green peas, bacon and cheese fritatta

As I start my days quite early right now, I no longer have time for proper breakfast. So weekend is the time for me to have nice, decent and more time consuming breakfast. Today I would like you to have a look at this colourful, delicious fritatta. Usually this way of preparing eggs is not my favourite – I prefer fried or scrambled eggs with lots of fresh salad on a side, but this fritatta really surprised me. I only regret that I didn’t add more green peas (I love green peas by the way) because they added lots of freshness to this meal. Addition of feta cheese was also a good idea – it gives a mediterranean vibe and lots of lightness, a contrary to bacon and cheddar. In general great option for a hearty breakfast or lunch. Perfect as a low carb meal, even though green peas are not a ketogenic vegetable – you still keep your carbs low, obviously if you won’t have a slice of bread or toast with it. And it’s absolutely not needed here. If you place your fritatta on a bunch of fresh rocket leaves and garnish with fresh chopped herbs, you’ll get a delicious Summer dinner.

To make this fritatta it’s good to have a non stick pan, with quite thick bottom, so you won’t burn the eggs easily, covering the pan with lid will help to melt the cheese faster, without burning the bottom of the fritatta.

Choose delicious, juicy and sweet cherry tomatoes, preferably from your local supplier. If you choose tomatoes that had to travel thousands miles to finish on your plate, you can be sure that they didn’t managed to ripe on the bush, but during the long journey. So they didn’t managed to develop all the nutritional components as they should. In the ideal world we would have tomatoes that grow happily in the sun, not in the greenhouse. Hydroponic cultivation is gaining more and more popularity. In a small area, in a controlled atmosphere and irrigated with a mixture of chemicals, they grow huge bushes. That’s why in stores tomatoes are cheap even in winter. One bush, grown in this way, can bear up to 25 kilos of fruit. This kind of tomatoes don’t see any sun and most of them don’t even grow in the soil. Why don’t they smell and don’t taste like tomatoes? – that is why.

If we think that we eat healthy because we eat vegetables, we can often be very wrong. If the only source of our vegetables will be those from the supermarket packed in plastic, imported from distant countries, we can almost be sure that their nutritional values will be very poor. If you look for fruit and vegetables from a local grower, you can be more sure that what you get your body will have more value. Such vegetables will sometimes be more expensive than in the supermarket, less diverse, but isn’t it better to eat something that has some value and will nourish our body than something that will give us only a illusory sense of health and, as a result, malnutrition and disease?

There’s one more thing about small local growers – they usually grow their crops not for lust of earning as much money as possible. Lots of them are truly passionate about what they grow, they are often small family run buisnesses so they also eat what they grow. And if they are honest they will be happy to answer all your questions and tell you how their veggies and fruits are grown. Like Mhairi that I spoke with some time ago – you can read our conversation here.


green peas, bacon and cheese fritatta


INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 large eggs
  • couple slices smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 brown onion
  • slice of butter
  • 2 handfuls of green peas (I had frozen peas)
  • handful of grated mature cheddar cheese
  • handful of crumbled feta cheese
  • couple cherry tomatoes
  • natural rock salt and black coarse pepper to taste
  • dried or fresh parsley for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Chop onion and bacon. On a large pan melt slice of butter and add bacon. Fry until golden, add onion and sprinkle with a little bit of salt and black pepper. Fry for about 5 minutes. Add green peas and lower the heat. Fry for another 2 minutes stirring from time to time. Whisk 3 eggs, pour all over the pan.

Sprinkle with grated cheddar and crumbled feta, add cherry tomatoes. Cover the pan with lid and fry on a very low heat until cheese will be melted. Garnish with dried or fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Enjoy!

broccoli and cheddar omelette (#ketofriendly, low carb)

I don’t know how it’s possible that time passes so quickly. I remember writing that I’m excited to share some Autumn recipes and I feel like it was yesterday. But somehow two months passed so quickly that I didn’t even noticed that we’re getting closer to Winter.

I had couple small but time consuming projects that engaged me, and to be honest cooking was somewhere at the end of my list. Again. I’m not happy with my eating habits and I keep telling myself that from now on I will pay more attention to what I eat. But as I have quite weak strong will, I keep on coming back on the same track. What can I say – carbs are addictive, especially the processed ones. Cookies, ice creams and doughnuts will always find you at your weakest moment – when you’re hungry, angry, sad or you need a treat.

