cheesy spinach stuffed pork meatloaf

I got this recipe from a friend and it’s absolutely amazing. Everything that contains spinach, cheese and garlic is my favourite. There’s absolutely no need to ask me twice to try it. If you’re also a fan of this three – you won’t be disappointed. This meatloaf will be absolute star of every family gathering or a party, and you can make it effortlessly in 20-30 minutes.

It’s also a perfect ketogenic recipe (if you skip the breadcrumbs) if you’re in a hunt for new ideas. Deliciously creamy spinach with lots of garlic, combined with smoky bacon gives amazing flavour and aroma (if you love smell of garlic 🙂 )

I use frozen spinach – it’s the easiest and quickest to prepare (if you remember to defrost it in advance). You will need quite a lot of it, so frozen is the best choice. If you don’t have mozzarella cheese, any other cheese will be also great: cheddar, ricotta, even feta will work. Feel free to experiment – spinach tastes great with every cheese I think.

From this amount of ingredients you will get quite a big meatloaf – perfect for 6-8 people or for 4 with plenty of leftovers. Simply use half of the ingredients for smaller size meatloaf.

cheesy spinach stuffed pork meatloaf

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kg pork mince
  • 1 egg
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs (skip for keto option)
  • 3-4 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
  • about 700g frozen spinach
  • slice of butter
  • 2-3 handfuls of grated mozzarella
  • 1-2 tbsp cream cheese
  • 15 streaky smoked bacon rashers

DIRECTIONS

Defrost spinach, squeeze from excess water. On a large pan melt slice of butter and add spinach, simmer on a low heat until most of the water evaporates. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Finely chop all garlic or use garlic press. Add 2/3 to spinach and leave the rest – to add to meat. Simmer spinach with garlic for another 3 to 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let it cool down.

In the meantime prepare the meat. Combine pork mince with one egg, some breadcrumbs, milk and spices: some salt, pepper and remaining garlic. Prepare large piece of baking paper and form pork mince to a rectangular shape. Not too thin, not too thick.

Add cream cheese and mozzarella to spinach and combine. spread it evenly on the meat, then roll it helping yourself with using baking paper. Leave it on the one end of paper and on the other end place bacon rashers, they should slightly overlap each other to wrap nicely your pork roast. Now gently roll the meat back, so it wraps in bacon slices. It seems complicated when I explain it, but it’s actually really easy.

When meat is nicely wrapped, place it on the same piece of baking paper and put to a roasting pan. Heat the oven to 190° C and bake for about 60 minutes – until bacon becomes golden brown and crispy.

Serve hot or cold, store in the fridge for about 2-3 days. You can reheat leftovers or slice it into your sandwich.

Enjoy!

lazy Saturday broccoli cream soup

There are Winter days when the snow looks best when you look at it through the window on the sofa, under the blanket, with a mug of hot soup. This Saturday is one of these days, even though it’s quite sunny, when you hear the wind blowing outside the only thing you want is to grab yourself a blanket, fluffy pillow and wait until Spring comes. In combination with Saturday slack, only lazy broccoli cream can come out of it. You simply put everything in a pot, cook for a while it and blend. And suddenly after a portion of hot broccoli cream you seem to feel more vigorous, maybe enough to have a walk?

Use whole broccoli to make this soup. Stem are also edible (other edible parts of veggies that you usually put to bin), they contain quite a lot of fiber, so your soup will be more fulfilling. This recipe is keto friendly and adjustable. Using veggie broth you can make it vegetarian or vegan if you add coconut cream or coconut milk instead of double cream. As a base I used as usual beef bone broth, but if you like chicken broth it will be great as well. I wouldn’t recommend making this soup with just water, because it will be slightly tasteless and much less nutritious and fulfilling.

