Satay courgetti

I know peanut butter sounds odd to pair with courgetti stir fry, but trust me on this one. The combination of peanuts with soy, garlic, ginger, chilli and lime is awesome. It’s basically a low carb, low sugar satay sauce alternative.

SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 12g / fat 12g / protein 8g

INGREDIENTS
4 large zucchini (courgettes)
1 carrot
1 small red onion
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon chilli sauce or chilli (fresh or dried)
4 tablespoons natural peanut butter (100% peanuts)
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
Juice of 1/2-1 lime
1 teaspoon sesame oil or coconut oil
1 teaspoon coconut sugar or honey (optional)
Bunch of coriander, roughly chopped (optional)

SPIRALISE, GRATE, PEEL, SLICE, CRUSH, MIX, CHOP, HEAT, ADD, COOK, MIX, STIR, SERVE…
Spiralise the zucchini (courgette) and grate the carrots. Peel and finely slice the red onion, peel and crush the garlic, and peel and finely grate the ginger. Mix the peanut butter, soy sauce, juice of half the lime, chilli and coconut sugar or honey together. Roughly chop the coriander and set aside.

Heat a large pan or wok over medium heat with a splash of sesame oil. Add the courgettes and carrot. Cook until softened for about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan.

Add another small splash of sesame oil and add the onions, cooking for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the mix of peanut butter, soy sauce, chilli, lime juice and coconut sugar and mix together with the onion, garlic and ginger. Return the zucchini and carrots to the pan. Any liquid from the zucchini is fine to add in as it will help to loosen up the sauce which will be quite thick. Stir in and heat through. Taste for flavour and adjust as needed. Serve immediately with some fresh coriander and a wedge of the remaining lime.

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Avgolemono

A traditional Greek soup that is creamy and comforting. My mum would make it for me whenever I had a cold or was feeling under the weather. It can be made without chicken if you’re going vegetarian, but the chicken brother and flavour makes it. You can add a whole carrot, a celery stalk and a peeled onion to the broth and discard before serving to add more flavour, but you don’t have to. Feel free to add in a handful of basmati rice, or leave it out to go carb free. It’s high in protein and low in carbs if you omit the rice. The small quantity of rice still makes it a lower carb, high protein option, though. 

SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE (WITH RICE)
carbs 8g / fat 4g / protein 22g

INGREDIENTS
1 chicken breast, or 2 chicken thighs
1 lemon
2 eggs
1 litre of chicken stock, or 1 chicken stock cube dissolved in boiled water
2 litres of boiled water
A good pinch of salt and black pepper
1 bay leaf (optional)
½ cup of basmati rice (optional)
1 peeled carrot
1 celery stalk
1 peeled onion

BOIL, SHRED, CRACK, WHISK, ADD, STIR…
Add the whole pieces of chicken to the stock and water in the pot, with the salt, pepper, carrot, celery, onion and bay leaf. Bring it to the boil and let it simmer for 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. The chicken should be white (not pink) inside. Pull the chicken out and let it cool, then shred it into smaller pieces using a fork, discarding of any fat or bones. Skim off any scum from the broth and remove the bay leaf, onion, celery and carrot so you are left just with the clear stock. Add the rice (if using) to the broth and let it simmer for another 10 minutes until the rice is cooked.

In a medium bowl, crack the eggs and squeeze in the lemon juice, making sure to remove any pips. Whisk it up well. Continue to whisk vigorously and slowly pour in a ladle or two of the hot soup broth into the egg and lemon mixture. Move your whisk over to the pot, and slowly pour in all the egg mixture while you are whisking. The colour of the soup will turn a creamy white colour and will thicken up slightly. Whisking the hot soup into the egg mixture and then pouring this back into the soup ensures you don’t end up with scrambled eggs!

Add in the chicken, stir, taste for salt, pepper and lemon, and add more if you think it needs it before serving. Serve with a wedge of lemon on the side, and extra salt and pepper. If you need to heat the soup up again, be sure to not bring it to the boil as it can curdle with the egg. Slowly heat it up and turn it off before it boils. Never microwave the soup to heat up as it will heat the eggs too much.