So today I would like to show you a quick and easy recipe for delicious breakfast that will keep you full for some time, so you won’t feel cravings for cookies and doughnuts 🙂 This omelette is keto friendly, so if you’re on keto diet it’s a perfect breakfast recipe for you.

You will need some young broccoli or tenderstem broccoli, so you can stir fry it in couple minutes. I used 3 large eggs to make this omelette and I could barely eat it. It’s pretty heavy, so you can use 3 small or medium eggs or 2 large ones.

I also added one garlic clove, because garlic (butter and cheese too) makes everything better, but if you need to spend your day around other people you can skip the garlic. Non stick pan will be also very useful, so everything will go smooth and with no problems.

This omelette is perfect for Autumn/Winter mornings – cheesy, warming (hint of chilli flakes makes your blood start circulating quicker in the morning) and delicious. Highly recommend for cosy mornings spent in fluffy pyjamas under the blanket.

broccoli and cheddar omelette

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 eggs
  • handful of young broccoli with leaves and stems (for example tenderstem)
  • handful of grated mature cheddar
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • small slice of butter

DIRECTIONS

Wash and roughly chop broccoli, melt a little bit of butter in the frying pan and stir fry broccoli with pinch of salt and chopped garlic. If you don’t like garlicky after-taste just skip it. Also add pinch of salt and stir fry 3-4 minutes on a small heat. If you want your broccoli to become more soft rather than crunchy add a splash of water to the pan.

Grate some cheddar, whisk the eggs with pinch of salt.

Remove broccoli from the pan. Add a little bit more butter if you want, lower the heat and pour the eggs. When eggs starts setting add broccoli and grated cheddar (save some cheese to sprinkle on top). You can cover the pan with lid if you like your omelette to be well done. When it’s ready take the spatula and fold one side of the omelette, sprinkle with cheddar on top and give it a couple seconds to melt.

Gently place on the plate sprinkle with some chilli flakes and your broccoli and cheddar omelette is ready. Enjoy!

mushroom and cheddar keto crepes

I like the idea of keto crepes very much as, just like traditional crepes, they give a huge field of creativity. Thus, by treating them as a base, you can prepare many different ideas for ketogenic meals. This is my fourth keto pancake idea, and I have a few more in my head. It’s typical keto meal high in fat content with very low carb intake. Thanks to that crepes are very fulfilling, I had two for my dinner and I was filling full for hours.

Although I would add more mushrooms. I had 500 grams of white mushrooms and I fill like I could stuff these crepes with 500 grams more. So if you like a lot of stuffing be prepare and buy some extra mushrooms. I also used mature cheddar – quite tangy and strong, but you can use any kind of cheese you like. Just remember that if you use very mild cheese all over taste might be quite dull. In this case I would spice it up with some chopped garlic. Garlic always goes great with mushrooms and cheese.

For me these crepes are kind of keto comfort food, warming cheesy and fulfilling. One of these you can eat sitting on the couch, under cosy blanket, watching your favourite movie. Next time I’ll try adding more mushrooms, different kind of cheese and plenty of garlic.

Stay tuned for more low carb crepe recipes, I have at least a couple more sweet and sour ideas. Click here for more crepe recipes.

mushroom and cheddar keto crepes

INGREDIENTS for 4-5 crepes:

  • 4-5 eggs (one egg per crepe)
  • 8-10 tsp double cream
  • 500g mushrooms
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 slices of butter
  • piece of mature cheddar cheese
  • some parmesan cheese for decoration
  • natural rock salt
  • coarse pepper
  • optionally: 1 garlic clove

DIRECTIONS

I would advise you to make 4 rather than 5 crepes for this amount of mushrooms. I made 5 crepes and I feel like I could have more mushroom filling. But if you like them to be really stuffed even double the portion of mushrooms. Everything depends of your liking.

