egg, cheese and onion stuffed mushrooms

Using leftovers from your kitchen it’s a great opportunity to step out of the box and use some ingredients in a different way than usually. I had three large flat mushrooms and hard boiled eggs that I cooked for a salad that I didn’t make. I was also baking something else and had a bit room on the baking tray. That’s a great opportunity to take advantage of that and make stuffed mushrooms. Nowadays it would be a waste to heat up an oven only for three mushrooms, wouldn’t it?

Obviously if you have more mushrooms and more people to feed, feel free to multiply the amounts of ingredients and fill up the baking tray with these egg, cheese and onion stuffed mushrooms. If you have more patience than me, you can use small cup mushrooms and stuff them exactly in the same way. Small mushrooms will be great as an appetiser for a garden party or any party actually. They can be eaten hot or cold.

Big mushrooms in my opinion tastes better hot, straight from the oven. They will be a great meal on the hot Summer days when you’re not really hungry.

Stuffed mushrooms are also low in carb, so for all of you on a ketogenic diet they might be another good idea how to use eggs and mushrooms. Mushrooms were always considered as nutritionally useless as they contain mostly water. But studies showed that they are actually great source of vitamins B (thiamine, riboflavin, niacine, pantothenic acid), vitamin D (if they grow in the UV light), also phosphorus and potassium.

I used medium cheddar cheese for this recipe, but any stronger flavoured cheese will be great. Mozzarella or other delicate cheese might be to insipid here. Also if you like it more on the spicy side you can add some chilli flakes or cayenne pepper instead of black pepper.

Garnish with some freshly chopped spring onions and aromatic cherry tomatoes and delicious meal is ready in minutes!


egg, cheese and onion stuffed mushrooms


INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 large flat mushrooms (also called jumbo mushrooms)
  • 2 large hard boiled eggs
  • handful of grated hard cheese (cheddar, emmental, gouda)
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 small brown onion
  • spring onions for garnish
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

I always peel the skin from a mushroom cup instead of rinsing it under the water. So it’s not going to soak the water and become soggy. Remove the stems, chop them and keep for stuffing.

Finely chop hard boiled eggs, also chop one small brown onion. Combine them both adding a spoonful of mayo, pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Then add mushroom stems and grated cheese of your choice.

Fill up the mushrooms, sprinkle with additional cheese and bake in 180-200°C until cheese melts and becomes slightly golden. Remove from the oven, garnish with some spring onions and serve.

two ingredients keto pancakes

Another Summer comfort food recipe. Scotland is not the hottest place in the world and to be honest I don’t feel like there’s a place for typical Summer staples – all the meals and drinks that supposed to cool you down a bit and soothe the warmed by the sun body and mind. I would say that the theme here is: “if not the wind, it would be actually quite warm”. But maybe it’s just my perception of the Scottish weather and natives might feel a bit different about it. Anyway, I don’t feel I need to be cool down more than I already am. That’s why I will provide you today with a mix of hot pancakes with Summer fruits.

I had a pack of curd cheese in my fridge that was getting close to its end date, that I bought God knows why, so one afternoon I decided to try and make pancakes with them. I’ve seen pancakes made with eggs and cream cheese, so I was curious if it will work with curd cheese, that obviously has completely different texture and taste. To be honest I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, it was kind of experiment.

The outcome wasn’t bad at all, it was a little tricky to fry them, as they are quite gentle and bigger ones wasn’t that easy to flip. But when I lowered the heat and let them fry a bit longer it wasn’t so bad. They have a bit peculiar taste and squeaky texture, but with some sort of “sweet” addition of fruits or keto friendly chocolate sauce they are perfect.

I had only strawberries and frozen cherries, but if I would have some honey or maple syrup I would definitely brake the keto rule and drizzle them with some golden sweetness.

To make these pancakes you will need only two ingredients: eggs and curd cheese. Optionally, you can add some sugar replacement to the mix (xylitol, monk fruit sweetener, stevia) but if you decide to put some fruits or sauce on top it’s not necessary. You can use bits of fruits or smash strawberries or raspberries with a fork (or blender) to make some sort of fruit sauce and generously drizzle all over.

Non-stick frying pan will be also very useful as pancakes are quite gentle and might be little tricky to flip if you don’t have enough patience. But it will be a great option for you if you’re on gluten free diet and you can’t eat traditional flour made pancakes. Also all of you who’s on ketogenic diet and crave for pancakes will make a good use out of this recipe.

