tuna layered keto salad

Because we’ve enjoyed this salad so much, that I’ve made it couple of times in last two weeks, I’ve tried to make a different variation of it. I’ve kept the base: leeks, eggs, mayonnaise and cheese adding some tuna and olives stuffed with anchovies. And I like it a lot, olives gives a nice twist to the flavour (like sour pickled cucumbers in the other salad), although in my opinion the previous one is a winner. You can try both and tell me what you think 🙂

I would use tuna in water, but it wasn’t available while I was making my order, so I took the one in brine. I don’t like the one in oil, I don’t know what quality of oil they use. So I always buy tuna in water, and add olive oil if I need to. As with the previous salad I recommend using smaller, whiter leeks, they are better for salads and less hard than the big ones. Also tuna in water (or brine) is pretty dry, so adding generous amount of mayonnaise it’s the thing we want.

Because I like the way it looks, I’ve placed my salad in a glass dish, making layers. But obviously you can mix all the ingredients in a bowl and it will be also great.

Is tuna good for health?

In general – yes, like almost every fish. Well, I think we all know that fish living in heavily polluted seas contain heavy metals that are harmful to health: mercury, cadmium, lead, zinc and copper. Mercury is especially dangerous for humans, and enters the body of the fish directly through the gills. In contrast, the main source of mercury for fish is food. This element tends to accumulate in the guts – in the liver and muscles. The greatest amount of mercury is in large fish, that have a long life and in predators, that feed on large numbers of smaller fish. Because tuna is a predator might contain some amounts of heavy metals.

Is canned tuna healthy?

Hmm BPA is a chemical compound used to produce plastics or epoxy resins used in the production of cans. BPA is well known to be a harmful compound that affects human health. When ingested, it is metabolized in the liver, where it forms the bisphenol A and is excreted in the urine. Before that happens, however, it interacts with the receptors of the estrogen – the sex hormone. To be more clear – it acts like a hormone.

What’s the conclusion then?

Eating lots of canned food (including tuna) is not really healthy. But let’s be honest, in today’s world, if we would like to limit all the unhealthy, more or less harmful food products, we would need to change the diet and feed ourselves with sunshine. Because even if you grow your own vegetables, you cannot be sure what’s in the soil, cannot control what’s in the rainwater. Of course it doesn’t mean, that because of that, you shouldn’t bother, and eat whatever. But we can always try to eat the best food we can find, and eat the food that we know it might be harmful for us in moderation. Like canned tuna.

So I’m happy that I prefer the other salad more than the tuna one 🙂

How about you?

tuna layered keto salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1-2 leeks
  • 2 cans of tuna in water or brine (2x145g)
  • handful of olives stuffed with anchovies
  • couple spoons of mayonnaise
  • piece of cheddar cheese (in my case mild one)
  • natural rock salt and pinch of lemon pepper
  • about 1 tbsp your favourite mustard

DIRECTIONS

Dice the eggs, slice olives. Rinse the leek thoroughly under running water to get rid of remaining of sand and soil. Cut it lengthwise and then in thin slices. Drain the tuna from water or brine. Grate the cheese.

In a large glass dish place half of the leek on the bottom, add some salt and pepper, then add generously some mayonnaise and a bit of mustard. Place a layer of tuna (1 can), eggs, another layer of mayonnaise and mustard. Then second can of tuna, sliced olives, second part of leek, again salt and pepper. Top up with some more mayonnaise if you still have some room, and finish with grated cheddar.

Of course you can make your own layers however you want, mine is just a example. Or you can just pop all the ingredients to the large bowl and mix them together adding as much mayonnaise as you want to get expected consistency.

Enjoy!

paneer jalfrezi (keto)

Paneer is a popular cheese (made with milk) from India, white, firm, cohesive and spongy with a close-knit texture and kind of sweet, sour, nutty flavour. Slightly bland, but maybe that’s why it’s usually used for stir fry, curry or other meals that are made with lots of spices. Paneer doesn’t melt when heated and stays firm and spongy. So it’s perfect if you wont to grill it, fry it or add to a hot meals. And because of its neutral taste, it gets all the flavour from spices. It will go great with hot and aromatic spices like curry, paprika, garam masala or tikka masala, cumin and chilli, in other words with all Indian spices, so if you like this type of cuisine, you should definitely try paneer if you didn’t.