So first prepare crepes. Whip one egg with two teaspoons of double cream and fry on a hot pan . I use special crepe pan, it has a low rim and it’s really helpful with making crepes. Although if you have a regular pan it’s absolutely OK. When the pan is hot pour the mixture on, and spread out the batter evenly holding the pan and making circular movements. When you see that the edges of the crepe starts to pull away from the pan, take the spatula and very gently flip it over. If it folds , no worries just gently unfold it and try again. It’s quite tricky as the crepes are delicate, but if you have some experience with making regular crepes, you’ll manage with these as well. You can also give the pan a little shake to make sure that it doesn’t stick to it (if it does, shake a bit more or help yourself with a spatula), then make a circle with your hand, tossing crepe into the air. If you’re lucky enough, your crepe should land on the pan with the other side. It should work well with shallow, crepe pan. If you have a regular deeper one, the high edge of the pan might not let you flip crepes easily. This method requires a little bit of experience, so don’t give up if it doesn’t work. If your crepe folds, just unfold it and try one more time. If you’re having trouble with making crepes have a look here, to my fist keto crepe recipe where I have left couple tips for you to make this process easier and more pleasant.

Ready made crepes cover with a plate and keep in warm place.

In the meantime you can peel or wash mushrooms (I always peel white mushrooms before I use them) and slice them. Also peel and finely chop onion. Take another pan, heat it adding a slice of butter. First fry onions until golden. Then add all the mushrooms, sprinkle with some salt (not too much mushrooms will significantly reduce an you don’t want them to by over salted) and coarse pepper. Fry until golden. If you use mild cheese I recommend adding one chopped garlic clove to stuffing to make the taste a bit more sharp.

Grate some cheddar cheese. My cheddar had a quite strong taste so I didn’t add much of it, you can add quite a lot, too much cheese makes me slightly nauseous, so I didn’t use a lot, but if you feel fine with lots of cheese go ahead. From the same reason I used mature cheddar, it had tangy and strong taste but you can use any cheese you like.

Take a crepe, place some mushroom filling, grated cheese and roll it like a burrito. Do the same with the rest of crepes.

Heat the pan (I used the one I fried mushrooms on) adding another slice of butter. Place all the crepes on the pan, cover it with lid (I have a lid with holes so water doesn’t condense inside but evaporates) and fry until golden on both sides on a small heat.

Serve hot, sprinkled with some parmesan cheese or extra cheddar.

Enjoy! 🙂

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!

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.

creamy cauliflower & cheddar soup

Why I’m having coffee with my cauliflower and cheddar soup? I don’t know. It’s an old photo, but I think it was the time I bought this nice cup, and I just wanted to include it cause it’s pretty. But I like the photo, reminds me our old flat and these gloomy days I was spending in this kitchen testing Scottish food 🙂

Cauliflower and cheddar soup it’s a total classic, I guess everyone has own way to make it. But if you’ve never tried to make it by yourself, you can try this recipe.

I highly recommend using a homemade stock or broth to make this soup, because it will have a lot more flavour and will be much more nutritious, than if you make it using stock cubes or granules. You can make a giant pot of stock/broth, freeze it in smaller containers and use it as a base for the soups or sauces. It’s a great idea if you like more healthy, really nutritious soups, but you don’t have time to prepare the stock each time. For this soup you can use veggie, chicken or beef stock/broth – depending of your preferences, although beef broth is more intensive and may overwhelm the flavour a bit.

creamy cauliflower & cheddar soup 

NOTE: my measuring cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS:

  • about 1 kg cauliflower (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 small onion
  • about 1 l of stock/broth (veggie, chicken, beef bone)
  • 1 cup grated mature (mature is the best) cheddar
  • good slice of butter
  • good pinch of lemon pepper (or coarse pepper)
  • natural rock salt to taste
  • bit of sesame oil for decoration
  • optionally: 2-3 tbsp spreadable cheddar
  • option no 2: sprinkle with chopped and fried streaky bacon

DIRECTIONS

Chop the onion, if you use fresh cauliflower rinse it divide in small pieces. In a medium size pot melt the butter and add chopped onion. Fry couple of minutes until it starts caramelizing and becomes golden-brown.

Then add your cauliflower and pour stock/broth. If you use unsalted broth or stock, add some salt in this step. If your stock/broth is already salty, wait until the end of cooking. Cover pot with lid and leave it to simmer until cauliflower will be cooked.

When cauliflower is ready blend it for a cream (be careful not to splash yourself with hot soup), and put the pot back on the heat. Add grated cheddar, lemon pepper, and bring to boil. Optionally you can add 2-3 tbsp of spreadable cheddar cheese to make the flavour even stronger.

Taste the best on the next day or at least couple hours later. But obviously you can eat it straight away, drizzled with a bit of sesame oil or sprinkled with pieces of crispy fried bacon.

Enjoy!