Lamb Breast with Rosemary, Garlic & Verjuice


In today’s press I read that despite netting $1.3 billion (that’s right, billion as with a ‘B’) from the sale of Minecraft, its creator Marcus Persson is not that happy. I have been interested in the subject of happiness and personal fulfilment and it comes as no surprise to me that money does not necessarily buy happiness.

Up to a certain point – where you have enough for health, shelter, food and don’t have to worry about these things – having extra does not make you happier. In Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Yuval Harari argues that modern humans are not significantly happier than prehistoric people, despite having more baubles and trinkets. Indeed, there are many reasons to think that modern humans are less happy: we have too much choice, and too much exposure via the internet which enables us to see how much less attractive we are compared to the most genetically gifted people in the world, which is needlessly depressing. Many modern ‘battery humans’ spend the large majority of our waking hours with people we don’t really like, doing jobs we don’t care for, in a cubicle not large enough to swing a cat, under fluorescent light all day.

In the hunter-gathering society, wealth was shared. A bountiful day of hunting might yield a bison – woo hoo! – far too much food for one or even two people to eat before it spoiled, so it was shared among the tribe. Everyone went to sleep with a full tummy, and next time when you weren’t so lucky with the spear, someone else would share their food with you. But in a world where wealth is individually hoarded, one person gets an incredible bounty (in this case, Marcus Persson), so he has all this spare time but no one to spend it with, as all his family and friends and too busy trying to make enough for themselves.

So what makes us happy?

A nurse who worked in palliative care wrote about the top 5 regrets of her dying patients, and two in particular resonated with me. She writes:

I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.


What I love about this lamb breast recipe is that it takes 5 minutes prep, then 2 hours of hands-off time during which you can go out and do something that makes you happy, whether it be taking a walk to your local playground and swing and climb like a kid, or go visit some family or friends instead of just checking out what they’ve been up to via facebook. Personally I love swimming in natural waterholes and taking my gymnastic rings to the park and hanging upsidedown. Lamb breast (also known as lamb ribs) are my favourite cut, with the added bonus of being very economical (around $6-7/kg). Most of the fat renders out during cooking and what’s left is absolutely delicious.

2 lamb breasts (approximately 1-1.1kg each)
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
cooking salt, 1½ tsp
olive oil
4 sprigs of rosemary, leaves stripped
verjuice (or apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or lemon juice)

Pound the garlic, rosemary and salt until the garlic is crushed; it does not need to be perfectly smooth. Add a drizzle of olive oil to make a paste. Rub some of the garlic paste on the underside of the lamb (the bony side), then turn right side up and rub on the remaining paste. Place lamb in a foil-lined baking tray and bake in a preheated oven 140°C for 2 hrs. I place a dish of water in the oven to prevent the lamb from drying out. Just before serving, sprinkle some verjuice over the lamb. It needs a bit of acidity helps to cut through the unctuousness of this cut.
Serves 4-5


Salad Daze at Balmoral Beach


We had just laid out our picnic spread and I overheard a passerby comment on how good our salad looked, which made me pleased as punch because it was a posh suburb and they obviously have high standards there.

Sometimes cookbook authors say, “Now don’t let the long list of ingredients deter you …”. Well I usually am deterred by long lists of ingredients but this salad is not so bad as I keep the majority of these ingredients on hand, with rosemary and parsley foraged from the garden (which is a treat because they happen to be the only two edible things out there, aside from aloe but I’ve yet to make anything tasty out of that).

Kale and Roasted Butternut Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Roasted Butternut

  • Butternut squash, peeled and cut into pieces, 400g
  • salt
  • olive oil, light

Rosemary Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Zest and juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil, 25g (2 Tbsp)
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • roasted garlic, 3 cloves, mashed (or 1 small clove of raw garlic, minced)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp honey (optional)

