Lamb Breast with Rosemary, Garlic & Verjuice

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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.

Source: http://topinfopost.com/2014/05/12/top-5-regrets-people-make-on-their-deathbed

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.

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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

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Salad Daze at Balmoral Beach

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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

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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

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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.