Paleo Dinner Party

Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved –
I can cook. My husband however has an amazing passion for cooking.  His culinary interests surfaced over the last few years of our marriage and now he does the majority of the cooking and meal planning for our family.  As expats what has made living in England so exciting is easy resource to organic and local produce.  We can order our meat from the nearby butcher, pick up our fruit and veg from local food markets, and even have our vegetable boxes delivered from organic farms. In fact it has been months now since I last stepped inside a grocery store as we can get everything else we need delivered to the home.  This is a huge difference from living on military bases where you bought what you could find and tried hard not to shop on or the days after payday.  I believe being able to have such an amazing access to high quality, variety, and fresh foods have been the foundation of my husband’s journey  in cooking.  
In a month we will have my mum and sister over to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary with a vow renewal in the Snowdonia region of Wales.  As we were researching places to stay our biggest concern was about having an adequate kitchen.  My family adores Ryan to pieces and they are so excited to have him cook for them again.  We have been compiling his favourite recipes as we look forward to entertaining with my family and our friends in Wales.  Which makes this a perfect opportunity to participate in an entertaining competition with Taylor Wimpey. I have been asked to put together a menu of a starter, main, dessert, and drinks to serve as I bring my family together this summer.  I am trying my best to keep this mainly paleo as my family all eats a similar diet.  Since we are a multi cultural family who has lived in many places I made sure to reflect different aspects of that in the menu and ingredient choices. 

Welcome Drink – English Garden
Starter – Bacon and Cider Mussels
Main – Courgetti and Meatballs
Dessert – ‘Get Some’ Ice cream
Wine – Sangiovese
Welcome Drink: English Garden
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved –

This will be directions to make per individual glass.
Four fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 a tsp of grated ginger root
3 slices of cucumber
1 tsp of stevia or fair trade raw cane sugar
Soda water
Put the mint, ginger, and cucumber at the bottom of the glass. Fill the glass with ice. Add one part gin to three parts soda water. Stir so that the ingredients mix throughout the drink. While you are stirring add the sweetener. 
The Starter: Bacon and Cider Mussels
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved –

1Kg of mussels, scrubbed clean and de-bearded. 
2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
150ml of cider (an alcoholic cider, for my American readers)
1tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar and add water until the mixture equals 150ml 
One bunch of parsley, chopped
150gr of smoked bacon lardons
Grass fed unsalted butter
Coconut oil
Directions for Mussels:
In a pot (or pan that has a lid) melt a tbsp of butter and fry the smoked bacon lardons until crispy. Take the lardons out and set aside but keep the fat in the pot.  Melt a tbsp of coconut oil. Add the mussels, the cider, and garlic. Cover and let them steam for about four minutes or until they have all opened. You will want to shake them around in the pan occasionally to prevent them from burning. Take the mussels out and set aside, leaving the cider mixture in the pot. Add the parsley and half of the bacon and cook for two minutes.  Pour over the mussels and then sprinkle the remaining bacon over the muscles. 
The Main: Courgetti and Meatballs
Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved –

Ryan’s Paleo ‘Courgetti’ and Meatballs
My family grew up in southern Italy and so Italian food has always been a quintessential part when we get back together.  What I love about ‘real’ Italian food in my home of Napoli, is that the dishes keep it simple.  You can taste every one of the ingredients with each bite.  It is probably why I am not a huge fan of ‘American-Italian’ food which can contain a lot of dishes that are covered in heavy sauces, smothered in cream and cheese, and have chicken thrown in for good measure. This recipe is perfect as I feel it meets my needs for Italian food while satisfying the needs of a Paleo diet. 
3-4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 chopped chille (omit if you do not like spicy)
500 gr of freshly chopped tomatoes
Fresh basil to taste, chopped
6 oz. of  wine, Pinot Grigio 
Sea salt to taste
Coconut Oil (or butter)
Directions for Sauce:
1 tbsp of coconut oil melted in a pot and add the garlic. Let the garlic cook on a medium low heat, just until it gets brown but before it gets crunch.  Follow with adding the tomatoes on an increased high heat setting.  Crush the tomatoes as you stir them in the pot until you get a thick liquid texture with chunks of broken down tomatoes.  If you are adding peppers, now is the time to add them and let them cook for two minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Let it stay on high heat until it starts to boil. Then cover and put on low heat to simmer for at least 30 minutes.  You do not want to cook all the water out of it, but if you wanted to simmer it for longer you can. 
For a family of four we use 3 courgettes. For two people I would suggest two. Take the courgettes and chop the ends off and discard. Slice the courgettes in a mandoline into your preferred size.  If you do not have a mandoline you can use a knife or if you wanted really thing noodles could use a vegetable peeler.  If you use the peeler you will then need to cut them into strips afterwards.  Put a colander in a large bowel and add the courgette noodles to the colander   Add enough sea salt to distribute evenly with the noodles to help suck the water out of them to make them pliable.  Set aside.
Time to Start the Oven: Preheat oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5
500 grams of meat
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 egg
This is per preference, but my husband likes to mix 250gr of minced pork with 250gr of minced beef. However if you want all beef or all pork you can use 500gr of your choosing.  
Directions for Meatballs
Crack and beat an egg in a bowl and mix with the meat and the onion and mix together evenly with your hands.  The size can vary but golfball size meatballs works well or you can make a bigger meatball per person.  Once your meatballs are formed take a skillet or pan and heat up 1/2 a tbsp of coconut oil.  Add the meatballs and cook them until they are nice and brown on all sides. 
Final Preparation
Take a casserole dish and add the meatballs. Take the sauce that has been simmering and pour on top of the meatballs. Put in preheated oven, uncovered, for about forty minutes.  Put the noodles on plates or in bowls, spoon the sauce and meatballs on top. If desired grated parmesan on top. Garnish with two our three basil leaves. 

