the Kind Organics team; a local farm based out of Newmarket, which is north of Toronto. They're a certified bio-dynamic farm, and they sell awesome sprouts, salad blends, leafy greens, kombucha, kefir, herbs, teas, tinctures...they've got it all! In addition to that, they are incredibly nice people. You can find them at many farmer's markets in downtown Toronto, the GTA, and outside of the city. One of our first projects together was to do some illustrations for their chocolate labels. Partnering with Chocosol, they combine their organic herbs and mushrooms with the raw, fair trade chocolate, to create these beautiful and delicious chocolate bars. So unique, you won't find anything else quite like them! The task was to create an illustration for each flavour that would represent the taste and ingredients. Here's what we came up with!

A rainbow of flavours! Each one different from the next. I have to say that the Cosmic and the Flower Power are probably my favourite.

Let's have a closer look at the illustrations! Click to enlarge. Pretty nice, huh?! It's difficult to play favourites, but I like the Flower Power a lot. In a display the colours pop, and there's enough detail to make you want to take a closer look. Plus, who puts a chocolate bar down once they're that committed? Especially since it's fair trade and soy-free? Bingo!

You can find these locally from Kind Organics at farmer's markets, and in a couple health food stores in Toronto. Plus, we're giving away a full set over at Sex, Food and Kettlebells! Pop on over HERE to enter!

Meatified's Thai Mini Meatballs [Paleo, Primal, Gluten-free] by Alex Boake

As you may have noticed, I've been doing a lot of recipe trades lately. It's a fantastic way to meet new friends and also have a good excuse to try other people's tasty dishes. I really can't complain, since everyone in the community seems to have awesome recipe crafting skills! My latest trade is with Rach over at Meatified. We met through Twitter! Her clean photography style is really appealing to me, and her recipes are inspired but not overwrought--nice! I was looking for something speedy and delicious, so her recipe for Thai Mini Meatballs really caught my eye. Plus, since we have a surplus of ground beef in the fridge, I can always use another recipe in my arsenal that uses it as the main ingredient! I pretty much followed her instructions exactly, except I switched up the curry pastes because my siblings have milder taste buds. Check it out!

There you have it! Comes together easily and cooks super fast! This got rave reviews from my family; we couldn't stop eating them. They would definitely go over well as a party appetizer with toothpicks, and no one would even know they were 'eating Paleo'! Ka-ching!

Be sure to check out more of her tasty recipes over on her blog. Today she's posted her version of one of my recipes and she made it look super professional and drool-worthy! She's also on Facebook and Twitter if you want even more ways to connect. : )

PF Chang's Even Better Paleo Lemon Chicken by Alex Boake

Last week I got a message from Matt and Stacy of Paleo Parents fame, asking if I wanted to participate in a PF Chang's Recreation Round-Up. I've been to the restaurant a couple times before, and have always found their dishes delicious and their gluten-free menu gives me peace of mind. However, I'm even more sensitive to industrial oils than I am to gluten, so it's not a place that I go to often. However, given the chance to participate in recreating one of my favourite dishes was a chance I wasn't going to pass up! My pick was the sweet and tart Philllip's Better Lemon Chicken. I'm calling my spin Even Better Paleo Lemon Chicken!  Free of grains and industrial oils, you'll know exactly what's going into this dish; and it's GOOD! A perfect balance of tang and sweetness, it was a big hit with my family. The technique I used to make the Chicken part of the recipe is inspired by The Domestic Man's Chicken Nuggets.

Now, I know my specialty is illustrated recipes, but this time I felt like I wanted to photograph the dish and embellish it with an illustrated border. To be honest, I don't like drawing raw chicken.  : P

PF Chang's Even Better Paleo Lemon Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2.5 Lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup Gluten-Free Tamari Sauce or Coconut Aminos
  • 2 Organic Eggs, Beaten
  • 1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper

Sauce Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Large Lemons, Sliced Thinly
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 7 Tbsp Coconut Sugar, or to taste
  • 1/4 Cup plus 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Tapioca Flour plus 2 Tbsp Water

Directions

Take the boneless, skinless Chicken and remove any extra fat or gristle, if needed.  Slice into 1/4 inch slices, striving for uniform thickness. Place into a plastic bag and marinate with the 1/2 cup Lemon Juice and 1/4 cup Tamari or Coconut Aminos. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Pour off some of the extra liquid, and then add the beaten eggs. Mix and let sit for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the Tapioca and Coconut Flour, the Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper. Pour off a bit more of the liquid from the Chicken, and then add the coating to the bag, squishing it until evenly distributed. Let sit for 5 minutes.

While it's sitting, in a pan, heat up some fat and cook the Lemon slices for about a minute. Then add the Chicken Broth, Coconut Sugar and Lemon Juice and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Once the lemon slices are breaking down a bit, in a separate bowl combine the Tapioca Flour and Water, mixing well. Add to the sauce, slowly, whisking continuously. Cook on medium, allowing it to bubble and thicken. Taste, and add more Coconut Sugar if too tart, or more Lemon Juice if too sweet. Set aside, and keep warm.

Now, taking a large pan, heat up some fat, ideally Coconut Oil, and bring to medium high heat. Add the coated chicken to the pan, making sure not to crowd them. Cook on both sides until golden and done through. It took about 4 lifts to do all of ours, but we used two pans so it took half the time. Replenish the cooking oil as needed. You can hold the cooked pieces in an oven heated to 200 until you're done cooking the rest.

To serve, make sure the sauce is hot, and then strain out the lemon slices. In a large bowl,  mix with the cooked coated Chicken. Works great family style with a large serving spoon in the middle of the table! Would be excellent over rice, if you do safe starches, or cauliflower rice if you don't! Also, you could steam a bunch of Broccoli and toss it together to add some greenery. Plenty of options!

 Enjoy, and make sure to check out all the rest of the recipes in this tasty round-up!

Paleo Sweet Potato Chili with Beef and Red Peppers [Legume-free, Gluten-free, Paleo] by Alex Boake

This recipe is one that I dreamed up specifically to serve with the Bacon Jalapeno Bread I posted last week. Thinking that it would be perfect with a rich and textural Chili sauce...and it was! They complimented each other perfectly. Plus, I was able to throw this together in the morning and focus on the baking before dinner without getting distracted by multitasking. This is delicious, and you'll definitely love it! The extras freeze wonderfully, and it tastes even better the next day as leftovers. Yes, it's another step-by-step recipe! I'm mostly switching to this format now after all the positive feedback. Cheers!

Brent and Heather's Bacon Jalapeno Bread [Gluten-free, Paleo and Primal friendly] by Alex Boake

Like I mentioned, I've been taking on some recipe trades lately to get things flowing. My latest effort on that attempt is this beauty! It comes from Brent and Heather over at Virginia is for Hunter Gatherers. I became aware of them through Russ, The Domestic Man. They have tons of delicious-looking recipes, with tasty photos! It was a bit tough to decide which recipe I should pick. Well, that's not entirely true, this one was a definite stand-out for me! Even the name is enticing: Bacon Jalapeno Bread. I must say that I didn't pick wrong; this bread was awesome, and paired perfectly with the slow cooker Chili I whipped up for the occasion. (I'll post that recipe soon.) Just a couple of tweaks on my end, like adding a bit of tapioca flour which I find improves the texture in 'Paleo' baked goods, and adding parchment paper for easier removal from the pan.

Well, enough blabbing, check it out! Click for full size!

Make sure you go and check out some more of Brent and Heather's recipes. Hope you enjoy it!