smoked sausage traybake (ketofriendly)

I have a serious problem with arranging the food on a plate for photos when I’m hungry. Ideally I would just toss a bunch of veg and couple sausage, and start eating before it gets cold, and I go really frustrated trying to make some kind of aesthetic composition on the plate. Sometimes it finishes like this.

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I’m still far away from professional food composition, but I hate cold food. So please bear with me if you feel embarrassed with this veg and sausage set up. Just double the portion of veggies and imagine me running with the fork, so I can finally grab a seat at the table and start eating. Yes, I was very hungry on that day 🙂

But. I really like this kind of meals, where you have all ingredients separately. I could make a mix of all veggies with sliced sausage, but I was smuggling some potatoes for my partner, so I sectioned everything on the baking tray, making sure that I won’t get any potatoes by mistake. Yeah, my partner is taking a keto break, but I feel like sooner or later (rather sooner) he will decide to get back on ketogenic track. Anyway, if you like traybake of veggies mixed with sausages, make some mess.

I’m not the biggest fan of sausages, the only one I like is the smoked ones from time to time. You can find smoked sausages in every Polish shop, and most of the popular supermarkets in UK. Look for the one that has a lot of meat in it, short list of ingredients, and as little as possible preservatives. The one that we like is a mix of pork and turkey meat (prepared with 80g of pork meat and 21g turkey meat per 100g of finished product) and only one preservative: sodium nitrite. Stay away from the one that are full of flour, artificial colours, starches, soya proteins and many preservatives.

I’ve also added couple unpeeled garlic cloves. If you’ve never tried baked garlic, you should definitely start adding it to your baked veggies and meats. It gets soft, buttery and sweet when caramelised. Garlic heaven! (check out my recipe for chicken baked with 40 cloves of garlic). If not that unfortunate potatoes I would add plenty of onion, but I haven’t been left with much room.

Anyway if you want something effortless, tasty and fun, grab couple smoked sausages, plenty of veggies, garlic (undoubtedly!), place them all on a baking tray, drizzle with some olive oil, sprinkle with herbs and pop into the oven. Get nice and crispy sausage and veggies, that are melting in you mouth. You can serve it with some low sugar ketchup, mustard or horseradish.

Yum!

smoked sausage traybake (ketofriendly)

INGREDIENTS (for two people):

  • 300g smoked sausage
  • 2 medium courgettes
  • 1 large aubergine
  • couple unpeeled garlic cloves
  • some olive oil
  • natural rock salt or sea salt flakes
  • pinch of dried basil
  • handful of cherry tomatoes (for baking or as I did – fresh)

DIRECTIONS

Preparations are as easy as it can be. Grab a large tray and place a piece of baking paper on it.

Take sausages, make small crosswise cuts, not very deep, to make kind of chequered pattern. Do it on both sides of each sausage.

Wash courgettes and aubergine and chop in smaller pieces, but don’t cut them very small. It will take about 40 minutes to bake the sausages, so we don’t want to burn veggies. Keep garlic unpeeled.

Place veggies, garlic and sausages on the tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle veggies with some dried basil and salt. If you like, also place cherry tomatoes. I’d rather like them fresh, but if you don’t mind baking them, do not hesitate.

Heat the oven to 200°C, and bake until veg and sausages are ready, it took me about 40 minutes. You can use grill function in the oven to sear the sausages slightly.

After baking place immediately on a plate and enjoy. You can serve it with low sugar ketchup, mustard or horseradish. After baking garlic is ready to be peeled, should be soft, buttery and slightly sweet when caramelised.

Enjoy!

keto tandoori chicken, prawn & courgette skillet

Another quick and easy recipe from the chicken series, you’ll prepare in less than 30 minutes. That’s another one, that my partner keep asking about, even though he doesn’t like courgette.

In this simple, one skillet option all you need is just toss each ingredient one by one, fry for a while a here you have – full of flavour keto tandoori chicken and prawn, courgette skillet. I love one pot meals – easy to make and there’s not many dishes you need to wash afterwards.