According to this article published by Journal of Food Science and Technology: “Paneer is of great value in diet, especially in the Indian vegetarian context, because it contains a fairly high level of fat and proteins as well as some minerals, especially calcium and phosphorus. It is also a good source of fat soluble vitamins A and D. So its food and nutritive value is fairly high. Superior nutritive value of paneer is attributed to the presence of whey proteins that are rich source of essential amino acids. Due to its high nutritive value, paneer is an ideal food for the expectant mothers, infants, growing children, adolescents and adults.

About 120g of paneer contains about 3g of carbohydrates, 22g of proteins and about 29g of fats. In which saturated fats is about 16g, polyunsaturated fats 1.3g and monounsaturated fats 7.3g. Polyunsaturated fats include Omega 3 and Omega 6 fats. Omega 3’s helps to lower inflammation in your body and to keep proper hormone levels. Omega 6 fatty acids are important to support healthy brain and muscle functions but, but on the other hand it can increase inflammation if that’s your issue. Monounsaturated fats (which you have plenty in avocado, macadamia nuts and olives) protect the heart and support insulin sensitivity, fat storage, weight loss, and healthy energy levels. So it makes paneer a great source of healthy fats and proteins, if you’re not very keen on eating meat, or you need some more variety on keto diet.

I will definitely use it more in my keto meals. But today I’ve made paneer jalfrezi. Jalfrezi recipes appeared in cookbooks as meals made with leftovers fried with chilli and onions. I make mine using onions, bunch of bell peppers and tomatoes in different forms (cherry, chopped, chopped and passata) depending of my liking. You can also use variety of spices, in this one I’ve used: chilli flakes, sweet paprika, garlic granules (normally I would use fresh garlic, but I’ve run out of it), cumin and a little bit of coriander I had in my freezer. Today I’ve added only couple of cherry tomatoes, but adding adding can of chopped tomatoes add this dish another, more sour flavour and adds a bit of shakshuka vibe.

You can experiment adding different spices and veggies, depending of what’s in your fridge, as it’s a leftovers meal 🙂

paneer jalfrezi (keto)

INGREDIENTS (for 2 really big portions):

  • 450g of paneer (I’ve used two 225g packs)
  • 3 bell peppers (green, yellow and red)
  • large brown onion
  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/3 tsp chilli flakes (and additional teaspoon for my partner)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • good pinch of natural rock salt
  • couple of cherry tomatoes/can of chopped tomatoes/some passata

DIRECTIONS

Dice paneer in slightly less than 1 inch (2.5cm) cubes. Slice the onion lengthwise and all the bell peppers in stripes. If you use fresh garlic, chop it finely.

Heat a large pan adding 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Toss diced paneer and fry till golden on each side, it will take a while, flip each cube on the other side every couple minutes. When paneer is nicely golden add onion and peppers. Sprinkle with good pinch of salt and the rest of spices and fry for couple of minutes. Stir occasionally, so the cheese won’t burn. At the end add chopped tomatoes or in my case cherry tomatoes and fry for a while. If you add chopped tomatoes it might need couple more minutes, so tomato sauce reduce slightly and gets the flavour from spices. Your paneer jalfrezi is ready 🙂

leek, egg, sour pickled cucumber and red Leicester layered salad (keto)

Today we have recipe for versatile keto friendly salad, made with only couple ingredients but giving quite impressive result. This salad is perfect for any kind of party, can be served in a big glass dish or small glasses, one for each guest. We have very basic ingredients here: leek, eggs, sour pickled cucumbers, Red Leicester cheese and some mayonnaise to tie this all together. Green and orange colours catches the eye, so even though this salad is very simple, it does the job.

I’ve chose Red Leicester cheese because of its colour. It has slightly sweet, mellow flavour and nutty taste. If you buy this, make sure it doesn’t contain artificial colour or flavours. Egg and cheese balances spiciness of leek and sourness of cucumbers. I recommend using sour pickled cucumbers (fermented), they are very healthy as all the fermented foods, and adds a lot of taste to this salad. But if it’s not your cup of tea, you can also use sweet pickled cucumbers.

One leek that I’ve use to make this salad it’s about 9.4g of total carbohydrates, and you’ll have a couple portions from that amount. Select leeks that look crisp and have a white stem, also medium size leeks are definitely better for a salad and have more flavour than larger leeks, which are better for soup. Leeks are great source of Vitamin B6, C, K and A, also have Iron and Manganese.

