Dukkah

I love dukkah on eggs, avocado, tuna or over a salad. It adds texture and flavour to transform a simple meal into something really flavoursome.

MAKES 1 JAR
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER 2 TABLESPOONS (16g)
carbs 3g / fat 7g / protein 3g

INGREDIENTS
1 cup of low carb nuts (such as almonds, macadamias, hazelnuts, pinenuts)
¼ cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of sea salt flakes
1 teaspoon sumac or paprika (optional)
1 teaspoon dried herbs of your choice (optional)
½ teaspoon dried chilli powder (optional)

ROAST, TOAST, BLEND, STIR, TASTE…
Roast the nuts in the oven or in a hot pan on the stove, checking and tossing regularly so they don’t burn.

Toast the sesame seeds in a hot pan, being careful not to burn. Set aside.

In the same hot pan, toast the cumin and coriander seeds for about 2 minutes until fragrant and toasted.

Put the nuts, cumin and coriander seeds into a food processor and blend. Stir in the sesame seeds, salt, spices and chilli. Taste for flavour and add more if you want.

TIPS

  • You could use a mortar and pestle to blend (if you have the time and energy), or even a coffee grinder or smoothie blender.
  • Serve sprinkled on top of eggs, avocado, salads or in wraps.
  • Coat some fish or chicken in the dukkah and bake for a quick and tasty meal.

Zucchini fritters

These versatile little bites are great on their own as a starter, topped with poached eggs for breakfast, or as a light meal with salad. I’ve served mine here with creamy guacamole. They also work well paired with tzatziki or a herby cream cheese with smoked salmon.

zucchini5

MAKES 10
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 2g / fat 4g / protein 2g

INGREDIENTS
2 zucchini (courgettes)
1/2 cup almond meal
1 egg
Good pinch of salt
Dash of pepper
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh herbs
Olive oil or coconut oil for frying

GRATE, SPRINKLE, SQUEEZE, ADD, MIX, HEAT, SCOOP, FLATTEN, FRY…
Grate the zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 5 minutes. Squeeze as much liquid out of the zucchini as you can to avoid the mix from being too wet. Add the egg, almond meal, chopped herbs and a pinch of pepper. Mix well to combine.

Heat a pan with a little oil. Scoop a tablespoon of mixture and flatten out with your hands. Fry for a few minutes until golden, then flip and fry the other side. If they don’t stick together well, try to squeeze out more moisture and add in a little more almond meal.

Pesto courgetti

Pesto is the go-to low carb, high fat, ketogenic pairing with almost anything savoury. I plonk it on just about anything, salad, tuna, eggs, low carb wraps and crackers, steak, chicken, through courgetti. It’s also gluten free and vegetarian. Use fresh ingredients and good oil. Use your own judgement with the olive oil. I pour it in until it reaches the consistency I like, which can be anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1/2 a cup. You can either use a mini food processor or pound everything up in a mortar and pestle. You can store the pesto in the fridge for up to a week if you don’t use it all up in one go. 

SERVES 4
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE WITH ZUCCHINI
carbs 3g / fat 50g / protein 10g

INGREDIENTS
3 handfuls fresh basil
1/2 cup pine nuts (or other nut of your choice)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
Pinch of salt
Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
1/2 clove of garlic (optional)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 zucchini (courgette) per person

BLEND, ADD, GRATE, STIR, SPIRALISE…
Peel and mince or dice up the garlic. Blend the basil leaves and the garlic together. Add the pine nuts and blend. Grate the parmesan in, add a pinch of salt, a squeeze of lemon juice (optional), and stir in the olive oil.

Spiralise or julienne peel the zucchini to make courgetti. Heat a large pan with a splash of olive oil and cook in the pan for about 7 minutes until softened.

Stir the pesto through the courgetti and serve.

pesto2

Green veggie frittata

Super healthy, low carb, and full of green veggies and protein, this slice makes a very healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner. Feel free to add in other green veggies, such as asparagus, or omit anything you don’t like. This slice goes really nicely with a crisp, crunchy salad and a creamy dressing (see my recipe below).

Green veggie slice
MAKES 6 SLICES
NUTRITION INFO PER SLICE
carbs 4g / fat 13g / protein 12g

INGREDIENTS
1 small onion or spring onion
1 small leek
2 cloves of garlic
2 big handfuls of spinach or kale
1/2 cup green peas
1 zucchini
1/2 head of broccoli
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons cream (or milk)
1/2 cup cheese of your choice (such as cheddar, parmesan, feta, ricotta)
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
6 free range eggs

CUT, STEAM, SLICE, DICE, GRATE, HEAT, SAUTE, ADD, CRACK, WHISK, GRATE, MIX, POUR, BAKE…
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line a tray with baking paper, or grease with a little butter.

Wash and cut the broccoli into florets and steam in a colander over boiling water for 5 minutes or until tender. In the meantime, slice the spring onions. wash and dice the leeks, grate the zucchini, and peel and crush the garlic.

Heat a tablespoon of butter in a saucepan and saute the onions, leeks and garlic for a few minutes until softened. Add the grated zucchini, spinach or kale, broccoli and peas (frozen is fine). Saute for a few more minutes until the veggies have softened.

In the meantime, crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk with the cream. Add salt and pepper. Grate the cheese in. Mix together with the veggies and pour into the tin. If you want more eggs, simply add more in!

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. Serve as it is or with a side of salad. See my recipe for a crunchy salad with a healthy creamy dressing below.

