popeye would love it! – spinach, ricotta & goat cheese keto tart

My non-keto version of this tart is made with puff pastry instead of linseed one, so if you’re not restricted with any special food requirements feel free to use puff pastry instead. Although this one is pretty good as well, especially when the edges gets crispy and brown. It’s also more fulfilling, because linseed pastry is mostly fiber. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested. You can read a little bit more about it in this post.

I decided to spice up my tart with French goat cheese and some walnuts – if you manage with the smell and taste, go for it. I’m not a fan, added goat cheese simply because my partner likes it. But personally I would go for camembert, brie or feta cheese – they all would be a great addition to this tart. So choose whatever you like the most.

Obviously you have to be the fan of spinach, cause it’s a spinach tart 🙂 Also to this set I always add plenty of garlic – my another favourite. I guess it won’t be everyone cup of tea, but I’m sure there’s a lot of “rabbits” there, who loves a lot of green on their plates.

Also I encourage you to chose frozen spinach for this recipe, as you would need quite a lot of fresh spinach to prepare it. I used whole bag (850g) of frozen spinach. It’s good to defrost it first and get rid of excess of water. Cooked spinach is a great source of Vitamin K, A, C and Vitamin B9. And also good source of minerals that our body needs everyday: calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, sodium, phosphorus, selenium and others.

And funny story – do you remember Popeye and his passion for spinach, that was making his muscles grow? This claim was based on a simple mistake, and lasted for years when Popeye was convincing children about magical properties of spinach. It began in 1870, when German scientist Erich von Wolf was conducting research into the amount of iron in Spinach and other vegetables. He discovered that spinach had an iron content of 3.5mg per 100g serving. But when Wolf wrote up his findings, he misplaced a decimal point, and ended up putting down spinach’s iron content as ten times greater than what it actually was: 35mg per 100g. Until 1937 everyone believed that spinach has almost magical properties, when someone finally double checked Wolf’s calculations and discovered the mistake.

What’s even more interesting modern studies showed that spinach contains a natural steroid-like chemical called ecdysterone that increases muscle mass. Obviously you would need to eat kilograms of spinach daily to see the results of this natural steroids, but it means that however Popeye knew what was good for him 🙂

spinach, ricotta & goat cheese keto tart

NOTE: my measuring cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS for pastry:

  • 2 cups ground linseed (flaxseed)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 3-4 tbsp clarified butter, coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
  • pinch of natural rock salt

INGREDIENTS for filling:

  • 850g frozen spinach (defrost before you start cooking)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • 250g goat cheese, feta, camembert or other stronger cheese you like
  • 1 egg
  • handful of walnuts
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • pinch of nutmeg

DIRECTIONS

The best is to defrost spinach first. Then get rid of excess water, and then start cooking. Although if you forgot to take it out of the freezer – no worries. It wil just take a little bit more time to prepare.

Heat a large frying pan and place frozen spinach, sprinkle it with some salt (salt will help to defrost quicker) and slowly defrost. When spinach is defrosted but you have large amounts of water on the pan, pour it to the sink. Be careful not to throw all of your spinach as well. When you got rid of water, add chopped garlic, pepper, nutmeg and cook until the rest of water evaporates. Add some more salt or pepper if it’s not enough. Turn off the heat and leave it to cool down slightly.

Now it’s time for pastry. 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 using your hand mix together: grounded linseed, coconut flour, salt, butter or other fat, egg and milk. You should get quite dense, slightly sticky pastry.

Prepare baking dish and baking paper. Place pastry in between two sheets of baking paper and roll out until you reach the size of your dish. Place pastry in the dish and now come back to spinach.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Add one egg and ricotta to your spinach and combine. Transfer spinach to a baking dish, place pieces of cheese on top – as you like it. Also add walnuts.

Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 5 minutes, then slice in portions and serve.

Enjoy!

Source of knowledge:

https://historycollection.com/the-fart-that-killed-10000-people-and-other-weird-moments-from-history/19/

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/popeye-was-right-about-spinach/articleshow/69983984.cms

no flour/gluten free beetroot tart

I’m a beetroot lover, in any kind of shape or form: cooked, baked, as a soup (oh, deliciousness!), so when I came across the idea of making beetroot tart, I knew I have to try it. The only problem was the tart base, but I immediately realized that this recipe, will make a perfect no flour tart crust (I skipped coconut flour). Recently I’ve seen couple recipes with golden linseed meal and I’m very curious is there any difference in taste and consistency. I know that dough made with brown linseed doesn’t look as appetizing, but I’ve stocked myself with about 5kg of brown linseed, so it will take some time before I’ll try the golden linseed, to see if there’s any difference.

