Winter Food Edition #1

Winter Food Edition #1

Saturdays in our house are pretty busy with kids’ sport and activities, but I also like having some time in the afternoons to get into the kitchen and play around with some favourite recipes. I’ve tried to put a healthier spin on these comfort food favourites - the pulled pork is often our Saturday night dinner because I can put it on in the slow cooker before the five year-old’s rugby first thing in the morning and leave to cook all day while we’re out and about at singing lessons and other things, and the peanut butter cups are a refined sugar-free version of one of my my all-time favourite treats, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (the legacy of living in the USA as a kid). I have been playing around with various cauliflower crust recipes for pizza, and I really like this version as it holds together well and the almond meal gives it a nice smooth texture. Our kids really love pizza and the cauliflower crust goes down well with even our fussiest eater. It’s a bit time-consuming, but the end result is worth it. Enjoy.

Pulled Pork Soft Tacos

Pork shoulder - 1.2kg-1.6kg
1 x bottle of barbecue sauce (500g or thereabouts)
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground coriander
1 t smoked paprika
1/4 t chilli powder
salt and pepper

To serve:
sour cream
grated cheese (optional)

Place the barbecue sauce and spices into a slow cooker, and stir to combine. Place the pork into the slow cooker and coat with the sauce. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, turning the pork once or twice if possible. Lift out and place into a bowl, and pull the pork into pieces with a fork - it should easily come away from the bone and into shreds. Mix a few tablespoons of the barbecue sauce into the pulled pork for flavour. Serve pork in tortillas with coleslaw and sour cream. Serves 6-8.

Cauliflower crust pizza

Ingredients for the crust:
1 x cauliflower, core removed 
1 x egg
1/2 C grated Parmesan
1/2 C almond meal
sea salt

tomato paste
grated cheese
courgette, sliced
mushrooms, sliced
olives, pitted and sliced

Cut the cauliflower into florets. In two batches, add the cauliflower florets to a food processor and process until very finely chopped. Spread cauliflower onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Remove from oven an cool slightly. Place into a sieve or muslin cloth, and squeeze to remove excess water. Add to a bowl with the egg, Parmesan and almond meal and mix thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper and shape into two balls. Press balls into a circle shape on a baking tray lined with baking paper and flatten with your hands, or use a rolling pin. Bake for 10 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. Remove from oven and add toppings (I used tomato paste, grated cheese, courgette slices, mushrooms, olives and prosciutto, but use whatever you like). Bake for a further 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Makes two pizzas, and serves 3-4.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cups

1 1/2 C smooth peanut butter
1/2 C coconut oil, melted
1/2 C brown rice malt syrup
few drops vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
200g 70% cocoa chocolate

Add the peanut butter, coconut oil, brown rice malt syrup, vanilla and sea salt to a Nutribullet (or blender or food processor). Process until combined. Pour into greased mini muffin tin moulds (mine had 24 moulds - you could use mini patty cases instead). Refrigerate for ten minutes. Melt the chocolate over a low heat. Remove the peanut butter moulds from the fridge and pour a teaspoon of chocolate over the top of each mould. Spread chocolate over the peanut butter layer, but avoid completely covering to the edges otherwise it will be more difficult to cleanly remove them from the mould. Refrigerate for an hour and then remove from the moulds with a knife. If they are hard to remove, try freezing them for an hour and removing them frozen. Makes 24 (and they are so delicious). Keep refrigerated for up to a week.