Turnip Bake – NoTato Bake or Fake Potato Bake – Whatever floats your boat!

fake potato bake2

Ingredients:

4 Medium to large turnips sliced thinly

1 cup  grated cheese (Omit if dairy intolerant)

1 cup cream (Coconut cream if dairy intolerant)

Himalayan salt to taste

2 slightly heaped tsp turmeric powder (read more about this powerful spice here)

2 Tbsp butter

Method:

1. Peel and thinly slice your turnips and put a layer into an oven-proof dish.

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2. Pour half the cream over the turnips. Sprinkle 1 tsp turmeric over the first layer and use one Tbsp chunks of butter on the layer. Sprinkle with half the cheese.

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3. Repeat another layer as above.

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4. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes at a 180 degrees.

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I served this comforting side-dish with some grilled chicken.

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Now if you really want to be resourceful and take your turnip-experience to the next level, pick a bunch with beautiful turnip greens. These greens are filled with cancer-fighting properties. I used mine to make a broth along with the chicken bones from the carcass after I cut my chicken into pieces.

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Simply add 1 carrot, half an onion, turnip greens, 2 free-range wings, chicken bones, garlic, salt, peppercorns and apple cider vinegar to create this nutrient-dense broth. I used the broth the next day, simply added some mushrooms and cream for a lovely mushroom soup.

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Creamy Spinach and Eggplant Lasagna – Prepare to welcome a new family favourite

Lasagna

A low carb lifestyle to me is all about swapping food that’s filled with empty nutrients with nutrient dense produce.  It really amazes me that people can build so much of a meal around carbs. The word lasagna was derived from the Roman word that means “Cooking pot”. However, if you would type in the word lasagna you will get the description of a dish made with pasta strips.

We are going to make a mighty fine lasagna dish today without pasta or flour filled sauces. We are simply going to keep things REAL. Real yummy and nutritious that is.

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Ingredients:

1.5 kg mince

2 packets swiss chard or spinach, centre stalks removed

1 cup cream

1 Cup grated mozzarella

1 Cup grated Cheddar

half a block of cream cheese

1 cup milk

3 free range eggs

2 large eggplants (briljals), cut into 1 cm rounds

1 small packet tomato puree

1/2 cup coconut oil, lard or rendered fat

BBQ spices

2 tbsp Italian mixed herbs

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 tsp crushed garlic

1 Tbsp Xylitol

1/4 cup water

This recipe is really simple and pretty straight forward.  You can absolutely spice up the meat however you like, as long as it is not too saucy. That is why I only use a small packet of tomato puree. It consists of four elements :

1. The creamy spinach

2. The  slightly saucy meat

3. The egg mix and cheese topping

4. The brinjal/eggplant rounds

Preheat the oven to 190 C

In a large oven proof dish, allow the coconut oil or lard in the oven proof to melt and then pack a first layer of brinjals to cover the bottom layer of the dish.  Pop into the oven for about 15 minutes till tender.

In the meanwhile, brown your mince and then add the BBQ spice, salt and pepper, herbs, tomato puree, xylitol, garlic and 1/4 cup water.

In a separate pot, boil/steam the spinach and a pinch of salt in a small amount of water.  As soon as the spinach is just a little more cooked than the wilted stage, drain the excess water, add the cream and cream cheese and allow the cream mix to thicken and reduce for 5 + minutes while stirring gently.

In a separate bowl whisk your eggs into the milk.

Now use halve the mince and layer on top of the brinjal layer, followed by the creamy spinach.  Then pack the rest of the raw brinjals on top of the spinach cream followed by another layer of mince meat. Sprinkle the cheese over the meat and pour the egg mix evenly over the entire dish.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes and Koos is your cousin!  Okay or Bob can be your uncle if you insist.

Serve with a beautiful green salad and be sure to save some for the next day’s lunchbox.  It is divine eaten cold too.

YIELDS ABOUT 8 – 10 PORTIONS AT ABOUT 8 GRAMS OF CARBS EACH.