Salad ingredients

  • Kale, baby or adult, 60g
  • Rocket, 30g
  • Baby spinach, 25g
  • Red cabbage, finely shredded, 1 cup
  • flat leaf parsley, 1 small handful, leaves picked
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • Goat cheese (chevre), 60g
  • pumpkin seeds, 3 Tbsp
  • sunflower seeds, 3 Tbsp
  1. Roast butternut squash in preheated 175 deg oven on a baking tray with a little salt and oil until soft. Don’t let it get too mushy. I prefer using butternut over other pumpkins as it tends to hold its shape better when cooked. Allow to cool.
  2. Place all of the dressing ingredients in a jar (except for the honey) and shake. Taste; if too tart, add the honey. If not tart enough, add a little apple cider vinegar.
  3. Place the salad leaves in a bowl together with the butternut and dressing and toss. (Don’t add all of the dressing at once, as you may not need it all and soggy salad is to be abhorred.) Top with the parsley, pecans, goat cheese, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

This salad goes well with roast chicken. If you are taking it on a picnic, bring the dressing separately in a jar, and also bring the seeds separately and add those just before serving.

Mango Lime Chicken


Over the past week, I’ve been lucky enough to spend some quality time with my friends’ kids, and am fascinated by their behaviour. I think the reason I enjoy playing with kids is that they remind me of what life as a grown-up could be like, without cubicles, mortgages and the latest iPhone. Living in the present, every waking moment is an opportunity to play and learn, finding delight in simple things like a handsome seashell, a crab claw, seaweed that squirts water.

I’ve come to realise that I cannot predict what kids will like, and what could send them spiralling, lightning-quick, into a tantie. So when I say that this Mango Lime Chicken (minus the chilli) would be popular with kids, you can be assured that I don’t know what I’m talking about. This dish was created for the Summer Go Paleo menu and freezes well although the asparagus will become a little soft, so if you are going to freeze it, I suggest omitting that. Lemon can be substituted for lime.

Mango Lime Chicken

Makes approx. 5 serves

  • 1.2 kg chicken thigh fillets, diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • Ground cumin, ½Tbsp
  • salt, to taste
  • cooking fat of your choice, such as coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia oil, ghee
  • 1 red bullet chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • coconut cream, 100 grams
  • mango, 290 grams (if not mango season, frozen mango works well)
  • garlic chives, 60 grams
  • asparagus, 2 bunches, chopped into 3cm pieces
  • tapioca starch, 1 Tbsp
  1. Cook onions in a large pot with 2 tsp fat, a tew tablespoons of water and a little salt until water has evaporated and onions are softened and translucent.
  2. Add chicken, cumin, lime juice, chilli, coconut cream and salt. Cook over low to medium heat until chicken is cooked through (takes around 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your chicken pieces). If you have a probe thermometer, cook until 80°. As the chicken cooks, water will be released. When the chicken is cooked, add the asparagus and cook for 1-2 minutes, or until just cooked.
  3. In a small bowl, mix tapioca starch with a little cold water to form a roux and add, along with mango, garlic chives and lime zest. Bring to boil while stirring, then remove from heat. Taste for salt and acidity.

Announcement – Go Paleo closure


Dear customers, we would like to advise that we will not be taking any more orders for meals after Wednesday 5 August 2015.

After thinking long and hard, we have decided to stop operating Go Paleo as there is another project that we want to devote more time to. We want to thank all our customers for your loyal support and patronage, it has been a real pleasure cooking for you and supporting your paleo journey, and we wish you all the best in health, fitness and life. We plan to continue blogging here, sharing recipes and experiences, so do keep in touch.

The last orders will be delivered as normal on Monday 10 August.

The Magic of Mucilage


This post is about okra, a vegetable which is also known by the more romantic name of lady’s fingers, which would be apt if women’s digits were green, hairy and slightly hooked, like witches’ fingers.

Okra are a mucilaginous food which is a natural laxative and is beneficial for the digestive system. (Other mucilaginous foods are flaxseed and chia seed). For more information on why it’s good for you, see here and here.

Okra is in season now and I’ve been seeing beautiful specimens going cheap at my local greengrocer. I have also seen it in asian grocers. Choose ones which are unblemished (dark black patches indicate the withering of age) and firm. If you don’t have any prior experience with okra, don’t do what I did the first time and cook it in a pot of boiling water, unless you want to end up with a pool of inedible slime.

