Friday, 23 November 2012

Chicken casserole with a Spanish twist.

The use of chorizo and paprika lend a real warmth to this dish. It's a big, bold tasting mix of meat and vegetables that will fight off those winter chills.

400g chicken, cubed.
200g chorizo cubed.
2 big sweet peppers.
2 medium courgettes (Zucchini if you are enjoying thanksgiving).
2 medium onions.
1can tomatoes.
400g passata.
2 tbsp Smoked paprika
2 tbsp basil.
1 tbsp oregano.
1 tsp chilli flakes.
1/2 tsp turmeric.
Salt & pepper.

Place the peppers, onions and courgettes in an oven dish and roast on high for 20 minutes until you have some nice browning. (I do mine in a griddle pan because its quicker).

While that's going, add a little fat to a heavy casserole dish on the hob and start frying the chorizo.

When that lovely red colour starts bleeding out, add the seasoned chicken and brown.

Now, add in all the roasted veg and the spices, stir in passata and tomatoes. (add half a can of water if it looks too dry).

Throw it in the oven and cook at 120 C for an hour or so. (Or tip it in the slow cooker for 6)

Dish up and enjoy!  It'll serve 4 greedy adults easily!


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Paleo crisps/chips

There's always a time when you want a bowl of crunchy, savoury chips to munch on. Usually when you're watching the footy or a film and indulging that inner couch potato.

Now, I wouldn't recommend eating these all the time as our bodies need better quality fuel, but they're a much better alternative to the chemical and transfat laden rubbish that are usually on sale.


A Cassava
A deep pan of beef tallow/dripping
Sea salt
Liquid smoke


Peel the cassava then slice thinly on a mandolin (Or with a knife if you have the skill).

Heat the fat, throw in the slices, take out and drain when golden brown.

Spray a little liquid smoke on them and sprinkle a little salt over, shake up and serve.

They're also nice with smoked paprika and salt too.

Happy munching.


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Garlic and Rosemary Lamb Chops

I love lamb. Whether its a whole leg for Sunday roast, a shoulder cooked as Mechoui, neck fillet rubbed with ras al hanouf and barbecued as kebabs...Lamb is one of the most delicious, versatile meats.

I'm sure some Kiwis out there will disagree, but grass fed, Welsh lamb is without doubt, the absolute finest you will ever get.
There are two constants in my culinary life, and they are Hereford beef and Welsh lamb. Nothing else ever tastes quite as good.

Now, I love mint with lamb, but with variety being the spice of life, I decided to try for a different flavour, one that works well on a leg, garlic and rosemary (with a cameo from thyme and mint, just because I had some in the garden).
Ingredients (serves 2)
4 lamb chops.
4 inch sprig of rosemary.
1 large clove of garlic.
2 mint leaves.
A little thyme.
Butter or oil.

Strip the rosemary leaves into a mortar and pestle (Or food processor), add the garlic, thyme, mint and a little salt, then pound it into a paste. Add a little butter or oil and keep pounding. It's ok for some leaves to stay whole, as long as they're bruised the favours will develop nicely.

Rub the mixture into the lamb chops and put them to one side for an hour. (Or in the fridge for a few, just take them out 40 minutes before cooking).

Heat a heavy pan or skillet until its searing hot and fry the chops for around 10 minutes. Turning 3 times and giving them a good twist of black pepper.

I served these with carrots,  spring greens and broccoli which was all cooked in one pan. (Slice the carrots, boil for 20 mins, add the spring greens cook for 5 mins, add the broccoli for 5 more minutes).

There you are, simple, delicious and paleo!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs

With the cooler weather rolling in, its time for warming, high energy foods like hearty stews and spicy curries. (Though I have to confess I eat them all the time anyway).

This dish offers a nod towards the traditional tagine dishes most of us think of when Morocco night comes around.

The main difference is that the meat has a more savoury seasoning that works wonderfully with the sweetness of the sauce.

Ingredients (Feeds 4).
500g lamb (minced).
A knob of butter.
1 tin chopped tomatoes.
400ml passata.
A large onion (grated).
4 cloves garlic (crushed).
A handful of pitted dates.
A handful of sultanas.
A handful of dried apricots.
A handful of slivered almonds.
1tbsp honey.
Ground cumin.
Ground cinnamon.
Ground saffron.
Chilli powder.
A small bunch of parsley (chopped).
A small bunch of coriander (chopped).


