When and how did you become interested
in a paleo diet?
I found out about it through my GP, who is
also a naturopath, about three years ago. I
was battling a thyroid condition and adrenal
fatigue and he suggested it. I was cooking high
quality rich food with lots of creamy sauces,
butters and red wine – completely the opposite
to paleo. I was the only chef who brought
her own lunch box into work! It was very
conflicting. Then I met Mark (Rockley, owner
of Primal Pantry) and got to cook what I love
at work and at home.
What is a paleo diet?
It’s not full-on ‘let’s eat meat’, which is what a
lot of people think it is. It is a balanced diet of
predominantly fresh fruit and vegetables and
a portion of protein with that. In our cooking
we try to eat nose to tail, not just the muscle
meat, and it’s also about using the lesser cuts of
meat like beef cheeks, liver and offals and doing
interesting things with that.
Generally there’s no grain, no dairy, no
sugars, no processed food, nothing that’s been
genetically modified; there’s an acronym we
like to use, Just Eat Real Food (JERF). We use
the highest quality produce and we open no
packets. We even make our own baking powders
because they can have additives in them. We do
everything from scratch so we know everything
about where our food is coming from and how
it is prepared.
What have been the benefits for you?
I lost 25kg in weight, came off my thyroid
medication, am sleeping well and training hard.
What has been the biggest challenge in
switching to a paleo diet?
For me it was baking. I had to do a lot of research
and there is a lot of trial and error because there
are so many things you can’t use and you have
to change your mindset. However, the biggest
revelation for me was that my tastes changed,
everything tastes cleaner and clearer, and there’s a
heightened sense of taste and smell which is very
exciting from a chef’s point of view.
What do people learn at a paleo cooking
They learn that there are alternatives to common
diet staples such as rice, pasta and bread. We show
people how to change their eating habits with
great recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinners.
We do a dinner party from start to finish, sauces,
broths and braising and sweet treats as well.
What’s the most popular class?
Baking; everyone wants treats. We could sell
that one out over and over. Basics and baking
together is a popular combination.
What else can people find at Primal Pantry?
There’s a grocery section, paleo-based products,
a lot of things we use in the kitchen. There’s a
bread mix and a pancake mix we make and then
all you have to do at home is add the eggs. It
makes life easier because people are time poor.
We also do takeaway.
Primal Pantry, cnrMacquarie andFlorence Sts,
Teneriffe and newcafés nowat 1 Aspinall St,
Nundah and 18Hill St, Toowoomba. Open 6.30am
to 4pm, 7 days. Seewww.primalpantry.com.au
This chef swapped her
creamy rich cooking for a
paleo diet and now shows
others how to do it
cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp almond butter
2 tbsp coconut butter
1 vanilla pod, cut, scraped
sp bicarb soda
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp raw cacao
cups hazelnut meal or almond meal
2 shots espresso
cup chopped figs
cup chopped dates
cup apple juice
4 egg whites
cup warm honey
To make cake: combine all dried fruit and
marinate in apple juice overnight or longer
if time permits. Blend together eggs,
almond butter, coconut butter, bicarb,
vanilla and coconut sugar. In large bowl
combine marinated fruit, spices, cacao,
hazelnut meal and espresso. Stir in egg
mixture and pour into prepared cake
tin. Bake in pre-heated oven at 160° for
approximately 40 minutes.
To make icing: whisk egg white to soft
peaks, slowly add warm honey and
vanilla. Mixture should stiffen and turn
glossy. Decorate the cake with icing and a
selection of seasonal fresh berries.
BNE December 2014/January 2015 |
Tracy Hirst’s paleo