Dessert: “Get Some” Ice Cream

This is a recipe from the Life hacker who bases a lot of recipes off of a Paleo idea. 
You can read more at:

4 whole eggs (pastured of course)
4 yolks (in addition to the whole eggs above)
2 tsp vanilla (I use Bulletproof Vanilla)
1 gram vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or 10 drops apple cider vinegar or lime juice to taste.
100 grams (7 tbs) grass-fed butter
100 grams (7tbs) coconut oil (or substitute half Upgraded Cacao Butter for amazing taste)
50 grams (3tbs + 2tsp) MCT oil (important for consistency)
80 grams (5.5tbs) xylitol or erythritol (or more to taste – you can add up to 160 grams if you want)
~100 grams water or ice (just under 1/2 cup; add less than you think you need, then increase the amount).
(optional) 1/4 to 1/2 cup of low-toxin Upgraded Chocolate powder

Directions for Bullet Proof Ice Cream:
Blend everything but the water/ice in blender. It takes a while to get the butter blended into perfect creaminess.
Add water or ice and blend some more until well blended. Ideally, you want a yogurt-like consistency for creamy ice cream, or add more water for a firmer, icier texture
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and turn it on.
This will make perfect consistency ice cream. 

Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved –

I recommend Sangiovese or if you want something with a twist of something different, Valpolicella.  Although if your guest prefer a white wine, you could offer the option of the white wine that you used from the sauce to compliment the menu. However I have to state that my sister is a level II sommelier and she most definitely take the lead when it comes to choosing and pairing wines with our meals this summer.  I look forward to hearing what she has to say about this menu.  
Final Notes: 
I do not like the negative connotation that the word ‘diet’ draws up as some think that its something you do for a short period of time to lose weight.  I believe that eating is a way of life. At home we have a diet that is based off of Paleo and is rooted around information you can find from the Bullet Proof Exec.  
This was a post for the Taylor Wimpey Dinner Party  competition.  You can read more about Taylor Wimpey and the competition here:


*Photography unless cited belongs to Bonnie Rose Photography © 2007 – 2013 All Rights Reserved –

  • Luchessa Grossmann

    Oh wow, this def looks like a really lovely dinner. expecially prepared with love and care :)
    Hope your weekend is going well.

    xoxo, Luchessa.

  • Rachel Murphree

    I’m kind of drooling just looking at this! I’ve been really curious about the paelo diet. I hear there are so many health benefits to it; I just worry that I don’t have the discipline!

  • Amelia Steele

    Wow that corgetti and meatballs looks delicious! and pretty healthy too, I’d presume. Ideal :) Sounds like a perfect evening.

    Makings, Musings and Meanderings

  • Jade

    The Husband and I do a sort of paleo diet but we cheat an awful lot to call it a proper paleo diet. We just try to eat as cleanly as possible and it truly makes a difference in how we both feel, especially since he is such a big fitness freak and I’m just starting down that path.

    Now I’m loving this Courgetti and Meatballs recipe so I think I will try for dinner one night this week!

  • Kelsey

    Wow that looks delicious! Sounds like an amazing evening.

    Lovely blog.


  • Erin Moran

    This all looks yummy! I especially like the idea of the cidered mussels and ‘English Garden’ drink. :)

    Might be trying a couple of these soon.

    Erin x

  • TheRomRom.Com

    Very yummyyyyy! They seem so good!

    Check out our blog:

  • Hanna

    OMG!!!! All of this looks so freakin amazing!!!! I’m totally making those meatballs! Are those squash as noodles? And do you all eat Paleo all the time? I do. Just curious. Xoxoox I’m taking a break from my blog but I just found you on insta:)

  • Sara Louise

    The mussels looks DEVINE! I love mussels but I’ve never tried them prepared like that… that’s going to change soon!

  • josephnew87

    You must chkout this 350 Easy Paleo Recipes with Gorgeous Photos, I wish I found this two years back..Also The 8 Week Meal plan is so helpful.. You’ll also find a list of Paleo deserts,snacks,herbs & spices to make your life so much easier.

  • josephnew87

    Checkout this 350 Easy Paleo Recipes with Gorgeous Photos, this is so helpful..Also The 8 Week Meal plan is so helpful.. You’ll also find a list of Paleo deserts,snacks,herbs & spices to make your life so much easier.