Following Lucy & Ash on their journey from devoted 'sugar junkies' to coconut loving, photograph clicking, NSNG advocates!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Carrot Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting

Hello Clickers :-)

First of all, I need to apologise for the lack of recent posts. Work has been unusually busy and I've just had to throw my all into it. That said, you'll be pleased to read that I'm still very much on my NSNG / Paleo eating plan and continue to enjoy it and lose weight. I've now lost 10kgs which I am most pleased with!

I have continued to snap pictures of my creations and will be sharing them with you over the coming days / weeks but first I must fast forward to today and the cake that I have made!

I've been 'fancying' a nice slice of cake and a coffee with all shop bought varieties being well out of bounds so began my quest to find a decent looking recipe that wouldn't be too involved to make (like I said, I haven't had too much time on my hands of late!). Carrot cake is my absolute favourite, especially the tangy cream cheese frosting but my 'old' recipe would have been ruled out on grain AND sugar grounds.

After reading a few websites and blogs, I stumbled across the Primal Palate's excellent info site and their eye catching cake caught my eye immediately. Armed with a list of ingredients, I purchased the extras that I needed and with Mr B away on business and a quiet house for the weekend, I thought I'd have a bash at making it today.

I had no expectations and fully expected it to turn out dry and crumbly, if it were to turn out at all.. but I kept thinking about all the positive reviews I read and just hoped for the best!

Following the recipe almost to the letter.. the only differences being the addition of soaked sultanas that I thought would add to the flavour and moistness, and swapping half the maple syrup in the frosting for coconut nectar to lower the sugar content, the cake came out AMAZINGLY well.. I have tasted it and can verify that it is absolutely delicious!

It is filling and free from any processed foods. It is also completely grain and gluten free and has no refined sugar. I would consider myself something of a carrot cake aficionado and can safely say to any fellow 'lovers' that not only was this a delicious NSNG / Paleo treat but it is amongst the best carrot cakes I've ever tasted, and one of the nicest cakes I've ever made. Not bad 'eh?

I've pasted the links to the recipe below, you'll also need to follow the recipe for the date mixture and the cream cheese frosting.. and don't omit the ginger unless you have to, it really adds something special!

I just hope I can refrain from eating it all before Mr B gets home from his work trip on Monday!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Little Finds: Salad Dressing

This is the Jamie Oliver chilli balsamic that I have been using (a little of) with my organic extra virgin olive oil to dress salad leaves. It really gives them some excitement and makes a change from my usual fresh lemon dressing. 

It also claims to have 0g sugar.. I'm sure that's not possible, and I see it has some modified starch but used sparingly I think it's a much better option than most others I have seen.

Sweet Beef Pie

One of my favourite winter warmers is cottage pie and with our weather turning less than Spring like this week I fancied recreating this classic dish, whilst keeping it NSNG friendly, of course.

The result was a totally delicious, sweet version of a homemade cottage pie, with no added nasties.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

- 500g good quality minced beef (I used Laverstock Park Farm
- 500ml vegetable stock with no sugar or grain (I used Sainsbury's as pictured below)
- 1 carrot
- 1 white onion
- 1 stick of celery
- Salt & pepper

- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 30ml organic single cream
- Salt & pepper
- 1 ball buffalo mozzarella (also Laverstock Park Farm)

I used a slow cooker to prepare my beef mix but a large saucepan on the hob would suffice for a speedier alternative.

Add mince and stock to the crock pot. Finely dice the onion, carrot & celery (or use a food processor if you're a cheat, like me!) and season with salt & pepper. 

Leave on a low heat for around 4 hours. 

Peel, chop and slowly simmer the sweet potatoes for 25-30 minutes or until nicely soft. 

Drain and leave to dry in a colander for 10 minutes to let any excess water evaporate. 

In the saucepan, mash the potatoes with the cream and seasoning.

Tip the mince mixture through a sieve to drain off the excess juice. Do this into a saucepan or bowl so that the 'juice' is saved. 

Layer the mince, topped with the potato in a pyrex dish and top with torn mozzarella. 

Once ready to heat, pop in the oven for 30 minutes at 180' (fan) or until the pie is piping hot and the cheese is bubbling. 

Whilst in the oven, I heated the leftover meat juices in a saucepan on a fairly high heat so that it reduced by about a third. It made for a fairly 'light' gravy but it was full of flavour and just right for pouring over the cooked pie. 

I served this with peas. 

I even had a delicious breakfast the next morning with some of the leftovers! 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Tilapia Fillet with Veggie 'noodles' and Squash Chips


Last night we had a tasty tilapia fillet. If you haven't yet tried it, give it a whirl! Tilapia is an inexpensive, mild flavoured white fish and makes a good alternative to cod.