I think it would also go great in savoury meals with meaty sauces for example. But for the Summer take advantage of fresh fruits that are low in carbs like: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries.


two ingredients keto pancakes


INGREDIENTS for about 8 pancakes:

  • 450 g full fat curd cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • optionally: some sort of sweetener – xlylitol for example
  • some clarified butter or coconut oil for frying
  • additionaly: strawberries, cherries or any other fruits or for non keto options – honey, maple syrup, chocolate sauce

DIRECTIONS

Preparation is extremely simple: whisk the eggs until fluffy. I used blender. Add crumbled curd cheese and blend utlil you get quite thick, fluffy consistency. If you want you can also add a teaspoon or two of xylitol or other sweetener. Pancakes have quite neutral taste on its own.

Heat the non stick frying pan, add some clarified butter (won’t burn while frying) or coconut oil. Pour couple pancakes, trying to keep them quite small – they will be easier to flip. Fry on both sides on medium to small heat until golden. Flip gently. Remember pancakes don’t contain any flour so there’s not a lot of density. They might be more prone to break if you won’t be gentle enough or you try to flip them too early.

Decorate with bits of strawberries or other fruits or fruit sauce, drizzle with honey or maple syrup if you don’t mind some sugar. Anyway some kind of “sweet” addition would be needed, as pancakes itself have quite neutral taste, but they are very fulfilling comparing to regular flour made pancakes. They taste the best freshly made and hot.

Enjoy!

sunchoke (topinambur) & apple salad with smoked mackerel

When I found these two small unusual looking tubers in my veggie box subscribtion I had completely no idea what are they and how to prepare them. Quick investigation (thanks google) and came out that my mysterious veggies are sunchokes. Also called: topinambur or sunroot, Jerusalem artichoke, earth apple or wild sunflower – depending on where you live. Topinambur sounds familiar but it reminds me of long thin root veg, and the one I got were small kind of ginger-like shape with brown potato-like skin.

Came out that sunchokes are species of sunflower native to North America, they vary in colour from pale brown to white, red, or purple and can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled. Despite one of its names, the Jerusalem artichoke has no relationship to Jerusalem, and it is not a type of artichoke though the two are distantly related as members of the daisy family. Italian settlers in the United States called the plant girasole, the Italian word for sunflower, because of its familial relationship to the garden sunflower. Over time, the name girasole in southern Italian dialects was corrupted to Jerusalem. Can you be more confused?

They are not articholes, nor sunflowers, look like ginger, but doesn’t taste like ginger at all. Actually for me they taste more like a potato, but much more creamy than starchy and with slight nutty flavour and also quite sweet. Although I tasted only baked version, so I’m very curious how raw one taste like.

About 150g of raw slices sunchoke contains about 3g of protein, 26g of carbs, 2.4g of fiber, 14g sugar. Although it contains lots of carbs, most of them are not sttarch but inulin. Inulin is a type of soluble fiber that balances blood sugar, and also acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics are compounds that feed the good bacteria (probiotics) in our gut, thus enhancing digestive and immune health. It stimulates the development of a normal intestinal flora while inhibiting the growth of putrefactive and pathogenic bacteria, and maintains the correct pH. It can be helpful in any food poisoning. Moreover, inulin has an immunostimulating effect on the immune system as well as to bind and excrete harmful compounds that are left in your intestines.

So I started looking for a recipe inspiration as I always do with foods that I never prepared before. And I found a perfect one, as I had (almost) all ingredients. So that’s my version of this sunchoke and apple salad, prepared with the leftovers I already had in my kitchen. I had one organic Gala or Pink Lady apple, leftovers of smoked mackerel insteadt of trout, ordinary brown onion instead of shallots, plus some spring onions from the same veggie box instead of fresh basil. And I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the final taste. It looked a bit like randomly chosed ingredients, but somehow worked together very well.

Tangy and crispy apple, mellow and gentle taste of baked sunchoke, smoked fatty fish broken a bit by the taste of apple cider vinegar and onion. And lots of black pepper that I really enjoyed in this salad, all of that made a great salad I have ate with pleasure.