I prefer hot dry cooking for okra and you can eat the okra by itself as a side dish or on top of curries.

Pan-fried Okra

Trim tops off okra and slice into 2 or 3 pieces lengthwise. Pan fry in ghee (or other preferred cooking fat), turning several times, until softened and nicely charred. It takes just a few minutes to cook. Sprinkle a little salt.

okra montage

Gai Lan, Okra and Enoki Stir Fry


  • 1 tablespoon cooking fat of your choice: lard, schmaltz, coconut oil

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 bunch gai larn (chinese kale), washed and cut into 3 inch lengths
  • 200g enoki mushrooms, washed & ends trimmed
  • 3-4 large okra, sliced
  • dry sherry or Shao Xing cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce
  • ¾ tsp sesame oil
  • salt, to taste


  1. Heat fat in a wok or large frying pan. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook until oil is smoking (take care not to burn the garlic).
  2. Add the gai larn, okra, salt and sherry and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the gai larn is nearly done.
  3. Add enoki, soy sauce and sesame oil and cook until gai larn is tender.

Cobb Salad with Garlic Mayo


I’ve been enamoured with the idea of breakfast salads recently and have been enjoying this Cobb Salad virtually every day. I eat it around 11-12 noon and it keeps me going till dinner, and I find it saves a lot of time only having to eat 2 meals per day. The dressing is made with homemade mayo and is so silky and luscious, it is the star of the show. It is a great salad to take on picnics because it doesn’t get soggy. Just pack the dressing separately and add prior to serving.

This salad can be a time-consuming to make all the components from scratch, but is quicker to prepare if you have cooked chicken, bacon and hard-boiled eggs on hand. I like to bake a big batch of chicken marylands and freeze some to use later.

Cobb Salad


  • ⅔ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic (roasted or pressure-cooked)
  • ⅛ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  • 1 medium cos lettuce
  • 1 large handful of rocket
  • Any other herbs you like, such as basil, coriander, watercress
  • Celery, finely diced, 1 stick (optional)
  • Cooked meat (skin-on) from 2 chicken marylands, diced (approx 3 cups)
  • 6 rashers of bacon
  • White wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 avocado, deseeded and sliced
  • 3-4 hardboiled eggs, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • Black pepper, salt


  1. Cook the bacon till crispy. I love using the oven as you don’t need to supervise it very much and when cooked in the frypan it tends to curl up. When bacon is cool, cut into small pieces. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the dressing ingredients. Set aside. (I use cooked or roasted garlic as it is less harsh than raw garlic. A quick way is to trim the top off a full unpeeled head of garlic and cook in the pressure cooker for 5 minutes.)
  3. IMG_3113_cobb_1

  4. Tear the lettuce and greens into bite sized pieces and place into salad bowl. Add chicken (and celery if using) and combine.
  5. cobb_2

  6. Arrange the sliced avocado on top; sprinkle on a little white wine vinegar or lemon juice to prevent browning. Next, add the eggs and bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Just before serving, drizzle the dressing generously over the salad and add the chives.


Paleo Mayo


When I think back to my first attempt at making mayo, my memories are of frustration, a split, oily runny mess, $$$ of oil wasted and swearing never ever to bother with it again. It was not until I came across Melissa Joulwan’s post that I felt sufficiently confident to give it another go.

The great thing about making your own mayonnaise is that you can choose your oil. All of the supermarket mayos are made with non-paleo oils like canola or sunflower oil so make your own mayo if you want to minimise the amount of Omega 6 in your diet. I like to use a light olive oil because it is flavourless (don’t try this recipe using extra virgin olive oil as the taste is too strong and overpowering).

The keys to success are: (a) an immersion blender (ie, stick blender) and (b) room temperature ingredients. I leave the egg (in its shell) and the lemon out at room temperature for several hours (or take them out the night before if you want to be on the safe side). It takes about 5 minutes from whoa to go, and wouldn’t it be sheer hubris of me if I said that I have never had a mayo failure doing it this method, so I won’t say it lest the mayo gods decide to teach me a lesson. I feel rather sad whenever I come across mayo recipes which talk about adding the oil drop by drop. I was once one of those mugs who tried it that way and what a waste of time that was.

