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!

cacao cream cheese muffins (keto, no flour, gluten free)

Basing on the idea of this small cheesecakes, I’ve made this cacao cream cheese muffins. Using absolutely no flour, so for all of you who are gluten intolerant or on ketogenic diet, this recipe will be a good option. They are very easy and fairly cheap to make, you can upgrade them using low sugar chocolate chips or white chocolate chips – they will melt nicely giving extra chocolate flavour.

Comparing to the cream cheese cupcakes from that recipe, this one came out completely different. The other ones were very moist, more like real cheesecake. These ones, are very light and fluffy and quite dry, almost like sponge cake. They don’t have eggy taste, and a bit of crunchy walnut on top gives them a bit of nutty flavour.

The same as the other small cheesecakes, they rise nicely during baking, to sadly deflate when the temperature goes down. Why this happens? – you can read right here.

I’ve used raw cacao powder, it’s slightly different in taste (more about difference between cacao and cocoa you can read here), but regular cocoa will work as well, although you might need to use more sweetener, because in my opinion roasted cocoa is much more bitter than the raw one. Also instead of clarified butter, you can add a tablespoon of melted coconut oil. I prefer butter – in my opinion it works much better than coconut oil. For example I’ve been making keto courgette cake and keto chocolate courgette cake with butter and with coconut oil, and the last one always gives the cake that weird oily taste and like it settles on the bottom of the cake. It’s hard to explain, but maybe you’ve noticed that as well. Like the oil couldn’t combine with the rest of the ingredients. While butter not only gives nice flavour, but seems to combine very well with the rest of ingredients.

I’ve also used handmade liners, which is a very handy idea and I think I won’t be buying muffin liners any more.

cacao cream cheese muffins (keto, no flour, gluten free)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 300g cream cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 5 tbsp xylitol (or other sugar replacement) or more – they are not very sweet
  • 1 tbsp clarified butter
  • optionally: handful of walnuts

DIRECTIONS

Melt the butter and leave it to cool down. Beat the eggs with xylitol until light and fluffy using handheld mixer. Add cacao powder, baking powder, butter and cream cheese. Beat again until all the ingredients will combine. You will get quite runny consistency.

Prepare muffin tray and liners. If you don’t have them cut baking paper in about 5-6 inches (15cm) squares and give them a muffin liners shape using a glass turned upside down. It’s very easy and you can get as big (in height) muffin liners as you want.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Pour the batter to each form and place a piece of walnut on top. I’ve managed to fill up full tray of muffins and had leftovers of batter for another few. If you want to make just one round use 2 eggs instead of 3.

Bake them for about 20-25 minutes. They will rise nicely, and deflate later on, that’s normal, so don’t you worry about that.

After baking let them cool down slowly by opening slightly the oven. This way they won’t deflate so much. They can be stored in a room temperature for about 3 days.

Enjoy!

keto chicken and prawn one pot gumbo

I found this recipe at the beginning of our keto journey. We liked this dish so much, that it stayed in our menu for good. Mix of chicken, prawns and chorizo with warming and aromatic spices – that’s something we like a lot.

Easy and quick one pot meal, full of good stuff – that’s something I like. Great idea on these days when you don’t have time or you just don’t want to spend it in the kitchen. One pot meal that will make you feel full for hours. It’s something you can also prepare in a slow cooker the day before and just heat it up and eat after coming back from work.

I’ve used chicken thighs to make this meal but you can also use chicken breasts, although they seem to be more dry and bland. Also imagine that I have chorizo in this gumbo. Because of lockdown, many of items are unavailable and my groceries delivery came without chorizo, so I had to skip it this time. But I always add chorizo to gumbo -it adds a lot of flavour to it. I always use cooked and peeld prawns because I’m not the best with seafood and this prawns I can just defrost and use straight away. Prawns are great source of protein – 100g of prawns contains about 25g of protein – almost the same as chicken or beef. Even though prawns contains large amouts of fats, they don’t rise your cholesterol levels, because they contain almost three times more Omega 3 Fatty Acid than they do Omega 6 Fatty Acid.

