Dabbling in the paleo lifestyle

I’m still a bit of a novice when it comes to clean eating and I think we all know cheese and wine are my weaknesses. I get my inspiration from all over the place  but it’s no secret that I’m a massive Merrymaker Sisters fan. These girls create easy, healthy, delicious paleo recipes – I’m still waiting for my first recipe fail cause so far, they’ve all been awesome.

Most are husband approved. Some are a little more out there (he just won’t go for desserts with avocado in them) but I personally have loved every single one. I’m not gonna lie – making many of these recipes does cost more than creating ‘regular’ foods but for the health and wellbeing benefits, I think it’s worth every penny (or should I say ‘cent’ now I’m back in Australia.)

These girls really know their stuff. Their first eBook ‘Let’s eat Paleo’ was the first eBook I ever bought. I’ve made loads of stuff from it and especially loved the raw snickers cake which I’ve talked about in earlier blogs. More recently, they released a series of little eBooks – ‘Make your kids party paleo’ ‘Make it sweet – minus the sugar’ ‘Make your bread paleo’ and ‘Make your salad paleo’.

I’m a little late to this party – they released the first three back when I was in the UK. I wasn’t able to trial any of the recipes then because I was on a strict ‘use everything that’s left in the pantry’ diet. Boy did I make some interesting concoctions in that time. None will ever beat the mess I made when we left Canberra for London – beef mince, fish sauce, tomato paste, beef stock, mixed herbs… it was revolting!

But I digress. The point of this blog post is all about clean eating and if you’re looking for some healthy eating inspiration or just a few new recipes to try, this is the blog post for you. I’m currently eating my way through these four eBooks and here are some of my highlights so far.

Make it sweet – minus the sugar

Make it Sweet Minus the Sugar

Raw mocha cake. Yum. If you’re currently screwing your face up at the prospect of eating a raw cake, just un-scrunch that nose and pay attention. I repeat. Yum. Imagine a cheesecake. It’s just like that, only with no cream cheese in it which automatically rings alarm bells with some people (I’m thinking of one husband in particular). Still delicious and creamy, the added bonus of coffee (hooray for a coffee addict like me!) and the added benefit of being able to eat it without feeling guilty. Next time I would add more coffee but apart from that, it’s a winner. I like that you can freeze it so nothing goes to waste and there’s always a yummy, clean cake waiting for you when that sweet craving strikes.

Cake that takes delicious which you can eat, minus the guilt - YES! Image by lifelovetravelfood
Cake that takes delicious which you can eat, minus the guilt – YES!
Image by lifelovetravelfood

Raw raspberry coconut tarts. As long as you’re not expecting them to be exactly like the sugar packed, wheat heavy tarts you get in a bakery then you’re good to go. These are nice and tart thanks to the lemon and raspberry combo and I think the filling tastes like raspberry mousse. Tasty!

Sorry to repeat the same pic I posted last month! Topped with paleo chocolate too. Image by lifelovetravelfood
Sorry to repeat the same pic I posted last month! Topped with paleo chocolate too.
Image by lifelovetravelfood

Paleo chocolate. YUM. This stuff is almost as good as the real thing. So rich, delicious and simple,  I like to make lots and freeze them. I am perfectly happy to have one (or two… or sometimes three, don’t judge me) instead of the store bought stuff. When I first made this and drizzled it on top of a paleo cake, my sister didn’t believe me when I said the chocolate was paleo too. Winner!

Delicious chocolately goodness. Image by lifelovetravelfood
Delicious chocolately goodness.
Image by lifelovetravelfood

Make your kids party paleo

Make your kids party paleo

Kale chips. These are, surprisingly, husband approved. He will happily crunch away on these and it still amazes me that he likes them! I’m not 100% sure if I could get kids to eat them but if I test them on my nephew and he goes for them, I’ll be sure to let you know.

My tip for these is to dry them really well. There’s nothing worse than soggy kale chips! Spread them evenly on a baking tray so they don’t touch (again, to avoid soggy chips) and play around with the flavours. Some of my favourites are smoked paprika; salt and vinegar; and chilli and lime. Yum!