If you don’t want to bother yourself with making layers just mix all the ingredients together to get delicious cheesy salad.

leek, egg, sour pickled cucumber

and Red Leicester layered salad (keto)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • 1 leek
  • 2 large sour pickled cucumbers
  • piece of red Leicester cheese (or cheddar)
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • pinch of lemon pepper
  • mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS

Rinse the leek thoroughly to get rid of all the soil or sand that remains in between the leaves. Cut it lengthwise and then chop in thin slices. If you don’t like quite strong and spicy taste of leek, and you’d like to make it more gentle, you can blanch it by putting in boiling water for several seconds and then cooling down by dipping in cold water. It will not only make it less spicy but also a little bit more soft.

Peel the eggs and separate egg yolks from egg whites. Dice the cucumbers and egg whites. Grate some cheddar.

Prepare large glass dish or small glasses if you’d like to make salad portions.

Put a layer of each ingredient starting with leek, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, spread a layer of mayonnaise. Then add layer of cucumbers, and diced egg whites, some grated cheddar. Again layer of leek, pinch of salt, pepper and some mayonnaise. Grate the egg yolks on top and some more grated cheddar. Cover with piece of cling film or a plate and put to the fridge for about an hour. And then serve.

linseed flour peanut butter muffins #keto

If you’re on keto and don’t like coconut flour taste and/or can’t use almond flour, this linseed (flaxseed) flour peanut butter muffins are a great option for you. Quick and easy to make, can be treated as a snack or quick lunch when you’re in a run. Made with just couple ingredients, that if you’re on keto diet you probably already have in your kitchen.

Due to high fiber content, it has a laxative effect – it eliminates constipation, and thus accelerates the cleansing of food residues from the intestines, contributing to the elimination of heaviness. These muffins are great option if you tend to have cravings – thanks to large content of fiber, we feel a psycho-physical feeling of feeling full, which makes us less hungry, eat smaller amounts of food and do not eat snacks so often. Linseeds are often compared to chia seeds, as it’s cheaper option. There is a lot of similarities between this two seeds, although they are not the same. Comparing the composition of both products we will notice some differences. Linseed contains about 20% more Omega-3 than chia seeds and a much larger amount of lignans (human health-promoting molecules). Thanks to this, it improves blood parameters, affects the proper functioning of the kidneys, prevents depression and improves the appearance of the skin. Chia seeds, on the other hand, has 50% more fiber, and also contains more magnesium and iron, and also has lower calorific value than flax seeds (source).

So it is impossible to clearly determine what is better: linseed or chia seeds. Both products carry a number of beneficial properties resulting from their consumption. Regardless of what we choose, it will be a healthy and good decision.

Although they don’t look very pretty, they taste batter than they look. Of course they are not going to taste the same, as the one made with regular flour. I hope, if you’re on keto, you’ve already noticed, that keto replacements of regular snacks like muffins, cakes or pizza, will never taste the same, as the regular one made with wheat flour and sugar. And because of the large content of fiber, muffins made with linseed flour won’t be as fluffy and light as the one made with wheat flour. Also I’ve added four tablespoons of xylitol and they are not very sweet, I like them this way, for my partner they were not sweet enough, so keep in mind that you might need more sweetener.

linseed flour peanut butter muffins

INGREDIENTS (for about 12 muffins):

  • 1 headed cup linseed flour
  • 3 large eggs (or 4 small)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 4 tbsp xylitol (or other sweetener of your choice)
  • smooth or crunchy peanut butter (I’ve used smooth)

DIRECTIONS

I always use freshly made linseed flour. I use coffee grinder to make the amount of linseed flour I need. Because grounded linseed oxidise quickly, they should be used fast, not lose its nutritive value. If you make your own linseed flour it’s good to keep it in a airtight container and in a dark place.

Muffins are very easy to make. Just combine together all dry ingredients: linseed flour, baking powder and sweetener. Melt coconut oil, whisk the eggs. You can also beat the eggs with handheld mixer, it will make the dough more fluffy, but it’s not necessary. Also you might need to add more sweetener, as for me it was enough, for my partner they were not enough sweet, so please keep it in mind.

Add eggs to the dry ingredients, then add coconut oil and stir to combine. The dough will be quite thick.

Prepare muffin liners or make them using baking paper, like I did. Cut baking paper in stripes and then in squares (it doesn’t need to be perfect squares). Take the cup, put it upside down, and shape the piece of baking paper so it reminds the muffin liner. Place them in the muffin tray.

Add some dough to each muffin liner (you’ll need to help yourself with a finger or another spoon), then place a teaspoon of peanut butter and some more dough on the top.

Heat the oven to 180°C and bake the muffins for about 20-25 minutes, depending of the oven. After baking let them rest for couple minutes and they are ready to eat.

