I love Easter! I love the fact that it has no crazy commercial drive to it. Not in South Africa anyway. I love that it reminds me of what the word LOVE really means! I love how it urges us to think about new LIFE and second chances… Grace.
Now I’m a firm believer that we need to celebrate LIFE! I don’t think we do this enough. To really celebrate life and even those silly things that impacts us in profound ways IS the SPICE of life! Those are the monuments we build in our hearts and the memories we get to keep and treasure.
I hope that you and yours can celebrate the silly and profound together this Easter. Make it a mission to point out the ALL the things worth celebrating!
Celebrating with food however, now that almost comes naturally! The only daunting part is to steer through the carbs. We live in a CARB driven society and the chances are good that the carb counters are by far still in the minority. But it’s ok. Being a low carber has made you smart already. (You eat good fats see, that makes your brain happy and smart!) You know how to read labels and sniff out nutritional lies, so you can politely and cunningly steer yourself through a “meat, potato and sugar” regime. And really, you can pick battles wisely! Some dishes can be “decarbed” simply using your fork to put it in your side plate. Now, if you are the host of a gathering, you might have a better grip on things. If not, politely pack some snacks, offer to make a meat and cheese platter and bring a desert that you and yours will eat and share with the others… This is not the time to convince or quiver over food. This is time to celebrate life… Don’t let food rule this conversation.
What I love about our low carb journey, is simply that I don’t ever feel like I have pigged out on some holiday, simply because I had to have it all. You eat till your full, not till you have tasted everything …twice! Food is fuel and you only need so much of it. Food does not rule, cravings does not rule! We eat a bit so we can have energy to celebrate LIFE! Great perspective hey!
Still, I love to make the food that needs to fuel me and the ones I love, pretty and yummy. That is part of the fun for me. The journey of preparing and planning and celebrating wholesome ingredients!
So lets look at a few new additions: (These recipes are suitable for 4 – 6 portions)
Making Lamb knuckles is such a personal preference! Whether potjie, slow roasted or stove top. The meat is the hero. I simply add spices, mixed herbs, garlic and onion while I brown my meat. Then it simmers in a bit of water or veggie stock for a gooooood while. Lastly, I finish it off with a can of tomato, 2 Tbsp of vinegar, 1 Tbsp xylitol and green beans for the last 30 minutes.
- 500 g Hake
- 2 Large Onions, sliced
- 2 tsp Mild Curry powder
- 2 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Ginger
- 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 2/3 Cup Vinegar
- 2/3 Cup Water
- 2 Tbsp Xylitol
- 1tsp Stevia (optional)
- Salt and Black Pepper to season
- Lightly season the fish with salt before baking for 15 to 20 minutes at 180°C, until cooked through.
- Cut the fish fillets into smaller portions.
- Heat a little coconut oil in a pan or saucepan, add onion and fry until they start to soften.
- Add curry powder, turmeric, ginger and coriander and stir through.
- Add vinegar and water and bring to a simmer. Add xylitol/ stevia and stir.
- Season with ground pepper and salt to taste.
- Allow the sauce to simmer gently, while stirring, until it has thickened.
- Let the sauce cool down.
- Pack the fish fillets in layers in an airtight container, covering each layer with sauce.
- Cover and allow to marinade in the fridge for at least 48 hours before eating.
Noodeled Chicken Soup
500 – 800 g Free Range Chicken pieces – Skin on. (I literally use the left over meat and bones from the night before’s roast chicken. Now I must also admit, the free range Chickens we get around here are about 3 kg in weight. I use at least 1 kg in this recipe and it makes for a big pot of soup! )
1 bunch Table celery leaves
2 Onions, chopped
Spring Onions, chopped
2 Carrots, whole
Garlic to taste
Salt and pepper to taste. (I use BBQ spice with lots of coriander and mustard seeds – great smokey flavour)
Fresh Thyme or Dry Mixed Herbs of preference.