I like using already cooked and peeled prawns. I’m not the best with seafood, we mainly eat only small prawns (sometimes I buy frozen seafood cocktail). But if you’re good with it, you can easily take some fancy king prawns and arrange them nicely on top of the meal.

Also tandoori is one of my favourite spice blends: paprika, coriander, garlic, chilli, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, cumin – this mix gives a strong, rich flavour enhancing the taste of each ingredient in the same time. These spices warm your body and improve digestion. If you don’t have tandoori seasoning, but your spice cupboard is full of different spices, you can try make your own tandoori blend.

If you’d like to buy a ready made tandoori seasoning, always have a look at the ingredients list. Tandoori is known from it’s beautiful red colour, originally red chilli peppers provided this colour. While modern blends sometimes use red dye (E129) to enhance the red colour. Synthetic Red no. 40 is derived from either coal or petroleum byproducts. Natural food dye is made from cochineal, specifically the female, a species of insect (the insects are sun-dried, crushed, and dunked in an acidic alcohol solution to produce carminic acid, the pigment that eventually becomes carmine or cochineal extract, depending on processing). Synthetic Red No. 40 contain benzidene, a human and animal carcinogen permitted in low, presumably safe levels in dyes. If you’re interested in more informations about this subject, take a look on two articles I’ve linked below.

Anyway, whatever you buy, it’s always good to check the label and see what the manufacturer decided to add to a product, that potentially does not arouse suspicion and supposed to be natural. Sometimes you can be surprised what’s inside. I don’t want you to be paranoid though, but it’s good to know what you decide to put in your mouth. I’m afraid that if we would like to buy only 100% natural products, we would die starving. So lets keep the common sense, guys!

keto tandoori chicken, prawn & courgette skillet

INGREDIENTS:

  • 350g chicken thighs
  • 300g cooked and peeled prawns
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • 3 tsp medium tandoori spice blend
  • 2 medium courgettes
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves

DIRECTIONS

Dice chicken in smaller pieces. Rinse courgettes and dice them in half slices. Slice onion lengthwise and slice 2 large garlic cloves.

Heat the large skillet, adding 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Toss the chicken, sprinkle with some salt and fry until golden. Add prawns and tandoori spice blend, fry for 2-3 minutes. Next add sliced onion, courgettes and garlic, sprinkle with some more salt. Fry until courgettes will be ready.

Serve hot with side salad (in my case easy white cabbage salad) or other depending of your choice.

Enjoy!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2957945/

https://www.livescience.com/36292-red-food-dye-bugs-cochineal-carmine.html

keto chocolate courgette cake

Today’s recipe is actually not something new, but good old keto courgette cake in cacao version. It’s fluffy, chocolatey, moist and stuffed with nuts. There’s nothing better on a rainy day than chocolate cake and book. BTW I have to recommend you Donna Tart’s book “The Goldfinch“. I’m not the best with describing books, so I will quote a description from GoodReads:

The Goldfinch combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.

And that’s exactly what you get reading this book. It sucks you in for long hours. If you like a bit of crime story and a little drama, mixed with story of a very special painting, this book is for you. It’s going to be perfect for long rainy Autumn evenings…especially it has almost 1000 pages 😉

But going back to the cake, it’s based on it’s basic version you can find here. Adding some cacao powder and nuts if you wish, and you get completely different cake. It’s keto, it’s low carb and it’s very easy to make. I’ve only managed to grab last 3 pieces to make a photo, before my partner ate everything.

keto chocolate courgette cake

INGREDIENTS (for 9 inch round baking trey)

NOTE: I use 250 ml glass as my measuring cup.

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup sweetener of your choice (I used xylitol)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 small courgette
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tbsp clarified butter
  • 3 tbsp liquid of choice coconut milk, almond milk etc. (I use almond milk)
  • 5 tsp raw cacao powder (regular will be fine as well)
  • optionally: 2 handfuls of nuts (in my case: walnuts, almonds, cashew, brazil)

DIRECTIONS

First melt the butter and let it to cool down. Grate courgette on small holes and leave it for now, we will come back to it later.