To the lamb, add 1 clove of crushed garlic, 1 tsp turmeric, salt, cinnamon, pepper, salt, chilli, cumin and 1 tbsp chopped herbs.

Mix well with your hands and roll into small balls.

Fry in the butter until well browned, then remove from the pan and set aside.

Throw the onion and garlic in the pan and sweat them on a low heat.

Add 1 tbsp turmeric, cinnamon, cumin.
1 tsp chilli, 1/4 tsp saffron. A good pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper.

Stir well, add the remaining herbs and stir again.

Add the tomatoes, passata and honey.
Bring to the boil, then add the dates, sultanas, apricots almonds and meatballs.

Add a little water if its looking a little dry.
Simmer gently for 20 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce attains a lovely, unctuous thickness.

Job done!


Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Bish, Bash, Bosh!

Every once in a while (When you ride a bike) you're gonna come off or hit something.

That's a fact. There's an old saying about bikers - There's two types of bikers, those that have had a crash and those that are gonna.

Yesterday I managed to smack into the back of a car at a roundabout. I saw her move, looked right to see if the traffic was easy enough for me too, looked back to the front and she'd stopped.

Yeah, I know, heard the jokes about shop windows and stuff. It was my own dumb fault, but luckily All that happened to the bike was the footpeg got knocked off and the brake linkage got bent. I kept upright so there was minimal damage to me and the bike other than that and a sore leg.

As you can see, the bolt that holds the front footpeg was bent too much to save.
Not a great picture, but the threads all got stripped out of that hole in the footpeg bracket.

To fix it, I drilled out the hole to remove all the damaged material. (Make sure you don't drill a hole bigger than you have a bolt for).

Then, I measured the thread on my new bolt with a thread pitch guage.
See how the little teeth align perfectly with the valleys in the threads?

Now, since I know the bolt is a M10 and the thread is 1.5, I dug into my tap and die set for....a M10x1.5 Tap.  Simple, eh?

These kits cost about 20 to 30quid from somewhere like Amazon or Screwfix and they're well worth the money. You don't need the high end, expensive ones if you're just using them now and again on your own bike.

If you need a good one in a hurry, try this.

So, having cleaned out the old threads and selected the right tap, I added a little grease to it (Some folks use special cutting compound, but I never had any problems with plain old grease..The important thing is you use something, cos a dry tap in a dry hole will snap).
Here's a fuzzy pic of the thread cutting. This bit is really important, go slow, never more than half a turn inwards and always slack off a quarter turn each time. This snaps off the swarf inside the hole and lets the cutting faces unclog. If you try and go too fast, you'll break the tap in the hole, cut a wonky thread or bust the tap wrench. Either way, the part you are trying to save will be junk. So take it easy!

After cutting the thread, clean it out with some WD40 or something, then (finger tight) screw in the bolt a few times to make sure it runs in and out cleanly.

As you can see in the fuzzy pic above, I bolted everything back up and it works fine. Which is good, cos I'm too poor to pay a garage to do it.

See ya soon.


Thursday, 6 September 2012


Sometimes we all need a little comfort food. Most of the time for me.
Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes comfort food, sticky pudding, rich stew, crusty pies or fiery curries...the list is endless, but one constant for most people is the need for richness and flavour.

Nothing combines these two quite like lasagne, from the heady red wine and beef stock meat to the silky, unctuous cheese of the bechamel, this one has it all and enough veg to make a dent in your 5 a day.


500g minced beef or bison.
1 large onion (diced fine).
4 garlic cloves (crushed).
3 carrots (diced fine).
3 sticks celery (diced fine).
Half a tube of tomato puree.
1 tin of chopped tomatoes.
2 large sweet potatoes.
500g grated cheddar.
1 cup cream (any sort).
1 tsp arrowroot powder.
Chilli powder.
A glass of Red wine.
Splash of balsamic vinegar.


Fry the meat in a little fat (I use duck fat for this, but any saturated fat is safe).
While that's browning, put the onion, garlic, carrots, celery and basil in a food processor and blitz it up until it's chopped to your liking, then add to the pan containing the meat and lower the heat to sweat all the veg a while.

After about 5-10 minutes, stir in the tomato puree, then, after a minute or so, add a little chilli, salt and pepper, then the tomatoes and stock.