Once you’ve made your mayo and revelled in how skillful you are and how delicious it is, what do you do with it? Dollop it on hard boiled eggs, sardines, use it as a base to make all manner of other salad dressings such as ranch, or make the fabulous Cobb Salad which I will post about very soon. It is amazing with crispy baked potato slivers.

Paleo Mayo

  • 1 egg (55g sans shell)
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp (26g) lemon juice (or 20g white wine vinegar)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 244g light olive oil
  1. At least 2 hours before you want to make your mayo, take out the egg and leave at room temperature. I’m assuming your oil is already at room temperature but if not, take that out too.
  2. I use a tall plastic beaker which came with my immersion blender. You want a container that is tall and thin that just fits the head of your blender. Break the egg into the container and beat well with a fork. Add all other ingredients and let them settle, then blend with immersion blender for 20-30 seconds without moving it. Once it thickens up, move the blender slowly up and down, blending until the mayo is smooth, uniform and thick.

Makes around 2 cups (recipe can be halved). Store in fridge.

If you use lemon juice, your mayo will have a lemony flavour which goes well with seafood. For a more neutral mayo, I use white wine vinegar.

Chopped Chicken Liver


I had a yen for pâté recently and remembered bookmarking a recipe by Melissa Joulwan (blogger & author of Well Fed 1 and 2) for Chopped Liver, so decided to give it a go. I love her recipes because Ms Joulwan is not afraid of a good spicing. Apparently chopped liver is a common Jewish side dish, and the saying “What am I, chopped liver?,” spoken in a haughty tone, conveys indignance at being treated as a side dish. Frankly, if someone were going to treat me as a side dish, I’d be happy if it were one as nutrient dense as Chopped Liver. It’s a lot easier to make than pâté and can be made dairy-free (depending on the fat used). The most tedious part was removing the stringy bits from the livers, but with a bit of imagination, the time passes quicker if one pretends one is performing a chicken autopsy.

Chopped liver makes a great breakfast food and would also be perfect for picnics. It reminds me of the kind of food that was recommended for children before people got all weird about organ meat.

I tweaked the original recipe a bit, using schmaltz as the fat. I also added some garlic and a pinch of nutmeg. Instead of the caraway seeds, I would use thyme next time as I wasn’t a big fan of the chewy texture of the caraway seeds.

Chopped Liver

Serves 4

  • 2 – 3 tablespoons rendered chicken fat (schmalz) (or fat of your choice: ghee, lard, duck fat)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chicken stock or water
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 400g chicken livers
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (or caraway seeds)
  • 2 tablespoons brandy (or madeira or sherry)
  • 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Remove stringy veins and sinews from the livers.
  2. In a non-stick frying pan, cook the onion in a bit of the chicken fat over medium heat until softened and browned. I like to add stock or water (around 40ml at a time) which helps with the cooking process. Add the garlic when the onions are almost ready (to avoid burning the garlic).
  3. When the onions have browned and any added liquid has evaporated, remove onions from the pan and set aside. Add more chicken fat to the pan and brown the chicken livers in batches. Brown the first side, undisturbed, for 2 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side until the livers are cooked but remain a little pink in the middle. Remove the livers and deglaze the pan with brandy (or a little stock/water). Let the livers cool.
  4. In a food processor, blend all ingredients until combined but chunky.
  5. Spread into a storage container and chill for an hour before eating.

Serving Suggestions: Serve in baby cos lettuce leaves with a sprinkling of chopped parsley. If you are keto, feel free to up the amount of fat, which will only make it more luscious.

Paleo Pancakes


While browsing the forum on Marks Daily Apple, I came across a 23 page thread on paleo pancakes, specifically, discussing a simple formula for ‘two ingredient’ banana and egg pancakes. Many posters raved that these actually tasted like pancakes, or how the people they cooked them for said they tasted better than regular pancakes. So with 2 ingredients, how could I not give it a try? I quickly digested some of the 23-odd pages of users’ tips, suggestions (“add some tapioca flour”) and cautions (“don’t add coconut flour, makes it chewy”), then made them for breakfast before boot camp, as I figured the pancakes would be great fuel for what promised to be an energising and punishing session with our Olympian trainer Zoe.

