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

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

 

Bolognese sauce

Serve this versatile sauce with some zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for a low carb pasta, or turn this into a low carb lasagne with roast vegetables. 

INGREDIENTS
1 large onion (brown or red)
2 cloves garlic
2 carrots
2 celery sticks
500 grams mince beef
2 rashers of bacon or pancetta (optional)
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
Generous pinch of salt
Good crack of black pepper
Sprinkling of chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup wine (white or red)
A splash of olive oil

Peel and finely dice the onion, peel and finely crush the garlic, peel and finely dice the carrot, and take the ends of the celery and finely dice.

In a large saucepan, heat a splash of olive oil and saute the onion, celery and carrot together for a few minutes. Add the mince and diced bacon/pancetta with the garlic, salt, pepper, chilli, oregano. Allow to brown for a few minutes, using the wooden spoon to break up the mince. Add in the wine and saute for another minute. Add the tinned tomatoes and bay leaves, stir, and let it simmer on low heat for up to an hour. Taste for seasoning and add salt/pepper/chilli according to your taste.

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Cheesy sauce

This makes a good dip with veggies and cauliflower poppers. It’s also a great sauce for cauliflower cheese and a good a bechamel sauce substitute for low carb lasagne and moussaka. 

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup of cream cheese, marscapone or feta
2 tablespoons cream
A crack of black pepper
A dash of nutmeg (optional)
A dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

MIX, HEAT, SEASON…
Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat. Stir together for 5 minutes or until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and a little nutmeg and cayenne pepper for some added flavour.

Mayonnaise & aioli


It’s very easy to make your own mayonnaise with just a few ingredients, but you’ve got to give it a try. Once you’ve mastered it, it will be very easy for you to whip this up. I took me 3 attempts to get this right – the first was too thick and I used a virgin olive oil which was much too strong. The second attempt was nice and light in colour but I added too much vinegar. The third attempt was perfectly light and creamy with the right balance of flavours.

Adding a little garlic will turn your simple mayonnaise into aioli – which is seen everywhere on pub menus thesedays, usually served with fries, in a burger, or alongside some fish and chips. But you don’t need to limit this to typical pub grub. Aioli and mayonnaise is so versatile and is great with baked salmon, boiled eggs, zucchini fries, crumbed seafood, ham and salad, or vegetable crudites. You can also add a little harissa paste to make an amazing spicy harissa mayonnaise, or chop up some fresh parsley or dill for an awesome take on tartare or herb mayonnaise, perfect with fish.

A couple of tips: don’t skip on the vinegar and mustard as it helps the egg and oil to emulsify, but remember you can always add more towards the end. Use a light tasting oil otherwise the flavour will be too overpowering. If you want to make a big batch of mayonnaise to store in the fridge, simply multiply the quantities. But remember it is made with raw egg, so you don’t want to leave it lying around in the fridge uneaten for longer than 1 or 2 weeks. It’s best eaten fresh.

INGREDIENTS
1 large egg yolk
1/2-1 teaspoon French mustard (such as Dijon)
1/2-1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup light tasting oil (more or less, depending how thick you want it)
A little sea salt to taste

MIX, WHISK, ADD, STIR…
Mix the egg yolk, mustard and vinegar in a bowl with a whisk. Whisk in the oil slowly, whisking for a few minutes. You may not use all the oil, so stop when you reach the desired consistency.

VARIATIONS
Aioli
Mix in a small clove (or a half clove) of finely crushed garlic.

Harissa mayonnaise
Stir in a teaspoon of harissa paste at the end.

Tartare
Add a teaspoon of fresh chopped dill.

Herb mayonnaise
Add a teaspoon of fresh chopped parsley.

NOTE
If you don’t like the idea of raw egg (or you can’t eat it because you’re pregnant), set a heatproof metal bowl over a saucepan of hot boiled water and do the same thing as above.

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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Eggs benny

Benedict = bacon or ham.
Florentine = wilted spinach.
Royale = smoked salmon.

All delicious. All my favourite breakfasts. 
Topped with a soft poached egg or two and homemade hollandaise sauce, on a low carb hash brown.
Best breakfast ever.

HOLLANDAISE SAUCE
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
100 grams butter, melted

This is a little tricky, so be patient with yourself.
First, get a pot of water boiling and put a heatproof bowl over it.
Second, melt the butter in a separate saucepan (or in the microwave) and put it in an easy pour jug.
Then, separate the eggs.You only want the yolks for this recipe, so keep the whites in the fridge for something else later. Whisk the mustard and lemon juice into the egg yolks.
Add the egg yolks, mustard and lemon juice to the heatproof bowl, and start whisking vigorously.
Very slowly, and bit by bit, add the melted butter, making sure you’re whisking vigorously the whole time. Don’t just throw all the butter in; it needs to be added slowly. You will see the consistency will become creamy and lighter in colour. If the eggs look scrambled or separated, you’ve messed it up and need to start again (sorry!). Take it off the heat as soon as you’ve reached the desired consistency and leave it at room temperature until you’re ready to serve. Add a little salt and pepper to taste.

POACHED EGGS
A large saucepan of boiling water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Fresh eggs (1 or 2 per person)

Get a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Put a tablespoon of white vinegar in there (don’t skimp on the vinegar, as it really helps to hold the eggs together). Crack the eggs in, one by one, as low to the water as you can get so it drops in softly (not a large plop from a height). Allow them to come together themselves. Cook for 3 minutes for a soft boil, and no more than 4 minutes. you want them a little runny. Remove and place on a plate before plating up.

LOW CARB HASH BROWNS
See my recipe here.
Of course, you can serve this with bread of your choice instead.

TOPPINGS
Your choice of smoked salmon, bacon or ham, or wilted spinach.
To wilt the spinach, simply put a large handful per person in a saucepan with a little knob of butter and a pinch of salt. Let it wilt down for a minute.
To cook the bacon, I usually put a couple of rashers per person in a roasting pan and in the oven for 15 minutes. Or, you can heat a pan on the stove and fry it.
The smoked salmon is ready straight out of the packet.

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benny5

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I shared this very dish with my boyfriend. You can see he preferred the bacon, and I preferred the salmon. His loss with the spinach; it was delicious.

eggsbenny

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.