Store them up to 4 days in room temperature, in airtight container.

mushroom and onion tart

I’m a fan of onion in every form. Before keto, panini with caramelized onion and cheese was one of my guilty pleasures. I love the sweetness of onion fried with butter or grilled sprinkled with salt that balance the sweetness. The same with mushrooms fried with butter on high heat when they get golden brown but still firm. I feel like butter can boost flavour of everything. There is a quote: “the only thing better than butter is more butter” and that’s absolutely the truth 🙂 But I mean real butter, not the spread or margarine. Real butter with at least 80% of fat (the best grass fed). I feel like I could write separate post about butter but lets focus on the tart.

Although preparing of this tart might seem to be complicated it’s actually very easy. If you want to prepare it with regular crust, you can prepare it yourself, or buy ready made shortcrust pastry (already rolled). Of course I recommend making it at home (with butter, not margarine that’s used in ready made pastry), but if you don’t have enough time or skills, this option is fine as well.

I’ve prepared this recipe for both options: regular and keto / gluten free. Choose whatever is best for you. Inspiration for the tart comes from here, with my adjustments. I used this recipe as a base for keto crust.

It’s great keto meal, full of fat and very fulfilling – this keto crust is mostly fiber, so will make you feel full for hours even though it’s not heavy and doesn’t contain any meat. But of course you could feel temptation to toss some fried bacon on top…

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mushroom and onion tart

NOTE: my measuring cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS for regular crust:

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • about 80g butter
  • 2 tbsp very cold water

INGREDIENTS for keto crust:

  • 1 cup ground linseed (flaxseed)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 tsp natural rock salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 tbsp clarified butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)

INGREDIENTS for stuffing:

  • 2-3 red onions
  • 2-3 white onions
  • about 500g mushrooms
  • 3 tbsp olive oil / coconut oil / clarified butter
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • slice of butter
  • natural rock salt and coarse pepper to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • 200g cream cheese (for example ricotta or philadelphia)
  • 1 cup grated mature cheddar
  • ½ cup double cream
  • handful of chopped spring onion

 

DIRECTIONS for regular crust

Chop the butter with flour, add 2 tbsp of very cold water and knead quickly to a uniform dough. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and put to the fridge while you prepare the rest of ingredients.

DIRECTIONS for keto crust

I use old coffee grinder to grind linseed, you can do the same, or buy grounded linseed. Although it’s more expensive and less healthy, because ground linseed oxidize quickly. That’s why it’s better to buy linseed and grind only the amount you need. You can also use mortar to grind them, but it’s more time consuming and requires more attention.

In a bowl mix together grounded linseed, coconut flour, salt, baking powder, butter, egg and milk using your hand. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic and put to fridge while you prepare the rest of ingredients.

DIRECTIONS for stuffing and baking

In a big skillet heat olive oil / coconut oil / butter. Peel onions and cut in quarters, fry on a medium heat, season with salt and balsamic vinegar. Fry until golden and and slightly tender but still firm. Transfer them to a bowl and use the same skillet for frying mushrooms. Depending of size chop them in quarters or slices. Fry quickly on high heat until golden. Add some salt at the end of frying (adding salt at the end will prevent from becoming soggy).

Roll the dough to a circle (with regular dough you”l need slightly floured surface), gently transfer to a tart baking dish. Don’t worry if it breaks while transferring , just use your fingers to put everything back together. Pierce bottom with a fork and return to fridge for 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 180-190ºC (no fan). Bake the crust for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime separate egg yolk and egg white. Mix egg yolk with cream cheese and half of grated cheddar. In a bowl whip egg white, add double cream and remaining cheddar.

Take the crust from the oven, spread the mix of cream cheese on the bottom, then place mushrooms and onions, and pour the mix of egg white, double cream and cheddar.

Cover with foil (shiny side is from the inside, dull outside) – it will prevent from burning and bake for about 30 minutes. Then take of the foil and bake couple more minutes until golden. Your tart is ready – just sprinkle with chopped spring onion.

In my opinion the best is next day or after couple hours, when the crust gets moist with the juices from mushrooms and onion.

tarta-z-pieczarkami-i-cebula

linseed (flaxseed) biscuits #keto #glutenfree #nosugar #noflour

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Finally I can introduce you this great no flour, no sugar, gluten free and keto friendly linseed biscuits. It took me several times to find proportion that is not too hard, no too crispy, somewhere in the middle, so it can be used in variety of dishes.

HOW CAN YOU USE THIS RECIPE?