Verdict: winner! They were delicious, although there is no mistaking these for regular flour pancakes taste-wise, being more like a banana omelette, and seemed more crepe-like in texture than pancakes. I will definitely keep on making them. My version has more than just two ingredients but it’s not overly taxing to make. Indeed, they are way quicker to whip up than regular pancakes and use only 1 bowl, a fork and spoon in the prep.


Serves 1


  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • blueberries
  • coconut oil (or ghee)
  1. Mash up banana in bowl with a fork. Move them to the side, add 2 eggs and beat. Add spices and combine everything well.
  2. Cook in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. They will be easier to flip if they are not larger than about 9cm in diameter. Place a bit of coconut oil in the pan. I wouldn’t advise using butter as it tends to burn. Spoon the batter into the frying pan and scatter some blueberries on top. Let the pancakes set and turn a nice brown colour before flipping. If you attempt to flip them too soon, they will break up. They don’t need much time at all on the other side, about 10 seconds on the second side.


  • Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and some chopped fresh strawberries.
  • Add 1 heaped tablespoon of almond meal and 1/2 tsp baking powder.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of almond butter.

Bone Broth


The other day, my husband Sean and I were unloading the week’s groceries and I told him not to lift too much in one go, lest he injure himself and not be able to go to the gym. He pointed out how arse-ended that statement was, and I realised how for many of us, the gym is an activity in itself. What I want to be is functionally strong, to train for real life rather than training for the gym. That is one reason I’ve been following the StrongLifts program, which works the posterior chain for functional strength. While the gainz have been slow (especially with the Overhead Press and Barbell Rows), I am steadily getting stronger with the squats, deadlift and bench press, and my thighs are, shall we say, getting more powerful looking.

A few weeks ago, I got it into my head that I wanted to go on a bulk. The aim of a bulk is to support and promote strength gains and muscle growth. But I quickly found that bulking is not as easy as simply eating more food. If only it were as easy as eating an extra scoop or two of gelato and a couple of Tim Tams. You have to eat the right (ie healthy) foods, in certain macronutrient ratios and at certain intervals. I understand now why bodybuilders tend to settle on eating the same thing 6 times a day, because if you think it is hard enough planning, cooking and cleaning up 3 meals a day, it is a right pain doing it 6 times. After a week’s half-hearted attempt, I have now settled on a “clean bulk” or so I tell myself, which doesn’t mean eating clean foods, but just that the calorie surplus is small. Frankly, though, I hate counting calories so don’t have any real idea what I’m eating.

Sometimes in the morning I’m not that hungry but if a girl wants to bulk, a girl’s gotta eat, and I have found that cooking vegetables in bone broth is a quick and easy way to get those veggies in. I’ll put some broth into a bowl, add chopped wombok (chinese cabbage) and microwave it for 2½ minutes. That is sufficient to heat the broth and also cook the veggies.



Instead of wombok, you can also use watercress. I prefer wombok because it has a very long shelf life, refrigerated (as opposed to watercress which goes slimy in a matter of days).

Another great use for bone broth is to cook rice with it. (A bulk without starchy carbs would be really rather hard to do.) Cooking rice in bone broth bumps up its nutrient-density and makes it more tasty. I use a mixture of half long grain jasmine rice and half basmati rice (which has a lower glycaemic index than standard white rice) which is soaked overnight (if I remember, which is rare) or for a couple of hours. Soaking, while not essential, does improve the finished texture of the rice. The soaked rice is then washed until the water runs clear. To 1 cup of rice, add 1⅓ cups bone broth and bring to the boil. Once it boils, turn the heat very low, stir it a bit to dislodge any grains which have stuck to the bottom, put the lid on and set the timer for 14 minutes. Do not open the lid or otherwise interfere with the rice during this time. When the time is up, take the pot off the heat and let sit for 5 to 15 minutes.

Further Reading

Mark Sisson on ways to integrate physical movement with utility, meaning and purpose