I’m definitely curious of more sunchoke/topinambur recipe options, and I will be looking for it in my next veggie boxes. That’s what I really like about my veg box subscription – I’m sure I’ve mentioned that before. Each time I found a veg I’ve never tried before I learn something new. And that forces me to experiment, try new recipes rather than stick to couple ones I know by heart and that are easy and convenient. And I encourage you to do the same – look for new ingredients you’ve never tried, find new tastes and flavours. You might fail in your discoveries but you also might find your new favourite taste.


sunchoke (topinambur) & apple salad

with smoked mackerel


INGREDIENTS (for one large portion):

  • 2 sunchoke (topinambur)
  • 1 small apple
  • half of small brown onion
  • handful of chopped spring onions
  • smoked mackerel
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • chopped dill for garnish
  • 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + tiny bit for a drizzle

DIRECTIONS

Thoroughly wash sunchokes and slice them in quite thick slices (leave the skin on). Sprinkle with black pepper and pinch of salt and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Prepare baking tray and piece of baking paper. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Spread sunchoke slices on the tray and bake for about 25 minutes, until they become golden and crispy on the edges. Then remove from the oven and let it cool down completely.

Cut apple in thin slices, drizzle with apple cider vinegar to prevent from getting dark and unappetizing. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Add very thinly sliced half of small onion and chopped spring onions.

Arrange on a plate together with sunchokes, add bits of smoked mackerel. Drizzle with olive oil, garnish with fresh dill and enjoy.

summer roulade with prosciutto (#ketofriendly)

After couple weeks of absence that was a mix of several different factors (including having way too much on my plate) I’m coming back, hopefully with more then only one recipe. This time it’s keto friendly Summer roulade made with lots of green stuff and prosciutto. Seems complicated but in fact is very easy to make. It’s fancy enough to be served on Summer garden party you might be having in near future or if you wish, you can make it for your lunch or breakfast. Or it may be a part of your weekend breakfast feast in the garden.

I planned to make it using plenty of rocket – more bitter and mustardy in flavour, but ended up getting a bag of spinach from my first this season veggie box, so used spinach instead. Next time though I will use rocket leaves that has spicy, peppery flavour that will perfectly contrast to gentle taste of prosciutto. So if you decide to make this roulade, feel free to try different kind of green leaves, although I believe that rocket will be delicious.

Also you can choose from various cream cheese flavours: with herbs, garlic or chives will work as good. Choose the one you like the most or stay with plain, non flavoured cream cheese. If you have fresh herbs you love, do not hasitate and also add them to the green layer.

The same with cheddar – stronger one you choose more flavour you will add to your final roulade.

I like this kind of recipes – they give you variety of choices, depending what’s available for you. You can prepare lots of different options based on one basic recipe and experiment with colours and flavours. If you’re on a ketogenic diet that’s a great opportunity to add some variety to your meal options. You can choose from all the keto foods and try different combinations of ingredients, so you will never get bored with what you eat.

To make your job easier you can simply buy a box of egg whites if they are available where you live. Egg whites can be easily freeze, so if you buy a box of 15 egg whites and use half of it, just pop it into the freezer and keep for another time.

Experiment with fresh seasonal veggies and green leaves, don’t be afraid to add different spices or fresh herbs. Start with simple recipe and have fun with using other ingredients that you really like.


summer roulade with prosciutto


INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 egg whites
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 medium courgette
  • 2 handfuls finely grated cheddar of your choice
  • spinach or rocket
  • about 10 slices of prosciutto
  • about 200 g cream cheese of your choice

DIRECTIONS

Start from grating courgette, do it quite finely. Leave it for couple minutes and then squeeze the juice. Do it thoroughly – more juice will remain more wet become after baking, so try to squeeze all the liquid.

Heat the oven to 160-170°C. Prepare large baking tray (I’ve used size 34x40cm) and place a large piece of baking paper, smear it with coconut oil or oil spray to make sure that roulade won’t stick.

In the meantime beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff peaks. I use handheld mixer. Start with lower speed and tilt the bowl slightly, to make sure that nothing will remain on the bottom. Then I switch the speed higher and beat until I get nice, white foam and stiff peaks.

When egg whites are ready, start adding grated courgette, combine with egg whites using a spatula and folding motion. Add finely grated cheddar. Place the whites on the baking tray and using spatula form into rectangular shape. Try to maker nice and even surface. Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. It should become slightly golden on top. Don’t bake it for too long, when it get dry it will be breaking and you won’t be able to roll it. Although courgette has lots of juice even though squeezed so it will remain quite soft and kind of wet. It’s going to rise and then deflate after taking out of the oven, that’s completely normal, so don’t worry if it happens to you.

After baking immediately take it out of the oven, leave to cool down completely. Next step is to spread all over an even layer of cream cheese. Place all of your prosciutto on top and finish with spinach leaves.

