Thursday, 12 April 2012

Eggs for Breakfast!

A few cooked breakfast ideas below.

Hollandaise Sauce

From the BBC food website, tried and tested. Looks quite complicated but really isn't, and is worth the effort. Great with poached eggs and spinach as 'Eggs Florentine'

3 tbsp white wine vinegar
6 peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
2 eggs, yolks only
125g/4oz butter
lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

1. Put the vinegar in a small pan with the peppercorns and bay leaf. Reduce the vinegar over a high heat until there is only 1 tbsp left. Strain the peppercorns and the bay leaf from this reduction.

2. Put the egg yolks in a food processor with the vinegar reduction.

3. Gently melt the butter so that the butter solids fall to the bottom of the saucepan.

4. Turn the food processor on and slowly pour the butter on to the egg yolks with the motor still running. The sauce will start to thicken. When only the butter solids are left, stop.

5. If the sauce is too thick, add a little hot water. Season to taste with salt and pepper and a little lemon juice.

Whole recipe works out around 0.6g carbs.

Huevos Rancheros

Or 'Mexican Eggs' as it's known in my house!

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic. crushed
1tsp dried oregano
1 400g tin tomatoes
1 Roasted Red Pepper (Can be from a jar, I roast my own)
4 eggs
4 tbsp finely chopped coriander

1. Add oil to a frying pan and gently saute onion, chilli, garlic and oregano, until onion is soft.

2. Add the tomatoes and roasted red peppers and heat through for a few minutes until bubbling. Add water if it seems thick.

3. Make 4 'wells' in the mixture and add an egg to each one. Place under a hot grill, or into a medium oven until eggs are cooked through.

4. Serve and garnish with fresh coriander.

Serves 4, approx 6g Carbs per serving.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Thai Mushroom Hot Pot

I saw this over at The PPK and my first thought was that it could potentially be pretty carby, however I decided to omit the cornstarch and use a small brown onion instead of a large red onion and found it worked out at between 5- 6g carbs per serving. Pretty good, and pretty tasty!

It's reminds me of a thai soup and you could easily throw some tofu in there for extra protein.

You can check out the original recipe in the link but my lower carb recipe is below.

4 cups mushroom or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (regular vegetable oil will do, too)
1 small onion
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
Big pinch salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons minced lemongrass
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 star anise
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 oz dried shiitakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari to make it gluten free)
1 roughly chopped tomato
Fresh black pepper

15 oz can lite coconut milk
Juice of half a lime

1. Saute onion and pepper in the oil with a big pinch of salt, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Add garlic, lemongrass, ginger and red pepper flakes and mix in. Cook until fragrant, about a minute, then stream in the broth and add most of the other ingredients: star anise, cinnamon, shiitakes, soy sauce, tomatoes and fresh black pepper.

3. Stir often for the first 10 minutes or so then cover pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to simmer and cook covered for a good half hour, until mushrooms are completely softened.

4. Add coconut milk and lime, and taste for salt. Heat through and serve with fresh herbs and other accoutrement.

Savory Cheesecake

This makes quite a big cheesecake, so be careful about portion sizes. I haven't tried halving the recipe yet but I'm sure it can be done.

600g Cream Cheese
200g Grated mature cheddar cheese
4 eggs
Salt & Pepper
Chopped walnuts, about a handful
Small wedge Blue Cheese (I used about 75g)

1. Mix the Ricotta and Cream Cheese together until smooth then add the grated cheese and seasoning.

2. Add the eggs one at a time whisking the mixture as you add them.

3. Add to cheesecake tin and bake on 150 for 20 mins.

4. Take it out the oven and scatter the walnuts and blue cheese over the top and cook for another 40 minutes. Take out and leave to cool.

The top layer should have melted into a type of crust. It's delicious warm or cold.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

LC Veggie Indian Dishes

These Low Carb recipes were taken from Atkins Indian Recipes, found on the Atkins site. They are great served together and both suitable for phase 1. They serve 6-8 people but as I'm only cooking for 2 adults and a tot, I often half the recipe and save any leftovers for lunch the next day.

Baked Aubergine Puree

1kg Aubergine
170ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
1/8 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425°F/220C/Gas Mark 7.
2. Cut the aubergine on all sides with deep slashes and place in a baking pan. Roast until soft, 30 to 40 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes.
3. Peel aubergine and coarsely chop (or briefly pulse in a food processor or blender) and place in a medium bowl. Mix in oil, garlic and coriander. Salt and pepper to taste.

Total Carbs 2g

Spiced Indian Cauliflower
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 small tomato, finely chopped
1 medium head cauliflower,separated into small florets
115ml Vegetarian broth
11⁄2 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped

1. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add cumin, coriander and ginger. Cook spices until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2. Add tomato and cauliflower to saucepan. Raise heat to high, add broth, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Cover, turn heat down to low and simmer until cauliflower is tender but still very firm, about 7 minutes.
3. Remove lid and continue cooking until broth has evaporated and cauliflower is very tender, about 5 more minutes.