I added some turmeric for extra colour and anti inflammatory properties. I add turmeric to a lot of my soups, it’s warming up the taste and according to Traditional Chinese Medicine is beneficial if you have problems with: rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis, gallstones or irregular menstruation. Although should be avoided during pregnancy. Turmeric stimulates our blood flow, boost circulation, if you feel freezing in the morning during these winter days, have a look at my turmeric latte winter blend recipe. I drink it almost every morning – it’s very warming and helps my body to “start working” even better than coffee 🙂

And this soup is as easy as it can be – just pop all the ingredients to a pot, cook, blend and add cream. Nothing more. Or if you’re less lazy you can make some croutons or top the cream with grated cheddar or parmesan for extra fat and flavour.

lazy Saturday broccoli cream soup

INGREDIENTS:

  • 700g broccoli
  • 1½ – 2 l beef bone broth or chicken or veggie broth
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • double cream to taste (for vegan option use coconut cream or coconut milk)
  • natural rock salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS

Preparations are as easy as they can be. Simply thoroughly rinse your broccoli. Cut in smaller pieces, keeping the stem – it’s edible and will give some more texture to your soup. Boil the broccoli in the broth until tender with the addition of turmeric, salt and pepper. Blend the soup until creamy and smooth. If necessary, add more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with cream, topped with addition of you choice: croutons, grated cheddar or parmesan cheese.

chimichurri prawns – low carb dinner in less that 30 minutes

As I mentioned in my post with 10 tips for beginners: how to start keto in 2021, spices are important part of my keto cooking. Even if you are restricted with variety of foods you can eat, with adding different spices and herbs, making your own blends you can create many different meals. Spices and herbs give you a lot of opportunities, if your spice cupboard is stocked up, you will never get bored with your food.

If you don’t have enough cooking experience in preparing your own blends, you can look for ready-made blends on the Internet and, suggesting their ingredients list, prepare your own. Why make your own mixes instead of just buying them if you can? For two simple reasons: ready-made blends are usually more expensive and also contain various unwanted additives such as palm oil, sugar, food additives and anti-caking agents. If you have your favourite spice mixes that you usually buy, why not consider making your own blends? Making your own blends will give you endless options.

This way I prepared this chimichurri blend. Couple weeks ago I bought small pack of chimichurri spice, and because I repeated this purchase couple more times I decided that cheaper will be to make my own chimichurri blend, since I have all the ingredients in my spice cupboard. And that’s how this recipe came out – we liked it so much I had to make it twice this week 🙂

Originally chimichurri is an uncooked sauce used in Argentina and Uruguay in cooking and as a table condiment for grilled meat. Chimichurri sauce is always made from finely chopped parsley, red wine vinegar, garlic, salt, black pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, and sunflower or olive oil. Some recipes add shallot or onion, coriander and lemon juice. It’s usually served with grilled steaks or roasted sausages, but also with poultry or fish. Using dried herbs you can make your own spice blend and enjoy with meat or veggies. Or using fresh herbs, some onion, garlic and olive oil prepare delicious salsa you can enjoy with grilled meat or fish during summer months.

To prepare chimichurri prawns, you need less than 30 minutes (I don’t take time to defrost prawns or green beans) and you have aromatic and flavoursome meal ready on your table. If you’re not a fan of prawns, you can use chicken – I tried it couple times already and was also delicious.

chimichurri prawns

INGREDIENTS for 2 portions:

  • 450 g prawns (I use frozen cooked and peeled prawns)
  • 2 medium courgettes
  • 2-3 handfuls of green beans
  • 1 brown onion
  • thick slice of butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried coriander leaves
  • ½ tsp sweet paprika powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • pinch of coarse pepper
  • optionally: pinch of chilli flakes
  • natural rock salt

DIRECTIONS

If you also use frozen prawns defrost them first and drain from water. Cut onion in half and lengthwise in thick slices. Wash courgettes and cut them in half-slices.

Heat a large skillet adding thick slice of butter. Add onion and fry until golden, then add prawns. If you use raw prawns you can fry them first then add onion.

Add chopped garlic cloves, courgettes and green beans, some salt and all the spices. Fry on medium heat until courgette and beans will be tender. If you use frozen green beans (defrosting them beforehand) it will take 10-15 minutes to be ready.