Decarbing Da Donut!

This handy dandy donut recipe is easy, awesome and really versatile. Make a batch of 24 mini’s in under 15 minutes, why don’t you.  The kidlets will love you for it! (Ok the hubby will love it … I mean you too!)

When I started experimenting in my mini donut maker, I really wanted to capture that almost gluten like texture.  I found that adding cream cheese to the finest possible nut flour ( I used macadamia but almond will be just as good.) did the trick. Also then, achieving the fried oily outer crust of that donut or “oil ball” as we call it in Afrikaans, is possible by adding 1/4 teaspoon of coconut oil to each donut mould. Got all round thumbs up and so I’m happy to share my version of a basic donut recipe.

The other good news is :

This batter can be used for donuts, flapjacks or waffles!  I know … and yes, you are welcome!

Donuts

Batter:

1 cup nut flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2  Tbsp Xylitol

2 free range eggs

60g cream cheese or 1/4 of a 230g block

1 tsp vanilla extract/ essence

2 Tbsp coconut oil

Method:

With a blending stick, mix the cream cheese, vanilla, xylitol and eggs together to a thin custardy consistency.  Add the nut flour and baking powder and stir into the egg mix.

Melt a bit of coconut oil into each mould. Scoop half tablespoonfuls into the pre warmed donut moulds and follow machine instructions from there. (I keep mine in a bit longer than suggested.)

Immediately dip into or coat with your preferred topping and eat while hot for the best little fiesta in your mouth.

Yields 24 mini’s

Donut Love

Topping suggestions:

1. Cinnamon sugar

Simply grind 2 Tbsp of xylitol and add some ground cinnamon to taste, mix and sprinkle over your donuts.

2. Vanilla Fudge Glaze

1/2 cup cream

2 Tbsp butter

1 – 2 Tbsp xylitol (We tend to prefer less sweet…)

1 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan on medium high heat, allow the ingredients to boil and reduce for about 3 – 5 minutes while constantly whisking. You don’t want it to be too thick or “fudgy”  though.

Dip your mini’s into the sauce and enjoy.

(This sauce will also make a great waffle sauce)

3. Choc Glaze

1/2 cup cream

2 Tbsp butter

1 – 2 Tbsp xylitol (We tend to prefer less sweet…)

1 heaped Tbsp cocoa

In a saucepan on medium – high heat, allow the ingredients to boil and reduce for about 3 – 5 minutes while constantly whisking. You  want it to be too thick and glossy. Just be careful not to burn this sauce, rather reduce heat and simmer longer if you feel unsure.

Dip your mini’s into the sauce and enjoy.

High fat  topping

Use 1 part cream cheese, 1 part soft butter, 2 parts milk/cream, powdered xylitol to taste and vanilla. Mix till smooth and scoop onto your donuts.

You can even squirt in some lemon juice and add some lemon rind.

These are some basic ideas to get you going. Aren’t you glad you can eat more than the hole in the donut again?

Next post we are taking this donut concept out of the box… so excited to share.

Yours in low carb,

Inè

Lekker Low Carb Christmas! Crackers, platters and Trifles.

When it comes to gatherings and family feasts, knowing how to kindly ditch the carbs can be quite the mission. On the other hand, feeding a carb hungry crowd while being a low carb host, does not have to give you sleepless nights either.

The good news is… The meaty part of the meal, should pose no threat and be smooth sailing whether, you do a braai, a selection of cold cuts or a lovely roast.  The issue really presents itself as the Grinch who stole Christmas when you think about snacks, sides and sweet treats without the commercial carbs.

Fear not!  I will share with you some of my handy, quick and easy go-to recipes and if my baby bump and gravity allows me a few more active days on my feet, I will try and share some more ideas.

1.  Stay-in-fridge Savoury Cracker Batch.

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These crackers are amazing!  They are also very filling and can be made a few days before baking them.  I usually bake mine in two batches. They are super crunchy too and work well on a platter with cheese, dips and veggies.