Top up with wine and water so its nice and runny, bring to the boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for an hour or so. (I throw it in the oven at 120C for an hour and a half, but you can bung it in a slow cooker while you go to work if you like).

While that's cooking, peel 2 big sweet potatoes and slice them really thin on a mandolin (or use your peeler if you don't have one).

Next up, grate all your cheese and gently bring the cream to a simmer in a small pan.

Add 1/3 of the cheese and stir it in.
Simmer gently for 5 minutes or so, then add 1tsp of arrowroot powder to a small glass of cold water (about a shot glass or so) and throw it in.
Stir well, remove from the heat.

To assemble, ladle a half of the meat sauce into an oven dish, then carefully cover with the slices of sweet potato, pour half the bechemel sauce over and sprinkle a 1/2of the remaining cheese on top.

Ladle the rest of the meat in, then cover as before, meat, sweet potato, bechemel and cheese.

Put it in a medium oven (140-160C) for half an hour, then whack the heat up to 220 for 10 minutes until nicely browned.

When you take it out, just leave it for 5 minutes or so for the sauce to thicken a little, then dish up.

This should feed 5 or 6 greedy cave people.



Monday, 27 August 2012

How to Change Your Chain and Sprockets

 If you do any miles worth mentioning, and you ride a chain drive, you'll be getting through a fair few drive chains as the years go by. If you've never done it yourself, it's a messy job, but nothing you should shy away from as you can save a bomb by getting your spanners out.  Set aside a couple of hours (less if you have a well equipped workshop).

You will need :
Sockets and wrenches
Something to raise the bike on and straps to steady it.
Angle grinder or file
A chain breaker/riveter (Or a pin punch, centre punch, club hammer and ball pein hammer).
 A set of new sprockets and a chain.

Here's my bike lift, a couple of railway sleepers. I lifted the back end of the bike up and got one of my boys to slide the wood under the frame rails.
 I used a carbo strap under the wood and over the seat to hold the bike steady as the rails are a bit narrow and I will be using a fair bit of muscle on some of the bolts.  It's always better to take an extra minute to make sure things are safe.

With the bike secured, I Used the angle grinder to grind off the heads of these two rivets. If you go for one of the links on the sprocket, it's a much easier deal as the chain wont move about under the wheel.  You can use a file to do this, it jus takes a little longer.

When it's ground flat like in the pic, you can use the chain breaker tool or, like I did, pin punch the rivets until the link drops out and you can strip the manky old chain away.

Once that's done, take the axle out and back off the chain adjusters all the way and slip the wheel out. I rested the disc on some old rags and undid the 5 bolts holding the old sprocket on. (Check out the missing and worn teeth! Well past it's best, this one).

Here's the new sprocket going on. It's 40 teeth where the old one was 48. My sportster has plenty of poke and I do a lot of motorway miles, so I figure it should cope with the jump from 48 to 40 well enough.

Once you've got the cover off the front sprocket (A real pain on my sportster as I had to slack the rear exhaust off take the rear master cylinder, forward control and both tail pipes). You can see the cog. On Harleys, there will be a small allen bolt in one of the three holes in the face of the sprocket, this locks the big nut and stops it coming undone, so when you remove it, keep it safe and remember to stick it back on the new one.

There's the new sprocket (See the little lock bolt tight on one of the faces)?

Back wheel fitted, put the chain on and either follow the instructions on your riveting tool to secure the rivet link or (if you don't have a tool) Place a heavy lump hammer (or sledge) behind the rivet link and centre punch each pin, then flare them out by hitting them with the ball pein hammer until they're secure.

Most chains come with a rivet link and a clip on link with grooves in. I never use the clip on link, I don't think theyre safe with an o ring chain, so I just carry them in my tool roll incase I ever have a chain break and have to do a quick fix to get me home, but it's your bike, your choice.

That's it! Tighten everything up, get a fat mate to sit on the bike and check for about half an inch of play in the chain and you're ready for the road.

Have fun out there.


Friday, 27 July 2012


With all this Mediterranean weather we've been enjoying lately I decided to try something cooler for dinner today.

Cold soup can sound a bit meh, but trust me or rather, trust Keith Floyd (My all time favourite telly-chef) who showed this recipe years ago.

Lots of gazpacho recipes use breadcrumbs (most of them, in fact), but not Floydey's. This makes it the perfect paleo hot weather food.