♥ biscuits – plain, with seeds, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate nibs. I had leftovers of mix of sunflower seeds, cranberries, peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds.

♥ pizza base – add olive oil instead of butter, toss some herbs like oregano or basil, and you have keto friendly pizza base

♥ pastry for savory tarts, casseroles

♥ pastry for cakes – sweet tarts, cheesecakes and other sweet cakes as shortbread  pastry replacement

My idea was to find a good replacement for almond flour. Linseed has very good binding properties, it is suitable for baking, including bread. In addition, flour can be used for pancakes, pies, cocktails and as breadcrumbs replacement. It can be used alone or as an addition to other flours.

Linseed contains mucous compounds, omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, proteins, nutrients (lignans), flavonoids, dietary fiber, enzymes, mineral components (magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, potassium, copper, manganese), vitamins (B1, B6, PP, folic acid, pantothenic acid, choline – I’ve been writing about choline here). Chemicals isolated from linseed are considered one of the best emollients, soothing agents and to some extent anti-inflammatory. They have antibacterial, protective, laxative effects, reduce blood clotting, strengthen, regenerate, accelerate wound healing, protect against heart attack or coronary artery disease.

Research confirms that women with breast cancer who was consuming linseeds resulted with inhibition of tumor growth and prolongs life. One of the studies carried out was to give patients with breast cancer 0.3 milligrams of lignans (from linseed). After a 10-year follow-up period, there was a reduction of over 70% in mortality from breast cancer compared to women who avoided lignans.

Linseeds have ⇓

⇒ almost 3 times more lignans compared to chia seeds

⇒ over 7 times more lignans than sesame

⇒ 38 times more lignans than sunflower seeds

⇒ 475 times more lignans than cashews

⇒ 3200 times more lignans than peanuts

WHY LINSEED BISCUITS ARE SO GREAT?

It will take you couple minutes to prepare the dough, and maximum 25 minutes to bake the biscuits. They are easy peasy to make, so you don’t need to be a Master Chef. Ingredients are inexpensive and easy to buy (coconut flour is available in most of the supermarkets). They are wonderful snack not only because they are very tasty, but also because they contain plenty of fiber (100g of linseed has 27g of fiber). So you won’t be tempted to eat all you’ve just bake, because after two you’ll feel full for hours.

I used freshly grounded linseed – it’s more healthy option (and cheaper), because grounded seeds oxidize quickly, loosing their nutritional properties. I use old coffee grinder, so it takes 5 minutes to make it. You can also use pestle and mortar, but it will take more time and energy. Third option is to buy ready grounded linseed.

Choice is yours and sky is the limit 🙂

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linseed (flaxseed) biscuits #keto #glutenfree #nosugar

NOTE: my measurement cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS (for about 11 buiscuits):

  • 1 cup ground linseed (flaxseed)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup xylitol (or other sweetener)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 tbsp clarified butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
  • seeds or nuts (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds)

DIRECTIONS

I use old coffee grinder to grind linseed, you can do the same, or buy grounded linseed. Although it’s more expensive and less healthy, because ground linseed oxidize quickly. That’s why it’s better to buy linseed and grind only the amount you need. You can also use mortar to grind them, but it’s more time consuming and requires more attention.

In a bowl mix together grounded linseed, coconut flour, xylitol, baking powder, butter, egg and milk using your hand. Add seeds or nuts of your choice. You can chop or slightly grind nuts if you use them, so everything will keep together.

Form small balls and flatten with the palm of your hands. Place on the baking paper and bake for 20-25 minutes in 180°C (or 150° with the fan). Leave in the oven to cool down. They can bee keepped in a closed container fo about a week.

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keto broccoli and bacon salad

Broccoli, bacon, red onions, sunflower seeds and raisins might be a bit extraordinary combination, but you will be surprised how great this ingredients goes together. This salad it’s a wonderful keto meal, excellent as a breakfast or even dinner – it’s very fulfilling. Don’t bother about raisins, there’s one handful for 500g of broccoli, so it doesn’t rise the amout of carbs significanetly, but it gives extra flavour to the salad. But of course if you are very restrictive you can skip the raisins.

We have here plenty of nutrients and fats. Broccoli is full of vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, and potassium. It’s also full of fiber and has more protein than most other vegetables. Another great benefits are antioxidants: sulforaphane andIndole-3-carbinol – helps to prevent cancer, carotenoids – are great for your eyes, kaempferol – protects againts infammation, and quercitin – lowers high blood preassure.