Miso courgetti soup

This is so healthy and really satisfying when you feel like some ramen soup without the noodles. The salmon adds some healthy fats and protein for a full rounded meal. You could sub the salmon for boiled eggs if you like.

SERVES 2
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 11g / fat 21g / protein 22g

INGREDIENTS
1/2 red onion
2 cloves garlic
Thumb-sized piece ginger
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in a cup of boiled water (or a cup of liquid stock)
2 tablespoons miso paste (red or yellow)
1 zucchini (courgette)
1 handful Chinese greens, such as bok choi, gai lan or choy sum (or spinach)
1 fillet of salmon, cut in 2
Fresh or dried chilli, to taste (optional)
Fresh coriander, to serve (optional)
Slice of fresh lime (optional)
1 spring onion, slice (optional)

SLICE, MINCE, GRATE, HEAT, SAUTE, ADD, DISSOLVE, JULIENNE, ADD, SIMMER, STIR, ASSEMBLE…
Peel and thinly slice the red onion, peel and finely mince the garlic, and peel and finely grate the ginger. Heat the sesame oil in a saucepan and saute the onion for a couple of minutes until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple more minutes, then add the soy sauce, cooking for a further minute or so.

Dissolve the stock cube in a cup of boiled water if you aren’t using liquid stock. Add the cup of stock to the saucepan with another 2 cups of boiled water. Cover and let it simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavours develop.

In the meantime, heat a pan with a little olive oil and cook the salmon on each side, starting with the skin side down. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and black pepper. It should cook in about 10 minutes, depending on how rare or well done you like it, as well as how big or small the piece of salmon is.

Using a julienne peeler or spiraliser, make the zucchini noodles. Add to the broth with the greens and simmer for 5 minutes.

Dissolve the miso paste in a cup of boiled water. Stir into the soup and turn the heat off so the miso doesn’t come to a boil.

Assemble the soup in bowls, adding the salmon, fresh coriander, and chilli on top. Add a little extra soy sauce if you want it saltier. Enjoy!

Bangers & mash

It’s been a bangers and mash kind of week. With a London summer rain that won’t leave and busy days, I felt like coming home from work and whipping up some comfort food. I didn’t want to sacrifice my low carb eating or face a spike in my blood sugar levels just because I was craving something warm and stodgy. This cauliflower mash does the job perfectly. You really can’t tell that it’s not mashed potatoes when you’re scoffing your face full of sausage and onion, and the creaminess of the cauliflower puree just tops it off. The flavours are like for like. Try it! 

SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE (depending on the sausages used)
carbs 5.5g / fat 23g / protein 16g

INGREDIENTS
8 quality gluten free sausages of your choice (gluten free sausages have less carbs)
1 cauliflower
1 tablespoon of butter
Sea salt and pepper
1 large onion or 2 small onions or shallots
1/4 cup of liquid stock
Any other side vegetables of your choice, such as broccoli

TO MAKE THE CAULIFLOWER MASH
Cut the cauliflower into small florets and place in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of sea salt. Boil for 10 minutes until soft. Drain the water and place the cauliflower into a food processor and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, try a hand blender, but be careful because the cauliflower will be hot. Stir in the butter and taste for salt. Add pepper if you like.

TO MAKE THE SAUSAGES AND ONION
Peel and roughly chop up the onions. Heat a pan over high heat and cook the sausages, turning frequently, for about 10 minutes or until cooked through. At the same time, throw the onions in to cook with the sausages. Once both the onions and sausages are cooked, remove the sausages, leaving the onions in the pan and the heat turned down to low-medium. Add in the liquid stock and stir for a minute. If you want to thicken the gravy, add in a teaspoon of flour of your choice, but I prefer to keep it quite liquid. Tate for salt and pepper and adjust according to your taste.

Serve the cauliflower mash with the sausages and top with the onion gravy. Serve with some side veggies of your choice if you wish, or just go straight in for the bangers and mash. Enjoy!

