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!

Chicken & ‘rice’

I have very fond memories of my Baba’s chicken and rice – salty, savoury, garlicky, with aromas of chicken stock and roast chicken. It’s great to know that this low carb version brings back all the flavours, with extra veggies and no impact on blood sugar levels. I threw in half a grated zucchini (courgette) when I made this one.

chickenricemain

INGREDIENTS
CAULIFLOWER RICE
1 cauliflower head
1 broccoli head
1 chicken stock cube dissolved in a cup of boiled water (or 1 cup of liquid stock)
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, marjoram or tarragon
1 clove of garlic
Pinch of sea salt
Crack of black pepper
CHICKEN
500 grams of chicken (drumsticks, thighs or breasts)
Pinch of sea salt
Grinding of black pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of fresh herbs, such as parsley, marjoram, tarragon
1 teaspoon of cumin
2 tablespoons of butter

GRATE, ADD, MIX, SPREAD, SEASON, PLACE, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius.

Grate or blend the cauliflower and broccoli into ‘rice’, discarding the stalk. Add the cup of chicken stock, a  pinch of salt and crack of black pepper, chopped herbs, and minced garlic. Mix to combine and spread out in a roasting tray.

Wash the chicken and season with the salt, pepper, minced garlic and cumin, coating the chicken well. Place the chicken pieces on top of the cauliflower and broccoli rice and top with knobs of butter. Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Cauliflower rice

This is a great low carb substitute for rice. Serve on the side of a curry, stir fry, casserole, or a meat dish that requires some soaking up. It’s also a great base for fried rice.

INGREDIENTS
Head of 1 cauliflower
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped (optional)

GRATE, COOK, ADD, SERVE…
Grate the head of the cauliflower, discarding of the stem. It will resemble a fluffy snow-like texture. Microwave in a bowl uncovered for 5 to 8 minutes. If you don’t want to use a microwave, steam the grated cauliflower above a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. It will be light, fluffy and cooked through if you taste. Add the salt, butter and herbs if using.

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Ham & cheese toastie

Sometimes I just feel like a toasted sandwich, but I don’t want the carbs.This is a satisfying alternative.You wouldn’t even know you were eating cauliflower.

INGREDIENTS
2 cauliflower hash browns (recipe here)
2 slices of ham
A slice of cheese
Mustard, chilli sauce or tomato sauce to serve

MAKE HASH BROWNS, STACK, WARM, MELT…
Make the hash browns (recipe here). Stack the ham and cheese between the 2 hash browns and warm in a hot oven for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve as it is, or with your favourite condiment such as mustard or tomato sauce. Add a fresh salad on the side if you want some greens.

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Mince pie roll

Kind of a healthy sausage roll, kind of a mince pie, but rolled up in a different kind of ‘pastry’ and filled with a healthy savoury mince packed with veg. It’s completely low carb made with a cauliflower and cheese base. I looooooove this recipe and hope you do too. Make it next time you’re feeling the pie and sausage roll cravings coming on. 

INGREDIENTS
See recipes below for list of ingredients and method.

Recipe for cauliflower crust here.
Recipe for savoury mince here.

MAKE MINCE, MAKE BASE, SCOOP, FLIP, WRAP, BAKE…
After baking the base in the oven for 15 minutes until golden, scoop the mince along the middle, leaving a good size gap on either side. Pile it high and spread it out evenly. Carefully lift one side of the base and flip it over the mince. Then do the same for the other side, trying to create a wrap.

Place it back in the oven for 10 minutes. Cut it into a portion and enjoy! Know that you’re getting plenty of veg, so this is completely fine to eat on its own.

mince pie roll

Cauli hash browns

There are so many ways to eat these – with your eggs for breakfast, stacked with avocado, smoked salmon, roast tomatoes or bacon, made into ham and cheese toasties, or eaten with a generous scoop of savoury mince. They are really delicious and a great carb free alternative to bread or potatoes. 

MAKES 8

INGREDIENTS
1 cauliflower
1/2 cup of cheese (such as cheddar, mozzarella, gruyere)
1 egg
Salt and pepper taste
Herbs, garlic, chilli to taste (optional)

GRATE, STEAM, ADD, STIR, SCOOP, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Grate the cauliflower florets into a cauliflower ‘snow’. Microwave uncovered for 5 to 8 minutes until steaming and fluffy. Alternatively, steam above a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, until fluffy and cooked through.

Add the grated cheese, egg and salt and pepper and stir together until well combined. Feel free to add some herbs, garlic and chilli at this stage if you would like to add more flavour.

Scoop a hash brown sized portion (about 2 tablespoons) onto the lined tray, flattening and shaping into either a square or circle (depending on what you prefer). Repeat until all the mix is gone, leaving a space between each. Bake for 15 minutes until golden.

 

Caulif fried rice

I served this up to my significant other and he emphasised that it was such a good fried rice, to which I replied, “Amazing that it’s made with cauliflower instead of rice, hey.” To which he responded with, “What!?” He didn’t even know he was eating cauliflower. And after I told him, he went back for more. True story.