We have sunflower seeds – not only great source of healthy fats, but also high amounts of vitamin E and selenium and antioxidants which can play a big role in healing several chronic diseases. This study reveals that consuming sunflower seeds and other seeds five times a week can decrease level of C-reactive protein. So if you deal with chronic inflammation, eating sunflower seeds might be very beneficial for you. Although sunflower seeds shouldn’t be toasted in general, during roasting, the external structure of the sunflower seed is disturbed, which is accompanied by an improvement in oxygen diffusion into the grain. Oxygen diffusion is an adverse effect because, given the high content of healthy unsaturated fats in oilseeds (mainly linoleic and oleic acid), oxidation occurs under the influence of oxygen, which results in the loss of necessary unsaturated fatty acids and the formation of free saturated fatty acids and trans fats, which should be consumed in a small amount in the diet. There’s a theory that the healthiest way is to sprout the seeds first. Soaking nuts (and seeds) for 24 hours before consumtion, gets rid of enzyme inhibitors. They protect the plant against early germination, and after getting into the body, block digestive enzymes. In other words – through them we will absorb only part of the nutritional value found in grains and nuts. So soaking makes then not only more digestible but also let our body to absorb all the goodness.

I have to admit that I’ve tried to soak nuts, but although everyone say that they taste better, for me the taste was worse. So you can try yourself, and decide which way you like them more.

Apart from that we have smoked bacon from my local butcher, and crispy red onions which spice up the mix. All this mixed with mayonnaise maybe doesn’t look amazing, but tastes great and that’s what’s the most important.

NOTES: I like to steam veggies to keep all the nutrients, but if you don’t have a steamer (I use very cheap stainless steel folding basket you put inside the pot), you can boil broccoli in salty water. Also don’t overcook broccoli, because you will finish with mushy watery mixture. It’s better to undercook it slightly than slightly overcook. That’s why also I don’t recommend using frozen broccoli – I tried couple of time and didn’t like the final taste. I also recommend to mix all the ingredients after broccoli cools down. If you want to quickly cool down broccoli, just put it to bowl with water and some ice cubes. Then drain thoroughly excess water.

keto bacon and broccoli salad

keto broccoli & bacon salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • about 500g fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 small red onion
  • 2 handfuls sunflower seeds
  • 5 smoked bacon slices
  •  handful raisins / blackcurrants / redcurrants / cranberries
  • couple spoons mayonnaisse
  • good pinch of coarse pepper

DIRECTIONS

Steam or cook your broccoli, until it’s al dente. I like steaming, because veggies retain more nutrients comparing to boiling. But if you don’t have a steamer, you can boil them in salty water. I also use salt for each layer of broccolies when steaming. I use very simple folding stainless steel basket, you can put inside the pot. It’s very versitale, for smaller and bigger amounts of veggies.

So, steam broccoli florets until tender but still crisp. Don’t overcook them, because you’ll finish with mushy salad. Take the out of the pot / water and leave to cool down.

While broccoli is cooling down, toss sunflower seeds on a skillet and toast them on a very small heat, stirring from time to time. It’s not obligatory, but it makes sunflower seeds more crispy and aromatic, so I recommend not skipping this step. After toasting set them aside to cool down, and use the same skillet to fry bacon. Chop smoked bacon and fry slowly on a small heat until crispy. Last step is to chop the onion lengthwise making thin slices.

When all ingredients are ready, mix them together, adding handful of raisins. At the end add couple spoons of mayonnaisse, and sprinkle with coarse pepper. Salad is ready to serve. You can keep it in the fridge up to 3 days.

Enjoy!

broccoli salad

one skillet veggie shakshuka

Shakshuka is a traditional Middle East dish made of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, olive oil, peppers, onion and garlic, and commonly spiced with cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and nutmeg. Also very popular in keto community, as another way of serving eggs.

There’s many variations about this dish, as it’s very versatile. Actually it’s a great “nothing wasted” meal, because you can add whatever is left in your fridge. Your base are eggs, tomatoes and peppers, and it might seem like something “meh”, but it’s actually delicious. It was on my keto recipes list for ages, before I finally tried to make it. Just because I thought, it’s not going to be tasty. And usually everyone is surprised how good is it. It’s also great idea for weekend breakfast or lunch. Another good thing it’s very easy and quick to make, an you only need one skillet to make it (or two, if you eat  many eggs as we do).