1 cucumber
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 large onion
3 sticks of celery
2 cans tomatoes
A handful of basil
A handful of mint
A handful or two of ice

Throw everything into a blender and whiz up until its a lovely smooth consistency. (Pulse it if you want it to be lumpier).
Add salt and pepper to taste, dribble a little extra virgin olive oil on top and you are good to go.

Serve with finely chopped parsley, basil, chilli, garlic and shallots.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Lunch in a Rush.

Fast food doesn't have to mean rubbish that'll make you fat and ill.
As long as you follow the paleo principles of high protein and good carbs and fat, you'll be fine.

This little bowl of curry took about 5 minutes to cook. It tastes great and will keep you going until tea time.

A handful of king prawns. (use turkey or chicken if you like, just cook longer).

1 onion coarsely diced.

Some mushrooms coarsely diced.

2 tomatoes coarsely diced.

1 Tbsp curry powder (Hot as you like).

Coconut oil for frying.


Heat the oil in a really hot pan, add the onion and fry a minute.

Toss in the prawns, mushrooms and curry powder, fry another minute.

Add the tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes.

Throw it in a bowl and get stuck in.

For a Thai twist, add some lime and coconut milk.

For a bigger meal, add a bunch of spinach in the last minute.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Rhubarb Tart

Just a quick one today.
This rhubarb tart is gorgeous and totally paleo. You can serve it with a little cream or some Greek yogurt and fresh mint.


4 big sticks of rhubarb. (Washed and chopped into inch long chunks)
3 tbsp palm sugar
Knob of butter
1tsp ground ginger.
Juice of half a lemon.
1 pastry case (Use the one from the quiche recipe, add 1 tbsp honey).


Melt the butter in a large pan, add the rhubarb and palm sugar, sweat it down for 5 minutes at a medium heat.
Add the ginger and lemon, continue sweating the rhubarb until it just starts to break down.

Pour into the blind baked pastry case and put in the oven on 120C for 20 minutes.

Job done! Serves 6 and tastes lovely cold the next day. (Not that you'll have any left)

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Paleo Bellissimo

Being paleo doesn't always have to mean that dinner will be a big lump of meat and some salad. As nice as that is, there are times you want something lighter.
Putanesca sauce is a punchy, aromatic sauce that goes fantastically well with sweet potato spaghetti and (like all my recipes) its a breeze to cook.

Look at the Spaghetti Bolognese recipe for how to do the sweet potato spaghetti to go with it.


1 Can chopped tomatoes.
4 Cloves of garlic (smashed)
1/4 to 1 tsp chilli flakes (depending on how hot you like it).
1 Small can of anchoves. (Chopped).
A handful of black olives (Halved).
2 Tbsp capers.
A handful of basil(chopped). (Or 1tbsp of dried).
4 inch squirt of tomato puree.
Half a can of water.
A tsp balsamic vinegar.
Non virgin olive oil

Heat the oil in a pan, add the basil, chilli, black pepper and garlic. Stir for about 30 seconds.
Add the olives, capers and anchovies, stir for 2 minutes.
Add the tomato puree, stir a minute, then add the vinegar, tomatoes and half the tomato can of water.
Bring to the boil, then simmer uncovered for 20 minutes.

Tip over the pasta (Its also nice on chicken breasts) and serve.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Another Busy day

I got off to a flyer this morning. After getting the usual stuff sorted, I whizzed up some grass fed bison in the food processor and cooked up a chilli, just like the one in the recipe section.

Rather than stand over the stove, I simply cooked it in the pan until I brought it to the boil, then poured it into the slow cooker and went to work. (I always add about a third more liquid when doing it like this, to save it drying out).

When I came home the kitchen smelled lovely and I'm just waiting for everyone else to turn up before I plate up.

Who said proper cooking had to involve effort?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

I Can't Be Bothered!

Fast food

You know how it is, right? Even when we are paleo for a while, we have those times when we can't be bothered to cook something properly. Maybe you woke up late and didn't put the chilli in the slow cooker, you forgot to pack a lunch, so only had a banana and some hazelnuts since breakfast, or perhaps ABSOLUTELY EVERYBODY has been ragging on you all day and you've had enough. There is no way that you're coming home to cook up a big meal now!

