Paleo has been around for a long, long time.  It gained momentum a few years back.  It’s surrounded in hype, negativity and sensationalism.  It’s not ALL bad though. I wanted to share a paleo recipe with you today that is truly delightful.  For many people with dairy and wheat allergies, the popularity of Paleo recipes have helped them gain access to foods in mainstream avenues more easily. Yay!  You can now find a whole range of foods on supermarket shelves that branch away from the core 3 cereal items – wheat, rice and corn.  And if you know me, you know I love variety!  Variety of vegetable consumption is my main goal with this blog.  However, if I can get people thinking “variety” in any way shape or form – I think I am doing my job.  Up until now I have only briefly mentioned the paleo diet in this blog post about swede topped cottage pie (which I have since recreated as a gluten free recipe here too).  Again my stance back then was, if you are talking to someone about paleo, I just hope they are endorsing vegetables too.  Every “diet” should always have vegetables as the most important aspect of its construct.


Being able to enjoy a variety of foods with your family is fantastic.  It’s not often simple if you or your children have allergies, are fussy eaters or have painful associations with foods (physically and emotionally.)  Being able to cut-down on stress around mealtimes is crucial for moving towards happy mealtimes.  I was enthralled to read this post by the Merry Maker Sisters who are “quitting” paleo – the diet and recipes that have enabled them to become the business that they are today.  Why are they quitting?  They have reached a level of their eating competence to realise that they need to let go of the hang-ups that they had about being strictly paleo and that they didn’t like the negative sensationalism that the diet received. I say BRAVO!  Learning your eating competence and accepting it is a major emotional milestone for Carla and Emma. In their case, I can see the good that Paleo has done for them.  Am I endorsing a diet that tells you to unnecessarily & strictly avoid certain food groups?  Ummm NO!  But I am endorsing that you learn about your eating competence – Learning how your feelings about and how your approach to food moulds your choices for your family.  Carla and Emma have publically gone on their journey and have happily documented their AHA moment.  For many of us, our AHA moment may come about when we are feeding our children and we start to try and wade through our own food issues OR it can come about when we are dealing with a child that has food issues.  Being able to adapt and learn more about our food choices helps us improve our eating competency.

To raise a competent feeder, one must be a competent eater – Ellyn Satter

The Ellyn Satter model for eating competency is hands-down one of the best tools I have in my repertoire for feeding my family.  I go through it extensively in the FIRST module of the Happy Mealtimes eCourse.  Why is it first up?  Because it lays the foundations for happily feeding your family.  It is my AHA moment wrapped up in a beautiful evidence-based package and the bow on top is the smiles on my kids faces at dinner times!

Speaking about happily feeding my family – the whole family loved this paleo chocolate and almond torte!

Paleo Chocolate and Almond Torte by Play with Food

If you want more assistance for working through your family’s eating competency, I recommend you talk to an accredited practicing dietitian like Meg from Choose Nutrition.  Meg kindly donated her time to film the video in the first module of the Happy Mealtimes eCourse.  Meg also offers services via Skype.

Paleo Chocolate Almond Torte
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A dairy and grain free, protein rich dessert based on almond meal.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12 slices
  • 5 separated eggs
  • ½ cup sugar (for strict paleo substitute with 3 tbsp of honey or pure maple syrup)
  • 2 x 85g blocks of dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 150g almond meal
  • 80g coconut oil
  • Optional: ganache - melted chocolate mixed with (coconut) cream OR a dusting of icing sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC
  2. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin and line with baking paper
  3. Stir chocolate and coconut oil in a saucepan over a low heat until smooth and let it cool
  4. Beat egg yolks and sugar together until thick and creamy. If you are using honey / maple it won't thicken as much.
  5. Fold the egg yolk mix in with the cooled chocolate mix along with the almond meal
  6. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form and then very gently fold this in with the chocolate mixture
  7. Pour the mixture into the tin
  8. Bake for 55 minutes and let it stand in the pan for a further 15 minutes before turning out
  9. Optional: Pour ganache over the top of the cake and refrigerate for 30 minutes to let it set.

The benefits of the Happy Mealtimes eCourseModule Outline for Happy Mealtimes eCourse by Play with FoodTestimonials for Happy Mealtimes eCourse by Play with Food


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