1. If you use raw chicken pieces, brown it in a bit of coconut oil and spices. Add water and veggies. Cook till meat falls from the bones. Free range chicken makes a noodle like fibre. The meat does not cook away like regular chicken. Simmer on medium heat with the bones as long as possible. Add water when needed and to maintain the consistency you prefer. This makes a simple chicken broth like soup. The free range chicken gives it a noodle like consistency. Remove the bones and spice to taste before serving with sun dried tomato cheese scones and salad.
3/4 Cup Almond Flour or Meal
1/2 Cup Milled Flax seed
2 tsp Baking powder
6 Pieces Sundried Tomato, finely chopped.
6 Tbsp Melted Butter
6 Tbsp Milk
1/2 Cup Grated Cheese
1. Mix dry ingredients.
2. Mix wet ingredients and cheese. Mix into the dry ingredients. Don’t over work the batter.
3. Bake in a muffin pan for 15 – 20 minutes, or till scones are brown and firm. Knife test.
4. Serve warm with butter.
These are so easy fun and delicious! You can add any julienned veggie to the beans – be creative.
Packet of fresh young Green beans.
1/2 Yellow pepper, Sliced into strips
3 Red Spring onions
Parma Ham strips
Garlic (Roasted in the pan with beans)
Salt & Pepper
Mustard Cream Sauce:
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 Cup Cream
Some of the roasted garlic left in the pan
1 Roasted Spring Onion, chopped
pinch of Salt
pinch of Xylitol
1. Trim tops and tails of the green beans and stir fry the veggies and garlic in a pan with Coconut oil.
2. Make into little bundles of peppers, beans and spring onions (cut in half length wise) Tie by wrapping the parma ham around it.
3. Mix the sauce ingredients together and scoop a spoonful over each bean bundle.
1 1/2 Cups cubed Pumpkin (More or less)
1 Large Brinjal, cubed
8 Sun dried Tomatoes, sliced
1/2 Red Pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 Yellow Pepper, roughly chopped
8 Cherry tomatoes
Pumpkin seeds, for garnish
1 Can Coconut Cream
1 tsp mild curry
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom (optional)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp crushed coriander
Chili flakes (optional)
1 Tbsp Xylitol
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
5 Lemon leaves
Salt & Black pepper to taste
1 Satsuma orange sliced into segments to squeeze over the veggies per serving and /or fresh coriander leaves (optional)
1. In a pot, char – fry the veggies (not the cherry tomatoes) in some coconut oil.
2. Mix all the spices and sun dried tomato into the can of coconut milk. Mix well.
3. Add all the ingredients to a single casserole dish and bake in the oven at 180 degrees C for about 40 minutes. The pumpkin must be soft and the coconut cream fairly reduced. Then add the cherry tomatoes and grill the dish for a bit till nice and brown.
4. Dish and garnish.
2 Cups Green Beans, sliced
4 Yellow patty pans, sliced
1 Packet of Mushrooms, sliced
1/4 Red Pepper, diced finely
1 Large Onion, thinly sliced
1 Cup of cream
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Parmesan (optional)
Ground Black pepper
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 Tbsp Lemon zest
2 tsp Garlic, crushed
1. Fry onions in coconut oil or lard till very crispy. Sprinkle with the parmesan or just a pinch of salt, scoop into a separate dish and set aside.
2. Stir fry veggies, garlic, salt and black pepper in the pan you just used for the onion. You can now stop here and just grate some lemon zest on and serve with some crunchy onions or you can add the butter and cream, allow to simmer and thicken for the full experience.
1 Cup frozen Blackberries
2 Tbsp Vinegar/ Lemon juice
1/2 tsp Thyme leaves (fresh or dried)
Salt and pepper to taste.
50 ml Olive oil
50 ml Water
1 tsp Lemon zest
1/4 tsp Ginger powder
1. Thaw berries and heat for a minute or two to get the juices extracted.
2. Blend or mix all the ingredients to form a light vinaigrette.
Pour over your favourite salad.