Spinach gnudi

Gnudi are little Italian dumplings similar to gnocchi, except they are made with spinach and ricotta instead of potato, with little or no flour. Also called ‘naked ravioli’, or sometime referred to as ‘malfatti’ which in Italian translates to ‘poorly made’, they are imperfect little balls. They traditionally come from Tuscany where wild greens grow native, but it is quite common to use spinach instead of wild greens. This version is completely low carb as I haven’t used any flour. 

SERVES 2
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE (without tomato sauce)
carbs 4g / fat 19g / protein 25g

INGREDIENTS
120g spinach or wild greens
250g ricotta
1 egg
Pinch of sea salt
Crack of black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (basil, parsley)
2 cloves of garlic
2 spring onions
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1 x simple tomato sauce

WILT, MIX, FORM, BAKE, SERVE…
Make a simple tomato sauce. Chop the onion and mince the garlic and saute in a little olive oil. Add the spinach and wilt for a few minutes Drain off the excess water. Mix in the salt, pepper, egg, ricotta, parmesan, chopped herbs and nutmeg. Using a spoon, form into small gnocchi-sized shapes. Place on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with the tomato sauce and some fresh basil.

gnudi2

Carrot ginger soup

This is a simple one to whip up. It’s creamy with a slight zing from the ginger and a little heat from the curry powder. 

SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 15g / fat 8g / protein 3g

INGREDIENTS
6 large carrots
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
A thumb-sized piece of ginger or 1 teaspoon of dried ginger
2 teaspoons of curry powder (or 1/2 teaspoon each or turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds and chilli)
2 dried bay leaves
1 vegetable stock cube (or liquid stock)
1/2 cup coconut milk
Generous pinch of salt
Splash of olive oil or coconut oil

PEEL, DICE, SAUTE, MINCE, CHOP, ADD, FILL, SIMMER, COOL, BLEND, STIR, TASTE…
Peel and dice the onion. Saute in a saucepan with the oil for a few minutes until softened but not browned.

Peel and mince the garlic and peel and roughly chop the carrots. Add the garlic, ginger and spices to the onions and cook for a minutes, making sure not to burn (add a splash of water if it starts to stick to the saucepan).

Add the carrots, salt, bay leaves and stock, and fill the pot with water. cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes or until the carrots are soft.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool before blending thoroughly with a hand blender. Stir in the coconut milk. Taste for seasoning and add salt or coconut milk to taste. Serve with some fresh herbs, a little toasted bread, or as it is.

Naked burger

I love a good burger – and this healthy option gives me big love. It’s healthy, low carb, gluten free, full of veggies, and doesn’t leave you feeling bloated, greasy or guilty afterwards. It is also very, very delicious. This is a great meal to make for friends and family. It seems like there are lots of steps in this, but it is easy and fun to make. Get your friends or family to help out!

burger4
SERVES 4

BURGER PATTIES
500 grams of beef mince
1 egg
1 slice of sourdough bread or 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs
Generous pinch of sea salt
Good crack of black pepper
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon chilli
1 teaspoon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or mint
1 clove of garlic

EVERYTHING ELSE
4 portobello (field) mushrooms
2 red onions
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
6 carrots
2 sprigs of rosemary (or a good sprinkling of dried rosemary)
2 large handfuls of chopped kale
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes or 2 large tomatoes
1 avocado
1 tablespoon of fresh herbs (such as parsley or coriander)
Squeeze of lime
Pinch of salt and crack of black pepper (keep handy throughout)
Olive oil (keep handy throughout)

MAKE THE BURGER PATTIES
Turn the oven on and cut up the bread into small bits. Place on a roasting tray and bake until crispy, about 10 minutes. Crush into small crumbs with a blender. Alternatively, you can use just 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs. Combine the beef mince with the egg, salt, pepper, chilli, chopped herbs, mustard, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce and breadcrumbs. Combine well (feel free to get in there with your clean hands). Roll into large balls and flatten with your hands into thick patties. Set aside until you’re ready to cook.
To cook, heat a pan with a little olive oil and fry for 5 minutes or so on each side, or until browned and cooked to your liking.