And it’s ready. Serve hot and enjoy 🙂

quick & easy pesto chicken skillet (ketofriendly)

I remember when I first time tried pesto many years ago, I bought small jar in the shop and prepared with fried chicken and pasta. Smelled weird and tasted awful, even my dog didn’t want to try it, even though she loved pasta 😉 It tasted terrible and for the next few years I didn’t eat any more pesto. Until I started working in the restaurant over five years ago and I learned how to make homemade pesto. It was way better that the one I remembered. Simply delicious! Made with pine nuts, fresh basil and garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Just loved it! So if you ever tried store bought pesto, and you didn’t like it, try to make it yourself.

You can use pine nuts, but cashews or sunflower seeds (pine nuts 13g of carbs in 100g, sunflower seeds 20g of carbs, cashews 30g of carbs) will also work great. I used sunflower seeds as pine nuts are pretty expensive, and sunflower seeds work good as well. I use quite a lot of garlic, but the amounts in the recipe are not obligatory, so take it more as a guide. You should get a thick green paste, you can spread nicely over the chicken. Pesto is very universal, you can add it to pasta or rice if use them in your kitchen. You can mix it with fried or oven baked veggies, or spread over the sandwich.

In this recipe, mixed with double cream, gives delicious creamy and aromatic sauce. If you have a food processor or chopper you can prepare pesto in seconds, so preparation of whole dish won’t take longer than 30 minutes. I served it with pan fried courgette and mushrooms – very quick and easy.

Scroll down for more quick & easy chicken skillet recipes.

quick & easy pesto chicken skillet (ketofriendly)

NOTE: my measuring cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g chicken thighs
  • 1-2 tbsp clarified butter or coconut oil
  • about 300ml double cream
  • about 2 handfuls of fresh basil
  • about ⅓-½ cup sunflower seeds (but you can also use pine nuts or cashews)
  • parmesan cheese (I used about 1-2 tablespoons of grated parmesan)
  • good pinch of coarse pepper
  • about ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • for decoration: few cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves

DIRECTIONS

Start with pesto. I If you have a food processor or this special chopping container you can connect with blender, just pop in all the ingredients and blend until smooth (sunflower seeds or nuts, fresh basil, parmesan cheese, coarse pepper, olive oil, pinch of salt, 2-3 garlic cloves). Amounts in the recipe are approximate, so if you feel like your pesto needs more pepper, basil or you like it to be more cheesy, adjust the amounts to your taste. I like a lot of garlic, 3 cloves is a lot, so you can start with 1 or 2. As you can see on the photos I had enough of pesto to put on the chicken, plus about 3 tablespoons for later (you can store pesto in the fridge in closed container for about 3 days).

My chopper is broken so what I’ve used was a blender and coffee grinder. I’ve used coffee grinder to blend sunflower seeds, blender to blend olive oil and fresh basil together and garlic press to smash garlic cloves. I have finely grated parmesan, so all I needed to do is to combine all the ingredients together to a paste: grounded sunflower seeds, olive oil and basil paste, garlic, parmesan cheese, coarse pepper and small pinch of salt.

Heat large skillet adding 1-2 tablespoons of clarified butter or coconut oil. Fry chicken thighs on both sides until golden on a quite large heat. And then season with salt on both sides. Add cream and lower the heat, it should only gently simmer. Spread generous amount of pesto on each piece of chicken, also add 2-3 teaspoons to cream sauce. Place couple cherry tomatoes and let it simmer gently for about 10-15 minutes. Place some fresh basil leaves before serving.

Serve with addition of your choice – on my plate courgette fried with mushrooms with some clarified butter, slightly salted with natural rock salt.

More quick & easy chicken skillet meals:

creamy garlic & spinach chicken (keto friendly & no dairy)

Again quick and easy one skillet creamy chicken recipe. This kind of simple meals are great for summertime, they don’t need much attention and time. So you can make them quickly and enjoy warm and sunny days, instead of spending hours in hot kitchen. You just pop couple of ingredients on the skillet, simmer for some time and you have delicious dinner ready to be served. Chicken with it’s cooling nature, it’s better for warm summer days, when you need something lighter.