  I've certainly had days like that. plenty in fact, and the time was, dinner would come from the chip shop or we'd pay a million quid to have pizza delivered.
When you are paleo things change. You can't have that pizza (You can, but you have to make a paleo one, which takes time), you can't have fish and chips or a fast food burger. You have to eat something more natural, and it's often true that it takes more effort than throwing a plastic tub into the microwave.  

Thing know, and I know, that we aren't going to fall down and eat rubbish like that, because it makes us feel bad, physically bad. I don't want to go back to being lethargic, achy and FAT and I'm absolutely sure you don't either.

  So what do we do? Or rather, what do we do when we don't want fruit, cold meat and nuts!! (Come on, we all do it, but it's ok, now and then).

  Have a go at this! Get yourself a nice steak. (The one above is grass fed, Hereford beef...the very best in all the world in my opinion, but I am from Hereford, so I'm a little biased).

Heat a skillet up, so it's smoking hot, rub a little butter on the meat (or coconut oil) grind some salt and pepper on each side and throw it in the pan. (2mins a side for rare, 3 mins a side for medium, 4 mins a side for well done) Let the steak sit, covered while you make up this long, involved salad.

This is simple. Throw together a simple salad of onions, leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot and beetroot. Toss in a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and you are done!

Arrange it nicely round your steak (Go on, it's a little bit of fiddling, but if you put in this small effort you'll be REALLY glad you did when you sit down to eat).

Quick, easy and absolutely gorgeous. the perfect fast food to reward yourself with after a long day away from the cave.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Paleo Bolognese

Let's face it, when it comes to Italian comfort food, a big, silky bolognese and a huge heap of spaghetti all dusted with far too much parmesan...Well, that takes some beating.
Luckily for us, the basic sauce recipe is paleo and will need hardly any tweaking.  Though you'll have to get creative with the pasta substitute. Carrots and courgette, run through a juilienne peeler and stir fried are ok.
Sweet potato sliced micro thin on a mandolin and sauteed...That's even better. Thanks to for that and tons of other recipes. So far my favourite pasta substitute.
I'm going to try a twist on that and use the peeler to create a sort of linguine/spaghetti with the potato.
Anyway, on with the recipe for the sauce.

Ingredients (Serves 6)
400g of good quality mince. (I often buy braising steak and blitz it in the food processor).
4 Carrots. Diced as small as you like.
1 Medium white onion. Diced small.
4 Cloves Garlic. Smashed up and chopped.
1 Can tomatoes.
6 inch squirt of tomato puree.
A pinch of salt.
A good pinch of black pepper.
1/2 tsp ground chilli. (Hot as you like).
Big handful of chopped basil. Chopped.
Small bunch of thyme and parsley. Chopped.
Beef stock. (Use cubes if you like).
Some water. (400 ml ish).

 Fry the onion and garlic in some butter (or ghee etc).
Add in the meat, keep stirring until its nicely browned and most of the liquid has bubbled away.

Throw in the carrots, give it a stir for a couple of minutes. Add the herbs, salt and pepper, chilli and tomato puree and stir in for a minute or so more, then tip in the tomatoes, stock and enough water to just cover the meat and veg.

 Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for about an hour.(If you're busy, this is when you throw it in a slow cooker and go to work, it'll be great when you come home).

The "Spaghetti"

3 Large Sweet potatoes. (Choose the longer ones for the best "pasta"

 Peel the sweet potatoes, then carefully run your julienne peeler down them to get lots and lots of spaghetti like strips. Take your time. It'll be worth it.

Heat up a wok or other large pan (Not crazy hot, more a medium flame) and add some butter, salt and pepper and the potato strips. I find it best to do them in batches, so divide your stack into three.

Stir fry them for roughly 5 minutes or so. Keep that sweet potato moving or it'll burn. Dump each batch in an oven dish to keep warm.

When you are done, just plate up, cover with the sauce and add a bit of your favourite cheese for a great meal.

If you haven't got a julienne peeler, click the link.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Lamb Mechoui

Lamb shoulder is one of the cheapest cuts you can get, and it makes a fantastic starting point for this recipe which is most often made with the more expensive leg cut.

Take my advice, go for the shoulder, it tastes gorgeous, cooks faster and will feed 5 or six people easily.


Lamb shoulder
4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp saffron (ground up)
5 tbsp butter

Stab the lamb all over with a sharp knife. (All the way to the bone).