Green veggie slice
CRUNCHY SALAD
1 cos or romanesco lettuce
1 celery stick
4 radishes
1/2 a fennel bulb

CREAMY DRESSING
3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Chop the lettuce and finely slice the celery, radish and fennel. Mix the yoghurt, juice of the lemon, mustard, and salt and pepper together.

 

 

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.

Spicy pumpkin soup

Creamy, warming and spicy, this pumpkin and sweet potato soup is hearty, low GI and gluten free. It’s not low carb, but sweet potatoes are low GI, making them a perfect carb for diabetics that doesn’t spike your sugar levels. Combining sweet potato and pumpkin actually lowers the glycemic load of the pumpkin, making this meal low GI. Sweet potato is an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, as well as other essential vitamins such as vitamin C and vitamin B6. Both pumpkin and sweet potato are high in fibre, keeping you fuller for longer with the benefits of aiding your digestive health. All the health benefits aside, it really is just a delicious, hearty soup. The coconut milk and coriander cools off the spice, and the earthiness and sweetness of the pumpkin and sweet potato keeps you coming back for more. I like to use an Indian type of curry powder, but red curry paste is also delicious and adds a Thai flavour. You could also just make your own by combining spices (cumin, paprika, turmeric, ginger, coriander and chilli makes a good mix).

coconut curry sweet potato and pumpkin soup

SERVES 6
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
carbs 23g / fat 9.5g / protein 6g

INGREDIENTS
1 kilogram butternut pumpkin
1 sweet potato
1 onion (red or brown)
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of curry powder or curry paste (or a spice mix of your own)
200mL of coconut milk, plus extra for serving
1 vegetable or chicken stock cube (or liquid stock)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil (or olive oil or butter)
1 fresh red chilli (optional)
A handful of fresh coriander (optonal)

PEEL, CHOP, CRUSH, HEAT, ADD, SAUTE, COOK, DISSOLVE, FILL, STIR, SIMMER, BLEND…
Peel and roughly chop the onions, pumpkin and sweet potato. Peel and crush the garlic.

Heat a large saucepan with the oil (or butter). Add the onion and saute for a couple of minutes until soft. Add the garlic and curry powder or paste with a pinch of salt and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the diced sweet potato and pumpkin. Dissolve the stock cube in a mug of boiled water, if using, and add to the saucepan with the coconut milk. Fill the pot to the top of the vegetables with water. Stir, turn the heat down and put a lid on the saucepan. Let it simmer for 30 minutes or until the veggies are soft. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and a little pepper or chilli if needed.

Allow to cool slightly, then blend the soup with a hand-held blender.

Serve with a little drizzle of extra coconut milk, sliced fresh chilli, and roughly chopped fresh coriander on top. Enjoy!

Cauli & leek soup

This is a lower carbohydrate option to potato and leek soup, and tastes just as good with a creamy texture.

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS
1 cauliflower
2 leeks
A tablespoon of butter (or a splash of olive oil)
1 vegetable stock cube
Salt and pepper to taste
Bunch of fresh parsley (optional)
Shavings of parmesan (optional)

CUT, WASH, DICE, COOK, DISSOLVE, CHOP, BLEND…
Take the end off the leeks, cut them in half lengthways and give them a really good rinse to get rid of any dirt. Dice the leeks and add them to the pot with the butter or oil over a medium heat. Saute, stirring occasionally and being mindful of not letting them brown.

Dissolve the stock cube in a mug of boiled water. Roughly chop up the cauliflower, using the whole vegetable. There is no need to discard the big stem. Add to the leeks, with the salt, pepper, stock and water to fill the pot.

Let it cook for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is soft. Remove from the heat and cool slightly before blending with the stick blender. Add more liquid if you prefer it thinner, or if you want it thicker, boil some of the water off for another 10 minutes until it thickens. Serve with some chopped fresh parsley on top, and some shaved parmesan.

Tomato soup

Full of healthy tomatoes, you need just a few simple ingredients and less than half an hour to whip this one up. If you don’t have so many fresh tomatoes, substitute for tinned tomatoes. I often used half fresh and half tinned. 

SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS
3 cups of chopped tomatoes (mixture of fresh and tinned is fine)
1 red pepper (capsicum)
1 red or brown onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 stock cube (vegetable, beef or chicken)
Dash of olive oil
Salt, pepper and chilli to taste
1 teaspoon of dried basil, or a handful of fresh basil leaves
A small saucepan of boiled water

KITCHEN TOOLS
Hand blender
Pot
Saucepan or kettle of boiled water
Wooden spoon
Knife and chopping board

PEEL, DICE, BOIL, SEASON, SIMMER, BLEND…
Peel and dice the onion, garlic, capsicum, and tomatoes. Put the water on the boil (I boil the kettle).

In a large pot, heat a lug of olive oil and add the onion, garlic, capsicum, a good pinch of salt, basil, pepper and chilli to your taste, and cook for a few minutes.

While that’s cooking, add some boiled water to a mug with the stock cube to let it dissolve. Add the tomatoes to the pot along with the dissolved stock, and add the rest of the boiled water. You can add more or less water if you think it needs to be thicker or thinner.

Let the soup simmer on a low to medium heat for 30 mins, or until it’s thickened up and the veggies are cooked.

Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly. Then get out a hand blender and blend it for a minute until it is nice and smooth. If it is too thin, return it to the heat uncovered and let some of the water evaporate for 10 minutes or until it is the desired consistency. If it is too thick, add in some more water.

Serve the soup hot with some torn fresh basil leaves on top. You can beef it up with some fresh or toasted bread or croutons, or enjoy it just as it is.