I hope I aroused your interest enough 🙂

For my today’s shakshuka I chose something different than passata or chopped tomatoes. I had some leftovers of something called lyutenitsa (or lutenica). It’s a kind of vegetable appetizer, or I would say a very thick sauce, made with tomatoes, roasted red peppers, aubergine, carrots and spices. And it’s the best tomato-ish sauce I’ve ever eat. If I’m not wrong it comes from Boulgaria, but also known in Serbia and Macedonia. There is also pinjur, kylopolou or ajvar. That’s very similar kind of sauces, based on tomatoes and roasted peppers and aubergine. But you can use tomato passata (I like bottled ones) or chopped tomatoes, will be also yummy. If you use ready made sauce it might me higher in carbs, so for those who just started with keto diet I recommend adding passata or chopped tomatoes.

I’ve made my shakshuka all veggie today, using yellow and orange peppers, onions and bunch of baby spinach. I poached 4 eggs into my skillet, and fried another 3 separately, as we eat quite a lot of eggs, and I wouldn’t manage to squeeze them all in. So that’s what you can see on the photos. Usually you poach the egg into shakshuka and simmer until it sets. But if you hate unset egg white (which can happen if you pouch a lot of eggs to your shakshuka), you can fry them separately and then move to the skillet. You can also cover the skillet with a lid, so it will set quicker, but that usually makes that egg yolks sets as well, which I don’t like. So figure out which way will be the best for you 🙂

And we cannot forget about spices, if you’ve never tried cumin seeds, I really recommend you to try. They are so aromatic, and give one of a kind flavour to this dish. Also garlic (I love garlic, but you can skip if you don’t like it) and you can finish your shakshuka with some chilli flakes, if you like it spicy, or some parsley (coriander will be great as well) if you like more mild option.

OK, lets go now to the recipe.

veggie shakshuka

 

one skillet veggie shakshuka

INGREDIENTS (for 2 quite large portions)

  • 7 eggs (adjust to your needs)
  • 2 bell peppers (I used yellow and orange, take whichever you like)
  • 2 medium brown onions
  • 2-3 handfuls baby spinach
  • leftovers of lyutenitsa / can of chopped tomatoes / 350ml organic passata
  • 3 tbsp clarified buter / olive oil / coconut oil
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • natural rock salt to taste
  • good pinch of coarse pepper
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • for finish: chilli flakes, fresh or dried coriander or parsley

DIRECTIONS

Chop the onions, slice bell peppers in stripes (you can also chop them, doesn’t really matter).

Melt butter on a large skillet and fry the onions first. When it starts to get golden add peppers and sprinkle with salt, so they will start to get tender. Fry together for about 5 minutes, then add all the spices. Stir to combine and add chopped tomatoes or passata (lyutenitsa in my case), add a bit more salt (if you use ready made sauce, there’s no need to add more salt because it’s usually salty), stir again and let it simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Next add spinach and stir until it gets soften.

And finally eggs. Using a spoon make a holes in your shakshuka and poach the egg to each hole. Sprinkle the eggs with some more salt. Simmer until the egg white will be set. You can cover the pan with lid to make it faster, but it’s very likely that egg yolks will set as well. If you don’t mind, put the lid on.

Finish with chilli flakes, parsley or coriander, and serve.

keto shakshuka

shakshuka

beetroot and smoked curd salad

I chose mix of watercress, spinach and wild rocket because of its strong and peppery taste, which goes very well with delicate and sweet taste of beetroots. Smoked curd cheese is one of my favourites at the moment. Since I started eating dairy again, I find new quality in each kind of cheese, and this smoky aroma of curd cheese goes great with this salad.

Beets are one of my favourite veggies and looks like my body needs them lately, because I feel an urge to have a bit for my breakfast. So last couple of weeks I make this salad for my breakfast, adding couple of fried eggs.

Beets as root vegetables are not keto friendly, as they contain larger amounts of carbohydrates. 100g of cooked beetroots has from about 6g to 10g of carbs, depending of source of your knowledge. One small cooked and peeled beetroot is less than 100g, it’s still quite a lot, but on the days when your carb intake is smaller, and if you like beetroots as much as I do, you can add them to your meal. Ofcourse if you’re not an orthodox keto user 🙂 Beetroots are build of simple sugars — such as glucose and fructose, also are source of fructans — short-chain carbs classified as FODMAPs. Some people cannot digest FODMAPs, causing unpleasant digestive symptoms. So if you have IBS or you’re at the beginning of your keto journey, beets might not be a good idea.

Their glycemic index is 61, which is medium, so this means that they should not have a major effect on your blood sugar levels, especially if you eat them in smaller amounts.