Mix all the other ingredients in a bowl and then rub the resulting paste into the lamb. Make sure to stuff it right into the cuts you made.

Throw into a roasting dish with 1/2 a cup of water and roast for 30 mins at 240 C.

Turn the oven down to 160, and cook for 2 - 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes.

When its cooked through, the meat will just fall away from the bone and its traditionally served whole for everyone to just pick at with their fingers.

It's beautiful served with some paleo flat bread, salt and cumin, tahini sauce and a salad of tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Raita and Chopped Salad

This is a really quick and easy salad to go with tandoori chicken or just about any grilled meat or barbecue.

Get a red and green pepper, a red onion, some cucumber tomatoes, coriander and a lemon.
Chop them all up finely (The smaller the better) and tear up the coriander, sprinkle on top and squeeze over the lemon.

Job Done!

For the raita, a couple of spoons of greek yoghurt, chopped mint, coriander and cucumber. Mix it all up with a squeeze of lemon and you have a great, fresh tasting dip for your chicken or poppadoms!

Spicing it up?

Tandoori Chicken.
This definitely falls into the category of comfort food. Properly cooked, it's moist, tender and full of a whole bunch of delicate, complimentary flavours. It's also very easy and (apart from the time taken to marinade) it's quick!
This recipe is also great with Salmon. (Adjust the cooking time accordingly).


1 Whole Chicken (Or use legs, breasts etc, but chicken on the bone is best).
4 Tbsp Greek Yogurt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp vinegar
2 Tbsp of your favourite curry powder (You can buy Tandoori powder also, but dont worry, this tastes great with the generic "medium" curry powders most supermarkets sell).

Skin the chicken and, (using a sharp knife very carefully) slash the meat right down to the bone all over. Legs included.
Mix up all the other ingredients in a bowl and spread the mixture all over the chicken. (Be especially careful to get it in the cuts and rub a little in the cavity).

Put it in the fridge for 1 hour (I leave mine overnight, but if you're in a rush, 1 hour is the minimum).

Pre-heat your oven to 220C and place the chicken in a dish in the centre.

A medium bird takes about 45 minutes, if you jab a knife into the meatiest parts and the juices run clear, then it's done. If not, give it another 10 minutes and check again until you're happy.

Thats it! Carve up and serve with a nice chopped salad and a raita! (Recipes coming up)!

Friday, 6 July 2012

Paleo mayonnaise

I love this stuff, especially for a 'slaw or mixed with curry powder, lemon juice and crab meat for an awesome salad.
Its quick, ridiculously easy and without any of the chemicals you find in the shop bought rubbish.

2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
Grind of pepper
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp of white wine vinegar
Mild olive oil (Though most veggie oils will work).


Combine everything but the oil in a bowl/food processor/mixer and start whisking.

Once its all combined, start adding the oil in a slow, thin stream. Keep whisking. (This is why I like to use a food processor as its tough on the arms).
Keep whisking, adding your oil (slowly) and tasting until its just how you like it.

That's it! Home made mayo. Stir in finely sliced red and white cabbage, sliced apple, sultanas, pecans or walnuts, carrots and red onion for a cracking coleslaw.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Spinach and Bacon Paleo Quiche.

I have a confession, I've never liked quiche...its always struck me as a waste of pastry, eggs and whatever else goes in.
One of the strange things about paleo is that your tastes can change. I don't know why, maybe its the lack of rubbish I've eaten since turning paleo.
Anyway, here's the recipe, you can use the base recipe for all sorts of pies and crusts, too. It's a universal pie crust I suppose!

Ingredients (makes 2 quiches).

1 cup coconut flour
1 cup almond flour
4 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
Pinch of salt

4 rashers smoky bacon,
1 and 1/2 cups chopped spinach
1 and 1/2 cups grated cheese
1 chopped onion
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
A glug of milk.



Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until it forms a nice ball. It should resemble shortcrust pastry.

Line a tin with greaseproof paper and press the pastry in to form a tart. Poke a few holes in with a fork and bake at 160 C for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool while you make the filling.


Grill the bacon until crisp, then chop up, add to the other ingredients and whisk it up.

Pour into your cases and bake for 40 minutes at 180C. It's ready when you can poke a knife into the filling and it comes out clean.

That's it! Serve with a fresh salad and some hot sauce and you're done! It's also great cold the next day.

