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!

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! 🙂

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 🙂

slightly cheated semifreddo

It’s getting warmer and warmer, so it’s time to start season for cold desserts. OK, maybe Scotland is not a perfect example of hot spring, but as one Scot has told me once: if you’d like to wait for a hot weather to eat an ice cream, you might never do it. Actually there is a theory proclaim by Peter Poortvliet of the University of Queensland, that eating ice cream warms you up. While it may seem logical that when you eat something cold, like ice cream, it should help reduce temperature. But its initial cooling effect is rapidly replaced by heat generated by digestive processes needed to break down the nutrients in ice cream (read more). So even better 😉

 

Original Italian semifreddo is made with eggs, my doesn’t contain any, so that’s why it’s slightly cheated. If it comes to baking or desserts I’m a master of disaster. Happened to me many times in the past, that my cakes has finished in the rubbish. But I’ve learned my lesson, that “more or less” rule doesn’t apply to baking. I still have some of the adjusted versions of recipes (like raspberry tiramisu) that are easier to make for these who’s a bit lazy in the kitchen 😉

That’s a keto version of this dessert, so instead of regular sugar I used substitute that does not raise blood sugar or insulin levels. You can also make it using regular powdered sugar. This frozen dessert is definitely better than one you can buy in the shop. No artificial flavours, no preservatives and colorants – there’s nothing better than homemade.

So let me introduce slightly cheated blackberry semifreddo.

 
semifreddo with blackberries

 

semifreddo with blackberries

INGREDIENTS

· 500 ml whipping cream
· 2 tbsp buttermilk
· sugar replacement of your choice to taste (xylitol, stevia, erythritol)
· 150 g blackberries
· couple tbsp homemade chokeberry juice or any other dark fruit juice (blackcurrant fo example)

DIRECTIONS

Divide whipping cream in two even portions. Combine one part with buttermilk and set aside in room temperature for couple of hours. After it thickens, beat it with handheld mixer and some of the sugar replacement. Because of buttermilk, it’s not going to be as stiff as normal whipped cream, so don’t bother.

Beat the second part of cream with some more of sugar replacement of your choice. The amount depends of the type of sweetener you’ve chosen and how sweet you like it to be. For people who are on keto diet it’s not going to be a lot. Our sense of sweetness is different than people who consume sugar.

Now combine both creams together. Take few blackberries and leave them for decoration, mash the rest with chokeberry juice. Pour it to your cream and make a few swirls, so it makes a marble effect.

Pour it all to the loaf baking form (I’ve used silicon form), cover with foil and freeze for about 4 hours. It should be only half frozen – that’s why it’s semi – freddo. If you freeze it to much (as I did), no worries, put to the fridge for a while before serving. If you manage to wait 😉

Enjoy!

kto no egg semifreddo

 

keto semifreddo

wild blueberry cheesecake #ketofriendly

Looking for some inspiration I decided to go through my old recipes and see if I can find something ketofriendly. And I found this purple guy here. It reminds me this hot summer day I’ve made it. I remember this creamy, almost velvety texture and deep blueberry flavour melting in my mouth while sitting in my friend’s garden.

This beautiful, deep purple colour comes from wild blueberries. Wild blueberries are generally much smaller in size than cultivated. They also vary in color from different shades of blue to almost black. And the taste…if you have never tried wild blueberry, you should definitely do it. That’s the taste of summer and my childhood, when my grandma was making blueberry dumplings with loads of cream on top. You had to watch yourself eating them, because dumpling could splash blueberry juice all around your clothes. After eating a plate of grandma’s dumplings everything was purple, your mouth, tongue, lips and hands, everything was blueberry…

What’s the difference between cultivated and wild blueberries? They both are great and full of nutrients, but seems like wild ones have higher quantities of minerals such as calcium, manganese, magnesium and zinc. Although cultivated have more iron. Blueberries are known from the great source of polyphenols, but the wild blueberries again have more than cultivated ones. That makes them extremely beneficial for cardiovascular health. Studies also show that they are protective against DNA damage, and can make a significant improvements in memory problems. They are great source of vitamin C and K1, and fiber, helping to grow healthy gut bacteria.

So actually, I could say that this cake is kind of a treatment 🙂

 

wild blueberry cheesecake

INGREDIENTS (26cm round cake tin):

· 500 g wild blueberries (fresh or frozen)
· 200 ml whipping cream
· 1 kg cream cheese
· 6 tsp gelatine
· xylitol or other sweetener of choice, to taste

DIRECTIONS

If you use fresh blueberries just rinse them under cold water and leave to drain. If you use frozen ones, defrost them first.

Blend them using hand blender, then put aside couple of spoons – we will use it as a topping. Mix the rest with cream again using hand blender. Then add cream cheese and sweetener and mix with hand mixer until combine.

Dissolve gelatine in a couple spoons of hot water (or according to directions on gelatine). Add 2-3 teaspoons to blueberries that you’ve set aside, and stir. Pour the rest slowly to your cheesecake and keep on mixing, so gelatine can dissolve properly. Put it to the fridge for a whole, so it will set a bit.

You can put some cling film or aluminium foil into your cake tin, to make sure that it’s not going to leak (or you can use silicon form, it will leak-proof for sure). Cheesecake should by slightly set, but still runny enough to easily transfer to the tin. So just pour it in and eaven the surface with spatula. And now it goes back to the fridge. After about an hour or two, spread on top the remaining blueberries and put it back to the fridge. The best would be for 6-8 hours if you manage to wait so long. (That’s why the best idea is to make it in the evening, and leave in the fridge for a night)

Properly set will be easy to slice in portions. There’s nothing left than just enjoy the treatment 🙂