Serving suggestion:

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1.  Crackers with avo dip, butter, a cheese seletion and  fresh berries.  You can add veggie sticks, olives and even some quality cold cuts.

2.  Also use bigger cucumbers as you would use a cracker base and dress them with awesome toppings.  I folded some salami slices and dressed them with wholegrain mustard, a slice of cream cheese and a sprinkle of chopped sundried tomatoes and herbs. I even drizzled some with tabasco sauce for a bit of a kick.

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3. I made some fried halloumi cheese strips.  These are also crunchy and firm enough to dress them with toppings.

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I must warn that these kind of platters tend to fill you up quickly! Loads of good- for- you-fuel in them!

Back to the crackers:

Ingredients:

2 cups nut flour of your choice. (I used pecan and macadamia flour)

1/4 cup sesame seed

1/4 cup sunflour seed

40 – 50g grated parmesan (Small bag or container)

1 tsp dried thyme

3 tsp gelatin powder

3Tbsp Psyllium husk fibre

3 tsp baking powder

Few grinds of your favourite herbed salts or pepper blend

4 Tbsp cold butter

1 egg

3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup boiling water

1. Mix all the dry ingredients, even the gelatin powder in a mixing bowl.

2. Rub the cold butter into the mix until it forms a breadcrumb consistency.

3. Mix in the egg throughout the batter and then quickly mix boiling water and apple cider vinegar to form a dough ball.

4. Place the dough ball onto cling wrap and roll and shape like a sausage of about 5 – 6 cm in diameter.  Wrap the cling wrap around the dough and  allow to set in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.  Cut into almost 1 cm slices and place onto a buttered cookie sheet pan. Bake at 180 C for about 20 – 25 minutes.  Test to see that your cookie snaps when broken in half.  These cookies have a wonderful crisp texture if baked  just long enough.

This recipe yields about 32 crackers the thickness of digestive biscuits. I bake them in two batches and save the dough in the refrigerator for two to 3 days.

Trifle version 1:

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This trifle is better than any one I have ever had before our low carb regime started.  I do NOT like soggy spongecake in a trifle and this spongecake does not disappoint! Apart from baking the cake layer, this recipe can be as instant as you remember life before low carb.  You are welcome. I use Ultramel zero for this recipe.  You can make your own Bavarian cream custard (Recipe here – NB!!! substitute sugar with 4 Tbsp Xylitol), but in a season already crazy I allow myself the convenience of this option.  I don’t want you to run with this memo as a green light for artificially flavoured food.  But once or twice a year will not do much harm and at 8 grams of carbs per 100 ml Ultramel Zero brings a bit of normal nostalgia to the Christmas dessert table. (Most carb lovers won’t know the difference either)

So the disclaimer is out there for the record… No pigging out on artificial custard twice a week in the name of Low Carb is Lekker OK! 😉

Ingredients:

For the spongecake I use the batter of this recipe that I make in a large rectangular brownie pan instead of cupcakes.  I bake it for 20 – 25 minutes and then cut it into sponge fingers.

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2 Packets Simply delish NATURAL strawberry jelly (Available at dischem and other retailers)

500 – 800g fresh strawberries, sliced.

1 or 2 cups cream, whipped

1 Ultramel Zero Custard (1 Liter container)

Fresh cherries for garnish. (Optional)

1 or 2 blocks 85% dark chocolate grated or chopped for garnish. (Optional)

Pecan halves for garnish. (Optional)

Method:

1. Pack 1 layer of sponge fingers at the bottom of your serving dish. Add 800 ml boiling water to your 2 packets of jelly, stir until dissolved and allow to cool just for 5 minutes. Pour some of the lukewarm jelly over the sponge layer. The jelly will set upon cooling so you need work quickly at building all the layers.

Add one layer of berries on the jelly, followed by a layer of custard.  Repeat layers until you have used all your ingredients and then top with whipped cream and garnish this little show stopper however your creative juices leads you to.

