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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Crazy or Lazy Day Quick Tomato Pumpkin and Bacon Soup …or as I like to call it…”Tomkin” Soup

Tomkin soup

We had this ad a few years ago where someone mistakenly thought coffee names like espresso and mochachino where actually a foreign language.  The punchline for the ad was ” I love it when you speak “foreign” to me!  When I named this creation I thought it was so funny that this name sounded so foreign while this soup is actually so plain and simple. I made this soup for all the teachers at my daughter’s school today and got many recipe requests even from non-low carbies. Just goes to show you can’t judge a soup by its colour.

Ingredients:

2 x cans (410g) whole tomatoes in sauce

or equal amount of passata sauce

400g pumpkin pieces

2 x 200g packets diced bacon (cooked, but not too crispy)

1 cup cream

fresh parsley and thyme (small bunch fresh or use dried herbs)

Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste

2 – 3 cups water or chicken stock

1 tbsp xylitol or a knife point of stevia

Method:

In a large saucepan on medium-high heat boil your pumpkin chunks in water until soft. (Don’t strain the excess water from the pot.) Allow the pumpkin to cool for a bit.

In a blender of food processor blitz your cans of tomato and the herbs and pour into a thick base pot.

Blend the pumpkin and excess water and add to the tomato-herb mix in the pot.

Add all of the rest of the ingredients to the pot and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes on medium heat.

Enjoy with grated parmesan, or add a slice of low-carb bread or even some fried halloumi strips to add some healthy fats.

Yields 4 – 6 generous portions at about 6 – 8 grams carbs each.

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

Easy end of the month low carb meals…

Oh Nuts! We love them but we hate their prices, don’t we?

So we are going to ignore them completely during this blog!  That should teach them…and their suppliers… and the NUT Illuminati… 😉

The secret to an exciting low carb lifestyle lies really in focussing on the wonderful things we can eat instead of the empty carbs we should rather avoid.

 

Some handy, budget, nut substitutes:

Pumpkin seed meal (Pumpkin seeds ground in your coffee grinder)

Coconut meal (Desiccated coconut ground in your coffee grinder)

Flax meal  (Flax seed ground in your coffee grinder)

You can really substitute almost any recipe with these nut alternatives.  However, almonds especially, have a very neutral taste, and the above meals might add a bit of a different flavour palette. Pumpkin meal has a very subtle taste too.  However, when substituting with coconut meal, it is always good to add liquids, either with an extra egg, yoghurt or milk to the batter.

 

Watermark - Cabbage & Baby marrow latkes

 

Ingredients:

Coconut oil to saute and fry.

500g shredded cabbage (I just got a pre-packed, cabbage slaw kind)

2 medium baby marrows, grated

1 small onion finely chopped (Or swap for a small apple, grated)

salt & pepper to taste

2 eggs

2 1/2  tsp baking powder

1/3 cup *milled pumpkin seeds (optional)

* The pumpkin meal makes the latkes a bit more puffy in consistency and easier to stack and fill if you want to use it in a lunch box filled with cream cheese and bacon.

The batter without the pumpkin meal is a bit more like I remember my German Grandma’s, but needs to be eaten with a knife and fork.  I love it though, because the cabbage caramelize so nicely with this one.

 

Method:

Saute the cabbage, onion/apple, baby marrows and spices in a pot on medium to high heat for about 4 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  In a mixing bowl, add the cabbage mix and the rest of the ingredients and gently mix into a batter.  Fry heaped tablespoons full until brown, turing once or twice.  Serve with butter, or sour cream and chives.  Makes a great addition to a soup or eaten with a scoop of ground beef and grated cheese.

Yields about 16 latkes at 1.2 grams carbs each.

 

Watermark - Stuffed Chicken

 

4 Chicken breasts, skin on, deboned

6 – 8 rashers of bacon, chopped

1/2 green pepper/ red pepper, chopped

4 tsp pesto

4 Tbsp cream cheese / grated cheddar cheese

Herbed salt in grinder or salt and pepper to taste.

Coconut oil for frying

 

Veggies:

Baby marrows, sliced

Plumb tomatoes, halved

Herbed salt in grinder or salt and pepper to taste

Coconut oil for frying.

 

In a pan on medium to high heat, cook the bacon rashers in a bit of coconut oil.  As soon as the rashers start to cook through, add the chopped peppers and saute in the bacon fat along with the bacon. As soon as the peppers are soft remove from heat.

Cut a pocket into the breasts and stuff the chicken breasts with a tablespoon layer of cream cheese/cheddar cheese, a teaspoon of pesto, and a 1/4 of the bacon mix. Tuck the skin as tightly as you can to close the pockets. If they can’t close all the way, “no problemo”.  Just be swift with turning without losing the filling.

In the bacon pan, on medium to high heat.  Add a bit of coconut oil to the bacon fat left from sauteing the bacon.  Seal the breasts on both sides till nice and brown (about 1 – 2 minutes on each side), sprinkle slightly with salt and pepper, and turn heat down to medium – low. Add the chopped veggies all around the chicken pieces and allow to gently saute in the pan juices.

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Put a lid on the pan and allow to cook for 6 – 8 minutes (Times may vary according to fillet size. The inside of the filling must be oozy and the the chicken must be warm through out, when poking a knife into the thickest part. Take the chicken out  of the pan and allow to rest for a minute while you quickly allow the veggies in the pan to caramelize on high heat.