At the beginning I was going to add some tangy and salty cheese like feta, but as I didn’t have any in my fridge (and I try to avoid going to the store, I feel very uncomfortable being forced to wear a mask), so I decided to use camembert instead. Although I think this camembert I had, was a bit to gentle in taste and maybe something more intensive like blue Stilton for example would be much better. Anyway, eventually I finished with: beetroots (I’m lazy and bought already cooked ones), camembert, onion, walnuts, garlic and rocket, sprinkled with some natural rock salt.

But.

I wouldn’t be myself, if I wouldn’t forget about something. I thought that a great addition to this composition of flavours would be an apricot. And I’ve even left couple of them just for the purpose of this tart (usually apricots don’t last for too long in my kitchen because I eat them fast). I had a vision in my mind of nicely browned pieces of apricots laying on a bed of beets … and I forgot to add them.

So just imagine these amazingly browned juicy apricots in between the pieces of melted camembert. Oh well, maybe next time. If I won’t forget!

Eventually tart came out very nice. I’ve rolled the crust pretty thin – linseed is mostly fiber, so it’s very fulfilling, you don’t need a thick crust. Very gentle taste (maybe a bit too gentle, I would definitely add more tangy and intensive cheese next time). I’ve enjoyed it more when it was cold, but that’s just my personal preference – I like camembert cold rather than hot. My partner didn’t enjoy it as much as I did, though. He came back from work, grabbed quickly a piece of tart that was laying on the kitchen counter and started eating. You should have seen his face after first bite: “what the fuck is that?!” He doesn’t like beetroots, so all of it was mine 🙂

no flour/gluten free beetroot tart

INGREDIENTS for quite small tart (about 7-8 inches/15cm):

  • about 1 cup ground linseed (flaxseed)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2-3 tbsp clarified butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1-2 cooked beetroots
  • 1/2 small brown onion
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • piece of camembert (or blue Stilton, feta, goat cheese, something pretty intensive and tangy)
  • couple of walnuts
  • some rocket
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of natural rock salt (or sea salt flakes)

DIRECTIONS

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 3 minutes to make it. You can also use pestle and mortar, but it will take hell more time and energy. Third option is to buy ready grounded linseed.

In a bowl mix together grounded linseed, baking powder, butter, egg and milk, kenad the dough using your hand. You might need to adjust the amount of linseed meal depending of the size of your egg, if it’s a large egg you might need slightly more of the linseed meal. Form a ball and using a rolling pin and a pastry board (I have a silicon one – it doesn’t take almost any space, it’s easy to store and wash) roll out a round shape. Form the edge using your fingers.

Place thinly sliced beetroots, finely sliced onion and garlic cloves. Arrange couple pieces of cheese. Toss couple of walnuts, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil at the end.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (or 150° with the fan) and bake for about 20-25 minutes. Give it 3 minutes to rest when you take it out of the oven and then put some rocket leaves. Cut in pieces and enjoy hot or cold.

easy-peasy but fancy – pears & camembert salad

I would like to warn you right away, that not everyone will like this combination, but if you like to experiment – go ahead! I really enjoy this fusion of sweet and juicy pear, camembert and of course walnuts! Nuts and camembert are magical combination, and works perfectly together. Addition of some sweetness of fruit and spiciness of rocket, makes it not only looking quite fancy and elegant, but also gives a nice taste twist. All that makes it a great summer salad for more elegant party or romantic dinner for two. It’s so easy to make, you only need a couple minutes to prepare the ingredients. Then just place them nicely on the plates and there you go.

I like delicate, creamy, buttery, clearly noticeable mushroom aroma and taste of camembert. But if you like more brie or blue Stilton, you can use it instead.

Did you know that camembert cheese was invented by a woman? More precisely, Marie Harel, who in 1791 (the year when the French constitution was created) received a recipe for brie from a priest hiding on a farm. The ingenious girl modified the recipe of Beaumocel cheese, which was produced on the farm where she worked, and added mold bacteria to it, thus giving life to the first piece of Camembert cheese.