Yields 15  – 20 satisfying servings without the after festivities guilt trip.

This trifle caused quite the traffic jam around midnight as family and friends met up at the refrigerator for another little glorious bite.

Low carb is sometimes just carefree and nostalgically lekker…without the sugar spike off course.

Next time, I will post my caramel, choc- mint deconstructed trifle in a jar for those looking for a less traditional festive treat with easy to get ingredients.

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Yours in  Festive Low carb, Inè

The healthiest little LCHF cupcake and the quickest little deconstructed cheesecake… ain’t they the sweetest?

Watermark - 10 minute choc-cherry cheesecake

DECONSTRUCTED CHOC CHERRY CHEESECAKE

Ingredients:

125g (half a block) cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup cream

1 1/2 Tbsp Xylitol

Zest of one lemon

Juice of 1 small lemon (about 4 Tbsp)

1 cup of frozen cherries or any fresh or frozen berries of your choice.

Chocolate:

¼ cup coconut oil

¼ cup coconut cream or regular cream

4 Tbsp cocoa

3 Tbsp xylitol

Method:

For the cheese cake mousse:

Cream the cream cheese, xylitol, zest and lemon juice in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer.

Slowly pour in the cream while mixing on low at first, and as soon as the cream starts to thicken a bit mix on high for about two minutes or until stiff peaks form.

Cherries:

In a saucepan on medium heat, allow the cherries to stew for about 4 – 5 minutes and the sauce to reduce a bit.  I did not add any xylitol to mine because cherries are naturally very sweet.  If you use other frozen berries, use the same method.  If you opt for fresh berries, keep them fresh and do not cook them.

For the dark chocolate sauce:

In a saucepan, on medium to high heat, melt the coconut oil, cocoa and xylitol together. Whisk continuously. As soon as the mixture starts to bubble, add your cream of choice slowly while whisking. Within a minute or less the sauce will thicken and turn glossy.  Remove from heat. (Add a dash more dairy cream if you want your kiddlets to enjoy a more milk chocolately version.) Allow to cool to just above room temperature, to a still scoopable or pourable consistency.

Assemble this “Divalicious” dish in a fancy schmancy wine glass or modern white plate and impress the company around the dinner table with oodles of “ooohhs”  and  “aaaahhhs” guarranteed!

Yields 4 – 6 portions at about 8 – 10 grams of carbs per serving

NEXT…

Watermark - Ten Minute cupcakes

I bake with pumpkin seeds a LOT.  Not only is it currently half the price of most nuts per kilo, but they are little nutritional bombs waiting to provide a body near you with an explosion of cell building magnesium, zinc, and FIBRE. (They are also a powerhouse of prostate cancer prevention – So ladies, feed the man in your life some pumpkin seeds!) This is in my opinion the Rapunzel of noble flours, however still waiting to be rescued out of the tower though.  I realize this is as unconventional as baking can get, but really this is a minor mind shift and no, you are not signing your life away to tree hugging and eating compost.  You are simply embracing incredible smart ingredient swap outs and baking food that is as nutrient dense as they can be.  Give it a try… just once – You’ll be hooked!

Emergency 10 Minute Cupcakes:

(I make these whenever my kids have their carb crazy friends over.  They devour them not suspecting a thing)

1 1/4 cup milled pumpkin seeds (I grind mine in my coffee grinder. Takes about a minute.  You could substitute this ingredient with any other nut flour too.)

3 Tbsp cocoa

3 tsp baking powder

4 Tbsp xylitol

1/2 cup desiccated coconut, fine

1/2 cup nut meal. (I used almond)

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup melted butter

1/2 cup cream

Small bar of 85 % Lindt dark chocolate or caring candies chocolate bar, chopped (Completely optional, I would only suggest this if you plan to eat them dry, as a muffin instead of a cupcake)

Method:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

2. Whisk the wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl.

3. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix well.  Pour into your preference of small medium or large silicone muffin cups or lined cupcake pan if you want to bake them in the oven.