Mustard  cream sauce:

1 Tbsp dijon mustard

1 cup cream

3 Tbsp butter

Salt to taste

1 tsp xylitol

A grind of black pepper

A squeeze of lemon juice

 

In a saucepan on medium heat, melt the butter. Add the rest of the ingredients and allow the sauce to simmer on medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes and reduce to a creamy consistency.

Yields just over a cup of sauce, enough for 4 – 6 servings of meat.

Smother the chicken breast with warm mustard sauce and enjoy!

This recipe yields 4 portions at about 6 grams of carbs per meal.

Serve with a salad.

 

Watermark - No bake seed clusters

Ingredients:

100 gram *coconut flakes (one Montagu packet)

(* can be replaced with 3/4 cup plain fine or medium desiccated coconut)

50 g butter

2 Tbsp cocoa

2 Tbsp xylitol

2 Tbsp boiling water

4 Tbsp coconut cream

4 Tbsp sunflower seeds

4Tbsp desiccated coconut fine

4 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

2 Tbsp grated orange peel (optional)

In a dry pan, toast your seeds and coconut flakes ever so slightly on medium heat till brown colour starts to show. remove from heat.

In a medium saucepan, on medium – high heat, melt the butter, add the xylitol and mix.  Add the cocoa dissolved in the hot water and the coconut cream.  Allow the sauce to bubble and thicken for 2 minutes while stirring. Remove from heat and allow to sit for a minute or two.  Add all the seeds and coconut and stir into the chocolate sauce.  Scoop into a12 hole tiny cupcake latex moulds or into small cupcake liners. (You could also line an egg carton with cling wrap and mould little clusters in the oval moulds) If you did not use the coconut chips you could roll the batter into 12 balls.  Allow to cool and set overnight or for 2 – 3 hours. They set quite firmly if you give them a chance.

Yields 12 clusters at 1.75 grams of carbs per cluster

These make great lunchbox treats, while you get to sneak in some much needed fiber.

Off course you can make these with chopped nuts instead of the seeds, but nuts does not get to steel the lime light today!

 

Yours in low carb,

Inè

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

a-BUN-dance! The BUN is back! Low Carb – wheat free – gluten free & sugar free, off course!

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Maybe I have some  low carb good news after all…

 

I have been experimenting with some bun recipes and some bun alternatives.  I don’t know why, but there is just something easy going and super comforting about the old HAMBURGER!  So, in under three minutes and under 3 carbs per bun, I think these recipe suggestions should hit the spot somewhere!

YOU WILL NEED A COFFEE GRINDER!!!  This will be the single biggest low carb gift you can give yourself for as little as R200.00

Then, before you know it… you can take seeds and nuts to the next levels in baking!  This is your primary base for flour.  And if you go this route, your coffee grinder will be paid off within a month.  You will simply save a bunch on expensive or hard to come by flours and meals.

You can make meal (a type of flour with skin on) with:

 Raw Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Pumpkin seeds

For flour use:

Blanched Almonds, Macadamias, Regular desiccated fine Coconut, Flax seeds, Sunflower seeds, Sesame seeds.

Here is an easy step by step guide to some of my early experimentations.  Mix and match as you please.

These buns can be used in a sandwich press to make grilled sandwiches or pan toasted for a great hamburger experience.

They  are best served hot from the toasting pan, and are extremely filling.  I would however recommend the Pecan or Almond for a lunchbox. If you do not like coconut you can always do half nut meal and half flax seed.

Have fun!

Flaxseed Bun

Coconut Bun

Sunflower Bun

Bun recipe

Abundance of bun Options

Buns FLAX

Buns COCONUT

Buns PECAN

Bun sandwich ideas

NOW… for the really good stuff!

 

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The Ham Burger (Bacon and Beef Burger)

Mix bacon bits,  half  beef and half pork mince, spice with grated apple, thyme and your favourite flavoured salt mix.

Form into balls and flatten between your palms to form a sturdy patty.  Fry in lard or coconut oil.

Serve with rocket, grilled plumb tomatoes and brinjal rounds fried in lard/coconut oil.

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The Lamb Burger (Lamb or Beef with pesto, feta & tzatziki)

Use your choice of lamb or beef, spice with salt, black pepper, coriander & garlic.

Form patties and fry in coconut oil, lard or tally.

Make tzatziki with a few sprigs finely chopped mint leaves, few spoons double cream yogurt, handful finely chopped cucumber,

& black pepper. Serve with pesto, feta and diced tomatoes.

You can serve this burger on any bun or on a giant mushroom.

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Moroccan Beef or Lamb Burger (Served with feta, coriander)

Mix a sprinkle of moroccan spice rub into your preferred meat, form into patties and fry in the fat of your choice.

Dress your burger with feta, fried sweet onions and coriander or make a mayo with a bit of turmeric, cinnamon and ginger stirred in for a bit of a flavour kick.

Serve with baby marrow or pumpkin oven roast fries.

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Mexican Chicken Burger (With chili, onion, and guacamole)

Pan fry a chicken fillet in and sprinkle with paprika, salt, pepper and garlic.

Pan fry brinjal, lengths slowly and allow to caramelize.

Chop a chili and some spring onion and fry next to the brinjal.

Make a fresh tomato, coriander leave and onion salsa.

slice avo and sprinkle with paprika, stack and enjoy!

 

Hope my  little bun invention will bring  you and yours some new low carb joy!

In aBUNdance

Yours truly tryingly…

Inè