Now roll it gently into roulade, quite tightly with attention not to make holes in it while removing baking paper. Cover it with baking paper or cling film and let it set in the fridge ideally for couple hours.

Cut in thick slices and serve.

4 ingredients Rafaello (no sugar)

Another Instagram inspired recipe. I think I need a rehab, because my head gets overloaded with all the Instagram photos and ideas I would like to try. And obviously there’s not enough time in the world I would be able to try them all. I got to the point that I consume more (content) than I can process, and I spend more time on it, that I could actually use for testing these ideas. My procrastination wins with each photo scrolled on IG, and I feel like soon I will need to bury my phone under the tree in front of my house. Some of you might know that feeling – you grab your phone just to check the emails and you wake up an hour later scrolling photos and reels on IG. There’s hardly any benefit from that, but when you catch yourself on that, it’s usually already too late and some of your time gets soaked by a black hole.

This annoys me because I’ve never had this tendency to endlessly scroll FB or watch whole seasons of Netflix series in one night (I hardly ever watch any series). So this time I’ve made a resolution and give myself a ban for Instagram. Before that though, I have this low carb Rafaello recipe for you, inspired by Instagram.

It’s super easy and quick, and if you love coconut I’m sure you’ll like it. I’m not a coconut fan but I like Rafaello, that’s why I was curious how it tastes. And although it doesn’t contain that crunchy wafer inside, that real Rafaello does, it’s actually quite good. I have to admit I didn’t add any sugar replacement to it, which for sure would make it better. So if you prefer sweet sweets add some sort of sugar (icing sugar) or sugar replacement. For sure next time I will add some sweetness to it.

Also if you don’t have a coffee grinder to grind dessicated coconut, you can use either coconut flour (but add teaspoon by teaspoon – not sure how it’s going to work) or coconut cream (very thick, much thicker than coconut milk). Most probably the second one will work much better as coconut flour will soak up all the moisture and might make your Rafaello quite dry.

It will literally take you couple minutes to prepare, plus about 30 minutes in the fridge. And as all low carb high fat snacks – you won’t need more 2-3 when you feel full (comparing to real Rafaello where you can eat whole box and you’ll still feel like it’s not enough).


4 ingredients Rafaello (no sugar)


NOTE: my cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS for about 20 fat bombs:

  • 1½ cup dessicated coconut
  • 250g mascarpone
  • handful of almonds
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • optionally: xylitol or other sugar replacement

DIRECTIONS

Finely grind 1 cup of coconut using a coffee grinder. Put away the other ½ cup for sprinkle. Combine grinded coconut with mascarpone and vanilla extract, first using a spoon, then simply use your hand (if you use sugar replacement also add it). Using your hands make small balls a size of a walnut placing an almond in each of them. Coat in the remaining coconut and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Store in the fridge for 2-3 days.

grilled aubergine and chickpeas salad with sumac dressing

I’m a sucker for a good salad. Recently salads became my go to lunch options, I just open my fridge early in the morning and I pack my luchbox with bunch of veg with occasional addition of meat, cheese or egg. Sometimes it’s even hard to call it a salad, it rather looks like someone placed randomly some foods with splash of olive oil and cream cheese on top (oh, cream cheese is like ice cream for keto-people – yummy). But at 6am that’s sometimes the pinnacle of my abilities.

If I’m more fancy and I get myself together to prepare something on the evening before, it looks more like that.

Although this one looks and tastes much better when freshly made, rather than on a next day, when aubergine becomes a bit soggy and discoloured. Grilled aubergine (and courgette…and peppers… and mushrooms…oh and onion) tastes like heaven, so before I even managed to complete preparing this salad for photos half of it was eaten by my partner (nightmare of food blogers – while you setting up a photo shoot space, your other half shouting from the kitchen: “will you need that veg? I already ate some!”)

Definitely I need to remember that I love grilled aubergine, and use more often my grilling pan that lives on the bottom of the cupboard – forgotten. Apart from being delicious, aubergine is simply beautiful with it’s shiny dark purple firm skin, I’m always amazed by their look. Technically aubergine is a fruit, but I guess apart from bunch of pen-pushers thinking about how to classify a plant or at what angle should the banana curve, no one cares. Aubergine is versatile – it can be baked, mashed into a dip, roast, grilled and cooked – as it easily absorbs other flavours, so it works great in meals rich in spices – like curry’s and stews. Aubergines have a high water content with almost no cholesterol or fat and are a source of vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, and manganese.