Beat the eggs with handheld mixer. First only eggs, after 2 minutes add sweetener and beat until fluffy. Then add baking powder, baking soda, butter and cacao powder and beat for few seconds so everything combines. Now add coconut flour and 3 tbsp of milk. Stir – you can do it using mixer or with spoon. You can mix eggs and sweetener without using handheld mixer (or other similar tool), you can use fork or whisk to combine all ingredients, but I’ve noticed that if I beat the eggs, cake is more fluffy.

Now it’s time for courgette. Squeeze excess juice and put it to your dough. Again stir thoroughly. This time my dough went quite liquid, but maybe it’s because I had a really big eggs. Came out that cake went very nice and fluffy, so if your dough is not that quite thick as usual, no worries 🙂

As a final step add two handfuls of nuts if you decided to use them, and again give it a good stir.

Grease baking tray (I used silicone one, so there’s no need) and pour the dough. Bake for about 30- 35 minutes in 180°C (or 150°C with fan). Check the cake with toothpick or wooden skewer. If there’s no remains of dough on it, it means it’s ready. Always keep an eye on the oven, because each one is different, and we don’t want any unwanted surprises 😉

After baking keep it in the oven to cool down, just slightly open the door.

Enjoy!

quick and easy prawns and courgette skillet #ketofriendly

That’s 100% keto approved easy meal, that you can prepare in less than 30 minutes. It’s great for these days, when you don’t have time, or just don’t feel the vibe to spend time in the kitchen.

prawn and courgette skillet

 

It’s good to use variety of herbs when you cook your meals, especially the one with slightly bitter character like thyme, basil, oregano etc. All these herbs that have essential oil are good for digestion, that’s why be generous when adding them while cooking. Our grandmas knew how important herbs are, and they had a knowledge where to find them and how to prepare them to help in different health issues. To be honest I don’t know anyone who would have this kind of knowledge and go to the forest or meadow to pick up herbs. Fortunately we have books and internet that can help us to find this knowledge and use it. You can also find some treasures in your spice cupboard.

For example you can make thyme tea, and drink it to boost digestion – personally I love the taste. It also helps when you feel sore throat (even better if you mix it with sage). Oregano tea is also very tasty. I remember jar of oregano that was given to me by my work colleague. That was oregano grown in his garden, he dried not only oregano leaves but also flowers – that was the most delicious oregano I’ve ever eat (and drink).

Furthermore oregano oil is widely used as antiseptic, antibacterial and antioxidant purpose. Researches showed that oregano has 42 times more antioxidants than apples, 12 times more than oranges and 4 time more antioxidants than blueberries. Thanks that it can help to fight Alzheimer and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Isn’t it awesome? Oregano. For free (almost). You can grow it in your garden or windowsill.

Sorry, I slightly departure from the main subject, but I got excited about oregano.

So going back to our prawn and courgette skillet, do not be afraid to add a lot of herbs 🙂 And enjoy!

prawn and courgette

quick and easy prawns and courgette skillet

INGREDIENTS

  • 180 g cooked and peeled king prawns (I used frozen ones)
  • 2-3 courgettes (depending of size)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or clarified butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp coarse pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • natural rock salt to taste
  • chili flakes

DIRECTIONS

I will be honest. I always forget to take stuff out from the freezer. But that’s what you should do first – defrost the prawns. But as usual, I forgot this time as well, so I always put them on a clear frying pan and defrost them fast on a small heat. Then I drain the excess liquid, and then put them back on the skillet adding coconut oil or clarified butter.

While prawns are on there way, chop onion, courgette in half slices and bell pepper in strips. You can roughly chop the garlic or use garlic grinder. First put onions on the skillet and fry them for 2-3 minutes with prawns. Then add garlic, bell pepper and courgette. Sprinkle everything with some natural salt and add remaining herbs.

Fry on a fairly high heat, so veggies will be soft, but not soggy and mushy. After few minutes on the skillet, they should be done but, like spaghetti – al dente.

And that’s done, your meal is ready. Check only if it needs some more salt or maybe some more basil. If you’re a fan of chili flakes sprinkle it all over and stir for extra 2 minutes.

Enjoy!

keto prawn and courgette