You can serve it with some rice, couscous or quinoa or with crunchy salad if you don’t eat grains. I’ve used frozen spinach, you can defrost it before cooking, or like me, just pop it on the skillet and give it couple minutes to defrost. Of course you can also use fresh spinach leaves, but you’ll need quite a lot of them. I like adding a lot of spinach to this meal, but you can adjust the amount if it’s too much for you. The same with garlic. I love stronger garlicky flavour, but if one teaspoon it’s too much for you, add a bit less. You can use fresh garlic as well, although garlic granules are much faster. I’ve used coconut milk to keep this meal dairy free, but double cream also will make thick and creamy sauce. So just feel free to adjust the recipe to your taste and preferences.

creamy garlic & spinach chicken (keto friendly & no dairy)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500 g chicken thighs or chicken breasts
  • 400 ml (1 can) coconut milk
  • about 400 g frozen spinach (fresh will be fine but you will need quite a lot)
  • 2 handfuls of chopped leek
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • good pinch of natural rock salt and coarse pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

Cut chicken in stripes, heat a large skillet adding 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Fry chicken until slightly golden, stirring occasionally, season with salt and coarse pepper.

Add spinach (you can defrost it earlier or add frozen one, but it will more time to cook) and chopped leek, season with garlic and parsley. Pour over can of coconut milk, and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes. Coconut milk will reduce slightly, giving a nice creamy texture. Add some more salt if needed.

Serve with addition of your choice: rice, salad, couscous or quinoa.

Enjoy!

quick & easy creamy herb chicken

For all the chicken lovers – you don’t need to quit chicken on keto, just because it’s low fat meat. If you add some fat to it, it’s going to be a great keto meal. If you manage to find chicken breasts with skin it’s even better.

In this recipe we have fat from coconut milk, clarified butter and some extra olive oil. Garlic is commonly known from it’s antiseptic and antibiotic benefits. To get the most of it, try to find a good source of garlic – organic or just from local farmers. The one that’s sold in market might be bleached – it makes the the bulbs look perfectly white (can you imagine?) A lot of garlic is from China because (as everything else in this world) it’s production is cheaper and all year round. So in general, avoid perfectly looking garlic, and choose the one with more purple looking skin.

Addition of herbs is always good, mint and lemon pepper gives some freshness and lightness to this dish. To make it even more refreshing, serve it with bunch of green leaves (rocket will be great), tomatoes, peppers and olive oil, sprinkled with roasted sunflower seeds or almond flakes and more lemon pepper on top. If you don’t have lemon pepper use coarse pepper – in my opinion it has much more flavour than common ground pepper.

You’ll prepared this meal in less than 30 minutes, make your salad while waiting for the chicken to get tender. It’s really easy even if you’re not a master in the kitchen 😉

 

quick & easy creamy herb chicken

INGREDIENTS (1 chicken breast per person, I was making chicken for two dinners):

  • 4 chicken breasts (preferably with skin)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • lemon pepper or coarse pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter or coconut oil

If your chicken breasts are very thick slice them in half. Than sprinkle with salt and lemon pepper. Chopp the garlic. Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large skillet, than add chicken and fry on both sides until golden brown. Take the chicken off the skillet and add garlic and another tbsp of butter. Fry for 1 minute over low heat just to release the flavour, be careful not to burn the garlic because it will get bitter.

If you want to use normal butter it might burn, so it’s better to use some coconut oil or olive oil instead. Butter makes the sauce more creamy, and adds a lot of flavour, that’s why I like using it. It also breaks out the coconut flavour.

Pour can of coconut milk on the skillet, add herbs and slowly heat to boil stirring quite often, so the flavour from herbs will spread evenly. Add a little bit more salt, then add fried chicken. Cook on a low heat for few minutes until chicken will be nice and tender and coconut milk will reduce slightly and get thicken. At the end pour tablespoon of olive oil all over and serve. 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!