They are though a part of the nightshade family – which also include tomato and bell peppers – and in some cases are known to cause severe allergic reactions. So if you’ve never tried aubergine before and you have a history of food allergies , keep it in mind.

For the lucky ones that can eat aubergine without limits here’s a delicious recipe 🙂


grilled aubergine and chickpeas salad with sumac dressing


INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small aubergine
  • 150g can of chickpeas
  • baby salad leaves (spinach, different types of lettuce)
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • piece of feta cheese
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of black pepper
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • couple tbsp olive oil

DIRECTIONS

Heat up a grill pan, drizzle a little bit of olive oil. Cut aubergine in about half inch (1-1.5cm) slices and grill couple minutes on each side. Set aside to cool down.

Prepare dressing: finely chop garlic (or use garlic press), crush it with pinch of salt, add lemon juice, olive oil, black pepper and sumac.

In a large bowl place a bunch of baby salad leaves, arrange slices of aubergine (you can chop them in smaller pieces), halves of cherry tomatoes and chickpeas. Crumble some feta cheese on top and drizzle with sumac dressing. Serve fresh.

You can store it in the fridge for up to two days, but it tastes the best when fresh.

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flourless chocolate and raspberry cupcakes

As you can probably tell baking is not my best skill 🙂 But it doesn’t bother me, as long as the final effect is tasty. I passionately can spend hours in the kitchen trying to make something pretty, usually inspired by sweet creations made by others – and most often it comes out like this. But as soon as I make a first bite and I can taste chocolate fluffiness, and creamy texture of mascarpone mixed with juicy raspberries it doesn’t matter how it looks like. For sugar eaters it might not be sweet enough, as I didn’t add any sugar or sugar replacement to mascarpone. But for me it’s sweet enough. I prefer to be able to taste slight bitterness of chocolate and gentle sweetness of fruits. I think cherries would be also delicious. Chocolate and cherries and chocolate and raspberries are my favourite combinations.

I used a muffin tray and baking paper cut in squares instead of proper cupcake liners. You can do the same or use fancy, colourful cupcake liners – they will look much prettier that’s for sure. I don’t bake often enough to have them on hand, that’s why I always use bits of baking paper.

It’s a perfect recipe for all of you who cannot tolerate gluten as these cupcakes are free from flour. They are made only with 4 ingredients: eggs, dark chocolate, butter and sugar replacement. With simple mix of mascarpone and fruits on top. These cupcakes are very light and that’s their downside – you won’t even notice when you eat them all, and you will need to make a new batch.



flourless chocolate and raspberry cupcakes


NOTES: my measuring cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS for 12 cupcakes:

  • 100g dark chocolate (I’ve used Lindt 90% cocoa)
  • 100g butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup xylitol (or any other kind of sugar replacement or regular sugar, if you don’t mind)
  • 250 g mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup raspberries

DIRECTIONS

Break the chocolate in smaller pieces and place in 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). Add butter and stir until fully melted. Remove the bowl from the pot and let cool down to room temperature.

Now whip 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.

Heat the oven to about 160ºC.

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.

Now fill up each cupcake liner, bake for about 25 minutes. After baking let it cool down completely.

Set aside couple raspberries and smash the rest with a fork. Whip mascarpone cheese with mashed raspberries. I used my icing kit to “decorate” cupcakes but mascarpone mixed with raspberries is not thick enough to keep the shape of icing tip, although still looks nicer than if I would use a spoon. Decorate each cupcake with couple raspberries and enjoy.

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!

low carb banana bread

Spending lots of time on Instagram sometimes ends up making things I usually wouldn’t do. I haven’t been eating bananas for ages, and I’m not a fan of cakes made with coconut flour – I don’t like the the texture and the taste of it. I rather eat a piece of real flour and sugar cake, than it’s keto replacement. I’m not saying that it’s not possible to make keto friendly tasty cake. I don’t fancy the one made with coconut flour, almond flour is a bit to pricey for me (although tastes much better), and I don’t miss cakes that much that I would be looking for replacements. But after several banana bread photos that popped on my screen I decided I will give it a try. I had some leftovers of coconut flour I had to use anyway (and I still have some more, so expect another coconut flour recipe).