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Simply bake them in batches of three or four (depending on size) in the microwave for about 2 – 3 minutes.  It needs to be just set but not dried out so keep an eye on them and check after two thirds through the process.

I don’t like to use my microwave oven a lot, so I tend to prefer baking these, which then makes them 25 minute cupcakes really.  Bake them at 180 deg C for 12 – 16 minutes.  Do a knife test to see if they are baked through, but be sure to take them out while still fairly moist and spongy on top.

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QUICK  MOCHA  ICING:

2 Tbsp cream cheese, room temperature

2 Tbsp finely ground xylitol (Once again, give regular xylitol a quick grind in your coffee grinder to make powdered xylitol)

1/2 tsp instant coffee, mixed in 1 Tbsp warm water

1 1/2 Tbsp cocoa

1/4 Cup cream

Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Yields 16 -18 small cupcakes at 5 grams carbs each.

NEXT:

Make your cupcakes dreamy an fun with this easy to make marshmallow fluff.

Watermark - Marsh Mallow Cupcakes

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1/2 cup xylitol

2/3 cup warm water

4 Tbsp gelatine

½ cup cold water

2 tsp vanilla extract or cocoa powder.  Or 1 tsp coffee powder

Method:

Place the xylitol and warm water in a small saucepan on medium heat and stir until the xylitol dissolves completely.

Add the gelatine to the cold water and let it ‘sponge’ for a few minutes. Stir it into the xylitol syrup. Boil the mixture for 4–5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and using an electric mixer until almost doubled in volume. Add the flavouring and whisk for another 8–10 minutes or until soft peaks form. Scoop onto your cupcakes immediately. If halfway through scooping the mallow mix is too stiff to scoop, simply microwave for 10 secs.

Yields 16 – 18 small cupcakes with mallow topping at 5 grams carbs each.

Quizza (Quiche Pizza) – The Mr & Mrs Smith of Low Carb cuisine

This dish just works! It literally just ticks all the boxes.  From comfort to convenient with an added bonus that this is a nutrient dense combination that will be smart fuel for many a taxing or challenging day.

You may “quizza” the bride… (Couldn’t resist the little wordplay here 😉

Watermark - Quizza

I think it can be a “thing” …don’t you think? So if you ever see the term quizza in a restaurant, remember that it was named by a very pregnant low carb fanatic that simply loved her family enough to match every commercial junk food scheme with a hype of her own. Got all round thumbs flying up!  That’s really the ONLY bottom line when it comes to “decarbing” and introducing new concepts.

Quizza Recipe:

4 (Free Range if you can) eggs

4 Tbsp cream cheese

A Grind of your favourite salt or herbed salt

1 Tbsp coconut oil for frying

3 medium baby marrows roughly grated

2 Tbsp tomato puree

3-4 slices of quality salami (or any meat or veggie topping you will enjoy on pizza – except ham off course)

Generous handful grated cheese (Mozzarella or white cheddar)

Method:

Preheat your oven on grill

In a mixing bowl, mix the eggs and cream cheese with a blending stick into a creamy consistency.

Grate the baby marrows.  In a medium to large pan,on medium to high heat, melt the coconut oil and spread the baby marrows over the surface of the pan.  Sprinkle with salt and allow to fry for a minute without stirring.  Now add the cream cheese mix and allow the batter to form a crust and set on the sides of the pan only. (About 2 minutes)  Pop the pan into the oven under the grill.  Quizza will get puffy and will brown within 3 – 4 minutes.

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Take out of the oven and spread the tomato puree, add toppings and lastly, the cheese.

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Pop into the oven for another 2 – 3 minutes.

Cut into your preferred portion sizes and well… the rest you can figure out right?

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Yields 4 quarters or 8 smaller sizes at about 3.5 grams carbs per 1 quarter portion.

That first bite… Love!  You smell and taste pizza flavours that fill with nostalgic happiness and comfort while feeling so good about the choice you just made and the fact that indeed you did not cheat on something as damaging, as substandard, as inflammation filled,  and as sugar spikin’ as  wheat!