Beets are natural source of nitrates, which in the body turns into nitric oxide and travels through the artery walls sending signals to the tiny muscle cells around the arteries, telling them to relax. When these cells relax, the blood vessels dilate, and blood pressure goes down.

Food producers often add nitrates and nitrites to processed meats, such as bacon, ham, sausages, and hot dogs. This chemical compounds eating in larger amouts are harmful for your body. Nitrites may turn into nitrosamines, which can cause cancer. When protein from processed meat goes in reaction with sodium nitrite during cooking on high heat, they become nitrosamines. How to recognise if the meat you buy contains nitrates? Look for any of these ingredients on the label:

  • sodium nitrate (E251)
  • sodium nitrite (E250)
  • potassium nitrate (E252)
  • potassium nitrite (E249)

How to avoid them? Try to look for local butchers or farmers market, read the labels to make conscious decisions and if you won’t find a good source to shop, try to buy less of processed meat, and cook it on lower heat not to let it burn.

Going back to our beetroots, natural nitrates existing in beets are fine for your body, so you don’t have to be afraid to eat them.

Beets are also great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. This root veggie can improve oxygen use, stamina, and exercise performance.

You can boil them, steam or bake. I like steaming couple of beets, peel them after steaming, and keep in the fridge for my salads. They can be stored in the fridge up to a week.

Let’s go to the recipe, I hope you’ll like it as much as I do.

 

beetroot and smoked curd salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • mix of watercress, baby spinach and wild rocket
  • slice of smoked curd cheese
  • 1 small cooked beetroot
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • pinch of coarse pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp organic apple cider vinegar (I like Tree of Life, it’s with mother, raw & unfiltered)

DIRECTIONS

Rinse your greens thoroughly or skip this step, if you have bought ready washed mix. Place them on the bottom of the bowl. Cut beetroot in smaller pieces, crumble curd with your fingers. Place them both on salad leaves. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and pinch of coarse pepper. Pour over 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Decorate with thinly cut avocado slices.

Enjoy for breakfast with fried eggs, on it’s own for lunch or light supper.

simple devilled eggs in a very complicated world

There’s nothing easier than devilled eggs. If you want to spice up your traditional keto hard boiled egg, just stuff it. Plain hard boiled egg with mayo is insipid and boring. Stuffing makes it more appetizing and simply more tasty.

Chicken egg yolk is a natural source of vitamin D. Did you know that vitamin D is actually a hormone? Nearly every cell in your body has a receptor for this hormone, and it’s already confirmed, that it’s role in the body is much wider than just protecting your bones. Vitamin D is the key when comes to your immunity. It plays a crucial role in neurological health, mood and cognitive function, it reduces inflammation in the body, helps to regulate blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance. And that’s only some of the good things about Vitamin D.

Most of our vitamin D comes from sun exposure, but in modern world when we spend most of our time inside than outside, causes that we constantly have vitamin D deficient, what makes out immune system very weak. If you’d like to know some more about this subject I highly recommend watching Dr Berg’s videos – he explains everything straightforward.

Going back to our egg, egg yolk and some other foods are good source of this key vitamin. But. The same way people intake vitamin D from the sun the same does the chickens. If they are exposed to the sun (read – they live their lives outside, on the grass, not in giant chicken warehouses) their eggs contain vitamin D. So if you’d like to have some extra vitamin D from eggs, choose the ones that comes from the hens that were living outside in their natural environment.

Funny thing I have found online (I would like to say it’s rather paranoid), that “A team of nutritionists and agricultural scientists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) has found a new way to further increase the vitamin D content of eggs: by exposing chickens to UV light. As the team writes in the scientific journal Poultry Science, the method can be put into practice in henhouses straight away.” – source I recommend to read all the article – it’s quite interesting.

What else we will invent to make our life more complicated and more far away from the nature? Wouldn’t it be easier just to let this chickens live outside, in the sun, air and grass? Why do we think that we know things better than nature, and we want to make everything “better” than the nature did?

That was quite complicated introduction to the very easy recipe 🙂

simple devilled eggs

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 hard boiled eggs (from hens that were living there life on the outside)
  • 1 tsp spicy mustard
  • chopped spring onions
  • 2 tsp mayonnaise
  • pinch of coarse pepper
  • few cherry tomatoes

EASY PEASY DIRECTIONS

Mash the egg yolks with mustard and mayo. Add chopped spring onions. Stuff egg whites, sprinkle with coarse pepper and some more spring onions. Decorate with cherry tomatoes quarters and enjoy!