Om nom!


Keep it running.

Depending on how many miles you cover, you may find you service your bike once, twice or 5 times a year.
 If you want to be a real biker, you'll be thinking about getting your spanners out and doing it yourself.

Here's a quick guide to doing the oil, filter, drive and primary chain on an Evo Sportster.

Don't mess about with the engine running, ok? I assume you know that's dangerous, but if you're the sort of idiot that's going to get your hands mangled, take the bike to a mechanic instead.

1. Take the oil cap out of the tank.

2. Stick something down under the oil filter to catch the oil.
3. Hammer a screwdriver through the filter and turn anti-clockwise. (Or use a special tool if you have one).

 4. Let the oil drain out and collect in the bowl/ jug whatever. Then wipe the threads and sealing faces clean with a rag.

5. Locate the drain hose under the oil tank, unclip it and let it drain fully into the oil catching thing you are using.

6. Secure the drain hose back in it's place.

7. Put a couple of ounces of fresh 20/50 into the new filter (to prevent an air lock) and smear a little oil round the gasket, then spin on, hand tight only! DO NOT use that special oil filter wrench to put it on!

8. Fill up the oil tank and put the stopper back in. Next, the primary case.

 1. Locate the cover, use a pin punch and tap it anti-clockwise until you can spin it out with hand pressure.
2. When you look inside, you'll see the primary chain, stick your finger in and push it up. If it goes more than half an inch you have to locate the adjuster screw and locknut under the crank cases, Loosen the lock nut and tighten the screw, then the locknut so you have about 1/4" of movement. Don't let it get really tight, slacken it off if it wont move!"
3 Undo the level plug on the crank case and, with the bike held level, undo the drain plug underneath and let it run dry, then, replace the plug underneath, pour in primary case lube through the inspection cover until some comes out of the hole for the level plug. Replace level plug, replace primary cover. You are done!

To service the chain...
 1. Undo the axle nut a turn or two.
2. Locate the chain tensioners on either side of the wheel. (That little nut that is on a threaded rod at the end of the swing arm) Turn each one in quarter turns until you have 1/2" to 1" movement in the chain. (Be sure to tighten both sides equally! You don't want a wonky wheel)!

3. Tighten the axle nut up again and lube the chain with spray lube.

Now, get out and ride!

Until next time!


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Hit me up

I was sitting down on the couch today, watching telly, as you do. Too much of which can really do you harm, of course. It's one of life's guilty pleasures I guess. Something we all know we should do less of, but can't help.

Anyway, tonight's Horizon on BBC2 was about a breakthrough in understanding exercise and its effects on the body.
The basic premise was that (and here is when I awoke from my stupor, big time), 3 minutes of high intensity exercise PER WEEK will significantly improve your insulin response in just 4 weeks and by the 6th week, will start increasing your VO2 MAX.

Frankly, I was stunned. It doesn't seem right that something so easy to do should reap such benefits. (A bit like eating Paleo really).
Anyway, why are these things so important? Well, here goes.

Insulin Response. Why is it important to us? When you eat carbohydrates, your blood sugar level rises, this causes the body to release insulin to regulate the levels. There is an overlap, when the blood sugar level has fallen to normal, but there's a bit of excess insulin still circulating. This is why you often feel hungry after eating a lot of pasta or some doughnuts. (Not that you ever should, but hey). Anyway, this still holds true for those of us who eat Paleo, and if losing that excess weight is important to you, then the last thing you want is to be feeling hungry not long after you've eaten.

Insulin resistance provides a double whammy, really. On the one hand, it takes glucose from the blood and stores it away as fat, then it means you're hungry, and the whole cycle repeats. Nasty eh?

The way round this, is simple, getting your body to function with less insulin, getting it to react faster, to a smaller dose will not only minimise the hunger pangs, but also leave you in much better shape to face the world.

By switching to a broadly paleo diet you can reduce the big spikes in insulin that come along whenever you eat very high carb. food, like bread, pasta etc. Simply by NOT eating them.  Secondly, following a HIT program your body gets better at regulating blood sugar levels and therefore requires less insulin.

VO2 Max is the amount of oxygen your body can use during bouts of intense effort. It's measured in millilitres of oxygen per kilogram of bodyweight.
It's important, because it's an excellent indicator of your cardio vascular fitness. (The shape your heart and lungs are in). As you know, the better the shape, the less likely you are to suffer heart attacks, strokes etc.