How nutritious are prawns? (source)

  • Proteins – essential components of muscles, skin, bones and the body as a whole.
  • Vitamin B12 – important for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and plays a key role in the formation of red blood cells.
  • Selenium – plays a key role in the human body’s antioxidant defence system, preventing damage to cells and tissues
  • Vitamin E – helps protect cell membranes by acting as an antioxidant. Vitamin E deficiency has been related to cystic fibrosis, chronic liver disease, short-bowel syndrome, and other malabsorption diseases
  • Phosphorous helps to build strong bones and teeth, and to release the energy from the food we eat. All shellfish are a source of phosphorous
  • Omega-3 – they can help protect the heart and are believed to reduce the risks of developing some forms of cancers. 100g of prawns willprovide you with 13% of your recommended weekly intake of Omega-3.

So if you like prawns it’s a good option to include them to your menu more often. Although in my opinion it’s better to buy something better quality (for example from a fishmonger) or at least not the cheapest one in the shop. It’s like with fish and meat – bigger price usually means better quality and taste. Also the cheapest frozen prawns tends to have a lot of ice, so very often you loose 1/3 of weight after defrosting them.

OK, so let’s get into this delicious recipe.

keto chicken and prawn one pot gumbo

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g chicken thighs (or chicken breasts)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 450g celery
  • 1 large onion
  • 100g chorizo
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 400ml (1 can) coconut milk
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 250g prawns (I used cooked and peeled ones)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • natural rock salt
  • pinch of coarse pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic granules or 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 300-400ml tomato passata

DIRECTIONS

Cut chicken in smaller pieces. Wash and chop celery sticks and bell pepper. Slice chorizo. Rinse or peel the mushrooms and slice them.

If you use frozen prawns, defrost them first (you can do it quickly by rinsing them with warm water and leaving on the colander to drain).

Heat coconut oil in a large pot and add chicken pieces and some salt. Fry couple minutes on a high heat, then add chorizo and onion and fry for another couple minutes. Add all spices and stir thoroughly. Then add mushrooms, celery and bell pepper and some more salt. At the and add defrosted prawns.

Pour over can of coconut milk and tomato passata. Stir until combine, cover with lid and simmer on a small heat for about 15 minutes. Veggies should be soft but still firm. Check if it’s salty enough, add some more if needed. If you like it more spicy you can add some chilli flakes.

I sprinkled mine with some coriander leaves I had in the freezer, parsley will be good as well.

DIRECTIONS FOR SLOW COOKER

Cut chicken in smaller pieces. Wash and chop celery sticks and bell pepper. Slice chorizo. Rinse or peel the mushrooms and slice them.

If you use frozen prawns, defrost them first (you can do it quickly by rinsing them with warm water and leaving on the colander to drain). Never add frozen food to a slow cooker, it will extend the time of cooking and can cause that food won’t be able to cook properly.

Heat some coconut oil in a frying pan and add chicken pieces and some salt. Fry couple minutes on a high heat, then add chorizo and onion and fry for another couple minutes. Place it all in a slow cooker add spices, veggies, some more salt, coconut milk and tomato passata. If you use uncooked prawns add them with the rest of ingredients at the beginning. If you use cooked prawns as I do, add them in the last hour of slow cooking. Cook for about 4-5 hours on “low”.

no flour keto chocolate and cream cake

I enjoyed this cake so much that decided to play with it a little. And today I want to show you this no flour keto chocolate and cream cake with a hint of coffee. I really enjoy the taste of cream and ground coffee on top. It reminds me oldschool “wuzetka”, the name of the dessert was created at the turn of the 1940s and 1950s, probably from the Warsaw W-Z route, near which one of the confectioneries was located. This lockdown keeps me going back with my memories to my childhood years when everything was easier. Or maybe I start going crazy being stuck at home, not being able to work and live my life as before. There’s one thing that we can be sure of: no matter how hard we try or deny it, it’s never going to be the same as before pandemic. And we all have to learn how to live in this new reality, even though it’s not pleasant at all. If you think that everyone already sorted out their lives, and you’re the only one who doesn’t know what to do in this situation, you’re not the only one. If you have a hard time not being able to work or see your family, I’m telling you there’s more people like you struggling sometimes with everyday life. Some days I plan to do so many things (I finally have plenty of time), and I finish with a tub of ice cream and Netflix or You Tube not being able to think reasonably.

Anyway if you don’t like ground coffee taste on your cake, you can add cacao powder or grated chocolate instead. Cake is very easy to make, will be great for everyone on keto diet or low sugar diet. It’s also gluten free, so everyone who does not tolerate regular flour will be pleased, because chocolate layer tastes like it was made with regular flour.