This quick and easy supper was tasty and filling and the veggies added a different texture which actually reminded me of noodles, something I've not been missing but always enjoy!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
- 2 Tilapia fillets, boned
- 1 courgette
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1 pack of ready sliced butternut squash
- Olive oil, coconut oil & butter
- 1/2 lemon
- Salt, pepper & chilli flakes

Pop the oven on to preheat (around 180')

Pop the squash slices onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and chilli flakes.

The squash chips take around 25 minutes to cook. So use the first 15 minutes to prep your veggies etc.

Use a julienne peeler to turn your courgette and pepper into ultra thin strips of goodness.

In a frying pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and once hot, put your fish in, skin side down. Sprinkle with sea salt.

In a wok, heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and once hot, add your 'julienned' veggies. To this, add a pinch of chilli flakes and stir fry the veggies until soft.

After 4-5 minutes, turn the fish and leave for another 2-3 minutes (this may vary depending on the size of your fillets).

Turn off the heat, turn the fish over and squeeze half the lemon over the fish, whilst still in the pan. Finish with a knob of butter and leave to rest for a minute or 2 until you're ready to serve.

Squeeze the remaining lemon juice into the veggies.

Place the veggies and chips onto the plate and place the fish on top. Use a spoon to drizzle the fish with the lemony butter sauce from the pan.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Broccoli & Stilton Soup with Crispy Bacon Croutons

Today's lunch was inspired by my good friend Pauline. Last week she told me that she makes soups without using stock or bouillon (I would never have entertained the idea!) and given the heavy workload I have this week, I wanted something I could quickly whip up that would provide enough to provide me with a few 'working lunches'!

Ash had made a point of telling me how much broccoli we have and when he starts to think we have too much, we must really have too much.

I also had half a small block of lovely organic stilton left from last night's flat mushrooms so put 2 and 2 together to come up with SOUP!

INGREDIENTS (This has made 4 Lucy sized servings - generous!)
400g long stemmed broccoli (any will work!)
200ml organic whole milk
50g stilton
50ml double cream
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp coconut flour
2 rashers of bacon, fried till crisp (optional for serving)
Extra cream & stilton, for serving

Simmer the broccoli for 30 mins or until nicely tender, you need to blitz it with a hand blender so it needs to be pretty soft.

Once cooked, take the pan off the heat and leave for 10 mins to cool.

Add the milk and stilton (crumble it in) and blitz with the hand blender.

Add the cream and season to taste.

I added the coconut flour to slightly thicken the soup.

If required, return to the heat to warm through.

Serve with a swirl of cream on top, some crumbles of cheese and the bacon, snipped over the top.

Delicious, hearty and perfect for a chilly afternoon like today!

NSNG resources & further reading...

Over the past couple of weeks LOTS of friends have been asking us both about NSNG.. What is it? How do I do it? WHAT, I can't eat bread??! etc...

I think you need to be in the right frame of mind both mentally and physically in order to want to start introducing such big changes to your 'conventional diet' and it took us a good few weeks of reading and researching before the fateful day we swept our kitchen of all banished foods and embarked on this quite incredible journey.

I wanted to share the books and websites that we use, so you know where to start!

I just want to add that whilst it seems incredibly daunting, it really isn't. I am AMAZED that after just 2 weeks, I have had no cravings for sugar, bread, pasta or any of those other things that I love. That's not to say it won't happen, and I'm sure there will be a time when I do give into those temptations but many of the resources advocate an 80/20 lifestyle, meaning that once you're in the flow, the odd little 'naughty' food, will be OK. I don't like to say treat, as I'm finding that so many of the foods I am eating are what I would class as treats anyway!



  • Fitness Confidential - Vinnie Tortorich 
  • The Primal Blueprint - Mark Sisson
  • Paleo Primer - Keris Marsden & Matt Whitmore
  • Against All Grain - Danielle Walker
  • Grain Brain - David Perlmutter

* We are not paid or asked to promote any of these resources, they are generally the ones we love and the ones we are reading / read! 

Monday, 24 March 2014

Steak, Chips & Onion Rings

Tonight we had rump steak with butternut squash chips, mushrooms, beef tomato, onion rings & ketchup.. ALL NSNG friendly! 

Blitz tomato puree in a food processor with a little lemon juice, a teeny pinch of cinnamon, a little celery salt, a drizzle of Jamie Oliver's chilli balsamic glaze (no sugar), add coconut water to thin it out to your preferred consistency.

Onion Rings:
For the onion rings I sliced a red onion and 'popped' out the rings. I dipped each ring into unsweetened almond milk and then into a bowl which had seasoned coconut flour and mixed seeds. I put them on a greased baking tray and oven baked them for 20 minutes at 180' (or until brown and crispy)

Butternut Squash Chips:
Waitrose / Ocado do bags of thinly sliced butternut squash.. Onto a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, pepper & chilli flakes and 20-25 minutes in the oven with the onion rings.

Fry / bake your tomatoes and mushrooms (I added a little crumbled stilton to my mushrooms) and cook your steak to your liking.

Serve & enjoy!