I bought three tiny small, baby size bananas. I used two of them to smash and add to the mixture and one to place on top. Lets say one tiny banana has about 19 grams of carbohydrates, so whole loaf has about 57 grams of carbs. But obviously you won’t eat the whole loaf at once. I didn’t add any other sugar or sugar replacement to this bread, so the only sweetness comes from bananas – I used very ripe bananas that already started having brown spots – they are the sweetest. For average person most probably it’s not going to be sweet at all, so keep it in mind that you might want to add some sugar or sugar replacement if you want to keep it low carb recipe.

The other thing is coconut flour. Coconut flour is quite specific – it sucks all the moisture, so more you add the texture will be more dry and crumbly. And this dry and crumbly texture I don’t like. That’s why I added only three tablespoons of coconut flour. This way my banana bread came out quite moisture and even a bit soggy on the bottom. So if you like it on the more dry side, definitely add more (2-3 tablespoons) coconut flour.

With the stated amounts of ingredients you’ll make a small size loaf. My banana bread came out a bit crooked, just because I used silicon loaf shaped tray and it bent while baking.

I’ve used 250 g quark cheese I’ve had in my fridge, but I believe that cream cheese would also work great. Do not afraid to experiment. You can also sprinkle the top with sunflower seeds or walnuts.


LOW CARB BANANA BREAD


INGREDIENTS for small loaf shape baking tray:

  • 3 very small ripe bananas
  • 3 tbsp coconut flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 250 g quark cheese
  • 1/3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • couple drops of vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • optionally: sunflower seeds

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to about 160-170°C. Prepare loaf shape baking tray – grease it with some butter or place place of baking paper.

Smash 2 small bananas using a fork, leave one banana to place on top of the bread. Beat the eggs using handheld mixer until they’re fluffy and light in colour. Add vanilla extract, smashed bananas, quark cheese, butter, 1/3 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda. At the end add about 3 tablespoons of coconut flour. Add more if you want your bread to be more dry. I would add about 2 more tablespoons for more crumbly and dry texture.

Transfer your mix to a baking tray and place halves of your third banana, if you want sprinkle some sunflower seeds on top. Bake for about 40-45 minutes – depending of your oven – always make a toothpick test: prick the bread with a wooden toothpick, if it’s clean – bread is ready, if not – it needs couple more minutes.

After baking let it cool down on a cooling rack. Consume within 2 days.

Indian style vegetable curry

This Indian style veggie curry recently became one of our favourite meals. What’s great about it is that it’s extremely easy and quick to make. Perfect when you don’t have much time to cook, but you still want something nourishing and hearty. It’s full of flavour one pot meal you can prepare, using different veggies you have in your fridge. Mushrooms are the most important though. You can swap cauliflower with broccoli, courgettes and aubergine with other veggies (root veg for example). I chose the one that are most low carb.

Choose closed cup baby mushrooms – they are the best for this recipe. They are small, so there’s no need to chop them, they won’t become soggy while cooking. Baby mushrooms will remain firm and juicy, perfect for one bite. There’s no need to add any meat to this curry.

I chose mild curry powder – feel like mild flavour goes better with veggies, but I you like more spicy curry, try adding hot curry powder or sprinkle your curry with chilli flakes. Also I wouldn’t be myself if I wouldn’t add garlic for even more delicious flavour. But if you don’t like smell or taste of garlic you can skip it in the recipe.

Also choose good quality coconut milk. There’s plenty of choices, but various coconut milk can differ a lot. Look for the simplest list of ingredients: coconut extract and water. If you can, try to stay away from the ones that contains emulgators, stabilisers, starches and emulsifiers. Also look what’s the percentage of coconut extract it contains – the more the better.

You can serve your curry with multiple additions like rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat or on its own, or with piece of naan bread.


vegetable curry


INGREDIENTS:

  • 500 g baby mushrooms
  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 small courgette
  • 1 small aubergine
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • spring onion for garnish
  • 450 ml coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • about 2 tsp mild curry powder (or hot curry powder if you like)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

Thoroughly wash all veggies. Divide cauliflower in small florets. Chop courgette and aubergine. Heat large, deep frying pan (or wok) adding one tablespoon of coconut oil. Fry cauliflower first, on high heat, until slightly golden, then add baby mushrooms. Fry for couple minutes, then add courgette, aubergine, curry powder, turmeric, chopped garlic and sprinkle with salt.

Add coconut milk and lower the heat, let it simmer for couple minutes – mushroom should be still firm and juicy. At the end of cooking add halves of cherry tomatoes. Garnish with spring onions before serving.

Serve on its own, it will also taste great with rice, couscous, bulgur wheat or quinoa.

Store in the fridge for about 2-3 days.

Enjoy!