ROAST THE CARROT FRIES
Peel and cut the carrots into thin julienne strips. Place in a roasting tray with a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of sea salt, and the leaves of the rosemary stalks (or dried rosemary). Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until golden, shaking the tray once or twice through cooking to turn the carrots over.

ROAST THE KALE CHIPS
Place the chopped kale leaves on a roasting tray and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes or until they are crispy. Be careful not to burn them.

ROAST THE TOMATOES
Place the whole cherry tomatoes, or thickly slice the large tomatoes, and place on a roasting tray. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Roast for 15 minutes or until cooked. You can alternatively serve these fresh as I have in these pictures.

FRY THE ONIONS
Peel and dice or slice the onions. Heat a pan with a little olive oil and saute the onions for 5 minutes or until softened. Add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and turn off the heat.

COOK THE MUSHROOMS
You can either bake these for 10 minutes, or cook them in a pan on the stove for 5 minutes each side.

SLICE OR MASH THE AVOCADO
You can definitely just slice up the avocado and put in on top of the burger (as I have done in the picture). But to be a little more fancy, scoop the avocado out of the skins, mash it up with a fork, add the chopped herbs, a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Mix it all up and dollop it on top of the burger.

ASSEMBLE THE BURGER
Once everything is cooked (including the burger patties), place a whole portobello mushroom on each plate and a burger pattie on top. If it doesn’t sit flush, just trim off the mushroom stalk a little. Place the avocado on top of the burger. Put the carrot fries, kale chips and roast tomatoes on the side.

If you want a creamy dressing to dip your chips in or plonk on top of your burger, try this creamy dressing:

CREAMY DRESSING
3 tablespoons natural Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sprinkle of sea salt
Grinding of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
Mix all the ingredients together. Taste for seasoning and adjust the flavour by adding a little extra of what’s missing.

Enjoy!!!

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Creamy chicken

This is one of my favourites at the moment. It’s hearty and delicious, yet low carb. Imagine a creamy chicken pasta with flavours of bacon, garlic and mushroom, and this is what you get – except without the carbs. Think that all the cream and butter is bad? Read this. And this. This makes enough for dinner for me and my boyfriend, with a large portion for lunch the next day. If you don’t feel like making the courgetti, just have the chicken bake as it is, or have it with some cauliflower rice on the side.

chicken
SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 5g  / fat 27.5g / protein 67.5g

INGREDIENTS
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 chicken breasts
1 cup of mushrooms
4 rashers of bacon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup of cream
2 large zucchini
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper

DICE, SLICE, PEEL, MINCE, CHOP, SPRINKLE, HEAT, FRY, ADD, POUR, BAKE…
Dice the bacon, slice the mushrooms, peel and dice the onion, and peel and mince the garlic. Chop the herbs.

Wash the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a fry pan with a little olive oil and brown for a few minutes on each side. Remove and place in a roasting pan.

In the same pan, fry the bacon and onion for a few minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute or so. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the cream and herbs and simmer for another minutes. Remove from heat. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the roasting tray and bake for 15-20 minutes.

creamy chicken with bacon and mushrooms

creamy chicken with bacon and mushrooms

 

Minty pea soup

green pea soup
This is an incredibly quick and easy soup to make, and very nutritious.

SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 12g / fat 2.5g / protein 8g

INGREDIENTS
500g frozen peas
1 brown onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped mint
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in boiled water
1 tablespoon oil or butter

PEEL, DICE, MINCE, HEAT, SAUTE, ADD, FILL, COVER, SIMMER, REMOVE, BLEND, SERVE…
Peel and dice the onion, and peel and mince the garlic. Heat a saucepan with the oil or butter and saute the onion until soft, then add the garlic for a further minute. Add the peas, stock and water to fill the pot to just over the top of the peas. Add the mint, parsley, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes or until the peas are soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Blend with a hand blender until smooth. If it’s too thick, add in a little boiled water to thin it out. Serve as it is, or with a garnish of sour cream, pumpkin seeds, or chopped fresh herbs such as mint, parsley or chives.