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

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

 

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.

Ginger miso soup

If you’re craving a ramen-style soup, this hits the spot. The inspiration for this is from Fork Knife Swoon with my own variations. I have used zucchini noodles for a low carb option, but you can substitute for soba noodles for a low GI carb. In the picture I have used just zucchini noodles, greens, fresh chilli and coriander with the miso ginger broth – but you can also add tofu, a boiled egg and sesame seeds on top as per the recipe. 

SERVES 2
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 10.5g / fat 13g / protein 9g

INGREDIENTS
1/2 a red onion
2 cloves of garlic
A thumb-sized piece of ginger
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in a cup of boiled water (or a cup of liquid stock)
2 tablespoons of miso paste (red or yellow)
1 zucchini (courgette)
A handful of Chinese greens, such as bok choi, gai lan or choy sum (or spinach)
1 soft boiled egg
Fresh or dried chilli, to taste
Fresh coriander, to serve
Sesame seeds, to serve

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.

Using a julienne peeler or spiraliser, make the zucchini noodles. Add to the broth with the greens and simmer for 5 minutes. If you are using soba noodles, now is the time to add them.

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 tofu, the boiled egg cut in half, a sprinkling of sesame seeds, fresh coriander, and chilli on top, if you like. Add a little extra soy sauce if you want it saltier. Enjoy!

ramen