Total Carbs 3.5g

Low Carb Veggie Chilli

A stable of mine, I love serving it with grated cheddar, Sour Cream and Home- made Guacamole, Recipe also below. The chilli serves around 4 people.

LC Chilli.

1 chopped Shallot
1 chopped Courgette
200g Mushrooms
1 diced Red Pepper
2 Cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1 400g Tin of Tomatoes
1-2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dried Oregano
Dash cayenne pepper (Leave out if you don't like your chilli too hot)
1/2 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp Paprika (I use Smoked)
Tbsp Fresh Coriander
Tsp Oil

1. Add shallot in a pan until starting to soften, then add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.

2. Add the Courgettes, Mushrooms, and Peppers and cook for a few minutes.

3. Add the Chilli powder, Oregano, Cayenne, Cumin and Paprika, and cook for a few minutes stirring constantly. Don't let the spices burn.

4. Add the tinned tomatoes and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, adding a touch of hot water if it's starts to reduce too much.

5. Serve and scatter with fresh coriander.

Using the low carb vegetarian book's carb guide I estimated this around 7g carbs per serving.

Low Carb Guacamole

1 avocado
1 clove garlic, pureed or chopped finely
1 Tbsp Coriander
1/2 Lime, Juiced
salt & pepper

1. Mash the Avocado up using a knife.

2. Mash in the rest of the ingredients, easy!

The whole recipe come to around 5g carbs, so don't eat it all, but a spoonful with your chilli should be fine!

Tofu Recipes 1

Tofu Satay.

I'll be honest and say I don't get along with Tofu at all, for this Satay recipe, and in curries and stir-frys I always use the Cauldron marinated pieces as I find them so much easier to cook with,

Around 1/2 Pack Cauldron Marinated pieces.
2 tablespoons peanut butter, unsweetened.
1.5 tablespoons hot water
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
Squeeze of fresh Lime Juice
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 minced Garlic clove
1/2 teaspoon grated Ginger (You could also use 1 tsp Garlic/Ginger paste if you have it)

1. Mix all the sauce ingredients together, adding a touch more water if it seems too thick. Skewer the tofu onto some kebab skewers (remember to soak first if using wooden!)

2. Place the skewered tofu under a medium grill for a few minutes, turning frequently.

3. Spoon the Satay sauce over the tofu and place back under the grill until the sauce is bubbling.

Serve with stir fried vegetables or a salad.

Tofu Falafel (Rose Elliot Recipe)

This is a yummy substitute to Falafel and an excellent source of protein. The recipe calls for Soya Protein Powder OR Soya Flour. I used Soya Flour however found I needed more than a tablespoon, so I'd suggest keep adding a bit extra until you're happy with the mixture.

250g Firm Tofu, drained.
Small handful Parsley or Coriander
Clove of Garlic
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tbs Soya Protein or Soya Flour
Oil for Frying

1. Break the tofu into chunks and squeeze any extra liquid out with your hands.

2. But the Tofu into a food processor with the herbs,garlic and cumin and whizz into a puree.

3. Add the Soya Powder and whizz again adding some salt to season. Form into approx 10 Balls.

4. Pour enough oil into a frying pan to cover the base by around 5mm and heat. Add the falafel balls, the oil should be hot enough that they sizzle when added to the oil. Fry until brown and crisp all over, rolling around so all surfaces get into the oil, for around 10 minutes. Drain and serve warm or cold.

I usually serve a couple of balls of a piece of chicory, drizzled with tahini and mayo. Yum!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Mushrooms 1

Blue Cheese Mushrooms

1/2 punnet Mushrooms, chopped
1 shallot, chopped finely
4 tablespoons butter
6 ounces creamy blue cheese, crumbled
150ml double cream
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
pinch salt

1. Melt the butter in a pan and add chopped shallots, saute until softened then add the Mushrooms and saute until releasing juices.

2. Add the cream and seasoning and simmer until slightly reduced.

3. Crumble in the blue cheese and cook until melted and sauce had thickened.

I usually serve with cauliflower and roast sprouts. You can omit the blue cheese to make a creamy mushroom sauce, however you will need to cook the cream for a few extra minutes to thicken up the sauce.

In the later stages of the diet I make a crumble topping from Soya flour and butter and sprinkle it on top of the mushrooms before popping in the oven.

Mushroom Rarebit.

4 large field or portabello mushrooms , stalks removed
200g grated cheddar cheese
1 tsp English mustard
1 egg , beaten with a fork
Cayenne pepper
Dash of Hendersons Relish, or Veggie Worcester Sauce. Leave out if you have none.

1. Put the mushrooms on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season. Grill, turning, until just tender.

2. Mix the cheese, mustard and egg together and season with Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper as per taste.

3. Fill the mushrooms with the cheese mix. Grill until golden and bubbling.

Serve with a big mixed salad.

Adapted from the Good Food Website.