Also according to scientists, apart from zinc, copper and calcium, as well as many vitamins, cheese contains tryptophan – an amino acid that strengthens the nervous system and is involved in the production of serotonin. What is serotonin? Of course, the happiness hormone! So increasing the cheese in your diet, will make you happier and more positive. Just be careful if you’re pregnant. Woman expecting a baby should avoid eating this kind of cheese, as it can contain higher levels of the listeria bacteria, which can cause listeriosis – possibly leading to miscarriage and stillbirth.

I like this unusual combinations of fruits and salads, when you think: no way! this things can’t go well together! And then surprisingly you find it absolutely tasty. If you also like this kind of experiments try my orange and Chinese cabbage salad or keto salad with strawberries.

pears & camembert salad

INGREDIENTS:

  • bunch of rocket
  • 1 pear
  • piece of camembert cheese
  • handful of walnuts
  • couple tbsp olive oil or other you like (grapeseed oil in my case)
  • 1-2 tsp spicy mustard
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of coarse pepper
  • pinch of natural rock salt

DIRECTIONS

First start with the dressing. In a small cup or jar mix together: oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, a bit of salt and pepper. Dressing should be quite intensive – spicy and sour.

Rinse the rocket if needed. Peel the pears and slice as you like. Also cut the camembert cheese as your fantasy suggests. Put the rocket, pears, cheese and walnuts on the plate and pour the dressing over it. I suggest you eat it right away, before the pears turn dark and the rocket gets soggy.

Enjoy!

delicious pork pouches stuffed with bacon and camembert #ketofriendly

This is one of my very old recipes that I came across watching TV and I really liked the idea. Years back I’ve prepared this pork pouches for the first time on Valentine’s Day. Originally it was served with creamy green peppercorns sauce and baked chips wrapped in slices of bacon. That’s a very romantic dinner, one of these when you go to bed straight away after eating (rather to have a nap, than to consume your date). But it was delicious, and perfectly (almost, apart from camembert) fitted to out keto diet.

You can use chanterelle mushrooms or other wild mushrooms (if you do, remember to cook them first). If you don’t have any of these, chestnut mushrooms will work as well. If you can’t eat dairy skip camembert, unfortunately it gives a lot of flavour and texture to the dish, but what can I do. And of course salad with some added fat, like avocado, olives, olive oil or extra bacon. I add some kind of salad to most of my keto dinners. Especially now, after couple of months of keto when I’m really fed up with meat, I have to have some extra fresh veggies on my plate.

Maybe it looks a bit complicated but it’s fairly easy to make. Great for Sunday dinner, when you have some more time to play in the kitchen. And it also looks quite fancy, especially if you add green peppercorn sauce. I urge you to try it because it’s seriously yummy.

 

delicious pork pouches stuffed with bacon and camembert

INGREDIENTS (for 2 pouches):

· 2 small pork loin fillets or 1 big one
· 1 onion
· 100 g smoked bacon
· few chanterelles or other wild mushrooms (cooked, not raw)
· camembert cheese (skip if you don’t eat dairy)
· 2-3 tbsp of clarified butter or coconut oil
· salt and black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

First we prepare the stuffing. Chop the onions and bacon. Melt one spoon of butter on the pan, and fry onion and bacon until golden brown. Than add chopped mushrooms, spring with bit of salt and pepper. Give it couple of minutes, than switch off the heat.

Now it’s turn for pork fillets. If you have one big, cut it in half. If you have small ones like I did, they will be perfect. We need a piece around 20cm length. Cut it along the long side, but not through. Like you would open the book. Tenderize meat with a meat mallet (or with a rolling pin, like I did) to get round form. Pork fillet is very delicate, so be gentle and careful not to make any holes in it. Put the stuffing and a piece of camembert in the middle of your pouch, than tie it with a piece of twine.

Grease baking dish with some butter, place the pouches and spring with some salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes in 180°C (160°C with the fan).

If you eat dairy, you can serve it with creamy green peppercorn sauce (hot double cream with some salt and green peppercorns). It’s going to be even more delicious. For us just saute.

Enjoy!