Now that is out of the way, how do we improve these two vital functions?


It's so simple it sounds mad, but then didn't the paleo diet sound mad? And that's looking good now, isn't it?

Monday, Wednesday and Friday - 3 sets, 20 seconds each, maximum effort.
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday - Rest.

That's it! Seriously. If you want to go for a long walk, or lift some weights on your rest days, sure, go for it. Just make sure you do the HIT stuff on the right days, for the full minute!

So what sort of exercise should you do?
Well, sprinting is great, uphill especially as it reduces the impact on your joints. Cycling, it's the ideal thing for a stationary bike. You could even swim. The important thing to remember is you have to put everything you have into this, for the whole 20 seconds, so that you have nothing left in the tank. Then you rest and do it again once you've got your breath back.

It really is that easy.

If you want to look at the science behind it, have a look here
and here for the Horizon episode.

One disclaimer I'd like to add is that if you aren't used to exercise, go see the Doctor, first, as I'd hate to have your lawyer write to me.

Good luck and enjoy the 3 minutes a week you work out!



Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Paleo Basics

An Explanation of the Paleo Diet Principle.

First things first, The standard idea of how you should eat is Wrong. Dead wrong, It's making you ill, it's destroying your joints, your circulatory system, making you weak, tired fat and pushing you into an early grave.

That sounds harsh, yes? It's meant to be. It's the literal truth for most of us. There are a few people who have bodies adapted to a high carb, grain based diet, but they are the minority, rather than the rule. 

Homo Sapiens have been wandering this Earth for something like half a million years. For most of that time they ate meat, fish and whatever fruits, nuts, leafy veg and the occasional roots that they could find. It was only in the last ten thousand years or so that we started farming and eating grain based foods.

As I'm sure you're aware, evolution takes a long time, so ten thousand years is but the blink of an eye in evolutionary terms. this goes some way to explaining why we encounter so many problems when we eat grains, legumes, dairy, sugars and starchy tubers.

Our bodies simply are not adapted to them. For most of our species time on this planet, we have eaten wild foods, lean meats, low carb veg and occasional treats like fruits, nuts, maybe even a little honey.

Our bodies evolved to process protein as fuel, not carbs. It's that simple. True, if you are running a marathon, then at some point you'll have to get some energy into your system and fast, thats the time for carbs. All other times though, stick to protein, something like 2 grammes/kg of body weight is the usual, much more and you wont process it, you'll come down with protein toxicity. While that isn't great, it basically means that it's impossible to get fat from eating protein. It just wont happen. Unlike carbohydrates and fats, your body will not ever turn excess protein into fat. EVER!

Now, i'm not advocating some carb free zone like Atkins or one of the other cranky, short term diets. Paleo is about being fit and well, and to achieve that, we need a myriad of plant nutrients as well as those we get from meat, fish etc.

If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. three meals a day, some form of meat, fish or nuts plus a selection of fruits, leafy veg and the odd root on each plate. Simple, I know, but if you make the effort to try and stick to it, after a few days your skin will be clearer, your joints will stop aching and you wont  feel welded to the couch every evening....You may just take the first of many steps away from your own grave.



P.S. Have a look at these links if you have the time, some remarkable stories about how changing your diet can save you from "incurable" illness.

How a doctor changed her diet and beat MS

How coconut oil may relieve Alzheimer's

And again.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Happy Pancake Day!

Just a quickie for you as its pancake day and even paleo people need pancakes.

This is a variation on all those recipes out there, you'll only want 1 or 2, they are VERY filling!


3 eggs.

Some butter or coconut oil.

1/4 cup (ish) coconut milk. (Not the low fat stuff).

1 teaspoon of honey.

Pinch of salt.

Dash of vanilla extract.

1/2 cup of coconut flour.

1 teaspoon baking powder.

1/2 a cup of water.


Mix the dry ingredients, beat the eggs, vanilla and coconut milk then add to the bowl with the flour etc.

Mix well, adding water until you have a nice, thick batter.

Get your pan really hot, add some coconut oil and a big spoon of batter, fry a couple of minutes each side.

Voila! Gorgeous coconut pancakes. Serve with fruit and yogurt, or a dribble of maple syrup.

Enjoy yourselves.