Low Carb Bazaar “Poeding” – The messiest non – gourmet comfort food has been “decarbed”

There are things you cannot gourmet – ify… Bazaar poeding is one of those.  It’s the lucky packet factor of which 5 household quick puddings (that came to the bazaar in old trusty tupperware containers) …are going to land up in your little take away bowl.  The colours are always creamy and bright with yellow custards and brown ginger puddings and not to mention the green and pink ideal milk foamy jelly concoctions. It makes standing in line worth while until the darling little “Tannie” with the rosy cheeks takes your ticket and hands you a little bit of your childhood memories in a little plastic bowl…

But… it’s not all that pretty once you near the end of that bowl and the sweet aftertaste attacks your throat and that ” I need to take a nap now” feeling takes over your  childhood joys… Oh oh… the insulin army has been alarmed… Make way… massive sugar spike coming through!

Not to worry, the “decarb” armed responses have been summoned to bring back the happiness in a bowl to a house near you.

You will need:

A block of cream cheese

2 cups of cream

Coconut cream if you are dairy intolerant or sensitive

Cocoa powder

2 Granadillas

Nut flour (optional for crust)

Desiccated coconut (optional for crust)

1- 2 Tbsp Xylitol

A few flavours of Simply delish NATURAL  jelly

(They come in Strawberry, Peach, Orange and Raspberry and you can easily grab them from dischem and other health or chain stores)

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So in this bowl we have a selection of:

1. Creamy raspberry jelly

2.  Orange jelly and granadilla pulp fridge tart

3. Coconut cream chocolate pudding

4. Malva pudding

5. Ultra Mel Zero custard*

* Ultramel zero custard is sugar free with 8 grams of carbs per 100 g, which makes it ok to avoid a sugar spike, BUT it is sweetened with artificial sweeteners sadly.  You could just stay away of classify this as something to buy very very occasionally. (Low carb custard is really tricky to make without any form of corn starch.  It is precision cooking.  Maybe someone has mastered the skills and can give us some pointers)

CREAMY RASPBERRY JELLY

1 Packet of Simply delish NATURAL raspberry jelly

200 ml boiling water

3/4 cup cream

100 grams cream cheese (room temperature)

Simply mix the cream cheese and cream together till fluffy.

Add the water to the jelly and stir a bit to dissolve most of the xylitol in the jelly.

Add the jelly to the cream mixture and whisk with your electric blender for a minute or two.

Refrigerate

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ORANGE JELLY AND GRANADILLA FRIDGE TART

1 Packet Simply delish Natural Orange jelly

2oo ml boiling water

1 packet of cream cheese

3/4 cup cream

pulp of 2 grenadilla’s

For the crust: (Crust is optional)

3/4 cup nutmeal

1/4 cup desiccated coconut, fine

3 Tbsp melted butter

1 Tbsp xylitol

1 tsp vanilla extract

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Simply mix the cream cheese and cream together till fluffy.

Add the water to the jelly and stir a bit to dissolve most of the xylitol in the jelly. Add the granadilla pulp.

Add the jelly to the cream mixture and whisk with your electric blender for a minute or two.

Mix the nut flour, coconut  and vanilla n a separate bowl. Add the butter and mix it into the nutty crumbs.  Press down into the base only of a tart plate.

Pour the orange grenadilla mix over the crust and refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours.

COCONUT CREAM CHOCOLATE PUDDING

20o ml or half a can of coconut cream

2 Tbsp Cocoa

1 Tbsp Xylitol

Add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and blend with an electric mixer for 2 – 3 minutes.

Refrigerate till set.

(This can also be made with regular cream)

Low - carb Malva poeding

MALVA PUDDING

Find Recipe HERE

The fun of this is in the mixed flavours having a little party in your mouth.  Make sure to dish small portions as it is quite decadent.

Also experiment to your hearts content with flavour combinations etc.

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