Husband approved, I'm not joking! Image by lifelovetravelfood
Husband approved, I’m not joking!
Image by lifelovetravelfood

Paleo lollies. My nephew loved these! Made with fresh pureed strawberries and raspberries (but frozen fruit is fine to use too) these are super yummy. I prefer to use rice malt syrup rather than stevia because I personally don’t like the taste of stevia. I had a mega fail the first time I made these as I used fresh lemon juice and did NOT add enough sweetener. Plus be sure to measure correctly otherwise they’re a little soft and will melt everywhere if the eater (i.e. a two year old nephew) isn’t one to gobble it down in one hit. It’s nice to be able to offer him a sweet treat and say yes to him having another one without the risk of him bouncing off the walls from too much sugar.

A little less than perfect looking but super yummy. Image by lifelovetravelfood
A little less than perfect looking but super yummy.
Image by lifelovetravelfood

Make your bread paleo

Make your bread paleo

Sundried tomato, pinenut and herb bread. My first thought when I read the ingredients for this bread was, ‘HOW many eggs does it need?!’ Yes, it has a fair amount of eggs in it but the girls offer a tip that if you’re not in love with the eggy-ness, add some herbs to balance the flavours. To mine, I added dried rosemary which gave my bread a Mediterranean flavour.

If you’re expecting the texture of ‘real’ bread, don’t. This isn’t like a regular loaf but how could it be when there’s no wheat flour or gluten? It’s a lot more dense but to me, it means I eat less of it and it lasts a lot longer than I was expecting. Also don’t try and put it in the toaster – not gonna happen. Use a sandwich press to toast it slightly and then the butter (pure butter people, none of this chemically margarine rubbish) melts all the way through – mmm!

Bread! Super yummy, packed full of flavour and no tummy ache afterwards! Image by lifelovetravelfood
Bread! Super yummy, packed full of flavour and no tummy ache afterwards!
Image by lifelovetravelfood

I’m interested to try making the bread rolls next. This is one thing I do miss since cutting out gluten and wheat, plus they look super yummy so perhaps that will be my next cooking adventure!

Make your salad paleo

Make your salad paleo

This is the new eBook in the Merrymaker collection. Hot off the press and packed with delicious salads. I’ve not explored this book as much as the others but I’m keen to get into it as I do get a bit repetitive with the salads I make. I’m also really excited to try the paleo mayonnaise! See what I mean?! These girls make MAYO paleo and that is just awesome in my mind.

Bacon and roasted sweet potato salad. How can anyone say no to a salad with bacon in it? The trick to getting boys to eat paleo, is adding bacon. This will immediately distract them from the fact that it’s sweet potato, not regular potato or that it has a vinaigrette dressing rather than a heavy sauce. Annoyingly, when I made this salad I forgot to take a photo – I know, I don’t know WHAT I was thinking! I took it to a friends bbq and it went down a treat! Definite winner.

– – –

All these eBooks are available through the Merrymaker Sisters website. You can buy just one, or a bundle pack and get all four. Plus they’re really reasonably priced (and everyone knows I love a bargain) which is an even bigger plus!

And just in case you’re wondering, I have not been paid for this post. All opinions are my own and I wrote this post simply because I wanted to share the talents of two girls whose recipes have truly made a positive impact on my life. For the second year running, I am having a paleo birthday cake. That’s how much I love their recipes.

And one more thing –  no, I’m not paleo. I often cook paleo recipes because they’re simple and delicious however I still eat some grains like oats, some dairy and occasionally include corn and potatoes in my diet. I eat what feels good to my body and think it’s very important for everyone to discover what your body reacts to. Everyone is different! Happy healthy cooking!

Dan x

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2 thoughts on “Dabbling in the paleo lifestyle

  1. Wow Dan, looks like you’ve been baking up a storm! I’ve also tried making paleo foods like the merrymaker’s nachos, meache, raw choc and raspberry cake and a few other of their recipes – all of them also husband approved, ha ha. I love their recipes too – so healthy and wholesome and absolutely delish 🙂 Thanks for sharing, x

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    1. Gina, YOU are the reason behind my Merrymaker discovery! I saw a pic of your nachos forever ago, which is how I came to my Merrymaker obsession : ) Friday night I’m cooking my first 100% paleo dinner party menu! The Merrymaker Sisters feature in main and dessert! I’ll be sure to blog about it! Thanks for reading my lil blog too btw!! xx

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