See you till next recipe.

no flour keto chocolate and cream cake

INGREDIENTS for cake (21 cm / 8 inch baking tray):

  • 100g dark chocolate (I’ve used Lindt 90% cocoa)
  • 125g butter
  • 6 free range eggs
  • 1/3 cup xylitol (or any other kind of sugar replacement or regular sugar, if you don’t mind)
  • ½ tsp ground coffee

INGREDIENTS for cream layer:

  • 300ml whipping cream
  • about 2-3 tbsp xylitol
  • 2 tsp gelatine (vegan or animal)

Additional: ground coffee and cacao nibs as topping.

DIRECTIONS

Start with preparing chocolate cake. First grease the baking tray with some butter, so it will be ready when needed. I’ve also placed a piece of baking paper on the bottom of tray.

Break the chocolate in smaller pieces add to a large glass bowl and melt over a double-boiler (pot with some boiling water, glass bowl placed inside, the bowl theoretically should not touch the surface of water but my usually touches and I didn’t manage to burn the chocolate yet, although DO NOT BOIL the water because if it’s touching the bowl chocolate might separate. When you see that chocolate starts melting you can turn off the heat). Add butter and stir until fully melted. Remove the bowl from the pot and let cool to room temperature.

Now it’s time for whipping the egg whites. Separate the egg yolks and set them aside, we will use them later. In a bowl or a pot start whipping the egg whites, first on the slower program, after a minute or so you can use faster one (it will make you sure that all the whites are whipped and nothing stays on the bottom). Start adding sugar replacement and mix until you get soft peaks. I don’t like very sweet sweets, but if you feel like it’s not sweet enough for you, add more.

Turn on the oven to 150ºC.

Now go back to melted chocolate, if it’s room temperature add egg yolks and stir to combine. You can first add one spoon of chocolate to the egg yolks to warm them up, then pour them to the rest of chocolate.

Now slowly spoon by spoon start adding egg whites to chocolate, and stir gently using folding motion. You can easily do it using spatula or a big spoon. Always add egg whites to chocolate not the opposite, because whipped whites will deflate. You should get quite fluffy consistency.

Pour it to the baking tray and even the surface. Set the time for 30-35 minutes. At the end of baking check with a skewer or toothpick if cake is ready. The cake will rise nicely while baking, but when you take it out it will unfortunately deflate. But it’s normal, so don’t panic if it happens. Leave the cake so it cools down completely.

If the cake is cold, you can start mixing whipped cream. But first boil some water. In a small cup dissolve 2 teaspoons of gelatine with 2-3 teaspoons of hot water (always add gelatine to water, not the opposite). Stir until gelatin dissolves completely. Set aside to cool down. Now it’s time to whip the cream. Add xylitol or other sugar substitute, and make it as sweet as you like. When whipped cream is ready, add gelatine and mix to combine.

Transfer whipped cream on the cake, even the surface and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Then sprinkle with ground coffee and cacao nibs. You can also use cacao powder or grated chocolate. Keep the cake it in the fridge for 2-3 days ideally in airtight container.

iceberg taco burgers with sauerkraut #keto #glutenfree

I’m not a fan of burgers, my partner doesn’t really like lettuce. But seems like, this version of burger is better than I thought.

When scrolling Instagram this caught my eye – burger packed in iceberg lettuce instead of bun. Not thinking a lot I’ve made some burgers, added some sauerkraut to make it even more healthy and there you go!

 

Crispy, crunchy iceberg lettuce is ten times better than a bun. Lettuce definitely adds new quality to the burger, and make it more digestible (in any way). Didn’t even noticed when I ate two and I would have eat three, if not my partner who ate the rest 🙂

And it’s as easy to make as ordering McDonald’s 😉

Remember only to choose good quality meat, with no added water and chemicals. Have a look at your local butchers, most of the times they inform their customers about the source of their meat, they can also give you some advice, if you’re not sure what kind of meat you’d like to buy. On many occasions these are small, family shops so they care much more about quality of their products.

The same with tomatoes – I always choose tomatoes grown in UK, they are far much better than the one from abroad. Not in tomato season, I tend to buy only cherry tomatoes – that’s why you’ll see them a lot in my recipes.