It’s optional to add the cup of vegetables – it makes for a heartier meal, but it’s completely OK to have this as a spicy soy-based nasi goreng-style rice without the extra veg. You’re already getting a good serve of veg with the cauliflower anyway. Feel free to also leave out the chicken if you want to go vego for this meal.

INGREDIENTS
1/2 head of cauliflower (or 1 small cauliflower)
2 spring onions or shallots (or 1 red onion)
1 clove of garlic
1 thumb sized piece of ginger (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 chilli or 1 teaspoon chilli paste
1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar (or honey)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon regular oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice or garam masala (optional)
1 cup of vegetables of your choice such as red or green peppers, peas, carrots, celery, broccoli, snow peas (optional)
200 grams of chicken breast or thigh (optional)

GRATE, STEAM, CHOP, HEAT, COOK, ADD, STIR FRY…
Grate the cauliflower. Microwave uncovered for 5 to 8 minutes. Or, steam in a fine colander over a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.

Chop up all the veggies and chicken if using. Finely slice/dice the onions/shallots, peel and crush the garlic, and peel and finely grate the ginger.

Heat up a wok with a little oil. Crack the egg, whisk and pour in the wok like an omelette. Cook for a minute, scramble up, then pull out and leave aside on a plate.

Heat the sesame oil and add the chopped onion/shallots, minced garlic and grated ginger. Cook for a minute. Add the chilli, coconut palm sugar and Chinese 5 spice (if using). If using the chicken, add now and cook for a couple of minutes until browned. Then add the veggies and the grated cauliflower along with the soy sauce and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add the egg and stir fry through. Serve.

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Cheesy garlic bread

Sometimes you just want a slice or two of crunchy garlic bread to accompany a low-carb courgetti bolognese or a dish of garlic prawns. Here’s a low carb solution that can be whipped up and adds extra veg where you weren’t expecting it. The inspiration from this recipe came from An Edible Mosaic

INGREDIENTS
1 head of cauliflower (florets only), grated or blended
1 egg
1/2 cup of cheese of your choice, preferably melty (such as cheddar, mozzarella, gruyere)
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
Herbs, such as parsley, oregano, rosemary
Fresh or dried chilli (optional)

GRATE, MICROWAVE, DICE, ADD, COMBINE, ROLL OUT, DRIZZLE, BAKE…
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and add a little oil on top of the paper to make sure the bread doesn’t stick.

Grate or blend the cauliflower florets. Place it in a bowl and microwave for 5 to 8 minutes without adding any water. If you don’t have a microwave, steam the cauliflower on the stove for the same amount of time, adding a dash of water so it doesn’t stick or burn, and drain any excess water off after.

In the meantime, peel and finely dice or mince the garlic and add to the melted butter or olive oil. Add the chopped herbs and a touch of salt and pepper to season.

When the cauliflower is done in the microwave, add the whisked egg, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Combine well. Press into the lined baking tray. Brush or simply drizzle the garlic butter/oil mixture on top.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until it is golden on top. Spinkle with a little parmesan on top if you wish.

Cauliflower pizza

Don’t let the usage of cauliflower put you off this recipe. You can hardly taste that there’s cauliflower in there, and the cheese gives it a great flavour. Feel free to add some spices or herbs to the mix. This not only makes a great pizza crust, but a great base for pies and rolls with fillings, cheesy garlic bread or homemade sausage rolls. My boyfriend, who doesn’t really like cauliflower (or how many vegetables I seem to feed him), really loves this pizza. I’ve included lots of pizza topping variations so you can get creative and try different flavours out. 

INGREDIENTS
1 head of cauliflower (florets only), grated or blended
1/2 cup of cheese of your choice (such as cheddar, mozzarella, gruyere)
1 egg
Salt and pepper
Mixed herbs of your choice (optional)

GRATE, MICROWAVE, ADD, MIX, SPREAD, BAKE, TOP, RE-BAKE, SERVE…
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Line a tray with parchment paper and add a little oil to be sure it won’t stick.

Grate or blend the cauliflower florets until it is like a rough powdered snow. Place it in a bowl and microwave, uncovered and with no added water, for about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the cheese and whisked egg to the cauliflower, with the salt, pepper and herbs. Mix well until combined.

Spread the dough on the parchment paper, forming into the shape you want (circle, square, rectangle, mini circles).

Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden.

Remove from the oven and add your topping. Place in the over for another 5-10 minutes or so.

Remove from the oven to serve. Add some fresh basil or pesto on top. If you serve it immediately it will still be a little soft. If you wait 10 minutes til it cools a little, it will be crispy.

TOPPING IDEAS
Tomato, oregano and parmesan
Basil pesto and cheese
Mozzarella, basil and fresh tomato
Chilli, salami (pepperoni) and cheese
Garlic, herbs and cheese (cheesy garlic bread)
Rosemary and salt
Roasted peppers, tomato and cheese
Jalapeno, tomato salsa and cheese
Mushrooms, cheese and thyme
Olives, tomato and cheese
Ham, pineapple, cheese and tomato
Bacon, egg, tomato and cheese
Spinach and ricotta
Red onion and cheddar

pizza 7

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