Cauliflower cheese

This has to be one of the most amazing things in the world when you’re on a low carb diet. Pair it with a medium-rare rib eye and it’s probably the most delicious dinners out. Maybe flick on some greens on the side to make this a more balanced meal. It’s also very easy to whip up, and is low carb and high fat to keep you full and satisfied without blood sugar spikes, as well as gluten free and full of veg. You can leave out the bacon if you’re going veg or just want to cut down on the amount of saturated fats in this; but trust me, the bacon flavour makes all the difference. 

SERVES 6
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 4g / fat 25g / protein 12g

INGREDIENTS
1 cauliflower
1 cup of cream
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
4 rashers of bacon (optional)

CHOP, BOIL, DICE, PEEL, CRUSH, FRY, ADD, POUR, COAT, TASTE, BAKE, SERVE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Get out a baking dish and set aside.

Wash and chop up the cauliflower into florets and boil/steam in a pot with a little boiling water at the bottom for about 5-10 minutes or until tender.

In the meantime, dice up the bacon and peel the garlic. Fry the bacon in its own fat until crispy. Crush and add the garlic when the bacon is nearly done and cook for a minute. Turn down the heat and add in the cream, cheese, mustard and pepper. Stir through and turn off the heat.

Pour over the cauliflower and coat well. Taste for flavour and add salt and pepper as needed. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or until slightly golden and bubbling. Sprinkle with a little fresh parsley if you like, or serve as it is. Can be enjoyed on its own or on the side of some meat or veg.

cauli mac and cheese

Bacon and egg bites

Very easy to make for breakfast the night before so you’re ready to go in the morning. It’s a simple and easy way to eat bacon and eggs, and a high protein, low carb way to start the day.

MAKES 6
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 1g / fat 7g / protein 15g

INGREDIENTS
6 rashers of bacon
6 eggs
Sea salt and pepper
Fresh herbs (optional)

WRAP, CRISP, CRACK, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius and get a muffin tin out. Very lightly grease the tin with a little butter or coconut oil. Wrap the bacon on the inside of each muffin tin. Place in the oven to crisp up the bacon a bit for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and crack in an egg in each muffin hole. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with some chopped herbs of your choice.

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

Low carb blondies

This recipe has been adapted from All Day I Dream About Food Low Carb Browned Butter Choc Chip BlondiesIt has all the flavours of a choc chip cookies but the the texture of a soft brownie. No one can tell the difference that this is sugar free, gluten free and low carb.

MAKES 12
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SQUARE
carbs 4g / fat 21.5g / protein 5g

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup (125g) butter, melted
2 cups almond meal
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g chopped 70% dark chocolate
1/2 cup xylitol or other sweetener
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

MELT, MIX, PRESS, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a lamington or sheet tray with some baking paper.

Mix the almond meal, baking powder and sweetener together. Combine with the melted butter, egg and vanilla extract. Mix well before stirring in the chopped chocolate so it doesn’t melt into the mix.

Press into a lined lamington tin and bake for 20 minutes.

blondie

Ginger pear crumble

If you have a few leftover pears, this is a great way to use them up. You could use other fruit such as apples, rhubarb or berries instead. This is low GI and has no added sugar – just the sweetness of the fruit, making it a healthier dessert option. 

SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 9g / fat 23g / protein 5.5g

INGREDIENTS
4 pears
Peel of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon or 1 cinnamon quill
1 centimetre piece of ginger
1 cup of almond meal
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon stevia or xylitol
Thick Greek yoghurt to serve

CORE, DICE, SIMMER, HEAT, MELT, ADD, COMBINE, POUR, BAKE, SERVE…
I leave the pears with the skin on but you can peel if you wish, then core and dice. Place in a saucepan with the lemon peel, cinnamon and sliced ginger. Add 1/2 a cup of water and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes until the pears have softened.

In the meantime, heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Melt the butter in a baking dish in the oven for a couple of minutes. Add the almond meal and sweetener to the melted butter and stir to combine into crumbs. Place back in the oven for 10 minutes, being careful not to burn the crumble. Remove the crumble from the baking dish and place in a separate dish.

When the pears are done, remove the lemon peel, cinnamon quill (if using) and ginger (if you wish, or you could leave the ginger in for some extra spice). Pour into the baking dish and cover with the crumble. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm with the Greek yoghurt. 

pear4

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!!!

burger9

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.