Above salad consists of:
Baby green leaf mix
Cream cheese balls rolled in lemon or orange zest.
Brinjal Bochini Bake:
2 Big brinjals, cut into 5 mm thick, slices. (Round shapes in other words)
1 Can of whole tomato in sauce
1 Packet Bacon rashers / Parma ham strips
Minced Garlic to taste
1 tub of bochini mozarella balls or 1 cup grated mozarella
Pitted Olives (optional)
Sliced Spring Onion
Yellow Pepper strips
Mixed herb salt and or mixed fresh herbs to taste. (thyme, oregano, etc.
1. Prepare your brinjal rounds with a bit of salt and let it drain for 30 minutes.
2. Bake your brinjal rounds on a flat sheet pan for 20 minutes turning at least once.
3. Pack them like taco shells into 2 banana loaf pans.
4. Stuff each brinjal with cheese, veggies, garlic and dress them tomatoes, herb salt and pepper.
5. Sprinkle Parmesan and fresh herbs and bake for 20 – 30 minutes.
Drain any extra fluids and serve!
You can serve these raw or cooked. Use your imagination as far as fillings go.
I prefer it cooked. The best part is the char – grilled spring onion! It’s not just merely a garnish. You tear of a strip and ad it to your little roast pepper. Devine!
Baby Sweet Peppers
Fresh Basil leaves
Red Spring Onion
Coconut oil for frying.
Stuff your peppers and simply pop them and the whole spring onions in a pan with Coconut oil. Char grill them. They are ready when the filling starts to melt and the peppers are nice and charred all round.
1 Cup Almond flour
60 ml Melted Butter
2 Tbsp Fine Coconut
1 Tbsp Xylitol
2 Cups Cream
4 Eggs (Separated)
2 Tbsp Xylitol
1/2 Tbsp Stevia liquid
25 ml Butter
5 ml Vanilla
Pinch of Salt
1 tsp Psyllium husks
1. For the crust, simply pour the melted butter over the nut flour and sugar mix. Press down into a, buttered plate sized oven dish. Alternatively, I would suggest you make 4 ramekins or 6 – 8 cupcake moulds. Press down your crust mix at the bottom only of your baking dish/ dishes.
2. For the filling: Heat your cream, salt and xylitol/stevia combo on medium heat.
3. Give the egg yolks a quick whisk and stir into the cream. Stirring constantly. As soon as the mix starts to thicken, stir in the butter and vanilla and remove from heat.
4. Whisk the egg whites and psyllium for about 30 seconds till foamy, almost doubled in volume. Fold into the custard mixture and pour over the crust.
5. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 180 degrees C for 20 – 30 minutes or until milk tart looks puffy and set.
1 Cup Almond Flour or Pecan Meal
1/2 Cup Flax meal (Grind some seeds in your coffee grinder)
1 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut (Optional)
2 Tbsp Xylitol
1 Tbsp Psyllium Husks
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp All Spice
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
2 Tbsp Orange Peel (Cut up into tiny square sized pieces)
35 g Lindt intense orange chocolate (optional)
100 ml Milk
60 ml Melted butter
1. Beat eggs and xylitol till creamy.
2. Add milk and melted butter.
3. Chop half of the chocolate bar into rough chunks the size of choc chips and add to the egg mix.
4. Mix the rest of the dry ingredients together. Add the egg mix to the dry ingredients.
5. Scoop into a muffin pan and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes or until set and spongy. Knife test.
6. Let the mini buns cool.
Melt 1/4 cup cream, 1Tbsp Xylitol and 2 Tbsp Butter and allow to simmer on medium heat. Sauce is ready when it reduced to a thicker consistency.
Simply melt the rest of the Lindt chocolate in a Tbsp cream. Microwave is fine.