 

iceberg taco burgers with sauerkraut #keto #glutenfree

INGREDIENTS (for about 5 burgers)

  • 500 g good quality beef mince
  • 1 tsp your favorite mustard
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning (I’ve used Luchito Taco mix)
  • pinch of salt
  • few slices of mature cheddar or other cheese of your choice
  • iceberg lettuce
  • sauerkraut
  • cherry tomatoes or normal (sliced)
  • sour pickled cucumbers
  • additionally: mayonnaise or hot chill sauce

DIRECTIONS

Mix together beef, mustard, pinch of salt and taco seasoning, leave in the fridge for about an hour. Heat the BBQ, or in my case, grilling pan. Take bits of meat and roll in your hands, then make them flat as burgers. Fry on the pan for few minutes on each side (I like them well done).

Gently separate salad leaves and rinse them, also rinse cherry tomatoes. Slice sour pickled cucumbers, drain sauerkraut from the juice.

Put some sauerkraut on the salad leaf, then the burger, and slice of cheese on top. Now couple slices of cucumber and cherry tomato sliced in half. Top up with mayonnaise or hot sauce and cover with the other iceberg leaf.

Grab and eat as normal burger, it’s easier than you think 🙂

chia pudding with summer fruits #ketofriendly #nodairy #vegan

Before I started keto diet, my all time favourite breakfast was oats with summer fruits, nuts and honey. I was having this for my breakfast everyday and never got bored. Even now my mouth’s watering just thinking about my morning porridge. Although you never know, after months of keto some food seems to taste different (worse) than before.

By the way, do you have any food items that you really liked before keto, and now you think they are so-so? I have this with potatoes – I really enjoyed their taste before keto, now boiled potatoes seems bland and tasteless, baked ones though are still great. I haven’t tried oats yet, I still avoid gluten and try to keep my carbs pretty low – seems like it serves me best. On the other side, I’m a bit afraid that I might not like my porridge like used to.

So because of this situation I had to find some kind of replacement for my morning oats. Although I swapped mornings with nights, and usually make chia pudding for supper or eat it as a treat, for example when we watch movies. It’s not the same, but does the job 😉

For last few years chia seeds become very popular as a “healthy food”, but they are not new at all. They has been known for over 5.500 years as main component of diet of Mayas and Aztecs. Chia grows is in an area from western Mexico to northern Guatemala, that’s why it’s well known in US, what’s interesting EU countries the marketing of chia seeds as new food ingredients has been permitted only since 13 October 2009.

Chia seeds contain 16-26% of protein, 31-34% of fat, 37-45% of carbohydrates in total. Chia seeds contain quite a lot of carbs, but most of them (23-41%) it’s fiber. Twice as much fibre as bran, 4-5 times more than almonds, soy, quinoa or amaranth. Apart from that, they are a source of minerals (calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium), vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, ascorbic acid and vitamin A) and antioxidant compounds. Apart from that, they contain 6 times more calcium, 11 times more phosphorus and 4 times more potassium than cow’s milk. Most of the fats are in the form of polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as ω-3 alpha-linolenic acid and ω-6 alpha-linoleic acid. They also contain more proteins than rice, maize, barley or oats seeds. They may play an important role in preventing and treating diseases of the digestive and circulatory systems, diabetes, colorectal cancer, kidney stones, haemorrhoids and metabolic disorders.*

So seems like, this inconspicuous seed might be fairly good source of nutrients, and bring you some health benefits. It’s not going to heal your body magically, but together with other nutritional foods will keep you stronger and in better shape.

Definitely it’s a better treat, than crisps. And it’s almost as easy to make as grabbing bag of crisps 😉 You just need 3 ingredients.

 

chia pudding with summer fruits #ketofriendly #nodairy #vegan

INGREDIENTS (for one portion)

  • 5-6 tsp chia seeds
  • 350 ml almond or coconut milk (or cow milk if you choose)
  • 1/2 cup forest fruits (my favourite: blueberries, raspberries or cherries, oh and blackcurrants) – usually I use frozen ones
  • optionally: 1 tsp coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

In a small pot heat the milk, add 5-6 tsp of chia seeds and stir thoroughly, so the seeds won’t stick to each other. Bring to boil and cook for 5-10 minutes, until it get thickened. I also add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to top up the fats. At the end add most of the fruits, leaving a few for decoration. Stir so the flavour from the fruits will go through your pudding. Prepare small bowl or a jar and pour your pudding in. Decorate with remaining fruits and enjoy!

* “Chia seeds (Salvia hispanica): health promoting properties and therapeutic applications – a review“, Katarzyna Marcinek, Zbigniew Krejpcio, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Department of Human Nutrition and Hygiene, Poznan, Poland

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!